Saturday, June 15, 2019

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley...Kelly Miller

I'm so excited about my stop on Kelly's Miller's Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley Blog Tour! Kelly is sharing an interview between Graham, the angel of death and Zoey Mills! I think you are going to have a good time reading this interview! Graham is quite a character, and he is quite fascinated with some "items" of the modern world! :) 

Kelly Miller is a debut author at Meryton Press. She has written and posted several stories at A Happy Assembly but this is the first one she has published. Be watching for Kelly as she will be releasing another novel in early 2020. Welcome to More Agreeably Engaged, Kelly. I'm honored to have you visit.

If you haven't read the blurb yet, I will post it first: then the interview with Graham will follow. Enjoy! 

Blurb:

What will the master of Pemberley do when confronted with the mercurial whims of an all-powerful angel?

Fitzwilliam Darcy's well-ordered life is about to become a chaotic nightmare. A man of fortune, property, and social prominence, he has everything he could desire. Blissfully married to his wife, Elizabeth, they have a two-year-old son. With so much to live for, Darcy is shaken by a near-fatal riding accident. After a miraculous escape, he is visited by an otherworldly being: an angel of death named Graham. Threatening dire consequences, Graham compels Darcy to guide him on a sojourn in the world of mortals. 

Darcy immediately questions the angel’s motives when he demands to be a guest at Pemberley. Can he trust Graham's assurance that no harm will come to his wife and child? And why does Graham insist on spending time with Elizabeth? How can Darcy possibly protect his family from an angel with power over life and death?

In this romantic fantasy, the beloved couple from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice must contend with both human and unearthly challenges. Are the fates against them? Or will their extraordinary love conquer all?

*****

Featured Interview: The Fascinating Mr. Graham

By Zoey Mills, Senior Writer, The Daily Looking Glass Online Newspaper

On June 6, 2019, I had the privilege of conducting an interview with Mr. Graham, the mysterious angel of death and breakout star of the new romantic fantasy novel and Pride and Prejudice continuation by Kelly Miller, Death takes a Holiday at Pemberley.

Having read the novel, I could hardly contain my excitement when the scheduled interview with the Mr. Graham showed up on my calendar. Just as enigmatic as the angel himself was the way in which the interview was scheduled. To this day, I do not know who contacted the angel―no one in the office took the credit for having made the arrangements.

Mr. Graham had specified that the interview would take place at one of the newspaper’s remote offices at the edge of town. My crew and I arrived at the designated site early to set up the interview area with a variety of food and beverages. Mr. Graham’s arrival was precipitated by a dazzlingly brilliant flash of light, similar to a bolt of lightning, followed by a cloud of smoke. When the smoke cleared, and Mr. Graham came into view, my legs grew so weak and shaky, I had to grab a nearby chair to remain upright. I had known, of course, to expect an exceedingly handsome man, but I was unprepared for how very alluring he was. It took all my concentration to look away from him. It is impossible to describe his appearance in a way that does him justice. When I discussed the subject with my crew afterwards, we all thought he resembled our favorite movie actor—despite the fact that we all named a different actor as our favorite!

Eventually, I gathered myself and welcomed Mr. Graham to California and thanked him for coming. He had arrived precisely on time. The stunning, blond gentleman was dressed casually, in J Brand jeans, a Rodd & Gunn button-down shirt, and a black leather racing jacket. A dazzling smile was in place as he greeted me and heartily professed his pleasure in meeting me. My heart ran a wild race as I shook his hand. He was fascinating, gorgeous, and compelling. His hypnotic blue eyes beheld me with such warmth that I quite lost my breath and was unable to speak for a moment.

I recovered from my lapse by the quick thinking of my assistant, who pinched my arm. I introduced my crew to Mr. Graham, and then invited him to make himself comfortable on the sofa where I had a table set up for him with the refreshments. He peered with great interest at the food provided and asked me to identify the various food items. Then he proceeded to fix himself a heavily laden plate filled with avocado toast, fish tacos, and assorted doughnuts.

After filling and setting down his plate, Mr. Graham turned to the assortment of coffee and tea drinks we had picked up. He lifted one in his hand and stared at it with wide eyes--it was clear he was unfamiliar with drinks popular in the 21st century. At his inquiry, I explained that the drink he held was called a black-and-white mocha Frappuccino. Mr. Graham released a raucous laugh, before stating it was the most ridiculous-sounding name for a beverage he had ever heard. However, from his first sip, he declared it to be delicious and amazingly refreshing. He took similar enjoyment from the food items, and his favorites among the selections proved to be the doughnuts, especially the raised, glazed variety.

Before the interview started, Mr. Graham warned me that there would be a number of subjects that would be off limits. He proceeded to list all of the topics I was to avoid. When he was finished, I had to cross over half of my prepared questions off my list. What follows is the entirety of the interview.

Z Mills: Many people are unfamiliar with angels of death. What precisely does an angel of death do?

Mr. Graham: When mortals pass away, we attend them and ensure their souls are escorted to their designated locations. Alas, I am not at liberty to divulge the precise details of these final destinations. Suffice it to say that some people go on to more agreeable places than others. (He lifted another beverage from the table.) What do you call this beverage?

Z Mills: That is a hazelnut iced latte. During your sojourn at Pemberley, who took over your duties for you in your own world?

Mr. Graham: Hmm. This is very good too; I can taste the hazelnut! Anyway, there is a large crew of us who attend to this work. Because of all the wars you mortals continually get involved in, and the occasional natural disasters, we have found it necessary in our world to be prepared for many deaths to occur at once, and we have many more angels than we did when I was at Pemberley. However, even back then we had sufficient angels on hand to ensure no soul would go unescorted during my holiday.

Z Mills: Since your stay at Pemberley in 1815, have you taken other holidays with mortals?

Mr. Graham: I have not. Since then I have never observed an individual who so intrigued me that I was moved to leave my world again. Staying with Elizabeth, er, I meant Darcy and Elizabeth was a unique and unforgettable experience. On the other hand, I am not ruling it out. I never say never.

Z Mills: In Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, you demonstrated to Mr. Darcy a rather startling example of your powers. Do you have other powers, and can you tell me of them?

Mr. Graham: Yes, I have other powers, and no, I cannot tell you of them. Was that not one of the items I listed?

Z Mills: No, it was not.

Mr. Graham: Well, I am sorry to be so cryptic, but we angels must have our secrets.

Z Mills: It is clear you are an aficionado of food and appear to be capable of eating far more than the average mortal. Do you ever gain weight?

Mr. Graham: No, I do not. You know, if you like, you may consider it to be a power that angels have on earth; no worry for ever gaining weight.

Z Mills: Are there other angels from your world who sometimes take vacations here on earth?

Mr. Graham: At any given time, angels are taking vacations all over the earth. I did it before it became popular, but now it is rather common in my world. (Mr. Graham stood) I am afraid it is time I took my leave now.

Z Mills: I thank you very much for stopping by and answering my questions. It was very nice of you.

Mr. Graham: It was a pleasure. I thank you for the delectable food and drink. Do you mind? (Mr. Graham picked up an old-fashioned glazed doughnut and a passion tea with raspberry syrup.)

Z Mills: Please, help yourself. You have a long trip back, I imagine.

Mr. Graham: (The angel’s cheeks became tinged with red) In truth, I will be back in a flash; I simply wanted to sample these.

Z Mills: You are most welcome to them. Good-bye, Mr. Graham.

Mr. Graham: Good-by, Ms. Mills.

Wasn't the interview delightful! What do you think of Graham? When you get a chance to read Ms. Miller's book, you will learn much about the angel of death. Why is he at Pemberley? What does he want? 

Now get to know a little bit about Kelly Miller. She is a lovely lady.

*****

Author Bio:

Kelly Miller discovered her appreciation for Jane Austen late in life, and her love of writing even later.  It was the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice that made her take notice and want to read the actual book.  It was many years later that she discovered the world of JAFF.  After reading a slew of wildly inventive stories featuring the beloved characters created by Jane Austen, she was inspired to write one of her own.  Now, writing is one of her favorite pastimes.  When not writing, she spends her free time singing, playing the piano, and working out.  (Yes, like Elizabeth Bennet, she is an excellent walker.)  Kelly Miller lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter and their many pets.

