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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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.

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.


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. Approximately 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.

Alex – Headwaiter

Princess_Street_(i.e._Princes_Street)_and_Calton_Hill,_Edinburgh,_Scotland-LCCN2001705994

Princes Street Edinburgh

A cHristmas waiterThe three main characters of The Blue Pendant are Anna Neale, the protagonist, Bill Blaine, the under-chef, who I introduced  last week and Alex Walker, headwaiter who I’m introducing today. Alex was born in Edinburgh Scotland. In fact he was born on the famous main street, Princes Street. This street was named after King George’s two eldest sons, Prince George, Duke of Rothesay
(later King George IV) and Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, which explains the plural spelling, Princes and not Princess–a common mistake. Alex’s father was a tailor and kilt maker and the family lived above the store in a large two story apartment. As a trades person Mr. Walker’s family would have been considered respectable but mid-to-lower middle-class. Alex’s mother considered the family to be upper middle-class and conducted her life accordingly. In spite of the lack of breeding as the Victorians would put it, Mrs. Walker did well on the fringe of society, hosting teas and soirees, causing poor Mr. Walker to work feverishly to support her lavish lifestyle. Alex had three siblings; older brother Jim and sister Florence, and baby sister Megan whom Alex adored. Jim and Florence you will meet later in the novel but why is there only a mere mention for Megan? I’m teasing again but no spoilers today.


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 August, 2015. 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

Changing Fashion of 1900s Undies

OldDesignShop_July1900Designer1Free-149x300The Blue Pendant, my shortly to be released novel is progressing. It is a long process and I am sounding like a broken record for my regular readers, but it is coming, I promise. For those of you joining my author blog,  The Blue Pendant story begins in 1913 and the first (there is a sequel) story finishes in 1947. The story spans three decades, two continents and two world wars. Anna, the protagonist, a young woman of nineteen embarking on her life’s journey, is seeking independence and adventure, not an easy task for a woman in the early 1900s, although the world is changing, it is not always fast enough for petulant Anna.

Researching historical fiction is fascinating, not only the major events but how society evolved. Pertinent to The Blue Pendant was the period from the Victorian era into the Edwardian era, followed by the Great War.  Amongst other things women’s clothes changed in both style and modesty. It was important OldDesignShop_HerMajestysCorsetBWfor me to understand those changes. In 1913 Anna would not be wearing a mini skirt but skirt hems were getting shorter and showing a little bit of ankle was fashionable. She would have worn a corset of some kind but not as constrictive as her mother’s generation. Brassieres were introduced in 1908 as corsets became smaller but they were not widely worn, Anna’s wardrobe may or may not have included a brassiere but she would definitely have worn a camisole, a chemise and a pair of knickers (also known as bloomers or draws each with their own origin). Knickers came from knickerbockers, originally a loose-fitting garment for the lower body, worn by men often for sports activities. Women adopted the style as an undergarment and shortened the name to knickers. The reason we say a pair of knickers

A pair of knickers

or panties is because, pre 1900s, the undergarment was a separate pair of legs, open in the middle and joined with some form of tie at the waist. By 1900 knickers were trimmed with lace and made into one garment. In the UK the term knickers is still used to this day and the term panties, a derivative of pants is more commonly used in North America. For more details check out Tim Lambert’s A History of Women’s Underwear 


SIGN UP FOR SUSAN’S E-NEWSLETTER. SIGN UP A brief summary of May’s blogs, plus trivia for readers, interviews, reviews, book and author news. Next issue Aug 1, 2015.

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