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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!

I’m excited to welcome C.P. Odom to Diary of an Eccentric today to share an excerpt from his latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Perilous Siege. I’m intrigued by the idea of Pride and Prejudice in an alternate universe, and I hope you all are as well! Please give him a warm welcome!

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Good day, Anna. It’s a pleasure to be here at Diary of an Eccentric to share this excerpt from Perilous Siege with your readers. I hope your readers enjoy this scene between Jane and Elizabeth.

Thursday, November 28, 1811
Hertfordshire

Mrs. Bennet’s joy had begun to decline by the next day since she had already dragged Mary to see most of their friends. Since her two youngest daughters were more than desperate to escape from her presence, they expressed their inclination to walk to Meryton as they so often did in the mornings. Elizabeth was reluctant to go with them, despite her usual zest for exercise and sunshine, but Jane was most urgent in wishing her to come, and Elizabeth reluctantly relented.

Upon reaching the town, the group almost immediately met with Lieutenants Denny and Wickham, who greeted them warmly—or mostly so since Elizabeth noted his greeting to her was terser and less cordial than on previous occasions. However, since she was far more concerned with recovering from her encounter with Darcy, she paid his coolness little attention, especially since she knew he never could have had any intentions toward her because of her lack of money.

At her younger sisters’ insistence, Wickham joined their party when they went to their aunt’s house. When they arrived, Mrs. Philips was most enthusiastic about Mary’s good fortune. She was also cognizant of the events at the ball and slyly complimented both Jane and Elizabeth on their good fortune, even going so far as to wonder whether additional good news might not be forthcoming.

This latter statement was not received well by Wickham, who now carefully looked all about the room at everyone except Elizabeth. He realized why she had been so unresponsive on the first evening they met when he tried to spin his tale of Darcy’s malefactions toward himself. However, as a seasoned campaigner in the pursuit of the opposite sex, he put the topic from his mind. There were far more fish in the sea than Miss Elizabeth Bennet, even if she was one of the more delectable ones.

As Wickham and Denny walked back with them to Longbourn, the Netherfield ball remained the prime topic of conversation. Elizabeth noticed that Wickham continued to ignore her, seeming to pay more attention to her youngest sister, who was so flattered by the attention that she invited the two officers inside to introduce them to her father and mother.

Soon after their return, a letter arrived from Netherfield for Jane, who opened it immediately. Elizabeth saw her sister’s expression change as she read the sheet of paper covered on both sides with a fair, elegant hand. Though Jane collected herself and tried to join the conversation with her usual cheerfulness, Elizabeth knew her sister too well. She guessed the note came from Caroline Bingley, and her sisterly eye told her it contained news less than pleasant in nature. As soon as possible, even though Wickham and Denny had not yet departed, Elizabeth gave a nod of her head toward the stairs and both sisters went to Jane’s room.

There, Jane confirmed her suspicions. “This letter is from Caroline Bingley, and its contents have surprised me a good deal. It was written yesterday, and it says she and her sister have decided to follow their brother to London with none of them intending to return to Netherfield. Caroline does declare her only regret was being thus deprived of the society of me, her dearest friend.”

Despite the worries afflicting her, Elizabeth heard these high-flown expressions with her usual distrust of the writer’s sincerity. Yet, what she had heard so far did not explain the unhappiness she could see in her sister.

“While it is unlucky you did not have an opportunity to see your friends before they left the neighborhood, their leaving will not prevent Mr. Bingley from returning to Netherfield. In that case, the absence of your friends will be offset later by the greater happiness you will have as sisters.”

To this, Jane shook her head. “Caroline decidedly says none of their party will return into Hertfordshire this winter. She says her brother’s business in London will take more than the three or four days he imagined, and since he does not plan to return, she and her sister decided to follow him immediately so he would not be left alone without the company of family. She goes on to wish my Christmas in Hertfordshire would be joyous, and I would have so many beaux I would not feel the loss of their presence.”

Jane choked back a sob. “Do you not see, Lizzy? Caroline means Mr. Bingley will not come back this winter.”

“It is only evident Miss Bingley does not mean he should.”

“Why do you think so? It must be his decision since he is his own master. But there is more. Let me read you the most painful parts for me. I will keep nothing from you.”

Elizabeth could hear the pain in Jane’s voice as she read Caroline’s words singing the praises of Miss Georgiana Darcy and their hope that the affection she and Louisa held for Georgiana would soon be heightened by the three of them being sisters. She went on to talk of her brother’s great admiration for Georgiana, which she expected to deepen into a more serious association.

“Listen to what Caroline says: ‘With all these circumstances to favor an attachment, and nothing to prevent it, am I wrong, my dearest Jane, in indulging the hope of an event which will secure the happiness of so many?’

“What think you of this sentence, my dear Lizzy?” Jane said as she finished it. “Is it not clear enough? Does it not expressly declare Caroline neither expects nor wishes me to be her sister? That she is perfectly convinced of her brother’s indifference and, suspecting the nature of my feelings for him, means to most kindly put me on my guard? Can there be any other opinion on the subject?”

“Yes, there can, for mine is totally different. Dearest Jane, Miss Bingley knows her brother is in love with you while she and her sister wish him to marry Miss Darcy. As a result, the two of them followed their brother to town in the hope of keeping him there. Then she wrote you this despicable note to persuade you that he does not care about you.”

Jane shook her head.

“Indeed, Jane, you ought to believe me,” Elizabeth said urgently. “No one who has ever seen you and Mr. Bingley together can doubt his affection. Miss Bingley, I am sure, cannot. She is not such a simpleton. Could she have seen half as much love from Mr. Darcy for herself, she would have already ordered her wedding clothes.”

Jane looked doubtful since she had not seen Miss Bingley’s attentions to Darcy through the same eyes as Elizabeth.

“We are not rich enough or grand enough for her and her sister’s aspirations to rise in society, so Miss Bingley is anxious to attach Miss Darcy to her brother because it will aid in her goal of achieving a similar attachment for herself with Mr. Darcy. There is certainly some ingenuity in her plan since one marriage might well engender another.

“But you must not believe Miss Bingley when she tells you her brother greatly admires Miss Darcy since he never would have shown you the attentions I witnessed on Tuesday were it true. Miss Bingley is possibly mistaken in everything she writes, but it is far more likely she wrote with the object of deceiving you.”

“If we thought alike of Miss Bingley,” Jane replied, “what you say would make me feel quite easy. But your charges are not just. Caroline is incapable of willfully deceiving anyone. I simply hope she is deceived herself.”

“Believe that if you will not believe me. Believe her to be deceived, by all means. Now you have cleared your friend of my suspicions and must fret no longer.”

“But, my dear sister, can I be happy in accepting a man whose sisters and friends all wish him to marry elsewhere?”

“You must decide for yourself. If you find the misery of disobliging his two sisters too distressing in comparison to the happiness of being his wife, then I advise you to refuse him.”

Jane had to smile slightly at this comment. “You know better, Lizzy. I would be grieved at their disapprobation, but I could not hesitate.”

“I did not think you would.”

“But what if he returns no more this winter? If he does not return until summer? A thousand things may arise in six months!”

Elizabeth heaped scorn on the very idea of his returning no more. It appeared to be yet another of Caroline’s wishes. And how could such wishes influence a young man so independent and master of his own house and fortune?

She made this point as forcibly as possible and soon had the pleasure of seeing the growth of hope for Bingley’s return to Netherfield, which would answer every wish of Jane’s heart.

They were undecided on how much to tell their mother since they knew learning of the departure from Netherfield would alarm her. Since they could reach no decision, they decided simply to wait for further developments if they were to occur.

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At twilight, Jane and Elizabeth’s worries about what to tell their mother were put to rest by the arrival of Mr. Darcy at Longbourn. Elizabeth easily recognized his figure as he turned his horse up the drive, and she quietly left the room and climbed the stairs to her chamber.

Darcy found all the ladies save Elizabeth in the parlor and greeted them in his usual, reserved fashion.

Turning to Jane, he said, “Mr. Bingley sent me a note today, asking me to inform you of his planned return to Netherfield in four or five days, which is longer than he had anticipated. My own party, including my sister and Major McDunn, will be returning to town before then since McDunn and I have business associated with our several enterprises.”

Mrs. Bennet received the news with a frown. She had not realized Bingley would be gone so long, but what concerned her more was Darcy’s sudden and unexpected departure. How would he make his declarations to Elizabeth if he did not return?

But Darcy saw the relief on Miss Bennet’s face, and he knew she had likely received some kind of distressing news, probably from Caroline Bingley.

I was right, Darcy thought to himself. Bingley’s note did not mention it, but it would be just like Caroline to try to throw Miss Bennet into despair by sending a nice, little, vicious note of some kind.

He was not surprised at Elizabeth’s absence. In light of their encounter, he had anticipated she would remove herself rather than meet him. From the intensity of her reaction and the totally unexpected passion she had revealed, there had been a remote possibility she might not truly comprehend the impossibility of a connection between them and could thus engage in a hopeless pursuit embarrassing to all parties.

He turned to Jane. “Please convey to your sister my most sincere felicitations and all hope she will have a joyous Christmas season—as I hope for all of your family. Farewell to you all, ladies.”

And so he departed, suddenly and precipitously, leaving Mrs. Bennet with an open mouth. She had been so involved with worrying about Elizabeth, she had not even had time to tell him of Mary’s impending marriage.

From the window of her room, Elizabeth watched the tall, handsome man mount his horse, and both her eyes and her heart followed his every movement. The grace and muscular power inherent in his performance of such a familiar action spoke to those parts of her that vainly loved and desired this unattainable man.

She was completely aware she might never see Darcy again, and she tried to memorize his every aspect as though it had to last her a lifetime. As he turned down the drive, she felt a stab of pain at how his head made not even the slightest movement to glance up at her window. It was apparent he was determined to abide by her parting words—that they should not meet again.

Her fingertips went to her cheek, only to find fresh tears there. At the moment, she was only cognizant of the desperate yearning in her heart for what could never be, and her tears became rasping sobs as her shoulders heaved with the grief derived from losing something incredibly dear.

Elizabeth felt a sudden impulse to dispel all propriety, to run down the stairs of Longbourn, and chase Darcy down the drive. Her words echoed in her mind as she called out to him, desperately begging him to pull her up behind him on his horse and carry her away to an unknown future with no regard for consequences.

But Elizabeth Bennet was a woman of her time, and thus, she did nothing. She could only watch as Darcy turned at the end of the drive and disappeared before she threw herself onto her bed and buried her head in her pillow.

What am I going to do? she wondered, her fist in her mouth to quell the sound of her sobs. How shall I ever get by?

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Elizabeth was thankful it was almost a half-hour before she heard Jane’s footsteps in the hall, allowing her the time to get her emotions under regulation and to repair the evidence of her tears.

And Jane’s news did much to cheer her when Elizabeth learned the reason for Darcy’s visit.

“Did I not say as much, Jane?” Elizabeth said, forcing a laugh she believed to be unaffected. “I said Mr. Bingley would not be kept from Netherfield by his sisters’ departure! Do you not see his supposed attraction to Miss Darcy was entirely contrived by Caroline Bingley? I sat with Miss Darcy once when you were sick, and I discerned nothing on her part but polite attentiveness to Mr. Bingley.”

“Yes, you must be right. This is very difficult for me to understand, but Caroline must have written her note to deceive me. It is I who was deceived in thinking her a true friend.”

“There you see Miss Bingley’s skill in her polite and sophisticated ability to slip the knife of deceit into the back of another. No matter how attentive she and her sister were to you, I never trusted them—not at all. But let us not dwell on this! When she sees the failure of her efforts, I have no doubt her supposed friendship will make a sudden reappearance!”

“You are likely correct.” Jane was more than a little unhappy at being forced to this admission.

“That is because I love the sweetest and most unaffected sister.”

“And I love you, Lizzy,” Jane said then suddenly stepped forward and clasped Elizabeth’s arms when her sister would have turned away. “But I have to ask why your eyes are so red? Have you been crying on my behalf?”

Elizabeth made no response, and Jane went on. “That is the reason, is it not? You were distressed at the possibility of Bingley not returning to Netherfield, just as you always think of the happiness of others before your own.”

Jane did not get the response she expected since her sister would not meet her eyes and instead cast them downward.

“And why did you slip out of the room when Mr. Darcy arrived?” Jane asked slowly, her eyes on her sister. “I wondered that he did not ask for you. Instead, he sent his good wishes, but the words seemed more like a farewell than the usual pleasantry. And now I find you have been crying, and you never cry!”

Elizabeth hugged herself and turned to the window and the darkness beyond, which seemed to mirror the darkness she felt inside. At length, she said, “It was a farewell, Jane. I shall not see him again.”

“But how can it be?” Jane cried. “I saw the two of you at the ball, and my heart swelled for joy at how at ease both of you seemed, how well you appeared to be getting on. What has happened?”

To this, Elizabeth made no response at first. When she finally turned around, Jane was shocked to see tears flowing down her sister’s face.

“Whatever is the matter, Lizzy? What has distressed you so? Oh, now all my joy at Mr. Darcy’s news is gone!”

Elizabeth met her sister’s eyes. “I love him, Jane.”

At these shattering words, Jane simply collapsed onto the bed. “Mr. Darcy?” she said in shock. “You love Mr. Darcy?”

Elizabeth nodded, and her voice broke. “I do, Jane. I think I love him more than life itself.”

“How can this be?” Jane said in complete disbelief. “I know he danced with you, and I have heard the whispers our neighbors have made about you, but I never saw any indication of a particular regard!”

Elizabeth came over and sat beside her, taking one of her hands in both of hers and clasping it to her chest. “It just…happened. And I am ashamed to tell you, it did not even seem like love. Not at first. Not from the first night.”

“At the assembly?”

Elizabeth nodded. “From the first time I laid eyes on him. I felt a sudden surge of a most shocking and inexplicable attraction. It spread through my whole body. It was…disturbing.”

“Not love? I do not understand, Lizzy.”

“It was passion, Jane. The passion a woman feels for a man. The passion a wife feels for her wedded husband, which is supposed to be consummated in the marriage bed.

“I did not understand my feelings, at first. They were new and foreign—nothing I ever imagined. I tried to shove them away, pretend they did not exist, but I could not. They went too deep and…and they affected me in ways I could not explain.”

Jane could only stare at her dear sister as Elizabeth searched for words.

“Every time I met Mr. Darcy, every time our fingers touched when we danced, I could feel the attraction he had for me, and I was lost. He invaded my dreams—but I did not realize at first that it was Mr. Darcy who came into my bedroom in my dreams. Only slowly did I connect those dreams with him. And I was equally slow to put a name to what I felt—what had taken possession of me.”

Elizabeth went silent, staring into the night, until Jane asked softly, “And that was…?”

“It was passion, dear sister—physical passion for a man when I had no intimation such an attraction even existed.”

“Nor do I,” Jane said slowly.

“It is more than simple passion now, Jane. Much more. I knew it as soon as we danced together. I felt something I never imagined to feel with this man; I felt as though I belonged in his arms. And I am certain he felt something similar—an acceptance of me as a woman.”

Elizabeth was silent for a moment before going on. “But make no mistake, Jane. My passion for Mr. Darcy was real—is real. Do you remember how our mother warned of the misfortune of the marriage bed? And how we should just lie still since it would soon be over?”

Jane nodded, and Elizabeth continued. “Well, it seems some women—not our mother, I am sure—must take pleasure in the carnal side of marriage. They must desire it. As I desire it.”

Jane’s lack of understanding was clear to see, but she asked no questions, so Elizabeth could only continue. “Imagine how I felt after the assembly with unaccountable longings plaguing me. I could come to no other conclusion than I was wanton—a harlot in fact. A woman who seeks physical intimacy for her own gratification.”

“You cannot be wanton, Lizzy.”

“What other conclusion could I reach? I had no one to advise me. I thought once or twice that Aunt Gardiner might be able to help me since she is so much more levelheaded and sensible than our mother. But we see her so seldom.”

“But you keep talking about feeling passion for Mr. Darcy—”

Elizabeth nodded. “I wanted to feel his touch. And I wanted to touch him. It is shameful, I know, but I wanted it then, and I want it still.”

Elizabeth rose from the bed and went back to look out the window. “But as I said, now there is more. I love Mr. Darcy, as well as desire him, even though we both know I did not like him when I first met him. He had so many disagreeable traits—pride, haughtiness, selfishness, and a disdain for others. He still has those traits. It is the side of himself he shows the world.”

Elizabeth began to pace the room. “And with the realization of my feelings, something inside me changed since I saw the side of him you spoke of—how he is pleasant and amiable with those he knows well. He showed that side to me at the ball, and my joy overflowed when we went into supper with the way he smiled and talked easily with me. He wanted to be with me the way I wanted to be with him. He still has those faults I first saw, but he is more than those faults.”

Elizabeth stopped and looked out the window for a time before she spoke again. “The simple fact is: I love this very complicated man, and I want more than just passion from him. I want to be with him always. I want to love him and make him feel loved. I want him to make love to me, I want to bear his children and raise them. Most of all, I want to be his companion and grow old with him.”

She turned around, and Jane saw her tears had returned. “And it shall never be, Jane. Not ever. I saw everything change in just a few minutes. We were conversing as we never had before, and Mr. Darcy was smiling and laughing with a warmth I had never seen. I am convinced, at that moment, that he was entertaining the possibility I might bring him happiness.

“Then my mother destroyed everything,” she said, with flat, cold finality.

“How?”

“As she usually does—by her words. You were too far away to hear, but she crowed aloud about her good fortune. She would soon have one daughter well settled in Derbyshire and another at Netherfield Park. And the other girls would then be in company with other rich men. She did not say these things quietly, but announced them to all about her with Mr. Darcy and me sitting less than ten feet away!”

Jane closed her eyes in shared pain.

“Everything changed. Suddenly, Mr. Darcy was his haughty, prideful self, and all my dreams were less than mist—gone as though they never existed. Mr. Darcy reverted to the man I first met, a man of his class, a man who will choose a wife who can bring fortune or station to the marriage. I can bring nothing.”

“But Bingley—”

“—is not Darcy. Those things matter little to him. His fortune was earned in trade by his father. While our own father’s fortune may not match his, our family has been part of the gentry for generations. But Darcy is different. That is why he only gave a disguised farewell tonight. We agreed to as much at Netherfield.”

Elizabeth could say no more for she could not hold back her sobs any longer. Jane opened her arms to her, embracing her fiercely and pulling her down to the bed beside her while her brave and independent sister wept uncontrollably for a love that could never be.

Jane said nothing, for there was nothing to say. She just held Elizabeth close until her poor sister finally cried herself to sleep.

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About Perilous Siege

What is the Siege Perilous, and how does it affect the lives of everyone in the Regency universe of Pride & Prejudice?

When a man dressed in bizarre attire suddenly appears in a field on his Pemberley estate, Fitzwilliam Darcy has little inkling of the many and startling changes this man’s strange arrival will have on his life, his family’s lives, and indeed, his whole world.

Mysteriously sent to the Regency world of Pride and Prejudice, this refugee from a future Armageddon is befriended by Darcy. How will the presence of Major Edward McDunn influence the events of Jane Austen’s signature work, especially the tangled courtship between Darcy and the complex and endearing Elizabeth Bennet?

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

C.P. Odom

By training, I’m a retired engineer, born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Sandwiched in there was a stint in the  Marines, and I’ve lived in Arizona since 1977, working first for Motorola and then General Dynamics. I raised two sons with my first wife, Margaret, before her untimely death from cancer, and my second wife, Jeanine, and I adopted two girls from China. The older of my daughters recently graduated with an engineering degree and is working in Phoenix, and the younger girl is heading toward a nursing degree.

I’ve always been a voracious reader and collector of books, and my favorite genres are science fiction, historical fiction, histories, and, in recent years, reading (and later writing) Jane Austen romantic fiction. This late-developing interest was indirectly stimulated when I read my late wife’s beloved Jane Austen books after her passing.  One thing led to another, and I now have three novels published:  A Most Civil Proposal (2013), Consequences (2014), and Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets (2015).  My fourth novel, Perilous Siege, was recently published in the second quarter of 2019.

I retired from engineering in 2011, but I still live in Arizona with my family, a pair of dogs (one of which is stubbornly untrainable), and a pair of rather strange cats.  My hobbies are reading, woodworking, and watching college football and LPGA golf (the girls are much nicer than the guys, as well as being fiendishly good putters). Lately I’ve reverted back to my younger years and have taken up building plastic model aircraft and ships (when I can find the time).

Connect with C.P. Odom: C.P. Odom’s Facebook Page | C.P. Odom’s Amazon Page | C.P. Odom’s Goodreads Page | C.P. Odom’s Meryton Press Page

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Giveaway

Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of Perilous Siege. The giveaway runs until midnight, April 21, 2019. You must use this Rafflecopter link to enter. Good luck!

Terms and Conditions:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

One winner per contest. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

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April 8 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post

April 10 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Excerpt

April 12 / Austenesque Reviews / Character Interview

April 13 / Just Jane 1813 / Meet C.P. Odom

April 14 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review

April 15 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Excerpt

April 16 / From Pemberley to Milton / Vignette

April 17 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Excerpt

April 18 / More Agreeably Engaged / Guest Post

A big thanks to C.P. Odom for being my guest today. Congratulations on your new book!

Source: Review copy from CICO Books

Sophie Andrews is well-known in the world of Austen-related blogs, and when I heard that she’d written her own book, I was more than happy to join the blog tour. Be More Jane: Bring Out Your Inner Austen to Meet Life’s Challenges shines a light on the lessons we can learn from Jane Austen’s novels, like how to “Be More Lizzy” and what Austen had to say about Love, True Friends, Happiness, the Role of Women, and more. Andrews’ love for Austen’s works shines on every page, and her vignettes from the points of view of Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Collins, and several other characters are a delightful addition. Not to mention to beautiful artwork by Jane Odiwe, another treasure in the Austen community.

Be More Jane is a short book, but one to be savored. Although the insights from Austen’s novels weren’t new to me, I enjoyed Andrews’ writing, and especially the humor in the vignettes. Be More Jane reminds us that Austen’s novels are more than just love stories, and themes in her novels remain relevant today. This book would be a perfect gift for the Janeite in your life or the perfect treat to add to your own Austenesque book collection.

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About Be More Jane

 

Be More Jane by Sophie Andrews, published by CICO Books (£7.99/$9.95)
Illustrations by Jane Odiwe © CICO Books

Are you more Marianne than Elinor, Lydia rather than Lizzy? Be More Jane will teach you to address life with more sense and less prejudice, taking useful lessons from the novels and letters of Jane Austen, one of the world’s best-loved writers. Times may change, but many of our problems remain the same. Sophie Andrews, a young Janeite, knows from personal experience that in times of trouble, or just on matters of friendship, family, and love, answers are to be found in the pages of Miss Austen’s novels.

Buy Links: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

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About the Author

Sophie Andrews by Brian Hubbard©HiRes

Sophie Andrews is a founder member of the Jane Austen Pineapple Appreciation Society, and organises events such as picnics, balls and house parties for her fellow Austenites. Sophie started her blog, Laughing with Lizzie, in 2012, aged 16, after studying Pride and Prejudice at school. She has been attending Austen-themed events since then, and was featured in the BBC documentary “My Friend Jane” which focused on the fun and friendship she has found with her fellow Janeites. She lives in Berkshire and has over 100 different editions of Pride and Prejudice on her bookshelves.

Connect with Sophie: Laughing with Lizzie Facebook page | Laughing with Lizzie Instagram page | Laughing with Lizzie Twitter page

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Giveaway

CICO Books is generously offering a copy of Be More Jane to one lucky reader. This giveaway is open to readers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. Since each stop on the blog tour is offering a giveaway, I’ll keep the giveaway open until after the blog tour ends. This giveaway will close on Friday, April 19, 2019. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

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April 8         Regency History/Q&A & Giveaway

April 9         Diary of an Eccentric/Book review & Giveaway

April 10       More Agreeably Engaged/Book review & Giveaway

April 11       Babblings of a Bookworm/Excerpt & Giveaway

April 12       My Love for Jane Austen/Guest Post & Giveaway

April 14       My Jane Austen Book Club/Book review & Giveaway

April 15       So Little Time/Guest Post & Giveaway

April 16       Austenesque Reviews/Book review & Giveaway

I’m thrilled to welcome Leigh Dreyer, author of the modern Pride and Prejudice variation The Best Laid Flight Plans, back to Diary of an Eccentric. This time Leigh is here to celebrate the release of the sequel, The Flight Plan Less Traveled. Leigh was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about the book and her writing in general, and she’s come with a gift for one lucky reader. Please give her a warm welcome!

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What was your inspiration for the series?

My inspiration for the series starts at home. My dad is a fighter pilot (he instructs in the T-38, just like Darcy in the The Best Laid Flight Plans and The Flight Path Less Traveled). I met my husband when he was in pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, which is the base Meryton Air Base is inspired by.  He flies “heavies” which means he flies passenger and cargo jets. We’ve been stationed across the United States (literally from Washington, D.C. to Hawaii and all through the middle of the country. I traveled through the Finger Lakes area of New York a few years ago and fell in love with it. When I needed a place for Pemberley, that region of New York seemed like the most idyllic, beautiful place to set it.

Generally, people say “write what you know.” I know pilots and Air Force life, I’ve lived it as an Air Force brat and a spouse. Luckily, with my dad, husband, and father in law, I have more than fifty-five years of combined Air Force pilot experience to draw from when I have questions.  This second novel has been interesting research-wise because I had a lot more specific medical timelines to figure out. I needed to speak to a few doctors and was lucky enough to have a lot of assistance from my mother who is a Nurse Practitioner. Many of the medical board scenes are based on friends and family’s experiences going through the same thing.

Did you find it hard to adapt P&P into the modern day?

The Flight Path Less Traveled was inspired by P&P while The Best Laid Flight Plans is really a modern P&P retelling. For Flight Path I pulled some characters from other Austen works, you’ll find Miss Bates, Mrs. Jennings, and John Willoughby throughout the book. In my mind, I like to think that all of Jane Austen’s works take place at the same time and that the characters might have known each other. I’ve tried to bring a little of that to this series.

Bringing individual characters from Sense and Sensibility into a world of Pride and Prejudice was exhilarating. Miss Bates, for example, is Elizabeth’s physical therapist. I dream cast her as Octavia Spencer and picture her being talkative (obviously), but also a little wise, and caring. I’ve been in biweekly physical therapy for the past 7 years and have a great relationship with my therapists. I know how incredible and valuable they are to any trauma recovery. I wanted to throw a little appreciation for the amazing care my three therapists have given me over the years so I needed Miss Bates to be the best. I could just picture how Miss Bates’ personality would grate on someone so purpose-driven as Elizabeth and thought that the dynamic between the two were some of the most interesting scenes to write.

The hardest thing I’ve found about modernizing the story is the various rules of etiquette that are so prevalent and vital to propelling the story forward. In some ways, I’ve mitigated this by setting the story in the modern Air Force. Darcy and Elizabeth are literally not allowed to have a relationship because that would be a fraternization issue. As an interesting point of fact, I was nearly banned from Laughlin Air Force Base last year because my first book has a kiss at the end. I was accused of encouraging fraternization between instructors and students. Later that year, there were several people removed from command because of several problems in this area. It really is a huge issue that plays throughout the first two novels in the series.

Would you write a Regency?

Writing a Regency terrifies me, to be honest. I have a plan to write a P&P-based time travel novel next which will at least begin in the Regency period. Frankly, fans are incredibly knowledgeable and I am so afraid of making a slight etiquette mistake that gets me raked across the coals. I am still a fairly new writer, so I tried to begin with a world I was comfortable in. I practice my Regency skills as I write Mr. Bennet and I hope to write a Regency after doing a little more extensive research and feeling better prepared to make fans happy and give them a novel with the quality I have come to expect.

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About The Flight Path Less Traveled

In this modern Pride and Prejudice continuation and sequel to The Best Laid Flight Plans, 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet and Captain William Darcy are facing trials after the events of Elizabeth’s last flight. Darcy’s proposal lingers between them as Elizabeth becomes almost single sighted to her rehabilitation and her return to pilot training. A secret is revealed to Elizabeth about Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s past that throws all she has known to be true into a tail spin. The romance between our hero and heroine begins to blossom through military separations, sisterly pranks, and miscommunications. Can Darcy and Elizabeth come together or will flying in the Air Force keep them apart?

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way: “You know the ‘Great Balls of Fire’ scene in Top Gun (‘Goose, you big stud!’), where Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son, a daughter who will one day be old enough to watch romantic movies with her, and another little one expected in September 2019.

Connect with Leigh: Website | Goodreads | Facebook

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Giveaway

Leigh is generously offering one ebook copy of The Flight Path Less Traveled to a lucky reader, open internationally. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Friday, April 5, 2019. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Leigh, for being my guest today and for taking the time to answer my questions. I look forward to reading both books. Congratulations!

Today is a special day, dear readers! Jennifer Joy is here to reveal the cover of the fifth and final book in The Merton Mystery Series: The Remarkable Miss Darcy.

Before we get to the blurb and the cover, Jennifer has a treat to celebrate the completion of the series. The Honorable Mr. Darcy (book 1) will be free in all Amazon stores from March 20-24, and The Indomitable Miss Elizabeth (book 2) will be 99 cents from March 19-26. So if you haven’t started the series yet, it will be a great time to do so!

Now, back to The Remarkable Miss Darcy. First, here is the blurb:

Darcy sees a little girl. Tanner sees a princess. He sees a remarkable woman.

Georgiana Darcy has grown up — and she has two older brothers who take her protection so seriously, she fears she is doomed for a life of dull solitude. However, one chance encounter with a young man from her past could set her on a path of adventure and romance … if only her dear family would let her.

Michael Nelson is everything Georgiana remembers him to be: hard-working, honest, and handsome. He fills his days chasing after criminals and uniting divided families. Anything to avoid feeling the void of loneliness and his lack of family.

When Georgiana’s dearest friend is kidnapped at a crowded ball, Michael and Georgiana become partners in the search to find her and restore peace to Darcy House. But before calm, there comes a storm, and their discoveries do not go unnoticed by their unknown enemy…

The Darcys face the greatest test to their family bond yet in this fifth and final book in The Meryton Mystery Series, a sweet romance-suspense variation of Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice.

Doesn’t that sound exciting? I love stories where Georgiana comes into her own, and throw in a mystery, and I’m doubly excited!

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

What a gorgeous cover! I think it depicts Georgiana perfectly, innocent but a little adventurous, too. What do you think?

The Remarkable Miss Darcy will be up for pre-order soon and will go live on March 21, so you won’t have to wait long!

In the meantime, Jennifer is generously offering 4 ebook copies of The Remarkable Miss Darcy to my readers. To enter to win a copy, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Friday, March 22. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

And thank you, Jennifer, for being my guest today! It’s an honor to be invited to share the cover and jump-start the release celebration. Congratulations!

Source: Review copy from author

Maria Grace’s latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Inspiration, is told from the point of view of Fitzwilliam Darcy, gentleman painter. When the novella opens, Mr. Darcy has been unable to put brush to canvas, and Mr. Bingley hopes that he can find some inspiration at Netherfield. From here, the plot of Pride and Prejudice unfolds, but what is different is this inner view of Darcy and his passion as an artist.

Darcy is very observant; everything he sees is dissected into shapes and lines, colors and shadows, and filed away for later use in a painting. The minute he sees Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly, he is captivated. She is his muse, the nymph who fills many a canvas when Darcy’s inspiration rushes back. This explains his interest in Elizabeth, his intense stares, and his near obsession makes him all too ready to depart Hertfordshire after the Netherfield ball. He tries to convince himself that Elizabeth merely sparked his creativity, and his duty means it could never go further than that anyway. Meanwhile, his muse has strong feelings for him, but little does he know, they are the complete opposite of his own.

Inspiration is a beautifully written story that explores a different path for Darcy, one driven by creativity and passion, and Grace makes it fit his character perfectly. Grace incorporates snippets of Pride and Prejudice throughout her novella while giving readers a glimpse into Darcy’s head during those familiar scenes. I enjoyed the descriptions of Darcy’s creative process, the observations he makes with an artist’s eye, and how that is both positive and negative in his dealings with people. Overall, I liked watching the events unfold from Darcy’s point of view, from the evolution of his feelings for Elizabeth to the important and painful lessons he must learn. Grace’s Pride and Prejudice variations never disappoint, and I’m already looking forward to what she dreams up next!

**Maria Grace visited my blog yesterday, with an excerpt and giveaway. You can check it out here.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Inspiration from the author for review.

It’s my pleasure to welcome Maria Grace back to Diary of an Eccentric to celebrate the release of her latest Pride and Prejudice variation novella, Inspiration, which imagines Mr. Darcy as a gentleman painter in search of his muse. Please give her a warm welcome as she talks about how she was a bit like the uninspired Darcy at the beginning of the novella and shares an excerpt from Inspiration.

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Good Morning Anna! It’s wonderful to get to spend a little time with you.

I’m excited to share my newest project with you, a novella called Inspiration. It’s a bit of an irony all around because the whole thing came about from a complete and utter lack of inspiration.

Some how it just figures that the thing that left me uninspired was the theme of ‘inspiration’. Of course it was—I hear you mutter in the background there—but really, it’s true. I was supposed to write something about how I get inspired to write and absolutely nothing was rattling about in my head. A total blank—you could hear the crickets in the background.

Then I got thinking about how utterly uninspired I was and how crazy-making it felt. Hmm, well, driving characters crazy is a good thing—exactly what writers are supposed to do in fact. What if one of them was driven crazy the way I feel right now? Who could I do that to? Darcy would be a good candidate…

And with that, my muse took off. At first, I thought it would just be a scene for a blog post. Then, it was a short story. But my muse was not yet finished with me. The short story became a novella and at last I was allowed to rest.

So I present to you a snippet from Inspiration to give you a sense of how crazy both Darcy (and I) can be driven by our respective muses! I hope you enjoy.

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The ensuing fortnight sent Darcy—or rather his muse, into a frenzy. In the midst of it all, he assured himself he was in fact in control of the entire process, but intentionally chose to give into his creative instincts.

Bingley argued that Darcy was hardly in control of anything.

None of it mattered in the fervor of creative productivity. Every moment of daylight, Darcy painted. In the candlelight of evening, he sketched references to stay him against the inevitable removal from Miss Elizabeth’s presence. Nearly every aspect of her person, her eyes, her ears, her fingers, even her elbow were all added to that to valuable compendium.

Miss Bingley had seen it once. She thought it rather dear how artists like he and Bingley were forever scratching away in their books, sketching this and that but never really finishing much. Worse yet, in her vanity, she was complimented to think that it might be herself figuring in those sketches. He did not bother to correct her.

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Darcy stood before his mirror. His valet had left moments ago, having tied Darcy’s finely starched cravat in an intricate knot. There was a certain art to getting those things just right. One could get obsessed about it if he allowed himself.

On more than one occasion, Darcy had been told that he cut a dashing figure and ought to paint a likeness of himself. Afterall, he despised all the attempts made by artists his father had hired. The notion was flattering, but it would never happen.

Hours spent staring at himself in a mirror—what an utterly depressing thought. He was no artists’ model. His features were too irregular—or at least they were to his practiced eye. His expressions were decidedly dour, no matter how he tried to school them otherwise. No, he would rather paint beauty.

He would rather paint Miss Elizabeth.

And shortly he would see her. Tonight, at the ball.

Although he put on the expected show of disliking the social convention for Miss Bingley’s sake, and mostly to prevent unnecessary conversation, the truth was wildly different. His soul leapt at the opportunity to be with her again, to study her features, her expressions. In a ballroom, eye contact was accepted if not expected. He could stare at his partner, and at the dancers in general as much as he liked without raising an inquisitive eyebrow. Had he only taken the opportunity at the Meryton Assembly, tonight’s event might not feel like air to a drowning man. But he did not know then what he knew now: his muse had taken the form of that particular young woman. Tonight, he would not waste the opportunity.

By the time he made it downstairs, guests had already begun to arrive. Since he was not part of the family, he could avoid the greeting line and discreetly watch arrivals. Each one told a story: each figure painted a tale in his mind. Though none were as interesting as Miss Elizabeth, he strove to capture each one for future reference.

Sir William Lucas trundled in, his wife in tow. His suit was new, his wife’s dress not—the sort of thing a woman wore when all her resources were being utilized on daughters on the marriage mart. That he wore a new garment spoke something of his character—and it was hardly complimentary. Still though, the way people greeted him suggested he was well thought of in his local company. He did not appear at ease though, clearly a bit bewildered as to exactly how to behave in a place where his knighthood was eclipsed by substantial wealth.

A family called Goulding arrived with several young people all eager to show off their accomplishments to a crowd that might include better company than they were accustomed to. The eager, wistful light in the girls’ eyes was worth capturing in a sketch later. So long as that look did not get turned on him. Perhaps he ought to avoid close observation of that family lest he seem to invite their attention.

Someone said the name Bennet, and his focus was immediately fixed on the entryway. Yes, there she was. In white muslin, of course, her family could not have afforded silk. Her figure would be astonishing draped in white silk. Perhaps it was best it was not. The gauzy white muslin was quite enough to negate the possibility of tearing his eyes away from her.

She glanced in his direction. While his heart pinched at her look of annoyance, his muse seized upon the exquisite turn of her lips, the spark in her eyes, the angle at which she held her head. Oh, to be able to commit that to paper just now. He stared harder and longer to make sure he would never forget.

Impatience demanded he ask her for the first two dances. But, unfortunately, discretion won out. To ask so soon would suggest something that might be all too true, something he did not dare admit to, much less allow. No, he would dance with her yet, but not at the start. Besides, it seemed she was already claimed for those sets by Mr. Collins.

That man was an enigma to be sure. He was tall and well-made. Dressed appropriately to his station, not unpleasant to look at. That he was a vicar suggested he had some learning and might have some sense about him. Most university men were set apart that way.

But the impression did not survive first meeting. One might easily surmise that his time at university had been ill-spent, learning only how to cater to those above him in hopes of acquiring a position. The kind of boot-licking sort of man who turned his stomach and made Darcy look for the nearest exit.

In some sense, the tendency might have served Collins well as it did secure Aunt Catherine’s favor and the living she had to bestow. But outside of having obtained that living, there was little—or perhaps nothing—to be said in favor of the man and a great deal to be held against him.

The first item on that particular list of complaints was that the man could not dance. Fumble-footed did not begin to describe the ordeal poor Miss Elizabeth endured. Darcy would have felt her suffrage of Mr. Collins’ ineptitude far more had it not afforded him a far greater range of expressions to admire than he had ever seen in her before. The look of determined self-control chiseled on her face was worth the whole uncomfortable episode. She might never agree, but sadly he probably would never have the opportunity to learn if she would if the matter were explained. Her expression of ecstasy at her release from Collins was awe inspiring as well, but deeply uncomfortable.

Would that he experienced such an expression offered toward himself.

No, such thoughts were not at all helpful! Worse yet, they made watching her next dances with some nameless Meryton native exceedingly uneasy, even a mite wistful.

Thankfully, she did not dance the set after, but stood off to the side, speaking with her friend—Miss Lucas was it? What confidences did she share with her friend? There was something in her stance that suggested her words were deeply felt.

Enough lingering and watching! He must go forth and take action now, lest the opportunity be utterly lost.

He tugged his jacket straight and strode toward Miss Elizabeth, guests parting in a wake before him.

Perhaps he had been abrupt; he spoke to her only long enough to obtain her hand for the next set, then walked away. He might have stayed; he should have stayed. He would have stayed had he felt any less. But in this moment of heady success, he could not dare reveal too much.

At the start of the next set, he sought her hand, his muse rendering him all but mute. To speak would distract from the minute observations which might be made in what could be a once in a life time opportunity. He led her to the dance floor, enjoying the exquisite grace of her movements from the corner of his eye. She took her place across from him and waited rather expectantly.

What did she want?

“It is your turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy.”  Oh, the look of anticipation on her face! “I talked about the dance, and you ought to make some kind of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples.”

Of course, it was appropriate to make small talk at such a time as this. But what to say? On the canvas, he could communicate anything he desired, but words, particularly the spoken ones, were well beyond his skills. He swallowed hard. “Whatever you wish me to say should indeed be said.”

“Very well. That reply will do for the present. Perhaps, by and by, I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones. But for now we may be silent.” She turned her face aside toward the other dancers.

She did not mean to ignore him, did she? Such punishment for merely being tongue-tied? No, absolutely not, it would not do. “Do you talk by rule then, while you are dancing?”

“Sometimes. One must speak a little, you know. It would look odd to be entirely silent for half an hour together. Yet for the advantage of some, conversation ought to be so arranged as that they may have the trouble of saying as little as possible.” Her eyebrow arched just so—was she teasing him?

“Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine that you are gratifying mine?” Blast and botheration, that sounded far sharper than he intended.

“Both, for I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the éclat of a proverb.”

“This is no very striking resemblance of your own character, I am sure. How near it may be to mine, I cannot pretend to say. You think it a faithful portrait undoubtedly.” Did she really think those things of him, or was she teasing as she had seen her do often enough?Why did she demand of him a skill he would never possess?

Suddenly, it was their turn to join the dance, and all opportunity to speak ceased. How gracefully she moved with effortless vitality. To be entirely fair, she was hardly the best partner he had ever enjoyed, but there was something so fresh and lively in her steps—befitting the nymph of his paintings.

Finally, they reached the end of the line to wait out their turn. “Do you and your sisters often walk to Mertyon?” That should be suitable conversation.

“Yes, we do. When you met us there the other day, we had just been forming a new acquaintance.” Her brows arched, as if to say far more than she spoke.

Yes, that day he had been to see Meryton’s colorman. Who had she been with—Wickham! His gut knotted, and all warmth drained from his face. If only she knew of the very great harm Wickham had done the Darcy family. But could such an innocent spirit as hers actually understand that level of intentional wickedness?  How was he to make a response—one that her eyes clearly demanded? “Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his making friends; whether he may be equally capable of retaining them, is less certain.”

“He has been so unlucky as to lose your friendship, and in a manner which he is likely to suffer from all his life.” Her countenance declared she believed what she said.

She was so innocent, and so easily and completely deceived. He clenched his jaw, best not to speak when all his words dripped venom.

Sir William Lucas suddenly appeared from the crowd. “I have been most highly gratified indeed, my dear sir. Such very superior dancing is not often seen. It is evident that you belong to the first circles. Allow me to say, however, that your fair partner does not disgrace you, and that I must hope to have this pleasure often repeated, especially when a certain desirable event, my dear Miss Eliza,” he glanced at Miss Bennet and Bingley, “shall take place. What congratulations will then flow in! But let me not interrupt you, Sir. You will not thank me for detaining you from the bewitching converse of that young lady, whose bright eyes are also upbraiding me.”

He was right, Miss Elizabeth looked utterly and entirely mortified. Not that she was without good reason; Sir William was crass—it seemed a common trait in this town. Even so, it pained him to see her so discomfited.

He glanced at the dancefloor. Bingley was utterly entranced of his partner and Miss Bennet seemed to bear it well. She was a beauty to be sure, but far less interesting than her sister—whom he had now been ignoring whilst he stared at his friend. “Sir William’s interruption has made me forget what we were talking of.”

“I do not think we were speaking at all. Sir William could not have interrupted any two people in the room who had less to say for themselves. We have tried two or three subjects already without success, and what we are to talk of next I cannot imagine.” Her eyes glinted with the absurdity she suggested.

“What think you of books?”  Surely, she could not fault that question.

“Books Oh no! I am sure we never read the same, or not with the same feelings.”

“I am sorry you think so; but if that be the case, there can at least be no want of subject. We may compare our different opinions.”

“No.” Her laugh was truly musical. “I cannot talk of books in a ballroom; my head is always full of something else.”

“The present always occupies you in such scenes, does it?” Might she about to reveal something telling about her deepest self?

“Yes, always.”  She looked away, clearly lost in some other musings.  She turned back to him abruptly, eyes just a mite narrowed. “I remember hearing you once say, Mr. Darcy, that you hardly ever forgave, that your resentment once created was unappeasable. You are very cautious, I suppose, as to its being created.”

She would remember that conversation just now. “I am.”

“And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?”

“I hope not.” He swallowed hard against his suddenly too-tight cravat.

“It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first.” She met his gaze with an intense one of her own.

“May I ask to what these questions tend?”

“Merely to the illustration of your character. I am trying to make it out.” Her eyebrows flashed up as her shoulders lifted.

His cheeks grew hot. “And what is your success?”

“I do not get on at all. I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly.” She shook her head.

“I can readily believe the report of my character may vary greatly with respect to me. I could wish, Miss Bennet, that you were not to sketch my character at the present moment, as there is reason to fear that the performance would reflect no credit on either.” Was it too much to hope she would understand?

“But if I do not take your likeness now, I may never have another opportunity.”

“I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours.” Perhaps it was a mercy that the dance had come to an end. It would no do for her to try and take his likeness when every artist who had tried failed.

He escorted her from the dance floor and left her in the company of Miss Bingley.

Though a relief, the parting also brought with it a poignant soul ache, nearly physical in its intensity.

No, this was not good at all. The powerful feelings toward this woman were a very bad sign indeed. One did not feel this way toward a muse. It was sure to be more of a hinderance than a help. As were the very negative sensations he felt toward one Mr. Wickham. Perhaps, just perhaps his muse would be satisfied now, and he could rest—somewhere well away from Hertfordshire.

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I hope you enjoyed this peek. If you’d like more, you can find Inspiration at all major e-book sellers. If you’d like to catch up on the short stories I mentioned, you can find them at RandomBitsofFascination.com.

Thanks!

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About Inspiration

 

His muse desires her; she detests him. How will his soul survive?

Gentleman artist Fitzwilliam Darcy had never been able to express himself in words, but with his brushes and paints, he expressed what few men ever could. When his flighty muse abandons him, though, he finds himself staring at blank canvases in a world that has turned bland and cold and grey.

Worried for his friend, Charles Bingley invites Darcy to join him in Hertfordshire, in hopes the picturesque countryside might tempt Darcy’s muse to return. The scheme works only too well. His muse returns, with a vengeance, fixated upon the one young woman in the county who utterly detests him.

Will his selfish distain for the feelings of others drive her and his muse away or can he find a way to please this woman with the power to bring color and feeling back into his world?

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N7X4KPV

All other sellers: http://books2read.com/inspirationMariaGrace

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About the Author

Maria Grace

Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences.

She has one husband and one grandson, earned two graduate degrees and two black belts, raised three sons, danced English Country dance for four years, is aunt to five nieces, is designing a sixth Regency costume, blogged seven years on Random Bits of Fascination, has outlines for eight novels waiting to be written, attended nine English country dance balls, and shared her life with ten cats.

Her books, fiction and nonfiction, are available at all major online booksellers.

She can be contacted at: author.MariaGrace@gmail.com | Facebook: | Twitter | Random Bits of Fascination | Austen Variations | English Historical Fiction Authors | Pinterest

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Giveaway

Maria Grace is generously offering an ebook copy of Inspiration (open internationally) to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Friday, March 15, 2019. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Maria Grace, for being my guest today! And, dear readers, I hope you stop by again tomorrow for my review of Inspiration.