Good Afternoon everyone,
How are you today?
I am very pleased to welcome Linda Gonschior at From Pemberley to Milton today with a guest post and an excerpt of Parallels, the third and final book in her Reflections series. I haven’t read the first books in the series yet and to be perfectly honest, I hadn’t heard of it until Parallels was released, but after reading the blurb I got curious. When I started reading JAFF I wasn’t too fond of modernisations, but lately I have had a lot of fun reading those, so it’s becoming a favorite, and this series is definitely under my radar now.
Thank you so much for visiting Ms Gonschior, it is a true pleasure to welcome you today! And thank you for inviting me to be a part of the tour Janet, not only did you introduce me to this series, but also gave me the opportunity to spread the word about it to other readers 🙂
Thank you Rita for this opportunity to talk a bit about my Reflections series! I am honoured to be contributing here and thrilled with the release of Parallels, the final book in this series.
Like many familiar names in JA fanfiction, that 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries ignited in me a suppressed desire to write, write, write! It was not my first encounter with Jane Austen, nor with this particular story. I’d seen the Olivier/Garson version countless times and read the book a few times, too.
Something clicked, though, and I was off.
Parallels is the third and final book in the Reflections series. It’s a modern variation with the first two set in the early 1990’s. Book one, Reflections, opens with that fateful meeting at Pemberley. Elizabeth and Will seem about to correct their misunderstandings, put the past behind them and set out on the road to happiness. The road takes a sharp turn instead.
Austen’s Darcy was able to return Lydia to her family but this Will Darcy was not successful. Confusion, hurt feelings and a secret drive Elizabeth and Will further apart. They do manage to put the past behind them to some extent, and the story picks up a few years later. Elizabeth returns to Meryton then, but she is not alone. She has a little boy, the focus of her life and the apple of his grandfather’s eye.
Who is her son’s father? Readers are not in any doubt but Elizabeth’s family has no idea, and neither does the father. Reflections takes everyone on a journey of discovery; unacknowledged feelings, parenthood and the ability to forgive.
Of course no relationship is without its trials. The second book in the series, A Tarnished Image, picks up immediately where the first left off. Newly married, Elizabeth and Will Darcy have much to learn about how to live with each other and raise their son together. Old ghosts from the past return, forcing the newlyweds to face some hard truths about themselves. Additionally, Will’s younger sister Georgiana is also coming into her own, ready to find her direction in life.
Even with a happy ending accomplished, Elizabeth and Will were not quiet. Okay, my imagination was not quiet. Parallels takes us forward twenty years. The little Darcys introduced in the first two books are grown up. Almost. Like all parents, Elizabeth and Will want the best for their children and hope they are spared the troubles that often come with adulthood and growing independence. But this is not simply a story about their children. This is still about a relationship that continues to grow and strengthen, a family struggling with joys and tragedies, and the bonds that keep them together.
Parallels completes this journey with William and Elizabeth Darcy and I hope readers will be pleased with the happy lives they found.
“Wait!” called Rich, running across the grass after her. “I want to come with you.”
“No way!” she sputtered. “You think I want my little brother tagging along? Not a chance.”
“But you’re only going to the stables!”
“Yes, Rebecca,” came a deep voice from the other side of the hedge. “You are only going to the stables, aren’t you?”
Rebecca glared at her brother. “Yes, Dad,” she called through the leafy barrier, “but do I have to take him?”
“Is there some reason he shouldn’t go?” Will had stood up and now peered over the hedge at his two children.
“No. He just…” She gave up trying to come up with an excuse, knowing her father wouldn’t believe any of them anyway. “All right, but if you embarrass me just once…” Rebecca made a strangling motion with her hands then set off at a jog towards the parked cars.
Rich grinned and ran after her.
Will watched them go. “Elizabeth,” he said without turning his head. “I think our daughter spends too much time at the stables.” He heard her laugh and looked around. “What’s so funny?”
“You are.” Elizabeth was grinning at him. “You only said that because you think there are too many boys out there!”
“Well, aren’t there?” Will couldn’t suppress his own smile.
His wife pointed to the shovel in his hand. “Back to work, Will.” Clearly satisfied when he returned to his appointed task, she continued. “You know that the only interest Rebecca has at the moment is horses. Stop behaving like a paranoid father.” She stooped to pick up the bulbs exposed as Will turned the earth over.
“I’m not paranoid. I’m vigilant,” Will argued. “You know the moment I let down my guard—”
“—your daughters will finally be asked for a date!” Elizabeth laughed again when he frowned in annoyance. “Will, they’re lovely, intelligent young ladies. Of course the boys are going to be interested. You can’t lock them away, you know.”
Will shook his head in amusement. “You exaggerate. Are you saying that you think I’m too strict? That our girls aren’t allowed any social life?”
“I’m not saying that at all, Will. Just try not to scare the life out of the boys who do express an interest, though. Please?”
“You make me sound like an ogre,” he grumbled, thrusting the shovel into the soil again. “Anna can do as she pleases; she’s away from home. Rebecca, as you say, is far more interested in horses, and Kathleen in books.” Will twisted the shovel, emptying the dirt into a pile, then paused. “Perhaps I’ll give Anna a ring to see how she’s doing,” he said thoughtfully.
“You’ll do nothing of the sort!” Elizabeth told him sternly. “It’s Saturday, and she’s probably out anyway. She certainly won’t want her father phoning her while out with her friends.”
Will narrowed his eyes, a sly smile sliding across his face. “I seem to recall you calling our son every weekend during his first year at university. I can’t wait to see what happens when Rich leaves.”
Elizabeth seemed to bite off a sharp retort at the reminder of her overprotective behaviour where Ben was concerned. Her features then assumed an innocent expression as she smiled sweetly at her husband. “But, Will—when Rich leaves, there won’t be any children left in the house. It will be just you and me. I doubt I’ll have any time to harass him with my phone calls.”
Will just stared at her and blinked. Laughing loudly, he pointed a finger in her direction. “Rich won’t be out of here for another six years at least. Are you sure you’ll be up to chasing me around this place by then?”
“Chasing you? Ha!” Elizabeth laughed herself. “You’ll be too old to get away, my dear!”
Love, heartbreak, and self-discovery are life’s greatest challenges,
no matter who your parents may be.
Will and Elizabeth Darcy faced those challenges twenty years earlier, yet marriage taught them patience, understanding, and most importantly, the irreplaceable value of one another. Now their children are about to embark upon that path, hopefully to learn those lessons more gently and avoid the mistakes of their parents.
This third book in the Reflections series brings to a conclusion the story of a couple whose love drew them together in spite of themselves and continues to test them when least expected.
You can find Parallels at:
Linda Gonschior has entertained the art of writing since elementary school but never allowed it to come to fruition until Pride and Prejudice lured her into deeper exploration of characters, relationships and ‘what ifs’. Writing is not the breadwinner, however, as she has a day job and many other interests that compete for attention and time. Still, she has managed to squeeze in several dozen stories – long and short – and there are many more in the ‘incomplete’ folder on the computer. As retirement looms on the horizon, some may be dusted off to evaluate their potential to entertain those who share a fondness for Jane Austen’s characters and don’t mind straying a little off the beaten path.
Amongst her accomplishments Linda counts raising a son, stage managing live theatre productions, flower gardening, and website administration, but not netting purses or painting screens.
Don’t forget to follow the tour for more information about Parallels 🙂
June 7 Donadee’s Corner
June 8 My Vices and Weaknesses
June 9 Diary of an Eccentric
June 10 From Pemberley to Milton
June 11 Babblings of a Bookworm
June 14 My Jane Austen Book Club
June 15 Probably at the Library
Meryton Press is giving away eight eBooks of Parallels. The giveaway is international. The giveaway ends at midnight on the 17th of June or 12:00 AM on the 18th of June. To enter it all you have to do is click on this Raffle link.
Good Luck everyone!