Have a Very No-Nazi Christmas, Thank You Very Much…

When my family was visiting London in 2006, my son’s girlfriend Marla insisted on seeing Trafalgar Square. It was a long walk from where we were but fair is fair. It’s what she wanted to see, so we obliged. She was vague about why she wanted to see it and no one asked. We were all too busy taking in the sights that London offers. When we got there, no one was there. I remember cement and statues amidst a quiet atmosphere. Since then, I’ve heard Trafalgar Square mentioned many times in the news. It’s the location of numerous historic demonstrations and the site itself pays tribute to a sea battle where Britain fought French and Spanish fleets (at the same time) on the Southwest coast of Spain in October of 1805. Britain lost no ships and demolished a substantial amount of those belonging to France and Spain.

Fast forward to today. No wait, let’s go back to 1947, after World War II. This was the first year that Norway, grateful for England’s role in defeating the Nazis, presented Britain with a Christmas tree. Today, Norway’s continued gift of a Christmas tree stands in Trafalgar Square as a testament to the friendship between the two countries and a world free of Nazism.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Herr Boy, available here:


What Kind of Men Write Romance?

CanvaCOVERMississippiWildBlueWhat kind of men write romance? The answer is simple. As my mother used to say, “It takes all kinds.” Male romance authors are highly represented, especially among Indie authors but you might not notice because they use female pen names. My own personal belief is that their romantic notions differ from women’s, which is a good thing. I’ve always enjoyed a male’s perspective in the crazy realm of love. Men do that “tormented thing” quite well, you know they’re speaking from the heart. I wonder though, are male author’s stories more inclined to feature unrequited love? Rumor is, women read the most romance and for them, a “happy-ever-after” is essential. Or is it? I like a happy ending but is it essential? I’ve heard authors say that readers get angry without a happy ending, or HEA as they say in the publishing world.

A lot of men write erotica. I won’t comment on why I think that is, nor do I know if the writing is any good because I’m not drawn to erotica. I spend enough time with my head in my own old-fashioned bodice rippers. (Probably considered tame by today’s standards but maybe a little naughty by yesterday’s.) When my octogenarian friend Jean, who is the most prolific reader I know, said she doesn’t like to read love scenes, I cringe every time she asks to read one of my books. I wonder how much of a love scene she puts up with. And does the gender of the author affect her opinion? Jean comes from an era when women used male pen names, so that their writing would be read.

Great stories are written by any gender. The only thing I might say about male romance authors is that they are probably hesitant to admit it. Those old stereotypes always get in the way. But romance is full of stereotypes. And a good author will use them to his or her advantage and in today’s political and social climate, play around with those stereotypes. Because really, whether the story is an historical or a contemporary romance, there have always been those who deviate from the norm. Good characters are like that.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNWG6QU

Book Two, Blue Violet: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Book Six, Mississippi Wild Blue: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L2WWMR

Book Seven, Dandelion Lane: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073WPHMWG

Book Eight, Scarlet Lobelia: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0762CJP4W

And For Your Summer Romance Reading There’s Always… Dandelion Lane

I just finished book seven of my Civil War Era Romance series. Although book four springs off of book three, it’s not necessary to read this series in order. My stories get a little risque at times, this one is no exception. The difference between this one and the others is well… ahem… I guess you’ll have to read it and see. I will say, it’s about the repercussions of getting carried away on Dandelion Lane…

View it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073WPHMWG

Do Men Read Romance? Yes They Do. They Write it Too.

I am here to tell you that yes indeed, men read romance. I know that for a fact. They are also the first to snicker about it (the men who don’t read it) and I’m sure that’s most men. But hey, everyone watches television and goes to movies and what great movie doesn’t have a little romance? So therefore, millions of men “watch” romance on some level. Yes, maybe some men will get up off the couch if they think they’ve been tricked into watching a chick flick. It just depends on the man and… the quality of the movie.

I know of several men who write romance. They say that they use a pen name. I did not ask what that pen name was but I’d be willing to bet that it is a woman’s name. But guys, before you chose that female sounding pen name, realize that men needn’t be shy about putting their name up there. Front and center on the cover. One of my favorite romance endings was written by a man. I will never forget how William Somerset Maugham lit up the page. It doesn’t matter. Love is love.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Book Six, Mississippi Wild Blue: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L2WWMR

Who Cares About Romance? A Book a Day? Who Does That?

I may not seem shy about my writing but I am. Especially my romance stories. But the publisher in me is telling me to hit the road and promote it. “You just published a new story. Go out and tell the world! Get on the radio, do an interview, irritate your friends and family, stick flyers on cars, spam your email list!”

I can’t do any of that. I just can’t. I’ve had my share of radio interviews, I can talk about eating acorns until the cows come home but Civil War Era romance, who wants to hear about that? Well, apparently, some people do. They love reading romance. My friend told me that when her daughter was a teenager, she “gobbled those things up.” Some women finish a book a day. Wow. That’s some heavy reading.

It’s raining again today. It’s been raining on and off for about six months. I spent many a rainy day trailing Kate Holcomb, Ashcroft Duncan and Mattie O’Brien, the stars of Mississippi Wild Blue. I enjoyed getting to know them. I hope you do too.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Book Six, Mississippi Wild Blue: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L2WWMR

Dutch This… Dutch That… What Does It All Mean?

Butterfly BLUE VIOLET Front CoverI was looking in the dictionary and I ran across listings for Dutch this… Dutch that… It stopped me in my tracks. It’ll stop you too… right? Here are the entries:

Dutch means Hollandish. It is also slang for German or Germanic. “Of or pertaining to the Netherlands or its inhabitants.” “Characteristic of the Dutch or their language.” Have you ever seen a black cow with a broad band of white around the middle of its body? That’s a Dutch Belted cow. Ever eaten Dutch cheese? It’s a small, round, hard cheese made from skim milk. But after a semi-colon it says “also cottage cheese.” That’s odd, cottage cheese is not hard, it’s runny. Oh well… we move on to Dutch courage. It means, “it’s the alcohol talking.” In other words, courage due to intoxicants. Too much to drink? Then out the door! Dutch door. A door divided horizontally, so that the lower part can be shut while the upper remains open. My horse has one of those and I love it. He’s so cute the way he hangs his head out the door. Even sick trees get the Dutch moniker in the form of Dutch elm disease. It makes the leaves yellow due to a fungus and can kill the tree. How about Dutch foil? Ever heard of that? Or Dutch leaf or Dutch gold? It’s copper or a copper alloy beaten into thin sheets. The Hollanders use it to decorate toys and paper. Those Hollanders are also known as Dutchmen. Yes, a Dutchman is a native of the Netherlands but it is also used to describe a Dutch vessel, and in carpentry and machinery a Dutchman is an odd piece inserted to fill an opening, hide a defect, or strengthen a weak part. That probably comes about because of the dikes the Dutch made to strengthen their land. Even flowers have a Dutch name. The Dutchman’s breeches is a flowering herb, with white or cream-colored flowers. Another flower also shares the Dutch title; Dutchman’s pipe. A vine that blooms early in the summer, the flowers curve like the bowl of a pipe. And then there’s the world renowned Dutch oven, which refers to the tin screen for roasting before an open fire or a shallow iron kettle for baking with a rimmed cover to hold burning coals. A brick oven also bears the name. The brick walls of a Dutch oven are preheated with a fire. The food is cooked, not by the fire but by the hot walls. Dutch treat, we all know that. That is when each person pays for himself. And last but not least, the Dutch uncle. I had no idea he was so mean. It means one who admonishes or reprimands with great severity and directness, a severe mentor.  Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:





Wow! A Vegetarian Drive-Thru Restaurant. The Times They Are a Changin’

One of the worst aspects of travelling has always been what to eat. My husband and I are vegetarians and during the 1970’s it was rough. And then one day vegetarian burritos came on the scene and things got easier. But really… you can only eat so many burritos. Now there’s an option. The people who bring you Amy’s frozen foods, has opened a drive-thru vegetarian restaurant in Rohnert Park, California. For those of you who don’t know where Rohnert Park is, it’s north of San Francisco and the home of Sonoma State University, my old alma mater. Kinda fitting that the town that has the university nicknamed, “Granola State,” would be the world’s first vegetarian drive-thru. There is a problem though… fast-food restaurants encourage us to sit in our cars while they idle. That’s not good for the air we breathe. But hey… it’s a start! Here’s the link: http://m.7×7.com/eat-drink/wheres-beef-worlds-first-vegetarian-drive-thru-opens-rohnert-park?utm_source=7×7+List&utm_campaign=7ba5ba011d-7x7_Daily_Newsletter_3_09_133_7_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f27205de8b-7ba5ba011d-184837737#bmb=1

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973


Through Saturday, My Newest Book, “Chimney Fire” is Free on Amazon Kindle eBooks

Blog Size Chimney Fire Front Cover

Through Saturday, my latest novel, “Chimney Fire,” is FREE on Kindle eBooks.



Suellen Ocean

Nazis… I Said I Would and I Did

Blog Size Chimney Fire Front Cover

Today I humbly present my novel, Chimney Fire. The main character is a Jewish fellow named Rudy Steinberg, a California slacker who at fifty is paid a visit by a German attorney whose shocking information disrupts Rudy’s life. I came up with the idea twenty years ago and when I found the outline, I thought it would be fun to collaborate with my younger self. Fun is not the correct word. I spent the winter reading and watching films about Nazis who murdered millions of people, including Germans. Nevertheless, I said I would and I did. It’s spring now… and Chimney Fire is complete. I can’t say that I understand human nature any better but what I do understand is that people do bad things and we need to speak up because as the victims will tell you… the worst is unthinkable.

“Chimney Fire” is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Chimney-Fire-Steinberg-Conspiracy-Book-ebook/dp/B00XDCPLEW

The Love of Gold Goes Back to the Stone Age

People love gold. I know because I live in the Sierras and I’ve met many modern-day gold miners. They will stand in the hot sun all day with their primitive picks and pans, happy with the thought that maybe they’ll find a nugget or at least enough gold “fines” to make the day worthwhile. Stone Age tools embedded with gold tell us that early man learned how to melt gold and craft with it. The Egyptians became highly skilled gold jewelers by about 5000 B.C.E. Fine specimens can be found in museums. You’ve heard of King Solomon’s mines? Those gold mines brought Solomon great wealth. The precious metal was pounded then stretched and worked into fine jewelry and maybe to decorate military armaments. The gold was used to reward his best soldiers and for the purchase of food and goods for the well-being of his people.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:


eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:


eBook through Barnes & Noble:


CreatespaceCover The Celtic Prince