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

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

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

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

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Don Jacobson Head Shot

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

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

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

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

Amazon Author Page        Goodreads Author Page      Twitter

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

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

Don’s words and excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter XIX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No, this is quite out of character.”

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

Ellie sighed and took the note from his hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5out5 stars

Time to Give Away

Don Jacobson is offering 8 ebooks of this great book!

To enter the giveaway, click here but please read the conditions below, not only to know the terms but also to know how to get extra entries 🙂

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

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

Amazon US         Amazon UK

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

Amazon US         Amazon UK

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

06/15   From Pemberley to Milton Guest Post, GA

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

06/17   Just Jane 1813  Review, Excerpt, GA

06/19   Diary of an Eccentric Excerpt, GA

06/20   Savvy Verse and Wit Guest Post, GA

06/21   Darcyholic Diversions Author Interview, GA

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

06/23   Babblings of a Bookworm Character Interview, GA

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

06/25   My Love for Jane Austen Vignette, GA

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

06/27   So little time… Guest Post, GA

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

BLOG TOUR of “My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley” by Linda Beutler – Excerpt, Interview and Giveaway

“He is not my Mr Bingley”… well apparently he may be 😉

Hello to all! I am very glad to introduce you Linda Beutler’s latest book My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley. For the first time I am not doing a review for a blog tour and I am very excited as I am going to share with you a great excerpt and a lovely and fun interview with one of the most beloved characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, although taken from Linda’s book… none other than Colonel Fitzwilliam.

In the past few weeks my life has done a considerable change (more about it at some point) and I have barely had time to read at all. So instead of worry or fret about it, I decided not to rush and read this book in order to give you a few of my questions to pick your curiosity. I have read the first stops of this tour and I am sure I will really enjoy this book and I highly recommend it. When I read it, be sure that I will review it!! (you are warned!!)

Have a look at the cover and back cover with a nice blurb, but please, keep reading below the excerpt that changes a lot after Colonel Fitzwilliam tells Elizabeth that Darcy is a “great friend” after rescuing Bingley.

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You can buy this lovely book here: Amazon US   Amazon UK

Here you have Linda introducing the excerpt, enjoy!!

Hi, Ana! Good morning and thank you, and your readers, for hosting a stop on the My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley blog tour! It is a pleasure to explore facets of the story a bit more in-depth. If you don’t mind, I thought I would interview everyone’s favorite colonel, Alexander Fitzwilliam (I swim against the time calling him anything but Richard, but my BFF nearly swooned in appreciation when I first suggested the name, and that’s endorsement enough for me!).

We’ll start with a snippet from the scene that takes place after he has walked with Elizabeth Bennet and inadvertently revealed Darcy’s hand in separating Bingley and Jane, which Elizabeth already suspected, as in canon. But unlike the original, in this story Elizabeth confronts the colonel on what he’s said.

From Chapter 12, entitled Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Advice

“Darcy…” The colonel rapped on his cousin’s dressing room door and entered before admission was granted. The sight before him would have been amusing under other circumstances. Darcy and his man were regarding two waistcoats hung side by side on two coat racks. The gravity of their study was unbroken by the entrance of Darcy’s cousin, except for the bow of the valet.

“Ah…Alex, which do you think Elizabeth Bennet might prefer? Has she expressed a favourite colour to you?”

The colonel was sorry for the necessity of crushing Darcy’s hopes. “I believe you could wear a Russian bear jacket and a moss merkin, and Miss Elizabeth would take no notice.”

Darcy turned in surprise. His valet quickly withdrew.

“Whatever do you mean?”

“I mean she does not like you.” The colonel decided a mortal blow was required. “No, I am not putting a sufficiently fine point on it. She loathes you and believes you do not care for her.”

Darcy barked a surprised laugh. “However would you know?”

“I have just been walking with her and thought it vital you know the truth before they arrive here or before you say something foolish.”

“You think I would offer for her?”

“You might.”

Darcy paused. “You have the right of it. I should not, but I might.” He smiled.

“Darcy…”—the colonel sighed—“did you not hear? She detests you. You have insulted her without apparent regret or apology.”

