Monthly Archives: March 2016

Lory Lilian’s e-books – Giveaway Winners

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Hello everyone,

I think I mentioned this before, but when Then Comes Winter was launched, Christina Boyd organized a book launching party in Facebook. In this party, all the authors who participated in the anthology were present with several games, challenges and giveaways. During that week, I had a lot of fun talking with all the JAFF fans out there, and was one of the lucky winners of 2 giveaways. One of them was a paperback copy from a Lory Lilian book which I could choose. I choose Remembrance of the Past and loved it!

I posted a review for it last month, and Lory Lilian, who has been very nice and supportive, decided to repeat the giveaway, and offer my readers 2 e-book copies of any of her books.

And so, I got a chance to receive her in my blog for the first time! I have to say that receiving such an amazing writer is a true honor for me, and I could not thank Lory Lilian enough for coming to From Pemberley to Milton, and to be so generous to my readers.

Now, without further ado…The randomly selected winners are:

 

*** Mary ***

*** Ceri ***

 

Congratulations girls!

Please send me your contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com until the 7th of April and let me know which of Lory Lilian’s books you would like to receive. I will pass that information to Lory Lilian for the ebooks to be sent to you.

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Victoria Kincaid Interview & Giveaway

when-mary-met-the-colonel vk ig darcy-vs-bennet-thumbnail (1)

Hello everyone,

As some of you must have noticed, a few days ago, I published a review of the recently released How Mary Met the Colonel by Victoria Kincaid. It was one of my favorite books from Mrs. Kincaid, and though it was only published a couple of months ago, luckily she didn’t’ stop there. She has recently released Darcy vs. Elizabeth and I’m incredibly happy to have had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about both books 🙂

Along with her presence in From Pemberley to Milton, Mrs. Kincaid also decided to present our readers with 2 e-books: one of How Mary Met the Colonel and another one of Darcy vs. Elizabeth.

I hope the interview will entice you to read these books and help you select the one you would prefer to win in the giveaway.

 

Thank you so much for coming to FPTM Mrs. Kincaid. This is a recurring question, but I always like to know this about authors. Why and when did you decide to write Jan Austen Fan Fiction? What attracts you the most in JAFF?

Like many JAFF authors, I started by reading—and loving—JAFF. I was so thrilled when I discovered this world. I had always wished there was more Jane Austen to read—and now there was! And, even better, a whole universe of (really nice) people to share it with.

I hadn’t written a lot of novels, although I’d been a playwright for many years; but after reading JAFF for a while, I started getting my own Pride and Prejudice story ideas that simply would not leave me alone. 🙂 I finally wrote one down — and was surprised and thrilled at the reception it got from readers.

 

You have recently released a novel called When Mary Met the Colonel. Of all the secondary characters in Pride and Prejudice why did you choose Mary as main character for your novel?

Like a lot of readers, I really empathize with Mary—since we’re both bookish introverts. But she’s not very interesting when portrayed as moralizing and pedantic. I thought maybe because she’s so quiet there were sides to her that no one had noticed, and I wanted to explore those other dimensions.

 

In this novel we see a different side of Mary that no else ever bothered to see. How did you create this character, what inspired you to make her the perfect bride for Col. Fitzwilliam?

When I thought about uncovering new sides of Mary, I considered who might bring those qualities to light. I thought Colonel Fitzwilliam was perfect, in part because he’s not the obvious choice; he’s her opposite in many ways. Because he’s friendly and extroverted (and a soldier), he discovers—and helps the reader see—sides of Mary we haven’t seen before.   They also seem like two of the lonelier characters in P&P, so it was fun to bring them together.

 

You are now releasing a new novel, what can you tell us about it?

It’s called Darcy vs. Bennet and is sort of Romeo and Juliet combined with P&P. The premise is that Elizabeth’s father and Darcy’s father had a falling out in their youth and the two families have been feuding ever since. Darcy and Elizabeth meet and fall in love, but their families—particularly Darcy’s father (who is alive in this version)—stand in the way of their marriage.

 

It’s not very common to see Darcy’s father alive in a variation, how is he like? And how does this affect Darcy’s personality?

It’s very interesting what happens when Darcy’s father is alive. We’re so used to Darcy being his own master and not having to answer to anyone. However, in this book his father is not only alive, but he controls the purse strings. So that adds additional consequences to Darcy’s actions. His father also hates the Bennets, creating more obstacles for our heroes.

 

What about Georgiana? With her father alive I’m guessing the incident in Ramsgate must have been different, is she very present in Darcy vs Bennet? And is she still the shy sweet girl we know her to be?

Georgiana appears in the beginning—on the verge of a Ramsgate-like mistake—and then again later in the book.   But her personality is basically the same; she’s very supportive of Darcy in his struggles with their father.

 

This is the second novel you will release in a very short time, can we expect you to become a full time writer?

I wish! It is a goal I’m working toward, but not there yet. When Mary Met the Colonel was actually written in 2015, but I didn’t publish it until 2016 because my family moved in November and I was overwhelmed with my day job. But Darcy vs. Bennet was written mostly in 2016 and it’s March, so I’m pleased with how fast it went. I’m finishing up the first draft of my next P&P variation, but there will be at least two more drafts. Still I’m hoping readers won’t have to wait too long for that one.

If I sell enough books this year I might consider going full time. My husband has been very supportive.

 

You mentioned your day job could be overwhelming, how do you combine a full time job with writing?

Not very well! J I’m actually a freelance writer/editor; I work on marketing materials—primarily these days for IT companies. Freelancing gives me a lot of flexibility in my schedule, so that makes it easier to write my novels. However, I also have two children, so that absorbs a lot of my free time. 🙂

 

It doesn’t seem easy to combine everything you’re doing, plus, you are a self-published author. Could you tell us which are the main obstacles self-published authors face? And what is more rewarding about it?

There are so many obstacles it’s hard to pick just one. 🙂 There are internal obstacles like getting yourself to write every day and meeting deadlines. Then there are more external obstacles like figuring out how to market your writing in an industry that’s constantly changing and building up a readership. But I really enjoy writing. I love every part of it: writing the first draft, doing revisions, and getting that sense of accomplishment when I finish a book.

However, I would say that the reactions from my readers are even more rewarding. It’s great when hundreds of people buy my books, but it’s particularly wonderful I hear from someone on Facebook or email about how much my work means to them—and how they re-read my stories. There are authors whose books have had that impact on me, and I’m honored and humbled that some of my readers see my writing that way.   Writing can be grueling, and sometimes it’s the readers who keep me going. I know there are people waiting for my next book, so I want to get it to them and I want it to be good.

 

***It’s Giveaway time!!!***

As I mentioned before, Victoria Kincaid was kind enough to bring 2 e-books to giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton.

The giveaway is international, and to participate all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Let us know which of her books you would prefer to win and why, or just ask her your own questions.

To increase your chances of winning, you may comment on the review for How Mary Met the Colonel or the excerpt for Darcy and Elizabeth we will be posting in the end of this week.

The giveaway is open until the 11th of April and the lucky winners will be randomly picked, and contacted a few days later.

Good luck everyone!!!

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How to Mend a Broken Heart

htmabhCOVER***Book Blurb***

Three years after Mr. Darcy’s disastrous marriage proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, they meet again. Due to an unexpected twist of fate, Elizabeth finds herself a guest in the home of the Mr. Darcy’s aunt, the Dowager Lady Matlock. Long believing Elizabeth lost to him, Darcy has recently proposed marriage to an old flame, the widow of his friend. Now newly engaged Darcy encounters Elizabeth again and realizes she still owns his heart.

Although bound by honour to another, Darcy sets out to improve Elizabeth’s opinion of him. Tension mounts between Darcy and Elizabeth in that pursuit, and Darcy’s betrothed begins to see Elizabeth as a threat to her upcoming marriage. How will Darcy and Elizabeth ever reach their happily ever after?

How to Mend a Broken Heart is a non-canon variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and is intended for mature readers.

 

***My Review***

3.5 stars

I was very excited when I read the blurb for this book, as it seemed very interesting to have Mr. Darcy engaged to someone else while forced to be in Elizabeth’s presence on almost a daily basis.

The first chapters of the book did not disappoint me. As I read what happened in the last 3 years of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives, I could not put the book down. I was truly anxious to have them meet after so much had passed. The author chose an interesting path for Elizabeth, and made us love Darcy even more with the attempts he made to find her after learning of her fate. But fate was not at odds with them, and Mr. Darcy only learns of Elizabeth’s whereabouts after getting engaged to someone else.

Usually I don’t like the idea of Mr. Darcy getting engaged to someone else, but even if I did not understand his reasons and choice of bride, in this book, we understand Mr. Darcy did everything he could to be reunited with Elizabeth, and that was very touching. Also, I loved to hate his bride 🙂

I’m sure most readers would hate any bride Mr. Darcy would choose if that brides name is not Elizabeth Bennet, but believe me when I say, this bride is the most hateful creature that could be invented, and along with Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, as a reader, I could only think on how he would be able to break the engagement. This kept me reading until the very end, which will obviously have a HEA 🙂

This book is a romantic one, but a bit too sexual for me, and I don’t mean it had a lot of sexual scenes, because it didn’t, and the ones that existed were, in the most part,  either funny to read, or placed in an appropriate setting, but the characters motives seemed a bit too sexual for my taste.

Apart from that, I enjoyed reading it. It was incredibly well written and I liked several details the author added to the story such as the approach to Bingley’s character and the fact that he learn from his past mistakes. Lydia’s fate was also something I truly enjoyed. It was one of the most horrific I had ever read, and it only increased my pleasure at seeing Mr. Wickham’s outcome. I hope you enjoy it too 🙂

 

How to Mend a Broken Heart is available at:

Amazon.com – How to Mend a Broken Heart

Amazon.co.uk – How to Mend a Broken Heart

Amazon.fr – How to Mend a Broken Heart (English Edition)

***Blog Tour***

Are you curious about How to Mend a Broken Heart? Don’t miss the excerpts, interviews, reviews and giveaways of the blog tour!

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3/21: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

3/22: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways

3/23: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

3/24: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars

3/25: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight

3/26: Review at From Milton to Pemberley

3/26: Excerpt & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life

3/27: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of A Bookworm

3/28: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

3/29: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

3/30: Review at Just Jane 1813

3/31: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…

4/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews

4/1: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

4/2: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

4/3: Excerpt & Giveaway at Jennifer Vido

4/4: Review at Diary of an Eccentric

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When Mary Met the Colonel

when-mary-met-the-colonel5 stars

When Mary Met the Colonel is the perfect novella to read between some Darcy and Elizabeth centered books. It is romantic, interesting and loving. The characters are different from the ones we are used to of course, but their love doesn’t pale in comparison, it is as strong as the one we usually see in Darcy and Elizabeth.

Victoria Kincaid created the perfect love story for Mary Bennett and showed us that maybe she is not at all what we think she is. We know her to be plain and boring, but did we ever truly paid attention to her? Did we ever see any character interact with her in a meaningful conversation? Maybe all it took to see the real Mary was to pay attention! And that was exactly what Col. Fitzwilliam did 🙂

We all assume Mary is only concerned about Fordyce’s sermons but, in this novella, it is revealed she has more in common with Col. Fitzwilliam than we might think, and maybe there is a reason why she quotes Fordyce so often 🙂

For me, one of Victoria Kincaid’s greatest achievements in this book was the development of Mary’s character and making her the perfect bride for Col. Fitzwilliam. At first sight, they have very different interests, and it is not quite obvious how they could be a truly matched couple, but the author mastered this adversity in a perfect way.

I enjoyed seeing Colonel Fitzwilliam show Mary that she mattered, that she was not inferior to her sisters, only different, with different qualities. I liked how he was able to make her change, to give her the confidence she needed to become more invested in improving her appearance and her company.

I liked that she was not like Elizabeth. I have often seen Col. Fitzwilliam be paired with ladies who are similar to Elizabeth, and for me it was refreshing to see characters who were very different from Darcy and Elizabeth because, truth is, they should be. It is true Darcy and Elizabeth are the most important characters in Pride and Prejudice, but there is so much more to it. There are so many characters who are interesting because they are different.

I also liked seeing Mary’s devotion for the Colonel and her interest in his stories and his personality. To her Col. Fitzwilliam is not just a dashing red coat who is amiable at all times, he is more than that, and he deserves to be known and loved for who is underneath the regimentals.

It gave me an enormous pleasure to read this novella and to be in the company of these wonderful characters. I have enjoyed many of Victoria Kinkaid’s books, but none gave such a feeling of freedom and happiness as this novella.

 

When Mary Met the Colonel is available at:

Amazon.com –  When Mary Met the Colonel

Amazon.co.uk –When Mary Met the Colonel: A Pride and Prejudice Novella

Amazon.fr –When Mary Met the Colonel: A Pride and Prejudice Novella (English Edition)

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Filed under 5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Darcy’s Promise

mr darcys promise4.5 stars

Mr. Darcy’s Promise was the book that made me love the forced marriage scenarios, and after reading it, I noticed this type of plot always gets my attention and usually leads to a purchase 🙂

In this book Mr. Whickam is a vile person, who plans a scheme to compromise Elizabeth and ruin Darcy’s happiness forever, but things don’t go as planned, and it is Mr. Darcy who ends up being caught in a compromising situation.

We all know Mr. Darcy is an honorable gentleman, so after being caught in a compromising situation with Elizabeth, he fulfills his duty and marries her. But of course, this early in the story, Elizabeth is not yet in love with Mr. Darcy, and seems so troubled and sad during the carriage ride from Longbourn to London that Mr. Darcy decides to make her a promise! It is a promise he will not break and that will haunt them both for a long time 🙂

In this variation we see Elizabeth slowly falling in love with Mr. Darcy and wanting him to love her back. I loved Elizabeth’s worry for Darcy when he went out to help the farmers with the fire, and most of all, I loved when she decided not to let him go alone to Longbourn in search of Whickam. For me, that was pure love and dedication.

We are also made aware of Darcy’s feelings and troubles in this book, and even if this one is not know for the “Let’s torture Darcy club”, it is, in my opinion, one of those where he suffers the most. First he hears Elizabeth saying he is a proud man, to Whickam above all people, then he learns that despite marrying him she does not love him, and after that, he has to spend every day with the woman he loves without being able to touch her or tell her how he really feels. When he discovers a certain letter, my heart ached for him and I could not imagine anything more torturous to happen to Darcy at that moment. Of course that Darcy’s torture is my joy, so that was also one of the best moments in the book for me 🙂

I loved that Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship evolved slowly, and that they actually had a courtship time. With his promise, Mr. Darcy gave Elizabeth a chance to be courted in a very special way. This special courtship allowed them to have private and romantic moments they would not be allowed if they were actually just engaged, so this book takes advantage of this situation, and we get the better of 2 worlds: a regency novel and some liberties taking place without being considered a breach of propriety.

I would describe this book as cozy if a book can ever be described as such. I say this because we feel very comfortable with the characters at Pemberley. Even if our favorite couple is still struggling to be happy, the majority of scenes take us into a stage of domestic bliss. I found the scenes with the chicks and the parallelism explained in the end of the book adorable. In fact, Mr. Darcy’s Promise is incredible because it appears to be slow paced; we all have our time to enjoy every single second of it, but when we look back it, so much happened! If I were to talk about all the scenes I liked I believe I would stay here until dawn. That being said, I really recommend this book 🙂

 

Mr. Darcy’s Promise is available at:

Amazon.com –  Mr. Darcy’s Promise

Amazon.co.uk – Mr. Darcy’s Promise, Second Edition

Amazon.fr – Mr. Darcy’s Promise, Second Edition

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Filed under 4.5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

In Consequence – Giveaway winner

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Hello dear readers,

You know how much I love Pemberley and its inhabitants, but you must also know Milton occupies the other half of my heart. My love for Mrs. Gaskell work lead me to Trudy Brasure whom I was lucky to have as guest in From Pemberley to Milton. Her last stop in this blog came with a lot of discussion regarding North and South and a giveaway!

But before announcing the giveaway winner, I would like to thank everyone who participated in this discussion and contributed to a wonderful debate on North and South. I would also like to give a special thanks to Mrs. Brasure, not only for the e-book she decided to offer to one of my readers, but especially for having such an active role in the discussion regarding North and South. She is one of he most avid promoters of Mrs. Gaskell work and it was a true honor to receive her in my blog 🙂

 

Now, without further ado… The randomly selected winner is:

*** Sophia Rose ***

 

Congratulations Sophia! I know this will be your first North and South fan fiction book, but I hope you enjoy it as much as the Pride and Prejudice fan fic you’ve read so far! I will be looking forward to know your thoughts on it 🙂

Please send me your e-mail contact to ritaluzdeodato at gmail until the 31st of March, so that I can pass it along to Mrs. Brasure for the ebook to be sent to you.

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Lory Lilian – Guest Post & Giveaway

 

Hello everyone,

This week, one of my readers commented on my review of Remembrance of the Past that it seemed as though everybody else had read a book except for her, and that was pretty much what I felt until late last year, but it wasn’t towards a book, it was towards a writer.

imagesIt appeared everyone had already read something from Lory Lilian except for me. The first book I read from this author was her latest release Sketching Mr. Darcy, and it amazed me to discover that Lory Lilian was actually one of the first JAFF authors out there. I still do not know how it was possible for me to have never read anything from her before 2015. That is one of the magical things about JAFF, there are so many good authors out there, that we can discover a new one almost every month 🙂

Of course I didn’t stop at Sketching Mr. Darcy and recently read and reviewed Remembrance of the Past, her second book.

Lory Lilian knew I was unaware of her books until last year, so today she visits From Pemberley to Milton with a guest post which will explain me, and my readers, her journey into the JAFF world. She also brings a generous giveaway of 2 of her books at readers’ choice.

I’m very happy to receive Lory Lilian for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton, and I hope this will not be the last, as I am always very interested in reading her comments and posts. I hope you like it too 🙂

 

***Guest Post***

 

Rita, thank you so much for your invitation. It is my first visit to “From Pemberley to Milton” and I am very excited about it. And thank you for the lovely review of Remembrance of the Past!

I gave it a lot of thinking to what I could possibly put in this post.

I have been for so long in JAFF, and I spoke with so many people, either directly or through guest posts and interviews, that I wonder what else would be interesting for your lovely readers. I feel people already had enough of me LOL.

So brief introduction – I am 48, Romanian, and have been in love with Pride and Prejudice since I was 13. As I said before, everything related to Pride and Prejudice and Darcy and Elizabeth is my hobby and my passion. However, I never imagined my passion would come out in published form, nor that one day I will try to make a living from writing. I still am surprised, flattered, and grateful to see so many people interested in buying my books.

An aspect of Jane’s genius is that she said (wrote) little but suggested so much about the hidden part of Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship, and allowed the reader’s imagination to work and to explore it. I always felt that I would like to know more details – and I always tried to imagine them. Of course, back then I thought I was completely nuts, and I avoided talking to anyone about that obsession. In 1996, after I saw the miniseries, my imagination turned wild –and my worry about my sanity increased LOL.

And then, in 2004, I discovered the fanfiction world, and I realized there were hundreds of thousands of people sharing the same “craziness”. I was hooked, and my life changed forever.

After reading countless JAFF stories online and many, many sleepless nights, in January 2005 I started to write Rainy Days and post it at “Derbyshire Writers Guild”. Just imagine a Romanian, who only used English for pleasure or for business communication, writing in Regency English. lol I was absolutely frightened. And then – boom !!! Rainy Days was more successful that I could ever imagine! I wrote 390 pages in only three months! The first version was PG 13, then later that year, I “enhanced” it to N 17 and I posted it at “Hyacinth Garden”. The reactions exceeded all my expectations. Until today, people still love this story, still send me messages about it and still wait for the sequel (which, hopefully, will be out in a couple of weeks – finally).

Remembrance of the Past was my second book, and it is an entirely different type. It introduced a new character– Lady Cassandra; half of the readers loved her from the beginning while the other half hated her. It was a character that brought me great satisfaction while writing it, and the readers’ responses to it proved to me that she had captured everybody’s attention in one way or another.

Then it came His Uncle’s favorite, The Perfect Match and Sketching Mr. Darcy.

It was always my primary concern to put in each of my books something that had not been done before in JAFF. Something to catch the readers’ attention, to make them remember it.

In Rainy Days I had the cottage, Lady Matlock, and little Becky; in Remembrance of the Past – Lady Cassandra and Lady Catherine’s confrontation with Mr. Bennet; in His Uncle’s Favourite – Lord Matlock and Lady Sinclair – who tried to insinuate herself into Darcy’s bed, and ending up sleeping with his valet; and in Sketching Mr. Darcy it was Annabelle, the conclusion of Wickham – Lydia story, the two young children of a servant, and Lady Catherine’s involvement.

I hope my endeavor was not unsuccessful, and I am so happy every time a reader appreciates these original elements.

I only wrote four long books and a short one in more than ten years, because I always had time- consuming, demanding jobs. Hopefully, this will change; this year I made the scariest change in my life: I decided to put the primary focus on writing, and only work part time on other projects. Wish me luck with this – I will certainly need it!

 

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***It’s Giveaway time!!!***

As I mentioned before Lory Lilian was kind enough to bring 2 e-books to giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Let us know which of her books you find more appealing and why, or just share your support for Lory’s new challenge.

The giveaway is open until the 27th of March and the lucky winners will be randomly picked, and contacted afterwards to let us know which of Lory’s books they will want to receive.

Good luck everyone!!!

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Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Remembrance of the Past

51pDV0a2kiL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_4.5 stars

Have you ever read the first paragraph of a book and knew in that instant you would love it?

Well, that is what I felt with Lory Lilian’s Remembrance of the Past.

In this book, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy encounter each other at a park in London a couple of months after the Hunsford Proposal and when their paths cross, you know what happens: they will live happily ever after. But what we are interested in is the journey that takes them there, right?

This journey couldn’t have been more endearing. Remembrance of the Past is a slow paced book that will show us how these characters can be perfect for one another, and how much they love each other. Lory Lilian’s words will give us plenty of pleasurable moments from the very beginning.

We will see Mr. Darcy courting Elizabeth, we will see her struggle with her emotions trying to understand what her heart is telling her, we will see her fall in love with Mr. Darcy and, we’ll see her suffer from jealousy! I’ve mentioned several times that I love the “let’s torture Elizabeth club”, and even if Lory Lilian doesn’t torture Elizabeth in this book, she illustrates, at least for a time in the book, Elizabeth uncertain of Darcy’s affection and even jealous! I don’t know about you, but for me, a jealous Elizabeth is one of the secret ingredients to make me love a book 🙂

One of the curious things about this book is its structure, which is not very frequent. Many books concentrate on the angst at an earlier stage and happiness in the end, but not this one. Remembrance of the Past will give us plenty of romantic and endearing moments that will lead us to believe everything is ready for our couple to be happily ever after.  Then, something happens, and the angst begins. For me this structure was very interesting because it allowed me to see Darcy and Elizabeth happy in the beginning of the book and once more in the end of it. It is as if Lory Lillian decided to present us with a double pleasure 🙂

I loved both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in this book, but one of the things I liked the most was Darcy’s sense of honor. I won’t say much about it because I don’t want to spoil the entire plot of the book, but let’s just say Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have a difference of opinion in this matter, and I am definitely team Darcy on this one! I’m glad the author portrayed Darcy this way. His sense of honor towards the end of the book was something I particularly found very romantic.

The author also introduced us to a new character that will be essential to the plot, and who kept me very curious until the very end: Lady Cassandra. I had mixed feelings towards her, but just like Mr. Darcy, I believe she improves upon further acquaintance. At a time I even though more about her and her story than Elizabeth’s, which is something hard to happen. Her life story is incredible and she will be essential to the happiness of one of my favorite characters in the entire book 🙂 But I will not say much more, because if I continue on this road, I might spoil some of my favorite parts in the book.

But not everything is a sea of roses. We will see some old and some new villains, and Caroline Bingley will be just as annoying as ever. I felt her fate was well deserved and Lory Lilian was kinder to her in the end of the book than I would have been.

Remembrance of the Past is a book that takes us into a long, fascinating and loving journey through the lives of our beloved characters, but also into the lives of additional ones. For me this was a plus because we are not only focused on Darcy and Elizabeth. At a certain point, we shift our interest to the fates of other characters which made the book very rich. It gave me a lot of pleasure to read this book, and I am now looking forward to read Rainy Days 🙂

 

Remembrance of the Past is available at:

Amazon.com –  Remembrance of the Past

Amazon.co.uk – Remembrance of the Past

Amazon.fr – Remembrance of the Past

18 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

J. L. Ashton – Interview and giveaway

ASA cover

Hello everyone,

J. L. Ashton has just released her debut novel A Searing Acquaintance and I’m very happy to be receiving her today at from Pemberley to Milton with an interview and giveaway promoted by Meryton Press.

I didn’t know J. L. Ashton before the release of her book, and to be honest, I haven’t read A Searing Acquaintance yet, but when I got the chance to interview her, all I could think of was “why haven’t I read anything from her before?”.

J.L. Ashton was a true pleasure to interview; she is incredibly nice, easy going, funny, interesting and loves parenthetical asides, something I totally relate to 🙂

I truly loved to read her answer to my questions, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

 

***Author Interview***

J.L. Ashton

 

After so many years of imagining variations of Pride and Prejudice, what prompted you to write A Searing Acquaintance? 

How many of us have read books or stories that, after we put them down, stay in our heads and lead us to imagine unwritten scenes or a continuation? That was me when I was a kid. I grew out of that mindset until I read a story at Firthness—the first JAFF site I found—that prompted me to start imagining my own what-ifs for Pride and Prejudice. When I started writing JAFF stories, I think I always had a specific Darcy in my head. I don’t mean an actor or a face but the kind of good but flawed ideal man we all adore. My first (unpublished) story, By The Numbers, is a softer, lighter version of a modern Darcy and Elizabeth. I wondered how a Darcy who was really damaged by losing his parents but retained the essence of the man we all love and admire, would live in the modern world, and an Elizabeth, who carried her own baggage, would thrive as a successful young woman. And of course, how they would affect each other.

 

There are several sub-genres in JAFF, why a modernization? 

My earliest short JAFF stories were moderns; they were a nice way to ease into writing fiction. And although I’ve now written a few regencies and I love reading them, the stories that made me really fall in love with JAFF were a couple of moderns. They each took Elizabeth’s POV and never took us inside Darcy’s head but still made clear his passion and his love for her. Now I admit, I can’t write a story without peeking into Darcy’s head or writing light comedy into the dialogue, and I wasn’t sure about comic banter in a regency. More importantly, the key turning point in A Searing Acquaintance, their early physical encounter and what both take from it (or don’t remember), could not take place in a regency. I wanted to explore how rejection, or the perception of it, haunts one character while the other has spent his life not trying to be accepted. And of course, explore what happens during the happily after ever.

 

What can you tell us about A Searing Acquaintance? 

It’s about as faithful a modern re-telling of Pride and Prejudice can be…except for a lot of incidentals, comic banter, allusions to pop culture, sexual innuendo, and even more tangled, tragic family dynamics than Jane Austen provided for Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

 

Which were your main obstacles and achievements while writing your first novel? 

Oh, I am a terrible outliner and planner, and a world-class procrastinator. I am what another author calls “a guerilla writer:” I have a deadline and must write to meet it, so I do. I like to put myself under pressure and writing this story and posting it as I wrote it really made me focus. Also, a lot of the bits of dialogue, character observations or key plot turns will pop up in my head when I’m driving or in bed, and so I filled my phone with notes and random bits. I was posting chapters of this story weekly at A Happy Assembly and flying by the seat of my pants. The fact that so many readers praised the continuity and seamless flow was hugely gratifying and their comments really pushed me.

 

So far, A Searing Acquaintance has been a success with a 5 star rating at Amazon. Where you expecting such a warm reception from readers? 

It’s been unexpected, and so heartwarming to receive such lovely reviews and to see people buying the book. I am a total neophyte in all of this book publishing business; I’m a reader! I read a lot of fiction and biographies, and got started buying JAFF books back in the early 2000s—Linda Berdoll and Pamela Aiden—and continue to buy both moderns and regencies. I know regencies are more popular with readers and book buyers, and my book doesn’t have a special setting or hook like a lot of JAFF. So I am really happy that my modern take on my favorite novel is resonating with readers.

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You mentioned in one of your posts that you like characterization. In your perspective, which is the most challenging character to develop in Pride and Prejudice? 

Elizabeth Bennet, definitely. Pride and Prejudice gives us an outline and impressions of Darcy and we get to fill him in and choose his colors, etc. With Elizabeth, we have much more to work with from canon, but I think it’s hard to capture the Elizabeth Bennet that JA gave us. We imprint her with our own point of view or behaviors, or borrow or emphasize others.

There’s an old saying about how women don’t dress for men, they dress to impress or get approval from other women. Is that still true today? Maybe it is in how we read stories based on classic literary characters. As women (which most of us are in JAFF), we tend to judge Elizabeth for being too tough on poor Mr. Darcy at Hunsford or too soft on nasty old Wickham. (I may be influenced in my thinking because my mom raised a houseful of girls who measured and judged themselves against her; my husband grew up with a bunch of brothers who paid no attention to her clothes or decorating sense.)

And who is a modern Elizabeth Bennet? The social gulf between regency Darcy and Elizabeth is clear enough. Recreating that same structure dividing them in modern times is a tall order. There are stories that make it more of a Cinderella story and bring together a waitress/secretary and a billionaire but I tend to lean away from fairy tales and more toward a modern Elizabeth like the women I know: smart, funny, curious, made for happiness, and driven to do well and be fulfilled in whatever career she pursues—the kind of woman a Darcy would be drawn to. And that is hard work to make believable, not whiny or unlikable or shrill. I was so happy when I had feedback from readers telling me how much they liked Elizabeth, or that she felt real to them.

 

 

It’s curious you mentioned Elizabeth is the most challenging character as I believe she is the one that changes the most in JAFF books. It seems each author has its own interpretation of Elizabeth, unlike Darcy who is, generally speaking, always the same.

Now, we know how your Elizabeth is going to be, but what about Darcy? How is your Darcy in A Searing Acquaintance?

I don’t subscribe to the “Darcy is Shy” school of thought, but I do think he is introverted, and quiet, and something about Elizabeth Bennet unnerves him. Weird tangent: I was very young when I read The Godfather; that is the first place I ever heard of “the thunderbolt,” which hits a man when he lays eyes for the first time on the woman he loves and (hopefully) marries. Strange as the connection may be, I apply that Sicilian theory to JA’s Darcy. In canon, he notices Elizabeth and dismisses her, but just as quickly he begins to notice her again and has to fight to stop noticing her. I doubt he has ever had to try to flirt or charm a lady; in London, they fell at his feet trying to gain notice. But he is “at risk”—or as we say today, vulnerable—to Elizabeth Bennet. In A Searing Acquaintance, he is not only vulnerable to her almost from their first meeting, he is just rather vulnerable, emotionally. But Darcy is pretty sealed off and reticent. He has an especially painful family history he never talks about, yet at Netherfield, he reveals himself to Elizabeth. His story, and her “lack of remembrance” of it, is part of what triggers the entire plot of A Searing Acquaintance.

(And can I add, he is not a weepy Darcy either. Sad as his past may be, he strives to deal with it and has friends and works hard.)

 

And the villains, can we expect the usual ones, or will there be any new villain in this story?

Much as I hate to write his character, George Wickham does show up here, and his father’s role in the Darcy family history is explored a bit as well. The other villains might be memory, for Darcy; as for Elizabeth, she does battle with some anger and self-esteem issues stemming from a pair of especially self-centered, neglectful parents. The Bennets divorced when Elizabeth and Jane were quite young, and Elizabeth has to deal with the unwelcomed return of her mostly absentee mother to her life just when she is coming to terms with her feelings for Darcy. And her mother, readers tell me, is simply awful in her role as an “emotional villain.”

 

 

What is the best gift readers can give you? Anything you would like to share with them?

Reading my work, and telling me what struck them or stayed with them—good or bad. I know I am far from a perfect writer, and I love hearing how other people view my interpretation of Pride and Prejudice. And I’d like to thank them for reading!

 

 

Did you get curious about Darcy, Elizabeth and the villains in A Searing Acquaintance? You can find out more in the book blurb 🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

 

“I don’t know why I ever thought we made sense.”

Smart, educated people are fools in love, especially when they’re mired in denial and misunderstanding.

In this modern spin on Jane Austen’s classic tale, Elizabeth Bennet, a grad student with literary aspirations, has found her big career break—and broken up with yet another forgettable boyfriend. While grateful for the professional lifeline thrown by sports agent George Wickham, she is intrigued by the man she calls Mr. Noir.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, marked by tragedy, is a man accustomed to living his life in the spotlight even as his heart dwells on the dark side of loneliness. When he first meets Elizabeth, he thinks she looks like “a bloody pumpkin,” but he soon sees so much more. She, however, can’t even decide what to call him. Mr. Noir? Nurse Darcy? Sleazy British playboy? Ferdinand?

“So, it’s Fitzwilliam, right? That’s an amazing name, you know. Which came first—the name or the accent?”

He looked at her.

“Oh, come on. It’s like the name of a subdivision or a sofa at Pottery Barn. `Please note the extra firm cushions on The Fitzwilliam.’”

Can an accidental encounter that leads to shocking intimacy change the course they’ve both set and bring them into love’s light? Or will they stay mired in cold words and angry misunderstandings, overshadowing the deep connection they each feel? Getting beyond their own mistakes to find each other again is one thing; they also have to heal the wounds of their pasts. Can they do that together?

 

 

***Author Bio***

JanAshton headshot

 

J.L. Ashton didn’t meet Jane Austen until she was in her late teens, but in a happy coincidence, she shares a similarity of name with the author and celebrates her birthday on the same day Pride & Prejudice was first published. Sadly, she’s yet to find any Darcy and Elizabeth candles on her cake, but she does own the action figures.

Like so many Austen fans, Jan was an early and avid reader with a vivid imagination and a well-used library card. Her family’s frequent moves in the U.S and abroad encouraged her to think of books and their authors as reliable friends. It took summers in London, a history degree, and another decade or two for her to start imagining variations on Pride & Prejudice, and another decade—filled with career, marriage, kids, and a menagerie of pets—to discover the world of JAFF. Today, in between writing Jane Austen variations, Jan lives and works in the Chicago area, where she volunteers far too often and is a member of the local and national chapters of the Jane Austen Society of North America.

A Searing Acquaintance is her first book.

 

You can contact J.L. Ashton through the following social media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jancat10

Blog: http://jlashton.merytonpress.com

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

Instagram: Jancat95

 

 

***Blog Tour***

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From Pemberley to Milton is not the only stop J. L. Ashton is doing to promote her book. Don’t miss the blog tour with reviews, excerpts, giveaways and much more 🙂

 

3/7: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

3/8: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…

3/9: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

3/10: Author Interview & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

3/11: Character Interview & Giveaway at Leatherbound Reviews

3/12: Excerpt & Giveaway at Babblings of A Bookworm

3/13: Review at Liz’s Reading Life

3/14: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

3/15: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

3/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars

3/17: Guest Post at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

3/18: Review at Diary of an Eccentric

3/19: Review at Just Jane 1813

3/20: Excerpt & Giveaway at Delighted Reader

3/21: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews

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*** It’s giveaway time!!! ***

I hope you want to read this book as much as I do, and in e you do, you have an opportunity to win a free copy!

Meryton Press is offering 4 copies of A Searing Acquaintance to some lucky readers, all you you have to do is click in the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone!!!

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Interview with Trudy Brasure & Giveaway

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Hello everyone,

As you must have noticed, last week I returned from my holidays and posted a review on In Consequence, a North and South variation by Trudy Brasure. But before going on holidays, I also told you that this month From Pemberley to Milton would have a lot of surprises with interviews, guests post and giveaways so, today I am happy to share with you an interview with author Trudy Brasure.

If you already know Mrs. Brasure I hope you find this interview interesting, and in case you don’t, I hope it makes you curious about her and her work. She is one of the biggest supporters of North and South discussion groups as well as one of the most known authors of N&S fan fiction, and I was very happy to receive her in my blog.

 

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Interview with Trudy Brasure

When was your first contact with Gaskell’s work and what captivated you about it?

I stumbled upon the BBC’s adaptation of “North and South” in October 2009. It was a pivotal event for me. I’d never heard of Elizabeth Gaskell before. Richard’s performance of the lonely and misunderstood John Thornton was utterly riveting. I don’t think I’d ever seen a romantic hero as vulnerable as Thornton was during that profoundly moving scene with his mother the night before he proposed. The intensity of emotion in this love story is amazing. Both Margaret and John are striving so hard to do what is right in life, and they’re holding their families up — yet they’re really both quite alone.

 

 

know you are not alone in being captivate by Armitage’s performance. Do you think he is the biggest reponsible for North and South’s success?

I do think that Richard Armitage’s performance of John Thornton is the single most compelling factor in the BBC’s 2004 production of “North and South.”  Gaskell’s story is unique in its exquisite description of Thornton’s anguish, and Armitage is able to brilliantly convey all this intense emotion — often without even saying a word!

Armitage has brought thousands to Gaskell’s great story, and I’m immensely grateful he was chosen for that role. It was perfection. However, I must add that this particular BBC production was a masterpiece in every way. The screenplay, the cast, the cinematography, the setting, and the music all combined to make this mini-series truly stunning. And Gaskell’s story is well worth the attention and praise. Her themes are still very relevant to today’s problems.

 

Why did you decide to write North and South fan fiction?
I couldn’t stop thinking about the heartache Margaret and John went through in Gaskell’s story. I was convinced that if they had only known that the other was in love with them at that terrible good-bye scene when Margaret leaves Milton, they could have avoided a painful year apart. So I began to image a scenario in which they could be brought together much sooner. I spent days and weeks thinking about the exact circumstancs and dialogue.

I had discovered the glorious world of fan fiction at C19 since my discovery of “North and South,” so I knew that people wrote their own version of what happened to Margaret and John in sequels and variations.

The story unfolding in my mind was becoming so clear, I knew I wanted to try to write it out. Thank goodness for C19! It was a lovely place to try my hand at writing fiction.

 

C19 is definitly heaven for any North and South fans. When did you know it was time to go from writing in C19 to publishing a book?

I never thought of publishing my story when I wrote it. But then a fellow C19 member suggested I post “A Heart for Milton” at Wattpad.com, and I found that my story had a much broader appeal than I ever imagined. It gave me confidence that I had written something special. Sometime later I began to notice how many Austen stories were being self-published, and I saw that there was one “North and South” variation being sold at Amazon. I really wanted to share my story with as many “North and South” fans as possible, so it wasn’t long before I decided to try self-publishing. It’s been a wonderful experience – even the bad reviews. They’ve helped me understand how others see Gaskell’s story.

 

Both your books are variations from the original story, do you have a particular preference for this genre or can we expect a sequel, prequel or diferente POV in the future?
I love taking one moment from the original story and changing it to see how everything unravels in a completely new way. I love putting the characters in new situations to see how they would react.

I don’t think I can ever write a straight sequel. I adore writing the angst involved when Thornton is still uncertain of Margaret’s love. Tortured Thornton is just too delicious to avoid.

My current work in progress takes a twist in a whole new place, far from the middle of Gaskell’s work. I seem to keep creeping further and further toward earlier chapters with my variations.

Posts under progress3

You’ve got me really curious about your new work, what else can you tell us about it?

As I mentioned, I love to make one twist in the story and explore how it would change events and the interaction between the characters. I don’t want to give too much away, but my basic question for this new variation is: what if the circumstances and setting of John and Margaret’s first encounter were different?

 

Both in A Heart for Milton and In Consequence we see a lot of romantic scenes, but we are also presented with a portrait of Victorian society. Did you need to do a lot of research to write these books?

I was reading everything I could about Abraham Lincoln before I happened upon Gaskell’s story. So I had already been immersed in the Victorian world for some time. I’ve always loved the Victorian Era. But yes, I did much research to try to portray something of the reality of that time and place. I also learned a great deal about Victorian society and mannerisms from the “North and South” discussions archived at C19.

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Have you ever imagined a variation where Bessy wouldn’t die? How do you think that could impact the story?

I can’t say I’ve ever thought about saving Bessy from her fate. It seems like she’s already quite ill by the time Margaret meets her. If Bessy hadn’t died, Margaret wouldn’t have been so friendless. Bessy would have loved watching Margaret become Thornton’s wife. Then Bessy would surely have been invited at some time to dine at Marlborough Mills!

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Apart from John and Margaret, which is the character that you mostly like to write and develop?

I really enjoy developing Hannah. Outwardly, she has such a tough shell. But there is a warmth underneath that I love drawing out. It would be interesting to write her history. But I don’t think I’ll ever get around to that!

I also love writing Higgins and Mr Bell with elements of their insight and humor.

 

You say Hanna has a warmth underneath that you love drawing out, but I’ve seen a couple versions who portray her as an evil person. Why do you think she is so controverse amongst readers and writers?

Hannah Thornton truly is something of a complicated character. She’s a bit like her son: tough outer shell, but tender inside. However, her tender side is hidden much more deeply than John’s. I think the misunderstanding concerning Hannah comes from the tendency to see only the surface of the character – the crusty, unsmiling part. Also I’d have to say that it would be difficult to truly comprehend Hannah by just viewing the mini-series. If you haven’t studied the book, you will probably miss the hints that show us that Hannah actually admires Margaret’s strength, spirit, and honesty. The only thing that she dislikes about Margaret is that Margaret looks down on her son and hurts him. Once she sees how much Margaret truly admires and adores her son, I think she will grow to appreciate Margaret. Even if she can’t be first in John’s life anymore!

(Hannah is a subject I’m eager to explore someday at my new blog: MoreThanThornton.com)

 

It is impossible to think of North and South without thinking of Richard Armitage. Many people claim he would be perfect for a Mr. Darcy role, but for me Armitage will always be Thornton and Firth will always be Darcy. What are your thoughts on it?
I have to confess that I watched and read “North and South” first before watching and reading “Pride and Prejudice.” It was “North and South” that ignited my interest in period dramas and classic romantic literature. So I can’t say I was ever firmly in love with Darcy since Thornton is my first love. No one can beat Richard’s performance, however. He has defined John Thornton for the screen probably for at least a half century.

If I could pick a classic role for Armitage, I’d have to choose Mr. Rochester. Richard is brilliant at making you feel the pain of his characters. And I think Rochester is a good man in a very hard place. Richard would make us sympathize with this dark, mysterious character. (But I also think Toby Stephens already did an incredible job with this role.)

 

Is there anything you would like to share with your readers?

I’d have to share my surprise in finding out that not all fans of “North and South” interpret Gaskell’s story in the same way. My guess is that most Austen fans generally agree on the basic themes and character development of “Pride and Prejudice.” But there are varying views on Gaskell’s messages and her character development, including those that feel that the author was unable to bring the story’s conflicts to a satisfying conclusion.

I’m always eager to share my perspective of Gaskell’s wonderful, well-developed story — which I see in a very positive light. That’s one of the overiding reasons I started my own North and South blog: MoreThanThornton.org
But mostly, I just love discussing “North and South” with people! There’s so much in the book to explore.

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To all my portuguese speaking readers, I bring some news. A Heart For Milton was finally translated to portuguese!!!

As you can see in the picture, Trudy Brasure is holding a copy of Um Coração por Milton.

The book is currently available for sale in Brazil, but I’m confidente it will reach portuguese bookshops very shortly 🙂

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It’s giveaway time!!!

Trudy Brasure would like to offer one copy of In Consequence, e-book or paperback (winner’s choice) to our readers at From Pemberley to Milton.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is place your own questions to Trudy or just share your kind words and love with her by leaving a comment on this post.

The giveaway is open until the 17th of March and the lucky winner will be randomly picked and announced on the 19th of March.

Good luck everyone, and I hope you enjoyed the interview!!!

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Filed under giveaway, interview, North and South