Keeping it short and sweet … and giving books away!

Keeping it short and sweet … and giving books away!

This past Autumn, I accomplished two major-to-me things: I “won” NaNoWriMo, and I completed a sweet Christmas story. <3

My NaNo story is now being edited, so talking about that must wait. 😉 

Last year, I had a rough Christmas. I have had many of them since 2008, when my mom passed away, but last year was one of the worst. I wrote a story for another blog, but it was not the happy, cheerful thing I wanted it to be. This year, I determined in September or October that 2017’s holiday season would be better. As of the writing of this post, it’s four days from The Day (the anniversary of Mom’s death,) and it’s gotten harder, but I’ve set Pandora to Christmas music and turned purposefully away from negative and depressing thoughts. 

As I said earlier, I wanted to write a sweet Christmas story, and I did. It’s a short story, just 12,361 words and 75 finished/formatted pages. Being a short story, I had to be strict with information, including only that which would move the story forward. If you’re one who prefers long books full of details, you will not like this one. I only show four people: Jane, Bingley, Darcy, and Elizabeth. I mention a few others, but we never see them. Of course, as is true to historical record (and, quite frankly, good servers today,) no mention is made of the house staff. We don’t see Mrs. Nichols or the footmen. They are doing what they were hired to do, where they were hired to do it: in the background. I guess they like their jobs and want to keep them. 😉 I also do not mention what Elizabeth’s illness was, just that it almost killed her. Darcy was really pushing the bounds of propriety in asking the question to begin with, and I made the decision not to tell what it was, because she’d have not told him, it was none of his business at that point, and it was not necessary to move the story forward.

For all that I was sparse with details, the story moves along rather nicely, or so I’ve been told. It certainly seems to have met its purpose, and that was to entertain readers—most of whom do not have extra hours at this time of year for reading long tomes—with a short and lighthearted story. I know I’m proud of it, because it symbolizes a turning point in my journey through grief, and because I was able to write such a sweet story in so few words.

I’ll leave you now with the blurb to the story. Don’t forget to check out the details of the giveaway!

All he wanted at Christmas was peace … until he found her.

When Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in Hertfordshire, he yearns to spend a quiet holiday with friends. However, meeting the charming and witty Elizabeth Bennet changes all his desires. No longer content to while away his time in solitude, he spends much of it with the lovely young woman. Seeing her happy replaces all his previous intentions as claiming her heart becomes his greatest Christmas wish.

If you like sweet romance, earnest heroes, and flirty heroines, this short Pride & Prejudice variation from Zoe Burton is for you. So, buy Darcy’s Perfect Present, curl up in your favorite chair with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and lose yourself in the delight of the Christmas season.


Giveaway details: I’m giving away one e-book copy of Darcy’s Perfect Present and one print copy. PLEASE NOTE: It will take a couple weeks for the print copies to arrive at my house—they are due here on December 27th—and a few days more to get to you. You won’t have your book before Christmas.

The giveaway is international. To enter, simply comment on this post by 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, December 14, 2017 and specify which you prefer, ebook or print. Winners will be announced on Saturday, December 16, 2017.


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42 Responses to Keeping it short and sweet … and giving books away!

  1. I am one day late, having found this page only minutes ago. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter. I’m leaving you a note telling you I understand your decision to offer your Christmas short story as a giveaway for I have done the same with my Xmas story a week ago. I hope your readers will enjoy it as much as mine have.

    Happy holidays

  2. My Mom is in heaven like yours and whenever I get a blessing I feel she has something to do with it, Enjoy your work and wish you a Happy Christmas and Happy New Year

  3. I’m sorry to hear that you are still grieving for your mother. I wouldn’t know exactly how you feel as I have not lost my mom yet. I hope your fond memories of her will guide you to write more cheerful and sweet romance of our dear couple.

    Btw, I would love either a print or e-book if I win. Thank you very much for the giveaway.

    • Thank you. Enjoy your mom while you have her … embrace every moment. I may never stop grieving, but I”m hoping it gets a little more bearable every year. Merry Christmas, and best wishes in the drawing! <3

  4. I also empathize with you, as I lost my mom 3 years ago. I think the holidays always make us think of the loved ones we have lost. Wishing you Christmas love and peace for the holiday season. Thank you for the giveaway. If I should be so lucky, I would like an eBook. I have most of your books and have enjoyed them all.

    • Thank you, and you’re welcome! I certainly have more empathy now for folks who have a hard time with this time of year, know what I mean?

      I love to hear that people have enjoyed my books! Thanks for letting me know! Merry Christmas and best wishes in the drawing! <3

  5. Hope you find comfort and peace this year! The story sounds very romantic and sweet. Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. Happy Holidays, I hope your holiday picks up soon and am sorry you have not been enjoying the holidays much over the last several years. I personally prefer print books and am glad this is coming in print as well since it sounds like an interesting story. Thank you for the giveaway!

  7. Blessing to you during this time of the year. My mom passed the first week in November… 10 years ago. It gets better every year. Heaven is sweeter knowing that she is there and not suffering. I wouldn’t call her back for a moment. Something happened on her birthday shortly after she died… it snowed and I got a snow day from school. I laughed and figured she was giving directions on my needing a snow day. She was like that. It will get easier Zoe. Just take each day at a time.

    Don’t include me in the give-a-way. I have the e-book and did note the minimalist writing style. I did notice the lack of servants and questioned propriety with Darcy and Elizabeth being together… seemingly alone. I was also concerned regarding her health to the point of looking to see if I missed a book. You have explained your point in this post and I now understand what you were attempting to do.

    Congratulations on completing the NaNoWriMo and your Christmas story. Blessings on the rest of the Christmas Holidays and enjoy your beautiful tree.

  8. Sending you God’s healing light this Christmas. I too lost my Mom some years back in Sept. so I feel your pain ( My birthday happens to be on Christmas so that year was very tough) But like my Mom your Mom wouldn’t want u to not be happy . They would want us to live on for them and enjoy all that God has given us. Our Loved ones are always with us and in the darkest times they’re there to help us through them. I pray you find some healing this Christmas Season and take it with you all year long. God Bless.

    • I love holiday-themed stories, and I’m so happy I was able to get this one written! You’re welcome, and thank you! Best wishes in the drawing, and Merry Christmas! 🙂

  9. Congratulations on your new release. I prefer long books, but a Christmas story should be short and sweet, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Please, don’t include me in the giveaway, I already own this book.

  10. Congratulations on your accomplishments! Doesn’t it feel good to finish something so important to you? I bet your Mom is proud of you. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. Happy Christmas ~

  11. Merry Christmas to you….I can empathize having lost my mom 2 Christmas’ ago….the holidays are hard.
    Lovely snippet and hope to read full story soon.
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

  12. Best of wishes for your Christmas season. I’m sorry it’s been hard for you recently. I’m glad things seem to be improving. Looking forward to this story!

  13. Sending you best wishes for a most special, happy and enjoyable Christmas season. I am in need of a sweet story myself this year. Would love to receive your print book even though it wouldn’t arrive until after Christmas. Ann

  14. May this holiday season bring you peace and that joy be found! I thank you for sharing your gift of stories with such a fabulous community. Each brings us joy!

  15. Christmas can be one of the most difficult times of the year for some. This,even more so,if you have lost a loved one in the recent past.
    I wish you peace this Christmas.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  16. I hope this holiday season is a happy one for you. I love your stories and look forward to this one. I usually read on my Kindle. Merry Christmas.

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