His Heart’s Desire ~ Inspired by Pride and Prejudice

Greetings!

Thanks so much for stopping by to help me celebrate the release of my new book, His Heart’s Desire. Today I would like to share an excerpt and giveaway of 5 eBook copies of my book. All you need to do to enter is comment on this blog post. The Giveaway will end on Sunday 8-28-2022 at 11:59 pm.

My story is non-canon and I hope you will enjoy the changes I’ve made from Jane Austen’s original. For one, poor Mr. Bennet died when Elizabeth was just 14. Mr. Collins was not kind and the Bennet women are currently living off the charity of close relatives: Jane and Lizzy with the Gardiners and Mrs. B and the younger three with the Phillips family. In this story our main characters are a bit younger. The Bingleys do not appear in this story as Charles is finishing his last year at university. However, Darcy does have an interesting Austrian cousin named Karoline-Maria as you will find out in this post. As for George Wickham, if any of you happened to read Wickham’s Wish on the forum, you will remember that he came to my house begging me to give him another scenario than what Jane Austen left him with. In this story, GW is the Godson of Sir Lewis de Bourgh who is currently living as is Darcy Senior. All in all, this was a exciting story for me to write and I hope you will enjoy my tale.

The year is 1802 and because of the Treaty of Amiens with France, there is a lull in the war. Here you go with an excerpt from the first chapter of His Heart’s Desire. Enjoy!

Jen Red ♫ 

DARCY HOUSE

It might have been a lovely spring day, but the air within the study was hardly inviting. Although the maids had opened the windows and brought in fresh flowers, it was not enough to mask the unpleasantness which lingered after several days of continuous rain.

Pinching the bridge of his nose and rubbing his eyes in an effort to stave off a headache, Fitzwilliam Darcy paused before reading the last of his correspondence. Earlier in the day, he had been cloistered in this room with his father’s solicitor and Mr. Horne, one of Pemberley’s land stewards. They had been reviewing what seemed like endless documents detailing the profitability of a mining investment in Devon made by his grandfather some years back.

Intending to leave the last of his letters until the morrow, William put aside his pens, closed the inkwell, and walked to the window. At present, he was in desperate need of some diversion before facing yet another social function arranged by Lady Matlock. Lately, his aunt had taken to parading him in front of nearly every eligible young lady who was in Town for the upcoming season. At the very least, surely a brisk walk through Hyde Park would alleviate some of his stress before facing the matchmaking mamas of the ton. Tonight’s dinner at Matlock House would include no less than seventy-five guests. And since William was the main course, he could hardly beg off. The very thought of it turned his stomach and soured his attitude.

“Father,” William muttered to himself. “I have no desire to go out yet again this evening and would much rather stay home and spend time with you and Georgiana.” A quiet dinner followed by a little relaxation in the music room sounded very appealing after such a hectic day.

For many months now, James Darcy had been insistent that William search in earnest for a wife—a suitable woman who would become the next mistress of Pemberley and bear him an heir. Consumed by this prospect, James had left the confines of Pemberley and accompanied William to Town in order to monitor his progress.

“I know what you are about, Father,” he protested aloud. “If you think I shall be a party to your wishes when you have many good years left, you are mistaken. No matter how many young ladies I meet, my heart will not be easily touched if it means losing you.” 

Following the completion of his studies at university two years prior, William’s life had become one where the demands of the estate seemed to dictate his every move. With his father’s poor health, he had no choice but to assume the responsibility. The elder Darcy could no longer manage as he once did. It was not that James Darcy was an old man, but rather a decline brought on by years of sleepless nights and periodic strong drink had weakened his disposition. Unable to soothe his aching heart following the death of Lady Anne, he had, for the most part, retreated from society, shutting himself away at Pemberley. In William’s eyes, his father was no longer robust, nor did he have the desire to reclaim his life.

More recently, Lady Eleanor Fitzwilliam, the Countess of Matlock, had been delighted to take up William’s cause at his father’s request. In the young man’s mind, her list of eligible women was endless. Despite her best efforts, however, Lady Matlock did not seem to comprehend what William truly wanted in a wife. Yes, her candidates were well-dowered, accomplished and beautiful, but this was not enough. “If I must marry, Father, I would prefer a woman who can stimulate my mind in conversation and one who does not openly covet my wealth. Is that too much to ask?

“At least you did not insist I marry poor Cousin Anne. Frankly, I would like to find a woman on my own terms, and when I am ready. Surely you must know I would never shirk my duty or obligation to our estate. Is it too much to ask that I should also be allowed to marry for love?” Continuing to gaze out of the window, William was unaware his father was standing just inside the door and had overheard the last of his mutterings.

“Fitzwilliam.” There was no response. “Fitzwilliam,” James Darcy said a second time.

“Father, I….” William shifted uncomfortably. “Forgive me, I was wool-gathering. Please come in and sit down.” William motioned to the sofa. “Can I get you a drink or ring for tea? Have you eaten? It is well past lunch.”

“I thank you, but no. I have little appetite this afternoon.” The man coughed several times as he walked to the sofa and painstakingly sat down. “A glass of port will suffice.”

“It seems your cough has not improved,” William commented as he partially filled two glasses. “What did the doctor have to say? Pray tell me he did not suggest bleeding you again.”

“No, Son, not this time. Purdy simply gave me some additional draughts to aid with sleeping.”

William shook his head in disgust. “You know I cannot abide that man—not since Mama’s death. His intervention did nothing to help her. Will you not let me send for Mr. Mitchell? He is an excellent doctor, and I have spoken with him on several occasions concerning your health. Mitchell believes that fresh air, such as we would find in the country, exercise and better nourishment would serve you well.”

“Son, we have been over this before. I see no point in consulting with another doctor when….”

“No point! Father, you are not well, and that is all I care about. You and Aunt Eleanor have been relentless in promoting my search for a bride. Would you not like to live long enough to see your grandchildren, should I be so fortunate as to find someone I even cared to marry?”

“That is enough! I shall not allow you to speak to me in this manner.” Without warning, the elder Darcy began to cough with greater intensity.

Alarmed, William quickly went to his father’s side. Taking his father’s drink and placing it on the table he said, “Forgive me, Father. I promise you I shall fulfil my responsibilities. I only pray that you will take better care of yourself.”

“You are not to worry, Son. I shall be fine.”

As he watched James take out a handkerchief and wipe the perspiration from his forehead, William’s concern was not appeased by his father’s assertion.

“Fitzwilliam, I do not wish to belabour the point, but is there not one woman within our sphere who can hold your interest, someone who you could perhaps grow to love?”

“For a time I did consider Lady Gwendolyn Talbot, but….”

James let out a little chuckle while trying to suppress the urge to cough. “Ah, the bluestocking.

“I admit, she is very knowledgeable, but in speaking with her, I found the lady was not particularly fond of children, and that does not bode well for a marriage in my estimation. After some discussion, I came to the conclusion that she would do her duty to produce the required heir, but little more. As for living at Pemberley, her preference is to remain here in Town where she could more easily pursue her intellectual interests and oversee her numerous charities.” He huffed. “From that respect, it would be far better for her to marry a Member of Parliament rather than a gentleman farmer.”

“I understand.” James studied his son for a moment. “Fitzwilliam, I have another option which I want you to consider. With the signing of the Treaty of Amiens, it seems many of our people will flock to the continent for the summer months.”

