“Rebellion at Longbourn” by Victoria Kincaid, excerpt, review + giveaway

Dear all,

How is the reading going? Mine has been for too long very slowly and even on the second week of my holidays, I have barely read anything. However, several weeks ago I read a very interesting book, Rebellion at Longbourn, with a twist that I really enjoyed to discover.

Have a look at the blurb and see what you think.
Elizabeth Bennet’s father died two years ago, and her odious cousin Mr. Collins has taken possession of the Longbourn estate. Although Collins and his wife Charlotte have allowed the Bennet sisters and their mother to continue living at Longbourn, the situation is difficult. Viewing Elizabeth and her sisters as little more than unpaid servants, Collins also mistreats the tenants, spends the estate’s money with abandon, and rejects any suggestions about improving or modernizing Longbourn. After one particularly egregious incident, Elizabeth decides she must organize a covert resistance among her sisters and the tenants, secretly using more modern agricultural methods to help the estate thrive. Her scheme is just getting underway when Mr. Darcy appears in Meryton.
Upon returning from a long international voyage, Darcy is forced to admit he cannot forget his love for Elizabeth. When he learns of the Bennet family’s plight, he hurries to Hertfordshire, hoping he can provide assistance. Sinking into poverty, Elizabeth is further out of Darcy’s reach than ever; still, he cannot help falling even more deeply in love. But what will he do when he discovers her covert rebellion against Longbourn’s rightful owner?
Falling in love with Mr. Darcy was not part of Elizabeth’s plan, but it cannot be denied. Darcy struggles to separate his love for her from his abhorrence for deception. Will their feelings for each other help or hinder the Rebellion at Longbourn?

Servants? Not following advise… how can Mr. Collins be so obtuse when he always followed Lady Catherine’s? (Is she around?) Darcy, really? Two years away and you expect to have forgotten her… as if! 😀

Let me (re)introduce you to the author of Rebellion at Longbourn: Victoria Kincaid.
Victoria Kincaid is the author of several popular Jane Austen variations, including The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, Pride & Proposals, Mr. 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.

You can connect with Victoria on: Facebook Twitter Goodreads or check her website here.

Excerpt

Hello Ana and thank you for having me back for a visit! Below is a scene from early in Rebellion at Longbourn when Elizabeth comes across the cottage of a tenant’s widow. Collins, now the landowner at Longbourn, has ordered the woman’s eviction. Enjoy!
Sam was lashing the last of the Wileys’ belongings securely to the cart.
“Hello, Sam,” Elizabeth said, striving to imbue her tone with warmth.
“Miss.” He nodded respectfully.
“This is a sad business, is it not?”
He hung his head. “It is indeed. I don’t like forcing a woman out of her house, but I don’t want the master to turn me out neither.”
“Of course not. Such a shame the family has nowhere to go but the poorhouse.” She opened her hand to reveal the coins, drawing Sam’s attention. “But I was thinking… There is an old cabin on the edge of the North Field, near the woods. Nobody lives there….The Wileys could inhabit it without disturbing anyone.”
Sam’s brow furrowed. “Would the master like it?”
“There is no reason he has to know. It would be a temporary solution,” she hastened to add. “Until I might find a new home for them.” Surely one of the local landowners would be compassionate enough to give them a cottage until John was of age.
Sam’s eyes focused on the coins, a month’s pay for him.
“You would be doing her and me a great favor,” Elizabeth said.
“But if Mr. Collins found out, he would toss me out for sure.” He scratched his forehead.
“Even if he discovers the Wileys, they will not say that you helped them.”
The man considered for a long moment. “Very well. It ain’t right to force out a family when the nights are still cold like this. I’ll take her things to the North Field cabin.”
Elizabeth poured the coins into his hand. “There is no road to the cabin,” she reminded him. That was why it had been abandoned.
“Yes’m, but I can drive the wagon to the Three Oaks clearing and carry her things the rest of the way.”
Elizabeth smiled. Carrying the furniture through the woods would reduce the chances of being discovered. “Clever man.”
He ducked his head and blushed. “Should I bring the Wileys, too?”
“No. I will escort the family by another route.” They could travel more inconspicuously across the fields.
“Very well. I’ll take my leave, then.”
“You are a good man, Sam White.”
He blushed again and then hurried to the cart.
Mrs. Wiley, with little Tom clinging to her skirt, and Mrs. Greeves emerged from the house just as it was rolling away. “Did he agree, then?” the widow asked, her eyes wide with amazement.
“Yes.”
“I thank you, miss. You worked a miracle for my family today.”
Elizabeth shook her head. “It was the least I could do. Longbourn owes you a deep debt. You deserve better treatment.” Her husband had died fighting a wildfire at Longbourn six months ago.
Elizabeth took the older boy’s hand. “I can lead you to the cabin and make sure you have a stock of wood for the fireplace. But this must stay a secret; Mr. Collins would be quite angry to find you living on Longbourn property. I shall attempt to bring you food directly, but I want to avoid rousing suspicion.” She looked questioningly at Mrs. Greeves.
“I can get her the food when you can’t,” the other woman said stoutly. “Nobody is watching where I go. And a few of the other neighbors can be trusted.” Mrs. Greeves would know which tenants would keep such a secret; no doubt most could. The tenants of Longbourn seemed to watch out for each other.
Elizabeth nodded. “I will send the food to Mrs. Greeves, then. Of course, this is but a temporary measure—until I might find another place for you.”
Mrs. Wiley wiped an errant tear from her eye. “I wrote to my brother in Plymouth, but I don’t know when we might hear from him. He’ll need to find someone to read the letter to him.”
This woman faced so many obstacles that Collins would never even consider. “We will find a place for you.”
“God’s blessings on you, miss. I’ll pray for you, I will.”
Elizabeth wished she could do more to earn such gratitude. “Let us go to the cabin now and have you settled by sundown.”
Mrs. Greeves embraced her friend. “I’ll visit you tomorrow, Kate.”
Elizabeth led the family toward the road, calculating a path to the cabin that would draw the least attention to the family. John made a small noise of distress. Elizabeth squeezed his hand. “Is this not exciting? You shall live in the woods!”
He gave her a tentative smile—rather brave under the circumstances. “Is it an adventure? Like in the stories?”
“Indeed, it is,” she said with a cheerfulness she did not feel. “Let us venture out and see your new home!”

Review

Let’s be honest among us, it is clear that years may pass and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is not going to forget her true love, Miss Elizabeth Bennet. However, stubborn and proud Mr. Darcy believes that going far away with Bingley and Georgiana is going to help his heart to forget her. Wrong! Two years away and in the first moment he learns that Elizabeth has lost her father, the fate of her sisters and that she is under Collins’ “protection”, he flies to Longbourn (if he could have done it literally, he would have taken an helicopter). It is endearing and funny to see how he makes up excuses for his behaviour and his reasons to be back so suddenly. Elizabeth is confused to say the least but she has more pressing matters on her hands, however, having the man who declared his love for her back, it is somehow distracting. Although, the wellbeing of the tenants and her sisters and mother are paramount for Elizabeth.

As you can read on the blurb, she will rebel agains the injustice, even if it is in the shadows. She spends even the little money she has to make Longbourn prosper. Together with her sisters Jane, Kitty and mainly Mary, they are able to hide from Collins their plans and the tenants help them because they are the first ones to benefit as their houses get repaired or there is enough food on their tables.

What happens when the “silly” Darcy gets to know this deception? Many many things that I am not going to spoil for you but you must know that Mr. Darcy will be a bit unrecognisable, mainly with some clover…

Spoiler alert (yes, one of my spoilers…)

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There is a happy ending for everyone, even Mrs and Mr Collins! I think Mrs Charlotte Collins gets a good ending.

I really like how Darcy gets even more to Elizabeth’s heart with his kindness, although obviously the present is from Georgiana, ehem ehem! Nope, Elizabeth does not only love him for a present but I am not telling you what else he does for the family, you will have to read it.

4.5out5 stars

time to give away winners

Double giveaway!

Victoria is giving away an ebook copy of Rebellion at Longbourn and I am giving away one paperback, therefore, we will have two winners!
To participate (for a chance to win or the ebook or the paperback): one point will be given if you comment on this post and you can get an extra point for every share of the post on social media (do not forget to tag me on those posts).

The giveaway is international and closes on the 16th of July at 23:59 CEST, shortly after I will announce the 2 winners.

READ: For the paperback, it is likely that I will buy it on Amazon and send it to the address you give me, so you must allow me to share your address with Amazon to send you the book. I may use the Amazon on your country or amazon.com / amazon.co.uk depending on where you are in the world!

Edited (22nd of July): big apologies for not having drawn the winners yet, I will do it before the end of this week!

“The Jane Austen Society” by Natalie Jenner, review

Dear all,

I would like to present you The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. Have you heard about it? Have you read it? I am sure that if you are at least a bit around the JAFF world, you have heard of it because this book has had a lot of exposure and you may have landed on one of the post of this massive blog tour.

In case you do not know it, here you have the book description:

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

Let’s face it, even if this description does not talk directly about our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth, or about calm Anne Elliot or any of Jane Austen’s characters, you could see yourself portrayed, don’t you think? What are we if not united in our love for the works and words of Austen?

What do you think about this praise of The Jane Austen Society?

“Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships…Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending.”Booklist (starred review)

“Few things draw disparate people together so quickly as discovering they love the same writers. Few writers cement such friendships as deeply as Austen does. I believe that the readers of Jenner’s book will fall in love with the readers inside Jenner’s book, all of us thinking and dreaming of Austen the whole while. What could be better? Nothing, that’s what! A wonderful book, a wonderful read.” ―Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

“Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

Meet The Jane Austen Society

Do you want to know who deserves such praise? The author: Natalie Jenner.

Author Natalie Jenner headshot X2 2020Natalie Jenner is the debut author of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

Follow Natalie Jenner on:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

If you are a Spotify user, Natalie has a Spotify playlist:

Spotify users can access a playlist for THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY at the following link: Spotify Playlist – The Jane Austen Society. The playlist includes music from various film adaptions of Jane Austen’s books, as well as film scores by such incomparable artists as Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Rachel Portman, and Michael Nyman.

REVIEW

There are so many characters to choose from and all of them with their problems and troubles. Their lives come together during the story, that makes it more interesting and that’s when I think you can be more hooked: how their relationships evolve.

All the characters are very different from each other but Jane Austen united them 🙂 It is a great way to get all of them together and how they discuss some of Jane Austen’s characters is one of my favourite bits on the story. Jane Austen is their centre but we can see how friendship is key.

There are so many references to Jane Austen’s work that you will definitely love it for it too!

4.5out5 stars

BLOG TOUR

Are you ready for a massive blog tour? If I am honest I have not had time to check them all yet but I highly recommend you to have a look at them.

Join the virtual online book tour of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, Natalie Jenner’s highly acclaimed debut novel May 25 through June 30, 2020. Seventy-five popular blogs and websites specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, women’s fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature interviews and reviews of this post-WWII novel set in Chawton, England. (Check after the list of blog stops!)

The Jane Austen Society Blog Tour Banner

May 25           Jane Austen’s World

May 25           Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

May 26           Frolic Media

May 26           A Bookish Affair

May 26           Courtney Reads Romance

May 26           Margie’s Must Reads

May 26           The Reading Frenzy

May 27           Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina

May 27           Gwendalyn’s Books

May 27           Romantically Inclined Reviews

May 28           Getting Your Read On

May 28           Living Read Girl

May 28           The Lit Bitch

May 29           History Lizzie

May 29           Silver Petticoat Reviews

May 30           Cup of Tea with that Book, Please

May 30           Historical Fiction Reader

May 31           Jane Austen in Vermont

June 01          From Pemberley to Milton

June 01          My Jane Austen Book Club

June 01          AustenBlog

June 02          Lu’s Reviews

June 02          The Green Mockingbird

June 03          The Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

June 03          Relz Reviews

June 03          Impressions in Ink

June 04          The Caffeinated Bibliophile

June 04          Life of Literature

June 04          Laura’s Reviews

June 05          Reading Ladies Book Club

June 05          Bookish Rantings

June 06          From the TBR Pile

June 07          Rachel Dodge

June 07          An Historian About Town

June 08          Bringing up Books

June 08          Austenesque Reviews

June 09          Captivated Reading

June 09          Savvy Verse and Witt

June 10          Lady with a Quill

June 10          Drunk Austen

June 11          Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

June 11          Inkwell Inspirations

June 12          Nurse Bookie

June 12          A Bookish Way of Life

June 13          Calico Critic

June 14          Jane Austen’s World

June 15          Stuck in a Book

June 15          Storybook Reviews

June 15          Confessions of a Book Addict

June 16          Literary Quicksand

June 16          Becky on Books

June 17          The Reading Frenzy

June 17          Anita Loves Books

June 18          Chicks, Rogues, & Scandals

June 18          The Write Review

June 19          Diary of Eccentric

June 20          Cracking the Cover

June 21          Short Books & Scribes

June 22          Reading the Past

June 22          Babblings of a Bookworm

June 23          My Vices and Weaknesses

June 23          The Book Diva Reads

June 24          Books, Teacups & Reviews

June 24          Wishful Endings

June 25          Robin Loves Reading

June 25          Bookfoolery

June 26          Lit and Life

June 26          Vesper’s Place

June 27          Foxes and Fairy Tales

June 28          Probably at the Library

June 28          Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books

June 29          The Anglophile Channel

June 29          So Little Time…

June 30          BookNAround

If you did not have enough with so many post in the blog tour, I have a bit of news that may entice you even more!

THE AUDIOBOOK IS NARRATED BY ACTOR RICHARD ARMITAGE!

The full unabridged text of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was read by the distinguished English film, television, theatre and voice actor Richard Armitage for the audiobook recording. Best known by many period drama fans for his outstanding performance as John Thornton in the BBC television adaptation of North and South (2004), Armitage also portrayed Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit (2012 – 2014). (Link to YouTube audiobook excerpt: https://youtu.be/OJ1ACJluRi8)

Wow, right?

 Would you like to buy the book, here you have some of the links you can use:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLEGOODREADS | BOOKBUB

 

“Disenchanted” by Kara Pleasants, review

Disenchanted is a tale of wizardry, enchantment, disenchantment, the good and the bad, all thrown in with the characters of Pride and Prejudice. Mr Darcy, a renowned wizard, reluctantly joins his friend Mr Bingley at his country estate in Hertfordshire (a place that is not known for its magic). The gentlemen are lying low tracking the threat of a new dark wizard on the loose who is stealing people’s magic. Darcy is surprised to discover more excitement than he bargained for in the form of Miss Elizabeth Bennet who possesses a singular talent: she is not only immune to magic, but she can counter enchantments as well. Despite their initial dislike of each other, Darcy and Elizabeth are drawn closer as the threat of the Thieving Necromancer grows. As Elizabeth learns to unravel more and more complicated magic, she also uncovers dark secrets and breaks mysterious enchantments—but will Darcy ever discover the way to her heart?

Hello there! What do you think of this description? Do you like magic together with Pride and Prejudice? I do not mind it, mainly if I enjoy the reading as much as I have done with Disenchanted by Kara Pleasants.

Let me introduce you to the author for the first time in this blog:

Kara Pleasants lives in a lovely hamlet called Darlington in Maryland, where she and her husband are restoring an 18th century farm in Susquehanna State Park. They have two beautiful and vivacious daughters, Nora and Lina. A Maryland native, Kara spent a great deal of her childhood travelling with her family, and spent six years living in Siberia, as well as five years in Montana, before finally making her way back home to attend the University of Maryland. 

Kara is currently a high school English teacher at Parkville High School. She previously taught for Harford and Prince George’s County Public Schools, the University of Maryland, and Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Community Colleges. She will never forget the first ninth-grade English class she ever taught at Oxon Hill, whose courage and artistry might be the reason she still teaches today. Her hobbies include making scones for the farmer’s market; writing poetry; watching fantasy shows; making quilts; directing an Episcopal church choir; and dreaming about writing an epic three-part fantasy series for her daughters.

You can connect with Kara via Facebook.

Anyone else would like to try Kara’s scones? I think I will also be very happy to read the epic three-part fantasy series she will write one day for her daughters. I am sure that it will be a success.

If you would like to buy Disenchanted even before reading my review, you could do it here:

Amazon US           Amazon UK        Amazon CA           Bookdepository           Alibris

Review

This book has a lovely flow: the story runs smoothly, the characters are full and understood, the magic is easily explained and easy to believe, and the end is…

Spoiler Alert!

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Happy!

What did you expect? 😀

Darcy and Elizabeth meet at the Meryton Assembly, he is rude and she is witty (he trips oops). This is the “normal” procedure for them in almost any JAFF story and then continues with the misunderstandings,  but in this story, we need to put MAGIC in many conversations and moments. Just an example: Jane does not fall ill because of the rain… however, she has to stay at Netherfield and her sister goes to nurse her. Nurse her very quickly!! Darcy is a very powerful wizard and his suspicion quickly becomes the truth: he knows of Elizabeth’s power and he is even more intrigued by this lady.

Yes, the militia comes and brings Wickham, I still do not like him in this story and things get more complicated between Darcy and Elizabeth (just in case you were wondering).

The Thief Necromancer keeps taking the magic from others, not killing anyone but perhaps soon? We will see. The most powerful and scholar wizards are trying to stop this thief and somehow Elizabeth is involved while in Rosings. I am sorry but I am not mentioning anything about Rosings or the parsonage. I will only say that this declaration of love and the refusal are direct and regretful at the same time but soon things need to change (not like accepting the proposal but to be civil to each other) because of the safety of many.

Mr Bennet is as usual, an enigmatic character who does not pay much attention to his family, does he? I like him, his story is a sad one but it helps seeing somebody else in a different light.

Do you remember that in Jane Austen’s book, Elizabeth visits Pemberley with her aunt and uncle? In Disenchanted, she also visits and, even if I have been at Lyme Park and Chatsworth House, I want to see what this Elizabeth has seen!!

I really enjoy the way to love and how blind Darcy is when Elizabeth is in his house, even Colonel Fitwilliam realises before he does! Elizabeth leaving Pemberley and going back to Longbourn and the rest of the story is a very enyojable journey!

By the way, I love code names.

I highly recommend you Disenchanted by Kara Pleasants.

5out5 stars

“Fortune & Felicity” by Monica Fairview, review

Hello to all of you!

I hope you keep being well and enjoying some hobbies that you may have had time to do if it were not because of the lockdown or quarantine we have in many countries. If you are looking for more reading, do not go anywhere, I have a great book for you to read: Fortune & Felicity by Monica Fairview.

You may know Monica Fairview as she has been around the JAFF world for quite some time and her novels are really good readings with lovely stories. Let me (re)introduce her:

Monica Fairview writes Jane Austen variations and sequels. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she worked as a literature professor and then as an acupuncturist in Boston before moving to London.

Monica loves anything to do with the nineteenth century, and obsessively follows every period drama she can find. On rainy days, she loves to watch ‘Pride & Prejudice’ (all adaptations), ‘North & South’, ‘Cranford’, or ‘Downtown Abbey’.

Among Monica’s Kindle best-selling novels are Mysterious Mr. Darcy, the Darcy Novels trilogy, two books in the Darcy Cousins series, and the quirky futuristic P&P inspired Steampunk Darcy. She has also published several traditional Regencies.

Apart from her avid historical interests, Monica enjoys reading fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels, but avoids zombies like the plague. She loves to laugh, drink lots of tea, and visit Regency houses, and she is convinced that her two cats can understand everything she says. 

Would you like to connect with her?

Austen Variations      Blog       Website       Facebook

As you can see, she does a bit of everything in JAFF, even a steampunk Darcy!

Ase you know interested on what is Fortune & Felicity about? It is not a steampunk, just for you to know 😉

Blurb

In this Pride & Prejudice variation, Elizabeth and Darcy have a second chance to get things right. Will they be able to come together this time, or will pride intervene yet again?

Seven years after Darcy’s disastrous proposal, Darcy is in need, not of a wife, but of a governess for his young daughter. Imagine his surprise when he discovers Elizabeth Bennet on the list of possible candidates provided by the employment agency. The question is, should he take her on as a governess, or would he be playing with fire?

Elizabeth Bennet is forced by her reduced circumstances to take on a position. However, when Mr. Darcy invites her for an interview, she is embarrassed and humiliated. How could she possibly live under the same roof as the man she had rejected so strongly seven years ago?

Whatever decision she makes, there will be a high price to pay… one way or the other.

Would he be playing with fire? What do you think? I will start with this bit on my review.

Review

As I said, the haughty Mr Darcy believes himself not in danger of this Mrs Heriot, née Bennet who captivated him so long ago. I would like look Darcy in the eye and tell him: really? Reeeeeally?

Just in case you have not realised, I have started with one of my spoilers! So, spoiler alert!!

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The happy ending will be there, at some point, in time, slowly, annoyingly but it is so worth it!

After the proposal Rosings, they part ways and he gets married, and then she gets married too (you will know about these bits when you read it). She is helping her sister with her own children but there a lot of them and there is not much space, so she looks for a position as a governess.

Darcy is a widower now and he needs a governess for her daughter who is, in principle, not the most lovable kid because she learnt a bit from her mother and her treatment towards herself was maybe not the best one.

When Darcy realises that there is a Mrs Elizabeth Heriot that looks like it may be “his” Elizabeth, he has to interview her. Let’s say the interview is… interesting. All in all, she accepts and then they go to Pemberley.

Elizabeth realises that her charge, Kathy, may not be as “easy” to work with as her nieces and nephews, however, her courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate her, right? Her charge, for such a young girl, is very classist and insists on treating her as a servant even if her father has told her that Mrs. Hariot is a gentlewoman and as her governess she needs to be respected. The same is said to the servants in the house and Mrs. Reynolds is… Mrs. Reynolds (she is really good and protective as she is the “mama-hen”).

I know this may not be surprising but Mr. Darcy is: black and white, hot and cold, yin and yang, I do not know what other opposites to use, he is not able to decide how to treat her. Remember that he is NOT in danger… ha! You wish! Example: while taking her to Lambton, he does not open his mouth and I could feel that it was super tense because he has also “ordered” Elizabeth to go with him through a servant and he has not given her any explanation. However, this is a very interesting scene… and an important one. You can definitely imagine Elizabeth’s attitude when they finally talk!

I simply love how silly Darcy can be mainly when he is very “proper”, and how much conflict Elizabeth has to adapt to her new role in society.

But then… Georgiana appears! OMG! How much damage one can do when the aim is to be helpful!! That party, that dress… (I leave it there)

The story has a great pace, the biggest part shows their “job” life of him as a master and her as a governess. However, there is the introduction to know how they got to that point (a lot of pain for both), and of course, we cannot forget the coming together and the lovely epilogue.

The characters are very well developed and both the original characters and the new characters make your time so worthwhile! For instance, Jane is a great add to this story and not only because Elizabeth was living with her. A new character: Georgiana’s husband is a man who gave me a not-so-good first impression but then you realise that he is awesome.

If the five stars below are not enough, I will write it: I highly recommend this book for you to read.

5out5 stars

Do you want to but the book? Here you have some places where you could do it:

Amazon US             Amazon UK              Amazon CA               Amazon DE            Amazon ES

Blog tour

I highly recommend you to check the other stops of this tour, you will get to know much more about this Darcy and this Elizabeth.

blog-tour-banner-ff-with-dates

“Taken” by Mary Anne Mushatt, review

Dear all,

I hope you are doing well and your loved ones too. Have you been reading much? Fortunately I have, mainly during the two weeks of holidays, now that I am back with Distance Teaching/Learning I do not have so much time but I still enjoy some of the lovely JAFF authors, such as Mary Anne Mushatt and her second novel Taken. However, this is her first novel that I read and I am very curious to read Darcy and the Duchess.

Let me introduce you to Mary Anne Mushatt:

Mary Anne Mushatt a life-long writer relocated to New Orleans last century, where she earned an MFA and created a documentary of oral histories in the African-American and Native American communities along Louisiana’s River Road.  When the levees failed, exiling her family from their home, she discovered the community of Jane Austen acolytes and began writing novels placing the Pride and Prejudice’s beloved characters in innovative situations.  Taken is her second published novel.  As a result of one of her earlier novels, she works with a multi-disciplinary team aiding victims of human trafficking become survivors.

She lives in New Orleans with her husband, two sons and two dogs.

Connect with Author at Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneMushatt

What is Taken about? That title is somehow intriguing, isn’t it?

Taken from her home as a young child, Elisabeth Bennet’s sense of self is shaken when the mystery behind her true identity is unraveled.  Discovering her place as the daughter of a duke, she confronts reclaimed memories of her brutal abduction, while tackling the alien world of Regency England’s high society.  Facing the ton is the least of her concerns as her kidnappers remain determined to keep her from Fitzwilliam Darcy – the man who showed his love by first proposing she become his mistress.  Humbled by her refusal, he returns to win her love and respect.

Do you want to know a bit more about Mary Anne Mushatt and the Origins of Taken? Read it here.

Review

The daughter of a duke, after being taken from home and having had maybe not a perfect life… or half and half.

Who on Earth is stupid enough to take the child of a duke? or what reason? Not money because nothing was asked for the little girl. You will be surprised! The reason for this kidnapping is quite twisted.

However, let’s fast forward and talk about Elizabeth and Darcy. They meet when Netherfield is let at last and then Jane and Charles are about to get married. However, then for different reasons, Elizabeth has to almost flee Longbourn and she goes with her aunt and uncle to London. When Darcy sees her again, let’s say that Miss Bingley is odious here, and Elizabeth is seen in an appropriate light, which eventually leads to a massive misunderstanding where Darcy is pretty horrible (the first proposal on Jane Austen’s is sweet in comparison to what he does here). It happens twice!!!!

I need to do one of my spoilers, therefore, Spoiler Alert!!

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There is a happy ending for these two characters 🙂

I have enjoyed the new characters: Julian (not telling you who he is), the biological fathers of Elizabeth, Admiral and Mrs Raleigh and Bingley’s aunt even if she is a minor character.

Characters that I have not enjoyed: Miss Bingley (although normally I do not like her 😉 ), Anne de Bourg (she is nuts!), Lady Cat, sorry Lady Catherine and some of his Fitzwilliam’s relations.

I find Taken an interesting story where there is a lot of love around Elizabeth. However, I believe that some stories around are maybe too long and somehow not as relevant, for instance Miss Bingley’s story gets too long and detailed for my taste. This story, for example, makes the book sometimes go from “too crazy” to “too sweet” when Elizabeth and Darcy are engaged.

However, I recommend this book and I would love to have your opinions shared on the comments.

4out5 stars

“Undoing” by L.L. Diamond, review

Dear all,

I am super glad to welcome again to my blog: L. L. Diamond. You may remember her from previous visits or because she writes beautifully!

If by any chance you do not know her, here you have a few interesting facts about Leslie:

L.L. Diamond is more commonly known as Leslie to her friends and Mom to her three kids. A native of Louisiana, she spent the majority of her life living within an hour of New Orleans before following her husband all over as a military wife. Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and now England have all been called home along the way.leslie

After watching Sense and Sensibility with her mother, Leslie became a fan of Jane Austen, reading her collected works over the next few years. Pride and Prejudice stood out as a favourite and has dominated her writing since finding Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

Aside from mother and writer, Leslie considers herself a perpetual student. She has degrees in biology and studio art, but will devour any subject of interest simply for the knowledge. Her most recent endeavours have included certifications to coach swimming as well as a fitness instructor. As an artist, her concentration is in graphic design, but watercolour is her medium of choice with one of her watercolours featured on the cover of her second book, A Matter of Chance. She is also a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Leslie also plays flute and piano, but much like Elizabeth Bennet, she is always in need of practice!

Leslie’s books include Rain and Retribution, A Matter of Chance, An Unwavering Trust, The Earl’s Conquest, Particular Intentions, Particular Attachments, Unwrapping Mr. Darcy, It’s Always Been You, It’s Always Been Us, It’s Always Been You and Me, and Undoing, which was realised just yesterday.

Visit Leslie’s website lldiamondwrites.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter.

Leslie has kindly asked me to review her latest book: Undoing and I could not say no as I have enjoyed her books for a few years now. I hope you like it when you get the chance to read it. Let me give you a bit of information about the book:

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet had always hoped to marry for love—that is until she surrenders to her mother’s demands and marries the handsome Duke of Leeds. Thrust into a society disinclined to accept a country nobody who somehow entrapped one of their most prominent members, Elizabeth holds her head high, ignoring their whispers and stares and a husband whose indifferent behaviour confuses her. Her marriage of convenience is nothing like what she expected.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a man torn. After meeting the Duchess of Leeds at a ball, he is fascinated by her intelligence and humour, but how does one maintain a respectable friendship with a lady—particularly when that lady is the wife of his cousin and godfather? His father and his sister both love Elizabeth, and he quickly realises he loves her as well, though not as one loves a cousin or even a sister. His feelings must stay hidden from everyone, particularly Elizabeth, but how is he to keep himself under such strict regulation when he is constantly thrown into her company? How does one prevent their own undoing?

Poor Darcy… Duchess! Her mother must be very happy 😀

Review

I do apologise but I need to start with one of my SPOILERS!

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Undoing has a happy ending 😉

However, even as I knew this, it was a bit of a stressing reading. Not really angsty but stressing. There was no way I could see how the HEA was going to happen because when it seemed that it was there, zas! another problem that just delayed the inevitable… happy Ever After.

Anyway, let me tell you my opinion about the book: it is a delightful read. However, I need to point out that there are scenes with adult content, I do not mind them but I know there are people who do not like them.

Now… where was I? Yes, a happy ending. How difficult is to get to that point? Very.

Elizabeth marries a man who does not love her and who she does not love either but at least he is not a mean husband but, he hides a huge secret from her. She does her role, she is a Duchess and she behaves properly among the ton but she does not have a husband-wife relationship. He is not able to get her pregnant and she is alone. However, his family has liked her very much, both sides of the family and especially the Darcy branch: Georgiana Darcy and the old Mr. Darcy and his son Fitzwilliam Darcy. However, Fitwilliam Darcy is too attracted to her and he cannot avoid being near her even if it is not proper. Does she return her feelings? Who cares? Maybe but he cannot try anything. But what happens when somebody else takes the decision for you and forces situations against your will? Well, then you may be lost. However, eventually, with a lot of suffering and time it can be the best possible outcome.

I am aware that I have not told you much on that big paragraph but I cannot spoil the story.

However, if you want to fret about a happy ending, if you still want to read about a headstrong Elizabeth, about a passionate Darcy and a out-of-character Colonel Fitzwilliam (surprising but understandable when Leslie explains it), this is your book. You will like Jane and her husband… nope, no Bingley (oops sorry for the spoiler 😉 )

4.5out5 stars

Would you like to buy the book? You can do it on:

Amazon US          Amazon CA        Amazon UK          Amazon ES       Amazon DE

“Sanditon” by Jane Austen and Kate Riordan, review

Dear all,

I am very happy to be able to share with you my opinion of Sanditon by Jane Austen and Kate Riordan based on Andrew Davies’ TV adaptation/continuation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel written in 1817. First of all, I have to admit that I have not read Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, therefore my review is purely about the book by Kate Riordan. Therefore, if you are a “purist” who does not like people to change Jane Austen’s words or characters or style, you will not like this book. However, if you are like me that you enjoy Jane Austen Fan Fiction, variations, what ifs, prequels, sequels, etc. give it a go!

Apologies for posting my review late, work this week was intense and I could not make it. Thank you to Kate Riordan and Grand Central Publishing for counting on me for this tour and for providing me with the lovely books: Sanditon and The Works of Sanditon: the official companion. Thank you Laurel Ann Nattress for organising the blog tour.

Enjoy the blurb of the book:

In the vein of Downton Abbey, Jane Austen’s beloved but unfinished masterpiece-often considered her most modern and exciting novel-gets a spectacular second act in this tie-in to a major new limited television series.

Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker. When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The twists and turns of the plot, which takes viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London, exposes the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself… and ultimately find love.

Twists and turns of the plot indeed! 😉

Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist from England. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at the Guardian newspaper, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of London bible, Time Out magazine. There she had assignments that saw her racing reindeers in Lapland, going undercover in London’s premier department store and gleaning writing tips (none-too subtly) during interviews with some of her favorite authors. After becoming a freelancer, she left London behind and moved to the beautiful Cotswolds in order to write her first novel.

Want it already?

Here you can find some places to check it:

Blog schedule

Do not miss these great stops, you are going to enjoy a vast pool of reviews and excerpts.

