Joshgroban. “Josh Groban – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas [Official Lyric Video].” YouTube. YouTube, 21 Nov. 2016. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.
It has been a while since I posted a Music Monday. 🙂 I have been busy. This year, I have given up my position as a traditional classroom teacher and have taken on the privileged position of teacher at home to my high school son. We have been learning together and working on figuring out how this change in life is going to work. We still do not have it down, but we’re getting there! (And we are both enjoying it….most of the time 😉 ). I have also been busy getting So Very Unexpected‘s first draft finished and then diving into writing, editing, and otherwise preparing A Very Mary Christmas for release next month (December 20 is the expected day!)
So, knowing what I have coming out next month, can you guess why I picked this song for today? Yep, it goes well not only with the title of my soon-to-be released novella, but the lyrics kind of apply as well. Friends do gather. My main characters will be together if the fates allow…and if that happens, this interesting cast of characters will be gathering together for many, many Christmases to come.
So, let me share the book description with you and then a small excerpt. You may also be interested to know that I have started posting the story on darcyandlizzy.com.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A Very Mary Christmas
A Pride and Prejudice Novella and Sequel to Waking to Mr. Darcy
She’s planning an escape. He’s planning his future. But their destiny rests in the hands of schemers.
What is a lady to do when your mother shares with one and all that you have lost your last chance for marriage and when the one man you wish to marry sees you only as a friend? If you are Mary Bennet, you plan to escape to London and begin a new life while attempting to forget the man you left behind.
What is a gentleman to do when your father retires to Bath, leaving you his estate as well as his debts along with new bills and the care of a devil-may-care brother? If you are a cautious and calculating businessman like Nicholas Hammond, you double down your efforts to make your estate solvent and tuck away your hopes of marrying until the finances are well and truly able to withstand the added expenses of a wife and family.
And what is the sister or brother of such a gentleman or lady to do if you wish to see your sibling happy? If you are Jane or Elizabeth Bennet, you attempt to arrange chance meetings, but if you are Alfred Hammond, you look to your conniving friend, Whit, for help and stage a scheme that will either destroy all hopes of happiness or result in a Very Mary Christmas.
A STORY EXCERPT: (Read at your own risk as it may contain spoilers. This excerpt is from chapter 8 and there are only 14 chapters, so this is the “turning point.” Fred is the hero’s troublesome brother and Whit is Fred’s scheming friend. They are not always appropriate in their talking about ladies.)
Drawing to a stop a short distance from the stables at Rosemoore, Whit slid down from his mount and joined his friend. “I thought I had you from the jump.”
“Not today, not ever,” Fred returned triumphantly. They walked together to the stables and handed the horses over to a couple of grooms to be cooled down and put away properly. “Tell me,” said Fred. “Why is my brother in such a mood?”
Whit tipped his head and considered the question. “How much do you wish to annoy your brother?”
Fred’s brows drew together, and he shook his head. “I do not wish to annoy him. It just naturally happens.”
“So, you do not wish to do him harm?”
“No. He is my brother and holds the purse strings.”
“Always about blunt with you two,” muttered Whit as they entered the house.
Fred shrugged. “My father has appointed him my keeper.”
Whit sighed. “Kitty.”
“I think, I choose Miss Kitty unless you prefer her? She is not as loud as her sister. Miss Lydia would be good for a tumble, but it is not worth the pleasure to risk having to listen to her every day forever.” He shook his head. “I honestly do not know how Mr. Bennet does it.” Whit turned to Fred. “Do you prefer Miss Kitty to Miss Lydia?”
Fred shook his head. “I do not prefer either.”
Whit tipped his head to the side once again. “Do not tell me you actually prefer Miss Mary?”
“I am not at leisure to prefer anyone. My brother has made that abundantly clear. ”
“Why does your brother not marry?” Whit shrugged out of his coat and took a seat in the corner of the library.
“He says it is money.”
Whit laughed and shook his head. “Of course, it is.”
“He said it yesterday at church.” Fred dropped into a chair next to Whit. “The estate is all he thinks of.” He shrugged. “He is a dour old grump, but his heart is good. I know Father spends more than he should. I have seen Mother fidget when speaking of spending, so I know it unsettles her.”
“And you add to the worry with careless accidents?” Whit’s legs were sprawled out in front of him and his head was resting against the back of the chair as he looked up at the ceiling.
“I suppose I do,” said Fred. “What does this have to do with why my brother is so cross?”
“You know how I love to have a grand time, do you not?” Whit sat up and leaned toward Fred.
“We must stop.”
“Reckless fun that causes your brother to put out unnecessary money.”
Fred shook his head in disbelief as he stared at his friend.
Whit sighed. “I believe he wishes to marry.”
“Nicholas? My brother?” Fred laughed.
“How many times has he mentioned the expense of a wife in the last two days? At least twice?” Whit leaned back again. “You should learn to listen for clues, Fred. Your brother wishes to marry, and I believe, he wishes to marry Miss Mary. That is why he is so cross.” Whit tipped his head to look at his shocked friend. “And we are going to help him.”
These two are home from school early because a scheme went wrong. Disaster seems to follow them.
Waking to Mr. Darcy is the prequel to A Very Mary Christmas.
Rain, Mud, and Happily Ever After
A sudden clap of thunder, a downpour of rain, and an injured Elizabeth in desperate need of care conspire to force a marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy.