Monthly Archives: October 2016

Margaret of the North

15984149__uy200_3.5 stars

Margaret of the North is not so much a continuation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, but a continuation of the BBC series portraying Richard Armitage and Daniela Ashby.

This means the book starts with Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s reunion at the train station, and it is very interesting to note that the beginning of the book is not overly romantic with all the emotion display one would expect, it resembles very much Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing style and that is something I appreciate, it is in fact the most similar in style to Mrs. Gaskell that I have read until today.

The book continues with Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s honeymoon to Paris and subsequent travel to Cadiz to visit Frederick. It is a slow paced book and I kept waiting for something to happen but it never did, so with time, the book became less interesting for me. I never felt a true emotion while reading it, and even if this is an extremely subjective argument, for me it is essential to feel something while reading a book.

I also had some difficulty in identifying with Mr. Thornton. It was strange to see him so unpreoccupied about re-opening the Mill, and at times his speech seemed more like a speech Mr. Darcy would have. In this book John Thornton was too sure Margaret would accept him, and that he became a better person after her refusal. For me this is a description of Mr. Darcy and not Mr. Thornton who never believed such a woman could care for him.

Despite this fact, I believe the author was successful in showing us the class differences that existed at the time, and how Mr. Thornton learned from his experiences and changed his perceptions on how to improve the workers life conditions.

Margaret of the North is very descriptive, and for those who like this type of writing it will be very appealing as we get to read everyone’s opinion and perception on almost all subjects, but to me it felt too slow paced and lacking emotion. The book slowly describes the changes in the characters’ lives after John and Margaret get married. It gives us an interesting view of Margaret and Hanna’s relationship and the impacts that living with one another has for these characters. It makes us see and understand how Hanna suffered with this situation, and how all the changes had a big impact in her daily life and therefore in her disposition.

This is not a book of action, it is a book that gives us a more intense view of the characters’ lives after the wedding, their feelings and inner struggles. It leads us on a path where we focus on their personal growth and not on the story itself, so it might be an interesting read for those who want to analyze the development of these characters.

Margaret of the North is available at:

Amazon.com – Margaret of the North

Amazon.co.uk – Margaret of the North

10 Comments

Filed under 3.5 stars, North and South

The Honorable Mr. Darcy – Giveaway Winners

Hello my friends,

From Pemberley to Milton has been very busy this past month with lots of new JAFF books coming out! One of them was The Honorable Mr. Darcy from Jennifer Joy which is already a best seller in Amazon!honorable

I was very lucky to welcome author Jennifer Joy for a launch post on her new book, and not only did we post an excerpt, which was actually my favorite scene from the book, but also brought along a giveaway of 4 ebooks.

I want to thank Jennifer Joy for her generosity and presence in From Pemberley to Milton! It is always a pleasure to work with such a humble and lovely author!

Now without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:

 

***Darcybennet ***

*** Pemberlypebbles ***

*** BeckyC ***

*** Anna ***

 

Girls, please send me your e-mails to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so we can send the ebooks to you.

If you have not yet bought or won a copy of this book, you can always find it in Amazon.

Happy reading everyone!

9 Comments

Filed under giveaway

Getting to know Mrs. Younge, Guest Post & Giveaway – Letter From Ramsgate blog tour

Hello everyone,

I first heard about Letter From Ramsgate in Suzan Lauder’s blog almost a year ago. I was immediately hooked on the premise and could not wait for the book to come out to read the entire story. When a blog tour was organised and I realised I would be the first one to review the book I got really anxious, but if you’ve read my review, you’ve probably noticed that this is just the angsty type of book I love 🙂 Also, you must have noticed that one of the aspects I enjoyed the most in the book was Mrs. Younge’s character. I won’t repeat why I was so fascinated about this character (you can read that in the review), but the impression it caused me was so considerable, I felt the need to share a little info on her with you through the below interview with Suzan Lauder, and vignette with Mrs. Younge.

 

***Interview with Suzan Lauder***

 

From Pemberley To Milton: Hello Suzan, first of all welcome to From Pemberley to Milton! It is a great joy to have you with us today.

As I’ve mentioned before, Mrs. Younge was the character I’ve enjoyed the most in this book, and I would like to know why you decided to bring forth a character only mentioned briefly in Pride and Prejudice and give her a leading role.

Suzan Lauder: I’m really excited to be here, Rita, and especially to talk about Isabel Younge!

Because the first part of the story was set in Ramsgate, I knew a main part of the story development would be showing how Wickham arranged to convince Georgiana to elope with him. Canon says Mrs. Younge was known to him and collaborated with him, so I had to build his relationship with Georgiana’s companion. Since she was going to come out a little bit as a character, I decided to make her a key character so she could tell her back-story as well as her point of view regarding Wickham. It was hard not giving Wickham a voice in my story, but the style I chose let her speak for the two of them.

 

FPTM: Can you give us a little background on this character?

SL: Mrs. Younge is a pretty young widow of higher upbringing in my novel, and had a good education and reasonable connections prior to her widowhood. Mr. Younge was a wealthy younger son of a viscount. His gambling and poor investments left her almost destitute, so Isabel had no choice but to take on respectable work. She is keen to mould her charge (Georgiana Darcy) in her own image, as a gregarious darling of the ton.

 

FPTM: Mrs. Younge was very human and very real in this book. Is her character based on someone in particular?

SL: I suppose she’s a most like Mary Crawford, Maria Bertram, or Isabella Thorpe. Her main personality characteristics mimic vain, overly ambitious women. In her vanity, she wants Georgiana to be just like her, but her good intentions get set aside when greed takes over. Though not evil, she’s not as highly principled as the next person, and uses charm, good looks, and physical enticement to obtain momentary pleasure or long-term gain. Her opportunistic side can win over her ethics, yet she regrets those she’s hurt in the process—but not too much or for too long!

 

FPTM: Why is she named Isabel?

SL: I named her Isabel as a sort of homage to Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey, the first Austen novel I ever read.

 

FPTM: In my opinion her character is neither good, nor bad. She is just human. Did you try to convey any message through the characterization of Mrs. Younge?

SL: Not intentionally, but the message that you can make up for foolish, hurtful acts is pretty clear. Vain people don’t believe they’ve done anything so terrible and a narcissist doesn’t realize what Isabel does: it’s never too late to make amends, even if the situation you messed up is unrecoverable. At least Isabel has a good heart and admits her faults.

 

FPTM: Mrs. Younge will always be associated with Wickham, how did she meet him?

SL: I like to assume she met Mr. Wickham at a social function in London: perhaps a ball or a rout. Wickham’s education at Cambridge will have gained him allies who would have travelled in the same circles as the Younges, who were probably on the fringes of the level of society that would willingly accept the Darcys and the Matlocks. It’s possible a former lover introduced Isabel and Wickham, or even Mr. Younge.

(c) Dumfries and Galloway Council (Dumfries Museum); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Mr. Wickham in his regimentals, later in Letter from Ramsgate – portrait of Andrew Copland by George Watson, 1807.

 

FPTM: What was it about him that captivated her?

SL: Jane Austen says Wickham has “all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address.” In other words, he’s hot! And charming, too, based on all the people he had twisted around his little finger in canon. That’s what led her to a relationship with him.

 

FPTM: At which point did she discover Wickham’s true character? Or did she know all along, but preferred to ignore it?

SL: I think she had to suspect all along, particular, but ignored any problems that came with him. She was having a good time and, as long as his vices didn’t affect her, she was okay with it.

 

FPTM: Would she do things differently if she could go back in time?

SL: I doubt it. I think she wishes Georgiana hadn’t been hurt in the scheme, but I don’t think she would have changed any of her own actions.

 

FPTM: What is her biggest regret?

SL: That she got caught. The money would have changed her life. Also that she hadn’t seduced Mr. Darcy. She was quite taken by his good looks.

 

FPTM: Today, you’re sharing a scene from Letter from Ramsgate featuring Mrs. Younge with the readers of From Pemberley to Milton. Please describe what is happening as the scene commences.

SL: In this vignette, Mrs. Younge has been Georgiana’s companion for about a month now. They are walking along the Sands at Ramsgate when they encounter a certain gentleman.

 

kd3-025_ramsgate_harbour

The Sands at Ramsgate, early 1800s, courtesy Michael’s Book Shop

~~~

***Guest Post by Suzan Lauder***

 

Rita is a favourite of mine because she showed such enthusiasm towards Letter from Ramsgate from the first excerpt that I put up on my blog, road trips with the redhead. Each time the story was mentioned anywhere on social media after that, she piped in to say, “I’m looking forward to it!” That she was the first on the blog tour to review the novel was important to me, and I’m excited to share the original version of this scene from Isabel Younge’s point of view—the scene was re-written for the final novel.

~~~

 

All of a sudden, Miss Darcy spoke with an enthusiasm and lack of reserve that made Isabel momentarily glow with the satisfaction that her encouragement of Georgiana’s self-assurance was successful; Georgiana was certainly unrestrained in this moment.

“Isabel, look! An old friend of mine approaches! Oh, what fun!” Georgiana cried with a thrill in her voice. She moved towards the gentleman with unashamed familiarity.

Isabel turned in the direction Georgiana was going, and tried to make out the features of the tall man who approached with a confident gait. All of a sudden her eyes widened with surprise.

George Wickham! What is he doing in Ramsgate?

Isabel’s heart stopped. It could not be him.

But it was. With a genuine-looking smile, George Wickham approached her and Miss Darcy and tipped his hat. She was frozen to the spot, in a daze. What the devil could he mean by this? Will I be able to keep her countenance around him? Has he sought me out?

Holding her breath and trembling, she attempted a brittle smile as she waited for him to greet her. He moved closer and closer, but as his face came into clear view, his gaze was fixed on Miss Darcy, and he ignored Isabel altogether.

Without reserve, Wickham held out his hand to take Miss Darcy’s and bowed over it. “Miss Darcy! How do you do? How very fortunate for me to meet you here! What brings you to Ramsgate?”

Georgiana glowed pink under Wickham’s grin; the girl’s blush and shy smile spoke to her youth.

When it appeared he had not even noticed her, Isabel released her breath, but became indignant over the snub and jealous of the attention he paid to her charge. She was a vain woman, accustomed to the role of the object of his flattery.

“I am here for the summer. My brother arranged it for me.”

If Isabel had not known Wickham as well she did, she would not have recognized the twitch in his smile or the deep swallow of discomfort for what they were. George Wickham was afraid. What had unsettled him?

