Whacky Words!Miss Penny Speaking that might seem odd coming from a dog because I can’t talk, I can bark although I don’t do that very often, the noise scares me. I may not speak but I understand several words. Hungry means dinner’s on the way, Ah, she’s so cute means some loving is coming, good girl means I’ve done you-know-what in the right place and I get treats. Oh yes, and treats means a milk bone or tasty morsel. Where’s your baby, means go fetch my pink lamb that’s usually at bedtime. So, why am I talking about words? Susan has been embroiled in words this week, 352 thousand words that’s how many words there are in The Sackville Hotel Trilogy Boxset, three books in one (e-books). However, last night just as they were being uploaded Susan discovered some chapters in the wrong order, talk about words… well, the words I heard were not for my young ears… it was not a pretty sight. Susan’s okay now and the boxset will be ready later today. By the way, body language works just as well as words. I get most of what I want by looking cute. Susan says to tell you the next edition of Susan’s Readers Group News will be out this week. Bye for now!
Strong, beautiful Anna as clever as any man, defies society, challenges marriage but loves passionately twice. Survives betrayal, bullying, even murder that almost breaks her. An epic saga that spans five decades from Edwardian Britain to the 1960s Cold War. Heartwarming and at times heartbreaking. Kobo.com
Miss Penny speaking as promised I’m back, well, I know I never went away, but I had to share my spot with Susan’s Readers Group News. Me, the star! I’m over it now.
I’m told mid-January to mid-February is the coldest time of the year in Ottawa, no kidding! The ground is covered in 80cm of snow and we experienced, -40c with the wind chill. And about that wind; Susan and I are out for a walk and I squat—to you-know-what—and suddenly the wind catches my back legs and I’m doing a handstand Cirque de Soleil style, very disconcerting and then, I’m just trotting along and the wind catches me again and whips me around in a circle. That’s it, enough of that, time to go inside, especially when Susan started laughing. I gave her the look and hustle my butt inside. I wonder if Cirque de Soleil hires dogs? Just a thought as it seems I have acrobatic talent.
I’m just figuring out what a box-set might be. Susan’s been working on this all week, which means I get ignored, just so you know I notice these things. She is putting all three books of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – The Blue Pendant, Anna’s Legacy and Sarah’s Choice into one e-book. Wow! That’s one big book 365,000 words a marathon read launching in February.
I almost forgot I need to ask a favour because Susan is too shy to ask. Plain and simple, please ‘like’ the blog, Facebook page and YouTube videos. It makes a big difference in Susan’s rankings. And if you have a moment to comment or write a review, this has an enormous impact on Amazon, Indigo and Google, rankings. Thanks! Bye for now until next week!
Please note: Books I’ve Read and Work in Progress is now featured in Susan’s Readers Group News
Well, I am upset! Susan has pre-empted me. Me, the star. Saturday at 4 p.m. is my blog time and guess what, Susan is releasing the January edition of Susan’s Readers Group Newsat the very same time. Huh!
So I decided to rip this cushion apart. It’s quite therapeutic.
Susan tells me the newsletter should have been released on Wednesday but the constraints of time pushed it today. A likely story! No more cuddles for you Susan. I could run away from home, isn’t that what kids do when they are upset with parents? That’s not a good idea. It cold outside. I’ll chew the cushion.
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 ofSusan’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.
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.
A downloadable Book Tracking Journal to keep track of books you’ve read.
A free copy of Ruins in Silkthe 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Cottagebooks 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.
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.
Dec 1st, only twenty-four days before Christmas, Miss Penny speaking. I am not sure what all the fuss is about or exactly what Christmas is but it certainly gets a lot of attention and it seems to put me in my create more often as Susan goes out shopping. On her last shopping trip, she came home with two things for me, one good and one bad. The good thing was a new toy, it is a pink animal, exactly what it is, is hard to determine, but it is just the right size and fits in my mouth perfectly, it squeaks and I can shake the heck out of it. The other item is not so great and as much as I shake these things called booties they snuggle up to my feet. Susan tells me it is to keep the salt and ice off my feet and I will admit that is a good idea. However, getting these booties on is an ordeal, they are small and stretchy but getting my paw inside is a challenge. I’m not sure it’s worth it and I suspect Susan feels the same. I noticed yesterday afternoon; we went walking sans booties. I’m fine with that because if I pull my paws up and look as though I’m in pain and shiver–I can do that well– Susan picks me up anyway.
I thought after the books were published things might be quiet, but this week Susan has been making videos, which is very disturbing. There I am, taking a nap in my bed and suddenly I get a blast of Susan’s voice coming from her laptop. Now that is weird! Okay, now I’ll explain. Susan is reading into her laptop and then she uploads it to her Youtube Channel, no idea what that is, and then she plays back through her laptop. It’s kind of cool; especially as I actually star in one of the movies… well, perhaps more of a cameo performance. Susan says to tell you, if you’re looking for books to give away as gifts she has a supply on hand and of course Amazon and other retailers have them for sale. That’s it from me today over to Susan.
Miss Penny is correct, I have made four short videos this week; short readings from the new books. Click here for my Youtube channeland this is the start of regular readings on YouTube.I’m thinking of serializing some of my books, your comments on the subject would be appreciated. Comment below or email. If you are interested in listening to regular readings, subscribe to my YouTube Channel. More about my videos and the unique family connection and story behind my interest in video making in Susan’s Reading Group News. If you’re not on the list sign up today. I promise I do not spam. Read the article in December’s issue.
Authors and publishers rush to get books out for Christmas so there are many being released but nothing is standing out. I had to search for book news today. This is what I found, The Secret Orphan by Glynnis Peters due for release December 18th. The ad compares it to The Secret Wife by Gill Paul, which is a favourite of mine. I don’t know the author but the cover and title grabbed me immediately, (always judge a book by its cover) and the story is about the blitz in Coventry U.K. during WW 2, a place and time that interests me because of my own historical writing. The advanced reader reviews are mixed, which I also find exciting and a challenge to form my own opinion.
Books I’m Reading: Fiction:
Kate Morton is my current reading, I am a big fan of Ms. Morton’s books and this is the latest The Clockmakers Daughter this book is not an easy read, there are multiple points of view and multiple time settings. It took me a while to get into the story and I had difficulty following some characters. I actually started it three times. I was over a hundred pages in, before I figured out the clockmaker’s daughter. But now I’m into the story and it is looking good.
The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice
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.page. A great Book club read
Miss Penny Speaking. I don’t remember going to this place before, it’s called The Vets. I’m not sure I liked it. Oh, the people were nice and I put on my charm, who can resist me, but I was prodded about and then unexpectedly poked with two needles and it hurt and Susan seemed to think it was okay. I thought it was rather rude. Susan said it was my vaccinations and the vet said I was too skinny, I thought that was rude too. Anyway, the skinny part is good because I now get some very tasty food — meat in gravy — that was good for a couple of days but now I’m full. Susan is fussing because I’m not eating enough. Let’s see what she tempts me with next. And… can you believe I was left alone all day, well not quite, grandson, William came to look after me in the morning and Sheila came in the afternoon. You may have noted that the blog is a day late because Susan was selling her books at the Hintonburg Craft Fair. I had better, pass you over to Susan as she has some book news.
More Romance is in the air! I have excellent news, Christmas at Lavender Cottageclick here – A Christmas novella in The Narrowboat Series is available from a variety of online retailers as an e-book and both e-book and paperback are available from Amazon. Link to your retailer of choice. Or if you prefer to wait, I will have paperback copies $10 on Dec 8th. Did I mention that this novella includes recipes and I broke down and I am sharing my coveted, yummy, Scottish Shortbread recipe in this book?
If you didn’t get your copy of When Love Ends Romance BeginsI still have copies. I think the two books would make great Christmas gifts? As a bonus, I have matching coffee mugs to give away. (pick-up only. Sorry postage is too expensive and unreliable) Live on Youtube; readings coming next week
Books I’m Reading: Fiction: I finished The Kingfisher Secret the headline that sucked me in — The author is a respected writer and former journalist. His identity is being kept secret in order to protect the source of the ideas that inspired this novel — was not deceiving but I found the story lacked something, perhaps because of all the secrecy and anonymity. It definitely was not in the James Bond category for a spy novel. If, and I understand this was the target, it was written to reveal the political truth and point fingers at a governing president and his wife, it succeeded in the sense of similarities of characters and some events, but I fail to see the intended impact. Perhaps if the reader can read more into the political intrigue they might enjoy it more than I did.
The books are available at online retailers. Click the title, make your choice
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.