Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Madness of Mr. Darcy at Austenesque Reviews

There is a guest post about some of the characters from Austen's other novels that appear in The Madness of Mr. Darcy at the fabulous Austenesque Reviews along with a giveaway! Don't miss it!

I've been rather busy lately and as usual it is my blog that suffers. Look for more Being Mrs. Bennet soon (it is almost done!). I also haven't forgotten Francis Hodgson Burnet and Charlotte Lennox. I cannot say when the next posts in those series will appear. Before the end of the year? Honestly, between NaNoWriMo bearing down on me like a steam engine and all my other commitments, it is hard to predict what will and wont get done. How about a few final quarter writing/blogging goals?

  1. Have an awesome Twisted Austen with Becoming Mrs. Norris. Posts start the 25th.
  2. Write 50,000 words of The Prodigal Husband, my first non-austenesque, regency romance 
  3. Finish Being Mrs. Bennet
  4. Write a much requested short sequel to The Madness of Mr. Darcy, a Christmas gift to my readers.
Those are the main items. We'll see what else gets done. There are, of course, my real life commitments too. Case in point, the guessing game for the school book fair. How many gemstones so you see?

If Cinderella & Elsa were roommates ...
Constructed entirely of cardboard & hot glue
And many many plastic gemstones.
Little secret passageway 
Just had to share.

Makes a cozy reading nook

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Madness of Mr. Darcy at My Jane Austen Book Club!

There is an excerpt and giveaway - a paperback and international ebook - of The Madness of Mr. Darcy at My Jane Austen Book Club! Is this the first paperback I've given away on a blog so far? No, the second, but there haven't been many. Usually I giveaway a bunch of copies here when my books release, but I've been so busy this time that it hasn't happened. There will be several more opportunities to win it, however, during Twisted Austen. Come spend Halloween with Aunt Norris and me. The fun (?) starts October 25th!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Madness of Mr. Darcy on Austenprose!

I'm very excited to announce that there is an excerpt from The Madness of Mr. Darcy at Austenprose! Laurel Ann Nattress has been amazingly supportive of the past few years as I've struggled to find my voice and become a better writer, but this is the first time one of my books has been featured on her blog. I'm honored! Please stop by and leave a comment:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review of The Madness of Mr. Darcy at The Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Please take a moment to check out the review of The Madness of Mr. Darcy posted today at The Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell. In summation: "I enjoyed it immensely." Yeah!

Probably no Being Mrs, Bennet this week as I am all wrapped up with trying to finish Becoming Mrs. Norris (even I'm confused with the two titles).  Look for her next week when Elizabeth finally lands at Pemberley, and Mrs. Norris will be the feature for Twisted Austen this year, the last week leading up to Halloween. Don't miss it! Lots of giveaways!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Madness of Mr. Darcy at Diary of an Eccentric, plus Twisted Austen

There is an excerpt of The Madness of Mr. Darcy post at Diary of an Eccentric and an intentional giveaway of two ebooks to enter. I would have asked Anna Horner, to whom the blog belongs, to review the book, but that might be a bit questionable as she edited the book for me instead! And did a phenomenal job, I might add. One of the biggest and most consistent criticisms I have received of my work regards the lack of professional editing: not any more! Two of the five people who have reviewed the book on Amazon have explicitly commended the editing. Well done, Anna, and thank you so much!

That announcement aside, happy October 1st! That means I am neck deep trying to finish this year's Twisted Austen offering: Becoming Mrs. Norris. What better way to celebrate the Halloween than with Austen's most Mansfield Park geeks climbing out of the woodwork. I wonder if anyone will have the stomach to read this story. We shall see. In the meantime, here's a excerpt from the work in progress:
ghoulish character? And here come all the

Knowing her privileged position within the household, Miss Ward did her best to protect Maria and Francis from their uncle's rage, and over the years she had learned how to minimize his fits of temper. At 21, having survived 11 years in his care, she knew how to best engage his meager supply of sympathy.

Knocking on the open door, "Sir? May I claim a moment of your time?"

He looked up through a cloud of pipe smoke and fixed her with an angry stare before consulting his pocket watch. "You have two minutes."

She stepped into the terrible glare emanating from the great windows behind the desk, but she willed her eyes not to blink. Better to water mercilessly than display such a weakness before her guardian. "I request your permission to invite a gentleman to dinner tomorrow evening. He is calling upon Miss Maria now. This is the third time he has called since they were introduced at last week's assembly."

He sneered, eyes still on his watch. "I suppose I shall have to bear the expense of feeding all the foolish gentlemen who are susceptible to a pretty face and empty head. Who is he?"

"Sir Thomas Bertram of Mansfield Park." She tried to hide the satisfaction in the words.

He looked up. "Mr. Norris' guest? The baronet?"

"The same."

"He should not be bothering with Maria. She's at least three thousand pounds short of being worthy of his interest."

"You underestimate the appeal of becoming manners and complaisance, Uncle."

"I doubt it," he snorted, "but if Sir Thomas fancies an empty headed wife, I shall not be the one to throw a rub in his way. Invite him for Thursday next, when Richards dines. That will minimize the expense."

"Yes, Uncle," she replied and retreated, before he had the opportunity to scold that her two minutes had expired.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Being Mrs. Bennet: Chapter Twenty

Elizabeth was true to her word and kept up a daily correspondence while in Derbyshire. If she did not write to Alison on a given day she wrote to Jane instead, and so her activities were well known to all her family. The beauties of Oxford, Blenheim, Warwick, Kenelworth, and Birmingham were all described in detail, and as the travelers approached the small town of Lambton, Alison's increasing eagerness upon reception of each consecutive missive did not go unremarked.

"it is a wonder how your attachment to Lizzy has increased in recent weeks, my dear," Mr. Bennet remarked.

"My affections are equally divided amongst all my children," she replied. 

"You weren't so egalitarian of old."

"Yes, as we have discussed time and time again, I have changed. Be warned that if you continue to take note of the fact, my nerves might retaliate," she replied with a teasing smile.

He laughed. "Consider the matter entirely forgotten. Now, what has my Lizzy to say?"

Alison read aloud:

My dear Mama,

We arrived in Lambton in time for dinner this  afternoon.  The charms of this small part of Derbyshire are little regarded compared with the more renowned sights nearby, but I admit to anticipating our time here a great deal. How to account for such misplaced enthusiasm? Having pondered the question at some length, I find it is my aunt who is entirely responsible. Were you subject to her joy in returning to this beloved corner of the country after so many years and reuniting with old friends, you would be swept up in her excitement as well. 

We traveled leisurely, and it was a day designed for an open carriage. It is a fine country, and the well-maintained roads do their part to add to a traveler's pleasure. The inn keeper's wife set us off this morning with a picnic basket, and we enjoyed it above a fabulous vista of a river nestled in a valley. We had intended to arrive in Lambton much sooner than we did, but so enjoyable was our repast and location that we remained far longer than intended. I explored some of the adjacent paths and climbed to an even high peak with my uncle while Aunt Gardiner organized our removal. The rest of the journey was marked by little of significance but perfect harmony, excellent conversation, and those visual delights which mother nature is so very adept at producing.  

After so many great houses, one might be expected to tire of fine carpets and satin curtains, but I find myself enduring. Pemberley, as we discovered prior to my departure, is but a few miles from Lambton, and we will visit it tomorrow. Dear Mama - you will recall my concern in visiting this home, not knowing if it's master would consider it an intrusion, but the chambermaid has just now informed me that the family is away from home over the summer, and so I may view it without qualm. There is a great deal of relief in this knowledge, but also some disappointment. It would be interesting to confront Mr. Darcy in his own domain. Who knows - perhaps the chambermaid is mistaken?

"I don't know how Lizzy could possibly hope Mr. Darcy would be at home!" Lydia interrupted.

"Can you imagine coming upon him unexpectedly," Kitty giggled nervously. "I wonder if he would acknowledge her?"

"Of course he would!" Alison protested. "Mr. Darcy is a perfect gentleman and extremely hospitable."

"And how would you know that, my dear?"

Alison blushed. "I should say I assume he would be hospitable."

"It is rather amusing," Mr. Bennet chortled. "I find myself in sympathy with Lizzy in hoping for a meeting with Mr. Darcy. The encounter would certainly enliven her next letter, and we would learn who had the best understanding of the man's character, but it is highly unlikely that the chambermaid is wrong."  

"It is my understanding that working in such a position would render the girl a strong source of information. Gossip is sure to circulate in an inn, and the comings and going of a great family nearby are likely to be tracked with interest," Mary contributed.

"Very true, Mary. The obviousness of your observations render them no less astute, I assure you."  

Alison cast a disapproving look on him, under the glare of which he smiled meekly. "Will you not continue your letter, Mrs. Bennet?"

She gave him one more admonishing glance before proceeding:

We dined on very tolerable mutton this evening: the best, according to my uncle, that we have enjoyed since our departure. I confess I grow weary of eating from inn larders. My aunt and uncle send their good wishes to you and everyone else at Longbourn. I will be sure to describe all the wonders of Pemberley for you tomorrow. Much love, etc.

"Lizzy has undertaken a most complete correspondence," her father commented, gazing at his wife meaningfully. "I wonder where her newfound sense of urgency in writing derives?"

"I asked her to write often."
"But daily? What secrets are left for her to relate in letters addressed to you, Jane, when she makes such a complete account to your mother?"

Jane smiled serenely. "It is almost like being with them, her descriptions are so complete." 

"Well maneuvered, my dear, but all the tact in the world will not alter the fact that Lizzy has been especially attentive - perhaps even anxious - to keep your mother abreast of her every action, while we are regaled with  Mrs. Bennet's surprisingly knowing declarations on Mr. Darcy character. This particular letter, furthermore, seemed to be more focused on that gentleman than the scenery."

"I fail to comprehend your point, Mr. Bennet," Alison replied.

"That is because I have not yet come to it. The point, as you phrase it, is that Lizzy next letter ought to be far more interesting than those that have proceeded it, regardless of the precision of chambermaid gossip. Do you not agree, my dear?" he smiled quizzically.

 Alison shifted in her seat. "I do look forward to descriptions of Pemberley's interior and grounds. The house is said to be uncommonly fine."

"Oh, yes," he chuckled. "We are all so interested in the house, never mind the master."

"I for one still don't care a fig for Mr. Darcy or his house," Lydia declared stoutly.

"Of course, you do not. No one ever expected perception from my youngest child." Ignoring the confused looks gracing the bulk of his family's faces and the admonishment on his wife's, Mr. Bennet left the parlor for his library.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway at Laughing with Lizzie!

When Holidays at Pemberley was published (just about this time last year) I really tried to organize something resembling a blog tour. The ease and speed of publishing through CreateSpace caught me totally off guard (why have I been paying Outskirts Press to torture me these past many years?) and now I'm scrambling to catch up. All chaos and mayhem with this book, as is perhaps appropriate. How lucky I am to have friends in high places ... like Pemberley! Mrs. Darcy of Laughing with Lizzie has been so kind as to invite me to talk about some of the theories regarding madness that informed The Madness of Mr. Darcy, along with an excerpt and THE FIRST GIVEAWAY!!!!  Yeah! Don't miss out on your chance to win a paperback, an ebook, and to take a peek at the physiognomy of a manic.  Who can resist?