Tag Archives: Suzanne G. Rogers

Eating Elephants and Writing Grace Unmasked

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”

– U.S. Army General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.

sgrmannequin6x9How do you write a sequel to a popular book that’s sure to please everyone? You can’t, of course. When I planned the sequel to my bestselling book The Mannequin, however, I re-read the reviews to get an idea what readers enjoyed most. Ultimately, I concluded that lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. I didn’t want to tell the same story a slightly different way, so I vowed to begin fresh. Easier said than done!

Pygmalion by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1786

You see, when I wrote The Mannequin, I didn’t start out to write a novel based on Cendrillon (Cinderella), La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast), or Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. As the story unfolded, however, I wove in some familiar elements, hoping to strike an emotional chord. In the development of Grace Unmasked, however, I wanted to draw on other inspiration. I chose the mythological figure of Pygmalion, a sculptor who falls in love with his creation. Many 20th Century plays, musicals, and movies have been written about Pygmalion, most notably George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the musical My Fair Lady, and even Gigi.

Actress Mary Anderson as Galatea (1883)

Since Grace Unmasked is set in 1883, I had to find a version of Pygmalion written early enough to warrant a mention in the narrative. I chose Pygmalion and Galatea, a play written by W.S. Gilbert. (Download a .pdf copy from Boise State University website HERE). The three-act blank verse production opened at the Haymarket Theatre in December, 1871, was quite popular, and sparked many imitations. Although Grace Unmasked is not a retelling of the myth, I touch upon a similar theme.

One other interesting aspect of Grace Unmasked is its length. I’d wanted it to be longer than The Mannequin (over 64,000 words), but I hadn’t planned for it to exceed 96,000 words!  As Abe Lincoln said, when asked how long a man’s legs should be, “Long enough to reach the ground.” I wrote until the story was done…for the most part. That is to say, there are a few characters who might warrant a third book in the series. 😀

~ Suzanne


Blurb: On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked is available for pre-order at a special price HERE. Release date Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Excerpt from Grace Unmasked

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVERWhen Henley entered the breakfast room, he was somewhat startled to see a young lady standing in front of window, looking out at the garden view. He’d known Miss Fiddick would be joining him for breakfast, but he hadn’t pictured her looking quite so fetching from the back. She turned as he cleared his throat, and gave him a beaming smile. Dressed as she was the day before, he hadn’t noticed her even white teeth, tiny waistline, or clear blue eyes. Albeit grudgingly, he acknowledged to himself the girl had possibilities. It was a shame her charms would be wasted as the wife of some country farmer or school teacher. Inwardly he shrugged. Never had anyone’s business been less his problem.

“Good morning. How are you feeling?”

“With the help of liniment, I should survive.”

“I’m very glad.” He gestured toward the chafing dishes and platters of food set up on the sideboard nearby. “I hope you’re hungry.”

“Indeed, I am.” She glanced at his arm. “May I help you with your plate?”

“That’s very thoughtful, but Morris will assist me.”

After they were settled at the table, the girl began spouting a long list of things she admired about his lifestyle, including indoor lavatories, hot water, and milled soap. Then came an equally long litany of gratitude, from his leniency regarding her deception, to the kindly ministrations of Ursula, and thereafter for her clothes. He let her conversation flow past, unheeded, as he ate the egg dish Mrs. Evans had prepared.

“Lord Henley, had you heard the quagga has gone extinct?”

He glanced up. “What?”

“The last one in the entire world just died in Amsterdam. It’s rather sad, really.”

His eyebrows drew together. “The quagga, did you say?”

“Yes. It’s a species of zebra, native to South Africa.”

“I’ve not heard of it.”

“I rather doubted you had.”

Her tone held a note of reproach, and he chuckled. “I suppose this is your way of pointing out I’ve been neglecting you?”

“I’d never dream of making such an accusation.”

“No, of course not, but you’re right. You should know that I’m exceedingly absorbed with myself. It’s a personal failing of mine.”

She gave him a little smile. “I shan’t let you off that easily; I expect I was prattling on.” She shrugged. “I’ve no idea how to converse with a baron.”

“Neither do I, actually. Whenever I talk to myself, it’s usually about the weather.”


Blurb: On the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked • Book Two of The Mannequin Series is available HERE for pre-order at the special price of $0.99.  Release date: May 31, 2016.


RONE Nominee Needs Your Vote

GiftforFionaSGRInD’Tale Magazine’s annual RONE awards are in the voting phase, and A Gift for Fiona needs your vote! The book is nominated in Week Four (May 9 – 15, 2016), under the category Young Adult General, and the author name listed is S.G. Rogers. You must be logged in to your account to vote, so if you’re not already registered, why don’t you take a moment to sign up? It’s free, and you’ll receive a beautiful monthly online magazine listing reviews and articles on all different literary genres. The Week Four link is HERE, so don’t wait! Thanks in advance for your support. 😀

~ Suzanne


Grace Unmasked • The Mannequin Book Two

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVEROn the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

This sweet Victorian sequel to The Mannequin will be published on May 31st, 2016, but is available to pre-order at the special price of $0.99 HERE.

#Freebie • Sweet Victorian Romance LARKEN

RWS_Tarot_13_DeathThe deadline to pay the taxman cometh in the USA on Monday, April 18, but be of good cheer! Even as your bank account empties, your Kindle can fill with a freebie. From Sunday, April 17 through Tuesday, April 19, my sweet Victorian romance, Larken, is absolutely free.

LARKENSGRBlurb: The sole survivor of a train accident, young Larken Burke is dubbed the Miracle Orphan. Four years later, however, her life is far from fortunate. Because of her emotional and physical scars, she believes she’s not marriageable. With little hope for the future, she agrees to wed a gentleman she’s never met. Unfortunately, his aloof manner proves difficult to bear.

Marked by romantic tragedy and the loss of his brother, Brandon King has forsworn marriage. Obliged to take in a ward, he advertises for a bride to raise the boy. Since the union is to be a marriage in name only, his criteria are youthful age, a certain level of intellect, good breeding, and that the girl shouldn’t be so ill-favored she would embarrass him in society. To his dismay, he gets more than he’d bargained for.

Will it take a miracle for Mr. and Mrs. King to fall in love, or is their marriage another accident waiting to happen?

Go HERE to get your freebie, and don’t forget that review!


APOLLOSGRGraceling Hall Series

The sequel to Larken is Lord Apollo & the Colleen.

Blurb: Five years after his supposed death, Theo King has returned to Graceling Hall…but a mystery remains. A stranger is buried in his grave, and nobody knows if his death was accidental…or murder. As Theo resumes his former life, the dead man’s sister shows up on his doorstep to hold him accountable. If he helps this Irish spitfire solve the mystery, will she finally leave him in peace?

Lord Apollo & the Colleen is available HERE.

#Freebie • RUSE & ROMANCE

(c) Ales Krivec/courtesy of Unsplash

April showers bring May flowers, so they say, but today it’s raining books. Pick up a copy of Ruse & Romance (The Beaucroft Girls Book One) and be swept away to a different era, when ladies and gentlemen were obliged to play by the rules of society.

sgrR&R6x9Blurb: Unjustly labeled a flirt, Kitty Beaucroft is in need of a fiancé. Lord Philip Butler’s father wants him to settle down before he can become a landowner. With no intention of following through, Kitty and Philip enter into a temporary engagement as a means to an end. Unfortunately, someone knows the truth and is determined to expose them. Will the ruse turn into a romance before it’s too late?

Ruse & Romance is free Monday, April 4th through Friday, April 8th, 2016. Go HERE to download your freebie, and if you enjoyed it, please don’t forget to leave a review! ~ Suzanne

#99cents Countdown Deal • The Mannequin

sgrmannequin6x9On spring break? Look no further for a romantic read at a bargain price! Bestselling Victorian romance The Mannequin is 99 cents from Tuesday, March 15 – Monday, March 21.

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?

Click the cover, above, to read a sample, or check out the excerpt, below.

~ Suzanne


“The best physicians in London can’t find anything wrong with him physically, but his emotional state is extraordinarily precarious. He recently lost his entire family in a ferryboat accident, and he’s become dangerously withdrawn. He won’t speak, barely eats, and takes no pleasure in anything. He’s wasting away, and his grandmother is worried he’ll die. I called on him myself and found him quite unresponsive. I’m not sure he can be reached, if truth be told.”

“Why, of course I’ll visit the lad, but I’ve no experience with this sort of thing.”

“He’s actually a young man of twenty-two, and here is the sticking point: if you accept this position, you can say nothing about his condition whatsoever, to anyone. Discretion is critical, and secrecy paramount. If anyone inquires, you may tell your family and friends only that you’ve accepted a position as companion to the grandmother. Do you think you can do that?”

She gulped. “Yes.”

“Considering who you are, Miss Ashfield, I believe you’re uniquely qualified to take on this challenge.”

“I’ll try my best to justify your faith in me, Mr. Preston.”

The vicar gave her a piercing look. “I give you one piece of advice. Wounded animals are often injurious toward the people who try to rescue them.”

Her eyes widened. “Should I be concerned for my safety?”

“Only here.” He tapped the center of his chest, over his heart. “Stay true to yourself, and all will be well.”



Dragon Clan of Yden

DCOYBefore I began writing historical romance, I wrote fantasy. One of my dragon trilogies was released under the label of a small publisher, but as the contract for each book expires, I get the publishing rights back.

The second book in the trilogy will be re-released on March 29. As I was polishing the book up this past month, I was fleshing it out here and there…and ended up adding over 5,000 words. Dragon Clan of Yden (Book Two) has a new cover and a new title, but just as much dragon attitude. If you like young adult stories featuring dragons, magic, wizardry, and combat, this one is for you.  ~ Suzanne


At the grotto, a waterfall flowed down the side of a cliff taller than the goal post at a football stadium. Off to one side, a sharply sloped, smooth section of rock formed a natural slide. Tall trees ringed the grotto, dripping with the kind of vines exactly right for swinging from boulders into the crystal clear pool. Jon spotted Max sunning himself on a flat rock. Shirtless again, the Unicorn Clan wizard wore only swim trunks and a grin. His long, lean muscles rippled as he stretched.

“You get the impression he’s in love with himself?” Jon muttered.

“Hopefully it’s only a crush,” Sela whispered.

As he drew closer, Jon returned Max’s smirk. “Rib feeling better?”

“Your attitude won’t quit.”

“Anytime you want to adjust it, let me know.”

To order go HERE.

Begin at the beginning with Book One: The Last Great Wizard of Yden.LGWOY

Jon Hansen always thought his father’s tales about the magical planet of Yden were fiction. When his father is kidnapped by an evil wizard, however, Jon is forced to dig deeper. His investigation uncovers magical artifacts that will unlock another dimension—if only he can gather his courage to make the journey. On his quest to Yden, Jon encounters wizards, Cyclopes, and a warlord who seem to want him dead. Fortunately, he’s got friends by his side, as well as the ability to draw things to life. Can he and his friends defeat the most evil wizard the magical world has ever known, or will Jon become the latest addition to the Wolf Clan wizard’s gruesome collection of trophies? Buy HERE.


Shortlisted for Book of the Month

TOCDRSGRUpdate: Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel didn’t win, but it came a close second! Thank you all for voting. 🙂

Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel has been shortlisted as Book of the Month at ReadFree.ly! If you’d like to help me win, please cast your vote:

If you’d like to read a sample of Dragon Rebel, click on the book cover, above. Thank you in advance for your vote!

Blurb: If Heather wins the Tournament of Chance, she’ll be the first commoner to earn a place at court. Instead of a glorious victory, however, she’s arrested and marked for execution. After a daring escape, she joins the Dragon Rebels, who seek to overthrow the despotic monarchy and restore the former kingdom of Ormaria. Amongst the rebels are three shape-shifting wizards who claim to be rulers from the past. On a perilous quest to free the wizards’ magic, Heather battles wild dragons, vicious predators, angry trolls, and unexpected traitors. When a horrendous accident sends her back in time to fulfill a mysterious prophecy, she must rely on her warrior skills, wits, and endurance to survive.



New Look • Second Edition • Jessamine’s Folly

JFcoveridea8Everyone needs a new look now and again! Please allow me to introduce my revised edition of Jessamine’s Folly, with a brand new cover. The story remains the same in its essentials, but I also added twenty pages of new material.

Blurb: After her estate is entailed away, Jessamine Foster has no choice but to live with relatives who detest her. When her aunt gives her an ultimatum to leave, Jessamine accepts a position as companion to Lord Kirkendale’s sister—even though she’s been warned her predecessors can’t seem to resist the earl’s exceptional good looks. Can Jessamine manage to hold onto her job without losing her heart?

To honor a promise made to his dying father, Lord Kirkendale agrees to an arranged marriage to a woman he cannot love. Although he is resigned to a life without sentiment, the arrival of his sister’s new companion awakens a slumbering passion. Can he find a way to secure his own happiness without sacrificing his family’s honor, or will his broken promise result in the ruination of the person he loves most?

Jessamine’s Folly is a sweet Edwardian romance, with many twists to keep the pages turning! Although this revised edition is longer, the price remains $0.99. Go HERE to read a sample, and to buy a copy if you like what you see.