So This Happened…

Last month, I celebrated The Mannequin topping over 1,000 reviews/ratings on Amazon. This month, Duke of a Gilded Age has amassed 2,426 reviews/ratings. Also, Jessamine’s Folly has 2,328 ratings/reviews.

Although I love to write, my goal has always been to always to reach as many people as possible. I am glad to have a concrete way to measure that goal and, as always, I’m thankful for my readers.

~ Suzanne

A Cause for Celebration

When I first began publishing, every new review meant my books were being noticed and read. Of course, being new meant my reviews numbered in the single digits or, occasionally, a dozen or so. A few of my books still number in the single digits, actually, all these years later.

Some fellow authors of my acquaintance had amassed an unheard of number of reviews in jaw-dropping numbers…eight hundred and more. A sizable number of reviews was a badge of honor in the writing community, and I wanted to earn that badge. Since I was not a New York Times Bestselling Author, how was such a feat to be achieved?

At that time, I learned the most achievable way to get a sizable number of reviews was to advertise with BookBub. My first BookBub feature was for Larken, back in June of 2015. When I applied for the Featured Deal, Larken only had 28 reviews and I was certain it would be rejected. To my shock, it was accepted for a Featured Deal and did very well for me in many ways. Not only did readers leave reviews, but many went on to buy my other books. As of this writing, Larken has 831 ratings on Amazon–a number I could only dream about in 2015.

I’m all about celebrating achievements, small and large. Therefore, I would like to raise my glass in a toast to The Mannequin–the first of my books to have over 1,000 reviews. As of this writing, The Mannequin has earned 1,178 ratings on Amazon.

Thank you to my readers, for sticking with me.

~ Suzanne

New Release! The Glass Heart

I’m very happy to announce the publication of my latest historical romance, The Glass Heart.

Blurb: After Merrill’s widowed mother becomes engaged to an earl, the fate of their respective estates hangs in the balance. A battle of wits ensues when the earl’s arrogant son shows up to make demands. Despite their prickly start, once Merrill discovers she and the viscount have both been painfully crossed in love, she begins to feel a measure of empathy. Unfortunately for their burgeoning relationship, a tempestuous drama threatens to tear them apart forever.


Merrill lifted her chin as she strode toward the house. As she approached the drawing room, she was dismayed to hear the sound of piano music — a song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers.

“Cheeky devil,” she muttered.

Despite her irritation, Merrill plastered a serene smile to her lips as she sailed into the room. A young man was sitting at the baby grand piano and she was obliged to raise her voice to be heard. “Excuse me?”

Lord Wharton broke off playing and rose to his feet. “You must be Miss Cawthorne? Good afternoon.” He picked up a snifter of amber liquid from the piano lid and lifted it up as if in a toast. “Thank you for making me feel welcome here at Ravenell.”

Despite his words, the man’s eyes glittered with obvious and inexplicable dislike.

“If I have made you feel welcome, it was entirely inadvertent.” Merrill returned his glare with one of her own. “You’ve not been invited, so what is the meaning of this intrusion?”

“Forgive me but I have been invited — by your mother,” With his left hand, Lord Wharton extricated a letter from his jacket pocket. “This letter of introduction is addressed to you.”

As Merrill crossed the room to pluck the letter from his fingers, he swirled the amber liquid with appreciation. “I usually don’t drink before dinner, but this brandy is lovely.”

She bristled. “It’s Armagnac from Gascony, and it’s a very rare vintage.”

“Mmm.” He took a long swallow. “C’est magnifique.”

Merrill discovered the letter was in her mother’s hand and did indeed appear to be a letter of introduction. She read the entire missive through twice before glancing at her unwanted guest.

“You are Lord Seacombe’s son, then.” Merrill gritted her teeth. “I am to show you every courtesy.”

Lord Wharton bowed. “I am delighted to meet you, Miss Cawthorne — or should I call you sister?”

“We are not related yet, so Miss Cawthorne will do.” She peered at him. “Why have you come?”

He put the snifter down so hard she thought he might have broken the stem. “In contemplation of marriage to your mother, my father may sell his estate out from under me.”

“That’s unfortunate, sir, but what does that have to do with me?”

He fixed her with his gaze. “In contemplation of marriage to my father, your mother may sell Ravenell instead.”

Merrill gasped. “What? No!”

“It will be one or the other. Neither my father nor your mother have decided yet.”

“That’s not possible.”

“It is not only possible, but from what I overheard, they have indicated the sale of one estate is a certainty.” Lord Wharton’s eyes narrowed. “If we do not find a way to stop this travesty of a union, one of us will be deprived of our home.”

“I’m not sure what you expect me to do.”

“Tell your mother to break her engagement.”

“You’re mad! I would never presume to tell my mother what to do.” Merrill frowned. “If you are so determined, why don’t you make your demands to your father?”

“My father keeps his own counsel.”

“So does my mother!”

“In that case, we are at an impasse — for now. In the meantime, I intend to acquaint myself with Ravenell. For all I know, I will be living here before long.”

“What a ghastly notion.”

Lord Wharton raised an eyebrow. “I couldn’t agree more.”

The Glass Heart is available at Amazon, in both ebook and paperback format. Happy reading!

Upcoming Release #Sale


After Merrill’s widowed mother becomes engaged to an earl, the fate of their respective estates hangs in the balance. A battle of wits ensues when the earl’s arrogant son shows up to lodge his objection. Despite their prickly start, once Merrill discovers she and the viscount have both been painfully crossed in love, she begins to feel a measure of empathy. Unfortunately for their burgeoning friendship, a tempestuous drama threatens to tear them apart forever.

The Glass Heart will be published for the Kindle on October 25, 2022 for $2.99, but you can pre-order it HERE at a special low price of $00.99. The paperback version is available now!

Thank you for your support!

Paperback Blow Out

Do you remember when you could buy paperback novels for less than five bucks? Well, Amazon is having a sale on three of my paperbacks. Since this pricing is not my doing, I have no idea how many copies are available at these prices or how long the “sale” will last. I’ve heard from other authors that Amazon is selling some of their paperbacks at extraordinary prices as well, so it might be a good idea to check out your favorite independent authors, just to see if bargains can be had.

Links: Ruse & RomanceThe Ice Captain’s DaughterMy Fair Guardian

Happy Hunting!

Stepping Outside the Zone

For an independent author, marketing my work is challenging and often perplexing. In the early days of BookBub, if an author could snag a featured deal, the exposure would be enough to buoy him or her into the stratosphere for months or longer. These days, however, even the magic of BookBub can flag, and marketing books has become increasingly hit and miss.

Reader expectations are always on my mind when I’m writing a new book. I try not to stress about bad reviews, but I do often glean insight when readers say what they did or did not enjoy. My latest release, The Prettier Sister, seemed to satisfy readers who liked a certain measure of snappy repartee between the hero and heroine as well as a happy ending. The book has been well received and I’m glad.

Since I don’t like to get caught writing the same story over and over again, I will occasionally step outside my zone. I usually set my historical romance in England, but I have written two historical romances set entirely in America.

How did those books sell?

They fell flat.

I’m referring to Rumer Has It (set in Charleston, SC) and An American in Paris of the West (set in Virginia and San Francisco). Both books were liked by the readers who left reviews on Amazon (4.5 rating for RHI and 5.0 rating for AAIPOTW), but neither book performed to my expectations sales-wise.

So, what is an author to do?

Shall I stay in my lane or continue to try new things? Can an author ever tempt her readers into trying something different? Let me know what you think. ~ Suzanne

New Release on Deck! The Prettier Sister

Tired of being unfavorably compared to her beautiful younger sister, Melanie travels to a distant city for a lengthy visit with her stylish aunt. She throws herself into volunteer work and settles into her new life—only to get caught trespassing on Lord Peyton’s neighboring property. Lord Peyton is the most arrogant, aggravating, conceited, and condescending man she’s ever met, but women seem to fall at his feet. As Melanie and Lord Peyton work together to help a local orphanage, will the cold enmity between them ever thaw?

The Prettier Sister is a standalone novel that shares a common world with the Mannequin Series. Pre-order now for a release on July 26th. Keep reading for an excerpt…

When she arrived at the small grove, she peered at the burgeoning fruit. As she had suspected, it would probably be another month before it was ready to pick. She sighed with disappointment — only to spot a gooseberry shrub nearby. Melanie gasped with delight and hastened over to pluck a handful of green berries. An abundance of sour flavor exploded on her tongue, and she wiggled with delight. She filled her mouth with as many berries as her cheeks could hold and then turned to scamper back to the lane.

A tall man stood in her way, his arms akimbo, and she froze.

His dark wavy hair fell loose about his face and shoulders, and he wore a linen shirt open to the waist. It appeared as if he’d paid as little attention to his attire that morning as had Melanie, but his state of dishabille lent him an air of danger whereas she looked like a ragamuffin.

He glowered. “You’re too old to be scrumping, wouldn’t you say?”

Since her mouth was full of fruit she could not respond. As she chewed and swallowed, a flush of embarrassment made her face feel as if it were on fire. Finally, she managed to clear her throat.

“Er…you should always pick the outside berries on a gooseberry shrub and prune the branches to gain the best crop.”

He looked at her askance. “So you’ve done me a favor?”

The scathing note in his voice stiffened her spine. “No, of course not, but you needn’t be so resentful. I’ve done little harm.”

“You’re a trespasser.”

Her temper flared. “I apologize for treading upon your hallowed property, sir! I am utterly and completely in the wrong and it won’t happen again.”

Melanie stomped past the man in a fury, made her way back to the split-rail fence, and climbed over. When she glanced over her shoulder, she discovered the man had actually followed her, as if to make sure she left.

With gritted teeth, she leaped over the ditch once more, and made her way up the lane. As she turned into her aunt’s drive, she refused to look back. If the nasty man wished to see where she lived, she could not stop him. No doubt he would complain about her to Aunt Ginny.


From Friday, July 1st through Friday, July 8th, Book One in The Mannequin Series is on sale for $00.99 at Amazon.

Blurb: When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair…only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

The Mannequin has 523 Five-Star Ratings at Amazon and is one of my bestselling novels.

I’d also like to keep you updated on the progress of my next release. The manuscript is with the editor as we speak and I imagine it will be released into the wild before the end of July. It’s a standalone historical romance set in 1886 England, but it has a shared universe with The Mannequin series. That means you’ll see some crossover characters you’ll recognize right away. Stay tuned for a release date and pre-order information!


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