Ideas that Pop!

Ideas that pop often happen when I think my mind is barren, which is what happened this morning. My intention was to continue the 1960s research as Book III of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy progress but my brain said differently and there was nothing, nadder, blank and then this intriguing picture popped up. Perhaps it reflected my mood, a writer so small and the typewriter so large or is it the hands. The hands that do all the work.

To my amazement, this is a mural or graffiti as it was titled. I couldn’t help but wonder who had painted it, was he or she a writer and an artist, what was she/he thinking. Such talent and the photographer’s eye, catching the women sitting below giving perspective. Food for thought.




A sneak preview of a little book that is to be released later this week called

I Decided to Self-publish – A little bit serious, mostly tongue in cheek. a novice author’s experience of the self-publishing process.

My personal experience of trying and succeeding to self-publish my books.

 

 

Book News!  this month Free on Kobo Susan’s Singles

 NEW! UNIVERSAL LINKS TO THE RETAILER OF YOUR CHOICE

Ruins in Silk –           https://books2read.com/u/bw8DjY

The Blue Pendant: – https://books2read.com/u/mlK7YP

Anna’s Legacy –       https://books2read.com/u/m2XAxO

1960 Lady Chatterley’s Lover!

Sorry for duplication. Not everyone received it last week. Crazy cyber space!

I wouldn’t say I’m obsessive about research, but at times it is fascinating and I can get carried away. I’m currently researching 1960 news and events in Great Britain for Book III of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy.

Here is some trivia I would like to share.

Penguin Books was found not guilty of obscenity for the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, banned since 1928 and 200,000 copies sold in one day. Unfortunately, author D.H.Lawrence could not reap the rewards as he died in 1930. Judging by how well Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L.James. sold, 100,000 copies in one week and millions in the next couple of years. Whether a book is written by an author of literary acclaim or one who entertains, it is the story that counts. Perhaps with slightly blushing cheeks; readers are drawn to risqué reading.

Below is a photo of the Coronation St TV set in Manchester UK

Coronation St was fist aired in December of 1960 and here we are, 2017 and the series is still running, everyone all over the world knows that The Rovers Return is a British pub. Some things have changed but the stories are the same and loved as much today as they were fifty plus years ago.

The value of currency declines and changes every day. The last farthing, currency value one-quarter of a British penny was minted December 1960 and had been legal tender since the 13th Century, 800 years. Today’s currency–who knows?

 

As fast as things change they stay the same. It sounds like a contradiction but it is something that I notice all the time when I’m researching and delving into history.

My email address and comment box can be found on my websites: Book Clubs: A Reader’s Guide and Questions for Discussion can be found at the www.susanajennings.com under Book Clubs.

Book News! Free e-book – Prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – Ruins in Silk is available from KOBO.

Book I – The Blue Pendant and Book II –

Anna’s Legacy book II is currently featured on Kobo.

  NEW! UNIVERSAL LINKS TO THE RETAILER OF YOUR CHOICE

Ruins in Silk –           https://books2read.com/u/bw8DjY

The Blue Pendant: – https://books2read.com/u/mlK7YP

Anna’s Legacy –       https://books2read.com/u/m2XAxO

Launching Anna Specials

Tomorrow Sunday, April 30th is Launch Day

YOU’RE INVITED

Anna continues her journey in Book II Anna’s Legacy and to celebrate I’m having a party at 2 pm 415 Greenview Av Ottawa with refreshments, door prizes and special deals on books. Don’t live in Ottawa or can’t make the party e-books are 2.99 or less on both Amazon and Kobo until May 3rd. Links below. Party details here

My blog will be brief today as I toil over a hot stove making squares, and cookies, cutting cheese for the cheese tray and frying potato chips. I’m thinking I got you at frying potato chips–who does that? I lied my favourite 300 dollar store COSTCO provided the goodies. Have you ever noticed that when you walk into COSTCO you plan to spend maybe, $100 and with a blink of an eye the cashier says, $350 please? How did that happen?

Joking aside, I hope you can make the party, good food, good company and a few teasers from Anna’s Legacy and lots of books.


My email address and comment box can be found on my websites: Book Clubs: A Reader’s Guide and Questions for Discussion can be found at the www.susanajennings.com under Book Clubs.

Book News! Free e-book – Prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – Ruins in Silk is available from KOBO.Book I – The Blue Pendant and Book II – Anna’s Legacy book II is currently featured on Kobo.

NEW! UNIVERSAL LINKS TO THE RETAILER OF YOUR CHOICE

Ruins in Silk –           https://books2read.com/u/bw8DjY

The Blue Pendant: – https://books2read.com/u/mlK7YP

Anna’s Legacy –       https://books2read.com/u/m2XAxO

All things 1950

Happy Easter!

I’m blaming the Easter bunny for my tardiness, late delivery.

 

 



One of the most interesting tasks an author does is research, and for me, it is retro research. The Blue Pendant and Ruins in Silk both started in the early 1900s and Anna’s legacy is set in 1948 -1950.

Baking, ironing, cleaning and being glamorous — spells happiness!

 

Scrolling through pictures and adverts of 1950 I thought about the mindset and expectation, which were not only naïve but misleading, whether the ad described a vacuüm cleaner, a washing machine, a new dress or face cream the message was the same–‘it’ any of the above would make, not just you, but your family happy.

 


 

 

This ad for a catalogue intrigued me for two reasons, one I thought it a bit risqué for the times and the size range. The smallest size is 9/10 and the largest is 20. Not a hint of tiny, ever diminishing  0 -8 sizes or ever-expanding 22 and up plus sizes.

 

 

 

I don’t recall my mother ever vacuuming in a party dress but I do remember her wearing earrings and makeup, no matter what the chore.

 

 

 


My email address and comment box can be found on my websites: Book Clubs: A Reader’s Guide and Questions for Discussion can be found at the www.susanajennings.com under Book Clubs.

Book News! Free e-book – Prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – Ruins in Silk is available from KOBO.Book I – The Blue Pendant and Book II – Anna’s Legacy book II is currently featured on Kobo.

NEW! UNIVERSAL LINKS TO THE RETAILER OF YOUR CHOICE

Ruins in Silk –           https://books2read.com/u/bw8DjY

The Blue Pendant: – https://books2read.com/u/mlK7YP

Anna’s Legacy –       https://books2read.com/u/m2XAxO

 

Yeah! At last.

Yeah! at last, Anna will have her day on April 30. I will be officially launching Anna’s Legacy Book II of The Sackville Trilogy. 

YOU’RE INVITED

Party begins at 2 pm – The Britannia, Ottawa. Lots of space and lots of parking. Bring a friend. Come join us for tea, coffee, juice or wine, sweet treats and door prizes. And…if you want to purchase books copies will be available. 

Win a blue pendant as Anna passes Uncle Bertie’s heirloom on, other door prizes and lots and lots of great friends and conversation. Readings and hints but no spoilers. Who replaces the dastardly Mr. Pickles or could he re-appear?

Guess what colour I’ll streak my hair – blue like the launch of Book I The Blue Pendant or maybe I’ll be even more punk.  For specific details, watch my Facebook page or sign up for Susan’s Reader Group to receive updates or write me a note.

Don’t live in Ottawa. Can’t make the launch watch Amazon and Kobo for specials April 30th.


Writing news: Book III

Sarah’s Inheritance (working title) Book III is underway. The story takes place in early 60s Britain and features Anna’s granddaughter, who is the same age as Anna was when she first started working at The Sackville Hotel. I am having fun researching, bringing back memories of my life as a young woman. Puffy hair, sometimes flipped, dresses with full skirts and frilly petticoats, Elvis Presley to the Beatles. Ballroom dancing to the jive. Beatniks, peace, love and mini skirts.


My email address and comment box can be found on my websites: Book Clubs: A Reader’s Guide and Questions for Discussion can be found at the www.susanajennings.com under Book Clubs.

Book News! Free e-book – Prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – Ruins in Silk is available from KOBO.Book I – The Blue Pendant and Book II – Anna’s Legacy book II is currently featured on Kobo.

 

NEW! Universal links to THE retailer OF YOUR CHOICE

Ruins in Silk –           https://books2read.com/u/bw8DjY

The Blue Pendant: – https://books2read.com/u/mlK7YP

Anna’s Legacy –       https://books2read.com/u/m2XAxO

Anna’s Legacy – Kobo Feature

April 1st, I am looking out of my window at snow, and this is no April fools joke. Last week’s blog, On The Cusp of Spring, was meant to imply winter was over. So depressing and to be honest it is hard to be upbeat but I will try to be grateful for two things today. 1: Sarah’s Inheritance (working title) Book III is well underway and 2. Kobo has included Anna’s Legacy in their new and promising book promotion.

 

I am grateful that Kobo is featuring Anna’s Legacy Book II of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy for the next two weeks, which will lead into the official launch at the end of April, details will be announced through Susan’s Reader Group email. Click to register.

Here is the introduction to Anna’s Legacy.

Anna’s Legacy: Book II of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy opens a new chapter in Anna’s life. While the first book in the trilogy, The Blue Pendant, was inspired by real events in the lives of Anna, Bill and Alex, Anna’s Legacy takes that foundation in an entirely fictional direction and none of the stories presented in this book are founded in any way upon real events. Anna’s Legacy continues Anna’s journey and although the story could be a standalone, it is written as a sequel with minimal explanations of the events preceding the start of this novel. Therefore, it is recommended that the books be read in order. I had fun writing Anna’s Legacy and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Whether it’s a review, an email or a comment, I always appreciate hearing from my readers. Without readers, I would not be an author. I love chatting about my characters, those that you like and engage with and those that you loathe—Mr. Pickles, comes to mind as the most hated character in The Blue Pendant.

My email address and comment box can be found on my websites: Book Clubs: A Reader’s Guide and Questions for Discussion can be found at the www.susanajennings.com under Book Clubs.

Book News! Free e-book – Prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – Ruins in Silk is available from KOBO. Book I – The Blue Pendant and Book II – Anna’s Legacy book II is currently featured on Kobo.

A Dark and Stormy Night!

A dark and stormy night! No, never!  One of the first things I was taught when I studied creative writing was to avoid referring to weather in an opening scene. So, I was very surprised to read an article in the March 17th  Publishers Weekly by Ben Platt about how many famous and successful authors do refer to weather in their fist line or first paragraph.

Danielle Steele uses a reference to the weather in the opening line of 46% of her 92 novels. In contrast, John Grisham opens with weather in only 4% of 28 novels. Perhaps a dark and stormy night is not such a bad way to begin a story.

Two more no-nos Ben Platt referred to were clichés and exclamation marks. James Joyce used 1105 exclamation points in 3 novels and Ernest Hemingway used 59 in 10 novels. My editor has a fit if I use more than Hemingway. When it comes to clichés I have noticed a certain amount of righteousness on the subject.Whether it’s fellow writers, instructors or editors, clichés are considered to reveal really bad writing and yet James Patterson is at the top of the list with 160 in 22 Alex Cross novels and James Joyce is right up there with 118 in only 3 novels. Jane Austen had only 45 in 6 novels, not surprising as many common clichés were not around in Austen’s day. Clichés are part of our language and I have often argued the use of clichés especially in dialogue and in my humble opinion, a well-placed cliché can enhance a scene. However, too many or inappropriate clichés do scream novice writer but for experienced writers like James Patterson and others like Steven King and Gillian Flynn who are also in the over 100 list, clichés do not affect sales.

I wonder if it has more to do with an author’s ability to tell a story. It could be argued that many of the ‘popular’ books are not considered to be well written in a literary sense but it is hard to argue that point, when James Joyce is at the top of the list.

I took a look at my own writing The Sackville Trilogy Book 1  The Blue Pendant, I mention the weather on page two. Book ll  Anna’s Legacy there is no weather reference in the beginning and the same with the Prequel Ruins in Silk  I am not sure if that is good or bad. To purchase click on the titles. Please note Ruins in Silk is free on Kobo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like updates on Susan’s book releases and reader’s trivia join Susan’s Readers Group.

A walk thru’ Barrow!

So today, I’m taking a break; no promo, no book blog. If you are looking for book info click My Books  Today I’m taking a walk.

A walk through Barrow on Trent, South Derbyshire England, the home of my mother. I was born only a couple of miles from here. Snowdrops and crocuses adorn the entrance to the village.

 

Barrow is nestled on the banks of the River Trent and when it rains upstream it often spills its banks into the fields much to the pleasure of the swans enjoying the extra vegetation.

 

As I stroll up Church Lane I pass by Lodge Cottage that used to be our home and was originally the lodge gate entrance to Barrow Hall, which was built in the 1700s. The hall burnt down in the late 1800s and was rebuilt only to be engulfed in fire again in the mid-1900s. Modern houses replaced it. However, the lodge survived both fires.

 

Turning onto the to the main street, Twyford Road, I pass the old post office and general store that has been turned into a home next to the Parish Cottages. The red telephone booth no longer holds a telephone but is now a library of books with a defibrillator; an interesting combination. I wonder what kind of books are read in Barrow?

I pass the old school-house, which has also been refurbished into someone’s home and a few yards away is the Village Hall, a relatively new building that hosts local events and a nursery school.

Twyford Road joins up with the new Bypass (new meaning less than forty years old) is a busy road and was built to take the traffic out of the village, a narrow winding road not conducive to today’s traffic. Barrow does have a bus service but there are times the bus struggles to get through the village. 

Walking back down Church Lane I glance at St. Wilfrid’s Church, where I was married, two of my children were christened and my father is buried. A beautiful old, old church that dates back to the 13th century. I now head for Manor Court where my mother lives and there is an enormous rainbow arched across the court.

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed your walk through Barrow. As I return to Canada next week this is a nice walk down memory lane.

Next week I will be at The London Book Fair – Perhaps some book news coming up.

Green so green!

Green so green with sheep and lambs an English spring. Yes, I’m still in England and yesterday was very wet and today is sunny with blue sky. The rain is a blessing, and the reason why England is so green even at the beginning of March and the daffodils are in full bloom.

February has been my best month so far for book sales. All titles and several short stories, which was prompted by the release of Anna’s Legacy Book ll of The Sackville Trilogy. 

I always feel as though I am being sleazy when I ask for reviews. But the truth is that reviews have a big impact on Amazon ratings and obviously on reader’s choice. I love it when readers tell me how they enjoyed one of my books or engage in conversation about characters. Telling Amazon how you enjoyed the book is hugely helpful and I am very grateful.

Book News:

Free e-book Ruins in Silk e-book is currently free on my website. And on Kobo.com together with a Free short story Little Dog Lost, Reiki Found

The Sackville Hotel Trilogy Book 1 The Blue Pendant and Book ll Anna’s Legacy are available from Amazon click on the title or most online retailers.

As I am away and out of my usual routine I thought I would add another excerpt from Anna’s Legacy just a little teaser.

Excerpt regarding hotel life and a duke’s daughters wedding.

James arrived before eight the next morning to prepare the guest accounts. Miss Jenkins knocked on his office door.

“Mr. Lytton, the duke is asking for his bill.”

James looked with surprised. “That is good news Miss Jenkins. I am working on his account now. Please show the duke into my office and order coffee and pastries.” Miss Jenkins frowned and hesitated it was unusual for guests to settle accounts in the office. “Now please!”

“Good morning, Your Grace. Please take a seat. I am working on your account but there are some rather delicate financial matters that I thought would be better discussed in the privacy of my office.”

The duke’s face turned a bright pink. “And what matters would they be?” He fidgeted in his chair and sniffed. The tension in his face relaxed slightly as the maid entered with a tray of coffee.

James stared at the duke, sensing his deep discomfort. “Coffee sir? Perhaps you would like something a little stronger with your coffee.” The duke’s eyes widened making no attempt to hide his eagerness. “Yes, Mr. Lytton that would be pleasant. I have a trying day ahead of me.” James went to his cabinet and took out a bottle of brandy and two glasses. The duke downed the brandy in one gulp. James left this glass untouched.

“Sir, the matter I wish to discuss with you is regarding some of your guests. Miss Jenkins tells me that several guests have requested that their hotel bills be added to your account. I would like to confirm that this has your approval.” Continue reading