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Today’s guests are the authors of the new anthology, A Very Austen Romance: Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, and Mandy H. Cook. I’m a huge fan of these Austen anthologies, so I was thrilled to hear there was a third installment. These talented authors are here to share a little about their collection of novellas, along with a few excerpts. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did. Please give them a warm welcome!

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We are very excited to offer our third anthology to you, A Very Austen Romance.

That’s right, we’re back with another “book that friendship built.” This sounds like a marketing slogan, but with us it’s actually true. The Internet is how we met, and over the years we have encouraged one another as writers. One day we hope to meet together in person. For now, come share our friendship as we offer these new, Austen-inspired Regency novellas to you.

This time, Chautona Havig is joining us as guest author. Chautona is new to JAFF, but she is not at all a newbie writer.

A Very Austen Romance is ready-made for summer reading. And goodness, this book is LONG. (You’ll know that if you peek at the price of the paperback!)

We love these stories, and we think you will too. You’ll smile, you’ll sigh, and you’ll even laugh a little.

Kindle Unlimited subscribers, A Very Austen Romance is ready and waiting!

Here’s what’s inside:

The King of Hearts by Robin Helm

Twenty-year-old Kitty Bennet, the only unmarried Bennet sister, goes for an extended visit with Mr. and Mrs. Darcy in London where Elizabeth decides to host a coming out ball in Kitty’s honor.

Four eligible bachelors compete for Kitty’s favor, but only one can win her hand.

Kitty has the wonderful, awful task of selecting one from a field of no bad choices. Which man will she choose?

You’ve Got to Kiss the Girl by Laura Hile

It is Darcy’s duty to marry Anne—and Lady Catherine is determined to see that he does, even if she must have him abducted! But her nefarious plan goes horribly wrong, for the kidnappers seize the wrong girl.

A Step Too Far by Wendi Sotis

While touring his friend’s new estate, Fitzwilliam Darcy comes across a young lady in jeopardy. Even though coming to her aid could also ruin her reputation, he refuses to risk her life by leaving her in such a perilous situation.

During her daily amble, Miss Elizabeth Bennet takes one step too many. Is she in love with the man who saved her life, or is it simply a deep sense of obligation that will fade with time?

John Knightley Takes a Wife by Barbara Cornthwaite

Young John Knightley is in love—so in love that he agrees to invite the beautiful Miss Maria Dudley’s wild younger brother for a visit to the family estate at Donwell Abbey. John finds he’s got his work cut out for him thanks to Dudley’s fondness for pranks and port. But when Dudley sets his sights on Isabella Woodhouse—or, rather, her fortune—John’s views on love and honor are challenged and he must decide what kind of man he really wants to be.

In the Looking Glass by Mandy H Cook

Fanny Bingley, twenty-year-old daughter of Jane and Charles Bingley, chafes under the restrictions placed upon women of her time period. She decides to take matters into her own hands, and unlike her ten siblings, charts her own course to love, finding a husband in an unlikely manner.

Charming Miss Dashwood by Chautona Havig

All Conrad Thayer wanted was a respite in the country and the luxury of days spent in a fine library. However, Margaret Dashwood and a roving band of “highwaymen” have stolen that opportunity, and in regard to Miss Dashwood, his heart along with it.

We are:

Robin Helm

Robin Helm of South Carolina, author of Understanding Elizabeth and More to Love.

Laura Hile

Laura Hile, author of Darcy By Any Other Name and So This Is Love, from northwest Oregon.

Wendi Sotis

From Long Island, New York, Wendi Sotis, author of With My Whole Heart Forever and A Lesson Hard Learned.

Barbara Cornthwaite

Barbara Cornthwaite, author of the George Knightley, Gentleman books and a soon-to-be-released cozy mystery series, from rural Ireland.

Mandy H. Cook

Living in Maryland (for now), globe-trotting Mandy H Cook, author of The Gifted.

Chautona Havig

Joining us as Guest Author, from California’s Tehachapi Desert is Chautona Havig, author of Allerednic and many other titles.

Connect with the A Very Austen authors: Facebook | Amazon

Buy links:

A Very Austen Romance is available as an eBook and paperback, and is also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon | Goodreads

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Excerpts

From A Step Too Far  by Wendi Sotis

Darcy had made his decision to avoid the lady, and since he had thought of little else since, it made absolutely no sense that, upon returning to the house after their morning ride, when Mrs. Curtis informed them that Miss Elizabeth was feeling well enough to traipse down the corridor for a change of scenery, he experienced a burning need to rush through his toilette so he could come here, to the music room, and wait. All the while, he found himself anxiously hoping that Miss Elizabeth did not suffer a relapse and have to cancel her outing again.

In fact, after not seeing her the entire day yesterday, he felt if he did not have the opportunity to lay eyes on her and speak to her very soon, he might actually perish.

He stopped pacing and inhaled deeply. It is quite possible I have gone mad!

“What is wrong, Darcy?” Bingley asked.

He shook his head to end his stupor. “Why do you ask?”

Bingley laughed. “You look as though the devil himself had just walked up to greet you.”

Darcy ignored the comment. “What are we doing here, Bingley? It is the middle of the day. We should be hunting or fishing, or riding out to the tenant houses to check on the progress of the labourers.”

“We just returned from doing exactly that, Darcy.” Bingley’s expression was one of exaggerated concern. “Are you sure all is right with you?”

Annoyed, he answered, “I am fine.”

Bingley seemed satisfied. “Well then, to answer your question, we are here awaiting the ladies.”

Darcy clenched his jaw. “Have you checked with Mrs. Curtis? Are they coming, or have you assumed they are? Are we wasting our time here, Bingley?”

“They are, at this very moment, preparing to join us.”

As Bingley finished his pronouncement, the door opened. Bingley sprang from his chair and moved towards it.

In came Miss Bennet. Bingley stopped short, his grin was so wide the corners of his lips almost reached his ears.

Miss Bennet looked up, smiled at Bingley, and then blushed heartily as she turned to push the door open wider.

Miss Elizabeth came through next, leaning heavily on a footman’s arm.

Envy exploded in Darcy’s chest. Or was it jealousy? He pushed the thought away.

No, Darcy was angry—at himself. He was a gentleman. Gentlemen are supposed to predict a lady’s needs and fulfill them, but he had not anticipated that Miss Elizabeth would require an escort. If he were sane, perhaps he would have waited in the corridor outside her chambers. This simply proved again that he was not in full wits.

Before he knew what he was about, Darcy had already moved across the room and offered his arm to the injured lady.

He flared his nostrils. So much for avoiding her.

When Miss Elizabeth’s clear, jade-green eyes caught his gaze, it was as if every unpleasant feeling he had experienced in the past day and a half were swept away, leaving behind only an agreeable warmth in his soul. His heart swelled when, without hesitation, she reached out and wrapped her hand around his arm.

Why did she have this effect on him? And why did he enjoy it so much?

She smiled and all rational thought left his head.

From John Knightley Takes a Wife by Barbara Corthwaite

It was obvious to George, watching from across the room, that the enchanting Miss Dudley appeared to have his brother on a string. It was also clear to him that she was a heartless little flirt. While she danced with John, she had eyes for no one but him, and seemed to convey that there was nothing on earth so fascinating to her as whatever he was talking about. George was too far away to hear what they were saying, of course, but he could see them bantering and laughing with each other. During the next dance, when John had a different partner, George watched Miss Dudley dance with another young man. She looked just as happy to be dancing with him as she had with John, and when the dance ended she said something quietly to him that made his face light up. A sense of foreboding crept over George.

John, for his part, was elated for himself and irritated with his brother. He had known that George would not dance, but he thought he might have put himself out more. Part of his reason for inviting George had indeed been so that he might meet the incomparable Maria. But another, almost equally strong reason was so that he could fall in love himself. George was always sequestered away at Donwell with no eligible young ladies anywhere nearby, growing old alone. He was settling into middle age much too rapidly—it would do him good to be in love and provide a mistress for Donwell. In the giddiness of his own infatuation, John was eager to see everyone around him matched up as well. He had allowed himself to hope that George would meet a lady who would so awaken his admiration that he would instantly ask her to dance.

But there George was instead, talking sedately to Major Thomas, while ladies of all ages eyed him in varying degrees of furtiveness and positioned themselves near him in case he would be inclined to ask to be introduced to them. George could, no doubt, have won any one of them—he was handsome, wealthy, and honorable.

“He will not take the trouble to invest in his own happiness,” muttered John, and went over to his brother to see if he could provoke him into doing such a thing.

“Is Arthur Dudley here?” George asked before John could say anything.

“No. I thought he would be, but it appears he cried off.”

“I see you had your dances with Miss Dudley.”

“I intend to have more.”

“Do you? How very optimistic you are. It seems that there are any number of young bucks waiting to ask her to dance.”

“At least I know you will not be of that number.”

“I think I may break with tradition and ask her. She is, after all, very beautiful.”

The corner of John’s mouth quivered. “I think I will punish you for that.” He glanced around and saw a lady passing. “Miss Oliver!”
The young lady paused and turned toward the brothers. She was a plain-faced woman of about twenty-eight, but she had an intelligent eye and a ready smile.

“How do you do, Mr. Knightley?”

“Very well, I thank you. May I present my brother, Mr. George Knightley? He hopes to engage you for the two next dances.”

From You’ve Got to Kiss the Girl by Laura Hile

Bound, gagged, and blindfolded, Mr. Darcy is being transported to who-knows-where. Then he realizes that he is not alone …
The wheels hit another rut in the road. This one was deep, and the wagon swayed dangerously. “What in blue blazes?” shouted a woman’s voice. “This ain’t no time to be drinking, you git!”

“A fellow needs something to warm him,” a man’s voice shouted back. “That wind cuts like a knife.”

“If we break an axle out here, we’re done for.”

“Hobgoblins and ghostly horsemen of the moor? Bah. Bogeys to scare children.”

“Not goblins, you dolt. Marshes and bogs have what they calls quicksand. That what swallows man and beast alive. So keep your wits about you.”

“It’s Dartmoor Prison I’m not liking. Too close for comfort, that is.”

Darcy frowned in an effort to think. The vile potion his captors had him swilling made his head swim. Dartmoor Prison. Did this mean they were in Devon?

The wagon gave another jolt and listed to one side. “Gor blast it, Manny! Slow down! We’ll be ditched if you keep to this pace.”

The wagon righted itself and went lumbering on. Darcy heard his fellow prisoner groan.

Here was another perplexity. That he was kidnapped for ransom was understandable, but why involve a woman?

Unless it was his cousin, Anne.

Of course it was Anne. Who else could it be? Even without this ordeal, his cousin’s life was not a happy one. And now she was being held for ransom.

With a miserable howl, the wind buffeted the wagon’s high sides. “Blast this infernal wind!” the man shouted. “What was Jackman thinking?

Why this godforsaken place?”

“For easy money, that’s what. Nab the gent and the girl; dump them here and clear out.”

“Why not hide ’em in London? Instead of driving two hundred miles and more in all this cold? What I wouldn’t give for a warm fire and a pint.”

“We’ll have both soon enough, once we get free of the moor. If you don’t ditch the wagon!”

The wind howled, and his captors continued to complain. At length Darcy grew weary of listening to them. If only his headache would abate, perhaps then he could think!

Sometime later he woke to more cursing.

“How do you know it’s the right house?”

“Only one out here, dolt. Can’t miss it, Jackman said. There’s the lake and there’s the house.”

At last the wagon ground to a halt. Darcy came fully awake, every sense on the alert. God only knew what would come next.

“Took you long enough,” a voice shouted.

“This ain’t exactly the easiest spot to find. Lend a hand. I want to be away before nightfall.”

“No need to be telling me twice.”

When the wagon’s doors came open, Darcy felt the bite of the cold wind. The scent of rain was in the air.

Anne was taken from the wagon first, and she moaned several times. This was difficult to hear, but it meant she was alive.

Presently the men returned for Darcy. He was pulled into a sitting position, and the rope binding his ankles was removed. When his feet met the ground, Darcy realised that he wore only stockings. What had happened to his riding boots?

“March,” someone ordered. Darcy did so, stumbling over wet, rocky terrain. And then it began to rain. A chorus of curses erupted.

Rough hands pushed Darcy along. Then a surprise: his feet encountered wooden boards. The hollow sound reminded Darcy of a dock, and his guess turned out to be correct. Amid complaints about his size and weight, he was lowered into a small boat. The rain gained in strength; Darcy could hear it hissing against the surface of the water. Oars were fitted; the boat swayed precariously. Finally, it was pushed clear of the dock.

Darcy struggled to think. Were he and Anne being taken out of England? But that could not be right. To board a seagoing vessel, shouldn’t they be in a port city? Hold hard, someone had mentioned a lake. Was this significant? He wished he knew.

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Giveaway

The authors are very generously offering an ebook copy of A Very Austen Romance to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. The giveaway is open through Thursday, July 2, 2020. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you to all the authors for being my guests today, and congratulations on your new release! I’m sure I’m not the only one who hopes there’s another anthology on the horizon…

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I’m delighted to help Sue Barr kick off her blog tour for Georgiana, book three in a series I absolutely adore! (Check out my reviews of Caroline and Catherine). Sue is here to talk about why she chose to write about the secondary characters in Pride and Prejudice, and there’s a giveaway as well. Please give her a warm welcome!

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First and foremost, thank you for kicking off the blog tour for my latest release, GEORGIANA: Pride & Prejudice continued… Book Three.

I’ve been asked why I decided to write about Pride & Prejudice’s secondary characters instead of our beloved dear couple. Especially Georgiana who had but a brief cameo in the original novel with no direct lines of conversation. The answer is a bit twisted and came from an unexpected source.

In 2014, I joined the fan fiction site, A Happy Assembly and decided to write my own Austen inspired Regency story. I’m a visual person and because of that, began to scour cover art sites to see what was available by way of Regency inspired book covers. I stumbled across a pre-made cover a beautiful red-haired woman. Instantaneously, I thought of Caroline Bingley.

All of these happen-chances coalesced with me asking, ‘Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and Mr. Darcy became engaged to the Bennet sisters?’ From that, Caroline was born. There were two other matching covers and with no hesitation I determined they would be Catherine and Georgiana.

Whereas one question about Caroline provided me a beginning, an internal thought and a heartfelt desire provided an ending. First, when I imagined Georgiana’s history and how the family dealt with her ‘incident’ I wanted Maxwell to hear Darcy say “I can’t make this one go away”, followed by Max thinking, “What does Darcy mean by this one?” Once that little pot of conflict began a slow boil, images of Georgiana at her escritoire, quill in hand popped into my head. She’d just written, “My darling Maxwell. May I call you Maxwell, for that is how I think of you.”

Why would she be writing him and why would he be offended if she called him by his given name? Immediately, their estrangement and the reason became clear and within the hour I’d penned all of her letters which are featured near the end of the book.

I’d love to paint a picture of why Maxwell does what he does upon his discovery of Georgiana’s previous compromise, but a single blog post won’t do it justice. Besides, I want you to read ALL of the book and judge for yourself. Georgiana is available exclusively on Amazon until May 1 when she will be launched to other digital retailers.

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About Georgiana

She longs for true love…

A dowry of thirty thousand pounds places a hefty weight upon the shoulders of Miss Georgiana Darcy. Her tender heart has been broken before by a cad who cared not one whit for who she was, but as a prize to be won, and she fears no man will ever see the worth of her heart.

Duty and honor…

These are the stalwart columns which hold up the life of Maxwell Kerr, Fifth Duke of Adborough. After rescuing Miss Darcy from an inescapable compromise, an offer of marriage is as natural to him as breathing air. When he discovers this is not the first compromise she has evaded, anger becomes his faithful companion and threatens their tenuous bonds of love and respect.

Buy on Amazon (U.S. | U.K. | CA | AU)

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About the Author

Sue Barr

“The prairie dust is in my blood but no longer on my shoes.”

Sue Barr coined that phrase when once asked where she came from. Although it’s been over thirty-seven years since she called Saskatchewan home, her roots to that straight-lined province and childhood friends run deep. The only thing strong enough to entice her to pack up and leave was love. When a handsome Air Force pilot met this small-town girl, he swept her off her feet and they embarked on a fantastic adventure which found them settled in beautiful Southwestern Ontario when hubby retired from the military and began his second career as an airline pilot.

Sue started writing in 2009 and sold her first manuscript in 2010. For four years she was published under the pen name of Madison J. Edwards, and in 2014 began to write sweet contemporary romance under her own name. Always a reader of Regency romance, she discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction through a childhood friend who writes under the name of Suzan Lauder. Almost immediately a question popped into her head, “Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and Mr. Darcy became engaged to a Bennet sister?” and the “Pride & Prejudice Continued…” series was launched.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and its satellite chapter, The Beau Monde. She is one course away from achieving her Professional Creative Writer’s certificate from the University of Western Ontario’s continuing study curriculum. In her spare time, she cans and preserves her own food, cooks almost everything from scratch and grows herbs to dehydrate and make into seasoning. Hubby has no complaints other than his trousers keep shrinking. At least that’s what he claims…. Oh, the kids and grandkids don’t mind this slight obsession either.

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Giveaway

Sue is generously giving away 3 ebook copies of Georgiana as part of the blog tour. You must enter through this Rafflecopter link. This is giveaway is open internationally through March 12. Good luck!

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Thank you, Sue, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new release and blog tour!

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Happy New Year! I hope 2020 has wonderful things in store for you all.

I’m spending time with my family today and enjoying having my daughter home from college until late January. But I wanted to take some time to share with you my favorites of the 25 books I read last year.

In 2020, I hope to read more, and more widely. I’ve been missing WWII historical fiction, and I also want to make my way through the pile of Jill Mansell and Karen White books on my shelf. I also hope to finish the first draft of my novel; I’m at around 25,000 words so far.

Have you made any plans for the coming year? I’d also love to know what your favorite books from last year were or what’s on your 2020 reading list.

I also want to thank you all for visiting my blog. I love sharing my love of reading with my fellow bookaholics, and I hope you know how much you all mean to me. I wish you all a fantastic 2020!

Love,

Anna

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Dear readers, you’re in for a treat today! Endeavour Media is sharing an excerpt of Gabrielle Malcolm’s upcoming release There’s Something About Darcy: The Curious Appeal of Jane Austen’s Betwitching Hero. The book is due out on November 11, but while you wait, enjoy this excerpt, and then enter the EPIC giveaway!

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Hero, Protector, Nobleman, Bastard?

Darcy is simply ‘Darcy’ to his friends, social circle and relatives – Colonel Fitzwilliam and Lady Catherine De Bourgh. Darcy is related to nobility through his mother and aunt, even though he himself never has a title. He does, however, have a ‘noble mien’.

‘Fitzwilliam’ is from the Norman French and Germanic languages. Fitz means ‘son of’ and ‘Wilhelm’ can be translated as ‘protector’. From Tudor and Stuart times Fitz was also ascribed to the illegitimate sons of kings and nobility (Fitzroy, Fitzhenry, Fitzherbert). Was Austen implying that Darcy was descended from royalty, but from the wrong side of the sheets?

‘Fitzwilliam Darcy’ certainly rings with patrician respectability and dignity, established property and money. Austen chose her language carefully, and the attention to the name conveys an impression of historic pedigree. It carries with it a tradition of Norman French and landed gentry. D’Arcy refers to an inhabitant of the town of Arcy in La Manche. It has different variants and spellings: Dorcey, D’orsay and d’Orsai. William de Arcai was a knight granted land in Lincolnshire by William the Conqueror. He was succeeded by William Daresai, who was later succeeded by Roger Arsi, and eventually Thomas Darcy – with the familiar spelling.

Darcy is distinguished, via this etymology, as a figure of authority with an extended Anglo-Norman heritage. There are also associations with the Irish Protestant landed gentry. With this there might be a nod towards Thomas Lefroy, a young man from Austen’s past. In Gaelic, O’Dorchaidhe (O Dor-kay-da) means ‘descendant of the dark one’. A stern, brooding, tall, dark, and handsome hero? The romantic significance of the Irish connection probably meant a lot to the author thanks to her friendship with Lefroy.

So, as we investigate Austen and her famous hero in a social, cultural and historic context we discover various factors that come into play when thinking about his origins. He has, perhaps, a ‘right’ to be proud according to Charlotte Lucas, with his ‘fortune’ and his ‘favour’. He does have great attributes as we will discover, as well as distinct flaws. This makes him an interesting, enduring character who has a versatility that might not be obvious at first.

Colin Firth, in an interview for The Making of Pride and Prejudice (BBC Books, 1995) described the clarity with which Darcy’s character comes across in the novel. Austen’s depth and tone helped Firth (and the viewers) to see Darcy as a fully developed figure. What Firth found interesting was the complexity and truth that lay beneath the surface of the character. He knew that Jane Austen had an instinctive grasp of Darcy’s inner self; even though she did not always express it, it could be discerned, and we can see it in Firth’s performance. Her great ability with character gives them an internal and external life that, two centuries on, can be understood and acted.

This complex character has, since his creation, been broken down, reimagined and reinvented in various ways. For 200 years he has been with us in popular culture and is now such a familiar figure he has gained archetypal status in the early twenty-first century. He is an archetype that can be repeated in different stories and remain recognisable. There are shorthand ways now, of instantly supplying us with the idea of Darcy in different media, literature, folklore and drama. This is what the following chapters will examine, beginning with the literary formulation of him in Pride and Prejudice, and taking in Austen’s influences from other novelists.

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About There’s Something About Darcy

For some, Colin Firth emerging from a lake in that clinging wet shirt is one of the most iconic moments in television. What is it about the two-hundred-year-old hero that we so ardently admire and love?

Dr Malcolm examines Jane Austen’s influences in creating Darcy’s potent mix of brooding Gothic hero, aristocratic elitist and romantic Regency man of action. She investigates how he paved the way for later characters like Heathcliff, Rochester and even Dracula, and what his impact has been on popular culture over the past two centuries. For twenty-first century readers the world over have their idea of the ‘perfect’ Darcy in mind when they read the novel and will defend their choice passionately.

In this insightful and entertaining study, every variety of Darcy jostles for attention: vampire Darcy, digital Darcy, Mormon Darcy and gay Darcy. Who does it best and how did a clergyman’s daughter from Hampshire create such an enduring character?

A must-read for every Darcy and Jane Austen fan.

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

Gabrielle Malcolm

Dr. Gabrielle Malcolm lectures and writes about Jane Austen in popular culture and the global fan phenomena surrounding Austen’s work. She is the author of Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen and is a regular speaker at the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath, and the Jane Austen Regency Week in Chawton. She lives in Bath.

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Giveaway

Endeavor Media is generously offering 10 copies of There’s Something About Darcy to my readers as part of the blog tour. This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. The giveaway will be open through Monday, November 11, 2019. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!!

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I have a treat for you today, dear readers! Victoria Kincaid is back to celebrate the release of her latest audiobooks, Darcy vs. Bennet and When Jane Got Angry. I loved both of these books, and I bet they are fantastic on audio. Please give Victoria a warm welcome!

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Hi Anna and thank you for welcoming me back to your blog! I have been very fortunate to have the wonderful Stevie Zimmerman narrate two of my recent audiobooks, Darcy vs. Bennet and When Jane Got Angry. She has a wonderful feeling for all the Pride and Prejudice characters and speaks with such nuance. I am particular fond of her voice for Darcy. Below are excerpts from both books—and, if you click on the links above you can hear samples of Stevie’s narration!

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From Darcy vs. Bennet

Darcy ran both his hands through his hair, completely disheveling it. There was a woman at the masquerade. I danced once with her. If she had not noticed Wickham with Georgiana and prevented their elopement, I would have been too late. She was very compassionate with Georgiana. My sister was much taken with her.”

“So you owe her a debt. What happened to this woman?” Richard asked.

“She disappeared,” Darcy mumbled. “After Wickham escaped and while I was comforting Georgiana. She simply left—left us, left the ball, everything.”

Richard rubbed his chin. “A woman ran away from Fitzwilliam Darcy?”

Darcy shot his cousin a quelling look, disliking this levity at his expense. “It is not as if there are many women running to me.”

“There would be if you wanted them.”

Darcy had no desire to have this conversation once more. He fell wearily into his chair. “I asked her if I could court her.”

“What?” Richard leaned forward so abruptly, some of his brandy spilled on the floor. “Why, that is wonderful!”

“She said no.”

Darcy’s cousin blinked and then frowned. “Are you certain you understood her correctly, Cuz? You are the kind of man all women dream of.”

Rather than being flattered, Darcy bristled at this compliment. “Apparently not all. She took the first opportunity to escape my company.”

“Perhaps she misunderstood your intentions. If you visit her house…”

“I cannot,” Darcy replied. “I know neither her surname nor where she lives.” He levered himself out of his chair and poured himself more brandy at the sideboard. This conversation required more alcohol.

“No surname?” Richard exclaimed.

“It was a masquerade” Darcy ground out. “I expected to learn her identity at midnight, but she was gone by then.”

“Surely your host could tell you—”

Darcy was already shaking his head. “There were three Elizabeths invited, but none were young and unmarried—with a headful of dark curls.”

“She was uninvited?”

“Apparently. I care nothing for that. But I wish I knew her name…”

“Perhaps she was from a neighboring estate.”

“I considered that as well. I questioned the Berwicks at length. No doubt they thought me unhinged. But they have no neighbors named Elizabeth who fit that description.”

“Perhaps she gave you a false name.”

“It is possible.” Darcy thought about how the name seemed to suit her. He threw himself back into his chair, unconcerned about how his clothes would crease. “Why did she run? I cared not that she was uninvited. But she is the first woman I ever—” He stopped before revealing too much. Richard might be his best friend, but Darcy did not discuss his feelings with anyone. He rubbed his face with his hands. “She did not know my name or that I am the heir of Pemberley, and yet she liked me. I swear she liked me!”

“Perhaps something else caused her to flee,” Richard suggested.

Darcy stared moodily into his brandy glass. “Such as?”

“She might be a member of a notorious smuggling ring…or perhaps a French spy. Or maybe she ran off to join the gypsies.” Richard grinned.

Darcy snorted. Under other circumstances he might have laughed.

Richard made an expansive gesture. “Now that you know what kind of woman you find attractive, you may look for—”

Darcy’s teeth ground together.  “There are no other women like her! Do you know how many women I have met in this quest for a wife? Hundreds! They all simper and agree with everything I say.”

“And Elizabeth did not?”

Darcy paused to think how he would describe her. “No…she…teased me. Challenged me. I do not know why I find that appealing.

A smile quirked one side of Richard’s mouth. “Perhaps because no other woman does so?”

“Perhaps.” Darcy stood again, leaning an arm against the mantel. “She likes Wordsworth and dislikes Byron.

Richard’s eyebrow arched. “You have rather specific requirements for a wife.”

Darcy ignored this; it was good to tell someone about Elizabeth even though he would never see her again. “And she reads the papers—knew the latest happenings on the Peninsula. She has read every travel book in her father’s library; I am sure she longs to travel.”

“Was she pretty?”

“Lovely! The finest eyes I have ever beheld. Dark curls of hair. A light and pleasing figure. I saw her for only a moment without her mask, but I will never forget…” He rubbed a hand over his face. “I will never find another like her.”

“Perhaps you will encounter her again. In our circles there are many Elizabeths—”

Darcy shook his head; he had given this matter a great deal of thought. “She is not a woman of the ton, I am certain. She had none of that languid affectation—and listed walking as one of her preferred occupations.”

Richard laughed. “No woman of the ton would admit to that.”

“Her gown was a rather simple affair. I guess her family is of more humble origins. The daughter of some local squire perhaps. But not a squire from Sussex.” He could not keep the bitterness from creeping into his voice.

Richard frowned. “Your father is unlikely to approve of a marriage to such a woman.”

“If I could have such a woman, I would make him accept her.” Darcy contemplated his empty brandy glass and considered if he wanted more.

“It would not be so easy,” Richard countered.

Darcy poured more brandy into his glass. No, nothing with his father was easy. “It hardly matters since I will never see her again.”

****

From When Jane Got Angry

Her heart fluttered in her chest like a bird beating its wings. She was nearly past Darcy House, and Mr. Bingley had not uttered a syllable. Jane was beginning to feel a little faint.

Without any conscious decision, she turned her head toward the figure that had just reached the bottom of the steps. It happened to be the very moment Mr. Bingley glanced up. Their eyes met with a mutual shock of recognition. Jane fancied she could hear an explosion.

“M-Miss B-Bennet!” Mr. Bingley’s voice rang out immediately.

Jane stopped immediately with a scrape of her boots on the pathway. This next moment would determine her future. Did he know she was in town? Would he wish to continue the acquaintance? Or would they have a polite conversation about the weather and part ways forever?

Words caught in her throat. “M-Mr. Bingley!” Nerves made her voice sound as surprised as his.

“What a splendid coincidence!” he exclaimed. Jane managed not to wince; there was nothing coincidental about it. “I had not the slightest idea you were in town.”

Aha! Her body remained taut as a cable, but something inside her melted with relief at these words. “I-I have been staying with my aunt and uncle Gardiner these two months,” she managed to say. “At Gracechurch Street.”

“Capital!” He rubbed his hands together. “Might you give me the direction? If, that is, they would be amenable to a visit.”

Jane’s heart was singing, but she strove to keep her face serene. “My aunt and uncle would be very pleased to meet you.”

“I thank you for the invitation. And Darcy would be—” Mr. Bingley broke off, perhaps realizing that Mr. Darcy might not be delighted to renew his acquaintance with Jane or meet her relatives in trade. “Well, I shall visit the Gardiners soon. Very soon!”

“That would be delightful,” Jane said, trying not to smile as if she had just received her heart’s desire.

Their immediate business had been concluded, and yet Mr. Bingley seemed reluctant to depart. “Your family is in good health?” he asked.

“Yes, they all enjoy excellent health.”

“Are any of your sisters also in town?”

“No. They all remain at Longbourn.”

“I see.” Mr. Bingley nodded and gave her a bit of dazed smile.

“And your sisters are in good health?” she asked.

“Yes, Caroline and Louisa are in the best of health— Oh, drat!”

“Mr. Bingley?”

“I am due for luncheon with them”—he opened his watch and peered at it—“now. In fact, I am overdue. I must go.”

“Of course,” she said faintly, hoping this was not her last encounter with the man.

He edged away from her, walking backward as if he could not bear to lose sight of her. “But I will call upon you!” he promised. “Gracechurch Street.” He walked faster, still backward, and Jane feared he would stumble over an unseen obstacle. He continued to wave, and she continued to return the gesture. Finally, he reached the corner. “Expect me soon!” he cried before turning.

Jane waved until he was out of sight.

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Giveaway

Victoria is offering one audiobook copy of each book (two winners, one for each book). The audiobook codes are for Audible U.S. and Audible U.K. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address, and let us know which book you’d prefer if you win. 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!

Thanks, Victoria, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new releases!

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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!

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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!

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“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.

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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/

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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

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Giveaway

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

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

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I am thrilled to have been chosen to reveal the cover of Suzan Lauder’s upcoming Meryton Press release, The Mist of Her Memory. I’ve long been a fan of Suzan’s Pride and Prejudice tales, and I’m looking forward to this romantic suspense variation.

I know you’re all eager to see the gorgeous cover from Janet Taylor, but first, the book blurb!

What happened that fateful morning in Lambton? What brutal attacker caused such grievous, near-fatal injuries? Does she remain in danger? Elizabeth cannot remember!

Sequestered in her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner’s London home, Elizabeth Bennet tries to recover from a devastating incident that stole her memories during their Derbyshire tour. She continues to suffer from strange, angry voices in her head and to recall events that people tell her never happened. Even those who love her refuse to believe her. Elizabeth can barely endure the confusion!

Fitzwilliam Darcy is desperate for any hint of his beloved’s well-being, yet he lacks the information he seeks as her family forbids him contact with Elizabeth. His frustration mounts when he learns that her mental impairment incited taunting and torment in her home village of Meryton.

Which of Elizabeth’s recollections bear the closest resemblance to the truth? And what is the result of her sister Lydia’s elopement with Mr. Wickham? How is Mr. Darcy to rekindle his romance with Elizabeth when her aunt and uncle strictly shield her from him?

Prepare to grip the edge of your seat during this original romantic tale of suspense and mystery, another Pride and Prejudice variation by bestselling author Suzan Lauder.

“Suzan Lauder skillfully weaves a story that submerges you into the plot and doesn’t let go. The Mist of Her Memory’s twists and turns hold a well-guarded secret that keeps you guessing until the very end.”

– author L. L. Diamond

Doesn’t that sound fantastic?!?

And now…here is The Mist of Her Memory:

I think the cover perfectly captures the suspense and mystery in the description, and I love how their eyes seem to say so much.

Here’s the full cover:

I’m hoping you all are as eager to read this book as I am. Get your copy on Amazon (U.S./U.K.) today!

Now, let’s show Suzan and Janet some love in the comments!

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August Break

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer!

I just wanted to let you know that, aside from two pre-scheduled reviews (The 26th of November by Elizabeth Adams on August 2, and What’s Past Is Prologue by Ann Galvia on August 9), I will be taking the month off from blogging.

My daughter is leaving for college at the end of the month, and there is still so much to do! I will be back with more reviews and author features after Labor Day!

Take care,

Anna

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I am thrilled to welcome Georgina Young-Ellis back to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate her latest release, Incandescent. You’re in for a treat today, dear readers, as Georgina is here today to tell you a little about the book, share an excerpt, and offer a giveaway. Please give her a warm welcome!

I love Jane Austen. I have loved her for decades. Long ago, it would never have occurred to me to write Fan Fiction, especially based on Jane Austen’s work—after all, it wasn’t even a thing until somewhat recently. Yet my first book, The Time Baroness, a romantic time travel novel, was written in homage to Jane Austen, so in a way, it was my first foray into Fan Fiction though I didn’t know it at the time. Since then, I’ve written three other books in that series, (the fifth on the way) and six actual JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) novellas.

Since I’m going to be starting a graduate program in Spanish Language and Literature in the fall, I decided I better get all the writing done that I want to do for the time being, as it will be two years, I’m sure, before I’ll have time to devote to it again. That brings me to Incandescent, my latest JAFF, just released April 28th. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

In this modern day twist on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, The Elliots are Hollywood Royalty – a family of actors going back three generations. Annie Elliot has been cast to play Elizabeth Bennet in a new movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that takes place during the Belle Epoque, circa 1910, with a multi-racial cast. But who will her Mr. Darcy be? As the two stories mix and intermingle on and off camera, hearts are broken, love is found, and diversity is celebrated.

Several years ago, I had the idea of turning Persuasion into a modern day story, with the characters as actors, making a Regency film of it while also living out the plot in real life. That then morphed into the actors making a film of Pride and Prejudice, while living out both novels in real life. The result is something I think is unique, romantic, and also a lot of fun. Here is how Chapter One of Incandescent starts out:

“Annie Elliot, the hottest young actress in Hollywood!” the papers screamed after the box office of her latest film broke records. At merely the age of nineteen, Annie had everything, or so said the press: the looks, the body, the talent…and the family. Did she believe it? Well, she couldn’t argue that she had the family. “Hollywood royalty,” they called the Elliots. No matter how many times, however, she tried to tell herself she would have had a successful career even without a famous grandfather, father, mother, and sister, she knew it wasn’t true. Okay, sure, if she didn’t have the talent, she wouldn’t have gotten as far as she had, but the average pounding-the-pavement-actor doesn’t even get the auditions without connections, and she had connections for days.

It was April in New York City. Awards season had come and gone. Annie had been nominated in the Best Actress category for all the major awards, for a film that had been released in the fall. She’d won the Screen Actors Guild Award, but not the other big ones. That was fine. Young actors had to pay their dues. Besides, she’d just been cast as Juliet in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo and Juliet, and nothing was more prestigious for an actor, young or old, than to do Shakespeare in the Park at the open air Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Her father, Walter Elliot, who everyone, including his friends, now called Sir Walter because he’d won an Oscar playing Sir Francis Drake, had, over the course of his career, done Shakespeare in the Park several times, playing everything from Mercutio in R and J, to Prospero in The Tempest only recently. Her mother had once played Juliet there too, as well as Ophelia, Titania, and Lady Macbeth.

Annie had flown to New York for the audition, gotten the part right away, and was now staying in her parents’ loft in Soho. She loved the city. Maybe after the play was over, she’d stay for a few years and get her own apartment. It would be fun to be a New York actor for a change. Maybe even do Broadway.

On the day before rehearsals started, Annie picked up a copy of the Sunday Times. This was her guilty pleasure, something she used to see her grandfather do. In the age of electronic news, she still loved to get the Sunday paper: The Los Angeles Times when she was there, the New York Times here, spreading it out on the coffee table, a fresh bagel and a cup of coffee handy, and reading it from end to end. In the Arts and Entertainment section, a big article about Shakespeare in the Park jumped out at her, her name featured prominently. She skimmed through it. They made much of the fact that the late Susan Elliot’s daughter would be playing the title role in Romeo and Juliet, the role the beloved actress had once portrayed so beautifully. Annie set the article aside and took a big swig of coffee. Nothing like a little pressure!

Monday morning, she woke up with butterflies in her stomach. Instead of hopping on the train or grabbing an Uber, she walked from the loft to the Public Theater at Astor Place, where the cast would work until the director was ready to have them move to the Delacorte Theater. It was pretty far from Soho to the East Village, but the exercise would work off all that nervous energy. In fact, springtime in the city proved to be just the remedy. It had rained the night before and the air was fresh and cool. Trees were blooming everywhere and flowers in planters added splashes of color to a town which had been grey with winter for so long and was just now starting to come alive again.

She got to the theater right on time and the first person she spotted was her manager, Cynthia Russell, who waved at her from her seat among the few invited guests for this first read-through. Cynthia had been her mom’s manager too when she was alive. It had been about a month since they’d last seen each other in L.A. Annie went to her and gave her a big hug.

“Hi, my darling,” Cynthia said, “you look wonderful.”

Annie was wearing a pink, vintage dress with a white cardigan sweater, and lavender tights with a pair of black Doc Marten boots.

“Thank you, so do you,” which was the truth. Though in her fifties, Cynthia was well-preserved and in good shape, a handsome woman at any age.

“Have you met your Romeo yet?” Cynthia pointed out a young man, sitting shyly at the table where the other actors were gathering.

Annie knew her Romeo’s name, Frederick Wentworth, but that was all. Her mouth fell open when she saw him. Never had she seen a more beautiful man. He was a combination of a Paul Newman and Taye Diggs, if that were possible, with a chiseled jaw and startling eyes.

“That’s Frederick Wentworth?”

“I know. Handsome, isn’t he? His headshot doesn’t do him justice. If I weren’t a good thirty years older than he is…”

“Cynthia!” Annie snorted.

“I jest. I just met him, and he is extremely amiable, but, if I had a son, he would be his age. No, he’s safe with me.”

“Good to know, Cynth.” Annie winked at her. “See you after the reading.”

She went and took a seat opposite Frederick and he looked up and smiled. Their eyes met and locked.

“Hello,” he said softly.

“Hi,” she replied.

Then the director walked in. The cast had been given their script a few weeks before and Annie had memorized her lines, happy to see there weren’t too many cuts. People should not mess around with Shakespeare.

They went around the table and everyone introduced themselves. Frederick, it turned out, liked to be called Freddy. The director then talked for a few minutes about his vision for the production and the reading got under way. As Annie read her lines, she barely looked at the script, and neither did Freddy. The fact was, it was hard to look away from him. His gaze captivated her as his character spoke his first lines to Juliet, holding out his hand to her. She took it across the table. It was warm and strong.

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand his holy shrine,” he said, “the gentle fine is this: my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

The sweet conversation between the two lovers-to-be continued. Though having just met, they would exchange their first kiss. Annie wondered, if she had been sitting next to instead of across from him, would he have brushed her lips with his?

The play built in intensity. The young teenagers, as the characters are supposed to be, fall immediately in love, and vow to be married, though, of course, their families are enemies and will never allowed it, as well as the fact that Juliet is to marry someone else. After Romeo is banished for killing Juliet’s cousin in retaliation for the murder of Romeo’s best friend, comes the scene of the lovers waking in the morning after spending the night together, knowing full well that Romeo must flee the town, and they might never see each other again. Their words of love at their parting felt unbearable to Annie. Then finally, of course, the two lovers die in the last moments of the play.

By the end of the reading, the other actors, the director, and everyone else present were in tears. Annie’s heart was pounding, her face hot. She felt as one with Juliet—that she had fallen in love at first sight, committed her life to her lover, and lost him, all in the course of two hours. While everyone composed themselves, Annie went to get a drink of water. Freddy was at her side a moment later.

“Are you all right?” he asked her. She looked up at him. His face was tender, concerned.

She smiled. “Yes. I didn’t expect the first reading to be so powerful.”

“It was, wasn’t it? You were wonderful.”

His clear, blue eyes, intense in contrast to his tawny skin, pierced her soul. “Thank you.” She had to look away for a moment. “So were you.”

Just then Cynthia hurried up to her. “Can I steal her for a moment?”

Annie was almost relieved as Freddy nodded and stepped away.

“Annie, that was amazing.” Cynthia gushed. “I have never seen a better Juliet! It was every bit as good as when your dear mother played her.”

“This was just a rehearsal,” Annie demurred. “Who knows how it will be when I’m finally on stage in front of an audience.”

“Oh, nonsense. You were born to play this role. And Frederick! My God, the chemistry between you!”

Heat rose to Annie’s cheeks again.

Cynthia observed her closely. “Be careful. It’s never a good idea to fall for your leading man.”

“I’m not going to fall for him!” Annie declared, but there was no use denying it. Freddy Wentworth was intoxicating. He was yet practically an unknown, though it turned out he had made a name for himself locally in some very good Off-Broadway productions. She had certainly never heard of him before he was cast by the Public Theatre for R and J, but had no doubt he was going to be big.

The first time they did the scene in Juliet’s bedchamber without scripts, Annie lost herself in the desire of her character and in Freddy’s passion. Suddenly, they were no longer acting. The director had asked them to create as sensual a moment as possible while still keeping it PG13, but they didn’t even have to try. From that moment on, every time they looked into each other’s eyes, Annie fell harder. But did Freddy feel the same? They didn’t talk much off stage. She was shy. He was reticent. But on stage, there were fireworks.

The show opened to previews, and the critics were ecstatic. “Elliot and Wentworth are magic together!” One paper cried.

“You feel you are intruding on an extremely intimate moment between two innocents, blissfully exploring their first act of love together, giving themselves over to each other wholly,” another enthused.

The cast went out after the show that night to celebrate. Freddy was at Annie’s side the whole time though they spoke little. When she finally decided to leave, he asked if he could share a cab with her.

“Do you live downtown?”

“No,” he replied with a grin.

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! Please visit my website to see all my work—time travel and JAFF alike! www.georginayoungellis.com

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Wow, thanks so much for sharing, Georgina! I think this has got to be the most unique mashup I’ve seen so far, and I’m definitely going to have to get my hands on a copy. For those of you as intrigued as I am, you can purchase Incandescent on Amazon.

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About the Author

Georgina Young-Ellis

Georgina lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband who is an artist, writer, and teacher. They have a son who is a professional musician in New York City, where they all lived for eighteen years. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and was a stage actress for many years. Born and raised in the Southwest, she went to school in New York City, graduating from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. She is also a screenwriter, journalist, film/theater critic and blogger.

Connect with Georgina: website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram: GYoungEllis

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Giveaway

Georgina is generously offering an ebook copy of Incandescent to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. We’d love to hear what most intrigues you about the book. This giveaway will be open through Sunday, May 20, 2018. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Georgina, for being my guest today. It’s always a pleasure. Congratulations on your new book!

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Today I’m pleased to welcome Valerie Fox to Diary of an Eccentric for the blog tour for her chapbook, Insomniatic. Since it is National Poetry Month, I thought it would be great for Valerie to share a poem from the collection and what inspired it. Please give her a warm welcome!

My Daughter Listening to Christian Tetzlaff

My daughter fell asleep listening
to Christian Tetzlaff.
All 9-year-olds should experience such luxury.

I was disappointed that my daughter
mostly slumbered through
his Selections from Signs, Games

and Messages by György Kurtág, miniatures
that encompass a “unique world
of naked nerves,” multiple voices, tingly details.

Too tired I guess.
She was mildly attracted to the spaghetti strap
girl in front of her

seated in the balcony-right front row,
her lengthy hair and upper body
leaning into air

toward the emotive virtuoso, like she was his
Juliet and his hands were
signaling capitulation.

Jolted awake, finally, by the crowd’s cheers
my daughter faintly registered
Tetzlaff’s smiling encores–

his Paganini
his Bach.

About “My Daughter Listening to Christian Tetzlaff” (and Process)

Insomniatic contains poems that are dream-like or surreal, and also many that contain references to kinds of dreams and ways of being awake (or not). As I was combining poems for this chapbook, I wanted to include a wide variety of styles, but with this semi-thematic thread (of dreams and insomnia). The inspiration specifically for “My Daughter Listening to Christian Tetzlaff” was a real experience, not a surreal reverie or based on my own sleeping (or wakefulness). Rather, it is based mostly on observation of a specific scene.

I think of my poems almost entirely as fictional, made-up. But “My Daughter” is more overtly personal or even autobiographical. It also concerns works of art, in this case Tetzlaff’s extraordinary performances. We were watching him from the balcony, which suggested the scene from Romeo and Juliet. Much of what I write contains reactions to works of art. This habit reflects what I like to do and think about, and how art becomes a lens through which I view and try to understand the world.

Poems are like children. At least that’s what you hear poets say. I think comparing writings to children is natural when we are talking about that feeling or act of creation, or of surprise and discovery that comes about in that process, or even that desire to not give up on a writing (as hopefully we will not give up on any child).  So it felt nice to write something that actually included my daughter, and that she might in the future read and think of in a positive way—even a sentimental way. I wouldn’t mind that.

Thank you, Valerie, for sharing the poem and your inspiration with me and my readers. It sounds like a fascinating collection!

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About Insomniatic

Insomniatic is the newest poetry chapbook from Valerie Fox, author of The Roschach Factory and The Glass Book. These poems haunt and question, dream and wander, asking the reader to question what is a dream state and what does it mean to be awake.

“Insomniatic” (poems) asks the question: Who are we when we dream?

Buy Insomniatic on Amazon

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About the Poet

Valerie Fox

Valerie Fox’s books of poetry include The Rorschach Factory (2006, Straw Gate Books) and The Glass Book (2010, Texture Press). She co-wrote Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets with Lynn Levin. Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (2011, Texture Press) is a collaborative book with Arlene Ang. “Scarecrow Lists of Failures and Grocery Items” (a collaboration with Ang) may be found here, at Thrush.

Her work has appeared in many journals, including Thrush, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hanging Loose, Apiary, West Branch, Sentence, and Qarrtsiluni. Originally from central Pennsylvania, she has traveled and lived throughout the world, and has taught writing and literature at numerous universities including Sophia University (in Tokyo) and currently at Drexel University (in Philadelphia).

For more about Valerie and her work, click here. To read more of her poems, click here.

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To follow the tour for Insomniatic, click the button below

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