Sunday 21 February 2016

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities Blog Tour - Guest Post & Giveaway

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities by J Marie Croft - Blog Tour Today the blog tour for 'A Little Whimsical in His Civilities' stops by and I have the honour of hosting the author, J. Marie Croft for a guest post & giveaway. This story is a humorous tale, looking at how things may have seemed from Mr Darcy's perspective when he returns to Meryton after Lydia's marriage. I have enjoyed the other stories that Ms Croft has written, the gender-swap P&P 'Love at First Slight', and she wrote a really funny story, 'Spyglasses and Sunburns' in the anthology 'Sunkissed; Effusions of Summer' which was one of my favourites of the collection so this new book is a definite on my TBR list. Without further ado I will pass over to J. Marie Croft.

* * *

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?

Mr Bingley
Cheesed off! Oh, sorry. I am Mr. Bingley. May I have a moment of your time?

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?

Um, yes.

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 –

Mr BingleyThis 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.)

Birthday Gifts - J.Marie Croft

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.

View of the Ocean - J Marie Croft

The sun shone invitingly. The salt air was fresh, crisp, invigorating, and –

Mr BingleyBeetle-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?

* * *

Book Cover: A Little Whimsical in His Civilities by J Marie Croft
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.

Author Bio:
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

* * * 

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!

Giveaway time

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


  1. I love the interaction with Mr. Bingley!

    1. Thanks. Bingley is usually as thick as two short planks in my writing. Poor beetle-headed younker.

    2. Hi BookLuver, I really enjoyed Mr Bingley's contributions too :)

  2. LOL! Loved this "interview"! :D

  3. Hilarious interview. Almost (almost) as funny as the novella!

    1. You're so sweet, Christina. Thank you.

    2. Hi Christina, I am glad you enjoyed the post. I was so pleased when I read it because I thought it was so funny!

  4. Oh Mr. Bingley, you sure have a wast of interrupting an interview... Love it!

    1. Indeed! The frothy fellow wasn't supposed to appear in this guest post at all.

    2. Hi Dung, I loved Bingley's indignation, I can just picture him saying all this :)

  5. Ah, Joanne, that was quite fun!

    1. Thanks, Ginna. Despite the disruptions, I had fun writing it.

    2. Glad you enjoyed the post, Ginna!

  6. This is the most interesting Mr. Bingley has ever been. Having devoured Ms. Croft's other works, I'm itching to get my hands on this.

    1. Aw, thanks, dezigner! Good luck in the giveaway!

    2. I enjoyed Bingley in this post too, Dezigner. Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Thanks, Ceri, for participating in the Whimsical blog tour. Your support is appreciated.
    Oh, and Bingley and I wish to apologise for the ungentlemanly and unladylike manner in which we behaved while here as your guests.

  8. What a hoot! Mr. Bingley crashing the guest post. Hope that birthday trip was fun even if Joanne had to deal with a disappointed character needing to air his feelings. :)

    This was an engaging novella.

    1. Thanks, Sophia Rose.
      The birthday trip was perfect, despite the distractions.

    2. Glad you enjoyed the post, Sophia, I really enjoyed Mr Bingley's contribution!

  9. Oh dear, the comment I made yesterday hasn't registered! Maybe it was because I was using my phone? Ah well. I'd composed a very witty comment in reposne to Joanne and Mr. Bingley's 'interview' and now I can't remember a word of it!

    Suffice to say, I've chuckled as much on the second reading as on the first!

    1. Aw, that's a shame, I hate it when the blog eats my comment! Maybe Mr Bingley interfered with it :)

  10. It's unfortunate your original, witty comment didn't appear (I hate it when that happens!); but I appreciate knowing the guest post earned a chuckle the second time around. Thanks, Anji.

  11. What a fun interview! Can't wait to read this book.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed it, Priscilla, Hank's for stopping by :)

    2. Good luck in the giveaway, Pricilla.

    3. I am going to blame my tablet for these shocking typos!


If you're not logged in to Google please leave your name in your comment or it will post as anonymous. Thanks! - Ceri