Category Archives: giveaway

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Q&A with Julie Klassen and Giveaway

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Hello dear readers

Today I bring you a very different post, a small interview with author Julie Klassen concerning her latest novel The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill.

This is a different post because The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is not a JAFF book, but Julie Klassen is an enthusiast of Jane Austen and she transports the magic of Jane ‘s regency world into her books. I’ve hear much about this author and could not resist being a part of this wonderful blog tour. I’m honored to be the first stop in it and I hope you enjoy reading Julie Klassen’s answers as much as I did 😉 The premise of this book is captivating, but Mrs. Klassen’s enthusiasm regarding the inn’s importance in regency England was the final incentive to put this book at the beginning of my TBR pile. I’m looking forward to read it and share my opinion with you, until then, please see the blurb and Mrs. Klassen interview 🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

 

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

Visit talesfromivyhill.com to find a map of the village, character profiles, a book giveaway, and more!

You can find this book at:

Amazon.com – The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

Amazon.co.uk – The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

 

 

***Author Bio***

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JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Her books have been honored with the Christy Award for Historical Romance, the Minnesota Book Award, and the Midwest Book Award, among others. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.

 

 

***Q&A with Julie Klassen***

 

What can you tell us about the series, Tales From Ivy Hill?

The series tells the stories of four women facing life-altering challenges with the help of their quirky neighbors and intriguing newcomers. Each novel will have a romance and drama wrap up in a hopefully satisfying way, while the main character’s story spans all three books. The series celebrates the strong bonds of friendship, because in a small village like Ivy Hill, everyone is connected, like leaves on a vine.

 

Why did you choose to set the first book in the series at an inn?

In the early nineteenth century, before the advent of trains, the lifeblood of many small villages were their coaching inns. In this era, stage and mail coaches were the primary means of travel, and they stopped at coaching inns along the way to change horses, let passengers take a meal, or stay the night. Coaching inns were restaurant, hotel, “train” station, travel agency, livery, and repair shop, all rolled into one. I think it’s a wonderful setting for a series, providing a backdrop for a cast of regulars who work at or frequent the inn, as well as for new people who are traveling through.

 

Do you as the author have a favorite resident of Ivy Hill?

I like so many residents, but would have to say Thora Bell. Her gruff exterior disguises a hidden vulnerability, and her sassy directness, and dry, often self-deprecating sense of humor endeared her to me, if that’s not a weird thing to say about a fictional character I created. 🙂

 

What real-life locations inspired the setting of the series?

Ivy Hill is a fictional place, but it was inspired by the National Trust village of Lacock in Wiltshire, which I’ve had the privilege of visiting a few times. Lacock was used as a film location for scenes in Pride & Prejudice (1995), Cranford (2007), Emma (1996), and recently, a market scene in Downton Abbey (season 6). Even though I am using Lacock as a basic model for Ivy Hill, I’ve placed the village farther south, on the old Devonport-London Royal Mail route, not far from Salisbury and the real village of Great Wishford.

 

Assume for a moment that Mr. Darcy had never met Elizabeth. Which of your heroines would be most likely to attract his interest?

What a fun question. I would guess that Mr. Darcy would admire Miss Rachel Ashford. She might be a little proud, and not a great reader, but I don’t think he would be able to resist her gentle beauty and fine eyes.

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***Blog Tour Schedule***

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December 5: Author Q&A on Pemberley to Milton

December 6: Excerpt on My Love for Jane Austen

December 8: Review on Laura’s Reviews

December 9: Book Spotlight on More Agreeably Engaged

December 10: Review on A Bookish Way of Life

December 11: Review and Excerpt on Delighted Reader Book Reviews

December 12: British Show Inspiration Guest Post on Living Read Girl

December 13: Historical Background Guest Post on English Historical Fiction Authors

December 14: Review on Calico Critic

December 15: Excerpt on So Little Time

December 16: Review and Author Q&A on My Jane Austen Book Club

December 17: Review on Just Jane 1813

December 18: Excerpt on Babblings of a Book Worm

December 19: Review on Austenesque Reviews

December 20: Guest Post on Jane Austen in Vermont

December 21: Review on Luxury Reading

 

 

***It’s giveaway time***

Be sure to enter the giveaway before you leave—the winner will receive a $20 Teavana gift card and a package of four inspirational British romances from four different eras (The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen, A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell, The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White, Not by Sight by Kate Breslin). The winner will be notified on December 22.

To enter click the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filed under giveaway, interview

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Guest Post & Giveaway

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Hello dear readers,

Welcome to the last stop of The Courtship of Edward Gardiner blog tour! It’s been a long but interesting tour and I personally enjoyed all stops that brought us excerpts, reviews and vignettes of this wonderful book!

I would like to thank all bloggers involved in this tour as their dedication, efforts and kind words were essential to show everyone the worth of this story. Thank you so much for all your hard work and support!!!

I would also like to praise Nicole Clarkston for her creativity! I always love to read the new scenes she creates for the blog tours 🙂 My love for her vignettes started with Northern Rain, but it surely continued with The Courtship of Edward Gardiner, and I’m very happy to see she chose a seasonal vignette to finish the blog tour at From Pemberley to Milton 🙂

 

***Guest Post***

In keeping with one of my very favourite times of year, today I give you a vignette from the early days of Edward and Madeline’s marriage. Life is unfolding beautifully at their feet, and they celebrate the joyous day in their new home, surrounded by loved ones. I hope each of you will be similarly blessed this year.

-Nicole

***

First Christmas

Edward Gardiner slowly paraded down the staircase of his new home, his heart full and his spirits buoyant. This was to be his first Christmas as the master of a fine house, the first year of lavishly bestowing gifts upon so many now in his employ, and the first year of hosting his Meryton relations in London, rather than going to his sisters as he always had. Most importantly of all, it was his first year of waking with his very dearest treasure wrapped in his arms. Perhaps no other would have perceived the purpose of his motion, but he tipped his chin very slightly down and to the left as he walked, drawing a delicious breath. Madeline’s fragrance still lingered near his neck, where she had kissed and nuzzled him only moments ago.

It was with no small measure of satisfaction that he gained the bottom of the stairs to find the house still largely quiet. His sisters would remain abed at least another hour, and the Bennet children, fatigued from their journey, would likely follow suit. The only soul he expected to encounter was that of his brother, Thomas Bennet. In this, he was not disappointed, for the library had already been commandeered by that reclusive fellow. It seemed, however, that Bennet was not alone.

“Merry Christmas, Uncle!” Elizabeth chirped brightly from the window seat, where she had been flipping through one of his newest books. She set it aside carefully- for a mercy- and bounced to him with her freshly scrubbed face shining.

“And a very Merry Christmas to you, Lizzy!” he scooped her up and gave her a joyful peck on the cheek. “And to you, Thomas,” he turned, extending his greeting to his brother-in-law.

“Aye, it is that,” the other nodded agreeably, his eyes only briefly rising from his book. “For another hour or two, at least.” He lifted his brows, wetted his fingers, and turned a page.

Elizabeth peered up at her uncle with a quizzical little frown, a furrowed brow, and a teasing sparkle in her eyes. Edward sighed, shaking his head. “Come, Lizzy, have you seen all of the greens yet? Does the house not look beautiful this morning?”

She nodded. “Uncle, when may we open our presents?”

“Oh! You must wait, Elizabeth. Did you expect to open yours before your sisters are even dressed?”

“Yes,” she admitted guilelessly.

“I tell you what,” he chuckled, “I’ve a special surprise for your aunt. Would you help me to prepare it for her?”

Her brilliant eyes glittered afresh and she caught her lip between her teeth. “Oh, tell me, what is it? Did you buy her a phaeton and ponies?”

He laughed. “You must wait and see! Come, I think your father would enjoy having the library to himself anyway.”

Three hours later, Elizabeth stood beside her uncle as he welcomed the entire family to the drawing room. “Oh, brother!” cried Fanny Bennet, fluttering her fan. “I knew it would be lovely! Why, Sister, simply look at the bowers, and the ribbons, and… oh! The lace on that table, so charming! Where ever did you find such exquisite decorations?”

Edward beamed proudly at his wife, who had come to his other side. “Madeline deserves the credit. There, my dear, do you see? You feared making a poor impression, but I have never seen a lovelier home than my own this day.”

Madeline blushed prettily, catching her father’s eye as he bounced little Mary Bennet upon his knee. “My dear, I believe you would say so even if I had chosen to decorate the house in brown and yellow, instead of the proper colours!”

“It is a clever man who pays his compliments wisely,” affirmed Thomas Bennet, lifting his glass in a mock salute.

“Indeed!” Edward agreed. “And to that end, I know I am breaking somewhat with tradition, but I should like to give you the first gift, my dear. Lizzy?”

“Yes, Uncle!” Elizabeth dove for the pile of gifts, attempting to wrap her arms about an especially large one right in the middle. Three or four other boxes toppled as she dislodged the base of the stack, but she wrestled determinedly until she had dragged it free.

“Edward, you should not have!” Madeline objected. “What could possibly…?”

Edward laughed and bent to assist Elizabeth. The box was awkward rather than heavy, but even he found it more convenient to drag than to lift. “Open it, my love!”

Madeline bit her lip and tilted her head askance. The box was lovingly wrapped and decorated so beautifully that she hated to break it open. Moreover, her natural modesty objected to what was clearly a large and lavish gift from her husband. What was everyone else to think? Nonetheless, she grasped the ribbon and gave a gentle tug. Carefully she peeled away the folds of paper, taking the greatest pains that not one single corner should be ripped in her haste. Elizabeth started to bounce.

The paper fell away, Madeline lifted the lid of the box, and beheld… another box. She darted a quick look to Edward, and found his eyes dancing with mirth. This box was even more exquisitely wrapped than the first, and still quite large. Edward helped her to lift it out, and with a little laugh, she began to unwrap this box as well. Inside the second box was a third, this one wrapped in gold foil. “Oh, Edward!” she giggled in feigned exasperation.

Fanny Bennet and most of her daughters were beginning to grow restless. To cries of impatience and admiration, with not a little smattering of children clamoring to see over one another, Madeline worked her way through four more boxes. Where Edward had found such a perfect assortment of nesting boxes, she could not fathom, but his cheeks grew ever brighter as she continued to add to the mounting pile of discarded wrapping.

Inside the seventh box, Madeline discovered a nest of tawny packing material, concealing and protecting something precious within. She lifted her brows teasingly at Edward, catching Elizabeth’s bubbling delight as she did so. “For such a large box to begin, whatever is inside must be quite small!”

“It is often so, is it not, my dear? The most magnificent blessings are often in the smallest details.”

Her eyes pricked a little at the warmth in his tones, and she began to suspect that whatever lay within was some priceless treasure- something in which she would delight for the rest of her life. Blinking quickly, she began to search through the rustling packing material until her fingers found a small, humble little box. It was wrapped simply in brown paper and string, and fit within the palm of her hand. She raised her eyes to Edward and he gave her a small nod of encouragement.

Drawing breath, she pulled the string and reverently unfolded the very last of the wrapping, then lifted the lid of the box. Inside was a bright, shining key. She pinched it gingerly between her fingers and held it up with questioning eyes.

Edward came near to rest a hand upon her shoulder and spoke lowly into her ear. “It is a key to my study desk,” he told her quietly. “I know it seems a simple thing, my love, but it is yours as much as it is mine. Everything I am, every facet of my life, is as an open book to you. I want you forever by my side, Madeline, sharing in my heart, my labours, my hopes. I lay all before you, and desire you as my partner in every corner of this life.”

Her throat had tightened and her eyes burned in overpowering joy as she blinked down at his gift- that tiny little object which unlocked his entire world. “It is as you say, my love,” she whispered. “The most priceless treasures are often very small.” She looked up and caught Jane Bennet’s eye. Understanding at once, Jane leapt to the pile of gifts to find a small, soft parcel, and brought it to her aunt.

Madeline took it and gave it into Edward’s hand. “Merry Christmas, my darling!”

His brow creased, he tore silently into the folds of tissue. The item within emerged, and he held it up in some confusion. “What is it?”

Laughing lightly, Madeline took it from him and unfolded the downy material for him to examine. “It is a bonnet… for an infant.”

His face washed in wonder. “A… an infant? Madeline!” He gasped, then caught up his wife in his arms and spun her dizzily about. “Are you certain? We must speak of this at once!” Not delaying even a moment upon his resolution, the determined husband carried his surprised young wife from the drawing room and mounted the stairs. The remaining guests craned their necks to peer round the

doorway in curiosity as the couple departed so unceremoniously, the echoes of their laughter sounding through the entire house.

Thomas Bennet cleared his throat. “Well,” began he, with a suspicious twinkle in his eye. “It seems we must carry on without our host and hostess. Mr Fairbanks, sir, would you care to do the honours?”

Mr Fairbanks, his eyes weak and his smile radiant, took up the invitation. He clasped Mary’s little hand ever more fervently, glorying in the knowledge that soon he might cradle his own flesh and blood once more. Before he gave out the next gift, he hesitated and his squinted gaze passed over each person in that room- his new family. Slowly, he began to nod, as if confirming to himself all that his old heart whispered. “’And it was good,’” he softly quoted the ancient line. “Very good. Merry Christmas!”

 

***

I hope you have enjoyed this final vignette! It made me wish I could read more and more… But I’ve got to stop asking for more vignettes right?

In case you find Mrs. Clarkston’s writing as captivating as I do, you can always find out more about her and her work through the following contact links:

WebsiteNicole Clarkston

Goodreads Author Page

Goodreads Blog

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

 

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***It’s giveaway time***

Nicole Clarkston would like to offer one last eBook copy of The Courtship of Edward Gardiner. All you have to do to be entitled to it is comment on this post. Let us know what you thought of this seasonal excerpt or just share your opinion on P&P’s secondary characters. The giveaway is international and is open until the 15th of December.

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Meryton Vignettes Review & Giveaway

meryton-vignettes-cover4.5 stars

Hello everyone,

Meryton Vignettes is a compilation of six vignettes featuring several characters from Pride & Prejudice that took me completely by surprise.

First of all, I had never seen a book of vignettes. It is true that there are several compilations of short stories, but these are not exactly short stories, they are as the name indicates small pieces that could perfectly be integrated in a short story or novel. Now, you may wonder what are the advantages of reading just a vignette and not a full story, and I’ll tell you that apart from the delight of having just a glimpse of our beloved characters when we don’t have much time to read a full story, it is the possibility of having any kind of moment ahead of you and exploring many paths that would be blocked if the writer was writing a full story. The sky is the limit with vignettes and authors can write just about anything, that is precisely what Elizabeth Adams did.

Unlike all expectations, these vignettes are not centered in Darcy and Elizabeth. They do appear is some of the stories, but Elizabeth Adams choose to portray several other characters that are usually disregarded, and she did so in an astonishing way! She developed moments in these characters lives I never expected to read in any JAFF story, and to be frank, I don’t even think I will read some of these moments in the near future. She showed us a side of these characters that is usually not shown and they are not embellished to be part of a book, they are raw material, and I loved that!

But I will give you a brief description of the vignettes and my opinion on each one of them so you can understand what I mean.

 

Mistress of Longbourn

In this opening vignette, Charlotte returns to Longbourn 17 years after her marriage to Mr. Collins. I loved the tone of this vignette and to see everyone’s reaction to this event. It was the first time I read this particular moment occurring and it was interesting to see it from Charlotte’s POV.

There was one question that was left unanswered for me, but I have no doubts about Charlotte’s ability to become the Mistress of Longbourn, or Mr. Collins ability to become it’s master… Mrs. Bennet may have been a silly woman, but it will not be easy for Charlotte to fill her shoes as Mistress of one of the most proeminente estates in the neighbourhood 🙂

 

Life After Darcy

This snippet shows us Caroline Bingley’s life after Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s wedding. We will go through her feelings of rejection, anger and injustice until she is ready to move on, and when she does, we will see her as she truly is, as the real Caroline Bingley. In this story she will find her match who will give her a valuable lesson! I loved to see Caroline Bingley finally understanding what is most important in life and this was one of my favorite stories in the book. I reckon everyone will like this one 🙂

 

First Attachments

In this story we will see Lizzy’s attachment and developing relationship throughout the years to Jack Turner, the son of one of her father’s tenants. She will remember all the important moments in their relationship and consider how a true affection feels like. It is an impossible relationship of course, and it never goes beyond a friendship, but still it bothered me a little to see Elizabeth caring so much for someone who is not Mr. Darcy.

 

To Do Her Duty

Mrs. Bennet is the main character in this vignette, and it was the first time I ever saw her taking the leading role!

The story is told from Mrs. Bennet POV which I absolutely loved and will show a side of her that is very rarely portrayed. It was the first time I saw her go through a pregnancy and it was so touching I actually cried!! I really did! It is among my favorites in this book 🙂

 

To Fool a Fool

Prepare yourselves, this vignette describes the wedding night of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Collins. You heard me right, Elizabeth Adams did create this vignette. Don’t you think it takes a lot of courage to do that? I was shocked and amazed with To Fool a Fool, and I doubt any author will venture on writing that particular night in any other book. It takes a lot of bravery to write that night and Elizabeth Adams was not intimidated. However, do not fear! I will not give any details not to spoil it for you, but it is not as bad as it may seem 🙂

It is a bit humorous and ridiculous at the same time 🙂

 

He Had it Coming

This is the longest story in the book and it will focus on Lydia’s life after her wedding to Mr. Wickham. There are some books based on Lydia’s character, but this was the first time I saw a story so advanced in time and so dark. Seven years after her marriage, and tired of suffering abuses from her husband, Lydia sends a distress call to her sister Elizabeth who will come to her rescue. As I mentioned this is the longest vignette in the book and many events will occur in it. I will not say much more because I truly do not want to spoil it to you, but this is also on my top 3 favorite stories in the book. It is very, very good. I liked that Elizabeth Adams didn’t take a soft approach towards Lydia’s life and that she was not afraid to show us how miserable it was. I loved to see the development of Lydia’s character and the ending of course 🙂 After so much suffering, you can hope for a happy ending 🙂

 

I believe this compilation of vignettes is something every Janeite will like because not only it will give us the company of characters that are often overlooked, but it is also completely innovative in the premises! I have read scenes I never expected to read in a JAFF book and was amazed, shocked, grieved, merry and content at the same time. This is a delicious book with an interesting concept that I truly recommend.

 

You can find Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride & Prejudice in:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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***It’s giveaway time***

Elizabeth Adams would like to offer one copy of Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride & Prejudice to my readers. The giveaway is international and is open until the 2nd of December, all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts on this book or the author. If you want to double your chances of winning, comment on the excertp post published on the 21st of November. Entries in both posts will be considered for the giveaway.

Good Luck everyone!

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Filed under 4.5 stars, giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Meryton Vignettes – Excerpt & Giveaway

meryton-vignettes-cover

Hello everyone,

Today I bring you an excerpt of the first short story in Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride & Prejudice which is Elizabeth Adams’ latest release.

This book is a collection of six short stories where we can see that the people of Pride and Prejudice move on, grow up, and explore paths not taken. Time leads these beloved characters down roads of self-discovery, courage, and heartbreak. And sometimes the journey takes them to surprising places.

I’ve started reading this collection and I’m loving it so far! I’ll review it next Friday, so if you are curious to know my opinion, and to know more about each story, stop by at From Pemberley to Milton.

But I don’t want to suspend the pleasure you’ll have reading this excerpt any longer, so here it is:

 

Mistress of Longbourn

Charlotte Returns

Charlotte ran her hand along the back of the sofa, her gloves skidding lightly along the upholstery. Her eyes scanned the room: the pair of chairs by the empty fireplace, the windows covered in lavender drapes, the aged mirror over the mantle.

Of all this, she was now mistress.

She gazed at the portrait of Mr. Bennet, painted in his prime, and remembered the man who had been her neighbor for twenty-seven long years, and who was now, by his failure to produce an heir, the means of her husband having his own estate. In a way, he could be credited with her having a husband at all. If he had not agreed to host Mr. Collins all those years ago, and supported Elizabeth’s refusal of her cousin’s proposal, Charlotte would have never met and married Mr. Collins.

And now, seventeen long years after her wedding, she was here. The mistress of Longbourn. Second only to Netherfield Park, it was one of the most respectable estates in the area, belonging to one of its oldest families.

And now, it was hers.

“Was your journey pleasant?”

Charlotte jumped and looked over her shoulder. “I didn’t hear you come in. Forgive me, Mary. How do you do?”

“As well as can be expected, Mrs. Collins,” replied Mary Bennet.

“Please, call me Charlotte. We are such old neighbors,” said Mrs. Collins kindly.

“I think not,” Mary said plainly. “Nearly everything is packed. We shall be gone tomorrow.”

Mary turned and left the room, leaving a bewildered Charlotte behind her.

Charlotte shook off the feeling of guilt that had tried to settle on her shoulders and went upstairs to see to her children. She did not particularly enjoy her husband’s company, and she found the act of begetting children quite off-putting, but the results of her endurance were more than adequate recompense.

“Mother, have you considered my request?” asked a voice to her left.

She turned and looked into the face of Charlotte Rose, her eldest daughter. She was quite a pretty thing if Charlotte could say such about her own daughter. She had the look of her Aunt Maria about her.

“I have, Lottie, and since you have been so helpful throughout this move, I have decided to grant your request.”

“Oh!” the girl squealed, jumping on her toes and clasping her hands in front of her. “May I choose my chamber now?”

Before her mother could answer, the eldest of the Collins children ran off and began opening doors and comparing views. Charlotte shook her head at her enthusiasm.

“Oh, to be fifteen again!” she mumbled to herself.

She went into the nursery to help settle in her younger daughters.

Two years after her marriage, she had been delivered of a girl, Charlotte Rose, Lottie to her family. Only eighteen months later she had born a son, William John. He was followed in two-year increments by Catherine Ann and Mildred Grace. Believing she had done her duty, and not wishing to die in childbirth as her years increased alongside her womb’s fecundity, Charlotte told her husband she wished for no more children. Having birthed four babes, he couldn’t possibly expect more of her.

Mr. Collins acquiesced as she knew he would and no more was said about it.

Unfortunately, when young William was but five years old, he succumbed to a fever and was buried in the churchyard. Charlotte was devastated.

Within a year of his death, at thirty-seven years of age, Charlotte was with child. When she delivered a boy, she thanked God she would be spared further confinements. Lying in bed exhausted and spent, so happy and relieved was she that she didn’t hear her husband clearly at first when he suggested a name for the babe. She cuddled the white bundle closer to her and asked again what he had said.

“William, after his father. It’s fitting, don’t you think?” Mr. Collins said with an ingratiating smile.

He clearly had no idea of his suggestion being denied.

“We already had a son called William. Do you not remember, Mr. Collins?” she asked, her voice calm.

She remembered perfectly. How his skin had felt so hot and yet so thin, his cheeks flushed and his forehead clammy. She remembered how he had struggled for breath as she held him, praying with every fiber of her being for God to spare her only son. How she had bargained with fate, promising to be the best mother, the best wife, if only her boy would live! And how lost she had felt when the last ragged breath had left his body limp in her arms, his eyes unmoving, his chest eerily still.

She had let out a mighty wail the likes of which Hunsford had never heard, lost to everything but the profundity of her grief. She had not been practical Charlotte in that moment. She had been nothing but a mother, deprived of her life’s greatest achievement and proudest joy.

Her husband’s idiotic rambling brought her back to the conversation and his insulting suggestion.

“Well, yes, but, as the boy is no longer with us, a man wants his name to carry on, that is, I am his father…”

He spluttered on and Charlotte settled her eyes on the window, the church just visible in the distance, and next to it, the churchyard that held her beloved boy in its peaceful clasp.

“No, Mr. Collins, we will not,” she said simply.

He looked at her stupidly for a moment, but her eyes remained fixed on the window.

“What was that, my dear?” he asked.

“We will not name him William.”

“But surely, I am his father, my name, I must—”

“No,” she said forcefully. “I have already birthed and buried a son called William. There will not be another.”

Mr. Collins stood gaping at her, his mouth opening and closing like a fish.

“I shall call him Lucas Adam, after my family and my grandfather.” She looked at the baby fondly. “He was always kind to me.”

Mr. Collins had left the room then, and she had written it in the family Bible before he could argue further.

 

***

What did you think of the excerpt? Did it foster your curiosity? I particularly liked the tone Elizabeth Adams chose to start this story, it’s contemplative and soothing. Having read the full story, I liked to see what Charlotte’s life was and how everyone reacted to her becoming Mistress of Longbourn. It’s not very common for authors to venture in this idea, after all, who likes to see Charlotte and Mr. Collins taking over Longbourn? But I did like to see their trials in doing so, and I particularly liked reading the end of the story which will demonstrate the position the Collins’s will have in the neighborhood.

But to know how they will be seen and how they will act, you’ll have to read the story 🙂

 

You can find Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride & Prejudice in:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

***It’s giveaway time***

Elizabeth Adams would like to offer one copy of Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride & Prejudice to my readers. The giveaway is international and is open until the 2nd of December, all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts on this book or the author. If you want to double your chances of winning, comment on the review I will post on the 25th of November. Entries in both posts will be considered for the giveaway.

Good Luck everyone!

48 Comments

Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter Review & Giveaway

5 stars

I’ve probably said this before but when I start reading a Joana Starnes book my question is not whether I’m going to love it, but how much I will love it. Her latest release, Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, went off the charts and became one of my favorites from Joana Starnes. One would think she could not come up with something I would love as much or more than The Unthinkable Triangle, The Falmouth Connection or The Subsequent Proposal, but here she is surprising me once more!

Before going into many details I would just like to say that the only thing I don’t like about Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is that it is so good that my job at reviewing it becomes extremely difficult. Even so, it almost kill me to have to wait until today to review it, I’ve been eager to discuss this book with everyone else 🙂

I would also like to give you some advice: before reading this book make sure that there is no one in the house to interrupt you (you won’t want to stop until the end); you have some tissues near you (I doubt many people will not cry), chocolate is at hand (you’ll need it!) and that your heart is strong enough to survive intense emotions (this will be a hard one).

That being said, this is one of the best books Joana Starnes has ever written and I’ve loved them all, so that says a lot!

In this variation, while Elizabeth is at Kent and just before Col. Fitzwilliam reveals Mr. Darcy’s part in separating Jane from Bingley, Mr. Bennet has an attack that leaves him in a very bad state. Afraid that he will not survive, and knowing Mr. Collins will not be very welcoming to his family, Mr. Darcy decides to offer to Elizabeth to protect her from a most trying circumstance. He would propose on that day anyway, so he just anticipated the proposal a few hours 😉 Thinking of her family and the consequences to leave them unprotected against Mr. Collins entreaties, Elizabeth accepts Mr. Darcy’s proposal. This is a plot that we have seen quite frequently, but the way Mrs. Starnes develops it is quite unique!

Elizabeth marries without loving Darcy, but another thing Mrs. Starnes is an expert at is creating the most loving moments between our dear couple through the most simple and daily moments, so with time and despite their several discussions and differences, we see Elizabeth falling in love with her ever strong and caring husband.

In fact, the first half of the book will satisfy the need for romance and endearing moments between Darcy and Elizabeth. Yes, she will have her reserves, but Mr. Darcy will be the best husband someone could hope for, and he will be so happy that our heart will break just thinking that probably that happiness will be shattered once he realizes she doesn’t love him. Poor, poor Darcy! I love how Joana Starnes makes him suffer in the most agonizing way…but I digress.

I have always believed Elizabeth deserved to suffer as much or even more than Mr. Darcy, and I’m proud to say that I am a member of the “Lets Torture Elizabeth club”. I thought that Joana Starnes had done a pretty good job at it in Miss Darcy’s Companion… until I read Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. While reading the first part of the book I felt Elizabeth deserved to suffer a little, but after seeing her treatment of Mrs. Bennet, who was in my opinion marvelously developed by Joana Starnes, I no longer believed, but knew that she deserved to suffer. I mean, everyone had someone to give them comfort before and after Mr. Bennet’s death except Mrs. Bennet. She was always alone during this trial, with no one to protect or care for her so I believe Elizabeth could have been a little more understanding towards her mother who was only guilty of being herself. Taking this into consideration, when I realized Mrs. Starnes was going to make Elizabeth suffer a little, I was happy. When her suffering continued I thought Mrs. Starnes had overwhelmed herself in this book, and as I continued reading, something happened to me for the first time since I started reading JAFF: I wanted Elizabeth’s suffering to stop! I couldn’t take it anymore, it wasn’t poor, poor Darcy anymore, it was poor, poor Elizabeth, and that was when I realized this was clearly and without a doubt one of the best books Joana Starnes would ever write!

We all know Joana Starnes is the angst queen, few are able to do it so well as her, and In Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter we could see the clouds approaching, we could sense a storm was coming, but when it arrives, it is not just a few drops of rain, it comes as a full force Tornado!

 

“Sleep came at last, for both, and they drifted in soothingly calm waters, blissfully ignorant of the storms to come”

 

I believe one of my comments while reading this book has been shared with you, but taking the risk of repeating myself, I think nothing can describe this better than my thoughts at the time “It can’t get any worse than this!… Wait, it’s a Joana Starnes books, of course it can!”

This was such an anticipated book that most people have probably read it by now, but those who have not, prepare yourselves! Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is a roller-coaster of emotions, it will surprise you at every turn, make you turn the pages frenetically until the end and haunt you for days, until you give up and re-read it!

The raw emotions I have when reading a Starnes book always make me too emotional when writing the reviews, hence not very objective or straight to the point, but most works of art leave us speechless don’t they? So I hope you can understand through this disarray I’ve written how absolutely marvelous this book is.

You can find Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

.

*** Book Blurb***

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

 

***Author Bio***

Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. A medical graduate, in more recent years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with Georgian Britain in general and the works of Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable and flamboyant set of people who have given the Regency Period its charm and sparkle.

Joana Starnes is the author of:

* From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley’, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ sequel

* ‘The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion’

* ‘The Second Chance’ ~ A ‘Pride & Prejudice’ ~ ‘Sense & Sensibility’ variation


* ‘The Falmouth Connection’, – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

* ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

*’Miss Darcy’s Companion’ – A Pride and Prejudice Variation

.

You can find Joana Starnes on:

Facebook: All Roads Lead to Pemberley/ Joana Starnes Facebook Page

Twitter: Joana Starnes/ Twitter

Goodreads: Joana Starnes Goodreads Author Page

Amazon:  Joana Starnes Amazon Author Page

 

***Blog Tour***

The blog tour is just starting so you will have a lot of opportunities to learn more about this book with the interviews, guest posts, excerpts and reviews that are to come.

Follow the several stops to be better acquainted with this story and increase your chances of winning a copy 😉

 

November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

November 18/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

November 19/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway

November 21/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 23/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving

November 25/ So Little Time… So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway

November 26/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway

November 2 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway

November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway

December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

 

***It’s Giveaway Time***

Joana Starnes would like to offer one ebook copy of Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter to the readers of From Pemberley to Milton. The giveaway is international and is open until the end of the blog tour on December 2nd.

All you have to do is comment on this post and let us know your thoughts on this book or Joana’s previous works 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

 

77 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, giveaway, Joana Starnes, Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

Darcy’s Hope – Review & Giveaway

5 stars

 

Hello everyone,

I had never heard of Darcy’s Hope, I didn’t know author Ginger Monette, and alternate eras are not my favorite type of variations, so I wasn’t sure of what to expect of this book when I started reading it. Now that I’ve read it, I can honestly say Darcy’s Hope is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had while reading JAFF.

This alternate era variation will take us to the middle of WWI where Captain Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, after briefly meeting in Heartforshire, will be stationed at “The Ritz”, a private chateaux turned into a hospital, assuming their roles as a Captain of his Majesty’s army and VAT nurse. But do not be scared or alarmed if you think the surroundings of the war will be too harsh on our characters or inhibit the romance. They will not. Ginger Monette did a prodigious job at balancing the historical notions she clearly obtained during her investigation, and the romance we are so used to when it comes to JAFF. The synchrony between the historical aspects and the romance is perfect, giving the reader a pleasant reading experience.

The scenario was actually very comforting as we could clearly imagine the characters’ lives in the chateaux and surrounding fields, but not only did I love to see these characters living in the same place and having several opportunities to observe each other and learn to appreciate the other’s attributes, thus, slowly falling madly in love with each other, but also loved their interactions, their dialogues and arguments. They were mature and logical and I could clearly understand the points of view of both characters and imagine them saying those words and sentences.

The dialogues designed by the author were not created with the single purpose of creating conflict between the characters, they were true and very much in character with both Darcy and Elizabeth. The arguments they used while arguing showed a deep understanding of the others character and we could see them act, without even realising it,  as the others conscience, which was something beautiful to see. Both Darcy and Elizabeth opened the others eyes about their own behaviors and fears, and that knowledge of the others soul was magical. I particularly loved to see how, with only one sentence, Mr. Darcy showed Elizabeth that her father’s behavior shaped her view of man and life, and to see her recognize he was right and that her fears could be overcome and her life’s goals could be different if she conquered that inner fear.

I particularly loved this Darcy! He was not too proud or too distant, just enough to make him perfect! I felt he was a very balanced Darcy that fully corresponded to my ideals of him. I loved the struggles he had to overcome, and I’m not only talking about his feelings for Elizabeth, but also the fear of letting himself feel and open his heart to others after it had suffered so much with the impacts of war. Plus, I loved the militarized version of Darcy who could protect Elizabeth in every way possible, I thought it incredibly sexy.

The writing was very fluid and diversified and I was so immersed in the book that I spent my days eagerly waiting to come home, continuing reading it, and getting into this story and these characters lives. I impatiently anticipated the moment I could get lost in this story, and I think that says a lot about the quality of the book.

And of course, I could not believe my eyes when I saw that John Thornton had a cameo on this book! I absolutely loved seeing him with Darcy, and even if he has a small role in this book, I absolutely loved that he was the one opening Darcy’s eyes regarding a man’s worth. It was Thornton who made Darcy realize that a man’s worth is in his actions and his character and not in his station in life. I could not picture a better person to make Darcy realize that. I have often thought of how perfect it would be to have a crossover between Pride & Prejudice and North & South, but because the stories are in different eras it is difficult to create a story with all my favorite characters. This alternate era story allowed that to happen, and I can only hope that in Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, I will have the pleasure of Darcy and Thornton establishing a more solid friendship!

Even if this book has a sort of happy ending, it does have a continuation and when I finished it I could not believe I would have to wait until January to read it! I’m really, really eager to read Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, so much, that it is even hard for me to read something else in between. I just wish I could read it straight away!

Summing up, I highly recommend Darcy’s Hope, it is an extremely well built and well written book full of history, intrigue and romance which captured my heart and mind to the point of not wishing to do anything else apart from reading it.

 

Darcy’s Hope is available at :

Amazon.com – Darcy’s Hope – Beauty From Ashes

Amazon.co.uk – Darcy’s Hope – Beauty From Ashes

 

I think you can tell by my review that I absolutely loved this book, so if my comments got you curious, you can find out more about this book through Lizzie’s Scrapbook where you can find the people and places Lizzie encountered through her time in the continent, the book trailer (yes, there is a video trailer, yey!), the audio excerpt (what if instead of reading an excerpt you could listen to it?) and the blurb.

Click here to see Lyzzy’s Scapbook 🙂

lizzies-scrapbook

And on the video below to see the trailer 🙂

 

But, if you prefer to read about the book instead of seeing the images or the video, there is always the blurb, of course 🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

_______________________________________________________

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside literature’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You’ll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences amidst the carnage of war.

_______________________________________________________

1916. World War I has turned French chateaux into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet’s life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated—until he arrives….

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy.

With only a few months to expose the plot, Darcy is forced to grapple with his feelings for Elizabeth while uncovering the truth. Is she indeed innocent? Darcy can only hope….

  • Cameo appearance by John Thornton (of Gaskell’s North & South).
  • Rated PG. Clean romance, mild language, some war scenes.
  • Darcy’s Hope has a happy ending but will continue in Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, coming in January 2017. In the sequel, readers will experience the full resolution of the mystery, and our beloved couple’s love will face a new, tragic test.

 

Would you like to listen to an excerpt of Darcy’s Hope?

.

***Author Bio***

gingerThe teacher always learns the most. And in homeschooling her children, Ginger Monette learned all the history she missed in school. Now she’s hooked—on writing and World War I.

When not writing, Ginger enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.

Her WW1 flash fiction piece, Flanders Field of Grey, won Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 Picture This grand prize.

Ginger lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she happily resides with her husband, three teenagers, and two loyal dogs.

Website: GingerMonette.com

Author’s Facebook: is here

Goodreads: here

Amazon Page: here

 

***It’s giveaway time***

With Darcy’s Hope set during the era of Downton Abbey and the tour being right before Christmas, Ginger Monette thought it would be fun to use Downton Abbey ornaments as the giveaway. Therefore she would like to offer seven ornaments of Downton Abbey.

The ornament giveaway is open to US residents in the continental US. The prize for residents of the continental UK is a Downton Abbey mug.

All you have to do to apply to the giveway is click here.

Entrants will get additional entries for commenting on this blog.

.

***Blog Tour***

There are still many stops on the blog tour, so don’t forget to check all the other blogs for more information on this book and chances to win the giveway 🙂

tour

20 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

The Honorable Mr. Darcy – Giveaway Winners

Hello my friends,

From Pemberley to Milton has been very busy this past month with lots of new JAFF books coming out! One of them was The Honorable Mr. Darcy from Jennifer Joy which is already a best seller in Amazon!honorable

I was very lucky to welcome author Jennifer Joy for a launch post on her new book, and not only did we post an excerpt, which was actually my favorite scene from the book, but also brought along a giveaway of 4 ebooks.

I want to thank Jennifer Joy for her generosity and presence in From Pemberley to Milton! It is always a pleasure to work with such a humble and lovely author!

Now without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:

 

***Darcybennet ***

*** Pemberlypebbles ***

*** BeckyC ***

*** Anna ***

 

Girls, please send me your e-mails to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so we can send the ebooks to you.

If you have not yet bought or won a copy of this book, you can always find it in Amazon.

Happy reading everyone!

9 Comments

Filed under giveaway

Getting to know Mrs. Younge, Guest Post & Giveaway – Letter From Ramsgate blog tour

Hello everyone,

I first heard about Letter From Ramsgate in Suzan Lauder’s blog almost a year ago. I was immediately hooked on the premise and could not wait for the book to come out to read the entire story. When a blog tour was organised and I realised I would be the first one to review the book I got really anxious, but if you’ve read my review, you’ve probably noticed that this is just the angsty type of book I love 🙂 Also, you must have noticed that one of the aspects I enjoyed the most in the book was Mrs. Younge’s character. I won’t repeat why I was so fascinated about this character (you can read that in the review), but the impression it caused me was so considerable, I felt the need to share a little info on her with you through the below interview with Suzan Lauder, and vignette with Mrs. Younge.

 

***Interview with Suzan Lauder***

 

From Pemberley To Milton: Hello Suzan, first of all welcome to From Pemberley to Milton! It is a great joy to have you with us today.

As I’ve mentioned before, Mrs. Younge was the character I’ve enjoyed the most in this book, and I would like to know why you decided to bring forth a character only mentioned briefly in Pride and Prejudice and give her a leading role.

Suzan Lauder: I’m really excited to be here, Rita, and especially to talk about Isabel Younge!

Because the first part of the story was set in Ramsgate, I knew a main part of the story development would be showing how Wickham arranged to convince Georgiana to elope with him. Canon says Mrs. Younge was known to him and collaborated with him, so I had to build his relationship with Georgiana’s companion. Since she was going to come out a little bit as a character, I decided to make her a key character so she could tell her back-story as well as her point of view regarding Wickham. It was hard not giving Wickham a voice in my story, but the style I chose let her speak for the two of them.

 

FPTM: Can you give us a little background on this character?

SL: Mrs. Younge is a pretty young widow of higher upbringing in my novel, and had a good education and reasonable connections prior to her widowhood. Mr. Younge was a wealthy younger son of a viscount. His gambling and poor investments left her almost destitute, so Isabel had no choice but to take on respectable work. She is keen to mould her charge (Georgiana Darcy) in her own image, as a gregarious darling of the ton.

 

FPTM: Mrs. Younge was very human and very real in this book. Is her character based on someone in particular?

SL: I suppose she’s a most like Mary Crawford, Maria Bertram, or Isabella Thorpe. Her main personality characteristics mimic vain, overly ambitious women. In her vanity, she wants Georgiana to be just like her, but her good intentions get set aside when greed takes over. Though not evil, she’s not as highly principled as the next person, and uses charm, good looks, and physical enticement to obtain momentary pleasure or long-term gain. Her opportunistic side can win over her ethics, yet she regrets those she’s hurt in the process—but not too much or for too long!

 

FPTM: Why is she named Isabel?

SL: I named her Isabel as a sort of homage to Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey, the first Austen novel I ever read.

 

FPTM: In my opinion her character is neither good, nor bad. She is just human. Did you try to convey any message through the characterization of Mrs. Younge?

SL: Not intentionally, but the message that you can make up for foolish, hurtful acts is pretty clear. Vain people don’t believe they’ve done anything so terrible and a narcissist doesn’t realize what Isabel does: it’s never too late to make amends, even if the situation you messed up is unrecoverable. At least Isabel has a good heart and admits her faults.

 

FPTM: Mrs. Younge will always be associated with Wickham, how did she meet him?

SL: I like to assume she met Mr. Wickham at a social function in London: perhaps a ball or a rout. Wickham’s education at Cambridge will have gained him allies who would have travelled in the same circles as the Younges, who were probably on the fringes of the level of society that would willingly accept the Darcys and the Matlocks. It’s possible a former lover introduced Isabel and Wickham, or even Mr. Younge.

(c) Dumfries and Galloway Council (Dumfries Museum); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Mr. Wickham in his regimentals, later in Letter from Ramsgate – portrait of Andrew Copland by George Watson, 1807.

 

FPTM: What was it about him that captivated her?

SL: Jane Austen says Wickham has “all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address.” In other words, he’s hot! And charming, too, based on all the people he had twisted around his little finger in canon. That’s what led her to a relationship with him.

 

FPTM: At which point did she discover Wickham’s true character? Or did she know all along, but preferred to ignore it?

SL: I think she had to suspect all along, particular, but ignored any problems that came with him. She was having a good time and, as long as his vices didn’t affect her, she was okay with it.

 

FPTM: Would she do things differently if she could go back in time?

SL: I doubt it. I think she wishes Georgiana hadn’t been hurt in the scheme, but I don’t think she would have changed any of her own actions.

 

FPTM: What is her biggest regret?

SL: That she got caught. The money would have changed her life. Also that she hadn’t seduced Mr. Darcy. She was quite taken by his good looks.

 

FPTM: Today, you’re sharing a scene from Letter from Ramsgate featuring Mrs. Younge with the readers of From Pemberley to Milton. Please describe what is happening as the scene commences.

SL: In this vignette, Mrs. Younge has been Georgiana’s companion for about a month now. They are walking along the Sands at Ramsgate when they encounter a certain gentleman.

 

kd3-025_ramsgate_harbour

The Sands at Ramsgate, early 1800s, courtesy Michael’s Book Shop

~~~

***Guest Post by Suzan Lauder***

 

Rita is a favourite of mine because she showed such enthusiasm towards Letter from Ramsgate from the first excerpt that I put up on my blog, road trips with the redhead. Each time the story was mentioned anywhere on social media after that, she piped in to say, “I’m looking forward to it!” That she was the first on the blog tour to review the novel was important to me, and I’m excited to share the original version of this scene from Isabel Younge’s point of view—the scene was re-written for the final novel.

~~~

 

All of a sudden, Miss Darcy spoke with an enthusiasm and lack of reserve that made Isabel momentarily glow with the satisfaction that her encouragement of Georgiana’s self-assurance was successful; Georgiana was certainly unrestrained in this moment.

“Isabel, look! An old friend of mine approaches! Oh, what fun!” Georgiana cried with a thrill in her voice. She moved towards the gentleman with unashamed familiarity.

Isabel turned in the direction Georgiana was going, and tried to make out the features of the tall man who approached with a confident gait. All of a sudden her eyes widened with surprise.

George Wickham! What is he doing in Ramsgate?

Isabel’s heart stopped. It could not be him.

But it was. With a genuine-looking smile, George Wickham approached her and Miss Darcy and tipped his hat. She was frozen to the spot, in a daze. What the devil could he mean by this? Will I be able to keep her countenance around him? Has he sought me out?

Holding her breath and trembling, she attempted a brittle smile as she waited for him to greet her. He moved closer and closer, but as his face came into clear view, his gaze was fixed on Miss Darcy, and he ignored Isabel altogether.

Without reserve, Wickham held out his hand to take Miss Darcy’s and bowed over it. “Miss Darcy! How do you do? How very fortunate for me to meet you here! What brings you to Ramsgate?”

Georgiana glowed pink under Wickham’s grin; the girl’s blush and shy smile spoke to her youth.

When it appeared he had not even noticed her, Isabel released her breath, but became indignant over the snub and jealous of the attention he paid to her charge. She was a vain woman, accustomed to the role of the object of his flattery.

“I am here for the summer. My brother arranged it for me.”

If Isabel had not known Wickham as well she did, she would not have recognized the twitch in his smile or the deep swallow of discomfort for what they were. George Wickham was afraid. What had unsettled him?

“And is your brother with you?” His voice wavered, which confirmed his anxiety. “No, Fitzwilliam is travelling on business related to the estate. He will be in the country most of the summer. ‘Tis a pity he is not here. He would have liked to see you.” Georgiana was sincere.

two-ladies-and-a-man-for-fptm-vignette“A pity indeed. I should have enjoyed renewing the acquaintance.” His body relaxed.

Wickham then turned towards Isabel. She checked herself to hide her bewilderment,—all she could manage under the circumstances—stood tall and proud, and put on her most inscrutable, but ladylike, expression.

“Would you do me the honour and introduce your friend?” he said to Georgiana.

“This is my companion, Mrs. Younge. Mrs. Younge, this is Mr. Wickham.”

For an instant, she expected him to reach out to take her hand, but instead, he offered a polite smile and performed a perfunctory bow as if this were their first introduction. She forced a smile in response, as she made her curtsey in the most economical way.

She was affected by him, even though their greeting had not been physical. The smoothness of his voice and the strength of his body in his fitted clothes reminded her of what they once shared—all of which ended when he discovered she was penniless.

 

 ~~~

 

***It’s giveaway time***

 

Meryton press would like to offer 8 copies of Letter From Ramsgate to readers following this blog tour.

To enter the giveaway, please click on the below link:

Giveaway Link

Conditions of the giveaway are explained below:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (Review posts are not part of the giveaways). Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) copy of Letter from Ramsgate by Suzan Lauder. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and paperback or ebook format will randomly be selected for each winner as well.

**NOTE: Paperback copies are ONLY available for continental US winners! Ebook copies are available for ALL winners, including international winners! If more international winners are randomly chosen than the 4 allotted ebooks, then that will decrease the number of paperbacks. 8 books will be given away to 8 different winners.**

 

Follow the blog tour for more chances to win the giveaway 🙂

lfrhorizontalbanner

Blog Tour Schedule:

10/17   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; My Jane Austen Book Club

10/18   Excerpt, GA; Margie’s Must Reads

10/19   Vignette, GA; Just Jane 1813

10/20   Review; From Pemberley to Milton

10/21   Vignette, GA; Babblings of a Bookworm

10/22   Excerpt, GA; Liz’s Reading Life

10/23   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; From Pemberley to Milton

10/24   Review; Tomorrow is Another Day

10/25   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; So little time…

10/26   Vignette, GA; Austenesque Reviews

10/27   Review, Excerpt; Half Agony, Half Hope

10/28   Review; Diary of an Eccentric

10/29   Guest Post; A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

10/30   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; More Agreeably Engaged

19 Comments

Filed under giveaway, interview, Pride and Prejudice

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Giveaway Winners

tcoeg-fc-final092816-nobld

Hello everyone,

In the beginning of October I was honored to present you with the beautiful cover Janet Taylor created for Nicole Clarkston’s latest novel, The Courtship of Edward Gardiner.

I was very happy to notice that not only everybody loved the cover, but also that Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were one of the most beloved couples amongst Janeites. The book is already making a lot of people curious, and I am sure that it will not disappoint those who love Pride and Prejudice.

For that reason, I’m even more happy to announce today the winner of the giveaway that Nicole Clarkston hosted along with the cover reveal.

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner is currently available for pre-order on Amazon because it will only be released next week, so the winners will have a chance to read this book first hand!

So, without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:

.

*** KateB***

*** Glynis***

 

Congratulations ladies! Please send me your e-mail addresses to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com.

If you are not the winner but you have this book on your TBR list, you should follow the upcoming blog tour which will start with the launch post at More Agreeably Engaged on the 21st of October. During the blog tour there will be plenty opportunities to read reviews, excerpts, guest posts and to participate in the giveaways!

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

 

10/21: Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

10/22: Review & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813

10/27: Review & Giveaway Savvy Verse & Wit

11/01: Excerpt & Giveaway at Half Agony, Half Hope

11/08: Guest Post & Giveaway So little time…

11/10: Review & Giveaway My Kids Led me Back to Pride and Prejudice

11/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm

11/15: Review & Giveaway at My Vices and Weaknesses

11/17: Guest Post & Giveaway at A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

11/26: Excerpt & Giveaway at Margie’s Must Reads

11/30: Review & Giveaway at Diary of an Eccentric

12/01: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

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The Honorable Mr. Darcy – Launch Post & Giveaway

Hello Dear Readers,

Today I’m pleased to celebrate with all of you the release of Jennifer Joy’s new book!

It doesn’t seem too long ago that she released her last book Win, Lose or Darcy, but after writing Accusing Elizabeth, Jennifer Joy developed a tender regard for mysteries, and some ideas could not get out of her head, so a few months later The Honorable Mr. Darcy came to life and today it’s being released for sale in Amazon. You can check it by cliking here.

 

honorableThe Honorable Mr. Darcy is the first volume of the Meryton Mystery Series and revolves about the murder of George Wickham, but do not fear, you will have some closure with this book as the identity of the murderer is revealed, quite surprisingly I might add!

Curious about the premise? You can read more about it below:

 

***Book Blurb***

Everyone has a secret. Who will kill to keep theirs?

.

Lieutenant George Wickham is dead.

The shot rings out in Wickham’s tent as the good citizens of Meryton dance the night away at Mr. Bingley’s Netherfield ball. The only person who can confirm Fitzwilliam Darcy’s alibi faces the loss of her reputation and her freedom if she comes forward.

Convinced that her sole motive is the pursuit of justice— and not her growing attraction to Mr. Darcy— Elizabeth Bennet begins an investigation to clear his name and evade an unwanted marriage.

If Darcy didn’t shoot Wickham in cold blood, who did? Which of Longbourn’s neighbors is not who they seem?

With a killer on the loose, can Elizabeth avoid being the next victim as she comes closer to revealing the truth?

Bestselling author, Jennifer Joy, brings you The Honorable Mr. Darcy, the first standalone book in the A Meryton Mystery romance series. If you like falling in love with characters as they fall for each other while uncovering shocking secrets, then you’ll love this mystery romance.

 

***

 

To celebrate the launch of the book we bring you today an excerpt of my favourite scene in the book.

I hope you like this little teaser 🙂

 

***Excerpt***

 

A rustle in the corner of the room startled Darcy from his thoughts. Squinting his eyes against the darkness, he saw a lump on top of the couch.

He drew closer, his steps hushed against the carpet. When he saw that it was a young lady, he started. He ought to leave the room. But something about the lady made him peer closer.

Her dark hair blended into her surroundings. However, the familiar curve of her lips and the mischievous arch of her brows– even in sleep– identified her. It was Miss Elizabeth Bennet. She had avoided him all evening, and now here she was. He would have enjoyed her conversation.

Leaning down, he appreciated how peaceful she looked in slumber with her eyelashes spread across her cheek. She sighed and shifted her weight, freezing Darcy in place. Slowly and deliberately, he shifted his weight to his toes so that he might depart without waking her. He took a step back and lost his balance when he stumbled on an object lying on the floor. Flailing his arms out to avoid toppling over, his hand whacked against a vase or lamp or something inconveniently placed. It clattered to the floor in the one place not covered by a rug to soften its fall just as the clock struck the top of the hour. Darcy reached for the offending object which had caused his stumble and soon held in his hands one of Miss Elizabeth’s slippers.

“Who is there?” asked Miss Elizabeth in a startled voice.

Darcy groaned. “I apologize if I startled you, Miss Elizabeth. I was not aware anyone else was in the library. I shall depart.”

He had closed the library door behind him. If anyone chanced upon them alone in the dark room, Miss Elizabeth’s reputation would be compromised.

“What time is it?” she asked, looking around her frantically.

“The clock just struck midnight.”

“Midnight? Drat it all, I must have fallen asleep. I must go.”

She scrambled to her feet, her stocking toes searching for her slippers. Darcy reached down and placed the one he held before her.

The door widened and Bingley’s housekeeper peeked in. “Is anyone in here?” she asked.

Miss Elizabeth moved forward. If they were seen… Darcy clamped his hand over her mouth, pulling her against him further into the shadows.

With a cluck, the housekeeper closed the door, locking it behind her. They were stuck.

 

***

 

Elizabeth’s immediate inclination was to bite Mr. Darcy’s thick fingers, which she did with enthusiasm. Though she heard him suck in air sharply, his arms did not loosen from around her. She would scream if only she could breathe.

“Hush!” he hissed, his breath tickling her ear and annoying her further.

She found herself stuck in Mr. Bingley’s library with Mr. Darcy. Alone. Together.

The clattering of the housekeeper’s keys stopped and after a few seconds, Mr. Darcy released his hold on her.

Taking a large step away, she spun around to face him. “Why did you prevent me from leaving? Now, we are locked in!” She ought to have stomped on his foot.

Taking off his glove and rubbing the finger she had bitten, he visibly controlled his breath. Only one angry tremor marred the control in his low baritone, “If Mrs. Harris saw you, she may very well have seen me too. Can you imagine the consequences to your reputation had she seen me attempting to hide from her in a dark library?”

His smooth voice and sound reasoning stood no chance before her ire. “And can you imagine the consequences when I am missed and it is discovered that both of us have gone missing from the ballroom?”

Mr. Darcy paced, reminding Elizabeth of a black panther she had seen at an exhibition once. “If we are caught here, you will be compromised and I will have to make an offer for you.”

“You would act honorably toward me when you have failed to do so for others?” she spat.

Running his uninjured hand through his perfect hair, he said, “I can only guess that you refer to Mr. Wickham. Let me assure you, Miss Bennet, that there is more to that tragic story than he would dare admit to you. He is not to be trusted.”

“And I am to trust you?” She poured as much sarcasm as she could muster into her tone.

“Trust is earned, not seduced with charm.”

She scoffed. “And what do you know of charm, sir? Perhaps you can enlighten me as I have yet to see its display in your behavior.”

He closed the distance between them with one step. His dark eyes lit with a smoldering fire which made her skin tingle. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and lifted her chin before her thoughts muddled.

“Of what use is charm when it is used to disguise one’s flaws?”

“Of which you have none, I suppose?”

“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding nor so grave as those of Mr. Wickham.”

“You believe yourself more honorable than he when you are the one locked in a dark room with an unmarried lady?” It was a low blow, but the irony of his claims and their present situation was too great to ignore.

“I will marry you if it comes to that.” He sounded as thrilled about it as she did.

“And what makes you think I would accept your offer? Nay, Mr. Darcy, neither of us wants to be trapped in a loveless marriage. No more than we want to be trapped in this room. There must be a way out.”

She pulled out a hairpin and scurried to the door.

“You must be quiet lest someone pass by,” ordered Mr. Darcy.

Annoyed, she answered, “I suppose you have a better way?”

The doorknob rattled and Elizabeth jumped back, clamping her hand over her mouth to keep from exclaiming aloud. Jovial voices on the other side of the door conversed.

Mr. Darcy tugged his hand through his hair, resting it on the back of his neck. “This is lovely,” he mumbled.

Elizabeth remained by the door, hoping that the gaggle of people on the other side would leave.

“We must find another way out,” said Mr. Darcy. He turned to the window, pulling the curtains aside.

“I could climb out the window,” she suggested, opening the glass and peeking out. Nobody was about.

“Absolutely not!”

Crossing her arms, she asked, “Why not? I am light and can easily fit through the opening.”

“What if you fall?”

Must he object to her every idea? What an agitating man. “There is a nice ledge running around the house and I am certain that it will be no more difficult to jump down from it than from the branch of a tree.”

Mr. Darcy looked shocked. “You have experience climbing trees?”

Squaring her shoulders, she said proudly, “I have had sufficient practice over the years.” What did she care if he thought her a hoyden? His opinion meant little to her.

“Why does that not surprise me?” he smiled, disarming Elizabeth’s witty retort on the advantages of tree-climbing. He had a nice smile. A beautiful smile. She nearly smiled back at him before she remembered that she did not like him. Not in the least.

He continued, “I do not doubt your skills, Miss Elizabeth. However, I doubt you have attempted the feat in a gown and slippers. Were you to return to the assembly with your dress torn, it might prove difficult to provide a satisfying answer without compromising yourself further.”

There was that. She dearly wanted to contradict him, but she could find no fault with his reasoning.

“What do you propose then, Mr. Darcy?” She looked him squarely in the face, determined he not see how greatly his smile had disturbed her.

“I will do it.”

“But will you fit through the opening?” His superior height and wide shoulders would not allow it. Only the most agile of men could make such a climb without his size hindering him.

“I can squeeze through the side. Do you doubt my abilities?” he asked, his eyes full of… mischief? Mr. Darcy knew how to tease? He even appeared to look forward to the risky descent. Elizabeth did not know what to make of him, and it grew increasingly difficult for her not to smile at him.

“Who am I to doubt you, sir? The fact is that we need to leave this room before we are discovered, and our only other escape is blocked,” she said, keeping her voice down. She still held the hair pin with which she had planned to pick the lock. Frustrated and confused, she shoved it back into place, jabbing her scalp. Oh, how she wished she did not need Mr. Darcy’s help. She could manage well enough on her own.

“I will enter the house again as if I had merely stepped out of doors for some fresh air, and I will ask where you might be so that I may request a dance.”

So much for refusing to dance him. She really had no choice. “Ask Jane. She will know to look for me here.”

“It is the first place I would have thought to look.” He looked at her as if he expected her to say something, but his understanding of her only made her wonder why he would remember that unimportant detail. He had given no indication during her stay at Netherfield Park to care for Jane that he noticed her at all.

Accepting her silence, to which she was grateful, he bowed. “Very good. Now I must be on my way.” Like a cat, he hopped up and through the window, his coat slipping across the frame as he squeezed through in one smooth motion. “Please be so kind as to close the window,” he said as he inched across the ledge and leapt down to the ground with ease.

Elizabeth reached out to the glass, letting the cold breeze cool the spark of admiration and flame of curiosity. Tugging at the curtain, she paused. Was that a shadow behind the fountain?

 

***It’s giveaway time***

Don’t you just love these cliffhangers? When I read this part of the book I could not stop to find out what would happen 🙂

But…Now it’s giveaway time!

Jennifer Joy would like to offer 4 ebook copies of The Honorable Mr. Darcy to her readers across the globe.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is comment this post. Let us know what you thought about the story or the excerpt, congratulate Jennifer on this new release, or ask her anything about the story. The comments can be anything you like 🙂

The giveaway is open until the 23rd of October and the winners will be announced shortly after.

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