Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cake & Courtship Giveaway Winner!

Hello, Friends! I was so happy to have Mark Brownlow visiting us here at So little time...! Reading Mr. Bennet's diary entries was very entertaining, and a few readers commented how they felt Mark should write more of them! I agree! Although, reading Cake and Courtship and being in Mr. B's head was just as entertaining! :)

Now, it's my pleasure to announce the winner of the Cake & Courtship giveaway! 

Without further ado, the randomly picked winner is:


Many thanks to all those who left comments! I appreciate you! {{hugs}}

And a huge thanks to Mark Brownlow for his lovely guest post and his generous giveaway! 

Add to Goodreads

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

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Cake and Courtship Blog Tour ~ Mr. Bennet's Diary & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! I'm very excited to have Mark Brownlow visiting us today! His new book Cake & Courtship is a Pride and Prejudice variation from Mr. Bennet's point of view. Which, to tell you honestly, is something I had never thought of before. I've always loved Mr. B's dry sense of humor! Well, I've started reading Cake & Courtship, and I'm really enjoying it! 

I hope you find Mark's post as amusing as I did! And be sure to read to the bottom of the post! There you'll find details about the giveaway! 

Thanks, Candy, for hosting me today!

My novel, Cake and Courtship, began life as something completely different: a tongue-in-cheek copy of Mr Bennet’s diary for a book of Austenesque humour. As we near the end of the blog tour, I thought it might be entertaining to resurrect some of those original diary entries.

So put out the port, cut yourself a slice of sponge cake and open the journal of one Mr James Bennet of Longbourn, father to five daughters and husband to one wife. Unfortunately, only a few pages have survived…

[Ed: This entry pre-dates the events of Pride and Prejudice. The final sentence suggests it was not Mr Bennet’s first on the topic of fashion.]

August 17th, 1811 - Longbourn

Lydia returned from Meryton yesterday with another collection of ribbons from Craddocks.

These items of clothing remain a mystery to me. A ribbon enjoying a wealth of admiration one day may become a subject of studied indifference but a few weeks later. I made enquiries at the society, but none of the gentlemen could offer an adequate explanation. Similar enquiries among the girls merely led to a collective rolling of the eyes and exclamations of “Oh, Papa”.

It seems there are subjects on which a father must remain ignorant (see last month’s note on bonnets).

[Ed: This entry seems to anticipate events at the Netherfield Ball.]

September 25, 1811 – Longbourn

Spent the day with an unfortunate headache brought on by an excess of Sir William’s brandy. Mary’s endeavours to coax some form of melody from the pianoforte only made matters worse. As a consequence, I wrote to Herr Beethoven asking if he might compose a requiem for me. It is the least he can do, since my middle daughter’s attempts to play some of his arrangements may very well lead to my untimely demise.

[Ed: We were fortunate to find some entries relating to Mr Bennet’s time in London, looking for Lydia and Wickham after their elopement.]

August 5th, 1812 - London

I decided to proceed with my search systematically, beginning with the most obvious locations for a man of Wickham’s disreputable character: the gambling dens. Mr Jackson furnished me with a list of addresses; his nefarious youth has finally proved to be of some use. Though I do wonder whether his memory (and the gambling dens) have survived the intervening thirty or so years fully intact.

August 6th, 1812 – London

Jackson’s list proved as useful as a butterfly net on a whaling ship.

The first address was the home of a Mr Ephraim Littlehale, a retired curate of kind disposition and poor hearing. It took me a full twenty minutes to explain myself and another twenty minutes to extricate myself.

The second address was unmistakably a fishmonger, a disappointment which at least proved brief and allowed the procurement of some rather fine haddock for the Gardiners’ cook.

The third address was the home of a Mr Mortimer Willcott, who, as it turns out, is a very late sleeper with an ugly temper.

The fourth address was indeed a gambling den, though dice and cards were merely one of the diverse entertainments available. I was introduced to a somewhat mature, overdressed lady named Madame Felice, who enquired most politely as to my needs. After I asked after a young man named Wickham, she inexplicably answered “I’m sure we can manage something”. She then disappeared upstairs, leaving me in the hands (and I use that phrase in all its ambiguity) of a young lady named Persephone. I left immediately.

[This entry is undated but likely to be sometime before or during the events of Pride and Prejudice, since Lydia is named.]

XXXXXX Longbourn

Much excitement at home with the arrival of a party of gentlemen in Meryton. According to a reliable source (Mrs Bennet), they are passing through on their way to London for some modest entertainment put on by the Prince Regent.

There was some argument concerning the gentlemen’s titles and how the party should be addressed by Kitty or Lydia. I pointed out the futility of the conversation given an introduction was impossible. I may also have mentioned that no titled gentleman would see fit to fall for a Bennet girl from an entailed estate.

Once again, I was punished for my honesty. My wife declared me cruel, saying “Oh, Mr Bennet. How can you ruin all our hopes so? You have no understanding at all.”

Yet it was precisely my superior understanding that caused me to “ruin” their hopes. I chose to remain silent on that point. Wisely it seems, for my wife continued in her usual understated manner, fleeing the room in tears to tend to her nerves upstairs. I anticipate another bill from Mr Jones shortly.

I spent the rest of the day classifying my dragonflies, an activity that carried little risk of offending anybody. Mind you, I recall an incident at the Meryton Natural History Society when Fielding and Stanhope fell into argument over the correct spelling of the silver-washed fritillary. The ensuing duel was no less impressive for the protagonists’ use of insect pins rather than swords. It only ended when Stanhope backed into a recently-acquired narwhal skull. I shall never forget the look of shocked surprise on his face.

Cake & Courtship by Mark Brownlow


When John Barton falls in love with the elusive Anne Hayter, there is only one man he can turn to for advice. Unfortunately, that man is Mr Bennet of Longbourn, a world-weary gentleman with five daughters pursuing their own marital ambitions. 

To help John, Mr Bennet must emerge from his beloved library and face the challenges of the tearoom and dance floor one more time. In doing so, he finds his own romantic past catching up with him. 

In this Pride and Prejudice variation, Mark Brownlow takes you on an Austenesque journey full of wry humour and Regency romance (with a few slices of sponge cake). 

“As you get older, Lizzy, you will discover that life does not
bow easily to the wishes of even the most romantic of souls.
Quite the opposite. Life must be mastered with pragmatism
and sense, which explains why so few people succeed at it.“ 

Cake and Courtship is a standalone story, but also the first book of Mr Bennet’s memoirs. Look out for the sequel in 2018.

Buy: Amazon USAmazon • Kobo • iBooks • B&N/Nook
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon US. 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

Mark Brownlow is a British-born writer living in Vienna, Austria. His debut novel, Cake and Courtship, is a Regency romance narrated by Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Bennet. He has also written a novella, The Lovesick Maid, a cozy mystery set in Jane Austen’s fictional village of Hunsford. You can find Mark at, where he is known for his reimagining of classic literature as emails.

Science degrees from the Universities of Oxford, Aberdeen and Reading prefaced a short-lived career as a research academic. Since turning from facts to fiction, Mark has also worked as a translator, agony aunt, marketing consultant, journalist, business writer, web publisher and copywriter. None of which kept his soul happy in the way that creative writing does. When not writing, he works as a part-time lecturer in medical and scientific English at a local university.

If there is no pen to hand, he can be found watching his kids play football or sharing a glass of wine with his wife in front of a costume or historical drama.

Connect with Mark Brownlow

Blog Tour Schedule

Feb 28 Diary of an Eccentric – guest post, excerpt, giveaway
Mar 1 Half Agony, Half Hope – review, excerpt
Mar 2 Austenesque Reviews – interview with Mr Bennet, giveaway
Mar 3 Babblings of a Bookworm – guest post, excerpt, giveaway
Mar 4 Laughing with Lizzie – Mr Bennet’s inbox, giveaway
Mar 5 From Pemberley to Milton – guest post, excerpt, giveaway
Mar 6 My Vices and Weaknesses – author interview, giveaway
Mar 7 More Agreeably Engaged – guest post, excerpt, giveaway
Mar 8 So little time… – Mr Bennet’s diary, giveaway
Mar 10 Just Jane 1813 – guest post, excerpt, giveaway

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Mark Brownlow is generously offering one of my readers a choice of paperback of Cake & Courtship or some Viennese chocolates! Wow! Thanks, Mark! To enter, please leave a comment below!

  • One person will win their choice of either a paperback of Cake & Courtship or some Viennese chocolates.
  • To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below and include your e-mail address (with parentheses around (at)& (dot)).
  • Open Internationally.
  • Last day to enter the giveaway is March 15th, 2018, 11:59 PM, Pacific Time. 

Good Luck! 

A special thanks to Mark Brownlow for stopping by So little time... today, and for his lovely giveaway! Also, congratulations of the release of Cake & Courtship

So, what do you think, didn't you love the diary entries? Have you ever read a book from Mr. B's POV? Do you have any questions for Mark? 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

What Are You Reading? ~ March 7, 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 Cake & Courtship by Mark Brownlow. This is the first P&P variation I've read from Mr. Bennet's perspective! I love his dry sense of humor.  -- I hope you can stop by tomorrow! It's my stop on the Cake & Courtship Blog Tour! 

I recently finished All the Things I Know by Audrey Ryan. I thought Ryan did a great job putting P&P into a modern setting. 4 stars

I listened to a couple of audiobooks (I was on the road again!):

I found on the audible app a copy of Jaws by Peter Benchley, and since I like the movie, I thought I'd give the book a try. Of course, the book was different. There was more about the relationship between the chief, his wife... and the shark expert. :o I thought the book's ending was a little anti-climatic. In this case, I think the movie was much better. I'm really glad I listened to it, though! 3 stars

I also listened to Matter of Trust: The Shades of Pemberley by P.O. Dixon. It was good, and it sure helped the miles go by! 4 stars 

What's next? I haven't thought that much ahead! ;) 

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? 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Catherine Bybee's NOT QUITE CRAZY Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & #Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! I'm happy to be part of Catherine Bybee's Not Quite Crazy Blog Tour! This looks like a really cute romance! I hope you enjoy the message from the author and the excerpt! And be sure to enter the awesome giveaway at the bottom of the post! 

Message From the Author

In Not Quite Crazy, California transplant, Rachel Price, doesn’t understand the ramifications of driving into Manhattan from Connecticut every day; in every type of weather…especially snow. When she runs the charming Jason Fairchild off the road, sparks fly. Too bad Jason is her new boss and dating him is out of the question. Everyone knows it’s occupational suicide to date your boss. 

Determined to keep her distance romantically, the two dive into a friendship. It isn’t long before those sparks ignite and neither one of them can deny their attraction. Throw in a teenage ward that Rachel has taken on after the death of her best friend, and biological grandparents that seek custody; and this heart warming love story is bound to whisk you away.

While I was writing Not Quite Crazy I took an impromptu trip to Manhattan last March. I purposely chose a winter month where I might be able to absorb what it felt like to be in the city when snow covered the ground. That might sound silly for those of you who live in the city, but for me, a woman who has lived in Southern California since she was eighteen years old, I had no idea just how snow impacts day to day life.

On the drive in from the airport, I was immediately struck by the bikes chained to posts and buried by snow. I observed a man digging his car out and effectively covering his neighbor’s car in the process. The plows did a great job of clearing the path for those cars actually moving, but did an equally fantastic job of making sure some vehicles couldn’t move for days. Trash piled up on the sidewalks would have to wait to be picked up until the thaw. It was astonishing to see. But the best experience for me, and one that made it into the pages of Not Quite Crazy, came when I took my first ride on the subway. You see, I was on my way uptown, from downtown to meet with my agent. Keep in mind, Manhattan is only five miles long. But it was St. Patrick’s Day and I completely forgot about the parade. I ordered an Uber, as one does, and sat bumper to bumper for nearly two hours. After arriving extremely late to my lunch, my wise and savvy agent gave me the instructions I needed to ride the subway back to my downtown hotel. I’m a grown woman, riding a subway shouldn’t intimidate me… but if I were honest, it did. So, with my purse strapped to my shoulder and zipped on the inside of my jacket, and my eyes wide open, I crowded into the underground train along with just about everyone else in the city.  Street performers jumped onto the car and started singing for change. Tourists chatted enthusiastically while locals looked bored with the whole process.

Rachel, my heroine in Not Quite Crazy is an extension of everyone I know that has lived in California. Here on the west coast we all have cars. We’re in them all the time. Public transportation is a joke when the distance between downtown LA and Orange County is so far away. The concept of always relying on public transportation to get to work every single day isn’t something most Southern Californian’s do. So when Rachel showed up on the page, I made sure she personified my own stubbornness about independently driving to and from wherever she needed to go. Even if it takes her two hours more than it should.

I hope you all enjoy this final chapter in the Not Quite Series and find room on your keeper shelf for Not Quite Crazy.



Rachel found the stack of mail on the dining room table. She fingered through a few bills and tossed the junk to the side to add to the recycle bin. The box Owen had spoken of didn’t have a mailing label. In fact, all that was written on the plain brown box was her name, her first name. 

She peeled away the tape, not knowing what to expect. Once she folded the lid back, she saw a handwritten envelope on top of a white canvas bag. It took a little effort to lift the noisy bag from the box—the sound of metal hitting metal struck her as odd.


Chains for the tires on her car. 


She opened the note and a second paper fell out. 

 Thank you for braving this stranger in a storm and keeping me from frostbite. Welcome to Connecticut. 

Below his name was a phone number

Something inside her stomach flipped, the buzz a teenage girl feels when she notices a popular boy watching her from the other side of the classroom. Or maybe she was reading into it. Maybe this was just a thank-you, a friendly gesture from a grateful, stranded traveler. 

Her cheeks warmed. 

Assuming he gave her a mobile number, Rachel decided to send a text.  
Hello Jason. I received your gift. They were incredibly thoughtful. Thank you. 
She read her note over, twice, then pressed “Send.” Off it went, in wherever notes went as they traveled faster than Superman in cyberspace. 

The phone in her hand buzzed, reminding her she was holding it. 
Is this Rachel? 
She grinned. 
Do you leave gifts on everyone’s doorstep in town? 
Dot. Dot. Dot. It is nearly Christmas. 
Was he flirting? It had been some time since she’d sent a text to anyone outside of the friend zone, so she couldn’t tell. 
So you double as Connecticut’s Santa Claus?
Shhh. Don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret. 
Well, he wasn’t not flirting. 
I’ll keep my mouth closed on one condition. 
Oh? What’s that? 
I want to meet Vixen. She’s always been my favorite. 
I thought Vixen was a he. 

She giggled. 
A boy named Vixen. That’s just cruel. Good point. I’ll see what I can do. The team is on a strict curfew until after the holiday. 
Rachel found a rolling eye emoji.

Title: Not Quite Crazy 
Author: Catherine Bybee 
Release Date: March 6, 2018 
Publisher: Montlake Romance 


No one drives in New York City. Everyone knows that, including California transplant Rachel Price. But that doesn’t stop her from driving into the city. From Connecticut. Every single morning. Rain or shine…or snow. 

When she runs the charismatic and good-looking Jason Fairchild off the road, their immediate spark is met with bad timing. There is also one tiny little detail: Jason is her boss. And a woman as intelligent and dedicated to her career as Rachel knows not to date her boss. 

As CEO of a private jet company, Jason Fairchild is more used to flying than driving. But if he hadn’t chosen to drive home one night, he wouldn’t have met the slowest—and most irresistible—driver in the entire metro area. Jason has never had time for love. Or dating. Or really anything that doesn’t involve work. But when he finds out that Rachel is the newest superstar in his marketing department, he can’t help wondering if fate has other plans… 

Buy: Amazon
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

When Catherine Bybee fell in love with the first romance novel she ever read, she promised herself she would one day become a published author. Now she’s written twenty-seven books that have collectively sold more than four million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Along with her popular Not Quite series, she has also penned the Weekday Brides series, the Most Likely To series, and the First Wives series.

Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. Catherine now writes full-time. Fans can learn more at

Connect with Catherine Bybee

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Montlake Romance is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card and a Digital Copy of Catherine Bybee's NOT QUITE series! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Have you read any of the books from the NOT QUITE series? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 
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