Review of “Colonel Darcy” by Timothy Underwood

Lizzy locked up in her bedroom as she were the mad woman in the attic but in this case the “stubborn” woman in the bedroom according to some.

Darcy, soldier with a horrible experience that changes his temper.

Letters, so important in Jane Austen’s world. Love letters, friendship letters, letters that bring people to life. Letters that may not be read, or will be read by the recipient years later.

Honour, reputation, the ton… that does not matter sometimes but who can decide? who can decide what to believe? People will believe anything that they do not like and will just label it under any tag that goes against honour and reputation, no matter what…

Two fathers taking his children to see the continent. Little Lizzy and very little Georgina become more than friends, sisters. Fitzwilliam likes the friendship that her sister has, he enjoys little Lizzy and her mind. Mr Darcy and Mr Bennet, the “nerds” of the time: Latin, Greek, calculus… A trip that unites two families but death is ruthless. First Mr Darcy, then Mr Bennet. Moreover, war, India, so far away.

‘Promise me that we will write to each other’.

Years in order to read the letters, but everything changes, hearts change and the future looks good but not very good.

Hearts are still closed and real happiness takes a while. Actually we could even thank Mr Wickham for the beginning of pure happiness, although… it is Wickham nonetheless.

5out5 stars

Really sweet story set a few decades before the time that Jane Austen gave to her Pride and Prejudice. There is a lot of suffering going on but we cannot underestimate the power of a letter even if it is not meant to be read directly.

Just a warning, you may dislike the dislike you will feel towards some normally lovely and loved characters from P&P.

 

This is the first book that I read by Timothy Underwood but it will not be the last one, that is for sure.

If you want to follow him or buy any of his books, check the links below:

Amazon US       Amazon UK    Goodreads

 

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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 “These Dreams” by Nicole Clarkston, excerpt and giveaway

Hallo! I am super excited to present you this new book by Nicole Clarkston: These Dreams. The first thought will be: how does she dare to kill Mr Darcy!!!! Shall we forgive her? We’ll see 😉

Nicole Clarkston is a really good writer with so many good Pride and Prejudice variations but also, variations of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Go and check them because they are all great! I love The Courtship of Edward Gardiner and Northern Rain. Click on the titles to read my reviews or check the links below in order to buy them. All of them are highly recommended!

CreateSpace:

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

Northern Rain

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner

 Amazon:

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner

Northern Rain

No Such Thing as Luck

Rumours & Recklessness

You may be thinking it, where are the links to These Dreams? I have not forgotten, you have them just below in case you cannot wait to know if you are one of the winners on the giveaway and you have to buy it! I completely understand you.

Amazon US              Amazon UK

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In case you may not remember many things about today’s author, let me refresh your memory with Nicole Clarkston’s biography as there are a couple of important updates:

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

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties―how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project, she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Her need for more time with these characters led her to simultaneously write Rumours & Recklessness, a P&P inspired novel, and No Such Thing as Luck, a N&S inspired novel. Both immediately became best selling books. The success she had with her first attempt at writing led her to write three other novels that are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.

Nicole was recently invited to join Austenvariations.com, a group of talented authors in the Jane Austen Fiction genre. In addition to her work with the Austen Variations blog, Nicole can be reached through Facebook at http://fb.me/NicoleClarkstonAuthor, Twitter @N_Clarkston, her blog at Goodreads.com, or her personal blog and website, NicoleClarkson.com.

 

I am not going to give you all the blurb of the book, you can check other stops in this blog tour to read it, I will just give you the first three sentences:

An abandoned bride

         A missing man

                   And a dream that refuses to die…

Nicole is sharing with us a excerpt where Caroline (Obnoxious) Bingley appears together with Colonel (so nice) Fitzwilliam. This excerpt is a bit more serious than other parts in the book but I am pretty sure you will like the conclusion of this scene.

Here we have Nicole introducing the excerpt and you may like her more than at the very beginning of this post 😉

This scene takes place in chapter 62. Darcy has returned by this time, but the fact that he is alive is not yet public knowledge. Colonel Fitzwilliam has gone to London to search independently for some answers to the puzzle of who had captured his cousin, and what they were trying to get from him. Darcy remained in Derbyshire when Richard left, but circumstances arose which caused him to follow, unbeknownst to the colonel. Richard has already spent the day pursuing dead ends, and is just coming back to Darcy’s townhouse when this scene opens.

It had been an entire day, and Broderick had been no help yet. Richard walked slowly up the steps to Darcy House, barely seeing the brick and stone as his mind turned over more prospects. Of course, he must give Broderick more time to find whatever answers could be found, but Richard could not afford to wait longer. He must confront his brother, but how to do it?

His heavy tread stopped on the steps, though the footman already had the door open. Perhaps he ought to go now, instantly, to Matlock house and declare his knowledge of events. Surely, his father would support him! The entire family must have been already apprised of Darcy’s return, and a conference with his father was only the proper thing to do. He glanced up at the door, hesitated, and had just resolved to return to his carriage when a voice hailed him from the street.

“Colonel Fitzwilliam! I declare, I had not thought to encounter you here in Town just now!”

Richard cringed in recognition. Caroline Bingley! His face twitching in feigned pleasure, he turned to offer her a polite bow. “Good afternoon, Miss Bingley.”

She bustled to the steps, her companion following quietly behind. “Such a lovely afternoon it is! Mrs Temple and I were just at the milliner’s, and now we are to the dressmakers, so you see, we have been all over Town today.”

Richard glanced up the street and, indeed, the Bingley carriage awaited at the corner. “Is there a shop in this neighborhood, Miss Bingley? I was not aware.”

Miss Bingley had sidled near to him now. “Naturally, no!” she laughed. “But I directed my driver to bring us through Grosvenor Square, though it was a bit out of the way. Some of these streets we are often obliged to pass through are most unsuitable for ladies to travel!”

“That is lamentable,” he agreed. “If you will pardon me, Miss Bingley, I am afraid—”

“Oh! Do not let me detain you. Far be it from me to interrupt a gentleman about his business. Perhaps I shall leave my card for Miss Darcy, for I should dearly love to visit her if she has returned to Town with you. You arrived only yesterday, did you not?”

“I am afraid she has not come,” he answered shortly, annoyed at the freedom the woman took in stalking him like a cat after a mouse. Had she not found someone better to her liking in the last two months? Apparently not, as she was batting her lashes and peering hopefully toward the house.

“Oh, that is a pity, Colonel. I am certain that Miss Darcy deeply appreciates your diligent assistance with all her affairs, so that she may not be bothered with trips to Town just now. Do you think she shall come out next Season? I am certain, Colonel,” here, she rested a hand on his arm and graced him with a knowing smile, “that she shall be a great success, particularly if properly guided.”

“I am certain she shall, and it is well that it shall not be for me to direct her. Another will undertake to support and guide her.”

“That is wise,” she comforted him, “for a young lady’s first season must be delicately planned so that only the most suitable gentlemen are permitted to pay court to her.” She touched long fingers to her breast and nodded modestly. “I am all too familiar with the struggles of a débutante, sir, so my thoughts go out to Miss Darcy as she prepares for the coming year. Oh, my,” she smiled and withdrew a fan from her reticule, “has not the day warmed rather unpleasantly? I should not have expected it for so early in the year.”

He glanced at the iron sky, the walks still damp from the morning’s rain, and cocked a curious eyebrow at her. “I do not find it warm at all, Madam.”

“Oh, but it is so humid! I declare, I think I shall stifle in this fur, if I am not permitted a moment or two to remove it and breathe properly!”

Richard closed his eyes briefly. How was he ever to be rid of the woman? “Perhaps you are in need of some refreshment?” he heard himself suggest, and wished he could bite out his own cursed, well-bred tongue.

“Colonel, you are too kind! Why, that would be the very thing, do you not agree, Mrs Temple?” She turned and fairly led him up the steps to the house, requiring no one to show her to the drawing room. Richard groaned inwardly and glanced at the clock. An insufferable quarter of an hour would pass before he could be back about something useful, and during that time he feared the woman would contrive some means of throwing herself upon him. Just to be safe, he took a seat as far from her as he could while her tea was served.

She prattled on mercilessly, telling him all the gossip of all the people he never cared a whit about. He struggled not to roll his eyes. What did she take him for, another woman? He swallowed his tea politely, trying not to let his smile freeze in place by occasionally repeating her own statements back to her.

“How interesting,” he forcibly enthused. “Viscount Malvern engaged to Lady Serena Ashby. A fine match.”

“Oh, but that is not the half of it!” she flipped her hand in his direction. “Why, I was speaking with Lady Matlock not two days ago, and she informed me that the Season shall see yet another great match before it concludes.”

“Another? You don’t say.”

“Why, yes, but it is all a great mystery! Simply everyone is talking about it. Apparently, the names of the parties are a marvellous secret, for it has not been made official, but a gentleman from a noble house is to wed a lady of good birth and over ten thousand per year! Everyone is simply beside themselves trying to guess who it could be. Personally, I think it must be Lord Wallace and Lady Blackthorne, but the Countess was rather close on those details, and I shouldn’t wonder! It sounds as if she is in the confidences of both, and it promises to be the wedding to end the Season.”

“Interesting,” he mused, and this time, he meant it.

“Well, I am afraid I must be going,” she preened. “My appointment simply will not wait, but it was so good of you to invite us in to refresh ourselves. I always say that it is the mark of true gentility, to be ready to receive guests at any time.”

“Not at all, Miss Bingley. I am glad to be of service,” he bowed, and as his head dipped, sighed in relief. At last, she was going!

“Oh!” she turned at the door, as if she had forgotten something. “Do give my regards to Miss Darcy. I fear I am quite in arrears with my letter writing, but I do miss her terribly.”

He nodded, trying to conceal his impatience. “Indeed, Miss Bingley, I shall convey the message.” He looked up to signal the footman to open the door, but the man posted outside was already opening it for someone mounting the front steps. Richard caught a sharp breath. That could only mean….

“Well, now, it has been such a pleasure, Colonel. I always said, did I not Mrs Temple, that you are the kindest gentleman of my acquaintance.”

Richard bowed one more time, but his eyes were not on the lady. The door was open fully now, and a tall, dark figure was silhouetted in its frame. It was as if he were watching a shipwreck unfold, seeing each moment pass before his eyes at the speed of eternity. Miss Bingley turned, and her hand flew to her mouth. Her knees buckled, and Richard caught sight of her wild, white eyes as her head and arms snapped back in the most impressive fainting fit to which he had ever borne witness. Half-heartedly, he took a step nearer to lessen her fall, but he was too slow, and her aim too precise, as she tumbled helplessly into the arms of the newcomer.

“Well, Richard,” Darcy frowned, shifting his weight to place the lady’s inert form into the footman’s arms. “I did not know you were in the habit of distressing the guests into unconsciousness.”

Richard merely turned and beat his forehead with the heel of his hand.

Time to Give Away:

10 ebook copies for 10 different winners! Nicole is giving these 10 copies during her blog tour of These Dreams. You can be the lucky one by clicking on the link below and please read the terms and conditions for the giveaway just below the link. Good luck!

 Giveaway link, click here.

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

A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of These Dreams by Nicole Clarkston. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

Blog Tour Schedule:

You are going to love this blog tour!

09/19   So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

09/20   My Jane Austen Book Club; Vignette, GA

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09/21   From Pemberley to Milton; Review, GA

09/22   Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

09/23   Just Jane 1813; Review, GA

09/24   My Vices and Weaknesses; Excerpt, GA

09/25   Babblings of a Bookworm;  Guest Post or Vignette, GA

09/26   Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

09/27   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

09/28   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA

09/29   My Love for Jane Austen; Character Interview, GA

09/30   Margie’s Must Reads; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

10/01   Savvy Verse and Wit; Review, GA

10/02   Austenesque Reviews; Character Interview, GA

10/03   Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review, GA

10/04   From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, GA

 

Totally random, or not… but I had to leave you with the song that always comes to my mind when reading the title of this great book:

Eurythmics – These Dreams

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

“Fair Stands The Wind” is finally available on Kindle!

Dear all,

I am super glad to finally tell you that you can already find the kindle version of “Fair Stands the Wind” by Catherine Lodge on Amazon:

Amazon US                   Amazon UK

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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 “D&E: Hope of the future” by Sharon Lathan, guest post + giveaway

Good morning or good afternoon or even good night for some of you! Yes, I am back after only a week 🙂 I am trying to behave and do not keep you out of the loop. That is why today I am very happy to present Sharon Lathan with her latest book Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future. It is her second book on her Prequel Saga, our loved protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy are getting married, aren’t they? …

Blurb of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future (Darcy Saga Prequel Book #2)

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will soon be joined in Holy Matrimony!

The initial month of their Season of Courtship has passed. Together, the lovers strengthened their bond through honest communication, as they dealt with adversity, jealousy, and distrust. Ever growing in mutual love and understanding, a dramatic confrontation broke through the final barriers. 

Now their Hope of the Future “happily ever after” is assured! 

As long as Lady Catherine can be stopped in her scheme to interfere, that is. Or, will Mrs. Bennet’s bad advice ruin future marital felicity? Might increasing liberation lead to overwhelming passions that cannot be controlled, with catastrophe a result? 

Continue the journey began in Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Delight in their flourishing romance, ride along on their escapades in London, and be a witness at the wedding of the century.

The miraculous design of how Two Shall Become One begins before the sacred vows.

After this blurb, can you not wait to buy the book? Print or ebook? You could buy both formats here, and also the first book of the saga Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship.

Amazon US                   Amazon UK                         Barnes & Noble Nook and Print

Kobo digital                                         iBooks digital

Apart from introducing the book and give you a “male” excerpt for you to enjoy, Sharon has done a guest post where you will find a lot of information about weddings during the Regency. I have learnt a lot, I must admit that I knew maybe half of the facts presented. I would recommend you to read this post but also visit the different posts where her book is being promoted because she has great information to share with all of us.

 

Let me introduce you to Sharon Lathan in case she may be a new author to you, although she has been written great novels for a long time now:

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her first novel, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, was published in 2009. Sharon’s series of “happily ever after” for the Darcys now totals nine full-length novels and one Christmas themed novella.Sharon Lathan photo

Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship and Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future complete the “prequel to the sequel” duo recounting the betrothal months before the Darcy Saga began.

Sharon is a native Californian relocated in 2013 to the green hills of Kentucky, where she resides with her husband of over thirty years. Retired from a thirty-year profession as a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care, Sharon is pursuing her dream as a full-time writer.

Sharon is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, JASNA Louisville, the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Beau Monde chapter of the RWA, and serves as the website manager and on the board of the Louisville Romance Writers chapter of the RWA.

Sharon is the co-creator of Austen Authors, a group blog for authors of Austenesque literary fiction. Visit at:  www.AustenAuthors.com 

Connect with Sharon at the following places:
Website/blog:  www.SharonLathanAuthor.com       Facebook at Sharon Lathan, Novelist                 Twitter @SharonLathan                     Pinterest  SharonLathan62

 

After introducing her, let’s read what Sharon is sharing with us, not only a very “funny” excerpt but also, as mentioned above, interesting information about weddings.

 

First and foremost, I must thank Ana for hosting me on her blog today. It is a pleasure to be here sharing a bit of wedding history and my latest novel with the My Vices and Weaknesses readers. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.

Regency Wedding Preparations

To understand wedding preparation during the Regency, you must start by erasing everything you envision as part of a modern-day wedding. English weddings prior to the Victorian Era were small, understated events. The primary purpose of the ceremony was the religious solidification of the marriage contract. For the most part, everything was approached with this serious aspect foremost.

The simplicity factor was one reason why the time between proposal to marriage could be very short. For most couples, the two weeks waiting for the three readings of the Banns was plenty of time. A longer courtship period would likely be the result of concerns such as ensuring a house to live in, financial security, and similar practicalities rather than needing time to plan the ceremony itself.

Unless a special license was procured—this was quite rare—or one was of a faith other than the Anglican Church, the wedding procedure was standardised. Couples with extreme wealth and social importance might have a glitzier arrangement and grander celebration, but never the ostentatious affairs we have today.

the-village-wedding-sir-samuel-luke-fildes1883

Location and Timing of the Wedding:  An Anglican wedding could take place on any day of the week, but ALL weddings took place in the parish chapel where at least one of the two persons lived. Per Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, weddings were required to take place during the canonical hours of 8 AM to noon.

Since most members of the ton could claim the fashionable London districts of Mayfair, Grosvenor, and St. James as their residence, the vast majority of Regency weddings took place at Saint George’s Church in Hanover Square. Established in 1725, thousands of weddings were conducted at St. George’s—1063 in 1816 alone!

Wedding Guests:  Invitations were handwritten by the bride—if they were sent at all—and depending on her creativity, the invitation may be fancy, but more often it was a basic letter giving the facts.

It was unusual for anyone outside the immediate family and closest friends to attend the ceremony. If family members lived further away they would be notified and an invitation extended, and in special circumstances time may be allowed for travel, but this was not the expectation and no one thought it wrong if they chose not to come. The only essential attendees were the clergyman, parish clerk to ensure formal logging in the register, and two official witnesses.

Local citizens often waited outside the church, ready to cheer and congratulate the newlyweds. It was common for these folks to form a processional behind the couple, shouting well-wishes all the way back to their house.

Bride’s Attendants:  A bride was typically assisted by one or two female attendants, perhaps a few more if she was of higher society. These attendants could be married or unmarried and helped the bride in various ways—penning invitations, getting dressed, making the bouquet—and one was designated the official witness for the parish registry.

The term “bridesmaid”—or more commonly “bridemaid” without the S—was in use since the 1500s. “Maid of Honor” was akin to “lady in waiting” so more specifically referred to royal attendants. The use of “maid of honor” in relation to a bridal attendant was a late 19th century, American addition. The term “matron of honor” to specify a married attendant is an Americanism not seen until after 1900.

Groom’s Attendants: Historically, the groomsmen were “blade knights” who served as protectors of the bride and guards for the couple during their vulnerable hours preceding and following the ceremony. We see this same tradition today in military weddings where a sword wielding “honor guard” form the saber arch for the couple to walk through.

Such fears were gone by the civilised Regency. Instead, the enlisted groomsmen were close friends who lent a hand as necessary. With the ceremony being a quiet event, the groom having little to do beyond show up on time, and a bachelor party or extensive reception speech unheard of, groom attendants had minimal stated duties. The number varied, and probably was very small, but as with the bride, one man was designated as the “best man” to stand with the groom and serve as the official witness.

 

After reading this, I know that I would have been one of these local citizens waiting for Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy to leave the church together with Mr and Mrs Charles Bingley J Enjoy the excerpt of a really appealing book.

 

Excerpt from Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future

By the time Darcy, Richard, and Georgiana returned to Netherfield, the Hursts and Caroline Bingley had arrived. 

“Terrific,” Darcy muttered grumpily upon espying the familiar coach in the drive. It was a sentiment of which neither Colonel Fitzwilliam nor Miss Darcy could disagree.

As per the agenda for the final days and evenings, the brides and grooms would honor tradition by not seeing each other after sundown on the eve of the wedding, meaning they would dine apart. For tonight, however, Mr. Bingley had offered to host at Netherfield. It was the sensible choice, presuming the likelihood of some of their families arriving that day. As it turned out, everyone arrived that day. It was, for all intents, a prewedding reception.

When the dust finally cleared, and the last visitor had departed with the rest retired to their guest quarters, the grooms and Richard Fitzwilliam met in Bingley’s private sitting room.

“Well, that went swimmingly, I’d say.” Richard handed a brandy to Darcy, who grunted, then took a large swallow.

“As swimmingly as in a river of piranhas.”

“Oh, it wasn’t that bad—maybe sharks, or stinging eels, but not piranha level.”

Bingley smiled at Richard’s humor but looked a bit dyspeptic and also gulped at his brandy. “We may as well accept it, Darcy. After all, we will be family in two days so these gatherings, while hopefully rare, will happen from time to time.”

Now it was Darcy’s turn to look ill.

“Does Mr. Hurst ever smile?” Richard blurted in a tone of sincere curiosity.

“Sometimes, I think.” Bingley frowned, then shrugged. “Can’t recall to be honest.”

“Huh. Well, here is to family.” Richard lifted his glass. “Got to love them, for better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer… Wait, that is for spouses. What are the rules for family again?”

“That is the real tragedy. One has no choice in the matter and is stuck with them,” Darcy grumbled.

“Yes, well, cheer up, Cousin. You have me! That is a stupendous blessing from the Almighty. And soon you shall have Bingley here. We make up for a dozen Mr. Hursts or Mrs. Bennets.”

“I suppose I will have to give you that,” Darcy admitted grudgingly, and then he laughed.

Richard joined in, but Bingley was quiet, eyes faintly troubled and a frown creasing his brows.

“What is it, Charles?”

“Was Caroline…” Bingley paused. “That is, did she do or say anything I am unaware of?”

Richard shook his head, but it was Darcy who spoke. “Surprisingly, no. In fact, I don’t think she said much at all. She sat with Mrs. Hurst the whole night. I know she never approached Elizabeth, at least when we were all together. I was watching. I think the time away did her good, truly I do. But really, what does it matter for the present? We should put all this aside and focus on what is important. The reason we are gathered here in the first place.”

“Here! Here!” Richard raised his glass, but only halfway. Staring at Darcy with a comically confused expression, he asked, “And why was that again?”

Time to Give Away

You cannot miss the great giveaway that Sharon is doing with us today. She is giving:

  • One print, signed copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future and a magnet duo of Darcy and Elizabeth from The Darcy Saga (1 winner, only US)
  • One ebook copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future for 1 international winner.

What do you need to do to participate? As usual, share your opinion with us about what you have read. What do you think about the excerpt? Did you know the info about the weddings? Were you surprised about any of it? Please comment on this post and please, write your email and specify if you are participating on the US part of the giveaway or if you are participating on the international.

This time for an extra entry, you could share this post with some friends and if a friend of yours leaves a comment and indicates that he/she has found the post through you, you get an extra entry (maximum of three friends to be counted).

The giveaway will be open the 14th of September and I would like to post the winners during the following weekend. All the entries before 12pm (CET) will be counted. Good luck!

 

Winner of “When We Are Married” by Caitlin Williams

and the winner is…

wait wait! First of all I want to thank you for commenting and sharing my stop in the Blog Tour of When we are married by Caitlin Williams. I hope all of you read it and enjoy it because it is worth it!

Without further ado, here you have the result of the randomiser that I have done with random.org:

randomwwam

Vesper, you are the winner! I will email Claudine right now and sooner than later, you will enjoy this book!!

WWAM Final Front Cover 070617[1688] small

If you are not Vesper, you can always buy this great book, below you have a few links that you could use:

Amazon UK Amazon US  Amazon CA   Amazon ES (English version)

It is also available through Kindle Unlimited.