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Today’s stop is the penultimate one on the Whimsical tour, and I’m delighted to be here. Thanks, Ceri, for letting me babble on your blog.
Tomorrow marks one-month since publication of A Little Whimsical in His Civilities. The novella was released just 24 hours before my birthday ... one of those milestone anniversaries ending with a goose egg. Despite excitement over the book’s launch, I was dreading the date. Not wanting to spend the occasion working at my full-time job, I booked a vacation day, thereby giving me a long weekend. My husband and daughters arranged to have the same time off, and on a whim, we –
Begging your pardon, madam. Are you J. Marie Croft?
Yes, I’m Joanne. And you are?
Well, gosh, I’m in the middle of a guest post here as part of a blog tour for A Little Whimsic–
That travesty is the very issue I wish to discuss.
Yes. Your short novel – or long short story – contains a distorted, unflattering portrayal of my character. Barely had I started reading it, when I encountered insulting balderdash. Look here ... on pages five and six. Darcy refers to me as a grinning ninny, his so-called friend, and frothy. Frothy! Granted, I had to look up that word in Johnson’s Dictionary, but I hardly deserve to be described as empty or trifling.
Frothy was meant in a more modern sense. As in light and entertaining but of little substance.
Eh? I did not quite catch that last part. Did you say of little substance?
Rather like your novella, then.
Yowza! You do have a spine!
Indeed. And it is holding me back – no pun intended – from further anger and hurt.
I’m sorry to have caused you pain, sir. Hopefully it will be short-lived. But you must understand that my little piece of fluff is just that – froth, fiction, fabrication. Mr. Darcy wasn’t really insulting you.
Oh! Well, please forgive me for having taken up so much of your time. Good day to you.
Bye! So, as I was saying, my family arranged to free up the same three days, and we reserved two nights at a nice place on the South Shore. No longer dreading my birthday, I eagerly awaited our off-season getaway. I packed a bag, my laptop, and a notebook full of scribbled ideas, hoping to make progress on my next story. We then set off on a two-hour drive, well in advance of an approaching winter storm. The accommodation, situated on a mile-long, sandy beach, had only two other villas occupied. Our stay was sure to be peaceful and –
This is his opinion of me? This is the estimation in which I am held? My faults, according to his story, are heavy indeed!
For a fictional character, you’re terribly intrusive.
Sorry. But on page 13, Darcy calls me biddable. Biddable! Granted, I had to look up the meaning, but it implies I meekly accept and follow instructions. On that same page, he refers to me as dizzy-eyed and tickle-brained, a mooncalf, and a wet-behind-the-ears stripling. Then, on the next page, I am addlepated. Well! I shall certainly have words with Darcy the next time we meet!
I apologize for bringing all that to the fore, but I really need to get back to this guest post. I can’t have any more disruptions.
Sorry! I shall just sit quietly in the corner and finish reading. I shan’t distract you again.
Thank you. Coincidentally, I had similar difficulty writing during my weekend getaway. There were just too many distractions. A birthday cake was waiting for me, thanks to arrangements made by friends. Then there were presents, including a journal (with the Austen quote used as my tag-line). I’d like to report the notebook is now filled with perfect plots, steamy scenes, and brilliant snippets of dialogue. Unfortunately, its pages remain as pristine as the snow that fell during the first night of our stay. Other distractions came in two bottles of wine provided by a colleague and games brought along by my daughter. (Anomia was her gift to me.)
My camera should have been left at home. The ocean, right outside our door, beckoned me away from the computer the day after the storm.
The sun shone invitingly. The salt air was fresh, crisp, invigorating, and –
Beetle-headed younker with a cruel streak? The gall!
I assume you’ve just read page 30.
Yes! On which Darcy refers to me – again! – as his so-called friend.
Might it appease you to know that, on page 61, he refers to you as his good friend?
It might, indeed!
Please understand that Mr. Darcy was anxious and a tad testy in Part I. While you were preoccupied with Jane Bennet, he endured numerous diversions on his way to winning Elizabeth. Trust me, interruptions and interferences can be irritating. Now, go! Read the novella. Leave us in peace before Ceri calls the authorities and has the book thrown at you.
Was that a pun? Darcy has been trying to wean me off ‘the lowest form of humour’ for years, you know.
Yes, I – Wait a minute! That tidbit is from my in-progress work. Have you been peeking at my next story?
Crud. Um, I should go now. You need to write. No more disruptions, I promise. ‘Tis time we both started a new chapter.
Speaking of chapters – and since you don’t care for my novella – have you read any good books lately?
Oh, yes! I read an amazing story involving labyrinths. It was filled with twists and turns. I became quite lost in it.
Hmm ... a good book with twists and turns. Excuse me, please. Karen M. Cox’s Undeceived is beckoning.
Have you read any good books lately?
Any titles worth a second glance or a good re-view?
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Told entirely from Fitzwilliam Darcy’s point of view, J. Marie Croft’s humorous novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities, spans one moonlit, autumnal night upon the gentleman’s return to Hertfordshire in pursuit of Elizabeth Bennet.
“We take the turning which places us on Meryton’s main road, and—oh, gad! There it is—the base-court building which passes for an assembly hall in this godforsaken place. For me, the venue shall be either a heaven or a hell tonight. My palms grow clammy, my gut churns, and I regret that second helping of onion-laden vegetable pie forced on me before we left.”
Accompany Darcy as he, intent on reversing the disastrous first impression he made there, braves another Meryton assembly and seeks to win his heart’s desire.
J. Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery”. Her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight (Meryton Press, 2013), her humorous short story, Spyglasses and Sunburns, in the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology (Meryton Press, 2015), and her novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Meryton Press, 2016) bear witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter.
Purchase A Little Whimsical in His Civilities by J. Marie Croft
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Thank you so much to J. Marie Croft for this guest post. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, it really made me chortle!
Meryton Press is offering 4 ebook and 4 paperback copes of 'A Little Whimsical in His Civilities'. This giveaway is open to international entrants. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter at the end of the blog tour, and will be announced on the Meryton Press website.
Since this is a blog tour there are other stops where you can learn more about the book, read reviews of it and have other chances to win. Here are the other stops:
Blog Tour Schedule:
8 Feb: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
9 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at Moonlight Reader
10 Feb: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
11 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
12 Feb: Excerpt at My Love for Jane Austen
13 Feb: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
14 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
15 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton
16 Feb: Review at Just Jane 1813
17 Feb: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
18 Feb: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
19 Feb: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
20 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight
21 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
22 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice