Category Archives: Life of an Author

The Good, The Bad & Delicious

My apologies for such a bland blog. WordPress has completely changed their platform with no instructions or helpline. I am so angry, I will be searching for a new platform but for today I cannot upload pictures so the words will tell the story.

Miss Penny speaking! My part of the blog will be short today as I’m not feeling well. Susan is trying to fatten me up because the vet said I’m too thin. My kibble tastes different, I don’t like it and it’s giving me a tummy ache. Susan says it’s higher in calories and is good for me, I don’t agree and there is an easy solution. I stopped eating, well not quite, I eat the chicken on the top and leave the kibble. I’m pleased to say Susan got the message. We took a trip to PetSmart and I have my old kibble back. But, I heard the word vet. I think that means another visit to Liston Animal Hospital; as long as there are no needles involved I’ll be fine. I’ve been left in my create again, several times this week. It must be party time as Susan was dressed up in sparkly clothes, she looks good. But, I don’t understand why I can’t go too. I’m usually the star attraction. Oh, I almost forgot about the excitement when a box arrived. The Christmas at Lavender Cottage books arrived early. Susan id making up gift packages with mugs and shortbread. I’ll let Susan explain what that is all about. I’m tired so bye for now, I will have a nap. Over to the boss.

Thanks Miss Penny, I promise not to change your kibble again. As Miss Penny says, I was excited when the books arrived. Christmas at Lavender Cottage features; a mystery, heartwarming Christmas celebrations and feel-good romances with a romantic ending. I also, shared some of my traditional recipes; one in particular,  Scottish Shortbread; a recipe I have never shared before so please give it a try. And, I am offering a gift package so you can share with your reader friends. A book, Christmas at Lavender Cottage, a featured coffee mug filled with homemade Scottish shortbread. All for $15. The book on its own is $10 as is the Coffee mug with shortbread. In view of the WordPress fiasco please take try the newsletter I will update what I can from there. Susan’s Readers Group News, click to subscribe.

My Work in Progress:

I have taken a bit of a break from writing but my historical fiction fans will be happy to know that I am reviewing Sophie and preparing to continue writing very, very soon.

Book News: 

I just looked at the 2019 releases and there are far too many to mention individually. Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel are releasing at least two, John Grisham has a new one and I noticed that several authors are releasing paperbacks. 

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: 

I am almost finished Kate Morton’s latest The Clockmakers Daughter I mentioned last week that it was not an easy read. Ms. Morton writes beautifully and there are few authors who could write this way, multiple, points of view, multiple time and place settings, all surrounding one house. As I read into the final third of the book things are coming together. This book is cleverly written and definitely worth the read.

Writing Courses: I have put the marketing of these courses 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 will come at the end of this year. 

It’s Looking A Lot Like Christmas!

It’s looking a lot like Christmas, I hear Susan humming, this is Miss Penny speaking, I think the humming has something to do with the white stuff that is blanketed everywhere outside. I can’t find any grass and the driveway has disappeared. At least I don’t have to sniff around looking for a spot for you-know-what. Although, Susan found it funny especially when one of my friends did the same. Anyway, this white stuff called snow is cool in more ways than one, it’s cold and I shiver even with my little coat on and the other cool is that I can jump in it and rub my nose, my face gets covered in snow. Susan made snowballs but when I tried to catch them they all flew apart. It was fun. That’s it for today, over to Susan.

Writing Updates:  Christmas at Lavender Cottage is ready for formatting and the cover needs a few tweaks I expect to have it up on Amazon next week and copies in my hand the week after. Kisses under the mistletoe, love and romance as well as Christmas. This book took me down memory lane as I wrote about Christmas with my own family. And, much like Katie, I always wanted Christmas to be perfect. An impossible task often resulting in disasters, like the year the turkey caught fire. Another story for another time, I think this is worthy of a short story special edition just for you. Stay tuned.

Book News: Louise Penny has a new Chief Inspector Gamache novel due for release November 27th Kingdom of the Blind which is an Indigo exclusive edition. And, Indigo is offering an exclusive bonus from Ms. Penny, her own descriptions of the real places she writes about with maps of Three Pines. How neat is that? Check it out 

 

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: I finished The Daisy Children by Sophia only a three star, it’s interesting but not great. I moved on to a book I mentioned in Book News last week. I got sucked into the headline of The Kingfisher Secret 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. I am about two-thirds of the way through this book, which is a spy novel, but definitely not in the James Bond category. The last third will have to be world-stopping-suspense to make me give this more than a 3 star. However, I will reserve my comments until I have finished it; things could change.

 

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.

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.

Tea, Conversation & Reading!

Tea, Conversation and Reading, Nice title don’t you think? Miss Penny speaking. Susan and I are giving a little tea party on Sunday to celebrate the release of the new book When Love Ends Romance Begins. I am very excited, Susan called me a socialite not sure what that means, but it has something to do with meeting people and my happy tail because it wags so fast. Lots of people and lots of petting for me. You can buy a book for $15 or it is available on Amazon, e-book and paperback. We sent out emails but if we missed you, here are the details. See you on Sunday.

Sunday, November 4th  –  3 pm – 5 pm  The Britannia, 415 Greenview Av Contact Susan for apartment


Writing Updates: Christmas at Lavender Cottage is finished and in the editing stage. I enjoyed writing this book, its light, romantic with a bit of adventure and a lot of suspense as Katie tries to make a perfect Christmas and I think we all know perfection is a recipe for disaster. Speaking of recipes, I had fun browsing the old recipe books and you’ll find a couple in the back of the book, including my coveted shortbread recipe.

Book News: I know I’m dating myself here but I wondered how many of you remember the Academy Award-winning actress, Sally Field. I loved the girl-next-door look and watched her movies and shows. In September she released a book, a memoir called In Pieces, Quote from the book description, “In this intimate, haunting literary memoir, an American icon tells her own story for the first time—about a challenging and lonely childhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother.” I am intrigued by her story. Needless to say, this is on my reading list.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: I finished The Address by Fiona Davis a historical time-slip novel, 1885 and 1985. Last week I wasn’t sure how about the 1985 part of the story. I need not have worried as it worked out well. In fact, I couldn’t put it down and finished it on Sunday afternoon. The story is focused around an upscale apartment building in New York, called the Dakota and although it had nothing to do with the story, John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in that building. This book was an excellent read I can highly recommend it. A five-star read. My latest read is The Daisy Children by Sofia Grant another story of past and present. Based on a terrible tragedy in New London, Texas in 1937 when a school explosion killed hundreds of children and devastated a town. The story is intriguing but it’s too early for me to comment.

Nonfiction: Searching for family recipes.


New release: This weekend When Love Ends Romance Begins e-book is free on Amazon this weekend  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


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