“And is your brother with you?” His voice wavered, which confirmed his anxiety. “No, Fitzwilliam is travelling on business related to the estate. He will be in the country most of the summer. ‘Tis a pity he is not here. He would have liked to see you.” Georgiana was sincere.

two-ladies-and-a-man-for-fptm-vignette“A pity indeed. I should have enjoyed renewing the acquaintance.” His body relaxed.

Wickham then turned towards Isabel. She checked herself to hide her bewilderment,—all she could manage under the circumstances—stood tall and proud, and put on her most inscrutable, but ladylike, expression.

“Would you do me the honour and introduce your friend?” he said to Georgiana.

“This is my companion, Mrs. Younge. Mrs. Younge, this is Mr. Wickham.”

For an instant, she expected him to reach out to take her hand, but instead, he offered a polite smile and performed a perfunctory bow as if this were their first introduction. She forced a smile in response, as she made her curtsey in the most economical way.

She was affected by him, even though their greeting had not been physical. The smoothness of his voice and the strength of his body in his fitted clothes reminded her of what they once shared—all of which ended when he discovered she was penniless.

 

 ~~~

 

***It’s giveaway time***

 

Meryton press would like to offer 8 copies of Letter From Ramsgate to readers following this blog tour.

To enter the giveaway, please click on the below link:

Giveaway Link

Conditions of the giveaway are explained below:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (Review posts are not part of the giveaways). Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) copy of Letter from Ramsgate by Suzan Lauder. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and paperback or ebook format will randomly be selected for each winner as well.

**NOTE: Paperback copies are ONLY available for continental US winners! Ebook copies are available for ALL winners, including international winners! If more international winners are randomly chosen than the 4 allotted ebooks, then that will decrease the number of paperbacks. 8 books will be given away to 8 different winners.**

 

Follow the blog tour for more chances to win the giveaway 🙂

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Blog Tour Schedule:

10/17   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; My Jane Austen Book Club

10/18   Excerpt, GA; Margie’s Must Reads

10/19   Vignette, GA; Just Jane 1813

10/20   Review; From Pemberley to Milton

10/21   Vignette, GA; Babblings of a Bookworm

10/22   Excerpt, GA; Liz’s Reading Life

10/23   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; From Pemberley to Milton

10/24   Review; Tomorrow is Another Day

10/25   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; So little time…

10/26   Vignette, GA; Austenesque Reviews

10/27   Review, Excerpt; Half Agony, Half Hope

10/28   Review; Diary of an Eccentric

10/29   Guest Post; A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

10/30   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; More Agreeably Engaged

19 Comments

Filed under giveaway, interview, Pride and Prejudice

Review of Letter From Ramsgate

img_08784.5 stars

Hello everyone,

An year ago I read a passage of Letter From Ramsgate that really caught my attention and  I’ve been eager to read it ever since, so I was very happy when the book came out this week and even more happy to discover this is just the type of angsty book I like 🙂

This story starts before the events in Pride and Prejudice take place but will afterwards follow the canon story with some curious deviations that will bring a smile to our lips. Elizabeth Bennet is invited by her aunt Mrs. Gardiner and Lady Edwina (a new character introduced in this book) to visit Ramsgate where she will meet Georgiana, Mrs. Younge and Mr. Wickham. Of course that Elizabeth’s presence in this town and the friendship she develops with Georgiana will have a big impact in the story, so we will be guided through a novel with more pride and less prejudice…Well, at least that’s what you’ll think in the beginning.

As I said, after the Ramsgate incident the story will follow canon, but Elizabeth will no longer be biased by Wickham’s stories or Darcy’s insult, in fact, she will hold Georgiana’s brother in the highest regard, so luckily for me, we will have a besotted Elizabeth and a strong, proud Darcy through most of the book. I liked to see how Suzan Lauder played with the characters and our knowledge of P&P by reversing some situations that occur in Austen’s story, such as the proposal scene.

But what I enjoyed the most in the book was Mrs. Younge’s character, in fact, Letter From Ramsgate presented me with the best characterization of Mrs. Younge I have ever seen. This secondary character from Pride and Prejudice, if she can even be considered so, becomes an essential character in this book with a background that explains much of what she is, what she became and I dare say what she will be. Suzan Lauder explored this character to the maximum by making her as human as possible. When I read this book I realized Mrs. Younge could be any one of us. She is someone with as many virtues and flaws as the girl next door, and given a certain input she can either make a good or a bad decision.

Mrs. Younge was not described in this book as a malicious woman, but someone lonely struggling through live in search of love and security. I saw her as someone in need of guidance, which is ironic given the position she is hired for. I cannot say I loved the character as I would not like to be friends with someone like her, but the truth is, she is one of the most real and developed characters I’ve seen, and that was clearly one of the things I enjoyed the most about this book. Georgiana Darcy’s growth from an insecure girl to a mature young lady was also very interesting and unexpected for me, but Mrs. Younge is definitely the character of the book in my opinion.

Now, I’ve probably made it sound as if Mrs. Younge is a big part of the book, but rest assured my friends, she is not. She plays a big part in it, but the majority of the book is centered in Darcy and Elizabeth. Our couple will spend a lot of time together and the author starts by growing our appetite by giving us scenes of them in a playful manner. They even dance at the Meryton Assembly which is a promising beginning! In Letter From Ramsgate they share several companionable moments but then, the angst arrives 🙂 (and that’s when I started devouring the book, I’m such an angst addicted).

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth will go through turbulent times, and some of their dialogues will be hard and exciting at the same time, namely the one they have at the ball after the proposal, but in the end we will get the reward of seeing them together in the most unexpected and exotic scenario, so I believe this book will be appealing for those who love the romance between these characters, and also those who, like me, love the angst.

Want to know more about this book? You can find it on Amazon and read the blurb below:

 

***Book Blurb***

 

Sir, I am not known to you. I fear you may have concerns regarding some intelligence that recently came to me from your sister…

…a simple letter shatters illusions and turns the world upside down!

On holiday in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet befriends shy, romantic Georgiana Darcy, who shares an adoring description of an ideal elder brother. When Georgiana discloses a secret infatuation with her brother’s “close friend” Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth’s altered perception of both men affects her actions and alliances.

The secret within an anonymous letter from Ramsgate ties Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth together but also separates them. A second missive unlocks the disguise, but Mr. Darcy realizes his true passions too late to assist Elizabeth in her darkest hour. Will the shocking disclosure of a forgotten letter transform his understanding of her heart and lead them to embrace their future?

Letter from Ramsgate is a Pride and Prejudice variation suitable for most audiences (youth and up).

***

Have I mentioned that Suzan was one of the first authors I got in contact with when I started my blog? I was really amazed at how nice and welcoming she was to someone like me who didn’t know much about this world. She even spoke a little Portuguese with me 🙂

If you want to know more about Suzan, let me share with you her bio and contacts:

 

***Author Bio***

 

A love for Jane Austen’s novels and Regency and Austenesque romance novels inspired Suzan Lauder to write her own variations, which led her to a passion for Regency era history and costuming, as well as social media book marketing. She cherishes the many friends she’s made as a result of these interests.

Suzan is a member of JASNA, VIRA, RWA (PAN and Beau Monde chapters), and is a registered professional engineer. She enjoys independent travel, design, Pilates, yoga, cycling, sustainability, upcycling, architecture, beta editing, and blogging. Most of the time, a Vancouver Island penthouse loft condominium with a view of the Salish Sea is home. For a few months each winter, Mr. Suze and their two rescue cats accompany her to their tiny Spanish colonial casita in Centro Historico of an industrial city in Mexico.

Letter from Ramsgate is Lauder’s second published novel and comes on the heels of her successful upcycled costuming blog series, the Thrift Shop Regency Costume Experiment. Her latest venture is blogging about her learning experiences while editing Letter from Ramsgate. Suzan’s first novel, Alias Thomas Bennet, is an Austen-inspired Regency romance with a mystery twist. She also contributed a short modern romance, Delivery Boy, to the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter. All Lauder’s published fiction is based on Pride and Prejudice and is available from Meryton Press.

meryton-press-for-november-2015Contact Info:

Website

Goodreads Author Page 

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Pinterest

 

 

If this is not enough to fulfill your curiosity, please follow the blog tour that has just started and read all the guest posts, excerpts and vignettes the author is sharing with her readers. And of Course, there is plenty of chances to enter the giveaways 🙂

 

***Blog Tour Schedule***

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10/17   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; My Jane Austen Book Club

10/18   Excerpt, GA; Margie’s Must Reads

10/19   Vignette, GA; Just Jane 1813

10/20   Review; From Pemberley to Milton

10/21   Vignette, GA; Babblings of a Bookworm

10/22   Excerpt, GA; Liz’s Reading Life

10/23   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; From Pemberley to Milton

10/24   Review; Tomorrow is Another Day

10/25   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; So little time…

10/26   Vignette, GA; Austenesque Reviews

10/27   Review, Excerpt; Half Agony, Half Hope

10/28   Review; Diary of an Eccentric

10/29   Guest Post; A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

10/30   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; More Agreeably Engaged

30 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Giveaway Winners

tcoeg-fc-final092816-nobld

Hello everyone,

In the beginning of October I was honored to present you with the beautiful cover Janet Taylor created for Nicole Clarkston’s latest novel, The Courtship of Edward Gardiner.

I was very happy to notice that not only everybody loved the cover, but also that Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were one of the most beloved couples amongst Janeites. The book is already making a lot of people curious, and I am sure that it will not disappoint those who love Pride and Prejudice.

For that reason, I’m even more happy to announce today the winner of the giveaway that Nicole Clarkston hosted along with the cover reveal.

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner is currently available for pre-order on Amazon because it will only be released next week, so the winners will have a chance to read this book first hand!

So, without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:

.

*** KateB***

*** Glynis***

 

Congratulations ladies! Please send me your e-mail addresses to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com.

If you are not the winner but you have this book on your TBR list, you should follow the upcoming blog tour which will start with the launch post at More Agreeably Engaged on the 21st of October. During the blog tour there will be plenty opportunities to read reviews, excerpts, guest posts and to participate in the giveaways!

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

 

10/21: Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

10/22: Review & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813

10/27: Review & Giveaway Savvy Verse & Wit

11/01: Excerpt & Giveaway at Half Agony, Half Hope

11/08: Guest Post & Giveaway So little time…

11/10: Review & Giveaway My Kids Led me Back to Pride and Prejudice

11/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm

11/15: Review & Giveaway at My Vices and Weaknesses

11/17: Guest Post & Giveaway at A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

11/26: Excerpt & Giveaway at Margie’s Must Reads

11/30: Review & Giveaway at Diary of an Eccentric

12/01: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

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9 Comments

Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

The Honorable Mr. Darcy – Launch Post & Giveaway

Hello Dear Readers,

Today I’m pleased to celebrate with all of you the release of Jennifer Joy’s new book!

It doesn’t seem too long ago that she released her last book Win, Lose or Darcy, but after writing Accusing Elizabeth, Jennifer Joy developed a tender regard for mysteries, and some ideas could not get out of her head, so a few months later The Honorable Mr. Darcy came to life and today it’s being released for sale in Amazon. You can check it by cliking here.

 

honorableThe Honorable Mr. Darcy is the first volume of the Meryton Mystery Series and revolves about the murder of George Wickham, but do not fear, you will have some closure with this book as the identity of the murderer is revealed, quite surprisingly I might add!

Curious about the premise? You can read more about it below:

 

***Book Blurb***

Everyone has a secret. Who will kill to keep theirs?

.

Lieutenant George Wickham is dead.

The shot rings out in Wickham’s tent as the good citizens of Meryton dance the night away at Mr. Bingley’s Netherfield ball. The only person who can confirm Fitzwilliam Darcy’s alibi faces the loss of her reputation and her freedom if she comes forward.

Convinced that her sole motive is the pursuit of justice— and not her growing attraction to Mr. Darcy— Elizabeth Bennet begins an investigation to clear his name and evade an unwanted marriage.

If Darcy didn’t shoot Wickham in cold blood, who did? Which of Longbourn’s neighbors is not who they seem?

With a killer on the loose, can Elizabeth avoid being the next victim as she comes closer to revealing the truth?

Bestselling author, Jennifer Joy, brings you The Honorable Mr. Darcy, the first standalone book in the A Meryton Mystery romance series. If you like falling in love with characters as they fall for each other while uncovering shocking secrets, then you’ll love this mystery romance.

 

***

 

To celebrate the launch of the book we bring you today an excerpt of my favourite scene in the book.

I hope you like this little teaser 🙂

 

***Excerpt***

 

A rustle in the corner of the room startled Darcy from his thoughts. Squinting his eyes against the darkness, he saw a lump on top of the couch.

He drew closer, his steps hushed against the carpet. When he saw that it was a young lady, he started. He ought to leave the room. But something about the lady made him peer closer.

Her dark hair blended into her surroundings. However, the familiar curve of her lips and the mischievous arch of her brows– even in sleep– identified her. It was Miss Elizabeth Bennet. She had avoided him all evening, and now here she was. He would have enjoyed her conversation.

Leaning down, he appreciated how peaceful she looked in slumber with her eyelashes spread across her cheek. She sighed and shifted her weight, freezing Darcy in place. Slowly and deliberately, he shifted his weight to his toes so that he might depart without waking her. He took a step back and lost his balance when he stumbled on an object lying on the floor. Flailing his arms out to avoid toppling over, his hand whacked against a vase or lamp or something inconveniently placed. It clattered to the floor in the one place not covered by a rug to soften its fall just as the clock struck the top of the hour. Darcy reached for the offending object which had caused his stumble and soon held in his hands one of Miss Elizabeth’s slippers.

“Who is there?” asked Miss Elizabeth in a startled voice.

Darcy groaned. “I apologize if I startled you, Miss Elizabeth. I was not aware anyone else was in the library. I shall depart.”

He had closed the library door behind him. If anyone chanced upon them alone in the dark room, Miss Elizabeth’s reputation would be compromised.

“What time is it?” she asked, looking around her frantically.

“The clock just struck midnight.”

“Midnight? Drat it all, I must have fallen asleep. I must go.”

She scrambled to her feet, her stocking toes searching for her slippers. Darcy reached down and placed the one he held before her.

The door widened and Bingley’s housekeeper peeked in. “Is anyone in here?” she asked.

Miss Elizabeth moved forward. If they were seen… Darcy clamped his hand over her mouth, pulling her against him further into the shadows.

With a cluck, the housekeeper closed the door, locking it behind her. They were stuck.

 

***

 

Elizabeth’s immediate inclination was to bite Mr. Darcy’s thick fingers, which she did with enthusiasm. Though she heard him suck in air sharply, his arms did not loosen from around her. She would scream if only she could breathe.

“Hush!” he hissed, his breath tickling her ear and annoying her further.

She found herself stuck in Mr. Bingley’s library with Mr. Darcy. Alone. Together.

The clattering of the housekeeper’s keys stopped and after a few seconds, Mr. Darcy released his hold on her.

Taking a large step away, she spun around to face him. “Why did you prevent me from leaving? Now, we are locked in!” She ought to have stomped on his foot.

Taking off his glove and rubbing the finger she had bitten, he visibly controlled his breath. Only one angry tremor marred the control in his low baritone, “If Mrs. Harris saw you, she may very well have seen me too. Can you imagine the consequences to your reputation had she seen me attempting to hide from her in a dark library?”

His smooth voice and sound reasoning stood no chance before her ire. “And can you imagine the consequences when I am missed and it is discovered that both of us have gone missing from the ballroom?”

Mr. Darcy paced, reminding Elizabeth of a black panther she had seen at an exhibition once. “If we are caught here, you will be compromised and I will have to make an offer for you.”

“You would act honorably toward me when you have failed to do so for others?” she spat.

Running his uninjured hand through his perfect hair, he said, “I can only guess that you refer to Mr. Wickham. Let me assure you, Miss Bennet, that there is more to that tragic story than he would dare admit to you. He is not to be trusted.”

“And I am to trust you?” She poured as much sarcasm as she could muster into her tone.

“Trust is earned, not seduced with charm.”

She scoffed. “And what do you know of charm, sir? Perhaps you can enlighten me as I have yet to see its display in your behavior.”

He closed the distance between them with one step. His dark eyes lit with a smoldering fire which made her skin tingle. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and lifted her chin before her thoughts muddled.

“Of what use is charm when it is used to disguise one’s flaws?”

“Of which you have none, I suppose?”

“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding nor so grave as those of Mr. Wickham.”

“You believe yourself more honorable than he when you are the one locked in a dark room with an unmarried lady?” It was a low blow, but the irony of his claims and their present situation was too great to ignore.

“I will marry you if it comes to that.” He sounded as thrilled about it as she did.

“And what makes you think I would accept your offer? Nay, Mr. Darcy, neither of us wants to be trapped in a loveless marriage. No more than we want to be trapped in this room. There must be a way out.”

She pulled out a hairpin and scurried to the door.

“You must be quiet lest someone pass by,” ordered Mr. Darcy.

Annoyed, she answered, “I suppose you have a better way?”

The doorknob rattled and Elizabeth jumped back, clamping her hand over her mouth to keep from exclaiming aloud. Jovial voices on the other side of the door conversed.

Mr. Darcy tugged his hand through his hair, resting it on the back of his neck. “This is lovely,” he mumbled.

Elizabeth remained by the door, hoping that the gaggle of people on the other side would leave.

“We must find another way out,” said Mr. Darcy. He turned to the window, pulling the curtains aside.

“I could climb out the window,” she suggested, opening the glass and peeking out. Nobody was about.

“Absolutely not!”

Crossing her arms, she asked, “Why not? I am light and can easily fit through the opening.”

“What if you fall?”

Must he object to her every idea? What an agitating man. “There is a nice ledge running around the house and I am certain that it will be no more difficult to jump down from it than from the branch of a tree.”

Mr. Darcy looked shocked. “You have experience climbing trees?”

Squaring her shoulders, she said proudly, “I have had sufficient practice over the years.” What did she care if he thought her a hoyden? His opinion meant little to her.

“Why does that not surprise me?” he smiled, disarming Elizabeth’s witty retort on the advantages of tree-climbing. He had a nice smile. A beautiful smile. She nearly smiled back at him before she remembered that she did not like him. Not in the least.

He continued, “I do not doubt your skills, Miss Elizabeth. However, I doubt you have attempted the feat in a gown and slippers. Were you to return to the assembly with your dress torn, it might prove difficult to provide a satisfying answer without compromising yourself further.”

There was that. She dearly wanted to contradict him, but she could find no fault with his reasoning.

“What do you propose then, Mr. Darcy?” She looked him squarely in the face, determined he not see how greatly his smile had disturbed her.

“I will do it.”

“But will you fit through the opening?” His superior height and wide shoulders would not allow it. Only the most agile of men could make such a climb without his size hindering him.

“I can squeeze through the side. Do you doubt my abilities?” he asked, his eyes full of… mischief? Mr. Darcy knew how to tease? He even appeared to look forward to the risky descent. Elizabeth did not know what to make of him, and it grew increasingly difficult for her not to smile at him.

“Who am I to doubt you, sir? The fact is that we need to leave this room before we are discovered, and our only other escape is blocked,” she said, keeping her voice down. She still held the hair pin with which she had planned to pick the lock. Frustrated and confused, she shoved it back into place, jabbing her scalp. Oh, how she wished she did not need Mr. Darcy’s help. She could manage well enough on her own.

“I will enter the house again as if I had merely stepped out of doors for some fresh air, and I will ask where you might be so that I may request a dance.”

So much for refusing to dance him. She really had no choice. “Ask Jane. She will know to look for me here.”

“It is the first place I would have thought to look.” He looked at her as if he expected her to say something, but his understanding of her only made her wonder why he would remember that unimportant detail. He had given no indication during her stay at Netherfield Park to care for Jane that he noticed her at all.

Accepting her silence, to which she was grateful, he bowed. “Very good. Now I must be on my way.” Like a cat, he hopped up and through the window, his coat slipping across the frame as he squeezed through in one smooth motion. “Please be so kind as to close the window,” he said as he inched across the ledge and leapt down to the ground with ease.

Elizabeth reached out to the glass, letting the cold breeze cool the spark of admiration and flame of curiosity. Tugging at the curtain, she paused. Was that a shadow behind the fountain?

 

***It’s giveaway time***

Don’t you just love these cliffhangers? When I read this part of the book I could not stop to find out what would happen 🙂

But…Now it’s giveaway time!

Jennifer Joy would like to offer 4 ebook copies of The Honorable Mr. Darcy to her readers across the globe.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is comment this post. Let us know what you thought about the story or the excerpt, congratulate Jennifer on this new release, or ask her anything about the story. The comments can be anything you like 🙂

The giveaway is open until the 23rd of October and the winners will be announced shortly after.

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Filed under Cover reveal, giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy Review & Giveaway

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In Pride and Prejudice Mr. Darcy has months to think about Elizabeth Bennet’s accusations to his character. He has plenty of time to feel angry, upset, and finally understand and accept she might be right in some of the things she said. He has plenty of time to recognize he could become a better man if he choose to moderate his character, and he has plenty of time to make amendments for his previous actions.

But what if he didn’t have all those months? What if one day was all he had to change what needed to be changed? Will that ever be enough? Will he be able to make amends for his past actions in one single day? What course of action would he choose to take if he knew what was to come? And what exactly does he need to change to get it right?

In a Pride and Prejudice meets Groundhog Day story, Beau North and Brooke West present us with a creative and humorous tale that will keep us turning the pages from beginning until the end.

The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy was one of the books I most eagerly expected to read this year and as soon as I got my hands on a copy I devoured it in an instant. Longbourn’s Songbird from Beau North was one of my favorite books in 2015 and the collaboration between her and Brooke West on Then Comes Winter increased my curiosity towards their new book which did not disappoint. In fact, the prologue of The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy is so powerful and gripping that I can honestly say it is one of the best beginnings I have ever seen in a JAFF book. It took my breath away and I could not believe what I was reading! I could not fathom what could have led to that initial scene. Then I continued reading and I understood. Mr. Darcy was trapped in the worst day of his life, the day Miss Elizabeth Bennet refused his hand in marriage! As Darcy is forced to relive this day over and over again, we get to see many the facets of Fitzwilliam Darcy. We see the strong but stubborn Master of Pemberley, the generous gentlemen, the passionate lovebird and even an unknown childish and humorous Darcy. You’ll understand what I mean when you discover what happens to Lady Catherine’s furniture 🙂

The secondary characters in this book were carefully created not only to support the leading characters, but also to have a life and importance of their own, making The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy a consistent book in terms of character development. I enjoyed seeing Anne’s reactions and discourse, but most of all I loved the scene when Lady Catherine bursts into Darcy’s office to let him know that that insolent girl would not give up on him. Not only did I love the scene itself, but also Darcy’s perceptiveness which allowed us to see a side of Lady Catherine I had never seen before.

Overall this is a well written prose with a perfect balance between heart breaking intense scenes and humorous passages that will captivate all types of readers. It is creative, fun and well built, a true must read for the JAFF community.

You can find it at:

Amazon.com – The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy

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***Book Blurb***

“He could no longer claim to be Fitzwilliam Darcy of Derbyshire, brother to Georgiana, master of Pemberley. In that moment, he was but a man. A man filled with more frustration than most souls could bear. A man torn asunder by his desperation, his fruitless dreams and desires.”

After Elizabeth Bennet rejects his marriage proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself in the most unusual of circumstances. At first believing the extraordinary turn of events has granted him an inexplicable boon, he is eager to put the humiliating proposal behind him.

He soon discovers that he is trapped in the same waking dream with no end in sight and no possible escape. All that he holds dear—his name, his home, his love—remains ever out of reach. How will he find his way back to his normal life? Will one mistake haunt the rest of his days? It will take all of his fortitude to weather the storms of his strange new fate, and all of his courage to grasp the promise of his future.

 

 

***Author Bios***

Beau North is the author of Longbourn’s Songbird and a contributor to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Beau is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with Literature. In her spare time, Beau is the brains behind Rhymes With Nerdy, a pop culture podcast and website, and a contributor at the San Francisco Book Review.

 

authorpicContacts:

Facebook: Beau North Writes

Instagram:Miznorth

Twitter: @BeauNorth

Newsletter: tinyletter.com/BeauNorth

Podcasts: http://rhymeswithnerdy.com/

Blog: beaunorthwrites.com (coming soon)

Goodreads: Goodreads Author Page: Beau North

Amazon: Amazon Author Page: Beau North

 

Brooke West is a contributing author to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Brooke has a naturally creative soul that pulls her into myriad artistic endeavors. While writing fiction always has been her life’s passion, Brooke also finds joy in silversmithing, sculpting, and costuming. Between projects, she runs and practices yoga. She lives in South Carolina with her fiancé, son, and three cats.

 

brookewestpicContacts:

Facebook: Brooke West

@WordyWest and @BrookeWest

Goodreads: Goodreads Author Page: Brooke West

Amazon: Amazon Author Page: Brooke West

 

 

 

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***Blog Tour***

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Want to know more about this book? Why don’t you follow the blog tour?

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October 8/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

October 9/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Beau and Brooke

October 10/ From Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

October 11/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post

October 12/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

October 13/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway

October 14/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway

October 15/ The Calico Critic/Excerpt & Giveaway

October 16/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Guest Post

October 17/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

October 18/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Book Review & Giveaway

October 19/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Fitzwilliam Vignette

October 20/ So Little Time… So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway

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***It’s Giveaway time***

Beau and Brooke are giving away 8 copies of their book, which includes 4 ebooks and 4 paperback copies for readers with U.S. mailing addresses

To enter this giveaway, click here.

Good luck everyone!

30 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Giveaway Winners Announcement

Hello Dear Readers,

With the time I’ve been away from our community I had a delay in the announcement of some giveaways that were hosted at From Pemberley to Milton, so today I’m happy to announce 3 winners!

I was very happy to review Courage Rises, Melanie Rachel’s first novel that takes place after Darcy and Elizabeth’s weeding and to receive authors Maria Grace and Pamela Lynne with guest posts on their recently released Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World and Family Portraits.

It was the first time I received both Maria Grace and Pamela Lynne on my blog and it was a pleasure to work with such ladies!

Maria Grace’s Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World is a Non-Fiction book I really want to buy and keep with me at all times, so I could not be more happy to receive this wonderful author in my blog to talk a little about it. And Pamela Lynne doesn’t need introductions, both Sketching Character and Dearest Friends were a huge success so receiving this author for the promotion of Family Portraits was an honor to me.

I would like to thank them both for their professionalism, kindness and of course, for hosting these giveaways for my readers.

Now, I’m sure you are all curious to know who the winners are, so the randomly selected winners are :

 

 

***Courage Rises***

Theresa M

***Courtship and Marriage***

Kim P

***Family Portraits***

Lis

 

Ladies, could you please send me your contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that the ebooks can be sent to you?

Happy reading 🙂

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Filed under giveaway

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Cover Reveal & Giveaway

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Hello everyone,

I know I have been away for a long time, and I apologize for that, but I’m finally taking some days off my job and that has given me the time I needed to get back to my favourite hobby: JAFFing! That may not be a real word, but it’s the closest one I could find 🙂

After this time away, I’m very happy to be returning with a post that is very special to me ! I’m incredibly honored to be the one doing the cover reveal to Nicole Clarkston’s new Pride and Prejudice novel: The Courtship of Edward Gardiner.

This is a sweet prequel of Pride & Prejudice taking Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner as main characters and will be released on October 21st. The book is already available for pre-order, so if you are curious about it, you can check it here.

Before showing you the cover, I would like to invite you to read the Blurb:

 

***Book Blurb***

 

Every great love has a beginning.

In Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we meet with perhaps the most sensible, caring relatives a lovelorn young woman could hope for: Mr and Mrs Gardiner. What is their story?

Edward Gardiner has just been refused by the lovely young woman he had intended to make his wife. Heartbroken and eager for a diversion, he accepts an invitation from his brother-in-law, Thomas Bennet, to accompany him along with his two eldest daughters to the north on family business. Gardiner’s pleasure tour is interrupted, however, when his eldest niece falls ill and is unable to travel farther.

Stopping over in the scarcely remarkable village of Lambton, the men decide that Bennet must continue on, while Gardiner and the children remain. The only trouble is that Gardiner has not the least idea how he should care for one ailing niece and another who is ready to drive him to distraction… until he meets with Madeline Fairbanks.

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What did you think? Did you find this appealing? Curious to know where Edward Gardiner meets Madeline Fairbanks?

The place where the story is developed is crucial because it will allow Nicole Clarkson to bring all characters from Pride and Prejudice to this prequel. With their paths crossing, we will see younger versions of our beloved characters and understand why they grew up to be the characters we know them to be… But you’ll learn more about this story during the upcoming Blog Tour 🙂

 

I’ve mentioned I’m honored to be doing the cover reveal and that is partly because Nicole Clarkston’s writing is exquisite, and partly because of the cover itself, or better yet, the cover creator.

This cover was created by Janet Taylor from JTOriginals, and I’m sure that many of you already noticed I’m a huge fan of her work!!

It all started when Janet’s close friend Jan Hahn suggested she drew a picture for the cover of one of her books, the soon-to be released, The Journey. Janet Taylor accepted the challenge and even if the cover ended up not being used for that book it was the beginning of many more drawings, the Jane Austen calendar, and merchandise featuring her drawings.

Janet Taylor’s first book cover was for Linda Beutler’sThe Red Chrysanthemum in the summer of 2013 but many more followed, namely Nicole Clarkston’s Northern Rain and now The Courtship of Edward Gardiner:

 

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Janet started searching the internet for pictures and/or paintings that might work for this book, she sent several of them to Nicole Clarkston and she chose this one almost immediately.

This beautiful painting was Janet’s pick from the beginning because it fit perfectly to the story (she always wants covers to give hints to what is inside, everything on them needs to play a part in the story or depict something in the story, even the back cover) so she was very happy this was Nicole Clarkston’s pick as well.

The editing of the image began and the result is a little different from the ones Janet did in the past, but beautiful as always, don’t you think?

The painting on the front cover is titled, ‘The Newly Engaged Couple’, 1881, by Carl Thomsen of Denmark and I think it perfectly fits the story! What do you think of it?

As I said, Janet Taylor really loves to pay attention to the details of her covers and that also includes the back cover, so we would like to show you the entire book cover!

 

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What do you think of it? Isn’t it incredibly tasteful?

 

***It’s Giveaway time***

 

Nicole Clarkston would like to offer 2 copies of The Courtship of Edward Gardiner to our readers.

The giveaway is international for ebook copies and is open until the 15th of October. All you have to do is comment this post and share with us your thoughts and encouragement to Nicole’s new release.

Good Luck everyone!

 

44 Comments

Filed under Cover reveal, giveaway, Pride and Prejudice