Monthly Archives: August 2021

Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very happy to be welcoming Brigid Huey back to From Pemberley to Milton with her new novella Spies of Our Acquaintance. It’s the latest in the Skirmish and Scandal series from Meryton Press and it appears interesting! There will be spies, adventure, and above all Darcy and Elizabeth must face a difficult and challenging situation together which is something I always love to read in the book. This story seems perfect for an afternoon read, but I’ll let you read both the blurb and the excerpt so you can tell me if this entices you as much as it did me 😊

Let me know what you think in the comments and apply to the giveaway Meryton Press is offering.


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In this scene, Elizabeth is studying Darcy’s character and may have overstepped a bit. She attempts to make up for it by offering him a chance to ask about her own follies, with interesting results!

 

“You seem to delight in finding fault with me, Miss Elizabeth. I cannot defend myself against your superior wit, but I shall claim to be loyal to those with whom I am on intimate terms.”

His look was so serious that Elizabeth bit her lip in consternation. She had provoked him beyond what was civil merely to understand him better. He closed his book fully, setting it on the table next to him. She could not allow him to leave after insulting his honour.

“Stay, Mr Darcy. Do not leave on my account. I meant not to imply that you are without honour or loyalty.”

He stared back at her, his dark brow stern and unyielding. She could not fathom what he was thinking but disliked the idea that she had insulted him.

“Come, I give you leave to ask me a question now,” she said, trying to lighten her tone. “I have delved into your character quite mercilessly, and here is your chance to do the same.”

“I do not claim to be a student of character as you do.” 

“That is no matter! It is only fair, sir. I have needled you about one of your follies, now you may ask about one of mine.”

“And do you mean to direct me in this as well, or do I have leave to ask any question?”

“You may ask whatever you wish, sir!” She smiled at him, hoping to put him at ease once more.

“You admit that you are a student of character—that you enjoy observing the vices and follies of others.”

“I am a student of character, though I would not wish you to think that I make a habit of laughing at others. I simply take pleasure instead of pain in these natural occurrences.”

“As I have seen. If I may be so bold: you have not allowed the follies of Miss Bingley to affect you as they may have affected many other young ladies.”

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at this little speech. He was being very direct indeed.

“My question is this then, Miss Elizabeth. When forming your opinions of others, do you allow yourself to be swayed by your prejudices?”

“I hope not, sir. What is your assessment?”

“I am merely trying to ascertain whether your feelings towards me have been moulded by my egregious remarks at the assembly. I myself would find it hard not to form a prejudice against one who insulted me.”

Elizabeth said nothing for a moment. Her thoughts towards him had been influenced by his behaviour at their first meeting. She had not thought herself prejudiced against him unjustly, though perhaps to form an opinion about a person after one interaction was allowing oneself to be prejudiced.

“I believe you may have discovered a truth about which I was not aware, sir, though I am not ignorant of my own vices. For example, I can be quick to anger, and I am of a rather passionate nature, I am afraid.”

“I doubt very much that being of a passionate nature is something you should regret.”

His eyes had grown dark, and Elizabeth felt herself leaning towards him. His lips parted, as if he meant to say something, but he merely stared at her. She jumped as the clock on the mantel chimed the hour. 

“Is it that late?” Her mind was strangely muddled. “I must return to my sister, Mr Darcy. If you will excuse me.”

He had risen when she had and now offered her a courteous bow. “I hope you find Miss Bennet well, Miss Elizabeth.”

She thanked him and left the library for the quiet and relative calm of her sister’s sick room.


 

French spies in Meryton!

Can the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice “keep calm and carry on” when Napoleon’s war comes to their neighborhood?

 

After Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she has sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance grows into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.

Darcy, meanwhile, cannot stop thinking about Miss Elizabeth. After the nefarious Wickham appears in Meryton, Darcy resolves to warn her of the man’s previous offenses. Matters become more urgent when Wickham proves to be involved in espionage for the French!

When Darcy and Elizabeth are captured by a French spy, they must work together to find a means of escape. With reputations and hearts at risk, what consequences will result from their perilous adventure?

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The novella, Spies of Our Acquaintance, may be purchased on Amazon US and Amazon UK. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in six to eight weeks.


 

Brigid Huey has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids and spends her free time reading and writing. She also has an assortment of birds, including five chickens and too many parakeets. She dreams of living on a farm where she can raise as many chickens, ducks, and goats as she likes and write romance novels in an airy study overlooking the wildflowers.

Other Books by Brigid Huey

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

Interrupted Plans

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You can contact Brigid Huey through the following media:

Website:  https://brigidhuey.com/

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrigidHuey/  

Email:  brigidhueywrites@gmail.com

Instagram:  @brigidhueywrites 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BrigidHuey


NEW giveaaway time

 

Meryton Press is giving away an ebook of Spies of our Acquaintance to a commenter here, and the giveaway is open internationally until the 3rd of September.

Good Luck Everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah M. Eden – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you are all well and that you’ve had a chance to go on holidays or will soon. I will finally take some time off next week and I’ll be visiting Ireland, which is actually where the excerpt of The Merchant and the Rogue I am sharing with you today takes place, so it made me even more eager to read the book and see Dublin through the authors eyes.

The Merchant and the Rogue is the third novel in The Dread Penny Society, have you read any of the previous books? If you have, let us know what you think of them. I confess I haven’t read any, but their concept is appealing, so you know…never ending TBR 😊 I hope you all like the excerpt!

Thank you so much for visiting Ms. Eden, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of the tour Laurel Ann 😊 It was a pleasure to be amongst all these bloggers sharing information about what seems like an excellent read. 

 


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The Dead Zoo by Borgan Donnelly

 

In the heart of Dublin City, between the River Liffey and the Grand Canal, surrounded by Merrion Square, Trinity College, and St. Stephen’s Green, sits the imposing and stately Leister House where meets the Royal Dublin Society. And housed in the newest wing of this residence-turned-Society premises is a museum of a most unusual nature. Its contents are not unknown elsewhere; its function is not strange for a museum. It is made unusual by the oddity of its name, a moniker both amusing and dark.

This place of learning and study and preservation is a museum of natural history, filled with the remains of animals large and small, bird and insect, mammal and fish. Skeletons sit alongside wax models that occupy displays alongside taxidermy of a most realistic nature. Whales and eagles, rodents and trout, a Tasmanian tiger and a polar bear. The species are too numerous to name here, but the museum is far from empty. And its contents have earned it, amongst the locals, the name “The Dead Zoo.”

Early on a spring morning, Amos Cavey, a man who had earned in his thirty-five years a reputation for intelligence by virtue of having mentioned it so very often, stepped inside the zoo of no-longer-living creatures, having been sent for by William Sheenan, keeper of the exhibit of mammals.

William had asked this tower of intellect to call upon him at the zoo, not out of admiration but desperation. Amos never ceased to brag of his intellectual acumen, and William

was in need of someone who could solve a very great and pressing mystery.

Amos walked with unflagging confidence up the Plymouth stone stairs to the first floor where the mammals were housed. He was not unfamiliar with the museum and its displays. Indeed, he had once proclaimed it “quite adequate, having potential to be impressive indeed.” He had made this observation with a great deal of reluctance as it might very well be seen as a declaration of approval of the Royal Dublin Society, which he did not at all intend it to be.

Alighting on the first floor, he stepped into the grand hall where the preserved species were displayed, some on shelves, some behind glass, some posed on pedestals. The ornate ceiling rose three stories above the stone floor. Two upper stories of balconies overlooked the space beneath. Tall columns supported those surrounding galleries, giving the room a classical look, one designed to complement a place of learning.

He held back his inward expression of frustration at having to step over and around a mop employed by a janitor. The man offered no acknowledgment of their near collision, but simply continued his efforts, so intent on his work that one would assume he was expunging the worst of muck and grime rather than polishing the floor of a museum that was kept quite clean.

“Do not mind Jonty,” William said as he approached. “He is so very dedicated to his work. We owe the beauty of this building to his unflagging efforts.”

Jonty grunted but didn’t speak, neither did he look up from his mopping. As William had declared, he was quite good at what he did, and no oddity of character would see him dismissed from his position. Do we not endure things in people when we value something else enough?

“Your note,” said Amos with his usual air of superior intelligence, “indicated you are faced with some puzzle you find unsolvable.” He spoke the last word with an unmistakable tone of doubt.

“Indeed, I am.” William’s tone held far too much worry for anyone to mistake his sincerity.

“I fancy a challenge,” Amos said. “Tell me of your mystery, and I will find your answer.”

The reader may find this declaration a touch too arrogant, but Amos did have a most impressive intellect. He was not wrong to rate his abilities so highly, though his tendency to regularly regale people with acclamations of his intelligence made him a difficult person with whom to spend any length of time. Were William not truly in need of Amos’s particular assistance, the self-assured intellectual would not have been offered so sincere a welcome.

“How familiar are you with our collection?” the harried keeper asked as he motioned for Amos to walk with him amongst the displays.

“I have visited a couple of times.” Amos looked over the nearest animals with an eye to evaluating them. “I found the musk ox mother and calf intriguing. The particularly large

trout, however, I take leave to declare might actually be a salmon.”

William let the criticism pass, not wishing to dwell on anything other than the matter at hand. They passed the dodo skeleton, a particular favorite of his, though why it was displayed amongst the mammals, he could not say.

“I am, however,” Amos said, “quite intrigued by the polar bear.”


 

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often-mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her the freedom and income to employ and protect the poverty-stricken Londoners she’s come to care about, and it gives her father something to do other than long for their hometown of St. Petersburg. She is grateful for the stability in their lives, but she often feels lonely.

Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a Penny Dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. His membership in the secretive Dread Penny Society allows him to feel he isn’t entirely wasting his life, yet he feels dissatisfied. With no one to share his life with but his sister, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at her print shop is aboveboard. When the growing criminal enterprise run by the elusive and violent Mastiff begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

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The Merchant and the Rogue Sarah Eden 2021

 

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You can find The Merchant and the Rogue at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

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Sarah M. Eden is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning Proper Romance series novels including The Lady and the Highwayman and Ashes on the Moor. Combining her passion for history and an affinity for love stories, Sarah crafts smart, witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about.

Sarah M Eden author headshot

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 


NEW blog tour

 

The Blog Tour for The Merchant and the Rogue is just starting so don’t forget to follow it to know more information about the book.

Aug 16 Among the Reads (Review)

Aug 16 Austenprose (Review)

Aug 16 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 17 Literary Time Out (Review)

Aug 17 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Aug 17 Heidi Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 17 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 18 Our Book Confessions (Review)

Aug 18 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Aug 19 Fire & Ice (Review)

Aug 19 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 20 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Aug 20 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Aug 20 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)

Aug 21 The Calico Critic (Review)

Aug 22 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

Aug 22 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 23 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 23 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review)

Aug 23 Reading with Emily (Review)

Aug 24 Wishful Endings (Review)

Aug 24 Relz Reviewz (Review)

Aug 24 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 25 Bookfoolery (Review)

Aug 25 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Aug 26 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 26 Nurse Bookie (Review)

Aug 27 So Little Time… (Excerpt)

Aug 27 Probably at the Library (Review)

Aug 27 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Aug 28 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Aug 28 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Aug 29 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Aug 29 A Darn Good Read (Review)

Merchant and the Rogue Blog Tour Banner

 


NEW giveaaway time

Please help Sarah M. Eden get her latest novel, THE MERCHANT AND THE ROGUE, to hit the New York Times best-seller list by purchasing a copy between August 15-22, 2021.
Everyone who submits a copy of their receipt and fills out the form during the week of August 15-22 will receive The Merchant and the Rogue – Swag Bundle. Supplies are limited, so act today. Please visit the Swag Bundle webpage for details.

The Merchant and the Rogue Offer

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Books on sale

Good Afternoon everyone, 

I was perusing amazon today and saw there were a few books that went recently on sale so, as usual, I thought it would be helpful to put them all together in a list. I couldn’t find as much as usual, but still, I thought this might help.

As you know, these are not all the books that are currently on sale, just the ones I could find on my search.

If you know of any other books on sale please do not hesitate to share them with us 🙂

 

Jane Austen Fan Fiction on Sale for 0,99$

 

Duty Demands – 0,99$

Book Blurb:

When Elizabeth’s father dies unexpectedly, she is surprised to find that the proud, arrogant Mr. Darcy wants to marry her- and even more surprised when her uncle tells her why. But after they are married she begins to see a different side of her husband.
Darcy thinks that Elizabeth has married him for love, but slowly begins to realize that all is not as it appears in their marriage. Will he still love her when the truth is revealed?
Will our two favorite characters overcome their misunderstandings and achieve a marriage based on more than duty and obligation? This is a Pride and Prejudice variation brought to you by the author of Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit, Love’s Fool: The Taming of Lydia Bennet, and One False Step.

 

Mr. Darcy, The Beast – 0,99$

Book Blurb: 

With gentlemen scarce at the Meryton assembly, Elizabeth Bennet means to scold the man in the shadows who refuses to dance. But when he comes into the light, she sees his horribly scarred face and his limp.
Fitzwilliam Darcy survived a tragic carriage accident that claimed the life of his sister, and by all accounts of those who knew him, he is much changed. Now, he is a beast of a man, often in a bad temper, owing the pain he still suffers from the injuries he incurred.
Elizabeth pities the man until he kisses her in the middle of the dance floor at the Netherfield Ball with everyone looking on. He’s trapped her in a marriage that is not of her choosing, and now she must travel with him to the isolated estate of Pemberley.
Mr. Darcy knows what he’s done is monstrous. But there are monstrous things within him now. He doesn’t know what has possessed him to trespass against this beauty that will now be his wife. He knows he is beyond any hope. And yet… she stirs things within him. He will not let her go.
This first book in the Happily Ever Collection unites Beauty and the Beast and Pride and Prejudice. Though each story in the collection takes its cue from a fairy tale, there are neither magic nor otherworldly elements in the stories.

 

Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit – 0,99$

Book Blurb: 

When Darcy proposes to Elizabeth at Hunsford, she declines his proposal with courtesy instead of anger, and he is left to discover on his own why she will not marry him. How can our beloved couple find their way to each other when Darcy doesn’t know what she holds against him?

 

Jane Austen Fan Fiction on Sale for 1,99$

The Darcy Scandal – 1,99$

Book Blurb: 

When Elizabeth Bennet’s sister runs away with a notorious rake, there’s only one way Fitzwilliam Darcy feels he can properly protect the woman he loves and her family: he must marry her. But this presumptuous action is by no means appreciated by Elizabeth, who had only just begun to see a better side of the gentleman. As their relationship progresses on unsure footing, the threat of another scandal threatens to drive them apart and to ruin.

This is a somewhat steamy romp featuring everyone’s favorite Pride and Prejudice characters. Enjoy this unique ride to Pemberley.

 

The Darcy Governess – 1,99$

Book Blurb:

When the death Mr. Bennet leaves his widowed wife and daughters penniless and at the mercy of the first men to make an offer of them, Elizabeth Bennet takes matter into her own hands. Headstrong and self-sufficient, Elizabeth accepts a role as governess to the young miss of the illustrious Darcy household. Elizabeth’s position is greatly affected by the sudden reappearance of its master and this, along with the discovery that there is more to this man than meets the eye forces her to decide between what is right, and what she desires. Join Elizabeth Bennet on this re-imagined adventure featuring best-loved characters from Pride and Prejudice, inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, as Elizabeth endeavors to find her way amidst pride, prejudice, and misunderstanding.


I Hope this has been helpfull everyone!

Happy Reading!

 

Disclaimer: The Amazon links used in this post are affiliate links.


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A Consuming Love by Kelly Miller

a consuming love4 stars

What if Mr. Darcy met Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet before Bingley took lease of Netherfield? What if he was so besotted by her that he refused to join Bingley on his trip to Netherfield to avoid being in her company and allowing his feelings to grow?

In this variation, when Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley visit Netherfield for the first time, they are met by Mr. Bennet and Elizabth who are helping their neighbor by showing the house to the interested parties. 

Mr. Darcy quickly realizes that Elizabeth would be the perfect match for him and therefore doesn’t go with Bingley to Netherfield when he takes up the lease, however the Bingley sisters visit him at a later stage to ask for his help in separating Mr. Bingley from

Jane. Hoping to help his friend, he travels to Hertfordshire to analyze if what the Bingley sisters are saying is true and it is then that he reconnects with Elizabeth. 

This is a very short and satisfying story with a low angst level that I believe most readers will enjoy reading.

The first chapters are captivating with many interesting and witty discussions between Eizabeth and Mr. Darcy, and I enjoyed seeing them connect with one another so early in the story and without the usual prejudices we often see (a bit of pride is still present, of course). I could understand and relate with their mutual interest with one another as their first encounter was thrilling, however, I don’t believe Darcy would feel such a strong feeling for Elizabeth as love after only two encounters, interest yes, but not love, and that is probably my only quibble with this story. I felt the strength of their attachment was too fast and deep considering the little contact and situations they had been through, but that is of course explained by the length of the novel, and therefore somewhat expected.

One aspect that surprised me in this story, and that I truly loved was Georgiana’s mature view of what was going on around her. I loved the way Kelly Miller developed Georgiana in A Consuming Love and I know that readers who like Georgiana will be proud of her in this book.

Another point I enjoyed in this story was the efficient and smart way with which Darcy handled the younger Bennet sister’s education issue. It was priceless!

A Consuming Love is a novella that can be read in one afternoon and that will certainly be enjoyed by readers who like low angst and sweet romances between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their encounters are interesting, and the reader will certainly fall in love with this Darcy.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

Harry Frost’s narration was magnificent as usual, he made several characters come alive and kept the reader interested in the narrative with his different voice inflexions. I highly recommend the audio version.

 

You can find A Consuming Love at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and on Audible

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Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke

back to the bonnet

Back to the Bonnet has been on my TBR shelf for a few months and my only regret was that I did not pick it up sooner because this is one of the most original, fun and interesting stories I’ve read this year.

In this book Miss Mary Bennet inherits an old bonnet from her late great aunt Harriet, but this bonnet holds a secret no one would imagine, it has magical powers, namely the ability to go back in time.

When Mary discovers this characteristic, she realizes she has the power to secretly help her family so she starts going back in time to fix some situations, and as the story progresses, the reader starts realizing that the events he witnesses in Pride and Prejudice would never have happened without Mary’s intervention. So why doesn’t she stop Lydia from eloping with Whickham? Well, that is part of why this book is so interesting. It has a story of its own, and the reader will have to read along to discover why Mary is able to fix some situations but not others.

One of the aspects I loved the most about this book was its originality and the unexpected factor. The reader never knows what is going to happen because the Pride & Prejudice events as we know them may or may not exist the first time around. The reader keeps seeing events that will be erased, modified and/or replaced by others due to Mary’s intervention, and not knowing if, when, or how she will change them was very exciting. Because I never knew what would happen next, I could not put the book down until I knew if something was truly going to happen, how it would play out, and why Mary would allow for Lydia’s elopement to occur. That question never left my mind until I reached that part of the book. The question is, did she allow it?

The plot of Back to the Bonnet is definitely original, but the way it is written and the events that transpire through the entire story were even more original and impressive in my opinion. Even if the story will go through the events of Pride & Prejudice, this book has a story of its own, a hidden story the reader was not aware of, and the behind the scenes events that take place are at times even more exciting then the P&P events themselves. I cannot express how much I loved the way this story progressed.

Another aspect I loved in this story was Mary’s character. I believe her character has a lot of potential, therefore, I like to see how writers develop her character in a different light, which is usually the case, but in this novel what I absolutely loved was that the author didn’t portray her as a different Mary. She was exactly as Jane Austen described her, we simply know more about her because we can see her perspective of all the events that are occurring. It was also very enlightening to witness firsthand her opinion concerning Elizabeth’s actions. We usually see Elizabeth as a heroine, but has anyone thought about how her family would react to her attitudes? What would they think if they knew that she not only refused Mr. Collins but also Mr. Darcy? In this book we get to see the other side of the story and it was really interesting.

I absolutely loved how faithful and interesting Mary’s character was in this novel. I loved her strength, her dedication to her family, her morals, her posture towards life, etc. There was only one small quibble I had for a time, which was her actions towards the Collins’s, but as I approached the end of the book, I forgot about that, so in the end it didn’t bother me as much.

Mary’s relationship with Charlotte and Chamberlayne were also an added value to the story, and I particularly liked to see how Chamberlayne’s story played out and the way that they helped each other.

Summing up, Back to the Bonnet is certainly one of the most original and exciting books I’ve read this year. I could not put it down due to the excitement and unknown present in the book, as well as the writing style which is extremely appealing. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves Mary Bennet and likes different approaches to Pride & Prejudice. You will not regret reading this sensational novel 😊

 

 

You can find Back to the Bonnet at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited


 

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The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am very pleased to bring to you an excerpt of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, not only because I liked it very much, but also because it is the first time I am welcoming its author, Christine Combe, at From Pemberley to Milton. I always love to get to know new authors and discover new books within the genre, so first visits are always very special to me, but I certainly hope this is not Ms. Combe’s last visit. In today’s blog tour stop you’ll be able to read part of chapter 4, and I hope you like it as well. If you’d like to read more, you can visit A Happy Assembley or check out the rest of the blog tour stops.

It was a pleasure to have you here, and I would like to wish you all the success with this new release Ms. Combe. Thank you for visiting and for giving readers a chance to win a copy of this book 😊

 


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TRoFD Ebook Cover

Greetings, fellow Austenians! I’m so excited to be visiting From Pemberley to Milton for the first time. Today I’m here to brag about my newest release, The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy

Back

In this new story, circumstances are vastly different for ODC: Elizabeth and her sisters are the daughters of a baronet, and Darcy has no fortune. But as always, the stars align and one of literature’s most beloved couples unite, determined to take on the world together!

In case you haven’t visited my blog or been following along as I posted the chapters at A Happy Assembly, here’s part of a scene in chapter 4:

 

Saturday, 16 February 1811

Sir Thomas was always a welcome visitor at Netherfield.

On this fine Saturday, Elizabeth thought him even more so than usual, for he claimed to have brought news of an estate that Jane might lease. The three sat down to tea accompanied by biscuits and cucumber sandwiches in the drawing room, and the baronet had consumed a little of each offering before withdrawing from an inner pocket of his jacket a folded piece of paper.

“I may have found an estate for you, Jane,” he said, repeating his statement made upon entering the house. “It is a little on the expensive side, as I understand it to be a large house, but there are multiple gardens, a shrubbery or two, and woods and groves enough to satisfy even Elizabeth’s enthusiasm for them.”

“Indeed, Father?” said Elizabeth. “I am intrigued, for you know I love a good walk.”

Her father chuckled. “Precisely my point,” said he, then he opened the letter he held. “I have here an offer from a peer—the Earl of Disley—who tells me of an estate in his keeping called Pemberley. It once belonged to his brother by marriage, who died going on five years ago, and shall be given over to his nephew in future. But at present, the earl has authority over the property and should like to see some life in it again, as it has stood empty since his brother’s passing.”

“Does Lord Disley know that your inquiry was on behalf of a young, widowed mother and her sister, sir?” asked Jane.

Sir Thomas nodded. “He does—you know I was clear in stating that this new place of residence was not for myself but a member of my family. Understanding that I enquired about available properties on behalf of a daughter, the earl desires to meet with me before discussing the matter further. I imagine he looks to assure himself that you have the capacity for running such a household.”

“Then would not meeting with Jane herself be more beneficial in assuring His Lordship of her ability to manage a household?” said Elizabeth with a scoff. “So typical that a man should not think a woman capable of speaking for herself.”

“Now Elizabeth, do not be so quick to judge,” her father admonished. “He is an earl, after all, and is likely to be a trifle mortified to have to let the property at all. No aristocrat I’ve had chance to meet in the last fifteen years has been comfortable in admitting he has not the finances to maintain his lifestyle, let alone his property. I suspect the leasing of this estate to aid him in paying off some debt or other.”

“Father,” said Jane, “whilst I am honored by the offer of a lease from a member of the nobility, and I certainly trust your judgment, I must say that I should like to see the place for myself before agreeing to any terms. After all, it is not you who will be paying the rent, and as such, I should like to judge with my own eyes rather than allowing others to judge it for me.” 

“But of course, Jane,” Sir Thomas agreed. “I fully intend on both you and Elizabeth accompanying me to Derbyshire.”

“Derbyshire!” cried Elizabeth. “But that is where our aunt Gardiner is from!”

Her father smiled. “Indeed, my dear Lizzy, and both you and she will be pleased to know that the village of her youth is but five miles from the estate in question. She may even know some of the history of it and the family who lived there.”

Jane, while lowering her teacup to its saucer, looked to her father and said, “Have you spoken to Mamma about this offer?”

“Not as yet. I desired to present it to you first and know your feelings on the matter before saying anything to your good mother,” Sir Thomas replied. “I do not think, however, that she will continue her lengthy protestations once she learns from whence the offer originates.”

Elizabeth snorted over her teacup. “Indeed, Papa. Upon hearing that an actual earl has offered up an estate, she will no doubt insist we take him up on it, whatever his terms.”

“You said it was on the expensive side, Father,” said Jane then. “I will be able to afford the rent, I hope?” She still thought economically though she had little need now to be concerned about cost. 

“Oh, of course—I should not even have mentioned it if I did not know you could, though it is more than the asking price for Netherfield’s lease before Bingley purchased the place. The earl asks eight hundred per annum—which, considering your income, is more than manageable. Game rights would be an extra charge, but you’ll have no need to concern yourself there. However…”

Here he paused and glanced at the letter again. “However, Lord Disley does state that there are many former staff members he would like to see employed again, should we agree to the terms.”

Jane nodded. “Oh, of course—I should be quite happy to employ local servants as needed, though I’ll certainly bring a few of the girls from here, as well as my maid and Margaret’s nurse.”

“If I may, I suggest you make one of the local girls a lady’s maid for Elizabeth,” said her father. “It would be a generous gesture and certainly will help in endearing you to the local populace.”

Elizabeth sighed. “Oh, to have my own maid… But Jane, as lovely as the idea is, I would not ask it of you.”

“Nonsense, Lizzy,” Jane protested. “Papa is right; it would be a very generous thing to do. Besides, as Mamma likes so much to remind us, you are a baronet’s daughter. It is expected that a young lady of your station should have a lady’s maid.” 

“Listen to your sister’s sense, Elizabeth,” said Sir Thomas. “In truth, I should like to have afforded a maid for each of my girls—for you do deserve the luxury—but thought two between the five of you would suffice, especially with the added expense of a governess—the latter of which, you know, your mother insisted upon after our elevation. Heaven forbid that the daughters of a baronet be brought up without the aid of a governess.”

The last he said with a roll of his eyes, though Elizabeth suspected by his tone that the words were her mother’s and not his own. She could well imagine Lady Bennet—her head suddenly full of the self-importance that seemed to go hand-in-glove with rank—all but demanding such expense be paid. It was likely she would have desired each of her girls to have their own maid, for she certainly did, if only to maintain the appearance of greater wealth than her husband’s actual income. 

Elizabeth laughed. “Very well, then. Whether at Pemberley or somewhere else, I shall be happy to accept a maid of my own.”

Later that evening, the sisters at Netherfield returned their father’s visit by taking dinner at Longbourn. It was during the meal that Sir Thomas announced to his wife he had received a reply to his inquiries for Jane’s quitting the neighborhood. Lady Bennet sniffed and lifted her nose in the air, declaring that she had no desire to hear of it as she still considered the scheme a foolhardy one. 

Sir Thomas raised an eyebrow. “Do you mean to say I should not reply to the Earl of Disley?”

Lady Bennet’s mouth fell open. “E-Earl? Of Disley?” she stuttered, her gaze flicking between her husband and her eldest daughter. “An earl has answered your letter, Sir Thomas?” 

“Oh, indeed, Lady Bennet,” he replied nonchalantly, producing the letter from his jacket pocket and holding it up. “The gentleman offers very good terms, though he desires to meet with me in person before accepting my application. However, if you do not think it acceptable, I am certain our daughter will defer to your judgment.”

Elizabeth suppressed the urge to laugh—her father so liked to bait his wife with such comments, knowing full well that the remark would grant him precisely the response he expected.

They were neither of them disappointed. Lady Bennet sputtered nonsensically for a full twenty seconds before declaring in a shrill voice, “Of course you should go! You cannot insult the Earl of Disley by not meeting with him!”

She looked to Jane then. “My dearest girl, you simply must agree to the terms! It is the property of an earl! He will surely call upon you, and he may have sons—oh, I hope he has single sons! I should very much like to see my daughter married to the heir of an earl… I say, even a younger son would do, for he is sure to be rich and you would still be so very highly connected and could introduce your sisters to other nobles and rich men!”

Yes, Mamma, Elizabeth thought with some amusement. That is precisely Jane’s hope—to seduce the Earl of Disley’s son, if he even has one, so that she may throw her sisters at his wealthy friends.

***


 

When Elizabeth Bennet moves with her widowed sister and niece to an estate in Derbyshire, she does not expect to find herself captivated by the mysterious steward of Pemberley. Though cautioned not to spend more time in his company than she ought, Elizabeth finds she cannot stay away from him.

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father lost half the family fortune to a pair of swindlers and the rest to gaming and investments that gave no returns. He knows he is no good for the daughter of a baronet, but he falls for the lively Elizabeth in spite of every reason he should not.

When the two determine their mutual attraction cannot be denied, Darcy decides to accept the challenge of re-entering society more for the sake of Elizabeth’s reputation than his own. Because both know it won’t be easy for him to regain the good opinion of the ton, Darcy goes to his noble relations to seek their assistance and Elizabeth joins him in London to support his efforts.

Of course, the expectation of whispers and snobbery is scant preparation for facing down the harshest critic of them all: one’s own family.

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TRoFD Ebook Cover

 

 

You can find The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

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Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on her next book.


NEW blog tour

So it’s official—Jane is moving out and soon to be looking at Pemberley! Tell me what you think in the comments below to enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, now available for purchase from Amazon! 

 

TRoFD Blog Tour Schedule

Contest open until August 14, 2021. Good luck!


 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Giveaway Winners

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. I confess mine has been great so far. I’ve spent lots of time reading at the beach and it was one of the most relaxed weekends I’ve had in a long time. Too bad it is almost over. But before Monday is upon us I would like to announce the winners of the June & July Book Mail Giveaways.

Apart from the June & July Book Mail giveaway winners, I would also like to announce the winner of The Olive Branch, Sarah Courtney’s latest book. I had the pleasure to interview Ms. Courtney upon the books release and that just made me more anxious to read it 🙂

Thank you so much for visiting Ms. Courtney, and for being so generous to our readers.

Without further ado the winners are:

June & July Bookmail Giveaway

*** Sophia Rose ***

*** Deborah***

The Olive Branch

*** Glynis***

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

Happy Reading everyone!

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6th Blog Anniversary & Giveaway

6th aniversary

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I woke up to a message from WordPress congratulating me on my 6th Blog Anniversary! That’s right, it’s been 6 years already! It’s been an exciting journey so far with many adventures, great reads, and most of all, incredible new friends made along the way.

Blogging can be a bit tiring at times, and it occupies a lot of my after-work time, but I still love doing it as well as being a part of this community, so hopefully I’ll be here celebrating with you many more anniversaries 😊

As always, I though it would be nice to share with you some statistics of what I’ve been doing throughout the years, but this time I decided to bring some new data as well.

But let’s start with a general overview: 

Published Posts

Since the 5th of August 2015, I’ve published 462 posts (I’ve decided not to count giveaway winners’ announcements, book deals announcements, etc.), and I am very happy to see that half of those posts were reviews. In fact, I am a bit surprised with that fact because I always feel that I am behind on my To Be Reviewed pile, so it makes me happy to know that I’ve been able to review an average of 33 books per year, especially because I still have 5 more months this year to raise the average 😊. What do you think? Should I make that a 2021 goal? I bet I can raise the average to 35, don’t you think?

posts per year

If I look at the type of posts I’ve published in each year, I can see a tendency to increase the number of reviews (again, 2019 was an atypical year because I felt the need to read less JAFF books for a while) but all other type of posts have remained stable at the exception of Guest Posts which had a boom in 2017. I’m sorry to see that My Jane Austen Road Trip Posts have not increased, and I blame Covid for that, but hopefully I’ll be able to change that in 2022. Fingers Crossed!

What do you think of these statistics? Do they correspond to what you’d like to see here at From Pemberley to Milton? Which are the type of posts you like the most?

reviews per year

As mentioned above I’ve reviewed 231 books throughout the years, but how many authors I have I reviewed? Well, I’ve reviewed 120 different authors! That gives me a pretty good picture of what is out there in the genre, don’t you think? But that also means that some authors are recurrent, so let’s take a look at the authors I’ve reviewed the most at From Pemberley to Milton: 

Most reviewed

Victoria Kincaid, Jennifer Joy and Maria Grace are on top of the most reviewed authors list, and again, I was a little surprised with how many books from these authors I’ve read. It’s been a while since I’ve read anything from Victoria Kincaid, and I wasn’t expecting to have reviewed so many books from Maria Grace. I guess time just flies by and reviews keep coming, increasing these numbers without me even realizing it.  Joana Starnes is next as I’ve read 8 of her books, and that is not so surprising for me, in fact I though she would be on top of that list.

Abigail Reynolds, Cassandra Grafton, Christie Capps, Elizabeth Adams and Nicole Clarkston complete this list as I’ve reviewed 5 books from each of these authors, and I believe some of them will go up on the list as I have a few of their books in my current TBR.

But does this mean these are the authors I read the most?

Most Read Authors

Well, it kind of does, but there are a few other authors I’ve read just as much, like Jan Hahn (long time favorite), Kara Louise (who I should read shortly) and Regina Jeffers (who I will certainly read shortly). So why haven’t I reviewed all the books from these authors that I’ve read? Well, some of them were read before I even I had the blog, so I wasn’t reviewing them at the time, I guess I’ll need to re-read them, right? That is an effort I’ve been trying to make, especially when audiobooks of “older” books come out. As time is limited and there is an ever-growing offer out there, I try to revisit books I’ve read some time ago through the audio version, hopefully this will allow me to solve this situation. Also, sometimes, if I read a book and I don’t take notes or review it immediately, I tend to forget what I liked or disliked, so sometimes, I read some books that I don’t review because I am lazy (that’s the ugly truth). I promise to do my best to avoid this in the future!

~~~

I decided to keep it simple this year, so this is about it when it comes to stats, but if you’d like to see any other type of graphics or statistics, please let me know and I’ll include them next year, or maybe even when I announce the winner of the giveaway next week. I absolutely love statistics and graphics, but I would also love to publish only what interest you, so let me know if there is anything you’d like to see. Also, we’ve done some surveys to readers in the past, is that something you’d like to see done once more? Which type of information would you like to know?

Last question (hum…or couple of questions). Which type of posts do you prefer to see published? And in the case of reviews, which type of books do you prefer to see reviewed? Variations? Moderns? Older ones, recently released? Known authors? Unknown authors?

Let me know, I’m all ears 😊


NEW giveaaway time

To celebrate From Pemberley to Milton’s 6th anniversary I will be offering one ebook to one of my followers. The winner may choose any book I’ve reviewed in the past 6 years. You can check them out by author or by genre. Navigate through the website, and let me know which one calls your attention 🙂 The giveaway is open until the 13th of August and I’ll announce the winner shortly after that. 

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The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very pleased to welcome for the first at From Pemberley to Milton author Todd M. Johnson who has recently released The Barrister and the Letter of Marque. I never read anything written by Mr. Johnson, but I was impressed not only with the premise of this book but also the excerpt he decided to bring to us today. I hope you enjoy it and that you join me in congratulating Mr. Johnson on his new release 😊

I would like to thank him for his visit and Laurel Ann Nattress for inviting me to be a part of this tour.


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It took no more than several ticks of the ancient clock hanging above the jurors for the new witness to appear from a side door. But in those few moments, Edmund stood, ushering their client into the seat beside William, then seated himself two chairs farther away. In that same instant, Edmund procured a well-groomed horsehair wig, identical to his own, from the cloth bag beneath the table and placed it on Patrin’s head.

Periwinkle, focused on the new witness in the box, took no notice.

“Mr. Keyes,” Periwinkle addressed the new witness. “You are a hostler, are you not? You care for horses at the Inn of Red Gables near the chemist’s shop?”

The witness coughed to clear his throat, then thrust his chest out importantly. “I do indeed, master.”

“Were you at your job the day there was a theft of goods in front of the chemist’s shop last month?”

“Aye.”

“And what did you see?”

“I saw a man come out of the chemist’s and reach in and take a wooden crate from a large wagon there—plain as can be. Then he put it on another wagon, got aboard, and drove away.”

“Very well. And is that man seated at counsel table?” Periwinkle waved an arm in the direction of defense counsel. “With Mr. Snopes?”

“Aye, plain as can be.”

“Thank you. Nothing further.”

William rose instantly to his feet. “Which one, Mr. Keyes?”

The witness stiffened. “Which one what?”

“Which one? Which of the gentlemen seated at my table was the perpetrator of the theft?”

Periwinkle’s eyes shifted to the table, where Edmund had now slid off his robe, resting it behind Patrin’s chair.

“Why, I object!” Periwinkle shouted, seeing the three wigged men.

The magistrate stared across the room, taking in the sight. “This is most inappropriate, Mr. Snopes,” the judge bellowed. “You’ve cloaked the accused as a barrister.”

“My lordship, I cannot see why that would offend. While a barrister must be properly wigged in the courtroom, I know of no admonition against a party wearing such a wig as well.”

“But you’re clearly attempting to confuse this witness.”

“Not at all, your lordship. I’m simply trying to determine whether this witness—critical to the prosecution—really knows who he is accusing of the serious crime of theft.”

The magistrate hesitated.

“Mr. Plessing, this is simply not done!” Periwinkle objected.

The judge’s eyes shifted to sear the prosecutor like hot coals.

“I am Justice Plessing today, Mr. Periwinkle. Or your lordship. However you might address me at a club or at a card game, you will kindly not forget to address me appropriately in this setting.”

“Your lordship,” William chimed in. “Perhaps a compromise might be agreed upon. What if you were to direct both the accused and my assistant to stand and remove their wigs. That would provide Mr. Keyes a fair chance to view them as he would have seen the culprit that afternoon.”

Perhaps he wouldn’t have agreed minutes before. Now Judge Plessing contemplated the room like a circling hawk, his nasal breaths filling an expectant silence in the gallery that a parson would have envied.

“Very well,” the magistrate said. “The two gentlemen at defense table besides Mr. Snopes will stand and remove their wigs.”

Edmund and Patrin were nearly the same height, but as Edmund rose, he crouched just a bit where he stood, still several chairs down from William. His hair beneath his wig was deliberately grown out and cut ragged, while their client’s was coiffed and oiled. Patrin’s shirt was finely pressed and spotless; Edmund’s, now fully revealed, carried stains of several meals.

“Why, it’s him.” Keyes squinted. “Surely as the sun rose this morning!” He extended a finger pointed directly at Edmund. “That man stole the other’ns goods from that wagon. I saw him with my own eyes. Plain as can be.”

“This is unfair! This is an ambush!” Periwinkle cried out amid gasps and shouts from the gallery.

Leaning across their client to address Edmund, William allowed himself a small smile. “I believe that’s the best summation I’ve ever heard old Periwinkle give.”


 

As a barrister in 1818 London, William Snopes has witnessed firsthand the danger of only the wealthy having their voices heard, and he’s a strong advocate who defends the poorer classes against the powerful. That changes the day a struggling heiress, Lady Madeleine Jameson, arrives at his door.

In a last-ditch effort to save her faltering estate, Lady Jameson invested in a merchant brig, the Padget. The ship was granted a rare privilege by the king’s regent: a Letter of Marque authorizing the captain to seize the cargo of French traders operating illegally in the Indian Sea. Yet when the Padget returns to London, her crew is met by soldiers ready to take possession of their goods and arrest the captain for piracy. And the Letter—-the sole proof his actions were legal—has mysteriously vanished.

Moved by the lady’s distress, intrigued by the Letter, and goaded by an opposing solicitor, Snopes takes the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, he learns that the forces arrayed against Lady Jameson, and now himself, are even more perilous than he’d imagined.

The Barrister and the Letter of Barque 2021

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You can find The Barrister and The Letter of Marque at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

 

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Todd M. Johnson is the author of three legal thrillers: The Deposit Slip (2012), Critical Reaction (2013), and Fatal Trust (2017), and The Barrister and the Letter of Marque (2021), his first foray into historical mystery. He has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong. He lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter.

Todd M Johnson headshot 2021

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


NEW blog tour

 

The Blog Tour for The Barrister and the Letter of Marque is just starting, so don’t forget to follow it to know more information about the book.

Aug 02 The Readathon (Review)

Aug 02 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 02 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review) 

Aug 03 Life of Literature (Review)

Aug 03 Captivated Reading (Spotlight)

Aug 04 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 04 The Green Mockingbird (Review) 

Aug 05 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 05 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 06 Among the Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 06 The Blue Stocking (Review) 

Aug 07 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) 

Aug 07 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Aug 08 Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight)

Aug 08 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Aug 09 Heidi Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 09 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Aug 10 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Spotlight)

Aug 10 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Aug 10 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Aug 11 By the Book (Interview)

Aug 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 12 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Review)

Aug 12 A Darn Good Read (Review) 

Aug 13 Fire & Ice (Review) 

Aug 14 The Lit Bitch (Spotlight)

Aug 14 The Book Diva Reads (Spotlight)

Aug 15 Vesper’s Place (Review)

Barrister Book Tour Banner


 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice