Excerpt from Anna’s Legacy


Anna’s Legacy is Book ll of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy. If you have followed me for a while, you may be confused. Initially, I intended to write a sequel to The Blue Pendant. Well, it soon became apparent that I could not finish the story, so the sequel became a trilogy a new name Anna’s Legacy for Book ll, which bodes well for the story and Book lll is a work in progress. What about Ruins in Silk you ask? It is the prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy. And today readers I have a treat for you a sneak peak…

Excerpt from Anna’s Legacy – Book ll of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – April 1948

Southampton Skyline

A view of Southampton Skyline that Anna might have seen as the ship approached the English coast.

Chapter One — As the Southampton skyline drew closer, Anna’s throat tightened and her knuckles turned white on the ship’s railing. She smiled at Bill as she felt his warm arm encircle her shoulders. He knows me so well, she thought, and immediately relaxed. He lightly kissed her cheek, smiled and gently brushed a greying curl from her forehead.


“A little. We have a big challenge in front of us.”

Bill sighed. “Did you ever imagine the day would come when we would sail into Southampton together?”

“No, did you?” She leaned her head against his shoulder. “The last three years have been a roller-coaster ride and there were times when I thought we would never get together, let alone sail into Southampton after a trip to India.”

“Starting a new life in our fifties is a little bizarre.” Bill shook his head, “But I feel younger and more together than I did twenty years ago. I’m not sure how to describe it; ecstatic, elated or just plain happy. Working with you to put The Sackville Hotel back on the map. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

“Wisdom and life experiences finally pay off.” She laughed. “I think I could have managed with a few less life experiences…” The public address system blared, drowning out Anna’s words, telling passengers to gather their belongings and wait for debarkation instructions.

Shivering slightly, Anna pulled her wool jacket tightly around her shoulders. The cool April air was a contrast to the hot Indian climate. Despite the long sea journey, it seemed that her body wanted to hold on to the heat. She had enjoyed the sea voyage, thankful for only a couple of bouts of seasickness. As wonderful as it was to be with Bill, it had been a disappointing trip for them both. India was not the country she had imagined through Uncle Bertie’s stories and Rudyard Kipling’s books. Independence had caused hatred, riots and rivalry. The violence was sad, frightening and deeply disturbing. Even more disturbing, Anna thought she recognized one of her fellow passengers as an orator who had fired up the already volatile crowd in Calcutta. His eyes had momentarily caught Anna’s from his soapbox as the police rescued them and whisked them to safety, and now on the ship, he stared at her whenever their paths crossed, but he never spoke. It was an intrusive stare that made Anna feel uncomfortable. Bill thought she was being paranoid. To appease him, she reluctantly agreed, but could not shake an inner instinct of potential danger.

Anna switched her thoughts to the hotel and their new home, and the familiar butterflies fluttered in her stomach. She wondered how the renovations were progressing. More to the point, she wondered how many problems had arisen.

She looped her finger into the black velvet ribbon at her neck and twisted the blue crystal pendant, thinking of Uncle Bertie all those years ago when she had first arrived at Bexhill train station. Another chapter of her life was beginning, at the same hotel. Thirty-five years ago she had been alone with Uncle Bertie’s globe-trotting inspiration, his gift of a blue pendant and words of wisdom. “Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone take them away,” had comforted and inspired her many times. She had followed her dreams: three months ago she and Bill were married and together they owned The Sackville Hotel.


Sackville or Anna?

The sequel to The Blue Pendant called The New Sackville Hotel  will be here in a few weeks. Originally I intended the story to span two books. However, three-quarters of the way through writing the sequel The New Sackville Hotel  Book ll, I realized the story was not nearly finished and a third book needed to be written; a trilogy is born.

The Blue Pendant front cover

Do we need a name for the trilogy? Because much of the story takes place at the Sackville hotel my first thought was Sackville Saga – Book l. However, the story does travel to other locations in England and several trans-Atlantic crossing to Canada always returning to the Sackvillle Hotel.  My second choice would be Anna’s Saga – Book 1. Anna is the main character throughout the three novels, it is her life’s journey. I would value your opinion. Please write in the comments which title you prefer?

  1. No title just Book 1 (2 & 3)
  2. Sackville Saga – Book 1 (2 & 3)
  3. Anna’s Saga – Book 1  (2 & 3)

The Blue Pendant is available at all online retailers ebooks and paperback including ; Amazon with just one click for e-book and paperback; Kobo e-books only. Also available at the following Ontario bookstores. Coles at Billings Bridge, Arnprior Book Shop, The Loft in Smiths Falls and The Book Nook in Perth.

Ruins in Silk a novella, the prequel to The Blue Pendant but not part of the trilogy is also available as above Amazon with one click.



BelgraviaI just finished reading Belgravia by Julian Fellowes the author of Downton Abbey. While it was an interesting novel about British society post the Battle of Waterloo, it may not appeal to everyone. I enjoyed it because I love Fellowes intricate detail of society during that time period and he did not disappoint me. I walked beside the characters in their stiff British environment always in control. However, there were breaches of protocol and disturbing events that took place that made it difficult to keep the decorum, but like true Brits they did, scandals were brushed under the carpet and the drawing-room continued as though nothing had happened.  If you enjoyed Downton Abbey you will enjoy this book.

My next reading book is the third book in Ken Follett’s trilogy Edge of Eternity all 1098 pages. I love getting my head into a really big book and this is definitely big. I am also reading it as a research project as my next novel after The New Sackville takes place in the early 60s. One might say it is my era, I was married in 1962 (child bride of course? Ha!) perhaps because I was busy with babies from 1963 through to 1972;  I think I was sheltered from much of the political fallout of post-WW 2 and the Cold War as I only have vague recollections of  the political climate and had no idea how complex and devastating it was to some people. Writing this last book in the saga is going to be a challenge as we follow Sarah’s adult life in the sixties.

The Blue Pendant rescheduled signing at Coles Bookstore Billings Bridge Plaza Riverside Drive Ottawa Saturday, Aug 27th 11 am – 2 pm. Please come and join me and chat about books and writing.

George Orwell Bronze Statue in London

Holding a grudge for 60 years seems like a long time; attitudes and values change. George Orwell left the BBC in 1943 over, shall we say difference, but four years ago it was deemed inappropriate by BBC to have a bronze statue of George Orwell outside the building.Thankfully the statue is to be sculptured by Martin Jennings (no relation) but I thought it was cool and installed. Here is the article that appeared in The guardian last week. I was particularly taken this appropriate quote from George Orwell.

“If liberty means anything at all it means, the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” 


Journaling for Readers

Event: Aug 12th 11 am – 2 pm I will be reading from The Blue Pendant at Coles bookstore in Billings Bridge Plaza Riverside Drive Ottawa

Journaling for Readers
journal-431912_640Until recently I had no idea how journaling had become a popular craze. I have journaled off and on for years, usually my thoughts and often an outlet for emotions of one kind or other during difficult times in my life. My dedication to journaling is not very consistent the blank page every morning sometimes overwhelms me.
After taking a webinar given by an amazing young woman, Kristen Joy The Book Ninja I realized there are journals for everything and they do not have to be a Journalblank page. Answering questions, ticking boxes and jotting down thoughts provoked excitement. I started to think of journals I would, not only use but, find useful. A writing journal popped into my head first, probably because I already keep a writer’s journal but my second thought was a reader’s journal.
I am an avid reader; I love books, I love to collect books. I have a whole wall of bookcases in my office lined with physical page turning paper books and my e-readers both Kobo and Kindle are crammed with books. I have books that I’ve read and liked and would never part with, books that I didn’t like,  recommended books, my favourite authors and book series’ can be a challenge to remember which have been read etc. I could go on but I think you get the gist.
How do I keep tabs on all those books? I have been known to buy the same book twice—the publishers have a habit of changing covers which totally confuses me and I get excited thinking I have missed a book by one of my favourite authors, only to find I’ve read it.
Solution an Avid Readers Journal, a simple way of keeping a record of books read and things related to books.
Would you like to keep a journal of books and reading? If so what would you like to see in the journal?
Yes, you are right I am thinking of developing a readers journal and I would love your input so please write a comment and tell me what you would like to see in a journal for readers.

Rest for the Creative Mind

Charleston Lake 3

Cottage at Charleston Lake

A writer’s mind is always creating, at least mine is and I’m quite sure I’m not alone. I can’t help myself, I see an old building, an unusual person or a lost dog and imagine their story. I travel Eastern Ontario delivering books to small towns near Ottawa. Last week I was in Smiths Falls delivering  to a delightful store, The Loft, www.artisanloft.ca well worth a visit. I parked in front of an old boarded up hotel. Wow! Can you imagine the stories that place could tell? Then I drove on to Perth, my favourite Ontario town and delivered books to The Book Nook, a perfect destination for book lovers. Later I relaxed with a coffee and Eccles cake in the famous Stewart Park, (if you know what an Eccles cake is, send me a comment and I’ll send you a story) more fodder for my creative mind, two golden retrievers playing in the River Tay as it meandered through green grass. I spotted an old woman dressed unconventionally pounding a long walking stick with every purposeful stride, a terrific character. What was her story?
All this outside creating is going on while I’m writing and creating books. There comes a point when not even the tiniest idea can squeeze into my head and what’s even more disturbing is nothing creative comes out. Devastating! But it is temporary. The answer is a change of scene and rest and the best way for me to rest is to read someone else’s creation.

Charleston Lake

Charleston Lake

No blog last week, I was resting at a cottage on Charleston Lake at Sharon and Ed’s Cam’s Camp with friend Debbie Stenson. My intention was to write but my mind said no, it’s time to read, which I did and I can highly recommend two of my reading choices.
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman A début novel, set at a remote Australian lighthouse, absolutely fabulous an unusual story of how one decision can affect so many lives. Five stars from me.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain I was hooked by this author with her novel The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun is as good if not better. The story of Beryl Markham a famed aviator, set in colonial Kenya in the ’20s, the descriptions are breathtaking and the story of a young woman’s unconventional up bring riveting. Definitely five stars

Well rested and writing again. You will be pleased to hear The New Sackville Hotel is in the editing process and my mind is already moving to the next, the third novel in the saga (not counting the prequel Ruins in Silk). Yes, there is another one, couldn’t get everything into this last one so the saga will continue. And wait for it — Poised for a new series, Ruins in Silk following Sophie Romano as she serves as a nurse in The Great War. Next year perhaps.

The Blue Pendant and Ruins in Silk are now available at the following locations:
The Loft, Davidson Courtyard 7 Russel St West Smiths Falls
The Book Nook 60 Gore St East Perth
Arnprior Book Shop, John St N Arnprior

Event – Reading and signing at Coles Billings Bridge Aug 12 from 11 am – 2 pm 

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Readers in Waiting

Readers in Waiting!

Last evening I was at a friend’s house celebrating Canada’s 149th birthday, watching the fireworks shoot high above Ottawa’s Parliament Hill from a strategically placed balcony.

Where's the next book?

Where’s the next book?

Sipping drinks and munching party snacks the conversation turned to books and reading. As an author, I am passionate about books and writing as well as reading. Listening to my friends last night their passion was books and reading–a subtle difference. I know how important it is for the reader to like or dislike characters whether they are good or bad. I think the most talked about character in The Blue Pendant is the dastardly Mr. Pickles, a horrible man. In this case, you as the reader want to see justice done. Sometimes it doesn’t happen in book one but you want more and the series is born with readers in waiting.

sackvillehistory1 copy

The New Sackville Hotel

Readers in Waiting, the passion, and patience of waiting for the next book in a series. I’m listening. My fingers are dancing across the keyboard to get The Blue Pendant sequel to you by this fall. I have a title The New Sackville Hotel and as the title indicates Anna is back at the hotel, which she now owns with Bill. Will Mr. Pickles show his face? Maybe, maybe not and I’m not telling, but evil lurks in strange corners!


Introverted Writer

Peaceful Reading and Writing!


Arowhon Pines Resort Algonquin Park

If you have a general impression that writers are introverted you would be right 75% of the time. I would put myself close to the recluse category at times. After a very busy May with a wonderful visit from my mother, (96 years old who traveled from Britain to Canada, just an amazing lady) and the release of Ruins in Silk, I was ready to crawl under a rock.

Writer’s retreat to the rescue, I spent two days at Brian Henry’s retreat with fellow writers at the Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park. It is so beautiful I booked in for the whole week. Oh my goodness, I have found my piece of heaven. First of all, let me make it clear, I don’t camp, but I do enjoy nature; waking up in the morning and staring at a glassy lake, the mist rising pink in the sunrise, perfect, as long as it accompanied by fluffy pillows, a warm duvet and an ensuite bathroom, five-star food with silver service and kind wonderful staff to take care of you. Well, Arowhon Pines delivered all of that and more. Reading: Like most writers, I am also an avid reader and consumed two novels,  Blood on the Water by my absolute favourite author Anne Perry and Canadian novel The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka.

How much writing did I accomplish? Tons and tons! Without the internet, cell phone or even a landline, I wrote and wrote inspiration just poured out and The New Sackville Hotel , the sequel to The Blue Pendant, is finished, much work left to do but I expect it to be on book shelves by October.

Good Morning, Mr Heron!

Good Morning, Mr Heron!

Nature! While I was writing I saw muskrats, beavers, mama loon on her nest and others calling and swimming on the lake. I love loons, perhaps my favourite water bird. Several moose including a cow with a calf and one morning I opened my eyes to see a blue heron walking stealthily right in front of my window. Next year, yes I booked for next year, I am going to take a canoe out and battle the black flies on the trails. And work on book four, I just couldn’t fit everything into the sequel.

New easy to remember one click Amazon link for

My author page:  viewAuthor.at/SusanAJennings

Ruins in Silk: getbook.at/ruinsinsilk

The Blue Pendant:  getbook.at/thebluependant