Wednesday, December 31, 2014

When I’m With You: A Modern Retelling of Northanger Abbey by Cecilia Gray

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays have been wonderful! Mine have! 

This is a review I wrote almost two years ago and posted on Indie Jane. Unfortunately, it was lost. I was asked recently if I had read it, and I knew I had, so after some digging I found a copy on my documents. (Which is a miracle after so many updates on pages my old documents don't work anymore!) So, after a few edits, I thought I would re-post here! 

When I’m With You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #3) by Cecilia Gray 

Publication Date: First published on December 22, 2012 
Publisher: Gray Life, LLC 
Pages: 129 
Received: E-copy from author. 
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

When I’m With You: A Modern Retelling of Northanger Abbey is the third book of the Jane Austen Academy Series. Cecilia Gray brings this Regency classic to the present day, putting her spin on it in a fun and clever way! 

Kat Morley is a star on stage, at least she is at the Jane Austen Academy. She knows her characters and delivers their lines well, but in real life she doesn’t quite fit in. She never knows what to say, and often feels like an outsider. She agrees to spend her Christmas holiday helping out a classmate, Josh Wickham while he’s on set filming his part in a horror movie. This part is important for Josh, who’s trying to make a comeback after taking a couple of years off. Kat agrees to be his personal assistant in the hope of catching the break she needs to get into the business herself. 

While on set, she meets Henry Trenton, one of the co-stars of the movie.  Henry is playing a serial killer in the film. He is an interesting character, a man of many hats, literally! He likes to wear different types of hats depending on his mood and what he is wearing. Kat is awestruck and is crushing on him. 

I love the whole boarding school aspect of the story. Although, most of this story happens during winter break, away from school. I also liked to see how Gray worked aspects of Northanger into this story.

I could relate to Kat’s character; I’ve been there. I never know what to say. I often feel overlooked, and not part of the crowd. I don’t know if she realized it, but she made friends quickly on set and was well respected.

I really enjoyed When I’m With You! I haven’t read the first two books, but I didn’t feel like I missed anything. I felt it could stand alone. Although, I could see some threads that must continue through the series, for example, a mystery about the new owners of the Jane Austen Academy and what their plans for the school’s future are.  Now, I’m going to have to read the first two, and I’ll be looking forward to the next three!

FTC Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of the story from the author for my honest review.

Buy: Amazon
Add: goodreads

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

BTW, I'm not sure how long When I'm With You will be on sale, but right now it's free!! (check before buying!)

Connect with Cecilia Gray

twitter • website • tumblr • facebook

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Winners of To Refine Like Silver Giveaway!

Hey Everyone! We have our winners for the To Refine Like Silver giveaway!

Thank you so much, Jeanna, for taking the time to visit So little time..., for bringing us such a touching excerpt, and giving away a copy of your book, To Refine Like Silver,  

and a bar of Fitzwilliam Darcy soap from Shirley's Handicrafts (Evie Cotton's etsy shop)

Without further ado, the winners are:

Wendy R ~ Fitzwilliam Darcy Soap

Dung V. ~ a copy of To Refine Like Silver

Thanks to all who entered!

I have emailed the winners.

Winners have 72 hours to respond to this post or an email, or a new winner will be picked. Thank you!

Buy a copy To Refine Like Silver  
Add to goodreads.

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Reads

Hello, Lovely Readers! It's that time again, and I've been reading some Christmas stories, but I thought I would mention some past Christmas stories that I have read. Some that maybe you missed or might not know about.  

Last year I read The Holiday Gig by Erin Brady. I really enjoyed it! You can read my review here.

Back in 2011 I read Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel by Regina Jeffers. This Pride and Prejudice sequel is a wonderful and inspirational story! See my review here.

Another Pride and Prejudice Christmas variation to check out is Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy by Barbara Tiller Cole. It's a P&P and Christmas Carol mash-up! My review.

Holiday Man by Marilyn Brant is a spicy, fun read that touches on a variety of holidays throughout the year. My review. Happy Day! Holiday Man was just release by the publisher in audio form! You can pick up a copy here. It's should be available on Audible and other locations by the end of December.

This year I have read: 

The Heart of Christmas (A Whiskey Creek Novel Book 7) by Brenda Novak. My review.

Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer by six different JAFF authors! Loved this collection of Jane Austen retellings! My review. Fantastic news! Holidays with Jane is on sale! I don't know for how long, but right now it's 99¢! 

This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan. This novella is a sequel to This Summer. Review (hopefully) coming soon!

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

Other than (hopefully) posting my review for This Christmas, I am going to take a break from blogging and enjoy the holidays with my family. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What Christmas stories are you reading or have read in the past? Let us know so that we can read them too! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

W… W… W… Wednesdays ~ Dec. 17, 2014

W… W… W… Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What am I currently reading? I'm currently reading Boots and Backpacks - Pride & Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, Roughly by K.C. Kahler. I'm enjoying it. I'm about a third of the way through at this point.

What did I recently finish reading? I finished 
Triumph and Treasure (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series Book 1) by Collette Cameron. It was really good! Fast-paced - I like that!  

I was reading Only Twelve Days by Eileen Thornton. I got about halfway through and put it down. It was a little too sugary sweet for me. I may pick it up before Christmas to finish it, but I'm not sure.

What do I think I'll read next? I'm not sure. To keep up with my Christmas theme, maybe,  Lucky 13: Matchmaking and Misunderstandings by Cat Gardiner or All I Want for Christmas is You, a Holiday Romance by Lisa Mondello. We'll see! Haha! I probably won't have time to read anyway, with the family home for the holidays! 

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

What are you reading? I'd love to hear!! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holidays with Jane ~ My Review

Holidays With Jane: Christmas Cheer 
by Jennifer Becton, Melissa Buell, Rebecca M. Fleming, Cecilia Gray, Jessica Grey, and Kimberly Truesdale 

Publication Date: October 28th, 2014 
Publisher: Indie Jane Press 
Pages: 374 
Received: E-copy from one of the authors. 
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I loved Holidays with Jane! All six of Jane Austen’s books are represented in these modern retellings! I found each to be very well written; short, but complete. It is so perfect for the holiday season, when you’re busy and really don’t have time to get involved in a full novel. I could curl up on my couch and read a story without worrying about staying up too late! Six modern retellings all wrapped up in a neat little package! 

The Work of an Instant by Jennifer Becton is perfect!! LOVED it! In this Persuasion retelling, Ms. Becton  did an excellent job modernizing Captain Wentworth’s letter! **sigh**  

Mischief and Mistletoe by Melissa Buell is a retelling of Northanger Abbey. Ms.Buell did a fabulous job dropping this into a modern setting as well. Cate (Catherine) is a seamstress in this version. As someone who sews, her creativity made me want to get out my needle and thread and do a little sewing myself! 

A Tale of Three Christmases by Rebecca M. Fleming is a touching story that is beautifully written. A retelling of Sense and Sensibility, it is told from Maggie's (Margaret Dashwood) POV.  After the death of her father she finds a journal left to her by him with instructions to write down the events of the next three Christmases. It was beautiful!

With Love, From Emma by Cecilia Gray, gave me the warm fuzzies!! Loved it! This, of course, is Emma and Lance's (Mr. Knightley) story. I enjoyed it as Emma reflects back through the past year, remembering different holidays, ending at Christmas.  This is a sigh-worthy story, and I savored it for a day or two in my mind!  

It’s a Wonderful Latte by Jessica Grey, is a retelling of Mansfield Park. Ms. Grey goes into a different direction when she does a little gender swapping, making Edmund a female character named Evie, who can’t see the love of a good friend (in this case, it’s not her cousin). It’s fun and magical as Jane Austen herself appears in this story!

Pride and Presents by Kimberly Truesdale. Ooh! I love Darcy in this one! Ms. Truesdale did an excellent job bring this to the present day, and when Elizabeth and Darcy finally get together...hhmmm....well, I got that warm fuzzy feeling all over, again! Lovely!

I really enjoyed how there are a few threads connecting each story in a small way. For example, you can find the characters from all the stories enjoying a cup of coffee from Mansfield Perk! You’ll also find Cate’s Creations being worn by a few of the ladies throughout the book. 

I loved Holidays with Jane! They are all cleverly done! I can’t tell you which story I loved most…I kind of fell in love with ALL of them! This is a must have for any Janeite!

FTC Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of the story from one of the authors for my honest review.

Buy: Amazon
Add: goodreads

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

Connect with the Authors

Jennifer Becton ~ twitterwebsitefacebook
Melissa Buell ~ twitterwebsitetumblr • facebook
Rebecca M. Fleming ~ twitterwebsitefacebook
Cecilia Gray ~ twitterwebsitetumblr • facebook
Jessica Grey ~ twitterwebsitetumblr facebook 
Kimberly Truesdale ~ twitterwebsitetumblrfacebook

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ Dec. 10, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I'm currently reading Triumph and Treasure by Collette Cameron. I'm about half through this book and loving it! This is another fast-paced regency romance by Ms. Cameron! The first in this series, but the hero, Flynn, in this story, is a cousin of the Craiglocky Clan from the Castle Bride Series. :)

What did I recently finish reading? I read This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan. It was good! Almost more of a short story rather than a novella, but if you have read This Summer I think you would love to spend Christmas with Hadley and Will! I should have a review up soon.

What do I think I'll read next? Maybe some more Christmasy stories like Only Twelve Days by Eileen Thornton. It looks fun!

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

What are you reading? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Muse Blog Tour ~ My Review

Hey Everyone! I'm super excited to be part of The Muse Blog Tour! I was fortunate to get a copy for review, because it was fantastic! My thanks to Leatherbound Reviews and Meryton Press! And, of course, to Jessica Evans for writing a wonderful story!!

Book Blurb:

Elizabeth Bennet, the newest corps de ballet dancer at Ballet Theater of New York, dreams of rising through the prestigious company’s ranks to become a prima ballerina. When she’s cast in superstar choreographer William Darcy’s newest work, she believes she’s one step closer to realizing her dream–until she meets him. 

William Darcy, the former dance legend and ballet bad boy, is a jaded perfectionist whom dancers both fear and admire. Although touted as the next big thing in the ballet world, he secretly battles a bad case of artist’s block–until he meets Elizabeth Bennet. 

Tempers ignite between Elizabeth and Darcy, but he’s irresistibly drawn to the stubborn and beautiful corps de ballet dancer. Could she be the muse he needs to reignite his passion for ballet?

The Muse: A Pride and Prejudice Variation 
by Jessica Evans 

Publication Date: December 15th, 2014 
Publisher: Meryton Press 
Pages: 384 
Received: E-copy from publisher 
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Rest assured--first impressions are not always what they seem to be" ~ Darcy

My Review:

Wow! I loved The Muse! This modern Pride and Prejudice variation is set in New York City, where Elizabeth is a dancer at the Ballet Theater of New York, and Darcy is a choreographer for the ballet. 

Darcy is harsh and curt as he corrects his dancers.  He wasn't there to make friends, and the dancers should appreciate his attention. Elizabeth has caught his eye, and he is quick to instruct her. She awakes his creative juices, and soon, unknown to her, she becomes his muse. Of course, this doesn't sit well with Elizabeth!

Elizabeth takes offense to his attention. After overhearing a conversation between Darcy and Charles Bingley on the first day of rehearsals, where Darcy remarks that Elizabeth doesn’t have the right body type, saying she is too short and curvy for a ballerina. Now every correction Darcy gives, Liz only sees as criticism and his disdain for her.

Darcy was intense, brooding and self-absorbed at the beginning of the story, but he is also a loyal friend and good brother. Georgiana wasn’t my favorite here; she was a bit too valley girl and immature.

Elizabeth is hard working and determined to be a great dancer, but at the same time she struggles with self-doubt. She is also a bit jealous of Jane, who is beautiful and an excellent dancer. Jane also has an amazing boyfriend, Charles Bingley. It bothers Liz that she didn't have either; she wasn't a great dancer nor did she have a boyfriend, but for now, she would work on her dancing. 

I have to admit I didn’t think I would like Darcy as a dancer, but it worked really well! I was hooked right from the beginning. The story flowed well and kept me engaged, which I’ve been having trouble with lately.

The choreography in this story is beautiful and at times sensual.  I'm not a dancer, but it seems Ms. Evans really did her homework or is a dancer herself! 

For those who care to know, I would say, there are some mild sex scenes, and course language.

The Muse is an excellent read! I would highly recommend it!

FTC Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of the story from the publisher for my honest review.

Expected publication date is December 15th, but be sure to add it to your goodreads shelf!

About the Author:

Jessica Evans is middle school English teacher by trade, I cut my writer’s teeth in various fan fiction forums starting at the tender age of fifteen. My debut novel, The Muse: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, is set to be published by Meryton Press in December 2014.

In my spare time, I read a lot of Young Adult literature, cook and eat as organically/sustainably/artisanally/grass-fed-ally as possible, and work on improving my life one affirmation at a time. I live in the magical borough of Brooklyn, though am not a hipster. I swear.

Connect with Jessica Evans

Check out the other stops on the tour! There's some giveaways going on at some of the stops!!

12/1: Excerpt at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice,
12/2: Review at Songs & Stories,
12/3: Guest Post & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged,http://moreagreeablyengaged.blogspot....
12/4: Review at Wings of Paper,
12/5: Excerpt & Giveaway at Laughing with Lizzie,
12/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm,http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot....
12/7: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen,
12/8: Excerpt & Giveaway at Stories From the Past,
12/9: Review at So Little Time...,
12/10: Review at BestSellers & BestStellars,
12/11: Author Interview at Wings of Paper,
12/12: Review at Diary of an Eccentric,
12/13: Review at Fairy Jane Tales,
12/14: Excerpt at The Calico Critic,
12/15: Review at Warmisunqu's Austen,

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

To Refine Like Silver Blog Tour + GIVEAWAY!

Hello Lovely Readers! Today I'm delighted to have Jeanna Ellsworth visiting here on So little time...! She brings with her an excerpt of her new book, To Refine Like Silver, and a very lovely giveaway!!

    Thank you Candy for having me on your blog! It has been fun to bounce from blog to blog giving excerpt and interviews. It is all so exciting to hear what people think of the book. Here is the back cover intrigue to give you an idea of what the book is about.

     If Mr. Darcy had met Elizabeth Bennet in his beloved Derbyshire, would he have recognized her as the love of his life instead of dismissing her as someone “not handsome enough to tempt” him? This alteration of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice adds a little spirit, flirtation, and charm to everyone’s favorite characters.

     Early in the summer of 1811,  Elizabeth Bennet travels to Derbyshire to help her aunt and uncle settle in as new owners of Saphrinbrooke. Elizabeth is soon introduced to the estate’s nearest neighbors: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and his sister, Georgiana, who is suffering the results of a fateful trip to Ramsgate. Having endured several life tragedies herself, Elizabeth reaches out to the young lady of Pemberley. Under her radiant influence, both Darcy and Georgiana begin to look for help outside of themselves.

     To Refine Like Silver is a romantic and spiritual journey where more than one of our favorite Regency characters must learn to fully rely on God. Their trials bring depth to the beloved story, and Mr. Darcy ultimately learns that our trials do not define us; rather they refine us. 

     So are you ready for an excerpt? I chose one from chapter 2, which is the morning after Darcy and Georgiana had dinner at the Gardiner’s estate. Georgiana is in the black abyss called depression. She could not even be considered functional at his point in the book and has not played the piano for three months. Darcy just received information that Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner will be coming to Pemberley the next day, and in the note, was a letter for Georgiana from Elizabeth who had recognized the deep sadness in Georgiana’s eyes from the night before.


     Georgiana watched as William stood and left the room. Her chin dropped to her chest, and she groaned. Why was everything so taxing? Why couldn’t she simply take a deep breath and not feel like the world was on her shoulders? Only she knew the truth, and that was how it would stay for a long time.

     She opened the sealed letter and read the following words.

Dear Georgiana,
     I want you to know that I have felt the same pain you feel. I have been there. And I will come to you in a heartbeat if you wish to talk. 
     I had the same look in my eyes years ago, and I needed someone to listen when I did not wish to talk. I needed someone to love me when I felt unloved. I needed someone to share my pain when it overflowed, when I knew not how much longer I could exist in that state. I needed to hear how special and valued I was when I felt so very worthless. I wished so much for a friend. I needed to hear that there was joy in store for me, instead of the deep darkness that surrounded me. I needed so much but knew not how or whom to ask for it.

     Please know that I wish to be there for you. I cannot explain it, but I am meant to be here, in Derbyshire, to help you. What you feel right now will not last. The sun will shine again. Trust me. I have been to the depths of hell and survived to tell you about it. I have peace now.
      I wish to offer whatever part of me you are ready to accept. I can be a friend, a confidant, or even a sister. I want to help you. You can survive this. Forgive me if I speak too plainly, but it is not in my nature to mince words, especially when I see such a jewel before me in so much pain.
     I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Perhaps in time I can help you see the light this world has to offer.
     Remember, sadness is just a feeling; it cannot consume you.

     Until tomorrow,

     Your friend,

     Elizabeth Bennet

     Georgiana folded the letter. She tucked it into her pocket and stood up to leave. As she passed the pianoforte, she ran her fingers along the keys. The sound made her stop. She paused and turned back around. I do not really want to play, do I? She leaned over and let her right hand pick out a few cords in A minor. They seemed to express what she was feeling. Sadness is only a feeling; it cannot consume you. She played a few measures of a song she knew. Without sitting down, she placed her left hand on the keys and started Prelude and fugue in A minor by Bach. The mood of the music seeped into her hands as she played.

     She played it slower than usual, the passion for the piece stirring something inside her. She felt her heart start to keep rhythm with the music. Soon, she instructed her fingers to play faster and, sure enough, her heartbeat accelerated. It startled her so much that she retracted her hands immediately. The silence in the room echoed loudly as the notes dissipated.

     Pulling out the bench, she sat down and rested her hands on the keys waiting for her heart to calm down. When it had resumed a normal pattern, she started to play. As she did so, her heart picked up and pounded hard in her chest. There it was again—evidence that I am alive. Evidence that she felt something other than pain. She immediately stood up and left the room, not even noticing she had knocked the bench over in her haste.

     Darcy could hear the music through the halls of Pemberley. It was soulful and sad, but he was glad to hear music again. He knew Miss Elizabeth had something to do with it. After the music ended, he went to look in the music room and saw the bench tipped over. He lifted it back onto its legs and placed it in the proper position. She had played. If only for a moment, she had played. He looked down on the ground and there was Georgiana’s letter from Elizabeth. The temptation to read it was brief. He simply picked it up and placed the folded letter on the keys of the pianoforte. It seemed only fitting.


     I chose this excerpt because it is the first time that Georgiana starts to make progress, and Darcy recognizes to some degree that Elizabeth is the reason his sister took up piano again. I think this is a significant part of the book because Darcy realizes that he may not be able to offer the help Georgiana needs unless he reaches out to others. He has never needed anyone in his life more than the sparkling Elizabeth Bennet. Well, I hope you enjoyed it!

     I am giving away a bar of “Fitzwilliam Darcy” soap from Evie Cotton handmade soaps (Shirley’s Handicrafts), which is a tantalizing mixture of lemon and sandalwood. Here is the link if you wish to buy your own bar.

     I will also be giving away a paperback of To Refine like Silver to a U.S. resident or an eBook kindle version to someone internationally.

Thanks again Candy for hosting me!

You're welcome, Jeanna! It is a pleasure to have you here! Oh! Poor Georgiana! This excerpt has intrigued me to read more!!

Connect with Jeanna Ellsworth


~ ~ ~ GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Happy news! Jeanna is generously giving away two lovely prizes! To enter the giveaway, just fill in the Rafflecopter below, and leave a comment.  Last day to enter is December 15th, 2014! 

Thank you, Jeanna!!

  • One person will win a bar of "Fitzwilliam Darcy" soap.
  • One person will win a choice of paperback (US only) or e-copy (International)
  • Last day to enter: December 15th, 2014.

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't want to wait? Buy a copy from Amazon! 

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

Please, leave a comment! We'd love to hear from you! Remember, to enter the giveaway you MUST fill out the Rafflecopter (shown above). If you need any help entering, email me! Just click on the icon at the top of the sidebar. Thanks! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ Dec. 3, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

What am I currently reading? I've just started This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan. This story is a novella, so it shouldn't take too long to finish, but it's also a sequel to This Summer, which I haven't read yet. I'm hoping I won't be too confused! I do have This Summer, but I don't have time to read it before Christmas, and I need to get This Christmas read soon. 

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer by Jennifer Becton, Jessica Grey, Cecilia Gray, Melissa Buell, Kimberly Truesdale and Rebecca M. Fleming. Ok, I loved this! These modern Jane Austen retellings are perfect for this time of year! You can sneak in an Austen fix without committing to a whole novel. Plus, they are sigh-worthy!! I should have my review up soon! 

I also finished reading The Muse by Jessica Evans. It was fantastic! I really enjoy this one! This modern Pride and Prejudice variation takes place in NYC where Elizabeth is a corps de ballet dancer, and Darcy is a choreographer for the same ballet company. Believe works! My review is schedule for Dec. 9th as part of The Muse Blog Tour

What do I think I'll read next? I plan on reading Triumph and Treasure by Collette Cameron. 

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

What are you reading? I'd love to hear!

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