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: 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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Music Monday: Moonlight Sonata, Dan Gibson [Beethoven]

Below is a piece of music that Georgiana might have had in her music room since Ludwig van Beethoven completed Moonlight Sonata in 1801.  This version of that sonata happened to be included on a CD that I picked up recently at a thrift store and has been playing in the background during part of my writing time this past week.

Phyllo GP. “Moonlight Sonata – Dan Gibson [Beethoven].” YouTube, YouTube, 14 Sept. 2012, youtu.be/FIVn7hmnfmc.

While my blog might have sat idle this past week, my fingers have not. I had a great week of writing, even after taking time off for Thanksgiving.  There are perhaps a few projects that are not as far along as I would like them to be, but the short pause was refreshing.  As of today, the blog is returning to its regular posting schedule, and, as promised, a new story, Confounding Caroline, will begin posting this Thursday.

If you look in the Thursday’s Three Hundred section, you will see that it is currently empty.  That is because I have removed With the Colonel’s Help as I move down my publication checklist and get the book ready for release in just a couple of weeks.  I had hoped to get a short preorder set up, but it’s not looking promising.  However, the publication date of October 26 for the ebook version looks to be on schedule with the print version to follow shortly thereafter.

I was also able to complete the first draft of Becoming Entangled, the sequel to Unravelling Mr. Darcy.  I will share an excerpt from that below.  I expect this story to be published by the end of November — maybe in time for American Thanksgiving. We shall see.

I have started a brand new story called Two Days before Christmas, which features a spunky Georgiana whose Christmas wish is to see her brother happy even if it means doing some meddling. I am just a few thousand words into that one and would like one more week with it before sharing any excerpts. Of course, that means you will get a peek at that next Monday.

But for now, here is

AN EXCERPT from Becoming Entangled: 

[Warning: this piece is from near the end of the book. Therefore, read at your own risk.] Continue reading Music Monday: Moonlight Sonata, Dan Gibson [Beethoven]

Music Monday: New Day, David Garrett

This coming Saturday, October 7, 2017, I am going to do something I have not done in a long time. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did this. Want to know what it is?  Hit play and while you listen to some lovely music accompanied by some beautiful pictures, I will tell you. 🙂

HelenaPrats. “New Day ~David Garrett~.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 July 2011.

I am going to take a day off from creating blog posts. I am not going to do extra posts this week to make up for it. I am actually going to let my blog sit idle for a week.  As I write this, a little voice questions my ability to follow through, but I am determined.  With the Colonel’s Help, the current Thursday Three Hundred story ends this week, so this is a natural time to hit pause for a day — or part of one. I feel a need to recharge. I’ve felt it for a while, so I am going to listen for once. 🙂

But don’t worry, even if the blog is idle next week, I won’t be.  I will be writing and editing.

I have set a tentative release day of October 26, 2017, for With the Colonel’s Help.  I will finish first round edits today or tomorrow, and it will begin its journey through the rest of the editorial process. Fingers crossed that there will be a short preorder for this one.

I am just a little over a third of the way through Becoming Entangled. I hope to have that book ready for you by the end of November, and then, I would like to (maybe) do a Christmas short story.  So there is plenty for me to be writing during the blogs downtime.  🙂

I have just started tangling things up in Becoming Entangled this week and attempting to sort out how I want to present Anne.  Currently, she is naive as well as sly.  She is young for her age — likely due to her mother’s constraints, under which Anne is chafing and is rather desperate to leave behind.  Will she do it in a good way or will she make a muddle of things and end up worse than she considers herself to be at present?  I am not one hundred percent certain of that answer yet as my brain has been toying with shaking up what I had planned.  I suppose with another couple of weeks of writing, I will know. 🙂

You may read a little about her below in the excerpt if you wish and let me know what you think. This is a first draft, so it is written in wet cement not set in stone at this point. 🙂 Remember, if you choose to read the excerpt, it may contain spoilers, so read at your own risk. 🙂

AN EXCERPT from Becoming Entangled Continue reading Music Monday: New Day, David Garrett

Music Monday: Rolling in the Deep Cover, Piano Guys

Do you ever just start typing in a URL and when the computer suggests a full address for that site, you just click enter, not caring that when you get to your desired destination, you will have to do a bit more clicking to find what you really want?  I do. Often. Especially when going to YouTube.

ThePianoGuys. “Adele – Rolling in the Deep (Piano/Cello Cover) – The Piano Guys.” YouTube, YouTube, 7 Sept. 2011.

I did that very thing all this past week when sitting down to write.  The suggested address always took me to the above video, and so, each of my writing sessions began with The Piano Guys’ cover of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.  🙂 I would then hit shuffle and randomly listen to other music from my writing playlist.  This song though seems to have just the right melody, rhythm, and dissonance for the story I am attempting to craft because, while the story will be sweet with a happily ever after, I do hope to stir up some trouble along the way. So far, things are sailing along smoothly for everyone involved in the story. However, I’m 6K words in, so it’s time to start tossing issues at the hero and heroine.  I suppose that will be my “fun” during my writing time this week.

As I look forward to this week of writing, I am planning to continue writing Becoming Entangled, and I’ll likely start editing With the Colonel’s Help as the last post for that story is next week!

I also will be taking my turn on Austen Authors with a look at how I used research about Vauxhall Gardens in Unravelling Mr. Darcy.  This post will, of course, contain an excerpt and a giveaway.  I’d love to have you stop by and say hi!

The launch of Unravelling Mr. Darcy last week went well.  As I am writing this Sunday evening, it is ranking in the top 20 bestsellers in a couple of categories, and it currently has seven five-star reviews! Thank you to everyone who has purchased and read the book as well as those lovely readers that took time to tell others that they enjoyed the book.

If you read Unravelling Mr. Darcy, then you know that Anne de Bourgh’s story is left up in the air.  Becoming Entangled is her story and the one on which I have been working this past week and have excerpted below.

EXCERPT FROM Becoming Entangled:  Continue reading Music Monday: Rolling in the Deep Cover, Piano Guys