Monthly Archives: June 2016

John Thornton – A Man of Honour under Northern Rain & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Several months ago I discovered an author on Amazon called Nicole Clarkston. She caught my attention because she was the first author I saw writing JAFF and North and South Fan Fic. At the time she had published Rumours and Recklessness a Pride and Prejudice Variation and No Such Thing as Luck, a North and South Variation.

Both books had incredible reviews and ratings and when I read Rumours and Recklessness I understood why! Nicole Clarkston’s writing is extremely good and the character development is impressive, she captures their essence so well I believe both Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell would have been proud of her work.

Last week I discovered she released a new book called Northern Rain and I couldn’t have been more happy, especially because there aren’t as many N&S variations as P&P and I love the company of John Thornton, Margaret Hale and Nicolas Higgins 🙂

I’ve started reading Northern Rain and will post the review shortly, but I must tell you, the opening scene is just incredible!

So I’m incredibly happy and honored to receive, for the first time, Nicole Clarkston as a guest in From Pemberley to Milton, and I must publicly thank her not only for the availability and the generous giveaway, but also for putting so much work and time on this post with such a positive, humble and kind attitude.

Today she brings a vignette she wrote and I hope you like it as much as I did, because more than that is practically impossible!

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***

The following vignette is a concept which I found fascinating. What were John Thornton’s early years like? We know that they were hard years, years of deprivation and struggle. We also know that at the end of them, this formidable young man emerged with the highest respect for the woman who was his mother; for her integrity and wisdom, and for the gentle yet firm guidance she had offered her son. Did he ever resent his father’s choices? What form could his grief have taken? This short story explores those questions, and also explains how John Thornton began making the annual pilgrimage to his father’s grave, which is the opening scene in Northern Rain. I hope you enjoy it. – NC

 

A Man of Honour

Fifteen-year-old John Thornton stood before the door to the humble residence, jingling his week’s earnings in his pocket. It was not his own door at which he stood, but one just a row down. It was not a house one wished to be seen standing outside of.

For a year now- exactly a year, in fact- he had assumed the role of a man, while yet a boy. He had borne the challenge stoically, refusing to cower under his feelings of shame. He was no longer a child, and he was no longer his father’s son! That regret was long past, he had spent the year assuring himself.

The cares and labours of manhood were upon him, and with them, a new sense of himself. He had grown tall and broad of shoulder, and many mistook him for a young man of nine and ten. Nothing of his lost youth remained, and these days, he was feeling quite proud of that fact. New thoughts and ideas had begun to occur to him in the past months, and in the consuming fire typical of burgeoning masculinity, he had been able to think of little else.

He had every right, he consoled himself- his reward for this past year. He was a man, and man had needs. His observations had informed him that he was far from the only one to bring them to this house. His fingers twitched again in his pocket, sweating now. He was most certainly not nervous. A business transaction, that was all this was; one to alleviate his cravings and clear his head once more. He could conceive of no good reason for his throat to be suddenly parched.

Squaring his shoulders, he rapped on the door. It opened to him slowly, and, squinting his eyes a little, he entered. Rosemary- that was the only name anyone called her. She was in her late twenties, but the bloom had long since faded from her cheeks. She had other assets, however, which more than made up for her lack of innocence. John stared at the ample flesh bared before him in the dark little room. He was having some trouble swallowing. He had seen ladies’ evening gowns which lavishly displayed the bounties of alluring young gentlewomen, eager to ensnare a husband- but this was more blatant, even, than that. Little was left to his active imagination by Rosemary’s low-scooped bodice. The blood pounded in his ears, and in a number of other places as well.

Mumbling his request, he dipped his hand into his pocket and emptied it on her little table. Rouge-tinted lips smiled, and his money disappeared. Not certain what he was to do next, he merely stood… waiting.

Rosemary turned slightly away from him, and with practiced fingers, began to effortlessly free herself of some of her garments. His keen gaze caught a bare shoulder, and then a glimpse of her curved back, as her top fell. His eager hands reached out, but just before he touched her, from somewhere in the back of the house, a babe began to cry. He stopped, his limbs quivering.

The fallen angel before him muttered a low curse, and urged him to pay it no mind. Perhaps her bit of professional courtesy might have lent another man all the necessary courage he required, but John’s bravado shattered. Rather than the ravishing seductress he had seen a moment ago, the young lad now beheld a tired, care-worn mother. His forehead broke out in a sudden sweat.

He blinked, panting, and tried vainly to banish the righteous thoughts which once again intruded upon his conscience. The moment, however, was gone. Rosemary peered at him curiously, her bodice drooping, but John could not even bring himself to look on what he had so desired only seconds before. His breath was heaving now, and his entire being flooded with regret and humiliation. Stammering a hasty excuse, he spun out of her door and slammed it behind himself.

He stood alone on the street, but this was not a place he could bear to linger. Not knowing quite what he was about, he began walking. He walked until he could breathe once more, and until the sweat had dried from his brow. He walked until he could hear the voices around him, rather than the screaming of his own conscience in his ears. He walked until he almost forgot where he was, and until the passing humanity had dissipated from about him.

He hated himself. What a selfish, prideful little fool he was! He had thought to call himself a man, but a man’s honour was in the keeping of his own, not the squandering in idle pleasures. And what had he done with this week’s wages? Lost! How was he to confess this to his mother? She, who had so diligently taught him to work, to budget, to save- she, who had such faith in his honour! How was he to tell her that he had intended to throw over his integrity for a few moments of boyish lust? He could not!

He looked about at last, finally recognizing where his steps had carried him. The graveyard. There was no surer place to seek his solitude, to castigate himself without the trouble of witnesses. Well… if he could not confess the truth to his mother, he would take his anger out on his other parent. His steps coming in a frenzied rush, he descended upon that fresh stone- the one he and his mother had so painstakingly saved to purchase.

“You!” he snarled to the silent stone as he marched toward it. “You are to blame! For Mother’s grief, for Fanny’s illness, for the days I spend in the draper’s shop- all of it! It was your selfishness which brought this shame to us!” His fists beat upon the stone until his flesh was torn, then he slashed at the unyielding granite with a contemptuous and satisfyingly irreverent kick. Violent sobs racked him and he collapsed. He remained there, gasping through his inarticulate cries of fury, for many long moments.

Conviction was slow to dawn, but faithfully, it did so. He clenched his eyes against his own disgrace. How was he any better than his father? He had nearly succumbed to his own temporal desires, had he not? He had harmed his family by foolishly squandering his hard-earned pay. What were they even to eat for this next week? Burying his face in his grime-covered palms, he raged in anguish, his youthful body shaking in the throes of his disgust with himself.

After a few moments, an inspiration pricked him. It could all be forgotten- he need not return to his mother empty-handed! Furiously, he dug in his other pocket for the watch his mother had given him. His father’s- as if he wanted anything belonging to that man! Snatching it up, he nearly laughed in relief. He could sell this, fetch a handsome price, and perhaps even buy his mother that new dress she so badly needed!

