Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What Are You Reading? ~ May 23, 2018

* * 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:


I'm currently reading The Heart of a Texas Cowboy by Linda Broday. I'm not very far into it, but I'm enjoying it! 





I recently finished reading Chance and Circumstance by Kara Louise. I loved it! But to be honest, I had a tough time getting into this story because Jane is touring the Lake District when Bingley comes to Netherfield and he takes an interest in Elizabeth instead! I have so much trouble when Darcy and Elizabeth are with ANYONE else! Lol! But of course, it all works out nicely! ;)

And since I didn't post the week before... I also finished The Girl at the End of the World by Richard Levesque. I loved this stand-alone post-apocalyptic story! 







What's next? I'm not sure. It's the end of the school year, and I have a very busy but fun weekend head, then it's the start of summer break! Yahoo! I'm definitely looking forward to having some time to relax! 

Disclaimer: 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


So, tell me, what are you reading? 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cover Reveal: Son of a Preacher Man by Karen M Cox

Hello, my friends! I'm so excited to be part of this cover reveal! Karen Cox is one of the earliest Austenesque authors I read and loved starting with her book 1932. Now she is re-releasing one of her favorites! I love this new cover! 

Here's Karen to explain:


Thank you so much for letting me visit with you and your readers today! I’m really excited about the upcoming summer release of Son of a Preacher Man. It’s a special book for me, an original story inspired by Pride and Prejudice, that was originally published as At the Edge of the Sea in 2013. For its five-year birthday, I’ve re-edited it, given back its original title, Son of a Preacher Man, and with the help of Shari Ryan, of Madhat Covers, and Joshua Hollis, who created the image, I’ve given it a new cover too. 





So, without further ado... here's the new cover! 






Description: 

“I forget that you’re a fella sometimes.” 
“Gee, thanks.” 
I never forgot that she was a girl. Not for one second… 

1959. The long, hot Southern summer bakes the sleepy town of Orchard Hill. Billy Ray Davenport, an aspiring physician and only son of an indomitable traveling minister, is a young man with a plan that starts with working in a small-town doctor’s office before he begins medical school in the fall. Handsome, principled, and keenly observant, he arrives in town to lodge with the Millers, the local doctor’s family. He never bargained for Lizzie Quinlan—a complex, kindred spirit who is beautiful and compassionate, yet scorned by the townsfolk. Could a girl with a reputation be different than she seems? With her quirky wisdom and a spine of steel hidden beneath an effortless sensuality, Lizzie is about to change Billy Ray’s life—and his heart—forever. 

A realistic look at first love, told by an idealistic young man, Son of a Preacher Man is a heartwarming coming of age tale set in a simpler time.

Anticipated release date: July 1st, 2018


About the Author

Award-winning author, Karen M Cox, writes fiction brushed with history and romance. She specializes in 20th century Austenesque tales in small town settings: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, Undeceived, and I Could Write a Book. She has also dabbled in Regency tales: Her Frank Churchill story, “An Honest Man,” appears in the anthology, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues, and she has a short story in the upcoming collection, Rational Creatures


Although born in Washington state, Karen has enough Southerner in her—due to family history and a long residence in Kentucky—to ask young people in her small town, “Do I know your mama?” with a straight face. She lives there with her husband, encourages her children (who, thankfully, aren’t too far away), and spoils her granddaughter.


Connect with Karen


Oh my! I adore this cover, and I'm so glad Karen went back to the original title. I like it better. What do you think? 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Best Laid Flight Plans Blog Tour ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! Today I'm delighted to have Leigh Dreyer here with her debut novel The Best Laid Flight Plans! A modern Pride & Prejudice variation that looks amazing! I love this cover! 

Also, there's a chance to win a copy of the book! Details are at the bottom of the post.




Hello!!! It is so amazing to be here on So Little Time… I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be back where my cover was revealed and continue on this amazing Blog Tour. It’s been quite the whirlwind of excitement, I can tell you.  I just wanted to answer a few questions and get to know you a little more as well.

What inspired you to write this story?

Well, as far as writing generally, it was my sister-in-law who sounded interested and really encouraged me through the process. She has been writing her own book for forever as well, and she was so great to bounce ideas off of when I was struggling through a scene or something. Honestly, I have three sisters-in-law who have beta read, helped me figure out my author platform, etc. and they deserve a ton of credit for being an amazing support network of women. I’m happy to have them in my life.

As far as the story of The Best Laid Flight Plans, it is mostly inspired by real life. My husband is an Air Force pilot as well as my father and father-in-law, so I’m surrounded. I went to high school in the small town next to Laughlin Air Force Base, which is the number one training base in the country and I took most of my inspiration for Meryton Air Force Base from there. I’ve heard so many stories from my friends who fly, but so few are really written down. Sure you have books like The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe (which is amazing, incidentally), but those books focus on the inspirational few. There really are only a few books that capture the sort of mundane, sprinkled with adventure, which is the Air Force life. I wanted to capture some of that spirit. Additionally, I’ve seen what female pilots have to go through in a male-heavy industry and I was fascinated by the idea that Elizabeth Bennet, who is ahead of her time in Pride and Prejudice, would be so interesting in that field. 

Some other inspirations, just as a bulleted list for ease:

  • The Mercury 13
  • Sally Ride and Eileen Collins
  • Women Air Service Pilots (WASPs)
  • The many female pilots I have had the pleasure of knowing
  • My dad forcing me to watch about 200 too many airplane movies

What did I like best about this story?

Being a bit too much like Lydia Bennet, I love the pilots. To quote Kitty in the book “Who doesn’t love a 40 inch zipper?” I think the flight scenes are fascinating, but I also really enjoyed creating Lady Catherine. In The Best Laid Flight Plans, Lady Catherine is a senator and I loved figuring out what made her tick. In the original Pride and Prejudice, she is part of the aristocracy and that sets her apart from the “little people,” but in America, we don’t really have that rigid system of class (as much) so I needed to figure out how she would have developed the brisk, condescending attributes, but still be likeable enough to elect. She is no Jackie Kennedy after all.

What was the most difficult part to write?

Technically, it was the pilot scenes. I always had to call my husband or my dad to help to make sure I got the verbiage just right (I would send scenes off to either one of them and they would respond back with nitpicky numbers and things that made it hard for me to do without their assistance). Story/Plot-wise, it’s the romance scenes. You’d think after reading hundreds of JAFF novels and probably thousands of general romance that it would be easy, but remarkably, I found I was so shy when trying to write things down. Maybe it’s just because I was so worried that people would find some secret part of my soul and crush it with a harsh review, but they were always the most stressful. I love them, but I always needed a break after typing for a while.

Out of the protagonists I’ve written about so far, which one do I feel I relate to the most?

I think I’m a pretty healthy combination of Darcy and Lizzy. Throughout the book, Darcy runs through checklists. While that is totally a pilot trait (they have to run checklists all the time as they fly and they tend to transfer that skill over to their real life), I run on post it note lists and lists I’ve texted to my husband and my Alexa to do list, etc. I love them, they make me tick. In fact, typically while writing a scene I really just outline a list of things that need to happen and let the characters pull me through the scene, but that list is essential for the book to make sense. As far as Lizzy goes, I think I am persistent when I have a goal and typically, I have the confidence in myself (whether that is good or bad, I’ll let you be the judge) to continue forward and achieve that goal, whatever it is. I truly admire Lizzy’s spirit and her ability to find the good in the bad.

How did you come up with the name of The Best Laid Flight Plans?

Honestly, I was reading another JAFF book—don’t ask me which one, I have no idea—and they quoted Robert Burns and I had never realized that the “The best laid plans of mice and men” poem was by Burns, which led to me looking it up and reading it over. It made me think about the entire phrase “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and generally what would happen when a flight plan went awry. Then I thought about a pilot who’s plan went awry and the story kind of developed from there. Generally, in Pride and Prejudice, we see Darcy and Elizabeth’s plans go completely haywire as they fall in love and I liked the idea of following that theme through the story.

Am I working on another book?

I am hard at work on the sequel, The Flight Path Less Travelled. While I believe The Best Laid Flight Plans stands on its own, I found during my outlining process that I had too much for just one novel unless it was 1500 pages or something. I wanted to keep going, to let Darcy and Elizabeth tell their story and just a “happily ever after” wasn’t going to do it for them. 

Thank you again for having me and reading this little Q&A. 


Leigh




The Best Laid Flight Plans 
by Leigh Dreyer


Book Blurb: 

In this modern Pride and Prejudice variation, Captain William “Fitz” Darcy has just received a new assignment as an instructor pilot at Meryton Air Force Base. Soon he meets the intrepid 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet, a new student at the base that he cannot keep out of his head. Elizabeth, on the other hand, finds Captain Darcy to be arrogant and prideful and attempts to avoid him at every turn. Despite Darcy’s insulting manners, Elizabeth soars her way through pilot training, but can she soar her way into love as well?

Buy: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

About the Author

Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way, “You know the Great Balls of Fire scene in Top Gun (“Goose you big stud!!!”), where Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son and a daughter who is almost walking.


Connect with Leigh Dreyer




* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Leigh is giving away an e-copy of The Best Laid Flight Plans and some squadron patches to one of my lucky readers! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below! 

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Many thanks to Leigh for being my guest here, and for being so kind and offering one of my readers an e-copy of her new book, plus some terrific patches! I love stuff like that! 

Lol, I love that Leigh compared herself to Lydia with her love of pilots! :) 

The Best Laid Flight Plans sounds like a fantastic story! It's another one to add to my ever-growing TBR lists! I love the idea of Elizabeth being a pilot.  

Friends, what are your thoughts on Elizabeth being a pilot? Do you have any questions for Leigh? Please, leave a comment! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jane Austen's Dragons Series Tour ~ Maria Grace ~ Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! Today, I have the lovely Maria Grace visiting with us celebrating the release of Netherfield: Rogue Dragon the third book in the Jane Austen's Dragons series!



The World of Jane Austen’s Dragons: At the very beginning, Uther Pendragon

How is it even remotely possible that the world of Pride and Prejudice could make any sense with dragons? Stay with me a moment and I’ll show you how.

You’re rolling your eyes at me, I know it, but give me a chance and hear me out. If you take a glance at English mythology, it is full of dragons. Seriously, they are everywhere. Don’t believe me, here’s just a partial list: the Lambton Worm, the Dragon of Mordiford, the Dragon of Unsworth, the Dragon of Wantly, the Dragon of Longwitton, the Dragon of Loschy Hill, the Bisterne Dragon, the Worm of Linton, the Stoor Worm, the Sockburn Worm (or Wyvern), Blue Ben, and the Lyminster Knucker.

Even the father of fabled King Arthur has a dragon connection. King Uther Pendragon was said to have seen a dragon-shaped comet that inspired the dragons that graced the standards he carried. With dragons are just about everywhere in English myth, it seems likely that Jane Austen herself was familiar with many of these dragon legends.

I am a fan of ‘mash-up’ works that bring together two (or even more) disparate genres or works to create something fresh and new. So these dragons called out to be a part of Austen’s classic work. The question then came down to how.

It seemed I needed to go back to medieval days and figure out why the dragons were hanging out in England in the first place. Enter Uther Pendragon.

[Just a side note: One of the fascinating—and crazy-making—aspects of mythology is the number of different accounts of the same story. Since until the early modern era, tales relied on oral tradition for transmission, each teller would craft a slightly different version of the story, making finding the ‘real’ story nearly impossible.]

The best known version of Uther’s story comes from Geoffrey's Historia Regum Britanniae (1136). Uther is the youngest son of King of Britannia, Constantine III upon whose death, Constans, his eldest son succeeds to the throne. Constans is murdered by an advisor Vortigern, who seizes the throne. Uther and his other brother, Aurelius, flee to Brittany, where they grow safely into adulthood. As adults, Aurelius and Uther return to Britannia, where Aurelius kills Vortigern and becomes king.

Under Aurelius’ reign, Uther helps Merlin bring the stones of Stonehenge from Ireland to Britain. Later, while Aurelius is too ill for battle, Uther leads his army against Vortigern's son and his Saxon allies. On the way to the battle, Uther sees the dragon-shaped comet, which Merlin interprets as a sign of Aurelius's death and Uther's glorious future. Uther wins the battle, but returns to find that Aurelius has been poisoned. Uther becomes king and adopts the use of a golden dragon as his standard.

More intrigue follows with Uther falling in love with the wife of his retainer, the Duke of Cornwall, magical assistance from Merlin, possible shape shifting and the like, to provide Uther access to the Igerna, the Duke’s wife. The stories varied, but typically ended with the death of the Duke, and the birth of Uther’s son, Arthur by Igerna some months later.

While all the variations in the variations occasionally made me want to beat my head against the wall, and scream “What’s the REAL story?” they but it did lead me to an interesting line of thinking: What if…. (A word of caution, when a writer says “what if”, it might be a good time to politely excuse yourself…)

So, what if Uther Pendragon was embroiled in battle not just with the Saxons, but with dragons as well and he saw not a comet as most stories suggested, but a real dragon who could speak with him? Would not others have heard it too? Wait, no—what if the dragons had a way of hiding in plain sight that only a select few people could see through and Uther was one of those and made peace with dragonkind …  Hmmm … dragons and kings, that makes for some very interesting possibilities …

Suddenly I saw a world, hundreds of years removed from medieval England, where mankind and dragonkind could coexist, governed by the Blue Order, an organization founded by Uther Pendragon himself, on human and dragon partnership, dedicated to protecting the safety and interests of both species while keeping the dragons secret from the very large segment of the human population with hearing insufficient to detect dragon voices.

The world was so clear and vivid, my inner Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy just couldn’t stay away. Before I knew it, Pride and Prejudice became the context for an urgent crisis amongst the dragons of the Blue Order, a new series: Jane Austen’s Dragons, now complete with the release of Netherfield: Rogue Dragon.

So I present for you, what Pride and Prejudice might have been had Jane Austen known about the Blue Order.


If you’re not totally hooked, here’s a preview of Pemberley: Mr. Darcy’s Dragon, to give you a taste of this world: http://randombitsoffascination.com/2016/10/03/pemberley-mr-darcys-dragon-ch-1/


What do you think about dragons and Jane Austen? 




Book Blurb: 

Elizabeth Bennet thought she was prepared to do anything to make the Dragon Conclave accept her beloved young dragon, Pemberley, into the Blue Order, but she had not anticipated it would leave her banished from her ancestral home and betrothed to none other than Mr. Darcy. But before Elizabeth and Darcy wed, they must find a dangerous rogue dragon before it provokes a war amongst the dragons and brings the fragile peace between dragons and mankind to a catastrophic end.   
Nothing written in the annals of dragon lore has prepared Elizabeth to manage a dragon not governed by the Blue Order. Dragons have always loved her, but this one finds her arrogant, selfish and insensitive to others. With only her instincts to guide her, she must convince the rogue of her good intentions before the Blue Order loses patience and decides on more drastic measures.   

Called away to the other side of the kingdom, trying to settle the dragons' unrest, Darcy learns the nature of the force poisoning the rogue dragon against Elizabeth. One nearer and dearer than they could have imagined. 

Can Elizabeth and Darcy convince with rogue dragon to cooperate before darker forces turn it against them, without destroying the fragile bonds uniting the couple?

Buy: AmazonApple • B&NkoboScribd24 SymbolsAngus & Robertson
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: 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

Though Maria Grace has been writing fiction since she was ten years old, those early efforts happily reside in a file drawer and are unlikely to see the light of day again. After penning five file-drawer novels in high school, she took a break from writing to pursue college and earn her doctorate in Educational Psychology. After 16 years of university teaching, she returned to her first love, fiction writing. 


She has one husband and one grandson, two graduate degrees and two black belts, three sons, four undergraduate majors, five nieces, is has blogged six years on Random Bits of Fascination, has built seven websites, attended eight English country dance balls, sewn nine Regency era costumes, and shared her life with ten cats.


Connect with Maria Grace



* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Maria Grace is generously giving away a copy of her book! For a chance to win, fill out the Rafflecopter below! And please, leave a comment here! 

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fascinating! I appreciate all the research you put into dragons before venturing into writing the books! And I love that brought the two worlds together in this series! I'm going to have to add this series to my TBR list! 

Thank you so much for visiting here at So Little Time..., Maria Grace! Congratulations on the release of Netherfield: Rogue Dragon

So, friends, as Maria Grace asked, what do you think about dragons and Jane Austen? 
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