Articles By Brenda Webb

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About Brenda Webb

Before my obsession with all things Jane Austen, I worked as an administrative assistant to the president of a CPA firm. No longer working in that industry, thankfully, I enjoy spending time with my family and indulging my love of storytelling. Born on a farm in Cullman, Alabama, I proudly admit to being a country girl, and after years of living in the city, I have finally achieved my dream of moving back to the country. My husband and I now reside on a three acre mini-farm, sporting chickens and numerous rescued dogs and cats. Always a voracious reader, I rediscovered Jane Austen books after watching the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie. Searching for everything relating to Miss Austen, I eventually stumbled into the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction. After reading many of other people’s stories, I decided to try my hand at writing a tale that kept coming to mind and began posting that story on online. By November of 2010, I started my own forum,, and many readers followed me to this site. Several of my friends insisted that I publish, and in April 2011, Fitzwilliam Darcy an Honourable Man became available on It was followed by Mr. Darcy’s Forbidden Love in December 2012, and I am currently posting my next book, Darcy and Elizabeth, A Most Unlikely Couple on the forum. It will be published this summer. Anyone is welcome to join the forum and read my new stories before they are published, as well as stories by an array of talented JAFF writers. Just register at

Talking with Leenie Brown & A Giveaway!

On this blog we are featuring one of the nicest people in JAFF and that is Leenie Brown. She is also one of the most prolific writers in our genre and I am certain you will be just as fascinated as we are at what she has on her plate right now. So, without further ado, here is what Leenie has to say.  



What are you currently working on and what inspires your muse? 

Currently, I am working on three stories ─ each at various stages of completion. 

•   I am giving With the Colonel’s Help a quick first edit before posting pieces of it each Thursday on my blog. As with all my Thursday Three Hundred stories, this story will find its way to the story thread on the forum here. 

•   I have just completed the manuscript for my first Austenesque novella called His Beautiful Bea. This story incorporates touches of Mansfield Park in it but with an original plot and characters. Beatrice Tierney, the heroine, is fashioned after Fanny Price and has a crush on the younger of two sons of a baronet, who is her neighbor. I have just started working on the first round of edits for this story.

•   I have just started a new story that has no official title yet. It is also based on Mansfield Park. It will be set after the conclusion of Mansfield Park and will (hopefully) show the redemption of Henry Crawford.

My muse is inspired by many things ─ music, movies, books, art, nature, historic places… I have been known to jot down story notes during the sermon at church, in the very low light of a theatre, during science class when a particular illness or poisonous mushroom is discussed in a lesson… I find inspiration just about everywhere.


What first drew you to JAFF and how long have you been reading it? What prompted you to begin writing? 

I stumbled across JAFF a few years ago after reading a North and South variation, and I decided to see if there were variations of Pride and Prejudice. There were! I was delighted! I have always loved writing and creating stories. When I was young, I would act out stories based on books I had read when playing. So for me, discovering JAFF was like discovering playing all over again. I began by reading, but it wasn’t long until I wanted to jump in and write my own stories.  I never expected to share them or publish them.  I have to credit my husband with that.  

As I began spending more and more time writing, my husband started asking when I was going to let someone see my writing.  I told him I wasn’t planning to let anyone see my writing “because it wasn’t good enough.”  He said that was silly and asked how I would know if it was good or not if no one ever saw it?  So to placate him—he had threatened to break into my computer and share my stories for me—I began posting some of my stories online and eventually worked up the courage, with his somewhat pushy encouragement, to attempt publishing.  And I haven’t looked back, and I am so thankful for his continuing and constant support.


Do you prefer Regency or Modern? Do you write for other fandoms besides JAFF? Do you have any hobbies besides JAFF?

I prefer Regency both when writing and reading.  There’s just something about that era that I find captivating. 

I do not write for any other fandoms, but I have written some nonJAFF regency. 
I used to have hobbies ─ I suppose I will have them again one day.  Perhaps in a couple of years when my youngest son is done with high school, I will find them again. J  I taught in a traditional private Christian school until this year. This year, I took on the challenge of homeschooling a highschooler, and as the year draws to a close, we are both still enjoying it so we will do it again next year. I do like to tour museums and take walks along the waterfront with my husband, and I read. So I guess I still have some hobbies.


What are three of your favorite resources to turn to when writing? 

Aside from my Kindle version of whichever Jane Austen novel my story is related to and the timeline for that book, I also rely on the following: ─ I constantly have it open to double check meanings and spelling as well as to help me vary my word choice so that it conveys the emotion or tone for which I am striving.

Pinterest ─ There is a lot of good visual inspiration here, and it is a great place to pin history articles.

Youtube ─ Every book needs a sound track, right?  


Are there any people in your life who have inspired certain traits in your character or scenes?

Yes.  A couple of examples would be Lydia ─ yes, both examples involve her. In Through Every Storm, some of her behaviour, such as having trouble concentrating and adding columns of numbers, was inspired by students that I have watched struggle with those very things.   In So Very Unexpected, the relationship between Lydia and her sisters is inspired by my experiences growing up with four sisters. In fact, when my older sister read the book, she asked me if I was thinking about a particular thing when I wrote a certain section, and I was.  I asked her if the relationship seemed real ─ even if it does show Lydia being rather negative about Elizabeth, the sister of whom she is the most jealous.  My sister assures me it is. So, bits and pieces of real life do seep into my writing.  Sometimes this is on purpose, and sometimes it is serendipitous.


Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win one of two kindle e-books of any of Leenie’s books (including her newest). If you have trouble commenting here, you may leave a comment on our FB page for this blog post.

You have until our next post (we post 15th and 30th) to comment and the winners will be announced on the forum and the facebook page. Please check these sites to see if you won. Comments link is right beside ‘Discussions’ at the top of the page under the title. Good luck!

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Featuring Author Ola Wegner & a Giveaway

Today on the blog we feature one of my long-time friends in JAFF who is a prolific writer. I was reading her stories long before it ever crossed my mind to write one of my own. That was because her tales drew me into the world of 1800s England so vividly. Since that time, she has published a lot of books and has secured her fanbase, keeping them begging for more. We at DarcyandLizzy hope you enjoy hearing from one of our favourite authors, Ola Wegner, as much as we enjoy featuring her. Brenda

What are you currently working on and what inspires your muse?

My next book is “Wish Upon A Star.” I have not started anything else at the moment, but I will start something new this summer, probably an arranged marriage Regency scenario but it is not 100% sure yet.

Everything inspires my muse, life, people around me and books. I read a lot and perhaps quite surprisingly, I don’t read that much romance. I love sci-fi books, crime stories but also non-fiction books concerning history, anthropology, archaeology, politics and a bit of travel books.

What prompted you to begin writing and do you write for other fandoms besides JAFF? 

I never planned to write before I started ten years ago. I never thought that I could do that—one of the biggest surprises in my life. I was actually writing my Master’s thesis and because I double majored in university I had to write two separate papers roughly at the same time, which made me really stressed. One day instead of writing about Tudor England I began writing my first story which was pretty horrible, but I had such fun with it. I thought that it was such good feeling to create stories and I stuck with it. I don’t write for other fandoms.

What first drew you to JAFF and how long have you been reading it? Do you prefer Regency or Modern? Do you have any hobbies besides JAFF? 

I was an English lit major in university; thus, I read lots of British authors. I enjoyed Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters the most. When I accidently discovered JAFF I was both floored and totally enamoured with it. I read everything I could find. Those were good times, everything was so fresh and innocent, in a way. I actually prefer Modern stories to read, perhaps because I write mostly Regency. My favourite JAFF stories ever are works by Belen from Argentina and Rika from USA who wrote Unexpected Song.

As for my other hobbies I love reading, I am really into interior design, gardening and fashion. I think that many people think I am rather shallow when they first meet me because I am always overdressed for the occasion. I love shopping and talking about clothes. In truth, I am a very serious and responsible person deep inside. 

What are three of your favorite resources to turn to when writing?

It depends, but usually it is Regency Encyclopedia, Internet in general, and my dear readers and other authors who are always willing to help.

Are there any people in your life who have inspired certain traits in your characters or scenes?

It is difficult to say because I never consciously copy people from real life to put them into stories, but afterwards when the story is finished I notice that perhaps I actually did that. I am definitely an avid observer of people.

Thank you so much for reading my interview!



We are offering those of you who leave a comment  a chance to win one of two kindle e-books of any of Ola’s stories (including the new one). If you have trouble commenting here, please comment on our FB page for this blog post.

You have until our next post (we post 15th and 30th) to comment. The winner to be announced on the forum and the facebook page. So please check these sites to see if you have won.

To get in on the drawing, click on comments beside Discussion directly under the title. Good luck!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We would love for you to share it on facebook, twitter, or any other social media sites.

Catching up with Linda Blanchette & Giveaway!

Today we are featuring author Linda Blanchette Tremblay and offering you a chance to win one of two copies of any of her books just for commenting. Details regarding the contest are at the end of this post.

So, without further ado, here is what Linda had to say.

What are you currently working on and what inspires your muse? 

I am working on a story called “A brother for Darcy.”  I have often wondered if Darcy and Wickham were brothers, how much of Pride and Prejudice would have changed and a new story was born.  In this story, the Darcys take in a baby Wickham when he loses his parents.  I take the story from the time that Darcy meets young Wickham to when Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth.  All with the question of how would this simple change affect Darcy.

People inspire my muse.  I am a people watcher and love seeing people’s interaction.  It is why I second majored in Sociology. 

What prompted you to begin writing and do you write for other fandoms besides JAFF?

I read a lot of JAFF before I ever put words down on paper.  I became a plot beta for a friend who is a published writer.  One day, she said that I should write my ideas and stories.  A second career was born.   

I have begun to write a ‘North and South’ story, but I do not know if it will ever see the light of day.

What first drew you to JAFF and how long have you been reading it? Do you prefer Regency or Modern? Do you have any hobbies besides JAFF?

I adore love stories, and Pride and Prejudice was one of my favorites, but I didn’t know about fanfiction until ten years ago.  One day, I was in a store, and Abigail Reynold’s story was on sale.  In her acknowledgments, she thanked the JAFF world for their help.  It did not take long for me to search those JAFF sites and I became a fervent reader of P &P fanfiction.  

