Monthly Archives: June 2022

Camp Jane – An Interview with Susan Andrews & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am pleased to welcome Susan Andrews at From Pemberley to Milton today.

Ms Andrews has just released the second book in the Camp Jane Series and has agreed to answer a few of my questions about it. I really enjoyed the first book of the series (check my review if you want to know why), so I am looking forward to read the second installment.

If there is anything you’d like to know about this book, please do not hesitate to comment and ask Ms Andrews. I am sure she will love replying to all your questions, plus you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to enter the giveaway 🙂


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Welcome Ms. Andrews, it is a pleasure to welcome you here at From Pemberley to Milton. I always like to know more about the authors who are visiting, and this is our very first interview, so I would like to start by asking you to tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, Rita. It’s a treat to be here. I grew up in the Chicago area then moved to Oklahoma where I had a job I loved for over 30 years working in the Education Department of a residential psychiatric hospital for children and teens. First I was afraid, I was petrified…no, wait. That’s a song. First, I was a TEACHER (also petrified but I got over it) then an administrator and later a school psychologist. After I retired in 2019, my journalist hubby and I moved to Roatan, Honduras where we do a lot of volunteering and work online as ghost writers and indie publishers of out of print books.

There is such an interesting journey! I have to ask, have you ever heard about ghost writing in JAFF? Or is that an area that hasn’t reached JAFF yet?

It probably happens but we haven’t personally done any JAFF ghostwriting. There would likely be a market, especially among JAFF writers for whom English is a second language if someone wants to try it.

I would personally would love to know more about ghost writing, but I’ll leave that to another time, for now, I would like to focus on JAFF. How did you discovered it? Why did you decided to start writing in the genre?

During COVID, Honduras had a hard lockdown where we could only leave the house twice a month for about a year. So I spent some time re-reading my favorite humo(u)rists, Austen and P.G. Wodehouse, and finding the Jane Austen Fan Club and other JA boards online. After seeing some JAFF stories advertised there, I dipped my toe into a few extensions and variations and was pleasantly surprised. About the same time, some of my ghostwritten work found some success, used by a nonprofit as a voiceover in a video ad. It gave me confidence and helped me have the courage to write under my own name.

Your first JAFF Book, Camp Jane, was a Jane Austen Inspired novel that involved many Janeites getting together and living the time of their lives. I’ve read and reviewed it here at From Pemberley to Milton, but in case our readers have missed the review, would you care to tell us what the book is about and how you got inspired to write it?

I loved the Jane Austen community! They are such proud bookworms and unafraid to embrace the fact that they are viewed as a bit quirky by the non-Janeite world. Huzzah, say they! We care not! It occurred to me, hey, WE are the real story here! Sure, we’re quirky but also a great brother-and-sisterhood of humans, too. I’ve always loved the Austen movie adaptations along with British sitcoms.  And when I saw the “Austenland” concept where Austen-obsessed readers go on a scripted holiday. I thought, hey, let’s take it to the next level! Let’s have ALL of Austen’s storylines play out simultaneously in a lush resort where Pemberley is just a few steps from Northanger Abbey and Highbury! And if those storylines were role-played by modern folks who were actually temperamentally SIMILAR to Lizzy Bennet and Darcy and Henry Tilney and Willoughby, it would be a big Austen mashup. Hilarious hijinks would ensue, right?  Camp Jane, the ultimate Austen destination where we can all go play, was born.

I’ve mentioned in my review at the time that you were one of the best authors I’ve read who added diversity into JAFF because it felt completely natural. Was it a conscious decision to do so?

I really appreciated your thoughts on that. I’ll just say this: if it’s natural, it’s probably because I SEE it as natural.  Janeites are a very diverse group nowadays, wonderfully so. Once you see bloggers like “Black Girl Loves Jane” from the US (also those with indigenous roots and Latinx bloggers,) along with Spanish-language JAFF writers and Austen fans from India, Australia, Canada, the UK and the Carribean islands, those ARE the folks that would be applying to role-play or visit at a modern day Camp Jane resort. You and I would visit, right, Rita? So Portugal and Central America would be represented! It was the only way to write the modern Janeite story, in my view.

That is a great way of putting it! And it also gives us the idea of the reach JAFF can have, do you know if your audience is spread through the world of if they are mainly US and UK based readers despite their origins?

I’ve gotten a few sales in Australia and Canada in addition to the US and the UK and I’ve corresponded with a wonderful fan in India and a friend from Jamaica. But it has been extremely difficult to market in scattered markets like the Caribbean and equally difficult in large population areas like India. With Humorous International JAFF being a rare (and by “rare” I mean nonexistent) demographic category, it’s been difficult to know how to get my book in front of people who would enjoy it, especially overseas.

Now you’re releasing book 2, and I was expecting to see a different set of characters in it, but we will have recurring characters from book 1. How is that possible? Why are these characters returning to Camp Jane?

Oh, but the fun has just begun with the characters we met last time! Book One was just the winning role-players TRAINING WEEK. Now in Book Two, the quirky Janeite tourists arrive and they are TONS of fun. With their permission, I used tourist names that many Janeites will recognize since they are actual people from the Jane Austen online discussion groups. One really hip Janeite said that using actual people in the story is very “meta.” It sounds incredibly cool so I keep saying it. Camp Jane Book Two is totally “meta.”  (See? Cool, right?)

After having received training, and now that they know what to expect at Camp Jane, which new situations will these characters face?

The storylines begin so our role-players now have all their offstage antics between scenes of real Austen canon. Main character Maggie to figure out whether she wants a handsome but stiff Darcy or her super funny best friend Henry Tilney for a romantic partner. (Lots of us have had to walk through that minefield. And by the way, why can’t one person be funny AND handsome, hmm?) And there is a new mystery afoot at the Northanger Abbey site so we get a taste of gothic fun, too while the peril our Maggie/Lizzy faces might be fictional but might be very real, too.

That sounds exciting! Will there be a tourist with a particular importance in this book? Or is the action centered around the actors?

Everyone contributes something! But as the plot developed, I found that my (imaginary) wild school librarians club, headed by a very real and delightfully imaginative school librarian named Laura Vranes from Omaha, were just who were needed at a critical moment to HELP the actors. (The librarians are introduced in the excerpt.) And two real Janeites, both named Jen, create a strategy that the librarians implement. A real child therapist is right there to hear a critical piece of evidence from a child character. Even a blogger makes an offstage cameo. It’s not you, though, Rita. Maybe you can visit in Book 3!

I would love to visit it in real life, but fiction will work too 😉 You’ve mentioned before that Austen’s humour is a characteristic you appreciate, is that something you try to add to your novels?

Life can be pretty grim, but it is also packed with irony and the hilarious juxtaposition of serious things with ridiculous things. Better to laugh than cry is my view. I think Austen felt that way, too. One of my favorite quotes is from a letter where she said: “I could not sit seriously down to write a serious Romance under any other motive than to save my life, & if it were indispensable for me to keep it up & never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter.” I feel the same way. If writing has to be all angsty, yikes. As Monty Pythonites might say, “what’s the sport in that?”

Spot On! But do you find it easy? I’ve read a few books where Lizzy’s wit or humour weren’t achieved, is that something you’ve struggled with? Is there any method that can help you overcome that type of difficulties, if they exist?

I don’t say my every attempt is pure gold, but I’ve been a smart aleck and a student of humor for a long time now, soaking in comedic structure and timing from sitcoms when I was just a wee kiddo and later from humorist authors. So it’s pretty much who I am every day, not just when I sit down to write. It’s all about taking normal daily things and putting it alongside (or ratcheting it up to) something ridiculous. Like in Austen’s quote, she’s being forced to write “seriously” on pain of death but oh no, she can’t keep from laughing so she has to be hung! I think a writer can learn to be “humor aware” and spice their works with sprinkles of humor at regular intervals like good speakers do. But with Austen, that wry humor is a constant undercurrent and I think that is simply about how one sees the absurdities of the world around us. The old joke about how many psychologists it takes to change a lightbulb applies here. It only takes one, but the bulb really has to WANT to change. If a writer really wants to BE more funny, they must learn to SEE more funny.

You know I’ve been an enthusiast of turning this book into a series from the beginning, is that what we’re seeing here? Does this mean we will also have book 3? If so, will the characters remain the same?

Yes! Once you’ve got two, count ’em TWO, books, HUZ to the ZAH, it’s a series, I’m told. And yes, Book Three is definitely planned and germinating on my computer even now. There’s a teaser at the end of Book Two that lays the groundwork for Book Three. So your wishes are coming true, Rita. We all get to play at Camp Jane for another funny round. One, two, three, Camp Jane, y’all!


We’re librarians … so … We’ll catalogue you … yeah … Before we crush you … uh huh… That’s how we rolllllllllll … YEAH!”

The quirky Janeite guests, including a raucous band of librarians, have arrived at Camp Jane, doubling both the laughs and the troubles for the character players at the Austen-themed Regency Resort. Not only must Maggie (Lizzy Bennet) unexpectedly play two of Austen’s favorite fictional characters but behind the scenes, she must also decide between two real-life suitors, the handsome, brooding Will (Mr. Darcy) or her fun-loving friend, Henry (Mr. Tilney.) With a mystery afoot at gothic Northanger Abbey that puts Maggie in real peril, can the castmates work together to sort out fact from fiction before it’s too late?

camp jane book 2

You can find Camp Jane Book Two at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


NEW excerpt

“Chapter Six of Camp Jane Book Two: Double Trouble for Lizzy”

Meanwhile, on the croquet field behind Netherfield…

“What on earth?” Maggie exclaimed, peering through the trees as she set the hand brake on the golf cart. “They can’t all be staying at Netherfield, can they? There must be forty women out there. I can’t be seen at Netherfield until I come in later, you know, with the muddy hem. I’ll have to text Janie.” Glancing around, she pulled out her colorful phone and started tapping. “Netherfield only got the overflow, thank God,” Darcy explained. “It’s a school librarians’ club from Nebraska. They rent out all the singles rooms at the Highbury Emma location for a sort of girls’ bacchanal at the end of every school year. Rather famous for going a bit wild.” Maggie walked closer and peered out through the trees. The ladies seemed to be having a grand time indeed, many with at least one mimosa glass in hand. A ragged cheerleading squad was standing near Jane and Bingley’s bench, for example, shouting aggressively and taking cues from a de facto head cheerleader. “That’s their queen, a woman named Laura Vranes from Omaha,” Darcy whispered, pointing at the leader. The dark-haired lady’s dress was exquisitely decorated with lines from Austen’s works printed along the hem. “That headband in her hair … is it made out of donuts?” Maggie asked, tilting her head. “I love it. Eccentric, but also delicious, right?” “Yummy,” Darcy said glumly. Under Ms. Vranes’ tutelage, the cheerleaders were now performing a coordinated routine with lots of hip shaking and finger-wagging directed toward the opposing players. “We’re librarians … so … We’ll catalogue you … yeah … Before we crush you … uh huh… That’s how we rolllllllllll … YEAH!” “Well,” Maggie observed, “they don’t seem too wild.” “Maybe not yet,” Darcy replied dubiously. “But they stole a gnome last year, you know.” Maggie looked at him uncertainly. “I’m sorry, they did what?” “Stole … a … gnome,” Darcy enunciated clearly. “A three-foot-tall statue from the garden maze over at Northanger. Said it’s their mascot. Put a top hat on it, took it to the Meryton Distillery and bought it drinks all night, which of course, they had to consume. Lady Catherine was not amused.” Maggie snickered. “I like ‘em already. But I’ve got to get Jane and get going, like, now, and she’s not hearing her texts.” She waved her phone at him in frustration. “Please, Darcy, go get her for me.” “What, in that mob?” Darcy said with alarm. “Do you know what they named their pet gnome? My Little Darcy! Can you imagine what they’d do to the original? No, thank you!” “Look, you’ve got to mingle with the guests. That’s part of your role. You don’t have to like it, you know. The real Darcy would have hated it. So, hey. Show your disdain or whatever but go get Janie. Please, Will. We’re so late.” “It’s not safe!” Darcy remonstrated. “Look at the sheer numbers!” Maggie inhaled to tell Darcy what a complete wimp he was being but just then a heavy ball clunked noisily into the golf cart behind them and rolled onto the ground with a muffled thump. The younger Engelvardt daughter Dora, she of the many curtsies, entered the woods a few seconds later, awkwardly lugging a mallet with a handle taller than she was, clearly looking for something. “Uh-oh,” Maggie murmured. “You and I are not supposed to be here but I think we’re busted.”


Ms Andrews would like to offer one ebook copy of Camp Jane Book 2 to one of my readers, to apply to the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment below and let us know what you think of this idea. And if you’d like to start your adventure with book 1 first, you can find it on Kindle Unlimited and currently on sale for 0,99$ on Amazon.

 The giveaway is open until the 8th of July and the winner will be announced shortly after that.

Good luck everyone!

8 Comments

Filed under JAFF

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to open the Blog Tour for Georgina Young-Ellis most recent novel, Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy. This book is a different era romance that takes the characters from Pride & Prejudice to a WWII setting. Some of the best books I’ve read took place in that era, so I am very excited about the release of this book. Plus, this cover is incredibly beautiful, isn’t it? The cover alone would sell the book to me! But that’s not the only thing that made me excited about this book, the excerpt Ms. Young-Ellis brought today is pretty enticing too! I hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to apply to the giveaway 🙂

I would like to thank not only Ms. Young-Ellis for visiting, but also Meryton Press and Janet Taylor for allowing me to spread the word about this story 🙂 Thank you all!


Thank you so much for hosting me, Rita. I’m really excited about this release and about sharing this excerpt with your readers. I hope it makes them smile!

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They walked quietly for a while. Lizzy was desperately trying to think of something to say when Darcy spoke. “What do you hear from Jane? Is she still in London?”

“No, she’s in Hertfordshire with the family. The younger girls too.”

“And how is she?”

“It’s hard to say. When we parted ways, she was tired like everyone else, but her spirits seemed good. It’s been six months since Robert’s death. That isn’t a lot of time in the scheme of things, and time, of course, is the only true healer. I also think that our work in the hospital does her an immeasurable amount of good. To know she’s helping young men get back their health warms her heart. I know it does mine. Then there are those we cannot help. In an odd, almost macabre way, this impresses upon Jane that she’s not alone in her grief. So many have lost so much.”

He nodded thoughtfully. “Charles is on leave at the moment too. I believe he may have sent her a letter asking whether he could come down to Longbourn for a day to say hello.”

Elizabeth looked up at him. “Can I ask you something…Fitzwilliam?”

He smiled down at her. “Of course.”

“Do you think Charles may be sweet on Jane?”

He bit his lip. “I’m not sure I should say.”

“Then that answers my question.”

“Elizabeth”—he turned to her in earnest—“this is to stay between you and me. He does like her. He cares for her deeply. But out of respect for her loss, and for Robert, he would never presume to court her—not yet anyway. He’s in a bit of a state if you want to know the truth. He liked her from the moment he met her and has felt guilty about it ever since.”

“I had a feeling,” she said as her smile broke from behind clouds of worry for Jane’s happiness.

“Do you think he has a chance? Someday at least?” Darcy’s fervent plea took Elizabeth aback.

“I can’t say for sure, but I think so. I know my sister, and I can see she feels something for him. Maybe it’s just friendship right now, maybe it’s appreciation, but I think it could grow.”

“Do you, Elizabeth? Do you truly?”

Were they still talking about Jane and Charles? She decided to deflect his question. “And what about you and Anne de Bourgh?”

He stiffened. “What about us? She’s my cousin—my first cousin.”

“Your aunt and Mr. Collins don’t seem to think that’s an impediment to a union.”

“Well, I do. She’s a nice young lady, but I feel nothing for her other than what one should feel for a cousin.”

“So, you’ll marry elsewhere?”

He smiled. “That’s a very direct question.”

She could feel herself blush. She had not meant what perhaps he thought she meant. “I just mean, maybe there’s someone else on your mind. Charles’s sister is very beautiful.”

He laughed out loud. “Caroline? No. She’s not my type.”

“But she seems so—”

“Arrogant? Snobby? Elitist? Is that what you think of me?”

She looked at him; he was serious now. “No, I mean—”

“I see,” he said quietly.

Why did she always have to say whatever was on her mind?

“There is someone who has caught my eye,” he went on. “And she’s quite the opposite of Caroline Bingley.”

“Well good, then, I’m glad to hear it.” Her heart sank, and she felt foolish for it.

“Here we are,” he said. They rounded a bend, and there was the lake spread out before them.

“Oh, it’s beautiful!” The water was crystalline, reflecting the bright blue of the sky. She hurried to the edge and dipped a finger in. “It’s not too cold!”

“No, our weather is still warm enough to keep the water temperate. In another couple of weeks, though, it will begin to cool off.”

“I wish I’d brought a bathing suit in my bag. I’d come back and swim.”

“Do you like to swim?”

“Very much but haven’t had the chance for a long time.” She slipped off her espadrilles and waded up to her ankles. “Oh, it’s lovely.” She could not resist going farther. She lifted her dress just a bit and went in up to her knees. “You should try it, Fitzwilliam.”

“I’m fine,” he said with a laugh.

She did not want to be indecent, but maybe just a bit further…

“Be careful, Elizabeth, there’s a drop-off—”

It was too late. The bottom vanished. She lost her footing and was completely submerged. Elizabeth touched the mud with her toes and bobbed back up, sputtering. “Oh, my goodness!”

On shore, Darcy was already pulling off his shirt and undershirt. Then he began to unbuckle his belt.

“No! NO!” she shouted, stunned to see his muscular chest, arms, and stomach. “I’m fine. No need to come in and rescue me.”

He stopped short of pulling off his trousers. “Are you sure you do not need rescuing? As you can see, I am prepared to do my utmost.”

She would not succumb to his gibe. “Yes. See? I can just touch the bottom. I’m getting out. It won’t do to paddle about in my dress.”

“Let me help you.” He kicked off his shoes and waded in, getting the bottom of his trousers wet. He reached out to her.

She took his hand and clambered up the steep, underwater slope. As she emerged from the water, Elizabeth felt her dress hugging her body’s curves and realized her walk back to the parsonage would leave her quite compromised.

“Here,” Darcy said, handing her his shirt. “I’ll turn around. You take off your frock and pull this on over your…underthings. I’ll keep my undershirt.”

It seemed a reasonable solution. He turned his back, and she wriggled out of her outfit. She put his shirt on over her wet slip, and although the shirt dampened immediately, it was at least better than the ultra-clingy dress.

And so, he in his undershirt and trousers, and she in his shirt, walked back to the parsonage, saying little on the way. If nothing else made her feel shy in his presence, this situation accomplished that.

As they neared the house, Mr. Collins peered over the garden wall where he was trimming his roses. “What on earth? What has happened?”

“Just a misstep at the lake,” replied Darcy. “Nothing serious.”

“But Elizabeth! You’re indecent!”

“Oh, stuff and nonsense,” she replied, hoping her blush did not reveal the fact that she did feel rather exposed. “I’ll just dash inside and get changed.”

“Have a good evening, Elizabeth,” Mr. Darcy said.

“You too, Fitzwilliam. Thank you for a delightful walk.”

“I’m sorry it turned into a swim,” he said with a smile.

“That was my fault entirely.”

“I hope you don’t catch cold.”

“I’m much heartier than that, Major Darcy.”

His eyes reflected tenderness as he gazed at her. “If you say so.”

“What are the two of you going on about?” Mr. Collins reprimanded. “Elizabeth, you will catch your death of cold if you don’t get in the house. And what would Lady Catherine think if she happened to drive by? I shudder to think of it.”

The couple ignored him.

“What about your shirt?” she said to Darcy. She began to take it off.

“No!” he cried throwing his hands out in appeal.

Collins puffed up. “I’ll have Charlotte wash and press it, and I will bring it to Rosings tonight so you can have it back right away, Major Darcy.”

“I wouldn’t hear of it,” Darcy said, never looking at the man. “I have plenty of shirts. I’ll get it from you the next time I see you, Elizabeth—my jacket too, which I believe I left inside. I hope it will be soon—not because I need them but because I’m only here for a few days. It would be nice to enjoy your company again.” He made a gesture that included the Collins household.

“Why certainly,” Mr. Collins unctuously said, “if Lady Catherine deems us worthy of a second visit while you’re here. We would have you come here to dine, but with the noise of the children and our humble table, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be up to her standards.”

“I’ll speak to my aunt,” Darcy said to Elizabeth. “We’d love to have you in to dine.”

“Oh, what an honor. I must tell Charlotte. Charlotte!” Mr. Collins rushed into the house.

“Until then.” Darcy smiled, turned, and walked away.

Lizzy watched him go for a moment, appreciating what she saw.


NEW book blurb

The wind ruffled Darcy’s hair. “You’re beautiful.”

Happiness surged through Elizabeth’s body like electricity. This moment was as close to perfection as she had ever known.

1943. World War II has torn the continent since 1939 and tested families, the Bennets included. Elizabeth and Jane nurse wounded soldiers and civilians in a London hospital. The other sisters volunteer as best suits their inclinations. Mr. Bennet rattles about Longbourn. Wickham sniffs about the edges of the estate—and the Bennet daughters.

Even the ever-present threat of death from the skies cannot prepare Jane and Lizzy for the most devastating news. The words one never wishes to hear are delivered by two officers, each scarred by years on the front lines. In the dark days that follow, devotion is tested, and affection blooms.

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy drops Jane Austen’s timeless characters into the midst of the most horrific conflict in human history. Their trail twists and encounters those who would turn sacrifice to their profit. Follow the women of Longbourn as they navigate the rocks and shoals of wartime Great Britain to endure misunderstandings and discover lasting love.

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You can find Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


NEW author bio

Georgina lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Jon, who is an artist and professor of Media Arts. In 2015, they moved from New York City, where they lived for eighteen years, to Portland Oregon. Their son, a professional musician and sound engineer, still lives in Brooklyn. Georgina is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and was a stage actress for many years. Born and raised in the Southwest, she went to school in New York, graduating from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. She’s also a language professor and, of course, a writer, recently graduating from Portland State University with a master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. In 2022 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to identify and connect with emerging female writers in Mexico and support them to free their literary voices. 

Georgina

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Contact Info

Facebook

Instagram 

Twitter

Blog, Nerd Girls, Romantics, and Time Travelers 

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The blog tour has just begun! Stop by the other blogs for more information about this new book 🙂

June 27 From Pemberley to Milton

June 28 My Jane Austen Book Club

June 29 So little time…

June 30 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

July 1 Babblings of a Bookworm

July 2 My Vices and Weaknesses


Meryton Press is giving away six eBooks of Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis. To apply to it, all you have to do is click on this link.

Good luck everyone!

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35 Comments

Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Giveaway Winners Announcement

Good afternoon everyone,

I’ve been a little absent this week with only one review published, but life often gets in the way and I hope you’ll forgive me for that. I’m still happy to see that I’ve reviewed 5 books this month, but somewhat sad for letting my TBR get out of control once more. Over the last months I had been gradually reducing, but this month…well…I read to little and received many new books, so I’ll need at least 3 months to get back to where I was in May.

Anyway, I am here today because I need to announce the winners of two giveaways that were hosted here at From Pemberley to Milton, one for an ebook copy of When Charlotte Became Romantic, and another one for Dance the Tide. These ebooks were offered by the authors, so I would like to thank Victoria Kincaid and Cat Andrews for stopping by with gifts to my readers!

Now, without further ado, the winners are:

When Charlotte Became Romantic

*** J. W. Garrett***

Dance the Tide

*** Robin G.***

I would like to ask the winners to please send your email contacts and the amazon store you use to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that the prizes may be sent to you.

Happy Reading everyone!

9 Comments

Filed under JAFF

The Luxury of Silence by Susan Adriani

5 stars

In this Pride & Prejudice variation Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet at Oakham Mount before the Meryton Assembly, and that first encounter will change the dynamics of their relationship throughout their entire acquaintance.

In The Luxury of Silence, Mr. Darcy is truly affected with the events that transpired in Ramsgate over the summer, and when he travels to Hertfordshire with his friend Bingley, he decides to take Georgiana with him to try to improve her spirits. What no one seems to realize, except Elizabeth Bennet, is that Mr. Darcy is also in very low spirits, and he needs someone to help him cope with his feelings of guilt, regret, and loneliness. As a beautiful friendship develops between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, she seems to truly listen to him and to understand what is in his heart. She becomes the best friend he could ever have and draws him out of his melancholic state. In turn, Mr. Darcy recognizes in Elizabeth a lady with intelligence, compassion, and liveliness, all the characteristics he could wish for in a wife, and the feeling of being understood and cared for is stronger than anything he has ever felt, so he slowly allows his heart to open to Elizabeth.

This is a low angst book, and if you know me, you know I don’t usually love low angst books where the pages are filled with only Elizabeth and Darcy falling in love with one another, but this book is so beautifully written that I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have read this year! If someone who doesn’t usually like low angst fell in love with this book, you can only imagine how much readers who like low angst will love it!

The writing style in The Luxury of Silence is simultaneously engaging and immersive, and I felt myself right beside Elizabeth and Darcy during their walks or conversations in the dark, empty rooms of Longbourn or Netherfield. The author was able to make me feel exactly what both characters were feeling because instead of telling me what they were feeling, she showed it to me with their dialogues and actions.

I loved the portrayal of both Darcy and Elizabeth in this book because they were still the same characters Austen developed but shown in a different light. They were both rational creatures and there weren’t any unnecessary misunderstandings or useless discussions, there was only a beautiful friendship that grew into a stout love. The love story in The Luxury of Silence was beautiful and intense, the characters feelings grew slowly and steadily, and the narrative was full of tender scenes that captured my heart.

The characters were beautifully written and developed and I particularly liked the way that Darcy’s soul was laid before us, the depth of his feelings was the driving force of this novel and what made me read it nonstop.

I also liked the approach the author had towards Lydia and Kitty, I liked the fact that they were still true to Austen’s characters, but when given a chance to interact with other people, showed there was more to them then silliness. The friendship they developed with Georgiana, and the protectiveness Darcy developed for them was endearing and a plus in this novel.

The Luxury of Silence is an intense romance that is Darcy and Elizabeth centric. These two characters occupy most of the pages of the novel as there are no villains in their way, only a beautiful, slow, and steady development of an ardent relationship between them. I highly recommend this book to readers who love a good romance.

You can find The Luxury of Silence at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited 

 

10 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Dance the Tide by Cat Andrews – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to welcome Cat Andrews at From Pemberley to Milton today to share an emotional excerpt of her recently released book Dance the Tide. Ms. Andrews has admitted this is her angstier book, and if you know me, you know this made me very happy! I don’t expect this book to be angsty, but I do love some angst, so I am curious to see how this will play out. I know that part of the angst is created by some time that Elizabeth and Darcy spend apart, and the excerpt Ms. Andrews chose to share with you follows that separation, or maybe…the beginning of a reconciliation? Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thank you for visiting once more Ms. Andrews, it is a true pleasure to have you here, and I wish the very best of luck with this new book!


Hello and happy Friday (or as I like to call it, Fri-yay). I’m happy to be here at From Pemberley to Milton, visiting Rita once again! Thank you, Rita, for taking part in the blog tour for my newest (yet oldest) contemporary Pride and Prejudice variation, called Dance the Tide. I’m happy to be sharing an excerpt with you today. 

This story has a bit more angst than my first two. There is a gap of time when, after finding what they thought was a forever love, Will Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet aren’t together. During this time, I show what each of them is going through, what their thoughts are, and how they’re coping with being apart, though only one of them is truly responsible for the fracture. 

This particular scene happens when Will has decided he’s had enough of being apart, and he goes looking for Elizabeth, who happens to be in South Carolina for work and staying at a house with some coworkers. Of course, distance and roommates don’t stop Will… This scene happens the day after they first see each other. Some things have happened, and he’s looking for answers and explanations. 

Happy reading!

 

***

When Elizabeth walked into the living room, she and Will stared at each other for a long, awkward moment. Once again, she felt a surge of warmth as she looked him over. He appeared tired and had shadows under his eyes, but he looked good.  

“Come on, we can go out back,” she said softly.

She led him through the house, heading for the back deck; it was about as much privacy as they would be afforded. A wall of humidity hit her as soon as she walked outside, making it sticky and uncomfortable. 

“How–how are you feeling?” he asked hesitantly. “Um, the concussion.”

She shrugged. “I’m fine. The headaches have pretty much stopped.” She leaned against the railing, her eyes averted from his, and knew he was waiting for her to make the first move. “Why did you come here?” 

“I wanted to see you. I told you that already.”

She shook her head, and it was as if the conversation they’d started in the parking lot had never been interrupted. 

“This is what I was talking about last night, Will! It’s all about you and what you want. I can’t believe you came down here, followed me to a bar, and got up on that stage. Honestly, what were you thinking? That you’d sing me a song and everything would be okay?”

“No.”

She continued on as if he hadn’t spoken. “It wasn’t so long ago that you asked me to leave you alone. And you know what? I did. Why can’t you do the same for me?” 

He eyed her warily but said nothing. She turned her back on him as she looked out over the yard, and it was silent for a long moment before she turned to face him again. 

“When I got home from the hospital and you found out I was going to Boston with Jane, you called me and told me not to come. You told me you didn’t want to see me or talk to me. Not yet, you said. And I listened. I stayed away. I didn’t call, I didn’t text, and I didn’t go after you.” She took a deep breath. “God knows I wanted to, because I felt like–I felt like I was dying inside. But I let you go. I let you have your time, and your space, and do you know what the worst thing about it was? I didn’t even know why you needed it or wanted it, because you wouldn’t talk to me! But I gave it to you anyway, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. At least you know why I’m hurting, why I’m angry. Now it’s your turn to give me what I need.”

“I only came here to see you, hoping maybe, maybe, you’d be willing to talk to me. The song—” He grunted. “Okay, that was stupid, I admit it. I shouldn’t have done that, even though I meant every word. But as far as giving you what you need… You made it pretty obvious what you wanted and needed last night.”

“Last night was a mistake. That’s why I left this morning. It was a mistake.”

His eyes widened, and she could see that she’d hurt him, though he quickly schooled his expression. 

“You can call it that if you want, but that’s not what it was to me.” His eyes softened. “Not having you there when I woke up this morning…it was lousy. But five days ago, you told me you still love me. That’s why last night happened, whether you want to admit it or not. That’s why I’m not giving up.”

“Fine. I wanted you last night, I admit it. You didn’t instigate anything; it was all me. I wanted it to happen, and I knew it would as soon as I saw you. But it’s done, it’s over with.”

“And you got to walk away from me.”

Her mouth dropped open. “That’s not what this is about.”

“Whether you planned it that way or not, that’s what happened. I came here to see you, to talk to you. That’s it. You can’t tell me that when you were kissing me, encouraging me to take you to the inn, refusing to let me talk, that you didn’t realize you’d be building up my hopes. I wanted to talk, you wanted to have sex.”

“You didn’t seem opposed to it.”

“Of course I wasn’t, why would I be?” He closed the distance between them. “The woman I love was welcoming me back into her arms! How could I walk away from that, from you? And you knew I wouldn’t. So now I need to know—was last night a sign that maybe, maybe you’re considering giving me another chance? Or was it just a way for you to get me out of your system for good, so that you can say goodbye and not look back?”

She risked a glance at him. “I don’t–I can’t answer that. I don’t know.”

“Okay.” He reached up to rub his face with one hand. “Um, I’ll be leaving soon. I have an early afternoon flight back to Boston.

She nodded, unsure what to say. 

“I really just came here to see you,” he said softly. “And no matter how you feel about it, I’m not sorry about last night. I can’t be. As for everything else… You know how I feel, you know how sorr—”

“Stop, Will. Enough. I know you’re sorry. I know. But you have to give me some space. Let me work through this. When I want to talk to you, if I want to talk to you, I’ll let you know.”

“When.”

If. Please don’t push it.” 

“I won’t.” 

He leaned closer to her, and she knew he wanted to kiss her—and she also knew she would let him. Just this one last time. It wasn’t a deep, passionate kiss; it was soft and gentle and loving and entirely too brief. 

“Bye, Lizzy.”

“Bye, Will.” 

Her heart pounded as she said the words, and felt like it was breaking all over again.


NEW book blurb

The higher the wall around your heart, the harder you fall when someone knocks it down.

Wealthy businessman Will Darcy is fiercely protective of his privacy and his family. When his sister is the victim of a violent crime, he takes her away from Boston to their Cape Cod beach house, where he hopes she can heal in peace—and he can restore his equilibrium.

Ecohydrologist Elizabeth Bennet is happily residing in the seaside town where she grew up. Her career, friends, and family keep her busy, allowing her to avoid any romantic entanglements—as those only lead to heartbreak.

A brief encounter on the beach between Elizabeth and Will leads to misunderstandings and lousy first impressions. They go their separate ways, confident they’ll never see each other again. But fate has other plans when Will turns out to be the best friend of her sister’s boyfriend.

When they meet again under more favorable circumstances, Will soon realizes his initial impressions of Elizabeth were unfounded—and really, her eyes are magnificent. And with some dedicated effort, Elizabeth begins to see a different man—the real Will—buried beneath his arrogant, reticent façade.

Romance blossoms as Elizabeth struggles to conquer her insecurities and Will works to overcome his distrust. But every relationship occasionally finds itself in rough waters, and greater forces can tug a couple under the waves. For their love to triumph, Will and Elizabeth will need to have faith in one another, move beyond their fears…and dare to dance the tide.

This novel is a contemporary, non-Canon variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It contains adult content and is meant for mature readers. Miscarriages and a sexual assault occur off-page, but are discussed during the course of the story.

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Dance the Tide_ebook_cover

You can find Dance the Tide at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


NEW author bio

Cat Andrews has always been an avid reader, but didn’t discover Jane Austen until her love of a certain British actor led her to the BBC’s 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, because she just had to know—why all the fuss over this Darcy guy? What followed her viewing of that glorious miniseries was an inhalation of and immediate fixation on all of Austen’s novels, though Pride and Prejudice remains her favorite.

Her discovery of Jane Austen Fan Fiction opened up a whole new world, and thus began her addiction, and months and months of sleep deprivation, as she immersed herself in JAFF. After reading a modern Pride and Prejudice variation that she fell in love with, she was inspired to begin a cautious but earnest foray into the world of writing. 

In real life, Cat has spent thirty-plus years working in healthcare. She enjoys life on the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and more often than not, you can find her at the beach with a book in her hand and her toes in the sand.Dance the Tide is her third novel.

Contact/Social Media:

Website: http://www.catandrews.com

Email: catandrews.author@gmail.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/cat_a_auth

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cat.andrews.583

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/cat_andrews_author


Cat Andrews would like to offer an ebook copy of Dance the Tide to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and open until the 24th of June. To apply to it, all you have to do is leave a comment in this post letting us know what you think of the excerpt or the blurb 🙂

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Transforming Mr. Darcy by Melanie Rachel

4 stars

Transforming Mr. Darcy is a fairy tale novella in which many different aspects of fairy tales such as Cinderella or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs influences the storyline of Pride and Prejudice. Readers must be perfectly aware that this novella is a fairy tale, and therefore, will depict many unrealistic situations. If you are unwilling to accept that, it is best for you not to read the book, or you’ll be disappointed. However, if you are willing to accept the fairy tale aspect of this novella, then you will have a great time as this story is funny, romantic and entertaining.

This story starts with Mr. Bingley and his party’s arrival at Hertfordshire, and we witness the well known “she is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me” scene, however, this time, it is not Elizabeth who hears the comment, it is her fairy godmother. In this magical story, fairies are rare, and therefore most people do not believe they exist, but the Bennet family still has two of them, and their main function is to help the young ladies of the household to find suitable husbands (yes, this is a dreamy situation for Mrs. Bennet). When Elizabeth’s fairy godmother hears this insult, she is outraged and starts using her magical powers to get back at Mr. Darcy for his rudeness. This is very funny in the beginning, but as things progress, Elizabeth is forced to intervene, lest her fairy godmother goes to far in her revenge and as Elizabeth tries to protect Mr. Darcy, she sees a different side of him, and obviously, her feelings become much stronger than she would have liked.

I found this story lighthearted, funny, but also well thought of and romantic. The author found a very creative way to make both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy improve what they needed to improve to recognize the worth in each other and to be the perfect pair. The story is also very well written, and that was actually the only way the author could have make this story work for a reader such as me. To be honest, I never thought I would like this type of book, but the characters and the plot are very well built. I was able to understand where the story was going, what was the purpose of each character and what was the conducting line of the plot, so I ended up liking this novella very much.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book immensely because it was very funny, and as the story progressed, and the fairy tale deepened, I started thinking that the end could either make it or break it because everything could make perfect sense in the realm of a fairy tale, or it could be just a Pride and Prejudice story with fairy tale elements added in it without a logical of its own. I am pleased to say that everything made perfect sense in the end. I particularly liked the ending of this book when Elizabeth’s fairy godmother explains which was her plan the entire time. I had already guessed there was much more to it then we are made to think of initially, but the author was able to explain everything in a very satisfying manner.

Summing up, Transforming Mr. Darcy is a bright and clever fairy tale novella where the characters from Pride and Prejudice are forced to look at their flaws and work on their personalities to achieve happiness. It is a story where both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth prove the strength of their love under dire situations, and where HEA is a much-deserved reward. I recommend it to readers who enjoy short, funny and entertaining stories where reality is not mandatory. I never expected to like it as much as I did, but Melanie Rachel certainly knows how to tell a story and engage readers in satisfying and intense stories 🙂 

You can find Transforming Mr. Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Audible


 

 

7 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

A Faithful Narrative by Mary Smythe

a faithful narrative4.5 stars

After spending several days in Elizabeth’s company at Kent, Mr. Darcy feels unable to repress his feelings any longer so he decides to propose, but just before he can do so, he finds Elizabeth’s journal and even though he is not tempted to read it, when he spots his name, he cannot resist reading a few lines. Once he discovers how much she despises him, he cannot avoid reading other passages and learns there is a long way he needs to go to change the way others perceive his character.

The first chapters of this book are very promising, and I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to know how both characters would react to this change of events. What would Mr. Darcy do once he discovered Elizabeth’s true feelings for him? And what would Elizabeth do when she learned that not only he read her diary, but also knows what she thinks of him?

The reason why I enjoyed this novel so much was not only the way it is written, but also the answer to those questions.

I loved the way Mr. Darcy reacted to this news, first he was appalled, then he was angry, but finally he accepted that Elizabeth’s charges were reasonable. I loved the strategy he came up to return her the diary, the way he said goodbye, and his cautionary attitude once he was back at Longbourn. Mr. Darcy was a gentleman throughout the story, and I could feel how much he loved Elizabeth, how sorry he was for the first impression he left in her and the consequences of his attitudes.

I also liked the way Elizabeth handled the entire situation, and even her proactive approach to solve this issue. Her courage always rises to the occasion, right? Well, she wasn’t afraid to reach out to Mr. Darcy and fight for her happiness, I loved that about her.

I also enjoyed the fact that the author didn’t rush the characters feelings in this novel and provided us with a satisfactory ending that was believable giving the timeframe of the book.

A Faithfull Narrative is a short novella that will captivate readers. Its unique premise is appealing and the behaviors of the characters enchanting. I recommend it to readers looking for a short Elizabeth and Darcy centered story.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

This audiobook was the first I heard narrated by Amanda Parrott and I have to say it was very pleasing to hear. There was nothing standing out in her narration, which means I was able to get immersed in the story, so I would definitely recommend the audiobook version.

 

You can find A Faithful Narrative at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and Audible


 

4 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements by Mary Pagones

pride prejudice and personal statements4.5 stars

I’ve had Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements in my TBR for a couple of years, and I feel ashamed to admit I’ve only read it this month, because even if this is not exactly a modernization of a Jane Austen novel, it is a very interesting Austen inspired book that I should have read sooner.

Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements is told in the first person, and it is through the eyes of the main character, Liss Tennant, that the reader learns how hard senior year can be for American students. The book will reveal Liss’s many struggles, but the main focus of the story is the difficulty of choosing not only a major, but also which college to attend. While being presented with many well-placed Austen references, the reader will learn Liss’s academic problems, but also the ones of her friends, enemies and frenemies.

Even if it was hard to understand some of the characteristics of the American educational system, and especially impossible to relate to the characters main struggles because I come from a reality that is not even slightly similar, I found it very interesting to learn more about the educational system in America. This book was not only entertaining but also informative and learning something new is one of the best things we can have in a book.  

I liked the main character and the fact that she has strong beliefs and is willing to go all the way for them. I loved to see her grow through the entire year and mature by the end of the book. I’ve also loved Mr. Clarke, Liss’s English teacher. Not only did I love his strength of character, was touched by his sadness, and impressed with his willingness to help others, but I also loved his view about education. I couldn’t agree more with him, when he says that there is a decrease in the quality of student’s papers because that is visible in many different aspects of society, and I also agree with him that patronizing and over grading everything isn’t the solution. Sure, it will make people feel better about themselves, but will it truly help them? Is it helpful to allow people to be mediocre while making them believe they are good simply because no one ever tells them what and how they need to improve? I appreciated the reality the author brought to this tale by showing us different perspectives, both in the student’s manner of handling the pressure they were having, their dedication to school and their learning process, or lack thereof, but also by demonstrating Mr. Clarke’s opposing view to the one of some helicopter parents present in the narrative. In a way this book is extremely modern and a reflex of our society. It was almost as if Liss and her dad were from a different generation then some of her colleagues and their parents, and that generational difference was also interesting to witness.

In the beginning I was afraid the Austen details would become a little cheesy, but they did not. In fact, it was exciting to see how the author added to this novel some of Austen’s sentences or character traits. We could not only see the characters love for Austen’s work, but also see them learn from it, and that was another aspect I enjoyed in this book.

I can’t exactly say this is a young adult novel, but it is a novel about young adults with a huge Austen influence. It is a very modern book that will reveal many different approaches to life with which most readers will relate. I think that in a discreet manner this book tackles many different issues that are relevant for our society, and I do recommend reading it. If you like modern tales that find a way to connect with Jane Austen, Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements may be an appealing book for you.

 

You can find Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


 

4 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion

Any Fair Interference by Nan Harrison

any fair interference3.5 stars

In Any Fair Interference Mr. Bennet falls ill shortly after the Bingley’s departure from Netherfield Park and the emotional consequences for his family, especially Elizabeth are deep. As the narrative progresses, we will see Elizabeth managing her father’s estate, trying to improve her sisters’ behaviors, and dreaming of Mr. Darcy whom she comes to believe is the perfect fit for her.

Nan Harrison decided to bring several new characters to the spotlight and the points of view in this book are shared between Elizabeth, Darcy, but also Mr. Hurst, Caroline Bingley, etc. I liked the fact that these characters were given a voice, and I particularly loved the way Mr. and Mrs. Hurst were portrayed. Their story was endearing, and it was invigorating to see that without Caroline’s presence they were able to conduct themselves differently and be much happier in their marriage. However, especially in the beginning of the book, I found it a little hard to concentrate with so many points of view changing so frequently. I also felt many storylines could have been removed or strongly reduced as they didn’t add much to the narrative, namely the entire Caroline Bingley arc and the details of the lives of her friends. I believe explaining she was away for some reason would have achieved the same result and allowed the book to focus on the main story that was occurring instead of distracting readers with this secondary plot and new secondary characters who were irrelevant to the Darcy/Elizabeth arc.

I enjoyed Elizabeth’s inner struggles as it demonstrated she was a three-dimensional character who went through a hard time in life and had to overcome it somehow. I enjoyed understanding her deepest feelings and seeing how she was dealing with her situation in life, having lost my own father a few years ago, I could particularly relate with how she dealt with her feelings, but I also found it hard to believe that she would fall in love with Mr. Darcy after the Netherfield Ball without meeting him personally, and only because she was dreaming about him. In my perspective Darcy and Elizabeth met too late in the story, and because of that, it was harder to engage in it and feel their love growing for one another.  

I believe Any Fair Interference has two strong storylines, but I would have preferred for them to be developed separately in two different books because in the end, I didn’t feel as engaged as I could have with either the Hursts storyline or the Darcy/Elizabeth one.

Summing up, in Any Fair Interference Nan Harrison brought some interesting ideas upfront and revealed to us an appealing background story for the Hursts. It shows the reader there is always time to fight for happiness, no mater what lies in the past and provides us with a sense of hope that is necessary in our daily lives. Readers who enjoy books that focus mainly on the characters inner thoughts and who do not mind having little interactions between Darcy and Elizabeth will enjoy this one.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

Any Fair Interference was the first audiobook narrated by Lauren Aycock I listened to and I really liked her narration. It was very pleasant to hear her tell us this story and I do recommend the audio version if you like audiobooks.

 

You can find Any Fair Interference at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and Audible


 

2 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Persuasion