Jackhammer Guest

Imagine having a jackhammer in your apartment; believe me until you hear it you have no idea what it sounds like. That’s the sound I’ve been listening to most of this week—concrete balcony repairs are in progress. It starts about 8:15 a.m., a short break around 10 and another break around 1 p.m., finishing at 4:30 in the afternoon; Monday to Friday as long as the weather holds; they don’t work in rain or high winds, which makes sense swinging up into the heavens on a little wooden platform is dangerous enough.  Our twenty-one story building, The Britannia, perched at the top of a hill overlooks an expanse of park and the mighty Ottawa River. Even a mild wind is gale force around The Britannia but the jackhammers continue.  Although it is a relief when the wind gets too gusty and stops the jackhammers, it also means it will take longer to finish the job.  It is difficult to work with such a noise, but not impossible, it’s a case of adapting. My morning writing time, which is before the jackhammers, continues, but recording videos for the online writing course is on hold.

Novel writing progress has been slow to none existent; my time has been spent editing, the new contemporary sweet romance Endings and Beginnings, which is now ready for the professional edit. My submission Romance at Mr. Booker’s Bookshop for the Ottawa Independent Writers anthology submitted. Many of you have asked when my next novel will be out. I expect to have the first of the new Sophie series (working title) out before Christmas. 

Sophie Romano the protagonist from Ruins in Silk and the headmaid from The Blue Pendant is the heroine for this new series. Desperately in love with a man who loves another, Sophie leaves The Sackville Hotel. The new series follows Sophie to London where she trains as a nurse and deploys to France to nurse injured soldiers in the Great War. Amid, the terrible conditions of war Sophie finds romance and even a lost love from her youth. So readers, stay tuned for regular updates.

Would you like to write? I hear this comment all the time. “I want to write a book?” But few people actually write. First Sentence to First Sale is an online writing course that helps you decide if writing is for you and gets you started on your writing journey.  Due for release at the end of April. Click here for details

Books I’m reading: No change from last week, I’m still reading Anne Perry’s latest and for non-fiction Donald Maas’s The Emotion of Character.

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

First in series The Blue Pendant  on sale on Amazon .99c

Anna’s Legacy and Sarah’s Choice E-book at all online retailers $4.99

Free e-book available Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read.

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

Click to download free e-book





Sarah’s Darwin Connection

Sarah Wexford our main character in Sarah’s Choice book three of the trilogy is a talented artist. We follow her studies and achievements at the Royal College of Art in London England–nothing but the best for Anna’s grand-daughter. Researching frequently uncovers lesser known facts about obvious things and events. I needed to know the name of the college principal in1960. I could have made up a name but I prefer to use facts if possible. The gentleman’s name

Robin Darwin Sketch by Arthur Lissmer

revealed on Wikipedia is Mr. Robin Darwin principal of the college from 1948-1967, and later Sir Robin Darwin. Now Darwin is a household name, I wonder, is there a connection? I  research further and my tenacity is rewarded. Robin Darwin was the great-grandson of Charles Darwin the famous naturalist. And…there’s more.. this sketch of Darwin, drawn by the artist Arthur Lissmer, a member of the famous Group of Seven also connects with Sarah’s studies of her favourite artist who also happened to be Anna’s favourite artist, Emily Carr. And, Emily Carr’s art was heavily influenced by the Group of Seven. How cool is that?

Blog post introducing SarahSarah’s on her way – June 17/17 

Don’t miss out on The Sackville Hotel updates news. Cross my heart, I promise no spam.  I hate it too. Join here 

 The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    

The equivalent of 900 pages for less than $10 keep turning the pages all summer long. Warning…could cause sleep deprivation.

Also a prequel Ruins in Silk

Don’t miss out on The Sackville Hotel updates news. Cross my heart, I promise no spam.  I hate it too. Join here  

Image attributes:

Sarah’s image -Ramnoki/Shutterstock

Robin Darwin By Shepsil22 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Ruins in Silk, coming soon!

The Prequel to The Blue Pendant. I have a treat coming in late February. A neat little novella called Ruins in Silk. If you haven’t read The Blue Pendant, don’t worry,  Ruins in Silk is a stand-alone story. If you have read The Blue Pendant it will take you behind the scenes.

Lombes Silk Mill Derby England. Now a heritage building. As it looks today. Until recently it was a museum but is currently closed. The fictitious Romano Silk Mill was based on this mill.

Lombes Silk Mill Derby England. Now a heritage building as it looks today. Until recently the mill was a museum but is currently closed. The fictitious Romano Silk Mill was based on this mill that sits on the banks of the River Derwent.

Do you remember Anna’s friend Sophie Romano?

Sophie is the main character in Ruins in Silk. The story begins in Lucca Italy in 1906 on the Romano family’s silk farm, where Sophie was born and grew up. Her family moved to Derby England to make fine silk at the Derby silk mill. The farm and later the silk mill prosper, making silk for royalty including King Edward V11, until tragedy strikes. A story of loss, heartbreak and courage, and how Sophie starts a new life as a maid at The Sackville Hotel and ultimately meets Anna Neale, the main character from The Blue Pendant.

More details on how to purchase The Blue Pendant or Susan’s stories.

What people are saying…….

The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant

Angela said,  “Better than Downton Abbey! From the moment I opened The Blue Pendent I knew I was in for a ride……”

Sally said, “A brilliant read.……. I was totally engaged…..”

Audrey said, “….I’m so happy I didn’t miss the Blue Pendant. It’s an absolute winner. 

Trade paperback and ebooks available from Amazon.ca, and all Amazon sites. Chapters.ca, Kobo and all online book retailers.

To keep up with the news, excerpts, interviews and newly released books. Please subscribe to Susan’s Reader Group News for periodic updates and news.

Please post your comments I really do love to hear from you.

Bexhill After Summer Season

Canada in Autumn

Canada in Autumn

Here in Ottawa Canada, where I live, autumn is one of the most colourful seasons, bright red, orange, yellow and rich burgundy colours speckle the forests in glory, before the trees become bare and dormant for the cold winter months. Quite the opposite to a seaside town like Bexhill in Sussex England. Anna Neale, the main character in my novel The Blue Pendant would witness the bustling Sackville Hotel come to a quiet trickle of guests. The Promenade once teaming with holiday-makers taking in the sea air, would be eerily silent. The sun sucked deep into a grey sky, steely grey clouds

Grey Sea and Sky

Grey Sea and Sky

dropping low, almost touching the grey turbulent winter waves. An occasional watery sun would try to push through the grey, but mostly the dominant colour would be varying shades of grey turning black as winter storms rolled in from the sea. Depressing as outside might seem, long evenings in front of a warm fire in the staff room would kindle friendships including blossoming romances, which is how Anna was faced with two men in love.

ARC Reminder details on September 19th Blog: I am looking for a couple more ARC readers. If you are interested in receiving an advance reader e-copy and would consider writing a review of The Blue Pendant. Please fill out your name and email address and request an Advance Reader Copy through the Contact Page on the web site. I will send you details.

Changes coming next week to Susan’s Readers Group News.
Are you interested in historical fiction and love the Victorian and Edwardian era? Why not join Susan’s Readers Group News? A monthly chit-chat featuring historical trivia, book reviews, (historical, modern and local authors), interviews, book and author news and a brief summary of the previous months author and writer’s blogs. Susan’s Readers Group, join here.

If you would like to follow Anna and The Blue Pendant or the Blue Heron Mysteries. Click the FOLLOW BUTTON TO THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE and add your email address. Once a week the blog will be sent to your inbox

Please feel free to share this blog with friends, or on social media but please remember the written content belongs to me. Copyright © Susan A. Jennings
Disclaimer: Please be aware that some the information in this blog, although factual in some incidences they have been fictionalized for the purpose of the story.

ARC – Readers Wanted for Susan’s Launch Team

ARC—Advanced Reader Copy is a pre-launch copy of a book.

I am looking for 10 – 15 readers who would like to be part of my Launch Team. As a privileged member of the launch team, you will receive an advanced e-copy of The Blue Pendant, a historical fiction; time period,1913 -1947. In return, Susan would greatly appreciate your help by writing a book review for the official launch day.

In a nutshell, the story is about a spirited young woman who defies tradition and seeks adventurous independence. Complicated by the love of two men, two world wars, two countries Britain and Canada; Anna struggles to follow her dreams over a period of three decades.

The novel will be available in the following format, Kindle, Kobo or PDF. Sorry, I am not able to provide advanced paper copies. The book is quite long, approximately 500 pages, so it is a time commitment. If you would like to join the advanced reader launch team, please fill out and submit your name and email address on the Contact Page and I will send you the details.

As you may gather, the launch date is getting closer. I find myself holding my breath thinking about it. But just this week I allowed myself to get a tiny-weeny bit excited. I received the Round 1 proof from the publisher and it looks like a book. I don’t have the cover yet, but that is coming soon.

Praise for Tellwell: I can’t believe my luck in finding this publisher in Victoria B.C., imagesTellwell Talent. I was quite nervous having heard conflicting stories about the publishing industry. I can’t praise Tellwell enough, for their reasonable prices, expert and friendly advice, plus the helpful, smart and efficient service. So far they have delivered on time, whether it’s a phone call, an email or proof copy. The owner Tim Lindsay took the time to answer all my questions before I signed up and has stood by all his answers. Kimberly, the lady who co-ordinates between the author and designer, is amazing. I may add I think there is something saintly about her personality because she is always pleasant, understanding and very patient. For those of you who are readers and not writers, I should explain that after spending months or even years writing a novel, authors get somewhat over protective and a tiny bit touch, about their work. It’s similar to a mother bear protecting her young. Grrr! Growl as you may, Kimberly greets you with reassurance, kind words and a smiling voice. All this to say I can highly recommend this company for anyone who is looking for assisted self-publishing. Contact Tellwell.  

Are you interested in historical fiction and love the Victorian and Edwardian era? Me too. Why not join Susan’s Readers Group?   A monthly chit-chat about books, authors, and reader trivia. If you would like to follow Anna and The Blue Pendant or the Blue Heron Mysteries. Click the FOLLOW BUTTON TO THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE and add your email address. Once a week the blog will be sent to your inbox.

Please feel free to share this blog with friends, or on social media but please remember the written content belongs to me. Copyright © Susan A. Jennings
Disclaimer: Please be aware that some the information in this blog, although factual in some incidences may have been fictionalized for the purpose of the story.