Category Archives: North and South

Pemberley by Moonlight by Stephen Ord – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to be sharing with you an excerpt of Pemberley by Moonlight by Stephen Ord today. Mr. Ord is a new author at From Pemberley to Milton, but I was very intrigued by his book which has just been published by Quills & Quartos.

It looks like it has a lot of mystery, and I expect to see a very strong and special bond between Eilzabeth and Mr. Darcy. Plus, it is a novella, so it has the perfect length for me at the moment 😊 Mr. Ord has chosen an excerpt of the first chapter of the book to share with you and I hope you like it as much as I did.

Thank you for visiting Mr. Ord! Congratulations and all the success with this new release!

Again, I would like to Q&Q not only for publishing new authors, but also for allowing me to spread the word about these books 😊


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Hi Rita! Thank you very much for hosting me here at From Pemberley to Milton today.  Hopefully I will have an opportunity to interact with your readers and find even more excellent JAFF to add to my ‘to read’ list for the dark nights coming in soon.

In the excerpt from Pemberley by Moonlight the reader will immediately pick up that while the environment of Pemberley is a beautiful as ever, something is not quite right.  Allowing Georgiana, who is my view helps Elizabeth come to terms with Mr Darcy being more than she believed from first impressions in canon, interact with her early, draws you into this strange new situation with a missing Darcy.  I also hope that I’ve conveyed the fact that Elizabeth can be very much herself and has no trepidation about being at Pemberley here.  I like to think that it’s a very Lizzy thing to do when she smiles to herself at her own whimsy.

Pemberley By Moonlight, Chapter One :

“Oh my, Lizzy! Is it not beautiful?” Mrs Gardiner asked admiringly. “Truly, one would put up with much to become mistress of Pemberley.”

“Sadly, Aunt, for someone to become the mistress of Pemberley, one would need to find its master.” 

Owing to recent happy events in their family—the marriage of Miss Jane Bennet to Mr Charles Bingley, intimate friend of said gentleman—Elizabeth had become quite familiar with the mystery of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, absent master of Pemberley, who had not been seen by anyone in the past year. 

Elizabeth returned her gaze to the scene outside of the carriage. Light glinted off the lake and some of the windows of the large handsome manor house, causing her to wince slightly from the reflection of the bright sun.  As part of their northern tour, Elizabeth and her favourite relatives, her aunt and uncle Gardiner, had bent their steps towards Lambton in Derbyshire, where her aunt had passed much of her youth. From there, they had journeyed to Pemberley for a visit. Elizabeth was nearly overwhelmed by the beautiful setting of the great house and wondered at its tragic recent past. 

Having petitioned the housekeeper, Mrs Reynolds, for a tour, the small group entered the grand house. Elizabeth’s footsteps echoed lightly on the marble floor as she followed the housekeeper through the spacious house. The furniture and decorations were tasteful and unassuming to her eye, and she found that she admired the taste of the owner. 

As the tour continued, Elizabeth found still greater sources of admiration for the missing gentleman. Elizabeth listened with interest as Mrs Reynolds waxed eloquent to the Gardiners about her missing master, describing a man who was generous, fair, intelligent, and kind. As the small party toured the public rooms, the housekeeper praised Mr Darcy’s gift of a new pianoforte and refreshed furnishings in the music room ‘just to delight his sister’, his excellent care of the estate and all of the dependents linked to it, and his sense of responsibility compared to other young men. 

There were many paintings and other objects of art which gave clues to the history of this grand place. “The Darcys can trace back to the Normans,” Mrs Reynolds informed them proudly as she led them through the gallery, pointing out this and that illustrious personage. Elizabeth was especially taken with a portrait of Mr Darcy and found herself gazing into his kind eyes. She tilted her head slightly as if to provoke a change in expression in his handsome face, and then smiled to herself at her whimsy. 

Mrs Reynolds had stepped back to allow them to examine the works in the gallery at their leisure but their attention was returned to her, hearing her utter a small cry.

“Madam?” enquired Mr Gardiner. “Are you well?” 

“I…yes…” The housekeeper, so poised only moments before, appeared flustered where she stood over a small cabinet. “There should be ten,” she said, speaking to herself. 

Elizabeth walked over and found a collection of jewelled boxes, some which appeared to be quite old. “Has something gone missing?” she asked. 

The housekeeper shook her head, seeming to regain her equanimity. “Someone must be cleaning it. If you are finished here, allow me to give you over to Carter, our head gardener. Pemberley boasts some of the greatest gardens…”

Acting on her cue, Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle followed the lady outdoors. Upon exiting the house, Elizabeth passed through the momentary coolness caused by the shadow of the grand building. As they walked beyond the shaded area, Elizabeth was caught by an object in the near distance that appeared almost blindingly white in the sunlight. Going nearer to see what it was, she was shocked to find a life-sized sculpture of what appeared to be Mr Darcy himself in the semi-formal rose garden. 

Unable to help herself, Elizabeth left her relations and proceeded towards the statue. The heady fragrance from the mixed pink, red, and yellow roses surrounded her. Mr Darcy’s statue had been placed on a paved circle within, and was tall, standing around six feet.  Elizabeth had to gaze upward to see his features more closely. Much like his portrait, the statue portrayed a handsome man with unruly, wavy hair, a slightly cleft chin, and an aristocratic nose. 

Unlike the portrait however, Mr Darcy’s statue was placed in a peculiar, almost distressing posture. Whereas Mr Darcy’s portrait showed a more commonly-seen upright stance of strength, the gentleman’s statue stood with his arms stretched towards Pemberley, the expression on his face appearing almost pleading. To Elizabeth, it was as if his whole heart was contained within that beautiful building, and by his will alone, he would protect it and all within. Judging from Charles Bingley’s stories of the man and the high praise given him by the housekeeper, the sense of duty portrayed was probably accurate. “He is a gentleman unlike any I have ever known,” Elizabeth murmured as she continued to regard him. “Indeed, I wish I had the chance to know him.” 

Elizabeth had understood that none of the family were at Pemberley, so she startled when suddenly hearing a lady’s soft voice coming from the other side of the statue.

“Oh, Brother! If you do not return soon, Uncle has said they will petition the courts to have you declared dead. I am so sorry. I cannot face life alone. I am sorry that I hurt you so and you had to go away. I would give anything to do it all over again.” 

The hidden young lady’s voice trembled, as though she was weeping, and Elizabeth’s tender heart moved her to make herself known. “Forgive me, miss,” she called out softly. “I could not help but hear you. May I render any assistance to you?”

There was a brief silence and then a young lady emerged from the other side of the statue. She appeared to be sixteen or seventeen and had fair hair and blue eyes. She was taller than Elizabeth, and her figure was well-formed and womanly. Elizabeth believed her to be Miss Darcy, having seen portraits of the girl, painted when she was younger, during the house tour.

“My apologies for intruding,” Elizabeth said gently. “You are in distress. May I summon someone for you?” 

The girl chuckled darkly. “If I thought anyone cared about anything but forcing a marriage on me, I would send for them at once. But no one does.” 

Elizabeth could hear her aunt and uncle at a distance, speaking with the gardener, but otherwise the ladies were alone. She took a step nearer to the girl. 

“I am sure that is not true,” she soothed. Having sisters of about the same age, she was well accustomed to the ‘no one cares about me’ feeling that beset them all at times. 

“And I assure you that it is quite true,” the girl replied. “I made a dreadful, terrible mistake last summer and it appears I shall pay for it my whole life long.” 

Elizabeth knew not how to reply to this assertion but was spared a reply by the girl’s next question. 

“Who are you?”


 

“I wish I could meet you, Mr Darcy, and tell you to come home.  There seems to be a large gap in the world where you should be.”

WHAT HAS HAPPENED to Fitzwilliam Darcy? 

IT HAS BEEN NEARLY A YEAR since the master of Pemberley disappeared, leaving behind his distraught young sister and a family in turmoil. But clues to his whereabouts are scarce and it soon seems there will be nothing to do but see Georgiana married and have him declared legally dead. 

ELIZABETH BENNET, ON HOLIDAY with her aunt and uncle, visits Pemberley and soon finds herself drawn into the mystery of the missing gentleman. But what secrets are hidden within the gardens of Pemberley? And what is the strange attraction she feels towards the statue of the man she has never met? 

Powerful forces want to keep them apart, but true love will overcome even the most fearsome evil.

PBM cover

 

 

 

You can find Pemberley by Moonlight at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

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Stephen Ord discovered Jane Austen during his teens, and then found the treasure trove of works inspired by her as he reached forty. Becoming part of the JAFF community inspired him to contribute his own stories, and now he doesn’t believe he can stop writing (and indeed, does not want to).

Stephen reads a lot of everything and has done so from early childhood. When he was around eight years old, he bought a book on unsolved mysteries. One of the mysteries was around the life and times of Lord Byron, and several of the others were around Ancient Egypt. This was the seed that grew into an ongoing fascination with Regency times, ancient cultures and mythology.  

Stephen has read a lot on the cultures and histories of Britain, Rome, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt (amongst others). These histories have joined works from Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and books of just about every other genre, inside his rather active imagination. He knows it is time to write more when his ears begin to whistle.

Stephen lives and works in Bonny Scotland, where his lovely wife and two kids keep his feet on the ground, while supporting him to have his head in the clouds on occasion too.

Stephen Ord

 


NEW giveaaway time

Quills & Quartos would like to offer one ebook copy of Pemberley by Moonlight to one reader commenting on this post. The winner will be choosen and announced on the Q&Q Facebook and Instagram pages shortly after the blog tour is over. 

Blog Tour PBM

Good Luck Everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very happy to be welcoming Brigid Huey back to From Pemberley to Milton with her new novella Spies of Our Acquaintance. It’s the latest in the Skirmish and Scandal series from Meryton Press and it appears interesting! There will be spies, adventure, and above all Darcy and Elizabeth must face a difficult and challenging situation together which is something I always love to read in the book. This story seems perfect for an afternoon read, but I’ll let you read both the blurb and the excerpt so you can tell me if this entices you as much as it did me 😊

Let me know what you think in the comments and apply to the giveaway Meryton Press is offering.


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In this scene, Elizabeth is studying Darcy’s character and may have overstepped a bit. She attempts to make up for it by offering him a chance to ask about her own follies, with interesting results!

 

“You seem to delight in finding fault with me, Miss Elizabeth. I cannot defend myself against your superior wit, but I shall claim to be loyal to those with whom I am on intimate terms.”

His look was so serious that Elizabeth bit her lip in consternation. She had provoked him beyond what was civil merely to understand him better. He closed his book fully, setting it on the table next to him. She could not allow him to leave after insulting his honour.

“Stay, Mr Darcy. Do not leave on my account. I meant not to imply that you are without honour or loyalty.”

He stared back at her, his dark brow stern and unyielding. She could not fathom what he was thinking but disliked the idea that she had insulted him.

“Come, I give you leave to ask me a question now,” she said, trying to lighten her tone. “I have delved into your character quite mercilessly, and here is your chance to do the same.”

“I do not claim to be a student of character as you do.” 

“That is no matter! It is only fair, sir. I have needled you about one of your follies, now you may ask about one of mine.”

“And do you mean to direct me in this as well, or do I have leave to ask any question?”

“You may ask whatever you wish, sir!” She smiled at him, hoping to put him at ease once more.

“You admit that you are a student of character—that you enjoy observing the vices and follies of others.”

“I am a student of character, though I would not wish you to think that I make a habit of laughing at others. I simply take pleasure instead of pain in these natural occurrences.”

“As I have seen. If I may be so bold: you have not allowed the follies of Miss Bingley to affect you as they may have affected many other young ladies.”

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at this little speech. He was being very direct indeed.

“My question is this then, Miss Elizabeth. When forming your opinions of others, do you allow yourself to be swayed by your prejudices?”

“I hope not, sir. What is your assessment?”

“I am merely trying to ascertain whether your feelings towards me have been moulded by my egregious remarks at the assembly. I myself would find it hard not to form a prejudice against one who insulted me.”

Elizabeth said nothing for a moment. Her thoughts towards him had been influenced by his behaviour at their first meeting. She had not thought herself prejudiced against him unjustly, though perhaps to form an opinion about a person after one interaction was allowing oneself to be prejudiced.

“I believe you may have discovered a truth about which I was not aware, sir, though I am not ignorant of my own vices. For example, I can be quick to anger, and I am of a rather passionate nature, I am afraid.”

“I doubt very much that being of a passionate nature is something you should regret.”

His eyes had grown dark, and Elizabeth felt herself leaning towards him. His lips parted, as if he meant to say something, but he merely stared at her. She jumped as the clock on the mantel chimed the hour. 

“Is it that late?” Her mind was strangely muddled. “I must return to my sister, Mr Darcy. If you will excuse me.”

He had risen when she had and now offered her a courteous bow. “I hope you find Miss Bennet well, Miss Elizabeth.”

She thanked him and left the library for the quiet and relative calm of her sister’s sick room.


 

French spies in Meryton!

Can the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice “keep calm and carry on” when Napoleon’s war comes to their neighborhood?

 

After Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she has sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance grows into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.

Darcy, meanwhile, cannot stop thinking about Miss Elizabeth. After the nefarious Wickham appears in Meryton, Darcy resolves to warn her of the man’s previous offenses. Matters become more urgent when Wickham proves to be involved in espionage for the French!

When Darcy and Elizabeth are captured by a French spy, they must work together to find a means of escape. With reputations and hearts at risk, what consequences will result from their perilous adventure?

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The novella, Spies of Our Acquaintance, may be purchased on Amazon US and Amazon UK. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in six to eight weeks.


 

Brigid Huey has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids and spends her free time reading and writing. She also has an assortment of birds, including five chickens and too many parakeets. She dreams of living on a farm where she can raise as many chickens, ducks, and goats as she likes and write romance novels in an airy study overlooking the wildflowers.

Other Books by Brigid Huey

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

Interrupted Plans

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You can contact Brigid Huey through the following media:

Website:  https://brigidhuey.com/

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrigidHuey/  

Email:  brigidhueywrites@gmail.com

Instagram:  @brigidhueywrites 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BrigidHuey


NEW giveaaway time

 

Meryton Press is giving away an ebook of Spies of our Acquaintance to a commenter here, and the giveaway is open internationally until the 3rd of September.

Good Luck Everyone!

17 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah M. Eden – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you are all well and that you’ve had a chance to go on holidays or will soon. I will finally take some time off next week and I’ll be visiting Ireland, which is actually where the excerpt of The Merchant and the Rogue I am sharing with you today takes place, so it made me even more eager to read the book and see Dublin through the authors eyes.

The Merchant and the Rogue is the third novel in The Dread Penny Society, have you read any of the previous books? If you have, let us know what you think of them. I confess I haven’t read any, but their concept is appealing, so you know…never ending TBR 😊 I hope you all like the excerpt!

Thank you so much for visiting Ms. Eden, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of the tour Laurel Ann 😊 It was a pleasure to be amongst all these bloggers sharing information about what seems like an excellent read. 

 


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The Dead Zoo by Borgan Donnelly

 

In the heart of Dublin City, between the River Liffey and the Grand Canal, surrounded by Merrion Square, Trinity College, and St. Stephen’s Green, sits the imposing and stately Leister House where meets the Royal Dublin Society. And housed in the newest wing of this residence-turned-Society premises is a museum of a most unusual nature. Its contents are not unknown elsewhere; its function is not strange for a museum. It is made unusual by the oddity of its name, a moniker both amusing and dark.

This place of learning and study and preservation is a museum of natural history, filled with the remains of animals large and small, bird and insect, mammal and fish. Skeletons sit alongside wax models that occupy displays alongside taxidermy of a most realistic nature. Whales and eagles, rodents and trout, a Tasmanian tiger and a polar bear. The species are too numerous to name here, but the museum is far from empty. And its contents have earned it, amongst the locals, the name “The Dead Zoo.”

Early on a spring morning, Amos Cavey, a man who had earned in his thirty-five years a reputation for intelligence by virtue of having mentioned it so very often, stepped inside the zoo of no-longer-living creatures, having been sent for by William Sheenan, keeper of the exhibit of mammals.

William had asked this tower of intellect to call upon him at the zoo, not out of admiration but desperation. Amos never ceased to brag of his intellectual acumen, and William

was in need of someone who could solve a very great and pressing mystery.

Amos walked with unflagging confidence up the Plymouth stone stairs to the first floor where the mammals were housed. He was not unfamiliar with the museum and its displays. Indeed, he had once proclaimed it “quite adequate, having potential to be impressive indeed.” He had made this observation with a great deal of reluctance as it might very well be seen as a declaration of approval of the Royal Dublin Society, which he did not at all intend it to be.

Alighting on the first floor, he stepped into the grand hall where the preserved species were displayed, some on shelves, some behind glass, some posed on pedestals. The ornate ceiling rose three stories above the stone floor. Two upper stories of balconies overlooked the space beneath. Tall columns supported those surrounding galleries, giving the room a classical look, one designed to complement a place of learning.

He held back his inward expression of frustration at having to step over and around a mop employed by a janitor. The man offered no acknowledgment of their near collision, but simply continued his efforts, so intent on his work that one would assume he was expunging the worst of muck and grime rather than polishing the floor of a museum that was kept quite clean.

“Do not mind Jonty,” William said as he approached. “He is so very dedicated to his work. We owe the beauty of this building to his unflagging efforts.”

Jonty grunted but didn’t speak, neither did he look up from his mopping. As William had declared, he was quite good at what he did, and no oddity of character would see him dismissed from his position. Do we not endure things in people when we value something else enough?

“Your note,” said Amos with his usual air of superior intelligence, “indicated you are faced with some puzzle you find unsolvable.” He spoke the last word with an unmistakable tone of doubt.

“Indeed, I am.” William’s tone held far too much worry for anyone to mistake his sincerity.

“I fancy a challenge,” Amos said. “Tell me of your mystery, and I will find your answer.”

The reader may find this declaration a touch too arrogant, but Amos did have a most impressive intellect. He was not wrong to rate his abilities so highly, though his tendency to regularly regale people with acclamations of his intelligence made him a difficult person with whom to spend any length of time. Were William not truly in need of Amos’s particular assistance, the self-assured intellectual would not have been offered so sincere a welcome.

“How familiar are you with our collection?” the harried keeper asked as he motioned for Amos to walk with him amongst the displays.

“I have visited a couple of times.” Amos looked over the nearest animals with an eye to evaluating them. “I found the musk ox mother and calf intriguing. The particularly large

trout, however, I take leave to declare might actually be a salmon.”

William let the criticism pass, not wishing to dwell on anything other than the matter at hand. They passed the dodo skeleton, a particular favorite of his, though why it was displayed amongst the mammals, he could not say.

“I am, however,” Amos said, “quite intrigued by the polar bear.”


 

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often-mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her the freedom and income to employ and protect the poverty-stricken Londoners she’s come to care about, and it gives her father something to do other than long for their hometown of St. Petersburg. She is grateful for the stability in their lives, but she often feels lonely.

Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a Penny Dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. His membership in the secretive Dread Penny Society allows him to feel he isn’t entirely wasting his life, yet he feels dissatisfied. With no one to share his life with but his sister, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at her print shop is aboveboard. When the growing criminal enterprise run by the elusive and violent Mastiff begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

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The Merchant and the Rogue Sarah Eden 2021

 

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You can find The Merchant and the Rogue at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

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Sarah M. Eden is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning Proper Romance series novels including The Lady and the Highwayman and Ashes on the Moor. Combining her passion for history and an affinity for love stories, Sarah crafts smart, witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about.

Sarah M Eden author headshot

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 


NEW blog tour

 

The Blog Tour for The Merchant and the Rogue is just starting so don’t forget to follow it to know more information about the book.

Aug 16 Among the Reads (Review)

Aug 16 Austenprose (Review)

Aug 16 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 17 Literary Time Out (Review)

Aug 17 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Aug 17 Heidi Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 17 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 18 Our Book Confessions (Review)

Aug 18 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Aug 19 Fire & Ice (Review)

Aug 19 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 20 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Aug 20 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Aug 20 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)

Aug 21 The Calico Critic (Review)

Aug 22 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

Aug 22 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 23 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 23 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review)

Aug 23 Reading with Emily (Review)

Aug 24 Wishful Endings (Review)

Aug 24 Relz Reviewz (Review)

Aug 24 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 25 Bookfoolery (Review)

Aug 25 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Aug 26 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 26 Nurse Bookie (Review)

Aug 27 So Little Time… (Excerpt)

Aug 27 Probably at the Library (Review)

Aug 27 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Aug 28 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Aug 28 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Aug 29 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Aug 29 A Darn Good Read (Review)

Merchant and the Rogue Blog Tour Banner

 


NEW giveaaway time

Please help Sarah M. Eden get her latest novel, THE MERCHANT AND THE ROGUE, to hit the New York Times best-seller list by purchasing a copy between August 15-22, 2021.
Everyone who submits a copy of their receipt and fills out the form during the week of August 15-22 will receive The Merchant and the Rogue – Swag Bundle. Supplies are limited, so act today. Please visit the Swag Bundle webpage for details.

The Merchant and the Rogue Offer

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am very pleased to bring to you an excerpt of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, not only because I liked it very much, but also because it is the first time I am welcoming its author, Christine Combe, at From Pemberley to Milton. I always love to get to know new authors and discover new books within the genre, so first visits are always very special to me, but I certainly hope this is not Ms. Combe’s last visit. In today’s blog tour stop you’ll be able to read part of chapter 4, and I hope you like it as well. If you’d like to read more, you can visit A Happy Assembley or check out the rest of the blog tour stops.

It was a pleasure to have you here, and I would like to wish you all the success with this new release Ms. Combe. Thank you for visiting and for giving readers a chance to win a copy of this book 😊

 


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TRoFD Ebook Cover

Greetings, fellow Austenians! I’m so excited to be visiting From Pemberley to Milton for the first time. Today I’m here to brag about my newest release, The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy

Back

In this new story, circumstances are vastly different for ODC: Elizabeth and her sisters are the daughters of a baronet, and Darcy has no fortune. But as always, the stars align and one of literature’s most beloved couples unite, determined to take on the world together!

In case you haven’t visited my blog or been following along as I posted the chapters at A Happy Assembly, here’s part of a scene in chapter 4:

 

Saturday, 16 February 1811

Sir Thomas was always a welcome visitor at Netherfield.

On this fine Saturday, Elizabeth thought him even more so than usual, for he claimed to have brought news of an estate that Jane might lease. The three sat down to tea accompanied by biscuits and cucumber sandwiches in the drawing room, and the baronet had consumed a little of each offering before withdrawing from an inner pocket of his jacket a folded piece of paper.

“I may have found an estate for you, Jane,” he said, repeating his statement made upon entering the house. “It is a little on the expensive side, as I understand it to be a large house, but there are multiple gardens, a shrubbery or two, and woods and groves enough to satisfy even Elizabeth’s enthusiasm for them.”

“Indeed, Father?” said Elizabeth. “I am intrigued, for you know I love a good walk.”

Her father chuckled. “Precisely my point,” said he, then he opened the letter he held. “I have here an offer from a peer—the Earl of Disley—who tells me of an estate in his keeping called Pemberley. It once belonged to his brother by marriage, who died going on five years ago, and shall be given over to his nephew in future. But at present, the earl has authority over the property and should like to see some life in it again, as it has stood empty since his brother’s passing.”

“Does Lord Disley know that your inquiry was on behalf of a young, widowed mother and her sister, sir?” asked Jane.

Sir Thomas nodded. “He does—you know I was clear in stating that this new place of residence was not for myself but a member of my family. Understanding that I enquired about available properties on behalf of a daughter, the earl desires to meet with me before discussing the matter further. I imagine he looks to assure himself that you have the capacity for running such a household.”

“Then would not meeting with Jane herself be more beneficial in assuring His Lordship of her ability to manage a household?” said Elizabeth with a scoff. “So typical that a man should not think a woman capable of speaking for herself.”

“Now Elizabeth, do not be so quick to judge,” her father admonished. “He is an earl, after all, and is likely to be a trifle mortified to have to let the property at all. No aristocrat I’ve had chance to meet in the last fifteen years has been comfortable in admitting he has not the finances to maintain his lifestyle, let alone his property. I suspect the leasing of this estate to aid him in paying off some debt or other.”

“Father,” said Jane, “whilst I am honored by the offer of a lease from a member of the nobility, and I certainly trust your judgment, I must say that I should like to see the place for myself before agreeing to any terms. After all, it is not you who will be paying the rent, and as such, I should like to judge with my own eyes rather than allowing others to judge it for me.” 

“But of course, Jane,” Sir Thomas agreed. “I fully intend on both you and Elizabeth accompanying me to Derbyshire.”

“Derbyshire!” cried Elizabeth. “But that is where our aunt Gardiner is from!”

Her father smiled. “Indeed, my dear Lizzy, and both you and she will be pleased to know that the village of her youth is but five miles from the estate in question. She may even know some of the history of it and the family who lived there.”

Jane, while lowering her teacup to its saucer, looked to her father and said, “Have you spoken to Mamma about this offer?”

“Not as yet. I desired to present it to you first and know your feelings on the matter before saying anything to your good mother,” Sir Thomas replied. “I do not think, however, that she will continue her lengthy protestations once she learns from whence the offer originates.”

Elizabeth snorted over her teacup. “Indeed, Papa. Upon hearing that an actual earl has offered up an estate, she will no doubt insist we take him up on it, whatever his terms.”

“You said it was on the expensive side, Father,” said Jane then. “I will be able to afford the rent, I hope?” She still thought economically though she had little need now to be concerned about cost. 

“Oh, of course—I should not even have mentioned it if I did not know you could, though it is more than the asking price for Netherfield’s lease before Bingley purchased the place. The earl asks eight hundred per annum—which, considering your income, is more than manageable. Game rights would be an extra charge, but you’ll have no need to concern yourself there. However…”

Here he paused and glanced at the letter again. “However, Lord Disley does state that there are many former staff members he would like to see employed again, should we agree to the terms.”

Jane nodded. “Oh, of course—I should be quite happy to employ local servants as needed, though I’ll certainly bring a few of the girls from here, as well as my maid and Margaret’s nurse.”

“If I may, I suggest you make one of the local girls a lady’s maid for Elizabeth,” said her father. “It would be a generous gesture and certainly will help in endearing you to the local populace.”

Elizabeth sighed. “Oh, to have my own maid… But Jane, as lovely as the idea is, I would not ask it of you.”

“Nonsense, Lizzy,” Jane protested. “Papa is right; it would be a very generous thing to do. Besides, as Mamma likes so much to remind us, you are a baronet’s daughter. It is expected that a young lady of your station should have a lady’s maid.” 

“Listen to your sister’s sense, Elizabeth,” said Sir Thomas. “In truth, I should like to have afforded a maid for each of my girls—for you do deserve the luxury—but thought two between the five of you would suffice, especially with the added expense of a governess—the latter of which, you know, your mother insisted upon after our elevation. Heaven forbid that the daughters of a baronet be brought up without the aid of a governess.”

The last he said with a roll of his eyes, though Elizabeth suspected by his tone that the words were her mother’s and not his own. She could well imagine Lady Bennet—her head suddenly full of the self-importance that seemed to go hand-in-glove with rank—all but demanding such expense be paid. It was likely she would have desired each of her girls to have their own maid, for she certainly did, if only to maintain the appearance of greater wealth than her husband’s actual income. 

Elizabeth laughed. “Very well, then. Whether at Pemberley or somewhere else, I shall be happy to accept a maid of my own.”

Later that evening, the sisters at Netherfield returned their father’s visit by taking dinner at Longbourn. It was during the meal that Sir Thomas announced to his wife he had received a reply to his inquiries for Jane’s quitting the neighborhood. Lady Bennet sniffed and lifted her nose in the air, declaring that she had no desire to hear of it as she still considered the scheme a foolhardy one. 

Sir Thomas raised an eyebrow. “Do you mean to say I should not reply to the Earl of Disley?”

Lady Bennet’s mouth fell open. “E-Earl? Of Disley?” she stuttered, her gaze flicking between her husband and her eldest daughter. “An earl has answered your letter, Sir Thomas?” 

“Oh, indeed, Lady Bennet,” he replied nonchalantly, producing the letter from his jacket pocket and holding it up. “The gentleman offers very good terms, though he desires to meet with me in person before accepting my application. However, if you do not think it acceptable, I am certain our daughter will defer to your judgment.”

Elizabeth suppressed the urge to laugh—her father so liked to bait his wife with such comments, knowing full well that the remark would grant him precisely the response he expected.

They were neither of them disappointed. Lady Bennet sputtered nonsensically for a full twenty seconds before declaring in a shrill voice, “Of course you should go! You cannot insult the Earl of Disley by not meeting with him!”

She looked to Jane then. “My dearest girl, you simply must agree to the terms! It is the property of an earl! He will surely call upon you, and he may have sons—oh, I hope he has single sons! I should very much like to see my daughter married to the heir of an earl… I say, even a younger son would do, for he is sure to be rich and you would still be so very highly connected and could introduce your sisters to other nobles and rich men!”

Yes, Mamma, Elizabeth thought with some amusement. That is precisely Jane’s hope—to seduce the Earl of Disley’s son, if he even has one, so that she may throw her sisters at his wealthy friends.

***


 

When Elizabeth Bennet moves with her widowed sister and niece to an estate in Derbyshire, she does not expect to find herself captivated by the mysterious steward of Pemberley. Though cautioned not to spend more time in his company than she ought, Elizabeth finds she cannot stay away from him.

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father lost half the family fortune to a pair of swindlers and the rest to gaming and investments that gave no returns. He knows he is no good for the daughter of a baronet, but he falls for the lively Elizabeth in spite of every reason he should not.

When the two determine their mutual attraction cannot be denied, Darcy decides to accept the challenge of re-entering society more for the sake of Elizabeth’s reputation than his own. Because both know it won’t be easy for him to regain the good opinion of the ton, Darcy goes to his noble relations to seek their assistance and Elizabeth joins him in London to support his efforts.

Of course, the expectation of whispers and snobbery is scant preparation for facing down the harshest critic of them all: one’s own family.

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TRoFD Ebook Cover

 

 

You can find The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

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Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on her next book.


NEW blog tour

So it’s official—Jane is moving out and soon to be looking at Pemberley! Tell me what you think in the comments below to enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, now available for purchase from Amazon! 

 

TRoFD Blog Tour Schedule

Contest open until August 14, 2021. Good luck!


 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very pleased to welcome for the first at From Pemberley to Milton author Todd M. Johnson who has recently released The Barrister and the Letter of Marque. I never read anything written by Mr. Johnson, but I was impressed not only with the premise of this book but also the excerpt he decided to bring to us today. I hope you enjoy it and that you join me in congratulating Mr. Johnson on his new release 😊

I would like to thank him for his visit and Laurel Ann Nattress for inviting me to be a part of this tour.


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It took no more than several ticks of the ancient clock hanging above the jurors for the new witness to appear from a side door. But in those few moments, Edmund stood, ushering their client into the seat beside William, then seated himself two chairs farther away. In that same instant, Edmund procured a well-groomed horsehair wig, identical to his own, from the cloth bag beneath the table and placed it on Patrin’s head.

Periwinkle, focused on the new witness in the box, took no notice.

“Mr. Keyes,” Periwinkle addressed the new witness. “You are a hostler, are you not? You care for horses at the Inn of Red Gables near the chemist’s shop?”

The witness coughed to clear his throat, then thrust his chest out importantly. “I do indeed, master.”

“Were you at your job the day there was a theft of goods in front of the chemist’s shop last month?”

“Aye.”

“And what did you see?”

“I saw a man come out of the chemist’s and reach in and take a wooden crate from a large wagon there—plain as can be. Then he put it on another wagon, got aboard, and drove away.”

“Very well. And is that man seated at counsel table?” Periwinkle waved an arm in the direction of defense counsel. “With Mr. Snopes?”

“Aye, plain as can be.”

“Thank you. Nothing further.”

William rose instantly to his feet. “Which one, Mr. Keyes?”

The witness stiffened. “Which one what?”

“Which one? Which of the gentlemen seated at my table was the perpetrator of the theft?”

Periwinkle’s eyes shifted to the table, where Edmund had now slid off his robe, resting it behind Patrin’s chair.

“Why, I object!” Periwinkle shouted, seeing the three wigged men.

The magistrate stared across the room, taking in the sight. “This is most inappropriate, Mr. Snopes,” the judge bellowed. “You’ve cloaked the accused as a barrister.”

“My lordship, I cannot see why that would offend. While a barrister must be properly wigged in the courtroom, I know of no admonition against a party wearing such a wig as well.”

“But you’re clearly attempting to confuse this witness.”

“Not at all, your lordship. I’m simply trying to determine whether this witness—critical to the prosecution—really knows who he is accusing of the serious crime of theft.”

The magistrate hesitated.

“Mr. Plessing, this is simply not done!” Periwinkle objected.

The judge’s eyes shifted to sear the prosecutor like hot coals.

“I am Justice Plessing today, Mr. Periwinkle. Or your lordship. However you might address me at a club or at a card game, you will kindly not forget to address me appropriately in this setting.”

“Your lordship,” William chimed in. “Perhaps a compromise might be agreed upon. What if you were to direct both the accused and my assistant to stand and remove their wigs. That would provide Mr. Keyes a fair chance to view them as he would have seen the culprit that afternoon.”

Perhaps he wouldn’t have agreed minutes before. Now Judge Plessing contemplated the room like a circling hawk, his nasal breaths filling an expectant silence in the gallery that a parson would have envied.

“Very well,” the magistrate said. “The two gentlemen at defense table besides Mr. Snopes will stand and remove their wigs.”

Edmund and Patrin were nearly the same height, but as Edmund rose, he crouched just a bit where he stood, still several chairs down from William. His hair beneath his wig was deliberately grown out and cut ragged, while their client’s was coiffed and oiled. Patrin’s shirt was finely pressed and spotless; Edmund’s, now fully revealed, carried stains of several meals.

“Why, it’s him.” Keyes squinted. “Surely as the sun rose this morning!” He extended a finger pointed directly at Edmund. “That man stole the other’ns goods from that wagon. I saw him with my own eyes. Plain as can be.”

“This is unfair! This is an ambush!” Periwinkle cried out amid gasps and shouts from the gallery.

Leaning across their client to address Edmund, William allowed himself a small smile. “I believe that’s the best summation I’ve ever heard old Periwinkle give.”


 

As a barrister in 1818 London, William Snopes has witnessed firsthand the danger of only the wealthy having their voices heard, and he’s a strong advocate who defends the poorer classes against the powerful. That changes the day a struggling heiress, Lady Madeleine Jameson, arrives at his door.

In a last-ditch effort to save her faltering estate, Lady Jameson invested in a merchant brig, the Padget. The ship was granted a rare privilege by the king’s regent: a Letter of Marque authorizing the captain to seize the cargo of French traders operating illegally in the Indian Sea. Yet when the Padget returns to London, her crew is met by soldiers ready to take possession of their goods and arrest the captain for piracy. And the Letter—-the sole proof his actions were legal—has mysteriously vanished.

Moved by the lady’s distress, intrigued by the Letter, and goaded by an opposing solicitor, Snopes takes the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, he learns that the forces arrayed against Lady Jameson, and now himself, are even more perilous than he’d imagined.

The Barrister and the Letter of Barque 2021

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You can find The Barrister and The Letter of Marque at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

 

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Todd M. Johnson is the author of three legal thrillers: The Deposit Slip (2012), Critical Reaction (2013), and Fatal Trust (2017), and The Barrister and the Letter of Marque (2021), his first foray into historical mystery. He has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong. He lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter.

Todd M Johnson headshot 2021

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


NEW blog tour

 

The Blog Tour for The Barrister and the Letter of Marque is just starting, so don’t forget to follow it to know more information about the book.

Aug 02 The Readathon (Review)

Aug 02 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 02 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review) 

Aug 03 Life of Literature (Review)

Aug 03 Captivated Reading (Spotlight)

Aug 04 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 04 The Green Mockingbird (Review) 

Aug 05 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 05 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 06 Among the Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 06 The Blue Stocking (Review) 

Aug 07 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) 

Aug 07 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Aug 08 Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight)

Aug 08 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Aug 09 Heidi Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 09 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Aug 10 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Spotlight)

Aug 10 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Aug 10 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Aug 11 By the Book (Interview)

Aug 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 12 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Review)

Aug 12 A Darn Good Read (Review) 

Aug 13 Fire & Ice (Review) 

Aug 14 The Lit Bitch (Spotlight)

Aug 14 The Book Diva Reads (Spotlight)

Aug 15 Vesper’s Place (Review)

Barrister Book Tour Banner


 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

A Learned Romance by Elizabeth Rasche- Review & Giveaway

ALR cover (1)4.5 stars

Mary Bennet is my favorite sister following Elizabeth, and I believe she has a lot of potential as a character with many different approaches and outcomes being possible and believable, so I was very happy to see that a sequel focused on Mary was about to be published by Quills & Quartos Publishing.

In A Learned Romance we will find all Bennet sisters married except Mary who has been residing with the Wickham’s in their London house. Mr. Wikham has somehow gained a fortune which has allowed them to walk among society’s high circles, but which has also brought a lot of attention to Lydia’s behavior. And you know Lydia, right? She is a flirt! So, when society starts noticing her unmeasured attention to geologist Mr. Cole, Elizabeth decides to give Mary a task. Call Mr. Cole’s attention to herself to allow the gossips pertaining Lydia to subside. Trying to conquer a gentleman of the ton is certainly not a comfortable task for Mary, but her duty to her family speaks higher then her natural shyness, and it is an idea provided by Elizabeth, so it’s got to be witty, right?

The storyline will then move forward with Mary trying to abate the gossip linking Lydia Wikham to Mr. Cole, but things are not as easy as Elizabeth would believe. Not only Mary is inapt at flirting, but she is also still learning who she is, what she wants and how to behave to obtain that.

I am not sure if I liked Mary in this novel, nor am I sure if I understood her character, or that of Mr. Cole for that matter, but I certainly loved watching them on their path to self-discovery. In my perspective this book is not solely focused on providing the reader a love story for Mary, but a book that will allow her to grow as a character and to discover her true self and her role in society.

Mary’s character will change throughout the story as her relationship with Mr. Cole, and her friendship with Lady Lucy forces her to see the world through other people’s eyes. She will start questioning if her view and her approach to several situations in life are indeed the best, and I enjoyed that immensely because if we think about it, Mary Bennet was only 19 or 20 years old, and people are still building their personalities at that age. I enjoyed the fact that her character is not a stereotype but an evolving personality, and that both she and Mr. Cole helped each other find their way.

I also loved the fact that I couldn’t predict what would happen next. Because this book is a sequel, the author had to develop an entirely new plot, and the excitement of not knowing what would occur next, and if/when Mary would end up with Mr. Cole made me read it non-stop. I kept reading in anticipation of their next interlude and even if the book is not dedicated to their love story, it did not disappoint, and I really enjoyed it.

A Learned Romance is a novel of self-discovery with a romance that will spice things a little. It is a very agreeable read that I recommend to all who see in Mary Bennet a rough diamond with a lot of potential.

 

 


“She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning”–Jane Austen, Persuasion, chapter 4

 

MARY BENNET HAD NEVER WISHED for anything more than to be known as the meek and pious Bennet sister, the one who sweetly brought peace to her family.

BEING THE LAST UNMARRIED BENNET SISTER, the pressure to partake of a London Season with the nouveau riche Wickhams was considerable, no matter how little she desired it; but, her young sister Lydia would not hear a refusal. Mary hoped she could pass her days as quietly as a mouse and maybe encourage her still-wild sister to become a more demure wife and stop quarrelling so much with her husband. 

BUT WHEN LYDIA’S FLIRTATION with scientist begins stirring gossip, Mary discovers it is not enough to stay meek and quiet. She must protect Lydia’s reputation by drawing the man’s attentions her way, and convincing the world it is Mary, not Lydia, who attracts Mr Cole. If she fails, Lydia’s disgrace will taint every family member connected with her—Bennet, Bingley, and Darcy alike—and Mary will have no hope for her own future. But alluring a gentleman is hardly the sort of practice Mary has a knack for. Though it goes against every fibre of her being, Mary must turn aside from the peace she craves and uncover the belle within—all while finding her heart awakening in the illusion of romance she has created.

ALR cover (1)

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You can find A Learned Romance at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

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After acquiring a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arkansas, Elizabeth taught philosophy in the U.S. and co-taught English in Japan. Now she and her husband live in northwest Arkansas, which is over 4,000 miles from Derbyshire. (Doesn’t everyone measure distance from the center of the world, Pemberley?)

She dreams of visiting Surrey (if only to look for Mrs. Elton’s Maple Grove), London, Bath, and of course, Derbyshire. When she has a Jane Austen novel in one hand, a cup of tea in the other, and a cat on her lap, her day is pretty much perfect. 

Elizabeth Rasche is the author of Flirtation and Folly, as well as The Birthday Parties of Dragons. Her poetry has appeared in Scifaikuest.

Elizabeth Rasche pic (1)


Quills & Quartos would like to offer one ebook copy of A Learned Romance to one reader commenting on this post. The winner will be choosen and announced on the Q&Q Facebook and Instagram pages shortly after the blog tour is over. 

Good Luck everyone!

ALR Blog Tour (1)

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Old Boots by Grace Gibson – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone, 

Grace Gibson has become a favorite author ever since I read the magnificent Reckless, Headstrong Girl, so I am very happy to welcome her at From Pemberley to Milton once more.

Today she brings not only a fun excerpt but also an explanation of why she decided to write this story. I hope you enjoy learning more about Old Boots and share with us your opinion, don’t forget, all comments will be entered to the giveaway Meryton Press is offering.

I would like to thank Janet Taylor for inviting me for the tour and for everything she has done for this community 😊 This wouldn’t be the same without you.

And now, I will leave you to enjoy the excerpt. Have fun!


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Hi Rita! It is terribly hot where I live and I love nothing more than to stay cool with a class of iced tea and a book about the cold, rainy British countryside. Reading is a favorite summer pastime for many, and I am so happy to be here today to share a little about my latest release.

We are all acquainted with Fitzwilliam Darcy, the brooding, dignified hero who must be humbled in order to fall in love.  And who would not fall for such a serious, unreachable man? 

However, in Old Boots, I began to explore the idea that perhaps the gentleman had not always been so stiff. After all, every grown man has first been a boy. What if Mr. Darcy had started out in life as a bit of a scamp?

As I began to write, I was delighted when a series of unforeseen events resulted in Mr. Darcy finding within himself the youthful prankster he had once been. Put in his own words, he suddenly exclaims, 

I was simply tired of being so damnably well-regulated!” 

This is perhaps the most telling of Darcy’s realizations in this story, and as you may already suspect, Elizabeth Bennet has had something to do with his emerging spirit of mischief. 

But it is not just Elizabeth who brings out the latent mischief-maker in Mr. Darcy. Caroline Bingley, being possessive and determined to have him as her husband, also causes the gentleman to resort to ungentlemanly tactics. 

In this excerpt, Darcy has arrived at Netherfield Park in a clandestine manner. He is soaking wet and not fit to be seen, so he enters through the back door and uses the servants’ stairs to get up to his room. He discretely asks for Bingley to explain the reason for his strange arrival, and since he would rather not have to also explain himself to Bingley’s sisters, suggests they forego the usual formal welcome. Bingley, agreeable as ever, voices no objection and, at the appointed hour, Darcy simply goes down to dinner as if nothing unusual has happened. But…

***

Miss Bingley gasped as I came into the salon just as the dinner gong sounded. I bowed to her in acknowledgement.

“Mr. Darcy! But—” she spluttered, almost at the volume of a screech. “I—we have been waiting all afternoon to greet you properly! How did I miss your arrival?”

I temporarily ignored her to greet her sister, Mrs. Hurst, and her sister’s husband. I then returned my attention to the horrified countenance of my hostess and said as meekly as I could, “I do not rightly know, madam.”

As the hours of the evening progressed, this mild deception began to strike me as something of a tremendous prank. Miss Bingley must have been glued to her chair, determined to receive me. How I entered the house without her knowing confounded her to a vexatious degree. She could not cease to remark upon it.

I began to suspect that she was no particular favorite of the servants of the house. From the butler to the lowliest maid, I detected a closed rank. No one was the least bit sympathetic to Miss Bingley’s quandary. When questioned as to when I arrived, as they invariably were, they collectively feigned confusion, ignorance, or to have been elsewhere at the precise moment in question.

All manner of excuses were serenely provided as to why no one could tell her the particulars of my arrival: she had requested the butler to look over the wine for dinner, had sent her footmen out to the stables to assure the grooms’ readiness to receive visitors, and had sent Mrs. Nichols upstairs to look over the rooms. Her distress seemed to entertain them almost as much as it did me.

Even Bingley, who is not the sharpest blade in the armory, blandly looked upon his sister’s bewilderment and said, “Pish, Caroline. Give over. The man is here, as you see.”

 ***

I hope you enjoyed seeing a different side of a gentleman known more often for his arrogance and reserve. 

One of Darcy’s unlikely allies in this story is Elizabeth’s father. Mr. Bennet, known for his cutting humor, also manages to exert a subtle influence on Mr. Darcy. If you would like to read more about Mr. Bennet’s surprising role in this love story, please join met at Probably at the Library on July 17th. Hope to see you there!


Some form of devilry has come over Mr. Darcy. 

Since his father’s death, Fitzwilliam Darcy has endeavored to be reliable, responsible, and restrained. But upon visiting Netherfield Park in Hertfordshire, he finds himself weary of the struggle to be so damnably well regulated and delights in a revival of the carefree mischief that characterized his younger days.

What brings on this sudden reversal? Perhaps it is a shocking incident that takes place upon his first entering the neighborhood when he rescues Miss Elizabeth Bennet from the raging current of a rain-swollen stream. The so-called “lady” does not prefer to be rescued, and Darcy’s subsequent dunking, rather than resulting in the gratitude that is his due, is met with her confounding resentment of his interference.

This tale of Darcy’s entanglement with the mysteriously grief-stricken Bennet family is interwoven with a love story—a most delicious exchange of looks, barbs, pranks, and innuendos as Miss Elizabeth, the “lightning bolt of Longbourn,” regularly singes, frustrates, and humbles the man from Derbyshire.

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You can find Old Boots at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

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In addition to mosaic art, which I create at Studio Luminaria, my home-based glass shop in El Paso, Texas, I enjoy writing regency romance and Pride and Prejudice variations for pleasure.   

Grace Gibson photo


NEW blog tour

Don’t forget to check the other blog tour stops for more information on Old Boots:

07-12 Austenesque Reviews 

07-14 Donadee’s Corner

07-15 From Pemberley to Milton

07-17 Probably at the Library

07-19 Jane Austen State of Mind 


Meryton Press is giving away 6 eBooks of Old Boots. To apply to it, click on the following Raffle link.

Good Luck!

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27 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Forgotten Betrothal by L.M. Romano – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone, 

The blog tour for Forgotten Betrothal starts today at from Pemberley to Milton and I couldn’t be happier about it. The blurb has made me confident this is a story I will love! I love variations that only deviate a little from canon but that take a completely different path after that. I prefer small changes such as Elizabeth not reading the letter then a major change such as her family being titled, for example, and my favorite starting point for a deviation is the Hunsford proposal because I have always believed that by then, Elizabeth already harbored some feelings for Darcy, and it is only after her refusal that he truly learns her character and respects her the more for it.

I do not know how much Forgotten Betrothal deviates from canon, but the fact that it starts right after the Hunsford proposal, and that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth meet shortly after that in London is certainly a selling point for me! I am looking forward to reading and reviewing this book here 😊

I am also happy to welcome Mrs. Romano for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton. I hope this is the first of many.

I would like to thank everyone at Quills & Quartos for inviting me for the tour and for everything they do for this community 😊

And now, I will leave you to enjoy the excerpt. Please let us know what you thought, and also your feelings concerning this blurb 😊 The story appears to have a bit of a mystery too, isn’t that exciting?


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Thanks, Rita, for letting me share an excerpt today from Forgotten Betrothal! One of the exciting parts about writing this book was the opportunity to portray an extended courtship between Darcy and Elizabeth. In this scene, Darcy has just brought Georgiana to meet Elizabeth for the first time and through their conversation, Elizabeth gains greater insight into Darcy’s childhood and even discovers a hidden talent! Enjoy!

 

Excerpt from Chapter 17

 

“So you are teaching your cousin to play, Miss Elizabeth?” Georgiana enquired.

“Only simple tunes. Meg is but five, my talents are limited, and I am not an appropriate tutor.”

“I remember Fitzwilliam teaching me simple songs when I was that age. But surely you are being too modest, Miss Elizabeth! My brother has told me how much he enjoys to listen to your playing, and he never exaggerates, I assure you!”

“You play the pianoforte, Mr Darcy?” Elizabeth asked, clearly surprised.

“I must defer to your superior skills, and Georgiana has long surpassed any efforts of mine.”

“I would love to hear you play sometime, Miss Elizabeth,” Georgiana affirmed. “Fitzwilliam has told me that he has rarely heard anything that brought him such pleasure.”

Elizabeth was spared from answering his sister’s request when a maid entered the room with refreshments. Standing to assist her aunt, Miss Bennet redirected the conversation towards Derbyshire, and soon Georgiana and Mrs Gardiner were happily sharing their stories of Lambton while Miss Bennet asked after their favourite haunts in the village. Bringing him his preferred cup of tea, Elizabeth joined Darcy on the other side of the room.

“You have been withholding information, sir. There I was, chained to the instrument at Rosings, when you could have rescued me from your aunt’s scrutiny by displaying your undoubtedly superior talents.” 

Smiling in reply, Darcy acknowledged, “Perhaps I could have, Miss Elizabeth, but you are by far the superior player. In fact, I have not played before anyone outside my immediate family since I was a boy. I was in earnest when I told you that I do not perform to strangers.”

“Do you have a reason for keeping such talents hidden?”

“Not particularly, it is only that my instruction came from my mother. She was a marvellous performer, but her music was always distinctly personal, a feeling my sister shares.” 

Elizabeth’s genuine interest gave Darcy the courage to continue. “My mother was always rather delicate, you see, and during my youth, she spent many hours in the music room in place of more active pursuits. I was often drawn to her music, and some of my fondest memories of her are the moments she would give towards my instruction. It may not have been the most common of interests for a young boy, but I felt privileged to share her passion.” He paused as his thoughts turned slightly mournful. “After Georgiana’s birth, my mother’s health never recovered and she rarely left Pemberley. On my holidays from Eton, we spent quite a lot of time in that music room, playing together with Georgiana in her basket at our feet. Georgiana suffered from colic, and nothing seemed to soothe her except for my mother’s music. After Mother died, I continued to play for my sister in her stead.”  

A light hand on his forearm pulled him from his recollections, and as he turned to gaze upon Elizabeth, her kind sympathy radiated from her countenance.

“What was she like, your mother?”

“She was a gentle soul, much like your sister Miss Bennet. ’Tis not a common trait for a Fitzwilliam, I assure you. The more lively nature of my cousin Richard is more in tune with the rest of the family. I suppose with such a strong sister as Lady Catherine, it was easier for my mother to yield to her natural reserve, a trait she passed to both of her children. In looks, she was much like Georgiana—blond curls, blue eyes, though a lighter shade, and a fair complexion. While I strongly resemble my father, I believe I inherited much of Mother’s temperament, though perhaps not her innate gentleness,” he finished with a faint smile.

“I would not be so sure of that, Mr Darcy, for you seem to possess hidden depths behind that mask you present to the world. Was your father also reserved?”

“No indeed. While not overly boisterous, my father tended to favour those of a livelier disposition. I felt he was sometimes disappointed by my reticence, as he often encouraged my association with those he felt would inspire me to overcome my shyness.”

Darcy could see Elizabeth instantly understood his reference to Wickham, but she bravely pushed past the allusion.

“Well, you seemed to have developed a taste for liveliness if you prefer my company,” she teased. “Though I must say that I enjoy learning more of your family. It is clear to me how much you care for them, and I believe in the importance of appreciating your blessings. You never know how fragile it can all become.”

Her uncharacteristically solemn expression encouraged him to ask, “Are you sure you are well, Miss Elizabeth?”

“I hardly know, sir, but I have great hope I soon will be.” As she looked into his eyes, she seemed to seek reassurance, and her smile grew. “Indeed, I believe I have every chance of happiness.”

Darcy felt his own chances for felicity had increased tenfold since his arrival that afternoon. An irrepressible hope settled in his chest, convincing him that perhaps his greatest desire was not quite so far out of reach.


 

Enlightenment dawned, sharp and painful in its glaring exactitude. He knew. From the moment she had uttered her true name, he had known that she was not free. So why was he here? Why did he still look at her in that way? Why could she see the adoration in his eyes and the torment in his features? Had he come to say goodbye? To leave her to this fate?

 

How can an innocent stroll through Hyde Park change the course of so many lives?

Confused and chastened following her cruel rejection of Mr Darcy’s proposal, Elizabeth Bennet returns to her aunt’s home in Gracechurch Street. Unable to find solace while pondering her terrible misjudgment of his character, she is overwhelmed with guilt for how she treated the puzzling gentleman from Derbyshire. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy has retreated to his London home after being spurned by the lady he loves, and after serious reflection has come to the realisation that he never deserved Elizabeth’s good opinion. 

A chance encounter brings the opportunity to seek forgiveness, and possibly, a new start to their budding romance. But the introduction of a stranger into Elizabeth’s life threatens to reveal old family secrets that have the potential to truly unravel her world and all that she holds dear.

COVER Forgotten Betrothal

 

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You can find Forgotten Betrothal at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

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M. Romano is, as Miss Bingley would say, ‘a great reader,’ though she still owns to taking delight in many things. As an inveterate bookworm and a longtime lover of historical fiction, she is delighted to present her début novel, Forgotten Betrothal, as a tribute to her love for the works and characters created by Jane Austen. As a history professor, she eagerly embraced the opportunity to delve into Regency England and the many facets of London’s high society, which provided endless evenings of entertainment for both herself and any unfortunate family members who happened to be nearby.

A Northern California native, L. M. Romano currently lives with her husband in Ontario, California. She plans to continue writing, teaching, and reading countless books to her heart’s content.

Lacey Romano


Quills & Quartos would like to offer one ebook copy of Forgotten Betrothal to one reader commenting on this post. The winner will be choosen and announced on the Q&Q Facebook and Instagram pages shortly after the blog tour is over. 

Good Luck everyone!

FB blog tour

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Twists of Fate by Joana Starnes – Ask me anything & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone, 

Today I’m very happy to welcome Joana Starnes at From Pemberley to Milton to talk about her upcoming release Twists of Fate

Joana is a dear friend and one of my favorite authors, so I am always eagerly anticipating her releases. In fact, as soon as I finish one of her books, I immediately ask her when she will write the next one because I just wanted to continue getting involved in her writing and her characters. Twists of Fate is a forced marriage scenario, and I am sure Joana will make it an incredible and unforgettable story! She is particularly good at showing the reader the intensity of her character’s feelings, and with a forced marriage scenario, I imagine she will have plenty of scenes to work on that 🙂

Today she is sharing some information about this new book and answering all your questions! So if there is something you’ve always wanted to ask her, go ahead! Check out all the information she is sharing about the new book tto, I am sure you’ll get very curious. All questions will be entered into the giveaway of 2 ebook copies of Twists of Fate

Thank you so much for visiting Joana! I am looking forward to reading and reviewing this book 🙂 And…to visit Pemberley with you once more 😉

P.S – I looooove the book’s cover 🙂


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Thank you, Rita, for welcoming me today, on the blog tour for my new Pride and Prejudice variation, Twists of Fate.


V3 ToF K cover

I thought I might start by sharing a few titbits about the book, and then if there is anything else you’d like to know, please leave a comment and I’ll try to answer without too many spoilers. If you would like spoilers, that’s absolutely fine too. I can message you privately or email you, and spill the beans.

The idea for Twists of Fate hit me while I was minding my own business and writing a short and cheery story that sprung from a chat that Rita, Glynis and I had at Pemberley.

(Goodness, I can’t believe it’s been over 2 years! Far too long! I do hope we get to meet up at Pemberley again soon!)


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(Lyme Park, 4 Feb 2019)

I started writing the cheery story last spring and I was having a wonderful time with it, but then the new idea came and grabbed me, and just wouldn’t let go!

If you haven’t seen the book trailer yet, have a quick peek. The music really, really makes it (thank you, Aaron Kenny, for this exquisite piece!!)

 

So, the titbits:

Some of the things I hope you’ll be pleased to find in Twists of Fate:

  • Our favourite characters get together very early. They marry a week and a day after the Netherfield ball;
  • The early marriage is all due to Wickham, who ends up helping Darcy more than he knows (and far more than he could possibly wish!);
  • All those who set out to injure our dear couple (including, but not limited to the dastardly Mr Wickham) end up helping them in one way or another, and making their bond stronger;
  • There is angst (of course there’s angst 😀 ), but there are lots of romantic moments in between, and a good dose of besottedness;
  • There is courtship – slow-burn, tantalising courtship – as they tiptoe towards intimacy. On that note, I think this is my most daring book yet. Not explicit, never explicit, but it’s certainly daring!
  • Elizabeth is brave even when she is flummoxed;
  • Our favourite characters learn to open up and talk, really talk, and share their feelings – even Mr Darcy (and he gets over his aversion to dancing, too).
  • Did I mention the besottedness?

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Now, in the interest of full disclosure, there are a few things that make me think I’d better buy a helmet, put it on and wait for the shower of turnips:

  • Georgiana speaks out when she shouldn’t;
  • Darcy doesn’t speak out when he should.
  • The book is called Twists of Fate for a whole lot of reasons. Some of them might not be what you expect.

 

And that’s it from me for now. Thanks for reading, and I’m looking forward to your questions. Please add them to the comments section and I’ll reply asap. Everyone who has a share in the conversation will be entered in the giveaway. But you don’t have to think of a question to enter! If there’s nothing you’d like to ask, please stop by for a chat and a chance to win a Kindle copy of Twists of Fate. There are 2 up for grabs. The giveaway is international and it’s open until 15 Jul 2021. Good luck!

ToF Giveaway x 2_m

Twists of Fate will be released on 22 July and is now available on pre-order.

You can find the pre-order link here 

(Another excerpt is posted there for your reading pleasure 🙂 )

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks again, Rita, for welcoming me here today!


 

What if Mr Collins shocked Elizabeth with his base conduct at the time of his proposal, thus sending her dashing out of her house, and into the arms of Mr Darcy? What if that accidental encounter was witnessed, and impropriety was assumed? What if Mr Darcy was glad of the excuse to marry his heart’s desire – only to have his best hopes blasted within hours of his wedding? What if he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once?

Evil rumours, an early marriage, a dreadful misunderstanding, an old secret and good intentions gone awry. What if ‘I do’ is not the end, but the beginning of the adventure?

Twists of Fate is available for pre-order at: 

Amazon.com

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NEW blog tour

More excerpts and giveaways at other stops on the blog tour:

17 Jun 2021 ~ Austen Variations ~ Giveaway and Excerpt: A ride in the rain

24 Jun 2021 ~ Austen Variations ~ Ongoing Giveaway and Excerpt: A fiery Mr Darcy

28 Jun 2021 ~ Austenesque Reviews ~ Cover Reveal, Giveaway and Excerpt: A very un-Hunsford-like proposal

5 Jul 2021 ~ Babblings of a Bookworm ~ Giveaway and Guest post: Breaking the wall of silence

8 Jul 2021 ~ From Pemberley to Milton ~ Giveaway and ‘Ask me anything!’ (I’ll try to answer without too many spoilers)

13 Jul 2021 ~ Austen Variations ~ Ongoing Giveaway and Excerpt: If anything can go wrong… (Murphy’s Law ~ the JAFF version)

16 Jul 2021 ~ Austenesque Reviews ~ Giveaway and… [my lips are sealed, but I hope you’ll like it]

22 Jul 2021 ~ Austen Variations ~ Launch Day!


NEW author bio

Joana Starnes is the author of eleven Austen-inspired novels and a contributor to the Quill Ink anthologies. All her novels are available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback, and some in Audible too: Joana’s Amazon Page.

joana-starnes

You can connect with Joana on: 

Facebook     Austen Variations     Website

Instagram     Twitter

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Mistress of Netherfield by Julia Winter – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone, 

How are you today? This is my last post while I am 36 because tomorrow is my birthday, so this is a special post for me. It is even more special because I am hosting Julia Winter for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton. Ms Winter has just released her debut Pride and Prejudice variation and she is here today with an enticing excerpt where we can see Mr. Darcy and Wickham’s encounter at Meryton. You’ll notice Elizabeth is no longer Miss Bennet when this encounter takes place, but Mrs. Grayson. What are your feelings regarding Elizabeth marrying someone else first? Have you heard about this book yet? Have you read the blurb? What do you think?

If you haven’t heard about it yet, or if you’re unaware of the blurb, let me stop you no more 🙂 You can find it right after the excerpt. 

Thank you for visiting Ms Winter, I hope this is the first of many visits 🙂


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Meryton was less dense with fog, thicker with people. Of course. Market day. Darcy had forgotten. He moved Alastor carefully through the throng. Perhaps he should turn back here, rather than leave Bingley at Longbourn’s gates. There was rather too much activity testing Alastor’s temper.

“At least we missed the worst of it,” Bingley said with unimpaired cheer, bringing his roan alongside so they could talk. “Oh look! The Bennet ladies!”

Bingley urged his roan to the edge of the market square, where Mrs Grayson and the four Misses Bennet stood in conversation with a group of militia officers and, incongruously, a tall black-clad clergyman. Sighing, Darcy followed. At least the youngest two were not romping around like untamed colts… perhaps the presence of their elder sisters held their bad behaviour in check a trifle. A very small trifle. The youngest Bennet chit, the one with those silly corkscrew curls badly cut in the lop-sided fashion favoured by the more frivolous and outré elements of society, was side on to Bingley and Darcy as they approached. She hung on the arm of one officer and stared up at him as did a mouse fascinated by a snake. She was not squealing, which was an undoubted improvement on her usual manner, but the vacuous expression of adulation on her face, evident even in profile, was only to be deplored.

Bingley called out a greeting, and Miss Jane Bennet looked up, her pretty face showing her surprise before relaxing into her usual sweet smile.

The officer turned his head to look at them when he heard Bingley’s call, and his gaze caught Darcy’s.

Wickham.

Wickham! Good God. Wick—

Darcy’s chest constricted on the instant, cold fingers clenching around his ribs to crush everything beneath into a pounding, painful, churning mess caused by a heart trying to leap up out of its cage of bone. The cold rushed away, borne on a pulse of heat that had his face burning as if dipped in a volcano. Only pressing his lips together so hard his mouth hurt, prevented him from voicing his hate and fury and guilt.

The noise of the market faded into a distant hum and buzz. Vague shapes moved on the edge of sight, as wispy and unimportant as though they were phantoms the fog had made manifest. Only he and Wickham were there, transfixed, staring at each other with such hatred that the air should have seethed and roiled with it.

Wickham had paled, his face frozen into a grimace that was half dismay, half defiance. Darcy could only hope his own showed no expression at all.

The world had narrowed down to that familiar face, the one he had hoped never to see again. For a moment so long it felt an aeon, he and Wickham stared at each other, then, slowly, Wickham lifted his free hand to his temple to touch the shako perched on his head in a sketch of a greeting. That was too much to be borne. What Darcy wished to do was wrench Alastor around and send him galloping back the way he’d come, scattering the denizens of Meryton hither and thither like chaff. But no Darcy ever cut and ran. And certainly not before a cur like Wickham.

So, instead, Darcy turned away from Wickham as if he had not seen him. As if he had never seen him.

He looked at the rest of the company. Mrs Grayson frowned. She looked from Wickham to Darcy, with that same direct, almost challenging, gaze she had turned on Darcy at Longbourn. The clergyman murmured something and pulled at her arm.

“Please do not tug at me, Mr Collins. I am not a parcel!” Mrs Grayson’s tone was sharp.

“Oh, but my dear, dear cousin! It is my privilege, right, and duty to see to your protection—”

Darcy bowed slightly to the Bennet women, ignoring Wickham and the unknown cleric. “Good day, ladies. I hope you are all well. Forgive me for not staying. I will return now to Netherfield, Bingley, so I leave the ladies in your care.”

He touched his hat. Another cold I-do-not-see-you glance at Wickham, a curl of the lip to show his contempt, and he turned Alastor with quiet deliberation and rode slowly away, so upright in the saddle that his back and shoulders stabbed with complaining aches and pains.

And all the while, the lava of his hatred flamed inside his chest and gut. It was a miracle it did not melt his saddle and burn Alastor’s back.


 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that on escaping an unhappy marriage, a young widow will be delighted to remove to the dower house and lease the marital abode to a single man in possession of a good fortune, provided he looks elsewhere to fulfil his want of a wife.

Five years after being forced into an unwanted marriage at the age of sixteen, and freed six months later by the death of her abusive husband, Elizabeth Grayson (née Bennet) has finally found a measure of peace. The inheritor of her husband’s estate, Netherfield Park, Elizabeth is now a wealthy young widow, independent and self-reliant. With an eye always on improving her four sisters’ woefully small dowries and providing for her mother, who will be homeless when her father dies, Elizabeth is pleased to lease out Netherfield to the Bingley family, making her home in the dower house in Meryton and vowing that she will never remarry.

Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire is rich and well connected, but reserved in company with anybody outside the very few he counts as friends. Towards those friends, he is loyal and steadfast, the staunchest of supporters. So when a young man comes to him with a tale of the clandestine marriage and mysterious death of Darcy’s old schoolfriend, James Grayson, and begs Darcy’s help to investigate the widow’s role, Darcy agrees. Visiting Charles Bingley, the new tenant of Netherfield, Darcy is very soon torn between his loyalty to his dead friend, and his burgeoning attraction to the widow.

Throw two unprincipled rogues and an elopement into the confines of Meryton, and how will Darcy’s dilemma over Elizabeth ever be resolved? And is she willing to put aside her misgivings, and trust again?

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You can find Mistress of Netherfield at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

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Once Julia was a communications specialist with several UK government departments. These days she’s thankfully free of all that, and writing full time. She lives in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo, who’s supported by Mavis the Assistant Editor, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several times bigger than she is but with no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.

Contact Julia:

Email  |  Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook


NEW blog tour

The blog tour ends tomorrow, but you can still go back and check the other stops in the tour:

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Julia Winter is offering a giveaway during this tour. Between 21 June and 3 July, enter this Rafflecoptor giveaway for the chance of a first prize of a copy of Mr Darcy’s Hunsford letter (complete with seal, and tied in red ribbon) and a copy of the eBook, or one of two second prizes of an ecopy of Mistress of Netherfield.

Good Luck everyone!

 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice