Rest for the Creative Mind

Charleston Lake 3

Cottage at Charleston Lake

A writer’s mind is always creating, at least mine is and I’m quite sure I’m not alone. I can’t help myself, I see an old building, an unusual person or a lost dog and imagine their story. I travel Eastern Ontario delivering books to small towns near Ottawa. Last week I was in Smiths Falls delivering  to a delightful store, The Loft, www.artisanloft.ca well worth a visit. I parked in front of an old boarded up hotel. Wow! Can you imagine the stories that place could tell? Then I drove on to Perth, my favourite Ontario town and delivered books to The Book Nook, a perfect destination for book lovers. Later I relaxed with a coffee and Eccles cake in the famous Stewart Park, (if you know what an Eccles cake is, send me a comment and I’ll send you a story) more fodder for my creative mind, two golden retrievers playing in the River Tay as it meandered through green grass. I spotted an old woman dressed unconventionally pounding a long walking stick with every purposeful stride, a terrific character. What was her story?
All this outside creating is going on while I’m writing and creating books. There comes a point when not even the tiniest idea can squeeze into my head and what’s even more disturbing is nothing creative comes out. Devastating! But it is temporary. The answer is a change of scene and rest and the best way for me to rest is to read someone else’s creation.

Charleston Lake

Charleston Lake

No blog last week, I was resting at a cottage on Charleston Lake at Sharon and Ed’s Cam’s Camp with friend Debbie Stenson. My intention was to write but my mind said no, it’s time to read, which I did and I can highly recommend two of my reading choices.
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman A début novel, set at a remote Australian lighthouse, absolutely fabulous an unusual story of how one decision can affect so many lives. Five stars from me.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain I was hooked by this author with her novel The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun is as good if not better. The story of Beryl Markham a famed aviator, set in colonial Kenya in the ’20s, the descriptions are breathtaking and the story of a young woman’s unconventional up bring riveting. Definitely five stars

Well rested and writing again. You will be pleased to hear The New Sackville Hotel is in the editing process and my mind is already moving to the next, the third novel in the saga (not counting the prequel Ruins in Silk). Yes, there is another one, couldn’t get everything into this last one so the saga will continue. And wait for it — Poised for a new series, Ruins in Silk following Sophie Romano as she serves as a nurse in The Great War. Next year perhaps.

The Blue Pendant and Ruins in Silk are now available at the following locations:
The Loft, Davidson Courtyard 7 Russel St West Smiths Falls
The Book Nook 60 Gore St East Perth
Arnprior Book Shop, John St N Arnprior

Event – Reading and signing at Coles Billings Bridge Aug 12 from 11 am – 2 pm 

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Readers in Waiting

Readers in Waiting!

Last evening I was at a friend’s house celebrating Canada’s 149th birthday, watching the fireworks shoot high above Ottawa’s Parliament Hill from a strategically placed balcony.

Where's the next book?

Where’s the next book?

Sipping drinks and munching party snacks the conversation turned to books and reading. As an author, I am passionate about books and writing as well as reading. Listening to my friends last night their passion was books and reading–a subtle difference. I know how important it is for the reader to like or dislike characters whether they are good or bad. I think the most talked about character in The Blue Pendant is the dastardly Mr. Pickles, a horrible man. In this case, you as the reader want to see justice done. Sometimes it doesn’t happen in book one but you want more and the series is born with readers in waiting.

sackvillehistory1 copy

The New Sackville Hotel

Readers in Waiting, the passion, and patience of waiting for the next book in a series. I’m listening. My fingers are dancing across the keyboard to get The Blue Pendant sequel to you by this fall. I have a title The New Sackville Hotel and as the title indicates Anna is back at the hotel, which she now owns with Bill. Will Mr. Pickles show his face? Maybe, maybe not and I’m not telling, but evil lurks in strange corners!

 

Introverted Writer

Peaceful Reading and Writing!

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Arowhon Pines Resort Algonquin Park

If you have a general impression that writers are introverted you would be right 75% of the time. I would put myself close to the recluse category at times. After a very busy May with a wonderful visit from my mother, (96 years old who traveled from Britain to Canada, just an amazing lady) and the release of Ruins in Silk, I was ready to crawl under a rock.

Writer’s retreat to the rescue, I spent two days at Brian Henry’s retreat with fellow writers at the Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park. It is so beautiful I booked in for the whole week. Oh my goodness, I have found my piece of heaven. First of all, let me make it clear, I don’t camp, but I do enjoy nature; waking up in the morning and staring at a glassy lake, the mist rising pink in the sunrise, perfect, as long as it accompanied by fluffy pillows, a warm duvet and an ensuite bathroom, five-star food with silver service and kind wonderful staff to take care of you. Well, Arowhon Pines delivered all of that and more. Reading: Like most writers, I am also an avid reader and consumed two novels,  Blood on the Water by my absolute favourite author Anne Perry and Canadian novel The Piano Maker by Kurt Palka.

How much writing did I accomplish? Tons and tons! Without the internet, cell phone or even a landline, I wrote and wrote inspiration just poured out and The New Sackville Hotel , the sequel to The Blue Pendant, is finished, much work left to do but I expect it to be on book shelves by October.

Good Morning, Mr Heron!

Good Morning, Mr Heron!

Nature! While I was writing I saw muskrats, beavers, mama loon on her nest and others calling and swimming on the lake. I love loons, perhaps my favourite water bird. Several moose including a cow with a calf and one morning I opened my eyes to see a blue heron walking stealthily right in front of my window. Next year, yes I booked for next year, I am going to take a canoe out and battle the black flies on the trails. And work on book four, I just couldn’t fit everything into the sequel.


New easy to remember one click Amazon link for

My author page:  viewAuthor.at/SusanAJennings

Ruins in Silk: getbook.at/ruinsinsilk

The Blue Pendant:  getbook.at/thebluependant

Launch of the prequel Ruins in Silk

Ruins in Silk the long-awaited prequel to The Blue Pendant.  getbook.at/ruinsinsilk

It is 1906. Sophie Romano is 12 years old, standing with her parents waiting for the train that would take them on the first leg of a journey from Lucca, Italy to Derby, England. Her excitement belies the many tragedies that are about to affect her young life.

Cover_FrontThe Romano brothers—her father, Alberto and uncle, Roberto—are experts in sericulture, the cultivation of silk. Alberto, a driven businessman, is bent on making Romano Silk a household name in Edwardian Britain; Roberto’s passion is nurturing the silk worms on the Italian family farm.

The first, of many, tragedy that face Sophie upon her arrival in Britain, is the sudden death of her mother resulting in a close bond with her father as he grooms her to be his successor in the silk mill.

British societies are scrambling to wear Romano silk, including King Edward VII, which is elevating the business to great heights. But all is not well, either in Italy or Britain. Disloyal foreman Sid Forester is inciting rebellion and threatening both Alberto and Sophie. The devious Monsieur Dubois, a competitor, is seeking the Romano secrets and an unexpected connection contrives to ruin the mill. Roberto’s weaknesses, mismanagement and gangster connections bring Sophie and Alberto back to Lucca. Just 16 and in love, Sophie is teetering on the brink of an enormous tragedy that she may not survive.

Ruins in Silk, coming soon!

The Prequel to The Blue Pendant. I have a treat coming in late February. A neat little novella called Ruins in Silk. If you haven’t read The Blue Pendant, don’t worry,  Ruins in Silk is a stand-alone story. If you have read The Blue Pendant it will take you behind the scenes.

Lombes Silk Mill Derby England. Now a heritage building. As it looks today. Until recently it was a museum but is currently closed. The fictitious Romano Silk Mill was based on this mill.

Lombes Silk Mill Derby England. Now a heritage building as it looks today. Until recently the mill was a museum but is currently closed. The fictitious Romano Silk Mill was based on this mill that sits on the banks of the River Derwent.

Do you remember Anna’s friend Sophie Romano?

Sophie is the main character in Ruins in Silk. The story begins in Lucca Italy in 1906 on the Romano family’s silk farm, where Sophie was born and grew up. Her family moved to Derby England to make fine silk at the Derby silk mill. The farm and later the silk mill prosper, making silk for royalty including King Edward V11, until tragedy strikes. A story of loss, heartbreak and courage, and how Sophie starts a new life as a maid at The Sackville Hotel and ultimately meets Anna Neale, the main character from The Blue Pendant.

More details on how to purchase The Blue Pendant or Susan’s stories.

What people are saying…….

The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant

Angela said,  “Better than Downton Abbey! From the moment I opened The Blue Pendent I knew I was in for a ride……”

Sally said, “A brilliant read.……. I was totally engaged…..”

Audrey said, “….I’m so happy I didn’t miss the Blue Pendant. It’s an absolute winner. 

Trade paperback and ebooks available from Amazon.ca, and all Amazon sites. Chapters.ca, Kobo and all online book retailers.

To keep up with the news, excerpts, interviews and newly released books. Please subscribe to Susan’s Reader Group News for periodic updates and news.

Please post your comments I really do love to hear from you.

A short story for New Years Eve!

Gillian'sGhostlyDilemma72dpi copyGet it now on Kobo – FREE DOWNLOAD FINISHES TODAY DECEMBER 31st 

Gillian’s Ghostly Dilemma – A gripping short story.

Killed in a car accident that was no accident, Gillian hovers between this world and the next. She knows who murdered her. Can her broken-hearted husband and son catch the killer before it’s too late?

On other devices, click here Free download until December 31, 2015

 

Excerpt from The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant

The Blue Pendant

THE BLUE PENDANT – A historical novel and love story that spans an ocean from Britain to Canada.

Here’s a sneak preview of the cover. The official launch will take place in Ottawa during the first week of December. Details to follow.
The Blue Pendant will be available in print and e-book format from all book retailers worldwide at the beginning of December. If you would like to pre-order please go to Susan’s contact page


READ AN EXCERPT TODAY!

 

The Blue Pendant – Excerpt from Chapter One:  Anna has arrived at the staff entrance of The Sackville Hotel, Carter is taking her to meet her peers, the hotel staff………..

…………..Carter’s change in tone, kind but firm, perplexed her. She was proud of her Uncle Bertie’s association with Mr. Pickles, and her position was superior. She mused, was that bragging? She had the feeling Carter was giving her a warning.
Entering through the back door, Carter led her through a warren of passageways; Anna felt akin to Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The hot, damp, smell of wet linen mixed with soap and carbolic, filled the hallway, followed by an unexpected hint of lavender and rose-water wafting from an open door. Steam swirled around a young maid as she ironed. Anna gave a shudder—a memory better forgotten. The quietness and lack of people felt odd. As if Carter had anticipated her query, he said, “It’s tea time. They’s in the staff dining hall.”
The laundry smell faded and the pleasant aromas of roasting meat, onions and some kind of baking filled Anna’s nostrils, making her aware that she hadn’t eaten since an early breakfast. Approaching a door opposite the kitchen she heard a man’s harsh voice, she felt herself recoil Continue reading

Blue Heron Mystery Books 1 & 2

fireworksNovember 5th is Guy Fawkes Day in Britain. He’s the guy who was part of the Gunpowder Plot intending to blow up the British Houses of Parliament in 1605. He was arrested under the House of Lords guarding a considerable amount of explosives. Grateful that the life of their monarch, James 1st, had been saved, the people of London celebrated by lighting bonfires all over London and the tradition continues even to this today, and ironically fireworks are a big part of the celebration.


 

BlueHeron MysteriesBK2 -300I don’t plan to blow anything up, but I do feel like celebrating and with a bang. Launched today  Blue Heron Mysteries Book 2, on Kobo (sorry not on Kindle yet) $2.99

Jealousy among artists leads to a gruesome murder, spiteful rumours and vengeful families lead to lost friendship, and tragedy. Husband Tom tolerates Hannah’s inquisitive and suspicious mind as she is challenged to solve each crime. But local Detective Brindle is not so forgiving.

New Release Download.

Blue Heron Mysteries by Susan Jennings


My celebratory offering is a free download of

Blue Heron Mysteries Book 1

A gruesome murder, a little girl kidnapped, puzzling thefts and illicit drugs are all crimes that sweet, curly grey haired Hannah’s inquisitive and suspicious mind is challenged to solve in Blue Heron Mysteries Book 1

Get your complimentary e-book


Next week: Fingers crossed, a launch date for The Blue Pendant.  More character interviews and interesting historical facts coming.


Susan’s Readers Group News has moved to a new upgraded service, you may notice some differences. We are now able to offer giveaways and free books. If you would like to be part of this group please sign up. We are now back on track with 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 November 7th


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Disclaimer: Please, be aware that this blog has factual and fictionalized content.