Category Archives: Books

Book Inspiration

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

One thing that thrilled me about the cover for The Landowner’s Secret, my upcoming book, was that the designer really took the setting into consideration.

Yes, the story is set in colonial Australia, and yes, I know many people think of Australia in terms of either beaches or deserts. However, *my* Australia is about the mountains and the bush, and my book is set in the shadow of the Brindabella Range.

I look at these mountains every day. I can see them from the backyard, the front yard, from half the windows of the house (which proved pretty scary when fire came rolling down the hills during the devastating Canberra firestorm!).

Here is an image from of the mountains from Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons. I think the view is reflected so well on the book cover:

Mount_Ginini_-_Namadgi_National_Park_-_2 ACT NSW Canberra Region Australia October 2006

Here are a couple of random shots of I’ve taken while in the car (not driving!). The farmland in the second one is where I’ve set my hero’s homestead.

driving-south-canberra-tuggeranong-australia-brindabella-ranges-mountains-anzac-day-25th-april-2015-sonya-heaney

winter-queanbeyan-to-canberra-australia-5th-june-2015-sonya-heaney-oksana-heaney-brindabella-ranges-travel-road-state-border

I know a lot of book covers in this world don’t have a lot to do with what’s actually written on the pages, and I consider myself very lucky that mine does!

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Filed under Australia, Books, Canberra

My Upcoming Book

I haven’t mentioned it here, but I signed a contract with Escape Publishing (an imprint of HarperCollins) earlier this year, and have a book coming out in September.

I think it’s relevant to this blog because it is historical fiction set in what is now the Canberra/Queanbeyan region.

Here is the cover (the Brindabellas feature in the story), the blurb, and I’m also adding some preorder links:

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney

New South Wales, 1885

When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.

It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.

What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.

Preorder Links:

HarperCollins AU US UK

Amazon AU US UK

Kobo AU NZ US UK CA IE IN ZA

Barnes and Noble

Apple Books

Google Play

Booktopia

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Happy Birthday to the National Library!

The National Library of Australia, on the edge of Lake Burley Griffin here in Canberra, was opened by Prime Minister John Gorton on this day in 1968.

Happy 50th Birthday!

Enlighten Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 11th March 2017 National Library of Australia Canberra Women's History Reflection Night

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Dear Canberra Writers Festival: Barnaby Joyce is NOT a writer, and you bloody well know it.

BarnabyJoycewearsanAkubrahatanddoesthehangloosehandgesturewithhisrighthand

To begin: for those of you who don’t know, Barnaby Joyce was, until recently, Australia’s deputy prime minister (think vice president). It was then discovered that he – a married man with four daughters – had been having an affair with a younger staffer, that she was pregnant, and that he was leaving his wife.

When he got into trouble professionally because of his actions, more than once he threw his pregnant girlfriend under the bus to try and save himself.

Since then, both his wife and his daughters have heavily campaigned against the man, which tells you all you need to know about his character.

Additionally, Joyce is a Bogan with a capital B. He screwed Canberra over by stealing many, many government jobs and moving them out to his country Australia electorate. His greatest career “achievement” (unless you count his infamous, international fight with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard over pet dogs) is doing terrible things to Canberrans.

JohnnyDeppandAmberHeardhavelikelyneverforgivenBarnabyJoyceformakingthemdothis

Now? Joyce is a headline act at the Canberra Writers Festival.

Hey, guys: you know Joyce isn’t a writer. You KNOW this. I doubt he could have got a single sentence down on the page without the help of a ghost writer. His “tell-all” book, haphazardly slapped together in recent months to cash in on his infamously appalling treatment of women, does not make him a writer any more than his trashy “current affairs” show appearances he’s making big money off do.

The only reason he’s been invited alongside REAL writers is because you know it’ll bring the people in. It’s like putting someone from the Kindergym program on the Olympic gymnastics team. It’s nominating the Relief Wrap infomercial cast for Oscars.

OfficeAndMoreINtheKitchenReliefWrapinfomercialad

What are you trying to achieve by inviting a rabid misogynist to a writers’ festival in Australia’s most progressive city? (Those aren’t empty words; we, for example, legalised same-sex marriage four years before anybody else, and had by FAR the highest “yes” vote at a federal level last year.)

Your belligerent defence of yourself on social media – arguing semantics to try and get out of hot water – only makes you look like arses.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. And I wouldn’t touch your festival with a ten-foot pole.

BarnabyJoyce

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Filed under Australia, Books, Canberra

Enlighten Canberra

The National Library of Australia in Canberra tonight, on the first night of the Enlighten festival. It was a gorgeous night, and I have never seen crowds like this at the event before.

I will post more (better!) pictures in the next few days.

Enlighten Canberra 2018 National Library of Australia First Night Sonya Heaney 3rd March 2018 Night 2

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Filed under Australia, Books, Canberra, Photography, Travel

Winter Flowers

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Winter Flowers Queanbeyan near Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 5th June 2015

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Filed under Australia, Books, Garden, Photography

Canberra Sunset

I think I posted something similar recently, but here’s another sunset shot from Canberra.

Sunset Tuggerarnong Canberra Australia 2nd April 2015 Sonya Heaney Autumn

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Filed under Books, Canberra, Garden, Photography, Travel