“In Essentials” by Helen Williams, excerpt and giveaway

Hello to all!

I am very intrigued about this book and that was before checking the previous posts of this blog tour or reading the excerpt from In Essentials that Helen Williams is sharing with us today. Let’s see if you get hooked with the blurb:

Five months after Darcy’s disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, he discovers that the woman he ardently loves is suffering from a grave illness.

Despite an affliction that has left her altered, Elizabeth Bennet is still the same person in essentials: witty, sanguine, and obstinate. However, her future is uncertain, and she struggles to maintain her equanimity—especially when Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to Netherfield and seems determined to improve her opinion of him. Now she must decide whether she is brave enough to trust him and embrace happiness, however fleeting it might prove to be.

What do you think? What on Earth has happened to Elizabeth? How altered she is and which aspects? How is Darcy going to improve her opinion of him? Too many questions that I will get to answer once I read In Essentials.

Let me introduce you to the author: Helen Williams. Welcome, Helen!

Helen lives in Cambridge, UK where she works for the University of Cambridge. She has been writing as a hobby for around 15 years and has written several novel length stories based on the work of Jane Austen. Helen has Welsh roots so her stories will often include a couple of references to the land of her fathers, in addition to her two other loves – dogs and rugby. In addition to writing, Helen’s hobbies include cooking, hiking, cycling and campaigning for green initiatives. Having been diagnosed with pituitary growths in 2015 and 2020, Helen is also an active member of the Pituitary Foundation and her experiences with chronic illness inspired her latest story.

After knowing about her, would there be any rugby involved? Unfortunately, I doubt it because it was invented in 1823, so a bit later than the year of this story. However, would there be any dogs? Would her chronic illness have inspired her for Elizabeth’s maladie?

You can follow Helen and her writing on her Facebook Author Page.

EXCERPT

This is a lovely excerpt mostly about the relationship growing between Elizabeth and Georgiana and Jane helps make it a entertaining and funny scene. Enjoy!

When the time came for Elizabeth to take her leave, Darcy escorted her out to await the carriage.

“Your sister is a darling girl,” she said. “I had never expected to find her otherwise, but I am very pleased nonetheless. I am sure we shall soon love one another just as two sisters ought.”

Darcy took her hand and pressed it. “My sister has long been in need of a sister—a true friend—and I thank you for taking her so easily into your affections.”

“How could I do otherwise when I have you to please and she is so delightful in her own right? But if anyone should be expressing their gratitude, it is I. As Jane has recently discovered to her regret, not all future sisters by marriage are so agreeable.” This was said with an arch look, and Darcy smiled ruefully.

“I meant to enquire…did you truly have the headache earlier, or was that a convenient excuse?”

“What a quandary you put me in, Fitzwilliam! For if I say yes, you will worry, but if I say no, you will scold me for crying wolf.”

“I daresay in this instance I would quite forgive you, knowing the provocation.”

“Then I regret to say that in this instance I was not dissembling, though I confess that I have headaches so frequently of late that it was a convenient excuse I was only too happy to take advantage of.”

“I am grieved to hear it. They do not distress you?” Mr Darcy asked gently, stroking her hand.

“No, though I shall admit to you that I am very tired. I know you will not take this the wrong way, but I shall be glad of a little peace and quiet once you all have departed. It will be a few days before the Gardiners arrive at Longbourn, and I look forward to doing very little indeed!”

“You should rest now if you need it. I would not begrudge you your peace and quiet, and I know the same can be said of my sister. In fact,” Mr Darcy paused and then smiled, “if you would welcome a little company, I am sure my sister would enjoy being quiet with you. You discovered for yourself her favourite pastime, but she is as often found working on her embroidery as she is practicing the pianoforte.”

Elizabeth laughed merrily, and Mr Darcy smiled at her with a quizzical look.

“That would be a very elegant solution indeed, were it not for the fact that I dislike the pastime myself. But I would be very happy to spend a morning or two with your sister so that we may become better acquainted, and she is very welcome to bring her work bag.”

This invitation was accordingly extended to Miss Darcy, who found herself sitting with Elizabeth in the latter’s room a few days later. Jane had joined them as well and had prevailed upon Elizabeth to turn her hand to prettifying an old purse.

“That is lovely, Miss Elizabeth.” Miss Darcy spoke quietly, admiring the other’s work while oblivious to the marked superiority of her own.

“I do enjoy a French knot. There is something so satisfying about them, except, of course, when you are left with one of those pesky loops. Those do put me quite out of patience.”

“Most stitches seem to do that, Lizzy,” Jane murmured and smiled at Miss Darcy when Elizabeth laughed. “My sister does not often try her hand at embroidery. Her skill is not at all lacking, but she is easily frustrated when something goes awry.”

“I am quite the same. Indeed, often I have to set aside whatever I am working on that has vexed me and return to it when I am in a calmer frame of mind.”

“Ah, but my dear Miss Darcy,” Elizabeth teased with a twinkle in her eye, “have you ever, in your vexation, launched your sewing across the room? I think perhaps not!”

“Well, no,” Miss Darcy admitted hesitantly. As Jane and Elizabeth were both laughing quietly, she allowed herself to smile. “I do not usually become that frustrated, Miss Elizabeth.”

“Whereas I have been known to lose my temper at the slightest provocation. I am quite sanguine generally, but place a needle and thread in my hands, and I transform into quite a different creature.”

“Do not worry too much, Miss Darcy,” Jane counselled kindly. “Between us we have contrived ways of preserving my sister’s temper, and I shall happily share them with you. First and foremost, you must always thread her needle for her.”

“Must I? But why so?” Miss Darcy looked as though she wished to laugh, which she duly did when Elizabeth brandished her needle and scowled at it in dramatic fashion.

“Because it is a physical impossibility to squeeze six threads—six!—through such a tiny aperture. Either that or I am just a clumsy-fingered fool, but my vanity much prefers the former interpretation of the issue.”

“Dearest, you are not clumsy at all.”

“Thank you, Jane—that soothes me. But do go on. You must tell Miss Darcy everything, following which she may decide whether she wishes to have me for her sister after all.”

“Well, there is not so very much besides. You do prefer to have someone sort your threads for you. But as you can see, Miss Darcy has hers marvellously organised, so I daresay you need have no fears on that account. And I am certain Miss Darcy would not mind were you to seek her advice when you happen to go wrong—”

“Which I very often do,” Elizabeth interjected.

“—or when you have sewn your work to your gown,” Jane concluded with a mischievous grin. Elizabeth burst out laughing, unable to deny the charge, whilst Miss Darcy giggled behind her embroidery hoop.

BLOG TOUR

If you have loved this excerpt and you want to know much more about Helen Williams’ In Essentials, check the other entries of this blog tour.

Are you interested in buying In Essentials and getting to know what happened to Elizabeth and how Darcy got her good opinion? Here are some links that you could use:

Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon US Amazon ES Amazon DE

Meryton Press is giving away 6 ebook copies of In Essentials by Helen Williams during the whole blog tour. In order to be considered in the giveaway, please click the link below and follow instructions. Good luck!

Rafflecopter – In Essentials

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

Dear all,

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

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

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

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

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

AUTHOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, my Aunt Catherine! That is another story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

LG: . . . Is there a question?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon UK Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

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

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

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

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

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

Hello!


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

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

THE AUTHOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLOG TOUR

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

You can but the book here if you cannot wait 🙂

Amazon US Amazon ES Amazon CA Amazon UK Amazon DE

REVIEW

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

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

How are we going to have… SPOILER ALERT!!

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a Happy Ending!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!!

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

Dear all,

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

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

AUTHOR

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

Christine’s blog Christine’s Facebook

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Contest open until August 14, 2021. Good luck!

***

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

 Amazon US   Amazon UK   Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

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

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

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

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

“An Unexpected Harvest” by Cat Andrews, excerpt and giveaway

Dear all,

I am very happy to show you this modern Pride and Prejudice variation. I am really looking forward to reading it because everything I know about it just tells me that I will definitely enjoy it. This variation is Cat Andrews’ latest novel: An Unexpected Harvest.

Have a look at it:

Elizabeth Bennet left her affluent New England home at the age of sixteen and never looked back. She’s built a fabulous life in Boston and loves everything about the city—especially her dream job as creative director at an advertising agency.

Will Darcy has never lived anywhere but in rural Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He lives the quintessential small-town life and loves everything about the country—especially his family’s farm, which he’s doing his best to modernize and return to prosperity.

When her older sister moves back to New England, Elizabeth reluctantly pays a visit to the hometown she left behind. Soon enough, the city girl meets the country boy and the insults and misunderstandings fly—but so do the sparks.

No one is more surprised than Elizabeth and Will when those sparks turn into a brilliant flame, and the 300 miles between them that once felt far too close suddenly turns into an unbearable distance.

The city girl and the country boy know a good thing when they see it—even if they don’t see it nearly enough. Can they overcome their greatest challenge and find common ground—and their happily-ever-after?

***

This novel is a modern variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but with a slight spin on the usual cast of characters. It contains adult content and is meant for mature readers.

I really love it, since the first time I read it, I cannot wait for the part “insults and misunderstandings fly”!!

I am glad to also have Cat Andrews for the first time in my blog as I still remember talking in the breakrooms with her in the JAFF Get-together last year. She seems like a lovely person, apart from a really good author. Let me introduce you to her:

Cat Andrews has always been an avid reader, but didn’t discover Jane Austen until her love of a certain British actor led her to the BBC’s 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, because she just had to know—why all the fuss over this Darcy guy? What followed her viewing of that glorious miniseries was an inhalation of and immediate fixation on all of Austen’s novels, though Pride and Prejudice remains her favorite.

Her discovery of Jane Austen Fan Fiction opened up a whole new world, and thus began her addiction, and months and months of sleep deprivation, as she immersed herself in JAFF. After reading a modern Pride and Prejudice variation that she fell in love with, she was inspired to begin a cautious but earnest foray into the world of writing.

In real life, Cat has spent thirty-plus years working in healthcare. She enjoys life on the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts where she grew up, fell in love with her own Mr. Darcy, and raised a family (and a three-legged dog). More often than not, you can find her at the beach with a book in her hand and her toes in the sand.

An Unexpected Harvest is her second novel.

There are to many places where you can follow her, and among others, the pictures of Cape Cod are great!

Contact/Social Media:

Website: www.catandrews.com

Email: catandrews.author@gmail.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cat_a_auth

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cat.andrews.583

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/cat_andrews_author

EXCERPT

Enjoy!

Thank you so much, Ana, for welcoming me to My Vices and Weaknesses! I’m so glad you are a part of the blog tour for my new modern Pride and Prejudice variation, called An Unexpected Harvest.

I’m happy to share an excerpt with you today. This particular scene takes place at Pemberley, when the relationship between Will Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet has just begun to blossom. When they find themselves caught in the rain, they take refuge in Pemberley’s barn, and the peaceful surroundings provide the perfect setting for them to open up a bit more to each other about past behaviors—in particular, their ‘Hunsford moment’—and future desires. I hope you enjoy it!

***

Will made a quick trip into the house and ten minutes later, Elizabeth was dressed in a warm shirt that smelled distinctly like the man she was cuddled up to.

I’ve died and gone to flannel heaven. 

Will had been a gentleman, leaving her alone in the tack room so she could change out of her wet top. He’d arranged a couple of hay bales against the wall for them to sit on, facing the goats. His long legs were stretched out in front of them and one arm was wrapped snugly around her shoulders as he pointed out the mamas who would soon be having kids.

“Do you name them?”

“No. Well, unless you count hey you, pain in the ass, and damn goat as names. Those are the three I usually use.”

She laughed and watched as one stuck its wriggling nose through the slats of the pen. “They’re pretty cute.”

They sat in silence for a while, occasionally laughing at the antics of the goats, but mostly enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof and the contentment of being close. Eventually, Will spoke.

“I’m curious about something. What made you decide to come here that morning? Especially since we’d already said goodbye.”

She sighed. “There were a few reasons, actually. I’d had an interesting conversation with Caroline the night I saw you at Wild Thyme. She thought you were interested in me, and could clearly see I was interested in you, so… I sort of chewed on that for a couple of days. And then when I saw you at the library… Ugh, you had me so confused. You were teasing me one minute and then annoyed with me the next. I couldn’t figure you out.”

“That’s because I couldn’t figure myself out.”

“But then you called me Lizzy.” She batted her eyelashes, and he chuckled. “It was a simple slip of the tongue.”

“Simple to you, maybe, but not to me. You might as well have shouted it at the top of your lungs. It’s so ridiculous, but it made me feel absolutely giddy. I remember thinking, I am the spoon.”

His eyebrows rose. “What?”

She smiled. “Never mind. Anyway, I had a long conversation with Lydia that night, mostly about my father… She mentioned something about having the courage to go after what you want, and that was the tipping point for me. I was supposed to go skiing with her and Jane in the morning, but I told them I had work to do, and I went to see you instead.”

“And I blew it.”

“No! You didn’t blow it, I did. The things I said to you—”

“Have already been discussed and don’t need to be discussed again.”

She nodded. “Never again.”

They spent a little more time in the barn, visiting with Skip and Barnum, and when she checked her shirt she found it was still mostly damp.

His eyes traveled over her. “Just wear mine home. It looks good on you.”

“I don’t want to leave you minus a shirt.”

“Do you really think I don’t have plenty of these?” His hands rubbed up and down her arms and then wrapped around her waist. “Take it.”

She grinned. “Okay.”

He kissed her and she sighed into it, already used to the remarkable feeling of his lips on hers, the taste of his mouth, the brush of his beard against her skin…

She leaned back, and he eyed her curiously as she touched her chin. “I don’t want to look rashy when we go into the house.”

“Are you okay with going in?” He lightly stroked her cheek. “We can wait until another time if you want.”  

“I don’t mind. It would be rude if I didn’t.”

“I don’t think so, and my parents wouldn’t either.”

I would think so. Honestly, I don’t mind.”

He grabbed his hat and coat, and she took her vest and shirt from where they were hanging. Before they left the barn she took a deep breath, inhaling the smell of hay and animals.

“I’m glad we stayed out here today.”

“I am too,” he said, his eyes gentle on hers. “We got rid of all the bad mojo.”

She felt a sweet surge of hope. “Do you think so?”

He nodded. “We already have better memories. I mean, there aren’t many, but it’s enough for now. That’s what we’ll focus on, until we have the chance to make more.”

Oh, just take me right here and now. “You’re awfully sweet, you know.”

He shrugged. “I just don’t want to think about the lousy stuff anymore, not when there’s been so much good stuff already. And not when there’s so much more to come.”

What do you think?? Don’t you love it? Her “off-thoughts” are very interesting and how sweet! I have definitely been able to picture all the scene in my mind, even with the “hey you” around.

What about buying the book? Here you have a few links:

Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon UK Amazon DE Amazon ES

BLOG TOUR

Do check the great posts on this tour, you are going to enjoy so much!

June 1 – author’s blog

June 4 – Babblings of a Bookworm

June 7 – From Pemberley to Milton

June 9 – Jane Austen State of Mind

June 11 – Austenesque Reviews

June 14 – Diary of an Eccentric

June 16 – Probably at the Library

June 18 – My Vices and Weaknesses

Cat Andrews is giving away an ebook of An Unexpected Harvest to one of the readers who comment. Please, specify which Amazon account you use (US, UK, CA, etc.) It is possible that only Amazon US users are counted but I will talk to Cat as I may be able to help with other Amazon accounts. Good luck!

EDIT: apologies for not having said a deadline before. The giveaway is open until Monday 21st of June at 11.59pm EST.

“Parallels” by Linda Gonschior, excerpt and giveaway

Dear all,

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

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

Love, heartbreak, and self-discovery

are life’s greatest challenges,

no matter who your parents may be.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EXCERPT

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

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

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

**

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

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

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

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

**

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

**

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Around.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But,” Anna began.

“I said to leave me alone!”

**

I hope you find these tidbits appetizing!

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

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

Amazon UK Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

BLOG TOUR

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

June 7 Donadee’s Corner

June 8 My Vices and Weaknesses

June 9 Diary of an Eccentric

June 10 From Pemberley to Milton

June 11 Babblings of a Bookworm

June 14 My Jane Austen Book Club

June 15 Probably at the Library

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

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

Rafflecopter “Parallels”

“Dare to Refuse such a Man” by Mary Smythe, review, deleted scene + giveaway

“He is the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse anything which he condescended to ask.”

– Mr Bennet, Pride and Prejudice Volume III, Chapter 17

It had never occurred to Fitzwilliam Darcy that, once he had chosen a bride, her father might dare to refuse his consent. When his dearest, loveliest Elizabeth is taken from him with only a curt note of explanation, he determines that, far from accepting her father’s rejection of his suit, he must instead find her again and make his case. After all, a woman worthy of being pleased is also worth fighting for.

Several months shy of her majority, it is not so simple a thing to defy Mr Bennet’s will, but Elizabeth, for the sake of her future happiness, must try. With various allies in her corner, as well as foes standing against her, Elizabeth’s courage must rise against all attempts at intimidation. Even from her own, much beloved father.

Really? Mr. Bennet is going to reject Darcy’s suit? Yes, he is going to and you will not forgive him easily, in case you ever do!

Hello to all!

I am looking forward for you to know a bit more about this really good book: Dare to Refuse Such a Man by Mary Smythe. I hope you have liked the blurb because there is much more to come on this post.

Let me introduce you to the author Mary Smythe:

Mary Smythe is a homemaker living in South Carolina with a rather useless BA in English collecting dust in a closet somewhere. Mrs Smythe discovered the works of Jane Austen as a teenager thanks to the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries featuring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and has since gone on to read everything written by Ms Austen at least once yearly, always wishing that there were more. She has been writing since 2001, but only discovered Jane Austen Fanfiction in the summer of 2018. Dare to Refuse Such a Man is the first full-length novel she has ever completed, though she can boast a few shorter works in her library, as well.

I am going to make you wait to read my review because Mary is sharing a deleted scene that is very sweet! I understand that it was not included but it gives you a peek on Elizabeth and Darcy.

Thanks for having me on your wonderful blog today, Ana! I’m honored to be here.

There were actually quite a few scenes removed from the original draft of Dare to Refuse Such A Man, almost all of them with the same problem: they didn’t forward the story. Sweetness and humor are great, but I’ve been informed by more than one person that sometimes it’s best to just get on with it, especially when the reader is itching for a resolution. And so many of the minor romantic/funny scenes were excised (delicately, of course, to be saved for later) for the sake of getting into the meat of the plot. But, not to worry, there’s still plenty of light, bright and sparkling romance left in the book.

This particular scene, featuring a playful footrace between Darcy and Elizabeth, has nothing to do with anything other than watching our dear couple fall in love. It takes place in the earlier portion of the story, while Darcy and Elizabeth are still in Derbyshire and tentatively learning to understand one another. Neither is quite sure where their relationship is going yet, but I think it’s clear to the reader. I was sorry to see it (and others like it) go, but I’m happy that I get to share it here!

“I admit that I was most impressed with your tree climbing abilities yesterday.”

Elizabeth felt warmth creep into her cheeks at Mr Darcy’s reference to her petulant and unladylike display from the previous morning. It had belatedly occurred to her that it was perhaps not the best idea to act in such a hoydenish way before a pair of eligible gentlemen, no matter how provoked she had been by their own behaviour. It was done, however, and she would bear up with the shame as best she could. “I confess I have had much practice.”

Mr Darcy, far from the offence that he should have been expressing, smiled indulgently. “I could see as much myself. I am not certain that I could have performed the task as efficiently as you, even without skirts to hinder me.”

“When one is forced to wear them,” Elizabeth quipped, flicking her eyes in her escort’s direction, “one is forced to learn how to do certain things that would be easier without them. Such as climbing trees, dancing, or running.”

“So you are a champion at running, too?” Mr Darcy surmised.

Elizabeth straightened her shoulders and adopted the most haughty look she could muster with her nose raised high and a single eyebrow arched in disdain. “You would doubt the prowess of an accomplished woman, sir?”

“Not at all,” Mr Darcy chuckled, shaking his head, “though I do doubt you could best me in a race.”

“Oh ho! Is that pride I hear? Well, I hope you are deserving of it, sir.”

“Pride,” he admonished, mimicking Elizabeth’s hauteur to a degree far beyond her own ability and eliciting a snort of laughter from her, “where there is a real superiority of skill, pride will always be under good regulation.”

“While I concede that you are more capable than I at affecting an air of superiority when called for—”

“Why, thank you, Miss Bennet.”

“—I shall defend my hoydenish abilities to the last! On your mark, sir.”

Mr Darcy stared at her in some amazement as Elizabeth dropped his arm and loosened the knot of ribbon at her throat. Her bonnet fell down her back and into the tall grass, forgotten immediately once it was gone, as she fixed her companion with a challenging smirk.

“You mean to race? Now?” Mr Darcy’s tone was all astonishment at this development.

Elizabeth laughed, loud and confident. “To the chestnut,” she pointed to the tall, leafy presence just beyond the smithy where it stood as the most proper landmark for this kind of contest upon its slope. “Unless, of course, you are afraid that I shall best you after all.”

Mr Darcy still appeared uncertain, his mouth dipped in a slight frown and his eyes assessing her.

“Very well, then, I shall accept your concession and—hey!”

It was Elizabeth’s turn to be astonished as Mr Darcy, with a smug smirk, took off in the direction of the chestnut tree at a full tilt. Belatedly realizing that he had not only accepted her challenge but also cheated to gain an additional advantage over her, she laughed and darted off after him, fistfuls of her skirts clutched in her fingers.

“I thought you were going to best me, Miss Bennet!” Mr Darcy called over his shoulder.

Elizabeth put on another burst of speed; she was gaining on him, but only slightly. “It is ungentlemanly to cheat a lady, sir!”

Mr Darcy did, indeed, win their little competition, though perhaps by not as much as he had expected to. Elizabeth, however, conceded that he likely would have won regardless of his playful bit of chicanery as, not only was she hampered by long skirts, but shorter legs, as well. Whereas Mr Darcy practically flew over the tall grass, Elizabeth had been forced to beat it out of her way as she had progressed toward their end point.

Collapsed against the trunk of the tree and enjoying the shade of the canopy above, Elizabeth considered that there were many facets of Mr Darcy yet unexplored. She had assumed him incapable of mischievous play, had considered him too serious to lower himself to her level of silliness, yet it appeared that this was not entirely the case. When the situation called for it, Mr Darcy could express a surprising amount of levity.

Elizabeth turned her head, her curls lightly scraping against the bark of the tree, so that she might grin at her companion. “I admit, sir, that your pride may not have been misplaced.”

“As I must admit that you are as accomplished at the hoydenish arts as any young lady I have ever encountered,” Mr Darcy teased in return, his own lips quirked.

“I suppose we each defied the expectations of the other, then.”

“I suppose we did.”

Oooh! As I would say nowadays: it is so cute! If you have liked this relationship, there is much more too.

What about buying Dare to Refuse such a Man?

Amazon UK Amazon US Amazon CA Amazon ES Amazon DE

Before buying it, you can check more about the book on the other stops of the tour, it is highly recommended!

REVIEW

Generally speaking I like Mr Bennet and in some stories he is just awesome, however, he is horrible in Dare to Refuse Such a Man!!

Nope, it is not because he does not like Darcy and that’s why he refuses his consent to marry Elizabeth. The reason for the refusal is totally selfish and extremely annoying when you get to know it!

However, let’s talk about the lovebirds. They story start in Derbyshire, when Lizzie travels with the Gardiners to Lambton and this is before Mr Bingley rents Netherfield. Therefore, there are not big misunderstandings, he is loved in his area and they get to know each other and share lovely moments like the one on the deleted scene.

Mr Bennet removes Elizabeth from this county when he finally reads the letter from Mr Gardiner informing him that Mr Darcy wants to marry her daughter. As I said, no explanation, no apology, nothing to her favourite daughter or as he thinks of her: his heir…

You will like a lot of things, like a strong Mrs Bennet (love her!) or a jealous Caroline (sorry, I forgot that that is canon!). Wickham appears and he is bad 😦 and cheeky on the scene he shows himself.

I do not really want to tell you about other characters because I do not want you to get ideas around, I will only mention Georgiana who makes Darcy realises the Elizabeth is a gentleman’s daughter and so far they are equal 😀

I highly recommend you the story even if I have not been able to give you more but somebody’s cousin is despicable and more malleable than we thought! (what? I do not know who you are talking about)

Quills & Quartos Publishing are offering an ebook of Dare to Refuse Such a Man to commenters at my blog stop. Winners will be chosen a week after the blog tour ends (May 7). Winners’ names will be posted on the Q&Q FB and Instagram pages. Good luck!

“The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet” by Hunter Quinn, excerpt, review and giveaway

Hello to all,

I hope you are doing well and having time to read. I am getting there, reading as much as I can on this few moments that I have to spare, but it is worth it.

I am very glad to have an author visiting us for the first time: Hunter Quinn, who is bringing her book The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

Hunter Quinn is a British writer, residing in the southwest of England. She is an avid reader, no doubt due to the influence of her mother, an English classics’ professor and lecturer. 

Having grown up a stone’s throw from Bath and always surrounded by the words of literary greats, Hunter first discovered Jane Austen at a young age. But it was the ubiquitous scene where Mr. Darcy—portrayed by Colin Firth (a moment of silence and applause)—first emerged from the lake in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that cemented her love for Jane Austen and the regency romance genre of spirited damsels, dashing gentleman, and glittering ballrooms. Afterwards, Hunter walked through life daydreaming and writing ‘what if’ scenarios between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy but never had the courage to share them. 

Once the lockdown went into effect, Hunter took the plunge and began sharing her first novel on well-known JAFF sites. The praise and interest of readers gave her the confidence to submit The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet to Meryton Press Publishing… and the rest is history!

I am glad that Hunter Quinn had the courage to share her ‘what ifs’ 🙂 If you want to follow her, check her Author Page on Facebook.

Let me share the blurb of the book before Hunter shares a very good excerpt from the book:

An insulting proposal without an explanatory letter…how can they possibly reconcile?

When her sister Lydia elopes without a trace, Elizabeth Bennet must put aside her predisposition against Mr. Darcy—the man whose hand she refused months earlier—and plead for his assistance in locating the wayward couple. As a result, they face daunting hurdles with help from well-loved friends and interference from old rivals. Will their struggles result in permanent estrangement or a love match?

Oh, Lydia! Really? Let’s recap: Darcy proposes at the parsonage, there is no letter, Lydia elopes, Elizabeth asks Darcy for help… what could go wrong?

Hello Ana and thank you very much for hosting me as your guest on My Vices & Weaknesses!  

For those of you who have been following this blog tour, the excerpts I have chosen are in chronological order. In this next passage we learn more about how Elizabeth is feeling in the aftermath of her meeting with Mr. Darcy. Mr. Gardiner has received an astonishing letter, and we are, like a fly on the wall, listening to a conversation between Elizabeth, her aunt, and her uncle. Will Elizabeth be able to keep her composure…?

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy this next installment.

When Elizabeth found Aunt Gardiner in the drawing room, she was surprised to see her uncle there as well.

“Now that you have joined us, Lizzy, I have some astonishing news that might interest you both,” exclaimed Mr Gardiner.

“What is it, Uncle?”

“I was to leave for work when I received a note from none other than Mr Darcy,” he said. “I believe you are acquainted with the gentleman, Lizzy. This is the same Mr Darcy who refused to stand up with you at the assembly and supposedly treated Mr Wickham very ill!”

When Elizabeth failed to respond, he continued. “Does this not shock you, especially after his behaviour in Meryton?”

“Yes indeed, Uncle. What could he mean by contacting you?” said Elizabeth, feigning ignorance.

“Well, as you mentioned before, he truly is a man of few words.” He chuckled to himself. “He starts with a terse introduction and then writes that he has received some upsetting information regarding our mutual acquaintance, Mr Wickham. Mr Darcy goes on to say he does not wish to commit anything further to paper but asks whether he could call on me this afternoon as he may be of some assistance to us.” After he concluded, Mr Gardiner looked at Elizabeth expectantly.

“Mr Darcy wants to help us?” Mrs Gardiner asked her husband with a look of incredulity. She then turned to Elizabeth. “But Lizzy, if he is as disagreeable as you said he was, why should he want to offer his assistance?”

“I am as surprised as you are, Aunt. I cannot imagine what has compelled him.”

“Lizzy, I must admit I was astonished by your description of the young Mr Darcy. As you know, I grew up in Lambton, which is but five miles from Pemberley, and the Darcys have long been respected landlords and members of society. Their tenants and servants never have an unkind word to say about them.” Squeezing the hand of her husband, she continued, “I confess I am slightly giddy at the prospect of him visiting our home, Edward.”

Elizabeth felt distressed for having to deceive her relatives and prayed they would not discover her role in the matter.

“How did you respond, Uncle? Will you meet with him?”

“Of course! We are in no position to refuse someone of his influence, especially as he may be the key to locating our Lydia. I am feeling more optimistic now than last night…” Mr Gardiner gave a little sigh at the reminder of the severity of the situation.

“Dearest Lizzy,” Mrs Gardiner said, “I can feel your apprehension, but let us try to be open-minded. The gentleman must be a good fellow if he is offering to help with such a delicate situation when it concerns him not. What should it matter to him what happens to our family? We should consider the possibility that, since we were wrong about Mr Wickham’s character, we may have been wrong regarding Mr Darcy’s as well.”

Elizabeth disagreed with her aunt but lacked the energy to argue. She understood what desperation can drive a person to do and still maintained that Mr Wickham would be an honourable gentleman were it not for the injustice he had suffered at Mr Darcy’s hand. Therefore, she gave her aunt what she hoped was a reassuring smile and then looked down with a small frown. Her feelings and thoughts regarding Mr Darcy were in turmoil, and the conflicting emotions made her headache. How could one man cause her head to rage and her heart to flutter? No! He may be handsome, and perhaps he was occasionally caring and gentle, but he was also someone who enjoyed toying with people’s livelihood as his wealth and power allowed him to do all his life. She vowed that he would never be able to wield his influence over her. He was helping because he ought, seeing how he was the root cause of Mr Wickham’s misfortunes. Mr Darcy was still the same disagreeable man she knew in Hertfordshire and Kent.

“Oh, Lizzy, I almost forgot,” said Mrs Gardiner as she passed her a letter. “This came for you this morning. I believe it is from Jane. Forgive me for not giving it to you when it arrived. I thought it best to let you rest. You have been through a great deal of shock.”

“You are right. I have not been well lately.”

Elizabeth tore open the letter, daring to hope Jane had written to inform her that Lydia had returned home, and this had all been a silly misunderstanding. Her shoulders drooped as she read in silence, and upon finishing the letter, she looked up to inform her aunt and uncle that Jane would be joining them to help recover Lydia.

“Jane writes that we should expect her by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. I confess it will be a great comfort to have her here.”

“I agree, and I am glad she is coming,” replied Mr Gardiner. “I sent an express to Longbourn before I retired to apprise them of your father’s condition, and it will reach Jane before she departs. In any case, we shall ready another room in anticipation of Mrs Bennet’s arrival, as she might want to be here for Mr Bennet. It will be a bit of a squeeze, but we shall manage.” And with that, Mr Gardiner bowed to the ladies and left for his study.

A servant arrived shortly to inform Elizabeth that she could visit her father. Sitting at his bedside, she read to him in nervous anticipation of Mr Darcy’s impending visit.

What do you think? If you have not read the previous excerpts, I highly recommend you to go and check them, I am writing the blog tour below. Is it true that he has got to know some info or is there anyone who has asked for help? 😀

BLOG TOUR

No, I have not forgotten about my review but it is coming just after I remind you of the schedule of the blog tour.

April 19th From Pemberley to Milton

April 20th Probably at the Library

April 21st My Jane Austen Book Club

April 22nd Diary of an Eccentric

April 23rd My Vices and Weaknesses

April 24th Donadee’s Corner

April 26th Austenesque Reviews

REVIEW

Elizabeth is pretty annoying for part of the book. Even if she must ask Darcy for help, she keeps thinking the worst of him, however, as you can imagine, that changes at some point…

As you have read on the blurb, there was no letter after the horrendous proposal, so she has no idea of how badly he has judged Darcy. However, she is so stubborn!

The story is good and the annoyance you can feel towards Elizabeth is needed but I got far too annoyed. Wickham has eloped with Lydia and she still defends him and blames Darcy for where Wickham is now in life!!! However, Lydia even gets a grip after listening to Wickham talking to Denny and boom! (I like this scene). Although, even if I like that Lydia, she is very lucky to

Darcy, what can I say! He is so tired of getting Elizabeth’s recriminations and putting up with her bad opinion of himself that he is almost on the verge of giving her up. He technically does it but words are words and sometimes you have to eat what you have said.

Apart from Elizabeth and Darcy, and Lydia and Wickham, there are many more things happening and I can tell you that they are very well written and you will enjoy them.

One last thing, Wickham is believed to be dead but… he is not and he has an extremely bad scene. Despicable!!

Meryton Press will give away one eBook of The Predisposition of Miss Elizabeth Bennet to one of the readers of this blog who comments on this post. The giveaway is international and it will finish on Monday 26th of April 2021 at 11:59 CET. Good luck!

“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:

Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon US Amazon ES Amazon DE

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:

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon DE Amazon ES

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!!

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