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





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  


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.

Between Novels

Between Novels – I seem to have been between novels for much too long and I am itching to get on with book three of the trilogy. Anna’s Legacy is so close to release. I can’t find the right cover design. I was spoiled with  Ruins in Silk and The Blue Pendant both covers wowed me immediately. I have faith and I know the designer will work his magic.

When writing fiction I live the story with the characters, which makes it difficult to have two fiction books in my head at the same time, even though book three is about Anna it will be different. Anna’s story draws to a close and granddaughter Sarah grows up and embarks on her own journey, following her grandmother’s footsteps in a different time and different era.

Writing is as essential to me as food and water. Appeasing my hunger for writing I have switched to nonfiction, which I can write between novels. I am writing about my life, a light-hearted look at life as an indie author. I hope this will be of interest to authors and readers alike. Whatever the results it keeps me busy.

Book Clubs

The Blue Pendant is an ideal book for book clubs. I am pleased to announce a downloadable PDF document listing suggestions for discussion and questions for book clubs. Book Club Info. There are a limited number of copies of The Blue Pendant available for loan to book clubs in Ottawa. Contact Susan for details.


Women or Ladies?

I know I date myself when I use the word ladies rather than women (spellcheck tells me I’m biased. I think it’s respect) and I don’t mind one bit. I am proud of my maturity, it took a long time to get here with many grey hairs, wrinkles, wounds and scars to show for it. Why wouldn’t I be proud? My maturity allows me to write about mature women.

I know how her life experiences, fears, family, career, love and losses, have influenced and changed her life. Developing a character is far more than adjectives on a page. I look deep inside her soul, what made her who she is and why? Based on her past how would she behave now? How would she live her life; respond to losses and achievements, love her family and her husband/partner–romance doesn’t die with youth. A woman of mature age has a richness and complexity about her that younger women can’t have because they are young. Although youth brings many other attributes, just by its very nature youth cannot be mature.

Protagonist, Anna in The Sackville Hotel Trilogy starts out as a nineteen year old woman seeking independence. Mrs. Banks and Lady Thornton are mature women who play a significant part in Anna’s maturity. By the end of the trilogy Anna is in her sixties, her life has changed drastically she has experienced fear, happiness, loss, hope, love and disaster. She loved twice, differently, once in her youth and once as a mature women.

I have developed three more mature lady characters in my short stories. Some of you will be familiar with Black Lake Chronicles. Hannah, an armateur sleuth, is in her mid-sixties, getting into scrapes and danger but always has her husband Tom to depend on. Eleanor’s Writing Adventures is a new series I’m writing. Eleanor who is a hobby writer has recently escaped her corporate job to write. And then there is Frances in the Chance Encounter series. Frances is a shy spinster preparing to retire from her boring job at the bank; her passion is reading and she bumps into a divorced, shy professor at Mr. Booker’s Book Store. All these characters have a richness to bring to the page, a richness I enjoy writing and like-minded ladies will enjoy reading.

Note: Black Lake Chronicles are available on the My Book page – Chance Encounter first published at Commuter Lit and is soon to be an e-book. Eleanor’s Writing Adventures is a work in progress. First story Eleanor Does Not Camp! was published in Thirty at Thirty by The Ottawa Independent Writers. For more information please contact Susan