Category Archives: North and South

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 😊


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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

 

 

 

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

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 

 

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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!

29 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

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 🙂


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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: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited


HEATHER MOLL WRITES ROMANTIC VARIATIONS OF JANE AUSTEN’S CLASSIC NOVELS. SHE IS KNOWN FOR HER HISTORICAL DETAILS, UNIQUE PLOTS, AND CHARACTERS TRUE TO THE BELOVED ORIGINALS.

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: heathermollauthor.com
FB: @HeatherMollAuthor
Instagram: @HeatherMollAuthor
Twitter: @HMollAuthor
Book Bub: bookbub.com/authors/heather-moll
Goodreads: goodreads.com/heathermoll
Amazon: author.to/HeatherMollAmazon


Holiday blog tour


26 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

In Essentials by Helen Williams – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I am very happy to be opening the Blog Tour for In Essentials, a new JAFF book which was released yesterday and whose premise I find very intriguing. I believe the author can use this premise to work on some interesting character developments, and I imagine Darcy’s relationship with Elizabeth will be very close and intimate based on the excerpt we are sharing today. Plus, this book’s cover is simply enchanting, isn’t it? My paperback is already on its way so I may add this to my shelves 😊

I would like not only to welcome Ms. Williams at From Pemberley to Milton, especially as this is her first visit, but also to thank Meryton Press for publishing new authors, and Janet Taylor for allowing me to spread the word about these books 😊

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


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Hi Rita! Thank you very much for hosting me here at From Pemberley to Milton today.  

In this excerpt from In Essentials the reader will see Elizabeth having a rare moment of weakness, lamenting her altered state and wanting to indulge in what we today would probably call an entirely justifiable “pity party”! But Darcy is there for her, quietly offering support – though whether she is brave enough to accept it is still to be seen…

 

Excerpt

It was here that Mr Darcy, coming to call, found her one day. She mustered a smile when she saw his approach, and her eyes were dancing with mischief when he finally reached her.

“And what is your excuse for avoiding my mother’s very crowded parlour, sir?”

“I might ask you the same question, Miss Elizabeth.”

“Me?” she repeated, the picture of innocence. “Why, everyone knows that I am overly fatigued by too much company.”

“Rather certain company, I dare say,” he replied pointedly, which made Elizabeth flush and laugh. “And fatigued is a relative term.”

“Alas, I am found out! I can only hope that I may rely on your discretion. It is really shameful of me, after all, to exploit my difficulties.”

“It does put one in mind of the boy who cried wolf,” Mr Darcy observed.

“I see that you do not intend to let me off lightly! Very well, I own that it is badly done. But please do not scold me further. I have not the heart for it today.”

“I should never presume to scold you. I have not that right. But I am sorry to find you out of spirits.”

“I find that even my spirits, on occasion, are a little overwhelmed by my recent frailty. But this spleen will pass. It always does.”

“Might it help to confide your troubles to someone?” he asked gently.

“I daresay I might as well be speaking another language for all anyone could possibly comprehend my feelings. Empathy in such a situation is quite impossible. I would not wish to waste my breath nor my listener’s time.”

“Do you really think so?” Mr Darcy pressed, apparently undeterred by her dismissive response.

His look of calm and his patient but determined solicitude deflated her pique. Elizabeth sighed and lowered her eyes.

“Mr Darcy, have you ever suffered a broken bone?”

“Why, no.”

“Neither have I. And so were I to meet someone with a broken leg, whilst I should certainly pity them and imagine that it was very painful and inconvenient, I would not know how it felt, having never experienced such a thing myself. Do you take my point?”

“I understand your meaning well enough, but I must say that I think you are too quick to dismiss the value of empathy and compassion.”

“I have had enough of both, I assure you!” Elizabeth disclaimed with a gesture of frustration. “But as I said, empathy is impossible. I have quite lost count of the number of times I have been told how terrible it is to be tired, how very dispiriting it is to feel not quite the thing. Tired! If only it were so! If only a good night’s sleep could cure me of my ills. But I know very well it will not, and I am heartily sick of their empathy! They have no notion how much it pains me.”

“I am sure they mean well…”

Elizabeth scoffed and turned away. “Please leave me. I do not care to listen to sense or be made to feel charitably towards my well-wishers. I had much rather sulk and complain and despise them. I have been very good-natured these past months. Everyone says so! Therefore, I am allowed a moment or two of bitterness and anger.”

“More than a moment or two,” Mr Darcy replied softly.

Elizabeth laughed in spite of herself. “Am I to trust you to be the judge? When you yourself have confessed to having a resentful temper?”

“Indeed, but I do not stand in judgement of you. And if I did, I would find you quite blameless, I assure you.”

“You are very kind,” Elizabeth replied but did not turn back to him. “I thank you. But I would rather be alone if you do not mind.”

“As you wish. But know this: I promise that I shall not offend you with empty words of sympathy, and you will not offend me with any honest expression of your feelings.”

“You are very kind,” Elizabeth reiterated but did not relent.

He wished her a good day, and Elizabeth waited a moment before looking to see that he had gone before returning to her melancholy. It had been on the tip of her tongue to remind him of their prior exchange of honest feelings, but at the last moment she had refrained. They had neither of them addressed the awkward episode at Hunsford since his return into Hertfordshire, and Elizabeth was wise enough to know that this was not the moment to do so. Her bitterness regarding her future coloured her perceptions of the past, and what would have been only natural regret caused her further frustration and resentment. There were moments when she almost wished that he had stayed away, for it would have saved her the pain of knowing precisely what she now could never have.


Five months after Darcy’s disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet,

he discovers that the woman he ardently loves is suffering from a grave illness.

Despite an affliction that has left her altered, Elizabeth Bennet is still the same person in essentials: witty, sanguine, and obstinate. However, her future is uncertain, and she struggles to maintain her equanimity—especially when Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to Netherfield and seems determined to improve her opinion of him. Now she must decide whether she is brave enough to trust him and embrace happiness, however fleeting it might prove to be.

IE Final FW 100821_rev (2) wobld M

 

You can find In Essentials at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited


Helen lives in Cambridge, UK where she works for the University of Cambridge. She has been writing as a hobby for around 15 years and has written several novel length stories based on the work of Jane Austen. Helen has Welsh roots so her stories will often include a couple of references to the land of her fathers, in addition to her two other loves – dogs and rugby. In addition to writing, Helen’s hobbies include cooking, hiking, cycling and campaigning for green initiatives. Having been diagnosed with pituitary growths in 2015 and 2020, Helen is also an active member of the Pituitary Foundation and her experiences with chronic illness inspired her latest story.

Photo from Helen W

Contact Info

Facebook Author Page


NEW blog tour

The Blog Tour for In Essentials is just starting, so don’t forget to check the other stops for more info on this brand new book 🙂

October 11 From Pemberley to Milton

October 12 Savvy Verse & Wit

October 13 My Jane Austen Book Club

October 14 My Vices and Weaknesses

October 15 Babblings of a Bookworm

October 16 Donadee’s Corner

IE BT BAnner Horz M


NEW giveaaway time

Meryton Press would like to offer 6 ebook copies of In Essentials to readers following the blog tour. To apply to the giveaway all you need to do is click on the this Raffle Link

Good Luck Everyone!

25 Comments

Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

A Longbourn Entanglement by Monica Fairview – Excerpt

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today Monica Fairview is visiting From Pemberley to Milton with an excerpt of her recently released A Longbourn Entanglement, a short story I want to read as soon as I get my hands on the paperback. I was eagerly waiting for her to release the sequel to Dangerous Magic, one of my favorite reads this year, when I realized that she had been working on another project and would be releasing this new book before the sequel. I was surprised by this news but also very happy because this means I will have more stories penned by her to read 😊 Now I just need to wait for the sequel to come out, right?

Have you read any of her books before? Which one is your favorite? I also have Steampunk Darcy on my TBR, but I never seem to control the TBR in order to have time to start it.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt of A Longbourn Entanglement Monica decided to share with us today, and if by any chance you’ve read this book already, please share with you us what you thought of it.

Thank you for visiting Monica, it is always a pleasure to have you at From Pemberley to Milton.

 


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It’s a pleasure to visit Rita’s blog and introduce my latest creation: A Longbourn Entanglement. Thank you for having me here, Rita.

If you’ve read the novel I published earlier in the year (Dangerous Magic), you’ll wonder what on earth I’m doing, writing a comedy at this point. If you know some of my earlier books, though, you probably know I can be quirky. Over the years, my writing has moved away from quirkiness into more serious territory. All three of my most recent novels are very earnest: Dangerous Magic, Fortune and Felicity and Mysterious Mr. Darcy. They do have a hint of humor here and there (except for Mysterious Mr. Darcy, possibly, which is as grim as any angsty novel can be), but that’s only because I can’t stop myself from cracking a joke now and then.

A Longbourn Entanglement is quite different from anything I’ve written before. It isn’t quirky, but it doesn’t take itself seriously, either. I would describe it as a light comedy of manners with a romantic core. It does have a few moments of angst, which is inevitable if Darcy and Elizabeth are going to work out their differences. Mostly, it’s a bit ridiculous and silly. Writing it was a perfect escape for me during the last year and a half. 

I hope it will be a short escape for you as well, on one of those days when you want to curl up on a sofa and forget the outside world for a couple of hours.

Here’s short sample to give you a taste of what to expect.  

***

Darcy awoke the next morning in a state of anxiety. Elizabeth had been dismissive, but what if the apothecary was wrong? What if something had happened during the night? 

He did not like sitting around twiddling his thumbs when Elizabeth could be in intense distress. Even waiting for Evans to shave him had him squirming with impatience.

When he did finally make it downstairs, he found Bingley already in the breakfast room, chewing desolately on a piece of buttered toast. 

“I was thinking of riding to Longbourn,” he said, by way of greeting. 

Bingley looked shocked. “We cannot call on them at eight o’clock in the morning.”

They both looked at the clock on the mantle-piece, where the time was a few minutes past eight.

The irony did not escape Darcy. That Bingley should be urging control showed how far-gone Darcy was. 

“Though I must admit I have been thinking the same thing myself this past half-hour.” Bingley sighed. “If only society did not have quite so many rules!”

“Without those rules,” said Darcy blandly, “we would be little more than savages.”

Bingley sighed, his gaze flicking once again to the clock. “I suppose so.” 

“It is no use staring at the clock. You know what they say. A watched kettle never boils,” said Darcy.

Bingley gave a lopsided grin. “I have never had the privilege of watching a kettle boil.”

“Neither have I,” said Darcy. 

The two gentlemen fell into silence. Just for something to do, Darcy went to the side-table and helped himself. He was not in the least hungry, and he did not care what he ate. 

“I thought you disliked kippers,” remarked Bingley, when Darcy came back to the table.

Darcy looked down at his plate. He had indeed served himself a pile of kippers.

“Well spotted, Bingley. Clearly I was too preoccupied.”

He pushed the kippers to the side of the plate and picked up the buttered toast. He did not know what the day would bring, and it would be good to be fortified, just in case.

The food turned to sawdust on his tongue. He tossed down the rest of the toast in disgust.

Darcy awoke the next morning in a state of anxiety. Elizabeth had been dismissive, but what if the apothecary was wrong? What if something had happened during the night? 

He did not like sitting around twiddling his thumbs when Elizabeth could be in intense distress. Even waiting for Evans to shave him had him squirming with impatience.

When he did finally make it downstairs, he found Bingley already in the breakfast room, chewing desolately on a piece of buttered toast. 

“I was thinking of riding to Longbourn,” he said, by way of greeting. 

Bingley looked shocked. “We cannot call on them at eight o’clock in the morning.”

They both looked at the clock on the mantle-piece, where the time was a few minutes past eight.

The irony did not escape Darcy. That Bingley should be urging control showed how far-gone Darcy was. 

“Though I must admit I have been thinking the same thing myself this past half-hour.” Bingley sighed. “If only society did not have quite so many rules!”

“Without those rules,” said Darcy blandly, “we would be little more than savages.”

Bingley sighed, his gaze flicking once again to the clock. “I suppose so.” 

“It is no use staring at the clock. You know what they say. A watched kettle never boils,” said Darcy.

Bingley gave a lopsided grin. “I have never had the privilege of watching a kettle boil.”

“Neither have I,” said Darcy. 

The two gentlemen fell into silence. Just for something to do, Darcy went to the side-table and helped himself. He was not in the least hungry, and he did not care what he ate. 

“I thought you disliked kippers,” remarked Bingley, when Darcy came back to the table.

Darcy looked down at his plate. He had indeed served himself a pile of kippers.

“Well spotted, Bingley. Clearly I was too preoccupied.”

He pushed the kippers to the side of the plate and picked up the buttered toast. He did not know what the day would bring, and it would be good to be fortified, just in case.

The food turned to sawdust on his tongue. He tossed down the rest of the toast in disgust.

“I have been meaning to talk to you, Bingley. What the devil did you mean yesterday by offering to have another ball?”

Bingley looked shamefaced. “I was carried away, Darcy. I felt that it would be a good distraction, under the circumstances, something for everyone to look forward to.”

“And how do you imagine Miss Bennet will feel when you do not follow up on your promise because you have left for London?”

“It was not a promise, Darcy, just a possibility.”

Darcy shook his head, but today he was more understanding of Bingley’s impulse. Darcy would have done anything if he could help Elizabeth feel better, but he was not the kind of person that sugar-coated anything. He could never promise anything he could not fulfill, as Bingley had done. It seemed too much like a lie, and he had a horror of lies. Disguise of every sort was his abhorrence.

Still, strictly speaking, Bingley was not lying, and he meant no harm.

“Do you think Mrs. Bennet is likely to improve?”

It was a question Darcy had asked himself multiple times. 

“I have no idea. I have not seen her, so I cannot make any judgement.” He could only hope that nothing worse had happened since yesterday.

The two gentlemen fell into silence, contemplating the possibilities. For several minutes, the only sound in the room was the clink of silverware against China, interspersed with the sound of coffee being sipped, and the monotonous ticking of the clock. 

Darcy’s mind drifted to Elizabeth and the way she had looked when he was there. She was always so pert, so sure of herself, always with a ready answer on those bold lips. It shook him to find her so agitated and distracted. In normal circumstances, she always met his gaze directly, her fine eyes vivacious, bright with laughter or defiance. Yesterday her expression had been restrained, as if she had drawn a curtain to conceal her feelings.

The image of Elizabeth sitting anxiously at her mother’s bedside was imprinted on his mind. Darcy wished he could be there, holding her hand and consoling her, but it was not in his power to do so. 


 

Elizabeth Bennet has a secret. If Fitzwilliam Darcy discovers it, will it spell the end of their fledgling romance?

When Mrs. Bennet falls ill after the Netherfield Ball, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley postpone their trip to London to offer their assistance.

But things are never what they seem. Before long, Darcy is entangled in a chaotic situation at Longbourn, and Elizabeth is faced with a thorny dilemma that could drive Darcy away from her forever.

Will Elizabeth and Darcy muddle their way through the mayhem, or is everything just too tangled for them to discover their feelings?

If you are looking for a warm, sweet, and short Jane Austen variation, this romantic comedy is just what you need. 

 

Longbourn Entanglement Kindle Cover

 

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You can find A Longbourn Entanglement at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

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Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen sequels and variations as well as Regencies. Her latest novel is a Pride and Prejudice fantasy variation, Dangerous Magic. Her biggest claim to fame is living in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester, long before the house was restored. After studying in the USA, she taught literature, then became an acupuncturist. She now lives near London.

Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. Some of her favorites are ‘North and South’, ‘Bright Star’ and ‘War and Peace’, and a dozen others that she couldn’t possibly list here. Of course, she has watched Pride and Prejudice (1995 and 2005) more times than she could count on her hands and toes.

Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink tea, and visit National Trust historic properties [those were the days!], and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says.

Monica_Fairview

WEBSITE | BLOG |GOODREADS |  FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST

 


 

 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Pemberley by Moonlight by Stephen Ord – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

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

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

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

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


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

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

Pemberley By Moonlight, Chapter One :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Who are you?”


 

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

WHAT HAS HAPPENED to Fitzwilliam Darcy? 

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

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

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

PBM cover

 

 

 

You can find Pemberley by Moonlight at: 

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

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

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

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

Stephen Ord

 


NEW giveaaway time

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

Blog Tour PBM

Good Luck Everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey- Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

French spies in Meryton!

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

 

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

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

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

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Novella SooA FW 082321 wobld M

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


 

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

Other Books by Brigid Huey

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

Interrupted Plans

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You can contact Brigid Huey through the following media:

Website:  https://brigidhuey.com/

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

Email:  brigidhueywrites@gmail.com

Instagram:  @brigidhueywrites 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BrigidHuey


NEW giveaaway time

 

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

Good Luck Everyone!

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

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

Good Afternoon everyone,

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

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

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

 


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The Dead Zoo by Borgan Donnelly

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

London, 1865

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

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

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

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The Merchant and the Rogue Sarah Eden 2021

 

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You can find The Merchant and the Rogue at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

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

Sarah M Eden author headshot

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 


NEW blog tour

 

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

Aug 16 Among the Reads (Review)

Aug 16 Austenprose (Review)

Aug 16 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 17 Literary Time Out (Review)

Aug 17 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Aug 17 Heidi Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 17 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 18 Our Book Confessions (Review)

Aug 18 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Aug 19 Fire & Ice (Review)

Aug 19 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 20 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Aug 20 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Aug 20 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)

Aug 21 The Calico Critic (Review)

Aug 22 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

Aug 22 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 23 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 23 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review)

Aug 23 Reading with Emily (Review)

Aug 24 Wishful Endings (Review)

Aug 24 Relz Reviewz (Review)

Aug 24 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 25 Bookfoolery (Review)

Aug 25 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Aug 26 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 26 Nurse Bookie (Review)

Aug 27 So Little Time… (Excerpt)

Aug 27 Probably at the Library (Review)

Aug 27 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Aug 28 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Aug 28 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

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

Aug 29 A Darn Good Read (Review)

Merchant and the Rogue Blog Tour Banner

 


NEW giveaaway time

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

The Merchant and the Rogue Offer

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy – Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

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

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

 


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TRoFD Ebook Cover

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

Back

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

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

 

Saturday, 16 February 1811

Sir Thomas was always a welcome visitor at Netherfield.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***


 

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

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

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

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

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TRoFD Ebook Cover

 

 

You can find The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

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


NEW blog tour

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

 

TRoFD Blog Tour Schedule

Contest open until August 14, 2021. Good luck!


 

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

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

Good Afternoon everyone,

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

“Aye.”

“And what did you see?”

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

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

“Aye, plain as can be.”

“Thank you. Nothing further.”

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

The witness stiffened. “Which one what?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The magistrate hesitated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

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

The Barrister and the Letter of Barque 2021

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

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

 

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

Todd M Johnson headshot 2021

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


NEW blog tour

 

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

Aug 02 The Readathon (Review)

Aug 02 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 02 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review) 

Aug 03 Life of Literature (Review)

Aug 03 Captivated Reading (Spotlight)

Aug 04 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 04 The Green Mockingbird (Review) 

Aug 05 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 05 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 06 Among the Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 06 The Blue Stocking (Review) 

Aug 07 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) 

Aug 07 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Aug 08 Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight)

Aug 08 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Aug 09 Heidi Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 09 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Aug 10 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Spotlight)

Aug 10 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Aug 10 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Aug 11 By the Book (Interview)

Aug 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 12 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Review)

Aug 12 A Darn Good Read (Review) 

Aug 13 Fire & Ice (Review) 

Aug 14 The Lit Bitch (Spotlight)

Aug 14 The Book Diva Reads (Spotlight)

Aug 15 Vesper’s Place (Review)

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice

A Learned Romance by Elizabeth Rasche- Review & Giveaway

ALR cover (1)4.5 stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


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

 

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

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

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

ALR cover (1)

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You can find A Learned Romance at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

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

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

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

Elizabeth Rasche pic (1)


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

Good Luck everyone!

ALR Blog Tour (1)

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Filed under JAFF, North and South, Pride and Prejudice