Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘jane austen’ Category

Hello, dear readers! My guest today is KC Kahler, who is here to celebrate the release of her latest novel, A Case of Some Delicacy. KC is here to talk about the different points of view featured in her newest Pride and Prejudice variation. I hope this makes you as excited as I am to read the book! Please give her a warm welcome.

****

Greetings! First I want to thank Anna for hosting a stop on the blog tour for my new book A Case of Some Delicacy. While my first book Boots & Backpacks was told all from Darcy’s point of view, A Case of Some Delicacy spreads around the telling of the story amongst seven different characters. They are: Elizabeth, Darcy, Lydia, Jane, Bingley, Collins, and Charlotte.

Of course, most chapters are told either by Elizabeth or Darcy, but I used the other characters to bring a fresh perspective in some chapters. I tried to give each character a distinctive voice.

Elizabeth: She’s the delightful character we all love. She is clever and observant but has a definite blindspot when it comes to Mr. Darcy. She clings to her opinions rather stubbornly, and at the start of the story, her opinion of Darcy has been colored by overhearing that insult. It takes her awhile to let it go.

Mr. Darcy: Compared to Elizabeth, Darcy is less likely to speak and more likely to think. He too is clever and observant, but he starts out the story “thinking meanly” of those beneath his social standing. Don’t worry, he’ll learn his lesson!

Mr. Collins: Though he’s a little exhausting to read, he’s very fun to write! I got to break out my thesaurus. Mr. Collins thinks very highly of himself, but even more highly of Mr. Darcy. He doesn’t understand everything that’s going on around him, since he can’t imagine that others find him tiresome. He thinks of all the young ladies around him as willing and eager brides who will jump at his proposal.

Jane: She’s another character who keeps many of her thoughts to herself. At the start of the story, she is conflicted about Mr. Collins. She knows marrying him would help her family, and she is very protective of her sisters. Jane is always thinking nice things about everyone, even the people who don’t deserve it.

Lydia: She’s also very fun to write. Silly, selfish, and stubborn she may be, but her thoughts are unfiltered. Lydia can be clever and observant too, but she is so self-absorbed that she sometimes doesn’t consider the feelings of other people, including her sisters. But she improves throughout the book.

Charlotte: She is the most clear-eyed and shrewd observer of all, partly because she has no romantic notions of her own. She is a loyal friend to Elizabeth, but they do not see eye to eye on all things.

Mr. Bingley: Bingley is already half in love with Jane when we first get his thoughts, so he is easily distracted by her. But he offers some insight into Darcy’s behavior that no other character can. Like Jane, he thinks generally pleasant thoughts about everyone around him.

****

About A Case of Some Delicacy

A secret alliance grows when an unwanted suitor arrives at Longbourn…

When rumours of Jane Bennet’s impending betrothal to her father’s heir begin spreading at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth vows to save her dearest sister’s happiness from being sacrificed in marriage.

She finds an unlikely accomplice in Mr Darcy, the taciturn man whose heroics on the cricket field have managed to turn Lydia Bennet’s infatuation away from redcoats. Upon overhearing a heated exchange between Elizabeth and Mr Bennet, Darcy is stunned not only by her devotion to her sister, but also by her defiant words to her father. An inexplicable desire to help Elizabeth draws Darcy into the match-breaking scheme, despite knowing that he should want nothing to do with a family like the Bennets.

As the new allies work together, their friendship deepens into mutual admiration. But they must navigate a complicated web of sisters, parents, friends, cousins, and aunts, some of whom may be attempting their own manipulations and romantic schemes. Eavesdropping and jealousy abound, cricket balls go astray, and love blooms in spite of Mrs. Bennet’s misguided matchmaking.

Buy on Amazon

****

About the Author

KC Kahler

KC Kahler lives in northeastern Pennsylvania and works in online education, after having dabbled in sandwich making, bug collecting, and web development. She discovered 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 Atlantic, Flavorwire, 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.

Connect with KC: Blog | Tumblr | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads | Amazon

****

Giveaway

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.

Thank you, KC, for being my guest today, and congrats on your new release!

Read Full Post »

It’s always a pleasure to welcome Don Jacobson to Diary of an Eccentric, and he is here today to celebrate the latest book in The Bennet Wardrobe Series, The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this series, and I hope to get a chance to read the books soon. In the meantime, I loved reading about the newest installment, and I hope you all enjoy Don’s guest post and excerpt as much as I did. Please give him a warm welcome!

****

Broken and Renewed in Greater Glory

“Love does not creep in upon cat’s feet. Nor does it storm about like an early cyclone. Love washes over you, leaving you in wonder and holding the hope of the world in your hands. Love steals your heart, breaks it, and then returns that organ back to you, glorious in its scars as if a kintsugi master has mended every crack with a golden resin. ‘Tis different, but no less beautiful than the unwounded original. Rather ‘tis something to be celebrated for the depth of its lived-in context.”

 Captain George P. Wickham, GCB[i]

The universe within which the Bennet Wardrobe exists is full of surprises. Who would have ever imagined that George Wickham would have become such an astute observer of the most elevating emotion a human can experience: love.

However, that is not the text of today’s guest post. Rather it is the nugget contained within Wickham’s declaration: “…glorious in its scars as if a kintsugi master has mended every crack with a golden resin.”

In 2015, I attended a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar in Santa Fe exploring the influences upon the art of Georgia O’Keefe. O’Keefe was of the school of Modernists who eschewed the older forms of American realism and European Impressionism. They sought to create the new art, the art of the Post-World War I American world, that responded to the broad-shouldered and vital landscape that was the United States from 1919 to 1950. Not for them was the nonsense of Dada, nor the idyllic beauty of late-Monet, but rather the raw and gritty reality of an all-night diner (Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, 1942) or O’Keefe’s skyscrapers (1926-29).

One of the guiding books that helped focus the Modernists was The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura (1906). Okakura was an aesthete, a Japanese expatriate who, I believe, mourned the loss of the “old” Japan as Emperor Meiji dragged that country into the 19th Century. I found the philosophies contained in this little volume to be compelling.

The Book of Tea explored the idea of teaism, the Zen of which was exemplified in the complex ritual of making something so simple and so common as a cup of tea. The essential beauty of the process celebrated the perception that the effort to understand the meaning of every step taken in the tea ceremony was, in itself an achievement. Each element involved in the tea ceremony, from the house to the cups, contributed to the overall significance of the ceremony.

The step from tea to people was, for me, small. I became impressed with the idea of kintsugi as being a worthy metaphor for how people grow from their initial firing.

This is a bowl that I repaired using the Japanese art form of kintsugi with urushi lacquer and gold powder.

When is a cup more than a cup? Consider serving tea to a guest. True, you could pull out an old stoneware mug which would serve as a vessel for the hot liquid: not much more meaning to it than something against which to clank your spoon.

However, what if you chose to serve the beverage in one of your mother’s Wedgewood teacups…you know, the ones you have been moving from house-to-house in the years since she died? What recollections would they inspire in you? What stories would you tell your guests?

And, what would those reminiscences inspire within your guest?

Suddenly a simple cup of tea becomes so much more.

And the Japanese understood that.

In the modern-day world, we readily dispose of cracked or damaged items. How often have we swept up the remnants of a victim of the law of gravity? Now imagine yourself in Kyoto. The cherished pieces of your family porcelain would be collected and taken to a kintsugi potter.

This master would reassemble the pieces of the cup, but rather than using invisible glue to hide the cracks to the best of his ability, he highlights each fissure with golden resin. Attention, thus, will be called to its altered state. This cup will assume a place of honor, to be the first offered to a guest rather than relegated to the back of the cupboard to be used only if there is no other available.

Why?

Because the cup has, through its worldly experience, assumed greater meaning. Users would calm themselves and contemplate the significance of the repairs, the cracks, the shape of the mended pieces, and the emotions the meditation engenders in their breasts.

These cups have become what we define now as art.

As I formulated characters throughout the Wardrobe Series, I always looked at where they had been left by Jane Austen and then considered where I wished them to travel in their development: so, too, with Wickham and Lydia. Yet, with both, and particularly Lydia, I felt that they needed to find their lives to be a greater force upon them. Truthfully, they did have a greater distance to overcome.

Art portrait of woman covered in clay

In the quote above, Wickham articulated much of what I had contemplated: that the scars of a lived life make that existence more meaningful.

Eventually, Lydia came to understand this process, painful as it was, with the Stoicism that she had absorbed from Richter. Young Mrs. Wickham began to see that pleasure and pain were necessary parts of life to be experienced instead of avoided. Is that not a radical alteration of the Lydia Bennet who frolicked across the pages of Pride and Prejudice? She looked at her soul and considered the scars lacing across that entity and knew that, like a kintsugi teacup, she had been transformed from her commonly understood meaning as established by Austen (do not ask her opinion of Austen’s biography of the Bennet family) into something more profound.

She had been broken. Her fractured pieces had been bonded back together to create a great lady worthy of her role in the upcoming adventure that is the story of the Bennets in the Wardrobe’s Universe.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments on this post. I hope you will enjoy the following excerpt from “The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion.” 

Chapter XXXIII

April 4, 1843, The Beach House at Deauville 

Hauptmann Hans Richter has previously asked Lady Kate Fitzwilliam, the Dowager Countess of Matlock (11th), for permission to court the Widow Wickham. Her assent given, Kitty has asked Lydia to attend her in the library. Lydia is receptive to the tall German but is fearful of the consequences of her attempts to return to her original where/when in 1815. Much of this chapter is devoted to this conversation. However, Kitty also offers Lydia advice rooted in The Book of Tea in this excerpt.

“And, what of Hans? What if we marry? What if we have children? What if…?”

Kitty slid down the smooth leather of the tufted Chesterfield couch and enveloped her tearful sister in a firm hug. She whispered into her hair those comforting nonsensical syllables that resonate with peoples of all nations. Eventually, Lydia calmed.

“The Rule about babes in the future would, I am afraid, apply to any children you conceive now. They would remain in this here/now if you decided to depart.

“As for Hans or any other person, for that matter: I believe…and I have no proof for this supposition which I can reveal…that if he were in close contact with you, probably skin-to-skin…he would transition with you back to your original where/when.

“You need not worry right now for are we not speaking of a quest for undiscovered feelings and not the need for a speedy wedding?

“Do not overthink things, Lydia. Enjoy the process as it presents itself right now.

“All you need to know for the present is that you must not conceive a child because if you tried to transition whilst increasing, you might be anchored here in this time.

“The other alternative—that you and your in vitro infant would be violently separated—is too gruesome to consider.”

Lydia sent a horrified glance at her sister. She immediately walled off the notion of her bloodied corpse tumbling out of the Wardrobe into Mary’s Darcy House chamber. That circumstance was fodder for Mister Karloff’s or Mr. Chaney’s cinematic ruminations, not those of Lydia Wickham.[ii]

The suggestion that she would engage in marital relations without the benefit of a previous visit to the vicar outraged her Regency sensibilities even though they had been blurred by three years in this here/now. She had heard of widows who felt free to dally with gentlemen without concern for their reputations. The wealthiest were legends of the ton, able to entice any of several lovers to their boudoirs. If they avoided the by-blow consequences for these al fresco couplings, they could continue along in such a manner for years until the danger of increasing passed with their changes.

Money cannot buy happiness, I am sure, but it can buy freedom.

She was fully aware of how the old Lydia might have appeared to others. In a jolt to her now-more-mature ego, Mrs. Wickham had discovered the old biography of her family in which a less-than-flattering portrait of her behavior had been painted. She had read, with increasing embarrassment, Miss Austen’s thin-lipped characterization of the youngest Bennet daughter. Lydia was also astonished that this priest’s child, a spinster and a woman outside of her acquaintance, would cast her in such judgmental terms.

‘Tis true that I was high-spirited. My Meryton world was so small, and I followed my natural inclination to fill it with laughter and fun. However, I do understand how it appeared to a prig like Mr. Darcy, a man set on finding fault with everyone and everything.

And poor Jane and Lizzy who knew proper behavior…how mortified they must have been!

Who could have told Miss Austen about the way I acted? And then, only a few very specific instances were related: the Assembly, our visit to Netherfield to look in on Jane, and the Netherfield ball. And who would have left out my goodness, casting me as no better than one of those poor wenches who earned their money on their backs at inns up and down the Great Northern Road?

I know! T’was that prune-faced, dried out old stick Caroline Bingley! She always held me up as the worst of the Bennets and then tattling to Mr. Darcy what he had already observed for himself…as if that would somehow turn him away from Lizzy!

At no point, except for my elopement, which was, I fear, the worst of my sins and one compounded by my innocence and gullibility, would I have ever allowed any man…be he a gentleman or simply posing as one…to truly compromise me. Even my dear Wickham had to wait until our wedding night!

Oh, I am positive that Miss Bingley, that viper, dripped her venom into Miss Austen’s ear, although that lady had long-since relocated to Chawton when Caroline had been dispatched to Bath for her health after her exhibition at Lizzy’s wedding breakfast. They probably had mutual acquaintances in Bath. It matters not.

And she chose to look down that thin nose of hers at me, an honestly married woman?

Yet, all that everyone knew of Lydia was that her morals were not of the highest quality. This bothered the young widow. That concern showed on her face as her brows dropped and her expression darkened at Kitty’s well-intentioned, if not well-worded, gibe.

Kitty realized her error almost immediately.

Kitty levered herself up from the couch, its leather-upholstered seating creaking even beneath her birdlike figure. She patted Lydia’s hand as she passed on her way to one of the bookshelves adjacent to the fireplace. Running her fingers over the spines, she mumbled inarticulately as title-after-title passed her lips—until her nails collided with a well-worn binding. Tilting out a tiny book, Kitty reverently brought it back to the sofa.

After she had repositioned herself in the corner, her fragility supported in the crux between arm and back, she cradled the compact tome between steepled fingers.

“I know your spirit has just been tried, Lydia,” she stated, “and I do apologize for reminding you of what has been but never again will be. Even if you had not become a mother, I can assure you that the young girl of the Year Eleven has been put into the fire, refined like silver, and tested like gold these past seven years.[iii]

“You have shown all the propriety of a great lady, a Countess. You would do all of us proud as the hostess in Matlock House’s parlors and drawing rooms. Those countrified edges that were Miss Bingley’s bane have been worn away by life much as the gravels on the banks of our beloved Mimram.

“Now, I would offer you a gift…actually a loan…of one of my favorite books of philosophy.

“Mr. Kakuzo Okakura was a Japanese gentleman with whom Henry and I became acquainted back before the other war. He wrote a little book…this little book…in which he sought to explain the idea of tea…something we imbibe but never consider that it owns any deeper meaning than simply being a refreshing drink…and its place within Eastern philosophy.

“I will not burden you with my thoughts about teaism, Taoism, or Zen for that would defeat everything the masters tried to teach us. You need to assess for yourself what their wisdom means and how it may apply to your life.

“However, Lydia, The Book of Tea has profoundly influenced a generation of artists—the Modernists—seeking to discover a rationale for their rejection of the older…if you dare to suggest that Papa Pissarro, dear Pierre-Auguste, or even poor Seurat were outdated…modes of expression.

“Perhaps, when you are ready, you may find meaning in Okakura’s words.

“If you would allow me, though, I would suggest that you ignore all exhortations of what others would insist you become. Abandon, also, all thoughts that you may have to shape yourself to fit into your notion of society’s demands.

“Rather, my dear, become like the jujitsu acolyte and mold yourself with a profound void…not an emptiness of self which is a denial of existence, but rather like a pitcher that is not described by the water it can hold but instead by the understanding that its meaning comes from that which it can do.

“You can become that calm and peaceful frame into which others pour their ideas about who you are. Therein, like a remarkable artwork, your greatness will manifest itself through the efforts of those who would seek to fill your blankness/not blankness with meaning. By being the vessel, you will guide their considerations into your own perceived shape rather than the opposite, yours into theirs. And, as you live Dharma, a greater perfection can be achieved when the river both flows through as well as around you.

“Consider one of my favorite quotes from Master Okakura…

One who could make himself a vacuum into which others

might freely enter would become the

master of all situations.

[i] Unpublished mss, The Journals of the Hon. Captain George Percival Wickham, edited and annotated by his Widow. The Bennet Family Trust, London. Entry of February 21, 1815. Vol VI, p. 10-11.

[ii] Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney were renowned performers in the 1930s horror film genre. Their films had been screened at the Beach House after 1940, prints having been lodged in the library, on the sound projector installed by Jean Renoir’s technicians.

[iii] Zechariah 13:9 paraphrased

****

About The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion

“My life has been very much like an unfinished painting. The artist comes to the portrait day-after-day to splash daubs of color onto bare canvas, filling in the blanks of my story. Thus grows the likeness, imperfect as it may be, which you see today.”

Lydia Fitzwilliam, Countess of Matlock, letter to her sister Elizabeth Bennet Darcy, March 14, 1831.

Does it matter how a man fills out his regimentals? Miss Austen never considered that query. Yet, this question marks the beginning of an education…and the longest life…in the Bennet Wardrobe saga.

Lydia Bennet, Longbourn’s most wayward daughter, embarks on her quest in The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion. This biography reveals how the Wardrobe helps young Mrs. Wickham learn that honor and bravery grow not from the color of the uniform—or the gender of its wearer—but rather from the contents of the heart.

In the process, she realizes that she must be broken and repaired, as if by a kintsugi master potter, to become the most useful player in the Bennet Wardrobe’s great drama.

Multifaceted and nuanced, The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion, speaks to the verities of life. Once again, Don Jacobson has combined the essence of Pride and Prejudice with an esoteric story line and the universal themes of redemption and forgiveness in this well-crafted narrative.”

Mirta Ines Trupp, author of The Meyersons of Meryton

Amazon U.S. | Amazon U.K.

****

About the Author

Don Jacobson

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 began publishing The Bennet Wardrobe Series

Jacobson is also part of the collective effort behind the publication of the upcoming North and South anthology, Falling for Mr. Thornton: Tales of North and South due out in the Fall of 2019.

Other Austenesque Variations include the paired books “Of Fortune’s Reversal” (2016) and “The Maid and The Footman.” (2016) Lessers and Betters offers readers the paired novellas in one volume to allow a better appreciation of the “Upstairs-Downstairs” mentality that drives the stories.

Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations. As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.

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

He lives in the Las Vegas, Nevada area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorize, 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).

Connect with Don: Don Jacobson’s Amazon Author’s Page | Goodreads Author’s Page (with blog) | Author Website (with blog) | Twitter (@AustenesqueAuth)

****

Giveaway

Don is generously giving away 4 ebook copies of The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion during the blog tour. You must enter through this Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

Thank you, Don, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new release!

Read Full Post »

Source: Review copy from author

Joana Starnes’ newest Pride and Prejudice variation, The Journey Home to Pemberley, was a treat from start to finish. She imagines what might have happened had Elizabeth reunited with Mr. Darcy following his disastrous Hunsford proposal while touring the Lake Country with her aunt and uncle Gardiner. Darcy is taking the long, scenic route to Pemberley as he tries to come to terms with Elizabeth’s refusal, and when he is injured during a storm, he ends up at the inn where Elizabeth and the Gardiners are taking refuge.

While their initial reunion is a little awkward but sweet and full of hope for the future, I knew it was too soon in the book for that to last. But what happened next gutted me. I hadn’t expected THAT, and I hadn’t realized I was so wrapped up in their newfound happiness until I had the rug pulled out from under me, much like our dear couple. I felt it to the core, but I’ve never been disappointed by Starnes before, so I kept reading through their pain and trusted there would be a reward in the end.

The Journey Home to Pemberley was a true page turner, full of romance, angst, and passion and twists and turns that I hadn’t anticipated. Starnes has a way of transporting readers into the story, and I truly felt like I was on the journey with Darcy and Elizabeth. Telling the story mainly through Elizabeth’s point of view provided some suspense, as I kept wondering what Darcy was thinking and feeling at that moment while I was feeling Elizabeth’s pain as she observed him. When they were reunited at the beginning, they both had confronted some hard truths about themselves, but Starnes had many more trials in store for them, and she does a fantastic job of showing how they were changed by their circumstances. The original characters, from Timms and Moll, the innkeeper and his wife, to Bella and Meg, the Monkford sisters, were delightful additions as well.

I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read by Starnes so far, and The Journey Home to Pemberley was no exception. I expected to love it like the others, but I didn’t expect to FEEL it as much as I did, and that, to me, is the sign of a great book and a great writer. I’m already eagerly anticipating what she has in store for us next!

****

Buy on Amazon

****

About the Author

Joana Starnes

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

She is the author of eight Austen-inspired novels (From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley; The Subsequent Proposal; The Second Chance; The Falmouth Connection; The Unthinkable Triangle; Miss Darcy’s Companion; Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter and The Darcy Legacy) and one of the contributors to the Quill Ink anthologies (The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know, Rational Creatures and Yuletide). They are all available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback, and some in Audible too: Joana’s Amazon Page.

You can connect with Joana on: Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Austen Variations

****

Giveaway

Joana is generously giving away 8 Kindle copies and a paperback of The Journey Home to Pemberley and a Jane Austen & Pride and Prejudice goodie bag as part of the blog tour. You must enter through this Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

****

Read Full Post »

I am very excited to welcome Brigid Huey to Diary of an Eccentric for the first time today to celebrate the release of her new Pride and Prejudice variation, A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods. Please give her a warm welcome!

****

Hello Anna and readers! Thank you all for welcoming me to Diary of an Eccentric. Today I would love to share a bit about my inspirations and creative process for A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods.

I love a strong woman. I also love the classic damsel in distress story. I’m a sucker for a knight on a white horse. I swoon when a strong man marches in to save the day. But I detest reading about helpless women. Oh dear, what am I to do?

Read Jane Austen, of course! But you knew that already.

One of the reasons I love Jane Austen’s works so very much is how she manages to create stories where the heroine is in distress, yet is also incredibly strong. Jane Austen writes a character that stands up for herself and her beliefs, but then also graciously accepts help from the man who loves her. Tally ho, Lizzy!

In Sense and Sensibility, Elinor quietly keeps her family from financial ruin while missing her true love. Far from being rescued by her knight, she forgives him his stumbles and rejoices in her own happy ending. I love it!

So while I sat watching my son play outside on a blustery day, I started daydreaming about Mr. Darcy riding in such weather (why not?) and how perhaps as he rode he would come upon Elizabeth. That kernel led to picturing Lizzy trying to keep her bonnet on in such wind, which soon became a storm in my mind. Now I had Darcy on horseback and Lizzy without a bonnet. In a storm. Oh, and in the woods.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that scene. And so I decided to write it down. To my surprise, the rest of the story seemed to be tucked away in my mind. I am happy to share it with you all, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

****

About A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

A surprise meeting

A baby alone in the woods

And a second chance at love

Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to his beloved Pemberley with one thing on his mind ̶ to forget Elizabeth Bennet. Riding ahead of his party and racing a storm, he happens upon the very woman he wants to avoid. To his astonishment, she is holding a baby whose name and parentage are unknown.

Elizabeth Bennet never dreamed she had wandered into Pemberley’s Woods on her afternoon walk. But when she finds an infant alone in the storm, she turns to the last man in the world she wants to see ̶ and the only one who can help them both.

As the mystery of the baby’s identity intensifies, Elizabeth finds Mr. Darcy to be quite the reverse of what she expected. But when the child’s family is discovered, will the truth bring them together, or tear them apart?

Buy: Amazon U.S. | Amazon U.K.

****

About the Author

Brigid Huey

Brigid has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids, and spends her free time reading and writing. This is her first Pride and Prejudice variation, though many others live in her imagination.

Connect with Brigid: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

****

Giveaway

Meryton Press is giving away 8 ebook copies of A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods as part of the blog tour. You must enter through this Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

Thank you, Brigid, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new release!

Read Full Post »

It’s always a pleasure to have Rose Fairbanks as my guest, and today she comes bearing gifts: an excerpt from her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Courtship at Rosings, and a giveaway! I really enjoyed this sweet Darcy and Elizabeth story, and I hope you all do as well. Please give her a warm welcome!

****

Hello, readers! It’s always great to be on Diary of an Eccentric, and I regret that it’s been so long since I was last here. Courtship at Rosings was the first JAFF story I ever began. I hammered away at it for an afternoon, the words flying from my fingertips. After a few thousan words, I sat back and read, grimaced, closed the file, and promptly forgot about it for about five years. I stumbled across it earlier this year, and despite the extreme amount of editing needed, the concept intrigued me. It is low-angst, almost fluffy, but lured me in to ask my favorite question regarding Pride and Prejudice, “what if?”

I hope you enjoy this excerpt and participate in the giveaway!

****

“I suppose I would always have viewed you with suspicion. Perhaps I would have imagined you to be a rake. Why else would you take a fancy to a country gentleman’s daughter with no money or connections?”

“Do you truly think so meanly of yourself?”

Elizabeth shrugged. “I do not know that I would persist in that way of thinking. Only it would be one thought which crossed my mind. I would not likely believe you admired me at all. Charlotte has argued the very thing, and I never saw it.”

“Perhaps if I had not attempted to hide it.”

“And what would your open admiration look like?” She arched one brow, a playful smile on her lips.

Darcy assessed her before replying. “I can be a very determined man, Elizabeth. If I openly courted you, then I would not stop until you were mine.”

Elizabeth beamed. “It is too bad you never had the opportunity. Something tells me that would have been a sight to behold.”

“May I begin again?”

“You are leaving for London tomorrow.”

“Yes, and you will be there in a few weeks.”

“I will be staying at Gracechurch Street.” Elizabeth lifted her chin and squared her shoulders. “I know you find my relations unworthy of your notice.”

“I would be pleased to meet them.”

“Would you really?”

“If it would secure your hand, then I would go through any matter of things.”

“I cannot be bought.” Elizabeth pulled away and began to walk off.

Darcy quickly caught up with her. “I do not mean that you can.”

“When I marry, it will be for great love. I will respect my husband. I will not be indebted to him or constantly reminded of the condescension he has shown me by rescuing me from my supposedly low and inferior state.”

Darcy caught Elizabeth’s hand. “Elizabeth, wait. I would be happy to meet them because they are your family and you love them. I wish to please you. I desire to show you that I am not so mean as you first believed and am correcting the faults in my character which you did justly assess. How else could I show you that?”

Elizabeth remained unconvinced and crossed her arms over her chest.

“If you would rather I wait to court you until you return to Longbourn, then I will. If you had hated the idea of my courtship, you would have said so. That can only mean that you are not set against me. I will not quit the field now.”

“And manipulating me into loving you is part of your design?”

“No. I wish to share a life with you and everything that means-all of your relations. You should meet mine as well. Together, we would form a family of equal parts yours and mine.”

“And your relations would approve of this match?”

“I really do not care.”

They were now in view of the parsonage, and Elizabeth saw the curtain of the front sitting room flutter. Discreetly gathering her hand in his, he squeezed it whilst staring into her dark eyes.

“I am yours to command. If you do not wish for me to court you, then tell me so at once. If, however, your feelings have changed, only tell me where and when I may next see you.”

Elizabeth took a long moment before replying. All the while, her heart hammered, and her head pounded. She felt as if she were about to jump off a cliff. “Very well, Mr. Darcy. I accept your offer of courtship. I will see you in a fortnight in London.” She turned and walked to the parsonage without a backward glance.

****

About Courtship at Rosings

A man truly in love is a sight to behold.

Despite Fitzwilliam Darcy’s better judgment, he asks Elizabeth Bennet to marry him. Instead of retreating upon learning her heart, he decides to use everything in his power to woo her.

In Elizabeth’s mind, Darcy has always been haughty and arrogant. When he approaches her with humility and an apology on his lips, she can barely contain her astonishment. When he expresses his love, she is nearly incredulous. Realizing she has misunderstood the man, it only seems right to give their acquaintance another chance—even if that means accepting a courtship.

Of course, it would take a miracle to change Darcy from the last man in the world she would be willing to marry to the conqueror of her heart. Luckily, the Master of Pemberley can be quite the romantic. However, when Darcy goes missing, it will take more than Darcy’s charm to see these two finally united.

Courtship at Rosings is another delightful novella from the author of Mr. Darcy’s Compassion. If you have ever wanted to see Mr. Darcy romance Elizabeth, this book is for you! The perfect length to read before bed, it will ensure sweet dreams and a sigh-worthy experience. Download today!

Universal buy link: books2read.com/u/

****

About the Author

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.

You can connect with Rose on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog.

To join her email list for information about new releases and any other news, you can sign up here.

Facebook fans! Join Rose’s reading groups:

Rose’s Reading Garden

Jane Austen Re-Imaginings Series

Christmas with Jane

When Love Blooms Series

Pride and Prejudice and Bluestockings

Loving Elizabeth Series

****

Giveaway

Rose Fairbanks is offering two ebooks of Courtship at Rosings. You must enter through the Rafflecopter link Best of luck!

****

Thank you, Rose, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new release!

Read Full Post »

It’s my pleasure to welcome Jennifer Redlarcyzk back to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate her newest release, A Taste of Peanut Butter. I can’t get enough of modern Pride and Prejudice variations, and I love peanut butter, desserts, and cooking shows, so I’m very excited about this book! I hope you’ll feel the same way after reading this excerpt. Please give Jennifer a warm welcome!

****

Greetings JAFF lovers! And many thanks to Anna for hosting me and A Taste of Peanut Butter today. In my latest novella, Elizabeth Bennet has a passion for baking and peanut butter happens to be her signature ingredient. In this scene Elizabeth is about to share some of her baked goods with the man who helped her after going through security at the airport. Shall we eavesdrop on their conversation?

Several minutes later, Elizabeth noticed Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome returning with beverages in hand. She could hardly wait to get his reaction when he tasted her baking.

“By the way, I’m William Darcy. And you are?”

“William Darcy?!” She sat up straight with a definite look of mischief written all over her face. “As in Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pride and Prejudice?”

“Yes, Fitzwilliam Alexander Darcy at your service. If you don’t mind, I prefer William.”

“Oh.” She couldn’t help but giggle. “What would you say if I told you my name was Elizabeth Bennet?”

“Well, if you are indeed Elizabeth Bennet, then I guess I’d better say here’s to Jane Austen.” The two of them laughed as they carefully clicked their paper cups and took a drink.

“Honestly, William, my name really is Elizabeth Bennet, but most of my friends call me Liz or Lizzy.”

“If you don’t mind, I quite like Elizabeth. It has such a classic sound.”

“Thank you.” She blushed and gestured to her blue plastic container. ”Please, help yourself. I kind of went on a baking spree before I left home, so there’s plenty to choose from. These three are apple peanut butter, and these two are chocolate chip peanut butter. Then we have peanut butter balls, peanut butter blondies and my latest creation…” She leaned over and whispered in his ear, “Blissful peanut butter-chocolate cheesecake in a cup.” She bit her lip, anxiously waiting to see which treat he would choose.

“You said blissful?” He arched an eyebrow in question.

“I did.” She beamed.

“Then blissful it is!” Within seconds, William took a bite and quietly moaned, delighting in the creamy rich flavour of the cheesecake. “This is incredible!” He licked his lips before taking the last bite followed by a sip of coffee. “You say this is your own creation?”

“That I did. I’m a finalist in the Pemberley Network’s Weekend Bake Off—Another Slice. This is one of my secret weapons. It’s an improved version of the recipe that got me into the contest.

William nearly choked on his coffee when she mentioned the network. “You’re not serious, are you?”

“Why wouldn’t I be serious? I have the letter in my wallet if you need proof.” Elizabeth folded her arms across her chest, appearing very indignant.

“Elizabeth, forgive me, I didn’t mean to insult you. When I heard you speaking with your sister about a bake off, I had no idea that you were…”

“Wait a minute, buster,” she said pointing an angry finger at him. “You mean to tell me that you listened in on my private conversation? The one where my sister warned me about letting a new date taste my cooking? The one about how all my guy friends treat me as their best bud hoping that I’ll cook for their next get together?”

“Yes,” he held up his hands. “I’m guilty as charged, but I swear, I’m nothing like those blokes she was referring to. Please let me explain, nearly everyone in my family cooks, and I.…”

“I’m sorry, but I have to go. Thanks for the coffee, Mr. Darcy. You’re welcome to finish what I baked. Have a nice life!” she said plopping her coffee down in such a way that it splashed all over William’s light coloured Chinos. Grabbing her belongings, Elizabeth walked as fast as she could towards gate C-21, without looking back.

Well it looks like William and Elizabeth are off to a stormy beginning. Any speculations on how our guy might make it up to her. In the meantime how about a slice of Peanut Butter Lover’s Pie, and while you’re at it be sure to leave a comment below for my giveaway of two eBooks. Enjoy!

****

About A Taste of Peanut Butter

Elizabeth Bennet has a passion for baking and peanut butter happens to be her signature ingredient. William Darcy’s family owns Pemberley Network where she is a contestant in their next bake off television series. Will their newly found romance be complicated by a conflict of interest? Find out in A TASTE OF PEANUT BUTTER. This romantic comedy is followed by a short Regency tale called BLAME IT ON THE SQUASH.

Buy on Amazon

****

Giveaway

Jennifer is generously offering 2 ebook copies of A Taste of Peanut Butter to my readers. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Sunday, September 15, 2019. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Jennifer, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new release!

Read Full Post »

I’m excited to welcome Jayne Bamber back to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate the release of her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, A Sister’s Curse. I was intrigued by the title alone, and after reading the excerpt, I’m even more eager to read it. I hope all of you feel the same way, too. Please give Jayne a warm welcome!

****

Hello everyone! I am excited to share another excerpt with you from my new release, A Sister’s Curse.

One of the most exciting things for me about writing this book was getting to know some characters that you don’t often see in JAFF. Some of the small, side characters like Colonel Fitzwilliam and Uncle Gardiner are always fun, and even though they have made many memorable appearances in fan fiction, I hope I have put on own little spin on their characters as well.

But one character I am especially proud of is Lady Anne Darcy, who is very much still alive in this variation. The story opens when Lizzy and Darcy are still children, so our first glimpse of Lady Anne is when she is not yet thirty, and over the course of the book, the events of the story have their effect on her. It was very interesting to write, especially because the opening of the story really hinges on her choices and wishes so much. I hadn’t intended it to be quite like that, but as I started writing Lady Anne Darcy, I came to like her so much that her role in the story really grew.

I knew that I wanted her to be a different kind of mother than Mrs. Bennet, but still have her own weakness and imperfections. One thing I had to consider when writing her was, what sort of mother would Mr. Darcy have had, to be the sort of man he is? And what is Lady Anne’s place in the family? I considered Georgiana – who does not actually appear in this book – and tried to work from there. I thought it likely Lady Anne would have the same sweet temper and loving heart, and perhaps a little more spirit and banter with her siblings, and I knew that her marriage to the elder Mr. Darcy would absolutely have to be a love match.

From there I worked out that Lady Anne must have wished to give her beloved George Darcy more children, in the ten years after she had William. It was a quick leap to conclude that in such a situation, her sister Lady Catherine de Bourgh would have wanted to make herself useful, and the carriage accident in the prologue took on another layer of depth. I decided that Lady Anne and Lady Catherine had been travelling to see the doctor who might have helped Lady Anne conceive Georgiana, were it not for their carriage colliding with that of the other family, and throwing the little orphan girls into her path just as she was wishing for more children.

Of course, as her children grow up, so too does Lady Anne, and they are none of them perfect. To read what the future hold for them, A Sister’s Curse is available on kindle now, but for now, here is just a glimpse of Lady Anne Darcy at the open of the story…

Anne and George Darcy were a love match, and in twelve years of marriage they had ignored the custom of sleeping in separate bedchambers. As the two of them came out of their respective dressing rooms, attired for bed, George drew his wife into a gentle embrace before pulling back the bedclothes and gesturing for her to come and sit beside him. “I am sorry for that dreadful business this evening. You were right to be angry with all of us, carrying on like that. I am sure de Bourgh and I would have had words at some point during his stay, we always do, but tonight of all nights, it was horrible of me. Can you forgive me for being so beastly?”

Anne nestled in close to her husband, her head on his shoulder and one hand on his chest as they lay back against the pillows. “I forgive you, dearest. I am sure my brother Henry must have come in already worked into such a state.”

“And I ought to have known Sir Lewis would make this whole ordeal about himself. Not a thought for how close he came to nearly losing his wife today! When I think of it – when I think of how it might have been you….”

Anne raised her fingertips to George’s lips. “Hush, my love. I am safe. Only I….”

“What is it? You are not concealing some injury from me, are you?”

“No, not at all. I was a little knocked about, of course, but nothing serious. Nothing at all like – oh, it was so horrible. I shall never forget the sight of it, that is all I meant to say. I feel as though I am forever changed by what I have seen today.”

“I daresay we both are, my love. It is no small thing, to see a man die, to hear his final words. To see so much suffering – but I am proud of you. I always have been, but never more than today. You were like a lioness looking after her cubs.”

Anne smiled sadly. “They are such dear children.”

George placed his hand on hers. “I know it is your wish – that is, you have wanted to give me more children, but after today, Anne, I would beg you give it up. I cannot bear the thought of losing you, whether it be on the journey to some doctor in Bath who might be able to help, or if you were to conceive again, and….”

Anne sniffled, and brought her hand up to her face as if to stop the tears from coming. “Oh George, do not ask me this. Not tonight, I can scarcely think clearly. I almost agree with you, perhaps it is not worth it. My madness for more children led me to this folly, and it has cost a man his life, a man who will never see his own daughters grow up. Yet, all those hours I spent in the nursery today…. I ought to be ashamed of how happy it made me to be with those dear sweet girls. I want one so badly, George. I want to be a mother again.”

George cradled his wife in his arms as she wept. “Let us not think of it now, dearest. It has been a difficult day, and nothing need be decided just now. If the Almighty wishes us to have any more children, we shall have them. For now, he has given us the Bennets to care for, and I daresay we had better get some rest so that we can do our best to face whatever tomorrow brings.”

****

About A Sister’s Curse

Two families from very different situations in life are linked forever after a fatal accident on the Great North Road. This tragedy breeds years of sorrow and misunderstanding as well as prosperity and even romance in an emotional coming of age tale not only for Elizabeth Bennet, but for her sisters, and even the adults who let them down.

For nearly two decades, Edward Gardiner is haunted by the difficult decisions he has made. Lady Anne Darcy must bear all the guilt and delight of being granted her heart’s desire… at a price. The Fitzwilliam family has motives and misgivings of their own as the Earl of Matlock tries to keep them all together, right the wrongs of the past, and pave the way for the next generation.

Fitzwilliam Darcy realizes too late what it means to be a brother, and is faced with a parts of his past he regrets, just as his desire to protect the family he loves leads him back to the woman he was destined to love the most… a woman who despises him.

Elizabeth Bennet struggles through the turbulence of adolescence, her judgement clouded by past trauma and the complicated dynamics of her extended family. Secrets are revealed and re-examined as she is forced to come to terms with the truth of her past and the promise of her future, in a family bound together by heartbreak.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:
This story is based on a deviation from canon 18 years prior to the opening of Pride & Prejudice. Several canon characters are omitted entirely, and aside from Darcy and Elizabeth, the story will focus on several minor canon characters. Some of these characters have developed differently from canon due to the events of the story as they unfold. New characters have also been introduced: the Earl and Countess of Matlock and their children: the Viscount and Lady Charlotte, as well as the Dowager Countess of Matlock, lady Olivia Gardiner and Rose Gardiner, Sir Lewis de Bourgh and Elliot de Bourgh. This story may be unsuitable for anyone triggered by the loss of a spouse, parent or child.

Elizabeth Bennet struggles through the turbulence of adolescence, her judgement clouded by past trauma and the complicated dynamics of her extended family. Secrets are revealed and re-examined as she is forced to come to terms with the truth of her past and the promise of her future, in a family bound together by heartbreak.

Buy on Amazon

****

Giveaway

Jayne is offering an ebook giveaway of A Sister’s Curse as part of the blog tour. To enter, use this Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

Thank you, Jayne, for being my guest today and congratulations on your new release!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »