Unwrapping Mr. Darcy Review & Giveaway

Unwrapping Mr. Darcy is a sweet modernization that is perfect to read during December first because the story begins in that period, and second because everything in the story transports us into a Christmas environment. I could feel the winter breeze and Christmas excitement that comes with the Secret Santa described in this book, and always had a feeling of cozyness that made me keep reading until I reached the last page.

In Unwrapping Mr.Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, a recently hired attorney, hears Mr.Darcy, the head of the company, making a remark about how she was only hired because she is the sister of the girl Bingley is dating and feels he is diminishing her merit. This sets the prejudice that will be present in a big part of their relationship, but after that remark Mr.Darcy starts paying attention to her and realizes she is in fact the only woman capable of steering any type of feeling in him, so he decides to change her opinion of him.

He convinces Bingley to rig the Secret Santa to be able to surprise her and based on the advent calendar presents her with small but thoughtful gifts every single day until Christmas. He does it expecting that this gesture will change her perspective of him and also give him the chance to have an actual conversation with her, but you know Elizabeth Bennet, it will tho be that simple 🙂

Every single gift shows just how attentive and caring Mr. Darcy is. He is the perfect gentleman and the man most of us wish she would one day call her husband. I felt for him with each gift and word and he is the main reason why I loved this book so much.

I’ve also loved Elizabeth and was pleasantly surprised with Bingley and Jane who were the perfect secondary characters. I loved watching the four of them together and their interactions always made me want to jump into the pages of the book and join their dinners. Their little matchmaking was funny to see and I’m glad Jane opened Elizabeth’s eyes on Christmas Day because that led to my favorite scene in the entire book!

Whickham makes a small appearance but I was happy to see that he was not a cause for conflict, his small part was an interesting detail but it did not lead us away from the interactions of the main characters and I appreciated that.

The end of the book is very rewarding as the author took the time to show readers just how happy our dear couple is. We have a glimpse of their happily ever after and I’m sure most readers will particularly love this part of the book.

I really enjoyed reading this story and recommend it to all readers who want a cozy, entertaining and romantic story, but be prepared to be swooned by Mr.Darcy, he is irresistible!

You can find Unwrapping Mr. Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


Have I made you curious about this book? I hope so, it is the perfect book to read during Christmas Time, and it may even inspire you to buy less expensive but thoughtful presents for your loved ones! Mr. Darcy did a great job at that 😉 Anyway,  if I have made you at least a little curious please follow the blog tour. You’ll be able to read excerpts, guest posts and much more in all the below mentioned blogs 🙂 And of course, there will be more chances to win the amazing giveaway prize, have I mentioned there is also a giveaway?


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By now you know this book is all about gifts, and L. L. Diamond brough some with her 🙂 She is offering several goodies listed below:

Unwrapping Mr. Darcy Giveaway: (complete list of all the wonderful goodies)

Unwrapping Mr. Darcy tote bag
Pride and Prejudice quote temporary tattoos
Jane Austen Quote Gift Cards
Pride and Prejudice large postcard
Black cat wine glass
4 Lavender mini bath bombs
1 floral large bath bomb (has lavender buds)
Lavender shower bomb
Lavender bubble bar
Yankee Candle Lemon Lavender Candle
Black cat silhouette coaster
Black cat thermos with spoon
Jane Austen quote postcard
Black cat wine topper (just like Elizabeth’s!)

(cat not included ;))

To enter this giveaway please click here.

Good Luck everyone!

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And the winners are…

Hello everyone,

Are you all set up for Halloween? I could tell from my visit to the southern states that this holiday is taken very seriously by some people and I fell in love with all the Halloween and autumn decorations I saw but unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have time to decorate my house, maybe next year I’ll start a new tradition and decorate everything 🙂

Despite my travels, October was a very active month at From Pemberley to Milton with lots of authors visiting and sharing news on their work, and as always, many of them brought gifts with them. Lory Lilian and Alice Isakova were two of these authors with whom I had the pleasure to work with. I would like to thank them both for the patience and kindness they showed towards me and my readers, but also announce the ones who were lucky to win a book, so without further ado the lucky winners are:

Any of Lory Lilian’s book – Winners choice

*** Rachel Sheransky Danziger***

*** Ginna ***

Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

*** Michelle H***

*** Lynnchar***

***CaroleinCanada***

*** J.W. Garrett***

*** Lilar53***

Congratulations everyone! I hope you enjoy your prizes 🙂 Can you please send me your address to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com so that we can send the books to you?

Happy Reading!!

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Elizabeth Adams Birthday with giveaways

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you are all having a great week and that fall is already warming your hearts 🙂 I’m not sure if y’all know but for the past two weeks I’ve been traveling through the Deep South in the United States, and I’m amazed with all the fall colors and decorations.

I started my trip in Miami, went down to the Florida Keys and then up to New Orleans and finally Tennessee where I had the most wonderful host anyone could ever have!!! It’s because of her that I’m publishing this post today, it is her birthday and I would like to ask you all to join me in wishing Elizabeth Adams a happy birthday!!!

While I was staying with her I learned a lot about the United States culture and even more about the southern ways, I visited lots of interesting places and I got a collection of signed paperbacks!!!

If you’ve been following my blog you know I love paperbacks, especially when they are signed, I love all the benefits of ebooks but who can resist an old fashioned paperback to put in the library?

My love for paperbacks inspired Elizabeth and to celebrate her birthday she is offering one signed copy of each of her books to her readers. This means that 6 different readers will get a chance to win one of her books, isn’t that a great idea?

Which one would you prefer to receive? Let us know in the comments your order of preference and why you’ve chosen that order. The giveaway winners will be randomly selected and the prizes will be attributed as in a lottery, meaning if you are the first name to be choosen you will have a chance to select any of the 6 books Elizabeth has published. If you are second you will have to select between the 5 remaining and so on, so it is important that you state all the books in your order of preference.

Your comment will gain you an entry in the giveaway and the winners will be announced in the beginning of November 🙂

If you want more chances to win a signed paperback share this post on any social media and let us know about it, we will consider that as an extra entry 🙂

As you can see from this picture Elizabeth is really happy to sign the paperbacks and offer them to you 😉 But if you are not sure about which book you would prefer, here is the list of all her published books with a small blurb for you to know what to expect 🙂

The Houseguest

When Georgiana Darcy comes to Netherfield to visit her brother, she becomes friends with a neighbor, Elizabeth Bennet. After Miss Darcy has returned to London, she invites her new friend to stay with her at the Darcy home in town … unbeknownst to Mr. Darcy.

Will this change in circumstances lead to a change in affections?

Unwilling

Mr. Bennet discovers his days are numbered, so he immediately begins to set his affairs — and his five unmarried daughters — in order. Knowing they will fare best should at least one of them find a suitable husband, he cannot refuse any respectable suitors.

The high-spirited Elizabeth suspects something isn’t right in the halls of Longbourn, but nothing prepares her for a certain haughty gentleman from Derbyshire. While Mr. Darcy is exceedingly wealthy and handsome, in Elizabeth’s opinion, he is also proud, high-handed, and insulting. And unfortunately, desperately in love with her.

Suddenly, Elizabeth is forced to rethink her previous opinions. And accept a choice she never had the chance to make.

Meryton Vignettes

What becomes of Longbourn when the Collins family inherits? How does Charlotte manage both her husband and an estate? Can she truly become the mistress of Longbourn while living in Mrs. Bennet’s shadow?

Caroline Bingley learns there’s more to life than chasing after Darcy. Can she find true affection? How will she live down the humiliation of being passed over?

Sometimes childhood experiences inform adult observations. Unfortunately for Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth’s recollections are not in his favor.

Mrs. Bennet makes a shocking discovery and her family must deal with the consequences.

Elizabeth navigates a situation she never thought she would find herself in, and in so doing, she learns more than she bargained for. Disturbingly more.

A jaded and mature Lydia finally grows up, but is the price she pays worth the wisdom she gains?

In this collection of six short stories, the people of Pride and Prejudice move on, grow up, and explore paths not taken. Time leads these beloved characters down roads of self-discovery, courage, and heartbreak. And sometimes, the journey takes them to surprising places.

On Equal Ground

Well-read, observant, and spirited, a young Elizabeth Bennet draws the attention of a wealthy widower.

When she finally meets Mr. Darcy, she outranks him. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from insulting her. Married and wealthy, is she still beneath his notice?

Elizabeth’s high society connections create new opportunities for her sisters and, in turn, keep Darcy close to her family.

When tragedy strikes, will Darcy rise to the occasion? Or will his propensity to give offense show no respect for rank?

The 26th of November

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.

Green Card

William Harper has it all: looks, money, power. There’s just one tiny problem—he’s about to be deported. He needs a green card. Fast. An American wife is the easiest way to get one. But where will he find a woman to marry him on such short notice?

Elizabeth Barrett is a full-time student, part-time dog walker, and weekend tutor. With a roommate who just ran out on her and neck deep in tuition payments, she needs money. Now. Harper just might make her an offer she can’t refuse.

He thinks he’s worked out the perfect deal, she thinks she’s signed up for an easy job. Neither of them bargained for the ride of their lives.

Oh, and yes, that’s me with all the paperbacks I got :)))) Look at the smile on my face :))

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!! 🎉

And good luck in the giveaway everyone 🙂

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Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor – Excerpt and Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone

I’m very pleased to announce that Jennifer Joy released a new book yesterday and I personally can not wait to start reading it! Jennifer Joys’s writing is very appealing to readers because it makes us feel good about the characters and the story, when I start reading one of her books I feel immediately pulled into it and I’m sure Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor will be no exception.

Today we are sharing with you the book blurb and an excerpt that shows just how swoon worthy this book is 🙂 I hope you like it!!! And don’t forget there is a very generous giveaway too, please charge your thoughts with us to be included in it.

Hero or villain? Gentleman or traitor?

What if your life depended on discerning one man’s character?

He wants to honor his family legacy.

Fitzwilliam Darcy takes his responsibilities seriously. He excels in every endeavor he pursues and upholds the highest standards … and he has little patience for those who flaunt their flaws like the Bennets do.

She wants to fall in love with a hero.

Elizabeth Bennet longs for the toe-curling romance she reads about in novels. She dreams of an honorable man — loyal and generous to the less fortunate … everything Mr. Darcy is not.

Now, he’s England’s most wanted criminal … and she’s stuck with him.

Besieged by highwaymen and left for dead in a snowstorm, Mr. Darcy seeks help only to get arrested for treason. A split second decision forever attaches Elizabeth to his side, and together, they’re on the run.

When adversity reveals their true character, will Elizabeth regret her decision? Or will she find her hero in Mr. Darcy? Can such a rigid, proper man return the passion she craves?

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor is a sweet and clean romantic suspense variation of Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice.

If you like swoon-worthy romance and pulse-pounding action, then you’ll love this book!

You can find Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

I’m an 80’s child with a special place in my heart for 80’s music. So when Bonnie Tyler comes on the radio, I sing along. You know one of her hits, Holding Out For a Hero? She talks about waiting for a good man to come along. He’s got to be strong, fast, fresh from the fight… She dreams of this hero, and she refuses to settle for less. Sounds like someone we know, huh? A young lady who said: “I am determined that nothing but the deepest love could ever induce me into matrimony.”

My goal with Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor was to give Elizabeth her hero. Now, my favorite heroes are those who overcome seemingly impossible odds without compromising their true nature. What could possibly happen to Mr. Darcy to test his character to the limits? That’s what I wrote about, and in doing so, Darcy not only becomes the hero of Elizabeth’s dreams but she becomes the woman who saves him. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Traitor is my most romantic story to date, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.

Here’s to the men of our dreams! And to Bonnie Tyler for giving me this book’s theme song!

Here’s a taste of what awaits you:

***

She did not want to open her eyes, and when she finally did, the sight of Mr. Darcy staring at her coiled her into knots again. He probably thought it was the height of impropriety for her and Jane to allow him to see their hair loose while in his presence. What was she supposed to do? Let her hair snarl into a knot resembling a bird’s nest?

She could have pointed out to him that there was nothing proper about their current circumstances, but he spared her from defending her behavior when he jerked open the latch and stepped outside, slamming the door behind him.

Jane exclaimed, “He does not have his coat on. He will freeze to death.”

Mr. Bingley snored, and Elizabeth imagined Mr. Darcy falling ill with a cold. Undesirous of caring for two ailing gentlemen, she charged over to the woodpile and grabbed his greatcoat. It was mostly dry thanks to its proximity to the fire.

“I will take this to him,” she said with all the enthusiasm of a martyr. If Mr. Darcy thought she would attend to him as tenderly as Jane cared for Mr. Bingley in his illness, he was in for a surprise. She would sooner slap him over the face with a cold rag than gently bathe his brow.

Donning her pelisse, her dislike for Mr. Darcy growing more severe as the damp fabric chilled her skin, Elizabeth pulled the collar up and braced herself. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door and secured it behind her in one fluid motion.

Her entire body shivered, and her chin shook.

Propriety be hanged! She wrapped Mr. Darcy’s greatcoat around her like a cloak. Snuggling into the thick wool, Elizabeth breathed in smoky oak and earth — odors that would forever remind her of Mr. Darcy. She sniffed the fresh air, trying to rid herself of it.

Mr. Darcy stood at the edge of visibility, his dark hair whipping around his face in the wind and his coattails flapping against his breeches.

Did he want to catch a cold? Kicking the snow away to save her skirts, she joined him, shoving the coat in front of him.

He pushed it back to her.

She had little patience for a man who would stand in the frigid wind without his coat. “What are you doing? Have you gone mad?”

Mr. Darcy threw his arms up in the air. “I must be,” he exclaimed with more energy than Elizabeth could ever recall him speaking.

She did not understand what had brought on this episode, but it did not change the fact that he needed his coat. She shoved it toward him again. “Then be so kind as to put your coat on. If you are to lose your mind, you might as well be warm.”

He cackled harshly, taking the coat and putting it on.

She looked at him from the corner of her eyes. What had come over him?

He made no effort to return to the house, and she stood with him for as long as she could, rubbing her arms and bouncing up and down to keep what little warmth she could retain. When her teeth began to chatter, she said, “Mr. Darcy, I cannot stay in the cold much longer, and yet I do not trust you alone out here. You are not well.”

He folded his arms over his chest and peered down at her. She must have been a pitiful sight. He slid his coat off and wrapped it around her shoulders quicker than she could protest. “What do you care? You despise me,” he said, pulling his coat around her snugly.

He looked at her as if her answer was important.

Unable to think of something clever when he had been nice to her and when she was certain her brain had frozen, she said, “You crossed the line when you interfered with my sister’s happiness, but the truth is, I do not know what to think of you. Yes, there are times I despise you, but then you will do something so honorable and sincere, I doubt my reasons for disliking you.” Lest he use her words to minimize his betrayal, she added, “How would you feel if someone, no matter how well-intentioned, ruined the prospects of your sister?”

She wanted him to feel her sister’s pain, to understand what he had made her suffer.

He stepped toward her, leaning forward so he filled her vision. The look in his eyes was so fierce it frightened her. “I would hate him forever. He would be dead to me.”

Overwhelmed by his intensity, Elizabeth stood firmly rooted in place, the wind whipping her skirts around her legs and pulling her hair loose to whirl around her head. She was aware of her surroundings, but they had no impact on her. Not when he allowed her to see him fully in his vulnerability. What she saw moved her. She felt Mr. Darcy’s pain at her very core. He understood her, and he hated himself.

If that was not enough to inspire her sympathy, nothing could. She tugged on his sleeve, urging him, “Come inside, Mr. Darcy. You see how thick the snow falls. None of us can leave here today.”

He allowed her to pull him inside the cottage where he spent the rest of the day in contemplative silence. He was vigilant assisting with the few measures they could take to ease Mr. Bingley’s discomfort, but he withdrew into himself.

Elizabeth’s curiosity grew the more she pondered Mr. Darcy. Opinions and gossip aside, who was he really? She burned to know.


What did you think of the excerpt? I found it very appealing and if this is a sample of the entire book I’m sure it will be a 5 star read :)))

I would like to thank Jennifer Joy for visiting today with the excerpt, it is always a pleasure to receive her at my blog and work with her. She is a very kind person and talented writer 🙂 She is also very generous and would like to celebrate this new release with all of you by offering a giveaway of 4 ebooks of Fitzwilliam Darcy Traitor.

All you have to do is comment on this post until the 31st of October and let us know what you thought of the excerpt.

The giveaway is international and the winners will be announced shortly after.

Good luck everyone!

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When Jane Got Angry Review & Giveaway

Diversity is clearly one of Victoria Kincaid’s characteristics that I cherish the most and why I respect and love her work so much. We never know what type of book to expect when she has a new release coming up and her latest was definitely a surprise for me. After When Mary Met the Colonel, which is my favourite secondary character novel, Ms Kincaid decided to venture once more in a secondary character story, but this time she choose sweet Jane as the main character. We don’t see a lot of variations solely based on Jane and Bingley’s love story, so if Jane is your favourite sister, you cannot miss this book.

On this story Jane travels to London after Mr. Bingley’s party leaves Netherfield, but instead of quietly waiting for something to happen she gets angry with Miss Bingley’s attitude, and when Jane gets angry good things happen 🙂

This is short but sweet novella that explores what would happen if Jane took a more active part in the pursuit of Mr. Bingley, and I really enjoyed seeing how her actions have repercussions in other people’s attitudes. Jane has more influence and power then some of us give her credit for and Victoria Kincaid did a wonderful job at exploring that. In this book we see an angry Jane who doesn’t quite know how to react to that new feeling, and consequently behaves in a surprising manner that changes the entire course of the story.

Mr. Bingley’s character was exactly as we know him to be, but he surprised me with how he handled Caroline’s meddling. He grew a backbone and stood up for his girl in the most exciting way! He was very smart and that made me love him a little bit more (I’m generally not a huge Bingley fan).

I loved the ending and the small appearance that both Mr Darcy and Elizabeth make in this story. They made it unique and funny and I couldn’t think of a better way to end this book.

I recommend When Jane Got Angry to all romance lovers who like sweet stories, but especially to JAFF readers who want to read a different and unique story. Darcy and Elizabeth make small appearances so if you only like to read books where they are the center of the story, this may not be for you. Even so, I usually prefer books where they are the main characters and I really enjoyed this one, so I would still recommend giving it a try. Jane and Bingley’s romance will captivate you.

You can find When Jane Got Angry at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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Victoria Kincaid would like to offer one ebook copy of When Jane Got Angry to my readers. All you have to do is comment on this post until the 31st of October. Ok The giveaway is international the winner will be announced shortly after 🙂

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Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Excerpt & Giveaway

Good afternoon everyone,

In the beginning of the week I had the honour to receive at From Pemberley to Milton Lory Lilian, one of the first authors to publish JAFF over a decade ago, and now that we are approaching the end of the week I am pleased to bring to you a new author who is publishing her first book, Alice Isakova.

Ms Isakova chose Georgiana Darcy as a heroine for her first story, and I know that some of my readers will be thrilled with this choice because I know she is a favourite amongst many. Today we bring to you an excerpt that can give you a very good idea about the book, I hope you like it 🙂

I would also like to thank Alice Isakova for visiting! It is always a pleasure to receive new authors in my blog, but particularly rewarding to receive guests who are kind and pleasant to work with as you were 🙂

 

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With her temptingly large dowry, the beautiful and talented Georgiana Darcy catches the eye of numerous suitors, not all of whom wish to marry purely for love. As Georgiana navigates the treacherous waters of courtship, her story becomes intertwined with that of Anne de Bourgh, her wealthy but painfully awkward cousin, who stirs up trouble when she sets her sights on a young gentleman with a rank far below her own. In so doing, Anne encounters the opposition of her proud and domineering mother, the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and sets in motion a chain of events that brings a damaging secret to light and threatens to destroy Georgiana’s dreams of happiness. Intrigues, gossip, and elopements further complicate Georgiana’s efforts to find love and avoid the snares of fortune-hunters.

Written in a sparkling, witty, humorous style on par with Jane Austen’s own in Pride and Prejudice, Alice Isakova’s Georgiana Darcy continues the tale that has delighted readers for over two centuries.

You can find Georgiana Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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Hello readers, and thank you, Rita, for hosting me on From Pemberley to Milton. The following excerpt from my book is part of a ballroom scene that takes place in Bath, where Miss Darcy is spending the winter with Mr. Bingley and Jane. Georgiana has just arrived at the Upper Assembly Rooms, and as she is one of the wealthiest and most beautiful debutantes present, it is not long before the gentlemen begin a battle for her heart.

***

Mr. Grey was not the only one overjoyed to see Georgiana at the ball. Michael Brydges had also come to the Upper Rooms that evening in hopes that Miss Darcy would be there. When she arrived, he had been dancing, but seeing her now, he eagerly moved through the crowd in her direction. Alas, suddenly noticing an unknown (and concerningly handsome) gentleman who was deeply engaged in conversation with Georgiana, Mr. Brydges paused. He then turned and went towards his sister, who was nearby, and asked her:

“Grace, who is that gentleman over there?”

“I do not know his name, but I saw him come with Sir Philip and Lady Egerton. Perhaps he is some relation of theirs?”

“He does seem very well-acquainted with Miss Darcy, does he not? We must find out who he is.”

“I managed to discover the size of Miss Darcy’s fortune, though,” said Miss Brydges.

“And is it a large one?”

“A well-informed acquaintance tells me that she has thirty thousand pounds.”

“Thirty thousand pounds! God has indeed been good to me!” exclaimed Mr. Brydges.

No less enticing than this excellent fortune was the prospect of marrying into the eminent Darcy family, which was an ancient and well-respected one of Norman origin. Furthermore, as the niece of the Earl of —, Miss Darcy could hardly have better connections. Since an earl is influential at court and has the ear of the king, reasoned the gentleman, her uncle could do much to help him advance in politics. Then, also, Miss Darcy’s beauty and charm were such that Mr. Brydges should be proud to introduce her to all his acquaintances; he relished the thought that every one of them would admire his choice of wife and think the more highly of him for it, and perhaps even envy him. Almost as much as he enjoyed being envied, the gentleman liked possessing beautiful things, and what a pleasure it would be to feast his eyes on such a glorious wife every day! She would adorn even the finest house that he might hope to acquire.

While Mr. Brydges was absorbed in these enjoyable contemplations, Mr. Bingley happened to pass by. On perceiving each other, the two men exchanged greetings. Mr. Brydges then introduced Bingley to his sister, and as soon as the opportunity arose, he asked with feigned unconcern:

“That gentleman speaking with Miss Darcy, is it by any chance her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy?”

“No, that is Mr. Grey. I can introduce the two of you if you like.”

“I would be delighted to make his acquaintance.”

However, there was less delight than suspicion in Michael Brydges’ countenance during the introduction. He immediately disliked his rival; Mr. Grey was just the sort of man a woman could easily fall in love with—handsome, intelligent, amiable, and lively. Mr. Brydges was impatient to learn more about him but even more impatient to dance with Georgiana, and therefore, instead of spending much time on conversation with his new acquaintance, he seized the opportunity to solicit Miss Darcy’s hand for the next dance. She had no choice but to accept; yet, as Georgiana was walking away with him, for a brief moment she turned her head to look back at Mr. Grey. He, meanwhile, was inwardly kicking himself for having missed the chance to stand up with Miss Darcy. Why on earth had he not asked her to dance?!

Grace Brydges stayed behind with Mr. Grey, and after they had been chatting together a few minutes, she suddenly had an idea. Seeing a pretty but rather silly, young acquaintance of hers nearby, she addressed her with:

“Miss Pheasant, how lovely to see you here this evening! Come, there is someone I would like you to meet!”

After Miss Brydges had introduced Mr. Grey to the young lady, she asked her, “Have you danced yet this evening, Miss Pheasant?”

“No, Miss Brydges, not yet.”

“But you are very fond of dancing?”

“Oh yes, I love it above any other amusement!” cried Miss Pheasant, beaming radiantly at Mr. Grey.

In light of such an obvious hint, the young man did his duty in asking Miss Pheasant to be his partner for the next dance. No sooner had he done so, than Miss Fanny Pheasant came towards them in search of her elder sister. To this young lady Mr. Grey was promptly introduced as well, and before he knew it, he was engaged for not one but both of the next two dances. The poor gentleman could only hope that the Miss Pheasants had no other sisters.


 

 

Born in Eastern Europe, Alice Isakova spent the latter part of her childhood in the United States before finally settling in Australia. There she obtained a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and won multiple university prizes for outstanding academic achievement.Alice now lives with her family in rural Tasmania. She spends her free time either writing or pursuing her passion for fitness, especially the disciplines of rhythmic gymnastics, yoga, and ballet. Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is Alice Isakova’s first book

 

You can reach out to Alice Isakova on the following media:

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/aliceisakova
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18169009.Alice_Isakova

 

 

 


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Alice would like to offer five ebook copies to my readers, the giveaway is international and all you have to do is comment on this post until the 19th of October. Let us know what you think of this excerpt or who is your favourite secondary character…do you have a particular fondness for Georgiana? I have a preference for Col. Fitzwilliam and Mary, what about you?

Good Luck everyone!

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Bitterness of Spirit, Excerpt & Giveaway

Good Afternoon everyone,

I am the bearer of good news today! Maybe you’ve noticed, but in case you haven’t, Lory Lilian has released a new book this weekend! It is called Bitterness of Spirit and from what I’ve heard the Queen of Hot Mush did it again! I’m taking this one with me on my road trip and I think it will be the perfect company for when I’ll be relaxing in a paradisiac beach 🙂

Ms Lilian decided to share with all of you and excerpt where Elizabeth and Darcy seem to be in advance stage of their relationship… I wonder if their will be any angst before they get to this point in the story. I would certainly like that, but I’m sure I will love all the Hot Mush we will get for sure in the final chapters 🙂

I will let you read the excerpt and take the chance to win any book of your choice from Lory Lilian 🙂 She came bearing gifts, and the best thing is, you get to choose them 🙂


 

 

Bitterness of Spirit tells the same beloved story—with new twists, new characters, and new situations—of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, two powerful characters struggling against pride and prejudice to reach their happily ever after.

On the path towards happiness, they overcome well-known obstacles, as well as new ones, face opponents in classic battles, and defeat others in unique ways.

Even more, an original character—seemingly lost to the world for nearly a lifetime—emerges from an obscure past to connect their lives and families in a way no one could imagine.

Will Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship disintegrate or evolve under such challenging circumstances?

Bitterness of Spirit is recommended for a general audience except for the last chapter, which is intended for mature readers. It may be omitted based on the reader’s preference.

You can find Bitterness of Spirit at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 


 

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They continued their walk as well as their conversation. Gradually, Bingley and Jane, arm in arm, moved several steps further while Elizabeth and Darcy remained a little behind.

The park was crowded, and the paths, bordered by rows of flowers, carried a charming scent. A few minutes passed before Darcy began to speak.

“Miss Bennet, I am glad we have the chance to speak privately. To be honest, this was the main purpose of my visit today. For several days now, I have wanted to approach you about a rather delicate matter.”

They walked side by side, their arms almost touching as they moved.

A chill coursed through her. “A delicate matter? What would that be, sir?” Surely, he would not propose if he started that way, and certainly not in the middle of the park. Or would he?

“Miss Bennet, Lady Catherine has finally accepted Wilson’s invitation to the ball,” he said hesitantly.

“Has she?”

“Yes. To our mutual surprise, it was Anne who insisted upon attending. It was quite unexpected; she usually loathes such parties. I believe this will only be the second ball she has attended in London.”

“I am truly happy to hear that she wishes to come. And honoured,” Elizabeth replied sincerely.

“I believe that is what convinced my aunt to attend. There is…something different about Anne lately. She expresses her wishes and opinions more decidedly. She has grown in strength and determination. Both Richard and I are pleased to witness her improvement.”

“That is wonderful news indeed. And what have the doctors said about her health?”

“They are still uncertain, but she seems to feel better than I have seen her in the last years. And that is what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Miss De Bourgh’s health?” Elizabeth inquired, puzzled.

“No…her presence at the ball.”

“Oh…is there a problem?”

“Yes…not really… In order to convince Lady Catherine to attend the ball with Anne, Richard and I promised to take care of her and make her feel comfortable. Anne will not dance; she has never danced in public. So Richard and I decided to take turns; while one of us dances, the other will stay with Anne.”

“How generous and kind of you. Miss De Bourgh is surely pleased to have such considerate cousins,” Elizabeth responded, puzzled as to why he would make such a disclosure to her.

“We only hope to see her content and relaxed. However, many of those in attendance know that Anne and I are expected to marry,” he uttered, glancing at her. She met his eyes briefly.

“Anne and I know such an event will not occur, but still people will look at us. Therefore, I must be careful and mind my manners to avoid arousing useless gossip.”

Elizabeth’s puzzlement increased. “What kind of gossip, sir?”

He stopped and turned to her. “It was my intention to ask you for the first set, Miss Bennet. And for at least one other set during the evening.”

She held his intense gaze and allowed herself to become lost in it.

“Oh…” she whispered while he slowly resumed walking.

“However, in doing that, I would place Anne in an awkward position and provoke all kinds of rumours. That is, if I invited you to dance and you agreed.”

“Yes,” she admitted without hesitation, her heart pounding. She then stopped and he did the same. “I would have gladly accepted your invitations—both of them—and that would have indeed put Miss De Bourgh in a difficult position.”

Their eyes locked again before they continued to walk. No other words were needed.

“Therefore, I told Richard that I would not dance the first two sets. I suspect he will invite you for the first set and Miss Bennet for the second.”

“Thank you for warning me,” she said, laughing nervously.

“I shall ask Miss Bennet for the third set, and if you would do me the honour, I would kindly ask you to reserve me the supper set.”

“I think that is a perfect choice, sir,” she whispered.

They stepped side by side for a while, her emotions mixed and strong. His confession and the explanation he offered were stronger proof of his affection than any dance could be. His kindness towards his cousin did not diminish his admiration and care for her.

“Thank you for listening to me, Miss Bennet. I was reluctant to broach such a subject with you as I feared it would be an awkward conversation. But for many months, I behaved in a way that allowed you to form a wrong impression of me. This time, I wished to avoid any misunderstanding.”

“It was an awkward conversation indeed.” She laughed again. “But I am deeply grateful to you for it. I confess that I hoped you would ask me for the first set—or for any other.”

“This is good to know…very good to know,” he uttered in a low voice.

“Will you come to Hertfordshire?” she inquired sometime later. They were both looking ahead, paying attention to the view ahead, painfully aware of each other’s closeness.

“I shall, but I am not sure of the length of my stay. I would rather go to Pemberley to be certain everything is prepared for your arrival.”

She said nothing but felt so much that her entire being was wracked by chills. Her mind tried to keep her racing heart under good regulation, but not even her fear of assuming too much could dismiss the obvious truth in his words.

Although their walk lasted only an hour, Elizabeth knew its importance could last a lifetime.

They returned home, and the gentlemen soon left, leaving both Miss Bennets with large smiles and light hearts that did not go unnoticed by their relatives. However, the only subject discussed was the upcoming ball.


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Ms Lilian would like to offer two ebooks to two different winners. The giveaway is international and each winner will be able to choose any of her books including Bitterness of Spirit.

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is comment on this post until the 19th of October and let us know what you thought of this excerpt.

Good Luck everyone!

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Rational Creatures – Guest Post from Nicole Clarkston

Good Afternoon everyone,

Welcome to another stop of the blog tour for Rational Creatures, one of the most expected books of the year not only because of its significance when it comes to the defense of feminist principles, but also because editor Christina Boyd was once more able to gather some of the most prominent names in the JAFF literary genre. I’m very happy to receive an author who is new in the The Quill Collective Anthologies but someone whom I’ve known quite well for the past years, Nicole Clarskton.

Nicole Clarkston is one of my favourite authors within the genre for more reasons that I can point out (but you can check some of them in my Author of the Month post) and she decided to create a story about one of the most controversial heroines from Jane Austen’s novels: Marianne Dashwood. This character had everything for me to love her, and quite frankly her sister had everything for me to hate her, but somehow Austen made me love Elinor and dislike Marianne. Why is that? Why is such a passionate character so controversial? I believe it is because of her lack of maturity, but Nicole Clarkston did a great job at explaining the progress of this character, so I if like me you were not a fan of Marianne, you may enjoy reading this guest post, it may change your mind 😉


“But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” —Persuasion
 
Jane Austen: True romantic or rational creature? Her novels transport us back to the Regency, a time when well-mannered gentlemen and finely-bred ladies fell in love as they danced at balls and rode in carriages. Yet her heroines, such as Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Elinor Dashwood, were no swooning, fainthearted damsels in distress. Austen’s novels have become timeless classics because of their biting wit, honest social commentary, and because she wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. True to their principles and beliefs, they fought through hypocrisy and broke social boundaries to find their happily-ever-after.

In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, sixteen celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s brave adventuresses, her shy maidens, her talkative spinsters, and her naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity.

Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism.

“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; —that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” —Mary Wollstonecraft

Stories by: Elizabeth Adams * Nicole Clarkston * Karen M Cox * J. Marie Croft * Amy D’Orazio * Jenetta James * Jessie Lewis * KaraLynne Mackrory * Lona Manning * Christina Morland * Beau North * Sophia Rose * Anngela Schroeder * Joana Starnes * Caitlin Williams * Edited by Christina Boyd * Foreword by Devoney Looser


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Marianne Dashwood: the last girl in the world whose name you would accidentally breathe in the same sentence as the word “rational”.

Marianne is introduced to us as exceedingly pretty, lively, engaging, witty, and talented. She is that girl who can hold the room in her thrall with hardly a conscious thought. She is, however, regularly given to excesses of passion—which even her mother encourages—that would eliminate her from the running if we were on the search for someone cool, calm, and collected. That laurel would go to her sister, and Marianne would suffer not a moment’s jealousy in being passed over for such accolades.

Marianne is not without other virtues. She is honest and pure, and her definition of these qualities is exacting. She speaks no guile and expresses every feeling, every thought with heartfelt sincerity. Indeed, this charming trait is perhaps her greatest flaw, for the expression “think before you speak” would smack of artifice to her. Her feelings are passionate, loving, unreserved, and wholly ungoverned. Not only does she permit her emotions free reign over her thoughts and actions, but she encourages them, provoking herself to even greater displays of feeling and relishing every moment of the heights of rapture or the depths of despair.

At this point, you might be asking why anyone would ever have the nerve to declare Marianne Dashwood a “Rational Creature”. I believe the girl we meet at the beginning of the story would even be offended by that appellation, and would immediately quote some poetry to better describe herself. But Marianne undergoes a complete reversal, marrying a stoic man twice her age and bewildering the reader who tries to thumb ahead to read the last pages without first knowing the arc of the story.

She did give her heart away… shocking, I know. In truth, she tore it out of her chest and threw it at an unworthy rascal, who promptly dropped it like a hot potato when the choice was between her and money. What, then, is a girl to do? Not only has she lost that one soul in whom she truly believed she must find all her happiness, she has also been forced to acknowledge the fallacy of her ways in a most humiliating manner. To top it all off, she discovers that her sister—remember the rational one?—has suffered a similar disappointment but has preserved her dignity through it all. That must sting.

Well, it turns out that our girl has a bit of sense bound up in that heart after all. After a life-threatening illness, she emerges a new creature. She is still our headstrong, generous, thoroughly enchanting heroine—the soul of a poet in the body of a bewitching eighteen-year-old girl—but she has learned the value of temperance. Moreover, she resolves to hone her own mind, to discipline her thoughts, and—most astonishing of all—to consider the possibility of life without a man’s ardent devotion. She resolves to be content in who she is, while exerting herself to improve and make amends for past wrongs.

All this transformation is little more than a blip in Jane Austen’s last chapters. Our dear authoress leaves us to wonder, to doubt, and perhaps even roll our eyes. But then, she proves Marianne’s new outlook on life by telling us of her marriage to a man she had once deemed unmarriageable, and then going on to declare her happiness in that circumstance.

“…in Marianne he was consoled for every past affliction;—her regard and her society restored his mind to animation, and his spirits to cheerfulness; and that Marianne found her own happiness in forming his, was equally the persuasion and delight of each observing friend. Marianne could never love by halves; and her whole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband, as it had once been to Willoughby.” —Sense and Sensibility

No, she has not changed in essentials. Did you catch that bit about how her husband is even animated and cheerful because of her influence? But the fact that she has devoted herself to loving, and loving wholly, the man who was the most sensible choice, demonstrates that she has learned what her mother thought unnecessary and her sister despaired of ever seeing: she is now governing her feelings by reason. Indeed, she has become a Rational Creature.

 

Nicole


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Nicole Clarkston is a book lover and a happily married mom of three. Originally from Idaho, she now lives in Oregon with her own romantic hero, several horses, and one very fat dog. She has loved crafting alternate stories and sequels since she was a child watching Disney’s Robin Hood, and is never found sitting quietly without a book of some sort.

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties- how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project (undertaken when her husband unsuspectingly left town for a few days) she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Nicole’s books are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her

You can find our more about Nicole Clarkston in the following social media:

Website

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

 

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Please follow the blog tour to have a chance to get to know all the authors and learn more about these stories 🙂

 

September 18 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post

September 20 / Long and Short Reviews / Guest Post

September 25 / Books & Wine are Lovely Playlist

September 27 / Fangs, Wands and Fairydust / Guest Post

October 2 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Guest Post

October 4 / From Pemberley to Milton / Guest Post

October 9 / Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post

October 11 / Silver Petticoat / Guest Post

October 15 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Review

October 16 / My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post

October 18 / Rosie’s Review Team / Book Review

October 23 / More Agreeably Engaged / Guest Post

October 25 / The Book Rat / Guest Post

October 30 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review

November 1 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Guest Post

November 6 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review

November 8  / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review

November 13 / Let Us Talk of Many Things / Guest Post


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The Quill Collective is offering a huge giveaway to one very lucky winner! It is offering 21 prizes, so comment on the blog posts to enter and at the end of the tour you may be the randomly picked winner who will win all 21 prizes!  

The prizes are:

  • Winner’s choice of one title from each authors’ backlist (that’s 16 books, ebooks, or audiobooks),
  • our bespoke t-shirt/soap/candle;
  • A brick in winner’s name to benefit
  • BuyABrick for Chawton House; and
  • The Quill Collective anthologies in ebook or audiobook.

 


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The Immovable Mr. Tanner

I’m back to reading a novel from the The Meryton Mysteries series and this time Jennifer Joy’s pen is dwelling on an original character, Mr. Tanner. If you have read the first books in this series, you may remember that while Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy were solving mysteries in Meryton, new characters were introduced to us. One of the most important characters was Mr.Tanner who was now entitled to a story of his own. You can be assured that you will still see a lot of Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy and Georgiana in this book, but it is Mr. Tanner who will be at the center of the stage in this novel, and if you love Mr. Darcy, you will be enchanted by his older brother 🙂

In the 4th book of the series Jennifer Joy will focus on Mr. Tanner’s acceptance of who he is, where he stands in life and what role his family will have, but also on his relationship with  Arabella Annesley. This original character is just as proud and honorable as Mr. Darcy but he has some insecurities which make him more fragile and more lovable as a character. Behind his strong exterior lies a man who doubts his own worth and this particular feature made him more believable and lovable because even if Darcy is the perfect hero, Mr. Tanner brought more to this book as a character than Mr. Darcy usually brings. Mr. Tanner shows us that the circumstances of our birth do not define us and that we may become whom we want to be. It is our personality, our strength and our values that make us who we are, and Mr. Tanner is proof of that.

Tanner’s life journey, his strength, values and also his insecurities shape everything he does and even how he approaches love, making his romance with Arabella Annesley very touching. Plus their love story has a little angst, and I can’t resist to that 🙂

Of course this book will also have a mystery that needs to be solved, it is part of the Meryton mysteries series after all, but even this is closely related to these two characters and it also brings to light more information about Georgiana’s companion. We had seen Mrs. Annesley in the previous books, but on this one we will get to know her life story and I believe none of you would have guessed everything she went through! She is not a boring old widow, I tell you that!

Even if you prefer stories centered in Darcy and Elizabeth, I recommend this book because I’m sure you will soon forget about them and focus all your attention on Mr. Tanner and Mrs. Annesley, their love story is beautiful and these characters will drag you into the book. You will also enjoy seeing how Darcy and Elizabeth’s married life is. This book is both a  sequel and a secondary character novel, so I’m sure it will appeal to all readers.

You can find The Immovable Mr. Tanner at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

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Obstacles Excerpt & Giveaway

Good morning everyone,

After having launched the blog tour of Obstacles with the cover reveal on the 30th of August, I’m very happy to receive Belen Paccagnella at From Pemberley to Milton once more. This time Ms. Paccagnella is bringing all of you a very informative excerpt, and I don’t know if you will have the same reaction I  did, but I was definitely surprised with what I was reading. I don’t want to spoil the excerpt for you, but I was not expecting Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship to be already at this stage in the excerpt I would post, it certainly made me even more eager to read this book. I also liked Kitty’s story and how the sisters discussed their involvement in the farm, it seemed very real and it capture my attention. Even if it is not regency, my favourite era, this is a book I will definitely be reading in the near future.

 

 

Not all obstacles are restricted to the show-jumping arena… Though Elizabeth Bennet lives an uneventful life instructing young equestrians at Longbourn, the family farm, she dreams of winning a show-jumping competition on Liddy, her spirited mare. But her life is upended when a team of world-renowned riders arrives at Netherfield, the neighbouring estate, and uses it as their training headquarters. As she assists the newcomers and their prize-winning mounts, she meets William Darcy, a wealthy and arrogant—albeit talented—rider with Olympic aspirations. He first insults and then ignores Elizabeth, and her feelings teeter between disgust at his hauteur and admiration for his equestrian prowess. As she discovers first-hand the rigors of a world for the elite, will Elizabeth change her perspective about love, trust, and the foibles of her own family?

Originally known as “Obstacles to Overcome,” Obstacles pays homage to Pride and Prejudice in the highly competitive world of equestrian show jumping.

You can find Obstacles at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


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Thank you, Rita, for inviting me to share this vignette with your readers. It’s a piece I created to share a little more about the Darcy’s relationship as Elizabeth after the final chapters close on Obstacles. I had a lot of fun writing this piece and I hope your readers enjoy a little more of the Darcys!

 

The Clutter of Life

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“I can’t believe it.” Elizabeth hung up the phone with a loud, dramatic exhalation.

She closed her eyes and allowed her head to fall back against the couch. Why? Why did it have to happen right now? Just when everything had slowed down at Pemberley, Longbourn was a mess.

It began a couple of months ago with a call from Kitty saying that her parents had had a terrible fight where one blamed the other for all the things that had gone wrong at Longbourn during their thirty years of marriage. Thomas had endured his wife’s ‘new calling’ as Meryton’s resident tarot-card reader because it helped pay the bills, but hearing her calling herself ‘Madame Fanny’ had been too much, and the separation became inevitable. ‘Madame F’ had slammed the door with a “stay with your horses and your bets” and began a new life in Meryton.

And now, when Elizabeth was finally learning to live with her parent’s break-up, her sister told her that Phil was also moving out, claiming that he was tired of Kitty and the children and of looking after a farm that no one seemed to care about.

“Why? Why now?” Elizabeth sighed.

“What’s wrong, hon?”

Elizabeth opened her eyes and saw her husband staring at her with a half-smile. He was still in his riding clothes.

He walked closer and bent to kiss her forehead. “What happened?”

She exhaled heavily, and he chuckled at her tendency to always make things bigger than they were.

“Phil left Kitty. He moved out.”

Darcy turned serious immediately. “What?”

“I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Phil is the only one with common sense in that house. He’s probably tired, and Kitty, she’s so…arrrrgh!”

“When did that happen? We were there only a month ago.”

Elizabeth extended her hand, and he helped her to stand up. “I’m going to Longbourn tomorrow. I’ll talk to Kitty and see if I can fix this. My mother is already a hopeless case, but without Phil, that farm will not exist.”

“I’m driving you,” he said. “I’ll try to knock some sense into Phil’s head too.”

“No, stay, you must attend your rehab. I’ll call Jane; maybe we can go together.”

Darcy rested his hands on her shoulders, blocking her exit. “Elizabeth, stop. I’m driving you. We’ll stay in London for a few days and we’ll see what’s going on, all right?”

As usually happened when he questioned her decisions, her temper rose. “William, you aren’t going to tell me what I—”

He pressed his forefinger onto her lips. “Before you start saying things you are going to regret, hear me out.”

She rolled her eyes.

“I know you are tired, fastidious, and anxious. I know that you still want to do all those things you were used to doing, but you can’t anymore and it’s driving you crazy. You are eight months pregnant and by no means am I allowing you to drive to Hertfordshire alone. I’m not being controlling, I’m not being overbearing, I’m just being reasonable. We already lost a baby once, and I will not risk this one or your health for any reason. Have I made myself clear?”

Elizabeth rested her forehead on his chest. She banged against it twice before whinging, “Why, why did it have to happen now? Why can’t we have some peace?”

Darcy put his arms around her. “Come, I’ll take you to bed. Why don’t you have a short nap before tea?”

“Are you staying with me?”

“Sure, I’ll massage your feet.”

“How was your practice?” She sniffed and lifted her head. “Did your knee bother you?”

“No.” He smiled. “Everything was fine.”

She wrinkled her nose. “You smell of horse.”

He chuckled. “I’m sorry. I’ll take a bath.”

*****

Darcy lay in bed next to his wife, staring at the ceiling of their bedroom as images of the past months came one after another. What a year this had been. It started with Miss D’s sudden death. An unexpected infection had weakened her condition, and her heart failed just when they were starting to feel hopeful about her recovery. The sorrow he felt upon losing her had been great, but at least they managed to breed her through embryo transfer, and Miss D left a legacy that would prolong her existence.

Then, when they least expected it, Elizabeth announced that she was pregnant. At that time, he was training for his first Olympic Games and jumping qualifying rounds all around Europe. He and Elizabeth had agreed that they would be together all the way, so after the miscarriage she had suffered soon after their wedding, the decision to have a baby was postponed until after the Games. But it happened before that, and they couldn’t be happier. Taking every precaution, Elizabeth was there with him. The madness of the competition came and went, and they were able to return home for that well-deserved rest. A few weeks later, when everything seemed to finally settle down at Pemberley, tragedy struck again: the accident that put him through surgery on his right knee. He was training a new horse, and a collision against a hurdle cut the cruciate ligaments inside his knee. And Elizabeth, entering her sixth month of pregnancy, was watching it.

He truly admired her strength when faced with adversity. Darcy had been terrified when it occurred. Not about the injury or the surgery; no, he had been afraid that something might happen to her or the baby because of it.  The doctor said that she was all right, that the shock didn’t affect her or the child, but Darcy was very much aware that his wife was facing too much stress for someone in her condition. She needed calm and stability and nothing was helping. Olympic Games, parents breaking up, accidents, and the ghost of her previous miscarriage were always there to haunt her, to haunt them. And now this. When everything seemed right at Pemberley, crisis at Longbourn again.

Darcy turned his face to the side and observed his wife while she slept. She was pouting. Elizabeth always pouted when she slept. He rolled to the side and mirrored her position. He touched her cheek and then her belly. She was all right. Only then did he close his eyes and fall asleep.

 

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“Is your knee bothering you?” she asked as he drove towards Meryton.

“No.”

“If you’re tired, we can stop.” She rubbed his thigh.

Darcy smiled. “Do you want to go to the loo again? We can stop at the next gas station.”

“No, it’s OK.” Elizabeth turned her eyes to the landscape. She sighed heavily.

He took her hand and brought it to his lips. “Stop thinking, everything will be all right.”

“Do you know what I was thinking?” She chuckled.

“What?”

“What you said to me that day at Rosings. That thing about my family being dysfunctional.

It was some kind of premonition. You knew this was going to happen.”

“Yeah, right. My intuition really worked that day. Everything came out exactly the way I planned.”

Elizabeth was glad they could remember that incident with humor. “That thing about being your stable hand was also fantastic, wasn’t it?”

“I’ve been trying to forget about that day for the past four years, and you still remind me of it whenever you can.” He glanced quickly and squeezed her cheek before redirecting his eyes to the road. “But I learned something very important that day.”

“Which is…?”

“That you are beautiful when you are angry.”

*****

The couple arrived at Longbourn by tea time. Thomas wasn’t home, and they found Kitty watching TV in the living room. The house was a complete mess, with toys and child’s clothes spread all around and carton boxes of uneaten take-out covering the table.

Kitty’s personal appearance wasn’t any better. The state of her hair and clothes was clear evidence that she had not cleaned up in a couple of days.

“You look big, Lizzy, when are you due?” Kitty greeted her dully.

“In three or four weeks, God willing.” Elizabeth looked at her sister disapprovingly. “Where’s dad?”

Kitty shrugged. “I don’t know; he didn’t come home last night.”

“And the kids?” Darcy enquired.

“Phil took them to his mom’s.”

Elizabeth glanced at her husband and then back at her sister. It would be better if she took the conversation somewhere else. “Let’s make some coffee, Kit. Will is tired from driving.”

“Sure.”

The sisters walked into the kitchen and Kitty put the kettle on the stove. Elizabeth’s frown accentuated at the sight of the greasy pans and dirty dishes accumulated on the sink and counters. Kitty’s idleness had taken over the entire house.

“Kitty, what is going on? What happened?” Elizabeth asked as she sat at the table.

“Do you really want to know?” Kitty’s smirk was charged with bitterness.

“Yes, I do.”

“I’m tired of all this. You don’t have an idea of what my life is like. Phil spends all day with the horses, mum is crazy, dad is out all day long, Mary is too busy with her books to even call, and you and Jane are in Derbyshire. I feel alone, Lizzy. I’m alone here.”

“You have two beautiful kids, you are not alone. We are your family, Phil—”

“Phil left me.”

“Why?” Elizabeth asked softly.

“He says I’m lazy, that I don’t care about him or the children or the house. That I spend all day watching TV, and that I’ve turned into a slovenly cow. That’s what he said.”

Elizabeth’s eyebrows shot up. That was harsh, but she imagined that Phil must have been very angry with his wife to say something so hurtful. While a bit rustic, Phil was one of the sweetest guys she had ever met “Well, maybe there’s a reason for—”

“I knew you would take his side.” Kitty snapped. “What do you know about us anyway? You are filthy rich, you are married to this Olympic rider, and you come here every six months to rub your wealth in our noses by showing up in your big Mercedes. You don’t even know the things we’ve been through—what taking care of this farm means!”

“And you do?” She couldn’t believe her sister was throwing such an accusation after all she had done at Longbourn before marrying Darcy. “I guess you forgot who used to do all the work around here while you watched TV all day long. Don’t blame me for what I achieved, blame yourself for what you are! Look at yourself! You haven’t bathed in how long? Three days?”

“What for? To attract a husband who doesn’t even look at me? I’m tired of all this, of the horses, of the bills, of the children, of everything!”

“Tired? Tired? You never did anything for yourself or your family! If you still have a decent place to live, it’s because William and I have been paying the farm’s bills for years! Look at this place! It stinks! You don’t even sweep the floor! Do you know something?” Elizabeth was too angry to measure the impact of her own words. “Phil is right: you are a slovenly, lazy, and resentful COW!”

Kitty’s eyes opened wide. She just stood there, staring at her elder sister without uttering a word.

*****

“Will, hi.” Phil walked into the house. With one hand he pushed the pram where little Mathew was fast asleep, and with the other, he was holding Cecilia, also dormant with her head leaning on her father’s shoulder.

“Let me help you with that.” Darcy rose and grabbed his goddaughter. Cecilia made a noise as she went from her dad’s hands to Darcy’s but didn’t wake up.

“Let’s get them to bed.” Phil whispered and gestured the stairs. They left the children in their respective beds and quietly returned to the living room. Neither Darcy nor Phil were prone to inconsequential chit chat so they went directly to the point.

“What happened, Phil? What’s going on?”

“I’m so overwhelmed by all this…the farm, the kids. I’m only 21 years old, and I feel I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.”

“And Tom?”

“Since Fanny left, he’s gone all day long, hangs out in the pub until wee hours, and comes back late in the night—when he does come back.”

“Do you think he’s gambling again?”

“I hope not, though I’m not sure.”

“I’ll call him. Maybe he’ll talk to me. So, how’s everything going on with the farm?” Darcy looked around. The interior of the house wasn’t very clean, but from what he had seen when he arrived, the stables and the schooling pens were impeccable. “You’re doing an excellent job here, I don’t think I’ve seen Longbourn so neat.”

“Thanks.” Phil smiled. “The riding school is giving us a pretty good income and we are housing a couple of horses to help with the expenses. You know, I never imagined I would end up running this place.”

Darcy listened quietly and waited until Phil felt comfortable enough to speak on his own. And when he finally did, the young man didn’t hold back.

“I don’t know what to do.” Phil sighed. “Sometimes, I’d like to have a break, go to the pub or dancing with my girl, but she…she just sits there and watches TV all day long. She so careless about her appearance, she doesn’t even…” He shook his head. “I love my wife and kids, I truly love this farm, but I’d like to have a life, do the things the guys my age do.”

Darcy looked at his young brother-in-law. Phil’s life had been so hard, everything had happened so fast for him and Kitty. “Have you tried talking to her?”

“You don’t know how stubborn she can be.”

“I’m married to her sister. If she’s as half as stubborn as Elizabeth…”

Phil smiled with resignation. “Everything all right with the baby? It was so hard for her the first time.”

“Everything is running smoothly this time. Though all this is not helping her peace of mind. You know how she stresses when there are problems at home.”

“I’m sorry, Will, I wish I had better news.”

The fiery yelling that came from the kitchen put a pause to their conversation. The men exchanged glances, both knew better than to stand in the middle of fight between two Bennet women.

*****

Kitty started laughing and Elizabeth laughed too.

“I’m sorry, Kit.” Elizabeth shook her head. “I can’t believe I just called you that.”

“Oh, Lizzy, I’m sorry too.” Kitty went to embrace her sister. “It’s just that I don’t know what to do. I miss him so much, and the kids are heartbroken. What am I going to do?”

“You chose to be a housewife. You can’t say now that you are tired of it.”

“I know, Lizzy, I know.”

“Now…” Elizabeth smiled and tucked her little sister’s hair behind her ear. “You are only 20 years old, you can’t just abandon yourself like that. You must care for your appearance and make this place the home that you and your family deserve. You must be that lovely girl Phil fell in love with.”

“That’s impossible.” Kitty snorted. “I have two children, and I am 30 pounds heavier.”

“Kitty, you are a beautiful girl. You must show him that you can, that you care. For him, for your children, and for yourself.”

“You are an angel, you know.”

“No, Jane’s the angel, I’m your conscience.” Elizabeth smiled.

Kitty smiled too and saw her sister turn serious. Very serious and pale. “Lizzy? Are you all right?”

“I … I think that my water broke.” Elizabeth sounded scared.

“Just that? You don’t feel any pains?”

Elizabeth shook her head.

“Don’t worry. It happened to me with Matt, remember?”

“Yes,” Elizabeth smiled with apprehension. Kitty’s water broke two weeks before her due date, resulting in her second C-section.

“I’ll call William. Don’t move.”

*****

“She loves riding,” Phil said fondly as he showed Darcy a picture of Cecilia riding one of the ponies. “Thomas says she’s even better than Lizzy was.”

“I bet she is. We’ll come over for the weekend, and I’ll take her for ride.”

“She’d love that, she—”

“Phil, I didn’t know you were home.”

Darcy and Phil looked at Kitty, who had just joined them in the living room.

“Yeah, I thought it would be better if I brought the kids early.”

Kitty smiled shyly. “Are you staying for dinner?”

“I…” the younger man hesitated for an instant but accepted the invitation. “Sure, why not?”

Darcy noticed that the tension between the couple was weakening, and the glint in their eyes as they looked at each other told him that there was still hope for them. But something was missing from this picture, something that put all his senses on alert.

“Where’s Elizabeth?” Darcy asked.

“William,” Kitty made a gesture with her hands that was meant to calm him, but it only made him more apprehensive. “She’s fine. Her water just broke…”

He didn’t hear anything else and rushed to the kitchen.

*****

Darcy paused for a moment before entering. He was concerned, but he would never let Elizabeth see it. All he wanted was to transmit to her the tranquility and confidence she needed to face this new obstacle that life had thrown their way. He saw her by the table, breathing deeply, with both hands on her abdomen. She was chewing her lower lip in the manner she always did when she was nervous.

“It seems that I can’t leave you alone for too long.” He walked around her chair and crouched in front of her. “You just can’t stay out of trouble.”

“Oh, Will, I’m sorry. I can’t believe this is happening. I …”

“It’s OK.” He held her hand. “Tell me what you are feeling.”

As always, his calmness brought the serenity she needed to feel. “I just felt this sort of ‘click’ and I knew something happened. The doctor said that this could happen, I …”

“I’ll call the doctor and ask him what to do.”

The conversation with Elizabeth’s obstetrician was short. He told Darcy to take her to —— Hospital in London where he would meet them in about three hours. From what he intuited, the labor had not yet started and the mother seemed fine, so there saw no reason to freak out and rush to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, Elizabeth was placed in a room. She submitted to all kind of tests to determine if mother and child were all right, and the doctors decided there wasn’t any danger for either of them. Now they only had to wait.

The labor started by itself a few hours later. For nearly eight hours, Elizabeth stayed in her room in the company of her husband and was checked on occasion by the midwife and the doctor. They had agreed with Kitty and Phil to not tell anyone except the Bingleys as they didn’t want untimely visitors that would alter the future parents’ peace. When the time came, Elizabeth was taken to the delivery room.

“You are coming with me, aren’t you?” Elizabeth held her husband’s hand tightly.

“I would never leave you, Elizabeth, never,” Darcy replied reassuringly.

The Darcys were blessed with a beautiful baby girl that day. She was tiny, but she was strong and healthy. As they watched her sleep, so perfect yet so fragile, they thought of the long road they had walked to reach this place, of all the obstacles that the clutter of life presented them. Surely there would be a lot more, but they didn’t care, because the ride was effortless and smooth when they took it as a team.

 


 

 

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Belén Paccagnella discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction after watching the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. In her  teens, she lived in Brazil when her family moved to the city of Curitiba due to her father’s work. She moved back to Buenos Aires a few years later, where she studied agronomy but finally pursued a different career and started working in the development administration of shopping centres.

In 2001, she started writing both Regency and modern stories adapted from the Pride and Prejudice storyline, merging drama, humour, and adventure while creating  characters with unique traits.

Belén still lives in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, where she shares her home with her  daughter and her pets while spending her time working, reading, and writing.


 

September 17 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post
September 18 / Diary of an Eccentric / Excerpt Post
September 19 / Austenesque Reviews / Vignette Post
September 20 / More Agreeably Engaged / Author Interview
September 21 / So Little Time / Excerpt Post
September 22 / Just Jane 1813 / Guest Book Review
September 23 / My Love for Jane Austen  / Character Interview
September 24 / From Pemberley to Milton / Excerpt Post
September 25 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review
September 26 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Vignette Post
September 27 / My Vices and Weaknesses  / Book Review
September 28 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review

 


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Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of Obstacles. The giveaway runs until midnight, September 30, 2018 and 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.

There will be one winner per contest and each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.

The giveaway is international and to enter it you should click here.

Good Luck everyone!

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