“An Appearance of Goodness” by Heather Moll, travel, excerpt + giveaway

Dear all,

I am very hapy to have again in my blog Heather Moll! She is bringing us her latest published book and it looks so so good! I am even more eager to read it after I have (finally!!) read her Nine Ladies. If you have read it, you know it is very different from An Appearance of Goodness, but it is a great read (like the other ones I have read by her).

However, we should focus on An Appearance of Goodness. What do you think of the blurb…


In the rainy summer of 1812, Mr Darcy returns to Pemberley with a large party in the hopes that coming home will help him recover from the disappointment of his failed proposal. He lost Elizabeth Bennet’s good opinion, but Darcy did all he could to rectify his errors. Meanwhile, Elizabeth hopes that travelling with her newlywed sister and Bingley will raise her spirits and distract her from thoughts of Darcy.
When a misunderstanding causes the Bingley party and Darcy’s to spend a fortnight together at Pemberley, both Elizabeth and Darcy wonder if the other could love them. When the season’s wet and cold weather causes flooding throughout Derbyshire, Darcy’s attention reluctantly shifts from his guests–and Elizabeth–to managing the tragedy.
But when someone drowns and Darcy refuses to believe their death was an accident from the storm, he and Elizabeth must work together to uncover the truth before his houseguests leave, and before anyone else gets hurt.

Content note: mature content, mild violence.

What do you think? Not only love but a mystery!

Let me (re)introduce you to Heather Moll. You can also follow her on social media or get her newsletter too (links below)

Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a masters in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring her letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of An Appearance of Goodness, An Affectionate Heart, Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her
husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether or not to buy groceries or stay home and write.

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Why did I put “travel” on the title of this post? Heather Moll is bringing us more than an excerpt, and what a lovely, cute excerpt! *sigh*

Welcome back, Heather!

Thank you for the warm welcome Ana! My P&P variation An Appearance of Goodness takes place in Derbyshire in the summer after Darcy’s failed proposal. I went to Derbyshire in the summer of 2019, and no trip to the Peak is complete without a visit to Dovedale—so of course Elizabeth and Darcy have to visit in the book.

The Peak District covers much of Derbyshire and parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. Dovedale is a 3 mile section of the Dove valley—between the village of Milldale at the northern end and a hill called Thorpe Cloud at the south—that contains spectacular limestone gorge scenery.

picture from https://thirdeyetraveller.com/dovedale-stepping-stones-peak-district/

Although tourism to Dovedale exploded with the Victorians (they were the ones who put in the famous stepping stones) it was already popular with the Georgians. Tour guides were filled with details about what to see and where to stay, and when the Gardiners visit Derbyshire in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy persevere through an awkward conversation about Matlock and Dovedale.

Upstream from the stepping stones are large limestone formations with names like Dovedale Castle, Lover’s Leap, Tissington Spires, and Reynards cave. The caves have had human activity since 13000 BCE, and there’s evidence across Dovedale of Bronze age activity.

picture from https://peakdistrictwalks.net/dovedale-walk-bunster-hill-thorpe-cloud/

You get the classic view of the lower section of Dovedale from the top of Thorpe Cloud. A pivotal scene in An Appearance of Goodness takes place when Darcy and Elizabeth climb it.

In this excerpt, Darcy is taking some of his guests and his sister to Dovedale. There’s been terrible flooding at Pemberley and everyone has finally convinced Darcy it’s not the end of the world if he takes one afternoon off to have some fun. Hester is the sister of one of Darcy’s friends and Elizabeth is eager to grab a moment alone with Darcy to hint about how she feels about him now.

The road through the small village of Thorpe was along open pastures winding around the base of a mount that seemed to guard the entrance to Dovedale. Elizabeth raised her eyes to the perpendicular rocks across its summit. That would give a fine view of the Dove through the dale below.

“I was in hopes the road would be passable, but they tell me we cannot ford the river near Bunster Hill,” Darcy said by way of apology when they alighted. “The late flood carried away the bridge over which we were to drive and left a great hole in the bank in its place.”

Everyone declared that they had nothing to say against walking the last mile. They fell into pairs to walk along the margin of the river, with the Darcys insisting that she and Hester take the lead. The valley left room for little more than a channel of the river with a footpath along its banks. The wet season had caused the water to rise, nearly flooding the Staffordshire side and leaving only a small space to walk on the Derbyshire side.

The character of Elizabeth’s first view of Dovedale was pure grandeur. The hills swelled boldly from both sides of the river and their majestic summits seemed to be amongst the clouds. The river was still high, and they walked past a few intrepid anglers. It was a splendid scene, with water breaking over fragments of stone, and trees framing the river.

Near the same high hill she had seen from the carriage, they found themselves enclosed in a narrow and deep dale where the river bent sharply. Elizabeth and Hester stopped and raised their eyes to observe on one side many craggy rocks above one another to a vast height, and on the other an almost perpendicular ascent covered with grass and a few sheep.

“What do you think?” Miss Darcy asked her and Hester. “The area is celebrated for its wild and fantastic appearance.”

“Derbyshire is beautiful,” Hester said, breathlessly, turning to look to the other side of the Dove.

Elizabeth saw Darcy hiding a smile. Colonel Fitzwilliam laughed and stepped nearer to Hester. “It certainly is”—he took her by the shoulders and turned her to face the other side—“but that is Staffordshire. This is the Derbyshire side of the river.”

They all laughed, even Hester, and Elizabeth noticed that she did not shrug off Colonel Fitzwilliam’s hands or step away after he removed them.

The others talked of the rock formations farther upstream that they must see, but Elizabeth’s attention returned to the grand limestone hill.

“That is Thorpe Cloud,” Darcy said, coming away from the river to stand near her.

“Is it so named because it seems high enough to touch the clouds?”

He smiled. “No, sadly. Your reason would be more fitting for such a location. Cloud is simply a corruption of clud, an Anglo-Saxon word for a large rock or hill.”

“That is dull,” she said, turning to face him, “but we cannot blame it for its name.” She craned her neck to take it in again. “How high is it?”

“’Tis a moderate-sized hill.” He shrugged, looking at it with her. “Nearly a thousand feet?”

“For those of us from Hertfordshire, I would call that a mountain,” she cried.

Darcy laughed. “Then it is a shame you do not live in Derbyshire.”

He turned from looking at Thorpe Cloud to look at her, still with a smile on his face. Elizabeth thought of the unintended meaning behind his words. “Yes,” she said, looking into his eyes, “it is.” Comprehension seemed to strike him, and his amused expression turned tender. “I think,” she added softly so no one else could hear, “I could enjoy living here very much.”

Dovedale is a beautiful place, but you’ll have to read An Appearance of Goodness to see if the romantic setting pans out for Darcy and Elizabeth.

I like this excerpt and how Darcy can make fun or a little joke about Elizabeth not living in Derbyshire, and how she takes the opportunity to say what she needs and what he wants to hear.

What about buying the book? Some links where you can check it:

Amazon US Amazon DE Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon ES

Much more to discover on the rest of the blog tour. Have fun!

Heather Moll is bringing a worldwide swag giveaway!

A signed paperback copy of “An Appearance of Goodness”
Two stickers from Pemberley Papers
Pink Jane Austen notebook

How to participate?

The giveaway is open from 10/03/2022 through 10/12/2022.
Giveaway is open worldwide.
The winner will be announced on social media and Heather´s blog on October 13, 2022
Leave a comment on the blog or subscribe to my newsletter to enter.
Blog participants have the option of using the link to the giveaway form
on Rafflecopter, or imbedding the form in their post.

Rafflecopter – An Appearance of Goodness


13 thoughts on ““An Appearance of Goodness” by Heather Moll, travel, excerpt + giveaway”

  1. I loved this excursion, along with Elizabeth’s decision to air her feelings! Someone needed to say something obviously, it gets better and better after that! Fabulous book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great excerpt of your story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your novel in entirety. I am looking forward to your other stories…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how even in the Austen novels there is always talk of traveling, not to mention the popularity just before and after of great trips about Europe (Edward Austen must have had a time). I would love to visit that hilly country in Derbyshire and compare to what I’ve seen in the central part of my state. Thank you for sharing the excerpt and congrats on the release!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is always some element of traveling and visiting in Austen’s works. No one stays in one place for the entire book. I hope you get to visit Derbyshire some day. It was a bucket list item for me!

      Liked by 1 person

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