We have a winner!!

Congratulations from all of us at Peculiar Ramblings to Sylvia Chan, who found the hidden message in our December word search game! (For those of you who are curious, it was “Happy Christmas from us to you”.)  The prize offered was an e-book copy of any book from any of the Peculiar Ramblings authors.  Sylvia chose “Cherished” by Sarah Johnson.

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Excellent choice, Sylvia!

For our January game, we chose a slightly addictive interactive activity.  Four of us spent close to an hour each last night, playing with it.  It was fun, and also challenging at times!  I know you will like it…so watch for the newsletter in a couple weeks so you, too, can win a prize!

 

~Zoe

Facebook Quizzes

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Y’all know them – the quizzes that fill your facebook wall that tell you that your friends perfect love match would be Richard Armatage (duh!!) or that your ideal dog is a labrador. You swear you will never take that quiz, that it would just be a waste of your time. Then the inevitable happens – you find yourself clicking on that link and answering the ridiculous questions that will lead to that enlightening moment when someone gets you! You agonize over the questions, saying to yourself, “Hmmm, if I pick this one I might get ___ for an answer. I don’t think that fits me though. Maybe I should go with this other one? But none of these really are what I would truly say/do.” Finally you choose an answer, it is logged into the system, and it goes on to the next question.

The moment you have been waiting for arrives… the anticipation builds… and then, up pops that you are Jane Eyre. Not Elizabeth Bennet. Not Jo March. Jane Eyre! The one character in historical fiction classic novels that you loathe.

ClassicLitCharacter-2Yup, that is me. I was sucked into the “Which Classic Literature Character Are You?” quiz, and I ended up with Jane Eyre. My mom would be laughing about this – I will have to call her later and tell her. Jane Eyre is her favorite historical novel and we debate it vs Pride & Prejudice all the time. (Amended to say that when I called her she busted out laughing. Glad I could make her evening. lol)

What is even worse is when you read the descriptions given for the character, and it just does not ring true of how you think that character is at all.

You are Jane Eyre! You may appear soft spoken but you are a little firecracker and have a lot to say! You are highly intelligent and would make a very good teacher. You are supportive of the ones you love and want to feel equal to your significant other.

Ok, I will admit, there is a bit of this particular description in me, but is it truly Jane Eyre? I don’t think so. If I am going to hash out the intricacies of a particular character though I would much rather do Jo March…

 

You are Jo March! You have a large group of family and friends and they always come first! You are the leader of the group and you are also very innovative and creative. You are clever and can be quite outspoken. You also love to read or write.

Or Elizabeth Bennet…

You are Lizzie Bennett! One of the strongest females in literature, you stand by your opinions and you are fiercely independent. You have great loyalty towards your family and stand by their side no matter [what]. When you are in love you make sure not to lose your own personality, and you are very wise about who you trust.

And so, for you my wonderful readers, I did a coin toss, and Elizabeth Bennet won. (Sorry Jo March!)

ClassicLitCharacter-3I will take the next few moments to break this description of Elizabeth Bennet down and give my personal opinion. I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.

You are Lizzie Bennett!

OK, stop right there – **sigh** – it should be spelled LizzY (not IE) and BenneT (not TT). Now that we have that out of the way, on with the comments…

One of the strongest females in literature.

I am not sure this is true. I would say she is a timeless character. Maybe this is just a personal opinion of specific word choice. Moving on…

You stand by your opinions and you are fiercely independent.

Sure, I guess you could say she stood by her opinions – at first. But then it is revealed that her opinions are wrong, or rather based on a dodgy person’s words, and her own prejudices against Mr Darcy enlighten her to what her own failures are. Fiercely independent – perhaps. I can give this person that she is not directly dependent upon others much (beyond what is just common for the times). I think this is definitely true of Jane, but we will discuss that next.

You have great loyalty towards your family and stand by their side no matter [what].

The last word in the actual description was “one”, but it is obviously a mistake. So I put what I think it should be here – it makes more sense. Now on to Jane – absolutely she stuck by Jane’s side no matter what. The rest of her family though inspired feelings of embarrassment and regret in her. Her mother was forward and crass at times. Her father was derelict in his duties. Mary was immature and socially awkward. Kitty and Lydia were flirtatious and improper socially. The Gardiners were well-loved and she obviously  respected her aunt’s opinion, but as for the other family, I do not see much loyalty there. Jane is, of course the exception. She is a lovely, polite, sweet individual, and I would say she is easy for Elizabeth to love fiercely.

When you are in love you make sure not to lose your own personality.

I am not certain this is even truly addressed in Pride & Prejudice. It is not so much about this side of what might be her character – it is instead about the pride and prejudices that both she and Mr Darcy have to face to find love. Elizabeth grows significantly in the story. She matures to be the person we can finally see standing up to those in London and being all that Mrs Darcy would entail of her. However, the actual novel ends too early for this particular part to be really answered.

You are very wise about who you trust.

Ok, I must admit that when I read that part I literally laughed out loud. Did this person really even read Pride & Prejudice? Somehow I doubt it if this is what they came away with! The prejudices she has are founded, in part, on the untrustworthy words that she did not take as such, and thus formed an opinion of a gentleman that was heavily skewed from who he truly was.. Now I know Darcy had his own path to changing whatever faults his characters had as well, but since this is about Elizabeth Bennet I feel we must stick with just her here. She was definitely not wise in who she decided to trust. Perhaps in the end she had learned her lesson, but that is difficult to say since we do not have the continuation of this story beyond where Ms Austen decided to end it. It would be an interesting read though if we did. 

So, my friends, what do you think? Let me know your opinions below.

Christmas GIVEAWAY!

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Enter to win one of TWO prizes – FREE EBooks (winner’s choice of any of my titles now available at most major online retailers).

With this being the holiday season, and family coming into town in just a few days, I am trying out Rafflecopter for the first time. Hopefully this works well for y’all. If there is a problem and you cannot enter, please just comment below or email me (sarah.johnson.jaff@gmail.com) and I will enter your name manually.

You can be entered into this giveaway by doing one (or more) of the following:

  • Comment below on this blog post
  • Tweet (once per day) the following message: Christmas Giveaway! Win a FREE EBook by Sarah Johnson! @SarahJohnsonPL
  • Visit my author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahJohnsonAuthor

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Merry Christmas my dear friends and readers!

A Peculiar Ramblings Game: Regency Christmas Hidden Message

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Peculiar Ramblings Games

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Hello readers!  Here is a sweet little puzzle for you.  Fill in the blanks below with the unused letters to find a message from the ladies at Peculiar Ramblings to you! Let us know what the hidden message is, and you will have a special gift from us – your choice of ebook from any of our Peculiar Ramblings authors.

Regency Christmas Hidden Message Word Search

 

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Protected: A Peculiar Ramblings Story – A Christmas Ball at Netherfield

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Peculiar Ramblings Stories

 

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Cupid’s Throes – password is: Cupid

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A Peculiar Ramblings Guest Post – Barbara Silkstone

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Peculiar Ramblings Guest Posts
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Our guest this month in our Peculiar Ramblings newsletter is Barbara Silkstone, and though she is new to the JAFF world, she is not new to the writing world. If you have not read this best-selling author’s stories, I highly recommend them. Her JAFF books – Mr Darcy’s Dogs, and Mr Darcy’s Christmas – are a perfect combination of whit and charm, and she makes it seem as though writing our favorite couple into a modern world is what was always meant to be.
GuestPostBooks-BarbaraSilkstoneIf you want to expand into other fiction, she has a whole list of wonderful stories for you to choose. 

The Wendy Darlin Comedy Mystery series that includes:  
  1. Wendy  and  the  Lost  Boys
  2. London  Broil
  3. Cairo  Caper
  4. Miami  Mummies
  5. Vulgarian Vamp
  6. Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set.
The Romantic Suspense FairyTales series that includes:  
  1. The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters
  2. Wendy and the Lost Boys
  3. Zo White and the Seven Morphs
For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs
True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love InvestigatorAmazon | Blog | Facebook | Facebook (Author page) | Twitter

And now, here is our guest post from Barbara Silkstone.

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Re-Gifting
 
My mother was an ardent re-gifter. As a child I could never savor the joy of opening a Christmas or birthday gift because I knew it would vanish by evening, only to reappear days or weeks later, gifted to a cousin or aunt. I learned that gifts were merely “things” that passed through my hands and went on to others.
 
My vain attempts to hide gifts were always discovered. There are only so many places a child can tuck a china bride doll or a plush white rabbit. My mother would confiscate the object of my affection and place it high in the hall closet shelf where it would be saved until I was “old enough to appreciate it.” I never seemed to reach that magic age of appreciation, but my cousins did. Weeks later I would find the china doll or the plush rabbit staring back at me from some other child’s toy box.
 
At the age of eleven, I helped my aunt inventory a house she purchased in an estate sale. It became the most exciting Saturday of my life. From basement to attic I scampered with my yellow pad inventorying the pieces of someone’s  left-behind life.
 
I discovered an old desk in the attic under an eve. The poor thing was barely able to stand on rotten wooden legs. Ever so gently I opened every drawer hoping for treasure, not monetary, but something that would set right my world. In the back of the bottom drawer I found three small, old, crumbly books. My hands shook with excitement as I read the dates. The books were printed in the late 1800’s.
 
Two of the fragile books were The WORKS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE and contained such chilling classics as THE GOLD-BUG and SOME WORDS WITH A MUMMY. The third book was PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen. My aunt gifted the books to me.
 
I could not hide all three books for very long without discovery and subsequent removal to that unreachable closet shelf. It would break my heart to see them re-gifted. I read Poe’s stories that very night, committing them to memory. The next day I gave the Poe books to my best friend Patricia. I knew she would love and treasure them as much as I did. And she could protect them from the re-gifter.
 
I kept PRIDE AND PREJUDICE hidden under my mattress. Reading and re-reading it, I defied detection for months. And then one day I came home from school and the book was gone. The re-gifter had struck.
 
When I begged for the book to be returned, my mother pronounced it unfit reading for an eleven year old. She told me she would keep it until I was sixteen. That was her way of saying it was on its way to someone else’s hands and I would never see it again. In the coming years I would often borrow a copy from the library, but it was not the same as the intimacy of possessing my own Jane Austen.
 
My dear friend Patricia and I stayed in constant touch as life took me around the world. Decades after I gifted her with the Poe books, Patricia surprised me by re-gifting them to me. As I touched their tattered paperboard covers, I once again felt that surge of excitement for a treasure rediscovered.
 
But where was my dear copy Pride and Prejudice? Had it traveled far? Was someone holding it dear? Was it spending the night in loving hands?
 
My childhood dream had been to write novels. As a single parent I spent years working long hours to support my daughter and did not have the time to write. One day, I could bear it no longer. I began to write with a pent up energy.
 
Writing light comedy novels soon became my world. I took all that had happened to me in a life lived with humor and spun those events into adventures for comedic heroines who feared nothing and laughed at their own foibles. Stretching in a virtual reach for that top shelf in the closet, I recovered some of what I had lost as a child. It is said that most comedy stems from a broken heart and perhaps that is why I write to help fill the cracks in hearts I’ve yet to meet.
 
An online friend Elizabeth Ann West told me of the joy she found in writing Jane Austen variations. I read her novels with amazement. It was as if Pride and Prejudice had continued in a parallel universe.
 
Elizabeth suggested I turn my comedic contemporary voice to the timeless characters of Austen’s novels. At first I doubted I could enter such a respected genre, after all, I wrote comedy, but then so did Jane Austen. Tears filled my eyes as I realized I could rescue Pride and Prejudice from that high-up virtual closet shelf. Darcy and Lizzy could be my fantasy friends, again.
 
Elizabeth Ann West had re-gifted a childhood treasure to me in a most unexpected way, Thank you, Elizabeth.

With love and laughter,

RELEASE Day!!!

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My readers have been very patient, allowing me to finish the already started projects I had in my head before I went back to focus on Leaving Bennet Behind once again. It has now paid off, as those other books are out of the way, and now today Leaving Bennet Behind, Volume 2 – Cherished – is available!

 

I am currently working on setting up account with all the major ebook retailers, so if you will extend your patience just a few more weeks, this and all my books will be available also on Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and Google. I will let you know when those are ready. For now Cherished is available in both ebook and trade paperback on Amazon.

 

Protected: Cupid’s Throes – Prologue

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Cupid's Throes

 

Welcome! You have come across a post that is password protected for one of two reasons –

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Cupid’s Throes – password is: Cupid

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