Darcy shrugged with a chuckle. “No, no… she and I have laughed about that.”

“Did you laugh, or did she?”

Darcy faltered and frowned slightly. “Splitting hairs.” He did remember her tone might have been called mocking whenever she mentioned being tempting or tolerable. But she had done it more than once, and she came near enough to mentioning his remarks at the assembly in front of Alex.

“And what of her sister? You might have mentioned that the plight from which you rescued Bingley had a name: Miss Jane Bennet.”

Darcy huffed. “For which I have apologised to the lady. I cannot think why she has not told Elizabeth or why her aunt in London has not written of it, but I can hardly boast of it myself!”

“Ha! Well, you bloody well might have told me! I could have boasted on your behalf, rare enough though that opportunity proves to be.” The colonel ran a hand through his hair. “Here I thought I was doing you a service by singing your praises for loyalty. It would help your standing enormously to admit you have tried to make amends. Was the apology not accepted?”

“The Gardiners dined at Darcy House, and Mrs. Gardiner related that Jane had written of her appreciation of my candour and would do all in her power to restore Bingley’s friendship.”

“Gardiner? Her family in town?” The colonel stared. This is a coincidence too great. Could they be my Gardiners? Surely not…Gardiner is a common enough name. The colonel turned away, pacing in the small room. After a moment, he began again. “She believes you disapprove of her family and finds your feelings offensive. She has caught you staring at her—you do, you know—and she assumes it is with the same sentiment that found her displeasing when you met. She believes you stare because you marvel at her faults.”

“By all the gods…” Darcy muttered, at last absorbing what his cousin was attempting to convey. He looked at him with a share of diffidence. “I…I want nothing more than to…” He did not speak aloud what he wished to do when Elizabeth Bennet was Mrs. Darcy. He said instead, “She makes me happy.”

“And I am telling you, you do not make her happy.”

What do you think? I have so many different feelings: “ohhh poor Darcy!”; “-you might? -who do you think you are?”; “she makes you happy *swoon*”; “jealous again of your cousin?, c’mon”, etc… Yes, my mind was a bit crazy but I really enjoyed this excerpt.

Let me introduce you to the author: Linda Beutler.

Linda Beutler’s professional life is spent in a garden, an organic garden housing America’s foremost public collection of clematis vines and a host of fabulous companion plants. Her home life reveals a more personal garden, still full of clematis, but also antique roses and vintage perennials planted around and over a 1907 cottage. But one Me by Kelley scan never have enough of gardening, so in 2011 she began cultivating a weedy patch of Jane Austen Fan Fiction ideas. The first of these to ripen was The Red Chrysanthemum (Meryton Press, 2013), which won a silver IPPY for romance writing in 2014. You might put this down as beginner’s luck—Linda certainly does. The next harvest brought Longbourn to London (Meryton Press, 2014), known widely as “the [too] sexy one”. In 2015 Meryton Press published the bestseller A Will of Iron, a macabre rom-com based on the surprising journals of Anne de Bourgh.

Now, after a year-long break in JAFF writing to produce Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis (Timber Press, 2016)—the third in a bouquet of books on gardening—we have My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley bursting into bloom.

Follow her on:

Twitter: @oregonclematis

Facebook: Linda Beutler Author

Wandering Pemberley’s Gardens

After knowing a bit more about her, I will leave you with her interview with her Colonel Fitzwilliam from My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley.

I went for a walk with Colonel Alexander Lancelot Fitzwilliam at dusk, along the Willamette River. He was most favorably impressed with motorcars, and I had to pull him away from a large parking lot for a dog exercise area. Men!

LB: So tell me, Colonel, it must have been quite a shock for Elizabeth Bennet to jump down your throat and dance on your liver when you mentioned Darcy’s role in Bingley’s affairs!

CALF: Interestingly put, madam.

LB: Please! No need to be so formal, do call me Dear Author…

CALF (coughs into his hand): Ahem…yes. Well. To your home question, yes, I was taken aback to be outflanked by the typical Darcy reticence. He might have told me for once. But I confess the scene is rarely written with my being confronted. It was indeed a surprise.

LB: There is a great deal of conjecture in the JAFF world about your intentions toward Elizabeth Bennet.

CALF: Is there. (Quite clearly spoken as a statement, not a question.)

LB: This is your chance to confess, or set the record straight.

CALF: I leave it for your imagination. I could not possibly comment.

LB (a trifle huffy at the House of Cards reference): Yes, Andrew Davies wrote that line, too. I don’t recall writing you as such a prig!

CALF (looks crestfallen): My apologies. You see, it is simply that I feel I have no serious influence over Darcy. He can be so stubbornly blind.

LB: Perhaps he’s grown too used to being chased; he always assumes he’s wanted, and doesn’t see outside the bubble he has created for himself.

CALF (warming to the topic): Bubbles burst. Why do I protect him?

LB (laughing): Hey! Let me ask the questions!

CALF: You wrote the story, woman! It is a legitimate question.

LB (I take his arm, patting it, or perhaps petting it…) There, there. I could give you any number of motivations: he’s like the little brother you never had, you feel sorry for his family losses, you think Elizabeth suitable for him and don’t want to see him hurt.

CALF: Just say it. I’m a lousy wing adjutant.

LB (I stare): Nonsense. Well, maybe. But what about you—does Darcy ever act as “wing adjutant” for you?

CALF: I do not have the pleasure of understanding you. Do you mean does he run interference between me and romantic disaster? I give him no cause.

LB (shrugging): True enough; you are usually not given much of a love life, poor dear.

CALF (crossing himself): Blessings on Miss Austen for not including me in her epilogue. You modern authors so often foist me off on my cousin Anne, or worse, Georgiana! (He shivers.)

LB (patting his arm reassuringly): No worries with me, sir. In My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley there is a surprise in store for you, and I do not mean a relative!

We stop and he stares at me for a long moment. A faint smile begins with his eyes, the crow’s feet deepening.

CALF: You don’t mean…

LB (smiling): I shall leave you to your imagination, Colonel. I could not possibly comment!

And so we wander along the paths to Oaks Park and Oaks Bottom, him guessing and me never saying! He’ll find out his happy ending when your readers do! Thank you, Ana Darcy, for suggesting I spend some time with a man who definitely grows more handsome upon acquaintance!

Linda, yes, he is handsome and charming but my soft spot is still for Darcy 😉 I cannot wait to read about his happy ending and I can promise my readers that I will tease them unmercifully once I am reviewing the book. Thank you very much, Linda, for sharing so much with us. It has been a pleasure to discover and present a book to my readers before reading the book, it is a new way for me to learn about a book: following the stops on the blog and reading about it from someone else’s eyes is certainly very enjoyable.

You can buy this lovely book here: Amazon US   Amazon UK

TIME TO GIVE AWAY

Linda is giving away 8 ebooks during the blog tour. To participate you need to go to the link below. Check the terms and conditions below the link as well. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – My Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley

Terms and Conditions: Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (1 comment/blog post) Entrants should provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). You may enter once by following the author on twitter and once by following the author on Facebook.

Remember, tweet daily and comment once per post with a giveaway to earn extra entries. 

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter.

**NOTE: Ebook copies are available for 8 winners and the giveaway is international! 8 eBooks will be given away to 8 different winners.**

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Check the previous stops and keep following the tour.

5 April  My Jane Austen Book Club; Vignette, GiveawayMMDnYMB Blog Tour Banner V

6 April  So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

7 April  Half Agony, Half Hope; Vignette

8 April  Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review, Giveaway

  9 April  My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway

10 April  Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

11 April  Tomorrow is Another Day; Review, Giveaway

12 April  Savvy Verse and Wit; Guest Post, Giveaway 

13 April  Just Jane 1813; Review, Giveaway

14 April  A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life; Guest Post

15 April  Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway

17 April  From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway

18 April  Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

19 April  Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

20 April  Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway

WINNERS of “Mistress” by Sophie Turner

Thank you very much, Sophie Turner for having me on your blog tour and presenting my readers with two copies of your last book.

Now I would like to present the two winners chosen through random.org who will get one e-book copy of Mistress:

Oolore

DarcyBennet

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Congratulations ladies, I will send your details to Sophie asap.

 

Blog Tour “Caroline” by Sue Barr + Giveaway

Miss Caroline Bingley, our protagonist today. Hated by most, liked by a few. In Sue Barr’s Caroline you can discover a new Caroline…

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Let me introduce the author before I give you my opinion of the book.

Sue Barr

Sue Barr resides in beautiful Southwestern Ontario with her retired Air Force hubby, two sons and their families. She’s also an indentured servant to three cats and has been known to rescue a kitten or two, or three…in an attempt to keep her ‘cat-lady-in-training’ status current. Although, she has deviated from appointed path and rescued a few dogs as well.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and their affiliate chapter, Love, Hope and Faith as well as American Christian Fiction Writers.

For more information about her other books, visit her website: http://www.suebarrauthor.com/. You can also follow her on:

Facebook     Twitter     Goodreads    Pinterest   Sue Barr’s Blog

Review

Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley are engaged to two Miss Bennets and Caroline Bingley could not be more angry, disappointed and lost. Even after seeing the attraction that Darcy had towards “dear Eliza” or how happy his brother seemed with “dear Jane”, she kept thinking about herself and how she will conquer Darcy and become the next mistress of Pemberley. However, now everything is lost to her and she is lost.

I have a nickname for this book: “the penny dropper”. Caroline acts like a child and her brother explains very clearly what will happen if she dares to damage his relationship again.

In this book we read how her understanding of the world comes around. She still wishes to become a lady and get a rich husband and be an important part of society but maybe her feelings about that are not her only drive.

Caroline has never been in love before and therefore she does not understand how her body and her mind acts when she meets Lord Nathan.

LinkdIn Post

Lord Nathan is not exactly what he appears to be. he used to be a rake but now he is quite the opposite but at the beginning Caroline does not know. Their attraction is mutual but also their stubbornness and their different ways of finding happiness. They will evolve into new characters, the evolution is greater in Caroline but Lord Nathan with his faith will also have to realise what God has put in front of him and how his life outside the ton can be seen as a non-appealing one by Caroline.

So, can you see a nice Caroline? Can you believe that she will change completely? Do you think she is capable of love? What would you do if a new acquaintance is always following you thinking that you are about to do the worst? What if everything is misunderstanding? What is your “worst enemy” (Elizabeth Bennet) is your only person to ask for advise? What if love is more powerful than society but then you are actually rewarded?

4out5 stars

Here you have the links to buy this book, you may be surprised with this Caroline.

Amazon UK   Amazon US   Amazon CA   Amazon AU

Time to Give Away

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Three winners will receive a paperback copy of “Caroline” and a Jane Austen Journal and three separate winners will receive an ebook copy of this book. (All giveaways are open to international winners.) Click on the link below:

Giveaway of “Caroline” by Sue Barr

Tour schedule

Follow all the different entries already posted and more to come here:

Caroline Ver Final Banner (1) copyMarch 12 / My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

March 13/ From Pemberley to Milton/ Book Review & Excerpt & Giveaway

March 14/ More Agreeably Engaged/Author Spotlight & Giveaway

March 16/ Just Jane 1813/ Guest Post & Giveaway

March 17/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Vignette Post & Giveaway

March 18/ My Love for Jane Austen/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 19/ Margie’s Must Reads Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 20/ Austenesque Reviews/ Guest Post & Giveaway

March 21/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

March 22 / Savvy Verse & Wit/ Guest Post & Giveaway

March 23 /Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

March 24/ So Little Time…/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway

March 25/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

March 26/ Of Pens & Pages/ Book Review & Giveaway

“Darcy’s Hope”: double review and giveaway by Ginger Monette

Welcome to one of the stops on the blog tour of Darcy’s Hope at Downwell Abbey. This is the second book of Darcy’s Hope. It could be read as a stand-alone book but I highly recommend you to read first Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes as you may not understand some parts.

In such a lovely day as it is today, Saint Valentine’s Day, I am happy to share the love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, this time in the context of the Great War or WW1.

I will review both books in this post and I can promise you that they are a great read. It is the first time I have read JAFF where Darcy and Lizzy are in this history moment of the 20th century and it has been very interesting and not only from the point of view of the love story. Please follow all the stops of this blog tour as you can find really good posts and different reviews that will reveal more details, you can see the schedule at the bottom of this post.

First of all, let me introduce you the author: Ginger Monette.3.1 Headshot .jpg

Winner of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 “Picture This” grand prize, Ginger lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.

Follow Ginger Monette on her Website, Facebook, Goodreads ot Twitter.

My review: DARCY’S HOPE: BEAUTY FROM ASHES

Sorry to start with a tiny spoiler but our couple finish this bo9-3-donwell-teaser-3ok happy but surrounded by a lot of dangers, treason and unknown. However, I will start with a bit of their story in this book before the happy ending. In Beauty from Ashes, Darcy is a Captain and together with his company take the dowager house at Longbourn state. Due to a lot of different events, including Mr. Wickham’s story, Elizabeth abhors Captain Darcy, her dislike of him is, I would say, even greater than in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. When she faces him professing his love for her together with some “unkind” words about her family, she is not to say the least pleased with him. After some tragedy in the Bennet family, Jane and Elizabeth are going to work as VADs, Voluntary Aid Detachment. Although Jane’s luck changes and she reunites with the man she loves, Bingley. In the meantime, Elizabeth goes to France to help in a hospital and she finds Wickham there who is as charming as usual and encourages her to go and be the personal nurse/assistant to an old Frenchman in a converted hospital for the British soldiers fighting only miles away in the front. For some reasons that I will not reveal here, Captain Darcy is sent to the same place and we could say that there is not a happy surprise or a warming welcome when they meet again. Elizabeth is still against him and he tries to distance himself from anyone. During this time, ups and downs between our two protagonists happen but not only on their relationships but with other characters too. They are together for a few months and there is a bit of a change from Elizabeth’s side but then they are separated as Darcy has to follow orders, do not forget he is a soldier.

There is danger, friendship, understanding, intrigue, treason and hope. Do not lose your hope while reading Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes because like the phoenix raising from the ashes, Darcy and Elizabeth will conquer their animosity and “beauty will rise from ashes”.

A teaser from a relevant character who appears in both books:

“Given y’er story with the captain, I suppose ya’ feel obligates to support him.”

She recoiled slightly. “I have no such obligation. In truth, i think him rather arrogant.”

Sapper laughed. “Maybe so. But lass, you’ve got firecrackers explodin’ for that man.” 

5out5 stars

My review: DARCY’S HOPE AT DONWELL ABBEY

Elizabeth is in England, in Pemberley, waiting for her fiancé Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy. She is happy and excited, she loves Fitzwilliam and he loves her back, still and after everything that has happened. However, one morning, the always lovely Mrs. Reynolds bring Elizabeth the newspaper and a letter from a “dear friend”. Everything changes, Elizabeth has to flee Pemberley to protect the man she loves. She devises a plan and borrows some money that Darcy told her to use if needed. She is thinking about boarding a ship and going to America but before that takes place, she finds herself helping a doctor who is recovering from some wounds and she lives at Darcy House in London!! She is conscious of the risks but as she is planning to go abroad to work as a VAD, she believes that everything will work for the best. She is wrong! She follows her employer to Donwell Abbey where she encounters Darcy!! Nevertheless he cannot recognise her, he is, hopefully temporarily, blind and deaf (read the book to know why). Against her better judgement, she stays to take care of him until she is able to go to France or Egypt to work. In the meantime she is Juliet Thomas and she avoids being discovered but always taking care of him, her love.

We have a lot of different characters that participate to make this story intriguing but I will mention a couple: Aunt Eliza, she is more annoying than Lady Catherine de Bourgh; or John Thornton, Darcy’s batman who has a broken heart… This book includes appearances by Margaret Hale, Colonel Brandon, Marianne Dashwood, and descendants of George Knightley, a very nice idea I have to say.

No, I have not forgotten that I was reviewing this book but I do not want to tell you anything else. Only one more thing, there is an epilogue where we discover Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam married but… what if Darcy falls in love with someone else before finding Elizabeth? What happens if Darcy touches the bottom of despondency? What if Elizabeth is still convinced that she has to flee? What if Darcy is not able to listen or see again? How does Darcy communicate?

5out5 stars

Time to Give Away

Downton Abbey Tea! Three lucky winners will each receive a tin of Downton Abbey Legacy Tea! (Open to US residents only) Click on the picture below to enter the Rafflecopter link:

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You can buy both books here: Amazon UK             Amazon US

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Here you have the schedule of the blog tour, we are more or less in the middle of it, so check the previous ones and do not forget the follow the rest of the tour as you will enjoy!

Feb 1  The Ardent Reader

Feb 2 From Pemberley to Milton

Feb 3 My Jane Austen Book Club

Feb 4  My Love for Jane Austen

Feb 5  vvb32reads

Feb 6  Just Jane 1813

Feb 7  Savvy Verse & Wit

Feb 8  Austenesque Reviews

Feb 9  My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice

Feb 10 Babblings of a Bookworm

Feb 11  Obsessed with Mr. Darcy

Feb 12  Musings from the Yellow Kitchen

Feb 13  Half Agony, Half Hope

Feb 14  My Vices and Weaknesses

Feb 15  Diary of an Eccentric

Feb 16  Every Savage Can Dance

Feb 17  More Agreeably Engaged

Feb 18  The Calico Critic

Feb 20  Austenesque Reviews

Feb 21  More than Thornton

Feb 22  Margie’s Must Reads

Feb 23  Delighted Reader

Feb 24  Becky’s Book Reviews

Feb 26  Linda Andrews

Feb 27  Every Woman Dreams

Feb 28  Tomorrow is Another Day

BLOG TOUR Stop of “A Lie Universally Hidden” by Anngela Schroeder – REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

A strange beginning of a post but I would like to start thanking Anngela Schroeder, today’s author, for sharing the blog tour of her last book with me and therefore with you, as well as Claudine Pepe for organising it. A blog tour full of great bloggers and reviewers, please check the schedule towards the end of the post because it is incredible! Do not forget to participate on the generous giveaway that Anngela has prepared.

A Lie Universally Hidden by Anngela Schroeder is a Pride and Prejudice variation where Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy knows he must marry his cousin Anne De Bourgh to fulfil his mother’s wish.

Spine-chilling and hair-raising, right?

Have a look at the book description and I will explain after this blurb a bit more about what you can expect :

“The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind. From their infancy, they have been intended for each other. It was the favorite wish of his mother…” —Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Fitzwilliam Darcy was raised to never stray from the path set before him: ensure the
continued prosperity of his estate, Pemberley, protect and educate his sister to become an accomplished woman, and marry the woman his mother chose for him—his cousin Anne
de Bourgh. With a letter bearing his late mother’s signature, Darcy presumes his fate is aluh-ver-bt-banner_edited-1sealed and prepares to wed one he does not love. However, his destiny begins to unravel when he glimpses a pair of fine eyes on a quiet, country road.

Elizabeth Bennet is the second daughter of a respectable though insignificant gentleman. She is flattered to have captured the attention of a local squire, a childhood friend, and everyone believes her path is secure—until a handsome, rich gentleman arrives at a neighboring estate. Happenstance begets the unlikely pair together, bridging a forbidden love long past a mere friendship.

In A Lie Universally Hidden, two of literature’s most beloved romance characters are destined to marry for fortune and obligation rather than love. How will Darcy and Elizabeth fulfill their true destiny under such circumstances? Shall honor, decorum, prudence—nay, a signed letter from the grave—forbid it?

A Lie Universally Hidden is a Regency Romance suitable for most audiences, teen and up.

My review

Darcy goes to Netherfield with his sister Georgiana just after his sister spent a short holiday in Ramsgate. They are a happy pair who meet the Bennet family but separately. Darcy goes with Bingley to Longbourn and has the “pleasure” of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Bennet as well as their three younger sisters. He is shocked, however this time his “haughty” manners are actually helpful, a new Catherine Bennet will appear and I must say that I really like her. On the other hand, Georgiana Darcy encounters Elizabeth Bennet when she is with Miss Bingley. Georgiana is amazed with Elizabeth’s lively manners and her ease of treating respectfully Miss Bingley when she is being slyly rude to her.

