Tag Archives: Elizabeth

Half-priced chocolates and FREE reads!

Do not be downhearted concerning the passing of Single Awareness Day, gentle readers, for Laura Hile and I still have goodies for you!

Mercys - Admiral (15)

The first book in Laura’s very lovely Mercy’s Embrace series, So Rough a Course, is still FREE today, and the other two books in the series are $1.99 each. If you have yet to download this wonderful series of hope for thirty-something single women everywhere, run to Amazon and do it now!

AY promo

The first book in my Regency/Modern Time Swap romance, Accidentally Yours, Yours by Design, Book 1 will be FREE through tomorrow, and the rest of the series is priced at 99 cents each.

What could be better than Darcy? Well, two Darcys, of course!

Single Awareness DaySingle Awareness

So, my dears, treat yourself to half-priced chocolate while you read our gifts to you.

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FREE Understanding Elizabeth

My latest novel, Understanding Elizabeth, is on Book Bub today!

I have never been good at keeping my feelings to myself, so I’m going to FREELY admit that I’m VERY excited about being on Book Bub. I tried years ago to promote my books with them, but I wasn’t accepted. For me, this is a milestone.

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The giveaway is for Amazon Kindle only, but if you don’t own a Kindle, that’s not a problem. I downloaded the Kindle app for FREE to my phone. Now I have several thousand books at my disposal wherever I am.

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Stuck standing in line? I whip out my phone, go to the app, and read. Waiting at the doctor’s office? I actually like it. Stuck in traffic? It doesn’t bother me.

And – because I love you all so much, and I’m just that kind of person (Ha!) – I’ve lowered the prices of ALL of my books to $1.99 for the two day sale. Even A Very Austen Christmas is $1.99 for two days!

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So, hurry over to Amazon and download some enjoyment for those times you’re sitting somewhere bored to death. You won’t regret it.

Here’s a little secret: If you already have the book, you can “gift” it to a friend for FREE!

More to Love

Excerpt from my new WIP

Elizabeth sat alone, smiling as she watched the couples dancing gracefully around the floor. Occasionally, she nibbled at the cooky she held, taking comfort in the richness of the sweet almond confection. As she was a great favourite of Longbourn’s cook, Mrs. Bailey, who had learned the recipes for several types of cookies while a young woman in America, Elizabeth was never without several of the tasty morsels in her reticule. Mrs. Bailey kept her well-supplied.

Toni Collette in 1996 version of Emma

The lady is pleasantly plump, not hugely overweight. I’m seeing this body size as my Elizabeth in More to Love.

Knowing her mother would disapprove of her eating while she waited for an invitation to dance, Elizabeth practiced her usual ruse. She hid the jumble in her embroidered handkerchief, careful to let no one see it. In any case, she was rarely asked to dance, cooky or not, as there were always more ladies than gentlemen at Meryton’s Assemblies. This night had been no exception. She had danced only one set.

Her sister Jane’s amiable partner for an earlier dance, Mr. Bingley, stood fairly close to Elizabeth, chatting with a handsome, austere man. Mr. Bingley’s voice carried over the music and gaiety, impossible to ignore.

“Darcy! Why are you standing here with your arms folded when there are so many uncommonly pretty girls lacking dance partners? You should not keep yourself apart from the company in such a stupid manner when lovely young women are seated and gentlemen are scarce. ’Tis rudeness itself. I must have you dance.”

“I certainly shall not,” answered the gentleman, drawing himself up to his full, intimidating height, looking down his nose at his friend. “You have been dancing with the only handsome girl in the room, and your sisters are engaged at present.”

Bingley’s voice softened. “She is an angel, is she not? The most beautiful creature I ever beheld.” He sighed. “However, there are plenty of suitable young ladies who are available.”

Elizabeth smiled upon hearing his praise of her sister. His pleasant manner and good sense caused him to rise several notches in her estimation.

The young man continued, “Look! There is her sister, and she has a very pretty face, too. I daresay she is most agreeable. You must ask her to dance. Allow me to ask my partner to introduce you.”

She felt the weight of the gentleman’s disapproving stare and glanced away.

“She is tolerable, I suppose, but there is rather too much of her to tempt me. Return to Miss Bennet and bask in her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.”

Elizabeth’s eyes filled with unshed tears as she crushed the cooky hidden in her handkerchief. While she had never been obsessed with her looks in the way her younger sisters were, she always took pride in her appearance. Her father had often complimented her beautiful skin and her lustrous, thick hair, while her mother made sure her bonnets and dresses were stylish.

Even so, she grudgingly acknowledged to herself that she had been avoiding mirrors for at least two years now, and lately, her gowns had become uncomfortably snug.

True or not, his comments wounded her deeply. Though she was well-known for her intelligence and quick wit, she yearned to be told she was altogether lovely. She had many friends, but she feared that being bright and cheerful with a pretty face described a governess or a lady’s companion, and she did not aspire to those vocations.

Secretly, Elizabeth wished to be the wife of a gentleman who adored her, as well as a mother to children she would love, regardless of their outward features. She prided herself on valuing the characters of her friends and relatives rather than their physical attributes.

Too be judged so harshly by a person she had never met was disconcerting. Her view of the world and her place in it was shaken.

In the moment the haughty gentleman had declared her to be “too much,” she had become, to herself, “not enough.” Not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not tempting enough.

Mr. Bingley, sweet man, would not agree with his friend. “How can you say that, Darcy? She has a perfect complexion, beautiful eyes, and dainty hands which are lovely. Her entire face is alight when she smiles, and I have also observed how graceful she is when she walks. Surely you have noticed that.”

Thomas Beaudoin

Thomas Beaudoin is my model for Darcy. My husband cannot object. He always wants to watch Hallmark movies, and Mr. Beaudoin starred in a new one – Love on the Slopes. I’d love to have his face on a cover.

Darcy snorted. “I have. Who could miss it? She approaches the refreshment table every half hour, and she is sorely mistaken if she thinks her handkerchief hides what she is constantly eating. Bingley, I am not in humour to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men, especially when that slighting is so obviously justified in this case by the lady’s lack of discipline.”

His companion rather testily replied, “I would not be as fastidious as you for a kingdom. You are determined to be disagreeable, so I will leave you to it. Furthermore, I shall dare your disapproval and ask her myself.”

Elizabeth hardly ever allowed herself to dislike people she had never met, but she was willing to make an exception for tall, dark, brooding Mr. Darcy.  Upon further reflection, she was somewhat surprised to realize she truly despised him, despite his unusual beauty and aristocratic profile, which was most unusual for her. She had never met the gentleman, yet she could hardly stand the sight of him. Odd, for she was generally accepting of everyone.

Seeing Mr. Bingley approaching her, she stuffed the handkerchief into her reticule and placed it under her chair. Her determined attempt at a pleasant countenance was successful.

A moment later, Mr. Bingley appeared before her, bowed, and extended his hand with a smile and a request.

Elizabeth stood and placed her hand in his, determined not to disgrace herself. She held her head high and fixed a smile upon her face, allowing her brilliant, green eyes to sparkle with mischief as he escorted her past Mr. Darcy onto the dance floor.

As she and Mr. Bingley moved through the steps, she glimpsed Mr. Darcy watching them several times, an inscrutable expression on his striking face.

Assuming that he looked at her only to find fault, her active mind formed a scheme, and she could hardly wait to set it in motion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you think? Have you ever been judged harshly concerning your physical appearance? I have, so I have years of material to access in this story. My sister Gayle gave me this idea, and she will have much to contribute.

You can read future posts at Beyond Austen, where you can read works in progress by some of your favorite Austenesque authors. Leave a comment for the authors. Sometimes our readers influence our stories.

Thomas Beaudoin curly hair

The actress in the picture is Toni Collette who played the part of Harriet Smith in the 1996 version of Emma.

And just in case you didn’t notice my Darcy model earlier in the post, here he is again, Mr. Thomas Beaudoin.

Quotable Pride and Prejudice Winners

Congratulations!

Answers to Pride and Prejudice quote questions:

    1. Jane Austen (the first line in the book)
    2. Elizabeth
    3. Mr. Bennet
    4. Elizabeth to Mrs. Gardiner – Exact quote: “What are men to rocks and mountains?”
    5. Elizabeth
    6. Elizabeth
    7. Darcy
    8. Darcy; 8. Mrs. Bennet
    9. Darcy
    10. Darcy
    11. Darcy
    12. Darcy
    13. Darcy
    14. Darcy
    15. Darcy

Every entrant missed at least one. Sometimes it was a case of too much information. For example: (4) Elizabeth did ask, “What are men to rocks and mountains,” but it was at the Gardiners’ house in Cheapside, not in Derbyshire. Also, “young men” is not in the original. I think it’s quite easy to mistake dialog in the film version for dialog in the book.

Mr. Bennet asked,”For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and to laugh at them in our turn?

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Since no one answered all the quotes correctly, I have decided to give prizes to all three entrants. You may choose ebook copies of the entire Yours by Design series, ebook copies of the entire Guardian Trilogy, or an ebook of Understanding Elizabeth when it is published.

Please contact me with your choices and email addresses. You may message me on Facebook.

Southern Fried Austen

Easy

Lizzy came out of the dressing room in her competition swimsuit and took her stance in front of Darcy and Georgia. When the Darcys began to applaud, it caught Jane’s and Charlie’s attention. They hot-footed it over to watch.

Jane: Lawd, Lizzy! You look so fine you’re makin’ my liver quiver and my bladder splatter.

Georgia: My goodness! I’m sorry you’re sick. There’s a bathroom in the back.

Lizzy: She’s fine, Georgie. She’s just surprised that the swimsuit is so flatterin’. I think it might be the color. How’d you come up with this color for me? I’ve never even thought of wearin’ orange. Daddy wouldn’t like it.Easy as pie

Jane: Charlie told me that Georgie picked out all your clothes to complement your skin tone and hair color.  Was it hard to do, Georgie?

Georgia: Not at all. Lizzy has an exotic look with that olive skin and dark, curly hair. I put her in island colors.

Lizzy: I guess since fashion is your thing, it’s a bird’s nest on the ground.

Georgia: Huh?

Darcy: It was easy for you since it wasn’t your first rodeo.

Georgia: I’ve never been to a rodeo.

Charlie: But you have picked out clothes. This wasn’t the first time you’d ever done it.

Lizzy: I thought you were born in Georgia and grew up here in South Carolina.

Easy as falling off a log

Georgia: That’s right, but I boarded at a private high school in northern Virginia and then majored in fashion design at a college in New York.

Lizzy: How did you end up back here in South Carolina?

Georgia: I missed my family, and I wanted to come home.  Daddy built me a studio, so I’m developing my own line. “Georgie Girl.”  Several New York houses are very interested in my designs.

Darcy: Georgie is considerin’ workin’ here at CW’s as a fashion consultant.

Georgia: The more time I spend with Lizzy and Jane, the more I want to work with them. Can I choose my clientele?

Darcy: Certainly, if that’s what you want to do. We can leave your business cards at the register, and girls who want your services can contact you directly. You’re welcome to meet them here to help them choose clothes. We’ll pay you a commission on what you sell from CW’s, and you can set your own fee with your clients. I’ll help you set up a consulting business.

Lizzy: That was as easy as fallin’ off a log.

Charlie: A piece of cake.

Jane: Georgie could do that with her eyes shut.

Georgia: It’s a snap for me. A breeze. A cinch.

Darcy: Like takin’ candy from a baby.

Easy as 1 2 3

Lizzy: Have you ever taken candy from a baby?

Darcy: Can’t say as I have.

Lizzy: I tried it out when Lydia was a toddler. Not easy. But she was a five pound Robin.

Darcy: Huh?

Georgie: Huh?

Jane: She was pleasingly plump.

Fat as

Lizzy: (snorting) She was more than plump. Until she turned fifteen and lost fifty pounds, bein’ cremated was her last hope for a smokin’ hot body. She and Little Debbie were on a first-name basis. You know why Little Debbie’s face is on the box but not her body?

Little Debbie

Darcy: No, but I’m sure it’ll be fascinatin’. Go for it.

Lizzy: It was the only part of her that would fit in that little space.

Georgie: You two are precious. I’m taking notes.

Darcy: There’ll be a test later, but you won’t have to study. After all, this isn’t rocket science. Lovin’ Lizzy is easy.

Lizzy: Lovin’ you is the easiest thing I’ve ever done. You can take that to the bank.

Georgie: Huh?

Darcy: If it isn’t true, the good Lord’s a possum.

Lizzy: Honey, I’m so lucky, if I sat on a fence, the birds would feed me.

Georgie: Well, this is scary. I’m starting to understand Southern.

Lizzy: That’s no hill for a stepper.

Georgie: I take it back.

Accidentally Yours Launch and Giveaway!

Accidentally Yours Kindle CoverWhat if the proud, arrogant Fitzwilliam Darcy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice never changed after his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet at Hunsford? What if the humbled man who successfully courted her was not the same man?

Two worlds . . .
Two centuries . . .
Two men who love the same woman . . .
Two prayers fervent enough to shift time . . .
Endless questions and possibilities . . .
What would a man give for a second chance at love?
What would he sacrifice to keep it?

I am extremely excited to announce the publication of Accidentally Yours, the first book in my Yours by Design series. The book is available in print and e-book formats on Amazon and Smashwords. As an added perk on Amazon, those who buy the print copy will receive the Kindle version for FREE!

Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy of The Guardian Trilogy are now $2.99 in e-book formats on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

As a show of gratitude for all of you who have supported me in my writing efforts, I am offering a free copy of Accidentally Yours (print or e-book in the USA, e-book only internationally) to two winners – one in the US and one international. Enter by commenting here (including your name and a way for me to contact you, such as sending your address to me in a PM on Facebook), tweeting this post, putting this link on your Facebook page, joining BeyondAusten.com or commenting on the book launch post there, posting a picture of the book on Instagram (you can copy the picture from the post), follow me on Instagram (jrhelm), follow me on Twitter (rmhelm), “liking” this post on Facebook, friend me on Goodreads, or retweeting the tweet which will go up when this post is live. You can enter as many times as you wish, but comment here when you do so. You’ll get an entry for every time you do any of these things, but you have to let me know that you’ve done it. You can put all you’ve done in one comment here if you wish. Each thing will count as a separate entry.

Just for fun, here’s an example of a comment: “I’ve tweeted, retweeted, “liked” this link on Facebook, joined BeyondAusten.com, posted the link on my Facebook page, put the picture on Instagram, congratulated you on LinkedIn, and friended you on Goodreads and Facebook.” That would be ten entries.

The giveaway begins today and will end on January 31.

In a few weeks, after you’ve had a chance to read Accidentally Yours, I’ll do another giveaway for all those who leave reviews on Amazon. You can go ahead and post your review. I’ll still count you in that giveaway.

Very soon, a very august personage whom we all know very well indeed shall publish her interview of me. I was so honoured by her invitation to make a morning visit and chat over tea. Be sure to watch this site for the next week or so, for you will be vastly happy and entertained.