Good Afternoon everyone,
All you need to look at is the name of my blog to understand that my heart is divided between Pride and Prejudice from Jane Austen and North and South from Elizabeth Gaskell. And if you stop by once in a while, you know that variations and sequels satiate my need to spend more time with the characters from these novels, namely Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton. However, in that corner Pride and Prejudice stands out because the offer is simply extraordinary. There are so many Pride and Prejudice variations out there, that it is a struggle to choose what to read.
That is not the case with North and South. In fact, I’ve read much of the published works that exist, so it is always extraordinary to learn a new one is coming out. You can imagine my joy when I heard that Elaine Owen was releasing her second North and South novel! I’ve read Common Ground, her North and South continuation a while ago, so I know what she is capable of, and I am looking forward to read Margaret of Milton, which was released yesterday.
In the meantime, and before I can bring you my review, I’ll let you read Elaine Owen’s guest post and the excerpt of this hot new release. I’ll only call your attention to the cover! Doesn’t it look like it’s Richard Armitage in it? Not only he is physically similar, but the way he is holding the lady, the body posture, everything yells Armitage to me…Sorry…couldn’t help pointing that fact 🙂 And now, without further ado….enjoy 🙂
Margaret Hale loses her father unexpectedly and must marry the man she refused months earlier- the same man who has said he no longer cares for her. At the same time John Thornton is compelled by his sense of honor to offer his name and a home to the woman he believes is in love with another man. How will our couple find their way to happiness and love in a union born of obligation?
You can find Margaret of Milton at:
and on Kindle Unlimited
As a huge fan of both Pride and Prejudice and North and South, I have often thought about the similarities and contrasts between the two stories. What do they have in common, and what does one have that the other might lack?
- Both feature a strong, independent heroine who has no problem speaking her mind (which gets her into trouble)
- Both feature a strong, handsome gentleman with a noticeable character flaw. Not that we notice their flaws when they’re that handsome!!!
- Both heroines have a serious weakness, which could be either a wayward sister or a brother with a price on his head
- Both gentlemen step up and protect the women they love, no matter what the cost
- Both couples overcome long odds to find love. True love!
- Death. So much death. If you’re a secondary character in North and South, make sure your will is some place safe. This is not an issue in Pride and Prejudice.
- Humor. So much humor! This is not an issue in North and South, because . . . well, see above.
- Social consciousness. The reader’s conscience is pricked over and over again in North and South with so much talk about the working class and their struggles.
- In Pride and Prejudice, the class struggle pretty much boils down to marrying a rich man
Both stories, of course, have a devoted fan base and a growing body of fan fiction. But when I decided to write my second novel set in the North and South world, I realized this world didn’t have a lot of stories based on a forced marriage scenario. There are multitude of stories where Elizabeth Bennet’s father dies unexpectedly and she is forced to marry Mr. Darcy. But where were all the stories about Margaret Hale’s father dying and her being forced to marry Mr. Thornton?
So I decided to write one. The result is Margaret of Milton, which is being launched today! An excerpt from the story is below. I hope you like it! If you do, please comment and you will be entered to win one of three eversions of the book! Good luck to everyone!
In the following scene Margaret and Thornton, newlyweds in a marriage of convenience, have just visited Nicholas Higgins together for the first time. At Margaret’s urging Thornton and Higgins manage to set aside their differences for the sake of the children Higgins is raising.
As they walked back towards Marlborough Mills together Thornton looked down at his wife. “Was it your idea for Higgins to ask me for a job, or did he decide to approach me on his own?”
“I have not seen him since our wedding, but Mary told me how he was struggling, and I sent him a note saying that I was sure you would give him a fair hearing.”
He had to be honest with her. “You almost proved me wrong. I thought he was only there on behalf of the union, to cause trouble.”
She frowned slightly at his admission but said nothing. He continued. “Without your intervention I would have carried out a great injustice. Thank you for saving me from my own stubbornness.”
“You would have given him a hearing sooner or later. You are a very fair man.”
“You give me too much credit.”
“I think you do not give yourself enough.” Margaret looked up at him with her mouth upturned slightly. Thornton saw that her eyes had the soft, starry look he admired so much. Her glossy dark hair shone as though she were walking in full sunlight, and there was a rosy glow, pleasing to see, on her alabaster skin. In fact her appearance was so lovely, her whole aspect so unintentionally inviting, that Thornton nearly forgot to breathe. He stopped walking and Margaret stopped with him, her eyes widening in surprise.
Thornton was not aware that he was leaning towards her. He only knew that he wanted to kiss her and that it was too soon. Surely she would push him away if he declared himself now. Surely this would be the end of their newfound accord. Yet Margaret had not moved, and there was an expression of trust on her upturned face, a look of wonder he had not seen there before as she held his gaze with her own. He honestly did not know what would happen next.
A clap of thunder overhead broke the moment and they both looked up to the sky. A few small sprinkles of rain fell, then several more, and it was apparent that a real downpour was about to start. Thornton shook his head as if to clear out a fog. “I do not suppose you have an umbrella in there,” he said, motioning towards the basket in Margaret’s hand.
“I did not think to include one.” Margaret looked amused by their sudden predicament, not distressed. “And I suppose you will tell me that gentlemen do not carry umbrellas in their jacket pockets, either.”
“Not this gentleman, anyway.” He could not help grinning at Margaret’s lighthearted expression. Even being caught in a rainstorm was a pleasure, as long as he was in it with her. He glanced at the threatening sky, then back at Margaret again. “There is only one thing for it – we shall have to run and do our best to go between the rain drops!” He extended his hand to her and was delighted when she took it in her own. Laughing like children, breathless with excitement, they ran together through the advancing rain all the way back to Marlborough Mills.
Elaine Owen is kindly offering 3 copies of Margaret of Milton to readers who read and comment this post. The giveaway is international and is open until the 8th of May.
Good Luck everyone!