After both interactions, both Darcy and Elizabeth are thankful to each other even when they have not met.

When they met, friendship grows very quickly. We even have the appearance of the baddie per excellence: Mr. Wickham… seriously, he is very vexatious and sometimes I would prefer him not to be in some stories. However… at the end he has what he deserves after some mischief!! (just one detail: Bravo Lydia!, not as silly as usual)

Well, back to our pair of friends… both know that they are marrying someone else. Elizabeth is on the brink of being proposed and as you know, Darcy is engaged to Anne.

Nevertheless we are lucky to read beautiful moments between them where romance appears but obviously propriety is present. Their encounter at Ashby Park is very entertaining as well as their night out in Pemberley. Yes, Pemberley, Elizabeth and Kitty go with them. Kitty or Miss Catherine became best friends with Georgina Darcy and they are inseparable, going first to London and later on to Pemberley, but Elizabeth is always included. Since then Darcy and Elizabeth are a lot together and clever people like Colonel Fitzwilliam can perceive that Darcy has feelings for this interesting lady. Colonel tries to convince Darcy to forget about marrying Anne  because he does not love her and Anne does not love him either. Unfortunately Darcy is just following the wishes that her mother left written on her last letter.

 

Spoiler alert…

 

HEA is coming but how??? Let me leave you with a few questions to think about: what if Wickham’s plans are ruined by a sixteen years old?  What if a watch (yes, the one on the cover) can destroy any hope? What if Elizabeth does not have Darcy’s self-control? What if Lady Catherine’s doings caused her fall as mistress of Rosings?  What if we do not only have one love story to enjoy? Who proposes to Elizabeth and what happens with that proposal if Elizabeth actually never rejects it?

 

4.5out5 stars

Now the most important person on this post after Darcy and Elizabeth, the author 😉 Let her introduce herself:

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Anngela Schroeder

“I have a degree in English with a concentration in British Literature and a Masters in Education. I love to travel, bake, and watch college football with my husband of 16 years and 3 rambunctious sons. My goal in life is to make not only my children, but also my students feel that they are loved, and to bring magic into everyone’s world. My weaknesses are yellow cake with chocolate frosting, French bread with real butter, and my father’s Arabic food, namely grape leaves, and falafel. I live in California where I dream of Disney adventures and trips across the pond.”

Listen to Anngela talking about A Lie Universally Hidden on Good Day Sacramento.

To follow Anngela or buy her books, here you have some links:

Facebook                  Twitter                  Goodreads                 Amazon UK            Amazon US

What you were also waiting for… TIME TO GIVE AWAY!

Anngela is giving away two autographed hard copies (US mailing addresses only) 2 kindle versions (open to international winners), an autographed copy of Then Comes Winter (US mailing address only) and an autographed 5×7 of the A Lie Universally Hidden book cover. Click here to participate.

Blog Tour Schedule  ALUH Hor BT Banner_edited-2.jpg

January 16/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

January 17/ From Pemberley to Milton/ Book Review & Giveaway

January 18/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post

January 19/ So Little Time…/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway

January 20/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

January 21/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review

January 22/ Just Jane 1813/ Excerpt Post

January 23/Austenesque Reviews/ Author Spotlight & Giveaway

January 24/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

January 25/ Every Savage Can Dance/Book Review & Giveaway

January 26 / Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

January 27 / Austenesque Reviews/ Book Review & Giveaway

January 28/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Excerpt & Giveaway

January 29/ Savvy Verse & Wit/ Guest Post & Giveaway

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY of “The Courtship of Edward Gardiner” by Nicole Clarkston

Today I bring you my honest review of The Courtship of Edward Gardiner by Nicole Clarkston and as this post is part of her blog tour, she is offering a copy of her book to one person. The giveaway is international and the winner chooses the format of the book, ebook or paperback. Read below the instructions on how to participate, it is really easy!

I was very interested on reading the courtship of Mr. Gardiner, the lovely uncle of the Bennet sisters and the one who, together with his wife, brought Darcy and Elizabeth together.

As usual I am going to avoid any spoilers for two reasons: 1) I do not want people spoiling books or films to me and 2) it will leave you with the need to read such an awesome book!

You may have gather already that I have immensely enjoyed this book and not only because it is related to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I believe Mr. Gardiner and Mrs. Gardiner are two of the forgotten characters when it comes to JAFF but I can understand that other characters give more chance to write about.

Let’s start: Mr. Bennet has to go north to see his brother as he is quite ill and some things need to be done. He takes his two oldest daughters, Jane and Lizzy, two lovely little girls but with already the behaviour and personality that later on is told in Pride and Prejucide. Mr. Bennet’s brother-in-law, Mr. Gardiner travels with them in an attempt to forget his broken heart after being refused when he proposed to the lady that he thought was in love with.

The trip is thwarted because Jane gets ill and after the insistence of Mr. Gardiner, the girls and their uncle are going to remain in the nearest town to take care of the eldest Bennet sister. This town is a small but apparently lovely town of Lambton. However, even being their uncle, Mr. Gardiner, once Mr. Bennet continues the trip, needs a woman to take care of the little girls. Thanks to the owner of the inn where they are staying, they found a Miss Madeline Fairbanks, a young woman whose father is not a gentleman but who has taught his daughter to behave as a lady. She lives in the town and she accepts to help nursing Jane and taking care of Lizzy.

Here is where we have our two main characters for the first time. They will share a lot of nice moments, they will know each other better. He is a man in trade but close to a gentleman due to his education and savoir-faire. She, an only daughter whose brother is in London working, helps her father with the accounts and takes care of him who is suffering as he cannot read properly anymore. I will not tell you much more about them as it is very endearing and I think I cannot make it justice.

By the way, what do you think it may happen when one of the worst storms breaks in Derbyshire? What about having mainly one know-it-all little girl is actually helping two adults inderectly? What happens when a sensible woman meets Mrs. Bennet and Mrs. Phillips?

Apart from the adorable love story, I have really enjoyed reading about Lizzy and Jane when they were little. Moreover, as we are in Lambton, only five miles from Pemberley, Nicole Clarkston also shows us how Master Fitzwilliam, Miss Darcy and George Wickham were when little. It was very interesting to read how Fitzwilliam had to deal with George and how he learnt his principles , the same ones that would cost him quite dear on his first proposal years after to Elizabeth Bennet.

A couple of teasers, a quote and a picture:

“What prodigious care, and what maternal pride must this girl’s mother find in her child! The woman, Madeline was almost certain, had to be a wise, sensible creature to have borne such a beatific daughter.”

chess

 

 

 

 

5out5 stars

Author Bio:

Nicole Clarkston is the pen name of a very bashful writer who will not allow any of her family or friends to read what she writes. She grew up in Idaho on horseback, and if she could have figured out how to read a book at the same time, she would have. She initially pursued a degree in foreign languages and education, and then lost patience with it, nicole-clarkstonswitched her major, and changed schools. She now resides in Oregon with her husband of 15 years, 3 homeschooled kids, and a very worthless degree in Poultry Science (don’t ask).

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties- how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project (undertaken when her husband unsuspectingly left town for a few days) she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Nicole’s books are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.

Contact Info:

Website                          Goodreads Author Page                  Goodreads Blog

Facebook             Amazon Author Pagetcoeg-cover

Buy Link – If you cannot wait to read it, go to:

Amazon US               Amazon UK

Blog tour schedule:

find all the schedule here

This awesome blog tour is coming to an end but you can still go to:

11/17: Guest Post & Giveaway at A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

11/26: Excerpt & Giveaway at Margie’s Must Reads

11/30: Review & Giveaway at  Diary of an Eccentric

12/01: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

GIVEAWAY

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below. Please, leave your email address, write ()  around (at) and (dot).

One copy of the book for one person (ebook or paperbaks, winner’s choice).

Open internationally.

For extra entries, tweet or share publically on Facebook (once daily) and copy the link in the comments.

The winner will be picked randomly.

Last day to enter the giveaway will be the 24th November 2016, 11:59pm GMT.

Good luck!!