Lizzy locked up in her bedroom as she were the mad woman in the attic but in this case the “stubborn” woman in the bedroom according to some.
Darcy, soldier with a horrible experience that changes his temper.
Letters, so important in Jane Austen’s world. Love letters, friendship letters, letters that bring people to life. Letters that may not be read, or will be read by the recipient years later.
Honour, reputation, the ton… that does not matter sometimes but who can decide? who can decide what to believe? People will believe anything that they do not like and will just label it under any tag that goes against honour and reputation, no matter what…
Two fathers taking his children to see the continent. Little Lizzy and very little Georgina become more than friends, sisters. Fitzwilliam likes the friendship that her sister has, he enjoys little Lizzy and her mind. Mr Darcy and Mr Bennet, the “nerds” of the time: Latin, Greek, calculus… A trip that unites two families but death is ruthless. First Mr Darcy, then Mr Bennet. Moreover, war, India, so far away.
‘Promise me that we will write to each other’.
Years in order to read the letters, but everything changes, hearts change and the future looks good but not very good.
Hearts are still closed and real happiness takes a while. Actually we could even thank Mr Wickham for the beginning of pure happiness, although… it is Wickham nonetheless.
Really sweet story set a few decades before the time that Jane Austen gave to her Pride and Prejudice. There is a lot of suffering going on but we cannot underestimate the power of a letter even if it is not meant to be read directly.
Just a warning, you may dislike the dislike you will feel towards some normally lovely and loved characters from P&P.
This is the first book that I read by Timothy Underwood but it will not be the last one, that is for sure.
If you want to follow him or buy any of his books, check the links below:
Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.
I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered and predictable, if a bit confining.
Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.
Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.
Rich with humor, poignancy and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.
What do you think? Are you not really into Emma? Do you think she is just a bit silly spoilt child? Do you think she is just a bored rich kid? Maybe, maybe you are thinking that or maybe you actually really like this character and her way of seeing life. However, if you are one of the people who normally dislike Emma more than like her, this is your book to see her in a different light.
It is not anymore the 19th century but the 1970s when woman were not just a price to marry to someone or where there was not need to follow the strict rules of society. Women are more independent and have a bit more freedom to choose what they want to do. What? Are you going to give me a “but” were you will point out that she is still rich and doesn’t have to worry about earthly needs? Yes, I see you point but there are some other ideas shown in this book that will help you to forget that she is only a “rich girl”.
What about our Knightley here? He is not as old, I mean, their age gap is not so big and he is as charming or even more charming than the original (I can listen to voices saying “blasphemy!”). Yes, I do think that this Knightley is more charming but also because we are in another time, in another country and under other social reality.
For me the story flows so well that I have enjoyed every single scene, every single dialogue and I want to read it again after only a couple of weeks. Karen M Cox has taken the original by Jane Austen and put it in a different level when it comes to modern variations. She has been faithful to the book, that’s it, she has followed the same story-line but even if everything was moved forward a century and a half, the characters are faithful to the original just with their modern attributes attached to them.
I have enjoyed this Emma because she is more reasonable due to her time and it is a bit less capricious and more down to Earth so to speak. The rest of the characters are very well written and even if there are a few changes (she does not have a nanny/governor, she has an aunt), everything flows and links in a great writing manner.
Now let me introduce the guilty one who made me love I could write a book, Karen M Cox.
Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of novels accented with romance and history, including 1932 and its companion ebook novella The Journey Home, and the novels Find Wonder in All Things and Undeceived. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and a story titled, “I, Darcy” to The Darcy Monologues.
Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.
Karen is giving away two themed prizes during the blog tour, tokens of appreciation for readers of I Could Write a Book, and for supporters of the wonderful sites on the blog tour.
Tea Prize Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, Mr. Knightley’s Reserve and Emma’s Perfect Match teas from Bingley’s Teas, a set of Jane Austen Book Coasters, and a Jane Austen Quotes mug.
Pretty Things Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, an “Emma” quote pendant, an Emma bangle bracelet, Regency cameo earrings, and a jewellery roll.
Readers can enter for chances to win these prizes here. There are bonus entries for social media shares and visits, if you’re on social media. This is one big giveaway with two prizes.
You may be thinking it, where are the links to These Dreams? I have not forgotten, you have them just below in case you cannot wait to know if you are one of the winners on the giveaway and you have to buy it! I completely understand you.
In case you may not remember many things about today’s author, let me refresh your memory with Nicole Clarkston’s biography as there are a couple of important updates:
Nicole Clarkston is a book lover and a happily married mom of three. Originally from Idaho, she now lives in Oregon with her own romantic hero, several horses, and one very fat dog. She has loved crafting alternate stories and sequels since she was a child watching Disney’s Robin Hood, and she is never found sitting quietly without a book of some sort.
Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties―how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project, she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Her need for more time with these characters led her to simultaneously write Rumours & Recklessness, a P&P inspired novel, and No Such Thing as Luck, a N&S inspired novel. Both immediately became best selling books. The success she had with her first attempt at writing led her to write three other novels that are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.
I am not going to give you all the blurb of the book, you can check other stops in this blog tour to read it, I will just give you the first three sentences:
An abandoned bride
A missing man
And a dream that refuses to die…
Nicole is sharing with us a excerpt where Caroline (Obnoxious) Bingley appears together with Colonel (so nice) Fitzwilliam. This excerpt is a bit more serious than other parts in the book but I am pretty sure you will like the conclusion of this scene.
Here we have Nicole introducing the excerpt and you may like her more than at the very beginning of this post 😉
This scene takes place in chapter 62. Darcy has returned by this time, but the fact that he is alive is not yet public knowledge. Colonel Fitzwilliam has gone to London to search independently for some answers to the puzzle of who had captured his cousin, and what they were trying to get from him. Darcy remained in Derbyshire when Richard left, but circumstances arose which caused him to follow, unbeknownst to the colonel. Richard has already spent the day pursuing dead ends, and is just coming back to Darcy’s townhouse when this scene opens.
It had been an entire day, and Broderick had been no help yet. Richard walked slowly up the steps to Darcy House, barely seeing the brick and stone as his mind turned over more prospects. Of course, he must give Broderick more time to find whatever answers could be found, but Richard could not afford to wait longer. He must confront his brother, but how to do it?
His heavy tread stopped on the steps, though the footman already had the door open. Perhaps he ought to go now, instantly, to Matlock house and declare his knowledge of events. Surely, his father would support him! The entire family must have been already apprised of Darcy’s return, and a conference with his father was only the proper thing to do. He glanced up at the door, hesitated, and had just resolved to return to his carriage when a voice hailed him from the street.
“Colonel Fitzwilliam! I declare, I had not thought to encounter you here in Town just now!”
Richard cringed in recognition. Caroline Bingley! His face twitching in feigned pleasure, he turned to offer her a polite bow. “Good afternoon, Miss Bingley.”
She bustled to the steps, her companion following quietly behind. “Such a lovely afternoon it is! Mrs Temple and I were just at the milliner’s, and now we are to the dressmakers, so you see, we have been all over Town today.”
Richard glanced up the street and, indeed, the Bingley carriage awaited at the corner. “Is there a shop in this neighborhood, Miss Bingley? I was not aware.”
Miss Bingley had sidled near to him now. “Naturally, no!” she laughed. “But I directed my driver to bring us through Grosvenor Square, though it was a bit out of the way. Some of these streets we are often obliged to pass through are most unsuitable for ladies to travel!”
“That is lamentable,” he agreed. “If you will pardon me, Miss Bingley, I am afraid—”
“Oh! Do not let me detain you. Far be it from me to interrupt a gentleman about his business. Perhaps I shall leave my card for Miss Darcy, for I should dearly love to visit her if she has returned to Town with you. You arrived only yesterday, did you not?”
“I am afraid she has not come,” he answered shortly, annoyed at the freedom the woman took in stalking him like a cat after a mouse. Had she not found someone better to her liking in the last two months? Apparently not, as she was batting her lashes and peering hopefully toward the house.
“Oh, that is a pity, Colonel. I am certain that Miss Darcy deeply appreciates your diligent assistance with all her affairs, so that she may not be bothered with trips to Town just now. Do you think she shall come out next Season? I am certain, Colonel,” here, she rested a hand on his arm and graced him with a knowing smile, “that she shall be a great success, particularly if properly guided.”
“I am certain she shall, and it is well that it shall not be for me to direct her. Another will undertake to support and guide her.”
“That is wise,” she comforted him, “for a young lady’s first season must be delicately planned so that only the most suitable gentlemen are permitted to pay court to her.” She touched long fingers to her breast and nodded modestly. “I am all too familiar with the struggles of a débutante, sir, so my thoughts go out to Miss Darcy as she prepares for the coming year. Oh, my,” she smiled and withdrew a fan from her reticule, “has not the day warmed rather unpleasantly? I should not have expected it for so early in the year.”
He glanced at the iron sky, the walks still damp from the morning’s rain, and cocked a curious eyebrow at her. “I do not find it warm at all, Madam.”
“Oh, but it is so humid! I declare, I think I shall stifle in this fur, if I am not permitted a moment or two to remove it and breathe properly!”
Richard closed his eyes briefly. How was he ever to be rid of the woman? “Perhaps you are in need of some refreshment?” he heard himself suggest, and wished he could bite out his own cursed, well-bred tongue.
“Colonel, you are too kind! Why, that would be the very thing, do you not agree, Mrs Temple?” She turned and fairly led him up the steps to the house, requiring no one to show her to the drawing room. Richard groaned inwardly and glanced at the clock. An insufferable quarter of an hour would pass before he could be back about something useful, and during that time he feared the woman would contrive some means of throwing herself upon him. Just to be safe, he took a seat as far from her as he could while her tea was served.
She prattled on mercilessly, telling him all the gossip of all the people he never cared a whit about. He struggled not to roll his eyes. What did she take him for, another woman? He swallowed his tea politely, trying not to let his smile freeze in place by occasionally repeating her own statements back to her.
“How interesting,” he forcibly enthused. “Viscount Malvern engaged to Lady Serena Ashby. A fine match.”
“Oh, but that is not the half of it!” she flipped her hand in his direction. “Why, I was speaking with Lady Matlock not two days ago, and she informed me that the Season shall see yet another great match before it concludes.”
“Another? You don’t say.”
“Why, yes, but it is all a great mystery! Simply everyone is talking about it. Apparently, the names of the parties are a marvellous secret, for it has not been made official, but a gentleman from a noble house is to wed a lady of good birth and over ten thousand per year! Everyone is simply beside themselves trying to guess who it could be. Personally, I think it must be Lord Wallace and Lady Blackthorne, but the Countess was rather close on those details, and I shouldn’t wonder! It sounds as if she is in the confidences of both, and it promises to be the wedding to end the Season.”
“Interesting,” he mused, and this time, he meant it.
“Well, I am afraid I must be going,” she preened. “My appointment simply will not wait, but it was so good of you to invite us in to refresh ourselves. I always say that it is the mark of true gentility, to be ready to receive guests at any time.”
“Not at all, Miss Bingley. I am glad to be of service,” he bowed, and as his head dipped, sighed in relief. At last, she was going!
“Oh!” she turned at the door, as if she had forgotten something. “Do give my regards to Miss Darcy. I fear I am quite in arrears with my letter writing, but I do miss her terribly.”
He nodded, trying to conceal his impatience. “Indeed, Miss Bingley, I shall convey the message.” He looked up to signal the footman to open the door, but the man posted outside was already opening it for someone mounting the front steps. Richard caught a sharp breath. That could only mean….
“Well, now, it has been such a pleasure, Colonel. I always said, did I not Mrs Temple, that you are the kindest gentleman of my acquaintance.”
Richard bowed one more time, but his eyes were not on the lady. The door was open fully now, and a tall, dark figure was silhouetted in its frame. It was as if he were watching a shipwreck unfold, seeing each moment pass before his eyes at the speed of eternity. Miss Bingley turned, and her hand flew to her mouth. Her knees buckled, and Richard caught sight of her wild, white eyes as her head and arms snapped back in the most impressive fainting fit to which he had ever borne witness. Half-heartedly, he took a step nearer to lessen her fall, but he was too slow, and her aim too precise, as she tumbled helplessly into the arms of the newcomer.
“Well, Richard,” Darcy frowned, shifting his weight to place the lady’s inert form into the footman’s arms. “I did not know you were in the habit of distressing the guests into unconsciousness.”
Richard merely turned and beat his forehead with the heel of his hand.
Time to Give Away:
10 ebook copies for 10 different winners! Nicole is giving these 10 copies during her blog tour of These Dreams. You can be the lucky one by clicking on the link below and please read the terms and conditions for the giveaway just below the link. Good luck!
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.
A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of These Dreams by Nicole Clarkston. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.
wait wait! First of all I want to thank you for commenting and sharing my stop in the Blog Tour of When we are married by Caitlin Williams. I hope all of you read it and enjoy it because it is worth it!
Without further ado, here you have the result of the randomiser that I have done with random.org:
Vesper, you are the winner! I will email Claudine right now and sooner than later, you will enjoy this book!!
If you are not Vesper, you can always buy this great book, below you have a few links that you could use:
Not many words from me today for When we are married as I want you to read first the book description and then we “chat”, here you have it:
Two sisters, one man. Someone’s heart is about to get broken.
Elizabeth Bennet quickly realises she has misjudged Mr Darcy. In Kent, she learns first impressions are not always accurate. His proposal is disastrous, insulting even, but when she reads his letter her heart begins to thaw, and her objections and prejudices start to melt away. Elizabeth decides to offer Mr Darcy a sliver of hope, an apology, and a second chance.
Yet when he begins to call at Gracechurch Street, determined to become a better man and humbled by Elizabeth’s reproofs, he unwittingly stirs the romantic hopes of another lady altogether.
Jane Bennet is bereft and confused, rejected by Charles Bingley. She is fearful of becoming an old maid and eager to fall in love with the very first gentleman who takes notice of her. Mr Darcy just happens to be everything her mother has wanted for her; rich and handsome, the perfect suitor.
Through crowded, industrious Cheapside, to the elegant ballrooms of Mayfair, Mr Darcy chases Elizabeth Bennet, unaware that the quiet unassuming girl who smiles too much, is fully intent on chasing him.
So… what do you think? The first thing it came to mind was:
Cat fight!! I cannot believe it! Jane, what are you doing?? but at the same time it is: “Ohh, you poor thing!” How on earth this is going to end well?!?! But I hope it does if not I will scream 😉 Lizzy and Jane cannot be at odds with each other, they are BFF apart from sisters. Well, let’s try to forget that part for a bit, my next question would be: how does Elizabeth offer a sliver of hope? because Darcy becomes a regular at Mr and Mrs Gardiner’s home…
Author: Caitlin Williams
Let me introduce the guilty person of this possible cat fight, Caitlin Williams. A really good author and a very nice person that I was glad to meet a few months ago. You may be surprised about her former job.
Caitlin Williams is the author of two novels, Ardently and the best-selling The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, both based on the characters from Pride and Prejudice. She’s a lifelong Austen devotee and lover of all things regency.
Originally from South London, Caitlin spent thirteen years as a detective in the Metropolitan Police, but is currently on a break from Scotland Yard so she can spend more time at home with her two children and write.
Follow Caitlin on: FacebookGoodreadsAusten VariationsTwitter
Her voice had given the impression of confidence, her reply had been laced with tartness, but as she moved away—still feeling Mr Darcy’s gaze upon her—Elizabeth’s spirits were in a flutter.
Why was she not angrier? No matter how solicitous and civil he was now—amongst the more personable and respectable members of her family—she could not forget how he had once derided and despised others she loved. His treatment of Jane, refusing to greet her when she had made her visit to the Hursts’, coupled with the deviousness he had shown in keeping Mr Bingley oblivious to her sister’s presence in Town; it all should have made him truly despicable in her eyes.
And yet…oh, curse the man. His owning it so openly, so freely admitting to his faults, was horribly disarming and his teasing was so unexpected. “When we are married.” The audacity! As she neared the tea table she found herself tutting and smiling at the same time.
“You were speaking to Mr Darcy for a good long while, whatever about?” Jane asked.
Elizabeth blinked, thought quickly, and gave a blithe answer. “We found you to be a decent topic, dear heart. You are held by Mr Darcy in the highest esteem. You will never have a better compliment. I should treasure it. I doubt it is a regular habit of his to bestow such generous praise.”
“Lizzy,” Jane said, in a whisper. “Do you not see how he desires to make himself agreeable…to us all, I mean? I beg you not to be churlish. His manners have improved, I think, since Hertfordshire, though you will remember I never found them as reprehensible as you did.”
“But you find nothing or no-one reprehensible. I daresay you would find Genghis Khan an agreeable dinner companion.”
Jane was tight-lipped in response.
“Which is to your credit!’ Elizabeth exclaimed. “You know I jest and long to be as good as you. Sadly, it is not in my nature. I am my father’s daughter. Two parts cynical to one part obdurate.”
“Our family has not always shown itself to him in its best light. Let us make a good impression now.”
Bemused by Jane’s solemnity, Elizabeth shrugged. “I will try my best. I shall even take him over his coffee, as a gesture of goodwill. Will that smooth away the line which has appeared between your eyebrows?” She put a finger to her sister’s forehead.
Jane pushed away Elizabeth’s hand and pursed her lips. She then lifted the heavy silver coffee pot and carefully poured the thick black liquid into a delicate bone china cup, making it rattle gently against its saucer.
“Black, with one lump of sugar.” They both spoke at precisely the same time and then looked at one another in surprise.
Elizabeth laughed. “There is so little in the way of amusement at Rosings that even inconsequential nothings became of note. Mr Collins, you know, takes his tea with cream and three sugar lumps, which perhaps explains some of his rampant excitability.”
Jane gave her a smile in return but when Elizabeth held out her hand for the cup, all joy faded from her sister’s countenance.
“I will take it, Lizzy.”
“No, here comes our uncle, who looks desperately thirsty, you must pour for him. I will take this to Mr Darcy.”
Elizabeth reached for the beverage, but Jane pulled it quickly back, unbalancing the load. Although the saucer remained in her hand, the cup toppled, fell, and spun in mid-air before landing on the rug between their feet. The liquid was thrown up, splattering the hem of Jane’s gown. It miraculously avoided Elizabeth’s.
Jane gasped and cried out, drawing the attention of the whole room.
“Are you hurt?” Elizabeth asked at once, taking hold of her sister’s shaking wrist.
“No, no, I am well…it is just…” Jane tearfully broke off from them all. Everyone was rushing to her assistance, but she wrenched herself away and made for the door.
Elizabeth followed quickly, assuring her aunt Gardiner, who started to trail after them, that she would send for her if she was needed. Her aunt went back to the drawing room while Elizabeth caught up with Jane in the hallway, taking her wrist once again to make her stop. “Come now, what is all this? ’Tis a small accident. It will be forgotten in a trice.”
“I have made a fool of myself and it is ruined,” Jane said, choking back a sob, nodding towards the hem of her gown.
“No, our aunt’s maid will soak it and it will be as good as new. Are you sure you are not burnt?”
Jane shook her head and was far more emotional than the accident warranted. Tears fell, much to Elizabeth’s astonishment. “Jane, this is not like you. Let me help you change.”
“I can manage, Lizzy. Go back in please. Go back and amuse everybody, as you always do. Make them laugh and smile. You are so good at it. You will make them forget my clumsiness. I will be back presently.”
The more Elizabeth pleaded to be allowed to help, the more her sister put her off and so she reluctantly went back to the drawing room.
Upon her return, Mr Darcy got so quickly to his feet and asked after Jane’s welfare in such earnest tones, even going so far as to offer the services of his own physician, that Elizabeth could not help but be amused at his seriousness. She made a very serious face of her own. “I am afraid my sister has suffered the type of wound that no lady should ever have to bear. Imagine, if you will, what terrible pain accompanies the belief that a favourite gown is ruined forever.”
Mr Darcy continued to frown for the briefest of moments before fully understanding her. “My surgeon is good with a needle but probably unused to satin.”
They were both amused then, and Elizabeth found herself lingering in front of him, wondering if he would say anything else. It was difficult, while under the spell of his smile, to remember why she had ever disliked him. But she grew conscious when he said nothing further and continued to just look at her, unabashedly, unashamedly—did he not realise he was staring?
And, oh dear, was it possible she had been staring back?
Time to Give Away
Caitlin Williams is offering one ebook copy of When we are married to one of my readers. To participate on the giveaway you only have to comment on this post and I would like to know what you think about this book and the excerpt. To get an extra entry you can tweet and/or share this post on Facebook in public mode (one entry per day, please copy the link on the comments). All entries before the 3oth July will be counted, GMT time. I will do my best to have the winner published on the 30th or 31st of July.
15, a lucky number for some people, “la niña bonita” (the pretty girl) when it comes to bingo in Spanish, fifteen are the stories in The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd and written by fifteen authors, come of them with a lot of JAFF written, a few other with a bit less written so far but with a great future ahead of them.
I am pleased to introduce one of these authors who has one of the regency stories on the monologues, KaraLynne Mackrory. She has written Clandestiny and in this particular case, I will leave you with Natalie Richards to tell you about it and about KaraLynne.
Falling for KaraLynne Mackrory by Natalie Richards
I am excited to read all of the stories by my fabulous fellow authors of The Darcy Monologues, but I confess to having a particular soft spot for KaraLynne Mackrory. I’ve been reading her books for years now, and had the pleasure of hosting her on my blog twice before we both contributed stories to the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology.
I always approach a KaraLynne Mackrory story with a greedy sort of glee, like a dragon with a shiny new treasure to hoard. Her stories have been making me happy ever since I read Bluebells in the Mourning. They always have the perfect blend of ingredients; a pinch of angst, a dash of humor, and enough romance to make the stoutest heart swoon. I know when I pick one up that there will be hours of enjoyment to be found betwixt their covers.
Clandestiny is the title of her contribution to the anthology. It caught my eye immediately. It is just a deliciously mysterious word, is it not? Add that to the anticipation of pleasure her previous books gave rise to, and the story becomes irresistible. KaraLynne likes her twists and turns, occasionally even a touch of magic, so I do not know what to expect, I only know it will be good.
I am not going to do a normal review, I will leave you with my questions, the ones I leave to tease you or to intrigue you. I have to say that KaraLynne´s story is lovely and a bit funny with the turning and turning and turning again 😉
What if Netherfield has secrets? What if Darcy is not so proud? What if Elizabeth understands better how society works? What if a slipper is a key in a story? (and not exactly like Cinderella’s) What if “but you do not even like me, sir” is my new catchy phrase? Yes, I think I will repeat that sentences in my mind for a few days and it will remind me of this story.
KaraLynne tells us about herself
How did you come to be inspired by Miss Austen as both a woman and then, as a writer?
Pride and Prejudice was the first of her works that I read and I found it incredibly funny. I started to think about what kind of woman could produce such witty and dry humor as would be necessary for this prose. The more I learned about the time in which Jane Austen lived the more I came to respect her further because my girl Jane didn’t live an easy life and yet she found humor in things. I like to think that I do that too and that we could have been good friends. Her writing proves her outlook on life had to be through humorous glasses. I have mad respect for that.
Can you offer readers a brief description of your story and tell us why you chose to set your story in the Regency era?
I chose to set my story in the regency era mostly because I am very comfortable in that setting, and I love the romance of the time. My short story evolved from the desire to see what fun could be had with a secret door, a surprise encounter and a little bit of forced seclusion for our two sweethearts. I’ve always thought that if Darcy and Elizabeth could just spend time together alone they would come to see their futures are destined together. So my story gives them that chance.
This year we’re coming up on the 200th anniversary of the publications of Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. What were you trying to capture in your story, Clandestiny, of Jane Austen in The Darcy Monologues?
I always hope to emulate her writing style and to keep her characters true to the ones she created originally but I also hoped that Clandestiny would be a glimpse into the conflicted and passionate heart of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. He’s a man that epitomises the “still waters run deep” saying and I give the readers a look into what runs deep for Darcy.
The reactions to this upcoming release have been overwhelmingly positive from readers and I think that’s also in response to Mr. Darcy’s tremendous popularity throughout the past two centuries. Why do you believe that modern-day woman still find him so appealing?
Because he’s mysterious, noble, good and kind – let’s not forget handsome, rich and sexy. What’s not to love? He’s terribly flawed and yet at his heart he is a good man who cares deeply. Everyone wants to be cherished and we know a man like Darcy would execute the job admirably while also being a challenge for us and keeping the appeal alive. I’ve heard complaints from men that they can’t measure up to the perfection of Darcy – and yet that’s where they are wrong. Because Darcy isn’t perfect – far from it. But where it counts he has what we want. We want to feel empowered, while also protected. We want to feel capable while also cared for. Darcy can be a class A jerk and yet he can be tender too. But I think what makes him most appealing is his willingness to try to be better. He sees a fault in himself and instead of making an excuse about it – “that’s just how I am” – he endeavours to be better. And that is sexy.
Did writing this story make you appreciate something about Jane Austen all over again?
As I wrote above, Jane is a witty girl and with my story I paid homage to that by creating a romantic scene with a touch of the funny.
Can you give us a six-word memoir about yourself?
Mother, wife, writing of love life.
What can readers look forward to reading from you in the future and how can readers stay in touch with you?
I have a storyline in the works, but sadly it is not far enough to have any kind of timeline for publication. I connect frequently with readers through book groups, fairs, and online. I love this part of being an author the best! So, please contact me, I’d love to hear what you think of my stories.
To be honest, more than a mini-review, I will give you a couple of words, or a sentence, a quote of each story, from them you just need to use your imagination 😉
This is a great read, Darcy’s words, Darcy’s thoughts in so many stories and also in different eras. He shows us his love for Elizabeth, his struggle sometimes but *spoiler alert* his happy ending and how he cherish it.
Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams: Darcy has to put the best announcement on the paper ever!
From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft: tongue and letter, tongue and letter and repeat.
If Only a Dream by Joana Starnes: 17 hours and a half. She is not ghost or a vision.
The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford: The Beauty and the Beast at Pemberley.
A resentful man by Lory Lilian: his unsteady knees.
In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani: “you lied to me (…) you must marry her!”
Without Affection by Jan Hahn: “I failed to see the fascination” (that’s what you think!)
Hot for teacher by Sara Angelini: Elizabeth, you led him on!! You, naughty girl 😛
You don’t know me by Beau North: “shut up and…” x2
Reason to Hope by Jenetta James: “Elizabeth, there isn’t anything between me and Caroline Bingley, you know.”
I, Darcy by Karen M Cox: a farm, a restaurant “Seasons”.
Pemberley by Stage by Natalie Richards: maybe he does not abhor disguise so much.
The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland: what a Porsche Sherlock has 😛
Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose: he won the game.
Time to Give Away
Two lovely prizes for two winners are waiting thank you to The Darcy Monologues.
One winner will win our grand prize of 24 paperback books, each one autographed by the author, and mailed to the winner’s home.
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.
Don Jacobsonhas 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 Series—The 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).
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.
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!”
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.
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.