Category Archives: JAFF

A Very Austen Valentine Vignette, Guest Post & Giveaway

Good Afternoon dear readers,

How are you today? My week is starting with a pleasant surprise, I just got home from work and had this beauty waiting for me in the mail, isn’t that great?

It could not have been a bigger coincidence because today I’m scheduled to receive Robin Helm with a guest post of A Very Austen Valentine and share a vignettte of a sequel she wrote for her story I Dream of You as well as  an excerpt from Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile.

I already started reading this book and I’m loving it, but it will be even better to finish reading it in the paperback format. I expect to bring a review to you shortly, but until then, I hope you enjoy what we brought to you today.

I would also like to thank these incredible authors for putting together another lovely anthology and for visiting today, may we get together to celebrate many more A Very Austen anthologies 🙂

 


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Six beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen’s adored novels.

Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.

Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile
Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion‘s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs.
 
My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis
Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite
A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook
Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?

The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye
In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth’s love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers’ Ruse” follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

You can find A Very Austen Valentine at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 


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The Good Doctor – Thaddeus Beckett

By Robin Helm

 

I must admit to being a huge fan of my original character, Lord Thaddeus, better known as the epitome of male beauty, the heartthrob physician, hero who flouts convention, Thaddeus Beckett.

I first wrote him as Darcy’s competition in More to Love, which I hope to release in February or March. Elizabeth called Beckett an angel, and then referred to him as Apollo, the Greek god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more, I readily admite, for a good while, I wanted him to win Elizabeth’s heart. However, I knew that would raise a storm in JAFFdom, so I relented. Poor man was called away on an emergency. As he wasn’t there to press his suit, Hercules (Darcy) swooped in, claiming the advantage, and won in the end.

Then I re-introduced Beckett as a love interest for Mary in my work-in-progress Maestro, but I fear he may not win her hand, either. Alessandro Landini, the devastatingly handsome Italian musical genius will be tough to beat. Mary, after all, loves music above all else, and Landini is her pianoforte teacher. Maybe if Landini slips up, Beckett can take his place. It would help if he could play and sing. I’m going to work on that.

Beckett has had a bumpy ride as my alternative to Darcy and Landini. More to Love was originally intended to be my story in A Very Austen Valentine, but Laura Hile insisted it should be a full-length book. So, I put aside Beckett and More to Love to start writing Maestro for the anthology. Same thing happened. Once more Laura said, “That’s a book. Not a novella.”

Therefore, I started writing I Dream of You for A Very Austen Valentine, using one shots and shorts that I wrote long ago. Again, the good doctor, Thaddeus Beckett, was mentioned, but he didn’t make an actual appearance (though I did introduce another original character – Mr. Anderson).

Since I can’t seem to let go of the tall, blond, handsome doctor, I’m going to give him a book in 2020. His story will be the first in The Beckett Brothers series.

Until then, I have written a vignette for the good doctor, giving the lovely man a sighting at the end of I Dream of You. His services will be needed for a most important medical procedure.

Perhaps it’s time for you readers to get to know Beckett. I promise, you’ll love him.


 

The first excerpt we are sharing today is from Robin Helm’s sequel vignette of I Dream of You, but before you starting reading this vignette, please be aware that this is only the part 2 of the excerpt, if you want to read the entire vignette, please stop by at  My Love for Jane Austen where the first part was published on January 12 🙂

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Sequel chapter to I Dream of You – Part 2

 

The colour drained from Darcy’s face; however, he took his wife’s arm as she requested, assisting her to her rooms.

While the men waited outside the bedchamber, Elizabeth’s maid helped her to don a nightgown and get into her bed.

Beckett put a hand on Darcy’s shoulder. “Perhaps you should send word to the Bingleys, apprising them of the situation. I feel certain Mrs. Bingley would want to be with her sister, and Bingley can keep you occupied until this is over.”

Darcy raised both eyebrows, and his tone brooked no opposition. “Occupied? I shall be occupied, for I fully intend to be with my wife until she is safely delivered.”

“You cannot mean that. This may take a few hours or a full day. Each birth is a bit different,” replied the physician. “Go to your chambers and rest or back to the parlour to read a book. Elizabeth may not wish for you to see her like this.”

“First,” said Darcy tersely, “her chambers and mine are the same. Second, I cannot rest or read a book while my wife is birthing our child. My place is with her. If you are able to see her like this, I certainly am.”

Beckett shook his head. “As you wish, but if she asks you to leave, you will do so. Agreed?”

Darcy frowned, but nodded his consent.

When the maid opened the door, telling the men her mistress was ready, Beckett entered, followed closely by Darcy.

Beckett examined his patient, and then retired to the couch.

While Elizabeth was initially surprised by her husband’s presence, she soon made it known that she liked the idea of his being present for the birth of their child.

“Shall I read to you, my love?” he asked. “Perhaps it will distract you.”

She smiled, and he picked up the book on the table.

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded? Samuel Richardson is a bit dull, but the moral is good,” he said, moving a chair to the side of the bed. “I should not be surprised you would enjoy reading about a brave, intelligent, rather sassy woman.”

He sat down and began to read.

After a few hours, the maid came in with tea. Elizabeth sipped a bit, but would take no food, though she insisted both men should eat. Before the maid left, Beckett told her to bring plenty of clean towels and hot water.

Darcy soon noticed that her pains were occurring ever closer together. He left his chair to stand by the bed. “My darling, shall I rub your back?” he asked, removing his tailcoat, throwing it over a chair.

“Yes, please. Help me turn to my side.” She grunted as he moved her.

Beckett looked up from his newspaper, watching the couple.

Darcy noticed the movement and glanced at him. Is that envy on his face? Because I married the woman he loved, or because he wishes he were married? Perhaps I am too hard on him. He is very likely lonely. I have a wonderful wife who loves me, and we shall soon have a child. He goes home to relatives and servants, but no wife. His sister and her family love him, but that is hardly the same.

For several more hours, Darcy ministered to his wife, noticing her discomfort, trying to help her bear it, whispering encouragement to her.

Beckett removed his tailcoat and waistcoat, then took over reading duty while Darcy continued to massage her.

She groaned more and more as the time passed.

He rolled her to her back and used a cloth soaked in cold water to wipe the perspiration from her face and neck. “You are a champion, my strong, fearless wife. You must do this, and you shall. If I could, I would gladly do it for you.”

“If I could, I would let you,” she replied, attempting a smile.

He did his best to chuckle, but he could not.

Finally, her pains were nearly constant, and Beckett came to the side of the bed. “I think your baby shall arrive very shortly. Darcy, are you certain you wish to stay for the birth? You have surprised me by the way you cared for your wife during labour, but the birth itself is quite different.”

The gentleman did not look away from Elizabeth. “I helped to deliver colts, calves, and lambs at Pemberley when I was a lad, and I know what it is. I am fully prepared. I shall not leave Elizabeth.”

“You did not love the mothers of those animals. ’Tis truly not the same.”

Darcy bent over to look into her eyes. “Elizabeth, do you want me to stay?”

She grasped his hand with both of hers, squeezing until his eyes watered. “Yes,” she said, gripping him even more tightly.

Beckett walked to the nightstand, rolled up his sleeves, and lathered his hands and arms with soap, rinsing and drying them before returned to the bedside. He lifted the covers from her feet and legs, folding them until they settled on her thighs. After giving her a cursory examination, he turned to Darcy. “Wash your hands and send for more hot water. Take off your waistcoat, and use soap up past your elbows. Cleanliness is next to godliness. There is a reason that phrase has been quoted since ancient times, even if other physicians do not subscribe to it.”

Darcy kissed his wife’s cheek and hurried away to complete his tasks.

“I can see the crown of the head,” said Beckett. “Hold her knee aside. She is fighting me.”

For the next half hour, Darcy assisted Beckett, speaking to his wife from time to time, assuring her all was well.

And at the end of that time, he helped to wash his baby boy before he wrapped him in a blanket and placed him in the arms of his exhausted mother. She kissed his forehead and motioned to her husband to join her.

Thaddeus Beckett smiled at the little family as he cleaned himself up and dressed. He left, promising to return the following day to make certain mother and child were well.

Darcy climbed into the bed with his wife and son, kissing each of them gently. He was too exhilarated to sleep, so he watched them until his eyes grew heavy. Carefully, he lifted the baby from Elizabeth’s arms and laid him between them. Then he fell into a shallow sleep, awakening each time either his wife or child stirred.

William Alexander Darcy, his head full of dark curls, spent his first night being adored by his elated father.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was a happy man, indeed.

 

The End


 

 

 

EXCERPT from Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile

 

Sir Walter Elliot’s Valentine card was sent by mistake to the wrong Lady Catherine, a faux pas of monstrous proportions. However, after seeing Rosings Park pictured in his copy of The Grand Estates Guidebook, Sir Walter journeys to Hunsford to investigate. As luck would have it, he is asked to dinner by the rector.

Mr. Collins was happy to talk—about nothing and everything. Apparently the man was extremely fond of food. He carved the roast with gusto and described for Sir Walter’s benefit each dish that was brought to the table. He ate and he ate, until Sir Walter feared the buttons on his waistcoat might pop off!

On the other hand, his unrelenting praise for the provider of his living gave Sir Walter much useful information.

“In point of fact,” he confided to Sir Walter, after the meal was finished and they were alone at the table with a bottle of port, “Mrs. Collins chose the excellent joint of beef we enjoyed tonight because of her ladyship’s kind suggestion.”

“You don’t say,” said Sir Walter politely.

“Indeed, yes. She noticed it in the butcher’s shop and knew it would be just the thing for us. Lady Catherine de Bourgh watches over those living on her estate with admirable care.”

Which only showed how hideously bored she must be. The poor woman needed a change of scene.

“As further evidence of her generosity,” Mr. Collins went on, “you have only to observe the wonderful renovation of our parsonage. When you come again, Sir Walter, I will take you through every room. The improvements are most extensive.”

Sir Walter smiled, but could not enter into Mr. Collins’s enthusiasm. This was, after all, a small and commonplace house. But because he wished to hear more about Lady Catherine, Sir Walter adroitly exchanged his full wineglass for Collins’s empty one. “I take it she has made similar improvements to the mansion?”

Mr. Collins’s pink cheeks grew pinker still, and he described at length the excellent renovations made to the kitchens. Sir Walter passed the wine bottle, and Collins again refilled his glass.

“And,” he added muzzily, “you will not believe the new shimney-peach in one of her drawing rooms. Eight hundred pounds it cost,” he added, “and not a penny lesh.”

To Sir Walter, this was a truly thrilling detail, for it indicated good taste as well as largesse. Any woman who would spend that much for a chimney-piece was just the wife for him.

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We are right in the middle of the blog tour, so please keep following it to find out more about this anthology 🙂

 

01/06 Just the Write Escape; Guest Post, Giveaway

01/07 Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Giveaway

01/08 So Little Time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

01/09 Babblings of a Bookworm; Author Interview/Character Interview, Giveaway

01/10 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

01/11 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

01/12 My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, Giveaway

01/13 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

01/14 From Pemberley to Milton; Excerpt, Review or Vignette, Giveaway

01/15 My life journey; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

01/16 My Vices and Weaknesses; Guest Post or Vignette. Excerpt, Giveaway

01/17 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

01/18 Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

01/21 Austenprose; Author Interview

 


 

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These talented ladies are offering a very generous giveaway during the blog tour, they are offering ten eBooks of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2. This giveaway is international and all you have to do to apply is click here.

They are also offering a US only paperback copy of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2. You may click on the same link, but don’t forget this will only be valid it if you have a US address.

Good Luck everyone!

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Darcy and Deception, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you are enjoying your weekend as much as I am! I have finally bought an embossing machine today and started playing a little bit with it, I’m just getting started and I’m not that good with arts and crafts but I was even able to make this postcard, what do you think? Do I have any hope of doing something cool in the future?

I’m eager to learn everything about this machine and start making really cool postcards to send to all my friends, so fingers crossed! Let’s hope experience will allow me to improve 🙂

As you can see my afternoon was not literary and I haven’t really read anything, but I hope to make it up by hosting one of my favourite authors today and bringing you an excerpt of her latest novel. Please join me in welcoming Victoria Kincaid and enjoy her guest post and excerpt of Darcy and Deception 🙂 And don’t forget, there is a giveaway 🙂

 


Happy New Year, Rita, and thank you for having me for a visit!  I always enjoy learning about the Regency era when I’m researching my books, and the writing of Darcy and Deception was no different.  Most of the novel is set in Brighton, home of the iconic Royal Pavilion.  While the building is mentioned in the story, it would not have appeared in 1813 the way it does today.  Still, I found the story of the Royal Pavilion to be fascinating.

The Prince of Wales visited Brighton in 1783 for the first time—having been advised that seawater would be good for his gout.  At the time seawater was believed to benefit many different ailments and this helped to fuel the growing popularity of Brighton as a resort.

In 1786, the Prince rented a farmhouse in Brighton that faced the Old Steyne—a grassy promenade that was the center of a fashionable neighborhood.  The house also happened to be a convenient location for the prince’s liaisons with his mistress Maria Fitzherbert.

In 1787 the prince had architect Henry Holland design an addition to the existing building. It became one wing of what was now dubbed the Marine Pavilion. Decorated in a neoclassical style, the Pavilion contained three main rooms: a breakfast room, dining room, and library, flanking a rotunda. In 1802 the Pavilion was further enlarged with a new dining room and conservatory.  The prince bought the surrounding land and had stables built to house 60 horses.

  Marine Pavilion before 1802

It was not until 1815 that work on the final design phase began—based on plans by John Nash.  This construction (finished in 1822) gave the Royal Pavilion its distinctive façade and the Indian/Chinese/Islamic flavored architecture that seems so out of place in an English town.  It is considered excellent example of the exoticism that was an alternative to the Regency’s more predominate classical style.

 Royal Pavilion today

Unfortunately, because Darcy and Deception is set in 1813, Darcy and Elizabeth do not get to visit the Royal Pavilion in all its exotic splendor.  But the building does play a role in the book, and the Prince Regent makes a guest appearance near the end of the story.  Still, it’s fun to imagine what they would have made of such fanciful architecture.  I suspect Elizabeth would be delighted by the whimsy, and Darcy would be appalled by the lack of neo-classical design elements.

Below is an excerpt from Darcy and Deception.  Please enjoy!  .

 


 

 

  “Darcy, sit down.  Simply watching you makes me restless!” Bingley complained as Darcy made his seventh or eighth lap across the drawing room floor, seemingly attempting to wear a path in Netherfield’s carpet.

Darcy threw himself into a chair.  “I should have departed tonight.  Waiting was a mistake.”

Bingley rolled his eyes.  “Once again I remind you: the journey to Brighton is long—and dangerous on a moonless night.”

“Imagine if Jane were in Brighton with that blackguard!” Darcy growled.

Bingley pressed his lips together until they turned white.

“He could compromise her—make her marry him.  Or force himself upon her!”  Unable to contain his energy, Darcy launched himself from the chair and resumed pacing.

“She is with Colonel Forster and his wife,” Bingley pointed out for at least the third time.  “They will protect her.”

“Have you met the colonel’s wife?” Darcy asked.  “She may be all of eighteen years, and a strong wind would carry her away.  She could not be trusted to protect Elizabeth from a sparrow.”

“Well, the colonel is a level-headed man,” Bingley said.

“He has other duties; he cannot watch her all the time.”  Darcy’s hands clenched into fists as if preparing to fight.

Bingley shifted on the settee.  “Have you considered your actions upon arriving in Brighton? You must have a plan.  You did not part on the best of terms with Miss Elizabeth.”

Darcy ran both hands through his hair.  He had done nothing but think on that question in the past few hours but had discovered no satisfactory answer.  “I will reason with her.”

Bingley’s brow furrowed.  “She may not be disposed to heed your reasoning.  If she refused to read your letter, she may refuse to listen to your words.”

Darcy ground his teeth.  Naturally this had occurred to him.  “I will make her listen!”  He could hear the desperation in his own voice.  “She will not be able to ignore me.”

“An auspicious beginning to a courtship,” Bingley remarked dryly.

“Knowing the truth about George Wickham is more important,” Darcy bit out.  “More important than her feelings for me.  Her safety is paramount.”

“But surely you will agree it would be best if she were not further disaffected from you.”

Darcy sighed.  What a muddle!  “Yes, of course.”

“Have you considered that she might be in love with Wickham?”  Bingley spoke slowly and carefully.  “People in love can be blind.”

Darcy had exerted tremendous effort to banish such thoughts.  “She cannot be in love with Wickham!” he said savagely.  Bingley said nothing, waiting for his friend to grow calmer.  “But I can woo her away from Wickham.”

Bingley raised an eyebrow.  “Have you ever courted a woman before?”

“Of course.”

“Ladies have pursued you.  It is not precisely the same,” his friend said with a grin.

“It cannot be that difficult,” Darcy grumbled irritably.

“It would not be difficult if you were not the last man on earth she would ever consider marrying.”  Bingley shrugged.

Of course, Bingley was right.  Who was Darcy fooling?  He and Elizabeth had parted on the least amicable terms imaginable, following the world’s most disastrous offer of marriage.  Sinking back into his chair, Darcy closed his eyes and dropped his head.  “I would welcome any advice you might have on the matter.”  He had no pride remaining when it came to Elizabeth Bennet.

After a moment Bingley shook his head.  “I have none to offer, my friend.  I have properly bungled my courtship with Jane.”

“She appears to have forgiven you.”

“Yes, as long as I make no more blunders.”

Darcy would give anything to be in his friend’s place.

“Are you certain you do not wish me to accompany you to Brighton?” Bingley asked.

The offer was tempting, but Darcy shook his head.  “You must remain here and woo your lady.  I will either stand or fall on my own merits.”  He fervently hoped she would listen to reason—that her future happiness did not rely on Darcy’s paltry courtship skills.

“I have all the confidence in the world,” Bingley said with a hearty smile.  “Just be yourself.”

Darcy snorted.  “That is what created this mess.”


 

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Returning home from Kent, Elizabeth Bennet is still distressed over Mr. Darcy’s insulting marriage proposal.  However, her attention is diverted by the local militia commander who asks her to observe Wickham, now suspected of being a French spy.  Pretending to be besotted with Wickham, Elizabeth accompanies the regiment when they relocate to Brighton. 

Darcy arrives at Longbourn with the intention of making amends to Elizabeth, only to discover that she is now at Brighton with Wickham.  Desperate to save her from the scoundrel, Darcy follows her to the seaside, where he hopes to woo her away from the other man.   

Deception piles on top of deception as Elizabeth attempts to carry out her mission without betraying confidences—or breaking Darcy’s heart.  However, the French plot runs deeper than she knows; soon she and Darcy are plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of international espionage.  Can Darcy and Elizabeth escape with their lives and their love intact.

 

You can find Darcy and Deception at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 


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Victoria Kincaid would like to offer one ebook copy of Darcy and Deception to one of my readers, the giveaway is international will end on the 16th of January. Winners will be announced shortly after that 🙂

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts on the excerpt Victoria shared with all of you.

Please do not forget to check the blog to confirm if you were the winner 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I’m very happing to be wrapping up the blog tour for The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament, by Don Jacobson. It is always a pleasure when Don Jacobson is my guest because he is a very interesting person with a lot of know how always brings lots of information to share with my readers 🙂 Today he isn’t bring any information resulting from his research, he brings an excerpt from the last book of the Bennet Wardrobe series and I hope you like it 🙂

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Chapter XXXIII

Netherfield Park near Meryton, October 22, 1948

 

Sol’s rays, burning now for only ten-and-a-half hours as the great orb took its ever-shortening transit across the southern skies, had played obliquely on the banks and barrows that lined many of Hertfordshire’s remaining farms. Late blooming purple Gentians angled their petals toward the increasingly scarce, yet still life-giving, liquid gold that poured down upon them. Hives sent out their riders to collect these last bits of Ceres’ pollen-laden bounty before the venti of the North brought the killing whiteness.  The county was lowering itself into its winter’s bed.

T’was one of those rare autumn evenings where Nature’s perfume hung in the cooling night air. The warmth of the day had activated the aromas of now-fallow fields and rain-dampened soils lining the lanes around Meryton. The scent of dried leaves carried on the night’s zephyrs was accentuated by a smoky back tone carried by the thready columns of a hundred pyres fueled by the barley and wheat straw leavings after another successful harvest.

The great drive winding from the London-Meryton Turnpike, long superseded by the great lanes of the A1, was well-marked in the traditional manner: pitch-fueled torches spaced every seventy-five feet or so. They flickered and guttered, creating giant orange splotches that left retinal after-images hearkening to night-blooming sunflowers beaming from atop six-foot stalks that might have been laid down by Oberon to lead his Titania home.

Yet, none of this was the work of wood sprites or faeries, but instead the product of the combined efforts of two Countesses, a Gräfin, and a baronet’s wife.

While any of the four ladies might have planned this by herself, the women found pleasure in the shared activity, jointly digging into bags of individual accomplishments to bring them to bear on problems not dissimilar to what Overlord’s planners faced, albeit on a smaller scale.

For example, food supplies were a great concern in rationing-era Britain. Lizzy Schiller leaned on dozens of school friends for leftover coupons. The year since Princess Elizabeth’s wedding, a national event which had employed a similar appeal for her wedding dress and cake, had seen a reappearance of partially-used ration books. Like loose pence and shillings gathered in a saucer in a dressing room, these flecks of gold dust were once again piling up in the kitchens and pantries of Austerity Britain’s upper-class homes. Unimportant and of little use when taken individually, these remaindered points collectively were destined to be turned into salmagundi salad, white soup, collar’d beef, raised pies, shining galantines, crystalline bowls filled with trifle, and, for the sweet lovers, mounds of rout cakes and marzipan.

However, her stroke of genius came when she realized that she could command a great draft of ration points held by members of the Five Families if she could discover a way to get enough of them out of Britain for at least a month, allowing a legal bequest of entirely unused coupon books. In pursuit of this idea, Lizzy contacted a Bingley cousin in Florida who readily agreed to host a month-long house party at her Palm Beach mansion. The Hollywood branch of the Gardiners opened their Bel Aire home with the additional promise of a week taken at the new Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. A Family-chartered section of the Canadian-Pacific’s Dominion run enticed the travel-minded with a trip across the northern nation, kicking off in Vancouver and broken by multi-day sojourns at the Banff Springs Hotel and Le Château Frontenac, ending in the Maritime Provinces.

The triumph of this unique strategy was realized when a courier delivered what Family money could not purchase: fifty pristine coupon books for meat, fats, and sugar.

The two Countesses conspired to manage personnel…in other words, they handled the guest list. Their combined decades at the top of British society gave them a clear perspective of the A– and B-Lists that delineated and filtered interactions in class-conscious Britain. While Labour had been in power for over three years, the long-held, if not cherished, distinctions that had defined the British Body Politic for 450 had yet to be erased. Mrs. Cecil-Darcy and Mrs. Fitzwilliam, in their guises as the Countesses of Pemberley and Matlock, navigated  the perilous shoals that could have led to the foundering of the enterprise by basing their campaign upon the recognition that there were social sparrows and eagles. While eagles were certainly fearsome birds of prey and needed to be carefully massaged, a flock of agitated sparrows could be equally dangerous.

Thus, Georgiana and Anne mobilized their London townhomes and great houses at Pemberley and Selkirk for teas, dinners, soirees, musicales, and house parties. Assiduous application of notices in the agony columns of a dozen DBE British and continental newspapers along with Mr. Fleming’s intervention with his master’s print holdings, inflated bruised egos and soothed jealous outrage over sad discoveries that the morning post did not include the most coveted invitation of the season.

The most common reaction was one of appreciation that the Countesses and their husbands, long acknowledged as among the wealthiest after the Crown, none-the-less cared enough to show more distant connections a level of notice that others might not have. Their four-week operation cemented their place as leaders not through the application of fear, so often used by the successors of the Patronesses, but rather through the demonstration of a solicitude and social consciousness worthy of Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Yet, if there was a first amongst equals, t’was The Founder’s wife. Into her hands the other three entrusted the critical decision of the theme for the ball. All agreed that logic called for a harvest-centered festivity. Beyond that, though, few suggestions piqued the interest of anyone…until Mrs. Bennet looked at the others and exclaimed, “It must be a costume ball!”

That outburst did little to excite until Fanny explained herself to the nonplussed group.

“Ladies, I am not suggesting dress-up as children might do to entertain themselves of a summer’s afternoon or even what the Americans do on All Hallows’ Eve. And no masks. Our guests must not be like those decadent Venetians. They must know with whom they are dancing!

“No, I am thinking of something which will have meaning to us as the Five Families. And something with which I can assist because of my discerning eye.”

Georgiana, Anne, and Lizzy all chuckled into swiftly raised teacups, so familiar they had become with their Grandmother’s idiosyncratic outbursts.

Mrs. Bennet then settled them with a quelling glare saying, “Oh, you three may laugh, but think for a moment where all of your wealth and privilege found its roots: back in my day after my Mr. Bennet created the Trust!”

Her enthusiasm took root as she warmed to her argument, “I know…I know. The Darcys were already amongst the richest landowners in the kingdom. And, yes, the Matlock earldom traced back to the War of the Roses and enjoyed great wealth, too.

“However, without the unification of Darcy—land—and Bingley—trade—money in 1812 in the Trust under my brother Edward’s guidance, t’is possible that all of the Five Families would have faded into obscurity. They would have pridefully clung to the old ways of wealth: even Bingley who, after all, was struggling to become part of the landed gentry. Little did he realize that he was not dissimilar to the last few first-class ticket purchasers on the Titanic.

“Thus,” she said with a winning smile, “as I am the oldest and the only one of this group who has had to find the ready for not one, but five gowns while fending off the predations of Lady Lucas and Mrs. Long who had their own females to parade in front of the men of the neighborhood, I get to decide the theme!

“And, the prospect of showing that upstart Caroline Bingley how to decorate Netherfield Park is a prospect which has me simply salivating.”

This last exclamation had her comrades once again finding their teacups to be of enormous interest.

“The Netherfield Harvest Ball must be a Regency gathering, as if the brightest jewels of the ton had launched it in the Little Season!”

Mrs. Bennet took a refreshing sip from her own cup and set it down on an adjacent table before continuing in a determined voice. She was all-business without any of the legendary foolishness and nerves so often described in a particularly-popular and well-read family history.

“Now that the theme is settled, you and our guests must consider me a resource. While my husband frequently has despaired of my exhortations about lace and fashion, he would, I imagine, not argue that I always have had excellent taste especially when considering women’s clothing of my time.

“Who amongst you have any knowledge of what we wore during the Prince Regent’s reign? Georgie, Annie, and even you my impertinent Lizzy: I would wager that the best you could do would be to dash into your portrait galleries. Even then you would only be able to see what your ancestors chose to wear for a sitting with Sir Thomas Lawrence and not something they would have had made up for a ball.

“Do you have any idea how I would have arrayed my daughters if we were in Town for the Season? For that matter, how would Mr. Darcy or Colonel Fitzwilliam have prepared themselves?

“I know because I saw them. I am able to provide first-hand knowledge: something which modern fashion scholars are unable to offer.”

And, thus, Mrs. Bennet spent the intervening weeks prowling the workrooms of London’s couturiers, discarding and approving offerings as if she were the editor of La Belle Assemblée. Her softly uttered “How unique,” when faced with a theatrical interpretation of her vision, sent worried designers and cutters scurrying to pull fresh bolts of sarcenet, muslin, and gauze down from groaning shelves to earn the lady’s smile and approving nod.


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Bennet looked at his wife’s swollen lips, softly bruised from several deeply loving kisses, and her flushed complexion, as alluring when gracing the countenance of a woman of four-and-forty as that of a girl of nine-and-ten. He was one of the lucky few to have fallen in love with the same woman at both ages.
Thomas Bennet, Master of Longbourn, had always counted himself amongst the few educated gentlemen of his acquaintance. But, he had to travel over 120 years into the future to discover how little he knew about the woman sharing his life.
Once again, the amazing Bennet Wardrobe proved to be the schoolmaster. Tom Bennet’s lesson? Mrs. Bennet had been formed especially for him. Yet, t’would be the good lady herself who taught him the power of the Fifth and Sixth Loves: Redemption and Forgiveness.
Fanny Bennet also would uncover deep wells of courage and inspiration as she stood by her man’s side in the bleak years after World War II. Together they would lead their descendants in pursuit of the beast who had wronged every member of the Five Families.
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The Bennet Wardrobe series stands alone
The Avenger takes us on a new journey through The Bennet Wardrobe – an alternate universe rising from Don Jacobson’s vivid imagination and based upon the immortal Pride and Prejudice. The Avenger is another important step leading to the culmination of this enchanting trip: one that has drawn us into its reality to travel side-by-side with richly sketched characters. Each book has left us wanting more.
The Bennet Wardrobe series stands alone as a unique result of originality focused on beloved characters as they move—and grow—through surprising plotlines.
                                                Lory Lilian, author of Rainy Days
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You can find The Avenger at:

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Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years.  His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio.  His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he published the first volume of The Bennet Wardrobe SeriesThe Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey, novel that grew from two earlier novellas. The Exile is the second volume of The Bennet Wardrobe Series.  Other JAFF P&P Variations include the paired books “Of Fortune’s Reversal” and “The Maid and The Footman.”
 Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations.  As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.
He is a member of JASNA-Puget Sound.  Likewise, Don is a member of the Austen Authors collective (see the internet, Facebook and Twitter).
He lives in the Seattle, WA area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorize, and their rather assertive four-and-twenty pound cat, Bear.  Besides thoroughly immersing himself in the JAFF world, Don also enjoys cooking; dining out, fine wine and well-aged scotch whiskey.  
His other passion is cycling.  Most days from April through October will find him “putting in the miles” around the Seattle area (yes there are hills).  He has ridden several “centuries” (100 mile days).  Don is especially proud that he successfully completed the AIDS Ride—Midwest (500 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago) and the Make-A-Wish Miracle Ride (300 miles from Traverse City, MI to Brooklyn, MI).
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Today is the last stop, but you can still go back to the below blogs to read more about Don’s latest release 🙂

12/28 Babblings of a Bookworm; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

12/29 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Giveaway

12/30 My Love for Jane Austen; Guest Post, Giveaway

01/03 My Vices and Weaknesses; Author Interview, Giveaway

01/04 So Little Time…; Guest Post, Giveaway

01/05 My life journey; Review, Excerpt Giveaway

01/07 More Agreeably Engaged; Character Interview, Giveaway

01/08 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Giveaway

01/09 From Pemberley to Milton; Excerpt, Giveaway


 

Don is giving away 4 eBooks of The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament, the giveaway will end in 8 hours, so if you still want to apply comment on this post and click on this link.  This will be your last chance to participate.

Good Luck everyone!


 

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And the winners are…

Hello everyone,

Announcing giveaway winners is an excellent way to start the year, don’t you think?

It makes me very happy to know that my first 2019 post will bring joy to many readers, but before making some of you happy, I would like to thank Victoria Kincaid who visited From Pemberley to Milton with an Excerpt of her Christmas at Darcy House novel to celebrate the release of the audiobook version narrated by Julia Eve. I haven’t hear the audiobook yet but I read the book and I really loved it! I’ll have to post the review closed to next Christmas 🙂

I would also like to thank Cinnamon Worth for the opportunity to read The Taming of Elizabeth, her mash up of Pride and Prejudice and The Taming of the Shrew, and for the generous giveaway she brought along with her for my review post. This was her first visit to From Pemberley to Milton but I hope it is not the last.

Last but not least I would like to thank all of you for your participation and thoughtful comments during these author visits and giveaways 🙂

And now, without further ado, the giveaway winners are:

 

Christmas at Darcy House

*** Faith hope and cherrytea ***

 

The Taming of Elizabeth

*** Jennifer Redlarczyk***

*** Rellaenthia ***

Cinnamon Worth’s book of choice

*** Shelley Hoisington***

*** Carla Santos***

*** Debbie Fortin ***

 

Congratulations everyone! I hope you enjoy your prizes 🙂 Can you please send me your addresses to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that your prizes may be sent to you? If you have won the Cinnamon Worth’s book of choice please do not forget to mention which one you would like. If you don’t remember all her portfolio, you can see it along with my review post.

Happy Reading Everyone!

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From Pemberley to Milton’s 2018 Favourite Books

Good Afternoon everyone

It’s the last day of the year which means I get to publish one of the posts I most enjoy writing: the year on review and my list of favourite books 🙂

I love to analyse figures and see exactly how my reading habits are evolving so I keep wanting to create some stats to share with you, but unfortunately I was once more unable to do something very complex, so I hope you like this simple take on how my 2018 was. I promise that next year I will finally built something worth seeing 🙂

 

 

Last year I had read 38 books which at the time seemed a lot to me! I know some of my readers read many more books per year, but to me it is really hard to get to that number with my full-time job and all the other activities I love to do, so this year I had established 35 as my goal. When I got to the end of the year and saw how may books I had read, I could not have been more surprised! 2018 was truly one of the worst years of my life, if not the worse, and I didn’t have much time to read, so I could not understand how I could get to 51. Then I figured out that my long, long commutes to work started paying off. Out of these 51, 15 were audiobooks and many of them were novellas, so that explains how I was able to get to this high number.

 

I read a total of 11 800 pages which is 1570 more than last year, but my average of pages read per book is smaller than the 276 from 2017, it was only 234. The shortest book I read this year was a novella I tried just for fun a couple of days ago and that is free on Amazon, but I ended up disliking it very much, it is called Mr. Darcy’s Passion and it is an erotic story without much content apart from the infamous encounters between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. The longest book I read this year, The Whisky Wedding, is much smaller than These Dreams which was the longest book I read in 2017, but it still had a considerable length of 514 pages.

 Just like last year I didn’t read anything online, so the 51 books are only referring to published works.

From the 51 books I read this year some are more famous than others and the most famous one was not JAFF, it was Thirteen Reasons Why from Jay Asher and if you haven’t read it I highly recommend it. It is innovative, poignant, daring and a wake up call for all of us. If you have seen the Netflix show which is also available at Amazon Prime you may want to bear in the mind the book has some differences, it is not meant to be a blockbuster so it is more real and less shocking. Now, the least popular book I read is indeed JAFF, but I also recommend it, it was Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish which I have recently reviewed and it is a nice variation of Persuasion that takes place during Christmas time.

The highest rated book on Goodreads that I have read was Yuletide, which was also the last  review I posted this year 🙂 If you read it, you know that I am on the same page with the Goodreads average rating, if you haven’t, you can still find it here.

Not all the books I read in 2018 were published in the current year, in fact, most of them were published in earlier years, so my 2018 favourite books list does not include the best books published in 2018, but my favourite books which were read in 2018. I’m sure there are amazing books published this year that I haven’t read yet and that could have made this list if I had, but I am trying to read the old titles that are still in my TBR pile 🙂

 I’m including both Jane Austen Fan Fiction books and North and South Fan Fiction books and excluding all other fiction novels. The ones I chose this year were the ones that left a bigger impression in me, the ones that for some reason I still recall vividly in the end of the year. I’ve read many great books this year but if I didn’t quite remembered them when I sat down to do this list they were not included because, can they really be my favourites if I didn’t remember them after a few months of reading them?

Even though this was the year I read more books since starting this blog, it wasn’t very difficult to choose my favourites, I think I’m getting used it 🙂 During my first years it was really hard to compile this list, but I always tried to be fair and honest even if it meant leaving some really great books behind. If you are curious about my 2015, 2016 and 2017 lists, just click on the links and you’ll be re-directed there (I’m working on a more organized way to have these available in the blog….big renovations will have to occur this year).

Now that I’ve explained how I decided to create this list, and without further ado or any particular order, my favourite books read in 2018 are:

 

 

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The Events at Branxbourne – Caitlin Williams

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 256

Sub genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it –The writing, the writing and lets not forget about the writing! It may seem I’m overreacting, but Caitlin Williams’ writing in this book is pure perfection, it is gripping, profound, enticing, clever, exciting and heartbreaking all at the same time. The plot was innovative and along with the writing made this book impossible to put down.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – No

 

 

Nowhere But North – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 409

Sub Genre – North & South Variation

What I loved about it – The writing, the structure, the character development and depth… This is until this moment my all time favourite North & South variation! Everything about it was perfect and as I mention on my review, this book is a masterpiece that should not be missed by anyone who enjoys good literature.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

Son of a Preacher Man – Karen M. Cox

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 295

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Different Era

What I loved about it –The character development, the small town feeling and the ability to transport me into a completly different reality. As I mentioned in my review, the character development was impressive and had a magnetic pull to it, the romance was believable, true, inspiring, life changing and passionate, the writing was addictive and the message of hope, forgiveness and love that is transmitted throughout the novel made it one of the best books I’ve read this year.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

The Deception at Lyme – Carrie Bebris

Publication year – 2011

Number of Pages – 304

Sub Genre – P&P and Persuasion Mash Up; P&P Sequel

What I loved about it – The perfect blend of the characters into the story, the mystery and the uniqueness of it! It took me 7 years to find this book, but it certainly will not take that much time to read another book of this series! This book was my 2018 biggest surprise, let’s see what 2019 will bring 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Conceit & Concealment – Abigail Reynolds

Publication year – 2017

Number of Pages – 396

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it – The storyline, the characters, the roller coaster of emotions and never knowing what would happen next! I cannot wait to publish my review of this book that hooked me from page one until the end. Along with Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections this is now my favourite Abigail Reynolds book 🙂

My review (coming soon)      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Being Mrs Bennet – Alexa Adams

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 309

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Time Travel

What I loved about it –The creativity, the audacity, and the ability to make me love a book whose main character is Mrs. Bennet (of sorts)! I found this book bold and compelling and as I said in my review it proves the author’s talent and ability to engage readers in an endearing novel with character development and introspection in the middle of a funny and light narrative

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity – Amy D’Orazio

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 334

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it –The plot, the angst, the love story, the writing, the characters… This book just had all the necessary ingredients for me to love it! As I mentioned in my review this book is  gripping, character driven, intense and it comes as no surprise that it was one of my favourites this year!

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Not yet

 

 

London Holiday – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 300

Sub Genre – Pride & Prejudice Variation

What I loved about it – The dialogues, the tenderness of the story, the effortless writing quality and the dreamlike feeling it created in me. This book is light and entertaining but also intense when it comes to characters feelings. The reader can feel exactly what the characters are feeling at each step of the way and is transported into a true London Holiday himself.

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

The Darcy Legacy – Joana Starnes

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 422

Sub Genre – Pride and Prejudice Variations

What I loved about it – The humour, the supernatural and the writing as always 🙂 Joana Starnes took a risk by venturing into a completely different style and she was definitely successful making her way into my 2018 favourite books list 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – Yes

Available in Audible – Yes

 

 

Yuletide – Edited by Christina Boyd

Publication year – 2018

Number of Pages – 192

Sub Genre – Anthology

What I loved about it – It is a Christmas Anthology written by some of my favourite authors, what is there not to like? Plus it has all the necessary diversity to keep the reader engaged and looking forward for the next story 🙂

My review      Amazon.com    Amazon.uk

Available in Kindle Unlimited – No

Available in Audible – Not Yet

 

Do you share any favourites with me? Have you read all that are on my list? You have noticed that most of them are available on Kindle Unlimited and I recently received an email from Amazon with a special deal of 3 months subscription for only 0,99$ which was more then a bargain! I subscribed it and immediately downloaded a few books I have been meaning to read lately but that were a little more pricy then usual, it was a great deal. You may want to check if you also are entitled to this special price in Kindle Unlimited. It may allow you to read many books almost for free 🙂

So, which were your favourite books in 2018? I would love to hear your opinion and maybe get a few suggestions of great books to read this year, the 2019 reading challenge is already starting and all suggestions to fulfill it are welcome, even if this year I will establish different goals 🙂

For 2019 I will establish the same goal in  Goodreads I did this year, 35 books. It’s not much but I want to dedicate more time to the blog itself so I know I won’t have that much time to read. I want to re-organize the blog because with the growing number of books I’ve read it is getting hard to have an easily accessible arquive. I’ll have to work on that and maybe re-think on the number of posts I’m doing per week, the format etc. Do you have any suggestions? Should I post more or less then I’m doing? And should I change the way I’m writing the reviews?

Anyway, one of my 2019 goals will definitely be to re-organize the blog, but when it comes to reading goals, last year I had established as a goal to read more non-autenesque books, namely 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny, I was able to achieve that goal by reading not only these two but also a total of 6 non-autenesque books, so this year I want to continue with that objective but there isn’t any particular book I want to read, I just aim to read at least 5 non-austenesque novels.

In 2017 I also established as a goal to read more books in portuguese and I wasn’t very successful at that with only 3 books read on my native language, so this year I’ll have to work harder because that is still an objective.

But my main goal this year will be to read more paperbacks. I love my kindle, don’t get me wrong, I’m always the one who jumps into its defense when people say it’s not the same thing as reading “an actual” book, but the truth is I do miss turning the pages and I’m starting to feel that with my kindle everything starts to blend in my head and I’m not getting as much enjoyment as I used to when I was reading paperbacks. I have all these beauties lined up on my bookshelf, which ones do you think I should read first?

 

And which goals are you establishing for yourself? I hope you are able to achieve all your goals and that you have a fulfilling 2019 full of health and happiness!!!

Until then, a Happy New Year!!!

 


 

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Yuletide

I could not have been more surprised when I heard a new anthology edited by Christina Boyd was coming out, I haven’t read Rational Creatures yet, but I had to read this one right away! After all, Yuletide compiles different stories during Christmas time and I could let this season go by without getting into this wonderful compilation, especially because it was written by some of my favourite authors.

The anthology is very diverse, you can find in it variations, sequels and modernizations, but all of them portray our favourite characters and have that special feeling that all Christmas romances have, and that transports us into a different reality.

The book starts with The Forfeit, a story penned by Caitlin Williams, and it could not have started better as I was immediately hooked. Everything about this story was perfect, the premise, the setting, the writing. I could not stop feeling overwhelmed by how incredible this story is. I have to tell you, Caitlin Williams is a literary genius and Christina Boyd chose very well the first story to be included in this anthology. This was definitely one of my favourites 🙂

The book continues with an equally good story written by an equally talented author, Joana Starnes brings into this anthology a sequel that is cozy and warm and will make you want to read it with a hot chocolate and a fire in front of you 🙂 You will feel you are right there with the characters and you will not want to leave!

After these two regency stories the book goes on with a modern that is absolutely delicious! Amy D’Orazio put her innovation and creative skills into this story and shows us a Christmas where Darcy is shown his future through a Facebook page. This magical story is all about Darcy and there is no way anyone could not love that 🙂

Lona Manning is next in the anthology and she wrote a sequel that includes the best Anne de Bourgh character I have ever seen! Elizabeth is put to test in this story, Darcy is charming as always, but it was Anne de Bourgh that caught my heart on this one! Absolutely loved it!

We go back to moderns with J. Marie Croft’s small town romance. I’m not sure if I have to say much more about this story, because to me, small town romance says it all! I just love them, especially when they are set during Christmas time 🙂

Anngela Schroeder is next on the Anthology and she brings us back to regency variations in a cleverly written story that uses wit to show Elizabeth how gullible she was. This story does one of the things I love the most in P&P variations, it teaches Elizabeth a lesson by showing her that first impressions should not define her final opinion about people. It was very well written and very well done!

At last Elizabeth Adams closes the anthology with a sequel that will make you laugh and wish for more! Once again, I think this was the perfect story to close the anthology, it is entertaining, funny and it shows us just how Darcy and Elizabeth’s married life can be. Her relations are not the only ones who need to be tamed after all!

This Anthology was the perfect book to finish my year, it is diverse with a little bit of everything but also consistent in the quality of the writing and the ability to keep the reader engaged.

I highly recommend this anthology to my fellow janeites, plus all proceeds are to benefit Chawton Great House in Hampshire, former manor of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight and now the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing, 1600-1830, so that’s an extra reason to get it 😉

You can find Yuletide at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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The Taming of Elizabeth Review & Giveaway

I could not have been more excited about The Taming of Elizabeth when I heard of it because The Taming of the Shrew is my favorite work from Shakespeare and I have loved all adaptations I’ve seen of it. I always saw similarities between Elizabeth and Katherine and I certainly could picture Darcy as Petruchio, so a mash up of Taming of the Shrew with Pride and Prejudice sounded quite interesting and the perfect plot!

I wasn’t wrong about that and the premise is indeed very appealing but Darcy wasn’t as similar to Petruchio as I was expecting, and even if he was the reason why Elizabeth ended up moderating her behavior, he didn’t take an active part in that change. I thought I would see a stronger and more stubborn Darcy who would stand up against Elizabeth’s wild spirit in the hopes of taming her, but instead he was very caring and accepting of Elizabeth’s shenanigans. In fact, he was more like Darcy then Petruchio, so I think most of my readers will love that aspect, but I think the author missed an opportunity by not making him more like Petruchio.

Elizabeth’s character may be controversial in this book because she does tend to overreact and get a little aggressive but I was not affected by that and if I had to choose a favorite aspect from this book it would be Elizabeth’s character. We often see authors describing Elizabeth’s wit and narrating how Darcy fell in love with her because of that, but Cinnamon Worth did what very few are able to do, she actually made Elizabeth witty! The author doesn’t describe this aspect of her personality, she shows it to the reader through Elizabeth’s thinking, through her speech and through her actions. Elizabeth really demonstrates she has an analytical thinking by paying attention to details and taking elations based on those observations and I really loved this in the book.

In The Taming of Elizabeth we can see why the characters are falling in love with one another, it’s a feeling based on respect and I would have loved it even more if we had more interactions between these two characters. That would enhance our reading experience and make us even more involved with the romance. Another aspect I enjoyed was the cleverness with which the author created the misunderstandings that ultimately lead to the HEA, they are believable and mature.

It was also interesting to see Elizabeth as the oldest sister, I didn’t think about that detail before reading the book, but the twist was as necessary as it was fresh. Also there are several humourous moments in the book that made it an agreeable and light story. It is not novella size, but it is not very long so you will be able to read it in one day, especially because it is very fast paced and engaging. I recommend it for readers looking for something a little different from the usual variations 🙂

 

You can find The Taming of Elizabeth at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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Because it’s Christmas time Cinnamon Worth would like to offer my readers not only two copies of The Taming of Elizabeth, but also three copies of any of her other books. The winners will be able to choose the book they would like to receive and if you don’t know what other books she has released, you can find that information below 🙂 Read the blurbs, look at the covers and let us know which one you would rather receive on this giveaway and why. All comments will get an entrance in the giveaway which is international and open until the end of the year. The winners will be announced in the beginning of 2019 🙂

Below you can also see information about Betrothals & Betrayals which will be released in January but that is already in pre-sale on Amazon. You can also choose that book to be sent to you once it comes out, so don’t forget to check it as well 🙂

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

162 pages

Blurb: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice meets Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The Bennets’ first born child, Elizabeth Bennet, was overindulged and had no role model to guide her in controlling her temper. Now she has gained quite the reputation. Mr. Bennet must to go to extreme means to force his eldest to consider love. But with Elizabeth’s history, who would consider approaching her?

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 2.99$

365 pages

Blurb: A witty and cleverly crafted Pride and Prejudice Variation, Absurdities and Assumptions retells the story of the courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. This classic couple’s romance is shaken off course when, shortly after leaving Hertfordshire, Darcy receives word that one of the Bennet sisters is engaged to the obsequious Mr. Collins. Darcy, a rich and powerful landowner, knows that Elizabeth is not a suitable match but, having already lost the battle with Cupid, he finds himself rushing back to the countryside. He is relieved to discover that it is Mary Bennet who is destined to become Mrs. Collins. But his path to happiness is still far from assured. Darcy may have resolved his internal struggle to accept Elizabeth’s as she is, but he must now overcome a rival and his own inability to interpret events around him. Read as all of Jane Austen’s favorite characters overcome hilarious misunderstandings and mishaps. Assumptions and Absurdities is a Regency Romance sure to entertain.

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

338 pages

Blurb: Charles Dickens meets Jane Austen in this retelling of the historical classic, Pride and Prejudice. Jane and Elizabeth Bennet are daughters of a country squire hoping to find love. Charles Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy are best friends and two of the most eligible bachelors to have visited the small town of Meryton in years. While this quartet struggles to find happiness and romance within the confines of Regency Era England, those who serve them struggle to survive. All the while, an evil sociopath lurks in the shadows impacting all those with whom he comes in contact. How those spared from this destructive force react to those who are less fortunate will reveal the virtuous from the apathetic. A portrait of the dichotomy between the wealthy and the poor, Courtship and Corruption, paints life using every available shade of emotional color.

 

For sale at Amazon.com for 3.99$

212 pages

Blurb: A sweet, Regency era romance, Deception & Debauchery, is a variation of Pride and Prejudice, the classic Jane Austen novel – George Wickham, a widower with a penchant for gambling, women and alcohol, has recently gained his freedom and fortune. In an effort to gain respectability, he intends to acquire a country estate in Hertfordshire. He soon finds himself enamored with Elizabeth Bennet and developing a friendship with Charles Bingley, two people who are very important to his childhood rival, Fitzwilliam Darcy. When Darcy discovers that Wickham is worming his way into the lives of those in Hertfordshire, he will go to shocking lengths to protect them.

 

On pre-sale at Amazon.com for 4.99$

Number of pages to be confirmed

Blurb: A Pride and Prejudice variation, set primarily in Derbyshire, this Regency Era romance explores how the destiny of Jane Austen’s characters will be fulfilled even when all of the odds are stacked against them.

After a mysterious accident leads to their father’s death, the future for the Bennet girls seems bleak. Elizabeth Bennet finds work in Ramsgate, and one blustery morning, chance brings her together with Georgiana Darcy, a young, wealthy, orphaned girl. When Elizabeth saves her new friend from ruin, she sets off a course of events that alters not only her own life, but the lives of those she cherishes.

Fitzwilliam Darcy was looking for a wife, not love. He had everything he needed to be happy. A wife would provide him with a heir, and if he was lucky, she would not interfere too greatly in his life. Then, fate put Elizabeth Bennet in his path — destroying his tranquility. Now, in addition to trying to find a bride, he must deal with a stubborn, impertinent, troublemaker who doesn’t seem to understand her place. Will Elizabeth destroy his chance at happiness, or will she be making of it?

 

Good Luck everyone!


 

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Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish

Christmas time is here and it is becoming harder and harder to choose which books to read, so this year I decided to choose something a little different, and instead of reading only Pride and Prejudice Christmas variations, I picked up a Persuasion Christmas novella.

In Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish I found all the characters I love from Persuasion in a cosy setting that transported me immediately into the book and this magical season. The story starts after Louisa Musgrove’s accident in Lyme but it is around Christmas time and not only is Anne Elliot to stay at Uppercross for Christmas, but also Captain Wentworth is to spend this time with his sister. They meet in Somerset and realise their old feelings are still pretty much alive, but they are both unaware of the others feelings, so after reflecting on their situation, Captain Wentworth wishes he had repaired things with Anne Elliot when he had the chance.

This wish comes true and we find ourselves reliving what could have happened when Captain Wentworth returned to England two years after his proposal to Anne Elliot. By this time he was already a Captain of the English Navy but he was still too angry with Anne for being persuaded to end their engagement, but what if he wasn’t? What if he had been more open and forgiving? That is the new facet we will see in this book.

This premise is quite interesting and I really love the way the author developed it, but I did find Captain Wentworth too forgiving, I know this is what the author intended, but it seemed a little out of character and for that reason I could not relate to Captain Wentworth as I usually do.

I would also have preferred to see more interactions between these characters, the ones we saw were really good, but because there were not that frequent the book lacked some emotion in my perspective. Despite that I did find it a pleasant book and I do recommend it to those who love Persuasion.

The setting is really good, the environment is very cosy and it is a very romantic story without much angst.

What I loved the most about it was the uncertainty of what would happen. This book is not predictable at all, or at least I could not predict what would happen next and was surprised on occasion. It is a short novella so it can be read in a cosy afternoon while you enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea. If you love Persuasion, I do recommend it, I loved spending time at Kellynch with these characters

 

You can find Captain Wentworth’s Christmas Wish at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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Christmas at Darcy House, Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

Last year I read Victoria Kincaids’s Christmas at Darcy House and absolutely loved it, so this year I’m very pleased to bring you an excerpt and an opportunity to win an audiobook copy of it.

Audiobooks have become my saviors on the commutes to work so I’m very passionate about them and this one is definitely a must, especially in this time of the year, so I would like to thank Victoria for visiting once more with such a special treat 🙂

I hope you’re as excited as I am about this new audiobook! Please don’t forget to comment to have a chance to win a copy, and if audiobooks are not your thing, you should not miss the ebook! I really recommend it 🙂


Hi Rita and thank you for having me back to visit!  It’s always interesting to learn how they celebrated Christmas during the Regency time period.  Some of the traditions are familiar to us, and some seem a little bizarre (anyone want to play a game with flaming, rum-soaked raisins?).  The idea for Christmas at Darcy House had been knocking around in my head for a while.  In the original P&P, Darcy leaves Netherfield in November and doesn’t see Elizabeth until Easter time.  But I wondered what would happen if they encountered each other in London at Christmas—when Darcy was trying to forget her and keep Bingley away from Jane at the same time that Elizabeth was still enamored with Wickham.

Christmas at Darcy House was published last year, but this year I am celebrating the release of the audiobook, narrated by Julia Eve.  Below is an excerpt I hope you enjoy!


 

 

Mr. Darcy hopes Christmastime will help him to forget the pair of fine eyes that he left behind in Hertfordshire.  When Elizabeth Bennet appears unexpectedly in London, Darcy decides to keep his distance, resolved to withstand his attraction to her.  But when he learns that Wickham is threatening to propose to Elizabeth, Darcy faces a crisis. 

For her part, Elizabeth does not understand why the unpleasant master of Pemberley insists on dancing with her at the Christmas ball or how his eyes happen to seek her out so often.  She enjoys Mr. Wickham’s company and is flattered when he makes her an offer of marriage.  On the other hand, Mr. Darcy’s proposal is unexpected and unwelcome.  But the more Elizabeth learns of Mr. Darcy, the more confused she becomes—as she prepares to make the most momentous decision of her life.

It’s a Yuletide season of love and passion as your favorite characters enjoy Christmas at Darcy House!  

 

You can find Christmas at Darcy House at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

And on Audible.com

 

 

 

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The knowledge that Elizabeth Bennet was in London had not allowed Darcy a moment’s rest that night.  As he sat behind his desk that evening, he envisioned what she might be doing.  Perhaps she was having dinner with her aunt and uncle.  Now she might be sitting in the drawing room reading.  Did they have children for her to play with?   When would she retire for the night?

After brooding in his study until long after midnight, he had tossed and turned in his bed before falling into a fitful sleep in the early morning hours.  A mere ten minutes in her presence, and he was in danger of becoming as obsessed with her as he ever was.

Upon awakening, his first thought was that he knew where Elizabeth stayed; he could call upon her and the Gardiners.  Indeed, a visit was polite—nearly obligatory—given his acquaintance with her family.  She had been gracious enough to call on the Bingleys despite knowing that she would receive a frosty welcome, but the Bingley sisters plainly would not return the call.  If Darcy visited, at least Elizabeth would know that the entirety of the Netherfield party did not hold her in such low esteem.  Also, she might have been brought low by the Bingley sisters’ insults; it was only right that Darcy visit and ensure that she was in good spirits.

Given new life by these thoughts, Darcy sprang from bed and addressed himself to his toilette with dispatch.  In the midst of splashing water on his face, he had a new thought.  If I visit the Gardiners’ house alone, will I appear to be courting Elizabeth?  He had taken great pains in Hertfordshire to avoid the appearance of favoring her; he did not want to give rise to expectations he could not fulfill.

And yet his own reaction surprised him. The idea of creating such an expectation should fill him with dread, but instead a thrumming excitement surged through his veins.  Suddenly light-headed, Darcy grabbed the edge of the washstand.  Was there some part of him that wished Elizabeth to believe he was courting her?  Or worse yet, wished to court her?

Darcy regarded his own rather pale face in the mirror.  What could he do?

He pried his gaze from the mirror and stumbled to the closet in search of fresh clothing.  I am being foolish.  He was simply returning a social call for the sake of politeness.  Elizabeth would understand that he only visited because of his connection with her family.   He might happen to enjoy Elizabeth’s company…quite a bit…more than any other woman he had ever encountered…

But that was beside the point.  His object was to help her feel welcome in London.

As his valet entered the room, Darcy thrust such thoughts from his mind.  Within minutes he was dressed and downstairs breaking his fast.  Another half an hour saw him driving his curricle toward Gracechurch Street.  The curricle was a bit of an indulgence; it would have been simpler to take a horse.  But he had a vision of offering Elizabeth a chance to tour some of his favorite sights in London.  It was a ridiculous thought, yet Darcy found he could not dismiss it from his mind.

Guiding the curricle through the streets of London, he even found himself humming a tune that Georgiana had played the day before.  It was pleasant to have one of his Hertfordshire acquaintances in London.  There was nothing remarkable if the anticipation of her company pleased him.

The Gardiners’ home was not large, but it was well kept and more fashionable than Darcy had expected.  He had never ventured into Cheapside before and had been prepared for far less genteel surroundings.  This appeared to be a quite respectable neighborhood.

Darcy was still humming as he approached the Gardiners’ door and knocked.  Perhaps he should have purchased flowers.  Women liked flowers, did they not?  But flowers might suggest he was courting her, which he most definitely was not.  They were simply friends.

A maid answered the door and took his coat.  Darcy gave his card and inquired if Miss Bennet and Mrs. Gardiner were at home.  The maid replied that they were in the drawing room with a male visitor whose name she had not caught.

Darcy’s interest was immediately piqued.  He could not imagine Elizabeth had a large circle of acquaintances in London.  Could she have acquired a suitor already?  But the maid had not mentioned the age of the visitor.  He might just as easily be some friend of her father’s or a business acquaintance of her uncle’s.  Darcy frowned at the thought.   A widower of that age might prefer a younger wife.

Or perhaps it was Bingley, visiting to apologize for his sisters’ behavior the previous day.  Yes, Bingley would be quite acceptable.

Darcy followed the maid down the narrow hallway to the drawing room.  She opened the door and announced, “Mr. Darcy, ma’am,” before withdrawing and allowing Darcy to enter the room.

His eyes immediately fell upon the male visitor, and he realized he had been far from imagining the worst.

Wickham.


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Victoria Kincaid would like to offer one audiobook copy of Christmas at Darcy House to one of my readers, the giveaway is international will end on the 20th of December. Winners will be announced shortly after that 🙂

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post and share your thoughts on this book or the audible experience with us.

Please do not forget to check the blog to confirm if you were the winner 🙂

Good Luck everyone!

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And the winners are…

Hello everyone,

Today I am the bearer of good tidings because it’s time to announce the winners of the latest giveaways that were hosted here ate From  to Pemberley to Milton. But before announcing the winners, I would like to thank the generosity of Abigail Reynolds who visited with the launch post of Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment and decided to offer my readers not only a copy of the book, but also some beautiful Christmas ornaments that will make somebody’s Christmas tree even more beautiful. I would also like to thank Jennifer Altman who showed a patience and kindness as I had never seen and to whom I wish al the best in the release of her first book!

Last but not least I would like to thank all of you who continue to visit my blog and dedicated it a few minutes of your precious time! Without you this blog would not exist and I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:

 

The 26th of November signed paperback

***Glynis***

 

Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment

*** Erika Messer ***

 

Christmas ornaments

*** Sheila Maczan***

 

To Conquer Pride

*** Agnes ***

 

Congratulations everyone! I hope you enjoy your prizes 🙂 Can you please send me your address to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that I can send the tote bags to you?

Speak to you soon!

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Filed under JAFF