Monthly Archives: February 2016

Goodbye world! Hello kindle :)

Hello dear readers,

I’m back at the airport! The last few months have been particularly busy and hard for me at work so, I decided to disconnect from the world and go on holidays to a place that would allow me to relax and rest 🙂

This means I’ll have a very limited access to the Internet and will not be able to post anything in the next 10 days, but as you can see from the below picture, it also means I will only have 2 friends for company: hubbie and Kindle!!!

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With only these 2 for company it is guaranteed that one of my goals for these holidays will be reached! I will spend most of my time reading 🙂 And after reading, you know the drill, reviews will follow 🙂

I hope you forgive me for being absent in the upcoming days, but still ask you to join me in welcoming some very special guests next month. In March From Pemberley to Milton will be once more receiving Trudy Brasure. This time, it will be for an interview and giveaway for her book In Consequence, which I will also review. I know you enjoyed her guest post on the differences between the BBC adaptation and Gaskell’s North and South, so I hope you will also enjoy the interview 🙂

I am also very honored to be receiving for the first time Lory Lilian and Victoria Kincaid for guest posts and giveaways 🙂 I think they are very talented writers and it made me incredibly happy to be able to welcome them to From Pemberley to Milton.

I’m looking forward to the blogs activity in March, and I hope the reviews, guest posts, interviews and giveaways will be to your liking 🙂

Until then, happy readings everyone!

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Jane and the Waterloo Map – An interview with Stephanie Barron

JANE AND WATERLOO - Blog Tour Horizontal

 

Hello Dear readers,

Stephanie Barron released a new book from the Jane Austen Mystery Series called Jane and the Waterloo Map. I was lucky enough to receive her at From Pemberley to Milton as part of the blog tour, and to place her a few questions. For me it was very interesting to hear what she had to say and I hope you also enjoy reading her answers.

 

Interview with Stephanie Barron

by From Pemberley to Milton

What captivates you about Jane Austen?
I would have to say, first and foremost, her wit. It is her clever appreciation of human foibles that is most apparent in her characterizations and the complex plots of misunderstanding and revelation that she constructs; and wit is the underpinning of both. As readers we experience it most forcibly in her dialogue—which is so rich that it operates on multiple and subtle levels. One of my favourite exchanges, for example, is in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, during the scene where Eliza is playing the piano rather badly at Rosings. When she dares Darcy to criticize her, he simply says, “We neither of us perform to strangers.” It’s a brilliant line because of the multiple messages it conveys. He is saying, firstly, We are no longer strangers—we are intimate, and I understand you in a way I did not before. He is also saying: I want you to understand ME on an intimate level, too. And he is saying, finally, I am extending to you a privilege: because you are my intimate, I will perform for you as I never would for a stranger. And I want that privilege for myself, from you. When read this way, the single phrase, rather than a polite nothing, is immensely revealing. It makes a subsequent scene—in which Darcy proposes marriage—anything but a shock.
When most people think about Jane Austen, they think about romance. What made you think about mystery?
I am a lifelong reader of mysteries, particularly amateur-sleuth stories. It occurred to me that in a period in England when there was no organized police force, all criminal investigation was informal and amateur. In that circumstance, the chief skill a detective could claim would be an acute understanding of human motivation. Jane Austen’s novels are founded upon a keen perception of the human heart. I felt she could “penetrate”—a word she often used—the mind and motives of a murderer. She was the consummate observer who is rarely perceived as a threat because as a genteel spinster, she was part of her landscape. (Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple comes to mind.) And she had access to the informal authority networks and systems of justice in her world, through her friends, relatives, and particularly her brothers who worked in every imaginable field, both in the country and London.
What was it like writing JAFF 10 years ago? How was the reception to this genre?
My first Jane Austen mystery, JANE AND THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT SCARGRAVE MANOR, was written 21 years ago, in fact. No one was writing what you term fan fiction then. The Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle P&P came out around that time, as did the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds PERSUASION, and finally SENSE AND SENSIBILITY with Emma Thompson—all within months of each other. I hadn’t anticipated those productions when I wrote my first Jane novel. The timing of its publication looked suspiciously like an effort to capitalize on Austenmania. But as any writer knows, publication is just the end point of a two-year process and timing is always accidental. I considered the book an enormous risk, because I was trying to throw my voice as Jane Austen. Her voice is so distinctive that the possibility of failure was potentially great.
Did you plan to write an entire series when you published Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor?
Yes. At the time, series were valued in mystery publishing because readers liked to follow particular sleuths and their worlds over time. The fact that I was writing about Jane during a period in her life when she was an unpublished writer, and fairly itinerant—she did not settle in her final home at Chawton until the seventh book—meant that I could follow her around England during a scintillating period of political upheaval. There was a great deal of matter to use in successive stories. And her large cast of family characters made for a good series population.
Do you spend much time doing research for the Jane Austen mystery series?
I studied Napoleonic France and Regency England as a history major in college, but invariably I have to research specific topics within those periods for each book. Something as simple as the history of the Royal Academy of Art, for example, or the layout of Carlton House, or the details of the battle of Waterloo, or the properties of yew poisoning, come up in the course of writing a novel. But I regard the research as the fun part of any book.
What gives you most pleasure during the writing process?
Finishing it. 
Seriously, in writing the Jane books, I delight in her sense of humour. She could be viciously funny at other people’s expense—or her own—and when I speak for Jane I so enjoy being able to do the same. Like many of us who love her work, I believe she and I must be similar people. We would have enjoyed each other immensely.
What can we expect from Jane and the Waterloo Map?
I particularly like the fact that it charts an exciting moment in Jane’s personal life—her publication of EMMA with a bold new publisher, John Murray, and her visit to the Regent’s London home at Carlton house—with events that capture the imagination in the aftermath of the greatest battle in British history. There’s a treasure map. A picture vault. A lot of shopping expeditions in London. And a whiff of romance amid the bloodshed.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Just my thanks for walking along with me on this journey through Jane’s life. At this point in the series—November, 1815—she has only 18 months to live. Having followed her footsteps from the time she was 26, I find this a bittersweet reality. I do not know how many adventures Jane and I have left.

 

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Has this interview enticed your curiosity? Well, fear not dear reader, you can find out more about the book and the author below 🙂

Book Description

Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful Regency-era mystery

November, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo has come and gone, leaving the British economy in shreds; Henry Austen, high-flying banker, is about to declare bankruptcy—dragging several of his brothers down with him. The crisis destroys Henry’s health, and Jane flies to his London bedside, believing him to be dying. While she’s there, the chaplain to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent invites Jane to tour Carlton House, the Prince’s fabulous London home. The chaplain is a fan of Jane’s books, and during the tour he suggests she dedicate her next novel—Emma—to HRH, whom she despises. However, before she can speak to HRH, Jane stumbles upon a body—sprawled on the carpet in the Regent’s library. The dying man, Colonel MacFarland, was a cavalry hero and a friend of Wellington’s. He utters a single failing phrase: “Waterloo map” . . . and Jane is on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.

Waterloo cover x 350

 

Early Praise

“A well-crafted narrative with multiple subplots drives Barron’s splendid 13th Jane Austen mystery. Series fans will be happy to see more of Jane’s extended family and friends, and Austenites will enjoy the imaginative power with which Barron spins another riveting mystery around a writer generally assumed to have led a quiet and uneventful life.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review  “Writing in the form of Jane’s diaries, Barron has spun a credible tale from a true encounter, enhanced with meticulous research and use of period vocabulary.” — Booklist

 

“Barron, who’s picked up the pace since Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, portrays an even more seasoned and unflinching heroine in the face of nasty death and her own peril.” — Kirkus Reviews

 

“Barron deftly imitates Austen’s voice, wit, and occasional melancholy while spinning a well-researched plot that will please historical mystery readers and Janeites everywhere. Jane Austen died two years after the events of Waterloo; one hopes that Barron conjures a few more adventures for her beloved protagonist before historical fact suspends her fiction.” — Library Journal 

 

If like me, you are already looking forward to read this book you buy it in the below links:

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound |  Goodreads

 

Author Bio

 

Stephanie Barron headshot 2016 photo credit Marea Evans x 150Stephanie Barron was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written fifteen books. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Learn more about Stephanie and her books at her website, visit her on Facebook and Goodreads.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

 

***It’s Giveaway time!***

 

In celebration of the release of Jane and the Waterloo Map, Stephanie is offering a chance to win one of three prize packages filled with an amazing selection of Jane Austen-inspired gifts and books!

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour starting February 02, 2016 through 11:59 pm PT, February 29, 2016. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Stephanie’s website on March 3, 2016. Winners have until March 10, 2016 to claim their prize. Shipment is to US addresses. Good luck to all!

Waterloo Map Blog Tour Prizes x 500

 

 

Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour Schedule:

 

February 02              My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)

February 03              Laura’s Reviews (Excerpt)         

February 04              A Bookish Way of Life (Review)           

February 05              The Calico Critic (Review)         

February 06              So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)                          

February 07              Reflections of a Book Addict (Spotlight)                               

February 08              Mimi Matthews Blog (Guest Blog)                                

February 09              Jane Austen’s World (Interview)                                              

February 10              Just Jane 1813 (Review)                                    

February 11              Confessions of a Book Addict (Excerpt)                               

February 12              History of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Guest Blog)             

February 13              My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)                                  

February 14              Living Read Girl (Review)                                  

February 14              Austenprose (Review)

February 15              Mystery Fanfare (Guest Blog)                           

February 16              Laura’s Reviews (Review)                                             

February 17              Jane Austen in Vermont (Excerpt)                                          

February 18              From Pemberley to Milton (Interview)                                     

February 19              More Agreeably Engaged (Review)

February 20              Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)                                      

February 21              A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life (Guest Blog)

February 22              Diary of an Eccentric (Review)

 

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A Little Whimsical in His Civilities – Guest Post by J. Marie Croft

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Hello Dear readers,

Today I’m lucky to receive in From Pemberley to Milton J. Marie Croft with a guest post as part of her blog tour for A Little Whimsical in His Civilities.

Her guest post made me think about Mr. Darcy and whether he is whimsical or not. If someone told me that he was, I would immediately dismiss and deny it, but Mrs. Croft raised some interesting points, after all he does change a little…

I will leave you to read, think and comment J. Marie Croft’s, post, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

 

***Blurb***

Told entirely from Fitzwilliam Darcy’s point of view, J. Marie Croft’s humorous novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities, spans one moonlit, autumnal night upon the gentleman’s return to Hertfordshire in pursuit of Elizabeth Bennet.

 

“We take the turning which places us on Meryton’s main road, and—oh, gad! There it is—the base-court building which passes for an assembly hall in this godforsaken place. For me, the venue shall be either a heaven or a hell tonight. My palms grow clammy, my gut churns, and I regret that second helping of onion-laden vegetable pie forced on me before we left.”

 

Accompany Darcy as he, intent on reversing the disastrous first impression he made there, braves another Meryton assembly and seeks to win his heart’s desire.

 

***Guest Post***

Thanks, Rita, for allowing me the honour of writing a guest post for your blog. Because you’ve been so gracious … and brave (After all, one never knows what nonsense might leak forth from my pen!), your reward will be an entirely pun-free post. There’ll be no wordplay, I promise. But, because I’m a word nerd, this will be about words … or, at least, one in particular.

whimsical font

Within the pages of Pride and Prejudice, one of my favourite words is spoken by Mr. Gardiner while he, his wife, and Elizabeth are leaving Pemberley the first time.

 

“But perhaps he may be a little whimsical in his civilities,” replied her uncle. “Your great men often are; and therefore I shall not take him at his word about fishing, as he might change his mind another day, and warn me off his grounds.” ~ Jane Austen

 

When Austen used whimsical in that passage, she conveyed Mr. Gardiner’s leeriness of Mr. Darcy’s invitation to fish at the estate’s stream. He supposed such an eminent gentleman might be capricious – temperamental, changeable, unpredictable.

 

Whimsical may not be the first word one thinks of when asked to describe Fitzwilliam Darcy, but he is changeable. For the love of Elizabeth Bennet, he amends his ways and becomes a better man.

 

Accordingly, the word whimsical is used in the capricious context in my novella’s title. Albeit the outwardly well-mannered Mr. Darcy in that story might be described more aptly as a little snarky in his thoughts. For instance, initially he thinks of Mr. Jones as a pestiferous, hedge-born minnow. Later in the story, Mr. Jones is thought of as ‘the accommodating apothecary’. See? Mr. Darcy does change for the better, not only in his mind but in his outlook on life. He’s changeable.

 

I’m glad Austen used ‘whimsical’ instead of the more uncomplimentary ‘capricious’ (given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behaviour). However, I prefer the word whimsical for its other meaning. Although Johnson’s Dictionary includes ‘freakish’, the second sense of whimsical is playfully quaint, oddly fanciful, unusual, especially in an appealing and amusing way.

 

Since fanciful means over-imaginative and unrealistic, some may say Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy is, indeed, whimsical in the fanciful sense — a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ fictional character.

 

He’s not all goodness, though. He has his peccadillos; and we all, at times, own churlish opinions. So, what insults, slurs, set-downs, or – heaven forbid! –bawdy thoughts might run through Mr. Darcy’s mind? Jane Austen gave us few clues as to what the gentleman was thinking. So I, rather audaciously, plunked myself inside the man’s head and changed the events following his and Bingley’s return to Hertfordshire in the autumn after Hunsford.

 

At one point in the novella, while thinking of (and lusting after) Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy dances with another young lady.

 

… I am so thankful you cannot read minds.

Casting me a distrustful glance, the lady tosses her head and looks away.

What? Oh God, you cannot read minds, can you? No, no, of course not.

 

Oh, Darcy, your dance partner can’t read your mind, but readers of A Little Whimsical in His Civilities certainly can.

 

Now I’d like to get inside your head and know your thoughts about the word whimsical and what it means to you. What sort of images does that word conjure up in your mind?

 

For me, whimsical often implies a sense of unworldliness, as in things mystical, imaginative, fantastic, or fey. Like this.

fairy & unicorn

These wooden dolls exemplify the playfully quaint kind of whimsy found in folk art.

WOODEN DOLLS

 

All manner of quirky, off-the-wall (or dangling-from-the ceiling) items – such as whirligigs, zany sunglasses, or eye-catching umbrellas – might be considered whimsical.

witch legs

 

Then there’s the ethereal, delicate sort of whimsy … things like fireflies, dandelion fluff, and twinkly lights.

                                                                                           dandelion fireflies

 

Those images were gathered for my Pinterest board, What’s Whimsical? Have a look there, and see if you agree with my choices. Another board, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities features quotes from the novella accompanied by befitting imagery.

Your thoughts on Whimsical (the word, my Pinterest board, or my novella ) will be appreciated.

 

***Author Bio***

Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery”. Her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight(Meryton Press, 2013), her humorous short story, Spyglasses and Sunburns, in the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summeranthology (Meryton Press, 2015), and her novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Meryton Press, 2016) bear witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter.

 

Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

Website

Pinterest

 

Purchase A Little Whimsical in His Civilities by J. Marie Croft

Amazon

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It’s giveaway time!!!

Meryton Press is sponsoring a blog tour giveaway for A Little Whimsical in His Civilities. In in the end of the blog tour 8 winners (4 ebook & 4 paperback) will be randomly selected and contacted. To enter the giveaway click on the below link 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour Schedule

 

2/8: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

2/9: Guest Post & Giveaway at Moonlight Reader

2/10: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

2/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…

2/12: Excerpt at My Love for Jane Austen

2/13: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

2/14: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life

2/15: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

2/16: Review at Just Jane 1813

2/17: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

2/18: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

2/19: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars

2/20: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight

2/21: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm

2/22: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

 

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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Every time I talk about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to anyone, their initial reaction is to discredit it because how would Zombies match with a novel in the regency period, right?

Well, that was also my initial thought. But then I realised I love Pride and Prejudice, and I love zombies. And I don’t mean I started liking them after The Walking Dead, I mean I was already in love with these guys since Dawn of the Dead, so why not imagine an apocalypse in the regency period? What difference does it make to have someone killing a zombie in the 19th century or the 21st? And if there is a difference, how will it be? Would it be harder to survive? Would people be able to maintain some kind of normal life? Would a zombie apocalypse change society rules, and how? All these questions started coming to my head, so when I decided to read the book my expectations were every high!

Since the beginning of the book all I could picture in my mind was Lady Catherine turned into a zombie eating Mr. Collins intestines! Wouldn’t that be a perfect scene for this plot? Mr. Collins would serve her Ladyship until her very end…or even after that.

What about Mr. Darcy? Wouldn’t it be extraordinary to see him become a Rick Grimes? To see him fight the walking dead while maintaining his values towards the living? To see him struggle between his duty, his values and what needed to be done in such a scenario? And what would he do to protect those he loved from the unmentionables?

I could picture Mr. Darcy fighting this plague side by side with Elizabeth. I imagined him conquer her respect through his honour and fighting skills. And Whickam? I imagined him a coward letting other people die just to escape himself, or to become some kind of Shane.

Unfortunately none of this happened, and all my expectations went down the drain. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but there it is.

If readers are expecting a zombie book, this is not it. Of course zombies are mentioned, and of course there are some fights and killings, but nothing too exciting or even believable. I think the author tried to imprint some humour into the book, and it worked on some occasions, but it took the excitement of the zombie scenario away.

And if readers are expecting a new romance between Darcy and Elizabeth, the book is pretty much the canon story. Nothing new was added. It’s just Pride and Prejudice with some zombies mentioned between some scenes.

The story is so close to canon, it became boring and predictable to me as I knew exactly what would happen next. There were minor variations, of course, but they were almost irrelevant to the course of the story.

Unfortunately I believe this book was neither a good zombie book, nor a good romance book. It appears the author tried to have both and ended up having none. And that is a pity, because I truly think this could have been a very interesting variation for readers who enjoy both subjects such as me. I my opinion, the book could have been interesting if we had seen a variation of Pride and Prejudice, if zombies altered the story somehow, but they didn’t.

I wasn’t convinced by this book, but I’m still looking forward to see the movie that will be in the Portuguese theatres in March. Maybe it will be more interesting than the book.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is available at:

Amazon.com – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Amazon.co.uk  –Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance-Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! (Quirk Classics)

Amazon.fr –Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance-Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem

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Undeceived, Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game – Mr. Darcy interview and giveaway

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Hello everyone,

I’m very glad to receive Karen M. Cox on From Pemberley to Milton today with a very interesting guest post as part of her blog tour for Undeceived.

Here, you will read nothing less than an interview with our dear Mr. Darcy, and also be able to participate in the giveaway Meryton Press is organizing.

I hope you enjoy it 🙂

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Thank you, Rita, for your gracious invitation to guest post on From Pemberley to Milton! Today, I’ve got something special planned: an interview with the hero of my hot-off-the-presses release, Undeceived, published by Meryton Press. Mr. Darcy fascinates us still, so I know he’ll give us some fantastic insight into the mind of a legendary icon of English literature. Let’s start, shall we?

The Darcy Dozen: Twelve Questions with William Darcy, CIA officer and hero of Undeceived: Pride & Prejudice in the Spy Game:

Karen: “Thank you for joining me today, Officer Darcy. I’m sure the readers at From Pemberley to Milton will enjoy getting to know a little about you.”

Darcy nods

Karen: “Okay, then. First things first—tell us a little about yourself.”

Darcy: “There isn’t that much to tell. Spy Rule Number 22: Good agents don’t talk about their personal lives.”

Karen: “There must be something you can tell the good readers at From Pemberley to Milton! After all, that’s why we’re all here.”

Shrugs

Karen: “For example, I know you were born November 15, 1951 in Baltimore, MD. You’re 6’2” and have 20/20 vision and a photographic memory. You did a tour of duty as a pilot in Vietnam before joining the CIA in 1974. You rose quickly through the ranks and have been rumored to be in position for…”

Darcy: “Where did you get that information?” reaches for my folder and we tug it back and forth a couple of times before the contents spill on the floor

Karen picking up the papers and glaring: “It’s right there in your FBI file.”

Darcy: scowls and crosses arms “And why do I have an FBI file?”

Karen: “Oh, um, well…doesn’t everybody in your line of work have an FBI file?”

Darcy: “Next question.”

Karen: “You mentioned your Spy Rules. How many Spy Rules do you have?”

Darcy: “At last count, there were…114.”

Karen: “Wow, that’s a lot to remember.”

Darcy: points to temple “Photographic memory.”

Karen: “Right. Is there any Spy Rule you absolutely know you would never break?”

Darcy: “Spy Rule 18: Let the cutouts do their work and you do yours. That means you don’t let personal feelings get in the way of your job. For example you can’t endanger the other officers and assets in your circle by putting one person’s safety above the others.”

Karen: “Well, that makes sense I guess.”

Darcy: “Next question.”

Karen: “What three items would you want to have with you on a deserted island?”

Darcy: “Mosquito net, a good knife, and one of those new-fangled communication devices.”

Karen: “You mean a smart phone?”

Darcy: “What’s a smart phone?”

Karen: “Never mind. Have you ever been in love?”

Darcy: “Given my current position, female entanglements are not advisable. Don’t get me wrong. I like women—very much so. And unlike some of my male colleagues, I don’t mind working with them. I enjoy the company of accomplished women.”

Karen: “You didn’t answer the question.”

Darcy: “Next question.”

Karen: “So what’s your idea of an accomplished woman?”

Darcy: “She should be intelligent, brave, and capable. Personally, I appreciate when she is pleasing to look at. She should develop her intellect through lifelong education and dedication to learning. And finally, she should have a strong character. In other words, she should have guts.”

Karen: “Sounds like your ideal woman is an unrealistic fantasy.”

Darcy: smirks “So I’ve been told.”

Karen: “Any regrets, Darcy?”

Darcy: “If I have them, they’re my burdens to carry.”

Karen: “Okay, okay, no more personal questions, I get it. Let’s see…Commodore 64 or Apple II computer?”

Darcy: “Apple II – it’s the way of the future.”

Karen: “Ludlum or LeCarre?”

Darcy: “I’ve used…um, read them both.”

Karen: “Beer or wine?”

Darcy: grins “Depends on who I’m with.”

Karen: “Sports car or muscle car?”

Darcy: “Anything that isn’t a Trabant.”

Karen: “Favorite author?”

Darcy: “You’re kidding me, right?”

Karen: “How would you like to have five daughters?”

Darcy: “Sounds like hell on earth.”

Karen: “Well, I guess that about wraps up our interview today. Hopefully, you’ll let our readers get to know you a little better as they spend some time with you in Undeceived: Pride & Prejudice in the Spy Game.”

Darcy: “I would by no means suspend any pleasure of theirs.”

***Book Blurb***

During the last gasp of the Cold War, Elizabeth Bennet, a young, forthright counterintelligence officer, embarks on an exciting assignment that would make her late father, a fallen CIA officer, proud. She transfers to Europe to investigate the legendary and elusive William Darcy, an officer in line for the coveted Soviet station chief position who’s suspected of being a double agent.

William Darcy appears to lead a charmed existence, but now he finds himself fighting for his career and against his growing feelings for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move.

Elizabeth wants to throw the book at him, but the facts don’t match her preconceptions. Is Darcy being set up? Are there darker forces at work? Or is William Darcy a skilled double agent after all? Nothing is as it seems, however, and the closer Elizabeth gets to the truth about Darcy, the more she spirals into danger.

Undeceived, the new novel by award-winning author, Karen M. Cox, is part romance, part spy game suspense—inviting readers to uncover the villain in this variation on Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic tale.

***Author Bio***

Karen M Cox writes novels accented with romance and history. All three of her published novels: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, and At the Edge of the Sea, have garnered awards from the independent publishing industry, taking top honors three out of the five times they were recognized. Last year, she also participated in Meryton Press’s inaugural anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, with her short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015.” Her fourth full-length novel, Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game, will be released in early 2016.

Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a slightly nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before moving to her family’s home state of Kentucky when she was almost twelve. She lives in a small, quiet Kentucky town with her husband and children, and works as a pediatric speech pathologist. She spends her off hours reading, writing, and being a wife and mom—and spoiling her new granddaughter.

Links:

Blog: http://karenmcox.merytonpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenmcox1932

Twitter: https://twitter.com/1932karenmcox

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karenmc1932/

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/karenmcox

Instagram: karenmcox1932

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It’s giveaway time!!!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour Schedule

unverticalbanner2/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

2/2: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…

2/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways

2/4: Author Interview & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

2/5: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

2/6: Guest Post at My Love for Jane Austen

2/7: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

2/8: Character Interview & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

2/9: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

2/10: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews

2/11: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars

2/12: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

2/13: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm

2/14: Excerpt & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813

2/15: Review at Diary of an Eccentric

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Short and Sweet Reads: What Are These Novella Things In Jane Austen Fan Fiction?

novella social media picture

Hello everyone,

When I started reading JAFF I chose my books taking into consideration several aspects, and length was definitely one of them. Yes, I was prejudiced towards Novellas! I am ashamed to say it, but there it is.

One day, after reading Compromised by Joy Dawn King, I saw that the first chapter of  The Trouble with Horses by Elizabeth Ann West was available as a bonus, and even though it was late at night, I decided to give it a try. That was the day my eyes were opened towards novellas! I liked the first chapter so much that I immediately bought the novella, read it without stopping and loved it!

And so it was that I left my prejudice behind, accepted that novellas can be just as good as longer stories.

As it was an Elizabeth Ann West novella that opened my eyes, I thought it only befitting to invite her to From Pemberley to Milton to talk a little about this genre.

I hope you like her post, and her very generous offer 🙂 And if you are prejudiced as I once was, who knows, she will open her eyes as well 🙂

 

***Guest Post by Elizabeth Ann West***

I don’t know about you, but I am busy. No. I’m not busy. I am BUSY, with all capitals! Like most readers, the time with my Kindle is my escape – my me-time that even little fingers wriggling under the door like the bathroom can’t ruin. But I don’t have much time, so when I sit down for a Darcy fix, I need a fix and I need it NOW. 🙂

And this is where novellas, a story form as old as novels, are seeing a major resurgence in digital publishing. People are busy. They are squeezing their reading in between lunch breaks, on commuter routes, even while waiting in the school pickup lane! And with a Kindle or Nook or Kobo or iBooks, your entire reading library is with you at all times on your smartphone or tablet.

So is a novella just shorter than a novel?

Technically, yes, the distinction of novel versus novella for many literary awards hinges on word count. But deeper than that, at the story level, a novella is usually either more focused on the main character’s plight or in my case, a serialized, episodic saga. In reading time, a novella usually takes an avid reader about an hour to two hours to read. Just like a TV show!

Novellas can be fun to read because there is something satisfying about that desire for more. If you really think about it, every GREAT story leaves you wanting more. More episodes! More books! More movies! More, more, more! Or even in the case where the author has given an epilogue, please give us a title to explore just that future! Am I right?

There are some who are prejudiced against novellas, that something shorter than a novel cannot possibly be “good.” But believe it or not, there are MANY cherished classic titles that are, you guessed it, novellas! Have you read Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s? What about Camus’ The Stranger? I know, A Christmas Carol, by Dickens, many had to read that book in school. From science fiction (The Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) to political satire (Animal Farm), there are award-winning novellas in every genre. It is as authentic of a story-telling art form as a poem, novel, or short story.

I write mostly novellas, and for awhile I struggled with how different that would be for JAFF. But when I really take an inventory of the stories that affected me most, outside of Pride & Prejudice, which admittedly I was a late comer to appreciating that story, it is short stories and novellas that have most imprinted on my mind. Ray Bradbury’s All Summer in a Day and Ayn Rand’s Anthem plus a few unnamed short-stories in anthologies, all of these stories are as fresh as memories in my brain. I feel those stories when I think about them.

Perhaps that is just the power of those authors, but a big part of it is the laser focus those stories offer on the main characters and their struggles. Throw in a love for twists in stories like The Twilight Zone or Jeffrey Archer’s A Twist in the Tale and Twelve Red Herrings and you end with an author like me: a lover of writing novellas with high drama and a twist on the ending.

Try A Novella, FREE!

I would like to invite all of the wonderful readers here at From Pemberley to Milton to try a digital novella on me. I am offering any of my novellas in my Seasons of Serendipity series which is an ongoing saga reimagining what if Mr. Bennet died at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice. If series are not your preference, I also have The Trouble With Horses which imagines Darcy fell off his horse and Elizabeth saved him, and Very Merry Mischief, which wonders what might have needed to happen to get our dear couple together if Darcy never returned to Hertfordshire after Lady Catherine’s upbraiding of our favorite heroine. Not only that, but I will personally sign your file with my own technological magic!

Simply leave a comment on this post with your opinion on novellas, or any question you might have and fill out the Google Form here (http://goo.gl/forms/dQa7wOJ67p) and I will work through the list to send the novellas out to everyone who requests one. Yes. Everyone. This giveaway will contemplate all entries until the 6th of February inclusive.

You can read more about the books available on my catalog page here : http://www.elizabethannwest.com/roseroom/

my books that are available

Thank you so much for joining me today on From Pemberley to Milton and hopefully if you do not already read novellas, you will give them a chance! You never know when a short and sweet read will become a new favorite! XO

***Author Bio***

Author photo Elizabeth Ann West Cancelled smallerElizabeth Ann West is a Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none! Author of 7 novellas and 3 novels, her books have won reader awards and been purchased in over 20 different countries. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from a small liberal arts university in Virginia, she has worked for Walt Disney World, Alcoa, volunteered as an ombudsman for the U.S. Navy and moves wherever her husband’s military career sends them! Currently living in upstate New York, she is a mother of two, loves to fence, and has a soft spot for Japanese RPG video games.

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I would like to thank Elizabeth for this wonderful guest post, which I personally find very interesting, her generosity in the giveaway, and her kindness in making every single copy a special and personalised one.

Thank you for coming to From Pemberley to Milton Elizabeth!

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Accusing Elizabeth Giveaway Winners!

accusingelizabeth1

Hello dear readers,

As most of you noticed, last month I was honoured to be the one revealing the cover for Jennifer Joy’s latest book, Accusing Elizabeth, and to share with all of you the first glimpse of it with a funny, yet romantic excerpt.

It gave me great joy to be the first one presenting you with information on the book, but also to read all your comments and to see such a warming reaction both to the cover and the excerpt.

I was also very happy to see so many discussions arising from it. It always gives me a lot of pleasure to see my readers intervene in the blog. This is a place for everyone to share their opinion, and all comments are welcome. In this particular case, the participation was very intense, and for that, I must thank each one of you!!!

I also want to thank Jennifer Joy because along with the excerpt, she brought a very generous offer of 4 ebooks to give to my readers. Thank you once more for your generosity Jennifer!

Today, I’m glad to announce the lucky winners 🙂

Without further ado… The randomly selected winners are:

 

*** Lynn Bischoff *** 

*** Vesper *** 

*** BeckyC *** 

*** Jo’s Daughter *** 

 

Congratulations everyone!  I hope you enjoy the book and share your thoughts with all of us once you’ve read it 🙂

Please send me your e-mail contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail until the 12th of February, so that I can pass them along to Jennifer for the ebooks to be sent to you.

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