Friday

Stay In Bed


So, what are your plans for this upcoming weekend? Mine are to find a good book, cozy up under a blanket - either on the couch or in bed - and read.

I've been stocking up on Regency Romance novels. I think my Kindle is going to blow a fuse I've put so many books on it. How much is too much? I think books are like Tupperware. You can never have enough.

Have you tackled your TBR pile lately? I give you leave to enjoy the weekend with your newest book boyfriend. I know I will.



Oh, and remember to hug someone you love.
 

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #24

I'm glad you stopped by my blog this first full weekend of Spring. Is it warm where you are? If you want more information about what Weekend Writing Warriors is all about, and to check other authors who are sharing from their work, click here:

I'm continuing with Lord George and Madame Reauchard. We left off with the large man training his gun on the two of them, while the other man moved toward the table....
“Make sure they don’t move, Bill. Shoot the prancing dandy first.” His tone was more cultured than most thugs for hire and a hint of familiarity tugged at the corner of George’s mind.
It was only through years of conditioning that he didn’t betray his concern the man would discover important papers beneath his coat. If he found the smuggled documents and escaped with the knowledge of his and Evangeline’s clandestine operation, then many courageous people died for nothing. He arose from the couch like a sleepy giant.
“Whad’ya want,” he slurred and weaved on his feet as though drunk. “You haf to wait your turn, I paid for a full hour.”
He lurched toward the man called Bill who gripped his pistol tighter and advanced a step toward them. Evangeline cried out, “Please, don’t shoot.”
 
I feel this is where I should insert an announcer's voice, saying: "Will the thugs find the smuggled documents, and, will Lord George and Evangeline escape with their lives? Stay tuned next week for more adventures in (cue music) The Jane Austen Variation Theater......
 
 

Thursday

The Music Behind the Woman

When it comes to musical talents, I have learned that Jane Austen really was somewhat of a proficient and a rather accomplished lady in her musical achievements. From the age of 12 years old, Jane practiced the piano nearly each and every morning. In the evenings, she could often be found performing at the piano for her family and friends.

Even at the age of 20, she was still taking weekly lessons and learning new techniques, which happened to be unusual, even for the accomplished women of her class. Even though her family existed on a limited budget, Jane was always able to have access to a good quality piano. Due to the costs of printed music, Jane belonged to an “informal, women-driven network” of music copyists and borrowers.


In my story, Caroline, I was able to connect Austen’s love for music as we discover that Caroline also has a passion for music which soothes her soul. Whenever troubled, she gravitates to the pianoforte and plays. Personally, I love Mozart and was so glad that he lived prior to the time frame of my story.

One of my favorite movies is Amadeus, not for the characterization of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his protagonist, Antonio Salieri but for the music. There is one song, when the last of the high notes hang in the air before crashing to the end, which gives me goose flesh. The genius of Mozart’s compositions is beyond compare. His piano concerto No. 26 has so many layers in nuance and timing, also any of his Clarinet Concertos, … and who doesn’t love Eine Klein Nachtmusic? Most people listen to the piece with only stringed instruments, but the piano solo, accompanied by woodwinds and stringed instruments is achingly beautiful.


I also wanted Caroline to have layers with her love of music and there were many great Masters to choose from, but I looked for something different. I Googled popular composers in the time of 1812 and Ignaz Pleyel popped up. You Tube is a wonderful place to lose yourself and I listened to many tracks until I found his sonata in F Major. I thought I’d share a link to the scene from Amadeus where Solieri, played by F. Murray Abraham, is describing the music of Mozart to a young priest. I think he won the Oscar from this scene alone.

I challenge you to listen to some classical music, if you don’t already love it. Really, really hear what these Masters composed. Imagine flutes, oboes and clarinets, joined by an bassoon providing the much needed lower layer and then along comes the violin, piercing the air with each rising crescendo in harmony alongside the cello and in the background, bass drums, like a heartbeat.

Can you hear it?

Tuesday

The Newlywed Game ~ 1812 style

newlywed game-intro.29102149_std.jpg
I have invited Emma Woodhouse to host our Newlywed Game, 1812 Style, and without further ado, I turn the stage over to Emma…
Emma Woodhouse.jpg
Good morning ladies and gentleman, this is Emma Woodhouse, and I am back here at the Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden to play another round of the Newlywed Game. Today I have Lady Nathaniel Kerr, née Caroline Bingley, here with her new husband, Lord Nathaniel Kerr. Please join me in welcoming them to The Newlywed Game. (Crowd applauses)
 
P&P Nathan - Charlie Cox3.jpg
P&P Caroline - Kelly Reilly.jpg

Thank you for joining us. We all know the Ton is curious to meet this new couple and share in their happiness. I’ll begin our game with some easier questions...

What is your spouse’s favorite meal?

Caroline: Lord Nathan loves a good roast beef with Yorkshire pudding.

Nathan: That question was too easy, I told her that myself. My wife loves…hmmm… let me think about this. She's very fond of fresh lake trout, with a hint of lemon and new potatoes.
 
Caroline: That’s true. Very good.
 
Regency table .jpg

What do you think is the best thing your spouse loves about you?

Nathan: My eyes. I think.

Caroline: No, your compassion, how you care for those around you.
 
What about you, Lady Nathan, what do you think is the best thing your spouse loves about you?

Caroline: My hair. He’s been fascinated by it from the first time he saw me.

Nathan: Not true. I was captivated by the color of your hair, but when you played the pianoforte my soul was transported to another plane. I love the way you make me feel through music.
 
Have you ever bought anything and kept the purchase from your spouse?

Caroline: If you think I’m going to tell you that, you are a very silly interviewer, Miss Woodhouse.

Nathan: Really? Now I am intrigued. What could you have bought that I was not aware of?
 
Caroline: You won’t know until your birthday, two days hence.
 
Lord Nathan, what is the one thing your spouse wears that you absolutely love?

Nathan: She wears a pomander on her wrist and I love the scent. I’m reminded of her every time I smell rosewater.

Caroline: How interesting, I thought you liked the golden gown I wore at Darcy’s ball. You couldn’t keep your eyes off me that night. If you recall, you said you looked for me in the crowd.
 
Nathan: It wasn’t the gown, but what lay beneath. (in a low voice only his wife could hear)
 
Caroline: (slight gasp)
 
What was your first impression of your spouse?

Caroline: Imposing and dictatorial. He vexed me greatly.

Nathan: I think I fell in love with her the first time I saw her here, at the Theater Royal. She stood out in the crowd like a fiery siren.
 
theatre_royal_1808.jpg

How many pairs of shoes does your wife own?

Nathan: Too many to count. (laughing) I think she has a pair for every hour of the day.

Caroline: That’s unfair. (taps him on the arm with her fan) I do not have that many, but I will own to at least twenty pair.
 
Finish the sentence. I wish my spouse would stop ________

Caroline: Exaggerating how many shoes I have.

Nathan: My love, (taking her hand in his and kissing the back of it), I would buy you every shoe in the kingdom if it made you happy.
 
What is your spouse’s pet name for you?

Nathan: I don’t believe she has a pet name for me.

Caroline: That’s what you think, Lord Little Brat
 
Nathan: Ah… but you stole that from my brother Lord Pompous Head
 
When did you know you were first in love?

Nathan: I first acknowledged it to myself after I accused her of compromising at least two different gentlemen at the ball.

(the crowd gasps)

Caroline: I was mucking out a stall and thought of you the whole time. (laughs gaily at his shocked look) Oh, my love, I fell in love with you when you allowed me to argue with you. You had no fear of my opinion.
 
(laughter ripples throughout the theater)
 
Who said I love your first?

Nathan: I did

Caroline: He did, (said on a sigh), and we almost fought over that too.
 
Where was your first kiss?

Nathan: I asked her to marry me and when she said yes, I asked permission to kiss her.

