“The Clergyman’s Wife” by Molly Greeley, excerpt and guest post

Hello to all of you!

Lately we have Charlotte as a main character and I am personally very glad about it. Although she may not be my favourite character from Pride and Prejudice (as if I could choose only one…), I definitely like Miss Lucas or Mrs Collins. However, when she is Mrs Collins I tend to pity her even if it was her choice. Apparently, Molly Greeley’s latest book may be more into the latter.

Let me introduce you to Molly Greeley, the author of the book I am presenting you today: The Clergyman’s Wife.

Molly Greeley was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where her addiction to books was spurred by her parents’ floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. A graduate of Michigan State Molly Greeley Author Photo 1University, she began as an Education major, but switched to English and Creative Writing after deciding that gainful employment was not as important to her as being able to spend several years reading books and writing stories and calling it work.

She lives in Traverse City, Michigan with her husband and three children, and can often be found with her laptop at local coffee shops.

Her first novel is forthcoming from William Morrow in December 2019. 

If you would like to follow Molly, you can do it here:

Website            Facebook          Twitter           Goodreads           HarperCollins

Let’s have a look at the blurb straightaway:

In this Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel, not everyone has the luxury of waiting for love.

Charlotte Collins, née Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford’s vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic, and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life, an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine.

In Mr. Travis’ company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard, and seen. For the first time in her life  Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart—and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted, and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman’s life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman’s wife.

What do you think? She is already married!! OMG! Is there a lot of angst? Is there a happy ending? Poor Charlotte!

Let’s see how you like part of the prologue of this book:

Excerpt

Prologue
Autumn 

Mr. Collins walks like a man who has never become comfortable with his height: his shoulders hunched, his neck thrust forward. His legs cross great stretches of ground with a single stride. I see him as I pass the bedroom window, and for a moment I am arrested, my lungs squeezing painfully under my ribs, the pads of my fingers pressed against the cool glass. The next moment, I am moving down the stairs, holding my hem above my ankles. When I push open the front door and step out into the lane, I raise my eyes and find Mr. Collins only a few feet distant.

Mr. Collins sees me and lifts his hat. His brow is damp with the exertion of walking and his expression is one of mingled anticipation and wariness. Seeing it, the tightness in my chest dissipates. Later, when I have time to reflect, I will perhaps wonder how it is possible to simultaneously want something so much and so little, but in the moment before Mr. Collins speaks, as I step toward him through the fallen leaves, I am awash in calm.

On the morning of my wedding, my mother dismisses the maid and helps me to dress herself. Lady Lucas is not a woman prone to excessive displays of emotion, but this morning her eyes are damp and her fingers tremble as she smooths the sleeves of my gown. It is only my best muslin, though newly trimmed at the bodice with lace from one of my mother’s old evening dresses. My father went to town the other day, returning with a few cupped hothouse roses, only just bloomed, to tuck into my hair this morning. He offered them to me, his face pink and pleased, and they were so lovely, so evocative of life and warmth even as winter grayed and chilled the landscape outside, that even my mother did not complain about the expense.

“Very pretty,” my mother says now, and I feel my breath catch and hold behind my breastbone. I cannot recall having heard those particular words from her since I was a small child. I look at my reflection in the glass and there see the same faults—nose too large, chin too sharp, eyes too close together—that I have heard my mother bemoan since it became apparent, when I was about fourteen, that my looks were not going to improve as I grew older. But the flowers in my hair make me appear younger, I think, than my twenty-seven years; I look like a bride. And when I look into my mother’s face now, I find nothing but sincerity.

My mother blinks too quickly and turns away from me. “We should go down,” she says. She makes for the door, then pauses, turning slowly to face me again. “I wish you every happiness,” she says, sounding as though she is speaking around something lodged in her throat. “You have made a very eligible match.” I nod, feeling my own throat close off in response, a sensation of helpless choking.

I am largely silent during the long, rocking ride into Kent. My new husband speaks enough for both of us; he has an astonishing memory for minutiae and discusses the wedding ceremony in such great detail that I find myself wondering whether he remembers that I was also in attendance. We left for my new home directly from the church; my family and a few friends all crowded, shivering in their cloaks and muffs, outside the entrance, waving as we were driven away. Maria, my sister, cried as I left; my brothers looked solemn, my father beamed, my mother smiled a tremulous smile. My friend Elizabeth’s smile looked as if it had been tacked in place, like a bit of ribbon pinned to a gown but not yet properly sewn on.

Mr. Collins’s awkward height is emphasized by the cramped conditions of the coach. His long legs stretch out before him as far as they can go, but he still appears to be uncomfortable. The hair at his temples is moist, despite the cold, and I have to glance hastily away, feeling a lurch in my stomach that has nothing to do with the jolting ride.

He is very warm beside me in bed. I watch him sleep for a time, tracing the relaxed lines of his face with my eyes and thinking how different he seems without the rather frantic energy he exudes in his waking hours. There is a tension about him, much of the time, that I did not recognize until this moment, until sleep removed it.

He introduced me when we arrived to the housekeeper, Mrs. Baxter, who is broad and pleasant, and to the gruff, graying manservant, John, whose powerful shoulders are built from years of labor. The parsonage itself is exactly as Mr. Collins described it: small, but neat and comfortable, with surrounding gardens that he assured me would be beautiful come spring. His eagerness to please me was matched by his inability to believe anyone might find fault with his home, and I found his manner at once endeared him to me and irritated me thoroughly.

Throughout the tour, he pointed out improvements here and there that had been the suggestion of his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. There were rather a lot of them.

At our bedchamber he paused with his palm against the door. “I hope . . . it suits,” he said, then opened the door and bowed me in.

The room was much like the rest of the house: comfortably furnished, if a trifle small. “Charming,” I said, and pretended not to notice the flush on his cheeks.

We ate dinner together. I had little appetite, despite the novelty of eating a meal in my own home that I had had no hand in preparing. Afterward, I considered suggesting we adjourn to the parlor but found I could not face the intervening hours between then and bed. Tomorrow I would unpack my books and my embroidery. I would write letters. I would meet Lady Catherine, for Mr. Collins assured me that lady had vowed to have us to tea when we returned to Kent; and I would begin to learn the duties of a clergyman’s wife. But tonight—I wanted only for tonight to be over.

“I am tired,” I said. “I think I will retire early.” Mr. Collins rose from his chair with alacrity. “A fine idea,” he said. “It has been a long day.” And to my consternation, he followed me up the stairs, his footsteps behind me a reminder that it will forever be his right to do with me as he pleases.

It is not so terrible, I think after, lying in the quiet dark watching my husband sleep. At my insistence, he allowed me time to change into my nightdress in private. And the rest was vaguely shocking, dreadfully uncomfortable, and far more mess than I had anticipated, but bearable. Mr. Collins, at least, seemed vastly pleased at the end, murmuring affectionate nonsense against my neck until he drifted off to sleep.

I wake before dawn, and for a moment I imagine I am still at home. There is a presence beside me in the bed, warm and heavy against my back, and I think it is my sister, Maria, until it lets out a gusty snore against the nape of my neck. My eyes open and I find myself staring at an unfamiliar wall covered in delicate floral paper. For a moment, I am held immobile by the weight of all the ways in which my life has changed. And then Mr. Collins— William—shifts in his sleep, one heavy arm reaching over my hip, his long fingers brushing my stomach, and I go rigid for the barest of instants. A moment later I force the stiffness from my body, allowing my spine to relax back against my husband’s chest. Exhaling the breath I had been holding, I wait for him to wake.

I will, no doubt, grow accustomed to mornings begun beside William. This is, after all, the life I chose.

If you are interested already on reading The Clergyman’s Wife, you can buy the book on:

HarperColllins           Amazon US     Amazon CA       BooksAMillion

Amazon UK (on pre-order, January for the paperback and March for the ebook)

Guest post

What does Molly say about The Clergyman’s Wife? Why Charlotte?

It took about a year of once-weekly writing sprints to finish my first novel, The Clergyman’s Wife, but the idea had been slowly germinating for a long time. I have, in fact, been thinking about Charlotte Lucas and her choice for more than twenty years, ever since I first read Pride and Prejudice. Back then I was ten years-old, and with a child’s understanding of what I read, my first and strongest reaction when Charlotte chose to marry Mr. Collins was complete revulsion. Mr. Collins was gross, and worse, he was a little bit stupid. Someone like Charlotte, who was friends with Elizabeth Bennet and therefore must be intelligent, would be miserable married to him. I agreed completely with Elizabeth’s first reaction to the news of her friend’s engagement: Charlotte had made a terrible mistake. But time, and many subsequent readings, softened my take on Charlotte’s decision, and as I grew up, she became the character in Pride and Prejudice who fascinated me most, her choice to marry Mr. Collins less horrifying than the circumstances that led to it.

Charlotte had neither money nor the means to earn any, and she had no beauty, which was, of course, its own form of currency. Even when she was young, the likelihood of attracting a husband equal to or above her in station was fairly slim, but as the years passed I imagined the constraints of her situation tightening around her like a net. The truly sad thing about Charlotte’s circumstances, I realized, was not so much that she married Mr. Collins but that she lived in a time when an intelligent, capable woman had only two choices: remain unmarried, and risk becoming a burden to her family, or accept the proposal of a man who could offer her security, even if he also happened to be a fool. Her story was all-too- common in Jane Austen’s time: the woman who married the most practical choice available, because a woman’s security, unless she was exceptionally fortunate, was always linked to the prosperity and generosity of the men in her life. The remarkable thing about Charlotte is that she set out to seduce Mr. Collins—not with her body, but with her attention and sympathy. Rather than wait passively for a man to notice her, she saw an opportunity and took it, and in doing so, she took charge of her own life in the only way available to her. I felt punched by the courage and, yes, selflessness of her decision, for in marrying the heir to Longbourn, she ensured that neither her parents nor her younger brothers had to worry about her future. We get so little of Charlotte’s inner world in Pride and Prejudice, and I wanted more.

The remarkable thing about Charlotte is that she set out to seduce Mr. Collins—not with her body, but with her attention and sympathy. Rather than wait passively for a man to notice her, she saw an opportunity and took it, and in doing so, she took charge of her own life in the only way available to her. I felt punched by the courage and, yes, selflessness of her decision, for in marrying the heir to Longbourn, she ensured that neither her parents nor her younger brothers had to worry about her future. We get so little of Charlotte’s inner world in Pride and Prejudice, and I wanted more. 

Austen tells Charlotte’s story mostly from Elizabeth’s perspective, with a few interjections from the novel’s nameless narrator, and Charlotte seems, above all else, calm, practical, and more than a bit calculating. But Elizabeth, as it turns out, is not actually the most astute judge of other people’s feelings and motivations. So I started thinking: what if Charlotte was just good at making the best of things, even if she didn’t feel as cheerful about them as she appeared? What if she was grateful enough for the security Mr. Collins offered her to be genuinely pleased with her new life when Elizabeth visited in Pride and Prejudice—but what if security was not enough to make her truly happy in the long run? What if she finally fell in love? Some of my favorite books take well-known stories and delve into the minds and hearts of characters who were peripheral to the original. Charlotte has never felt peripheral to me; even as a child, I couldn’t read Pride and Prejudice without having a visceral reaction to her story. It’s a story about a woman’s worth, a woman’s place in society. It’s about mothers and daughters, because it’s impossible to imagine Charlotte’s own worry about her prospects as the years pass without also imagining the strangling fear her mother must have felt, too. And it’s about love, or lack thereof, and what place it would have had in the lives of women who did not have a man with ten thousand a year waiting to rescue them from the terrifying uncertainty of the future. Such women, like Charlotte, had to rescue themselves.

Molly Greeley

I hope you have enjoyed Molly’s thoughts. What do you think about her?

Have a nice week 🙂

“Falling for Mr. Thornton” by various authors, review and giveaway

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is just a lovely read with two strong characters: Margaret Hale and John Thornton. And, yes, we are falling for him! If you read this blog, you know that I review or promote mainly JAFF but because there is also a lot of it. However, I love a good love story with angst and North and South Fan Fiction has it and in good measure!

Falling for Mr. Thornton is the first compilation of fan fiction stories of Gaskell’s well-know novel. I highly recommend it to you and you will read it below in my review, but let me show you the blurb:

Amidst the turbulent backdrop of a manufacturing town in the grips of the Industrial Revolution, Elizabeth Gaskell penned the timeless passion of Mr. Thornton and Margaret Hale. A mixing of contemporary and Victorian, this short story anthology by twelve beloved authors considers familiar scenes from new points of view or re-imagined entirely. Capturing all the poignancy, heartbreak, and romance of the original tale, Falling for Mr. Thornton is a collection you will treasure again and again.

Stories by: Trudy Brasure * Nicole Clarkston * Julia Daniels * Rose Fairbanks * Don Jacobson * Evy Journey * Nancy Klein * M. Liza Marte * Elaine Owen * Damaris Osborne * Melanie Stanford ** Foreword by Mimi Matthews **

In case you do not know all of these authors, at the end of the post I am leaving their biographies and their contact and social media. I have read most of them in other occasion and, trust me, you should do it too!

There are so many great stories that I do not know where to start. I will give you the blurb of four of the stories that I have enjoyed:

On the Island by Melanie Stanford

Travel blogger Meg Hale doesn’t want to return to John Thornton’s resort. After all, another visit won’t change her bad review.

But the resort has changed—and so has John.

The more time Meg spends on the island, the more she realizes she may have made a mistake. A mistake that could cost John the resort, and Meg her heart.

Mistakes and Remedies by Julia Daniels

When John Thornton’s sister goes missing, he seeks help from the one woman he can trust—the one who still holds his heart. Saving Fanny is all he hopes for, until a tender friendship begins to flourish between him and the love he had thought lost to him.

The Best Medicine by Elaine Owen

What if Thornton found a way to change Margaret’s mind about him earlier in the story? Could helping Margaret’s friend Bessy be the way to winning Margaret’s heart? This is a short story with more than one happy ever after for more than one beloved character!

Mischances by Nicole Clarkston 

When the wrong person discovers Margaret in a compromising position, she is forced to decide who she really wants and just how much she can trust the one man who can help her.

Review

Love, misunderstandings, more love, friends, time-travelling, modern variation, more love, compromise and much more can be found in Falling for Mr. Thornton.

These 12 stories have very different endings and points of view. The way they want you to carry on reading is very different from one to another. Some of these stories focus solely on John and Margaret but some others also show other characters; some of them even have their happy endings.

I have enjoyed a lot the stories with John’s viewpoint and his struggle with his love for Margaret. However, the way that Margaret see her error and her misjudgement of John is also really nicely explained.

Above you have been able to red four of my favourite stories of the book but for different reasons.

On the island is a lovely story that it portrays exactly what happens in N&S but in a modern variation.

Mistakes and Remedies has Fanny as a main character together with the loved couple. I normally do not like Fanny, I still do not like her here but OMG! how can she be so stupid!

The Best Medicine: Best Higgins is on it and what a story and happy endings!

Mischances gets on my nerves because Margaret is about to surrender to someone, not John, for not trusting John!!

There are so many more stories that just because they are not here it does not mean that I like them less. I still recommend them.

5out5 stars

What about buying this compilation and having a great time?

Amazon US        Amazon UK           Amazon CA

Blog Tour Schedule

Great posts and a lot of information to make you like more this book or to make you more eager to buy it! Do not miss the posts!

14/11/2019 More Agreeably Engaged; Blog Tour Launch & Giveaway

19/11/2019 My Jane Austen Book Club ; Author Interview & Giveaway

21/11/2019 From Pemberley to Milton; Review & Giveaway

25/11/2019 So Little Time…; Guest Post & Giveaway

05/12/2019 My Vices and Weaknesses; Review & Giveaway

10/12/2019 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post & Giveaway

16/12/2019 Babblings of a Bookworm; Review & Giveaway

20/12/2019 Austenesque Reviews; Guest Post & Giveaway

time to give away winners

A great giveaway!

The authors are offering one big prize to one reader following the entire blog tour. This prize will contain 13 different ebooks, once copy of Falling For Mr. Thornton and one other ebook from each author. This giveaway is made through Rafflecopter, click the link below and follow instructions.

Additionally the authors would also like to offer 2 bookmarks of Falling For Mr. Thornton at each blog for two winners. This giveaway is sorted by me within the people who have commented. It will finish on the 10th of December at 23:59 CET.

Both giveaways are international. Good luck!!

Rafflecopter – Falling for Mr. Thornton

giveaway

 

Biographies of the authors

Damaris Osborne is an English author and lover of North & South, whose novella ‘North & Spoof’ is available from Amazon, and who is the author of a 12thC murder mystery series under another pseudonym. She says spoofing is her outlet for her ‘silly streak’, and her literary heroes are Jane Austen, Rudyard Kipling, Georgette Heyer and Terry Pratchett.

Damaris Osborne’s other books include: North & Spoof

Amazon Author Page                 Goodreads

Don Jacobson has written professionally since his post-collegiate days as a wire service reporter in Chicago. His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio. His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards. Earlier in his career, he published five books, all non-fiction. As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.

Don turned his passion for reading The Canon into writing #Austenesque Fiction. He has published eleven works in the genre since late 2015. As a member of The Austen Authors Collective, Don joins (and he is modestly bowing his head to admit that he is the knave in this deck of Queens and Kings) other Janites who seek to extend the Mistress’ stories beyond the endings she so carefully crafted.

Don Jacobson’s books include: Miss Bennet’s First Christmas, The Bennet Wardrobe: Origins, The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey, Henry Fitzwilliam’s War, The Exile (Pt. 1): Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque, Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess, The Exile (pt. 2): The Countess Visits Longbourn, The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament, The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion), Lessers and Betters Stories, Of Fortune’s Reversal, The Maid and The Footman

Amazon Author Page            Goodreads                   Facebook            Twitter

Elaine Owen was born in Seattle, Washington and was a precocious reader from a young age. She read Pride and Prejudice for the first time in ninth grade, causing speechless delight for her English teacher when she used it for an oral book report. She practiced writing in various forms throughout her teen years, writing stories with her friends and being chief editor of the high school yearbook. She moved to Delaware when she married.

In 1996 she won a one year contract to write guest editorials in the Sunday edition of The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, and she continued her writing habit in political discussion groups and occasional forays into fiction.

In 2014 she began to write Pride and Prejudice fan fiction and decided to publish her works herself to see if she might possibly sell a few copies. Thousands of books later, the results have been beyond her wildest hopes, and she plans to continue writing fiction for the foreseeable future.

When she’s not writing her next great novel, Elaine relaxes by working full time, raising two children, volunteering in her church, and practicing martial arts. She can be contacted at elaineowen@writeme.com.

Elaine Owen’s other books include: Common Ground, Duty Demands, Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit, One False Step, Love’s Fool, and An Unexpected Turn of Events 

Amazon Author Page           Goodreads                 Facebook              Twitter

Evy Journey, SPR (Self Publishing Review) Independent Woman Author awardee, writes Women’s Fiction, an amorphous category of stories written mostly for women, from a woman’s point of view, as varied as that is. They can be romance, chick lit, or literary.

Evy has a Ph.D. in psychology so her particular brand of women’s fiction spins tales about well-drawn characters as they cope with the problems and issues of contemporary life. These stories explore the many faces of love, loss, second chances, and finding one’s way. Often, they’re laced with a twist of mystery or intrigue.

She’s also a wannabe artist, and a flâneuse who wishes she lived in Paris where art is everywhere and people have honed aimless roaming to an art form. She has lived in Paris a few times as a transient.

Evy’s other books include: Margaret of the North, Hello, My Love, Hello, Agnieszka, Welcome Reluctant Stranger, Brief Encounters, and Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies.

Amazon Author Page       Goodreads                Facebook

Julia Daniels loves to write happily ever after stories that warm the heart and make the reader satisfied. From rural and farm romance to historical western romance and even romantic mystery novels, Julia can spin a tale that ends in a happy romance. Her characters come to life on the pages, drawing the reader into the love story, making them want to stick around and see what happens.

Julia lives in Nebraska with her husband and two kids. In addition to writing, she designs counted cross-stitch patterns, sews, gardens and cares for an odd menagerie of animals, including chickens and goats.

Julia Daniels’ other books include: Milton’s Mill Master, Master of her Heart, Choices of the Heart, The Earl Next Door, Duchess on the Run, and Saved by a Cowboy

Amazon Author Page              Goodreads             Facebook

Kate Forrester lives in Shropshire, one of the most beautiful counties in Britain, with her family and other animals. She has worked as a nurse in the NHS for thirty years. About five years ago she stumbled across the c19 forum and was bitten by the writing bug. Since then she has written two novels Weathering the Storm and Degrees of Silence and is about to publish her third a Nightingale Sang.

Kate Forrester’s other books include: A Nightingale Sang, Degrees of Silence, In the Shadow of the Games, The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing, and Weathering the Storm

Amazon Author Page      Goodreads       Facebook

Liza Marte lives in Santa Clara, just south of San Francisco in northern California. She currently works in an Accounting corporation. She has written 16 books, four of which have been self-published and can be found on Amazon.

Liza Marte’s other books include: The Whistle Echoes, A Drop of Red, Above the Roars, and More than Words

Amazon Author Page       Goodreads        Facebook

Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow.

Melanie Stanford’s other books include: Sway, Collide, Clash, Then Comes Winter (Anthology) and The Darcy Monologues (Anthology)

Amazon Author Page       Goodreads        Facebook       Twitter

Nancy Klein: I have been writing fiction for quite a few years now, and surprise! I find I love it. I owe a huge debt of thanks to Trudy for reading what I write and offering incredibly helpful insights (and wonderful friendship). I am a writer and editor by trade, so I enjoy beta reading for other writers. Besides playing in Milton and Nottingham, I enjoy finding treasures at yard sales and auctions, running/hiking and race walking, working with dog rescue, listening to NPR (especially This American Life and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me), travelling, singing Broadway scores, reading, drinking good wine, and hearing a good joke.

Nancy Klein’s other book is How Far the World Will Bend

Amazon Author Page         Goodreads          Facebook

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, and she is never found sitting quietly without a book or a writing project.

Nicole Clarkston’s books include No Such Thing as Luck, Northern Rain, Nowhere but North, Rumours and Recklessness, The Courtship of Edward Gardiner, These Dreams, London Holiday, Nefarious, and Rational Creatures (Anthology).

Amazon Author Page             Goodreads           Facebook         Twitter

Born in the wrong era, Rose Fairbanks has read nineteenth-century novels since childhood. Although she studied history, her transcript also contains every course in which she could discuss Jane Austen. Never having given up all-nighters for reading, Rose discovered her love for Historical Romance after reading Christi Caldwell’s Heart of a Duke Series.

After a financial downturn and her husband’s unemployment had threatened her ability to stay at home with their special needs child, Rose began writing the kinds of stories she had loved to read for so many years. Now, a best-selling author of Jane Austen-inspired stories, she also writes Regency Romance, Historical Fiction, Paranormal Romance, and Historical Fantasy.

Having completed a BA in history in 2008, she plans to finish her master’s studies someday. When not reading or writing, Rose runs after her two young children, ignores housework, and profusely thanks her husband for doing all the dishes and laundry. She is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and Romance Writers of America.

Rose Fairbanks’ books include: The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter, Letters from the Heart, Undone Business, No Cause to Repine, Love Lasts Longest, Mr. Darcy’s Kindness, Once Upon a December, Mr. Darcy’s Miracle at Longbourn, How Darcy Saved Christmas, Sufficient Encouragement, Renewed Hope, Extraordinary Devotion, Mr. Darcy’s Bluestocking Bride, The Secrets of Pemberley, Pledged, Reunited, Treasured, and A Sense of Obligation

Amazon Author Page             Goodreads             Facebook         Twitter

Trudy Brasure’s curiosity about life in past times and her fascination with the Victorian Era have been part of her since she was a small girl considering the ruins of her grandfather’s barn in rural Pennsylvania.

She began her own personal romance story with a whirlwind courtship. Her married life started in a picturesque colonial town on the coast of Massachusetts. With the addition of three children and several dogs, she currently lives in California.

As a hopeless romantic and a fervent enthusiast for humanity’s progress, she loves almost nothing more than to engage in discussion about North and South.

Trudy Brasure’s books include A Heart for Milton and In Consequence

Amazon Author Page         Goodreads           Facebook           Twitter

“When Charlotte Became Romantic” by Victoria Kincaid, character interview + giveaway

Dear all,

I hope you are doing well and looking forward to this interview! Victoria Kincaid is sharing her latest book: When Charlotte Became Romantic. Yes, Charlotte Lucas. Was she romantic after all?

In the original Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet’s friend, Charlotte Lucas marries the silly and obsequious clergyman, Mr. Collins.  But what if fate—and love—intervened?

Desperate to escape her parents’ constant criticism, Charlotte has accepted a proposal from Mr. Collins despite recognizing his stupid and selfish nature.  But when a mysterious man from her past visits Meryton for the Christmas season, he arouses long-buried feelings and causes her to doubt her decision. 

James Sinclair’s mistakes cost him a chance with Charlotte three years ago, and he is devastated to find her engaged to another man.  Honor demands that he step aside, but his heart will not allow him to leave Meryton.  Their mutual attraction deepens; however, breaking an engagement is not a simple matter and scandal looms.  If they are to be happy, they must face her parents’ opposition, Lady Catherine’s disapproval, dangerous figures from James’s past…and Charlotte’s nagging feeling that maybe she should just marry Mr. Collins.   

Charlotte had forsworn romance years ago; is it possible for her to become romantic again?

Wait a minute… James Sinclair, who is him? What do you mean “cost him a chance with Charlotte”? I am bit stressed now. Let’s see if Charlotte can solve this mystery about Mr Sinclair. Enjoy the interview!

Q. Hello, Charlotte, it’s nice to meet you and congratulations on your engagement to Mr. Collins.

A. Thank you.

Q. Are you looking forward to moving to Kent and becoming a parson’s wife?

A. Of course. I am looking forward to establishing my own home and I hope to have many children.

Q. You’re not worried about how far Hunsford is from Lucas Lodge?

A. The distance is rather an advantage than otherwise.

Q. Interesting. And, tell me, how did Mr. Collins propose?

A. With a lot of words. He has quite a way with words.

Q. That’s one way to put it.Did he express his love and admiration?

A. Yes, of course.I believe he called me his petunia blossom. 

Q. And do you love him?

A. (After a pause.) I greatly admire and esteem him. I’m not romantic, you know.

Q. That’s an interesting claim. I was doing some research about your visit to Bath three years ago and I heard that there was a time in your life when you were quite romantic.

A. I do not know what you mean.

Q. I learned from a reputable source that you were once in love with a mysterious young man and accepted an offer of—

A. (Standing.) I will not answer that question!

Q. Will you just confirm or deny that—?

A. I was unaware that this was to be such a shockingly personal interview. You must write for a very disreputable publication.

Q. I’m sorry.I didn’t mean to offend you.  I simply wanted to know the truth about that visit to Bath three years—

A. This interview is at an end.(Gets up and leaves the room).

WOW! What has just happened? She just left the interview! She was not really receptive and pretty upset she went.

What do you think? Is she romantic after all? I know I already asked that question but I want to know more and the only way is reading When Charlotte Became Romantic.

You can buy this entertaining book on:

Amazon UK                Amazon US                   Amazon CA

For you to know Victoria a bit more, read the biography from her website:

Victoria Kincaid is the author of several popular Jane Austen variations, including The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, Pride & ProposalsMr. Darcy to the Rescue, When Mary Met the Colonel, and Darcy vs. Bennet.All of her books have been listed in Amazon’s Top 20 Bestselling Regency Romances.  The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth was nominated for a Rone award and Pride and Proposals was recognized as a top Austenesque novel for 2015 by Austenesque Reviews.

Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head.

She lives in Virginia with an overly affectionate cat, an excessively energetic dog, two children who love to read, and a husband who fortunately is not jealous of Mr. Darcy.  A lifelong Austen fan, Victoria has read more Jane Austen variations and sequels than she can count – and confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.

If you want to follow Victoria Kincaid’s work, follow her on:

Website            Facebook           Twitter             Goodreads

time to give away winners

Victoria is kindly given an ebook copy of When Charlotte Became Romantic to a winner. This giveaway is international. To participate you need to comment on this post and you can get an extra point for each share in a different social media. The giveaway will end on the 8th of December at 11:59pm (CET). Good luck!

“The Watsons” by Rose Servitova, excerpt

Dear all,

I am glad to introduce you to a new author here at My Vices and Weaknesses, however, most of you may have read her before. Please, welcome Rose Servitova.Rose Servitova headshot

Irish author Rose Servitova is an award-winning humor writer, event manager, and job coach for people with special needs. Her debut novel, The Longbourn Letters – The Correspondence between Mr. Collins & Mr. Bennet, described as a ‘literary triumph’, has received international acclaim since its publication in 2017. Rose enjoys talking at literary events, drinking tea and walking on Irish country roads. She lives in County Limerick with her husband, two young children and three indifferent cats. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Rose Servitova is presenting her latest book: The Watsons. She is completing this story that Jane Austen left incomplete and she has done a very good job. Just read this praise of the book:

“A gift for Austen fans everywhere – full of wit, informed imagination and palpable affection for Austen’s characters.” — Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society

“Very satisfying, sometimes moving and often laugh-out-loud hilarious.” — Jane Austen Regency World Magazine

For me these two opinions say loads, don’t you think? If you do not believe, reread those reviews again.

I will give you something else, here you have the description of the book:

Can she honour her family and stay true to herself?

Emma Watson returns to her family home after fourteen years with her wealthy and indulgent aunt. Now more refined than her siblings, Emma is shocked by her sisters’ flagrant and desperate attempts to ensnare a husband. To the surprise of the neighbourhood, Emma immediately attracts the attention of eligible suitors – notably the socially awkward Lord Osborne, heir to Osborne Castle – who could provide her with a home and high status if she is left with neither after her father’s death. Soon Emma finds herself navigating a world of unfamiliar social mores, making missteps that could affect the rest of her life. How can she make amends for the wrongs she is seen to have committed without betraying her own sense of what is right?

Jane Austen commenced writing The Watsons over two hundred years ago, putting it aside unfinished, never to return and complete it. Now, Rose Servitova, author of acclaimed humour title, The Longbourn Letters: The Correspondence between Mr Collins and Mr Bennet has finished Austen’s manuscript in a manner true to Austen’s style and wit.

Rose is inviting us to five into The Watsons a bit more with this interesting excerpt:

Emma looked in upon her father and found Mrs Ellingham quite at home in a low chair, wearing spectacles and reading aloud from a book.

“And now, Mr Watson, I will retire for a while to return to you later and finish this chapter.”

“Thank you Mrs Ellingham,” he replied. “You have been very kind.”

Placing a wick in the book to mark her page, Mrs Ellingham smiled at Emma before leaving the room and gently closing the door after her.

When he was sure that he heard her footsteps descending the stairs, Mr Watson began, “Really Emma, I do not know how you expect me to tolerate this woman? Is there any way to banish her from our home?”

“Father! It is only her second day. We believed you enjoyed her company. Has she been unkind?”

“Not unkind, if reading these dreadful novels is not considered unkind. I dislike them intensely. I had much rather be forever alone than in the company of a very bad book.”

Emma, relieved, laughed. “You must tell her, Father, and do so thoughtfully.”

“I did attempt to encourage her to read something from my own library but she found them dull and kept nodding off. So I have spent the past several hours in agony – hours that I have not to spare at this time of my life.”

“This would greatly injure her feelings. She has given her time to come here and cheer you,” said Emma while moving about the room, pushing back chairs and taking books from his bedside and placing them back on the bookshelf.

“And what of my time? Recall, my dear, what Shakespeare said ‘I wasted Time and now doth Time waste me.’ But, yes, yes, she is a kind and attentive old friend. And that being so, I had best find another way. I have been thinking, if I feel a little stronger tomorrow, I will come downstairs. In company, I should be safe. She will have no need to read to me. Yes, that is what I will do. I will listen to this hogwash this evening, while you are all at the ball and tomorrow afternoon, when you have returned, I will declare myself well enough to join you for dinner.”

“Father, such a scheme!”

“Illness is a dangerous indulgence at my time of life. My poor cousin! I no longer wonder at his moving onto his heavenly home at such a young age. The miracle is that he did not depart sooner.”

“I shall go now,” said Emma with a laugh, kissing him on his forehead, “and leave you to your fate.”

“Yes, you girls must go and enjoy your ball. I pray there will be a sufficient number of wealthy gentlemen who, in falling for your beauty, will kindly overlook your careless father’s inability to provide you with a dowry. You may tell me all on the morrow.”

Emma hesitated outside the closed door and sought to hear that noise which she had recently detected on leaving her father. It was the creaking noise of her father alighting from his bed, then moments later another creaking sound as he returned to it. She had learned that he regularly sought comfort from the log book which Emma had just now returned to the bookshelf. From his bed, she assumed, he would read with pleasure those entries which logged all his parish duties over thirty-three years and would be found later, lying on his coverlet, while he slept. Smiling at his mischievousness, Emma descended the stairs cheerier than when she had ascended it earlier and waited for the Edwardses’ carriage to arrive. (pages 100-102)

How are you liking it so far? Emma, but Watson this time, do not forget it!

If you would like to buy it, you can do it here:

Amazon US          Amazon UK         Amazon CA

Blog Tour

You are going to love this tour, please check the previous stops because it is very enjoyable!

November 18            My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)

November 18            Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

November 19            The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

November 20            Austenesque Reviews (Review)

November 20            vvb32 Reads (Review)

November 21            All Things Austen (Review)

November 22            My Love for Jane Austen (Spotlight)

November 25            From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

November 25            Diary of an Eccentric (Interview)

November 26            So Little Time… (Excerpt)

November 27            Impressions in Ink (Review)

November 27            Babblings of a Bookworm (Spotlight)

November 28            More Agreeably Engaged (Review)

November 29            My Vices and Weaknesses (Excerpt)

November 29            The Fiction Addiction (Review)

“The Perfect Gentleman” by Julie Cooper, excerpt + giveaway

Dear all, please welcome Julie Cooper, the author of The Perfect Gentleman, a variation of the beloved Pride and Prejudice.

Julie Cooper, a California native, lives with her Mr Darcy (without the arrogance or the Pemberley) of nearly forty years, two dogs (one intelligent, one goofball), and Kevin the julie-cooper-photo-with-emmaCat (smarter than all of them.)  They have four children and three grandchildren, all of whom are brilliant and adorable, with the pictures to prove it. She works as an executive at a gift basket company and her tombstone will read, “Have your Christmas gifts delivered at least four days before the 25th.”  Her hobbies are reading, giving other people good advice, and wondering why no one follows it.

You can connect with Julie on Facebook.

I think the blurb of The Perfect Gentleman is going to be both confusing and, “I need the book now” at the same time. Enjoy!

’Tis no secret that Lizzy Bennet has dreams. The uniquely talented daughter of a woman with a dubious reputation, Lizzy knows she must make her own way in a world that shuns her. Fitzwilliam Darcy carries the stains of his family’s disgrace upon his soul and only by holding himself to the strictest standards has he reclaimed his place in society.

Now Georgiana Darcy has gone missing. If his fifteen-year-old sister cannot be found quickly, the scandal could destroy Darcy’s years of perfectbehaviour. Lizzy Bennet know just what to do to find Georgiana. She is willing to join the pursuit to get what she wants but will Darcy be willing to trust her with his secrets? And what will they do when the search for Georgiana reveals what neither expected to find?

The Perfect Gentleman is a romantic adventure so big it needs two volumes in one book. Follow the adventure in A Not-So-Merry Chase and discover the surprises and temptations that await at Pemberley in Love Wisely But Well.

What a twist, right? What do you think? Let me know on the comments. I am not sure how to analyse the blurb, even writing my “questions” seems lacking because the main one would be: what is going on with the disgrace and the dubious reputation???

Let’s get a bit more about this book… a lot more!

The Perfect Gentleman is the story, at its heart, of a man and a woman from separate social circles but with comparable inner-life experiences. This allows them to see each other differently than the rest of the world might. It does not mean, however, that they have an easy time convincing the world of the advisability of the match.

In this excerpt, we hear Charles Bingley, sent to play cupid’s assistant, try to explain to Lizzy’s family (who has always lived amidst scandal and scorn) a little bit about the great family she is marrying into, and how they might help prevent social disaster from befalling Our Dear Couple!

Excerpt from The Perfect Gentleman:
Jane looked up at him hopefully. “So…your friend, Mr Darcy…he is…a kindly gentleman?” she asked tentatively.

Charles’s brow furrowed. “Hmm. Kindly. Well, ’tis not that he is unkind. A right honourable gentleman, he is, but I do not know a more awful object than Darcy, of a Sunday evening, when he has nothing to do.” His brow cleared. “Fret not. He is the busiest of men, terribly industrious, always doing three things at once. Excepting the Sabbath, of course. Which is why, if restlessness takes him, it happens then.”

“Oh, my,” Jane murmured.

He saw he had not achieved his object, which was to give a confident report of Darcy’s character. “Truly, ma’am, he is a splendid fellow.” He continued with a convoluted tale of how Darcy had walloped a regular bell swagger at Eton, thus rescuing the much younger Charles Bingley from a terrible drubbing. He noted she did not look much reassured, though he thought it a grand tale, himself.

“I say, don’t get yourself in a pucker,” he soothed. “I promise Darcy does not make a habit of getting himself yoked. He has had many an opportunity too, for he is known as one of the finest catches on the marriage mart. His uncle on his mother’s side is an earl, and the one on his father’s is the Bishop of Derby. No fears he cannot support her, what?”

“Oh, my,” Jane murmured again. “’Tis worse than I thought. I mean…not worse, precisely, but…our household situation is not quite…” She trailed off, plainly at a loss.

Charles was certain he knew the cause. “Darcy knows all about, um, your family history,” he said, unable to prevent his blush. He hurried on to the part of the plan he had practiced with his stepmother. “I have a letter here, from my mother-in-law. She is the sister of Thomas Bennet, which makes her Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s aunt, see?” he said eagerly.

Jane cautiously accepted the folded parchment, and smoothing it open upon her knee, read:

Longbourn House
Hertfordshire
28th May, 18—

Dear Mrs Bennet,

I send you the greetings of a long-lost sister. It grieves me to admit I only just learned of your marriage to my brother a few weeks past. The cause of said acknowledgement being a sad one, as Mr Bennet is ill, nigh unto death, and his marriage and most especially, his daughter, weigh heavily upon his conscience at the crossroads of his own mortality.

However, God works in mysterious ways. My son-in-law, Mr Charles Bingley, upon hearing the tale of your star-crossed marriage, sent his friend, Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, who has relations in your city, to discover how you and your daughter fare.

I cannot say enough favourable regarding Mr Darcy. He is a prosperous gentleman, a great landowner, and true and faithful friend to my son since their days at Eton.

The situation, of course, is delicate. We would both, I am sure, wish to avoid any gossip attending the wedding of your daughter to such a great man as Mr Darcy. I feel confident Mr Bennet, were he well enough to understand the particulars, would acknowledge Elizabeth as he ought to have long ago. But he is not able to do much at present and it is left to us to settle what ought to be done now.

I beseech you: pray, come to Longbourn. I would beg a sisterly indulgence; except I have no right. I am sure you have suffered much as a result of my brother’s pride, but I will not hesitate to petition your mother’s heart, where pride has no place when it poses a barrier to the happiness of our children. Bring any and all members of your household, too, of course. But come quickly, for I know not how many hours Mr Bennet has left in this mortal realm, and I am certain reconciliation ought to be the dying wish of a father and husband.

Hopefully, Your Sister,

Margaret Bennet Bingley

Jane carefully refolded the letter. “Oh, my,” she said.

As is plain to see from this excerpt, challenges await our dear couple!

If you want to buy The Perfect Gentleman, you can do it, among other, here:

Amazon US        Amazon UK           Amazon CA            Amazon DE

Blog Tour

Enjoy much more about this intriguing book! Go and check the other stops on the tour.

the-perfect-gentlemen-tourbanner

time to give away winners

You can win a $50 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing! The contest ends on November 13th. To be eligible, just comment on any of the blog tour stops. You need not visit all the stops (one point per stop and comment), however, it does increase your chances of winning by earning more entries. Good luck!

Winners of “Fiona and the Whale” by Hannah Lynn

Mary Preston and Karen, you are the winner of a copy of Fiona and the Whale by Hannah Lynn.

Please email me the address where you want me to send you your copy!

Email: myvicesandweaknesses (at) gmail (dot) com

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!!

“Fiona and the Whale” by Hannah Lynn, review + giveaway

Dear all,

Today I am presenting you a a non-JAFF book which is so worth it to read. However, before talking about Fiona and the Whale, I would like to apologise to Hannah, the author, and to Rachel, the organiser of the tour, because I have not been able to post this review on time. Work has been pretty intense and time caught up with me.

Back to the book… Who is not going to like this book if the full title is: Fiona and The Whale: an uplifting romance with a whale sized heart? The subtitle is just perfect! Moreover, the cover is vibrant and beautiful.

Let me (re)introduce you the author, an amazing person as well as an awesome writer. You may remember that I did a giveaway for her birthday this year celebrating also her novels.

Fiona and the Wale Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn is an award-winning novelist. Publishing her first book, Amendments – a dark, dystopian speculative fiction novel, in 2015, she has since gone on to write The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, a contemporary fiction novel with a supernatural twist – which won the 2018 Kindle Storyteller Award and the Gold Medal for Best Adult Fiction ebook at this year’s IPPY Awards – and the delightfully funny and poignant Peas and Carrots series.

While she freely moves between genres, her novels are recognisable for their character driven stories and wonderfully vivid description.

She is currently working on a YA Vampire series and a reimaging of a classic Greek myth.

Born in 1984, Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction. Now she is a teacher, writer, wife and mother.

For up-to-date news and access to exclusive promotions follow her on:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HannahLynnAuthor/

Twitter @HMLynnauthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13830772.Hannah_M_Lynn

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/hannah-lynn

Check her other book on her Amazon Author’s page here.

 

What is the book about, you ask? Let me show you the blurb and let’s see what you think.

With her personal life on the rocks, it’s going to take a whale sized miracle to keep her afloat.

Event planner Fiona Reeves did not have her husband’s sudden departure on her schedule. However, she’s certain that it’s only a hiccup and he’ll be back in no time, begging for forgiveness. Fortunately, there’s a distraction of mammoth proportions swimming in the River Thames. 

Absorbed by the story of Martha the sperm whale, Fiona attempts to carry on life as usual as she awaits her husband’s return. However, nothing can prepare her for the dramatic turn of events that throws her life into ever greater turmoil. The road ahead has many paths and for Fiona it’s time to sink or swim.

Fiona and the Whale is a poignant and often hilarious contemporary fiction novel. If you enjoy topical tales, second chances and a little bit of romance, you’ll love this new book from the Kindle Storyteller Award Winner, Hannah Lynn.

What do you think? If you live in the UK, you may think that this sounds familiar, and, unfortunately, it is familiar. Just last week a humpback whale was spotted swimming in River Thames. The story does not end well, unfortunately.

I will tell you more below about Fiona and Martha on my review below.

Ready to buy the book?

Amazon DE         Amazon UK         Amazon US           Amazon CA

Review

What can I say about Fiona and the Whale? I have simply loved it. It is not the “classic” romance, at all! The ones who follow the blog know that I adore romance but Fiona and the Whale is something else. The romance its not just the centre of the book, the centre of the book is… well, I will try to explain.

As you have read on the blurb, Fiona was not expecting to be dumped by her husband. However, he is back in the novel, how he is back!! Fiona feels left alone, her son is gone to uni and her husband is gone too. Fiona does what she knows how to do best, work. Work, work and more work is what occupies her but, then… Martha appears, the sperm whale, the lovely but lonely whale, away from her family, like Fiona. Fiona feels a bond between them and everything else does not matter as much. From following Martha’s story, Fiona will never be exactly the same. No, I am not saying that she is going to the sea to save whales or she is going to sell everything to give money to charities that protect the environment. Although, there is like a catharsis, maybe Fiona does not understand it like that but I would say that the events going on on her life are directly related to that bond. There are other characters, all of them have a key part on Fiona’s life even if what we know about them is that Fiona has met them during an afternoon and that’s it, an afternoon… Some characters are much more relevant: the husband, the best friend Holly, Ben, Rory, etc. Who are they, you ask me? I am not telling you. I highly recommend you to read the book.

Hannah’s writing is beautiful, her descriptions are like a breeze, they take you with them. Her characters are so complex but at the same time so close, there is no characteristic of a character that it is not well-planned or with a purpose. Even if that characteristic is not being a good cook 😉 Moreover, there is a key message in the book, do not forget that!

Regarding the author’s notes: I was not sure at the beginning of the book but then, I enjoyed them immensely.

5out5 stars

Blog Tour

There are so many stops in this blog that I do not know where to recommend you to start! Go and check them, you are going to learn so much about Fiona and the Whale that you will not be able to stop yourself from buying the book now!

Fiona and the Whale Full Tour Banner

time to give away winners

As I mentioned before, I am writing the post later than expected, therefore, the giveaway Hannah was doing is over. Therefore, I am doing a giveaway myself to celebrate this new novel by Hannah Lynn.

I am giving away two paperbacks of Fiona and the Whale by Hannah Lynn to two lucky winners.

Conditions: comment on this blog with your opinions and feelings about the book. Extra points if you share it on social media and you let me know in a comment. Please, write your email address for me to contact you in case you are the winner.

Giveaway open from today, 15th of October, until Saturday 19th of October at 11:59 CEST. I will publish the winners on Sunday, 20th of October.

I will be using Amazon to buy the book so eventually I will email you to ask you for your post address. I will not share your address with anyone apart from the amazon website that I will use to buy the paperbacks.

Fiona and the Whale