January 13                Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

January 14                History Lizzie

January 17                Babblings of a Bookworm

January 20                Confessions of a Book Addict

January 20                Living Read Girl

January 25                Margie’s Must Reads

January 26                My Jane Austen Book Club

February 03              The Lit Bitch

February 10              Unabridged Chick

February 10              Laura’s Reviews

February 13              Bookfoolery

February 14              Half Agony, Half Hope

February 17              Scuffed Slippers, Wormy Books

February 18              Impressions in Ink

February 23              From Pemberley to Milton

February 24              So Little Time…

February 24              Vesper’s Place

February 26              Austenesque Reviews

February 28              My Vices and Weaknesses

Review

Charlotte Heywood is a very naive girl but a bit outspoken, but not in a Lizzie Bennet’s way. By chance, she sees herself invited to stay in Sanditon, a town that is being remodelled into a top destination for holidays. Everything is new for her, from seeing the sea to being in a grand ballroom. Charlotte does not know the world and the vices that exist.

Sydney Parker, at the very beginning with his businesses and friends I was not sure what to expect but he then opened his mouth to talk to Charlotte… Even if she has a big mouth, he is not polite to her and his way of talking to her is more like the one of a brute than a gentleman. His animosity towards her is far too big because he is very kind to his family.

However, even when “angry” at each other, they keep talking, sometimes not very politely, some other in a more civilised way. She is open to the world, he is closed to some thing in the world. This is a recipe to catastrophe or perhaps not…

About the other characters, there is a lot to say but I will just mention general ideas to maybe pick your curiosity if you have not read the book or you have not watch the TV adaptation, here you have a few things to know: there is an obsessed man with an almost utopian town and her wife that could be seen as a saint; there is a Lady-Catherine-De-Bough-like woman who is a mean benefactress and childlesss rich woman, is she really mean?; there is a young enthusiastic man who wants to improve in life despite is origin; there is a rich heiress who just wants to be loved and be freed from the hypocrisy of part of society; there is also a pair of step-siblings whose relationship is not very healthy (worse than the Crawfords),;there is a man that wants to pursue a woman who completely ignores and “despises” him (I kind of like him though), etc. Did you understand anything that I describe? Maybe not everything but there is so much to read about.

Because of the story, the characters, the writing or whatever other reason that I can think of, I was hooked! I could not stop reading the book to see what was going on. I barely have time to read but I had to carry on reading Sanditon to see what else was there. I think I was as eager to read the book as Charlotte to know about the world.

To sum up: I have enjoyed the book, there are quite a few things that may not be very Jane Austen-like (e.g. the ending), the author may have taken a lot of liberties from a more “purist” viewpoint, etc. but what I need at the end of the day is a book that makes me feel. It can make me feel happy, or sad, or intrigued, a book that makes me escape from the “normal” daily life, makes me immerse in a different world and also makes me imagine these characters in different scenarios. Reading fiction for me is a way of relaxation even if that includes wanting to read all the time, when I do not have it!

4.5out5 stars

I have read some people stating that some of the topics on the book could have never been used by Jane Austen. I kind of differ, I am not a scholar on Jane Austen’s matters but only by reading her books you can see that she knew about her time. For instance, before even reading Mansfield Park, I watch two of the movies and then I read the book and we can see how Jane Austen writes about slavery or infidelity. She knows a lot and perhaps she may have not chosen to write a scene where one character is doing oral sex to another character and there is a third person who happens to see that something is going on (without knowing what is going on). I think that she may have not been totally naive, although unmarried, she was mainly a writer and, as far as I believe, a writer reads, a writer has curiosity, a writer does not shy from knowing. I agree with people’s opinion that the ending is not our cup of tea, I would have prefer something different (do not worry, I am not spoiling the ending). However, it is a variation, it is not Jane Austen writing (unfortunately) but I believe that authors can decide whatever they want. Yes, readers decide, we decide if we like it or not and a lot of authors try to only look for what their audience want. However, that is not a must, if I could write, I would write first for me and then for the readers. Once I would know what readers want, I could look for a middle ground but at the end of the day, an author writes for him or herself. Isn’t it? I may be wrong but I accept everybody’s opinion and I hope people accepts my opinion that Sanditon is a really good book. As I said, I was hooked and for me that is enough to make a novel a good one.

Now I need to try to watch the series 🙂

“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

“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

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

Dear all,

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

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

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

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

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

Blog     Tumblr     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     Goodreads    Amazon’s Author Page

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

The heir of Longbourn offers his olive branch earlier…

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

A secret partnership formed…

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

4.5out5 stars

Blog Tour

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

2nd of October Austenesque Reviews

3rd of October My Jane Austen Book Club

4th of October From Pemberley to Milton

7th of October Babblings of a Bookworm

8th of October Diary of an Eccentric

9th of October Savvy Verse & Wit

10th of October My Vices and Weaknesses

11th of October So little time

BlogTour

time to give away winners

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