Category Archives: Dogs

Beauty and the Beast!

Beauty and the Beast that would be me, Miss Penny speaking! As you can see, a bad hair day that’s the beast part and after the groomer the beauty part. Pet Agree on Castlefrank Road in Glen Cairn and it is across the street from Susan’s daughter’s house, a bonus as we got to visit Rose. She has the perfect little backyard to run in and out. It was raining, so it didn’t do the hairdo much good and that was followed by a windy walk in Britannia Park.

It has been a busy week. Susan and I launched the new romance novel When Love Ends Romance Begins, the book thing was good but for me, it was the visitors. I’m quite popular and spent the afternoon going from one lap to the next, lots of cuddles and tummy rubs. If you missed the launch, we still have some copies; call us or email. Yesterday we did a book signing at Coles Billings Bridge on Riverside Drive. Susan likes that store, the staff are awesome and they work hard for local authors. I need to clarify, it’s not really, we as I’m not allowed in shopping malls. I can’t imagine why but I was left at home. That’s all from me today over to the boss.

Where to find all of Susan’s Books:

Susan’s stock at The Britannia  – Coles Bookstore Billings BridgeAmazon  ,com/.ca/.Uk etc. see specific titles below. Kobo also has free short story downloads

Writing Updates: Keep your fingers crossed, it looks as though Christmas at Lavender Cottage will be ready for Dec 1. It is at the editor’s and the cover is almost ready. I enjoyed writing this book, its light, romance with a bit of adventure and a lot of suspense. Katie tries to get a perfect Christmas together and as we all know is often a recipe for disaster. Speaking of recipes, I had fun browsing the old recipe books and have included a few, including my coveted shortbread recipe.

Book News: I am not normally a fan of political intrigue but a friend sent me this headline The author is a respected writer and form journalist. HIs identity is being kept secret in order to protect the source of the ideas that inspired this novel. The title of the book The Kingfisher Secret A Novel Author Anonymous. We live in such troubled political times, full of secrets and untruths; I have become jaded and suspicious even of the politicians I once thought I could trust. Is this why this new book appealed to me? Am I searching for the truth? Will I find it in a novel? By definition a novel is fiction, but it is also the perfect way to expose true facts.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: I am reading The Daisy Children by Sophia and to honest I’m notsure about this book. The story is based on the true story of a school tragedy in New London Texas in 1937. It has some merit and I will finish it but not sure I would recommend it.

The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

First in series The Blue Pendant  on sale on  $4.99

Anna’s Legacy and Sarah’s Choice E-book at all online retailers $4.99

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read


Writing Courses: I have put the marketing of these course on hold until after Christmas, Get Rid of Page Fright & Write – Course 1 is available at the discounted price of $47 at http://just-for-writers.teachable.com More updates on the other courses will come at the end of this year.

Doggie Coat Time!

Miss Penny Speaking, imagine the shock I had on Wednesday morning when Susan pushed my paws through a thing and then snapped it around my middle. It was a doggie coat. I vaguely remember wearing something like this a long time ago. It is warm and cozy and once we got outside for our morning walk I understood why Susan thought I needed to wear it. It was cold and very windy. I’m not convinced I need a coat, they are rather prissy. I have a perfectly good natural fur coat. Shush! I wouldn’t admit this to Susan, but, it stops the wind blowing my fur about, I hate that; it feels like tickles and makes me want to scratch. I’m pleased to say as the day warmed up I didn’t have to wear it again.

One exciting event, Suzanne who works in the building came up to see us with a box. She played with me, in the hall and I barked. Of course, I’m a dog and should bark but barking is noisy and scares me so I don’t do it often but Suzanne gets me going. It was the box that excited the boss; she doesn’t bark, but, oh boy, was she excited, jumping up and down and talking so fast I couldn’t understand her. Then she ripped the tape off the box and handed me a book. Now that was exciting all those months of work and finally, we have the book. When Love Ends Romance Begins. It is a great read—I know, I can’t read yet, but I listen and it’s a good story. Get your copy $15 contact, Susan. Just a little plug. That’s all for this week, over to the boss.

Writing Updates:  A great writing week, 7,000 words. My head is in creative mode which is where I like to be.  When I’m in the zone, the story often unfolds in the strangest places and that happened this week. Then I doubt myself—a common attribute with writers—but I’m sure this is working. As more of the character’s past is revealed, we see a different side to even the evilest of characters and that happened this week too. The first draft of Christmas at Lavender Cottage is close to completion.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: After the terrible Christmas story, not even worthy of one star, I went back to Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. I enjoyed this book. The premise of the story was how a mother coped when her daughter went missing. The plot was about finding the truth and getting closure. Ms. Jewell did a wonderful job of–for want of a better phrase–getting into the mother’s head, and she did it well. One might think this kind of story would be morbid but it wasn’t; it was human and warm. I highly recommend this story with five stars. I just started a new book, another author I haven’t read before The Address by Fiona Davis

Nonfiction: Webinar on running an author business

Writing Courses:  Big sigh! I have put these on hold until after Christmas. I don’t have time to market or work on Course 2 & 3 as I prepare my novels for Christmas Craft Fairs and signings. More updates on the other courses will come at the end of this year.

However, if you are eager to get started the first course  Get Rid of Page Fright & Write – Course 1 is available at the discounted price of $47 at http://just-for-writers.teachable.com


New release: When Love Ends Romance Begins  Get your copy today

 

 

 

 

 

 


The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

First in series The Blue Pendant  on sale on  $4.99

Anna’s Legacy and Sarah’s Choice E-book at all online retailers $4.99

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read.

Visiting

Do you see those creatures?

Miss Penny Speaking! Well, I am glad to be back. I was ignored last week, I was quite hurt, but Susan is busy this week so I get to write the blog. Visiting!  We did a lot of visiting last weekend because it was Thanksgiving weekend. As a precocious one-year-old, I get excited about all these new things. First, we went to eldest son’s girlfriends for a family Thanksgiving. I’m very cute so I got lots of fuss, chin tickles and admiration from the family. I was then introduced to this furry thing that twitched its nose, his name was Romeo—maybe he should be in one of Susan’s romance novels. I was scared of him, which seemed to amuse everyone and didn’t impress me. Susan liked him and petted him but I declined and clung to Susan.

Next, we went to the family in Stittsville, they have the huge dog Preston; he likes to play but he’s too big and he makes me jealous because he is much to and of Susan. I cannot argue when I’m the size of his head. Now, these other creatures called cats are interesting, I’ve mentioned them before. They are my size but not friendly and it’s quite unnerving as they as stalk around me. I jump and play trying to get some life into them but it doesn’t work. And, you should hear the noise they make, it’s not even close to a bark or growl but it’s this loud hissing noise usually accompanied by a paw slapping my face. I’ve given up on these cat creatures they are just rude. That’s it for today.

Writing Updates:  Christmas at Lavender Cottage continues at a much faster pace. Olivia the evil antagonist has developed into quite the character as it’s a Christmas story redemption is coming.

Book News: I love it when I get a package in my mailbox, it’s usually a book and this week it was Kate Morton’s new book, which I had pre-ordered, The Clockmaker’s Daughter. If you are a Kate Morton fan take a trip to the bookstore. I am a big fan of Kate Morton and so looking forward to reading this, but I have to be patient as I already have two books on the go.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: As an author, I often read books similar to those that I am writing because I like to experience how other writers write, especially if it is a genre or subject I haven’t written in before. So, I put the contemporary thriller to one side to read a Christmas romance. Well, it is so bad. I will not name the author or the book, beyond it is a well-known romance writer and a Christmas romance.  So far the story has nothing to do with Christmas and the silliest plot about a young woman blogging. I wonder who would read it. Needless to say, this book was not much help.

Nonfiction: Nothing this week

Writing Courses:  Big sigh! I have put these on hold until after Christmas. I don’t have time to market or work on Course 2 & 3 as I prepare my novels for Christmas Craft Fairs and signings. Get Rid of Page Fright & Write – Course 1 will still be available at the discounted price of $58 at http://just-for-writers.teachable.com More updates will come at the end of this year.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

The Blue Pendant Book1 Anna’s Legacy Book 2 and Sarah’s Choice Book 3. E-books and print  at all online retailer

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read.


A gift of an e-book Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read. And the opportunity to sign up for Susan’s Reader’s Group.  

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

  Click to download your gift of a free e-book   

Will It Ever End?

Will it ever end, is exactly how I felt this week. The writing part of a book is easy and fun. However, to get a book to market the work seems never-ending. I know I’m a bit of a purist, which isn’t good for business but makes me feel good. We all know Amazon is a massive company with an equally huge market share so I try to spread the wealth. I think it is important to support local businesses and for books that is a local printer and local bookstores.

Once the writing is complete, usually in a Microsoft Word document, I convert it into a book format with a cover designed to suit the interior size; one for e-Books and one for print books. Easy-peasy! Well, not quite. I send my books, the print version, to three different places for printing, for three different reasons.

A local printer for my personal inventory; books fairs, local independent bookstores and my local fans. Ingram/Spark, the largest book distributor in the world because they supply Chapters/Indigo and with a little luck, Waterstones and W.H. Smith in the U.K. And, of course, we mustn’t forget Amazon’s worldwide reach for both e-Books and paperbacks.

Here is where the never-ending part enters. Each of these printers has a different set of specifications and often the difference is a couple of millimetres. Frustrating! I tackle Amazon first and, although I hate to say it, I can understand why they do so well. Amazon was easy-peasy. I uploaded the files, proofed the files, Amazon approved them and the book was up for sale in 24 hours. Next, I called Gauvin Press in Gatineau, a great family business. But it took five days to get the specs sorted and the order in. However, in their defense, this was my first order. It will be faster next time. Okay, still not finished, on to Ingram/Spark. This is scary and the opposite to Gauvin, there is no personal contact, everything is automated, which means everything has to be exactly to their specifications or you might get a strange looking book. The preparation took some time but the ordering process only took twenty-four hours.

And that note, dear readers I shall conclude my never-ending story of printing a book. When Love Ends Romance Begins Both e-Book and paperback are available now on Amazon http://mybook.to/whenloveends And, I will have print copies in my hand Oct 20th. Updates about the launch at Susan’s Reading Group News

Writing Updates:  The Christmas edition of The NarrowBoat Romance Series, Christmas at Lavender Cottage continues, not as fast as I would like for reasons explained above.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: I finished reading Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea and the conclusion made me weep, so sad, but realizing there were about thirty more pages to read, I thought things might change although I couldn’t see how. But Ms. Kearsley had a wonderful and unexpected twist at the end. Fabulous book! My current read is Lisa Jewelle’s Then She Was Gone a different kind of book. A contemporary story about a mother who mourns her missing fifteen-year-old daughter years after her disappearance. The story is holding my attention and I suspect there are many twists and turns to this thriller.

Nonfiction: The Emotional Wound Thesaurus – A writer’s guide to psychological trauma – By Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglishi. This is an extremely helpful book for writers because it explains how traumas affect peoples behaviour. A nasty or even evil character has a back story and a writer needs to know that story. You will see this unfold in Christmas at Lavender Cottage as Olivia’s past explains nastiness.



 

Writing Courses:  Don’t miss the launch special 40% off regular price of $98 with discount $58

 

 

 

 



The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

The Blue Pendant Book1 Anna’s Legacy Book 2 and Sarah’s Choice Book 3. E-books and print  at all online retailer

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read.


A gift of an e-book Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read. And the opportunity to sign up for Susan’s Reader’s Group.  

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

  Click to download your gift of a free e-book   

Ah! Time for Love & Romance

What a difference from last Saturday as six tornados swept through Ottawa. For us, it was nothing more than losing power but others lost their homes and livelihood. Love and prayers to all those affected. From Susan and Miss Penny

Miss Penny speaking. Last weekend was exciting as we searched for internet and power so we could get the new book cover finished, which meant we did a lot of visiting. First to Rose’s, Susan’s daughter for her Adobe expertise, where I can play because they have a little backyard and I can run in and out and talk to the dog next door. Cool! Then we went to Frank’s place, Susan’s middle son (she has a lot of sons), Now this was a bit more dramatic. Preston the dog is huge, I’m about the size of his head, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but he is big and he likes to play, hey I’m always ready to play; until he stepped on my paw and I yelped, that hurt, so I stayed out of his way. But, there were these other furry creatures just my size, so I’m at the ready play time! Now, these furry funny looking dogs just stood and stared at me, then one made this strange hissing noise and lashed at me with a paw, caught my nose. Not too friendly but one of the others sniffed at me and, then as rude as can be, it turned and walked away. Next thing I know I am surrounded by these inhospitable creatures and it was time to get out of there.

The rest of the week was somewhat intense as Susan designed and formatted and uploaded, downloaded and polished this book. This story like all romance stories has a happy ending When Love Ends Romance Begins – A novel of heartbreak, hope and a second chance to love is now ready for sale on Amazon, e-book only, the print version is in review and will be available by Monday. I just love this tagline, “He snapped her heart in two. Can Katie trust enough to love again?” Definitely, need to read that. Of course, I just listen as I can’t read… yet. I’m pretty smart so you never know.

Susan just told me to say that there will be updates on the Susan’s Readers Group News so click to sign up.


Writing Updates: This has been a productive writing week despite the tornado chaos. The Christmas edition of The Narrowboat Romance Series, Christmas at Lavender Cottage story is shaping up nicely with a new character, Olivia Moreland whose entrance in a mink coat, crocodile heels and a mean stuck- up nose, is set to disrupt Christmas.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: I have about 100 pages left on Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea Ms. Kearsley is a master at time-slip, which is difficult to write, flipping from 1709 to the present day is an art. Blending the characters and events at different times without confusing the reader is something few writers can do well.

 

Nonfiction: Research currently on hold

Writing Courses:  Launch special 40% off regular price of $98 with discount only $58

Writing Courses:  First Sentence to First Sale – Course OneGet Rid of Page Fright Registration is now open. https://just-for-writers.teachable.com   

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 



 

 

The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

The Blue Pendant Book1 Anna’s Legacy Book 2 and Sarah’s Choice Book 3. E-books and print  at all online retailer

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read.


A gift of an e-book Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read. And the opportunity to sign up for Susan’s Reader’s Group.  

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

  Click to download your gift of a free e-book   

 

 

http://mybook.to/whenloveends

So, I Lied!

So, I lied! In last weeks blog, I said the writing course Get Rid of Page Fright – First Sentence to First Sale would be ready for release last Wednesday and that didn’t happen, for multiple reasons. However, drum roll please, it was released today. If you are a want-to-be, novice or struggling writer, I designed this course for you. Click for more details.  Okay, enough of the sales pitch, I just wanted to apologize for my poor timing. I almost forgot the launch special includes a 40% discount. Miss Penny is pawing at my knee to tell her story.

At last, Miss Penny speaking, they left me out of the blog last week, so I’m pleased to be back. It has been a boring week for me as the boss has been busy and not paying attention to me so I’ve played with my toys. I also learned to hide under the table. When Susan goes out she shoves me in this crate, it’s quite comfortable but I would rather have the run of the house, can you image the mischief…? There’s a box of shoes by the door I could chew those, I quite like books and there’s a lot of those around here and cords running all over the place. Um! Maybe I’m safer in the crate. Today’s picture is me, taking my toy to bed. Well, I’m only a year old, I like my toys.

Writing Updates: Working on research for Sophie so the writing for that book is stalled. But, I have started a new story, a Christmas novella, contemporary romance, at Katie’s Lavender Cottage B&B a feel nice Christmas story.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea is as great a read as I expected. The time slip, in and out of the early 1700s is so good, the history, the descriptions of Scotland’s rugged coast and the subtle romance are excellent.

Nonfiction: Research WW1 nothing specific

Writing Courses:  See above.

 

Writing Courses:  First Sentence to First Sale – Course OneGet Rid of Page Fright opens for registration next week, at noon (EST) on Sept 15, 2018

https://just-for-writers.teachable.com

 


The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

The Blue Pendant Book1 Anna’s Legacy Book 2 and Sarah’s Choice Book 3. E-books and print  at all online retailer

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read.


A gift of an e-book Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read. And the opportunity to sign up for Susan’s Reader’s Group.  

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

  Click to download your gift of a free e-book   

Broad Enough Shoulders!

I sometimes wonder if I have broad enough shoulders to be a writer. Criticism from professionals, well-meaning friends and acquaintances is all part of the writing process. But it is perhaps an oxymoron for introverted creatives whose work becomes an intricate part of themselves. Creating anything whether it is painting a picture with words or an artist’s brush, weaving clothes or baskets, scrapbooking or making jewelry, the result is a unique and personal invention open to perception from every eye that sees it. Oh, I agree, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things and the English language, although it has many versions, is perhaps more rigid than most. And I quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “Therein lies the rub,” an obstacle which storytellers like me have to get over if they want a perfect book. Unfortunately, and I can only speak for myself, it can appear as criticism, which it probably is not. This week I have had a double whammy as my latest book is being proofread and I designed the cover. First, a quick cover in an easy program called Canva, (in last week’s blog). After listening to it’s a nice cover but… and stifling my unreasonable reaction of indignation, I decided to brush-up on Adobe InDesign and create a professional looking cover. You guessed it, I still had comments, a little more encouraging, I like it but… at first, I am unrealistically hurt but I need to suck it up and get back to the canvas. There are days when my shoulders are broad enough and days when they are not but most days, I put on the big girl panties and get on with it, knowing I have done my best. At the end of the day, I am lucky enough to have people around me who care enough to critique my creative prose. Thank you to everyone.

Writing Updates: All writing suspended to make way for cover design.

 

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: I finished Gill Paul’s Another Women’s Husband which I enjoyed. I still have an issue about Princess Diana’s part but the Wallis Simpson story was excellent. I can highly recommend this book. My latest read is Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea a 1706 time-slip romance about a writer who disappears into her story (now that’s a familiar place to be), I was hooked from the first page. Ms. Kearsley’s description of Slain Castle and the rugged coast of Scotland is enthralling, the characters I love and liked from the very first chapter. I am so looking forward to reading this book.

Nonfiction: Nothing this week.


Writing Courses:  First Sentence to First Sale – Course OneGet Rid of Page Fright opens for registration next week, at noon (EST) on Wednesday, Sept 12, 2018

https://just-for-writers.teachable.com

 


The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

The Blue Pendant Book1 Anna’s Legacy Book 2 and Sarah’s Choice Book 3. E-books and print  at all online retailer

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read.


A gift of an e-book Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read. And the opportunity to sign up for Susan’s Reader’s Group.  

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

  Click to download your gift of a free e-book   

The Squirrel Syndrome!

The Squirrel Syndrome! Did I read that correctly? Miss Penny speaking. Oh, boy! This will be a good blog today. I love squirrels. When we go for our morning walk, I try to catch them. I want to play chase; up trees, down fences and across roads, although that’s a bit dangerous. Unfortunately, Susan keeps my leash tight so I can’t catch them… get this, they run up trees and chase each other around the tree trunk. Wow, would I like to do that? As good as any mid-way ride. And before you know it they are off in another direction and I’m confused; where did the squirrel go? Um… are you wondering what squirrels have to do with writing or reading. You have a good point, I’ll ask Susan.

The squirrel syndrome or sometimes known as the next shiny thing is about distractions. The most prevalent distractions today are the bings, peeps and buzzes from electronic devices, a message here, a text there and we feel compelled to answer, in fact, the sender now has an expectation that a reply is imminent. Like the squirrel darting from tree to fence to road, we find our minds jumping from our current occupation, which for me it is writing and breaking concentration to answer messages or deal with unrelated tasks; the result is a busy day with little to show for it. As a writer, I find this particularly disheartening and frustrating because accomplishing my writing goal depends on the number of words I write per day. The solution is simple; it is called a Do Not Disturb button. When pressed, like magic, the bings, peeps and buzzes go away, no more squirrel distractions. Try it, it works!

 

Writing Updates: Squirrel distractions seem to have grasped my creativity and this week. Perhaps because I have been working on the romance book cover—here’s a sneak preview—I thought about book two in the series and I have outlined a Christmas story for the Narrowboat Romance Series. That, of course, means that Sophie has taken a back seat for a while, but she’ll be back.

 

 

Books I’m Reading: Fiction – Gill Pauls’ Another Women’s Husband a time-slip novel, is turning out to be interesting. I’m on the fence about the believability of the protagonist’s association with Princess Diana but the Wallis Simpson story is engaging and interesting.

Nonfiction: – Nothing this week.

 


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 soon, we’re a little behind schedule so please stay tuned Click here for details


The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice

The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

The Blue Pendant Book1 Anna’s Legacy Book 2 and Sarah’s Choice Book 3. E-books and print  at all online retailer

Check out the synopsis on My Books page. A great Book club read.


A gift of an e-book Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read. And the opportunity to sign up for Susan’s Reader’s Group.  

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

  Click to download your gift of a free e-book