Notice to Anonymous Commenters:

I have received over 50 emails over the last few days indicating someone is trying to comment on my blog with spam. This is not a new thing, but it has gotten worse this last week. I have anonymous comments blocked for this very reason. So if you are trying to leave me a comment, you must sign in, otherwise the system will do nothing but delete it from my blog. 

I do however love to hear from my readers, so I encourage you to sign in and leave me comments!

Thanks!

PRE-ORDER NEW RELEASE and SAVE: Just to Hear ‘I Love You’

Amazon has begun to really open up many options for self-publishers like me, and one of those options now is to set a book for pre-order! Exciting, isn’t it! So I am trying it out with my next full length novel.

http://smile.amazon.com/Just-Hear-Love-You-Alternate-ebook/dp/B00MWC9370/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1408593983&sr=1-2
But now and save $2 off the purchase price! 
What is this story about, I hear you say? Well, what a great question! Here you go:

Mary Bennet’s life changes forever when a childhood accident leaves her isolated in a silent world. Her sister Elizabeth emerges as her fiercest champion and unstinting protector. When further tragedy befalls Longbourn, Aunt and Uncle Gardiner embrace their orphaned nieces into their London household. Mary and Elizabeth must face the disapprobation of London society as they endure a Season of intense scrutiny. Will Mary’s own dearest wish— just to hear ‘I love you’ —ever come to be, or will her deafness forever consign her to life apart? The sisters must face their past and Mary’s worst critic when another family’s tragedy lands directly on their doorstep. Will they both have the strength to return love from unexpected suitors?

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Just-Hear-Love-You-Alternate-ebook/dp/B00MWC9370/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1408593983&sr=1-2

The Importance of Word Count

So far I have not used this blog for much more than just news of my books and talking about my friends who have also stepped into the world of publishing. However, one of the reasons I wanted to revamp this blog was to add interesting features to it when I found something that caught my attention. Well, tonight something finally did, and since I am up at 1:30 in the morning and unable to sleep (because it is too hot and sticky), I thought I would write about this little tidbit of information I found tonight. 

As any published author will tell you, one cannot get into a tit for tat on Amazon with the reviewers. It is always best to not even engage them in discussion over what they post. Some are fabulous reviews, and I am sure they are all fabulous people as well, but it is just too daunting a task to keep up with, and sometimes even the critical reviews can help you sell your books. So it is always said from others that we should ignore reviews (for the most part). If you don’t have thick skin, or if you are just having an emotional day, you should definitely not read them! 

Well, I was bored tonight, so I figured I would look over the reviews for my newest book, Snow Storms & Kissing Games. So far I have 3 reviews that are 5 star and 4 reviews that are 4 star! Doing pretty good, if I do say so myself! One review in particular caught my eye though. The story is not a full length novel, and I have it described as being a novella, however the reviewer said it is more like the length of a short story. 

And I was off . . .  – off on a search of the internet to find just what is the difference between a short story and a novella.

I have to tell you, there is a ton of information out there on this subject, and of course no two web sites will tell you the same bit of information, so I pulled up page after page and began comparing them. Then general consensus that I found was this list that both the Hugo and the Nebula contest groups go by:

Short story – 7,500 words or less

Novelette – 7,501-17,500 words (many editors simply lump this category into either the short story or the novella groupings)
Novella – 17,501-40,000 words
Novel – 40,001 or more words

Looking at my three published books (so far):

Chosen – obviously it is a novel. It is 86,967 words. (Consequently, Leaving Bennet Behind, the story from which Chosen and the rest of that series will be taken, had a final word count of nearly 300,000 words.)

Captain’s Log is much shorter at 17,001 words. (Hmmm, I wonder if I could have eliminated just one word… ok, my OCD side is coming out a little). I did not know what to categorize it as, so I just said “An Alternate Tale of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice”. It seemed like a safe bet, and it was my first published book so I can claim newbie status on that one. lol. 

Snow Storms & Kissing Games however I categorized as “A Pride & Prejudice Novella Variation”, and it seems I was right because it clocks in at 12,825 words in length. I guess technically it would be a Novelette, but as the list above states, most people group them in with either short stories or novellas. Obviously I went with the latter. 

So there you have it – a breakdown of just why word count matters. Was this fascinating to anyone, or am I the only one that gets giddy over things like this?







New Author: Zoe Burton

I am excited to introduce you all to my friend, Zoe Burton. I will leave the particular of who she is up for a later post (maybe she will do a guest post at some time), so for now I just wanted to introduce you to her first NEW RELEASE, a Pride and Prejudice novella variation called – I Promise To…

http://smile.amazon.com/I-Promise-Zoe-Burton-ebook/dp/B00MOZDMNQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408157596&sr=8-1&keywords=zoe+burton

In this ‘Pride and Prejudice’ novella, Elizabeth Bennet has known Fitzwilliam Darcy since both were very young. When she flees Longbourn and an unwanted suitor, her uncle and his father arrange a marriage between the two. Will Lizzy and Fitzwilliam agree to such a marriage? Will it keep her safe from a Peer who is determined to have her? Will this young couple be able to keep the promises they have made to each other?

This & That & a Review!

Life has been so busy lately that I find every turn and change brings more. I was supposed to be visiting a friend in another state this week, but we had some issues with our truck. Hubby has those fixed now, so instead, the kids and I are going to do a three day ‘staycation’ here locally where we can swim all day and cuddle the cutest niece ever – mine! (My brother has a pool – yay!!!)

So, while life is in an uproar, I love to pick up a short story and be able to sit down and read! Don’t you? Well, when my friend Rose Fairbanks decided to publish her first novella, I told her I would read it and give a review on my blog. So, we now join back up with her Impertinent Morning Calls blog tour for my review of the story ‘The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter’.

Story Blurb:

 

When Fitzwilliam Darcy visits Hyde Park with his sister, he expects nothing more than a quiet walk on a fine day.  Instead, he meets a young woman who challenges his ideas and pulls his sister out of her melancholy.  He soon realizes Elizabeth Bennet is the only woman in the world with whom he could spend the rest of his life.

Elizabeth, clever and self-assured, refuses to change for the sake of gaining a husband, a prospect she finds impossible regardless. With wit and independence rather than fortune, she is entirely convinced no sensible man would have her, and she cannot respect a fool. Can Darcy prove to be this impossible man? Or is a figure from his past an insurmountable obstacle to a future with The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter?

Overall, the one word I would use to sum up this entire story is: sweet. Not too syrupy, not too bitter – just sweet! Like the perfect drop of honey in a cup of warm tea.

I enjoyed the banter, the instant connection, and the small story plot. For a longer story, I would have liked to see how it developed a little more, but for the short novella that it was, I liked it. I am all for the instant connection of ODC – just call me a relationship angst weenie! 

One of my favorite lines that pretty much sums up the title is this:

 “I dare not call impertinent what is charming outspokenness of a sound mind.” 

What lady wouldn’t want a gentleman to find the fault in her character to be charming instead? 

**happy sigh** 

I have to say, that part reminded me of my hubby. He always tells me things like that, or says he likes to rile me up cause he thinks I am beautiful when I am mad. I don’t get it. The Darcy in this story though reminded me a lot of my own hubby.

I would give this one 4 stars. If you are looking for a lot of action, intense plot twists, or a deep story, this one might not be too much to your liking. While not what I would call a thrilling page turner, it is still a sweet story and one I will pick up over and over again when I want to tune out the world around me and read something low angst and happy right from the start.



NOW AVAILABLE! ‘Snow Storms & Kissing Games’

 

 My newest book is out!  

‘Snow Storms and Kissing Games’ is a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ novella variation and is now available in convenient Kindle eBook format, or you can get it in trade paperback! (I love the feel of a book in my hands – **happy sigh**). (Sorry, no other digital formats available at this time – maybe in the future though.)

TO PURCHASE:

CLICK HERE to purchase on Amazon

 

About ‘Snow Storms and Kissing Games’:

A sudden and fierce snow storm causes Elizabeth, Jane, and Lydia Bennet, as well as their would-be rescuers, Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley, to take shelter in an empty cabin. Lydia’s suggestion to pass the time with games might be just what Bingley needs to prove Jane truly cares for him.

 

Will Elizabeth’s prejudices of Mr Darcy hold up under the scrutiny of being stranded with him? What changes could possible come from the effects of ‘Snow Storms and Kissing Games‘? 

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Captains-Log-Sarah-Johnson-ebook/dp/B00JJWBZL8/ref=pd_sim_kstore_33?ie=UTF8&refRID=174TWM8F6B73EWY5GDH5http://smile.amazon.com/Chosen-Leaving-Bennet-Behind-Book-ebook/dp/B00K5QG4HC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406961644&sr=8-1&keywords=sarah+johnson+chosen

Also check out my other books – marked down now for a summer sale!

Blog Tour: ‘Impertinent Morning Calls’


I am so excited to be able to get this blog tour started for my good friend Rose Fairbanks! I am still reading this one (sick baby put my plans to a halt to have it completed before now), but I love it so far. Hopefully I will be able to finish it and give you a proper review at the end of this blog tour.

If you do not know about our dear author, Rose Fairbanks, she has a blog – The Darcy Obsession – and she posts her stories on several of the JAFF forums, and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Here is her bio:

 


Rose Fairbanks fell in love with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy 11 years ago.  Coincidentally, or perhaps not, she also met her real life Mr. Darcy 11 years ago.  They had their series of missteps, just like Elizabeth and Darcy, but are now teaching the admiring multitude what happiness in marriage really looks like and have been blessed with two children, a 3 year old son and a one year old daughter.
Previously rereading her favorite Austen novels several times a year, Rose discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction due to pregnancy-induced insomnia. Several months later she began writing. The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter is her first published work.





Rose has a degree in history and hopes to one day finish her PhD in Modern Europe and will focus on the Regency Era in Great Britain.  For now, she gets to satiate her love of research, Pride and Prejudice, reading and writing….and the only thing she has to sacrifice is sleep! She proudly admits to her Darcy obsession, addictions to reading, chocolate and sweet tea, is always in the mood for a good debate and dearly loves to laugh.

 

I have been able to become good friends with Rose over this last year, and I just love that she is stepping out into the world of self-publishing. Her writing is appealing and her love of history shines through. I can’t wait til she gets a longer book out there as well! 

Well, I know you want to know more about this story, so below I will put the book synopsis, and then we will get on to the story excerpts. Our dear author wanted to include two excerpts for your pleasure today, both that display Darcy and Elizabeth crossing wits a bit. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!  

Story Blurb:

When Fitzwilliam Darcy visits Hyde Park with his sister, he expects nothing more than a quiet walk on a fine day.  Instead, he meets a young woman who challenges his ideas and pulls his sister out of her melancholy.  He soon realizes Elizabeth Bennet is the only woman in the world with whom he could spend the rest of his life.

Elizabeth, clever and self-assured, refuses to change for the sake of gaining a husband, a prospect she finds impossible regardless. With wit and independence rather than fortune, she is entirely convinced no sensible man would have her, and she cannot respect a fool. Can Darcy prove to be this impossible man? Or is a figure from his past an insurmountable obstacle to a future with The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter?


 

This scene takes place at Darcy’s house in town. Shortly after making their acquaintance Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth are invited to dinner by Georgiana.

 

In the time before dinner Darcy found the Gardiners very fashionable and pleasing company. During dinner Darcy wanted to hear more of Elizabeth’s astute thoughts on class and tried to introduce the topic.

“It has truly been a pleasure making your acquaintance Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. I have long enjoyed your well known tea and believe you are acquainted with some friends of mine, Mr. and Mrs. Horace Blythe, as well as Mr. Henry Scott. Along with Mr. Bingley, these are my closest friends.”

 

“Oh, yes, very fine company indeed!” Mr. Gardiner confirmed the acquaintance. “I must say, Mr. Darcy you surprise me with the company you keep. I would have expected your acquaintances to be made up of more peers than tradesmen given your lineage.”

 

“I find too much is made of birth. Education guides one’s behaviour, not so called breeding. In my formal education I found tradesmen were not only just as capable of learning the strictures of society but they could frequently afford the cost of the institutes more easily than peers.”

 

Darcy thought he had done quite well and expected a favourable response from Elizabeth. He was surprised to hear instead: “Ah, so you value wealth over birth then, Mr. Darcy? How very liberal of you. Perhaps one day a person may be judged on their worthiness by their wealth and thus be invited to the first circles of society by their monetary accomplishments and not merely by their birth. For why should we hope to be judged by our character?”

 

Have I insulted her? She has twisted my words! Darcy had placed first in debate during his time at Cambridge so instead of giving into alarm he calmly clarified. “You mistake me Miss Bennet. Many of the peers have lost their wealth and are impoverished by their own licentious practices such as gambling and that, as much as the hard work and financial diligence of many in the merchant class, proves the general character of each.”

 

Before Elizabeth could reply Mr. Gardiner nervously intervened. “I fear you are in danger of becoming a casualty of my niece’s debating skills, Mr. Darcy.”

 

Slightly embarrassed, Elizabeth defended herself. “I was taught by my father to sometimes make arguments that are not my own and to wilfully misunderstand for the sake of debate. I pray you forgive me for my impertinence. I meant no offence.”

 

“No forgiveness is necessary, Miss Bennet. I dare not call impertinent what is charming outspokenness of a sound mind. I am guilty of the same for a debate.” He gave her an earnest look and friendly smile.

 

Elizabeth blushed, “You are too kind, Mr. Darcy. I know my thoughts are not always welcome and I shall take care to check my tongue.”

 

“Pray, I always wish you to speak your mind to me and your thoughts are always welcome. There is a sweetness about you that cannot be mistaken for a caustic tongue.” 

 

This scene takes place after dinner. Darcy takes his guests on a tour of the house and while looking at the library Elizabeth expresses a wish to read a book on a certain agricultural method. Darcy retrieved it from his private study.

 

 

Upon returning he asked, “Are you very familiar with agricultural practices and theories?”

“Nearly as much as my father, I confess. You will not think me very accomplished, but I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a curiosity on nearly all topics. Much to my mother’s chagrin, I cannot be occupied by the pursuit of ribbons, lace or embroidery for any length of time at all.”

“I would rather Georgiana have a more substantial accomplishment than most ladies, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

“And I suppose most ladies of your acquaintance can claim a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing and the modern languages and she possesses a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions? Pray, how many truly accomplished young ladies do you know?”  

Elizabeth recalled a list of accomplishments recited by Miss Bingley during her stay at Netherfield. Elizabeth firmly believed these ridiculous standards for measuring a woman’s worth.

“I cannot boast to knowing more than half-a-dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished.” Darcy could easily see Elizabeth felt her list of accomplishments as absurd and believed she understood he referenced his own statement.

“I rather wonder at you knowing any,” Elizabeth said sharply.

“Are you so severe upon your own sex as to doubt the possibility of all this?” Darcy was incredulous and stared at her in disbelief. She confessed to being a great reader only moments ago!

Elizabeth attempted to encourage the debate. “I never saw such a woman. I never saw such capacity, and taste, and application, and elegance, as you describe united.”

Realizing she was intentionally twisting his words Darcy happily clarified. “Ah, but you are the one who made the other list, mine was only of extensive reading. Allow me to add I appreciate a fine voice and skill on the pianoforte.”  

Dropping his voice to a whisper he boldly stated, “I assure you Miss Bennet, I indeed know at least one truly accomplished young lady, though I must admit the acquaintance is only of a matter of hours.” There! Let us see if you can wilfully misunderstand that, Miss Bennet!

**sigh**  That happens to be one of my favorite scenes from this story! Somehow I have a feeling ODC will bet getting together pretty quickly here! 

If you want to purchase this book, Rose is selling it in Kindle Ebook or Trade Paperback – both available through Amazon. Click the picture below and it will take you right to Amazon where you can purchase this wonderful story!

http://smile.amazon.com/Gentlemans-Impertinent-Daughter-Rose-Fairbanks-ebook/dp/B00LW2SK6Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406731830&sr=8-1&keywords=rose+fairbanks+gentlemans+impertinent+daughter

 

Those Long-Awaited Words: ‘The End’

As a writer, I really love to read those words – ‘The End’.

As a reader, not so much. I want the lives of the characters I am invested in to continue on. I want to peek into what is around the next corner for them. I am not one for epilogues months or years after the end of the story, though. 

Am I odd? What do you prefer as a reader? Once the story is completed, do you want to hear how many children they had, or how long they lived happily ever after? Or do you, like me, prefer to just be left to imagine what it could possibly be for them?

Well, as it turns out, I was able to write the words ‘The End’ on my current story just last night! How awesome is that? What a feeling – what a rush! **I think I am going to be sick**

Just to Hear ‘I Love You’ is finally complete…in as much as a story can ever be complete. It still requires edits, by me, my beta team, and me again. But I was able to write those words ‘The End’ last night on this one!  

The road never ends though. Once I am completely finished with this one and have put it behind me, I can get back into the character’s heads of Leaving Bennet Behind. I am hoping to have book 2 of the series ready to publish by the end of the year. We will see how real life goes, as there will probably be a few big things in my life (like moving) between now and then. My goal is to have it published for the Christmas season though.

Let me know your thoughts on epilogues – should they be included or not?

An Interview and Giveaway ~ And more…

Janet, over at More Agreeably Engaged, has featured an interview and giveaway of ‘Chosen’. Check it out, leave a comment, and be entered! 

 

And in other news, I am posting my newest story…

on three of the JAFF forums right now. We are 7 chapter in, and it is just starting to get really good! I would love to hear your comments about this one. Please visit the following forums to read it:

DarcyandLizzy.com

A Happy Assembly

Beyond Austen

 

(If you are not a part of these communities, I urge you to sign up…it is free, and there are a bunch of wonderful stories posted on all of them, as well as a great group of people who love Jane Austen to hang out with! Check them out!)

Another Giveaway hosted by ‘The Darcy Obsession’

Hi everyone! Just a short little note to tell you that my friend Rose over at ‘The Darcy Obsession’ has posted an excerpt and is having a giveaway for ‘Chosen’. If you are interested in being in the drawing, run on over there and leave a comment.

Thanks!