Category Archives: Interesting Bits From Susan

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   

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

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   

Mugshot!

Mugshot, I’m famous, no I didn’t get arrested. Miss Penny speaking, I thought I might as well take over. Susan’s busy again. Before I forget the Kobo.com 40% off until Aug 27 Promo code AUG40. 

Last week we talked about editing and poor Susan ate her words. She was almost ready to upload the new course First Sentence to First Sale when a friend pointed out a couple of typos, which allowed all the other typos that were hiding, as typos do, (every writer knows what I’m talking about) to jump off the screen and have a party. It was intense around here. I need say no more. I’m getting quite clever with this humour thing, don’t you think? 

So what does this have to do with mugshots? Nothing actually, but in the middle of this editing frenzy Susan’s son-in-law, who thinks I’m very cute, has started a new promotion business and because of my cuteness, my photo is now on a coffee mug, along with some of Susan’s book covers. How neat is that? That’s all for this week, time to play.

What! I said I was going to play! Now you are mad at me! This white fluffy stuff is perfect and it’s never-ending, I can pull and pull. Oh, I’m not supposed to destroy cushions. 


 

Writing Updates: Not much creating this week, too much, left brain editing. I’ll be back to writing next week.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction – I finished Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight. It was okay, a bit disappointing. I had trouble getting into the story. My latest read is Gill Pauls’ Another Women’s Husband I’ve only just started it so it’s too early to tell. It is a time-slip novel, Princess Diana and Wallis Simpson are the main characters, an interesting concept.

Nonfiction: – Nothing this week.

Writing Courses:First Sentence to First SaleCourse One is delayed but it shouldn’t affect the release date of August 31st.

Shout out: 40% off on all three trilogy books The Bue Pendant, Anna’s Legacy and Sarah’s Choice at Kobo August 23 – 27. Promo code AUG40  Kobo’s Home page, and you’ll get 40% off when you check out. What a great deal!


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

First in series The Blue Pendant  on sale on  2.99 A perfect summer read 560 pages of reading pleasure

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.


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   

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Polish and Shine

Hi! Did you miss me!

Good Day! I’m giving Miss Penny a rest today, although she likes to be the centre of attention, the subject of the blog is of a technical and serious nature and Miss Penny prefers playing. I have very much been in left brain mode this week, outlining and altering the Sophie series as we discussed last week and putting the finishing touches to the new writing course. It always amazes me the number of typos that seem to hide and then suddenly jump out at you when you are least expecting it, which brought me to thinking about the editing process.

Polish to a Shine, editing, is an essential part of writing, putting the final polish to many hours of work. As a reader, editing probably never comes into your head… unless… you find a typo or worse a piece that escaped the editor. Most professional writers would agree that editing is the most important part of the writing process and the most expensive both in time and money. Even then there are always the typos that escape all eyes and that could be three or four sets of eyes and 10 – 20 readings. I guarantee the reader will spot them. And, please if that happens let us know. In today’s digital world it is relatively easy to correct mistakes. 

However, sometimes the spelling is not incorrect, depending on the writer’s style of English. American English does not use U in words like neighbour or colour, British English uses S and not Z in words like realise and then there’s one L or two in the word counselling or counseling and just to complicate things more, Canadian English is a combination of British, American and Canadian. This is the style I use most of the time and that confuses everybody, except Canadians. When I asked a colleague, a British author who sells millions of books, what style she used, she answered, ‘American English, because if I use British spelling the Americans complain but when I use American English, no one complains.’ I guess I’m a purist but so far I have stuck to Canadian English and yes, I get complaints. Please forgive those pesky typos and mistakes but I can assure you, I do my best to keep them at a minimum.

Writing Updates: This week, as mentioned, I made major changes to Sophie, I have decided that the first book in the series will take place in London as we follow the nurses at River House, their work and romances and how Londoners fought their own battle with bomb ladened German Zeppelins. 

Books I’m Reading: FictionTwenty-one Days by Anne Perry an excellent book. Ms Perry’s long-standing mystery series about Charlotte and Thomas Pitt in Victorian London has evolved into the 1900s with their grown-up son, Daniel Pitt, who is as a lawyer, but has his parents aptitude for solving crimes. 

 

 

Nonfiction: – I’m still working on the cover design reading. 


Writing Courses: – First Sentence to First Sale – Part one is close to being finished. Much more work than I expected but at last I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Thanks to the Apple Store workshops. I have all the material and just need to blend the slides with the video. 


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

First in series The Blue Pendant  on sale on  2.99 A perfect summer read 560 pages of reading pleasure

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.


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   

SaveSho

After the Cut

I knew it, I knew it! I am naked. This is Miss Penny, again, Susan is busy having an epiphany—whatever that is—as you can see I had a haircut, more like a skin shave, but I have to say my face and tail, nick-named happy tail because it wags very fast, both look good and the shaved part was inevitable as my fluffy undercoat had matted. I can’t say I like the look but it sure is nice and cool. Thanks to   Max & Kat’s Great place for doggie daycare and holiday stays. So this week has been boring as I mentioned Susan had this epiphany, judging by the reading aloud and the new comments about London in the Great War the epiphany seems to be about the Sophie series. After discovering that London was bombed by Zeppelin airships in 1915 causing death and injuries to civilians not unlike the blitz of WW2, Susan has decided that the first book in the Sophie series will be about London, which means Sophie won’t go to war until Book 2. In my opinion, and as we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, dogs have opinions, I think this is brilliant as the stories of London at war, on the home front, are heartbreaking and inspiring. Well, that’s it for today, I think Susan will be back next week. I almost forgot, if you would like to sign up for Susan’s Reading Group she will gift you an e-copy of Ruins in Silk just click here Read about Sophie’s young an tragic life, from privileged young woman to hotel maid. Even then she was strong and resilient, or if you read the book or just want to join the reading group without the book click here.


Writing Courses: First Sentence to First Sale  Thanks to the Apple Store workshops. Apologies for the delays. As is often the case there is far more work than expected. But it is coming soon.


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

First in series The Blue Pendant  on sale on  2.99 A perfect summer read 560 pages of reading pleasure

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.


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   

SaveShow