Friday’s Feature: His Beautiful Bea

Welcome to a new category of blog posts.  Once a month, on a Friday, I will feature the description of and an excerpt from one of my previously published books. Sometimes these featured books, such as today’s feature, will be on sale for the weekend.

Click the image to find this book on sale at Amazon.

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Let’s begin with the book’s description:

Graeme Clayton has always thought of his brother, Everett, as a bit of a blockhead.  However, when Everett seems to prefer a fawning and flirtatious lady over Beatrice Tierney,  Graeme knows that his brother is not just a bit of a blockhead but a complete and utter fool!

Knowing that Beatrice secretly loves Everett and despite his opinion of his brother’s mental faculties, Graeme vows to do his part to bring the two together.  For to Graeme, there is nothing more important than seeing his lovely neighbour and good friend happy.

Beatrice Tierney has long harboured feelings for Graeme’s younger brother, who is serious and thoughtful ─ or at least he used to be.  Now, she fears she must watch any hope she had of ever securing his heart slip away forever.

However, she is not destined to watch alone.  Graeme has positioned himself as her champion and with his help, she just might find both true happiness and love.

His Beautiful Bea is the first in my Touches of Austen collection. These stories feature original characters and plots that have been touched in some way by the influence of Jane Austen and her novels. His Beautiful Bea has elements in it which harken back to Mansfield Park, but as you can see from the description and the excerpt below, this story is not a retelling or a variation of Mansfield Park. It is its own sweet tale of discovering love in an unexpected place.

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Now for an excerpt. This portion is from chapter 4 which is about halfway through this short and sweet novella. Enjoy!  Continue reading Friday’s Feature: His Beautiful Bea

Thursday’s Three Hundred: Confounding Caroline, Part 1

Welcome to a new Thursday Three Hundred story! This story begins in London after Jane has called on Bingley’s sisters and Darcy has heard about it.  Now, how does one deal with a sister who has interfered with her brother’s happiness? And how does a gentleman convince the woman he has discovered he can’t live without to give him a second chance? You’ll have to read Confounding Caroline to find out.

[Remember, as with all Thursday Three Hundred stories, these posts are pieces of a work in progress. There will be errors. Each post will be about one thousand words in length and not just three hundred.]

Part 1

Fitzwilliam Darcy handed his coat and beaver to Bingley’s butler.  “I had hoped you would be home, but I did not expect it,” he said in greeting to his friend, who leaned nonchalantly against the door to the sitting room he had no doubt just exited since the lamps were still lit.  “Reading?” Darcy asked with some surprise as he took note of the book in Bingley’s hand.

Bingley shrugged.  “I do read on occasion.”

“I would not wish to keep you from your amusements.”  Darcy smirked slightly. If he knew his friend, Bingley would likely not mind the disruption.  Bingley preferred people to books.

Bingley shook his head and chuckled. “Come, my study would be more comfortable than the sitting room, and less likely to be invaded by females should Caroline return early.”

“I am surprised you did not accompany her to the Graham’s soiree,”  Darcy said, following Bingley into the study.

“I have had my fill of ferrying her around only to have her turn up her pert little nose at every gentleman she meets, so I sent her with Louisa and Hurst.”  He tucked his book away on a shelf behind his desk, and then opening the door on the right side of his desk, he pulled out a bottle of amber coloured liquid and two glasses.  “I find I tire of society.  It is always the same.  The same ladies in different dresses with different coloured hair and hats, but the same gossip, the same weather, the same pleasantries. It’s just the so much of the same, over and over and over and over.”  He handed a glass to Darcy and smiled. “Besides, if I am not mistaken, I will not be the only one who will enjoy this Caroline-free evening.”

Darcy chuckled “The quiet is agreeable to me, but you have never enjoyed silence as much as I.”  There was something different about Bingley the last few weeks.  He did not smile as much as was his usual wont, and he seemed to tuck himself away in his study more and more.  Darcy swirled the liquid in his glass and threw one leg over the other. The leather squeaked as he shifted in the chair across from Bingley.

Bingley sighed. “I find I am longing for the country, but Caroline will hear nothing of leaving town when there are so many functions to attend.”  He took a draught from his glass.  “If I thought she meant to find a husband, trotting her around to the various venues might not be so bothersome, but she is not intent on snaring anyone but you.”

Darcy nodded slowly.  Caroline had never been reserved in demonstrating her preference for him over every gentleman she met.  “A title and a larger fortune might dissuade her.”

The hint of bitterness in Bingley’s laugh surprised Darcy almost as much as Bingley’s wishing to leave town and avoid society.  These were not Bingley actions. They were behaviours that were more likely to be attributed to Darcy rather than his gregarious friend.

“She is as stubborn as a mule,” Bingley muttered, “and almost as bright.”

Darcy’s brows rose.  He had heard Bingley complain about Caroline before but never about anything more than her incessant need to purchase fripperies and dresses or the way she nattered on about this person or that person.  There was something decidedly wrong with his friend, and Darcy had a sinking feeling that he knew just what it was.

“You surprise me,” Darcy said. “Was it not you who claimed to be happy wherever you were, be it town or country?”

“That was before,” Bingley said over the rim of his glass.

“Before what?” Darcy prodded.

“Before I took an estate.” Bingley shifted in his chair uneasily, studying the painting above the fireplace for a few moments before allowing his attention to return to his friend.  He watched Darcy’s foot bounce up and down slightly, and sighed deeply.

Darcy surreptitiously glanced at his friend.  He recognized Bingley’s sigh for it was the same groan of uncertainty that had taken up residence in his chest.  It was a new and unwelcome feeling, and it was not something he could command away,  though he had tried.  He had not been able to erase it with busyness or wash it away with drink.  There remained only one option.  It must be acknowledged.  The root of it must be exposed.

“So, is it the estate or the society in Hertfordshire that you miss, my friend?” Darcy’s voice was quiet, and he fixed his eyes on the wall beyond Bingley’s head.  A small smile played at his mouth as he contemplated the image that always came to his mind when he thought of Hertfordshire.  “Netherfield seems like a fine estate, and the neighbourhood was not without its enchantments.” He sipped his drink and then swirled it again, watching the liquid swirl up the sides of the glass.

“I thought you loathed the inhabitants of Hertfordshire.”  Bingley’s voice was filled with incredulity. “Is that not why you and my sisters were so hasty in joining me in town ─ the people are beneath us, there is no society worth keeping, that sort of thing?

Again Darcy’s brows rose at the rancor in Bingley’s voice.  He sighed heavily, and colour crept up his cheeks.  This would not be a pleasant discussion, but it was a necessary one. “I did not loathe all of the inhabitants. Actually, I found some of them to be quite delightful, so delightful, in fact, that leaving seemed safer than staying.”  He rose and walked to the window.  Admitting his folly and weakness would be easier if he were able to move about and not have to face the friend he had, he suspected, unknowingly harmed.

Bingley drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair and raised a brow in anticipation of an expected explanation.

“She is here in town.” Darcy placed his empty glass on a side table and allowed his eyes to remain on it rather than look at his friend.

“Who is here in town?”

Darcy drew a deep breath and spared Bingley only a glance before returning his gaze to his glass.  “Miss Bennet.”

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Leenie B Books

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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: I Don’t Want to Live Without You, Foreigner

This week, I started my writing sessions by watching a video while my document opened, and I got my notebook, pen, and calendar out.  The video below was one of the videos that served as an aide in shifting from school and family things to creative work mode.

MaCarmen De Rivera. “Foreigner – I Don’t Want to Live without You (Sub Español) ~ Orgullo & Prejuicio.” YouTube, YouTube, 29 June 2012.

This is not the first time I have shared this video on a Monday, but it has been more than a year since I did.  Last time I shared this video, I was working on His Convenient Choice, which is not a Darcy and Elizabeth story; however, this time around, I was working on a story that will (should?) end with Darcy and Elizabeth together. This current story, Confounding Caroline, is not complete, but it is going to get set aside for a while.

I have gotten my last set of edits for Unravelling Mr. Darcy back from my second editor and need to attend to those as well as begin writing the sequel, Becoming Entangled, so there is an excerpt to include at the end of the book (as per my first editor’s request). I am hoping to get a lot of that done this week in spite of school lessons to teach to my son and relatives arriving on the weekend.  (Yes, I am nuts — and a bit driven. 😉 Hopefully, there will be something left of me by next Monday! 🙂 )

And now for a portion of what I wrote this past week. One small word of caution for those who wish to avoid all spoilers — this excerpt contains the beginning of how our main characters will deal with the problem of Caroline.  As always on these days, read at your own risk. 🙂

AN EXCERPT FROM Confounding Caroline:  Continue reading Music Monday: I Don’t Want to Live Without You, Foreigner

Music Monday: Rescue, Hunter Hayes

Today, I am sharing a video but not just because of the music (which is excellent). Rather, I am sharing it because of what is happening in the background while the music is being played.  You’ll have to watch to see what I am talking about.  (I find it fascinating to watch artists do this sort of thing.)  However, don’t get so caught up in the moment that you forget to keep scrolling after the video is over and miss the writing news and story excerpt I am including.  🙂

hunterhayes. “Hunter Hayes – Rescue (Official Music Video).” YouTube, YouTube, 29 June 2017.

As expected, this week was a slightly lower productivity week for me as I took time out to take a day trip to Fort Anne and Port-Royal National Historic sites (pictured below) with my husband and boys.

But in spite of this full day break from my normal routine and an evening spent out and about with my husband, I did manage to get some work done.

Here’s what I accomplished:

  • I came very close to finishing the first pass edits of Unravelling Mr. Darcy, so that should get sent to my first reader this week.
  • I wrote my post for Austen Authors for this Tuesday, which includes an excerpt of Henry’s story and a giveaway.
  • I bundled And Then Love, The Tenant’s Guest, So Very Unexpected, and At All Costs into a one book Willow Hall Romance collection and have uploaded it to Kindle at a special sales price (USD 3.99).  I will be uploading it to my various other vendors over the course of this week, but the special price is only on the Kindle edition and only available until September 5, 2017.
  • AND I added about 3,000 words to my work in progress — Confounding Caroline, which will become the next Thursday’s Three Hundred story once October gets here and from which I am sharing an excerpt below.

EXCERPT FROM Confounding Caroline Continue reading Music Monday: Rescue, Hunter Hayes

Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy

Today marks the book birthday for Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy — a book that began its journey into existence through an idea left in the comments on a Music Monday post.  Let me tell you a little about the book and then leave you with two links — one where you can read a preview and one to all the stores on which this novella is available for purchase.

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This book is about Henry Crawford, the would-be prince charming to Fanny Price’s Cinderella.  Had he had a better upbringing, had he had the fortitude within himself to resist his own vanity, had he been faithful to do what he told Fanny he would, his fate would have been different.  There were so many things that he should have but did not do, and in so not doing, he worked out his own ruin and unhappiness.

In the final chapter of Mansfield Park, Jane Austen has a fairly lengthy passage about how Mr. Crawford came upon his ruin, and that is where she leaves him — in misery. The reader does not know what will become of him beyond him feeling the consequences of his poor choices most greatly.

This is where I have picked up the story. Right there, where Henry is feeling his failure, where he his heartbroken and wretched.  But I have no intention of leaving him in such a state, for you see, in my story, the agony of loss had done its work and begun a transformation, leaving Henry Crawford with a desire to regain something of what he lost in Fanny Price and on a path to achieving his own happily ever after.

However, change is never easy.

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A preview of this book is available HERE.

You may purchase this book at your favourite retailer HERE.

  

He’s failed before, but with her help, this time, he might just succeed.

 

Music Monday: She’s More, Pride and Prejudice

Today, I thought I would share the last video that I added to my Music Meets Movies YouTube playlist today.  Now, I like country music — the newer style stuff, the stuff that is less “twangy,” — but this video was just so enjoyable and the song lyrics are just story-inspiring (IMO) that I couldn’t resist adding it to my list. So give it a listen and read on to see what is happening in my writing life.

wantingyounear. “Pride and Prejudice – She’s More.” YouTube, YouTube, 7 Apr. 2008, youtu.be/LNiXUFSqexk.

This past week was a tad on the frustrating side as far as getting work done. There were a number of things that “popped up” and demanded attention. Some of which were really fun like the Thursday evening supper out and drive to Peggy’s Cove at sunset with my husband followed by an after-dark walk along the Halifax Waterfront. Others were not as enjoyable 🙂

(But then, what is as enjoyable as spending time with the guy you love?)

All of these unexpected things meant that almost all of Unravelling Mr. Darcy still needs first round edits — I only got one chapter done –, and my word count on the new story was a good bit lower than I had hoped it would be.  However, I did get some words written, and I am going to share a portion of those words with you below this short writing news section.

Two writing-related things that I have coming up this week are the release of Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy on Tuesday and a guest post on Diary of an Eccentric with an ebook giveaway on Wednesday.

On the non-writing-related side of life, I have a couple of day trips coming up, so I already know this will be a less productive week.  However, I’ll do my best to find time to write so that I have something to share with you next week.

Now, to share the last bit of what I wrote this week. This story is still the one that I plan to post on Thursdays here on the blog as soon as With the Colonel’s Help is finished.

AN EXCERPT FROM Confounding Caroline:  Continue reading Music Monday: She’s More, Pride and Prejudice