I See, You See +Excerpt +Giveaway

I See, You See +Excerpt +Giveaway

Everyone views life through their own set of experiences. How I see a situation is not the same as how you see it.  What might be scary for me, might not be for you. What makes me uneasy, might merely be a small inconvenience for someone else. What delights me and makes me smile, might get very little reaction from another person. That is how life is. It is part of what makes us unique, and it is an idea that we have to embrace if we ever wish to understand another person.

This is exactly the case for the main characters in my latest book, Her Heart’s Choice.  Each is approaching the idea of marriage from a different vantage point.  While one desires a marriage founded on love, the other sees love as not enough.  The turning point comes when our hero realizes that the heroine is seeing the situation through very different experiences. Once this happens, he can then offer her exactly what she seeks.

The following is a short excerpt from when that happens.

“You play chess?” asked Anne.

Alex nodded.  “I do.  I do not play well, but I do play. Do you?”

“On occasion,” replied Anne.

“My brother is quite good,” interjected Georgiana.  “I have beaten him once, but I think he allowed it.”  She giggled and leaned forward as she whispered, “Elizabeth is helping me learn, so that he will not need to allow me to win next time.”

“And is Mrs. Darcy a good player?” Jonathan asked.

Georgiana smirked.  “My brother does much more huffing and shushing when he plays her than when he plays me.” Her three companions chuckled at this.  “I have often thought the pawns were the bravest,” she added. “They march forward into battle with little power to protect themselves, but always with the intent of protecting their king.”  She shrugged.  “I find that brave.”

“I had not considered it as such,” said Jonathan, “but I would have to agree.”

“I would not choose to be a pawn, however,” Georgiana replied with a smile.  “I am not so very brave.”

“And what piece would you be?” asked Alex.

Georgiana pursed her lips and furrowed her brow.  “I had not considered it.”

“I would be the queen,” said Anne. “She can move as she wants and holds great power.  The others will often protect not only the king but the queen as well, and,” she lifted her fork as she made her point, “a pawn will march his way across a board, facing danger at every move, just to become a queen.”

“I should not like to be the queen,” said Georgiana softly.  “I would not wish such a great responsibility.”

“Responsibility?” questioned Anne.

Georgiana nodded.  “If the queen is captured, does she not put every other piece in greater danger, including the king?”  She blushed.  “I like to imagine the king and queen love each other.”  She made the admission quietly.  “I should hate to place any I love in danger.” She was quiet for a moment.  “I have changed my mind,” she said finally, “I think I should like to be a pawn, bravely defending those she loves — if only I could be so brave.”

Alex nodded thoughtfully.  “I still would wish to be the knight.” He smiled.  “Not only would I then get to defend my king and queen with my life, but I would also get to ride a horse while doing so.”

His tone may have been light, nearly a laugh, but the intensity with which he looked at Anne was far from light.  She understood his meaning.

Just before this exchange, Alex had pieced together what it is that Anne wants, and Anne knows from his choice of chess piece that he understands.  It should be an easy step from here to happily ever after, right? One would think that, but again, each character is viewing actions through the glasses of previous experience, and those glasses can often make things cloudy.

passionCreating those glasses of previous experience and helping the characters to focus their lenses is part of what I love about writing stories.  And I believe, it is part of what I find so absolutely fascinating about writing stories for secondary characters because, for many of them, we are given very little detail and typically no depth to understand motivations. From the excitement that such thoughts create in my mind, I think it would be safe to say that character creation and development is a passion of mine.  I find it fascinating.  I obsess over making them realistic. I find myself becoming an enthusiastic champion of the minor character as I draw them forward and give them their moment to shine.  And they stay with me, in my heart, long after the story is finished.  I learn things through them by helping them to become round characters and reach their happily ever after.  How thrilling is that?  To me ? Extremely!

Now, before I tell you about a giveaway, let’s do some math.

Below is a list of my ten books and their main characters.  What percentage of these books are stories dedicated to characters other than our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth?  (Be careful, it is a little tricky.)

Oxford Cottage  

Darcy and Elizabeth

For Peace of Mind 

Darcy and Elizabeth

Teatime Tales 

3 Darcy and Elizabeth short stories, 1 Colonel Fitzwilliam (and he is a main character in one of the Darcy and Elizabeth stories),  1 Edmund Bertram, 1 Mr. Bingley

*Listen to Your Heart 

Anne de Bourgh and Colonel Fitzwilliam with Darcy and Elizabeth as well as Lady Catherine and a lost love 😉 (I am not saying who that is as it is a lovely surprise twist.)

*Through Every Storm

Wickham and Lydia

Her Father’s Choice

Darcy and Elizabeth

*No Other Choice

Mary and Lord Rycroft

*His Inconvenient Choice

Kitty and Richard

*Her Heart’s Choice

Anne de Bourgh and Alexander Madoch

*And Then Love

Lucy Tolson and Philip Dobney – friends of Darcy and the new rector at Kympton

Leenie Brown (1)Did you get 65%?  If you did, you are correct.

I have six and one-half books dedicated to the happily ever afters of characters other than Darcy and Elizabeth.  Yes, I definitely have a thing for secondary characters, don’t I?

And to celebrate those secondary characters, I would like to give a Kindle book to three readers.

To enter, simply tell me which title marked with an * in the list above would be your choice if you won.

Contest closes on Friday,  June 10 at midnight EST.


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52 Responses to I See, You See +Excerpt +Giveaway

    • Oh, Debbie, I am sorry I missed this comment…I don’t know how I did that…well might have been busyness. I like the colonel…such a fun character to work with. I do hope you get a chance to read it. This colonel is different than most since he does not even want to be a colonel. 🙂

  1. Listen to Your Heart would be my choice. A lost love? For whom? Certainly not Lady Catherine!

  2. Listen to Your Heart would be my choice. I can’t imagine Lady Catherine with someone. Sounds intriguing!!! Thanks for the chance to win.?

  3. Listen to Your Heart would be my choice. I just can’t imagine Lady Catherine with someone. This book sounds intriguing. Thanks for the chance to win!!?

  4. My choice would be Listen to Your Heart since it is the only one of those I don’t yet own. I really like your stories!

    • I am so glad you like them! And I hope you get to read Listen to Your Heart. That one has some intrigue and danger in it…and an evil character or several 🙂

  5. I think my choice would be “No Other Choice”. Thank you very much for the chance to win!

  6. I’d really like to read And Then Love. It would be nice to read about friends of the Darcy’s. Would like to see how Darcy treats friends other than Bingley.

    • This short novella centers on the man chosen to take the living at Kympton and the girl he agrees to marry who needs protection from her horrible uncle. The follow up to this story is in progress right now on my personal blog on Thursdays.

  7. I loved the excerpt. I’ve noticed that you use a chess reference quite a bit. I assume that you play or know someone that does. I like the reference as it gives spice to the narrative.

    Please exclude me from the drawing. I’ve won something recently and I already own most of your books [yeah]. Those I don’t are in my wish list waiting until my book fund recovers from my last purchase.

    • I play some, as do both my sons, and I use chess as an activity in logic class for my students. I find it has been helpful for many in developing thinking skills. It also gives some of them who might not be the top grade earner a chance to shine because they can play a long and hard won game against “the best.” I have been learning more and more about the game along with the students.

      It is a shame when our book funds cannot be a great as our desire for new stories! At least I find it that way! 🙂 Thank you for owning and reading my books.

    • He is one of my favourite minor characters to play with. In this one, I went a new direction with him — he doesn’t want to be a Colonel. Normally, I have him as the consummate military man, but in this one, I wanted creative Kitty to have an equally creative man.

  8. I’d choose “No Other Choice”. I like to see Mary get her HEA. 🙂

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  9. Intriguing, sounds like something I’m doing (read: trying to do) but in a different way. I narrate third person limited but switch between two characters, who spend a good portion of the book talking past each other (and going past each other and acting past each other). What’s come up in the space between is a lot of rampant casual sexism. A large portion of the action is driven by the sheltered heroine, and to a greater extent, her even more sheltered romantic rival, acting on limited or bad information.

    I don’t own a Kindle but just for discussion, Through Every Storm caught my attention. I figured Wickham and Lydia had a, shall we say, plot-filled marriage.

    • Summer, have you thought about the Kindle app for your computer or phone? I have a NOOK but I love my Kindle app much better than the NOOK store [sorry B&N]. I also have the Kindle app on my phone but never used it. I have an RCA tablet from Walmart and have the Kindle app on it and love it. Those little tablets are always on sale and all I used it for was to read books. They are so handy; however, you will need wifi in order to access your Kindle library. I purchased a small router for little or nothing and it was enough to secure my tablet, and laptop. Something to think about.

        • Yes! Glad you can take part. I have the Kindle app and the Kobo app on my tablet and phone along with Overdrive which the library uses for their ebooks here in town. So, lots of reading options to be had and conveniently!

          I admit third person omniscient is my favourite, but I also use limited. I have not used first person at all. I don’t enjoy reading it or writing it most times. I like to see the full play, so to speak, as much as possible.

          • OOPS!! Forgot about Overdrive. I have that too. Our local Library did a presentation of their services at our school [teacher in service] and they discussed Overdrive. They offered to help us and I took them up on it. The Librarians were so knowledgeable and helpful in getting me a library card and set up so I could check out ebooks on my NOOK and tablet. I love it. It was a free service if you lived in the same county with the Library. If I had wanted to utilize the library services in a town in the next county, that library would charge me a fee. So check out the electronic services at your local library. You just might be surprised.

  10. Please leave me out of the drawing as I own all of your books, but I wanted to post about your excerpt. I loved this scene and how Alex responded to convey his message. No spoilers but I also loved Elizabeth’s response in the following scene. I love minor characters too, and I think that’s part of what drew me to your books originally, but the stories sold me for sure.

    • Thanks, Stephanie! I am glad you enjoy minor characters….minor character lovers seem to be in the minority at times 🙂 (I could not resist the play on words 😉 ) And I am happy to here you liked that scene. Anne needs sensible females to help her learn what she has not learned from her mother– she is certainly socially immature and inappropriate. She is a combination of Lydia likeness and Lady Catherine determination to do as she pleases, and without some direction in these new social waters into which she has jumped, she is bound to make enemies and annoy people and make poor choices. The Bennet sisters, I think, will be very useful to her in that way over time, and I hoped that this scene would show that. I’m not sure it succeeded but that was part of the thought behind it.

    • Great choice! That story is the one that precedes the writing exercise story I am posting now on Thursdays on my personal blog. It was also a Thursday story.

  11. I think I would choose Lusten to Your Heart. It would be nice to read about las lady Catherine in love. And I loved Oxford Cottage!! Keep up the good work!

    • Lady C is awful at the beginning of that one, but then we find out why. Her backstory is not pleasant for her, but then by the end she is better…still Lady C like, but tolerable, and she gets her HEA after all.

      Thanks! 🙂

  12. As I have the first 3 Choice Books I would go for the 4th book just so that I can start reading them – I prefer to read a set of books rather that wait for the sequels to be published. (also I think I have all the rest)

  13. Recently I read and very much enjoyed Through Every Storm. Who’d’a thunk that Lydia could be rehabilitated much less Wickham, but it works. I have His Inconvenient Choice on my Must-Read list — who can resist Col Fitzwilliam? — so this would be my very convenient choice if the fates are with me. Thank you for this intriguing excerpt and for having a give-away.

    • Well, your comment made me do a little happy dance. I love to hear that Wickham and Lydia’s story has been read and liked! 🙂 That story originated as a short story and then my eldest sister challenged me to make it longer. She wanted to see if I could indeed reform those two. She says I succeeded, but it is nice to hear it from another person as well. 🙂

      I hope you get to read Kitty and the Colonel’s story.

    • Oh, that is an interesting read. It was so much fun writing a sassy, smart Lizzy. Unfortunately, that was not on the starred list, so feel free to choose another. However, you should find a surprise treat in your email. 🙂

    • Sigh…Lord Rycroft. He is one of my favourite characters that I have written. So impulsive and a bit of a rake….quite the opposite of what one would normally think a good match for the serious Mary. 🙂

    • That’s a great choice! I have taken a rather different approach to Colonel Fitzwilliam in that book since he does not like being in the military and would rather work with his hands. Up until this book, I have never approached him that way before, so that was fun to do. It was also fun to get into Kitty’s place and try to imagine life in the shadows of sisters such as Lizzy and Jane and Lydia.

  14. Lovely excerpt! Thank you for sharing it and thank you for generous giveaway! If I were lucky to win, I would like to read first of all how Anne and Colonel Fitzwilliam could reach their HEA. So I would choose “Listen to Your Heart”.

    • That book has a bit of intrigue in it that was fun to write — and includes that interesting backstory for Lady Catherine. I hope you get a chance to read it.

    • Oh, I am so glad you enjoyed those books! That is always nice to hear. 🙂 The stories in Teatime Tales are perfect for a little, sweet treat when time is very short. I love writing short stories. It is such good practice. AND I love reading them, too, because sometimes life is just so incredibly busy!

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