Category Archives: North and South

The Barrister’s Bride by Suzan Lauder – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to welcome Suzan Lauder at From Pemberley to Milton today to close the blog tour of The Barrister’s Bride. Suzan decided to bring with her an exciting excerpt that depicts a scene I haven’t read in a long time and that made me want to read the book immediately! I’m kind of cursing my TBR right now because this story has apparently everything I enjoy, especially a rival to Mr. Darcy who appears to be none other than his older brother! But I will let you read it for yourself so you may understand my excitement about this excerpt

I would like to thank not only Suzan for visiting, but also Meryton Press and Janet Taylor for allowing me to spread the word about this story 🙂 Thank you all!

As the final stop on the blog tour for The Barrister’s Bride, I have a short, exclusive excerpt for the readers of “From Pemberley to Milton,” a favourite blog of mine since Rita is an excellent host. In this scene, Darcy is ruminating while he waits to speak to Elizabeth late on the night before they are to be wed. 


With nerves on edge, Darcy tapped his fingers on the top of the grand pianoforte expecting a quiet thrumming. He startled when a far more majestic sound than anticipated echoed through the room, prompting him to flinch and stop without delay. The hour was far too late for the disruptive noise, which would penetrate into the bedchambers on this floor and those above it. To wear off his nervous energy, he spun and paced a small area between the instrument and the window a few times, swinging his arms in tandem. Perhaps this bit of exercise would settle the frenetic beating of his heart, which was certain to be causing a loudness in the corridors itself.

That organ had burst to life sometime in the past week and had insisted upon his notice this morning when Elizabeth took his hand and asked to take on the role of mistress by visiting tenants, proving she was invested in their marriage. Or perhaps his heart had succumbed when she showed compassion towards an intelligent farmer and his children, standing beside him as a partner before they were even married. He was not sure of the exact moment, but his passion for Elizabeth had bloomed into a strong sense of love by the time he closed the door to his bedchamber upon their return home from the excursion.

How could he have waited so long to know he loved her? When Darcy had recognised the sensation within him, he had reviewed her letters from when they were separated in July, and was shocked. How had he not fallen for her over several instances in the past? Every sentence upon the page now sparked tenderness within him—those words elicited even greater feelings due to the recent realisation of his attachment. He stopped pacing and sat in a chair near the window.

The friendship she had begun to forge with his family members in London and now at Pemberley caught his notice. She was nothing but magical in her ability to enchant them all and to make shy Georgiana befriend her. Even they were close to loving her as if they were family.

He loved Elizabeth Bennet, who was upon the morrow to become Mrs. Darcy. Except, tied into that situation was a problem—the promise had not been hers, and he could not know what she would have chosen had she been consulted. In truth, had she a choice in the matter, practical considerations would lead one to conclude that he would not be her selection. They had little knowledge of each other beyond that of casual acquaintances, and although they liked each other, he had not pursued her as a potential wife. The possibility existed that she had not considered him as a potential husband at any point either. No, his brother had been the catch.

1200px-John_Broadwood_&_Sons_Grand_Piano (1)


NEW book blurb

A pact that will change their lives forever…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a successful young barrister with a bright future. His late uncle has guided his career, made him his heir, and even selected a bride for him—sight unseen—whom he’ll meet and marry upon her majority. Who could have predicted that making the acquaintance of Miss Elizabeth Bennet in Meryton would throw those careful plans into disarray?

Elizabeth Bennet doesn’t know what to make of “Fitz” Darcy, who intrigues and draws her notice like no other. Despite Fitzwilliam’s warnings, she allows Mr. George Darcy, Fitzwilliam’s older brother and master of Pemberley, to charm her. Little does she know that she, too, has been promised in marriage by her late father—to an unknown barrister, no less. What is she to do when her hopes to marry for love disappear in the blink of an eye?

Is George Darcy’s suit in earnest? Can this mysterious bridegroom of her father’s choosing become the husband of her dreams? With the danger of duels and deceit, what will come of the initial attraction between her and Fitzwilliam? Will she become the barrister’s bride?

Note: contains scenes with adult content.

TBB Final FW1 S

You can find The Barrister’s Bride at:

and Kindle Unlimited

NEW author bio

A lover of Jane Austen, Regency period research and costuming, yoga, fitness, home renovation, design, sustainability, and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder keeps busy even when she’s not writing novels based on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, all of which are published by Meryton Press.

She and Mr. Suze and their rescue tabby split their time between a loft condo overlooking the Salish Sea and a 150-year-old Spanish colonial casita in Mexico. Suzan’s lively prose can be found on her Facebook author page,; on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as @SuzanLauder; and on her Meryton Press blog, road trips with the redhead

DSC09681 (2)

You can reach out Suzan Lauder through the following media:

Facebook author page




Meryton Press blog, road trips with the redhead.


This is the last stop in the blog tour but you can still check the previous posts 🙂 

May   9 My Jane Austen Book Club

May 10  Babblings of a Bookworm

May 11 The Literary Assistant

May 12 My Vices and Weaknesses

May 13 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

May 16 Austenesque Reviews

May 17 From Pemberley to Milton

TBB BT Schedule jpeg M

Meryton Press is giving away six eBooks of The Barrister’s Bride by Suzan Lauder. There is a swag giveaway by Author, Suzan Lauder, and it includes a personalized signed copy of the book, a Suzan Lauder reticule, an embroidered handkerchief, and a fan. Both giveaways are in this Rafflecopter link.        

Good luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Born to Be a Heroine by Christine Combe – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m very happy to welcome back author Christine Combe to From Pemberley to Milton today. Ms Combe is celebrating the release of her newest book, Born to be a Heroine, in which characters from Pride & Prejudice will meet and befriend characters from Northanger Abbey! I always love the idea of mash ups, and this sounds like an intriguing one 😊

Ms Combe has brought an excerpt from Born to be a Heroine to share with you. I hope you like it! And if you do, there are more excerpts being shared in the other blog tour stops, so you can always read more 😊


NEW excerpt

Greetings, fellow Austenians! I’m so excited to be visiting From Pemberley to Milton again. Today I’m here to brag about my newest release, Born to be a Heroine. Now, the title might bring to mind Northanger Abbey, but this is actually a Pride and Prejudice story with Northanger characters in it!


Now that you have some idea what’s going on, here’s a sneaky-peek at chapter 2:


“Lizzy, you made it!”

Elizabeth Bennet smiled and held out her hands to her dearest friend. “Now Charlotte, you know very well that Mamma would not pass up the chance to meet the mysterious Mr. Bingley and his friends.”

Charlotte Lucas laughed as she glanced to where Elizabeth’s mother now stood talking to her own. “How much do you want to wager that they are discussing the fortunes of the gentlemen at Netherfield?”

Elizabeth feigned shock and gasped dramatically. “Charlotte Lucas, I am surprised at you! Gambling is an unladylike activity—whatever would Lady Lucas say if she heard you?”

Charlotte snorted softly—also an unladylike thing to do—before she replied, “I have no doubt my mother would not only make a point of saying how extraordinarily fortunate I would be should I catch the eye of one of the single gentlemen, but also the unlikelihood of my actually being so fortunate because I am a plain old spinster next to the likes of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet.”

Jane Bennet, Elizabeth’s elder sister, stood nearby and turned at the sound of her name. “Oh, dear Charlotte—how I wish you would not disparage yourself so! You are as handsome as any of us and you know it.”

Charlotte smiled. “It is most kind of you to say so, Jane, but I am seven-and-twenty and have not had a single offer of marriage.”

Elizabeth frowned. “If only ‘wife and mother’ weren’t the only respectable occupations for a young woman of genteel birth,” she groused. “Then those of us with more intelligence than the average society debutante could be appreciated for more than our ability to bear children and host dinner parties.”

“Lizzy!” cried Jane. “How can you say such things?”

“Very easily, Jane,” Elizabeth rejoined. “I would much rather be recognized for who I am and what I can do to better my community than simply as Mrs. Edward Smith.”

Jane only shook her head in apparent dismay; Elizabeth grinned and returned her gaze to scanning the room for their younger sisters. Mary, who was next after Elizabeth, sat primly in a chair by the wall, while the two youngest girls—Catherine and Lydia—were already engaged in dancing, each one paired with a young officer from the militia that had recently encamped in Meryton for the winter. 

Elizabeth suppressed a sigh. Ever since the militia had come to town, there had been nothing but red coats and officers in her sisters’ heads. Kitty and Lydia were wild about them, always running off to talk to one or the other of the militia anytime they went into Meryton. And their mother! Rather than curb such inappropriate behavior, she encouraged it!

She was just considering going to have a word with Lydia about her forwardness when the atmosphere in the ballroom changed perceptibly. Conversation all but stopped entirely, leading even Elizabeth to turn her head in the direction much of the crowd was now looking.

A large party had just entered, and she knew instantly they must be the new residents of Netherfield, for she had seen none of them before. There were an equal number of men and ladies—four of each—though one of the latter was a matronly lady dressed in a dark lavender gown trimmed with black lace that hinted of her being still in mourning.

Leaning close to Charlotte, whose father was now approaching the group with a wide, welcoming smile, Elizabeth asked in a low voice, “Your father was to meet Mr. Bingley this morning, was he not Charlotte?”

Her friend nodded. “He did, yes—and returned with a very thorough report.”

“Can you tell us who they are?” asked Jane.

“If I have Papa’s descriptions correct, I believe the young one at the front with the older lady on his arm to be Mr. Bingley, and the lady must be his great aunt, a Mrs. Allen—who I understand lost her husband very unexpectedly earlier this year.” 

Elizabeth nodded, having guessed as much. “And the others?” she queried. 

“The tall fellow should be Mr. Bingley’s friend, Mr. Darcy. Beside him are Mr. Morland and his sister Miss Morland, whose family are very close friends of Mrs. Allen; in fact, their father is the vicar at Fullerton, where they are from. Next is Miss Bingley, Mr. Bingley’s younger sister, and Mr. and Mrs. Hurst, who are Mr. Bingley’s brother-in-law and elder sister.”

Mrs. Bennet was bustling over then, and almost pushed her way between Charlotte and Elizabeth as she said to them, “Girls, girls! You’ll not believe what Lady Lucas has just told me. That tall gentleman has a greater fortune than Mr. Bingley—ten thousand a year!

Embarrassment flooded through Elizabeth—not only was her mother gossiping about Mr. Darcy’s fortune, but she was “whispering” quite loud enough for the whole of the Bingley party to hear. 

“Now, here is what the two of you must do,” her mother was saying. “Jane, as the eldest—and the most beautiful girl in the county—you must do everything you can to secure Mr. Darcy, for he has twice the fortune of his friend and a grand estate in Derbyshire. And you, Elizabeth, ought set your cap at Mr. Bingley.”

“Mamma, please,” said Elizabeth, trying to keep the exasperation out of her voice. “You know very well I’ve no interest in matrimony at present.” 

It was a statement that could turn into an argument—and had, several times. And though she knew the risk of bringing it up in the midst of a crowd of people, Elizabeth could not help herself reminding her mother she just wasn’t ready to be married.

“Oh, Lizzy, don’t be ridiculous,” admonished her mother. “You just haven’t met the right young man, but you will have once Mr. Bingley is introduced to us.”

“Which I believe he will be, presently,” spoke up Charlotte. “Papa is even now leading the gentleman this way.”

She was right—Sir William Lucas, smiling widely as he perpetually did, was escorting Mr. Bingley and the lady Charlotte believe to be his aunt over to them. They were followed by the two believed to be Mr. and Miss Morland. 

“Mrs. Bennet, how do you do this evening?” asked Sir William.

“Oh, very well, Sir William, very well indeed!” replied Mrs. Bennet with a flutter of her fan. “And you, sir?”

“Oh, I am quite well, as you can see,” the gentleman replied. “Now, I beg your pardon for interrupting, but our newest neighbor has asked for an introduction to your family. May I present Mr. Bingley of Netherfield, his aunt Mrs. Allen, and their friends Mr. and Miss Morland.”

Each person bowed or curtsied as they were introduced. “We are very pleased to meet you, Mr. Bingley,” said Mrs. Bennet. “All of you are most welcome to the neighborhood. Might I introduce my daughters to you?”

Bingley blinked, and Elizabeth was forced to temper the brilliance of her smile, for his eyes had fallen on Jane the moment the party walked up, and had not moved from her sister’s face. 

“Of course, ma’am,” he managed. “Please do.”

In moments, Mrs. Bennet had introduced her and Jane, and pointed out their younger three sisters. 

“Five daughters in one family!” cried Mrs. Allen. “I could scarcely imagine it, were I not so intimately acquainted with my dear friends the Morlands.”

Elizabeth looked to the Morlands and asked, “Is yours a large family then, Mr. Morland?”

He looked to his sister and the two shared a smile. “I should say, Miss Elizabeth. Catherine and I are two of ten children—I was born first and she fourth.”

Mrs. Bennet’s fan fluttered faster. “Good heavens. Ten children? I wonder your mother had the constitution, for I barely survived five!”

She leaned closer, peering at them with narrowed eyes. “How old are you, sir?”

Mr. Morland grinned. “I shall be two-and-twenty in December, ma’am.”

“And I turned eighteen only yesterday,” added Miss Morland. “Our youngest brother is four years.”

Elizabeth laughed. “Well, a belated happy birthday to you, Miss Morland. I am sure yours is a fine family, when you have heads and arms and legs enough for the number.”

“Oh indeed!” cried Miss Morland. “I very much love all my brothers and sisters, though I must admit that at times they do try my patience—especially the younger girls.”

Here Elizabeth shared a knowing look with Jane. “In that, Miss Morland, Jane and I can very much empathize.”

“Miss Bennet!” said Mr. Bingley, perhaps louder than he intended, as his cheeks grew rosy. “May I have the pleasure of the next dance? That is, if you are not already engaged.”

Jane’s smile was warm as she replied, “I am not engaged, sir.”

“Excellent!” said Bingley with enthusiasm. He turned to the young man next to him and said, “Morland, are you going to dance?”

Mr. Morland blinked. “Um, I should be delighted, as soon as I have myself a partner. Miss Elizabeth, are you engaged for the next dance?”

Elizabeth was delighted to be asked, for she’d been longing to dance and there never seemed to be enough partners—Meryton’s monthly assemblies always drew more young ladies than young men. 

“I am not, sir. Thank you, Mr. Morland,” she replied. 

“I want to dance, too!” cried his sister. “But I’ve not been introduced to any young men yet—perhaps I’ll go and talk Mr. Darcy into dancing.”

Bingley laughed. “I wish you luck, Miss Morland, for you shall need it. I’m afraid my friend Darcy doesn’t dance unless he is already intimately acquainted with his partner.”

Elizabeth was amused by the other young lady’s wide grin. “I accept your challenge, Mr. Bingley,” said Miss Morland, before she twirled away and headed over to where Mr. Darcy stood in brooding silence next to Mr. Bingley’s sisters.


Oh boy! Do you think Catherine will succeed and convince Darcy to dance? Check out the next stop o the tour to find out — or better yet, pick up a copy of theook to read  the whole story! Born to be a Heroine is available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover at Amazon!

A View Of Chatsworth House, Great Britain

NEW author bio

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. 

Author Pic 1

Blog: All That They Desire / Facebook: (1) Christine Combe | Facebook


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Maria Bertram’s Daughter by Lucy Knight – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Just the other day during my book club meeting one of my friends asked me if I could recommend any Mansfield Park variations or sequels, so I couldn’t be happier to just a few days later share with her, and all of you, an excerpt of Maria Bertram’s Daughter which is a Mansfield Park sequel about to be released by Meryton Press.

The author of this novel is Lucy Knight, and this is the first time she is visiting From Pemberley to Milton, so I would love it if you could all make her feel welcomed here 🙂 I know that just like me, you all appreciate new authors bringing more JAFF into our lives:)

Thank you for visiting Ms. Knight, may this be the first of many visits 🙂

Thank you, Rita, for hosting me on my blog tour! I attach an exclusive excerpt which occurs shortly after my heroine Dorothea’s arrival at Mansfield Park (where, as I am sure you are aware, she was forbidden to set foot). I hope your readers will get a flavour of what to expect and perhaps be left wanting to read on…


She opened a door and passed through a small, empty, silent antechamber. A tiny sound in the corner turned out to be caused by a small maid entering through the servants’ door, a feather duster in her hand.

She turned to go at the sight of someone in the room, but Dorothea stopped her.

“Please, where is the morning room?”

The little maid gestured with her feathered wand. She seemed too frightened to speak, and Dorothea’s heart went out to the little mite who looked no older than twelve.

“Thank you,” she said gently and passed through the door indicated.

An elderly lady in blue was reclining on a long sofa, a pug on her lap that gazed pathetically at Dorothea from its round eyes; a younger woman by her side was engaged with some sewing. The younger woman also gazed at Dorothea with just a trace of hostility. Dorothea’s anxiety increased.

“My dear,” said the lady in blue, who was no doubt Lady Bertram, “sit here where I can look at you.”

Dorothea sat to be inspected.

“Yes, I can see the Bertram blood in you. We always were considered a very handsome family. This young lady is Susan Price, who is sister to Fanny. I cannot do without her.”

The young lady was, Dorothea observed, a larger, fatter, younger and more sharp-featured version of Fanny. When she smiled at Dorothea, it did not reach her eyes.

“You have met nearly all the family now, I think,” Lady Bertram continued. “You are a surprise to most of them. Not to me, of course. I always knew of your existence. To be sure, I would have visited had you not been such a dreadfully great distance away.” She and Pug sighed. “Sir Thomas always meant the best for you, my dear. To be sure, you were always in our thoughts.”

Dorothea thought of her dreary young life and wondered what picture they had formed of her. She doubted they had often thought of her except on the rare occasions when Sir Thomas had been obliged to pay visits.

“And see how well you have turned out. Has she not, Susan? Quite the beauty. I am so happy that I lent you my shawl. It is very becoming on you.”

“She resembles the young Miss Mary Crawford, to my mind,” replied Susan, unable to keep irritation out of her voice.

Lady Bertram did not like this line of thought, so she turned the conversation. “Tom will be joining us at dinner this evening, I think. You will like Tom. Tom is very agreeable, is he not, Pug?”

Dorothea was wondering what to say in reply to this when a footman came in to announce Mrs Edmund Bertram.

Fanny came in, all smiles and greetings with an especially kind word for Dorothea, hoping she had slept well and that she had recovered all her spirits.

“Of course she has slept well,” remarked Lady Bertram. “Everyone sleeps well at Mansfield.”

“Particularly so when they are in one of the best guest rooms,” added Susan with a touch of malice.

Dorothea was able to assure Fanny that she had slept so well that she had missed breakfast, that she felt fully recovered, and that she was extremely grateful for all the kindness she was being shown.

“Do you not think, Fanny,” said Lady Bertram, “that Dorothea would look well in pink? I wish her to make a long stay with us. It seems to me it would be a pleasure to make her some dresses while she is here. Susan is wonderful when it comes to cutting the patterns; I think we would all enjoy it. What do you say, Dorothea?”

NEW book blurb

She could be mistress of Mansfield Park. But is that what she wants?

An unwanted child—conceived in circumstances her mother would rather forget—Dorothea Henrietta Rose grows up solitary and neglected with her dissatisfied mother and unpleasant great-aunt Norris. Raised without the knowledge that her mother is her mother or that their occasional visitor, Sir Thomas Bertram, is her grandfather, she is forbidden ever to set foot in Mansfield Park.

Dorothea hopes for a happier life when sent away to school, but her difficulties are not over. She is obliged to make her way in the world as a governess and, thus, encounters human frailty, hypocrisy, good, and evil in her travels throughout England.

She meets the Crawfords—Henry and Mary (now Lady Drumroth)—and inevitably does the one thing she must not do: unwillingly makes herself known to the inhabitants of Mansfield Park.

You can find Maria Bertram’s Daughter at:

MBD_wrap cover S

NEW author bio

Lucy Knight grew up in Whitby, North Yorkshire, now a tourist town but until recently a small and historic port which was known for shipbuilding, fishing (including whaling) and having an important Abbey. During her life she has moved around a great deal both in England and on the continent of Europe; she now lives in a tiny hamlet lost in the French countryside with two rescue dogs, two rescue chickens, an unknown number of bees and eight sheep. 

Lucy has two children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England.

Lucy has only recently begun to write historical fiction but she enjoys it so much she can’t stop! Her background is in comedy and drama, so there will always be some jokes and plenty of dialogue. 

When she is not writing, Lucy teaches English and French, and she love to take long walks with her dogs during which she revels in the birds, butterflies, trees and flowers which are so abundant in her part of France.

helen and dogs


Contact Information


Twitter @Satureja2 





Don’t forget to check the other blogs for more information on Maria Bertram’s Daughter 🙂 

April 11 My Jane Austen Book Club

April 12 So little time…

April 13 Babblings of a Bookworm

April 14 From Pemberley to Milton

April 15 Austenesque Reviews

April 16 The Literary Assistant

April 18 My Vices and Weaknesses


Meryton Press is giving away 6 eBooks of Maria Bertram’s Daughter, to enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment in this blog and click on the following Raffle link.

Good luck everyone!


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

An Affectionate Heart by Heather Moll – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to receive Heather Moll at From Pemberley to Milton once more. She is such a nice person, with whom it is always so easy and pleasant to work with! Today she is visiting with an excerpt of An Affectionate Heart which looks like a very different and exciting Pride & Prejudice variation. The blurb is a bit of a tease, and it lets out many differences that got me intrigued! Apparently, these is a reason why Mr. Darcy is in Hertfordshire, but we don’t know why, Mary appears to be married to Mr. Collins and living in Longbourn, but she is not the mistress of the house, and in this excerpt Elizabeth is travelling to Meryton with Lydia, of all people! I like what I’ve seen so far, so this is definitely a book that I have on my TBR. I hope to get to it sooner rather than later.

I would like to thank Heather for visiting and for bringing such a nice giveaway prize to my readers! I hope you all have a chance to apply to it, and above all, I hope you like this excerpt 😊

I’m so eager to be back at From Pemberley to Milton, Rita! Your readers are so engaged, and I’m excited to share an excerpt from An Affectionate Heart. This story is a Pride and Prejudice variation with a few elements of L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle thrown in.

What better way to get started than to show you the scene when Elizabeth and Darcy first cross paths? Elizabeth has just come home from visiting family in London and has heard rumors about the reclusive Mr. Darcy who is leasing a small cottage near Meryton. There’s a woman with him who is either his mistress or his sick sister. In this scene, Elizabeth and Lydia have gone to the Meryton apothecary to pick up something for a pregnant Mary Collins who is not the mistress of Longbourn


“I hate coming in here, Lizzy. How long must we wait for our turn? It is disturbing, all these medicines.”

The shelves were properly supplied, and everything was well arranged and clean. Vessels, scales, measures, weights, and other utensils were within easy reach, as were a neat row of books for instructing the apprentice. The only distressing thing in sight was the leech jar.

“At least there are no tortoise shells hanging up along with a stuffed alligator and ill-shaped fish!” Elizabeth laughed. “Mr Jones’s supplies amount to more than remnants of packthread and old cakes of roses, thinly scattered to make up a show.”

“I have no notion as to what you mean. Is that from some novel?”

Elizabeth sighed. Lydia’s education had leant toward fashion, dancing, and flirting rather than any improvement of her mind. Another customer had come into the shop, and from behind her she heard him exhale a breath of amusement. At least someone had read Romeo and Juliet.

“Mrs Baker is going on and on about her weak pulse! As if it is Mr Jones’s fault she is fat and has a temper. We do not all need to hear about her cramps and aches.”

“She will not keep Mr Jones much longer.” The gentleman waiting now stood directly behind them. After a minute, Elizabeth heard him shifting his weight and huffing in impatience.

“Lizzy, I am going to look at that new muslin after all. Meet me there after you have taken care of Mary.”

Her sister left, and another five minutes passed before a red-faced Mrs Baker turned up her nose and shuffled past Elizabeth without so much as a nod.

The apothecary gestured, and Elizabeth met him with a smile. Mr Jones was an intelligent man who had tended her family’s every illness, great or minor, who had attended every Longbourn birth, and was there to ease the pain at every death. After a few pleasantries, she placed her order.

“I suspect if her symptoms are moderate, the soda water should keep her comfortable for the remaining time the morning sickness should last,” Mr Jones added pleasantly. “If she has any longings, they ought to be gratified as soon as she is willing to eat.”

“Mrs Collins will be glad to hear it. Mrs Cuthbert always longed for curious foods, but her husband indulged her if possible.”

“I did not know you had returned from town. With visits to your sister and uncle, you are rarely seen in Meryton.”

“The last time I was in your shop, your son waited on me. I am surprised not to see him arranging shelves and doing whatever else you bid.”

Mr Jones smiled. “That proves my point; my son left for Edinburgh last year. Capping bottles and rolling pills were never enough for him. He is at the Royal College of Physicians.”

“How proud you must be.”

“He will be in pupillage in medical study four years, and attend hospital twelve months. As proud of him as I am, I wish my only child were not so far.”

“Weather and finances permitting, you could be in Edinburgh in forty hours if you wished to–”

“Madam, who counts as a doctor in this graceless, dull place depends on who is available. Unless you confine your senseless chatter to visiting hours, the rest of us will have to rely on the local horse doctor!”

Elizabeth spun round to see a man with a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance looming over her. He looked at her coldly, and she was struck silent by his shocking rudeness. The man gave her an expectant, haughty glare, and stepped aside with a hand raised to gesture that she was to pass him and leave. She turned her back on him, parted from Mr Jones with exaggerated civility, and refused to meet the stranger’s eye as she stalked past him and out of the shop.

Horrid, insufferable man with the most ill-bred manners I have ever seen!

She was still furious when she found Lydia in conversation with Sir William Lucas. He was standing in front of the posts that divided the pedestrian path next to the toll gate. Though not corpulent, he would still have to edge himself carefully between them to pass through without ruining his coat. Sir William was a naturally inoffensive and friendly man, unlike the rude stranger in the apothecary shop. He gamely bore all of Lydia’s chatter about muslin.

“Miss Bennet!” he cried when she joined them. “You are returned to us from town! I hope you left Mrs Cuthbert in good health. You must tell me all when we next see you at Lucas Lodge.”

“I understand you are to welcome a small party into your drawing room tomorrow evening. Lady Lucas issued her invitation this morning.”

“I hope you might be prevailed upon to play. Charlotte will not have returned by then, and she is the one who convinces you to–ah, Mr Darcy!”

The man from the apothecary shop gave them all a disapproving look while he touched his hat.

NEW book blurb

Are love and affection enough to overcome the pain of grief and anger?

In the spring of 1812, Elizabeth and Lydia are the only Bennet daughters still unmarried after the death of their father. Elizabeth’s health and spirits worsen as she moves among relations as an unwanted, dependent sister. She returns to Mary and Mr Collins at Longbourn to learn that the neighbourhood gossip centres on the reclusive Mr Darcy.

Darcy and his sister live an isolated life in a small rented lodge near Netherfield after the events at Ramsgate. As Georgiana’s health is failing, Darcy has his own regrets to bear. He tries to keep them secluded, but a young woman arrives who is determined to befriend his lonely, ill sister.

When Elizabeth receives disastrous news, she makes a daring plan to find happiness for herself while she still can. Misunderstandings and secrets abound for them both but in the end, Darcy and Elizabeth will find greater strength together than they ever had apart.

This variation blends Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with elements of Montgomery’s The Blue Castle.
Content note: secondary character’s miscarriage off page, secondary character death

You can find An Affectionate Heart at:

and on Kindle Unlimited

Affectionate Heart cover



This blog tour is almost over, but you can still go back and check the other blogs for more information on An Affectionate Heart 🙂 

Heart Promo

Ms. Moll brings with her today an incredible prize to giveaway to a lucky winner! She is offering:

A signed paperback of An Affectionate Heart

A paperback of The Blue Castle

A paperback of Pride and Prejudice

Excessively Diverted soap from Northanger Soapworks

To apply to this lovely prize, all you have to do is follow the following Raffle link.

Heart Promo-2

Good luck everyone!


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Any Fair Interference by Nan Harrison – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re all well despite the devastating news to which the world woke up to today. Maybe reading our regency books will transport us to a happier place! And on that note, I would like to welcome for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton author Nan Harrison, who decided to present us with an excerpt of Any Fair Interference that will reveal who the real Mr. Hurst is. It is funny because he is a character, I am growing fonder of, and I do like to see different portrayals of his character. In this excerpt we get a glimpse of his past and that will make us understand some of his choices. He is not the main character in this book as it is a Darcy/Elizabeth story, but I hope you enjoy reading about him 🙂

Thank you for visiting Ms. Harrison, and best of luck with this new release!

Hi Rita,

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I hope you and your readers will enjoy this excerpt from Any Fair Interference.


In his youth, Hurst had thought himself in love with a flaxen-haired girl from an adjoining estate. He and Marianne Winstone had spent sunlit days playing in the woods and meadows between the two manor houses. Their mothers would sit picnicking in the grass as they rambled around the gardens, little Arthur trying to keep up. After his mother died, kind Mrs Winstone had tried to assuage their grief, inviting to the boys to their home again and again, but in due course, the families grew apart. His father went into an alcohol-fuelled decline, frittering away the family’s assets, though the boys were unaware of any changes other than fewer servants and the increasing dilapidation of the manor house and outbuildings.

Over time, Hurst’s feelings towards his playfellow turned to young love, and he thought she loved him in return. He wrote to her from university. Eventually, her replies became less frequent, changing in tone from familiar enthusiasm to stilted politeness. Still, when he was home on holiday from Cambridge, he asked Winstone’s permission to court Marianne. His request was refused on the grounds of his lack of fortune and his family’s declining reputation.

Marianne forgot about him, and Gilbert found that drink sometimes dulled his loneliness. Hurst went back to university and redoubled his efforts, both in the classroom and in society. He attended dances and parties, and even spent a Season in the family’s now-shabby town house, hoping he might find a young lady to share his future hopes and dreams with—but the status of his fortune had preceded him to London. The young ladies he met there were civil, but not welcoming. His thin, handsome face took on a hard, cynical look, his expression sour. He almost always had a drink in his hand, never drinking to the point of intoxication, though he had dozed off on more than one elegant settee. He began to find the habit of small talk annoying and hypocritical, and so spoke little. By his twenty-fifth year, he had gained the reputation of being cross as crabs. Hurst contemplated not marrying at all, but for the sake of the estate, he needed to marry for money. Following a chain of rumours and gossip, he met the elder Mr Bingley, and a deal was struck.

After their marriage, he began to admire Louisa. She had lovely fair skin and large expressive grey eyes. She rarely smiled, but when she did, it was beautiful. She was a graceful dancer. She played the pianoforte beautifully and expressively.

Even though they had been married for almost three years, she did not reveal much of herself around him. She was an enigma. Moreover, her quiet ways intrigued him. They spent nights together when Hurst requested it, but Louisa gave him no indication of real affection. She was respectful, did her duty as a wife, but otherwise did not seek him out.

What he had not known at the time of his marriage was that his wife came with her sister, and it seemed they were inseparable. Moreover, he discovered that when Louisa was around Caroline, she seemed to disappear. Caroline dominated the conversation and Louisa concurred with her out of long habit, often while staring out the window.

Upon their marriage, Hurst had determined they would have a wedding trip; a holiday to get to know one other. Louisa was pretty and pleasant, if perhaps diffident, and he had great hopes for their marriage. New brides were often accompanied by a female relative, so he had not thought it unusual when her sister had accompanied them. He had determined not to spend any of Louisa’s dowry on a lavish trip. That money was for their estate, and their future together. He had rented a modest cottage by the sea in Blackpool, only for a week.

The first inkling of the imminent ordeal occurred shortly after they had embarked, and escalated from there. The carriage was not as comfortable as their father’s. The inns were not up to their standards. Why could they not also hire a private dining room? Blackpool was out of fashion, why were they not going to Brighton? The shops were execrable. The cottage was too small, it was damp, and why was it not directly on the esplanade? Caroline had spent the entire week complaining. Just thinking about it made Hurst pour himself another drink.

NEW book blurb

“To be a fool is one thing, to be a fool for love is something else altogether.”

Shortly after the precipitous departure of Mr Bingley and his party from Netherfield Park, disaster strikes Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s family. Not only is Mr Bennet ill, Longbourn and indeed all of Meryton is struggling through one of England’s worst winters. Elizabeth draws on every strength to care for her family, but faces the alarming prospect of losing both her father and her home. Her lonely struggles lead her to revise her opinion of a certain gentleman, and she finds unexpected solace in dreams of Mr Darcy.

Fitzwilliam Darcy believes he can escape his attraction to Elizabeth by leaving Netherfield. He soon finds himself snowbound at Pemberley, where forced isolation compels him to contemplate his duty, and contrast it with dreams of his heart’s desire. No matter how he considers it, though, he feels he cannot have Elizabeth, the one he truly loves. 

To his great fortune, Darcy’s friends and family–Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and the Hursts–feel far differently than he, and soon even the most unlikely allies have come together to help him see that happiness is the highest consideration of all. But will he and Elizabeth find the courage to follow their hearts before it is too late?

You can find Any Fair Interference at:

and Kindle Unlimited

NEW author bio

Nan Harrison is a first-time author and happily retired librarian who spent many years in public libraries large and small, urban and rural, digital and analog. She earned degrees in anthropology and library/information science but they are so old they were carved on clay tablets. She raised a family and is thrilled that her children grew up to be people she would want to hang out with anyway. She spends as much time as possible traveling and visits libraries (also thrift shops and used bookstores) wherever she goes. She loves reading, especially any type of genre fiction, and putting a warp on her loom to see what turns out. She still thinks like an anthropologist and believes that libraries are the last bastion of civilization. She is an excellent walker.

Screen Shot 2022-01-08 at 11.34.53 AM

Quills & Quartos is doing a giveaway of an ebook of Any Fair Interference and will announce the winner on the their Facebook page. Comment on this post and let us know what you liked the most about this excerpt 🙂

Good luck everyone!


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Bitter Mournings by Linda Gonschior- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I hope you’re having a wonderful week with plenty of time to read as today I bring to you another enticing excerpt which will probably increase your TBR 🙂

The excerpt we’re sharing today is from chapter five of Bitter Mournings, Linda Gonschior’s latest book which has one detail I usually do not like (Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth married somebody else first), and another one I absolutely love:  the characters are 10 years older then in P&P as the story is set in 1821. What about you? Do you usually like these tropes?

I am curious to see which one will prevail, but something tells me it is the trope I love the most!

I would like to thank Q&Q for inviting me to participate in this tour, and for Linda Gonschior, not only for writing this book, but for visiting this blog once more 🙂

Thank you all, and best of luck with this new release!

Thank you, Rita! I am excited to return to From Pemberley to Milton and appreciate this opportunity to showcase my first book with Quills and Quartos. 

Bitter Mournings is a Regency story, set ten years after Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Like the original, Darcy is not interested in finding a wife amongst the local ladies. In fact, he is not interested in finding a wife at all. Unlike the original, he has been there, done that, and has accepted that there is no longer any need for him to marry. In this excerpt, Darcy’s resolve is tested as a certain lady invades his thoughts, whether awake or asleep.

Ten years has wrought many changes, but some things remain the same: curiosity and attraction. Maturity and experience has tempered the pride and the prejudice to less offensive levels. 

I hope you enjoy this little peek into Darcy’s inner turmoil, and the beginnings of recognising where the true value lies in life.

Excerpt from Chapter 5

Darcy awoke in confusion. His mind was foggy as he tried to grasp what was reality and what was a dream.

He glanced around the darkened room, taking a mental inventory of the contents. Everything was as it should be, and Darcy breathed a small sigh of relief. At the same time, he was left with a vague sense of emptiness.

Impatiently, he threw off the coverlet and left his warm bed. The window alcove was cold, so wrapping his robe closely around him, Darcy attempted a study of the garden below.

The sun was just beginning to cast a glow in the sky, the lawn still enshrouded in black shadows.

Darcy’s attention wandered, his mind again drawn towards deciphering the images from his dream. He could not remember how long it had been since he had experienced a pleasant one. So much had happened in the last few years. The deaths of his wife and sister weighed heavily upon him, and there was little left in life to enjoy.

Were it not for Bingley and his two children—Georgiana’s children—Darcy believed the despair would have overwhelmed him. With no issue of his own, the future of Pemberley would fall to his nephew. Darcy reflected on his marriage, a union of convenience that had ironically borne no fruit.

Yet, the strange events of his dream intruded on the orderly arrangement Darcy had formulated for himself. In it, he had been happily settled in the comforts of Pemberley, children at his feet, and a wife nearby. The clarity of the images was beginning to fade, and he could not remember precisely what the woman was doing, but he could still see her hands, moving busily with a needle and thread.

He closed his eyes, and her face was there before him, every feature clear and all too familiar.

Darcy sighed. There would be no more sleep for him. He considered ringing for his man to draw a bath. Perhaps that might soothe his tumult of feelings. The early hour gave him pause, however. Coming to a decision, he quickly dressed and quietly made his way downstairs and out of the house. The morning light was not strong, but the darkness of the paths provided concealment from any curious eyes of the awakening household.

The coolness in the shadows worked their magic, eventually restoring Darcy’s peace of mind sufficiently to be ready to return to the house.


The afternoon proved tedious. Darcy had long since given up on the book he had selected to distract himself. His mind was elsewhere. He let his thoughts dwell on the residents of Longbourn.

At every opportunity, he had encouraged his friend to engage in conversation with the lively Mrs Matthews. Both her wit and wisdom would illustrate to Bingley the great advantages to moving beyond his current stagnant state. There were signs that leaving Derbyshire was already having the desired effect. Bingley’s step seemed lighter, his shoulders less hunched. Even his eyes seemed to brighten when Darcy spoke of the ladies from Longbourn.

So why does this not bring me as much satisfaction as it should? Is this not exactly what I hoped would happen?

The answer to that was both yes and no. Yes, Bingley deserved to be happy again. Grief had ruled for too long. There was no disrespect to Georgiana’s memory in his seeking joy and contentment.

However, in spite of his words the previous evening, there was still a danger that Bingley would revert to his old habit of quickly forming attachments to a pretty face without any thought further than the moment. It was not that Darcy objected to Mrs Matthews. On the contrary, he considered her very respectable and even a good match for his friend had the circumstances been different.

Mrs Matthews was intelligent, attractive, and pleasant company. She had experience with raising children and could offer advice in that respect. Bright and cheerful, she was not to be underestimated in conversation, for her wit was sharp and her eyes keen.

It seemed a cruel twist of fate that just as Bingley had agreed to make an effort to return to social functions, the first people they should meet would prove to be acceptable and delightful in many ways. It was unfortunate, however, that the family included a newly widowed mother and a spinster sister. This could only make both gentlemen and their fortunes more alluring than ever.

Darcy felt it was too soon for Bingley to be thinking of anything more lasting than social niceties, and he had been pleased to hear his friend confirm those feelings. London would be their next destination, and there would be no shortage of eligible ladies to vie for his attention. Bingley’s confidence would be high by the time they were ready to leave Netherfield and would hold him in good stead to face the onslaught in town.

With that thought, Darcy was reminded of the determination such hopefuls employed. The memories were almost enough for him to reconsider removing to London. However, years of experience had sharpened his skill in keeping overenthusiastic contenders at bay. Even after such a lengthy absence, Darcy had no doubt of his own success in that regard. He could also count on his steadfast resolve to avoid any attachment.

Unexpectedly, an image rose in his mind, one he recognised from the dream that had so disturbed him early that morning. Startled by the sudden intrusion, Darcy abruptly left his chair and crossed the room, as if to put as much distance as possible between himself and the memory. The brandy decanter was close at hand—the work of a moment to fill a glass and lift it to his lips.

He nearly dropped it when the door was flung open, and Bingley tumbled through the opening with a child under one arm and another hanging onto his leg.

Anne struggled free from her father’s grasp, and giggling, she ran around the room until Darcy reached out a hand to stop her.

“Young lady,” he sternly said with a frown, “what is the rule you have broken?”

She blinked, lowered her head in thought, and looked up cautiously. “No running at Pemmerly?” Before Darcy could nod his approval of her answer, the little girl added with a grin and swirl of her skirt, “Am not at Pemmerly.”

“That is not the point,” Darcy immediately countered, shaking a finger at her. “No running!”

Anne considered his words, her brow furrowed in serious study. “No running?”

He bent down to her level and smoothed her untidy hair. “A proper lady does not behave in such an unruly fashion.”

Throwing her arms about his neck, she whispered into his ear. “Uncle Fizzwilly, I like running. Do not want to be a lady.”

Darcy sighed, hugging the child close. 

NEW book blurb

The deaths of his wife and sister weighed heavily upon him, and there was little left in life to enjoy…

IT IS SUMMER’S END OF 1821 when the ladies of Longbourn learn that Netherfield Park has been let at last, to two wealthy young widowers. The news is elating to Mrs Bennet, who has never given up hope that her beautiful eldest daughter Jane will one day marry a rich gentleman. For the former Miss Elizabeth Bennet—now Mrs Matthews—the news is less exciting. A widow herself, she is more interested in caring for her two young children and settling her recently widowed mother into a new home than with thoughts of husbands.

FITZWILLIAM DARCY HARBOURS NO THOUGHTS of acquiring a wife, only entering into the society of Hertfordshire on behalf of his friend. Yet, the more he sees of Mrs Elizabeth Matthews, the more she draws his eye and the more his dreams of Pemberley becoming a house of warmth and laughter and love prick at his mind.

BUT A LIFE LIVED IN THE SHADOWS of grief has become too comfortable for them both. Falling in love will require both Darcy and Elizabeth to recover their lost hopes, reignite long-forgotten dreams, and regain the courage to give their hearts to one another.

Bitter Mournings is a Pride and Prejudice variation set in England during the Regency Era.

You can find Bitter Mournings at:

and Kindle Unlimited

Copy of Linda Gonschior_Bitter Mournings_eBook

NEW author bio

Linda Gonschior has entertained the art of writing since elementary school but never allowed it to come to fruition until Pride & Prejudice lured her into deeper exploration of characters, relationships and ‘what ifs’. Writing is not the breadwinner, however, as she has a day job and many other interests that compete for attention and time. Still, she has managed to squeeze in several dozen stories–long and short–and there are many more in the ‘incomplete’ folder on the computer. As retirement looms on the horizon, some may be dusted off to evaluate their potential to entertain those who share a fondness for Jane Austen’s characters and don’t mind straying a little off the beaten path.

Amongst her accomplishments Linda counts raising a son, stage managing live theatre productions, flower gardening, and website administration, but not netting purses or painting screens.

Copy of LindaGonschior

Quills & Quartos is doing a giveaway of an ebook of Bitter Mournings and will announce the winner at the end of February (February 25) on the Q&Q Facebook page. Comment on this post and let us know what you liked the most about this excerpt 🙂

Good luck everyone!


Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Captive Hearts by Kelly Miller – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am super excited to welcome Kelly Miller at From Pemberley to Milton to share with you an excerpt of her latest book Captive Hearts. As soon as I heard this book was coming out I added it to my TBR because it is a Persuasion variation! Persuasion is my second favorite Austen novel and I love reading books based on Persuasion, but most of them are moderns, and Captive Hearts is a variation which takes place in Regency times, which is absolutely perfect for me 🙂

The excerpt we are sharing today is told from Wentworth’s POV and I am as curious as he was to know what Anne would say were it not for Louisa’s interruption! I am really eager to read this one. What about you? Is Persuasion your cup? Are you as excited about this story as I am ?

I would like to thank not only Kelly for visiting, but also MP and Janet Taylor for allowing me to spread the word about this story 🙂 Thank you all!

This excerpt, in Captain Wentworth’s point of view, is set in Lyme. Wentworth had wanted to take a solitary walk, but Miss Louisa had accosted him before he left the inn, so they walked out together. Miss Louisa speaks first.


“Henrietta! Anne! Oh, look! They are coming towards us!”

His sight followed where Miss Louisa pointed. The two ladies walked in their direction on the Cobb. His senses heightened at the picture Anne presented: splendorous, serene, and natural with her bright eyes, rosy cheeks, and unaffected smile. He no longer forced himself to look away. But what would he say to her?

When he greeted the two ladies, Anne met his eyes for a fleeting moment before she moved away. Miss Louisa declared a wish to visit the local haberdashery and suggested they all go together. Before he gave any thought to preventing it, Miss Louisa clasped onto his arm again, urging him in the direction of the town. Anne and Miss Musgrove followed behind them.

A few yards from the steps that led down to the lower stone promenade, they passed a gentleman, well-favoured in appearance and stature, dressed in expensive attire. The group elicited no more than a quick glance from the gentleman.

Wentworth stopped and turned, capturing the moment Anne passed the stranger. A sudden smile lit the gentleman’s countenance and his face brightened with an unmistakable mark of admiration. The man’s gaze lingered upon Anne.

She glanced at the gentleman. Her cheeks flushed a deep red.

A twisting discomfort beset Wentworth’s stomach. This reminder of Anne’s appeal to other gentlemen illustrated the extent of his folly. He could count himself fortunate that she had not married another.

The group continued towards the main street of town. The dogged urge to glance behind him bedevilled each step he took.

Holding the door open for the ladies at the haberdashery furnished him with an excuse to free himself from his unwanted partner. Lured by the goods within, Miss Louisa moved into the shop, allowing the space between them to grow. He stayed alone near the entrance.

When Miss Musgrove joined her sister to peruse an aisle of baubles and mementos, Anne ambled alone by shelves stocked with local handmade art and seashells at the other end of the shop. He sped into motion.

He came up behind Anne, who held up a brooch made from a seashell for inspection, and searched his mind in vain for an amusing or pithy statement to utter. Why had he not come up with a topic before they reached the shop? “How do you like Lyme?”

Anne flinched, and the brooch almost slipped from her hand. She spun to face him.

“Forgive me for startling you.”

Her eyes grew wide. She set down the brooch in a hurried movement. “Not at all. I am fond of Lyme. The salt air, the rhythmic sounds of the waves, the sandy beaches…I find all of it appealing. I have been here many times before but not for years. At one time, I expected—that is, I should like to return here in the future.”

What would she have said, and why did she change her mind? “I trust you will not find it surprising that I agree with you. In addition to the advantages you mentioned, the town boasts two of my closest friends.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Harville could not have been more gracious to us. I found Captain Benwick to be kind too. I am pleased to have met them.” Anne’s dulcet voice had a calming influence despite the stirring to his senses her proximity elicited.

“I have been remiss in not inquiring sooner after your family. Are they in good health?” He tensed. The question, though a natural enough one, might remind her that he stayed at her family home.

A momentary fold shaded Anne’s brow. “I thank you for asking. Correspondence from my father and elder sister tends to be infrequent, but Lady Russell has been in company with them and has written that they are well.”

He resisted the impulse to frown at the mention of that lady’s name. In the wake of his recent contemplations, his opinion of Lady Russell must be judged anew. Thus, he managed to ask with sincerity, “How is Lady Russell? I hope she is well.”

Anne’s eyebrows lifted, and her eyes met his for a long moment. “My friend is quite well. It is kind of you to ask.” She redirected her sight towards a display of sea shells. “Lady Russell has always been generous to me and has tried to advise me in the way she thought best. As much as I appreciate and respect her—”

“Captain Wentworth, Anne, are you ready to leave?” Miss Louisa stepped between them and slipped her hand around his arm.

“Yes, of course.” Anne retreated and made her way to Miss Musgrove’s side.

He spoke between clenched teeth. “Yes, it is time we returned.”

Speculation of what Anne would have said but for Miss Louisa’s unwelcome interruption occupied Wentworth for the entire walk back to the inn. He and Anne had conversed without the overt awkwardness that had attended their previous exchanges. Her tone and demeanour had been better than he could have hoped for—far better than he deserved. They would speak again soon; he would ensure it.

NEW book blurb

Will Captain Wentworth realize too late that he has a second chance at love?

With a successful naval career and a fortune to his name, Frederick Wentworth receives a hero’s welcome from his sister’s neighbours. 

One person, though, presents a source of vexation. Years earlier, Miss Anne Elliot had reneged on her promise to marry Wentworth, revealing a significant character flaw. Yet Anne’s unmarried state at the age of seven and twenty, her altered demeanour, and her resolute avoidance of Wentworth raise questions that gnaw at his composure.

In this Regency variation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the captain follows the advice of a respected new friend and re-examines the agonizing circumstances of his bitter break from Anne, reaching a novel conclusion. But before he can act upon his new resolve, a dire twist of fate threatens Anne’s life.

CH FW wobld 011222 M

You can find Captive Hearts at:

and Kindle Unlimited

The blog tour is coming to an end but you can still check the previous posts 🙂 

1-24 Babblings of a Bookworm

1-25 My Jane Austen Book Club

1-27 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

1-28 The Literary Assistant

1-29 From Pemberley to Milton

1-31  My Vices and Weaknesses

CH horz BT Banner

Meryton Press is giving away 6 eBooks of Captive Hearts, to enter the giveaway all you have to do is click on the following Raffle link.

Good luck everyone!

CH Blog Tour Schedule M


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Much Ado In Meryton by Riana Everly – Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very pleased to welcome one more at From Pemberley to Milton author Riana Everly. If you’ve been around for a while, you already know that I truly adore her guest posts because they are always very interesting and informative, and today she has not dissapointed. Apart from a wonderful excerpt of Much Ado in Meryton, a P&P Mash Up with Shakespeare, Riana brought us a little more information about house parties in Regency, a topic I am particularly fond of. I hope you enjoy the post and the excerpt! And don’t forget, Riana is offering 5 ebook copies of her latest release Much Ado in Meryton so don’t forget to check it out. 

Thank you for visiting Riana, it is always a pleasure to welcome you here 🙂

A tale of friends, enemies, and the power of love.

“Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.” – Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, 5.2

Mr. Darcy’s arrival in Meryton raises many people’s disdain, and Elizabeth Bennet’s ire. An insult at a dance is returned in full measure, and soon the two find themselves in a merry war of words, trading barbs at every encounter. Matters go from bad to worse when Elizabeth and Darcy find themselves living under the same roof for a time, and their constant bickering frays everybody’s nerves.

Will a clever scheme by their family and friends bring some peace to Netherfield’s halls? And what of Mr. Wickham, whose charming presence is not quite so welcome by some members of the party? When the games get out of hand and nastier elements come into play, will everybody’s chances for happiness be ruined forever?

This clever mash-up of Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing casts our beloved characters in fresh light, uniting Jane Austen’s keen insight into love and character, and Shakespeare’s biting wit.


Much Ado 400x600

You can find Much Ado in Meryton at:


I would like to wish everybody a happy 2022, with sincere hopes that it’s better than the last two years, and to thank Rita for hosting me here today. It is always a delight to visit this fabulous blog.

In my new novel, Much Ado in Meryton, poor Jane Bennet injures her ankle and is forced to stay at Netherfield Park for much longer than in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. To keep her entertained and amused while she is chair-bound, Mr. Bingley has a suggestion: Instead of Jane going out into Meryton for her amusement, Meryton should come to her. In other words, he arranges a prolonged house party.

The idea of a house party goes back centuries, if not millennia. One of the very first references to such an event is in the ancient Roman play Mostellaria (The Haunted House) by the playwright Plautus. This comedy tells the story of a young man who holds a house party while his father is away on business. For Austen fans who have read Mansfield Park, I’m sure this sounds familiar! 

Another famous house party of sorts, if not quite one that was planned as such, is the story told in Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron. This fourteenth-century work is a collection of short stories told by a group of young men and women as they shelter in a villa near Florence while the city is in the grip of the Black Death. I’m sure this also sounds familiar to a lot of people.

By the time we get to Regency England, however, house parties were less a matter of necessity and were more a matter of socializing and entertainment. One might invite close friends, business or political associates, potential matches for a son or daughter who really ought to be married by now, and possibly one or two somewhat scandalous people to keep matters interesting. 

While the guests were expected to keep themselves amused for part of the time, there were also a number of planned activities. Since house parties often took place in the late summer or early autumn when Parliament was in recess, a lot of time was spent out of doors. The men might go hunting or riding, or they might engage in some sports such as cricket matches. The ladies tended to keep closer to the house and in the gardens (all beautifully kept, of course), but might go into the village or out for a carriage ride.

As well as suitable outdoor activities such as archery or croquet, the gathered party might take an excursion to some suitably interesting site in the neighbourhood. Think of the ill-fated picnic in Emma or the aborted drive to Blaise Castle in Northanger Abbey. Perhaps the groups in these stories weren’t coming from a house party, but this type of outing would have been a perfect fit. 

If the weather was cold or rainy and the company had to keep to the house, they might have amused themselves with charades, fortune telling, tableaux, and a variety of card games. And, in the evenings after a long and elaborate dinner, the party might indulge in musical performances, informal dances, and home theatricals.


These are some of the ideas that Mr. Bingley mused over in his attempts to keep Jane happy while she recovered enough to travel home. What would you enjoy doing at a house party? Have you ever been to such an event? Did you have fun, or do you prefer more solitary activities?

Here is an excerpt from my novel, Much Ado in Meryton.

“Lizzy dear!” Jane called from the chaise where she half-reclined. Her leg rested on the long seat and Elizabeth could see the white bindings of the bandage about Jane’s delicate ankle. “I had not thought that you would take the trouble to come so soon.”

Elizabeth nodded her greeting to Mrs. Nicholls, who bobbed a curtsey and slipped from the room, and then hurried to sit at Jane’s side. “Oh, my sweet, how could I not? I cannot leave you to the Bingley sisters’ ministrations. I see they have quite forgotten you already in favour of their toast and chocolate.”

“They have been very kind to me. I can only be pleased by their concern. And even before hearing this news, they have insisted that I must stay until I am well enough to walk.”

Mister Bingley insisted, you mean,” Lizzy teased, “and his sisters merely had to agree with him, for it is, after all, his house. But a sprained ankle will heal in days; a broken one will take weeks.”

“Then weeks she shall stay. Or until Mr. Jones declares her strong enough for the carriage ride back to Longbourn.” Mr. Bingley stood at the doorway. “May I come in?”

Jane nodded, and he entered, taking a chair and placing it beside the one where Elizabeth sat. His usual wide grin was gone and he spoke with all care and attention.

“Mr. Jones has left. He feels strongly that you should not travel, even so short a distance as to Longbourn, until your ankle has begun to heal. The rattle of the carriage might cause further injury to your leg. And I would not hear of it! You shall most certainly stay as long as is needed. Caroline is talking to the housekeeper to set up a suite for you on this very storey as we speak, and if Miss Elizabeth wishes, she may have the adjoining room. It shall be a merry party…” He paused and his eyes widened. “By gum, yes! That is the very thing! A party it shall be.” His accustomed grin began to make itself known once more upon his face. “As long as Miss Bennet is laid up and cannot move through Meryton, then Meryton shall come to her! We shall invite your sisters and friends and the officers to come and keep your spirits up whilst your ankle heals. It is the very thing!” 

Elizabeth had to speak up. “You are most kind, sir, but we cannot importune your sister in this way. Let me call for the carriage, to see what kind of support we may contrive for Jane’s foot. She can rest well enough at her own home, and with less trouble by far for you.”

“You do hurt me, Miss Elizabeth!” She thought he was jesting. “I had hoped to arrange a party soon enough to regale my new neighbours, and this is the perfect thing for it. Indeed, by remaining here as my guests, you shall be helping me! I beg of you, for your sister’s sake, to stay.”

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

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

Riana’s novels have received several awards and citations as favourite reads of the year, including two Jane Austen Awards and a Discovering Diamonds review.

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

The blog tour is coming to an end but you can still check the previous posts 🙂 

January 7 ~ Babblings of a Bookworm
January 10 ~ Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
January 11 ~ A Novel Sentiment
January 13 ~ So Little Time… So Much to Read
January 14 ~ Austen Authors
January 17 ~ From Pemberley to Milton
January 22 ~ My Love for Jane Austen
January 27 ~ Austenesque Reviews

Riana Everly is giving away five eBooks internationally of Much Ado in Meryton. She has set up a Rafflecopter draw, but for anybody who cannot use the link, please email her your name and preferred email address and she will add you manually to the list for the draw. Her email is

Good luck everyone!


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

Happy by Accident…or Not? by Michelle D’arcy – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am thrilled to welcome Michelle D’arcy for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton. Michelle D’arcy is a reader who had to write her own story so she gained the courage to become a self publishing author. She has just released Happy by Accident…or Not? and today she is bringing you an excerpt of her debut book along with a giveaway of 2 ebook copies of Happy by Accident…or Not?

I am always super happy to welcome at my blog people who are brave enough to go through with this dream, but I am particularly happy to welcome Michelle D’arcy, someone I knew as a reader and am able to introduce as an author to you now.

Thank you so much for visiting Michelle! It is a pleasure to have you here! I wish you all the happiness with this book, and who knows, maybe we will even have more in the future.

I hope you all like this excerpt, and don’t forget to apply to the giveaway 😊


Excerpt from Chapter 9

“It was a surprise to see that you did not stand up with your cousin for the first set, after all,” Darcy finally dared to say. 

“It was also a surprise to me! Apparently he felt dizzy just prior to the set and I did not wish to put his health in danger.” 

“How very unfortunate for him…” 

“Yes…very unfortunate and quite sudden. I couldn’t help noticing you talking to him and I… I wondered if the conversation might have affected him in some way,” she said, looking at him meaningfully. There was a hint of a smile on both their faces, but neither was comfortable or confident enough to speak openly. 

“It might have; Mr. Collins asked for my advice on a delicate matter…” Darcy seemed hesitant to divulge more. After a few seconds of deliberation, he continued, “He wished to know my opinion regarding his choice of a wife… In fact, he wished to be sure my aunt would approve of the lady.” 

Elizabeth turned pale, then crimson. Surely Mr. Collins did not mean her! He would not dare to speak to Darcy of her she hoped, only to find out the disturbing truth a moment later. 

“And may I ask what you told him?” she enquired. 

“I told him that, while the lady he mentioned to me is worthy of admiration, I doubted she was the right wife for him, or that she would meet Lady Catherine’s requirements of modesty and obedience.” 

Her cheeks burned with mortification as she imagined that conversation. Its effect must have been strong, since Mr. Collins had not approached her again and had been in Sir William Lucas’s company ever since. Was she truly saved from future mortification at the hands of her cousin?

“I am afraid that could have been the reason for his sudden dizziness,” Darcy concluded. 

“Very likely; should I dare to thank you, Mr. Darcy?” 

“I do not see why, Miss Bennet. I have done nothing but be completely honest with Mr. Collins.” 

“And yet, I do thank you,” she smiled. “Your honesty is most valuable to me.” 

“I am glad to hear that,” he said with a frankness she did not miss. “Had I known Mr. Collins had changed his mind, I would have gladly taken his place…for the first set. I assumed you would dance with him and since I promised to dance with my friends’ sisters, it seemed logical to ask Lady Eleanor. I still have to stand up with Miss Bingley and Miss Cranford.” 

“Oh…” she said, surprised by his admission and pleased with the explanation. And relieved, she admitted to herself, hoping her expression would not betray her feelings. “I am glad to see you are a little fond of dancing, Mr. Darcy. And I agree with my father — you do seem to possess excellent dancing skills.” 

“My fondness for dancing depends on my partner. As for my dancing skills, I hope to have the chance to prove them to you during our set,” he said hoarsely. 

“I look forward to it, Mr. Darcy.” 

“Miss Bennet, may I be so bold as to ask you a question? You might find it inappropriate, so I would not mind if you refused to answer it.”

Her cheeks burned again. “Please do, sir. I doubt you could ask anything improper.”

“If I had known that Mr. Collins had withdrawn his request, and I then had asked you for the first set, would you have danced with me twice? The first and the supper set?” 

The question took her completely by surprise and his intense stare discomposed her even further. Before answering she licked her lips, which were suddenly dry. 

“If you had asked me for two sets, Mr. Darcy, I would have gladly accepted.” 

“I am very glad to hear that, Miss Bennet. And since I did not do so earlier, I cannot let such an opportunity pass by now, so I will ask you this very moment. Would you do me the honour of dancing the last set with me too?” 

Her eyes were locked with his, ignoring everything and everyone around them. 

“I would be happy to, Mr. Darcy,” she managed to respond. 

The expression of heartfelt delight on his face melted her heart and she knew her own expression was no different. 

“Happy by Accident…or Not?” is a Regency “Pride and Prejudice” novella variation that combines romance, humour, a little bit of angst, original twists and new characters mingling with the well-known and much-loved characters from the original novel.
The story begins the day after the party at Mrs. Phillips’ house and the disturbing conversation during which Wickham reveals to Elizabeth his past misfortunes caused by Darcy.
On a cold autumn morning, Elizabeth takes a long walk to clear her thoughts and to escape Mr. Collins’s annoying attentions.
Her solitary reverie is interrupted by cries for help and she discovers Mr. Bingley, who has fallen from his horse and is lying at the edge of a marsh. While Elizabeth tries to assist him, Darcy appears in search of his friend. With the threat of a storm approaching, Darcy hurries to fetch more help and Elizabeth remains with Bingley — a good opportunity for them to disagree about Darcy’s character.
Mr. Bingley’s wounds are not severe, but serious enough to affect his plans for the ball. Also, the disclosure of his argument with Miss Elizabeth will trouble Darcy, contradicting all his previous beliefs about the woman he secretly admires.
Therefore, the two gentlemen must decide how they want to proceed with the ladies of their hearts.
With several surprise visitors attending the Netherfield Ball, with opinions and feelings changed, with secrets unveiled and the truth finally exposed, our beloved couples will interact, argue, reconcile, bear some misunderstandings and suffer from a little bit of jealousy before they reach their well-deserved ‘Happily Ever After’.

happy by accident or not





You can find Happy By Accident…or Not? at:

and on Kindle Unlimited






Drawing on her background in the drug industry, Michelle knows that the best tonic for the mind is a good book and a healthy imagination. 

Michelle discovered Jane Austen through the Hollywood adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Lawrence Olivier, when she was 14. She has never looked for her own Mr Darcy because she thinks she shares too many similarities of character with him . And perhaps more than she would like to admit with Lady Catherine too!

A greedy reader and a meagre sleeper, Michelle fell into the JAFF universe in early 2000 and happily witnessed some great stories coming to life! A steadfast cheerleader, prolific commenter and opinion-giver, sometimes headstrong and obstinate — especially when defending Darcy, who in her eyes can do no wrong — she has made a lot of friends among JAFF authors and keeps in contact with many of them. 

Encouragement from a dear friend, help from another with a magical red pen, and a sudden increase in courage, persuaded her to finally put on paper some ideas that had been dancing in her mind for some time.

NEW giveaaway time

Michelle D’arcy would like to offer 2 ebook copies of Happy By Accident…or Not? to two lucky readers who stop by at From Pemberley to Milton to read the excerpt of her book. You know the drill, to apply to this giveaway all you need to do is leave a comment with either your opinion or a question. I’m sure Michelle will be happy to answer to all of you 🙂 The giveaway is international and is open until the 3rd of December.

Good Luck Everyone!


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF

A Hopeful Holiday by Heather Moll – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

I’m not sure how the weather is like on your side of the world, but in Portugal it is clear winter has arrived, which means I am starting to get very interested in Christmas stories! Does this happen to you too?

I just feel that some months ask for specific types of books, and even though we’re still in November I’m already looking at Christmas stories 🙂

The excerpt I’m sharing today is one of those stories. A Hopeful Holiday from Heather Moll looks like the perfect book to read in one afternoon, the plot sounds sweet and captivating and it has the perfect length for me! Plus, after reading Nine Ladies I kind of got hooked up with her writing. Have you read it yet?
What  about this new book? Have you heard about it yet? I hope you like the excerpt and please, do not hesitate to share your opinion with us 🙂

Thank you so much for visiting Ms. Moll, it is always a pleasure to have you at From Pemberley to Milton 🙂


Hello Rita and thanks so much for welcoming me back to the blog! It’s release week for my Pride and Prejudice novella A Hopeful Holiday. Today I’m sharing with your readers an excerpt from early in the book. After not returning to Hertfordshire with Bingley, Darcy and Elizabeth meet again over the Christmas holiday when Elizabeth is visiting the Collinses and Darcy and his cousin are visiting Lady Catherine. 

It’s Christmas evening, and Elizabeth has joined the party at Rosings while the Collinses stay home with their newborn son. In this scene, Lady Catherine has decided that Elizabeth will come to her New Year’s Eve masquerade—whether she likes it or not.


Lady Catherine hesitated for a moment. “No, you must attend the ball. I know what my notice and kindness can do for a young woman. There will be eligible men in attendance and should any of them take a fancy to you, you might find yourself settled near to me.” Elizabeth saw Darcy’s posture shift as he exhaled loudly. “You may come for dinner and stay at Rosings the night of the ball, and my carriage shall take you home the day after.”

“I fear I have no dress for a masquerade, or even a mask.”

Colonel Fitzwilliam now came nearer. “Lady Catherine has trunks of attire; some guests come early to select from her stores. She has a fine Roman emperor garb that I plan to wear.”

“If you tell her that, it ruins the surprise of a masquerade,” Darcy said drolly. Elizabeth tried to imagine what manner of masquerade habit Darcy would choose that would suit his usual gravity.

“You are very welcome for my attentions, Miss Bennet,” said her ladyship, who then went to Mrs Jenkinson to ask if Anne needed her fire screen moved.

Elizabeth was about to say that she had not accepted the invitation, but she supposed that it hardly mattered. Of course she must attend; Charlotte would have no peace if she refused.

“You are in high luck to meet with such attention and indulgence,” teased Colonel Fitzwilliam. “You ought to be very much obliged to her ladyship for thinking of you.”

“I am sure Mr Collins will express all of my gratitude for me.”

He smiled. “Still, Lady Catherine’s masquerade is always a large, pleasant ball. Will you dance with me?”

“I shall look forward to someone in a toga petitioning for my hand.”

“Fitzwilliam,” Lady Catherine called. “Come here. I want you.”

He gave a long-suffering look and crossed the room to move the fire screen for Miss de Bourgh, and she was left with Darcy. If not for the presence of the others, she would thank him for all he had done for her family. They looked at one another for a long moment, neither saying anything.

“Did you spend the day in mirth and festivity with the Collinses, Miss Bennet?” Darcy finally asked.

She smiled. “Young William is rather young for Hunt the Slipper or Blind Man’s Buff; it was a quiet day compared to what I am used to.”

“If you were at Longbourn, would brown beer have gone round the room while someone sang lively songs?”

“Yes, along with a Christmas pie and many friends.” She wondered what Christmas at Pemberley must be like. “Miss Darcy is not alone at Christmas, is she?”

“No, not at all. She is with my uncle in town; I shall see her in January.”

“I was surprised to learn that you were to come to Rosings when you had just been here at Easter. I thought you would be at Pemberley at this time of year.”

“I often am—I prefer it above all else, but—” He thought for a moment, and then took a step nearer. Elizabeth’s heart beat fast to have him so close. He lowered his voice and said, “I drew the short straw.”

“Oh!” She burst out in surprised laughter. “You do not mean it!”

He smiled, his own amusement better contained. “I do. Every December we gather to draw lots to see who shall attend her at Christmas. It is always two of us—none must suffer her alone—and Fitzwilliam and I drew the shortest.”

She was now laughing so hard it drew the attention of Lady Catherine, who demanded to know of what they were talking.

“Miss Bennet was talking of Mrs Collins’s little boy,” Darcy said, giving her a smile before turning round. “He is already a charming child.”

“That he may be, Miss Bennet, but I want to hear some music. The rest of us are to play snapdragon, but we do not need you.”

Darcy looked ashamed at this demand and, in fact, had opened his lips to protest, but Elizabeth shook her head. It is not worth it to argue with Lady Catherine. She was able to leave; Darcy would have to suffer her for the rest of his life. “I do not mind,” she said to him softly before walking to the instrument. She noticed a mistletoe bough hanging by it and wondered if Lady Catherine would force Miss de Bourgh to stand under it until Darcy passed near.

To her surprise, Darcy followed her to the pianoforte. “Shall I turn the pages?”

Elizabeth felt her heart pound. Would Darcy be solicitous if he felt nothing for me?

Darcy did not seem to notice the mistletoe hanging very near to them. It struck her forcibly how much she esteemed him now, how much she wanted to be esteemed in return by a man of such sense and virtue. She longed to know at that moment if, should she stand under a mistletoe bough, Darcy would pluck off a white berry and kiss her.

He was awaiting her answer; she smiled shyly at him and was nodding when Lady Catherine called his name.

“No, the family must play snapdragon at Christmas. Miss Bennet’s playing may not be as well as Anne’s, had she learnt, but she is a decent enough performer not to need your help.”

Elizabeth felt that Darcy’s eyes were repeatedly turned toward her, but between the games, her playing, and Lady Catherine’s conversation, they did not speak for the rest of the evening. Their only interaction was when it was time to leave. She was in the hall awaiting his carriage when Darcy joined her. He took her cloak from the servant and put it round her shoulders, with a soft, “Merry Christmas, my dear Miss Bennet,” before returning to the drawing room.


Darcy and Elizabeth might have come into Kent thinking they had no reason to hope, but things warm up quickly and by New Year’s Eve and the masquerade ball they’ll be eager for a chance to confess their feelings. A Hopeful Holiday is available now.

Is the holiday season a perfect setting for a second chance at love?

After secretly arranging Lydia and Wickham’s marriage, Mr Darcy encouraged Bingley to return to Jane. While his friend is now happily married, Darcy regrets not having the courage to pursue Elizabeth in the autumn. As 1812 draws to a close, Darcy rallies his spirits to spend the Christmas holiday with Lady Catherine.

Elizabeth Bennet wanted to show Darcy that her feelings for him had changed, but he never returned to Hertfordshire and she fears Darcy could never tolerate being brother-in-law to Wickham. For a change of scene and with the hope of lifting her spirits, Elizabeth accepts an invitation to visit Charlotte Collins and her new baby at Christmas.

Lady Catherine’s New Year’s Eve masquerade ball is the social event of the season and, amid the festivities and mistletoe, both Darcy and Elizabeth hope for a reason to make their affections known. But will her ladyship’s interference, the sudden appearance of her scheming nephew, and Elizabeth and Darcy’s insecurities prevent them from finding happiness during the holiday season?

girl in black cape

You can find A Hopeful Holiday at:

and on Kindle Unlimited


Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a masters in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring her letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether or not to buy groceries or stay home and write. Visit her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a freebie and monthly updates.

TMDAN Moll headshotwebsite:
FB: @HeatherMollAuthor
Instagram: @HeatherMollAuthor
Twitter: @HMollAuthor
Book Bub:

Holiday blog tour


Filed under Pride and Prejudice, North and South, JAFF