Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Guest Post with Karen Cox!

Hello, my friends! Have you heard? Karen Cox is re-releasing her book, Undeceived! She is here today sharing with us how her story came to be!   

Hello readers and fans of Jane! I’m Karen, and I write novels brushed with history and romance.

I want to say a big thank you to Candy for hosting me today on So Little Time to announce the re-release of my spy novel meets Pride and Prejudice in the Cold War Era. 

Undeceived, the second edition (revamped with minor editing, a new cover, and a glossary of spy terms) releases on
7/23/19 on various ebook platforms. It’s available now for preorder and will be 0.99 cents for 30 days after release (until 8/22/19). 

So, if you like Elizabeth and Darcy, or spy stories, or exotic locales, or twists and turns, be sure to get a copy. 

Universal Book Link: 

If you prefer paperback, that is in the works as well, and it should release around the same time as the ebook, give or take a few days.  

One question readers often ask is how I came up with the premise for Undeceived

I’ve always loved writing Jane Austen’s characters in various times and places. In my mind, I go to the location, which typically has been a place I know well or have at least seen in person. I imagine what the time was like or remember what I’ve been told about it. I do some research. Then I turn the Darcys, Elizabeths, Emmas, Knightleys, Annes, and Wentworths loose. A spy novel was a fun way to put two favorite characters in yet another setting and see what would happen. What’s different with Undeceived is that I haven’t been to the locales, and I haven’t ever been a spy. 

So how did it happen? 

Well, it’s all my husband’s fault, of course. 

No, really. 

All kidding aside, the original seedling of the idea was his. He is a fan of “No Way Out” starring Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, and Sean Young. I had just finished writing Find Wonder in All Things (so this was, what? Late 2012? 2013?) and he was scrolling through the TV listings and re-watched the 1980s spy thriller. 

Him: “You know what you should write?”

Me: “What?”

Him: “A—what do you call it when you put two stories together?”

Me: “A Mash up?”

Him: “Yeah! A mash up. Of Pride and Prejudice and “No Way Out.”

Me: “Yeah, I can see that. Without the dead girl.”

Him: “You should do it.”

Me: “I really should.”

Later, after I’d started the project, I’d come to him with some question or other, about plot or setting, and he’d give me a blank stare and say, “Hell, I don’t know. You’re the writer. Do what you want.”


Undeceived took me farther out of my comfort zone than I’d ever been as a writer. I had to organize, and plot story points, and learn to use Scrivener (which I still use and love, by the way.) Maybe all that time and effort is why I’m proud of this book. I think it’s a unique look at our favorite characters, encased in the familiarity of a Pride and Prejudice-themed storyline. 

I hope you also enjoy the twists and turns of Undeceived.

by Karen M Cox

“...if I endeavor to undeceive people as to the rest of his conduct, who will believe me?” -Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 40  

Elizabeth Bennet, a rookie counterintelligence officer, lands an intriguing first assignment—investigating the CIA's legendary William Darcy, who is suspected of being a double agent. 

Darcy’s charmed existence seems at an end as he fights for his career and struggles against his love for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move. 

Elizabeth’s confidence dissolves as nothing is like she planned—and the more she discovers about Darcy, the more she finds herself in an ever-tightening web of danger. 

Unexpected twists abound in this suspenseful Cold War era romance inspired by Jane Austen’s classic tale.

Buy: Amazon • Universal Book Link
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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!

I love the new cover, Karen! Congratulations! I wish you the best on the re-release of Undeceived! Thank you for stopping by!

Friends, let us know what you think! We'd love to hear from you! 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Giveaway Winner!

Hello, friends! It's time to announce the winner of the Darcy in Hollywood giveaway!

I want to thank Victoria Kincaid for visiting here with an excerpt of Darcy in Hollywood and for having this lovely giveaway! 

So, without further ado ... the winner is:


Ginna, please email me soon with the email address you would like your e-book to be sent to. 

Thanks again to all who entered!

Add to Goodreads

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

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Colonel by Beau North ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! It's my pleasure to welcome Beau North to the blog today! She comes with an amazing playlist of song that helped inspire her in writing her new book, The Colonel

Colonel Fitzwilliam is my favorite secondary character of all of Austen's books. I can't wait to see what Beau North does with him in this story! 

Also, be sure to read to the bottom of the page for details to a nice giveaway!

A big thanks to Candy for hosting me today and letting me talk about my two favorite things, Music and Colonel Fitzwilliam! 

Anyone who has read my work knows what a big part music always plays in my stories. Modern Love was an exploration of connection and grief told through music. In The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy, our Mr. Darcy finds himself trapped in the opening refrain of the same song every day. And, of course, there is Longbourn’s Songbird, where Elizabeth Bennet finds freedom and purpose through music. So it may surprise some readers how little music enters into The Colonel

Unlike his cousin Will Darcy, Richard is not so easily spellbound by song. He doesn’t care for Jazz, and Elizabeth’s musical talents are seldom mentioned or thought of by him. By contrast, Richard’s son Ben often times finds himself caught up in music, in particular that of his cousin Tom Darcy, the son of Elizabeth and Will Darcy. 

The stage, set and ready, remained empty. Ben drank his Coke and watched the crowd, feeling unfashionably old and out of place until the lights on the stage went all the way down. The bubbling voice of the crowd died down to a murmur as the lone sound of a keyboard rang out. Three notes repeating in a delicate pattern. A brief smattering of  applause rang out before the crowd settled. Ben felt the gossamer pattern of those notes like butterflies, fluttering in the pit of his stomach. A throaty inhale into a microphone was followed by a familiar voice, high and silken, vibrating with emotion. A single light bloomed to life onstage, illuminating the man who stood there, dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt that still managed to be impossibly glamorous. Tom Darcy had somehow inherited the best parts of both of his parents: the tall, broad frame of his father; the black-eyed mystery of his mother. Not to mention that voice, a voice that could burrow under the skin, straight to the soul.

I didn’t have to dig deep for a reaction here, it was exactly how I felt the first time I heard Perfume Genius’ masterful ‘Otherside’, the song this paragraph inspired! For Ben, music heralds several big changes in his life, prompting him to repair relationships and family ties. Even though Richard, the titular Colonel, isn’t very musically inclined, it still played a vital role in creating and framing this story. ‘The Colonel’ is broken down into four parts, each titled with a song that expresses the themes of its chapters. 

“Couldn't see his used up body at the funeral
By virtue of the flailing of his conquests
They tied down his casket with the garter belt
Each troubled heart was beating in a sequin dress”

It was Father John Misty’s song ‘Only Son of the Ladiesman’ that gave me the idea to infuse this book with Ben’s story. It got me thinking about the legacy handed down from father to son, the mystery of not really knowing your parents, the way we touch the lives of others for good and ill. Part I serves as introduction to Ben and his world and begins exploring what Richard meant to him. 

“You read the answers by the shadows on the wall, we could be great
Drive myself crazy with mistakes, you know I'm better every day
Tell me there's something I can change”

Sharon Van Etten (who appears twice in this list!) has a talent for writing songs that slowly sink through my skin, right into my blood. This song in particular was in heavy rotation as I wrote Part II. It perfectly captures the confusion and pain of Richard’s grief, the helplessness of trauma, and how there’s never just an easy fix. We can’t expect other people to fix us. We have to want to fix ourselves. 

“You don't like to be touched,
Let alone kissed.
Does his love make your head spin?” 

Probably the quietest and most restrained song on the entire playlist, this song reflects several points of view in Part III. Richard and his pining. Anne finding herself in an unexpectedly uncomfortable situation. Georgiana reaching for love and the freedom of adulthood. Without getting into spoilers, this was the most difficult and the most rewarding part of this book to write. Austen Bonus: The actress featured in the video for this song is Sophie Thompson, who most of you will know as Mary Musgrove (Persuasion 95) and Miss Bates (Emma 96)! 

“Tell me not to trip or to lose sight
You are walking in my guided light
Take my hand and help me not to shake
Say I'm alright, I'm alright”

Part IV features the second selection from Sharon Van Etten, this one all about coping and support. The last section of the book is about finding the strength inside yourself to keep fighting, to keep trying even when the world makes it feel impossible. Part of learning how to do this is teaching yourself how to be vulnerable, how to reach out to the people you love and say “I need you.” It’s a lesson that both Ben and Richard have to learn in order to get their respective versions of a happy ending. 

While these songs were vital to the process of writing this book, they were by no means the only songs I went to for inspiration. In fact, the playlist for ‘The Colonel’ is quite a beast, with 78 songs it clocks in at five and a half hours of listening time. I hope you’ll hear these songs and think of the moments in this book that they inspired, or that they will inspire you in your own ways! 

Wow, Beau! That is an impressive list of songs! I love that music inspires you so much!  ~ Candy

The Colonel
by Beau North

“This isn’t a love story, but the end of one. The story of two ships forever passing in the night. This is the story of my father and the woman he spent most of his adult life loving, a woman who was never really his.” 

After letting his chance at love with Elizabeth Bennet slip through his fingers a second time, Richard Fitzwilliam loses himself in women, whiskey, and war as he tries to forget what he left behind. Putting oceans, continents, and decades between himself and his heartbreak, Richard seeks his future, only to be pulled back to the past again and again. 

Shaken by recent events, Ben Fitzwilliam has left everything familiar behind, walking away from his relationship, his Manhattan apartment, his career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to return to his family home in Annapolis, Maryland. Struggling to navigate a world that makes less and less sense, Ben finds purpose where he least expected it: in his father’s private letters. With the help of Annapolis PD Officer Keisha Barnes, Ben attempts to uncover his father’s secrets, heal the rifts those secrets caused, and find the answers he seeks on far shores. 

Spanning decades, continents, wars abroad and wars at home, The Colonel is the anticipated companion to Longbourn’s Songbird.

Buy Links: AmazonKobo • 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! 

About the Author

Beau North is the author of four books and contributor to multiple anthologies. Beau lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband. In her spare time, she is the co-host of the podcasts Excessively Diverted: Modern Classics On-Screen and Let’s Get Weirding: A Dune Podcast.

Connect with Beau North

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Beau North is giving away an e-copy of Longbourn Songbird and an e-copy of The Colonel to one lucky person as part of her blog tour celebration! 

  • One person will win an e-copy of Longbourn Songbird and The Colonel!
  • Enter through the Rafflecopter below.
  • Open Internationally! 
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Beau for having me on her book tour, and a big congrats on the release of The Colonel

So, friends, what are your thoughts? Please show Beau some love by leaving a comment or question below! Or let us know, does music inspire you? Do you love Colonel Fitzwilliam as much as I do? We'd love to hear from you! 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Darcy in Hollywood by Victoria Kincaid ~ Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm very excited to have Victoria Kincaid visiting here today! If you haven't heard, Victoria has a new book out! Darcy in Hollywood - A modern Pride and Prejudice variation! 

Victoria is also giving away one e-copy of Darcy in Hollywood to one of my lucky readers! Details are at the bottom of the page!

Hi Candy.  Thank you for having me as a guest!  

Darcy in Hollywood took me longer to write than any book since my first (and most authors take a while writing their first book).  I ended up with sixty (!) pages of deleted material because it took so many revisions to get the story right—and make the characters and story of P&P compatible with the world of Hollywood.  

Wickham’s character was one that had to undergo a lot of changes.  Originally I had him appearing roughly where he does in the original P&P storyline, but the plot required that Elizabeth make his acquaintance a lot earlier.  So I made him one of the EMTs who treats Elizabeth after Darcy nearly hits her with his car (which is the first thing that happens in the book). I could totally see him as the wannabe actor who flirts with his patients and relishes his proximity to Hollywood. I hope you enjoy the excerpt below! 

Darcy in Hollywood
by Victoria Kincaid

A modern Pride and Prejudice variation. 

Rich and arrogant movie star, William Darcy, was a Hollywood heartthrob until a scandalous incident derailed his career. Now he can only hope that Tom Bennet’s prestigious but low budget indie film will restore his reputation. However, on the first day of filming, he nearly hits Bennet’s daughter, Elizabeth, with his Ferrari, and life will never be the same. Okay, she’s a little sarcastic, but he’s certain she’s concealing a massive crush on him—and it’s growing harder to fight his own attraction…. 

Elizabeth Bennet has a lot on her plate. She’s applying to medical school and running the studio’s charity project—while hoping her family won’t embarrass her too much. Being Darcy’s on-set personal assistant is infuriating; he’s rude, proud, and difficult. If there’s one thing she dislikes, it’s people who only think about themselves. But then Elizabeth discovers Darcy has been doing a lot of thinking about her

She might be willing to concede a mutual attraction, but events are conspiring against them and Darcy subject to constant public scrutiny. Do Darcy and Elizabeth have any hope of achieving Hollywood’s elusive happy ending?


     The minute the ambulance pulled up at the curb, two EMTs jumped out.  A short Hispanic woman immediately hooked Elizabeth up to a blood pressure monitor.  The other EMT, a tall man with wavy brown hair who could have been a model, gave her a smile straight out of a toothpaste ad.  “Can you tell me what happened?” 

     As she recounted the incident, not mentioning Darcy’s name, he took her pulse, shined a light into her eyes, and examined the bump on the back of her head.  

     “That’s a nasty bump you’ve got back there,” he commented.  “I think we’ll need to take you to the hospital for a workup.” 

     Elizabeth nodded and then winced at the pain.  “I don’t think I lost consciousness and I’m not disoriented, so if it’s a concussion it’s a mild one.  But I should probably have a head CT to be sure.” 

     He blinked.  “Are you a doctor?” 

     “No, but I was pre-med in college. I’m applying to med schools now.” 

     “Ah.” He grinned at her as he and his partner pulled the gurney out of the back of the ambulance.  “I considered med school myself but decided I liked acting more.” 

     “Please don’t tell me you only play an EMT on TV,” she teased.

     He laughed with big hearty guffaws.  Wow, a real, down-to-earth human being despite his acting ambitions.  Well, they didn’t usually turn into Darcy-sized bastards until they made the big time.  “I am a real EMT.  This is my day job until I get my big break.  What better place for an aspiring actor than on a movie studio?”  He helped her onto the gurney and strapped her down before offering his hand.  “George Wickham, EMT to the stars.”

     She shook his hand.  “Nice to meet you, George.  I’m Elizabeth.” 

     George and his partner wheeled her toward the ambulance.  “Don’t worry, Elizabeth, we’ll take great care of you.”  

     William Darcy had cared more about his Ferrari and his career than Elizabeth—and her own family had cared more about Darcy.  It was nice that someone cared about her—even if it was his job.  

     The EMTs slid the gurney into the ambulance and locked it into place.  George’s partner jumped out and closed the doors; presumably she would drive.  After hooking her up to a heart monitor, George strapped himself into an adjacent seat with a clipboard in his lap.  “So I’m going to need to fill out a detailed report.  What was the name of the person driving that fancy ride back there?” 

     The ambulance lurched into motion.  “I’d rather not say.” 

     George frowned.

     “He didn’t actually hit me.  I fell down and struck my head.  And, um, I’d like to keep his name out of the papers.” 

     George tapped his pen against the clipboard.  “Was it William Darcy?”

     She gaped at him. 

     He gave her a knowing grin.  “I knew he was starting to film a new movie at the studio this week.  Who else would drive such an ostentatious red Ferrari?” 

     Had she already put the film in danger?  “Please don’t tell anyone.  I don’t care about Darcy, but my dad is producing the movie.  They don’t need bad publicity.” 

     He made a locking motion at his mouth.  “My lips are sealed.  This wouldn’t be the first time the studio had a car accident with ‘John Smith’ driving.” Elizabeth exhaled her relief.  “But between you and me, Darcy’s a bit of a dick, isn’t he?” 

     Finally, someone who understood!  “Hell to the yeah!  I guess he expected me to fall at his feet, but honestly it’s hard to be starstruck when your body gets a shot of adrenaline that will last until Christmas.” 

     George leaned closer.  “How did he hit you?”

     Elizabeth started to shake her head before realizing that made it hurt.  “He didn’t hit me.  He almost hit me.  I was on the sidewalk, and his car was heading toward me.  When I tried to run away, I fell and hit my head.  His car hit the streetlamp instead of me.”

     George chuckled.  “The man really is a menace behind the wheel of a car.”

     Elizabeth’s thoughts were more than a little muddled.  But it occurred to her that George’s reaction was rather…gleeful.  

     “Do you know Darcy?”  

     George’s mouth twisted into a bitter smile.  “You could say that.  Our families were friendly when I was a kid.  We went on vacation together.  I played with both Darcy and his sister, although I was closer to his sister’s age.”

     Now Elizabeth’s curiosity was piqued.  “But you’re not friends anymore?” 

     “Apparently there were limits to the friendship.  You know the Darcys are real blue bloods.  Hollywood royalty descended from a branch of the Vanderbilt family.” 

     Elizabeth nodded.  Everyone knew that Darcy’s mother was a famous movie star and that his father had been an award-winning director before he retired.  

     “I made the fatal mistake of dating Darcy’s sister, Georgiana.  We went out for two months in high school, no problem.  But then her family found out.  They cut off all ties with my parents and threatened legal action if I ever went near Georgiana again.  Darcy even punched me.”   George rubbed his jaw as if remembering the pain.

     “That’s terrible!  Just because you loved his sister?” 

     George shrugged.  “I guess I wasn’t what his parents had in mind for her.” 

     “How did she take it?” 

     His mouth twisted.  “I don’t really know.  I never saw her again.  I called her, emailed, texted, but she never responded.  I realized later that her parents probably made her change all her accounts.  And they took her out of the country; they really wanted to get her away from me.  All of this was years ago, though.  She’s an adult now.  I figure she can get in touch with me, but they must have convinced her that I’m the scum of the earth.” 

     “That’s terrible!” 

     “Yeah.” He sighed. “Although, it made me a stronger person.  And who knows?  If they hadn’t done that, I might not have become an EMT, and then I wouldn’t have met you.”  He gave her a coy smile. 

     She raised an eyebrow.  “Are medical personnel supposed to flirt with their patients?” 

     “Not usually, but it’s acceptable if they’re exceptionally pretty.” His smile could have coaxed anyone into mischief. 

     Elizabeth laughed.  “You’re incorrigible!” 

     After he checked her vital signs on the monitor, his face grew serious.  “I would advise you to stay away from Darcy; he’s not a good person.” 

     Elizabeth made a sour face.  “I noticed that.  Unfortunately, I’ll be a PA on his new movie, so I can’t avoid him altogether.” 

     “In the Shadows?”  

     “I didn’t realize there was already buzz about it.” 

     “Are you kidding?  Anything with Darcy.  Even after the scandal, his fans are true fanatics.  They think he’s a nice guy.” He gave her a knowing look.  “Just wait until word gets out that filming has started.  Teenage girls will cluster around the studio gates just hoping to get a glimpse of him driving in or out.” 

     Elizabeth couldn’t imagine being that attached to someone she didn’t know personally.  “Where do people find the time to be obsessive fans?  I mean, don’t they have jobs and families? Seriously, I’d need to squeeze in my obsessing between 7:00 and 7:15 a.m.” 

     George’s hearty laugh was very gratifying.  He wasn’t a Hollywood actor expecting special treatment.  She would take a genuine person over a movie fake any day. 

     He glanced out the window as the ambulance slowed down.  “We’re pulling into the hospital.” 

     Elizabeth wriggled around until she could reach the cell phone in her back pocket.  “Why don’t you give me your number?  I can’t promise anything, but if the casting director is looking for an actor and you fit the part, I’ll put in a good word for you.” 

     George’s eyes lit up.  “You would do that for me?  That’s…wow, I’m so…touched.”

     It was a little thing, but Elizabeth got a warm feeling when she was able to help someone out.  “It’s the least I can do.  You’re taking pretty good care of me.” 

     “I do that.  Especially with the pretty ones.”  George winked at her just as the ambulance rumbled to a stop. 

Book Links

Buy: Amazon US • Amazon UK • Amazon CA
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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

Victoria Kincaid is the author of several popular Jane Austen variations, including The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, Pride & ProposalsMr. Darcy to the Rescue, When Mary Met the Colonel, and Darcy vs. Bennet. All of her books have been listed in Amazon’s Top 20 Bestselling Regency Romances.  The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth was nominated for a Rone award, and Pride and Proposals was recognized as a top Austenesque novel for 2015 by Austenesque Reviews.

Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head.

She lives in Virginia with an overly affectionate cat, an excessively energetic dog, two children who love to read, and a husband who fortunately is not jealous of Mr. Darcy.  A lifelong Austen fan, Victoria has read more Jane Austen variations and sequels than she can count – and confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.

Connect with Victoria

Blog Tour Schedule

July 15 – Austenesque Reviews

* * * GIVEAWAY * * * 

It's giveaway time! Victoria is giving away one e-copy of Darcy in Hollywood to one of my lucky readers! To enter, please leave a comment below!

  • One person will win an e-copy of Darcy in Hollywood.
  • To enter, leave a comment below.
  • The winner will be randomly selected.
  • Open Internationally!
  • Last day to enter the giveaway is July 12th, 2019, by the end of the day.
Good luck!

Many thanks to Victoria Kincaid for inviting me on the tour, and for generously giving away an e-copy of her book to one of my readers! 

Be sure to check back for the winner announcement!

So, what did you think of this Wickham?? Always the sly one isn't he?! 
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