Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities Blog Tour ~ Guest Post with J. Marie Croft & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! Today, as part of the A Little Whimsical in His Civilities Blog Tour, I am delighted to have J. Marie Croft here with a very amusing guest post!  Be sure to stay tuned for details of the giveaway at the bottom of this post! 

21 September, 1812
Meryton, Hertfordshire

J. Marie Croft
‘Man-on-the-Street’ Reporter
for So Little Time ...

It’s thirty-six minutes past one o’clock in the morning; and I’m here outside the Assembly Hall, waiting for Merytonian merrymakers to exit and give their opinions on the return to the neighbourhood of Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Of particular interest is the latter gentleman. According to rumours, he has been given to sudden, unaccountable changes of mood and behaviour. Mr. Darcy, it seems, has become ‘a little whimsical in his civilities’.

With me now is Sir William Lucas, tonight’s master of the ceremonies. Sir William, please give us your thoughts on the two Netherfield gentlemen.

“Capital, capital fellows! Mr. Bingley, being the more jovial of the two, is a young man after my own heart. Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion he is after the eldest Miss Bennet’s heart, if you know what I mean.”

All that winking and nudging is hardly necessary, Sir. So, tell me, what is your impression of Mr. Bingley’s friend – the handsome, wealthy, erudite, well-dressed hunk with the broad shoulders, long, muscular legs, sable hair, and dark, brooding eyes?

“Eh? Hunk? ... as in a large piece of meat? Are you well, madam? Your face is alarmingly red.”

I’m fine. Thank you. Now that we all know my opinion, what is your impression of Mr. Darcy?

“Oh. Mr. Darcy. Right. Well, despite the stoic gentleman’s aversion to dancing, he graced us with his presence the entire evening. He even stood up with my houseguest as well as with one or two of the Bennet sisters. Speculation, you see, is running amok over the amount of attention he paid our dear Miss Eliza tonight.”

Have you noticed any change, any improvement, in Mr. Darcy’s civilities?

“Toward the end of the evening, he expressed his particular appreciation of my hospitality. Why, he even shook my hand and said he looked forward to continuing our acquaintance. Capital, capital fellow! Er, what, may I ask, is that peculiar item clutched in your hand?”

This? It’s a mic–
It’s, uh, my ... ear trumpet.

“Ah, well, at our advanced age, deafness can be a problem ... although I never thought I would hear myself say so. At any rate, Mrs. Croft, I believe the device should be held against your ear.”

Yes, well, with the aid of my trusty ear trumpet, I think I hear Lady Lucas calling you, so you really should be going. I would like a moment to interview your houseguests, though, if I may.

“Certainly. But John – Mr. Linville, that is – has tottered off to fetch the fine curricle he leased from the Meryton Mews for his and his wife’s use. Their daughter will travel to Lucas Lodge in the carriage with Maria, Lady Lucas, and me. Ah, here are the lovely Linville ladies. Just come along, Elinor, once you have finished with Mrs. Croft.”

Here, now, visiting from Surrey, are Mrs. Linville and her daughter Elinor. Welcome to Meryton, ladies. As newcomers to the area, what are your impressions of Mr. Darcy? Let’s start with you, Mrs. Linville.

“He seems a quiet sort. Mr. Darcy certainly does not rattle away like that other young man he is staying with. Why, I could hardly get a word in edgewise with Mr. Bingley. We all have our faults, I suppose, so one must excuse a few peccadillos. But Mr. Darcy was quite another matter. Why, he politely listened while I regaled him with a colourful account of my latest visit to the linen draper and furniture printer. You see, my husband and I had decided all the male chairs in our drawing room –”

Mrs. Linville, I was asking about –

“– were in desperate need of new coverings. Our drawing room faces full west; and the sun had faded the crimson silk quite badly, you see, and my husband was not so fond of sitting in the pink. Unfortunately, just when we had planned to go on a shopping excursion for new upholstery, my dear Mr. Linville suffered painful, swollen legs. In addition to the gout, my poor husband is prone to the dropsy, you see. So –”

Mrs. Linville, I was ask–

“– my particular friend, Mrs. Joysey, accompanied me to the textile shops on Gracechurch Street. We chose a rich, jewel-toned fabric that–”

Mrs. Linville, I –

“– matched the draperies in my drawing room quite nicely, and–

Mrs. Linvi–

“– I am pleased to report that my husband and all the male chairs in our drawing room are now fully recovered. So, we –”

Ha! Recovered! Um, you do realize you made a pun, right? No? Oh, never mind, then. Now, Mrs. Linville, about Mr. Darcy? 

“Well, although he took more time than he should have, that rather handsome gentleman did finally ask our daughter to stand up with him ... which reminds me of the assembly in Surrey where I first laid eyes on my dear Mr. Linville. Well, John was not my husband then, but –”

Thank you, madam.
Miss Linville, perhaps you could tell me about the set you shared with Mr. Darcy.

“Humph. That gentleman may be a proficient dancer, but he is a deficient conversationalist. He went half an hour without once opening his lips to speak. Speaking of lips, his smile has more in common with a grimace than with a pleased expression. Worst of all, there is something dreadfully wrong with Mr. Darcy’s eyes.”

Really? They look exceedingly fine to me.

“No, no. They wander. As my dance partner, he should have been focused only on me, but his eyes kept wandering towards one of the Miss Bennets. Oh, sorry, but we must be going now. Papa is beckoning Mama to the curricle, and Sir William is coming to escort me to his carriage. Good evening, Mrs. Croft.”

Thank you for your insights, Mrs. Linville, Miss Linville.
Mrs. Philips, you’ve been patiently standing by, waiting to say something, it seems. What can you tell us about Mr. Darcy?

“Miss Linville had the right of it. There is something wrong with Mr. Darcy’s eyes. In fact, I think the young man might need spectacles. He collided with me tonight, you know. He apologized profusely for doing so, but he – Oh! Oh, oh, lud!”

I’m on the main road in Meryton, where a curricle is presently weaving all over the place. I’m joined by others running towards the open carriage. The male driver seems to be intoxicated, unable to control the two horses. Gasps are heard from the crowd as the female passenger topples from the curricle to the street. Mr. Jones, the apothecary, has reached the woman and is ascertaining whether she’s been injured. Thankfully, she appears unharmed. Long-legged Mr. Darcy has run past everyone else and is closing on the careening curricle. He has now hopped aboard and is wresting the reins from the other man. The two-wheeled carriage has come to a halt, and Mr. Darcy is yelling at the drunken driver. I’m now close enough to hear their exchange.

“Mr. Linville! Good gravy, man! Did you not realize your wife had fallen out?”

"Oh! Oh, thank heavens! I thought I had gone deaf!"

This is J. Marie Croft, ‘Man-on-the-Street’ ... er, ‘Woman-on-the-Street’ Reporter for So Little Time, saying good grief and goodnight.

Back to you, Candy.

Thank you, Mrs. Croft, for that humorous report! It's always a pleasure to have you here on So Little Time...! Oh, and I do hope Mrs. Linville is all right! 

Book Blurb: 

Told entirely from Fitzwilliam Darcy’s point of view, J. Marie Croft’s humorous novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities, spans one moonlit, autumnal night upon the gentleman’s return to Hertfordshire in pursuit of Elizabeth Bennet.   

“We take the turning which places us on Meryton’s main road, and—oh, gad! There it is—the base-court building which passes for an assembly hall in this godforsaken place. For me, the venue shall be either a heaven or a hell tonight. My palms grow clammy, my gut churns, and I regret that second helping of onion-laden vegetable pie forced on me before we left.”   

Accompany Darcy as he, intent on reversing the disastrous first impression he made there, braves another Meryton assembly and seeks to win his heart’s desire.

Buy: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
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! 

Author Bio:

J. Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery”. Her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight (Meryton Press, 2013), her humorous short story, Spyglasses and Sunburns, in the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology (Meryton Press, 2015), and her novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Meryton Press, 2016) bear witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter.

Connect with J. Marie Croft

Thanks to Jakki @ Leatherbound Reviews for organizing this blog tour, and to Meryton Press for this fun giveaway!

And be sure to visit other stops on the tour! 

2/8: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
2/9: Guest Post & Giveaway at Moonlight Reader 
2/10: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
2/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time… 
2/12: Excerpt at My Love for Jane Austen 
2/13: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged 
2/14: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life 
2/15: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton 
2/16: Review at Just Jane 1813
2/17: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
2/18: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
2/19: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars 
2/20:  Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight 
2/21: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm 
2/22: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice 

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time!! Meryton Press is doing a group giveaway! There are FOUR paperbacks and FOUR e-copies up for grabs, and EIGHT different people will win! Giveaway is open Internationally! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment.

  • Only one copy of A Little Whimsical in His Civilities per winner.
  • Winners picked randomly by Rafflecopter at the end of the Blog Tour.
  • Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.
  • Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Again, many thanks to J. Marie Croft for stopping by today! This little novella sounds like a fun read! 


  1. Haha, yes, what a hoot! Love reading Reporter Croft's stories. :)

  2. cheered me up - look forward to reading this

  3. Thanks, Candy, for hosting me and my piece of nonsense.

    You may rest assured no characters were harmed in the making of this guest post. Except for a slight headache and a substantial ill will toward her husband, Mrs. Linville is in fine fettle. According to eyewitness reports, she was resting comfortably in the guest quarters at Lucas Lodge, wherein the connecting door between her bedchamber and Mr. Linville’s remains securely locked.

    1. You're welcome, Joanne! It is a pleasure having you here! Loved this post! And I'm so glad to hear Mrs. Linville is doing well! Lol, after that incident, I would have my bedchamber doors locked, too! Mr. Linville's got a lot of groveling to do! ;)

    2. Thanks, again, Candy, for allowing me a chance to share some goofiness.

  4. Seems like you had your work cut out for you. Thank goodness for all of your reporter-ing skills! ;-)

    1. Hi, Ginna! Yes, Mrs. Croft has excellent reporting skills! Lol ;)

    2. I'm thankful Candy hired me on her special reporter that night.

  5. Delightful post - Considering its author, it surprises me not a whit. How fun! Thanks for sharing. Wishing you tons of success. Mary

    1. Hi, Mary! Definitely a fun post! I'm so glad you stopped by! Thanks!

    2. Mary! Thanks for stopping by. Now, when are you going to stop by Nova Scotia, hmm?

  6. Good heavens! I laughed until the tears poured down my cheeks. Clever and hilarious. Well done!

    1. Hi, Joy! Yes, I enjoyed this post too! Thanks for stopping by! :)

    2. You're the best at spreading joy, support, and kind words. Thank you!

  7. This was such a cool post! I love the idea and greatly enjoyed the laughs it provided! Well done, Joanne! Your creativity is amazing!

    1. Aw, thanks, Meredith. Your approval means a lot to me.

  8. Just love the bit about Darcy having deficient eyesight! Definitely a chuckleworthy repot Ms. Croft! By the way, would you by any chance be related to an Admiral of the same name who hails from Somerset? I'm in the middle of reading a novel in which he features quite a lot.

    1. I might be persuaded to admit there's a connection. ;-)

  9. What a great interview and live action update. Very creative.

  10. This interview was so funny I nearly choked on my coffee. Thanks for making me smile this morning. What a wonderful way to wake up.

    1. Thanks, Deborah Ann, for making ME smile this morning. What a wonderful way to start my work day.

  11. Thanks for sharing with us the excerpt, it is really funny.

  12. That was a brilliant post! Poor Meryton residents... They have no idea what to make of Darcy... Lol! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Thanks, Claudine.
    It's a good thing Meryton residents have no idea what Darcy is thinking ... about them. Uh-oh! What If they read my novella?

  14. Such a fun post. My favourite part was the bit where the husband thought he'd gone deaf :)

    1. Thank you, Ceri. I had fun writing this piece.
      I'm looking forward to tomorrow. ;-)


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