I read them all.  Some I will never read again like those including other pairings than Darcy and Elizabeth or a death of one of them, but I still read them all.  Other JAFF writers inspire me.  We are all different with unique views of Darcy and Elizabeth.  I love reading everyone’s take on our dear couple.

When I am not working, reading or writing, I am your stereotypical grandma.  I cook, sew, knit, crochet, and embroider.  I also travel with my kids and grandkids often.  We rent large houses and vacation together, generally near a beach.  My poor son in law and daughter in law, they are so sweet to allow this to happen.

What are three of your favorite resources to turn to when writing?

Since English is my second language, I always have a dictionary and thesaurus beside me when I am writing.  Another favorite resource is Etymology Dictionary which tells you when the word was invented.  I hate for a modern to slip into my Regency story.  My last resource is the Regency Encyclopedia.  Excellent resource if you are writing regency.  It has information for anything from laws to fashion.

Are there any people in your life who have inspired certain traits in your character or scenes? 

There have been many.  Whether is a friend or relative or a scene that has happened to me, and I think it would fit in the story.  I put them in.  However, I do change the name and try to keep the scenes vague enough, so they will not learn.  I like to keep my friends and family.


We at hope you have enjoyed hearing from Linda and to celebrate her newest book which was just posted on our forum, The Trails That Led To You, we are offering those of you who leave a comment here a chance to win one of two kindle e-books of any of her stories (including the new one). If you have trouble commenting here, please comment on the post for this blog on our facebook page.

You have until our next post (we post 15th and 30th) to comment. The winner to be announced on the forum and the facebook page. So please check these sites to see if you have won.

To get in on the drawing, click on comments beside Discussion directly under the title. Good luck!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We would love for you to share it on facebook, twitter, or the sites accessed by the buttons below.

A new book from Melanie Schertz and a Giveaway

Recently we caught up with author Melanie Schertz to see what she was doing. We wanted to share what we learned, as well as give you an opportunity to win one of her books. Details on the giveaway are at the end of this post. For your enjoyment, here are the questions we asked Mel and her answers:

What are you currently working on and what inspires your muse?

My newest book is Fitzwilliam Darcy, Fugitive but I have several other books on the back burner.

My muse…well, I have a very strange muse.  Sometimes I will see something that just sets off a strange and unique way to play with the story.  Sometimes, when I am writing, something will happen that just makes me go off in a wacky way. One of the most vivid of them was when I had learned the man who I had hired to remodel my kitchen had taken my money and didn’t do any of the work.  I had already hired someone else to remove the old kitchen, so you can imagine my frustration.  That was when I was writing Mystical, Magical Lizzy.  Needless to say, George Wickham ended up paying the price of what I would have liked to have happen to the man who ripped me off.  If you haven’t already read that story, the flooring breaks as Wickham is standing there, and he falls, with a beam coming up between his legs.  He dies later as a certain piece of his manhood became gangrene from the injury.

I must warn you, on this new story, I was watching politics while I was attempting to decide what to do with Mr. Collins and Wickham.  I was not nice to these two men, as they became my object to reflect my frustration.  My daughter tells me that you can tell by the sort of jewelry I make what I was watching on TV or listening to in music.  I believe it is true in my writing as well.  You can see when I am watching something whimsical or something serious. When I am listening to Pink, I feel really empowered.  Love her music.

 What prompted you to begin writing and do you write for other fandoms besides JAFF?

I have been writing off and on over my life. But I never thought I would ever publish a book.  In high school, I was dyslexic, but at that time, there was no knowledge of what that was.  I was just lazy.  I am 54 years old, and self-taught on how to read easier.

I post on my blog, Mel’s JAFF Stories and with

What first drew you to JAFF and how long have you been reading it?

I got really into JAFF in 2005, after seeing the Matthew Macfadyen movie.  Back then, if we had a new JAFF story a month it was a miracle.  I would check Amazon weekly.  In 2008, I lost my career, and had to begin a new chapter in life.  That is when I started trying to start a photography business.  In 2009-2010, my health went downhill and it wasn’t until 2011, when disabled and frustrated, I began really reading stories on A Happy Assembly and  To be honest, I have still don’t know why I began posting my first story but when I did, people actually liked it.  Originally, when I published my first books, it was so I would have copies for my family.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect them to sell. It wasn’t until after my first 2 books published in 2012 that I told my mother what I was doing, and we lived in the same house at the time.

Do you prefer Regency or Modern? Do you have any hobbies besides JAFF?

I have read a few of the modern versions, but for some reason, I have never been able to write a modern version.  Regency is my all-time fav for JAFF.  There is just something about the time that I am drawn to, even though it was not a kind time for women.  Maybe that is why most of my female characters are a bit more outspoken.

What are three of your favorite resources to turn to when writing? 

When researching, one of my all-time favorites is Wikipedia.  I have donated money to Wikipedia, as I appreciate their hard work. Another source is Jane Austen based websites which have great resources.  And I ask other JAFF authors.  There are a large group of us who are interconnected and we can go to the group and say “So, what do you think would have been the proper way of dealing with this at the time?” Everyone in the group are great about sharing the info.  Some of the most amazing authors I know I can turn to are Regina Jeffers, Sharon Lathan, Elizabeth Ann West, Joy King, April Floyd, Linda Thompson, Beverley Farr, and more.  And I have an “adopted” sister in England who is a Beta for me and gives me info on British ways in that time period (Thank you Kay Tanner).

Are there any people in your life who have inspired certain traits in your character or scenes?

As for people who have inspired traits in characters. I come from a long line of strong women.  My mom, my grandmothers, they were amazing, and I am so thankful for their impact on my life.  My daughter, Caitlin, had a great grandmother, Edith Beazer who became a grandmother to me and her caring, loving nature made a dramatic impact in my life.  She always called Cate her dancing brown-eyed doll, which became the title of my book A Pair of Dancing Brown Eyes, and has my daughter on the cover.  My father was an amazing man, and I learned a lot from life from him.  He would be behind my ideal Mr. Bennet or Uncle Gardiner.  Many of the characters have names from my family.  Helen, who I use for Mrs. Gardiner, was my dad’s mom.  When I use Edwin Gardiner, my great grandfather (my dad’s grandpa) is Edwin.

The dog, Sadie, in A Royal Bennet was based on my sweet service dog Darcy. He is on my lap in this GREAT photo of me (ha ha). However, if you insist on seeing my face, I have attached my most current picture.






We at hope you have enjoyed hearing from Melanie and learned something new. To celebrate her newest book now posting on our forum, Fitzwilliam Darcy – Fugitive, we are offering those of you who leave a comment here a chance to win one of two kindle e-books of any of her stories (including the new one). If you have trouble commenting here, please comment on the post for this blog on our facebook page.

The drawing will be held two weeks from today, the winner to be announced on the forum and the facebook page. So please check these sites to see if you have won.

To get in on the drawing, click on comments beside Discussion directly under the title. It shows “no comments” until the first one is posted and then it will show the number of current comments. Good luck!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We would love for you to share it on facebook, twitter, or the sites accessed by the buttons below.



Mr. and Mrs. and More!

The following post is from DAILY WRITING TIPS website and details the permutations of abbreviations for courtesy titles. I thought it very interesting and hope you will too.

Mister developed as a variant of master. (Interestingly, the newer title came to pertain to married men, while master, once a title of respect for a social superior, was reserved for unmarried men and boys.) Originally, both master and mister were abbreviated Mr. before a person’s name as a courtesy title, but as master fell out of use, Mr. came to be applied solely as an abbreviation for mister.

Mrs. was originally a generic abbreviation of mistress before a name, but it developed into a courtesy title specifically for a married or widowed woman, while Miss, with no abbreviation, was adopted as an honorific for unmarried women. Ms. began as a variant abbreviation of mistress as a courtesy title in the 1600s but fell out of favor. (At the turn of the twentieth century, it was proposed as a substitute form of address for a woman whose marital status is unknown, but the idea did not gain traction, nor did the abbreviation catch on fifty years later when a couple of business publications brought the issue up again. However, after feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem adopted the abbreviation as the title of a new magazine for women in 1972, its use quickly spread.)

Because no native plural form of Mr. or Mrs. developed in English, the French abbreviations Messrs. (Messieurs) and Mmes. (Mesdames) were borrowed; Mses. developed in imitation, and the plural form of Miss, Misses, like the singular form, did not acquire an abbreviation. Because of the decline in use of such honorifics, the plural forms are rarely seen anymore.

As a reference to a man who embodies a certain quality, Mr. appears in such references as “Mr. Right” (the ideal man for a woman to marry) or “Mr. Big” (a man of significant authority and/or status). Missus, a derivative of mistress based on a casual pronunciation of the latter word, and Miz, a spelling based on the pronunciation of Mrs. or Miss in the southern United States, should generally be used only in dialogue in historically or geographically appropriate fiction. However, “the Mrs.” or “the missus,” spelled as shown as humorous references to one’s wife, are appropriate in informal writing.

I hope you learned something new, for I did!


  Brother, can you spare a dime? + An Announcement


It has been said that all good things must come to an end, and I have found that adage to be true. Today, it is with a sad heart that I announce I am leaving Austen Authors. I began my journey with this group unsure if I could handle the duties of my forum, DarcyandLizzy.Com, write books and be a part of this wonderful group in light of my health concerns and my obligations to an older member of my family. Still, for over a year I managed to do it all and had a great time in the bargain!

Alas, nothing ever stays the same and as things have changed, I found that is no longer the case. Thus, I have decided to concentrate on my forum and what I really enjoy—writing. Though I will no longer be a part of this lovely group, I shall always appreciate the opportunity to participate that Sharon and Regina gave me.

I am not leaving JAFF and I will continue to support my friends at Austen Authors in every way possible. Hopefully, I will still see many of you on the forum and our Facebook pages.

Hugs and the best of luck to one and all!




One thing I love about writing Regency stories is that you learn a lot doing research. A new term I came across while I was writing Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept was money box. Like most, I had heard of a piggybank, but I had not heard the term money box. It seems both of these names were used during different periods in time, though the term money box was used most often until the late 19th century.

After reading about them, I went in search of pictures, and it quickly became evident that common money boxes of the early 1800’s were just plain ugly. Still, I decided to incorporate a money box into my latest story and share some of the pictures and information with you.

Pottery-money-box Tudor-Green-Ware
Pottery-money-box Tudor-Green-Ware

The practice of collecting coins by putting them in ceramic vessels dates back to ancient China. At some point, a clever bureaucrat must have figured out that using ceramic jars with a small slit near the top as their only

Crude yellow clay Money box 16th century
Crude yellow clay Money box 16th century

opening would ensure all taxes collected would be turned over to the tax authority. The populace dropped their taxes (coins) into the jar, and once finished, the collector had only to deliver the coin-filled jar.

By the Tudor period, the practice of ceramic boxes had spread to England where they were called money boxes or money jars. We most often think of a box as a square or rectangular container, but in its earliest meaning, a

box was a receptacle made of any material, in any shape, which held drugs, perfumes or valuables. Therefore, it was perfectly logical to call the pottery vessels in which coins were kept money boxes.

During the Regency period, a wide range of money boxes

16th or 17th Century Money Box
16th or 17th Century Money Box

were still in use, primarily by servants and their children. They were cheaply produced, of various shapes and sizes, but typically 10-15 cm tall and round, usually glazed in brown or green, had a penny sized slot cut into them and a characteristic ‘knob’ molded on top. Nearly all servants used one to hold spare coins collected over the course of the year. By tradition, on Boxing Day, they would smash the box and use the money to enjoy themselves and buy a new box for the coming year. For that reason, these money boxes were also known as Christmas boxes and rattling boxes.

Boxes were also purchased by the middle and lower classes as gifts for babies and young children.

It was customary for a parent or god-parent to give a baby a money box into which they placed a few

1586 -1603 English Money Box
1586 -1603 Money Box 

coins to start the child’s savings. Each year, on the child’s birthday or name day, family and friends might make gifts of coins which would be dropped into the child’s money box.

Dutch Delft Dog circa 1700
Dutch Delft Dog circa 1700

As they got older, children might also earn a few coins from time to time which they also slipped into their money box. Typically, the money box was entrusted to the child’s mother, who would safeguard it and present it to the child when they came of age. Though it seems the upper classes seldom bothered with money boxes, it is always possible that a doting and/or eccentric relative might give a more expensive money box to a child and slip coins into it each year on that child’s birthday as well.

Because the nature of the money box dictated it had to be destroyed to access the coins, most were made quickly and sold cheaply. Making square or rectangular objects was more labor-intensive; thus, for centuries most were made in the shape of simple jars with a small finial or button on the top. By the turn of the eighteenth century, potters began making them domed-shaped with decorated surfaces. After being coated with a yellow glaze, these pineapple-shaped boxes sold well, and with the use of simple designs, colored glazes and cheap child labor, many potters developed a steady business.

With the advent of ceramic molding, various shapes became inexpensive to create; thus, chicken shaped boxes were turned out in great numbers. Having a palette of white, yellow, red and brown glazes, they looked quite realistic. Then, as the nineteenth century began, dogs, cats, cows, sheep, elephants and lions joined the line-up. Buildings, primarily ceramic cottages and castles, were available at the beginning of the Regency period and by 1820, were increasingly more elaborate and expensive. Afterward, they were purchased more for household ornaments than for vessels in which to save money.

Very few money boxes have survived since they were smashed when their owner wanted the coins contained within, but I have included some photos of the nicer and more interesting ones below—some from other countries.

A Fabergé silver money box, Moscow, 1908-1917, the lid inset with 1 poltina silver coin of Empress Anna Ioannovna (dated 1732), the sides with trompe l'oeil casket straps, gilt interior
A Fabergé silver money box, Moscow, 1908-1917, the lid inset with 1 poltina silver coin of Empress Anna Ioannovna (dated 1732), the sides with trompe l’oeil casket straps, gilt interior


A rare English earthenware pottery stoneware saltglaze money bank.  Decorated with relief molded images of a portly gentleman with a tankard of frothing ale, windmills and dogs. The side of the box has an image of a huntsman on horse chasing a fox.
A rare English earthenware pottery stoneware saltglaze money bank. Decorated with relief molded images of a portly gentleman with a tankard of frothing ale, windmills and dogs. The side of the box has an image of a huntsman on horse chasing a fox.

Money Box Heads

Early Staffordshire Money Box Heads In the early 19th century, circa 1820, these were a tuppence a ton, widely made and given to children to encourage savings. However, as the only way to get the money out was to smash them, not many have survived.


Did you have a piggybank when you were a child and, if so, did you save for a specific purpose? I remember saving my money for our summer vacations and how thrilling it was to buy a souvenir that I selected. It would take several days before I would choose which one I simply had to have! How about you? Do you have any piggybank memories to share? I’d love to hear about them.

Information in this post came in part from:  and

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Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept + a giveaway!


As the readers of my books know, I am not one of those writers who can write quickly. In that regard, I proudly claim to be like Mr. Darcy who so famously said to Caroline, “You are mistaken. I write rather slowly.”

It takes me about a year to write a book and longer than that to get it ready for publication, so today, I am happy to announce the publication of my next novel Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept which is available on Amazon and Create Space.

Here’s a synopsis of the story.

Five years after his disastrous proposal at Kent, Fitzwilliam Darcy receives a letter from Charles Bingley regarding a promise he made when their friendship ended. Should Darcy decide to keep the promise, it will throw him into the company of the one woman he has struggled for years to forget—Elizabeth Bennet. 

Having just entered a secret agreement with Lady Markham, will Darcy put his future in jeopardy by stepping in to help Bingley? Has time and distance helped him overcome his regard for Elizabeth, or will he fall as madly in love with her as before?

Is true love to be found in a promise kept?

I hope I’ve piqued your interest. Take a look at the cover. I love it!


400 X 600


I shared part of the first chapter in a previous post and the entire chapter in our Writers Block, so you can read them there if you haven’t already. Still, I wanted to share a little more of the story in honor of its publication, so here’s an excerpt from Chapter Seven:

As William waited in the library for the butler to locate Jane Bingley, he perused the titles on a bookcase that covered the entire west wall. Impressed with the collection, he surmised that the estate must have come with the furnishings, since everything seemed much as it was when he and Bingley toured the house years ago, and a well-stocked library was not one of Charles’ priorities. Then, too, Lord Norton had deliberated renting the property because he had two other estates, so William felt reasonably certain that the man would not have taken the majority of the books with him when the estate sold, if any.

Caught up in his observations, William was unaware that Elizabeth had entered the room behind him. Since she was not expecting him to be at the Bingleys’ residence that day, she did not see him either, and turned in the opposite direction. Even so, he was alerted to her presence when she began humming a tune he remembered from his childhood—Lavender’s Blue.

The minute he spied her, his breath caught. Only once had he seen her hair in its present style—at a picnic Charles had hosted at Netherfield. The sides were pulled up and tied with long, pink satin ribbons, the ends of which were now entwined in the dark curls that cascaded down her back. As his eyes followed her lithe frame across the room, he was tortured by thoughts of how it would feel to replace the ribbons with his fingers. Thoroughly dismayed at the path his thoughts had taken, William tried to picture Millie’s hair worn in the same fashion, but could not.   

In Elizabeth’s hands were several books, and, once she reached a small, round table, she laid them there. Then she walked down an identical wall of bookshelves until she found a library chair. Sliding this object along the floor until it was where she wished it to be, she flipped the chair over, revealing four built-in steps. Then, taking the top book from the stack, she lifted her skirts and put one dainty foot on the bottom step. Since she wore simple slippers and no stockings, William had a good view of her left ankle and leg clear to the knee. Instantly aware that he should have announced his presence before now, his heart began to race. Still, in light of the circumstances, he was incapable of speech.

Unfortunately, Jane Bingley chose that moment to rush into the room. “Mr. Darcy, I had no idea you would come today! It was only yesterday that I sent the express.”

At the sound of Jane’s voice, Elizabeth’s head swung around. Finding William staring in her direction, she dropped her skirts and lifted her chin, giving him a stern glare.

Thoroughly embarrassed, William turned to Jane, stuttering a reply. “I . . . I was preparing to leave for Pemberley, but your letter gave me the impression that you were frightened; thus, I came here first.”

By then, Elizabeth had walked towards them. Jane’s eyes went wide when she realised that her sister had heard everything. Before she could speak, however, Elizabeth said impatiently, “You were frightened, Jane, yet you did not think to tell me?”

Jane’s hands flew to her face, and she began to cry, and Elizabeth pulled her sister into an embrace, patting her back. 

“Please do not cry, dearest. I was only wounded that you did not feel that you could confide in me. I want to know when anything is amiss. In your condition, you should not carry burdens alone. 

“It is not that I felt I could not confide in you. It is just—” Jane stopped to pull a handkerchief from her pocket and dab at her eyes. Looking from her sister to William, she said, “Let us sit down, and I will tell you both what has transpired. 

Minutes later, Jane had shared a letter from Kitty that had arrived a week earlier. That letter had informed her that a strange man had been seen in Meryton asking about the former occupants of Longbourn. More particularly, he had visited that property and spoken to Mr. Collins, presenting himself as an old friend of Mr. Bennet. Upon being informed of the calamity that had befallen their parents, he enquired as to whether the daughters were all well. He also wanted to know whether they had married and where each lived. Only the arrival of Charlotte Collins from a quick jaunt into Meryton cut short the rector’s long-winded recitation of each sister’s fate before he got to Elizabeth. Charlotte, being more wary than her husband, had informed Kitty of the man’s inquisitiveness the next day. Nonetheless, by the time Kitty asked for the man’s whereabouts in the village, he had slipped away.  

Already planning a visit, the following day Kitty travelled to the nearby village of Compton where James Parton, Mary’s husband, was the vicar. Immediately upon arrival, Kitty informed Mary of the strange man in Meryton. Consequently, Mary related a similarly odd occurrence. It seemed that a stranger had come by the parish in search of counselling only the week before, and his conversation had swiftly moved from his own concerns to assertions that he knew Mary’s father years ago. When he enquired as to how the sisters had fared since their parents’ untimely deaths, the vicar mentioned that Kitty had married Harvey Thomas, a law clerk, and still lived in Meryton. When he asked about Elizabeth specifically, Mr. Parton became suspicious and sent him on his way. 

Once Jane had finished reading, the room was eerily silent. The look on William’s face was enough to convince her that he was contemplating the situation before commenting. Elizabeth, however, had no such reluctance and attempted to make light of it all.  

“Surely asking about our family is scarcely a reason to think that anyone means to do us harm? On the contrary, Papa had many good friends from university, and upon hearing of the circumstances of his death, why would they not profess an interest in our welfare?” 

Jane was about to answer, when William retorted, “I am afraid that I cannot agree, Mrs. Gardiner. One incident may be logical.  Two is suspect.”

Apparently still angry that he had not made his presence known earlier, Elizabeth snapped, “Mr. Darcy, you may be in charge of all our finances, but you are not in charge of my life! Surely I have a right to live without fear of every person who asks after me.”

“Lizzy,” Jane said, “you have no right to talk to Mr. Darcy in that manner.” 

William held up a hand. “Please. Let her say what she wishes; that is her prerogative.”

“I wanted to spare you the worst of it, Lizzy, but I see that I simply cannot,” Jane said wearily. “Mayhap you will change your tone after hearing this.” Reaching into her pocket, she withdrew another missive. Holding it out to William, she said, “This arrived yesterday morning and was what prompted the express.”  

William took the paper, his brows furrowing as he read what was written thereon. I know the secret about your sister and that child. 

Seeing his expression darken, Elizabeth asked, “What does it say?” 

Looking up, he locked eyes with hers. “Do you not think it time I was told the truth?”  

Not able to meet his gaze, Elizabeth looked away.

“He has earned the right to know, Lizzy.”

Purchase links for Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept:


PAPERBACKNow, for the fun part! I’m giving away four Kindle e-book copies. If you leave a comment by midnight Friday April 15, CST, you’ll be included in the drawing. I hope you win, and it takes your mind off your taxes!

Who You Really Are?

Posted on Austen Authors on by • And Shared on this Blog!

After my last blog post, I heard from so many fellow writers, and a good many friends, who said that they were introverts, too. Many came as a surprise, especially among the writers I know and admire. In hindsight, I fear that I assumed that most writers were extroverts because of their ability to promote themselves and their books so well. Now I know that is not always the case.

However, having so many of my fellow authors claim they are introverts made me wonder how many well-known writers were, too. I looked for a list, but found that writers were always included as part of a larger list of famous introverts. After reading dozens of lists, J. K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss and Edgar Allan Poe were the only authors who were mentioned repeatedly. Below are just a few other famous introverts that were listed:

Clint Eastwood  Bill Gates  Abraham Lincoln  Audrey Hepburn  Eleanor Roosevelt  Sir Isaac Newton  Albert Einstein  Meg Ryan

Mahatma Gandhi  Laura Bush  Rosa Parks  Warren Buffet  Roy Rogers  Marilyn Monroe  Tom Hanks  Candice Bergen

George Stephanopoulos  Johnny Carson  Harper Lee

Best Day Ever

While I was researching introverts and extroverts, I found that you are not just one or the other. There are a number of variations of each and personality tests that will reveal which type you are.

Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, first published their test, the MBTI, in 1962, after studying the work of Carl Jung since the 1940s. Jung believed everyone experiences the world through four principal psychological functions: sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking and that one is dominant most of the time. Katharine and Isabel gave his theory a practical application: to help women entering the industrial workforce for the first time to identify the sort of war-time jobs that would be “most comfortable and effective” for them.

Here is a chart that shows the different personality types on the MBTI:

MBTItypeChart Larger

And here are what the letters stand for:

The first letter is for introvert (I) or extrovert (E).

Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

I thought it might be fun to use this information to categorize some of our favorite Austen characters, and luckily came across this MBTI chart with the characters in Pride and Prejudice already done.

pride and prejudice personality chart larger

I think it hard to pin-point everyone precisely, but I cannot agree with some of these. For instance, Caroline is ISFJ which is ‘amiable and ready to sacrifice?’ I don’t picture Caroline as either of these. Georgiana is classed as ENFP, which is an extrovert and described as ‘life of the party?’ And Mr. Collins, who is ISTP, does not impress me as someone who is unpretentious—not attempting to impress others with an appearance of greater importance, talent, or culture than is actually possessed.

I do think it fascinating that Darcy and Lizzy are alike except when it comes down to T or P. Darcy thinks while Lizzy feels. What do you think? Do you agree with the type assigned to your favourite character? I would love to hear your opinion!

Meanwhile, if you wonder what type personality you are, there is a free MBTI test at this link. Free Personality Test

A more in-depth test can be had for a fee at the Briggs and Meyer Foundation. Myers Briggs Foundation


A Real Writer? Plus a preview of my next book!

Shared from Austen Authors blog

I confess I do not fit many people’s idea of what a real writer should be. Snoopy-the-writerMy confession may sound odd coming from someone who has published three books, has two more in the works, and belongs to Austen Authors, however, I got to where I am today by the hardest route— kicking and screaming all the way.

You see, I am an introvert. I would like nothing better than to crawl in a cave and write, emerging only to publish whenever I finish a book. Alas, in today’s world, there are so many people publishing, especially those new to JAFF, it seems one has to at least try to promote their books in order to sell them. And, since sales of my books are important to my livelihood, I had no choice but to crawl out of my cave!

Why don’t I consider myself writer material? The main reason is that I am not comfortable tooting my own horn. I was raised in an age when one did not self-promote. That makes it difficult for me to boast of good reviews and accolades. Moreover, I SMspend more time on FB talking to the people I went to school with than posting writer stuff. While I am on Twitter, I only tweet the articles on Austen Authors and the things happening on So, I have a long way to go using social media.

Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with promoting yourself and your books, but when I read about all the things my fellow writers are doing—writing seminars, ‘how to’ programs, dictating devices, special book writing apps, giving lectures, exhaustive research, JAFF organization meetings, to name a few—it makes me tired just thinking about it. At my age, I need to use all my focus to get the stories in my mind on paper while I can still remember them. smiles

While every person has their own way of writing, I stick with the basics. This means pulling up a Word document, thinking up alarge_You_know_you_re_a_writerunique plot, and getting started. Fortunately, I have never had problems imagining plots, and once I begin a tale, I cannot wait to get the story written.

I plan to publish my current story, Darcy and Elizabeth, A Promise Kept,in late February or early March, so be on the lookout for it. For those who aren’t following my posts on, there is an excerpt below from the first chapter. I hope you will enjoy this little taste of my latest book. Let me know what you think!



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Excerpt from Chapter One of Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept

William nodded and turned back to the windows. Millicent waited until the colonel was completely out of sight and then surreptitiously studied the man she had always loved, who by now was watching some horses frolic in a distant pasture. While his eyes were glued to the bucolic scene, he sipped a glass of brandy.

“A penny for your thoughts.”

Sighing deeply before he answered, William said, “I was thinking of Georgiana and wondering how she is faring now that she and Lord Charlton have settled in Ireland.”

“Are you worried about the marriage? I thought you approved of him.”

“I had no choice but to approve. Though I was not a great admirer of his late father, I could find no evidence that the son was not a gentleman in every sense of the word. None of my friends had anything bad to say about him, either. Still, I tried to persuade Georgiana to continue the engagement another year, just to be certain. She refused.”

“One and twenty is not too young to know your heart or to marry, Fitzwilliam, and, thanks largely to you, Georgiana has always been sensible.”

“I suppose you are right.”

Hoping to persuade him before Richard’s return, she broached the subject of staying longer. “Can I not convince you to wait until the end of the week to return to Pemberley? With the children at their grandmother’s estate, the house will be entirely too quiet after you leave.”

Glancing at her sideways, William said, “I thought your cousins were staying.”

“They are; however, they are not my idea of stimulating company. I fear that I shocked them when I chose to ride to the hounds alongside the men.”

William could not suppress a grin. “Perhaps that is because a lady is expected to ride side-saddle.”

“Then I suppose I am not a lady! And make no mistake—my cousins will lecture me about my misconduct until the day they leave.” Then she grinned. “And you, sir, have managed to change the subject. Will you not at least stay long enough to see the children?”

“I cannot possibly stay. There are issues that require my attention at Pemberley.”

“Why ever not? Lord knows you pay your stewards well to handle your estates. And you will just bury yourself in work at Pemberley—anything to keep from participating in the real business of life.”

“I have no idea what you mean.”

“I thought you abhorred deceit, Fitzwilliam! For years I have had to threaten to have Richard bring you against your will; otherwise, you would never have left your cave. Will you just admit that you enjoyed yourself once you arrived?”

“I was pleased to be in both your company and my cousin’s, and I enjoyed participating in the hunt,” William replied. Pensively, he took another sip of brandy before continuing. “I cannot say I enjoyed being on display again.”

“What do you expect? You are one of the most eligible men in all of England and will always garner the attention of parents with unmarried daughters. And the widows cannot help but flaunt themselves at you, praying to catch your eye.”

“I am only interested in one widow, and she will not agree to marry me.”

Millicent turned to examine William’s face for a certain truth. Not finding it, she walked over to a nearby chair and sat down. Wearily she said, “We have had this conversation far too many times.”

“Just because I am not madly in love with you does not mean we would not do well together. My father was of the opinion that friendship should outweigh love when two people speak of marriage. He and Mother were only friends when they married.”

“You were not formed for a marriage of convenience, Fitzwilliam, and marrying me would be exactly that. Besides, I am of the opinion that the heartache which permeates you so deeply is the result of an unrequited love.”

William’s brows knit as his voice rose. “As I have tried to tell you time and again, I have suffered no such heartache.”  

I am currently posting this story on the forum, so you may click on the Pink Button, Top Right to go there to read it.

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