“As a Proper Lady Would” by Bronwen Chisholm, character interview + giveaway

Dear all,

I hope you are all well and ready for the weekend. In case you need some reading to do and you are not deciding what to read, I am glad to introduce you to Bronwen Chisholm’s latest release: As a Proper Lady Would. Let me give you the blurb in case you want to know more apart from the author and the title 🙂 Just to let you know that this is the first book of Defying Propriety Series (I love the title of the series!)

We are formed by experiences of our childhood. Family and friends influence our character. Decisions, wise and foolish, direct our path. Through chance encounters and early introductions, our beloved Pride and Prejudice characters come together on a slightly different path which may, to some, defy propriety.

All the books in this series are sweet, clean romances.

In this first book of the Defying Propriety Series, we watch as Elizabeth and Darcy learn what society expects of them, while attempting to achieve what they truly desire in life. The well-known characters, as well as a few new ones, grow from childhood to a marriageable age; some reveal different facets of their personalities, while others are doomed to follow the same paths.

What do you think? I really like it! What society expects of them but what about their own feelings? Their own experiences?

AUTHOR

Let me (re)introduce you to the author of this great series:

Bronwen Chisholm has released seven Pride and Prejudice variations since 2014. She takes great pleasure in searching for potential “plot twists” and finding the way back to a happy ending.

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

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

Please welcome Bronwen Chisholm and read what she is sharing with us. I hope you enjoy this interview!

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be back visiting you here at My Vices and Weaknesses. The first novel in my Defying Propriety Series, As a Proper Lady Would, came out on October 1st on Kindle and in paperback.

As a special treat, I arranged for Viscount Grayson, Ashton Fitzwilliam, to join us. Lord Grayson, thank you for taking a few minutes to share with our readers today.

LG: Your request was intriguing. You say this is a for a blog? Sounds like a rather nasty term for some unpleasant affliction. But you say this is regarding Darcy so fire away.

BC: Yes, well, thank you. As the eldest of Darcy’s cousins, you have known him your entire life. What––

LG: Indeed. Darcy is a good man. A bit stiff in public, but my brother Philip and I did what we could to loosen him up. Elizabeth! Now she has done wonders for the man. She is truly a find. Darcy is damned lucky. Forgive me.

BC: Of course. I understand that you and your brother helped Darcy in social settings. Did––

LG: Philip and I developed signals to help Darcy know who to dance with and when. (chuckles) We always had him dance the supper set with someone who didn’t need assistance carrying a conversation. Poor man couldn’t have gotten a word in if he tried.

BC: You mentioned Elizabeth. Your family was accepting of her, even though she was not of the ton?

LG: My mother and father were pleased he found someone so well suited to him. I believe it is what his parents would have wanted. They would have liked her.

Now, my Aunt Catherine! That is another story.

BC: Yes, our readers are familiar with Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

LG: Lord, let us hope she does not learn she has gained notoriety. The woman is difficult enough now.

And that nauseous sycophant she appointed to look after the people of Hunsford! My father and I are looking into ways to have the man removed. He should not be responsible for a sheep let alone God’s flock.

BC: Yes, they know Mr. Collins as well.

LG: Uck! May we move on to more appetizing subjects?

BC: Of course. I have told several of my readers that you are the reason this one story became a series.

LG: . . . Is there a question?

BC: Forgive me, your lordship, you have not required a question before now. Are you pleased to have your story told?

LG: You wish to tell it. I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours.

BC: I believed the story was finished. You were the one who left the room when your father suggested you marry your cousin. Do you dislike Miss de Bourgh?

LG: You know that is not the case. When you come to know Anne, she is not so terrible. I had even considered . . . for a moment. If one cannot have what one desires . . . but . . . Forgive me, madam, I believe we are finished.

BC: Of course. Thank you, Lord Grayson, for taking this time to speak with us. I am certain the readers join me in hoping that you fine a happy ending as your cousin has been lucky enough to do.

LG: I thank you, no matter how unlikely that may be. Good day.

Lord Grayson is quite a character. I hope you enjoy As a Proper Lady Would and come back in December when I release Son of an Earl to get to know more about the viscount.

I think I like his lordship already even if I have not read anything else about him and I think it is promising we will know more on the second book of this series.

So, are you thinking on reading As a Proper Lady Would this weekend? If you want to, here you have some links to buy it:

Amazon UK Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

If you are not certain, I highly recommend you to check the previous stops of this blog tour and one more to come tomorrow (links below the picture):

Austen Authors
Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
Babblings of a Bookworm
Austenprose
From Pemberley to Milton
Probably at the Library
My Vices and Weaknesses
Laughing with Lizzie

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

Yes, as Brownen has said, one winner from this blog post will get an ebook copy. I wish you luck to all. The giveaway is international and open until Sunday, 10th of October 2021 at 23:29 CET. I will announce the winner at the beginning of next week.

“Blinded by Prejudice” by KaraLynne Mackrory, review + giveaway

Hello!


I am really happy to be back, I have not been reading much lately and I am super glad that I accepted to do a review for KaraLynne Mackrory’s latest publication: Blinded by Prejudice.

For those first words, you can imagine that at least I liked the book, yes, you are write but I will tell you a bit more later. Let me introduce you to the author. I have read almost half of her works and I recommend them all!

THE AUTHOR

KaraLynne began writing horrible poetry as an angst filled youth. It was a means to express the exhilaration and devastation she felt every time her adolescent heart was newly in love with “the one” and then broken every other week. As her frontal lobe developed, she grew more discerning of both men and writing. She has been married to her own dreamboat of a best friend, Andrew, almost 20 years. Together they have the migraine inducing responsibility of raising five children to not be dirt bags (fingers crossed), pick of up their socks (still a work in progress), not fight with each other (impossible task) and become generally good people (there’s hope). She loves escaping into a book, her feather babies (the regal hens of Cluckingham Palace), and laughter.

She has written five books, a novella and participated in many anthologies. Her works include: Falling For Mr. Darcy; Bluebells in the Mourning; Haunting Mr. Darcy: A Spirited Courtship; Yours Forevermore, Darcy; BeSwitched; The Darcy Monologues; Rational Creatures; & Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer.

Anad what about her latest release? Blinded by Prejudice. You may get ideas and I am not sure if all of you would get who is blind(ed). Let me show you the blurb and then we chat a bit more:

Into what kind of hell had I emerged from under those ruins?

Elizabeth Bennet anticipated nothing more than a pleasant day among friends and relations when the pleasure trip to the ruins of Bodden Chapel commenced. But what began as mere diversion turns frightening when the walls of the ancient church tumble down around them, endangering lives, demolishing pride and propriety, and bringing a hero into focus. 

As the earth begins to tremble, Fitzwilliam Darcy sees Elizabeth Bennet is in mortal danger and acts on instinct to save her. But when the dust settles, there are unforeseen consequences to his actions, including a serious injury to his eyesight.

I could not be married to a man who could need me the rest of his life, but never love me.

Bound together under the most strained circumstances, Darcy and Elizabeth embark on a future neither one of them saw coming. Time can heal all wounds, but will time allow them to see through hearts made clear and eyes no longer blinded by prejudice?

What do you think? I can tell you that for me the blurb does not hook me as much as the reading. Yes, this blurb intrigues me but I am not expecting many things that will happen. After reading Blinded by Prejudice, I can see that writing these three paragraph must be a nightmare not to spoil bits of the story.

BLOG TOUR

Before reading my review, I highly recommend you to check the previous posts of this book tour. I hope you enjoy them a lot (and the ones coming!) Go and check the first chapter on Jane Austen State of Mind! and then keep reading on Probably at the Library!!

You can but the book here if you cannot wait 🙂

Amazon US Amazon ES Amazon CA Amazon UK Amazon DE

REVIEW

As you can imagine from the blurb, there is a big accident while in Bodden Chapel. I am not going to enter on details but the accident creates a change on the lives of Elizabeth and Darcy (or maybe more than one change!) However, one of the changes, due to society, cannot be forgotten. While they are being rescued, there are many bits that I love and I think that it reveals where Darcy is in relation to Elizabeth and his feeling. I am going to just point out that this happens before the Netherfield Ball, the Militia has not arrived to Meryton yet.

Facts: he likes her, no doubt there, or more. She is attracted to this handsome man but dislikes his personality.

How are we going to have… SPOILER ALERT!!

.

.

.

.

.

a Happy Ending!

(I had to write my usual “spoiler alert”, it has been too long)

He does not seem the same person after the accident and she tries to be nice but she is pretty stubborn and closes her heart as she is, basically, afraid.

They spent some weeks of post-accident and get to know each other a bit more but, the stubborn lady thinks that this “new man” will disappear as soon as he heals. What happened? That the first encounter they had seemed to show that fact and she is not happy. He is not happy either after that encounter.

Let me tell you that, as it normally happens with these two, there must be a misunderstanding. An a big one! Elizabeth, as she is scared, she interprets whatever she wants from eavesdropping in a conversation between Darcy and the Colonel. This ends in a bad week for everybody, mainly two of the characters. How is it resolved? I will not tell you! This is the last bit I tell you about Darcy and Elizabeth.

I just want to inform you that there are another two couples formed after the accident, or during 🙂 One of the couple is not a surprise, let’s be honest but the other one, OMG! They are entertaining, I am not sure if that’s the word I want/need to use.

Golden moments for Mr Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam! (nope, I will not tell you why)

Quills & Quartos is giving an ebook copy of Blinded by Prejudice to one of the readers of My Vices and Weaknesses who comments on this post. It is an international giveaway and the winners will be announced at the Quills and Quartos Facebook and Instagram pages a week after the blog tour is over. 

Good luck!!

“The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy” by Christine Combe, guest post + giveaway

Dear all,

I am very glad to welcome Christine Combe to My Vices and Weaknesses with her upcoming book: The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy. I do not know about you but I already like the title and I would have come up with a few ideas of what the book is about and I would have not guess what Christine has written!

Let me introduce you to our author today: Christine Combe.

AUTHOR

Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on her next book.

Christine’s blog Christine’s Facebook

If I could go with her, I would tour those places without thinking. I have been in a few from the 1995 and 2005 Pride and Prejudice adaptations and I would not mind to repeat and visit many more!

Let Christine Combe introduce her book and give us a really interesting excerpt! I will see you again at the end of the post!

Greetings, fellow Austenians! I’m so excited to be visiting My Vices and Weaknesses today to talk to you about my upcoming release, The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy. It’s my first standalone Austen variation, and I really hope you’ll like it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

In this new story, circumstances are vastly different for ODC: Elizabeth and her sisters are the daughters of a baronet, and Darcy has no fortune. But as always, the stars align and one of literature’s most beloved couples unite, determined to take on the world together!

In case you haven’t been following along as I posted the chapters at A Happy Assembly, here’s the second half of chapter 2:

***

It was a long and boring northwest journey. Darcy began to wish after the first hour that he’d at least brought along a book to read while there was light but it had not occurred to him, and so there was nothing to distract him from wondering as to the true purpose of the summons. They stopped twice, for an hour each time, to rest the horses and refresh themselves. Darcy wished it weren’t necessary, but the animals weren’t simple post horses that could be changed out in a quarter of an hour for a fresh pair at a coaching inn—they belonged to his uncle.

A sigh of relief escaped him when at last they pulled up to the stone edifice of Disley Court. Torches were lit at intervals along the outer wall, and he knew there would be more lighting the small stone courtyard beyond. Darcy resisted the urge to stretch when at last he had alighted from the vehicle, and he headed directly into the courtyard, leaving the footmen to deal with his single piece of luggage.

The front door opened before he could knock to reveal Sommerset; he had served the Disleys as butler at the Court about as long as Reynolds had been in the Darcys’ service. The servant’s quick response told Darcy that someone had been watching for him.

“Good evening, Mr. Darcy,” said the butler with a sniff through his thin nose.

Probably thinks I should have taken the time to have a shave and a haircut, Darcy thought, and he just resisted the urge to smirk at the man.

“This way, if you please, sir,” Sommerset said, then turned about smartly and led the way to the drawing room. There he found not only his uncle, who was reading a newspaper, but also his aunt, his youngest cousin, and his sister.

“Fitzwilliam!” Georgiana cried instantly on seeing him, then jumped up and ran over to throw her arms around him. Darcy returned the embrace tightly, eliciting a squeal from his sister. God, but it felt good to hold her in his arms. It had been far too long—well over a year—since he had last seen her.

A gentle clearing of her throat from the countess reminded the two that they were not alone. Holding Georgiana back from him, his hands resting on her shoulders, Darcy took a good long look at her as he said, “Bless my soul, it does me good to see you, dearest.”

She’d grown so much since last year; already the top of her head reached his shoulder—at only fifteen! She had filled out some, as girls were wont to do, and a surge of protectiveness rose within him at the thought of her receiving unwanted attention from males in the area.

“It does me good to see you as well, brother,” said Georgiana. “You’ve been away far too long.”

“I have,” he agreed. “I am sorry to make you miss me so. But rest assured, dear one, I have missed you a great deal, as well.”

Darcy lifted his head to find his aunt and uncle looking at him expectantly. He bowed his head to each in turn and offered a greeting, then looked to his youngest Fitzwilliam cousin, Cecilia. “Good evening, Cousin.”

“Good evening to you, Cousin,” said the young lady, who bore such a resemblance to her mother that the two might well be mistaken for sisters.

Darcy walked further into the room with Georgiana’s hand held in his own, his eyes on the earl. “Lord Disley, I believe you wished to see me about a matter regarding Pemberley?”

“Pemberley?” queried Georgiana, who looked to their uncle with a quizzical expression. “I had no idea—Uncle Richard only said that he was expecting you by supper.”

Lord Disley pulled a fob watch from his pocket. “Speaking of, it is about time for it,” said he, just as the housekeeper entered and announced the late evening meal was ready.

The earl folded his paper and set it aside as the three ladies headed out of the room. When he had stood, he stepped over to Darcy and said, “Let us have a pleasant meal with your aunt and the girls—business can wait until tomorrow, I daresay.”

As if he had any choice in the matter. Biting back a retort about having been summoned and then made to wait, Darcy gave a curt nod and followed his uncle into the small dining room, where the five of them sat down to a hearty beef stew. Georgiana and Cecilia regaled him with tales of their studies; both of them were becoming highly accomplished, with his sister preferring to play and his cousin to sing when it came to music. Lady Disley made a point of praising their needlework, noting that Georgiana’s embroidery skills were most impressive, and her husband then praised their daughter in lauding her skill with a paintbrush.

“We’ll be happy to show you some of our work later if you like,” said Cecilia.

“It’s late, Cessy. After supper, you and Georgiana will be heading to your rooms,” said her mother.

“Indeed, your cousin is likely fatigued from his journey,” added her father, “and no doubt desires a well-earned rest.”

What I desire is getting to the point of this excursion, Darcy thought sourly. Surely his uncle knew what anxieties he would have suffered on the road, wondering what he could possibly have to say about Pemberley that was best said in person.

When supper was done, Darcy escorted his sister to her room, which was connected by a sitting room to Cecilia’s; their cousin walked ahead of them. Georgiana chattered all the way, telling him more about her studies—she was enjoying learning Italian—and the horse that she had been gifted by their uncle for her fifteenth birthday.

“I believe I must have written you about dear Belle many times, but truly, Fitzwilliam, she’s an angel of a mare! So gentle, and so perfectly bred to carry a lady. And oh, the stunning color of her coat—”

“—the most incredible shade of brown, such as you are reminded of chocolate,” he finished for her.

Georgiana laughed as they stopped outside her door. “I see I have spoken to you of her. Well, you shall see for yourself tomorrow, I am sure. We should go for a ride together! You know that Cousin Theodore has a horse here still; I overhear the grooms all the time saying how it’s a shame he doesn’t get the same attention Cecilia and I give our horses.”

Darcy indulged in a wistful smile—he had heard of the horse she spoke of, as it had been Theo’s great joy to have secured the black beast’s purchase. It was a shame indeed that their uncle could not see to the stallion’s being exercised more often.

“I shall be glad to ride with you, Georgiana,” he said. “I don’t get to ride for pleasure very often.”

Her countenance revealed, for a fraction of a moment, how very sad his words made her. Darcy’s pride in her rose when she almost instantly returned his steady gaze with a wide smile. “Well, you shall tomorrow! Cecilia and I usually ride together in the mornings, but she does also like to lie abed later than usual on Saturday, so it is like to be just the two of us. And it is likely to be cold in the morning, anyway, but we can bundle ourselves quite well and endure at least half an hour’s ride, I think.”

Darcy knew this already from her many letters over the years but said nothing as he smiled indulgently. “Well, if she decides to ride with us, I shan’t mind at all. I have not spent enough time with either of you in these last eighteen months.”

“I do wish Theodore were here—we could have Philip and Sophia and little Julian come over from Rowarth Hall, and have a whole family party!”

“Not Lady Catherine and Anne as well?” Darcy teased.

Georgiana emitted a soft snort. “You would be gone by the time they arrived,” she said primly.

“Not to mention a family party wouldn’t be near half as fun if they were here!” cried Cecilia, who peaked out from the sitting room doorway. “Come, Georgie, let’s do a little work on our matching reticules before we ready for bed.”

“Coming, Cessy,” Georgiana replied, then reached out to her brother and embraced him again. “It really is good to see you, brother,” she murmured against his chest.

“And you as well, dear one,” Darcy replied as he returned the embrace, then released her and pushed her gently toward their cousin.

When the door was closed behind the two girls, he turned away and started for the guest wing. His aunt and uncle were just coming up the stairs then, and Lady Disley asked, “Where are you going, Fitzwilliam?”

“I am a guest. I assume my room is in the guest wing,” he replied flatly.

“Balderdash, boy!” cried his uncle. “Do not tell me that five years in the sun as a tenant on your own bloody estate has addled that brain of yours.”

“Richard, language,” admonished his wife softly. To Darcy, she said, “Though I do not care for how he said it, I do agree with what your uncle said. You’re a fool indeed if you seriously believed we’d put you in guest quarters. You are family, Fitzwilliam. Your room is in the family wing—in fact, it is the same room you always occupied whenever you stayed with us before.”

Darcy forced himself to relax. It had been so long since anyone but the Reynolds’ had treated him as one of their own. Of course, his exile had been of his own imposition; the earl, Philip, and even Theodore—to whom he had once been as close as a brother—had mostly left him alone, as he had requested. He’d done it because he’d not wanted them to see how far he had sunk in the world, nor would his pride allow him to be reminded of what he had lost whenever he was in their presence.

Releasing a breath, he said, “Forgive me, Aunt. Uncle. I am sure it is merely exhaustion which has muddled my thoughts.”

His aunt stepped up to him and took his hands in hers. “Then go on to bed, dearest, and get yourself a good night’s rest. Probably a better one than you’ll ever get in that cottage your uncle says you live in.”

As he had gotten used to the stiff, unyielding rope bed he’d been forced to accept upon his relocation to the cottage, Darcy thought it more likely that sleeping on the soft feather mattress that awaited him in his room was more likely to cause restlessness than abate it. He kept the thought to himself, however, and leaned to place a kiss upon his aunt’s brow, then offered a nod to his uncle before he turned back the way he had come. Like Georgiana and Cecilia’s rooms, his was one of a suite and shared a sitting room with his cousin Theodore’s bedchamber. It had once been Philip’s room when his elder cousins were young boys, but a significant row between them had led to Philip’s demanding a separate suite. As Darcy and Theodore had always gotten along better than the brothers (though they now loved and respected each other as much as a pair of brothers could do), they were paired together whenever the Darcy family visited Disley Court as soon as had graduated from the nursery.

In contrast to his assumption, however, the physical and mental exertions of the day led to Darcy falling asleep soon after his head hit the pillow.

***

Poor Darcy—summoned by the earl and then made to wait. Tell me what you think in the comments below to enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy!

Contest open until August 14, 2021. Good luck!

***

However, you can always but this very interesting book as it will give you a few entertaining hours while reading it. You could buy it here among others, but you will need to wait until tomorrow as it is out on the 7th of August. However, here you have Christine’s Amazon Author Page.

 Amazon US   Amazon UK   Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

What do you think about the Fitzwilliam’s issue? Well, the one that his father created. The steward? Leaving in a cottage? What is going on?

I do not know about you but I want to read about Elizabeth’s family, Mr. Bennet a baronet!! I hope he does not have many mirrors at home 😀

How is their relationship going to be? He is “below” her social position. However, it is not so easy to explain, is it?

I hope you enjoy today’s post and you do check the other entries of the blog tour!

“Parallels” by Linda Gonschior, excerpt and giveaway

Dear all,

I am glad to have for the first time in My Vices and Weaknesses author Linda Gonschior. She is presenting her third book on the Reflections series and I hope you enjoy what she is sharing with you today.

Just in case you have missed the previous post, let’s have a look at the blurb:

Love, heartbreak, and self-discovery

are life’s greatest challenges,

no matter who your parents may be.

Will and Elizabeth Darcy faced those challenges twenty years earlier, yet marriage taught them patience, understanding, and most importantly, the irreplaceable value of one another. Now their children are about to embark upon that path, hopefully to learn those lessons more gently and avoid the mistakes of their parents.

This third book in the Reflections series brings to a conclusion the story of a couple whose love drew them together in spite of themselves and continues to test them when least expected.

I do not know if you have read the previous books but I would bet that reading this blurb makes you think “I think I should read the previous two”. On the other hand, if you have read the previous two books on the series, I can imagine that you cannot wait to see what is going on with the Darcy’s children. It is pretty appealing to read how they met, how they fell in love, got married and had their kids, don’t you think?

Let me introduce you to the author of this really good series:

Linda Gonschior has entertained the art of writing since elementary school but never allowed it to come to fruition until Pride and Prejudice lured her into deeper exploration of characters, relationships and ‘what ifs’.  Writing is not the breadwinner, however, as she has a day job and many other interests that compete for attention and time.  Still, she has managed to squeeze in several dozen stories – long and short – and there are many more in the ‘incomplete’ folder on the computer.  As retirement looms on the horizon, some may be dusted off to evaluate their potential to entertain those who share a fondness for Jane Austen’s characters and don’t mind straying a little off the beaten path.

Amongst her accomplishments Linda counts raising a son, stage managing live theatre productions, flower gardening, and website administration, but not netting purses or painting screens.

You can follow her on Facebook on her Author Page. Here you have her Amazon UK Author Page.

Linda is an accomplish woman, indeed! We can say that she reads a lot too 🙂

EXCERPT

Enjoy!! Darcy and Georgiana and then Darcy’s children. Any similarities? Any parallels?

Thank you Ana for this opportunity to share a little more from Parallels, the final book in my Reflections series! I’d like to talk a bit about the Darcy siblings’ relationships.

In the first two books the character of Georgiana Darcy played a significant role. The relationship between these Darcy siblings was strong, supportive and not without conflict at times. Georgiana was there for her brother in some of his lowest moments. She also let him know when he was thinking too much of himself and not others. In this excerpt from Parallels it is Will’s turn to bring his sister out of the darkness of grief, but can he?

**

There was no answer to his knock, but he hadn’t expected one. Pushing the door open slowly, Will peered around it to see Georgiana sitting in the window seat, staring towards the front lawn. He crossed the room to stand at her shoulder. For several minutes, he said nothing, but memories from childhood soon intruded. “I remember when Mum dressed you up for our family portrait and you escaped from the house, running across the grass to the pond on the other side.” He looked at her face for some reaction. “Do you remember, Georgie?”

A small smile appeared on her face, but Will suspected it was merely for his benefit. Her eyes still stared vacantly through the glass. “I was looking for you.”

“You thought you were the only one denied any fun for the sake of that portrait, but I was annoyed at having to be here instead of with my friends. You knew exactly where to find me.” He looked out the window too. “Despite your little adventure, the photo turned out to be excellent. We managed to clean you up before Mum and Dad realized you were found. Nobody even noticed the mud on your shoes.” Will turned to face her once more, taking one of her hands in his to squeeze it.

“Don’t, Will. Don’t try to make me feel like I’m still alive…because I’m not.” She whispered the words, her gaze out the window never wavering.

**

In keeping with the ‘parallels’ theme, Will and Elizabeth’s two eldest children also share a close bond. They tease and annoy one another, of course. And when one is in trouble the other is quick to act even if it’s unwelcome interference.

**

Anna wasn’t, by nature, particularly patient. So when Wednesday evening rolled around and she still hadn’t heard from her brother, she began to make enquiries. Since there had been no reply the dozen times she had texted and rung his mobile, she next called Robert Bingley, where Ben had last been.

“Sorry, Anna,” Robert told her. “I haven’t seen him since Sunday. He left here in a mood, and I doubt he’s coming back anytime soon.”

She thanked him and said goodbye, not wanting to spend too much time when she could be continuing to look for him elsewhere.

Anna and Ben had always been rather close. She tagged after him as a child, forever into her big brother’s toys and wanting to do everything he did. A pest she may have been, but Ben hadn’t minded altogether, and as they grew older, they had grown closer, which was why Anna was worried now. It simply wasn’t like Ben to hide himself away like this.

The quickest way to find him would be the university, she decided, and with that in mind, Anna didn’t waste any time. She drove straight to Cambridge and sought him out in class.

“What are you doing here?” Ben hissed as he joined her in the hallway outside the lecture hall.

“As if you have to ask!” Anna hissed back. “Where have you been?”

“Around.”

“Don’t be smart. Mum is worried sick about you. How can you be so inconsiderate?” Anna pulled on his arm, turning him to face her. “What happened on Monday, Ben?”

He looked away then brought his eyes around again to meet hers. “I made a right mess of things.”

“Oh, Ben.” Anna felt her brother’s pain just looking at his face. “Are you sure? Can’t you make it up?”

“I doubt it. I did everything I promised her I wouldn’t do. How could she trust me again?” Ben shook his head and started walking down the corridor.

Anna walked along beside him. “You can’t just give up, Ben. Isn’t she worth fighting for? Isn’t your relationship stronger than that?”

Ben came to a sudden halt and spun around to glare at his sister. “I don’t need any lectures from you, Anna! I feel like a daft plonker, and I deserve to feel that way. Don’t give me any condescending reassurances because I don’t want them. Just leave me alone.”

“But,” Anna began.

“I said to leave me alone!”

**

I hope you find these tidbits appetizing!

What do you think? I have really liked both bits and I want to know more. Why is Georgiana not feeling alive? What has Ben done?

If you want to buy the book, you could do it here:

Amazon UK Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

BLOG TOUR

Do not forget the previous post and the following ones, you are going to enjoy them and know a bit more about Linda and Parallels.

June 7 Donadee’s Corner

June 8 My Vices and Weaknesses

June 9 Diary of an Eccentric

June 10 From Pemberley to Milton

June 11 Babblings of a Bookworm

June 14 My Jane Austen Book Club

June 15 Probably at the Library

Meryton Press is giving away eight eBooks of Parallels. The giveaway is international. The giveaway ends at midnight on the 17th of June or 12:00 AM on the 18th of June.

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

Rafflecopter “Parallels”

“Fitzwilliam Darcy. Undone” by Sue Barr, character interview + giveaway

She’s the outcast in her family…

Elizabeth knows she’s different from the rest of her family. She has visions and strange dreams and sees things others do not. With the advent of the odious Mr. Darcy and his friends from Netherfield Park, as well as the amiable Mr. Wickham of the _____shire Militia, her powers seem to increase and her greatest fear is that she won’t be able to contain them and will be discovered.

He has eight hundred years of tradition to uphold…

No Darcy has married a non-magical woman since arriving on the shores of England with William the Conqueror in 1066.  However, his kind – Miatharans – are dwindling in numbers. Miatharan magic only flows through aristocratic blood lines, so his strange obsession with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is puzzling as she is not of noble blood. Just a country squire’s beautiful daughter who has him slowly becoming undone.

She is different but he thinks she is not. Well, well, well, not surprising when we are talking about Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. however, it seems that there is much more to know about these two characters on Sue Barr’s latest book: Fitzwilliam Darcy. Undone.

Let me (re)introduce you to Sue Barr:

About the Author:

‘The prairie dust is in my blood but no longer on my shoes.’

Although it’s been over forty-two years since Sue called Saskatchewan home, her roots to that straight-lined province and childhood friends run deep. The only thing strong enough to entice her to pack up and leave was love. When a handsome Air Force pilot met this small-town girl, he swept her off her feet and they embarked on a fantastic adventure which found them settled in beautiful Southwestern Ontario when hubby retired from the military and began his second career as an airline pilot.

Sue started writing in 2009 and sold her first manuscript in 2010. Always a reader of Regency romance, she discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction in 2014 and almost immediately wanted to know – Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and Mr. Darcy became engaged to a Bennet sister? From that question, her first JAFF book was launched.

In her spare time, Sue cans and preserves her own food, cooks almost everything from scratch and grows herbs to dehydrate. Her latest venture is to create her own spice seasonings, experiment with artisan breads and make her own homemade vanilla. Hubby has no complaints other than his jeans keep shrinking. At least that’s what he claims…. Her sons, their wives and all seven grandchildren don’t mind this slight obsession either.

Why not following her and her writing life?

Website:  https://suebarr.ca

FB: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSueBarr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SBarrAuthor

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B010I53Z1C

I recommend you to read my review of Caroline here, I hope you like it.

Characters interview

I hope you enjoy this interview, little game as much as I have. This Darcy is totally undone 😀

What would Pride & Prejudice be like if Darcy and Elizabeth had a touch of magic in their lives?

Good morning and thank you to My Vices & Weaknesses for hosting this fun post for my latest release, Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Undone. Today I am back to share a post that I hope gives your readers some more laughs and allows them to get to know my version of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

I have invited Miss Emma Woodhouse to be our host again for our Newlywed Game, 1812-style. Let’s give a warm welcome to Emma…

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is Emma Woodhouse, and I am back again at the Theatre-Royal, Covent Garden to play another round of the Newlywed Game. Today I have Mrs. Elizabeth Bennet Darcy and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, Derbyshire. Please join me in welcoming them to The Newlywed Game. (Crowd applauds)

Thank you for joining us today. I know a lot of interest has surrounded your recent union and today I’d love to give you both the chance to tell your side of your story. We had great fun with other members of your family in dimensions past. I like to think you’ll enjoy this game as well.

Let us begin our game with some easier questions…

What is your spouse’s favorite meal?

Darcy: Elizabeth has a weakness for lemon tarts, although I’ve heard her tease me more than once how she craves a perfectly boiled potato and refused to explain why she always laughs when she says that.

Elizabeth: My dear husband, I will put your mind at ease. Mr. Collins, in the middle of his first meal at Longbourn, wondered which one of his fair cousins was owed praise for the excellence of its cookery.  As you can imagine, Mama was exceedingly put out and informed him, with asperity, that Longbourn could well afford a cook and her daughters had nothing to do in the kitchen. After ‘the incident‘, my sisters often refer back to his comment about the perfectly boiled potatoes. He has, unwittingly, provided much levity in our family.

Darcy: He’s an ass.

Elizabeth: Fitzwilliam. (she chastises gently) At times he puts his foot in it, but he’s not all that bad. He grows on you over time.

Darcy: So does fungus.

Well, let us move on to the next question. What do you think is the best thing your spouse loves about you?

Elizabeth: I know he loves my impertinence. No one else dares tell him what they think. He can be quite full of himself at times and I remind him he’s naught but a man who has much to be thankful for.

Darcy: (leans into Elizabeth and whispers, firm lips brushing the pink shell of her ear) And you are thankful every time you see me in nothing but my buckskin breeches and Hessian boots.

Elizabeth flushes at his words and studiously avoids looking at him.

Ahem… That paints a vivid picture. What about you, Darcy, what do you think is the best thing your spouse loves about you?

Darcy: (still watching Elizabeth with hooded eyes) My wife loves my unexpected spontaneity. I’ve surprised her a few times. However, I believe my method of proposing was unique.

Elizabeth: (turning a darker shade of red, if that were even possible) Have you any water, Miss Woodhouse? I find I’ve become quite parched beneath the heat of all these candles.

Miss Woodhouse has one Miss Harriet Smith fetch a glass of water for Mrs. Darcy. She takes a sip and sets the glass on the small table hurriedly placed beside the settee she and Darcy sit upon.

Are you ready to proceed Mrs. Darcy? (at her nod, Miss Woodhouse clears her throat) Have you ever bought anything and kept the purchase from your spouse?

Elizabeth: No, we have a very honest relationship and I have no need to hide anything from my husband.

Darcy: No, indeed, a fact which pleases me very much, Mrs. Darcy.

Elizabeth: (in a tight voice) Behave! We are in public.

Darcy: Would you like to remove to somewhere private?

Elizabeth: (turning to look him direct) You would not dare!

Darcy: (a wolfish grin lifting the corner of his lips) Is that a challenge?

Elizabeth turns, with a small huff, and asks Miss Woodhouse to continue with the interview.

Mr. Darcy, what is the one thing your spouse wears that you absolutely love?

At the question, Elizabeth turns to Darcy and he knows, instinctively, she’s begging him to be circumspect.

Darcy: (with a wink at his worried wife) The dress my wife wore on our wedding day. I will never forget the picture she made as she came down the aisle in Longbourn’s chapel and became Mrs. Darcy. (he takes her hand in his and kisses her knuckles)

What was your first impression of your spouse?

Elizabeth: My first impression varied. At first, he espoused I was tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt him to dance.

Miss Woodhouse and the audience gasp.

Elizabeth: He more than made up for that egregious comment the next time we met at a small, informal gathering.

Darcy: (watching his wife take another sip of water) I remember that evening at Lucas Lodge. I believe we had our first dance there. My attention was quite diverted by a small mark upon your collarbone and very much desired to investigate that further, as you well know.

The audience couldn’t be sure, but it sounded like Mrs. Darcy choked on her water.

Hmmm… I believe we are having more than one conversation tonight. (Miss Woodhouse arches an elegant eyebrow at an unrepentant Darcy, who shrugs and smiles, exposing his dimple) How many pairs of shoes does your wife own?

Darcy: I have not one clue, but I DO know she owns a half dozen pair of sturdy walking boots. Elizabeth is fierce walker and loves all that Pemberley woods offers. In fact, I built a lovely gazebo for her on one of peaks. From there you can admire the beauty of a Derbyshire sunrise.

The sunrise, Mr. Darcy? Your wife must get up before dawn to enjoy the view.

Darcy: Yes, although it is not so difficult when you spend the night there. She enjoys her view and I admire mine.

Finish the sentence. I wish my spouse would stop ______?

Elizabeth: Behaving like a cave man. He is testing my limits tonight.

Darcy: Only tonight, my darling?

Elizabeth: Fitzwilliam!

Darcy: You know I become undone around you. Have mercy, wife.

Elizabeth: Keep this up and Grandmama may well pay us another visit.

Darcy: (sitting up straighter and smiling in such a way even angels would have sighed) I shall do my best.

Elizabeth: (with a laugh) You are incorrigible.

What is your spouse’s pet name for you?

Darcy: That, madam, is between my wife and I.

When did you know you were first in love?

Elizabeth: I was in the middle before I realized it had even begun.

Darcy: I knew when you left me stewing in my own juices at the Meryton Assembly knowing Miss Bingley expected me to ask her to dance.

Elizabeth: (eyes wide) That soon?

Darcy: (shifting closer to her side) In all honesty, I think I knew before I even saw you. I felt you in my bones.

Elizabeth: (pupils dilating with an untold emotion) Oh…

Who said ‘I love you’ first?

Darcy: I did, just before we –

Elizabeth: (in a warning tone) Fitzwilliam…

Darcy: (his gaze never leaving her face) I told her after our first kiss.

Where was your first kiss?

Elizabeth: (cheeks now a bright red) I’d rather not say.

Darcy: I have no qualms, my love. (he brushes off the hand which has gripped his forearm and laces their fingers together) We were at my house in London. Elizabeth’s father had arrived to discuss details of the marriage settlement.

Miss Woodhouse carefully notes Mr. Darcy did not say Elizabeth accompanied her father to his house. The blush, which now covered the poor lady from her decolletage to her cheekbones, indicated she’d been alone with her husband before her father arrived. What a tasty interview this has turned out to be.

How many children do you wish for?

Elizabeth: (her hand inadvertently moving to her midsection in a protective manner) I have no set number in mind, as long as they are all healthy.

Darcy: (eyes darkening once more with desire) I’d love to fill the halls of Pemberley with the sound of children, especially when it is such fun to make them.

At the collective gasp heard round the theater, Darcy and Elizabeth become mindful of their host and crowd of adoring fans.

Oh my, (Miss Woodhouse fans her heated cheeks), I think this would be a good place to end our game. I wish you both joy in your marriage and look forward to seeing you around Town.

What do you think? Where you expecting this kind of interview? I loved it! Now I am really eager to read Fitzwilliam Darcy. Undone, keep reading about these two! Do you want to buy a copy? you can check here:

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon ES

Blog tour

So many great stops for you to know much more about this book and a few more to go. Enjoy!

Sue Barr will giveaway an ebook of this latest novel to 3 random winners for the entire blog tour. Follow the tour and join in the comments to be entered to win. Sue will choose the random winners and announce the winners on social media on December 5. Good luck!

“Madness in Meryton” by Jayne Bamber, excerpt + giveaway

Dear all,

Can you believe that it is the 22nd of July already? July has almost finished! However, that is never an impediment to have new books to read. JAFF is a dynamic world, and fortunately for us, readers and bloggers, we can enjoy great stories. Today, Jayne Bamber is presenting her latest novel: Madness in Meryton.

Here your have the description:

Jane and Elizabeth Bennet return home from Netherfield, and two days of heavy rain confine them indoors with their quarrelsome younger sisters, a mother in perpetual need of smelling salts, and their tedious cousin, Mr. Collins. When the rain clears, the ladies from Longbourn and the gentlemen from Netherfield are drawn to Meryton by the excitement of Market Day, setting in motion a series of significant events.

That night, Mrs. Phillips hosts a card party for the officers of the local militia, where the charming Mr. Wickham reveals to Elizabeth his shocking history with Mr. Darcy, a man who has only given Elizabeth offense since coming to stay with his friend Mr. Bingley at Netherfield.

The next day, the same thing happens again.

And again, the day after that – and so on, for what begins to feel like an eternity. Elizabeth takes increasingly drastic measures to further the romance between her beloved sister Jane and their handsome neighbor Mr. Bingley. Along the way, she arranges improvements in the lives of all of her family, in an effort to end the relentless redundancy that only she seems aware of.

As Elizabeth’s frustration turns to madness, she realizes that her inexplicable dilemma is somehow connected to a certain officer and a certain gentleman of her acquaintance….

Elizabeth Bennet must forge unlikely alliances and devote her considerable wit to the task of achieving a perfect day for those she holds dear, while facing familiar Fitzwilliam friends and foes, as well as all the mortification and delight of falling in love.

What do you think? I am looking forward to reading it and seeing how Elizabeth manages her “eternal” day.

Welcome, Jayne! Thank you for being with us today 🙂
Hello, Janeites! It is a treat to be here and share a little about my upcoming release, Madness in Meryton. This is my sixth Austen variation, and has proved to be the wildest ride yet; it is a Groundhog Day vagary – with a twist.
The day being repeated is the day that Elizabeth meets George Wickham and hears his tale of woe, and I have reimagined it as Meryton’s monthly Market Day to heighten the chaos of Darcy and Elizabeth’s shared predicament.
The excerpt I am sharing today is from one of my favorite chapters one where chaos reigns at Longbourn in the aftermath of Mr. Bingley’s proposal to Jane Bennet – or one of them, at least….

***

Jane and Mr. Bingley had begun to stroll together at some remove. Elizabeth walked alone in the garden, keeping near the house, her gloved hands folded behind her back as she slowly moved along the rose bushes. For a few minutes she was content to watch Jane and Mr. Bingley walking arm in arm, their heads bent together in conversation.
Inevitably, her mind soon drifted back to Mr. Darcy, who had made this moment of bliss possible, and even imbued it with some private humor. She had not dared to hope that the colonel’s plan would work so beautifully, that the proud Mr. Darcy would ever make such an effort to amend his error.
She began to wish he had accompanied his friend, and as she indulged her imagination, supposing what they might say to one another, she heard footfalls on the gravel path behind her. She closed her eyes for a moment, feeling a pleasant warmth creep into her chest. “I hoped you would come,” she said softly.
But as Elizabeth turned around, her dreamy smile fell into dismay; it was Mr. Collins. He gave her an awkward, amorous look. “Cousin Elizabeth!”

Collins
Elizabeth instinctively recoiled, but her cousin approached her with his hands outstretched. “I am come – I must speak!” He moved closer, oblivious to her apprehension, and stopped to pluck a flower from one of the bushes. He held it out to her with one hand, his other coming to rest on his heart. She froze, gaping at him, and Mr. Collins lifted her hand and placed the flower there, closing his fingers over hers. She jerked her hand away at once, and he finally showed a modicum of hesitation.
“Sir,” Elizabeth hissed. “I believe you mistake me – I did not know it was you there.”
He smiled repellently. “Come now, fair cousin, there is no need to be coy; I believe we understand one another. The tears of joy you shed for your sister have made me understand that you must wish to be next, and I see no reason to delay what will complete your happiness, dear Elizabeth.”
Mr. Collins lurched toward her, but Elizabeth quickly backed away. “Mr. Collins! Sir, I beg you would return to the house at once. I wish only to chaperone my sister.”
Again he took Elizabeth’s hand. “Believe me, Cousin – your modesty adds to your other perfections. But of course you wish to follow her to the altar ere long. I am ready to declare myself, for almost as soon as I entered the house, I singled you out as the companion of my future life!”
“Mr. Collins, that was but three days ago,” Elizabeth replied, again backing away from him.
“Indeed it was! But before I am run away with my feelings, perhaps it would be advisable for me to state my reasons for marrying.”
Mr. Collins clearly was overcome by feelings, though Elizabeth had never imagined such a ludicrous thing possible. She struggled to keep from laughing, and Mr. Collins continued his absurd address, detailing at length how Lady Catherine had compelled him to seek out a bride. “You will find her manners beyond anything I can describe,” he said with a fatuous grin.
This time she could not restrain her laughter. “I am sure of that,” she said.
Mr. Collins stammered, and gaped at her. “Your wit and vivacity must be acceptable to her, when tempered by the silence and respect her rank will inevitably excite.”
Elizabeth shook her head. “I am sure you are mistaken, sir, I cannot imagine Lady Catherine receiving me with any measure of acceptance, nor should I ever wish it.”
“Cousin Elizabeth! Think of what you are saying. You are a gentleman’s daughter, and therefore a perfectly acceptable match for a man of my situation – particularly as I am to inherit this estate after the death of your honored father. But do not think I seek only to extend my charity in choosing amongst his daughters – I must now assure you, in the most animated language, of the violence of my affection. To fortune I am perfectly indifferent….”
Despite her attempts to stop him, Elizabeth began to fear her cousin would never cease. “Mr. Collins, please – you are too hasty, sir. I must thank you for the compliment of your proposal – but I must decline it.”
Mr. Collins simpered and smirked at her. “I know it is the established custom of your sex to reject a man on the first application; I am by no means discouraged.”
“Really, Mr. Collins. I am perfectly sincere in my refusal,” Elizabeth insisted. She looked about the garden, but Jane and Mr. Bingley had snuck off together. She was happy for them, but what horrid timing!
Mr. Collins also perceived that they were alone, and he reached for her. “Cousin Elizabeth, you seek to increase my love by suspense, in the usual style of elegant females. You are uniformly charming!” He leaned in as if to kiss her, and Elizabeth was obliged to shove him away.
“Mr. Collins, I beg you would leave me alone this instant, or I will shout for Jane and Mr. Bingley.”
“Cousin Elizabeth, I beg you would end my agony, and accept my suit,” he said with gallantry, reaching for her again.
Elizabeth’s patience was at an end. She recalled the occasion when she had driven him to accuse her of blasphemy by merely telling him the truth about her dilemma, and she was on the verge of doing just that when he seized her hand in his and began to pull at her. “Cousin Elizabeth, I beg you!”
“Sir, it is quite literally impossible for me to marry you!” His grip on her arm began to hurt, and Elizabeth struggled to wrest free. “Unhand me or I will scream!”

***

Darcy spotted Bingley walking with Jane Bennet in a pretty little wilderness beyond the garden, and moved that way to congratulate them, when he heard a scream. He took off running, and reached the garden just as Elizabeth ripped her arm out of Mr. Collins’ grasp and turned to flee. She stopped just short of colliding with Darcy, who instantly closed the gap between them and took her in his arms. “Elizabeth, Good God! Has he harmed you?”
“Mr. Darcy!” Elizabeth leaned into him, her breathing ragged. After a moment she drew away from his embrace, but stood very near. “A little,” she stammered. “That is, he has importuned me….”
“I think I see,” he said gravely, staring down the toady parson, who cowered back, a wild look in his eyes. Darcy looked back at Elizabeth. “Do you require any assistance?”
She shook her head and laughed ruefully. “No indeed, I had everything perfectly under control – could you not tell?”
He laughed softly, and took her hand in his. “You have kept your gloves on.” She blushed, and he ran his thumb deliberately across her fingers.
Mr. Collins whimpered in indignation. “Mr. Darcy? Of Pemberley?”
Darcy drew himself up into an imposing posture. “Indeed I am, sir, and if you do not cease your unseemly addresses to Elizabeth at once, Lady Catherine will hear of it.”
Mr. Collins gasped, and shrank back a little. “Lady Catherine,” he sputtered. He looked down at Darcy and Elizabeth’s hands entwined, and stomped his foot with a cry of horror. “No! I think I understand – but it is impossible! Oh dear – it must be true. I can think of no other reason my cousin should refuse me, but now I see, I see it all! She thinks to have you, Mr. Darcy – she has practiced her arts and allurements to draw you in! Think of your cousin, Miss de Bourgh!”
Elizabeth slipped her hand free and glared at her cousin. “Mr. Collins! I beg you would return to the house, and allow Mr. Darcy and I to speak privately.”
“I cannot allow that, Cousin Elizabeth – I cannot let you throw yourself at such a man as this! Can you not see the folly of putting yourself forward with a man so superior in every circumstance – and actually engaged to another?”
“That is a scandalous falsehood,” Darcy thundered, taking another ominous step toward the dreadful parson. “Furthermore, it can be no concern of yours. If you know what is good for you, you will leave us at once, and you will henceforth cease to speak of what does not concern you.”
Mr. Collins blanched and backed away from Darcy, but turned back to wag his finger at Elizabeth before he scurried away. “Your mother shall hear of this, Cousin.”
As Mr. Collins retreated to the house, Elizabeth began to laugh hysterically, and again she leaned into Darcy. He knew he ought not be surprised that she could find the humor in such a shocking scene, and after a moment his own vexation gave way to a shared sense of mirth.
She looked up at him, her eyes sparkling, and she arched an eyebrow at him. “Perhaps I ought not have kept my gloves on.”

Lizzy 1
Darcy laughed, and captured her hand once again. He gently tugged at one of her gloves, until it fell away. “Is that better? Perhaps you might catch him up, before he scampers off to tattle.”
Elizabeth smirked, letting her hand rest in his. “I really ought to, before I end up in Mamma’s black books for the remainder of the day – then again, she is so happy I doubt even I could vex her today.” She clasped his hand a little tighter. “I have you to thank for that.”
Darcy gazed down at her; he wished to say something eloquent, though his rapidly dwindling sense forestalled his from speaking. In the end, he only lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it.

Darcy
She blushed and looked away, gently withdrawing her hand. “I am sorry for my behavior yesterday.”
“It was natural and just,” Darcy replied. “I realize I judged your sister unfairly; it is I who should apologize.”
“I had already forgiven you,” she said, looking back up at him. She chewed her lip for a moment, and Darcy hoped she might say more, but she only flinched as her mother called her name from somewhere in the distance. “I better go inside,” she muttered. She hesitated, then stood up on her toes and kissed him softly on the cheek.
At that moment, there was another sound from the house – Mr. Bennet cleared his throat. Darcy and Elizabeth looked over at the window – it was open, and Mr. Bennet was standing behind it with his arms crossed. He did not look happy.
***
Thanks for joining me for this stop on my blog tour – I will be continuing this scene in another excerpt at Laughing with Lizzie.

OMG! I need to read what has happened for them to have such a lovely relationship! How they have managed Mr Collins 😀

Don’t forget that Madness in Meryton will be available on Kindle Unlimited July 24th! Amazon US

time to give away winners

Jayne Bamber is giving away one e-book copy for one winner. Click the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Madness in Meryton

Winner of “Missing Jane” by Bronwen Chisholm

Dear all,

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

Thank you all for commenting!

The winner is…

Glynis

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

I hope you enjoy this lovely story!

“Missing Jane” by Bronwen Chisholm, excerpt + giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the eldest Miss Bennet? No one really knows.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darcy nodded. “A week ago.”

She shook her head and laughed bitterly.

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

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

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

“Who have you spoken to regarding my sister?”

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

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

“Searching?”

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

“How long has it been?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Tour Update

1st of July Austen Authors

6th of July From Pemberley to Milton

8th of July Diary of an Eccentric

9th of July More Agreeably Engaged

10th of July Babblings of a bookworm

11th of July My Vices and Weaknesses

13th of July Austenesque Reviews

14th of July Interests of a Jane Austen girl

15th of July Laughing with Lizzie

25th of July My Love for Jane Austen

 

time to give away winners

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

“Fortune & Felicity” by Monica Fairview, review

Hello to all of you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would you like to connect with her?

Austen Variations      Blog       Website       Facebook

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

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

Blurb

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

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

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

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

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

Review

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

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

.

.

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5out5 stars

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

Amazon US             Amazon UK              Amazon CA               Amazon DE            Amazon ES

Blog tour

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

blog-tour-banner-ff-with-dates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook            Twitter           Amazon-Author      Goodreads   Facebook Author Page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————-

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon US       Amazon UK       Amazon CA       Amazon DE

Blog Tour

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

March 24 Savvy Verse & Wit MDC Blog Tour Banner Vert

March 25 Donadee’s Corner

March 26 Diary of an Eccentric

March 27  More Agreeably Engaged

March 30 My Vices and Weaknesses

March 31 So Little Time…

April 2 From Pemberley to Milton

April 3  Babblings of a Bookworm

April 6 Austenesque Reviews

 

time to give away winners

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

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

Rafflecopter – Mr. Darcy’s Clan

%d bloggers like this: