“The Bennets: Providence & Perception” by KC Cowan, vignette, excerpt + giveaway

Hello! Happy spring time!

I would like to introduce you to a new author here in the blog: KC Cowan. I have not read yet her book but I am intrigued to see how Mary Bennet is able to secure her happiness. Let me tell you a bit more…

Either ignored or ridiculed by her family, Mary Bennet desires only happiness.

Poor Miss Bennet—with three sisters married, she will no doubt be left “on the shelf” unless she takes steps to secure her own happiness. So, with the arrival of Mr. Yarby, a handsome new rector for Longbourn chapel, Mary decides to use her Biblical knowledge to win his heart.

Meanwhile, her recently widowed fatherfinds himself falling for the older sister of his new reverend. But Mr. Bennet is officially in mourning for his late wife—what a scandalous situation! Unfortunately, Longbourn’s heir, Mr. Collins, has the antennae for a scandal and makes blackmail threats.

Will an overheard conversation between the Yarby siblings break Mary’s heart? Or will it impel her to a desperate act that threatens everyone’s hopes for lasting love?

What do you think? I do not really like whatever Mr. Colling is going to do.

I want to know what the siblings say in that conversation…

Let me introduce KC Cowan. Welcome!

KC Cowan spent her professional life working in the media as a news reporter in Portland, Oregon for KGW-TV, KPAM-AM and KXL-AM radio, and as original host and story producer for a weekly arts program on Oregon Public Television. She is co-author of the fantasy series: Journey to Wizards’ KeepThe Hunt for Winter, and Everfire. The Hunt for Winter and Everfire were both awarded First Place OZMA citations from Chanticleer International Book Awards for fantasy writing.

KC is also the author of two other books: “The Riches of a City” – the story of Portland, Oregon, and “They Ain’t Called Saints for Nothing!” in collaboration with artist Chris Haberman, a tongue-in-cheek look at saints. She is married and lives in Tucson, Arizona.




KC Cowan has definitely very different genres she enjoys to write and I am always amazed about that. Apparently the vignette she is sharing today shows a scene that KC wishes she had written 😉

Amelia returned to the parsonage after her walk with Mr. Bennet. Robert was out making parish calls, so she had the cottage to herself. After consulting with their cook on that evening’s menu, she ordered tea and went into the rear parlor—her favorite room in the house. French doors looked out into the back garden where she had already found a great source of happiness in planting flowers. When they bloomed, they would surround the paved area where she hoped to enjoy more time in the warmer weather—reading or doing needle work. It was a bit of a splurge to purchase the flower seeds and young rose bushes and she knew it would have been far more practical to spend the money on additional seeds for the vegetable garden, but Amelia adored flowers. It made her feel rich to have fresh flowers in her home.

Ellen brought in tea and Amelia poured herself a cup before sitting in one of the newly reupholstered chairs. Running her hand over the fine fabric, she reflected once more upon the generosity of Mr. Bennet. Although she would never have spoken of it, she had been slightly dismayed at how dirty and dingy the parsonage had seemed to her upon first inspection. However, because it was Robert’s first full parish and they were both so grateful for the living, she had vowed to endure the somewhat shabby furnishings, wall papers, and rugs until they had set aside enough from Robert’s salary to slowly replace things, bit by bit. To then have Mr. Bennet provide them with enough of a budget to virtually makeover the entire place was more than she could have ever expected!

As she gazed around the cozy parlor, Amelia truly thought no home could ever bring her more happiness. Well, Longbourn house would be even a grander improvement from the parsonage, but of course, she could have no expectation of ever living there! She and Robert could look forward to many dinners invitations, and with Mary Bennet becoming a closer friend, she might indeed find herself spending more time at Longbourn. She looked forward to it. Longbourn was a beautifully furnished house, to be sure—though not one that overtly displayed wealth. Mr. Bennet’s income was not grand but she could see that furnishings had been chosen over the years with great care and consideration.

Sipping her tea, Amelia allowed herself to daydream about how she might improve it, were the house hers. Some of the old draperies might go, she reflected, as they had clearly seen better days, though they were not shabby by any means. And the dining room might be improved upon with wallpaper that was brighter and more colorful. She smiled and shook her head—it was silly to even imagine she might one day make any choices for Longbourn! Mr. Bennet was so newly single after losing his wife. And he might prefer to remain alone in that single state, as his marriage had been less than fully happy. From what Amelia had gathered from talks with Mary and some other gossip she had heard in Meryton, Mrs. Bennet had not been a good match for her husband.

He married her for her looks and youth, you know, a shopkeeper had said to Amelia. So certain was he she would provide him with sons. Instead, she lost her looks from birthing five daughters and that’s when Mr. Bennet discovered just what he was married to! No great conversation to be had from her—unless the topic was herself or getting those girls married.

But Amelia was certain there must have been some affection underneath it all. She had come across Mr. Bennet standing by his wife’s new grave and his sorrow was apparent to her even from a distance. That unexpected meeting led to the first walk together of what was now becoming a near-daily occurrence. Not only did Amelia enjoy the out of doors, she had quickly discovered how genial and intelligent Mr. Bennet’s discourse was. They had discussed poetry, philosophy, even religion. She never felt she was being lectured to, however—Mr. Bennet would offer an opinion and then eagerly ask for hers. She felt quite equal to him as they spoke and every encounter only improved her opinion of him. She felt he might be a man with whom she could be happy. The very idea was a revelation to her.

After losing her husband, Amelia was certain love should never enter her life again. She was now three and thirty, and childless. She had no fortune to attract a gentleman into her life. In addition, although she had loved her husband, she often felt very unequal in the marriage. He had tended to dominate matters of how their household was run. He was not cruel, though, just…determined to have his way in all things. As she looked back on it, his death was both sad, and a bit of a release.

However, now she had this lovely home to manage as she pleased and was making friends in Meryton. Her life felt more filled with purpose than she could recall having in some time. If her brother were to marry, however, she knew she would have to give way to the new bride’s tastes and style. Such a thought made her a bit apprehensive. She should hate above all things to begin to feel unwelcome in her own home! Perhaps she should begin to think of finding someone to marry again. Mary had mentioned the Meryton butcher as a likely suitor, but Amelia sought a more intellectual partner. Someone more similar to…well, Mr. Bennet.

He was only a walking companion to her. But perhaps—just perhaps—more might be possible?

It feels a bit strange to read somebody falling in love with Mr. Bennet when he is a widower, don´t you think? However, I would like to read their conversations.

Did I write I want to know what they talk about and what they discuss? Enjoy this excerpt! I find it quite endearing 🙂

“Mrs. Withers is here, sir.”

Mr. Bennet happily set aside his work for the unplanned visitor. “Thank you, Hill. Please send her right in.” He smiled and rose as the lady entered. “Good day to you, Mrs. Withers. Have you come to see Mary? I believe she is out just now, calling on neighbors.”

“Forgive me for intruding on your work, Mr. Bennet, I came to see you. I shan’t take but a minute of your time.”

“Not at all, I was just doing some estate work. You make a most pleasant distraction, I assure you. Please have a seat.” He motioned to the chair next to the window opposite his desk. Amelia sat with her reticule perched on her lap. “Would you care for some tea?” he asked.

“Oh no, I don’t wish to be any trouble.”

“No trouble at all!” Mr. Bennet went to the bell cord and gave it a firm yank. When Mrs. Hill arrived, he ordered tea.

“Shall I set up in the parlor, sir?” she asked.

“Would you prefer that, Mrs. Withers?” Mr. Bennet asked his guest.

“Here is fine. I feel so at ease in this cozy room—it must be all the books.”

Mrs. Hill nodded and departed.

Mr. Bennet moved from behind his desk to the chair next to Mrs. Withers. “Would you care to borrow anything from my library? I should be most happy to oblige. Though the collection is not very extensive, I am quite proud of it. I would rather spend money on books than almost anything, I believe.”

“In that, you are very like your daughter Mary,” Amelia said. “A bookstore is always her first choice on any visit to Meryton.”

Mr. Bennet’s eyebrows lifted. “Oh—I suppose we do have that in common. I never much thought about it, to own the truth.”

“Have you never offered her a book to read and then discussed it with her later? I believe she would be very flattered.”

Mr. Bennet was a bit flummoxed at the thought. “No. No, I have not done so. The thought never—” He broke off and shook his head. “May I make a small confession, Mrs. Withers? I fear I have not been the most attentive of fathers to my daughters. The only one who showed much wit was Elizabeth. The rest I rather lumped together as silly girls without any great intellect. Mrs. Bennet oft accused me of always giving Lizzy the preference, and I confess she was right. But even Lizzy aside, I let my wife deal with the girls for the most part. How could I have missed what a great reader Mary is? I feel heartily ashamed of myself for my lack of fatherly interest and affection.”

Mrs. Hill arrived with the tea, and conversation halted for a time as she served. Once they were alone, they drank silently before Mrs. Withers ventured, “Regrets are a funny thing, Mr. Bennet. Sometimes they come and you know there is nothing you can do to change the situation; the opportunity has passed, and you must live with that knowledge. But other times—” She paused, seeming to choose her words carefully. “Other times, there is yet the chance to take a different path.”

She sipped her tea, waiting for him to respond, but he could think of nothing to say. After a moment, she continued, “It is surely not too late for you to give Mary the attention you neglected to give before. And, if I may be so bold, it may help her to blossom a bit.”

“Do you truly think so?” His expression conveyed his doubt.

“I do. Life can be hard for a middle child. I saw it oft in families in our last parish. Parents seem to leave them on their own, for good or ill. I myself am a middle child. I escaped the neglect others do because I was the only girl and, therefore, was singled out for attention in that way.”

“I did not realize you and Mr. Yarby have another sibling. You have never mentioned him.”

“Have I not? Yes, our eldest brother is Phillip, a solicitor in London. We hope he will come for a visit soon. Oh! That reminds me of my purpose in interrupting your day. The improvements are finished, and Robert and I wish to have all of the Bennets over for dinner this Thursday—four o’clock. Does that suit?”

“It does. I can speak for the girls, we have no fixed engagements.”

“Wonderful. Now, let us find a book for you to give to Mary.” She set her tea cup down, rose, and moved to the bookcase where she began to scan the titles. “Have you many novels? I am trying to encourage your daughter to read fewer books of a serious and weighty nature.”

Mr. Bennet moved to join her. “I agree; not to reflect poorly on your brother’s profession, but I believe choosing something that is not of a religious bent would be a positive change for her. Ah! Perhaps this—”

Mr. Bennet reached for a book at the same moment Mrs. Withers spied it and also moved to take it. Their hands met and lingered just a bit longer than necessary. Then Mr. Bennet dropped his hand and gave a nervous laugh.

“Pray excuse me, Mrs. Withers, I did not mean—”

“No, I should not have…that is, it is your library after all.”

There was an awkward pause, their eyes holding a gaze warily, before Mr. Bennet turned back to the books and cleared his throat.

“Well, we clearly both had the same idea. This novel is not one of those dreadful gothic tales so popular with young ladies, but a sound, moral story, although I do not believe Mary has ever examined it. Have you read it?” He pulled it out and showed it to her. “Belinda by Maria Edgeworth.”

Mrs. Withers nodded, but he noted she did not move to take the book from his hands. “Oh yes, a very good choice. I believe she will enjoy it.”

“And…do you see anything you would care to borrow?” he said hesitantly. Mr. Bennet was reluctant to see her go quite so soon. He never could discuss books with his wife. This was so…pleasant.

Mrs. Withers turned to study the shelves silently. Her eyes lit up at one title and she pulled it out. “Oh, this one, with your permission. I am so fond of poetry.”

“William Blake,” he said approvingly. “You enjoy poetry of a more romantic nature, Mrs. Withers?” His eyes now sought hers with more assurance. Why had he not noticed before how fine her hazel eyes were? A stray lock of her hair had come loose and it took all his will and concentration not to reach up and tuck it back in place. They stood silently for another long pause before replying.

“Indeed. I feel I am an incurable…romantic, Mr. Bennet,” she murmured.

“Ah,” was the only reply he could manage.

What do you think? Let me know. I feel is it quite “cute” and sweet.

Here you have the link where you could buy this book with Mary and Mr. Bennet as our most important characters.

Amazon Universal Link

Do not miss the blog tour, you will have so much more to learn about these original characters and know more about the new ones too.

March 20 From Pemberley to Milton

March 21 Elza Reads

March 22 My Vices and Weaknesses

March 23 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

March 24 Babblings of a Bookworm

March 27 Savvy Verse & Wit

Meryton Press is giving away one ebook copy of The Bennets: Providence & Perception to one person who comments on this post. The giveaway is international and it will end on the 28th of March 2023 at 23:59 CET.

I love the colours of this cover and of course both couples. I would have never imagined Mary wearing that light green, I think it suits her.

“A Long Way from Clare” by Robert W. Smith, guest post, excerpt + giveaway

Happy New Year to all!

I am aware that we are almost at the end of January, but as it is my first post of 2023, I hope you will forgive me 🙂

I am very glad to have a new author today and a non-JAFF novel (just pointing it for the ones that like to read about JAFF here). However, the reason for being glad is that this novel looks pretty interesting and it is the second post I have done from a novel that Meryton Press has supported and it is not Austen-related.

Let´s get to it and I hope you enjoy everything about A Long Way from Clare by Robert W. Smith.

Romance, Kidnapping, and Murder…
Will a young Irish lawyer unravel the secrets or die trying?

Conor Dolan, a young Irishman, travels to Chicago in 1903 to visit his older brother; instead, he finds a mystery. His journey sparks a quest to peel away secrets and rediscover a dead sibling he idolized but never really knew as he strives to learn the true meaning of brotherhood.

His search reveals an Irish Republican plot to assassinate a visiting British royal. In the process, he is drawn into an alliance with two women: a mesmerizing Jewish widow and a struggling young Irishwoman. Each teaches Conor existential truths of life and love in her own way.

But the brother he finds may not be the brother he remembers. A Long Way from Clare is a story of Chicago’s early twentieth century immigrants and one man’s struggle with both bigotry and justice in an unforgiving city where no good deed goes unpunished.

Will Conor find the answers he desperately craves? Or will this trip punch a one-way ticket?

What do you think? I like this Conor and I want to know what´s going on with his brother.

Bob was raised in Chicago, enlisting in the Air Force at age eighteen during the Vietnam War. Following a year of language training at Syracuse University, he served four years as a Russian Linguist in Security Service Command, a branch of the NSA. He attended DePaul University and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on the G.I. Bill while working as a Chicago Transit Authority Police Officer. Thirty-odd years as a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago followed. His first book was Immoral Authority (Echelon Press, 2002) followed by Catch a Falling Lawyer (New Leaf Books, 2005) and The Sakhalin Collection (New Leaf Books, 2007, hardcover). In February of 2022, Between the Lines Publishing released Bob’s newest novel, Running with Cannibals, a historical/military thriller based on actual events of the Philippine-American War.  

I am amazed with that background and I imagine that his novels will have great twists as there is not only research but personal knowledge.

You can follow him on:

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page



Robert W. Smith is telling us a bit more about A Long Way from Clare:

Greetings to all,

First, I want to thank Ana for her kindness in hosting me. I had best keep this brief as I am anxiously treading new ground. Grandpa Dolan used to tell us, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” My background is in criminal law. My passion is writing and my second love is history (I have a wife). But what is life without an addiction or two? Mine is to off-beat love stories. This one was inspired by the life and suspicious demise of my wife’s grandfather, a Chicago Policeman, in 1914. I finally put it all together, threw it in the air and Meryton Press grabbed it, fortunately for me.

Conor Dolan is a young lawyer, born in Ireland but raised in Springfield, Illinois from a young age. He has come to Chicago in 1903 to find his older brother, whom he idolizes but hardly knows. With his naivety exposed to the world, he attracts the attention of a beautiful, middle aged, Jewish widow, Rebecca Fletcher, a woman who will quickly prove an influential force in life and in love. In this excerpt, Conor reflects on his feelings for Rebecca, “Mrs. Fletcher” as he still sometimes addresses her, as she good-naturedly toys with his emotions.   

He is giving us a bit more and the fact that it is inspired by a relative of his wife makes it more interesting from my point of view as well as Conor being a lawyer too. However, we have a bit more with the excerpt. I find this Mrs. Fletcher quite fascinating. Enjoy!

He was not in love with Rebecca—not that fluttering, wispy, heart-thumping feeling he experienced with Lori Howard in Springfield years ago. Still, Rebecca was smart, confident, and beautiful; but most of all, she conveyed a real sense of affection for Conor, and the pain he could see in her eyes made her all the more attractive. Besides, it was wonderful just to talk with someone who wanted to listen.

After dinner, Conor and Rebecca retired to the parlor as was becoming their custom.

He settled at the piano and began to play Chopin from memory. Mrs. Fletcher seemed to warm a bit more and sat beside him on the piano bench.

