Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Spotlight on: This Is Our Song by Samantha Chase ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! This Is Our Song book 4 in The Shaughnessy Brothers series by Samantha Chase is being released today! Woot! It's my pleasure to be part of this Spotlight Tour! 

Samantha Chase is here with a short guest post and an excerpt of This is Our Song. Plus, details to win a fantastic prize package are at the bottom of the page! 




New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase crafts a tender, hopeful family-centered romance.   

She knows him by reputation 
Riley Shaughnessy knew that to stand out in his large family, he'd have to go big. Making a name for himself as a musician wasn’t easy, but he followed his dreams to rock-star success. But the relentless expectations of fans is not helping the slump he's in now. So of course the person who attracts him is the woman who is not impressed by fame.   

Which gives Riley Shaughnessy a lot to prove 
Entertainment reporter Savannah Daly is completely unfazed by pretty-boy rock stars. She’s just here to get her interview and write her story. But spending an entire month with the Shaughnessys is going to show Savannah a side of Riley she never could have guessed.   

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Teaching creative writing to students from elementary through high school motivated Samantha to take that step as well. Since then, she has become a NYT and USA  Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

 


I’m one of those people who can multi-task. To a point. I do like almost complete silence while I write with the exception of my Sounds of the Ocean soundtrack playing. I can have twenty tabs open online and be on social media while I’m writing, but please don’t make me listen to anything! But amazingly enough, on most of my books I do end up with a playlist that helps me get the job done.

I just don’t listen to it while I’m writing.

I turn to it when I’m blocked – when I’m stuck in a scene and need to get hyper-focused on my characters. This is Our Song was kind of easy to have a playlist to because Riley is a musician. There were songs that I felt like I could imagine him singing or that the lyrics really applied to him.

So what was on my list and why? Here’s just one of the songs that was on my This is Our Song playlist:


Viva La Vida by Coldplay

Where do I even begin with this one? Riley went from being on top of the world with Shaughnessy to struggling solo artist who couldn’t find his muse or get his album done! So he’s struggling with where he was and where he currently is which is kind of what Chris Martin and the boys are talking about – a fall from power, a fall from grace. I thought it was a little fitting for this situation and helped me get into the mindset of Riley during those scenes where he’s struggling with this the most.

Favorite line: One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand


I was lucky with This is Our Song because of Riley’s career. Some books it will just be a single (as in one) song that is on my playlist to help me over the humps. And sometimes I’ll have to listen to that song like five times in a row to get me in the proper mindset to write what I need to write.

Happy listening and I hope you enjoy This is Our Song!!


_______________________________________________



Excerpt:

     He didn’t just beat her in the best of three.

     Oh, no. That would have been too easy.

     No, Savannah—who realized too late that she was a very sore loser—kept egging him on until he finally put the paddle down after beating her in twelve games. Twelve! Why did she have to keep taunting him? Even while they were playing she couldn’t make herself ask him anything important. They talked about useless stuff—favorite bands, favorite foods—hell, at one point she’d even asked him his favorite color.

     She hung her head low in defeat and put her paddle on the table. Riley had excused himself and went to get them each a drink. She prayed it was vodka. Something to make her forget this humiliation.

     His prize at the end of the first three games was that she’d stay and have dinner with him.

     After the next three she’d stay for a movie.

     She really thought she was going to beat him in the third round. Unfortunately, it had been her biggest loss, and he’d simply chuckled and said he’d have to think about his reward. And he’d repeated that after the fourth and final win.

     Riley cleared his throat when he walked back into the room and handed her a glass of ice water. They drank in silence for a few minutes. “That was fun,” he finally said, and Savannah realized he wasn’t being obnoxious and he wasn’t gloating. He genuinely looked like he’d had a good time.

     And despite all the losing, Savannah would have to agree. It was fun.

     “How do you feel about salmon for dinner?”

     “It’s one of my favorites,” she said and was relieved he wasn’t gloating.

     “It’s kind of early yet. Maybe we can watch a movie first?”

     That was a reasonable request, and she agreed. Together they picked out a classic Neil Simon movie from 1967, Barefoot in the Park. “Ooo…Robert Redford.” She sighed. “Another favorite.”

     Tucked away in a corner was one of the biggest flat-screen TVs Savannah had ever seen. Riley noticed her stunned look. “It’s one hundred ten inches. They don’t come any bigger than this right now. The picture’s great too.”

     Two oversized recliners were centered in front of the screen and they each sat down. Riley started the movie and within minutes Savannah was more relaxed and they were both laughing along with the story.

     She kicked her sandals off and tucked her feet up on the chair beside her. Next she pulled the clip out of her hair so she could relax her head against the back of the comfortable chair. Looking to her right, she saw Riley was watching her. His expression was intense and for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out what was wrong. “Is everything okay?”

     He didn’t answer right away.

     “Riley?”

     “I still have to decide what I get for winning those last two rounds,” he said, his voice low and gravelly.

     Savannah nodded, hypnotized by the way his eyes had gone so dark.

     “I’m going to combine them into one request,” he said, and it sounded more like a warning than a statement.

     “Okay.” Her own voice was almost a breathy whisper.

     Leaning closer, Riley’s eyes zeroed in on her lips before meeting her eyes. “Savannah?”

     “Hmm?”

     “I’m going to kiss you. Twice.”

     “Oh.”

     His hand snaked out and around her nape and slowly drew her closer to him. And then his lips touched hers and Savannah’s brain simply stopped functioning.






Buy: *AmazonB&NiBooks
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Book link to Amazon - I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

Connect with Samantha Chase



* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

Sourcebooks Casablanca is kindly giving away an awesome prize package! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below! 


Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for including me in this spotlight! 



Wow! What did you think of that excerpt? I loved the "I'm going to kiss you. Twice." *sigh*  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Winner of the 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! I'm excited to announce the winner of the e-copy of Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes!

But first, I would like to thank Joana Starnes for being a guest here at So little time..., and for having a giveaway with me! Thank you, Joana!! 

Also, a big thanks to Claudine Pepe @ JustJane1813 for including in this blog tour!



Without further ado, the randomly picked winner is:


Vesper


Congratulations!







Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes 

Book Description: 

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.   

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?



Buy: Amazon
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Book link to Amazon - I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

Blog Tour Schedule


November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
November 18/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
November 19/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt's Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway
November 21/ Margie's Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 23/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving
November 25/ So Little Time... So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway
November 26Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway
November 2 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway
November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway 
December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

Many thanks to all who entered!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What Are You Reading? ~ November 30, 2016

* * Post contains affiliate links. * *


What are you Reading?  Let me know what your current read is, what you recently finish reading, and what you plan on reading next! 

Here's my list: 

Well, I didn't get much reading done this week the past two weeks! But I did go on a road trip for Thanksgiving, and while I was driving, I started listening to an audiobook. 

So, at the moment I have three books going:



Northern Rain: A North & South Variation by Nicole Clarkston (Audiobook).  I'm enjoying it! I've never read North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Have you? 





I'm still reading For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. I've had a hard time getting into this, simply because I've been too tired to read. 



No progress on A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin.


I haven't finished anything recently.




What's next? I'm still planning on reading Alight by Scott Sigler. 





FTC Disclaimer: Book links to Amazon - I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!



I'm linking up with This Week In Books hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found.


And with Sam @ Taking on a World of Words


I had a wonderful and busy holiday! Filled with family, friends, and lots of good food! If you were celebrating, I hope you had a fantastic time also! 

So, tell me, what are you reading? 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! It's my stop on the Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter Blog Tour! Joana Starnes has stopped by with a lovely excerpt from her newest book! 

Be sure to read to the bottom of the page for details of a giveaway! Enjoy!







“Obstinate, headstrong boy!”


     Thank you, Candy, for welcoming me here today on the blog tour for my latest Pride and Prejudice variation.

     
     Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is an early-marriage scenario where adverse circumstances compel Elizabeth to accept Mr Darcy’s hand earlier than in canon. She accepts the Hunsford proposal, which in itself is different from the original. Mr Darcy declares how ardently he admires and loves her, but instead of moving on to speak of their union as a degradation, he offers to protect the woman he loves should the suddenly precarious state of her father’s health finish by leaving her and her family at Mr Collins’s mercy (and there isn’t much of that, Mr Darcy discovers).

     So there is no clearing of the air. Elizabeth doesn’t mention Wickham, and she has no idea about Darcy’s role in separating Bingley from Jane – Colonel Fitzwilliam doesn’t get the chance to make his damaging disclosures. There are no reproaches about Darcy’s arrogance, his conceit and his selfish disdain for the feelings of others, so he doesn’t write the letter that was destined to change Elizabeth’s opinion of him.

     That change – and Darcy’s own reformation – happens gradually, once they are married, and the results are sometimes heart-warming and other times heartbreaking. Not a smooth process, far from it, and it’s made none the smoother by outside interference: an obnoxious cousin (hers), a loudmouthed and tactless mother (hers as well – poor Elizabeth!) and a most unwelcome visitor from Kent who comes to awaken Mr Darcy to his duties, only to give him the aura of a knight in shining armour. At least to start with. Please read on, and I hope you will enjoy the excerpt:


* * * *

Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter


(Excerpt from Chapter 10)

"Oakham Mount" -- Photo J Starnes


     They might as well have lingered atop Oakham Mount upon reflection, given what awaited at Netherfield unbeknownst to them. Or rather who awaited. 

     They had barely made their way within when Mr Bingley’s footman appeared out of nowhere to inform them there was a visitor come to call on Mr Darcy. Elizabeth could see a passing grimace indicating he was not well-disposed towards visitors just then. Nevertheless, he said, “Oh. Did the person give a name?”

     “Aye, Sir. Lady Catherine de Bourgh.”

     At that, under her very eyes the signs of mild displeasure deepened into a forbidding sternness Elizabeth could not account for. She had seen that turn of countenance oftentimes before, and it was not a pleasant reminder of his natural response to everyone and everything he disapproved of. But she could not see how it pertained to the chatelaine of Rosings, with whom he had seemed to be on good if not cordial terms.

     Mr Darcy dismissed the footman with a few curt words. When his hand came up to clasp her elbow and the stern eyes settled on her, Elizabeth arched a brow. She remained thus as he addressed her, his voice low and hard:


    “Elizabeth, pray retire to change. I must see my aunt alone.”


     She had barely begun to wonder why the sternness was now directed at her, and also take offence at being ordered above-stairs like a child, when a well-known voice reached them from the drawing room.

     “Is that my nephew? Has he returned? Let him come in and explain himself.”

     When his hand came to rest in the small of her back, Elizabeth had the good sense to understand at last and chastise herself for her quick temper. No, she had not been ordered above-stairs, but sent away from impending confrontation. With someone who had a very different match in mind for Mr Darcy, and was not in the habit of brooking disappointment.

     “Do go up,” he urged, but this time she dismissed the harshness of the tone as wholly unconnected with her.

     Her spirits rising to playfulness at the ludicrous notion of Lady Catherine coming all the way from Kent to browbeat her fully-grown nephew as though he were a child in leading strings, she glanced up at him, laughter in her eyes.

     “Too late to run. Might as well stay and prime the muskets.”

     His mien softened instantly and his lips twitched.

     “I see you have taken instruction from Fitzwilliam.”

     “On muskets? Nonsense. He is cavalry.”

     “You are incorrigible.”

     “Hush!”

     The jocular manner, however cheering, could not last, and they both knew it. But neither of them were prepared for the sheer venom in Lady Catherine’s tone when she sallied out of the drawing room and saw Elizabeth.


Photo -- BBC

     “Shameless girl!” she exclaimed. “What are you doing here unescorted at this hour? Seeking to trap him with your arts and allurements, are you? Let me be rightly understood, you have no business here and I am come to put an end to your vile scheming. Come now, be off with you. Go home!”

     Mr Darcy’s hand had moved from the small of her back to her shoulder, and the clasp had grown almost too tight for comfort.

     “Lady Catherine, pray desist,” he enunciated firmly. “My wife’s home is with me. And I would thank you for a prompt apology to her for your last remarks.”

     None was forthcoming. Instead, the lady gasped in horror.

     “Your wife? You mean to tell me you have married her?”

     “That is the meaning generally assigned to the word, Madam,” he replied crisply. “Had you remained at Rosings, by now you would have been informed of the particulars from the reply I sent to your letter yesterday.”

     So the letter he had burned yesterday morning was from Lady Catherine, Elizabeth concluded, with a belated understanding of just why he had not wished to discuss it with her. Across from them, her ladyship spluttered.

     “Nephew, this is not to be borne! There must be a way to undo this travesty of a union. An annulment – something.”

     “I have no wish to undo my marriage.”

     “Fitzwilliam, see sense, I beg you. Your mother’s fondest wish – mine – Anne’s – does all this count for nothing?”

     “My mother’s wish, if indeed it was hers, was subject to my concurrence and my cousin’s. Neither I nor Anne ever had any inclination to become united.”

     “How can you claim that? Anne treasured the prospect.”

     “Pray let me assure you she did not. I had it from her own lips. We spoke at length about it.”

     “Nevertheless, Anne will do as she is told.”

     “Aye. Sadly this holds true, all too often. However, I will not.”

Incensed and thwarted in her purpose, Lady Catherine rounded on Elizabeth.

     “Unfeeling, selfish girl! See what you have wrought? With your base arts you have made him forget what he owes to himself and to all his family. This reprehensible connection will disgrace him in the eyes of everybody and make him the contempt of the world. His worst foe could not have ruined him more effectively. I trust you are pleased with your handiwork.”

     “That is quite enough, Madam,” Mr Darcy interjected, a steely edge to his voice. The hand still clasped on Elizabeth’s shoulder worked to turn her towards him by a fraction and his eyes warmed a very little when he spoke to her. “Muskets aside, I beg you would go up now. I would much rather not conclude this conversation in your presence.”

     “Let her stay,” Lady Catherine intervened, as always quick to go where she was not wanted. “She should hear of all the implications. Do you imagine what my brother will have to say of this? Or the rest of our relations and acquaintances?”

     “Go, Elizabeth,” Mr Darcy urged again, as though her ladyship had not spoken, and this time she saw fit to obey. She dropped a curtsy to Lady Catherine, which remained unacknowledged. All that the grand lady deigned to bestow was another scowl.

     “Ashamed of her already, are you?” she venomously sneered as Elizabeth began her unhurried ascent. “I tell you, Darcy, it is not too late. Repudiate this disgraceful union and return to your rightful place.”

     “I am in my rightful place and precisely where I wish to be,” Elizabeth heard him say, more forcefully than he had spoken while she was still below-stairs, and she continued on her way as Lady Catherine’s riposte reached her, dripping with profound contempt.

     “What – here? At the estate of an upstart tradesman’s son playing the gentleman? Rubbing shoulders with second-rate country-town attorneys and shopkeepers, and my own parson to boot? Aye, I have it all from Mr Collins, the full picture of your grand new relations. Is that truly what you wish for, Nephew? Such demeaning connections for yourself and your offspring? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?”

     By the time she had reached the upper floor, Mr Darcy’s voice was barely audible, but it still cut like steel.

     “You have said quite enough, Aunt. I perfectly comprehend your feelings. Now you must hear mine. But not here. I believe we have provided sufficient entertainment to the household for one evening. Pray join me in the drawing room.”

     Lady Catherine must have bowed to another’s will for once in her life, because nothing further reached Elizabeth’s ears as she took the last dozen steps towards her bedchamber.


* * * *

     Elizabeth remained in her apartments for what seemed like a very long time. Yet when she checked the clock, it was revealed to have been a mere half-hour, so she allowed a little longer before she sought to return below-stairs, although why she should feel compelled to do so she truly could not tell. Mr Darcy knew where to find her. As for Lady Catherine, the less she saw of her, the better.

     She was however treated to another sighting of her formidable new relation. While she was still at the top of the stairs, vaguely reassured by the continued silence, it was suddenly broken by a forceful, “I certainly shall not! Your concern is tardy. I would fain lodge at a miserable country inn along the way rather than break bread with her or spend another moment under the same roof.”

     “As you wish,” Mr Darcy’s reply came, calmly now, but very coldly. “Although you will have to reconsider if you are ever to return to Pemberley. If that day should ever dawn, I expect you to offer my wife a full apology.”

    “Never! I will not set foot at Pemberley, and neither will Anne, while she is still in residence. Nor will I welcome you to Rosings if you have the audacity to bring her.”

     “So be it. Then I have nothing more to say.”

     “I never thought it would come to this, Fitzwilliam.”

     “Nor I.”

     “She is not worthy of the strife she has caused, you know.”

     “That is a matter of opinion.”

     “You will see it one day, mark my words.”

     “I will see nothing of the sort.”

     “Obstinate, headstrong boy! This would have broken your poor mother’s heart, had she been here to witness it. But nay, she would not have permitted you to throw yourself away in this disgraceful manner.”

     “If there is nothing else, I bid you good day and safe travels.”

     There was no reply from Lady Catherine. All that could be heard was the sound of the closing door.


* * * *


So, what do you think? Is the unwelcome visit about to bring the newly married Darcys closer – or drive them further apart?

Photo -- BBC


     If you would like to find out a moment sooner, please leave a comment to enter the international giveaway of a Kindle copy. 

     Thank you for stopping by to read the excerpt and many thanks again, Candy, for the kind welcome!

It was my pleasure to have you here, Joana! Oh, and I truly enjoyed that excerpt! Thank you for stopping by!



Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes 

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.   

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?


Buy: Amazon
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Book link to Amazon - I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

About the Author:


Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. A medical graduate, in more recent years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with Georgian Britain in general and the works of Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable and flamboyant set of people who have given the Regency Period its charm and sparkle.

Joana Starnes is the author of:

* 'From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley', a 'Pride & Prejudice' sequel
* 'The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion'
* 'The Second Chance', a 'Pride & Prejudice' ~ 'Sense & Sensibility' variation
* 'The Falmouth Connection', a 'Pride & Prejudice' variation where Jane Austen's beloved characters are compelled to leave their tame and reasonably peaceful lives in the south of England and travel to the far reaches of Cornwall, into a world of deceit and peril, where few - if any! - are what they seem to be...
* 'The Unthinkable Triangle', a 'Pride & Prejudice' variation that dwells on the most uncomfortable love-triangle of them all. What if Mr. Darcy's rival for Miss Bennet's hand and heart is none other than his dearest, closest friend? And how can they all find their 'happily-ever-after'?
*'Miss Darcy's Companion' - a variation that explores what might have happened if the warm-hearted Miss Elizabeth Bennet were employed instead of the scheming Mrs Younge.



Blog Tour Schedule


November 17/ 
My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
November 18/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
November 19/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt's Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway
November 21/ Margie's Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 23/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving
November 25/ So Little Time... So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway
November 26Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway
November 2 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway
November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway 
December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

* * * GIVEAWAY * * * 

It's giveaway time! Joana is offering one eBook copy of Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter to one lucky reader! Open Internationally! To enter, please leave a comment below! 

  • One eBook copy to one person.
  • To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment and include your e-mail or twitter name. If you leave your e-mail, please put parentheses around (at) and (dot).
  • Open Internationally.
  • Winner will be picked randomly.
  • Last day to enter the giveaway is December 2, 2016, 11:50 PM Pacific Time.
  • For extra entries, tweet (once daily) or share on Facebook or other social media sites, and please leave link in the comments.
Good luck!

Many thanks to Claudine Pepe of JustJane1813 for organizing this blog tour!

Again, I want to thank Joana Starnes for stopping by with this wonderful excerpt! To repeat Joana's question to you, what are your thoughts of the excerpt? Is the unwelcome visit about to bring the newly married Darcys closer – or drive them further apart?
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