/*from pinterest*/
My books are in the Calgary Library!

My books are in the Calgary Library!

My print books are now in the Calgary Library. This one, WEDDING BELL BLUES, is the first to hit the shelves. It’s at my local library, the Crowfoot branch.

The other two books in the “SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW” series are at the new Central Library downtown.

the new library~ the new Central Library ~

GO TO https://calgarylibrary.ca/ and do a search for Suzanne Stengl.

Sign out a copy!

Here is the catalogue entry for A WEDDING AND A WHITE CHRISTMAS.

A Wedding and a White Christmas

A whirlwind Christmas visit to Las Vegas. A long night of merrymaking. An Elvis Chapel. Whoops!

ON THE WAY TO A WEDDING is also on the shelves downtown.

My wedding series (SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW) is set in Calgary. I took some liberties—like calling my hospital the Nose Hill Hospital. It somewhat resembles the Foothills Hospital where I used to work. I renamed a few other places. The Oak Room at the Fairmont Palliser became Kipling’s. I also combined a junior high school name with a senior high school name to get the high school called Aberton. Some of my friends will recognize their names as streets and avenues. But the essence of Calgary, the foothills city east of the Rocky Mountains, is here with its Chinooks and its wet Junes and its cold autumns.

If you’re looking for LARGER PRINT, you can find THE GHOST AND CHRISTIE MCFEE in the Large Print Collection at the new Central Library downtown.

The Ghost and Christie McFee

My other book, THE THURSTON HEIRLOOM, is at the Judith Umbach Library in Thornhill on Centre Street. You can put a book on hold at any branch in Calgary and have it delivered to your local branch.

The Thurston HeirloomI have one more book to convert to print (ANGEL WINGS) and that is on the list for next year.

Do you enjoy spending time in the library? Do you ever go there to get some writing done? Or to do some research? And then, do you end up wandering the stacks and looking for books by your favourite authors?

2018 HOLT Medallion Finalists

2018 HOLT Medallion Finalists

Since 1995, the Virginia Romance Writers chapter of the RWA has been hosting the HOLT Medallion contest. Medallions are awarded to authors whose books are selected by a panel of romance readers as the best in each of twelve categories.

I am happy to announce that A WEDDING AND A WHITE CHRISTMAS is a finalist in the Short Contemporary category!

As luck would have it, a fellow Calgarian is also a finalist in the contest. My friend Lecia Cornwall entered her book, ENCHANTED BY THE HIGHLANDER. This one is a finalist in the historical category.

2018 HOLT Medallion FinalistsHere is Lecia’s book:
Enchanted by the Highlander

Enchanted by the Highlander is the fourth book in a charming and enchanting Scottish series that reimagines fairytales by Lecia Cornwall.

Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything in his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she’s promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind…

And here’s my book:
A Wedding and a White Christmas

Getting from “I do” to “I don’t” before anyone finds out!

On a whirlwind Christmas visit to Las Vegas, and after a long night of merrymaking, Emily and her best friend, Mark, stumble into an Elvis Chapel and get married.

The next morning she realizes her mistake. Although she loves Mark, and has since childhood, he’s not marriage material.

For Mark, it’s not that he has commitment issues—or any issues, for that matter—but marriage would complicate things. He and Emily are friends and he doesn’t want to mess with that. Besides, he knows Emily is on the rebound. She’s not over her failed engagement to Dan the idiot.

On top of that, there’s Emily’s aunt. Myra doesn’t like Mark and if she learns about this elopement . . . well, let’s just say, there will be no Peace on Earth this Christmas!

The winners of the HOLT Medallion will be announced at a party in Glen Allen, Virginia on June 9th.

Unfortunately, that would take about nine to ten hours of travel from Calgary, so neither one of us will be going. However, we are considering dressing up on June 9th and celebrating here!

The Thurston Heirloom

Today is the Launch Day for my book, THE THURSTON HEIRLOOM. That’s Mariah and Teague on the cover. And that’s Larch Valley in the background. Larch Valley is a very popular hiking trail in Banff National Park.

You can read the first chapter of the story here.

The Thurston HeirloomThe Thurston Hotel Novels are stand-alone romances connected by the Thurston Hotel and the town of Harmony. Each book represents one month in 2016. I am the “September” book.

The Thurston Hotel is located on Main Street in the mountain resort town of Harmony, Alberta. Built by Thomas Thurston, the hotel opened in 1916. His three grandchildren—Wendy, Bailey and Ben—operate the six-story hotel today.

The town and the hotel are fictional, but the actual location is not. Working as a group, we found it was  helpful to know our surroundings, so we chose beautiful Canmore, Alberta as our setting. Tucked in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Canmore is just outside the gates of Banff National Park.

And here’s the view from Mountain Jewel Sports of the Three Sisters.

The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters

Actually, the Three Sisters can be seen from almost anywhere in Canmore. (Or, from anywhere in Harmony!) The three peaks are called Faith, Charity and Hope, or Big, Middle and Little Sister, respectively. They are one of the most photographed views in the Canadian Rockies and have come to be associated with the town of Canmore.

If you would like to find out more about the Thurston Hotel, you can read my posts on The Thurston Hotel and The Thurston Hotel series.

You can also visit the Thurston Hotel website at www.ThurstonHotelBooks.com for more about the books and authors of this series. There is even a map of Harmony.

Since 1916, the hotel’s motto has been: We promise you’ll enjoy your stay at the Thurston!

Three Sisters from Depositphotos.com #31762611_l-2015


The Thurston Hotel

The Thurston Hotel

The 100-year-old Thurston Hotel is located on Main Street in Harmony, Alberta, Canada.


It’s a fictional name for a little town (population 12,000 permanent residents) nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, just outside the gates of Banff National Park. You get there by travelling west from Calgary on the Trans-Canada and it takes about an hour.

No, Harmony is not really Canmore, Alberta . . . but that’s what I think of when I think of Harmony.

The town hosts tourists from everywhere in all seasons of the year, but there are two high seasons: summer and winter. In summer, tourists come to hike or mountain bike or raft down the Kananaskis River. In winter, they come for the skiing and boarding in the Canadian Rockies at Lake Louise or Sunshine or Norquay.

The Thurston Hotel is made of sandstone brick and it’s six stories tall with an impressive entrance. The expansive steps are flanked by black lampposts each with five white globes. Over top of the gabled portico are the three flags representing Canada, the USA and the Province of Alberta.

The hotel was built by Thomas Thurston

and opened in 1916 when he was only twenty-one years old. He didn’t get married until much later. On January 20th 1938, he married Margaret Thurston when he was forty-three years old and she was twenty-eight.

The hotel’s Thomas Lounge pays tribute to the founder, and the Margaret Library is named after his wife.

The couple had four children: three sons and a daughter. Only the daughter, Emily, is still living.

Emily Thurston Jamieson managed the hotel until last August.

Two of Emily’s brothers were childless, but her brother George had three children: Wendy (40), Bailey (35) and Benjamin (30). Ben studied hotel management at the University of Calgary and studied even harder under his Aunt Emily’s tutelage to finally become the Assistant General Manager.

His older sister Bailey is Chief Financial Officer, and his oldest sister Wendy holds the position of Events Manager.

As I said, Emily Thurston Jamieson managed the hotel until last August—when she had a heart attack. She recovered nicely, and decided to turn over management of the hotel to her nephew, Ben.

Rumor has it that his older sisters didn’t particularly like that decision, but then they have always given their little brother a hard time.

And speaking of rumors, there’s also a rumor that the hotel has a ghost. Of course, it’s a silly notion, since we all know ghosts don’t exist.

Have you ever stayed at a quaint old hotel? Have you ever worked in one? Did you like the ambience there? Did you ever meet any ghosts?

The Thurston Hotel Books are standalone contemporary romances connected by common settings, characters and events. To see all the covers, meet the authors, read the blurbs, and see a map of Harmony, go to: www.ThurstonHotelBooks.com.

The Thurston Hotel Series

Thurston Hotel seriesIn 2011, my local RWA chapter began its first group project, Bandit Creek. I published my first book in that series, THE GHOST AND CHRISTIE MCFEE, and Brenda Sinclair published A BANDIT CREEK MIRACLE.

Last January, Brenda decided to do it again. She came up with a Bible for the Thurston Hotel series and invited local chapter authors to participate. She wanted published authors, but also some unpublished ones who wanted to be mentored.

There are eleven authors involved in the project. Published authors include Brenda Sinclair, Sheila Seabrook, Shelley Kassian, M.K. Stelmack, Alyssa Linn Palmer, Katie O’Connor and Suzanne Stengl (me   🙂 )

Debut authors in the series are Maeve Buchanan, Win Day, Ellen Jorgy and Jan O’Hara.

Brenda came up with the idea of twelve books, one for each month in 2016, to be released WEEKLY, on Thurston Thursday beginning THIS THURSDAY September 29. Brenda bookended the series, writing both the January book and the December book.

The books are standalone contemporary romances that are

connected by common settings, characters and events. There is a thread woven through all the stories about a bride who books the 100-year-old Thurston Hotel in January—for her December wedding. No one is quite sure if the wedding will actually happen . . .

Brenda Sinclair is also the author of the very successful Western Contemporary Romance series, SPIRIT CREEK so she knows a lot about doing a series. We have all thoroughly enjoyed working on the project: at our keyboards, in our “secret” Facebook group, and sitting around long tables in restaurants. Together we discussed ideas, debated covers, ironed out  details and generally had a good time.

Brenda put us on a deadline for first drafts and found continuity editors who would read all the books. She also set us up with one line editor (so we all spelled Trans-Canada the same way) and one cover artist who took our rough ideas and turned them into beautiful art. You can see all the covers here. You may notice that each cover has that hotel logo on the banner—with a different room lit for each book.

I’ll tell you more about the hotel tomorrow . . .

Book Quotes

Book Quotes

I need your help with a quote and I’m sure one of you will remember the quote I’m looking for.

Rolf is busy sorting our bookshelves. We have hundreds of books, and every once in a while, he wants to cull.

Just because I haven’t reread a book in a few years does not mean I want to get rid of it. Even if I never read that book again, there is something about seeing it there, lined up with all my other books.

For one thing, I like being my own personal library. For another, I like it when my kids (adults) come home and find a book they used to read. They pull it off the shelves and flip through the pages, as if they are saying hello to an old friend.

Of course, there are books we outgrow. Usually, they are how-to books. How to cook without fat. How to cook without sugar. How to cook without cooking. Fad books. And, sometimes, even those books are worth keeping, as a way of measuring how we are no longer influenced by the current hype.

From Webster’s —

to cull

But the other books? Why do we keep them?

To remember the pleasure we had when we were inside that story? To remember where we were in our lives at the time we read that book? To have those books available for others to find and perhaps borrow, so that we can both know that story and talk about it?

I remember reading a quote somewhere that answered this for me. Do you know the quote I’m talking about?

Even if you don’t remember that specific quote, tell me your favourite quote that has to do with books and reading. I want to collect a whole bunch of book quotes and keep them here.

Some of my favourite quotes about books

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
— Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 “Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.”
— Mark Twain

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
— Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Now tell me your favourites.

And I really hope one of you remembers the quote about keeping books.

library from bigstockphoto.com #101638283