Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What Are You Reading? ~ July 29, 2020

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Hello, friends! It's been a month since I posted my What Are You Reading? post! I might as well just start posting a Monthly Wrap-Up! I haven't been reading enough to talk about it until this week.  Hopefully, my reading slump has been broken! So, here we go...

What are you Reading?  Let me know what your current read is, what you recently finished reading, and what you plan on reading next! 

Current Read

I'm currently reading Serious Moonlight* by Jenn Bennett. Yes, I started this a few months ago and set it aside. I've picked it back up, and I think I'll stick with it! :) 

Recently Finished

I recently finished Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee* by Jeff Zentner. I loved it! I laughed out loud a few times, and it also had me crying at the end. I love a story that grabs my emotions. - 5 stars.

I listened to Animal Farm* by George Orwell while driving home from Arizona. It was terrific and something to think about during the current climate of our nation.  - 5 stars.

I also listened to The Cuckoo's Cry by Caroline Overington. Written during this COVID pandemic, it's a mystery about a girl who shows up at a man's house claiming to be his granddaughter from the son he gave up. Having nowhere to go, she shelters in place with Don, her grandfather. Don's daughter is not so sure about this girl's story and starts investigating. It was good! - 4 stars.

Finally, I finished One Perfect Summer* by Brenda Novak. This story never grabbed me. It's an interesting premise, though. Three ladies find out they are half-sisters after doing a DNA test. It's a mystery how they are related as they all come from different backgrounds. One is raised by both parents (at least she thinks they are her parents), one by her single mom, and one was found abandon in Florida at the age of two and was raised in the foster system. - 3 stars.

What's Next?

That I'm not sure of! :)

*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! 

So, tell me, what are you reading?! 

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Jane Austen's Dragons Blog Tour ~ Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! It's my pleasure to have Maria Grace on So Little Time... talking about her newest book in the Jane Austen's Dragons series, Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom of the post, Maria Grace is giving away an e-copy of both books 5 and 6 in the series!

     Hi Candy! Thanks so much for hosting me! I’m excited to share my newest books with your readers!

     Who hasn’t said Jane Austen books could really use a lot more dragons? Ok, maybe you need to be the mother of sons in order to have heard that.  And frankly, when they come up with an idea like that, I have to run with it! We were having lunch at the local pizza buffet one day before I knew it, we’d hammered out an entire dragon culture and the story potentials went WILD. So much fun!

     So, here’s the premise:

     England is overrun by dragons of all shapes and sizes. Most people are blissfully unaware of them and the Pendragon Treaty that keeps the peace between human and dragon kind.  Only those born with preternatural hearing, like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet—and now Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth—are able to hear and converse with dragonkind.

     Now wait, I can hear you muttering and rolling your eyes, “Dragons? Really? Seriously—dragons?  Why—just why?”

     Trust me, you’re not the first to roll their eyes at me and give me that look, expecting an answer like “Because zombies, vampires and werewolves have already been done.” (While that is utterly true and the sort of thing I might say if you caught me at just the right—or wrong—moment) honestly, it isn’t a very good answer. A better answer is that British mythology is full of dragons and it seems likely that Jane Austen herself had to have been familiar with many of these dragon legends. So, dragons ought to be right at home in Regency era England!

     Moreover, European mythology also boast a number of dragons, including the half-cat, half-serpent tatzelwurm which features in all my books, generally passing themselves as a cat to the unsuspecting dragon-deaf. (Have I got you interested yet?)

     Having finished the Pride and Prejudice arc of Jane Austen’s Dragons, I’ve now tackled Persuasion—which I have been told make far more sense with dragons!
Want a sneak peek? Here you go! This is from Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion.


Late September 1809

     Choppy waves slapped at the hull, dancing in the light of the full moon. Beneath his feet the Laconia bobbed and swayed as it always did, steady and reliable. Streaky grey clouds drifted past the stars, never obscuring, just dancing flirtatiously among them. Chill and briny, a light breeze nipped his ears and nose. Winter would be along soon, with its cold and storms. Definitely not his favorite season, and it probably would not be Laconia’s either. Being cold-blooded had its limitations.

     The cat-like tatzelwurm might need a nest near the galley where he could keep warm. Cook would not mind. Not only did he like cats, as it were, but he was convinced that Laconia was the best mouser he had ever seen, and lucky to boot. Chances were good he would see hosting Laconia as a privilege, and if he did not, Laconia would persuade him he did.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Murder at Northanger Abbey Blog Tour ~ Interview with Shannon Winslow

Hello there, my friends! I hope this finds you well! Today, the lovely Shannon Winslow is visiting with us! I've asked her a couple of questions about her new book, Murder at Northanger Abbey. I hope you enjoy this interview! 

1. What inspired you to write a sequel to Northanger Abbey?

Almost from the beginning, I’ve had a goal of writing at least one novel related to each of Austen’s six, since I love them all. I have four Pride and Prejudice novels so far, a Persuasion novel (The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen), and I consider Leap of Hope my Mansfield Park book. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do for Emma or Sense and Sensibility, but it seemed like a slightly spooky murder mystery would be the perfect sequel for Northanger Abbey.

Personally, I adore Northanger Abbey. It reminds me of some of Austen’s hilarious juvenile works, which makes perfect sense when you remember that she wrote it mostly in her early 20s, before any of her other novels. It’s playful, fun, and packed with early examples of Austen’s patented ironic wit. I laugh out loud every time I read it! Plus, I’m a Henry Tilney fan. What woman doesn’t like a sexy man who can also make you laugh? And so I was eager to carry on Catherine and Henry’s story with something in the same tongue-in-cheek style.

2. Is this your first mystery, and how did you enjoy writing it?

Yes, my first, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! It seems like I seek out a new challenge with each book, but I really had no idea in the beginning if I was capable of writing a mystery. Halfway through, when, believe it or not, I hadn’t yet decided ‘who done it,’ I still wasn’t sure I could! (You see, in some respects, Murder at Northanger Abbey is like Gosford Park: lots of people in the house and everybody has a motive.) Then, after a few more twists and turns, the pieces fell into place, and I knew what must have happened. Well… sort of. Just for fun, I did write an alternative ending, which is included in the book. Readers can take their pick!

Oh, fun!

3. Who was your favorite character to write in this story?

Oh, I can’t pick just one person, unless a married couple counts as one. Despite the fact that this is a mystery, MNA is first and foremost a story about Henry and Catherine – their romance carried into married life (in PG fashion). Catherine is Catherine still. Although she likes to believe she has outgrown some of the girlish fancies that got her into so much trouble, she’s still very young, na├»ve, and impulsive, yet pure at heart. Henry is honorable, always teasing and joking, and surprisingly passionate. I enjoyed the challenge of remaining true to the essence of their established characters while envisioning how they and their relationship would grow and evolve under the stresses and strains of unusual circumstances.

In the runner-up position, again it’s a tie. The baddies are always fun to write, and here I had both father and son – General and Captain Tilney – who continue to say shocking things and behave badly!

4. Tell me about a new secondary character you added to the story that you just adore.

I would have to go with Mr. Thomas Cogsgrove. He’s the barrister brought in to defend the family member wrongfully accused of the murder. Writing the courtroom scene – something else I’d never done before – I really admire the way Cogsgrove walks the difficult line between contradictory imperatives (to abide by his client’s wishes and yet bring out the necessary truth), and the way he skillfully outmaneuvered the prosecutor and his witnesses. If I ever found myself accused of a crime, I would hope to find a lawyer as smart as Mr. Cogsgrove!

5. Are you working on anything new at the moment or have an idea for a new story?

One reviewer liked MNA so well that she urged me to write more mysteries! So now I have that to consider, possibly for my Emma or my S&S book? But first I’m headed back to the world of Pride and Prejudice. I have just a start (a couple of chapters) of something from Darcy’s point of view this time. All my P&P novels agree with canon and with each other, so it won’t be a “variation” so much as an augmentation, expanding on the existing story. It’s starting out in the period before Darcy meets Elizabeth and will carry into the P&P timeline at least a ways. How far, I’m not sure at this point. It may even end up growing into a new series! In any case, I always have more ideas than I have time to write!

Awesome! I'm looking forward to more! 

Murder at Northanger Abbey
by Shannon Winslow

Sequel to Jane Austen’s Spoof on the Gothic Novel 

Newly married to her beloved Henry, Catherine’s eyes are now open to the grownup pleasures of wedded life. Yet she still hasn’t quite given up her girlhood fascination with all things Gothic. When she first visited Northanger Abbey, she only imagined dreadful events had occurred there. This time the horror is all too real. There’s been a murder, and Henry has fallen under suspicion. Catherine is determined to clear her husband’s name, but at the same time, she’s afraid for her own safety, since there’s a very good chance the real murderer is still in the house. 

This delightful sequel reprises the mischievous spirit of Austen’s original spoof on the Gothic novel, while giving Catherine a genuine murder mystery to unravel.
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!

Connect with Shannon Winslow

Thank you so much, Shannon, for visiting here today and answering my questions! Congratulations on the release of Murder at Northanger Abbey!

So, friends, what do you think? Please leave Shannon any questions or comments below! We would love to hear from you! 

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