Nov 232018
 

Hi sweet friends! I hope all who celebrated yesterday enjoyed a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving with those they loved! 🙂 Now that Thanksgiving has taken place, it is time to start decking the halls and prepare for the Christmas season (although, I know many already did get a head start!) 😉 One of the things I’m look forward to most this Christmas season is reading a bunch of holiday-inspired Austenesque!  And one of the books I’m excited to read is this new release from Jennifer Redlarczyk – A Holiday to Remember. Jennifer is my lovely guest here at Austenesque Reviews (we love when she visits!) and today she is share 2 Christmas inspired excerpt with you all! We hope you enjoy!

Meredith, I am so happy to be back visiting your blog today with A Holiday to Remember and more music! In this modern P&P variation, Elizabeth Bennet is a dedicated choral director and teacher at Meryton Academy for the Performing Arts and William Darcy is the aloof CEO of Darcy Enterprises. The two of them met when unfortunate circumstances brought them together during a summer music festival in Chicago where tempers flared and unpleasant words were exchanged. Find out what happens when their paths cross again in December. Will their animosity continue, or will their reunion turn out to be A Holiday to Remember?

 

From Chapter One

Meryton Academy for the Performing Arts

Monday, 4 December

Present day

“Liz Bennet! Please tell me I didn’t hear what I just thought I heard!” Charlotte Lucas burst through the doors of the choir room and marched straight to the keyboard where Elizabeth was working out the final arrangements for A Holiday to Remember—part of the music academy’s final showcase before the winter break.

“Char, I have no idea what you’re talking about, and I’m kind of on a deadline here. Uh … you do remember I have a major rehearsal at six o’clock tonight?” She arched a questioning eyebrow in her friend’s direction before entering the final chords on the master lead sheet in her computer.

“Right, but for your information, Mr. Billy Collins just told everyone in the teacher’s lounge he has a big date with you on New Year’s Eve. He says he’s escorting you to the Pemberley Foundation’s charity gala at Forest Ridge. What gives? Don’t those tickets start at five hundred a pop? Not to mention any woman who would dare to go out with that nutter would have to be a marble short.”

Elizabeth stopped what she was doing and burst into laughter. “Char, do you honestly think BC would actually shell out that kind of money just to have a date with me? The man is so tight he probably wouldn’t spend five dollars on his own mother. Don’t worry. The Vocalteens were asked to perform at the gala and will be doing the opening act right after dessert. Since Reeves will be out of town, I’m making do with Billy-boy to run sound. You’re welcome to join us if you don’t have a date. I can always use an extra chaperone. Plus, after the kids leave, the adults are invited to stay and enjoy the rest of the party. There’s going to be a live band, dancing, loads of food and some kind of a silent auction. It could be fun, even without dates.”

“Sorry, Liz. As a matter of fact, I do have a date.” Charlotte straightened up and fluttered her eyelashes in jest. “And … as much as I’d like to hobnob with the rich and famous, Brexton Denny is taking me to the Signature Room to celebrate the New Year. Who knows, this might turn out to be my Holiday to Remember, if you don’t mind me borrowing the title from your medley.”

“Go right ahead. The Signature Room is pretty impressive. Is there any chance your Mr. Denny might finally be getting serious?”

“Not to my knowledge. Still, there’s no way I’m going to pass up a date with a buff trainer from the fitness club, fireworks over Lake Michigan, and a kiss at midnight.”

A kiss at midnight,” Elizabeth sighed, kind of dreamy-eyed. “Aunt Maddy says being kissed at midnight by someone special is magical, and although I’ve yet to meet that perfect someone, I believe her.”

“Girl, you’ve been watching way too many holiday romance movies on your favorite channel, if you ask me. I could never be like you. At any rate, if you need an escort, you can always ask my brother. I know Johnny isn’t ideal, but he’s okay in a pinch. On second thought, what about that cute drummer from the music store? Didn’t you go out with him a couple of times? Maybe you can take him.”

George Wickham?! I think not! And no, we never dated. Char, your memory fails you. I only agreed to sing backups for that smooth talker’s band at the Lollapalooza Music Festival last summer because he was desperate. Believe me; dating was not part of the chord chart. Besides, I’m hardly interested in a fly-by-night drummer or any freelance musician for that matter. And I’m definitely considering adding your brother to my no-go list of men. If Johnny stands me up for one more transmission or any other mechanical failure, the man is toast. As it turns out, I’ll probably hand him his marching orders once he escorts me to Charles Bingley’s holiday party on Friday. Who knows, I may end up following Jane’s lead and using her professional dating service after all. I mean, who could complain about Mr. Bingley?”

“Are you serious?”

“Absolutely! Charles is exceptional. He’s considerate and has a great sense of humor. Plus, he brings Jane flowers, sends her cards, and takes her out to dinner, concerts, company functions, yada, yada…. And to top it all off, it was Charles Bingley who recommended the Vocalteens for the Pemberley gig. As one of the corporate lawyers who work for the foundation, he was happy to submit my PR materials to the marketing director. Mr. Reynolds thinks our Holiday to Remember medley will be perfect for the charity gala.”

“I agree; it’s bound to be a hit. The kids are already looking pretty good, and you still have until next Thursday to pull it all together for the showcase. Speaking of the gala, I hear the CEO of Darcy Enterprises is pretty hot.” Charlotte wiggled her eyebrows as if in the know. “William Darcy has been in all of the tabloids lately. They say he’s some kind of aloof, mystery man—tall, dark, and handsome. I wonder if he’ll be there.”

William Darcy?” Elizabeth frowned. “His sister, Georgiana, was studying piano with Aunt Maddy at the music store until….” Her voice trailed off. “Are you sure he’s connected to the foundation? Mr. Reynolds never mentioned him.”

“Small world! According to Google, the foundation is run by Darcy Enterprises.” Glancing at the wall clock, Charlotte changed the subject. “It looks like the bell is about to ring, so I’d better head over to my advanced ballet class. Do you still need help tonight with choreography for the opening number?”

“I’d really appreciate it, since I’m going to have my hands full with the pit orchestra. If you can take over while we run through my new arrangements, it would mean one less thing for me to juggle at practice.”

“No problem. I’ll be there. Catch you later.”

“Thanks.”

After Charlotte left, Elizabeth minimized her music program and quickly googled William Darcy, CEO of Darcy Enterprises. “I can’t believe it. It is him! So, Mr. Darcy,” she continued to babble while glaring at the computer screen. “Your Mr. Reynolds booked us for the gala. How was he to know you never wanted to see me again?” She shrugged her shoulders. “Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to make the most of it, won’t we?”

Well, it looks like our favorite couple had a run in at Lollapalooza which is an annual music festival in Chicago featuring popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock, hip hop, and more. Can you picture George Wickham as a drummer? Ha! Ha! I just love making mischief on that guy.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes William and Elizabeth to warm up to one another. As you can imagine, they are bound to meet at Bingley’s holiday party. Meanwhile, I’d like to give you another excerpt from a little Regency story which I’ve included at the end of my book. Enjoy!

TWELVE DAYS

A REGENCY SHORT STORY

Day one

Darcy House

The breakfast room

25 December, 1811

Sitting in his favourite chair, Fitzwilliam Darcy quietly browsed through the paper while sipping his morning coffee. The touch of his wife’s hand on his shoulder interrupted his perusal, and he glanced up, appreciating the mischievous sparkle in her eyes, along with the musical sound of her laughter.

Quickly rising and taking Elizabeth into his arms, he kissed her and asked, “To what do I owe the honour of your teasing ways, my love?”

“Teasing?” She arched a brow in his direction. “I could ask the same of you, my dear husband. Instead I shall simply express gratitude for my very unusual present.”

“Unusual present? Elizabeth, I am sure I do not understand your meaning.”

“Why, I am referring to a partridge in a pear tree now residing in the solarium,” she giggled. “Do you intend to shower me with all of the gifts which are mentioned in that old yule rhyme? If such is the case, I fear we shall have an excess of birds, and Cook will not be happy.”

“Elizabeth, there must be some mistake,” he puzzled. “Though I would have no problem showering you with gifts for twelve days, I assure you I did not send a partridge in a pear tree. Was there no message?”

No, husband, there was not. I naturally assumed it was from you. Shall we go and take a closer look?”

“With pleasure,” he offered his arm. “I wonder if this is some trick of Richard’s. As a youth, he was known for such pranks.” Darcy continued to elaborate on the merits of his cousin’s mischief while accompanying his wife to the solarium. Entering the room, they were greeted by the screeching cries of the partridge being chased by a footman.

“Walters, what is going on here?”

“Forgive me, Mr. Darcy,” the footman responded while trying to regain his composure. “I was standing watch as Mrs. Darcy instructed when all at once the bird came down from his perch and started fluttering to and fro. I tried to catch him with the intention of restraining him in this box, but to no avail. As you can see, the bird has begun to create a mess with his droppings and has damaged some of the leaves on the potted plants.”

While Walters was speaking, Elizabeth had her own idea of what to do. Moving to a corner table, she quickly removed the items resting on top in order to free the tablecloth.

Mr. Walters, please try using this cloth to subdue the bird.” Five minutes later, the task was accomplished.

I shall take this bird to Cook at once.” Walters bowed and quickly left.

Elizabeth.” Darcy was not happy. “I believe it is time to send Richard a note.”

Oooh! I love the beginning of both of these stories! I am definitely most intrigued to see a modern-day Lizzy working as music teacher! And oh my! Who sent the partridge in a pear tree…is it Richard? Will he send the rest of the gifts mentioned in the song? I cannot wait to continue reading both!

A cappella singing groups are very popular throughout High School and College campuses in the United States. Straight No Chaser, a men’s vocal group from Indiana University, performs their unique “12 Days of Christmas” for one of their first reunion shows in 2008. I’m sure you will love this very creative rendition of the old Yule Carol which is currently plaguing the Darcys in my little Regency Story. Enjoy!

The Twelve Days of Christmas

There you have it! Now it’s your turn to tell me what you think. Please feel free to leave your comments below, as I will be giving away two eBooks of A Holiday to Remember (International) and would love to hear from you. If you have a chance, be sure to check out my Pinterest page where I’ve posted many more fun pictures for each chapter. Happy Holidays and thank you all!

Jennifer Redlarczyk (Jen Red) ♫

My Pinterest page for A Holiday to Remember

~ Connect with Jennifer ~

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~~~

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Today Jennifer brings with her some lovely prizes for me to give away in celebration of her new release!!  TWO ebooks of A Holiday to Remember for me to give away to some lucky winners!!! Woot woot!! 

 

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Jennifer!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Jennifer!
  • This giveaway ends November 29th!
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  65 Responses to “Excerpt + Giveaway with Author Jennifer Redlarczyk!!!”

  1.  

    Meredith, thanks so much for having me today! I hope everyone enjoyed these two excerpts and I look forward to hearing from your readers. Good luck everyone in my giveaway! Jen Red

  2.  

    I love these excerpts, but I love anything Jennifer writes! I have the books so please don’t enter me in the contest. 🙂

  3.  

    Well so faR I’m dieing to read this I’m a variation nut ……cant wait

    •  

      Hi Wendy! My variation is a very lighthearted holiday encounter with lots of laughs and lots of romance. I hope you enjoy it. Jen

  4.  

    Thanks Brenda for stopping by. My holiday inspirations are so fun to share and I love being here on Meredith’s blog. Jen

  5.  

    I love the excerpts. I am excitedly looking forward to reading both stories. Thank you for sharing and for the give away.

  6.  

    I would love to enter the giveaway. This sounds like a great story.

    •  

      Hi Coleen561. I had a great time writing this modern holiday story and hope you will enjoy it. Good luck in the giveaway. Jen Red

  7.  

    I cannot wait to read it ☺️

  8.  

    I love the sound of both these stories! I can’t believe that Richard has the resources for the gifts if they keep coming. Maybe it’s Lady Catherine either as a punishment for their marriage or as a peace offering for opposing it in the first place 🙂 🙂 🙂

    •  

      Hi Glynis, The speculation over who is sending the gifts is fun, but I’m not telling. Thanks for stopping by. Jen Red

  9.  

    Hi Jennifer – thanks for the excerpt. I have recently enjoyed reading more P&P modern variations. It’s fun to ready about modern day settlings with my favorite couple. I look forward more of A Holiday to Remember. Thanks also for the giveaway! –Leslie

    •  

      Lesliegb, I think you will enjoy this modern. It’s very lighthearted and filled with music. Wait till you read what I have planned for Darcy. No, he doesn’t sing in this one, but he has another musical talent which will delight you, I’m sure. Thanks for stopping by.

  10.  

    Oh my, I definitely want to read both of those!

    •  

      Thanks Susan K. Definitely ala Romantic Comedy. Lots of good laughs and lots of hugs and kisses. I hope you like my little tale. Jen Red

  11.  

    I love a good holiday story and this one seems too good to pass up. Can’t wait to read it

    Congratulations and Happy Holidays!

    •  

      Daveda, thanks for stopping by. I think my tale is perfect for the holidays. Not too much angst and a beautiful romance between two of our favorites. Happy Holidays to you too! Jen

  12.  

    I saw this excerpt on the Darcy and Lizzy forum. Sounds like a lot of fun. As music features so heavily in your writing, Jennifer, I’m guessing that it’s a big part of your every day life. If so, what role does music play in your life?

    Count me in to the giveaway!

    •  

      Well Elaine, I started singing with my mom when I was 3 years old. I have a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and I currently teach Voice, Violin, Piano in Crown Point, Indiana and Music Appreciation at Purdue Northwest in Hammond, Indiana. I LOVE music and I couldn’t help but give some of my passion to Darcy and Lizzy in a few of my stories. Thanks so much for asking. Jen Red.

      •  

        That is truly impressive! I love to sing and have had some lessons, though not being taught currently. I am in my church’s choir, which is very small and informal but a lot of fun. It’s lovely that you’ve brought this other aspect to your JAFF. Music was clearly very important to Jane Austen too and I should imagine she was proficient on the pianoforte.

        Last year I sang some songs in a singing workshop in Southampton here in the UK, as part of the celebrations for the bicentenary of her death, which she would have known and sung. Some, if not all of them, were from her personal sheet music collection. It was a fascinating afternoon.

        •  

          Hi Elaine, I read somewhere that Jane Austen practiced an hour every morning and often notated or copied her own songs from others as print music was often hard to come by.
          I think her pianoforte is at Chawton House, although I saw a similar one at the Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona when I visited. They even had clips of P&P playing in the background. Jen

  13.  

    So, I should visualize Henry Cavill as Darcy? That’s not a problem. I ALWAYS visualize Henry Cavill as Darcy. lol! Sounds like a great read, Jennifer!

    •  

      Thanks Robin. I love Henry Cavill’s expressions and he seem to fit right into the type of moderns I tend to write. Thanks for stopping by. Jen

  14.  

    What fun story excerpts!! And I definitely have a weakness for acapella singing groups…even outside of the holidays! 😀 Thanks for this lovely post, Jennifer, and for the generous giveaway!! 😀

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    •  

      Hi Suzanne! A cappella groups are really popular right now, with young and old. If you can sing without accompaniment it really tests your ear as a musician and is loads of fun. Thanks so much for stopping by. Good luck in the giveaway. Jen Red

  15.  

    It is truly Thanksgiving day! This a shower of gratitude -Thanks for sharing these wonderful excerpts. Love acapella singing, thanks for sharing this great performance. Last but not the least thank you both for this give-away. Bless you both.

    •  

      Hi Buturot, I’m so happy you stopped by and took the time to listen to Straight No Chaser. I discovered them a few years back when I was an adjunct prof at Indiana University. Thanks so much for your lovely comments. We love sharing. Jen Red

  16.  

    Modern Darcy and Lizzy – love it. Thankyou! And mischievous Col is always a hoot.

    Merry Christmas.

    •  

      Thanks Lynley for stopping by. Yes, Collins along with sweet Caro do make some mischief in this one. I hope you enjoy my tale. Happy Holidays! Jen

  17.  

    I have that YouTube versions of Straight No Chaser saved on my PC – love it. Would also love to win a copy of this story. I have come to love modern versions quite a lot. Thanks for sharing and a chance to win. Happy Holidays everyone.

  18.  

    Thanks Sheila! That version of The Twelve Days of Christmas sung by the men’s group is so fun, especially this time of year. I’m happy you’ve been giving our JAFF moderns a chance. Good luck in the giveaway! Jen Red

  19.  

    I relish your stories, Jen, and I’d further relish winning a copy of this one. Thanks for the opportunity.

    •  

      Thanks Betty for your kind words. I think you will enjoy this lighthearted holiday tale. There’s not too much angst and our favorite P&P couple take a fun musical tour to their grand finale. Good luck in the giveaway! Jen Red

  20.  

    I just loved the video of ‘Straight No Chaser’!!! I also enjoyed your Pinterest boards and the great visuals they give for each of your stories. Your choices for the characters were perfect! I look forward to reading this delightful Christmas novella and ‘Twelve Days’! Thank you for a chance at the giveaway!

    •  

      Hi Carol. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the YouTube and check out my Pinterest boards. I love visuals as well as audio. I only wish I could include them in the kindle and print versions. Good luck in the giveaway. Jen Red

  21.  

    Don’t include me in the giveaway as I already have the book. Congratulations on the launch. I didn’t read the first excerpt as I want to read it fresh. Also, I loved the partridge in the pear tree excerpt. Who on earth indeed? The music video was amazing. I loved it. Thanks for sharing it with us. They were hilarious. I know this book cover is currently featured in Cover Wars and is really in a hard race with another book. We are doing our best to keep it ahead in the numbers. It will end Sunday morning. Those who want to vote for the cover can at the following link. Hope you win.

    http://authorshout.com/cover-wars/

    •  

      Hi Carol, thanks for stopping by and for giving me the plug for cover wars. It’s is really a close race and I appreciate all the generous folks who have been voting for my cover. I’m glad you liked the YouTube. Those guys are so talented and I love featuring that type of singing group which is popular all over the USA. I hope you enjoy my holiday story. Jen Red

    •  

      Hi Jeanne, well we didn’t win but we had a great showing. Thanks for your shout about the cover wars. See you in the threads! Jen

  22.  

    Excellent this is such a wonderful variation

    •  

      Hi Wendy! thanks for stopping by and for sharing our announcements. I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpts. Good luck in the giveaway! Jen

  23.  

    Also love the excerpts

  24.  

    Two excerpts! That was great. I don’t need to be in the drawing because I already have this book, which I’ll read after I finish Darcy’s Melody. Have fun on the rest of your blog tour, Jennifer, and thanks for hosting, Meredith!

    •  

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Suzan! I’m so glad you enjoyed Jennifer’s excerpts! I’m looking forward to reading A Holiday to Remember soon too! Can’t wait!

  25.  

    Hi Suzan! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the excerpts. Yes, I’m have a great time here and enjoying the blog tour very much. Jen Red

  26.  

    Oh please do include me in the drawing!! I don’t own nor have I read either story beyond the excerpts and I am defiantly hooked! I can’t to wait to see how a modern musical Elizabeth and dear Mr. Darcy love this time!!

  27.  

    I have the book, so do not include me for this drawing. But I would like to say those are beautiful excerpts. This beautiful book is a must re re read especially in this holiday season. Bludpoison.

  28.  

    I love the idea of the gala musical performance as a modern backdrop for the clash between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.

    •  

      Thanks Julie! Yes the summer music festival proved to be a clash indeed. It all comes out early in the story and then it remains for those two to make nice and enjoy a romantic holiday season. Good luck in the giveaway. Jen

  29.  

    Not sure if I commented Al ready or not.
    I love both I need more!!

    Happy Holidays!

    •  

      Hi Patricia! Thanks for stopping by and yes, I agree, it seems we always need more of our favorite P&P characters. Jen

  30.  

    Both excerpts are enjoyable to read. I think it’s Colonel Fitzwilliam who is playing tricks on the Darcys. I doubt it’s Georgiana and one of the Bennet sisters.

    •  

      Lúthien84 thanks for stopping by. It will be fun for folks to find out if the colonel is the mischief maker in this one. He certainly is prone to pranks in quite a few of our JAFF tales, isn’t he? Jen

  31.  

    Love Straight No Chaser! It fits here beautifully. Look forward to your newest release

    •  

      Lynnchar! Thanks for stopping by and I’m so happy you took the time to listen to that very entertaining video. Those guys are so talented. Good luck in the giveaway. Jen

  32.  

    Heh… the pictures with the excerpt were hilarious! But Henry… yes a heart throb for sure! It sounds really great the new book! Good luck with the launch of it… I’m sure it will be a great success!

    •  

      Thanks Ruth! I had so much fun looking for pictures and there are a bunch more on my Pinterest page. There are lots of good laughs in both of these tales as well as some tender moments. Good luck in the give away. Jen Red

  33.  

    Oooo, I loved the excerpts. I’d love to get a copy. Much, much luck on the launch of this one, I love the combination of a JAFF with Christmas.

    We’ve been a fan of Straight No Chaser since their beginning. Our son (he’s the singer in our family) introduced us to that song, I don’t even think YouTube was in existence yet. Great, that just aged me. 😉 Anyway, seeing the video never fails to put a great big smile on my face. Thanks! And thank you too, for sharing above, your music life, I love it!

    Thank you Meredith for hosting the launch tour.

    •  

      It is so great to have another lovely story to read this Christmas season! I am so looking forward to it!

      That’s so cool that you have known about Straight No Chaser for so long! I first heard of them around 2010 I think. LOL! When we taught middle school chorus we tried getting our students to sing the 12 Days of Christmas in Straight No Chaser style, but they were sooooo not into it and we gave up. It may have been a little too challenging. 😉

  34.  

    Thanks so much Michelle! Yes, that vocal group has been around since the late 1990’s when they were all students at Indiana University. It was the inspiration for my little Regency short story when I wrote Twelve Days. Good luck in the give away. Jen Red

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