Category Archives: Interesting Bits From Susan

Spring in my Step!

I see I’ve been preempted again and I’m not impressed. My picture and story should come first. I’m a bit spoilt! Miss Penny Speaking. Well, at last I was outside without either boots or coat with a spring in my step; a little chilly on the paws but I can walk on grassy patches and feel the wind in my fur. My walking routine is back to normal and that is a good thing as Susan is ignoring me, other than the walks. She is busy with yet another project. She’s great at coaching people to write books. I didn’t know this, but then I’m a dog so what do I know, Susan says that many people with small businesses want to write a book to add value to their business. She discusses the business side of things all the time with me and even my doggie brain thinks this is a great idea. Not that I would have a clue how to write a nonfiction book but Susan has the expertise and is finally expanding the coaching, How to Write a Nonfiction Book for your Business – A three-month coaching program. So, I will gaze out of the window waiting for my walks, pawing at Susan’s knee to remind her I’m here. Ah! It’s a dog’s life. If you are interested contact Susan  click here.

New edition of Susan’s Reader Group News will be out on Tuesday with Episode 6 of The Blue Pendant on YouTube.

Giveaway – Books I’ve Read – A Forget-get-me-not Journal.  A journal for keeping track of the books you’ve read.

Click here to get your gift for you when you sign up for Susan’s Readers Group.



Episode 5 of The Blue Pendant series –  Mr Pickles Makes his Move  now available on YouTube. Can you help Susan get 100 subscribers to her YouTube Chanel?

Quick Reference:

Susan’s Readers Group News – Subscribe  

Susan’s website –

 My books – Synopsis and Where to buy

Contact Susan – susan(at)

 Susan’s YouTube Channel All videos  click here  

YouTube video serialized version of The Blue Pendant

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

Susan’s Readers Group News – Subscribe  

Latest edition of Susan’s Readers Group New  Belonging

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.

Quick reference:

Susan’s YouTube Channel – Subscribe

 YouTube video serialized version of The Blue Pendant Episode 1 

YouTube Excerpts and launch readings of The Narrowboat Romance Series.

Susan’s Readers Group News  Subscribe News and updates about books, readers, authors 

My books  View Books You will find a list of all Susan’s books and where to buy them on this page

Contact Susan  Just one click She loves to hear from you, questions, suggestions and comments


Miss Penny’s New Year!

Miss Penny speaking. I’m not sure what all this chanting Happy New Year is all about, but as much as I love the excitement, I had to hibernate for a while. I thought the Christmas thing was fun because we did a lot of visiting and I was usually the star—I just love being the centre of attention. I say usually because at Frank’s place (Susan’s son) I have to compete with a large dog, Preston who is friendly but one paw flattens me and then there are these other creatures; just about my size but they growl under their breath, very rude, and make weird hissing sounds. They are cats. I mentioned them once before and they still don’t have manners or have improved their social skills. One of them, a chubby black and white cat has quite a temper and swatted at me with her paw, she thinks she’s a princess. Of course, she has no idea that I’m the real star.

Anyway, back to the New Year thing, it is a time to reflect and plan. Susan has been at the dining room table for two days writing lists and plans in a gold-colored book. I am ignored, even jumping up and giving my cute side-to-side look made no impression. This seems important and from what I understand there are three maybe four books planned for this year. Wow, that sounds ambitious and as Susan’s assistant, I will be busy too. I think there will be one or two more romance novellas—Susan says they are fun to write and her romance fans love them. The Sophie Series is back on track. Book one will be out this spring. And, watch out for the giveaway that is coming, a free book tracking journal, later this month. For more details subscribe to Susan’s Readers Group.

Oh, hold on, Susan is giving me instructions. The featured section of Books I’m Reading with book reviews and Work in Progress will now appear in Susan’s Readers Group News if you have subscribed it will appear in your Inbox on or near the 15th of the month. Please, rest assured Susan does not spam, one or two issues per month, nothing more. This allows Susan to be more detailed especially with reviews and keep you up to date with the general, book and author news and Susan’s progress with writing. Your comments regarding the change are not only welcome but encouraged. Your feedback is important and will influence Susan’s writing choices.

This is Miss Penny signing off and wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!

New & Coming in 2019:

Serialization of The Narrowboat Romance Series on YouTube, listen or watch at your leisure, new episode on or near the first of the month. If you subscribe to Susan’s YouTube channel, you’ll receive automated notification of new episodes.

Susan’s Reader Group News upgraded with monthly useful interesting articles.


A downloadable Book Tracking Journal to keep track of books you’ve read.

A free copy of Ruins in Silk the prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy and the new Sophie Series. Ruins in Silk is unique in that it links the two series together. It tells the story of a young Sophie, how and why she joined the staff at The Sackville Hotel and the Sophie Series continues Sophie life after she leaves the hotel to become a nurse.

Books: I have two copies left of Christmas at Lavender Cottage in stock and a good supply of When Love Ends Romance Begins Contact me 

For a complete list of Books and where to buy them go to My Books

The Evil Eye!

Miss Penny

Yes, I am giving you the evil eye. Miss Penny speaking. I am being ignored and I want to play. Susan is busy with Christmas stuff; there are boxes and bags, curly ribbon and crinkly paper all over the dining room. Baking smells from the kitchen are tempting as another pan of shortbread comes out of the oven and gets packed into gift boxes. The phone keeps announcing visitors that is exciting, I love visitors, but they don’t stay long. They pick up a book or gift box, say hello and leave again. Susan’s latest Christmas at Lavender Cottage is going fast, I’m guessing that’s because it’s Christmas, who doesn’t like a warm, cozy romance, hot chocolate and an opportunity to make shortbread (Susan’s recipe is in the back of the book) Of course, I’m a dog so I know little about any of that, except it occupies Susan’s time, which means less cuddling and playtime for me. And, because of the cold and even some freezing rain my walks have been cut short. As you can see, I’m suffering here. Perhaps you could do me a favour and put a word in Susan’s ear, the evil eye didn’t work. Over to the boss.

My Work in Progress:

Not much writing going on these days, but did you know that most authors plan books in their head long before they start writing. It is subconscious; I don’t even realize I’m planning a story in my head until the words flow on the page and I wonder where it’s coming from. Right now, I’m thinking about, Sophie at nursing school and Zeppelins over war-torn London and it won’t be long before the words are flowing again. 

Book News: 

What next! Did you know there is an award for… wait for it… Bad Sex in Fiction Award – Interestingly, these scenes are the worst sex scenes in non-pornographic, non-erotica fiction. The award winning scene is selected for a long-list, short-list and some lucky or unlucky author gets the award.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: 

I finished Kate Morton’s latest The Clockmakers Daughter I am giving it four stars; the book is amazing and I highly recommend it but the story is complicated. My next read is Maeve Binchy, Chestnut Street, a light read about ordinary people, characters who live on or have connections to Chestnut Street. The late Ms. Binchy had a knack of drawing you into the house place and feeling that the characters are your neighbour, friend or even the odd enemy. Her husband Gordon Snell put together this collection of Ms. Binchy’s stories. something she had talked about before her death.

Special offers!

Christmas at Lavender Cottage – A warm feel-good holiday romance  10.00 (in stores may be more)

 Romance and Christmas spirit are on the brink of disaster. A troubled, deceitful and prickly guest arrives atLavender Cottage just days before Christmas.  A missing necklace and false accusations threaten the joyful holiday. Eager to share Christmas with the man she loves, Katie struggles with uncertainty. Will justice prevail? Can true love flourish?

Gifts for you or your favourite person.

Relax, curl up nice and cozy and enjoy this gift pack. Includes A copy of Christmas at Lavender Cottage plus a matching coffee mug full of shortbread.

Price 15.00

Contact Susan 

Deluxe Package 

Deluxe Gift pack – Two books, When Love ends Romance Begins and Christmas at Lavender Cottage with two matching mugs one filled with shortbread and one filled with hot chocolate mix.

Price 29.99 

Contact Susan

Where to buy Susan’s books.

Gift packs are only available from  Susan please contact her directly.

In Ottawa Coles Billings Bridge or Susan directly

Online retailers, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and many more stores around the world. All Susan’s books are availbe through your local libray if you can’t find them please make a request to the librarian they available to libraries through OverDrive. Check out Book Page for more details

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

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.


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 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   

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.   












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


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