As he wrung the chain, shaking the watch as if it were his own father’s miserable neck, his eyes caught the time. Half past three, on the nose. It was not right, of course. It was, in fact, much later in the day now, as he had already worked his full shift at the draper’s shop. He shook the watch again, wondering why it had stopped with its hands in that precise position. What sadistic turn of events would cause the watch to pause at the exact moment when that gunshot had rung out last year- and on this day, of all days?

His eyes flooded with emotion, but not a single tear did he shed. He was the only man his family had left, and a man did not do such a thing. He drew a long breath and restored the watch to its proper place in his pocket. A man did not weep, and a man did not lie. He rose, dusting off the grass from his clothing, and made his sorrowful journey home.

He found his mother sitting in silence, her back to the door. She did not turn her face to him as he entered. He braced his lanky frame, not daring to allow himself to delay his confession even a moment, lest he forever lose the courage to do so. “Mother,” rasped he, his voice hesitant and broken. “I have disgraced you!”

Hannah Thornton sat immovably. Her reply was faint, spoken in a shaken tone. “You could never disgrace me, John. You are my son.”

He closed his eyes and swallowed. “You do not know what I have done, Mother!”

She turned to him at last, her ebony gaze tipping up to him. “I saw, John. I was on the street. I saw you go in, and I saw you leave.”

He groaned and sat in the chair behind her, his face in his hands. “I have no right to even speak to you,” he mumbled between his fingers. “What must you think of your son, Mother?”

“I think my son is a man,” Hannah answered simply.

He lifted his face. “I am a fool! A selfish braggart who wished to please himself, to the detriment of his family!”

“A boy,” Hannah commented softly, “would not have come to such a conclusion.”

He shuddered in another vexatious sob. “I have acted the coward this day, Mother! I thought to hide for a time from my own cares, and I have only increased your burden.”

Hannah stood at last and her soft footsteps approached him. She rested a gentle hand on his shoulder as he hid his face from her. “John,” she commanded his attention. Regretfully, he raised his eyes to her. “It is not evidence of manhood to display your prowess before others. A man’s nobility is his own, independent of circumstances or prevailing opinions. Others may slink in shame and then try to cover their degradation, but that is not a path you need follow. You are free to choose a better way, but none other can determine your course for you.”

He blinked, still uncomfortable holding her gaze. “Mother,” he whispered, “I would have you know that nothing happened.”

“I know, John.” She pulled the flimsy chair on which she had sat near to him. She rested herself at his side, and took his blood-streaked hand in hers. She squeezed it faintly, looking down as if gathering her thoughts. Once she felt able to continue, she locked eyes with her young man.

“One day, my son, some other woman will catch your eye. She will be fine and strong, and worthy of you, my John. Do not give your strength, your dignity, or your affections to one less deserving, for you would rob the woman you love of what ought rightfully to be hers.”

His breath caught. His mother placed so much faith in him, but all of these glorious hopes of hers seemed so distant just now! “Mother,” he shook his head, “I cannot at present see beyond our debts. What woman would ever have me?”

Her face warmed gently, and she caressed his newly rough cheek with a tender hand. “A very fortunate one, John.”

He tried to return her smile. “I went to Father’s grave today,” he murmured, as though the two subjects were somehow linked together.

Hannah’s expression fell in mute surprise. “Oh?” she replied, trying to keep the tremour from her voice.

His gaze lost focus, as though he were looking through her rather than at her. “I think I understand something, Mother. What I want- what I expect… and what Father could not see.”

She swallowed. “And what is that, John?”

His jaw clenched. “Honour. I wish to be a man of honour, Mother. And I shall begin by honouring the man who set me on this course. I shall no longer despise him, Mother. If not for he, I would not face my present difficulties. I choose to be strengthened, rather than broken. I will care for you and Fanny in every way, and I will look back with respect for the opportunity I have been granted.”

Hannah released a tight breath. “Then, my John, you are indeed a man now.”

.

***

Isn’t this an amazing view of John Thornton as a teenager?

It is impressive how Mrs. Clarkston captured John and Hanna’s personalities. Their actions and inner thoughts are just as I would imagine them to be in this situation and when I finished reading this vignette I wanted to know more, I wanted to know how John’s life progressed until he became a Master. I am afraid Mrs. Clarkston has created in me a curiosity that wasn’t there before, and I’m really hoping she can satisfy this curiosity in the guest posts she will have on the upcoming blog tour!

Also, I could clearly relate this scene to the opening scene of Northern Rain, and something tells me that in the future we might be presented with a prequel to this recently released book. Wouldn’t that be interesting? I have never read a prequel to North and South, and I would love to see John’s struggles and growth through the years, it must have been a hard but interesting journey. But until then, I’ll have Northern Rain to feed my soul 🙂

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(Sorry, couldn’t resist the older version…)

 

***It’s giveaway time!***

NR Final FC4 061916To celebrate the release of Northern Rain, Nicole Clarkston would like to offer to my readers 5 copies of the book: 4 e-books and one signed paperback!

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is comment this post.

Let us know what you thought of the vignette, the Northern Rain’s release, if you have read any of Mrs. Clarkston’s other books or anything else North and South related.

The giveaway is open until the 8th of July and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced a few days later.

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under North and South

My Jane Austen Road Trip

Hello everyone,

A couple of months ago Sophia Rose invited me to chat with her on Sophia’s Sofa Chats she is hosting in Goodreads, and while we were talking about my hobbies, namely my addiction for travelling, she asked me what I had planned for From Pemberley to Milton in the upcoming months. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but at that moment an idea started forming in my mind. My two main hobbies are travelling and reading JAFF, so why not bring these two passions together and create a feature in my blog dedicated to my travellings that somehow involve JAFF?

I don’t’ live in the UK and am assuredly not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to Austen related places, but I have travelled a bit, and maybe some of my readers would like to see some of the things I’ve seen, and share my joy at being in those places or meeting certain people.

So I decided to create a feature where I could share with my readers the Jane Austen influences in my travels. I called it My Jane Austen Road Trip, and this is my first post.

Now, where should I start? Should I start chronologically? Should I choose the trip with more connections to Jane Austen? The most unusual?

Well, I decided to keep it random, so I’m starting with my last trip to the UK in May 2016 where I had a chance to meet wonderful people connected to the JAFF world!

I had planned to visit some friends who live in London, and since I was going to Her Majesty’s country, why not try to meet one of my favorite authors?

I had known Joana Starnes through the internet for a long time, but had never met her, so when I decided to go to London I timidly asked her if she would be willing to meet and maybe go for a coffee (fyi – asking someone if they want to go for a coffee is a very Portuguese thing. It’s basically our way to socialize with people…but moving on). She was incredibly welcoming and told me straight away she would love to meet me as well. However, she had already booked a brunch with some other people on the day I had available. Bummer right? Well… not so much as she invited me to join them 🙂 How thoughtful is that? So this the long version of how a timid request to meet someone I admired, turned out to be a roller-coaster of events that led me to meet wonderful people along the way.

But so it was that on a beautiful Sunday morning I sat at the Orangery of Kensington Palace with Joana Starnes, Elizabeth Adams, Sophie Andrews from Laughing with Lizzie and Ana from My Vices and Weaknesses (who by the way speaks fluent Portuguese!), and a friend of Elizabeths who patiently stood there for a couple of hours while we talked about all things Jane Austen.

 

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We had never seen each other in our lives and this could have been an awkward moment, but I learnt that when JAFF enthusiasts meet, there is never a moment of silence and what we lacked was the time to talk about everything we wanted to talk about!

As all good things must come to an end and after a most magnificent breakfast Elizabeth had to leave us (to her friends relieve I think). But before going she had to acquit to my request to sign my copy of The Houseguest 🙂

Yep, That’s her signing my book : )))))

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Her departure was felt by all of us, but our journey into the depths of Austen was just beginning, so the rest of us stayed behind for a pleasant stroll on Hyde Park, enjoying the conversation, the company and the sun. Yes, it was sunny in London, and yes it was warm…It’s seems too perfect, no? That’s why in the middle of the afternoon we had to say our goodbyes. Again, nothing good lasts forever (except maybe Mr. Darcy’s love, but he’s not really a real person is he?).

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My trip could have ended in that day and I would have been happy, after all it’s not every day you meet 2 of your favorite authors plus wonderful people who share your love for Jane Austen, but luckily for me, and unluckily to those who are bored with this post already, it didn’t end there.

I’m sure you all noticed I had a giveaway for Joana Starnes The Falmouth Connection going on, so I had to meet her the following day to have the book signed for the lucky winner. And guess what? We met, and just talked, talked, talked, stopped for her to sign my books ( I now have all her books signed…yey! My collection of signed books grew exponentially in this trip 🙂 ) and continued talking until she had to go back to her life, and I had to return to my neglected husband, who by now was already thinking I had gone to London just to meet with Austen related people (not that it was too far away from the truth ;).

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My trip was coming to an end, but before leaving I had to go to a place I had never visited before and that Ana suggested during our walk in Hyde Park: The National Portrait Gallery. There I had a chance to see the drawing Cassandra Austen did of our dear Jane (and yes, I dragged by husband with me again).

I confess I was not prepared to what I found there. I never expected the drawing to be so small and faded away. I’m not sure if I ever really thought about its size but the truth is I was not expecting that.

Still it was Jane, and it was Jane as Cassandra saw her. I was mesmerized, enchanted in fact. I stayed there for a long, long time and I believe I didn’t say much more then “wow, look at this, it’s Jane Austen”, until Rui (aka, husband) decided it was too much and kindly asked me if I needed more time to examine the drawing, or if we could leave. I mean, one hour staring at a drawing is quite enough isn’t it?

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What do you think of it? Did you know it had this size? Have you ever seen it?

This sketch made by Cassandra is the only reasonably certain portrait from Austen’s life. Even so, Jane’s relatives were not entirely convinced by it: ‘there is a look which I recognise as hers’, her niece wrote, ‘though the general resemblance is not strong, yet as it represents a pleasing countenance it is so far a truth.’ It is, however, the basis for a late nineteenth-century engraving, commissioned by Austen’s nephew that will feature on ten pound bank notes.

Did you know about that? The bank notes will be printed next year 🙂 To find out more about it, click here.

 

If you ever go to London, you have to see the portrait, and then stop at the museum’s souvenir shop. It has so many goodies 🙂 I couldn’t resist buying some of them.

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The thrilling part in all of this for me is that this was just the beginning of exploring the world through my eyes as a Janeite. Yes, I’ve traveled to many places before and yes, I’ve seen amazing wonders, but to now reflect upon them as an ardent JAFF lover is to reflect on my travels in a whole new way. Did Jane ever imagine her writing would inspire people to go through such great measures to meet one another? Could she have known how her own ideas would cross not only borders, but hearts and minds in such memorable ways?

From here, I hope to get a chance to talk to you about my trip to Bath in 2014, my visit to Chawton in 2015, the weird London stops I made in 2012, and even the unplanned Austen places I found along the way in the USA or even France.

Even more, I’m so excited planning in my head the adventures I may take down the road. Perhaps Lyme Park will be next on my list, that would be a true dream come true, wouldn’t it? I will always see Lyme Park as Pemberley and cannot even imagine what it would feel like to be in such a place.

I’ve heard before that, “All roads lead to Austen,” and this has never felt more true for me as it does at this point in my own life. I’m just more than grateful to share this road with so many other adventurous Janeites!

 

 

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice

Win, Lose, or Darcy – Excerpt and giveaway!

win,lose

Hello everyone,

Earlier this week I was very happy to share with you the cover reveal of Win, Lose or Darcy, Jennifer Joy’s latest release, and today I’m very happy to share with you the first excerpt of this book! Especially because it’s release day!!!

That’s right; Win, Lose or Darcy is as off today available at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

If you want to know more about the book or try your luck before buying it, you can read the excerpt Jennifer Joy brought to From Pemberley to Milton, and comment on this post to be entitled to win one of the 4 eBooks she is offering. Don’t forget, comments on the cover reveal and excerpt double your chances of winning.

But enough with the technicalities, I’m sure what you all want to do is read the excerpt, so here it is:

 

***Win, Lose, or Darcy Excerpt***

“Mother, what has happened?” Elizabeth panted.

Jane held Mother’s skating chair still while Kitty clamped her hands over her mouth in dumb silence.

“Where is Lydia?” Elizabeth insisted.

Near hysterics, Mother was unable to say anything of use.

“Kitty, where is Lydia?” Elizabeth repeated frantically, her pulse pounding in her throat and her limbs shaking.

Mr. Darcy skidded to a stop behind her, his breaths coming out in powerful puffs.

Kitty looked between Mother and Mr. Darcy. She hiccupped, then she burst into tears.

Elizabeth resisted the urge to shake her. In a calmer voice, she asked once again, “Where is Lydia? Please, you must tell us so that we can help her.”

“Perhaps you can lead us to her?” suggested Mr. Darcy.

Wiping her nose against the sleeve of her coat, Kitty nodded her head and turned toward the tents, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth holding onto Kitty’s arms so she would not fall on the ice in her boots.

“Wait! I must go with you!” exclaimed Mother from behind them, ignoring Jane’s pleas that she remain in her chair.

Mother made it five steps away from her chair. Far enough that nothing surrounded her to prevent her fall. With a shriek, Mother’s arms flailed as her feet slipped out from under her.

Mr. Darcy dropped Kitty’s arm and pivoted to help her when Elizabeth called to him, “Wait!”

Mr. Gordon swooped behind Mother and in a maneuver that looked practiced in its elegance, he caught her around the waist and held her in place. More than that, Elizabeth did not see, for she and Mr. Darcy returned their attention to Kitty. Mr. Gordon would take care of Mother. They must make haste to Lydia.

A cluster of people surrounded a tent selling tissue flowers with ‘Frost Fair of 1812′ embossed in gold letters on a card and glued to the papered wire stem. The onlookers pointed and laughed as Kitty came to a stop in front of the object of their amusement.

Elizabeth turned to Kitty. “She is not in peril! She is merely suffering from her own foolishness,” she hissed, mortified that Mr. Darcy should be a witness to Lydia’s immaturity.

“Go back to Mother and tell her that Lydia will be very well soon… although she may not wish to talk much for the rest of the day. She is not in danger and there is no need for hysterics.”

Kitty hiccupped again and left.

“If only they had a chaperone…” Elizabeth muttered to herself as she knelt down to unbuckle her skates.

Mr. Darcy walked through the clumped snow to stand between Lydia and the crowd. The skates added to his already impressive height and he spoke in a booming, authoritative voice. “There is nothing to see here. Continue about your business.”

A few small children dared look over their shoulders as their parents herded them away, but nobody questioned him. They did as he bid.

“Thank you, Mr. Darcy,” she said.

A woman with an apron on came from out of the tent and joined them, her hands on her hips. Seeing Mr. Darcy standing next to Lydia, she spoke to him. “I told the young miss and I will tell you the same: Her antics will not work on me. The paper flowers cost a shilling and I will not accept anything less. Now, kindly remove her from my tent! She is distracting the customers.”

Thus addressed, Mr. Darcy replied, “We will extricate her from your property immediately and apologize for the trouble we have caused.”

Elizabeth had thought that her shame was complete. This went far beyond Lydia’s flirtations at the Netherfield Ball. “Thank you for your help, Mr. Darcy, but you really do not need to involve yourself. You have caused no problem. It is not your sister who has stuck herself to the tent pole.”

“All the same, I will return shortly.” He clamped his mouth shut, the muscles on the sides of his jaw pulsating. Elizabeth could only imagine what he thought of them at that moment. It could not be flattering.

She looked at her youngest sister, whose tongue stuck fast to the metal tent pole, and groaned. Of all the foolish schemes.

Lydia tried to protest, but only incoherent garble proceeded from her.

“Do not move so much, Lydia, or you will bring yourself more harm. Have you tried breathing on your tongue?” Elizabeth asked.

Lydia stomped her foot and bunched her eyebrows together.

“Very well. Something else then.”

Elizabeth searched around her for a patch of clean snow to melt in her hands. If she found enough, she would soon free Lydia’s tongue.

She shoved her gloves into her pockets and filled her hands with the puffy snow. Spinning toward Lydia as she stood, she saw Mr. Darcy round the corner at the front of the tent. He held a steaming beverage which he blew on until he saw her.

Working together in a single mind, he dumped a portion of the hot liquid out of the cup and Elizabeth filled the empty space with snow. Dipping her little finger into the brew, she nodded at Mr. Darcy who then poured the contents over Lydia’s tongue slowly.

“Your tongue will be swollen and your jaw may ache for some time, Miss Lydia. Might I suggest that you refrain from any unnecessary strain for the remainder of the day?” he said as the pole released its hold and Lydia stood upright rubbing her throat and the small of her back.

She tried to give an answer, but decided to take his advice and remained quiet. Mumbling an inarticulate, “Thank you, Mr. Darcy,” she looked repentantly at Elizabeth. It was the same look she had given when she ate the last of the biscuits and felt very sorry about it when she suffered a stomach ache.

Elizabeth did what she always did. She embraced her and, with a mild rebuke, said, “You must leave your childish antics behind you. A young lady out in society ought not stick her tongue out in public, much less fix them to metal poles.”

Elizabeth avoided Mr. Darcy’s gaze until he spoke. “We should return to Mrs. Bennet and the others. They will be concerned.” The corner of his mouth curled up, confusing Elizabeth all the more.

The more he attempted to restrain his smile, the more Elizabeth appreciated the humor of what had transpired, until she had to bite her cheeks to keep from laughing.

Miss Darcy joined them as they neared their party. She was the only one who noticed them. Even Jane was fixed on the performance before them on the ice. Mr. Gordon leaped into the air, spun a full turn, and then landed with effortless grace. Sophia turned in circles around him, her movements as elegant as a ballerina. Elizabeth was not surprised to see proof of yet another accomplishment her friend had perfected. Elizabeth would fall flat on her face if she attempted such acrobatics.

Reaching her hand out to Lydia, Miss Darcy asked, “Are you well? Come and have a seat and I will fetch a blanket for you to wrap around your shoulders.” She led them to an empty chair off to the side of their group where Lydia could appreciate Mr. Gordon and Sophia’s show.

After seeing to Lydia’s comfort, Miss Darcy asked, “What happened?”

Mr. Darcy chuckled and Elizabeth struggled to contain the laughter welling up inside her.

Lydia rolled her eyes and opened her mouth to reveal a swollen, red tongue.

Miss Darcy’s eyes widened. “Oh no! You did not…?” She covered her mouth with her hands, then she smacked her brother on the arm. “It is no laughing matter, William,” she hissed, though she could not keep herself from smiling.

Elizabeth watched the Darcys’ playful exchange in interest.

With a crooked grin, Mr. Darcy looked at her. “I apologize, Miss Elizabeth. It appears that I miscalculated the number of times I have seen Georgiana angry. Miss Lydia has reminded me of another instance.”

Lydia’s attention had been captivated by Mr. Gordon.

Taking advantage of their privacy, Elizabeth looked to Georgiana for an explanation.

“You acted like such a… such a… such a boy!” Georgiana threw another weak punch at her brother’s arm, only making him laugh all the more.

“And what boy would not have laughed heartily at the scene you presented?” Mr. Darcy replied as he caught his breath.

Miss Darcy crossed her arms and glared at him for good measure. “Do you know how many times over the years I wished to trade you for a sister?”

Mr. Darcy clutched at his heart and sighed. “You would wish to trade back soon enough. I am certain that Miss Elizabeth would agree with me that having sisters is no less toilsome than having a bothersome older brother.”

“How can I disagree after what you have witnessed today?” Elizabeth teased. “Although I will admit that there have been times when I have wished to trade them for an older brother.”

Miss Darcy giggled. “Oh, I tease about trading William, but the fact of the matter is that there does not exist a better brother in the world. I was only embarrassed that I had allowed my fancies to lead me to stick my tongue to an icicle in the hopes of turning into a princess with a castle made of snowflakes and cherry blossoms.”

“You stuck your tongue to an icicle?” Elizabeth said between snickers.

“I was nine years old and had to stand on my tiptoes to reach it. How my jaw ached after being stuck there for what felt like forever before William found me. And do you know how he reacted?”

Mr. Darcy remained guiltily silent. Elizabeth had not noticed it before, but his chin had an indentation in it. It was not so deep as to be classified as a cleft or a dimple, but more like a slight dent which deepened as he smiled.

“He laughed,” Miss Darcy said, her merriment at the memory much stronger than her resentment.

So entranced had Elizabeth been by Mr. Darcy’s chin, it took her a moment to remember what they had been discussing. She shook her head. Ah, the tribulations of older brothers.

“The knight in shining armor is not supposed to laugh as he rescues the damsel in distress. Or have you not read enough fairy tales, Mr. Darcy?” Elizabeth asked.

Miss Darcy stopped laughing and looked up adoringly at him. “You have been the hero again today, though it appears as if nobody outside of us recognizes it.”

They looked at the group, who marveled and clapped as Mr. Gordon and Sophia bowed and curtsied at the end of their performance.

“I do not seek accolades. I want for nothing more than your approval,” he told his sister, raising her hand up to kiss it.

Elizabeth wondered what it would feel like to be cherished by Mr. Darcy. Er, rather, to be cherished in the manner Mr. Darcy treasured his sister. Elizabeth grew so warm, she expected to see a puddle of melted ice at her feet.

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***It’s giveaway time!***

 

Jennifer Joy is offering four e-book copies of Win, Lose or Darcy.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is comment this post. If you want to double your chances of winning, you can also comment on the cover reveal post we posted in the beggining of the week.

The giveaway is open until the 30th of June and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced a few days later.

Good luck everyone!

 

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Win, Lose, or Darcy – Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Hello everyone

We continue to see so many new releases in JAFF that I feel some authors are just unstoppable! One of them is Jennifer Joy whose debut book, Darcy’s Ultimatum, was released in March 2015, and who has released since 5 other books!

And guess what? She didn’t stop there and I’m happy to announce that she will release her 7th novel on June 23rd. Impressive right?

Today I bring to you the blurb of Win, Lose or Darcy and reveal it’s cover! It’s the second cover reveal I’m doing for one of Jennifer Joy’s books, and the first cover I revealed, Accusing Elizabeth, remains one of my favorites!

I would like to know your opinion on this one, but before the cover, and to better understand the title, I invite you to read the blurb:

 

 

***Book Blurb***

 

Fortunes may be won or lost, but there is only one Mr. Darcy!

Mrs. Bennet wins the lottery! When the battle ensues over how to invest their new wealth, Elizabeth Bennet sees an opportunity to reunite her heartbroken sister with Mr. Bingley in London. Once in town, Elizabeth befriends Miss Sophia Kingsley, a highly influential young lady in the beau monde, and soon finds herself in the midst of a society intolerant of her family’s improprieties.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is drawn to Elizabeth Bennet’s charming wit— despite her appalling family. But with the Season fast approaching, the competition to win Elizabeth’s affection intensifies as Mr. Gerard Gordon makes his intentions clear.

Will Mrs. Bennet´s gambling and Mr. Bennet’s indolence ruin Elizabeth´s chances of love and happiness before the London Season begins? Will Mr. Darcy overcome his pride and the manipulations of his friends in order to marry the woman of his choice?

Win, lose, or draw, our dear couple finds their happily ever after… we hope.

*This is a light-hearted, sweet romance based on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

 

****

 

Now without further ado, here is the cover:

 

win,lose

 

***It’s giveaway time!***

 

Apart from the cover, Jennifer Joy brought to From Pemberley to Milton four e-book copies of Win, Lose or Darcy to offer to our readers across the globe.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is comment this post by sharing your thoughts on the blurb, the cover, or Jennifer’s previous books. If you want to double your chances of winning, you can also comment on the excerpt we will share on the release date! Don’t forget to stop by, learn more about the book and double your chance of winning.

The giveaway is open until the 30th of June and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced a few days later.

Good luck everyone!

77 Comments

Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet Review & Giveaway

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Hello everyone,

Today I am very pleased to post a review as part of the blog tour of The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet by Caitlin Williams.

This is the second novel released by this author, and one that I have been eagerly waiting for. I read Caitlin Williams’ first novel, Ardently, shortly after it was released and fell in love with it. One year after its release date, Ardently is still one of my favorite books, and I dare say on my Top 5 best JAFF books.

Ardently caused such an impression in me that I remember staying up all night reading it and writing its review. I just could not let go of the story and the characters, so you can imagine how happy I was to learn that Caitlin Williams was releasing another novel.

This second book is The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet and it takes a completely different direction than Ardently. If you read the blurb you’ll understand why.

 

***Book Blurb***

The very worst has happened. Mr Bennet has died, leaving his wife and five young daughters bereft. The family estate, Longbourn, is now lost, entailed away and fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet is to go two hundred miles away to live with strangers. George Darcy, repaying a debt of gratitude, has offered to take her to Pemberley, to live under the mantle of his care and be raised alongside his own daughter, Georgiana.

But on the day she is to leave Longbourn forever, young Elizabeth, grieving and confused, runs off into the Hertfordshire countryside. Fitzwilliam Darcy gives chase, telling his father he will have her back in an hour or two. Luck and fate, however, are not on his side and capturing Elizabeth Bennet turns out not only to be more difficult than he could ever have imagined, but events conspire to turn her little adventure into his worst nightmare.

The prideful man and the girl prejudiced against him, meet much earlier in this rethinking of Jane Austen’s masterpiece. Elizabeth grows up under the ever-watchful eye of Mr Darcy, from fifteen to twenty-one. She errs and falters, there are stumbles and trips, but could this ‘disobedient little hellion’ one day become mistress of Pemberley and the keeper of his heart?

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*** My Review***

4.5 stars

The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet is organized in 4 volumes, each volume centered on one year of Elizabeth’s life.

The first volume starts with a grieving 15 year old Elizabeth suffering the loss of her dear father and having a hard time accepting she will be sent to Derbyshire to live with people she has never met, leaving all her family and friends behind. This becomes too much for her to bear, and she decides to run away precisely on the day Mr. Darcy and his father are supposed to take her away with them.

Young Mr. Darcy offers to find and bring her back home safely, but the search will not be what he is expecting, and circumstances dictate that 23 year old Fitzwilliam Darcy marries 15 year old Elizabeth Bennet to save both their reputations.

Elizabeth is obviously not pleased with the outcome of her foolish behavior, and the first chapter of the book will show us a “Lydia like” Elizabeth adapting to her new life and family.

I confess the first volume was quite hard for me to accept because Elizabeth was, in my opinion, too immature and insensible, and Mr. Darcy too spoiled, cold and proud. But as I continued reading the book, I’ve come to understand that it was necessary for me to see these characters as such, because only by seeing how they were at this age, I would be able to enjoy the following chapters, which will show us, through an incredible understanding of human nature, how these characters will grow to become the perfect match.

On P&P we meet a witty mature Elizabeth at 20 and a proud and honorable Darcy at 28, but they were not always like this, and Caitlin Williams takes us into a journey that will show us how, despite the changes in their lives, they will grow to become the characters we dearly love. I must say the outcome is one of the most faithful descriptions of these characters I have ever seen. By the end of the book both Darcy and Elizabeth’s characters are true to the concept Austen created.

As Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were growing into the characters we know, so was I growing fonder and fonder of this book.

It gave me particular pleasure to see Mr. Darcy become the man I know him to be. Even though this book is told from Elizabeth’s perspective, and Mr. Darcy’s is not present during great part of the book (much as in Pride and Prejudice), it was his character development that I loved the most. I liked seeing how his relationship with Wickham was before Mr. Darcy realized what a bad influence he was for him. And I liked seeing a Mr. Darcy who was not yet stern, hurt and full of responsibilities due to his parents death. I had never seen a book describe so well Mr. Darcy’s growth from a young man without major responsibilities into a responsible brother and landlord.

The book continues describing Elizabeth’s daily life and the battles she has to overcome to become the witty, cheerful girl we know her to be, and in volume 3 when she decides to go downstairs to dismiss her maid from her duties, I knew that Elizabeth had become the person we know so well. She realized she had to change and earn her place, and so she did.

By volume 4 I was already completely and utterly in love with this book. This last part of the book gave me some of the most romantic scenes I have ever read on a JAFF book. Elizabeth and Darcy’s first kiss was just absolutely perfect and no words can describe the feelings it brought me. In fact, all scenes that occurred on Elizabeth’s 21st birthday were incredibly well written, full of powerful, well designed scenes such as the offering of her birthday present, the first kiss and Wickham’s appearance.

Summing up, The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet is certainly a very different book that caused so much controversy feelings in me I will hardly forget it. It is an intense, wonderful life story that will show us how people can grow and learn to be better. It describes a love story as I have not seen described in JAFF before, Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship evolves slowly, it is built over the years and they learn to know, respect and love one another. Their biggest obstacles appear at a stage where they are both sensible enough to talk and trust one another, so I guess Caitlin Williams took pity of our poor nerves and had Elizabeth hear Miss Bingley’s comments and Darcy hear Wickham’s tale when they could no longer arm the feelings that were carved in their hearts.

I can only hope Mrs. Williams will give us further pleasure and write this story from Darcy’s POV. He was my favorite character in this book (even though Col. Fitzwilliam was really close to perfection by being the voice of reason to both Darcy and Elizabeth), and I would dearly love to see his point of view and to know what happen during the periods he was away. May I dare hope?

You can find this book on:

Amazon.com – The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet

Amazon.co.uk – The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

Goodreads Page: The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet

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***About the author***

20160313_085155_kindlephoto-221285462Caitlin Williams lives in Kent, England, with her family. She fell in love with all things Regency as a teenager, but particularly admires the work of Jane Austen and the way she masterfully combines humour and romance, while weaving them through such wonderful stories and characters.

Pride and Prejudice is Caitlin’s favourite novel and she finds Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet so deliciously entertaining that she likes to borrow them from Ms Austen and enjoys the challenge of putting them in different places and situations.

Her debut novel, Ardently, was written as a hobby, usually with her laptop balanced on the kitchen worktop, typing with one hand, a glass of wine in the other, while she also attempted to cook dinner and keep her children from killing each other. The success of Ardently was as much a surprise to her, as it was to anyone else, and she has been thrilled and genuinely thankful for the positive responses and reviews it generated.

Her second novel, The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, is a portrait of a much younger Elizabeth, who is thrown into an extraordinary set of circumstances due to the premature death of Mr Bennet, and she hopes you all enjoy it very much.

You can reach the author on the below social media:

Facebook: Caitlin Williams

Goodreads Author Page: Caitlin Williams

Goodreads Blog Page: Caitlin Williams

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***Blog Tour***

Excited about this book? The blog tour is just starting, don’t miss the other reviews, excerpts, interviews etc.

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June 13/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post/”Happy Birthday Fanny Burney & The Coming Of Age Of Elizabeth Bennet” & Giveaway

June 14/ So Little Time… / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

June 15/ Just Jane 1813/An Exclusive Interview with Caitlin Williams

June 16/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

June 17/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Excerpt & Giveaway

June 18/ The Calico Critic/Book Review & Giveaway

June 19/ Babblings of a Bookworm/”The Education of a Young Lady” Guest Post & Giveaway

June 20/ Half Agony, Half Hope/Book Review

June 21/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Book Review & Giveaway

June 22/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice /Book Excerpt & Giveaway

June 23/ Liz’s Reading Life / “A Nod and A Wink to Austen” Guest Post & Giveaway

June 24/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review

June 25/ Laughing With Lizzie/ “The Young Master” Guest Post & Giveaway

June 26/ A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/ “A Most Scandalous” Guest Post

 

***It’s Giveaway Time***

To celebrate the release of her second novel Caitlin Williams is offering 8 ebook copies of The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet.

All you have to do is comment on a blog tour post and click on this link to guarantee your entrie.

Good luck everyone!

43 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, giveaway

It’s Giveaway Time!!! Winners Announcement…

Hello everyone,

I’m sure you’ve noticed that last month From Pemberley to Milton was stage for several giveaways promoted by very generous authors.

I want to thank each and every one of them for being present in my blog and for being so generous to my readers. It’s not just your writing that makes us happy but your constant interactions with your readers, so thank you very much for everything!!!

Today I’m announcing the winners for one ebook of Miss Darcy’s Companion by Joana Starnes, one ebook of Shadows Over Longbourn by Jann Rowland, one ebook copy of Rainy Days and another one of The Rainbow Promise by Lory Lilian, and one ebook copy of Complicated Attachments by Denise O’Hara. I announced the winners for Complicated Attachments a couple of weeks ago, but did not receive the contacts of one of the winners, so another winner was randomly selected.

I would request all winners to send me their e-mail contacts until the 30th of June so that the books can be sent to you. If in the meantime you have won or bought these specific books, please let me know so that another reader may have a chance to win them.

Giveaway winners

Now…without further ado the giveaway winners are:

 

Complicated Attachments

  • Mary

 

Miss Darcy’s Companion

  • Debbie B.

 

Shadows Over Longbourn

  • Glynis

 

Rainy Days

  • Amanda Frank

 

The Rainbow Promise

  • Ginna

 

Congratulations everyone!!! Please do not forget to send me your e-mail address to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com.

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Filed under giveaway

The Rainbow Promise Excerpt & Giveaway

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Hello everyone,

I heard about the making of The Rainbow Promise last year and I knew it was a much expected sequel of Rainy Days by Lory Lilian.

I knew that if everyone was eagerly waiting for the sequel to come out it the original story had to be remarkable, so I decided to read Rainy Days to be prepared for the sequel that would be released in the upcoming months, and obviously, I finally understood what all the fuss was about!

Rainy Days is indeed a wonderful book, and when I finished reading it I was amongst those who could not wait to read The Rainbow Promise!

To increase my eagerness, Lory Lilian shared with me this enticing excerpt that I am now sharing with you. Along with it, she brings a giveaway, so if like me you haven’t read the book, you have now another opportunity to satisfy your curiosity and to win a copy of it!

 

The Rainbow Promise Excerpt

 

For Darcy, the ball was equally boring and distressing. Not fond of large gatherings, he found few moments of entertainment. He managed to avoid dancing, as there were enough young gentlemen willing to enjoy the music and the ladies’ company.

The notion that Elizabeth was asked for almost every set he accepted with petulance.

The custom to not dance with one’s own wife yet allowed other men to dance with another’s wife he found ridiculous and unacceptable. He briefly decided to reject that idea at any future balls—if they ever attended again.

Then he remembered Lady Matlock’s insistence on introducing Elizabeth to Almack’s balls, and he realised any attempt to ruin his aunt’s plans would start a war worse than Napoleon’s, and he did not have the least chance of winning it. He then admitted himself defeated and found solace in admiring his wife: her beauty, her dancing skills, her smiles, her eyes searching for him around the room, her most becoming blushes, and the small gesture of biting her lower lip when she was distressed by something. He could easily see that many other men were gazing at her, yet he knew she hardly saw anyone but him—just as her image was the only thing in his mind and heart.

A gripping longing for her—for touching her, kissing her, caressing her, loving her—slowly grew inside him, and he was painfully counting every moment until the ball was over and he would have her in his arms.

When the last set started, Darcy glanced around the impressive room; most of the people appeared preoccupied to finish their conversations and only a few couples occupied the dance floor.

He took his wife’s hand and caressed it briefly.

“I cannot waste the chance of dancing the last set with you, my love. I started a tradition which I intend to carry out on every possible occasion.”

Her face showed disbelief, quickly overcome by genuine delight.

“As Lady Matlock repeated many times, dancing with one’s own wife is very unfashionable. Surely you do not consider breaching propriety in public,” she whispered and he could not keep his eyes away from her lips.

“Between the rules of decorum and the pleasure of having you in my arms, my choice is easily made. Would you do me the pleasure of dancing the last set with me, Mrs. Darcy?”

“I would by no mean suspend any pleasure of yours, Mr. Darcy.”

Many pairs of eyes and even more disapproving whispers and frowning faces watched the aloof and haughty man holding his wife’s hands and eyes in the rhythm of the music.

For the couple, however, nothing mattered except each other. Just as happened at the Netherfield Ball, they felt alone in the room full of people, paying attention to nothing and no one and surrounded only by their love.

From her seat, Lady Matlock observed the couple with mixed feelings; her amusement over her nephew’s changed behaviour matched her disapproval for his decision to dance the last set with his wife, after he had not danced at all the entire night. His manners could easily be considered offensive toward the other ladies and the host herself and threaten future invitations from influential persons of the Ton.

The Countess of Wellford looked rather well humoured – perhaps due to the third glass of wine she was enjoying.

“Upon my word, Darcy does not cease to surprise me; he seems a completely different man since he married,” Lady Beatrice whispered to her friend Lady Marianne, and the latter nodded with obvious disdain.

Lord Matlock, his sons, Lord Pemberton and Lord Wellford only drank their brandy in silence, glancing at the dance floor from time to time.

“This is true,” the Countess admitted. “Some men do change after they marry for love and most of the time it is exceedingly pleasant.”

“I agree,” Lady Matlock intervened with a restrained smile. “However, marriage for love is a subject barely known for most of the people here, and that makes Darcy’s behaviour even harder to understand and accept.”

“Not that Darcy would care much about the acceptance of anyone outside his close family,” the Colonel whispered with a grin, grabbing another full glass while he watched his cousin lost in his wife’s bright eyes. Indeed, why would he care about anyone else besides the beautiful woman who obviously adores him and with whom he will go home soon? Darcy had always been a smart and decided man, nobody could deny that. And that night he had proved it once again.

Before dawn, the ball ended and the Darcys eventually were able to take their leave. After a warm farewell from the Matlocks and their hosts, they were finally alone in the carriage. To Elizabeth’s surprise, Darcy sat on the opposite bench and only watched her without any other gesture. She held his eyes for a few moments, trying to hide her amusement.

“You are staring, sir.”

“Am I?”

“Indeed, you are.”

“You must be right. Does it trouble you?”

Elizabeth could see how he struggled to conceal the smile that was twisting his lips and to appear solemn.

“A little. Unless you reveal the reason for your stare.”

“Can you not guess it?”

“Hardly.”

“I doubt it. Had you been oblivious of my interest, you would not have blushed so becomingly.”

She laughed heartily. “You have been staring most of the night. I hope you were not displeased with my manners during the ball.”

“Not with your manners but with the others’. Since I did not dance with anyone’s wife, I would expect the same courtesy in return.”

She laughed again. “Come, sir, everybody knows your dislike of dancing, but fortunately, it is not a common trait. Balls would be sad and boring if all gentlemen shared the same repugnance for such activities. Most ladies enjoy dancing.”

“I enjoy dancing too—with you.” His voice was solemn, and his eyes darkened.

“I know that, as I enjoy dancing with you too,” she whispered, moving to his side.

He leant towards her. “I was staring because I missed you so much. And because you are so very beautiful.”

“You are partial to me, but I love your lack of objectivity.”

“Not at all— I am always honest. And it just crossed my mind that I would like to have your portrait painted—just as you are now. I shall arrange for a painter to come before we leave for Hertfordshire.”

She gently touched his lips with hers. Her hand caressed his face, and she daringly deepened the kiss while he barely moved. She then placed herself on his lap, and her arms encircled his neck.

With delight, he received her conscious attempt of seduction, caressing her warm body through the fabric of her gown.

“I missed kissing you…and touching you…” he moaned through the kisses. “I could think of little else the whole night…but of this moment when we would be alone in the carriage.”

“I thought more of what will follow later…once we arrive home,” she replied daringly, and he withdrew a moment to look at her laughing, teasing eyes; then his hands cupped her face to savour the smile of her red lips.

 

 

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It’s Givaway Time!

 

This excerpt reminds me of why I love Lory Lilian’s books: her writing is witty, fluid, funny and the characters are so true to themselves I feel I am reading a Jane Austen book. Plus…her Mr. Darcys are always soooo romantic…swoon…

But that’s enough from me, what did you think of the excerpt? Did it meet your expectations for this book? And if this is an unknown book to you, did it make you curious?

Share your opinion with us and be entitled to the giveaway of 2 ebooks Lory Lilian is offering. You may choose to receive The Rainbow Promise or Rainy Days, and to double your chances of winning, you can comment on the review I posted last Monday 🙂

The giveaway is international and will end on the 12th of June.

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Rainy Days Review & Giveaway

51g0Z47yIvL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_4 stars

Rainy days was released in October 2009, so I am probably one of the few people who have only read it this year. I don’t know how this happened, but the first book I’ve read from Lory Lilian was not rainy Days but Sketching Mr. Darcy, and after reading that one I could not wait to read more books of this author, so Remembrance of the Past followed, and now, at last, Rainy Days.

It is curious how one rainy morning can change an entire story.

In this book Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are out of doors when a storm hits the area and they are forced to take shelter in a cottage in the woods. The time they spend together is enough for Elizabeth to start questioning Mr. Wickham’s attitudes and Mr. Darcy’s character, and we all know how this can change everything 🙂

When we think of this couple stranded in a cabin in the middle of the woods, we immediately think of what may happen there, and I have to say that I loved that Lory Lilian managed to get our characters to always respect propriety. Their scenes together were intense but clean, and that is exactly how I like them.

The characters remained true to themselves and their arguments were believable and a joy to read. I particularly liked seeing Mr. Darcy’s temper as many times we are presented with a perfect Mr. Darcy, when in fact he is not perfect. For me, his imperfections are what make him perfect, so I loved to see that he kept them in the beginning of the book.

However, the arguments and angst do not take a great part of the book and Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth come to an understanding early in the story. From that moment on, we will see Mr. Darcy as the perfect gentleman courting his fiancée. I love books with lots of Darcy and Elizabeth moments and this book certainly has them, but being an angst addict, I would prefer to have seen more angst and conflict in the remaining of book. Readers who love romance and lots of Darcy/Elizabeth moments will certainly love this book though!

Of course that given my tastes in JAFF, one of my favorite moments of the book was their fight after Wickham’s remarks. I believe Lory Lilian did an exceptional job in this scene because it is very real, and it reflects much of our behaviors with our loved ones. Most of the times we just need reassurances that the other person loves us, but somehow they cannot give them, as they also need that from our side; instead we hurt each other with remarks that are only said out of pain. I believe Lory Lilian was very good at transposing that into this specific scene and that was something that captivated me.

I’ve mentioned a lot of romance but the book is not just about that, it has several funny moments. I personally adore reading “dimples is good” coming out of Becky’s mouth and consider the way Caroline Bingley discovered about Mr. Darcy’s engagement absolutely hilarious!

I’ve read this book with a 7 year delay, but I will not commit the same error with the recently released sequel The Rainbow Promise, that one I will read as soon as I can, as this is definitely a story and a group of characters whose story we need to follow up.

 

You can find Rainy Days at:

Amazon.com – Rainy Days

Amazon.co.uk – Rainy Days

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***It’s Giveaway time!!!***

That’s right, this review brings along 2 eboks that Lory Lilian would like to offer to From Pemberley to Milton’s readers.

You can choose to receive either a copy of Rainy Days or a copy of it’s sequel The Rainbow Promise, which has recently been released. All you need to do is comment this post and let us know which one you would like to receive and why.

If you are curious about the sequel, don’t forget to visit us next Thursday for an excerpt and another chance to win one of the e-books.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 12th of June.

Good luck everyone!!!

26 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Pride and Prejudice

The Elizabeth Papers

TEPcover4.5 stars

 

Two different eras. Two different stories. One common secret.

 

The Elizabeth Papers is a unique book that presents something I had never seen in any JAFF novel before: it combines 2 different genres, sequel and modernization, in a perfect symbiotic storyline.

The book starts with a letter from Mr. Darcy stating that he wishes for a trust to be created with the purpose of supporting his female descendants through the decades. Shortly after that, the book “jumps” to 2014 with one of the beneficiaries of the trust hiring a private detective to prove that Victoria Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s last daughter, was in fact an illegitimate child fathered by someone else, with the purpose of excluding all her descendants from the trust.

From this moment on, each chapter focuses on one era, and when we get to the end of it, we do not want to change the era, we want to continue reading and see what happens next, but then, the following chapter will cause the same sensation at the same time that it will provide us with more clues and answers to the mystery of Victoria Darcy’s birth.

Then we start to want the eras to change as we know that the details that will be revealed in one era will be important to the development of the story in the other, and this is when we realize what an incredible work of art this book is, and how two different stories can be so perfectly interlaced that they become one single story prolonged through the years. We come to the conclusion that there is only one story, and that is the story of the Darcy family.

The 19th century based chapters are voiced through Elizabeth’s diary entries which were written in the first person, creating a great proximity and intensity to the scenes, and reminding us of the unique writing style Jenneta James presented us with on Suddenly Mrs. Darcy, while the 2014 storyline is written in the third person adapting the chapters to the modern era and giving it a more modern and relaxed speech. This is done as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and I have to praise Jenneta James’s ability to write such a book.

The suspense associated to Victoria Darcy’s birth is present in the majority of the book, and while our hearts want Mr. Darcy to be the father and our minds know Elizabeth would never betray him, some clues lead us to believe that there is no smoke without fire. I will say no more on this matter expect that the anxiety we feel throughout the book is rewarded with a feeling of justice and warmth in the end.

The book will relate 2 love stories, and I also enjoyed the balance the author created between the mature relationship that Darcy and Elizabeth have, with the instability of Evie and Charles’ relationship. I felt drawn to both in different ways, but above all, both felt realistic and not overly romanticized, which I truly appreciated. These relationships were presented with the joys of love, but also the insecurities and troubles it carries. I particularly liked to read Elizabeth’s perspective of her relationship with Mr. Darcy as it felt raw but real.

There were many details I enjoyed in this book, such as the parallelism between Charles’ cousin disclosure and Col. Fitzwilliam’s in P&P but I will not mention them all to avoid filling you with an interminable list. I will only say this is an incredibly good book with literary quality that I highly recommend.

 

You can find The Elizabeth Papers at:

Amazon.com – The Elizabeth Papers

Amazon.co.uk – The Elizabeth Papers

 

Curious about the book? Haven’t read the blurb yet? Here it is :

Book Blurb

“It is settled between us already, that we are to be the happiest couple in the world.” —Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

Charlie Haywood is a London-based private investigator who has made his own fortune—on his own terms. Charming, cynical, and promiscuous, he never expected to be attracted to Evie Pemberton, an emerging and independent-minded artist living with the aftermath of tragedy. But when he is hired to investigate her claims to a one hundred and fifty year old trust belonging to the eminent Darcy family, he is captivated.

Together they become entwined in a tale of love, loss, and mystery tracing back to the grand estate of Pemberley, home to Evie’s nineteenth century ancestors, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy.

How could Evie know that in 1817 Elizabeth Darcy began a secret journal? What started as an account of a blissful life came to reflect a growing unease. Was the Darcy marriage perfect or was there betrayal and deception at its heart?

Can Evie and Charlie unearth the truth in the letters of Fitzwilliam Darcy or within the walls of present-day Pemberley? What are the elusive Elizabeth papers and why did Elizabeth herself want them destroyed?

 

 

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Don’t miss the guest posts, reviews and giveaways wth the Blog Tour:

5/30: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

5/31: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways

6/1: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

6/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life

6/2: Review at From Pemberley to Milton

6/3: Guest Post at Moonlight Reader

6/4: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm

6/5: Review at Just Jane 1813

6/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews

6/7: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…

6/8: Character Interview at More Agreeably Engaged

6/9: Author Interview at Savvy Verse & Wit

6/10: Review at Diary of an Eccentric

6/10: Excerpt & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight

6/11: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

6/12: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

6/13: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars

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Filed under 4.5 stars, Pride and Prejudice