Farewell 2022


As the title suggests, this is my farewell message to 2022. In some ways, it has been a very good year, in others, not so much.

January started with us facing an unknown future as Mr. Barr had been diagnosed with cancer back in November. The 'Big C' still strikes fear into the hearts of many and while we were confident the disease was caught at its early stages, we had lots of long talks about what do we do now. This led to us purchasing a condo so Mr. B. didn't have so much yard work to take care of.

February had Mr. B's treatments start. I don't know what hurt the most, the biopsy he had in November which determined he had cancer, or the doctors injecting him with the nanobeads the radiation needed to stick (in order to kill those nasty C cells all around). The radiation treatment itself, ten in total, was quick and painless. My poor boy... :(

March stormed in and not only did Mr. B have cancer treatments, but also a hernia operation. During all this, we put our house up for sale and were constantly on the go while it was active on the market, and people viewed the house. BTW - you can check out this YouTube video if you'd like to see where we lived.

House sold!

April, May, June. -- I hate packing and going through things to determine 'what will we keep', 'what will we give away'? Ugh.

July - we are in the new condo, without my wall unit oven and microwave. Delays due to Covid. I think I hate that phrase, don't you? Fortunately, we have our cooktop, slow cooker, and BBQ. Sounds good, right. Live like that for months on end. It begins to wear on you. Subway has become my friend.

September - heave a heartfelt sigh - my oven unit arrived and I can bake! Cook! Microwave! Wait. What? What do you mean the oven door latch is broken and I cannot use my shiny new oven?

October - the oven is fixed in time for Canadian Thanksgiving, which is ironic because I have a countertop roasting pan I use for the big bird. Still, I can go back to baking bread, cakes, and cookies, and have meatloaf whenever I want. Oh, in case you are wondering, during this month we discover the cancer is gone, but Mr. B. has to see his doctor every six months for the next two years, and then if still not there, every three. His hernia operation was also successful, so we truly were thankful this year.

November is a special month for us. Not only is it Mr. B's birthday month but also our anniversary month. This year we celebrated 39 years of wedded bliss. We often joke, when asked how many years we've been happily married, either one of us will reply with, "Happily? I'd say about five." Humour is what has kept us close, along with our love and friendship. 

Last, but not least, December. Looking back over this year there were struggles, but that's life. What struck me more than once was how the hand of God was on our lives. In ways, we could not even imagine until we looked back and saw how it could have been worse, yet wasn't. How things 'fell' into place for us to find a condo, sell our home, beat cancer, and be content and happy.

We are blessed.

I wish you and yours a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2023.


I'm baaaack! One of the rabbit holes I disappeared into these past few weeks was Discord, more specifically, MidJourney - an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program. I wanted to create my own characters for Longbourn's Angels that I could use for marketing and teasers. Below is my 'cast' for my WIP (work in progress), Longbourn's Angels. Crossing fingers, toes and eyes it will be ready for release early 2023.

Elizabeth & Darcy --- Jane & Henry & Bingley
I also created some fun graphics and the one I am using today pairs nicely with the snippet I wish to share.

But First (to quote Julie Chen) - My 10 lines:
If there had not been a ball to prepare for and talk of, Mrs. Bennet would have been in a pitiable state. Ever since the invitation to the ball had been extended, the skies had opened and a deluge of rain fell for five straight days. As such, she was prevented from taking the carriage to Meryton to obtain whatever she deemed necessary for Jane’s dress. She also fretted over Lydia’s gown, as this would be her first official ball, having been granted permission to attend and dance with family members only. Papa would return Lydia back to Longbourn after the supper hour.
Mrs. Bennet’s frustration was felt in equal parts by all the Mister Bennets, who would rather have been anywhere but inside the house. In order to escape animated conversations about ribbons, lace, length of sleeves, and lack of shoe roses, they took refuge in their father’s well-stocked library to read or play chess, with Elizabeth frequently joining them in a bid to escape their persistent cousin.
It was there he finally tracked her down.
“Cousin Elizabeth, I have found you.”
Elizabeth paused, her white bishop in hand, poised over the chessboard.

Now, for the rest:
“I did not realize I was lost, Mr. Collins.”
“You are uniformly delightful.”
“What did you need to see Lizzy about, Mr. Collins?” Papa queried from his comfortable chair by the fireplace. He knew of her frustration, and had found it amusing – for the first few days – but now, even the edges of his temper were beginning to fray.
“I sought out my cousin’s company in order to request her company for the first two sets at Mr. Bingley’s ball.”
Elizabeth flashed a look of panic toward Gabriel, seated across from her at the chess table. Without even looking in the direction of their cousin, Gabe said, “Lizzy’s first set of dances has already been spoken for.”
“By whom?”
Impudent man!
“Excuse me, Gabe. I need to put your King in check before I address Mr. Collins.” Elizabeth dropped the chess piece onto the board, feeling a surge of satisfaction at her brother’s incredulous look. She then stood to face her cousin. “I am not required to divulge this information to anyone save my father, Mr. Collins. Suffice to say, it is none of your business, and you will see for yourself on the night of the ball.”
She fervently hoped one of her brothers or Papa would stand up with her because, as of this exact moment, she did not have a partner for the opening sets.
“This is not to be borne,” Mr. Collins sputtered. “You will mind your sharp tongue in the future, Cousin Elizabeth.”
The silence which descended upon the room was almost measurable. Papa carefully placed a bookmark in his book, set it on the side table, and rose to his feet. He was at Mr. Collins’s side in two strides, causing the younger man to crane his neck in order to meet his elder cousin’s gaze.
“What is not to be borne?” Papa asked, his voice deceptively soft. “Who are you to tell my daughter to mind her tongue?”
“I have determined Cousin Elizabeth suits me best. She is next in age and beauty to Cousin Jane and, as her future husband, I naturally assumed she would open and close the ball with me.”
Elizabeth dropped back into her chair, shocked at the audacity of the man. His outlandish explanation fully explained why he had dogged her every step these past few days.
“Elizabeth,” Papa said without turning around, “would you care to join your mother and sisters? Your brothers and I need to have a conversation with Mr. Collins.”
“I respectfully request to stay, Father. I believe you are going to speak about me, and wish to be present.”
Papa cut her a quick glance and winked. She did her very best not to smile when Mr. Collins’s mouth flopped open in surprise. As it was, she clearly heard Gabe cut short a gurgle of laughter. She dared not look in Michael’s direction. He took his sister’s safety and wellbeing to heart and, like his namesake, truly became an avenging angel if anyone threatened his Lizzy.
“Very well.” Papa turned back to Mr. Collins. “First, let us talk about the ball. Did you ask Jane for the first set, as she is the eldest?”
“I did not. Mrs. Bennet told me she was as good as engaged. I assume her betrothed will open the ball with her.”
“Jane is engaged? I shall have to congratulate her, as this is the first I heard of it.” A deep frown creased the forehead of Mr. Collins. Elizabeth wasn’t sure if it was because he had a hard time understanding Papa’s caustic humor, or if he now just realized Jane was not spoken for. “Well then, let us address why you believe you are betrothed to Elizabeth.”
Papa returned to his chair while Mr. Collins swallowed hard, and began to speak.
“On my first night here, I spoke to Mrs. Bennet of my desire to extend an olive branch, more specifically of finding my future wife while in Hertfordshire.” He paused when Michael coughed. “I commented on the beauty of all my cousins, most especially Cousin Jane.”
Michael’s cough turned into what sounded like a growl. Mr. Collins began to get a panicked look about him.
“Excuse my son. He has the first stages of a cold and needs to clear his throat often. Carry on. I am fascinated with what you are telling me.”
“As I said, before being rudely interrupted,” Mr. Collins dared to glare in Michael’s direction. “I mentioned my preference toward Cousin Jane, and Mrs. Bennet said she felt it was incumbent upon her to tell me your eldest daughter was very close to becoming engaged. Upon seeing my disappointment, she told me not to give up hope. I am certain, said she, there are other young ladies who would look upon your situation with a hopeful eye. I asked if her other daughters had an understanding with any gentleman, to which she said no. I then knew I had your wife’s blessing and was assured of my success in gaining your second daughter’s hand in marriage.”
“We have two things which must be addressed, Mr. Collins. The first is your desire to extend an olive branch by way of marrying one of my daughters.” Papa held up his hand when Mr. Collins opened his mouth to speak again. “I realize your father and I had an acrimonious relationship, and cannot fault you for wishing to heal the breach in our family. I do, however, take umbrage with the notion you believe you have an understanding with my daughter, especially when I explicitly informed you – upon your arrival – not to seek a wife from amongst my daughters.”
“But if I take Cousin Elizabeth to wife, when you leave this mortal coil, your family will have the comfort of knowing one of their own inherits Longbourn. That is, if we are so blessed as to have a son.”
The room fell silent, broken only by the snap and crackle of the fireplace.
“Mr. Collins, are you deficient in understanding?”
“No, I do not believe I am.”
“Do you not see my sons in this room with me?”
“And whom do you think will inherit Longbourn when I die?”
“I… umm… Master Michael Bennet.”
“And if anything happened to my eldest son, whom do you think will inherit? That is, if Michael has not married and had a son of his own?”
“Master Gabriel Bennet.” Mr. Collins flicked a glance toward the chess table where Elizabeth and Gabriel sat.
“So, it is safe to say, one of my own will inherit Longbourn.”
“Cousin Bennet.” Mr. Collins began to wring his hands. “Should the Good Lord take you and your sons, I would step in and become head of the family. The entail was designed for this very thing.”
“I am of a mind to have our local physician check you over. Your memory is exceedingly faulty for one so young. When you first arrived, not only did I warn you against pursuing my daughters, but I also told you the entail was broken when my eldest son reached his majority. I cannot be held responsible if your father did not inform you of this fact.” Mr. Collins stood mute by the door. “Now that the line of succession has been confirmed, let us address the fact you had the audacity to describe yourself as the future husband of Elizabeth.”
“As I said before, Cousin Bennet—”
“You are not, never have been, and never will be, the future husband of Elizabeth.”
“I do not understand. I believe Mrs. Bennet wholeheartedly supports this decision.”
“But, I do not, and as Elizabeth has not yet reached her majority, I would not give consent, nor my blessing to such a union.”
Thankful for her father’s staunch support, Elizabeth stood and faced their cousin.
“Mr. Collins, while I thank you for the honor you wished to bestow on me, it has become a moot point. I would never have said yes to your proposal of marriage.”
“Never. I do not love you, sir, and will only marry a man who can hold my heart in tender care.” Mr. Collins continued to stare, his mouth hanging open. She did not wish to cause him further embarrassment unless provoked, so she turned her attention to her father. “I believe I will join my sisters.”
“Are you forfeiting the game, Lizzy?” Gabe called out, his voice hopeful.
With a sly grin, she leaned over the chess table and said, “There is only one move open, dear brother, and then you are in checkmate.”
Gabe studied the board and grimaced before tipping his king. Elizabeth straightened and moved toward the door. When Mr. Collins stepped aside, allowing her to exit gracefully, she bobbed him a quick curtsy. No need to be rude to the poor man. She was glad she had afforded him the small courtesy because, before the door closed behind her, she heard Papa say, “Take a seat, Mr. Collins. We are not done here.”

Rules of engagement for Weekend Writing Warriors:

Weekend Writing Warriors is a fun blog hop where authors share eight to ten lines from a Work in Progress. If you'd like to check out some of the other author's writing, please click on this link: WeWriWa


A new week has dawned with a new snippet from my last release: In Essentials. Glad you joined me today.

Here, in Canada, my family celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend. What a joy - even with all the extra work. Since Covid, this is the first time our little family was all together in one space. With six grandchildren, ranging in age from 10 months to 15 years, the cacophony of noise was wonderful, and at times overwhelming.

Full confession. I was grateful for the silence when everybody left for their own home. Does this make me a bad grandma? Even so, I would not trade the chaos for anything. We ate food, played cards, soothed bumped knees, and cleaned the floor from multiple spills. Our poor cats hid the entire time. Yup - it was a good time.

Onto this week's snippet. I am sharing from In Essentials. This book was released in March 2022. Here is the blurb, followed by my excerpt for this week.


His mistress, rewarded with a substantial allowance, jewelry, and clothing was in all essentials Mrs. Darcy, except by name.

His wife, with low connections and vulgar relations, is Mrs. Darcy by name, but in essentials, she is nothing more than a necessary evil to thwart the plans of his uncle the earl, as well as provide a legitimate heir to Pemberley.

All too soon, Darcy realizes there are hidden depths to his petite wife, and finds himself completely fascinated by not only her beauty but intelligence and wit.

Elizabeth, fully aware of why Mr. Darcy chose her as his wife, fights her growing attraction to the taciturn gentleman from Derbyshire, failing miserably. She is finally forced to acknowledge, that, in essentials, he is the only man who can make her happy.


A tall gentleman stalked the edges of the assembly room, hating every minute he was forced to remain in the presence of complete strangers. The room stank of cheap tallow candles, unwashed bodies, and bad breath. More than that, it stank of desperation. Frantic mothers and fathers seeking to have their children wed. Male or female, it did not matter. The goal was to find a warm body to ensure a continued heritage and hopefully bring ready cash into the family coffers. In this regard, they were not too dissimilar to him, as he too, was on the hunt. But not for the same reasons.


Last week, his uncle had once again lambasted him for not marrying one of the many pedigreed debutantes paraded past him at endless balls and soirees, going so far as to challenge the guardianship of his younger sister if he did not comply with his demands. Tired of his mother’s brother trying to force him into marrying his choice of wife, and his mother’s sister demanding he marry her daughter, he decided he would find his own wife. And not just any wife. She would be vile, though not in looks. If he had to bed the wench, he wanted some form of beauty and a pleasing body. No, she would be someone who teetered on the edges of polite society. Preferably a gentleman’s daughter with vulgar connections. The more vulgar the better.

He had no need for more money or love. His mistress filled the latter of those requirements in more ways than one. His lips briefly curved as he remembered how she’d bid him farewell last night, knowing she would not see him until the new year. Straddled across his lower torso, she had raised and lowered herself, allowing him free reign with his mouth and hands. There was not a crack or crevice on her delectable body he was not familiar with, and after two years, still had not tired of her.

If he truly wished to have his uncle expire from an apoplectic fit, he’d marry her, but knew such a rash act would materially damage his sister’s chance of making a good marriage when she finally came out in society. He could never do that to sweet, innocent Georgiana, and after a near disaster this past summer, where he’d nearly lost her to his father’s loathsome godson, he had vowed to protect her until she married a good man.

A high-pitched shriek followed by giggles brought him back to his quest – finding a gentleman’s daughter who would horrify his mother’s family. Two females barreled past him. His gaze followed the pair of ladies, girls really, far too young to be out in society even in a backwater town like this. They skidded to a stop in front of a woman to whom he had avoided introductions. He’d caught the calculating gleam in her eye the minute he and his friend had entered the room and knew she had decided on the both of them as future sons-in-law.

At first, he’d dismissed her, but now, watching how her daughters behaved, his interest was piqued. His uncle would be devastated if he showed up with one of those empty-headed twits on his arm. Lost in thoughts of how to facilitate a belated introduction, his friend approached.

“Come, Darcy. I must have you dance.”

“Before we left Netherfield, I told you I would be poor company tonight.”

“Then let us acquaint you with someone pleasant who can drag you out of the doldrums. There are some very pretty girls here.”

“You are dancing with the only handsome woman in the room.”

His gaze fell on his friend’s partner, who remained on the dance floor, waiting for their turn to go down the line. She was not only handsome; she was divine. He surmised even a dead man would have felt stirrings of desire in the presence of her beauty. However, he was not here to find a beautiful woman to grace his bed, he had the delectable Daphne for that. What he needed was someone who was not perfect. Someone his uncle would loathe on sight.

“Yes, Miss Bennet is so very beautiful, but you will not distract me in this. I will find someone for you to dance with who is not my sister.”

“I thank you, but you should make your way back onto the dance floor and enjoy your partner’s smiles. You are wasting your time with me.”

“I say, there is a pleasant-looking lady just yonder. I could ask my partner to introduce us.”

Darcy looked over his shoulder and spotted a petite woman seated by herself, her foot tapping in time to the music. He caught her eye and paused. She was pretty, but not handsome enough to tempt him from his mission of finding an uncouth bride. About to decline Bingley’s offer of introduction, his attention was caught by the loud chit he’d noticed earlier. She plopped down in the empty chair next to the intriguing woman and huffed out a huge sigh.

“La, Lizzy! I am quite fagged. I need to catch my breath before the next dance.”

The young girl hadn’t lowered her voice nor did she seem to care about the fact she slouched in her chair like a drunken sailor. The woman, Lizzy, obviously did because she hissed something under her breath and the girl straightened, but not before a pout appeared on her face.

“Oh, who cares what they think. They mean nothing to me.”

The young woman grabbed the girl’s arm and hauled her to her feet before marching toward the vulgar woman, whom he assumed was their mother. Even from across the room it was obvious the matron berated the young lady, allowing the spoilt child to prance off, head held high without batting an eye at her coarse behavior. He smiled. This ‘Lizzy’ was perfect.

He turned to his friend.

“After your dance has ended, I would be pleased to meet the young lady.”


Rules of engagement for Weekend Writing Warriors:

Weekend Writing Warriors is a fun blog hop where authors share eight to ten lines from a Work in Progress. If you'd like to check out some of the other author's writing, please click on this link: WeWriWa


Welcome back, fellow warriors and guest readers! I had quite a productive week. I added a healthy portion of words to my current WIP and made homemade tomato sauce for the first time in my life. If I had known how time-consuming it was, I might have given back those beautiful tomatoes before scuttling off to the closest grocery store. Next spaghetti night we'll find out if those four hours were worth it. I also canned some green beans in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. My family LOVES green bean casserole, and before I started preserving my own food, I had no idea the difference between store-bought canned goods to homemade. The difference is... all I can say is - wow. The same for Pinto Beans, which we use exclusively for my hubby's chile recipe. Those are resting on my canning shelf as well. Yum... I'm hungry now.

Okey dokey, enough of my manic enthusiasm for all things #canning, and on with this week's offering. I am giving you a snippet from my one and only (for now) paranormal Jane Austen Fan Fiction: Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Undone. I had a blast writing this, and the response from the readers was good. At the time of publication, there was not much out there for this little sub-genre, but it has now exploded and has gained a following.

Rules of engagement for Weekend Writing Warriors:

Weekend Writing Warriors is a fun blog hop where authors share eight to ten lines from a Work in Progress. If you'd like to check out some of the other author's writing, please click on this link: WeWriWa


When they gained entry to their shared room, she took out the letter and said, “This is from Caroline Bingley, and what it contains surprised me a great deal.”

Lizzy accepted the envelope, which contained a sheet of elegant, little, hot-pressed paper, well covered with a lady’s fair, flowing hand. She read a few lines and gasped.

“The pomposity of that woman, declaring she cannot ‘pretend to regret anything I shall leave in Hertfordshire, except your society.’ And to call you her dearest friend. The woman would not know a friend if they kicked her in the shins while declaring it.” She read further before emitting a very unladylike snort. “This is rich, she hopes their absence can be alleviated by − where is that ubiquitous line? − ‘we may lessen the pain of separation by a very frequent and most unreserved correspondence.’ She threw the letter onto the bed. “Jane, I give you leave to dislike Miss Bingley with all your heart, she is nothing but a pretentious prig.”


“Lizzy,” Jane chastised softly, “that is most unkind. She is letting me know her brother does not hold me in the same regard as I do him. She encourages me to find another beau without her brother getting in the way of my heart, and seems most solicitous in her care of my feelings. She even hinted Mr. Darcy agrees with her opinions, and he is Mr. Bingley’s best friend. Surely, he knows where Mr. Bingley’s true interests lay.”

Never in her life had Elizabeth wished to impose her will on someone as much as she did right at this moment. How could Jane be deceived by one such as Caroline Bingley? Anyone with eyes in their head could see Bingley was madly in love with her sister. She paused in thought. Of course! They had seen how much in love he was and decided Jane was not of their sphere and hastened to remove him before he could declare himself to all and sundry. And what part did Mr. Darcy play in all this? There was no way Miss Bingley would willingly vacate Netherfield Park without ensuring Mr. Darcy was in tow. Or had he led the parade himself? Given what Miss Bingley revealed in her note, Mr. Darcy most likely cautioned his friend to leave before he’d committed himself publicly, with no way out of an unwanted marriage.

She fumed silently while Jane carefully returned the letter to its envelope, and placed it in her nightstand drawer. Even without her ability to perceive others’ emotions, she knew Jane’s heart was aching. Unable to bear her sister’s suffering, she headed downstairs to escape the confines of Longbourn. She stormed to the far end of her mother’s rose garden and paced. Paced and fumed, and fumed and paced, not even feeling the cold November air. Her anger waffled between Mr. Darcy and Caroline Bingley. She instinctively knew Mr. Bingley would defer to Mr. Darcy’s counsel long before he acquiesced to his sister’s demands. Her anger mounted with each step. If she could only see Mr. Darcy face to face and tell him what she really thought.

A tingling sensation cascaded over and through her body, and when she opened her eyes, she found herself in an unfamiliar room, standing before the man himself clad only in a pair of buckskin breeches and Hessian boots.

Available with Kindle Unlimited

Buy Link

Book Blurb:

She’s the outcast in her family…

Elizabeth knows she’s different from the rest of her family. She has strange dreams and sees things others do not. With the advent of the odious Mr. Darcy and his friends from Netherfield Park, as well as the amiable Mr. Wickham of the _____shire Militia, her powers seem to increase and her greatest fear is that she won’t be able to contain them and will be discovered.

He has eight hundred years of tradition to uphold…

No Darcy has married a non-magical woman since arriving on the shores of England with William the Conqueror in 1066. However, his kind – Miatharans – are dwindling in numbers. Miatharan's magic only flows through aristocratic bloodlines, so his strange obsession with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is puzzling as she is not of noble blood. Just a country squire’s beautiful daughter who has him slowly becoming undone.


I have not signed into WeWrWa for a very long time and to my fellow warriors... Sorry 'bout that.

So, I cannot promise this will be a regular thing - real life has a nasty way of saying, 'Nuh Uh, you ain't doin' that right now,' and things get pushed back. Suffice it to say, I am here for today.

Here is this week's selection:

Obliged by the scarcity of gentlemen to sit down for two dances, Elizabeth became aware Mr. Darcy had paused in front of her. Would the handsome gentleman notice her and ask her for a set? Mr. Bingley, dancing with Jane, broke from the line to implore his friend to join the set. Elizabeth, with no intention of listening to their conversation, could not avoid them as the two friends paused no more than a few feet from where she sat.

“Come, Darcy,” Bingley said, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about when you could be enjoying the company of a pretty girl.”

“You know I detest dancing unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this, it would be insupportable. Besides, your sisters are engaged and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with.”

Elizabeth was surprised at Mr. Darcy’s assertion that dancing with any one of her neighbors and friends was considered a punishment instead of enjoyment.

And a taste for more:

“You are so frustratingly fastidious,” cried the younger man. “These people are my neighbors. Can you not, for my sake, soften your attitude for one dance? Truly Darcy, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life, and several of them are uncommonly pretty.”

“You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,” said Mr. Darcy, looking toward the dance floor. Elizabeth took note of where he directed his attention and felt a slight thaw in her disgust. Someone who thought Jane beautiful could not be all bad.

“I agree. She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! Regardless, you will not detract me from my mission. I must have you dance.” Bingley cast his gaze around and it fell on Elizabeth, who looked away, embarrassed at having almost been caught listening in on their conversation. “I say, there is a young lady sitting down just behind you who is quite pretty. Miss Bennet will know who she is. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.”

Elizabeth worked hard to regulate her breathing, counting to ten while mentally preparing a positive response when he asked her to dance. By the time she reached three, she realized there had been no answer from Mr. Darcy, other than, ‘Which do you mean?’ Without thought, she glanced up and found him staring directly at her. Upon catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me. I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. Return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, you are wasting your time with me.”

Stunned, cheeks burning with mortification, Elizabeth could not even form words in her mind at his brutal observation. All her life she had been found wanting by her mother, forever compared to Jane who was the epitome of beauty and grace, yet she’d always felt she had a small measure of pleasing features. Her eyes were quite fine, and she had a quick smile for everyone. To be dismissed so summarily by someone who had never met her before this evening, cut her to the quick. Mr. Bingley opened his mouth to argue further when a familiar figure stepped in front of both gentlemen.

“Excuse me, sir. I believe you owe my sister an apology.”

“I do not know who your sister is, sir,” Darcy replied, giving the younger man a haughty glare.

“She is the one whom you find barely tolerable, and not handsome enough to dance with.”

Oh dear, this could get messy. Elizabeth hurried to join them. By this time, a second gentleman had come alongside and also glared at Mr. Darcy.

“If you require introductions, sir, you are cordially invited to join us outside. My brother and I will introduce you to our fists. You will find they are not tolerable as well.”

“Michael! Gabriel!” Elizabeth stepped in their midst. “Apologize to Mr. Darcy at once.”

“He insulted you, Elizabeth,” Michael ground out between clenched teeth, his steely gaze never wavering from Mr. Darcy’s.

“He deserves to be horsewhipped for saying such things about a lady to whom he has not been introduced,” Gabriel added, and gently tried to move Elizabeth aside. “It was extremely rude.”

“I agree, Gabriel. Would you like to take the first punch?”

“No, you are the elder Michael, you may go first.”

Weekend Writing Warriors is a fun blog hop where authors share eight to ten lines from a Work in Progress. If you'd like to check out some of the other author's writing, please click on this link: WeWriWa

Excerpt - Longbourn's Angels

Hello, my friends. Can you believe almost half of this year is in our rearview mirror? I, for one, am glad some of it is in the past. This year has been interesting. The Barr family has good news. Mr. B's cancer treatment was successful. His numbers look very, very good and the next update will be in about another five months. If things stay status quo, he will only have to go in every six months for the next two years, then it will be slated back to annual visits. (Whew) Also, he had surgery only three weeks ago, and everything has healed nicely with his first check-up is this week. Then... THEN... we move on the 29th. Yikes!

Needless to say, my writing has been in spits and spurts because of packing, visits to the building site, picking floor, lighting, tile, fixtures... etc., etc. Having said that, I continue to work on Longbourn's Angels. The main characters are ODC (Darcy & Elizabeth), but I am weaving in small vignettes of Jane and their older twin brothers. Yes, you heard me. Twin brothers. I toyed with making them triplets with Elizabeth, but I like having them as older brothers, looking out for their younger sisters. Especially when a proud man has the temerity to insult our dear Lizzy at the Meryton Assembly.

This time, I have not written the Bennets with titled family, however, because Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's first children were male, Mr. Bennet has taken better care of his estate and so they are a little wealthier than in the original story. They also own Netherfield Park. It tickles my fancy to have the Bingleys unknowingly pay rent to the family Caroline Bingley loves to disparage. Also, the two sons have attended Eton and Cambridge, and have high-placed friends.

Below is a small snippet. In this scene, Gabriel and Elizabeth have traveled to Netherfield Park to bring Jane home. As in canon, she had ridden to Netherfield on horseback, got wet, and became sick. Alas, she does not stay longer than one night before her big brother and younger sister come to hie her home to Longbourn. What you will read is what happened between Gabe and Mr. Darcy once Caroline escorts Elizabeth up to the room where Jane spent the night.


The door had barely closed before a footman poured a cup of coffee for Gabriel. With a word of thanks, he accepted the cup and settled back in the chair he had chosen, directly across the table from Mr. Darcy and to the left of Mr. Bingley. He cast a quick glance at Mr. Hurst, who paid them no mind, concentrating solely on his overflowing plate of food. Gabe briefly wondered where Mrs. Hurst was, but quickly dismissed her from his thoughts.

“Was there any damage to Longbourn from the storm?” Mr. Darcy asked.

“Not that I could tell. My father and brother will ride the estate later this morning and assess the damage.”

“How large is your father’s estate? I have been riding the border between Netherfield and Longbourn, and have come to realize it is grander than what we were led to believe.”

Gabe assessed Mr. Darcy. Arrogant the man might be, but he was a landowner of a huge tract of land in Derbyshire and had rightly decided the Bennets were more than what met the eye.

“Longbourn, while not as extensive as Pemberley, is comfortable. Our family has owned their land since the Plantagenets.”

“I say, the Bennet history is as rich and deep as yours, Darcy,” Bingley exclaimed. “Although, I do recall you saying your forefathers arrived with William the Conqueror.”

“That is true.” Darcy conceded with a slight nod of his head. “My family does have deep ties to our lands.”

“My friend Peter tells me Pemberley is quite the sight to see.” Gabe watched the master of that great house carefully. “He opines it might be more impressive than Chatsworth.”

“I will own I am proud of Pemberley,” Darcy conceded. “However, it is not as grand as Devonshire’s home. Few are.”

“Peter’s opinion may be skewed by the fact he was not particularly fond of the late duke.”

“Have you met his grace?” Bingley asked, his mouth dropping open in surprise.

“My brother and I, along with Peter, attended university with his son, Hart and were invited to a house party they hosted last summer.”

“You have mentioned Peter a few times. Is he another minor landowner here in Hertfordshire like your father?”

Gabe longed to knock the superior look from Darcy’s smug face. His father was no minor landowner. The boundary of Longbourn estate encompassed approximately eight miles at its widest point, not including Netherfield Park.

“Peter’s main estate is in Derbyshire, although he owns property near Meryton, which his family uses for hunting parties and a quick summer escape from town.” Gabe did not tell the gentleman the estate he referred to was known as Stoke House.

 “You said he owns land in Derbyshire?”

“I did.” Gabe decided to drop crumbs of information, wanting to see how far down the path they’d follow before realizing the truth. “Quite close to Pemberley, to be more exact.”

Let us see what Mr. Darcy makes of that. Gabe suppressed a grin. He could tell Darcy was beginning to put the pieces together, confirmed by his next question.

“Would your friend, by chance, be Peter Stokes?”

“He would, indeed.”

From the blank expression on the faces of Bingley and Hurst, neither of them knew who Peter Stokes was. But Darcy did, and Gabe held that man’s gaze, knowing an adjustment in attitude would soon follow. It was the way of the ton. They curried favor with those who held titles, and the Earl of Thedford was a powerful friend.

“How is it your family knows the Stokes?”

“As I said, he owns property close to Meryton and is a close friend of me and my brother. We practically grew up together. Unsurprisingly, our fathers struck up a friendship and, to this day, continue to try and outmaneuver each other in chess.”

It was a small movement, but Darcy’s left eyebrow twitched. Better and better. Now the great man knew of their close connection to the Marquis of Dorchester, Peter being his heir. Gabe heard movement in the hall and knew Miss Bingley would be joining them in a few minutes. He looked at Darcy, allowing his disdain for the man to show completely on his face.

“Do you wish now you had given consequence to a young lady who was not slighted by other men but had sat out two sets because there were not enough gentlemen to dance with?”

My, oh my, how I love humble pie.


New Release! In Essentials

Available now in Kindle Unlimited.

Bridgeport Family Tree

In Essentials - Excerpt

First, I apologize for the lack of posting regularly. The Barr household is in such disarray, I am thankful if I remember to put on pants... uh oh... will be right back............ okey dokey. Got my pants on, now we can carry on as though I am normal ;) Hubby and I are buying a new condo. Egad. What were we thinking, in the middle of a pandemic? I mean, why not? Supplies are hard to come by, everything is backlogged, we cannot go to design centers to look at flooring, lights, paint colors. Everything is virtual. Sure! Let's buy a new house! I am not even going to touch the fact we have to sell our own home in the meantime.

Head - desk.

In the midst of all this, my husband got some devasting news and his treatment starts next week. Every second day for ten days. We will know if it has been successful by June - Just in time to move into the new condo. Still, hubby insists I keep writing, but it is sooo hard to write about love when the one you love is hurting. Needless to say, this has pushed back my anticipated publishing date. I only have about four chapters to go, but my heart is just not in it at this time. I am sure you understand.


When breakfast was over, Jane and Elizabeth were joined upstairs by Mr. Bingley’s sisters. Although they did not advance very far into the room, quitting the room when Mr. Jones, the local apothecary arrived, Elizabeth was touched by their affection and solicitude toward her sister. Having examined his patient, Mr. Jones said, as might be supposed, that Jane had caught a violent cold and they must endeavor to get the better of it. To that end, he advised her to return to bed and promised her some draughts. Miss Bingley reappeared when the clock struck three.

“I came to inquire how Miss Bennet is doing and ask if you want me to call for the chaise. It is far too late in the day to walk safely back to Longbourn.”

“Thank you for your kind concern and offer, Miss Bingley.” Elizabeth looked down at Jane with some concern. “I am worried about her fever, yet it is getting late and I must return home.”

“Please, do not leave me, Lizzy.”

Jane began to cough upon speaking and had to be helped into a sitting position to drink a bit of water. Miss Bingley approached the bed and took Jane’s hand in hers.

“Do not worry, Miss Bennet. I will have Mrs. Nichols prepare a room for your sister. We all want you to return to the pink of health.”

Elizabeth could not help but smile when Jane’s whole body relaxed into the softness of the bed at the promise her beloved sister would not be leaving her side. She then turned her attention to Miss Bingley.

“If I may, I will write a note to my father informing him of my wish to remain with Jane and have him send a supply of clothes for our stay.”

“Of course, Miss Eliza. I shall have a footman attend you directly.”

She spent the rest of the afternoon tending Jane and around six-thirty Elizabeth went downstairs for dinner. Although she spent some time in the drawingroom after the meal, she was too distracted to do much more than read, to the dismay of Miss Bingley and her sister. At their uncalled-for censure, and before she said words she could not return to her mouth, she bid them goodnight.

She passed the chief of the night in her sister’s room, and in the morning was secretly pleased by the inquiry which she very early received from Mr. Bingley via a housemaid.

“Please tell Mr. Bingley my sister is better than yesterday, yet still feeling unwell.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the housemaid said with a polite curtsy before exiting the room.

Not more than ten minutes passed before there was a knock on the door and Elizabeth opened it to find Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst.

“How is our patient today, Miss Eliza?”

All three ladies looked toward the bed where Jane lay flushed, yet pale.

“As you see, she is not much better. If you do not mind, I would like to send a note to Longbourn and ask my father attend to judge for himself whether Jane should return home or trespass on your kindness for another day.”

The note was immediately dispatched, and its contents quickly complied with, surprisingly, by Mrs. Bennet. Accompanied by her two youngest, they showed up at the front door before the Netherfield party had even begun breaking their fast. After being taken upstairs, Mrs. Bennet had a brief conversation with the apothecary, clucked and fussed over Jane for a bit, then completely ignored her and Elizabeth to gossip with her daughters.

Could not Lydia and Kitty have remained at home? There was no reason for them to attend with Mrs. Bennet and then behave as if they were in their own drawingroom. Elizabeth wondered why her father allowed Mrs. Bennet to attend in his stead, especially when Jane would never get much rest with the three of them chattering like chipmunks.

No more than a half-hour passed when Miss Bingley, having finished her morning meal, stopped by again and invited them to attend her in the breakfast parlor for a cup of tea. Upon receiving said invitation, all of them, save Jane, made their way downstairs, whereupon, Bingley met them with hopes that Miss Bennet was not worse than expected.

“She is a great deal too ill to be moved,” Mrs. Bennet exclaimed with a determined lift of her chin, a reflexive movement Elizabeth recognized when her stepmother was stretching the truth for her own means. “Mr. Jones says we must not think of moving her and we must trespass a little longer on your kindness.”

As it seemed Mr. Bingley was just as desirous as Mrs. Bennet for Jane to remain at Netherfield, nothing more was said on the matter. For one brief moment, Elizabeth hoped Mrs. Bennet would not prove how vulgar she was, nor do anything to foil Jane’s chance at gaining Mr. Bingley’s unwavering devotion. But…, she opened her mouth and began rhapsodizing about Jane’s beauty and how men sought her attention.

“When Jane was only fifteen, there was a gentleman so much in love with her, I was sure he would make an offer. But, he did not. Perhaps he thought her too young. However, he wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were.”

“And so ended his affection, which Jane had never returned as her heart had not been engaged,” Elizabeth said impatiently.

What Mrs. Bennet failed to inform the captive audience was Jane’s would-be suitor had been a gentleman in his late forties. Upon discovery of this relevant fact, Papa had been absolutely furious his wife had pushed Jane toward a man older than himself. Elizabeth knew if her sister were in the room right now, her cheeks would be scalded red with mortification at this piece of gossip being re-visited.

A somewhat awkward pause ensued, causing Elizabeth to tremble at the thought of Mrs. Bennet exposing herself again, but to her surprise and everlasting gratitude, Mrs. Bennet repeated her thanks to Mr. Bingley for his kindness to Jane, with an apology for troubling him also with Lizzy. She then called for their carriage to be ordered ready and while waiting, Lydia brought up the fact Mr. Bingley had promised to host a ball, adding it would be the most shameful thing in the world if he did not keep his word. His response provoked a delighted reaction from all the ladies. The exception being Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst.

“I am perfectly ready, I assure you, to keep my engagement and you shall name the very day of the ball. Although we will wait until your sister has recovered, you would not wish to be dancing while she is ill.”

Lydia, having gotten her way was all smiling, with declarations that of course, they would wait until Jane was healthy and a delay would mean some of the officers from the ____shire Militia were sure to attend, guaranteeing her a night full of dancing.

With her stepmother and her daughters safely away, Elizabeth returned to Jane’s side to await the arrival of their trunks. She wondered why Mrs. Bennet had not brought them with her, but a whispered comment from Kitty prior to their departure let her know Mrs. Bennet had intercepted Elizabeth’s notes to her husband and came to Netherfield before he knew what was happening. As such, there had been no time to pack anything.

Not even an hour had passed when the sound of another carriage drew Elizabeth to the window. Her surprise was great when she witnessed her father exit the vehicle and mount the stairs to the main entrance, taking them two at a time. Soon he was shown into Jane’s room, still wearing his greatcoat, one of Mrs. Bennet’s capes draped over his arm.

“Come, Jane. We are to Longbourn,” Papa said as soon as he entered the room.

“But Mother and Mr. Jones said I was too ill to be moved,” Jane croaked out from beneath the pile of covers.

“You have a cold, and as Mrs. Bennet said upon receipt of your note yesterday morning, nobody dies from a trifling cold. I have brought with me her fur-lined cape, and there are no less than eight warming bricks in the carriage along with several more blankets. ‘Tis but five miles by road and you can rest your head on my shoulder as you did as a child if you become too fatigued.”

“Papa, while I get Jane dressed, could you have Mrs. Nicholls warm up a few of those bricks. They will have cooled some before we are ready to depart.”

“Of course, Lizzy. Have a footman come find me when you are ready. The carriage is standing by in front of the house.”

With that, her father left the room and Elizabeth heard him hail a footman to ask if Mrs. Nicholls was in her office. With a soft smile, she shook her head at her father’s impertinence. She knew he would have no qualms about seeking out the housekeeper in her own domain. He was quite familiar with Netherfield and its servants as his great friend, Lord Dunsmuir had been the last tenant prior to Mr. Bingley.

She turned her attention back to getting Jane fully dressed. There was nothing to pack, as Papa had shown up instead of the expected trunk full of necessities. She worried over Jane’s continuing fever, but it was not raging and her cough, though deep, did not steal her breath in any manner. Sleeping in her own bed and making good use of Hill’s homemade draughts were just the thing to bring her sister back to perfect health.

Although she had reclined on the bed unable to keep her eyes open, Jane was finally ready. Elizabeth opened the door and spied the footman, who had waited so patiently outside the door. She bade him fetch her father and coaxed Jane into a sitting position. They were ready to return home and although she desired to leave as quick as possible, she did not relish the uproar that would ensue upon their return.

However, such was Papa’s cross to bear. Not hers.