The 26th of November – Guest Post & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I’m welcoming author Elizabeth Adams to talk a little about her latest book, The 26th of November. Initially I asked her to explain to us how she got this idea as that’s always something I like to know about a book, but as we talked about how funny the book was, and how satisfying it was to read and write a few scenes, we decided to change the theme of this guest post a little.

In it, you will not only discover how this book came into life, but also get to know Elizabeth Adams as she talks about what she always thought people should be able to do, Mr. Bennet’s attitude, and of course, Lydia Bennet and how to tame her. I hope you enjoy it and that you join us in this conversation 🙂

 

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I wish I could say this story was the product of deep thought and detailed planning, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s what happened.

It was a Wednesday afternoon. I was getting ready to go to my daughter’s school where I was choreographing a few numbers for her chorus after classes. I got my music and notes together, grabbed my water bottle, and there it was.

All of a sudden, more than half the story was in my head. Just a regular sunny afternoon, going about my usual routine, and bam! I didn’t have time to write it down, so I hopped in the car and I wasn’t more than two blocks away when I knew I had the majority of the story—plot, characters, sequence—in my mind, ready to go. I was four blocks away when I called my graphic designer and asked her how quickly she could turn around a cover. After rehearsal I called my editor. Before I went to bed, I had the first chapter locked down and notes all over the place.

After that, I wrote a chapter a day. I had to pause to take my kids to Dollywood for a long-planned weekend away, and I couldn’t wait to get back to my story. Two weeks in and I was halfway through chapter ten.

Quick side note: I know many of you are not remotely impressed by this writing speed. Allow me to tell you that for me, this is incredibly quick writing. I normally write rather slowly, especially if I don’t have a solid idea of where I’m going (which is often). Usually I have a good idea for a scene, and I write that pretty easily. Then comes the next part. I sit. And I stare. I write something, delete it, start again.

This can go on for a while, usually until I get an idea for another scene. Green Card took FOREVER to write, in fits and starts over several years (I had a baby, finished my degree, remodeled a 90-year-old house, the usual). Unwilling was faster than that, but still a laborious process. The first half of On Equal Ground came quickly, the second half in bits and pieces. The Houseguest was more similar to this experience—I got bit pretty hard by a plot bunny and started writing. Every morning, I woke up curious to see where the story was going and what the characters would do next. Eighty percent of that book was incredibly smooth sailing. *insert nostalgic sigh*

But that was a long time ago now. The baby that was in my womb at the time is six years old. I haven’t experienced anything as smooth and complete as that since… until this last spring, when I was in the process of writing a much more involved, enormous beast of a story and this suddenly dropped into my head.

When I say the story was in my mind, I mean the germ of it, and some scenes, not every tiny detail. So I still had some work to do.

The beauty of the repetitive day theme, and why I think the writing came so quickly, is because Elizabeth can behave however she wants now that she is essentially in a world with no consequences. I have always wanted her (or someone) to tell Mrs. Bennet to shut up. Just stuff a sock in it. You’re embarrassing literally EVERYONE in the room. But no one can ever say that.

I’ve often thought this is an odd rule. To avoid offending one person, in this case Mrs. B, we will offend dozens of others because that is the polite way to do it. This makes no sense to me. Someone should have taken her aside years ago and told her what was what. But obviously, that never happened, or if it did, she ignored the conversation.

So in this story, Elizabeth finally gets to tell her mother how she feels. And she REALLY tells Lydia how she feels. More than once and in a variety of ways. But the lecture/dressing down in the library was one of my favorite scenes to write. It was something I’ve been wanting to say to Lydia ever since I first read the book.

I’ve always thought Mr. Bennet is incredibly dense or has entirely too much faith in his daughter when he sends Lydia to Brighton. Did he seriously think a young, vivacious, well-developed and pretty girl would find herself insignificant at a beach crawling with men in uniform? What rock was he living under? The men likely outnumbered the women ten to one. It was never going to make any girl feel insignificant, especially not one like Lydia. Why he thought it would teach her anything useful, and not leave her pregnant, I don’t know. He was likely just burying his head in the sand because he didn’t want to deal with anything difficult or have to tell his wife no and listen to her whining.

See, this is why it would have been helpful to tell Mrs. B years ago that she should be more mature and not put girls out at fifteen. Mr. B would have felt less hounded and more able to say no, Lydia would have more discipline, etc. It all circles round. But no one tells her, Mr. B is frustratingly uninvolved, and Lydia is so stupid it’s painful.

In this book, Elizabeth gets to tell her parents, her sisters, Caroline Bingley, and Mr. Darcy exactly what she thinks of their behavior and their personalities. She gets to have cat fights and say things in public or to her parents that she would never normally be able to. It is very cathartic for her as a character, and writing it was cathartic for me as a writer. I hope it will be for the reader as well.

So there you have it. There was an idea floating around out there, I suppose it saw me as an easy target, and a few months later, here we are. What I learned from this experience and others like it, more than anything, is to be open and ready for the muse at any time. You never know when it will strike (though it does seem to have an affinity for vehicles), and if you let it, it will surprise you beyond your wildest imaginings.

 


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 drama in both historic and modern settings.
She is the author of The Houseguest, Unwilling, On Equal Ground, and Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride and Prejudice, and the modern comedy Green Card.
You can find more information, short stories, and outtakes at elizabethadamswrites.wordpress.com

 

 


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The Netherfield Ball: Classic. Predictable. Immortalized.

But, what if Elizabeth were forced to relive it over and over and over again? Night after night after night?

Elizabeth: Clever. Witty. Confident.

Suddenly, her confusion and desperation make her question things she long thought she knew.

Mr. Darcy: Proud. Unapproachable. Bad tempered.

In this world where nothing is as it seems, Elizabeth must learn to see through new eyes.

Including a man she thought she hated.

Let the hilarity ensue.

 

 

 

You can find the 26th of November at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 


 

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July 9 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

July 13 / From Pemberley to Milton / Guest Post & Giveaway

July 19 / Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

July 20 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

July 21 / My Love for Jane Austen / Character Interview & Giveaway

July 25 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway

July 28 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Review & Giveaway

August 2 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review & Giveaway

August 6 / Austenesque Reviews / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

August 8 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway

August 9 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway


 

Elizabeth Adams is offering five copies of The 26th of November, 5 audiobook codes, each one is good for one of her audiobooks and two autographed paperback copies of one of her books, readers’ choice from her catalog.

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international, to enter it, click here.

Good luck everyone!

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The Darcy Legacy Review & Giveaway

 

Good evening everyone,

I am the last one reviewing The Darcy Legacy on its blog tour and as I am sure you’ve noticed by now Joana Starnes is one of my favourite writers, so I believe it comes as no surprise that her latest book is a 5 star read to me. I am not saying that because I have loved the authors previous books I will automatically love all her future books, but one of the aspects that makes me love Joana Starnes’s books so much is her writing style, the ability she has to touch my heart with every sentence and to feel absorbed by the book, and no matter what the plot is, she will always carry with her those characteristics because they are part of who she is as a writer and this book proved just that.

Another aspect I love about Joana Starnes’s books is the angst she brings to them,  but this time she decided to do something different, and you will find little angst in The Darcy Legacy. You will see the angst was replaced by humour and a little touch of the supernatural, which is also a favourite of mine 😉

If I would have to choose the one thing I loved the most in this book I would have to say it was the characters. Joana Starnes always portrays very realistic characters with qualities but also flaws, and she did that once more. I hate to read stories with perfect Elizabeth’s and even worse, perfect Darcy’s, and that is definitely not what you will find in this book. These characters are as true to Austen as they are realistic.

The secondary characters were also an incredible addition to The Darcy Legacy. The author brought some humanity to Lady Catherine, and once more made her a believable character with a deep affection for her daughter, even if not shown in the best of ways. I mean, why does Lady Catherine always has to be such a villain? I don’t believe that’s how Jane Austen saw her. An arrogant member of the aristocracy yes, but not a conniving villain. She believed herself better than other people, but let’s face it, that was the way of the world and even if we can criticise that attitude I think we cannot go so far as to make her a one-dimensional character with a propensity to evil. Joana Starnes excels at portraying characters exactly as they were developed by Jane Austen, no more and no less, and that is remarkably visible in this book.

Anne was definitely a favourite character for me and I liked to see that she was entitled to her own story,  Colonel Fitzwilliam was hilarious and Mr. Darcy senior and Mrs Darcy were also characters whose company I enjoyed in The Darcy Legacy. It was lovely to see how they finally learned to understand each other in the afterlife even if the love and tenderness for one another was already there.

In this novel Darcy’s love for Elizabeth is strong and intense and I confess I adored the chapters before and after their first kiss! I loved everything about this part of the book, the dialogues, the characters, the intensity it had, the romance, and even the tenacity of both characters.

I don’t usually care much about humour in a book, but I have to say that Joana Starnes’ venture into it was very successful, especially when the ghosts were involved (this is really no spoiler as you’ll know there are ghosts in the first scene of the book). The last chapters with the additional new characters and their interactions were also incredibly funny and added an interesting twist to the story.

The only quibble I might have with this book is that it is slow-paced compared to the authors other novels, especially in the end, but that also gives us more time with all the characters we love, so who can complain? This book is definitely different from Joana Starnes’s previous works but just as good and I highly recommend it to all Janeites.

You can find The Darcy Legacy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 


Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats – physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst – but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine.

She is the author of eight Austen-inspired novels: From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley, The Subsequent Proposal, The Second Chance, The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle, Miss Darcy’s Companion, Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter and The Darcy Legacy, and one of the contributing authors to The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know and the upcoming Rational Creatures (due in October 2018).

You can contact Joana through the following social media:

www.joanastarnes.co.uk

www. facebook.com/AllRoadsLeadToPemberley.JoanaStarnes/

www.facebook.com/joana.a.starnes

www.twitter.com/Joana_Starnes

Joana’s books on Amazon.com

Joana’s books on Amazon.co.uk

Joana’s books on Goodreads

 


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Joana is offering 10 copies of The Darcy Legacy, 20 audiobook codes, each one is good for one of her audiobooks and a $25.00 Amazon gift card. The giveaway runs until midnight, July 16, 2018 and to enter it all you have to do is comment on this post and click here.

Good Luck everyone!

 

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Filed under 5 stars, JAFF, jane austen, Joana Starnes, Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

The 26th of November Review & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am very pleased to open today the blog tour of 26th of November, Elizabeth Adam’s latest release.  Elizabeth Adams is not only a remarkable author but also a friend and when she told me about the premise of this book I was immediately captivated by it. I personally love this premise, and I think she could not have picked a better timing in the story’s narrative to develop it, so it is with great joy that I tell you today what I love the most about it! But first, I’ll share with you the book blurb, and hopefully you’ll get as excited as I was when I first heard about it.

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The Netherfield Ball: Classic. Predictable. Immortalized.

But, what if Elizabeth were forced to relive it over and over and over again? Night after night after night?

Elizabeth: Clever. Witty. Confident.

Suddenly, her confusion and desperation make her question things she long thought she knew.

Mr. Darcy: Proud. Unapproachable. Bad tempered.

In this world where nothing is as it seems, Elizabeth must learn to see through new eyes.

Including a man she thought she hated.

Let the hilarity ensue.


As you may have guessed by now this book is a bit of a mashup of Groundhog Day with Pride and Prejudice with Elizabeth reliving the day of the Netherfield Ball over and over again.

As I mentioned earlier, I can think of no better time for this particular premise to take place because not only the day is full of events that make it interesting to read, but also it has numerous variables that will allow the chain of events to change which will make your reading experience exciting and unexpected despite the repetition of events.

I loved seeing Elizabeth going through a state of confusion, trying to understand how to stop this event from happening, attempting to change the course of the day, and finally relaxing and just trying to enjoy herself on the way to a self discovery path she never imagined she would go through. After all, there is nothing more liberating that being able to do what one wants without any consequence coming out of it is it?

After some time I started desiring that she would change everything, prevent Lydia from making a fool of herself, make Mary more desirable, get Mr. Collins attention to shift to someone else, controlling Mrs Bennet tongue, getting Mr Bingley to see Jane loved him, making Darcy realise how much he loved her etc, but if that were to happen, it wouldn’t be Pride and Prejudice would it? So Elizabeth Adams did the smart thing and stopped this day from repeating itself precisely when there wasn’t a big change in it except one very significant detail…which I will not reveal as it would be a major spoiler! Sorry, you’ll have to read the book to know what it was that could have stopped this madness.

This premise, and Elizabeth Adams writing, allowed us to see Elizabeth getting to know Darcy with each passing day, after all, he always asked for the fourth set and they must have some conversation. It was endearing to see how her own behaviour could make him share more of himself, and there was a point where I could not wait for another day to occur to see what would happen next and what they would talk about. Even though Darcy’s personality remained pretty much the same he did surprise me with a few stories.

As always Elizabeth Adams wrote something completely different from her previous works. That’s one of the things I love about her, she always comes up with different ideas and we never have a feeling we have read that before. This book is much smaller than her previous works and can be read in one afternoon, but I guarantee it will be a very entertaining afternoon as the 26th of November is incredibly funny and fast paced. I laughed out loud with some scenes but the book also made me sight with the tenderness of others. Above all I found this to be a page turner book! I could not wait to see what would happen next.

If you are looking for a light comedy romance, I highly recommend this book! You will not regret reading it, and be prepared for an unexpected and loving ending 🙂

 

You can find the 26th of November at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


 

This is just the first post of the blog tour, so please do not forget to follow it for more reviews, guest posts, excerpts and a chance to win one of the many prizes Elizabeth Adams is offering 🙂

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July 9 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

July 13 / From Pemberley to Milton / Guest Post & Giveaway

July 19 / Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

July 20 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

July 21 / My Love for Jane Austen / Character Interview & Giveaway

July 25 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway

July 28 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Review & Giveaway

August 2 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review & Giveaway

August 6 / Austenesque Reviews / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

August 8 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway

August 9 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway


 

 

Elizabeth Adams is offering five copies of The 26th of November, 5 audiobook codes, each one is good for one of her audiobooks and two autographed paperback copies of one of her books, readers’ choice from her catalog.

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international, to enter it, click here.

Good luck everyone!

29 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

A Marriage of Attachement Excerpt & Giveaway

Good evening everyone,

I am very happy to bring you these weekly posts with reviews and news about JAFF literature, but I usually talk about books featuring the characters from Pride and Prejudice and it is very rare of me to talk about variations of Austens other novels. Well, today is the exception 🙂

Lona Manning as released the sequel to A Contrary Wind which was her first variation of Mansfield Park, and she is visiting today with an excerpt of that sequel. I am very happy to receive Lona, one of the few authors to write about Mansfield Park and a very pleaseant guess who is always incredibly sweet towards me 🙂

I hope you enjoy the excerpt, but first, take a look at the blurbs, they may help you situate yourselves 🙂

 

 

A Marriage of Attachment: A Marriage of Attachment continues the story of Fanny Price as she struggles to build her own life after leaving her rich uncle’s home. Fanny teaches sewing to poor working-class girls in London, while trying to forget her first love, Edmund Bertram, who is trapped in a disastrous marriage with Mary Crawford. Together with her brother John and her friend, the writer William Gibson, she discovers a plot that threatens someone at the highest levels of government. Meanwhile, Fanny’s brother William fights slavery on the high seas while longing for the girl he loves.

Filled with romance, suspense and even danger, A Marriage of Attachment takes the familiar characters from Mansfield Park on a new journey.

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You can find A Marriage of Attachment at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

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And because this is a sequel to A Contrary Wind, I think you should read the blurb too…

A Contrary Wind: Fanny Price, an intelligent but timid girl from a poor family, lives at Mansfield Park with her wealthy cousins. But the cruelty of her Aunt Norris, together with a broken heart, compel Fanny to run away and take a job as a governess. Far away from everything she ever knew and the man she secretly loves, will Fanny grow in strength and confidence? Will a new suitor help her to forget her past? Or will a reckless decision ruin her life and the lives of those she holds most dear?

This variation of Jane Austen’s novel includes all the familiar characters from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, and some new acquaintances as well. There are some mature scenes and situations not suitable for all readers.

 

 

 

You can find A Contrary Wind at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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THE MONTH OF MAY brought Fanny’s friend William Gibson to London for the publication of his book, over which he had laboured in self-imposed exile in the countryside. His writing had appeared in print before, of course, in the pages of the Gentlemen’s Magazine and in the abolitionist newsletter, but nothing compared to the pride and wonder of visiting his publisher in the Strand and holding his first book in his hands. Even better was to read his name on the title page. Indeed, he would not have wanted his closest friends to know how frequently he opened the volume to admire those few words: Amongst the Slavers, being a narrative of a voyage with the West African Squadron, with additional remarks upon the customs, governments, and political economies of the African tribes, by William Gibson.

Mrs. Butters, already a warm advocate for the young writer, was eager to assume the rôle of literary patroness, and to help spread his fame. She held a reception at her home and bestowed invitations throughout her considerable acquaintance amongst London’s abolitionist set, including her friend and neighbour James Stephen. The fiery old man was a particular favourite of Fanny’s. As well, Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield promised to attend, Mr. Wilbraham Bootle and many other directors of the African Society accepted with pleasure; and there were a half-dozen clergyman from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.

Fanny felt the most delightful sensations of pride and nervous anticipation as she sat in Mrs. Butters’ parlour, surrounded by so many eminent persons, as Mr. Gibson stood in the middle of the room and began to read aloud from his account of the adventures of the West African Squadron.

Mr. Gibson’s prose was direct and forceful, without excessive ornamentation or discursion, for he had the happy ability to invoke a scene with a few well-chosen words. Moreover, he read aloud exceedingly well, and although Fanny always kept a piece of fancy work in her hands, she was glad to have the excuse of listening as an excuse for looking at her friend without interruption. His figure was tall and slender, and his hands expressive and graceful. As an impecunious poet, he had not the means or the inclination to attend to dress or finery, but his posture, his movements, and his air, were all perfectly gentleman-like. For that matter, gaudy dress and an affected air of fashion was no recommendation to the people of this particular gathering. James Stephen’s wife, a sister of the saintly Wilberforce himself, refused to wear anything better than washer-woman’s rags; and gave all her monies to the poor, instead.

There was something peculiarly charming about Mr. Gibson’s countenance. His long face with its high forehead announced intelligence, but without pomposity or severity. His features were individually good. There was sometimes a tinge of sadness about his dark blue eyes, but his mouth, in repose, was always curved in a gentle smile. As he read his own words to the assembled party, his expression was one of diffidence mingled with quiet pride.

Mrs. Stephen, and all of Mrs. Butters’ guests, along with Fanny, were captivated by the power of Mr. Gibson’s recital. There were no fidgettings, no throat-clearings, no whisperings—a most profound silence was observed by all. When Mr. Gibson came to describe the interception of a heavily-laden slave ship, and the rescue of hundreds of shackled men, women and children from the miserable mid-Atlantic crossing and a lifetime of bondage, his hearers, including Fanny of course, were moved to tears by the power of his narrative.

Sometimes the doings of her own brother William were described and at such times, Mr. Gibson would glance over to the far corner where Fanny sat—his eyes, peering over his spectacles, met hers for a moment of silent acknowledgement of their shared affection for her brother. “Lieutenant Price” never appeared in the tale but to great advantage, and Fanny, in a glow of high spirits, imagined Mr. Gibson’s book being read with fascination by all of the Lords of the Admiralty, resulting in a resolution, taken at the highest levels, to promote that exemplary young officer to the rank of captain so soon as a good ship was available. She was also privately delighted that, in a room filled with so many eminent, accomplished, and powerful people—politicians, abolitionists, captains of industry—her friend had made especial note of where she was, of where she sat, so that his eyes could seek her out.


 

 

Lona Manning loves reading, choral singing, gardening and travel. Over the years, she has been a home care aide, legal secretary, political speech writer, office manager, vocational instructor and non-profit manager until deciding (in her late 50’s) to get an ESL teaching certificate and teach in China. Manning and her husband divide their time between China and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. She has written true crime articles for http://www.CrimeMagazine.com. “A Contrary Wind” is her first novel and she has now released its sequel,  “A Marriage of Attachment”.

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Lona Manning would like to offer to my readers the chance to win these books, leave a comment to be entered into a draw for both ebooks.

This offer is open internationally and it will end on the 19th of July.

Good Luck everyone!

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Filed under JAFF

Author of the Month – Caitlin Williams

Good Afternoon everyone,

It’s the end of the month, so I’m back with my author of the month feature, and this month’s Author of the Month is Caitlin Williams, a very special writer to me.

Caitlin Williams has recently announced she will stop writing for a while because she wants to dedicate more time to her family, and even if I’m cheering for her, I was obviously a little sad with this surprising announcement because her writing is one of the best I’ve ever seen in JAFF, and she is one of those authors I always recommend to friends who want to read quality books with well-conceived plots and characters on top of an extraordinary writing.

My admiration for Caitlin Williams’ writing is not new, I was absorbed by Ardently when I read it in June 2015 and it was the third book I reviewed when I started this blog. The author captured my attention with an emotional and gripping story and three years later that book still remains one of my all time favourite books.

Caitlin Williams develops unique stories with incredible scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth that are hard to forget and that is one of the reasons why I love her books so much. She is not afraid to portray these characters in different stages of their lives, placing them in different environments and facing different challenges, but she is always faithful to their personality, to those traits that would always remain the same regardless of the time. Her characters are interesting because their life experiences have changed them into a different version of themselves but always true to Austen’s creations.

Apart from the innovation she brings into her works, her writing is absolutely exquisite! She doesn’t always have the same style but each of her books is beautifully written, engaging and touching. Caitlin Williams is unconventional and immensely talented, her compelling prose always finds a way to my heart and I always find myself wanting to devour her books and carve her words in my memory. I’ve said this before but she has a talent that cannot be taught, she surprises me with each book which is always a page-turner; Ardently was intense and romantic, The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet was edgy, When We Are Married was humorous and there are no words to describe the darker tone of The Events at Branxbourne, which is probably one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.

Some people were meant to do specific things in life and Caitlin Williams was meant to write. She is a remarkable writer that I must recommend not only to a specific audience, but to everyone who enjoys a good book. She will pierce your heart and soul at every page and you will not want to stop reading her stories until the very last word. Even after finishing her books I believe you will want to go back and re-read many scenes because they are so incredible you just want to relieve them over and over again.

I wish I had the same talent Caitlin Williams has with words because if I did, maybe I could do her justice and describe how wonderful her books are, but with my poor writing skills I can only hope you have understood what my heart wants to convey: this author cannot be missed!

If you have not read anything by Caitlin Williams yet, please do, you are missing an unforgettable experience and I’m sure you will find a favourite, just like I did!

These are the books that made me choose Caitlin Williams as author of the month:

My Review   Amazon.com

My Review   Amazon.com

My Review   Amazon.com


My Review   Amazon.com


 

 

Caitlin Williams lives in Kent, England.

She fell in love with all things Regency as a teenager, but particularly admires the work of Jane Austen and the way she masterfully combines humour and romance, while weaving them through such wonderful stories and characters.

Pride and Prejudice is Caitlin’s favourite novel and she finds Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet so deliciously entertaining that she likes to borrow them from Ms Austen and enjoys the challenge of putting them in different places and situations.

She has written four variations of Pride and Prejudice, ‘Ardently’, ‘The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet’, ‘When We Are Married’ and ‘The Events at Branxbourne’.

‘The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet’ was a best-seller and was voted the readers favourite at Austenesque Reviews in 2016.

 


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It’s wonderful to be visiting at From Pemberley to Milton again. I am a late boomer in terms of JAFF. My first book Ardently was published in 2015, and as I have a couple of small, demanding children, I am quite a slow writer. I have written only one book a book a year since then and now have four published novels. I also have a short story included in Christina Boyd’s anthology The Darcy Monologues; a project it was an honour to be included in as it features some of my favourite writers.

All four of my books are very different from one another. I like to greatly alter the circumstances in which Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves in and likewise, I prefer the more outlandish plotlines in my reading too. I don’t mind Darcy being a pirate and adore it when Elizabeth is a governess. My favourite JAFF is of the really inventive kind; those big, brave, crazy stories, or ones where the story starts before Pride and Prejudice begins, or where there has been a big gap in time after the Hunsford Proposal.

The book I took the most pleasure in writing is The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet. I love the young Elizabeth Bennet in it. Some readers felt she was too much like Lydia, but she was not silly, or giggly, nor did she chase after soldiers, she was merely grief-stricken and impulsive and too young to face everything that had been thrown at her. I enjoyed exploring her character, writing it as it might have been before she grew into herself and found her maturity. A pompous young Darcy was great fun too.

As much as I love Darcy and Lizzy, I am currently taking a break from Pride and Prejudice. I am working on an Emma story for another of Christina’s anthologies, but after that I am going to relax and not write anything for a while. I’ll always have a million stories floating around in my head, but I need some time out to figure out which one inspires me the most.

I love to read, and I love films and music, gardening and decorating the house, and hanging out with my little people, so that’s what I am to do for the rest of year. It’s lovely to be author of the month. Thanks so much.


.

It’s hard to choose a favourite book from Caitlin Williams but as The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet has a special place in her heart I would like to offer a copy it to one of my readers. To apply all you have to do is comment on this post until the 14th of July. The giveaway is international and all thoughts are welcome 🙂

Good luck everyone!

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The Deception at Lyme- Or the Peril of Persuasion

The Deception at Lyme is the sixth book in the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries series but can be read as a stand alone, in fact it is the only one I’ve read, even if it will certainly not be the last one considering I was completely hooked with it.

This book is a mashup of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion bringing several characters from both stories together in perfect harmony. I bought it because these are my two favourite novels from Austen and am always eager to read books where these characters interact, but I was not expecting to love it so much!

The Deception at Lyme is a sequel to both stories with both couples happily married, but even though it is considered a astenesque story, the tone is so different from the romances I’ve been reading in the last couple of years that I was completely surrendered to it .

I can’t say I’ve read too many JAFF books because they are never too many, but when someone reads many stories which are very similar to one another, the details tend to blend in and when that starts to happen to me I crave for something new. That is precisely what I found in this book, an escape from the regular JAFF books, an encounter with the characters I love but that takes me into a completely different direction.

Not only this book brings to readers characters from both Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice but it also delivers very interesting original characters and it escapes the romance. This book has all our beloved characters in it, but it is not a romance, it is a mystery. I’ve read JAFF mysteries before but they all have some romance to it, The Deception at Lyme doesn’t. Its entire focus is the mystery and it caught my attention from page one until the end.

Darcy and Elizabeth are happily married and have a little baby girl but the book doesn’t focus on their relationship, it focuses on the mystery they are trying to solve and that involves the characters from Persuasion. Of course that while they are playing detective we can see how their relationship is, but that is not the focus of the author and I honestly found that refreshing. There is some romance between other characters that I enjoyed very much but it is not central in the book.

As the story progresses we understand there is not only one mystery but two that need to be solved and I liked to see that they seemed to be connected. The author excelled at linking all the dots making it a believable story and even leaving some room to interpretation concerning one of the characters (I chose to believe she is guilty 😉 ).

Before each chapter we have a Jane Austen quote that will somehow be related to the events of the following chapter, and I found myself eager to know which was the next quote the author was going to use because that would give me a hint on what to expect. It may seem a small detail, but I think it brought more quality to the book.

The Deception at Lyme is exciting from the beginning until the end and having Darcy and Elizabeth along with Captain Wentworth and Anne in the same book was magical, especially because I felt the characters remained very true to themselves despite their uncommon interactions.

I can’t recommend this book enough to all janeites, but I would like to reinforce that this is not a romance but a mystery, so if you only want to read romances in the genre, this book might not be for you, I say might because I usually only read romances and this one really got to me, so you never know, maybe you’ll love it too even if you usually prefer romances 🙂

 

You can find The Deception at Lyme at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Master of the Mill

In Master of the Mill Mrs. Hale dies before the family arrives in Milton and they are in a much more impoverished situation than they are in the BBC series upon which this book is based on.

The writing in this book is good and I believe the author has the potential to write a book that could have been to my liking, but unfortunately that was not the case with Master of the Mill. In it, we find a sexualized version of John Thornton, which would not have been as bad if it had not changed his entire personality. In this book Mr. Thornton keeps a mistress to answer to his sexual urges and is a self-confident man who believes he will conquer Margaret, who in turn is also a pale comparison to the character Ms. Gaskell created.

In this book Margaret also has  a stubborn and independent nature, but that leads her to start working at Malborough Mills disguised as a lower class lass.

As mentioned earlier, Margaret and Mr. Hale are poorer than in the original novel and end up living in the Princeton district. That is a little hard to believe because I do not believe Mr. Thornton would feel so fascinated by a lass living in the Princeton district and working at his mill.

This book has several sex scenes, including Margaret’s first time with Mr. Thornton which is very hot for modern standards but is completely wrong for the time it is set. It is also completely out of character because I don’t believe that either Mr. Thornton or Miss Hale would have their first time in such circumstances, not to mention that it is everything but romantic which is how I would imagine their first time. The scene was good if we were reading a modern romance, but I can’t accept that in a Victorian novel.

Henry is the villan in this book and even if I can see him as a rival to Mr. Thornton, I think he was also completely out of character with all the ville things he did. He was an evil and manipulative person who would consider only his own interests and I don’t believe that is how Gaskell wanted to portray him.

I believe readers more interested in a steamy novel, and who do not need to see the North and South characters in it, may enjoy this book as the writing is good and the story itself has some interest. It is fast paced and can be read in one day, but unfortunately it is not my cup of tea. I was looking for an interesting variation of North and South and I did not find that in this book.

 

You can find Master of the Mill for 0,99$ at:

Amazon.com

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The Meryton Murders Giveaway Winners

 

Hello everyone,

How are you today? Spring is finally here but summer is knocking at the door and today I was finally able to go to the beach for the first this year! Is it warm already in your part of the world? What do you like to do this time of the year? Do you also see the beach as a refuge?

I love the sun and the ocean and there is nothing like going to the beach to make me feel better, but it also has the advantage of giving me some reading time! Today, apart from that, I took the time to listen to an audiobook, or part of it, so I think it is only fitting that I announce to you the winners of the Meryton Murders Audiobooks whose giveaway was open until last week. These were kindly offered from narrator Erin Evans-Walker when I published the review of the audiobook, and I would like to thank her once more for the generosity!

Now, without further ado, the giveaway winners are:

 

 

*** Mary***

 

*** Anji***

 

*** Virginiakohl ***

 

Congratulations girls, I hope you enjoy your audiobook! Please send me your email contacts so that we can send you your gifts.

I usually wish you a happy reading, but I’m not quite certain how to say it this time…happy listening?


 

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Lost & Found

When Miss Elizabeth goes missing after visiting the Rosings library Mr. Darcy comes to the rescue but finds himself trapped in a secret passageway leading from the library to the Masters room, and it is in this confined space they will come to know each other and develop a special and unique bond.

It is beautiful to see how they connect under the circumstances they are placed in, how they get to know one another in a profound manner. Despite the difficulties they face, they are able to keep their sense of humor which allows this book to be a light romance that will please the most romantic hearts.

Each chapter tells the events from the point of view either of Elizabeth or Mr. Darcy and that change at each chapter kept the story dynamic, stimulating an unputdowable.

I loved Darcy’s character and background that took Wickham’s wickedness into a completely different level, however it was more difficult to connect with Elizabeth because I considered some of her attitudes immature. On the other hand, she does assume that she had some fault in encouraging Jane’s feelings for Bingley which is something I rarely see in a book and that matches entirely my reading of her character!

Once more this Christie Capps novella proves to be perfect for when we need a quick romantic book to read. The story is lovely and we can see how Mr. Darcy’s vulnerability opens his way into Elizabeth’s heart. Reading this book gave me a profound sense of wellbeing and I recommend it to readers who prefer low angst and sweet romances.

You can find Lost & Found at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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London Holiday Vignette & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

Today I’m very happy to receive at From Pemberley to Milton one of my favourite authors, Nicole Clarkston. She has always been a very special author to me because she writes both Pride and Prejudice and North and South fan fiction books, but after releasing These Dreams, a book with Portuguese characters and settings, she has definitely conquered a place in my heart that will always remain hers! I will never forget Amália and her story, and who knows…maybe one day the author will present me with a prequel 🙂 Until that day comes, I get the satisfaction of reading more and more stories penned by Nicole Clarkston with Elizabeth and Darcy assuming the primary roles, such as London Holiday. This book could not be more different from These Dreams, but it is equally good! It is entertaining, romantic and an easy read. I would invite you to read my review of it so you may know how much I loved it!!!

I would also invite you to read this vignette that Nicole Clarkston did not use in the book but decided to share with all of you 🙂

 


 

This scene was one that I was itching to write in London Holiday, but it would have disrupted the flow of the story. For that reason, I left it untouched, so the final chapters of the book remained all about Darcy and Elizabeth. However, I could not help but snicker when I wondered how Darcy’s conversation with Mr Bennet might have gone.

-NC


“Mr Darcy, I understand you wish to speak with me?”

Darcy inclined his head slightly and entered Mr Bennet’s library as the gentleman held the door. “I did, sir. Thank you for receiving me this morning.”

“It must be some unusual circumstance, to bring a gentleman I have never met to my door so early in the morning to request a private audience. Tell me, sir, do you bring some troubling news from London?”

“No, nothing of the kind. I have come on quite another matter altogether, and one of the highest import.”

“Indeed?” Bennet’s right eyebrow quirked, so very like his daughter that Darcy could not help but smile.

“Yes, sir, it concerns your daughter, Miss Elizabeth. It was my very great pleasure to make her acquaintance when she was recently in Town.”

Bennet lowered himself slowly into his chair, and a knowing smile began to grow on his lips. “I understand she had a rather interesting visit. Tell me, sir, do you come to report some scandal to me? Shall you be insisting that I restrain my daughters better?”

“On the contrary, Mr Bennet, I have nothing but admiration for Miss Elizabeth. That is the reason I have come to you this morning.”

“Ah,” the father touched his lips and nodded. “Then you must be desiring to know where we have her gowns made up. You have a sister or some other female relative, I suppose? Or perhaps you wish to know where she learned to dance so well, and would like an introduction to her master. I am afraid I have actively avoided intimate knowledge of those subjects. Perhaps you may apply to Mrs Bennet for the information you seek.”

Darcy was forced to close his mouth, which had dropped open in confusion, before he could speak his purpose. “I have come, sir, to request Miss Elizabeth’s hand in marriage.”

Mr Bennet’s chair creaked. His lips puckered, and he stared at Darcy a moment in pensive silence. “This is a very fine joke,” he declared at last. “I see how it is, you are punishing me for failing to introduce myself at Netherfield by coming here to shock me with your blatant declaration. Very well, consider me properly chastened. I understand Mr Bingley has also come with you, so let us have our introductions now. Shall we?”

Darcy blinked, narrowed his eyes, and hesitated a moment before speaking again. “Mr Bennet, I am perfectly in earnest. I wish to make Miss Elizabeth my wife, and I have brought settlement papers for your approval. I hope you will be pleased with my proposal.”

“My good man,” Bennet chuckled, shaking his head, “perhaps you do not know what you are about. My Lizzy is rather fetching, but she is a headstrong girl, and not likely to submit willingly when I tell her I have given her away to a man I have never set eyes upon before this morning, on the recommendation of little more than a settlement document.” Bennet waved his hand, chortling as if Darcy had just provided his amusement for the day, and made as if he would stand again.

“Be that as it may,” Darcy interrupted, “I am well enough acquainted with the lady. I love her sincerely, and shall ever do so. I confessed my feelings last evening, and she has already given her consent to marry. I understand you know nothing of me, but I can provide references of my character from sources no less than the Earl and countess of Matlock, as well as that of Mr Bingley, who is deservedly well regarded in this neighbourhood.”

Bennet shook his head gravely. “I am afraid that will not suit, for I am not acquainted with any of these myself. Perhaps you will satisfy my fatherly concerns by granting me a personal interview, during which I shall do my utmost to crack open your character.”

Darcy gestured agreeably. “As you wish, sir.”

“How did you meet my Lizzy? At a party, or at the book seller’s? Perhaps a stroll in Hyde Park?”

“It was none of these, I am afraid. I confess that the circumstances in which I first met Miss Elizabeth were less than auspicious.”

“Then by this, may I infer that some insults were exchanged? You see, I know my daughter well. You strike me as an agreeable enough fellow when matters are as you like, but perhaps not when you are displeased. My Lizzy is anything but complacent, so it must have been a memorable encounter. Now, let me have it. Which of you offended the other first?”

“I regret to confess that you are correct, sir. There were… misunderstandings, and I am afraid I must own them all.” Darcy permitted a whimsical smile, and his voice softened. “Miss Elizabeth has a rather lively disposition, as you say.”

“And yet I see you here in my library at half an hour past sunrise. Singular! Very well, that is one mark in your favour, for if a gentleman can weather my Lizzy’s barbed tongue long enough to learn to admire her other qualities, and so much so that he determines to seek me out immediately upon coming to the neighbourhood, he might survive marriage to her.”

Darcy nodded, but was not at ease yet. “I am glad you approve, Mr Bennet.”

“I did not say quite so much yet. How often did you meet with my daughter? She was only in town a little over a fortnight, and for you now to proclaim undying love her after such a short acquaintance, one must assume you saw her nearly every day.”

Darcy frowned. “Only one day, in fact.”

“One day! That must have been the most thrilling quarter hour of your life, sir. Or was it a whole hour?”

Darcy shifted in his seat, his polished shoes stirring the carpet and scuffing against the leg of his chair. “To be quite frank, it was the whole of the day.”

“Curious! I shall speak with my brother regarding his care of my daughter while she was at his house. If he permitted a strange gentleman practically off the street to stay all day in company with my unmarried daughters, I must wonder what has become of his good sense.”

“Mr Bennet, I beg you would not think poorly of Mr Gardiner. I believe he took prodigious care of his nieces while they were in his home. If there is to be any censure whatsoever, it must fall solely upon myself. I cannot reflect on all my actions without self-reproach, but I am infinitely glad that my moments of ill judgment or impropriety have caused no lasting harm. In fact, they have brought me the greatest blessing of my life.”

Mr Bennet drummed his fingers against one another as they crossed over his abdomen. “You have been rather coy with me, Mr Darcy. Very well, I shall play your game, but I must have a straight answer or two from you.”

“By all means, sir.”

Bennet rose from his chair and paced to his window, his hands locking behind his back. “What do you think of my library, sir?”

Darcy tilted his head. “I beg your pardon?”

Bennet turned, revealing a sly curve of his lip. “It is well stocked, is it not? After all, every man must have his lair. Is mine not the pillar of excellence?”

Darcy glanced around, shifted uncomfortably in his chair once more, and bit his lip. Elizabeth had warned him that her father could be rather peculiar, and he could not see his way clear to blind flattery. Whatever the man was about, Darcy could not force himself to compliments he did not feel. “It is certainly stocked, sir, but whether it is done well, I cannot say. I have not had the leisure to examine the titles on the shelves, save for a volume of Shakespeare there on the table which I believe was in Miss Elizabeth’s possession last week.”

“And what of the atmosphere, sir? Every man’s book room must be his haven, a retreat where he is safe from his wife’s meddling and the maids’ interference.”

Darcy pursed his lips and raised his brow. “In this case, perhaps you might have done well to permit some meddling from the maids. I prefer to know where my books are at all times, and to know that when I disturb their place on the shelves, I shall not also disturb a mountain of dust. As for retreating from my wife and locking her from the book room, I should vastly prefer that she consider it her dominion. Far better is it to share the sanctity of such a room with a wife who would treasure it as much as I.”

Bennet turned back to him, an undisguised chuckle crinkling his face. “Ah, there we have two points in your favour, sir. My Lizzy would share a book room with her husband whether he desired it or no, so it is just as well that you have already made your peace with the notion.”

“That sounds as if it is only one point, sir.”

“Indeed! The second is that you made no attempt to disguise your opinions from me. I know very well that my library is a shambles; a filthy nest I have made it, and I prefer it that way because my wife does not appreciate a good library, and in its present state she leaves me well enough alone. I also prefer men who do not attempt to flatter me with untruths, and I can see you are not a man suited for… disguise, Mr Darcy.”

Darcy leaned forward in his chair, relaxing somewhat but still cautious. “May I ask, sir, how many ‘points’ do you require in my favour before you will grant your blessing?”

Bennet laughed. “You are a clever fellow, sir, but I shall reserve that answer for the moment. I should like to learn a little more of you, for if you are, after all, to marry my daughter, we must have some conversation. You seem a fastidious man, Mr Darcy.”

“And upon what do you base this observation, sir?”

“Well, I caught a good look at that fine carriage in my drive, but your attire speaks for itself. You have a fine turnout, sir. Do you always dress so sharply, or do you occasionally fancy less formal vestment?”

Darcy arched a brow. “May I ask to what these questions tend?”

Bennet smiled. “Merely the illustration of your character, sir. I cannot quite make you out. You see, I had heard some differing accounts of Elizabeth’s stay in town, and I do not get on at all with the picture you present. I am afraid that may be a mark against you. Have you recently changed tailors, sir?”

“I expect you already know what you wish on that head,” Darcy confessed slowly.

“Mmm.” Bennet nodded, his eye twinkling. “And that fine carriage—have you had it long? You must have already noted the somewhat shabbier one standing in my shed as you passed. What do you think, Mr Darcy, could mine be fitted up so handsomely as yours?”

Darcy shifted his weight back again, pursing his lips. “Is there some particular complaint you would make about your own carriage, sir?”

“Oh, indeed. My stable boy fell off the back only last week. I can see by the look of yours that you have had some better provisions made for a footman. You must be monstrous particular, sir. One might suspect that you had some peculiar empathy for the men in your employ.”

“Mr Bennet,” Darcy rose, provoked at last beyond civility, “have you some accusation to make against me? It is plain to me that you are well acquainted with the circumstances of my introduction to Miss Elizabeth. Allow me to be perfectly clear, sir. I am not a man to be trifled with, as I see you are bent on doing. I will not be made a subject of your amusement, but if you demand some proof of my determination, if you doubt the depth of my attachment to Miss Elizabeth, I shall accept any challenge or offer any proof you demand, up to mounting the back of your dilapidated carriage and riding it all the way to London. I grow impatient with your jests, sir, and now I ask—” Darcy paused, halted in his defensive tirade by the tearful laughter of the older gentleman.

“Pray,” Mr Bennet was wiping his eyes, “desist, Mr Darcy! Enough, for you have my blessing. Any man who can suffer the humiliations I believe you have and still wish to marry my daughter must, indeed, be earnestly attached to her. She may even be able to respect you, for you are certainly a stubborn fellow. Heaven help you both once you must live under the same roof!”

Darcy at last drew an easy breath. “You will make no objections, sir?”

“Far from it.” Bennet turned and withdrew a small flask of Scotch from his cabinet, then tilted it in a silent offer of gentlemanly hospitality.

Darcy accepted both the glass and, a moment later, a mediocre cigar. “Thank you, sir.”

“Not at all,” Bennet waved. “But if you do not mind, perhaps you can satisfy my curiosity on two final points.”

“And they are?”

“Precisely how large is your library?”

Darcy smiled. “Which one? The one at my London house would make three of this one… with all due respect, sir.”

“And the one at your estate?”

Darcy set his glass down and bit his lips together. “Substantially larger.”

Bennet’s eyes fairly sparkled like a young girl’s. “Marvellous,” he breathed. He lifted his glass for another long, thoughtful draught.

“And the other point, sir? You said there were two.”

“Ah, yes. I have taken a fancy lately to visit Town, and most particularly a certain attraction which has become rather popular among my acquaintance. I wonder if it is worth the trouble and would live up to the reports I have heard. Tell me, have you ever been for a ride in a hot air balloon?”


.

Drugged and betrayed in his own household, Fitzwilliam Darcy makes his escape from a forged compromise that would see him unhappily wed. Dressed as a footman, he is welcomed into one of London’s unknown neighbourhoods by a young lady who is running out of time and running for her life.

Deciding to hide in plain sight, Miss Elizabeth Bennet dodges the expectation to marry the man of her mother’s dreams. When the insolent footman she “found” refuses to leave her side until they can uncover a solution to their respective dilemmas, the two new acquaintances treat themselves to a holiday, experiencing the best of what Regency England has to offer.

Based on Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, can two hard-headed characters with kind hearts discover the truth behind the disguise? Enjoy the banter, humour, and growing affection as Mr Darcy and Miss Elizabeth have the best day of their lives, and discover that they just might find love and romance while on a London Holiday. This book is appropriate for all ages.

 

You can find London Holiday at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Kindle Unlimited

 


 

 

The blog tour is just beginning, please don’t miss all the other stops for more surprises:

June 7   So little time…;                   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

June 8   Diary of an Eccentric;            Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

June 9   Just Jane 1813;                Review, GA

June 10 My life journey;                Review, GA

June 11 From Pemberley to Milton;    Vignette, GA

June 12 My Jane Austen Book Club;  Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

June 13 Half Agony, Half Hope;         Review, Excerpt, GA

June 15 Austenesque Reviews;    Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

June 16 My Love for Jane Austen;    Vignette, GA

June 18 Obsessed with Mr. Darcy;    Review, GA

June 19 My Vices and Weaknesses;    Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

June 20 A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life;  Guest Post

 


 

Nicole Clarkston is offering her readers 8 ebook  copies of London Holiday, 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 London Holiday by Nicole Clarkston. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

To enter the giveaway click here.

Good luck everyone!

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