Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What Are You Reading? ~ April 19, 2017

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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've just started reading Leap of Hope by Shannon Winslow. I'm really excited about reading this! Present day Hope gets a chance to start a new life in 1809 England, to actually live the life she loves so much in her books! Sounds fascinating, doesn't it?!

I'm still listening to Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard during my workouts, but I might switch to reading it this week. It's so good, and I just want to know what happens next! :) 

I recently finished reading Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill. It was a little slow for me at the beginning, but the last half was much better. Plus, I was worried that it was going to end on a huge cliffhanger, but it wrapped up nicely with a little teaser for the next book. 

What's next? I'm not sure at the moment. 

FTC 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? 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dear Friend Event ~ Guest Post & #GIVEAWAY!

Hello, Friends! I'm so happy to be part of the Meryton Press Dear Friend Event! Especially since Meryton Press has always been one of my go-to publishers. I'm always sure of finding a good read from one of their fabulous authors! 

Speaking of which, it's my great honor to have Lory Lilian visiting today, chatting about one of her favorite activities! 

Dearest friends, 

I am thrilled to be part of this Meryton Press event and to “talk” to you about one of my favorite activities: reading.

I can hardly remember when I began to love reading, but for as long I do remember, I remember myself reading. (I must have been around five years old.)

The first full-length novel I read when I was about eight years old was called “In the Country of Unlearned Lessons” published in 1965 and written by the Russian author Lia Geraskina. Of course, it was translated into Romanian. It is sort of “Alice in Wonderland,” except it is not about a girl, but about a young boy who hated school and refused to do his homework, so he ended up in “Unlearned Lessons Land.” LOL! I will never forget the ending: the boy was in danger of being condemned and executed, and he was given a paper with the words:  “Execution Adjourn Forgiveness” and he had to put the comma in the right place in order to be free! Spooky!
You must keep in mind that I lived in Romania during the leadership of Ceausescu, and there were years and years when we had only two hours of TV programs each day. Yes, no kidding: only 2 hours daily, of which 90 percent were news about Ceausescu and 10 percent cartoons plus some TV shows (Romanian, of course). Hard to believe, right? Now that I think of it, I cannot believe that people could live like that for so many years.

So, aside from my natural inclination toward reading, that was surely a powerful inducement to read: to discover new things, new people, new places. I read and loved too many books to remember. I read basically everything I could find! Many of my favorites were also mentioned in Jan Hahn’s earlier post, much to my delight. But I know I was in love with Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” and “Shirley.” Not so much “Wuthering Heights”—too dark for me. I was an angst wimp even back then—LOL. Another of my loved ones was “Corazon Salvaje” by Caridad Bravo Adams (a book that in 1993 became a fabulous, fabulous Mexican telenovela.

I also loved a Romanian novel “At Medeleni.” Taking place at the beginning of 1900’s about a fabulous woman character Olguta, it followed her from the age of ten until she got cancer and committed suicide at twenty-three, refusing to wait for death.

When I started the eighth grade, I had long finished reading all the books we were about to study in high school. It was like a fever, much to my parents’ despair; they used to force me to sleep before midnight, and I would hide under the blankets, reading by flashlight. 

I love paper books. I love to feel the paper in my hand, to follow the words, to turn the pages with eagerness. I love having my favorite book on the nightstand to enjoy a few pages before I fall asleep. Not a big fan of e-books, I am very sorry to admit. 

An important turning point in my life was at the age of thirteen when I first discovered “Pride and Prejudice.” It was WOW. I mean—wow! I fell in love with Elizabeth and Darcy and their story instantly, and since then I have read the book almost a hundred times. There were so many times of distress when I could not sleep and “Pride and Prejudice” stood by me, near my bed, opening its pages for me whenever I needed, drawing me into a fabulous story with new meanings again and again. 

Then, in 2004, my reading passion met a new challenge—one that changed my life. It was about online JAFF. That was another “wow.” For months, I read everything I could find (hundreds of stories). I slept three to four hours a night while working twelve hours a day in a multinational company. Tough life, right? 

But indeed, my life has changed since then because I am now honored to have written a few books that are read by others and to have met some fabulous friends from all over the world who are sharing my passion. What more could I hope for?

Aww...yes, to hold and smell a paper book is the best! I love to look at them all on my shelves. If only they didn't take up so much room because I've run out of space! I tried switching to an e-book, but they just get lost on there. Although, e-books are handy for traveling! So, I'm with you there, Lory, hard copies are the best! 

Oh, my! " put a comma in the right place in order to be free" - I think I would have been executed! Ah! 

It sounds like you've been a book lover all your life, Lory! Very unlike me. I wanted to love reading, but I was very bad at it. I was too slow, and my mind would wander. It was a struggle for me. Also, I had no phonic skills. Couldn't sound out a word to save my life (what'd I tell you - executed!). As a result, I didn't read much at all. In my twenties, I decided to take a reading class at the community college, and that's when I learned to read faster and comprehend more. But it wasn't until I saw the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie, read the book, and then found JAFF, that I truly fell in love with reading. I couldn't get enough of my favorite couple, Elizabeth and Darcy.

One of my early favorites was, in fact, one of Lory's books, Rainy Days. I have read it many times! Unfortunately, I don't seem to have time to reread my favorites anymore because there are so many new books out there it's hard to keep up! Or that may be a good thing depending on how you look at it! ;)   

Now I read a variety of genres, besides romance, I'm in love with dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and YA stories. 

Thank you, Lory, for stopping by today and sharing your love for reading! 

Dear Friend Event

“Mrs. Collins welcomed her friend with the liveliest pleasure, and Elizabeth was more and more satisfied with coming, when she found herself so affectionately received.” – Jane Austen

Jane Austen describes a fine friendship between Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Collins. One friend welcomes another with ‘the liveliest pleasure,” and the other is pleased to share in that. We at Meryton Press know from your words that you, our fans, receive our books with pleasure and affection. It makes our authors warm inside to know that.

In the month of April, we want to show our appreciation to you, our most steadfast supporters, our dear friends. Good friends give each other gifts. You have given us the gift of your affectionate reception, and we want to reciprocate by giving some of you gifts in return. 

As much as we’d like to, we can’t give everyone a gift, but at each hosted blog post during this event on the schedule listed below, an opportunity will be given to enter to win a surprise gift. Each person who comments can enter a Rafflecopter drawing to win. Although a person can enter multiple times (once on each blog post and tweet daily on each blog post), they can win only once. One winner will be chosen at each blog. Five gifts total will be awarded.

Dear Friend Blog Schedule:

More Agreeably Engaged–April 1; ends at 11:59 PM April 6th; winner announced April 7th
Austenesque Reviews–April 8; ends at 11:59 PM April 13th; winner announced April 14th
So little time…–April 15; ends at 11:59 PM April 20th; winner announced April 21st 
Diary of an Eccentric–April 22; ends at 11:59 PM April 27th; winner announced April 28th 
Just Jane 1813–April 29; ends at 11:59 PM May 4th; winner announced my May 5th  

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is giving away a surprise gift! Woot! I love surprises!

  • Giveaway is open to US residents only.  
  • Eligible entries will comment on Dear Friend Event blog posts, tweet about the event and use the Rafflecopter to enter. 
  • Winners will provide a valid U.S. shipping address for gift delivery upon request.
  •  Further details for entering to win a gift are posted at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Many thanks to Meryton Press for putting together this wonderful event and to Janet @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing it! 

So, how about you? Will you share your love of reading with us?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What Are You Reading? ~ April 12, 2017

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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 Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill. So far it's pretty good! 

I'm also still listening to Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I'm really enjoying it!

Unfortunately, I didn't finish anything this week.

What's next? I'm thinking about reading Leap of Hope by Shannon Winslow. 

FTC 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? 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley Blog Tour ~ Guest Post, Excerpt & #Giveaway

Hello, my friends! For my stop on the My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley Blog Tour, Linda Beutler stops by with a delightful guest post! 

Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for giveaway details! 

My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley & Our Georgiana!

Thank you, Candy, for being the second stop on the My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley blog tour, and giving me the opportunity to once again speak directly to the So Little Time… readers. My new novel first appeared as a posted story, “Your Mr. Bingley”, at A Happy Assembly. When it came time to publish, my editor agreed there was a dinner at Darcy House referred to in the story that should appear as its own fleshed-out chapter. That’s how I came to write this unique dinner party. I enlivened the intimate evening by following it from Georgiana’s point of view.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 8, Georgiana Darcy Observes Her Brother:

Thursday, 20 February 1812
Darcy House

…Darcy stood a few feet inside the front door, adjusting the sleeves of his blue coat. [Georgiana]She thought he looked like a discomfited young boy—all anxiety and awkwardness—and wondered why. She was not the sort of girl to question her brother, at least not aloud. She stood pondering him until he noticed her.

“What troubles you, my love?”

Georgiana emitted a startled giggle. “You! It is you who is troubled. Do our guests give you cause for worry?”

Darcy sighed. “I have not been forthcoming in all that I know about our guests.” The admission appeared to pain him.

“I suspected as much. You are no better at withholding all you know than you are at creating a deceit out of whole cloth.” She looked down to hide a small smile she knew would discompose him with its audacity.

Darcy cleared his throat and stood straighter. “Yes…well. The Gardiners are more than just a pleasant new acquaintance with connections in Lambton. I did mean what I said about that. But my childhood was so different from yours, and I feel it keenly that you may not hold Pemberley and its environs as dear as I do. I would have you hear more of Lambton, though perhaps it is not a necessity that you should. One day you will marry, and you could make a new family quite far from me or… or from Derbyshire. All the same, I believe you will enjoy Mrs. Gardiner and her recollections.”

“How can you say such a thing! I know I must come out one day and find a husband, but I love our home. What can you be thinking?” Georgiana drew her brother into the drawing room and closed the door. “And I have not considered leaving Derbyshire when I marry.” Hearing her own words and knowing that as recently as the past summer she had considered marrying and following a certain man blindly, she sputtered and went silent save for a blush that spoke much. Gathering her breath, she continued. “I…I mean now. Now that I have had some months for reflection, I believe I should like a husband who will not keep me forever in London, prefers the country, and has his own ties to Derbyshire.”

Darcy nodded. “I am eager to change the subject, if we might.” He seemed stern.

“Good.” Georgiana brightened. “What more need I know of these Gardiners?”

“I mentioned a Miss Elizabeth Bennet in a letter from Netherfield?”

“You did, and I replied I should like to meet her.”

“I do not know whether you will or not, but it is more certain that you may meet her elder sister, Miss Jane Bennet. Bingley is courting her, as I understand it.”

“He has returned to Netherfield without you?” Georgiana made a close study of her brother. He had seemed a little gayer as he introduced the topic of Elizabeth Bennet, but now his countenance lost its light at the mention of Charles Bingley. She recollected that her brother had not mentioned Mr. Bingley in some weeks. After having Bingley at hand throughout the festive season, it was indeed strange to suddenly recall his absence. “Is there some estrangement?” she blurted.

“Any breach is entirely my fault, and I am doing all I can to repair it.”

It was a confusing business to know how candid he would allow her to be. Georgiana shrugged and smiled. “To my benefit, it has spared me calls from Miss Bingley.” This sally met with no response. She trod another path. “Do you disapprove of Miss Bennet?”

“Of the eldest Miss Bennets, I shall say this: they are very pretty, high-spirited with little silliness, and disposed to be pleased with each other. One rarely encounters sisters so devoted and with so little rancour or competition between them.”

Georgiana thought her brother must be comparing these sisters to those of Mr. Bingley. “Ah, then I should like to meet them both!”

“Perhaps one day you will, should Bingley carry the day. But short of that, I can offer you the Gardiners. Mr. Gardiner is the brother of the Miss Bennets’ mother.” He paused. “He is a pleasant fellow, and I believe both sisters have been well influenced by their aunt and uncle.”

Georgiana detected there was still more to come and schooled herself to appear encouraging. Was feeding the Gardiners part of a rapprochement with Mr. Bingley?

“Mr. Gardiner is in trade,” Darcy explained. “It appears quite successfully so. Hence, we are a small party at dinner.”

“Is it this that makes you nervous? I hardly think you court scandal by entertaining a tradesman and his wife if they are well spoken and fashionable. I am told everyone is doing it.”

Darcy laughed abruptly. “I must confess that I was once determined not to like them, so there is less merit in my motives than you can suppose.”

“Not more? For your liberality?”

“No, simply that I am homesick for Pemberley.”

Writing Georgiana Darcy

In selecting this snippet, I’ve realized just how wide-ranging are the treatments of Georgiana Darcy throughout Jane Austen Fan Fiction. Jane Austen wrote her as a timid creature following her near disastrous encounter with George Wickham. The implication is that Georgiana was not always timid, and Darcy hopes (however unrealistically) that somehow she might be restored to her pre-Wickham cheer and innocence. We also know from Georgiana’s introduction to Elizabeth Bennet, that Darcy has spoken of Elizabeth.

In JAFF, that pre-knowledge of Elizabeth is treated in different ways. It seems a set feature of fanon (as opposed to canon) that Darcy has mentioned Elizabeth in letters from Netherfield. Further, Georgiana is written at times as nearly catatonic, without humor, and constantly in fear for her reputation—transferring her brother’s worries to herself—to such an extent she becomes merely an extra, like Anne de Bourgh. We assume she might not like Miss Bingley, as much for her gossiping as for her constant snide, gratuitous simpering. 

I can never be pleased with a malicious Georgiana, either. I’m of the “give Georgiana some credit” school. She is, after all, a Darcy. We can choose to assume she is well educated (like her brother), is observant (like her brother), has a sly wit (like her brother), and is capable of deep, loyal affection (like her brother). Granted, she has made an “off stage” staggering error in judgement, but so does her brother in his dealings with Elizabeth Bennet. In the first half of Pride and Prejudice, Darcy has not realized his mistakes. Georgiana, in the same time period, has had time for reflection and healing from her misplaced trust.

If we buy into those assumptions—and I do!—we have a young woman devoted to her brother, but perhaps not blind to his faults. She has lived with relatives with a peerage, as well as families in the ton, so has perhaps formed opinions about how they treat those perceived as their betters or inferiors. She might have her own strong opinions, influenced by her brother’s reputed liberality. Georgiana will have seen the best and the worst of Darcy, no matter what he thinks he is withholding or revealing.

In chapter 8 of My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley, Georgiana gets the chance to know her brother as a little boy through the remembrance of another. She observes the happily married Gardiners and sees Darcy’s regard for them.  She witnesses her brother’s compulsion to encourage mentions of Elizabeth. Is it the pleasure of their company, the tie to his childhood, or their relationship to Elizabeth Bennet that holds his interest? 

I’ll leave the readers at So Little Time… to judge for yourselves! But if those familiar with my other novels follow my several portrayals of Georgiana Darcy, they will see I hold her in high esteem as one who adores her brother warts and all (of course Mr. Darcy doesn’t have real warts, only figurative ones), and is hyper-aware of his emotional state at any given time in a profoundly sympathetic manner. She wants him to be happy, and if this Elizabeth Bennet—about whom she hears so much said—is the lady to guarantee it, Georgiana is ready to extend her every benefit of the doubt…and every encouragement!

Thanks again, Candy, for letting me natter on and for being a most generous hostess!

Linda, it was a pleasure to have you here! I enjoyed your thoughts on Georgiana!

Book Blurb: 

Jane Bennet had a heart to break after all, and I am a party to it. —Fitzwilliam Darcy 

One simple, uncharacteristic subterfuge leaves Fitzwilliam Darcy needing to apologize to nearly everyone he knows! When Charles Bingley reaps the sad repercussions of Mr. Darcy’s sin of omission, Elizabeth Bennet’s clear-eyed view of the facts gives her the upper hand in a long-distance battle of wills with Mr. Bingley’s former friend. By the time Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth meet (repeatedly) in the groves of Rosings Park, neither knows the whole truth except that somehow, someway, their future is inextricably linked to the courtship of Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet. 

In this Pride and Prejudice “what-if”, the additional dash of backbone and “far-sighted” action to the character of Mr. Bingley begs the question: how is Mr. Darcy to impress Elizabeth Bennet if Bingley does his own matchmaking? And how is Elizabeth Bennet to trust Mr. Darcy when even faith in a most beloved sister falters? 

Includes mature content

Buy: Amazon US • Amazon UK
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!

Author Biography

Linda Beutler’s professional life is spent in a garden, an organic garden housing America’s foremost public collection of clematis vines and a host of fabulous companion plants. Her home life reveals a more personal garden, still full of clematis, but also antique roses and vintage perennials planted around and over a 1907 cottage. But one can never have enough of gardening, so in 2011 she began cultivating a weedy patch of Jane Austen Fan Fiction ideas. The first of these to ripen was The Red Chrysanthemum (Meryton Press, 2013), which won a silver IPPY for romance writing in 2014. You might put this down as beginner’s luck—Linda certainly does. The next harvest brought Longbourn to London (Meryton Press, 2014), known widely as “the [too] sexy one”. In 2015 Meryton Press published the bestseller A Will of Iron, a macabre rom-com based on the surprising journals of Anne de Bourgh.

Now, after a year-long break in JAFF writing to produce Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis (Timber Press, 2016)—the third in a bouquet of books on gardening—we have My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley bursting into bloom. 

Connect with Linda Beutler

Tour Schedule

  5 April  My Jane Austen Book Club; Vignette, Giveaway
  6 April  So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
  7 April  Half Agony, Half Hope; Vignette
  8 April  Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review, Giveaway
  9 April  My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway
10 April  Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
11 April  Tomorrow is Another Day; Review, Giveaway
12 April  Savvy Verse and Wit; Guest Post, Giveaway  
13 April  Just Jane 1813; Review, Giveaway
15 April  Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway
17 April  From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway
18 April  Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway
19 April  Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway 
20 April  Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Linda Beutler is generously giving away 8 e-copies of My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley to 8 lucky winners! Enter through the Rafflecopter below. 

  • This is a group giveaway given by the blog tour.
  • One e-copy of My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley per winner.
  • Eight different winners will be picked.
  • Open Internationally
  • Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (1 comment/blog post) Entrants should provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). You may enter once by following the author on twitter and once by following the author on Facebook. 
  • Remember, tweet daily and comment once per post with a giveaway to earn extra entries. 
  • Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. 

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Linda Beutler for visiting with us, and for her generous giveaway! THANK YOU! 

Also, thank you to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing this blog tour! 

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and thoughts on Georgiana as much as I did! How do you like to see Georgiana portrayed?  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What Are You Reading? ~ April 5, 2017

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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 recently started listening to Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard while working out. It's really good! Makes me want to go to the gym more often! ;)

I just finished Alone by Scott Sigler. It's the last book of The Generations Trilogy. It was fast-paced and full of action! And for a book over 500 pages, I finished it pretty quickly, but I have mixed emotions about the ending. 

What's next? I think I'm going to start Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill. 

FTC 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? 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Winners of the 'Leap of Faith' and 'Leap of Hope' Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! It's time to announce the winners of Leap of Faith and Leap of Hope!

It was my pleasure having Shannon Winslow visit with us and answer my questions! I was thrilled when she offered to giveaway both of her new books here at So little time...
Thank you, Shannon!! 

Without further ado, the randomly picked winners are:

Paperbacks: darcybennett

E-copies: BeckyC

Both winners have been contacted and accepted their prizes. 

Many thanks to all who left comments!! Without your support, I couldn't host giveaways here. 

Buy: Leap of Faith* (free with KindleUnlimited)
Add to Goodreads.

Buy: Leap of Hope*
Add to Goodreads.

*FTC 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!
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