Tag Archives: historical fiction

So, I Lied!

So, I lied! In last weeks blog, I said the writing course Get Rid of Page Fright – First Sentence to First Sale would be ready for release last Wednesday and that didn’t happen, for multiple reasons. However, drum roll please, it was released today. If you are a want-to-be, novice or struggling writer, I designed this course for you. Click for more details.  Okay, enough of the sales pitch, I just wanted to apologize for my poor timing. I almost forgot the launch special includes a 40% discount. Miss Penny is pawing at my knee to tell her story.

At last, Miss Penny speaking, they left me out of the blog last week, so I’m pleased to be back. It has been a boring week for me as the boss has been busy and not paying attention to me so I’ve played with my toys. I also learned to hide under the table. When Susan goes out she shoves me in this crate, it’s quite comfortable but I would rather have the run of the house, can you image the mischief…? There’s a box of shoes by the door I could chew those, I quite like books and there’s a lot of those around here and cords running all over the place. Um! Maybe I’m safer in the crate. Today’s picture is me, taking my toy to bed. Well, I’m only a year old, I like my toys.

Writing Updates: Working on research for Sophie so the writing for that book is stalled. But, I have started a new story, a Christmas novella, contemporary romance, at Katie’s Lavender Cottage B&B a feel nice Christmas story.

Books I’m Reading: Fiction: Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea is as great a read as I expected. The time slip, in and out of the early 1700s is so good, the history, the descriptions of Scotland’s rugged coast and the subtle romance are excellent.

Nonfiction: Research WW1 nothing specific

Writing Courses:  See above.

 

Writing Courses:  First Sentence to First Sale – Course OneGet Rid of Page Fright opens for registration next week, at noon (EST) on Sept 15, 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   

Disturbing Happenings!

Miss Penny speaking. I wanted to play today; I thought the boss would write the blog, as there’s a super promo on Kobo, 40% off all three books. See details below. However, she’s doing housework the Historical Writing Ladies are coming this afternoon. Our cleaning lady up and quit on us, no notice just quit, some people! Susan is washing floors. Psst! She hates housework, so she’s a bit cranky. She even told me my paws made the floors dirty. I find that hard to believe. Have you seen the size of my paws? Susan’s big toe is bigger than my paw. But it has been a stressful week. The jackhammer is back on the balcony, and next door and above and below.  The noise is horrendous and my hearing is a zillion times sharper than human hearing but there’s a bright side. Susan worries about me and I get to sit on her knee when she’s typing. This week was interesting, Susan was researching London bombings in the First World War and I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like for the dogs and cats living through Zeppelin attacks and bombs falling from the sky. Imagine your house disappearing into a mound of rubble, your owners trapped or hurt. I’d be so scared and if they were injured and taken to the hospital or worse killed, I’d be wondering the streets all alone. I can’t think about it, it’s too sad. I’m so grateful to have a good home but even in peace-time I know not all dogs are as lucky as me. That’s all from me this week. Have a playful week, I plan too. 

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

Writing Updates: The new outline for the Sophie series is complete and the writing is back on track, which means the scheduled Christmas release will go ahead as planned. 

Books I’m Reading: Fiction – I enjoyed Twenty-one Days by Anne Perry an excellent book. Now I’m reading Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight. It’s not an easy read but an interesting story and thought provoking, I’ll be more specific next week.

Nonfiction: – No specific book but historical research from all sources 

Writing Courses:First Sentence to First Sale – Course One is complete and will be uploaded to Teachable next week and open for pre-sale. Official released date August 31st.


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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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   

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Fuel for Stories!

Zoomed back into childhood; that happened to me this week. I was ten years old sitting in the dickie seat (a seat inside the boot/trunk of a sports car) of my dad’s grey Triumph Roadster with my friend Margaret, our hair blowing in the wind, waving, usually the royal wave, and giggling at the reaction from passersby. We felt very important. Pictures from Classic cars

One perk of writing historical fiction is the research, it can be boring on occasions but, more often than not, it’s intriguing and like my research this week it brings back memories. How I came across 1949 Triumph Roadsters when I was actually researching British cars in 1917, is a bit of a puzzle, no matter, because I love the happy memories. 

The 1917 car information was for my current book Sophie (working title). Carlos, Sophie’s lost-recently-found love is taking her to dinner in his car, a Model T Ford. Now, in 1917 personal cars were few as the War Office commandeered them for war services and the men who were the drivers, although that was changing, were fighting the Great War. Fuel, that would be petrol, was scarce and pretty much impossible to find for personal use. Another interesting fact I discovered was that gas, (the vapour kind not the North American word for petrol) was used as fuel. They attached a large inflatable balloon to the roof of the car or van, which fuelled the vehicle for short distances, the limit was about 30 miles. Um… not sure I would want to be driving around with explodable gas sitting on my head! Pictures from  BBC Schools 

Back to Sophie, Carlos is now, an orthopaedic surgeon, for those of you who read Ruins in Silk, you’ll remember he worked for Sophie’s father; we will catch up with his past life as the story unfolds. As a practising doctor, he would have a car and a petrol allowance, for emergency calls. Perhaps not intended for taking a lady to dinner, but if an emergency arose at the hospital while dining, he would need transportation.

If you would like to join Susan’s Reader’s Group online and receive a gift of the e-book Ruins in Silk. Click here or if you would prefer to purchase either an e-book or print book Click here

Writing Updates: The article above updates the progress of Sophie this week. However, I have interesting news about the contemporary romance Love’s Endings and Beginnings – A sweet romance novel – Heartbreak to second chance romance. My wonderful editor Meghan Negijn has worked her magic on the manuscript. I will correct it this week, write the front and back matter, design the cover and have it ready for you in a few weeks. 

Books I’m Reading…. Fiction – I am on the final leg of Elizabeth George, a new Inspector Lynley and DS Barbara Havers, mystery. I am finding this book very different from Ms George’s other Lynley books. There is a mystery, but it isn’t the main focus of the story. The story is more about the characters, in particular, DCS Isabelle Ardrey. The characters are well developed and interesting but for a 690-page book, I think I would like more mystery. Just my thoughts on The Punishment She Deserves 

Nonfiction – Not much reading this week mostly Google searches.


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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Jackhammer Guest

Imagine having a jackhammer in your apartment; believe me until you hear it you have no idea what it sounds like. That’s the sound I’ve been listening to most of this week—concrete balcony repairs are in progress. It starts about 8:15 a.m., a short break around 10 and another break around 1 p.m., finishing at 4:30 in the afternoon; Monday to Friday as long as the weather holds; they don’t work in rain or high winds, which makes sense swinging up into the heavens on a little wooden platform is dangerous enough.  Our twenty-one story building, The Britannia, perched at the top of a hill overlooks an expanse of park and the mighty Ottawa River. Even a mild wind is gale force around The Britannia but the jackhammers continue.  Although it is a relief when the wind gets too gusty and stops the jackhammers, it also means it will take longer to finish the job.  It is difficult to work with such a noise, but not impossible, it’s a case of adapting. My morning writing time, which is before the jackhammers, continues, but recording videos for the online writing course is on hold.

Novel writing progress has been slow to none existent; my time has been spent editing, the new contemporary sweet romance Endings and Beginnings, which is now ready for the professional edit. My submission Romance at Mr. Booker’s Bookshop for the Ottawa Independent Writers anthology submitted. Many of you have asked when my next novel will be out. I expect to have the first of the new Sophie series (working title) out before Christmas. 

Sophie Romano the protagonist from Ruins in Silk and the headmaid from The Blue Pendant is the heroine for this new series. Desperately in love with a man who loves another, Sophie leaves The Sackville Hotel. The new series follows Sophie to London where she trains as a nurse and deploys to France to nurse injured soldiers in the Great War. Amid, the terrible conditions of war Sophie finds romance and even a lost love from her youth. So readers, stay tuned for regular updates.

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 at the end of April. Click here for details


Books I’m reading: No change from last week, I’m still reading Anne Perry’s latest and for non-fiction Donald Maas’s The Emotion of Character.

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

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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

I’m Back!

I’m back…as one gets older and I’m not admitting to getting older, I find multitasking isn’t as easy as it was in my younger days. As a single parent of five kids, believe me, I know all about multitasking. However, the kids are long gone and it seems so have my multitasking skills. I had to take a break from blogging and The Sackville News and Updates to concentrate on completing Sarah’s Choice Book III of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy.

Drum roll please drrrrrrr……Last weekend I put the last period in the last sentence of the last chapter of the manuscript. followed by a few revisions and yesterday I hit the send button and off it went to Mark, my wonderful editor. I am happy to say we are on track for a December 1st launch of Sarah’s Choice. Look out for news, previews of the cover and giveaways as the launch comes closer.

As I hit that last period I had mixed emotions. I have spent many, many hours with

Bexhill Train Station Photo courtesy of www.postcards/bexhill

Anna. We meet at The Sackville Hotel in 1913, she is a young innocent woman of nineteen, challenging societies proprieties of marrying as she seeks adventure and independence. I laugh with her, cry with her, rejoice and celebrate and fall in love; through all the ups and downs of business and love, lots of love romantic and family until she reaches her seventies and passes the hotel to others. No spoilers!


Click the titles to buy  The Blue Pendant Book I   or  Anna’s Legacy Book II    

 

More details and read the synopsis of Anna’s journey. Warning…could cause sleep deprivation.

 


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 e-book

Don’t miss out on The Sackville Hotel updates news. Cross my heart, I promise no spam.  I hate it too. Join here 

Readers, Books and Signings

Don’t miss the Book signing – Anna’s Legacy  – Aug 25  Free book with purchase. Details below

Long before I was a writer I was an avid reader. As a kid, growing up in Britain, I devoured Enid Blyton’s books especially anything that was in a series; it was and still is, like reading the never-ending book. I also remember the thrill of meeting a celebrity, lining up in a bookstore to have a book signed by the author and if you were lucky, and the line wasn’t too long, you talked to the author. Obviously, I’m talking about print books. Does anyone else like to feel the glossy smoothness of the cover as they take in the meaning of the cover design giving you clues about what’s inside? How about the sound of the pages flipping and breathing in the new book fragrance.  If you think about it a new book evokes all our senses, see, touch, hear, smell and feel and that is before you even start reading. You can’t do that with an e-book. Don’t get me wrong, I read some books on an e-reader and I publish e-book; there is a place for all types of books. However you cannot have the physical connection with an e-book, so you miss the anticipation, preparation for a pleasant afternoon read. On the flip side, I can store a whole library of books in my e-reader. For example, I have a wall of bookshelves in my study; if I was so inclined I could store most of them in my 6 x 8-inch e-reader and not just store them but carry them wherever I wanted to go. But stored in a device I cannot see them touch them, hear them or smell them. On the bookshelf, I can do all that every day and as many times a day as I like. Did I mention, my passion, collecting books.

Please join me….Book Signing  

 Aug 25th – 11 am – 2 pm at Coles Book Store, Billings Bridge Shopping Centre (Riverside and Bank)

Buy a signed copy of Anna’s Legacy Book II of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy and get a FREE paper copy of the prequel Ruins in Silk. (Limted to 1st 10 customers)

Also a bonus unlimited  free e-book download 

Enjoy flipping the pages and awakening your reading senses. I look forward to meeting you, chatting, signing and answering questions about the trilogy and my writing.


Don’t miss out on The Sackville Hotel updates news. Cross my heart, I promise no spam.  I hate it too. Join here 


 The Blue Pendant Book I     Anna’s Legacy Book II    

The equivalent of 900 pages for less than $10 keep turning the pages all summer long. Warning…could cause sleep deprivation.

Also a prequel Ruins in Silk


Don’t miss out on The Sackville Hotel updates news. Cross my heart, I promise no spam.  I hate it too. Join here  

 

Anna’s Legacy – Kobo Feature

April 1st, I am looking out of my window at snow, and this is no April fools joke. Last week’s blog, On The Cusp of Spring, was meant to imply winter was over. So depressing and to be honest it is hard to be upbeat but I will try to be grateful for two things today. 1: Sarah’s Inheritance (working title) Book III is well underway and 2. Kobo has included Anna’s Legacy in their new and promising book promotion.

 

I am grateful that Kobo is featuring Anna’s Legacy Book II of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy for the next two weeks, which will lead into the official launch at the end of April, details will be announced through Susan’s Reader Group email. Click to register.

Here is the introduction to Anna’s Legacy.

Anna’s Legacy: Book II of The Sackville Hotel Trilogy opens a new chapter in Anna’s life. While the first book in the trilogy, The Blue Pendant, was inspired by real events in the lives of Anna, Bill and Alex, Anna’s Legacy takes that foundation in an entirely fictional direction and none of the stories presented in this book are founded in any way upon real events. Anna’s Legacy continues Anna’s journey and although the story could be a standalone, it is written as a sequel with minimal explanations of the events preceding the start of this novel. Therefore, it is recommended that the books be read in order. I had fun writing Anna’s Legacy and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Whether it’s a review, an email or a comment, I always appreciate hearing from my readers. Without readers, I would not be an author. I love chatting about my characters, those that you like and engage with and those that you loathe—Mr. Pickles, comes to mind as the most hated character in The Blue Pendant.

My email address and comment box can be found on my websites: Book Clubs: A Reader’s Guide and Questions for Discussion can be found at the www.susanajennings.com under Book Clubs.

Book News! Free e-book – Prequel to The Sackville Hotel Trilogy – Ruins in Silk is available from KOBO. Book I – The Blue Pendant and Book II – Anna’s Legacy book II is currently featured on Kobo.