Blog Tour of “All the Things I know” by Audrey Ryan: character interview + giveaway

Dear all,

would you like to celebrate with me and a bit of pink wine? We are celebrating the first book of Audrey Ryan: All the Things I know. A very nice modern variation of our beloved Pride and Prejudice. Resultado de imagen de pink wine

Let’s then know a bit more about her: Audrey Ryan.

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Audrey Ryan is the nom de plume of Andrea Pangilinan: daydreamer, wife and step-mother, and obsessive story consumer. She studied writing in college, dreamt about becoming a novelist and slowly forgot about it when real life took over. With a particular affection for contemporary retellings, adapting Pride & Prejudice to modern day has always been a dream. When she’s not reading and writing, Andrea is a marketing slave to the internet industry. She enjoys talking crazy to her weirdo cat, consuming copious amount of wine and coffee with her girlfriends, and record shopping with her husband. Oh yeah, and there’s that small Jane Austen obsession. That doesn’t take up any time at all.

You can follow her and her work on:

http://audreyryan.merytonpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAudreyR/

https://twitter.com/AuthorAudreyR

Audrey’s Goodreads is just as a reader, but it’s here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3797528-audrey-ryan-andrea-pangilinan

Here you have the blurb of the book, enjoy!

Lizzie Venetidis is confident in her decisions. Moving to Seattle with her sister Jane after she graduated from Stanford, for instance, was a no-brainer. Adult life, however, turns out to be more difficult to navigate than she expected.

What career should she pursue with a bachelor’s degree in art history and no marketable experience amongst a tech-heavy job market? How responsible is it to drink that fourth cocktail while out with friends? And what should she do about Darcy—the aloof yet captivating guy she met her first night in town?

All the Things I Know is a one-mistake-at-a-time retelling of Pride & Prejudice, set against the backdrop of modern-day techie Seattle. Full of wry observations, heartache, and life lessons, All the Things I Know shares the original’s lessons of correcting ill-conceived first impressions and learning who you really are.

I have enjoyed the book very much and I recommend it as it is a read that I could not leave until I finished it. You will see a Lizzie with more fears than you may have seen before but with the same wit. Darcy is still aloof and very protective with the ones he loves. They really need to work on their conversational skills and they eventually do it after a lot of… steam!

The family relationship is surprising, Mr and Mrs Venetidis are not exactly what you expect but it is well written and all the feelings are well explained. Some names are changed but not many, however, I do not like the character who is called Colin! Andrea, why??? 😉 I don’t mind if it’s closer to the surname! :p

I will review the book as soon as I get a bit of time, until then: buy it and read it or try the giveaway and then you read it.

You can buy it on:

Amazon Kindle US       Amazon Kindle UK    Amazon Paperback UK

Now, what you were waiting for… the character interview.

For this character interview, I thought I would jump into Darcy’s head and fill in his version of the Proust Questionnaire. Lizzie’s version of the same Questionnaire was shared on Babblings of a Bookworm earlier in the blog tour. It is also featured in a scene early on in All the Things I Know — an excerpt of that scene was shared on My Jane Austen Book Club. Enjoy!

– What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Taking care of the people I love

– What is your greatest fear?

Isolation

– What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I wish I was better in large social gatherings

– What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Artiface

– Which living person do you most admire?

Is it cliche to say President Obama?

– What is your greatest extravagance?

My car. No one needs a brand new Tesla, but I love mine.

– What is your current state of mind?

Restless

– What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Humility

– On what occasion do you lie?

Very rarely. I hate disguise. I would only ever omit the truth out of necessity instead of telling an outright lie.

– What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I haven’t really thought about it, honestly. I’m not really a self-conscious person.

– Which living person do you most despise?

I have very complicated feelings about this question. Can I pass?

– What is the quality you most like in a man?

Diligence

– What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Kindness

– Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I’ve been told I overuse “um”s

– What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My family. I wish I would have cherished my parents more while they were still around. My mom’s art is my haven in that sense.

– When and where were you happiest?

Quiet summer vacations with my family at my grandparents’ lake house when my parents were still alive and Georgie was young.

– Which talent would you most like to have?

Telepathy. Does that count?

– If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I were more sociable

– What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Continuing to build on my mom’s art collection. I feel like I could almost have my own museum at this point.

– If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

An evergreen someplace peaceful like Mount Rainier

– Where would you most like to live?

I think one day I would like to move back into the house I grew up in, but not till I’m ready to start a family. I think about it a lot though.

– What is your most treasured possession?

My mom’s art

– What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Loneliness

– What is your favorite occupation?

Running along the Burke-Gilman as the sun rises

– What is your most marked characteristic?

Probably my height (I’m 6’3).

– Who are your favorite writers?

Jack Keuroic

– Who is your hero of fiction?

Atticus Finch

– Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Edsel Ford (son of Henry Ford)

– Who are your heroes in real life?

My dad will always be my hero

– What are your favorite names?

I like the idea of naming kids after family members, like my parents George and Anne.

– What is it that you most dislike?

Pickles

– What is your greatest regret?

See the answer to the living person I despise.

– How would you like to die?

I haven’t thought about it. I suppose peacefully and not alone.

– What is your motto?

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

So? Do we understand him a bit better?  Maybe… but he is Darcy!!

Blog Tour schedule

Follow the book tour if you are not doing it already because you have great entries. Below you have the schedule:

03 Dec   Austenesque Reviews;   Author Interview, Giveaway

04 Dec  My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

05 Dec   Babblings of a Bookworm; Character Interview, GiveawayCEF18BFF-8DBC-4374-9E41-BFDEC5BF50A7

06 Dec   From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, Giveaway

07 Dec   Night Owl Reader;  Review, Excerpt

08 Dec   Just Jane 1813; Review, Giveaway

09 Dec   My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, Giveaway

10 Dec  Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

11 Dec  Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

12 Dec  Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

13 Dec  Savvy Verse and Wit; Guest Post, Giveaway  

14 Dec My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Giveaway

15 Dec  Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

16 Dec  More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway

It finishes on the 16th December, what a day!!

 

Time to Give Away

Andrea is giving away several ebooks during the whole blog tour. In order to participate click the link below. Do not forget to read the terms and conditions to be able to get one of this ebooks of All the Things I Know.

Rafflecopter – Giveaway Link

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

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Blog Tour of “A Most Handsome Gentleman” by Suzan Lauder, character interview and giveaway

Hello, hello! I am going straight to the blurb of this book that I am completely sure will be awesome to read. Let’s talk again after you read the blurb:

Book Blurb

Elizabeth Bennet’s life is uncomplicated until she meets a quartet of new men: the haughty but handsome Mr. Darcy, the pert-with-a-pout Mr. Bingley, the confident and captivating Mr. Wickham—and then there is her father’s cousin, the happy man towards whom almost every female eye has turned.

Mr. Collins is HOT—well, incredibly handsome in Regency-speak—beautiful of face, fine of figure, elegant of air, his perfect clothing and hair matching his Greek god-like form. Unfortunately, when he opens his mouth, Elizabeth wishes he were mute. With affected servility and prideful self-conceit, he capitalizes upon his exquisite appearance and fixes on Jane Bennet as his bride.

Can Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy form an alliance to stop Jane’s suitors from issuing challenges—and will Elizabeth coax a smile from Mr. Darcy?

Bestselling Regency romance author Suzan Lauder delivers a hilarious Austenesque romance suitable for all readers of Pride and Prejudice.

So, let’s read that again: “Mr Collins is HOT”… what??? As I commented on From Pemberley to Milton, “Hot and Collins… until now that meant a suffocating experience where he was praising your potatoes and you could not run away!!”. Collins like a Greek god? OMG! That cannot be true :S

Now let’s try to be serious and think about the rest of the information that this blurb is giving us… Elizabeth needs Darcy’s help to stop any challenges that Jane’s suitors are issuing, what suitors? Collins and Bingley… anyone else?  What kind of challenges? My mind can race from just being very insistent to try to ruin her… you never know with these characters!! The most important part that it is not included here, will Mrs Bennet’s nerves let her live having to “endure” several suitors for Jane?? 🙂

I have to say that I am super intrigued by this book. This time I have avoided to read much about it as I want to have my reading time full of surprises. However, that does not mean that you should do the same. There is a great blog tour with stops in several amazing blogs that you must check. I will write the schedule below, but first let me introduce the lovely author of A Most Handsome Gentleman, Suzan Lauder.

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

Her first effort at a comedy, A Most Handsome Gentleman is the fourth time Lauder has been published by Meryton Press. Her earlier works include a mature Regency romance with a mystery twist, Alias Thomas Bennet, a modern short romance Delivery Boy in the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter, and the dramatic tension filled Regency romance Letter from Ramsgate.IMG_20150318_114408

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

Suzan’s lively prose is also available to her readers on her blog, road trips with the redhead www.suzan.lauder.merytonpress.com, on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/SuzanLauder, and on Twitter @suzanlauder. You can follow her on different social media: Website    Goodreads Author Page   Facebook          Twitter     Amazon Author Page   Pinterest

Suzan has prepared a great character interview that it is hilarious and inappropriate (wink wink)… you’ll understand in a bit what I mean. Enjoy!!

Meryton Residents speak about Mr. Collins: a modern/Regency mashup interview.

Martin Drölling, Portrait of the artist's daughter Louise-Adéone, 1812

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Good morning. My name is Kitty Bennet and I am secretly hoping to be a novelist one day like the lady who wrote Pride and Prejudice. I will be writing a novel where the heroine is me and the hero is my cousin Mr. Collins because he is the most handsome and accomplished man of my acquaintance. He is so handsome and accomplished, no one even notices John Lucas any more. The only thing that would make Mr. Collins more handsome and accomplished would be a red coat. Then I think even my sister Mary would swoon. But here. Let Mary speak for herself about my cousin.”

 

Miss Mary Bennet: “Mr. Collins reads Fordyce with the voice of an angel. He smells like an angel, too.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “What does an angel smell like?”

Miss Mary Bennet (nearly swooning): “Mr. Collins.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “What kind of answer is that? Pooh. I shall go on to another person to find out their impression of Mr. Collins for my novel. Here is my aunt.”

Mrs. Archibald Phillips: “Mr. Collins has big feet. You know what ‘big feet’ means. Big…uh…shoes.” (She winks.)

Miss Katherine Bennet: “I do not care about his shoes. I care to know if you think he is too handsome for a hero in a novel. Do you not think he is A Most Handsome Gentleman, Mama?”

Mrs. Thomas Bennet: (fans herself) “Handsome? Bless me! Did you know your father is nearly eleven years my senior? Weak hearts run in his family. It is not out of the question for a widow to remarry a younger man. Widows make the best of wives. After all, I am already Mistress of Longbourn. If Mr. Collins could just wait…yes, he is the handsomest man. Oh, dear, you have made me hot, and these flutters of my heart! Goodness! Bless me! Bless me!”

Miss Jane Bennet: “Come, Mama, sit down.”

Mr. Charles Bingley “May I join you, my angel?”

Miss Mary Bennet: “Really, Mr. Bingley. Do not confuse things. Mr. Collins is the only heavenly creature around here.”

Mrs. Bennet: “Bless me! Mr. Collins is too handsome for heaven. Bless me!”

Miss Kitty Bennet: “I suppose Mr. Collins is accomplished enough to do so, Mama.”

Mrs. Thomas Bennet: “Oh, my poor nerves. Where are my salts? I have these flutters and urges…”

Miss Jane Bennet: “Really, Kitty, must you work her up so?”

Miss Lydia Bennet: (giggles) “Kitty did not work her up. She was ogling Mr. Collins’s breeches as she mentioned Papa’s heart.” (giggles and ogles Mr. Collins’s breeches)

Mr. Thomas Bennet (shouting out of library window): “I have the heart of an ox. Now leave me in peace whilst I snigger to myself about Mr. Collins’s antics right in front of his too-handsome face. Accomplishments, my eye. My left foot is more accomplished than Mr. Collins. I had to teach him draughts of all things!” (closes window to library)

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Come, Mr. Wickham, what say you? Do you think Mr. Collins is handsome and accomplished?”

Mr. George Wickham: (grumbles) “He may be handsome and accomplished, but does he have a credible sob story? Take pity on me. Have you heard about the living I was supposed to have?” (winks and waggles eyebrows)

Mr. Reginald Denny: “Collins is so handsome, I want to date him. Wicky, want to bet who will snag Collins first, me or Miss Lydia?”

Miss Lydia Bennet: “Or little Chamberlayne, all dressed up like a lady!” (snorts and guffaws in true non-Regency form)

Mr. George Wickham: “Excuse me, ladies, but I have some pressing militia business to attend to.” (turns to Mr. Denny) “Odds?”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Oh, here is Lizzy. She will have a rational answer. Lizzy, is Mr. Collins not the handsomest and most accomplished man you have ever known?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “He would be if I could reform him from his obsequious blabbermouth doofusoid tendencies. I must really stick by his side so I can admire, uh, train him to be more sensible. Perhaps I could hold his tongue.”

Miss Katherine Benet: “What?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “I meant to say, he needs to learn to hold his tongue. If he could do so, he would be hot.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “What do you mean, hot?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “Incendiary.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “Huh?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: “Oh, look! There’s Mr. Darcy. I detest the man.”

Mrs. Archibald Phillips: “But have you noticed the size of his feet?”

Miss Elizabeth Bennet: (mumbles) “I was not looking at his feet.”

Miss Katherine Bennet: “No one seems to make sense around here. Why is the world so enamoured of feet? We were talking of Mr. Collins’s handsome face and manly accomplishments. Yes, my research confirms that he is A Most Handsome Gentleman. This is Miss Kitty Bennet, signing off for the day.”

So, what do you think? feet apparently are important… I do not know why… (ehem ehem) Did you like Mrs Bennet? No so worried about Mr Bennet dying and leaving them on their own.

I am pretty sure that you cannot wait to read A Most Handsome Gentleman, in order to buy it, go to Amazon UK or Amazon US (check if you prefer ebook or paperback).

I could not forget to mention the cover, OMG! they are actually very handsome indeed. The quartet of male protagonists of this book that they could make anyone swoon!! Janet Taylor is an awesome artist!! Janet, beautiful faces!!

Blog Tour Schedule

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

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

10/22   Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review

10/23   Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

AMHG Blog Tour BannerV M

10/24   Tomorrow is Another Day; Review

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

10/26   From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway

10/27   Just Jane 1813; Guest Post, Giveaway

10/28   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

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

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

10/31   Laughing With Lizzie; Vignette, Giveaway

11/01   Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

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

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

Time to Give Away

You really need to try to win this book or just go and buy it on the links I shared above. If you want to participate click the following link but also read the terms and conditions mainly to know how to get extra entries. Good luck.

Rafflecopter “A Most Handsome Gentleman”

review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries. A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

Blog Tour of “I Could Write a Book” by Karen M Cox, review and giveaway

Emma…

Book Description

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…”

Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered and predictable, if a bit confining.

Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

What do you think? Are you not really into Emma? Do you think she is just a bit silly spoilt child? Do you think she is just a bored rich kid? Maybe, maybe you are thinking that or maybe you actually really like this character and her way of seeing life. However, if you are one of the people who normally dislike Emma more than like her, this is your book to see her in a different light.

It is not anymore the 19th century but the 1970s when woman were not just a price to marry to someone or where there was not need to follow the strict rules of society. Women are more independent and have a bit more freedom to choose what they want to do. What? Are you going to give me a “but” were you will point out that she is still rich and doesn’t have to worry about earthly needs? Yes, I see you point but there are some other ideas shown in this book that will help you to forget that she is only a “rich girl”.

What about our Knightley here? He is not as old, I mean, their age gap is not so big and he is as charming or even more charming than the original (I can listen to voices saying “blasphemy!”). Yes, I do think that this Knightley is more charming but also because we are in another time, in another country and under other social reality.

For me the story flows so well that I have enjoyed every single scene, every single dialogue and I want to read it again after only a couple of weeks. Karen M Cox has taken the original by Jane Austen and put it in a different level when it comes to modern variations. She has been faithful to the book, that’s it, she has followed the same story-line but even if everything was moved forward a century and a half, the characters are faithful to the original just with their modern attributes attached to them.

I have enjoyed this Emma because she is more reasonable due to her time and it is a bit less capricious and more down to Earth so to speak. The rest of the characters are very well written and even if there are a few changes (she does not have a nanny/governor, she has an aunt), everything flows and links in a great writing manner.

5out5 stars

Now let me introduce the guilty one who made me love I could write a book, Karen M Cox.

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of novels accented with romance and history, including 1932 and its companion ebook novella The Journey Home, and the novels Find Wonder in All Things and Undeceived. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and a story titled, “I, Darcy” to The Darcy Monologues.IMG_2714

Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

Find Karen on:

Website: www.karenmcox.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004HIFOO8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenmcox1932/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenMCox1932

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenmcox1932/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/karenmcox

If you would like bits of authorly goodness in your inbox once a month (updates, sales, book recommendations, etc.) sign up for News & Muse Letter

Karen loves to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. Contact her through social media, her website, or online sites like Amazon and Goodreads.

 

Can you not wait to read this book? I totally understand it, so here you have:

Purchase Links: Kindle US “I Could Write a Book” Amazon Kindle

Kindle Universal Link: getBook.at/ICouldWriteaBook 

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Please do check the other posts on this blog tour, it is so worth it!! 

Laughing with Lizzie / September 6 / Launch Post/Dating Game / Giveaway

So little time… / September 7 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Book Lover in Florida / September 8 / Guest post / Giveaway

Austenesque Reviews / September 15 / Book Review/ GiveawayICWaB Vertical Banner

My Love for Jane Austen / September 16 / Guest Post / Giveaway

Granny Loves to Read  / September 17 / Book Review / Giveaway

My Jane Austen Book Club / September 18/ Guest Post/Mr. Knightley / Giveaway

Just Jane 1813 / September 19 / Author Interview / Giveaway

Sophia’s Sofa Chat / September 21 / An Interview with Karen M Cox on Goodreads

Babblings of a Bookworm/ / September 22 / Book Review/ Giveaway

Silver Petticoat Review / September 23/ Guest Post/ Giveaway

From Pemberley to Milton / September 25 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Margie’s Must Reads / September 27 / Book Review / Giveaway

My Vices and Weaknesses / September 30 / Book Review / Giveaway

Diary of an Eccentric / October 2 / Book Review / Giveaway

More Agreeably Engaged / October 4 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

 

Time to Give Away

Karen is giving away two themed prizes during the blog tour, tokens of appreciation for readers of I Could Write a Book, and for supporters of the wonderful sites on the blog tour.

Tea Prize Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, Mr. Knightley’s Reserve and Emma’s Perfect Match teas from Bingley’s Teas, a set of Jane Austen Book Coasters, and a Jane Austen Quotes mug.

Pretty Things Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, an “Emma” quote pendant, an Emma bangle bracelet, Regency cameo earrings, and a jewellery roll.

Tea

Readers can enter for chances to win these prizes here. There are bonus entries for social media shares and visits, if you’re on social media. This is one big giveaway with two prizes.

Jewelry

Click here to enter the giveaway

Good luck, everyone!

 

Blog Tour of “Particular Attachments” by L.L. Diamond, excerpt and giveaway

I hope all of you are very well and ready to read a bit more about another great book. Today I am pleased to present Particular Attachements by L.L. Diamond. This is the second book of her Particular Intentions Series and our protagonist is Miss Georgina Darcy.

Let me introduce you to our author, she is a very accomplished woman apart from a really good writer.

L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.leslie

After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include: Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, and Particular Attachments.

To follow L.L. Diamond, you can go to:

Facebook       Twitter      Goodreads      Austen Variations

Let’s enjoy the excerpt that Leslie is sharing with us 🙂

Thank you so much for having me!  It’s been so much fun sharing different parts and such about Particular Attachments with everyone. Today, I have one more excerpt. I hope you enjoy it!

 Georgiana placed her pen upon the stand, sprinkled some sand upon the page, and then, returned the coarse grit to its bowl. Bright light filtered in through the window, so she stood and stepped over to enjoy the view. The sun had already begun its path across the sky and a breeze rattled the limbs on the trees in the square. It was a brilliant blue day for December. If she were at Pemberley, she would saddle Phaethon and ride around the peaks. In weather such as this, Phae was always in high spirits, snorting and prancing about. How she adored riding on a crisp, cool day!

Well, if she could not ride, perhaps she could convince Lizzy to walk—if she was awake.

She arrived in the drawing room to no one about, but a humming reached her ears and she pivoted back and forth. Where had it come from? She followed the sound to the dining room where Mrs. Rowley ran a finger across the sideboard, looking for dust.

“Mrs. Rowley?”

“Oh!” The older lady’s hand pressed to her chest. “You gave me quite a fright, Miss Darcy. I was not aware you had left your chambers.”

“Forgive me. I had not meant to alarm you.” She glanced about the room. “I was wondering if my sister, brother, or Miss Bennet were awake?”

“Mr. and Mrs. Darcy requested trays a little over an hour ago. I believe they were to spend the morning with young Master William once they breakfasted. Miss Bennet’s maid has yet to be called to the lady’s rooms.”

Georgiana nodded. “Thank you. I shall be practicing my pianoforte should I be needed.”

“Of course, miss.”

She exited to the hall and was about to turn into the music room when a rap sounded at the door. Jobbins appeared from the servants’ corridor and with his usual calm, slow manner opened it.

“Miss Darcy!” Before Jobbins could speak, Nathaniel strode forward, took her hand, and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. “I hope you will forgive my early call, but the weather begged for a canter down Rotten Row and I hoped you would join me.”

She blinked. Nathaniel was in her home. She glanced at the clock—at half nine, and he wanted to ride—with her? “I had not—I—That is, I have no mount in town. My mare remained at Pemberley and Fitzwilliam does not keep a horse for me in London since I have stayed in Derbyshire the past several years.”

“I hope you will not think me presumptuous, but I considered just such a circumstance. My mother keeps a horse in town for days like today, though after the late night at the ball, she preferred to keep London hours than ride.” He grasped her hand, led her to the drawing room where the windows overlooked the street, and pulled back the draperies. “When I mentioned the possibility last night, she offered the use of her mare.”

Her eyes darted to the street before the house where three horses stood with a girl holding the reins of each.

“Who is the girl?”

“Our stable master’s daughter. She is as proficient a rider as the grooms, and you mentioned last night of your companion visiting her family for the holiday season. Since I was uncertain whether Miss Bennet would be awake and whether she even rode, I thought a chaperon might be a prudent idea.”

“Prudent indeed.” How she wanted to join him! Had she not just longed for Phae as she admired the pleasant weather? Not to mention, the closest of the mounts was the most beautiful dapple-grey she had ever laid eyes upon.

“Which is your mother’s mare?” Her teeth scraped along her bottom lip. Be the grey! Be the grey!

His breath made the curls at her temple flutter and heated her face. “Which do you want her to be?”

She drew back and gasped. “What an impudent response!”

“You cannot deny you have a preference, else you would not think to ask,” he taunted with an impish grin.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Why will you not answer?”

He mirrored her stance, his riding crop still clutched in his hand. “Agree to accompany me, change into your habit, and I shall give you the information you seek.”

She peered out the window one more time and back to Nathaniel. “Very well. I shall return as quickly as I can.”

As she hurried up the stairs, she worried at her lip with her teeth. Was this wise? Nathaniel said they would just be friends, but was it a sensible expectation?

Lucy started when she strode into her dressing room and requested her habit, but complied with haste. With her usual efficiency, her abigail had Georgiana undressed and dressed again with her riding gloves in hand in under a quarter hour.

She stared at her reflection in the mirror. The timidity about London and being in town needed to cease! What did the opinions matter of those so wholly unconnected to her? The truth was they did not. She needed to do what she wished without regard to those who would disparage her for sport.

One last, large gulp of air was drawn into her lungs and released. If she and Nathaniel were to be friends, she would have to rid herself of this ridiculous aversion to his company. He was not the same as the boy she once knew. Of course, characteristics of the younger Nathaniel remained, but he was now an adult. He had also come to her defence in the hat shop, had he not?

When she returned to the hall, Nathaniel grinned and gave a bow. “I am pleased you would accept my invitation, milady.” He held out his arm. “Shall we?”

A laugh escaped at his antics. “Lead the way, my lord.”

As Jobbins appeared to open the door, she paused. “Should my brother or Mrs. Darcy enquire as to my whereabouts, inform them I am riding with Lord Sele.”

“We will be in Hyde Park,” offered Nathaniel.

The aged butler peered to the horses and the young lady who would accompany them. “Very good, miss.”

After the door closed behind them, Nathaniel chuckled. “Did he ensure we had someone to accompany us?”

“More than likely. Since my companion Mrs. Annesley has been visiting her family, I am usually joined by Lizzy, Lydia, or my aunt when I leave the house. I am certain Jobbins found my departing on the arm of a young man singular and cause for concern.”

“Jobbins was your butler before your mother’s death. I remember I found him rather terrifying as a young boy.”

“But he is kind and what I imagine a grandfather to be. When my governess would bring me to the kitchen for a biscuit, Jobbins would tell me the most wonderful stories. I believe he would create them as he said them aloud.”

“Ah,” replied Nathaniel, squinting a bit as a particularly gusty breeze blew in his face. “You have a perspective of him I lack. I remember the ever so tall, quiet, and imposing figure who answered the door. He also gave me a rather disapproving glare when I tried to chase after your brother on several occasions.”

“There is no running in Darcy House, did you not know?”

Nathaniel studied her for a moment out of the corner of his eye. “You are different this morning.”

“I hope the change is not unwelcome.”

He faced her and their eyes held one another until she had to fight to remain still. How she needed to fidget about, but she could not. To wiggle like a worm would be mortifying!

She held out her hand and took a step in the direction of the dapple-grey, who stretched her neck and sniffed Georgiana’s palm. Once she had deemed Georgiana worthy, she nickered and nuzzled Georgiana’s glove with her velvety muzzle.

“Do you like her?”

Her cheek prickled from his steady gaze while she pressed her palm against the star between the mare’s eyes and stroked down the length of her face. “She is stunning.”

His shoulders relaxed as he smiled. “I am glad. She is your mount for the morning.”

She gave a delighted gasp. “I had hoped. What is her name?”

“My mother named her Viola.”

He laced his fingers and held them down and palms up to help her mount. Once they were both in their saddles, and walking towards Hyde Park, she lifted her face to feel the cool breeze as Viola blew noisily from her nose and tugged at the reins.

“She must enjoy Twelfth Night to name her horse for one of the characters.”

“My parents attended a production of Twelfth Night for my mother’s birthday the evening before Viola arrived as her gift. While she does take pleasure in that particular play, I believe the name is more as a remembrance.”

When they entered the Grosvenor Gate and headed in the direction of Rotten Row, Viola began to stomp and prance about.

“She loves to run Rotten Row, and my mother tends to give her free rein. You will need to use a firm hand if you do not wish for the same.”

“Phae knows the paths at Pemberley where I prefer to test her speed. She behaves much the same as Viola is now when we approach one.”

Nathaniel’s brows drew down in the middle. “Phae?”

“Phaethon is the immortal horse of the goddess of the dawn, Eos.”

“Your brother’s horse is named from the stories of the Greeks as well, is it not?”

“Boreas is the god of the north wind who assumed the shape of a horse to pull the chariot of Zeus.”

He laughed and reined his horse back so they remained together. “While the story has Boreas pulling the King of the gods, the actual horse carries the Master of Pemberley.”

One side of her lips curved upwards. “My father was still alive when my brother named his horse. He was not yet master. We have quite a few horses with names taken from the Greeks or the Romans.”

After a peek in Nathaniel’s direction, she cued Viola to a trot. The horse had a graceful gait. Her bottom would not be terribly sore on the morrow, thank goodness.

The rhythmic plodding of Nathaniel’s horse from her side was a reminder of his presence—not that she required one. She was not far ahead of him as they neared the corner where the Route du Roi, also known as Rotten Row, began.

Despite this hour of the morning being a fashionable time to ride one’s horse on Rotten Row, few men were out with their mounts and even fewer ladies.

“I hoped most of the ton would keep to their beds this morning. Between Lord and Lady Fitzwilliam’s ball and Sir John Sutton’s masquerade, most of London was occupied until the early hours.”

She brought her mount to a canter and began riding down the path, ensuring she did not collide with the other riders. Nathaniel rode to her left, but his horse was just far enough to the rear that she could see nothing but his head if she peeked to that side. His horse stretched his neck and wore at the bit. Nathaniel was holding him back. Did he believe her to be a less than competent rider?

Without thought, she leaned forward and pressed her leg into Viola’s flank. The horse did not throw her head or object, but accelerated forward with grace until the horse could not go faster without galloping.

An exclamation came from behind as she laughed and pushed forward until she neared the end where she pulled back and turned to ride along the edge of the Serpentine. She kept Viola at a trot until Nathaniel drew alongside and then slowed her to a walk.

“You do enjoy defying convention, Georgiana Darcy.”

“I wanted to give her a good run.” She lifted her chin just a bit. “Besides, I do not require you to rein in your horse. I have no doubt Viola and I can match your pace.”

“Ladies do not typically race the gentlemen along the Row—not that I object. I enjoyed it immensely.” His slight smile widened. “I wanted to be certain you were comfortable on my mother’s horse, but I never expected my ensuring your safety from behind would wound your pride.”

Her jaw dropped. “You did not wound my pride.”

“Then why the need to prove yourself?” He trotted ahead with an altogether too smug expression on his face.

If only she could wipe it off as easily as a smudge of dirt!

“You have no response?” he taunted with his head turned back towards her. “The Miss Darcy I remember would not have allowed such a statement to go unanswered.” He stopped his horse and pivoted in his seat as he awaited her.

She brought Viola to a trot once again and gave him what was hopefully her most disdainful expression. “The Miss Darcy you knew no longer exists. I do not seek your approbation. I need no one’s approval.”

Who is that Nathaniel? Have you been in other stops of this book tour and you already know? How has she learnt to dismiss people’s approval? Why is she repeating that they are only friends as if she wanted to convince herself?

Blurb: She swore would never marry!

Georgiana Darcy is a lady with a secret! The last thing she wants is to return to London, but what else can she do when her brother and his wife make plans to spend the Christmas season in town. When Lizzy’s youngest sister, Lydia, joins them, Georgiana gains a confidante, but will Lydia’s outgoing nature cause problems when Lord Sele, son of a family friend reappears in Georgiana’s life?

As an insufferable boy, Lord Sele vowed he would marry Georgiana, but was his return from Ireland a coincidence or was his sole purpose to pursue her? He admits to desiring friendship, but Lydia is determined his desire is Georgiana and she will stop at nothing to see her best friend happily settled.

What is Georgiana to do when faced with the 

 

society she has managed to avoid for her entire adult life as well as the one man determined to change her mind about marriage? Will she be able to overcome her fears despite the spectre from the past that seems to be haunting her? Will she be forced to tell her secret and choose happiness or will someone from her past ruin everything?

 Lydia… friend of Georgiana? What is going on? 😉 Someone from her past? OMG! nooo, more angst when it comes to our beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice.

Do you want to read this book straight away? You can do it, among other sites, here:

Amazon UK                 Amazon US                       Kobo           Barnes&Noble

The Particular Attachments Blog Tour

book

Great stops in this blog tour, I cannot choose my favourite, so visit them all! 🙂

September 8: Just Jane 1813 – Review

 

September 9: Babblings of a Bookworm – Character Interview

 

September 11: From Pemberley to Milton – Excerpt

September 12: More Agreeably Engaged – Character Interview

September 13: Austenesque Reviews – Outtake

September 14: Austen Variations – Release Day Post and Giveaway

September 15: Just Jane 1813 – Character Interview

September 16: My Jane Austen Book Club – Outtake

September 17: My Vices and Weaknesses – Excerpt

 

Time to Give Away

Leslie is giving away an e-book copy of Particular Attachments to one winner. Please leave a comment or question for her with anything that you would like to know or what to say about this excerpt.

The Giveaway will be open until the 24th September at 23:59 (CET). If you want to get more entries, share with a friend and ask them to join us on the comment section. Your friend will have to say that he or she has found us through you.

Blog Tour of “When we are married” by Caitlin Williams – Excerpt and Giveaway

Not many words from me today for When we are married as I want you to read first the book description and then we “chat”, here you have it:

Two sisters, one man. Someone’s heart is about to get broken.

Elizabeth Bennet quickly realises she has misjudged Mr Darcy. In Kent, she learns first impressions are not always accurate. His proposal is disastrous, insulting even, but when she reads his letter her heart begins to thaw, and her objections and prejudices start to melt away. Elizabeth decides to offer Mr Darcy a sliver of hope, an apology, and a second chance.

Yet when he begins to call at Gracechurch Street, determined to become a better man and humbled by Elizabeth’s reproofs, he unwittingly stirs the romantic hopes of another lady altogether.

Jane Bennet is bereft and confused, rejected by Charles Bingley. She is fearful of becoming an old maid and eager to fall in love with the very first gentleman who takes notice of her. Mr Darcy just happens to be everything her mother has wanted for her; rich and handsome, the perfect suitor.

Through crowded, industrious Cheapside, to the elegant ballrooms of Mayfair, Mr Darcy chases Elizabeth Bennet, unaware that the quiet unassuming girl who smiles too much, is fully intent on chasing him.

So… what do you think? The first thing it came to mind was:

cat fightCat fight!! I cannot believe it! Jane, what are you doing?? but at the same time it is: “Ohh, you poor thing!” How on earth this is going to end well?!?! But I hope it does if not I will scream 😉 Lizzy and Jane cannot be at odds with each other, they are BFF apart from sisters. Well, let’s try to forget that part for a bit, my next question would be: how does Elizabeth offer a sliver of hope? because Darcy becomes a regular at Mr and Mrs Gardiner’s home…

Author: Caitlin Williams

Let me introduce the guilty person of this possible cat fight, Caitlin Williams. A really good author and a very nice person that I was glad to meet a few months ago. You may be surprised about her former job.

Caitlin Williams is the author of two novels, Ardently and the best-selling The Coming Caitlin Williams author photosmallof Age of Elizabeth Bennet, both based on the characters from Pride and Prejudice. She’s a lifelong Austen devotee and lover of all things regency.

Originally from South London, Caitlin spent thirteen years as a detective in the Metropolitan Police, but is currently on a break from Scotland Yard so she can spend more time at home with her two children and write.
Follow Caitlin on: Facebook                 Goodreads              Austen Variations      Twitter

Here you can buy his latest book When we are married or her previous ones: Amazon UK  Amazon US  Amazon CA   Amazon ES (English version)  It is also available through KindleUnlimited.

Excerpt (enjoy!)

Her voice had given the impression of confidence, her reply had been laced with tartness, but as she moved away—still feeling Mr Darcy’s gaze upon her—Elizabeth’s spirits were in a flutter.

Why was she not angrier? No matter how solicitous and civil he was now—amongst the more personable and respectable members of her family—she could not forget how he had once derided and despised others she loved. His treatment of Jane, refusing to greet her when she had made her visit to the Hursts’, coupled with the deviousness he had shown in keeping Mr Bingley oblivious to her sister’s presence in Town; it all should have made him truly despicable in her eyes.

And yet…

And yet…oh, curse the man. His owning it so openly, so freely admitting to his faults, was horribly disarming and his teasing was so unexpected. “When we are married.” The audacity! As she neared the tea table she found herself tutting and smiling at the same time.

“You were speaking to Mr Darcy for a good long while, whatever about?” Jane asked.

Elizabeth blinked, thought quickly, and gave a blithe answer. “We found you to be a decent topic, dear heart. You are held by Mr Darcy in the highest esteem. You will never have a better compliment. I should treasure it. I doubt it is a regular habit of his to bestow such generous praise.”

“Lizzy,” Jane said, in a whisper. “Do you not see how he desires to make himself agreeable…to us all, I mean? I beg you not to be churlish. His manners have improved, I think, since Hertfordshire, though you will remember I never found them as reprehensible as you did.”

“But you find nothing or no-one reprehensible. I daresay you would find Genghis Khan an agreeable dinner companion.”

Jane was tight-lipped in response.

“Which is to your credit!’ Elizabeth exclaimed. “You know I jest and long to be as good as you. Sadly, it is not in my nature. I am my father’s daughter. Two parts cynical to one part obdurate.”

“Our family has not always shown itself to him in its best light. Let us make a good impression now.”

Bemused by Jane’s solemnity, Elizabeth shrugged. “I will try my best. I shall even take him over his coffee, as a gesture of goodwill. Will that smooth away the line which has appeared between your eyebrows?” She put a finger to her sister’s forehead.

Jane pushed away Elizabeth’s hand and pursed her lips. She then lifted the heavy silver coffee pot and carefully poured the thick black liquid into a delicate bone china cup, making it rattle gently against its saucer.

“Black, with one lump of sugar.” They both spoke at precisely the same time and then looked at one another in surprise.

Elizabeth laughed. “There is so little in the way of amusement at Rosings that even inconsequential nothings became of note. Mr Collins, you know, takes his tea with cream and three sugar lumps, which perhaps explains some of his rampant excitability.”

Jane gave her a smile in return but when Elizabeth held out her hand for the cup, all joy faded from her sister’s countenance.

“I will take it, Lizzy.”

“No, here comes our uncle, who looks desperately thirsty, you must pour for him. I will take this to Mr Darcy.”

Elizabeth reached for the beverage, but Jane pulled it quickly back, unbalancing the load. Although the saucer remained in her hand, the cup toppled, fell, and spun in mid-air before landing on the rug between their feet. The liquid was thrown up, splattering the hem of Jane’s gown. It miraculously avoided Elizabeth’s.

Jane gasped and cried out, drawing the attention of the whole room.

“Are you hurt?” Elizabeth asked at once, taking hold of her sister’s shaking wrist.

“No, no, I am well…it is just…” Jane tearfully broke off from them all. Everyone was rushing to her assistance, but she wrenched herself away and made for the door.

Elizabeth followed quickly, assuring her aunt Gardiner, who started to trail after them, that she would send for her if she was needed. Her aunt went back to the drawing room while Elizabeth caught up with Jane in the hallway, taking her wrist once again to make her stop. “Come now, what is all this? ’Tis a small accident. It will be forgotten in a trice.”

“I have made a fool of myself and it is ruined,” Jane said, choking back a sob, nodding towards the hem of her gown.

“No, our aunt’s maid will soak it and it will be as good as new. Are you sure you are not burnt?”

Jane shook her head and was far more emotional than the accident warranted. Tears fell, much to Elizabeth’s astonishment. “Jane, this is not like you. Let me help you change.”

“I can manage, Lizzy. Go back in please. Go back and amuse everybody, as you always do. Make them laugh and smile. You are so good at it. You will make them forget my clumsiness. I will be back presently.”

The more Elizabeth pleaded to be allowed to help, the more her sister put her off and so she reluctantly went back to the drawing room.

Upon her return, Mr Darcy got so quickly to his feet and asked after Jane’s welfare in such earnest tones, even going so far as to offer the services of his own physician, that Elizabeth could not help but be amused at his seriousness. She made a very serious face of her own. “I am afraid my sister has suffered the type of wound that no lady should ever have to bear. Imagine, if you will, what terrible pain accompanies the belief that a favourite gown is ruined forever.”

Mr Darcy continued to frown for the briefest of moments before fully understanding her. “My surgeon is good with a needle but probably unused to satin.”

They were both amused then, and Elizabeth found herself lingering in front of him, wondering if he would say anything else. It was difficult, while under the spell of his smile, to remember why she had ever disliked him. But she grew conscious when he said nothing further and continued to just look at her, unabashedly, unashamedly—did he not realise he was staring?

And, oh dear, was it possible she had been staring back?

Time to Give Away

Caitlin Williams is offering one ebook copy of When we are married to one of my readers. WWAM Final Front Cover 070617[1688] smallTo participate on the giveaway you only have to comment on this post and I would like to know what you think about this book and the excerpt. To get an extra entry you can tweet and/or share this post on Facebook in public mode (one entry per day, please copy the link on the comments). All entries before the 3oth July will be counted, GMT time. I will do my best to have the winner published on the 30th or 31st of July.

Good luck and share the news of this great story!

If you cannot wait to see if you are the lucky one, here you can buy his latest book When we are married or her previous ones: Amazon UK  Amazon US  Amazon CA   Amazon ES (English version)  It is also available through KindleUnlimited.

Blog Tour Schedule

Have a look at these other blogs where you will fun very nice and interesting reviews and a very nice Guest Post by Meredith.

July 21 Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post Launch & Giveaway

July 22 Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

July 23 Just Jane 1813 / Book Review & Giveaway

July 24 More Agreeably Engaged /  Book Review & Giveaway

July 25 My Vices & Weaknesses / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

July 26 Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

July 27 From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

Blog Tour of “The Darcy Monologues”, guest post, mini-review and giveaway

15, a lucky number for some people, “la niña bonita” (the pretty girl) when it comes to bingo in Spanish,  fifteen are the stories in The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd and written by fifteen authors, come of them with a lot of JAFF written, a few other with a bit less written so far but with a great future ahead of them.

Here you have all the names: Susan Adriani, Sara Angelini, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Jan Hahn, Jenetta James, Lory LilianKaraLynne Mackrory, Beau North, Ruth Phillips Oakland, Natalie Richards, Sophia Rose, Melanie StanfordJoana Starnes, and Caitlin Williams.

I am pleased to introduce one of these authors who has one of the regency stories on the monologues, KaraLynne Mackrory. She has written Clandestiny and in this particular case, I will leave you with Natalie Richards to tell you about it and about KaraLynne.

Falling for KaraLynne Mackrory by Natalie Richards

I am excited to read all of the stories by my fabulous fellow authors of The Darcy Monologues, but I confess to having a particular soft spot for KaraLynne Mackrory. I’ve been reading her books for years now, and had the pleasure of hosting her on my blog twice before we both contributed stories to the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology.

I always approach a KaraLynne Mackrory story with a greedy sort of glee, like a dragon with a shiny new treasure to hoard. Her stories have been making me happy ever since I read Bluebells in the Mourning. They always have the perfect blend of ingredients; a pinch of angst, a dash of humor, and enough romance to make the stoutest heart swoon. I know when I pick one up that there will be hours of enjoyment to be found betwixt their covers.

Clandestiny is the title of her contribution to the anthology. It caught my eye immediately. It is just a deliciously mysterious word, is it not? Add that to the anticipation of pleasure her previous books gave rise to, and the story becomes irresistible. KaraLynne likes her twists and turns, occasionally even a touch of magic, so I do not know what to expect, I only know it will be good.

My “Clandestiny”

I am not going to do a normal review, I will leave you with my questions, the ones I leave to tease you or to intrigue you. I have to say that KaraLynne´s story is lovely and a bit funny with the turning and turning and turning again 😉

What if Netherfield has secrets? What if Darcy is not so proud? What if Elizabeth understands better how society works? What if a slipper is a key in a story? (and not exactly like Cinderella’s) What if “but you do not even like me, sir” is my new catchy phrase? Yes, I think I will repeat that sentences in my mind for a few days and it will remind me of this story.

KaraLynne tells us about herself

karalynneHow did you come to be inspired by Miss Austen as both a woman and then, as a writer?

Pride and Prejudice was the first of her works that I read and I found it incredibly funny.  I started to think about what kind of woman could produce such witty and dry humor as would be necessary for this prose.  The more I learned about the time in which Jane Austen lived the more I came to respect her further because my girl Jane didn’t live an easy life and yet she found humor in things.  I like to think that I do that too and that we could have been good friends.  Her writing proves her outlook on life had to be through humorous glasses.  I have mad respect for that.

Can you offer readers a brief description of your story and tell us why you chose to set your story in the Regency era?

I chose to set my story in the regency era mostly because I am very comfortable in that setting, and I love the romance of the time.  My short story evolved from the desire to see what fun could be had with a secret door, a surprise encounter and a little bit of forced seclusion for our two sweethearts.  I’ve always thought that if Darcy and Elizabeth could just spend time together alone they would come to see their futures are destined together.  So my story gives them that chance.

This year we’re coming up on the 200th anniversary of the publications of  Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. What were you trying to capture in your story,  Clandestiny, of Jane Austen in The Darcy Monologues?

I always hope to emulate her writing style and to keep her characters true to the ones she created originally but I also hoped that Clandestiny would be a glimpse into the conflicted and passionate heart of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.  He’s a man that epitomises the “still waters run deep” saying and I give the readers a look into what runs deep for Darcy.

The reactions to this upcoming release have been overwhelmingly positive from readers and I think that’s also in response to Mr. Darcy’s tremendous popularity throughout the past two centuries. Why do you believe that modern-day woman still find him so appealing?

Because he’s mysterious, noble, good and kind – let’s not forget handsome, rich and sexy.  What’s not to love?  He’s terribly flawed and yet at his heart he is a good man who cares deeply.  Everyone wants to be cherished and we know a man like Darcy would execute the job admirably while also being a challenge for us and keeping the appeal alive. I’ve heard complaints from men that they can’t measure up to the perfection of Darcy – and yet that’s where they are wrong.  Because Darcy isn’t perfect – far from it.  But where it counts he has what we want.  We want to feel empowered, while also protected.  We want to feel capable while also cared for.  Darcy can be a class A jerk and yet he can be tender too.  But I think what makes him most appealing is his willingness to try to be better.  He sees a fault in himself and instead of making an excuse about it – “that’s just how I am” – he endeavours to be better.  And that is sexy.

Did writing this story make you appreciate something about Jane Austen all over again?

As I wrote above, Jane is a witty girl and with my story I paid homage to that by creating a romantic scene with a touch of the funny.

Can you give us a six-word memoir about yourself?

Mother, wife, writing of love life.

What can readers look forward to reading from you in the future and how can readers stay in touch with you?

I have a storyline in the works, but sadly it is not far enough to have any kind of timeline for publication.  I connect frequently with readers through book groups, fairs, and online.  I love this part of being an author the best!  So, please contact me, I’d love to hear what you think of my stories.  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KaraLynneMackroryAuthor/

Twitter: @KAMackYah

Email: klmackrory@merytonpress.com

Mini-review

To be honest, more than a mini-review, I will give you a couple of words, or a sentence, a quote of each story, from them you just need to use your imagination 😉

This is a great read, Darcy’s words, Darcy’s thoughts in so many stories and also in different eras. He shows us his love for Elizabeth, his struggle sometimes but *spoiler alert* his happy ending and how he cherish it.

REGENCY

Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams: Darcy has to put the best announcement on the paper ever!

From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft: tongue and letter, tongue and letter and repeat.

If Only a Dream by Joana Starnes: 17 hours and a half. She is not ghost or a vision.

The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford: The Beauty and the Beast at Pemberley.

A resentful man by Lory Lilian: his unsteady knees.

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani: “you lied to me (…) you must marry her!”

Without Affection by Jan Hahn: “I failed to see the fascination” (that’s what you think!)

OTHER ERAS

Hot for teacher by Sara Angelini: Elizabeth, you led him on!! You, naughty girl 😛

You don’t know me by Beau North: “shut up and…” x2

Reason to Hope by Jenetta James: “Elizabeth, there isn’t anything between me and Caroline Bingley, you know.”

I, Darcy by Karen M Cox: a farm, a restaurant “Seasons”.

Pemberley by Stage by Natalie Richards: maybe he does not abhor disguise so much.

The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland: what a Porsche Sherlock has 😛

Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose: he won the game.

5out5 stars

Time to Give Away

Two lovely prizes for two winners are waiting thank you to The Darcy Monologues.

One winner will win our grand prize of 24 paperback books, each one autographed by the author, and mailed to the winner’s home.

The second winner will win their choice of either a Pride and Prejudice pocketbook or a Pride and Prejudice Kindle Fire Case with stand – Pride and Prejudice Book Cover Case for Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ and 6″ – Kindle Fire / Fire HD / Fire HDX tablet.

Click here to participate in this awesome and international giveaway.

Blog tour

Here you have all the blog that have participated on this blog tour, you will find a lot of interesting reviews and also information about all the authors.

April 3 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Launch Post & Giveaway

April 10 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

April 17 / The Reading Frenzy / Guest Post & GiveawayTheDarcyMonologuesCoverEbook small

April 20 / My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post & Giveaway

April 24 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway

May 1 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

May 8 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

May 15 / Austenesque Reviews / Book Review & Giveaway

May 22 / Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post & Giveaway

May 25 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

May 29 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway

June 5 / So Little Time / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

June 12 / Diary of an Eccentric/ Book Review & Giveaway

June 19 / Book Lover in Florida / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

June 26 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway

July 3 / Savvy Verse & Wit / Book Review & Giveaway

 

 

 

Blog Tour “The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque” by Don Jacobson, excerpt, review and giveaway

Hello to all and I apologise about being MIA. My life since the end of March has been a roller coaster but it will soon be a bit calmer… I hope!

The important thing is that I am back to present you a great book, I have really loved it. Yes, this is a spoiler alert, so you can assume that you will see five stars below when you reach my review.

However, first things first. I want you to know a bit more about the book and the author and today I am glad to introduce Don Jacobson, author of today’s book: The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque.

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Don Jacobson Head Shot

Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years.  His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio.  His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he published the first volume of The Bennet Wardrobe SeriesThe Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey, novel that grew from two earlier novellas. The Exile is the second volume of The Bennet Wardrobe Series.  Other JAFF P&P Variations include the paired books “Of Fortune’s Reversal” and “The Maid and The Footman.” Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a speciality in American Foreign Relations.  As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilisation and Research Writing.

He is a member of JASNA-Puget Sound.  Likewise, Don is a member of the Austen Authors collective (see the internet, Facebook and Twitter).

He lives in the Seattle, WA area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorise, and their rather assertive four-and-twenty pound cat, Bear.  Besides thoroughly immersing himself in the JAFF world, Don also enjoys cooking; dining out, fine wine and well-aged scotch whiskey.  

His other passion is cycling.  Most days from April through October will find him “putting in the miles” around the Seattle area (yes there are hills).  He has ridden several “centuries” (100 mile days).  Don is especially proud that he successfully completed the AIDS Ride—Midwest (500 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago) and the Make-A-Wish Miracle Ride (300 miles from Traverse City, MI to Brooklyn, MI).

Amazon Author Page        Goodreads Author Page      Twitter

As you can read and as normally happens with JAFF authors, they are “all-terrain” as we say in Spanish, they do so many things that I wonder how they manage to write so well and so much 😛

This time I will not add the blurb of the book, I prefer you to read about the book from the writer himself.

Don’s words and excerpt

The Bennet Wardrobe Series is an alternative history in the Jane Austen Universe. While the characters are familiar, I have endeavoured to provide each of them with an opportunity to grow into three-dimensional personalities, although not necessarily in the Regency period.  If they were shaped or stifled by the conventions of the period, the time-travelling powers of The Wardrobe helped solve their problems, make penance, and learn lessons by giving them a chance to escape that time frame, if only for a brief, life-changing interlude.

The Wardrobe underlines my conviction that each of these characters could enjoy fulfilling lives once they had overcome the inner demons holding them back.

Would it have been possible for them to do so staying on the Regency timeline?

Perhaps. However, something tickled my brain—maybe it was the intersection between my youthful fascination with speculative fiction and my mature appreciation of Austen and 19th Century fiction—that threw the idea of the Wardrobe up in front of me.  Now my protagonists could be immersed in different time frames beyond the Regency to learn that which they needed to learn in order to realise their potentials and in the process carry the eternal story of love and change forward to even the 21st Century.

Some Bennets will travel further and remain in the future longer than others. We may not be privy to accounts of all of the journeys they take. Rather, we may see whispers of those trips as they impact others.

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque in which the Families discover that Miss Bennet has vanished from Matlock House.

Chapter XIX

Darcy House, Later that evening (July 4, 1891)

The noise level of chattering Cecils, Darcys and Fitzwilliams rose and fell much as the tide did on the beach by the House at Deauville. The discussion happily tended to be lighter than the bleak circumstances that had been bearing down on everyone in attendance. The family group was small and intimate: Eddie Darcy chaired the gathering from the head of the table in the small dining room with Ellie on his right and Lady Caroline and Lord John Cecil immediately to his left. Henry sat next to his sister and across from Lord John. Lady Elaine took over the mistress’ role and sat opposite Eddie.

All six looked up sharply when Mr. Hastings was interrupted by one of the footmen who purposefully strode over to the butler and whispered in his ear. Hastings’ eyebrows lifted as the message was passed. He nodded and dismissed his subordinate. At Darcy’s inquiring glance, the butler moved to his side. The two men stepped away from the table.

Within a few seconds, Darcy, a grim look on his now pale face, returned. In a worried voice he said, “We have just received an urgent message from Mrs. Brandon at Matlock House. It seems that Miss Bennet has gone missing.”

Five voices were clamoring for his attention all at once. Darcy held up a hand stopping the flow of questions.

“There is no indication about how long she has been gone. There is no news about what she may have done or, if she left the house, where she may have gone. All that the message said was that the entire house has been searched, and she is not to be found,” Darcy stated.

Henry threw his napkin on the table and rose from his seat, and, with the others following suit, called for his carriage to be brought around. In minutes, Darcy House was emptied of quality, leaving only worried servants to clean up the debris after yet another body blow dealt to the Five Families.

***

Henry, Eddie and Lord John stood in the center of Matlock House’s Gold Parlor staring at the letter that had been discovered by Kitty’s lady’s maid, Letty. The distraught girl was sitting on one of the sofas being comforted by Ellie. Letty’s gulping sobs served as a fitting backdrop for the somber scene. Lady Elaine and Lady Caroline sat together on a matching loveseat, holding one another’s hands trying to overcome their worry…one for a near daughter, the other for a grandaunt who had become like a sister.

Cecil spoke to the other two men, “You know Miss Bennet better than me. Does this sound like something she would have done? To run off to the Continent and visit a school friend on the Mediterranean? How could she even have hoped to pay for such an excursion?”

Fitzwilliam snorted a humorless laugh, “Cecil, you have no idea. Kitty is certainly impulsive. But this sort of activity is far beyond anything any of us could have ever imagined that she would do. She certainly could afford it. She has 8,000 a year now that she is of age.

“But she would never do anything that would worry Mother or distress Ellie and Caroline. The three young ladies have been thick as thieves ever since Caro married you, Cecil.  I have to believe that, at the very least, she would have revealed some of her thinking to those two if she had been upset enough to run off.

“She has not breathed one word about doing anything this far out of bounds.

“What bothers me is, according to the maid, she has not taken one jot other than the clothes on her back.

“Kitty is very peculiar about her clothes. Once it goes into her wardrobe or changing room, she is an absolute Tartar about upkeep. Nothing is disposable as far as she is concerned. Letty has had to split a seam with her bare hands in front of Kitty to be permitted to retire a garment.

“On top of that, Kitty absolutely abhors loaning anything. I have seen Ellie and Kitty arguing about a pair of gloves that my sister wanted to borrow before a ball. I thought Kitty was going to demand that she make a blood oath promising to return the gloves immediately after the dance.”

Eddie Darcy chimed in, “While Kitty is as fond of romance and adventure as any young woman, I could never imagine her placing a toothbrush in her handbag, catching a train to Dover, and then hopping on a Channel ferry to Cherbourg.

“No, this is quite out of character.”

They turned their attention again to the letter. Henry walked over to Ellie and held the missive out to her asking if she agreed that this appeared to be Kitty’s handwriting.

Ellie sighed and took the note from his hand.

“As I said before.  The letter certainly looks as if Kitty wrote it. It appears to be in her hand.

“Yet, this just does not sound like a letter Kitty would write to me. There is nothing personal. No shorthand comments that would mean something to me and nobody else. This letter has been composed to be clearly understood whether I am reading it…or Mama…or you.

“And if she had been planning to visit Hermione de Secondat’s villa on the Côte d’Azur, she would not have spelled out the entire family name.

“Hermione was one of the girls who shared our suite at school.  While not as close as Kitty and I, she remains, none-the-less, a dear friend. Kitty never would have written anything more than ‘Hermione.’

“She probably would have referred to her as “Boots” because that was our nickname for her. She loved to wear her riding gear whenever she could avoid Matron.

“I could not prove it, but while this letter looks as if Kitty did write it, I would wager my next quarter’s allowance that she did not actually do so. I cannot prove that fact. Maybe somebody else can.

“What are we to do, Henry? I am worried that something truly awful has happened to Kitty.”

Fitzwilliam cleared his throat, his Managing Director of the Trust look transforming his features as he began speaking.

“Let us begin with the assumption that Kitty has voluntarily left and is travelling, as the note suggests, to Nice.  That would necessarily focus our efforts in one direction, which may be exactly what is desired. While I am not inclined to believe that Kitty would abandon us without a word, I cannot ignore this avenue of inquiry.

“We left the house around three o’clock. That means she could have as much as a five-hour head start.

“The most we could hope for is to try to catch her at Dover or Cherbourg. But I think that we may be out of luck as her lead is too large. We should still alert the police to be on the lookout there and then again in Paris.

“If she is actually on her way to Nice, she will have to catch le Train Bleu and then change again in Mâcon. We can have the police check the train and all of the intervening stations.

“Then we will send a telegram to Mlle de Secondat’s home in the south of France. Her parents should be able to confirm with your friend if she is aware of Kitty’s plans.

“However, taking Ellie’s sense that the letter was designed to be a convincing misdirection, we cannot ignore the possibility that there are some darker forces at play here.

“Darcy, Cecil and I will engage a squad of private detectives to seek to discover Miss Bennet’s movements since this afternoon.  Assuming that she was not actually spirited out of Matlock House, we must believe that she left of her own accord only to encounter someone who engineered her disappearance.

“I fear that we may learn little, and, until we receive some communication from her captors, we will be like blind men tapping our way around an unfamiliar drawing room.  This reasoning suggests that Miss Bennet is being held by those who have pretensions of being paid for her return.

“Another bleaker line we must consider is that attractive as she is with her blonde hair, she could have been the target of white slavers. If that is the case, we may never find her.”

All of the women gasped at this terrifying pronouncement. Then each person subsided into his or her own private brown study as another mournful shroud descended over the room, layering over the others already being borne by its occupants.

In the midst of this silence, Letty gasped, rose, and curtseyed to the silent aristocrats and hurried out of the room. She was gone for only a few minutes when she rushed back into the room bearing a large hatbox.

She breathlessly exclaimed, throwing all sense of position to the wind, “I found…this…just…outside the…servant’s hall. It must’ve been…forgotten in the entire hubbub…about Miss Bennet. Mr. Anderton…says that it…was delivered this…afternoon. For Miss Bennet. From Harrods!”

Review

What do you think? What about Don’s words introducing the book? What about the excerpt? Where’s Kitty?

I would like to start stating that I have loved everything that happens in this book and to its characters. Maybe a few of you are thinking something like “but Darcy and Elizabeth are not the protagonists” or maybe something like “Kitty is not my favourite Bennet sister” but I can promise that The Exile goes beyond those thoughts. Obviously Kitty is the main character but there is so much more. As you have read above, it is the last years of the 19th century and Kitty Bennet is on the story, she has travelled on time until the decade of the 1880s and you can imagine how difficult it can be. However, with help from family, every obstacle can be overcome.

The Five Families, although it looks more like a mafia title, shows all the traits, strengths and personalities of the people that we know so well from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The Five Families being: Fitzwilliams, Darcys, Bennets, Gardiners and Bingleys.

Don Jacobson creates like a parallel world, at least for me it has been something like that. I was reading about new characters or I was reading them but due to Don’s descriptions or the character’s words, I could see some of Austen’s characters reflected one way or another.

Kitty’s life in her new now has a bit of everything: self-discovery, friendship, misery, suffering, isolation, recovery and much more. I have really like the way she reflects in her life after some trauma that she experiences and how she matures. How she saw herself during her childhood, how her relationship with her sisters and parents was, etc.

I will not go on more detail about the events on Kitty’s life but I would like to mention some names: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sherlock Holmes, Sigmund Freud, Winston Churchill…

As every good P&P JAFF book, we have a “Wickham”!! and semi-quoting Terminator: “he’ll be back”. He is a very dark and vengeful man.

5out5 stars

Time to Give Away

Don Jacobson is offering 8 ebooks of this great book!

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.

However, do not lose the opportunity to buy it for yourself or as a present, check the links below.

Amazon US         Amazon UK

If you prefer to start with the first book of the series, you can buy The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey.

Amazon US         Amazon UK

Blog Tour Schedule – what has been said and what is going to be said about The Exile:

06/15   From Pemberley to Milton Guest Post, GA

06/16   My Jane Austen Book Club Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

06/17   Just Jane 1813  Review, Excerpt, GA

06/19   Diary of an Eccentric Excerpt, GA

06/20   Savvy Verse and Wit Guest Post, GA

06/21   Darcyholic Diversions Author Interview, GA

06/22   My Vices and Weaknesses Review, Excerpt, GA

06/23   Babblings of a Bookworm Character Interview, GA

06/24   A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life Guest Post

06/25   My Love for Jane Austen Vignette, GA

06/26   Interests of a Jane Austen Girl Review, Excerpt, GA

06/27   So little time… Guest Post, GA

06/28   Laughing With Lizzie Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt, GA