Monthly Archives: March 2018

Author of the Month – Jan Hahn

.

Good Afternoon everyone,

Welcome to my third edition of the author of the month feature. After giving a shout out to Joana Starnes and Nicole Clarkston in the first 2 months of the year, my choice for author of the month in March was obvious, it simply had to be Jan Hahn.

This month Jan Hahn has released her 5th novel called The Child which I have recently reviewed here at From Pemberley to Milton, but that was not why I chose her for this feature, I chose Jan Hahn because I’ve spent the entire month re-reading her books!

Jan Hahn is clearly on top of my favourite authors list and after reading the The Child I felt a compulsion to re-read her other novels. I though I would just have a good time reading The Journey for a couple of hours, but it turns out that just like the first time I read it, once I started I couldn’t put it down. After that one I attacked An Arranged Marriage, and now I’m re-reading A Peculiar Connection, this means the only book from this author I haven’t read this month is The Secret Betrothal… but I’m leaving that to April 😉

There are few authors who are able to truly find their way into my heart with their books and Jan Hahn is certainly one of them. There is something special in her writing that makes me completely and utterly engaged with the characters and the stories. She writes exactly what I want to read and I find her books absolutely PERFECT!

Her characters Darcy and Elizabeth are always exactly as I imagine them to be, and we know how these characters may vary depending on the author who is putting them on paper, so I consider myself lucky because this talented author views these characters just like I do, and always makes me feel connected to them in her books. But that is not the only reason her books are perfect for me; she is not afraid to give readers the taste of angst that I am incredibly fond off. She creates the most beautiful and perfect angst, the one where Darcy and Elizabeth love each other but can’t be together as a couple for some reason (usually a misunderstanding that is always justified and believable in her stories). That’s what makes it so incredible, her angst is not based on them being apart which is a type of angst I dislike, by the contrary, we see them together, we read their conversations and we feel their sorrow for not being together… it’s just delightful. But she never forgets readers who are not so fond of angst, because after she gives us the taste of it, she always takes the time to give readers many chapters of blissful happiness. This is one author who never rushes an ending, she takes all the time she needs to please all types of readers, and by doing it, she creates a perfect balance throughout her books with the ideal quantity of romance, angst and closure.

I’ve spoken about her characters, the tone of her books and their structure but I haven’t yet mentioned the storylines. That is another A grade for Jan Hahn! She devises the most intriguing plots, keeping the pacing of the books very fast and making readers want to keep going until everything is resolved. That is obviously a combination of incredible writing skills and a great imagination!

Jan Hahn’s writing is compelling, intriguing and addictive and her books are the perfect combination of great plotlines, well-developed characters and delightful romance. To me they are perfect in every sense and I must say A Peculiar Connection is my all time favourite JAFF book with The Journey running in second place. I only wish Jan Hahn could continue writing every day because her books are everything my soul needs when I am down.  Her stories and her characters allow me to escape my daily problems and be removed into a world where after some turbulence happiness is always met. Just like Joana Starnes, Jan Hahn is one of the few authors who reaches the deepest parts of my heart with the intensity of the scenes she writes, and that is what I love the most about a book, the ability to make me feel something. It is not easy to do that because it takes more than good writing skills to achieve something so powerful as intensely engaging the readers emotions, but Jan Hahn is quite an expert at it!

Jan Hahn is an author whose books I’ll always read and who I will always recommend to my readers because after reading all her books I can honestly say she cannot get it wrong! Her books are always incredible and she has a talent that words cannot explain, at least I can’t with my limited writing abilities, but I can only say I really hope she never stops writing because a talent like hers should not go to waste.

The last detail I cannot refrain from mentioning is the taste she reveals in the choice of her covers. Her covers are always sooooooo beautiful I can’t resist them 🙂 I remember buying The Secret Betrothal because of the cover and of course, the inside matched the outside, so let me finish by adding that we can judge a book by its cover, and Jan Hahn’s books are always winners 😉

 

 

Award-winning writer Jan Hahn is the author of five Austen-inspired novels. She studied music at the University of Texas, but discovered her true love was a combination of journalism and literature. Her first book, An Arranged Marriage, was published in 2011, followed by The Journey, The Secret Betrothal, A Peculiar Connection, and The Child. The anthology, The Darcy Monologues, contains her short story entitled Without Affection. She agrees with Mr. Darcy’s words in Pride and Prejudice: ‘A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.’

Jan is a member of JASNA, lives in Texas, has five children and a gaggle of grandchildren.

 

Jahn Hahn’s Facebook Page

Jan Hahn’s Author Page

 

 

Below you can see the books that made me love Jan Hahn:

My Review (coming soon) Amazon.com

.

My Review (coming soon) Amazon.com


My Review (coming soon) Amazon.com

 

My Review Amazon.com

.

My Review Amazon.com

.

And now you can find a little bit more about all of the above books and discover why Jan Hahn keeps writing JAFF 🙂

 


Thank you, Rita, for honoring me as your author of the month! I’m thrilled that you would choose me from the huge selection of Austen writers out there. You are more than kind. Bloggers like you are treasures in the world of writing today. They are the essential link between readers and writers. Helping to launch a new book or an unknown talent into the reading world is a priceless asset, and it’s done by the selfless generosity of bloggers.

The Child is the fifth novel I’ve written based on Pride and Prejudice. People ask, ‘When are you going to create your own characters?” I laughingly answer when I grow tired of Austen’s perfect creations. But don’t expect it any time soon for who can tire of Austen? I have scattered a few original people throughout my novels. The maid Fiona provoked Elizabeth’s curiosity and a bit of jealousy in An Arranged Marriage. My own bad boy Nate Morgan appeared in The Journey. Father Peter Darcy, Elizabeth Willoughby and her family, and various minor characters played parts in A Peculiar Connection. A maid called Maggie, who plays a significant role in the plot, pops up in The Child, and of course, there’s the child herself named Fan.

I prefer, however, to write mainly about Darcy and Elizabeth. I like stories where they’re thrown together for most of the book even though they may be in conflict much of the time. And I delight in watching them fall in love all over again.

An Arranged Marriage was the easiest book to write. For some reason, the story just flowed out of me, and it’s still my most popular work. The first part of The Journey was fun to write. Since highwaymen in England compared to outlaws in the American westerns my late husband loved, I sought his advice on weapons and camping in the cave scenes. I can’t think of that book without remembering him. A novella I posted online in 2003 called The Engagement emerged into the fleshed-out book The Secret Betrothal. A Peculiar Connection featured a shocking premise, and yet brave readers embraced it.

Last year, Christina Boyd invited me to participate in her anthology The Darcy Monologues. My short story was entitled Without Affection and begins and ends in the twilight years of the Darcy marriage. And that brings me to The Child, a story beginning over two years after Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford. I hope you enjoy it. I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have supported my work through the years. It means the world to me.


 

 

Jan Han and me would like to offer my readers a chance to be delighted with her writing, and I know it may seem presumptuous to say you’ll be delighted but I find it hard to believe that someone will not love her work 🙂 I would like to offer you one ebook copy of The Journey and Jan Hahn is kindly offering the choice of an ebook or a signed copy of it.

To enter the giveaway comment on this post and let us know if you have ever read any Jan Hahn book, which is your favourite, or why you like her writing, you know the drill 🙂

To receive extra entries in the giveaway comment on the review of The Journey I will post on the 9th of April and the review of An Arranged Marriage which will be published on the 12th.  The winners will be announced on the 16th of April.

Good Luck everyone!

 

Advertisements

33 Comments

Filed under JAFF

The Ladies of Rosings Park Guest Post & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

How are you this lovely week? Ready to be surrounded by chocolates this Easter? I’m sure I’ll eat way more than I should 😉 I don’t know if people eat a lot of chocolate this time of the year in your country, but here, we certainly do 🙂

Today I’m welcoming author Shannon Winslow to From Pemberley to Milton with a guest post about her recently released book The Ladies of Rosings Park. This is the 4th novel of the Darcys of Pemberley Series and focuses, as the name indicates, on the ladies who live in or near Rosings Park, but I will let you read the blurb and guest post to learn more about it. Enjoy!

 

 

 

At first glance, Anne de Bourgh doesn’t seem a promising heroine. But beneath that quiet exterior, there’s a lively mind at work, imagining how one day she will escape her poor health and her mother’s domination to find love and a life worth living.

Now Anne finally gets the chance to speak her mind. But Lady Catherine demands equal time. Even Charlotte Collins and Mrs. Jenkinson get into the act. Chapter by chapter, these ladies of Rosings Park take turns telling the tale from the moment Elizabeth Bennet sets foot in Hunsford, changing everything. Is Anne heartbroken or relieved to discover Mr. Darcy will never marry her? As an heiress, even a sickly one, she must have other suitors. Does Lady Catherine gracefully accept the defeat of her original plan or keep conniving? Will Anne’s health ever improve? And what really happened to her father?

Complete in itself, this work expands The Darcys of Pemberley series laterally, beginning during the timeline of Pride and Prejudice and carrying beyond to reveal the rest of Anne’s story. When a young lady is to be a heroine… something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way. (Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey).


You can find The Ladies of Rosings Park at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

.

 

.

 

The Ladies of Rosings Park is primarily Anne de Bourgh’s story, and staying true to what Jane Austen wrote about her was my prime directive (to put it in Star Trek terms). Anne might imagine all sorts of things – and she does! – but she’s prevented from doing anything to contradict the original story in Pride and Prejudice. It’s only after Darcy and Elizabeth ride off together into the sunset that she is free to invent her own life and find her HEA.

In the meantime, in the early chapters, she’s stuck where Jane Austen left her – unseen and unheard, living perpetually in the shadow of her domineering mother. As Anne herself tells us in this new book… although Rosings is an extremely large house, there is room for only one person to exert the force of her will and opinions. And that person is my mother, Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

But what if these constraints were removed? What if neither Anne nor I felt obliged to abide by the “non-interference” clause? What if she were allowed to not only imagine, but act as she pleased from the start? Although it would have been difficult to sustain the mash-up mentality for the length of an entire novel, it’s fun to see what happens when you try it out even temporarily.

So here’s a P&P scene at Rosings that I include in the book, now re-imagined – what might have happened if Anne had been able to let down her hair and cut loose a little sooner. Anne’s telling the story, and I’ll leave it to you to figure out where and how far it deviates from what I actually wrote in The Ladies of Rosings Park!

 

~~*~~

 

Mama droned on and on with no intermission, Darcy and I speaking only when asked some question requiring a response. Every minute, however, my attention was drawn across to the other side of the room, where Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam were entertaining one another in so spirited a manner that it could not be ignored. I was hardly the only one to have noticed either. Darcy’s eye repeatedly turned that way, I observed, and finally so did Mama’s.

“What is that you are saying, Fitzwilliam? What are you telling Miss Bennet?” she demanded.

“We are speaking of music, Madam,” he answered.

This solicited from my mother a long speech on the subject, ending in a query as to how her niece was getting on.

“Georgiana was very well when I left her, and her playing improves apace,” Darcy said. “I never grow tired of hearing her and often tell her so. She is very modest of her own talents, though, and will not believe me.”

I thought it a fine sentiment that needed no supplementation. However, this did not prevent Mama from adding her unnecessary advice that Georgiana should practice daily. Then she found a cautionary illustration conveniently close to hand. She said, “I have told Miss Bennet several times that she will not play really well unless she practices more. Otherwise, she will be forever condemned to mediocrity.”

I waited to see what reply Elizabeth would make to this piece of incivility, hoping for some pert opinion in return. When she only smiled ironically, something compelled me to come to her defense. Mama had run roughshod over us all long enough. “Mama, how can you be so rude to our guest? You may as well have pointed your bony finger at Elizabeth and said, ‘Look. Here is a sad example of the sorry state to which a person who does not heed my counsel is doomed to descend. Make very sure such a pitiful end does not befall you!’”

Mama seemed surprisingly unperturbed. “You know my reputation for frankness, Anne. I must speak as I find and let others draw what useful conclusions they might. It is my clear duty to give others the benefit of my sagacious observations.”

I could only look at Elizabeth and roll my eyes to show how I sympathized.

It was all the more remarkable, then, that after Mama’s insult Elizabeth consented to play for us later that evening. This having come about by Fitzwilliam’s particular request, he settled in a chair beside her to turn the pages. But then my other cousin broke from our group and made his way into the next room as well. I cannot say whether it was for a better view of the pretty performer or only to separate himself a little from Mama. In any case, the three of them were soon carrying on together, Elizabeth’s music punctuated by pauses for conversation.

From my location, I strained to hear even an occasional word. I could see quite well enough, however: an arch look from Elizabeth, some explanation from one of my cousins, a laugh in return, a comment to the other, a smile exchanged between two or all three. The gentlemen were clearly enthralled. How effortlessly Elizabeth had managed to captivate them!

I longed to join in – to be a part of their talk and laughter, possibly even to flirt a little as I had seen others do. And yet, there I sat, meekly by Mama’s side with my hands folded in my lap, keeping to my customary wallflower part and allowing another to thoroughly eclipse me in the eyes of the man who was supposed to have become my husband. It was not so much that I coveted Darcy’s attention myself or that I resented Elizabeth’s allurements; I just hated being perpetually unseen, unheard, and completely left out.

Suddenly I could bear it no longer. Perhaps emboldened by having got away with speaking my mind earlier, I decided then and there to do something about it. So I shot to my feet before I could change my mind. As daring as you please, I marched right up to the three gathered round the piano-forte, which instantly drew their full attention. Shaking my head, I gave my cousins a look of mock disapprobation.

“I have come to stand beside my friend Elizabeth in her time of need,” I told them. “For it seemed to me as if the two of you were teasing her without mercy. I think you will behave better, now I am here and our numbers are equal. Elizabeth, how can I be of assistance? We ladies must look out for one another’s welfare, to face down every attempt by men to intimidate us. Is not that so?” Then I laughed playfully to show that I was in fact teasing too.

Elizabeth smiled and joined me. “Indeed,” she said. “My courage had nearly failed, but now, with you to support me, I feel equal to anything.”

The gentlemen were left quite speechless at first, amazed (and possibly impressed?) that timid little Anne had the temerity to behave in such an astonishing way.

Finally, Fitzwilliam laughed too, saying, “We stand guilty as charged. Is not that so, Darcy? How lucky for Miss Bennet that you came along when you did, Anne!”

“True,” said Darcy. “Lucky for us all. Now, what would you like, Anne? If we are not to tease Miss Bennet anymore, what would you have us do instead? We are at your service.”

“More music, I think. Yes, by all means. That is the safest way to proceed. No one will dare misbehave where there is music. Perhaps, if Miss Bennet will play again, I might be persuaded to accompany her. I do sing a little, you know.”

“Do you?” asked Fitzwilliam. “That would be capital indeed!”

“Let us not have anything too serious, though,” I suggested. “I would wager we are, none of us, in the mood for a dirge. Elizabeth, do you know any comic songs?”

With me enthusiastically leading the way, the others soon joined in. I daresay Mama did not approve. I think I heard her complaining in the background – something about such ‘common’ songs only being suitable for public houses, sung by travelers and serving maids. But what could she do? It was four against one. We just sang all the louder until she was finally chased away to bed!

 

~~*~~

 

So what do you think? Believable or not so much? How far do you think Anne would really go? If you like this new, bolder Anne, I can promise you that she learns to stand up for herself before all is said and done, just not this early on. I hope you’ll also check out a mash-up I wrote about what happens when she crashes Georgiana’s birthday ball.

Thanks for stopping by!

.

Shannon Winslow comes bearing gifts this Easter as she would like to offer 2 ebook copies of The Ladies of Rosings Park to my readers. The giveaway is international and to enter it you only have to comment on this post and let us know what you think of the Darcys of Pemberley Series. All your love and support are appreciated 🙂

The giveaway is open until the 13th of April and the winners will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!

18 Comments

Filed under JAFF

The Child Review & Giveaway

 

The Child by Jan Hanh was a much-anticipated release for me as I had been waiting for the last three years for her to release a new book. She is one of my favourite authors, I absolutely love all her books and if I think of it, The Peculiar Connection is my all time favorite JAFF book, so as you can see, expectations are very high when it comes to Jan Hahn.

The plot of The Child is very different from Jan Hahn’s previous books, in this story Darcy flees England soon after the Hunsford proposal to try to overcome his longing for Elizabeth. Upon his return two years later―while standing on the steps of St. George’s Church in Hanover Square―he spies the very woman he has vowed to forget holding a child by the hand.

Disturbed by this, he soon discovers that Elizabeth and her family are suffering the effects of a devastating scandal. His efforts to help the woman he still loves only worsen her family’s plight and his misguided pride entangles him in a web of falsehood, fateful alliances, and danger.

On the other hand, that first encounter proves to be equally difficult for Elizabeth as she sees the man she loves being taken away to a wedding that will not occur without him, and where an expectant bride is waiting for him.

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog you know this premise is just perfect for me as it contains all the ingredients for an intense journey of angst and misunderstandings that our characters will have to take before finding their happiness. But do not fear if you are not so favourable to angst as it does not last as long as I would expect, the book has just the right amount of it for everyone to enjoy it.

In these initial chapters, and while those events take place, Jan Hahn literally plays with words to keep the suspense on the book in an exquisite manner, I love how she arranged every word and ever sentence to prevent Darcy from finding the true story behind the child, it takes a true proficiency to play with words like that and the consequence is that  once we start reading, we just can’t stop.

As the story progresses and the plot thickens, Jan Hahn ventures into a plotline that I usually dislike, and that is when I reconfirmed how an amazing writer she is, because despite that detail that always pushes me away from a book, I loved The Child.

Darcy is challenged to overcome his pride, and his love for Elizabeth is tested in a way that will make him a better man, a better person than myself if I am truthful, as he comes to accept some things much sooner than I did (again, I have issues with this detail in every single JAFF book). The book is entirely from his point of view and this will allow the reader to better understand all the struggles he is facing. It allows us to establish a bond with him, and who doesn’t’ love that in a book? It was one of the aspects I loved the most in this book, I really related to Darcy and understood everything he went through, I’m glad The Child was told from his point of view, because I can see myself relating to him much more than I could envision the same thing happening with Elizabeth in this story.

The prologue was a balm to my soul, I think it allowed me to come to terms with the entire story and to finally let go of my prejudices and accept that people need to be seen for who they are and not who their parents are.

I can honestly say that I believe most readers will love this book, particularly those who have children because they will better understand that a mother is not the one who carries a child, but the one who cares for and loves that child.

If you haven’t read this book yet, buy it and read it, you will not regret it! It is an incredible work by an incredible author 🙂

P.S – I have to mention the cover, isn’t it PERFECT?!!!


 

.

Award-winning writer Jan Hahn is the author of five Austen-inspired novels. She studied music at the University of Texas, but discovered her true love was a combination of journalism and literature. Her first book, An Arranged Marriage, was published in 2011, followed by The Journey, The Secret Betrothal, A Peculiar Connection, and The Child. The anthology, The Darcy Monologues, contains her short story entitled Without Affection. She agrees with Mr. Darcy’s words in Pride and Prejudice: ‘A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.’

Jan is a member of JASNA, lives in Texas, has five children and a gaggle of grandchildren.

 You can contact Jan Hahn through the following links:

Jahn Hahn’s Facebook Page

Jan Hahn’s Author Page

Jan Hahn’s Amazon Page

 

 


.

The blog tour is just beginning, please continue to follow it for more reviews, guest posts and excerpts of this wonderful book 🙂

.

March 21 My Jane Austen Book Club/ Guest Post & Giveaway

March 22 From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

March 23 More Agreeably Engaged / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 24 My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

March 25 My Love for Jane Austen / Vignette & Giveaway

March 26 Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

March 27 Just Jane 1813/ Author Interview & Giveaway

March 28 Austenesque Reviews / Character Interview & Giveaway

March 29 So Little Time / Guest Post & Giveaway

March 30 Diary of an Eccentric / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 31 Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

April 1 Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway

April 2 Laughing with Lizzie / Vignette Post & Giveaway

 


8 eBooks of The Child are being given away by Meryton Press and the giveaway is open to international readers. This giveaway is open to entries from midnight ET on March 21 – until midnight ET on April 4, 2018. Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once each day and by commenting daily on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached to this tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented.

To enter it please click on this link.

Good Luck everyone!

 

45 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Giveaway Winners

 

Good Afternoon fellow Janeites,

How are you in today? I have been a little of the grid because my real life has once more interfered in my bonnet life. To be truthful, I didn’t have a lot going on in the last few days, but I’ve been so tired that I just wanted some time for myself, for my books and no internet connection. Do you also feel this need on occasion? Sometimes I just wish I could be transported into regency and leave all my gadgets behind me. I wish it was just me, the nature and all the time in the world, no cell phones, no computer, no internet, no city noise, no work…but alas, that is never going to happen.

Anyway, all these ramblings to say, that I took some time to rest and charge my batteries and hopefully I’ll be back to talk all things Austen with you 🙂 I will get back this week with a review of The Child from Jan Hahn who is one of my favourite writers, but before getting back to reviews, I would like to announce the winners of the last 3 giveaways I hosted at From Pemberley to Milton.

This month both Monica Fairview and Mark Brownlow visited From Pemberley to Milton to talk about their recently released books: Mysterious Mr. Darcy and Cake and Courtship and it was a pleasure to work with both of them! Thank you so much for visiting Monica and Mark!!

Also, last month Nicole Clarkston was my choice for the Author of the Month, so I was offering an ebook copy of her book No Such Thing as Luck.

The winners of these wonderful books are:

 

No Such Thing as Luck

*** Loren Dushku ***

 

Mysterious Mr. Darcy

*** BeckyC***

 

Cake and Courtship (or a box of Viennese chocolates)

*** Dholcomb1 ***

 

Congratulations ladies! Please send me your e-mails until the end of this week so your prizes can be sent to you 🙂

Happy Reading!!!

 

11 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Mystery Cover Reveal

Good morning, Rita and thank you for hosting this post at your blog today.  We’re delighted to have you launch an exciting new type of cover reveal for an upcoming JAFF book that remains to be somewhat of a mystery, which is really quite perfect because the book itself happens to be JAFF mystery based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

If you’re wondering how to host a mystery cover reveal I’ll let you in on a little secret. There isn’t much I can share with you and your readers today about this reveal yet, but I have brought with me some very special clues to whet their appetites a bit and to entice them to join us to solve this mystery regarding not only what this cover looks like, but what the book’s title is and who is the author of this book.

Your readers don’t have to fret about the author’s identity since the author has already published some very popular JAFF stories and we are hoping that between the clues shared today on your blog, along with the clues shared tomorrow at Meredith’s blog, Austenesque Reviews, your readers will feel confident taking some educated guesses to solve this mystery.

Are you ready to have a bit of fun with us? Get ready to solve the hottest mystery in JAFF right now…

Clue #1 is this piece of our book’s cover…

 

Hmmmm… who could this be? Any ideas readers?

Clue #2 is this excerpt below to help you start thinking about the book’s title and author… Enjoy!

.


 

 

“Have your family always been settled in Meryton, Miss Elizabeth?”

“Yes.” She looks up, beaming a smile of unaffected joy. “I was born at Longbourn, Mrs. Hurst, as were all my sisters. The estate has been in my father’s family for many generations. And my mother is from a local family as well. Our uncle Philips is a solicitor in Meryton and his practice was my grandfather’s before it was his. We are Hertfordshire natives and have many relatives here about.”

Mrs. Hurst goes to speak further but her sister chimes in.

“I wonder that your family has not travelled further, Miss Elizabeth. After all, Hertfordshire is close to Town. Yet, Miss Bennet told us that your family rarely travels there except to visit your aunt and uncle in Cheapside. For myself, I could not be away from Town for so long, and it being an easy distance, intend to make the journey frequently.”

“Well Miss Bingley, why should you not? If you have the resources and inclination and, as you say, the journey is not a great burden. I hope you will make all the journeys your heart desires, although I do not know how well your fondness for ‘stillness’ shall stand it.”

It is not my practice to show amusement, except when among family and very close friends. But I must confess that the faintest laugh escapes my lips. Miss Bingley does not appear to notice and continues, unabashed.

“Possibly it is a difference in mentality between those who have grown up in the country and those who have been exposed to the sophistications of Town.”

Fearful that she is about to make a positively offensive remark, I interject: “I doubt it, Miss Bingley. I grew up in the countryside but have not experienced an unwillingness to travel when the destination is worthy of it. What is more, I fear you overlook one aspect of great importance. That is, the benefits of long standing settlement in one place. My own family have lived in a settled location, away from Town, for many generations. That is to our advantage. I have the reassurance of knowing that I am acquainted with all around me. I know the circumstances of their fathers and grandfathers. I know where they live and where they came from. Their history, and mine, are things of record. In the throng of Town, no man can ever be sure of his neighbour.”

It had occurred to me that Meryton, being close to Town and easily accessible on the road north, must be plagued with newcomers and travellers breaking their journeys. The market place, with its coaching inn and busy blacksmith, said as much. The town is a staging post on the way to and from London, a mark upon the road, attracting all manner of men, trouping through. Lambton does not suffer thus, which is as I would have it. As I sip my wine, Miss Elizabeth’s voice springs up beside me.

“How very certain you are of your own particular knowledge, Mr. Darcy. But, is it not a false comfort? Is it not, at its heart, unrealistic? Many people find a move away from their place of birth unavoidable. There are the demands of family and enterprise. To say nothing of health and circumstance. Not all may be as fortunate as your family, or mine, and people must find their home where it presents itself. Sometimes, that place, may be a significant distance from where they started.”

I tighten my grip upon my glass. My eyes find hers and, for one moment, I am drawn in utterly. She speaks, surely, of marriage. An arch look shoots towards me and her brow rises as she continues.

“It is quite impossible to ever have a full account of the people around us. There shall always be new arrivals, and they must always be welcome.”

“Of course, and I would never fail to welcome newcomers to Pemberley. You misunderstand me, Miss Elizabeth. The reward of tradition and stability is knowledge. I know the society of my home. I am sure you know yours.”

“Are you? How can you be certain? Does not every soul have its secrets?”

 

With that, I let the silence last too long and a blanket of discomfort steals around me. Her company holds me fast, like a pin on an entomologist’s board. Suddenly aware that the table has fallen silent, and all eyes are fixed upon us, my mind races to find an answer. Even Hurst has paused his drinking. I reply as best I can: “I do not claim to know people’s souls, Miss Elizabeth.”

 


We would love for your readers to help us solve this mystery. To do so, they can answer the questions in this JAFF Mystery Cover Reveal Survey today and tomorrow after Meredith reveals the clues we are sharing with her readers too. The winner will be picked from the group of respondents who answer the questions on this survey correctly. The winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon gift card.

 

Thanks you, Rita, for hosting this launch post. I can’t wait to share more clues tomorrow at Austenesque Reviews to help readers solve this great JAFF mystery!


Thank you so much for the opportunity to be part of this Mystery Cover Reveal! I really believe this was a very creative idea and I am having lots of fun putting the post together 😉

I can’t wait to share with my readers the beautiful cover of your book and your identity! Also, I’m very curious to see how many of them will guess who you are! I don’t want to give any hints, but I think it will not be a difficult task for those who have already read any of your books 😉

Dear readers, I have been very lucky because not only have I seen the cover, but most importantly I’ve read the book, and I must say you will not guess who did it!!! You will travel with Darcy to unexpected places, you will have some suspects, but I can bet you will not guess what is behind this mystery 🙂

I hope you find this idea as fun as I did and that the excerpt piqued your curiosity. Please do not forget to visit Meredith’s post on Austenesque Reviews tomorrow to see a different part of the book cover and obtain more clues to this mystery 🙂

The big reveal will be on Claudine’s blog, Just Jane 1813, on the 9th of March, and you will not want to miss that either!!

Happy findings everyone!

32 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Cake and Courtship – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am welcoming a very special guest to From Pemberley to Milton: Mark Brownlow!

As you know there aren’t many male authors writing Jane Austen Fan Fiction, and even if this may not be a consensual idea, I believe a male’s writing is a little different then a female’s writing, so I am always very curious to read their books. Mark Brownlow’s book, however, as has made me even more curious because it is told from a very different point of view: Mr. Bennet’s! I had never read a book from his perspective, so I’m very curious to see what this author is bringing us 🙂

Mark is sharing a guest post and an excerpt of his most recent release Cake and Courtship and I hope you enjoy them both! Oh, and don’t forget to participate in the giveaway, I must say this is the sweetest giveaway I’ve ever held 🙂

 

 

.

Mark Brownlow is a British-born writer living in Vienna, Austria. His debut novel, Cake and Courtship, is a Regency romance narrated by Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Bennet. He has also written a novella, The Lovesick Maid, a cozy mystery set in Jane Austen’s fictional village of Hunsford. You can find Mark at LostOpinions.com, where he is known for his reimagining of classic literature as emails.

Science degrees from the Universities of Oxford, Aberdeen and Reading prefaced a short-lived career as a research academic. Since turning from facts to fiction, Mark has also worked as a translator, agony aunt, marketing consultant, journalist, business writer, web publisher and copywriter. None of which kept his soul happy in the way that creative writing does. When not writing, he works as a part-time lecturer in medical and scientific English at a local university.

If there is no pen to hand, he can be found watching his kids play football or sharing a glass of wine with his wife in front of a costume or historical drama.

Mark’s website
Mark’s author page at Goodreads
Mark’s author page at Amazon.co.uk
Mark’s author page at Amazon.com
Mark on Twitter
Mark on Facebook

 

 

 

Thank you, Rita, for having me on your blog!

When you think of Pride and Prejudice, I bet it’s not just the characters and story that come to mind. We all have vivid images of the houses, villages and towns that feature in Jane Austen’s novels, whether through our imagination, through the TV and film adaptations, or through visiting places like Bath, which hosts much of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.

I was lucky enough to spend much of my childhood near Bath, in a village outside the market town of Devizes, whose cheesecakes Jane Austen once praised in a letter to her sister, Cassandra. Devizes is also close to Lacock, which featured in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice TV series.

Unfortunately, I only had eyes for football back then. By the time I discovered an appreciation for classic literature, I had moved to Vienna (which I’m pretty sure Jane Austen never visited).

In my novel, Cake and Courtship, John Barton tells Mr Bennet of his love for a “Miss Anne Hayter of Bath”, which was excuse enough for me to go see my mum again and visit the city for a coffee and…ahem…“research”. Over the course of the book, Mr Bennet’s involvement in John’s troubled courtship of Anne brings back memories of the past and clues to the origins of his somewhat cynical character. This includes recollections of his own time in Bath:

…the memories came cascading back. My delight at discovering a Bennet Street. The sumptuous buns I used to buy by the dozen, their fragrance tormenting me until I reached my lodgings. The bookstores on Bond Street. The young ladies taking walks across the Crescent Fields and on through Cow Lane to Weston. I wondered if they would remember me, some twenty years later.

Maps, books and other resources are wonderful when writing historical fiction. For example, you can overlay a map of modern Bath with one from 1818 here. That’s where I first noticed the city has a Bennet(t) Street! But nothing beats a visit, especially when a city retains much of its original character. In Bath, there are fewer naval officers and more tourists than in the 1800s, but you still half expect to meet Anne Elliot around the next corner. The day trip with mum took in the pump room

…and, of course, the Jane Austen Centre, where I hoped to pick up some writing tips from this lady (she remained strangely reticent, possibly considering my addressing her without introduction as an impertinent freedom):

I also met Mr Bennet himself, outside the centre. I didn’t have the courage to tell him I was writing his memoirs.

Bennet(t) Street passes the Bath Assembly Rooms. Of course, the Meryton Assembly Rooms play an important role in the Pride and Prejudice story, whose first part provides an ongoing backdrop for my book. In this excerpt from Cake and Courtship, Mr Bennet is determined to learn more about the art of courtship so that he might help his young friend. He listens to the family’s description of the Meryton Assembly with more than usual attention. I hope you enjoy it!

 

.

Like shot birds, Mrs Bennet and the girls thumped down into sofas and chairs to sit motionless as they gathered strength for the traditional post-assembly review. Kitty announced their return to life with a giggle, no doubt remembering a touch of a gentleman’s hand on the dance floor. Then she and Lydia fetched cold meats, bread, and wine to provide stronger fare than the titbits of gossip now to be shared. The kitchen table, room bereft of cooks and servants, played host to this feast.

“Mary danced with Mr Toke,” whispered Lizzy as I tore off a lump of bread.

“I am sorry to have missed that spectacle,” I whispered back. “Toke dances like an overburdened merchant ship, unable to turn easily and always on the verge of capsizing. It is a most diverting sight. Still, Mary seems to have survived the ordeal well enough. You enjoyed the dance, Mary?” I said, raising my voice.

“It was tolerable, Papa.”

“You seem happy, Jane,” I noted. “Perhaps you have taken too much wine?”

Jane turned her face away. I could not see in the dim candlelight, but I was sure she blushed.

“Too much wine? Such nonsense,” said Mrs Bennet. She laid her hand on Jane’s arm. “Of course she is happy, for Mr Bingley would not leave her side all evening.”

Jane shook her head. “Not all evening, Mama.”

Her mother did not allow anything as trivial as the truth to contain her excitement. “Perhaps he did stand up with some other girls, but his eye was always on Jane. And well it might be, for the others were all very plain.”

“So tell me, how did you all divine Mr Bingley’s attachment? What did our friend do to inspire such a diagnosis? What makes him so worthy of admiration?” Curiosity crept across Lizzy’s face at my questions.

No satisfactory answer was to come, since Mrs Bennet and our two youngest took my words as a cue to rattle off a series of compliments on Mr Bingley’s cheekbones, chest, legs, and other favourable features. The girls regarded him as perfect, a declaration that revealed their lack of experience with men. Even Achilles had his heel, though I daresay Mrs Bennet would have forgiven him this blemish given the likely size of his olive plantations.

“He impresses with his conversation,” said Jane.

“At last,” I said. “An advantage not explained by his physique alone. And what passes for good conversation between young people these days?”

“He is—” began my wife.

“Attentive,” said Jane.

“He complimented me on my gown,” said Kitty.

“He is modest,” said Lizzy. “He has his pride, but only that which is due to him through his position and character. And he does not consider himself above others, whatever his station in life might encourage him to think. Unlike others.”

“Others?” I said.

“I was thinking of one of Mr Bingley’s companions—Mr Darcy.”

 

 

Want to know more about this book? You can visit the below blogs:

 

 

Mark Brownlow would like to offer either a paperback of Cake and Courtship or Viennese chocolates to a random commenter. The giveaway is international and you can leave your comment on this post until the 15th of March to be elegible for it. Don’t forget, any comment or idea is welcomed and these are Viennese chocolates we’re talking about (says the chocolate addict) 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

40 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Mysterious Mr. Darcy Excerpt & Giveaway

.

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am welcoming for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton author Monica Fairview who brings an excerpt of Mysterious Mr. Darcy for your delight. This book is not yet for sale, but it began as a WIP called When Pride Prevails that Monica decided to publish this year.

I do hope you like this excerpt and if you are too eager to wait for the release date, you can start following this story at Austen Variations where the author has already 6 chapters published.

I would like to thank Monica for visiting, I hope this is the first of many visits to talk about your work !

 


 

Thank you, Rita, for this lovely opportunity to visit From Pemberley to Milton. I have enjoyed reading about various authors who have visited here, and it’s a pleasure to find myself among them. It’s a great opportunity to get to know some of your readers as well.

Mysterious Mr. Darcy is a bit of a departure for me. I generally write comedy, some of it rather outrageous, as is the case with my Steampunk Darcy, which is a futuristic novel about a descendant of the original Darcy, though they have a few things in common.  Usually I like to “make sport” of the characters, Jane Austen style, and I find it hard to take them too seriously. This variation, however, is (mostly) serious, with a Darcy who is troubled not only by his past but by the present. It has consequently been a very unexpected kind of novel for me, and I have found myself stumbling across unexpected situations around every corner.

One of the most challenging things about writing Mysterious Mr. Darcy – as is the case in many variations – was how to twist the original story to fit with the new premise. In a novel where Mr. Darcy plays second fiddle to Mr. Bingley, I often found myself falling back into familiar territory, then having to pull myself away as I realized that the story had to take a different direction. The fact that Mr. Darcy appears in Meryton incognito makes a huge difference to how he is perceived. It was fun to look at Darcy from this new perspective, even though the situation did actually make him profoundly uncomfortable.

For example, in this excerpt, it is Elizabeth who goes to Netherfield, not Jane, which makes the dynamics quite different.

 

 

When dinner was over, and it was time for Elizabeth to leave, she found herself at a loss. Without a way to return home in the dark and rain, as Mrs. Bennet had predicted, Miss Bingley was obliged to offer Elizabeth hospitality for the night.

Elizabeth, meanwhile, would much rather have gone home. Miss Bingley was more gracious as a hostess than as a guest, but Elizabeth had spent more time than she would have liked in her company. The friendship Miss Bingley had claimed existed between them had not blossomed during this period. The conversation had been lively at the beginning but became more strained as the dinner progressed. They all soon discovered they had very little in common and were forced to engage in small talk. Although they were still maintaining a civil conversation, the Bingley sisters seemed to be taking it in turns to yawn, and they were making no effort at all to conceal their boredom.

“Thank you, Miss Bingley,” said Elizabeth, responding to the offer of having a chamber made up for her, “but if I may, I would prefer to see if the gentlemen return early. If they do, I can use their carriage to go home.”

“We cannot predict when the gentlemen are coming back, Miss Bennet.” Mrs. Hurst jingled her bracelets and turned them round and round her wrist. “You know how it is with gentlemen and cards. They could be at it for hours. We had better have a room prepared, just in case.”

A half hour passed and the yawning increased. Elizabeth began to think it was a bad idea to adhere to her original plan. By now they had all fallen into silence, and since they had nothing more to say to each other, the Bingley sisters were seated at the piano, playing a duet half-heartedly.

Elizabeth was about to confess herself ready to retire when a carriage drew up.

“Ah, my brother is back!” Miss Bingley jumped to her feet, looking relieved.

A few minutes later, Mr. Bingley came running up the stairs and strode into the room.

“The butler told me you were here, Miss Bennet. What a delightful ending to the evening!”

As always, Elizabeth was charmed by his enthusiasm. “Thank you, Mr. Bingley. Unfortunately, I cannot linger. I was about to take my leave. I have been waiting for the carriage to take me home.”

“It’s pouring cats and dogs outside, Miss Bennet. You can’t consider going out at this time of the night, especially in this weather.”

Mr. Darcy entered the room at this point and bowed to Elizabeth.

“You are thinking of leaving, Miss Bennet?” He looked grave. “The weather is unpleasant. The wind has picked up. I would not advise going out. In fact, we returned early because of the inclement weather.”

That clinched the matter. It would be foolish to make a point of leaving. It would be bordering on rudeness and might imply that she could not endure her hosts’ company a moment longer. Besides, she had already suffered a soaking. She wasn’t eager to face the elements again, in a cold and rattling carriage buffeted by the wind.

“If you do not advise it, Mr. Darcy, then I will take your advice, along with Mr. Bingley’s.” She turned to her hostesses. “Thank you. I accept your invitation.”

“And you must plan to stay for dinner tomorrow as well,” said Mr. Bingley.

Lizzy did not know what to say. She did not enjoy the company of either Mr. Darcy or the Bingley sisters, but Mr. Bingley’s sunny smile won her over. It would be an opportunity to know him better and to see him in his own home. It might also help her to determine if his interest in her was serious.

“Thank you, Mr. Bingley. I will send a note to my parents in the morning to let them know I will be delayed.”

The blazing smile he gave her was more than enough reward.

 

 

Monica can be described as a wanderer, opening her eyes to life in London and travelling ever since. She spent many years in the USA before coming back full circle to London, thus proving that the world is undeniably round.

Monica adores the Regency period and Jane Austen’s wit. She writes funny Jane Austen sequels and variations but has finally decided to get serious about Elizabeth and Darcy. At the moment, she lives with two cats, a teenager, and her own Mr. Darcy. She enjoys singing out of tune in the shower, visiting historical mansions, and warm weather.

Visit Monica at

Amazon Page

Austen Variations

Facebook 

Twitter @Monica_Fairview

Website

Pinterest

 

 

.

 

Monica will be visiting other blogs, so please stay tuned and check out the below sites for more information on Mysterious Mr. Darcy 🙂

19th February Diary of an Eccentric

21 February Cover Reveal Austen Variations 

22 February My Jane Austen Book Club 

1rst March From Pemberley to Milton

12th March Babblings of a Bookworm 

13th March Laura’s Reviews 

16th March Austenesque Reviews

31 March Calico Critic

 

 

Monica Fairview would like to offer 2 e-book copies and one paperback of  Mysterious Mr. Darcy to my readers. The e-book copies are available for everyone across the globe, however the paperback is only available for readers with either an US or UK mailing address.

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post until the 15th of March and give us your opinion on the excerpt. The winners will be randomly selected and announced shortly after. The book will be sent out to the winners as soon as it is released.

Good Luck everyone!

46 Comments

Filed under JAFF