Blog Tour of “Dangerous To Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues” edited by Christina Boyd

This time it is the “bad boys” who fill the pages, the ones that you actually hate or despise but at the same time you could have a soft spot for them because maybe they redeem themselves or maybe because they are actually not so bad… (wait until you know more).

ABOUT DANGEROUS TO KNOW: JANES AUSTEN’S RAKES & GENTLEMEN ROGUES

“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.

It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.

What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

In Dangerous To Know we have eleven stories about eleven rakes or rogues who were created by Jane Austen. However, their differences cannot be greater, on one hand we have Willoughby and  Crawford, who I cannot stand, and on the other hand we can see Colonel Fitzwilliam and Thomas Bertram, who I like. There are other characters as well, as you have read above, but I can tell you already that these stories could make you like them or at least understand the reason why they turned out as they did. Although, I am going to be very mean and I have to say that I still do not like, for instance Willoughby even if Joana’s story is really good.

Redemption is a difficult word for characters that you have already “judged” but some of these stories are going to be difficult to ignore… I am mainly thinking about Wickham (you will have to read it!).

I have dearly enjoyed Dangerous to Know but I believe that I will always like The Darcy Monologues a bit better 🙂

5out5 stars

I got an ARC copy and asked if I wanted to do a review and I was glad to do it but you can always buy your copy and super enjoy these stories with the baddies from Jane Austen’s dear novels.

Amazon UK      Amazon US      Amazon CA       Amazon DE

 

I highly recommend you to check the authors, who are superb and have great stories for you to read and enjoy: Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Katie Oliver, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes and Brooke West. Their work is amazing but I cannot forget another key person in creating Dangerous To Know, the editor Christina Boyd.

DTK PLAYLIST image

Apart from reading it, listen to songs that connect with the stories, check the Spotify list here.

Advertisements

Review of “Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep” by Regina Jeffers

Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep by Regina Jeffers

No, it is not a Pride and Prejudice variation or any variation related to Jane Austen. Carry on reading! Do not stop just because you may think that “you just want JAFF” because Regina has written a great book. Very strong characters and a plot that does not allow you to stop reading.

Love at first sight, just sight actually! Accidents, reputation and honour that needs to be protected, intrigue, murders, stubbornness…

Angelica is an American whose parents are British. Angel comes back to his father’s country to follow the wish her mother had for her: to come out in England. Her manners are not exactly what the ton looks for but she is still a novelty and that is good for gossip at least.

Angelica is determined to pleased his father and look for a good match until she sees his “Lucifer”… in her dreams or not…

A carriage accident occurs and she has to pretend that a gentleman is her husband because she has rescued him. This man eventually has only Angel as the only real part of his life because he has lost his memory during the accident and he sees her as his “Angel” even after he is recovered by his family and Angelica is back to his father’s protection.

However, destiny is vicious and the ton’s invitations cannot be forsake, so Angel goes with his father to the Devil’s Keep where her “husband” is.

Nope, I have not forgotten to mention anyone 😀 you will have to read about him. I am pretty sure that you will like him as much as I do. However, Angel is the character that I have loved the most due to her strength and determination to help everybody and if needed she will sacrifice herself, or her heart to protect others.

5out5 stars

Follow Regina or check her books on the links below. I have read quite a few and I recommend you to read her, you will not be disappointing.

Amazon US    Amazon UK    Twitter    Facebook    Austen Authors   Goodreads

Review of “Colonel Darcy” by Timothy Underwood

Lizzy locked up in her bedroom as she were the mad woman in the attic but in this case the “stubborn” woman in the bedroom according to some.

Darcy, soldier with a horrible experience that changes his temper.

Letters, so important in Jane Austen’s world. Love letters, friendship letters, letters that bring people to life. Letters that may not be read, or will be read by the recipient years later.

Honour, reputation, the ton… that does not matter sometimes but who can decide? who can decide what to believe? People will believe anything that they do not like and will just label it under any tag that goes against honour and reputation, no matter what…

Two fathers taking his children to see the continent. Little Lizzy and very little Georgina become more than friends, sisters. Fitzwilliam likes the friendship that her sister has, he enjoys little Lizzy and her mind. Mr Darcy and Mr Bennet, the “nerds” of the time: Latin, Greek, calculus… A trip that unites two families but death is ruthless. First Mr Darcy, then Mr Bennet. Moreover, war, India, so far away.

‘Promise me that we will write to each other’.

Years in order to read the letters, but everything changes, hearts change and the future looks good but not very good.

Hearts are still closed and real happiness takes a while. Actually we could even thank Mr Wickham for the beginning of pure happiness, although… it is Wickham nonetheless.

5out5 stars

Really sweet story set a few decades before the time that Jane Austen gave to her Pride and Prejudice. There is a lot of suffering going on but we cannot underestimate the power of a letter even if it is not meant to be read directly.

Just a warning, you may dislike the dislike you will feel towards some normally lovely and loved characters from P&P.

 

This is the first book that I read by Timothy Underwood but it will not be the last one, that is for sure.

If you want to follow him or buy any of his books, check the links below:

Amazon US       Amazon UK    Goodreads

 

Blog Tour of “I Could Write a Book” by Karen M Cox, review and giveaway

Emma…

Book Description

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…”

Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered and predictable, if a bit confining.

Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

What do you think? Are you not really into Emma? Do you think she is just a bit silly spoilt child? Do you think she is just a bored rich kid? Maybe, maybe you are thinking that or maybe you actually really like this character and her way of seeing life. However, if you are one of the people who normally dislike Emma more than like her, this is your book to see her in a different light.

It is not anymore the 19th century but the 1970s when woman were not just a price to marry to someone or where there was not need to follow the strict rules of society. Women are more independent and have a bit more freedom to choose what they want to do. What? Are you going to give me a “but” were you will point out that she is still rich and doesn’t have to worry about earthly needs? Yes, I see you point but there are some other ideas shown in this book that will help you to forget that she is only a “rich girl”.

What about our Knightley here? He is not as old, I mean, their age gap is not so big and he is as charming or even more charming than the original (I can listen to voices saying “blasphemy!”). Yes, I do think that this Knightley is more charming but also because we are in another time, in another country and under other social reality.

For me the story flows so well that I have enjoyed every single scene, every single dialogue and I want to read it again after only a couple of weeks. Karen M Cox has taken the original by Jane Austen and put it in a different level when it comes to modern variations. She has been faithful to the book, that’s it, she has followed the same story-line but even if everything was moved forward a century and a half, the characters are faithful to the original just with their modern attributes attached to them.

I have enjoyed this Emma because she is more reasonable due to her time and it is a bit less capricious and more down to Earth so to speak. The rest of the characters are very well written and even if there are a few changes (she does not have a nanny/governor, she has an aunt), everything flows and links in a great writing manner.

5out5 stars

Now let me introduce the guilty one who made me love I could write a book, Karen M Cox.

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of novels accented with romance and history, including 1932 and its companion ebook novella The Journey Home, and the novels Find Wonder in All Things and Undeceived. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and a story titled, “I, Darcy” to The Darcy Monologues.IMG_2714

Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

Find Karen on:

Website: www.karenmcox.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004HIFOO8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenmcox1932/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenMCox1932

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenmcox1932/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/karenmcox

If you would like bits of authorly goodness in your inbox once a month (updates, sales, book recommendations, etc.) sign up for News & Muse Letter

Karen loves to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. Contact her through social media, her website, or online sites like Amazon and Goodreads.

 

Can you not wait to read this book? I totally understand it, so here you have:

Purchase Links: Kindle US “I Could Write a Book” Amazon Kindle

Kindle Universal Link: getBook.at/ICouldWriteaBook 

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Please do check the other posts on this blog tour, it is so worth it!! 

Laughing with Lizzie / September 6 / Launch Post/Dating Game / Giveaway

So little time… / September 7 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Book Lover in Florida / September 8 / Guest post / Giveaway

Austenesque Reviews / September 15 / Book Review/ GiveawayICWaB Vertical Banner

My Love for Jane Austen / September 16 / Guest Post / Giveaway

Granny Loves to Read  / September 17 / Book Review / Giveaway

My Jane Austen Book Club / September 18/ Guest Post/Mr. Knightley / Giveaway

Just Jane 1813 / September 19 / Author Interview / Giveaway

Sophia’s Sofa Chat / September 21 / An Interview with Karen M Cox on Goodreads

Babblings of a Bookworm/ / September 22 / Book Review/ Giveaway

Silver Petticoat Review / September 23/ Guest Post/ Giveaway

From Pemberley to Milton / September 25 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Margie’s Must Reads / September 27 / Book Review / Giveaway

My Vices and Weaknesses / September 30 / Book Review / Giveaway

Diary of an Eccentric / October 2 / Book Review / Giveaway

More Agreeably Engaged / October 4 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

 

Time to Give Away

Karen is giving away two themed prizes during the blog tour, tokens of appreciation for readers of I Could Write a Book, and for supporters of the wonderful sites on the blog tour.

Tea Prize Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, Mr. Knightley’s Reserve and Emma’s Perfect Match teas from Bingley’s Teas, a set of Jane Austen Book Coasters, and a Jane Austen Quotes mug.

Pretty Things Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, an “Emma” quote pendant, an Emma bangle bracelet, Regency cameo earrings, and a jewellery roll.

Tea

Readers can enter for chances to win these prizes here. There are bonus entries for social media shares and visits, if you’re on social media. This is one big giveaway with two prizes.

Jewelry

Click here to enter the giveaway

Good luck, everyone!

 

Blog Tour of “The Darcy Monologues”, guest post, mini-review and giveaway

15, a lucky number for some people, “la niña bonita” (the pretty girl) when it comes to bingo in Spanish,  fifteen are the stories in The Darcy Monologues edited by Christina Boyd and written by fifteen authors, come of them with a lot of JAFF written, a few other with a bit less written so far but with a great future ahead of them.

Here you have all the names: Susan Adriani, Sara Angelini, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Jan Hahn, Jenetta James, Lory LilianKaraLynne Mackrory, Beau North, Ruth Phillips Oakland, Natalie Richards, Sophia Rose, Melanie StanfordJoana Starnes, and Caitlin Williams.

I am pleased to introduce one of these authors who has one of the regency stories on the monologues, KaraLynne Mackrory. She has written Clandestiny and in this particular case, I will leave you with Natalie Richards to tell you about it and about KaraLynne.

Falling for KaraLynne Mackrory by Natalie Richards

I am excited to read all of the stories by my fabulous fellow authors of The Darcy Monologues, but I confess to having a particular soft spot for KaraLynne Mackrory. I’ve been reading her books for years now, and had the pleasure of hosting her on my blog twice before we both contributed stories to the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology.

I always approach a KaraLynne Mackrory story with a greedy sort of glee, like a dragon with a shiny new treasure to hoard. Her stories have been making me happy ever since I read Bluebells in the Mourning. They always have the perfect blend of ingredients; a pinch of angst, a dash of humor, and enough romance to make the stoutest heart swoon. I know when I pick one up that there will be hours of enjoyment to be found betwixt their covers.

Clandestiny is the title of her contribution to the anthology. It caught my eye immediately. It is just a deliciously mysterious word, is it not? Add that to the anticipation of pleasure her previous books gave rise to, and the story becomes irresistible. KaraLynne likes her twists and turns, occasionally even a touch of magic, so I do not know what to expect, I only know it will be good.

My “Clandestiny”

I am not going to do a normal review, I will leave you with my questions, the ones I leave to tease you or to intrigue you. I have to say that KaraLynne´s story is lovely and a bit funny with the turning and turning and turning again 😉

What if Netherfield has secrets? What if Darcy is not so proud? What if Elizabeth understands better how society works? What if a slipper is a key in a story? (and not exactly like Cinderella’s) What if “but you do not even like me, sir” is my new catchy phrase? Yes, I think I will repeat that sentences in my mind for a few days and it will remind me of this story.

KaraLynne tells us about herself

karalynneHow did you come to be inspired by Miss Austen as both a woman and then, as a writer?

Pride and Prejudice was the first of her works that I read and I found it incredibly funny.  I started to think about what kind of woman could produce such witty and dry humor as would be necessary for this prose.  The more I learned about the time in which Jane Austen lived the more I came to respect her further because my girl Jane didn’t live an easy life and yet she found humor in things.  I like to think that I do that too and that we could have been good friends.  Her writing proves her outlook on life had to be through humorous glasses.  I have mad respect for that.

Can you offer readers a brief description of your story and tell us why you chose to set your story in the Regency era?

I chose to set my story in the regency era mostly because I am very comfortable in that setting, and I love the romance of the time.  My short story evolved from the desire to see what fun could be had with a secret door, a surprise encounter and a little bit of forced seclusion for our two sweethearts.  I’ve always thought that if Darcy and Elizabeth could just spend time together alone they would come to see their futures are destined together.  So my story gives them that chance.

This year we’re coming up on the 200th anniversary of the publications of  Persuasion, and Northanger Abbey. What were you trying to capture in your story,  Clandestiny, of Jane Austen in The Darcy Monologues?

I always hope to emulate her writing style and to keep her characters true to the ones she created originally but I also hoped that Clandestiny would be a glimpse into the conflicted and passionate heart of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.  He’s a man that epitomises the “still waters run deep” saying and I give the readers a look into what runs deep for Darcy.

The reactions to this upcoming release have been overwhelmingly positive from readers and I think that’s also in response to Mr. Darcy’s tremendous popularity throughout the past two centuries. Why do you believe that modern-day woman still find him so appealing?

Because he’s mysterious, noble, good and kind – let’s not forget handsome, rich and sexy.  What’s not to love?  He’s terribly flawed and yet at his heart he is a good man who cares deeply.  Everyone wants to be cherished and we know a man like Darcy would execute the job admirably while also being a challenge for us and keeping the appeal alive. I’ve heard complaints from men that they can’t measure up to the perfection of Darcy – and yet that’s where they are wrong.  Because Darcy isn’t perfect – far from it.  But where it counts he has what we want.  We want to feel empowered, while also protected.  We want to feel capable while also cared for.  Darcy can be a class A jerk and yet he can be tender too.  But I think what makes him most appealing is his willingness to try to be better.  He sees a fault in himself and instead of making an excuse about it – “that’s just how I am” – he endeavours to be better.  And that is sexy.

Did writing this story make you appreciate something about Jane Austen all over again?

As I wrote above, Jane is a witty girl and with my story I paid homage to that by creating a romantic scene with a touch of the funny.

Can you give us a six-word memoir about yourself?

Mother, wife, writing of love life.

What can readers look forward to reading from you in the future and how can readers stay in touch with you?

I have a storyline in the works, but sadly it is not far enough to have any kind of timeline for publication.  I connect frequently with readers through book groups, fairs, and online.  I love this part of being an author the best!  So, please contact me, I’d love to hear what you think of my stories.  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KaraLynneMackroryAuthor/

Twitter: @KAMackYah

Email: klmackrory@merytonpress.com

Mini-review

To be honest, more than a mini-review, I will give you a couple of words, or a sentence, a quote of each story, from them you just need to use your imagination 😉

This is a great read, Darcy’s words, Darcy’s thoughts in so many stories and also in different eras. He shows us his love for Elizabeth, his struggle sometimes but *spoiler alert* his happy ending and how he cherish it.

REGENCY

Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams: Darcy has to put the best announcement on the paper ever!

From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft: tongue and letter, tongue and letter and repeat.

If Only a Dream by Joana Starnes: 17 hours and a half. She is not ghost or a vision.

The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford: The Beauty and the Beast at Pemberley.

A resentful man by Lory Lilian: his unsteady knees.

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani: “you lied to me (…) you must marry her!”

Without Affection by Jan Hahn: “I failed to see the fascination” (that’s what you think!)

OTHER ERAS

Hot for teacher by Sara Angelini: Elizabeth, you led him on!! You, naughty girl 😛

You don’t know me by Beau North: “shut up and…” x2

Reason to Hope by Jenetta James: “Elizabeth, there isn’t anything between me and Caroline Bingley, you know.”

I, Darcy by Karen M Cox: a farm, a restaurant “Seasons”.

Pemberley by Stage by Natalie Richards: maybe he does not abhor disguise so much.

The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips Oakland: what a Porsche Sherlock has 😛

Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose: he won the game.

5out5 stars

Time to Give Away

Two lovely prizes for two winners are waiting thank you to The Darcy Monologues.

One winner will win our grand prize of 24 paperback books, each one autographed by the author, and mailed to the winner’s home.

The second winner will win their choice of either a Pride and Prejudice pocketbook or a Pride and Prejudice Kindle Fire Case with stand – Pride and Prejudice Book Cover Case for Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ and 6″ – Kindle Fire / Fire HD / Fire HDX tablet.

Click here to participate in this awesome and international giveaway.

Blog tour

Here you have all the blog that have participated on this blog tour, you will find a lot of interesting reviews and also information about all the authors.

April 3 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Launch Post & Giveaway

April 10 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

April 17 / The Reading Frenzy / Guest Post & GiveawayTheDarcyMonologuesCoverEbook small

April 20 / My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post & Giveaway

April 24 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway

May 1 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

May 8 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

May 15 / Austenesque Reviews / Book Review & Giveaway

May 22 / Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post & Giveaway

May 25 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

May 29 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway

June 5 / So Little Time / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

June 12 / Diary of an Eccentric/ Book Review & Giveaway

June 19 / Book Lover in Florida / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

June 26 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway

July 3 / Savvy Verse & Wit / Book Review & Giveaway

 

 

 

Blog Tour “The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque” by Don Jacobson, excerpt, review and giveaway

Hello to all and I apologise about being MIA. My life since the end of March has been a roller coaster but it will soon be a bit calmer… I hope!

The important thing is that I am back to present you a great book, I have really loved it. Yes, this is a spoiler alert, so you can assume that you will see five stars below when you reach my review.

However, first things first. I want you to know a bit more about the book and the author and today I am glad to introduce Don Jacobson, author of today’s book: The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque.

The Exile1 Final FrontCvr 052417 wobld M small

Don Jacobson Head Shot

Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years.  His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio.  His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he published the first volume of The Bennet Wardrobe SeriesThe Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey, novel that grew from two earlier novellas. The Exile is the second volume of The Bennet Wardrobe Series.  Other JAFF P&P Variations include the paired books “Of Fortune’s Reversal” and “The Maid and The Footman.” Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a speciality in American Foreign Relations.  As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilisation and Research Writing.

He is a member of JASNA-Puget Sound.  Likewise, Don is a member of the Austen Authors collective (see the internet, Facebook and Twitter).

He lives in the Seattle, WA area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorise, and their rather assertive four-and-twenty pound cat, Bear.  Besides thoroughly immersing himself in the JAFF world, Don also enjoys cooking; dining out, fine wine and well-aged scotch whiskey.  

His other passion is cycling.  Most days from April through October will find him “putting in the miles” around the Seattle area (yes there are hills).  He has ridden several “centuries” (100 mile days).  Don is especially proud that he successfully completed the AIDS Ride—Midwest (500 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago) and the Make-A-Wish Miracle Ride (300 miles from Traverse City, MI to Brooklyn, MI).

Amazon Author Page        Goodreads Author Page      Twitter

As you can read and as normally happens with JAFF authors, they are “all-terrain” as we say in Spanish, they do so many things that I wonder how they manage to write so well and so much 😛

This time I will not add the blurb of the book, I prefer you to read about the book from the writer himself.

Don’s words and excerpt

The Bennet Wardrobe Series is an alternative history in the Jane Austen Universe. While the characters are familiar, I have endeavoured to provide each of them with an opportunity to grow into three-dimensional personalities, although not necessarily in the Regency period.  If they were shaped or stifled by the conventions of the period, the time-travelling powers of The Wardrobe helped solve their problems, make penance, and learn lessons by giving them a chance to escape that time frame, if only for a brief, life-changing interlude.

The Wardrobe underlines my conviction that each of these characters could enjoy fulfilling lives once they had overcome the inner demons holding them back.

Would it have been possible for them to do so staying on the Regency timeline?

Perhaps. However, something tickled my brain—maybe it was the intersection between my youthful fascination with speculative fiction and my mature appreciation of Austen and 19th Century fiction—that threw the idea of the Wardrobe up in front of me.  Now my protagonists could be immersed in different time frames beyond the Regency to learn that which they needed to learn in order to realise their potentials and in the process carry the eternal story of love and change forward to even the 21st Century.

Some Bennets will travel further and remain in the future longer than others. We may not be privy to accounts of all of the journeys they take. Rather, we may see whispers of those trips as they impact others.

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque in which the Families discover that Miss Bennet has vanished from Matlock House.

Chapter XIX

Darcy House, Later that evening (July 4, 1891)

The noise level of chattering Cecils, Darcys and Fitzwilliams rose and fell much as the tide did on the beach by the House at Deauville. The discussion happily tended to be lighter than the bleak circumstances that had been bearing down on everyone in attendance. The family group was small and intimate: Eddie Darcy chaired the gathering from the head of the table in the small dining room with Ellie on his right and Lady Caroline and Lord John Cecil immediately to his left. Henry sat next to his sister and across from Lord John. Lady Elaine took over the mistress’ role and sat opposite Eddie.

All six looked up sharply when Mr. Hastings was interrupted by one of the footmen who purposefully strode over to the butler and whispered in his ear. Hastings’ eyebrows lifted as the message was passed. He nodded and dismissed his subordinate. At Darcy’s inquiring glance, the butler moved to his side. The two men stepped away from the table.

Within a few seconds, Darcy, a grim look on his now pale face, returned. In a worried voice he said, “We have just received an urgent message from Mrs. Brandon at Matlock House. It seems that Miss Bennet has gone missing.”

Five voices were clamoring for his attention all at once. Darcy held up a hand stopping the flow of questions.

“There is no indication about how long she has been gone. There is no news about what she may have done or, if she left the house, where she may have gone. All that the message said was that the entire house has been searched, and she is not to be found,” Darcy stated.

Henry threw his napkin on the table and rose from his seat, and, with the others following suit, called for his carriage to be brought around. In minutes, Darcy House was emptied of quality, leaving only worried servants to clean up the debris after yet another body blow dealt to the Five Families.

***

Henry, Eddie and Lord John stood in the center of Matlock House’s Gold Parlor staring at the letter that had been discovered by Kitty’s lady’s maid, Letty. The distraught girl was sitting on one of the sofas being comforted by Ellie. Letty’s gulping sobs served as a fitting backdrop for the somber scene. Lady Elaine and Lady Caroline sat together on a matching loveseat, holding one another’s hands trying to overcome their worry…one for a near daughter, the other for a grandaunt who had become like a sister.

Cecil spoke to the other two men, “You know Miss Bennet better than me. Does this sound like something she would have done? To run off to the Continent and visit a school friend on the Mediterranean? How could she even have hoped to pay for such an excursion?”

Fitzwilliam snorted a humorless laugh, “Cecil, you have no idea. Kitty is certainly impulsive. But this sort of activity is far beyond anything any of us could have ever imagined that she would do. She certainly could afford it. She has 8,000 a year now that she is of age.

“But she would never do anything that would worry Mother or distress Ellie and Caroline. The three young ladies have been thick as thieves ever since Caro married you, Cecil.  I have to believe that, at the very least, she would have revealed some of her thinking to those two if she had been upset enough to run off.

“She has not breathed one word about doing anything this far out of bounds.

“What bothers me is, according to the maid, she has not taken one jot other than the clothes on her back.

“Kitty is very peculiar about her clothes. Once it goes into her wardrobe or changing room, she is an absolute Tartar about upkeep. Nothing is disposable as far as she is concerned. Letty has had to split a seam with her bare hands in front of Kitty to be permitted to retire a garment.

“On top of that, Kitty absolutely abhors loaning anything. I have seen Ellie and Kitty arguing about a pair of gloves that my sister wanted to borrow before a ball. I thought Kitty was going to demand that she make a blood oath promising to return the gloves immediately after the dance.”

Eddie Darcy chimed in, “While Kitty is as fond of romance and adventure as any young woman, I could never imagine her placing a toothbrush in her handbag, catching a train to Dover, and then hopping on a Channel ferry to Cherbourg.

“No, this is quite out of character.”

They turned their attention again to the letter. Henry walked over to Ellie and held the missive out to her asking if she agreed that this appeared to be Kitty’s handwriting.

Ellie sighed and took the note from his hand.

“As I said before.  The letter certainly looks as if Kitty wrote it. It appears to be in her hand.

“Yet, this just does not sound like a letter Kitty would write to me. There is nothing personal. No shorthand comments that would mean something to me and nobody else. This letter has been composed to be clearly understood whether I am reading it…or Mama…or you.

“And if she had been planning to visit Hermione de Secondat’s villa on the Côte d’Azur, she would not have spelled out the entire family name.

“Hermione was one of the girls who shared our suite at school.  While not as close as Kitty and I, she remains, none-the-less, a dear friend. Kitty never would have written anything more than ‘Hermione.’

“She probably would have referred to her as “Boots” because that was our nickname for her. She loved to wear her riding gear whenever she could avoid Matron.

“I could not prove it, but while this letter looks as if Kitty did write it, I would wager my next quarter’s allowance that she did not actually do so. I cannot prove that fact. Maybe somebody else can.

“What are we to do, Henry? I am worried that something truly awful has happened to Kitty.”

Fitzwilliam cleared his throat, his Managing Director of the Trust look transforming his features as he began speaking.

“Let us begin with the assumption that Kitty has voluntarily left and is travelling, as the note suggests, to Nice.  That would necessarily focus our efforts in one direction, which may be exactly what is desired. While I am not inclined to believe that Kitty would abandon us without a word, I cannot ignore this avenue of inquiry.

“We left the house around three o’clock. That means she could have as much as a five-hour head start.

“The most we could hope for is to try to catch her at Dover or Cherbourg. But I think that we may be out of luck as her lead is too large. We should still alert the police to be on the lookout there and then again in Paris.

“If she is actually on her way to Nice, she will have to catch le Train Bleu and then change again in Mâcon. We can have the police check the train and all of the intervening stations.

“Then we will send a telegram to Mlle de Secondat’s home in the south of France. Her parents should be able to confirm with your friend if she is aware of Kitty’s plans.

“However, taking Ellie’s sense that the letter was designed to be a convincing misdirection, we cannot ignore the possibility that there are some darker forces at play here.

“Darcy, Cecil and I will engage a squad of private detectives to seek to discover Miss Bennet’s movements since this afternoon.  Assuming that she was not actually spirited out of Matlock House, we must believe that she left of her own accord only to encounter someone who engineered her disappearance.

“I fear that we may learn little, and, until we receive some communication from her captors, we will be like blind men tapping our way around an unfamiliar drawing room.  This reasoning suggests that Miss Bennet is being held by those who have pretensions of being paid for her return.

“Another bleaker line we must consider is that attractive as she is with her blonde hair, she could have been the target of white slavers. If that is the case, we may never find her.”

All of the women gasped at this terrifying pronouncement. Then each person subsided into his or her own private brown study as another mournful shroud descended over the room, layering over the others already being borne by its occupants.

In the midst of this silence, Letty gasped, rose, and curtseyed to the silent aristocrats and hurried out of the room. She was gone for only a few minutes when she rushed back into the room bearing a large hatbox.

She breathlessly exclaimed, throwing all sense of position to the wind, “I found…this…just…outside the…servant’s hall. It must’ve been…forgotten in the entire hubbub…about Miss Bennet. Mr. Anderton…says that it…was delivered this…afternoon. For Miss Bennet. From Harrods!”

Review

What do you think? What about Don’s words introducing the book? What about the excerpt? Where’s Kitty?

I would like to start stating that I have loved everything that happens in this book and to its characters. Maybe a few of you are thinking something like “but Darcy and Elizabeth are not the protagonists” or maybe something like “Kitty is not my favourite Bennet sister” but I can promise that The Exile goes beyond those thoughts. Obviously Kitty is the main character but there is so much more. As you have read above, it is the last years of the 19th century and Kitty Bennet is on the story, she has travelled on time until the decade of the 1880s and you can imagine how difficult it can be. However, with help from family, every obstacle can be overcome.

The Five Families, although it looks more like a mafia title, shows all the traits, strengths and personalities of the people that we know so well from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The Five Families being: Fitzwilliams, Darcys, Bennets, Gardiners and Bingleys.

Don Jacobson creates like a parallel world, at least for me it has been something like that. I was reading about new characters or I was reading them but due to Don’s descriptions or the character’s words, I could see some of Austen’s characters reflected one way or another.

Kitty’s life in her new now has a bit of everything: self-discovery, friendship, misery, suffering, isolation, recovery and much more. I have really like the way she reflects in her life after some trauma that she experiences and how she matures. How she saw herself during her childhood, how her relationship with her sisters and parents was, etc.

I will not go on more detail about the events on Kitty’s life but I would like to mention some names: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sherlock Holmes, Sigmund Freud, Winston Churchill…

As every good P&P JAFF book, we have a “Wickham”!! and semi-quoting Terminator: “he’ll be back”. He is a very dark and vengeful man.

5out5 stars

Time to Give Away

Don Jacobson is offering 8 ebooks of this great book!

To enter the giveaway, click here but please read the conditions below, not only to know the terms but also to know how to get extra entries 🙂

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.

However, do not lose the opportunity to buy it for yourself or as a present, check the links below.

Amazon US         Amazon UK

If you prefer to start with the first book of the series, you can buy The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey.

Amazon US         Amazon UK

Blog Tour Schedule – what has been said and what is going to be said about The Exile:

06/15   From Pemberley to Milton Guest Post, GA

06/16   My Jane Austen Book Club Guest Post, Excerpt, GA

06/17   Just Jane 1813  Review, Excerpt, GA

06/19   Diary of an Eccentric Excerpt, GA

06/20   Savvy Verse and Wit Guest Post, GA

06/21   Darcyholic Diversions Author Interview, GA

06/22   My Vices and Weaknesses Review, Excerpt, GA

06/23   Babblings of a Bookworm Character Interview, GA

06/24   A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life Guest Post

06/25   My Love for Jane Austen Vignette, GA

06/26   Interests of a Jane Austen Girl Review, Excerpt, GA

06/27   So little time… Guest Post, GA

06/28   Laughing With Lizzie Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt, GA

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

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

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

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

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

Jane + Bingley = love at first sight, happiness

Elizabeth + Darcy = no talking unless is to argue

but…

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

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

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

Spoiler alert!!

peach tree

 

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

 

 

5out5 stars

Follow J. Dawn King on her website   Goodreads   Facebook   Twitter

You can find her books on Amazon UK   Amazon US   iTunes   Barnes & Noble