“Chopin’s ‘Love Prelude,’” she declared. “You haven’t played that before.”

“I’m full of surprises,” he said.

As the piece settled to a soft tempo, she asked him coyly, “Were you looking at my…ankles during dinner, Conor?” The question caught Conor off guard, but his fingers held steady on the keyboard.

“No, Rebecca. I’d never be that rude.” She was obviously not insulted and Conor concluded no harm was done. Innocent flirtation was an acceptable, Edwardian vice.

And so he played and they talked. He had learned that Mrs. Fletcher’s husband and two-year-old child both died of cholera three years ago. Her work had become her life.

Conor had lost his brother, not a wife and child, and the loss still dominated his life. He wondered how a woman like Mrs. Fletcher, approaching midlife but still alive and vibrant, could carry on in the wake of such unspeakable tragedy. She was not morbid or weepy in raising the subject, only matter-of-fact. How must she feel in the mornings—to wake up alone in a boardinghouse with nothing of her own? To Conor, she was a mesmerizing, enchanting character, but he determined never to speak of her loss again without an invitation.

Rebecca must come from another world—a world of big houses, fine clothes, and important friends. Yet there was something earthly and enticingly sensible about the woman that defied her debutante history and elevated Conor’s humble immigrant experience to a common, plain one. He was comfortable in her presence and felt alive in her company.

They took a brandy on the green velvet sofa, and Rebecca made a startling admission, albeit in a near whisper. “Everything I told you is true, Conor, except for one thing: I’m not in the garment industry, and I don’t live in New York. I’m a Pinkerton Detective working on an investigation for Scotland Yard. To disclose my true identity and purpose would threaten my investigation, maybe worse. Do you understand?”

It was a great deal of information packed into a couple of sentences, and Conor had to think about it for a minute. He also thought about Charlie Damme. “No,” he said honestly. “I don’t think so. I can understand your reasoning, but you’re a…spy?”

“In a way, I suppose I am, but I’m not working against the United States or anything like that. Are you upset with me?” she asked, her hand on his arm.

Was he upset with her? He was going mad from thinking about her, and now she had confessed to deceiving him. He wondered whether anyone in this town told the truth. “I don’t know, but what would Scotland Yard be investigating in Chicago?”

She hesitated a moment, then put her hand on his. “I can’t tell you at the moment, Conor, but that may change after I speak with my superiors. I’m sorry to say my investigation may be related to your brother.”

What do you think about Mrs. Fletcher? What is she going to do? What is Conor going to do?

You can buy the book here if you cannot wait!

Amazon Universal Link

I do not know what else is coming on the next stops of the blog tour, however, I know that if it is like what Robert has shared with us here today, I would not miss the rest of the stops.

January 21 My Vices and Weaknesses

January 23 Celticlady’s Reviews

January 24 So Little time…

January 25 Meryton Press Blog

January 26 From Pemberley to Milton

January 27 Elza Reads

Meryton Press is giving away an ebook of Robert W. Smith´s A Long Way from Clare to one winner that comments on this post. What do you like the most from what you have read today? Do you like mystery, detectives, etc. in your novels? Let us know. The giveaway is open until January 27th of January 2023 at 23:59 CET. Good luck!

What an amazing cover, I love the “blur” of the colours, can you say it like this? and obviously the photography.

Winner of “The Last House in Lambton” by Grace Gibson

Dear all,

Apologies for taking longer than expected but here we have the winner of the ebook copy of The Last House in Lambton by Grace Gibson.

As usual I have used random.org. Here you have the results!

Darcybennett, congratulations!!

Please confirm that the email address I have is still the one that you would like to use for the ebook.

“The Last House in Lambton” by Grace Gibson, excerpt, review + giveaway

Dear all,

I hope I find you all well and enjoying this lovely season. I adore the colours of fall and I imagine them on the book that I am happy to show you todays: The Last House in Lambton by Grace Gibson.

There is a lot to read today, so I will start sharing the blurb.

Does it ever stop raining in Lambton?

Darcy and Bingley depart Netherfield Park, leaving Elizabeth Bennet acutely aware of the monotony of her life. Seeking a reprieve, she volunteers to serve as temporary companion to Mrs. Gardiner’s elderly aunt who lives in Lambton. Nothing turns out as Elizabeth expects, and she is forced to dig deep into her reserves of common sense, humor, and stubborn persistence to prove herself equal to the dreary circumstances. 

Initially unaware that Pemberley is only five miles away, Elizabeth crosses paths with Darcy annoyingly often. When the gentleman rescues her from a shocking situation, Elizabeth faces some hard choices, at the same time struggling against the smoldering attraction that can neither be repressed nor fulfilled.

Mr. Darcy, meanwhile, in whose heart a fire has also been lit, is shocked by the lady’s stubborn refusal to accept his help. Alternating between alarm and begrudging admiration, he stands helplessly on the sidelines while she struggles to retain her independence. He, too, must make some hard choices in the end. Will he let her go?

Yes, the situation from where he rescues her it is pretty schocking but I think Elizabeth tries to manage it quite well…

Anyone is surprised that she is stubborn? 😀

Look at the mosaics on Grace´s picture!

In addition to mosaic art, which she creates at Studio Luminaria (her home-based glass shop in El Paso, Texas), Grace enjoys writing Regency romance and Pride and Prejudice variations.

Follow her on Facebook.

It is lovely to visit My Vices and Weaknesses today, Ana. Thank you so much for having me!

We all adore Mr. Darcy, otherwise we would not be here today talking about him! But don’t you also enjoy seeing his confidence shaken for once? Perhaps, as I do, you also chuckle with satisfaction when his perfect manners slip, his storied composure breaks, and he is made more than a little uncomfortable by a pert young lady with a rather sharp tongue.

Here is an excerpt told from Mr. Darcy’s point of view in which just this sort of humbling takes place:

“What do you hear from Mr. Bingley, sir?” she asked.

Bingley! I did not want to talk about Bingley. I mumbled a vague reply that I had left him in London, to which she mused aloud that she had thought he might have since left town. To my horror, she then related to me in the most knowing manner that her sister had been in London, had tried to reestablish a connection with that family, and had been rebuffed!

I formulated a pathetic explanation that I thought he might indeed have left for Scarborough, only to be exposed by my artless sister who blurted out unhelpfully, “But I saw Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst very lately, and they made no mention of leaving London.”

As my face flushed at having been caught out, I was then treated to a verbal mauling the likes of which took my breath away.

Oh lord. Elizabeth is about to unleash her wit on poor Mr. Darcy! If you would like to find out just what she said to him on this and many other occasions in this retelling, sign up to win a free copy of The Last House in Lambton. I hope you will discover that an imperfect Darcy is more loveable than ever.

I have really enjoyed having both Elizabeth and Darcy´s point of view. I always like how Darcy reacts with Elizabeth, and example that you can find on the excerpt that Grace Gibson has shared with us.

As you have read in the blurb, Elizabeth is pretty empty and bored, however, perhaps she was to hasty to help her aunt´s relative. It is not even closed to what she had in mind, she actually has to work (gasp!). Although it is Elizabeth and we know she is strong and all but she is up for a scare at the beginning. Hopefully, she also gets Mrs. Reynolds’ help even before she sees Darcy. I will not tell you about their meeting at Mrs. Reynolds’ office but I can say I find it funny and a bit endearing (and it won´t be the last time Elizabeth has to ask for her help).

Elizabeth has to learn so much about managing a household that she realises how deficient her education in that aspect it. However, without knowing it, this will be very useful to help her with her relationship with her mother and will aslo be useful for her sisters.

When Elizabeth starts seeing that Darcy is actually caring, she is quite stubborn to accept help, as it can be read on the blurb, however, she knows she has to accept the offer from Darcy to protect also her “aunty”, but this may be seen as something that it is not. Yes, you are reading it well, it could be mistaken. Fortunately, Georgiana is there and Elizabeth is able to rest because she is not the only one helping her aunty.

There is a point when Elizabeth returns home that I do not like. She is the one making the decision for others, or another, when she used to dislike Darcy doing that.

Anyway, I have really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend you. It is a nice read, it is not angsty per se but many things happen around this couple.

Moreover, you will then meet the neighbour in the second to last house in Lambton ;D

Follow the blog tour, you will get so much more from this book!

November 7   Babblings of a Bookworm

November 8   My Jane Austen Book Club

November 9   Austenesque Reviews

November 10 From Pemberley to Milton

November 11 My Vices and Weaknesses

November 12 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

What about buying the book? Here you have a link:

Amazon Universal Link

Meryton Press is giving away an ebook copy of The Last House in Lambton to one person commenting on this post. Let me know what you think of the book so far, or my review. The contest is open until 23:59 (CEST) on the 17th of November 2022. Good luck!

What a beautiful and amazing cover, Janet!!

“A Dutiful Son” by Kelly Miller, excerpt + giveaway

What will Fitzwilliam Darcy do when his beloved father stands between him and happiness?

Darcy has always emulated his wise and honourable father, George Darcy. But following a sinister act of betrayal by a former family friend, his father rejects his most benevolent principles.

When Georgiana forms a friendship with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy convinces his father to allow the association to continue. However, Elizabeth soon presents a thorny problem: she entices Darcy as no other lady has before, and with his father’s current outlook, he would not approve of her as a daughter-in-law.

Still, Darcy’s problem may resolve in time: his father, after getting to know Elizabeth, is certain to recognise her many admirable qualities and change his mind. But what if he does not?

In this Pride & Prejudice Regency variation, Fitzwilliam Darcy is caught between the influences of love and duty. Which of these will wield the greatest power?

It sounds so angsty already!! Do you think Mr Darcy father will be so tough? and who this “family friend” may be? Any guesses? 😉

Hello all! I hope you are well.

I am enjoying this book already and even if I have just started I want to know more!

I am glad to welcome again Kelly Miller who is sharing some insight on her latest novel: A Dutiful Son.

Award-winning author Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano, singing, or walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their pets.

You can follow her on: Blog Twitter Instagram Facebook

A Dutiful Son is her sixth book published by Meryton Press. The first five are:

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy.

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic variation.

Accusing Mr. Darcy, a Pride and Prejudice Regency romantic mystery.

A Consuming Love, a Pride and Prejudice Regency novella.

Captive Hearts, a Persuasion Regency variation.

I recommend you to check these books! I have read most of them and I believe you may enjoy them a lot! The links on them go to Amazon UK but you can easily then check on your specific Amazon link.

Yes, you also have the link to A Dutiful Son, but I am leacing a few more of this book below:

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

You may think that I have shared the links to buy it too soon. However, I think you may change your mind when you read the excerpt Kelly is sharing with us. It is pretty cute, even if I think that Elizabeth is perhaps too direct.

Thank you so much for having me today, Ana. I’m happy to be here with an excerpt from “A Dutiful Son,” my Regency “Pride & Prejudice” variation. In this scene, from Chapter 2 in the book, Fitzwilliam Darcy dances with Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton assembly. The excerpt is in Darcy’s point of view.

He led Miss Elizabeth into position for the third set with a heightened sense of anticipation. What method would she employ to entice him?

“You have done me a tremendous service by engaging me in this set.” Miss Elizabeth spoke just before stepping away to take a turn with the gentleman to Darcy’s left.

The mere seconds it took for her to return to him seemed to elapse in slow motion. “What do you mean?”

“The rain this morning prevented me from taking my customary walk. Since I missed out on that bit of exercise, I am particularly eager to dance tonight. However, the ladies far outnumber the gentleman on this occasion. I had expected to sit out a dance or two, but now I am certain to dance every set.”

“Why is that?”

“My neighbours will wish to seek my opinion of the much-anticipated wealthy friend of Mr. Bingley.”

“I see.” His heart raced. The possibility of her approval loomed before him like an elusive treasure. “And what will you tell them?”

She arched an eyebrow. “I should not wish to make my conclusions apace. After all, the set has just begun.”

The prudent course would be to change the subject, but his desire to hear her opinion of him displaced any other consideration. “You must have formed a first impression, at least.”

Miss Elizabeth tipped her head at an angle. “Very well. In all likelihood, I shall report that you are”—she flitted away for a few interminable seconds to complete a fleuret step—“an amiable, perceptive, and kind-hearted gentleman, if a bit reserved, who will be a welcome addition to the area.”

He closed his lips against a burgeoning smile. “Thank you. That is far more than I should expect for an initial perception. How did you come to this determination?”

Her smile took on a tender cast. “Well, you danced with my dear friend Charlotte…um…Miss Lucas. That alone speaks in your favour.”

“Mr. Bingley danced with her too.”

“He did, and my neighbours already have a favourable opinion of him. However, you did something that Mr. Bingley did not. While dancing with her, you gave my friend your complete attention.”

“My friend did not pay her the same courtesy?”

“Mr. Bingley divided his focus between Miss Lucas and my sister Jane, who danced nearby with Mr. Lucas.”

Yes, that sounded like Bingley. “Do you have any further evidence to support your findings?”

“Evidence?” She flashed a grin. “No, but I have learnt to trust my intuition. Your deportment denotes confidence and authority, yet your eyes possess a sentient quality. My guess is that, while you are accustomed to wielding a fair amount of power, you possess a benevolent nature.”

Darcy grew warmer than the physical activity of the dance could have produced. Miss Elizabeth had bestowed upon him the rare compliment that had naught to do with his appearance, his intelligence, his standing, or any skill he possessed.

Her smile faltered. “I hope I have not offended you. At times, my manner strays perilously close to impertinence.”

“No, not at all. I hope I never give you cause to change your initial assessment.”

“I hope not as well”—her lips curved into a cheeky smile—“for I dislike being proven wrong.”

His dance with Miss Elizabeth presented a peculiar experience. Her movements, guileless smiles, and luminous eyes conveyed her delight in the activity, making an entrancing display. Their stream of witty conversation kept him talking for the entire half hour, yet it never seemed like a chore. On the contrary, words flowed off his tongue as though he had known her for years.

Like Miss Lucas before her, Miss Elizabeth never broached the subjects of his estate or his connexions. Instead, she led him into discussions of such topics as childhood games he used to enjoy, the dog breeds that made the best companions, and recent books they had each read.

Darcy froze in a momentary state of bewilderment when the musicians played the final notes of the dance. A set had never elapsed with such speed. It would have been no trial on his part to continue their conversation, but he had no sooner thanked Miss Elizabeth for the dance when she curtseyed and glided off, disappearing into the crowd.

Another remarkable aspect of his dance with Miss Elizabeth became evident as the evening wore on. That singular experience boosted his vigour, enabling him to sail through his subsequent dances with relative ease. In fact, in addition to those sets he had already garnered, he sought and obtained places on the dance cards of three other local ladies.

I love her first impression of him 😀 Has anyone else imagined Darcy like puffing with pride after that great description?

Short but good blog tour, starting with yesterday’s post. Do not miss any of them 🙂

October 18 – My Jane Austen Book Club

October 19 – My Vices and Weaknesses

October 20 – From Pemberley to Milton

October 21 – Babblings of a Bookworm

October 24 – Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

Meryton Press iis giving away one ebook for one winner on this blog tour post. I will select the winner between the comments. The giveaway is international and it is open until the 23rd of October 2022 at 23:59 CET.

Comment on the book, or on the excerpt. What do you expect from A Dutiful Son? Have you read any book by Kelly Miller?

“Big Swamp” by Kelly Dean Jolley, excerpt + giveaway

A Private Eye in a One-Eyed Place?

Ford Merrick is a softhearted detective in a sleepy southern town, Opelika, Alabama—a “one-eyed, blinking sort of place.” A provoking visit from beautiful Rachel Gunner complicates his work and his life. This stunning woman asks Ford to tail her uncle and discover what he is up to. Taking the case, Ford quickly finds himself swamped in mysteries: Who is Rachel’s uncle, and what is his secret business? Then there’s the mystery of an earlier death at Noble Hall where Rachel and her uncle now live. But the greatest mystery may be Rachel Gunner herself. Mired, Ford struggles to find his way, unearths tragedies old and new, and exposes his heart to a hard test.

What do you think? Is it mysterious? Softhearted detective? Does it make sense to be a softy if you are a PI? We will see. Maybe the excerpt that we got today may shows us a bit more of Ford Merrick.

I am glad to present Big Swamp by Kelly Dean Jolley. I am reading this book and even if I have just started it and have read three chapters, I am interested on knowing what is going on.

Kelly Dean Jolley is the Goodwin Philpott Endowed Chair of Religion and Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University.  He lives in Auburn with his wife, Shanna, two dogs, two cats, too many books, and a collection of manual typewriters.  Beyond his academic publications, he has also published a book of poetry, Stony Lonesome.

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Too many books, is that even possible? 😉

Our detective, Ford Merrick, has no clear idea where he stands with Rachel Gunner, his client.  He’s seen her out earlier in the day unexpectedly, and he’s unsure what that means. Their phone conversation doesn’t help him much.

    Hey, Ford,” Rachel says cheerfully when I call.

    Nerves attack me as I start to talk. “Hey, I’m calling because Helen invited Sam to dinner and she’s made a lot, I’m guessing, including banana bread, which is worth it all by itself, and anyway, she wondered if you would come to dinner too because she really likes this man, but she’s nervous about having him to dinner, about the awkward threesome—um, not the right word—the triangle—um, not the right word, either…”

    Rachel laughs. “Ford, slow down. Are you really this nervous about asking me to dinner after the lunch we had?”

   “I guess. Me twice in one day is kind of a lot.”

   “That sounds good. Banana bread sounds good. What have you been up to?”

    I freeze for a second. I don’t want to have this conversation, and I especially don’t want to have it on the phone, unable to see Rachel’s face, her actions. “Just some case follow-up.”

    Her answer is teasing, but there’s a note of worry in it. “Very mysterious.”

   “What about you?”

   Now she’s guilty of a prefatory silence. “Oh, not much. Lake got back from Montgomery, and we’re having drinks on the upper balcony.”

   That information sinks into my lower gut like a knife. “Oh, Lake is back.”

   We’re both silent for a moment. “So, you’ll come to dinner?” I ask.

   “Your place, right?”


   “See you then. I’m really pleased Helen suggested it. I’d like to get to know her better.”

   That makes my gut hurt less; the stabbing pain subsides. “Okay—five thirty? Helen and I have someone stopping by later about a business matter, so we won’t be able to make an entire evening of it.”

   “That’s fine. See you in a little while. And, Ford”—her voice sinks—“I was already missing you.”

I hardly know what to say, so I say what I feel, surprising myself. “God, I was missing you too.”

I do not know what you think but I have read with a very relieved voice the last bit: “God, I was missing you too.” How do you find Ford Merrick so far? I highly recommend you to check also the rest of the blog tour.

That’s What I’m Talking About
From Pemberley to Milton
Elza Reads
The Reading Frenzy
Meryton Press Blog

Would you like to buy Big Swamp by Kelly Dean Jolley? You could do it here:

Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon UK Amazon ES Amazon DE

Meryton Press is giving away six eBook copies of Big Swamp by Kelly Dean Jolley. The giveaway is international. The giveaway ends August 29th at 12:00 AM Central Time.

Just click on the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Big Swamp

I love the cover. Yes, green may be my favourite colour, however, the cover would have been great in dark blue too, so I am not biased;)

“A Season of Magic” by Sarah Courtney, guest post, excerpt and giveaway

I love the title, it may sound silly but for whatever reason I already like this book because of its title. However, I am going to just write below the first sentence of the blurb that hooks me too:

Everyone knows Elizabeth and Jane’s parents were magical murderers. But blood isn’t everything.

Wait a minute! What?? Magical murderers? Are we talking of Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet?! Why? What happened? Ok, let´s continue reading:

When the girls are forced to reveal their elemental magic, it does not matter to the Mage Council that they did so only to save lives. Their parents were traitors, and the entire magical community is simply waiting for them to descend into evil themselves.

The Council reluctantly admits Elizabeth to the magical university (and unofficial marriage market) called The Season, where she will learn how to control her powers. If she can keep her head down and avoid drawing any untoward notice, she might be able to graduate and finally be accepted as a fire mage.

But fading into the background will be difficult. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, nephew to Lord Matlock of the Mage Council and a student himself, is assigned to observe her and report any misstep. One mistake could send her back to her foster parents, the Bennets—or worse, to prison. Yet when that mistake inevitably comes, he stands up on her behalf. Could he be an ally instead of an enemy?

When pranks between classmates become something more dangerous—and potentially deadly—Elizabeth will be forced to depend upon her friends—including Mr. Darcy. There’s something terrible lurking beneath the surface of the Season, and it will take everything Elizabeth has to survive it.

I am not really sure I like pranks anymore if they can be so dangerous. However, what about the foster parents? So, when did their biological parents acted? Where they executed as they were traitors? Is Jane going to the university too? How is Mr. Darcy in this book? and Lord Matlock? Many questions and one way to answer them… reading A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney.

Sarah Courtney loves to read fantasy, fairy tales, and Pride and Prejudice variations, so what could be more fun than combining them? She currently lives in Europe where she homeschools her six children and still manages to write books, which has to be proof that magic exists!

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Today Sarah Courtney is sharing a lot with us, but do not forget to visit the other stops on the tour!

July 28 Austenesque Reviews

July 29 My Jane Austen Book Club

August 1 From Pemberley to Milton

August 2 Savvy Verse & Wit

August 4 My Vices and Weaknesses

August 5 Babblings of a Bookworm

What about buying A Season of Magic? You can already do it!

Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon UK Amazon ES Amazon DE

Sarah is explaining some important things about this magical world in A Season of Magic, then she is sharing a funny excerpt. However, why is Wickham here? (oops! mini-spoiler)

Thank you for having me on My Vices and Weaknesses! My latest Pride and Prejudice variation, A Season of Magic, is a fantasy that takes place at a magical university called “the Season.”

Many people in this fantasy world have some degree of magic known as a talent, but it is only those who can control the elements themselves—fire, wind, water, and earth—who attend the Season.

Fire mages protect farms, grasslands, and woodlands from the dangers of uncontrolled fires. They can help warm crops or prevent frost when it is unseasonably cold, and they can lower fevers of the sick. Wind mages can guide clouds, winds, and storms, clear smog and smoke so that cities have fresh air, and clean the air of contaminants. Water mages can find water during droughts, purify water that is dirty or carries disease, and help control floods. And earth mages can help both with shaping the earth and with growing and protecting plants.

Elizabeth would love to use her own fire magic to help others. But her parents exhibited the worst side of power. While elemental mages can use their powers for good, they can also use them for evil. After her parents’ crimes became known, she and Jane became targets of scorn. It is challenging enough to attend the Season as an orphan, much less one with notorious and hated parents.

Mr. Darcy is the nephew of Lord Matlock, a member of the Mage Council, and so he feels obligated to keep an eye on Elizabeth in case she turns out like her parents. Or, at least, that’s the initial purpose of his interest.

Elizabeth begins to grow weary of Mr. Darcy’s constant attention and decides to play a little trick on him in the scene below. Along with her element of fire, she has the talent of metal-working. She can shape any metal without needing heat or tools.

In this scene, each student is supposed to concentrate on their element while their teacher, Mrs. Suckling, walks around the room making deliberate attempts to distract them as a test of their focus.


Elizabeth could not help a glance at Mr. Darcy. He was still looking at her, his tree complete. But then, it was not as if he had to do much once the tree was grown. Earth was the easiest element for this sort of practice.

His hands stroked the small trunk of the tree, and Elizabeth noticed his signet ring. Almost without thinking about it, she reached her metal magic out to the ring. Gold, then. Easy to work with.

A bit of mischief rose in her, and she smiled to herself, her eyes on her fire sphere, as she stretched the ring just a bit. Not enough to be ridiculous, just a couple of sizes.

Mr. Darcy cut off a word of exclamation and leaped to his feet. His ring had slipped off his finger and bounced to the floor.

“Mr. Darcy, as much as I appreciate your addition to my distractions, I think it would be better if you remained focused on your own creation,” Mrs. Suckling scolded.

Elizabeth hid a grin as she neatly shrunk Darcy’s ring back to its usual size as he picked it up and placed it back onto his finger. His face was red, but he made no response to Mrs. Suckling but a short bow. His tree had collapsed in his absence, and he busied himself growing it again.

She waited until he was busy adding more leaves to his tree before she stretched the ring again. This time he caught it just as it bounced onto the desk, which was a little disappointing.

He eyed the ring suspiciously, but as she had shrunk it back to its usual size as he caught it, there was nothing to notice. This time, though, he did not put it back on his finger. He placed it on his earthen desk and continued to shape his tree, thickening the trunk and spreading new branches.

Elizabeth sighed and returned to her fire just in time to jump when Mrs. Suckling whipped her ruler through the air just in front of Elizabeth’s face. Her fireball disappeared.

Mrs. Suckling looked thrilled. “Miss Bennet, your attention cannot be so easily distracted. Fire is a dangerous element! Someone could die if you jumped and lost control the moment you were startled.”

“Yes, Mrs. Suckling.” Elizabeth pulled her fire back to life and began to shape the ball again, wondering whether she could make the ball able to keep its shape without continuous attention. If she could create it and give it the initial heat but leave it to keep burning, none of Mrs. Suckling’s tricks could destroy it.

She had almost forgotten about her little games with Mr. Darcy’s ring until the end of class.

“Has anybody seen my ring?” Mr. Darcy called just after Mrs. Suckling declared them done for the day.

Elizabeth bit her lip and glanced at his desk. She did not see it. Had she taken her little joke too far? He would never have lost the ring if he had kept it on his finger.

Mr. Wickham agreed. “I never take mine off during the day,” he said with a grin. “You cannot lose it if it is on your finger.”

Miss Bingley said, “I see it, Mr. Darcy.”

There, half buried in the trunk near the bottom of the tree, was his signet ring.

He groaned as he reduced his tree to an acorn and retrieved his ring. “Thank you, Miss Bingley. I should not have liked to lose it.” He put it back on his finger, shaking his head.

Elizabeth felt an extra bounce in her step on her way to Lord Stornaway’s class. She was tempted to tell Mr. Wickham that she had got a little revenge on Mr. Darcy, partly for his sake, but she thought it better not to. Mr. Wickham might let it slip, and it was better if her prank remained unknown.

Well, unknown to the subject of the prank, but she would still enjoy mulling over Mr. Darcy’s red face when his ring went bouncing across the floor. Yes, she would relive that many times, indeed.

Anybody is surprised that Elizabeth´s talent is with fire? Me neither and I love it!

I like cheeky Elizabeth but I do not like Wickham being already friends with her, as I can read from these lines. However, will Darcy know what´s going on with his ring? I need to know and read it too. I really want to know more of how they end up here, what was what her parents did and much more. Above all, how do we get to a HEA? Because we get one, right? 😉

Sarah is giving away one eBook per blog stop. If the winner is from the US and prefers a paperback, he/she may choose that instead of the eBook. If the winner has already preordered the book, he/she may choose another one of Sarah’s books for their prize.

Comment on what you have read in this post, or if you have read the book, what do you think about it (no spoilers please). You can also give us your opinion on magic in Pride and Prejudice variations.

The contest is open until the 8th of August 2022 at 23:59 CEST. After this date I will announce the winner. Good luck!!

“Kiss me Goodnight, Major Darcy” by Georgina Young-Ellis, excerpt, review + giveaway

The wind ruffled Darcy’s hair. “You’re beautiful.”

Happiness surged through Elizabeth’s body like electricity. This moment was as close to perfection as she had ever known.

1943. World War II has torn the continent since 1939 and tested families, the Bennets included. Elizabeth and Jane nurse wounded soldiers and civilians in a London hospital. The other sisters volunteer as best suits their inclinations. Mr. Bennet rattles about Longbourn. Wickham sniffs about the edges of the estate—and the Bennet daughters.

Even the ever-present threat of death from the skies cannot prepare Jane and Lizzy for the most devastating news. The words one never wishes to hear are delivered by two officers, each scarred by years on the front lines. In the dark days that follow, devotion is tested, and affection blooms.

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy drops Jane Austen’s timeless characters into the midst of the most horrific conflict in human history. Their trail twists and encounters those who would turn sacrifice to their profit. Follow the women of Longbourn as they navigate the rocks and shoals of wartime Great Britain to endure misunderstandings and discover lasting love.

What do you think? You may have read this blurb before but we are getting so much more today from Georgina! Muchas gracias, Georgina.

Georgina lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Jon, who is an artist and professor of Media Arts. In 2015, they moved from New York City, where they lived for eighteen years, to Portland Oregon. Their son, a professional musician and sound engineer, still lives in Brooklyn. Georgina is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and was a stage actress for many years. Born and raised in the Southwest, she went to school in New York, graduating from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. She’s also a language professor and, of course, a writer, recently graduating from Portland State University with a master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. In 2022 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to identify and connect with emerging female writers in Mexico and support them to free their literary voices.

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Blog: Nerd Girls, Romantics, and Time Travelers

Enjoy the diary entry and the excerpt that Georgina is sharing with us 🙂

Hi Ana, thanks so much for hosting me on your blog! For this post, I’m sharing a diary entry by Mary. It’s not in the book, but it’s what I imagine Mary might write about at the point in the story in which the excerpt takes place. Just so the readers know, the excerpt that follows the diary entry is taken from quite early in the book, before Lizzy has caught on to what a cad Wickham is. Don’t despair, readers, she comes to her senses soon enough! In the meantime, let’s see what’s on Mary’s mind.

Dear Diary,

Joining up with the Women’s Land Army is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I was such a homebody before, such a bookworm. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I will never give up my beloved books and my scripture study, but now I’ve found a whole other purpose in life: being outdoors in the fresh air and reveling in God’s beautiful creation. Not only that, but I’m doing my part for the war effort by tending the fields while the farmers are on the front lines. You know what they say, “Dig for Victory!” I’ve come to feel so strong, so purposeful. I feel there’s nothing I couldn’t tackle now, nothing I couldn’t undertake. What on earth will I do when the war is over? I shouldn’t say that. There is nothing I could want more than for this terrible war to end, but then what? Go back to being meek little Mary, staying at home and hoping beyond hope that a husband might come along for me one day? I don’t have the stomach to work as a nurse or hospital volunteer as my sisters do, but maybe I can become a secretary. Or a school teacher. No, that doesn’t suit. I must do something that aids mankind. Something that contributes to the greater good like I’m doing now. And as for a husband, surely I’ll only meet a worthy candidate if I’m out in the world, serving, and striving, and working for the greater good. No, no more thoughts of husbands. Heaven forbid I sound like Lydia! For now, I must go to sleep for I’ll be up with the sun. Oh, the glory of each new day and all it brings!




Lizzy wondered: What could Papa’s motives be for wanting Wickham to walk out alone with me? Lizzy looked at her father and squinted, but he innocently smiled back at her. Did he think George Wickham was a good match?

“Very well, then,” Wickham said enthusiastically, “let’s be off.”

Lizzy grabbed her hat, and they ventured out into the sunshine.

Before long, Wickham spoke. “I heard it was Major Fitzwilliam Darcy who delivered the news to Miss Bennet about Captain Duncan’s death.”

“He and Captain Bingley. They were wounded in the same grenade explosion that killed Robert.”

“Yes, I did hear something to that effect. I heard Darcy’s eye was injured, and Bingley’s arm.”

“You ‘hear’ a lot of things,” Lizzy teased. “Where do you get your information?”

“Oh…well, I don’t know how much you know about my relationship with the Darcy family, but it goes way back.”

Lizzy was surprised. “I know nothing. Family friends, then?”

“Used to be. Used to be quite great friends. I was practically raised by the Darcy family.”


“Yes, my father was Pemberley’s steward when old Mr. Darcy was still alive. I don’t mind telling you, I was quite the favorite of old Mr. Darcy’s. I dare say Fitz was rather jealous.”

What can I say to this? she wondered.

George Wickham went on. “Mr. Darcy made sure I had as good an education as Fitz. I should have been accepted into the Officer’s Academy, but I was not.”

“I don’t understand. What happened?”

“I can’t say for sure. But it was the same year that Fitz and his good pal Bingley were accepted. I always had the feeling Fitz pulled some strings and blackballed me. I can’t prove it, but I wouldn’t doubt it. He ruined my chances simply out of resentment.”

“That’s astonishing! I can’t believe he would do such a thing. Not that I know him well at all. It’s just so…ungentlemanly.”

“Humph, don’t let him fool you. He’s not the ‘gentleman’ he makes everyone think he is. It takes more than money to make one a gentleman, don’t you think, Elizabeth?”

“Of course.” If Private Wickham was correct about Major Darcy, the man was a vindictive bounder!

Wickham continued. “In fact, I find it a little suspicious that Darcy and Bingley were sent home from Italy with such relatively minor injuries.”

“Are they minor?”

“Compared to others who are not treated with such deference. I suspect Darcy’s cousin—Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam—had something to do with it.”

“A colonel!”

“Yes, with a lot of influence. He’s the second son of an earl, and you know how those birds feather each other’s nests. I think he pulled strings to get his cousin, and his cousin’s best friend, out of harm’s way.”

“I can’t imagine either Major Darcy or Captain Bingley would agree to that.”

“I’m sure they wouldn’t have had a say in the matter.”

Lizzy pondered this for a moment.

“I have no beef with Charlie Bingley, you understand. He’s not a bad chap. We were friends until Darcy turned him against me. I’m still friends with his sister, Caroline. We correspond now and then. It’s through her that I know what I know about Fitz and Charles.”

“Charles said Caroline and Georgiana, Major Darcy’s sister, are friends as well.”

“Ah, Georgiana…a sweet kid, but kind of a pain in the neck if you ask me.”

“Really?” Lizzy said with a laugh.

“Yes, she always had a crush on me. A schoolgirl thing, nothing more,” he added quickly.

Lizzy nodded. Who would not be charmed by the handsome and friendly George Wickham? “The farm where Mary works is just up ahead here.”

“What beautiful countryside!” he exclaimed.

“I agree. Mary works some days here since Mr. Tidwell’s eldest son was called up and others on neighboring farms including Papa’s.”

Private Wickham nodded with interest.

Up ahead were Tidwell’s fields, dotted with women bent to their work. A tractor lumbered across a newly plowed area. The woman operating it waved at them. It was Mary!

Lizzy ran toward her with Wickham close behind.

Lizzy called out to her. “Mary! What are you doing?”

“I just learned to drive it!” Mary replied, yelling across the intervening distance. Some of the women scattered to get out of her way as she veered in their direction. “Sorry! Sorry!” Mary called to them.

“Oh goodness, I’m not sure it was a good idea to let Mary operate that monster,” Lizzy said to Wickham. The gears loudly complained, and the tractor came to an abrupt stop. Lizzy and Wickham edged nearer as if it were an unbroken horse waiting to lash out.

“I’m still getting used to it,” Mary said with a grin.

“I can see that,” said Lizzy.

Wickham chimed in, “I’m impressed! A lady driving a tractor! What’s next?”

Mary responded with importance, “Women have been doing this kind of heavy farm work for years. Where we’re needed, there we are.”

Wickham’s eyes sparkled with amusement. “Are you a suffragette?”

“Goodness, that’s an old-fashioned word, Private Wickham,” said Mary, who had also met him last Christmas. “We’ve had the same voting rights as men for more than ten years, now!”

“Yes, I know,” he said. “And I’m sure you’re exercising it.”

“I’m not old enough, but I will. You can count on it.

“Well, Mary, we don’t want to interrupt your work, but do be careful,” Lizzy admonished.

“Don’t worry about me,” Mary said, starting the tractor motor up again with a roar. “I can handle this thing.”

The tractor jolted forward, and Lizzy jumped backward.

Mary drove off across the field, now empty as her fellow workers had found safer employment elsewhere on the farm.

It is not the first time I read a Pride and Prejudice variation set during the WW2 but fortunately authors have amazing minds and there can be so many things happening. Georgina Young-Ellis is not an exception and I have enjoyed reading Kiss Me Goodnight, Major Darcy.

Darcy and Bingley have to take some news to a Bennet member and they meet there, in the worst circumstances. However, first impressions are always happening and Elizabeth is not indifferent.

They meet occasionally and one of those times is a ball, however, as usual, Wichkam has to be around. He met the Bennets a few months ago and he, as the blurb says, sniffs around a lot. He is very annoying and, as we know, a cad. I liked the first encounter between Wickham and Darcy in this book, even if Darcy thinks it is a rendez-vous between the Bennet sisters and him.

I have enjoyed their encounters and, as per cannon, Elizabeth believes Wickham and tries to find only bad things on Darcy. However, she may not be indifferent to him… (obviously 😀 ) By the way, what would be the insult from Darcy?

Characters which have surprised me positively: Mary, you have already read a lot on her diary and the excerpt that Georgina has shared, but she is pretty great. Charlotte, Elizabeth’s friend, who is so helpful to some of those in need and does anything she can. Anne de Bourgh, she grows a backbone and she is a great asset to people.

You may ask yourself about the title and I will not say anything apart from that is said at the end of the book, everything that surrounds that moment is awesome: where they are, why they are there, who they are with. Lovely moments!

Thank you for reading this post. I highly recommend you to check the previous posts to get to know more about Kiss Me Goodnight, Major Darcy.

What about buying the book? You can do it here:

Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon UK Amazon DE Amazon ES

During this blog tour, Meryton Press is giving away six ebook copies of Kiss Me Goodnight, Major Darcy. To participate click the link below and follow instructions.

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“The Barrister’s Bride” by Suzan Lauder, flower post + giveaway

Hello to all,

What do you think about the title? Before I read anything about this book, I knew it was a Pride and Prejudice variation and then my mind raced with questions: who is the barrister? Is Elizabeth engaged to a barrister? What happens with Darcy then? As you can read shortly on the blurb, my mind was not really very close to the plot… (which was good!)

A pact that will change their lives forever…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a successful young barrister with a bright future. His late uncle has guided his career, made him his heir, and even selected a bride for him—sight unseen—whom he’ll meet and marry upon her majority. Who could have predicted that making the acquaintance of Miss Elizabeth Bennet in Meryton would throw those careful plans into disarray?

Elizabeth Bennet doesn’t know what to make of “Fitz” Darcy, who intrigues and draws her notice like no other. Despite Fitzwilliam’s warnings, she allows Mr. George Darcy, Fitzwilliam’s older brother and master of Pemberley, to charm her. Little does she know that she, too, has been promised in marriage by her late father—to an unknown barrister, no less. What is she to do when her hopes to marry for love disappear in the blink of an eye?

Is George Darcy’s suit in earnest? Can this mysterious bridegroom of her father’s choosing become the husband of her dreams? With the danger of duels and deceit, what will come of the initial attraction between her and Fitzwilliam? Will she become the barrister’s bride?

Note: contains scenes with adult content.

How cool is that? Two arranged marriages? I hope not!! Let me be mean… will Fitzwilliam eventually inherit??

I am glad to (re)introduce you to Suzan Lauder. I highly recommend her books!

A lover of Jane Austen, Regency period research and costuming, yoga, fitness, home renovation, design, sustainability, and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder keeps busy even when she’s not writing novels based on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, all of which are published by Meryton Press.

She and Mr. Suze and their rescue tabby split their time between a loft condo overlooking the Salish Sea and a 150-year-old Spanish colonial casita in Mexico. Suzan’s lively prose can be found on her Facebook author page; on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest; and on her Meryton Press blog, road trips with the redhead.

Suzan is bringing a lovely to post to let us discover more things about The Barrister’s Bride. I do not know a lot about the meaning of flowers but the little I know, I really enjoy it. I hope you enjoy what she teaches us too.

Ana is a favourite blogger of mine because she can write a review so close to giving spoilers, yet never giving them. So, this post from The Barrister’s Bride for “My Vices and Weaknesses” is a special one.


During the final scene of The Barrister’s Bride, Elizabeth places flowers on several graves near Pemberley. The dictionaries for the language of flowers (floriography) weren’t out yet in the Regency (the first was 1825), and the flowers I used in that scene depicted floriography that came from various sources on the internet, including Victorian lists.

I had some difficulty choosing the flowers. Several of my first choices (begonias, sweet peas) were unavailable in the UK the Regency. Most flowers on the floriography lists are for romantic love, and none of my flowers were required for more than friendship. The flowers that were listed for friendship themes tended to be spring flowers, and the scene took place in early autumn. Sometimes different web pages had different language for some flowers, even the so-called Victorian original listings, so one site would say a flower was friendship and another would say the same flower was disdain.

I had to choose my own from one site and stick with it, ensuring the flowers were indeed Regency. However, none of this is spelled out in the novel, so I thought readers might like to know what I was thinking in regard to floriography in The Barrister’s Bride.

Yellow and white rose bouquets went onto Fitzwilliam Darcy’s parents’ graves: Yellow roses are for friendship and joy, and white roses are for purity.

Amaranth (cockscomb) was set on George Darcy’s grave and is for foppery and affectation. I’m certain Elizabeth could have chosen a flower such as lavender (distrust), but she was being generous.

The multicoloured bouquet for Uncle David Darcy was to celebrate his gay life, which is not a Regency, but a modern theme. Marguerites (a certain type of daisy) are for purity, innocence, and loyalty. Lemon blossoms are for fidelity.

Elizabeth scattered pink rose petals to the wind hoping some would get to her father’s grave in Longbourn. Pink roses are for admiration, lesser than a romantic love.

Though not in the book, she would likely have dressed each bouquet with a little rosemary for remembrance.

Sprig of fresh rosemary


What do you think? Did you like the descriptions? I am intrigued to know more about these characters too and how many more flowers we read about in the book. Yes, I know, it may not be the most relevant thing in my mind when I read it, but I would definitely appreciate them.

Want to buy the book? You can check on the following links:

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon DE Amazon ES

Please do check the blog tour, so far I am enjoying it a lot and I recommend you to check it.

May   9 My Jane Austen Book Club

May 10  Babblings of a Bookworm

May 11 The Literary Assistant

May 12 My Vices and Weaknesses

May 13 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

May 16 Austenesque Reviews

May 17 From Pemberley to Milton

Meryton Press is giving away six eBooks of The Barrister’s Bride by Suzan Lauder.

There is a swag giveaway by Author, Suzan Lauder, and it includes a personalized signed copy of the book, a Suzan Lauder reticule, an embroidered handkerchief, and a fan. Both giveaways are in the Rafflecopter. The link is below, click on it and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – The Barrister’s Bride

“Maria Bertram’s Daughter” by Lucy Knight, excerpt + giveaway

Dear all,

I am very glad to present you Lucy Knight’s Maria Bertram’s Daughter. Apologies for not having posted yesterday but we had some problems that prevented me from being near my computer or having any time. However, here we are and I am looking forward to know what you think about this book.

I was pretty curious about it as we have here a protagonist that is not on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Moreover, I am not a fan of Maria Bertram but I think I am going to like Dorothea. We will see how she lives her life despite all her struggles and “family”. I do not want to tell you more, let’s have a look at the blurb.

She could be mistress of Mansfield Park. But is that what she wants?

An unwanted child—conceived in circumstances her mother would rather forget—Dorothea Henrietta Rose grows up solitary and neglected with her dissatisfied mother and unpleasant great-aunt Norris. Raised without the knowledge that her mother is her mother or that their occasional visitor, Sir Thomas Bertram, is her grandfather, she is forbidden ever to set foot in Mansfield Park.

Dorothea hopes for a happier life when sent away to school, but her difficulties are not over. She is obliged to make her way in the world as a governess and, thus, encounters human frailty, hypocrisy, good, and evil in her travels throughout England.

She meets the Crawfords—Henry and Mary (now Lady Drumroth)—and inevitably does the one thing she must not do: unwillingly makes herself known to the inhabitants of Mansfield Park.

I am pretty angry with Maria. I understand that she was a child born out of wedlock (I love this word) and all this that entails… but even her mother basically ignores her. However, her grandfather visits sometimes! Nothing else it seems.

I cannot wait to read about the encounter with the Crawfords and her life before that too. I actually want to meet Dorothea and see what happens to her.

By the way, have you seen the cover? I really like how Dorothea could look like. I normally have Victoria Hamilton as Maria Bertram, so I think there is something there.

Lucy Knight grew up in Whitby, North Yorkshire, now a tourist town but until recently a small and historic port which was known for shipbuilding, fishing (including whaling) and having an important Abbey. During her life she has moved around a great deal both in England and on the continent of Europe; she now lives in a tiny hamlet lost in the French countryside with two rescue dogs, two rescue chickens, an unknown number of bees and eight sheep.

Lucy has two children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England.

Lucy has only recently begun to write historical fiction but she enjoys it so much she can’t stop! Her background is in comedy and drama, so there will always be some jokes and plenty of dialogue.

When she is not writing, Lucy teaches English and French, and she loves to take long walks with her dogs during which she revels in the birds, butterflies, trees and flowers which are so abundant in her part of France.

I am really glad to have a languages teacher in the blog, we share the same profession and I am pretty sure that we could see Dorothea teaching French for instance 🙂

You can follow her on:

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The excerpt that Lucy is sharing with us may not show a lot of Dorothea, however, Lucy shows us a very important topic that was not “appropriate” as women were not supposed to be independent. I like the idea of talking about these women. Enjoy!

Thank you, Ana, for hosting me on my blog tour! I have an exclusive excerpt for your readers. I introduced a couple of “wise women” (or “witches”) to my narrative, partly because I take a great interest in herbal medicine – and have ancestresses who did the same – and partly because I wanted to introduce some older women who were making their own way in the world, independent of men. One of the themes of the book is of women striving to be independent in a man’s world.

Here, Dorothea’s great friend is very unwell, and Dorothea has suggested that a wise woman might be able to help – but how to get such a person into a parsonage without being seen by the parishioners, who might be scandalised? Under the cover of darkness, of course…

“It was three days before the “witch” could be fetched. A fall of snow made the roads almost impassable for a time. On the third day, just after nightfall, a small round figure bundled in a cloak hurried into the vicarage, and Edward was grateful that his house was hidden from most of the village.

Dorothea waited in the hall, eager to usher the small person up to the bedroom with no loss of time. The cloak was pushed back, and Dorothea’s eyes met a pair of small blue ones in a round, pink face.

“Mrs Dowson,” said the owner of the bright complexion.

“I beg your pardon,” Dorothea said, “I am Miss Rose. It is my friend who is unwell.”

“Before I see her,” said Mrs Dowson with great firmness, “I need to know everything that has happened. How came she to fall ill?”

Dorothea, despite her impatience, suffered the visitor to be divested of her cloak and took her into the drawing room to recount Anne’s history.

She began with Anne’s difficult confinement and her apparent full recovery, but Mrs Dowson insisted upon going further back in time.

“Her childhood?”

Dorothea told of school, the privations they had suffered there. She did not know about Anne’s early childhood.

“Was she ever unwell at school?” Mrs Dowson had an almost educated voice, Dorothea thought. She felt great curiosity about this determined little woman, but now was not the time.

“No indeed. She was always considered delicate, but I think that was more from her appearance than from any actual frailty of body.”

Mrs Dowson looked thoughtful. “And she is an orphan, you say? Sent away to school? And what, pray, were the recent events that led to this insensibility?”

Dorothea told of the shock Anne had when a man came to the house enquiring after her.

“Had she cause to be concerned for your safety?”

“Yes,” answered Dorothea without elaborating.

“Very well,” said Mrs Dowson, standing up. “I am persuaded that this is not a disease of the body but of the mind. I have with me all that will be necessary except some hot water and, perhaps, a cup of tea?”

“Of course,” said Dorothea, blushing slightly and ringing the bell. “I should have thought of it earlier. I am so anxious about my friend that all my civilities have been laid aside. I do apologise.”

“I understand. Let us proceed upstairs.”

The maid having been informed of Mrs Dowson’s modest requirements, Dorothea led the way.

Edward stood as they entered the room. He had been kneeling beside the bed, praying, Dorothea observed. He nodded briefly to Mrs Dowson and hurried away.

Mrs Dowson sat on the side of the bed and took Anne’s hand. The patient lay inert under the white sheets and rose-sprigged counterpane; she made no movement or sign.

“She takes some food, I imagine?” said Mrs Dowson.

“Yes,” Dorothea replied. “We sit her up on the pillows and use a spoon or a cup. She is taking more than formerly though it seems still sadly insufficient.”

“It is certainly a disorder of the mind. I believe it is a deep melancholy. Women often suffer a form of this after their confinement. I have seen it often. I daresay the doctors will have tried vomiting, bleeding, and perhaps mercury. All very dangerous and unhelpful in this case. She needs music, laughter, and a tincture of setwall, horehound, and hawthorn. Setwall is a flower sometimes called valerian. I use the root,” she explained, as Dorothea looked puzzled. The remedy will not take effect immediately. We must allow ten days with no change; then, if she is not beginning to recover, you may send for me again to eat my bonnet!”

Dorothea could not help laughing despite her anxiety.

“There—laughter,” said Mrs Dowson, beaming. “Continue to feed her as before. Why does she not have her baby here?” she added, looking round the room.

“The nurse brings baby in once a day. Edward does not want too much excitement.”

“Excitement is exactly what she needs. Baby’s crib should be in here—perhaps to be taken out of the room if he cries excessively but not otherwise. Laughter, music, and gaiety are essential. Flowers!” she exclaimed.  […]

“But how shall we bring music into the room?”

“Sing, my dear! Sing to baby, sing to her, sing all the songs you know. Ten days. I shall not take a fee until she is cured. Now, I must hurry away to be home before it is time to retire to bed.” She finished her tea, and she was shown out of the house, bundled up as before lest any delicate-minded parishioners should spy a weaver of spells leaving the vicarage.”

What do you think? I really like the advise to get Anne recovered. I am interested in knowing if we have more wise women around in the book and how Dorothea plays a role in having them there.

Very interesting stops on this blog. I have to admit that I am still catching up but the first couple of stops show really good things to discover about Lucy Knight’s Maria Bertram’s Daughter. I hope you like them too!

April 11 My Jane Austen Book Club

April 12 So little time…

April 13 Babblings of a Bookworm

April 14 From Pemberley to Milton

April 15 Austenesque Reviews

April 16 The Literary Assistant

April 18 My Vices and Weaknesses

You can buy this book on:

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon FR

Meryton Press is giving away 6 eBooks of Maria Bertram’s Daughter by Lucy Knight. You only need to click on the link below and follow instructions!

Rafflecopter – Maria Bertram’s Daughter

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