Category Archives: North and South

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey Review & Giveaway

2-1-donwell-cover5 stars

Hello everyone,

Last year I devoured Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes in one day and the book caused such an impression on me that I considered it one of my favorites from 2016.

The only issue I had with the book was that the second volume, Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, would only be available in January 2017 and I didn’t want to wait that long to read it.

I eagerly waited until I could read Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, and when I put my hands on it, I was once again compelled to read it in one day. I simply could not stop reading this book, and that is because Ginger Monette has a fluid and enticing writing style that make her books true page-turners.

You don’t necessarily need to read Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes to enjoy Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey because even if this is a continuation of the story, readers will easily understand and get immersed in this new story, but the impact this second book will have is much different if you read the first, so I recommend reading Beauty from Ashes first.

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey starts with Elizabeth receiving very disturbing news that imply she is part of a conspiracy of traitors who helped German officers escape from the Allies on the continent (if you haven’t read the blurb yet, the book occurs during the first World War). She knows that traitors are convicted to death and that people associated to them will most likely be shunned by society, so in an attempt to save her own life and protect Darcy she goes into hiding.

When Darcy discovers Elizabeth is missing, he understands the reasons behind this and does everything in his power to find her and let her know that the news she heard are not true, that she is safe from the malicious rumors and they can be happy together, but Elizabeth outsmarts him and assumes a new identity as a VAD nurse. She becomes Miss Juliet Thomas, the assistant of Dr. Scott, who is sent to work at Hartfield facility.

In the meantime, Darcy is obliged to remain in the continent and is send to the front. Being unable to find Elizabeth, he is devoid of hope, and in an altruistic and heroic act gets seriously injured in battle. He is then sent back to England and transported to Hartfield which belongs to his family. In this new hospital he will be under Dr. Scott’s care and in close proximity to Elizabeth who will be crucial to assist him in his recovery.

It is at Hartfield, close to Donwell Abbey, that our characters will face their biggest trial in life. They will suffer, despair, lose all hope and regain it once more; they will laugh, cherish each other and grow as human beings, and in the end, they will have their happy ending.

This book is simultaneously powerful, intense and beautiful. It is very hard for me to cry with a book, but on Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey tears came to my eyes as feelings consumed and pulled me into the story and the characters reality. The path both Darcy and Elizabeth take in this book is a dark one, and the tone is completely different from Beauty From Ashes. In this book the characters are more mature and the relationship they establish is not a passionate love/hate one, it is based on understanding, friendship, respect and perseverance.

I particularly liked the fact that Darcy never gave up on Elizabeth, and that she yielded to her feelings in the end.

Darcy and Elizabeth are central characters in the book, but there are several cameo appearances of other known characters such as Col. Brandon and Marianne Dashwood. The ones I loved the most were John Thornton and Margaret Hale from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. If you don’t love John Thornton yet, you will once you see how crucial he will be on Darcy’s life. I hope the author writes a Great War Romance based on John and Margaret’s POV very, very shortly 🙂 The stories intertwine in perfections and I would dearly love to see this romance through their eyes and experiences having Darcy and Elizabeth as mere secondary characters.

Summing up, Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey is full of depth, intensity and historical romance. It is incredibly well written and the development of the characters fears and war trauma is beautifully accomplished. I highly recommend it not only to JAFF readers but anyone who wants a good historical romance.

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The Darcy’s Hope Saga is available for purchase on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Darcy’s Hope – Beauty from Ashes & Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey  

Amazon.co.uk –Darcy’s Hope – Beauty from Ashes & Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey 

To have a better idea of what this book is all about I would like to invite you read the blurb and the excerpt we brought you today 🙂

 

***Book Blurb***

  1. Amidst the chaos of WW1, Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy has won the heart of Elizabeth Bennet. Finally.

Then she disappears.

Still reeling from the loss, Darcy is struck by a battlefield tragedy that leaves him in a dark and silent world.

Sent to Donwell Abbey to recover, he’s coaxed back to life by an extraordinary nurse. A woman whose uncanny similarities to Elizabeth invite his admiration and entice his affections.

His heart tells him to hold on to Elizabeth. His head tells him to take a chance with his nurse.

But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey in this enthralling stand-alone sequel* to Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes that includes appearances by John Thornton, Margaret Hale, Colonel Brandon, Marianne Dashwood, and descendants of George Knightley.

  • May be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, but readers may experience some minor confusions without the context of the mystery of Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes.
  • Has a happy ending for Lizzy and Darcy.
  • Romance is clean. Minor language and some recollections of graphic war scenes.

 

***Excerpt***

Elizabeth bolted from the chair. “Fitzwilliam, wake up!” She nudged his arm in the darkened room, but he continued writhing with great heaving breaths. “Captain!” She squeezed his hand, but he jerked it away, whimpering.

On impulse, she slid her arms under his shoulders and held him close. Instantly his thrashing ceased.

Gently rocking him, she massaged the unbandaged hair at his temple and whispered against his cheek, “It’s all right. Just a dream.”

He breathing slowed, but his body remained tense. “My ribs…hurt.”

She lowered him back to the pillow, then tapped on his hand, Try to relax. All right now?

“Mmm…. Water. And morphine.”

She squeezed his hand and poured water into the hospital cup. She touched the pill to his lips then offered the porcelain straw.

He swallowed. “Who are you?”

Elizabeth froze and closed her eyes. How she longed to tell him the truth, then brush a kiss on his lips, assure him of her love, and promise to stay by his side.

She took his hand and spelled, Miss Thomas.

“Thank you…Miss Thomas.”

Elizabeth sank into the wing chair and released a heavy breath. Could she bear to be so close and yet so far away from Fitzwilliam?

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*** Author Bio***

3-1-headshotWinner of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 “Picture This” grand prize, Ginger lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.

Author Contacts:

Website: GingerMonette.com

Author’s Facebook: is here

Goodreads: here

Amazon: here

***It’s Giveaway time***

Ginger Monette would like to offer to three lucky winners ( open to US residents only) a tin of Downton Abbey Tea! All you have to do is click on the  Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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***Blog Tour***

Excited about this book? Follow the blog tour for more reviews, excerpts and information on Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey.

Feb 1  The Ardent Reader

Feb 2 From Pemberley to Milton

Feb 3 My Jane Austen Book Club

Feb 4  My Love for Jane Austen

Feb 5  vvb32reads

Feb 6  Just Jane 1813

Feb 7  Savvy Verse & Wit

Feb 8  Austenesque Reviews

Feb 9  My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice

Feb 10 Babblings of a Bookworm

Feb 11  Obsessed with Mr. Darcy

Feb 12  Musings from the Yellow Kitchen

Feb 13  Half Agony, Half Hope

Feb 14  My Vices and Weaknesses

Feb 15  Diary of an Eccentric

Feb 16  Every Savage Can Dance

Feb 17  More Agreeably Engaged

Feb 18  The Calico Critic

Feb 20  Austenesque Reviews

Feb 21  More than Thornton

Feb 22  Margie’s Must Reads

Feb 23  Delighted Reader

Feb 24  Becky’s Book Reviews

Feb 26  Linda Andrews

Feb 27  Every Woman Dreams

Feb 28  Tomorrow is Another Day

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27 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Audiobooks Giveaway Winners Announcement

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Hello everyone,

I started this year with the pleasure of interviewing Stevie Zimmerman and learning a little more about the audiobook business and the narration process. I was also very lucky to receive as my guests Jennifer Joy, Nicole Clarkston and J.Dawn King who shared with us their working experience with Stevie and also some news regarding their recently released audiobooks! J. Dawn King announced the release of The Abominable Mr. Darcy audiobook on the same day the post was released and Nicole Clarkston announced that The Courtship of Edward Gardiner would also be narrated by Stevie Zimmerman and released this month! In fact, the audiobook is already out, and to celebrate it, Nicole Clarkston would like to offer one copy of it to an additional winner !!! So today we’re announcing 9 lucky winners who will hopefully spend several hours listening to Stevie narrate the stories of our favorite characters 🙂

But before announcing the winners, I would just like to thank these wonderful authors once more for their kindness and support on this post and for the generosity to my readers. Ladies, you are some of the nicest people I have met in the JAFF community and I am blessed to have had an opportunity to get to know you 🙂 Thank you so much for all your support and friendship!

Now, without further ado, the winners are:

 

Love Never Fails – The Pemberley Library

Accusing Elizabeth – Anji


Rumours and Recklessness – Elizabeth Ehinger

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Northern Rain – Kneyda


Compromised – Daniela Quadros & Darcybennett

 

The Abominable Mr. Darcy – Maureen C & Jessica Washer

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The Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Eliza

Congratulations everyone! Can you please send me your e-mail addresses to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so we can send you your audiobooks?

12 Comments

Filed under Audiobooks, JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Interview with Stevie Zimmerman & Audiobook Giveaways

Hello Dear Readers,

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in traffic and as I’m not a particular fan of the radios we have nowadays I started buying audiobooks to have some distraction, and of that, I did become a fan. It started as a way to get distracted, but it proved to be a wonderful way to get to know more stories and to relive some of them in a different way. I started enjoying audiobooks so much that I no longer listen to them only in my car, now I listen to audiobooks every time I’m cooking, cleaning and even running (I couldn’t do it without audiobooks to distract me).

When my husband started to notice I was listening to books he found it strange as he had no idea this was such a common entertainment. Our discussions led me to investigate a little about audiobooks and I was surprised to discover that they are not as recent as I though going back for several decades.

I also found some interesting articles which told me that the audiobook releases are now almost always simultaneous with the publication of the printed book, and that we see around 36 000 new titles released per year. If you are curious about the growth of this industry, you can find our more in this Publishing Perspectives article about the FutureBook conference that took place in London a couple of months ago. I found it very enlightning and interesting.

As you may imagine most of the audiobook I listen to are JAFF and one of my favourite narrators is Stevie Zimmerman. When I heard she would be narrating The Courtship of Edward Gardiner this year I though it would be the perfect opportunity to interview her and get to know a little about the other side.

I’m sure some of my readers will be as curious as I am regarding audiobooks and Stevie, so today I’m sharing the interview with you. You can read it along with some author testimonials below:

 

***Interview with Stevie Zimmerman***

 

headshotCan you tell us a little about you? Who are you, what are your interests, your professional background etc?

I come from England and moved to the US when I married – my husband is an orchestral conductor and is half English half American. I have two children, both in college now. I am a theatre director and had wanted to be an actor when I was in school and college. I quickly discovered I didn’t have “it” to be a successful stage actor and when I started directing I felt really at home. For a few years I didn’t work while I had to make ‘real’ money, and then to bring up my two children. Over the last ten years I have been able to take on more work in both the theatre and the voiceover world and now it is a great balance.

 

And how and why did you start narrating audiobooks?

I stumbled into a night class on voiceovers several years ago and really enjoyed it. The teacher of the class said I could get work because of my English accent – and offered to help me for a rich fee! I decided to try it on my own. At first I was just doing short commercials and then got into some longer narrations for e-learning. Then a few years ago I found out about a website where authors and narrators could meet and produce audiobooks without going through traditional publishers who usually want to use famous names for their audiobooks – which I am not. Yet!  ; ) My very first book remains one of my best sellers and it was a regency romance so that became my main niche.  I’ve done other genres but the period romance is by far my most popular.

 

How do you prepare the narration of an audiobook?

I must be honest – I do not read the book ahead of time. The main reason for this is that I like to go on the same journey as the reader. Obviously there are certain things I need to know ahead of time so I ask authors if they have specific requirements in terms of accent and class and so on. There have been a couple of times when an author doesn’t reveal “James’ wonderful Scottish burr”  until Chapter 4 – and that is a pain! But otherwise I like to uncover the characters and story along with the reader. I don’t want to know at the outset that this person turns out to be evil, because if the characters and the readers don’t know I don’t want to put it into my characterization.

 

It’s interesting to know you don’t read the books before narrating them, I thought you did to choose which ones you would accept and which you would not.

When it comes to choosing which books to do, rather than read them ahead of time, which would probably be impractical as the audition process implies interest in a project before you get to see the full manuscript, I do some research on Amazon. I look at reviews, and sales, and I can judge the quality of the writing from the audition sample usually. There have been a couple of occasions when I’ve wished I’d been more cautious in auditioning for a title  – when I end up being a sub-editor for a book that has been badly written and lacked an editor. And sometimes reviews can be good even when the story is ridiculous. But I think I’m getting better at choosing! Certainly, Nicole, Jennifer, and Joy have well written and carefully edited books thank goodness!

 

What’s the hardest thing about narrating an audiobook?

It’s kind of a lonely occupation. I get caught up in the books and keep narrating for as long as my voice holds up – or until my dog Charlie grumbles about being ignored. But that can mean I spend several hours, as I put it – ‘in the basement talking to myself’.

 

When did you first heard of JAFF? And when and how did you start narrating JAFF?

I’m not sure but I think I first realized there was this whole genre when I was offered my first JAFF audiobook. I had been aware that there were spinoffs of other classic books like the really well known prequel to Jane Eyre – Wide Sargasso Sea – although I’ve not read it. But I had no idea there was such a huge interest in retellings and expansions of Austen’s books.  It’s a funny thing in a way, to look at a story that is so well known and retell it even though the outcome is inevitable. But I always think about Romeo and Juliet. Even if you were in the audience at the very first performance the ending is revealed in the prologue of that play, so the fact that we know what is going to happen doesn’t have to mean the story isn’t compelling and rich and enjoyable.

 

Who’s the most challenging JAFF character you’ve ever had to interpret while narrating a book? And why?

With most of Jane Austen you’re dealing with a large number of female characters, many of whom are of similar age and class. Look at  P&P – you’ve got five Bennett daughters, two Bingley sisters, Charlotte, and then the other female characters, Mrs B, Lady Katherine, Anne, and the other townsfolk. So that’s really hard, to come up with distinguishing vocal features without making caricatures.  That’s true of the men as well, but there aren’t quite so many of them. But the most challenging one I think is Mr. Collins. Finding a way of communicating his obsequiousness and social ineptitude without making him entirely ridiculous is tough. Some JAFF authors do write him to be ridiculous and that’s fun, but after all, we love Charlotte don’t we and we don’t want her married to a complete idiot. I must admit I like the P&P variations where she ends up with someone else.

I’m intrigued more authors haven’t expanded or retold other of the novels . It’s really more P&P fan fiction than Jane Austen. It’s the most popular of course. But I love the others too. Persuasion has always been my favourite.

 

Persuasion is a favourite of mine too, my second favourite Austen novel, but I’ve got another one in my heart and that is North & South. You’ve recently narrated Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston which is a N&S variation. Did you find it too different from P&P in terms of narration? I’m assuming the working class is a little harder to narrate, but I might be mistaken 🙂

I loved reading Nicole’s Northern Rain. I had actually listened to Juliet Stevenson reading North and South so I had her in my head a lot. It was a very different book from P&P variations as there was almost no comedy and, although it is at heart a romance, there is a lot of social history and political observation that marked the original too. The challenge with this book was to have a range of accent levels to reflect class and education, some accents very broad and others slight. And of course a large number of men to do! I hope I managed to distinguish between the various men of industry in the north, as well as the working class men and women.

 
Stevie thank you so much for your time! I really enjoyed talking to you and have only one more question: why should people listen to audiobooks?

I think the right narrator can bring a book to life like nothing else. If you’ve got multiple characters and you listen to a narrator with great acting chops you’ve got a movie in your head. I love listening to books on long drives, on walks with Charlie in the woods, when I’m tidying the house, times when I couldn’t read a book. It’s not a replacement – it’s a different experience. I hear from listeners who both read and listen to the same book and they say it gives them a new take on the book either way. Unfortunately the wrong narrator can kill a book. I’ve started several that I just couldn’t go on with because of the performance not the writing. But the right one! Wow! I listened to Dan Stevens (who was the romantic lead at the beginning of Downton Abbey) read a really long, complex historical novel that I might have struggled with on the page and he gave every single character the most wonderful, defined quality. I’d listen to almost anything he narrates.

 

Do you want to know more about Stevie? Check out her website: http://steviezim.wixsite.com/stevie-zim-voice

 

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Stevie is so well liked in the JAFF community that some of my favourite authors agreed to talk to us about their experience with her.

Jennifer Joy, Nicole Clarkston and J. Dawn King are my very specials guests today as they share their experience with Stevie, the narration process and the auditions.  They also bring several gifts for many of my readers as an incentive to started listening to books and share with all of us some very hot news!!!

 

authorwebJennifer Joy

There’s a reason why Stevie is so busy. It’s because she’s one of the best JAFF narrators out there! On the two occasions I’ve had the privilege of working with her, she’s always made the process easy with her timeliness and professionalism. Not to mention her narrative talents! The range of voices give each character a distinct sound— which is so important for audio listeners. We can’t have readers confusing Mr. Collins with Mr. Darcy, now, can we? With Stevie, that’s never an issue. (And she does an amazing Lady Catherine!) As an author and reader, I’m a fan!

 

 

Nicole ClarkstonNicole Clarkston

I first “met” Stevie through an audition she submitted to produce Rumours and Recklessness. For some reason, I was not getting notifications from ACX (Audible’s publishing platform) and I had forgotten to log in to check new auditions. Therefore, by the time I heard her sample, it was already a few days old.

I had no idea at the time what an honor it was. All I knew was that her voice was exactly what I had been hearing in my head as I wrote. She was so “light and pleasing,” to paraphrase Austen. You could hear the restrained laughter as she voiced Elizabeth, and the coiled agony in “Darcy’s” tones. No further auditions were necessary!

Stevie is a busy lady, so by the time I heard her audio sample she had already accepted some other projects. I was content to wait for her, it was well worth it. I still giggle when I hear her voicing Lydia, and Lady Catherine absolutely sent me into hysterics! No character was too small for special attention, and I was impressed that one person could so beautifully bring to life so many different people.

It was truly her take on Darcy which took my breath away. I was so impressed that her natural tones could take on a deep richness without sounding like “a woman trying to play a male part.” She is just fabulously talented in that regard. She has played Darcy in so many other JAFF books that she has a real handle on him.

When I published Northern Rain, I knew right away I wanted to see if Stevie was interested. Ana Clements had produced No Such Thing As Luck (with the same characters from North and South) for me and has done a spectacular job, but her career was taking a path away from audiobooks. I was thrilled beyond words when Stevie accepted the project, and giddy  every time she sent me a new file to preview. These characters were new to her, but she captured them beautifully. John Thornton’s voice was key, and she crafted him perfectly.

Stevie is a joy to work with. I enjoy chatting with her as she is working on a project, and she pays close attention to detail. When an author hands their baby over to a publisher or audio producer, there is a hope and a trust that the original vision will not be lost, but brought to life. I have learned I can depend on Stevie to catch the heart of the characters and create a wonderful listening experience for the “reader”.

Rita, can I make a little announcement? Stevie will be producing The Courtship of Edward Gardiner early this year!

 

a1i6hm0desl__ux250_Joy King

I have used three different narrators for my audiobooks and all three were excellent to work with. When I first place a book up for auditions, my nerves take over. (Yes, I become Mrs. Bennet.) I think to myself, “what if nobody wants to produce my story” and “what if nobody wants to listen to it.”

Catherine O’Brien produced ‘A Father’s Sins’, ‘One Love, Two Hearts, Three Stories’, and ‘Yes, Mr. Darcy’. Her ability to differentiate between characters by changing her voice is incredible. When our schedules didn’t work for the next project, I listened to many samples of other narrators and contacted Stevie directly. Within a few weeks, she had produced ‘Compromised’. As she posted each chapter and I listened closely to her reading, I was again reminded of how much theatrical skill a good narrator needs. Like Catherine, her characters are a pleasure to listen to. She has also produced ‘The Abominable Mr. Darcy’  which was released in Audible today!!

My latest project, ‘Love Letters from Mr. Darcy’ was narrated and produced by Jannie Meisberger. Like the others, she was an absolute delight to work with and was equally as quick.

Rita, these women are true professionals. They edit their own work carefully before returning the files to me. The challenge for an author is to wiggle our projects into their already tight schedules. All three of them are in high demand so it is a privilege and honor to be accepted by them.

My next audiobook I will be posting for auditions is ‘Mr. Darcy’s Mail-Order Bride’. This will be my first audiobook where the narrator needs an American accent. I’m considering a male voice and have two in particular I’d like to pursue to produce the project.

I’m always excited to hear my stories come to life at the hands of a capable narrator. The first time I listen, I follow along with the manuscript to check for errors. I find few. Then I listen to it again with my eyes closed to see how closely the character voices fit. The last time, my eyes still closed, I listen solely for enjoyment.

The demands for audiobooks has grown so I cannot imagine not having my Jane Austen fan fiction stories produced in this format. With the help of Catherine, Stevie, and Jannie, I truly believe these become the best they can possibly be.

 

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These authors are so generous they decided to start the year by bringing lots of goodies to my readers!

Jennifer Joy would like to offer a copy of Love Never Fails (one of my favourites from 2016) and Accusing Elizabeth.

Nicole Clarkston would like to offer a copy of Rumours & Recklessness and Northern Rain (yes, another favourite).

And J. Dawn King would like to offer two copies of Compromised and two copies of the just released The Abominable Mr. Darcy’

Let us know if like me you are a fan of audiobooks, and when/where do you listen to them, or if you are not yet convinced with audiobooks, and why not?

Every opinion is accepted and we would love to hear your yours 🙂

Let us know in your comments which audiobooks you would like to receive. If you are uncertain as to which you would like, you can always visit the authors Amazon Page and check the description of each book:

Jennifer Joy

Nicole Clarkston

J. Dawn King

The giveaway is international and is open until the 22nd of January, to be eligible all you have to do is participate in the audiobook discussion by commenting this post.

Good luck everyone!

70 Comments

Filed under Audible, JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

2016 Favourite Books & 2017 TBR list

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Good Morning fellow Janeites,

Welcome to From Pemberley to Milton’s first post of 2017!

I hope you all started this new year with your right foot and that you are as excited as I am to discover which new books our dear authors will present us with this year.

2016 was a particularly hard year for me in terms of time. I had an increase of activity at the office in the middle of the year that consumed much of my free time, so I could not dedicate as much time as I would like to From Pemberley to Milton. On the other hand, the increase of work stress led me to take reading as a refuge that allowed me to relax, so I pretty much read in every  single moment I had free, meaning I ended up reading more than I thought I would.

I’m probably not a fast reader, and certainly I’m not capable of reading as many books as most of you, but I’m quite proud of myself for finishing 2016 with 45 new books read. I re-read some great books this year, but I’m not including them on this list.

 

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Just like last year, I thought it would be nice to give a shout out to some of my favorite books from 2016. This list is not based on published books in 2016, but on the books I actually read in 2016. I thought this would be fair because I don’t always read books on their release year, and it would not be fair not to include them amongst my favorite just because their publication year was prior to the year I read them. Unfortunately I decided I would only select 10, or I would have no criteria whatsoever, but it was hard and some books that are not in this list come immediately to my mind as The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, Northern Rain, Miss Darcy’s Companion , Shadows Over Longbourn and A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories. But I should stop, or I’ll just continue mentioning books I loved… So, without further ado, my favourite 2016 reads are, without no particular order, the below:

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darcys-hope-favouriteDarcy’s Hope – Ginger Monet

Publication year –2015

Number of Pages – 278

What I loved about it – The writing, the surroundings, the historical aspects, the romance, the intensity, Darcy and of course, Thornton 🙂

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

mbdd-favourite-2016Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter – Joana Starnes

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 322

What I loved about it – The growing stout love, the intimacy, the intensity, Darcy and of course, the angst!!!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

tcoeg-favouriteThe Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 182

What I loved about it – Little Lizzy, Little Fitzwilliam, Little Bingley and Madeleine! Overall the entire feeling the book transmitted 🙂

Review link – Coming soon…

Amazon link

 

 

 

darcy-by-any-other-name-favouriteDarcy By Any Other Name – Laura Hile

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 662

What I loved about it – The humour, the complicity and intimacy, the romance, Darcy and angst! OMG, the angst!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

elizabeth-papers-favouriteThe Elizabeth Papers – Jenneta James

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 210

What I loved about it –The writing, the writing and the writing! I love the tone Jenetta James transmits in her books and this one was just breathtaking!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

love-never-fails-favouriteLove Never Fails – Jennifer Joy

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 348

What I loved about it –The intensity and sadness of the first chapters, the humour in the next chapters, Elizabeth and Mrs. Bennet!

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

remembrance-of-the-past-favouriteRemembrance of the Past – Lory Lilian

Publication year – 2011

Number of Pages – 432

What I loved about it – ODC’s journey throughout the book, Darcy’s honour, Darcy himself and Elizabeth’s jealousy 🙂

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

when-mary-met-the-colonel-favouriteWhen Mary Met the Colonel – Victoria Kincaid

Publication year – 2016

Number of Pages – 98

What I loved about it – Mary, Mary and Mary! And the Colonel of course 🙂

Review link

Amazon link

 

 

 

nstal-favouriteNo Such Thing as Luck – Nicole Clarkston

Publication year – 2015

Number of Pages – 326

What I loved about it –The entire journey, but the ship scenes…sigh… They were worth the entire book! I should say that this is a favourite “in exequo” with Northern Rain, but I could only add one 😦

Review link – Coming Soon

Amazon link

 

 

best-part-of-love-front-favouriteThe Best Part of Love – Amy D’Orazio

Publication year – 2017 (I read the ARC copy)

Number of Pages – To be disclosed

What I loved about it – The stout love, the intensity and the angst!! I’m ready to re-read this book and I just finished it last week 🙂

Review link – Coming soon

Amazon link – Coming Soon

 

 

 

Are any of these amongst your favourites too? And which amazing reads am I missing? I have seen some people talk about their favourites in the last days and I know for sure that I probably didn’t read some truly good books that are amongst the hearts of my fellow Janeites, so any suggestion is welcome 🙂

2017 will be a true challenge because I don’t think I will be able to read as many JAFF books as I did this year, especially because I do want to read other genres this year, but I’m also very curious to see what is coming, and which books will carve my soul 🙂

I have a TBR pile that keeps growing, particularly because every time someone suggest a really book I tend to read it leaving my TBR pile exactly as it was, so this time I decided to make it public! Maybe this way I will feel obliged to stick to it and actually read the books I had chosen to read 🙂

So, you are all my witnesses, this year, I must read these books:

To Be Read JAFF & NSFF

Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept – Brenda Webb

Sketching Character – Pamela Lynn

Pulse and Prejudice: The Confession of Mr. Darcy Vampire – Colette L Saucier

Love Letters from Mr. Darcy – J. Dawn King

Master of Her Heart – Julia Daniels

The Rainbow Promise – Lory Lilian

The Darcy’s of Pemberley – Shannon Winslow

The Sheik of Araby – Lavinia Angell

***

To re-read JAFF & NSFF

Disappointed Hopes – Cassandra Grafton

The Second Chance – Joana Starnes

Mr. Darcy’s Diary – Amanda Grange

A Heart for Milton – Trudy Brasure

***

Non JAFF:

The BookThief – Marcus Zusak

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Julie Klassen

The Little Paris Bookshop – Nina George

Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami

Bucky F*cking Dent – David Duchovny

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

 

What about you? What are your reading plans? Would you like to suggest anything, JAFF or Non-JAFF?

I know this was an extensive post, but I hope you have liked it and that you’ll keep visiting and talking to me about JAFF 🙂 I have some news that I’m looking forward to share with you, so speak to you soon 🙂

 

 

43 Comments

Filed under 2016 Favourites, Favorites, JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Margaret of the North

15984149__uy200_3.5 stars

Margaret of the North is not so much a continuation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, but a continuation of the BBC series portraying Richard Armitage and Daniela Ashby.

This means the book starts with Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s reunion at the train station, and it is very interesting to note that the beginning of the book is not overly romantic with all the emotion display one would expect, it resembles very much Elizabeth Gaskell’s writing style and that is something I appreciate, it is in fact the most similar in style to Mrs. Gaskell that I have read until today.

The book continues with Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s honeymoon to Paris and subsequent travel to Cadiz to visit Frederick. It is a slow paced book and I kept waiting for something to happen but it never did, so with time, the book became less interesting for me. I never felt a true emotion while reading it, and even if this is an extremely subjective argument, for me it is essential to feel something while reading a book.

I also had some difficulty in identifying with Mr. Thornton. It was strange to see him so unpreoccupied about re-opening the Mill, and at times his speech seemed more like a speech Mr. Darcy would have. In this book John Thornton was too sure Margaret would accept him, and that he became a better person after her refusal. For me this is a description of Mr. Darcy and not Mr. Thornton who never believed such a woman could care for him.

Despite this fact, I believe the author was successful in showing us the class differences that existed at the time, and how Mr. Thornton learned from his experiences and changed his perceptions on how to improve the workers life conditions.

Margaret of the North is very descriptive, and for those who like this type of writing it will be very appealing as we get to read everyone’s opinion and perception on almost all subjects, but to me it felt too slow paced and lacking emotion. The book slowly describes the changes in the characters’ lives after John and Margaret get married. It gives us an interesting view of Margaret and Hanna’s relationship and the impacts that living with one another has for these characters. It makes us see and understand how Hanna suffered with this situation, and how all the changes had a big impact in her daily life and therefore in her disposition.

This is not a book of action, it is a book that gives us a more intense view of the characters’ lives after the wedding, their feelings and inner struggles. It leads us on a path where we focus on their personal growth and not on the story itself, so it might be an interesting read for those who want to analyze the development of these characters.

Margaret of the North is available at:

Amazon.com – Margaret of the North

Amazon.co.uk – Margaret of the North

10 Comments

Filed under 3.5 stars, North and South

Nicole Clarkston’s book – Giveaway winner

Hello everyone,

I have recently reviewed Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston, which is clearly on my top 3 North and South best fan fiction books, and along with that review, I brought a giveaway sponsored by Nicole Clarkston herself.

I’m not sure if you all know, but Nicole Clarkston is one of the few writers who devises North and South fan fiction and Jane Austen Fan Fiction! So far she has published Rumours & Recklessness, a Pride and Prejudice variation, No Such Thing as Luck a North and South Variation and Northern Rain, also a variation of North and South. But I know she is working on more JAFF and NSFF, and I’m very curious to see which one will be the next release.

Because she knows me and my readers love both genres, she decided to offer a giveaway of any of her works in any of the available formats.

Summing up, the winner could choose either a paperback, an ebook or audible of any of the below books:

 

Northern Rain

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

 

I would like to once again thank Nicole Clarkston for her generosity and kindness, and also ask her to publish another novel as soon as possible, because I’m in terrible need of a good book, and anything she publishes is great for certain!

Now without further ado, the randomly selected winner is:

 

***Sue Mecham***

Congratulations Sue! Please let me know which book and format you would like to receive 🙂

You can contact me through ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com.

Happy reading!

6 Comments

Filed under giveaway, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Northern Rain Review & Giveaway

NR Final FC4 071516 nobld SM5 stars

Hello everyone,

I could not be happier when I was told Nicole Clarkston had released a new North and South variation novel, so I bought it immediately and from the moment I started reading it I could not put it down. Nicole Clarkston sure knows how to captivate readers with a stunning beginning!

Northern Rain begins on a cold rainy day with Mr. Thornton visiting his father’s graveside on the anniversary of his death. He is heartbroken thinking of Margaret and what he lost, when the lady herself passes by and, seeing a sad Mr. Thornton on the rain, decides to be kind and offers him protection under his umbrella. In this initial scene they do not communicate with verbal words, but much is said and perceived. I absolutely love when and author makes me feel the intensity of the characters feelings without even making them say a word, and that is precisely what happens in this intense and emotional scene. On their walk home Margaret tries to clear her name and reputation in Mr. Thornton’s eyes as this story is set after Mrs. Hale’s death, and this is the first step for a growing friendship between them, that will obviously turn into an angst filled romance very soon.

This small change in the plot will have some important impacts: Mr. Thornton begins to wonder about Margaret’s indiscretion, Mr. Hale has John’s company and with Margaret’s support and medical intervention survives, and Margaret’s love and admiration for Mr. Thornton begins much sooner in the story.

However that does not mean that all the angst, tribulations, internal and external struggles will not come in the way of John and Margaret, by the contrary. The story has villains we will not see coming, and subplots that are a page turner until the end.

I believe Nicole Clarkston has an incredible knowledge of Gaskell’s characters and that is shown in this book. Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s characters are so true to themselves, so well developed that I believe Gaskell herself could have written this story. He is honorable, just, strong and vulnerable at the same time and she is independent, and also strong and vulnerable in different ways, just as Elizabeth Gaskell portrayed them.

Dixon is the same grumpy person, Hanna Thornton remains herself but we get to know her a little better as she is exposed to new situations. In fact, Hanna’s reaction at the drapers store is absolutely perfect and in accordance to the character. It also allowed us to know that Margaret would have an ally in Mrs. Thornton once she realizes that this is the woman who will make her son happy. The consequences of her reaction made this book an agreeable read and it gave us a glimpse of a brighter future in the Thornton household.

Fanny remains the silly creature we know her to be but in this book we also get to see a little more of Watson, and he reveals himself as an insecure besotted man. This was an interesting addition as these secondary characters are not always approached or developed. Watson remains a minor character, but the fact that Nicole Clarkston decided to let us know more about him, and many other characters was definitely a plus.

The new characters were also essential to the success of the book. Even though I love North and South, there is not a lot of variety in terms of characters and that makes it especially hard for writers to create new scenarios. But Nicole Clarkston had a perfect equilibrium between the canon story and its own characters and new characters who gave a new life to Milton’s society and made this new plot possible with all its trials.

I felt Mrs. Clarkston brought the best there is to offer in a Jane Austen novel and added it to Gaskell’s already rich prose. This was a risk but perfectly executed. All relevant aspects of North and South were kept by the author, but the reading became more light, pleasing and romantic. Thornton’s reaction when he discovered who Frederick is was so genuine and passionate that I could not stop reading. And then all the kitchen moments followed and I felt myself swoon with the romance and intimacy in it! Of course the tea set present was the cherry on top of the cake for me 🙂

I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book, and can only hope the author releases a new N&S variation soon. The vignettes posted during the blog tour had me craving for more 🙂

I could not end this review without mentioning the cover. Isn’t it just absolutely marvelous? I have said several times that I love Janet Taylor’s covers, and this one is just another pearl she has created 🙂

You can find Northern Rain on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

***It’s giveaway time***

 

Apart from being a great author, Nicole Clarkston is a very generous person and she would like to, once more, offer one of her books to my readers.

You can choose any of Nicole Clarkston’s books and even the format!

Let us know what you think about Northern Rain, if you ever read anything from Nicole Clarkston, and of course, which book and format you prefer. You can choose the e-book, paperback or audible.

For more information on the different formats available for each book please see the links below:

Northern Rain

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

.

The giveaway is international and is open until the 29th of August.

Good luck everyone!

35 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, North and South

Interview with a Mill Master & Northern Rain Giveaway

Hello everyone,

If you have seen some of my latest posts you know that Nicole Clarkston released a new North and South variation book called Northern Rain, and today the blog tour stops at From Pemberley to Milton with a character interview.

Even though he is a very busy man, Mr. Thornton conceded some of his time to a young journalist whose family I’m sure you all know very well. But I won’t say much more. I’ll leave you to read the interview and get your own conclusions about John Thornton’s state of mind and the young journalists identity. Even though we share the same initials, I’m sorry to say I am not part of his family 🙂

 

Interview with a Mill Master

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RD: Pardon me, Mr Thornton, sir?

JT: Yes? What can I do for you?

RD: Forgive my intrusion, sir. I am from the Times, and I was hoping to speak to some of Milton’s mill owners on the outlook of the cotton trade.

JT: By all means, my good man, although I have only a few moments. I had another appointment which had to be rescheduled, and I am to depart again shortly.

RD: Of course, sir, I will try not to take too much of your time. I only wished to be able to quote an experienced master such as yourself. If I may, how do the mills fare at present?

JT: Excellently, sir. I think there is no stronger export just now, particularly with war looming in the Baltic, and our increased presence in India. Cotton is certainly a utilitarian material in both cases.

RD: Yes, I would expect as much. Now, there was a rather bad strike last year affecting a number of mills. How did that affect your business, and do you expect future difficulties?

JT: Naturally, any disruption to the flow of commerce is an unfavourable circumstance. It is unfortunate, but the mills and laborers involved have since come to a working agreement. I do not expect it shall be the last strike we will see, but at present, I see no immediate cause for concern.

RD: So the Union is presently content with your terms?

JT: (Laughing) The Union is rarely content, but their grievances are not serious enough at this juncture to cause any real trouble. I pay my men better than others, sir, and Marlborough Mills is equipped with many new innovations to make the work safer and more comfortable. Of course, I would pay good men more if such an expense were justified, because I have an interest in keeping the best working for me. As profitable as cotton is, however, even I have my limits.

RD: Quite so. Mr Thornton, I am very glad to speak with you, in particular, because I have been told something of how you came to your position here. You are rather unique among Milton’s masters, in that your father did-

JT: My father had nothing to do with it, sir. I can account for my success purely by tireless diligence and careful planning.

RD: You do not find any circumstances in your past to be the work of fortune?

JT: Not at all. If you will forgive me, sir, I am afraid I must make my appointment. Had you still some questions?

john-atmillofficedesk-isrichardarmitage-innorthsouth-epi4-216_mar1614ranet

RD: Indeed, sir, I should like to speak with you further. May I wait on you later this afternoon?

JT: That would be agreeable. I shall return by three o’ clock. Will that suit?

RD: Quite.

north-south-102

4:30

JT: Do forgive my tardiness, sir.

RD: Not to worry, Mr Thornton, your overseer has given me a most enlightening tour.

JT: Tour? Oh, yes, that is well.

RD: Sir… do forgive me, sir, but you look as though you have had some bad news. I hope that is not the case!

JT: Bad news? No! Nothing of the kind. A gentleman has just moved to Milton to become a Classics teacher, and he was referred to me by a mutual friend for assistance in settling. He… and his daughter… were having some difficulty in securing lodgings.

RD: I am glad it was nothing serious, sir. Now, we were speaking of how you got your start here at Marlborough Mills.

JT:

North-and-South-north-and-south-32024170-1920-1080

RD: Sir?

JT: Pardon me, what was that?

RD: Ahem. I was wondering, sir, how a man like you starts from nothing, and then finds himself confidently the master of the finest mill in the city.

JT: Confidently? Nothing is certain in this industry, sir.

RD: Mr Thornton, I have heard nothing but that your peers admire and respect your opinions. I should say you have every reason for confidence.

JT: I have, then, do I? Tell me, sir, have you ever covered any story relating to the labour unions?

RD: Er… Well, no, Mr Thornton. I know little of them.

JT: They can be fickle, like a woman. One moment, a man might fancy himself the master, and the next… and the next… he finds himself quite humbled.

RD: That is an interesting analogy. You are not married, are you Mr Thornton? I wonder that you should think of such a comparison.

JT: Half of the people in this country are women, sir. I encounter their kind daily… though I do not wish to sound a churl, for most of them are gentle enough.

RD: Forgive me, Mr Thornton, but you are looking rather unwell. Might you wish to call off the remainder of the interview?

JT: I am quite well, sir. Now, then, you were asking how I got my start in the mill?

RD: Let us return to that in a moment. You have made me think of something else. Are you not the only mill master in the city who is presently unmarried, Mr Thornton?

JT: That is rather a personal question, sir!

RD: Not necessarily. A married man is seen as stable, where an unmarried man might be prone to take greater risks in his business.

JT: I have my mother and sister, sir. You cannot think I would act rashly with them in my care!

RD: I did not mean to imply that you would, sir. Only that a family man has greater incentive toward stability. There is a vast difference between having a mother who keeps house for you and a having wife and children of your own.

JT: A… a wife?

RD: I say, Mr Thornton, have you taken a chill?

JT: No! I only… Sir, are you married?

RD: (Laughing) No, sir, but I am well familiar with the power a woman might hold over a man. My grandfather still gets a look on his face very much like yours when my grandmother chooses to contradict him!

JT: Your grandmother must be a rather provoking woman. I wonder that your grandfather does not put some stop to it!

RD: My grandfather counts himself the most fortunate of men, I assure you. Were I heir to the estate, I should do exactly as he did- find a sharp-tongued, clever woman such as my grandmother, and marry her regardless of circumstance. It will be a number of years before I have earned the security which would permit such a marriage, but… well, a man in your position, on the other hand….

JT: Did you not come here to ask questions about the mill?

RD: I believe I have what I need for my article, Mr Thornton. Perhaps I may call for another interview should the occasion arise?

JT: What? Oh, yes, certainly. Forgive me, sir, but I do not think we were properly introduced.

RD: That was intentional, sir. I beg your pardon. I am but a humble reporter, wishing to succeed on my own merits, but it becomes rather awkward when I tell people my last name. Richard Darcy, at your service. I hope, sir, that… er… your new friend and his family find Milton to their satisfaction. Good day, sir.

 

***

As I said this interview is part of the Northern Rain blog tour organized by the talented Janet B Taylor of More Agreeably Engaged, so along with the interview I bring more information on the book, the author and a very generous giveaway. Continue reading for more details 🙂

 

Book Blurb

NR Final FC4 071516 nobld SMThere is nothing like a long walk in the rain to guarantee a little privacy… unless the last person you wish to encounter happens also to be in search of solitude.

John Thornton is a man of heavy responsibilities who has many things on his mind, but the most troublesome of them all is Margaret Hale. She wants nothing to do with him, and he wishes he could feel the same. When a moment of vulnerability allows her a glimpse into his heart, she begins to see him very differently.

Is something so simple as friendship even possible after all that has passed between them? Thornton has every good reason to move on, not the least of which is the lovely Genevieve Hamilton and her wealthy father. Will Thornton act according to duty and accept an opportunity to save his mill, or will he take a chance on love, hoping to change Margaret’s mind?

 

 

Author Bio

Nicole ClarkstonNicole Clarkston is the pen name of a very bashful writer who will not allow any of her family or friends to read what she writes. She grew up in Idaho on horseback, and if she could have figured out how to read a book at the same time, she would have. She initially pursued a degree in foreign languages and education, and then lost patience with it, switched her major, and changed schools. She now resides in Oregon with her husband of 15 years, 3 homeschooled kids, and a very worthless degree in Poultry Science (don’t ask). Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties- how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project (undertaken when her husband unsuspectingly left town for a few days) she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Nicole’s books are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.

 

 

If you want to contact Nicole Clarkston, you can do so using the following social media:

Website

Goodreads Author Page

Goodreads Blog

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

 

And if you are curious about Northern Rain or any of Nicole Clarkston’s books, including the Pride and Prejudice variation Rumours and Recklessness, you can find them in the below links:

 

CreateSpace:

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

Northern Rain

 

Amazon:

Northern Rain

No Such Thing as Luck

Rumours&Recklessness

 

Don’t miss out the other stops of the blog tours for more excerpts, vignettes, reviews and giveaways 🙂

 

 NR Blog Tour Banner Horz SM

7/8-9: Launch Vignette, Excerpt & Giveaway at Fly High

7/10: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm

7/11: Vignette & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice

7/12: Author Interview at More Than Thornton

7/14: Review & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813

7/15: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice

7/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Half Agony, Half Hope

7/17: Vignette & Giveaway at Laughing With Lizzie

7/18: Author/Character Interview & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

7/19: Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway at So little time…

7/20: Vignette & Giveaway at Stories from the Past

7/21: Vignette & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

7/24: Review, Excerpt & Giveaway at Margie’s Must Reads

7/26: Guest Post & Giveaway at A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

9/10: Review & Giveaway at The Calico Critic

 

***It’s Giveaway time***

As I said, today’s posts brings all of you an opportunity to win several goodies, namely 4 ebook copies of Northern Rain. To enter the giveaway, just click the below link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0ca86b9b0/?

10 Comments

Filed under interview, North and South

Interview with Elaine Owen

Hello everyone,

Elaine-Owen-portfolio-283x435Elaine Owen first fell in love with Jane Austen as a young teenager. She read Pride & Prejudice for the first time in the summer between eighth and ninth grades, and while other kids were giving book reports on things like The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of The Ticking Clock, she was describing the ways that character faults are explored in Jane Austen’s classic. Although her English teacher was vastly entertained, it is possible that her classmates viewed her as a cross between Mary Bennet and Lady Catherine.

Elaine eventually discovered Jane Austen fan fiction books in her local bookstore and spent lots of money she did not have in order to devour them all. When her credit cards were maxed out and store clerks said she really had to leave, she became desperate and discovered fan fiction sites online. Around this time her therapist suggested that she find some kind of creative outlet for herself. Elaine took a deep breath, swallowed nervously, and wrote down the first chapter of what eventually became her first book, Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit. And this year, she published Common Ground her first North and South variation book, making her one of the few authors writing fan fiction for my favorite novels: Pride and Prejudice and North and South.

With this background I obviously had to invite her to visit my blog. She happily agreed to concede me an interview, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know Mrs. Owen and her work as much as I did.

 

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First of all let me thank you for taking the time to visit From Pemberley to Milton Mrs. Owen. It is a pleasure to have you here!   Your first published book was Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit, and after that one, JAFF books followed. Why did you decide to write a North and South fan fiction book?

At some point last fall I noticed N&S referenced again and again on the various JAFF boards, and I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. So I downloaded the book and started reading that, and I was about halfway through when I watched the movie. I was hooked! Who wouldn’t be, after both of *those* experiences? So then I just wrote a one-shot with my idea of what might have happened on the train ride back to Milton after that famous kiss. I only meant for it to be that one chapter, but the reaction I received convinced me to continue the story, and things just went from there.

 

Why did you choose to write a sequel and not a variation?

That was just where the story seemed to lead me, since I had started on the train platform.

 

Many authors choose to begin their sequels after the train station scene created by BBC and not the original ending scene in the book. Do you believe the BBC adaptation is crucial to the success of the story? Or would Gaskell’s work have the same effect on the public without the wonderful Richard Armitage performance?

No, I don’t think it would have. Gaskell’s book is easier for modern readers to absorb than Pride and Prejudice, but it is still fairly dry by today’s standards. The movie version is much more for modern audiences, and it helps that the movie was done so well.

 

In North and South Gaskell explores the workers difficulties and struggles. In Common Ground you choose to explore the difficulties faced by the masters. Would you like to tell us more about that?

Again, this story was inspired by the train platform scene, so automatically it was told from Thornton and Margaret’s viewpoint. That meant that the story would be more about their struggles together, which then put more focus on Thornton as a master and the difficulties he faced. However, in the end it becomes apparent that the fates of the masters and the workers are inextricably tied together, and they all profit when they learn to work together. I hope Gaskell would approve.

 

I am sure she would. North and South was much more than a romance and the social struggles played a big part on her writing. It is not common to see fan fiction who also delves on that, however, you did it in your book. In fact, in Common Ground you clearly explain what was the speculation in which Watson entered. Where did you come up with this specific idea?

There was a story I had read some years ago which had the same basic idea– basing the possibility of profit on a specific event in a foreign country. (No spoilers here! 🙂 ) The idea sounds horrifying to us today for moral reasons, as well as for the risk involved, but banks were not regulated then like they are now, and things like this *did* happen. The novelty of the idea stuck in my head, so I adapted it for my own use. I wish I could remember the exact book or author.

 

This book was released as part of the Margaret of Milton series, does that mean we are to expect another North and South book?

Yes. I am still working on a Darcy and Elizabeth story, tentatively titled Duty Demands, and then I will finish up my Longbourn Unexpected series. After that I would like to write in detail about the first ten years of the Thornton’s marriage, and possibly also base a story on the character of Nicholas Higgins. Who wouldn’t want to see more of Higgins?

 

I know I would! And I often wonder what would have happened to Higgins if Bessy didn’t die. Is there hope for a variation where she does not die?

I haven’t really thought about it, but that sounds like an excellent idea!!!

 

The number of writers who started with JAFF but are now also writing about North and South is increasing, do you believe we will start to see a boom of North and South fan fiction? Do you believe it will ever get to the proportions of Pride and Prejudice fan fic?

I hope to see it increase, as the dramatic possibilities are endless. But for it to swell to the almost cult-like devotion of Pride and Prejudice proportions is probably a number of years in the future. But that’s good news—we have years and years of Thornton and Margaret ahead of us!

 

Once again I would like to thank Mrs. Owen for her availability to chat a little bit with me. I hope you have all enjoyed the interview and if you are curious about Common Ground you can always see the review I posted last week.

Thank you, Rita, for taking the time to introduce my book on your blog. Also I really appreciate the thoughtful questions you put together. It has been a pleasure to “speak” with you, and I look forward to following From Pemberley to Milton for myself!

 

Until our next North and South post…which will be very, very soon 🙂

 

20 Comments

Filed under interview, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Northern Rain Giveaway Winners

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Hello everyone,

Last month Nicole Clarkston published a new North and South variation called Northern Rain which I could not resist to buy and read as soon as I heard about it.

I had been a fan of Nicole Clarkston’s work for a while but had never spoken with her so this new release was the trigger for me to finally contact her. I’m very glad I did because after getting to know her, I discovered she is one of the nicest, sweetest, funny and creative authors I have known.

I fell incredibly blessed to have had the chance to know her, and to have her as a guest in my blog for the first time with a vignette she wrote especially for From Pemberley to Milton.

Her visit was prior to the blog tour that started on the 8th of July and in which I will also participate with a character interview on the 18th, and she brought with her a very generous offer of 4 e-book copies of Northern Rain and one signed paperback.

The blog tour is still on going and will bring you a lot of new vignettes, interviews, excerpts and giveaways, but today I’m very glad to announce the winners of this pre blog tour giveaway:

Paperback:

*** Mary ***

E-book:

***AnaDarcy ***

***Joana Starnes ***

*** Kirsten***

*** Vesper ***

 

Congratulations everyone! I hope you enjoy the book and share your thoughts with all of us once you’ve read it 🙂 If you are curious about my opinion, I will be posting a review on the 25th of July with another giveaway (did I mention Nicole Clarkston is a very generous author?). So, if you are not one of the lucky winners, there is still a chance 🙂

May I ask the lucky winners to please send me your e-mail contacts to ritaluzdeodato at gmail so that I can pass them along to Mrs. Clarkston for the Books to be sent to you.

8 Comments

Filed under giveaway, North and South