Music Monday: I Want Crazy, Hunter Hayes

Sometimes you write the story simply because it presents itself as a challenge. Sometimes you do that business thing simply because you’ve been considering it for some time and don’t want to stand back and look at it anxiously anymore.  Some people would call this crazy. I call it life — and growth.

JMGuitarGirl555. “I Want Crazy ~ Hunter Hayes ~ Lyrics.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 Apr. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu0vyD7vyM4.

So what craziness have I been up to recently?

A couple of weeks ago now, I set up an online store where I can create some interesting items related to my books because every bookseller needs a section where patrons can purchase a reading-related gift or novelty items, right? My reading-related items store, which is only beginning to be stocked with items, is called Bonny Lass Creatives (my husband came up with the name) and can be found on Society6 at this link >> BONNY LASS CREATIVES

I do enjoy making the graphics to go on the items. It’s a stress reliever, actually. 🙂

This week, I set up a Patreon page. I’ve had it started for some time as I pondered how best to use it.  For those who are not familiar with it — according to Wikipedia,

Patreon is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service, as well as ways for artists to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons.”

This means that you pay a certain monthly fee to support an artist, and the artist in return gives you a “reward” for doing so.  There are all sorts of artists such as podcasters, writers, and musicians on Patreon, and there are as many different ways of working the Patreon subscription/rewards system as there are artists.

For me, I have set up my page to have two levels of subscription:

$1/month for those who curiosity must be satisfied and just want to read along as I create stories – just a dollar will give you access to all my stories as I write them. You will also receive a link to download the Thursday’s Three Hundred story in your preferred format when it is ready for publication.

$2/month for those who not only wish to satisfy their curiosity but also fill their shelves, two dollars will do it. In addition to access to all my stories as they are written, you will receive a digital copy in your preferred format when each story is ready for publication, so you can fill your shelves – be they in a library or a lovely closet. 🙂

My intention is to post as I write, however, I am still catching up to where I am in my current WIP, so post as I go will be coming….soonish. 🙂

You can find me on Patreon here >> patreon.com/LeenieBrown

Now, to update you on Two Days Before Christmas. I am writing this post on Saturday night while my husband is at work, and so I am projecting (not promising) that by the end of the day on Monday, I will have the preorder set up and will be just waiting for the various publishers to make the links.  Hopefully, I will also have the print version uploaded so that can go through the review process.  I will, of course, share links on Facebook when they are ready.

Chapter 1 of Two Days Before Christmas is available to read here >> TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS

And finally, we come to that challenging story that I am so enjoying writing, One Winter’s Eve. I am about halfway through chapter 10 as of last Friday night, and I have the first three chapters posted at Patreon for my subscribers.  I got to deal with Wickham this week while writing, and I got to delve a bit more into understanding Caroline — and she is growing and changing for the better. (Did you doubt that she wouldn’t? I will stand for no recalcitrant main characters — they will be brought up to scratch. 😉 ) Below is a sample from what I wrote this week.

AN EXCERPT FROM One Winter’s Eve Continue reading Music Monday: I Want Crazy, Hunter Hayes

Music Monday: Period Drama, Once Upon a December

Welcome to December — the month in Pride and Prejudice where, in volumes I and II, Netherfield sits empty, Mr. Collins returns to Longbourn for a short visit, Jane receives Caroline’s letter about Bingley not returning, and the Gardiners come for Christmas and leave with Jane. What a dreadful month! But then, what a difference a year makes! For in volume III, all is right by December, making it an exceedingly happy month. In fact, the Gardiners are expected at Pemberley for Christmas.

lilian hearts. “• Period Drama | Once Upon a December ♡.” YouTube, YouTube, 7 June 2015, youtu.be/_SLyhgk6fp4.

I’ve been stuck in the month of December for some time now, writing-wise. Two Days before Christmas (TDBC), which I began writing on October 24, takes place in December.  It begins with Darcy’s arrival at home at the end of November and concludes on December 23. The sequel to TDBC, One Winter’s Eve (OWE), begins on December 23 and will conclude in January. However, I am still in December in that story, and I do not see me finishing the first draft of that story for another week and a half or two weeks — and then I will have to edit that book. By the time all is said and done for these two books, it will likely be halfway through January 2018, meaning I will have been in December for almost three months! 🙂  But I have to say, my stay in writing-land December has not been dreadful but, for the most part aside from a few misty-eyed moments, exceedingly delightful!

Starting today, I will be working feverishly on final edits to TDBC because my timeline for accomplishing tasks for that book has adjusted forward by an email I received from Draft2Digital, whom I use to publish on iBooks and Nook, informing me that to ensure books are processed before various companies shut down for the holidays, all books should be uploaded by December 11! Yikes!

Therefore, I hope to have a preorder setup with a final ebook version of the story uploaded by December 11 for Draft2Digital and by December 12 for Kindle and Kobo. Then, I will work on the print book to get it uploaded, proofed, and ready to release before December 21. Here’s hoping all goes according to plan! 🙂 (And I suppose I need to toss some finishing up school units and preparing for Christmas in there as well — I am going to be one busy girl!)

I may have to take a pause in writing OWE to get the editing done that needs doing this week, but I am hopeful that I will be able to continue rolling along in that story. It has been keeping me up at night as possible scenarios for dealing with a couple of “issues,” aka plot points like Wickham, have been attempting to work themselves out in my brain. However, I am enjoying the story. Colonel Fitzwilliam is pretty awesome — as always — and I am liking (yes, I said liking) Caroline. Getting to know the characters as I wish to portray them is one of the fun parts of a challenging couple such as this — it is also the source of the story-induced lack of sleep as the actions and decisions in the story have to be true to the characters who are revealing themselves to me as I write.

Below, is a lengthy portion from what I wrote this week. In this excerpt, Richard has also been attempting to discover Caroline’s character. He thinks he has reached a correct conclusion. Caroline insists he is mistaken. But who is right — the colonel (and Caroline needs to discover some things about herself) or Caroline (and Richard will have to form a new hypothesis)?

AN EXCERPT FROM One Winter’s Eve Continue reading Music Monday: Period Drama, Once Upon a December

Music Monday: What Kinda Love, Dallas Smith

What kind of love is this story going to have? What is it going to look like? How is it going to develop and be realized? How is it going to be demonstrated? Those are questions I and my characters often wrestle with I’m writing — such as we were this past week and will continue to do this next week. To be honest, my current work in progress, One Winter’s Eve, is pushing me a little more in this area than some do because this is not an easy couple. They shouldn’t really like each other, but they seem to. I really do wonder at this point in the story, what kind of love this one is going to be (which is what led me to share the song below 🙂 )

DallasSmithVEVO. “Dallas Smith – What Kinda Love.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 Feb. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=csE5oAoDjow.

I’m going to share a little bit of Richard and Caroline’s relationship in the excerpt at the end of this post, but first I have some other writing news to share.

First and most importantly — This book goes “live” tomorrow!

Becoming Entangled can be preordered today and ordered tomorrow HERE.

The release day of any book is rather exciting because finally, the story gets to be enjoyed by others. Hopefully, Anne and Alistair will find many readers to enjoy their fun journey to happily ever after.  I know I loved writing their story and wanted to just stay there with them at the end of the book.

Next in excitement level on the writing list is the fact that Two Days before Christmas is out of my hands and into the hands of my first editor. That book will be out in December — and I have a kind of exciting plan for it, which I can’t tell you about yet.  🙂 Keeping exciting secrets is so hard! 🙂

I think that’s all the news I have, which means, we can now get to that story excerpt I told you I would share.

AN EXCERPT FROM One Winter’s Eve Continue reading Music Monday: What Kinda Love, Dallas Smith

Music Monday: Period Drama – Love Is A Battlefield

We are stepping back into the early Eighties for today’s musical selection, which someone has used to create a great period drama video with loads of dramas represented.  There is a”story” reason I selected this song today. However, before I get to that reason, let me give you an update on a couple of upcoming books.

Sossery. “Period Drama – Love Is A Battlefield.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 Oct. 2012, youtu.be/fT67IfffM1w.
  • Becoming Entangled:

I have gotten the files uploaded to various digital retailers and one by one, they are putting the book on preorder as I am working on creating the print copy.  Release day is scheduled for November 28, 2017. Yes, I did decide to push the date out instead of trying to rush to keep my original date.

One of the things I had to do this week to get this ready was finish writing the “blurb,” aka the book description. Here is how that turned out:

Click image to find Becoming Entangled at your favourite store.

Can she scheme her way out of one betrothal and into another?

Anne de Bourgh wishes to dance until she is dizzy, walk until she is tired, and marry a particular gentleman who causes her heart to skitter and skip and flutter.  There is, however, one thing that stands between Anne and her aspirations — her mother.  

Nevertheless, when a young lady is determined, things such as a mother’s restraints and a long-standing betrothal are merely impediments to be circumvented.

Practical and cautious, Alistair Pratt is smitten with Anne and has been patiently biding his time until he can make his intentions known.  However, with his mother’s desire to see him married increasing, Alistair, when presented with a scandalous plan, throws caution to the wind to secure his love. 

But,  the course of true love never did run smooth.

When a gentleman with a grudge discovers the lover’s plans, things become tangled and twisted. Will a love that was meant to be find its happy conclusion, or will it end up as only a tale of what could have been?

One more thing about Becoming Entangled — It will be featured in my Austen Authors post this Tuesday (as in tomorrow). I have created some graphics about some of the research I did for this project, and I am including an excerpt and a giveaway with my post.

  • Two Days before Christmas: I have reached “the end” of the first draft and have begun working my way through it checking the story and catching a few typos and errors along the way before I send it to my story editor and then start the real detailed editing work.  I am still hopeful that this book will be out by December 19th.  It’s going to be a busy month!

And that brings me to One Winter’s Eve, the story that has slipped into my writing block of time which was left open by the completion of Two Days before Christmas (TDBC). TDBC hinted at a sequel as I was writing it, and I have decided to explore that idea and see where it takes me.  So far, it looks like I have a fight or is that battle on my hands.  😉 Do you see the song title connection? If not, I am pretty sure you will by the end of the last paragraph of this —

AN EXCERPT FROM One Winter’s Eve: 
Continue reading Music Monday: Period Drama – Love Is A Battlefield

Music Monday: Pride and Prejudice – When I See You Smile

Today, I thought I would share one of the videos on my Music Meets Movies playlist since the song seems to go with a particular part of the story excerpt. I am drawing close to the end of my current WIP — or at least the conclusion of the conflict I had wished to resolve — and am now considering if the story ends here or not, as in, there might be a conflict which could arise as I move past this happy for now place in which two of my main characters find themselves.

wantingyounear. “Pride and Prejudice – When I See You Smile.” YouTube, YouTube, 26 Feb. 2007, youtu.be/-B0Po7-3rdE.

That’s about as clear as stagnant pond water, isn’t it? Well, you see, I don’t want to give too much away about my current story, but as you will see in today’s excerpt below, Georgiana is planning to go to Netherfield for Christmas, and Wickham will be there.  There is this niggling in my mind prodding me to explore what might happen in Hertfordshire.  However, I don’t think that doing so in my current story would be appropriate for a couple of reasons: my main characters would almost certainly shift and the initial intent of the story I have been writing has been met so adding another conflict would lend itself to a wandering storyline (something of which I am not fond). So, it appears I will have some serious thinking/plotting/story structure analysis to do this week.

In other story news, I have received Becoming Entangled back from my final editor and have begun the last pass re-read of that story, and now I must decide if my original publication date of November 21 is best or if pushing it out and adding a short preorder might be better for getting everything accomplished without losing my mind from the stress of making sure everything meets the rather exacting standards I strive to uphold at Leenie B Books. (I find myself excessively demanding at times.)  🙂

It seems I have a few decisions to make this week as I edit and write. While I open my calendar and being to ponder these things, I will leave you with this —

AN EXCERPT FROM Two Days before Christmas: Continue reading Music Monday: Pride and Prejudice – When I See You Smile

Music Monday: Keyboard Concerto No 3 in D Major, Bach

Did you know that Beethoven wrote Fur Elise in 1810 but that it was not published until 1867 — forty years after he died and definitely not in time for Georgiana Darcy to be playing it in my current work in progress? I didn’t until I read it this week while searching for some music I could mention in a conversation between Georgiana and her brother, which is in today’s excerpt, by the way.

Classical Vault 1. “Sviatoslav Richter – Bach – Keyboard Concerto No 3 in D Major, BWV 1054.” YouTube, YouTube, 5 May 2013, youtu.be/h8mMJfC99m8.

I settled on a concerto by Bach — Number 3 in D major, to be precise, although I was not that precise in the story. 🙂 If you would like, you may click the play button above and listen to what Georgiana was going to be practising while you read a few lines about what I was doing during my writing time this week and a sample from the words I have written since last Monday. 🙂

As I mentioned last week, Becoming Entangled is working its way through the editing process, so my editing slots were going to be open for extra writing of some sort.  Well, I got notes back on Becoming Entangled on Tuesday from my first reader, so I did have some editing to do on a couple of days. 🙂 Becoming Entangled is now in the hands of my second reader to be scoured for all the commas, lies instead of lays, misspelled words, incorrect usages, typos, and all that good detailed stuff. This means I will have another week of extra writing slots.

I decided this past week to double up on my writing of my current work in progress currently called Two Days before Christmas (that title might be changing because of how the story has gone, but I am waiting to see how it ends first). Thanks to those extra hours of writing time, I managed a personal best word count of over 13,000 words — and I only shed a few tears during one writing session. 🙂 I even took a writing block of time this week to do some research to get past a sticking point in the story — that one evening of digging and reading articles is what opened the floodgate of words because, during it, I found the setting for an important scene. I have to say that for me as a writer when the story just starts to spill out and wake me from sleep with conversations and events; it is thrilling — tiring and cranky-making — but thrilling.

Below is a portion of the story from the beginning part of what I wrote this week.  I couldn’t share anything of what I wrote later in the week because I don’t want to give that interesting plot twist away.  It would be like wrapping a gift in clear cellophane — sweet to get the gift but kind of a let down since there would be little joy of anticipation. 🙂 Hopefully, you will be satisfied with this part that at least lets us know how Darcy is changing in his opinion of Elizabeth.

AN EXCERPT FROM Two Days before Christmas

“You were out late last night,” Georgiana said as she took a place at the breakfast table next to her brother. 

“I was,” he replied, filling his cup once again with tea.

After receiving his uncle’s approval to marry where he thought best, Darcy had spend another two hours with his uncle and cousin talking and playing cards.  Lord Matlock had waxed eloquent a time or two on felicity in marriage and seeing that an estate had an heir. He seemed most anxious to have a grand niece or nephew whom he could bounce on his knee and tell tales ─ he had mentioned that more than once as well.  The conversation had not all be about marriage or the best way to grovel ones way into the good graces of an offended lady; they had also discussed more mundane topics including the new upholstery Lady Matlock planned to order for their travelling coach once the weather turned warm enough to gad about town in the barouche. 

“You were not dressed for a soiree when you left.” 

Darcy chuckled at his sister’s attempt to not ask where he had been while still expressing her wish to know the answer to that very question. 

“No, I was not.”  His plate was empty, so he rested against the back of the chair and cradled his teacup.

Her brows furrowed, and she applied herself to cutting her toast into points before topping each with a different jam — raspberry on one, strawberry on the second, apricot on the third, and what Darcy knew to be her favourite, black currant, on the fourth.  With that task completed, she filled her teacup and added just a splash of cream. 

“I was at Matlock House,” Darcy finally said upon hearing her small frustrated huff as she stirred her tea.  “Richard was at home, as strange as that may be.” 

“Indeed? Is he well?” Georgiana asked with a laugh. 

“He appeared to be, yes.” 

“Did you have a good time, then?”

“We did.  Uncle Henry insisted on playing Casino.” Cards of any sort were a favourite pastime for Lord Matlock.  However, he was not one to frequent gaming tables for any length of time at soirees or his club since he desired for most of his money to stay in his accounts.  A small wager was acceptable to lose, but one must always know his limits. Darcy had heard these words from his uncle many times over the years. 

“And did he win?”

Darcy shook his head.  “Once or twice.  He was far more interested in talking than attending to his cards.” 

Lord Matlock was not known for being subdued.  Richard often said that his father could strike up a conversation with a horse and convince the animal to vote with him on the next bill that entered the house.  It was a skill that Richard had inherited, and one that Darcy, at times, wished he possessed.

“Were there any stories of particular interest that might be suitable to relate to me?” she asked as she began eating her toast — strawberry first as was her usual fashion.

Darcy chuckled. “No.”

Georgiana’s brows rose.  “Indeed?” she said with no small amount of curiosity. 

“Indeed,” Darcy assured her. There was no way he was going to share with his sister about the duties of a husband to his wife, nor was he ready at this moment to admit to her that he was indeed looking for a wife — a very particular wife — Elizabeth. 

Georgiana sighed and returned to her toast.  “Are you going out today?”

“I have not decided.” He was considering calling on Elizabeth and possibly inviting her to go for a drive or perhaps an evening at the theatre or on a trip to the museum. They were all things that he suspected she would enjoy.

“Mrs. Annesley and I are planning to finish a few projects.”

He could tell by the way she was smiling that those projects included a gift for him. “Will you be working on them the whole day?”

“No,” she replied before washing down her third toast point with her tea. “Mr. Martin comes for a dance lesson this afternoon, and I have not yet mastered that Bach concerto. ” 

Darcy placed his empty cup on the table and, leaning back, watched her as she finished her breakfast.  She had not looked so happy as she did this morning in a very long time. 

“What?” she asked when she noticed his observation. “Do I have jam on my chin?” she whispered.

“No,” he replied with a chuckle.  “You have a smile on your face and an energy about you that has been absent for some time.” 

“I assure you, Fitzwilliam. My heart is healing.”

“So you have said, and I am beginning to believe.” 

She smiled at him.  “I will be finished soon.  Will you wait for me and escort me to my sitting room before you lock yourself away with your books and whatnot?” 

“I would like that,” he replied. 

Georgiana popped the last bit of black currant covered toast into her mouth and took up her cup.  Leaning back in her chair to enjoy the last of her tea, she watched her brother for a full two minutes before he began to squirm under her scrutiny. 

“Do I have jam on my cravat?” he asked in a whisper. 

She shook her head, and then, swallowed the last warm drops of tea before returning her cup to its saucer and standing in preparation to leave. “No, just a smile on your face and a relaxed air that I feared was lost.” 

“It would seem,” he said as Georgiana wrapped her arm around his, “that my heart has found its hope.” 

~*~*~

Leenie B Books

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Music Monday: Coffee Shop Angel, Dean Brody

I know it is Halloween tomorrow, but at my house during writing hours, it’s Christmas — or just about Christmas. My story timeline is currently in early December, but Georgiana’s plans to give her brother a wonderful Christmas gift are well underway. So, as I have been transitioning from editing Becoming Entangled (which I just sent off to my first editor yay) to writing time, I have been indulging in a few Christmas songs, such as the one below, to help me shift mental gears.

DeanBrodyTV. “DEAN BRODY ‘COFFEE SHOP ANGEL.’” YouTube, YouTube, 11 Dec. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=rinnHmkGJ_s.

While the music that plays while I write must be only instrumental, I find songs that have great lyrics — especially ones that tell a love story — to be very useful in getting my imagination working.  This song is one of those sorts of songs. It tells a sweet story, and, though it is a song by a Canadian country artist, it has a 1950s feel to it that, in my opinion, adds both to the enjoyment of listening and to the story itself. Without looking at the video, the words and music style create for me a great mental image of a couple in love and dancing in a darkened coffee shop with the chairs put up and the tables pushed back.

As I mentioned above Becoming Entangled is one step further down the publication trail. I have a sticky note marking November 21 as a tentative release day. It’s a fun story, and I am eager to share it with you all.

Of course, the fact that I have finished my first round of edits means my editing timeslot will be open for a few days. I haven’t decided yet if I will use that time to double up on my Christmas story, add to Confounding Caroline, begin another story starring Georgiana that will follow Becoming Entangled as a second sequel to Unravelling Mr. Darcy, or pick out one of my other many projects that are just waiting for attention. So many choices! 🙂 I’m thinking that I will likely put in extra time on Two Days before Christmas, but I am not making any promises. 🙂 I’ll have to let you know next week. For now, I will leave you with a sample from this week’s writing.

AN EXCERPT FROM Two Days before Christmas:

“Georgiana,” Darcy called as his sister passed the door to his study later that day. 

Georgiana took four more steps before stopping and abandoning her plan to ignore his summons.  There was no need to stir his ire any further; he was likely angry enough with her for her recent behaviour. She had not seen him scowl as much as he had during Caroline and Louisa’s call in a very long time. 

“You wished to see me?” she asked from the doorway. 

“Come in and sit down.”  He leaned back in his chair and waited for her to comply.  “Your behavior today was quite disturbing.” 

Georgiana bit her lower lip and lowered her gaze to her hands. 

“It is completely unacceptable for you to speak as you did — and in front of guests!” He rose and came to stand before her.  “It was disrespectful. I expect so much more from you.  Where have I erred?”

Georgiana peeked up at him.  He was propped against his desk with his arms folded across his chest, looking down at her with such a sad expression that it nearly destroyed her determination to press her point.  However, if she truly wished to see that heartbroken look in his eyes removed forever, she must not waiver.  Therefore, looking down once again at her hands, which were nervously twisting in her lap, she answered.  “Our parents, as well as you yourself, have taught me that a Darcy’s word is to be steadfast.  I am to consider promises carefully before I make them because a promise should not be broken save for the noblest of reasons.”

“This is true,” Darcy muttered.

Georgiana lifted her eyes to his.  “That is where you have erred. You promised Mr. Bingley that if he leased Netherfield, you would spend the autumn and most of the winter seeing that he had things well-in-hand before Easter, yet you have come home and refuse to return to Netherfield for who knows what reason.”  She lifted a brow.  “I truly do not believe it is to save him from a lady who is beneath him.”

“None of that explains your behaviour.” 

“No, it does not,” Georgiana agreed.  “But it is my answer to your question.  You have not erred with me. I know my behavior was wanting and drastically so.  However, it seemed the best way to capture your attention and get you to listen to me.”  She stood and placed her hands on his folded arms.  “You are my brother, and I love you with all my heart and hold you in the highest regard. You have cared well for me.  You have even saved me from certain ruin.  I wish to repay your kindness if only I knew how.”

He pulled his arms out from under her grasp and opened them wide to her in invitation.  Gladly she stepped into his embrace. 

“Let me love you,” she whispered. “Allow me to care for you and to point out your errors when I see them.  I am not the foolish girl I once was.”  She lay her head against his broad chest and listened to him pull in a deep breath and expel it in a whoosh. 

“We are all fools at times,” he murmured as he squeezed her tight. “If there was a way for you to assist me with my current dilemma, I would gladly seek your help, but I fear there is not.” 

“You will not keep your promise to Bingley?” she asked quietly.

He sighed.  “Your point was valid. I shall consider it.” 

“Are you still leaving?”

His grip on her tightened.  “I do not know.  I long to leave, to be far away from…” his voice trailed off and the room was silent for half a minute.  “I will consider staying, but I cannot promise beyond that.” 

“I am sorry,” she said.

“You are forgiven,” he replied. 

She shook her head as he released her. “Not just for my behaviour.” 

“Then what?” he asked as she moved toward the door. 

“That I could not save your heart from breaking.” She smiled a sad, knowing smile at him as she said the words that he had repeated to her over and over again after her ordeal with Wickham.  He stood quietly, looking at her as if he was uncertain if he should acknowledge that what she had said was true or false.  “It is in your eyes, Fitzwilliam. Your heartache is in your eyes,” she whispered and took her leave.

~*~*~

Leenie B Books

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