Category Archives: North and South

Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again by Elaine Jeremiah – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to receive Elaine Jeremiah for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton to share with you an excerpt of her recently released book: Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again. This excerpt is taken from the earlier chapters of the book and reveals a little more about the events that will shape the entire story. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Thank you for visiting Elaine, it was a pleasure to have you here with us 🙂


Little does Elizabeth Bennet think the journey across muddy fields from her home at Longbourn to Netherfield Park will change her life forever. 

But an unexpected encounter with the proud and haughty Mr Darcy leaves her injured and vulnerable. Worse still, she is left alone with him for a significant amount of time. Her reputation at risk, she is forced to make a decision about her future. Now her life will never be the same again.

Can Elizabeth ever be happy? Or will she always loathe Mr Darcy?

 

 

 

 

You can find  at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

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As Darcy strode away from Elizabeth Bennet, he contemplated the situation they had found themselves in. Being unable to find help did not bode well. If or when they were discovered alone together, they would have difficulty explaining how it came to pass. He was unsure what he would say in his defence if they were.

He reflected too on his ambiguous feelings for the lady. It was true that she was the daughter of an inconsequential gentleman and her other relations… well vulgar did not begin to describe the mother. As for her sisters, excepting the eldest, Miss Jane Bennet who was perfectly amiable, he had never come across such boisterous, flirtatious misses in his life. 

And yet he could not deny that Elizabeth intrigued him. She piqued his interest and those eyes of hers were most arresting. He shook his head as he thrashed his riding crop through the foliage of the woods, forcing a path through. Their meeting today was unaccountable. His very purpose for heading out from Netherfield on his horse, despite the indifferent weather, had been to clear his thoughts of her. 

These nascent feelings for her simply would not do. She and her family were beneath him in every way. So it was that his surprise on happening upon her so suddenly had been great. At first, dismounting from his horse, he had felt as though he had been robbed of the power of speech. When finally he had turned and spoken to her, he saw by the expression of her fine eyes that her surprise was equal to his. 

‘Attend to the task at hand, William,’ he told himself. At this moment, his biggest regret ought to have been his horse. Under usual circumstances, the horse would never have behaved in such a way. But he was unused to thunder and lightning, poor creature. Darcy had also had to rein him in very suddenly to avoid trampling Elizabeth, which had only added to the horse’s confusion. 

In spite of his attempts to the contrary, however, Darcy’s thoughts would return to Elizabeth. He felt a need to protect her. After all, it was his fault she was injured. It was true that he had no wish to ruin her reputation; in fact, he knew that as a gentleman it was his duty to preserve it. Yet it was something greater than that which spurred him on, forcing him to ignore the raindrops trickling down the back of his neck, his cravat and greatcoat no match for the inclement weather.

He refused to acknowledge that feeling, however. It could lead nowhere. In any case, there were more important considerations to be thought of. He was unsure how long he had been walking for, but at that moment a smallish wooden hut with a stone chimney came into view. He halted abruptly, surveying it. Would it do for their purposes? Was it habitable? Although it was rudimentary, it appeared well kept. When he knocked, there was no answer. Taking a breath, he tried the door and to his relief discovered it was unlocked. 

Darcy took a cursory glance around the interior. There was only the one room, but it did have a substantial fireplace on the far wall with firewood piled up beside it and a small bed in one corner. This will do nicely, he thought. Now all that remained was to fetch Elizabeth. It was a considerable distance for him to carry her, but the thought of having her small, warm, curvaceous body in his arms again made his mouth curve upwards in a grin. 

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Could this moment really be lasting an eternity, Elizabeth wondered, as she was sitting under the tree getting wetter by the minute. It certainly felt like it. The pain in her ankle was severe and it occurred to her that it may be broken. God forbid, she thought with a shudder. If she had broken a bone in her ankle and it was then set incorrectly, it could mean she would never walk again.

And Mr Darcy. Elizabeth could not make him out. In all her previous encounters with him, he had been aloof, taciturn and on occasion more than a little rude. During the short time she had been in his company this morning however, he had behaved with great chivalry towards her. It was perplexing to say the least. She shook her head. Mr Darcy was only performing the service that any gentleman would and that was all.

But his keeping hold of her hand for longer than necessary. What could he mean by it, if he truly disliked her? Attempting to answer this vexing question kept her mind occupied for a good while, in fact until the gentleman himself appeared in front of her. Elizabeth felt her face flush and bit her lip as her eyes met Mr Darcy’s own.

For a moment neither of them spoke but remained as they were with their eyes fixed on one another. It was as though someone had cast a spell over them. Elizabeth was startled that Mr Darcy seemed as transfixed as she. She wanted and yet did not want to look away. Finally, he cleared his throat. The spell was broken and he said, ‘Miss Bennet, I have discovered the gamekeeper’s cottage that you mentioned, although in truth it is more of a hut.’ He gave her a rueful smile, which seemed somehow to transform his face, lightening it, making him appear even more handsome than before.

She gave him a brief nod. ‘Thank you for searching in this dreadful weather,’ she said. ‘It may be a mere hut, but I think it is the best we can hope for. Beggars cannot be choosers.’

‘No, indeed,’ he replied. He paused and she saw that he seemed to be bracing himself for what he would say next. ‘Unfortunately, it is quite far from here, about a half mile. Miss Bennet, I must carry you for all of that time, if you will permit me?’ 

‘But of course,’ she replied. ‘I suppose that will have to suffice, as my ankle can scarcely support my weight.’

He gave a wry smile at her tart comment. ‘In that case, I suggest we depart immediately,’ he said and stooped to pick her up. She put her arms around his neck. ‘You are wet through,’ he added as he straightened and began to walk away from the tree which had proved so mean a shelter for her. 

‘It is a very wet day, sir,’ Elizabeth replied lightly. ‘I cannot be expected to look the part of a lady in conditions such as these,’ she added in a mischievous tone. 

He did not understand her. ‘Miss Bennet, I was not suggesting for one moment that you…’

‘Of course not, Mr Darcy,’ she replied. ‘I merely jest.’ 

‘Ah. I see,’ was his response. 

They remained silent for a while as Mr Darcy soldiered on through the rain with Elizabeth in his arms. Gradually, her initial apprehension began to wear off and she found herself relaxing the rigid body posture she had adopted when he had lifted her off the ground. His arms around her made her feel warm in spite of the weather. Yet a sense of unease remained. She, an unmarried woman, was being carried a fair distance by a man who was not her betrothed and certainly never likely to be her husband. What would society say?


Elaine lives in Bristol, South West England with her husband and their golden retriever, Dug. But she was privileged enough to grow up in Jane Austen country, in Hampshire. 

She’s always loved writing, but it’s only been in recent years that she’s been able to devote more time to it. She decided to self-publish with the help of her wonderful husband who’s very tech-savvy! In 2013 she self-published her first novel, but it was only with her fourth, her novel ‘Love Without Time’, that she felt she finally found her niche: Jane Austen Fan Fiction! 

She’s always loved Jane Austen’s writing and the Regency era, so this felt like a natural thing for her to do. ‘Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again’ is the first ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation she’s written. 

 

If you want to connect with Elaine online, her Facebook page can be found here: 

https://www.facebook.com/elainejeremiahauthor/

Her Twitter handle is: @ElaineJeremiah

Her website is here: https://elainejeremiah.co.uk/


 

 

Elaine is kindly offering 2 ebook copies of Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again to my readers. The giveaway is international and to apply to it all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and let us know what you thought about the excerpt.

The giveaway is international and will end on the 12th of March. The winners will be announced shortly.

Good Luck everyone!

20 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

A Consuming Love by Kelly Miller – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am sure you’ve all heard about the Skirmish & Scandal Series by Meryton Press, but if you haven’t, this is a series of novellas from different authors that despite being stand alones, share in common the “Skirmish & Scandal” theme. So far MP has released five of these novellas, and today I am hosting Kelly Miller who is here to share with you an excerpt of A Consuming Love, the fifth novella to be released in the series. This excerpt is from Mr. Darcy’s POV and I am sure you’ll love it 🙂

Thank you for visiting Ms. Miller, and thank you Janet for the opportunity to be a part of this tour  and for doing such a wonderful job organizing it 🙂

 

 

The methodical world of rich, proud Fitzwilliam Darcy is in chaos: a country lady of modest origins has utterly captivated him.

The knowledge that Elizabeth Bennet is an unsuitable match fails to diminish Darcy’s fascination for her, nor does his self-imposed distance from the lady hinder her ability to intrude upon his thoughts at all hours of the day. What can solve his dilemma?

When circumstances compel Darcy’s return to Hertfordshire in assistance of his friend Mr. Bingley, he must confront his unfathomable attraction to Miss Elizabeth.In this Pride and Prejudice Regency novella, one afternoon spent in company with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is enough to make an indelible and life-altering impression upon Darcy, setting him on a rocky course towards the fulfillment of his desires. Will Darcy attain happiness, or will his ingrained pride be his downfall?

You can find A Consuming Love at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited


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The following excerpt is in Darcy’s point of view, and takes place at Netherfield Park:

 

They entered the library, a handsome, well-appointed room with an abundance of bookcases and naught but one half-shelf of books.

With a glance at Bingley, Miss Bennet said, “While the rest of the house is furnished, this library offers a woeful dearth of books. Whomever leases this house must bring their own reading material. Of course, we also have a small circulating library in Meryton.”

His friend shrugged. “That is of no consequence to me; I had more than my fill of books at university. Other than whatever reference manuals I shall consult for estate matters, I shall not do much reading. I plan to spend my leisure time shooting, riding, and visiting neighbours.”

Miss Bennet maintained her smile, but a momentary furrow appeared between her brows. Darcy did not scruple to conceal his own disappointment in Bingley’s answer. His efforts to interest his friend in expanding his mind through reading had been unsuccessful. Nevertheless, Bingley’s next statement provoked the beginnings of a smile.

“Now Darcy, on the other hand, is an avid reader. I believe he reads through several books in any given week. He will have to pack his own supply of books when he comes to stay.”

The lady’s eyes gleamed in his direction with renewed curiosity. “Is that so, Mr. Darcy? May I ask what you are reading now?”

Mr. Bennet, too, had perked up. The gentleman pushed up his spectacles and peered at him.

“Last night I finished, The Royal Tribes of Wales, by Philip Yorke. Before that, I read Memoirs of Modern Philosophers, by Elizabeth Hamilton, because my sister had expressed an interest in reading it. It is my habit to read new books before my sister does, if only so we can discuss them afterwards.”

Eliz—or rather, Miss Bennet’s eyes sparkled with undisguised interest. “I have read the novel by Miss Hamilton and found it well written, creative, and courageous in many ways though disappointing in others. What did you think of it?”

While Bingley’s eyes glazed over at this topic that held no interest for him, Mr. Bennet looked on with a raised brow, and Miss Bennet’s luminous irises riveted on him. Excitement welled within his chest. “I thought the novel succeeded in promoting her views in an entertaining way. My sister is reading it now. How did Miss Hamilton’s work disappoint you?”

“While it is laudable to promote the notion that an individual’s virtues should be more important than their class or gender, she could have gone further. She believes women should be granted the same opportunities for education as men, yet she hints that a woman’s ultimate role is to run a household. As a writer, Miss Hamilton herself has entered a realm that many believe ought to be restricted to the males of our society. If ladies could avail themselves of the same opportunities for education as gentlemen, they might take on many of the professions now limited to males. I could point to many examples of women who have led countries, run estates, or worked to harvest a field of wheat alongside her husband and children.”

“I cannot fault your logic. I have every expectation that in the future the strict lines of class and gender will be amended, though I predict it will take many generations.” Before him stood an articulate, well-read, and educated lady, though perhaps her instruction had been formal. He would bet that Miss Bennet had not attended one of the seminaries patronised by young ladies of the higher circles. Had she even had a governess? Regardless, Darcy could name no other person with whom he would rather debate this and a myriad of other subjects.

With a nod to Bingley—who had begun to tap his foot, a vexatious habit his friend exhibited when bored or anxious—Mr. Bennet cleared his throat. “Under other circumstances, I should be pleased to hear your impressions of Yorke’s treatment of the Welsh princes, Mr. Darcy, but I suggest we continue our tour of the house.”

They resumed their walk through the mansion. Miss Bennet, walking abreast of Darcy, made an aside. “My uncle Gardiner has made connections through his business that allow him to obtain many books or manuscripts before they reach the book shops. A close friend of my uncle, a publisher, gave him a preliminary version of a novel to be published in the next few weeks, Sense and Sensibility, written anonymously by a lady. After my uncle and my aunt read the novel, they sent it to me. The story follows a widow and her three daughters, who are left to live in reduced circumstances when a family member fails to fulfill his promise to provide them financial support. I found it compelling, affecting, and honest. I look forward to reading this author’s future works.”

Sense and Sensibility. I thank you. I shall remember the name. I am always looking for novels that my sister might wish to read.”

The lady glanced his way with a smile that sent a shiver down his back. It struck him then what an ideal friend Miss Bennet would make for Georgiana. Miss Bennet’s cheery, genial manner would penetrate the barrier of his sister’s innate shyness and insecurities. Of course, he could not allow such an actuality; it would be untenable for Georgiana to have a friend who so enticed him.


Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.

A Constant Love is her fourth book published by Meryton Press. The first three are novels: Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy; Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic variation; and Accusing Mr. Darcy, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic mystery.

Kelly’s blog page is found at www.kellymiller.merytonpress.com, her Twitter handle is @kellyrei007, Instagram: kelly.miller.author, and she is on Facebook: http://www.facebook.Author.Kelly.Miller

 

Contact Info:  

Amazon Author Page 

Goodreads Author Page 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Blog

Other Books by Kelly Miller

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match

Accusing Mr. Darcy

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Meryton Press is giving away an ebook of A Consuming Love to one of my readers. To enter the giveaway please comment on this post and let us know what you thought about this excerpt. The giveaway is open until the 26th of February and the winners will be announced shortly after that.

Good Luck everyone!

 

39 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Nine Ladies by Heather Moll – Nine Ladies Guest Post & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am very pleased to welcome at From Pemberley to Milton author Heather Moll who has not only released a book with a very interesting premise, but also built an informative and fun guest post for you to read. 

Her recently released book Nine Ladies is a time travel story that I am eager to get my hands on. I love time travel stories and I am super curious to see what Heather Moll decided to do with this one. In a fashion that reminded me of Outlander, she decided to “allow” her characters to travel in time through a stone circle called Nine Ladies, and in today’s guest post she decided to show us how it really looks like.

It was really nice to take a trip with Heather and visit Nine Ladies through her photos and descriptions, especially because I am still in a lockdown in my country. But even though I can’t really go anywhere, she made me feel like I was travelling once more, and I was really happy to see what this important place in her book looks like in reality. Maybe I can even visit it someday 🙂

Thank you for visiting Heather, and best of luck with this new release 🙂

 


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The Real Nine Ladies

 

Hello Rita and thank you so much for welcoming me back to From Pemberley to Milton! I’m excited that I get to talk to you and your readers about my latest P&P time travel variation Nine Ladies.

I’ve been asked if Nine Ladies is real place. On an equinox, will you be able to go back in time and find an attractive, wealthy, smart man with a few pride issues? No. But Nine Ladies IS a real 4,000 year-old stone circle in Derbyshire on Stanton Moor. I visited the year after I finished the manuscript for Nine Ladies while on an Austen-inspired trip to the Peaks.

Stanton Moor is in the Derbyshire Peak District between Matlock and Bakewell near the village of Stanton-in-Peak. The area has been occupied since the Bronze Age and it contains the remains of two definite stone circles: Nine Ladies and Doll Tor. Both sites received attention from archaeologists in the late18th century. It’s the disruption of these cairns and burial sites near to Nine Ladies that I imagined giving the stones their unique time-traveling power in the first place.

If you walk down Lees Road from Stanton-in-Peak, you’re SUPPOSED to walk 300m until you see a signpost for the footpath to the stone circle. However, if this sign is overgrown and you’re an American with no intuitive notion for how long a meter is, you actually walk three times as far to unmarked trails through some very creepy woods before you give up and turn around. But—if you’re lucky—on your way back you find someone leaving the hidden footpath you were looking for, and the adventure continues.

In the book, Elizabeth’s friends decide to see the remains of a ruined Georgian mansion rather than visit Nine Ladies. Later, she walks from Bakewell to see this stone circle her friends mentioned, but we took a bus to Stanton-in-Peak. Eventually, our route to Nine Ladies converged with Elizabeth’s on this path toward a ring of birch trees that were planted in the early 19th century.

This “modern” wood would have been saplings when Darcy visited the stone circle in 1811.

The name Nine Ladies comes from folk traditions in which nine women dancing on the Sabbath were turned to stone. There are actually ten stones; a buried slab 40 feet away was discovered in 1970s and is called the King Stone. The nine stones are set on the inner edge of a slight bank, and form a ring about 40 feet around. Each stone is about 3 feet high and made from local millstone grit, a coarse sandstone.

The graffiti carved on the King Stone includes the name ‘Bill Stumps’, mentioned in The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. I’m not sure if the graffiti inspired Dickens or if a visitor was inspired by his book. It’s more likely the latter, but it’s fun to imagine that Dickens and I both took some inspiration from these old rocks in a field.

It was relatively quiet when we visited. However on the summer solstice, Nine Ladies is a gathering place for people celebrating the passing of the sun. Druids and pagans and others engaging in spirituality meet to observe solar events and commune with nature and one another.

We missed the summer solstice by about a week when we hiked out to Nine Ladies. Still, I stood in the center of that stone circle but no handsome landowners who need to reevaluate how they treat people outside of their social circle appeared. Elizabeth had much better luck.


 

 

The Darcy family has grudgingly kept the secret about the power contained within a nearby stone circle called Nine Ladies. Fitzwilliam Darcy is forced to contend with this secret when a young woman from the future appears at Pemberley. Until the opinionated stranger can return to when she belongs, Darcy is responsible not only for her safety, but also for ensuring that nothing she does threatens Pemberley’s well-being.

Elizabeth Bennet has returned to England to take care of her estranged father, and her life was off track long before she walked into that stone circle at sunset. She quickly discovers that, as a poor and single woman, she’ll have to rely on the arrogant Mr. Darcy. She tries her best to survive in the nineteenth-century until she can return home but, as she and Darcy grow closer, the truth she knows about his and Pemberley’s bleak future becomes harder to keep.

How can Darcy and Elizabeth overcome 200 years of differences in this era-spanning love story?

 

 

 

 

You can find Nine Ladies at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and 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.

 

Website: https://www.heathermollauthor.com

FB:@HeatherMollAuthor

Instagram: @HeatherMollAuthor

Twitter: @HMollAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/heathermoll

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07V5KLGB8

 

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Heather Moll is kindly offering 6 international ebook copies of Nine Ladies.

The giveaway is open until the 13th of February, and to apply to it, all you need to do is click on the following  Rafflecopter Link.

Good Luck everyone!

 

32 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Lovers’ Meeting by Catherine Lodge – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today is release day for Lovers’ Meeting from Catherine Lodge, so I hope you can all join me in wishing her a lot of success with this new book!

I am thrilled to open her blog tour at From Pemberley to Milton on release day, and super excited to read this book soon. It is a short one, which is something I’ve come to appreciate lately, but it appears to be filled with action! Carriage accidents, floods, Lydia’s mischiefs and more will certainly make this book a page turner and I am hoping to bring you my review very, very shortly. 

Until then, I hope you enjoy this excerpt, and please share your love with Catherine Lodge!

Thank you for visiting Ms. Lodge, and thank you to everyone at Quills & Quartos for the opportunity to be a part of this tour 🙂


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From Chapter 5…Another Chance Encounter

Occasionally on her daily rambles, Elizabeth saw at a distance the two gentlemen from Netherfield surveying the estate on horseback, and was glad that Mr Bingley bade fair to become a conscientious landlord for the period of his tenancy. The flooding down by the willows, which had been known to affect her father’s land, was being addressed, and workmen were set to improving the hedges and ditches.

Opinion in Meryton was further conciliated by many of the necessary purchases being made there and not, as had been feared, in London. When the two men arrived at church on Sunday, what little doubt remained was finally removed.

Elizabeth, sitting in the family pew with her parents and sisters, had an excellent view of Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy and noticed that the former was often adrift in his prayer book and that the latter would patiently find the right page for him. Moreover, and to her delight, when the clerk gave the note for the psalm, Mr Darcy listened to the usual uncertain murmur, led by her Aunt Philips’s penetrating but uncertain soprano, before joining in with a beautiful, confident baritone which the congregation thankfully accepted as a more promising lead; the rest of the service was much more melodious than it had been for a very long time. She also noticed that, unlike many in the church, he seemed to have some serious subject for prayer, for he remained on his knees for some time, head bent and brow furrowed.

After the service, the congregation stopped for the usual exchange of pleasantries, her father particularly wishing to invite Mr Bingley to discuss the land drainage problems common to the two estates. After several fruitless attempts to interrupt and secure the gentlemen for dinner, or tea or, indeed, anything, Mrs Bennet swept off attended by all her daughters except Elizabeth, who was talking to Charlotte Lucas. When the latter left with her parents, Elizabeth elected to wait for her father and thus found herself in company with Mr Darcy.

They exchanged stilted civilities, exclaimed over the unseasonable warmth, expressed their hopes for continuing dry weather, and very quickly ran out of civil commonplaces. She glanced over at her father, still expounding, apparently oblivious to Mr Bingley’s growing bewilderment. Elizabeth knew all about her father’s ability to appear oblivious.

However, she had no idea just how very pretty she looked, her chestnut curls clustering beneath a most becoming bonnet, the delicate flush of her cheek complemented by the dark burgundy of her ribbons and spencer. She raised her face and smiled gaily. “I really must thank you for your assistance with our singing,” she said. “I have seldom heard us make a more ‘joyful noise unto the Lord.’ Are you all as tuneful in Derbyshire?”

He looked uncomfortable but replied. “I hardly know. We have a parish band in my church at home. Do you not have one here?”

“Alas, no. Ever since our serpent-player argued with our only violinist, we have been left to our own meagre resources, and I’m afraid we have just demonstrated just how meagre, meagre can be.”

He did not reply, and for some reason she preferred not to examine too closely, she felt she had to fill the ensuing silence. He had not replaced his hat when he had left the church, and she nodded towards it. “As a small child, I always wondered why gentlemen seem to spend the whole service gazing intently into their hats. I was quite disappointed when I found out they did not hide interesting books in there.” She smiled ruefully. “I am afraid I was not a very pious child.”

“I have a cousin who was particularly and ostentatiously pious as a child. I’m afraid it always induced in me a desire to kick his shins during the sermon.” Now, what in heaven’s name had induced him to say that? He recoiled, physically stepping backwards; mentally attempting to regain his usual composure. He was arrested by a low gurgle of laughter.

“Then I am delighted to have met a fellow sinner, Mr Darcy.” Her father hailed her at this point, and they parted with the usual civilities.

As he climbed into the coach, he reproached himself harshly. This was another complication he could well do without. If he were not careful, he would find that he had created expectations where none could be met.

“I say, Darcy, you had all the luck there! You got to speak to a handsome young lady, and I got cornered by her father to talk about French drains and rights of turbary, whatever they are.”

“You would do well to listen to him. Local knowledge of drainage is highly valuable: the heavy clay down by the river will be extremely difficult to deal with.”

Bingley merely grinned, tipped his hat over his eyes, and prepared for a short nap before Sunday luncheon.

It was, perhaps, unfortunate for Mr Darcy’s peace of mind that the company at Netherfield was particularly tiresome that day. Hurst slept and his wife and Miss Bingley’s criticisms of the neighbourhood, the amusements available, and the gentility of its inhabitants were unusually harsh. He could have ignored all this had Miss Bingley’s attentions to himself not been more than usually blatant and annoying. Why on earth would she think that choosing the second volume of the book he was attempting to read would recommend her to him? Next time, he swore to himself savagely, he would bring nothing but Plato in the original Greek and see what she did then!

He was conscious that his temper was only thinly held and, after dinner, escaped to the billiard room with Bingley, who was a wretched player but at least was not interested in marrying him.


 

‘Journeys end in lovers’ meetings, every wise man’s son doth know.’ — William Shakespeare

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the disastrous first meeting of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly provided each with a ready-made set of prejudices to apply to the other. But when a horrific rural accident reveals Darcy to be a man of active, intelligent benevolence, and Elizabeth, in the absence of her appalling family, to be an extraordinary lady of courage and decision—then surely the course of true love will run smoothly.   

But alas, the lovers’ meeting is not the end but a new beginning. For though they have found each other, a seeming multitude of complications—a catastrophic flood, the last wishes of a dying friend, Lydia’s misfortunes, a dastardly Member of Parliament, and even their own fears— contrives to come between them and their ‘journey’s end.’

 

 

 

 

 

You can find Lovers’ Meeting at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 


Catherine Lodge is a retired English lawyer and lecturer, currently living in North Yorkshire. She spends her days reading, admits to a slightly shame-faced addiction to Minecraft, and volunteers to explain IT to the senior citizens at her local library (despite the fact that some of them are younger than she is).  She is also prepared to send a fifty-pound/dollar/euro Amazon gift card to the first person who can prove that Colonel Fitzwilliam’s first name is Richard.  So there.

You can reach her at catherinelodgebooks@gmail.com and she would love to hear from you, especially if you don’t get the Ancient Briton joke in Chapter 2.

Lovers’ Meeting, once known as A New Beginning to online readers at A Happy Assembly and fanfiction.net, is Catherine’s second novel. She published Fair Stands the Wind in 2017.

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Quills & Quartos is giving away an ebook of “Lovers’ Meeting” to one of my readers. To enter the giveaway please comment on this post and let us know what you thought about this excerpt.

The drawing will occur on February 12 and the winner announced shortly after that.

Good Luck everyone!

27 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Georgiana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks- Spotlight

Good Afternoon everyone, 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I’ve spent mine reading by the fire and I kind of wish I could extend it for a few more days. Lately I have been reading more non austenesque regency romances to get a break from the usual characters and I find it very revitalizing, which got me wondering, what about you? Do you also mix your jaff books with regency novels? If so, which ones do you usually read? Also, would you like me to start reading and reviewing more of these novels? Or would you prefer if I kept my reviews to Jane Austen Fan Fiction and North and South adaptations?

I have a few regency reviews coming up, so I hope you like those, and I would also like to bring to your attention one book whose story seems really interesting to me, Georgiana’s Secret. I am sure that apart from the romance that I have now come to expect from the Proper Romance Regency series from Shadow Mountain, this will also be full of adventure. I’ll leave you with the blurb in case you’re interested 🙂


A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.

 

QUICK FACTS:

  • Title: Georgana’s Secret (Proper Romance Regency)
  • Author: Arlem Hawks
  • Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction
  • Hook:  A young woman masquerading as a cabin boy aboard a Royal Navy ship is aided by a dashing Lieutenant.
  • Comparable authors: Georgette Heyer, Julie Klassen, Sarah E. Ladd, Sally Britton, Joanna Baker.
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (January 12, 2021)
  • Format: Trade paperback, eBook (320) pages and Audiobook

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You can find Georgiana’s Secret at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk 

and on Audible

 


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Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children.

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Games of Love and Cruelty by Laura Moretti – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Morning everyone,

My first post of the year (well, after the From Pemberley to Milton’s 2020 Favorite Books) is an excerpt of Games of Love and Cruelty, a modern take on Pride and Prejudice by Laura Moretti,  a new author at From Pemberley to Milton. This makes me super happy because there is nothing like starting the year with something new, or in this case with someone new, right?

Laura Moretti has written three Pride and Prejudice variations, The Governess, a 54 page novella released in 2018, Do you Love Me?, another novella released in 2019, and  Games of Love and Cruelty released in the end of 2020. This last book is not the type of novel that would get my attention, but I confess that when I started reading the reviews on Amazon I was impressed, and I added it immediately to my TBR. The writting style appears to be unique and very interesting as you can see by the excerpt Ms Moretti brought to us today, and something tells me that Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship will be electrifying on this one.

I hope you like this excerpt and that you tell me what you thought about it in the comments. I am very curious to know your opinion! Plus, there is a giveaway of 3 ebooks, so you may have a change to read the entire book 🙂

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


 

Set in the 21st century…

Fitzwilliam Darcy falls madly in love with the vivacious and clever Elizabeth Bennet. After a few shots of tequila, he declares his affections for her. It is a disaster. Elizabeth resoundingly rejects him.

But…it’s late, they’re alone and slightly intoxicated.

They sleep together.

Now Darcy has everything…and nothing. He is having sex with Elizabeth and while he falls more desperately in love each day, she still hates him. It is the beginning of a secret, sensual, complicated liaison, wherein each plays a cruel game; Darcy because he is hiding his passion and growing despair, Elizabeth because she is feeling lost.

As Darcy gets more hopeless, and Elizabeth tries to deny her budding feelings, another man begins to vie for her affections…

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You can find Games of Love and Cruelty at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk 

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 

 


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Darcy is late and in a bad mood when he enters the subway. And of course, the gates are blocked, because a family of tourists is trying to forcibly get through with four suitcases and a stroller. They can’t; the entrance is too narrow. So they stay stuck.

And they block everybody’s way.

Darcy is ready to…be an ass. To tell the tourists, in his most haughty tone—cold anger implied—that there is a main entrance, you know, with a special door for strollers and people with suitcases. That maybe they could read a fucking guide, where these things are explained, so they fucking wouldn’t block everybody’s way.

Except there’s this girl.

A brunette. Not that pretty, but…sparkling eyes, gorgeous smile. She’s kind. She helps them. She helps with the stroller. Thanks to her, the family actually make it to the other side, and when they are not blocking everybody’s way anymore, she explains about the main subway entrance, the special gate, “so it will be easier on you next time.”

She’s wearing a purple sweater. Darcy doesn’t talk to her; he hurries to catch his train, but his anger has evaporated. Her voice, her smile. It’s nice to know that there are people who…kind people. It was something Georgiana would have done.

(It was something he should have done.)

(But he was in a hurry.)

Still.

**

That same night.

Two weeks ago, Darcy’s best friend Charles Bingley bought a loft in a ‘trendy’ neighbourhood; translation: in a cheap, dirty cluster of streets, where two bars have miraculously popped up and real estate dealers are calling it a trend. So tonight, Darcy, Bingley, and Bingley’s sister Caroline are at this party, in someone’s apartment. The owners are absent, but the Bennet girls, whoever they are, have borrowed the place for the night.

Darcy is still in a bad mood. Worse than this morning, even. Because of…life. Because of Georgiana. His sister, she’s barely fifteen, she’s had a rough time recently. Darcy should have kept a better eye on her. And Pemberley weighs on him, the size of the business, the never-ending responsibilities…and now Darcy doesn’t want to be here, in this stupid party in this vulgar place. The building is owned by the Bennets, he learns from Caroline, who somehow already knows all the gossip.

Well, Darcy thinks, the Bennets (he’s already sick of the name) are not doing a good job of maintaining their property.

“You should dance with Elizabeth!” Bingley says, pointing to someone, a girl with brown hair, who apparently is the sister of the blonde Bingley has been spending all evening with.

“Not pretty enough for me,” Darcy states.

Then he takes a sip of wine; it’s awful.

God. This day.

“You can be such an ass sometimes,” Bingley comments cheerfully, before going back to the blonde.

The young woman walks away—the brunette—the one Darcy said was not pretty enough. He realises she was close enough to hear—strike that, she has definitely heard. Darcy half recognises her—then she puts her sweater on over her nice, cheap black dress and—yep—she is the purple sweater girl from the subway.

He feels bad. It’s not fair to her. Here she was, putting good vibes into the universe— being kind to random tourists—and the universe thanks her the same night with a stranger insulting her.

Darcy doesn’t regret what he said—she isn’t pretty enough for him–but he regrets she heard it.

Moments pass. It’s a little irrational, how bad he feels, really. It’s just that kindness should not be met with spite.

For some reason, he observes her the rest of the evening. Elizabeth is her name. She laughs a lot. She seems happy. She dances well.

She really has the most sparkling eyes.

**

It’s dark and grey the next day in Elizabeth’s studio.

Because. November.

Late Saturday morning. The building is awakening; it’s so old, you can hear everything. Upstairs, in Elizabeth’s parents’ place, her mom must be cooking for the mandatory Saturday morning Bennet brunch. Elizabeth’s father is certainly on the computer. On the third floor, below Elizabeth, the Lucases are stirring. Steps, muffled noises. Music. Charlotte, maybe.

Elizabeth is a little hungover. Yesterday, she danced a lot, drank a lot.

Time for coffee. Liquid bubbles in a vintage Italian metallic coffee maker; it belonged to her grandmother, like the table, like most of the furniture. Elizabeth loves it all— how her studio feels old, lived in, familiar.

The machine hisses. Warm coffee smell in the November gloom.

The party yesterday was a tad disappointing; Elizabeth is not sure why. Great music, flirting, laughter, meaningless talk, drunken political discussions, being insulted by a random prick (“not pretty enough”—come on), a perfectly average, absurd evening, but—.

Elizabeth wants more.

She doesn’t know what she wants.

She sips her coffee.

A Christmas tinsel lies forgotten. Jane and Elizabeth used Christmas lights to decorate the Philips’ apartment yesterday—when the Philipses leave for the weekend, they rent their place for parties. Elizabeth hesitates, then she takes the lonely, orphaned tinsel, steps up on her small, unsafe balcony (it’s so cold, so grey), and arranges the cord around the railing before plugging it inside.

The lights flicker in the mist.

Trees. You can see autumn far away.

**

One year later

Hunsford Pub.

One of the rooms in the back, near the billiard table.

Darcy. “I love you.”

Elizabeth is stunned. She cannot believe this is happening. Darcy is still talking, pacing the room, declaring his affections; he’s somewhat drunk, maybe Elizabeth is too, a lot of tequila has been consumed tonight. Darcy is STILL walking, still talking, the word ‘passion’ is uttered, while Elizabeth is quickly reviewing her conduct of the last months, trying to see how she erred, how she could have given him the wrong impression, because… she hates Darcy. HATES him.

He was odious to her, to Jane, to everyone she loves.

Darcy pauses. He looks at Elizabeth as if he was, at last, expecting an answer.

The answer comes.

**

Darcy doesn’t take it so well.

All hell breaks loose.

**

Darcy.

“The deplorable lack of sense and decorum of your younger sisters”
“Your vulgar mother, in your father’s derelict building”
“If I had flattered you”
“But I hate lying, I am not a hypocrite, Elizabeth, like everybody is around you—pretending to be blind to…”

Elizabeth.

“Your selfish disdain for the feelings of others”
“Swimming in money” “Treating everybody with contempt” “Reducing friends to poverty”
“I have every reason in the world to despise you”
“I don’t think you are capable of showing even a modicum of charm, Darcy, or even a twinge of—I don’t know, basic politeness—but even if you had…”

Darcy is the one that initiates it. They are very close, very angry. 

“Even if you were the last man in the world,” Elizabeth begins. She pauses; she is in his face—a light brown stubble is visible on Darcy’s chin.

He smells faintly of tequila.

Yes, a pause.

Darcy caresses Elizabeth’s cheek. It comes from nowhere. It is so strange. And tender, really.

Elizabeth takes a step back. The light is low. Muddled voices, glasses clinking, music coming in waves from other parts of the pub. This place is a labyrinth; Richard Fitzwilliam, Charlotte Lucas, and William Collins are drinking somewhere near the bar.

Darcy and Elizabeth are alone.

In this tiny room and its pool table. In this deserted, random corner of the universe.

They kiss. Lips tentatively brushing. Next thing Elizabeth knows, one of her hands is on Darcy’s collarbone, the other in his hair; Darcy is holding her tight, kissing her temples, her brow, he is biting her earlobe (not too hard), and then they are kissing, period. Passionately. Elizabeth has always thought, you know, those movies, where two people fight angrily before rage-fucking in a closet—those scenes were crazy, unbelievable, come on, who does that, but when Elizabeth finds herself half-naked in Darcy’s arms on the leather couch, she understands that—yes—that is what she is doing now.

Yes.

The sex is gorgeous.

Elizabeth doesn’t think—and she’s always thinking. Darcy’s naked skin is perfect against her. When he’s inside her she’s losing…the stream of time, if it makes sense? His eyes and his hands and…

Then it’s later and Elizabeth is putting her clothes back on and she’s stunned. Shocked.

Clearly Darcy is too.

Elizabeth goes back to the other part of the pub. To the bar. To Richard and the others. She doesn’t want to flee, she doesn’t want to look like she’s ashamed, so she purposely orders a beer, she sits on a stool, she makes small talk. 

Her cheeks are burning. She thinks that it must be painted on her face. That everybody must see. (But nobody does.)

Darcy joins them after a few minutes. He orders a beer, too.

Everybody drinks and jokes around. (Nobody suspects a thing.)

Darcy and Elizabeth’s eyes do not meet.

 


 

Laura Moretti would like to offer three ebook copies of Games of Love and Cruelty to my readers. The giveaway is international and will end on the 14th of January. All you have to do to participate in the giveaway is comment on this post. Every comment earns an entry in the drawing.

Good Luck everyone!

 

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Unexpected Gifts by Maria Grace – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Yesterday I posted a review of  The Darcy’s First Christmas which is the second book in the Darcy Family Christmas series, and today I am happy to welcome Maria Grace with an excerpt of the fourth book in this series: Unexpected Gifts

In this book the Darcy’s have been married for a few years, so Maria Grace decided to focus this story on redemption… You can imagine which characters will be called on stage can’t you? If you liked yesterday’s review, and if you’re curious about this new story featuring the Darcy’s during Christmas time, please check out the excerpt Maria Grace brought to you, and don’t forget to participate in the giveawy 🙂

Thank you so much for visiting Maria! I’ve recently finished Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion, so you’ll here from me soon, but until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


 

Yuletide 1814, the Darcys are celebrating their third wedding anniversary and the baby Elizabeth is expecting. Overprotective and perhaps overbearing, Darcy is ready to do anything for Elizabeth’s comfort, including defying the will of his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh who demands their presence to bestow a gift that absolutely cannot wait.

What sort of gift is so urgent it cannot wait for a more auspicious time?

Christmastide 1815, the Darcys hope for a particular sort of joy to bring a close to a dark and difficult season. It only seems fitting that an unexpected—and unwelcome—guest disrupts their small family house party. Could the unexpected gift they bring be the key to the fulfillment of the Darcys’ most heartfelt desires?

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You can find Unexpected Gifts at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk 

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 

.And if you’re in the mood for Christmas books, here are the other books in the series 🙂

 


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Thanks so much for hosting me Rita! The year is winding down rapidly! I’m so glad to be able to get in one more visit before the new year.

I know Christmas is nearly upon us, but it’s not too late for a great holiday story, next to my dragon books (which I’m so tickled you’ve enjoyed!), holiday stories are my favorite sort of writing project. I still haven’t quite found a way to mix the two, but I am still trying. (And no, I’m not entirely a joking…)

Try as I might, I just couldn’t get into holiday romances writing mode this year. Not during a year that I’ve caught myself using (2020) as an adjective to describe something going sideways fast.  While many have had far worse experiences this year, 2020 has been a challenge.

I tried out a lot of different ideas until I landed on another favorite genre of mine, redemption stories. There are a lot of broken relationships out there in need of healing. That finally felt right.  

Now mind you, I’m not talking about the sort of fairy-dust-makes-it-better sort of thing. That’s too easy, and sadly too unrealistic. So I rolled up my sleeves and looked at some of the difficult relationships in the Darcy family’s life: Lady Catherine, Charlotte Collins, Lady Matlock, Lydia Wickham, and tried to figure out what it would take to make those relationships whole again. Yeah, you can imagine it was a challenge.

These stories may make you laugh, make you think, and might even make you cry. But they will definitely leave you with the fuzzy-warm holiday feelings that we all need right now. So why don’t you grab a cup of hot cup of tea/coffee/cocoa/what have you, maybe a plate of your favorite cookies, put up your feet and enjoy this little excerpt.

This is the fourth book in the Darcy Family Christmas series. Remember to check out the other three!

***

A draft blew from the windows at the end of the corridor. The chill air sent a shiver between her shoulders. Perhaps she had underestimated the comforts of the blazing parlor fire. Tiny, wiry, not-to be-trifled with Mrs. Reynolds bustled up to her, that something-is-not-going-according-to-plan look on her face. She did not wear that look often.

“Mrs. Darcy, guests have arrived and are waiting for you in the lower parlor.” Though petite, Mrs. Reynolds commanded respect—and perhaps even a little fear when her dark eyes flashed the way they did now.

Something about the way she said guests … “I am not aware that Mr. Darcy has invited anyone else to Pemberley for Yuletide.”

“That is what I understood, too, madam. But the young woman was insistent that I present you with her card.” Mrs. Reynolds held out a plain white card.

No, that was not possible. 

“So, you were not expecting her? Shall I turn them away?”

“Them?”

“Yes, madam, there are two small children with her.”

“She brought the children? Is there anyone else?”

Creases tightened beside Mrs. Reynolds’ dark eyes. “I imagine you are asking if there is a man with them. No, I have been assured there is not.”

“Then …” She chewed her lip. No doubt Darcy would not like it very much, but really, what else was she to do? They had come such a long way—how had they managed that? As long as he was not with them … “See that rooms are made up for them and another girl is assigned to the nursery to assist. I will go down and find out how long she and the children are to stay. I will inform Mr. Darcy of the plans myself.”

“Very well, Madam.” Mrs. Reynolds looked just a little relieved as she took Elizabeth’s arm and escorted her down the grand stairs—another one of Darcy’s precautions in her delicate state.

Perhaps he was a little, just a little, overprotective.

Elizabeth paused just outside the lower parlor door and smoothed her periwinkle blue gown over her ample midsection.  Yes, enjoying the soft wool beneath her fingertips was just stalling, but surely that could be excused this once. 

What was Lydia doing here, and why had she given them no notice of her plans?

Elizabeth waddled into the elegant room, appointed in teal and ivory furnishings and drapes. It was one of those rooms that was not precisely according to her tastes, a bit too reserved and formal for parlor company. The carved mahogany furnishings demanded respect rather than welcomed visitors. But Darcy liked it very well indeed as his mother had seen to its décor herself. So, she had determined, it would stay exactly as it was.

Darcy rose from the wingchair near the not-yet-lit fireplace and approached her.  

Darcy? 

What was he doing here? Mrs. Reynolds had made no mention … He took her arm and guided her to a soft teal armchair close beside his. It was probably polite for him to keep his expression so neutral, but it also meant his feelings were quite the opposite. The baby kicked and fluttered, perhaps agreeing with her sentiment.

“No wonder you were so slow to arrive, Lizzy, you are as big as a horse.” Lydia sprang up from the long ivory settee where both her children lay sleeping and bounced toward her. The thick floral carpeting muffled her footfalls. 

How dare she be so light and easy on her feet.

“I had no idea of your coming.” Elizabeth looked directly at Darcy.

“No, neither of us did.” He pressed his hand tight against her arm. 

No, he was not pleased. 

“You did not expect me to arrive on St. Nicholas day? It is the traditional start of all holiday visits, is it not?” Lydia started to roll her eyes but stopped the expression with a slap to her forehead. “I am such a goose, I must have forgot to post the letter. What a joke! Even so, you cannot be surprised at my coming for a house party at Christmastide.”

Calm, she much be calm. “How did you—”

“Jane mentioned she and Bingley were coming in one of her letters.” Lydia curtsied and flounced back to her seat. Ragged threads dangled from her dusty faded hem, and her half-boots sported scuffs and dirt, more than travel alone would explain.

“Of course, she did.” Elisabeth shrugged at Darcy. She would have a few—gentle—words with Jane.

“I know you would have invited me had you thought we had any way to get here.”

“Naturally.” Did Darcy realize how strained his voice sounded when he spoke through a forced smile? He gripped the arm of his chair hard enough that the veins stood out on the back of his hand.

“Are you not going to ask me how we managed?”

“How did you manage it?” Elizabeth hid her hand under her skirt and clenched her fist.

“La, it was not so difficult after all. You have noticed, I am sure, that Wickham is not with us. He has been on the continent you see, since … since May I think.”

Elizabeth gasped and Darcy pressed his shoulder to hers.  

Waterloo.

 “After some months without the regiment in residence, Julia, Martha, and I decided we no longer wanted to keep house together. Julia decided to go with her baby back to her father’s house only ten miles from here. So, the children and I came with her that far and paid our way from there. You see, I am far more clever than you gave me credit for, am I not, Lizzy?”

Elizabeth blinked several times. Dare she ask? No, if there were bad news, they would surely know by now. “You came all this way, with the children?”

“As you see,” she pointed to the children sleeping on the settee beside her. The little mites’ faces were dusty and their clothes seemed ill-fitting and in need of mending.

“And where are you going to live now that…”

“Oh, that. I am going to Longbourn of course.”

“You have written to Mama—”

Lydia picked at her skirt. “I will directly if you are so insistent about it. But now that Kitty is the only one living there, I know there is plenty of room for us. It will be ever so much nicer than the fourth-rate house we rented up north. I know that Mama will enjoy the lively company we will bring. You remember how dull Kitty can be. I will ask Papa to send the carriage for us after Twelfth Night unless Mr. Darcy would rather send us with his coach.”

“You ought to prepare yourself for Papa to insist you take the stage instead.”

“I am sure it will all work out. You have become such a worrier, Lizzy. I do not see how you tolerate her, Mr. Darcy.” Her laughter always grated when she used it to blunt an insult.

“We make do very well I think.” He laid his hand on hers. Was that the tiniest bit of amusement in his eyes?

“I have no doubt you have room for us in such a very grand house. I think we shall do very well together for the holidays, do you not?”

Elizabeth chewed the inside of her cheek. Lying was unbecoming, at least under most circumstances.  “I suppose, what is one more, and her children, to an already merry little party?”

“I knew you would see it that way. Oh, I see your housekeeper Mrs. Richards—Is that her name?” Lydia sashayed past them and out into the corridor where indeed Mrs. Reynolds waited with a pair of maids who swept in and picked up the children. 

Darcy rose and shut the door, sighing as he turned back to her. 

“I had no idea she was coming.” Pray he would look her in the eye.

“I have no doubt. Clearly that was her intention all along.” Some of the tightness around his lips eased.

“And her visit is agreeable to you?”

He fell heavily into the chair beside her. “The only person I have forbidden from this house is Wickham. About that I will never change my mind. But Georgiana is away with the Matlocks, and Lydia is my sister now. I will not deny her hospitality.” He leaned his head back and stared at the ceiling as he often did when resigning himself to some duty he disliked.

“I will do my best to see that she does nothing to disturb you—”

“I will not have you worrying about anything, Elizabeth. Not. Anything.” When he stared into her eyes like that, there could be no argument. “You must remain calm and rested for the baby. If she upsets you, that will be reason enough for me to find her other accommodations. There is an inn at Lambton. We can send a maid with her if need be.”

“You are all that is considerate, even if she is not. I suppose we should be accustomed to unexpected guests at Yuletide by now.” Her laughter sounded thin even in her own ears.


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Six-time BRAG Medallion Honoree, Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time. 

She writes gas lamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction. Her books are available at all major online booksellers.  

 

She can be contacted at:

author.MariaGrace@gmail.com 

Facebook: 

Twitter

Random Bits of Fascination 

Austen Variations  

English Historical Fiction Authors 

Pinterest 

 


Maria Grace would like to offer one ebook copy of Unexpected Gifts to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and will end on the 28th of December.

All you have to do to participate in the giveaway is comment on this post. Every comment earns an entry in the drawing.

Good Luck everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

A Life Worth Choosing by Anngela Schroeder – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am very happy to receive Anngela Schroeder at From Pemberley to Milton with an excerpt of her upcoming release A Life Worth Choosing. After reading A Lie Universally Hidden I am always very curious towards Ms Schroeder’s work and A Life Worth Choosing sounds like an appealing book, so January can’t arrive soon enough 🙂 That’s right, the book will only be released in the beginning of next year, but until then, you can read this sweet excerpt 🙂 I hope you like it as much as I did. I found it very different and refreshing, we can see Elizabeth and Darcy have a very different relationship than usual at this point, so I am very curious to see where the story goes from here. 

Thank you so much for visiting Ms Schroeder, I wish you all the best with this book 🙂


 

“You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.”

Reeling from the unexpected rejection of his proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy prepares to quit Hunsford for London but not before he defends himself against Elizabeth Bennet’s accusations. He cannot forgive her harsh words; her assertion Mr. Wickham would have made a better son has cut him to the core.

Suffering an accident while delivering the fated letter, he wakes to a world he does not know—and to those who do not recognize him. With a new life, a different  name, and a fresh chance at winning the woman he loves, Darcy must decide which is A Life Worth Choosing ––the past he remembers or a future he has created for himself.

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Happy December, Rita. Thank you for having me at From Pemberley to Milton. I hope both you and your readers are doing well. I have been working hard on getting my newest release, “A Life Worth Choosing,” ready for publication in January but am grateful for the opportunity to stop by and share a small snippet with you. 

The excerpt I chose is a scene where Darcy and Elizabeth have come upon each other while walking in Rosings’ woods. They have become friends and not had the ‘battle of wits’ from the original text, as circumstances are much different. Elizabeth gives us a small insight into her altered belief about marriage, much to Darcy’s curiosity. 

I hope you enjoy this excerpt, and look forward to your reviews when “A Life Worth Choosing” is available on Amazon in January of 2021. 

***

“Do you often walk this early in the morning?”

“I do, but rarely so far. I was lost in thoughts and was unaware of how far my feet had taken me.” 

A deep chuckle came from his throat, and she wondered at the comfort she felt in the sound. “That has happened to me on occasion when I am wandering through my estate and wished I could forget my obligations and just reside in nature for a time.”

“We are kindred spirits, Sir. Too often my mother has had to send one of the maids out onto the estate looking for me.”

“And where would they often find you?” he asked, a grin spreading across his face. 

Her breath caught, and she lowered her eyes, hoping he could not read her admiration. “Depending upon the season, they would often find me in a tree with an apple or curled at the base of my favorite stump reading.”

“And in the winter?”

She bit her lip and snickered. “Winter was when I shamed my mother the most.”

“I cannot imagine you shaming anyone.”

She struggled to hide her smile. “But you are not a mother attempting to marry off her five daughters. We girls were not obliged to household chores for my mother feared it would diminish our luster to a man of high standing. And even then, the only interested party was Mr. Collins.” She shrugged her shoulders and smiled up at Mr. [Darcy]. “In the winter, our maid would discover me at Lucas Lodge. There, my dear friend Charlotte and I would sit in the kitchen and listen to their cook, Mrs. Marks, who had come over from Ireland. She would tell us stories of her homeland and the myth of St. Patrick. But, even better, she taught us how to bake: Irish soda bread, biscuits, cakes. Slathered with fresh cream, Charlotte and I would make ourselves sick. 

“And Mrs. Bennet did not approve?”

Elizabeth laughed at her memories. “Had my sister Jane, or even Lydia, found their way into Charlotte’s kitchen, I am certain her acceptance of this pastime would have been much different. However, she was not keen on her second eldest daughter discrediting her place in society by enjoying kitchen work. Once again, you can see how her fears have not held weight with our comparative prospects.”

They continued walking, over a bridge, before he replied, “And your other sisters? They have no interest in what you find as curiosities?”

“My other sisters? Oh, no, sir. My youngest Lydia and then Catherine, or Kitty, who is just a year older, has no time for walks, books, or treats from a kitchen. Their heads are filled with officers as, much to my mother’s delight, an encampment of the militia has just been quartered in Meryton.”

“You are not excited by the sight of a red coat?” he asked, reaching up to pluck a leaf from an overhanging branch.

“No, not at all. I dare say, it is pleasant to have so many new faces nearby, but these officers go against everything my mother has ever wanted for us. They are young, unlearned, and struggling to live off of their pay. How could their circumstances ever encourage felicity in a marriage with so little prospect?”

Darcy’s brows rose at her pronouncement. “That sounds quite mercenary.”

She felt her cheeks coloring as she formulated a response to his teasing. “It is not that I am mercenary, sir. I am a realist. I once believed that only the strongest love would induce me to matrimony. Yet, I see that I might not have all the choices to guarantee my felicity in life. Therefore, I will not lose my heart to just anyone but will take care to lose it to a man who can provide well for me.” She paused for a moment before continuing. “Charlotte once said that ‘happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.’ I do not wholly believe that to be true, but, imagine if a man of good breeding and intellect were to present himself to me, and was in possession of three thousand a year, I might allow my heart to be touched.” 

“Even if there was no love?”

“I do not wish to risk the same fate as [others before me]. No, a woman’s chances are too uncertain for objection but also too precarious to be picky. You see, Mr. Fitzroy? Another good reason you have been blessed to be born who you are—the master of a grand estate.”


Anngela has a degree in English with a concentration in British Literature and a Masters in Education. She loves to travel, bake, and watch college football with her husband and 3 rambunctious sons. Her weaknesses are yellow cake with chocolate frosting, her father’s Arabic food (namely grape leaves, and falafel), and frozen Girl Scout Thin Mints. She lives in California where she dreams of Disney adventures and trips across the pond.

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Anngela is very kindly offering a giveaway of either a signed hardcover (US only) or an ebook (kindle, international ) copy of A Life Worth Choosing to a randomly selected commenter on this post! To enter the giveaway please comment this post until the 18th of December.

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And don’t forget to follow the blog tour, there are more news about this book and more giveaways being offered 🙂


 

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NorthFanger by Jayne Bamber – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very happy to welcome once more at From Pemberley to Milton author Jayne Bamber because she is an author who keeps surprising me with every new book she releases. She has amazed me with the wonderful cover of Outmatched, captivated me with the blurb of Madness in Meryton and now she is once more raising high expectations with NorthFanger, a vampire mash up between Pride & Prejudice and Northanger Abbey! This book has all the ingredients I usually need to love a story, so I hope I am able to read it soon 🙂

I hope you all enjoy the excerpt we are bringing you today, and don’t forget there is a giveaway going on 🙂

I would like to thank Ms. Bamber for visiting once more, and wish her luck with this new release 🙂


 

A campy, vampy fusion of Pride & Prejudice with Northanger Abbey…

Elizabeth Bennet and her cousin Catherine Morland travel into Kent to visit the recently married Collinses in the village of Hunsford, near the great estate of Rosings Park. Elizabeth anticipates that the visit will be very dull indeed, while Catherine believes adventure and romance await them there, just as in the gothic novels she adores.

Within a week, both women have their expectations subverted by the sudden arrival of a vampire into their midst. The ladies at the parsonage take flight, accompanied by the outraged Colonel Fitzwilliam, his outwitted cousin, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy – and an out-of-control fledgling vampire.

Proving herself indispensable during the undead Darcy debacle, Elizabeth becomes the heroine her cousin Catherine always knew she was – and enviously wishes to be herself – as she leads them to Bath in search of the wily Silas Bennet, an expert in all matters vampiric.

But amidst the hunt for Uncle Silas, other predators enter the fray, all in search of one very old man, and a very young vampire. In Bath they encounter the Tilneys, the Thorpes, and an array of familiar faces and vicious villains bent on wreaking bloody havoc, leading a merry band of misfits to take shelter in a place too spooky not to hold secrets of it’s own: Northanger Abbey.

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You can find NorthFanger at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited


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Hello, dear readers! It is such a treat to be back at From Pemberley to Milton to share one last excerpt of my new release, NorthFanger

If you’ve been following my blog tour, you will know from other excerpts that Georgiana Darcy appears at Rosings after being made a vampire, and Elizabeth Bennet saved the day. The excerpt I am sharing today takes place after Lizzy, Charlotte, Colonel Fitzwilliam and the Darcy siblings have decamped from Kent and fled to Bath, where they are searching for Elizabeth’s Uncle Silas, a vampire expert who has taught her a great deal of supernatural know-how. The merry band of misfits are laying low in Camden Place, enjoying a rare night of respite from Catherine Morland’s lurid imagination and curiosity, and George Wickham’s villainous pursuit….

***

Darcy and Elizabeth went through their new evening ritual when Georgiana awoke; after she had fed, Mrs. Collins asked to join them, and she half-dragged Richard in by the hand. As there was no need for secrecy, they congregated in the drawing room with the doors closed and the servants all busy below stairs. The fire roared, Georgiana asked to play the pianoforte while ‘her humans’ awaited their dinner, and for an hour or more Darcy was at leisure to revel in the normalcy of it all. 

It was a welcome relief that he was not obliged to speak. He held a newspaper in his hand, and even gave it the occasional glance, but his penchant for watching and soaking in his surroundings won out soon enough. He was not often so easy in company, particularly when called upon to speak at any length, but his environs were familiar, and their small party becoming nearly so; the informal intimacy, the idleness and utter lack of crisis was a balm to his spirits. 

He was not ignorant of the quiet conversation between Mrs. Collins and Richard, nor the firm but encouraging demeanor the widow had applied to render Richard more civil than he had been in several days. However, Darcy was chiefly occupied in observing Elizabeth. She stood at the pianoforte, helping her keep time with the music. At times Georgiana was prone to play horridly fast, but she had begun to laugh it off, even make a sort of parlor trick of it, and Darcy fairly glowed with pride.

Elizabeth caught his eye and smiled warmly at him; Darcy felt a rush of joy as he imagined such a scene unfolding at Pemberley, the two women he adored so sisterly together – and Elizabeth in his house, smiling at him thus, until he took her by the hand and led her upstairs to….

“Lizzy,” Georgiana cried with a tinkling laugh. “Listen to how fast I can play Mozart!”

“That is very fast indeed – I can scarcely see your fingers move – it is all a blur to me. You had better take care, dearest – let that be a trick you only show those who know your secret.”

“Of course. But you must all dance! I will keep very regular time – unless I do not, and then you will all be obliged to dance very quickly, and how I shall laugh.” Georgiana spun around in a flash, her arm bent back so that her fingers still played perfectly. “See! I need not look at the keys! I will play and you will dance, and I can watch you all.”

Richard gaped at Georgiana – Darcy could see his cousin’s uneasy acceptance waning, but Mrs. Collins stood and offered him her hand with playful expectancy. “Remarkable,” she breathed. 

Elizabeth had not observed this – she said, “I do not expect my poor widowed friend will dance, but-”

“Of course I will,” Mrs. Collins cut her off. “The day shall come very soon, Eliza, when nobody shall tell me what I can and cannot do – better to begin directly, I think. At any rate, I have not danced since the twenty-sixth of November, it is high time to remedy that!”

Darcy chuckled – it was the sort of effusion he might have expected from Bingley. Georgiana, however, fumbled at her playing. The twenty-six of November – it was the night she had been taken. 

Darcy was on his feet in an instant, but Elizabeth was faster. Darcy joined them and laid his hand on Georgiana’s shoulder, his fingers brushing accidentally over Elizabeth’s. She began to move her hand away but Darcy captured it; he looked into Elizabeth’s eyes as Georgiana resumed her playing. “We have not danced since the twenty-sixth of November, either.”

A pretty blush spread across her cheeks, and Elizabeth looked away. She tapped Georgiana on the nose and laughed. “Your brother and I quarreled when last we danced. What do you think, shall I stand up with him again?”

Georgiana looked up and Darcy gave her a pleading look. She tapped her chin with her left index finger, her right hand still keeping time with the music. “What did you quarrel about?”

Darcy drew in a sharp breath, but Elizabeth knew better than to speak the name that would cause his sister such distress. “First impressions,” she drawled.

“Well, your first impression of William cannot have been worse than your first impression of me – he is very shy in company, you know – but if you can give me such a second chance, you can do no less for William.”

“You declined to dance with me at Lucas Lodge, and again at Netherfield when your sister was ill – besides, I know I cannot frighten you.”

Elizabeth relented, her expression hinting that she had always intended to, and as Darcy took her hand, he realized that Georgiana was playing a waltz. Elizabeth’s eyes flashed with momentary surprise, and she spared a wry smile and delightful arch of her eyebrow in Georgiana’s direction, but tipped her chin up as if rising to a great challenge when Darcy began to lead her through the steps. 

He had but a moment to savor the feel of her in his arm, before she addressed him with incredulous mirth. “We shall have the misfortune, I fear, of passing another dance together speaking of disagreeable people – I understand Caroline Bingley was here.”

“She was,” Darcy replied, groaning internally. Elizabeth was radiant in his arms – he had no wish to think of Caroline Bingley at such a time. “She left her card – she is staying with the Hursts. The butler informed her the house is not receiving callers, as there is a widow in residence.”

“I appreciate your discretion – she saw me approaching the house – I am glad she knows I have some chaperone,” Elizabeth said, her rosy lips twisting into a wicked grin. “I was obliged to leave my address in the Visitor’s Book, and I feared she would be writing to Jane, and as soon as my mother read the note she would be telling all of Meryton that I….”

Darcy chuckled, the euphoria of the moment rendering his memory the Bennet matron’s antics a little more amusing than it had ever been. “Oh yes, that you are waltzing with Mr. Darcy, among such a merry band of misfits.” He made a sweeping gesture toward his cousin and Mrs. Collins, who seemed lost to all but each other. 

She rewarded him with more tinkling laughter. “I believe I can safely say this is very near the exact scenario she would conjure up!” Elizabeth looked away, laughing at Georgiana. “Turn around, I cannot dance properly with you making such looks!”

Relieved that his sister was no longer looking on, Darcy drew Elizabeth closer, drinking in the sight of her blushing once more. “I think you dance beautifully, Miss Bennet.” 

“Do you mean to frighten me after all?”

Darcy did not answer right away. He gently pressed his fingertips against her back, guiding her through the steps of the dance, afraid to break the intense gaze they shared. He caught himself leaning in, as if to kiss her, the world around them utterly gone – at the last moment he caught himself and stilled. They stopped dancing, Elizabeth’s skirts rustling at his legs as she leaned in to steady herself against him. Darcy kept his face just inches from hers as he whispered into her ear, “Teasing woman, I mean to flirt with you, and I think you know it.”


Jayne Bamber is offering one ebook copy of NorthFanger to my readers. To apply to it please click on the Rafflecopter link.

Good Luck everyone!

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Adventure Awaits by Virginia Khol- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I know Pride&Prejudice is Austen’s favourite book for many readers, but what about Sense&Sensibility? How does that stand on your rank? It is my third favourite Austen book and even though there aren’t many S&S books out there, Virginia Kohl is working hard to change that.

After True Love Comes to Delaford, she brings us Adventure Awaits which will give the spotlight to Margaret Dashwood. I think Margaret would grow up to become my type of heroine, so I’m very curious about this book.

Mrs. Kohl is visiting today with an excerpt and giveaway of Adventure Awaits and I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Thank you for visiting Mrs. Kohl! It is always a pleasure to have you here 🙂


Margaret Dashwood, known to her family and friends as Daisy, has always dreamed of going on a grand adventure. With her first Season behind her, those dreams are relegated to the stories she tells her niece. 

Dr. Alexander Mallard came to the small village of Delaford straight out of medical school. With the knowledge and desire to help everyone he can, the young man settles into the life of a country doctor.   

The day their paths cross, an adventure grander than either ever imagined begins.  

.You can find Adventure Awaits at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 


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Since writing my debut novel, True Love Comes to Delaford, I knew I wanted Daisy to have her own story. The adventuresome young woman, who dreamed of traveling to exotic locations, would not simply settle for anyone. Could a true love match be found in the village’s new physician?    

***

Running his hand through his short, dark brown hair, Dr. Alexander Mallard sighed in frustration. The bruised and battered man in front of him would simply not listen to reason. The previous week’s severe thunderstorm and a spooked horse had turned the small town’s doctor into his newest patient. 

Since finishing medical school and moving to Dorsetshire in the spring, he had found a friend and mentor in the older man. Dr. Grant had taken him along on his rounds, introducing him to patients and the community at large. In the last few months, the four-and-twenty-year-old had gone on several calls alone when the good doctor was not available. However, this was his first time acting as sole physician. 

“You will not be able to assist anyone in your current state. What you need now is rest,” he calmly attempted to explain. 

Dr. Grant shook his graying head of hair, “I cannot leave you alone. You are not ready, my boy.”

With a smile for the other man’s evident concern, Alexander countered, “I have already taken care of a variety of patients and diagnoses. Besides, if I do not wade out to the deep part of the lake, how am I ever going to learn to swim?” 

The past three days had gone by without incident. He hoped that would continue but prepared himself for any eventuality.

Seeing the determination in the younger man’s dark blue eyes, his mentor heaved a resigned sigh. “Very well. If you need me, or my advice, for any reason, do not hesitate.”

“You should concentrate on getting better and not worrying about me. I will check on you when I return this evening,” Dr. Mallard replied, shutting his large black bag with a click.

The moment he made his way over to the bedroom door, Dr. Grant’s maid burst in. Having run up the stairs, the rotund woman took a moment to catch her breath. 

“The Delaney’s footman says the Mrs.’ time has come, Sir,” she announced between heavy breaths. 

“I have been given strict orders to stay in bed. Dr. Mallard will be handling any calls for the time being.” 

Not waiting for the middle-aged woman to repeat herself, Alexander strode through the open doorway toward the waiting servant. 

* * *

Several hours later, a hearty wail announced the baby’s joyous arrival. Dark brown eyes looked up from a face that resembled his mother’s exotic appearance. 

After an initial examination, Dr. Mallard handed him over to Mrs. Delaney. “Congratulations, you have a healthy baby boy.”

Witnessing the miracle of new life would always be one of the most rewarding parts of his profession. He watched the elated parents. Perhaps one day he would be the proud father holding a precious blessing of his own. 

Now where did that come from? 

Shaking his head to clear the surprising thought, Alexander determined that he must simply be caught up in the emotion of the moment. 

Once mother and child were settled, the young physician began to clean and pack up his supplies. His gaze turned to one of the room’s other occupants. Mrs. Brandon had sat down in a cushioned chair to rest, lovingly stroking her rounded midriff. According to Dr. Grant, the Delaney son’s future playmate would be arriving in late autumn. By then the older physician would be able to resume his rounds. Dr. Mallard believed that to be the Brandon’s preference since the other man had been present for the family’s previous blessed event. A knock on the door interrupted his musings. 

One of the Delaney’s servants entered the room and addressed the Major. “I apologize for the interruption, Sir. The doctor’s presence is urgently needed.” 

Quickly grabbing his bag, Alexander turned to the maid “What is wrong? Whose household am I needed in?” 

The young woman wrung her hands while hesitantly replying, “I do not know, Sir. I was only told of the urgency.”

Sensing that she was holding something back, he repeated himself, “I need to know in case there is any risk of infection.”

She looked around at the concerned faces in the room before meeting his gaze. “The footman would rather give the details to you personally.”

“This is ridiculous! I have never heard of such foolishness!” he declared, marching toward the corridor.            

If you enjoyed this excerpt, Adventure Awaits is available in both Kindle and trade paperback.


Virginia Kohl has been fascinated with the regency era since discovering Jane Austen’s works at the age of eleven. 

Originally from Germany, Virginia Kohl shares her Texas home with her illustrator mother and faithful rescue dog. When not passing her love of learning on to her students, this college math professor enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and being an active member of her local writer’s guild. 

Virginia Kohl can be reached at www.virginiakohl.com or www.facebook.com/VirginiaKohl3 

Her novels can be found at www.amazon.com/author/virginiakohl and at www.goodreads.com/author/show/17214552.Virginia_Kohl


Virginia Kohl is offering one ebook copy of Adventure Awaits to my readers. To apply to it all you have do to is comment on this post and let us know if S&S is your cup of tea. The giveaway is open until the 17th of August  and the winners will be announced shortly after.

Good Luck everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice