Category Archives: JAFF

President Darcy, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m sure that by now you already know I am a huge fan of audiobooks, so I’m very happy to host Victoria Kincaid today to let you know about the release of two of her books on audible, President Darcy which I have loved but not reviewed yet (another great reason to relive it through the audio version), and The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy narrated by one of my favourite narrators, Stevie Zimmerman.

She is bringing an excerpt of President Darcy which I hope you enjoy, and also a giveaway of the two audiobooks, so you know the drill, comment on this post to apply for the giveaway, but most of all, share with us your opinions, wishes and love for all things Austen 🙂 If we all do that, we are bound to have a lot of fun 🙂




Hi Rita,  Thank you so much for welcoming me back to your blog!  I recently released audiobook copies of President Darcy and The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy, two of my most popular books.  President Darcy is narrated by Lucy Emerson, who does a wonderful job with the characters and the lighthearted moments in the story.  You can hear a sample of her narration here.  The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy is narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, a very popular JAFF narrator who also did The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth.  You can sample her narration here. And please enjoy an excerpt from President Darcy below:


“Intellectual lightweight.”  The phrase niggled at Darcy’s memory.  Where had he heard it recently?

Not that it mattered anyway.  He’d probably imagined any connection between them—wishful thinking brought on by too many lonely nights in the Residence.  First, she babbled, and then she acted like he’d killed her cat.  Perhaps she was just a strange person.

Then he recalled he had used the phrase in describing Elizabeth to Hilliard.  And somehow, she had heard him.

No wonder she had been icy and distant.  Darcy was lucky she hadn’t flung a drink in his face. His cheeks heated and his chest tightened as he imagined her overhearing his uncensored remarks.  Now that he knew she wasn’t a pampered rich girl, his comments were even more egregious.  He grappled with an intense desire to leave the room—or hide behind one of the eight-foot-high floral arrangements.

The proper course would be to follow Elizabeth Bennet and apologize.  But he certainly couldn’t chase after her, Secret Service agents in tow, begging for a moment of her time to explain—what, exactly?  He couldn’t claim he hadn’t meant the words; there was no denying he had said them.  She probably wouldn’t even listen to a convoluted explanation about his annoyance with Hilliard, let alone believe it.

However, it was equally unimaginable not to apologize.  Darcy started after her, but a hand on his elbow pulled him back.  Bob Hilliard yet again.  One glimpse of the man’s white-lipped frown and tense shoulders prevented Darcy from voicing his complaints.

Without a word, Hilliard pulled Darcy to an unoccupied table, where they were immediately joined by Caroline.  Hilliard handed Darcy a scotch on the rocks—a bad sign. Hilliard spoke in a low tone.  “Sir, we have a potential situation on Twitter.”

Darcy frowned at Caroline, who handled social media.  His predecessor in the office had been a disaster on Twitter, but most of Darcy’s tweets—posted by his social media staff—were about his policy positions.

“Not your Twitter account,” Caroline clarified.  “There’s a guest here tonight by the name of Lydia Bennet.”  Darcy couldn’t recall which sister she was.  “She has a picture of herself with you.” Darcy shrugged; people posted pictures with him all the time.

“She also complains that you ‘threw shade’”—Bob used air quotes—“at her sister Elizabeth. Supposedly you said ‘she is stupid and not pretty enough to dance with.’  It’s been retweeted 800,000 times.”  He checked his iPad.  “Wait a minute…800,015.”

Darcy was suddenly nauseated.  Not only had Elizabeth overheard, but her sister had tweeted it? “That’s what I said when—” Hilliard nodded knowingly.  Darcy gratefully gulped scotch before scowling at Hilliard.  “That area should have been cleared before we talked.”

Hilliard grimaced.  “The Secret Service should have cleared it, but apparently they didn’t check the ladies’ room.”

Darcy tossed back some more scotch.  “Elizabeth Bennet heard me insult her in person?”  Hilliard nodded, and Darcy stifled a groan.  He had harbored a small hope that she had heard it from a third party.  I’m lucky I got off with a cold shoulder instead of a slap to the face.

The Washington Post wants to know if we have a comment,” Caroline said.

How soon was too soon to leave his own state dinner? This had been a series of fiascos.  “They want us to respond to a tweet from a high school student?”

Caroline consulted her phone.  “Her profile says she’s at GW University.  The Post wants to know if you actually said her sister was ‘ugly and stupid’ and if you said it to her face.”

“No!” Darcy practically yelled.  “I would never—” Several heads pivoted in their direction; Darcy lowered his voice.  “Obviously I didn’t know she was there.”

Caroline frowned.  “Her father is a big donor.  Can we issue a denial?”

Darcy’s predecessor had been notorious for his falsehoods, and Darcy had been scrupulous at avoiding any appearance of being less than truthful.  It was one of the ways he had gained the public’s trust and restored faith in the presidency.  “No,” he said wearily.  “I did say it.  I haven’t lied to the press before.  I’m not starting now.”

Caroline took notes with brisk efficiency.  “We can say ‘no comment,’ but perhaps we should get someone working on damage control.”  She shot a quizzical look at Hilliard, who nodded.

Darcy rubbed the back of his neck where the headache had now taken hold.  He couldn’t help imagining Elizabeth’s reaction when he had uttered those words.  How had her face looked?  What had she thought?  Had he made her cry?   God damn it!  Darcy scrubbed his face with his hands.  “Can I issue an apology?”

“What?” Hilliard’s voice squeaked, and Caroline barked a laugh.

“I was irritated at you.” He waved at Hilliard.  “And it was an insensitive thing to say.  I didn’t even mean it.”  Darcy’s breathing constricted just thinking that she might believe those ill-considered words.  They were beneath him and beneath the office of the president.

“No, you can’t apologize!” Hilliard hissed.  “An apology would only confirm that you said it. That would be the surest way to transform this into a media circus.  It would be breaking news on the cable stations.  Rule number one of the presidency: don’t admit mistakes.”

“Stupid rule.”  Darcy hated to maintain a façade of infallibility.  Presidents were human and made mistakes.  Pretending otherwise was idiotic and counterproductive, but admitting to errors gave your enemies too much ammunition.  He gripped the scotch glass so tightly that his fingers turned white.

“If we don’t say anything, it will likely die down,” Hilliard said.

Darcy stretched his neck, willing the muscles to loosen.  Hilliard was right, but still.  “Can I at least apologize to Elizabeth Bennet?”

“Why bother?” Caroline asked sharply.

He drained the last of the scotch and slammed the glass down on the table.  “Because it was rude and inaccurate.  She’s neither stupid nor ugly,” he growled at Caroline, not even caring when she drew back slightly.

Hilliard shook his head sadly.  “No.  You can’t apologize to her.  It would be the first thing she’d mention if the media contacts her.   It would be best if you didn’t have any conversations with her at all.”

Darcy thumped the glass on the table, startling Caroline. “Great. Just great,” he muttered to himself.

Elizabeth would continue to believe that he thought she was unattractive and dumb, and the whole world would think he’d insulted a woman he barely knew. And he’d been barred from speaking with the most intriguing woman he’d met in years.

Sometimes being president sucked.



President Darcy

President William Darcy has it all: wealth, intelligence, and the most powerful job in the country.  Despite what his friends say, he is not lonely in the White House.  He’s not.   And he has vowed not to date while he’s in office.  Nor is he interested in Elizabeth Bennet.   She might be pretty and funny and smart, but her family is nouveau riche and unbearable.  Unfortunately, he encounters her everywhere in Washington, D.C.—making her harder and harder to ignore.  Why can’t he get her out of his mind?

Elizabeth Bennet enjoys her job with the Red Cross and loves her family, despite their tendency to embarrass her.  At a White House state dinner, they cause her to make an unfavorable impression on the president, who labels her unattractive and uninteresting.  Those words are immediately broadcast on Twitter, so the whole world now knows the president insulted her.  Elizabeth just wants to avoid the man—who, let’s admit it, is proud and difficult.  For some reason he acts all friendly when they keep running into each other, but she knows he’s judging her. 

Eventually, circumstances force Darcy and Elizabeth to confront their true feelings for each other, with explosive results.  But even if they can find common ground, Mr. Darcy is still the president—with limited privacy and unlimited responsibilities—and his enemies won’t hesitate to use his feelings for Elizabeth against him.  

Can President Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet find their way to happily ever after?

You can find President Darcy at:

and on Audible






The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy

Mr. Darcy arrives at Longbourn, intending to correct the mistakes he made during his disastrous proposal in Hunsford. To his horror, he learns that Elizabeth Bennet was killed in a ship’s explosion off the coast of France—in an apparent act of sabotage. Deep in despair, he travels in disguise to wartime France to seek out the spy responsible for her death.

But a surprise awaits Darcy in the French town of Saint-Malo: Elizabeth is alive!

Recovering from a blow to the head, Elizabeth has no memory of her previous life, and a series of mistakes lead her to believe that Darcy is her husband. However, they have even bigger problems. As they travel through a hostile country, the saboteur mobilizes Napoleon’s network of spies to capture them and prevent them from returning home. Elizabeth slowly regains her memories, but they often leave her more confused.

Darcy will do anything to help Elizabeth reach England safely, but what will she think of him when she learns the truth of their relationship?

You can find The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy at:

and on Audible







Victoria Kincaid would like to offer one copy of each of the recently released audiobooks to my readers, the giveaway is international will end on the 4th of March. 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, and let us know which of the two you would prefer to win.

Also, please do not forget to check the blog to confirm if you were the winner 🙂 Unfortunately if we don’t hear anything back from the winners we will have to announce new winners.

Good Luck everyone!



Filed under JAFF

The Giveaway Winners are…

Hello everyone,

How are you today? I hope your weekend was great and that your are ready for another week 🙂 This Sunday I was dedicated to my new hobbie, and I’m quite happy with the results! It’s taking away some reading time, but I really enjoy making postcards! I even made one that could easily be send to one of you 🙂 What do you think of it?

What about these two? They are not Pride and Prejudice themed, but I would love your opinion nonetheless, I’m just starting and maybe I’m not going in the right direction 🙂

But I won’t bother you anymore with my arts and crafts, after all,  I am publishing this post to announce the winners of the Pride and Proposals audiobook giveaway  that was held here at From Pemberley To Milton. I reviewed the audiobook copy of Victoria Kincaid’s book and Erin Evan’s-Walker who narrated it decided to offer my readers 3 audiobook copies. This was a very generous offer from her, and I would really like to thank her for it. I would also like to thank all who have supported her work by commenting on this blog and sharing your opinion on audiobooks with us 🙂 I’ve said time and again, this wouldn’t be the same without you.

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


*** Carla***

***Audrey Reed***



Congratulations girls! I hope you enjoy listening to this books 🙂 Can you please send me your addresses to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that your prizes may be sent to you?

Happy Reading!


Filed under JAFF

The Most Interesting Man in the World – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you had a wonderful week and that you are ready for some reading this weekend 🙂 May I suggest starting with the excerpt I’m sharing today of The Most Interesting Man in the World? I’m very pleased to receive authors J.L Ashton and Justine Rivard today to promote their book, which is the most recent release from Meryton Press, and I hope you join me in welcoming them by sharing lots of positive energy on your comments 🙂

Happy Reading everyone!


What has gotten into Fitzwilliam Darcy lately?

Charles Bingley, a jolly fellow who relies on his great friend’s impeccable judgment in all things, is determined to find out. What could explain Darcy’s ill humour and distraction? Or his uncharacteristic blunder of speaking Greek to a horse who only understands Latin? Not to mention that shocking book accident! Certainly, it has nothing to do with Elizabeth Bennet, the sister of Bingley’s own angel, Jane. Bingley is certain of it.

What was really going on behind the scenes at Netherfield, Pemberley, and Darcy House, and just what did those men talk about over billiards and brandy? In this novella, Bingley sheds a little light on keeping company with the most interesting man in the world, and shares his own musings on puppies, his dreadful sisters, and the search for true love. Prepare to be shocked, delighted, and confused by a Charles Bingley the likes of whom you’ve never met before.


You can find The Most Interesting Man in the World at:








Rita, thank you so much for having us here at From Pemberley to Milton to share a scene that doesn’t appear in The Most Interesting Man in the World. The book centers on the relationship between Bingley and Darcy. The story of their “bromance” and their conversations about everything—but most especially their love and admiration for the Bennet sisters—is told through Bingley’s point of view. (Hint: He is overly imaginative and wears very thick rose-coloured glasses.)

Here, we give the spotlight to the ladies of Pride & Prejudice.

A Ladies’ Tea

The ladies of Longbourn are missish. Their scenes were cut, or never written, for the book and being excluded from all “scenage,” they now demand their share of the conversation. They also demanded to set their MAJORLY IMPORTANT scene in London. However, for purposes of the authors, they instead occupy the drawing room at Netherfield.

The boxes and packages had been swept away by the footmen, refreshments had been ordered, and the brides-to-be and their female relations were settled at Netherfield, awaiting the arrival of tall, gallant and, in at least one case, certain to be voraciously hungry, men.

Elizabeth leaned back in her seat, breathing deeply of the warmth she felt in her happiness. “Jane,” she said, “your Mr. Bingley is the best of men. After Darcy, that is.”

Her comment prompted a sigh from her elder sister. “Yes, isn’t he wonderful? Mr Bingley is so kind and thoughtful and loyal.”

“And fond of his biscuits,” added Mrs Gardiner.

“Like Tuffy,” Caroline mumbled. “Silly dog.” Conscious of the heads turning her way, she cleared her throat. “Where is that tea?” She stepped out of the room, still muttering.

Mrs Bennet gave her a shrewd look and leaned toward her eldest daughter. “The kitchens here are nothing to Longbourn’s. You must have Mr Bingley bring you a cook from London.”

Jane smiled at her mother. “Mr Bingley is fond of Netherfield’s cook. She understands his preferences and ensures every meal includes his favourite fruits.”

“Many, many fruits. So much fruit.” Louisa Hurst sighed.

Mrs Bennet nodded in satisfaction. “I see he has listened to you, Jane. Would that Mr Bennet would listen so well.”

Kitty, preoccupied with tucking a loose piece of lace in her skirt, looked up. “I am so happy he listens. I like Mr Bingley, but he makes the oddest comments.”

“Kitty, be kind,” Elizabeth said quickly.

“It is the truth, and I do mean it kindly,” Kitty cried. “Remember when he said the ladies in Goat Bottom Howling were less than handsome? That was not very charitable.”

Jane, flushed with an unfamiliar possessiveness, protested. “Sister, I am certain that is not what he meant. Charles sees the beauty in everything.”

“Yes,” Elizabeth said quickly, “I believe he was trying to say something about how the beauty of a place is reflected in the people who live there. I think it was a compliment to us, maybe, somehow,” she continued, her voice trailing off, “but honestly I am not sure.”

The silence that greeted Elizabeth’s proclamation was filled only with the tinkling sound of Louisa Hurst’s bracelets.

“He is not wrong that Goat Bottom Howling is dreadful,” Kitty stated, sure of her authority. “The buildings are ugly and Lydia says the society there is terrible, and you know she is quite the best-traveled of us.”

Kitty looked around the room, once again disappointed to find her sisters uninterested in marveling at the life Lydia and her husband were living. She crossed her arms and burrowed deeply into the settee. “But I don’t see what any of that has to do with whether the girls there are pretty or not.”

“I am not entirely clear on that either,” Mrs Gardiner replied. “But be kind. Mr Bingley is to be your brother in two days.”

Frowning, Mary turned around from her inspection of the bookshelves. “Mr Bingley displays admirable charity in sharing the ginger biscuits he keeps in his pockets.”

“Thank you, Mary.” Jane beamed at her and sighed. “That does show his consideration and care for others. He is so wonderful.”

Georgiana, seated across from Jane, smiled. Quietly.

“That bouquet of wildflowers he gathered for me on Monday was so pretty,” Jane added.

“Such a shame about the bee.” Mrs Gardiner gave her niece a gentle smile. “Did the poultice help?”

“Yes, his hand is only half the size it was yesterday.”

“The calendula cream helped as well,” Mrs Hurst said. “With the itching.”

“It soothes his skin and smells so nice,” said Jane.

A dramatic sigh came from Mrs Bennet. “Mr Bennet smells of musty books and peppermint.”

In a rare display of their sisterly bonds, the four Bennet girls stared at one another until Jane broke the silence. “Yes, Mama. That is a familiar scent for my father.”

“I do not know the word for it, but my brother smells like home to me.” Everyone turned to look at the nearly forgotten girl sitting beside Elizabeth. Georgiana promptly shrank into the sofa.

“What a wonderful observation.” Elizabeth gave the girl a gentle smilel. “I believe I will agree once we are settled at Pemberley.”

“What does Mr Darcy smell like now, Lizzy?” Kitty prompted her sister to expand on her thoughts. “I noticed you sniffing his neck the other day out in the garden. Does he smell like horses? He spends a lot of time riding his horse.”

“I was not sniffing his neck. And he smells perfectly normal, if you must know. Not like horses at all.”

Mrs Hurst laughed softly. “Caroline thinks Mr Darcy smells of all that is good.”

Elizabeth laid a protective hand on Georgiana’s arm.

“Any man with ten thousand a year can afford to smell good,” cried Mrs Bennet. “Mr Darcy—.”

“Your brother and sister think quite highly of our Lizzy’s Mr Darcy,” Mrs Gardiner interjected. “Has he always been the valiant gentleman, the man with no flaws and never a cross word?”

“I have never seen him less than perfect in either his manner or his grammar,” Mrs Hurst replied.

“And you, Miss Darcy, do you see him as a paragon as well?”

“He is the best brother,” Georgiana replied, “if a little absent of mind of late. He was quite preoccupied these past weeks, looking forward to the wedding.”

“I would imagine so.”

“Almost as much as Mr Bingley,” Georgiana added. “He and our cousin Archie spent some time with Fitzwilliam, and he made references to bats flying about his insides.”

“Bats?” Mrs Bennet sniffed. “I am sure he meant butterflies.”

“Oh no, he called them large winged bats.”

“Oh!” Mrs Bennet snapped her fan. “Do stop that wiggling, Kitty.”

Kitty shifted in her seat, twisting about and plunging a hand under the cushion. “Aha!” she cried, pulling out a well-thumbed copy of The Romance of the Forest.

“Oh my.”

Mary gasped just as Colonel Fitzwilliam strode into the room with Miss Bingley and two footmen carrying tea trays.

“I thank you for the kind escort, sir. Please join us for tea.” Caroline glanced about the room, her expression tightening when her eyes fell upon the book in Kitty’s hand. “Ah,” she drawled shakily, “another treasure left behind by the previous owners.”

The ladies beamed up at their newest guest; Kitty and Mrs Bennet each patted the empty cushion beside them on the sofas.

“It would be my pleasure to spend time with the sisters, aunt, and mother of the lady betrothed to Darcy.” The Colonel sat himself in a chair beside Mrs Gardiner and leaned toward her, winking at Elizabeth and Georgiana as he continued. “She is too good for that cousin of mine in any case.”

Mrs Gardiner laughed, drowning out the squeak of protest coming from her sister. “Oh my goodness, no. As his friend Bingley says, Mr Darcy is the most interesting man in the world.”

“Ah yes, but that title is bestowed only by one man in the world and his opinion is decidedly batty. Kindly meant, but truly, Darcy is quite dull. His idea of fun is reading a thick dusty book by the fire.”

“Untrue!” Elizabeth and Georgiana cried out together.

“Oh he can ride a horse and fence rather well, but what is so interesting about that?” The Colonel leaned over the tea handed him by Caroline and looked around the room. “No, the most interesting thing about my cousin is how he managed to make a lady of such quality, wit, beauty and humour fall in love with him.”

The ladies sighed as one. Except for Caroline, who groaned into her tea.

“Alas, Darcy was an interesting lad when I could raise his nose from his books, and make him follow me into mischief. But he grew into a solid man, rather dull and solemn,” he added, his eyes twinkling, “steady to his purpose with his estate business and his care for young Georgiana. His tales cannot measure up to my own of the battlefield and the barracks, of men who fought to the death, of hills and dales taken and lost….”

Kitty, still grasping the novel, nearly swooned. (Mrs Bennet did.)

Elizabeth, her cheeks pinked, gave him a steady look. “Dull and solemn?”

“Oh to be sure, your betrothed was serious and stiff.” The Colonel looked around the room. “As the oldest son, one has to be, or so I am told. My elder brother certainly is both. But Darcy took his responsibilities very seriously even as a boy. He has always had an overdeveloped sense of duty, you know. Saving cats from trees, reading to his sister, following his father and Mr Wick—er, the steward around Pemberley to learn all that he could of estate matters.”

Caroline tutted. “Can you imagine? Mr Darcy climbing a tree.”

“My Lizzy was always in the trees as a girl.”

Kitty snorted. “Indeed. Lizzy and Mr Darcy spend a great deal of time in the woods.”

“They share a fondness for nature and walking.” Jane managed to nearly glare at her younger sister.

“Your cousin is a man without fault.” Mrs Gardiner looked around the room, an impish smile on her face. “My husband and children assure me of this.”

As the laugher fell away, Mary spoke up. “I had thought that he was prideful, but it does not seem to me that he has any untoward pride.”

“No, no, he is full of pride,” the Colonel replied. “That is one of his many, many shortcomings. But I have made it my personal mission to take the stuffing right out of him whenever possible!”

“It is true,” Georgiana said. “My brother’s seriousness is leavened by my cousin’s silliness, and likewise.”

“Indeed, no one else dares.” He looked at Jane. “Bingley is a good man who sees all that is good in my cousin. But we all need to be taken down a peg now and again. Myself included, much as I hate to admit it.”

“No, no,” Caroline cried. “Your family is quite illustrious. Some pride in that is surely deserved”

“Perhaps. But my cousin takes things a bit too far, or at least he did before he met Elizabeth” He lifted his cup to her and bowed his head. “She seems able to make him laugh at himself.”

“That is a most wonderful thing,” sighed Georgiana.

“Truly,” said Jane.

“If Mr Darcy is not the most interesting man in the world,” Elizabeth said gaily, “he is surely the best man in the world.

“Especially for me.”


Justine Rivard is a very serious college professor who has no time for frivolity or poppycock of any kind. She strenuously objects to the silliness found in this story and urges you to put the book down at once before it gives you ideas. You are invited instead to join her in the study for a lecture about her extensive collection of whimsical 18th-century animal husbandry manuals.


J.L. Ashton, on the other hand, is a very unserious writer of Jane Austen variations you might have read (A Searing Acquaintance and Mendacity & Mourning) and collector of recipes she will never attempt. She encourages a general lack of decorum and has a great appreciation for cleft chins, vulnerably brooding men, and Instagram accounts featuring animals. Especially cats. Also foxes.



February 11 / Austenesque Reviews / Character Interview

February 12 / A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life / Guest Post

February 14 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review

February 16 / Just Jane 1813 / Meet the Authors  

February 18 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Guest Post

February 22 / From Pemberley to Milton / Character Interview

February 24 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review

February 26 / My Vices and Weaknesses  / Book Excerpt

February 28 / More Agreeably Engaged / Guest Post



Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

One winner per contest. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

To enter it, click here.

Good Luck Everyone!


Filed under JAFF

Persuasion: Behind the Scenes – Guest Post & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

How are you this week? I am still recovering from some unexpected  health issues but I’m feeling much better then in the last few days so I’m on  my way to recovery 🙂

You may have noticed that I was absent from social media last week, but I’m returning with a guest post that is most pleasurable, and much anticipated by me! After Pride & Prejudice, my favourite book from Jane Austen is Persuasion and that is one of the reasons why I’m so happy to publish this post today. I was very excited to know that a group of authors whose work I respect and admire was coming together to write the scenes we never saw in Austen’s novel, and today I’m very happy to welcome Maria Grace, one of those authors with a wonderful guest post. She will come in the defense of Lady Russell and I hope you are as eager to read her guest post as I am of reading the book (yup, first one one my TBR list!).

But before the guest post I’m sharing the blurb and if you find this idea fascinating, and somehow you didn’t know yet, you may be happy to discover that there is also a Pride & Prejudice: Behind the Scenes which only costs 0,99$ at and whose royalties, just like the ones from Persuasion: Behind the Scenes, will be donated to Jane Austen related charities 🙂

Happy reading everyone!


You pierce my soul.

Before Jane Austen wrote that romantic letter from Captain Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot, she crafted a masterful story of heartbreak and longing that still resonates with readers today.

But what of those scenes that Jane Austen never wrote?  What Persuasion fan doesn’t want to listen in on Anne and Wentworth’s first courtship, laugh at the follies and foibles of the Elliot family, sail along on Captain Wentworth’s harrowing adventures at sea or attend Wentworth and Anne’s wedding.

Twelve authors of Austen-inspired fiction:  Diana Birchall, Marilyn Brant, Jack Caldwell, L.L. Diamond, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Kara Louise, Susan Mason-Milks, Jane Odiwe, C. Allyn Pierson, Mary Lydon Simonsen, and Shannon Winslow collaborated to put this unique collection that fills in “missing” scenes from Austen’s classic work, sure to delight any true Persuasion fan.




You can find Persuasion: Behind the Scenes at:







Lady Russell: Meddling God-mother or Faithful Friend?

To many readers, Lady Russell is the villain of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Afterall, Lady Russell persuaded Anne to refuse Wentworth’s first proposal, largely setting the plot into motion. It seems so clear: Lady Russel is class conscious, snobby and should not have interfered in Anne’s life so freely. Right?

Maybe, maybe not. A closer look at the text suggests that perhaps there might have been more to Lady Russell’s advice than class-consciousness and indifference to Anne’s wishes. In fact, there could have been some really good reasons. But what possible motives might Lady Russell have had that would justify her near disastrous advice to Anne?

First off, Wentworth was an unknown stranger who attached himself to Anne after only a very brief romance. He had neither wealth not any real connections, and his profession was the Navy.  Considering the era, each of these were significant marks against the young suitor.

With Wentworth’s lack of fortune and connection, Anne’s future living situation would certainly have been a big question. During their early acquaintance, Wentworth appeared to spend money freely, giving an impression that he might not be a wise manager of finances. So, even if Anne had a good dowry, which isn’t very clear in the text, Lady Russell may have had very serious questions as to whether or not there would be money for Anne to live off of.

Even more significant, sailors were gone for long periods of time. There was a very real possibility that Anne would be left as a young wife, pregnant and living in a port city without any support system around her. With all the danger of childbirth and the need for assistance through it all, Lady Russell had reason to worry whether Anne would have what she needed.

Moreover, the mortality rate of men in the navy was staggering.  There was a very good chance that when Wentworth left, he might never return, thereby leaving a widow and possibly a small child in uncertain financial conditions. Even if Anne were to return to her father’s home, Sir Walter Elliot was not in a good financial state himself and might not have been able or willing to take Anne and a child in.

In the Regency era, women of the upper class, unless they were wealthy widows, were usually entirely dependent upon their husbands or fathers. Jane Austen provides us a poignant picture of this in Anne’s friend, Mrs. Smith. The stark financial realities of the era meant that a woman had to have a husband who could provide for her and her children. For Anne to walk into a situation with such a high likelihood of leaving her in desperate straits would naturally alarm Lady Russell and move her to dissuade Anne from such a very risky match.

A careful reading of the book, though, suggests an even more sympathetic reason for Lady Russell’s opposition to the match. Jane Austen describes Anne as very much like her mother. Lady Russell knew and esteemed Lady Elliot and was aware that Lady Elliot had married her husband in a youthful infatuation and was not happy in her marriage. Lady Elliot made the best of the difficult situation, though and managed the silliness and vanity of her husband admirably.

After the death of Lady Elliot, Lady Russell looked upon Anne as a favorite and friend. She would have wanted the best for Anne and likely saw an alarming similarity between Anne and Wentworth and Lady Elliot’s youthful infatuation with Sir Walter. Knowing the grief that it brought her friend, is it any wonder that Lady Russell wanted Anne to avoid making the same mistake that played out a generation earlier?

If all this is so, then why would Lady Russell have pushed Anne to accept Sir Walter’s scheming heir presumptive, William Elliot? Perhaps it was his excellent manners that first attracted her attention. His financial security as heir of Kellynch could not have hurt his cause. But in all likelihood, William Elliot was the first person Lady Russell ever saw as truly admiring her favorite goddaughter. Granted, we, as readers, were able to see him through less rose-colored glasses, but Lady Russell had no such reason to be suspicious. To her, finally a worthy man paid Anne proper attentions.

Although it is not what Austen wrote, consider this: had the most likely outcomes taken place, Wentworth dying at sea or returning home as poor as he left, and William Elliot being just as he appeared, Lady Russell’s advice would have been hailed as the making of Anne Elliot.

It seems to me that, without an omniscient narrator to tell her things she could not otherwise know, Lady Russell’s advice was actually quite sound. Really, her biggest mistake was not predicting that Wentworth would go on to be successful enough to support a wife and family. So, far from being a meddling busy body who only succeeded in making Anne and Wentworth miserable for the years until their reunion, I think Lady Russell was a well-meaning friend, who dispensed advice which would have been considered excellent had things turned only a little different.


In Defense of Lady Russell; or, The Godmother Knew Best by JOAN KLINGEL RAY. Persuasions #15, 1993,  Pages 207-215, a JASNA publication.



Though Maria Grace has been writing fiction since she was ten years old, those early efforts happily reside in a file drawer and are unlikely to see the light of day again, for which many are grateful. After penning five file-drawer novels in high school, she took a break from writing to pursue college and earn her doctorate in Educational Psychology. After 16 years of university teaching, she returned to her first love, fiction writing.

She has one husband and one grandson, two graduate degrees and two black belts, three sons, four undergraduate majors, five nieces, written six different series,  built seven websites, started her eighth year blogging on Random Bits of Fascination, sewn nine Regency era costumes, and shared her life with ten cats.

She can be contacted at:


Random Bits of Fascination

Austen Variations

English Historical Fiction Authors



The blog tour is almost over but you can still go back and check all the other stops:





There is a wonderful giveaway accompanying the blog tour and this time it is also open for european residents! Click on the Rafflecopter widget to enter and don’t forget that leaving blog comments will increase your chances of winning 🙂

Good Luck Everyone!


Filed under JAFF

Through a Different Lens – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

How is this week treating you? Mine could not have started better!! yesterday I spent a wonderful day at pemberley with the talented Joana Starnes and our dear friend and reader Glynis, and today I will be watching the play All About Eve with Gillian Anderson, whom I’ve loved and admired for more than 20 years, and Lily James who played Elizabeth Bennet in Pride Prejudice & Zombies. Plus, I’m going with Mira Magdo from Obsessed with Mr. Darcy, so I know I’ll be in good company 🙂

Away from my daily life, and on this little corner of the internet, I am pleased to host a writer whose historic knowledge never ceases to amaze me, Riana Everly. Her debut book Teaching Eliza was a big success and it is on my TBR pile for this year, but today she is visiting to talk to you about Through a Different Lens. This book is certainly different from everything you have ever read and it takes courage to write something with this premise, so I hope you like the excerpt and the guest post Ms Everly wrote 🙂


A tale of second glances and second chances

Elizabeth Bennet has disliked the aloof and arrogant Mr. Darcy since he insulted her at a village dance several months before. But an unexpected conversation with a startling turn of phrase suddenly causes her to reassess everything she thought she knew about the infuriating and humourless gentleman. 

Elizabeth knows something of people who think differently. Her young cousin in London has always been different from his siblings and peers, and Lizzy sees something of this boy’s unusual traits in the stern gentleman from Derbyshire whose presence has plagued her for so long. She approaches him in friendship and the two begin a tentative association. But is Lizzy’s new understanding of Mr. Darcy accurate? Or was she right the first time? And will the unwelcome appearance of a nemesis from the past destroy any hopes they might have of happiness?

Warning: This variation of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice depicts our hero as having a neurological difference. If you need your hero to be perfect, this might not be the book for you. But if you like adorable children, annoying birds, and wonderful dogs, and are open to a character who struggles to make his way in a world he does not quite comprehend, with a heroine who can see the man behind his challenges, and who celebrates his strengths while supporting his weaknesses, then read on! You, too, can learn what wonders can be found when we see the familiar through a different lens.

This is a full-length novel of about 100,000 words.

You can find Through a Different Lens at:







Dr. Benjamin Rush and his philosophy of kindness

I’m delighted to be visiting From Pemberley to Milton today on my blog tour for Through a Different Lens. Thanks, Rita, for hosting me.

In Through a Different Lens, Elizabeth recognizes that Mr. Darcy might not be intentionally cold or arrogant, but might instead have a disability which hinders his ability to function comfortably in social situations. In other words, Mr. Darcy has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of “high-functioning” autism. Armed with this understanding, Lizzy attempts to befriend him, which sets off the action of the story.

Lizzy’s experience with autism comes from working with her young cousin and learning from his governess Miss Pierce, a most capable woman who has studied the works of Dr. Benjamin Rush (1746-1813). The name might be familiar to American readers, since he was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was not only a politician, though, but also a well-respected physician who changed how mental health issues were seen. In fact, he is known as “father of American psychiatry” for his work with the mentally ill. Although we now know that autism is not a mental illness, but rather a neurological difference, at the time of this novel and when Dr. Rush was writing, people with developmental issues were often treated similarly to the mentally ill.

Benjamin Rush, the medical doctor and Founding Father, took after the Renaissance-man civic participation of his mentor, Benjamin Franklin.

Rush, who completed his MD at the University of Edinburgh in 1768, believed that mental illness was not a sign of demonic possession or some other weakness of character, but that it had physiological causes (he incorrectly thought it the result of faulty blood circulation in the brain). Therefore, he believed mental illness could be diagnosed and treated. One significant result of this was that he called for the humane treatment of the mentally ill. Rather than condemning these sufferers to a life in Bedlam, or with locks and restraints, he advocated the need for kindness in their treatment.

He also pioneered a therapeutic approach to addiction, claiming the physical properties of alcohol rather than a weakness of character as the cause of alcohol addiction, and interestingly, was one of the first to identify Savant Syndrome when he described the abilities of Thomas Fuller, a slave who was a lightning calculator in 1789. As an interesting footnote to this novel, Savants pair their incredible abilities with some significant neurological or developmental disability, such as autism.

What Elizabeth Bennet and her friend Miss Pierce learned from Dr. Rush, however, is the importance of treating those who are different with a gentle hand and with sympathetic humanity. In other words, Lizzy learned the importance of kindness, and it is with this lesson in mind that she approaches the cold and inscrutable Mr. Darcy.



With Miss de Bourgh and Colonel Fitzwilliam holding court, the entire gathering was rather pleasant and Elizabeth found herself enjoying the occasion rather more than she had anticipated, until the door opened once more and Lady Catherine sailed in with Mr. Darcy in her wake. Immediately the atmosphere in the room changed. In the moment it took for Lady Catherine to walk across the room and seat herself in the throne-like chair by the fireplace, Anne returned to the timid and sour creature Elizabeth had first encountered, and Colonel Fitzwilliam’s easy smiles and effortless gallantry became stiff formality and cautious glances. The alteration was sudden, striking and most unpleasant.

Intrigued by the glimpse into Anne’s character when not terrorised by her mother, Elizabeth attempted to continue the conversation the two had been having. Anne answered neatly enough, but it was evident that she was measuring every syllable by what she deemed Lady Catherine would approve. So fascinated was Elizabeth by this phenomenon that she nearly missed overhearing the colonel as he spoke to Mr. Darcy.

“You ought to apologise,” the officer whispered. “I know not exactly what you said to her, but I am certain it was not polite.” There was no response from Mr. Darcy, and as Anne had ceased speaking completely, Elizabeth had little difficulty in hearing the rest of the colonel’s words. “At least walk over and offer her a polite greeting. You can be a boor and have a particular talent for insulting people. Take some initiative to be friendly.”

Elizabeth was struck by the similarity of this conversation with the one she had overheard at that first assembly in Meryton so long ago. This time she did not see Mr. Darcy’s eyes meet hers and then withdraw, but she felt his gaze at the back of her neck as he answered, “I cannot imagine what I have to say to her, and even less what she has to tell me. I am not one to make idle chatter with ladies in my aunt’s parlour. Leave me, Richard, and return to your flirtations.”

As these words dropped from those cruel lips, Elizabeth felt her shoulders stiffen and her entire mien shift, just as that of Anne de Bourgh had transformed with the arrival of Lady Catherine. Colonel Fitzwilliam must have observed this, for he now hissed at his cousin, “Darcy, we must speak. In the steward’s office. Now!” The shuffle of boots across the marble floor told Elizabeth that the two men had left the room, and she resisted the urge to feel the back of her neck to ascertain whether her skin was burning from the intensity of Mr. Darcy’s stare.

Horrid man! He was rude, cruel, uncaring, unthinking… he could not even be bothered to say so much as ‘good afternoon’ to her! Well, it was of little matter to her, for she resolved never to have another word with the arrogant man, just as she was certain he wished never to be in her presence again. That was settled, then. They should suit perfectly! She fretted and stewed as the tea was served, thankful now for Anne’s lack of conversation and for Lady Catherine’s claim on Charlotte’s time.

As quickly as the Collinses and their guests had been summoned to Rosings, so they were dismissed. Between one sip of tea and a nibble of cake, Lady Catherine announced that the party was over and that it was time to depart. To her credit, Anne looked distressed at her mother’s discourtesy, but said nothing, being reduced once more to a shell in the fierce lady’s presence. Elizabeth’s only regret as she took her leave was that she had not been able to converse with the colonel, nor to say good-bye to him. For the rest, she was more than delighted to be out of the house.

What a strange family this was! For all her grand gestures and her elaborate displays of noblesse oblige, Lady Catherine was nothing but a petty tyrant, ruling through fear rather than through respect. The mistress of Rosings might be obeyed, but she was also undoubtedly despised behind many a closed door. How preferable was Elizabeth’s own father, with his middling estate and the goodwill of his tenants, than were Lady Catherine’s great riches and the cowering or scorn of these beholden to her.

Of these, the most poorly done by was Anne, the lady’s own daughter, to whom all the wealth and prosperity of Rosings truly belonged. Although not blessed with fine looks or a hale constitution, those few minutes of candid conversation had proven Miss de Bourgh to have a fine mind and a pleasing manner, which were crushed under her mother’s imperiousness. How the heir to Rosings might have blossomed if only she had been treated with a little kindness!

That word nearly stopped Elizabeth as she walked. Kindness: she had seen the outcome of its lack in Anne de Bourgh; she had seen its liberal application work wonders with Sammy. She had the choice of these, and she chose the latter. It seemed unlikely that Mr. Darcy would deign to be in her presence again—he could not lower himself to deal with one such as she after all—but should the occasion arise, she would strive to be kind. Perhaps one day that cold and cruel man might learn something of the idea and might try some kindness himself. To the unlikelihood of that occurrence, she could only give a bitter laugh.


Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11, and has never looked back.

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

Riana’s second novel, The Assistant, was awarded the Jane Austen Award by Jane Austen Readers’ Awards, and her debut novel, Teaching Eliza, was listed on a list of 2017 Favourite Books on the blog Savvy Verse & Wit. For both of these honours, she is delighted and very proud!

You can follow Riana’s blog at, and join her on Facebook ( and Twitter (@RianaEverly). She loves meeting readers!



The blog tour is almost over but you can still go back and check all the other stops:

Jan 21 ~ Diary of an Eccentric
Jan 22 ~ Author takeover at Historical Reads and Research with Leila Snow
Jan 23 ~ Rose Fairbanks
Jan 24 ~ Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
Jan 25 ~ Babblings of a Bookworm
Jan 28 ~ So Little Time…So Much to Read
Jan 29 ~ My Love for Jane Austen
Jan 31 ~ Half Agony, Half Hope
Feb 5  ~ From Pemberley to Milton
Feb 6  ~ More Agreeably Engaged
Feb 8  ~ Austenesque Reviews




Riana Everly is giving away five copies of Through a Different Lens to readers world-wide! Just sign up through the Rafflecopter widget to enter.
If you prefer not to use Rafflecopter, send her an email message ( or leave a note on her Facebook page, and she’ll add you to the list for the draw.
Entries close at midnight Eastern time (GMT-5) on February 10, 2019, so the winners have something to read on Valentine’s Day.

Good Luck Everyone!


Filed under JAFF

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor

My favourite JAFF stories are the ones that place Darcy and Elizabeth trapped in a small space, and when that small space is a cottage during a winter storm I just cannot resist them. I start reading stories like these and I cannot put them down often spending entire nights reading them, and that is exactly what happened with Jennifer Joy’s latest book.

She worked on a plot that I absolutely love but brought a lot of innovation into it by adding Bingley and Jane into the story, the result was an incredible book, hard to put down and completely addictive.

You already know how this books starts, but do not be deceived by thinking this will be a simple story of getting caught in cottage during a snow storm, this is a Jennifer Joy book after all, and that means that there is much, much more going on. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor is an adventurous book that will take the characters on a quest for justice and where Elizabeth shows time and again how faithful she is to Darcy. Her love is stout and unquestionable and so is his devotion for her. That was one of my favourite parts of the book, I love to read stories where their love is stronger than anything, and I believe most readers will feel the intensity of their love too. But the writing was also an added value in this book. Jennifer Joy doesn’t leave room for a dull moment in it and you’ll find yourself turning pages as if there was no tomorrow.

Despite being filled with action, we have lots of Darcy and Elizabeth moments in this book and I absolutely loved every single moment they spent together because Jennifer Joy can always make them romantic, intense but clean and sweet at the same time. These moments were crucial for an engaging and compelling story I could not put down.

Some aspects of the book may seem a little far-fetched but Jennifer Joy has an incredible ability to pull the reader into the story and completely forget about that. Her writing was able to make me forget everything and get immersed in the story as if I was living those events with the characters, and there is nothing better than that when we are reading a book. I want something that makes me forget I am in the 21st century and this book achieved just that as I could not think of anything else except the story.

If you are looking for a romance filled with excitement this book is for you! It is hard to put down and it was one of my favourite stories from last year.


You can find Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor at:

and on Kindle Unlimited



Filed under 4.5 stars, JAFF

The Giveaway Winners are…

Hello everyone,

I have been quiet this week because I started to fully work at a new position within my company and even though I am absolutely loving my new job, this particular week has drained me a little, and consequently this is the first post of the week, luckily it is one of the posts my readers love the most as it announces the giveaway winners names, so I’m hoping that at least some of you will be happy to read it.

My first review of the year was Recognizing Love by Lizzy Brandon who was generously offering an ebook copy of the book to one of my readers. I would like to thank her for the opportunity to read the book and for the giveaway she promoted 🙂 I really enjoyed working with you Ms. Brandon, and I hope this is just our first collaboration 🙂

I would also like to thank Victoria Kincaid for visiting From Pemberley to Milton this month. She brought us an excerpt of her most recently released book, Darcy and Deception, and an ebook copy to offer, so thank you very much Victoria!

I would also like to thank all who have supported these authors by commenting on this blog and sharing their love for this literary genre 🙂 This wouldn’t be the same without you.

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


Recognizing Love

*** Deborahanne2***


Darcy and Deception



Congratulations girls! I hope you enjoy reading these books 🙂 Can you please send me your addresses to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that your prizes may be sent to you?

Happy Reading!


Filed under JAFF


Christie Capps’ novellas have become my go to books when I need an easy fix, they provide me pleasurable moments when I’m feeling down and I consider them a sort of comfort book if that is a thing. Her stories are clean, well written, romantic and with the perfect length for this type of book, so when I saw that she had released a new novella called Henry I did not resist and bought it for a moment of need. The moment of need came and I ended up enjoying this story vey much!

Henry is a beautifully written novella that takes place shortly after the Meryton Assembley when Mr. Darcy is visiting Mr. Bingley at Netherfield. In this variation Mr. Darcy has an adorable puppy named Henry who keeps finding his way into Longbourn and Miss Elizabeth’s company. Mr. Darcy is forced to fetch Henry on a daily basis and that forces him to be in Elizabeth’s company quite frequently. The reader gets to see their pride and prejudice at hand on the initial encounters and even some confrontation, but slowly and due to their shared love for Henry, those initial perceptions start to disappear and their feelings start to change.

Every time Henry finds Elizabeth she is reading a book and Christie Capps actually wrote excerpts of the book so we accompany the story Elizabeth is reading, these shifts between Elizabeth’s reality and the story she is reading was my favourite part of the book. In what reminded me of Austen’s Northanger Abbey, the heroine is pulled into the pages of the book she is reading and we are pulled along with her. The similarities of what she is reading and her own life are obvious and we cannot wait for Elizabeth to see that too, and to learn from what she is reading. I felt completely pulled into the story inside the story and this was absolutely incredible! I really loved the writing in the first Christie Capps novella I read over a year ago, but I believe the writing in Henry even surpasses that.

Henry is a sweet and captivating novella and I recommend it to all my readers.


You can find Henry at:

and on Kindle Unlimited


Filed under 4.5 stars, 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 🙂



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:

and on Kindle Unlimited





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 🙂


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.



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




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.”



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:





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!


Filed under JAFF