Monthly Archives: June 2017

Mendacity & Mourning Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

I’m very happy to host Jan Ashton for the second time at From Pemberley to Milton. She visited this blog when she released A Searing Acquaintance last year, and today she returns not only to share an excerpt of her recently released Mendacity & Mourning, but also to talk a little about comedy in JAFF.

I’m sure that like me, many of you have already heard comments from friends like “don’t you get tired of reading the same story over and over again?”, and I don’t know what your reply is, but I always tell them that not only it is not the same story, but also that there are several genres in JAFF, so when discussing with Jan the topics we could approach today, I had no hesitation in accepting comedy in JAFF. It is a subject I find very interesting, and I hope you like it too! Thank you Jan for talking about it with us 🙂




I’m so happy to be here at From Pemberley to Milton and share an excerpt from my book, and talk a bit about comedy in JAFF. Thanks so much for hosting me, Rita!


First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Darcy Jr. in a baby carriage…

I never laughed at Flaubert, nor at Hemingway. Dickens’ inventive names could bring a chuckle but Henry James doesn’t make me smile.

But Jane Austen? It’s a joy trying to keep up with her clever observations and witty understatement, her mocking of society and its characters. Especially in Pride & Prejudice. While Sense & Sensibility is scathingly satirical and Emma is gently teasing, Pride & Prejudice is simply funny.

For me, it is all about the conversations. The banter, the back-and-forth dialogues between the various couples in the book are true highlights. Mr. Bennet tells his wife: “You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least.”

While poor Mrs. Bennet has no idea how her husband’s acerbic humor skewers whatever she says, Darcy and Elizabeth are truly, quite the opposite: misunderstanding the other’s feelings and intents, but never their words.

Jane’s humor was sly and clever but JAFF writers are able to go a little further. Okay, a lot further. Romance and angst are often the keys to a great JAFF story, but the ones I like best leaven the drama with witty dialogue. There are some bawdy bits in Mendacity & Mourning—after all, Thursdays are key to marital felicity and the Fitzwilliam family is fond of fruit, nicknames, and large-breasted women—but I will leave those for readers to discover. (Wouldn’t want to spoil anything…)


The women in a town of five and twenty families are great fun.

Lydia seemed particularly displeased with the small size of their cousin’s head set atop such a large body. She had made the mistake of mentioning it the day before in the presence of her Aunt Phillips, who had tittered for five minutes on how a small-headed man boded well for both his mother and his wife. Mrs. Bennet had joined in the hysterical, knowing laughter while her daughters exchanged the uncomfortable glances of innocents. Elizabeth despised the few moments when her mother and aunt held the advantage in knowledge. It occurred rarely, but when it did, the Gardiner sisters relished their superiority. Elizabeth had tucked away a sudden, unnerving recognition of their resemblance to the Bingley sisters.


The men make an amusing target as well. I’m fond of a Bingley whose eager happiness brings to mind a puppy sniffing about for a bit of bacon. Darcy the Observant is the perfect comedic complement.

“I see. This understanding is not with the Bennet sister you fancy?”

“No, thank goodness,” Bingley replied dreamily before suddenly wheeling around to glare at his friend. “Ho there! I have said nothing of fancying a young lady.”

“But you do.”

“I do, I believe I do,” Bingley agreed. “But how did you know?”

“Charles, do you not recall your algebraic equations?” Darcy said wryly. “Caroline’s vexation multiplied by your eagerness to dispel her reasons for vexation, added to your lovesick expression, divided by the quantity of food you left on your breakfast plate in order to ride more quickly to Longbourn…it all adds up.”

Bingley’s horse slowed as his rider considered the steps in Darcy’s calculation. “Um…”


Yet Darcy is as equally befuddled by love.

“Is the walking pace to your liking, Miss Elizabeth?”

“Yes, thank you, Mr. Darcy.”

“Good. As chaperones, we must keep pace with Bingley and your sister, but it appears we both tend to a faster stride. Perhaps as admirers of nature and clouds, we can slow our steps to enjoy what beauty surrounds us?”

“Eh, yes.” She turned away and gazed at the greenery in the distance.

He gestured with his hand at the cumulus clouds above their heads. “I recall your fondness for the skies. That is as white and happy a cloud as I have ever seen.”

What the hell did I just say? She thought him daft; he knew it. Here he was, spouting insensible soliloquies on puffy white masses, and she knew Cicero. She appeared…wary. Bloody hell.


While other couples are in full bloom of understanding.

“Where is your brother? I thought Robert would join us.”

Richard’s cheeks coloured. “Today is Thursday. He must be home for dinner with his wife.”

“They have an engagement?”

“So to speak. Not that he speaks of it.” Richard found a thread on his waistcoat of great interest.

“I fail to understand. He has to be home because it is Thursday?”

“Yes, young man.” Richard sighed. “He and Harriet have a standing engagement on Thursday. At home. Alone.”

“But you just said…” Realisation dawned, and Darcy’s cheeks reddened as well.


I hope the fun I had in creating these characters, both familiar and original, comes through and that my fellow JAFF lovers will enjoy Mendacity & Mourning.

Thanks again, Rita!




A short scene from Chapter Four


“The sky is most beautiful today, is it not?” Bingley said cheerfully.

“Cerulean, I believe,” Darcy agreed. “And nary a cloud.”

Miss Elizabeth smiled. “All the better for keeping my eyes to the ground.”

Miss Bingley peered at her. “One should observe one’s environs, Eliza, and take in nature’s beauty.”

“And its dangers,” Hurst added drolly. “One never knows when there might be a snake in the grass.”

Miss Lydia snorted, diverting Bingley from his perusal of the sky. He offered his arm to Miss Bennet, and together they led the group towards their respective homes. Darcy cringed as Miss Bingley seized his reluctant arm and began tugging him to follow her brother.

With Miss Lydia’s unwilling arm already captured by Mr. Collins, Darcy offered his spare arm to Miss Elizabeth. She smiled and accepted.

He sought to take advantage of the opportunity to converse and sate his curiosity. “Those are lively young men who escorted you today, Miss Elizabeth. But they were quite well-mannered in church.”

“Yes, they are wonderful boys. They are excited that their father returns tomorrow.”

Darcy’s smile slipped. “You must be happy as well.”

“Relieved, I would say.”

“‘The just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him,’” Mr. Collins intoned.

Miss Lydia scowled. If one strained one’s ears, she could be heard muttering, “Beetle-headed vicar.”

“’Tis true. Children should be seen and not heard,” Miss Bingley said. “Louisa and I were terribly accomplished at sitting still and listening to our elders. Charles was indulged by my mother and aunts.”

“It was those curls, Caroline,” Mrs. Hurst replied. “My mother loved his curls.”

Darcy saw Miss Elizabeth glance at the sisters’ wisps of dull brown hair escaping their Sunday bonnets then turn to espy Mr. Bingley’s dark blond curls peeking out from under his hat. When she looked up at Darcy, her eyes sparkled in shared amusement of the picture the sisters painted of a beloved but envied younger brother.

“Mr. Darcy, have you been reading the volumes left you in Mr. Eggleston’s library?” she asked.

“Not those left behind, no, Miss Elizabeth. I unpacked a box of my own books. In honour of those lost to the flames, I am re-reading Milton.”

Paradise Lost?”

“Of course.”

She smiled. “Will these volumes find a permanent home in Netherfield’s library?”

He returned her smile and replied in a solemn voice. “And chance a cold night and another man desperate for warmth? I think not.”

“Mr. Darcy, my brother would never burn your books!” Miss Bingley cried. “Eliza, you must not be so impertinent. Mr. Darcy has a library to be envied at Pemberley, with hundreds, mayhap thousands, of books housed floor to ceiling.”

“Oh, that is to be envied and admired,” Miss Elizabeth replied. “When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

“‘A room without books is like a body without a soul,’” Darcy said.

“Yes, Cicero had it right,” she responded brightly. Darcy stared at her and nearly guided Miss Bingley on his other side into an overgrown buckthorn bush. “Some say that eyes are the window to one’s soul,” Miss Elizabeth concluded, “but I suspect that books provide another view in.”

“Cousin Elizabeth!” Mr. Collins looked affronted. “Mr. Darcy, please forgive my cousin. She has forgotten Matthew 16:26. ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’”

Darcy rolled his eyes. “Mr. Collins, I believe that Miss Elizabeth meant it as a metaphor.”

Miss Lydia snorted. “Perhaps it went over his head.”

“Nothing flies over my head,” Mr. Collins said indignantly. “I have a butterfly net.”

Thus, at a metaphorical impasse, the two groups parted ways.


It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gossip in possession of misheard tales and desirous of both a good wife and an eager audience need only descend upon the sitting rooms of a small country town in order to find satisfaction. And with a push from Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins sets alight a series of misunderstandings, rumours, and lies that create obstacles to a romance between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

This slightly unhinged romantic comedy follows Darcy as he sets off to find himself a wife and instead finds himself pulled into the mire of his aunt’s machinations and his own fascination with Elizabeth, whom he believes betrothed to another. As Meryton judges him the grieving groom of Anne de Bourgh and a caddish dallier with the hearts of others, Darcy must ferret out the truth behind his cousin’s disappearance, protect his sister from the fretful fate of all Fitzwilliam females, and, most importantly, win Elizabeth’s heart.




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

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

Mendacity & Mourning is her second book with Meryton Press. She published A Searing Acquaintance in 2016.

You can contact Jan Ashton through the following social networks:



Twitter JanAshton


Author Amazon page




06/19   Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, GA

06/20   My Jane Austen Book Club; Author/Character Interview, GA

06/21   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

06/22   From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

06/23   More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, GA

06/24   Just Jane 1813; Review, GA

06/25   Margie’s Must Reads; Guest Post, GA

06/26   Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, GA

06/27   Tomorrow is Another Day; Review, GA

06/28   Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, GA

06/29   My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, GA

06/30   A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life; Guest Post

07/01   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA

07/02   Laughing With Lizzie; Vignette, Excerpt, GA

07/03   Diary of an Eccentric; Review




Meryton Press is giving away eight ebooks of ‘Mendacity and Mourning’ to eight lucky winners. To enter, please use the following rafflecopter link.

Giveaway Terms and Conditions: Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. 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. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries. A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of Mendacity & Mourning by J. L. Ashton.

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

Good luck everyone!



Filed under JAFF

The Inseparable Mr. and Mrs. Darcy – Interview with Jennifer Joy and Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Yesterday Jennifer Joy released The Inseparable Mr. and Mrs. Darcy which is the last novel of the Meryton Mystery Series, and today she visits From Pemberley to Milton to talk a little about the series, this last book and her future projects which include not only JAFF but also some cozy mysteries across the globe (well…I guess it depends on where you stand on the globe…maybe I should have just said Equador, no?).

Did you know that Jennifer Joy doesn’t write only JAFF books? Have you read any non-jaff book from her? I haven’t, but they are on my bucket list 🙂

She brings with her a very generous giveaway, so make sure you comment this post to apply to one of the 8 books she would like to offer, but before that, I hope you like what Jennifer has to say about our favourite characters 🙂




Now that you’ve published the last book in the series, could you tell us where the idea for a mystery series featuring ODC came from?

My stories have always included some mystery element. For example, in Darcy’s Ultimatum we asked what was in the letter Anne held? Why did Lady Catherine react so strongly to it?, in Anne’s Adversity: What’s the truth about Sir Lewis de Bourgh?, in Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Challenge: Who is spying for the French, and why?, in Accusing Elizabeth: Who stole Anne’s diamond earrings? and in Love Never Fails: What is Darcy’s big secret?

This time, I decided to write a full-on standalone mystery along with a continuing romance. I wanted to write a book with high stakes and a ticking clock; a page turner. After completing The Honorable Mr. Darcy, I had so much fun with the idea, I kept going.


And this is the third book in the A Meryton Mystery series. Why did you decide to turn this into a series?

Most people read Pride & Prejudice because of the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth. I knew I couldn’t give their romance the attention it deserved in one book. It would have been too fast and I wanted their love to be based on something more solid. There’s nothing like the trials of life to either tear couples apart or bring them together, so I decided early on that I needed more than one book to tell this story.


That’s kind of a theme in this series: What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Haha! While Darcy and Elizabeth get into a few risky scrapes, they come out alive in the end. Of course, some characters were (mortally) harmed in the making of this book … but that’s to be expected in a mystery!


How is this third book different from the previous two?

It was a challenge to write as a standalone because I had to include enough tidbits of the first two books without giving anything away. That’s really hard to do!

Also, the mystery in this book is much more complicated and many more secrets than I was prepared for came out … which is probably why it’s my biggest book to date. There was so much!


Surprises? Intriguing. Which character surprised you the most, and why?

Georgiana and Lydia are a tie. Lydia may not be known for her wit, but she shocked me with her plan. And Georgiana is a much better sister than I gave her credit for at the start.


So, is this really the end of the series?



Hum…Your characters aren’t the only ones with secrets! Will you at least tell us what you’re working on now?

I have a cold case to solve, a puppy to save, and a doughnut shop to open in my cozy mystery series set in Ecuador.


That sounds like fun! Can you tell us more?

Absolutely! Jessica James is an adventure-averse introvert from Portland, Oregon, who, in circumstances beyond her control, ends up in Baños, Ecuador. Baños is just about the coolest, little town in the country. It’s in the perfect spot between the jungle and the Andes Mountains and boasts a wide array of adrenaline-inducing activities. You can just imagine how uncomfortable a girl unused to stepping out of her comfort zone would feel in a place like that … and then the murders began.

It’s very much Romancing The Stone meets Miss Marple, with a couple of cantankerous elderly sisters intent on getting Jessica into all kinds of trouble.


Jessica sounds familiar 😉 I wouldn’t mind meeting her 🙂 But what about your next JAFF? Any hints?

I got hit with an idea for a contemporary JAFF story I’m itching to start. After that … it’s a mystery.


Speaking of mysteries, can you give us a quick rundown of the first two books in this series for the readers who haven’t picked them up yet?

With pleasure! In book 1: The Honorable Mr. Darcy, when Lt. George Wickham is shot dead, Fitzwilliam Darcy is the prime suspect. Elizabeth Bennet holds the key to his freedom. There’s one problem: If she helps Darcy, she’ll have to marry him. And she despises Darcy. So can Darcy and Elizabeth set aside their differences long enough to catch a killer?

In book 2,  The Indomitable Miss Elizabeth when a deadly secret is revealed, Elizabeth Bennet’s hopes for a happily-ever-after with Mr. Darcy are dashed. Threats are made, leading to an event no one could foresee—a murder in Meryton. Darcy soon discovers the strength of the victim’s enemies…and their closeness to Elizabeth.

With a killer on the loose and hearts on the line, can they solve another mystery together? Or will the truth break them apart forever?


Thank you so much Jennifer!!! And best of luck with this new release 🙂




Jennifer’s characters aren’t the only ones with surprises. She came bearing gifts and good news.

First, Jennifer wants to offer 4 ebooks of The Inseparable Mr. and Mrs. Darcy to 4 lucky winners.

Second, she wants to announce here that her first book in the A Meryton Mystery series is ON SALE for 99 cents in the US and the UK Amazon stores from June 22-29.  That’s this Thursday through the next.

Third, she wants to offer 4 readers their choice of any one of her books! Just name in the comments which book you would choose and let us know why that was your choice, what is that the one that appeals to you the most?

The giveaway is international an ends on the 30th of June. The winners will be announced shortly after that.


Good luck everyone!


Filed under interview, JAFF, Pride and Prejudice

Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Advetures: Titanic giveaway winners

Good Afternoon everyone,

Denise O’Hara published the third volume of her Timeless series and visited From Pemberley to Milton with a guest post and an excerpt in the beggining of the month. She also brought with her 2 copies of Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Advetures: Titanic to giveaway to my readers.

Before announcing the winners of the giveaway I would like to thank Mrs. O’Hara for visiting my blog once more, it is always a pleasure to receive you!

I would also like to thank all who commented and shared their support to Mrs. O’Hara on this blog.

Now without further ado, the randomnly selected winners are:


*** Alp1788***



Congratulations!! Please send me your contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com and let me know if you already own volumes 1 & 2 of the Timeless collection, as Mrs. O’Hara is happy to offer you a copy of those as well if you don’t own them yet.

For those who were not so lucky, you can find the books at Amazon by clinking on the links below:



Filed under JAFF

The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque – Guest Post & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Welcome to The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque Blog Tour. I am very happy and excited to be the first to receive author Don Jacobson on this thrilling journey because he is developing a genre that captivates me immensely! In this book he combines regency, time travel and the Victorian era, how perfect is that?

The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque is the second volume of the Bennet Wardrobe series, and Don Jacobson is here today to talk a little about the unity of the series volumes, but before moving on to his guest post, I would like to welcome Don Jacobson to From Pemberley to Milton and wish him luck with this blog tour! The premise of the series is very different from anything I’ve seen and I’m sure the tour will be a success. I would also like to thank Janet Taylor for organizing this blog tour and Claudine Pepe bringing Don Jacobson to my attention. Thank you ladies!

Now, without further ado I will let you with Don’s words…



The Ties That Bind The Bennet Wardrobe Universe


There are several modalities I have used to establish a sense of unity between and within the various novels and novellas that make up the Bennet Wardrobe Series.

Some allow characters and readers to utilize sense memory to recall important forces that have shaped their lives. Mary in The Keeper finds Edward’s scent of witch hazel to be an anchor that keeps her feel safe. In The Exile, Henry struggles for years knowing that he will never discover the woman whose perfume of roses over freshly cut grass anchored his troubled spirits. Others—like the Waterman pen—transcend the confines of any particular book, serving to provide an additional level of unconscious linkage between sisters.

There are also those that serve as metaphors. The rose motif that first appears in Henry Fitzwilliam’s War allows Lydia to explain and expand upon the sobriquet The Five Roses of Hertfordshire that had been applied to the Five Beautiful Bennet Sisters. Her story of the roses, and her role as a master grower of the flower, expands upon the inherent traits of each Bennet woman—Jane’s beauty with the yellow Lady Anne, Lizzy’s fiery nature with the deep red Lizzy’s Own, and even Mary centrality to the family with the pruned bush awaiting to deliver another season of beauty. My great cover designer, Janet Taylor, changed that somewhat by giving Mary the white rose to symbolize the purity of her soul. And, as Lydia revealed, Kitty was represented by every rose type!

But, of all of the devices—and the one which was deeply rooted for me in the most memorable quote from Jane Austen’s masterpiece—it is Bennet Eyes which becomes universal as the single unifying trait of those who can use the Wardrobe.

“I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes…”

                                                           Mr. Darcy to Miss Bingley,

Pride & Prejudice, Book I, Ch. VI.

We spend much time with Darcy being bewitched by Lizzy’s remarkable eyes. Every Bennet daughter—and actually every Bennet be they named Bennet, Darcy, Bingley, Fitzwilliam, Gardiner or Collins—moves through the stories bearing those Bennet Eyes.

Jane: Sky Blue

Lizzy: Chocolate Brown

Mary: Light Brown

Kitty: China Blue

Lydia: Emerald Green

Thomas: Hazel

Henry: Steel Grey

Oh, and as you read The Bennet Wardrobe stories, you will discover others who bear Bennet Eyes.

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque. Here Kitty Bennet is being escorted by Lord Henry Fitzwilliam to a meeting of the Life Trustees of the Bennet Family Trust.


Chapter II

The offices of the Bennet Family Trust were located above Wilson & Hunters’ offices in Chancery Lane. A long-faced doorman admitted them into the lower lobby and blew into a speaker’s tube to alert his confederate at the other end. He then quietly spoke into the mouthpiece advising that the Viscount and his guest awaited an escort.

An office boy approached and guided them through the warren of offices that housed a battalion of barristers. Nervous young clerks dashed about on errands. Others bowed their heads behind stacks of documents bound with scarlet ribbons. Kitty and Henry were finally ushered to the base of a narrow stairwell.

“I believe you know your way from here, my Lord,” the youth stated.

Henry led Kitty up the stairs into a world that was diametrically opposed to that through which they had just passed. Where the former had been noisy and bustling with energy, these offices were near sepulchral. A long luxuriously woven Oriental runner deadened their footfalls as they moved along a richly paneled hallway. While there were multiple doorways opening onto the hall, not a single one was opened to reveal the interior beyond. The subdued light glimmering through each door’s frosted glass panel was augmented by gas lamps spaced at intervals along the passage.

The corridor’s walls were adorned with numerous portraits. Kitty slowed as she passed each one. Those immortalized were strangely familiar, and they all had a similar look about their eyes.

Those are the ‘Bennet eyes;’ something Papa always talked about. He said he could look around our dinner table and know for certain that we were all his children—much to Mama’s loudly voiced outrage at his veiled jest about her fidelity.

The names on some of the plaques below the paintings jumped out at her…

George William Darcy, Earl of Pemberley

       Trust Life Director, 1838-1863

Madelyn Darcy Johnson

     Trust Life Director, 1840-1878

Michael Edward Bennet

     Managing Director, 1852-1885

As they approached a set of massive double doors at the far end of the hall, one great canvas graced the wall to their left. Four men had sat for this single portrait…and Kitty could not imagine a more powerful looking group. They were captured stationed around a large and imposing desk.

The nameplate was simple and for Kitty almost unnecessary. Although she was unclear about one of the subjects, there was no question in her mind about the identity of the other three. In spite of the years added to their faces and flesh to their frames, there was no mistaking Colonel Fitzwilliam (although he was identified as General), Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. The gentleman wearing clerical garb and seated behind the desk was identified as Edward Benton, Senior Managing Director and Keeper.

An equally imposing canvas was facing the first from the opposite wall. As she turned to it, Kitty’s heart squeezed with sadness and longing. There, looking down on her were four pairs of very fine eyes, all arranged by age and matching the position of the men opposite them. Jane’s sky blue gazed at Bingley’s shock of flaming hair. Lizzy’s chocolate brown orbs were for Darcy alone as he stood next to his cousin. Mary’s light brown eyes caressed the preacher. And Lydia’s emerald green sought the fine figure of the Colonel standing by himself next to the reverend.

Oh, what lives and loves you must have enjoyed!

Kitty’s hand unconsciously lifted, and she stroked the gilt frame.

Henry stood to the side, quietly observed the emotions playing across her face, giving her a modicum of privacy with her sisters. Then he gently broke her mood by touching her elbow, guiding her along toward the mahogany panels that opened to his hand on the door handles.


At their entry, the four elegantly dressed people standing near the one end of the room turned to face them. Two men and two women, each with Bennet eyes, took their measure of Kitty. As for the teenager, she could learn little of them as none betrayed any particular emotion.

What did draw her eye, though, was one last portrait; the only decoration on the wall at what must have been the head of the table. There, standing behind the worktable in the Longbourn bookroom, was her Papa. The artist caught his lips in a slight smile below the amused glint in his hazel eyes in a pose seemingly caught right after Lizzy had just suggested something impertinent. Papa leaned toward Kitty as if he wanted to say something, to offer some words of wisdom that would help her through her predicament. However, while his presence on the wall was comforting, she did not gain any insight from his silent pose.

Henry seated her to the right of the head where he positioned himself. The others arranged themselves to his left and adjacent to Kitty. A woman of indeterminate age with graying auburn hair settled herself into the upholstered seat beside Kitty. She looked at Henry who nodded his assent. Turning to the girl and smiling, she introduced herself.

“Hello. Let me get this started because I am sure that your head is spinning.

“I am Estelle Charlotte Bennet. I am your niece. My parents were your adopted brother, Edward Bennet, and his wife, Maria Rose Collins, who inherited Longbourn in full after her father’s death. I tell you this so that you know that there are still Bennets at Longbourn. Because my maternal grandfather, whose name will never be spoken in these halls, had Bennet blood, so too did my mother and all of her children. My eldest brother, Michael, is the Master of Longbourn right now.”

A sour-looking gentleman of late middle age directly across from Kitty spoke next.

“My name is William Francis Darcy. I would be your great-nephew, I imagine. Your sister Elizabeth was my grandmother. I am the second Earl of Pemberley. I am pleased to make your acquaintance. However, I must tell you that this is a meeting I fervently wish never to have been called.

“Young Henry here has told us that you wish to remain in this time. This strikes me as a very impetuous decision, something that could lead to disaster,” the Earl solemnly intoned before being cut off by Henry.

“Uncle, you must recall that we have already discussed and decided this. Bringing the matter up again when the Board has already taken a position is poor form,” Henry chided the older man, “Miss Bennet will be allowed to exercise her freedom of choice unless she demonstrates that she is unable to act in the families’ best interests.”

Duly admonished the aristocrat settled back in his chair with a dismissive wave of his hand.

Next came the other man, who appeared to be in his 30s. Another Fitzwilliam, he curtly informed Kitty that he was one of Henry’s distant cousins and had descended from Lydia and the General’s younger son, George. He added little more to the conversation beyond that.

Finally, the second, and considerably younger, woman who reminded Kitty of Jane, spoke up. Her rich blue eyes warmly gazed across the oiled wood at Kitty. She appeared to be Henry’s age.

“Miss Bennet, I am Caroline Anne Bingley. Your sister Jane was my Great- grandmother. The lady you knew as Caroline Bingley before she married into the Johnson family was one of my Grand Aunts.”

Kitty interrupted her without thinking, “Oh, you have my sympathies.”

Henry made to correct her, but Miss Bingley shushed him with a look.

“And I would take them if the woman you knew was the one my mother and cousins told me about. But the Caroline who came into their lives as Mrs. Johnson after her return from America was very kind and loving, even if she bore a great sadness.

“I still live at the Bingley seat at Thornhill in Derbyshire and will do so until my wedding to Lord John Cecil in a few months. However, if you would like to visit the estate to get away from the city for a while, we could be there in a few hours.”

At Kitty’s wide-eyed look, she added, “I will let Henry explain how railroads have made our world a small place indeed.

“I know that this is so much to take in. You have relatives scattered all over the Empire. The world itself has changed beyond imagination in the last 75 years. I would fully understand if you took one look at all of this and ran screaming back to the Wardrobe in Matlock House.”

“And a good idea it would be,” grunted Lord Pemberley.

Henry glared his uncle. Then he took up the speaker’s mantle using the voice of authority that Kitty had always associated with Mr. Darcy.

“Miss Bennet, as you have divined by now, we are the Board of Life Members of the Bennet Family Trust, an organization dedicated to support the interests of clan Bennet and the Five Families.[i] This meeting was called to introduce you to the highest reaches of the Trust.

“As my cousin, Miss Bingley, has suggested, you have a lot to absorb and could eventually feel overwhelmed. The Trust, though, is here for you. We have offices worldwide and are able to exert a lot of discreet influence on behalf of the Families and individual members.

“You must feel free to contact the Trust at any time.”

He stopped suddenly and covered his mouth with a handkerchief quickly pulled from his pocket as a sudden coughing fit consumed his remaining breath.

He paused and poured himself a glass of water from the crystal carafe in front of him. Sipping it, he cleared his throat and continued.

“Setting aside what my uncle suggested…the Board has already voted to allow you complete freedom to determine your future within certain constrictions which will be discussed in a moment after we are joined by the Trust’s senior managers.

“However, I will stress to you that this decision is not final. The matter can be revisited at any time until you reach your chronological majority in four years. Questions about your ability to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with the interests of the Families will open you to significant penalties.

“I will leave those to your imagination.”

Not willing to be treated as a child barely out of leading strings, Kitty planted both hands on the burnished expanse of the table and slowly eyed each adult in the room before she uttered a word. Then she spoke to them in what she felt was her most mature and modulated voice.

“From what I have learned from speaking to my sister and Mr. Fitzwilliam, the Wardrobe takes us to times which will answer our needs not our wants. I have been here less than a fortnight…each day of which has been occupied with tending to my beloved sister and then mourning her. I doubt if the Wardrobe brought me to this place and time simply to bury Lydia.

“Thus, ladies and gentlemen of the Board, I am not prepared to leave…nor do I think you are prepared to evict me…the most senior Bennet in this room…no, this world…and send me back to my father’s library. So, please, no more threats.

“I imagine you will find me more amenable if you treat me as an adult rather than a recalcitrant schoolgirl.”

Then she added as an afterthought, perhaps to pull some of the sting from her earlier speech, “By the way, your portrait of my Papa is wonderfully rendered. Your artist even included that delightful twinkle in his eyes, one that was there when he was teasing my mother or sparring with Lizzy.”

Miss Bingley looked at the girl and smiled wryly, “That is what the Dowager said nearly word-for-word when we unveiled it last year.”

[i] Bennet, Darcy, Fitzwilliam, Gardiner, and Bingley



Beware of What You Wish For

The Bennet Wardrobe may grant it!

Longbourn, December 1811. The day after Jane and Lizzy marry dawns especially cold for young Kitty Bennet. Called to Papa’s bookroom, she is faced with a resolute Mr. Bennet who intends to punish her complicity in her sister’s elopement. She will be sent packing to a seminary in far-off Cornwall.

She reacts like any teenager chafing under the “burden” of parental rules—she throws a tantrum. In her fury, she slams her hands against the doors of The Bennet Wardrobe.

Her heart’s desire?

I wish they were dead! Anywhere but Cornwall! Anywhere but here!

As Lydia later said, “The Wardrobe has a unique sense of humor.”

London, May 1886. Seventeen-year-old Catherine Marie Bennet tumbles out of The Wardrobe at Matlock House to come face-to-face with the austere Viscount Henry Fitzwilliam, a scion of the Five Families and one of the wealthiest men in the world. However, while their paths may have crossed that May morning, Henry still fights his feelings for another woman, lost to him nearly thirty years in his future.  And Miss Bennet must decide between exile to the remote wastelands of Cornwall or making a new life for herself in Victorian Britain and Belle Époque France.




Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years. His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio.  His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he published the first volume of The Bennet Wardrobe SeriesThe Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey, novel that grew from two earlier novellas. The Exile is the second volume of The Bennet Wardrobe Series. Other JAFF P&P Variations include the paired books Of Fortune’s Reversaland The Maid and The Footman.”

 Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations. As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.

He is a member of JASNA-Puget Sound. Likewise, Don is a member of the Austen Authors collective (see the internet, Facebook and Twitter).

He lives in the Seattle, WA area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorize, and their rather assertive four-and-twenty pound cat, Bear.  Besides thoroughly immersing himself in the JAFF world, Don also enjoys cooking; dining out, fine wine and well-aged scotch whiskey.

His other passion is cycling. Most days from April through October will find him “putting in the miles” around the Seattle area (yes there are hills).  He has ridden several “centuries” (100 mile days).  Don is especially proud that he successfully completed the AIDS Ride—Midwest (500 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago) and the Make-A-Wish Miracle Ride (300 miles from Traverse City, MI to Brooklyn, MI).

You may contact him through the following social media:


Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page





06/15   From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, GA

06/16   My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

06/17   Just Jane 1813; Review, Excerpt, GA

06/19   Diary of an Eccentric; Excerpt, GA

06/20   Savvy Verse and Wit; Guest Post, GA

06/21   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA

06/22   My Vices and Weaknesses; Review, Excerpt, GA

06/23   Babblings of a Bookworm; Character Interview, GA

06/25   My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, GA

06/24   A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life; Guest Post

06/26   Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, GA

06/27   So little time…; Guest Post, GA

06/28   Laughing With Lizzie; Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt, GA



Don Jacobson would like to offer 8 eBook copies of The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque .

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. 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. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international. To enter the giveaway click here.



Filed under JAFF

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion from Regina Jeffers is the perfect book for readers who love Jane Austen’s Persuasion!

It gives us a glimpse of how Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot met, and their consequent courtship period, before moving on to the main story which is a retelling from Wentworth’s point of view alternated with their life at sea after their marriage. By bringing all of this together in one single book, Mrs. Jeffers created the most complete Persuasion book one can find; it is a prequel, a variation with different POV and a sequel!

In the beginning I found the alternation between the events a little confusing, but I soon started to enjoy these alternate chapters and particularly how they converge into the story’s ending.

I loved seeing Frederick Wentworth in his youth meeting Anne Elliot, falling in love with her and having his heart shattered. I always wondered why there weren’t more books that focused on this particuar period because I always had a big curiosity about how they met, why they fell in love with one another, and how was Anne’s refusal delivered; Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion came to satiate my need for this 🙂

I particularly enjoyed the fact that we are presented with Wentworth’s POV instead of Anne’s because it gives us a more masculine view of every scene, and it makes us feel more close to him as a character than to Anne. He will not seem as cruel or fickle as in Persuasion because we are able to see his side of the story, and we know what is on his mind and heart in each scene. By seeing the story through his eyes we will find him more romantic and irresistible than in Persuasion, and those who may have had reserves regarding him, may very well forget all about that when reading this book.

I know some people are not as fond of Wentworth as I am, but I believe that if they read this book, they will come to like him more. It is very different to witness every scene from his point of view, and to understand when he realized he was paying too much attention to Louisa Musgrove and that such behavior had to stop.

Even though I enjoyed immensely this book, I would have liked to see a little more of their courtship when they were young, and to understand a little better why Wentworth fell in love with Anne. But this was not a prequel per se, and being only an introduction to the book itself, I understand the author would not want to spend too much time in this period of the story.

It is very curious, but in Persuasion I felt more empathy towards Anne, in this book I felt more empathy towards Wentworth as Anne sometimes appeared to be a character towards whom I felt pity and could not like so much. This was a very positive aspect, as it allowed me to appreciate the story from both points of view and have a wider assessment of both personalities and how they are perceived by themselves and by others.

As mentioned earlier, this book is the most complete novel one could find based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion and I have no doubt that all Persuasion enthusiasts will love it considering how deep it goes into the lives and personalities of Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot. It is a romantic tale that brings to light a new side of Wentworth that will make each reader fall in love with him even more. I highly recommend it to JAFF readers.

You can find Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion at:


Filed under 4.5 stars, jane austen, Persuasion

Giveaway Winners

Hello everyone.

How are you this month?

I’ve been busy, busy and stopped my JAFF reading for a while to read The Little Paris Bookshop, which is an interesting book about a bookshop owner who considers his bookshop a literary pharmacy because he believes books are the remedy for the souls maladies. But I am already missing Darcy and Elizabeth, so this weekend I’ll return to Pemberley stories 🙂

Before I do, I would like to announce the winners of the last 2 giveaways held in From Pemberley to Milton, namely an ebook copy of Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks , 2 ebooks from Joana Starnes (readers’ choice) and 5 Audiobook’s of The Falmouth Connection.

I’m sure you are interested in seeing if your name is among the lucky winners, so without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:


Modern Persuasion

*** Evamedmonds ***


Joana Starnes Ebook

***Leah Pruett ***

*** Mary ***


The Falmouth Connection

***Sheila L. Majczan ***

***MissJamieann ***

*** Anji ***

***Jami Dragan ***

*** Apala ***


Congratulations to all the winners! Could you please send me your contact to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com until the 17th of June?

Happy reading!


Filed under JAFF

Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Adventures: TITANIC – Guest post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m sure many of you have heard about Denise O’Hara’s Timeless Series which is already in volume 3, but I hope that this post will also bring some new information. Today I’m sharing a guest post by the author where she explains why she decided to write a mash up of P&P and the Titanic, and an excerpt to give you a little taste of what the book is like.

In case you haven’t heard about this series before, it is a set of 3 stories that bring Darcy and Elizabeth to modern times and deals not only with their romance, but also their adaptation to our reality.

You can find more information about the 3 novels on the links below:

Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Adventures: London (Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless Book 2)

Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Adventures: TITANIC: Book 3 of the Pride and Prejudice Timeless Series



I’ve always been a history buff. When I was a teenager and discovered that the Titanic hit the iceberg on the fourteenth of April, which also happens to be my birthdate, well that moment in history took on even more significance. I couldn’t read enough of the events surrounding that purportedly unsinkable ship. It still holds a special fascination for me to this day. The outcome could have been so much different if only one of the many contributing factors had not occurred as they did. If only.

I’ve written another book which is a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice called Legally Darcy, but the Timeless Series is different. In my Darcy and Elizabeth Timeless Series, I was able to… with a leap of faith and stretch of the imagination… bring our same dear couple from Regency Times into our modern world. It’s been tremendously fun to write! In the third installment of the series, Darcy and Elizabeth are still catching up with the historical events which took place during their long sleep. In this process Darcy learns of the fateful ship’s doomed maiden voyage- and as so many others have responded- he’s intrigued.

The Darcys have access to so much information through not only an astounding amount of books, but also the internet, television, Netflix. Darcy’s research leads him to a revelation about descendants of the Bennet family, and a connection to the Titanic. After watching a movie by the same name, Darcy’s research, entertainment, and the couple’s past come together in a dream sequence putting the characters of Pride and Prejudice on the Titanic. I hope you enjoy the mix of two of the greatest stories of all time; one fact, one fiction, both timeless.

Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Adventures: TITANIC is now available on Amazon as an eBook, soon to be released in paperback.



“Mrs. Avant will have left dinner in the ice box by now. Shall I heat it up for us?” Elizabeth asked.

“Actually, do you think I would have enough time to pop into town? I would like to go to the library and pick up some books for my research. We could call it a night out. I’ve been hearing good things about a new restaurant that serves oysters.”

“Oysters! No thank you! I could never bring myself to try them.”

“Not even the oyster patties they used to serve at Netherfield?”

“Not even those.”

“I learn something new every day,” Darcy smiled. “No oysters. How about we go to that little Irish place you like.”

Elizabeth looked startled for a moment then laughed at herself. “If there is one thing that you have adjusted to more quickly than I have it is the fact that we can drive now, and get anywhere we want really quite quickly anytime we want. I do not know why I have not got that into my head. I finally got out of the habit of immediately thinking horse and carriage, but I still think of calling a car and driver.”

“Well, no need any more, my love. You have a driver right here anytime you want one, or if not, then you are perfectly capable of driving yourself.”

Elizabeth made a face. “I do enjoy it, but only here on the country roads. I worry amongst heavy traffic.”

“You will get used to it eventually. So what say you to going to town with your husband?”

“Sounds perfect,” Elizabeth said, stepping forward to give him a kiss before they headed out.

On arriving home later that evening, Elizabeth held the door open as Darcy struggled through the doorway, carrying a stack of four books and three bags from a local bookstore they had decided to stop at after dinner.

“Good Lord,” Georgiana said on seeing them. “One would think you bought the entire store!”

“Well, when the librarian reminded me that I could only take out four books, what else could I do but head to the book shop and see if they had anything on the subject?”

“Obviously they had,” Elizabeth added. “Well, I found a couple more books by the Bronte sisters which I do not have. I am excited to read more of their works. I think you’ll like them too, Georgiana.”

“Some I got are just general history books,” Darcy added as he set the books down on the entrance table, “but they will be useful to us anyway. Though they have a section about the Titanic, it is not the only subject we need to learn about.”

“No, just the one you happen to be a tad obsessed with at the moment,” Georgiana teased.

“I do not know if I would go so far as that, but I admit that I am fascinated. Shall I show you?”

Georgiana hesitated, seeing her brother’s enthusiasm. But before she could decide how to tactfully refuse the offer, Elizabeth answered.

“Not now, it is rather late and if we get started now, we will never get to bed. Go and put them in your study and come straight back here. You can show me everything tomorrow.”

“Yes, all right,” Darcy replied, looking slightly disappointed.

“I mean it!” she called after him. “Straight back here!”

She heard him chuckle as he walked down the lengthy hall and she nodded in satisfaction. After a warning like that there was no way he would disobey.

She looked at her sister-in-law who mouthed the words, thank you.



Denise O’Hara would like to give 2 copies of the new eBook away internationally. But since it is a Series, if the winners don’t already have book one, Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless, or book two, Darcy and Elizabeth’s Timeless Adventures: London, she will be kind enough to include them as well.

Please comment this post until the 12th of June to be included in the giveaway. The winners will be announced shortly after that.

If you don’t want to miss the announcement of the winner and therefore miss the opportunity to see your name there, please follow From Pemberley to Milton. By doing so you will receive an email every time a new post is published and will not miss your prize if you are the lucky winner.

Good Luck everyone!



Filed under JAFF

Darcy the Beast Review

I am a big fan of Beauty and the Beast so when I saw this cross over on Amazon I didn’t think twice about buying it.

Darcy and the Beast is a mash up of Pride & Prejudice and Beauty and the Beast where Mr. Darcy’s family faces a course that stipulates that the male heirs need to marry for love or some disaster will occur. Darcy’s father decides to ignore that, and marries without love, which triggers a downfall of Pemberley’s income. To solve that, he forces Mr. Darcy to marry an heiress, and the curse carries on. Darcy will be particularly affected by it as during a fire he is severely injured and gets permanent scars.

Because of those events he becomes a bitter person who is forced to wear a mask to hide his face. This fact, along with the rumors that accompany him, will make the people of Meryton fear and despise him, so when he buys Mrs. Bennet’s debts and uses that as leverage to make Elizabeth marry him, she is everything but happy and is able to negotiate with him, accepting to live at Pemberley, but not to marry Mr. Darcy.

I found the initial chapters of the book very humorous as we see characters proclaiming sentences we never thought they would pronounce. Then it takes a more serious tone as we see Elizabeth living with Darcy at Pemberley and their relationship enfolding. There are also some romantic scenes in the book and I found the daily marriage proposals very endearing 🙂

I enjoyed this book immensely, but some people may not like to read how Darcy got Elizabeth to live with him at Pemberley and that his personality is more similar to the Beast than to Darcy’s. I truly liked Darcy’s character; to me he was a sexy man whom I wanted to take care of. But I believe readers need to accept that he will be very similar to the Beast.

There was, however, one character I didn’t enjoy: Georgiana. Sometimes her goodness and ingenuity are tiresome and I’m not particularly fond of those characteristics when exaggerated, but I didn’t like seeing her portrayed as a little brat in this book.

Also, I was expecting Elizabeth to actually fall in love with Darcy and it felt she only fell in love with Mr. Dream and merely tolerated Mr. Darcy. Plus the ending of the book felt too rushed without any explanation as to how Darcy recovered etc. I think that this book has a lot of potential and it would have been great if the author had developed it a little more, it is however an enjoyable read and I still had many pleasant moments while reading it.

You can find Darcy the Beast at:


Filed under JAFF