Happy Birthday to The Artist’s Secret!

The Artist’s Secret – the second book in my Brindabella Secrets series – came out on this day one year ago!

Despite their growing attraction, both Peter and Elizabeth have secrets that will come between them.

New South Wales, 1887

Peter Rowe’s life is in the city, but his soul is in Australia’s southern tablelands – a place he’s never seen. Taking the new land manager’s position on the thriving estate of Endmoor is the chance he needs to discover what happened to the family he has never met. What he doesn’t expect to find in the bush is his employer’s talented, beautiful sister.

Elizabeth Farrer’s world is changing rapidly. An artist whose work has begun to gain acclaim, her brother’s marriage has made her redundant in her own home and she intends to leave the country and make a life of her own. Her plans would take her far from her beloved New South Wales, but with the arrival of Endmoor’s newest employee – a man unlike any other she has met – she discovers there might just be a reason to stay right where she is.

Just as they conquer their most difficult obstacles, old prejudices rise up and threaten to keep them apart …

On this day: A Policeman as a Bushranger

PolicemanWearingKellyArmourPhotograph taken on 5 July 1880 of a policeman equipped with Byrne's helmet and Ned Kelly's rifle and skull cap. Bushranger.

5th July 1880: one week after the Kelly Gang siege at Glenrowan, an Australian policeman poses with the equipment of two of the bushrangers (highwaymen) killed. The helmet belonged to Joe Byrne, and the rifle and skullcap belonged to gang leader Ned Kelly.

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

The Glenrowan siege came at the end of the bushranger era, as improved communication technology and the arrival of the railway made it harder for bushrangers to operate. My book The Landowner’s Secret takes place around this time.

On this day: a Victorian School Opens

Harby_Primary_School_1895 The village school and pupils 1895 Leicestershire England Victorian Era Christian

Pupils of the school photographed in 1895.

The Church of England Primary School in the village of Harby in Leicestershire, England opened on the 25th of March, 1861.

Part of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, an organisation formed to promote education in England and Wales before the government began to regulate the school system, the building was constructed in 1860. It had two classrooms, and living accommodations for the teacher.

$0.99 Sale!

Readers in the United States: The Landowner’s Secret, the first book in my Brindabella Secrets series, is on sale for $0.99 until the 29th of March!

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.

When Australian women were accidentally given the vote.

Reviving an old post, because I like the story!

Australian Suffragettes

Australian suffragettes in London in 1911

In the nineteenth century, in the colony of Victoria in Australia, the Electoral Act 1863 was passed. According to the act, “all persons” who owned property were entitled to vote. Though it was not intended to include women in this, there were plenty in the state who did, indeed own property.

In the 1864 elections, some women took advantage of this error and went to the polling stations, where their votes were recorded:

The Argus , 5 November 1864, p 4. When women in Australia accidentally got the vote.

“At one of the polling booths in the Castlemaine district a novel sight was witnessed. A coach filled with ladies drove up, and the fair occupants alighted and recorded their votes.”
The Argus , 5 November 1864, p 4.

The oversight was quickly fixed, and a new law in 1865 once again took voting rights away from women. However, Australia was very early in granting women full voting rights, in 1902.

One Year!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

The Landowner’s Secret turns one today! Here’s some information about my first book with Harlequin Australia/Escape:

The Landowner’s Secret

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.

Read the first two chapters.

HarperCollins AU US UK

Amazon AU US UK CA IN

Release Day for The Artist’s Secret

The Artist’s Secret (Brindabella Secrets #2) – is out now!

Buy the first book in the series.

The Artist's Secret (Brindabella Secrets #2) by Sonya Heaney

Read the first chapter.

Despite their growing attraction, both Peter and Elizabeth have secrets that will come between them.

New South Wales, 1887

Peter Rowe’s life is in the city, but his soul is in Australia’s southern tablelands-a place he’s never seen. Taking the new land manager’s position on the thriving estate of Endmoor is the chance he needs to discover what happened to the family he has never met. What he doesn’t expect to find in the bush is his employer’s talented, beautiful sister.

Elizabeth Farrer’s world is changing rapidly. An artist whose work has begun to gain acclaim, her brother’s marriage has made her redundant in her own home and she intends to leave the country and make a life of her own. Her plans would take her far from her beloved New South Wales, but with the arrival of Endmoor’s newest employee-a man unlike any other she has met-she discovers there might just be a reason to stay right where she is.

Just as they conquer their most difficult obstacles, old prejudices rise up and threaten to keep them apart …

Purchase Links:

HarperCollins AU US

Amazon AU US UK CA IN

Romance.com.au

Kobo AU NZ US UK CA IE IN ZA

Booktopia

Apple Books

Google Play

The Artist’s Secret on NetGalley!

Book reviewers! The Artist’s Secret is now available for request on NetGalley.

The Artist's Secret by Sonya Heaney

Despite their growing attraction, both Peter and Elizabeth have secrets that will come between them.

New South Wales, 1887

Peter Rowe’s life is in the city, but his soul is in Australia’s southern tablelands-a place he’s never seen. Taking the new land manager’s position on the thriving estate of Endmoor is the chance he needs to discover what happened to the family he has never met. What he doesn’t expect to find in the bush is his employer’s talented, beautiful sister.

Elizabeth Farrer’s world is changing rapidly. An artist whose work has begun to gain acclaim, her brother’s marriage has made her redundant in her own home and she intends to leave the country and make a life of her own. Her plans would take her far from her beloved New South Wales, but with the arrival of Endmoor’s newest employee-a man unlike any other she has met-she discovers there might just be a reason to stay right where she is.

Just as they conquer their most difficult obstacles, old prejudices rise up and threaten to keep them apart …