After plotting out the whole of my next story, I am currently typing chapter seven of what will be a long book. This is the portion of the story I LOVE to write. For the first six chapters there was a massive misunderstanding between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Several times writing it made me chuckle. From this point on (unless the muse hijacks me again) our dear couple will work together to solve a mystery. Yes, a mystery element, which is something very new for me. As they gather clues they will fall madly in love, I guarantee it. I promise!
My goal is to keep my nose to the grindstone. As usual, my daughter (Jennifer Joy) and my friend (Nicole Clarkston) are pushing. I will confess that both of these ladies are loveliness personified. Yet, when they want to know the rest of the story they can be fierce.
For inspiration, my cover designer has provided me with a stunning design for this story. I hope I can do it justice. What do you think? I think it is lovely. Sigh! I set the image over a background of the moon since much of this tale is still up in the air and very much in my imagination. Hopefully, the Elizabeth on the cover will hit the ground soon.
WOW! I can’t seem to make the image smaller. That’s one BIG cover, isn’t it?
I am writing the final two chapters then it goes through edits. It’s the longest of all my Christie Capps stories which means I am breaking my own rule of 20,000 words. Since this is my FINAL novella, I chose to let the story be as long as it needed to be.
Why is this my final Christie Capps novella? The first reason is because the stories I have in mind for the future are all full-length novels. Secondly, when I began writing Christie Capps, there were few novellas being offered. Now, many authors have taken up the challenge so the need for a complete story to be read in a small amount of time has been filled. Lastly, writing a novella has been an exercise in frustration. Many, many times I have had to cut out scenes to trim the word count to meet my goal. I will admit that this has been great for developing my craft. I will continue to read novellas but I won’t be writing them. At least, that’s my decision for now.
What is this particular story about? Georgiana Darcy believes her brother is heartbroken when she catches a glimpse of a sad expression on his face once he returns from Kent. Determined to cure what ails him, she decides to find him a wife. To kill two birds with one stone, she expands her efforts to include her cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam in her matchmaking. Therefore, when she meets Jane and Elizabeth Bennet at an inn, Georgiana is overjoyed at finding the perfect matches – Fitzwilliam Darcy with Jane Bennet and the colonel with Elizabeth. Oops! How did that happen? As a reader, we know who will end up with whom. Poor Georgie is clueless.
This is a light-hearted tale where love follows the course set over 200 years ago for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. For the colonel and Jane? How could they not fall head over heels for each other.
Uh-oh! What about Mr. Bingley? Is he in the story? He certainly is, as is his shrewish sisters. But do not worry, please. He walks away with his heart intact. (No, he does NOT end up with Georgiana!!!)
Here is what Nicole Clarkston said about the last chapter I sent her (she is reading my work in progress as I am reading hers), “Yeee haw!!! Keep going!!!” Who am I to argue with her?
Please accept my sincerest appreciation for your lovely reviews of my newest story. The launch yesterday went well. Today, Amazon stuffed my book into a bizarre category for me – British & Irish Plays & Dramas. What? It pushed me to #1 for New Releases in that category and placed me in front of JK Rowling but… my book is not a play. Amazon said they should have it changed within the next 72 hours. I had to laugh.
Stevie Zimmerman has completed narration of the book. We are waiting on Audible to approve the files. They are seriously backed up so we shall see how long it takes.
In the meantime, for those who have read “The Long Journey Home”, I thought you might enjoy this deleted scene:
Simon Glenhart had been the sold proprietor of a small haberdashery by the docks for the past thirty years. Within a glance, he could tell whether a customer was there to browse or to make a purchase. When Madame Vartan pushed open the door before her husband could reach for it, Mr. Glenhart knew who that she would be the one he needed to please.
Without hesitation, the woman placed a shiny gold coin on the counter then began listing all that his staff would need to gather within 45 minutes; the time the matron allowed before the threesome would walk back out the door.
As her husband, followed by a young lad, perused the tools and weapons in the back room, the lady had bolts of fabric pulled from the shelves, measured, cut, and folded. Searching through the readymade garments hanging from pegs on the wall, she pulled down heavy coats and other outerwear in sizes fitting each of the three of them. Yarn, thread, needles, pins, two thimbles, hair pins, three combs, one brush, a heavy iron skillet, two pots (one small, one large), tins of spices and blended tea, sharp-edged knives, enough tableware for six, three heavy quilts, six pairs of gloves and heavy stockings, and three hats were added to the growing pile.
As the man and boy moved in her direction, she gave her head a shake, sending them to where he had large trunks stored. With careful packing, the one her man chose would easily hold their purchases.
That was until she found the books. Giving only a quick glance to the titles, she tasked Mr. Gerhart with choosing a selection of interest to a young lad. A slate. graphite pencils, ink, paper, and quills were pulled from the glass display.
“Come with me,” the lady whispered so only the proprietor could hear. “I have something special I require.”
As his staff wrapped the items and stored them in the trunk for shipping, she moved toward the shelf next to where the few clocks he had in his possession were to be found. Pointing to a round item that could be held in the palm of a man’s hand, she directed me to give special attention to how it was packed.
As a man of business, I knew it was not my place to pry. Yet, I could not help but ask its purpose.
The look she gave that young boy warmed the store owner’s heart.
“With that,” she pointed at the compass, “he will always find his way home.”
Exactly twelve minutes later, the three of them left the building. Two hired men carted their trunk to their waiting ship.
Simon doubted he would ever see them again. But he would not forget them any time soon.
WOW!!! This is the quickest Amazon has ever been in getting my eBook online. As soon as I receive the cover for the print version from the designer then I will upload the paperback. At that point, ARC reviews are very welcome.
Something unexpectedly exciting is that Stevie Zimmerman is already recording the audiobook. In fact, she was narrating the chapters as I sent them to her. We will be reviewing the files and then presenting them to Audible for production.
All in all, I’m stunned at how things are flowing quickly to get “The Long Journey Home” to the market.
Note: I had to change the title since there were other JAFF books that used “The Journey Home” in part or in full in their titles. I did a search but wasn’t as thorough as I needed to be.
Here is the blurb:
Love is being in the wrong place at the right time!
Mistaken for someone else, Elizabeth and Darcy are kidnapped from a ballroom in Hertfordshire, England. Their only hope for freedom is to overcome their deeply set opinions of each other—to work as a team.
Against all odds, they each make extraordinary sacrifices to discover a love for the ages and find their way home.
The Long Journey Home is a perilous tale of adventure where Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jane Austen’s beloved heroes of Pride & Prejudice are forced to rely on each other for survival.
This full-length Regency novel is written by bestselling author, J Dawn King, who also writes as Christie Capps. The Long Journey Home is appropriate for all ages.
This afternoon I typed the two most beautiful words in the English language, “The End!” Currently, the manuscript stands at 77,202 words. Yay! I sent it off to have it edited and am hoping for a March 25th release (seven year anniverary since I first published A Father’s Sins).
The Journey Home is an idea I’ve had since I read my first real romance story back in the mid-1970’s. I told Jennifer several months ago that the books I love to read the most are 90% adventure and 10% character development. She quickly talked me down off of that ledge. This is all Darcy and Lizzy.
What happens now? My cover is done except for inserting the title. My blurb is done. My tagline is done. I’m hoping the editing is not too brutal. I need to schedule a blog tour and write my posts. I also need to design teasers for Facebook ads. I need to contract with a narrator for an audiobook.
Let’s see, what else? Oh yes, for the first time EVER in my writing career, I would love to send up to 10 readers an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) for Amazon reviews. (Goodreads reviews are completely lovely, but they do zero for Amazon algorithms.) If you are interested, please send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you a copy through Book Funnel. My plan is to have them out by the 15th of March. Yes, that’s quick.
Are you wondering what the book is about? Because of theft, I’m not able to reveal the cover (because it tells much of the story) and the blurb until we are closer to publication. It’s sad that this is happening in JAFF. It’s the reason I did not publish this on fanfiction.net. However, when it is safe, I will reveal it here. Actually, I’ll shout it from the rooftops and reveal it everywhere.
I hope all of you are staying safe. Happy reading!
I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted. I sincerely apologize. Both John and I assumed —incorrectly —that we would have plenty of time due to the pandemic. How wrong we were.
Early on, my mom, John and I decided we wanted to grow produce to share with the neighbors. Well, I am sorry to say that none of us have a green thumb. All of our plants produced one edible tomato that actually looked like a tomato and three skinny zucchini. Our herbs did really well. I believe we dried three batches of rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, and mint. So becoming Farmer Joy, John, and Mom was an epic fail. We did manage to gather bushels of produce so our pantry is full of home-canned products. Yummy!
Then I was encouraged by my granddaughter to try my hand at art. I bought some watercolors, brushes, and paper and got busy. Oh my! I am NOT a painter. I am also not a quitter. I ended up filling two folios with “art”.
After this, as a family both in North and South America, we went on virtual museum tours. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful this has been. I caught the bug. Almost every day I tour somewhere via YouTube. Right now I’m loving the beauty and simplicity of Azerbaijan. Who knows, maybe some day after COVID is over, we can travel again.
Lately, I’ve been writing. This new story, of which I am almost at 35,000 words, is no simple Christie Capps story. It will be a full-blown J Dawn King tale. I send Nicole Clarkston each chapter. Here is her comment for chapter 12 from earlier today: “Wow!!! Woman, this story has me by the throat. I need more!!!” I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful this is to hear. Talk about motivational.
Unfortunately, I can’t share the idea because it’s truly unique to JAFF and I’ve had my ideas stolen. Piracy is rife in publishing and JAFF has not been immune. I will say that John, who is also reading this as a work-in-progress keeps pushing me to get more pages done. I am now spending almost every available minute at my computer.
One thing that has been a true blessing is that I’ve stepped away from spending so much time on social media. I am still there but not so much. I tell you, the things that some people post. Whew! Who needs all of that bad news? Not me. At least, I don’t need a steady diet of it. Because of this, I’m reading and re-reading some high quality books. One such, that melted my heart and brought me to tears is Nicole’s latest book, writing as Alix James. Oh my goodness! It is my 2021 favorite so far. She should have it published soon.
A special hello to Sheila M. and a thank you for the reminder to provide an update. John sends his love and greetings from our home to yours.
Little Tommy Bennet is ready to make his presence known. The eBook showed up on Amazon yesterday but I got an email claiming someone else held the copyright. What? It took a little effort to finally convince Amazon’s publishing group that I was the author. In the end, they finally figured out that I am both J Dawn King and Christie Capps. Goodness! After eleven books with my Christie Capps pen name and they still can’t figure it out? Oh well! I guess I needed the excitement.
If you would like to see how the little fella is doing, here is the link: Mischief & Mayhem