Family Portraits – Guest Post & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Today I’m very happy to receive for the first time in From Pemberley to Milton author Pamela Lynne. I’ve heard so much about her and her books, but unfortunately haven’t read any of them yet. I have heard wonders about Sketching Character and I have it on my TBR pile for months! Now she has released Family Portraits which is a continuation of Dearest Friends and I found myself with another book on the must read list.

I hope you enjoy Pamela Lynne’s post today, and I promise to read one of her books very, very soon to review it and share my thoughts with you🙂

Until then, I would like to thank Mrs. Lynne’s for her visit to From Pemberley to Milton, it is a huge pleasure to receive you here🙂

family-portraits-cover-ebook-large

 

***Guest Post***

 

The Strength of Supporting Characters

 

Thank you so much, Rita, for hosting me here at From Pemberley to Milton. This is my first visit to your lovely blog, and I am so excited to share a couple of my favorite people with you today.

I first found JAFF and the world of Austenesque literature a little more than four years ago. For months, I devoured every book I could find before I started jotting down ideas for what would become Dearest Friends on a notepad I kept by the bed. I still have those pages. I came across them recently when I was cleaning out my abandoned crafts cabinet. As I read over them, I noticed that, other than Darcy and Elizabeth’s initial meeting, all my early notes were about the side characters—those who would support D&E on their journey to happily ever after.

One of the reasons we all love JAFF, I believe, is that we have an instant emotional connection to the main characters. We love Darcy and Elizabeth, and we cannot get enough. For an author, that is both a blessing and a curse. Having that connection is vital to the success of any novel, but it also means we have a lot to live up to. We all have our own preconceived notions about Canon and who Darcy and Elizabeth are and how they should behave. Changes to the personalities or behaviors of ODC can be a hard sell and doing too much can be detrimental to the book’s success.

I believe a strong creative power we JAFF authors have at our disposal is the freedom to tweak Austen’s supporting characters. As many of you already know, I took a great deal of liberty with some characters in Dearest Friends, namely Mr. Bennet and Jane. We see enough of them in Canon, I believe, to justify any prejudices we have against them or any love we have for them. The same cannot be said for Anne de Bourg and Mary Bennet. We see so little of them, and what we do see is not always positive. But, surely, there’s more to explore there. In both Dearest Friends and Family Portraits these two women, who were relegated to the background in Pride and Prejudice, had a chance to shine.

*~*

“Are you well, Anne?”

Mary sat next to her friend, who had removed herself from the party to rest in the shade of a tree, watching the men and children race on the lawn.

“Of course I am. I am always well.”

Mary said nothing, only placed her hands in her lap and waited. Eventually, she heard her companion sigh.

“I am tired. I should not have stayed out as long as I did yesterday morning.”

“Why did you?”

“Because it was a lovely day, and I was with my favorite people. The journey here was difficult, and I did not give myself time to recover. I was too excited to see everyone.”

“I will not admonish you, though I am not sure your husband will do the same. Was your fatigue the reason you kept provoking him yesterday?”

Anne smiled. “That was mostly for fun. I did not want him to see my fatigue. Of course, there was no keeping it from him last night, and he forbade me from coming today.”

Anne rolled her eyes and Mary laughed. “You will rest more, though?”

“I will. When we return to Darcy’s today, I will keep to my rooms.” She paused for a moment, watching Richard swing their daughter around by her arms. “Look at them. Thank God Richard is able to help her expel some of her vigor. She has so much of it. I worry, Mary, as she comes up around such strength and vivacity, she will see me as weak, different. I would not want her to resent me for the things I cannot do.”

“You cannot think that way, Anne. You will make yourself miserable dwelling on the things you cannot change. Marianne will see you thriving in the ways you can and will love you because you love her.”

Anne smiled. “I know this. It is just hard to see it when I have days similar to this. Shall we speak of more pleasant things?”

“What do you wish to talk about?”

“Hmm. How about how very pretty you look.”

Mary rolled her eyes.

“I am serious. At Christmas, it felt as if I hardly knew you. You were so altered. Now, you seem like Mary again.”

“I do admit that for a brief moment yesterday, I felt more like myself than I have in quite some time.”

“What is the difference from then to now?”

Mary did not answer, not wanting the conversation to turn too serious. Anne would not let it be, however.

“You should allow him to kiss you.”

“Anne!”

“Mary, you will not give voice to it, so I will. You are more like yourself because the man who loves you is here. Why do you wish to fight that?”

“I do not do it on purpose, Anne. I wish I could just brush aside everything I am feeling, but I cannot.”

“I am sorry, Mary. I do not wish to upset you. You said you felt like yourself yesterday. What was happening?”

“He was holding my hand.”

Anne sighed. “Imagine how much better you would feel if you kissed him!”

“You are impossible!”

Mary’s composure cracked as Anne made kissing noises, and they both collapsed into a fit of giggles.

*~*

It makes perfect sense to me that these two should be friends. In Canon, they are miles apart and never meet. In the what-if, however, they become strong characters who are far more than their wallflower status. I hope you agree with me. Who are your favorite supporting characters? Are there any you feel and underutilized in JAFF. I’d love to hear what you think!

 

***It’s giveaway time***

 

Follow Pamela Lynne’s advice and tell us who your favorite supporting characters are. Tell us why you like one character, or why you dislike another. You can also share your thoughts on this post because all comments will entitle you for the giveaway of one e-book that Mrs. Lynne would like to offer to one lucky reader.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 3rd of October.

Good luck everyone!

And don’t forget to follow the blog tour for more information on this book:

fp-tour-update

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Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Today I’m hosting Maria Grace with a guest post on her recently released book Courtship and Marriage. This is the first time I’m hosting a guest post for a Non-Fiction book, but when I read about Courtship and Marriage my interest was immediately picked and I could not resist to share more of it with you.

One of the reasons I love JAFF so much is the passion I have for regency, it’s customs, it’s values and it’s life style. This book will give me a more accurate idea about small details in the daily lives of Regency, more specifically on the customs associated to courtship and marriage, which is per se something I’m very interested in. Needless to say I’m really looking forward to read and absorb all the contents in this book.

Are you also curious about regency’s customs? What about the courtship rules and marriage expectations? Continue reading, and you’ll find out more them🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

courtship-and-marriage6Jane Austen’s books are full of hidden mysteries for the modern reader. Why on earth would Elizabeth Bennet be expected to consider a suitor like foolish Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice? Would Lydia’s ‘infamous elopement’ truly have ruined her family and her other sisters’ chances to marry?  Why were the Dashwood women thrown out of their home after Mr. Dashwood’s death in Sense and Sensibility, and what was the problem with secret engagements anyway? And then there are settlements, pin money, marriage articles and many other puzzles for today’s Austen lovers.

Customs have changed dramatically in the two centuries since Jane Austen wrote her novels. Beyond the differences in etiquette and speech, words that sound familiar to us are often misleading. References her original readers would have understood leave today’s readers scratching their heads and missing important implications.

Take a step into history with Maria Grace as she explores the customs, etiquette and legalities of courtship and marriage in Jane Austen’s world. Packed with information and rich with detail from Austen’s novels, Maria Grace casts a light on the sometimes bizarre rules of Regency courtship and unravels the hidden nuances in Jane Austen’s Works.

 

***Guest Post***

Regency’s customs during Courtship

By Maria Grace

.

Thanks, Rita, for inviting me to share about courtship and marriage in Jane Austen’s day. Customs have changed so dramatically in the two centuries since Jane Austen wrote her novels that things which were obvious to her original readers leave readers today scratching their heads and missing important implications. It’s amazing how much of Austen’s stories we miss not understanding the context she wrote it.

One of the most bewildering aspects of courtship in the regency era was etiquette and customs surrounding marriage proposals. This excerpt from Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World explains some of those customs.

 

Ideally, the rigors of a 19th century courtship culminated in a proposal, called in the era ‘making a woman an offer of marriage.’ Sounds a bit like a business proposal, doesn’t it? Not surprisingly, there were a lot of similarities between the two, including prescribed expectations for exactly how the transaction between the couple would be conducted.

It’s hard to believe that Jane Austen’s iconic proposal scene between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Collins (Pride and Prejudice) fit those expectations more or less exactly. But, seriously, it did. Take a look.

 

Parental approval

In earlier centuries, a suitor applied first to the family before speaking with the woman herself. If her father or guardian did not approve, then the suitor dare not approach the woman herself. But in the enlightened Regency era, such a course was outmoded. Modern society believed young people had a right to choose their mates themselves—as long as their parents didn’t veto their choices afterwards of course.

Until the age of twenty-one, both parties to a marriage required parental consent to marry. Even beyond that age, parental approval was highly desirable, but not essential. Since a couple’s parents often contributed financially to their upkeep, keeping mom and dad happy was pretty important.

But even where little or no property was at stake, parents of daughters (much more than sons) wanted to be consulted, especially when the daughter was still living at home. In part this was because most considered young women to be ignorant and willful and that they could not be trusted to find men with a good character and sufficient economic prospects. (Shoemaker, 1998)

For a child, son or daughter, to ignore the opportunity of making a grand alliance would have seemed foolhardy, not just to their family, but to their peers as well. (Lewis, 1986)

Pride and Prejudice’s   Mrs. Bennet and Charlotte Lucas both demonstrate this attitude in their reactions to Elizabeth’s rejection of the very eligible (at least in the eyes of society) Mr. Collins. Elizabeth’s refusal demonstrates that willful ignorance that parents deeply feared. And who could blame them their anxiety? After all, what is more frightening than allowing your children to make their own choices and having them be wrong?

 

Proposals

A gentleman who wished to propose—and it was only the gentleman who could extend an offer of marriage—had the dubious advantage of having very clear procedures to follow. He did have some choices, though. He could offer a proposal in person or more formally, in the form of a letter.

In Emma, Robert Martin uses this vehicle for his first, ill-fated proposal to Harriet Smith. In many ways, Wentworth’s passionate letter to Anne Elliot in Persuasion is also a proposal of marriage.

In either case, it was nearly impossible to conceal his intentions from his intended. An unengaged couple was never left alone, unless an offer of marriage was being made.  Similarly, a man did not write to a woman he was not related to unless it was to make an offer. So either way, the lady could be fairly certain of what was coming.

Mr. Collins’ proposal contains all the hallmarks of a proper Regency era proposal—even though it makes the modern reader cringe and squirm.

 

Rejected offers 

According to the conventions of proposing, a man should express great doubt about the woman’s answer, regardless of what he really felt about his probable reception. This would be a sign of respect, since it suggested that her charms were such that she could expect many worthy offers of marriage.

While a young woman could refuse an offer of marriage—not really considered a good idea, mind you, but it was possible—she could easily acquire a reputation for being a jilt for doing so. In fact, both parties could be damaged by a refused offer of marriage, so matters were to be handled with the utmost delicacy and consideration for the feelings of the young man.

The woman might tell a sister or a close friend of a refused proposal. Elizabeth Bennet told her sister Jane, while Harriet Smith discussed Robert Martin with Emma. But she certainly would not talk of it to her acquaintance at large, and most especially not to another man.

Not only was it more ladylike to hold her tongue, it might mollify his dignity and prevent him from gossip that could taint her reputation.

Thus, a rejection should begin as Elizabeth Bennet’s did, with reference to her consciousness of the honor being bestowed upon her by the gentleman in question.

“You forget that I have made no answer. Let me do it without farther loss of time. Accept my thanks for the compliment you are paying me, I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than decline them.”

This gentle approach to rejection also had the dubious advantage of making it easier for a suitor to propose a second time, as noted by Mr. Collins.

“When I do myself the honour of speaking to you next on this subject I shall hope to receive a more favourable answer than you have now given me; … because I know it to be the established custom of your sex to reject a man on the first application, and perhaps you have even now said as much to encourage my suit as would be consistent with the true delicacy of the female character.”

While being very civil, it did make it difficult to make one’s true feelings clearly known. That, though, was in keeping with the general approach to courtship which largely kept feelings out of the conversation entirely.

 

Behavior during engagements

Once a couple became engaged, society expected them to act engaged. The couple might begin using each other’s Christian names. Letters and small gifts might be exchanged. A couple could express some degree of affection in public, dancing more than two dances together, for example. Chaperones because less strict, sometimes far less strict. And private affections might be expressed.

In general, engagements did not last very long, often only the minimum fifteen days (three consecutive Sundays) required to call the banns or as long as it took to draw up marriage articles. Considering that according to church records (comparing marriage dates and dates of a couple’s first child’s birth) about one third of all regency era couples went to the altar pregnant, short engagements were probably a good thing. (Heydt-Stevenson, 2005)

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out my new book, Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World, available at Amazon, Nook and KOBO. It details the customs, etiquette and legalities of courtship and marriage during the regency era and how it relates to all of Jane Austen’s works.

 

***About the author***

 

2014-posterMaria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16 year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences.

She blogs at Random Bits of Fascination (www.RandomBitsofFascination.com) , mainly about her fascination with Regency era history and its role in her fiction. Her newest novel, The Trouble to Check Her, was released in March, 2016. Her books, fiction and nonfiction, are available at all major online booksellers.

 

You can contact her through the below links:

author.MariaGrace@gmail.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AuthorMariaGrace

G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103065128923801481737/posts

On Amazon.com: http://amazon.com/author/mariagrace

Random Bits of Fascination (http://RandomBitsofFascination.com)

Austen Variations (http://AustenVariations.com)

English Historical Fiction Authors: (http://EnglshHistoryAuthors.blogspot.com)

On Twitter @WriteMariaGrace

On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/mariagrace423/

 

***It’s Giveaway time***

Maria Grace would like to offer an e-book copy of Courtship and Marriage to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and all you have to do is comment this post and share with us your thoughts on this topic. If you want to know more, feel free to ask Maria🙂

The giveaway is open until the 26th of September and the winner will be announced shortly after that.

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Nicole Clarkston’s book – Giveaway winner

Hello everyone,

I have recently reviewed Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston, which is clearly on my top 3 North and South best fan fiction books, and along with that review, I brought a giveaway sponsored by Nicole Clarkston herself.

I’m not sure if you all know, but Nicole Clarkston is one of the few writers who devises North and South fan fiction and Jane Austen Fan Fiction! So far she has published Rumours & Recklessness, a Pride and Prejudice variation, No Such Thing as Luck a North and South Variation and Northern Rain, also a variation of North and South. But I know she is working on more JAFF and NSFF, and I’m very curious to see which one will be the next release.

Because she knows me and my readers love both genres, she decided to offer a giveaway of any of her works in any of the available formats.

Summing up, the winner could choose either a paperback, an ebook or audible of any of the below books:

 

Northern Rain

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

 

I would like to once again thank Nicole Clarkston for her generosity and kindness, and also ask her to publish another novel as soon as possible, because I’m in terrible need of a good book, and anything she publishes is great for certain!

Now without further ado, the randomly selected winner is:

 

***Sue Mecham***

Congratulations Sue! Please let me know which book and format you would like to receive🙂

You can contact me through ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com.

Happy reading!

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It’s Giveaway Time!!! Winners Announcement…

 

Sem TítuloHello everyone,

This month started at From Pemberley with Milton with the visit of 2 wonderful authors with guest posts and giveaways.

Laura Hile brought to my readers a guest post by Fitzwilliam Darcy where he shared with us a little of his experience at Darcy From Any Other Name, and Renée Beyea presented us with the cover and the very first excerpt of What Love May Come and Other Stories that will be released later this year.

I want to thank these 2 ladies for being present in my blog, for their generosity with the giveaways and the all the support they gave me! Most of all I would like to thank them for writing such beautifully crafted books and allowing me many pleasurable hours while reading them.

Today I’m announcing the winners for the giveaways these authors promoted, namely one ebook of Darcy From Any Other Name, one ebook of A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories, and one ebook of What Love May Come and Other Stories (to be delivered once the book comes out).

I would like to request all winners to send me their e-mail contacts until the 30th of September so that the ebooks can be sent to you.

Now…without further ado the giveaway winners are:

 

 ***Darcy By Any Other Name***

Amanda

***A Fine Stour Love and Other Stories***

Dholcomb1

***What Love May Come and other Stories***

Patricia Finnegan

Congratulations ladies! Please do not forget to send me your e-mails🙂

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Courage Rises Review & Giveaway

51ovnewh1sl4.5 stars

Courage Rises is Melanie Rachel’s first novel and I have to say it was a bold move for a debut book! I’ve got to praise Mrs. Rachel for this novel as it is not at all what I would expect of a first JAFF release.

The book is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice but, unlike many others, it does not focus on Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship. During most of the book our couple is separated and facing their own trials. Mr. Darcy receives a missive from Col. Fitzwilliam asking for his help on a mysterious mission in London, and leaves Pemberley to help his cousin and finish some of his own businesses. A few days later an outbreak of fever arises in the estate and Elizabeth’s strength and leadership skills are tested. If until this moment Mrs. Rachel was doing a great job at exploring Elizabeth’s insecurities regarding her new position, from this moment forward we are assured that Elizabeth is indeed the perfect Mrs. Darcy! She shows everyone why she was Mr. Darcy’s choice! She is intelligent, brave, altruistic, kind, firm and a true patroness to those under her husbands’ protection.

These two parallel stories were developed and written with a perfect pace and a good balance that kept me turning the pages without stopping. In the beginning of the book I was more interested in what is happening at Pemberley, but as I continued reading (and I read most of it in one day), I became more and more curious about the adventure that Col. Fitzwilliam, Darcy and Bingley found themselves at.

New characters will be introduced and one in particular caught my attention: Miss Sophia Hawkes. As I got to know her a little more and started dreaming about her future, the book finished! That’s right, there is a volume 2 coming to the bookstores in the beginning of next year, so be prepared because this story will not end here. We do get closure on Elizabeth’s story, and even some closure on Col. Fitzwilliam’s adventure, but if you are like me, you will want to know more about Sophia’s future.

I am therefore quite eager for the release of the continuation, Courage Requires, but until then I recommend this book to those in need of a good read. It does not have the romance we usually see in JAFF, because as I said, Darcy and Elizabeth spend much time apart, but that was not a turn down for me. Elizabeth writes Darcy several letters that tell us the status of their relationship and companionship. We can feel throughout the book they are not the recently married couple still learning each other’s habits, they are already a happily married couple who know one another quite well, and that sense of security was enough for me, so I did not crave for more Elizabeth and Darcy moments. The scene of Darcy’s return to Pemberley after hearing about the crisis is very good, the best Darcy/Elizabeth moment for me in the book, and I hope we get more scenes like that in Courage Requires.

Another aspect I appreciated in the book was the vocabulary as it is extensive and I got to learn a few words. This doesn’t happen that frequently despite the fact that I’m not an English native speaker, so I think that Mrs. Rachel did a great job in the writing.

Until the continuation comes out you can find Courage Rises at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

***It’s giveaway time***

Melanie Rachel would like to offer an e-book copy of Courage Rises to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and all you have to do is comment this post and share with us your thoughts on this story.

The giveaway is open until the 24th of September and the winner will be announced shortly after that.

Good luck everyone!

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A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories Review, Giveaway & Special Surprise

AFSL pages4.5 stars

 

A Fine Stout Love and other Stories is a compilation of five carefully edited short stories written in such an intimate and beautiful way that they will inspire our hearts and prompt a smile in our faces every time we turn a page.

In the beginning of the book we are presented with a poem about Pride and Prejudice and how the author thought about creating new stories based on Jane Austen’s characters that I found absolutely delightful and original! It is a small detail but I loved it!

In each story we are immediately submersed into the characters world and that allows us to enjoy every single page as if it were the last page of our favorite novel.

All the stories occur during a specific timing of Pride and Prejudice original plot, so readers will need to read Jane Austen’s book first to fully engage into the short stories. However, the author always mentions in which specific timing the short story is taking place, so those familiar with P&P will easily immerse into them.

Even though I loved the book in general, these stories are very diferente and enticed in me different reactions, so I’ve written a few lines about each one of them.

 

Words in the wind

Timing: Saturday before the Netherfield Ball

5 stars

In the first short story of the book, Elizabeth starts finding some notes from a secret admirer while leaving her house and on her way to Meryton, that make her flattered but extremely curious. During her walk, and besides the notes, she also finds Mr. Whickam and discovers how he truly is. Finally, upon reaching her destination, the church’s graveyard, she encounters another person, this time; it’s Fitzwilliam Darcy who has been receiving mysterious notes himself.

They discover their notes complement each other and when compiled they form a love letter Mr. Darcy wrote to Elizabeth in his journal.

The love letter is one of the most beautiful love letters I have ever read! I will not publish it here because it will spoil the sequence of the mystery notes, but believe me when I say it is just as perfect as Wentworth’s letter to Anne! I was fascinated by this letter; it was so beautiful, so romantic, so perfect!

I absolutely loved this short story, and was only sad not to discover earlier in the story who placed the notes that brought our couple together.

 

A Fine Stout Love or the Efficacy of Poetry

Timing: Longbourn after Mr. Collins arrives

4.5 stars

This short story is told from two different perspectives: first Elizabeth’s and then Darcy’s.

The story will focus on a brief encounter between Darcy and Elizabeth but the writing captivates us and we are immersed immediately into their intimate meeting.

The story itself is very simple but captivating. Elizabeth writes a poem thinking of Darcy and after Lydia steels it to tease her sister, the paper ends up flying into the man himself.

Can you imagine Mr. Darcy reading a love poem destined for him? Or Elizabeth’s embarrassment at having him read it?

Darcy is teasing and charming and I loved him, just as much as loved this story🙂

 

Neither Slumber nor steep

Timing: before Darcy’s second proposal

4 stars

When she hears the rumors about Darcy’s engagement to Elizabeth, Lady Catherine literally drops dead (funny right?).

Because of her death, Darcy is prevented from going to Hertfordshire with Bingley and will only see Elizabeth at a church in London where they finally reveal to one another their feelings…in a most awkward way🙂

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…

 

Gold, all gold

Timing: While Jane is ill at Netherfield

3 stars

Elizabeth has a very special gift that is different when it comes to Darcy. This story is very different from canon and it was a little too esoteric for me. I am not a big fan of these kind of premises and that is why this was my least favorite story in the book, however, I consider that readers with a more open mind to these subjects will like it considering it is very romantic.

 

Eden Unashamed

Timing: During the engagement

4.5 stars

What if Mr. Darcy wrote a poem to Elizabeth that was accidentally discovered by another sister and ended up being read by the entire family before reaching the final recipient? Which consequences would a love poem written by a passionate man have on Mary Bennet? Could it make her change her perspective on love and marriage? What if Mrs. Bennet thought this poem had been written by Mr. Bennet for her? Could it give another color to their marriage?

In this story we are presented with 2 poems Mr. Darcy writes to Elizabeth and the first one made me swoon! I think Renne Beya should write poetry because in the 3 stories of the book where she wrote poems I was completely captivated. The poems are such romantic additions to these stories! They are very, very, very good and created a warmth in me that I usually only feel when reading my favorite poets.

 

Summing up, this book is a fantastic book, perfect for those moments when we need Darcy and Elizabeth but don’t have much time to read a novel, or for when we are eager to go straight to the romance. The stories can be read one at a time and will satisfy our need for immediate romance while giving us a sense that we’ve been with these characters for a long time.

The stories are very well written, captivating and we are immediately drawn into them making the book a pleasant and easy read. And the poetry, oh, the poetry! I’ve mentioned it before, but it is so utterly romantic! Even Elizabeth would agree that these poems would be the food of love!

The author did an amazing job with this compilation and I’m looking forward to read What Love May Come, the second volume of short stories Renée Beya will release later this year.

I’ve told her as much and she was kind enough to share with me a little of her new project. I loved it, and today I’m very happy to share with all of you the blurb , the cover and the very first excerpt of What Love May Come and Other Stories!

Yes, this is the special surprise I mentioned in the title, and I’m incredibly honored that Renée Beyea would allow me to share firsthand all this with you! I hope it makes you curious🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

WLMC pagesJoin Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy as they discover the hope of second chances and the triumph of joy over sorrow in this novella-length story collection.

– Three years after the death of his wife, Darcy visits Longbourn to reminisce. Will he find laughter and maybe even love once more?

– While extended family celebrates, Elizabeth is privately mourning a miscarriage. Will attending a Christmas service bring solace to her grief?

– A shocking secret threatens Darcy and Elizabeth’s reunion twenty-five years after their Hunsford debacle. Can they surmount their pasts to rekindle their love?

– After reliving sublime moments in his marriage, Darcy faces the prospect of life without Elizabeth. How will he meet his future?

These poignant period shorts will moisten the eye and stir the heart, but like fine dark chocolate, their rich taste will linger long after they are finished.

 

***Guest Post***

Renée Beyea

Renee BeyeaThank you, Rita, for the lovely review, for your generous hospitality in inviting me to visit From Pemberley to Milton once more, and for the opportunity to share with your readers the first sneak peek from What Love May Come and Other Stories (available this winter–*hopefully* before Christmas)! Although this second volume of Pride and Prejudice Petite Tales is more poignant than whimsical, like its predecessor, this collection stands alone and contains five short sequels and variations centered on Darcy and Elizabeth–complete with happy endings (just in case anyone’s anxious about the blurb, LOL). To whet the appetite, here’s a vignette set early in their marriage and taken from a sequel story titled “A Strange Mercy.” Enjoy!

*****

Darcy swept his palm over the silken counterpane and stopped before the little side table that held several treasured articles, among them a framed charcoal sketch. Sketch was an overstatement; scrawl was more apt and in his hand no less. He had chided Elizabeth for keeping it, but the sight pleased him now. He traced a finger along their initials and the misshapen heart, as he recalled that long afternoon spent in Pemberley’s library.

“Fitzwilliam,” Elizabeth said.

“Hmm?” He lifted his attention from the volume in his hand. His wife balanced three steps up a sliding ladder, her eyes traveling over the book spines as rapidly as her fingers. He resisted telling her to remain on the floor and have a care for their unborn child.

She ceased her search and turned her head toward him. “Tell me about your family.”

“What do you wish to know?” He closed his book and set it on a nearby table.

“Your family–your ancestry.” She climbed down and approached. “I have met Lady Catherine, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and all your living relatives, and you have spoken of your father and mother, but I should like to know more of your family history, of the generations that preceded you.”

“Do you think to gratify my feelings in this?” He smiled. “For surely such a dry and dusty topic is of little interest to you.”

“No, truly, my love.” She knelt before him and took his hand between hers. “Your family is mine now and I should wish to understand”–she glanced up at him from the corner of her eyes–“that I might properly educate our children.”

She was teasing him, but with that same sweetness that initially won his heart. He was undeniably pleased and warmth radiated through his chest.

“Come,” he said and raised her to stand as he likewise gained his feet. He led her across the room to a writing desk where he withdrew a full sheet of foolscap along with one of his sister’s forgotten charcoals and began sketching his family tree. He might have referenced any number of documents, but he worked from memory, giving accounts as he went.

Elizabeth sat beside him in rapt attention, asking questions, sometimes bubbling with amusement or silent with shock. The butler interrupted to query if they wished dinner served in the library. They did.

On they pressed until by the genial glow of lamplight and the crackling of the fire, he finally added her initials with a flourish and joined her name to his.

“There you have it, my dear, in all its gruesome glory,” he said with not a little anxiety for her opinion. “What do you think now of the family into which you have married?”

“I think,” she said, her hand rubbing unconscious circles below her waist, “that I understand you better.”

“Do you?”

“Yes, and I think our son should count himself very fortunate to be born into such a heritage.”

He leaned forward and kissed her. “And all the more fortunate to be born to such a mother.”

*****

***It’s Giveaway time***

 

 

Renée Beyea would like to share her short stories with my readers by offering a giveaway of 2 ebooks. The giveaway is open internationally and the winners may choose either A Fine Stout Love (available now) or What Love May Come (available when released).

Let us know what you thought about these 2 books and which one you would like to win, if you have any questions, go ahead and ask! All comments posted until the 14th of September will be eligible for the giveaway.

Good luck everyone!

24 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

The Subsequent Proposal Giveaway Winner

subsequent proposal

Hello everyone,

Last month I announced the winners of my Blog Anniversary giveaway, but Laurie May Aquino, the winner of The Subsequent Proposal never contacted me to provide me with her address and I could not find her on social networks so I had to randomly choose another winner.

That being said, the randomly selected winner is :

 

*** Glynis***

 

Glynis this giveaway was for a signed paperback of The Subsequent Proposal, so I’ll need your address to mail you the book, could you please send it to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com?

Happy Reading!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Darcy By Any Other Name Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

DBAON5 stars

Darcy By Any Other Name was the best surprise I had this year when it comes to reading. I didn’t know the author and the premise led me to believe this would be a funny easy read perfect for the summer time. But the book is much, much more than that and it turned out to be one of my favorite books this year!

Laura Hile drove away from canon and created the most humorous variation possible! What if Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins swapped bodies after getting hit by a lightning? How would each of these man react when placed in the others shoes? What about the people around them? How would they view each man if their actions were different from what was expected?

When waking up in Mr. Collins body, Mr. Darcy learns a valuable lesson: humility. But that is not all he learns in this book as we go from a diverting humorous story to a romantic subplot and an adventure which will keep us holding our breaths until the end. Mr. Darcy is forced to see how other people’s lives are, and not just Mr. Collins, but also the servants life. He is forced to see how his life was easy compared to others, and how privileged he was for being born in such a situation in life. This new perspective starts to change him and the way he acts towards others but always remaining faithful to his old self.

The greatest surprise for me in Darcy by Any Other Name was the romance. This book made me laugh from the beginning until the end, but it was not just humorous! It becomes romantic and passionate with Mr. Darcy being everything he should be: intelligent, honorable, romantic yet guarded, fervent, flirtatious but firm and strong in his ideals and convictions.

The first kiss we see between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth is so perfect that I could not put the book down after that. I stayed up reading until 4h in the morning and I just wanted more and more!

But if you’re used to reading my reviews, you know there is something that always makes me completely and utterly in love with a book, and that is angst! Now, I would never believe this book had so much angst but it is full of it. So much that it made my heart ache to the point I wanted to tear it out! Well, that or kill Mr. Collins and get over with it, because along with the angst, comes the hate for Mr. Collins. What a lying coward that man turned out to be! I just wanted Darcy back to his own body, happy with Elizabeth by his side and Collins long gone, but of course that would take all the fun of the book, so my only choice was to avidly read every single page to finally reached the HEA.

But don’t be put down if you’re not so much into angst as I am because you will have a lot of romantic moments, in fact, the complicity and intimacy Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth share is so beautiful that we can feel true love blossoming I their hearts. I love books that allow me to see the love between these two characters grow and that is precisely what happens in Darcy By Any Other Name.

I loved this book from the first page to the last and no matter how much I praise it, I don’t think it will be revealing of how much joy it gave me to read it. I obviously recommend this to anyone in need of a beautiful love story between Darcy and Elizabeth.

You can find Darcy By Any Other Name at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

Curious about this novel? Do you wonder what it was like for Darcy to swap bodies with Collins? Well, you have an opportunity to know all about it in first hand as Mr. Darcy himself decided to share with my readers what this experience was like for him😉

 

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Ebenezer Scrooge had it Easy!

A guest post by Fitzwilliam Darcy

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colin-firth-darcyThe life of the fictional hero is fraught with difficulty. Let me tell you, I know all about it. How we suffer at the hands of writers!

Our authors give reasons—plausible-sounding rationalizations!—that are all of them base and self-serving. “Without conflict there is no story,” the writers bleat, as if this is an adequate explanation. Please. Even more contemptible is this whopper: “We women love seeing a handsome, desirable man writhing in the throes of love.”

Writhing? Lovely.

Truly, I do not understand women. We men find no joy in seeing them thwarted in love. No, men relish the thrill of the chase–a literal chase, such as horses racing or devious espionage with gunshots. For us a gripping tale involves the conflict of sport or hard-won victories on the battlefield (or the trout stream). And at the end of a successful endeavor, a kiss from the beloved heroine.

Writers also enjoy being “inventive,” and this is the most galling of the authorial excuses. I thought Ebenezer Scrooge had it bad when Dickens invented ghosts with which to plague him. Ha! Laura Hile went exponentially beyond that when she made me switch bodies with Collins.

You read that right, with Mr. Collins—that podgy, pompous, prosy blighter who can empty a room simply by opening his mouth! Moreover, Hile had me switch places with Collins at the time he was a guest at Longbourn. My bedchamber was three doors away from adorable Elizabeth Bennet’s, for pity’s sake!

Woo Elizabeth? Forget that! As Collins I hadn’t a chance. For two hundred years women have been shuddering at Collins’ courtship techniques. The man puts the “ick” in “romantic”!

Poor Scrooge had to look on as he was shown Christmases past, present, and future, but I had a harder road. I had to endure Collins’ foolish past decisions, walk through his reprehensible present, and look forward to his baleful future. Even worse, I had to watch Collins attempt to fill my shoes—as Fitzwilliam Darcy. It was beyond galling—and once I stopped laughing, I took Hile sternly to task.

She gave me a pitying look and kept writing. Confound the woman, she even had Collins (as me) propose to Elizabeth! This bit of information is, I believe, called a spoiler. You’ll have to read the book to see how that turned out—but not while you’re swallowing hot coffee, I beg you.

Hile went on to sweeten the pot. She promised me that I could kiss Elizabeth (or at least give it a go), and this stunner caused me to reconsider. After all, I would never have the chance to kiss her as myself, not at that point in Pride and Prejudice. And then Hile told me I would be crossing swords with my Aunt Catherine, giving a set-down to Caroline Bingley, and rearranging George Wickham’s face. Yes, blood would be involved. Yes, Wickham would scream like a girl. Oho!

My response was instantly transformed from tacit cooperation (“Oh, very well”) to heartfelt enthusiasm (“Tally-ho!”).

Darcy By Any Other Name turned out rather better than my best expectations—although I do wish it was my face, not Collins’ mug, on the cover. You will sigh, cry, laugh, and cheer me on when (as Collins) I kosh George Wickham. And don’t forget that promised kiss…

Give this book a go. You won’t be disappointed.

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***It’s giveaway time***

This excerpt took me back to the pleasurable moments I spent reading Darcy By Any Other Name! This Darcy is just irresistible, but now it’s giveaway time!!!

Laura Hile would like to offer one of my readers an e-book copy of Darcy By Any Other Name, all you have to do is comment this post and share with us your thoughts on this story.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 10th of September.

Good luck everyone!

47 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Readers Reviews – The Bridget Jones Diary by Flávia Pais

Hello everyone,

I have been talking for some time of a new feature I would like to have at From Pemberley to Milton, and today I’m finally launching it! It’s called Readers Reviews and its purpose is to give my readers a more active part in my blog by sharing their reviews with everyone else.

Many of my readers are great reviewers but for numerous reasons they don’t have a blog or a particular place to share their reviews with everyone, so why not given them voice to express their thoughts on JAFF books right here at From Pemberley to Milton?

My first guest is a fellow book review blogger called Flávia Pais. She is an intelligent, independent and determined young lady who happens love books and work with me, but she explains a little of our history in her guest post, so I will not repeat that. Let me just tell you she immediately caught my attention when I met her, why? A reader always notices when someone else carries a book with her every single day🙂

I hope you enjoy her post and her review of The Bridget Jones Diary and The Edge of Reason. The adaptation of the third volume, Mad About the Boy is also coming shortly to the theatres, so you might take this inducement to re-watch the films with our beloved Colin Firth!

 

***About Me***

 

I’m a 26 years old Portuguese girl, with a passion for books, sports and life in general. I have a terrible temper, but I always have a smile on my face. My favourite authors include Portuguese José Saramago, Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, Japanese Haruki Murakami, J.K. Rowling and, most recently, the Swiss author Joël Dicker completely stole my heart. I usually say I don’t have a favourite genre; I enjoy reading good books, with characters that make me fall in love with them and their lives. This passion for literature has made me start my own blog about two years ago. Unfortunately most of you won’t be able to look it up because it’s written in Portuguese, but meeting Rita has made me consider also keeping a blog in English to reach a wider public.

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(Me and Flávia at the office, casual friday, hence the clothing :))

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***Guest Post***

First of all I have to tell you how I met Rita. She’s my Team Leader and, as you can imagine, being an intern in a new company is quite scary and I was a bit afraid of the welcome I’d get. I was particularly worried about my direct bosses as in my old job some distance was always kept between ‘the bosses’ and the workers. I was really surprised how nice everyone was, and Rita made me feel very welcome. During my first week we took some coffee breaks together and, as we both talk a lot, we quickly found out we had a lot in common and discovered we shared a common passion – books and blogging about books. She told me all about her blog and this genre I had never heard of – Jane Austen Fan Fiction, or as I’ve learned, JAFF.

I am a Jane Austen fan (who doesn’t love Mr. Darcy?) and I know there are a lot of fan fictions in the internet about everything, but it was a surprise to find out there were even publishers dedicated only to this literary genre. And this brings us to why Rita asked me to do a guest post in her blog. She saw me reading Bridget Jones and was really surprised, so surprised it was even a little scary, and she said ‘We need to talk’. Turns out Bridget Jones is considered JAFF and she thought it would be interesting to have a review on her blog about a JAFF book from a person who (thought wrongly) had never read any JAFF. I have to apologize in advance since the review will be about the two books as I’ve read them as one, so I’m not entirely capable of distinguish between them.

 

 

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We all know Bridget Jones, everyone has seen the film, and if they haven’t they have heard of it at least. The most well-known singleton on the planet. Just to give you some insight, Bridget is a chubby Londoner, journalist, with a slight drinking problem who smokes way too much. Her love life is a mess, sometimes non-existing, but we get to know her two romantic lovers – her boss Daniel Clever and a lawyer, Mark Darcy. And now I can see you all leaning in towards your screen because finally you see some JAFF here.

So Mark Darcy is clearly our beloved Mr. Darcy (but I only made the connection after talking with Rita), a nice British gentleman, with high moral standards and what is considered by all our mothers (and Bridget’s) as a proper husband. However, just as Elizabeth duels on the goodness of Mr. Darcy so does Bridget with Mark. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but in the film adaptation Colin Firth also plays Mark Darcy. How lovely is this?

There is something very funny in the book that is totally cut-out from the film – Bridget and her friends are absolutely obsessed with Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy and they make a lot of comparisons between them. Actually one of the funniest moments in the books is precisely when Bridget is invited to interview Colin Firth in Rome about his upcoming movie. She’s totally distracted from the main point, which is the upcoming film, and just stares at Colin Firth in awe while asking silly things. They engage in a hilarious dialogue about Mr. Darcy’s dive in the lake in Pride and Prejudice that made me laugh quite a lot, and I’ll give you an excerpt:

Bridget Jones: You know in the BBC Pride and Prejudice?

Colin Firth: I do know, yes.

BJ: When you had to dive into the lake?

CF: Yes.

BJ: When they had to do another take, did you have to take the wet shirt off and then put a dry one on?

CF: Yes, I, I probably did have to, yes.

BJ (Breathing heavily): How many takes diving into the lake did you have to do?

And then it goes on and on, and at some point Colin Firth is already losing his mind because she’s only interested in talking about Mr. Darcy, and he wants to be asked about the new film, and she insists again ‘How many times altogether exactly did you have to take it off and put it on again?’ and I could tell you more, but you’ll find it funnier if you read the all thing!

As a JAFF novel this really takes some things out of Pride and Prejudice, not straight away, but if you’re familiar with the book you can spot the character traits from Mr. Darcy on Mark and some similarities with the love story shared by Darcy and Elizabeth.

To finish this, and to give you a non-JAFF fan opinion, I find these books very good and entertaining. Of course, they are not Russian classics or Victorian relics, with deep and profound analysis of society and the human nature, but they really give you an insight on a singletons life. For me, as a recent singleton, I found Bridget Jones both funny and enlightening, with a lot of what the hell situations that you can totally relate to, and some others that you wish you’ll never have to face. Overall it’s a light story to read with an open mind and an open heart. And, like Bridget, you might just fall in love before you know it!

Curious about these books? You can find them on Amazon.com following the below links:

Bridget Jones’s Diary

The Edge of Reason

 Mad About the Boy

 

What about Flávia’s review? Quite diferente from my own and I absolutly loved that!

She has an interactive way of expressing her opinion and is very funny, so I would recommend to those of you who speak Portuguese to check her blog Reading in Style.

For the readers who do not speak Portuguese, I think we need to do something about Flávia! Bridget Jones Diary cannot be the only JAFF book on her list! We’ll have to get her to read something else! What would you suggest to her?

19 Comments

Filed under Pride and Prejudice, Readers Reviews

Second Impressions, Guest Post & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

I am very pleased to bring you today a guest post by author Amy George.

The author was unknown to me, but when I read the plot of her recently released novel, Second Impressions, I immediately wanted to read it.

This post is part of the blog tour that has been going on for some days, so you probably already heard about the author and the book, but if you haven’t, here is an opportunity to learn more.

There is also a giveaway, so don’t miss your opportunity to win a copy of this book🙂

 

***Author Bio***

Amy George is a middle-aged woman who hates her “old lady/grown-up” car and refuses to listen to its radio at a reasonable volume, especially when the Beastie Boys or the Violent Femmes are playing. She lives in a town in the middle of the country where the county fair is one of the biggest social events of the season and everything is fried. Her household consists of a dog, a cat, a man, a hermit, and stubborn soap scum.

She has been writing since she was a child and was a frequent contributor to the Hyacinth Gardens, a popular but defunct JAFF site.

Author Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramygeorge

Blog: http://amygeorge.merytonpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramygeorge/?fref=ts

 

***Book Blurb***

Second Impressions CoverOnce, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet were foes, then tenuous friends. After Elizabeth discovers Darcy is engaged to another woman, she flees to Boston to seek solace with her cousin, the brash and worldly Emeline Poston.

When she returns to England after years spent abroad, Elizabeth must face the man who shattered her heart, and she is shocked to find the proud man she once knew drastically altered. Does she have the courage to seek out the man with whom she fell in love—whatever the cost?

Fitzwilliam Darcy has spent his days regretting what might have been and his nights being tormented by the decisions he has made. His life in tatters, he can barely face the once-respectable man in his mirror or the baby girl in Pemberley’s nursery. Now that Elizabeth has returned, will he atone for his mistakes and win her heart for good?

This alternate path reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is recommended for adult readers.

 

 

 

***Guest Post***

A lot of readers and some writers look down on fan fiction. (I’m looking at you Stefenie Meyer and Anne Rice.) I have never understood this. Why denigrate being somebody’s inspiration?

I love Jane Austen and her characters speak to me in a way other characters don’t. I wanted more Darcy & Lizzy. And when I discovered fan fiction, I not only fulfilled a need for the characters, I gained an entire world. Only Janeites know that Colonel Fitzwilliam is Richard and Mr. Bennet is Thomas or what P&P means.

Fan fiction, to me, is a very sincere form of flattery. It’s a way to interact with people you love-fictional and non-fictional-and explore your own need to create. It can lead to remarkable things. There is a noticeable improvement between my first story, published online at the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild, and the last thing I wrote. Fan fiction has allowed me to grow as a writer within safe confines because the community is so crazy supportive. It has allowed me to learn how readers respond and to interact with my own fans in a way I think some writers miss out on.

So, from my little fandom heart to yours, please enjoy and keep loving our community.

 

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***Second Impressions Blog Tour ***

8/15: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

8/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaway

8/17: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

8/18: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight

8/19: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

8/20: Review at Liz’s Reading Life

8/22: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

8/23: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

8/23: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…

8/24: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

8/25: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

8/26: Review at Diary of an Eccentric

8/27: Review at Just Jane 1813

8/28: Author Interview & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm

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***It’s giveaway time***

As I said, you have an opportunity to win one of the many copies of Second Impressions that Meryton Press is giving away. To participate click on the link.

Good Luck everyone!

 

13 Comments

Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice