Her Unforgettable Laugh

 

 

Her Unforgettable Laugh starts several years before P&P’s story with Mr. Wickham trying to abduct Georgiana. During this attempt, she is saved by Elizabeth but because while doing so she behaved in an unladylike manner, Elizabeth is rapidly taken away by her aunt and all Mr. Darcy can grasp from her is her laugh.

The story then resumes the events we see in P&P starting at the Meryton Assembly, instead of saying Elizabeth is not tolerable enough to tempt him,  Mr. Darcy hears her laugh and invites her to dance with him in an attempt to ascertain if she is the lady who saved Georgiana all those years ago. As you can imagine, this will change the entire story, and their relationship will not go through such a bumpy road.

Some of the characters have interesting changes in this book, we see a side of Mr. Hurst I had never seen before and it was very refreshing to see such a portrayal. Miss Bingley on the other hand is a conniving and evil character, to the point that everyone knows what she is planning all the time, and Wickham is very malicious person. Mrs. Bennet is also an exaggerated mean and obnoxious character and unlike Wickham’s character, I didn’t like her at all.

Darcy is not so proud as we are used to and accepts his feelings for Elizabeth almost immediately, so there aren’t many obstacles to Elizabeth and Darcy’s love, which made the story a little too slow paced for me. However, readers who love a smoother love story without much angst or obstacles will absolutely love this book.

It is a sweet, uncomplicated story where the conflict doesn’t come from Darcy and Elizabeth’s feelings and attitudes but from the villain’s actions, namely Wickham and Caroline’s. I usually prefer books where the conflict comes from their feelings, so I would say this book is more directed to readers who prefer external obstacles.

If you like books where ODC join forces to fight against external obstacles while having sweet and tender moments between them, then this book is perfect for you.

You can find Her Unforgettable Laugh at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

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One Thread Pulled – The Dance with Mr. Darcy

What if Elizabeth never heard Darcy’s slight at the Meryton Assembly? How would the story and their relationship unfold if this little detail was different?

Diana J. Oaks starts with this premise and adds small changes to the plot that make the outcome of this book very interesting. For example, Jane doesn’t get a cold when she goes to Netherfield, she hits her head when she falls from a horse, and Mr. Darcy shows a true concern for her health. Also, Mary falls in love with Mr. Collins and tries to conquer him with Elizabeth’s help, which creates the most amusing scenes and has extraordinary consequences, not only in the conquest of Mr. Collins, but also in the relationship between the Bennet sisters. These small changes in the story are one of the aspects I loved the most in this book as they make it unpredictable but agreeable to read with a believable story and characters that remain true to themselves.

The other aspect I absolutely loved about the book was the love story between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their love is realistic and believable but also sweet and passionate at the same time, it is touching but with some anguish making it halfway between the hot mush and the angst. The scene when Darcy and Elizabeth meet at Oakham Mount is an endearing and loving scene that exemplifies what I am saying, and it was probably one of my favourite scenes in the entire book.

One Thread Pulled is a very well written book with a great love story that will appeal to all readers. I highly recommend it and was only sad to reach the end and realise that there wasn’t exactly an ending as the story will continue with Darcy’s courtship on a second volume. But fear not dear readers, now you can follow up their story on volume two : Constant as the Sun: The Courtship of Mr. Darcy which was released in the end of 2016, a couple of years after I read volume one 🙂

If you haven’t read this book yet, you are luckier than me, you will have the pleasure of reading them both without interruptions.

You can find One Thread Pulled at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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The Darcy’s of Pemberley

I was very lucky to win a copy of The Darcy’s of Pemberley at Austenesque Reviews a couple of years ago. It was the first giveaway I ever won and it put me in contact with the sweet Meredith 🙂

As my TBR pile seems to have a willing of its own, I have only read it last year and found great pleasure in it.

This book shows us how Darcy and Elizabeth’s life could have been after they were married, but if you think everything will be a sea of roses, you are mistaken. Their families are still there, part of their life to make sure Darcy and Elizabeth never have a dull moment.

Lydia and Wickham are childish and annoying as always, Mrs. Bennet’s nerves continue to be her best friends and Lady Catherine is still trying to get everything done her way, so our dear couple will have their hands full 🙂

The book was very enjoyable but the last chapters were my favourite as we see how devoted Darcy is to Elizabeth, and how his love is strong enough to withstand the most hurtful possibilities (I’m trying not to spoil this for you by being incredibly evasive, but if you read it, you’ll understand). I was truly amazed and touched at how much Darcy would accept because of his love for Elizabeth, and that was clearly my favourite part of the book 🙂

Georgiana’s journey is also quite interesting and I was glad to see how everything turned out for her. Readers who love her character, and I know there are several out there, will love this story!

I thought the book was a little too slow-paced in the beginning, but it is a very enjoyable read for those looking for a sequel to Pride & Prejudice, I recommend it to readers who want to follow-up the lives of our most beloved characters.

You can find this book on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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Suddenly Mrs Darcy

Hello dear readers,

Two years later, I am finally reviewing Suddenly Mrs. Darcy! I read it when it came out but for some reason I didn’t review it, considering it is my favourite “forced marriage” scenario book, it didn’t seem right not to post a review, so here it is.

When I started reading this book I was shocked and amazed. The blunt, fatalist first person speech we see in the first chapters as shocking as it is surprising but it pulls us immediately into the book. The writing is riveting and addictive and I have now come to understand that Mrs. James writing style is unique and recognisable everywhere. When I read the first letter of Elizabeth in The Elizabeth Papers over an year later, I immediately knew it was a Jenetta James book due to the uniqueness of the writing style.

On this book, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are caught alone by Mrs. Bennet during the Netherfield ball while Darcy is trying to reveal to Elizabeth Wickham’s true character, and because of that they are forced to get married. As this happens so soon in the storyline, they haven’t been able to sketch each other’s characters yet, so the dynamics between them are very different, and the path they have to take to HEA will be much harder.

They will need to learn how to respect, trust and love each other and, it will not be an easy task when the communication between them is still so difficult because of their misapprehensions and prejudices. But watching them build a strong and powerful relationship is extraordinary, and Mrs. James was able to keep us glued to the storyline from the beginning until the end due to the intensity of the book.

Suddenly Mrs. Darcy is very real, it is not overly romantic, it is not a fairy tale, it portrays reality and people as they are, it shows us a raw reality and it pierces into our soul. It is one of those books I recommend to my friends who don’t read JAFF because I know that the writing is so good, so unmistakingly good, that any reader will love it!

I believe that it takes a true talent to write as Mrs. James does, this is something that you can not learn, either you have the talent in you, or you don’t, and Jennet James certainly does.

If you are looking for a fairytale story full of fluff this is not the book for you, but you will be missing a magnificent work of art. If you are ready to accept some angst, you will love this book and it will render you speechless.

 

You can find this book on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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From Pemberley to Milton’s 2017 Favourite Books

Good Afternoon everyone and a Happy New Year!!!

Today I’m publishing one of my favourite posts of the year, the one where I look back and see what I read and how that translates into figures 🙂 I love stats and even though I will not fill you with my own stats today, I did like analysing the statistics of my reading throughout the year. After looking at my 2017 stats I identified my favourite books and that is what I will share with you today, so welcome to my year in books 🙂

 

Last year I had read 45 books, but it was a true challenge to read so much (yes, for me that is a lot), so I choose to define a smaller goal for 2017. I intended to read 35 books this year and despite all the difficulties I had at work (too many extra hours, etc.) I was able to overcome that objective by reading 38 books. That may not seem a lot to you, but I was very happy to have achieved this number. It wasn’t always easy to find the time to read, and I’m happy about this number this year.

During 2017 I read a total of 10 230 pages and my average per book was 276 pages, with Christmas with Mr. Darcy being the shortest book I’ve read and These Dreams the longest. I didn’t read anything online this year so the 38 books are only referring to published works.

Not all the books I read in 2017 were published in the current year, in fact, most of them were published in earlier years, so my 2017 favourite books list does not include the best books published in 2017, but my favourite books read in 2017. I’m including both Jane Austen Fan Fiction books and North and South Fan Fiction books and excluding all other fiction novels (even though I only read one non-austenesque/Gaskell book this year: The Little Paris Bookshop).

To be honest, it was easier to choose my favourites this year than last year, maybe because I didn’t read as many books in 2017 than 2016, but it was still hard to leave a few titles behind, even so, it had to be done if I wanted to create my 2017 Favourite Books list.

Now that I’ve explained how I decided to create this list, and without further ado or any particular order, my favourite books read in 2017 are:

 

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These Dreams – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 674

What I loved about it – Everything! Darcy’s strenght, his connection to Elizabeth, Col. Fitzwilliam’s love story, the portuguese connection…

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

Collide – Melanie Stanford

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 298

What I loved about it – The Las Vegas setting, the main characters background stories and the intensity I felt while reading it.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

When We Are Married – Caitlin Williams

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 319

What I loved about it – The humour, the page turner effect and how perfectly suited Darcy and Elizabeth were for each other in this book. I loved how the author described them and their love 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

The Darcy Monologues – Edited by Christina Boyd

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 415

What I loved about it – The diversity! There is a perfect story for anyone and any time 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

A Man With Faults – Lory Lilian

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 403

What I loved about it – The angst, Darcy’s dark place and the hot mush that followed 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

No Such Thing as Luck – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2015

Number of Pages – 432

What I loved about it  – The romance, the intensity of the boat scenes and the perfect love story!

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

The Journey – Jan Hahn

Publication year – 2012

Number of Pages – 264

What I loved about it  – Darcy, Darcy and Darcy! The jealousy, the number of Darcy/Elizabeth’s scenes, the writing, the romance…everything actually 🙂

My review (coming soon)     Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey – Ginger Monette

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 350

What I loved about it  – The intensity of the story, of their romance and the page turner effect 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

A Lie Universally Hidden – Anngela Schroeder

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 406

What I loved about it – The romance, the intrigue, the writing, the characters…there is just too much to point out.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion – Regina Jefffers

Publication year – 2010

Number of Pages – 394

What I loved about it – The has it all effect and his point of view 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 

 

Darcy’s Honor – Victoria Kincaid

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 193

What I loved about it – Darcy and the intensity of his feeling, plus Lady Catherine 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

 


Green Card – Elizabeth Adams

Publication year – 2014 (re-published in 2017)

Number of Pages – 468

What I loved about it  – The american culture, the grilled cheese and their romance.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

 

 

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Do you share any favourites with me? Which were your favourite books in 2017? I would love to hear your opinion and maybe get a few suggestions of great books to read this year, the 2018 reading challenge is already starting and all suggestions to fulfill it are welcome 🙂

 

For next year I will establish the same goal in  Goodreads, 35 books.

It’s not much but I don’t know how next year will be at the office and if it continues with the same rythm , reading 35 books will be a true challenge, which is why I prefer to aim for a small number but guarantee I can do it.

I will also try to read more non-autenesque books. I love JAFF and North and South fan fiction, but I miss reading other genres so I’ll establish as a personal goal 5 non-jaff books to read next year. I’ll start with 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny (which I should have read this year).

The to be read pile of austenesque books is too big this year because I was unable to respect my own TBR established last year, so I’ll have to make an extra effort to stick to my own list instead of allowing new books to get in the way.  I think this will also mean that in 2018 I’ll read more books published in previous years and not so many published during the year, but we’ll see if I’ll be able to resist new releases 🙂

Which goals are you establishing for yourself?

I hope you are able to achieve all your goals and that you have a fulfilling 2018 full of health and happiness!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Very Austen Christmas Giveaway winner

Good afternoon everyone,

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas full of love and joy amongst your loved ones.

I am going to start all the baking for the Christmas Eve, but before going I would like to announce the winner of A Very Austen Christmas ebook.

The winner will receive the ebook today in their email address or can choose to offer it to someone else, so I’ll wait to receive an email from you telling me the address to which you want the book to be delivered.

Now without further ado the winner is:

*** Mary***

Congratulations Mary!! Please let me know to which address you want us to send the ebook. My address is ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com.

A Merry Christmas everyone!

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And the winners are…

 

 

Hello everyone,

How are you today? Did you have a good week? I hope you are all ready for Christmas. Unfortunately I still haven’t had the time to buy all my Christmas gifts, so I’ll have a very entertaining evening at the mall today …

Before everyone is too busy with Christmas preparations I would like to announce you the winners of the latest giveaways that I hosted here at From Pemberley to Milton.

This month I had the honor to receive Victoria Kincaid, Don Jacobson and Regina Jeffers to whom I would like to thank not only for the generosity but especially the patience with me and my late replies! My daily work has been crazy again and I haven’t had much time lately but these authors were incredibly patient and kind towards me J

Now, without further ado, the giveaway winners are:

 

Christmas at Darcy House

*** mbresticker ***

The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey

*** barblibrarian ***

Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar

*** Betty Campbell Madden ***

My Jane Austen Superstar Survey * Ebook , winners choice

***Dung***

 

Congratulations everyone, I hope you enjoy your books! Can you please send me your email contacts so that we can send you your gifts?

I am going to finish my Christmas shopping now, wish me luck!

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!!

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A Very Austen Christmas Review & Giveaway

 

 

A Very Austen Christmas is the perfect anthology for this Christmas time and it gave me a tremendous pleasure to read it. It possesses the must have coziness, romance, humour, and even mystery this season requires and all with an engaging and quality writing. I felt transported to each one of them and that is not always easy to happen when I’m reading novellas.

This book has four different stories that will appeal to all JAFF readers not because they portray different characters or different genres, but because they all have a different feeling and atmosphere that makes each one of them engaging and irresistible.

 

Her Christmas Gift by Robin Helm was absolutely perfect for me and readers who usually like the same type of stories I do will certainly adore it! In this story, Mr. Darcy has a rival for Elizabeth’s attentions which allows him to be a little jealous  and I always love a jealous Darcy! The first story on the anthology has romance, humour and the perfect Christmas tone that always makes stories cozy.

I particularly loved to see Elizabeth playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as it is my favourite classic piece and I have always wanted to see it in a P&P variation. Robin Helm finally made my wish come true and the scene was just beautiful!

I also loved Anne’s character, how she spoke to Darcy and how she plotted at matchmaking, it was an interesting detail.

Her Christmas Gift has the coziness Christmas stories must have and I could not think of a better way to start the anthology, I absolutely loved it!

 

The Christmas Matchmaker by Laura Hile has a magical touch in it that I was not expecting. The humour and romance are very present in it but I already knew that Hile is a master at that so I was not surprised, but the magical touch of Aunt Jane was really endearing and part of why I loved the story this much. Well…that and charming Darcy! He is irresistible in this story!

Austen fans will adore this mash-up which brings together characters from Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Mansfield Park, and make it an incredibly funny and romantic plot with a little magical touch that will prepare each one of you for the Christmas spirit.

 

I love The Gypsy Blessing by Wendi Sotis because it has a special feeling that is hard to explain but that got into me and that made me very expectant regarding No Better Gift. When I read it I realised it wasn’t the whimsical kind of story I was expecting but I definitely did not get disappointed! This short story is perfect in showing us why Darcy and Elizabeth are the perfect match. We really get to see why they love each other, and I just adore that. I could not put it down because of al the wonderful moments they have together and I know readers will love it too.

 

Mistletoe at Thornton Lacey by Barbara Cornthwaite was clearly the biggest surprise for me in the anthology. I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park cannot compete with it when it comes to my affections, so I was not expecting to love this story so much, but the truth is I loved it as much as I did all the others who have P&P characters, so I would dare to say that everyone will love it!

Mistletoe at Thornton Lacey is tremendously funny and I had a great time seeing Edmund Bertram’s efforts to declare himself to Fanny Price. Even though Tom Bertram and Susan Price did their best to help Edmund in this endeavour, fate seemed to be against him, until mistletoe came to help that is.

The ending scene was adorable and I loved seeing this new side of Edmund, it made me love him a bit more than in the original. Just like Her Christmas Gift was the perfect way to start this book, Mistletoe at Thornton Lacey was the perfect ending.

 

A Very Austen Christmas is an anthology of stories that will transport you into the homes of our most beloved characters and feel the Christmas essence along with them. You can either read them one by one or read the entire anthology non-stop like I did, but I know for sure you will not regret it, the book is just what we need for Christmas.

My heartiest congratulations to the authors for coming together and creating a must read book in the Christmas season!

You can find A Very Austen Christmas at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

 

Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis and Barbara Cornthwaite would like to offer one of my readers their very own Christmas present!

They have one ebook ready to be delivered to one of you, or a person of your choosing, on the 24th of December or the 25th if you’d prefer.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post until the 23rd of December mentioning your email. If you do not want to publicly post your email, or if you’d like to offer this ebook to someone else, please send me an email to ritaluzdeodato at gmail after commenting, this way, we will be ready to send out the ebook on the 24th to the lucky winner shortly after we announce it here at From Pemberley to Milton.

Good Luck everyone!

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The Darcys’ Christmas – A Guest Post & Giveaway with Maria Grace

Good Afternoon everyone,

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping? Is that a big tradition in your corner of the world?

In my family we all buy one gift for everybody so this season is a bit stressful with lots and lots of hours spent shopping. Unfortunately for me, the Christmas weekend is almost here and I haven’t bought any presents yet, which means that once this is over, I will need to find a way to enjoy the season and relax. That usually means finding a good, short Christmas story to read, so I was exhilarated to learn that Maria Grace had not one, but two such stories coming up this month. Today She brings you a guest post where she talks about both books and I hope you enjoy it before venturing into one of them 😉

 

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Thanks so much for having me Rita! I’m so excited to be visiting with you this Christmas season! It’s been a doozy of a year in these parts, so much that it calls for not one, but two Christmas books.  The two books go along with The Darcys’ First Christmas, kind of forming bookends to the story. Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811 tells the behind the scenes story of what might have happened during the Christmastide Darcy spent in London, while the militia (and Wickham!) wintered in Meryton. From Admiration to Love tells the story of the Darcys’ second Christmas as they try to hold Georgiana’s coming out at the Twelfth Night ball as Lady Catherine and Anne de Bourgh descend as very unwelcome guests. (The story was such fun to write, I hope you love it as much as I do!)

One of the things I most enjoyed about writing these books was learning about the holiday traditions of the era. One of these traditions is the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, celebrated on December 21st, became associated with charitable giving.  Elderly women (often widows) went ‘thomasing’ of ‘a-gooding’, at the houses of their more fortunate neighbors hoping for gifts of food or money. The practice had become especially common during since the Napoleonic wars dramatically increased the number of widows.

‘Mumpers’ would call at the principle houses in the parish and collect small coins or provisions toward Christmas dinner for their families. They often carried two-handled pots in which they received gifts of cooked wheat to make frumenty. The wheat was especially appreciated because the price of the commodity had soared. In exchange, they offered small gifts of holly sprigs, mistletoe, or handspun yarn and grateful good wishes to their benefactors.

Robert Chambers Book of Days notes “that at Harrington, in Worcestershire, it was customary for children on St. Thomas’s Day to go round the village begging for apples, and singing — ‘ Wassail, wassail, through the town, If you’ve got any apples, throw them down; Up with the stocking, and down with the shoe, If you’ve got no apples, money will do; The jug is white and the ale is brown, This is the best house in the town.’

Take a peek at how this tradition figured in  Darcy & Elizabeth: Christmas 1811

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December 18, 1811. London  

Darcy dismissed his valet and took a final glance in the mirror. Well brushed black coat, crisp white cravat, shoes polished to a shine. He was neat, proper, and hopefully unremarkable. Though it was only a small card party at the Matlocks’, it would be his luck to encounter some gossip writer skulking around the nearby streets, like a weasel waiting to sneak into the hen house. Scavengers and vermin, all of them. The back of his neck twitched.

Card play was hardly amusing. If he had any choice in the matter, he would skip the whole thing. But that would offend Aunt and Uncle Matlock, a greater price than he was ready to pay for the luxury of an evening at home.

He went to his study to get in a few minutes of work before the coach was ready to take him to Matlock House. A recent letter from Mr. Rushout required his attention. Just as he settled down to read it, the housekeeper peeked in and rapped on the doorframe. He waved her in.

She curtsied in front of his desk. A small, somewhat severe looking woman with dark hair and darker eyes, her size was deceptive. She had a sharp, quick mind and could recall the tiniest detail about anything related to her job. Darcy House had been without a mistress since Mother had died, but despite that lack of guidance, she ran the house flawlessly.

“Sir, it is coming up on St. Thomas’s Day. Have you any special instructions about the mumpers this year?”

Not something he had given any thought to at all. “Are there many of them?”

“We have a fair number who visit each year, and what with all the losses to the French, the numbers have only grown.”

Unfortunately, she was right. Napoleon had ensured England would not run short of widows.

“In the past, we have always had wheat for them, sir.”

Darcy chewed his lower lip. “Do that, and give them a few pennies as well.”

“That is very generous of you, sir.” Though she would never say such a thing, something in her eyes looked pleased.

“In these cases, I think it better to do too much than too little, do you not?”

“I know they will be very grateful.” She curtsied again and left as the footman appeared at the door to announce the carriage.

He settled into the soft leather carriage squabs. The smell of fresh polish lingered in the air, a bit too strong for his liking. So, he pulled open the curtains and the side glass for a bit of fresh air.

The streets were crowded this evening and the going slow enough that Darcy could clearly see the faces of those they passed. So many people—London was so crowded!

Peddlers, their faces dusty and worn, some bright-eyed though, calling out their wares with heavy packs on their backs or loaded hand carts. Tradesmen making deliveries, boxes piled high. The occasional dandy and his mates, parading around, hoping for notice. And the beggars.

They were everywhere, paupers, begging for help and sustenance. It was difficult to tell the deserving from the undeserving poor. How many times had he been counseled to give only to the deserving poor? But how was one to know who was truly deserving?

A woman, worn and tattered, with two young children in tow looked at him with hollow eyes. Her face was dirty, and so very, very tired. She was young for a widow. Probably a soldier’s wife. He waved at her with one hand and reached into his pocket with the other. She limped as she hurried toward his carriage, sending one of the children, a young boy ahead of her. Darcy tossed him a coin before the carriage was out of reach and the child ran it back to his mother. Tears ran down her face as she waved her thanks.

He leaned back and closed his eyes. How many young girls chased after a smart uniform? Certainly, the young women in Meryton had.  What would they do if they encountered real officers like Fitzwilliam, not mere militia? Would Miss Elizabeth consider marrying a soldier? Her mother certainly would not warn her against it.

If she did, how easily could she end up as that poor wretch in the streets? He gulped, stomach knotted. Far, far too easily, and through no fault of her own. Surely, her family though, they would take care of her, would they not? If her father were alive, there was no question, but if Collins was master of Longbourn—with his own self-righteousness and Aunt Catherine’s judgmental nature, charity would be hard to find from his household.

He scrubbed his eyes with his palm, but still the image of that woman remained. That was too cruel a fate for a woman like Miss Elizabeth. But what could he do about it?

Nothing, absolutely nothing.

Tomorrow he would instruct the housekeeper to increase what was set aside for the mumpers.

 

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Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811

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Sweet, Austen-inspired treats, perfect with a cup of tea.

Full of hope and ripe with possibility, Christmastide tales refresh the heart with optimism and anticipation.

Jane Austen never wrote the details of Christmastide 1811. What might have happened during those intriguing months?

Following the Netherfield ball, Darcy persuades Bingley to leave Netherfield Park in favor of London to avoid the match-making machinations of Mrs. Bennet. Surely, the distractions of town will help Bingley forget the attractions of Miss Jane Bennet. But Bingley is not the only one who needs to forget. All Darcy wants this Christmastide is to forget another Miss Bennet.

Can the diversions of London help Darcy overcome memories of the fine eyes and pert opinions of a certain Hertfordshire miss?

Without the Bingleys, the Bennets are left to the company of Mr. Collins and the militia officers—entirely suitable company, according Mrs. Bennet. Elizabeth disagrees, refusing an offer of marriage from the very eligible Mr. Collins. Mama’s nerves suffer horridly until Elizabeth follows her advice to make the most of the officers’ company.

Even Mr. Bennet seems to agree. So, whilst Jane pines for Bingley, Elizabeth admits the attentions of one agreeable Lt. Wickham. What possible harm can it cause, especially when her parents are so pleased?

 

You can find Darcy & Elizabeth Christmas 1811 at:

Amazon. com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon. ca

 

 

 

 

The Darcys’ First Christmas

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Sweet, Austen-inspired treats, perfect with a cup of tea.

Full of hope and ripe with possibility, Christmastide tales refresh the heart with optimism and anticipation.

Elizabeth anxiously anticipates her new duties as mistress of Pemberley. Darcy is confident of her success, but she cannot bring herself to share his optimism.

Unexpected guests unsettle all her plans and offer her the perfect Christmastide gift, shattered confidence.

Can she and Darcy overcome their misunderstandings and salvage their first Christmastide together?

From the award winning author of Given Good Principles, Remember the Past and Mistaking Her Character, Sweet Tea short stories offer the perfect bite to transport readers back to the Regency era for the first days of new love.

 

 

You can find The Darcy’s First Christmas at:

Amazon. com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon. ca

 

 

 

 

From Admiration to Love

 

Sweet, Austen-inspired treats, perfect with a cup of tea.

Full of hope and ripe with possibility, Christmastide tales refresh the heart with optimism and anticipation.

After the debacle of the previous holiday season, Darcy and Elizabeth joyfully anticipate Christmastide 1813, Georgiana’s come out at Pemberley’s Twelfth Night Ball culminating the season. With months of planning behind the event, even Lady Matlock is satisfied and sends Colonel Fitzwilliam to represent the family, assuring there will be no repeat of the previous Christmastide.

On St. Nicholas’, Anne de Bourgh and Lady Catherine arrive on Pemberley’s doorstep—never a good sign—demanding sanctuary against the de Bourghs who (according the Lady Catherine) are trying to retake Rosings Park for their family with plans to seduce and marry Anne. Needless to say, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are skeptical.

Not long afterwards, three gentlemen suitors appear at Pemberley, hoping to court Anne and obliging Darcy to offer holiday hospitality. Anne adores the attention whilst Lady Catherine makes her displeasure know, throwing Pemberley into turmoil that threatens the Twelfth Night Ball. Can Darcy and Elizabeth, with a little help from Fitzwilliam, soothe Lady Catherine’s nerves, see Anne to a respectable match, and still salvage Georgiana’s come out?

From the award winning author of Given Good Principles, Remember the Past and Mistaking Her Character, Sweet Tea short stories offer the perfect bite to transport readers back to the Regency era for the first days of new love.

 

 

You can find From Admiration To Love at:

Amazon. com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon. ca

 

 

 

 


Though Maria Grace has been writing fiction since she was ten years old, those early efforts happily reside in a file drawer and are unlikely to see the light of day again, for which many are grateful. After penning five file-drawer novels in high school, she took a break from writing to pursue college and earn her doctorate in Educational Psychology. After 16 years of university teaching, she returned to her first love, fiction writing.

She has one husband and one grandson, two graduate degrees and two black belts, three sons, four undergraduate majors, five nieces, is starting her sixth year blogging on Random Bits of Fascination, has built seven websites, attended eight English country dance balls, sewn nine Regency era costumes, and shared her life with ten cats.

 

She can be contacted at:

author.MariaGrace@gmail.com

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Maria Grace would like to offer to one of my readers one ebook copy of either one of her 2 recently released books.

The winner may choose a copy of  The Darcys’ First Christmas or Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811 and to apply to the giveaway it is only necessary to comment on this post and share your ideas with us.

The giveaway is open until Christmas, so all entries until the 25th of December will be taken into account.

Good Luck everyone!

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Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I’m welcoming a very special guest who has contributed immensely to the JAFF community. Regina Jeffers has around 40 published JAFF books and she keeps producing quality novels to our delight. Tomorrow she will release  a new book called Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar and you can have an idea of what it will be like because today she is sharing an excerpt and a guest post I wish you all enjoy.

Please join me in welcoming Regina Jeffers to From Pemberley to Milton.

 

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In chapter six of volume one of Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas and Elizabeth Bennet provide us several tidbits regarding the success of a marriage during the Georgian era.

~  “If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely — a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten, a woman had better shew more affection than she feels.”

~ “But if a woman is partial to a man, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out.”

~ “When she is secure of him, there will be leisure for falling in love as much as she chuses.”

~ “As yet, she cannot even be certain of the degree of her own regard, nor of its reasonableness. She has known him only a fortnight. She danced four dances with him at Meryton; she saw him one morning at his own house, and has since dined in company with him four times. This is not quite enough to make her understand his character.”

~ “ Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar before-hand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always contrive to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.”

 

In my latest Austen vagary, Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar, the marriage between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet begins as a rushed affair, and our dear couple travel a rocky road before claiming some of the happiness we all wish them. So what were some of the realities of marriage in the Georgian era, specifically the Regency?

First off, remaining unmarried did not equal freedom for a woman of the Georgian era, rather she customarily experienced a life of penury, always at the mercy of benevolent relatives. Even Austen suffered after her father’s passing, which makes Charlotte Lucas’s speech regarding Mr. Collins evoke more sympathy: “You must be surprised, very much surprised—so lately as Mr. Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’ character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.” However, when a woman married the important decisions of her life passed from her father’s control to that of a husband. Marriage was a lifelong contract between a man and a woman. It was a crap shoot, so to speak. Divorce was expensive and VERY public. Most couples avoided even the thought of such an act.

The Bastardy Act of 1733 created something called Knobstick Weddings. A knobstick wedding is the forced marriage of a pregnant single woman with the man known or believed to be the father. It derives its name from the staves of office carried by the church wardens whose presence was intended to ensure that the ceremony took place.The practice and the term were most prevalent in the United Kingdom in the 18th century. Motivation for these arrangements was primarily financial–local parishes were obliged to provide relief for single mothers under the laws regarding relief for the poor. After the passing of the Bastardy Act in 1733, it became the responsibility of the father to pay for the maintenance of the child. Local authorities therefore encouraged the woman to enter into a marriage with the person presumed to be the father in an attempt to reduce their spending and shift the responsibility to the identified man. On some occasions the parish would pay the man to marry the girl, while there are also accounts of more aggressive tactics. In one case, recorded in the 6 October 1829 edition of The Times, a man was coerced into marrying the woman he was accused of making pregnant. The authorities, referred to as the parish overseers, threatened to hang him if he did not go through with the arrangement. Feeling that he had no option, he agreed to the marriage and the pair were wed. However, those responsible for forcing the partnership were later called to face charges of fraudulently procuring the marriage.” [Knobstick Wedding]

 

Marriage, whether it was rushed or planned for months on end, was a very public affair, one designed not only to announce the ceremony, but to assure the public that the man meant to support his new wife. If a widow remarried, some would do so in what was known as a smock wedding. The custom saw the man marrying a woman who was naked or dressed only in a smock. In the 1700s in America, quite of few of these occurred, a left-over custom from the days the new Americans lived in England. The idea was if the woman appeared naked or in her underclothes that it absolved her from anyone collecting upon the woman’s debts or in case of a widow, from collecting upon her late husband’s debts. The idea was that a groom who possessed anything bought by a bride or her deceased husband would possess their indebtedness as well. The smock wedding prevented this situation. When marrying bricklayer Richard Elcock at Bishop’s Waltham in September 1775, it was observed that widow Judith Redding “went into one of the pews in the church, stript herself of all her cloaths except her shift, in which only she went to the altar, and was married, much to the astonishment of the parson, clerk, &c.” [A Survivor’s Guide to a Georgian Wedding].

A Survivor’s Guide to a Georgian Wedding also speaks of the devastating effect on women of being widowed, but also of being deserted by their husbands. If a widow, it was often imperative that she wed again. She not only depended upon the good graces of her new husband for her support, but the woman would need his support of any of her children still at home. Having her husband desert her for whatever reason left the woman in limbo (death on the battlefield, a criminal offense, abandonment, etc.).  She could not remarry or have legitimate children. If the man chose not to take care of her and provide for her, she could easily fall into poverty and be driven into the workhouse.

 

Resources:

Knobstick Wedding – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knobstick_wedding

Naked and Smock Weddings of Early New England http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/naked-and-smock-weddings-of-early-new-england/

A Survivor’s Guide to a Georgian Wedding http://www.historyextra.com/article/premium/survivors-guide-georgian-marriage

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Introducing Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar

Unless one knows the value of loyalty, he cannot appreciate the cost of betrayal.

What if Darcy and Elizabeth met weeks before the Meryton assembly? What if there is no barely “tolerable” remark to have Elizabeth rejecting Mr. Darcy’s affections, but rather a dip in a cold creek that sets her against him? What if Mr. Bennet is a renown Shakespearean scholar who encourages Darcy to act the role of Petruchio from Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” to bring Elizabeth’s Katherina persona to the line?

ELIZABETH BENNET’s pride has her learning a difficult lesson: Loyalty is hard to find, and trust is easy to lose. Even after they share a passionate kiss outside the Meryton assembly hall and are forced to marry, Elizabeth cannot forget the indignity she experienced at the hands of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Although she despises his high-handedness, Elizabeth appreciates the protection he provides her in their marriage. But can she set her prejudice aside long enough to know a great love?

FITZWILLIAM DARCY places only two demands on his new wife: her loyalty and her trust, but when she invites his worst enemy to Darcy House, he has no choice but to turn her out. Trusting her had been his decision, but proving his choice the right one before she destroys two hearts meant to be together must be hers, and Darcy is not certain Elizabeth is up to the task.

You can find Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt from Chapter 20…

Five days. Five days of bliss had filled her world until it came tumbling down about her. And the devastation was all her fault. Despite her best efforts, Elizabeth had failed her husband, driving him from her life forever.

On Friday, Darcy and Georgiana had set out early to make a last-minute call upon the Matlocks to firm up plans for a traditional Twelfth Night celebration and then to the music store for more sheet music for Miss Darcy. Mrs. Annesley was to sit with Elizabeth in the case of callers in the absence of the Darcys, but the lady had turned her ankle on a worn strip of carpeting, and Elizabeth had insisted that Georgiana’s companion rest with her leg elevated, rather than greet the few visitors who had yet come for a look at the new mistress of Darcy House.

She was not expecting anyone else to entertain, but that had been her mistake. Mrs. Hyten and her daughter were just preparing to leave Elizabeth’s sitting room when Mr. Thacker announced, “Lieutenant Wickersham to speak to the lady of the house, ma’am.”

Elizabeth’s heart sank. She knew no one named Wickersham, but she did know a Lieutenant Wickham. Had Mr. Wickham taken her “I must consider your request before I approach my husband” to mean that the lieutenant was to call upon her personally? Or that her consideration was a guarantee that she would act as Mr. Wickham had asked? And what would her husband do if he discovered that she had admitted the lieutenant; yet, how could she deny him with Mrs. Hyten closely observing Elizabeth’s every action. The woman was known as one of London’s busiest gossips. “Show the lieutenant up, Mr. Thacker,” Elizabeth responded in the calm tone that Darcy often employed. To Mrs. Hyten she said, “The lieutenant is a relative of a relative in the Darcy family.” Which was not a lie exactly, for Mr. Wickham was the late Mr. Darcy’s godson. “Mr. Darcy has agreed to assist him in securing a commission in the Regulars. I am certain my husband simply overlooked his meeting with the gentleman.” Which were two untruths. Had her expression told Mrs. Hyten of her anxiety, or had Elizabeth appeared casual? She doubted so.

“Do you wish us to stay?” Mrs. Hyten asked with a lift of her brows. “We would be pleased to take the acquaintance of any of Mr. Darcy’s relatives.”

“I appreciate the offer,” Elizabeth assured. “But as this is a very private matter, and Mr. Darcy is a very private man, I think it best if I meet with the gentleman alone. However, I understand your caution, and so I will ask Mrs. Annesley, Miss Darcy’s companion, who rests in the room beyond,” Elizabeth gestured in the direction of her chambers, for Mrs. Annesley was further along the hall, a fact which would not create another lie, “or Sally to sit with me.” She stood to end the conversation just as Mr. Thacker directed Lieutenant Wickham into the room. “Thank you, Mr. Thacker. Please show the Hytens out and ask either Sally or Mrs. Guthrie to join me.” To Mrs. Hyten, she said, “I hope you will call again when the Darcys return to London in the spring. It has been a great honor to have your acquaintance, ma’am.”

With a departing curtsey, the Hytens left the room. The lieutenant waited only long enough for Mr. Thacker’s footsteps to recede before saying, “Very nice.” He glanced about the sitting room. “It is as I imagined.”

“You have never been to Darcy House?” she asked with a bit of curiosity. She would have thought Wickham privy to all the Darcy properties.

“My father was the steward at Pemberley. There was no reason for us to travel with the Darcy family to London. Obviously, I have often viewed the outside of Darcy’s domain, but I was never received within until this day.”

Elizabeth shook her head as if to clear it. Whether Wickham had ever been to Darcy House was not the issue. She needed to be rid of him before Darcy returned. “Thank you for the courtesy of a response, but I must insist on knowing why you are here, Mr. Wickham?” she demanded.

The lieutenant’s eyes narrowed. “You promised to speak to Darcy about a reconciliation. I pray you have not changed your mind.”

Guarded, Elizabeth had yet to sit or to invite him to do so. It was important to move this conversation along and to have the lieutenant showed out. “You err, sir. I promised to consider your request. I have not broached the subject to my husband, and until I do and he agrees, I must ask you to leave.”

She noted that Lieutenant Wickham stiffened. “It grieves me to hear so.” He broke off with a frown. “I thought I had found a champion in you, Mrs. Darcy.” His voice lowered, “I thought that you and I shared a hatred for all things Darcy.”

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed the excerpt because now it’s Giveaway time!!Regina Jeffers has an eBook of Pride and Prejudice and a Shakespearean Scholar available to one of those who comment below.

The giveaway is international and will end at midnight EST on December 16, 2017.

Good Luck everyone!!!

 

 

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