Friday, September 21, 2018

Obstacles by Belén Paccagnella Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! It's my pleasure to have Belén Paccagnella on So little time... today! She has a delightful excerpt to share with us! Plus, be sure to enter the giveaway! Details are at the bottom of the page!

Thank you, Candy, for hosting me during the tour for my book, Obstacles. It’s a pleasure to be here sharing this post with your readers. Here's an outtake from my story that takes place after Elizabeth moves in with William at Pemberley. It’s called Follow your Heart


“This bloody thing is not opening.” Elizabeth struggled to undo the latches of the trailer’s ramp.

Darcy observed her quietly, allowing her to struggle with the fastenings for some time before deciding to intervene. “May I?”

She sighed and moved to the side. “It’s stuck.”

He opened it easily, something that only managed to increase Elizabeth’s irritation. She hated when he was so calm and she was so incredibly nervous. Why did she agree to come to Leeds?

“I’ll unload Petticoat.” Darcy walked inside the trailer and walked the mare out. 

This was Elizabeth’s first time out in the competing arena since Liddy’s debut almost a year ago. She had been working with Petticoat for weeks, coached both by Darcy and Col. Forster, yet she still felt unprepared. The only reason why she agreed to come to Leeds was because Darcy insisted this would be the perfect show for Petticoat’s first time out. He had also designated Elizabeth as the mare’s official trainer, so when the show was scheduled, Elizabeth had no choice but to man up and return to the ring. Now she suspected this had been his plan from the start, that he had tricked her into competition since she had been avoiding his constant hints since she moved in with him. 

As usual, Darcy was right. The Leeds Pony Club was indeed the best place for a horse’s debut and, Elizabeth admitted begrudgingly, her return to the showjumping ring. It was a small outdoor show with excellent facilities where children and novices from different riding schools gathered to gain experience in competition. The atmosphere was informal and friendly with lots of proud parents and teachers clapping enthusiastically after every round. After accompanying her fiancée to several grand prix shows and suffering the stress of flights, long journeys, and vertiginous qualifying rounds, this should feel like a picnic, yet she was panicking. 

The day was sunny and warm, and for a moment, Elizabeth forgot about the stress of the show and just enjoyed herself and Darcy’s company in the beautiful park. Even Petticoat was perfectly calm, swatting flies with her tail and standing unmoved to everything that happened around her. 

The beginning of the show was announced, and Elizabeth and Darcy went to the arena so she could walk the course she was going to jump. 

“I’ll wait for you outside,” Darcy said as they reached the arena. 

“What? You’re not coming?” She could feel her apprehension growing.

“I’m not jumping today; you are.”

“But Will!” she whinged.

“Come on, just count the steps and memorize the order of the jumps,” he said lightly. “It’s quite easy.”

“Whatever,” she grunted while casting him an unfriendly look. He dismissed it with a chuckle and a soft nudge that pushed her towards the arena.

There were nearly 100 entries that day, quite a record for the club. Elizabeth was competing against 15 others in the three-foot category. There were a few seniors jumping above that height, but the rest were mostly children and teenagers. Some of them were even jumping ponies as they were too small for larger horses. As she walked the course with the others, Elizabeth realized that only the children and beginners walked the course accompanied by their teachers and coaches. People her age and with her expertise did it by themselves. 

Darcy received her with a smile when she came back. “It wasn’t that hard, was it?”

“Piece of cake.” She smiled too. 

“I told you so.” He smirked. “Anyway, you would have looked ridiculous walking the course with a coach like a ten year old.”

“Shut up!” Elizabeth gave him a little shove. 

He laughed and grabbed her and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “God, you’re so frustratingly annoying.”

“And you’re so frustratingly calm.” She smiled in his arms.

“Relax, Babe. You’ll do great. You’ve been working very well at home, and Petticoat is the best horse today. There is nothing to fear.” 

They watched the lower categories doing their rounds and had lunch at their camp under the shadow of a tree. It didn’t take long until someone recognized Darcy, and the news that England’s top rider was spread around. No one bothered them, but Elizabeth could sense all eyes on them as they passed. Darcy didn’t seem to care—he was quite used to being in the spotlight—but Elizabeth began to feel the pressure that she couldn’t disappoint. She was competing under the name of Pemberley stables, riding a Pemberley horse, and coached by William Darcy. Why on earth had she agreed to come to Leeds?

Her category was announced, and they saddled Petticoat. The proximity of the show only increased Elizabeth’s anxiety. The schooling pen burst with excitement, crowded with young riders and their teachers. There were three hurdles placed in different positions, and the coaches were giving their apprentices last minute tips before their entry. The schooling pen was a sort of organized chaos where instructions mingled, horses trotted and hurdles fell. Darcy remained on one side during her warm up, reclining on the fence and making conversation with the teachers standing close to him. When Elizabeth’s time approached, he walked to the centre of the arena and told her to jump. 

“Be careful,” he spoke calmly. “There are too many children around, and someone may cross your way.”

Elizabeth nodded and galloped. She jumped successfully and returned to him with a huge exhalation. 

“Great.” He waved for her to follow him. “Let’s go; it’s almost your turn.”

Elizabeth made a conscious effort to stay focused and draw the course in her mind. Her palms felt sweaty and she dried them on her thighs. She could feel Darcy’s eyes on her, always so calm and poised, and for an instant, she envied his ability to stay in tune with his horse and forget about everything else. Unlike Liddy, Petticoat was calm and mentally balanced, and Elizabeth feared her nervousness would rub off on the mare.

“Elizabeth,” She heard Darcy approaching her. He looked very serious and he made a gesture for her to lean down so he could say something in confidence.


He looked around to check if someone was hearing him, then spoke directly in her ear. “Your ass looks great in breeches.”  

Elizabeth burst out in laughter.  

He laughed too and pointed at the entrance to the arena. “Go, amaze them.”

Three minutes later, Elizabeth was back, grinning broadly after a clear run.

“That was great.” He patted her thigh and then Petticoat’s neck. “Best time of the round.”

Elizabeth was still smiling as they walked together to the schooling pen. “I can’t believe you said that.” 

“But it worked, didn’t it? You were so tense that you were going break Petticoat’s back. It’s just a small show, Liz. Try to relax and enjoy the day; think of it as a picnic."

“Yeah, that’s easy for you. I’m sure you had a hell of a picnic at the Nation’s Cup.” She walked next to him.

“I had,” he grinned wickedly. “Only at that picnic, I was eating lobster and caviar.” 


Elizabeth was about to jump in the finals. The hurdles had been lifted to four-feet, and she would have to run against the timer. The pressure was really on, and she expressed her fears to her fiancée.

“My God,” she said, before mounting Petticoat. “How am I going to do it?”

“Throw your heart over the obstacle, then jump after it,” Darcy replied calmly.


“It’s an old saying.” Darcy placed his hands on her shoulders and looked into her eyes. “Elizabeth, jump because you want to jump, because it makes you happy. Don’t do it because I or anyone else asks you to. You don’t need to compete if you don’t want to, but if you do it, just follow your heart.”

This was a very good philosophy. Darcy wasn’t No. 1 only because he was the most talented rider she had ever seen. It was also because he loved to be there, in the centre of the ring, defying the laws of gravity while jumping in front of thousands of people. He loved the adrenaline and he thrived on the challenge. He was the best and he knew it, and he demonstrated it every time he rode his horse.

“Is that what you do?” She smiled.

“What?” He raised his eyebrow.

“Throw your heart over the obstacle and then jump after it.”

“My heart belongs to you now, so I can’t throw it too far anymore. But yes”— he smiled—“that’s what I usually do.” 

After that, she didn’t give a damn about the show or her nerves, she just cared about him. She didn’t think she could love him more. “You’re the best, you know?”

Darcy made a smug face. “I do. Now, jump and have fun.”

Elizabeth bent her leg and two seconds later she was sitting atop her mare. She really enjoyed jumping that day.

by Belén Paccagnella

Not all obstacles are restricted to the show-jumping arena… 

Though Elizabeth Bennet lives an uneventful life instructing young equestrians at Longbourn, the family farm, she dreams of winning a show-jumping competition on Liddy, her spirited mare. But her life is upended when a team of world-renowned riders arrives at Netherfield, the neighbouring estate, and uses it as their training headquarters. As she assists the newcomers and their prize-winning mounts, she meets William Darcy, a wealthy and arrogant—albeit talented—rider with Olympic aspirations. He first insults and then ignores Elizabeth, and her feelings teeter between disgust at his hauteur and admiration for his equestrian prowess. As she discovers first-hand the rigors of a world for the elite, will Elizabeth change her perspective about love, trust, and the foibles of her own family? 

Originally known as “Obstacles to Overcome,” Obstacles pays homage to Pride and Prejudice in the highly competitive world of equestrian show jumping.

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!

About the Author

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Belén Paccagnella
discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction after watching the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. In her teens, she lived in Brazil when her family moved to the city of Curitiba due to her father’s work. She moved back to Buenos Aires a few years later, where she studied agronomy but finally pursued a different career and started working in the development administration of shopping centres.

In 2001, she started writing both Regency and modern stories adapted from the Pride and Prejudice storyline, merging drama, humour, and adventure while creating characters with unique traits.

Belén still lives in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, where she shares her home with her daughter and her pets while spending her time working, reading, and writing. 

Blog Tour Schedule

September 17 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post
September 18 / Diary of an Eccentric / Excerpt Post
September 19 / Austenesque Reviews / Vignette Post
September 20 / More Agreeably Engaged / Author Interview
September 21 / So Little Time... / Excerpt Post
September 22 / Just Jane 1813 / Guest Book Review
September 23 / My Love for Jane Austen  / Character Interview
September 24 / From Pemberley to Milton / Excerpt Post
September 25 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review
September 26 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Vignette Post
September 27 / My Vices and Weaknesses  / Book Review
September 28 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks of Obstacles to eight lucky winners in conjunction with this tour. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

  • One eBook per winner.
  • Eight winners will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.
  • Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once each day and by commenting daily on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached to this tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented.
  • Giveaway is open to international readers.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Belén for sharing an excerpt with us, Merton Press for the generous giveaway, and Claudine @ JustJane1813 for organizing this tour, and including me!

So, friends, what do you think of this modern Pride and Prejudice? 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Recognizing Love Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm delighted to be part of the Recognizing Love Blog Tour! My favorite JAFF is variations and this one sounds sooo good! Today Lizzy Brandon is here with a lovely excerpt! Details for the giveaway can be found at the bottom of the page.

I've always wondered at what point Darcy actually decided he was going to find Wickham to save Elizabeth and her family's reputation.  Did he know he needed to take that step immediately after Elizabeth told him of Lydia's elopement, or was it something he had to sleep on?  He tells Elizabeth, “Would to heaven that anything could be either said or done on my part, that might offer consolation to such distress!” suggesting he had not yet decided and would have spoken up if only to ease her mind.  Before leaving he “wished it a happier conclusion than there was at present reason to hope,” which has always suggested to me that he was considering taking action to enable that happier conclusion.

Of everything he does, the secrecy around his help strikes me as the most noble of his actions.  By that point, he wants Elizabeth to want him.  He doesn't want her to feel indebted to him or even be aware that he undertook such extraordinary measures on her behalf.  Perhaps he doesn't want to commit himself yet either. In any case, the secrecy of his assistance shows the depth of change in his character.  This is his perfect opportunity to help her and let her see just how much he has taken her reproofs to heart.

In this variation, Darcy cannot leave Elizabeth alone to worry and fear for her sister and instead immediately offers his assistance.  Elizabeth is in that delightful early stage of infatuation where she can start considering the possibility of a future, but she is in no way ready when he proposes too soon.
How does Elizabeth move forward when her head tells her Mr. Darcy is the perfect man for her but her heart is not yet convinced?

Today’s excerpt comes from Chapter One as Elizabeth and the Gardiners have just finished dinner at Pemberley after running into Darcy the day before.


Elizabeth finished her piece to polite applause from the ladies and was urged to begin another. She gracefully acceded.

As she played, the gentlemen joined them. Although she kept her eyes fixed on her music, Elizabeth felt his presence as he approached her.

He turned the page without cue and she felt her cheeks warm. Never before had she blushed so much as she had since coming to Derbyshire. Perhaps she had taken too much sun and her cheeks were now susceptible?

He did have a powerful manner. He may as well be the sun, causing her cheeks to burn by his mere presence.

“What amuses you so, Miss Elizabeth?”

She glanced to see Mr. Darcy smiling upon her then hastily returned her attention to the sheet music in front of her. She knew the piece well enough that she did not need the music but felt safer not meeting his gaze.

“I was thinking perhaps you are Ra, the sun-god, come to bring your light to the darkness. My skin seems to color whenever you are near and I could come up with no better explanation.”

Chuckling, he leaned closer as he turned a page. “I believe you have that backwards, Miss Elizabeth. You are the light illuminating how dark and empty a place was before your arrival,” he said in hushed tones. His hot breath tickled her ear and her heart raced before he retreated to his full height.

“Why Mr. Darcy, I believe you are flirting with me.”

“Simply stating a fact. And I find your glow to be quite delightful. I confess I wish to see how often I might make you blush.”

“Whomever would have guessed that the staid Mr. Darcy has such a wicked streak?” she wondered aloud. She looked up to see his attention fully upon her with an intensity that made her fingers falter. Elizabeth quickly returned her attention to the music, finishing the piece with neither of them saying anything more.

“Georgiana, dear, will you play for us?” Miss Bingley asked. “You have such skill that it would be a crime to hide it away.” Elizabeth caught her indignant expression before Miss Bingley turned a cloying smile on Miss Darcy.

Mr. Darcy took Elizabeth’s hand and then led her to a settee by the Gardiners. The only other open seat was now next to that lady, and she preened at what must have been a planned situation in her favor.

“If you have left your post, then I shall assist Miss Darcy turning pages,” Mrs. Gardiner said to Mr. Darcy as she rose from the settee. Elizabeth did not dare look in Miss Bingley’s direction for fear of laughing at whatever her expression might be.

As Miss Darcy began a complicated sonata, Elizabeth said, “Your sister plays very well. She has a great talent.”

“Music is her first love, though she does not care to exhibit.”

“She does not perform for strangers either?” Elizabeth teased.

Mr. Darcy replied with a grin. “You find yourself at the mercy of hosts quite ill-at-ease with new people.”

“I cannot say that is true. You have spoken with my aunt and uncle at great length.”

“Your aunt’s connection to the area makes her very easy to converse with. And your uncle…. We found many topics of mutual interest. I have invited him to join me, along with Bingley and Hurst, to go fishing tomorrow morning.”

Elizabeth beamed, pleased that Mr. Darcy had been delighted with some of her relations for whom she had no reason to blush.

“My aunt and I had planned to call upon Miss Darcy tomorrow. We shall time our call to coincide with your fishing plans.”

“I know Georgiana would be pleased to have you come.”

“Pray, Miss Eliza,” Miss Bingley called from across the room. “Are the militia still quartered in Meryton?”

“No, Miss Bingley, they are in Brighton for the summer.”

“What a loss for your family. I know you had some particular friends among their number. But did you not say Miss Lydia was in Brighton? How fortunate for her. She will be entertained by officers to her heart’s content.”

“She is visiting her friend, Mrs. Forster. You may remember the colonel’s wife?”

“Oh yes, she was Miss Lydia’s age, was she not? Hardly a suitable chaperone for one with your sister’s high spirits. Why, if you are not careful, Miss Lydia will beat you to the altar.”

“I had not considered marriage a race to be won,” Elizabeth said.

“No, of course not, but then you have such limited options. Why ’tis no wonder you encouraged the attentions of Mr. Wickham.”

Miss Darcy faltered at the piano, but Elizabeth did not dare look in her direction. Mrs. Gardiner apologized for failing to turn the page and placed her hand on the girl’s shoulder.

“You are mistaken, Miss Bingley. Speaking to others at a gathering is simply my habit and need not indicate an interest in matrimony—though I now understand your reluctance to converse in Hertfordshire. I have nothing against officers, but I would prefer a more settled life.” Elizabeth rose and walked to the pianoforte.

“Miss Darcy, are you ready for our duet?” she asked. The girl mumbled something unintelligible as Elizabeth changed the music sheets and sat next to her, shielding her from the rest of the room.

“Hold your head up and compose yourself while I sing,” Elizabeth said quietly, squeezing her knee. Georgiana spared Elizabeth a miserable glance. “Do not concern yourself so. I do not allow Miss Bingley to bother me, no matter what track her spite takes. I am sorry she has upset you in her desire to wound me.” Georgiana looked back nervously as she considered this, blinking a few times to clear her eyes and sitting straighter.

Elizabeth could still feel the strain radiating from the younger girl, but Miss Darcy managed to compose herself well enough. Elizabeth wished there was more she could offer her, but as her new acquaintance, the girl was unaware her brother had told Elizabeth how Wickham had tried to run off with her for her fortune, and Elizabeth hesitated to say anything more. Hopefully, exhibiting thus would allow Miss Darcy to avoid speaking to anyone as she composed herself.

As she sang, Elizabeth watched Mr. Darcy walk to the sideboard for a drink. His jaw twitched when he noticed the Bingley sisters snickering behind their fans, and then turned his attention to Elizabeth. He mouthed a silent, “Thank you.” Elizabeth gave a slight nod before returning her attention to the others.

Recognizing Love
by Lizzy Brandon

Secrets will surface... 

Accepting Mr. Darcy’s proposal and allowing him to assume a love she does not yet feel pains Miss Elizabeth Bennet but she is certain she can love him…in time. After all of the miseries he endured to salvage her youngest sister’s reputation, how could she not come to love such a man? 

Unfortunately, Lady Catherine arrives, bringing even thornier complications. With the many objections Darcy’s family will have regarding his marriage to the daughter of an unremarkable country squire, what more trouble can Lady Catherine stir up should she learn Elizabeth’s secret? 

In this Pride and Prejudice romance variation, what will Mr. Darcy do when he learns his beloved has accepted him although her heart is not engaged?

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! 

About the Author

Lizzy Brandon once attempted to switch sections of a Brit Lit course after seeing Pride and Prejudice on the reading list.  How could a book with such a boring title possibly compete with Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, or Frankenstein?  Luckily, her request was denied and she was introduced to Jane Austen’s amazing world of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Years later, Lizzy was thrilled to discover the world of Pride and Prejudice sequels and variations where her favorite characters could live on with countless adventures.  After enjoying reading variations for years, she decided to try writing her own. 

Connect with Lizzy Brandon

Blog Tour Schedule

From Pemberley to Milton:   September 13
Jane Austen Book Club:   September 15
Babblings of a Bookworm:   September 17
Just Jane 1813:  September 18
So Little Time:   September 20
My Love for Jane Austen:   September 22
Diary of an Eccentric:   September 24
Austenesque Reviews:   September 26
More Agreeably Engaged:   September 28

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! For this blog tour, Lizzy is generously giving away 3 paperback copies of Recognizing Love and 3 $10 Amazon eGift Cards! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

  • One prize per winner.
  • Six winners will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.
  • Winners will need to provide email or physical address to receive prize.
  • This giveaway is open internationally.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A big THANK YOU to Lizzy for visiting with us today, her very generous giveaway, and including me on her blog tour!!

What did you think? I like the starting point of this variation! I am looking forward to reading it! How about you?

Please, leave a comment for Lizzy! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What Are You Reading? ~ Sept. 12, 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! 

Hey there! It's been a busy couple of weeks for me! I was on the road again, but this time with my husband so I didn't listen to an audiobook while driving. We also got a puppy! She is a lot of work! Lol! She wants to get into and chew everything! So, not as much reading got done in the past two weeks. 

Here's my list:

I'm currently reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. Of course, I love it! It's my second favorite Austen, but it's not a fast read for me even though I've read it before. The book club I joined meets this Saturday to discuss it. I'm looking forward to that! 

I recently finished Sadie by Courtney Summers. I enjoyed this YA mystery and hope to have a review up soon! 

What's next? I think I'm going to read Summer of Scandal by Syrie James. 

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? 
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