Monday, September 30, 2013

When It's Almost Impossible to Appear Tolerably Cheerful

Gentle readers, Recently, I "came out of the closet." I revealed what only a handful of even those closest to me know: I have Major Depressive Disorder. I have always considered this secret embarrassing, a sign of weakness. People who know me are shocked to find out because I am generally outgoing, joking, and bubbly in public; but look at this list of others who struggle with depression, and you'll be amazed by all the comedians laughing on the outside.

I do this now because October is Depression Awareness Month, and I have been made inherently aware recently of how little understanding those who have never faced this darkness have of the experience, how they think we should just "snap out of it" or tell someone "Oh, come on, you aren't bipolar" until they witness a psychotic break. Southern Girl Press and To Write Love on Her Arms are collaborating on a book sale benefit in an effort to help those who have never had to deal with depression understand.

Throughout the month of October, all royalties from a trio of vignettes entitled Alicia Embracing the Dark will be donated to TWLOHA, a non-profit organization that focuses on hope and relationships, in order to raise awareness, benefit the organization, and highlight National Depression Screening Day on October 10th. A Special Edition of this short collection will be available only from Amazon for 99¢ for Kindle or Kindle apps for any device.

Alicia Embracing the Dark is intended to express some aspect of depression as experienced by each author at some point in her life and is published collectively under the name of the fictional heroine of Alicia's Possession, selected because she suffers from major depressive disorder and suicidal thoughts in the wake of her collapsing marriage in her own story, in which depression is a primary motif.

I originally announced this benefit and "confessed" my own experience with depression on Austen Authors, a condensed version of that post I have included below.

Almost Impossible to Appear Tolerably Cheerful

Elizabeth in thoughtWhen one thinks of Elizabeth Bennet, the beloved heroine of Pride and Prejudice, words such as witty, curious, and adventurous come to mind. She is independent, frank to the point of being impertinent. Her mother describes her as “headstrong” but “good-natured.”

With her vivacity, Darcy found himself caught by her “easy playfulness,” and she describes herself as someone who “dearly love(s) a laugh.” Indeed, practically from the first moment we meet her, when Darcy snubs her at the Meryton Assembly, “She (tells) the story...with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.”

No one would ever describe Elizabeth as being depressed—except Jane Austen herself.

Elizabeth obsesses
A universal quality of twenty-year-olds, which still holds true two hundred years later, is their belief that they know best; and Elizabeth relies on her own intuition and first impressions to formulate misguided judgments. After reading Darcy’s letter, she must accept her folly, vanity, and pride and finds the self-discovery humiliating. Then Miss Austen writes that “as she considered that Jane’s disappointment had in fact been the work of her nearest relations, and reflected how materially the credit of both must be hurt by such impropriety of conduct, she felt depressed beyond anything she had ever known before.”

In other situations, however, Miss Austen emphasizes that “it was her business to be satisfied—and certainly her temper to be happy” and “(i)t was not in her nature...to increase her vexations by dwelling on them….and to fret over unavoidable evils, or augment them by anxiety, was no part of her disposition.” Yet she obsesses over Darcy’s letter, “wandering along the lane for two hours, giving way to every variety of thought—re-considering events, determining probabilities,” until “she was in a fair way of soon knowing (it) by heart;” and “with a mind so occupied, she might have forgotten where she was.”

Miss Austen tells us, “(I)t may be easily believed that the happy spirits which had seldom been depressed before, were now so much affected as to make it almost impossible for her to appear tolerably cheerful.” Following Lydia’s disappearance with Wickham, that event “rendered any other excuse for the lowness of her spirits unnecessary… had she known nothing of Darcy, she could have borne the dread of Lydia's infamy somewhat better. It would have spared her, she thought, one sleepless night out of two.”

Jane Austen recognized the symptoms of depression: Difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt and hopelessness, insomnia, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings. Whereas she used to share everything with her sister Jane, she now withdraws, becoming secretive, and tells her nothing of her regard for Mr. Darcy to the point that Jane thinks she must be joking when Elizabeth tells her they are engaged.

Did Miss Austen know someone who dealt with depression? Or could she herself have had personal experience?

Nevertheless, Elizabeth's depression would be considered “situational,” as her spirits were “soon rising to playfulness again” (although her anxiety in trying to keep Darcy away from some members of her family “took from the season of courtship much of its pleasure”). Many others live everyday with clinical depression or major depressive disorder, and try as they might, their spirits cannot rise.

