Friday, September 23, 2016
I'll be giving away a free e-copy of A Battle of Wills: Elizabeth, Darcy, and Me - Book 2 on it's release date, September 27th. To enter to win, please leave a comment, even just a word, on this blog post. The winner will be randomly selected on September 27th, but please remember. if I don't personally know you, or if we're not friends on FB, please make sure I can contact you in case you are the winner. Therefore, you might want to leave your twitter handle, tell me how to find you on FB or, if you don't have either of those and you want to remain anonymous on this site, click the Contact Georgina button on the right, and let me know by email that you entered.
If you haven't read book one, Elizabeth, Darcy, and Me, just click this link to find it on Amazon. You don't really have to have read it to follow book 2, but it helps :)
Best of luck!
Sunday, August 21, 2016
I thought I'd give everyone a little taste of what all the fuss is about. Please enjoy Chapter One from my first Pride and Prejudice Variation novel, Elizabeth, Darcy, and Me.
“How does my lady tonight?” Mr. Charles Bingley asked me, stroking the muzzle of his jet black mare, Camilla. He had come to the stables after an evening out among society. I’ve noticed he sometimes does this as a way of seeking solace, and though I am only his groom, he occasionally speaks to me in confidence.
“She is very well, sir. She only wants you and a little exercise to make her happy.”
“If only the human sort of females were so easy to understand.”
I studied his face. His reddish-blond hair was lit almost like a halo in the glow of the lamp hanging from a rafter above his head, yet it cast a somber shadow over his lowered eyelids. His normally smiling mouth was ever so slightly downturned. “What do you mean, sir?”
He sighed deeply. “Oh, nothing. It is just that…though I do not find it difficult to converse with women, I find that I am not often able to say anything…weighty enough to impress them. My friendships with ladies are unsatisfying to me, and mine to them too, I get the impression. I wish I could find someone who would be contented with a simple fellow such as I.”
“I would hardly call you a simple fellow,” I replied, handing him a carrot from a nearby bucket so that he could feed it to his mare. “You are educated at the highest level.”
He looked at me, and for a moment his expression brightened, then dimmed again. “That does not signify. I do not consider myself the cleverest of fellows, Christopher. There are many men far more intelligent, and able to speak on matters of importance and interest, much more so than I. Such as my friend Darcy, for example.”
“If I may be so bold to say it, sir. Mr. Darcy may be more able to speak on such matters, but he does not seem to be particularly willing. I have been in his acquaintance a long time, and rarely do I see him speak to anyone but you, or his sister, at much length.”
He let forth a slight laugh and his blue eyes twinkled briefly. “You may be right about that, Christopher. As a result, look where Darcy and I are. Both nearly a quarter century old with no wife to show for it.”
“You are both still very young to be much concerned about that.”
“Well, Darcy may be happy with his state of bachelorhood, but I long to find that girl, that perfect girl who would bring me joy for the rest of my life.”
“There is still plenty of time for that.” I took up a brush and began running it across Camilla’s ebony shoulders.
“You speak as a sage, old soul, Christopher, and yet you are getting to be of the age to be considering the same sort of thing.”
Little did he know how I often entertain those very sorts of thoughts. “No sir,” I replied. “Not I. I’m not quite ready to began on that journey.”
“I suppose not.” He sighed again. “Everyone in their own time.”
I put myself forward once more as I continued to groom the mare. “If you cannot find the lady of your dreams outside your immediate circle, perhaps you should look inward. Mr. Darcy’s sister is a most delightful young lady. I have readied a steed for her to ride more than once when she’s come with her brother to visit you here in London.”
“No, Georgiana is nothing more than a little sister to me. I could never see her as anything else.”
“And what about your unmarried sister for Mr. Darcy?”
He stroked the animal’s mane, the blackness of it a contrast with his own fair hair. “I think she would like that very much, Christopher, but between you and I, I would not wish Caroline on him.”
I laughed aloud, and saw his smile return in earnest. “Then perhaps what you need is a change of scenery altogether. Maybe you should leave London for a while, and find a place endowed with clever young ladies with whom you are not yet acquainted. Fish in a different pond, as the saying goes.”
He looked at me for a while as if deep in thought. “You are a smart lad, Christopher,” he finally said. “I am glad that you have remained in my employ for so long. My father was wise to hire your father, and for him to apprentice you as my groom.”
“That is very kind of you to say, sir.”
“And, you, my dearest fellow, have given me an idea.” With a final pat to Camilla, he wished me goodnight and left the stable with a renewed bounce in his step.
Father has been trying Mother’s nerves greatly. She has been imploring him to go to Netherfield and meet the gentleman who has recently taken up residence there, a one Mr. Bingley, who is rumored to have a substantial fortune. It is obvious that she has designs on him for either Elizabeth or Jane, both of whom are still unmarried at the considerable ages of twenty and twenty-two respectively. I, knowing Father’s penchant for teasing Mother horribly, had been suspecting that he had actually made the visit after all. The conversation went ‘round and ‘round, on this particular day, Lizzy trying to reason with Mother that we would meet Mr. Bingley soon enough, for our neighbor Mrs. Long could introduce us at the assemblies, but this only made Mother abuse Mrs. Long for being selfish and hypocritical, suspecting her of keeping Mr. Bingley for her own nieces. She irrationally complained of poor Kitty’s coughing, and became further agitated when Lizzy pointed out that the Longs would be out of town during the next assembly, and therefore, could not introduce us. Father then observed that he would introduce Mr. Bingley to Mrs. Long instead, and the whole conversation became a twisting turning mêlée of miscommunication, a thing Father delights in, until he surprised me by applying to me for my opinion on forms of introduction and whether the stress society lays on them is nonsense or not.
“What say you, Mary,” he said to me, “for you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books, and make extracts.”
I had been sitting in the corner with one of these very same great books, and did not know that anyone was aware I was listening. Therefore, I was not prepared to reply, and became flustered, trying to decide if Father were being sarcastic or if he really does consider me a young lady of deep reflection. As I was trying to form a coherent reply, he hurried on.
“While Mary is adjusting her ideas,” he said, effectively dismissing my contribution to the conversation, “let us return to Mr. Bingley.”
“I am sick of Mr. Bingley,” Mother cried, at which point Father finally confessed to having paid the oh-so-important visit, and established the coveted acquaintance. Mother was practically in tears in her exasperation with him.
Thank goodness, I thought to myself, now, perhaps I can have some peace and quiet and return to my book, a particularly dense history of England, which I was enjoying immensely. However, such was not the case because Mother, Kitty, and Lydia all fell into such raptures of delight that it was impossible to get anything done for the rest of the afternoon.
Jane and Elizabeth, in their sensible manners, smiled indulgently at the scene, but I could tell they were pleased. I know Elizabeth would wish the match, if there were one to be made, to go to Jane. I stopped a moment and considered their physical merits, and who might be more likely to attract a man of such consequence as this Mr. Bingley is purported to be. Jane is fair and delicate of feature, while Lizzy has thick, brown hair the color of china tea and darker eyes which so often spark with intensity. Their faces are both well formed, if one observes them objectively, but Jane’s mouth forms a sweet bow, while Lizzy’s is wider, with fuller lips that easily break into a smile. Lizzy’s eyes are a bit deeper set then Jane’s, but her eyelashes are thicker and form a kind of fan across the almond shape of her lid. Yes, Jane is more beautiful but Lizzy’s face holds more character. She may well laugh at the frivolity of the conversation about Mr. Bingley, but she has never had a suitor. I think she doubts there’s a man in this silly society in which we live who could equal her wit and intelligence, and I’m inclined to think she’s right. At any rate, I don’t care about men, or dances, or any of those trivialities. Study and accomplishment are the things that are important in life, and I intend to make the most of myself in that regard.
Still, as the afternoon waned, I found myself returning to the sting of Father’s words. For all my persistence, I fear he does not consider me a serious scholar. Maybe because I am a girl. Dejected, I decided to go for a walk. I marched across the field to a stand of trees hidden from view of the house. One of the trees has a low, bent branch that offers itself to me as a seat. This is my spot. The place I come to contemplate life and to gather ideas for my writing. For what I want to be in life is a writer, a nearly impossible occupation for a woman, but still, there it is. If I do marry someday, my husband will have to understand that this is my priority. That I must be allowed to write or my spirit will wither.
The sun was low in the sky and knew I did not have long to tarry there without Mother sending Kitty or Lydia to look for me. As long as it is daylight, no one cares much where I am, but Mother has at least the sense to gather in her daughters come nightfall. I had been sitting there I knew not how long, contemplating nature in all her glory as the sun was descending toward the horizon, setting the sky ablaze with rose and coral, when I heard the expected footsteps whooshing through the dry, autumn grass.
“Honestly!” I shouted with annoyance, “I’m on my way!”
Imagine my shock when a male voice replied, “Where are you going?”
I jumped up from my seat, ready to run off towards home.
“Oh, pardon me miss,” the interloper offered. “I did not mean to startle you.”
He entered the stand of trees and stood there expectantly as I looked him up and down, too surprised to further contemplate my flight. He seemed to be about my age, but taller than I. His clothes were rough yet not shabby. His brown hair was mussed, and hung almost over his eyes of the same color. His boots were muddy and from him emanated a slight, but not unpleasant, fragrance of manure and hay.
“Who, may I ask, are you?” I finally had the wherewithal to utter.
“Christopher. Well, that gives me very little information.”
“I might ask the same of you.”
“I asked first, and you did not answer me satisfactorily.”
“Oh, well, forgive me for that,” he said with some sarcasm. “I am Christopher Jones.”
“Jones. I do not know of a Jones family in the neighborhood. Are you a farmer’s boy?”
“I’m not anybody’s boy, miss, if you must know. I work as a groom in Mr. Bingley’s stable.”
“At Netherfield?” I asked, my interest piqued.
“Yes, at Netherfield.”
“Then you must have very recently arrived. Were you in Mr. Bingley’s employ in London?”
“Well then, it is very nice to meet you.” I turned to go.
“Wait a minute, you haven’t told me your name.”
“I do not believe convention requires me to, you obviously being beneath my station.” I instantly regretted my words as I saw his color rise. “I mean, forgive me,” I hastened to add. Rudeness is acceptable in no circumstance. “I am Mary Bennet. I live at Longbourn, just over the rise there.”
I felt ashamed of my behavior. “Yes, he is,” I replied. “I am sorry; I did not behave as a lady.”
His face softened. “I forgive you.” He smiled and his face lit from within. “Miss Mary Bennet,” he held his hand out to me, “will you shake?”
This was a true impertinence but I dared not refuse. I placed my hand in his for just a moment.
“’Tis a pleasure,” he declared.
I retrieved my hand. “Delighted,” I replied, unable to think of anything else to say. “And now, I must wish you good evening.”
“Good bye,” he said. “I hope we meet again.”
I did not know what to say to that and so I simply nodded my head and turned to go. Christopher Jones. What an odd fellow. But something about him made me smile.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Recently, I was privileged to enjoy a sneak preview of the latest short film, Azreal's Dissent, by up-and-coming director Joyia D. Bradley. I read the script about a year ago, and posted about it then, really excited about the idea of the piece coming to life. Well, now it has, surpassing my expectations, which, albeit, were high. Bradley has managed to bring her script to fruition with all its dark edginess intact, cool special effects to boot.
Here's a summary of the story: Azreal, the Death Angel, is tired of shouldering the world's grief and leaves her position, throwing the whole world off balance. With no deaths taking place for a year, both Michael and Lucifer join forces to fight to save the universe, only to discover an enemy of them both, Lilith, is rising to her destiny.
Each character in the film has a full and interesting personality that the director makes apparent within the seventeen minutes or so of the film's duration. Lucifer is played by Cherrye J. Davis as a sassy, almost business like woman, while her nemesis. Lilith (Alisa Glembotski), comes across as nurturing at first, menacing later, creating an interesting dilemma for the viewer: who do we trust?
Azreal, played by Katie Mack, shows true vulnerability. We sense her connection to this world, her desire to be merely a mortal, to have and keep love. It is, however, when she and her boyfriend decide to celebrate "Miracle Day," the one year anniversary of no deaths in the world, with a recreational drug, that her real identity becomes apparent.
There are some very appealing side characters as well: Lucifer's hound: the three Evils, and the archangel Michael in particular. Costuming adds to each character's appeal, giving a futuristic sway to the movie, while maintaining style and interest.
Some of the sets were amazing, such as a console that Michael uses to view all the beings of the world. It's clear that, in other scenes, Bradley used her creativity to turn normal locations into some really interesting spaces, something that other directors would be hard pressed to do on a limited budget.
The sound effects were good, the music compelling, and over all, it's clear that a really solid group of professionals were responsible for making Azreal's Dissent into something very special. I think we can expect some positive attention for it at the film festivals, and I, for one, will be paying attention to see where this cool little film ends up.
Check out the trailer here:
And follow Azreal's Dissent on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/AzrealDissent/?fref=ts
Monday, May 16, 2016
Then life went on, I got married in the late 80s and had a kid in '92. I bought every album up until Diamonds and Pearls, and then not another one until Musicology, missing, I now realize, a lot of great music in between. Maybe it was because he was so prolific that it became hard to keep up, and that's why I fell behind. Or maybe it was because he wasn't so much in the spotlight any more. My tastes changed and evolved, and I explored lots of new music, but I never stopped loving him. Now that he's gone, I feel like a bad fan for not having followed his music more faithfully all along.
"Now that he's gone"...I still can't get my mind around that fact. Not only did he die so young - after all, he's just a year older than me - but he left the world bereft of a mighty presence. I may not have thought about him so much anymore, but when I did, it was with a great deal of love and affection. He influenced me at a very influential time in my life. He seemed to speak my language back then, to express the things I was trying to express myself. The 80s, pre-AIDS awareness, were a whole other sexual revolution, and Prince was leading the charge. As a young woman in the heart of the NYC club and dating scene, Prince was my standard bearer.
I've now downloaded most of his music, and again, I see that I've missed so much phenomenal stuff during the last 15 years or so: rock, funk, blues, dance music, ballads...you name it, he did it all...incredibly well, with a few odd bits thrown in that were just Prince exploring the range of his artistry. As I listen to it, I'm both delighted and incredibly saddened. There's a hole in the world now that no one else can fill. I miss him, though I never knew him in person. I can only imagine the hole for those who did know him, and worked with him over the years. I keep wishing it were all a dream - a publicity stunt - but I know it's not. He's gone, and a part of me went with him. He was a very spiritual person in life, and I hope the afterworld is all he thought it would be. I send my purple tribute up there into the ether to him, and though he surely doesn't need it now any more than he ever did, it makes me feel connected to him in a way that brings me, at least, some comfort.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
I'm so excited to have been named the Best Time Travel Series Author of 2015 by the DD Passion Awards for my Time Mistress Series! This is a huge honor, and I'm so pleased to share it with you, my readers. Thank you, as always for your support and for being such great fans!
Monday, May 2, 2016
It's so hard to share all the photos of an epic, two week road trip on Facebook, or in texts, so I thought I'd post them here, and let anyone take a look who is so inclined. We went from Portland, down through Oregon to Redwood National Forest, down the California coast to San Francisco, east to the desert Southwest, back west through Death Valley to the Sierra Nevadas and Mammoth Lake, then over the mountains to Redding, CA, and home again. We stayed in some places longer than others, visited family, and spent many hours of driving in sheer awe of the magnificent beauty of the Western United States. Truly, except for the time we were forced to drive through Eastern Nevada and some of Central California, we saw scenery so beautiful, and so breathtaking, that we reached a whole new level of appreciation for the immense beauty of this planet. We enjoyed some man-made sights, too. Here are some of the highlights:
|Redwood National Forest|
|Northern California Coast|
|Golden Gate Bridge from the Moonroof|
|San Francisco by Night|
|More Death Valley|
|First Glimpse of the Sierra Nevadas - those aren't clouds, those are mountains.|
|Sunlight Above the Sierra Nevadas|
|Convict Lake near Mammoth Lake|
|Our Hotel in Redding|
Monday, April 25, 2016
On April 28th, renowned author Elizabeth Ann West will release her new novel:
To Capture Mr. Darcy
Nature is a fickle thing. When four days of rain occur earlier in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice to trap Elizabeth and Jane at Netherfield Park, new romances, misunderstandings, and alignments are made. Volatile tempers never did well cooped up together. Not even when there’s a chessboard to help pass the time.
Please help me celebrate by joining in a giveaway of my own Regency, time travel novel, The Time Baroness, a romantic nod to Jane Austen's era. Please comment below to be entered in the giveaway for a free e-copy of The Time Baroness. Winner will be announced May 1st, 2016.