Blog Tour of “The Darcy Legacy” by Joana Starnes, review and giveaway.

Dear all,

I am extremely pleased to welcome back, Joana Starnes. One of my favourite JAFF authors, an author who can write so well that it would like to read the unique Jane Austen.

Today, Joana is presenting us: The Darcy Legacy, her latest release. Read the description below about this book:

‘Pemberley’s ancient halls harbour many secrets. Which one will affect Fitzwilliam Darcy and the love of his life? How is Mr Bennet to enjoy the comforts of a well-stocked library, when his wife’s premature demise had left him with the task of finding suitable matches for their daughters? What of a misleading encounter on a muddy lane in Hertfordshire, that renders a country-town assembly rather more tolerable than some might have thought?

Shades of mystery, meddlesome relations – not least a drenched Adonis – raillery, old errors and a very recent union make for a challenging courtship when Fitzwilliam Darcy is not on his own ground. Yet when love is the reward, challenges make it more worth the earning. “A fraught courtship? So, let it be fraught,” Colonel Fitzwilliam said with a nonchalant flourish of his hand. “A good challenge never hurt anyone.”’

Yes, you read it right, Mrs Bennet is dead 😦 You may not be able to enjoy her outburst of happiness when her girls make lovely matches…

I have to say that this descriptions is more intriguing than revealing, it is not easy to be sure of what is going on. I will try to give you a bit more information in my review, but without spoilers 🙂

Let me (re)introduce you to Joana Starnes, a great and awesome novelist.

Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats – physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst – but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine.js-photo

She is the author of eight Austen-inspired novels: From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley, The Subsequent Proposal, The Second Chance, The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle, Miss Darcy’s Companion,Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughterand The Darcy Legacy, and one of the contributing authors to The Darcy Monologues,Dangerous to Knowand the upcoming Rational Creatures (due in October 2018).

To connect with Joana:

Facebook      Website     Facebook – All Roads Lead to Pemberley     Twitter

Review

What would you say to having Lady Anne Darcy and Mr George Darcy as the masters of ceremony in this book? What would you say to a Mr Bennet who, after his wife’s passing, tries to give a better education for his five daughters? What would you say if the afterlife is actually, not that bad? What would you say if Lady Catherine remarries for the sake of Anne? What would you say to a murder at Rosings? What would you say… to me after all these questions?

You may be thinking: what’s wrong with you, Ana?! or, what are you talking about?! I know, I am giving you too many questions to think about and they may seem disconnected and not coherent, but I promise, they have something to do in a way or another with the book.

As usual, I do not know how much you have read about this book when you end up here at My Vices and Weaknesses. That is why, I cannot be free to review without spoilers. You know I do not like to give spoilers away but… I will give you my normal spoiler now

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yes, there is an ending that ends happily, a HEA!

I am going to focus mainly on Elizabeth and Darcy and I will mention a few more characters. Just for you to have into account: I do focus on them because there are few spoilers for me to reveal.

Do you remember the Meryton Assembly in Pride and Prejudice? Forget about it (just for a bit) because Joana has created a funnier and more entertaining assembly where Darcy is not as perfect as he normally is… I do not mean the insult to Elizabeth… that comes before the assembly!!! and what an insult/misunderstanding!!! [If you have watched Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and know what happens to Lizzie at the Meryton Assembly, you can have a mini idea of what could go wrong with Darcy in this one.]

Elizabeth and Darcy are separated for a few months after Darcy’s sudden removal of Hertforshire, where they share lovely time and conversation together. He goes away to Pemberley and London as he thinks he will forget his “infatuation” with a dark-eyed lady from Longbourn. He does not. Due to some events, he ends up at Rosings where the Bennet family can be found. As you may imagine, Lady Catherine is obnoxious as usual and keeps telling Darcy to marry Anne, who, by the way, feels better having so many people to pass the time. Both Darcy and Anne are of the same mind they do not want to marry each other. As you know, Darcy wants Elizabeth but he needs a bit of pushing to get to… declare himself? of make a fool of himself? or have a sunstroke? or… I will leave it there.

Who else must be mentioned? Everyone but I will not bother you with too much information in case you can read between lines…

If you are a reader who normally like Mr Bennet, I bet that you may like him a lot more in The Darcy Legacy, his wit and his sixth sense is well-developed and demonstrates great care of his daughters.

Anne de Bourgh, really nice character, we get to know her a little bit better and we understand a lot about her illness through Joana’s words. Anne is a nice friend to Elizabeth and even when her mother goes against her, Anne defends her as much as she can.

Miss Bingley, although her role and appearance in this book is very brief, I love it, mainly what w read about the last time she is mentioned or appears here. I am sorry for what I am writing next if you like Miss Bingley but, generally speaking, I am extremely happy when something not nice happens to her, or something that she deserves happens to her.

I have mentioned a couple of things on this review that may arise a couple of questions from you… I would love to answer them in the comments, just let me know.

4.5out5 stars

If you cannot wait to know if you are a winner on this giveaway, why not buying The Darcy Legacy now?

Amazon US    Amazon UK     Amazon ES     Amazon CA     Amazon FR

Joana, one question, what happened to the second letter?  😉

Blog Tour Schedule

Really good things to discover about The Darcy Legacy on the different stops of the blog tour:

2nd of July / Austenesque Reviews/Excerpt Post & Giveaway

3rd of July / Diary of an Eccentric/ Guest Post & Giveawaybanner-tdl

4th of July / More Agreeably Engaged/ Book Review & Giveaway

5th of July / Of Pens & Pages/ Guest Post & Giveaway

6th of July / So Little Time… So Much to Read/Guest Post & Giveaway

7th of July / My Love for Jane Austen/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway

8th of July / Babblings of a Bookworm/Book Review & Giveaway

9th of July /My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway

10th of July / Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

11th of July / Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

12th of July / Just Jane 1813/ Tour Finale & Giveaway

 

Time to Give Away

What a generous giveaway Joana is doing!

  • 10 kindle copies of The Darcy Legacy
  • 20 audiobook codes (of the audiobooks she already has)
  • 1 Amazon gift card of 25 dollars

As you can read, a lot of winners will be chosen through Rafflecopter, just click the link below and follow instructions:

Rafflecopter of “The Darcy Legacy”

The giveaway runs until midnight, 16th of July 2018.

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Blog Tour of “London Holiday” by Nicole Clarkston: guest post, excerpt + GA

Hello to all,

I am again glad to have Nicole Clarkston with us. The first novel I read by her was about North and South, although I have read other JAFF novels (that I love) by Nicole, today she is presenting us with her latest Pride and Prejudice novel: London Holiday: Pride and Prejudice Romantic Comedy. Who wants to have one? I mean a holiday in London? 😉 If you were thinking about the novel, yes, you can also try to win one during this blog tour!!

 

Hot air balloons… what about them? Maybe you do not know much about them but they must be significant in this story as one of them appears on the cover of this lovely book!!

Nicole is going to enlighten us with some part of the history of air hot balloons and I hope that you learn something from it, I was not aware of a few of these details.

One of my favorite scenes to write from London Holiday was the hot air balloon ride. It’s no spoiler, since it’s on the cover, but yes, our dear couple enjoy a flight together during their adventures. Today, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Regency airship.

The first recorded hot air balloon flights were in 1783, conducted by French scientist Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier. This first flight was reportedly piloted by a duck, a sheep, and a cockerel, and flew for fifteen minutes at the end of a 250-foot tether. Within a month, De Rozier and his team had succeeded in the first untethered, manned flight, which covered five and a half miles in twenty minutes and flew to an altitude of 500 feet.

These early flights were powered by burning straw, which eventually caught the balloon on fire. However, the builders were undaunted, and continued to refine their design. Only two years after the first flights, De Rozier attempted to cross the English Channel with a dual system, consisting of one hot air balloon and on hydrogen balloon. Unfortunately, half an hour after take-off, the craft exploded. Both De Rozier and his assistant were killed. However, later that same year, French balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries succeeded in the historic flight.

The British were not idle during this time. In 1784, Scottish aviator James Tytler flew a hot air balloon over Edinburgh. Shortly after this, it was an Italian diplomat named Vincenzo Lunardi who achieved the first flights over English soil. Launching a hydrogen balloon from London, he landed it safely in Hertfordshire with a dog, a cat, and a caged pigeon aboard.

In 1793, Americans got their first glimpse of a hot air balloon. Blanchard flew from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Gloucester County, New Jersey. Among the witnesses was George Washington.

Shortly after this, the hot air balloon entered the history of Vauxhall Gardens. The first regular flights began in 1802, as an additional attraction to entice guests. One of the more startling displays of aeronautics and pyrotechnics involved an unmanned balloon, a long fuse, and explosives. The fireworks shot off first, then the balloon itself was enveloped in a glorious fireball. The display was reportedly seen all over London and was a terrific promotional stunt for Vauxhall Gardens.

Although hot air balloons had their limitations as tourist draws—they could only fly in good weather with no wind–they remained a popular feature at Vauxhall until the Gardens closed in 1859. In fact, Vauxhall’s famous airship has its own claim to fame. Charles Green, already a balloon record holder, had taken over as the chief balloon operator for Vauxhall Gardens. He was known for experimenting with coal gas, as a safer and less expensive alternative to other fuels. He built the Royal Vauxhall Balloon for park owners in 1836, then purchased it back from them shortly after this.

That same November, Green set a record with the Royal Vauxhall by launching from Vauxhall Gardens and landing in Nassau, Germany the next morning. The balloon travelled approximately five hundred miles in eighteen hours and was rechristened The Great Nassau in honour of this achievement. Green and his Great Nassau would go on to set more records, and their names will forever be linked with Vauxhall Gardens.

Elizabeth and Darcy would not have flown on this Great Nassau in 1811, but balloons were certainly there, and already instilled in the popular culture. I hope you have enjoyed this brief history of our earliest flying machines! Now, treat yourself to a glimpse of the hot air balloon through Elizabeth’s eyes.

References: Clark, Liesl. “A Short History of Ballooning.” Nova, www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/short-history-of-ballooning.html – “History of Ballooning.” Virgin Air, www.virginballoonflights.co.uk/history-of-ballooning/ – “A Brief History of Vauxhall Gardens.” Vauxhall Gardens, www.vauxhallgardens.com/vauxhall_gardens_briefhistory_page.html

As Nicole has written… enjoy Elizabeth’s experience of a hot air balloon (excerpt from chapter 24).

They had some little difficulty in persuading the balloon master to an early departure. “First flight of the evening is at seven,” he had stated unequivocally. Until, of course, William had brandished several shining coins. These disappeared rapidly, and the man opened the gate to the basket.

It took only a few moments for the coal fire to be stoked to its proper heat, for the warming had already commenced some while before their arrival so the balloon’s impressive silk display could advertise the attraction all over the Gardens. When the man gave the signal for them to board, Elizabeth accepted William’s hand into the basket, then clasped the wooden railing. The little gate closed, bags of sand were hefted over the side, and the floor beneath her feet moved.

They had already agreed that from above, two passengers in a balloon were not terribly conspicuous. Anyone noticing their ascent would only be able to see them for a few moments before the greater height obscured their faces and granted a view only of the bottom of the basket. Those below, however, would be far easier to see. As a precaution in the early moments of their flight, William had arranged to stand behind her at the railing to conceal himself, but soon enough he should have the liberty to move about.

Elizabeth’s heart was thumping wildly. Two feet from the ground… three… six! She had not accounted for the rapidity of their ascent, nor had she considered how terribly unstable the floor would seem. Each shot of heat from the coal furnace, each jostle of passenger weight, served to rock the basket more than she had been prepared for. Her fingers tightened on the rail.

William was already craning his head about, searching at each change in elevation for whatever new angles of vantage the balloon could offer. “There, Burk and Johnson. And there is Turner. Two more there,” she heard him counting. “Blast. Two by the Kennington Lane entrance. I suppose all the gates are being watched.”

She closed her eyes and prayed for courage. She would look at the ground, she would! She swallowed, gulped a hasty breath of air, and tried to lean forward.

The figures below her swam into one dizzying blur. Her breath was coming in short, airless gasps now, and she felt herself growing faint. Oh, why had she thought she could manage this? She had enough trouble on fishing boats and horses! Wherever she could see the plane below her feet and feel movement that did not connect her to the ground, she had always felt ill. Carriages were little enough bother, for they were large, possessed a stable frame all around, and she could see only the horizon. That motion she had grown accustomed to, but this… this was beyond her!

“One by the orchestra,” William continued. “And the South pavilion… Miss Elizabeth, are your eyes sharper than mine? Is the light playing tricks on me, or is that another just there, near the first arch?”

He stepped to her right, leaning far over the edge of the basket, and the floor swayed with a sickening dip. “Miss Elizabeth, can you… Miss Elizabeth?”

The genuine concern in his voice was lost to her, for she could already taste the bitter tang in her mouth. In another half moment she was likely to mortify herself beyond hope of recovery, and if she tried to respond to him, she had not a prayer that she might be able to check the rebellion in her head and stomach.

“Miss Elizabeth, you are ill! We must set down immediately,” he called to the pilot.

She tried to shake her head, but she dared not. “No,” she managed thickly. “Still the north side!”

“Miss Elizabeth, we will find another way. I will not have you so distressed. Here, now, can you take a deep breath without difficulty?”

She clenched her eyes tightly closed and tried, but a gentle gust of evening air unsettled the basket. The breath she had tried to draw slowly came as an inward shriek and then was expelled just as rapidly in a cry of helpless alarm.

“Set us down at once!” William demanded again of the balloon pilot. “Can you not see, man? The lady is unwell!”

“I’m trying to, sir, but there’s a decent wind about just now. It will take some doing—ten minutes to the ground, at least. It will go faster if you help me to wind the rope.”

“Then allow me,” she heard him retort.

At once a stalwart strength left her, and she began to quake. She had not even realised that she had been leaning against his arm, and now bereft of that support, a new panic rose in her breast. No longer was she afraid of physical illness, but a mortal terror overtook her. She trembled from head to foot, and a series of frantic moans, wails, and sobs shook her.

“Miss Elizabeth!” William cried from half the world away, “You are only rocking the basket more. You make it far worse than it must be!”

She could not attend, however much she wished to. The music rising from the ground, so many fathoms below, told off the great measure of her fall, and nothing else could enter her mind. She knew she was shaking, desperately jerking herself about with her helpless spasms, but no force save the grounding security of firm earth could recall her.

“Miss Elizabeth!” William’s voice was near now, just at her ear, and she felt him pulling her hands from the railing. “Please, you must hear me. Can you listen? Squeeze my hand if you can.”

She could not. His presence was comforting—at least she would have someone else’s hand to hold as she plummeted to her death over the side, if it came to that—but she was no more in command of herself than she had been a moment earlier. She clung more tightly to the rail.

And I am so mean to leave you hanging there! My humblest apologies. -NC

If you are a bit mad at Nicole for leaving us hanging after reading this scene, you can find her and tell her off on:

Website        Goodreads Author Page       Goodreads Blog         Facebook

Amazon Author Page         Twitter

Let me (re)introduce you to Nicole Clarkston, author of among other books: The Courtship of Edward Gardiner , Northern Rain and These Dreams.

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-clarkston

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. The success she had with her first attempt at writing led her to write four other novels that are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.

Nicole contributes to Austenvariations.com, a group of talented authors in the Jane Austen Fiction genre. In addition to her work with the Austen Variations blog, Nicole can be reached through all the links below the biography.

Would you like to buy the book before trying the giveaway? Here you can do it:

Amazon US         Amazon UK       Amazon ES        Amazon CA   

Tour schedule

Great posts that we have had so far on this book tour and I am sure that the rest are going to be as good 🙂 Check them to know more about this story.

lh tour

7th June   So little time… – Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

8th June   Diary of an Eccentric – Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

9th June   Just Jane 1813 – Review, GA

10th June My life journey – Review, GA

11th June From Pemberley to Milton – Vignette, GA

12th June My Jane Austen Book Club – Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

13th June Half Agony, Half Hope – Review, Excerpt, GA

15th June Austenesque Reviews – Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

16th June My Love for Jane Austen – Vignette, GA

18th June Obsessed with Mr. Darcy – Review, GA

19th June My Vices and Weaknesses – Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

20th June A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life – Guest Post

Time to Give Away

8 ebooks! Nicole is giving away 8 ebooks of London Holiday to 8 different winners. Moreover, the giveaway is open internationally. You just have to click the link below to participate, just follow what Rafflecopter asks you to do. Please read the terms and conditions below the picture in case you are not sure how to get extra entries.

Rafflecopter – London Holiday

lh full cover

Terms and Conditions:

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 London Holiday by Nicole Clarkston. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

Blog Tour of “The Sweetest Ruin” by Amy George, review + giveaway

Book description of The Sweetest Ruin by Amy George to give you a clue of what I may be writing about.

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Amy George

Let me introduce you to the author of this book set in Las Vegas 🙂

“Amy George is a middle-aged woman who got rid of her old lady/grown up and has since purchased an unreasonably small car. She refuses to listen to its radio at a Amy George Author Photoreasonable volume, especially when the Beastie Boys or the Violent Femmes are playing. She lives in a small town in the Midwest where the bookstore and yarn shop are neighbors and most food is fried. Her household consists of a dog, a man, a hermit, and stubborn soap scum.

She has been writing since she was a child and ran the Hyacinth Gardens, a popular but defunct JAFF site.”

Fun fact: My birthday is January 30th so this is like a big birthday party.

Contact and follow Amy on:

Facebook Page

Goodreads Author Page

Amy George at Meryton Press

Twitter: @authoramygeorge

Review

A few hours since you meet a gorgeous English man when you are working in one of the best casinos in Las Vegas and… you wake up to a crazy marriage to him. What should you do? Firstly be surprise (duh!) but then both of you talk about it and give it a chance.

Yes, give it a chance! If we would have been talking about other protagonists, it could be a bit weird but we are talking about Elizabeth Bennet and William Darcy, so they are entitled to meet and start their relationship any way they want 🙂

They admit their supermegahyper chemistry since the first minute they saw each other, he is not a serial killer and she is not a gold digger, so at least they have a good beginning.

While in Las Vegas, they have a honeymoon for a couple of days and then her reality, as university student and waitress shows up but everything is fine and they keep knowing each other and falling for each other. However not everything is bliss and fireworks (trust me, there are a lot of fireworks between these two *wink wink*). Even if they are happy, friends and family from both sides may not be so happy about it and some problems must be faced: especially from the other side of the ocean. Let’s say that William’s little sister is not very enthusiastic about his brother’s impetuous and unexpected marriage.

Mr and Mrs Darcy face any problem coming along together but when a few months later they go to London to meet his family and also settle there, life gets much more complicated… extremely more complicated, particularly for Mrs Elizabeth Darcy. However, her love for her husband and also in a way her past and friends-family are key on her new role.

We could say that in this case Jane Bingley is not as sweet as we know her to be in the original Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. We can read about characters with names from P&P but there are some “swaps” between personalities, although we always have ¨Cousin Richard¨!

A short novel that it is very easy to read and with some twists that are really nice, who are the family-friends that Elizabeth has? What complications apart from Georgiana they may have? Is Darcy always to be there? How is Elizabeth Bennet on her “role” of Elizabeth Darcy?

4out5 stars

Why not to buy this book as soon as possible? Or maybe you just wait for the giveaway (check it below) and if you are not one of the lucky winners, you can always go to:

Amazon US                             Amazon UK                           Amazon DE

Blog Tour Schedule

Do not miss the chance to discover more about Amy and her steamy book, follow other stops of the blog. Here you have the schedule:

January 29   Austenesque Reviews; Guest Post, Giveaway

January 30   My Jane Austen Book Club; Excerpt Post, Giveaway01CBD977-7F24-4F1E-8D3C-C56B0D24F8D5

January 31   Of Pens and Pages; Book Review, Giveaway

February 1  More Agreeably Engaged; Guest Post, Giveaway

February 2  Babblings of a Bookworm; Excerpt Post, Giveaway

February 3  My Vices and Weaknesses; Book Review, Giveaway

February 4  My Love for Jane Austen; Character Interview, Giveaway

February 5  Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

February 6  Margie’s Must Reads; Book Review, Giveaway

February 7  From Pemberley to Milton; Excerpt Post

February 8  Savvy Verse and Wit; Book Review and Giveaway

February 9  Just Jane 1813; Guest Post, Giveaway

Time to Give Away

Amy is kindle offering on her blog tour 8 ebook copies of her The Sweetest Ruin to eight different winners. Click the link below and double check the terms and conditions as well to know how to get more points:

Rafflecopter – ¨The Sweetest Ruin¨ by Amy George

Terms and Conditions of the Giveaway:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once each day and by commenting daily on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached to this tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international. Each entrant is eligible to win one eBook.

Blog Tour of “These Dreams” by Nicole Clarkston, excerpt and giveaway

Hallo! I am super excited to present you this new book by Nicole Clarkston: These Dreams. The first thought will be: how does she dare to kill Mr Darcy!!!! Shall we forgive her? We’ll see 😉

Nicole Clarkston is a really good writer with so many good Pride and Prejudice variations but also, variations of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Go and check them because they are all great! I love The Courtship of Edward Gardiner and Northern Rain. Click on the titles to read my reviews or check the links below in order to buy them. All of them are highly recommended!

CreateSpace:

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

Northern Rain

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner

 Amazon:

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner

Northern Rain

No Such Thing as Luck

Rumours & Recklessness

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.

Amazon US              Amazon UK

TD Final Full Cover 090317 wobld M

 

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-clarkston

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.

Nicole was recently invited to join Austenvariations.com, a group of talented authors in the Jane Austen Fiction genre. In addition to her work with the Austen Variations blog, Nicole can be reached through Facebook at http://fb.me/NicoleClarkstonAuthor, Twitter @N_Clarkston, her blog at Goodreads.com, or her personal blog and website, NicoleClarkson.com.

 

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!

 Giveaway link, click here.

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.

Blog Tour Schedule:

You are going to love this blog tour!

09/19   So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

09/20   My Jane Austen Book Club; Vignette, GA

TD Vert Blog Tour BannerM

09/21   From Pemberley to Milton; Review, GA

09/22   Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

09/23   Just Jane 1813; Review, GA

09/24   My Vices and Weaknesses; Excerpt, GA

09/25   Babblings of a Bookworm;  Guest Post or Vignette, GA

09/26   Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

09/27   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

09/28   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, GA

09/29   My Love for Jane Austen; Character Interview, GA

09/30   Margie’s Must Reads; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

10/01   Savvy Verse and Wit; Review, GA

10/02   Austenesque Reviews; Character Interview, GA

10/03   Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review, GA

10/04   From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, GA

 

Totally random, or not… but I had to leave you with the song that always comes to my mind when reading the title of this great book:

Eurythmics – These Dreams

Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

Blog Tour of “D&E: Hope of the future” by Sharon Lathan, guest post + giveaway

Good morning or good afternoon or even good night for some of you! Yes, I am back after only a week 🙂 I am trying to behave and do not keep you out of the loop. That is why today I am very happy to present Sharon Lathan with her latest book Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future. It is her second book on her Prequel Saga, our loved protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy are getting married, aren’t they? …

Blurb of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future (Darcy Saga Prequel Book #2)

Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will soon be joined in Holy Matrimony!

The initial month of their Season of Courtship has passed. Together, the lovers strengthened their bond through honest communication, as they dealt with adversity, jealousy, and distrust. Ever growing in mutual love and understanding, a dramatic confrontation broke through the final barriers. 

Now their Hope of the Future “happily ever after” is assured! 

As long as Lady Catherine can be stopped in her scheme to interfere, that is. Or, will Mrs. Bennet’s bad advice ruin future marital felicity? Might increasing liberation lead to overwhelming passions that cannot be controlled, with catastrophe a result? 

Continue the journey began in Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. Delight in their flourishing romance, ride along on their escapades in London, and be a witness at the wedding of the century.

The miraculous design of how Two Shall Become One begins before the sacred vows.

After this blurb, can you not wait to buy the book? Print or ebook? You could buy both formats here, and also the first book of the saga Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship.

Amazon US                   Amazon UK                         Barnes & Noble Nook and Print

Kobo digital                                         iBooks digital

Apart from introducing the book and give you a “male” excerpt for you to enjoy, Sharon has done a guest post where you will find a lot of information about weddings during the Regency. I have learnt a lot, I must admit that I knew maybe half of the facts presented. I would recommend you to read this post but also visit the different posts where her book is being promoted because she has great information to share with all of us.

 

Let me introduce you to Sharon Lathan in case she may be a new author to you, although she has been written great novels for a long time now:

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Her first novel, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, was published in 2009. Sharon’s series of “happily ever after” for the Darcys now totals nine full-length novels and one Christmas themed novella.Sharon Lathan photo

Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship and Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future complete the “prequel to the sequel” duo recounting the betrothal months before the Darcy Saga began.

Sharon is a native Californian relocated in 2013 to the green hills of Kentucky, where she resides with her husband of over thirty years. Retired from a thirty-year profession as a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care, Sharon is pursuing her dream as a full-time writer.

Sharon is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, JASNA Louisville, the Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Beau Monde chapter of the RWA, and serves as the website manager and on the board of the Louisville Romance Writers chapter of the RWA.

Sharon is the co-creator of Austen Authors, a group blog for authors of Austenesque literary fiction. Visit at:  www.AustenAuthors.com 

Connect with Sharon at the following places:
Website/blog:  www.SharonLathanAuthor.com       Facebook at Sharon Lathan, Novelist                 Twitter @SharonLathan                     Pinterest  SharonLathan62

 

After introducing her, let’s read what Sharon is sharing with us, not only a very “funny” excerpt but also, as mentioned above, interesting information about weddings.

 

First and foremost, I must thank Ana for hosting me on her blog today. It is a pleasure to be here sharing a bit of wedding history and my latest novel with the My Vices and Weaknesses readers. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.

Regency Wedding Preparations

To understand wedding preparation during the Regency, you must start by erasing everything you envision as part of a modern-day wedding. English weddings prior to the Victorian Era were small, understated events. The primary purpose of the ceremony was the religious solidification of the marriage contract. For the most part, everything was approached with this serious aspect foremost.

The simplicity factor was one reason why the time between proposal to marriage could be very short. For most couples, the two weeks waiting for the three readings of the Banns was plenty of time. A longer courtship period would likely be the result of concerns such as ensuring a house to live in, financial security, and similar practicalities rather than needing time to plan the ceremony itself.

Unless a special license was procured—this was quite rare—or one was of a faith other than the Anglican Church, the wedding procedure was standardised. Couples with extreme wealth and social importance might have a glitzier arrangement and grander celebration, but never the ostentatious affairs we have today.

the-village-wedding-sir-samuel-luke-fildes1883

Location and Timing of the Wedding:  An Anglican wedding could take place on any day of the week, but ALL weddings took place in the parish chapel where at least one of the two persons lived. Per Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, weddings were required to take place during the canonical hours of 8 AM to noon.

Since most members of the ton could claim the fashionable London districts of Mayfair, Grosvenor, and St. James as their residence, the vast majority of Regency weddings took place at Saint George’s Church in Hanover Square. Established in 1725, thousands of weddings were conducted at St. George’s—1063 in 1816 alone!

Wedding Guests:  Invitations were handwritten by the bride—if they were sent at all—and depending on her creativity, the invitation may be fancy, but more often it was a basic letter giving the facts.

It was unusual for anyone outside the immediate family and closest friends to attend the ceremony. If family members lived further away they would be notified and an invitation extended, and in special circumstances time may be allowed for travel, but this was not the expectation and no one thought it wrong if they chose not to come. The only essential attendees were the clergyman, parish clerk to ensure formal logging in the register, and two official witnesses.

Local citizens often waited outside the church, ready to cheer and congratulate the newlyweds. It was common for these folks to form a processional behind the couple, shouting well-wishes all the way back to their house.

Bride’s Attendants:  A bride was typically assisted by one or two female attendants, perhaps a few more if she was of higher society. These attendants could be married or unmarried and helped the bride in various ways—penning invitations, getting dressed, making the bouquet—and one was designated the official witness for the parish registry.

The term “bridesmaid”—or more commonly “bridemaid” without the S—was in use since the 1500s. “Maid of Honor” was akin to “lady in waiting” so more specifically referred to royal attendants. The use of “maid of honor” in relation to a bridal attendant was a late 19th century, American addition. The term “matron of honor” to specify a married attendant is an Americanism not seen until after 1900.

Groom’s Attendants: Historically, the groomsmen were “blade knights” who served as protectors of the bride and guards for the couple during their vulnerable hours preceding and following the ceremony. We see this same tradition today in military weddings where a sword wielding “honor guard” form the saber arch for the couple to walk through.

Such fears were gone by the civilised Regency. Instead, the enlisted groomsmen were close friends who lent a hand as necessary. With the ceremony being a quiet event, the groom having little to do beyond show up on time, and a bachelor party or extensive reception speech unheard of, groom attendants had minimal stated duties. The number varied, and probably was very small, but as with the bride, one man was designated as the “best man” to stand with the groom and serve as the official witness.

 

After reading this, I know that I would have been one of these local citizens waiting for Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy to leave the church together with Mr and Mrs Charles Bingley J Enjoy the excerpt of a really appealing book.

 

Excerpt from Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future

By the time Darcy, Richard, and Georgiana returned to Netherfield, the Hursts and Caroline Bingley had arrived. 

“Terrific,” Darcy muttered grumpily upon espying the familiar coach in the drive. It was a sentiment of which neither Colonel Fitzwilliam nor Miss Darcy could disagree.

As per the agenda for the final days and evenings, the brides and grooms would honor tradition by not seeing each other after sundown on the eve of the wedding, meaning they would dine apart. For tonight, however, Mr. Bingley had offered to host at Netherfield. It was the sensible choice, presuming the likelihood of some of their families arriving that day. As it turned out, everyone arrived that day. It was, for all intents, a prewedding reception.

When the dust finally cleared, and the last visitor had departed with the rest retired to their guest quarters, the grooms and Richard Fitzwilliam met in Bingley’s private sitting room.

“Well, that went swimmingly, I’d say.” Richard handed a brandy to Darcy, who grunted, then took a large swallow.

“As swimmingly as in a river of piranhas.”

“Oh, it wasn’t that bad—maybe sharks, or stinging eels, but not piranha level.”

Bingley smiled at Richard’s humor but looked a bit dyspeptic and also gulped at his brandy. “We may as well accept it, Darcy. After all, we will be family in two days so these gatherings, while hopefully rare, will happen from time to time.”

Now it was Darcy’s turn to look ill.

“Does Mr. Hurst ever smile?” Richard blurted in a tone of sincere curiosity.

“Sometimes, I think.” Bingley frowned, then shrugged. “Can’t recall to be honest.”

“Huh. Well, here is to family.” Richard lifted his glass. “Got to love them, for better or worse, sickness and in health, richer or poorer… Wait, that is for spouses. What are the rules for family again?”

“That is the real tragedy. One has no choice in the matter and is stuck with them,” Darcy grumbled.

“Yes, well, cheer up, Cousin. You have me! That is a stupendous blessing from the Almighty. And soon you shall have Bingley here. We make up for a dozen Mr. Hursts or Mrs. Bennets.”

“I suppose I will have to give you that,” Darcy admitted grudgingly, and then he laughed.

Richard joined in, but Bingley was quiet, eyes faintly troubled and a frown creasing his brows.

“What is it, Charles?”

“Was Caroline…” Bingley paused. “That is, did she do or say anything I am unaware of?”

Richard shook his head, but it was Darcy who spoke. “Surprisingly, no. In fact, I don’t think she said much at all. She sat with Mrs. Hurst the whole night. I know she never approached Elizabeth, at least when we were all together. I was watching. I think the time away did her good, truly I do. But really, what does it matter for the present? We should put all this aside and focus on what is important. The reason we are gathered here in the first place.”

“Here! Here!” Richard raised his glass, but only halfway. Staring at Darcy with a comically confused expression, he asked, “And why was that again?”

Time to Give Away

You cannot miss the great giveaway that Sharon is doing with us today. She is giving:

  • One print, signed copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future and a magnet duo of Darcy and Elizabeth from The Darcy Saga (1 winner, only US)
  • One ebook copy of Darcy & Elizabeth: Hope of the Future for 1 international winner.

What do you need to do to participate? As usual, share your opinion with us about what you have read. What do you think about the excerpt? Did you know the info about the weddings? Were you surprised about any of it? Please comment on this post and please, write your email and specify if you are participating on the US part of the giveaway or if you are participating on the international.

This time for an extra entry, you could share this post with some friends and if a friend of yours leaves a comment and indicates that he/she has found the post through you, you get an extra entry (maximum of three friends to be counted).

The giveaway will be open the 14th of September and I would like to post the winners during the following weekend. All the entries before 12pm (CET) will be counted. Good luck!

 

Blog Tour of “When we are married” by Caitlin Williams – Excerpt and Giveaway

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 fightCat 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 Caitlin Williams author photosmallof 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: Facebook                 Goodreads              Austen Variations      Twitter

Here you can buy his latest book When we are married or her previous ones: Amazon UK  Amazon US  Amazon CA   Amazon ES (English version)  It is also available through KindleUnlimited.

Excerpt (enjoy!)

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…

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. WWAM Final Front Cover 070617[1688] smallTo 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.

Good luck and share the news of this great story!

If you cannot wait to see if you are the lucky one, here you can buy his latest book When we are married or her previous ones: Amazon UK  Amazon US  Amazon CA   Amazon ES (English version)  It is also available through KindleUnlimited.

Blog Tour Schedule

Have a look at these other blogs where you will fun very nice and interesting reviews and a very nice Guest Post by Meredith.

July 21 Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post Launch & Giveaway

July 22 Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

July 23 Just Jane 1813 / Book Review & Giveaway

July 24 More Agreeably Engaged /  Book Review & Giveaway

July 25 My Vices & Weaknesses / Excerpt Post & Giveaway

July 26 Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

July 27 From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

REVIEW of “Mr. Darcy’s Mail-Order Bride” by J. Dawn King

Set in the USA in 1869, it is a very different premise from the JAFF that I normally read but I was intrigued after reading the blurb, you can read it here or carry on with my review.

Charles Bingley is lonely and there are not many single women in the west so he sets his cap on the older nice of a Mr Gardiner. However, Charles writes very poorly so he asks his friend Will Darcy to write the letters. Darcy helps him but he does not expect to fall in love with the person who writes those letters and he is also heart-broken as that lady is destined to his friend. Jane Bennet, the addressee of those letters, begs her sister Elizabeth to answer them as she is not able to imitate the quality and feeling of those missives. What happens next is that Elizabeth also falls in love with the writer.

Darcy is desperate and with the last letter, he proposes to Jane’s sister and he is accepted. Let’s say that the first impression is not good at all from both sides because Elizabeth has a little accident and she is not wearing her best dress. Moreover Darcy is just spellbound by Jane and does not pay attention to Lizzy at all. As it happens in Pride and Prejudice, Jane and Charles are made for each other, nothing can separate them.

Soon enough, Darcy and Elizabeth realise that they are the authors of those letters but it is not enough. The following day there is a quick double-wedding and they start the journey home.

Jane + Bingley = love at first sight, happiness

Elizabeth + Darcy = no talking unless is to argue

but…

the following day after their arrival at Pemberley, Darcy has an accident and his leg is broken and his back is painful so he has to be in bed for a few months. Elizabeth starts being the one who takes care of the state and the people in it. Darcy is very grumpy and crabby. Their relationship does not look good as he is not able to even realise everything his wife is doing for the state and for him. Do not forget that he cannot leave his bed at all… (at all, means that he cannot leave the bed at all 😛   )

I think that it does not help that the Bingleys are so in love. It does not help either having Darcy saying another woman’s name while sleeping. There are quite a few visitors like Georgiana, Caroline and a couple Miss Bennets to add up, and some danger… a fire, Wickham…

We can read about a strong Elizabeth with fears and worries that she wants to overcome. Darcy is still proud and has his ego converted to show a better side of him, although it takes time.

Spoiler alert!!

peach tree

 

Nevertheless, something must happen to make them happy, how they manage? Wait for it!! It is complicated, very complicated but it is very sweetly written and I promise you that you will enjoy it.

 

 

5out5 stars

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