Category Archives: Excerpts

Aha! Cuddles

Aha, cuddles! Miss Penny Speaking. When I’m not playing I am Susan’s assistant and I like to cuddle, so curling up with Susan while she writes, works well for me, I can supervise from this position. However, Susan’s not so keen, something about, it’s hard to type when I’m resting on her shoulder. I guess she needs to practise more, except she doesn’t and I get put in my bed. It does works when she is reading aloud. Reading aloud is all part of the writing process. I bet you didn’t know that; see I’m pretty smart. Once a book is finished and edited Susan reads it aloud, I get cuddles and a story. So, this has been a good week for cuddles. I have listened to Prelude to Sophie’s War from beginning to end and it is good. Sophie is a strong, determined woman, just like me. Well, sort of, I’m a dog and she’s a person. Although losing her father in a fire when she was only sixteen years old, left some nasty emotional scars. I don’t remember my father and I don’t have scars; it must be a people thing. That’s it for today, look out for Susan’s Reader Groups News next week. And, psst! I’ll let you into a secret… Susan has recorded a reading from Prelude to Sophie’s War due for release next week.

Pre-order on Amazon and Kobo    If the links don’t works just search by name Susan A. Jennings and don’t forget the A


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YouTube video serialized version of The Blue Pendant

Excerpts from Lavender Cottage Romance Series(formerly The Narrowboat Romance Series). Readings from the book launch

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Latest edition of Susan’s Readers Group Too Much Water

A Star is Born!

A Star Is Born, Miss Penny speaking, How do you like that title? I’m told there is a good movie playing with the same title, not that I’m allowed in movie theatres but I hear stuff. As I am the star of the blog today, I thought it was a good title.

We live in Ottawa, Canada—no we don’t live in igloos—but it is cold -26c today. Keeping the temperature in mind, picture this. I weight 7 1/2 lbs and I’m 9 1/2 inches tall. I know, I’m skinny, but stars are supposed to be slim and graceful. I’m definitely star material with my soft black and silver grey coat, a very cute face with long furry ears and tail, which wags at lightning speed. Anyway I digress, I have to go out for walks, because I’m a dog (most of the time) given the above information at -26c it is very cold for me. Susan wraps a warm doggie coat around me and it feels pretty good. I’m usually carried until we get to the garden and then I can run in the snow, bury my nose, and then it strikes— freezing pain in my paws. Can you imagine having an ice-cream headache in all four feet? Oh, I forgot humans only have two feet so that doubles my pain, and of course, I’m a dog so I have no idea what an ice-cream headache feels like but I know what freezing paws feel like. It is not a pretty sight as I lift my paw from the snow, I can manage two off the ground at the same and three on occasions but as hard as I try I cannot get all four in the air without falling on my butt. Not very elegant for a star! By this time I am shivering until my teeth chatter and I have lots, did I tell you I have many more teeth than I need, the vet always comments with envy, ‘all those teeth’ and an under-bite that is unique and very cute.  The shivering brings Susan to my rescue and she wraps her arms around me and we return to the warm apartment.

Are you asking about Susan and writing? The reason I’m the star today is that she is committed to her new plan. She’s been writing Sophie all week, marketing and making videos. My instructions are to tell you that the January edition of Susan’s Readers Group News will be out Wednesday, January 15th. This will include reading and writing update, giveaways plus more. If you haven’t already subscribed click here. Susan does not spam, one or two editions a month.

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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 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

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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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.

Bathing at an English Seaside 1900s Style

Anna, the main character in my novel The Blue Pendant had her first glimpse of the seaside in 1913 when she began working at The Sackville Hotel, in Bexhill-on-Sea.

Family having fun

During the Victorian and Edwardian eras, seaside trips were the highlight of the summer season. Families would take the train or board a charabanc, (an open-topped motor coach) and spend a day, a weekend or holiday at the seaside. The beaches would be packed with people, eager to experience the cool sea water. Families like the photo to the left, would teach their children to swim and have fun in the waves. Less adventurous visitors would paddle in the shallow water, remaining fully clothed, minus footwear; ladies holding their long skirts daring to show a little ankle and gentleman in shirtsleeves with their trousers rolled up to their knees.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Typical men's bathing attire

Men’s bathing attire

The younger, what we might call, the trendy set of men and women, threw modesty to the wind. By today’s standard the outfits look more like dresses than swim suits. Can you imagine how heavy the fabric would get in the water? Men’s bathing attire was a little more risky, although the suits were fully body the fabric clung to the torso when wet.

Anna was shocked when she first observed man and women swimming in bathing attire. Here is an excerpt from The Blue Pendant.

First a lady’s head wrapped, turban style, in a navy and white scarf, peered out of the hut and then she ventured on to the steps. Wearing a loose-fitting tunic of navy blue with white trim around the sleeves and the yoke; a small portion of bare leg showed from beneath navy blue pantaloons that rested below her knee. Hurriedly, the lady joined the young men and women bathers. The wet fabric clung immodestly to their bodies. Anna wondered what the cool water would feel like on her skin but she could never wear such unbecoming bathing attire. The men’s suits were tighter than the women’s and it embarrassed her to see the male contour, something she had not witnessed before. She felt her cheeks flush and deflected her gaze to the water.

Are you interested in historical fiction and love the Victorian and Edwardian era? Me too. Why not join su workbigcolour4ARMOUTCLEANpurpleribbonSusan’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 Aug 1, 2015. Susan’s Readers Group, join here.

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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