Monthly Archives: August 2020

The Longbourn Quarantine – Review, Exclusive Vignette & Giveaway

The premise of The Longbourn Quarantine couldn’t be more perfect. In this story, as disease spreads over England, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy are forced to flee from London towards Netherfield in an attempt to escape it. Unfortunately, as they get there, they realize the property has been vandalised and is inhabitable, being therefore forced to seek solace in Longbourn, where they will have to stay under a quarantine regime. 

This will place in a very small space the Bennet family, Mr. Darcy and Miss Darcy, and Mr. Bingley and Miss Bingley, how perfect is that? Can you imagine how they will live together for 2 weeks in such a small space?

The Longbourn Quarantine is an interesting novella that will focus on how people react under difficult situations, and I liked the different bonds that were created between many characters, and to see Mrs. Bennet stepping up to the challenge. I also liked to see a less cheerful and somewhat fragile Bingley who needed the support of his friends. His character was probably my favourite character in the entire story because it felt real under the situation.

Because all these characters are confined in a small estate, and obviously during this dark time some tragedy reaches their door, they are forced to think on their actions and see their co-habitants under a different light, so we see all of them changing and improving their manners and attitudes. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are no exception and that is how we see them overcome their pride and prejudice.

I did like the premise and the fact that all characters find redemption throughout the story, but I would have liked to see them interact more with one another, and to witness more dialogues between them. We do see a lot of introspection, and even though that is nice to have in a story, in this novella it created a distance between the narrative and myself and I would have prefered to see the characters evolve based on their actions and dialogues then reading their inner thoughts. I love Don Jacobson’s writing style in the Wardrobe series, and all the historical references that mark his style, but in this novella I was expecting a more simple and cozy writing. Readers who do love to get inside these characters’ heads will enjoy this story which gives the reader a chance to get to know them better, so this might be a personal preference.

Despite those few quibbles I recommend this book, especially at this time, because readers may appreciate to see our dear characters facing the trials we ourselves have faced and are still facing during this pandemic. The Longbourn Quarantine is a character driven novella that will get you thinking about how precious life is and whose characters will surprise you. If you like introspective stories, this is for you 🙂

You can find The Longbourn Quarantine at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited


I am excited to be visiting From Pemberley to Milton today as we explore my latest story: a novella, The Longbourn Quarantine. This tale explores the dynamics of the response to an epidemic and uses the themes and plots created by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice. I believe that the universal nature of human behavior (it has been barely 200 years…a blink in time) supports imposing the present’s unfamiliar world onto a fictional context with which we are well-acquainted.

I am an eternal optimist. Even in plague time, I am convinced that the need to love and be loved, the desire to be of service to others, and the drive to respond to better angels remains and may become that much stronger. Confining a story’s characters to a specific setting—Longbourn and its environs—strips away much of the extraneous. Repetitive descriptions of Longbourn’s parlor become boring for a reader. Imagine being forced to reside in that chamber for a fortnight. Such a limitation will lead characters to ignore their surroundings: at least once Miss Bingley expresses her disdain. Instead, they will begin to focus on that which can evolve—the behavior of the other characters. 

The general timeline places The Longbourn Quarantine in early-April 1812 in the Canonical gap between the Netherfield Ball and the Hunsford Visitation. The invasion of smallpox into town has prevented Darcy from traveling to Kent to attend to Lady Catherine. Elizabeth’s trip to Hunsford has likewise been canceled. Jane Bennet has been called home from the Gardiners to protect her.

I hope that you will enjoy this vignette written especially for From Pemberley to Milton. This is set in Day One of the Quarantine and occurs in the background of the latter portion of Chapter Six.

****

Longbourn, April 4, 1812

George Hill was not-well-pleased with how events were unfolding in Longbourn’s parlor. Of course, if the master, mistress, or any of the five young ladies had been asked the butler’s mood, they could not have offered anything in reply. The hereditary leader of Longbourn’s servant family—his father Silas had served both Mr. Richard and Mr. Samuel before passing the reins to his eldest—could only be described by family and visitors as being identical to any good steward of any house in the land: unflappable. Hill firmly believed that showing emotion that would draw attention to those in service to the Bennets would be unbecoming.

The events of the past several days—from riot to quarantine—had seen Hill calmly doing what he could to ensure the comfort of the manor’s residents. The mistress had efficiently sorted the four guests imposed upon them by Sir William. As headman, Hill had counseled the entire staff that tempers would be short as the great and the good rubbed on one-another in too-close quarters. He recalled tales told by his father of when Mr. Richard—the current master’s grandfather—housed ten officers of his company when they mustered at Longbourn. Then they marched off to Culloden to put paid to the Pretender’s aspirations. Of course, the gentlemen were none-the-worse-for-wear, used as they were to doubling up from their school days. 

T’was clear that Longbourn’s patience and reputation as a hospitable home would be tested over the next fortnight.

Hill had seen good guests and bad pass through the manor’s front door. He found that neither group paid much attention to him. Of course, that might have been because he was Longbourn’s butler, and gentry instinctively treated senior staff—their own or not—with a degree of deference. Mayhap the silver on his roof or the lines on his wife’s face reminded visitors of their elder relatives, at least enough so that they subdued their most abusive inclinations. However, they often reserved offensive behavior—nothing of which Mrs. Bennet on her worst days would ever match—for the maids and the footmen, those younger and weaker than they.

Well-mannered company tended to be invisible to the staff. Those who acted otherwise in Longbourn’s precincts were rare enough that the exceptions were well-noted.

Mr. Bennet’s distant cousin, the vicar Collins, had spent several weeks beneath Longbourn’s eaves after last year’s harvest. He reserved his obsequious comments for the young ladies and Mr. Bennet. However, this man of God also found the time to bully Cook’s kitchen skivvy and importune more than one of the upstairs maids. Mrs. Hill found it necessary to speak to the mistress who slipped a few shillings into the hands of the offended parties and suggest that they spend time with their families.

Miss Bingley, on the other hand, had managed to avoid overstaying her welcome at Longbourn last year through the simple expedient of rarely joining her brother when he and Mr. Darcy called at the house. Yet, when she condescended to accompany the gentlemen, she invariably found ways to reduce Sarah to tears through spiteful critiques of the maid’s attentiveness and speed.

Now, however, the ginger-haired poseur—George Hill was proud to serve a long-established gentle house and disdained those who tried to hide their roots in trade—was forced to do that which she previously had not. She was required to spend time as a guest at Longbourn. Every lesson Miss Bingley had been taught demanded that she politely deal with her hostess. She also had to bear up at the edge of the twin whirlwinds that were Miss Kitty and Miss Lydia. She was not holding up well under the assaults to her pretensions. Hill took some comfort from the lady’s discomfort.

Hill had earlier chalked her up as a woman who needed to prove to herself that she was worthy of the lofty social standing to which she aspired. Her problem, in Hill’s opinion, was that, unlike the young Miss Frances Gardiner who wed the master and left her roots in trade behind, Miss Bingley was wealthy. The mistress was at heart a humble woman who recognized that she had improved her station beyond all expectations through her marriage. On the other hand, Netherfield’s former hostess was living proof that wealth could purchase neither manners nor taste. 

And, today’s tableau proved that.

Evidence that the good man’s choler was up appeared on his long cheeks as he—at least for Hill—stormed into the kitchens startling his wife and Cook. The red stain was not the beguiling tint that had graced Miss Bennet’s countenance last autumn when Mr. Bingley called. No, this was the angry hue of a sunrise lifting itself above the greyish mist driven by southeasterly winds racing from Iberia across Biscay to crash against Devon and Cornwall.

The butler dropped into a chair at the servant’s table with an exasperated sigh. He had neglected to fully close the kitchen door, allowing the beautiful sounds of Longbourn’s pianoforte to waft in. While the three adults loved Miss Mary as if she were their own, t’was clear that another was at the keyboard given the entrancingly elegant sound.

Hill closed his eyes and allowed the waves of notes wash over him in a partially successful effort to calm his soul. “That t’is what true beauty t’is about. ‘eaven must be short an angel, what with the grace Miss Darcy puts into that music.”

His wife gave a knowing nod to Cook and laid a sticky bun on a small plate and placed it and a cup of coffee before her husband. Alma Hill, like George, long had been in service to the Bennets: ever since she followed her mistress from Meryton’s High Street to the solid brick mansion alongside Longbourn Lane.  

“There, now, George. Set’le yerself,” she said, her Hertfordshire “Rs” rolling from the depths of her throat, “Ye need hae that cuppa. Lucky for ye, Miss Lydia hae nay been through the kitchen yet or that bun’d be long gone.”

Hill grumbled around the buttery layers of the pastry, “I’d trade this treat if we could send that red-headed witch ta Lucas Lodge!”

Mrs. Hill waited patiently and husbanded her own cup. She knew that, given time, her man would come to the point.

Then it began, pouring out of him like a double-batch cake in a small pan. “I know ye be jugglin’ lit torches with ev’ry chamber filled and bed linens needin’ refreshin’ ‘n th’ like. So I put Jimmy Foote ta use fetchin’ an’ carryin’ in th’ parl’r.

“That Miss Bingley—an’ I wag’r thut she be a Miss fur a ver’ long time—wrinkled that pointy nose of ‘ers ‘as ‘e passed by. Then ta n’bdy in partic’lar, but she made sure she were lookin’ ta the hearth where the mistress sat, she let loose complain’ ‘ow in town th’ grooms know ta stay out in the stables whur th’ ‘orses’ stink covers up ‘other objectionable odours!’

‘Now Jimmy is a young feller an’ is well-aware whut a man ‘oo works ‘ard smells like. None ‘o us got our church baths on Satiddy thanks to those louts from ‘ertford and St. Albans. T’aint as if ‘e was paradin’ about like ‘e was some town dandy. ‘e was doin’ ‘is job…the one the master pays ‘im ta do…an’ th’ one that ‘elps that woman hae her tea ‘ot and ‘er biscuits crisp!

“But, nay, she embarrasses ‘im in front of all o’ our ladies. I t’wasn’t sure, but I relieved ‘im of the tea tray afore ‘e ‘ad an unfort’nat accident right next ta that Bingley woman. Sent ‘im off ta cool down with John Coachman.

“If she thinks Jimmy smells of the stables, then, by God, let him give ‘er ‘er money’s worth!”

“George, ye sound like one o’ those frog Jacobins, ‘oo upset the nat’r’l ord’r back in ’92!” Alma gently chided knowing that if her husband could vote for Longbourn’s Member, he would follow Mr. Bennet’s lead and support the government.

Hill chuckled as her gibe deflated the last of his ire. “Ah, ye be the best ‘o women, Alma Hill. T’was jest openin’ th’ windows ta air out, so ta speak. Th’ two o’ you,” taking in both Mrs. Hill and Cook at a glance, “got th’ best ears in Meryton.

“Let us finish up afore ‘erself wonders why thur be no ‘ot cross buns so close ta Easter we be.”

The three bent themselves to the senior servants’ prerogative of drinking hot coffee sweetened with some of Cook’s baking sugar. Then their peace was interrupted when James Foote bustled through the back door, a small boy in tow.

“Sorry ta bust in like this,” the young man exclaimed, “but Timmy ran o’er from Lucas Lodge. Got a lett’r from town that were ‘anded o’er th’ barricade. Mr. Angelo sent it ta Sir Will’m.”

In his hand he held a missive, its edges and corners besmirched in black ink.

Hill unconsciously rose to his feet: Mrs. Hill and Cook following suit. This they did in respect for the news such a letter bore. Black meant but one thing.

“T’is addressed to Mr. Bingley.”


Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years. His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio.  His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he published the first volume of The Bennet Wardrobe SeriesThe Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey, novel that grew from two earlier novellas. The Exile is the second volume of The Bennet Wardrobe Series. Other JAFF P&P Variations include the paired books Of Fortune’s Reversaland The Maid and The Footman.”

 Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations. As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.

He is a member of JASNA-Puget Sound. Likewise, Don is a member of the Austen Authors collective (see the internet, Facebook and Twitter).

He lives in the Seattle, WA area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorize, and their rather assertive four-and-twenty pound cat, Bear.  Besides thoroughly immersing himself in the JAFF world, Don also enjoys cooking; dining out, fine wine and well-aged scotch whiskey.

His other passion is cycling. Most days from April through October will find him “putting in the miles” around the Seattle area (yes there are hills).  He has ridden several “centuries” (100 mile days).  Don is especially proud that he successfully completed the AIDS Ride—Midwest (500 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago) and the Make-A-Wish Miracle Ride (300 miles from Traverse City, MI to Brooklyn, MI).

You may contact him through the following social media:

Website

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Twitter


Meryton Press would like to offer one ebook copy of the Longbourn Quarantine to one of my readers. The giveaway is international an open until the 3rd of September. To apply to it all you have to do is comment on this post and let us know what you thought of the vignette 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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Book Sale Time

Hello everyone,

There is another big sale going on! This time it is from Quills & Quartos Publishing and I thought it may be useful to have all the info congregated in one single post, so here it is. Please note this post does’t represent all current sales on JAFF books, it is merely a list of the sales Quills & Quartos is promoting during the next 4 days. They have several of their books on sale for 0,99$, 1,99$ and 2,99$ and below you can find the price for each book.

Quills & Quartos Books on Sale for 0,99$

 


Lost & Found: A Fairy Tale of Pride & Prejudice – 0,99$ / £0.99

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk

Book Blurb: 

Sisters. Chaos at home. A father who isn’t paying attention. A powerful hero, whose behaviour is anything but heroic. Sound familiar? Some of our favourite characters from Pride & Prejudice star in this story set in Fairy Tale England, where enchantments—of the magical and of the heart—meet.
Once upon a time, there lived two sisters. Jane was fair, with mild blue eyes and hair the colour of corn silk. Elizabeth had long, dark, thick curls and eyes the startling green of a spring glade. Soon after the arrival of an evil stepmother, the girls found themselves starving and alone in the woods.
Their fairy tale ending is not easy to accomplish as one sister disappears into the home of a witch and the other sister—the valiant Elizabeth—is set to work as her slave. Wickedness is all around, and only by working with, and trusting, the cursed master of Pemberley can she break free of her captor, and release her sister and her beloved Darcy from the spells cast by the witch.

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk          My Review

Book Blurb:

Charles Bingley is a man who relies on Darcy’s judgment in all things yet understands very little of it, at least when Darcy is speaking Greek to a horse who only understands Latin or staring at the quick-witted sister of his own angelic Jane Bennet. What was happening behind the scenes at Netherfield, Pemberley, and Darcy House, and just what did those men talk about over billiards and brandy? A generous, kind, and always hungry Bingley sheds a little light on keeping company with the most interesting man in the world, and shares his thoughts on puppies, his dreadful sisters, and the meaning of happiness.
This Pride and Prejudice variation contains scenes from the mind of Charles Bingley which are not found in Jane Austen’s original tale.

Quills & Quartos Books on Sale for 1,99$

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk

Book Blurb:

A great love. A perplexing murder. Netherfield Park – a house of secrets. Fitzwilliam Darcy is in a tangle. Captivated by Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a girl of no fortune and few connections. Embroiled in an infamous murder in the home of his friend, Charles Bingley. He is being tested in every way. Fearing for Elizabeth’s safety, Darcy moves to protect her in the only way he knows but is thwarted. Thus, he is forced to turn detective. Can he overcome his pride for the sake of Elizabeth? Can he, with a broken heart, fathom the villainy that has invaded their lives? Is there even a chance for romance born of such strife? Lover’s Knot is a romantic Pride and Prejudice variation story, with a bit of mystery thrown in.

 

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk           My Review

Book Blurb:

“There are men, who if they knew the full truth, would say I have been a fool”
It is 1817 and Elizabeth Darcy is mistress of Pemberley, adored by her husband and splendidly happy. She does not know what adversity awaits her family: mistrust, scandal, tragedy, and a secret that must be kept at all costs.
Almost two hundred years later, Evie Martin does not even know that she is descended from the Darcys of Pemberley when their history disrupts her life. Who is Charlie Hayward, the charming, cynical private detective and why has he contrived to meet her? What are the elusive ‘Elizabeth Papers,’ and why did Elizabeth Darcy herself want them destroyed?
The full story—both truth and lies—unravels in The Elizabeth Papers, an era-spanning tale of mystery, deception, and love triumphant.
“If we live it then it shall become the truth”

 

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk

Book Blurb:

How would spending a few extra days in each other’s company affect the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy?
While her sister Jane is ill at Netherfield, Elizabeth overhears the proud Mr Darcy express his admiration of her 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 responds by teasing him, forcing Darcy to reconsider his opinion of a woman who has truly bewitched him.
The ensuing day and weeks see confrontations and apologies, and the beginnings of a friendship, between Darcy and Elizabeth. But their warming acquaintance impacts the behaviour of those around them inciting jealousy, anger and malicious falsehoods.
Is the strength of their emotional connexion enough to reunite them and put them back on the path to love?
Two More Days at Netherfield is a Pride and Prejudice alternate path and contains the beloved characters of Jane Austen

 

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk

Book Blurb:

Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice is readapted in this regency tale of love in the face of tragedy. Mr. Darcy is thwarted in his attempt to propose to Elizabeth Bennet at Hunsford when he encounters her minutes after she receives the sad news from Longbourn of her sister’s death. His gallantry and compassion as he escorts her back to Hertfordshire begins to unravel the many threads of her discontent with him. While her family heals from their loss, Darcy must search London for answers – answers that might bring justice, but might also just mark the end of his own hopes with Elizabeth. Is it true that nothing can be lost that love cannot find?

 

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk

Book Blurb:

Elizabeth Bennet, saddled with a difficult family, dull dating prospects, and a mundane marketing job, had never met a man like Fitzwilliam Darcy, the wealthy and remote British-American heir to a family famous for both style and tragedy. The aspiring novelist finds herself intrigued yet aggravated by the enigmatic businessman who never imagined thinking about, let alone falling in love with a woman as conversant in Looney Tunes and Yogi Berra as in literature and Greek poets.
When they’re thrown together for a weekend in the country, they find themselves of like mind and lust. Confessions are made and secrets exchanged until misunderstandings and angry feelings overtake the intimacy they shared. Things only worsen when George Wickham stirs up an emotional tempest with tales of the Darcy family’s unhappy history and laces Elizabeth’s book project with traces of legal impropriety.
Marked by their painful pasts, their acquaintance sears them both with anger, yearning and confusion.
Can Elizabeth reconcile her distrust of unconditional love and lasting relationships with Darcy’s need for trust, forgiveness and enduring love? She expects to have expressions of love laughed away; he never anticipates receiving them.
This contemporary variation of Jane Austen’s classic Pride & Prejudice sweeps the couple through Darcy’s heartbreaking background and Elizabeth’s ongoing family complications as they duel over everything from college football to the Social Register.

 

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk      My Review

Book Blurb:

As a renowned wizard, Fitzwilliam Darcy thinks he is familiar with most of the spells, enchantments, and magic practised in the wizarding world. When he reluctantly joins his friend Bingley in Meryton, a small town not known for its magic, he is startled to stumble upon the rare gift possessed by Miss Elizabeth Bennet. The daughter of a poor country squire, she possesses a singular talent: she is not only immune to magic, but she can counter enchantments as well.
Despite their initial dislike of each other, the two draw closer as the threat from the Thieving Necromancer, a dark wizard stealing people’s magic, grows more dangerous.
As Darcy battles nefarious wizards and Elizabeth unravels ever more difficult spells, they uncover dark secrets and break mysterious enchantments.
But love may prove the most important magic of all.
This Pride & Prejudice magical retelling contains the beloved characters of Jane Austen in situations and scenarios of the authors imagination.

Quills & Quartos Books on Sale for 2,99$

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk

Book Blurb:

One distressing night in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet impulsively offers Georgiana Darcy aid. Scandalous rumours soon surround the ladies and Fitzwilliam Darcy, forcing Elizabeth and Darcy, strangers to each other, to marry.Darcy despises everything about his marriage to the daughter of an insignificant country gentleman with vulgar relations. Georgiana, humiliated after a near-elopement with George Wickham and full of Darcy pride, hates her new sister. Their family look upon Elizabeth with suspicion and do little to hide their sentiments. Separated from those who love her, Elizabeth is desperate to prove herself to her new family despite their disdain. Just as she loses all hope, Darcy learns to want her good opinion. He will have to face his prejudices and uncover the depths Georgiana’s misdeeds to earn it, and Elizabeth will have to learn to trust him if she is to ever to find happiness being Mrs Darcy.

 

Amazon.com             Amazon.co.uk

Book Blurb:

Georgiana Darcy has gone missing. Lizzy Bennet knows just what to do to find her.
‘Tis no secret that Lizzy Bennet has dreams. The uniquely talented daughter of a woman with a dubious reputation, Lizzy knows she must make her own way in a world that shuns her.
Fitzwilliam Darcy carries the stains of his family’s dishonour upon his soul and only by holding himself to the strictest standards has he reclaimed his place in society. If his fifteen-year-old sister cannot be found quickly, her scandal could destroy years of perfect behaviour. Lizzy is willing to join the pursuit to get what she wants but will Darcy be willing to trust her with his secrets? And what will they do when the search for Georgiana reveals what neither expected to find?
This Pride and Prejudice variation is two stories in one book. Volume 1 starts in Ramsgate with the disappearance of Miss Darcy and follows the adventures of Elizabeth Bennet as she seeks to find her. In Volume 2, our favourite couple has recognised their feelings for one another but more surprises and challenges still await them at Pemberley.


Happy Reading Everyone!

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Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl Audiobook – Reading & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to bring to you today news about a new Audiobook release. As you know I am completely addicted to audiobooks, which have become my constant companions while I do my chores at home, and one of my favourite books will be released on Audible very shortly, so I’ll have a new voice and new stories to keep me company. I’m talking about Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, an anthology edited by Christina Boyd which gathered 10 very talented authors in one single publication dedicated to our favourite heroine, Elizabeth Bennet.

The audiobook will be narrated by Elizabeth Grace, a narrator I didn’t know before, but whose talent captivated me. I haven’t heard the narration yet, but Elizabeth Grace read Christina Moreland’s “Atmospheric Disturbance” short story for the blog tour and I loved seeing the video of this narration.

Today she is reading the second 15 minutes of “Atmospheric Disturbance”, and I hope you like listening to her beautiful voice, but before watching this video,  I suggest checking out the first post of the blog tour at  Austenesque Reviews to listen to the first 15 minutes of this story. If you do, you’ll be able  listen to the entire story.

I would like to thank Christina Boyd for bringing all these incredible authors together and for providing readers with another wonderful book, and to Elizabeth Grace for visiting today, it was a true pleasure to have her at From Pemberley to Milton. 

But I won’t take much more of your time, you can listen to Elizabeth’s narration below 🙂

~ A Reading from “Atmospheric Disturbances”  – Part 2 ~

 


Originally from the East Midlands in the UK, Elizabeth Grace now lives in South London (via two years in Amsterdam). She is a full-time actor, voice over artist, and narrator. 

Elizabeth began her professional performing career a little later in life and has been studying at Identity School of Acting in London since 2019. Prior to that, she had a career agency side in Marketing which explains her penchant for client services.

Since 2019, she has been growing her professional portfolio on top of the amateur theatre work she began in her formative years. She has now been a part of many projects from short films and web series to audio dramas and audiobook narration. Visit her website: https://www.elizabethgraceofficial.com/

 


With timeless verve, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, bares her intimate thoughts while offering biting social commentary through a collection of romantic re-imaginings, sequels, and prequels, set in the Regency to present day by ten popular Austenesque authors. Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare. “I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter, January 1813―and we think so too!

Stories by Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, Joana Starnes, Karen M Cox, Elizabeth Adams, Leigh Dreyer, J. Marie Croft, and Christina Boyd. 


 

The blog tour for the audiobook of Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl has just started and it will have a few more stops, so make sure you visit all the below blogs to know more about the audiobook and to apply to the giveaway 🙂

 


The Quill Ink is kindly offering one $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader who comments on any of the blogs participating in this tour! (Each blog you comment on counts as one entry!) The giveaway is open worldwide until the 8th of September, so make sure you comment until this time 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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The Giveaway Winners are…

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re all staying safe and that you’re still finding some time to read. I’m not reading as much anymore and my TBR is now starting to increase once more, but we’ll have to get there one book at a time 🙂

Today I’m hoping to increase the TBR of some of my readers too by announcing the winners of a few prizes that were being given away here at From Pemberley to Milton.

I’ve recently announced the winners of the blog anniversary giveaways we had, and some of the winners already had the books, or didn’t have an audible account, so we had to draw 2 other names for the audiobook giveaways of Confined with Mr. Darcy and Undoing by L.L. Diamond. I hope the new winners will enjoy these audiobooks 🙂

It is also time to announce the winner of the ebook copy of Adventure Awaits by Virginia Kohl who visited the blog this month. I would like to thank Mrs. Kohl for visiting and for writing  S&S stories! It is wonderful to see that other Austen novels are getting some attention too 🙂

Last but not least, while I announced the winners of the blog anniversary giveaway, I also launched 2 other giveaways, one ebook of any book featured on the blog of readers choice for those commenting on the post, and five “You can keep Mr. Grey, I’m sticking with Mr. Darcy” tote bags to the blog followers with more comments over time, so today we are announcing the winners for those giveaways too. 

Without further ado, the winners are:

Audiobook Confined with Mr. Darcy

*** Dung***

Audiobook Undoing

*** Buturot***

Adventure Awaits

*** J.W. Garrett***

Ebook featured on FPTM – Readers choice

*** Rellaenthia***

You can keep Mr. Grey, I’m sticking with Mr. Darcy tote bag

*** Glynis***

*** J.W. Garrett***

*** Jennifer Joy***

*** Joana Starnes***

*** Sheilamajczan***

 

Congratulations everyone! As always can you please contact me throught e-mail ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so your prizes may be sent to you? Please provide me with the email address to which the books may be sent to you, and the Amazon store in which you have an account. As for the tote bag winners, can you please share with me your address so that snail mail can bring you the tote bags?

Happy Reading everyone!

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Persuaded to Sail by Jack Caldwell

Persuaded to Sail is the third book of the Jane Austen’s Fighting Men series by Jack Caldwell, and it is a compelling story with everything a sequel to Persuasion should have: adventure at sea, intrigue, some mystery, a strong Wentworth and a bit of romance between the newlyweds.

In this sequel, Captain Wentworth is called for another mission with the Laconia shortly after his wedding, but instead of leaving Anne ashore, he decides to take his wife with him until his final destination: Bermuda. The only set back Wentworth wasn’t expecting is the secretive guest he is to take with him to Madeira, a portuguese island in the Atlantic. This guest will bring not only some intrigue and suspense to the story, making the reader question his every word and action, but also cause some jealousy in Captain Wentworth,  which was a detail I absolutely loved! There is nothing better than a jealous Frederick Wentworth, is there? 

Because most of the action occurs aboard the Laconia at sea, there are several references to the navy’s expressions and procedures, and I was delighted to learn a little more about this world while reading the book. Jack Caldwell’s writing is simple and appealing, and even someone who doesn’t know much about these topics can easily follow the story and the dialogues. That is not an irrelevant feature, and keeping it informative yet alluring is not an easy task, so I have to highlight the writing style of the book which was one of the aspects I loved the most.  

Persuaded to Sail focuses mainly on Frederick Wentworth, but it also features several characters from other Austen novels. Some only have cameo appearances, but others have a bigger role in this story, like William Price and Margaret Dashwood. Bringing these characters to the story, mixing their lives as if they were all part of the same society, and making connections that are innovative, yet perfectly believable, made the story richer and much more interesting. I absolutely loved learning more about William Price, and I wonder if I’ll ever see him in another novel by Jack Caldwell. Persuaded to Sail was the first book of this series I read, but I loved this style so much that I am now tempted to read the other two.

Anne Elliot has an important role in this story and I loved seeing the progression of her character, learning of how she adapted to life on board a navy ship and watching her gain the respect of the crew, but Captain Wentworth has a special place in my heart and I loved the portrayal Jack Caldwell did of his character. On Persuasion we only see him in his role of gentleman, but on the Laconia he is a Captain, and seeing him in this new role was very exciting, he was everything I expected him to be and more.

The ending of the book was somewhat unexpected which is always a plus in a novel, and the fate of some of the Elliot family members will give readers a great pleasure, I am sure. 

Overall, Persuaded to Sail was an absorbing book that kept my interest from the beginning until the end. Despite the fact that most of it takes place in a confined space, it is action-packed, and even though we cannot consider this a romance novel, it does have many romantic moments between Frederick Wentworth and Anne. I believe all readers who love Persuasion will like this novel and I highly recommend it to those who cannot get enough of Regency historicals.

You can find Persuaded to Sail at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

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When the Sun Sleeps by Alix James

When the Sun Sleeps in the living proof an author can develop an entirely new story that is able to engage the reader and allow him to savour the sweet moments between the characters without ever feeling the action is being rushed to a conclusion. 

In this novella, Fitzwilliam Darcy has lost everything that is dear to him and embarks on a trip to Scotland to try to leave all the sadness behind him, but when he stops at an him and hears the lady in the next room humming a song that is not only familiar but also very dear to him, his emotions take over him. Elizabeth is travelling with her Gardiner relations throughout the peak district and something in the gentleman’s voice who comes to her every night through a closed door sounds very familiar, maybe too familiar. But it could not be him, could it?

When the Sun Sleeps provides readers a story of second changes and hope. It develops a beautiful and intimate relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth that is endearing and will have you reading the entire novel in one single sitting. The dialogues between these characters are just perfect, and the feelings the novel entices in the reader are enough to make this a noteworthy story.

Mr. Darcy’s story is a little sad and dark on this novella, but instead of focusing too much on that, the author decided to focus on Elizabeth’s ability to bring Darcy into the light once more, in mending his wounded heart and give him his much deserved happiness. This is something all readers will appreciate in this story. Another aspect readers will love is Darcy’s vulnerability. We are used to see a strong unyielding Mr. Darcy, and in When the Sun Sleeps we meet him as a man in shatters in dire need to love and hope. That is what Elizabeth will give him in a wonderful romance. 

I read When the Sun Sleeps in one single sitting and loved every second of it. It is a short and very well written sweet story that I highly recommend to all my readers. 

You can find When the Sun Sleeps at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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Adventure Awaits by Virginia Khol- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I know Pride&Prejudice is Austen’s favourite book for many readers, but what about Sense&Sensibility? How does that stand on your rank? It is my third favourite Austen book and even though there aren’t many S&S books out there, Virginia Kohl is working hard to change that.

After True Love Comes to Delaford, she brings us Adventure Awaits which will give the spotlight to Margaret Dashwood. I think Margaret would grow up to become my type of heroine, so I’m very curious about this book.

Mrs. Kohl is visiting today with an excerpt and giveaway of Adventure Awaits and I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Thank you for visiting Mrs. Kohl! It is always a pleasure to have you here 🙂


Margaret Dashwood, known to her family and friends as Daisy, has always dreamed of going on a grand adventure. With her first Season behind her, those dreams are relegated to the stories she tells her niece. 

Dr. Alexander Mallard came to the small village of Delaford straight out of medical school. With the knowledge and desire to help everyone he can, the young man settles into the life of a country doctor.   

The day their paths cross, an adventure grander than either ever imagined begins.  

.You can find Adventure Awaits at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 


.

 

Since writing my debut novel, True Love Comes to Delaford, I knew I wanted Daisy to have her own story. The adventuresome young woman, who dreamed of traveling to exotic locations, would not simply settle for anyone. Could a true love match be found in the village’s new physician?    

***

Running his hand through his short, dark brown hair, Dr. Alexander Mallard sighed in frustration. The bruised and battered man in front of him would simply not listen to reason. The previous week’s severe thunderstorm and a spooked horse had turned the small town’s doctor into his newest patient. 

Since finishing medical school and moving to Dorsetshire in the spring, he had found a friend and mentor in the older man. Dr. Grant had taken him along on his rounds, introducing him to patients and the community at large. In the last few months, the four-and-twenty-year-old had gone on several calls alone when the good doctor was not available. However, this was his first time acting as sole physician. 

“You will not be able to assist anyone in your current state. What you need now is rest,” he calmly attempted to explain. 

Dr. Grant shook his graying head of hair, “I cannot leave you alone. You are not ready, my boy.”

With a smile for the other man’s evident concern, Alexander countered, “I have already taken care of a variety of patients and diagnoses. Besides, if I do not wade out to the deep part of the lake, how am I ever going to learn to swim?” 

The past three days had gone by without incident. He hoped that would continue but prepared himself for any eventuality.

Seeing the determination in the younger man’s dark blue eyes, his mentor heaved a resigned sigh. “Very well. If you need me, or my advice, for any reason, do not hesitate.”

“You should concentrate on getting better and not worrying about me. I will check on you when I return this evening,” Dr. Mallard replied, shutting his large black bag with a click.

The moment he made his way over to the bedroom door, Dr. Grant’s maid burst in. Having run up the stairs, the rotund woman took a moment to catch her breath. 

“The Delaney’s footman says the Mrs.’ time has come, Sir,” she announced between heavy breaths. 

“I have been given strict orders to stay in bed. Dr. Mallard will be handling any calls for the time being.” 

Not waiting for the middle-aged woman to repeat herself, Alexander strode through the open doorway toward the waiting servant. 

* * *

Several hours later, a hearty wail announced the baby’s joyous arrival. Dark brown eyes looked up from a face that resembled his mother’s exotic appearance. 

After an initial examination, Dr. Mallard handed him over to Mrs. Delaney. “Congratulations, you have a healthy baby boy.”

Witnessing the miracle of new life would always be one of the most rewarding parts of his profession. He watched the elated parents. Perhaps one day he would be the proud father holding a precious blessing of his own. 

Now where did that come from? 

Shaking his head to clear the surprising thought, Alexander determined that he must simply be caught up in the emotion of the moment. 

Once mother and child were settled, the young physician began to clean and pack up his supplies. His gaze turned to one of the room’s other occupants. Mrs. Brandon had sat down in a cushioned chair to rest, lovingly stroking her rounded midriff. According to Dr. Grant, the Delaney son’s future playmate would be arriving in late autumn. By then the older physician would be able to resume his rounds. Dr. Mallard believed that to be the Brandon’s preference since the other man had been present for the family’s previous blessed event. A knock on the door interrupted his musings. 

One of the Delaney’s servants entered the room and addressed the Major. “I apologize for the interruption, Sir. The doctor’s presence is urgently needed.” 

Quickly grabbing his bag, Alexander turned to the maid “What is wrong? Whose household am I needed in?” 

The young woman wrung her hands while hesitantly replying, “I do not know, Sir. I was only told of the urgency.”

Sensing that she was holding something back, he repeated himself, “I need to know in case there is any risk of infection.”

She looked around at the concerned faces in the room before meeting his gaze. “The footman would rather give the details to you personally.”

“This is ridiculous! I have never heard of such foolishness!” he declared, marching toward the corridor.            

If you enjoyed this excerpt, Adventure Awaits is available in both Kindle and trade paperback.


Virginia Kohl has been fascinated with the regency era since discovering Jane Austen’s works at the age of eleven. 

Originally from Germany, Virginia Kohl shares her Texas home with her illustrator mother and faithful rescue dog. When not passing her love of learning on to her students, this college math professor enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and being an active member of her local writer’s guild. 

Virginia Kohl can be reached at www.virginiakohl.com or www.facebook.com/VirginiaKohl3 

Her novels can be found at www.amazon.com/author/virginiakohl and at www.goodreads.com/author/show/17214552.Virginia_Kohl


Virginia Kohl is offering one ebook copy of Adventure Awaits to my readers. To apply to it all you have do to is comment on this post and let us know if S&S is your cup of tea. The giveaway is open until the 17th of August  and the winners will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Final Anniversary Giveaway & Winners announcement

This past week we’ve been celebrating From Pemberley to Milton’s 5th anniversary and we brought you 5 different posts with many giveaways to thank you for all your support. But that was not the only thing we did, I’ve also decided to create a Facebook page fully dedicated to this blog and finally renovate the blog. Well, I can’t exactly say I’ve finally renovated it because in the end I was able to keep my previous theme, which I never wanted to change, but I’ve been finally able to add the menus I’ve been wanting to add for years. 

Before I announce the winners of this week’s giveaways, let me just go through the changes I’ve done at From Pemberley to Milton and announce one final giveaway 🙂

A while ago I did a survey asking my readers if it would be interesting to have an easy access to my previous reviews and posts, and the majority replied it would, so now I’ve finally implemented a way for you to do just that 🙂

Apart from the usual menu that was already available I’ve been able to add sub menus that will direct you to other pages. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to peruse reviews, guest posts and excerpts from the past, and also allow me to keep everything more organized (I am a little obsessed with that).

So, if you go to each one of the previous menus, you’ll see that in all of them, except the About page, you’ll have sub menus.

 

If you click directly into Pride & Prejudice menu you’ll see the page will remain the same, so a list of all Austenesque Books I’ve read with the links to the reviews of the books I did review. But if you click on any sub menu, then you’ll be directed to more specific pages. You’ll find only the books I’ve reviewed organized per author, per genre and also per format! I’ve added a new page dedicated to my audiobook reviews and in it you can easily see which audiobooks I’ve reviewed with specific information about the narration too.

If you want to search for something even more specific, you can click in the reviews per genre, and you’ll see another layer of menus, where you’ll find the reviews organized by sub genre.

My favourite genre is regency variations, so that’s where you’ll find most of the books I’ve reviewed, and because I don’t read or review as many other genres, I’ve decided to group them. So you’ll have Prequels & Sequels in one single page, then Different Eras & Time Travel where you’ll find all books I’ve reviewed that are set in an era that is not regency, this means you will also find the modernizations in this page.

I couldn’t find a proper genre to pair the secondary characters with, so that one stands alone, and at last I’ll have a page dedicated to the Austen Inpired novels and also fan fiction of other Austen novels that are not P&P.

The number of North and South fan fiction books I’ve read is quite small compared to the Jane Austen fan ficiton, so you’ll have the main page where you’ll find all the books I’ve read, and the sub menu N&S Reviews Per Author where you’ll find all the books I reviewed.

Then on Authors Corner you’ll be able to find all the Excerpts, Guest Posts, Interviews (character and author) and Cover Reveals that were published on From Pemberley to Milton.

Lastly you’ll find a new sub menu on About called My Jane Austen Roadtrip where you’ll find all the road trip posts I’ve done. I’m hoping to increase this page and maybe design some road trips you may do yourself, but that is a future project 🙂

I hope you like the new pages that are now available at From Pemberley to Milton and that they may be useful for you 🙂

To celebrate this facelift, I would like to offer to one reader one ebook of his choice of any book I’ve either reviewed or hosted on this blog. Take your time to check out the new pages and once you’ve found one book you’d like to have let me know in the comments. This giveaway is open until the 17th of August and all you have to do is comment on this post which book you’d like and which was the post previously published on this blog that got you curious.

I also wanted to reward my most faithful readers, so on the 17th I’ll check who are the readers with most comments on this blog and offer each one of them this Mr. Darcy tote bag.

And now, it’s time to announce all the winners of the previous giveaways 🙂


 

So This is Love by Laura Hile

*** Pam Hunter***

From Pemberley to Milton Box Set

(1 Pillow – Reading is always a good idea; 1 pair of Jane Austen’s earings; 1 necklace – So many books so little time; 1 bracelet – If a book is well written I always find it too short)

*** Carla***

1 ebook from Joana Starnes – Readers Choice

*** Cristina Silva ***

1 ebook from Kara Louise – Readers Choice

*** Lucy ***

1 ebook from Caitlin Williams – Readers Choice

*** JanisB ***

1 ebook from Alexa Adams – Readers Choice

*** abmom***

2 copies of A Matter of Honor by Abigail Reynolds – Reader may choose ebook or audiobook

*** TC ***

*** anadarcy ***

2 audiobooks from Joana Starnes – Readers Choice

*** Agnes***

*** Christine Baglow ***

1 Ebook of No Such Thing as Luck

*** Kate Jackson ***

1 Audiobook of No Such Thing as Luck

*** Elizabeth Brescia ***

1 Ebook of Northern Rain

*** Darcybennett***

1 Audiobook of Northern Rain

*** Alexandrariversstories ***

1 Ebook of Nowehere But North

*** Lisa ***

1 Audiobook of Nowehere But North

*** Sophia Rose***

1 Ebook of Falling For Mr. Thornton

*** dholcomb1***

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

*** maryvad ***

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

*** Laurie McClain***

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

*** maomac ***

1 Audiobook of Confined with Mr. Darcy by L.L. Diamond

*** Jennifer Redlarczyk ***

1 Audiobook of Undoing by L.L. Diamond

*** Eva E ***

 

Congratulations everyone! As always can you please contact me throught e-mail ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so your prizes may be sent to you? Please provide me with the email address to which the books may be sent to you, and the Amazon store in which you have an account.

Happy Reading everyone!

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Your share in the conversation

This week we’ve been celebrating From Pemberley to Milton’s 5th anniversary with daily posts and giveaways, and on Monday, I shared with you some of my stats asking you to share your preferences with as well, so today we are revealing what the followers of From Pemberley to Milton are interested in reading 🙂

Only 13% of readers read exclusively Jane Austen Fan Fiction novels, but even though the other 87% read something else in between, I believe the majority of books people who visit this website read are indeed JAFF. If someone would ask me that question, I would also say I don’t read exclusively JAFF, but the non-austenesque books I read per year is on average around 4 or 5.

This year I’ve read 43 books so I’m expecting to reach 60 at the end of the year, but I had the idea that most of my visitors read even more than I do, so I asked you how many books you read per year. It turns out I was right! Even though 42% “only” read between 0 and 25 books per year, if we sum the percentage of people who read above 50 books per year we get the exact same percentage.

 

Now, one may think that people who read over 100 books per year may be reading novellas with a reduced number of pages, but the truth is no one expressed their preference to be books below 100 pages.

In fact, the majority of readers share my preference and is more fond of books between 200 and 300 pages. 25% of readers actually prefers books with more than 300 pages, so it appears that readers do prefer longer books to shorter ones. I for one have been growing a special relationship with smaller books:)

 

But which books are readers really buying? I was almost certain that, just like me, readers would prefer variations over other types of novels, but what do they like to read apart from that? If we were to remove variations of the equation, what would readers like to read most? To try to understand that I asked readers to tell me what is their favourite genre, but also their second favourite. As expected, 66% of readers prefer variations above all others, but there is also a big percentage of people who prefer Austen Inspired novels to all other genres, and this was quite a surprise. 11% is not a high value, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be the second type of novel readers prefer, it even comes before sequels which are the favourite genre for 8% of readers.

If we move to people’s second favourite genre we can see that tastes are a bit more diverse and this will provide us the answer to my previous question, if we remove variations out of the equation, what do people like to read? Well, those who did not choose it as a first option chose it now as a second one, so the conclusion is indeed what we were expecting, variations are definitely THE genre people like to read! But on this graphic we can also see that Different Eras, including modernizations are also growing among the community. 25% of readers states that  these are their second favourite genre, and 15% indicates that sequels and Different POV’s are their favourites.

6% of readers states that their favourite genre is Secondary Characters, and 10% states this is their second favourite type of novels, but who are these secondary characters that readers like to know more about? Well, it’s no shocker but I wasn’t expecting such a high percentage! Colonel Fitzwilliam is definitely in people’s hearts! However, there aren’t many stories where he is the main character, are they? I can only think of Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Challenge by Jennifer Joy and When Mary Met the Colonel by Victoria Kincaid. Do you know of any other? Or maybe he is a favourite within a Darcy/Elizabeth story?

Mary Bennet comes second and she is also a favourite of mine! Thankfully there are many books that are centered in Mary 🙂

There was also a big percentage of people answering None of the Above which was completely unexpected to me because most of Pride and Prejudice characters are present here, so maybey people’s favourites are from other Austen novels. I’ll make sure to include that on a future survey 🙂

 

What about the storyline? What do people like and dislike? I confess the options could have been better but when I added the option Other with the possibility to write something, I was hoping you would tell me your favourite and least favourite plotlines and that I would be able to agregate them per category, and add them to these graphics, but unfortunely WordPress isn’t allowing me to see what you wrote, so we’re stuck with the options I created. I think I’ll need to think this trough a little better next time I do a survey.

From the options I created, clearly the forced marriage scenario and Darcy and Elizabeth stranded somewhere take the lead on people’s preferences, followed by Elizabeth being above Darcy in society, which is funny because that is one of my least favourite plots. The Love Triangle is also the favourite of 8% of people, and with that one I can relate to, I love to have some rivals for their affections in the story 🙂

What about the least favourite plots? On this one readers preferences also match my own, 23 % of readers dislike having different pairings, and I’m assuming that’s when it comes to Darcy and Elizabeth, so I obviously agree with that, I mean, Darcy is supposed to end up with Elizabeth and I can’t even think of a book that has a different outcome. If there are books with this plot out there, I’ve never read them. 21% of readers states that Darcy and/or Elizabeth  marrying someone else first is the plot they like the least, followed by them having a child with someone else first, which I believe is my least favourite.

Sci-Fi and paranormal are also amongst readers least favourite plots and that is a pity for me because I love these two genres and I think that bringing them into JAFF would be an added value. 

Elizabeth not being a Bennet is no big deal for my readers, and on this one my opinion is a little different, I do like when their circumstances are very close to canon, so when they differ, I tend to dislike the plot.

Was this interesting? Did you like to know what other readers preferences are? Is there anything you would like to know that was not asked? Let me know! I love doing these stats and getting to know readers preferences better, so I would love to repeat this initiative with your input 🙂


I was suppose to change the blog layout today, but to be honest, I chickened out.

I have an appointment this evening and I am too nervous and afraid to do this on a rush before leaving home, so I am going to do it tomorrow because it is a non-working day and I’ll have more time to fix some issue that may occur. Plus, my husband told me he wanted to be out of the house when I decided to renovate the blog. In case something goes wrong, he wants to be as far away from me and my screams as possible 🙂 So fingers crossed for tomorrow!

I know I’m probably making a huge fuss out of this, but I am so bad with technology that even something as simple as this is a big thing for me. Anyway, see you all tomorrow and hope to hear from all of you on Sunday when I announce the winners of this week’s giveaway 🙂

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My Jane Austen Road Trip – Top 5 moments with giveaways

I started reading JAFF in 2010, created my blog in 2015 and in 2020 I’m celebrating the wonderful things this incredible community has given me.  Because of our common love for Pride & Prejudice, I’ve met wonderful people and developed friendships with ladies I’ve come to truly cherish. I’ve travelled to many different places, met many different people, and tried to bring a little of those trips into From Pemberley to Milton so you could also travel with me. Today, and as we are getting to the end of the blogs 5th anniversary celebration, I decided to share with you my top 5 moments of the many Jane Austen Road Trips I’ve done through the last years. Tomorrow, once I renovate the blog, I’m going to try to add a page dedicated to the road trips, but if in the meantime you’d like to see them, here they are:

 

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter I

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter II

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter III

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter IV

My Jane Austen Road Trp – Chapter V

My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter VI

 

All of these trips were special for one reason or the other, and choosing only 5 moments to highlight was not easy, but it was also fun to revisit these places and go down the memory lane. It made me want to travel again to have a Chapter VII to present to you, Maybe next time I can even make some videos and share with you on the new Facebook page, how does that sound?

Until a Chapter VII can be created, the most memorable moments of these road trips were:

 

1 – Meeting 5 strangers at the Orangerie in Kensighton Gardens –  My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter I

My first JAFF encounter had to be on this top 5. I was super nervous to meet people I had never seen before and who were already all together upon my arrival. I was the last one to arrive and not only I didn’t know anybody at the time, I was also meeting some of my favourite authors. I was really insecure and nervous trying to appear as comfortable as possible, and the first moments were strange but also decisive to make me feel at ease. These ladies were awesome and at ease (at least them seemed more at ease than me) and we ended up talking for hours about everything JAFF related. It was incredible! It was the first time I ever spoke to someone about this magnificent genre, and I didn’t know at the time, but it was the beginning of many beautiful friendships. At the end of the day I walked in Hyde Park with Ana and my husband, and felt so connected to her that she easily became of the people I love the most in this community. I’ve been with her a few more times in the UK, met her husband and would even be with her this summer were it not for Covid. Elizabeth Adams was the clue that brought us all together I think. If you’ve met her, you know she’ll make everyone really at ease and comfortable and will bring everyone into a conversation. She has organized similar meetings in London and we’ve even repeated this experience thanks to her (I don’t think I posted a Jane Austen roadtrip of that other meet up). In the meantime she has taught me how to do grilled cheese in her old Tennessee house, tasted my mom’s cooking in my own house in Portugal, and made me laugh like crazy in many different moments. The last friend I’ve kept from this meeting was Joana Starnes, but that takes me to another top 5 moment.

 

2 – Fangirling over my favourite author – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter I

The day after that first meet up in London, I met Joana Starnes again in Richmond, we had some coffee, she signed all my books and we talked for hours!! It was then that I discovered how much we had in common in our JAFF preferences and when our friendship really started, I believe.

Again, I was super nervous, I mean, she was my favourite author and I was all alone with her, with no one else to divert the attention from me. With time Joana became a friend to me and not just an author, I’ve visited her family, had drinks with her and she even allowed me to read her manuscript of The Journey Home to Pemberley. And when I say manuscript, I really mean manuscript! Written with her own hands on a notebook. How cool is that? That one was hard to exclude from these top 5 moments…

 

3 – Finally visiting Pemberley – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter V

Visiting Lyme Park had been a dream of mine ever since I saw the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Every time I imagine Pemberley or read a book that takes place there that’s how I picture it so visiting it had been a long time goal. I had spoken with Joana Starnes about visiting Lyme Park with her before but, for one reason or the other, we never made it there. This means that when author Lory Lilian discovered I was going to England in July 2017 for the celebration of Jane Austen’s 200 death anniversary and invited me to embark on a Road Trip through the country with her to visit Pemberley, I could not refuse!!!

I still remember the screams and giggles in the car as we drove through the estate until we reached the grand house! We were pretty much acting like Lydia Bennet at that moment! It was a glorious feeling, and I remember I could not stop looking at every single corner with amazement. I just wanted to stay there forever! We visited Pemberley with Mira Magdo (who even took us to THE POND), author Andreea Catana and editor Ellen Pickels and we even met Amanda Grange there too, but the highlight of that trip was being there, at Pemberley, feeling its magic and being mesmerised with its beauty. I truly felt there was no place where nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. Oh…I obviously returned the following day just to walk around Pemberley’s grounds 🙂

 

4 – The Winchester celebrations – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter IV

On July 18th 2017, due to the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, there were many events taking place all over the world, but the place to be was Winchester, and that’s where I was! This visit was part of a big Road Trip I took with author Lory Lilian, but the entire day at Winchester was very special and has to be on my top 5 Jane Austen Road Trip moments.

Lory, Andreea, Ellen and I were met by Joana Starnes and Mira Magdo at the garden in front of Winchester Cathedral, took some pictures, were interviewed by the BBC radio, attended a recital in the Cathedral, and travelled the streets of Winchester to find the house where Jane Austen spent the last weeks of her life, and where she eventually died on the 18th of July. The entire day was memorable! We met and saw many people on that day, and I even got to know and spend some time with Cassandra Grafton who wrote one of my all time favourite books,  A Fair Prospect trilogy.

Everything about this day was special, and I don’t think I’ll ever have a day like that, not only I was surrounded by like minded people, but also there was a special energy in the air that I cannot explain. Winchester was the place to be on that day and I’m glad I was there 🙂

 

5 – That one time I slept in an NYC hotel with a complete stranger – My Jane Austen Road Trip – Chapter II

If we are talking about memorable moments, then flying across the Atlantic to meet and sleep in the same hotel room with someone I had never met before has to be on this list. Back in 2016 I visited NYC and had a chance to meet Claudine Pepe, a fellow blogger and Jane Austen enthusiast. We had been speaking online for ages but we had never met before and were both a little afraid to share a room with someone we had never seen before, however, there was never an awkward moment or lack of subjects to talk about. We talked for hours about everything we loved and hated in JAFF, did some touring in the city and even went to see an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by Kate Hamil performed by Bedlam’s actors. It was a lot of fun!!!

As I compiled everything for this post I realised there were many amazing moments and places I’ve visited that were never featured in this blog, so I really do need to think on a way to share that with you, and most of all, I have to go on another Jane Austen Road Trip! Let’s see…if the UK opens its borders without the need for a quarantine, I may take a flight to Manchester and visit Lyme Park again 😉 Until then, I hope you liked this post, and don’t forget, there’s another giveaway 🙂


Another incredible aspect about the JAFF community is the generosity of its members, both readers and authors. For today’s post 2 wonderful authors offered to giveaway some of their books to my readers simply for the pleasure of allowing other people to enjoy their works. They deserve a huge thank you from my part! It was very kind and generous of them to offer their books on this celebration. They are Lory Lilian and L.L. Diamond and they are offering the following to 5 different people:

 

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

1 Ebook from Lory Lilian’s portfolio – Readers Choice

1 Audiobook of Confined with Mr. Darcy by L.L. Diamond

1 Audiobook of Undoing by L.L. Diamond

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this post and let us know if there is any particular place you’d like to visit on a Jane Austen Road Trip, or tell us which book from these authors you’d like. Have you read many of their works? Share you love for JAFF with us until next Saturday and the winners will be announced next Sunday.

Thank you so much for the generosity Lory Lilian and L.L. Diamond!

Good Luck Everyone! 

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