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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Georgiana

She longs for true love…

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

Duty and honor…

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

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

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About the Author

Sue Barr

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

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

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

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

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Giveaway

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

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

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I am thrilled to be part of the 10th anniversary re-release celebration for Karen M Cox’s Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel 1932. Karen is here to share an excerpt and giveaway with us today. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Thanks for welcoming me back to Diary of an Eccentric!

Tomorrow is the big day—the release of the second edition of my debut novel, 1932, complete with some additional chapters for more Darcy-loving fun!

One of my favorite parts of writing 1932 was the addition of a certain brown-eyed, precocious character, first introduced in this excerpt.

The Bennets have just arrived at the Meryton train station from Chicago. The date is August 2, 1932…

Once they had gathered on the platform, Elizabeth wandered away from the bench where her mother and sisters waited.  

“Lizzy!” her mother called. “Where are you off to, girl?”

“I’m just going to stretch my legs a little. I’ll be right back.”

Elizabeth ambled past the ticket window. Several dozen people were milling about, greeting loved ones or saying goodbye, several clustered together in embraces. The air had a thick, sweet smell, and she became aware of the long, drawled Southern vowels peppering the conversations around her. She turned in amusement to the sound of small voice calling, “Baa-baa.” A little girl, perhaps two years old, was toddling toward the train, waving at some unseen passenger. Corn silk blonde curls swirled around her shoulders. As she neared the edge of the platform, Elizabeth glanced around for the girl’s parents but saw no one coming to retrieve her. The little one had stepped perilously close to the train when Elizabeth sprang forward and caught her hand.  

She squatted down to the girl’s eye-level and smiled at her. “Whoa there, sweet pea. You can’t go over there all by yourself.”

The girl looked at her, curious. “Choo-choo. Baa-baa!”  

“Baa?” Elizabeth asked, amused. “I don’t see sheep anywhere.” She had noticed a chorus of baa’s from the passengers and their families as they stood and waved goodbye to each other.

“Where’s your mama?”

The girl parroted after her. “Mama!”  

Elizabeth picked the girl up, looking around the crowd. She heard a woman’s anxious voice calling, “Ruth! Ruth?”  

A child’s voice joined in. “Ruth!” 

A young woman hurried through the crowd, scanning the platform, frantic. She was dragging another girl along by the hand.  

Elizabeth called to her. “Ma’am, is this whom you’re looking for?” 

The woman stopped, relief washing over her features. She put a hand to her heart and closed her eyes for a quick second. Taking a deep breath, she began moving toward them. Elizabeth set the little girl back on her feet, watching her toddle back to her mother, calling, “Mama!” The woman scooped the girl up into her arms and hugged her fiercely, wrapping a protective hand around her head.  

“Ruth Anne Darcy! You mustn’t run from Mama like that, darling.” She approached Elizabeth, moving the little girl to her hip. “Thank you so much for catching her, miss. She’s quick as lightning. I looked away for a moment and she was gone.”  

A little voice piped up from below. “I tried to tell you, Mama, but you shushed me.” 

Elizabeth looked down into dark brown eyes with long, sooty lashes. Wide-eyed and curious, the little girl stared at her with an unnerving intensity. Her earnest face was framed by a shock of glossy brown hair, red and gold highlights catching the sun’s rays.  

“You watch out for your sister, don’t you?”

The girl let out a dramatic sigh. “I try. But she just gets in troubles all the time anyway.”  

Elizabeth stifled a chuckle and put on a serious-looking face. “I know exactly what you mean. My little sisters are always getting into troubles too.” She looked back at the girls’ mother, who seemed embarrassed at her daughter’s frank assessment of the situation. The young woman’s cheeks were pink in her lean, delicate face. She was about Elizabeth’s height, but thinner, with blonde hair and sad grey eyes. She changed the topic with a shy smile. 

“Are you meeting someone here, miss?”  

“Oh. No, I’ve just arrived. I’ve come here with my family to live.”

“How nice. Do you have children too?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “Ah, no. I’m not married. I live with my parents and my sisters.” She felt a tug on her skirt.  

“What’s your name?” 

“Maggie! That’s a little forward, darling. You haven’t been introduced.” The woman admonished her older daughter, placing her free arm around the girl’s shoulders.

“I want to be introduced, Mama. That’s why I asked her.”

Elizabeth did chuckle this time. “Makes sense to me.” She knelt to look the girl in her big brown eyes and held out her hand. “My name is Elizabeth Bennet.”  

The little hand shook hers. “I’m Maggie. My middle name is Elizabeth, just like yours. I’m Margaret Elizabeth Darcy, and I’m four years old.”

“Good to meet you, Margaret Elizabeth Darcy.” Elizabeth stood up and smiled at the girls’ mother. “Do you live here?”

“Yes, we live on a farm out in the country. The girls are so excited. We’ve come to meet

A loud squeal erupted from Maggie’s lips as she pulled loose from her mother’s hold and ran down the platform, yelling something incomprehensible. The young mother turned, and a smile broke over her face. “There he is!” Ruth was wriggling in her mother’s arms, trying to get down. After being set free, she followed her sister. Elizabeth glanced up and saw a tall, dark-haired gentleman with a small suitcase in one hand. He stopped and smiled at the girls’ squeals and held both arms wide, kneeling and gathering them into a hug.  

“I guess I should go.” The mother turned back to Elizabeth. “It was good to meet you, Miss Bennet, and thank you so much for catching Ruth.”

“I hope to see you again soon.” The woman cocked her head to one side and smiled cautiously at Elizabeth, as though she was deciding if that were indeed a true statement.  

“Goodbye, Missus.…” Elizabeth paused expectantly. 

“Oh,” the young woman said, “I’m Georgiana. Georgiana Darcy.” She began walking backward toward her family, and with a broad smile, she turned around, striding swiftly away. Elizabeth watched as the man gave Georgiana a quick embrace. Georgiana then turned and gestured toward Elizabeth, obviously telling the story of the missing Ruth. The man frowned, and Elizabeth instantly recognized him from the passenger car, three rows behind her family. It was that grim, dour banker! The one who scowled at her and then retreated behind his paper. Amazing how a smile had transformed his haughty expression.

The family turned to go, and Georgiana held up a hand to Elizabeth in a friendly farewell. Lizzy waved back. 

What a sweet little family. The children are precious, and the mother seems nice, if a little shy. But the father! Goodness, he’s rude! 

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About 1932

“…do anything rather than marry without affection.”
—Pride and Prejudice

During the upheaval of the Great Depression, Elizabeth Bennet’s life is torn asunder. Her family’s relocation from the bustle of the big city to a quiet family farm has changed her future, and now, she must build a new life in rural Meryton, Kentucky.

William Darcy suffered family turmoil of his own, but he has settled into a peaceful life at Pemberley, the largest farm in the county. Single, rich, and seemingly content, he remains aloof—immune to any woman’s charms.

Until Elizabeth Bennet moves to town.

As Darcy begins to yearn for something he knows is missing, Elizabeth’s circumstances become more dire. Can the two put aside their pride and prejudices long enough to find their way to each other?

1932, Karen M Cox’s award-winning debut novel, is a matchless variation on Jane Austen’s classic tale.

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

Karen M Cox

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of five novels accented with history and romance, a novella, and several short stories.

Karen was born in Everett WA, the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee, and New York State before settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at age eleven. She lives in a quiet town with her husband and works as a pediatric speech pathologist.

If you would like periodic bits of authorly goodness delivered to your inbox, be sure to get Karen’s News and Muse Letter. Updates, sales, book recommendations, etc. are yours for the asking.

Follow Karen: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

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Giveaway

To celebrate the 10th anniversary edition of 1932, Karen is giving away a signed copy of the book and some Jane Austen swag: fun notecards from The Quill Ink, What Would Jane Do? book of quotes, and Austen coffee mug (if US winner) or an ebook copy of the book and 25$ Amazon Gift Card (if International Winner – cause #shipping 🙂 You must enter through this link. Good luck!

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Thanks, Karen, for being my guest today, and congratulations on this publishing milestone!

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Source: Review copy from the author

Sense Without Sensibility by Keena Richins is a modern-day variation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility told from the point of view of Elinor Dashwood. Elinor’s life, and the lives of her mother and two younger sisters, has been upended by her father’s stroke and the likelihood that he will never be more than the shell of his former self. They have barely come to terms with their new reality when her half-brother John and his wife Fanny swoop in with plans to liquidate her father’s businesses and sell their home due to the hefty costs of her father’s long-term care — and due to a prenup, her mother isn’t entitled to anything.

Fanny gives the women a couple of months to figure out their next move, and Elinor finds herself working side-by-side with Fanny’s auditor brother Edward to prepare the small business she’d been managing for her father for sale. Elinor expects the worst given Fanny’s cold-hearted focus on the Dashwood inheritance, but when she meets Edward, she finds a kindred spirit – a shy man with a head for business and a kind heart. As they forge a friendship (and something more, she secretly hopes), she finds it hard to break through the wall that Edward puts up whenever his family is mentioned. Before she can get him to open up, the Dashwood women are forced to move and start a new life on the West Coast, far from the life and man they hold so dear but where new friendships and adventures await.

I really enjoyed how Richins modernized the story while staying true to the essence of each character and the basic plot of Austen’s novel. I loved how characters from other Austen novels made appearances and how, like with most modern variations, I had no idea how the characters would get from A to Z. Those twists and turns were exciting, and the expected happily ever after was so satisfying after all the turmoil Elinor had endured.

This is the third book in a series in which Richins gives modern versions of Austen’s heroes and heroines the chance to tell their side of the story, but it can be read as a standalone book. I loved Richins’ take on Elinor, how she managed to stay strong despite so much hardship and always managed to have a positive attitude. I did get a little tired of her referring to the “cold monster” that would come over Edward, especially when the change in his mood was already implied through action and dialogue, but it didn’t ruin my overall enjoyment of the book. Elinor felt real to me, and so did Marianne as the melodramatic teenager glued to her phone and Brandon as a quiet, kind veteran who emerges as an ally before they even settle into their new life in Portland. I can’t wait to read the upcoming books from Edward’s, Marianne’s, and Brandon’s points of view.

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About Sense Without Sensibility

After a stroke that devastates the mind of her father, Elinor expects her life will never be the same. But she wasn’t expecting to lose her job and her family home thanks to a legal technicality.

Facing ruin, Elinor prepares to fight against the selfish, cruel man who would ensure that ruin. However, Edward turns out to be the opposite, a kind soul who only wants to fulfill his duty. So Elinor hatches a new plan: get Edward on her side and utilize their own legal technicality. The only problem? Edward would have to go against his very influential and wealthy family.

Would he risk losing everything–his job, his family, and his massive inheritance–to save Elinor?

In the world of Pemberley Estates, Jane Austen’s characters mingle with each other in a modern setting.

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

Keena Richins has a curse: she must write the stories bubbling in her head or go mad. Seriously. You should see the hordes of characters in her head constantly babbling about their lives. When she needs a break, Keena will delve into books and her favorite are the Jane Austen books, so it is only fitting for her first debut to be a modern twist on one of those classics. And many more are soon to come.

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Giveaway

Keena is offering 3 ebooks of Sense Without Sensibility as part of the blog tour. You must enter through this Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

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For more information about the blog tour, visit Poetic Book Tours.

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I’m happy to welcome Heather Moll back to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate her latest release, Two More Days at Netherfield. Heather is here to share an excerpt, which I hope you all enjoy as much as I did. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Hello Anna and thank you for hosting me again at Diary of an Eccentric! I’m very excited to share an excerpt from Two More Days at Netherfield with you and your lovely readers. One of the results of Elizabeth and Jane’s extended stay is a developing friendship between Darcy and Elizabeth. By the time Elizabeth leaves, they both realize that they have faults in their judgment in behavior that they have to work on. In this excerpt—on the Monday after they would have gone home in canon—they are walking to Meryton to mail letters and are discussing Darcy’s improving behavior.

“As much as I am loath to continue on a path of pride and conceit, I am unsure as to how to amend my behaviour.”

“You strike me as the sort of man who, once he arrives at a decision, is already in possession of the force of will to carry it out.”

“It is not a matter of will, but a matter of the appropriate action. I have no talent with the sort of amiability I ought to present when speaking with those I have never seen before.”

“I do not play the piano in the talented manner that I see many women do. I have always supposed it to be my own fault because I would not take the trouble of practising.”

Darcy smiled. “You are perfectly right.”

“Yes, you shall prove a delightful friend; tell me I am right, and your worth will be invaluable.” Darcy resigned himself to being laughed at. “You shall have to practice being engaging and courteous to those who are unfamiliar to you.”

“For the sake of argument, let us assume that there are people one suffers to meet who are unpleasant, whose presence is undesirable for no other reason than they are tiresome. It would be deceitful for me to imply I wish to further the conversation or the acquaintance.”

She was silent for just long enough for Darcy to mistakenly assume he had won his point. “If you find someone so tiresome such that you cannot hold a brief yet polite conversation, I am of the opinion the fault lies with you.”

His own conduct was once again before him. There was much to blame in it, but he had little he could say. They fell into companionable silence as they completed their errand. Darcy proved himself capable of possessing an obliging nature as Elizabeth made a point to look in every shop window they passed. Darcy suspected he was being punished.

“No doubt you are grateful we have not crossed the threshold of any of these shops,” she teased. “I am tempted by everything I see, and I am always very long at a purchase.”

“I do not believe it, but by all means, let us go inside. Do you desire a new bonnet? There is one in the next window; it is not pretty, but you might as well buy it as not.”

Elizabeth turned from the window displaying the dreadful hat, her eyes full of mirth. “I concede! I could never buy an ugly bonnet, even for the gratification of having you carry it. Let us return to Netherfield.”

He gratefully led them in the opposite way down the street and observed a man on the other side take notice of Elizabeth.

“Is that gentleman known to you?”

“That is Mr Denny; he is also known to you. You have dined with him along with the other officers.”

“Their conversation is all the same; I hardly know one from the other.”

“Let us greet him. This is a perfect opportunity for you to practice.”

Darcy resisted his natural disinclination. They crossed the street, and Mr Denny bowed. “Good day.”

Elizabeth remained silent. She adjusted her grip on her reticule and lightly touched his arm, and Darcy knew she expected him to reply. Behave in a gentlemanlike manner.

He touched his hat. “Good day, Mr Denny. I trust you are well?”

“Yes, thank you. I was in town; I have just alighted from my carriage at the posting inn.”

Darcy silently begged Elizabeth to speak, but he would not be granted a reprieve. What would I say if this were an influential, titled gentleman from my club? “I trust your business was conducted to your satisfaction?”

“Indeed it was, how kind of you to inquire. Also, I renewed my acquaintance with a gentleman who, I am happy to say, has accepted a commission in our corps. May I make him known to you?” Elizabeth nodded. “He is there, leaving the inn.” Mr Denny looked over Darcy and Elizabeth’s shoulders, raising his arm to beckon his friend.

“You need to overcome your reserve to be agreeable, but I applaud your first effort,” Elizabeth whispered.

“I shall never share your enjoyment of company, particularly of an unknown person,” he murmured.

“You need not fear; we are not meeting a single lady who will set her cap on you. We are meeting a gentleman who is to join the militia; how is there any harm in that?”

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About Two More Days at Netherfield

While her sister Jane is ill at Netherfield, Elizabeth Bennet overhears Miss Bingley and the proud Mr Darcy discussing his admiration of Elizabeth and her fine eyes. Not sure what to think of his praise after all of their previous disagreements, and more flattered than she wants to admit, Elizabeth teases him for the disparaging remark he made about her at the Meryton Assembly. Darcy is then forced to reconsider his opinion of a woman who has truly bewitched him more than any other.

The result of this unintended eavesdropping leads to confrontations and apologies on both sides and, eventually, the beginnings of a friendship between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their warming acquaintance impacts the courtship of Darcy’s friend and Elizabeth’s sister, the jealous temper of Miss Bingley, and even the behavior of Mr. Wickham after he arrives in Meryton.

How are the events of the winter drastically affected by the Bennet sisters choosing to spend two more days at Netherfield?

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

Heather Moll

Heather Moll is an avid reader of mysteries and biographies with a master’s in information science. She found Jane Austen later than she should have and made up for lost time by devouring Austen’s letters and unpublished works, joining JASNA, and spending too much time researching the Regency era. She is the author of Two More Days at Netherfield and His Choice of a Wife. She lives with her husband and son and struggles to balance all of the important things, like whether to clean the house or write. Connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Giveaway

Quills & Quartos Publishing is giving away one ebook at each blog stop of the Two More Days at Netherfield blog tour. All you need to do to enter the giveaway is comment on this blog post, and Quills & Quartos will randomly choose one random winner after February 21. So, make sure you join in the conversation! Good luck!

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

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Hello, friends! It’s my turn to celebrate the release of Kelly Miller’s latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match. I have the pleasure of sharing an excerpt with you today, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

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In this excerpt, Darcy converses with his aunt Lady Matlock at his London town house.

He entered the sitting room, presenting his best attempt at a smile. “Lady Matlock, this is a pleasant surprise.” He placed a kiss upon her cheek.

“Good afternoon, Darcy.” Taking her seat, his aunt gazed upon him with her inscrutable public expression, deceptive in its placid appearance. “Richard has been uncharacteristically mum and solemn whenever I bring up your name. Have the two of you had a disagreement?”

He took a seat across from her. “I suppose you could say we had a difference of opinion, but it is nothing of import.”

“I see.” Her eyes glimmered with a shrewd focus upon his face. “You are not quite yourself. You appear to be tired.”

“I have not slept well the past couple of nights because I returned home to find a great deal of estate business waiting for me. I shall be caught up soon enough.”

Lady Matlock retrieved the cup of tea she had served herself before his arrival. “I am having a small gathering for dinner this Friday. I should like you to attend.”

Not another of her deuced dinners! The “small gathering” was certain to include one or more unmarried ladies whom his aunt deemed ideal for him. Her tireless efforts to find spouses for her own sons had so far been fruitless, but finding a match for him was almost as great an object for her. In the past, he had found such dinners tedious; in his present state of abjection, it would be intolerable. “Forgive me, but I have too many obligations at present to commit to an evening away from home.”

Her dissatisfaction at his response was displayed solely in a slight tightening of the muscles in her lower jaw. “That is a shame.” She stirred in her seat as if seeking a more comfortable position.

In his eagerness for a new topic of conversation, Darcy infused a cheerful energy into his tone. “Georgiana has told me of her new friend, Miss Hester Drake. I understand they met at one of your gatherings. I am interested in hearing your opinion of the young lady.”

His ploy had the desired effect. While his aunt quirked an eyebrow, a wide smile overspread her countenance. “Yes. It is wonderful that they have formed a friendship. I was gratified to see the two of them get along so well from their first meeting last month at one of my luncheons. As you may know, Mrs. Drake has been a dear friend for most of my adult life. All of her children have grown to be sensible and admirable adults. I believe you are acquainted with James Drake?”

“Yes, we were friends at Cambridge, though I have not met with him for a year or so.”

“You do not spend as much time in London as you ought.”

Darcy’s attitude grew taut at this familiar complaint. As it was, he spent more time in London than he would wish.

“James Drake married a lovely young lady last year.” Lady Matlock rested her clasped hands in her lap. “Miss Hester Drake is the youngest child in the family, and Mrs. Drake did not allow her to come out until this Season, just before her nineteenth birthday.”

His aunt’s approval of Miss Drake and her family was pleasing and not unexpected, but he owed it to his sister to be absolutely certain of the people he permitted in her company. Mindful of treading with tact as he voiced his concerns, he spoke in a sober vein. “You may not be aware that Georgiana has had several…disappointments in the past with young ladies she befriended. Her characteristic shyness makes it difficult for her to form friendships as it is, and because of these previous disheartening experiences, I am cautious in allowing her to form new ones.”

Lady Matlock maintained her serene smile. “I can well imagine what those ladies who disappointed poor Georgiana were actually interested in—or should I say whom? But you need have no concern on that account with Miss Drake. Mrs. Drake is not pressing her daughter towards marriage—far from it. She would prefer to see Miss Drake remain unmarried rather than wed for reasons other than love. Mrs. Drake’s main object is to promote her daughter’s happiness. Unlike most leading families of our society, she and her husband do not seek to further their own connections through their youngest daughter’s marriage. Since her two older brothers and her older sister have all married well, Miss Drake is free to choose to marry for love or perhaps not at all.”

“That is a singular point of view.” From his aunt’s characterization of her family, Miss Drake was a fortunate and well-loved lady. Before he had fallen in love with Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy had given little consideration to what sort of marriage Georgiana might have. However, Mrs. Drake’s outlook towards the prospect of marriage for her youngest daughter aligned with his own wishes for his sister. Though he might have said otherwise a few weeks earlier, his sister deserved nothing less than a love match should she be fortunate enough to find one. He would not deny Georgiana the profound happiness he had sought, but failed, to attain for himself.

His aunt’s eyes gleamed, and she presented a smug smile. “Because of my intimate friendship with Mrs. Drake, I can tell you much about the young lady. Miss Drake’s poise and self-confidence helped her sail with ease through her presentation to the queen and the ball given in her honour. Her family name, beauty, and thirty-thousand-pound dowry have already drawn the interest of many eligible gentlemen of the ton. But Miss Drake has the added advantage of being intelligent, charming, and loquacious; so, as you might imagine, she had her pick of a large number of gentlemen who have called upon her.

“Nevertheless, in a warm and polite fashion, Miss Drake discouraged the suit of each of these gentlemen, imparting the information that, although she was much flattered by their interest, she felt she was yet too young and new to society to pursue a greater intimacy with any one gentleman. Her sweet and engaging manner left none of these spurned gentlemen affronted. On the contrary, most of them appeared to retain the hope that, if they bided their time, they would receive a more favourable answer in her second Season.”

“Miss Drake sounds like an unusual lady. The object of most ladies who come out is to find a suitor and to marry. Mrs. Drake did not object to her daughter’s decision to dismiss these gentlemen?”

“Not at all. Mrs. Drake regarded her daughter’s decision with complacency.”

As singular as the Drake family appeared to be, the material point was the lady’s demeanour with his sister. “Have you had the occasion to observe Miss Drake and Georgiana together since the luncheon?”

“I have. I escorted Georgiana to call at the Drake home on the Monday following the luncheon where they met. Mrs. Drake and I shared company with the two young ladies and their companions for a period of two hours, and it was evident they enjoyed each other’s company. My understanding is that, since then, the two have enjoyed regular visits in the presence of their companions once or twice each week.” Lady Matlock took a long pause to finish her tea and dispose of her cup. “Miss Drake attended an exclusive boarding school. She is an accomplished musician and is well read. I assure you that the lady is everything lovely and delightful. I doubt you could find a better friend for your sister.”

Darcy squeezed his eyes shut for a moment in an attempt to dispel the image of Elizabeth Bennet that intruded upon his mind at his aunt’s words.

Lady Matlock’s eyes contained a mischievous gleam. “I hope you will make Miss Drake’s acquaintance soon. I know well how exacting you can be when judging ladies. You are apt to find fault where others see perfection. Still, I dare you to find aught wrong with Miss Drake!”

“Indeed, I do not dare.” The blood drained from his face—he uttered those exact words last autumn at Netherfield Park in response to Elizabeth Bennet after she had dared him to despise her. Damn it! How was he to stop conjuring up the lady?

“One does not meet a lady with Miss Drake’s attributes every day. I trust that, once you have met her, you will agree with me.” With an enigmatic smile and a subtle nod, she stood, prompting him to do the same. “Since you are so busy, I shall stop in for a quick chat with Georgiana and then be on my way.”

As his breath released, he managed a sanguine tone. “It was good to see you. I am glad you stopped by.”

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About Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match

When secrets are revealed and a family agenda works against him, can Fitzwilliam Darcy recover his damaged spirits and find happiness?

Following his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to London from Kent broken-hearted and dejected. One bright spot penetrates his sea of despair: his sister, Georgiana, has finally recovered her spirits from the grievous events at Ramsgate the previous summer. She has forged a new friendship with Miss Hester Drake, a lady who appears to be an ideal friend. In fact, Lady Matlock believes Miss Drake is Darcy’s perfect match.

Upon Elizabeth Bennet’s arrival at the Gardiners’ home from Kent, she finds that her sister Jane remains despondent over her abandonment by Mr. Bingley. But Elizabeth has information that might bring them together. She convinces her Uncle Gardiner to write a letter to Mr. Bingley providing key facts supplied to her by Mr. Darcy.

When Mr. Bingley discovers that his friend and sisters colluded to keep Jane’s presence in London from him, how will he respond? Given the chance, will Darcy and Elizabeth overcome their past misunderstandings? What will Darcy do when his beloved sister becomes a hindrance towards winning the lady he loves?

Buy Links: Amazon U.S. | Amazon U.K.

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About the Author

Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match is her second novel published by Meryton Press. Her first was the Regency novel Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy. Her third novel, Accusing Mr. Darcy, will be released later in 2020.

Kelly’s blog page is found at www.kellymiller.merytonpress.com, her email address is kellyrei007@hotmail.com, her Twitter handle is @kellyrei007, and she is on Facebook: www.facebook.Author.Kelly.Miller.

Connect with Kelly: Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

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Giveaway

Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match as part of the blog tour. You must enter through this Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

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Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your new book with us, and congratulations on its release!

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I’m thrilled to welcome Karen M Cox back to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate the re-release of her Persuasion-inspired novel, Find Wonder in All Things. Karen is here today to share her inspiration for the book. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Music as Inspiration for Find Wonder in All Things

Thank you, Anna, for welcoming me back to Diary of an Eccentric for the penultimate stop on the Find Wonder in All Things re-release tour.

From the first time I read it years ago, I have loved Persuasion. In many ways, I think it is Austen’s deepest, most elegant novel. But I always seemed to me that Miss Austen started that story in the middle, not at the beginning. I found myself wondering, what did a brash, headstrong, young man like Wentworth see in a young Anne Elliot? What made him come back to Somerset after eight long years? And what happened to him during that time they spent apart?

In October 2010, I had decided I wanted to write a modern variation of Persuasion—but how to begin?

I was sitting in my kitchen, trying to conjure up a modern-day Anne Elliot, and she began to appear out of the mists of my mind’s eye—tall, slender, reserved, and sporting a headful of striking red hair! I asked her name, and she looked down at the ground, embarrassed, and said, “Laurel. Mountain Laurel, actually. My dad named me after a wildflower.”

“Really?” I said. “I can just imagine what he’s like.” And I was off.

Because my hero, James Marshall, was a musician, music was an integral part of writing Find Wonder in All Things. I made myself this playlist of various genres of music for inspiration. They roughly correspond to the chapters in the book.

For fans of Spotify:

 

For fans of YouTube (this playlists has some great covers and live music)

 

 

I was trying to get inside James’s head a bit—somewhere around chapter nine—so I sat down at the piano (which I play “a little and very ill” – ha) and noodled out the Mountain Laurel Theme you hear in the video below.

Enjoy!

 

Do you all make soundtracks in your head while you’re reading? Do certain songs remind you of books or characters?

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About Find Wonder in All Things

“There could have never been two hearts so open… Now they were as strangers”

Persuasion

Mountain Laurel Elliot is like her name—she blooms best in the cool comfort of shade, hidden in the Kentucky foothills of Appalachia. Alone on her mountain, she lives a private existence with only her pottery—and her regrets—for company.

James Marshall had a secret dream and Laurel was part of it, but dreams sometimes lead to unexpected places. James’s heart broke when Laurel cut him loose, but he moved on—and became successful beyond his wildest dreams.

For one glorious summer, James and Laurel had each other, but life has kept them far apart.

Until now.

“A magnificent modernization of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.” -Austenesque Reviews

Winner of the Independent Book Publisher’s Award 2012: Gold Medal in Romance and

Next Generation Indie Finalist in Romance 2013

Buy on Amazon (also currently available on Kindle Unlimited)

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About the Author

Karen M Cox

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of five novels accented with history and romance, a novella, and several short stories.

Karen was born in Everett WA, the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee, and New York State before settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at age eleven. She lives in a quiet town with her husband and works as a pediatric speech pathologist.

If you would like periodic bits of authorly goodness delivered to your inbox, be sure to get Karen’s News and Muse Letter. Updates, sales, book recommendations, etc. are yours for the asking.

Follow Karen: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

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Giveaway

To celebrate the second edition of Find Wonder in All Things, Karen is giving away a signed copy of the book and some Jane Austen swag: fun notecards from The Quill Ink, What Would Jane Do? book of quotes, and Austen coffee mug (if US winner) or an ebook copy of the book and 25$ Amazon Gift Card (if International Winner – cause #shipping 🙂

Each comment left on a blog tour post will serve as an entry.

Winner will be chosen by 11:59 pm EDT on 2.6.20 and announced on Karen’s website and social media (Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram). Good Luck!

Thank you for being my guest today, Karen!

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I am thrilled to welcome Sarah Courtney back to Diary of an Eccentric to celebrate her latest novel, Beauty and Mr. Darcy, which will be released tomorrow, January 31. I absolutely adored Sarah’s modern Pride and Prejudice variation, A Good Name, so I couldn’t wait to dive in and read Beauty and Mr. Darcy. (Stay tuned for my review; I’m enjoying it so far.) Sarah is here to share a little about the book, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway. Please give her a warm welcome!

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I absolutely adore fairy tale adaptations and have read a ton of them. Some of my favorite authors are K.M. Shea, Melanie Cellier, and Gail Carson Levine. So it’s not exactly a surprise that it would occur to me to write a fairy tale adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Of course, I couldn’t stick to just one fairy tale. I realized, as I read through the novel for the umpteenth time, that several of the women in the story have characteristics in common with fairy tales. Elizabeth and Darcy’s story has often been compared to Beauty and the Beast, so that was probably the easiest comparison. But there were a few other tales that seemed to fit very naturally with the characters as portrayed in Pride and Prejudice.

I couldn’t help making sure that each of the Bennet sisters (and Charlotte) got a happy ending, though, so I had to find the perfect fairy tale for each, even if I had to get a bit more inventive with some of the connections! To my surprise, Lydia’s story ended up being one of my favorites, and quite a few early readers have told me the same.

Ultimately, Beauty and Mr. Darcy includes six fairy tales (and a hint of one more), all intertwined together. There is no magic, beyond the magic of love, but there are happy endings galore!

In this excerpt from Beauty and Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth is growing fatigued of Mr. Darcy staring at her and listening in to her conversations. She decides to have a little fun with him in revenge.

October 1811

Ashworth, home of Mr. and Mrs. Cole

Elizabeth

Elizabeth stalked over to where Charlotte Lucas stood near the wall. Charlotte raised an eyebrow. “I see something has got your temper up?”

Elizabeth glanced over her shoulder to see where Mr. Darcy was. Unsurprisingly, he had followed her. Again. He was now standing some few feet away by the mantle giving his best impression of a man who was not staring at Elizabeth Bennet. Or listening to her conversations. As she watched, he glanced over at her, then away again. She huffed.

She turned back to Charlotte, who was smiling broadly. Elizabeth rolled her eyes, then deliberately strove for a light tone.

“Charlotte, you will not believe what I caught my father reading!”

Charlotte’s eyebrows, at this rate, would never drop down to their usual position. “What?”

Stratagems Defeated,” she said triumphantly.

Charlotte’s mouth dropped open. “That drivel?”

Elizabeth nodded eagerly. “That is not all. He said he borrowed it from your father!”

“That . . . does not surprise me as much as you might think. My father has a great appreciation for ridiculous novels. But the idea that he would loan one to your father, and that your father would actually read it . . .”

“But that is the best part! I discovered exactly what my father is about. It is utterly scandalous,” Elizabeth said. With that, she leaned in close and whispered into Charlotte’s ear, “Gasp and pretend to be shocked.”

Charlotte gasped and stared at Elizabeth. Elizabeth rejoiced inwardly when Mr. Darcy almost lost his grip on the mantle, he was leaning so close. The poor man. There was no way he could have overheard the last.

Charlotte grasped Elizabeth’s upper arm and pulled her close to whisper in her ear, “So we are playing games with Mr. Darcy now?”

Elizabeth whispered back, “He will not stop staring and following me around, listening to my conversations. Well, if he is going to listen without joining in like any ordinary person, then he will just have to consign himself to Bedlam with half-heard intriguing conversations and humorous anecdotes that will be missing the apogee.”

Charlotte rolled her eyes, then stepped back. “Our mothers must have no idea!” she exclaimed with false excitement. “Scandalous!”

Elizabeth smiled. Charlotte might be seven years her senior and far more mature in so many ways, but a good prank was a good prank, and she had not grown up with three younger brothers for nothing!

Charlotte nodded towards Mr. Darcy and lowered her voice to say, “Elizabeth, I believe Mr. Darcy likes you.”

Elizabeth gave a rather unladylike snort. “Have you forgotten already that I am merely ‘tolerable’ and ‘lacking in wit’?” She certainly had not.

Charlotte shook her head. “Perhaps he said that and did not mean it, or perhaps he changed his mind soon afterward. A man does not watch a woman constantly and attempt to listen to her conversations without purpose.”

“If there is purpose in it, it is certainly not attraction,” Elizabeth said. She stared at Mr. Darcy until she caught his eye.

He lifted his chin and gave her his haughtiest look, then turned away.

Elizabeth suppressed a laugh. “Tolerable it is!”

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About Beauty and Mr. Darcy

Elizabeth Bennet knows that Fitzwilliam Darcy is a beast. At least, that’s what George Wickham tells her, and she is inclined to believe him. Why, then, is it so hard not to find him interesting and attractive? Is she just another young lady intrigued by a rogue?

Jane Bennet was in love once and has never quite recovered. When the object of her affections returns to Meryton, she is thrilled, until she realizes that the same problem that has frightened off all of her other suitors might drive away the man she truly loves.

Mary Bennet’s pedantic pronouncements irritate her sisters and repel the man she longs for. Is there any hope for a happy ending for her?

Kitty and Lydia Bennet’s giggles and foolish ways make the matrons of Meryton shake their heads. Without real parental guidance, they long for attention, even if means risking their reputations and hope for the future.

Charlotte Lucas has long since given up the idea of finding a husband and having the children she longs for. When an unusual suitor arrives in Meryton, she has one last chance to avoid spinsterhood.

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice variation in which romance and humor abound! The Bennet sisters’ fairy tales intertwine as they each find their very own happy ending, but there is no fantastical magic in this retelling. This is a full-length novel of about 130,000 words.

Buy on Amazon

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About the Author

Sarah Courtney

Sarah Courtney has been addicted to reading since she first learned how. She carried books with her everywhere . . . to sports games (professional sports games required two books!), school, bus rides and car trips, and even when her parents told her to “go outside and play.” She finds time for reading now by doing most of it on her Kindle app, which means that she can read while walking down the stairs, waiting in line, making dinner . . .

Sarah loves to read fantasy and fairy tale interpretations, Agatha Christie’s mysteries, romantic suspense/action, and especially variations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Sarah tried her hand at writing numerous times as a child, but never stuck it out long enough to finish a book. When she discovered that there was an entire fandom dedicated to her favorite author, Jane Austen, she was inspired to write her first novel.

Sarah homeschools her six children, ages two through twelve. She is constantly asked, “How do you find time to write?” The answer is simply that you find the time to do the things you love. Also, getting the laundry put away is highly overrated.

You can find Sarah on Facebook and her blog.

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Giveaway

Sarah is offering an ebook copy of Beauty and Mr. Darcy to one lucky reader. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through Friday, February 7, 2020. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Sarah, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new book!

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