Saturday, September 22, 2018

And the winners are...In Good Conscience

This is a fun giveaway to announce! Cat Gardiner had 2 eBooks of In Good Conscience, and a fabulous swag up for grabs. Shall we get on with it and announce those winners? Lets do it!






Deborah Ann


Congratulations to all of you! Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog
and supporting the authors and guests. 

Thank you, Cat Gardiner, for this fabulous giveaway for my readers. Best wishes with this last book in the series. Please come back and visit More Agreeably Engaged anytime.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Obstacles...Belén Paccagnella

I'm thrilled to be a part of the Obstacles Blog Tour and have Belén Paccagnella, Meryton Press's newest author, visit More Agreeably Engaged. Belén already has quite a following in the fan world. She posted her stories at A Happy Assembly and was much loved. After reading her book, I can see why. I hope you get a chance to read it soon. It captured my attention from the first page! 

Belén is answering some questions for us today. I'm sure you will find her answers as interesting as I did. If you would like to ask a question yourself, please leave it in the comments below. Without further ado, I give you Belén Paccagnella!


Belén, as a new JAFF author, I am sure you have a lot to share with us about your love for Austen and the steps you took from going from aspiring writer to a published writer. Would you share with us some of your background and tell us about the person behind this story.

I was born in Buenos Aires, which is Argentina’s capital. There was a brief period in my youth where my family moved to Brazil, and I attended high school there, in the city of Curitiba. My family owned a farm outside of the city, where we had cows, horses, and other animals. This helped shape the foundation of my love for horses, as well as rural life. I have a grown-up daughter and I’m still working full time.

My love for Jane Austen began when I saw the movie Sense and Sensibility. I didn’t initially know the author of the book, but I fell in love with the story as well as the characters and the portrayal of English society in Regency times. Then I watched the 1995 Pride and Prejudice adaptation, which took my obsession to a whole new level! After re-watching the series over and over again, I found several fanfiction sites and read everything that was published on the boards, both stories set in Regency and modern times. It wasn’t long before I started imagining my own stories until one day I gathered the courage to post my first piece. Although I studied in a bilingual school, I was quite insecure about my English at the time, so I was very apprehensive about posting my stories. I was lucky that everyone was so kind and encouraging and welcomed my stories, despite their flaws.

Please share with us the premise of your new release, “Obstacles,” including what helped you decide to publish this story.

The story was originally written in 2002 and then revised and re-posted a couple of times. I knew that several authors were pulling their stories from these sites and publishing them, so one day I decided to do the same thing.  I occasionally received emails from readers asking about the story and even received emails telling me that they would buy my story if I ever decided to publish it, but, for one reason or another, I never took that final step. For many years, publishing was just a dream I always had, but wasn’t sure I would ever fulfill. Then, in 2016, everything changed. I had breast cancer and when all of my treatment was over, I made the decision to finally become a published author. I contacted the lovely ladies at Meryton Press, and here I am, publishing my story.

I love the idea of a story set in the world of competitive horse jumping. How did you get to become so knowledgeable about this sport and what led you to write a “Pride & Prejudice” story within this setting?

I used to ride a lot in my youth (on the farm), I took riding lessons, and I attempted some jumping, but I never really competed beyond the novice level. Yet, I absolutely loved the sport, so I went to every show near my home, and I watched every tournament I happened upon on TV.  My knowledge about international competition was a bit limited when I started writing the story, so I did a lot of research and talked to friends who were involved in grand prix tournaments. It’s much easier now; you can find everything online—from interviews with top riders to how they fly the horses for the Olympics—but at the time, and especially in my country, information was scarce.

Choosing this setting was a no-brainer. Growing up among horses and going to riding clubs gave me a fairly good idea of how this world worked. People with resources owned the best horses, and paid to take lessons with the most exclusive teachers, while the rest of us took our lessons on the club’s old horses. As an enthusiastic 12-year-old, I didn’t care if the horse I was riding was one-eyed, but many years later, I understood the differences and applied them to my story.   Show-jumping is a highly competitive sport, as well as one of the most expensive and exclusive ones. Now it’s a huge industry, but it’s still a practice associated with wealth and aristocracy. Therefore, I thought it was the perfect backdrop for a Pride & Prejudice adaptation.

As a writer of a modern JAFF story, why do you believe Austen’s characters and themes resonate so well within a modern-day setting?

Austen novels are very character driven, and most of their conflicts are timeless and can be easily adapted to modern times.

Was your entry into Jane Austen Fan Fiction as a reader, and if so, how do you find JAFF stories that you’re interested in reading?

I’m the kind of reader that either gets hooked and won’t leave the book until I finish it, or I just drop it at the third page if the plot doesn’t interest me. If it’s well written and the characters are interesting, I’ll read it. Also, when I like an author, I read all their stories because I know I won’t be disappointed. Since I’ve been away from the boards and published JAFF for some time, I have a lot to catch up right now.

I loved imagining the character that I would cast in the role as the “England’s Hottest Horseman,” which is a nickname for the Darcy character in your story. Do you have any actors in mind who you would cast in this role?

Originally, Darcy was based on a gorgeous picture of Olivier Martinez I found online. Now he looks a lot like Tom Ellis.

I can certainly see Tom Ellis as Darcy! Click on the two names above and it will take you to a Bing page full of each man! :) What do you think? Okay, back to the interview since we must move on, what can readers do to support your work and stay in touch with you?

I love to have feedback from my readers! I used to post my stories chapter by chapter, and one of the things I liked most about that process was to read the comments made by readers and their interpretations about how a certain scene developed. They were so passionate and sometimes their analysis of the situation surprised me, because I didn’t think of it from that perspective. It’s very rewarding. Even now, many years later, I still receive emails from people who read my stories, asking me when I’m going to publish them. Readers can reach me at my personal email:

Thank you for stopping by to visit with my readers and good luck with the new release!

Thank you for having me and for all you are doing to support fan fiction and fan-fiction writers.

Book Description:
Not all obstacles are restricted to the show-jumping arena… Though Elizabeth Bennet lives an uneventful life instructing young equestrians at Longbourn, the family farm, she dreams of winning a show-jumping competition on Liddy, her spirited mare. But her life is upended when a team of world-renowned riders arrives at Netherfield, the neighbouring estate, and uses it as their training headquarters. As she assists the newcomers and their prize-winning mounts, she meets William Darcy, a wealthy and arrogant—albeit talented—rider with Olympic aspirations. He first insults and then ignores Elizabeth, and her feelings teeter between disgust at his hauteur and admiration for his equestrian prowess. As she discovers first-hand the rigors of a world for the elite, will Elizabeth change her perspective about love, trust, and the foibles of her own family?

Originally known as “Obstacles to Overcome,” Obstacles pays homage to Pride and Prejudice in the highly competitive world of equestrian show jumping.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Belén Paccagnella discovered the world of Jane
Austen fan fiction after watching the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice.
In her teens, she lived in Brazil when her family moved to the city of Curitiba due
to her father’s work. She moved back to Buenos Aires a few years later, where she
studied agronomy but finally pursued a different career and started working
in the development administration of shopping centres.

In 2001, she started writing both Regency and modern stories adapted from the
Pride and Prejudice storyline, merging drama, humour, and adventure while creating
characters with unique traits.

Belén still lives in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, where she shares her home with her
daughter and her pets while spending her time working, reading, and writing.

Obstacles Blog Tour Schedule:

September 17 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post September 18 / Diary of an Eccentric / Excerpt Post September 19 / Austenesque Reviews / Vignette Post September 20 / More Agreeably Engaged / Author Interview September 21 / So Little Time / Excerpt Post September 22 / Just Jane 1813 / Guest Book Review September 23 / My Love for Jane Austen / Character Interview September 24 / From Pemberley to Milton / Excerpt Post September 25 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review September 26 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Vignette Post September 27 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review September 28 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review

Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of Obstacles.
The giveaway runs until midnight, September 30, 2018.

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

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, to Meryton Press, for the awesome giveaway, and to Claudine Pepe, for organizing the blog tour. I'm happy to have been included. Belén, I wish you much success with your new release. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

In Good Conscience...Cat Gardiner

Imagine my surprise when my request to interview the elusive Fitzwilliam Darcy was granted months after I had sent my June email to his new wife, Liz. I was expecting to be on the next flight to their estate in Virginia, but the ex-polo player, former Navy SEAL, and heir to the massive Darcy estate had other plans.  Of course, this is all on the q.t. and only this blog mistress was given his exclusive. How could I not grant his wish? As his secretary (a very hunky man named Higgins) later explained, Darcy was recuperating after a deadly summer and preferred to video chat from an undisclosed location.

Let me just state, dear readers, that the man was nothing that I expected and soooo handsome! His wife is one lucky lady! I have it on good authority that the blog mistress at Savvy Verse & Wit was summoned for an exclusive interview with Mrs. Darcy and that will post tomorrow.

Our Skype began at the precise minute scheduled and I was met with a smiling, clean-cut and shaved face. He wore a light blue T-shirt and … um … I could see his tribal band tattoo circling quite a bicep. Oh my!

Thank you, Mr. Darcy for taking the time to answer a few questions after what was described as an exhausting trip.
You’re welcome – and I appreciate your flexibility in doing a video chat versus an in-person interview. I’m sorry about all the mystery, but I’m sure you understand our need for secrecy and my obvious paranoia after what my wife and I survived. Once we settle in, we’ll relax, but for now

It was no problem, really! And I didn’t mind signing the non-disclosure. Word is that you’re quite the protector. So I understand that you’d go to extraordinary lengths to insulate those you love.
*Half-smile twitches on his lips* I guess I am, but don’t mistake Liz for needing my protection all the time. She’s fierce in her own right, quite brave in fact and has a mean south paw hook. *rubs his jaw*.

Oh? Is that among the things you’ve taught her since meeting her? I heard that you met under very dangerous circumstances, which haven’t let up over the last eighteen months.
You’re right. I did teach her a few things when she finally let me, but she’s mostly self-taught particularly in knife fighting. She’s an excellent student and a quick learner, and really, much more proficient with blades than I am. Like I said, she could be fierce when needed—or when mad as hell.

At you?
*Rubs jaw again.” Yeah. *Chuckles.*

I am sure you must have done something to deserve it, though. *Laughs lightly.*
Depends on your perspective. In her opinion, I deserved it … maybe I did, but I had the best intentions.

I’ve given some consideration to questions that my readers would particularly like answers to within the parameters of the NDA, of course. I thought, for starters, I’d just rapid fire a few and you can give me a one word answer if that’s okay.
Sure. That suits me fine.

What do you think of marriage to Mrs. Darcy?
A miracle
One word to describe how you feel about her?
It would take more than one, but at the moment, I’d say: Awestruck
Is there one word to describe your relationship?
Again, so many deep feelings there … I’d say: Perfect
How does she make you feel in the morning?
In the afternoon?
In the evening?
At night?
*Laughs*  Exhausted
How many children would you like?
*Breaks into wide grin* Five

*Fans self* Oh dear! You will be exhausted!

Will you be returning to horse riding and breeding when you settle in?
How about motorcycle riding? What kind of rider is Mrs. Darcy?
That’s two questions … Yes, we’ll continue riding … and she is quite the proficient biker.

And lastly, what is the plan for your future?
No international travel, no wild edge of your seat adventures? Won’t that be hard for you?
Not at all. I have everything I need or want here and I’ve already seen the world – the good and the bad. I’ll leave those kind of adventures to someone else. This is a big, beautiful country; it’ll keep us busy for the rest of our lives.

And what country is that?
*Raises eyebrow* If I tell you … I’ll have to kill you. *Bursts out laughing.*

I must say, I’m surprised. Please don’t take offense, but I’ve heard so many reports about your severity, your chilly demeanor —and … and they’re quite wrong.

No, they were right, but I’m not that man anymore, and I’m definitely not that man around my wife. I’m just a guy filled with gratitude and optimism.  At my heart I’m just a simple man, in love with an amazing woman and have a beautiful—peaceful—tomorrow ahead of us.

And what has she done that makes her so amazing?
It’s not any one special thing, but a million seemingly small things that when put together make her such an amazing wife, friend, lover, and the perfect partner for me. She saved my soul and that, alone, was an amazing feat.

Okay, so one last question and then I’ll let you get back to your leading lady.  Will the world ever see Mr. Darcy again? What if your country needs you?
Lord! You make me sound like Batman. There won’t be any bat signal in the sky calling me out of retirement, but what I can tell you is that if my family needs me – I’ll sneak in like the night and do what I have to do. Once a protector … always a protector. I’ll leave the country-saving to the next generation of guys, and in time, the only thing I hope to be remembered for is being a loving husband, a great father, and a honorable friend, brother, uncle – even son-in-law. In fact, after this interview—and my wife’s tomorrow—we hope the name “Darcy” is never uttered again.

It sounds like a good plan.
It’s the only plan worth making.

Wow! What do you think of that interview, folks? *Fans self* I must admit to being a bit awe-struck! Darcy is quite a man! I'm betting he will be a great father. We already know he is a loving husband, loyal, and all the other attributes he wants to be remembered by. I think you will be, sir!

Revised Bio:
Cat Gardiner loves romance and happy endings, history, comedy, and Jane Austen. A member of the National League of American Pen Women and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America, she enjoys writing across the spectrum of Pride and Prejudice inspired romance novels. From the comedic Christmas, Chick Lits Lucky 13 and Villa Fortuna, to the bad boy biker Darcy in the sultry adventures Denial of Conscience, Guilty Conscience, and Without a Conscience, these contemporary novels will appeal to many Mr. Darcy lovers.

Cat's love of 20th Century Historical fiction merges in her first Pride & Prejudice "alternate era," set in a 1952 Noir, Undercover. Her most recent publications are the time-travel WWII P&P novelettes: A Vintage Valentine, A Vintage Victory, and A Vintage Halloween as part of the Memories of Old Antique Shop Series.

Her greatest love is writing Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. Her debut novel, A Moment Forever was the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award Romance Finalist. She is currently working on her second novel in the Liberty Victory Series.

Connect with Cat here:

The third and final romantic adventure in The Conscience Series

No man has loved a woman as much as Fitzwilliam “Iceman” Darcy loves his wife Elizabeth. His love is indestructible, insatiable, and his Achilles’ heel.

Since the whirlwind and dangerous adventure in Paris and Moscow in Without a Conscience, life at Pemberley has been a combination of idyllic repose and focused preparation and defense. Darcy’s enemy is still out there—a hair’s breadth from delivering revenge for his father’s assassination.

When the enemy strikes first, Iceman’s world comes crashing down kick starting a firestorm. How far will the gelid warrior go to protect all his loved ones? Just how much is the former Navy SEAL willing to sacrifice? Is his attritional warfare blind rage?—or are his extreme actions in good conscience?

This emotional, wild ride will take you on a breathless, white-knuckle international journey from heartbreak and revenge to survival and enduring bliss because …
No woman has loved a man like Elizabeth Darcy loves her husband Fitzwilliam. Her love is invulnerable, unyielding, and her strength.

Author Note: Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell wrote such wonderful characters, I borrowed their names and some of their characteristics for inspiration to tell my own tale of contemporary love. In Good Conscience - The Final Adventure is a sequel, and I recommend reading Book 1 (Denial of Conscience,) and Book 2 (Without a Conscience) beforehand. Further, it is an original story that follows the lives of the characters of the aforementioned books and therefore, not meant to be a Pride and Prejudice variation. This novel contains explicit sexual content and occasionally salty language. So if you are looking for a clean, canon read, this book is not for you.

2 e-books (int'l and/or USA), Swag (USA Only) - Paperback, exclusive series mug, bookmark, and travel journal 

Thank you, Cat Gardiner, for helping set up this interview! I have been so excited about it and it was everything and more than I ever dreamed it would be. Looking forward to the interview tomorrow with Mrs. Darcy over at Savvy Verse & Wit. By the way, it was pretty neat talking to Higgins, the secretary! I like that man, too.

I'm thrilled to be part of your blog tour, Cat. Thank you for including me. I can't wait to start reading In Good Conscience. I have loved these books and hate to see them come to an end. From what I am seeing, this one is every bit as good as the rest, if not better! Thank you for sharing this story with us. You are an amazingly talented writer!

Readers, be sure and leave your contact info, and if you are US or not, in the comments below. This is an awesome giveaway and I would hate for anyone to lose out because I couldn't reach them. Good luck to everyone. The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 18th of September.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

And the winners are...

Hello to everyone! I hope there are not too many of you in the
path of Florence. This storm is scary looking. If you are,
my prayers and thoughts are with you. 

The winners in the latest giveaway for two eBooks of 

Where There's A FitzWILLiam Darcy...
by Regina Jeffers 


Congratulations to both of you. I believe Regina has already
sent your eBooks so I hope you enjoy some
good reading time this coming weekend. Thanks for your support
of my blog and the authors who visit.

Thank you, Regina, for visiting my blog and for hosting
such a generous giveaway. You are welcome to visit anytime.
Take care of yourself and stay safe.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Regina Jeffers...Where There's a FitzWILLiam Darcy...

It is always such a pleasure to have Regina Jeffers visit my blog. When I first started my path in the Austenesque community, I won one of Regina's books. When she sent it to me, she included another one of her books, a book plate, and other goodies. I was thrilled with my surprise. I devoured both books and haven't stopped reading her works since. Thank you for that, Regina!

This new release sounds really good. I always enjoy stories that throw Lizzy and Darcy in company with one another. The more time they can be together, the better. It sounds like this one will offer plenty of opportunity for them to get to know one another. 

Regina tells us a little about a legal term used in this story, then she shares an excerpt. Enjoy!


In my latest Austen-inspired piece, I use a legal property term referred to as Lease and Release. The legal definition of Lease and Release says, “It is a species of conveyance, invented by Serjeant Moore, soon after the enactment of the Statue of Uses. It is thus contrived; a lease, or rather bargain and sale, upon some pecuniary consideration, for one year, is made by the tenant of the freehold to the lessee or bargainee. This without any enrollment, makes the bargainer stand seised to the use of the barginee, and vests in the bargainee the use of the term for one year, and then the statue immediately annexes the possession. Being this in possess, he is capable of receiving a release of the freehold and reversion, which must be made to the tenant in possession; and, accordingly, the next day a release is granted to him." The Free Dictionary
If I lost you, with all the legalese, bear with me for a few moments more. First the Serjeant Moore mentioned in this definition is Sir Francis Moore, a prominent Jacobean barrister and Member of Parliament. In parliament he was a frequent speaker, and is supposed to have drawn the well-known statute of Charitable Uses which was passed in 1601. The conveyance known as lease and release was his invention which remains one of two main ways to extend a lease, each with financial and physical demise advantages and disadvantages. [Goodwin, Gordon (1894).  "Moore, Francis (1558-1621)". In Sidney, Lee. Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London, Smith, Elder & Co.]
For Lease and Release to work, two agreements were required. First, a bargain (sale) contract was executed by the seller to convey a lease on the land...(Unlike an outright sale, short leases did not require enrollment in a public registry.) The seller then separately executed a release to grant to the buyer (who was now his tenant) the seller’s remaining interest. [This transfers] title to the buyer, since he now owned both the current and future interests in the land. ["A Bit of Deed History," Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet
In writing this story, I took some dramatic license by making a property in Cornwall on the Rame Peninsula available to the Bennets, after Mr. Bennet's unexpected death. I set up the terms of the property as a combination of lease and release (with no option to purchase the land, for, obviously, the Bennets could not afford it) and a leasehold, which customarily involves the owner of the property "leasing" it to a potential buyer for a period of time, generally 99 years in the western shires of England, during the early 1800s, but only 21 in the eastern shires. 
Introducing Where There’s a FitzWILLiam Darcy, There’s a Way
ELIZABETH BENNET’s world has turned upon its head. Not only is her family about to be banished to the hedgerows after her father’s sudden death, but Mr. Darcy has appeared upon Longbourn’s threshold, not to renew his proposal, as she first feared, but, rather, to serve as Mr. Collins’s agent in taking an accounting of Longbourn’s “treasures” before her father’s cousin steals away all her memories of the place.
FITZWILLIAM DARCY certainly has no desire to encounter Elizabeth Bennet again so soon after her mordant refusal of his hand in marriage, but when his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, strikes a bargain in which her ladyship agrees to provide his Cousin Anne a London Season if Darcy will become Mr. Collins’s agent in Hertfordshire, Darcy accepts in hopes he can convince Miss Elizabeth to think better of him than she, obviously, does. Yet, how can he persuade the woman to recognize his inherent sense of honor, when his inventory of Longbourn’s entailed land and real properties announces the date she and her family will be homeless?
Permit Mr. Darcy, in an excerpt from Chapter 11, to explain it to you as he did to the three eldest Bennet sisters and Mr. Gardiner in Where There's a FitzWILLiam Darcy, There's a Way
Their days became routine. There was no more talk of her experiencing the presence of Mr. Bennet during her quiet hours, nor of what plans she had made for her future. Instead, they spoke of favorite books and music. They shared tales of their childhood days. Often other members of her family joined them, adding their versions of what were now, for him, familiar tales. They had completed her father’s study and library, the essentials in the dining room, and two small cupboards, where brooms and such were stored. Unfortunately, they had yet to discover another clue, which by all appearances, played havoc with Elizabeth’s disposition.
Therefore, he had been elated when he received the letter from Mr. Tapapses, who had been approached by Darcy’s agent in Devon. It turned out Eugenia Gardiner’s property was located near the twin villages of Kingsand and Caswand on the border between Cornwall and Devon, near Rame Head.
“You wished to speak to me, Mr. Darcy?” Gardiner asked when Mrs. Hill had shown Darcy into Mr. Bennet’s former study. Elizabeth’s uncle was to survey her father’s legal papers and ledgers for clues to the man’s will.
“I did, sir.” Darcy glanced about the room. It had been polished properly for Mr. Collins’s eventual arrival. Gardiner gestured to a nearby chair. When Darcy was settled, he launched into the business he had with the gentleman. “When I discovered the piece on your great-grandmother’s bequest, I took the liberty of making some inquiries.”
Mr. Gardiner’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. “Is Elizabeth aware of your doing so?”
“We discussed my offer. Miss Elizabeth did not wish to impose on me, but Miss Mary thought my doing so a fine idea. As no one forbid me to act, I chose to proceed.”
“You realize, of course, Lizzy will chastise you properly,” Gardiner said with a sly grin.
“It will not be the first time,” Darcy admitted.
Gardiner folded his hands together and rested them on the desk. “Your remark to the effect that she was only tolerable and not tempting enough for you was poorly done, sir.”
Darcy forced himself not to squirm under the man’s steady gaze. “I had been dealing with a troubling family situation and was preoccupied with my own misery, but you are correct: My actions were unforgivable. I demonstrated a lack of regard for your niece’s feelings. I did not perform as a gentleman should.”
“I am certain, with Elizabeth’s nature, she has seized upon the opportunity to speak to your insensitivity. I shan’t reprimand you further,” Gardiner assured. “Instead, speak to me of what you have discovered.”
Darcy reached into his pocket to remove Mr. Tapapses’s letter. “I wrote to contacts I hold in Cornwall. That was a little over a week past. This morning an express brought me this response.” He handed Gardiner the letter.
“How did you know to whom to write?” Gardiner questioned.
“There were a series of numbers at the bottom of the page Mr. Bennet hid in the book on hunting. I held the suspicion the numbers designated points on a map or were related to the recording of a deed. Perhaps a date or the jurisdiction’s means of distinguishing one claim from another.” He would not mention the tidy sum he had offered for a quick reply.
Within the half hour, Darcy and Mr. Gardiner discussed Darcy’s findings with the Misses Bennet, Elizabeth, and Mary.
“I am accustomed to examining deeds to property,” he explained when Elizabeth asked him the same question as had her uncle. “According to my contacts, it appears Eugenia Gardiner’s transition to property owner was from parent to child, in the manner of a freehold property passing to the lawful heir; yet, in this case, the property passed upon the maternal side, from mother to daughter. I am assuming it was originally part of Mrs. Sommers’s marriage settlements, and the lady and her husband permitted it to pass to Eugenia, or Mrs. Sommers passed first, and Mr. Sommers claimed it in a tenant of the curtesy situation, and then it passed to Eugenia upon his death. However, it does not matter how the property came into Eugenia’s possession, but, rather, if you have any claims to it.”
“It was very fortunate you thought the numbers at the bottom of the page were significant to the search.” Miss Bennet continued to study the letter.
“In truth, I was not certain whether they indicated the collection of taxes, church tithes, the hearth tax, or land tax assessments,” he admitted. “All have been known to be used to identify property claims. It turns out the numbers indicate markings related to turnpike maps. The property has been properly registered by law with a Clerk of Peace in the appropriate shire. It was originally recorded in Chancery on Close Rolls.”
Legal records were kept in long rolls.Close Rolls group
(reproduced courtesy ofThe National Archives C54)
“Close Rolls?” Miss Mary questioned.
He explained, “Close rolls are grants of land by the Crown to private individuals. In the 1300s, a large number of deeds between private citizens were enrolled on the payment of fees on the back of Close Rolls. The practice continued to the beginning of the last century, which would make sense in the disposition of the land given to the late Mrs. Gardiner. I am not certain how the property came to the late Mrs. Gardiner’s mother, but, after the 1730s, it became a popular practice to transfer properties once on Close Rolls to others to be used for charitable purposes. Many were converted to schools or burial grounds or some such purpose.”
“So this property could be one of these charitable ones?” Miss Elizabeth asked.
Darcy reminded her, “I cannot speak with assurance until I read the latest registration addressing the land’s use.” He spoke directly to the woman he loved. It was important to him for her to understand that Eugenia Gardiner’s property would not resolve all of her family’s problems. “It appears whoever set up the property’s use employed some form of a Lease and Release option.”
Her uncle explained, “With every exchange of property between individuals there is a legal obligation for the deed to be recorded, but this requirement can be evaded by granting a lease for a year on the land meant to be sold, thus avoiding the need to enroll, and then, a few days later, presenting the lessee the right of future possession of the land by a reversion of the lease. However, this property is unique, for although the lease and release is in effect, the person taking possession of the property is not purchasing it, but rather is leasing it for a specific time period. In truth, I would think this a challengeable condition, but as it has been effect, without complaints, for three generations, it could prove a precedence if a court case would be brought against Eugenia’s estate. Surely if the property was not so remote, someone would have brought it to the attention of the authorities before now. Then again, the property is not available to just anyone who wishes to lease, but rather only to Eugenia’s relations, and that may be the clause that protects it.”
Darcy was quick to add, “England has no standard means of recording deeds. Even within a shire the method differs. Various forms of tax records and church tithes are customarily used. I know the property was originally deeded to your great-great-grandmother. I am assuming it is still in her name, and the use of the land is still at her disposal. I imagine when we view her actual will, it will say something to the effect that the land cannot be sold until a certain year far in the future.”
“What Mr. Darcy says makes sense,” Gardiner affirmed. “The property is under the control of Eugenia Gardiner’s trust and controlled by the firm she employed some eighty years removed., one similar to the firm we recently employed to oversee your family’s incomes. The trust would be responsible for any disputes to the validity of our claim, and although I do not expect any, you must be made aware of this possibility.”
“This particular property,” Darcy continued, “employs what could only be termed as a modified lease for three lives, which is a practice popular in the west of England, and it does not surprise me to view it being used here. However, the modification comes in the form of the number of years one family can have use of the lease. Customarily, in England’s western shires, such a lease is good for ninety-nine years, but this one ends after twenty-one years, which is a practice generally found in land documents in the east of England. I suspect the use of ‘twenty-one‘ is employed as a means of permitting a family to know the house’s use and then move on, likely with the females marrying or passing away. That being said, there is a point of legal stability in that at the end of the twenty-one years, the terms may be cancelled, or there can be a change of terms or a simple renewal for an additional twenty-one years.”
“Then the lease would be made out in my name, along with Jane’s and Mary’s, as we are the three oldest and would be the ‘three lives’ you say are required for our acceptance of the lease. Am I understanding this correctly?” Elizabeth asked. She appeared quite pale, and so Darcy reached beneath the table to squeeze the back of her hand, and she rewarded him with a tremulous smile. Reality of what she meant to do to protect her family had, apparently, caught up to her.
“Names of your younger sisters may be added to the lease on the payment of a fee,” Mr. Gardiner told his nieces. “We can decide what is best in that manner if this proves to be how we wish to proceed.”
“The terms appear more reasonable than I first thought,” Miss Bennet observed.
“Except the stipulation that if one of the younger sisters marries before the elders, then the lease will be terminated immediately and without redress,” Miss Mary voiced her obvious concerns. Her plans not to marry would keep Miss Kitty and Miss Lydia from doing so. The girl would need to rethink her future.
“Such terms might force Mrs. Bennet into having second thoughts on permitting Kitty and Lydia so much freedom,” Mr. Gardiner remarked.
Darcy was glad there was, at least, temporary hope of salvation for Elizabeth’s family, but the terms of the agreement presented him an answer his heart openly rejected. Miss Elizabeth would never accept him until Miss Bennet married, and Miss Mary reached her majority.
Miss Bennet, with her customarily quiet acceptance, said, “As long as Lydia and Kitty can be brought in line, we could name our home for the immediate future. Mayhap, by then, one of us three, or all of us, will be in a position to see to our mother’s future.”
Miss Elizabeth added, “I suppose we should explain what Mr. Darcy has uncovered to our mother and sisters. We should set plans to remove to Cornwall as soon as one of our uncles can approach those who oversee the Gardiner property.”
Comment below to be entered into a drawing for two eBook copies of Where There's a FitzWILLiam Darcy, There's a Way. The giveaway ends at midnight EDST on Tuesday September 11, 2018. 

Thank you for being my guest, Regina. I always love having you stop by. The excerpt was great and the information about the Lease and Release was informative. You did some obvious research and quite a lot I would guess. I would not think that an easy topic to comprehend. 

Dear Readers, be sure to comment for a chance to win. If I don't have your contact info on file, you will need to leave it in your comment, just in case you are one of the winners! 

I believe the book, Where There's A FitzWILLiam Darcy..., releases on September 10th, so be watching for it! I know I will be watching! :)

Friday, August 17, 2018

And the winners are...

It's announcement time for some book winners! Are you one of those winners? 

The 5 eBook winners for the Cover Reveal for Nicole Clarkston's Nowhere But North, have been randomly selected

The eBook winners are...

Leah Pruett
Jen Red

Congratulations to each of you. Thank you for stopping by for the cover reveal and for commenting. We both appreciated your participation. If you were not one of the winners, remember the book is available for pre-order until August 31st. 

Victoria Kincaid offered the winner the choice of eBook or paperback of her latest release, The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy.

Patty Edmisson is the winner and she chose the paperback. Thank you for commenting and congratulations. I hope those of you who did not win will soon have a chance to read this book.

Thanks to everyone who participated at both stops and congratulations to the winners. I hope you enjoy your books. A special thank you to Nicole Clarkston and Victoria Kincaid. I invite you both to visit my blog anytime! I wish you the best with your books.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

What's Past Is Prologue...Ann Galvia

I'm happy to be part of Ann Galvia's blog tour for What's Past Is Prologue. On the first stop of the tour at Savvy Verse & Wit, Ann talked about her Elizabeth. For my stop, she discusses Darcy. Ann delves into the characters and looks deeply at what makes each of them act as they do. That is evident in what she tells us on this stop and on the first one. Ann is building a healthy, stable relationship for her characters, one where they want the same future and are allowed to grow toward it. I think that is evident after reading both posts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Ann. They gave me a new perspective and also gave me food for thought.

The back cover copy or blurb, gives some foreknowledge about the book. I found it intriguing and have posted it following Ann's discussion on Darcy. I hope you enjoy both. Ann, I give the floor to you.

I want to thank Janet for hosting this stop on the “What’s Past Is Prologue” blog tour.
Before this past June, I would have said that while I knew of Janet, I didn’t really know her.
Working on the cover and marketing of WPIP has brought us together.
Very quickly, she became a sounding board for all my book related questions and comments.
She also assured me early in the process that she’d definitely be signing up for a slot
on the blog tour and as luck would have it, she landed on the second guest post.

AKA the one where I talk about your favorite guy and mine, Fitzwilliam Darcy.

(This one isn’t a quiz.)

(And if I am being entirely honest, I kinda like Mr. Tilney more…)

(But anyway.)

“What’s Past Is Prologue” is a book about Elizabeth growing up and growing together
with Darcy as they face adversity. It’s a trial by fire. Could they have grown so far so fast
had a flood at Rosings Park not derailed their plans to spend the early weeks of their marriage
playing in London? There’s really no way to know, but I tend to think a challenge is more likely
to bring out your best self than a dance.

And speaking of challenges, I want to talk about a very specific kind of challenge today.
Darcy is a privileged person. The 1% of the 1%. When you have his kind of resources, most
problems in life can be solved by the liberal application of money. But there are some
other problems that are a bit trickier, ones where Darcy doesn’t necessarily have an ace
in his pocket.

And that is interpersonal conflict. Today we are going to examine the patented Fitzwilliam
Darcy approach to when people say things you just don’t agree with, or worse, find offensive.

Responding to a General Statement
Sometimes in life, you find yourself in a group where someone is saying ridiculous things.
What is one to do? Well, one way to approach this issue is to be quietly uncomfortable.

Mr. Darcy looked a little ashamed of his aunt's ill breeding, and made no answer.

Responding to a Specific Statement
What about a time when someone in your group directs their insupportable comments to you
in particular? You may find that the best tool in your box is some passive-aggression. Done well,
you can sound like you agree with someone even as they understand you are calling them out.

``Eliza Bennet,'' said Miss Bingley, when the door was closed on her, ``is one of those young
ladies who seek to recommend themselves to the other sex by undervaluing their own, and
with many men, I dare say, it succeeds. But, in my opinion, it is a paltry device, a very mean art.''

``Undoubtedly,'' replied Darcy, to whom this remark was chiefly addressed, ``there is
meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation.
Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable.''

Miss Bingley was not so entirely satisfied with this reply as to continue the subject.

Responding to People Who Do Not Treat You with Respect
There is no reason in the world to put up with that. Just walk away.

Mr. Darcy was eyeing him with unrestrained wonder, and when at last Mr. Collins
allowed him time to speak, replied with an air of distant civility. Mr. Collins, however,
was not discouraged from speaking again, and Mr. Darcy's contempt seemed abundantly
increasing with the length of his second speech, and at the end of it he only made him
a slight bow, and moved another way.

Responding to Personal Attacks
A strongly worded letter should do the trick. Never engage in person, defending yourself
in the heat of the moment is hard and should not be attempted.

She paused, and saw with no slight indignation that he was listening with an air which
proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse. He even looked at her with a smile
of affected incredulity.

``Can you deny that you have done it?'' she repeated.

With assumed tranquillity he then replied, ``I have no wish of denying that I did every thing
in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my success.
Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself.''

You are digging that hole deeper, Darce. Stop while you still can!

``Who that knows what his misfortunes have been, can help feeling an interest in him?''

``His misfortunes!'' repeated Darcy contemptuously; ``yes, his misfortunes have been great
``And of your infliction,'' cried Elizabeth with energy. ``You have reduced him to his present
state of poverty, comparative poverty. You have withheld the advantages, which you must
know to have been designed for him. You have deprived the best years of his life, of that
independence which was no less his due than his desert. You have done all this! and yet
you can treat the mention of his misfortunes with contempt and ridicule.''

``And this,'' cried Darcy, as he walked with quick steps across the room, ``is your opinion
of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining it so fully.
My faults, according to this calculation, are heavy indeed! But perhaps,'' added he, stopping
in his walk, and turning towards her, ``these offences might have been overlooked, had not
your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my
forming any serious design. These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I
with greater policy concealed my struggles, and flattered you into the belief of my being
impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination -- by reason, by reflection, by every thing.
But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related.
They were natural and just. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your
connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life
is so decidedly beneath my own?''

Did you really blow right passed her concerns about your treatment of other people to justify
insulting her? Wow.

With respect to that other, more weighty accusation, of having injured Mr. Wickham,
I can only refute it by laying before you the whole of his connection with my family.
Of what he has particularly accused me, I am ignorant; but of the truth of what I shall
relate, I can summon more than one witness of undoubted veracity.

This is why we stick to letters! Staying on topic! Being polite! Making yourself sound good instead of a bigger jerk with every word!

Responding to Personal Attacks Made on Someone You Care About
Don’t speak to the person at all until your significant other makes you.

Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew; and as she gave way to all the genuine frankness of her character in her reply to the letter which announced its arrangement, she sent him language so very abusive, especially of Elizabeth, that for some time all intercourse was at an end. But at length, by Elizabeth's persuasion, he was prevailed on to overlook the offence, and seek a reconciliation; and, after a little farther resistance on the part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself; and she condescended to wait on them at Pemberley, in spite of that pollution which its woods had received, not merely from the presence of such a mistress, but the visits of her uncle and aunt from the city.

As you read “What’s Past Is Prologue,” it is my hope that you see Darcy’s patented response to interpersonal conflict as he deals with difficult people at Rosings Park. Methods such as silence. Passive-aggression. Some different flavors of silence. And most of all, not saying a word.

Every body was surprised; and Darcy, after looking at her for a moment, turned silently away.


I really enjoyed reading the phrases from P&P that you used to illustrate Darcy's approach to people and interpersonal conflict. I must say, it definitely put things in a different light. As I mentioned above, you made me think, and you made both characters real. Thank you for such an insightful post. 

When Ann first visited my blog, it was May, 2016, with her release, Side by Side, Apart. I can remember thinking her cover was one of the prettiest I had ever seen. I loved it and still do. You had great ideas for the cover of What's Past Is Prologue, Ann, and I had fun being a part of it. It's been a pleasure getting to work with you.

Thank you for stopping by More Agreeably Engaged. I'm glad to have you back for another visit, Ann. I wish you the best with What's Past Is Prologue. I noticed that it is holding steady in the Amazon sales ranks. Congratulations. Thanks also to Claudine Pepe for organizing the blog tour.

Purchase link: Amazon

Book Description

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.
Author Biography
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. Connect with Ann at the following places Ann: Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Blog Tour Schedule

August 1 / Savvy Verse & Wit / Guest Post & Giveaway
August 2 / Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway
August 3 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway
August 4 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
August 5 / Liz’s Reading Life / Author Interview & Giveaway
August 6 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway
August 7 / More Agreeably Engaged / Guest Post & Giveaway
August 8 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway
August 9 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review & Giveaway
August 10 / Austenesque Reviews / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
August 11 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway
August 12 / My Love for Jane Austen / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
August 13 / So Little Time… / Guest Post & Giveaway



Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks of What’s Past is Prologue for your readers.
The giveaway runs until midnight, August 17, 2018.

Terms and Conditions:
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post
or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name
of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified. 
One winner will be selected per contest. Each winner will be randomly selected
by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

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