Monthly Archives: December 2018

From Pemberley to Milton’s 2018 Favourite Books

Good Afternoon everyone

It’s the last day of the year which means I get to publish one of the posts I most enjoy writing: the year on review and my list of favourite books 🙂

I love to analyse figures and see exactly how my reading habits are evolving so I keep wanting to create some stats to share with you, but unfortunately I was once more unable to do something very complex, so I hope you like this simple take on how my 2018 was. I promise that next year I will finally built something worth seeing 🙂

 

 

Last year I had read 38 books which at the time seemed a lot to me! I know some of my readers read many more books per year, but to me it is really hard to get to that number with my full-time job and all the other activities I love to do, so this year I had established 35 as my goal. When I got to the end of the year and saw how may books I had read, I could not have been more surprised! 2018 was truly one of the worst years of my life, if not the worse, and I didn’t have much time to read, so I could not understand how I could get to 51. Then I figured out that my long, long commutes to work started paying off. Out of these 51, 15 were audiobooks and many of them were novellas, so that explains how I was able to get to this high number.

 

I read a total of 11 800 pages which is 1570 more than last year, but my average of pages read per book is smaller than the 276 from 2017, it was only 234. The shortest book I read this year was a novella I tried just for fun a couple of days ago and that is free on Amazon, but I ended up disliking it very much, it is called Mr. Darcy’s Passion and it is an erotic story without much content apart from the infamous encounters between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. The longest book I read this year, The Whisky Wedding, is much smaller than These Dreams which was the longest book I read in 2017, but it still had a considerable length of 514 pages.

 Just like last year I didn’t read anything online, so the 51 books are only referring to published works.

From the 51 books I read this year some are more famous than others and the most famous one was not JAFF, it was Thirteen Reasons Why from Jay Asher and if you haven’t read it I highly recommend it. It is innovative, poignant, daring and a wake up call for all of us. If you have seen the Netflix show which is also available at Amazon Prime you may want to bear in the mind the book has some differences, it is not meant to be a blockbuster so it is more real and less shocking. Now, the least popular book I read is indeed JAFF, but I also recommend it, it was Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish which I have recently reviewed and it is a nice variation of Persuasion that takes place during Christmas time.

The highest rated book on Goodreads that I have read was Yuletide, which was also the last  review I posted this year 🙂 If you read it, you know that I am on the same page with the Goodreads average rating, if you haven’t, you can still find it here.

Not all the books I read in 2018 were published in the current year, in fact, most of them were published in earlier years, so my 2018 favourite books list does not include the best books published in 2018, but my favourite books which were read in 2018. I’m sure there are amazing books published this year that I haven’t read yet and that could have made this list if I had, but I am trying to read the old titles that are still in my TBR pile 🙂

 I’m including both Jane Austen Fan Fiction books and North and South Fan Fiction books and excluding all other fiction novels. The ones I chose this year were the ones that left a bigger impression in me, the ones that for some reason I still recall vividly in the end of the year. I’ve read many great books this year but if I didn’t quite remembered them when I sat down to do this list they were not included because, can they really be my favourites if I didn’t remember them after a few months of reading them?

Even though this was the year I read more books since starting this blog, it wasn’t very difficult to choose my favourites, I think I’m getting used it 🙂 During my first years it was really hard to compile this list, but I always tried to be fair and honest even if it meant leaving some really great books behind. If you are curious about my 2015, 2016 and 2017 lists, just click on the links and you’ll be re-directed there (I’m working on a more organized way to have these available in the blog….big renovations will have to occur this year).

Now that I’ve explained how I decided to create this list, and without further ado or any particular order, my favourite books read in 2018 are:

 

 

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The Events at Branxbourne – Caitlin Williams

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 256

Sub genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it –The writing, the writing and lets not forget about the writing! It may seem I’m overreacting, but Caitlin Williams’ writing in this book is pure perfection, it is gripping, profound, enticing, clever, exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time. The plot was innovative and along with the writing made this book impossible to put down.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – No

 

 

Nowhere But North – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 409

Sub Genre – North & South Variation

What I loved about it – The writing, the structure, the character development and depth… This is until this moment my all time favourite North & South variation! Everything about it was perfect and as I mention on my review, this book is a masterpiece that should not be missed by anyone who enjoys good literature.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

Son of a Preacher Man – Karen M. Cox

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 295

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Different Era

What I loved about it –The character development, the small town feeling and the ability to transport me into a completly different reality. As I mentioned in my review, the character development was impressive and had a magnetic pull to it, the romance was believable, true, inspiring, life changing and passionate, the writing was addictive and the message of hope, forgiveness and love that is transmitted throughout the novel made it one of the best books I’ve read this year.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

The Deception at Lyme – Carrie Bebris

Publication year – 2011

Number of Pages – 304

Sub Genre – P&P and Persuasion Mash Up; P&P Sequel

What I loved about it – The perfect blend of the characters into the story, the mystery and the uniqueness of it! It took me 7 years to find this book, but it certainly will not take that much time to read another book of this series! This book was my 2018 biggest surprise, let’s see what 2019 will bring 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Conceit & Concealment – Abigail Reynolds

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 396

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it – The storyline, the characters, the roller coaster of emotions and never knowing what would happen next! I cannot wait to publish my review of this book that hooked me from page one until the end. Along with Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections this is now my favourite Abigail Reynolds book 🙂

My review (coming soon)      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Being Mrs Bennet – Alexa Adams

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 309

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Time Travel

What I loved about it –The creativity, the audacity, and the ability to make me love a book whose main character is Mrs. Bennet (of sorts)! I found this book bold and compelling and as I said in my review it proves the author’s talent and ability to engage readers in an endearing novel with character development and introspection in the middle of a funny and light narrative

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity – Amy D’Orazio

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 334

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it –The plot, the angst, the love story, the writing, the characters… This book just had all the necessary ingredients for me to love it! As I mentioned in my review this book is  gripping, character driven, intense and it comes as no surprise that it was one of my favourites this year!

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

London Holiday – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 300

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it – The dialogues, the tenderness of the story, the effortless writing quality and the dreamlike feeling it created in me. This book is light and entertaining but also intense when it comes to characters feelings. The reader can feel exactly what the characters are feeling at each step of the way and is transported into a true London Holiday himself.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

The Darcy Legacy – Joana Starnes

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 422

Sub Genre – Pride and Prejudice Variations

What I loved about it – The humour, the supernatural and the writing as always 🙂 Joana Starnes took a risk by venturing into a completely different style and she was definitely successful making her way into my 2018 favourite books list 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Yuletide – Edited by Christina Boyd

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 192

Sub Genre – Anthology

What I loved about it – It is a Christmas Anthology written by some of my favourite authors, what is there not to like? Plus it has all the necessary diversity to keep the reader engaged and looking forward for the next story 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Not Yet

 

Do you share any favourites with me? Have you read all that are on my list? You have noticed that most of them are available on Kindle Unlimited and I recently received an email from Amazon with a special deal of 3 months subscription for only 0,99$ which was more then a bargain! I subscribed it and immediately downloaded a few books I have been meaning to read lately but that were a little more pricy then usual, it was a great deal. You may want to check if you also are entitled to this special price in Kindle Unlimited. It may allow you to read many books almost for free 🙂

So, which were your favourite books in 2018? I would love to hear your opinion and maybe get a few suggestions of great books to read this year, the 2019 reading challenge is already starting and all suggestions to fulfill it are welcome, even if this year I will establish different goals 🙂

For 2019 I will establish the same goal in  Goodreads I did this year, 35 books. It’s not much but I want to dedicate more time to the blog itself so I know I won’t have that much time to read. I want to re-organize the blog because with the growing number of books I’ve read it is getting hard to have an easily accessible arquive. I’ll have to work on that and maybe re-think on the number of posts I’m doing per week, the format etc. Do you have any suggestions? Should I post more or less then I’m doing? And should I change the way I’m writing the reviews?

Anyway, one of my 2019 goals will definitely be to re-organize the blog, but when it comes to reading goals, last year I had established as a goal to read more non-autenesque books, namely 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny, I was able to achieve that goal by reading not only these two but also a total of 6 non-autenesque books, so this year I want to continue with that objective but there isn’t any particular book I want to read, I just aim to read at least 5 non-austenesque novels.

In 2017 I also established as a goal to read more books in portuguese and I wasn’t very successful at that with only 3 books read on my native language, so this year I’ll have to work harder because that is still an objective.

But my main goal this year will be to read more paperbacks. I love my kindle, don’t get me wrong, I’m always the one who jumps into its defense when people say it’s not the same thing as reading “an actual” book, but the truth is I do miss turning the pages and I’m starting to feel that with my kindle everything starts to blend in my head and I’m not getting as much enjoyment as I used to when I was reading paperbacks. I have all these beauties lined up on my bookshelf, which ones do you think I should read first?

 

And which goals are you establishing for yourself? I hope you are able to achieve all your goals and that you have a fulfilling 2019 full of health and happiness!!!

Until then, a Happy New Year!!!

 


 

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53 Comments

Filed under Favorites, JAFF

Yuletide

I could not have been more surprised when I heard a new anthology edited by Christina Boyd was coming out, I haven’t read Rational Creatures yet, but I had to read this one right away! After all, Yuletide compiles different stories during Christmas time and I could let this season go by without getting into this wonderful compilation, especially because it was written by some of my favourite authors.

The anthology is very diverse, you can find in it variations, sequels and modernizations, but all of them portray our favourite characters and have that special feeling that all Christmas romances have, and that transports us into a different reality.

The book starts with The Forfeit, a story penned by Caitlin Williams, and it could not have started better as I was immediately hooked. Everything about this story was perfect, the premise, the setting, the writing. I could not stop feeling overwhelmed by how incredible this story is. I have to tell you, Caitlin Williams is a literary genius and Christina Boyd chose very well the first story to be included in this anthology. This was definitely one of my favourites 🙂

The book continues with an equally good story written by an equally talented author, Joana Starnes brings into this anthology a sequel that is cozy and warm and will make you want to read it with a hot chocolate and a fire in front of you 🙂 You will feel you are right there with the characters and you will not want to leave!

After these two regency stories the book goes on with a modern that is absolutely delicious! Amy D’Orazio put her innovation and creative skills into this story and shows us a Christmas where Darcy is shown his future through a Facebook page. This magical story is all about Darcy and there is no way anyone could not love that 🙂

Lona Manning is next in the anthology and she wrote a sequel that includes the best Anne de Bourgh character I have ever seen! Elizabeth is put to test in this story, Darcy is charming as always, but it was Anne de Bourgh that caught my heart on this one! Absolutely loved it!

We go back to moderns with J. Marie Croft’s small town romance. I’m not sure if I have to say much more about this story, because to me, small town romance says it all! I just love them, especially when they are set during Christmas time 🙂

Anngela Schroeder is next on the Anthology and she brings us back to regency variations in a cleverly written story that uses wit to show Elizabeth how gullible she was. This story does one of the things I love the most in P&P variations, it teaches Elizabeth a lesson by showing her that first impressions should not define her final opinion about people. It was very well written and very well done!

At last Elizabeth Adams closes the anthology with a sequel that will make you laugh and wish for more! Once again, I think this was the perfect story to close the anthology, it is entertaining, funny and it shows us just how Darcy and Elizabeth’s married life can be. Her relations are not the only ones who need to be tamed after all!

This Anthology was the perfect book to finish my year, it is diverse with a little bit of everything but also consistent in the quality of the writing and the ability to keep the reader engaged.

I highly recommend this anthology to my fellow janeites, plus all proceeds are to benefit Chawton Great House in Hampshire, former manor of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight and now the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing, 1600-1830, so that’s an extra reason to get it 😉

You can find Yuletide at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

17 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, JAFF

The Taming of Elizabeth Review & Giveaway

I could not have been more excited about The Taming of Elizabeth when I heard of it because The Taming of the Shrew is my favorite work from Shakespeare and I have loved all adaptations I’ve seen of it. I always saw similarities between Elizabeth and Katherine and I certainly could picture Darcy as Petruchio, so a mash up of Taming of the Shrew with Pride and Prejudice sounded quite interesting and the perfect plot!

I wasn’t wrong about that and the premise is indeed very appealing but Darcy wasn’t as similar to Petruchio as I was expecting, and even if he was the reason why Elizabeth ended up moderating her behavior, he didn’t take an active part in that change. I thought I would see a stronger and more stubborn Darcy who would stand up against Elizabeth’s wild spirit in the hopes of taming her, but instead he was very caring and accepting of Elizabeth’s shenanigans. In fact, he was more like Darcy then Petruchio, so I think most of my readers will love that aspect, but I think the author missed an opportunity by not making him more like Petruchio.

Elizabeth’s character may be controversial in this book because she does tend to overreact and get a little aggressive but I was not affected by that and if I had to choose a favorite aspect from this book it would be Elizabeth’s character. We often see authors describing Elizabeth’s wit and narrating how Darcy fell in love with her because of that, but Cinnamon Worth did what very few are able to do, she actually made Elizabeth witty! The author doesn’t describe this aspect of her personality, she shows it to the reader through Elizabeth’s thinking, through her speech and through her actions. Elizabeth really demonstrates she has an analytical thinking by paying attention to details and taking elations based on those observations and I really loved this in the book.

In The Taming of Elizabeth we can see why the characters are falling in love with one another, it’s a feeling based on respect and I would have loved it even more if we had more interactions between these two characters. That would enhance our reading experience and make us even more involved with the romance. Another aspect I enjoyed was the cleverness with which the author created the misunderstandings that ultimately lead to the HEA, they are believable and mature.

It was also interesting to see Elizabeth as the oldest sister, I didn’t think about that detail before reading the book, but the twist was as necessary as it was fresh. Also there are several humourous moments in the book that made it an agreeable and light story. It is not novella size, but it is not very long so you will be able to read it in one day, especially because it is very fast paced and engaging. I recommend it for readers looking for something a little different from the usual variations 🙂

 

You can find The Taming of Elizabeth at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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Because it’s Christmas time Cinnamon Worth would like to offer my readers not only two copies of The Taming of Elizabeth, but also three copies of any of her other books. The winners will be able to choose the book they would like to receive and if you don’t know what other books she has released, you can find that information below 🙂 Read the blurbs, look at the covers and let us know which one you would rather receive on this giveaway and why. All comments will get an entrance in the giveaway which is international and open until the end of the year. The winners will be announced in the beginning of 2019 🙂

Below you can also see information about Betrothals & Betrayals which will be released in January but that is already in pre-sale on Amazon. You can also choose that book to be sent to you once it comes out, so don’t forget to check it as well 🙂

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

162 pages

Blurb: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice meets Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The Bennets’ first born child, Elizabeth Bennet, was overindulged and had no role model to guide her in controlling her temper. Now she has gained quite the reputation. Mr. Bennet must to go to extreme means to force his eldest to consider love. But with Elizabeth’s history, who would consider approaching her?

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 2.99$

365 pages

Blurb: A witty and cleverly crafted Pride and Prejudice Variation, Absurdities and Assumptions retells the story of the courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. This classic couple’s romance is shaken off course when, shortly after leaving Hertfordshire, Darcy receives word that one of the Bennet sisters is engaged to the obsequious Mr. Collins. Darcy, a rich and powerful landowner, knows that Elizabeth is not a suitable match but, having already lost the battle with Cupid, he finds himself rushing back to the countryside. He is relieved to discover that it is Mary Bennet who is destined to become Mrs. Collins. But his path to happiness is still far from assured. Darcy may have resolved his internal struggle to accept Elizabeth’s as she is, but he must now overcome a rival and his own inability to interpret events around him. Read as all of Jane Austen’s favorite characters overcome hilarious misunderstandings and mishaps. Assumptions and Absurdities is a Regency Romance sure to entertain.

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

338 pages

Blurb: Charles Dickens meets Jane Austen in this retelling of the historical classic, Pride and Prejudice. Jane and Elizabeth Bennet are daughters of a country squire hoping to find love. Charles Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy are best friends and two of the most eligible bachelors to have visited the small town of Meryton in years. While this quartet struggles to find happiness and romance within the confines of Regency Era England, those who serve them struggle to survive. All the while, an evil sociopath lurks in the shadows impacting all those with whom he comes in contact. How those spared from this destructive force react to those who are less fortunate will reveal the virtuous from the apathetic. A portrait of the dichotomy between the wealthy and the poor, Courtship and Corruption, paints life using every available shade of emotional color.

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

212 pages

Blurb: A sweet, Regency era romance, Deception & Debauchery, is a variation of Pride and Prejudice, the classic Jane Austen novel – George Wickham, a widower with a penchant for gambling, women and alcohol, has recently gained his freedom and fortune. In an effort to gain respectability, he intends to acquire a country estate in Hertfordshire. He soon finds himself enamored with Elizabeth Bennet and developing a friendship with Charles Bingley, two people who are very important to his childhood rival, Fitzwilliam Darcy. When Darcy discovers that Wickham is worming his way into the lives of those in Hertfordshire, he will go to shocking lengths to protect them.

 

On pre-sale at Amazon.com for 4.99$

Number of pages to be confirmed

Blurb: A Pride and Prejudice variation, set primarily in Derbyshire, this Regency Era romance explores how the destiny of Jane Austen’s characters will be fulfilled even when all of the odds are stacked against them.

After a mysterious accident leads to their father’s death, the future for the Bennet girls seems bleak. Elizabeth Bennet finds work in Ramsgate, and one blustery morning, chance brings her together with Georgiana Darcy, a young, wealthy, orphaned girl. When Elizabeth saves her new friend from ruin, she sets off a course of events that alters not only her own life, but the lives of those she cherishes.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was looking for a wife, not love. He had everything he needed to be happy. A wife would provide him with a heir, and if he was lucky, she would not interfere too greatly in his life. Then, fate put Elizabeth Bennet in his path — destroying his tranquility. Now, in addition to trying to find a bride, he must deal with a stubborn, impertinent, troublemaker who doesn’t seem to understand her place. Will Elizabeth destroy his chance at happiness, or will she be making of it?

 

Good Luck everyone!


 

33 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, JAFF

Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish

Christmas time is here and it is becoming harder and harder to choose which books to read, so this year I decided to choose something a little different, and instead of reading only Pride and Prejudice Christmas variations, I picked up a Persuasion Christmas novella.

In Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish I found all the characters I love from Persuasion in a cosy setting that transported me immediately into the book and this magical season. The story starts after Louisa Musgrove’s accident in Lyme but it is around Christmas time and not only is Anne Elliot to stay at Uppercross for Christmas, but also Captain Wentworth is to spend this time with his sister. They meet in Somerset and realise their old feelings are still pretty much alive, but they are both unaware of the others feelings, so after reflecting on their situation, Captain Wentworth wishes he had repaired things with Anne Elliot when he had the chance.

This wish comes true and we find ourselves reliving what could have happened when Captain Wentworth returned to England two years after his proposal to Anne Elliot. By this time he was already a Captain of the English Navy but he was still too angry with Anne for being persuaded to end their engagement, but what if he wasn’t? What if he had been more open and forgiving? That is the new facet we will see in this book.

This premise is quite interesting and I really love the way the author developed it, but I did find Captain Wentworth too forgiving, I know this is what the author intended, but it seemed a little out of character and for that reason I could not relate to Captain Wentworth as I usually do.

I would also have preferred to see more interactions between these characters, the ones we saw were really good, but because there were not that frequent the book lacked some emotion in my perspective. Despite that I did find it a pleasant book and I do recommend it to those who love Persuasion.

The setting is really good, the environment is very cosy and it is a very romantic story without much angst.

What I loved the most about it was the uncertainty of what would happen. This book is not predictable at all, or at least I could not predict what would happen next and was surprised on occasion. It is a short novella so it can be read in a cosy afternoon while you enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea. If you love Persuasion, I do recommend it, I loved spending time at Kellynch with these characters

 

You can find Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

9 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Christmas at Darcy House, Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Last year I read Victoria Kincaids’s Christmas at Darcy House and absolutely loved it, so this year I’m very pleased to bring you an excerpt and an opportunity to win an audiobook copy of it.

Audiobooks have become my saviors on the commutes to work so I’m very passionate about them and this one is definitely a must, especially in this time of the year, so I would like to thank Victoria for visiting once more with such a special treat 🙂

I hope you’re as excited as I am about this new audiobook! Please don’t forget to comment to have a chance to win a copy, and if audiobooks are not your thing, you should not miss the ebook! I really recommend it 🙂


Hi Rita and thank you for having me back to visit!  It’s always interesting to learn how they celebrated Christmas during the Regency time period.  Some of the traditions are familiar to us, and some seem a little bizarre (anyone want to play a game with flaming, rum-soaked raisins?).  The idea for Christmas at Darcy House had been knocking around in my head for a while.  In the original P&P, Darcy leaves Netherfield in November and doesn’t see Elizabeth until Easter time.  But I wondered what would happen if they encountered each other in London at Christmas—when Darcy was trying to forget her and keep Bingley away from Jane at the same time that Elizabeth was still enamored with Wickham.

Christmas at Darcy House was published last year, but this year I am celebrating the release of the audiobook, narrated by Julia Eve.  Below is an excerpt I hope you enjoy!


 

 

Mr. Darcy hopes Christmastime will help him to forget the pair of fine eyes that he left behind in Hertfordshire.  When Elizabeth Bennet appears unexpectedly in London, Darcy decides to keep his distance, resolved to withstand his attraction to her.  But when he learns that Wickham is threatening to propose to Elizabeth, Darcy faces a crisis. 

For her part, Elizabeth does not understand why the unpleasant master of Pemberley insists on dancing with her at the Christmas ball or how his eyes happen to seek her out so often.  She enjoys Mr. Wickham’s company and is flattered when he makes her an offer of marriage.  On the other hand, Mr. Darcy’s proposal is unexpected and unwelcome.  But the more Elizabeth learns of Mr. Darcy, the more confused she becomes—as she prepares to make the most momentous decision of her life.

It’s a Yuletide season of love and passion as your favorite characters enjoy Christmas at Darcy House!  

 

You can find Christmas at Darcy House at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

And on Audible.com

 

 

 

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The knowledge that Elizabeth Bennet was in London had not allowed Darcy a moment’s rest that night.  As he sat behind his desk that evening, he envisioned what she might be doing.  Perhaps she was having dinner with her aunt and uncle.  Now she might be sitting in the drawing room reading.  Did they have children for her to play with?   When would she retire for the night?

After brooding in his study until long after midnight, he had tossed and turned in his bed before falling into a fitful sleep in the early morning hours.  A mere ten minutes in her presence, and he was in danger of becoming as obsessed with her as he ever was.

Upon awakening, his first thought was that he knew where Elizabeth stayed; he could call upon her and the Gardiners.  Indeed, a visit was polite—nearly obligatory—given his acquaintance with her family.  She had been gracious enough to call on the Bingleys despite knowing that she would receive a frosty welcome, but the Bingley sisters plainly would not return the call.  If Darcy visited, at least Elizabeth would know that the entirety of the Netherfield party did not hold her in such low esteem.  Also, she might have been brought low by the Bingley sisters’ insults; it was only right that Darcy visit and ensure that she was in good spirits.

Given new life by these thoughts, Darcy sprang from bed and addressed himself to his toilette with dispatch.  In the midst of splashing water on his face, he had a new thought.  If I visit the Gardiners’ house alone, will I appear to be courting Elizabeth?  He had taken great pains in Hertfordshire to avoid the appearance of favoring her; he did not want to give rise to expectations he could not fulfill.

And yet his own reaction surprised him. The idea of creating such an expectation should fill him with dread, but instead a thrumming excitement surged through his veins.  Suddenly light-headed, Darcy grabbed the edge of the washstand.  Was there some part of him that wished Elizabeth to believe he was courting her?  Or worse yet, wished to court her?

Darcy regarded his own rather pale face in the mirror.  What could he do?

He pried his gaze from the mirror and stumbled to the closet in search of fresh clothing.  I am being foolish.  He was simply returning a social call for the sake of politeness.  Elizabeth would understand that he only visited because of his connection with her family.   He might happen to enjoy Elizabeth’s company…quite a bit…more than any other woman he had ever encountered…

But that was beside the point.  His object was to help her feel welcome in London.

As his valet entered the room, Darcy thrust such thoughts from his mind.  Within minutes he was dressed and downstairs breaking his fast.  Another half an hour saw him driving his curricle toward Gracechurch Street.  The curricle was a bit of an indulgence; it would have been simpler to take a horse.  But he had a vision of offering Elizabeth a chance to tour some of his favorite sights in London.  It was a ridiculous thought, yet Darcy found he could not dismiss it from his mind.

Guiding the curricle through the streets of London, he even found himself humming a tune that Georgiana had played the day before.  It was pleasant to have one of his Hertfordshire acquaintances in London.  There was nothing remarkable if the anticipation of her company pleased him.

The Gardiners’ home was not large, but it was well kept and more fashionable than Darcy had expected.  He had never ventured into Cheapside before and had been prepared for far less genteel surroundings.  This appeared to be a quite respectable neighborhood.

Darcy was still humming as he approached the Gardiners’ door and knocked.  Perhaps he should have purchased flowers.  Women liked flowers, did they not?  But flowers might suggest he was courting her, which he most definitely was not.  They were simply friends.

A maid answered the door and took his coat.  Darcy gave his card and inquired if Miss Bennet and Mrs. Gardiner were at home.  The maid replied that they were in the drawing room with a male visitor whose name she had not caught.

Darcy’s interest was immediately piqued.  He could not imagine Elizabeth had a large circle of acquaintances in London.  Could she have acquired a suitor already?  But the maid had not mentioned the age of the visitor.  He might just as easily be some friend of her father’s or a business acquaintance of her uncle’s.  Darcy frowned at the thought.   A widower of that age might prefer a younger wife.

Or perhaps it was Bingley, visiting to apologize for his sisters’ behavior the previous day.  Yes, Bingley would be quite acceptable.

Darcy followed the maid down the narrow hallway to the drawing room.  She opened the door and announced, “Mr. Darcy, ma’am,” before withdrawing and allowing Darcy to enter the room.

His eyes immediately fell upon the male visitor, and he realized he had been far from imagining the worst.

Wickham.


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Victoria Kincaid would like to offer one audiobook copy of Christmas at Darcy House to one of my readers, the giveaway is international will end on the 20th of December. Winners will be announced shortly after that 🙂

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts on this book or the audible experience with us.

Please do not forget to check the blog to confirm if you were the winner 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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And the winners are…

Hello everyone,

Today I am the bearer of good tidings because it’s time to announce the winners of the latest giveaways that were hosted here ate From  to Pemberley to Milton. But before announcing the winners, I would like to thank the generosity of Abigail Reynolds who visited with the launch post of Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment and decided to offer my readers not only a copy of the book, but also some beautiful Christmas ornaments that will make somebody’s Christmas tree even more beautiful. I would also like to thank Jennifer Altman who showed a patience and kindness as I had never seen and to whom I wish al the best in the release of her first book!

Last but not least I would like to thank all of you who continue to visit my blog and dedicated it a few minutes of your precious time! Without you this blog would not exist and I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:

 

The 26th of November signed paperback

***Glynis***

 

Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment

*** Erika Messer ***

 

Christmas ornaments

*** Sheila Maczan***

 

To Conquer Pride

*** Agnes ***

 

Congratulations everyone! I hope you enjoy your prizes 🙂 Can you please send me your address to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that I can send the tote bags to you?

Speak to you soon!

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Yuletide – How the Christmas Anthology came to life

deyerGood Afternoon everyone,

I’m sure you’ve seen several posts online about the release of a new Christmas anthology edited by Christina Boyd, and I’m sure you’ve also noticed that all the proceeds of this book will be donated to Chawton Great House, so it will come as no surprise to you that I HAD to talk about it. First because once more Christina Boyd gathered some of my favorite authors, secondly because it’s a Christmas anthology and thirdly because this book was created for a great cause!

Yuletide is currently on my TBR pile and I will start reading it during the Christmas week, which means you may expect a review shortly, but until I can share my opinion of it, I’m sharing Christina’s explanation of how a project like this was built so fast!

We are also sharing a little video that shows you what you can find in this book, we hope you like it 🙂


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How did YULETIDE Make It To Market in Less Than a Month

by Christina Boyd

 

Give us a thankful sense of the blessings in which we live, of the many comforts of our lot, that we may not deserve to lose them by discontent or indifference. —Jane Austen

Nine months after its inception, Rational Creatures was born. It had been a long journey, corralling sixteen authors, working with a new proofer, and implementing lots of DIY promotion ideas. I think it’s the best anthology I have ever been a part of—and I am so grateful of all who helped make it a work to be proud of. I loved that collection of stories written by strong women about some of Austen’s strongest female characters and had been reflecting much on the research library at Chawton Great House, the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing. In the spring of 2017, I had the good fortune to visit Chawton House (the manor of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight), as well as the Cottage, along with author Joana Starnes, blogger  Mira Magdo, and my dear Mr B. That magical day left a lasting impression on me and I dream of one day returning. Never one to idle long—I was waiting on the manuscript from another author to do a full edit (I suppose we can blame/thank Leigh Dreyer’s manuscript delay for this project!) —and about a week before the #RationalCreatures two-month blog tour was to end, I decided I needed to publish a holiday anthology. In an inspired moment, I thought “How about a Christmas-themed anthology and give all the proceeds to Chawton Great House.” Easy as that, I asked my anthology authors and explained we would have less than a month to make it to holiday market and was anyone interested? Further, unlike previous anthologies, I could not pay them for their stories and asked them to donate their work to this project. After a day, I started doubting myself and thinking this was too ambitious a turn-around time when I woke up to an email from Caitlin Williams, offering a delicious Regency story that she had previously published online. After reading it, I decided I had to go forward with this mad idea. Her story had all the elements that I loved in a holiday romance.

Within the next two days, six more brave souls raised their hands and offered their stories. I knew I would edit the stories and decided I could also keep costs down if I designed a cover myself. So, the cover you see is my own work too. It took me longer than I had expected but I learned a lot and am not entirely fearful of that process anymore. Debbie Brown also stepped up and volunteered to sub-edit. It’s always a relief to know there are extra eyes on a project to question all those commas and homophones and phrases. One of my biggest stresses was having to format it myself as I had never done that before, always hiring out. And lo! Karen M Cox offered to format the ebook—and the paperback as well. I had thought to only produce an ebook, imagining I could likely manage formatting an ebook but when Karen volunteered her talents, I jumped at the chance to offer this 190-page paperback too.

I gave the authors two weeks, TWO WEEKS, to write a story. Amy D’Orazio had two written stories for me to choose from and I loved her contemporary story, “The Wishing Ball”. J. Marie Croft had a contemporary story idea that she had drafted previously but, like Austen, had put it in a drawer and forgot about. Since I have never read anything by her that was not set in the Regency, of course, I had to have it! I’d say that her story would be great as a Hallmark Christmas movie but I haven’t liked any of the Pride & Prejudice Christmas movies so far—maybe with better casting and production, they might do her story justice! (Let’s all manifest that happy thought into the universe.) Lona Manning had a splendid Regency story idea about Elizabeth Darcy befriending Anne DeBourgh during Christmastide at Rosings and discovering a wonderful secret about that quiet lady. Anngela Schroeder offered a clever alternate Regency story about Elizabeth and Jane spending Christmas in the North with friends–and guess who do they encounter? Of course, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy, and Bingley! Joana Starnes initially had declined this project, thinking she did not have time to write a story but, lucky for me, after a few days, she remembered a Regency story she had published online, developed it further, and voila! That first week, Elizabeth Adams sent me daily snippets of her progress. Then, I opened a message that said she went over the word limit and was no where close to the ending… Heartbroken, I encouraged her to keep on and develop it into a full-length novel. (Because it really is wonderful and, selfish being that I am, must know all the who, what, and wheres—after all those delectable morsels she had teased me with!) Fortuitously, she ended up writing another Regency story in forty-eight hours. FORTY-EIGHT HOURS!

I must say I have never been so thankful for email. This project would never had happened on time, nay!—ahead of time—had I been dependent of the post. Imagine if you will the last couple of weeks: I edit a story, return it to the author, back and forth until we get it right, then to Debbie who corrects what I missed, then back to the author to approve or reject, and again back to me. All of that repeated and juggled for all the stories. That’s the abbreviated, less chaotic version, but I think you get the idea and how email made our impossible deadline realistic. (All of that happens on every project but not in this hectic, abbreviated schedule!) Fast forward to the completed collection. I sent the collection to Karen and, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, she formatted the anthology for ebook and print. I can’t tell you how much of a relief that step was to me. I think I would still be formatting it had it been left to my learning curve. Thanksgiving indeed!

As always, I am forever grateful for the talented authors who have joined me on this journey into the Wild West that is now modern-day publishing and thankful for the peer groups, bloggers, and readers who have encouraged and supported indie projects.

In a mad flurry, the authors wrote quality Pride and Prejudice stories on-demand and others have donated their time and creativity to produce this Christmas collection, in hopes that all the proceeds might help in the continuation of good work at the Great House, ensuring the work of women writers will continue to be discovered and treasured long into the future. I hope you enjoy this collection in the same affectionate spirit it was created. Thank you for supporting this effort and Chawton Great House. —Christina Boyd of The Quill Ink

 

 


 

 

About YULETIDE: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories

“I went up to the Great House between three and four, and dawdled away an hour very comfortably…” –Jane Austen

A holiday short story anthology with some favorite Austenesque authors, YULETIDE is inspired by Jane Austen’s great works and the spirit of the season. Regency and contemporary alike, each romance was dreamt to spark love, humor, and wonder while you dawdle over a hot cup of tea this Christmas.

Stories by: Elizabeth Adams * J. Marie Croft * Amy D’Orazio * Lona Manning * Anngela Schroeder * Joana Starnes * Caitlin William

All proceeds to benefit Chawton Great House in Hampshire, former manor house of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight and now the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing, 1600-1830.

 

You can now find it at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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