Tag Archives: Queanbeyan

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.



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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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


Barnes and Noble

Apple Books

Google Play


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Random Cemetery Ibis

An Australian ibis wandering around the graves in Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery, just before the border with Canberra, this afternoon.

Ibis Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery New South Wales NSW near Canberra ACT Australia Autumn Heatwave Bird Sonya Heaney 17th April 2019

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On the road…

Big skies on the drive between Queanbeyan, New South Wales and Canberra, Australia’s capital city on this very hot, sunny afternoon.



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New Year’s Day

We had New Year’s Day lunch at The Royal Hotel in Queanbeyan (just over the New South Wales border from Canberra) this afternoon. It’s so hot and dry around here – as you can probably tell from the pictures!



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Sunday Afternoon in New South Wales

Driving home from lunch in Queanbeyan, New South Wales (just over the state border from Canberra) this afternoon.

Queanbeyan Near Canberra Australia Hot Sunny Sunday Afternoon Blue Sky Sonya Heaney 28th October 2018 Spring Sunshine

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Blue-Sky Afternoon

Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery – near the border with the ACT – this afternoon. The sky was SO blue.

We’ll have another funeral here next week. The original Ukrainian community is dying out…

Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery near Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Winter Blue Sky 13th July 2018

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