Caroline: No, it was at the ball. Don’t you remember the music room?
 
Nathan: We didn’t kiss then.
 
Caroline: Really, (arching an elegant brow), then whose lips brushed mine that night? The scoundrel looked very much like you.
 
Nathan: My dear, if I had truly kissed you that night, you’d have been left in no doubt. (lowers his head and levels a telling gaze upon her mouth)
 
Caroline: Oh. (a becoming blush rises up to her face, she flicks open her fan and cools herself down, the lovely pomander swinging with each pass)
 
How many children do you wish for?

Nathan: ten

Caroline: three (both said together)
 
Caroline: (turning to face him, a shocked look on her face) Do you really want ten?
 
Nathan: (laughing) No, I wanted to see what you would do.
 
Caroline: Oh, you really are a scoundrel!
bowden-children-john-hoppner-18-19th-c.jpg

I believe this would be a good place to end our game, as I think you’ve given us lots to gossip, pardon me, I mean, know about both of you. I wish you nothing but joy in your new marriage and I look forward to seeing you again. Maybe at the ball Mr. Churchill and I are planning for next month.

Thank you so much for participating. Next month I shall be interviewing a well-known Lady's man and the woman who caught his heart. Watch for flyers which shall be delivered to your door.

Let's show Lord Nathan and Lady Nathan our appreciation and give them a round of applause. Refreshments are being served on the second level.
 

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #23

Weekend Writing Warriors is a fun exercise where authors are challenged (and sometimes it IS a challenge) to post eight to ten lines from their current W.I.P. I'm sharing from my Jane Austen Fan Fiction Regency Romance (say that five times fast), KATHERINE.

Continuing on with Lord George Kerr, Madame Reauchard and the two ruffians who burst into her boudoir.  We ended last week with.. "Be quiet, slut." The larger man backhanded her and she stumbled to one side...
Still semi-reclined George slid his left hand down his leg toward his boot. Meanwhile, Evangeline arose in a state of agitation, which he also knew to be a ruse. She intended to clutch the couch as though frightened and retrieve a hidden weapon strapped to the back of the divan.
He knew this because she’d done it to him in France.
“What do you want?” She stumbled against the divan, and steadied herself by gripping the back of the couch. “Please don’t hurt me or my girls.”
While the men were distracted, George unsheathed the knife tucked inside his boot and palmed the deadly weapon in his hand. Colleen, with small movements, inched away from the two men who now advanced further into the room. While the larger man continued to watch them, the other glanced about the room, moving toward the table.
Check out other Weekend Writing Warriors here.  We are a rather eclectic group. Lots of different genres offered for your perusal. As always, stay safe and don't forget to hug someone you love.

Tuesday

Tidbit Tuesday ~ March 14

Katherine Bennet, better known as Kitty to friends and family, ambled along the road between Lucas Lodge and Longbourn. She’d been visiting with her very best friend, Maria, and was now on her way home before the sun set and it became too dark to see the road.
Lucas Lodge was such respite after the chaos that signified life at Longbourn. With three of five daughters married, everyone assumed Mrs. Bingley would calm down and relax knowing her daughters were secure. Well, at least two of the daughters were secure. Lydia rarely wrote and when she did it was to petition money from her ‘dear mama’. As always, Mrs. Bennet never could say no, so much of her pin money found its way north, along with Kitty’s and Mary’s. Mrs. Bennet was not above purloining money from their treasure boxes.
To Katherine, Lydia’s letters were full with details of the parties she attended, with or without Wickham, and of flirtations with other officers. Any money being sent was not used for food or household affairs, but for supporting a hedonistic lifestyle. A year’s separation gave Kitty a more sobering view of her younger sister and what she saw filled her heart with sorrow. Nothing good could come from their reprobate life and she prayed for them daily.
 
Thank you for reading my Tuesday Tidbit.
 
 

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #22

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors. Most of you are experienced in this exercise, but for those of you first timer's, here's the run-down.

You are allowed to post eight to ten lines of a work-in-progress, or a published work. I try to post from a WIP, but at times I post from published works because I fall in love with some scenes and just want to share - know what I mean?

Anyway - today is from a WIP. We've been introduced to Lord George Kerr and I'm continuing on with the previous scene. Madame Reauchard has heard someone approach and Lord George, after covering important papers on the table, positioned himself on the couch so that his head lay on her lap.

“Prepare yourself, Lord Kerr, I’m about to expose more than you would like.”
“I think I’ll survive,” he replied in a dry tone.
Madame Reauchard slipped the filmy gown past her shoulder, exposing one breast, and looked up in faux surprise when the door to her private boudoir opened. Her favorite girl, Colleen, the only one who knew of their true connection, shivered in the door frame. Behind her stood two men, with hardened faces and loaded pistols.
“Who do you think you are, entering my private room without knocking,” Evangeline demanded in a flawless Parisian accent. She tugged the gown back onto her shoulder while George remained where he lay, a deceptive picture of languor and satisfied coitus.
“I’m sorry, Madame,” Colleen began.
“Be quiet, slut.” The larger man backhanded her and she stumbled to one side.
Don't forget to check out other talented Weekend Writing Warriors here, and don't forget to hug someone you love.

Don't hesitate.

Do it NOW!

Wednesday

#1LineWed ~ Mar 8

Today I'm sharing my #1LineWed from my #WIP GEORGIANA. The words in bold were used in the Twitter post. The added instructions from the moderator were that you could use the word 'cross' in any form.
"You say he’s been making enquiries about Miss Darcy?”
Maxwell Kerr, the fourth Duke of Adborough, was seated in a very comfortable chair at White’s, a snifter of brandy in his hand. Across from him, sprawled out in his usual, careless way was his newly married brother, Lord George Kerr.
“Mmm…yes. The old boy had been sniffing around the skirts of Lady Susan Cruikshank, but she up and got engaged to Lord Waverly, the Marquis of Dorchester.”
“Anyone with a brain in their head knew that would happen. Slade’s losing his touch.” 
Have fun. Check out some other Twitter users. The lot of them are a clever bunch.

Saturday

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #21

Hello - Welcome to my WeWriWa posting for March 4/5. What a crazy week. I've been working on two stories simultaneously, as they overlap. I'll deviate from the twining of these two story lines in a few more chapters.

What was I thinking, writing a series that is so interconnected? Remind me to drop a bowling ball on my foot the next time I attempt this. Much less painful...

Anyway. Today's eight-ten line foray is a continuation from the scene with Lord George and the lovely Madame - Evangeline.

George Kerr, the second son of a Duke, walked a fine line in Society. He’d carefully crafted a persona of a somewhat carefree bachelor. The ton regarded him as a Rake of the first order, which suited his cover perfectly. He made sure he always had a beautiful woman on his arm, flirted with them in an outrageous manner – had even kissed a few of them quite passionately – and visited Madame Reauchard’s brothel on a regular basis so no one could accuse him of not being the libertine they imagined.
If the Haute Ton ever stopped to consider his character more closely, they would be shocked to find that not one lady within their circles would ever report he’d done more than flirt or kiss, no married woman claimed him as their lover and not one prostitute had ever seen him in a state of undress. Not even Madame Reauchard herself.
Just then, she tensed.
“Mon cher, someone is coming, be quick.”
Without questioning her instinct, which had proven itself time and time again, George laid his coat on top of the papers and joined her on the divan, positioning his rather large body so that his head lay on her soft lap. He rested his left foot on the couch, knee bent slightly and stretched the right one out onto the floor.

There are a few other authors who share tidbits from their stories weekly. You can find them here.
Oh, I have to toot my own horn, so to speak. I created a book trailer for CAROLINE, and if you click on the JAFF tab, it's right there. Take a peek. It was a lot of fun to make.

Remember to hug someone you love today. Have a blessed day.




Wednesday

#1LineWed - Mar 1



Trying to capture a scene in 140 characters, including the hashtag is HARD, so I've decided to give you the balance of the scene here.

This is from my next #JAFF inspired romance. This scene will be in it because it's fairly pivotal for a plot line and for all you Elizabeth/Darcy fans - you'll get mushy from this scene.
Elizabeth Darcy entered the cozy study, arguably the smallest room at Pemberley yet it could easily contain at least three rooms from Longbourn. She approached her husband, busy with his ledgers and waited by the side of the desk until he glanced up.
The smile that graced his face warmed her heart and that errant organ increased its rate at the appreciative look he bestowed upon her. She was reminded of their morning activities by the daring way he perused her body.
“Have you come to steal me away from my dusty tomes and boring ledgers?” He pushed his chair away from the desk and beckoned her sit on his lap, which she did with pleasure.
Once settled and a few kisses later, she lightly pushed against his chest and made him look at her properly.
“You almost make me forget what I came to discuss.”
“You really did come here for something other than a kiss and a cuddle?” He attempted to steal one more kiss, but she slid from his lap and moved to place the desk firmly between them. She was more than aware Fitz would happily close and lock the door to continue this tryst, much like he did last week if she didn’t give them some space. After more than six months of marriage the master of Pemberley’s appetite for his bride hadn’t abated.
“Stay at your desk, sir,” she commanded in a faux haughty voice and then laughed at his glower. “Oh, Fitz, I’d love nothing better than to spend the whole day with you here, but I truly do have something important to discuss, and you can’t distract me with all of this.” She gave a small wave in the direction of his rather large body.
“Very well, Lizzie. Have your say, then I’ll have my way,” he said with a wolfish waggle of his eyebrows.
“Oh dear, when you begin to rhyme your words, I know I’m in trouble.” She settled in the comfortable chair facing the desk, smoothed her skirts and dragged in a deep breath. “I think Georgiana needs to wait one more year before she has her curtsy before the Queen.”
“But
Elizabeth held up her hand to stop his protest.
“Hear me out before you disagree and harrumph.”
“I don’t harrumph. All right,” he conceded at her one eyebrow arched in disbelief. “I harrumph sometimes, but why do you want her to miss another Season?”
“Several reasons. For one, she’s not ready. Since our wedding her confidence has grown, with much credit being given to Caroline Bingley. Her guidance has surprisingly brought out Georgiana’s desire to attempt new things, but she’s still been very sheltered here at Pemberley. Her encounters have all been with those whom she knows and trusts.”
“What do you then propose?”
“Mrs. Annesley returns in the next month, which is good as Georgiana misses the companionship Caroline brought, and I thought this might be a good time to invite Kitty and Mary to stay with us. Kitty is the same age as Georgiana, Mary only two years older. I think Mrs. Annesley would be a wonderful influence on all of them. I propose all three girls make their debut together, next year.”
“What you say is true, but my sister was to be presented at court this year. Aunt Matlock is quite excited to sponsor not only Georgiana, but also you, Mrs. Darcy.”
“This brings me to my second reason to postpone Georgiana’s season.” She clasped her hands together, aware that they’d gone damp from nerves and excitement. “As you know I’ve had a special gown commissioned for this occasion and with such a beautiful design, I’d hate to ruin the cut by letting it out.”
His brow furrowed. “Why on earth would you have to let it out?”
“Because, dear husband, the baby refused to stop growing just so I can be presented at court.” She smiled as understanding dawned in his warm hazel eyes, more than pleased she’d managed to surprise him.
“Baby?”  Those hazel eyes she loved so much, shone bright with tears and she nodded yes. He rose from the desk and drew her to her feet, kissing her with a passion that ignited a flame in both of them. A few hours later he unlocked the door and carried his sleepy bride to her room.

Was I right, or was I right? Personally, I love this scene. Maybe one day I'll pen a story of Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, but until then, my hands are full with Georgiana and Kitty.