Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 9

You can find previous posts HERE.

Part Nine

Darcy’s brows furrowed as he shook his head. “But she has my good opinion; she does not have to wish for it.”

“Oh, she knows she has your tolerably good opinion,” Mrs. Gardiner said as she rose and gathered empty cups.  Both of her brows rose as she took Mr. Darcy’s cup from him.  “I am afraid she heard your comment at the assembly.  In fact, I am quite certain everyone who knows and is close to Lizzy has heard your comment from the assembly.  I had it in a letter not two days after it was spoken.”

Darcy blew out a breath and closed his eyes for a moment.  “Then, if she is so set against me, do I have any hope?” he asked.

Mrs. Gardiner placed the cups she held on the tea tray and then, as she crossed the room to summon someone to clear the things away, she stopped and lay a hand on Darcy’s shoulder much like Richard’s mother would at times when attempting to reassure him of something.

“Hope is not lost until she is married to someone other than you.  Until that time, we must not faint.”  She gave his shoulder a pat and then rang for the maid.

“Now, we must decide how to proceed,” she said as she returned to her seat. “I am not a matchmaker, mind you.  However, I do long to see my nieces well-settled.”

Her smile and accompanying laugh were infectious, filling the room with a lightness it had not had for several minutes.

“I might be able to persuade her to visit,”  Mrs. Gardiner said.  “And then you can call just as you are now, and she will see that you are not as she thinks.”  She winked. “I will be certain to sing your praises if she should disparage.  An unhappy Lizzy is known to allow her tongue to get the better of her good sense.  Aside from getting Elizabeth here and allowing Mr. Darcy to confuse and then charm her, are there any other contentious items that need our forethought?” Continue reading Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 9

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,

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 >>

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

Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 8

You can find previous posts HERE.

Part Eight

“Was it an unpardonable error?” Bingley’s heart thumped wildly, and his palms became moist while drawing a breath became something about which he needed to think.  How he would survive a negative response without making a complete cake of himself, he was uncertain.

Jane’s cheeks grew rosy, and she took a slow sip from her cup.  Then, as she returned her cup to her saucer with only a small clatter, she answered.  “It is only unpardonable if you intentions in calling today are less than sincere or if you should be so easily persuaded once again.”

“I promise my intentions are both sincere and unwavering,” Bingley replied, passing his cup to Darcy.  “I fear I will drop this if I must hold it any longer.”  He rubbed his hands on his breeches.  “If you will allow me, Miss Bennet, I will request an interview with your uncle to gain his blessing in your father’s stead to court you. I know this is not exactly the most fitting setting for such a discussion. I should have asked to speak to you in private. However, I came today determined to discover if I had any hope of winning you, and I am willing to openly suffer any humiliation my offer may bring.”  He smiled sheepishly. “Although I would be lying if I said I did not hope to avoid the humiliation of rejection.”

“You may speak to my uncle,” Jane said with a smile.

Bingley grasped Jane’s hand which was not holding her cup and lifting it, kissed it.   “Thank you,” he whispered, returning her smile.

“My husband will not be home for many hours,” Mrs. Gardiner said.  “He is to dine with an associate this evening.”

“Tomorrow would be soon enough,” Bingley replied.  “Unless it would not be too offensive for me to stop at his place of business today.”

Mrs. Gardiner chuckled.  “You do not do things by halves, do you, Mr. Bingley?”

“Not when it is of such importance as this,” Bingley replied with a smile.  “Now if you were to ask me to muck out the stables, I might not be as eager.”

“I shall ask you to do no such thing.”  Mrs. Gardiner’s left brow rose with an impertinence that reminded Darcy once again of Elizabeth.  “However, there are four children in the nursery, and I would not be above shuffling one or more of them off on you so that both their nurse and I might have a nice quiet cup of tea and a read.”

Bingley shrugged and settled back in his chair.  “I am fond of both children and toys, especially if there might be a tin of biscuits involved.”

“Oh, boys and their biscuits!” Mrs. Gardiner cried. “My youngest son is forever attempting to sneak an extra treat when his nurse’s back is turned.”  She chuckled.  “He is only two, so though I reprimand, it is forgivable.”  She held out a plate of almond cakes to Bingley.

“Mr. Darcy,” she began as Bingley selected two cakes from the plate, causing her to smile.  “You are like John,” she said to Bingley before turning back to Darcy.  “You said you could not return to Netherfield, and I admit to being curious as to the cause of your reluctance — nay — refusal to return.”  She offered him an almond cake and refused to move from her spot until he had taken one.  Then, she gathered his cup from the tea tray and returned that to him as well.  “I will not have you leave without refreshment,” she said kindly before returning to her seat. “Would I be correct in assuming it had something to do with another one of my nieces?”

Darcy washed down his bite of cake with some tea.  “Yes,” he replied simply.

“Were you much attached to Lizzy?”  Jane asked, causing Darcy’s eyes to widen in surprise.

The Miss Bennet he had witnessed today in this drawing room clashed with the one he remembered from his time in Hertfordshire.  This Miss Bennet was much bolder.  However, from the pink that stained her cheeks and the way her eyes did not hold his for long before dropping away, he knew that the effort was not without cost.

“Surprisingly, yes,” he admitted. “Although I did not realize just how much until I returned to town and could not rid myself of her memory.”

“She likes you,” Jane’s voice was no more than a whisper.

“I am sorry to disagree with you, Miss Bennet, but your sister most certainly does not like me,” Darcy returned.

“Oh, no,” Mrs. Gardiner said, “our Lizzy is quite taken with you.  She just does not realize it.”

For the first time since his arrival, Darcy saw the woman relax into her chair and take a leisurely sip of her tea rather than the quick ones she had taken thus far.

“You will have to explain that to me,” Darcy said. “I was left with the distinct impression that she did not approve of me any more than I approved of such a connection at that time.”

“How will your family receive her?”  Mrs. Gardiner asked.

Darcy shook his head and shrugged.  “I do not know, but first –”

“Do you love her?” Mrs. Gardiner interrupted.

Darcy drew a deep breath and released it as he nodded his head.  “But I do not see how –”

“Good,” Mrs. Gardiner interrupted again.

It appeared that the lady was determined to be the only one asking questions and directing the conversation, so Darcy leaned back and waited expectantly.

“No more protests, Mr. Darcy?”

The familiar twinkle had returned to Mrs. Gardiner’s eyes, causing the right side of Darcy’s mouth tipped up in a half smile.  “You are very much like her.”

Mrs. Gardiner finished the tea in her cup and placed it to the side. “I cannot deny that.  However, the fact that you have recognized it, speaks to how much you must admire her to have noticed such a thing. Tell me, because my curiosity must be satisfied; what makes you say that Elizabeth and I are alike?”

Darcy tipped his head.  “You would leave your children in the care of Bingley to have a cup of tea and a read. Therefore, I assume you enjoy reading as much as she does.”

With a tip of her head, Mrs. Gardiner accepted his statement as true.

“You are determined and unafraid to speak your mind.  You challenged both me and Bingley.”

“One of my faults,” Mrs. Gardiner said with a smile.

“No, I do not find it to be a fault. I prefer directness to prevarication and pandering.”  He tipped his head and watched the light dance in the eyes of the woman before him.  “Her eyes sparkle and dance just as yours do, and her brow raises in much the same fashion as yours is now.” A smile spread across his face.  “And, her lips purse and twitch just like that when she is trying to contain her amusement.”

Mrs. Gardiner clapped her hands in delight.  “Oh, you do love her!”

Darcy nodded.  “But –” He stopped as Mrs. Gardiner held up a hand.

“She would not dislike you as much as she does if she did not like you.”

Darcy’s brows furrowed.  How could dislike equate to like? “I beg your pardon?”

Bingley chuckled.

“Do you understand her meaning?” Darcy asked his friend.

“I think I might,” Bingley replied.  “The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.”

Darcy’s eyes grew wide.  “Shakespeare?”

“I said I read occasionally,” Bingley retorted.

“He has the right of it,” said Mrs. Gardiner, “does he not, Jane?”

Jane nodded. “Oh, indeed.  Lizzy avows her dislike far too much for it not to indicate how much she wishes for your good opinion.”


Leenie B Books


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,

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

Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 7

You can find previous posts HERE.

Part Seven

Darcy and Bingley stood just inside the foyer of a neat but modest home on Gracechurch Street waiting for their cards to be presented to the mistress of the home and her niece.

“The Gardiners do not appear to be destitute or even wanting,” Bingley whispered.  “This paper is new.” He nodded toward the wall. “Caroline has admired it and had begged me to allow her to redecorate the front sitting room with it.  However, I prefer paint over flowers.”  He pursed his lips as he studied the paper on the wall.  “Unless of course my wife prefers flowers, and then I shall prefer them as well.”

Darcy chuckled.  “I have not considered my preference one way or the other.  I simply wish my surroundings to look…” His brow furrowed as he thought of how best to describe his taste in decor. It really was not something he considered often. He knew what he liked and what he did not, but he had not put significant effort into deciding how he would decorate a home.  His mother had done that sort of thing, and now, if a space needed refreshing, he simply deferred to the opinion of either Georgiana or Lady Matlock.  He shrugged. “I prefer my rooms to be welcoming and not garish, homely and not ostentatious.”

“Which is why my sister should not be allowed to decorate your home or mine,” Bingley said with a smirk.  “Are you prepared to see if it is possible to convince a Bennet lady to take on such a task?” he whispered as they followed behind the maid who directed them to the sitting room on their right.

They had discussed how they would approach this interview as they had travelled together today.  It was decided that the folly of both Caroline and Darcy should be broached directly as neither gentleman wished to be left wondering as to their position in hoping to attain their happiness.

“Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy, it is a pleasure to meet you,” a lady, dressed in the current fashion of the day and appearing to be no older than Darcy, if she was even that, greeted them as they entered the room. Continue reading Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 7

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,

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

Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 6

You can find previous posts HERE.

Part Six

Richard eyed Bingley and Darcy suspiciously.  “And who might that be?”

“Wickham,” said Darcy.

Richard muttered and took a gulp of his drink.

“Bingley’s neighbour has five daughters, and he is concerned for their safety.”  Darcy felt his ears warm at the half-truth. It was not only Bingley who wished to see to the safety of the Bennets.

“Five daughters?”  Richard whistled softly.  “And would one of these be your new angel?” he asked Bingley.  “You do still find an angel in every town, do you not?”

“If things go well,” Darcy answered before Bingley could, “I think this may be Bingley’s last angel.”

Richard let out another slow whistle.  “She must be quite the lady.”

Bingley grinned, completely undaunted by Richard’s teasing tone.  “She is,” he said, “and she has four sisters that need protection from Wickham.”

Richard tipped his head and looked from Bingley to Darcy and back. “Your angel has been seen in company with you and Darcy?”

Bingley nodded.  “As have certain of her sisters.”  Bingley winked slyly at Richard.

Darcy groaned inwardly as he shook his head.  Of course, Bingley would not keep that information to himself.

Richard’s brows rose as an impish grin spread across his face.  “Has my cousin singled out any sister in particular?”  Continue reading Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 6