Monthly Archives: February 2020

Georgiana – Excerpt and Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re all fine and safe in your part of the world, and that you have great books to keep you company. I’ve been reading so much lately that Darcy and Elizabeth are starting to become a little predictable, so I am now starting to appreciate books that focus on secondary characters. I confess that the only secondary characters I really wanted to read about were Mary Bennet and the Colonel, but that is also changing now, so I’m really happy to bring you today an excerpt of Sue Barr’s latest book: Georgiana.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt and that you don’t forget to apply to the generous giveaway the author is promoting in the blog tour.

Thank you for visiting Sue! And thank you to include me in the tour Christina Boyd 🙂


 

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Thank you for hosting me and letting me share an excerpt from my latest release, GEORGIANA: Pride & Prejudice continued… Book Three. The scene I’m sharing today is from early in the book and is the impetus for many of the decisions Max makes moving forward.

 

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He’d removed his cravat and pulled his shirt from his breeches when he heard a woman cry out. The sound came from the room below. He waited a few seconds and hearing nothing more, started to remove his shirt. A scream pierced the air.

Without thought that his shirt was undone and loose about his hips, he strode from the room and in less than a minute stood outside the door to the room below his. Sounds of a struggle, although muffled, filtered through the door.

Disgust arose in his chest. He had no idea who occupied the room, or whether it was the man’s wife or a woman from the village in the room with him, but by the sound of it, she wasn’t a willing companion. The thought of any man forcing himself upon a woman, married or not, made his stomach turn and with one well-placed kick he booted open the door.

The sight before him was chaotic. All the bedclothes were scattered about the room, as though someone had jumped on the bed, or scrambled across it to evade. A woman cowered on the floor beside the bed and a man clad only in his breeches, his back to the door, held her ankle in his left hand, his right had raised above his head as though to strike. The woman’s nightgown, twisted around slender thighs, had risen enough to reveal several bruises and one deep cut on her creamy skin.

“Unhand that woman!” Max bellowed.

The man turned and Max was stunned to see it was none other than Sir Reginald Slade, who whirled around and after a momentary hesitation swung his fist at Max’s face. Max feinted to the right, then ducked and tackled Slade around the waist, thankful that years of wrestling with two younger brothers gave him a decided edge.

The momentum of their collision carried them onto the bed, which collapsed beneath their combined weight. A brief struggle ensued, ending when Max managed to punch Sir Reginald solidly on his chin, who fell back onto the mattress, his body limp. Assured Slade would not come around any time soon, Max turned and kneeled beside the woman, her face obscured behind a tangled curtain of dark golden curls.

“You will not be harmed.” Hesitantly, he touched her shoulder, not wanting to frighten her further. “Lend me your hand; I will take you to safety.”

The woman finally raised her tear stained face and his heart stuttered to a stop.

“Miss Darcy!”

A noise from behind snapped Maxwell out of his shock. Mr. Barrows stood within the door frame, his cheerful face now twisted into a mixture of worry and anger. In his beefy hand, he held a club of some sort.

“I don’t allow this kind of behavior in my inn—” he growled, lifting the club in a threatening gesture.

“Mr. Barrows, this lady needs care.” Max snatched a blanket off the bed and draped it around Georgiana’s shoulders. No one else needed to see the state she was in. “Have someone attend the stables and request one of my men to come here to guard Sir Reginald.”

“Who are you to give me orders? For all I know, you’re in on this with him,” Mr. Barrows sputtered in anger.

Max rose to his feet, Georgiana in his arms, and towered over the man.

“I am the Duke of Adborough.” Mr. Barrows blanched at the mention of his title. “I have nothing to do with this sordid piece of humanity other than saving the lady from his clutches.”

The innkeeper lowered the club and gave him a quick bow.

Max continued. “Would you ask your daughter bring some salve and warm water to my room. This lady requires attention.”

“Right away, Your Grace.”

Max hurried upstairs, distressed by the small whimpers Georgiana tried to hide by pressing her face into his chest. He immediately placed her in a chair and without thought pulled back the blanket to assess if her wounds were dire. At her gasp, he realized how inappropriate his actions were and quickly threw the blanket back over her legs.

“Forgive me, Miss Darcy. I was so worried I wasn’t thinking straight.”

“N… n… not to worry, Your Grace.” She choked back another sob. “I was trying… I was… t…t…t…trying…”

She burst into tears.

Max fell to his knees and society be damned, placed his arms around her slender shoulders and pulled her against his chest. “Hush. You are safe. He cannot hurt you now.”

“I know.” He felt her head nod in time with her statement. “Th…” She drew in a shuddering breath. “Thank you.”

“Can you tell me what happened?”

He felt her head shake in the negative against his chest and heard a stammered whisper. “N.. n… not right now.”

“Shh…., you are safe now. Mr. Barrows is sending his daughter with salve to soothe the injury to your leg.”

Max looked down at the tangle of curls against his chest. How long had he dreamed of holding Georgiana in this manner? There was no way he’d allow Slade to triumph. He’d planned on courting her in a slow, gentle manner and that course of action had been brutally demolished. As soon as he could get word to Darcy, he’d apply for a Special License and he and Georgiana would marry as quickly as possible.

 


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She longs for true love…

A dowry of thirty thousand pounds places a hefty weight upon the shoulders of Miss Georgiana Darcy. Her tender heart has been broken before by a cad who cared not one whit for who she was, but as a prize to be won, and she fears no man will ever see the worth of her heart.

Duty and honor…

These are the stalwart columns which hold up the life of Maxwell Kerr, Fifth Duke of Adborough. After rescuing Miss Darcy from an inescapable compromise, an offer of marriage is as natural to him as breathing air. When he discovers this is not the first compromise she has evaded, anger becomes his faithful companion and threatens their tenuous bonds of love and respect.

 

 

 

You can find Georgiana at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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“The prairie dust is in my blood but no longer on my shoes.”

Sue Barr coined that phrase when once asked where she came from. Although it’s been over thirty-seven years since she called Saskatchewan home, her roots to that straight-lined province and childhood friends run deep. The only thing strong enough to entice her to pack up and leave was love. When a handsome Air Force pilot met this small-town girl, he swept her off her feet and they embarked on a fantastic adventure which found them settled in beautiful Southwestern Ontario when hubby retired from the military and began his second career as an airline pilot.

Sue started writing in 2009 and sold her first manuscript in 2010. For four years she was published under the pen name of Madison J. Edwards, and in 2014 began to write sweet contemporary romance under her own name. Always a reader of Regency romance, she discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction through a childhood friend who writes under the name of Suzan Lauder. Almost immediately a question popped into her head, “Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and Mr. Darcy became engaged to a Bennet sister?” and the “Pride & Prejudice Continued…” series was launched.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and its satellite chapter, The Beau Monde. She is one course away from achieving her Professional Creative Writer’s certificate from the University of Western Ontario’s continuing study curriculum. In her spare time, she cans and preserves her own food, cooks almost everything from scratch and grows herbs to dehydrate and make into seasoning. Hubby has no complaints other than his trousers keep shrinking. At least that’s what he claims…. Oh, the kids and grandkids don’t mind this slight obsession either.


Don’t forget to follow the blog tour for more information about Georgiana 🙂


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Sue is also gifting three e-copies of GEORGIANA to three lucky winners via Rafflecopter. Open internationally through March 12.

Click on this link to apply 🙂

Good luck everyone!

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Sanditon- Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the novelisation of the Sanditon completion mini-series by now, and I’m also sure that just like me, you’re very curious about it.

The moment I heard about Kate Riordan’s work, I added it to my TBR pile. This is definitely one of those books that any Jane Austen aficionado cannot miss, but unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, so today I’m not sharing with you my thoughts on it, but an excerpt which I hope will make you want to read this book even sooner then you had expected.

Please do let me know what you think of it, and if you have either seen the mini-series, or read the book, tell me what to expect! I’d love to hear you opinion on it!

I would also like to thank Laurel Ann Nattress for organizing this blog tour and including me in it! As always, it was a pleasure to work among such nice people in this community 🙂


 

In the vein of Downton Abbey, Jane Austen’s beloved but unfinished masterpiece-often considered her most modern and exciting novel-gets a spectacular second act in this tie-in to a major new limited television series.
Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker. When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The twists and turns of the plot, which takes viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London, exposes the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself… and ultimately find love.

 

 

You can find Sanditon at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and at Audible.com

 

 

 

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Much to everyone’s comfort and pleasure, the weather the day after the bathing party went on just as fine. Charlotte couldn’t help smiling to herself as she went downstairs after dressing. Sanditon was proving to be everything she’d hoped it would be and a great deal more. Here, her mind strayed again to the exhilaration of her swim. As much as she missed her family, Willingden and its quiet rhythms seemed like a thousand years ago.

Mrs Parker and her daughters were already seated at the breakfast table when she got there. Mr Parker, for his part, was pacing agitatedly.

‘It’s too bad. It’s really too bad!’

‘It’s nothing to worry about, really,’ said Mrs Parker soothingly.

‘Nothing to worry about? No word from him, and the ball only a day away? Good morning, Charlotte,’ he said, as she took her place.

Mrs Parker continued to smile with great patience. ‘You know Sidney always leaves everything to the last minute, dear.’

‘But does he realise the paramount importance of this occasion?’

‘Is it really so very important?’

‘Of course it is! Of course it is. Sanditon’s first ball!’

‘Sit down and eat your breakfast, Tom.’

‘I can’t. I’m too…’ Too distracted even to finish his sentence, he marched from the room.

It was only after breakfast, once the two ladies had set forth for Sanditon’s shops, that Mrs Parker confided in Charlotte. The sun was so bright on the water below that Charlotte had to shield her eyes from it.

‘My husband has two wives, Charlotte,’ said Mrs Parker with admirable fondness. ‘Myself and Sanditon – and I’d hesitate to say which of us he cares for most. Marriage is very much about making allowances for the other person, as I am sure you’ll find out for yourself.’ She laughed softly. ‘And life with Tom is at least never dull.’

‘But – forgive me – he was comfortably situated,’ said Charlotte in her plain-spoken way. ‘He had no need to throw himself into all this speculative activity?’

‘Yes, indeed. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I fell in love with Tom. But here we are.’ She gestured to the activity going on around them, from the new-built houses to the respectable visitors promenading past them.

Charlotte smiled. ‘There is something thrilling about that, don’t you think?’

‘Thrilling. But exhausting.’

They were by now outside Heely’s, the shoe shop. The blue shoes she had seen before were still displayed prominently in the window. At close quarters, they were even more glorious.

‘Now what do you think of those?’ said Mrs Parker.

‘Oh, they’re lovely,’ Charlotte breathed.

‘I think you would look very well in them at the ball,’ said Mrs Parker. ‘Shall we go in?’

Despite her protestations, the shoes were soon tried on and pronounced the perfect fit. Charlotte could hardly believe her good fortune. They were already halfway back up the hill to Trafalgar House when she realised hers was the only purchase.

‘You didn’t buy anything for yourself!’

Mrs Parker waved her concern away. ‘I no longer need to put all my charms on display, and Tom likes me well enough in any old thing. He’s very worried that if Sidney doesn’t come and bring a friend or two there won’t be enough eligible young men for you young ladies. But you wouldn’t be too proud to dance with a clerk or a shopkeeper, would you?’

‘Indeed, I would not. I love to dance, and I’ll stand up with anyone who will partner me.’

‘Excellent! And I hope the mysterious Miss Lambe and her friends are of the same agreeable frame of mind. Oh, look, here is Miss Denham.’

Esther Denham greeted them with a chilly smile. ‘Mrs Parker, Miss Heywood. Well met. I was growing sick of my own company. Could I persuade you to walk a few steps with me?’

‘I have things to see to at home,’ said Mrs Parker, ‘but Charlotte?’ She looked expectantly at her.

‘Gladly.’

‘So, what do you think of us all so far?’ said Miss Denham when they had found a bench upon which to take their ease.

Charlotte hesitated, rather intimidated by Miss Denham’s cool manner. ‘It’s… always pleasant to make new acquaintances.’

‘Very prettily said, and you don’t mean a word of it. I saw Lady D. haranguing you the other day. What was she talking about?’

‘Well, her money mostly.’

‘And how we are scheming to get it, no doubt. She talks of little else. She’s a mean, miserly old monster.’

Charlotte couldn’t bring herself to disagree. ‘I did find myself feeling a little sorry for Miss Brereton.’

But Miss Denham snorted derisively at that. ‘Oh, she has no need of your sympathy. She is well enough, basking in the warmth and luxury of Sanditon House, while Edward and I shiver in the damp and cold of Denham Place. If she succeeds in her object, which is of course to get everything herself, I swear I’ll poison her.’

Charlotte was shocked, and could only hope that she was being teased. ‘I’m sure you don’t mean that.’

‘You wait and see. And your hosts?’

‘I am very fond of them already.’

Miss Denham gave her another withering look. ‘Mr Tom Parker is a monomaniac who is well on the way to ruining himself and his family with his crazy schemes.’

‘You don’t really think that?’ Charlotte felt rather indignant. ‘I think his ideas are admirable.’

‘Wait till he bankrupts himself. I have nothing against his wife, indeed I feel very sorry for her. His brother is a buffoon, as no doubt you’ve noticed for yourself, and as for Sidney…’

‘I have not had the pleasure yet.’

‘Very unsteady and unreliable,’ pronounced Miss Denham. ‘I advise you to be on your guard.’

‘Thank you,’ Charlotte said weakly. She didn’t know how to respond to this barrage of disparagement.

‘All in all, I think you may come to regret ever setting foot in Sanditon,’ continued Miss Denham. ‘I know I do.’ She turned to face the water, which looked particularly dazzling from their vantage point, the sun glancing off the blue like scattered gold. ‘Look at that view,’ she said despondently. ‘Sea. Sky. Isn’t it all unutterably dreary?’

Charlotte could only stare at her in astonishment.


 

Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist from England. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at the Guardian newspaper, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of London bible, Time Out magazine. There she had assignments that saw her racing reindeers in Lapland, going undercover in London’s premier department store and gleaning writing tips (none-too subtly) during interviews with some of her favorite authors. After becoming a freelancer, she left London behind and moved to the beautiful Cotswolds in order to write her first novel.


 

Please do not forget to check the other stops of the blog tour 🙂

January 13              Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

January 14              History Lizzie

January 17              Babblings of a Bookworm

January 20              Confessions of a Book Addict

January 20              Living Read Girl

January 25              Margie’s Must Reads

January 26              My Jane Austen Book Club

February 03            The Lit Bitch

February 10            Unabridged Chick

February 10            Laura’s Reviews

February 13            Bookfoolery

February 14            Half Agony, Half Hope

February 17            Scuffed Slippers, Wormy Books

February 18            Impressions in Ink

February 23            From Pemberley to Milton

February 24            So Little Time…

February 24            Vesper’s Place

February 26            Austenesque Reviews

February 28            My Vices and Weaknesses

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Letters From the Heart by Kay Bea

I was reluctant to read Letters From the Heart because of the premise, but Kay Bea’s talent proved me that regardless of the story, when a book is well written readers will enjoy it nonetheless, which was exactly what happened to me. In this book Mr. Bennet has a seizure and while he is still convalescent, Mrs. Bennet forces Elizabeth to marry Mr. Collins, who becomes an abusive husband killing Elizabeth’s spirit day after day.

The story is told through letters written by Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to their families, and the truth is that even if in the beginning I wasn’t sure I would like this style and premise, I ended up loving the story, which I recommend to everyone in need of a good book.

The way this book is written along with the manner by which the events are described is very appealing, and we feel compelled to continue reading to see what will happen next. Also, because the reader knows how events are unfolding through letters written by the male and female characters, he feels a close connection to them that increases the need to keep following their lives until they reach their happy ending.

Mr. Darcy’s constancy was a characteristic I loved, but the secondary characters were the ones that made a difference for me in this book. Some of them were very interesting to follow, namely Lady Catherine and Mary Bennet who was a favourite since the beginning of the story. I may shock you by saying this, but Lady Catherine was definitely one of my favourite characters and I am sure other readers will appreciate her and Anne De Bourgh as well.

In Letters From the Heart the Bennet family spends a lot of time with the Darcy family and it was really interesting to see how this familiarity affected all of them. The Bennet sisters’ behaviour was improved with the influence of Georgiana and Darcy, and the master of Pemberley became more humble due to his interaction with the girls. These changes in character were beautifully achieved and not having Elizabeth causing them was singular and fresh.

Letters From the Heart is not a romantic book, so those looking for romance will not find it. It focuses on real life dramas that people need to go through revealing exactly how dependent women were of men in regency times. It has a serious tone I absolutely loved because it made it real and not a fairy tale story. It goes beyond Jane Austen fan fiction and I highly recommend it to readers. The only quibble I had with this book was to see that Darcy’s family did more to help Elizabeth then her own family, but that was also part of the allure in the story, so it did not prevent me from enjoying it immensely.

If this was Kay Bea’s debut novel, I cannot wait to see what’s coming next.

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

It was hard getting used to a male voice narrator in this type of story, but David Pickering is very talented and his voice is very pleasing to hear. He made me listen to this book non-stop.

 

 

You can find Letters From the Heart at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

on Audible

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

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1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited – Release Day

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m really happy to receive Karen M. Cox here today to celebrate the re-release of her book 1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited!

Son of a Preacher Man is an unforgettable book that I’ll always cherish, and in it, Karen M. Cox also took Pride and Prejudice into a completely different era, so my expectations concerning 1932 are very high! I never got a chance to read it when it was released, so this re-release which not only has been revised, but also contain additional scenes, is definitely putting it high on my To Be Read list.

I am certain the Karen M. Cox will be able to play with words and sentences to make us feel transported right into the Big Depression, and her knowledge of the Southern states will certainly be visible in her prose. As for her Darcy…Something tells me he will be irresistible!

Today it is release day for 1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited so if you’ve never heard about it, do yourself a favour, and check it out 🙂


During the upheaval of the Great Depression, Elizabeth Bennet’s life is torn asunder. Her family’s relocation from the bustle of the big city to a quiet family farm has changed her future, and now, she must build a new life in rural Meryton, Kentucky.
William Darcy suffered family turmoil of his own, but he has settled into a peaceful life at Pemberley, the largest farm in the county. Single, rich, and seemingly content, he remains aloof—immune to any woman’s charms.
Until Elizabeth Bennet moves to town.
As Darcy begins to yearn for something he knows is missing, Elizabeth’s circumstances become more dire. Can the two put aside their pride and prejudices long enough to find their way to each other?

1932, Karen M Cox’s award-winning debut novel, is a matchless variation on Jane Austen’s classic tale.

 

 

You can find 1932 at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

And on Kindle Unlimited

 

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It’s release day for 1932: Pride and Prejudice Revisited, and I’m grateful to be celebrating here at From Pemberley to Milton.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the original publication of 1932, my debut novel. I’ve marked the milestone with a new, second edition—added several scenes, donned a new cover, wrote some book group questions, and hammered out a good edit to tighten the prose and point of view—all while keeping the story and characters that I loved.

I’ve also enjoyed going back over some of the relics of the Great Depression as I’ve prepared for this book launch. I’m careful to stay mindful of the struggles people experienced in that era and remember there was real suffering. I don’t want to romanticize their struggles or gloss over them. But when I was a girl and heard the stories my grandmothers would tell about those years, their take-home message was always the same. “Yes, we struggled. Yes, it was difficult, but there was happiness, too. We always could find joy if we looked for it.” Part of that joy stemmed from the same things we enjoy now—music, books, movies, and other little pieces of our culture that make us smile.

One little piece of 1930s popular culture that I learned about was the phenomenon of Depression glass. It’s a bit kitschy, but the items ARE rather striking and collectible in a retro, vintage kind of way.

Basically, Depression glass was run-of-the-mill, commonplace glassware manufactured from the 1930s until after World War II. Companies were looking for incentives for people to buy their products, like flour or soap—or patronize their businesses, like movie theaters. So, they would offer a piece of pretty glassware along with a purchase. In the 20s, the making of glassware became more automated and glassware could be manufactured for less cost and mass-produced in larger quantities. Depression glass was made mostly in the central and mid-west United States and was distributed in the U.S. and Canada. It came in many patterns and various colors, such as red, pink, green, amber, and cobalt blue.

I first learned about Depression glass when I was twelve years old, and my family bought an old house that was built in the 1920s. The woman who lived there had passed away several years prior. She had a daughter who had left many of her mother’s things in the house. I remember going in there was like entering a time warp—there was old furniture in the rooms, newspapers and magazines in the attic, vintage appliances in the kitchen, perfume bottles with layers of dust on them—and cabinets containing this pretty green and pink glassware. After a bit of research, my mom found out it was most likely Depression glass.

Depression glass has flaws, and the quality is fairly low. After all, it was made as a cheap giveaway prize from businesses competing for a person’s rare spare dollar. The glass looks delicate and fragile, but really, it isn’t—I mean, it is glass, and if you drop it, it breaks, but it’s sturdier than it looks. That was what fascinated me about it. Depression glass seems frivolous, like it might shatter if you looked at it cross-eyed. However, people did actually use it as everyday dishware. And because that generation didn’t throw anything away (which, if you lived through the Great Depression, you would understand perfectly), many people hung onto it.

Which is a very good thing for those who enjoy collecting it today.

If you Pinterest, head over to see some pictures of Depression Glass in general, and some pictures of my family’s collection in particular. https://www.pinterest.com/karenmc1932/1932turns10-depression-glass/

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Source material from: http://www.depression-glass.com/  and http://www.justglass.com/documents/articles/reyne/dg.html


To celebrate the 10th anniversary edition of 1932, Karen is giving away a signed copy of the book and some Jane Austen swag: fun notecards from The Quill Ink, What Would Jane Do? book of quotes, and Austen coffee mug (if US winner) or an ebook copy of the book and 25$ Amazon Gift Card (if International Winner – cause #shipping 🙂
To enter the giveaway, click this link.


Today is release day for 1932, but the tour has already started and you can still go back and look for more information on this book 🙂

Here is the schedule:


 

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The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey by Don Jacobson

The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey is the first book of the Bennet Wardrobe Saga, a series that explores the adventures each Bennet family member has following their interaction with the family Wardrobe.

The Bennet Wardrobe is a time travel device of sorts that transports people with the Bennet bloodline to any place in the past or future that is best for them. The Bennet family member cannot choose where they will go, it is up to the Wardrobe to understand where they need to be, and they cannot go back and forward as they please, so we will have only one adventure per Bennet family member.

The book starts a few generates prior to Thomas Bennet and his daughters existence, so the reader is able to see the Wardrobe being built and used for the first. We are also acquainted with the Wardrobe rules that will have a huge impact in the story and the evolution of the family line.

I absolutely love time travel novels and even if this isn’t a regular time travel story, I loved all aspects that were associated with the time travel, which means I loved these initial chapters. They were an introduction to the time travel story and it was amusing to learn about all the wardrobe rules, how it was created and also to learn the entire story of the Bennet family, namely how Mr. Bennet ended up as Master of Longbourn.

I felt compelled to read page after page (actually listen chapter after chapter) just to learn about what would happen to all characters, because even if this is Mary’s story, the truth is that all Bennet family will appear and have their own stories introduced in this first novel of the series.

Mary’s love interest and Kitty’s story kept me motivated to continue reading, and made me want to read the second volume of the saga immediately, but I also loved the fact that the book focuses mostly on Mary. The only quibble I had with it was that the changes in her character and in Mrs. Bennet’s were too drastic and sudden in my opinion.

This story is complex and full of small details that are crucial for the narrative; nevertheless, it is easy for the reader to follow it due to the writer’s ability to explain everything. It has many hints concerning the next stories in the saga and as the story progresses readers are pulled into it.

It is very difficult to create such a story and only a talented story teller could pull it through, so congrats are in order for Don Jacobson for crafting such a complex and appealing story. It is not every author who is able to develop such an intricate story.

The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey is a captivating novel which is so different from anything ever written in the genre, that it occupied a place that was unexplored until this moment. I hope this is a trend that came to stay because it is indeed compelling, fresh and stimulating.

I highly recommend this book to readers who want something a little different than usual and that will stimulate them as readers. This is not the average JAFF book, and the author was able to think outside of the box, so if you’re looking for something that differs from the regular boring plot while following the entire Bennet family’s story, this is the book for you.

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey is a very difficult book to narrate but Amanda Berry did an incredible job, particularly with the many different accents that appear in the book. The incredible ability to portray all accents perfectly was my favourite part of this narration putting it into an Elizabeth Bennet’s level.

 

 

You can find The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

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Kelly Miller Interview & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Last month I was honoured to reveal the cover of Kelly Miller’s most recent novel, Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match, and at the time I told you I considered the Blurb a little enigmatic. Because of that, I had a chance to interview her and ask her more questions about this book.

Today, as part of the blog tour, I am sharing this interview with all of you and I hope you like reading more about this book. If you have your own questions, or if something was left unanswered, please do not hesitate to say so on the comments, I’m sure Kelly Miller will be pleased to answer you 🙂

But before moving forward with the interview, let’s take a look at the blurb, so you may have an idea of what this book is about 🙂


When secrets are revealed and a family agenda works against him, can Fitzwilliam Darcy recover his damaged spirits and find happiness?

Following his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to London from Kent broken-hearted and dejected. One bright spot penetrates his sea of despair: his sister, Georgiana, has finally recovered her spirits from the grievous events at Ramsgate the previous summer. She has forged a new friendship with Miss Hester Drake, a lady who appears to be an ideal friend. In fact, Lady Matlock believes Miss Drake is Darcy’s perfect match.

Upon Elizabeth Bennet’s arrival at the Gardiners’ home from Kent, she finds that her sister Jane remains despondent over her abandonment by Mr. Bingley. But Elizabeth has information that might bring them together. She convinces her Uncle Gardiner to write a letter to Mr. Bingley providing key facts supplied to her by Mr. Darcy.

When Mr. Bingley discovers that his friend and sisters colluded to keep Jane’s presence in London from him, how will he respond? Given the chance, will Darcy and Elizabeth overcome their past misunderstandings? What will Darcy do when his beloved sister becomes a hindrance towards winning the lady he loves?

 

You can find Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

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Hello Kelly,

Welcome back to From Pemberley to Milton! It is always a pleasure to receive you here, but today I am particularly happy to have a chance to talk to you a little more about Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match.

Now, I have to start with the plot of this book. I read the blurb and I know that Elizabeth will have a rival, in this story, at least in the eyes of Darcy’s family, what can you tell us about that?

KM – Thank you, Rita. It is a pleasure to be here. Miss Hester Drake is the youngest daughter of a close friend to Lady Matlock, aunt to Darcy and Georgiana. Georgiana is introduced to Miss Drake at a luncheon given by Lady Matlock and develops a close friendship with Miss Drake.

 

Why is Miss Hester Drake considered to be the perfect match for Darcy? And what does he think about that?

KM – Well, no doubt Lady Matlock was inclined to think well of Hester because of her long-standing friendship with Mrs. Drake. The Drake and Fitzwilliam family have been friends for generations. However, Lady Matlock was greatly impressed by the comfortable rapport Miss Drake and Georgiana developed almost immediately, and her niece’s fondness for Miss Drake was overt. I cannot say much in regards to Darcy, but he is accustomed to his aunt advocating eligible ladies in the hopes of piquing his interest; in the past the countess has not been successful.

 

I absolutely love stories where ODC have rivals because these plots always have powerful scenes where we can see not only the couple’s jealousy but also the depth of their feelings. Is there such a scene in Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match?

KM – I can reveal that both Elizabeth and Darcy have occasions in the story where they feel jealousy. Whether or not those feelings are rational or justified, I will leave for the readers to decide. 😊

 

And which was your favourite scene to write in this novel?

KM – There were so many scenes that I loved writing; I cannot pick one favorite! I am fond of the one with Darcy and Elizabeth at the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London and a couple of endearing scenes between Darcy and the Gardiner children at Hyde Park.

 

Is there any particular scene that you dislike reading about and therefore avoid writing in your own books?

KM – In general, I do not like reading or writing of Darcy or Elizabeth married to other people. I have never written of that, and at this moment do not think I will. But then I never say never.

 

I was lucky to reveal the cover for Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match last month and at that time realized the back cover is a scene from Hyde Park, a place of significance in the novel, what can you tell us about that?

KM – As I mentioned, Darcy and Elizabeth go to Hyde Park, but it is a popular destination and close to the Darcy town house; Georgiana and Miss Drake also have a significant scene at the park on a different day.

 

But going back to the books characters. The original female character is not the only one having an impact in how the plot is developed, is she? Mr. Bingley apparently will grow a backbone, isn’t that right?

KM – Yes, readers of my book will see Mr. Bingley show a certain assertiveness that might even border on impertinence at times. I think they will enjoy seeing this side of him.

 

How hard was it for you to make these changes in the story, while keeping the characters faithful to their original traits?

KM – I believe I stayed faithful to the characters I have become familiar with, but that is for readers to decide. Jane Austen shows us in Pride and Prejudice how Darcy alters his behavior. The Darcy who asks for an introduction to the Gardiners at Pemberley is so very different from the Darcy at the Meryton assembly! People have their natures and in general, they will remain constant, yet I have known people who altered after a life changing event such as falling in love. Love can motivate you to adopt a new maturity and sense of responsibility. Love is a great motivator, but I believe for the alterations to endure, a person must wish to change for his or herself and not just to please the object of their affection.

 

Is there any detail that you prefer to change when developing your characters?

KM – There is no specific detail, but sometimes characters, especially original ones, will develop new or different characteristics to go along with the plot. This is one reason why it might be argued that original characters are actually easier to write than familiar ones. In writing well-known characters, I attempt to keep them as true as possible unless I am including a circumstance that explains why the known character is altered.

 

What about those character traits that made you love P&P? I personally love Elizabeth’s wit and Darcy’s arrogance. I know most people prefer to depict him as shy, but I personally believe he was full of himself. What is your impression on his character? What do you love about him?

KM -I love Darcy’s constancy. Few gentlemen could continue to love a person who had so thoroughly abused him to his face as Elizabeth did. I share your love of Elizabeth’s wit and I also appreciate her ability to find delight in her surroundings. I would not describe Darcy as shy either, but more of an introvert.

 

Was that the way you characterized him in Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match? Is he much different from the Mr. Darcy you have in Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley?

KM – I characterized Darcy, at least in the beginning, as one might imagine he was on the day he handed Elizabeth his letter. The Darcy in “Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley” is quite different because he has been happily married to Elizabeth for almost three years. In contrast, the Darcy you meet in Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match is in low spirits following his disastrous marriage proposal in Kent.

 

You’ve mentioned before this novel is much different from your debut novel which has some fantastic elements. How would you characterize Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match?

KM -“Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match” is a “Pride and Prejudice” variation that takes Darcy, Elizabeth, and other familiar characters in new directions. I hope readers find it refreshing and satisfying.

Thank you so much for the time and patience Kelly. As always, it was a pleasure having you here 🙂

 


Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match is her second novel published by Meryton Press. Her first was the Regency novel Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy. Her third novel, Accusing Mr. Darcy, will be released later in 2020.

Contact Info:

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

 


There is only one stop left in the blog tour but you can still go back and learn more about this book. The schedule is the following:

January 27 Austenesque Reviews

January 28 My Jane Austen Book Club

January 29 Austenprose

January 30 So Little Time…

January 31 Babblings of a Bookworm

February 3 More Agreeably Engaged

February 4 Savvy Verse & Wit

February 6 Donadee’s Corner

February 7 Diary of an Eccentric

February 10 From Pemberley to Milton

February 11 My Vices and Weaknesses


Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match. To apply to it, all you need to do is click on this link.

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Two More Days at Netherfield- Excerpt and Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very pleased to welcome Heather Moll to From Pemberley to Milton today. She has brought with her an excerpt of her latest book, which has a plot that captured my attention! I love novels in cozy settings, and anything that occurs at Netherfield is bound to be cozy. In this book the Bennet sisters will stay two extra days at Netherfield and this, along with some discoveries made through some eavesdropping, will change everything! I am looking forward to know the extent of these changes, but until I get my hands on this book, I’ll have to settle with what is being shared in the blog tour. Today is the second stop, and I hope you like what Heather Moll brought to you today 🙂


 

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Hello Rita and thank you so much for welcoming me back to From Pemberley to Milton! I’m pleased and proud to share an excerpt from Two More Days at Netherfield with you and your readers. Jane and Elizabeth—through means that you’ll just have to read about—stay longer with the Netherfield party while Jane recovers from her cold. This significantly changes a few relationships and takes us in an exciting direction away from canon. When Elizabeth leaves Netherfield, she and Darcy have a very different relationship from what it was when she arrived. In this excerpt, Jane and Elizabeth are on their way home, and Jane has had a private exchange with Bingley that both Darcy and Elizabeth want to learn more about.

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Miss Bingley moved to Elizabeth and, to Darcy’s surprise, offered her hand.

“Miss Eliza, it has been a pleasure to have you stay. Your sister’s rapid return to health was due to your capable and generous nursing.”

“Thank you, Miss Bingley. You have made me feel very welcome.”

She then thanked Bingley for his hospitality and allowed him to hand her into the carriage. Elizabeth looked out the side glass and gave a little wave to the group assembled on the lawn, and then they were gone.

Miss Bingley turned her back as soon as the horses moved. Bingley watched the carriage for longer, then all but bounced towards the stairs.

“Wait a moment,” Darcy called. His curiosity could not be abated. “I must ask, although, of course, you would be right to refuse to answer me. What did you say to Miss Bennet?”

“You may ask questions which I shall not choose to answer.”

Darcy bowed before Bingley laughed. “Darcy! I tease! She looked happy, did she not? I did not imagine it?”

“Whatever you said caused her to smile in a way I have never before seen.”

“I told her I would call on the Bennet ladies tomorrow and that I particularly hoped she would be at home.”

“You have expressed a marked interest now.”

“I wanted to indicate how much I enjoyed her company. I need to know Miss Bennet better. I say, you ought to come with me tomorrow! Nothing untoward could be construed by both of us calling.”

Bingley clapped Darcy’s shoulder and then bolted up the stairs.

Darcy looked back towards the drive. The edges of his lips turned up with the thought of speaking with Elizabeth tomorrow. Darcy shook his head, reined in his smile, and slowly walked up the stairs in a manner more befitting a gentleman.

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“Tell me, what did he say?”

“What do you mean?”

“Keep your secrets; I will not ask you again.” Elizabeth looked out the side glass, taking in the scenery she saw every day of her life.

A full minute passed before Jane blurted, “He wishes to call at Longbourn tomorrow!”

Elizabeth gave a shriek of glee and clapped her hands. They laughed gaily, Elizabeth with delight at her sister’s unrestrained happiness, and Jane with nervous embarrassment.

“You must not tell Mamma that Mr Bingley specifically hoped I would be at home; I will never hear the end of it. Let us say that he is calling on all of the ladies.”

“I will not say a word, although who could doubt he comes to see you? I dare not tell my mother. If I do, she will drive all her daughters out into the next rainstorm in the hope of us catching a husband.”

“Am I apt to expect too much?” Jane’s countenance showed an eager yearning that her affections would be returned. She had a great fondness for Mr Bingley, and there was no proper way for her to show it. What an unfortunate truth in which it is improper for a lady to be justified in falling in love before the gentleman’s love is declared.

“No, but if Mr Bingley is not willing to offer his proposals, there is always the cousin wishing to make us amends waiting for us at Longbourn. If you have misunderstood Mr Bingley, you can take Miss Bingley’s advice and marry this Mr Collins.”

Jane looked away. Keeping silent was Jane’s way of avoiding expressing a negative opinion. Elizabeth suffered no such limitation. “From our sister’s note, our cousin does not appear to be a sensible man.”

“Perhaps Mr Collins does not express himself well on the page and will prove impressive in person. We ought to reserve judgment until such time as we have met him.” Jane did not speak in an admonishing tone, but Elizabeth felt the reprimand.

She felt anew her resolution to be less disapproving, less hasty to condemn on little evidence. Her pride in her own discernment had been unsettled in the face of her misconceptions regarding Darcy, a man she was now happy to be on friendly terms with. She should give her cousin the benefit of the doubt.

“I will follow your example, and I am determined not to judge him beforehand.” After a pause, Elizabeth added, “But you may depend upon hearing my opinion when I do.”

“I could expect no less from you. I do appreciate you staying on at Netherfield, Lizzy. What say you of Mr Darcy now?”

Elizabeth’s heart beat quickly when she recalled the self-conscious way he requested she save two dances for him. It is socially unacceptable for me to admit to admiring Darcy before he publicly demonstrates his admiration first. “I have seen a great deal of him, have heard his opinion on subjects of literature and taste; he is well-informed, and his observations just and correct. He has no mistaken pride, and I am pleased to know him better.”


While her sister Jane is ill at Netherfield, Elizabeth Bennet overhears Miss Bingley and the proud Mr Darcy discussing his admiration of Elizabeth and her fine eyes. Not sure what to think of his praise after all of their previous disagreements, and more flattered than she wants to admit, Elizabeth teases him for the disparaging remark he made about her at the Meryton Assembly. Darcy is then forced to reconsider his opinion of a woman who has truly bewitched him more than any other.

The result of this unintended eavesdropping leads to confrontations and apologies on both sides and, eventually, the beginnings of a friendship between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their warming acquaintance impacts the courtship of Darcy’s friend and Elizabeth’s sister, the jealous temper of Miss Bingley, and even the behavior of Mr. Wickham after he arrives in Meryton.

How are the events of the winter drastically affected by the Bennet sisters choosing to spend two more days at Netherfield.

 

 

You can find Two More Days at Netherfield at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a master’s in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring Austen’s letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Two More Days at Netherfield and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether to clean the house or write.

Connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter:

facebook.com/HeatherMollAuthor

twitter.com/HMollAuthor

goodreads.com/heathermoll

Instagram.com/HeatherMollAuthor

 

 


Quills & Quartos Publishing is giving away one ecopy at each blog stop of the Two More Days at Netherfield blog tour. All you need to do to enter the giveaway is comment on this blog post, and Quills & Quartos will randomly choose one random winner after February 21. So, make sure you join in the conversation and follow the blog tour 🙂

Good luck everyone!

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Prayer & Praise – Guest Post

Good Afternoon everyone,

How are you this week? I can’t believe it’s already February! January was so busy and fast paced that I couldn’t do much apart from working, but I did manage to start a book club with some friends, and I hope we can maintain this monthly habit of discussing books 🙂

This month, two of us were reading JAFF and that was a nice touch for our first meeting, but I hope the next time it will be 3 of us reading JAFF…we do tend to spread out the word after all 🙂

In February I hope to have more time to plan my 2020 vacations and work a little more on the blog, which I’m still trying to renovate. But until that happens, I continue to bring you reviews, guest posts, excerpts and many more posts Jane Austen related!

Today my guest is Shannon Winslow who surprised me a while ago by writing a book that shows us a side of Austen that is hardly mentioned. Did you know she also wrote prayers? Shannon Winslow did, and she was inspired by Austen’s three preserved prayers to present to us 50 messages that will associate well-known characters and situations from Austen novels to spiritual principles.

This book is so different from everything I’ve ever seen that I confess to have been very curious, but I will let Shannon explain to you a little better what you can find in it 🙂

 


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Did you know that Jane Austen wrote prayers in addition to her six classic novels? She was not only a woman of celebrated humor, intellect, and insight; she was a woman of faith.

Prayer & Praise is a treasure trove of thought-provoking messages inspired by the lines of Austen’s three preserved prayers. Atop a solid foundation of scripture, these 50 devotional segments (each finishing with prayer and praise) enlist familiar characters and situations from Austen novels to illustrate spiritual principles – in creative, often surprising, ways!

Which one of Austen’s characters developed a god complex? Who was really pulling Henry Crawford’s strings? Where do we see examples of true repentance, a redeemer at work, light overcoming darkness? With a Biblical perspec-tive, Austen’s beloved stories reveal new les-sons about life, truth, hope, and faith.

 

 

You can find Prayer & Praise at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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I’m thrilled to have the chance to visit From Pemberley to Milton again and to share with you an excerpt from my most recent book. Thanks, Rita, for inviting me!

With eight novels under my belt (all but one Jane Austen related), I began feeling a pull to do something different – something potentially more consequential. I often pray that God would use my gifts for His glory, and now I felt a tug to put that prayer into action. In this case, that meant combining my love for God’s Word and my dedication to all things Austen into one project: a devotional inspired by Jane Austen’s prayers.

I begin each of the 50 messages with a line from one of Jane Austen’s three preserved prayers, bringing in illustrations from her novels and from related scripture, then finishing with prayer and praise, which gave me the book’s title: Prayer and Praise: A Jane Austen Devotional.

I hope you enjoy the sample segment below. But first, a disclaimer or at least a necessary explanation – one which I give readers in the book’s introduction:

In these devotional segments, I speak of Jane Austen’s characters as if they are real people with real thoughts and experiences. Jane Austen drew them so true to life (part of her genius), and I have spent so much time in their company that they are like old friends to me. Perhaps you feel much the same way. In any case, for our purposes here, the lines between fact and fiction can be safely discarded in favor of what these characters and their stories can teach us by illustrating Biblical principles.

 

Gratitude and Contentment

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.

I don’t live in a grand style, but I know that I am blessed with more comforts and conveniences than the majority of people in the world – present and especially past. I turn on the faucet and clean, drinkable water comes out. I flip a switch and I’m almost guaranteed there will be light. There’s food in the refrigerator, a reliable roof over my head, a car I can drive to get where I need to go, and generally enough money to pay the bills. Although I try not to, it’s easy to take for granted things that have nearly always been there for me.

But who do you suppose most appreciated the comfort and luxury Mansfield Park provided – the Bertram children, who were born to it, or Fanny Price, who had known poverty and deprivation? While Julia and Maria bickered about who should sit where in their fashionable carriage and which one of them should have the best part in the play they were putting on for their own amusement, humble Fanny felt deep gratitude for the simple things and the smallest acts of kindness – a favor done for her brother, being spared an ordeal, the warmth of a good fire in her no-frills attic room:

While her heart was still bounding with joy and gratitude on William’s behalf, she could not be severely resentful of anything that injured only herself…

This was an act of kindness which Fanny felt at her heart. To be spared from her aunt Norris’s interminable reproaches! He left her in a glow of gratitude…

The first thing which caught her eye was a fire lighted and burning. A fire! It seemed too much; just at that time to be giving her such an indulgence was exciting even painful gratitude. She wondered that Sir Thomas could have leisure to think of such a trifle…

These three references in Mansfield Park (chapters 31 and 32) are only a few of many expounding on Fanny’s gratitude and thankfulness.

Among modern-day readers, Fanny Price may be Jane Austen’s least admired heroine. Today’s popular culture teaches us to prize assertiveness not modesty, to demand our ‘rights’ instead of being content with anything less than the very best. And yet Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), taught us quite the opposite. He said blessed are the humble, the meek, those who seek righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who suffer persecution for doing right.

Doesn’t this describe Fanny perfectly, even down to suffering for doing right? Remember how she received her cousins’ censure by refusing to participate in the play (which would have been an assault on her modesty, and of which she knew her uncle would disapprove). Think of how she quietly endured Aunt Norris’s constant persecution and her uncle’s displeasure and punishment over her refusing Henry Crawford’s proposal. Among Christians at least, perhaps pure-hearted little Fanny should be Jane Austen’s most admired heroine.

Jane Austen knew hardships – economic and otherwise. Although the practical necessity of having something to live on is a common theme in her books, her heroines demonstrate her own sentiments by prizing love in marriage above great wealth and its trappings. Austen herself lived out this credo when she turned down a proposal from a very wealthy young man she couldn’t esteem, thereby choosing genteel poverty instead. From today’s prayer excerpt, we see that she rightly counted the many comforts she did enjoy as blessings from God for which to be thankful. She was also conscious of the danger discontent and ingratitude represented.

Here again, popular culture leads us astray. The raging cult of celebrity, promoted by all forms of media, trains us to admire the rich and famous, making idols of our sports and entertainment stars (many of whom set very bad examples). Home improvement shows teach us to be discontented with our houses and everything in them. Personal make-over features imply we should be dissatisfied with how we look. And advertisers offer to come to our rescue, selling us the car, makeup, deodorant, cosmetic surgery, house, vacation, dating service, and latest smart phone we can’t possibly be happy without. This flies in the face of godly wisdom.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. (1 Timothy 6:6-10a)

Have you ever fallen into the trap of discontentment? Do you feel an unhealthy desire for more and more material things? Has too much spending resulted in debt or perhaps conflict with your spouse? Always striving after more prevents us from appreciating the many good gifts God has already given us, chief among these, our restored relationship with him through Jesus Christ. True satisfaction grows out of gratitude for what we have, not from getting everything we want.

Does this mean it’s sinful to make a lot of money or have the ambition to be successful? No, not if these things are used for God’s glory instead of our own. But no one is given success only to bestow accolades and luxuries upon himself. Here is the superior joy God wants us to experience: It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

Let Us Pray

Heavenly Father, you are the giver of all good things. As we go through each day, help us to notice and appreciate every blessing as from you, not taking even the basic necessities or simple pleasures of life for granted. Root out any seeds of discontent, and give us hearts of gratitude to generously share what we have with others in the name of Christ. Amen.

Let Us Praise

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. (Psalms 16:5-6)


Thank you so much for visiting today Shannon! I hope readers will appreciate your efforts with this book.

I know I have it with me to read when needed. It is not the kind of book one readers only once, but that is read over time, so I expect to look at it several times in the future 🙂

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