Tag Archives: Constant Contact

A Great Green Day!

A great green day can only be St Patrick’s Day. CTV News interviewed an Ottawa downtown bar owner who said, St Patrick’s is his biggest day of the year, bigger than Canada Day. I often wondered why a good part of the world celebrates St Patrick’s Day with such enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Irish; I love Ireland and visited many times both north and south. Ireland is a truly beautiful island; the people are fun, amazing people with a hint of mystery surrounding them. Perhaps, that’s the answer, the mystery. Happy St Paddy’s Day everyone! Drink green beer, wear a green jacket and enjoy a fun day because green is still white in Ottawa from another week of snow. The boots came out again but with a week of sunshine forecast they are back in the closet. Miss Penny is sulking because the picture above is of a strange dog. Sorry, Miss Penny but you don’t have a green hat. 

A Typical day on a canal narrowboat

My writing progress is slow at the moment comprising the boring stuff of editing, Endings and Beginnings, but exciting in the sense of polishing. As I worked through this manuscript, I realized how much of me has snuck into the story. Divorced, Katie is trying to find purpose in her life. I remember feeling that way. I even wondered if the path Katie takes; running a B&B and having a romantic encounter on a narrowboat with a good-looking doctor, was my secret wish, except my doctor was the divorce part. The new historical romance series based on Sophie’s character from The Blue Pendant and Ruins in Silk is now in the outline stage. As soon as I learn more about nursing in the Great War and about Sophie, who lost her parents very young. An event that will influence her adult life, compounded by the horrors of a bloody war. How will Sophie react? After researching I will switch my brain into a creative mode and create a new series.
First Sentence to First Sale online course is on temporary hold as I get my smile fixed. The gap in my front teeth is more pirate-like and the lisp that comes with it not the impression I’m after. April 26th is the tentative release date.


Books I’m reading: I am enjoying Wayne Johnson’s book Last Snow, Last Light, he is a marvellous author for developing characters and taking you right inside their lives. But a slower read than the fanciful romances or Victorian mysteries and a nice change.

 

 

In nonfiction reading, I am still reading The Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Angela Akerman and Becca Puglisi’s. My focus is, as explained above, characters suffering psychological wounds in early life—Sophie losing her parents.

 

 


The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    Sarah’s Choice Book III

First in series The Blue Pendant  on sale on Amazon .99c

Anna’s Legacy and Sarah’s Choice E-book at all online retailers $4.99


Free e-book available Ruins in Silk prequel to the trilogy. A perfect summer afternoon read.

“Her mother’s death sets a path of tragedy; betrayal, misguided love and even murder ” 

Click to download free e-book

ARC – Readers Wanted for Susan’s Launch Team

ARC—Advanced Reader Copy is a pre-launch copy of a book.

I am looking for 10 – 15 readers who would like to be part of my Launch Team. As a privileged member of the launch team, you will receive an advanced e-copy of The Blue Pendant, a historical fiction; time period,1913 -1947. In return, Susan would greatly appreciate your help by writing a book review for the official launch day.

In a nutshell, the story is about a spirited young woman who defies tradition and seeks adventurous independence. Complicated by the love of two men, two world wars, two countries Britain and Canada; Anna struggles to follow her dreams over a period of three decades.

The novel will be available in the following format, Kindle, Kobo or PDF. Sorry, I am not able to provide advanced paper copies. The book is quite long, approximately 500 pages, so it is a time commitment. If you would like to join the advanced reader launch team, please fill out and submit your name and email address on the Contact Page and I will send you the details.


As you may gather, the launch date is getting closer. I find myself holding my breath thinking about it. But just this week I allowed myself to get a tiny-weeny bit excited. I received the Round 1 proof from the publisher and it looks like a book. I don’t have the cover yet, but that is coming soon.


Praise for Tellwell: I can’t believe my luck in finding this publisher in Victoria B.C., imagesTellwell Talent. I was quite nervous having heard conflicting stories about the publishing industry. I can’t praise Tellwell enough, for their reasonable prices, expert and friendly advice, plus the helpful, smart and efficient service. So far they have delivered on time, whether it’s a phone call, an email or proof copy. The owner Tim Lindsay took the time to answer all my questions before I signed up and has stood by all his answers. Kimberly, the lady who co-ordinates between the author and designer, is amazing. I may add I think there is something saintly about her personality because she is always pleasant, understanding and very patient. For those of you who are readers and not writers, I should explain that after spending months or even years writing a novel, authors get somewhat over protective and a tiny bit touch, about their work. It’s similar to a mother bear protecting her young. Grrr! Growl as you may, Kimberly greets you with reassurance, kind words and a smiling voice. All this to say I can highly recommend this company for anyone who is looking for assisted self-publishing. Contact Tellwell.  


Are you interested in historical fiction and love the Victorian and Edwardian era? Me too. Why not join Susan’s Readers Group?   A monthly chit-chat about books, authors, and reader trivia. If you would like to follow Anna and The Blue Pendant or the Blue Heron Mysteries. Click the FOLLOW BUTTON TO THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE and add your email address. Once a week the blog will be sent to your inbox.

Please feel free to share this blog with friends, or on social media but please remember the written content belongs to me. Copyright © Susan A. Jennings
Disclaimer: Please be aware that some the information in this blog, although factual in some incidences may have been fictionalized for the purpose of the story.

Back to School 1900 Style

Learning to write in 1900

Learning to write in the 1900s

In September 1900, Anna would be five years old and preparing to start school. In England, it was compulsory for children to attend school until they were 11 years old, which was later extended to 13. Anna’s middle-class parents would have been happy for her to stay in school as education was important, although not as important for girls as boys. In the lower classes, attending school would often be looked upon as a hardship for the family. The boys were needed to work and help the family with an extra wages or an extra pair of hands on the farm. Girls were frequently kept at home to help their mothers or look after young siblings, as a result, the absentee and truancy rate was high.


To celebrate September here is a delightful little poem with illustration called…In An Apple Tree from Marigold Garden by Kate Greenway, circa 1892. It is a little before Anna’s time but could easily have been one of her story books.

In An Apple Tree Poem by Kate Greenway circa 1892

In An Apple Tree Poem by Kate Greenway circa 1892

In An Apple Tree

In September, when the apples are red,
To Belinda I said,
“Would you like to go away
To Heaven, or stay
Here in this orchard full of trees
All your life?” And she said, “If you Please
I’ll stay here – where I know,
And the flowers grow.”

For other lovely old illustrations go to http://olddesignshop.com

Are you interested in historical fiction and love the Victorian and Edwardian era? Me too. Why not join Susan’s Readers Group? A monthly chit-chat featuring historical trivia, book reviews, (historical, modern and local authors), interviews, book and author news and a brief summary of the previous months author and writer’s blogs. Next issue September 2015. Susan’s Readers Group, join here.


If you would like to follow Anna and The Blue Pendant or the Blue Heron Mysteries. Click the FOLLOW BUTTON TO THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE and add your email address. Approximately once a week the blog will be sent to your inbox.


Please feel free to share this blog with friends, or on social media but please remember the written content belongs to me. Copyright © Susan A. Jennings.


Disclaimer: Please be aware that some the information in this blog, although factual in some incidences they have been fictionalized for the purpose of the story.

Bill – The Under-chef

The Sackville Hotel

The Sackville Hotel

Most of my recent blogs featuring The Blue Pendant have talked at great length about Anna, the protagonist. There are in fact three main characters, in the novel, Anna being the first main character but without the secondary characters, Bill and Alex, there would be no story.

Introducing Bill Blaine. Bill was born in Edinburgh, his father was a stable manager and his mother was the daughter of a duke. I know that is a bit of a tease–spoiler alert, I’ll say no more.

220px-William_Orpen_Le_Chef_de_l'Hôtel_Chatham,_Paris

A chef outfit worn in the early 1900s.

Bill arrived in Bexhill as the under-chef to Chef Louis, the head or master chef at The Sackville Hotel. During this era, schooling to learn a trade or craft was minimal. Most often people learned their craft through working under someone experienced, in Bill’s situation he would be an apprentice to a master chef. The ‘chefing’ business was a tough trade. Master or head chefs were often temperamental men with unrealistic expectations. Chef Louis was even more difficult than most.  A tyrant with an over zealous ego and a very bad temper. In today’s world he would be called a bully, an interesting character to dislike as the story unfolds. Quiet, tolerant Bill tries to takes it all in his stride, but there are times when Chef almost pushes him over the edge. To the right is a picture of a Parisian chef. The height of the chef’s hat shows his ranking. Bill’s hat would have been smaller and Chef Louis hat would have been very much taller.


Are you interested in historical fiction and love the Victorian and Edwardian era? Me too. Why not join Susan’s Readers Group .A monthly chit-chat featuring historical trivia, book reviews, (historical, modern and local authors), interviews, book and author news and a brief summary of the previous months author and writer’s blogs. Next issue August, 2015. Susan’s Readers Group, join here.


If you would like to follow Anna and The Blue Pendant or the Blue Heron Mysteries. Click the FOLLOW BUTTON TO THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE and add your email address. Once a week the blog will be sent to your inbox.

Please feel free to share this blog with friends, or on social media but please remember the written content belongs to me. Copyright © Susan A. Jennings

Bathing at an English Seaside 1900s Style

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

Family having fun

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

Courtesy of olddesignshop.com

Courtesy of olddesignshop.com

Typical men's bathing attire

Men’s bathing attire

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

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

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


Are you interested in historical fiction and love the Victorian and Edwardian era? Me too. Why not join su workbigcolour4ARMOUTCLEANpurpleribbonSusan’s Readers Group A monthly chit-chat featuring historical trivia, book reviews, (historical, modern and local authors), interviews, book and author news and a brief summary of the previous months author and writer’s blogs.  Next issue Aug 1, 2015. Susan’s Readers Group, join here.


If you would like to follow Anna and The Blue Pendant or the Blue Heron Mysteries. Click the FOLLOW BUTTON TO THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE and add your email address. Once a week the blog will be sent to your inbox.


Please feel free to share this blog with friends, or on social media but please remember the written content belongs to me. Copyright © Susan A. Jennings

Changing Fashion of 1900s Undies

OldDesignShop_July1900Designer1Free-149x300The Blue Pendant, my shortly to be released novel is progressing. It is a long process and I am sounding like a broken record for my regular readers, but it is coming, I promise. For those of you joining my author blog,  The Blue Pendant story begins in 1913 and the first (there is a sequel) story finishes in 1947. The story spans three decades, two continents and two world wars. Anna, the protagonist, a young woman of nineteen embarking on her life’s journey, is seeking independence and adventure, not an easy task for a woman in the early 1900s, although the world is changing, it is not always fast enough for petulant Anna.

Researching historical fiction is fascinating, not only the major events but how society evolved. Pertinent to The Blue Pendant was the period from the Victorian era into the Edwardian era, followed by the Great War.  Amongst other things women’s clothes changed in both style and modesty. It was important OldDesignShop_HerMajestysCorsetBWfor me to understand those changes. In 1913 Anna would not be wearing a mini skirt but skirt hems were getting shorter and showing a little bit of ankle was fashionable. She would have worn a corset of some kind but not as constrictive as her mother’s generation. Brassieres were introduced in 1908 as corsets became smaller but they were not widely worn, Anna’s wardrobe may or may not have included a brassiere but she would definitely have worn a camisole, a chemise and a pair of knickers (also known as bloomers or draws each with their own origin). Knickers came from knickerbockers, originally a loose-fitting garment for the lower body, worn by men often for sports activities. Women adopted the style as an undergarment and shortened the name to knickers. The reason we say a pair of knickers

A pair of knickers

or panties is because, pre 1900s, the undergarment was a separate pair of legs, open in the middle and joined with some form of tie at the waist. By 1900 knickers were trimmed with lace and made into one garment. In the UK the term knickers is still used to this day and the term panties, a derivative of pants is more commonly used in North America. For more details check out Tim Lambert’s A History of Women’s Underwear 


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If you would like to follow Anna and The Blue Pendant or the Blue Heron Mysteries. Click the FOLLOW BUTTON TO THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE and add your email address. Once a week the blog will be sent to your inbox.

Please feel free to share this blog with friends, or on social media but please remember the written content belongs to me. Copyright © Susan A. Jennings

Pictures that Inspire Stories

Pond Black Lake

A bright November Day by the Pond at Black Lake

Many of you are familiar with Hannah Wilton, a retired teacher come photographer, turned amateur sleuth who has a habit of ruffling the feathers of Detective Brindle. The latest story Murder in the Painting is due for release, I had hoped this month, but there has been a delay due to illness but it is coming soon.

Murder in the Painting is the eighth story of the Hannah and Tom Wilton series. The mysteries are always set at Blue Heron Cottage on the shores of  Black Lake and around Perth Ontario. Coming up with ideas can be a challenge. During a late season visit to Black Lake I took some photographs of the dreary November scenery only to discover that November was not as dreary as I thought.

Look closely at the photo. The rich blue sky is reflected on the thin ice of the pond.  The surrounding vegetation is displaying various tones of brown. It was this photo that inspired  the story. The protagonist Hannah, an amateur photographer, shot the photograph for  her friend and neighbour, artist Maggie who transforms it into a painting. Ultimately the photo inspires a story of intrigue, mayhem and murder with some very unsavory characters woven into the suspense of a mystery.

Blue Heron Mysteries – Book 2 – Four mystery stories including Murder in the Painting will be available in eBook format shortly. Blue Heron Mysteries – Book 1 is now available at Kobo and Kindle for details see Books eBooks and Stories.


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