Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Very Austen Valentine Launch Party

Today is a special day for me and six lovely authors! It will be a special day for you readers, too! This is launch day for A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2! We have all been excited about today and could hardly wait to show off the lovely cover of this book and let you learn  a bit about what is inside. The book goes on sale today too. It's been available for pre-order and is already the #1 New Release on Amazon! Way to go, ladies! That's amazing! The official release for availability is today, December 29th! 

Isn't the cover gorgeous! The full wrapper is below and it is just as lovely! Everything about it says love, happiness, and Valentine's! I have started reading the stories and am enjoying everything I'm reading! I hope all of you get to read it soon. 

These authors released A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1 in 2017 and I loved all the stories in the anthology. It earned one of the More Agreeable Engaged Favorite Awards for 2017.

When talking with Robin about this latest book, she told me that their tagline for the anthologies is "The books that friendship built." Isn't that neat! Robin said Jane Austen brought them all together, from the southern, northern, and northwest of the United States to Ireland across the Atlantic ocean. One day, these ladies hope to meet in person.

Wendi and Robin have been really good friends for about nine years, ever since they started writing and publishing their books. They have always helped each other by reading and editing each other's work. Wendi also does all the final formatting for Robin's books. Mandy is Robin's elder daughter. Looks like there are two writers in this family. Laura and Robin became friends, through Robin's sister, Gayle Mills, about seven years ago. Laura has been friends with Barbara and Susan much longer than that. After Laura and Robin became friends, they brought their friends together. The anthologies grew from those friendships. Wendi, Laura, and Robin work closely together on all the aspects of publishing the books, contributing their specialized abilities in different areas.

Isn't it interesting how all this came about!? Jane Austen has brought many of us together. Because of her, friendships have been formed, and our lives made richer. Because of Jane Austen, we are here today celebrating the release of A Very Austen Valentine!

Now let's take a look at the full wrapper!

Six beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen's Regency world. Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen's adored novels.

Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine's Day.

Back Cover Copy:
I Dream of You by Robin Helm
Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her.  A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.
Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile
Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen's worst snobs. 
My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis
Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?
Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite
A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.
My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook
Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?
The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye
In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth's love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers' Ruse” follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

Author Bios:
Robin Helm bio

Robin Helm's books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.
Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy (a guardian angel protects a supernaturally gifted girl), the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours (Fitzwilliam Darcy switches places in time with his descendant, Will Darcy), and Understanding Elizabeth (Regency romance).
She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017. A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2 is available for pre-order and will be released on December 29, 2018. A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3 is planned for December 2019.
She lives in sunny South Carolina and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.    
Laura Hile bio
Readers are loving Laura Hile's joyous Regency novels. Her signature style—with intertwined plots, cliffhangers, laugh-out-loud humor, and romance—keeps them coming back for more.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There's never a dull moment with teen students!

Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a collection of antique clocks.

Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.

Wendi Sotis bio

Wendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed of an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallows Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping (with just a dash of Austen); The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned.

The Marriage Pact, and some of Wendi’s works-in-progress, have branched away from JAFF to Regency Romance (the Loving an Aldridge Series) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (the Implicated series). Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Elizabeth together again and again in an unusual manner.

Barbara Cornthwaite bio

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before "retiring" to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

Susan Kaye bio

Susan Kaye discovered Jane Austen and writing at about the same time. She leads a quiet life with her husband and dog, Harley. "I don't know a lot, but I do know I've probably spent more time with Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot than just about anybody else."

Mandy Helm Cook bio

Mandy Cook was an RN for over ten years, half of which she served in the Navy, living in far-flung places, enjoying experiencing the world while following her calling. Just before she and her handsome Marine were both deployed to different places, they married. They now have three children, ages four and younger.

She previously published The Gifted, using her nursing experience to lend accuracy to her story about an ER nurse who is handed a gift that changes her life forever. Adversity, and a long history of secrets, constantly battle against her natural instinct for truth and justice, but will the truth be worth the dare?

Contact Information:

Robin Helm

Twitter: @rmhelm 
Facebook: Robin Helm
Instagram: @jrhelm  or @AustenAnthologies
Goodreads: Robin_M_Helm 
Blogging: Robin M. Helm

Laura Hile

Blogging: Laura Hile
Twitter: @LauraHile
Facebook: LauraHileAuthor
Goodreads: Laura Hile

Wendi Sotis

Amazon Author Page:
Facebook: Wendi Sotis, Author
Twitter: @WendiSotis

Barbara Cornthwaite

Website: Jane Started It!

Mandy Cook

Facebook: Mandy Helm Cook
Instagram: @hisloved1s
Amazon Author Page:

Susan Kaye

Website: Jane Started It!
Facebook: Susan Kaye

1 eBook of A Very Austen Valentine - International
1 Paperback of A Very Austen Valentine - US only
This is such a nice giveaway for two lucky winners. Leave a comment below and tell us what you think about A Very Austen Valentine. I think it's an excellent book. As soon as I read the back cover copy, I could hardly wait to start reading the book. Did you read the first one, A Very Austen Christmas? If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. Somewhere in your comment, be sure to leave me some way to contact you should you be one of the winners. The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. January 3, 2019. The blog tour for A Very Austen Valentine will begin on January 6th and run through the 21st of January. We hope to see you all! 
Thank you, ladies, for allowing me to host the launch party for your book. (Too bad we couldn't have had cake, hot chocolate and tea! :)) I have been eagerly waiting for today and the honor you afforded me! I know your book will do well, since it has already hit #1. I'm anxious to see where it goes from here! Congratulations to all of you!

Friday, December 21, 2018

And the winners are...

There are several winners that need to be named. I have had three posts that have not had the winners publicized on the blog.
I thought it would be nice to let them share the spotlight!
I will begin with the first group and work up
to the most recent winner.

To Conquer Pride
by Jennifer Altman

The winner of the eBook:
Carole in Canada

The winner of the Joana Starnes giveaway:
Lynn Char


A Holiday to Remember
by Jennifer Redlarczyk

2 eBook Winners:


Deborah Ann


Drawing Mr. Darcy: Book One and Book Two
by Melanie Rachel

Winner's choice of Paperback or eBook, any book by author

Winner chose Paperback of Book One, Drawing Mr. Darcy



Congratulations to the winners! All winners have been notified.
A big "Thank You" to all the authors!
My readers love these opportunities to win your books.
Giveaways are such fun, aren't they! 

I appreciate all of you that support my blog. I hope you will continue to visit and share your thoughts with us.
There are several blog tours and visits coming up in 2019!
I look forward to seeing you then.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Melanie Rachel...Drawing Mr. Darcy

Hello to everyone. Melanie Rachel and I have been trying to have her visit since September. We kept having problems arise for both of us, but today she is here and I couldn't be more pleased. Melanie has recently released two book, Drawing Mr. Darcy: Sketching His Character, Book 2, and Drawing Mr. Darcy: A Faithful Portrait, Book 2.  She's receiving some really good reviews for both books. I look forward to reading both myself. 

Melanie is going to tell us about Building a Different Wickham. I hope you'll enjoy her thoughts and tell us what you think.
Drawing Mr. Darcy: Building a Different Wickham 

In the few years I’ve been reading and writing JAFF, I have enjoyed writing about Elizabeth and the Bennets, about Darcy, Georgiana, Bingley, and Colonel Fitzwilliam. I even have written a rather large role for Mr. Gardiner in my modern, Headstrong (still in revisions). But I have never really liked working with the character of Wickham.

I have difficulty with Wickham perhaps because I have long seen this character as a sociopath (according to the Mayo Clinic, the technical diagnosis is Antisocial Personality Disorder). The canon character is not violent, at least not within the confines of the story, but then, most sociopaths are not. While I was considering the character for Drawing Mr. Darcy, though, I had to consider how the altered circumstances of the story might change such a man. In the story, Elizabeth’s great-aunt and uncle Russell adopt her, and while the separation from the other Bennets is bittersweet, in the end, nearly all the main characters in the story benefit from the change in one way or another. I thought it might be interesting if at least one character, Wickham, in particular, did not benefit, although he had been given every chance to become a success. In fact, what might happen if his character was twisted into something even worse?

The Mayo Clinic lists the following as among the symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder: 

Disregard for right and wrong; Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others; Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure; Arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated; Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior; Repeatedly violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty; Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead; Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others; Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others; Poor or abusive relationships; Failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them; Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations

 Sound like anyone we know?

Given this is the way I viewed his character, I thought a good deal about how to use Wickham in Drawing Mr. Darcy.

In Book One: Sketching His Character, the Russells finally open George Darcy’s eyes to Wickham’s poor behavior. As a result, he is shipped off to a position as a private secretary in the south of England when he returns from Cambridge. Upon the elder Mr. Darcy’s death a few years later, Wickham travels to London from Devonshire, still fully expecting to have been remembered in his godfather’s will. His hopes turn to anger when he discovers he will realize no financial gain from his godfather’s passing, and he threatens Darcy before he leaves. At this point, I thought, it would not be unusual for Wickham to add another symptom of a sociopath to the long list above, that of “Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence.”

Wickham still makes an attempt to elope with Georgiana from Ramsgate and is foiled—but he does not join the militia in Meryton. This is a George Wickham who has the benefit of both the money he has earned and the money he has skimmed from his employer’s accounts, so there is no need for him to seek employment in that way. Instead, in Book Two: A Faithful Portrait, he seeks a final settling of accounts before he plans to leave England forever. In his arrogance, he takes on a task that is perhaps too ambitious, but that doesn’t mean he can’t cause a great deal of damage along the way.

I won’t give you any more spoilers, but instead offer an excerpt from Book Two, a conversation about Wickham between Elizabeth and her aunt (one of the few times we leave either Elizabeth or Darcy’s POV). I hope you enjoy it!

 “George Wickham,” [Olivia] said decisively. “That boy was always shockingly loose in the haft.”
              “Aunt!” Elizabeth exclaimed.

              Olivia waved a hand at her. “There are times when polite language will not do the job. This is one of those times.”

              Lizzy slid her hand under Olivia’s where it rested on the sheet. “Evidently you and Uncle Phillip knew him?”

              “He was George Darcy’s godson, and George favored him.” Olivia said with a sigh. “He preferred him, in many ways, to his own son.”

              “What do you mean, preferred him?” Lizzy asked, indignant. “To Fitzwilliam?”

              Olivia sighed. “Sometimes,” she said, “it is easier to bestow love on a child to whom you do not have any true duty. George treated young Wickham as he might have treated a second son, and I believe the boy considered himself as holding that position.”

              Lizzy gave her a hard, shrewd look. “So much so that he believed the line of inheritance would include him?”

              Olivia sighed. That is probably just what he thought, and why not? “There is no telling what he expected,” was what she said out loud. “George did say how angry the boy was to be sent to work after Cambridge.”

              “What did Mr. Darcy say?”

              “I have had this from Phillip, dear, so it is second-hand. Still, if it can help . . .”

              “It will help,” Lizzy said. “It will.”

              Olivia reached over and traced the back of her hand along Lizzy’s cheek. “Young Wickham barely made it through university. He was intelligent enough, but lacked discipline, and he had certainly never been censured by your Mr. Darcy’s father. Phillip and I explained to George that the boy was a threat both to the maids in the house and to Fitzwilliam himself.”

              “John mentioned an incident near the stables.”

              Olivia nodded. “After the boys returned from Cambridge, George had a conference with his protégé. He asked what young Wickham’s plans were, now that he had completed his education.”

              “Oh,” Lizzy said, understanding. “I cannot believe that was well received.”

              Olivia shook her head. “It was not. According to Phillip, Wickham was offered a position as a private secretary to a wealthy man in the south of Devonshire who had contacts in the Navy. He was an acquaintance of George’s. The salary was excellent. The work was plentiful but not difficult, and there was room for advancement. After some years, he might be recommended for a position at the Admiralty, at which point he could increase his income substantially.” She turned Lizzy’s hand and traced the girl’s palm with her thumb. “George felt he must do as much for the boy since he had promised his steward that he would see young Wickham well settled.”

              “I assume he did not accept?” Lizzy asked.

              Olivia frowned. “He asked George if he might instead be given three thousand pounds to study the law. According to Phillip, the boy thought he would cut a fine figure as a barrister.”

              She watched Lizzy’s brow furrow and knew her clever niece had come to the same conclusion that George Darcy evidently had. He would have thrown the money away in short order and come back for more.

              “And did Mr. Darcy agree?”

              Olivia shook her head. “He had a reason for choosing Devonshire. London would not have suited his purpose.”

              Lizzy pursed her lips. “It is nearly as far from Derbyshire as one can be and yet remain in England.”

              “He wanted young Wickham far away from Fitzwilliam,” Olivia agreed. “And I believe we now know that he was right to arrange it.”
Wow, what a place to leave us, Melanie! I enjoyed reading your excerpt. Now I need to find time to read your book and learn the rest of the story! Yes, the Mayo Clinic's list does sound much like someone we know and usually love to dislike! 

Thank you, Melanie, for being my guest today. I'm glad we finally got it worked out for both of us! :) It was good to have you make a return visit. Both books are available on Amazon. (I'm directing to Melanie's author page on Amazon.)

It's giveaway time! That's always good to hear, isn't it! Melanie is giving away one book, reader's choice of any of her books. A paperback may be chosen or an eBook if the winner is domestic. If international, the winner will receive an eBook of their choice. Thanks to everyone for stopping by. Good luck to all. The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. December 17th. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

A Holiday to Remember...Jennifer Redlarczyk

Jennifer Redlarczyk visits More Agreeably Engaged for the final stop of her blog tour for her Christmas novella, A Holiday to Remember. Welcome, Jennifer. I'm so happy to have you visit again. I've been reading great things about your novella and that is so exciting. Congratulations! 

You have quite an ending for your blog tour and we are the lucky recipients here at More Agreeably Engaged. With all these great photos from your Pinterest page and two excerpts, my readers and I will get spoiled. I'm quite intrigued.

Thank you for letting me be a part of your blog tour and share in this holiday novella! At that, I will turn the floor over to you, Jennifer.


Greetings! Thank you, Janet, for hosting me today. I’m delighted to be back visiting your blog with A Holiday to Remember. In this modern P&P variation, Elizabeth Bennet is a dedicated choral director and teacher at Meryton Academy for the Performing Arts and William Darcy is the aloof CEO of Darcy Enterprises. The two of them met when unfortunate circumstances brought them together during a summer music festival in Chicago where tempers flared and unpleasant words were exchanged. Find out what happens when their paths cross again in December. Will their animosity continue, or will their reunion turn out to be A Holiday to Remember?

From Chapter One

Meryton Academy for the Performing Arts
Monday, 4 December
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 the Lollapalooza Music Festival 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.”


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?” 

Well, it looks like our favorite couple had a run in at Lollapalooza which is an annual music festival in Chicago featuring popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and more. In this next scene, we find Elizabeth at Bingley's party where she and William will definitely meet up.

From Chapter Two

Bingley’s holiday party

Friday night, later that week

“Lizzy, this dress is spectacular! Pretty sophisticated for a music teacher, if you ask me. It’s not at all your usual style. I can’t believe you rented it!” Jane stepped back giving her sister the once over.

“Shush! Do you want the whole room to know? And for your information, this is not the dress I rented. Take a look.” She began scrolling through her phone. “This is the confirmation and picture of what I should have gotten in the mail.”

Star in your own show in this classic dress,” Jane read aloud. “The fold-over neckline comes to life in an off-shoulder effect. The bodice and mini-skirt are lined for a flattering fit and perfect for a hot date or night out with friends. Lizzy, the dress they sent you is anything but a mini dress; although I will say the plunging neckline down the back of it is definitely way off the shoulder. So, what happened?”

“Elizabeth Benton who lives in Meryton, Ohio is what happened. She got my dress. Rent the Modern Closet has promised to give me a full refund. With this dress being delivered while I was at school, I wasn’t able to send it back in time to get a replacement for tonight. Nevertheless, here I am in the flesh, so to speak.” She struck a classy pose before playfully breaking into laughter. Elizabeth’s dress was a sleek fiery red, cowl backless V-neck, floor length formal gown with a thigh-high side slit.

“You have no idea what I went through trying to find a strapless, backless, push-up, stick-on bra for this thing,” she whispered. Jane tried to hide her amusement while listening to Elizabeth detailing her dilemma. “It was either go braless or be forced to wear one of my kids’ show choir dresses. Not! Thankfully, Charlotte came to the rescue with a scandalous bra she bought from Cleavage Designs. She says this bra is all the rage on Instagram. Everyone is talking about it.”

Cleavage Designs?” Jane mouthed—her eyes wide open. “Um … I didn’t think you and Charlotte were anywhere close to the same size. She’s so … willowy.”

“We’re not the same size, but fortunately, there was enough wiggle room to make due.” The two sisters giggled.

“Speaking of your hot date, where’s Johnny Lucas? Is he still parking the car?” Jane scanned the room looking for Elizabeth’s absentee escort.

“Oh, he’s parking the car alright—in Detroit!”

“You’re kidding. You mean to tell me Lucas stood you up again?

“That he did!”

“What was it this time—a transmission? Someone’s timing belt?”

“Jane, have you no imagination? I’m being stood up for…. And I quote—a Classic 1966 Chevrolet Corvette—350 V8, four-speed Manual, only 96,000 Miles—end of quote. And as red as my dress, I might add.”

“Wow! I can imagine a Corvette must cost a pretty penny, no matter what year it was built. What kind of price tag are we talking here?”

“It was only fifty-one thousand big ones, says Mr. Lucas.”

“Fifty-one thousand—as in dollars?” Jane nearly gasped. “Where does a mechanic get that kind of money?”

“Johnny and his buddy Scott got the loan approved yesterday and headed straight for Detroit after they closed up shop this afternoon.”

“Oh, Lizzy, I’m so sorry. We really have to get you signed up for the….”

“Don’t even say it. I promise I’ll look into your dating service once the holidays are over.”

“Good, I’m holding you to it. In the meantime, take heart, dear sister. With the way you look in this dress, there’s bound to be some attractive single, corporate-type who will be glad to ogle you for an hour or two. Charles says he has a friend from work who is recently divorced, Richard somebody or other. He’s not bringing a date, from what I gather. You never know, this may very well turn out to be your Holiday to Remember.”

“Very funny, Jane. More like A Holiday to Forget! Something tells me I should seriously consider changing the name of that medley when I get back to school on Monday.”


“Alright, I’ll try to keep an open mind.”

So here we have Elizabeth, unescorted, in a scathing dress at Bingley’s party ready to face William and Caroline.  Believe me; the rest of this chapter is anything but dull. How about that dress? I have a feeling our girl is going to attract quite a bit of attention before the night is over.

Meanwhile, I’m having a giveaway to celebrate the release of my new book. Please feel free to leave your comments below, as I will be giving away two eBooks of A Holiday to Remember (International) and would love to hear from you. If you have a chance, be sure to check out my Pinterest page where I've posted fun pictures for each chapter. Good luck and thank you all!

Jennifer Redlarczyk (Jen Red)

My Pinterest page for A Holiday to Remember
A Holiday to Remember on Amazon

Well, you heard it, Dear Readers. Jennifer Redlarczyk is giving away two eBooks of A Holiday to Remember. Isn't that awesome. Be sure to leave a comment and contact info so I can reach you. We don't want you to miss out on this Christmas novella. Doesn't it sound like fun! The giveaway ends at 11:59 P.M. Central time on the 14th of December.

What did you think of Lizzy's dress? Wow! It is gorgeous! Can you just imagine Darcy's reaction when she walks in wearing that dress? Oh, and Caroline! I bet she was just a tiny bit jealous! Aren't you eager to read how this reunion goes? I certainly am.

Thanks for the entertaining excerpts, Jennifer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. This sounds like such a fun book. I can't wait to read it. Thanks again for visiting and sharing with us today. It is an honor to close out your blog tour.