“So I have heard,” he replied with reserve.

“My sister has lately written expressing her desire to visit. If you recall, the family estate is a three or four-day journey from Vienna.” William nodded in response. “More recently, with Count von Lamberg’s death and his son actively being in service to the emperor, the family resides much of the year at one of their northern properties. I understand they now live in a castle not far from Vienna.”

James’ younger sister, formerly Henrietta Darcy, had married an Austrian ambassador, Count Nicholas von Lamberg, whom she had met during her second season in London. At that time, the count was on an extended holiday following the completion of his political assignments in London and was staying with some of his distant relations who lived in the area. Henrietta was not only beautiful and intelligent, but she was an ambitious woman when it came to title and fortune. Once she met the count and had assessed his heritage and wealth, she was determined to secure him as her husband. Having been a widower for several years with no children and eager to find another wife, the count could not resist the charms of the captivating young woman.

Following a quiet marriage in the Church of England, Henrietta returned with her husband to Austria, where they were again married in the Catholic Church before she accepted her title as countess. Following the death of her husband, their son, Nicholas II, assumed his father’s position, taking over the running of the estate and various other interests within the Austrian government.

“A castle?” William questioned with curiosity.

“Yes, a castle which is built into the mountainside and overlooks one of the tributaries of the Danube River. Although the young count spends much of his time in Vienna with his political obligations, it is far more convenient for him to travel the shorter distance to visit my sister there rather than spend many days journeying back and forth to their estate in the south. Now that Henrietta’s mourning period has ended, she would like to journey here and renew relations with our family and that of her late husband. Her daughter, Lady Karoline-Maria, is eager to travel and plans to accompany her. Your cousin is one and twenty.”

William scowled. “Father, what are you suggesting?”

“Son, I would like you to go to Austria shortly after Anne’s ball and serve as an escort to my sister and her daughter. Since finishing university, you have devoted your efforts to the estate without fail. I regret that you have never experienced a grand tour, as many young men of our sphere so often do. Although your trip will be fairly short, it will give you an opportunity to see a bit of the continent and enjoy the magnificence of Vienna. And, should you happen to develop an attachment to your cousin, you need not look any further for a wife.”

“Father, are you mad?!” William nearly shouted on comprehending what his father was suggesting. “Treaty or not, I cannot possibly go to Vienna. It is a long journey, and I have far too many obligations here demanding my attention. Not to mention I am in the middle of settling matters with Grandfather’s mines. Father, this is not something I wish to consider.”

“Fitzwilliam, with regards to the mines, you will just have to instruct Mr. Horne to act in your stead and we have many competent people who can easily oversee your other concerns while you are gone. I have not seen my sister since before you were born, and she has the desire to reunite with our family. As my son, it is only proper that you be the one to escort her and your cousin on their journey here. In addition, Henrietta knows of my wishes with regards to your future and is not opposed to a match between cousins. With that in mind, she sent a likeness of Lady Karoline-Maria in her latest correspondence for your consideration. Here, let me show you. I think you will find her quite lovely.” James took the miniature from his pocket and handed it to William. The young woman in the picture wore a pleasant smile. Her colouring was fair, as she had blond hair and blue eyes, much as Lady Henrietta did.

William startled on seeing the miniature and purposely handed it back. “I admit she is beautiful, but, Father, this woman could be Georgiana in a few years’ time. I cannot possibly consider someone who so greatly resembles my thirteen-year-old sister.”

 “Fitzwilliam, Lady Karoline-Maria is your first cousin, not your sister. With the countess being a Darcy, it is only natural that her daughter would hold some family resemblance.”

“Even so….” William continued to scowl. “If I have no interest in marrying Anne, whom I have known all of my life, what makes you think I would have any interest in marrying yet another cousin? I doubt that this woman even speaks English, and you know I am not particularly fond of German. Not to mention, there is the difference in our religion. I, for one, am not inclined to convert to Catholicism as my aunt did, and I would assume my Austrian cousin would have a similar view of converting to the Church of England. I cannot believe that my cousin would willingly leave all she knows to live out her days in a foreign land. No, Father, this cannot be.”

“Son, I shall not argue that there is much to consider. Still, according to my sister, her daughter is not opposed to the match. Moreover, she is fluent in English as well as French and Italian. Henrietta insisted that both of her children learn these languages. As it stands, I have accepted my sister’s request to visit. Shortly after Anne’s ball, you will set sail for the continent. I have already asked my solicitor to make the arrangements, and we can review your travel plans once everything has been confirmed. Between now and then, should you meet a woman who attracts your interest, you may feel free to pursue a courtship with her upon your return. Nevertheless, if you do not meet someone, I expect you to give Lady Karoline-Maria your full consideration. Fitzwilliam, you cannot continually put off your duty to take a wife. I am determined to see you wed within the next year whether it is by your choice or mine.”

William’s scowl could not have been any more pronounced, but with his father’s mind made up, there was little point in further discussion.

“Now if you would please help me, Son. I would like to retire to my rooms. I trust you will enjoy your evening out.”

“Yes, Father.”

So there you have it. As you can imagine with the Treaty of Amiens declaring a ceasefire in the war, British citizens are traveling to the continent for business as well as pleasure. Find out what happens to Fitzwilliam Darcy when he meets Elizabeth Bennet and her Gardiner relations in Vienna.

Darcy’s family has great expectations for him, but after experiencing a life-threatening accident, he has ideas of his own. Will pressure from his family force him to marry a cousin he does not love, or will he follow HIS HEART’S DESIRE?

Remember, you will need to leave a comment with your Amazon Marketplace in order to enter my giveaway. The Giveaway will end on Sunday 8-28-2022 at 11:59 pm.

Here is the Amazon link for His Heart’s Desire.

 

 

 

The Appearance of Goodness ~ A Pride and Prejudice Variation

JAFF Lovers!

For the first time “The Appearance of Goodness” by Brenda J Webb is available for you to read on Kindle Unlimited with your subscription. The eBook sells for $9.99 while you can also purchase the print book for $17.49.

For as long as he could remember, Fitzwilliam Darcy had dealt with the schemes of his identical twin Alexander and Pemberley’s steward’s son, George Wickham, who did all in their power to prove him unworthy of being George Darcy’s heir. Jealous that Fitzwilliam had been born first, Alexander had found purpose in tormenting his reticent brother in every conceivable way. After their father’s death, however, he found himself at the mercy of the person he always resented.

By chance, Elizabeth Bennet met Alexander Darcy the summer he visited Charles Bingley at Netherfield Park. Instantly taken with his charming manners, handsome mien and unconcealed interest, Elizabeth was totally unprepared when circumstances dictated that she marry his taciturn brother.

Before it is too late for happiness, will Elizabeth discover which of the Darcy brothers is good whilst the other merely has the appearance of goodness? Read now on Amazon! 

 

In Celebration!

 

Happy New Year and Welcome to my little party celebrating the release of An Angel In Her Pocket by Brenda Webb.

According to Brenda, this delightful tale was inspired by her favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. Whilst her story does not follow that plot, she wanted to write a tale about an angel who helps Elizabeth Bennet one bleak Christmas. Here is the book blurb for An Angel In Her Pocket followed by an excerpt. Enjoy!   

Blurb: Life had been hard for Elizabeth Bennet in the months since she refused Mr. Darcy’s proposal at Kent. Lydia eloped with Mr. Wickham, and her father died shortly thereafter. Mr. Collins took possession of Longbourn, forcing her family to live apart to survive. She and Jane left to live in London with the Gardiners, and Elizabeth’s hope of finding employment there was fading quickly as Christmas approached.

Grace Angelini is on a mission from St. Peter to right a wrong. For her plan to work, Fitzwilliam Darcy has to overcome his pride and propose to Elizabeth Bennet a second time, although neither is a part of the other’s circle. Undeterred, Grace does her best to unite the couple by securing a position for Elizabeth as Darcy’s goddaughter’s governess. Will Grace’s help prove to be a blessing or a curse when Elizabeth’s position is put in peril through no fault of her own? You’ll find the answer in An Angel In Her Pocket, available at Amazon.Com

And now for the preview

As William waited in the reception line, he recalled why he dreaded these kinds of events. The crush of the throng vying for position made him feel as though he could not get a decent breath of air, and no matter which way he looked people were staring at him. Heavy on his mind, too, was the fact that some would take his attendance at this soirée as affirmation that he intended to wed Lord Crawford’s sister, Lady Priscilla.

After all, what have the matrons of the ton to obsess about if not matching me with every woman of marriageable age in Britain.

Still, because Lady Crawford’s mother and Lady Anne had been lifelong friends, he and Marianne had grown up in each other’s company, and she had a way of cajoling him into doing things he would never dream of doing otherwise—such as attending this ball.

“So good to see you again, Darcy!” Lord Crawford said, grinning as he grasped his former classmate’s hand the instant William stood in front of him. “Marianne said you promised to attend, but I was not ready to believe it until I saw you.”

Glancing to the staircase, Crawford continued. “A maid spirited my wife away to handle an issue with Isabelle, but with luck she should return at any moment.” Then, leaning in close, he whispered, “I recall how much you hate these affairs, but Priscilla would never have let me hear the end of it if you had not come. I am grateful for your presence.”

“It is good to see you again, Crawford,” William said. Then he, too, leaned in close to whisper, “And we both know I would never have heard the end of it from your wife had I not come.”

Lord Crawford laughed. “I will not lie. Marianne is not above promoting Priscilla as your perfect match. We would both be thrilled to have you as a member of our family.”

William ignored that assertion. Instead, hearing the musicians tuning their instruments, he glanced to the double doors that led into the ballroom. “Has my cousin arrived yet?”

Lord Crawford smiled. It was no secret that Darcy depended on Colonel Fitzwilliam to intercede on his behalf when the women who pursued him became obnoxious. “You will be happy to hear that Richard is already in the ballroom, as are Lord and Lady Matlock. So it is safe for you to go in.”

William smiled, but it faded as quickly as it appeared. “May I ask if Lady Priscilla is in the ballroom as well?”

“You should already know the answer to that! My little sister likes to make a dramatic entrance, and my understanding is that she planned to wait until a certain someone arrived before she came down.” He glanced at the top of the stairs. “I imagine her spies will be severely chastised, for evidently, she has not yet been informed you are here.”

“Perhaps I am not the one she is waiting for,” William ventured.

“Oh, you have no worry there. She only has eyes for you.”

“Crawford, you do realise that I am not—”

“Say no more, Darcy. I am teasing. I know that you think of my sister as a friend and are doing your best to let her down gently. I appreciate that.”

In celebration of Brenda’s new release, I am giving away 5 eBook copies of An Angel In Her Pocket, 5 eBook copies of my book, A Mother’s Touch and 10 Audio Promo codes for A Very Merry Mix-up to readers who comment here on the forum blog! If you do not live in the United States, I will need to know which Amazon Marketplace you use so that I can send you an Amazon gift card to complete your purchase. Audio promo codes are available to folks who live in the USA or UK. This giveaway will close on January 8th and the winners will be notified accordingly. You may enter in the giveaway for all three books. Just tell me in the comments what you are interested in winning. Good Luck and be sure to leave some love for Brenda and her new release! Jen Red ♫ ♫ ♫
       

                                                                       

A Very Merry Mix-up: Something for everyone!

Greetings! My very first self-published book, A Very Merry Mix-up has new life with an Audible version narrated by Catherine Bilson and Spanish Edition translated by Tere Garcia Ruy Sanchez. Today I invite you to take a look and enter in my give away for all three versions of my book by leaving your comments and preferences at the end of this post.

                  It all began when Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam stopped at the posting station in Bromley on their way to Rosings Park for their annual visit. Looking for some diversion, the good colonel happened upon a local Romani woman who was selling her people’s treasured Moon Wine.

 

Find out what happens to some of our favorite Jane Austen characters when her advice is ignored in A Very Merry Mix-up. 

Todo empezó cuando Fitzwilliam Darcy y su primo, el Coronel Richard Fitzwilliam, se detuvieron en la estación de posta en Bromley de camino a Rosings Park para su visita anual. Buscando algo de diversión, el buen coronel se topó con una mujer gitana local que estaba vendiendo su preciado Vino de Luna. Averigüen qué les sucede a algunos de nuestros personajes favoritos de Jane Austen cuando el consejo de la gitana es ignorado en Una Muy Alegre Confusión.

 To celebrate the release of my Audible Version and Spanish translation of this book, I’m giving away 5 eBook copies in English, 5 eBook copies in Spanish and 10 Audible Promo codes for Audible listeners who live in the United States or in the United Kingdom. All you need to do is comment below (English or Spanish) and tell me which giveaways you would like to enter. The giveaway will run through Friday, August 28th. Thanks so much for stopping by. Enjoy! Jen Red ♫

Click on this link and listen to the Audible Sample ♫

Find all of my books at Amazon.

 

 

Welcome to My Birthday Party! ♫

Welcome to my birthday party! Please help yourself to a slice of cake while you enjoy an excerpt from my new book, A Mother’s Touch.

My book, which first posted right here on the DarcyandLizzy forum is a collection of seven stories inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. See Lady Anne through the eyes of her daughter, Georgiana, in Lady Anne’s Quilt. Experience the relationship young Fitzwilliam has with his mother in Our Special Day. Then join Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth and discover how wonderful it is to have Lady Anne’s influence in their lives as they become parents in Our Future.

In this post I thought it would be fun to meet Bennet James Fitzwilliam Darcy. As you can imagine, being the first born, Elizabeth and Darcy absolutely dote on the boy. Let us begin with a conversation between Bennet and his mother in The Teacher.

Pemberley, The Master Bedchamber, 1817

Lazily setting her book aside, Elizabeth Darcy leaned her head back against the pillows of the bed. The curtains fluttered as a warm breeze blew in through the window, prompting her to close her eyes in repose. Rubbing the swell of her stomach, she could feel a gentle kicking since she was once again increasing with child. Happily, she began to hum a little tune hoping that the sound of her voice would soothe the babe growing within her body.

Now that she was in her sixth month, her morning sickness had long subsided, and all she wanted was a little extra rest each day. In addition, her husband was much calmer and more self-assured since she had borne her first confinement without any complications. Though he still remained a bit protective, he did not worry over her to the extent he had with their firstborn. In Elizabeth’s mind, little Bennet was the perfect child for William. Although he was not yet five-years-old, her son’s inquisitive mind and eagerness to learn compelled her husband to let go of his more reserved nature when they were together. The boy was very intelligent and thrived in his father’s company.

While it was customary for families of Darcy’s station to hire a governess or tutor for their children, for the time being, William preferred to see to the boy’s education himself. No matter what pressing estate business befell the master of Pemberley, he always allowed time for Bennet’s lessons. Once they began working on a project, hours would pass before either of them left the confines of the study or the Nature Room. On other days, her husband might allow the boy to accompany him as he made his rounds about the estate. Even though the boy was young, Bennet’s uncommon maturity allowed him to comprehend much about the responsibilities he would someday inherit.

Elizabeth could not help but smile when thinking of her son’s latest request. Earlier in the week, the young master had deemed he was too old for his afternoon naps and had proposed he no longer needed them. To his disappointment, Elizabeth had told him she would consider his request in another month when it was closer to his birthday. Young Bennet was an obedient son, but in this instance, it was difficult for him to abide by her decision. For three consecutive days, her son had taken to sneaking out of the nursery after pretending to fall asleep. His goal had been to join his father and today proved to be no exception when Elizabeth heard the patter of little feet running past her room.

Rising from her bed and opening the door, she looked down the hall and saw her precious son standing on his tiptoes, peering over the top of the banister. With his shoes in hand, he was no doubt checking for servants who might report his misdeeds. Watching Bennet as he carefully took one last look around before attempting his descent, Elizabeth quickly walked in his direction with her arms crossed and a stern expression fixed on her face. Seeing his mother, the boy dropped his shoes and hung his head in defeat.

“Bennet James Fitzwilliam Darcy,” Elizabeth calmly spoke. “Would you please pick up your shoes and come with me so that we may talk?”

“Yes, Mama,” he answered, his little mouth downturned as he followed her into her chambers.

Trying not to smile at his seriousness, Elizabeth sat on the sofa and patted a place next to her where she wished Bennet to sit. “Now, my son, can you tell me why you have left the nursery when you were supposed to be taking your afternoon nap?”

“Yes, Mama, I can.” He sat up tall and began to speak with resolution. “I have very important work to do with Papa, and I wanted to join him for my lessons.”

“I see.” Running her fingers through his curly hair she said, “Do you not think that your lessons can wait until you have rested? Even Papa says that he can concentrate much better when he has had a proper rest, and I know he does not mind waiting for you.”

“But, Mama, it is very hard for me to rest on the days when we have our lessons. Papa is my teacher, and I want to learn everything that he knows. Yesterday he finished drawing a new picture in our learning book, and today we are going to have a story. Mama….” His face drew close to hers as his eyes widened in excitement. “It is a picture of a great, big, green dragon with many scales and sharp horns, and Papa said I could help him tell the story.” The boy was bursting with pride as he continued. “I could not rest for thinking of what our story might be.”

“A dragon?” she questioned.

“Yes, the colonel told me the legend of the dragon and of brave knights and of castles and of kings and queens when he was last here. Papa and I have been making a study.” He beamed.

Unable to resist his enthusiasm, Elizabeth held out her arms and crushed her son into a hug. “Oh, my son, it sounds truly wondrous. I now understand why you were so anxious to join Papa. Perhaps we should suspend your nap for today. Would you like that?”

“Oh yes, Mama, I would.”

Kissing his forehead, she said, “Then let us put on your shoes. No matter how anxious you are to meet him, Papa expects you to act like the young master of Pemberley when you are about the house. That means you must wear your shoes and not run through the halls like a wild dog.” She gave him a meaningful look.

“Yes, Mama,” he politely answered while pulling on his shoes.

“Very good. I think I should also like to hear this story. May I join you?”

“Please, Mama, do come!” Young Bennet excitedly bounced to the floor taking her hand. “Let us go now! Papa will be waiting.” 

So what do you think of our little Bennet? And how about the dragon which Darcy drew at his son’s request? 

Now it’s your turn to have your say by leaving your thoughts in the comment thread.  If you are a winner of one of the eBooks and do not live in the United States, I’ll purchase a gift card for your Amazon marketplace so you can pick up the book that way. Good luck!

Jennifer Redlarczyk ♫

PRIZES:   Be sure to let me know which Prizes you’re interested in winning in your comments. The Giveaway goes through May 26th. ♫

  • A Mother’s Touch: 3 eBooks – You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
  • Darcy’s Melody: 1 eBook – You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
  • A Very Merry Mix-up: 1 eBook – You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
  • A Taste of Peanut Butter: 2 eBooks -You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
  • A Holiday to Remember: 2 eBooks -You may choose a print book if you live in the United States or Canada.
  • Taking Another Chance by Brenda Webb: 1 eBook
  • TWO $5 Amazon gift cards for your market place to purchase ANY book of your choice.
  • Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery by Linda Franz: 1 Print book to a winner who lives in either the United States or Canada. 

Note: The print book by Linda Franz is an amazing display of the Jane Austen Quilt which resides at Chawton House. This book is filled with beautiful pictures, history about the quilt and directions on how to make your own replica.

    

Amazon Link for A Mother’s Touch

Draft2Digital Link for A Mother’s Touch

 

 

Jennifer Redlarczyk’s Anniversary Sale continues through January 1, 2020

In celebration of the one year anniversary of A Holiday to Remember, I am reducing the price for both of my Pride and Prejudice Inspired Modern Novellas to ninety-nine cents. These two books are light-hearted, low-angst JAFF stories filled with music, delicious desserts and Happy Endings! Check out the opening scene for each of my books here, and in the next blog try out some of Lizzy’s delicious recipes. Enjoy and Happy Reading! Jen Red ♫

From Chapter One: Meryton Academy for the Performing Arts, present day

“Liz Bennet! Please tell me I didn’t hear what I just thought I heard!” Charlotte Lucas burst through the doors of the choir room and marched straight to the keyboard where Elizabeth was working out the final arrangements for A Holiday to Remember—part of the music academy’s final showcase before the winter break.

“Char, I have no idea what you’re talking about, and I’m kind of on a deadline here. Uh … you do remember I have a major rehearsal at six o’clock tonight?” She arched a questioning eyebrow in her friend’s direction before entering the final chords on the master lead sheet in her computer.

“Right, but for your information, Mr. Billy Collins just told everyone in the teacher’s lounge he has a big date with you on New Year’s Eve. He says he’s escorting you to the Pemberley Foundation’s charity gala at Forest Ridge. What gives? Don’t those tickets start at five hundred a pop? Not to mention any woman who would dare to go out with that nutter would have to be a marble short.” 

Elizabeth stopped what she was doing and burst into laughter. “Char, do you honestly think BC would actually shell out that kind of money just to have a date with me? The man is so tight he probably wouldn’t spend five dollars on his own mother. Don’t worry. The Vocalteens were asked to perform at the gala and will be doing the opening act right after dessert. Since Reeves will be out of town, I’m making do with Billy-boy to run sound. You’re welcome to join us if you don’t have a date. I can always use an extra chaperone. Plus, after the kids leave, the adults are invited to stay and enjoy the rest of the party. There’s going to be a live band, dancing, loads of food and some kind of a silent auction. It could be fun, even without dates.”

“Sorry, Liz. As a matter of fact, I do have a date.” Charlotte straightened up and fluttered her eyelashes in jest. “And … as much as I’d like to hobnob with the rich and famous, Brexton Denny is taking me to the Signature Room to celebrate the New Year. Who knows, this might turn out to be my Holiday to Remember, if you don’t mind me borrowing the title from your medley.”

“Go right ahead. The Signature Room is pretty impressive. Is there any chance your Mr. Denny might finally be getting serious?”

“Not to my knowledge. Still, there’s no way I’m going to pass up a date with a buff trainer from the fitness club, fireworks over Lake Michigan, and a kiss at midnight.”

“A kiss at midnight,” Elizabeth sighed, kind of dreamy-eyed. “Aunt Maddy says being kissed at midnight by someone special is magical, and although I’ve yet to meet that perfect someone, I believe her.”

“Girl, you’ve been watching way too many holiday romance movies on your favorite channel, if you ask me. I could never be like you. At any rate, if you need an escort, you can always ask my brother. I know Johnny isn’t ideal, but he’s okay in a pinch. On second thought, what about that cute drummer from the music store? Didn’t you go out with him a couple of times? Maybe you can take him.” 

“George Wickham?! I think not! And no, we never dated. Char, your memory fails you. I only agreed to sing backups for that smooth talker’s band at Lollapalooza last summer because he was desperate. Believe me; dating was not part of the chord chart. Besides, I’m hardly interested in a fly-by-night drummer or any freelance musician for that matter. And I’m definitely considering adding your brother to my no-go list of men. If Johnny stands me up for one more transmission or any other mechanical failure, the man is toast. As it turns out, I’ll probably hand him his marching orders once he escorts me to Charles Bingley’s holiday party on Friday. Who knows, I may end up following Jane’s lead and using her professional dating service after all. I mean, who could complain about Mr. Bingley?”

“Are you serious?”

“Absolutely! Charles is exceptional. He’s considerate and has a great sense of humor. Plus, he brings Jane flowers, sends her cards, and takes her out to dinner, concerts, company functions, yada, yada…. And to top it all off, it was Charles Bingley who recommended the Vocalteens for the Pemberley gig. As one of the corporate lawyers who work for the foundation, he was happy to submit my PR materials to the marketing director. Mr. Reynolds thinks our Holiday to Remember medley will be perfect for the charity gala.”

“I agree; it’s bound to be a hit. The kids are already looking pretty good, and you still have until next Thursday to pull it all together for the showcase. Speaking of the gala, I hear the CEO of Darcy Enterprises is pretty hot.” Charlotte wiggled her eyebrows as if in the know. “William Darcy has been in all of the tabloids lately. They say he’s some kind of aloof, mystery man—tall, dark, and handsome. I wonder if he’ll be there.”

William Darcy?” Elizabeth frowned. “His sister, Georgiana, was studying piano with Aunt Maddy at the music store until….” Her voice trailed off. “Are you sure he’s connected to the foundation? Mr. Reynolds never mentioned him.”

“Small world! According to Google, the foundation is run by Darcy Enterprises.” Glancing at the wall clock, Charlotte changed the subject. “It looks like the bell is about to ring, so I’d better head over to my advanced ballet class. Do you still need help tonight with choreography for the opening number?”

“I’d really appreciate it, since I’m going to have my hands full with the pit orchestra. If you can take over while we run through my new arrangements, it would mean one less thing for me to juggle at practice.”

“No problem. I’ll be there. Catch you later.”

“Thanks.”

After Charlotte left, Elizabeth minimized her music program and quickly googled William Darcy, CEO of Darcy Enterprises. “I can’t believe it. It is him! So, Mr. Darcy,” she continued to babble while glaring at the computer screen. “Your Mr. Reynolds booked us for the gala. How was he to know you never wanted to see me again?” She shrugged her shoulders. “Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to make the most of it, won’t we?” 

 

Elizabeth Bennet has a passion for baking and peanut butter happens to be her signature ingredient. William Darcy’s family owns Pemberley Network where she is a contestant in their next bake off. Will their newly found romance be complicated by a conflict of interest?  Find out in A TASTE OF PEANUT BUTTER. 

  “A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.”  Jane Austen ~ Pride and Prejudice

CHAPTER ONE:  What Are Men Compared to Cookies, Cakes, and Peanut Butter? 

O’Hare International Airport – Friday afternoon, late spring

“So, did you have to pay extra to check your overweight bag?” Jane Bennet stood with her hands on her hips and gave her younger sister a quizzical look.   “I did—a total of one hundred dollars to be precise. Can you believe it? My bag was only nine pounds over the limit. Heck, I could have checked in an extra suitcase for that price. If only peanut butter didn’t weigh so much.”

Jane giggled. “Lizzy, you probably wouldn’t have had to pay a thing if you only left some of your baking pans and that ridiculous Chinese wok behind. Plus you wouldn’t have had to stuff so much in your carry-on and backpack.”

“What are you talking about? My flat is almost barren when it comes to kitchenware. Okay, I admit I probably could have gotten by without the wok even though I did promise my teammates from the bank that I’d cook Thai when we start working on our hospitality booth for Wimbledon. Believe me, by that time they will have had their fill of my practice desserts. Nevertheless, the bake off is coming up, and I need every single one of those baking pans if I’m going to keep practicing. I have big plans for my babies—chocolate peanut butter cream pie, peanut butter spice cake, not to mention my killer cheesecake. I only hope I don’t run short of peanut butter. The good stuff is like gold in the UK.” 

“Now you listen to me, Elizabeth Anne Bennet! With the exception of the contest, you, my dear sister, are supposed to be taking a hiatus from cooking. Your roomy, Charlotte, is absolutely right. You will never get a decent guy to like you for the smart, intelligent, beautiful woman you are if you keep flaunting your cooking skills at every turn. Men aren’t normal when it comes to your culinary expertise. It’s like they’re on drugs or something. I’m tired of hearing about all the bozos who somehow think they’ve struck it rich with their own personal chef while forgetting how to treat you like a real date. I’d like to know, dear sister, when was the last time a guy friend invited you out to dinner instead of having you come over to his place with your apron in hand.”

“Look, Jane,” she huffed. “I won’t stop being who I am. That’s all there is to it. With going to school and my internship at the UBI, I have a very stressful schedule. Not to mention, I have to suffer through a nasty test on derivatives as soon as classes resume. Then, in addition to Wimbledon, our team is organizing another gala event for early autumn. Believe me; I need a diversion after putting in so many hours between the bank and school. Feeding my friends is how I relax.”

Jane couldn’t resist giving her younger sister a big hug. “Okay, I understand. I just wish you would give Charlotte’s plan a try the next time you go out with a new guy. How hard could it be to refrain from talking about your hobby on the first date? Better still—wait till you’ve had three. You know what they say—the third time’s the charm. Sweetie, I would love to see you graduate from Elizabeth Bennet, personal cook, pal or surrogate sister to girlfriend extraordinaire!

“I know.” She pouted.

“Hey, don’t give me that. I want assurance and a pinky promise that you’ll at least try.” The two laughed as they went through the ritual.

“All right, I promise, I’ll do my best. But if….”

“No buts! Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s my reader. See if you can squeeze it in your bag. I loaded it with my favourite, Pride and Prejudice. Maybe you can take a hint from your namesake and challenge yourself to find a real Mr. Darcy.”

Elizabeth let out a hearty laugh. “Oh, Jane, I love how you have me giving up my cooking passion and meeting Mr. Darcy all in one fell swoop. You are without question one demanding sister!”

“Not really. I’m simply a romantic at heart, just like you. Now, get on through security. I’d better go before Dad gets a ticket out there in the mob.” The two sisters hugged, and Jane waved as she rushed toward the exit. “Don’t forget to text me once you get squared away on the other side. Love you!”

“Okay, Sis! I love you, too!” Elizabeth called as she clumsily lugged all of her things to the closest security checkpoint. Removing her sandals and pulling out all electronic devices from her backpack, she quickly filled two grey plastic holding bins and managed to hoist her overstuffed carry-on onto the conveyor belt.

Little did Elizabeth Bennet realize, however, that she was being closely eyed by a very interested party of the male persuasion. Captivated by the perky brunette, he had overheard her entire conversation and was now formulating his own plan

Curious, I never thought of dating an American. She said that she is an intern at the UBI. I wonder why I haven’t ever seen her there. Of course, there are loads of interns at the bank. He couldn’t help smiling while candidly giving her the once over. Beautiful, long, dark, silky hair—nice. And her eyes…. I could easily get lost in those dark chocolate orbs if given the chance. Great figure and even more important, she cooks. I’ve never dated a woman who liked to cook. My dates would rather have me wine and dine them at expensive restaurants. Without a doubt, this Elizabeth is different from all the other Elizabeth Bennets I’ve ever met, or any other woman for that matter. She’s so … unpretentious, refreshing and obviously not a part of the corporate set. I wonder. Richard did suggest that I consider stepping out of my comfort zone for a change. Maybe….  

A Holiday to Remember at Amazon 

A Taste of Peanut Butter at Amazon 

 

Happy Anniversary! ♫

In celebration of the one year anniversary of A Holiday to Remember, I am reducing the price for both of my Pride and Prejudice Inspired Modern Novellas to ninety-nine cents. These two books are light-hearted, low-angst JAFF stories filled with music, delicious desserts and Happy Endings! Check out the opening scene for each of my books here, and in the next blog try out some of Lizzy’s delicious recipes. Enjoy and Happy Reading! Jen Red ♫

From Chapter One: Meryton Academy for the Performing Arts, present day

“Liz Bennet! Please tell me I didn’t hear what I just thought I heard!” Charlotte Lucas burst through the doors of the choir room and marched straight to the keyboard where Elizabeth was working out the final arrangements for A Holiday to Remember—part of the music academy’s final showcase before the winter break.

“Char, I have no idea what you’re talking about, and I’m kind of on a deadline here. Uh … you do remember I have a major rehearsal at six o’clock tonight?” She arched a questioning eyebrow in her friend’s direction before entering the final chords on the master lead sheet in her computer.

“Right, but for your information, Mr. Billy Collins just told everyone in the teacher’s lounge he has a big date with you on New Year’s Eve. He says he’s escorting you to the Pemberley Foundation’s charity gala at Forest Ridge. What gives? Don’t those tickets start at five hundred a pop? Not to mention any woman who would dare to go out with that nutter would have to be a marble short.” 

Elizabeth stopped what she was doing and burst into laughter. “Char, do you honestly think BC would actually shell out that kind of money just to have a date with me? The man is so tight he probably wouldn’t spend five dollars on his own mother. Don’t worry. The Vocalteens were asked to perform at the gala and will be doing the opening act right after dessert. Since Reeves will be out of town, I’m making do with Billy-boy to run sound. You’re welcome to join us if you don’t have a date. I can always use an extra chaperone. Plus, after the kids leave, the adults are invited to stay and enjoy the rest of the party. There’s going to be a live band, dancing, loads of food and some kind of a silent auction. It could be fun, even without dates.”

“Sorry, Liz. As a matter of fact, I do have a date.” Charlotte straightened up and fluttered her eyelashes in jest. “And … as much as I’d like to hobnob with the rich and famous, Brexton Denny is taking me to the Signature Room to celebrate the New Year. Who knows, this might turn out to be my Holiday to Remember, if you don’t mind me borrowing the title from your medley.”

“Go right ahead. The Signature Room is pretty impressive. Is there any chance your Mr. Denny might finally be getting serious?”

“Not to my knowledge. Still, there’s no way I’m going to pass up a date with a buff trainer from the fitness club, fireworks over Lake Michigan, and a kiss at midnight.”

“A kiss at midnight,” Elizabeth sighed, kind of dreamy-eyed. “Aunt Maddy says being kissed at midnight by someone special is magical, and although I’ve yet to meet that perfect someone, I believe her.”

“Girl, you’ve been watching way too many holiday romance movies on your favorite channel, if you ask me. I could never be like you. At any rate, if you need an escort, you can always ask my brother. I know Johnny isn’t ideal, but he’s okay in a pinch. On second thought, what about that cute drummer from the music store? Didn’t you go out with him a couple of times? Maybe you can take him.” 

“George Wickham?! I think not! And no, we never dated. Char, your memory fails you. I only agreed to sing backups for that smooth talker’s band at Lollapalooza last summer because he was desperate. Believe me; dating was not part of the chord chart. Besides, I’m hardly interested in a fly-by-night drummer or any freelance musician for that matter. And I’m definitely considering adding your brother to my no-go list of men. If Johnny stands me up for one more transmission or any other mechanical failure, the man is toast. As it turns out, I’ll probably hand him his marching orders once he escorts me to Charles Bingley’s holiday party on Friday. Who knows, I may end up following Jane’s lead and using her professional dating service after all. I mean, who could complain about Mr. Bingley?”

“Are you serious?”

“Absolutely! Charles is exceptional. He’s considerate and has a great sense of humor. Plus, he brings Jane flowers, sends her cards, and takes her out to dinner, concerts, company functions, yada, yada…. And to top it all off, it was Charles Bingley who recommended the Vocalteens for the Pemberley gig. As one of the corporate lawyers who work for the foundation, he was happy to submit my PR materials to the marketing director. Mr. Reynolds thinks our Holiday to Remember medley will be perfect for the charity gala.”

“I agree; it’s bound to be a hit. The kids are already looking pretty good, and you still have until next Thursday to pull it all together for the showcase. Speaking of the gala, I hear the CEO of Darcy Enterprises is pretty hot.” Charlotte wiggled her eyebrows as if in the know. “William Darcy has been in all of the tabloids lately. They say he’s some kind of aloof, mystery man—tall, dark, and handsome. I wonder if he’ll be there.”

William Darcy?” Elizabeth frowned. “His sister, Georgiana, was studying piano with Aunt Maddy at the music store until….” Her voice trailed off. “Are you sure he’s connected to the foundation? Mr. Reynolds never mentioned him.”

“Small world! According to Google, the foundation is run by Darcy Enterprises.” Glancing at the wall clock, Charlotte changed the subject. “It looks like the bell is about to ring, so I’d better head over to my advanced ballet class. Do you still need help tonight with choreography for the opening number?”

“I’d really appreciate it, since I’m going to have my hands full with the pit orchestra. If you can take over while we run through my new arrangements, it would mean one less thing for me to juggle at practice.”

“No problem. I’ll be there. Catch you later.”

“Thanks.”

After Charlotte left, Elizabeth minimized her music program and quickly googled William Darcy, CEO of Darcy Enterprises. “I can’t believe it. It is him! So, Mr. Darcy,” she continued to babble while glaring at the computer screen. “Your Mr. Reynolds booked us for the gala. How was he to know you never wanted to see me again?” She shrugged her shoulders. “Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to make the most of it, won’t we?” 

 

Elizabeth Bennet has a passion for baking and peanut butter happens to be her signature ingredient. William Darcy’s family owns Pemberley Network where she is a contestant in their next bake off. Will their newly found romance be complicated by a conflict of interest?  Find out in A TASTE OF PEANUT BUTTER. 

  “A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.”  Jane Austen ~ Pride and Prejudice

CHAPTER ONE:  What Are Men Compared to Cookies, Cakes, and Peanut Butter? 

O’Hare International Airport – Friday afternoon, late spring

“So, did you have to pay extra to check your overweight bag?” Jane Bennet stood with her hands on her hips and gave her younger sister a quizzical look.   “I did—a total of one hundred dollars to be precise. Can you believe it? My bag was only nine pounds over the limit. Heck, I could have checked in an extra suitcase for that price. If only peanut butter didn’t weigh so much.”

Jane giggled. “Lizzy, you probably wouldn’t have had to pay a thing if you only left some of your baking pans and that ridiculous Chinese wok behind. Plus you wouldn’t have had to stuff so much in your carry-on and backpack.”

“What are you talking about? My flat is almost barren when it comes to kitchenware. Okay, I admit I probably could have gotten by without the wok even though I did promise my teammates from the bank that I’d cook Thai when we start working on our hospitality booth for Wimbledon. Believe me, by that time they will have had their fill of my practice desserts. Nevertheless, the bake off is coming up, and I need every single one of those baking pans if I’m going to keep practicing. I have big plans for my babies—chocolate peanut butter cream pie, peanut butter spice cake, not to mention my killer cheesecake. I only hope I don’t run short of peanut butter. The good stuff is like gold in the UK.” 

“Now you listen to me, Elizabeth Anne Bennet! With the exception of the contest, you, my dear sister, are supposed to be taking a hiatus from cooking. Your roomy, Charlotte, is absolutely right. You will never get a decent guy to like you for the smart, intelligent, beautiful woman you are if you keep flaunting your cooking skills at every turn. Men aren’t normal when it comes to your culinary expertise. It’s like they’re on drugs or something. I’m tired of hearing about all the bozos who somehow think they’ve struck it rich with their own personal chef while forgetting how to treat you like a real date. I’d like to know, dear sister, when was the last time a guy friend invited you out to dinner instead of having you come over to his place with your apron in hand.”

“Look, Jane,” she huffed. “I won’t stop being who I am. That’s all there is to it. With going to school and my internship at the UBI, I have a very stressful schedule. Not to mention, I have to suffer through a nasty test on derivatives as soon as classes resume. Then, in addition to Wimbledon, our team is organizing another gala event for early autumn. Believe me; I need a diversion after putting in so many hours between the bank and school. Feeding my friends is how I relax.”

Jane couldn’t resist giving her younger sister a big hug. “Okay, I understand. I just wish you would give Charlotte’s plan a try the next time you go out with a new guy. How hard could it be to refrain from talking about your hobby on the first date? Better still—wait till you’ve had three. You know what they say—the third time’s the charm. Sweetie, I would love to see you graduate from Elizabeth Bennet, personal cook, pal or surrogate sister to girlfriend extraordinaire!

“I know.” She pouted.

“Hey, don’t give me that. I want assurance and a pinky promise that you’ll at least try.” The two laughed as they went through the ritual.

“All right, I promise, I’ll do my best. But if….”

“No buts! Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s my reader. See if you can squeeze it in your bag. I loaded it with my favourite, Pride and Prejudice. Maybe you can take a hint from your namesake and challenge yourself to find a real Mr. Darcy.”

Elizabeth let out a hearty laugh. “Oh, Jane, I love how you have me giving up my cooking passion and meeting Mr. Darcy all in one fell swoop. You are without question one demanding sister!”

“Not really. I’m simply a romantic at heart, just like you. Now, get on through security. I’d better go before Dad gets a ticket out there in the mob.” The two sisters hugged, and Jane waved as she rushed toward the exit. “Don’t forget to text me once you get squared away on the other side. Love you!”

“Okay, Sis! I love you, too!” Elizabeth called as she clumsily lugged all of her things to the closest security checkpoint. Removing her sandals and pulling out all electronic devices from her backpack, she quickly filled two grey plastic holding bins and managed to hoist her overstuffed carry-on onto the conveyor belt.

Little did Elizabeth Bennet realize, however, that she was being closely eyed by a very interested party of the male persuasion. Captivated by the perky brunette, he had overheard her entire conversation and was now formulating his own plan

Curious, I never thought of dating an American. She said that she is an intern at the UBI. I wonder why I haven’t ever seen her there. Of course, there are loads of interns at the bank. He couldn’t help smiling while candidly giving her the once over. Beautiful, long, dark, silky hair—nice. And her eyes…. I could easily get lost in those dark chocolate orbs if given the chance. Great figure and even more important, she cooks. I’ve never dated a woman who liked to cook. My dates would rather have me wine and dine them at expensive restaurants. Without a doubt, this Elizabeth is different from all the other Elizabeth Bennets I’ve ever met, or any other woman for that matter. She’s so … unpretentious, refreshing and obviously not a part of the corporate set. I wonder. Richard did suggest that I consider stepping out of my comfort zone for a change. Maybe….  

A Holiday to Remember at Amazon and Draft2Digital

A Taste of Peanut Butter at Amazon and Draft2Digital

 

 

I’m Having Another Party!

WELCOME to my party! This week I am celebrating the one year anniversary of Darcy’s Melody and the launch of A Taste of Peanut Butter. It’s been a wonderful since publishing my first long novel and I want to thank those of you who have supported my work with purchases and encouraging messages. To add to the festivities I am having a spectacular giveaway featuring my new book and many other fun prizes. All you have to do is leave your comments to enter. The contest is open to all readers who have access to an Amazon Marketplace. Now let the fun begin! ♫

Elizabeth Bennet has a passion for baking and peanut butter happens to be her signature ingredient. William Darcy’s family owns Pemberley Network where she is a contestant in their next bake off. Will their newly found romance be complicated by a conflict of interest?  Find out in A TASTE OF PEANUT BUTTER. 

“A girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then.”  Jane Austen ~ Pride and Prejudice

CHAPTER ONE  What Are Men Compared to Cookies, Cakes, and Peanut Butter? 

O’Hare International Airport – Friday afternoon, late spring

“So, did you have to pay extra to check your overweight bag?” Jane Bennet stood with her hands on her hips and gave her younger sister a quizzical look.    

“I did—a total of one hundred dollars to be precise. Can you believe it? My bag was only nine pounds over the limit. Heck, I could have checked in an extra suitcase for that price. If only peanut butter didn’t weigh so much.”

Jane giggled. “Lizzy, you probably wouldn’t have had to pay a thing if you only left some of your baking pans and that ridiculous Chinese wok behind. Plus you wouldn’t have had to stuff so much in your carry-on and backpack.”

“What are you talking about? My flat is almost barren when it comes to kitchenware. Okay, I admit I probably could have gotten by without the wok even though I did promise my teammates from the bank that I’d cook Thai when we start working on our hospitality booth for Wimbledon. Believe me, by that time they will have had their fill of my practice desserts. Nevertheless, the bake off is coming up, and I need every single one of those baking pans if I’m going to keep practicing. I have big plans for my babies—chocolate peanut butter cream pie, peanut butter spice cake, not to mention my killer cheesecake. I only hope I don’t run short of peanut butter. The good stuff is like gold in the UK.” 

“Now you listen to me, Elizabeth Anne Bennet! With the exception of the contest, you, my dear sister, are supposed to be taking a hiatus from cooking. Your roomy, Charlotte, is absolutely right. You will never get a decent guy to like you for the smart, intelligent, beautiful woman you are if you keep flaunting your cooking skills at every turn. Men aren’t normal when it comes to your culinary expertise. It’s like they’re on drugs or something. I’m tired of hearing about all the bozos who somehow think they’ve struck it rich with their own personal chef while forgetting how to treat you like a real date. I’d like to know, dear sister, when was the last time a guy friend invited you out to dinner instead of having you come over to his place with your apron in hand.”

“Look, Jane,” she huffed. “I won’t stop being who I am. That’s all there is to it. With going to school and my internship at the UBI, I have a very stressful schedule. Not to mention, I have to suffer through a nasty test on derivatives as soon as classes resume. Then, in addition to Wimbledon, our team is organizing another gala event for early autumn. Believe me; I need a diversion after putting in so many hours between the bank and school. Feeding my friends is how I relax.”

Jane couldn’t resist giving her younger sister a big hug. “Okay, I understand. I just wish you would give Charlotte’s plan a try the next time you go out with a new guy. How hard could it be to refrain from talking about your hobby on the first date? Better still—wait till you’ve had three. You know what they say—the third time’s the charm. Sweetie, I would love to see you graduate from Elizabeth Bennet, personal cook, pal or surrogate sister to girlfriend extraordinaire!

“I know.” She pouted.

“Hey, don’t give me that. I want assurance and a pinky promise that you’ll at least try.” The two laughed as they went through the ritual.

“All right, I promise, I’ll do my best. But if….”

“No buts! Oh, I almost forgot. Here’s my reader. See if you can squeeze it in your bag. I loaded it with my favourite, Pride and Prejudice. Maybe you can take a hint from your namesake and challenge yourself to find a real Mr. Darcy.”

Elizabeth let out a hearty laugh. “Oh, Jane, I love how you have me giving up my cooking passion and meeting Mr. Darcy all in one fell swoop. You are without question one demanding sister!”

“Not really. I’m simply a romantic at heart, just like you. Now, get on through security. I’d better go before Dad gets a ticket out there in the mob.” The two sisters hugged, and Jane waved as she rushed toward the exit. “Don’t forget to text me once you get squared away on the other side. Love you!”

“Okay, Sis! I love you, too!” Elizabeth called as she clumsily lugged all of her things to the closest security checkpoint. Removing her sandals and pulling out all electronic devices from her backpack, she quickly filled two grey plastic holding bins and managed to hoist her overstuffed carry-on onto the conveyor belt.

Little did Elizabeth Bennet realize, however, that she was being closely eyed by a very interested party of the male persuasion. Captivated by the perky brunette, he had overheard her entire conversation and was now formulating his own plan

Curious, I never thought of dating an American. She said that she is an intern at the UBI. I wonder why I haven’t ever seen her there. Of course, there are loads of interns at the bank. He couldn’t help smiling while candidly giving her the once over. Beautiful, long, dark, silky hair—nice. And her eyes…. I could easily get lost in those dark chocolate orbs if given the chance. Great figure and even more important, she cooks. I’ve never dated a woman who liked to cook. My dates would rather have me wine and dine them at expensive restaurants. Without a doubt, this Elizabeth is different from all the other Elizabeth Bennets I’ve ever met, or any other woman for that matter. She’s so … unpretentious, refreshing and obviously not a part of the corporate set. I wonder. Richard did suggest that I consider stepping out of my comfort zone for a change. Maybe….

And now for my giveaway! 

Below you will see a list of prizes. Just tell me which items you would like to win and let me know what you think about Lizzy’s Blissful Peanut Butter Cheesecake in the comments. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, August 28. Enjoy! 

A Taste of Peanut Butter – 3 eBooks or a choice of a Print book if you live in the United States

Darcy’s Melody – 2 eBooks

A Holiday to Remember – 2 eBooks

A Very Merry Mix-up – 2 eBooks

Taking Another Chance by Brenda Webb – 2 eBooks

One Jane Austen mug available to USA residents

One Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit® Counting Primer Board Book and Playset (BabyLit Playset) to USA residents

  

                

The Amazon Link for my book.

The Pinterest Link for both stories – a MUST see!

I’m Having A Birthday Party!

 

Welcome to my Party! May 20 is my birthday and I’m so happy you dropped by to have some cake and a little slice of Brenda Webb’s new book, Taking Another Chance. 

Here is her book blurb: Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have suffered profound heartache in the fourteen years since parting in Lambton when word of Lydia’s folly reached her family.

At the age of forty, Darcy is now a widower raising a teenage daughter, whilst Elizabeth, a spinster, has spent the intervening years in service. Unexpectedly thrown into each other’s company by circumstances not of their making, has time stood still when it comes to matters of the heart? Can their timeless love survive the newest obstacles to their happiness?

In addition to Brenda’s new book you will also have a chance to win one of my published eBooks.

How about a slice of modern day holiday romance, a Regency love story filled with music or even a delightful body swap?

On Sunday, May 26, I’ll be selecting winners for three copies of Taking Another Chance and two copies each of A Holiday to Remember, Darcy’s Melody, and A Very Merry Mix-up. That’s NINE winners in all! Just tell me which books you are interested in winning and I’ll put you in the drawings accordingly. My giveaway is International so if you don’t live in the United States I can issue an eCard in lieu of an eBook and you can purchase your prize on your own market place. Good Luck! 

Jen Red ♫

 

Happy New Year! And the winners are….

Greetings and Happy New Year to you all! I want to thank everyone who stopped by for my New Year’s giveaway. The response was awesome and I appreciate the wonderful comments you left for me, Brenda and the forum. For this drawing I used a random name picker and I’m pleased to announce the results. If you were a winner of Proof of Love or Darcy’s Melody, you will be receiving eBooks via Amazon. However, if you live in the United States and would prefer a print book we will be happy to send that instead. Brenda says USA winners of Proof of Love may choose the print copy or select from one of her other print titles. Now on to the winners. Please confirm the email address you use for Amazon and let us know if your Amazon market place is other than the USA. If you are a winner of a print book or the DVD, I will need your USA mailing address. Again, congratulations to all of the winners! I look forward to another great year of JAFF and wish you well.  

Jennifer Redlarczyk ♫ (I sent everyone email, but you can also find me here on the forum or on FaceBook. )

Proof of Love: Choice of eBook or Print if you are in the USA – Alexandra Rivers – International, Megan and Shields

A Very Merry Mix-up eBook: Rlea, Leslie Waters

A Very Merry Mix-up Print Book: MadAboutAusten and Lily Bernar

Darcy’s Melody: Choice of eBook or Print if you are in the USA – Deborah and Diana

A Holiday to Remember eBook: Elaine Jeremiah – International and Sharon

A Holiday to Remember Print Book: Mary Maloney and JanisB

Pride and Prejudice DVD: Nobuko

 

 

 

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