Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Snippet from my work in progress!

Hello all!  I hope you are all well.  Easter will soon be upon us and my work in progress is coming along nicely.

You will be pleased to know sequel to Charlotte ~ Pride & Prejudice Continues is nearing the finish line!

To whet your appetites I have a snippet from chapter 3 for you to enjoy!  I look forward to hearing what you think!
By the looks of it, Lady Catherine's venom is as strong as ever! ;-)

(Please remember that the manuscript hasn't been to the editor yet, this is the raw version.)

Take care and happy reading,
Karen xxx

Lady Catherine felt faint.  She had never been so insulted in her life.  She was furious at everyone.  Her maids attended her in her room and fled as soon as they possibly could, to avoid partaking of her wrath.
Mr Collins was to remove himself and his wife from Hunsbury.  He had resigned in person, in the drawing room.  Lady Catherine could not quite believe the audacity of the man.  No one refused her benevolence.  No one resigned from her service.
Lady Catherine’s chest felt tight and her breathing was uneasy. She felt betrayed and scorned. She replayed the conversation with Mr Collins over again in her mind.
“Lady Catherine, I am here this morning firstly, to thank you for your continued benevolence and attentions to my wife and myself.” Mr Collins bowed as he spoke.  “Secondly, owing to my unfortunate accident we were visited at the parsonage by my cousin Elizabeth, the new Mrs Darcy.”
“I am very well aware of who visited you in the parsonage Mr Collins.  I saw them with my own eyes.” Lady Catherine huffed.
Mr Collins looked uncomfortable as he continued.  Lady Catherine wondered if he was intending to ask her forgiveness for having the Darcy’s under her roof.  She determined not to make it easier on him.  She wanted to hear his full apology.
“Mr Darcy has made me and interesting proposition.  One which I have felt duty bound, to my wife, to consider carefully.”
Lady Catherine raised an eyebrow.  This was certainly not the conventional method of apologising.
“I have come, it seems, to the attention of Mr Darcy and I am very sensible of it.”
Lady Catherine now began to doubt if an apology would be forthcoming at all.
“In short, he has made me the offer of the living on his estate of Pemberley, and after very careful and serious consideration on my part, I have decided to accept.  I must therefore tender my resignation, Your Ladyship.”  He placed a letter on the side table which contained his resignation in writing.
Lady Catherine’s face was a picture of disbelief.  She sat and stared at the man before her.  Had she heard him correctly?  Had he truly resigned from her employ?  She thought about what he had said for a moment.  “You felt duty bound, to your wife, to consider the offer carefully?”  Her voice started off at almost a whisper and increased in pitch until she practically screamed at him.  “You did not consider then, what you owe to me?  After everything that I have done for you and your wife! You selfish, unfeeling man!”
Mr Collins was astonished at her reaction, but for once stood firm.  “I had no idea of Your Ladyship’s taking the news so badly.  I believe that I have made the correct decision for myself and for my future family.”
Lady Catherine took a deep breath.  “What care I for your family, Mr Collins?  What do they mean to me?  You have used me very ill indeed.  How am I to replace you?  Have you considered that?”
“As a matter of fact, yes I have, Your Ladyship.  I have consulted with Reverend Oates in Westerham, and he has already begun to look out for an appropriate person for you.”  Mr Collins’ triumphant smile slipped off of his face at the sight of Lady Catherine’s expression.
“How dare you presume to make enquiries on my behalf!  What insolence!  You assume far too much Mr Collins.  This shall not be borne.  You shall inform my nephew that you have reconsidered his proposal and cannot accept.  I refuse to accept your resignation.  You will remain here at Hunsford.”
For the first time in all the years that she had known him, Lady Catherine saw Mr Collins come within a hair’s breadth of losing his temper.
“Your Ladyship, with all due respect I cannot and I will not do that.  I am heartily sorry that you are unhappy.  Unfortunately, that is unavoidable, but I must put the future happiness of my wife and myself first above all else.  I have accepted Mr Darcy’s offer of employment and I cannot be false to my word.  I realise I am a man with little to recommend him, but I do have integrity.  I must maintain it and will not go back on my word.”
This only served to inflame Lady Catherine’s own anger.  “Insolent man!  You have no respect for rank or person.  Do you think that a mere clergyman can dictate to a person such as I?  Mr Collins, do you think that I can so easily be crossed?”
Mr Collins jaw clenched.  “Your Ladyship, it was not my intention to cross you, nor would I purposely injure you in any way, you must believe me.  However, as I have stated, in the best interests of my myself and my wife, we are removing to Derbyshire.  I recognise what is due to you, I am very sensible of that fact.  Therefore, I give you one month’s notice and Mr Darcy has even made an offer of compensation to you.  It can all be read in the letter.”  He stood up and made ready to leave.
“Do you indeed? You deign to give me a month’s notice!” Lady Catherine’s face was so red that she could feel her cheeks burning.  “Is that a fact?” She was shouting now.  She was so angry that she did not know how to respond to him.  Her mind was racing and she could not think clearly.  “Well do not put yourself out!  I would not wish to inconvenience you and your wife, Mr Collins!”
Mr Collins looked sadly at her and quietly said, “Good day to you, Your Ladyship.”  He turned and headed for the door.
“Mr Collins, I want you out of the parsonage as soon as it can be arranged!”  She screamed after him.  She watched him close the door behind him.  Snatching up the letter, she stomped out of the drawing room and went immediately to her bedroom to be alone.  The tirade of abuse for Mr Collins that spilt out of her mouth was unintelligible.  She was ranting and she knew it.  Never before had she been left to deal with such a situation.  It was usually the domain of men to handle such matters.  Suddenly, she keenly felt Sir Lewis’ absence and sat down heavily on the chaise.
As the realisation hit her that she had told Mr Collins to go as soon as he could, she groaned.  “Oh, what have I done?” She knew that her anger had made the situation worse.

Friday, 1 March 2013

The Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award

I've been nominated by my good friend, Terry Tyler - see her post here.  Her blog is brilliant, and is always a lot of fun.  http://terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk/

So, what's it all about?

The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to recognize blogs with fewer than 200 followers that deserve a look. My job is to list 11 random facts about me, answer the 11 questions Terry has set me, then to nominate 11 new bloggers, who should bask in the Liebster glow - which means doing the same as I am doing here! ie, post a blog linking back here, with 11 random facts about you, answer my 11 questions and nominate 11 new bloggers (and think of 11 questions to ask them - can be anything!). Off we go then...  If you want to do it but the thought of finding 11 other bloggers to tag & thinking up questions puts you off, just do the 11 random facts about yourself, and answer my questions! :)

11 random facts about me

1.  I have a very strong reaction to lavender.  If I get lavender oil on my skin, it'll knock me out - literally!  If someone is has a lavender air freshener, I will fall asleep in their home! Recently I bought some chamomile tea with lavender in it and I can honestly say that after 1 cup I am stoned!  

2.  I lived in Ecuador, Russia and Spain.  I absolutely loved Ecuador and certainly left my heart there.  If I had the chance, I would certainly go back there.  I still have wanderlust.

3.  I am super picky over chocolate.  If you give me anything other than Cadbury's I won't eat it.  I am not tempted at all, but if it's Cadbury's I can eat the lot in one go!  (What a glutton!) haha  

4. I am 4 feet 8 inches tall.  Yes, tall!  Don't be heightist! lol  I find it difficult to do things in the kitchen.  I need a stool to stand on to reach the cupboards and then I need to use a spatula to knock things off of the top shelf!  Imagine your 11 year old doing the cooking and that's how awkward I look lol

5.  I speak English (sort of), French, and Spanish.  I am fluent in Spanish.  I learnt it when I went to Ecuador.  I remember arriving at the airport in Quito and thinking 'I can't speak Spanish. I hope they don't ask me any questions at passport control!' haha  After 5 months though, I was fluently speaking Spanish.  I know I have my good friends Pachi and Keyla to thank for that.

6.  I am a sagittarius and I don't even know what that means!  What does it mean?  Is it important?

People born under this sign are bright and optimistic. A Sagittarius person is full of energy, versatility and eagerness. They enjoy travelling and exploring. Sagittarians, being ruled by Jupiter, are pleasure-loving and benevolent. They are not diplomatic, but are very honest and outspoken. People belonging to this sun sign respect morality, customs and traditions. Sagittarians are tolerant, open-minded and very judgmental. They are very entertaining which makes them an ideal companion. Sometimes, a dark sense of humor lands them into trouble. They are creative people, but have problem with controlling their egos. Sagittarius people also tend to lose temper if things don't go in their favour. Sagittarius people are irresponsible and restless at times, which creates a negative atmosphere at their workplace. They take risks without thinking about the consequences. As a result, sometimes those risks end up having a negative impact on them. Sagittarius people are known for their passion for risks and adventure, hence many of them indulge in gambling and insecure investment plans.

I think that probably is me! Oh dear, perhaps I should start paying attention to these things!

7.  The only bone I've ever broken was my nose, and no one knows how it happened apparently, as it happened when I was an infant.  I was quite disappointed really.  If I was going to break something, I wanted to experience it all and have a plastercast and everything! lol

8.  I believe in ghosts!  Seriously I do.  I have had too many experiences to not believe.  I would say that something 'ghostly' happens in our house every week.  I am not scared as I'm convinced it's my granddad or my husband's mother.  We see lights, we have strange smells that we associate with certain people.  For example cigarette smoke when no one in our house smokes and no one is allowed to smoke in our house.  We see shadows, hear footstep and I even hear bells.  BUT I wouldn't say the house is haunted, I just think we're being visited.

9.  I am a big science-fiction fan.  I love Star Trek (and hate the new film!) and have been in love with Spock since I was a teen! ;-)  I also am addicted to Stargate SG1 and watch that over and over again. I am such a geek!  In fact, I like to watch something sci-fi every day or I get withdrawal symptoms lol

10.  I don't have a desk like other writers seem to have.  I often see other authors posting lovely photos of their huge desks and well organised writing areas.  I don't have a desk.  I have a sofa table thing, that I pop the laptop onto and pull up to me so the feet are under the sofa.  I'm comfortable but I don't have much room.  I would love to have a special nook area just for writing in.  That would be heavenly :-)

11.  I love ginger cats.  I don't know why but I cannot resist them not even for a single second!   If I had my way I would have a collection of them, which I have just learnt is called a clowder of cats!  That would make  me a cat lady though, and that's a scary thought! ;-)

Here are the 11 questions that Terry Tyler asked me!

1.  What's your favourite flavour of crisps?

Either Salt and Vinegar Hula Hoops or Pickled Onion Monster Munch! :-)

2.  How many of other people's blog posts do you read per day, on average?

Golly, that's hard to answer.  I guess that depends on how much time I spend on facebook which is where I usually see other people's blog posts.  As an estimate, I would say between 10-15 minutes a day.

3.  If you weren't promoting your book/blog, would you still use Twitter/Facebook so much? If not, how much would you?

I know that I certainly wouldn't be on twitter and facebook as much.  I'd probably only go on them to say hello to friends.  I think it would be interesting to see if we could avoid FB and twitter for a week ;-)  I bet I can't!

4.  Do you smoke?  If not, did you ever?  (I know at least one person I've tagged has good reason to really, really hate it)

I am the person that Terry knows who hates smoking.
No never, is the answer to that question.  Thanks to my parent's who smoked, their friends and other family members who made the air thick with smoke all the time, I have asthma.  I hate smoking and hate it even more when I ask smokers to stop around me and they say "Take your inhaler instead!" Thanks, asthma can kill!!

5.  When a doctor asks you how much you drink, do you lie?

No, I don't lie.  I am virtually tee-total.  I don't like the taste of most alcohol and I hate the way it makes me feel. I may have a glass of Bailey's at Christmas and that's all.  I especially hate Champagne and on my wedding day we bought Veuve Cliquot, which is very expensive.  I almost spat it out during the toasts!  I am SO glad no one took a photo of that! LOL

6.  What is your star sign?  Do you know about the typical characteristics of that sign, and if so, which ones apply to you?

I answered that question above because Terry Tyler mentioned it and it started me thinking about mine.  I am a Sagittarian.  I had to google that because I've never put any stock in the zodiac, however, the description (above) of a Sagittarian does sound a little like me.  Coincidene or truth?  I have no idea! ;-)

7.  Do you remember your first blog post?  What was it about?

I can't actually!  It might have been about the upcoming release of  Charlotte - Pride & Prejudice Continues  or it might have been about nothing in particular!  As it was a first blog post the latter is more likely ;-)

8.  Imagine you have to give up these four things for a month:  Alcohol, writing, listening to music, television.  Starting with the one you would find the easiest to give up, in what order would you find them the easiest to do without?

Easiest - Alcohol, I don't drink.
Listening to music would be next.  I often listen to my ipod while cleaning.  It makes it less like work then, but I guess I could suffer if it was only for a month.
Then, television would be next.  I would find that hard to give up.  I don't watch a lot of tv but I do have to see my sci-fi programmes in the evening. If I can't see Stargate or Star Trek then I might go insane! lol
Finally, writing.  I couldn't give that up.  It's my life!

9.  I love QI, Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, Ed Byrne, Frankie Boyle sometimes, Fawlty Towers, Python,  Catherine Tate.. and loads more.  I loathe Michael McIntyre.  What do you/don't you find funny?

I love QI too.  I also am a big fan of Monty Python and Blackadder.  I have also recently got into Mrs Brown's Boys, which is unusual for me because I really dislike the f-word.  I have been known to throw books in the bin that contain them, so switching the TV off when it becomes too much is no trouble.
Terry said she hates Michael McIntyre, and we love him!  I even got his latest dvd for Christmas.  But she says she loves Catherine Tate, I don't find her remotely funny. :-/
I love Indian comedy too - Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42 - I wish they'd make more!

10.  Do you watch soap operas?  If so, which is your favourite, and if not, why not?

No, I don't watch soap operas.  I don't have the time with two jobs and my writing to do.  I wouldn't choose to watch them either as they make me lose the will to live! 

11.  And finally - please put a link here to any of your blog posts - tell us what it's about, and why you have chosen it!

This is a short blog post, but it's really important to me because I had just received an award for my debut novel Charlotte - Pride & Prejudice Continues. :-)  Click here.   

Thank you for taking the time to read this!  I hope you will now take a look at these other fine people's blogs, as they have all agreed to take part :)

Here are the 11 questions I am asking the people I've tagged - yes, you must answer these!

1 - Do you speak another language? (Other than English?)

2 - Is there a place in the world that you've always wanted to visit?  Where/what is it? 

3 - If you could go back in time, when would you go to and why?

4 - If you could go back in time within your own lifetime, what would you do?  Would you change anything?

5 - Which of the characters that you've written is your favourite and why?

6 - Is there someone whom you'd love to put into one of your novels and kill off? (I won't ask who, but can you tell us why?)

7 - Are you nostalgic?  What or when for?

8 - What was your favourite band/group/singer when you were growing up?

9 - Who was your first kiss with?

10 - Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre?  Which genre and why?

11 - What is the one thing in the world that you cannot live without?

I nominate these people for The Liebster Award:

1 - Caroline Levyhttp://caroline-felicity-levy.blogspot.co.uk

2 - Paula Loftinghttp://www.threadstothepast.blogspot.co.uk/

3 - Judith Arnopp - http://juditharnoppnovelist.blogspot.co.uk/

4 - Mary Middletonhttp://marymiddletonwritesoflove.blogspot.co.uk/

5 - Francine Howarthhttp://francinehowarth.blogspot.co.uk/