Although certainly not as stigmatized as in the past, even today, with 350 million people worldwide and as the leading cause of disability, depression remains a silent, shameful secret to most who have it. It even has to share a ribbon color with pedestrian safety!

The list of prominent people with major depressive disorder would shock most. Winston Churchill referred to it as his “Black Dog.” J.K. Rowling conveyed her experience with depression in the form of the Dementors in the Harry Potter novels, “literally” sucking out her soul. For me, it is a heavy, black wool sack that engulfs me; and I can’t get out of it.

Yes, I am “confessing” here for the first time publicly that I have struggled with clinical depression for nearly fifteen years. I have witnessed members of my family, in obvious need of help, self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. I had an uncle who drank himself into oblivion until ultimately he brought an end to his suffering with a shotgun. Someone else dear to me has bipolar disorder but cannot bear the side effects of the drugs.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

News and Clues and Prizes for You!

Good morning, dear readers! How lovely to sleep in - and I get to do it again tomorrow even though my beloved New Orleans Saints are at home because they are playing on Monday Night Football! (Don't expect much from me on Tuesday! I will let Brandon Witt, my guest for coffee, do all the talking!) Be sure to look for me on TV at the Dome Monday night. I'll be wearing a Saints jersey. ;)  The number 42, of course - the answer to life, the universe, and everything!

Which brings me to the next clue in the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challenge! This time, however, I am showing favoritism to all of you who have "Liked" my page on Facebook.
In fact, I give you TWO hints for "Liking" my author page! facebook.com/ColetteSaucierAuthor But time is running out! Submit your entry to: pulseandprejudicecontest@outlook.com by October 31st, 2013.

Now on to News...
The winner of my giveaway in the 100th Sunday Snog Blog Hop - a Sterling Silver Kissing Swans Charm - as selected by Random.org, is Chris Naylor! Congratulations, Chris! And if you missed it, hop on over to read a sizzling snogging excerpt from my current work in progress, The Widow.


But do not fret! You still have a chance to win more prizes! The Sunset on Summer Fun Blog Hop ends on Monday, September 30th. I am giving away a signed print edition of the Romantic Suspense Thriller Alicia's Possession (PLUS a blindfold), but the Grand Prize is your choice of a Kindle or Nook! 

Please stop by here again on Monday when I have an important announcement.  Until then, have a wonderful weekend!                ~Colette

P.S.
Be sure to vote for the cover of Alicia's Possession in the Masquerade Crew Cover Wars!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kings and Gigolos: Destiny Blaine has Coffee with Colette

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! 
As my frequent readers are aware, I usually take my coffee black. (I like my coffee like I like my men: hot, dark and bitter.) Today, however, I find there are clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee.
Unless you are as old as I am (or, for some odd reason, you happen to be a Taylor Swift devotee), many of you may have no idea to what I am referring, but Carly Simon (whom you probably don't know either) had a popular song - when I was a VERY young girl - called "You're So Vain."
When Destiny Blaine, my guest for coffee this morning, talks about her friend (and inspiration), I immediately think of that song. Not that he is necessarily vain, mind you. I mean, I have no idea - I've never met the man! He might be as modest as Mahatma Gandhi. (Of course, whose to say what was going on inside Gandhi's bald head, but I digress.)
I am absolutely delighted to have Destiny here today because she is a fabulous author and a wonderful friend, and I just know you are going to be as excited about this sizzling hot series as I am. PLUS, Destiny would like to hear from YOU, dear readers: How much is too much? Where would you draw the line? I, for one, hope this acquaintance of hers maintains his jet-set lifestyle (always where he should be all the time, or when he's not, he's with some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend) to provide more fodder for Destiny's wicked, wild rides!
~Colette



Life of Kings and Gigolos

My husband has a friend who lives the life of kings. I’m not sure what he does. We haven’t figured that one out yet, but he is one of these people who will entertain you from dawn until dusk. If you just returned from France, he can top that. He was in Berlin when the wall came down. If you grilled out steaks the night before last, he was indulging in caviar on a yacht sailing the other side of the Atlantic. 

Fact of the matter is, he probably was. He isn’t one of these guys that will do what he can to trump your tales. He just lives the life of magnificent wonder. Again, we haven’t figured out how. He’s an entrepreneur, so to speak. 

In recent months, I’ve tried to think of ways to incorporate some of his storytelling into a manuscript of my own and I finally found it—gigolos. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m writing about gigolos and not just any gigolos, but men who crave a woman’s love but can’t quite fathom giving up their luxurious lifestyles. That is, until they fall in love with Mrs. Right. No, the Mrs. isn’t a typo. 

Let me explain. 

Stiff Rain Press offered a wonderful opportunity for writers who want to stretch their imagination and reach beyond the borders of what might otherwise be viewed as ‘unacceptable’ in romance. When I first heard about Stiff Rain’s guidelines, I couldn’t help but break out into a happy dance. I had the perfect opportunity to turn one of my backburner manuscripts into a reality and The Trophy Club was born. 

As all writers of erotic romance know, there are certain taboos we shouldn’t cross. The Wives of Dallas and Wives of Nashville cross them with their noses high in the air. While my husband’s friend won’t make an appearance in these books, his adventures will, at least to an extent. In taboo romance, situations aren’t always how they seem. 

In Wives of Nashville, for example, our heroines are tired of living in marriages wrought with neglect and adultery. They’re fed up with hearing all about their husbands’ extra-curricular activities, and they’ve decided to do something about it. They’re reaching out to male companions in hopes of holding their marriages together while exploring a new world of sex, bondage, and illicit affairs.

As a romance author, I was tempted to sort of tiptoe into the world of taboo romance. You know. Test the waters. However, as I started writing Wives of Dallas, the kid gloves were tossed aside. I haven’t had this much fun writing a manuscript in at least a half-a-dozen years and it’s all so new, fresh, and exciting.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

100th Sunday Snog for Doctors Without Borders

Good morning, dear readers! I hope you are relaxing on this lovely Sunday. Later, of course, I will be cheering for my beloved New Orleans Saints, but first I have something special and a little different for you for this Sunday snippet. I am joining Victoria Blisse and scores of other authors in the 100th Sunday Snog to raise money and awareness for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières).

For this blog hop, we will all be posting excerpts from a special kissing scene from one of our works, and in addition to offering prizes, we will be donating to Doctors Without Borders and hope that you might do the same.

I think the first kiss scene of a novel can often be the most exciting part, especially if there has been a lot of tension and buildup to it; so I really didn't want to spoil the first kiss scenes of some of my novels that you might not have read.  Instead, I have a special surprise for you: A scene from my current work in progress - The Widow. This will be my second romantic suspense following the overwhelming positive response to my mystery romantic thriller Alicia's Possession. I am only about halfway done (at 50,000 words!) with The Widow, so I am hopeful that by the time it is released, you will have put this kiss out of your mind and be able to enjoy it again in the context of the novel as a whole.  Remember, it's an unedited work in progress, but be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you think - Oh! and to be entered in my giveaway!

In this scene from The Widow, after traveling together for several days, during which time he has treated her like his little sister, they have just flown into L.A., and Catherine is rushing to keep up with David while trying to figure out why he is angry with her....
   “You think I cheated on Adrian.”
   He rubbed his eyes then looked at her again, certain he had misunderstood. “Cheated on Adrian?” She nodded. He blew out a frazzled breath and began walking again. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
   “Adrian was your best friend, I was engaged to him, and with your Latino machismo, you’re angry because I cheated on him that Halloween in college.”
   “How did you cheat on him? You said this guy only kissed you.” He increased his pace, and she skipped to keep up with him.
   “Well, yes, but it was more than that.”
  “Either it was just kissing or it was something more.” He had had enough, more than he could bear, and he glanced around for someplace to hide.
   “It…it was kissing, but it was more than that,” she said, struggling to catch her breath. “Could you slow down? Do you even know where you parked?”
   He came to a halt and turned to her. “Come with me.” Grabbing her by the wrist, he pulled her into a corridor that was deserted, at least for the moment. She tried to pull away, but he held firm and forced her to meet his gaze. “You think I’m upset on Adrian’s behalf because you cheated on him when you kissed some guy you never saw again? That must have been a hell of a kiss.”
     Her chest still rose and fell from the exertion of keeping up with him, and her eyes registered fear and uncertainty. “Yes.” The soft word escaped without her moving her lips.
     He took two steps forward until he had her back up against the wall. He let go of his suitcase and slid the bag from her shoulder and let it fall to the ground then leaned over her. “What made this kiss so special?” He had her trapped there, with the fingers of one hand still wrapped around her wrist and his forearm on the wall beside her head. As long as no one found them, he would force her to answer.
   She squeezed her eyes closed. “The...the X. I’m sure it was just the drug. It heightens...everything.”


   “Look at me.” She did. “So you think I’m upset because of how someone kissed you one Halloween when you were on X?” She didn’t respond, only gaped at him. “Did he kiss you like this?”
   He crushed her mouth with his, and she opened to receive him, as if she had been wanting and waiting as long as he had. He released her wrist to wrap his arm around her waist, and she looped his neck in her arms and pulled him deeper into her.  He pressed his hardness, straining against his slacks, between her legs to eviscerate any lingering doubt that he did, indeed, think of her that way.
   After all the nights imagining and hours obsessing, the actual act itself required no thought as he fell effortlessly into the wild abandon. All thoughts ceased as instinct filtered through memory overwhelmed him and drove him further into the abyss of bliss. With his eyes closed and their bodies wound tightly together, everything beyond this moment, beyond this woman evanesced, leaving them beyond time and space. Their tongues were so entwined, he didn’t know where hers began and his ended. Her racing heart beat against his chest, almost in synchronicity.
   He had slept with dozens of women, but never before had a kiss created such a cavalcade of sensations—hunger yet fulfillment, corporeal but outside of his body, intoxicating but with greater clarity than he had ever known.  Caught in the thrall, drowning in her, he knew she was wrong. The kiss was the drug.

So what did you think? Since obviously I can't give this novel away as my prize, I am giving away a Sterling Silver Kissing Swans Charm to stay with the kissing theme (in the form of a $15 Amazon Gift Card). Just leave a comment below and include your email address so I can let you know when you win! We will find out who wins on Saturday.


UPDATE:  WE HAVE A WINNER! 

And as long as you're here...
 
Be sure to stop by my blog post for the Sunset on Summer Fun Blog Hop, which ends on Monday, September 30th. I am giving away a signed print edition of Alicia's Possession PLUS a blindfold, but the Grand Prize is your choice of a Kindle or Nook!

Then please continue on the 100th Snog Hop to visit amazing authors and support Doctors Without Borders.

 Here is a message from Victoria, who has organized this benefit:

Readers

On the Sunday 22nd September until Friday 27th you will be able to visit the below blogs (or click here) and read lots of hot snogs and enter for lots and lots of fabulous prizes! Please consider visiting my Just Giving Page and donating to Médecins Sans Frontières so we can help these brave doctors kiss lots of boo-boos better.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is a worldwide movement. They deliver medical aid to the people who need it most, wherever they are. We’re hoping to make at least 100 pounds to contribute to their work. Here’s to many snogs and many donations which will help to make this world a better place.
So leave your comment below, and keep on hopping! Here are a few links to keep you going...

Juliette Cross, NA Urban Fantasy
Ashe Barker - a snippet from Darkening
Candlelit Magic by Wendi Zwaduk
Hot Laps by Megan Slayer
Victoria Blisse 100th Sunday Snog



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jane Odiwe Joins Us from the Jane Austen Festival in Bath


Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! 
Normally I would say how honoured I am to have a fellow Austen Author  join me for coffee - or perhaps in this case I should say tea! And better make mine green because I am so envious of my guest this morning since she is at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England, and I'm lucky if I get a chance to take a bath!

I am teasing, of course. Not about my baths, but I truly am honoured that Jane Odiwe is here to share her experiences with us.  PLUS she has a new novel - Project Darcy - coming out soon! That will at least help salve the sting.  Someday I know I will return to the U.K. - I hope sooner rather than later - and perhaps surprise Jane by appearing on her doorstep! (I mean, if she is going to have the audacity to live in England, what does she expect?) In the meantime, I will get a cup of tea and some sticky toffee pudding and enjoy the festival vicariously.
~Colette


Thank you so much, Colette, for inviting me to your blog today. I’m currently in Bath at the Jane Austen Festival and having a fantastic time. Today I had a terrifying and exhilarating time being part of the Pride and Prejudice reading that took place in Bath Library. It’s continuing all week so if you’re near Bath it’s a free event, and there’s nothing as good as hearing this novel read out loud.

I don’t think until I arrived at the venue that I’d fully comprehended what I’d let myself in for. Can you imagine having to follow the readings of such famous actors as Adrian Lukis (Mr Wickham, P&P 1995) Caroline Langrishe (Lovejoy) and Maggie Ollerenshaw (He knew he was right)? I read chapters five and nine, which have a lot of Mrs Bennet in them so I was very lucky to have such funny material. When the audience were polite enough to laugh it really helped to put me at my ease even though I knew my legs were shaking and my heart was thumping. You realise when you hear the book being read, the enjoyment Jane Austen must have had when she read the book aloud to her sister and family. I remember reading once that she wasn’t entirely happy on one occasion with the way her mother was reading, and I should think Jane must have had strong views on how the characters should sound. Oh, that we could hear Jane’s rendition!

Tonight, we were treated to another wonderful performance from Adrian Lukis and Caroline Langrishe – they performed duologues from all of Jane’s books – I couldn’t say which were my favourite though their Darcy and Elizabeth one was fantastic. They were so very

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sunset on Summer Fun Blog Hop with Grand Prize of Kindle or Nook!

Good morning, dear readers! Yes, Labor Day has passed, and we've put away all our white shoes and pastel purses until next year, but we are not quite ready to say goodbye for the summer.

Which is why I have joined over 100 other authors for the Sunset on Summer Fun Blog Hop with a Grand Prize of your choice: a Kindle or Nook! This runs through the end of September, so you have time to hop around to visit all the authors' blogs to better your chances at the grand prize PLUS enter to win all of the giveaways they are offering.

My latest release, the Romantic Suspense Thriller Alicia's Possession, is my first foray into (extremely mild!) BDSM. (If you wonder how I happened along this path, check out my guest post "How Did a Nice Girl Like YOU Write a Book Like This?" on Destiny Blaine's blog.)
Haunted by a traumatic accident and her husband’s betrayal, Alicia believes she can never trust again. Now she must surrender her will to Mason if she wants to find out if the bizarre events terrorizing her are the work of the paranormal, her own paranoia, or something far more sinister.

Hence, my Giveaway in the US is a signed paperback of Alicia's Possession PLUS - ahem - a blindfold. (To keep the light out while you sleep, of course!) Sorry - this giveaway is only available in the US, but for International readers, I will offer a signed eBook of Alicia's Possession! That's right - I can personally inscribe your eBooks!  To enter, leave a comment below, and don't forget to include your email address so I can contact you when you win.

UPDATE:  WE HAVE A WINNER!  The winner of my giveaway of a signed paperback of Alicia's Possession PLUS a blindfold is DANIEL M! Congratulations, Daniel! (Winner selected by Random.org)
If you did not win, please don't despair. Alicia's Possession is still available in both print and all eBook formats!

Alicia's Possession is really a Mystery wrapped in a Romantic Suspense and tied up with a nascent Dom/sub relationship. As Manic Readers stated in their 41/2 star review: "A good read for both the love story and the mystery. Saucier has blended together a very interesting mystery with a BDSM relationship in its infancy. As the relationship between Alicia and Mason deepens, and he teaches her about his lifestyle, she is intrigued, but still troubled about losing her mind." (Not sure why they docked me half a star, but OK.)

I don't have a summer-specific excerpt from the novel per se, so I thought I would share a particularly hot scene that has Alicia sweating....
     Before Mason had a chance to knock, the door opened, and Alicia flew into him, circling her arms around his neck, and covering his mouth with hers in a deep, hot, furious kiss. He stepped forward and knocked the door closed behind him with his foot while driving his tongue into her mouth and his fingers into her damp hair. In his wildest dreams, he wouldn’t have imagined such a reception. Well, perhaps in his wildest dreams. Her breasts—braless under a thin T-shirt—pressed against his chest as the heat radiating from her body telegraphed a message straight to his groin, and he pressed his hips against hers.
     God, she was hot—and no wonder. All the lights were out, but candles set upon every surface lit up the room, and she had a fire burning as well. He used both hands on either side of her head to break the suction she had on his mouth. Sweat beaded across her flushed face as she gasped for air, but his heart and breath raced as well.
     “Alicia, why aren’t you answering your phone?”
     With eyes half closed and a tight jaw, she said, “I know what you are. You’re a dementor.”
   He smiled and couldn’t suppress a soft laugh despite her obvious disobedience. “A dementor. Like in Harry Potter? How much have you had to drink?” With his arm around her waist, he guided her to the couch and sat her down.
     “No, I’m not drunk. I’ve been reading. I understand. You want me to be your sub. You want to dement me.”
     Comprehension hit him and knocked him down to the sofa beside her, and she laid her head against his shoulder. “You mean dominate,” he said low, not quite sure if to her or to himself. So much for taking it slow.
     “Yes! You’re a dominator.”
    “You mean dominant.” He turned and held her up to face him. “Alicia, how much have you been drinking?” In good conscience, he couldn’t—or shouldn’t—continue with her in this intoxicated state.
     She leaned forward and pressed her lips to his. “Why do you keep asking me that? I know what I want. I want to be your submissive.”
     Closing his eyes, he dropped his forehead against hers. “Have you been a sub before?”
     “Uh-uh.”
    “Then how do you know? What do you even know about it?” This poor little rich girl—the cotillion princess, coddled and abandoned in turn. Yes, he knew she needed this, but she had to be sure.
     “I liked what we did last night, and I know what I read online. You can tell me the rest. Right? Isn’t that how it works? Just tell me what to do.”
     Here he had thought she would be the one confused, and he had a cavalcade of emotions coursing through him—not the least of which being pure, unadulterated desire. He squeezed her neck and shoulders between his thumbs and fingers as he inhaled her hot breath. “You’re sure this is what you want?”
     “I feel safe when I’m with you, and…” She twisted into the massage with a throaty groan and rested her head against his chest.
     “And what?”
     “I am melting and palpitating. I want to do things so wild with you that I don’t know how to say them.”
     Good God. He gulped and wondered if she could feel his heartbeat throbbing against her cheek.
     “Anaïs Nin,” she said.
     “What?”
     “Anaïs Nin wrote that to Henry Miller.”
     He grasped her hair in his fist and pulled her head back. She gasped, as he had predicted, and he thrust his tongue deep into her mouth. If she was lucid enough to quote dead writers, then who was he to argue?

Want to find out what happens next? Well, if you can't wait until the end of the month to find out if you've won, luckily Alicia's Possession is available in all eBook formats as well as print! For a full synopsis, more reviews, and  another excerpt, click here.  (And don't you just love the cover? Then you can vote for it in the Cover Wars!)

Now continue with the hop by returning to the Direct Link to BTS eMag for the full list of participants, or if you are following the hop in order, these are the next three authors following me:

Before you go, be sure to leave a comment below and include your email address so I can contact you when you win. And don't forget to go to the BTSeMag website to enter for your choice of a Kindle or Nook.  Good luck, and have fun on the hop!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Chrisy from BTS Book Reviews emag and Decadent Publishing and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Snippet with a NEW CLUE in the PULSE AND PREJUDICE Pop Culture Challenge!

http://www.pulseandprejudice.com/Are you ready for another clue in the Pop Culture Challenge?

I hope you are having fun finding all the allusions strewn through the chapters of Pulse and Prejudice like Easter eggs. Do you think YOU will be the winner of the iPad and the Cash Jackpot?

All of the pop culture references are listed on the Acknowledgements page of Pulse and Prejudice - the paranormal adaptation Jane Austen's classic, which retells the story from Mr. Darcy's point of view as a vampire - and today I will share a passage from the novel that contains one of the allusions!

PLEASE NOTE: If you have not yet read Pulse & Prejudice or Pride & Prejudice, first of all, get to it! But secondly, the following will contain spoilers.

This scene takes place immediately after Mr. Darcy has left Miss Elizabeth Bennet at the Lambton Inn, weeping after learning that her sister Lydia has "eloped" with the nefarious Mr. Wickham. From Miss Austen's novel, we only learn Elizabeth's perspective of his reaction to her sister's shame: "As he quitted the room, Elizabeth felt how improbable it was that they should ever see each other again on such terms of cordiality as had marked their several meetings in Derbyshire...."  Indeed, neither the reader nor Elizabeth learn of Darcy's involvement in rescuing her sister until all has been settled and she receives the letter from Mrs. Gardiner revealing all.

With Pulse and Prejudice, however, events unfold from Mr. Darcy's point of view, and his intentions upon leaving Elizabeth at the Inn are quite the opposite.  Did you ever wonder what happened when he returned to Pemberley that morning.....
      Darcy entered the breakfast room where all but Mr. Hurst were gathered. He adopted a façade of solemn indifference, which he had practised for most of his life.
     “William!” cried Georgiana. “Where have you been?” Her narrowed eyes spoke all he needed to hear of her frustration in having been left to Bingley’s sisters.
      He bade them good morning and said, “I had to go out early to Lambton on a matter of some import.”
      Miss Bingley’s eyes widened at the declaration, but Georgiana asked what she could not. “Did you see Miss Elizabeth and the Gardiners?”
      He turned towards the sideboard as if to prepare his breakfast and, with his back to them, answered with casual indifference. “I did happen to meet Miss Bennet, but I fear under inauspicious circumstances. She and the Gardiners may even now be on the road to Hertfordshire.”
Georgiana gasped. “Hertfordshire!”
     “Yes, her mother is unwell; and her sister has written to beg they return at once. She asked that I offer you her apologies that she will not be able to call on you today.”
      Her brows knitted together. “Did she not send a note to say goodbye?”
      He took a seat at the end of the table and looked at his sister with tenderness in hope of soothing her disappointment. “She was quite distressed and did not want to delay their departure for a moment, so she sent her message through me.”
     Miss Bingley opened her mouth to say something but then must have thought better of it. Georgiana said no more, and Darcy and Bingley spoke of inconsequential matters for a while before Darcy determined it safe to divulge his plan without arousing suspicion.
    “I pray you will all forgive me, but I shall be leaving for London in the morning at first light.”
    They all expressed surprise, but Georgiana spoke with utter disbelief. “Whatever for? How long will you be gone?”
    “A few days at the most. That matter, which called me to Lambton this morning, has developed complications and requires my presence in Town,” he said with a firmness to equal his expression and cease further inquiry.
     When Darcy returned to his chamber, he consulted with Rivens at once. “I want us to leave for Town as soon as the others are gone to bed this evening.”
      “Sir? May I ask—”
      “It is Wickham. He has taken Lydia Bennet, Elizabeth’s youngest sister.”
      Rivens’s face turned hard and taut. “I see.”
     “I would like to set out on horseback, if that is amenable to you. If we ride straight through, only stopping to change horses, we should be there in half the time.”
     “Perhaps not even that,” said Rivens, “die Todten reiten schnell.”
     “Indeed,” Darcy replied with a stiff nod. “The dead travel fast.”

The reference included in the passage above is not so much from current pop culture as it is from popular literature, if that helps you with the clue.

So far, I have given clues to references to William Faulkner , the film Sideways , and one of several nods to the Beatles. Last week, you could find the allusion spelled out for you in the clue in 6 Sentence Sunday. I will be revealing a NEW CLUE EVERY WEEK from now until the end of the contest, so be sure to Follow this blog or "Like" my Facebook Author Page.


The rules of the contest are simple: Find the most pop culture allusions within the text of Pulse and Prejudice, and you will win a Fourth Generation iPad with Retina Display! PLUS, if you find 25 of them, you will win a CASH BONUS from an ever-growing Jackpot! There are even prizes for runners-up!

There is no purchase necessary to enter or win, so feel free to borrow a copy from a friend or the library - although I'm sure you will want your own ;) . Just don't use a pirated copy, or you will be disqualified. 

But time is running out!  Submit your contest entry to: pulseandprejudicecontest@outlook.com by October 31st, 2013.

For complete contest rules and more information, please go to PulseandPrejudice.comGood luck - and have fun!

~Colette

Only open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 and older at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where otherwise prohibited by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING; HOWEVER, ANYONE USING A PIRATED COPY OF PULSE AND PREJUDICE WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. For complete contest rules and more information, please refer to the Contest Rules link on PulseandPrejudice.com



Vampire Romance NovelPulse and Prejudice – A tale of love, blood, and desire; the definitive vampire adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

This compelling paranormal adaptation of Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. Darcy, vampire, as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.

Available Now in Print, eBook, and audiobook!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sally Smith O'Rourke Returns to Coffee with Colette and a Tale of Two Sisters


Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! 
 I am honoured that fellow Austen Author Sally Smith O'Rourke has returned to join me for coffee today (I think maybe it's because my New Orleans coffee has chicory in it). You might recall that she stopped by Coffee with Colette a few months ago to tell us about her Pride and Prejudice-inspired time-traveling tale, Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen.  Today she has quite a different story to tell - about sisters and a special connection she feels to the Misses Austen. This is a rare and special post indeed!
~Colette

Cassandra Austen was with her beloved sister to the end. Jane died cradled in her sister’s embrace. “I was able to close her eyes myself and it was a great gratification to me to render her these last services,” Cassandra wrote her niece, Fanny.

Leslyn
It isn’t possible for me to read Cassandra’s words and not think of the loss of my own sister. Unlike Cass I was not with Leslyn at the end. While I used pressing work and distance as my excuses, the truth was that I did not want to watch the life drain from her body.

I had hoped to see her one last time but waited too long. As I was off-loading my luggage at the airport the phone call came. Leslyn was gone and I had rendered no service.

We knew it was coming. Like Jane she wanted nothing but death. Unlike Jane it was Leslyn’s choice. At her insistence the machines were stopped and the intravenous tubes removed. It took only a matter of a few hours for her to breath her last.

We will never again giggle over a grainy batch of fudge, question why a cake fell. I still smile remembering the day we made two batches of fudge, same recipe, same ingredients, same stove, same kind of pans. Hers was grainy, but mine was smooth. We won’t plan family parties anymore; we’ve certainly done our share of weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. We won’t spend hours on the phone speaking of little nothings. No more doll shopping or antiquing. My sister is gone. No more tea breaks, the Constant Comment has been put away. Her favorite tea mug sits in my cupboard.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

6 Sentence Sunday with Next Clue in the PULSE AND PREJUDICE CHALLENGE!

http://www.pulseandprejudice.com/A Return to the (unofficial)
 Six Sentence Sunday with the Next Clue in the Pop Culture Challenge!

What better way to reveal one of the pop culture references  listed on the Acknowledgements page of Pulse and Prejudice - the paranormal adaptation Jane Austen's classic, which retells the story from Mr. Darcy's point of view as a vampire - than to give you an actual passage from the novel that contains the allusion!

This is from a scene relatively early in the novel after Mr. Darcy has left Elizabeth in Hertfordshire and gone to London. He is now contemplating going to visit a lady of the night....
       As was the case more often than not with men of his rank and credit, Darcy was no stranger to the demimonde. His cousin Fitzwilliam, several years his senior, had introduced Darcy to the sins of the flesh before the latter had even graduated Harrow. Although certainly no rake, on occasion Darcy would swim the warm waters of sensual pleasure; and, had fate not intervened, in time he may have acquired a chère-amie for this purpose.
     Upon his metamorphosis, Darcy had been warned to refrain from this particular indulgence until he better understood his bloodlust and had it under control. He waited several months before returning to the cyprian he most favoured; but too much time had passed since his last meal, and she recoiled from his cold caress. Angry and humiliated, he had entranced her and taken her blood but not her body.
Whew~ This is quite a scene, if I do say so myself - especially now that I have some distance since having written it.
The pop culture reference should be obvious to those who have seen this particular film (most likely on many, many occasions!), but you'll find it in the first paragraph.

Thus far, I have given clues to the two most difficult references - William Faulkner and the film Sideways - and last week I gave a Beatles hint. I will be revealing a NEW CLUE EVERY WEEK from now until the end of the contest, so be sure to Follow this blog or "Like" my Facebook Author Page.


The rules of the contest are simple: Find the most pop culture allusions within the text of Pulse and Prejudice, and you will win a Fourth Generation iPad with Retina Display! PLUS, if you find 25 of them, you will win a CASH BONUS from an ever-growing Jackpot! There are even prizes for runners-up!

There is no purchase necessary to enter or win, so feel free to borrow a copy from a friend or the library - although I'm sure you will want your own ;) . Just don't use a pirated copy, or you will be disqualified. 

But time is running out!  Submit your contest entry to: pulseandprejudicecontest@outlook.com by October 31st, 2013.

For complete contest rules and more information, please go to PulseandPrejudice.comGood luck - and have fun!

~Colette

Only open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 and older at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where otherwise prohibited by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING; HOWEVER, ANYONE USING A PIRATED COPY OF PULSE AND PREJUDICE WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. For complete contest rules and more information, please refer to the Contest Rules link on PulseandPrejudice.com



Vampire Romance NovelPulse and Prejudice – A tale of love, blood, and desire; the definitive vampire adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

This compelling paranormal adaptation of Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. Darcy, vampire, as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.

Available Now in Print, eBook, and audiobook!