Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Present

The Madness of Mr. Darcy is one of my all-time favorite books, and even though it had the perfect ending, and in line with the entire mood of the book, deep down I always wished I could see the characters living their happily ever after. I got so attached to them that the book wasn’t enough for me, I wanted more and I felt they deserved more, so when I heard Alexa Adams was publishing a short story which was the continuation of The Madness of Mr. Darcy, I went crazy! Well…not really, but I had to read it immediately.

In Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Present we will have an opportunity to experience ODC’s happily ever after, and what’s amazing about the story is that this happens without changing the characters, their disposition or circumstances. There is no dramatic change between the style of The Madness of Mr. Darcy and this small sequel, in fact, the mood with which it starts reminded me immediately of its predecessor and I loved seeing that despite the fact that we are seeing a happy couple, Mr. Darcy is still a tormented man overcoming his psychological issues with the help of his loving wife. But this is clearly a lighter story that was meant to transmit a happy atmosphere and answer the reader’s pleas for a brighter and longer ending, so I assure you that you will love this story.

Apart from Darcy and Elizabeth, who are obviously the main characters, we are also presented with a glimpse of all the other key characters of the previous book, and we get to know what happened to them and how they are living. I particularly liked seeing Wickham in this sequel, it was interesting to see how his relationship with Darcy evolved and how he changed as well.

The ending was exactly what I had wanted to read even thought I would have like it to be a bit longer.

Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Present was the best Christmas gift Alexa Adams could have given me. She gave me a loving novella where all the characters I wanted to see again are present to give me closure to one of the most intense and amazing books I have ever read. (If you haven’t read The Madness of Mr. Darcy yet, I highly recommend it).

 

You can find Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Present at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

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Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues – A Wicked Game

Wickham

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today is my turn to host one of the authors of Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, and I’m very, very happy to tell you that I’m hosting Katie Oliver with an excerpt of her story which is about Austen’s most infamous rogue: George Wickham!!!

That’s right, today the stage goes to the most hated rake we know of, and I’m kind of hoping that your feelings towards him will change a little…just a little, we can’t love Wickham after all, can we?…Hum…Maybe we can, what do you think?

I hope you enjoy the excerpt and I’m looking forward to know your thoughts on “A Wicked Game” 🙂

 

 

“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.

It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.

What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

 

 

KATIE OLIVER is the author of nine novels, including the Amazon bestseller Prada and Prejudice, as well as the Dating Mr. Darcy, Marrying Mr. Darcy, and Jane Austen Factor series. She resides in South Florida with her husband (where she goes to the beach far less often than she’d like) and is working on a new series. Katie began writing as a child and has a box crammed with half-finished stories to prove it. After raising two sons, she decided to get serious and get published.

She is convinced that there is no greater pleasure than reading a Jane Austen novel.

Katie Oliver’s novels:

What would Lizzy Bennet do?

The Trouble with Emma?

Who needs Mr. Willoughby?

Prada and Prejudice

Love and Liability

And the Bride Wore Prada

Mansfield Lark

Love, Lies and Louboutins

Manolos in Manhattan

 

 

 

 

 

“A Wicked Game” by Katie Oliver

The hour was late when at last we bid each other good night and headed upstairs. Our candle flames danced and flickered, casting shadows on the wallpaper, rendering Pemberley’s dark corners even darker.

“Good night, monsieurs,” Lady Harlow called out as she, along with the other ladies, turned to follow Reynolds to their rooms in the east wing.

“Good night,” Darcy’s father replied. “I shall see you ladies in the morning. If there is anything you or the others require, you have only to let Mrs. Reynolds know.”

“Thank you.” As he left, she inclined her head to Lieutenant Fitzwilliam and me. “Bonne nuit.”

Though I searched her candlelit face, there was no hint of the coquette who had flirted with me so boldly earlier that evening. Her expression was composed and polite. Nothing more.

Fitzwilliam bowed, and I did the same. “Sleep well, ladies.”

I followed Darcy and his cousin down the hallway that led to the family wing and bid them a good night as I went, at last, into my room. I shut the door behind me and leaned back against it. At once, I regarded the four-poster bed.

Would I possibly share it tonight with Clémence Harlow? The thought left me half mad with desire … and aroused no small amount of apprehension within me at the same time.

I could not help but wonder if I would make a fool of myself. Would I know what to do, what to say? Would she laugh at me? Mock my ineptitude? Why had she behaved with such polite indifference just now? Had I only imagined her earlier interest?

Unsure of the answers, my self-doubt increased. I shrugged my frockcoat off, untied my cravat with unsteady fingers, and tossed it aside. I would wait. After all, I had little choice. I was at Lady Harlow’s mercy.

I flung myself back across the bed and stared moodily at the blue silk overhead. Of course, I reminded myself, the two of us must be discreet. We could hardly allow Darcy, or his cousin, or indeed any of the others, to suspect our attraction for one other. It would not do to give the game away so easily.

Silence settled over the great house as I lay on the bed and waited, listening for the sound of the doorknob turning. But there was nothing, only the crackling of flames licking the logs in the fireplace. I yawned. I had consumed several glasses of brandy after dinner, and now heaviness tugged at my eyes. I would close them, I decided, just for a moment.

As I drifted between wakefulness and sleep, I imagined I held her in my arms, nestled close against me, with her heart beating against mine like a tiny, wild bird.

Deep in the night, I sat up with a start. Somewhere nearby I heard a door open and close. Whispers, followed by hushed, angry words. Then silence.

I waited, my heart flailing, and listened with the preternatural hearing one has in the darkness, but the sounds were not repeated, and I could only suppose I had imagined them. With a mutter and a sigh, I lay back down and slept.

I dreamt of the warmth of Lady Harlow’s skin against mine. I dreamt of her mouth, so soft and sweet and yielding, as our lips clung together for the first time. She tasted of apricots. She smelled of summer and sunshine. I dreamt I touched her. Possessed her.

When I awoke, sunlight streamed into my room through a gap in the drapes, and I blinked. I found myself sprawled across the bed, still clothed, still lying atop the covers… alone.

Only in my dreams had Lady Harlow come to my room.

 

 

Don’t forget to follow the blog tour to know more about the other authors and stories, Wickham may be the most famous rogues, but the others are certainly as interesting as he is 🙂

 

Monday, November 6: REVIEW: Margie’s Must Reads, https://margiesmustreads.com

Thursday, November 9: REVIEW, Obsessed with Mr. Darcy, https://obsessedwithmrdarcy.wordpress.com

Monday, November 13: REVIEW, Austenesque Reviews, http://austenesquereviews.com

Tuesday, November 14: REVIEW, Olga of ROSIE AMBER team, http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Wednesday, November 15: (release day) REVIEW, Just Jane 1813, http://justjane1813.com

Thursday, November 16: REVIEW, Diary of an Eccentric, https://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com

Monday, November 20: FEATURE w/Katie Oliver (George Wickham), From Pemberley to Milton, https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com

Wednesday, November 22: FEATURE w/Joana Starnes (Willoughby), Babblings of a Bookworm, http://babblingsofabookworm.blogspot.com

Friday, November 24: FEATURE w/Sophia Rose, (General Tilney), Herding Cats & Burning Soup, http://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com

Monday, November 27: FEATURE w/Amy D’Orazio (Captain Tilney), My Jane Austen Book Club, http://thesecretunderstandingofthehearts.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 29: FEATURE w/Brooke West (Henry Crawford), VVB32 Reads, https://vvb32reads.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 30: FEATURE w/Lona Manning (Tom Bertram), Lit 4 Ladies, http://lit4ladies.com

Friday, December 1: REVIEW, Lit 4 Ladies, http://lit4ladies.com

Monday, December 4: FEATURE w/Beau North  (Colonel Fitzwilliam), Obsessed with Mr. Darcy, https://obsessedwithmrdarcy.wordpress.com

Thursday, December 7: FEATURE w/J. Marie Croft (John Thorpe), Harry Rodell blog/ROSIE AMBER team, https://harryrodell.wordpress.com/author/rodellh

Friday, December 8: REVIEW, From Pemberley to Milton, https://frompemberleytomilton.wordpress.com

Monday, December 11: FEATURE w/Jenetta James Hannah McSorley (William Elliot), Austenesque Reviews, http://austenesquereviews.com

Thursday, December 14: FEATURE w/Karen M Cox (Frank Churchill), Darcyholic Diversions, http://darcyholic.blogspot.com

Monday, December 17: FEATURE w/Christina Morland (Sir Walter Elliot), Of Pens & Pages, http://www.ofpensandpages.com

 

 

This blog tour has two giveaways going on .
One giveaway is a prize pack of 15 paperback books from the authors of this anthology.  One lucky winner will win this prize! To enter for this prize fill out the rafflecopter form here!
 
DangerousToKnow-GrandPrize1

And the other giveaway is for a collection of items called #RakesAndGentlemenRogues Pleasures Prize Pack, and this prize pack includes:

  • Bingley’s Teas (Willoughby and The Colonel)
  • ‘The Compleat Housewife’ Notecards set
  • Jane Austen Playing Cards
  • 6 Jane Austen Postcards
  • A Pride and Prejudice Print autographed by Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle

DangerousToKnow-GrandPrize2

 To enter this giveaway all you need to do is leave a comment on the blogs hosting the tour

Both giveaways are open internationally and end on December 30th!
Good Luck everyone!

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And the winners are…

Hello my friends,

 

How are you this weekend? I will be joining my family for a cousin’s birthday party this weekend but before I go, I would like to announce to you the winners of the latest giveaways I had here on From Pemberley to Milton.

I would like first of all to thank all the authors who visited and who brought these goodies to my readers, and also to each one of you who took your time to read these posts and share your thoughts with us on the comments 🙂

 

Now without further ado the winners of the giveaways are:

 

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!)

*** Evamedmonds ***

 

Meant to Be

*** Mary ***

 

Elizabeth Adam’s collection

*** J. W Garrett ***

 

Congratulations everyone! Can you please just send me an email to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com confirming your email (for ebooks) and address (for paperback) so that your prizes may reach you?

Thank you and have a nice weekend everyone!

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Meryton Mystery series on sale!

 

Hello everyone,

 

Today I am the bearer of good news! Jennifer Joy will once more present her readers with an incredible promotion on the Meryton Mystery series.

As you know this series has 3 titles: The Honorable Mr. Darcy, The Indomitable Miss Elizabeth and The Inseparable Mr. and Mrs. Darcy and the first two volumes will be on promotion from today until next Sunday!

The Honorable Mr. Darcy will be FREE and The Indomitable Miss Elizabeth will be 99c!!!

If you don’t want to miss this opportunity, grab your copy on the following sites:

 

The Honorable Mr. Darcy

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

The Indomitable Miss Elizabeth

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

And of course, once you read the first two books you’ll want to read the third and final book of the series, so you can find The Inseparable Mr. and Mrs. Darcy on the same places at regular price (4,99$): Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca.

I think Jennifer Joy is now becoming the mystery queen in the JAFF community so lets hear what captivates her about this sub-genre…

 

Jane Austen and mysteries … Why did you decide to mix the two?

It all comes back to what I love to read. I rarely read books twice, but I’ve made exceptions where my two favorite authors — Jane Austen and Agatha Christie — are concerned! Theirs are the stories I return to time and again. So, I thought, why not blend the genres and show Darcy and Lizzy falling in love while they solve a mystery?

 

A mystery? Last I counted, there are three in this series. What happened?!

Haha! Meryton seemed like such a peaceful place before the murders began.

Far be it from me to rush ODC to the altar when their courtship is fraught with so much danger and intrigue! The Honorable Mr. Darcy was planned as a standalone novel, but by the time I got to the end, it was clear that Darcy and Lizzy had a lot more story to tell … and Meryton had many more secrets to reveal yet.

 

Do you plan any more books in this series?

I have the next two books planned out, just waiting for their turn to be written.  But first, I have a murderer to catch at Rosings… I won’t give anything else away because this standalone mystery/romance should be available to read next month.

 

Can’t wait until next month to hear more about the new book! Thanks for visiting today Jennifer, and for such a great promotion! I’m sure readers appreciate it too 🙂

If you’re into romance and mysteries and you want a good story to read this weekend, don’t miss this opportunity 🙂

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Filed under Free, JAFF, jane austen, Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice, Promotion

Green Card Review & Giveaway

I have always prefered regency novels to moderns because I always felt they were more romantic and the love stories were stronger, but when Green Card was re-released I simply had to read it! I had heard too many good things about it and having read other amazing works from the author, I knew I had to give this one a try. I cannot say I regret it, by the contrary, Green Card was one of the best love stories I have read in the last few months, and definitely the best modern story.

After all the encouragements I received from Anita from My Vices and Weaknesses I can finally say that I am also completely rendered to Green Card and now I can truly understand the meaning of “you gave me Valhalla!”, it is one of the most beautiful moments in the book.

Green Card is not a Pride and Prejudice modernisation but we can see how Austen’s characters influenced the author. William Harper is British billionaire who needs a green card to remain in the USA coordinating an important merger of his company. Elizabeth Barrett is a full-time student working too many jobs to be able to pay her tuition, so when Harper presents her with a very generous compensation to marry him and pretend they are a couple for the following 2 years, she cannot refuse. What starts as a business contract ends up as one of the most romantic stories I’ve ever read, and we get to see it all happening during a 2 and a half years period.

Elizabeth Adams is a very talented writer and in Green Card she displays that talent through an engaging story, compelling dialogues, but above all, incredibly well developed characters.

Elizabeth Barrett got to my nerves sometimes, and I could not believe how lucky she was, but her relationship with her mother and the way it was developed made me love her a bit more.

William Harper is the perfect man and it’s impossible not to fall in love with him. He is everything a young man ought to be: intelligent, interesting, strong, sexy, jealous, attentive, a great listener, romantic, and did I mention incredibly rich? But what captivated me the most about his character was what remained hidden until the outburst he had in one of his fights with Elizabeth. When he opened his heart and showed her how prejudiced and wrong she was regarding him and his life, I was completely surrendered. The scene was so well written that I wanted to jump into the book and comfort him for hours and hours.

The romance that is built between these two characters is beautiful and sexy, slow and fast, real and dreamy, it is basically everything I ever wanted to read in a romance novel, it has it all and the memorable moments are too many to mention in this review.

I’m not American so the american traditions and the food element in the book had a big appeal to me. Elizabeth Adams made me come home, google grilled cheese and cook it for me and my husband! But if you’re fond of cooking there is no need to google the receipts because that is a bonus at the end of the book.

Green Card is an exquisite romance that I could not put down and that I recommend to everyone who loves an amazing love story!

 

 

Elizabeth Adams is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips—as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand.

She writes romantic comedy and comedic tragedy in both historic and modern settings.

You can find more information, short stories, and outtakes at elizabethadamswrites.wordpress.com

 

Books By This Author:

Modern Fiction

Green Card

 Historical Fiction

The Houseguest

Unwilling

Meryton Vignettes, Tales of Pride and Prejudice

On Equal Ground

 

 

Elizabeth Adams would like to offer to one of my readers eBook versions of every JAFF book written by her (shown below). Isn’t that great? One single winner will get the entire collection of her work 🙂 To enter this giveaway all you have to do is to leave a comment on this post until the 17th of November. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced shortly after.

 

 

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Meant to Be – Author interview & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

This summer when I visited England I met a very interesting and sweet lady who had written a book and was about to self publish a JAFF novel for the first time, her name is Andreea Catana, and by now she has not only released her first novel, Meant to Be, but also rejoiced in its success.

We shared our excitement for visiting Pemberley for the first time on that trip, we walked together on Pemberley grounds, had long conversations in our hotel room at night, and I can say it was a true joy to get to know her better.

At the time we worked on an interview that we wanted to publish when the novel was released, and today I’m sharing it with you. I hope you’ll like to know Andreea a little better, and that her sweetness will captivate you to read Meant to Be which is already on my To Be Read list, on the very top of it 😉

 

 

Hello Andreea, first of all let me let you how glad I am to meet you here in England! The scenery could not have been more perfect. As we walk on Pemberley’s grounds, can you tell me what is it about Pride and Prejudice that captivates you the most?

My first recollection of reading “Pride and Prejudice” is at age 10 when my mom gave it to me because she thought I might like it. At that time, I had little information on what literary value “Pride and Prejudice” had or even for that matter, who Jane Austen was. As a result, I was determined to read the book only and if only the story appealed to me or whether it was similar to “Oliver Twist”, which, at that time, was the best novel I had read. Needless to say, it was nothing like Dicken’s novel, and I absolutely loved it.

I was impressed with Elizabeth Bennet; she was so unafraid to speak her mind that she seemed like the type of young woman I might want to become someday, or, at least, to have as a friend. I had never seen a literary character like that who was that smart and always knew what to say, even when upset by someone or something.

And then there was… Mr. Darcy as well, whom first I disliked, then I loved. I could not believe that a gentleman like him could be so mean to my dear Elizabeth, who I felt was a friend of mine. You must take into consideration that I was 10 years old. But when Elizabeth forgave him, I forgave him.

When I re-read “Pride and Prejudice” time later, I secretly got a crush on Mr. Darcy, and it felt like a betrayal to Elizabeth Bennet. I might add in a jest that Mr. Darcy has been one of my most long-standing literary crushes and it’s very unlikely that he will be banished soon.

All in all, the more I read the book (and I read it quite often), the greater I find it. I like “Pride and Prejudice” because it is everything they say and write about and more. Because it is about finding the right home to settle down, choosing the correct path in life, being true to yourself, valuing friendship and family… and above all, that Mr. Darcy always finds Elizabeth Bennet.

 

I can see we share the same love for Pride and Prejudice and have similar reasons to love it, so I must ask, are you as excited as I am to be on Pemberley grounds? Is it as you imagined?

Absolutely! It is my first time in the UK so I am looking forward to what each day may bring. But when you imagine something and it turns out to be even more inspiring and wonderful than you thought possible you know you are having the time of your life.

Being at Pemberley is like being invited into Mr. Darcy’s very own home. I confess I even expect him to be home. Imagine what a treat that would be!

All in all, everything here at Pemberley is impressive! I love the gardens of Lyme Park and I cannot imagine a more beautiful place for Elizabeth and Darcy to take a stroll.

IMG_1101

 

I know what you mean, for me this trip is being memorable and Lyme Park is definitely my highlight. What have you enjoyed the most until now?

The visit at Chawton House, Jane Austen’s home. It’s a rather small house, but so full of all sort of wonderful memorabilia. You can actually see the table where Jane Austen wrote her letters and parts of her novels. It’s moving to see that in a small world like Jane Austen’s some of the most amazing literary characters were brought to life into the world. It is magic actually!

I got inspired and quite emotional walking into that small hall of the Chawton Cottage, seeing the rooms, the personal objects. Everything is so alive that you would not think it’s been 200 years since Jane Austen is gone. It is strange but I do feel that by living her quiet life she managed to create for herself a great life and we should only be that lucky: to be authors of something that is immortal.

 

We’ve been talking about Jane Austen’s work and how it touched us, but how did you discover Jane Austen Fan Fiction?

I discovered it via Lory Lilian, who is one of my trusted and dearest friends. She confided in me while she was writing “Rainy Days” not so long ago ☺; she was so enthusiastic about the process of creating this new story that she made me read various drafts of it. And I was glad for she showed me how alive the passion for “Pride and Prejudice” was all over the world.

Of course, there are different authors and novels inspired by “Pride and Prejudice”, and each has its own value and fans ☺, and I do celebrate that. I am more than sure that there is place enough for everyone under the JAFF sun and there can never be too many books about ODC.

 

And what led you to follow Lory’s footsteps and write JAFF?

I like stories and I like writing. When Lory Lilian first told me about her “Rainy Days” and after I started reading the stuff the other authors were publishing on different Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice online forums, I got a little bit afraid – somehow I saw this act of writing Pride and Prejudice inspired books as a place of privilege.

I confess at that time, I was not courageous enough to dip my pen into the ink and write until I became convinced that I have my own version of the story to tell, or write about. It is even clearer to me that the magic of Elizabeth and Darcy is still there, the possibilities of them finding each other are endless, and I summarize it with the certainty that the end must only be one: Love is always the Answer.

 

Meant to Be is your first version of what Pride and Prejudice could have been had something different happened, what can readers expect from it?

To be entertained by it. I have tried to be as much inspired by Jane Austen’s work as it is allowed, keeping the same tone and the same events (almost) as in the book. I believe “Meant to Be” is a funny book with some unexpected twists and events. I do also believe that the characters of P&P are there – of course, as seen by me – but all in all, they are recognizable as such. It has been a work of many months, and I can only wish it to bring many pleasant moments of reading. It would be my greatest satisfaction.

 

 

I need to ask, has this trip inspired you to write more novels?

For sure it has inspired me to think the stories in a different manner. Writing, at least for me, has never been based on a formula that is unchangeable and this trip has confirmed me as much. The story of “Pride and Prejudice” is one, but there are many ways to tell it. I am convinced that two people cannot write exactly the same way even with the same “pen”. So you need to see your own “truth”, to hold it in your hands.

What this trip has managed to do for me is to give a direct touch of the world in which our beloved characters have “lived”. To get intimate with them if you want. History is – thank God – very much alive in the UK and I was so glad to see so many people interested in preserving such a dignified legacy, whether it is about British or Jane Austen’s legacy.

Also, there is the love you can feel in different places related to Jane Austen or “Pride and Prejudice”; it is as if each heart that was once pledged to Mr. Darcy by means of reading can be felt. Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy have brought a lot of affection to plenty of places and it is recognizable from the very first step you take on such grounds.

 

What if Mr. Bingley rented Netherfield nine months later than in the original?
What if Elizabeth Bennet met Mr. Darcy first at Rosings while she is staying with her friend Charlotte Collins and he is visiting his aunt, Lady Catherine? What if Elizabeth is as attracted by Darcy’s fine eyes as much as he is by hers?
When their mutual attraction is tainted by pride, prejudice, misunderstandings, and false accusation, how will they reconcile their feelings when they meet again in Hertfordshire?
Follow this Regency Pride and Prejudice variation that takes you into a different—yet much the same—journey through the beloved story of Elizabeth and her Mr. Darcy.

You can find Meant to be at:

Amazon.com

 

 

Andreea would like to offer one ebook copy of Meant to Be to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and will end on the 17th of November.

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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Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!) – An interview with James W. Gaynor

 

Hello dear readers,

Today I’m welcoming for the first time at From Pemberley to Milton author James W. Gaynor to talk about his recently released book, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!).

I didn’t know James W. Gaynor or the book before he contacted me, but the more I read about his career and his book, the more I wanted to talk to him and share all I was discovering with you. I was very interested in Haiku and delighted to see how it could be used on an Austen novel, but I will let you read all about it from James own words on the below interview.

I hope you find it interesting and that you are as captivated by Haiku as I was. This is certainly a new take on Jane Austen’s work and I’m glad to receive such a creative author in my blog. Thank you very much for visiting Jim!

 

 

22708679_1765594090410065_2311747579928379392_n(1)James W. Gaynor, author of Everything Becomes a Poem (Nemeton Press), is a poet, artist, editor, and writer. A graduate of Kenyon College, he lived for years in Paris, where he taught a course on Emily Dickinson at the University of Paris, studied the development of the psychological novel in 17th century France, and worked as a translator.

After returning to New York, Gaynor worked as an editor at Grosset & Dunlap, Cuisine magazine, Scriptwriter News and Forbes Publications. His articles, book reviews, poems and essays have appeared in The New York Observer, OTVmagazine.com, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, and Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine.

As #HaikuJim, Gaynor publishes a daily haiku drawn from current newspaper headlines and is the creator of Can You Haiku? — a corporate communications workshop based on using 17th-Century Japanese poetry techniques to improve effective use of today’s digital platforms. Gaynor recently retired as the Global Verbal Identity Leader for Ernst & Young LLP.

A silver medalist in the 1994 Gay Games (Racewalking), Gaynor’s found-object sculpture has been exhibited internationally. He is a member of the Advisory Board of New York’s The Creative Center at University Settlement, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the creative arts to people with cancer and chronic illnesses. (http://www.thecreativecenter.org/tcc/

Gaynor lives in New York City with his canine companion, Emily Dickinson Gaynor, and the cat who oversees their entwined lives, Gerard Manley Hopkins Gaynor.

jameswgaynor.com

 

 

 

Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you James, it is a real pleasure. I always like to know when authors discovered Jane Austen and how that happened. When was it for you?

I first read Jane Austen (P&P) when I was in high school (1965). Both my parents were Austen fans and by the time I started reading the novel, I had heard “It is a truth universally acknowledged …” quoted enough times to get the sense that I was in for something important.

Moses reading

Gaynor reading to his grandson

That is quite interesting, I hope to one day impact my children the same way your parents did. So what caught your attention in her writing when you ventured into it?

I was too young to fully understand her message(s) in P&P when I first read it, but I did get that marriage and money were linked in ways that didn’t always have to do with romantic love. I also got the sense that she was warning me, somehow. Something I understood and appreciated much later in life.

 

It’s curious that you mention Pride and Prejudice  as that is many people’s favourite novel, is it yours as well?

P&P is tied with Mansfield Park for me. While Fanny and Edmund are not the most exciting of Austen’s leading characters, I was immediately fascinated by the fact the peace and order of Mansfield Park itself was supported by its darker reflection, Sir Thomas’s sugar plantation in Antigua. I didn’t read MP until I was much older and was stunned by that content (when Fanny questions Edmund about slavery).

From what I understand you’ve chosen one of your favourite Austen books and mixed it with Haiku, but I confess I’ve never heard about it before; can you tell us what is Haiku and how did you discover it?

Haiku are short, Japanese poems, which, in the English tradition, consist of three lines (5 syllables / 7 syllables / 5 syllables). There is something wonderful and powerful in the format. Children study them in grammar school here and adults always seem to respond to learning how to write them.

So, how did I start?  Well, in the early 80s, I experienced a somewhat predictable, spiritually deracinated-Westerner, child-of-the- 60s fascination with Zen Buddhism. I even flirted with the idea of becoming a monk. In that process, I also studied haiku, ikebana (flower arranging), and kendo (a martial art).

One of the things I came to love about entering the austere and beautiful world that embraces both Zen monks and their militaristic Samurai counterparts is that, yes, you’re supposed to be able to slice your opponent into 53 thin pieces with grace and a minimum of blood. But you should also be able to arrange flowers and write poetry. In the Yin and Yang of life, everybody is both an artist and a warrior. It’s up to you to create a coherent whole of your many dimensions.

I now mediate infrequently and in a chair.But for the past 30 years, I have maintained a daily habit of writing a haiku based on the content of both a sentence and the article in which it appears in the New York Times. — only I now give the classic syllabic pattern of 5 / 7 / 5 a slant tailored to my secular careers as a journalist, corporate communications dude, and poet. In fact, as #HaikuJim, I have a daily haiku that I post on my blog (jameswgaynor.com), and I write contemporary haiku commentary (usually humourous) for OTVmagazine.com.  I also teach a haiku workshop for corporate communicators called “Can You Haiku?”

 

And how can it be applied to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?

This book came out of my conviction that famous first and last lines of well-known novels are, in fact, short poems that we don’t recognize as such — and, as such, are not unlike haiku. In my work as a poet, I started a series of poems based on famous first and last lines in classic novels, and they’ve been well received. One of my poems “Dorothea Restructured” (based on the last line of Eliot’s Middlemarch) has had an active cyberlife and has appeared in several publications, including my own book, Everything Becomes a Poem (Nemeton Press).

When, inevitably, I turned my eye to Austen, I realized that the first line’s fame has, in a way, cast a shadow over all the other chapter first lines — and then I got curious about seeing what Austen was up to in the rest of her novel.

So, I created a summarizing word-image haiku of each of the novel’s chapters. I based this approach on my fascination with Austen’s mastery of the opening line, which she demonstrates in the first sentence of each of the 61 chapters, not only in the dazzling beginning of Chapter 1. And in the Notes section I’ve provided a more detailed analysis of the book’s action, based on the criteria established by answering the haiku’s What / Where / When questions.

 

What can readers expect from Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku?

It’s my hope that readers will find themselves smiling knowingly from time to time as they travel in this redesigned Japanese vehicle across Austen’s familiar English landscape — and that they will forgive my star-struck attempt at what is essentially one long love-letter-poem written to the extraordinary woman who still speaks to us in such modern ways.

 

I know you have lectured at Fordham University on how a poetic / haiku approach to the first lines of Pride and Prejudice can help readers to discover unexpected insights. Can you explain that to my readers as well? And what was the feedback from the audience?

I spoke at Fordham on how this approach can help readers to discover unexpected insights — and in so doing, provide an alternative to the wet-shirt Firth-Darcy version of P&P that has, in my opinion, unfairly dominated popular understanding of Austen’s clear, sardonic tone. And the students were excited about looking at the novel’s structure and action from a different perspective.

After the lecture, one young woman told me the Jane Austen we discussed was exactly the voice she needed guiding her love life — which confirms for me that, 200 years after her death, Austen continues to exert her subtle influence.


Do you have plans to apply Haiku to any other Jane Austen novel?

I’m not sure yet. I like the idea of tackling classics that wide audiences are familiar with, and opening up a door to different interpretations. I think the next book might be either The Iliad & The Odyssey or even the Bible. But, first things first.  I’ll have to see what the reaction to this book is.

But whatever the reaction, I’m deeply grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my book with you and your readers. Thank you!

 

Thank you so much for visiting today Jim, it was a true pleasure talking to you 🙂

 

You can all find Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!) at:

Amazon.com

 

 

James W. Gaynor would like to offer one paperback copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 61 Haiku (1,037 Syllables!) to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and all you have to do is comment on this post until the 17th of November. Let us know what you thought about this original idea, if you have ever heard about Haiku before, or place your own questions to the author. I’m sure he will be happy to chat with you.

The winner will be randomly selected and announced on this blog shortly after the 17th. If you don’t want to miss the announcement, please follow From Pemberley to Milton to make sure you receive an email with this information as soon as it goes live.

Good Luck everyone!

P&P COVER

 

 

26 Comments

Filed under interview, JAFF, Pride and Prejudice

Haunting Mr. Darcy

In New Year’s eve, after returning from Netherfield to London, Mr. Darcy realises he is completely bewitched by Elizabeth Bennet. He starts comparing all other woman to her and in an attempt to forget her, he wishes to find a woman who meets all his standards of the perfect Mrs. Darcy and to see Elizabeth Bennet one last time.

At the same time, when returning from an Assembly in Meryton, Elizabeth wishes Mr. Darcy may wish something he will never have. A few minutes later, the carriage transporting Elizabeth and Jane Bennet has an accident and Elizabeth is left inconscient.

She wakes up in a beautiful library some time later and believes she is dreaming… until she sees Mr. Darcy. Then her worse nightmare happens and she realises she is in a spirit like manner and attached to none other than Mr. Darcy. On the other hand, he believes he is becoming crazy by seeing and hearing Elizabeth when no one else is able to. After some time and some disagreements, they agree they are neither crazy nor dreaming, but living something very real.

Elizabeth’s spirit is indeed bound to Mr. Darcy and he is the only one able to see or talk to her, but her body remains inconscient in Longbourn and we start wondering if she will ever get her soul and body together in one piece.

In this book Elizabeth is impertinent and witty just as she should be. No more and no less! Karalynne Mackrory did a wonderful job with her character, but she also designed a perfectly proud but charming Mr. Darcy. They are perfect and I fell in love with these characters as much as I fell for Jane Austen’s

I’ve read this book 3 times by now and I’m sure I will read it many more. It is one of the best JAFF books I’ve ever read, in fact, it made of my all time favourites list published a couple of months ago. I love it this much because it has a perfect balance of romance, tension, flirting and angst. Throughout the book we see Elizabeth getting to know Darcy in his intimacy and gradually falling in love with him, just as we see Darcy realising how Elizabeth’s wit, intelligence, good humour, compassion and good sense make her the perfect match for him. While this is happening we also see their failures exposed and their hurt feelings towards one another, we see their perfect reactions and we cannot avoid connecting to them

I’m convinced this book is a masterpiece and I have to congratulate both the writer and the editor for it. Books like this make me want to read non-stop 24/7. The author captures Elizabeth and Darcy’s feelings and expressions so intensely that his declaration of love literally took my breath away. The entire scene was pure perfection and I could clearly picture every single moment in my head.

The way these two characters connect is beautiful, and in this book the author creates the necessary scenes for them to feel angst, anger, disappointment, love and hope. By doing so, she didn’t need to explain the characters feelings in a cold, descriptive manner because we know exactly what they were feeling considering we are feeling it in our hearts as well.

Haunting Mr. Darcy is a rollercoaster of emotions. In one minute we are reading the most romantic scene we could imagine and before we know it we are dreading what may happen and suffering the characters sorrows in the most acute way. The easiness with which the author engages our emotions makes us completely glued to it, and readers will only be able to let go of this book once they reach the end, and some of them like myself, will not even be able to let go by then as the need to re-read it will definitely overcome them.

I found myself not wanting this book to end but at the same time I could not stop reading it until it was over. It is a MUST read JAFF book.

You can find Haunting Mr. Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

14 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, Favorites, Pride and Prejudice

Pulse and Prejudice 


I love vampire stories and I think that Mr.Darcy has everything to be the perfect vampire, so when I heard about Pulse and Prejudice I added it immediately to my TBR pile. I have finally read it and thought that Halloween was the perfect time to post the review of this book. In Pulse and Prejudice I found exactly what I was expecting. Mr. Darcy is the perfect vampire as his condition explains much of his taciturn and reserved behaviour and increases the interest of the story.

In this book he has a strong personality and that is always something I really love. However, it has a lot of similar scenes to Pride and Prejudice and some readers may not enjoy it so much due to the similarity. In fact, the story is almost the same as the original which made it a little dull for me because I already knew what would happen next and who would say what. There are a few exceptions like the maze scene at Pemberley and the moments when Darcy entrances Elizabeth, but these scenes were very few in my opinion.

There was also a detail in the end of the book that spoiled it for me, and purists like myself may feel the same way, but readers who enjoy more steamy romances may find it quite appealing.
Poetry plays a big part in the book and that is a very interesting detail especially for readers who enjoy the literary genre. It was also very interesting to see Lord Byron as an actual character and not only as a literary reference.

Some aspects such as Amadeus’s reactions left me very curious and I would like to read the sequel to understand them. I also believe the sequel has potential to be a very good book because the author will not be able to follow the original story anymore and will have to be more creative with the plot. As that was my main issue with this book, I think I’ll like Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth.

You can find Pulse and Prejudice at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

8 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, JAFF

A Most Handsome Gentleman Review & Giveaway

After the angsty variation Letter From Ramsgate, Suzan Lauder decided to venture into comedy and developed an unthinkable premise based on Mr. Collins character. She didn’t go so far as to make him witty and interesting, but she made him A Most Handsome Gentleman, or as everyone keeps saying in the social media #HOT Collins.

The changes in his appearance, along with his own foolish character, were sufficient to change the behaviour of many P&P characters towards him, which created the funniest dialogues and situations you can think of. Can you imagine the impact of a good-looking man coming to Longbourn in search of a wife?

I confess I was impressed with Mr. Collins because I can imagine some situations that would render Mrs. Bennet speechless but none that would have the same effect on Lydia, and that my friends, was Mr. Collins greatest achievement in this book! Well…maybe not the greatest. His impact on Lady Catherine’s behaviour was both unexpected and hilarious, so the first place in the podium may go to that feat.

Both scenes made me laugh really hard, but they were not the only ones. The verbal discussions between Mr. Collins and Mr. Bingley, Mr. Collins comments on Elizabeth’s skinny appearance, his attraction to Charlotte and the scenes Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth see on the fields behind Longbourn are amongst my favourite moments in this book, but it’s hard to highlight only some scenes because the entire book is incredibly funny. I could not put it down!

I also enjoyed the fact that despite all the craziness that involved Mr. Collins’ presence in Meryton, Elizabeth remained true to herself and was not easily taken by her cousin’s good looks. He may be good-looking, but he’s still a fool, and if I may say, an even more annoying one, so I was really glad that to see that Suzan Lauder didn’t include Elizabeth in the group of ladies who would faint at the sight of Mr. Collins.

I had a great time reading A Most Handsome Gentleman and could not recommend it enough for those who want to relax and enjoy a good comedy. It is a highly entertaining book that will make readers laugh out loud from the first page until the last.

Suzan Lauder took a risk by venturing into this new subgenre but she nailed it! Congratulations!

 

You can find A Most Handsome Gentleman at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

A lover of Jane Austen, Regency period research and costuming, cycling, yoga, blogging, and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder is seldom idle.

Her first effort at a comedy, A Most Handsome Gentleman is the fourth time Lauder has been published by Meryton Press. Her earlier works include a mature Regency romance with a mystery twist, Alias Thomas Bennet, a modern short romance Delivery Boy in the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter, and the dramatic tension filled Regency romance Letter from Ramsgate.

She and Mr. Suze split their time between a loft condo overlooking the Salish Sea and a 150-year-old Spanish colonial home near the sea in Mexico.

Suzan’s lively prose is also available to her readers on her blog, road trips with the redhead www.suzan.lauder.merytonpress.com, on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/SuzanLauder, and on Twitter @suzanlauder.


Contact Info:

Website

Goodreads Author Page

Facebook

Twitter

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10/20   My Jane Austen Book Club; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway

10/21   My Love for Jane Austen; Guest Post, Giveaway

10/22   Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review

10/23   Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

10/24   Tomorrow is Another Day; Review

10/25   Babblings of a Bookworm; Guest Post, Giveaway

10/26   From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway

10/27   Just Jane 1813; Guest Post, Giveaway

10/28   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

10/29   My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Giveaway

10/30   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

10/31   Laughing With Lizzie; Vignette, Giveaway

11/01   Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

11/02   So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

11/03   Margie’s Must Reads; Review, GA

 

 

Suzan is offering 8 ebook copies of A Most Handsome Gentleman on this blog tour.

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder.

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

To enter the giveaway click here.

Good Luck everyone!

 

45 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, giveaway, JAFF, Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice