Monday, 9 September 2019

Letters from the Heart by Kay Bea - Blog Tour, Guest Post and Giveaway

The blog tour for debut author Kay Bea's Letters from the Heart stops by at Babblings of a Bookworm today. I'm really pleased to welcome Kay here for a guest post. There's a giveaway opportunity too! Let's take a look at the blurb and then hand over to Kay.

Book cover: Letters from the Heart by Kay Bea
Book Description

The Bennet sisters of Longbourn lack both decorum and connections and do not possess a decent dowry between them. Even the best of the them is in every way unsuitable for a man whose income is as a good as a lord. But love is not so easily set aside and in January 1812, Mr Darcy persuades Mr Bingley to reopen Netherfield Park, the country estate from which they both fled only two months before. On returning to Hertfordshire, they discover a near tragedy took place three days after the Netherfield Ball and has changed the lives of the Bennet family forever. Mrs Bennet’s relentless fear of losing her place in society has led her to condemn her least favourite daughter to a life of isolation and pain that will greatly complicate Darcy and Elizabeth’s journey to happiness. Old bonds are strengthened, family ties are severed, and unlikely allies emerge as each of them struggles to make sense of the changes they face.

Guest Post from Author Kay Bea

Hello my lovelies! Thank you for welcoming me into your day, I’m really excited to be here talking about my debut book, Letters from the Heart.

Letters from Elizabeth, the first incarnation of Letters from the Heart, was the second story I got brave enough to share online. The first was so short, only 1800 words, that I’m not sure it really even counted. Writing is something I’ve enjoyed privately for a long time. I’ve been writing off and on since I was a young teenager. I have notebooks filled with terrible adolescent poetry as well as endless scraps of paper with half-finished scenes, or even entire chapters scratched out on them. When I was a teen, I thought no one would ever read what I wrote and part of me is still that lost girl, just putting pen to paper and never considering that anyone else might enjoy reading what I’ve written. Sure, I torture my husband on a regular basis with different thoughts and ideas; but we’re married and he’s supposed to say nice things. It still takes me by surprise when people tell me they enjoy my work so I was stunned when I was asked if I would be interested in publishing this story.

Letters from the Heart was written in staff meetings, on lunch breaks, and sometimes even during my commute. Don’t worry, I didn’t text or type and drive. I used the voice recorder on my phone and dictated whatever came to mind – badly done British accent and character voices included. I will never be my own narrator. But it was fun. Even though this is an angsty story that deals with serious subjects, I still enjoyed writing it. The first letters, those from Elizabeth to her family were probably the easiest to write, not in the least because I didn’t have to worry overmuch about timelines and consistency since there weren’t other parts to the story.

Elizabeth’s letters were also easier because I slid almost effortlessly into her voice.  It felt rather like I was sitting in the room with her and I could scarcely keep pace as she dictated her letters. When I finished Letters from Elizabeth, I thought I was done, but I kept getting requests for more, requests to tell the story from Darcy’s view. So, I picked up my pen and tried to write. Then I immediately discarded half-a-dozen drafts of that first letter as I tried to hear Darcy in my head. Finding Mr Darcy’s voice proved to be quite challenging. As he is a private sort of gentleman, he wasn’t initially inclined to share his thoughts with someone so wholly unconnected to him. The trouble was in hearing Darcy as a friend, a brother, and a favorite cousin as opposed to the Darcy we would find at a public assembly. I wanted the voice of the Darcy who rescued a fifteen-year-old girl from her own idiocy because he loved her sister. Once I found him, those letters became some of my early favorites. I love the teasing tone he takes with Colonel Fitzwilliam, the sort of fond exasperation he holds for Lady Catherine, and the affection he shows for Georgiana and Anne. However, my favorite piece in the story is Darcy’s only letter to Elizabeth. When I wrote it, I was thinking about my own marriage and the things my husband tells me. I hope that love comes across, I know I wanted it to.

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Author Kay Bea
Author Bio

Kay Bea is an administrative assistant and Jane Austen lover living in Kansas City with her husband of twenty-five years, her mother-in-law, and her fur kids. She has written several short stories and drabbles on fanfiction.net as “I Found My Mr. Darcy” and on A Happy Assembly as MrsDarcy2032.

Kay grew up in Wyoming, enjoyed a two-year adventure in Maryland, and now calls Missouri home. When she isn’t writing, Kay enjoys photography, cooking, and spending time with her adult children and three granddaughters.

Buy Links

Letters from the Heart is available to buy now in both kindle and paperback. You can also read it in Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon US - Kindle / Paperback • Amazon UK - Kindle / Paperback • Amazon Canada - Kindle • Add to Goodreads shelf


Giveaway Time!

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway
Blog Tour giveaway: $50 Amazon gift card – ends Sept 19. To be eligible, just comment on any of the blog tour stops. One need not visit all the stops (one point per stop and comment), however, it does increase your chances of winning by earning more entry points.

Note regarding comments
I love to read your comments, but a few blog visitors have reported difficulties in commenting while using the Safari browser. If you are unable to comment, please try using another web browser, such as Google Chrome, or please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 3: My Jane Austen Book Club
Wednesday, September 4: Austenesque Reviews
Thursday, September 5: My Vices & Weaknesses
Friday, September 6: Calico Critic
Monday, September 9: Babblings of a Bookworm
Tuesday, September 10: Savvy Verse & Wit
Wednesday, September 11: Margie’s Must Reads
Thursday, September 12: From Pemberley to Milton

Blog Tour: Letters from the Heart by Kay Bea
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54 comments:

  1. I am not sure there really is a 'badly done British accent' as there are so many - my accent is very different from my husbands, and our friends

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    1. I cede to your better knowledge...but I don’t think I’ll try mine in public any time soon :)

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    2. Hi Vesper. As a fellow Brit I think we'd probably agree that there is no one British accent, but I know the accent that people mean when they refer to a British accent and I've certainly heard people doing it very badly :)

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  2. Congratulations on publishing Letters from the Heart! I love your description of your writing methods, especially the part about using a voice recorder - how creative! And that Darcy, he really can be a taciturn fellow until you get to know him! :)

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    1. Thank you. The voice recorder was a godsend. I can’t count how many times an idea would come to me and I’d lose it before I got home....

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    2. Hi Anniina. It's great to hear more about authors' creative processes, isn't it. Although if I were using a dictophone it would just be a lot of ummming as I thought!

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  3. Great post too! Loved the Letters! Darcy’s “voice” is perfect!

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    1. A book written in letters really gives you a different perspective, doesn't it.

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  4. I picked up this book yesterday and read it in one sitting - I just couldn't stop once I started! I hated Elizabeth's situation, but loved how her sisters came into their own. And, of course, the HEA was very sweet and satisfying. I enjoyed every minute of it.

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    1. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. Thank you!

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    2. To be honest Gail, this scenario makes me a little nervous because I know I will feel so sorry for Elizabeth, and I'm sure I'm not the only reader who would feel this way. This this kind of wholehearted recommendation is really reassuring! Thanks for commenting :)

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  5. I have read so many blogs about this book that I now can’t wait to actually read it! I like how it started with just Elizabeth’s letters but now has Darcy’s as well. I do love to read his point of view.
    I certainly look forward to seeing how the happy ending comes around.

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    1. Happy reading, and thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Hi Glynis, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it.

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  6. I love seeing how an author's process works, especially on a book as wonderful as yours. Congratulations!

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    1. Hi Jan. I'm always interested to see more into the creative process, not least because it seems to differ so much from author to author. Glad you enjoyed the post :)

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  7. Enjoying this blog tour as it sounds like a wonderful book. Congrats on its release!

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    1. Thank you. This has been a blast.

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    2. Glad you're enjoying the tour, Darcybennett, and I hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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  8. Kay, I'm so excited for you! This tour is fun and informative!

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    1. Thank you! I’ve had fun with it!

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    2. Thanks for visiting this stop of the tour Caryl!

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  9. Your book sounds very interesting. I have always enjoyed writing letters and waiting for the response. At University, for my Psych 200 level final exam, we had to write a biography about our lives and the prof wanted it interesting. I chose letter writing to my father who was rarely home. I had full marks, the project had to be done or fail. Therefore I find this very interesting indeed and am looking forward to adding it to my TBB(to be bought) list. Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success.

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    1. What a great approach! I’ll bet you enjoyed it. Thank you for stopping by!

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    2. Hi Christa. That's great that you enjoy writing letters. I wonder whether it will become a bit of a lost art with instant messages, email and facetime. I hope not.

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  10. Just joining the tour now, but will look back on the other posts! Book sounds lovely. Can't wait to read Darcy's letter to Elizabeth <3

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    1. Welcome! So glad you could join us!

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    2. Hi Claire, glad you found the tour. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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  11. After you shared with us your writing method, I'm eager to see Darcy's voice but I admit I am a bit hesitating as well. I think I'll hate the Bennet parents for making Elizabeth marry Mr Collins

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    1. You will definitely not like Mrs B...I didn’t. :)

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    2. Hi Sophia, I understand just where you're coming from. In canon, I don't blame Mrs B that much for wanting Elizabeth to marry Mr Collins. On paper, it's a good match for her and would secure her family's future BUT in personality he is a dreadful match for her. Her father sees this but I don't think Mrs Bennet even realises or thinks that it important. I don't think she is trying to be unkind to Elizabeth in pushing her in that direction. But that is canon Mrs B. This one sounds worse!

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  12. Enjoying the blog tour and reading about your process. I am looking forward to reading!

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    1. Thank you! Happy reading!

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    2. Hi Becky! Glad you're enjoying the blog tour. Hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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  13. It sounds like a great book, I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the tour and a giveaway.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by KateB! Good luck in the giveaway.

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  14. I read so few epistolary stories that I would have read this one for that alone, but I enjoyed learning how the story came about from Kay and want to read it to discover these characters, too.

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    1. Hi Sophia. Thinking about it, I haven't read many episolary stories either (I am glad you put that word in your comment because I can't reliably spell it!).

      I think it's interesting as you get a different perspective on the story.

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  15. I have a comment here from Eva:

    I love how you finally captured Darcy's voice and your description of how he is a private man and was hesitant to share his thoughts with you.

    Congratulations on your first publication and for the giveaway.

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    1. Hi Eva. I agree, it's interesting to hear how an author has got into a character's head.

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  16. What a wonderful post! I loved what you said: "Elizabeth’s letters were also easier because I slid almost effortlessly into her voice. It felt rather like I was sitting in the room with her and I could scarcely keep pace as she dictated her letters." I will also have you know, my book order arrived today from Amazon and yours was a part of it! Now that all my company is gone, until our Thanksgiving in October, I plan to read it next. I have a review to write first on another book. Again, Congratulations, and thank you for a chance at the giveaway!

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    1. Hi Carole. Glad you are well stocked with books! Enjoy your reading time.

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  17. Congratulations on your first publication. Thank you for a chance in this giveaway. Thank you for sharing your process in your writing

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  18. So looking forward to this new book!!!

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    1. Glad to hear that Danielle! Good luck in the giveaway.

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  19. It is really interesting to see how this wonderful story came to life. The way you told the story was really special and even though we suffer when we see Elizabeth going through all that, we have hope that one day she will be free. And when she is finally free, oh how wonderful it was. Darcy's love for her throughout the story was something quite perfect. He is so devoted and even when all hope is lost, his love is strong, steadfast and changes so many lives. This Darcy is one of the best Darcys I've read. His happiness when Elizabeth goes to Pemberley and he can see her smile, just lovely. It's a selfless love. Congratulations!

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  20. Hi Ceri and Bea,

    I just stopped by to say how much I loved ‘Letters from the heart’.
    I heard such lovely things about it that I treated myself to it at the weekend.
    Needless to say I couldn’t put it down,so committed was I to finding out how beloved characters would find happiness in the appalling circumstances people close to their hearts were placed in.

    I loved Elizabeth’s voice which remained strong and clear amid the psychological trauma she endured.
    What was said and left unsaid almost broke my heart.
    As for Darcy,what a true gentleman!!
    I loved every minute I spent with these wonderful characters and heartily recommend this book to all Austen fans.
    Thank you for publishing this story.
    Looking forward to reading your next.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Mary. Thanks for commenting and letting us know, I am sure Kay loves reading comments like this :)

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  21. I have been anticipating this release!!

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  22. I LOVED this book. I read it on KU and it was poignant and beautiful! I'll definitely need to add it to my personal library!

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