Now that my creativity is flowing again, I’m happily writing up a storm! I have been crating the dogs, and have moved my office upstairs. We still have a few remaining issues, and times when Jasper wants out but is not allowed, but for the most part, the workday is flowing smoothly. There are a few other challenges I must face in the next two months, but nothing that will stop my writing, I think!
I have some exciting new things going on in my life, things that I’d like to share with you all.
The first is, as I’m sure many of you already know, that I have added something to my blog…a weekly post called Writer’s Journal. It is a diary of sorts about my self-publishing journey. I have made two posts already, and am finding that I greatly enjoy putting my thoughts and feelings down “on paper” for you all! If you have never visited my blog, Austen Promises, before, you can click here to visit.
The second bit of news is that readers now have another option for buying my books. I have opened a Gumroad store. Gumroad is a website where buyers can make all sorts of purchases, in my case books. If a person chose to buy directly from me, not only do I get a higher royalty, but the purchaser gets three files…a Mobi file for Kindle, an epub file for non-Kindle e-readers, and a PDF copy of the print version of the book…for the same price they would pay for one digital file at a “regular” online retailer. The files have to be side-loaded, and I know many will prefer to stick with Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Apple, but the option is out there. You can click on the Gumroad icon in this post to visit my store. Feel free to follow it, if you like! 🙂
The third bit of news is that, for those of you who enjoy my writing and who might wish to contribute to my writing, and get cool rewards in return, I have joined many other bloggers and writers of all kinds at Patreon. You know how, hundreds of years ago, people supported artists and writers and were called patrons? Well, that is what Patreon is for…people like you who appreciate the work that people like me do and help support our efforts. I have two goals, one for my writing business and one for my personal expenses. If you click on the Patreon icon, you can see just what they are.
My fourth and final bit of news is that I have finished another novella! I have, at the same time, decided to take the plunge into writing a series. Yes, my racing book was the first in a series, but I never thought I’d do it with my Regency books. However, I have decided to take the plunge. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to writing stand-alone books.
I posted excerpts of the new book on my blog on Thursdays as “Hoops in Hyde Park,” but it will publish under the title Darcy’s Wife Search. By the time this post goes live, it will be live in digital format. The print will take a week or two longer, because I need to get a proof copy to check the cover. There is a short excerpt below.
Giveaway: In honor of this book’s birthday, I am giving away two digital copies of the book. I’ll send you a link that will let you choose your format (Kindle copy or epub) and your device and voila! 🙂 You must comment below to be entered, and the drawing will end at 11:59 pm Eastern time on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Winners will be announced on Sunday, June 11th, while I am at the Pocono race enjoying that day I no longer celebrate. 😉 Fair warning….I also hope to visit April the giraffe and her baby the day after the race, so it will be a couple days before I get prizes sent out!
The excerpt is below. I’m looking forward to reading your comments! 😀
Young James’s eyes grew wide. “Do you play hoops, too, Mr. Darcy?”
Darcy chuckled. “I have not recently, but in my youth, I was quite adept at the game.”
“You were?” James could not imagine the tall, serious gentleman playing such a game.
“I was. It was a long time ago, but I was much better than my cousins.”
“My cousins will not play with me. They are all girls. Well, except Lizzy. She always plays with me, whenever I ask.” James looked up at Elizabeth in adoration.
Elizabeth blushed. “Hush, James. You will have Mr. Darcy thinking I am a hoyden instead of a lady.” She turned to her new acquaintance. “I confess I do enjoy playing with the boys, but I am well-behaved otherwise.”
Darcy bowed gallantly. So she enjoys children. “I have no doubt of it, madam.”
It was at this juncture that Elizabeth’s friends joined them. Darcy requested an introduction, and Elizabeth was happy to oblige.
“Edward Gardiner, you say? Of Gardiner Firearms?”
Elizabeth’s uncle smiled. “The very one. You have seen one of my pistols?”
“Seen? Why, I own every model you have ever made. I refuse to own any other; even Manton does not make them so well and so accurate.”
Mr. Gardiner bowed and with a smile, thanked Darcy for the compliments. “Manton is a friend of mine; we have a sort of competition between us as to who is able to produce the best firearm. I am happy to have such a staunch supporter as you. I must confess, though, that I have apprentices who do much of the production of the pieces. Most of my work now is designing.”
“Still, without the design, there would be no pistol. You have a talent; a genius, if I may say it, that far surpasses any other. I am honored to make your acquaintance!”
“And I, you. I apologize if my son and niece interrupted you.”
“No need for that; I was merely sitting on the bench watching the people around me and pondering matters that I cannot control. Master Gardiner is delightful, and so is Miss Elizabeth.” Darcy had been pleased to be introduced to the young lady’s older sister, for it allowed him to both learn Elizabeth’s name and use it.
“Thank you, kind sir.” Gardiner glanced at his wife, hesitating until he saw her slight nod. “We would be pleased to have you join us for tea. If not today, perhaps tomorrow?”
Darcy’s face showed his surprise, followed by delight. “I would be pleased to do so. I am afraid today is not possible, as I am required to meet with my uncle and aunt today, but tomorrow I am free.”
“Excellent!” Gardiner recited to Darcy his address, and if the younger gentleman was surprised by its location, in sight of Gardiner’s warehouse and near to Cheapside though not in the district, he gave no indication. Both parties left the park with very good feelings for the other and an eager anticipation for tea time tomorrow.
At the end of the day, when Darcy finally retired to his rooms after tea with his relatives and supper with his sister, he was at last able to take the memories of his time at the park out and examine them. He had rarely felt the excitement he had experienced when he realized who the gentleman was in the party.
Edward Gardiner had made quite a name for himself amongst the higher circles. His firearms, the pistols in particular, were noted for not only their beauty but their accuracy and ease of loading. The man himself, however, remained elusive. A gentleman visiting his warehouse never dealt with Gardiner himself. Instead, one of his apprentices always took the orders and handled payments. Even in the case of a peer wishing for a customized weapon and insisting on a home visit, it was never Gardiner who replied to the summons. Amazingly, this did not harm his business. It instead made him more sought-after.
Soon, after exhausting his thoughts about the gunmaker, they turned to the man’s niece. Miss Elizabeth. Her sister, introduced to him as Miss Jane Bennet, was a beauty. He could not describe Miss Elizabeth the same way, for she had not the classic features of her older sister. However, the intelligence and sparkle in her eyes added something more to her countenance, and when she smiled, her entire face lit up. Based on their limited interactions, Darcy was surprised to realize that he yearned to learn more of her. None of the women of his sphere had drawn his attention so completely. His interactions with Miss Elizabeth had been few, but he found he wanted to repeat them. He wanted to make her laugh again. What he wanted most of all was to feel the warmth inside him that he had felt in her presence. He would bide his time and learn more of her and then decide if she was worth courting.