Monthly Archives: June 2019

His Frozen Heart – Review

“What had been left of his heart was ripped from his chest. He could no longer look at her, nor speak. Bowing, he turned and walked away from the only woman he would ever love. His journey of a thousand steps was over.”

 

Christie Capps novellas have definitely become my go to stories when I need a quick Pride and Prejudice story to warm my heart. I don’t always have the time, or to be honest, the patience to read longer books, so novellas have become quite important in my reading habits and Christie Capps is a safe bet with clean and romantic stories that always make me smile.

His Frozen Heart has an additional appeal; it is a selected version of Pride and Prejudice’s best moments! When I really love a story (usually a tv show), I tend to re-watch it over and over again, but with time I only watch my favorite scenes and skip forward all other additional ones, His Frozen Heart did just this, and I loved it!

This novella is perfect for readers who have read hundreds of different variations, and who already know the story quite well, because it takes readers through the entire story but only focusing on the Elizabeth and Darcy important moments. All the Lydia and Wickham dull moments are mentioned but not developed, all the time apart is shortened to a page, Mr. Collins rambles are completely cut and all we read about is Darcy’s view of his interactions with Elizabeth, which is absolutely perfect and what I am looking for in this kind of book!

The dialogues are slightly different than the original and apart from one particular part where it felt a bit forced and out of context, the dialogues between these characters are interesting and witty. I loved how Elizabeth’s culture initially caught Darcy’s attention. It was done with such good taste that it kept me interested throughout the entire story! Adding swoon worthy lines and using beautiful metaphors  is something Christie Capps does frequently but I think the outcome in this novella was even better. I mean, just read this Darcy line, and tell me if you’re not swooning?!

 

“What I should have said, my Elizabeth, is you are the fire to my ice, the heat to my cold. Through you, because of you, I am attempting to become the man I am supposed to be, one I can have true pride in being.” He kissed her fingers one by one. “Before I came to Netherfield Park, the icy stone in my heart left me hurt and alone. I was adrift and unable to see comfort and kindness where it was offered. Then, I met you.”

 

As always you can read this novella in 2hours and it will certainly keep you entertained and smiling during the entire time, I recommend it to readers who want to revisit Pride and Prejudice’s best moments with additional romantic lines 🙂

 

“His heart, that frozen organ he had feared would never beat properly again, pulsed in a rapid rhythm that made it difficult to take in his next breath.”

 

You can find His Frozen Hear at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

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The Giveaway Winners are…

Good Afternoon everyone,

How are you this week? I am glad to start the week with the announcement of some giveaway winners.

This month we had Florence Gold visiting to talk about the re-release of her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Legacy and I would like to thank Ms. Gold for taking the time to talk to my readers, and for bringing such a generous giveaway!

I also hosted a giveaway of two Pride & Prejudice mirrors I bought when I visited Lyme Park in February. These were given away in a post that helped me understand a little better what my readers were looking for when visiting For Pemberley to Milton, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to have a say in the conversation.

Your opinion means everything to me, and it was very important to collect your feedback. With it, I realized I didn’t have to put so much pressure on myself to publish twice a week because 77% of readers actually prefer weekly posts. This means that on the second semester of the year I will start to build my agenda for one weekly post and will only add a second post when it is necessary to announce giveaway winners, or when some special post needs to be published.

I have also learned that reviews are the favorite type of posts of my readers but they do not have a particular preference when it comes to the books date of publishing. They do however prefer longer books, and do not have a particular interest in novellas or audiobooks, so I will avoid reviewing so many novellas from now on (my next post is a novella review, sorry about that, it was already scheduled).

I was pleased to see that your favorite type of novel is variations because that’s my favorite too, which means I don’t have to change the type of books I’m reading 🙂 I’m currently going into a phase where I read a lot of different things, but I’m sure I’ll get back to regency variations in no time.

But enough about that, I’m sure you all want to know the names of the winners, so without further ado here are they:

 

Mr. Darcy’s Legacy

*** Deborahanne2***

*** Mary***

*** J.W. Garrett***

 

Pride and Prejudice mirrors

*** Michelle H.***

*** Sophia Rose***

 

Congratulations everyone! I hope you enjoy your prizes 🙂 Can you please contact me through e-mail ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com and provide me your addresses so that all prizes can be sent to you?

Happy Reading!

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Have your say in From Pemberley to Milton with a giveaway

Hello dear readers,

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been absent for the last couple of months, and I’m really sorry about that! The truth is that my life keeps coming in the way and it is very hard to find the time to build blog posts as frequently as I had been doing for the past 4 years. I really envy those who can keep up with this rhythm; I know it is not easy and it takes a lot of dedication and organization.

In addition, I confess I needed a break from JAFF books. After reading so much JAFF I started to mix all stories I had read and it became difficult to distinguish them, plus all characters seemed to be behaving in the same manner and having the same type of discourses, making most books I was reading very predictable, which is why I stopped for a while. I tried reading some moderns or secondary character novels in search of something new and fresh, but I guess I was in a bad phase because it didn’t work either, so I read a few sci-fi books and watched a LOT of television.

After this break up, which took only a few months, I’m starting to miss Mr. Darcy and I am ready to get back to JAFF, but I need your help to keep balanced, so I’ve built a little questionnaire for you to tell me what you want to see published on this blog and how frequently. I mean, there is no point in publishing stuff no one wants to read, or to bore you to death with too many posts, right? So if you help me understand what are your favorite posts, I’ll try to oblige, after all I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours 🙂

I would really appreciate if you could take only a minute to reply to the following questions. You can choose multiple answers in all of them 🙂


I visited England in the beginning of the year and did another Jane Austen Road Trip in the company of the lovely Joana Starnes who was once more the perfect host in that part of the world. I haven’t posted about it yet, but if I see this is one of the topics you would like to see published, I will. But I’m mentioning this because during this trip a bought a few goodies to offer to my readers but I never got a chance to do a giveaway, so I think this is a good opportunity to do it as a way to thank you all for taking the time to help me choose the direction I should take.

Once you fill this small questionnaire, please let me know via comment, and if you want to add anything else in the comments, please feel free to do so. I would also love to know if there is anything you consider I should change or improve.

 All comments will be included for the giveaway of the Pride and Prejudice mirrors which will be offered to two different winners (one mirror per winner). The giveaway is international and is open until the 24th of June.

IMG_3239

Good Luck everyone!

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Mr. Darcy’s Legacy – Guest Post & Giveaway

Hello dear readers,

How are you this week? Have you been reading anything you recommend?

Today I’m bringing to you a different kind of post. Author Florence Gold is visiting to explain a little bit of her journey as an austenesque author, and to give you some intel regarding the publishing of her book Mr. Darcy’s Legacy. I’m not sure if you saw this book on Amazon a couple of weeks ago, but it is being re-published with some major changes in the plot and Ms Gold is here to explain that to all of you.

She is also offering a giveaway of the new version of the book, so good luck y’all! I hope you like the guest post, and I would love to hear your opinion about this book 🙂

 

 

Hi Rita,

Thank you much for having me at your lovely blog. I confess I am equally nervous and excited, as this is my first blog post since I joined the wonderful Austenesque community.

I will take this chance to share with you and your readers a little bit about me and my journey in JAFF world.

Writing and reading had been my passion since I can remember. I wrote novels, short stories, poems – my entire life, under the pen name ana damian. Some of my work had been published (quite successfully, I dare say, in another country and another language.)

I consider myself a romantic writer as my favourite background is love.

I adore changing places and styles, inventing plots, I enjoy documenting, and secretly live every love story I draw. I also enjoy changing the epochs but I never went farther back than the 1900s.

For some time Florence Gold was nothing but a sketching, a thought, a tentative attempt. Powered by the friendship with Lory Lillian and my eternal love for Jane Austen, and her extraordinary characters, it grew from an idea to a first novel with the power that only a dream has. While in my country, I have already written some novels, writing a literary text in English was so much different. I struggled in uncertainty and doubts for a while. I used English in my daily job (I am an IT consultant) for many years, and I knew I could write about facts, descriptions, storyline; but could I feel English on a high enough level, necessary to create the specific atmosphere of Pride and Prejudice? Did I know enough about Elizabeth and Darcy to involve them in a plot that was mine, still having the Austen touch?

Jane Austen was indeed a challenge as I quitted the last 100 years I knew and went back a hundred more. It was not an easy adjustment. My plots are flowing around me, I usually live what I write, but suddenly I found myself thrown into a world unknown to me.

Then one day Lory said: Enough talking, just try! (she can be really annoying and pushy at times, you know 😊 …)

It took me less than a month to write the first novel A Struggle for Love, and it was a rather strange process, where I assisted in astonishment at myself writing in English.

For the first novel, A Struggle for Love. I imagined a dynamic plot that sometimes takes nuances of a detective story.

Just weeks before his wedding to Elizabeth, Darcy departs for London to attend some urgent business. After three painful days, neither Georgiana nor Elizabeth has received any news from him. Has he run away, suddenly fearing married life or have more somber circumstances occurred?

The reception was rather good; I slowly became part of the community and I took their reviews and feedbacks with interest and seriousness.

So I gathered my courage and here is my second novel that I am happy to introduce to you all:

Mr Darcy’s Legacy

This novel had a rather unusual story, real adventures added to the imagined plot 😊. As soon as I posted (in hours), I had the bad surprise to receive a review that made me recall the novel and rethink all the plot… as my benevolent reviewer had unveiled in three sentences… the action… So I have the pleasure to present you a reloaded Mr Darcy’s Legacy hoping that all the readers who had bought the first will be able to update to the final version.

Here is the blurb:

Florence Gold’s second Austenesque novel will surprise you with a plot full of love, secrets, and unexpected turns of events for your favourite characters.

Mr Darcy is eagerly awaiting his wedding to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, the young woman he considered to be the mistress of his heart. Unfortunately, his family and mostly Lady Catherine and Lord Matlock are against this union, giving rise to countless rumours and speculations. London society enjoys scandal enough to embrace such an unexpected one, trapping Darcy and Elizabeth in a net of gossip that affects their tranquillity.

While their love grows stronger and their future seems it will be filled with connubial bliss, a letter from Darcy’s past shatters their present, making him question everything he has known his entire life. Is he prepared to open his heart and his mind to such a tormenting revelation? Is London’s Ton ready to accept such a disclosure, or will it turn it into a new subject for more disturbing rumours?

Will a gentleman such as Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, who takes pride in his family’s past, accept that his legacy is not what he believed it to be?

 

So, while I am eagerly waiting to see what the readers will have to say about my new book, I am working hard. In the next months I intend to mix “ana damian” and Florence Gold into a novel based on Jane Austen’s novels, that takes place in 1916. It is a powerful story, involving all the significant circumstances of that period and focused on the changes into the women’ condition over the century that passed since Jane Austen’s time. I know it is an ambitious project and I am completely wrapped in it. I hope to have the chance of talking more of it once it is finished.

You can now find the new version of Mr. Darcy’s legacy at Amazon.com.

 

 

Florence Gold would like to offer to my readers 3 ebooks of Mr.Darcy’s Legacy. The giveaway is international and will end on the 24th of June. To apply just comment on this post and let us know you think about the blurb.

Good Luck everyone!

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The Giveaway Winner is…

Hello everyone,

How was your weekend? I hope it was a nice one and that it was shinny and warm in your side of the globe 😉 I have recently returned from a road trip in southern Portugal so I spent my weekend unpacking and watching tv, which was the only thing I missed while I was gone. It was nice to be able to binge watch a couple of shows, especially because I didn’t see anything during my holidays and because for the first time my hubbie join me in a binge watching adventure! I have also started planning my agenda for the next months and I am happy to announce that I will return with many reviews and guest posts during the summer. But today the main announcement I have to make is the winner of the giveaway hosted here on the blog tour of Nefarious, Nicole Clarkston’s latest and very successful novel 🙂

Ms Clarkston visited From Pemberley to Milton in the beggining of the month and along with a fabulous excerpt, she brought with her a giveaway of a $10 Amazon Gift Card plus eBook or Audiobook of winner’s choice, available for all readers acrosss the globe, or  a signed paperback of winner’s choice which available only for US residents.

The lucky winner of this giveaway was:

*** Caroleincanada***

 

Congratulations Carole! I hope you enjoy your prizes 🙂 Nicole will contact you shortly to provide you all the information you need 🙂

Happy Reading!

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Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon dear readers,

After being part of the cover reveal for Kelly Miller’s debut book Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley I am pleased to start the blog tour for this book with an excerpt of the book, I hope you enjoy it and share your thoughts about it with us. We always welcome your opinion, and I am sure Mrs. Miller will be glad to see all your comments 🙂

In case you have missed my previous post, I am also adding the book blub and author biography so that you get to know Mrs. Miller and her book a little better.

Happy readings everyone!


 

What will the master of Pemberley do when confronted with the mercurial whims of an all-powerful angel?

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s well-ordered life is about to become a chaotic nightmare. A man of fortune, property, and social prominence, he has everything he could desire. Blissfully married to his wife, Elizabeth, they have a two-year-old son. With so much to live for, Darcy is shaken by a near-fatal riding accident. After a miraculous escape, he is visited by an otherworldly being: an angel of death named Graham. Threatening dire consequences, Graham compels Darcy to guide him on a sojourn in the world of mortals.

Darcy immediately questions the angel’s motives when he demands to be a guest at Pemberley. Can he trust Graham’s assurance that no harm will come to his wife and child? And why does Graham insist on spending time with Elizabeth? How can Darcy possibly protect his family from an angel with power over life and death?

In this romantic fantasy, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice must contend with both human and unearthly challenges. Are the fates against them? Or will their extraordinary love conquer all?

 

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You can find Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Wednesday, September 13, 1815

The view afforded by the precipice not three feet from Fitzwilliam Darcy was vast and daunting to most, but the gentleman spared nary a glance at the stupendous prospect of the limestone ravine below. He had taken this trail hundreds of times before, as had Regal, his majestic, black Arabian stallion.

“I have never seen a mare quite like her. She is the prettiest horse I have ever seen. Her coat is the colour of polished copper, and I could not find even one fault in her conformation. The Welsh pony is calm, wise and gentle—ideal for Bennet.”

The horse flicked his ears back now and again as Darcy continued to expound in great detail on the presents he had purchased for his wife and son. Although considered by most a laconic sort, Darcy had discovered as a child that talking to horses benefitted both parties: the sound of his voice calmed the horses, and he was more comfortable talking with them than with people. He leaned forward in the saddle as he spoke, his mind focused upon his discourse. In listing for Regal the virtues of the notable equine specimens scheduled for delivery from the neighbouring estate, he reaffirmed in his own mind that he had chosen well.

A cutting gust interrupted his thoughts with a pervasive discomfort, prompting him to raise the collar of his greatcoat and affirming his choice to take this particular route; the narrow, winding trail was a faster route to Pemberley than the road.

The plans that had been made to surprise his wife dominated his mind. Her lovely countenance would be luminous and joyful when she comprehended what he had done. Many hours had been spent in consideration of the smallest details for the celebration, all the while ensuring that Elizabeth, as clever as she was, would not suspect anything beyond the special birthday dinner she was expecting. His object was to show her his appreciation for her support, patience, and understanding these past weeks.

A tightness in his throat impelled him to swallow several times as doubt intruded upon his reasoning. Would Elizabeth be pleased with his efforts to plan a memorable celebration for her? To gratify her, he would have spared no expense in marking this occasion with a lavish affair. However, his knowledge of his wife persuaded him that she would prefer the simple celebration planned for the following se’nnight to mark her twenty-fourth birthday and their son, Bennet’s, second.

While in contemplation of the meal planned for Elizabeth’s birthday dinner, his body was jerked forward by Regal’s inexplicable, erratic backward jump. “Deuced horse! Are you mad?” His eyes went wide as the verge of the narrow section of trail and the sheer drop below loomed next to him. Before he could breathe, let alone take his bearings, Regal reared up in a sudden, jarring movement.

A strangled breath escaped him—he had allowed the reins to slip from his fingers, and they fell uselessly to the ground. He grasped for the stallion’s mane in a frenzied motion while inhaling a sharp burst of air. Darcy’s heart lurched when his sleek, new leather gloves failed to find a firm grip. The slow, steady loss of his balance and the frightening certainty that he was going to fall over the cliff into the ravine below caused every muscle in his body to tense. No, this cannot be!

Regal’s position at the edge of the trail left no section of ground available for a safe landing. Nothing—no trees, bushes, or even rocks were within reach to seize upon and prevent his fall, and the drop was certain to be fatal. It was a distance of over two hundred feet, and the rocky ground would not provide a soft landing. His breath came in ragged pants. Seized with horror, disbelief, and a frightening sense of helplessness, his body descended towards certain death.

***

Whilst walking in the rose garden at Pemberley with her faithful collie, Rory, at her side, Elizabeth Darcy halted her movement and wrapped her arms around herself. Her smile vanished. A change had occurred in the peaceful atmosphere surrounding her. An almost imperceptible, elusive tugging at the edges of her awareness filled her with the certitude of impending doom. The sky turned grey as a dark, malevolent cloud appeared above her, and the air grew chillingly cold. Gooseflesh covered her arms, and a shiver crept down her back as her eyes flitted around the shaded garden.


 

Kelly Miller discovered her appreciation for Jane Austen late in life, and her love of writing even later.  It was the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice that made her take notice and want to read the actual book.  It was many years later that she discovered the world of JAFF.  After reading a slew of wildly inventive stories featuring the beloved characters created by Jane Austen, she was inspired to write one of her own.  Now, writing is one of her favorite pastimes.  When not writing, she spends her free time singing, playing the piano, and working out.  (Yes, like Elizabeth Bennet, she is an excellent walker.)  Kelly Miller lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter and their many pets.

 


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The blog tour for Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley is just starting, follow the rest of the tour for guest posts, excerpts and much, much more.


Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley. All you need to do to apply to it is comment on this post and click on the Rafflecopter link here.

Good Luck everyone!

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Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley – Cover Reveal

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope this summer is treating you well! Is it warm enough to go to the beach in your part of the globe?

I have been on vacations for the last week and I have spent lots of time at the beach, which is great because it means I’m finally having more time to read. But I’ll post all about that next week because today I want to disclose to you, for the first time, the cover of Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley.

This is the debut book of author Kelly Miller who is publishing through Meryton Press, and she took on an interesting premise for those who love a little paranormal in their JAFF 🙂

I have been pleasantly surprised with some paranormal variations I’ve read, so I’m looking forward to see where Mrs. Miller will take us with this story. Today I am not only sharing the cover with you, but also the blurb and a guest post where the author explains a little of this story and how it came to fruition. I hope you like it.


 

What will the master of Pemberley do when confronted with the mercurial whims of an all-powerful angel?

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s well-ordered life is about to become a chaotic nightmare. A man of fortune, property, and social prominence, he has everything he could desire. Blissfully married to his wife, Elizabeth, they have a two-year-old son. With so much to live for, Darcy is shaken by a near-fatal riding accident. After a miraculous escape, he is visited by an otherworldly being: an angel of death named Graham. Threatening dire consequences, Graham compels Darcy to guide him on a sojourn in the world of mortals.

Darcy immediately questions the angel’s motives when he demands to be a guest at Pemberley. Can he trust Graham’s assurance that no harm will come to his wife and child? And why does Graham insist on spending time with Elizabeth? How can Darcy possibly protect his family from an angel with power over life and death?

In this romantic fantasy, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice must contend with both human and unearthly challenges. Are the fates against them? Or will their extraordinary love conquer all?

***

Do you like the blurb? Isn’t it something completly different from anything you’ve seen so far? Do you want to read this story as soon as it comes out? Well, you can do just that if you pre-order it. The pre-order is now available for 5,95$ and the book will be uploaded into your kindle as soon as it is released on June 14th.

 


 

Jane Austen ended Pride & Prejudice with enough information for readers to infer that Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy would live happily ever after.

I wanted to write a continuation of Pride & Prejudice, a story of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy as a married couple. I pondered questions such as: What sort of marriage would they have? In her new role as Mistress of Pemberley, would Elizabeth feel pressured to become a different person? Would she retain her sense of humour and be free to continue her habit of taking solitary walks? How would Elizabeth and Darcy handle differences of opinion? Would a continued estrangement from Lady Catherine, the sister of Darcy’s deceased mother, cause tension between the couple?

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, is a fantasy in which Fitzwilliam Darcy, married to his beloved Elizabeth for almost three years, is visited by an angel of death. This story highlights the deep, enduring love between Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy as the couple face challenges that threaten their relationship.

My daughter, Alexa, who typically shuns the limelight, did me the enormous favor of allowing the use of her image in my cover photo. I predicted that she had the right mix of sweetness and impishness to make the perfect Elizabeth Bennet. Through the vision and talent of artist Janet Taylor, I was proved correct.

 


Now that you know more about this story are you curious to see the cover? I know I always am! Covers are a true addiction to me 🙂 Without further ado, here is the cover of Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley:

DTaHaP Front Cover wobld 060819 M.jpg

What do you think of it? Do you agree there is a certain impishness to this Elizabeth? I love it that authors get to add images of people who are special to them in their books covers, it just shows how close and unique this community is.

What kept me thinking about this cover was the dog, do you think he is Graham? I’m curious to know whom he really is, especially because I’m quite interested in Graham’s character and now I think he is it.

But you know that as a cover addict I could not avoid showing you the back cover too, after all, the front cover is nothing without a good back cover! At least that’s what I think 🙂

 

DTaHaP Final Full Wrapper wobld 060719M.jpg

What do you think of this Darcy? Moreover, how beautiful and befitting is that black horse? Also, why is the hat on the floor? Knowing that Janet Tayler did this cover makes me believe that everything in the back cover has a meaning; she does tend to include clues of the story in the covers doesn’t she?

I really liked the personal touch that was given to this cover, and the background reminds me of Lyme Park, so it immediately takes me to my happy place. What do you think of it?


 

Kelly Miller discovered her appreciation for Jane Austen late in life, and her love of writing even later.  It was the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice that made her take notice and want to read the actual book.  It was many years later that she discovered the world of JAFF.  After reading a slew of wildly inventive stories featuring the beloved characters created by Jane Austen, she was inspired to write one of her own.  Now, writing is one of her favorite pastimes.  When not writing, she spends her free time singing, playing the piano, and working out.  (Yes, like Elizabeth Bennet, she is an excellent walker.)  Kelly Miller lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter and their many pets.

 


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The blog tour for Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley is about to begin and its first stop is right here at From Pemberley to Milton. Please stop by on June 14 for more news on this new take on our favourite story 🙂

And of course, follow the rest of the tour for guest posts, excerpts and much, much more.

Thanks for stopping by and see you on June 14th 🙂


 

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Nefarious- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today is a very special day for me because it is my mother’s birthday and to celebrate this special day, I am taking her to visit one of Portugal’s iconic places, the caves of Mira D’aire, but before I do, I am pleased to share with you a guest post from one of my favourite authors, Nicole Clarkston.

I’m sure you’ve noticed I have been very quiet lately due to the break I was taking from JAFF, but I’m back and that is patly because of Nicole Clarkston’s new book, Nefariouos. I will read anything from her, literally anything! She is one of the most talented authors I have ever read and I have heard nothing but good things about Nefarious so I had to return to JAFF and read this book! Needless to say you may expect a review very, very soon!

Until then I’ll try to entice you with this excerpt, even if no enticement is necessary when it comes to someone as talented as Nicole Clarkston 🙂

I hope you enjoy it, and please join me in welcoming Nicole Clarkston once more to From Pemberley to Milton 🙂

P.S – I could move on with this post without mentioning how much I love this cover!!! It is stunning! And it is currently in a cover contest, so if you love it as much as I do, please help Nicole and vote for it.


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He hates everything about her.

She despises him even more.

So why is his heart so determined to belong to her?

Once trapped by marriage to a woman he loathed, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally free again. Resentful, bewildered, and angry, he is eager to begin his life over—preferably with a woman who is the exact opposite of his wife.

He never imagined a short stay in Hertfordshire would bring him face to face with his worst nightmare; a woman similar in face, form, and name. He certainly never expected her to be so impossible to ignore.

Torn between what he believes he wants and what his heart cannot live without, his dignity begins to unravel. Will his desperation to escape his past drive a wedge into his closest friendship and destroy any hope of a future?

Will Miss Elizabeth Bennet prove to be as nefarious as his wife? Or, will the last woman in the world be his only chance at happiness?

 

 

You can find Nefarious at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

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I lifted my eyes over the edge of the book I was reading and caught him peeking at me again.

Mr Darcy had come into Netherfield’s library a quarter hour earlier, and only a very obvious, excruciatingly humiliating, superhuman effort had kept him from acknowledging me. Indeed, he walked right on by the stacks, pointedly turning his head to the shelves opposite my chair so that it might not seem so apparent that he “did not see me.”

I snuggled more deeply into my chair and proceeded to ignore him. It was difficult, however, with him pacing about the room like that. At one point he stopped, and I heard him catch his breath as if he meant to speak, but by the time I looked up at him—for I was leisurely and casual in my manner—he was already investigating a book on the shelf nearest him. I looked down, but in the periphery of my vision, I watched him put the book away in frustration and seek another. I wondered how long it had taken him to discover that the book he had been reading the previous evening was the very one I had chosen prior to his arrival.

It truly was sublime. Rarely had I been so successful in tormenting anyone, nor found such satisfaction in another’s vexation. It was wrong of me, and I knew it… but Mr Darcy seemed determined to be displeased in my presence, whether I provoked him or not. Was I wrong to amuse myself where I could?

At length, I had pity on the man and quitted the room. We had been alone together for above half an hour without ever speaking to each other, and he did not even look up when I left. Instead, he seemed so involved in whatever dull book he was reading that even a bird slamming into the window from outside had failed to draw his notice. A fine act the man could put up, indeed!

That evening, Miss Bingley persuaded me to play for the entire party, over all my protestations and reluctance. The way it occurred was, no doubt, her own contrivance to exhibit her superior skills against mine. It was true—her fingers were deft, her expression remarkable, and her execution flawless. My own performance, I cannot recall without some humiliation.

It would not have been so bad, if only I had been permitted to play the piece I first selected. Miss Bingley, however, cried out after only a few measures. “Pray, Miss Eliza, will you grace us all with this selection?”

I made a valiant effort at playing the piece she gave me. Truly, I did, though my poor lip bore the punishment as I unconsciously chewed it all the while. When I was nearly halfway through it, and trying to conquer a particularly difficult section, Miss Bingley drew near again. “Oh, dear, Miss Eliza, I am afraid you do not like this concerto. Here, I have another that I am sure will strike your fancy.”

The piece she presented me was even more challenging. I hesitated as I glanced over the lines, and my eyes raised from the instrument just long enough to catch Jane’s eye… except it was not Jane’s gaze I encountered, but Mr Darcy’s. The look I found there—inscrutable interest, some obscure intensity—made me fearfully uneasy, but I refused to show it. I drew a steady breath, lifted my chin, and proceeded to abuse the ivories for the next ten minutes.

After that, for no particular reason that I could discern, Mr Darcy made his excuses and left the room. I watched him go in both relief and confusion. I had played ill—even I could not deny it—but it was not so bad that my listeners must have acquired the head ache! We saw him no more for the rest of the night, so Miss Bingley was unable to importune him for the cause of his hasty departure. Jane and I exchanged glances. Whatever the reason, we both counted his absence a blessing.

We left Netherfield on the following day, only to arrive home to the news that Mr Collins, a cousin whom we had never before met, was to arrive by evening. Mary and Kitty were in great hopes that he would prove admirable in one way or another. Mama absolutely insisted that he would show an interest in one of us. For once, my own sentiments aligned with Lydia’s, though not for the same reason. Lydia meant to save her own interests for the red-coated officers in town, while I merely wished to know more of the man before someone supposed me to be intended for him.

Alas, no such luxury was afforded me. Almost from the moment he arrived at the house, my mother was thrusting me into his way. He had not been our gest for four hours before I felt the sinking reality of my mother’s hopes and the gentleman’s wishes. My father, at least, indulged in a laugh or two with me at Mr Collins’ expense, but to the others, it was a foregone conclusion that I was to become Mrs Collins before the month was out.

Intending to put pin to such talk, I donned my muff and cape on the second morning after Mr Collins’ arrival and announced my intentions to walk into Meryton. Such intelligence instantly spurred Lydia and Kitty to join me, which, I assumed, would result in Mr Collins declining our company. In this, I was sadly mistaken, for not only did he accompany us, but he insisted on walking beside me.

My dismay knew no bounds until we arrived in town. There, a troop of officers gathered on the walk immediately drew Lydia and Kitty’s admiration. Struck by a diabolical scheme, I turned to my youngest sister. “Oh, look, Lydia, there is Captain Denny. But is that another young lady he is speaking to?”

Lydia looked on in aggrieved surprised. “Oh, surely it is only because I had not yet arrived in town. I shall catch his notice, you can be sure of that.”

“Do you know, Lydia, I believe a certain way of catching a man’s notice is for him to see you in the company of another gentleman,” I suggested.

Her eyes brightened. “Oh, dear Mr Collins!” she cried. “My good cousin—sir, I have a very great favour to ask of you.”

And so it was that my protesting, bumbling cousin was drawn away by my two youngest sisters—an event which delighted me more than I could say. Not only was I now spared his rather cumbersome presence, but Kitty and Lydia had just acquired a natural safeguard of sorts against their typical improprieties.

“That was well done, Lizzy,” Jane murmured.

I nodded. “I am rather proud of it myself. Come, Jane, I see Mr Bingley crossing the street just there. Shall we not greet our neighbour?”

Jane smiled timidly and nodded. A moment later, the gentleman had sought us out of his own accord, and I stood back in pleasure as they greeted one another. That was when a handsome, unfamiliar face stood out to me from the crowd—a tallish fellow, with genial features and a crimson uniform. He bowed to Mr Bingley, and begged an introduction.

“Indeed,” the latter agreed. “Miss Jane Bennet, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, may I present Mr George Wickham.”

The dashing young officer proved most personable, doffing his hat and greeting us with all civility. “It is a pleasure,” he effused, “to meet such lovely ladies. I had fancied I would be quite alone and desolate in Meryton.”

“Not so, sir,” I disagreed. “If you are a friend of Mr Bingley’s, you may be assured of being well received in the neighbourhood, for he is a great favourite among all the local families.”

“Alas,” he sighed, “I have but a passing acquaintance with Mr Bingley. It is Mr Darcy with whom I am chiefly acquainted. I understand he is presently a guest at Netherfield?”

“Indeed, he is, but we will try not to hold that against you,” I retorted.

Mr Wickham laughed. “Ah! I understand how it is already. I fear my old friend is not always amiable amongst strangers.”

“If by that, you mean that he is constantly scowling and above his company, you are quite correct.”

“Oh! Miss Elizabeth, I suspect that you and I shall become great friends. Ah! There is the old fellow now. I say, is that not Miss Darcy with him? I did not know she was in this part of the country.”

I looked beyond Mr Wickham’s shoulder, and found Mr Darcy in the company of a tall, large-boned girl of handsome features and gawky movements. Her complexion was clear and rosy, but she clung to Mr Darcy’s arm as if she feared she would be ill.

“I had heard his sister was to come to Netherfield,” I replied, “but I had not met her yet. She must have only just arrived.”

“Indeed! Well, I simply must go pay my respects. Excuse me, won’t you, Miss Elizabeth?”

I watched as Mr Wickham presented himself, and marveled at the one man’s easy manner while the other seemed instantly off-putting. Mr Darcy had appeared… heaven strike me dead if he did not look happy! But then, as soon as Mr Wickham bowed before him, his face blackened and his brow clouded. They exchanged a few words, with Mr Wickham paying every civility while Mr Darcy remained his typically odious self, and a moment later, they were coming towards us.

I found Miss Darcy to be the perfect opposite of her brother. Where he was commanding and austere, she was awkward and unassuming. And yet, I could trace the same detachment of manner, the same light in their eyes. However, just as my favourite gown could appear bright yellow in my bedroom and cream-coloured outdoors, so that peculiar tint appeared in Mr Darcy’s eyes to be disdain and in his sister’s to be insecurity.

We exchanged pleasantries for only a moment, but it was long enough for me to settle with myself that I would heartily befriend this shy girl. If nothing else, doing so would grant me a golden opportunity to nettle Mr Darcy. Moreover, perhaps she might be able to shed some light on the strange, almost jealous looks passing between her brother and Mr Wickham. I confess, I was perplexed in the extreme… but not perplexed enough to remain standing there when I saw Mr Collins returning with Kitty and Lydia.

“Oh, Cousin Elizabeth!” he cried. “Ah, there you are!”

I cringed when I saw Mr Darcy’s jaw drop, then seal itself again. Good heavens, what further humiliation must I endure at Mr Collins’ hands? Poor Jane was shrinking unconsciously towards Mr Bingley, and I sighed audibly, rolling my eyes.

“I am afraid we must be on our way,” I announced. “Good day, Miss Darcy. I hope we shall see you soon.”

With that, I caught Jane’s arm and marched her down the street, away from Mr Collins and our younger sisters. Unfortunately, they would catch us up eventually, but at least they would not linger and embarrass us before the other gentlemen.

“Well, Lizzy, what do you think of that?” Jane whispered.

“Of Miss Darcy, Mr Wickham, or our relatives?” I asked.

She raised an eyebrow. “All of it.”

“I think…” I blew out a huff of air. “I am dreadfully curious. I only wish we could call on Miss Darcy tomorrow alone, so that we might know her better.”

“No chance of that,” Jane lamented. “Not once Mama hears of her arrival.”

I sighed. “I know.”

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The blog tour is just beggining so please don’t forget to check all the other stops:

June 3rdMore Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway

June 4th From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, Giveaway

June 7thAustenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

June 8thBabblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway

June 11thSo Little Time…; Guest Post, Giveaway

June 13th Savvy Verse & Wit; Guest Post, Giveaway

June 15thDiary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

 


 

 

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Nicole Clarkston is offering a very generous giveaway. On this stop you can either win a $10 Amazon Gift Card plus eBook or Audiobook of winner’s choice which will be available for all readers acrosss the globe, or  a signed paperback of winner’s choice which is only available for US residents. To enter this giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and give us your opinion of this author or your expectations regarding Nefarious.

The giveaway is open until the 10th of June and the winner will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck Everyone!

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