Music Monday: Little Moments, Brad Paisley and More

This Music Monday is full of info and includes two songs because, well, I’ll explain as we get to them. 🙂

BRADPAISLEYVEVO. “Brad Paisley – Little Moments.” YouTube. YouTube, 02 Oct. 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

First up is Little Moments by Brad Paisley.  I adore this song. It is so cute — and the ending is perfect! And, in my opinion, it is the little moments that show the greatest amount of love in a relationship.  Grand gestures like romantic plans on Valentine’s Day as well as special getaways and gifts are all wonderful. Don’t get me wrong. I love them. However, when you’re struggling to keep it together because everything has gone wrong or the kids have stomped on your last nerve, and your husband folds the laundry or does the dishes or just wraps his arms around you and listens to your mostly coherent babbling — to me, those are the whispers that shout. Those little moments are so very precious.

I do have a story connection for this song, too.  Tomorrow, February 14, is release day for So Very Unexpected. (It may actually be available already. Due to a blizzard warning being issued, I uploaded the files early just in case we run into power outage issues.)   Now, if you read this story when it was posting on Thursdays, I think you will agree with me that Marcus and Lydia will likely have a lot of little moments in their relationship.  Even the manner in which they met in his cottage because she had taken a wrong turn seem to fit quite well with this song.

I will be at Austen Authors tomorrow with an excerpt and some thoughts as well as a chance to win an ebook copy of So Very Unexpected.  Stop by if you get the chance.

So obviously, I spent time getting my post for Austen Authors ready this week. I thought I had it done before but then, changed my mind and rewrote it.  🙂  I also spent a good bit of time rereading So Very Unexpected and making the line edits. Then, I made certain the print cover was ready — the spine width could not be set until the final page number was known.  This also required the writing of a synopsis for the back of the book and the various retail sites.  By the time I got all that done it was Saturday! So, no new words on my current work in progress. 🙁

As I sat down to begin getting blog posts scheduled on Friday, I kept coming back to this thought:  “What will I share on Monday? I really want to share something new on Monday.”  Well, yesterday, I decided to give myself a writing exercise. When I have not written in a week or more, I often find a writing exercise beneficial.  Below is my writing exercise. In honor of both Valentine’s Day and the release of So Very Unexpected which is the third book in the Willow Hall Romance series, I decided to write a love letter — a particular love letter.  In book 2, Darcy leaves Willow Hall and on his way, he stops to deliver a letter to Elizabeth.  One of the readers here on my blog mentioned that they would like to see that letter (I think it was Linda who suggested it), and I wrote that idea down for later.  Well, it’s now later. 🙂  (And song two is after the letter…so keep reading.)  Continue reading Music Monday: Little Moments, Brad Paisley and More

Music Monday: Thunderstruck, 2Cellos

In this week’s Music Monday post, I am sharing a bit about what I did with my writing time this past week as well as a story snippet and a fun video that I think sums up how Elizabeth feels in the excerpt when she figures out exactly where she is.  Enjoy! And have a great Monday!

2Cellos. “2CELLOS – Thunderstruck [OFFICIAL VIDEO].” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

WRITING NEWS: 

This week has been a low word count week for writing. There were other things that needed doing.  One of the things that I did was create a new cover for

One of the things that I did was create a new cover forSo Very Unexpected So Very Unexpected.   I had one that I was using as I was writing and editing the book, but I wasn’t completely happy with it. I am much better pleased with this new cover.  At the same time, I also created a cover for At All Costs and for the bundled Willow Hall Romance series.  I have also started working on the print cover for So Very Unexpected as well as getting final file formats started. I should have my last edits back this week and NEXT Tuesday, the book should be published in ebook format with print being ready shortly after.

Part of my writing time this week was devoted to the new story I have started and the other part was given to preparing an Austen Author’s post for next Tuesday. The first draft of that post is ready, but it still needs graphics. And I must decide if I am going to do a giveaway.

One reason I did not get as much story written this week is that I have hit a wall of thinking (which means I must be at least halfway through as that is where this wall usually hits). There are details that need to be considered. So while my brain works on those things, I did some reading and a bit of planning.  Between this and the graphic work for the covers, my brain is feeling nearly ready to tackle those decisions.

STORY EXCERPT: Continue reading Music Monday: Thunderstruck, 2Cellos

Music Monday: Two Period Drama Videos, Falling (Keri Noble)

I have two videos for you today — same song, different story — because I just could not pick one. I love both movies that have been paired up with this beautiful song.  Writing news and a story excerpt can be found below the second video.

Hernandez, Danielle. “North and South – Falling.” YouTube. YouTube, 30 Mar. 2008. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.
Tiyera. “Pride and Prejudice – Darcy & Elizabeth – Falling.” YouTube. YouTube, 03 Oct. 2009. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.

So which video did you like best? I really could not choose one.  They are both on my Music Meets Movies playlist on Youtube.  I picked this song to share today because of the excerpt that I am sharing.  Like many (most) of my books, So Very Unexpected is a story of two characters meeting and slowly realizing that they love each other.

In this book, the love story begins as a friendship.  Marcus finds Lydia in his cottage and befriends her on their trip back to Willow Hall.  Lydia has not had many true friends in her life and having someone like her just for herself and not for what they can get from her is a new experience.  As the story progresses this friendship evolves into something deeper — love.  The excerpt below is part of the chapter where Marcus is finally asked to consider Lydia as wife, and it is where his “fear” sets in as he wrestles with the thought.

So Very Unexpected is in its final stages of editing, and its release date is scheduled for February 14, 2017.

STORY EXCERPT FROM So Very Unexpected

*( ) added to clarify characters

“The scoundrel (Wickham) may attempt to scheme his way into the coffers of whomever Miss Lydia marries.”  He (Marcus) leaned forward and glared at both men (Mr. Williams and Philip). “You know as well as I that not all husbands will be kind to a wife they think has played them for a fool.”  His heart beat heavily against his ribs while his fingers clutched the arms of his chair. How could they suggest such a thing? It would be better for Lydia never to marry than to be subjected to such treatment.

“Yes,” said Philip, pushing a folded piece of paper across the desk toward Marcus, “we have taken that into consideration.  I made a list of men I knew to be upstanding in my estimation.  The list was not long, of course.  We are not well-stocked with eligible gentlemen here in Kympton at present, so I included those I knew from Lambton.”

Marcus attempted to take the paper from the desk, but Philip held it in place by pressing down on it.

“Lucy wishes for me to say that she had only your description and a few comments made yesterday by Aunt Tess upon which to base her opinions when eliminating names.”  Philip removed his hand from the paper.  “However, she also had a few opinions of her own about some of the gentlemen I had included and therefore, would not allow their names to remain on the list.”

Marcus opened the paper.  A list of about fifteen names had been whittled down to five.  “Harris?  I dare say he would not treat her well,” Marcus muttered.  “It was he who called her a flirt to Miss Elizabeth.”

“Would you like to remove his name?” Philip held out a pen.  Had Marcus not been so disgusted with his cousin as a choice and therefore so eager to scratch out his name, he might have noticed the amused look that passed between Philip and Mr. Williams.

Marcus scooted to the edge of his chair and, placing the paper on the desk, scratched out his cousin’s name.  “Besides, he is only a captain.” He looked up at Philip.  “The bottom of what Miss Lydia finds acceptable for rank.  Now, Colonel Fitzwilliam has a better rank and good connections,” he drew a line through the name, “but Mary Ellen would not be pleased.”

“She should make her interest known,” muttered Philip.

“Perhaps, but I will not attempt to steer the object of her affections away from her.”

“Just as you refuse to inform him of her affections?” Philip asked with a laugh.

“Precisely.”  Marcus grinned at his brother.  “For the same reasons you have not made mention of it.”

Philip inclined his head in acknowledgment of the fact.

Marcus returned his attention to the list and scratched out the next two names.  “Not sensible enough.  It would be a home filled with folly,” he muttered about the first.  “Too sensible. She would be thought a fool,” he said of the second and looked up at his brother, “which she is not.”

He made one last omission from the list and, placing the pen on the desk, sat back in his chair.  It had taken some fortitude to omit the last name, for a small flutter in the vicinity of his heart wished for the gentleman to succeed with Lydia.

“You have made our task impossible.”  Philip’s words were stern, but his expression was not.  “You did not mention why the last man was unacceptable.”

“He is too old, and she is too young.”

Philip picked up the paper and motioned to his brother to lean forward.  Then, he looked very carefully at Marcus’ face.   “I am afraid you are wrong.”  He picked up the pen and added Marcus’ name once again to the list.

“I am not.”

Philip nodded and pointed to the corner of his eye.  “No lines.  Therefore, not old.”  He grinned.  “Although not young either.”

“I cannot marry her.”  The words cut at his heart.  “She is not ready to take on Aldwood Abbey.”

Mr. Williams snorted.  “She is not ready, or you are not?”  He stood.  “Your grandfather said the same about your mother when your father married.”  His hand rested on Marcus’s shoulder.  “And she did struggle at first, but ask anyone in your father’s employ, she rose to the challenge, just as I expect, Miss Lydia would. She is quick enough to see a blackguard for what he is and cunning enough to bend him to her purposes.  So, unless you can find a name to replace yours, you will have to accept one of the fellows you crossed off — or take on the responsibility yourself.”  He gave Marcus’ shoulder a pat.  “With you, she would, at least, be safe. Gentleman.”  He bowed and took his leave.

Philip rose. “I suppose my tea will be cold.”

Marcus nodded and took up his hat.  He really did not care if his brother’s tea was cold.  In fact, if he had not promised to take tea with Aunt Tess, he would just go home.  How could he face Lydia when his mind was in such a jumbled state.  Marry her?  See her married to another? Neither seemed an acceptable outcome.

~*~*~

Leenie B Books

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Music Monday: Shape of My Heart, 2Cellos

2Cellos. “2CELLOS – Shape Of My Heart [OFFICIAL VIDEO].” YouTube. 09 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Jan. 2017.

Happy Monday! Isn’t this a beautiful piece of music to start the week? It is one of my favourites to listen to while writing. (Yes, I know I have a lot of favourites, but they are all so good. 🙂 )

I chose to feature this video today for a couple of reasons that are related to what I was working on this week.  First, the plucking of the strings makes me think of traveling by horse or carriage and the constant clip-clop of hooves as you roll or ride along for hours. There was a good deal of travel in what I was writing this week because Bingley had some business to take care of.

Second, the visuals of floating and burning papers made me think of things happening in the plot.  The business our hero left to complete was not of a pleasant nature, and it was the sort of which you do not really wish to have documentation.  (Yes, I am talking about Bingley as the hero here. There is something surprising hidden behind that pleasant exterior.)

I finished the story except for an epilogue, and, thanks to the help of a reader and friend on Facebook, I have a title for this fourth book in the Willow Hall Romance series. Yay!  The title is At All Costs, and I think it fits perfectly since the story, both for the hero and one of the “villains” (yes, one of them — there are several that cause trouble), is a story of fighting for and protecting your love at all costs.

I plan to write the epilogue in a few weeks after I have edited So Very Unexpected. That book is slated to be published on February 14, 2017, so I am busy doing the first round of edits so that I can send it to my first reader, fix what she tells me, and then send it on to my proofreaders/copy editors. This means the story has disappeared from the blog, but I have left a link to a two chapter preview on my Leenie B Books page. I am enjoying going back to this story after being away from it for about two months.  I still love Lydia!

I believe that is all the writing news I have for you today.  This week, I will be editing and working on my Austen Author’s blog post for next Tuesday (which will feature a giveaway).  Enjoy your week! Hopefully, you will get to stop by the blog on Wednesday and Thursday for a lovely painting and a full chapter of At All Costs. 

EXCERPT FROM At All Costs:  *Contains spoilers and a cliffhanger. 🙂 *

The sun was setting as Bingley and Richard wound their way through the streets of London.  They had paused long enough upon arrival to leave their bags at Bingley’s townhouse and for Bingley to stop at his solicitor’s office to check on the progress of marriage papers and a special license.  Now, however, he and Richard had left the favourable portion of town and were slowly making their way down toward the river. 

Bingley waved to some chap who was seated on a crate marking things off in his notebook. 

“She sails at dawn,” the man called. 

“Where to?” Bingley called back.  Continue reading Music Monday: Shape of My Heart, 2Cellos

Music Monday: Beyond Me, TobyMac

TobyMacVEVO. “TobyMac – Beyond Me (Lyric Video).” YouTube. YouTube, 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 31 Dec. 2016.

It will be the second day of 2017 when this posts, but as I am writing it, it is still 2016 — it’s New Year’s Eve to be exact, and the radio is on and playing a list of their top 103 country songs of 2016.  It is that time of year when we look back on what has happened and look forward to what might be in the new year.  And so, I am taking a few minutes to look back at my year in writing.

One of the biggest changes this last year has been moving from a regular paycheck to being self-employed.  This change also came with a move from a classroom full of students to one — my son.  And it has been a challenge figuring out how to mesh his classes, my work schedule, and just regular house things together. We’re doing ok, but I would not say we are “there” yet. 🙂  But it has been a wonderful change — a definite blessing!

So besides giving up the day job, what tangible things can I point to that show what I have accomplished this year in my writing life?  Well, I have made a few changes on the front page of this website.  I have completed two Thursday’s Three Hundred stories and have another one started — and I have published several books.

  • His Inconvenient Choice
  • Her Heart’s Choice
  • And Then Love (written in 2015)
  • Finally Mrs. Darcy
  • Waking to Mr. Darcy
  • The Tenant’s Guest
  • A Very Mary Christmas

aesop_bending-reedWow — I guess that feeling of always being busy was not imagined! It has been a busy year, and not everything both professionally and personally was wonderful. There were some definitely difficult times that twisted my heart and bent me under their weight, but this little reed is still standing. 🙂 But here’s the thing, (and I am going to get a little “spiritual” here because my faith is part of who I am) I am still standing and have accomplished what I have not through my strength alone. God has been good.  He has sustained me in the rough places and granted me moments of seeing His blessing being poured out. The lyrics of the song above say

But here’s the thing, (and I am going to get a little “spiritual” here because my faith is part of who I am) I am still standing and have accomplished what I have not through my strength alone. God has been good.  He has sustained me in the rough places and granted me moments of seeing His blessing being poured out. The lyrics of the song above say

Call it a reason to retreat
I got some dreams that are bigger than me
I might be outmatched, outsized, the underdog in the fight of my life
Is it so crazy to believe

That You gave me the stars, put them out of my reach
Called me to waters a little too deep
Oh, I’ve never been so aware of my need
You keep on making me see
It’s way beyond me

I have definitely felt this way this past year, and as I begin the process of looking forward to 2017 and sketching plans, I still feel this way — the dreams are still big, the waters still feel too deep, and I am so very aware of my need of His sustenance. But, even if there is a flutter of nerves in my stomach and that little voice in my mind that questions if I can reach my goals, I will be moving forward — in His strength.

Now, in order to accomplish my goals, I must do my part and be faithful in my work, which includes writing — daily or nearly so. Life does like to mess up the schedule some days. This week, there were a few days that writing did not happen, but then there was one day when I was able to write for hours and managed to type out somewhere around 6,000 words. A few of those words are below in a short excerpt.  I will remind you again…this is the current Thursday story and we are getting to the end. Things are starting to be resolved, so if you read this, there may be spoilers.

EXCERPT FROM Willow Hall, Book 4: Continue reading Music Monday: Beyond Me, TobyMac

Music Monday: Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas, Brett Eldredge

CMA Country Christmas. “Brett Eldredge Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas CMA Country Christmas 2016.” YouTube. YouTube, 28 Nov. 2016. Web. 17 Dec. 2016.

On Friday night, my husband and I were watching CMA Country Christmas along with about three other shows since my husband had the remote 😉 when, as chance and commercials on other stations would have it, we landed back on this program in time to hear this song. As you can probably imagine, this song has been in my mind a lot over the last couple of months as I wrote and edited A Very Mary Christmas. 

Since I loved this performance of the song, and A Very Mary Christmas will be available to read this Tuesday, I decided that this song must be the one I shared today. (Even if I did share another singer’s performance of this song a couple of weeks ago. 🙂 )So, as the song plays, or after you watch the video, let me share part of what has been going on in my writing life. (And yes, there is a story snippet.)

First, A Very Mary Christmas will be live on Tuesday. If you have not yet ordered a copy, you can do that at this link –> Get A Very Mary Christmas . Making certain that everything is ready for the release of this book has taken a good amount of my time this week because I was preparing a special giveaway to celebrate the launch.  This giveaway will be hosted on AustenAuthors.net on Tuesday, December 20.

Next, along with getting that blog post ready for next Tuesday, I also started the discussion for the Austen Author’s Emma Read Along this past Wednesday. We only have two more weeks of reading and that novel will be done — which means we are at the “good part” IMO. This week, we read Frank Churchill’s letter of explanation and Mr. Knightley’s reaction.

Last, I did manage to squeeze in a little writing time yesterday (finally).  I am still working on the Willow Hall Book 4 story with no title. 🙂  So, that is what I will share a little snippet of today.  If you are following along with the Thursday’s Three Hundred posts, this one is from way down the road, so read at the risk of spoilers. 🙂 Continue reading Music Monday: Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas, Brett Eldredge

Music Monday: A Traditional Christmas, Brian Crain

So this week, in addition to writing (short excerpt below), I have been getting things ready for the publication of A Very Mary Christmas (info below).  I figured that while working on a seasonal story, I should be listening to some lovely seasonal piano music, so this playlist has been playing repeatedly in my office.   Continue reading Music Monday: A Traditional Christmas, Brian Crain