“Dangerous Magic” by Monica Fairview, review + giveaway

An enchanting tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two magicians who must work together to save the Kingdom. 
Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans. 
But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential for the Kingdom to defeat Napoleon’s mages. Darcy and Elizabeth may dislike each other on sight, but they must overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.
Join the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice in this Jane Austen Variation, a bewitching story of determination, love, and hope against all odds. 
Dangerous Magic is a complete stand-alone book, but the series continues as Darcy and Elizabeth work together to face more challenges ahead of them. 

Dear all,

How are you doing? We are in Spring! Flowers around and a lovely sun too. Therefore, it is a great time to read Monica Fairview’s latest novel Dangerous Magic if you have not read it yet.

I want to ask you if you have read the last sentence on the blurb: the series continues… That is a great piece of news! I will tell you what I think about this book in a bit but I cannot wait to read the next book 🙂

The author

Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen sequels and variations as well as Regencies. Her latest novel is a Pride and Prejudice fantasy variation, Dangerous Magic. Her biggest claim to fame is living in Elizabeth Gaskell’s house in Manchester, long before the house was restored. After studying in the USA, she taught literature, then became an acupuncturist. She now lives near London. 

Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. Some of her favorites are ‘North and South’, ‘Bright Star’ and ‘War and Peace’, and a dozen others that she couldn’t possibly list here. Of course, she has watched Pride and Prejudice (1995 and 2005) more times than she could count on her hands and toes.

Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink tea, and visit National Trust historic properties [those were the days!], and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says.

You can find Monica in the following places:

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST

You will be able to read it in a second but I highly recommend you to check Dangerous Magic and you can do it here:

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REVIEW

What I like the most is how they grow from annoyance (forced marriage), to kindness and without realising to love. They only get to realise when there are more obstacles for them.

Apologies, I am getting ahead of the story but I can only say that this is a sweet story with angst. How does it work? I love how Monica portrays Elizabeth since she is in her house and asked to leave her family to marry some super wizard because apparently she is the best magical match for him to protect the country. It is also good to see Darcy finally getting engaged to his cousin to get this stopped due to the defence of the country. All very patriotic but also there are others who are not so in favour of the country as they are of their own success.

Darcy and Elizabeth have to marry because if they are going to be magic partners, Elizabeth’s reputation would be tainted. Therefore, there is no other reason: marriage is the solution and with marriage, he put a ring on it. I mean, on Elizabeth’s finger 🙂

They work really hard to bond, they look for help but there is so much fire between them (literally). Everybody is counting on them but they are trying everything. It is fair to say that Darcy is pretty prejudiced at the beginning and, obviously, Elizabeth is pretty stubborn but they tried.

They had help from Lord Matlock (I love his character) or even the non-magical Colonel Fitzwilliam or Bingley. Even Caroline can seem nice once she gets more time with Elizabeth and also compared to some new characters.

I have truly enjoyed their relationship and how many obstacles they have to sort. The story flows, the writing is beautiful and I cannot wait to read what more happens. In this story we see the magic more from the defensive side but I am looking forward to reading some offensive with these two together.

However, do not think that because there is a SPOILER ALERT…

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a happy ending, it is actually a total happy ending. Being in war against France may not be the best scenario for these two to continue their marriage.

Blog tour

Do not miss great stops on this tour. You will get so much more about Dangerous Magic!

One winner will get a ebook copy of Dangerous Magic. Monica will choose a winner from the comments on this post before the end of the blog tour. Good luck!

“Interrupted Plans” by Brigid Huey, excerpt and giveaway

Dear all,

I have to confess that I have a big bookish problem lately because I barely have time to read and there are so many fantastic books being published lately that I want to pull my hair. One of those intriguing books is Interrupted Plans by Brigid Huey (I hope to read it this month or the next one!). Only the blurb calls me to read it but, once you read the scene that Brigid is sharing with us, I am sure that you will want to read more of those looks! Let me allow you to read the blurb:

Suppose Elizabeth Bennet never visited Pemberley…

It is October of 1812. Elizabeth Bennet and her family have seen dramatic changes in the past few months—none of them welcome. Her sister Jane needs a fresh start, and Elizabeth is no less eager to leave behind the pain and confusion of not accepting Mr. Darcy’s proposal.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has not seen Elizabeth since he offered for her—and she adamantly refused him. When she appears in London, he is determined to gain her friendship and make amends. When a carriage mishap throws them together, Darcy does all he can to demonstrate his changed behavior.

Though their renewed acquaintance seems to be growing into a genuine friendship, a family secret constrains Elizabeth. As she falls deeper in love with the man she rejected, does she dare tell him the truth?

The blurb already starts well with Elizabeth having read the letter but not having seen him at Pemberley, as you have read, this is the first time after the proposal… Second, who is Mr. W…? Oops, that’s not on the blurb, but there will be a bit of info soon in this post.

What family secret do we have? Is it Lydia? Is it something else? I really want to know!!

Let me (re)introduce you to the author of Interrupted Plans:

Brigid Huey has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids and spends her free time reading and writing. She also has an assortment of birds, including five chickens and too many parakeets. She dreams of living on a farm where she can raise as many chickens, ducks, and goats as she likes and write romance novels in an airy study overlooking the wildflowers.

Follow and contact Birgid Huey on:

Website Facebook Author Page Email Instagram Twitter

I am very glad that Brigid is sharing her latest book with us and also is giving us a peek in the story with this short but very interesting excerpt! (remember the looks)

Thank you so much for having me on My Vices and Weaknesses today! I’m excited to share another excerpt from my book, Interrupted Plans. In this scene, Elizabeth and Darcy are sharing a meal with her family and a new friend, a Mr. Wessex of Bedfordshire and Scotland.

“As I am sure you can guess: I am travelling north as well. I am sorry to hear about your troubles, Miss Elizabeth.”

“The meeting of so many friends has softened our inconvenience considerably, Mr Wessex,” Aunt Gardiner replied with a smile.

Looking at the two men side by side, Elizabeth was struck by Mr Wessex’s youthful appearance. He seemed much younger than Mr Darcy. She knew Mr Darcy had been given all the cares and responsibilities of an adult at a young age. Perhaps his bearing exuded more maturity by habit.

“You say you are heading north, sir,” Uncle Gardiner said. “Do you reside in Derbyshire as Mr Darcy does?”

“No, sir. I am travelling even farther north. I have an estate in Scotland that I am attempting to make prosperous once again.”

“Mr Wessex is considering sheep farming, Uncle,” Elizabeth supplied.

“Yet he is unwilling to remove the crofts, are you not Wessex?” Darcy added.

“Indeed! Darcy here is giving me a great amount of counsel on the matter. I mean to keep the small farms and add sheep farming. It will be a difficult business, but I feel confident that my tenants and I shall be all the stronger for it once we have accomplished our goal.”

“I am glad to hear that you are keeping the crofts, sir. When we spoke about the matter the other day, you seemed rather undecided.”

“You are very astute, Miss Elizabeth. In truth, I lacked pride in my convictions. It was Darcy who helped me to see what I truly desired to do with the estate. He has confidence in spades, you know.”

Elizabeth could not help but glance at Darcy, though she wished she had not a moment later. He was staring at her, his face a mixture of emotions she could not interpret.

“My confidence in estate matters comes from time and experience, as I have been managing Pemberley for many years now. It is possible to be too sure of your opinions, Wessex. Better to think deeply about them, as you have. Pride in your convictions can too easily become arrogance.”

“Well said!” Mr Gardiner raised his wine glass in salute.

Elizabeth could not help responding. “Mr Darcy, I do not believe anyone who truly knows you would call you arrogant or prideful.”

He looked at her again, their gazes locking across the table. For a moment, Elizabeth forgot all about Mr Wessex and her family. All she saw was Darcy, his dark eyes burning into hers with an intensity that took her breath away.

Can you imagine those dark eyes? I definitely can and I could imagine that Elizabeth may have shivered apart from forgetting all about Mr. Wessex and her family.

Are you ready to buy it? If you want, you could do it here:

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Blog tour schedule

Would you like to know a bit more about Interrupted Plans? Just check the rest of the blog tour and enjoy!!

March 4 My Jane Austen Book Club

March 5 So little time…

March 8 From Pemberley to Milton

March 9 My Vices and Weaknesses

March 10 Diary of an Eccentric

March 11 Savvy Verse & Wit

March 12 Austenesque Reviews

March 15 Babblings of a Bookworm

Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Brigid Huey’s Interrupted Plans, and the giveaway is international. Yes, eight winners from the tour will get one ebook copy of this interesting novel! If you want to participate, click the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Interrupted Plans

I have to say that the cover and backcover are amazing!!

“Nine Ladies” by Heather Moll, cut scene + giveaway

Nine ladies? Nine Bennet sisters??? Nine ladies of the ton? Yes, I know, nothing like it. I am aware that you have already read a lot about Heather Moll’s latest book Nine Ladies and you are aware that they are not physical ladies, or, are they? 😉

I am really looking forward to reading this book, and in case you have not read about it, here you have the blurb:

The Darcy family has grudgingly kept the secret about the power contained within a nearby stone circle called Nine Ladies. Fitzwilliam Darcy is forced to contend with this secret when a young woman from the future appears at Pemberley. Until the opinionated stranger can return to when she belongs, Darcy is responsible not only for her safety, but also for ensuring that nothing she does threatens Pemberley’s well-being.

Elizabeth Bennet has returned to England to take care of her estranged father, and her life was off track long before she walked into that stone circle at sunset. She quickly discovers that, as a poor and single woman, she’ll have to rely on the arrogant Mr. Darcy. She tries her best to survive in the nineteenth-century until she can return home but, as she and Darcy grow closer, the truth she knows about his and Pemberley’s bleak future becomes harder to keep.

How can Darcy and Elizabeth overcome 200 years of differences in this era-spanning love story?

Seriously, I am totally hooked with this blurb, even if I would not know anything else, I would have it straight away on my TBR pile on the top top.

A love story with 200 years in between. Darcy and Elizabeth, the Regency Darcy and a modern Elizabeth, just love it! Am I the only one who wants to know what Elizabeth knows about Pemberley??

Don’t you like the cover? I find it very cute.

Let me introduce you to Heather in case you have not read about her when she has visited before:

Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a masters in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring her letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether or not to buy groceries or stay home and write. Visit her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a freebie and monthly updates. Moreover you can follow her on:

Website: https://www.heathermollauthor.com

FB: @HeatherMollAuthor

Instagram: @HeatherMollAuthor

Twitter: @HMollAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/heathermoll

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07V5KLGB8

If you read me from time to time, you may remember that I like to share excerpts when I am participating in a blog tour, however, I also enjoy the cut scenes that do not make it to the final editing for different reason. I hope you like Miss Bingley is all her jealousy!

Thank you so much for welcoming me today, Ana! I’m excited to share a cut scene from Nine Ladies with your readers. This was a scene toward the middle of the story while Darcy is considering Elizabeth’s impending return to the 21st century. The Bingleys—who don’t know anything about the time travel portal at the Nine Ladies stone circle—have arrived at Pemberley. Darcy is walking outside with Miss Bingley and is determined that no one learn that his other houseguest is not his housekeeper’s cousin but is actually from 2011. As you can imagine, Miss Bingley is none too thrilled that another single woman is in residence at Pemberley. The point of this scene was to show her jealousy and Darcy’s strengthening attachment to a woman who is out of her time. In the end, this scene wasn’t necessary to get any of those points across, so it went.

June 7, 1811

15 days until Summer Solstice

“I admire your kindness in allowing your housekeeper’s relation to stay,” Miss Bingley said to him after she appreciated his taste in having his gardener plant a cluster of purple flowers he could not name. “It shows a generosity of spirit most gentleman would not allow.”

“I fail to see how allowing the relative of my most dependable servant to remain in my home for the spring is anything more than my Christian duty.”

“Oh, of course, any Christian gentleman would do the same. But to allow a poor, friendless woman to be on equal terms with Miss Darcy is nothing short of munificence.”

“Miss Bennet is the daughter of a gentleman.”

“Still, Eliza Bennet is a woman with no connections who, at times, gives her opinion too decidedly and at other times is entirely silent. She has nothing to recommend her. Neither fortune, nor friends, nor talent. Nor beauty,” she added.

Darcy kept his silence.

Miss Bingley tightened her grip on his arm. “You would not countenance the nonsense she put forth yesterday while you and Charles were away. She attempted to tell Miss Darcy that if women were educated the way gentlemen are, they might consider themselves entitled to pursue their own happiness on the strangest of terms!”

“What terms are those?” Darcy asked, suspecting the answer.

“That their own desires could be anything other than being content to be a dutiful daughter or a submissive wife! Mrs. Younge was gone from the room, but I told Miss Darcy that Miss Bennet was misguided.”

“Is vocational female education an insult to your sensibilities?”

“If it comes at the price of a woman of good breeding acquiring the necessary accomplishments to secure herself a husband, I must speak against it. As would any respectable person, man or woman.”

Darcy had never given the matter any consideration until he met Miss Bennet and learned what sort of a world she lived in. “I see no reason why women ought not to be permitted to act like the rational creatures that they are.”

“I heartily agree with you! Every rational woman wishes to put her life entirely into the hands of her husband.”

Darcy repressed a sigh.

“Your sister tells me you often walk with Miss Bennet or take her in your curricle. I cannot comprehend what such a woman has to speak about that is not tiresome to a gentleman of your intelligence.”

“We can invite her to join us and you may find out for yourself on what subjects Miss Bennet prefers to speak.”

“When will poor unconnected Eliza Bennet return to her friends in the Canadas?”

“She is to leave on the twenty-second to sail from Portsmouth to New York. From there the British consul can help grant her passage north.” He hoped to put off further questions. He had not found a specific ship leaving for North America around the solstice.

“It would be a shame if some French privateer captured their ship and took her prisoner. Or if the talk of war with the Americans prevented her safe passage from New York to,” Miss Bingley wrinkled her nose, “where does she live?”

“York.”

“Good heavens!” She cackled. “Do they have brick buildings? Did she grow up in a canvas tent?”

“I understand there are many homes in York that display a considerable degree of taste.”

“But consider the limited society of an insignificant town in the wilderness. I wonder if Eliza Bennet has even been to an assembly.”

“You may inquire about her experiences. I have no interest in hearing ladies talk over an evening of dancing.”

“We must have a little dance at Pemberley! We can demonstrate to the uncultured savage how proper society dances before Eliza Bennet returns to where she belongs.”

“Then I must ask Miss Bennet for her hand for a set.”

At that moment they were met from another walk by Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bennet herself. Darcy could tell by the set of her shoulders and the way she held his gaze that she had heard, at least, the end of Miss Bingley’s conversation.

“I…I did not know that you intended to walk,” said Miss Bingley, understanding that her comments were overheard.

“Oh, I enjoy walking. Mr. Darcy and I in the habit of coming out while Miss Darcy has lessons with Mrs. Younge. It is one of my greatest pleasures while I have been at Pemberley.”

Miss Bennet spoke sweetly, her expression bland and cheerful, but Miss Bingley’s jealousy rose like a specter to join them. Darcy tried not to flinch when Miss Bingley’s tightened her grip further. Miss Bennet might not have noticed his reaction, but she clearly observed Miss Bingley’s possessive hold and tried to hide a smile.

“You used me ill,” Mrs. Hurst said, ending the awkward pause, “running away without telling me that you were coming out.” Then, taking his disengaged arm, she left Miss Bennet to walk by herself. Their rudeness embarrassed him, and he suggested finding a walk wide enough to include Miss Bennet.

“No, I have had the pleasure of Mr. Darcy’s company on daily walks for weeks. You old friends must have a lot to catch up on, and I would just be in the way.” She caught his eye, and her laughing tone made it clear that—although she knew how uncomfortable he was—she was leaving him anyway. “I will keep Georgiana company while she practices with Mrs. Younge.” He watched her run off toward the house, before Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst called his attention and led him away. Darcy spent the next hour outside with two accomplished, diverting ladies, and he was desperately, soul-achingly lonely.

She was leaving him anyway.

Miss Bennet was leaving forever in a fortnight. He would do well to remember that.

It’s no spoiler to say that Darcy is going to have a hard time dealing with Miss Bennet returning to the future on the solstice! You’ll have to read Nine Ladies to find out what Elizabeth is thinking about Darcy at this point in the story, and what will happen on the solstice.

“Muahahaha”, that’s what Elizabeth is thinking when he leaves Mr. Darcy with the Bingley sisters, don’t you think? I can understand that this scene may not get any point across but I still enjoy it. I can totally imagine a very proper Mr. Darcy but with his eyes showing longing and loneliness once “Eliza” leaves him with the other two. What I am also eager to read is their interactions, their conversation, a 21st century Elizabeth Bennet and, as I mentioned before, a Regency Darcy. Their discussions must be something!

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

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Blog Tour

Lovely book with a lovely blog tour. A lot of different posts for you to enjoy much more about Nine Ladies. Have a look at the ones that started it on Monday and Tuesday, and do not forget to check the ones coming!

There are six ebook copies for six winners during this blog that finishes on the 13th of February. If you want to participate, click the link below and follow the instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Nine Ladies

“Determination” by C.P. Odom, excerpt + giveaway

Happy New Year to everyone! I am aware that we are almost at the end of January but as it is my first post, I thought I could start for hoping that everybody is feeling well.

I am glad to have a visit from C.P. Odom again and in this occasion he is introducing his latest book: Determination. I like the title, it is promising, isn’t it? We like determined people.

What is this book about? Let’s have a look:

“Love at first sight” is a laughable concept in the considered opinion of Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam and never occurs in real life—certainly not in the life of an experienced soldier. In fact, until he observes the smitten nature of his cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy, he doubts that fervent love truly exists. Marriage, after all, is a matter of money, social standing, and property.

But his cousin becomes besotted with Elizabeth Bennet, the lovely but penniless daughter of a Hertfordshire gentleman, and is determined to make her his wife. Unfortunately, emotions overwhelm his good judgment, and he botches an offer of marriage.

When the colonel attempts to untangle the mess, his own world becomes almost as chaotic when he makes the accidental acquaintance of Miss Jane Bennet, Elizabeth’s beloved elder sister. Can emotions previously deemed impossible truly seize such a level-headed person as himself? And can impassible obstacles deter a man of true determination?

Ooops! Colonel and Jane? But Bingley is there… as you could see later. Darcy being besotted with Elizabeth does not surprise us much, does it? although I want to see how similar or different is his proposal. Back to the colonel, when does he meet Jane? How is that “accidental” acquaintance? How determined is he? What do Darcy and Elizabeth do?

C.P. Odom may need to answer all these questions but I think it may be as entertaining to read Determination. If somebody does not know Colin, he is introducing himself. Welcome again!

By training, I’m a retired engineer, born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Sandwiched in there was a stint in the Marines, and I’ve lived in Arizona since 1977, working first for Motorola and then General Dynamics.

I raised two sons with my first wife, Margaret, before her untimely death from cancer, and my second wife, Jeanine, and I adopted two girls from China. The older of my daughters recently graduated with an engineering degree and is working in Phoenix, and the younger girl is heading toward a nursing degree.

I’ve always been a voracious reader and collector of books, and my favorite genres are science fiction, historical fiction, histories, and, in recent years, reading (and later writing) Jane Austen romantic fiction. This late-developing interest was indirectly stimulated when I read my late wife’s beloved Jane Austen books after her passing.  One thing led to another, and I now have five novels published:  A Most Civil Proposal (2013), Consequences (2014), Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets (2015), and Perilous Siege (2019), and A Covenant of Marriage (2020). Four of my books are now audiobooks, Most Civil Proposal, Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets, Consequences, and A Covenant of Marriage.

I retired from engineering in 2011, but I still live in Arizona with my family, a pair of dogs (one of which is stubbornly untrainable), and a pair of rather strange cats.  My hobbies are reading, woodworking, and watching college football and LPGA golf (the girls are much nicer than the guys, as well as being fiendishly good putters). Lately I’ve reverted back to my younger years and have taken up building plastic model aircraft and ships (when I can find the time).

I am glad to be able to participate on this blog tour, but I must tell you to check the other entries, so far you can learn a lot about Determination. Have a look!

18th January 2021 Babblings of a Bookworm

19th January So little time…

20th January Diary of an Eccentric

21st January My Vices and Weaknesses

22nd January Austenesque Reviews

25th January Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

26th January Donadee’s Corner

When you read the excerpt that C.P. Odom has for us, you may then go and check if you can peek more inside this book!

This excerpt is from Chapter 12 of my new novel, Determination. Previously, Colonel Fitzwilliam invited Jane, Elizabeth, and their aunt and uncle to be his guests at the theatre. Following that evening, Elizabeth tells the colonel that she has decided to allow Darcy another chance to seek her favour by formally courting her in the usual fashion. As her price for this change of mind, she wants Darcy to confess what he did to separate Bingley from her sister. This excerpt deals with Bingley’s reaction to the express he receives from Darcy on that subject.

Chapter 12

Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

– Robert Heinlein

Thursday, May 6, 1812
Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Charles Bingley was not in a particularly good mood as he cantered into the stable yard behind his cousin’s estate. A good part of his discontent was the thought of going into the house for breakfast. Despite the fact that he had worked up a good appetite with his brisk morning ride, he could depend on Caroline arriving at the breakfast table as soon as the meal was announced, and he found it wearing to have to listen to her incessant complaints: Scarborough was a boring town, there was nothing to do, and why could they not return to London?

As he swung down from the saddle and handed the reins to a stable boy, he shook his head in irritation with his sister. He knew that he should not allow her to spoil what ought to be a relaxing visit with their many relatives in the area, but he did not seem able to ignore her as he used to. He had tried to inform her that there was no reason for her dissatisfaction since Scarborough was believed to be England’s first seaside resort and was a popular destination for the wealthy of London. But she had ignored him, and he knew why. She wanted to return to London in order to continue her useless pursuit of Darcy, hoping for an invitation to spend the summer months at Pemberley away from the unhealthy streets of London. That would be pleasant enough, but Caroline could not accept that Darcy was simply not interested in her beyond her relationship as a sister to his good friend—certainly not as a wife despite her beauty, wealth, and supercilious manners cultivated and honed by the elite school she and Louisa had both attended.

I am not sure just what kind of woman Darcy is looking for, he thought, but it is certainly not Caroline. When Darcy made that comment at Netherfield about a woman not being truly accomplished unless she could improve her mind by extensive reading, she did not realize he was describing her. Caroline might read, but her book selections do nothing to broaden her horizons.

He was at times tempted to respond with one of his late mother’s favourite sayings when Caroline was young that “boring people are the first to be bored. Are you a boring person, Caroline?”

He smiled at the thought as he walked into the house. He knew he could not be so cold as to repeat his mother’s words, but it was tempting. Very tempting.

The butler must have heard his footsteps as he went down the hall towards the stairs since he stepped out of his little cubby. “An express arrived for you while you were out, sir. From what the express rider said, it appears to be rather important.” He gestured to a silver salver on a small table. Bingley thanked him and picked up the letter, noting it was from Darcy.

I wonder what of importance Darcy has to relate, he thought idly. He, of course, knows that we planned to stay several more weeks before returning to London. And that we shall do, no matter how much Caroline complains. Perhaps it is about that town house I have been interested in buying. In any case, I am sure it concerns nothing of real importance.

However, despite what the butler had said about the importance of Darcy’s express, Bingley was too hungry to read it just now and instead hurried to the breakfast room.

It was almost an hour later before Bingley climbed the stairs and stalked down the hallway to his room. His breakfast sat like a lump of lead in his stomach after barely being able to restrain his temper as Caroline launched into her usual litany of complaints, and he threw Darcy’s express onto the writing desk while he went to the sideboard and filled a glass from the decanter of port. He was so upset that it took a valiant effort to pass by the brandy in favour of the lesser-strength beverage, and it was almost a quarter hour more before he retrieved the express.

He noted the date and time written in the corner and shook his head. Darcy wrote this on Saturday and it is just now arriving, he thought in disgust. That is almost five days! It only takes about three days by coach. Depending on the roads, of course.

Still, he was not that surprised. A postal rider travelled only about three miles in an hour, and even the usual express rider could only manage to increase that to four miles. And they could not travel by day and night; the roads were safer now that so many turnpikes had been opened, but travelling at night was still a risky business. He knew Darcy must have paid extra for even a five-day delivery.

But Bingley was not an overly introspective man, so he shrugged and opened the express.

***

Three quarters of an hour and another glass of port later, Bingley was vaguely conscious of a knock at his door, but he ignored it as he concentrated on trying to make both his message and his penmanship intelligible. The knock came again, and again he ignored it as his quill scratched over the paper.

“Charles?”

His sister’s voice became more strident as she repeated his name. It was only after two more repetitions that Bingley looked up from his letter.

“Go away, Caroline,” he said as he saw his sister. “I am busy. I have several expresses to write and dispatch. But make yourself useful. Ring for the butler.”

Caroline’s lips were compressed in anger as she went to several bell cords hanging from the ceiling and pulled one before turning back to her brother.

“Charles, stop that writing! I want to talk to you.”

“I care little what you want. I am busy.”

“I have just talked with Louisa, and we are both agreed that we want to load up your coach and return to London.”

“You do, do you? Hah!” Bingley concluded his second express and finished addressing it when the butler knocked at the door and entered.

“Ah, Smith! I have several things that I need to get done immediately. First, send word to the stables to have my coach prepared. Then summon my valet to pack my trunk. I want to be on my way in half an hour.”

The butler was taken aback to hear that their visitors were leaving, but he had received surprising instructions many times during his service, so he merely said, “Very good, sir,” and stepped over to pull another bell cord.

“Next—and this is just as important—here are two expresses that I need to send, one to my estate in Hertfordshire and the other to a friend in London. Please summon a pair of riders—good ones, like the one who delivered my express this morning.”

“Perhaps you might consider using just one express rider, sir? If I am not mistaken, both destinations are nearly in line with each other.”

Bingley thought that over for a moment before shaking his head. “No, I shall pay the extra cost to make sure each one is delivered as fast as possible. And pack some food and drink for myself and the drivers for the road. It is going to be a hard journey in any case, but I hope to shorten it to four days.”

“Very well, sir. Is there anything else?”

“No, I believe that will be all for now. Thank you.”

Bingley waited until the butler left before swivelling about in his chair to face Caroline, who wore a huge, satisfied smile.

“You have nothing to smile about like that, Caroline. We are not returning to London. I am going to Netherfield instead. One of my expresses was for the housekeeper to arrange to have the house prepared for occupancy.”

Caroline looked at her brother in shock. “Whatever for, Charles?”

“To try to rectify a horrible mistake if at all possible.”

“Talk sense! What are you speaking of?”

“I am speaking of the conspiracy that you and my best friend engaged in to convince me not to return to Netherfield because Miss Jane Bennet was not suitable to be my wife and did not even care for me. Do you perhaps recall that little conversation the four of us had? You, me, Louisa, and Darcy?

“Well, of course, but that was in your best—”

“Do not tell me that was in my best interest!” Bingley said icily as he surged to his feet to confront his sister. He picked up Darcy’s express and waved it furiously at his sister.

“Darcy confessed everything—what he did in convincing me of Jane Bennet’s indifference to me and what he thought when he considered how Mrs. Bennet would order her daughter to accept any offer of marriage I made.”

Caroline went dead white in shock and mortification, taking a step backwards away from her brother’s anger.

“He also writes that you concealed from me that Miss Bennet was visiting her aunt and uncle in London. Also, that you coldly severed the acquaintance with a young lady you had been pretending was a friend! How could you be so callous and cruel? Is that what they taught you at that expensive school?”

“How…how can you even know of this?” Caroline stammered in mortification.

“Because he developed an interest in Miss Bennet’s sister, Miss Elizabeth—so much so that he made her an offer of marriage! What do you think of that, Caroline?”

Caroline was so dumbstruck that she could make no comment at all, her mouth open wide in dismay at the shattering of all her hopes and dreams.

After several moments, she managed to say weakly, “Then…Mr. Darcy is going to marry…to marry…” Her voice went silent. Caroline Bingley simply could not say the words.

“It is not that simple,” Bingley said derisively. “Miss Elizabeth proved herself no more a fortune hunter than her sister would have been. She refused Darcy’s offer, and angry words were exchanged. It was she who informed him of all the particulars of your deception regarding Miss Bennet. But at least Darcy has confessed his errors to me, and now both of us have an opportunity to achieve our dreams: he with Miss Elizabeth and me with her sister. That is why I am going to Netherfield.”

Caroline opened and closed her mouth several times over the next several seconds, trying to say something but unable to make the words come. Finally, she managed to say, her voice almost like the croaking of a frog, “I…I will not go to Netherfield! I…I refuse to have any…any part in such an unseemly scheme! I will not—”

“That is quite all right,” Bingley said with a smile. “Because, you see, you are not invited. You will remain here in Scarborough—you and your sister and your sister’s husband.”

“But…but you are taking your coach! How will…we cannot…how…how will we get home?” Her voice had risen almost to a screech, and the expression that twisted her lovely features was one of pure desperation and panic.

“You could hire a coach, I suppose,” Bingley said with a careless shrug. “You have your own fortune, you know, unless you have overspent your income again. But if the three of you pool your funds, you should be able to manage something. Or you could always travel by post. In any case, it is not my concern. I must be on my way.”

Bingley left his sister standing motionless, her mouth open in shock and dismay, stepping around her to give instructions to his valet about preparations for his journey.

What do you think? He is flying to Netherfield, Darcy has told him everything and I love how he leaves Caroline. However, back to what we know from the blurb… Colonel Fitzwilliam. Are we having a fight over Jane? Is Jane still in love with Bingley? Will Colonel realise that this love at first sight is eventually true? or maybe he will think it is an infatuation? Are Bingley and Darcy becoming brothers, or would Darcy become brother to the cousin he feels is his brother already? I think I am going to stop here and recommend you to buy Determination or participate on the giveaway below.

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Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Determination. To participate, click the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

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“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!

“Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match” by Kelly Miller, character interview, excerpt and giveaway

When secrets are revealed and a family agenda works against him, can Fitzwilliam Darcy recover his damaged spirits and find happiness?
Following his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to London from Kent broken-hearted and dejected. One bright spot penetrates his sea of despair: his sister, Georgiana, has finally recovered her spirits from the grievous events at Ramsgate the previous summer. She has forged a new friendship with Miss Hester Drake, a lady who appears to be an ideal friend. In fact, Lady Matlock believes Miss Drake is Darcy’s perfect match.
Upon Elizabeth Bennet’s arrival at the Gardiners’ home from Kent, she finds that her sister Jane remains despondent over her abandonment by Mr. Bingley. But Elizabeth has information that might bring them together. She convinces her Uncle Gardiner to write a letter to Mr. Bingley providing key facts supplied to her by Mr. Darcy.
When Mr. Bingley discovers that his friend and sisters colluded to keep Jane’s presence in London from him, how will he respond? Given the chance, will Darcy and Elizabeth overcome their past misunderstandings? What will Darcy do when his beloved sister becomes a hindrance towards winning the lady he loves?

So, Elizabeth betrays Fitzwilliam telling Bingley about his role on separating him from Jane? Wow! I already like it! What do you think about it? Maybe she is not Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match? 😉

I would like to welcome once again Kelly Miller to My Vices and Weaknesses. You may remember her because if her original variation of Death takes a holiday at Pemberley.

Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match is her second novel published by Meryton Press. Her first was the Regency novel Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy. Her third novel, Accusing Mr. Darcy, will be released later in 2020.

Kelly is sharing so much with us; I hope you enjoy this delightful interview with Miss Georgiana Darcy.

Hello and greetings to all of the lovely followers of My Vices and Weaknesses. Today I have the privilege of speaking with Miss Georgiana Darcy, who plays a pivotal role in my latest book, Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match. Although Miss Darcy is modest and unused to being the subject of such attention, she has graciously agreed to participate in this interview.

KM: Miss Darcy, although readers of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice know you are the sister of Fitzwilliam Darcy, and your character is important to the plot of the story, you are “present” in the novel for only a short period of time. Therefore, much is unknown about you. For those who would like to know you better, would you mind sharing a fact or two about you that is not common knowledge?
GD: Oh dear. It is disquieting to consider that everyone who read Pride and Prejudice is aware of the terrible mistake I made that almost ruined my life. They must believe me to be silly, irresponsible, or worse!

KM: Not at all, Miss Darcy. I am certain that readers realize who the villains were at Ramsgate, and you were not one of them. It is known that you play the pianoforte and are fond of music. What are some of your other interests?
GD: I enjoy painting, embroidery, and riding. Recently, I have grown fond of long walks.

KM: What was your childhood like?
GD: My father was very good to me. I have many happy memories of spending time my father; he used to take me to visit the animals on the estate, and he taught me how to ride. There was nothing he would not do to ensure my well-being. I especially loved the occasions when Fitzwilliam was home from school. He was always a wonderful brother to me. My earliest memories are of Fitzwilliam reading to me or showing me a puzzle, toy, or game he had loved as a child. I had several nurses and governesses to look after me, and I was fond of many of them, but I wished my mother had lived longer. She passed away shortly after my birth, so I have no memories of her. I was lonely a great deal of the time. You see, in my youth, I was not allowed to play with other children.

KM: Really? Why was that? Were there not other estate owners near Pemberley with children close to your age?
GD: There were, but when I was still in leading strings, there was a terrible outbreak of Scarlet Fever that spread through Derbyshire. I am sorry to say that several of Pemberley’s tenants, and some townspeople from Lambton and Kympton as well, lost their children to the disease. My father was terrified that I would succumb to Scarlet Fever or some other illness. Our family doctor believed that sick children, even before they displayed symptoms of their disease, emitted a dangerous miasma that could sicken others. The doctor cautioned my father against exposing me to them, and my father took that advice.

KM: When were you first exposed to others your own age?
GD: Not until I was thirteen. My father had passed away six months earlier. As you might imagine, it was a terrible time for my brother and me. A great weight of responsibility had fallen upon Fitzwilliam all at once, and the burden of caring for me was a large part of it. Although my cousin Richard was named as my co-guardian, his military duties took him away for months at a time. My brother followed Lady Matlock’s advice and sent me to a girls’ school popular with members of the ton.

KM: Did you look forward to attending school?
GD: No. The idea of it frightened me. Initially, I told Fitzwilliam I did not wish to go. Later, I was convinced to agree to it by my aunt Lady Matlock. She told me it was the best thing for both of us; she said that I would benefit from meeting girls my own age, and Fitzwilliam would be freed from fretting over me so he could concentrate on his other responsibilities.

KM: What was it like for you at the school?
GD: It was…difficult. I entered the school at the Michaelmas term in October. The other students had been enrolled for the entire school year and already knew one another. I have always been a quiet, reserved person, uneasy around people I do not know well. Fitzwilliam is also reserved, but while my brother is capable of being strong, confident, and commanding when he needs to be, I am timid and shy. All of the other girls seemed more confident and sophisticated than I. It was as though they all knew some secret of which I was ignorant. Even in a group of girls my own age, I felt isolated and alone.

KM: Did you make friends at school?
GD: I am afraid not. A few girls took pity upon me. At times they would ask me to join an activity or attempt to draw me into conversation, but I was so mortified by my own awkwardness and my inability to respond with anything relevant or interesting that I soon stopped trying.

KM: Did you not share common interests with any of the girls at school?
GD: It did not seem so. I felt that the other girls at the school were absorbed with similar topics: they gossiped about others, talked endlessly of fashion, and fussed over their own appearances. The older girls were more mature, but if they spoke to me, it was invariably to question me about Fitzwilliam.

KM: How long were you at the school?
GD: Well, Fitzwilliam came to visit me in the beginning of December. He would have visited me sooner, but both the head-mistress and Lady Matlock advised him to wait and give me more time to become adjusted to school. When I saw my brother, I tried to pretend, for his sake, that I did not mind it there, but Fitzwilliam saw through me. When he pressed me, I admitted that I was unhappy. He took from school and hired a governess for me. I was relieved and happy to be back home with Fitzwilliam.

KM: What happened after that?

GD: Unfortunately, Lady Matlock was not pleased when she learned I had left school. I did not return to school in January, after many months and a number of discussions, I agreed to attend a different school at the beginning of the next school year. This time, Fitzwilliam came to visit after one month. I was then about to turn fifteen. When he asked me how I liked being at school, I told him the truth, that I hated it. He took me home that same day.

KM: I shall skip forward now to March of 1812. Mrs. Annesley had been as your companion. By this time, had you put the events of Ramsgate behind you?
GD: In some ways I had. Time had gone by, and the pain of the betrayal had faded. My deepest desire was to have a true friend, but I feared that I was too unlikeable for anyone to befriend me without an ulterior motive.

KM: So this, then, was your mindset at the start of Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match?
GD: Yes, that is correct.

KM: I thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview, and I appreciate your candid replies.
GD: You are quite welcome.

I believe that Georgiana shows so much of her, that we can get to know her better and also, in case she has not been understood by everybody, she can now be more “transparent”.

Now enjoy a beautiful excerpt from Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match. Georgiana cares so much for her brother.
This excerpt features Darcy and Georgiana at their town home in London. The first section is in Darcy’s point of view, the second is in Georgiana’s.

The basket of bread from his sister and added a slice to his plate of roasted chicken, potatoes, and broccoli. Georgiana changed position several times in her chair, an indication that his sister was waiting for the serving girl to leave the room.
Sure enough, they had not been left alone for more than a few seconds before she spoke. “Fitzwilliam, now that you have met Miss Drake, pray, what is your opinion of her?” She peered back at him, frozen in a tense pose.
“She was charming and pleasant. I liked her quite well.”
As she displayed a beaming smile, Georgiana’s voice grew more animated. “I am relieved to hear it. I am certain that you will like her even more as you get to know her better.”
“I should not expect otherwise. I had already sought the opinions of Lady Matlock and Mrs. Annesley before meeting the lady, and I heard nothing to give me any concern.”
She nodded. “I thought you would.” Leaning towards him, she added, “I had no fear for anything they might tell you, but I was afraid you would find a reason to object to Miss Drake just the same.”
“Not at all. She seems a lovely young lady.” At his reply, Georgiana attended to the food on her plate with renewed gusto.
It seemed his sister truly had fretted over his opinion of Miss Drake! This was the first time since Georgiana’s childhood that she found a friend who meant so much to her. The two close friendships cultivated in her youth had both ended in disappointment. One of the girls moved away with her family to Wales; the other inexplicably rejected Georgiana after developing a close friendship with another girl.
This recent alteration in his sister—her frequent smiles, the esprit exhibited in her actions, and her propensity to talk to him more than before—was gratifying. Would that he could follow her lead and raise his own spirits. After all, what sort of brother was he to continue to wallow in self-pity over so commonplace an occurrence as unrequited love in the face of his sister’s newfound happiness? Were he a poet, he would have exorcised his pain in the composition of a lyrical ballad and be done with it; but he had neither the talent nor the inclination for such a creative outlet. What then could he do to break Miss Bennet’s unrelenting hold upon his battered heart? He flinched as his sister’s voice broke through his thoughts.
“… and Miss Drake is always so poised and assured. She never seems to be intimidated by others. She is attentive and kind to me without being the least bit ingratiating. She is so…genuine. It seems each time I meet with her I find another reason to admire her.”
“It sounds as though Miss Drake has an abundance of commendable qualities.” He brushed his napkin over his mouth to conceal his sigh. If only his sister’s effusions for this lady did not elicit thoughts of another lady—one no less admirable.
***
Later that evening, after Fitzwilliam had retreated to his study, Georgiana passed the entry hall and halted at the sound of voices. Slade spoke to a gentleman at the front door. She lingered, catching the end of Slade’s speech: he told the caller her brother was not at home. When Slade entered the hall, he nodded at her and would have walked by, but on impulse, she called to him.
Slade stopped and turned to face her. “Yes, miss?”
“Who was at the door?”
The butler’s visage was almost impassive but for the faint grooves between the man’s brows. “It was Mr. Kendall, miss.”
Her jaw lowered but no immediate response came to mind. Mr. Kendall was a good friend of Fitzwilliam. It was not unusual for the gentleman to stop by their home for an evening and stay to play a game of billiards or chess with her brother. Fitzwilliam often met with friends like Mr. Kendall at his club for a drink or a shared meal, but her brother had not been there since his return home. A sudden heaviness in her chest prompted her to step closer to the wall and rest her shoulder against it. “Why did you tell Mr. Kendall that my brother was not at home?”
Slade stiffened and leaned back upon his heels. For a moment, it seemed as though he would refuse to answer her. At length, he said, “I am following the master’s orders, miss. He is home to no one other than family.”
“I see. Thank you, Slade.” As the butler walked away, she ambled to the next room and sank heavily upon the nearest chair. Why would Fitzwilliam avoid Mr. Kendall or any of his other friends? Her brother had already denied more than once that anything was wrong, so asking him again would do no good. However, if Fitzwilliam continued this odd behaviour much longer, she would write to Cousin Richard. He would know what to do.

Would you like to buy this book? I cannot wait to read it!

Blog tour
I recommend you to check the previous posts as you will find so much more about our beloved characters.

January 27 Austenesque Reviews

January 28 My Jane Austen Book Club

January 29 Austenprose

January 30 So Little Time…

January 31 Babblings of a Bookworm

February 3 More Agreeably Engaged

February 4 Savvy Verse & Wit

February 6 Donadee’s Corner

February 7 Diary of an Eccentric

February 10 From Pemberley to Milton

February 11 My Vices and Weaknesses

Meryton Press is giving away 8 giveaways for 8 different winners. Just click the link below and follow the instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match

Winner of “When Charlotte became Romantic” by Victoria Kincaid

Lyly Bernard, you are the winner of the giveaway that Victoria Kincaid has done in her stop at My Vices and Weaknesses.

Apologies for taking so long to select a winner.

Lyly, I hope you enjoy this lovely book! I will send your email address to Victoria for you to get your ebook.

“A Case of Some Delicacy” by KC Kahler, review + giveaway

Dear all,

I am glad to introduce you to a new author in My Vices and Weaknesses: KC Kahler. Although she is not a new author for me, as I have read some years ago, her first modern JAFF novel: Boots and Backpacks. A novel I found very interesting, not only because of the characters but also because of the descriptions and setting.

KC Kahler lives in northeastern Pennsylvania and works in online education, after having dabbled in sandwich making, bug collecting, and web development. She kckahlerdiscovered Jane Austen fan fiction in 2008 and soon began dabbling in writing her own.

KC blogs about Austen and other pop culture topics. In 2015 and 2017, her popular Austen + The Onion Headlines meme was featured in The AtlanticFlavorwire, and AV Club. In 2017, she made the requisite pilgrimage to Jane Austen country, where she took the waters in Bath, walked the lanes of Steventon, didn’t fall off the cobb in Lyme Regis, and stood awestruck in Chawton. 

KC’s first novel, Boots & Backpacks, was published in 2014. Her second, A Case of Some Delicacy, released in 2019.

If you are interested in following her, you can find her on so many different media:

Blog     Tumblr     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     Goodreads    Amazon’s Author Page

What about knowing a bit about this novel? Here you have the blurb, a 150 words blurb that I hope intrigues you.

The heir of Longbourn offers his olive branch earlier…

Rumors of Jane Bennet’s impending betrothal to her cousin Mr. Collins are already spreading at the Meryton Assembly. But Elizabeth vows to prevent her dearest sister’s happiness from being sacrificed in marriage to the ridiculous parson, no matter how much Mrs. Bennet encourages the match.

A secret partnership formed…

After Mr. Darcy overhears an argument between Elizabeth and her father, he offers to help in her quest. She is desperate enough to accept assistance from the man who insulted her. They begin meeting secretly to strategize and, in the process, come to know and understand each other.

Eavesdropping abounds, cricket balls go astray, and romance blooms despite Mrs. Bennet’s poor matchmaking. All the Bennet sisters play roles in the altered events, some in surprising ways. Join the characters you already love on a fun romp in your favorite Hertfordshire neighborhood. 

Ready to buy it? You could do it on: Amazon US      Amazon UK      Amazon CA

Review

Cricket, that sport that I barely knew anything about until seven years ago. I still do not know much, although I kind of understand the 4s and the 6s but not much. Cricket, that sport that Mr Darcy plays as a pro! but also is played by Elizabeth Bennet, and Mr Bingley, and the Lucases, and Lydia Bennet too. What can a cricket game do to get one of our favourite couples together? It can do a lot of harm, mainly if a ball goes astray!

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Let’s start with the idea that “apparently” Mr Darcy abhors any kind of disguise… false! or at least, he should define “disguise” because he is pretty cheeky and a bit naughty in order to help Lizzie to help Jane. Let’s face it: Lizzie is quite oblivious to what she is getting into when she accepts Mr Darcy’s help, she seems a bit naive and he is far too keen to help. She thinks that this will be just something for him to entertain himself as he is not among the ton and the best society.

Things evolve easily, I really like how quick Darcy is and how he “organises” his help. Mr Collins is so obliged to him that he follows almost any advice that Darcy gives him, even if it includes being less time with his dear Cousin Jane.

A few things for you to know: cricket can be dangerous, going upstairs and downstairs with a twisted ankle can be entertaining, having Lydia looking up for a husband may be even beneficial, Anne de Bourgh can be really nice and understanding, Caroline Bingley is, as usual, annoying and Mr Bennet needs a good telling off.

Jealousy is a powerful tool, a very powerful one, it does not matter what way it goes. Misunderstandings are always going to be there for this couple and KC Kahler knows how to write them.

4.5out5 stars

Blog Tour

Really nice tour of A Case of Some Delicacy. Visit the other posts to get more opportunities on the giveaway but above all, to get to know much more about the book.

2nd of October Austenesque Reviews

3rd of October My Jane Austen Book Club

4th of October From Pemberley to Milton

7th of October Babblings of a Bookworm

8th of October Diary of an Eccentric

9th of October Savvy Verse & Wit

10th of October My Vices and Weaknesses

11th of October So little time

BlogTour

time to give away winners

You can win a $50 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing! The contest ends on October 18. To be eligible, just comment on any of the blog tour stops. You need not visit all the stops (one point per stop and comment), however, it does increase your chances of winning by earning more entries.

“The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion” by Don Jacobson, excerpt + giveaway

Dear all,

I am very pleased for hosting Don Jacobson once more, and to reintroduce him to all of you. Don is a great author who has such an amazing mind that I cannot even imagine how all his ideas go around his brain and imagination without spilling out every five seconds. Don is back with his latest book on the The Bennet Wardrobe Series and I cannot be more excited. If you do not know what this series is about, let me try to describe it a bit: characters of our beloved Pride and Prejudice plus great new characters, time-travelling, strong family link, love and love and more love!

Do you understand what I mean? 😉 I am leaving you now with the blurb of The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion:

“My life has been very much like an unfinished painting. The artist comes to the portrait day-after-day to splash daubs of color onto bare canvas, filling in the blanks of my story. Thus grows the likeness, imperfect as it may be, which you see today.” Lydia Fitzwilliam, Countess of Matlock, letter to her sister Elizabeth Bennet Darcy, March 14, 1831.

Does it matter how a man fills out his regimentals? Miss Austen never considered that query. Yet, this question marks the beginning of an education…and the longest life…in the Bennet Wardrobe saga.

Lydia Bennet, Longbourn’s most wayward daughter, embarks on her quest in The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion. This biography reveals how the Wardrobe helps young Mrs. Wickham learn that honor and bravery grow not from the color of the uniform—or the gender of its wearer—but rather from the contents of the heart.

In the process, she realizes that she must be broken and repaired, as if by a kintsugi master potter, to become the most useful player in the Bennet Wardrobe’s great drama.

The Pilgrim explores questions of love, loss, pain, worry, and perseverance. All of these are brought to bear as one of the silliest girls in England grows into the Dowager Countess.

This 151,000-word novel is the seventh, and next-to-last, volume in the Bennet Wardrobe Series. Each book along the way has revealed more about how the mysterious Wardrobe has led Miss Austen’s Bennets to learn that which they need in order to take part in its ultimate mission.

Lydia is pretty changed here, don’t you think? The fault is Don’s!

The Author

Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years. His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio. His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he began publishing The Bennet Wardrobe Series 

The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey (2016)Don Jacobson Head Shot

Henry Fitzwilliam’s War (2016)

The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque (2017)

Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess (2017)

The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn (2018)

The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament (2018)

The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion (2019)

Jacobson is also part of the collective effort behind the publication of the upcoming North and South anthology, Falling for Mr. Thornton: Tales of North and South due out in the Fall of 2019.

Other Austenesque Variations include the paired books Of Fortune’s Reversal” (2016) and The Maid and The Footman” (2016) “Lessers and Betters” offers readers the paired novellas in one volume to allow a better appreciation of the “Upstairs-Downstairs” mentality that drives the stories.

Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations.  As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.

He is a member of JASNA.  Likewise, Don is a member of the Austen Authors collective.

He lives in the Las Vegas, Nevada area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorize, 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).

Excerpt

Chapter LIX

The Darcys and Lydia have repaired to Selkirk to attend the Matlock Harvest Ball some two weeks hence. As the guests arrive, they gather in the Great Parlor. Lydia has entered late, hoping to remain inconspicuous. There is, however, one guest, of great significance, who desires to make her acquaintance. 

The Countess took Lydia’s arm and led her toward the gathering at the room’s center, the crowds parting like the sea beneath Moses’ staff. At the end of the void rested a pair of chairs. In one sat Richard’s father, the Earl. In the other, though, reposed a man who, even sans regalia was clearly one of the leading men in the entire realm.

As the two ladies approached, he fixed Lydia with a hard stare and planted his cane vertically between his feet before clasping his hands atop its head to lever himself up to a standing position.

Lady Fitzwilliam at his nod initiated the British tradition, “My Lord, may I present to you Mrs. Lydia Wickham of Longbourn and Pemberley. Mrs. Wickham, may I present to you the Marquess of Anglesey, Lord Henry Paget. You may know of him, by his ancient title, as the Earl of Uxbridge.[i]

“My Lord, Mrs. Wickham is the widow of Captain George Wickham of the 33rd.”

Anglesey nodded, “My condolences on your loss, madam. As the Duke said, Wickham saved us all.

Lydia felt Richard arrive by her side. His presence comforted her, although she was quite taken with the handsome, if older, aristocrat standing before her.

Then the Master of Uxbridge snapped, genially, but ordered, none-the-less, “I fear that I am still uncomfortable on my feet for too long.

“Matlock, get yourself off. I would speak with Mrs. Wickham, but I need to sit. As yours is the only other seat up for bids, I declare the auction closed! Mrs. Wickham will join me. Only those of us who have marched to the drum need be here right now for a bit of private conversation. General…you may stay.

“The rest of you: begone.

“Maybe Miss Darcy might turn her mind to some lighter Scottish airs.”

Lydia smiled her thanks at the Earl of Matlock who grinned back at her as if he was in possession of some great secret.

The Marquess adjusted his seat, grimacing as he was forced to reach down to slide his right boot into alignment with his missing knee. Four years after that June afternoon and his stump was still bothering him. Lingering pain aside, he was proud of his fully-articulated prosthetic limb. With the knee joint unlocked and pantaloons—the modern styles were much to his taste—draped outside of his boot uppers, he could sit in company without anyone being forced to notice his amputation.

Three pairs of eyes were riveted by his bluff yet comfortable demeanor, awaiting whatever pronouncement he would make.

“You know, Mrs. Wickham,” the great man intoned, “I have made it a study of mine to explore what makes men behave bravely. Those musings also, I am convinced, allow me to comprehend what turns their bowels to water.

“You have offered up an interesting conundrum. You see, men would have it that they are the sole repositories of courage, ignoring, of course, Queens Judith and Boadicea. All too often, these self-same deep thinkers seek to ascribe the success of our greatest monarch, Elizabeth, to Drake or Exeter or Salisbury rather than to her political genius and ability to make the people believe in her cause.

“You, my good woman, have reminded me, no all of us, through your selfless act of saving General Fitzwilliam that resolve is neither defined by the color of the uniform nor whether a uniform is worn at all.

“Brave acts may be committed by the young or the very old. Here you are, a lady of but three-and-twenty, yet you acted without fear.

“You have also shown that one can do one’s duty without reference to the body within which the bravest of hearts resides.

“You have destroyed the myth that only men can commit daring acts and reverse the flow of history.”

By this point, Lydia was blushing fiercely, and she averted her eyes as Paget’s praise flowed deeply around her.

She made to demur, saying, “My Lord, I would wish that you would temper your compliments. They are undeserved by me. I acted without thinking, not heroically, like you who sat in the line of fire [that June] afternoon. I honestly can remember little of what happened on St. Peter’s Field this past August.”

The Marquess stopped her by grasping her right hand.

“Enough of that, Mrs. Wickham.

I am no hero. Oh, perhaps an argument can be made that I behaved like one because I did not flee the moment the Tyrant’s le brutal fired. But, remember that young Fitzwilliam along with the Duke was equally exposed. Both stayed in their place.

“However, I repeat…I am no hero because I sat on my horse and watched my cavalry troopers get ground up between the lines. That image of all those beautiful men vanishing into the smoke and never returning will haunt me to the end of my life.

“I am no hero. I sat and watched…watched men like your husband…long may his name rest upon the lips of Britons far and wide…put down that French dog once and for all.

“T’was hot work at Hougoumont, madam, and George Wickham did his duty without flinching, knowing that t’was his portion to hold that end of the line.

“Me? At Waterloo, I was unmoving, atop my beast, when the ball took my leg.

“You, in Manchester, showed that you were a queen defending her realm: regnant and glorious, shaped by Lord knows what forces.

“You say you acted without thinking. The greatest of champions act without thinking and, in those unconscious moments, show the depths of their character.

“But, whether reasoned or not, your actions saved my comrade-in-arms, my dearest warrior friend and brother, Richard Fitzwilliam.

“Your modesty does you credit, but do not debase your achievement. Like your sister, Mrs. Benton, you bear scars honorably earned.

“Just as King Harry said before Agincourt…

He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day:[ii]

“And you, Mrs. Wickham will quietly bear up under the scrutiny of those who have no idea what it means to feel the ground tremble beneath the hooves of heavy cavalry. Yet, every year on the anniversary of Peterloo, you will nod to Mrs. Benton and then take a moment to reflect on all that you gained, not lost, on that August day in your youth.”

Scanning the chamber, Lord Anglesey pronounced what was the equivalent of a Red Judge’s decision,“I would have it known that I heartily approve of Mrs. Wickham. Her late husband saved the nation. His widow saved one of our greatest paladins.”

The Marquess stood, leaning heavily upon his Malacca cane. After bending to lock his knee, he extended his left hand to Lydia to help her gain her feet gracefully. Paget, still one of the most handsome men in the kingdom, rapped his wooden leg with his stick, the drum-like sound echoing across the parlor.

He continued, “Just as you ignore my leg, I would have you look at the whole woman standing beside me. She should be held up as an example to your daughters…and your sons…for she has shown that the willingness to sacrifice is not limited to one sex.

“Here is a promise made before all of you assembled here.

“Pon my honor, Mrs. Lydia Wickham will be welcome at any Paget home anywhere in the realm. Our bed and board shall be her bed and board. If she were not already honored by His Royal Highness with a widow’s annuity, I would enhance her dowry.

“If Mrs. Wickham so wishes it, and if the Countess of Matlock and Mesdames Bingley and Darcy countenance this next, my wife, the Marchioness, will sponsor her when she makes her curtsey before the Queen.

“In all of this, I will not be gainsaid.

“Oh, and Mrs. Wickham,” at this he speared Fitzwilliam with an icy stare that bespoke of get on with this, man, “our hospitality is not contingent upon the presence of any slow-witted, addlepated man in your party.”

Richard looked astonished at the Marquess’ outspoken declaration.

Lydia blushed again.

————–

[i]Henry William Paget (1768-1854) was Earl of Uxbridge when a bounding French cannon ball struck his right leg near the end of the Battle of Waterloo. He had been in command of Wellington’s cavalry, much as Major General Richard Fitzwilliam was leading the Allies’ massed infantry squares. Uxbridge was elevated to Marquess of Anglesey (1st) upon his survival and served a long career in the Army (ultimately as Field Marshal) and the Government.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paget,_1st_Marquess_of_Anglesey
[ii]William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 4 from Scene 3  http://shakespeare.mit.edu/henryv/henryv.4.3.html

I am very intrigued to know much more about this book. Not only what comes next, because we already know what is the next name of Mrs Wickham but also I am very intrigued of her brave character and what she has done. I think Don may have redeemed Lydia of any youth folly she committed.

Blog Tour Schedule

I am closing the tour but do not miss great posts, reviews and much more.

25th of September From Pemberley to Miltonlydia-blog-tour-banner-horzm

26th of September So Little Time…

27th of September Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

28th of September My Love for Jane Austen

30th of September Babblings of a Bookworm

1st of October Diary of an Eccentric

2nd of October More Agreeably Engaged

3rd of October My Vices and Weaknesses 

Interested on this book? You could buy it, among other, on:

Amazon UK           Amazon US              Amazon CA

time to give away winners

Don is giving away 4 eBooks of The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion to four lucky winner. Just clikc the link below and follow instructions.

Rafflecopter – Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion

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