Sweet Happily Ever After + Excerpt and a Giveaway

Sweet Happily Ever After + Excerpt and a Giveaway

For me, February is a month centered on love and so, I have indulged myself a bit extra by doing some studying on the topic through reviewing articles, poems, stories, and scripture that all talk about love.

one of the miracles of love, C.S. LewisOne story I reviewed this month, not in its entirety but in reading favourite passages, is Jane Austen’s story of a young girl who falls in love with a young boy.  They grow up close together, both in location and friendship.  The girl, as is often the case in many stories, discovers much sooner than the boy does that her feelings go beyond that of mere friendship.  And as she patiently waits, hopes and longs for him to see her as more than a friend, she must endure him falling for the popular, pretty girl. Compared to her, the young girl is the quiet wallflower and her unwillingness to accept the character flaws of her rival (and some others around her) puts her in the category of goodie-two-shoes.  Such is the sad case until, as in all good stories, the popular girl is exposed for who she is, leaving the loving friend to comfort the boy.  If only he would catch on that she is more than a shoulder to cry on!  Patiently, she waits and listens.  Eventually, as the sting of having been tricked for so long and imagining yourself in love wears off, his very boyish eyes are opened to the fact that what he needs, who he needs, has been beside him the whole time.

Have you guessed the book?

Mansfield Park is one of my favourite Jane Austen books, and the happy couple are some of my favourite characters.

Song of Songs 8-6I can relate to Fanny — her shyness, her desire to stand on principle and not waver, her longing to fit into her place as she should, her thankfulness for what she has been given, her anxieties, her quietness — so much speaks to me.

And Edmund?  Well, he’s just sweet.  Yes, a bit too easily duped.  And, yes, I, like Fanny, wish to smack him for it, but it is not beyond comprehension.   I love the way he often sees to Fanny’s wellbeing and happiness — he does not do this perfectly, but he does far more than anyone else in his family does.  He knows what is right and, in the end, his decision to stand by his beliefs saves him from marrying Mary.

I believe that it is these qualities of Edmunds which make him the best  match for Fanny.  She will not fear him — and we know she does have an issue with fear.  She will have confidence in his ability and his desire to care for her as he has already done.  She will not have to be the strong, moral compass throughout their life together for he possesses his own. Theirs will be a quiet, contented, very happy life. For as Jane Austen says,

“With so much true merit and true love, and no want of fortune and friends, the happiness of the married cousins must appear as secure as earthly happiness can be.  Equally formed for domestic life, and attached to country pleasures, their home was the home of affection and comfort…”

Sigh. True merit, true love, happiness, affection and comfort.  Such a sweet happily ever after!

Love finds, Lord Byron

Not only have I been busy this month reading about love and happily ever afters, I have also spent time completing the writing of a sweet romance.  It has been my goal to see this book published by this Saturday because, in this month of celebrating love, I get to do it on two special days.  First, there was Valentine’s Day this past weekend, and then there is, in my opinion, the most special day which falls this weekend.  It is the day when I get to celebrate my dear husband, and it is in honor of this man, who means the world to me, that I am releasing my third book in the Choice’s series, His Inconvenient Choice.

This book focuses on the story of a girl who falls deeply in love with a boy who is not free to chose as he wants.  However, after following a bit of a twisting and turning path with hope being given and then snatched away, Kitty and the colonel reach their happily ever after which is, like Fanny and Edmund’s, full of true love, happiness and comfort.

Below, is an excerpt from His Inconvenient Choice.

Richard looked at the door for a moment as he gathered his thoughts before he turned to Kitty. “I am not romantic –.”

“I know.” Kitty lifted his hand and brushed her lips against his knuckles. “A simple question is all that is required.”

“But, what about the pretty words that all women wish to hear?”

She shook her head. “I see your love for me in your eyes and the things you do. You have chosen me ahead of family and fortune. There is no need to put it in words.”

“I would choose you before I would choose myself.” He placed a hand, which had been made rough from working with his men in the militia and the wood he loved, on her cheek. “I do not have the means just yet to support a family,” he began.

“But you will.” She squeezed his hand tightly.

He smiled and nodded. He would gladly face whatever trials might come as he established himself as a tradesman just to have her continue to look at him as she did now with such confidence in his abilities. “Yes, I will, and when I do, I would very much like to create that family with you. Will you marry me when I am established?”

A smile lit her face and eyes as she nodded. “I would like nothing better.”

“It will not be a life of ease,” he cautioned. For a moment, despite his desire to have her as his wife, he doubted whether he was doing the right thing in asking her to share such a life. His thumb caressed her cheek. “You deserve so much more.”

“I love you,” she said pressing her cheek more firmly against his hand. “I will be happy nowhere else save at your side.”

He knew that he felt the same. It was why he was prepared to defy his father. No matter the money and property he may be losing by choosing her, he knew his life would never be as pleasant with those things as it would be with her at his side. Still, he could not resist asking, “You are certain?”

“Yes.”

“Then, may I — “

“Yes. You must kiss me.”

And he did — soft as a butterfly landing on a delicate flower in a garden. But even though it was a brief, gentle kiss, the emotion that passed to her through it — to be thought of as so precious, so treasured — melted her to her very core. She wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him close so that her head lay on his heart. And so they stood until a soft knock at the door drew them apart and sent them on to dinner.

HIC front cover (small)

If you would like to be entered to win one of two Kindle copies of His Inconvenient Choice, leave a comment below.

I would love to know who your favourite Jane Austen couple is and why. Now, when you answer “why” you must do so by only speaking of the characters themselves and their qualities. You may not compare or contrast them with any other characters. The only exception to the no-compare/contrast rule is if you wish to compare their lovely, good qualities to yourself and/or your special someone.

Contest closes at midnight EST on Sunday, February 21, 2016.

 

40 Responses to Sweet Happily Ever After + Excerpt and a Giveaway

  1. I choose Darcy and Elizabeth. Their story is about changing one’s ways to accommodate that special other in your life. This is a necessary life lesson, and we should be teaching our kids how to make allowances, and to realize that none of us are perfect. Well, except for Darcy after he made his own changes.

    • Looking to the needs of others before oneself — sounds very much like a lesson I have taught many times to my students and my sons. Sorry, but I bet, even after Darcy’s improvement, there were still things that were not perfect about him. 😉 LOL

  2. My favorite Austen couple has to be Elizabeth and Darcy. They are a perfect example of how opposite personalities can attract. Their personalities may be very different, but deep down they are so much alike in what they want in a life partner. I think they are just so perfect for each other.

    Thank you for the great giveaway!

    Pam

    • I would agree, Pam. They seem opposites — one outgoing and one more to himself — but they complement each other so well, and under the impression of the exterior, they are not really so very different. 🙂

  3. It is ver difficult for me to choose one couple only but as it is the rule, I will go for the obvious choice of Darcy and Elizzabeth. He is serious and she is lively, both are extremely caring and they complete each other 🙂

  4. D&E are my favorite couple but colonel Fitzwilliam is my favorite secondary character. I love to see him get his own happily ever after. Kitty is an unusual pairing, but I would enjoy seeing this story unfold. A definite read for me.

    • How can we not love Darcy and Elizabeth, right? I do enjoy the colonel as a secondary character. Normally, I have his a very confident teasing sort of person, but in this story, he went a different way. He is more serious and does not like being a colonel. I think he is sweet and romantic even if he does not think he is. I really hope you like him. To me, he is the character that I have written who I most want to just give a hug and tell him that all will be well.

  5. For me it has always been Darcy and Elizabeth. I found their story of misunderstandings, of pride and of class prejudices struck home. For a man to choose to make changes with no guarantee of a reward in doing so won my respect and my sympathy. Then to go even further to address a situation which not only made Elizabeth very unhappy but also gave her and her sisters no hope of having any future in society and NOT wanting her or her family to know of it places him even further up on the ladder of my esteem. Additionally, he went back and made amends with Bingley.

    And for Elizabeth to take pause and re-consider all she heard from others as to Darcy’s honor and transactions with his servants, with his sister, etc. also made me then root for her to have that happily ever after which women of her class could never expect. The two are just so suited for each other, with his reserve, with his intelligence and with her wit and humor to tease him out of his doldrums and her own intelligence to debate and challenge him on various topics, books, etc.

    Pride and Prejudice do exist today and I speak from experience.

    • I adore Darcy’s character! Loved him from the first reading of the book…yes, even from the beginning when he was being disagreeable. 🙂 So, I can thoroughly understand why you would choose this couple!

      I have wondered many times how their first year or so of marriage went? I imagine them happy, of course, but how many arguments and disagreements did they have as they continued to learn about each other? As much as I want them to have a peaceful happy time, I can’t imagine a pair with such strong personalities not having a few tiffs. 🙂 But, I, just as certainly, see them able to recognize their own faults and admit them, and in so doing, restore their happiness.

  6. I think Emma and Knightley are my favorite, though I know I’m in the minority. I love how he is her friend even through the rough patches and tries to help her be a better, and less egocentric, person. The age thing never bothers me. LOL I also love Col. Brandon and his steady dedication and friendship but I think he should have gotten Elinor not Marianne. LOL So that doesn’t count.

    I’m looking forward to reading this new book…I really enjoyed the first two.

    • I think Emma and Knightley are a good choice. I like how he really does care not only for her but for her father as well. That is kind of sweet. I admit the age thing seems a bit strange to us today, but it would not have been back then at all. There is an age difference between Marianne and Col. Brandon as well. 🙂 (And I did actually LOL when I read “so that doesn’t count.” Love it.) Thanks for your comments. I am thrilled you like the first two This has been a fun series to write.

  7. My favorite couple is Darcy and Elizabeth, probably because P&P was the first Jane Austen that I read. I like that they learn to have more open conversations with each other and stop beating around the bush later in the story.

  8. I like Mr. Knightly and Emma. He held her when she was a baby and has watched her grow into the wonderful woman that she is. He was willing to move into her home because her father needed her and could not bear to part with her. Emma realized she had loved Mr. Knightly all along. Even though she doesn’t have to marry, she wants to marry and she wants to marry Mr. Knightly. They are not so much brother and sister after all.

  9. I love you look at love, Eileen. And the excerpt from your book is lovely. I can’t wait to buy a copy and read it all as I have no time to read WIPs at present. Congratulations on publishing another look at the characters Jane Austen created. 🙂

    • Thank you, Brenda.
      Oh, I struggle with WIPs as well. I much prefer to have the complete book…mainly because I am a wimp and might need to look at the end for reassurance that the author is going to treat the characters well and give them and me a good, happy, satisfying ending. 🙂

  10. More and more I am getting into stories about Col Fitzwilliam. I have read 3 at least and keep seeking more. I always imagine him as loyal and loving, his unromantic nature is tempered by his caring and steady ways.He is strong in character and like Darcy desires to always to what is right. Partner him with any of our fine Austen women and they would consider themselves lucky as I would indeed.

    • Oh, I do a little happy dance when I hear that someone is liking a “minor” character in stories. I love writing stories about minor characters as much as I love writing about Darcy and Elizabeth. I have two so far that are centered on the Colonel, and I have another one in the planning, hope to write stage. I love the way you have described him. I see him in a very similar light. There had to be a reason that he and Darcy get along so well and that he was picked to be co-guardian of Georgiana. I can’t see Darcy putting up with him, if he was not as you described. And I would hope that those would be qualities a father would select for a guardian of his daughter. However, I suppose, he could have been selected because he was opposite of Darcy and Darcy puts up with him because of Georgiana and him being family (kind of like Lady C). See, this is why I like those minor characters…so many options. 🙂

  11. It’s so hard for me to choose! I love each of Austen’s couples. I do feel compelled to say Elizabeth and Darcy because I think they’re most like me and my husband.

    I have to add, though, that I was swooning at this excerpt and think this is your best yet!

    • Aw, thank you, Rose! So sweet to say.

      Well, you know, I love Darcy and Elizabeth, so they are right up there at the top with Fanny and Edmund. I also love so many others…it really is hard to choose one! And there have been so many good responses with such good reasons given in reply to this question! I am loving hearing why people love who they love. Really, it is like saying which child is your favourite…impossible.

  12. My favorite Jane Austen couple is Colonel Brandon and Marianne. The Colonel is the “strong, silent” type who is patient and soft-spoken and who desires to love Marianne unconditionally and wholeheartedly. His gentle, quiet spirit is so endearing but it is his inner strength that allows him to wait for Marianne to give him her heart. How could Marianne NOT fall in love with him?

  13. It’s hard for me to choose between Darcy & Elizabeth and Anne and captain Wentworth…I can picture the future the Darcy’s have and it’s at least slightly predictable but the Wentworth’s are more of a mystery to me. They could live a life of relative ease but it doesn’t suit them in my mind. The captain needs adventure, the land just doesn’t seem to hold enough for him. Does he remain in the navy taking Anne with him, does he purchase an estate, does he become a spy and catch enemies of the crown?? Anne and the captain just always have me wondering…

    • It is hard to choose! That is why I say that Edmund and Fanny are one of my favourites…Darcy and Lizzy are right up there, too. I love that you can see Captain Wentworth and Anne possibly nudging ahead because of the future that you can imagine in so many ways! That’s awesome.

    • Oh, yes, the Gardiners are lovely (well in most stories 😉 ). I must also love the Colonel as he has appeared as a central character now in two of my books. And, I have another book planned that is also a Colonel Fitzwilliam book. He is a fun one to work with. Normally, I go for the military persona for him, but in this book, he would rather not be in the militia. Instead, he wants to create things with wood.

  14. My favourite couple of all is Darcy and Elizabeth. They have their problems on the way but their love for one another wins through. I can never get enough stories about them. ???

  15. I favor Colonel Brandon for his quiet, continuing love. No matter if it is returned. He will wait in the background and love all the same. Marianne eventually sees these qualities as a good thing though she must go through trial before she learns what deep love truly is. The colonel’s quiet devotion is the most romantic of all.

  16. My favourite Jane Austen couple is Darcy and Elizabeth. I think it is because they learn from each other and both become better people because of it.

    • A great couple is one where each partner brings out the best in each other (at least in my opinion, it is 😉 ) Darcy and Lizzy are pretty hard to beat for that since they both needed to take a good long look at themselves — an event brought on by the words and actions of the other.

Your thoughts are precious!