It is unusual for me to introduce you to a book that I have not yet read and it feels weird. However, I have read quite a lot about it and I am very intrigued. I believe you will find the blurb really “alluring”.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gossip in possession of misheard tales and desirous of both a good wife and an eager audience need only descend upon the sitting rooms of a small country town in order to find satisfaction. And with a push from Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins sets alight a series of misunderstandings, rumours, and lies that create obstacles to a romance between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
This slightly unhinged romantic comedy follows Darcy as he sets off to find himself a wife and instead finds himself pulled into the mire of his aunt’s machinations and his own fascination with Elizabeth, whom he believes betrothed to another. As Meryton judges him the grieving groom of Anne de Bourgh and a caddish dallier with the hearts of others, Darcy must ferret out the truth behind his cousin’s disappearance, protect his sister from the fretful fate of all Fitzwilliam females, and, most importantly, win Elizabeth’s heart.
My mind goes like: what?? super gossipy tone, rom-com, where is Darcy’s cousin?, what’s going on with Georgiana? Too many question only when reading the blurb, this is promising!
I want to introduce you to the person who is at fault for those three crazy lines above 😉
Jan Ashton didn’t meet Jane Austen until she was in her late teens, but in a happy coincidence, she shares a similarity of name with the author and celebrates her birthday on the same day Pride & Prejudice was first published. Sadly, she’s yet to find any Darcy and Elizabeth candles on her cake, but she does own the action figures.
Like so many Austen fans, Jan was an early and avid reader with a vivid imagination and a well-used library card. Her family’s frequent moves around the U.S and abroad encouraged her to think of books and their authors as reliable friends. It took a history degree and another decade or two for her to start imagining variations on Pride & Prejudice, and another decade—filled with career, marriage, kids, and a menagerie of pets—to start writing them. Today, in between writing Austen variations, Jan lives in the Chicago area, eats out far too often with her own Mr. Darcy, and enjoys membership in the local and national chapters of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
Mendacity & Mourning is her second book with Meryton Press. She published A Searing Acquaintance in 2016.
Jan has been so great as to share an interview that she had with Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam and the beginning is very interesting because he is describing himself and as we say in Spanish, it looks like “has has not a grandma!” (he does not need any one to say something nice about him). Enjoy!
The Colonel Tells All!
Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, soon to be promoted to general, was privy to all the goings-on in the universe described in Mendacity & Mourning. We sat down with him to learn a bit more about the man, and find out the real story behind the various couples in this Regency romp.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Dashing, resolute, handsome, brilliant, strong, and brave. Steady as a friend, sturdy and unyielding the battlefield. A second son who prefers his status, a nephew called dim by a half-mad aunt, a steady hand on the family tiller. A trustworthy guardian to a young girl, and giver of advice and counsel to all.
My bearing and my illustrious moustache will cow hulverheads and nickum-poops and make ladies swoon. Yet with all of this, I remain the family wit. Only Darcy’s wife, Elizabeth, can match me in humourous observations.
Darcy would agree? Are they not famed for their clever conversation, indecipherable to any who do not read Latin or Swift, observe the skies above and the wildflowers below?
Yes yes yes. They exist on their own enchanted plane of love and sweet nothings. It is as if they hover, their feet not on the ground and their heads in the sky. One fears to interrupt when their heads are bent close together; Georgiana tells me she blushes from all the murmurings and noisy kisses. It is rather unseemly, if quite aspirational.
Georgiana is your cousin. Tell us about your family.
Georgiana is a lovely girl who does us proud, and I am happy to call her Poppet. She softens us all. My parents dote on her. My mother would have liked a daughter, though my father shudders at the notion. He distrusts his sex when they reach eight and ten years, and the thought of sheltering his own daughter from the roaming eyes of eager young whelps send him quickly to fits of anger. We do not like to anger him. Creates quite a mess, you know. Damned Fitzwilliam blood rises quickly.
Despite this, has your father given you good counsel?
I was a boy of some energy and curiosity, and mayhap a little too free with my own counsel to my cousins. When I was a mere slip of a lad, I received a stern lecture about the impropriety of commenting on my cousin Anne’s poor-fitting gowns. My father’s stern advice on how to properly observe a lady has proved itself valuable in years to come. “The Fitzwilliams,” he told me, “are breast men, boy. Take care with where your eyes land so that your hands and lips might later roam.”
Oh my. (interviewer pauses to take a drink of water) And the best advice your mother ever gave you?
Shave. Clean your teeth every day. Be more like Darcy.
The best advice you ever gave Darcy?
Hmm. I have been advising that man since he was in leading string. He failed to bloody Wickham’s nose when we were boys, as I’d often recommended, or to be clearer with Lady Catherine on his disinclination to marry Anne. And we all know how that has turned out! And it is likely for the best that Darcy did not follow my earlier, oft-repeated advice to find a woman to tup and do it often. He is too much a gentleman for that.
Hmm. Advice. Ah! Of course! Darcy may credit me with his marital happiness. The best advice he ever acted upon was to follow his heart and marry Elizabeth. He nearly mucked that up, but saint that she is, Lizzy took him on.
So Darcy found his Perfect Woman. You play a game of descriptions with your men, full of adjectives that detail each man’s ideal. Tell us yours.
Such an impertinent query! I am a military man and as such I keep my secrets close. However (narrows eyes and strokes his moustache), I will accede to your request, albeit I will preface the description of my paragon of a lady by assuring you that it has been altered over the years. I have grown in my appreciation for the female mind and form. No longer is my father’s admonition that a bosom outweighs a brain enough for me. A lady of petite form, eyes of blue and hair of red may catch my eye, but it is a lady with yielding limbs, warmth of embrace, cleverness of mind, and a love of war stories, a well-cooked roast, and a finely tended wine cellar that is most tender to my heart.
You have found such a lady? Shall we look for the announcement in the Times?
Zooks! No. I shall never marry. I am bound to the army, to my uniform, to the men I train, and the country I protect. I shall not surrender to the honeyed fog of marital bliss and small sticky rug imps under foot and at the teat. No, I shall be a happy uncle and cousin, and drink Darcy’s port and advise my brother’s sons. I shall lend my ear to my mother’s complaints, and my eye to my arrest my father’s behaviour. A good son, a good soldier. And a red-haired lady in every town. That is the life for me!
What do you think? Is he not a very amiable and honest man? I am not 100% sure about the moustache but everyone has a different image for Colonel Fitzwilliam.
I do not want to forget the covers! Lovely! Beautiful! Janet again has done a great job 🙂
This book looks and reads promising, if you want to buy it on paperback or on kindle, check the links below:
Time to Give Away
J. L. Ashton is offering 8 ebooks of Mendacity and Mourning (to 8 different winners).
To enter the giveaway, click here but please read the conditions below, not only to know the terms but also to know how to get extra entries.
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 (which will be verified). If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.
Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.
As I mentioned before, I have read quite a lot about Mendacity and Mourning and I recommend you to do the same. You can find fantastic reviews, vignettes among other posts here:
06/19 Babblings of a Bookworm Vignette, GA
06/20 My Jane Austen Book Club Author/Character Interview, GA
06/21 Half Agony, Half Hope Review, Excerpt
06/22 From Pemberley to Milton Guest Post, Excerpt, GA
06/23 More Agreeably Engaged Vignette, GA
06/24 Just Jane 1813 Review, GA
06/25 Margie’s Must Reads Guest Post, GA
06/26 Of Pens and Pages Review, Excerpt, GA
06/27 Tomorrow is Another Day Review, GA
06/28 Austenesque Reviews Vignette, GA
06/29 My Vices and Weaknesses Character Interview, GA
06/30 A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life Guest Post
07/01 Darcyholic Diversions Author Interview, GA
07/02 Laughing With Lizzie Vignette, Excerpt, GA
07/03 Diary of an Eccentric Review