Winner of “Missing Jane” by Bronwen Chisholm

Dear all,

Eventually Bronwen has drawn the winner of a ebook copy of her latest book: Missing Jane.

Thank you all for commenting!

The winner is…

Glynis

Congratulations! Please send me your email address by commenting on this post or if you prefer, email me on myvicesandweaknesses@gmail.com

I hope you enjoy this lovely story!

“Missing Jane” by Bronwen Chisholm, excerpt + giveaway

Hello to all of you! How are you? How is everything going?

I am still doing less reading that I wanted but maybe in a week or so I may have more time. Today, I want to introduce you to Bronwen Chisholm. I have reviewed one of her books previously but she is today with us! Let’s see what she has for us.

BCBronwen Chisholm began her writing career working on suspense romance, but finally became a published author with her Pride and Prejudice variations. She takes great pleasure in searching for potential “plot twists” and finding the way back to a happy ending.

Her love of writing has led her to several writing groups, and she is currently serving as the vice president of the Riverside Writers and organizes the Riverside Young Writers.

For more information, visit her at www.bronwenchisholm.com.

Hello Readers! I am so pleased to be here to share my latest book with you. Missing Jane is a low angst, sweet clean novella. So, without further ado, here is the blurb and an excerpt.

cover_missing_janeMr. Bennet is dead; his daughters “scattered to the winds,” according to Mrs. Bennet.

And the eldest Miss Bennet? No one really knows.

Poor Mr. Bingley is led to believe she is no more, but her sister swears she is alive.

Can Mr. Darcy and his friend find her and, in turn, their own happily ever afters?

 

Darcy stood on the stoop of the Gardiners’ home in Cheapside. He had wrestled with himself all night. His cousin was still away, and therefore he had no one to speak to regarding what he had learned in Meryton. Instead, he had risen with the sun and made his way to Cheapside, where he questioned anyone he met until he located Elizabeth’s relations. He folded his hands behind his back as he waited for the door to open and wondered if Elizabeth would refuse to see him. He could not fault her if she did, but at least he would have tried.

The door opened and a young maid greeted him. He gave her his card and asked if the family was home.

“Mr. Gardiner is at his warehouse and the missus is inside with her youngest, who is ill. Miss Bennet has taken the older children to the park.” Darcy thanked her and instructed her not to disturb her mistress as he simply wished to leave his condolences.

He approached the young boy holding his horse and was about to mount when he glanced towards the park. Could he come this far and forego the chance to at least see her? Shaking his head, he quickly mounted, tossed the lad a coin, and rode to the park.

At first, he did not see her. He was about to admit defeat when her laugh arrested his progress. It rang through the air once more. Though it still held the same musical quality, the pure joy he remembered in Hertfordshire was missing. Darcy’s breath caught in his chest when he turned and saw the sun dancing off her auburn curls as she attempted to retrieve her bonnet from a young boy.

Darcy dismounted and crossed to them, removing his beaver while he approached her from behind. It was clear they were playing a game, and he could not suppress a smile as he thought of how she might have been with their children one day. “May I be of assistance, miss? Has this ruffian assaulted you?”

Elizabeth stiffened, startled by his voice. “Forgive me, Mr. Darcy. I was entertaining my cousins.” She blushed as she curtseyed, and Darcy was lost to her again.

“I saw.” Her gaze fell to the ground, and he shuffled his feet. “I had stopped at your uncle’s home and was told you were here. I have been to Meryton.” He paused, waiting for her to lift her gaze to him, but she continued her study of the path where they stood. “Please accept my condolences.”

She nodded and returned her attention to her cousins, who had continued their game.

“I did not know until Bingley returned to Netherfield Park.”

“Mr. Bingley returned to Netherfield?” She regarded him with an incredulous stare.

Darcy nodded. “A week ago.”

She shook her head and laughed bitterly.

“I never . . .” he began, but the expression on her face stopped him. Warnings shot from her eyes. He lowered his gaze, unable to meet hers. “I cannot imagine what you are feeling, losing your favourite sister so close on the heels of your father.”

“Jane is not dead!” she said between clenched teeth.

Darcy blinked repeatedly as he lifted his head. He did not believe she was one who could deny the loss of a loved one. It did not seem like her. “I do not understand. I was under the impression—“

“Who have you spoken to regarding my sister?”

“Bingley. He spoke to Mrs. Collins. I also saw your mother in Meryton.” He ran his fingers along the brim of his beaver.

Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “We are searching for her.”

“Searching?”

She sighed as she walked towards her cousins, who were beginning to wander away. He followed. “There was an accident. The carriage rolled. The servant who was travelling with Jane was found and said my sister had gone for help.”

“How long has it been?”

Elizabeth hesitated, but finally replied in a strained voice, “It has been just over a fortnight since she left London.”

Darcy slowly shook his head. “That is not what Bingley was told. He is devastated, thinking she has passed.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “There is a chance Miss Bennet is well and you simply have not been told.”

Elizabeth’s eyes beseeched him. “My uncle is doing all he can to learn what may have happened to her, but we are unable to leave London at this time, and his means are limited.”

Her eyes conveyed all her fears, and he fought the urge to draw her into his arms to comfort her. Swallowing hard, he softly replied, “Elizabeth, do not lose hope.”

She looked at him quizzically and he allowed his gaze to become more intense.

“I know I have never given up.” He bowed over her hand, before returning to his horse and mounting it. Their eyes met again just before he left, and he prayed he did not imagine the admiration he saw there.

This book has been such a joy to write. New characters and a new locale have been fun to explore. The Kindle version of Missing Jane is available HERE. I hope you will pick it up and love it as much as I do.

And now, a GIVEAWAY! Just make a comment on this blog and Ana will pick 1 lucky winner to receive an ebook copy of Missing Jane. Good luck! I can’t wait to read your comments.

What do you think? How intense that excerpt is, right? At least I have read it with a heart full of fear for Jane and that struggle that Darcy has and that last bit of hope when he is leaving.

What on Earth has happened to Jane? Where is she? Is she really dead or is she lost somewhere? Poor Mr. Bingley too!

Do you want to know more about Missing Jane? Check the other stops on the blog tour:

Blog Tour Update

1st of July Austen Authors

6th of July From Pemberley to Milton

8th of July Diary of an Eccentric

9th of July More Agreeably Engaged

10th of July Babblings of a bookworm

11th of July My Vices and Weaknesses

13th of July Austenesque Reviews

14th of July Interests of a Jane Austen girl

15th of July Laughing with Lizzie

25th of July My Love for Jane Austen

 

time to give away winners

As Bronwen has mentioned, she is giving 1 ebook copy and I will choose 1 winner from the comments on this post. The giveaway is open until the 14th of July at 23:59 CEST. The winner will be announced on the 15th of July, Good luck to everyone!

“The Jane Austen Society” by Natalie Jenner, review

Dear all,

I would like to present you The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. Have you heard about it? Have you read it? I am sure that if you are at least a bit around the JAFF world, you have heard of it because this book has had a lot of exposure and you may have landed on one of the post of this massive blog tour.

In case you do not know it, here you have the book description:

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

Let’s face it, even if this description does not talk directly about our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth, or about calm Anne Elliot or any of Jane Austen’s characters, you could see yourself portrayed, don’t you think? What are we if not united in our love for the works and words of Austen?

What do you think about this praise of The Jane Austen Society?

“Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships…Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending.”Booklist (starred review)

“Few things draw disparate people together so quickly as discovering they love the same writers. Few writers cement such friendships as deeply as Austen does. I believe that the readers of Jenner’s book will fall in love with the readers inside Jenner’s book, all of us thinking and dreaming of Austen the whole while. What could be better? Nothing, that’s what! A wonderful book, a wonderful read.” ―Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

“Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Meet The Jane Austen Society

Do you want to know who deserves such praise? The author: Natalie Jenner.

Author Natalie Jenner headshot X2 2020Natalie Jenner is the debut author of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

Follow Natalie Jenner on:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

If you are a Spotify user, Natalie has a Spotify playlist:

Spotify users can access a playlist for THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY at the following link: Spotify Playlist – The Jane Austen Society. The playlist includes music from various film adaptions of Jane Austen’s books, as well as film scores by such incomparable artists as Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Rachel Portman, and Michael Nyman.

REVIEW

There are so many characters to choose from and all of them with their problems and troubles. Their lives come together during the story, that makes it more interesting and that’s when I think you can be more hooked: how their relationships evolve.

All the characters are very different from each other but Jane Austen united them 🙂 It is a great way to get all of them together and how they discuss some of Jane Austen’s characters is one of my favourite bits on the story. Jane Austen is their centre but we can see how friendship is key.

There are so many references to Jane Austen’s work that you will definitely love it for it too!

4.5out5 stars

BLOG TOUR

Are you ready for a massive blog tour? If I am honest I have not had time to check them all yet but I highly recommend you to have a look at them.

Join the virtual online book tour of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, Natalie Jenner’s highly acclaimed debut novel May 25 through June 30, 2020. Seventy-five popular blogs and websites specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, women’s fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature interviews and reviews of this post-WWII novel set in Chawton, England. (Check after the list of blog stops!)

The Jane Austen Society Blog Tour Banner

May 25           Jane Austen’s World

May 25           Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

May 26           Frolic Media

May 26           A Bookish Affair

May 26           Courtney Reads Romance

May 26           Margie’s Must Reads

May 26           The Reading Frenzy

May 27           Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina

May 27           Gwendalyn’s Books

May 27           Romantically Inclined Reviews

May 28           Getting Your Read On

May 28           Living Read Girl

May 28           The Lit Bitch

May 29           History Lizzie

May 29           Silver Petticoat Reviews

May 30           Cup of Tea with that Book, Please

May 30           Historical Fiction Reader

May 31           Jane Austen in Vermont

June 01          From Pemberley to Milton

June 01          My Jane Austen Book Club

June 01          AustenBlog

June 02          Lu’s Reviews

June 02          The Green Mockingbird

June 03          The Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

June 03          Relz Reviews

June 03          Impressions in Ink

June 04          The Caffeinated Bibliophile

June 04          Life of Literature

June 04          Laura’s Reviews

June 05          Reading Ladies Book Club

June 05          Bookish Rantings

June 06          From the TBR Pile

June 07          Rachel Dodge

June 07          An Historian About Town

June 08          Bringing up Books

June 08          Austenesque Reviews

June 09          Captivated Reading

June 09          Savvy Verse and Witt

June 10          Lady with a Quill

June 10          Drunk Austen

June 11          Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

June 11          Inkwell Inspirations

June 12          Nurse Bookie

June 12          A Bookish Way of Life

June 13          Calico Critic

June 14          Jane Austen’s World

June 15          Stuck in a Book

June 15          Storybook Reviews

June 15          Confessions of a Book Addict

June 16          Literary Quicksand

June 16          Becky on Books

June 17          The Reading Frenzy

June 17          Anita Loves Books

June 18          Chicks, Rogues, & Scandals

June 18          The Write Review

June 19          Diary of Eccentric

June 20          Cracking the Cover

June 21          Short Books & Scribes

June 22          Reading the Past

June 22          Babblings of a Bookworm

June 23          My Vices and Weaknesses

June 23          The Book Diva Reads

June 24          Books, Teacups & Reviews

June 24          Wishful Endings

June 25          Robin Loves Reading

June 25          Bookfoolery

June 26          Lit and Life

June 26          Vesper’s Place

June 27          Foxes and Fairy Tales

June 28          Probably at the Library

June 28          Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books

June 29          The Anglophile Channel

June 29          So Little Time…

June 30          BookNAround

If you did not have enough with so many post in the blog tour, I have a bit of news that may entice you even more!

THE AUDIOBOOK IS NARRATED BY ACTOR RICHARD ARMITAGE!

The full unabridged text of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was read by the distinguished English film, television, theatre and voice actor Richard Armitage for the audiobook recording. Best known by many period drama fans for his outstanding performance as John Thornton in the BBC television adaptation of North and South (2004), Armitage also portrayed Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit (2012 – 2014). (Link to YouTube audiobook excerpt: https://youtu.be/OJ1ACJluRi8)

Wow, right?

 Would you like to buy the book, here you have some of the links you can use:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLEGOODREADS | BOOKBUB

 

“Confined with Mr. Darcy” by L.L. Diamond, guest post. Help a house :)

Dear all,

How is it going? Are you still in lockdown? Have the restrictions changed a bit where you live? I hope that whatever the case, you are fine as well as all your loved ones.

I am very happy to introduce you to L.L. Diamond’s latest book: Confined with Mr. Darcy. Yes, confined, it is very appropriate for this time and that was the idea when writing it. Moreover, this book is not only a book but it is helping one of the most important places related to Jane Austen, I will let Leslie to tell you about it.

Have a peek of what the book is about but I am not even giving you all the description! I am only showing you the part about Darcy.

William Darcy has gone completely mental! Despite Elizabeth Bennet’s less than stellar opinion of him, some unknown force possessed him to invite her to Pemberley to wait out lockdown. Just because she’d be closer to her sister Jane, who’s isolated in the gamekeeper’s cottage with her husband wasn’t a legitimate excuse either. He’d invited Elizabeth—the only woman he’d ever really fancied—Elizabeth, who’d refused him without reservation at the Rosings Book Festival. Now, he spends part of every day in Elizabeth’s company while struggling to keep his feelings hidden from not only her but also his nosy sister and motherly housekeeper. What a bloody nightmare!

What do you think? Can you believe it? Confined with Mr. Darcy in Pemberley!! Take me, take me 😉

Let me (re)introduce you to L.L. Diamond, I am very happy that I can keep reintroducing you to her with so many of her books!

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

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 fitness instructor and personal trainer. 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!

Visit Leslie’s website lldiamondwrites.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @lldiamond2

Leslie has a fantastic guest post for us today and apart from Leslie, I will like to invite a lovely girl who shares my name: Ana Darcy 🙂

Thank you for having me today! I’m so excited at the response I’ve had to Confined with Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen House Museum has had a Covid-19 Survival Appeal since March, and I’ve donated but wanted to do more to help them reach their goal. I wrote the original short this book is based on, and someone mentioned possibly making it a longer story. That’s how Confined with Mr. Darcy was born. 50% of the first month’s royalties are going to the museum’s survival appeal, so if you haven’t read it, I’d appreciate you giving it a shot! You’ll be getting a fun book and helping a great cause while you’re at it.

I was struggling to come up with something for today, so I thought it might be fun to interview Ana, get her take on things—particularly her dishy brother.

Leslie: Hi, Ana, thanks for talking to me today.

Ana: No worries. I never thought I’d be interviewed for anything. Should be fun—like being on Graham Norton.

Leslie: Not quite the same as Graham Norton, but I’ll do my best. I definitely do not have a red chair, although I admit it would be fun to dump people over. I suppose let’s start with the easiest question first. Tell me about your brother. What would you say are his best qualities?

Ana: Oh! Fitzwilliam is simply the best! Since Mum and Dad died, he’s been there for me whenever I need him. He makes sure I go to the best schools and researched like mad to help me decide what sixth-form was best for studying music. He’ll do anything for his friends and family. I’ve never known anyone as loyal.

Leslie: He sounds ideal. So, why don’t you tell us about his worst qualities?

Ana: (giggles and rolls her eyes) Which ones? Fitzwilliam is brilliant when you know him, but he can be a bit of a bear when he’s in a personal-type situation with someone new. He’s so stand-offish and reserved at parties or anything social, really. I’ve always wanted him to find a girlfriend, but I can’t imagine anyone getting through his Mr. Hyde personality. Well, until now.

Leslie: His Mr. Hyde personality?

Ana: He hates it when I call him that. He’s usually so busy reading work-related material that hopefully, he won’t read this.

Leslie: Then let’s change the subject a bit. Tell me about Elizabeth Bennet.

Ana: Oh! She’s brilliant—absolutely brilliant. She’s certainly more outgoing than my brother, which is a good thing. He needs someone like her to drag him away from Darcy Publishing so he doesn’t spend all of his time poring over books. He works entirely too much. Her cat is lovely as well. Lately, I’ve found him cuddling up and purring against my stomach in the middle of the night.

Leslie: Elizabeth lets him out now?

Ana: She has to leave the door cracked. Once he was accustomed to Pemberley, he started scratching and begging to go out during the night. From what Elizabeth has said, he’s back with her by morning to give her kisses and cuddles. 

Leslie: Tilney is a dear. Now, I know your brother spends most weekends in Derbyshire so he can spend time with you, so you see him often. When did you first realize that your brother had fallen in love?

Ana: You know, I’m not sure. I do know that he’s been distracted for a while now. After the Rosings Book Festival, he moped around this house and drank entirely too much scotch. I noticed it on the weekends when I was home, but Mrs. Reynolds told me how he was the same during the week. She seriously considered hiding the Scotch in the cellar so he wouldn’t find it. I still can’t believe he spent the week working from Pemberley after Rosings. He never does that.

Leslie: Has he ever told you what happened?

Ana: No, but Elizabeth did. I can’t say I’m the slightest bit surprised. He can be such a daft prick when he wants to be. It seems she was completely clueless that he liked her, and he had no idea how to flirt or show her how he felt about him. I’m sure he deserved it when she ripped him a new one. I probably would’ve done the same if a boy behaved the same way towards me. Fitzwilliam would’ve probably told me to forget about him.

Leslie: Did you do or say anything to get them together?

Ana: Well, you know part of it since you wrote it into the story. I certainly told off Fitzwilliam for being so dense. He had this brilliant idea to invite her to Pemberley, then he goes off and hides in his study. Bingley’s suggestion to take her to Mum’s sculpture was well done, and Fitzwilliam seemed to gain some points from that, but he just had to go and offend her once he started making progress. I mean, Charles and Jane and I did the best we could to help them along, but the two of them are so bloody stubborn. Of course, my brother and his overblown sense of gentlemanlike behaviour didn’t do him any favours.

Leslie: I believe I can agree with that. You’re being very harsh, though. Don’t you think Elizabeth deserves some of the blame for them taking so long to get together?

Ana: Oh, definitely! She was exceedingly stubborn. There were times I wanted to knock her on the head so she’d finally see Fitzwilliam’s good side, but I knew forcing them wouldn’t put them together. They had to find one another on their own.

Leslie: That’s true. Thanks for talking to me, Ana. It’s been fun to get some of your perspective on William and Elizabeth’s romance during lockdown. Out of curiosity, what do you want to do first when you’re allowed to do anything or go anywhere?

Ana: I’m not sure. There’re so many places. I miss the cinema, school, and going to the café with my friends. Maybe a holiday somewhere warm. Fitzwilliam can take us to the villa in Santorini. That would be lovely.

Leslie: Sounds like paradise to me. Thanks, Ana.

Thanks again! If you haven’t read it, I hope you’ll check out Confined with Mr. Darcy! Now out on paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited!

How do you like Ana? I think she seems such a lovely sister!

I have purchased my copy of Confined with Mr. Darcy and I just need some time to read it, holidays are coming soon and then, I will devour this story!

More links to buy it:

Amazon US           Amazon UK         Amazon CA          Amazon ES         Amazon DE

Thank you very much, Leslie, for being with us today and sharing your latest book, I wish you all the best and many more of your books to share!

“Fortune & Felicity” by Monica Fairview, review

Hello to all of you!

I hope you keep being well and enjoying some hobbies that you may have had time to do if it were not because of the lockdown or quarantine we have in many countries. If you are looking for more reading, do not go anywhere, I have a great book for you to read: Fortune & Felicity by Monica Fairview.

You may know Monica Fairview as she has been around the JAFF world for quite some time and her novels are really good readings with lovely stories. Let me (re)introduce her:

Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen variations and sequels. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she worked as a literature professor and then as an acupuncturist in Boston before moving to London.

Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. On rainy days, she loves to watch ‘Pride & Prejudice’ (all adaptations), ‘North & South’, ‘Cranford’, or ‘Downtown Abbey’.

Among Monica’s Kindle best-selling novels are Mysterious Mr. Darcy, the Darcy Novels trilogy, two books in the Darcy Cousins series, and the quirky futuristic P&P inspired Steampunk Darcy. She has also published several traditional Regencies.

Apart from her avid historical interests, Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels, but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink lots of tea, and visit Regency houses, and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says. 

Would you like to connect with her?

Austen Variations      Blog       Website       Facebook

As you can see, she does a bit of everything in JAFF, even a steampunk Darcy!

Ase you know interested on what is Fortune & Felicity about? It is not a steampunk, just for you to know 😉

Blurb

In this Pride & Prejudice variation, Elizabeth and Darcy have a second chance to get things right. Will they be able to come together this time, or will pride intervene yet again?

Seven years after Darcy’s disastrous proposal, Darcy is in need, not of a wife, but of a governess for his young daughter. Imagine his surprise when he discovers Elizabeth Bennet on the list of possible candidates provided by the employment agency. The question is, should he take her on as a governess, or would he be playing with fire?

Elizabeth Bennet is forced by her reduced circumstances to take on a position. However, when Mr. Darcy invites her for an interview, she is embarrassed and humiliated. How could she possibly live under the same roof as the man she had rejected so strongly seven years ago?

Whatever decision she makes, there will be a high price to pay… one way or the other.

Would he be playing with fire? What do you think? I will start with this bit on my review.

Review

As I said, the haughty Mr Darcy believes himself not in danger of this Mrs Heriot, née Bennet who captivated him so long ago. I would like look Darcy in the eye and tell him: really? Reeeeeally?

Just in case you have not realised, I have started with one of my spoilers! So, spoiler alert!!

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The happy ending will be there, at some point, in time, slowly, annoyingly but it is so worth it!

After the proposal Rosings, they part ways and he gets married, and then she gets married too (you will know about these bits when you read it). She is helping her sister with her own children but there a lot of them and there is not much space, so she looks for a position as a governess.

Darcy is a widower now and he needs a governess for her daughter who is, in principle, not the most lovable kid because she learnt a bit from her mother and her treatment towards herself was maybe not the best one.

When Darcy realises that there is a Mrs Elizabeth Heriot that looks like it may be “his” Elizabeth, he has to interview her. Let’s say the interview is… interesting. All in all, she accepts and then they go to Pemberley.

Elizabeth realises that her charge, Kathy, may not be as “easy” to work with as her nieces and nephews, however, her courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate her, right? Her charge, for such a young girl, is very classist and insists on treating her as a servant even if her father has told her that Mrs. Hariot is a gentlewoman and as her governess she needs to be respected. The same is said to the servants in the house and Mrs. Reynolds is… Mrs. Reynolds (she is really good and protective as she is the “mama-hen”).

I know this may not be surprising but Mr. Darcy is: black and white, hot and cold, yin and yang, I do not know what other opposites to use, he is not able to decide how to treat her. Remember that he is NOT in danger… ha! You wish! Example: while taking her to Lambton, he does not open his mouth and I could feel that it was super tense because he has also “ordered” Elizabeth to go with him through a servant and he has not given her any explanation. However, this is a very interesting scene… and an important one. You can definitely imagine Elizabeth’s attitude when they finally talk!

I simply love how silly Darcy can be mainly when he is very “proper”, and how much conflict Elizabeth has to adapt to her new role in society.

But then… Georgiana appears! OMG! How much damage one can do when the aim is to be helpful!! That party, that dress… (I leave it there)

The story has a great pace, the biggest part shows their “job” life of him as a master and her as a governess. However, there is the introduction to know how they got to that point (a lot of pain for both), and of course, we cannot forget the coming together and the lovely epilogue.

The characters are very well developed and both the original characters and the new characters make your time so worthwhile! For instance, Jane is a great add to this story and not only because Elizabeth was living with her. A new character: Georgiana’s husband is a man who gave me a not-so-good first impression but then you realise that he is awesome.

If the five stars below are not enough, I will write it: I highly recommend this book for you to read.

5out5 stars

Do you want to but the book? Here you have some places where you could do it:

Amazon US             Amazon UK              Amazon CA               Amazon DE            Amazon ES

Blog tour

I highly recommend you to check the other stops of this tour, you will get to know much more about this Darcy and this Elizabeth.

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“Taken” by Mary Anne Mushatt, review

Dear all,

I hope you are doing well and your loved ones too. Have you been reading much? Fortunately I have, mainly during the two weeks of holidays, now that I am back with Distance Teaching/Learning I do not have so much time but I still enjoy some of the lovely JAFF authors, such as Mary Anne Mushatt and her second novel Taken. However, this is her first novel that I read and I am very curious to read Darcy and the Duchess.

Let me introduce you to Mary Anne Mushatt:

Mary Anne Mushatt a life-long writer relocated to New Orleans last century, where she earned an MFA and created a documentary of oral histories in the African-American and Native American communities along Louisiana’s River Road.  When the levees failed, exiling her family from their home, she discovered the community of Jane Austen acolytes and began writing novels placing the Pride and Prejudice’s beloved characters in innovative situations.  Taken is her second published novel.  As a result of one of her earlier novels, she works with a multi-disciplinary team aiding victims of human trafficking become survivors.

She lives in New Orleans with her husband, two sons and two dogs.

Connect with Author at Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneMushatt

What is Taken about? That title is somehow intriguing, isn’t it?

Taken from her home as a young child, Elisabeth Bennet’s sense of self is shaken when the mystery behind her true identity is unraveled.  Discovering her place as the daughter of a duke, she confronts reclaimed memories of her brutal abduction, while tackling the alien world of Regency England’s high society.  Facing the ton is the least of her concerns as her kidnappers remain determined to keep her from Fitzwilliam Darcy – the man who showed his love by first proposing she become his mistress.  Humbled by her refusal, he returns to win her love and respect.

Do you want to know a bit more about Mary Anne Mushatt and the Origins of Taken? Read it here.

Review

The daughter of a duke, after being taken from home and having had maybe not a perfect life… or half and half.

Who on Earth is stupid enough to take the child of a duke? or what reason? Not money because nothing was asked for the little girl. You will be surprised! The reason for this kidnapping is quite twisted.

However, let’s fast forward and talk about Elizabeth and Darcy. They meet when Netherfield is let at last and then Jane and Charles are about to get married. However, then for different reasons, Elizabeth has to almost flee Longbourn and she goes with her aunt and uncle to London. When Darcy sees her again, let’s say that Miss Bingley is odious here, and Elizabeth is seen in an appropriate light, which eventually leads to a massive misunderstanding where Darcy is pretty horrible (the first proposal on Jane Austen’s is sweet in comparison to what he does here). It happens twice!!!!

I need to do one of my spoilers, therefore, Spoiler Alert!!

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There is a happy ending for these two characters 🙂

I have enjoyed the new characters: Julian (not telling you who he is), the biological fathers of Elizabeth, Admiral and Mrs Raleigh and Bingley’s aunt even if she is a minor character.

Characters that I have not enjoyed: Miss Bingley (although normally I do not like her 😉 ), Anne de Bourg (she is nuts!), Lady Cat, sorry Lady Catherine and some of his Fitzwilliam’s relations.

I find Taken an interesting story where there is a lot of love around Elizabeth. However, I believe that some stories around are maybe too long and somehow not as relevant, for instance Miss Bingley’s story gets too long and detailed for my taste. This story, for example, makes the book sometimes go from “too crazy” to “too sweet” when Elizabeth and Darcy are engaged.

However, I recommend this book and I would love to have your opinions shared on the comments.

4out5 stars

“Undoing” by L.L. Diamond, review

Dear all,

I am super glad to welcome again to my blog: L. L. Diamond. You may remember her from previous visits or because she writes beautifully!

If by any chance you do not know her, here you have a few interesting facts about Leslie:

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, Particular Attachments, Unwrapping Mr. Darcy, It’s Always Been You, It’s Always Been Us, It’s Always Been You and Me, and Undoing, which was realised just yesterday.

Visit Leslie’s website lldiamondwrites.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.

Leslie has kindly asked me to review her latest book: Undoing and I could not say no as I have enjoyed her books for a few years now. I hope you like it when you get the chance to read it. Let me give you a bit of information about the book:

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet had always hoped to marry for love—that is until she surrenders to her mother’s demands and marries the handsome Duke of Leeds. Thrust into a society disinclined to accept a country nobody who somehow entrapped one of their most prominent members, Elizabeth holds her head high, ignoring their whispers and stares and a husband whose indifferent behaviour confuses her. Her marriage of convenience is nothing like what she expected.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a man torn. After meeting the Duchess of Leeds at a ball, he is fascinated by her intelligence and humour, but how does one maintain a respectable friendship with a lady—particularly when that lady is the wife of his cousin and godfather? His father and his sister both love Elizabeth, and he quickly realises he loves her as well, though not as one loves a cousin or even a sister. His feelings must stay hidden from everyone, particularly Elizabeth, but how is he to keep himself under such strict regulation when he is constantly thrown into her company? How does one prevent their own undoing?

Poor Darcy… Duchess! Her mother must be very happy 😀

Review

I do apologise but I need to start with one of my SPOILERS!

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Undoing has a happy ending 😉

However, even as I knew this, it was a bit of a stressing reading. Not really angsty but stressing. There was no way I could see how the HEA was going to happen because when it seemed that it was there, zas! another problem that just delayed the inevitable… happy Ever After.

Anyway, let me tell you my opinion about the book: it is a delightful read. However, I need to point out that there are scenes with adult content, I do not mind them but I know there are people who do not like them.

Now… where was I? Yes, a happy ending. How difficult is to get to that point? Very.

Elizabeth marries a man who does not love her and who she does not love either but at least he is not a mean husband but, he hides a huge secret from her. She does her role, she is a Duchess and she behaves properly among the ton but she does not have a husband-wife relationship. He is not able to get her pregnant and she is alone. However, his family has liked her very much, both sides of the family and especially the Darcy branch: Georgiana Darcy and the old Mr. Darcy and his son Fitzwilliam Darcy. However, Fitwilliam Darcy is too attracted to her and he cannot avoid being near her even if it is not proper. Does she return her feelings? Who cares? Maybe but he cannot try anything. But what happens when somebody else takes the decision for you and forces situations against your will? Well, then you may be lost. However, eventually, with a lot of suffering and time it can be the best possible outcome.

I am aware that I have not told you much on that big paragraph but I cannot spoil the story.

However, if you want to fret about a happy ending, if you still want to read about a headstrong Elizabeth, about a passionate Darcy and a out-of-character Colonel Fitzwilliam (surprising but understandable when Leslie explains it), this is your book. You will like Jane and her husband… nope, no Bingley (oops sorry for the spoiler 😉 )

4.5out5 stars

Would you like to buy the book? You can do it on:

Amazon US          Amazon CA        Amazon UK          Amazon ES       Amazon DE

“Mr. Darcy’s Clan” by Lari Ann O’Dell, guest post, excerpt and giveaway

The upper echelon of English society—comprised of vampires, or Firstborn Sons—is a world Elizabeth Bennet has no desire to join. She has little exposure to Firstborn Sons until Mr. Bingley arrives in the neighborhood and falls in love with her sister Jane. His mysterious friend, Mr. Darcy, attracts Elizabeth’s attention, but she is convinced he is hiding a dark secret. In spite of this, powerful feelings draw her to him. She learns a shocking truth when Mr. Wickham appears, and disaster strikes at Netherfield. Forced into Mr. Darcy’s supernatural realm, a confusing new world of danger threatens their deepening love. How can they find eternal happiness when members of his illustrious clan are plotting her demise? Can Mr. Darcy rise beyond his past to save her or will he lose her for all eternity?

Hello, what do you think of this blurb? Yes, vampires! As you know I do not mind a Mr. Darcy-vampire because it seems that he is even “colder” and then I imagine that his love for Elizabeth is even stronger. Moreover, she is drawn to him too… What do you think so far? I hope you are intrigued as I am because apart from the topic, I am very glad to welcome for the first time Lari Ann O’Dell to My Vices and Weaknesses, and I hope it will not be the last time.

I have to admit that I did not know her until recently and she is not even a new author, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, the book she is introducing today is her third book already. In case you did not know her, let me tell you a bit about her. If you are one of the lucky ones who already knows her, maybe you will get to know a bit more about her:

Lari Ann O’Dell first discovered her love of Pride & Prejudice when she was eighteen. After reading a Pride & Prejudice variation she found in a closing sale at a bookstore, she said, “This is what I want to do.” She published her first novel, Mr. Darcy’s Kiss, two years later.IMG_6861

Born and raised in Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Creative Writing. After graduating college, she wrote and published her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Ship. Her third novel, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, is her first supernatural variation, and she is working on two more fantasy variationsShe is now back at school and pursuing a degree in Nursing. She adores her two beautiful nephews, Hudson and Dean. She currently works at a middle school and writes whenever she can.

What do you think? Did something catch your attention? She is working on two more books!

I recommend you to follow her, and you can do it on different platforms:

Facebook            Twitter           Amazon-Author      Goodreads   Facebook Author Page

Sometimes I wonder how authors get such “crazy” and original ideas to mix something “normal” with fantasy. I actually like it but I marvel at their imagination. To help me with my doubts, Lari Ann will tell us a bit more about vampires and her vampires, and she is letting us have a look at Mr. Darcy’s Clan with a really nice excerpt. Enjoy!

Hello, dear readers. It is a pleasure to be here at My Vices and Weaknesses. I am excited to talk about my newest release, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, a vampire Pride & Prejudice variation.

So let’s talk about vampires. Throughout the history of film, television, and literature, there are hundreds of representations of vampires. We’ve all heard about the sparkly, vegetarian vampires of Twilight, the cheesy nineties vampires of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and, of course, Dracula.

When I sat down to write this variation, I wanted to present my vampires in a new way. While I followed some tropes and vampire rules, there are others that I broke. My vampires cannot see their own reflections, which makes ladies’ maids and valets all the more important for the upper class. They do perish in direct sunlight, but as it is an established rule in my variation that there is no direct sunlight in England, that element does not directly come into play. My vampires are immortal and, of course, must drink blood to survive. Some vampires in my variation have the ability to enthrall people and bend them to their will.

But how are they different? I did not want my vampires to be the monsters in the night that everyone feared. I wanted to create a Regency world wherein vampires are fully integrated into society. Not only that, but they are respected and even revered. Naturally, it made sense to start with the English monarchy.

I have always been fascinated with Henry VIII and the Tudors. King Henry VIII’s struggle, and ultimately, failure, to provide a living male heir, his dissension from the Catholic Church, and his bloody history with his wives seemed an interesting jumping off point. So, I devised an alternate and supernatural history. This history is detailed in the Introduction of the book.

The next hurdle to overcome was how to integrate vampires, known as Firstborn Sons, into society. Vampires coming from the monarchy was a good first step, but it wasn’t enough. So, I established a code of honor, civility, and propriety for my vampires to live by. This set of laws is known as the Dictates.

The Dictates outlined in detail how a Firstborn Son of England would behave. These rules outlawed killing humans for sport, banned the Siring of vampires who were not Firstborn Sons or their chosen partners, and demanded that Firstborn Sons would only feed from the poor. These traditions allowed vampires to survive and thrive in English society.

My vampires are much more human in nature than other iterations of vampires. They are capable of deep, eternal love. They are capable of procreation. They comport themselves in a proper manner, with a few notable exceptions. (I am looking at you, George Wickham and Lady Catherine.)  Firstborn Sons do not go on killing sprees, only taking what they need to survive. Unfortunately, the poor are the main source of blood, a pathetic yet true reflection of the very strong division of classes in Regency England.

Firstborn Sons find their Eternal Partners through a phenomenon called the Call of the Blood. It is the vampire equivalent of love at first sight. When a Firstborn Son encounters his future mate for the first time, there is a primal sensation he feels, down to the very essence of his being; his blood. It is a sure sign that a vampire has met his perfect match.

We see this phenomenon very early with Darcy, when he first encounters Elizabeth Bennet at Lucas Lodge. Of course, part of Darcy’s struggle is his fight against nature. In this variation, the Call of the Blood is not known to be wrong. So when poor Darcy senses it for Elizabeth Bennet, who has no notable connections of fortune, he is mortified. He valiantly attempts to fight his vampiric instincts, knowing that as much as he despises his situation, he owes it to his family and clan to marry a woman of fortune. But the more time he spends in Elizabeth’s company, the more he comes to appreciate her charms, her wit, and her beauty. He begins to realize that she is the only woman with whom he wishes to spend an eternity. But by the time he accepts that he is in love with Elizabeth, he has already offended her and hurt her pride, and his journey to eternal happiness with Elizabeth is not an easy one. But rest assured, lovely readers, that Mr. Darcy’s Clan has a happily ever after.

The excerpt I am sharing today is when Darcy first feels the Call of the Blood for Elizabeth Bennet. One of my favorite scenes to adapt in any variation is Darcy’s famous declaration that Elizabeth is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt him!

What was delightful about writing this scene was the fact that Darcy’s words were in such great conflict with his instincts. In this excerpt, we can already see him struggle to fight his attraction to Elizabeth. It results in him heedlessly stating words he will quickly come to regret and establishes his reputation in Hertfordshire as a man who is unpleasant, proud, and arrogant. And since Elizabeth has the misfortune of overhearing his slight against her, an unpromising beginning ensues.

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Gentlemen were scarce compared to ladies so Elizabeth was obliged to sit out for part of the dancing. Overall this was not much of a punishment. Elizabeth was quite content to observe as Jane danced with Mr. Bingley a second time. How unlike his friend he was! 

After that dance ended, Elizabeth observed Bingley crossing the room. She had not noticed that Mr. Darcy had removed himself from the hearth and was now only a few feet away from her. She was in a position to overhear a conversation she ought not to have heard.

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“Come, Darcy,” Mr. Bingley said, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”

Darcy was unmoved by his friend’s perturbed speech. “I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. I have no desire to encourage Caroline’s wishes, and Mrs. Hurst is unavailable. It would be insupportable for me to dance with any other young lady here tonight.”

“I would not be so fastidious as you are for a kingdom!” Mr. Bingley cried. “I have never met with a more pleasant group of young ladies. The women of the ton care only about how they shall spend their Eternities. In this part of the country, the people savor every moment, for it is even more precious knowing that their time may never be infinite. You must dance.”

Bingley looked around the room, and his gaze landed on a young lady with dark hair and bright eyes. “There is one of Miss Bennet’s sisters, Miss Elizabeth. I daresay even you would find her very agreeable, and she is uncommonly pretty. Shall I make an introduction?”

Had Darcy’s heart been capable of beating, it certainly would have skipped a beat. He hesitated, then glanced over at Miss Elizabeth. Her gaze was lowered, but her lips were curved into a smile. Her bowed head gave him an excellent view of the ivory column of her slender neck, and Darcy was suddenly overwhelmed by the urge to go to her. His blood sang for this woman, though she was unknown to him.

He turned back to his friend, attempting to look displeased. “She is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was almost painful to say the words that contradicted his primal urges to such a degree. But he was enough master of himself to control his actions, no matter what his blood may be compelling him to do. “Go back to your Miss Bennet and enjoy her smiles for you are wasting your time with me.”

To Darcy’s great relief, Bingley turned away to seek Miss Bennet again. Darcy knew without question that he needed to get out of Miss Elizabeth’s presence. He would ride his horse back to Netherfield. It did not matter to him that this would reflect poorly on his character. He cared not what the people in Hertfordshire thought of him. There was one thing of which he was certain: Miss Elizabeth Bennet was a danger to him, and if he dared to spend time with her, that could ruin everything.

What do you think? He says the “tolerable” when he is already in danger! Is it powerful or not what he feels? Apologies, it looks like if I have forgotten Lari Ann’s explanations about her vampire-world and I have not, but you need to be honest and tell me that you did like that scene!

I appreciate having the fantasy part of the story described and clarified because as she points out, there are many different characteristics for the vampires. It is important to to mix ideas, her vampires do not glow in the sun because they cannot be in the sun.

What do you think so far of the book? If you are thinking on buying it, here you can find it:

Amazon US       Amazon UK       Amazon CA       Amazon DE

Blog Tour

You need to check the other stops on the tour, you will enjoy it immensely!

March 24 Savvy Verse & Wit MDC Blog Tour Banner Vert

March 25 Donadee’s Corner

March 26 Diary of an Eccentric

March 27  More Agreeably Engaged

March 30 My Vices and Weaknesses

March 31 So Little Time…

April 2 From Pemberley to Milton

April 3  Babblings of a Bookworm

April 6 Austenesque Reviews

 

time to give away winners

Why don’t you participate on the giveaway of 8 ebooks of Mr. Darcy’s Clan? Eight winners for this intriguing book.

Click on the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Mr. Darcy’s Clan

“When Duty Calls” by Belén, character interview

Hola a todos 🙂

I hope everybody is taking care and being safe at home. Let’s enjoy a bit more reading now that we have to remain at home and luckily we may enjoy a bit more of free time.

I am happy to welcome again an author with whom I share mother tongue but, I presume, loves reading anything austenesque in English: Belén Paccagnella. Belén is doing an amazing blog tour with her latest book: When Duty Calls. Let me talk about the cover of this book before getting into the story… in the hypothetical case that you have landed on my blog but have not read anything at all about this novel, what do you think about the cover? Yes, it is simply beautiful: the colours, the contrast of light and dark but.. they are kissing! That couple at the front is kissing! OMG! This is the first thing that may shout at you as “this book is promising”.

I know that a lot of JAFF readers only like clean variations and I totally respect that. I actually like almost any variation and, on my top 10 of JAFF books you can find clean versions, they tend to be very sweet. However, let me show you the description of this book and then we keep talking 🙂

The Netherfield ball brings about many changes for the population of Meryton, and more so for the female residents of Longbourn. Mr. Bingley’s departure leaves the eldest, Jane Bennet, heartbroken whilst Mr. Collins’s proposal induces Miss Elizabeth to make a hasty escape. During her flight, she happens upon Mr. Darcy, a gentleman she despises. A moment of solitude in the woods leads to rather improper behavior, and the couple departs with the promise they will tell no one about their minor indiscretion. When their secret is finally uncovered, marriage becomes the only solution to saving Elizabeth from social disgrace. Her other grudges against Mr. Darcy are amplified by resentment and the prospect of spending her life with a man she can never respect. Nonetheless, the marriage takes place, forcing the young couple to deal with their pride and prejudices as husband and wife.

Originally posted online almost twenty years ago, this Regency tale of redemption narrates the struggles of two people, their differences, and their rocky start. But will they succeed in overcoming lies, misunderstandings, and their own errors to finally find love?

So… improper behaviour? Noooo, it cannot be and they are going to keep it secret? I do not know about you but this blurb has totally hooked me because even if I do like a kiss before being betrothed or something similar, although the word “improper” sounds so bad! However, it may not be bad or yes or maybe… I leave it there.

Who is Belén Paccagnella? Let me (re)introduce you to her:

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

In 2001, she began writing both Regency and modern stories, adapting the Pride and Prejudice storyline to different backdrops, merging drama, humor, and adventure while creating characters with unique traits. Almost two decades later, she published Obstacles, a modern variation released in 2018 by Meryton Press.

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

If you would like to follow Belén, you could do it here:

Facebook           Twitter            Instagram

Character interview

I do not know how you would feel knowing that Belén is not doing the character interview 😉 Who will interview Mrs Elizabeth Darcy? I hope you enjoy this interview, it is refreshing and gives a few things away…

I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy six years ago, when she came first to Derbyshire soon after her wedding to our dear neighbour, Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley. Elizabeth is a most intriguing character and a truly generous lady when it comes to sharing her thoughts regarding her life as a married woman. Being a fictional character myself, vaguely mentioned once in this Pride and Prejudice variation, I decided I was the right person to conduct this character interview, thus satisfying the readers’ rapacity for spoilers and my own dream of becoming a social columnist. Since Elizabeth’s youth and background has been explored thoroughly in the original novel, I shall focus my questions in her impromptu marriage to the Master of Pemberley and how it affected her life. Thank you, Ana, for hosting my humble attempt at journalism in your blog, My Vices and Weaknesses. Never a name so consistent with my dreams and expectations!

                                                                        Lady Eugenia Archer

     LEA: Fanfiction writers have adapted your story to almost every backdrop and timeline that exists. Their imagination knows no limits when it comes to narrating your love story with Fitzwilliam Darcy. I have read about you in the past, the future, in almost every known culture known or invented by men, either here on Earth or in space. How do you feel about your life and most intimate feelings being exposed or altered for other people’s enjoyment?

     ED: (laughs) Delighted! I truly enjoy being a literature icon. As long as I end the story married to my dear husband William, I don’t mind what obstacles these exceedingly creative writers throw in our way.

     LEA: Even if they marry you to Colonel Fitzwilliam first?

     ED: I would rather marry Richard than Mr. Collins, if you ask. I know there are a few of those out there. (shudders).

     LEA: It is universally known that he proposed to you. (arches a knowing eyebrow)

     ED: And it’s universally known that I refused him. Most emphatically!

     LEA: Which leads us to this particular story, a forced marriage scenario.  It starts with you running away from Mr. Collins after he proposes, and you happen upon Mr. Darcy in the woods. How do you feel about what happened between the two of you that day? Do you consider Darcy’s behaviour as faulty as yours?

     ED: The blame is almost entirely his. I say almost because William insists that I have been flirting with him since the beginning of our acquaintance.

     LEA: Were you?

     ED: At least not consciously! Men can be clueless at times and interpret women’s attitude to their own convenience. But, in his defence, I can say I had always enjoyed teasing him, stirring the hornet’s nest, if you understand my meaning. And considering how much he fancied me at the time, in retrospective, that might have given him the wrong impression. William is a very passionate man, quite impulsive, and sometimes he fails in reigning back that passion, like it happened that day. If you don’t believe me, ask Lt. Wickham. It was William’s incapability to withhold his temper what made him attend his own wedding with a purple eye. Which, by the way, became a fashion statement. I have been told it matched the colour of my sister’s gown.

     LEA: You’ll tell me about that later (smiles). We already know the author’s thoughts on forced marriage stories, since she shared them in Janet’s interview posted at More Agreeable Engaged. Would you like to tell me yours? How did you feel about being forced to marry a man you disliked so much?

     ED: I was very angry. I could not imagine how we would manage to achieve a decent degree of happiness with my hatred for him and his family opposing the match. The anger dissipated a bit during the engagement, but when I learned what he did to my sister, I was truly despondent. The first weeks of our marriage we were both immersed in great sorrow. At the time I felt I would be miserable for the rest of my life. Fortunately, all that was reversed as we became better acquainted. 

     LEA: I noticed there was something amiss between the two of you when I first met you, the night you dined with us at Thornaby Hall. That was quite early in your marriage. Although I did not perceive any particular animosity, there was a distance between the two of you that was unusual for a newly wedded couple.

     ED: We were just beginning to understand each other at the time. Although I was already in love with him, I had not made my feelings known to him yet. I was not certain about his sentiments either, so I was at loss of what to do. My thoughts at that time are reflected on the excerpt the author posted for the Valentine Special. Later that day, William, Georgiana and I happened upon Lord Archer on the streets of Lambton, and he invited us to dine at your home. That was a turning point for me.  Although unintentionally, that day William said something that broke my heart. It made me realize how much my words had wounded him. From them on, I tried my best to show him that I truly cared for him. It took us some time to finally become a couple in every sense, but that was the starting point for my change of attitude. Now neither of us can understand life without the other.

     LEA: Does your sister’s marriage to Lt. Wickham have to do with this delay?

     ED: Indeed! The news of Lydia’s elopement reached me the day we shared our first kiss after our wedding. Well, perhaps it was not precisely the first one. We had shared a couple of kisses before that one, but those were merely stolen kisses that took the other by surprise. I don’t think they count as the first kiss. Then he left for London for a fortnight, and I began to have doubts about how Lydia’s reckless behaviour would affect our marriage. At some point I feared he might—

     LEA: I must stop you here and say spoiler alert! Let us not give away too much of the plot, shall we? However, since this scene has already been posted online during the blog tour, at Savvy Verse & Wit, would you tell me the anecdote about Wickham’s blue eye? How did that happen?

     ED: (laughs) I cannot tell you much about it, for I did not have the pleasure of witnessing it, and William did not share with me the details of why he punched Wickham on the face. All I can tell you is of my husband’s broken hand. Which, by the way, earned him a lecture from his boxing master. He’s quite a conscientious teacher and never fails to chastise his pupil when he does something wrong. You can read more about my husband’s fondness for pugilism on the 8th stop of this blog tour, at Austenesque Reviews.

     LEA: One last question so the readers can learn more about you after the story ends. I heard the author decided not to include an epilogue for this published version of When Duty Calls, although I know there was one, originally. You are now reaching the end of your confinement. I imagine you must be exhausted, taking care of your husband and two children while assisting your sister Georgiana in the preparations for her wedding. How do you find the strength to do all that while keeping your fresh, beautiful countenance? What’s your secret? My feet were so swollen during my confinements that I could hardly put my shoes on!

     ED: (laughs along) Long walks and a loving husband who rubs my feet every night! And, of course, a battalion of servants ready to satisfy my every whim. Being the mistress of Pemberley has many benefits, and wealth is just one of them (winks and rubs her belly).

What do you think? Have you enjoyed it? I have really liked Lady Eugenia Archer’s interview to Elizabeth. I think it helps having another character who has been there, even if briefly.

I cannot wait to read about Wickham’s blue eye and about how they got to be forced into a marriage and, most importantly, how love was born!

If you cannot wait either, you can but the book on different places, such as:

Amazon US        Amazon UK          Amazon CA        Amazon DE

Blog Tour

If you have liked or loved this character interview as much as I have, in case you have not done it before, check the rest of the entries on this tour, they are awesome! If you do not know where to start, go back to the character interview and check all the blogs mentioned 🙂 (you have all the entries on the links below)

WDC BT Schedule M

 Diary of an Eccentric

So Little Time…

Austenprose

Babblings of a Bookworm

Savvy Verse & Wit

Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

Austenesque Reviews

More Agreeably Engaged

From Pemberley to Milton

My Vices and Weaknesses

 

time to give away winners

Meryton Press is giving away 8 ebooks of When Duty Calls to eight fortunate winners.

Click on the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – When Duty Calls

“Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl”

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for another amazing collection of stories edited by Christina Boyd. After The Darcy MonologuesYuletide, Dangerous to Knowand Rational Creatures she is introducing Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, and how much do you like it already only with the tiny bit of information that I have given you?

Let me give you some more info:

“Obstinate, headstrong girl!” For over two hundred years, Elizabeth Bennet has enchanted and inspired readers by being that “obstinate, headstrong girl” willing to stand up to the arrogance and snobbery of her so-called betters. Described by Austen as having a “lively, playful disposition,” Elizabeth embodies the perfect imperfections of strong-willed women everywhere: she is spirited, witty, clever, and loyal.

In this romance anthology, ten Austenesque authors sketch Elizabeth’s character through a collection of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times. In ELIZABETH: OBSTINATE, HEADSTRONG GIRL, she bares her most intimate thoughts, all the while offering biting social commentary about life’s absurdities. Elizabeth overcomes the obstacles of others’ opinions, not to mention her own flaws, to find a love truly worthy of her—her Mr. Darcy—all with humor and her sparkling charm.

“I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, January 1813―and we think so too!

Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare.

Stories by Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, Joana Starnes, Karen M Cox, Elizabeth Adams, Leigh Dreyer, J. Marie Croft, and Christina Boyd.

Yes, 10 stories!! and yes, Christina has written one of them and you will really like it 🙂

Giveaway Grandprize backlist books

However, this post is not only for Elizabeth but for a great author that not only entertains me with her stories but she makes me learn about other decades of the 20th century too. Please welcome Beau North!

Beau North is an author and host of the podcasts Excessively Diverted: Modern Classics On-Screen and Let’s Get Weirding: A Dune Podcast as well as a staff writer for The Spool. You can connect with Beau via her website.

Why Elizabeth? by Beau North

4Limelight cover_ElizabethHello readers of My Vices & Weaknesses! Thanks for giving me space to talk about my contribution to this incredibly special project. When setting up this blog tour, editor Christina Boyd asked us to write about what inspired our stories and why we love Elizabeth Bennet. For myself, Elizabeth Bennet is a highly relatable protagonist. As a woman from a small country town that had to grow up with financial struggles, I identified with her more than most of the heroines I’d read. Her somewhat-cynical worldview leads her to make mistakes, but in true heroine fashion, she learns from them and grows as a person. And that’s someone worth rooting for, even 200 years later.

OHG quote

As for what inspired my story, “Love in Limelight”, I owe a great portion of it to my favorite podcast, The Secret History of Hollywood. In his “Bullets and Blood” series, host Adam Roche details the lives of the Warner family and the life of actor James Cagney. The Warner family fled Cossack-occupied Poland and would revolutionize cinema with the invention of the talking picture. It was the story of Sam Warner and his wife—Ziegfeld Girl Lina Basquette—that really captured my heart, and the long struggle that Lina endures after Sam’s tragic demise.

In “Love in Limelight”, Georgiana Darcy (stage name Gigi Duvall) is a tender mix of of Lina Basquette and Shirley Temple, as both actresses found success at a young age but struggled to maintain a career as they got older.

Picture 3

In his follow-up series, “Shadows”, Roche explores the life of producer Val Lewton, who made some of the most beautiful early auteur suspense movies on a shoestring budget. Lewton’s aunt, the great Alla Nazimova, is a slight inspiration for my Eliza Bennet, who began her career on the stage and eventually moved into the world of pictures. Alla Nazimova was the original superstar…think Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie rolled into one. And while my Eliza only has eyes for Darcy, Nazimova favored the fairer sex. She lived the last few decades of her life openly with her partner Glesca Marshall. There’s even a nod to this relationship in “Love in Limelight”.

Picture 4

I’ve always been fascinated with all of the behind-the-scenes goings on of the people who bring fiction and history to life on screen, whether it’s the producers, actors, even directors of photography have fascinating stories. But how to mix that all with Austen’s most beloved heroine and not lose sight of what makes readers love Elizabeth Bennet? It presented more of a challenge than I’d originally counted on. In the end, all of these characters are a mix of Austen’s characters and real players in Hollywood during the golden age of cinema. You’ll meet a Caroline who is also part Hedda Hopper, a Collins who enforces the Morality Code (also known as the Hays Code or sometimes the Breen Code), a Jane Bennet that is a luckier version of Jean Harlow, a Colonel Fitzwilliam with a dash of Tyrone Power, and as for Darcy…well, I really had to do my best, because there weren’t a lot of studio heads of that era who were really stand-up guys.

I’ll leave with you this and hope that you enjoy “Love in Limelight”:

“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”  My eyes met his, saw that he was serious. A peal of laughter burst from my lips.

“Oh, surely not.”

His expression melted from hope to consternation, brows drawing down into one severe line.

“Are you…laughing at me?”

I shook my head. “Sir. You cannot think I would marry you. Not if you were the last man on earth, and I the last woman.”

His stride—athletic, purposeful—had him across the room and at my side in an instant. I put my hand against the silken folds of his cravat. His hands were warm manacles on my arms. 

“Do you mean to tell me that you don’t love me? You’ve played me a fool?”

My mouth opened, breath catching somewhere behind my teeth. His chest rose and fell like the swelling of the ocean tide. I searched his eyes. Hurt, wounded eyes. I felt myself sliding into that gaze, swooning against my better judgement.

“I…I…”

And then his lips met mine; warm, pliant, and completely still for approximately three seconds.

Cut! That’s a wrap!

What do you think about Beau’s excerpt? I really like it, it gives me goosebumps because even if they are acting within a story of a fiction story… it feels great to read it!

Would you like to buy the book? Why not checking on one of these among other places:

Amazon US          Amazon UK       Amazon CA

time to give away winners

The #OmgItsOHG (Oh-my-gosh, it’s Obstinate Headstrong Girl) Blog Tour began February 18 with announcement and cover reveal at Austenesque Reviews, and we hope you will continue to join us and connect with each author about their “Elizabeth” story. We’ve included a Grand Prize package giveaway (a book of your choosing from each of the eleven author’s backlist) as well as additional giveaway: my Silly Austen-inspired blank note cards and coordinating coffee mug. Open worldwide, so be sure to participate. 1) Enter the Rafflecopter for the Grand Prize package of books, and 2) comment on the blog stops to be counted for the additional giveaway (you need not comment everywhere to be entered in that drawing but we hope you’ll have your share of the conversation.) Ends March 31.