Category Archives: Reviews and Interviews

Green so green!

Green so green with sheep and lambs an English spring. Yes, I’m still in England and yesterday was very wet and today is sunny with blue sky. The rain is a blessing, and the reason why England is so green even at the beginning of March and the daffodils are in full bloom.

February has been my best month so far for book sales. All titles and several short stories, which was prompted by the release of Anna’s Legacy Book ll of The Sackville Trilogy. 

I always feel as though I am being sleazy when I ask for reviews. But the truth is that reviews have a big impact on Amazon ratings and obviously on reader’s choice. I love it when readers tell me how they enjoyed one of my books or engage in conversation about characters. Telling Amazon how you enjoyed the book is hugely helpful and I am very grateful.

Book News:

Free e-book Ruins in Silk e-book is currently free on my website. And on Kobo.com together with a Free short story Little Dog Lost, Reiki Found

The Sackville Hotel Trilogy Book 1 The Blue Pendant and Book ll Anna’s Legacy are available from Amazon click on the title or most online retailers.

As I am away and out of my usual routine I thought I would add another excerpt from Anna’s Legacy just a little teaser.

Excerpt regarding hotel life and a duke’s daughters wedding.

James arrived before eight the next morning to prepare the guest accounts. Miss Jenkins knocked on his office door.

“Mr. Lytton, the duke is asking for his bill.”

James looked with surprised. “That is good news Miss Jenkins. I am working on his account now. Please show the duke into my office and order coffee and pastries.” Miss Jenkins frowned and hesitated it was unusual for guests to settle accounts in the office. “Now please!”

“Good morning, Your Grace. Please take a seat. I am working on your account but there are some rather delicate financial matters that I thought would be better discussed in the privacy of my office.”

The duke’s face turned a bright pink. “And what matters would they be?” He fidgeted in his chair and sniffed. The tension in his face relaxed slightly as the maid entered with a tray of coffee.

James stared at the duke, sensing his deep discomfort. “Coffee sir? Perhaps you would like something a little stronger with your coffee.” The duke’s eyes widened making no attempt to hide his eagerness. “Yes, Mr. Lytton that would be pleasant. I have a trying day ahead of me.” James went to his cabinet and took out a bottle of brandy and two glasses. The duke downed the brandy in one gulp. James left this glass untouched.

“Sir, the matter I wish to discuss with you is regarding some of your guests. Miss Jenkins tells me that several guests have requested that their hotel bills be added to your account. I would like to confirm that this has your approval.” Continue reading

Busy Bee!

Busy Bee, a strange title but describes my week. Technically I am between books so to speak. I have made some changes to the covers of The Blue Pendant and Ruins in Silk to reflect, The Sackville Hotel Trilogy, changes. Book two of the trilogy is now complete and at Tellwell for them to work their magic with cover design and formatting;  book three is outlined and ready to be written. However, although the author in me is anxious to get on with book three, I have trouble multitasking stories, which means I need to wait before diving into The Heirloom Gem – Book 3. So, as if I don’t have enough to do, I took a course on journal design from an amazing woman, Kristen Joy Laidig, and then taught myself Adobe InDesign. What a massive learning curve but I did it, at the expense of tearing my hair out, I think I have a few bald patches but who needs hair!  This led to twisting my, very talented artistic, daughter Rosemary’s arm into working with me to design a colouring book, complete with quotes from The Sackville Hotel Trilogy, work is underway, completion date early 2017.

What to do with my new-found talent? Being an avid reader and book collector I designed not one but two book tracking journals for people like me who can’t remember which books they’ve read or where they are in a series, or whether or not they liked or disliked the books and authors, and much more. Each journal includes thirty-five quotations from famous authors, mostly female and in journal two all are from the classics.

A Book Tracking Journal For Ladies Who Love to Read Book I

A Brilliant Idea! To keep track of books, authors, facts and figures

Each journal quotes thirty-five famous authors

Each journal quotes thirty-five famous authors

 

Journal 1 is available now at Amazon and can be delivered before Christmas. Journal 2 will up by Monday.

I will have a limited supply here in about a week.


BIG EVENT! Remember I mentioned that I had been interviewed and recorded for my first podcast, very exciting; the podcast goes live on Monday December 5th. Log in to FasterFictionPodcast.com, and listen to my conversation with the lovely Alexandra Amor of  FasterFiction.com about my writing life.

Belgravia

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.

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.

Book Review – The Signature of All things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I thought this week we would take a break from The Blue Pendant as I am in danger of repeating myself. The editing is on-going and no decision has been made as to the style of pendant for the cover design. Next week look for some more back story of The Blue Pendant

Earlier this week, I received an announcement from Elizabeth Gilbert that her novel The Signature of All Things is to be made into a PBS TV series. How exciting is that?  This book is one of my favorites and Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favorite authors. She is also releasing a new book Big Magic in September. Check out her website  elizabethgilbert.com  I can also recommend her Youtube videos, these will interest both readers and writers.  

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I read this book last summer.  I remember it was a hot, humid and misty morning, in Ottawa. It doesn’t take much, for me to find an excuse to read. I made a second pot of coffee and settled in to read the last  150 pages, knowing that I would not be able to put it down until it was finished. I loved this book, very different, very well written. If you check the jacket it will tell you, this book is about love, adventure, discovery and the travels of Alma Whittaker, a scientist and botanist in the nineteen century. All that is true, and the summary in itself would make a wonderful story. But what it does’t tell you, is the incredibly deep, emotional, inner journey Alma experiences.  She searches into the mysteries of evolution in plants and mosses, subsequently she uncovers interesting truths about herself. This is an amazing book.


Reader’s News

HarperCollins Publishers has started a new site for purchasing ebooks. Every day they offer new exciting and inexpensive books, bestsellers and debut novelists. The site is called Bookperk or BP and it is well worth joining. There is no cost and the daily selection goes right into your inbox. bookperk.com

News from Susan

Hannah Wilton is on the prowl again. Hannah and friend Maggie get themselves right in the middle of another murder. Murder in the Painting will be released in mid May.


If you are a writer or interested in the writing process check out Just For Writers

NEW – Monthly newsletter, which includes a brief synopsis of all the blog entries. Reading and writing news. quotes and trivia. To sign up please send Susan an email.

…and don’t forget to add your email address to follow this blog.


Blue Heron Mysteries

Picture

Blue Heron Mysteries
(click the title to purchase your copy)
Book 1
Hannah gets herself into to some odd and sometimes dangerous situations as her detective mind seeks to solve strange events. A brutal murder in Perth, drugs and murder, on the island, the kidnapping of a little girl and unlikely thieves. Strange happenings on the tranquil shores of Black Lake as Hannah and husband Tom try to relax and enjoy their peaceful cozy 
Blue Heron Cottage.


Cover Design: Heather McKinnon
Artful Book Cover Designs
Photo:  ©MaleWitch/Shutterstock
www.artfulbookcoverdesigns.com

E-Publishing The publishing experience was quite interesting to say the least and I think the best advice I can give an author is to persevere. I followed Kobo’s guidelines and the first attempt was not bad except it ran on in one document. Spacing is the gremlin. ePub does not recognize page breaks, but with Kobo’s tech support I learned that ctrl+enter did work for page breaks. Precision and consistency is the key.

Free Short Story & More

Free short story on Kobo Books
Little Dog Lost, Reiki Found. 
Little Dog Lost by Susan JenningsThis story also available on Kindle, iBooks and several other ebook retailers for .99 – 1.99.  Free on Kobo 
Great summer reading. Three more mystery stories also available. Search  by author name.Susan A. Jennings . Go to eStories,ebooks & Books for Synopsis and links for all stories.
Cover Design: Heather McKinnon, Artful Book Cover Designs
Cover Photos: ©fotohunter, ©Jaroslaw Grudzinski, ©Giuseppe Parisi / Shutterstock
©Doris Leightley