I’m Back!!

I know it’s been a long time since I have been active in the writing world. Some of you will be happy to know that I am now back to focusing on writing a little more. Life has been crazy this last year with loads of changes, including moving back to TN. We are now settled (as settled as we can be with rooms being built in the basement for the teenagers…lol) and while the kiddos are on summer break I can focus more on my writing. So keep your eyes open for giveaways, sneak peeks, and sales!



Giveaway WINNERS!!!

Sorry about the delay in getting these winners chosen – life was just not conducive to working yesterday with doctor appointments and kids. I am back at it today though, and my first job is to get this taken care of!

To all those who entered through the blog post, twitter, or on fb, I just want to say thank you! I had 58 entries! That just blows my mind.

And now, without further ado, here are the winners of Cupid’s Traps: A Matchmaker’s Tale:



I will be contacting each of you through the email you used when you signed up for the giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Again, THANK YOU to all who entered! I love to give away things, especially randomly on facebook, so if we are not friends there, feel free to add me. (Sarah Johnson Author)

Blog Tour: L.L. Diamond, An Unwavering Trust



I am so excited to be a part of my friend Leslie L Diamond’s blog tour for her newest book, An Unwavering Trust. I have not read it yet, but this one is on my list to read very soon!

And now, a post from Leslie about the inspiration estate that makes its appearance in her book, An Unwavering Trust.


11281819_448846031951758_933692877_nInspiration for Sagemore

Thanks, Sarah for having me today! I’m so excited to share with everyone a little of how I was inspired for Darcy’s estate Sagemore in my new book!

I first came up with the initial tidbits that began An Unwavering Trust while writing A Matter of Chance. It was a bit different in the initial plot bunny, but several plot points remained essentially the same including the fact that I needed Darcy to have an estate of his own.

Initially, I had planned an estate in Scotland, but I changed my mind for several reasons. Yes, it was easy to marry in Scotland with few impediments, but I decided I wanted some sort of family around our dear couple as they begin to find their way and Scotland would have likely been construed as an elopement, which was not as respected as a wedding with family in attendance.

I also saw pictures of my inspiration for Darcy’s estate and fell in love.

Now, if I had the millions of pounds (almost £8 million pounds if I remember correctly), I would have sprinted across the Atlantic (I was still living in Omaha, Nebraska at the time.) and bought the house. The entire setting and atmosphere appealed to me. The house sits on five acres on an island in the Thames for goodness sakes!

For those unfamiliar with the house, it lies just outside of the small town of Sonning Eye, and depending upon the source, either in Oxfordshire or northern Berkshire (I used Oxfordshire in the story). The original structure was built in the 17th century (1628) and was remodeled in the 18th century when it was given a Georgian façade.

I searched the Mill House at Sonning Eye or Aberlash house repeatedly and just marveled at the island, the picturesque bridge crossing to the mainland, and the landscaping. It is a lovely spot! I wish I could find the source that mentioned the Magnolia trees lining a part of the drive. Magnolias were still relatively new to England in 1811, but I still used the reference.

“As they both donned their gloves, the stones of the bridge rattled against the hard wheels of the carriage, and she shifted to the side so she could see the Magnolia trees lining the road.

When they first travelled to Sagemore, the Magnolias had fascinated her. She had never seen one until that day, and she had walked amongst them, studying the dark, waxy leaves and brilliant white flowers larger than her own hand.”

The house was originally owned by the Rich family, who were wealthy London merchants and money lenders. In 1797, the home was sold to a miller from Berkshire by the name of Thomas May for his third son. The property has changed hands many times over the almost four hundred years of its existence.

The latest owners are none other than George Clooney and his new wife. I suppose that means I have good taste. 😉 As my mother always joked, I have always had champagne taste on a beer income!


Thank you Leslie for joining us here today, and here are the links where you can get this book, An Unwavering Trust, in Print and eBook format:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Kobo | iTunes | CreateSpace



Sources and for more information and pictures:

Peculiar Ramblings Guest Post: Melanie Schertz – The Good, the Bad, and the Really Disturbing

Melanie Schertz is a retired crime scene/lab technician who now spends time reading Pride and Prejudice variations, making jewelry, and most importantly, spending time with her children and grandchildren, as well as her dog, Mr Darcy, and her cat, Lizzy. Mr Darcy is being trained as a mobility assistance service dog.

Melanie has published nineteen Pride and Prejudice variation books, and all can be found on Amazon. Her blog is: http://melschertz.com



The Good, The Bad, and the Really Disturbing
By Melanie Schertz

It is easy to see the villains in most of Austen’s stories.  Many of them are so obvious, it is almost like a neon light above their heads which reads “BAD NEWS”.

We look at Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility.  He is the sort to live in the moment, have all the fun he can, and place blame on everyone but himself.  He got a girl pregnant, and rather than admit he made a mistake, he blames his sudden removal from Marianne to be due to his aunt’s decision to bless someone else with the living he thought he would inherit.  He placed Marianne’s reputation in jeopardy due to his “party boy” behavior, with no concern for her, which is clear when he runs off, not explaining anything to her.  Had he told her that he could not marry her, due to financial difficulties, and that he had to marry someone else for wealth, Marianne would have been able to move forward.  But then he would have had to deal with reality. And reality is not fun at times.  He is sort of an obvious bad guy who is so good, you love to hate him.

In Persuasion, there are so many “bad guys”, mainly in Anne Elliot’s family and her mother’s friend, Lady Russell.  They place Anne in a position of inferiority, and demand that she must wait on them and take care of their needs above her own.  I, for one, wanted to smack Anne’s father and her sisters, especially Mary.  Boo hoo, pity party, when their bad behavior is what put them into the position which Anne was expected to fix for them.  No one in her family wants Anne to find a life of her own, and especially do not want her to be happy.  If Anne were happily married and living her own life, it would take away from what she could do for them.  And Lady Russell is a snob, pure and simple.

Mansfield Park shows us the evil siblings who come to visit the neighborhood.  My favorite part is when Mary Crawford blames Fanny Price for Mary’s brother, Henry, running off with Fanny’s married cousin, Maria Rushworth.  According to Mary Crawford, had Fanny given Henry the encouragement he wanted, and accepted his offer of marriage, Henry would never have run off with a married woman.  Yet he had had an ongoing “relationship” with Maria even before she married Mr Rushworth.  The sort of young man he was, flirting with an engaged woman under the nose of her family and her intended, tells me that, even if Fanny had married him, Henry would not have kept himself faithful to her.  But it is Fanny’s fault for not putting herself in such a marriage.  I can understand that…NOT!  Maria Rushworth and Henry Crawford deserve each other, leave Fanny alone.

And now, let’s look at my personal favorite, Pride and Prejudice.  You have so many “baddies” to deal with in this story.  You have the obvious baddies, such as Caroline Bingley, Mr Collins, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.  Then you have the sneaky baddie in George Wickham.  Wickham, to me, is the sort who is most disturbing.  He is a manipulator, cool and suave, knowing just how to turn someone’s opinion to his favor.  He is the sort who could sell sand to a camel (or as I like to say, the stereotypical used car salesman).  Wickham is able to use your feelings against you, and that is disturbing in my book.  Mr Collins is obviously a stupid, greasy, toady, and we can’t help but hate him and his boot licking attitude.  Lady Catherine is obnoxious and overbearing, and again, easy to dislike.  And yes, Caroline Bingley is easy to dislike, yet, of the group, she is easy to understand, due to her mindset.  It is easy to look at someone who, like many at the time in history, were looking to improve their lives and escape their lower beginnings.  Who wouldn’t want security and respect?  Caroline wanted both in the package of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy.  And though I don’t like her, I can understand why she can be a baddie.

So, out of all the baddies I have listed, I would have to give the April Fools award for most disturbing and devious baddie would have to go to…. (drumroll please)… George Wickham.  His prize is a one way trip to France during the war (Australia is too good for him).


New Author Leenie Brown!

I remember it well the night I first met the now famous Leenie Brown. It was a dark and stormy night…


Ok, so maybe it wasn’t so dramatic as that. I don’t remember the exact night we met, but it was one evening when something drew us both to Chat on the A Happy Assembly board. We hit it off from the start though, and have since formed a great friendship – I would even call her one of my best friends, even though we have never actually met.


It is such a wonderful moment for me now to introduce you to Ms Eileen Brown, or as she will soon be better known – Leenie Brown, Author!!




I have had to privilege these last seven months to have Eileen as one of the five contributing members of the Peculiar Ramblings Newsletter. She is a true gem with her pen, as well as her spatula, and likes to whip up the recipes we feature just to test them out before they go out to our public every month.


It is a great honour to now call her a published author! Her first book, Oxford Cottage, is a wonderful tale of our favorite Pride & Prejudice characters, told in a unique and fascinating variation from the original.



On a rainy day in April, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley stop to ask a gentleman for directions to Netherfield since the ones they have been given appear to be faulty. At the gentleman’s insistence Darcy and his friend seek refuge from the rain at a nearby cottage. The young woman who greets them captivates Darcy with both her beauty and character. Elizabeth Bennet possesses a quick mind and a determined spirit. She is resolved to complete the challenge her father has set before her at Oxford Cottage. However, she does not expect to be met by a handsome stranger and fall in love, nor does she expect to find herself thrust into a situation where her quick thinking may be all that can keep both herself and her young companion safe.

Doesn’t that sound like such a fabulous story? It is – believe me, this is one you will read over and over again!


You can purchase this one in either Trade Paperback or EBook format on Amazon and Kobo.


And I have one more morsel for those who have read this far down this blog post already – The FIRST person to comment below, or tell me on Facebook or Twitter, the answer to the following question, I will gift you an ebook copy of this new book through Amazon.

What is Eileen’s favorite flower?


First to answer correctly wins!!

**A winner has been chosen!  Congratulations, Tina for guessing the correct flower!**

Protected: A Peculiar Ramblings Story: A Music Room Meeting


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

1. This is a story I am currently posting privately.

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Cupid’s Throes – password is: Cupid

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A Peculiar Ramblings Game: The Season in Regency England

Hello everyone! Our theme this month is the Season, so I have put together a quick little game to quiz your knowledge. I hope you enjoy it! Click the green “play” button below: