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

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Preparing for the Sun!

Hello from Ottawa, Miss Penny speaking!   My boss, Susan, is busy getting ready for a trip to visit her son and daughter-in-law, in Costa Rica. How neat is that having a relative living in the sun? Our house is in chaos, not because of packing, I don’t think that has started yet, but because it is like a revolving door with activities and visitors. Granddaughter, Annabelle, left yesterday and I’m assuming the suitcase will come out today. Of course, Susan thinks that I don’t know what’s going on but dogs have a sixth sense about these things. I’m not averse to making Susan feel guilty about leaving me. I’ll be clingy, maybe whine a bit but secretly I’m looking forward to my own holiday. I’m going to visit my mom Leila. Leila lives in a house with a backyard, now that’s a great place to have a holiday when you’re a dog who resides on the ninth floor of an apartment.
Thank you to those of you who expressed sympathy when I lost my fur coat. I’m still reeling from the shock and walks in the park even with a jacket are cold. Although, this week saw the first day of spring and the fur is getting thicker. I’m doing okay.
Writing, editing and course planning has been going on all week but with so many interruptions not much progress was made. Psst! That makes the boss a touch cranky. She definitely needs a holiday. That’s all from me today, over to the boss.
I have little to add to Miss Penny report. I am preparing to unplug and enjoy a relaxing holiday. The suitcase is coming out today and it will be a joy to pull out the summer clothes. Reading is a major part of a holiday for me so I am scanning my bookshelves for easy beach reading and getting the sunscreen out.

 


Books I’m Reading:    I finished First Snow, Last Light by Wayne Johnson, I enjoyed this book. A very different kind of book with multiple points of view, which the author does brilliantly. The hook at the beginning draws you in and the resolution of the hook is not revealed until the very end. Excellent 5 stars.

 

 

I have moved on to my favourite author Anne Perry and her latest Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery Murder on the Serpentine, just released in paperback. Thomas, head of Special Branch that looks after the country’s security, is summoned to the Buckingham Palace by Queen Victoria. He is asked to investigate a suspicious death that might involve the Prince of Wales. Secrets, mystery and intrigue that Anne Perry does so well.

My holiday reading will be composed of Anne Perry’s An Echo of Death a William Monk series and two light romances by Debbie Macomber. If I have browsing time at the airport, you never know what I might pick up.

All books available on Amazon.

 


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

A Great Green Day!

A great green day can only be St Patrick’s Day. CTV News interviewed an Ottawa downtown bar owner who said, St Patrick’s is his biggest day of the year, bigger than Canada Day. I often wondered why a good part of the world celebrates St Patrick’s Day with such enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Irish; I love Ireland and visited many times both north and south. Ireland is a truly beautiful island; the people are fun, amazing people with a hint of mystery surrounding them. Perhaps, that’s the answer, the mystery. Happy St Paddy’s Day everyone! Drink green beer, wear a green jacket and enjoy a fun day because green is still white in Ottawa from another week of snow. The boots came out again but with a week of sunshine forecast they are back in the closet. Miss Penny is sulking because the picture above is of a strange dog. Sorry, Miss Penny but you don’t have a green hat. 

A Typical day on a canal narrowboat

My writing progress is slow at the moment comprising the boring stuff of editing, Endings and Beginnings, but exciting in the sense of polishing. As I worked through this manuscript, I realized how much of me has snuck into the story. Divorced, Katie is trying to find purpose in her life. I remember feeling that way. I even wondered if the path Katie takes; running a B&B and having a romantic encounter on a narrowboat with a good-looking doctor, was my secret wish, except my doctor was the divorce part. The new historical romance series based on Sophie’s character from The Blue Pendant and Ruins in Silk is now in the outline stage. As soon as I learn more about nursing in the Great War and about Sophie, who lost her parents very young. An event that will influence her adult life, compounded by the horrors of a bloody war. How will Sophie react? After researching I will switch my brain into a creative mode and create a new series.
First Sentence to First Sale online course is on temporary hold as I get my smile fixed. The gap in my front teeth is more pirate-like and the lisp that comes with it not the impression I’m after. April 26th is the tentative release date.


Books I’m reading: I am enjoying Wayne Johnson’s book Last Snow, Last Light, he is a marvellous author for developing characters and taking you right inside their lives. But a slower read than the fanciful romances or Victorian mysteries and a nice change.

 

 

In nonfiction reading, I am still reading The Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Angela Akerman and Becca Puglisi’s. My focus is, as explained above, characters suffering psychological wounds in early life—Sophie losing her parents.

 

 


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

I’m Back!

I’m back…as one gets older and I’m not admitting to getting older, I find multitasking isn’t as easy as it was in my younger days. As a single parent of five kids, believe me, I know all about multitasking. However, the kids are long gone and it seems so have my multitasking skills. I had to take a break from blogging and The Sackville News and Updates to concentrate on completing Sarah’s Choice Book III of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy.

Drum roll please drrrrrrr……Last weekend I put the last period in the last sentence of the last chapter of the manuscript. followed by a few revisions and yesterday I hit the send button and off it went to Mark, my wonderful editor. I am happy to say we are on track for a December 1st launch of Sarah’s Choice. Look out for news, previews of the cover and giveaways as the launch comes closer.

As I hit that last period I had mixed emotions. I have spent many, many hours with

Bexhill Train Station Photo courtesy of www.postcards/bexhill

Anna. We meet at The Sackville Hotel in 1913, she is a young innocent woman of nineteen, challenging societies proprieties of marrying as she seeks adventure and independence. I laugh with her, cry with her, rejoice and celebrate and fall in love; through all the ups and downs of business and love, lots of love romantic and family until she reaches her seventies and passes the hotel to others. No spoilers!


Click the titles to buy  The Blue Pendant Book I   or  Anna’s Legacy Book II    

 

More details and read the synopsis of Anna’s journey. Warning…could cause sleep deprivation.

 


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 e-book

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

Readers, Books and Signings

Don’t miss the Book signing – Anna’s Legacy  – Aug 25  Free book with purchase. Details below

Long before I was a writer I was an avid reader. As a kid, growing up in Britain, I devoured Enid Blyton’s books especially anything that was in a series; it was and still is, like reading the never-ending book. I also remember the thrill of meeting a celebrity, lining up in a bookstore to have a book signed by the author and if you were lucky, and the line wasn’t too long, you talked to the author. Obviously, I’m talking about print books. Does anyone else like to feel the glossy smoothness of the cover as they take in the meaning of the cover design giving you clues about what’s inside? How about the sound of the pages flipping and breathing in the new book fragrance.  If you think about it a new book evokes all our senses, see, touch, hear, smell and feel and that is before you even start reading. You can’t do that with an e-book. Don’t get me wrong, I read some books on an e-reader and I publish e-book; there is a place for all types of books. However you cannot have the physical connection with an e-book, so you miss the anticipation, preparation for a pleasant afternoon read. On the flip side, I can store a whole library of books in my e-reader. For example, I have a wall of bookshelves in my study; if I was so inclined I could store most of them in my 6 x 8-inch e-reader and not just store them but carry them wherever I wanted to go. But stored in a device I cannot see them touch them, hear them or smell them. On the bookshelf, I can do all that every day and as many times a day as I like. Did I mention, my passion, collecting books.

Please join me….Book Signing  

 Aug 25th – 11 am – 2 pm at Coles Book Store, Billings Bridge Shopping Centre (Riverside and Bank)

Buy a signed copy of Anna’s Legacy Book II of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy and get a FREE paper copy of the prequel Ruins in Silk. (Limted to 1st 10 customers)

Also a bonus unlimited  free e-book download 

Enjoy flipping the pages and awakening your reading senses. I look forward to meeting you, chatting, signing and answering questions about the trilogy and my writing.


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  

 

Back to School 1900 Style

Learning to write in 1900

Learning to write in the 1900s

In September 1900, Anna would be five years old and preparing to start school. In England, it was compulsory for children to attend school until they were 11 years old, which was later extended to 13. Anna’s middle-class parents would have been happy for her to stay in school as education was important, although not as important for girls as boys. In the lower classes, attending school would often be looked upon as a hardship for the family. The boys were needed to work and help the family with an extra wages or an extra pair of hands on the farm. Girls were frequently kept at home to help their mothers or look after young siblings, as a result, the absentee and truancy rate was high.


To celebrate September here is a delightful little poem with illustration called…In An Apple Tree from Marigold Garden by Kate Greenway, circa 1892. It is a little before Anna’s time but could easily have been one of her story books.

In An Apple Tree Poem by Kate Greenway circa 1892

In An Apple Tree Poem by Kate Greenway circa 1892

In An Apple Tree

In September, when the apples are red,
To Belinda I said,
“Would you like to go away
To Heaven, or stay
Here in this orchard full of trees
All your life?” And she said, “If you Please
I’ll stay here – where I know,
And the flowers grow.”

For other lovely old illustrations go to http://olddesignshop.com

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 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. Next issue September 2015. Susan’s Readers Group, join here.


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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.