Under the Sugar Sun: Revised Edition!

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. — Mark Twain

My husband gave me the above advice three years ago, but I did not listen. By that time I had already written and rewritten Under the Sugar Sun fourteen times over five years before publishing it for the first time in October 2015. It went live while I was coaching an American high school football game. (We won!) Had you asked me that morning to start from the beginning and trim one-eighth of the book, change problematic characterizations, and improve how my hero and heroine communicate with one another at the end—well, I would have stopped you at “Hello.”

Yet I have just made these changes. This is not a significant revision: none of the core content or events have changed. It is still the work of a debut author. But because this novel builds the Sugar Sun world, I could not pass up this opportunity to make the book more like what I intended from the start. I hope you enjoy it.

How can you download this new version on Kindle?

If you would like to download the updated version on your Kindle, go to the account menu on your main Amazon page. From the drop-down menu, choose “Your Content and Devices.”

updating-kindle-content-sugar-sun-revision

Find Under the Sugar Sun in that list, if you have bought it before. If you purchased the paperback version, you could have downloaded this ebook version for free. There should be an “Update Available” button below the title. When you click on that, it will warn you that updating the book will erase any highlights, notes, and record of the last page reached. If you accept these conditions, then choose update. And, boom, the new version of the book will arrive. Yay!

HOW can you order THIS NEW VERSION in paperback?

The revised version will be available in paperback by the end of the summer, but that formatting takes more work. You do not get an automatic update, though, like you do on Kindle. If you have already purchased the paperback from Amazon, you may download the ebook for free. If you purchased the paperback from me at an event and you would like a revised ebook version, please email me. The only way to receive a new paperback, though, is to purchase it. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

More in the Sugar Sun series coming!

This revision has delayed Sugar Moon a bit—but only a bit, and I believe it was worth it. Moreover, the best part of diving back into the original text was the opportunity to reread everything about Allegra and Ben. Now I cannot wait to get back to my revisions of Sugar Moon, which is their story.

Sugar Moon latest in Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series by author Jennifer Hallock. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.

Thank you, everyone, for reading and enjoying the Sugar Sun series.

Introducing Allegra Alazas

Do you ever make imaginary friends with a character from a book? I do all the time. These are often characters I have made up in my own mind—and yet I still need to get to get acquainted with them from scratch like they’re strangers. If I have done my job right, by the time the book is ready to print, the hero and heroine are my family. I love them.

Sometimes a character does not wait for her own book. She steals the show from the first moment she is introduced. Such a character is Allegra Alazas, the fiercely loyal cousin of Javier Altarejos, and the woman who plays his matchmaker in Under the Sugar Sun.

Escolta Manila Philippines Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series Jennifer Hallock author. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.

Sugar Sun‘s heroine Georgina Potter first meets Allegra in a store on the Escolta, in Manila. As she tells it:

Señorita Allegra was perfectly happy to keep the conversation going all on her own, just as she had done for the past half hour. They had met by chance at a dry goods store, and Georgie had not been able to shake the woman since. Allegra could not believe that any American would walk the Escolta without shopping, so Georgie now found herself unfolding a delicate slip of lace, pretending to consider it despite its prohibitive price. Even though Georgie was supposed to be getting married soon, she did not feel sentimental enough about the occasion to plunge into debt over it. This treasure was not for her.

Allegra kept talking. “I have to sew my flowers on dresses now, though Hermana Teresa will jump off the Puente de España before she believes it. Yesterday she says I will fail domestic labors class. Fail! So I say it is okay—one day I will hire her as my costurera. Do you hear nuns curse before? Very quiet, but they do.”

No doubt nuns cursed around this young woman a lot, Georgie thought. Allegra looked demure but was really quite untamed. Black, roguish eyes set off her fair, delicate skin. Her pink lips were small but curvy, as exaggerated as the outlandish words that came from them.

Allegra inspiration for Sugar Moon by Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. History ever after.

She sounds like fun, doesn’t she? Allegra—or Allie, as she will soon be known—was inspired by the lantern slide photo above. True story. It was the look on this woman’s face that won me over. I thought her story had to be written.

Sugar Moon teaser for Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series by author Jennifer Hallock. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.
Want more Sugar Moon teasers? I could not keep myself from posting these.

If I had to cast a movie version of Sugar Moon (and I am open to offers), I would love to see Maine Mendoza in the role:

You see the resemblance, don’t you? It is all about the attitude.

Well, I’d better get back to it, or else you will never get to read Allie’s story. I had to do a massive rewrite this past winter, and I’m about 40% through the Big Edit now. There are some complicating factors that make this book tough. The history is real, and I do not want to skim over that fact. (As author Elizabeth Kingston pointed out recently, colonialism needs to be critically examined, even in romance. Actually, especially in romance. I have tried to do this, and I will keep trying—which to me means not ignoring the difficult stuff.) Also, Ben Potter has to be carefully transformed into hero material; he was not likable in the previous book. But he will be, I promise. Barring major problems, I am gunning for a September release. Fingers crossed.

NaNoWriMo to finish Sugar Moon part of the Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.

Sugar Sun series glossary term #34: piña

Under the Sugar Sun book teaser from Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series by author Jennifer Hallock. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.

Javier knows perfectly well that his piña fiber is uniquely delicate, transparent, well-ventilated, yet strong. This combination is why piña is the traditional choice for a man’s barong tagalog or a woman’s wedding dress or fancy blouse.

piña glossary Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.
From left to right: 19th-century piña shawl from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Philippine-German mestiza wearing a baro’t saya from the Philippine Photographs Digital Archive; and a piña blouse, also from the Met.

But fine piña is not cheap, with good reason. Every part of its production is time-consuming, starting with the 18 months it takes a pineapple plant to reach maturity. Starting at about a year of growth, the plant’s leaves can start to be cut and processed for their fibers. According to the Philippine Folklife Museum:

The green epidermal layer is scraped off the leaf with tools made from coconut shells, coconut husks or pottery shards. Extraction from the long, stiff leaves is time-consuming and labor-intensive. These fibers are then spun into soft, shimmering fabrics by hand. Because the fiber is fine and breaks easily, working with it is slow and tedious. Workers are constantly knotting broken threads.

That is not the end of the process, either. It takes weeks more to prepare the yarn and then weave it together into patterns like flowers, fruits, coconut trees, and nipa huts—whatever the artist wants. According to the Folklife Museum, it can take eight hours to finish one meter of plain cloth or just half a meter of patterned cloth.

piña glossary Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.
Turn-of-the-century photo of girls weaving piña from the Philippine Photographs Digital Archive at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

All to make ladies look gorgeous and men look handsome? Yeah, it’s worth it.

[Featured public domain image of an early 19th-century piña scarf was a gift of Miss Mary Cheney Platt to the Met.]

Sugar Sun on Book+Main Bites

Do you want to taste test your books? The Book+Main folks heard you, and they created a site where you can even search by trope. For example, do you want more marriage of convenience? Me too. I love those, which is why I wrote one.

Best of all, this app is free for readers! You can find my bites there, or you can explore authors new to you. (Check out the “discover” tab.) Best of all, the site is so pretty with its clean, uniform look. Here’s a few of mine to tease you…

Book+Main bites for Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.Book+Main bites for Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.Book+Main bites for Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.

Book+Main bites for Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.Book+Main bites for Jennifer Hallock author of Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.

Head on over and discover new books now!

Christmas under the Sugar Sun

Click the image below for a peek into the world of the Sugar Sun series. Experience the daigon, or Christmas pageant, with Javier and Georgina of Under the Sugar Sun. The link will take you to Instafreebie, where you can download chapter 29 of the novel in the format of your choice.

Happy holidays, everyone! Maligayang Pasko!

Christmas daigon Under the Sugar Sun by author Jennifer Hallock in Sugar Sun series. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.

And have you signed up for the Sugar Sun newsletter yet? The holiday wrap-up is coming soon. Make sure to get all the latest updates on Sugar Moon by registering here!

newsletter for Sugar Sun steamy historical romance series by author Jennifer Hallock. Serious history. Serious sex. Happily ever after.