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Hello, dear friends! I have the pleasure of welcoming Jennifer Joy back to Diary of an Eccentric today to reveal the cover of her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Wager, which will be released on November 5. Jennifer is also offering a very generous giveaway. I hope you all adore the cover as much as I do. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Hi, Anna! Thank you so much for celebrating the upcoming release of my newest novel with me! This is a story that’s been percolating in my mind for a long time, and I’m so happy to finally be able to share it with you and your readers.

My cover designer always asks what mood I want to inspire with the cover, and I love how he conveyed hope with the sun peeking over the horizon. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Wager is a happy story that shows the power of humor, forgiveness, and a strong woman who loves her son fiercely. Lady Anne is alive and well and full of surprises. She also has a thing or two to teach Darcy about the human heart.

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About Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Wager

He has one shot at regaining Pemberley.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has worked tirelessly to earn back his family’s estate. But the current master of Pemberley holds all the cards … and he knows his advantage.

She has one shot at finding love.

Elizabeth Bennet lays her happiness on the line when her freedom is threatened. Now, she has one month in London to fall in love her way, or she will have to marry to secure their home.

One toss of the dice will choose the winner.

With the help of Darcy’s mother and sister, Elizabeth finds her place in society … and in Darcy’s heart.  Can a cautious man be convinced that love is a risk worth taking? The odds are stacked against him when Darcy faces an impossible choice: Pemberley or Elizabeth?

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Wager is a sweet and clean romantic suspense variation of Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice. It’s the fourth book in the Dimensions of Darcy series of standalone novels.

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Giveaway

Jennifer is generously offering 4 ebook copies of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Wager. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Sunday, November 8, 2020. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Jennifer, for stopping by today. The cover is gorgeous and definitely appears to capture the spirit of the story. And I definitely want to find out about Lady Anne and the surprises you mention! Congratulations on your new book!

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Hello, dear readers! Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Eleri Grace, who is here to reveal the cover her of upcoming WWII novel, Carry a Crusading Spirit, the second book in the Clubmobile Girls series, and tell you a little about the series. I love that this series focuses on how women served as Red Cross Girls during the war (something I haven’t read about yet), and that this cover beautifully portrays the time and place and the strength of those who served. I hope you all are as intrigued as I am by this story. Please give Eleri a warm welcome!

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Thanks Anna for allowing me the opportunity to introduce your readers to my Clubmobile Girls series today. I will publish the second novel in the series, CARRY A CRUSADING SPIRIT, next month and am delighted to share a first look at the gorgeous cover created by Rafa Andres of Cover Kitchen. His illustrations evoke the vintage feel of WWII poster art and vividly depict the lush tropical landscape of the Pacific Theater. He completely captured the intrepid spirit of my heroine, Hadley Claverie, a New Orleans reporter who, after being denied war correspondent credentials, lands a coveted position serving overseas with the American Red Cross.

As your readers may not be familiar with the service of the Red Cross Girls during WWII (they also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars), I thought I would shine a brief spotlight on these amazing women before sharing an excerpt from my upcoming novel.

During WWII, the American Red Cross operated 2,000 overseas clubs and hundreds of Clubmobiles, staffed by 39,000 paid staffers and over 7.5 million volunteers. The paid staffers, women known as “Red Cross Girls,” were ages 25-35, had a college degree and some professional career experience, and possessed certain personal attributes valued by the Red Cross recruiters, namely charm, wit, ingenuity, self-assurance, independence, an adventuresome spirit, and stamina. These positions were highly competitive (only 1 applicant out of 6 was successful).

The Clubmobiles were vehicles driven directly to soldiers in the field – a converted bus was typical in England, while the Red Cross and the military retrofitted a 2.5 ton Jimmy truck for use in continental Europe after D-Day, as well as in certain locations in the Pacific. Jeepmobiles were used in most of the Pacific islands and throughout the China-Burma-India theater. Red Cross Girls served troop trains, naval ships in the harbors, and even ran trainmobiles in Burma and Iran (a round-trip might take several weeks). Red Cross Girls took doughnuts, coffee, charm, and cheer to men serving directly in the field, hence their service took them closer to the front lines than the combat nurses or any of the women who served in the Women’s Army Corps.

If you are interested in learning more about these extraordinary women and their service, I have a series of vlogs on my website devoted to recruitment, training, uniforms, and more.

My first Clubmobile Girls novel, COURAGE TO BE COUNTED, follows Red Cross Girl Vivian Lambert and B-17 bomber pilot Jack Nielsen from a bomber base in southeast England across war-torn France and into the heart of Nazi Germany, while this newest book will introduce readers to Hadley Claverie and Skip Masterson, who serve in the Pacific Theater.

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About Carry a Crusading Spirit

In love, as in war, truth can be the greatest casualty.

When her New Orleans editor refuses to grant war correspondent credentials to a woman reporter, Hadley Claverie finds another route to the front lines: overseas duty with the Red Cross. She wants nothing more than to carve out a career as a respected journalist, but a sexy pilot set on playing by the rules undermines her determination to expose truths about the war, no matter the cost.

Struggling to overcome emotional trauma linked to Pearl Harbor, once-freewheeling B-25 bomber pilot Skip Masterson longs to prove he is worthy to carry on his brother’s legacy. Duty compels him to avenge the horrors his brother and friends suffered aboard the U.S.S. Arizona, but all Skip really wants is peace on a quiet porch back home. His heart has other plans, in the form of an intrepidly curious Red Cross girl who threatens his resolve to fly straight and subvert his hell-raising past.

As Allied forces wrest control of the Pacific, one island at a time, and the military taps skilled pilots for a highly-classified and unprecedented bombing mission from which Skip may not return, Hadley’s journalistic fire places her squarely in an ethical drop zone where truth harms, secrets protect, and love just might be the most harmful weapon of all.

From the sunny beaches of Australia to the lush and oppressive jungles of New Guinea, Carry a Crusading Spirit is a sexy and thrilling continuation of Clubmobile Girls, a series that champions the trailblazing role of women in World War II.

Buy on Amazon 

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Excerpt from Carry a Crusading Spirt

This excerpt takes place near an officer leave resort at Surfer’s Paradise on Australia’s Gold Coast. Hadley and Skip have taken a bike ride to a nearby beach and are enjoying a picnic dinner.

“Real news gives readers the bigger picture, the truth about what’s happening in the world. How and why we’re waging the war.”

Hadley longed to send dispatches with more substance. Dispatches containing the truth, the unvarnished truth about what was really happening, were now more important than ever. Skip was right that fluffy “woman’s angle” features served a purpose. But she had bigger goals, ambitions she could further more effectively under the exigencies of war. Making a name for herself now could give her a solid start after the war, whether in New Orleans or New York.

Skip wadded up his empty potato chip packet and tossed it into the basket. “You could be the woman’s version of Ernie Pyle, Hadley. People like him and his columns.”

“He’s with the troops in North Africa.” Hadley read the popular journalist’s column every week in Stars and Stripes. “Not stuck in a leave resort town.”

“Doesn’t matter where he is. It’s his perspective that resonates with folks. You could capture how the war affects us all by talking to soldiers on leave. Nurses, doctors, Seabees, engineers. They all take leave here, right?”

“Sure, but that’s not . . .” Hadley let her words trail away. Individual portraits seemed too narrow and unimportant right now. Each individual contributed to the war effort, but what would readers gain from reading stories focused on one individual?

A faint smile played over Skip’s mouth. “Didn’t you read Pyle’s columns back when you were a girl? When he traveled the country, writing about the common man — and gals too?”

Hadley bit her lip. Ernie Pyle had built a name for himself before the war. Because he was now the most admired war correspondent in America, he could afford to focus on the little guy and leave the big picture to others. Most importantly, he was a man — not a woman struggling to make inroads in a man’s world. Even if all Hadley ever wrote were features aimed at women on the home front, they would carry more substance from the battlegrounds in New Guinea rather than the vacation beaches of Australia.

“The real war is in New Guinea,” she finally said.

Skip drew his eyebrows together and set down his bottle. “That it is.”

“Red Cross Girl Hadley isn’t supposed to ask questions.” She rolled the beads of her bracelet. “Or remind you of what you’ve been through, what you’re headed back to do.”

“But reporter Hadley wants to ask.” Skip rubbed his jawline and picked up his beer, then set it down again. He had rolled up his sleeves, exposing his lean, tanned forearms.

She laid a gentle hand on his arm. The caramel brown hair was soft beneath her fingertips and touching him sent a crackling charge cascading across her shoulders. She swallowed. “Only what you’re comfortable sharing.”

“What do you want to know?”

“Anything. Everything.”

“I figured.” Skip laughed. “You’ve got an insatiable curiosity, and it’s enough to drive a man crazy. But right now . . . right now, doll, you’re making me crazy in a different way.”

He scooted closer to her and took her hand.

Hadley’s stomach flipped in time to the waves breaking against the shore. He interlocked his strong fingers with hers and circled his thumb over the surface of her polished thumbnail.

“Might be hard to keep your nails this pretty in New Guinea.”

“We Red Cross Girls are the enterprising sort. You might be surprised.” Her low, rich voice was redolent like a sultry saxophone blues number.

Skip met her eyes. His lush lips quirked up with the wolfish confidence of a consummate hell-raiser, a man with a wild side and a grin that melted hearts, stole hearts, broke hearts.

He tipped his mouth closer to hers and chuckled. “You always surprise me, Miss Scarlett.”

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About Eleri

Eleri Grace

Eleri Grace writes historical romance novels featuring trailblazing Red Cross Girl heroines and flyboy heroes.

Before penning her first romance novel, Eleri honed her writing skills as a corporate lawyer, a historical researcher, and an avid writer and reader of fan fiction.

Like many authors, Eleri is a voracious bookworm, happiest in bookstores and libraries. The TV mini-series “Roots” kindled a life-long enthusiasm for genealogy. Eleri is a scrapbooker, eschewing newer and perhaps more efficient digital media in favor of traditional paper (some might say she is a paper addict). A long walk at sunrise is the perfect start to Eleri’s day. She loves to travel and has been fortunate to experience time in many wonderful locations in the US and abroad.

She majored in history at Texas Tech University and is thrilled to have found another career path that allows her to immerse herself in World War II studies. Eleri hopes her novels will reflect her passion for the 1940s era and that her readers will come away with an appreciation for the many couples who were swept up in war-time courtships forged in a time of larger-than-life uncertainties.

Eleri lives in Houston, Texas with her teenage son, her college daughter, and two feuding cats. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, and Daughters of the American Revolution.  

Connect with Eleri: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page 

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Giveaway

Eleri is generously giving away one e-book copy of the ARC version of Carry a Crusading Spirit as part of this cover reveal. You can enter through this Rafflecopter link. This giveaway is open internationally through April 30, 2020. Good luck!

Thank you, Eleri, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your upcoming release!

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Dear readers, I have some fantastic news for you! Jennifer Joy’s newest novel, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Guardian, will be published on Saturday, November 23, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon (U.S. | U.K.). In addition, I have the honor of unveiling the cover for you today, and Jennifer is offering some gifts to celebrate the release!

Before I show you the beautiful cover, let’s read the book blurb!

He lost everyone he loved … except for a secret baby. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy will lie and break the law to keep his sister’s newborn safe. When the only way to protect her is to have an heir of his own, his search for a trustworthy wife begins…

She was her father’s favorite … until he sacrificed her happiness. 

When Elizabeth Bennet’s father falls gravely ill, she is willing to shoulder the responsibility of her family’s care while maintaining her freedom — until she is forced to marry Mr. Darcy.

One broken man + one bitter lady = one happy family? 

Through grief and betrayal, Darcy and Elizabeth learn to trust each other and work together to honor the promises they have made — including the vows they exchanged.

But a spiteful enemy from Darcy’s past is determined to divide their family, and the law is on his side…

Oh my goodness! When a mere book blurb gets your heart racing! A secret baby…a forced marriage…OMG! I hope you all are as intrigued as I am!

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: introducing Fitzwilliam Darcy, Guardian:

What a beautiful cover! It certainly conveys the seriousness of their circumstances, and yet there’s some tenderness and passion. What do you think??

To celebrate the release of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Guardian, Jennifer is offering 4 ebook copies (Kindle/mobi) to my readers, open internationally. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address, and tell us what you love about the cover and/or what interests you most about the book. This giveaway will be open through Wednesday, September 27, 2019. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Jennifer, for inviting me to host the cover reveal, and congratulations on your new release!

You can follow Jennifer Joy on Facebook and Twitter, and all of her books can be found on her Amazon author page.

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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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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!

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I am delighted to share with you today the cover of the latest Meryton Press novel, What’s Past is Prologue by Ann Galvia, which will be available for pre-order sometime today!

I’ve been looking forward to another release from Galvia since I read and enjoyed Side by Side Apart, which will be available for a special price very soon (see below), so you’ll want to grab that if you haven’t read it yet. (I loved the book, and if you’re curious or need convincing, feel free to check out my review!)

Before I reveal the exquisite cover for What’s Past Is Prologue, here’s the blurb:

Elizabeth Darcy has her eye on the future.

Before her marriage, she saw herself making the best possible choice. Her husband saved her family from ruin. All he asked in return was her hand. Secure in his good opinion, Elizabeth married him. Only with hindsight and his cryptic warnings that passion is not immutable does Elizabeth question her decision. Her solution? Give him a son as soon as possible. Once his lust for her has been slaked, this service she has rendered him will ensure her value.

The newlyweds are summoned to Rosings Park almost the moment they are married. Though the estate can boast of beautiful grounds, Elizabeth and Darcy arrive to find devastation. A flood has swept away Lady Catherine’s last hopes of hiding debt and years of mismanagement. She expects Darcy to shoulder the recovery efforts.

The effort to save Rosings strains the already tense relationship between Elizabeth and her husband. To make matters worse, her presence is met with disdain and disinterest from the family. As the days in the besieged estate drag on, Elizabeth slowly untangles the histories and secrets of her new relations.

Like Elizabeth’s marriage, the crisis at Rosings is the culmination of past events. Disaster need not be the result of only bad choices; good principles have led them astray as well. As for Elizabeth, she barely knows her husband, and loving him might be impossible. Yet, she is determined to save all that she can—her marriage and the estate—and somehow, create the future she longs for.

Doesn’t that sound intriguing? I can’t wait to find out what ruin Darcy saved Elizabeth’s family from, why she agreed to marry him without truly knowing him, and why she is so desperate to give him a son so quickly. And the cryptic warnings and the secrets and Lady Catherine’s problems…it sounds like a real page-turner to me!

And now, without further ado, What’s Past Is Prologue by Ann Galvia:

What a stunning cover! The poses, the looks on their faces…I’m dying to know what’s happening here!

And now, the full cover:

I love the flowers on the back cover. It is very bright and elegant and perfectly complements the front cover.

About the Author

Ann started writing sometime before she knew how letters functioned. Her first books were drawings of circus
poodles heavily annotated with scribbles meant to tell a story. Upon learning how letters were combined to represent words, she started doing that instead. This has proven to be much more successful.

Sometime after that, she decided she wanted to study Anthropology and sometime after that, she decided she liked cats more than dogs. And sometime after that, she decided to become an educator and teach a new generation of kids how to combine letters to represent words, and use those words express ideas.

And sometime after that, she realized all she really wanted to do was write, which probably should have been evident from the beginning.

Follow Ann: Twitter | Facebook | Blog

I hope you all love the cover as much as I do and am eager to read the book! Stay tuned for the blog tour…

And don’t forget the special sale coming soon!

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I have a special treat for you today, my dear readers! It is always so exciting to get a peek at a new cover before everyone else and then get the chance to share it with the world! Before I unveil the gorgeous cover for Amy George’s latest book, Amy is here to introduce you all to The Sweetest Ruin. Please give her a warm welcome:

I am easily influenced.

As a young writer (a child), I spent a lot of time watching soap operas with my grandmother. My very first story was sort of a cross between “Guiding Light” and “The Boxcar Children.” As a teenager, there were copious amounts of New Kids on the Block fan fiction revolving around the Mary Sues of my best friend and I.

And then there was Jane.

She came into my life and let me fall in love with Darcy & Elizabeth. And I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.

I wrote a tropical paradise continuation inspired by the music of Jimmy Buffett. I wrote a role reversal story with Lizzy as the snob. I wrote a murder mystery that got me kicked off Drool (and here I am showing my age to some members of the fandom). When that happened, my fiercely protective previously mentioned best friend put in all the work and made me the figurehead of a little place called the Hyacinth Garden.

The Garden was always a writer’s community. That was the intent from the get-go. So since most of the writers in the community felt safe, a lot of us used it as a place to experiment. We held writing challenges. There were dribbles and themed competitions revolving around racy short stories we called Naughty Bits.

I loved and appreciated this supportive environment more than you will ever know. I did a lot of writing for the Garden.

Including this story.

The Sweetest Ruin was the story that my readers asked for. Apparently, they were convinced I could not write a tale that didn’t emotionally jerk them around. They wanted low angst and this is what I came up with. I would post each chapter and used the comments to guide the story. Those readers from the Hyacinth Garden did as much to write this story as I did or as my beloved editor, Debbie Styne, a former Garden Hoe herself, did.

I invite you to take a trip to Vegas with Darcy, Lizzy, and me. This story is proof positive that while what happens in Vegas may stay there, what happened in the Garden was meant to be shared.

We are scheduling this blog tour from January 29 – February 9, 2018. The book will be released this week.

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Meet Amy George:

“Amy George is a middle-aged woman who got rid of her old lady/grown up and has since purchased an unreasonably small car. She refuses to listen to its radio at a reasonable volume, especially when the Beastie Boys or the Violent Femmes are playing. She lives in a small town in the Midwest where the bookstore and yarn shop are neighbors and most food is fried. Her household consists of a dog, a man, a hermit, and stubborn soap scum.

She has been writing since she was a child and ran the Hyacinth Gardens, a popular but defunct JAFF site.”

Fun fact: My birthday is January 30th so this is like a big birthday party.

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Thanks, Amy! I am very excited to read this book, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I know all of you are ready to see the cover, but first, the book blurb:

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for:

Isn’t that a fantastic cover?!? It seems to fit the book perfectly. I just love the silhouette of our dear couple. I’m a huge fan of modern retellings, so I am anxiously awaiting the book’s release and the blog tour. Please show Amy some love for the cover in the comments! 🙂

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Today I have a real treat for you, my dear readers! Rose Fairbanks is releasing her next Pride and Prejudice variation on March 29 (possibly sooner) — click here to preorder — and I will be revealing the cover right here, right now. And she is generously sharing an excerpt and a giveaway with you as well!

Before I show you the beautiful cover for The Secrets of Pemberley, here is the blurb:

To the world, Fitzwilliam Darcy has it all. He’s the young master to one of the kingdom’s oldest and wealthiest Norman families. Through his mother, he is related to a powerful line of earls. Beneath the perfect façade lies the truth: he’s the product of his mother’s affair and the heir George Darcy never wanted.

At twenty-eight, Darcy has fought hard to put to rest the pains of the past and earn his place in Society. But can he resist the allure of ending his loneliness with the unsuitable woman who has tugged at his heartstrings? Will he tell her his secret and if he does, will she keep it? Or will someone else from the past destroy everything Darcy has worked for?

Doesn’t that sound intriguing? And here is the cover that seems to capture the book so well:

And the entire print cover:

Wow! The mask hints at some secrecy, and the statute on the back cover has a vulnerability about it that just tears at my heart! I’m dying to read the book, and I’m sure many of you are as well. In the meantime, here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:

“You have done this, Anne, and I will never forgive you.”

A large, stern man hovered over Fitzwilliam Darcy’s sobbing mother. Her cries awoke the boy of eight from his night time slumber in the small Scottish cottage where he and his mother shared a room. The only light was a lantern in the man’s hand. Outside the open window, the world remained quiet except for the sound of horses snorting and stamping impatiently. A coachman attempted to calm them.

“But do not take him away from me! Do not take my boy!”

Fitzwilliam attempted to hide behind his mother who now sat on his bed.

“You have taken mine!” the man roared. “Have you no words of regret on the passing of your firstborn? My son! My heir! He needed his mother — but no, you were here.”

Lady Anne Darcy remained mute and continued her sobs. Her son peered curiously at the angry man. Mother had another child? He had a brother?

“Do not fret,” the man glared and had no sympathy for the tears he saw. “I kept your affair a secret, and he has my name. He will be accepted.”

“But he will not be loved!” Lady Anne sobbed anew, and she hugged Fitzwilliam.

“You should have thought of that before you played the harlot.”

“If you would allow me to come with you,” she pleaded.

“Absolutely not. You will remain here for your “health.” Now, pass the boy over.”

The man looked at the Fitzwilliam. He looked strange, unfamiliar and in clothing that showed no signs of wear. Mother had always said one day his father would come for him one day, but looking at this man, Fitzwilliam did not want to go.

“No, anything but that please,” Mother cried.

Large hands tried to snatch Fitzwilliam’s arm, and she threw herself in front of the child. He darted to the other side of the room.

“Anne,” George said in a warning tone. “The law is on my side.”

He sounded angry, and Fitzwilliam flinched at the voice, but his mother did not cower. Either Mother was very brave, or perhaps there was no reason to fear violence from the man.

“Allow me to say goodbye,” Mother pleaded.

At last, the towering man relented.

“Fitzwilliam, my darling son,” Mother choked out and embraced him.

He wrapped his hands tightly around her waist and pressed his head to her chest. “Mama, please do not send me away. Do not make me go with that man.” Tears streaked down his face, and he trembled in fear. Other than Cook and the maid, he had seldom known other people. He was even too shy to greet the minister they saw every Sunday.

“He is your father,” Mama said.

The man snorted, and Fitzwilliam lifted his head.

Mother turned her head to face Father. “What else is there to tell him, George?”

“Disguise of every sort is my abhorrence,” he said through gritted teeth. “Am I not lying enough as it is?”

“Please,” Mother asked as her chin trembled and tears fell down her cheeks. “Please.”

“Blast it. You always knew how to get your way,” Father whispered. “I will tell him when he is old enough.”

Fitzwilliam felt relief in his mother’s frame, and she exhaled the breath she had been holding.

“Thank you.”

Turning back to her son, she ran comforting hands over his hair and face. “Now, you will go with your Papa and learn everything you can about running a big estate. So many people will look up to you and will count on you. Do you think you can do that?”

Fitzwilliam shook his head.

“Our son was never afraid of anything,” Father said sadly. “Did you ever wonder?”

Pain and anguish flooded Mother’s eyes, and she squeezed them shut. Upon opening, determination filled them.

“You can do this! I know you can! Do you remember the name of the estate?”

“Pember…Pemberley?”

“Yes! See how smart you are already?”

Fitzwilliam did not care about praise at this moment. Why did he have to leave Mother behind? “When will I see you again?”

“Do not worry about that,” she answered with a quavering voice. “I must remain here and get healthy.”

Mother often said they lived here because of her health. She never seemed ill to him, only sad. However, he would never wish to hurt her. “Must I go?”

“Yes, it is your duty to be the heir of Pemberley.” She pulled him into a crushing hug. “Now, never forget how I love you. No one will ever love you as your mother.”

“Boy, it is time,” Father called.

After another minute, Mother released him and gave him a kiss on each cheek. He reluctantly walked to his father’s side.

“I am pleased to meet you, Father,” he said.

George Darcy harrumphed and left the sparse room. Fitzwilliam cast a parting look at his mother, who tried to smile and waved goodbye. Then, he trailed down the stairs and maintained silence until they were in the carriage. As they pulled away from the cottage which been his only home, Fitzwilliam cried.

How heartbreaking! I really need to know what happens next!

If you’re as curious as I am, Rose is generously offering two lucky readers the chance to win The Secrets of Pemberley: one ebook, open to readers internationally, and one print copy, U.S. only. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address and whether you are entering for the print copy or the ebook. This giveaway will close on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

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

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I am beyond excited to be hosting the cover reveal today for J.L. Ashton’s upcoming release from Meryton PressMendacity & Mourning. Before I reveal the absolutely gorgeous cover, designed by Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou, please give a warm welcome to J.L. Ashton:

As words mean so much, I have to say I am especially glad to have the cover reveal for Mendacity & Mourning here at Diary of an Eccentric (aka Writings of an Eccentric Bookworm).

It is the perfect place for the clever cover designed by the ever-talented Zorylee Diaz-Lupitou. Not only does it pay tribute to the peacock on the first editions of Pride & Prejudice, but it hints at the humor in my romantic comedy with its eccentric allusions to the unconventional people and fulsomely odd relations who surround Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy and complicate and misdirect their romance.

The Fitzwilliams fret and spout fruity metaphors, while Kitty Bennet forms an unusual adoration of “the highly fashionable” Miss Bingley. Vain men strut about as gossipy peacocks, sporting beauty marks or spouting platitudes, and the Colonel is a flirty, mustachioed foil to it all.

“Never once had Darcy given honest consideration to marrying his cousin. He had cared for Anne as he might have cared for a piece of fruit. She had been enjoyable when in season, but when her temperament turned dark and surly—as it so often had—Anne had a sour bite to her personality. The apple did not fall far from the tree, his uncle Lord Matlock would grumble.

Occasionally, Darcy wondered whether his family’s reliance on fruit metaphors for ill-behaved relatives did not mask some deep-seated resentment of the French vineyards the D’Arcys had abandoned some three centuries earlier. Years ago, when he had mentioned this supposition to Richard, all he had provoked in response was a raised eyebrow and a reminder that no Fitzwilliam had any envy of the frog-tainted D’Arcy blood. “Just our gold and our art collections…” a thirteen-year-old Darcy had mumbled under his breath, but he had refrained from ever repeating it aloud after Richard bloodied his nose.”

I adore the back cover—all subtlety and yet outrageously odd. The cover captures the absolute sense of shock and dumbstruck horror that befalls all who stroll the rooms and halls of the new and improved Rosings. Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but few Bennets, Darcys or Fitzwilliams will look comfortably upon the walls of Lady Catherine’s home. And of course, Mr. Collins has an opinion to share as well….

I hope everyone will enjoy Zuki’s artwork as much as I do, and read Mendacity & Mourning to see how it all ties together. Thanks so much to Anna for hosting me! You are so kind!

It’s truly my pleasure, Jan! Thank you so much for being my guest today!

Now I know you are all anxiously awaiting the reveal, so it is my pleasure to introduce Mendacity & Mourning by J.L. Ashton:

Isn’t that a stunning cover?! I’d been dying to read the book already, but now I am even more eager to delve in.

To get you even more excited, here’s the book blurb and back cover:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gossip in possession of misheard tales and desirous of both a good wife and an eager audience need only descend upon the sitting rooms of a small country town in order to find satisfaction. And with a push from Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins sets alight a series of misunderstandings, rumours, and lies that create obstacles to a romance between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

This slightly unhinged romantic comedy follows Darcy as he sets off to find himself a wife and instead finds himself pulled into the mire of his aunt’s machinations and his own fascination with Elizabeth, whom he believes betrothed to another. As Meryton judges him the grieving groom of Anne de Bourgh and a caddish dallier with the hearts of others, Darcy must ferret out the truth behind his cousin’s disappearance, protect his sister from the fretful fate of all Fitzwilliam females, and, most importantly, win Elizabeth’s heart.

The ebook of Mendacity & Mourning should be available around June 9-10, with the paperback to follow a couple of weeks later. Join me and some other wonderful bloggers for the Mendacity & Mourning blog tour, which runs from June 19-July 3.

In the meantime, I encourage you to check out Jan’s modern Pride and Prejudice variation, A Searing Acquaintance (check out my review here), and connect with her via Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Blog.

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mbdd-nov-2-cover-reveal-br-ann_edited-2-1I am thrilled to be among the bloggers participating in the cover reveal festivities for Joana Starnes’ latest novel, Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, which releases today!

Before I share the stunning cover for what promises to be a fantastic variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, here’s a description of the book to whet your appetite:

When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, I’m delighted to introduce Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, featuring the Portrait of Miss Frances Vinicombe by John Opie, a British landscape and portrait artist famous for his paintings of well-known people, including the author Mary Wollstonecraft. Opie’s works also are featured at the Chawton House Library.

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International Giveaway

One winner will receive a paperback and two will receive an ebook of Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. The winners also will receive assorted Austen-related mini-gifts.

Also, as a special bonus, all Rafflecopter entrants will receive an exclusive excerpt of the book that will not be included in the Amazon sample. These sample excerpts will be emailed to entrants using their Rafflecopter email addresses. (Please let me know if you have any trouble getting Rafflecopter to accept your entry, and I’ll make sure your email address is sent to the tour host.)

Click here to enter the giveaway. The winners will be announced on November 16. Good luck!

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Connect with Joana Starnes

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Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Follow the blog tour

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November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway

November 18/From Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway

November 19/Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post

November 21/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway

November 23/Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway

November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving

November 25/ So Little Time… So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway

November 26/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes

November 27 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway

November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway

December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

© 2016 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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