WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #67

Welcome back, fellow Warriors (and guests).

Ever since my 'incident', I have NOT been sleeping well. When you don't get enough zzzz's... cranky can't begin to describe the mood. DH had business in Toronto and took me along for a treat. We checked into the hotel around four p.m. and I fell asleep on the couch watching TV. I woke up around eleven o'clock, crawled into bed and slept through until six a.m. So much for our romantic dinner out. However, this is the first time in weeks I slept through with no pain. Hallelujah!

Ah well, we had a lovely breakfast. Don't feel too bad for hubby. He fell asleep beside me on the couch. After thirty-five years + of marriage, I guess that's acceptable.

Here is this week's offering. I admit to creative punctuation, only so I could comply with the maximum ten line rule. Last week we left off with: "No fear, Miss Bennet. I'm sure the animal is close by. It may be something as simple as an improperly closed latch and the horse has found greener pastures to graze on."
Mary assessed the Colonel carefully.
If there was an improperly closed latch, I'll eat my bonnet. Why would the Colonel set Mr. Camden on a fool's errand?
In a flash she had her answer, Colonel Fitzwilliam wanted the undivided attention of Miss Talbot. Mary was quite aware that the good Colonel had informed Lizzy, upon their first meeting at Rosings Park, that as a second son he was required to marry well. Miss Talbot with her annoying twenty thousand pounds fit the bill to perfection. The fact she was accomplished and beautiful was icing on the proverbial wedding cake.
Who would look twice at a woman of three and twenty with no substantial dowry to speak of? No one. She was practically on the shelf - unmarriageable - she may as well begin scouring the papers for positions as a companion to some woman in their dotage.
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WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #66

I am so glad this week is over, fellow writers. Thank goodness for pain killers and  muscle relaxants! Who knew you could get a charlie horse in your diaphragm. Believe me when I tell you that you DON'T want to have that happen.

Onto our next vignette. We left off with Mary joining Mr. Camden, Mr. Lucas and Miss Talbot for a game of cards. Although I don't mention this, they are playing whist, a game I've played since I was a eight.

About to start the game, Colonel Fitzwilliam appeared beside Mr. Camden, leaned in and whispered something in his ear. Startled by whatever news the Colonel had imparted, Mr. Camden stood and excused himself.
"Shall I take Mr. Camden's spot, seeing as he has been called elsewhere?"
Without waiting for an answer, the Colonel dropped into the vacated chair across from Mary.
"What has called Mr. Camden away?" Miss Talbot asked.
"It appears his horse has somehow escaped its stall - quite the mystery. He's gone to help the stable master find the beast."
"Oh dear, I do hope there are no horse thieves in the area," Mary said, wondering if she should alert her father to the possibility of a horse thief terrorizing the residents of Meryton.
"No fear, Miss Bennet, I'm sure the animal is close by. It may be something as simple as an improperly closed latch and the horse has found greener pastures to graze on."
Hmmm.... I think the mystery of where Colonel Fitzwilliam disappeared might have been solved. Will the other guests come to the same conclusion?

To find out how you can participate in this weekly blog hop/writing exercise as well as read other talented author's snippets, please click HERE.

Have a wonderful week. See you next time when we find out what Mary makes of all this. Until then, hug someone you love and tell them how much they mean to you. Do it. Do it now!



WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #65

I'm going to apologize right now and get the darn thing out of the way. I completely missed visiting all of you this week. Life has a way of throwing curve balls and mine is going down a twisted path. I'm sure I'll regain my equilibrium, but right now I spend a lot of time wallowing.

There, I said it. I'm wallowing. This too shall pass. It usually does.

Last post, the Colonel disappeared. Does he show up again, or is Mary left to wonder...?
"Miss Bennet, will you complete our foursome?"
She turned to face Mr. Camden, and once again a broad smile illuminated his handsome face. Idly, she wondered, did he grin like that through the night? How unsettling that would be for his future wife, to roll over and find him smiling at her in his sleep. She suppressed an involuntary shudder. That was something she had no intention of ever finding out.
Although her thoughts were less than lady-like, she presented a serene fa├žade, worthy of her sister Jane and replied, "Of course, Mr. Camden. Lead the way."
He offered her his arm and escorted her to a table whereupon they were joined by Jonathan Lucas and, or course, Miss Talbot of twenty thousand pounds. Would she never be free of the simpering miss?
Take the time and visit the Weekend Writing Warriors website for rules and links to other authors who participate in this fun weekly blog hop. Join us. It's good to be pushed to write and share. You can access their website by clicking HERE:



WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #64

When we left last week, the Colonel had caught Mary growling in frustration over the talented Miss Talbot's pianoforte playing. Tsk, tsk, tsk... We ended with him whispering, "Did you just growl?"
"No," she whispered back.
"I have the keen ear of a hunter and I heard a decided growl."
"I did not growl." She partially turned in her chair to face him, earning a glare from Mama. Instantly she faced forward, her face burning in embarrassment. Teasing, teasing man!
Miss Talbot finished the piece and stood to enthusiastic applause, appearing overwhelmed by the response, but Mary caught the satisfied smile which graced her face before she lowered her eyes and curtsied. Miss Talbot joined the other guests, who were forming groups in order to play whist. Obviously, Mama was still unsure of her skill at the pianoforte and so decided to move the evening along without her remaining single daughter exhibiting.
Of Colonel Fitzwilliam, there was no sign. He'd slipped out as quietly as he'd entered.
Now, where could the Colonel have gone?  To read other author's offerings in this weekly writing exercise, please click HERE.



Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle ~ Week One

A week has gone by since DH and I embarked on this journey. Neither of us have ever monitored what we eat and there's a bit of a learning curve in this adventure. Not that we eat 'unhealthy', only that we've never consciously thought about WHAT we are consuming.

Having said that, the week was interesting. I'm not sure I like the fact that I'm obsessed with food. I'm sure as we settle into this 'thing' I won't spend almost every waking moment worrying about how I can reduce fat/salt/bad cholesterol - it will all become second nature - but right now I'm poring over articles and blog posts trying to learn something new.

We're kind of a funny pair. DH has to adjust to no snacking and I have to add snacks. He has to reduce his consumption and I have to increase mine. We definitely are two sides of the same coin, and I know this will all work out.

As of yesterday, I've lot 6.2 pounds. My first goal is ten and the final goal is thirty. I've heard/read the first few weeks you shed weight quite quickly with a plateau of sorts to follow, but ten is my first goal and this makes me happy. I truly don't care if the rest comes off more slowly as long as it doesn't come back on.... DH says he has lost some pounds, but he mumbled his number so I think he's a bit discouraged.

Don't worry, honey. I'm going to hide the ketchup and see if that makes a difference next week....

I'm going to post something I borrowed from the Herbal One (TM) website about mindful eating. For the full article, click the embedded link to their site.

PUT THE WEIGH SCALE AWAY
This doesn't mean to totally avoid weighing yourself. But the weight scale can be one of your worst enemies. Regardless of how you try to lose weight, you will have good days and bad days.
When you hop on the scale and the numbers don't deliver the news you're looking for, it can be devastating. So  much so that you fail to see your real progress. The progress that you make everyday, regardless of what the scale tells you.
Remember, you're on a journey toward a more mindful eating, better health and weight loss. The scale only measures one, and it's not really the best way to do even that.
By putting away the weigh scale deep in a closet, instead of leaving it temptingly on the bathroom floor, you'll need to be more mindful in using it, and better prepared for whatever news it brings.


WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #63

Well, Warriors, the dinner party is winding down. What will Mrs. Bennet do with the pineapples and birch saplings...?
Later in the evening the men rejoined the women in the drawing room where the unmarried ladies sang and played the pianoforte. All but Mary had performed, and she wasn't quite sure if she wanted to after listening to Miss Talbot, currently playing a difficult piece by Beethoven.
The music climbed to a dramatic crescendo, then dipped into a soothing repast and everyone in the room seemed enthralled with her performance. Mary made a noise, deep in her throat. Miss Talbot of twenty thousand pounds was quite skilled. A fact she'd glossed over quite prettily when asked if she played.
"Did you just growl?" Colonel Fitzwilliam asked in a low voice.
She nearly jumped. She hadn't realized he had come into the room. He'd sat directly behind her right shoulder and she wouldn't have seen him unless she turned her head away from the performance.
Uh oh....
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Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle - Day One

Take a breath, I'm not going to post every day in this journey, but I am going to TRY and post weekly, letting you know how I'm doing, starting with today.

Hubby and I have embarked on a journey to have a healthier lifestyle. Food is not my enemy - I don't live to eat, but this doesn't mean I eat the right foods either. So, for me, I need to boost my  metabolism and make myself eat three meals a day. I am one who only eats when hungry and I'm not a big snacker. This leads to my body storing up food for the 'next' time I eat. My challenge is to eat even when I don't feel hungry, such as now. It's lunch time and I have to make something for DH and I.

Hubby's challenge is to become more active and cut down on the snacking/sweets. Poor man. I think that will be his biggest hurdle. He has a HUGE sweet tooth.

If you're looking to start a healthier life style, one of the places you can begin is to create your space in the kitchen and get in the mind set to plan ahead your meals. Why plan ahead? So you know what to buy when you grocery shop and not get sidetracked while shopping.

Three Steps to Better Shopping
Plan Your Meals
If you visit the grocery store once a week, starting planning your meals a week in advance. If you find it too difficult to do a whole week’s meal planning, break it into more manageable chunks, like planning only your dinners. I always think of that question, 'How do you eat an elephant?' One bite at at time. Don't let this step overwhelm you. Do what's necessary and next week, add a bit more to your meal planning.

Make Sure Your Pantry has Everything You Need
Before you finish your list, check your cupboards or pantry. As you start to memorize recipes, or customize them to your tastes, it’s not always easy to remember all the ingredients you’ll need for a every dish.Also, the more cooking you do on your own, the sooner you’ll run short of some of the basics, like condiments and oils. A well-stocked pantry will help you avoid the disappointment of not having all the ingredients you need for a certain recipe – and avoid the unexpected trip to the grocery store to get them.

Get More Herbs & Spices
One of the biggest complaints when people start cooking and eating healthier food is that it tastes bland. That’s because there is less fat, salt and sugar in it. Herbs and spices offer some very tasty options for getting more flavour into your dishes without adding extra calories. Also, you can use essential oils in place of dried herbs. I personally use Oil of Oregano and Oil of Basil in my spaghetti sauce. You can check out my essential oil page by clicking this image found on the right side bar. This is only two of many oils you can add to your diet/drinks.
https://www.myyl.com/suebarr
This challenge hubby and I embark on is a lifestyle change. Are we going to make mistakes. Yup. Will we cheat once and while. You betcha, but overall, we are deciding to give our bodies a better chance of keeping us around for a little longer. Weight loss will occur, but the funny thing, that's not our biggest motivator. We both want to decrease the amount of fat coating our inner organs and have more energy. 

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #62

Hello again. My Weekend Writing Warrior contribution continues with the interminable dinner party and the huge table centerpiece, which seems to have taken on a life of its own.... Creative license with punctuation taken to adhere to WeWriWa guidelines.
"Excuse me, Mr. Lucas, I was, ummm..., admiring the small birch saplings near the end of the epergne."
What must he think? She caught Mama giving her a knowing wink and her insides shriveled in horror. Oh no, Mama probably thought she'd offered Mr. Lucas an opportunity to peek down the bodice of her dress. Why had she allowed her mother, of all people, to choose her attire for the evening? For one who claimed there was never enough lace on dresses, she'd whipped the fichu from her bodice within seconds of coming downstairs and told her she seemed too frothy. Frothy? No amount of cajoling budged her mother once she'd removed the offending scrap of lace, and so she'd spent most of the evening adjusting the shoulders of her gown in an attempt to pull the bodice up at least a modest half inch.
Mr. Lucas' eyes flicked downward before he snapped them back to her face. Dear God, how much longer could this meal go on?
Thank you for stopping by and all the encouraging words. If you'd like to visit other author's blogs in this fun writing exercise, then stop by Weekend Writing Warrior's website and click the links found there for other talented writers. Click HERE

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #61

Hello again. We know this dinner party has been agonizing for Richard, but how is Mary doing on her side between the handsome Mr. Camden and Jonathan Lucas? We ended with 'No matter how far she craned her neck, she couldn't see past the veritable Sherwood Forest Mama had planted down the center of the table.

Enjoy.
Where in the world had she found palm fronds, as well as pineapples? The cost of those alone would make a sane man weep over his ledgers. Ever since Mama became informed of Papa’s elevated rank she’d felt the need to go over the top in her entertaining. Hopefully, soon, she’d return to her senses and become the elegant hostess they all knew she was. Scratch that thought. Hoped she could be again.
“Are you quite all right, Miss Bennet?”
She gave a start and glanced up at Jonathan Lucas, seated to her right. It was at that moment she realized how close she’d leaned toward his seat in order to look around the wall of palm fronds, pineapples and other fauna. She sat upright immediately.
Oh dear.
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Until next week,
P.S.
Hug someone you love today.

GEORGIANA

VIGNETTE from Georgiana: Pride & Prejudice continued... Book Three

My darling, Maxwell...
May I call you Maxwell, for that is how I think of you.
Forgive me for being so forward. Mrs. Annesley long ago advised I write down what is close to my heart when I cannot speak the words, and you are my heart.
How I wish you would return. I miss your soft laugh... I miss the very presence of you in each room.

Max slammed the letter on his desk.
How dare she write such loving words.
Was this yet another ruse?


WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #60

We continue with the agonizing dinner Richard is sitting through which ended with him muttering 'Broken teeth' when Miss Talbot asked what the others were talking about on the other side of the table. Fortunately, we will now see Mary's side of the scene.

"I beg your pardon?"
Dear God, how much longer would this meal go on? He caught himself up and turned to her with a bland smile. "I have no idea."
~~~oo0oo~~~ 
Mary offered a tight smile at Mr. Camden's attempt at humor. The man was utterly dreary. Beautiful to look at, but with the intelligence of a donkey. How cruel you are Mary, and she silently apologized to all the donkeys in England. She wondered how Colonel Fitzwilliam was doing, seated next to Lady Northcott and the highly eligible Miss Talbot of twenty thousand pounds.
No matter how far she craned her neck, she couldn't see past the veritable Sherwood Forest Mama had planted down the center of the table.
For information on how you can participate in Weekend Writing Warriors and/or to check out other author's works, click HERE
Don't forget to hug someone you love today.

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #59

Here we are again at the end of another week. I don't know about you but I feel absolutely soggy. If we don't have torrential rain pouring down, the humidity in the air makes you think you have a wet blanket wrapped around your body. However, the plants and grass love it, and I don't have to water them, so win/win for me.

The Honorable Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam cannot see Miss Bennet or the annoying Mr. Camden over a HUGE epergne which squats in the center of the dining table, but he sure can hear them.
When Mr. Camden laughed again, Richard growled. Lady Northcott, seated to his right, asked if he were feeling well.
"Yes, Lady Northcott, just clearing my throat," he muttered and cleared his throat again in an attempt to assure her of his truthfulness.
He knew why Mrs. Bennet had seated Mary next to the guffawing baboon. No doubt she'd noticed Mr. Camden's ostentatious flirting within seconds of their meeting.
Laughter once again rang like church bells from that side of the table and he had the sudden urge to leap across the table and rearrange Mr. Camden's perfect face into something more abstract. If it weren't for that damnable centerpiece, he at least could tell if Mary were falling for the soon to be toothless idiot.
"What do you think they are talking about?" Miss Talbot, seated to his left asked after the last round of mirth subsided.
"Broken teeth," Richard muttered.
Thanks for joining me today in this fun writing blog hop. If you wish to visit other authors and to find out more about what Weekend Writing Warriors is all about, click HERE.





WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #58

Welcome everyone.

I am back! The last time I posted to Weekend Writing Warriors was in March of this year. Please forgive me for being so tardy, but... real life intrudes.

During my 'hiatus' I published CATHERINE. Thank you to all of you who commented on the posts that featured Kitty and Lord George. I had a wonderful time promoting her and stacked up some lovely reviews.

This story, MARY, is one I dabble with when taking a break from GEORGIANA, Book Three of my Pride & Prejudice continued... series. MARY focuses on Miss Mary Bennet of Longbourn and Mr. Darcy's cousin, The Honorable Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam.

Considerable license taken with punctuation and sentence structure to meet the 10 line requirement of this fun writing exercise.
Mary was seated directly across the table from him, not that he could see her past the elaborate epergne that graced the center of the table. But he could hear laughter. Copious amounts of laughter and all of it from the men seated around her. The loudest came from the young gentleman he’d been introduced to only an hour ago - Mr. Timothy Camden. Heir presumptive to the Camden baronetcy. Richard loathed him on sight.
The man was so beautiful, there was no other word for it, he may as well have been painted by Michelangelo - it was unnatural. But the coup de grace happened when upon being introduced to Miss Bennet, he took her hand in his and kissed it, proclaiming her beauty should be put to paint.
He'd like to put something to paint, and it wouldn't be the lovely face of Miss Bennet. 
To check out what this weekly blog hop is all about and to find other authors who participate, please click HERE.

Have a wonderful week, and remember to hug someone you love today.


Emma & Mr. Knightley

Watched and fall in love with Mr. Knightley all over again.



Always with love,

WINNERS!!!

Below are the three winners selected through Rafflecopter by the lovely Claudine Pepe of JustJane1813. I'm in the middle of re-formatting Catherine, but as soon as that's complete - copies are OFF to the winners.

Always with Love,


The Reviews are In!

Catherine is receiving lovely reviews and I thank ALL of you who have read her so far.

Read full review HERE 

Read full review HERE

MORE FUN & GAMES

I'm having so much fun during this release month and wanted to share just a fun thing with regard to Kitty and Lord Kerr


JUST FOR FUN



CATHERINE is available exclusively on Amazon until Mid August. Then look for her on other fine retailers.

Monday Motivation - Top 11 in 2017!!

Book One in my Pride & Prejudiced continued... series has received some nice accolades, but this was the latest and I must say I'm honored and humbled to be included in austere group of #JAFF authors.

Obsessed With Mr. Darcy included Caroline in her top eleven reviews for the year of 2017. You can read the review HERE.

UPCOMING BLOG TOUR: May 28 - Jun 11

Mark your calendars - I'M ON TOUR!

Promotional tour for the launch of CATHERINE: Pride & Prejudice continued... Book Two

May 28: My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
May 29: From Pemberley to Milton/Excerpt Post & Giveaway
May 30: Just Jane 1813/Guest Post & Giveaway
May 31: More Agreeably Engaged/Author Spotlight & Giveaway
Jun 1: So Little Time.../Excerpt Post & Giveaway
Jun 2: Liz's Reading Life/Book Review & Giveaway
Jun 4: Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
Jun 5: My Vices and Weaknesses/Book Review & Giveaway
Jun 6: Savvy Verse and Wit/Guest Post & Giveaway
Jun 7: Margie's Must Reads/Book Review Post & Giveaway
Jun 8: Obsessed With Mr. Darcy/Book Review & Giveaway
Jun 9: My Love for Jane Austen/Excerpt Post & Giveaway
Jun 10: Babblings of a Bookworm/Excerpt Post & Giveaway
Jun 11: Austenesque Reviews/Guest Post & Giveaway



I'd love to see you there and don't forget to enter the giveaway. Grand Prize winner will receive their choice of an autographed print book or digital, two other entrants will win a digital copy of Catherine. Good luck!

Always with love,

FULL COVER REVEAL

Today I received my PDF for the full print cover of Catherine and I just have to share. She's so beautiful and my cover artist, Teresa Sprekelmeyer of Midnight Muse Designs is absolutely FABULOUS! If you love Regency cover art, she's your go-to designer.

Without further ado - my full cover.

I planned on releasing the print edition closer to August, but as long as I limit distribution to Amazon, I can bring the date forward. I want all versions available for my readers, and can't wait to get my hands on an actual copy as well.

Always with love

GOAL OF 50K MET & EXCEEDED

I'm thrilled. Absolutely thrilled to announce that as of this very  minute, CATHERINE is at 54,402 words... and I'm not completely finished. Whoo Hoo!

I'm still fleshing out the final chapters, adding more angst and inner thoughts, but the meat and potatoes are on the page and everything else is all fluff.

At this time, I've set the publication date as May 19.

I chose this date in remembrance of my mother, Marjorie Danielson, who passed away in 2015. Had she survived, May 19, 2018 would have been her 100th birthday. I think it's only fitting to make this an anniversary of sorts. I always wanted to write stories my mother would be proud to read, and CATHERINE definitely meets my criteria for that wish.

I look forward to you reading my book and also I want to hear what you have to say about it.

Until then;

Always with love,

I *heart* DARCY


Why?

Why do women fall in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley? He was proud, arrogant, dismissive of the common folk of Meryton and practically wrinkled his nose in the presence of Mrs. Bennet and her multitude of daughters.

Let's break down his character as Miss Austen presented it. For starters, he's handsome.
Mr. Bingley was good looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien;
Next came the circulated reports of his wealth.
and the report within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentleman pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening,
Oh dear, only half the evening. This doesn't bode well for our intrepid hero.
till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.
He then capped of this stunning first impression to the assembled crowd by insulting one of the Bennet sisters, considered to be a jewel of the county.
'You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,' said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.
'Oh! she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say, very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.'
'Which do you mean?' and turning around, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, 'She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men...'
Wow, he put a cracker in that one, didn't he? So, I ask again. How in the world did such a man earn the readers undying devotion? Stay tuned, we'll look at what has us swooning whenever we hear the name.... Mr. Darcy

Always with love

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #57


Welcome everyone. We had a rough week in the Barr household. Four out of the five of us came down with the flu - HARD. In over three days I lost twelve pounds. Now I truly know where they came up with the saying, 'weak as new born kitten'. I have't been this sick since 1985. I wanted to shed a few pounds before my big class reunion next month, but NOT like this. Anyway, we are all on the mend and can get on with living a joyous life.

This week I'm going to jump ahead a bit. I love Phillip and George, but I want to get into some meatier scenes. In this scene, Kitty has finally become more mobile and is resting in the front parlor. Her mother's sister has come to visit, and gossip. Have tea, and gossip. Eat some cake, and gossip... you get the picture. I hope you enjoy.
Mama and Aunt Philips had spoken of nothing else but Lord George from the minute Aunt walked through the door. How much more could they expound upon his features, his clothing, his manners? 
“Oh sister, he had such an air about him, such a gentleman and he must have a vast fortune. He thought nothing of losing ten pounds - ten pounds - can you imagine?”
“No, indeed I could not.”
“And that’s not all, he made sure our Kitty was looked after and even gave us some of his own laudanum so she would rest easy.”
“Truly a gentleman, we don’t have many of them here, in Meryton.”
“No, we do not. Lady Lucas would like us to believe her family’s all high and mighty, but I remember them from before Sir Lucas was knighted.” Mrs. Bennet shook out her skirt in agitation. “She didn’t have Lucas Lodge back then and it’s not nearly as grand as Longbourn.”

To check out what this weekly blog hop is all about and to find other authors who participate, please click HERE.

Have a wonderful week, and remember to hug someone you love today.

Always, with love,