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

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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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.

Excerpt from The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant

THE BLUE PENDANT – A historical novel and love story that spans an ocean from Britain to Canada.

Here’s a sneak preview of the cover. The official launch will take place in Ottawa during the first week of December. Details to follow.
The Blue Pendant will be available in print and e-book format from all book retailers worldwide at the beginning of December. If you would like to pre-order please go to Susan’s contact page


READ AN EXCERPT TODAY!

 

The Blue Pendant – Excerpt from Chapter One:  Anna has arrived at the staff entrance of The Sackville Hotel, Carter is taking her to meet her peers, the hotel staff………..

…………..Carter’s change in tone, kind but firm, perplexed her. She was proud of her Uncle Bertie’s association with Mr. Pickles, and her position was superior. She mused, was that bragging? She had the feeling Carter was giving her a warning.
Entering through the back door, Carter led her through a warren of passageways; Anna felt akin to Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The hot, damp, smell of wet linen mixed with soap and carbolic, filled the hallway, followed by an unexpected hint of lavender and rose-water wafting from an open door. Steam swirled around a young maid as she ironed. Anna gave a shudder—a memory better forgotten. The quietness and lack of people felt odd. As if Carter had anticipated her query, he said, “It’s tea time. They’s in the staff dining hall.”
The laundry smell faded and the pleasant aromas of roasting meat, onions and some kind of baking filled Anna’s nostrils, making her aware that she hadn’t eaten since an early breakfast. Approaching a door opposite the kitchen she heard a man’s harsh voice, she felt herself recoil Continue reading

Exciting News from Ottawa

Life is getting pretty exciting here in Ottawa. The cover for my novel The Blue Pendant will be ready next week, which means I will be able to announce an official launch date.

Blue Heron Mysteries Book 2, is scheduled for release Monday, October 26th as an e-book on Kobo. A celebratory offer of a free e-copy of  Blue Heron Mysteries Book 1 will be available Monday. 
Blue Heron Mysteries by Susan JenningsHannah Wilton is sleuthing again and getting herself and her friend Maggie into lots of dangerous scrapes. Book 2 includes four stories and today I will share an excerpt from my favorite story, Murder in the Painting, I wrote this story at my friend Anne’s cottage on the shores of Black Lake. We were enjoying a writing retreat in November last year. The first night we sat by a warm wood stove, listening to the wind howl as it stripped the trees naked. The following morning the wind was calm and the morning sun cast an unusual light on the pond situated behind Anne’s cottage. It seemed to defy the November greyness and inspired me to write this story.
Excerpt from Murder in the Painting by Susan A. Jennings
“What did it mean? The reference ‘the corpse in the pond,’ frightened Hannah. She knew it BlueHeron MysteriesBK2 -300was time to call the police, but she wanted to wait. She didn’t want Maggie to find the ruined painting without a friend at her side—she felt sick just thinking of breaking the news. Hannah wished Tom was at her side.
Turning on the light she realized the time, four-thirty. Maggie was late. She liked to leave Ottawa before the commuter traffic and before dark. By five o’clock Hannah was worried and called one of the art group ladies and was shocked to discover that Maggie had never arrived in Ottawa.
Hannah dialed the Perth Police Station. Her call was passed through to a crusty old sergeant on desk duty, who informed her that the police could do nothing for seventy-two hours. Interrupted by several burps and excuse-mes, Hannah continued to explain the circumstances but to no avail. She had the distinct impression he was chewing Tums and nursing indigestion. He said to call back tomorrow and if Maggie was still missing they would look into it.
Re-reading the note Hannah shuddered. There was no doubt in her mind that if she didn’t find Maggie, it would be Maggie’s corpse in the pond. She forced herself back to the beginning—she had to solve the riddle. If the police didn’t want to help she would do it herself……………………..”

“I think Hannah is headed for another run in with Detective Brindle.”


Are you interested in historical fiction and cozy mysteries? Why not join Susan’s Reader Group News? Sign up today. 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.


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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.

Boyhood Friends, Alex and Bill in Scotland

Young boys in the early 20th century

Young boys in the early 20th century

Alex and Bill, two of the three main character in my historical fiction novel, The Blue Pendant, were featured in the last two blogs. They were boyhood friends in Edinburgh Scotland long before they moved to Bexhill to work at The Sackville Hotel. Working alongside Anna, it is not surprising that an unusual triangular love story evolved. Oops! I digress.

Alex’s father, John Walker was a tailor and kilt maker providing gentlemen’s clothing, including kilts with all the accessories to gentry and clans across Scotland. A thriving business as one kilt does not fit all. Each clan had their own tartan and each clan had a selection of tartans worn on different occasions such as dress tartan for formal evening dress, an everyday tartan and some even had a hunter’s tartan for hunting and walking.

The Walker’s belonged to the Appin Stewart clan. Although they were part of the Stewart clan they were, in fact, a clan in their own right. John Walker also tailored custom livery for the household servants of nobility and royalty on the surrounding estates, which included Holyrood Palace. Bill’s father, Thomas Blaine was the stable manager at Holyrood Palace and responsible for ordering the coachmen’s and racing livery for the Palace. Bill accompanied his father to John Walker’s shop from being quite small and that is where he first met Alex. While their father’s talked business

19th Century photo of Holyrood Palace

Photo of Holyrood Palace 1878

and racing, (Bill’s father was a gambler) the young boys played together. Bill was the quiet one and Alex the mischievous one and they frequently found themselves in trouble. As they grew older they went to the same school and chose similar careers, eventually working together at The Sackville Hotel.

 


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

Disclaimer Please be aware that some the information in this blog, although factual may have been fictionalized for 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