Contact Info:

Amazon Author Page (coming soon)
Facebook  

*****

Buy Links:

eBook:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Paperback:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

*****

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley Blog Schedule

June 14 From Pemberley to Milton; Excerpt and GA
June 15 More Agreeably Engaged; Character Interview and GA
June 16 Open
June 17 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post and GA
June 18 So Little Time…;  Excerpt and GA
June 19 Austenesque Reviews; Guest Post, Excerpt, and GA
June 20 Savvy Verse & Wit;  Excerpt and GA
June 21 Babblings of a Bookworm; Excerpt and GA
June22 My Love for Jane Austen; Author Interview and GA
June 23 Open
June 24 My Vices and Weaknesses; Review, Excerpt, and GA


Giveaway:

Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley. The giveaway is international. Please enter with the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 3, 2019

Nefarious...Nicole Clarkston

Nicole Clarkston, author of the recently released and #1 Best Seller, Nefarious, is stopping by and sharing a vignette! You are going to love it! The scene is from Elizabeth's point of view instead of Darcy's. Since the book is written from Darcy's point of view, it is fun to get Lizzy's thoughts in this vignette. But first, let's talk a bit about the book and the blurb.

Have you read Nefarious yet? Did you follow along when Nicole was posting the first few chapters at Austen Variations? I did, and I couldn't wait for the next one. Everything about this book is fantastic - from the way it was conceived to the way it concluded, and everything in between! What a great read, and it is getting rave reviews! If you haven't read it, I hope you get to soon. It is not to be missed.

Nefarious blurb

He hates everything about her.
She despises him even more.
So why is his heart so determined to belong to her?

Once trapped by marriage to a woman he loathed, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally free again. Resentful, bewildered, and angry, he is eager to begin his life over—preferably with a woman who is the exact opposite of his wife.

He never imagined a short stay in Hertfordshire would bring him face to face with his worst nightmare; a woman similar in face, form, and name. He certainly never expected her to be so impossible to ignore.

Torn between what he believes he wants and what his heart cannot live without, his dignity begins to unravel. Will his desperation to escape his past drive a wedge into his closest friendship and destroy any hope of a future?

Will Miss Elizabeth Bennet prove to be as nefarious as his wife? Or, will the last woman in the world be his only chance at happiness?

Elizabeth Speaks

I counted to ten, very slowly. And then, I counted ten more… and still, I felt like erupting. Or, at least, throwing something heavy and expensive.
He was staring over the dinner table at me again. That dark, brooding fellow—the one who had so fascinated me when he first appeared at the Assembly with his thoughtful brow, his regal stature, and the clean, almost severe lines of his face.
But then, there was that mouth. Never had anyone mortified me so thoroughly, nor had so little reason to do so! It was not as if I had trod on his toes or uttered some impertinent remark—though, Heaven knew, I did that quite often enough. But this boor, he required no assistance whatsoever in making himself the most disagreeable, offensive, and arrogant specimen ever to grace the humble halls of Meryton’s Assembly rooms. Ah! Yes, they were humble, and he made certain we all knew it, proclaiming his disdain for the room, the people, the musicians, and most of all, for me.
“Can there be a more unfortunate name in all Christendom?” he had said of me. Yes! In fact, there was a more unfortunate name, and it was Fitzwilliam Darcy. What celestial injustice had endowed such a striking-looking man with a sharp mind, worldly possessions to spare, a voice that could melt wax and eyes that could look right through a woman, and then besmirched it all with such a contemptible, sour character?
Miss Bingley certainly did not seem to mind his manner. If I did not miss my guess, Mr Bingley’s sister was only waiting for the wine to pour freely enough to dull the man’s tongue into making her an offer, or even an off-handed compliment. What a fine match she would make for him! He seemed not at all averse to peppering his company with ill-tempered quips, and she provided him with ample cause to display his prowess.
I wondered if he even noticed how desperately pathetic the woman was, as she tried to lean farther over the table so that her feminine assets might be the more readily displayed. Probably not. Most men were clueless in that way.
I tried to focus my energies on making myself agreeable to the man I hoped would be my brother. I liked Mr Bingley for his own sake, not merely for Jane’s. Who could not like the man? Mr Bingley was genial, open, and solicitous—the perfect opposite of his sister and his friend. How he could suffer their company, I did not understand, but their very presence in the house proved one thing beyond any doubt: if Mr Bingley could tolerate their incivilities with good humour, my own family would seem a pleasant diversion in comparison.
“Upon my word!” Miss Bingley cried, fluttering her hand near her breast and making certain to catch Mr Darcy’s eye as she did so. “I should not have thought it possible! Can you really have an aunt and uncle in trade? No, my dear, I shall not believe you. You are the very picture of everything cultured and refined.”
Hah! As if she did not sneer down her nose at me every time she glanced my way! I laughed back, trying not to insult my hostess, for her brother’s sake. “I am afraid my arrival this morning was anything but elegant.”
I saw Mr Darcy’s rigid brow dimple in agreement with my own assessment, but he kept his eyes carefully averted. Provoking, vexing man! Either he stared in challenge or refused to look my way altogether. It made him wretchedly difficult to engage… not that I wished to engage him, or to have him become engaged with me, or… oh botheration!
Miss Bingley laughed, an annoying sound that made my shoulders clench and my spine shiver in revulsion. I might have noticed a faint roll of Mr Darcy’s eyes, had I been looking at him. A jolly good thing I was not, for he certainly deserved no notice from me.
Miss Bingley was still talking, trying to amuse us all with some tale from her youth… however long ago that had been. Was it kindness or condescension that made her observe—again—how my hems had been stained that morning, and how I must have very agreeable relatives living in Cheapside? I fixed her with a glassy stare and silently counted again. I made it to ten before I had to start over due to some newly outrageous remark.
Well, she was what she was, I supposed. If my hopes were to bear fruit, I would one day be related to the woman, so I had best not offend her all at once. And truly, I could bear her, far more easily than I could tolerate the man across the table. With any luck, he would see just what a stellar match she might make him, and take her away to wherever his estate was. Far away, I hoped.
I smiled at my hostess’ blistering superciliousness and praised her hospitality, all while trying not to look like I was stretching the truth until its seams would break. At least Mr Bingley was everything charming and generous, and I did so covet him for dear Jane. What a fine, understanding husband he would make for her! And he was smitten already, that much was plain—just as his friend’s interest was also obvious.
Poor Jane! She had been so uncomfortable dancing with Mr Darcy at the Assembly, with the way he stared at her and prowled about the room after her. I still congratulated myself with stepping into his path at Lucas Lodge, keeping him from seeking her out, and I fairly gloated when I recalled my triumph in forcing him to ask Miss Bingley to dance. The look he had shot me—part passionate indignation, and part dumbfounded awe—would forever stand as one of the grandest prizes I had ever won.
He was glaring at me again, a curious furrow between his eyes that he had not displayed with any of his previous scowls. It was almost as if something I had said puzzled him, and he was even more cross because he could not make sense of it. That was when a shaft of wicked inspiration struck.
I could not confront him directly—not only would it be an insult to my father and my family if I were to condescend so, but I would surely come off the loser. But I could needle him… irritate, exasperate, and cause him to fret in impotence. What could he do but fulminate in silence? And so, when we adjourned to the drawing room that evening, I made straight for the book on the side table.
I knew very well whose book it was. As if Mr Bingley would moon about for hours reading essays on morality and human nature! And certainly, it would never have belonged to Miss Bingley or Mrs Hurst—a fact evidenced when Miss Bingley claimed a different book for herself and held it upside-down for the first ten minutes. No one else from this house would have such a book in his possession, nor so proudly display the Cambridge ribbon as a marker.
How fortunate for me that I already enjoyed Samuel Johnson! It made my own pursuit so much more satisfying, particularly when I deliberately twirled that ridiculous ribbon through my fingers. How red his face turned! I thought he would leap from his chair and snatch it out of my hands that very instant, but he only turned and tried to write a letter to someone. Probably some count or some-such, and no doubt his letter contained a series of laments about the backwards Hertfordshire set among whom he found himself trapped. The scoundrel. He would make little progress on his letter, for every other moment he was glancing over his shoulder at me.
I drew a luxuriant sigh and turned the page. There, marked with a bold stroke in the margin, was a passage that made me stop and read it over.

“Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.”

What could he have meant by marking that? Either he appreciated Johnson’s satire—perhaps had seen the practice played out in reality—or he had taken it as serious advice for a man on the hunt for a bride. I narrowed my eyes and read the words again. Only a fool would misunderstand it… and whatever else he was, Mr Darcy did not appear to be a fool. A cynic, a misanthrope, and a bit of a peacock, in all his elevated opinions of himself, but not a fool.
That left only the possibility that at some point in his life, Mr Darcy, the disdainful and irascible one, must have possessed a glimmer of good sense, and possibly even humour. I could not help seeking his face again, hoping to trace some semblance of whimsy or wit in those marble features—a face that could have been sculpted by Michelangelo—but he was slanting a bold and confrontational look back at me. I felt almost like he was willing me to despise him… as if I needed any help in that regard! His cheek twitched and I could see his jaw shift in challenge.
I stole my gaze quickly away, vowing never to repeat that mistake. Handsome as he was, intelligent as he might be, I would not permit myself to wonder about him again. I kept my eyes studiously to the book page… but did not neglect to toy with his bookmark, just to aggravate him. Some minutes passed in silence
Miss Bingley seemed to have missed his irritation, because she kept hovering around him. She had given up on her own book, and was flitting about, trying to make him acknowledge her existence. “How fast you write, Mr Darcy!” she praised him.
“You are mistaken,” he growled. “I write rather slowly.”
Indeed, I could see the position of his hand on the notepaper, and it was still near the top. Why on earth would it take him so long to scribble out a few lines? He glanced round, as if he were only looking at his inquisitor, but he happened to catch my eye. I gazed back only briefly, then pretended to ignore him, making a great show of turning the book’s page and then toying with his blue ribbon. He turned away and bent again to his letter, but his hand was not very diligent in its task.
Miss Bingley was pacing around his chair, casting glances my way now and again. “And how does Miss Darcy do? I presume it is she to whom you write?”
I was trying to keep my eyes on the book and not credit the brute with more attention than was his due, but this caught my notice. A sister? I studied the hunched posture of his shoulders, heard the affirmative grunt as he acknowledged Miss Bingley’s assumption, and mused on this piece of intelligence. She must be a fearsome creature, indeed. I pictured a second Miss Bingley—a woman of perhaps six and twenty, burdened with far too much fortune and pride to bestow either on some unwitting earl’s son.
“And she is to come away from school soon, of course,” Miss Bingley continued. “Shall she join us for the festive season, Mr Darcy?”
“She is to arrive in less than a fortnight. I am presently writing to inform her of the final arrangements,” was his brusque answer.
Ah, so this was a much younger sister. And if Mr Darcy was her primary guardian, she must have been subjected to all manner of conceit and disdain during her formative years. The poor child! I felt a softening in my heart at once for this unknown maid—though, heaven knew, she was probably just as arrogant as her brother. However, it pleased me to conceive of some creature I might pity for her helpless relationship to such an ogre.
I continued to listen as Miss Bingley drew each unwilling bit of information from Mr Darcy. Then, she was turning to me, and declaring that Miss Darcy had not her equal for elegance and accomplishments. At this, I was forced to enter the conversation.
“Indeed, she must be a remarkable young lady to have drawn such praise,” I replied. “She is very young, I presume?”
“Not yet fifteen, is she, Mr Darcy?” Miss Bingley asked.
“She is just turned sixteen,” he answered, his head still bent over his page.
“How the years have flown!” Miss Bingley cried. “Is she much grown since I last saw her? Is she as tall as I am?”
“She is now about Miss Jane Bennet’s height, or a little taller.”
“Ah!” mused the lady, “you are so good, Mr Darcy, to recall our poor guest upstairs. How does she do this evening, Miss Eliza?”
I sighed and closed the book, for it was apparent that Miss Bingley would no longer permit me my pleasure in frustrating Mr Darcy with it. I was not at all happy to be disclosing Jane’s progress in the hearing of that she-vulture, nor that of Mr Darcy the Black Cloud, but I was somewhat gratified to see Mr Bingley sitting up to take note of my response.
“I am afraid she is not at all well, Miss Bingley,” I replied. “She was very uncomfortable this evening.”
Mr Bingley made some gallant offer of calling for the apothecary, which I politely declined, but I confess, my attention was not on him. I was sensing the other gentleman, the dark and sombre one, whose frame seemed to swell like a gathering storm from that corner of the room. How did a man possess such… such presence? Little wonder Miss Bingley was fascinated by him, for I would have been so myself, if I were not so despairing over the travesty of his woeful character.
Mr Bingley at last relented in his concerns and returned to his card game. His sister, however, did not mean to lose her chance of provoking Mr Darcy into conversation. “What a considerate sister you are, Miss Eliza,” she praised me. “I always say that family are the greatest comfort anyone could have. Do you not agree, Mr Darcy?”
What occurred next perplexed me in the extreme. Mr Darcy refused to answer. It was not as if he had not heard her—indeed, he could not have failed to do so—but he absolutely rebuffed her. From where I sat, I could even catch the hint of a shadow at his jaw, indicating that he was clenching his teeth. Then, I saw the top of his pen jerk sharply at an odd angle. He had bent it beyond repair!
I watched him as he drew two or three deep breaths and searched for another pen, ignoring Miss Bingley all the while. What could she have said to anger him so? But this was Mr Darcy, a man who seemed always to be angry over something, so I sighed and forced myself to look away again.
“Miss Bingley,” I said, “do you not find that family can also be a great source of enjoyment as well as comfort?”
She looked puzzled. “How so?”
“Why, perhaps it is merely because I have so many sisters, but we engage in much teasing and merriment when at home. Is it so in your family?”
Miss Bingley, the aspiring lady of class and composure, actually snorted. “Merriment! I do not understand what you can mean. Are cards and reading insufficient to such an enterprise?”
“I do not claim they are insufficient, but what of less formal enjoyment? Do you not simply tease and jest with one another for the sake of pleasure?”
She appeared to be at a loss. “Tease? Miss Eliza, surely you know that my brother cultivates enough ridicule of his own without requiring another to take note of it.”
“Mr Bingley is everything light-hearted and engaging,” I conceded, “but what of Mr Hurst? What of Mr Darcy?”
“Tease Mr Darcy? Why no, my dear, it is impossible. The very idea!”
I shook my head in mock sadness. “That is a pity, for I dearly love to laugh.”
This had the result I had expected. Mr Darcy himself spun round in his seat and fixed me with such a surly, agitated expression that I nearly giggled aloud.
“You think it proper to ridicule someone who has made it the study of his life to avoid the sort of weaknesses that would expose him? To make light of an honourable figure, purely for your own amusement?”
Ah, if he only knew how very amusing he was just then, as he tried to stand on his affronted dignity! “Not for my personal amusement, but for the enjoyment of the whole room,” I replied. “I hope I never ridicule what is wise and good. Most of my associates take much delight in their own follies, for none regard themselves so seriously that they cannot admit to some fault. Have you no faults at all, sir?”
That nearly pushed him over the edge. I saw his eyes flame, his nostrils distend, and his teeth even flashed for a glimmer of a second. Oh, but he was so easy to infuriate!
“Faults?” Miss Bingley protested. “Mr Darcy! He is a man perfectly without fault.”
I watched Mr Darcy seethe, his fingers clenching again on another hapless pen, and I could not help but to smile in victory. “Indeed,” I congratulated him, “you are to be commended for living so long on this earth without cultivating a few aberrations. I now no longer wonder at your lack of good humour, sir, for if I were similarly cursed with perfection, I should think myself the dullest person in the world.”
Miss Bingley’s eyes popped, like one of the hens when she has just dropped an egg, and she absolutely glared at me. Mr Darcy, however, had turned quite red. His breathing had quickened, and those dark eyes were on fire with indignation.
I knew when to withdraw. I rose, adopted a sweet expression, and informed Miss Bingley that I meant to retire for the night. To Mr Darcy, I delivered his book, thereby confessing my understanding that it was his possession, and that I had knowingly co-opted it for my own purposes. I leaned low and whispered to him, “You are not so very difficult to understand, Mr Darcy.”
I distinctly heard him hiss with exasperation as I left the room.




 Didn't you just love the vignette! Wow! Lizzy was not happy with Darcy! I could just see her counting to ten repeatedly! I believe they were almost shooting daggers with their eyes! Poor Darcy! He has no clue what is happening to him. At this point, it certainly doesn't seem like Lizzy and Darcy will ever have a chance at a HEA. I'm so glad there is the rest of the story! :) (and what a story it is, too!)


Nefarious Blog Stops
June 3rd - More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway
June 4th From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post and/or Excerpt, Giveaway
June 7th - Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
June 8thBabblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway
June 11thSo Little Time…; Guest Post, Giveaway
June 13th - Savvy Verse & Wit; Guest Post, Giveaway
June 15thDiary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway


Giveaway

Now it's giveaway time, and Nicole has a great giveaway for one lucky reader! 

Option 1: $10 Amazon Gift Card plus eBook or Audiobook of winner’s choice; International
Option 2: Signed Paperback of winner’s choice; US only

The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 8th of June. Good luck to all!

Thank you, Nicole Clarkston, for stopping by and letting us read Lizzy's thoughts. She was an impertinent mess! 

Thank you also for the generous giveaway for my readers. Best wishes with your new release, Nefarious.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Dear Jane...Allie Cresswell

My guest today is Allie Cresswell, author of Dear Jane. She is sharing an excerpt from her book and a short description setting up the scene. Before the scene, take a look at the book synopsis to get an idea of what Dear Jane is about. 

I'm glad to you stopped by my blog during your blog tour, Ms. Cresswell. It is great to have you visit.

*****

Book Synopsis:

The final instalment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane narrates the history of Jane Fairfax, recounting the events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma.

Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. The velvet path of her early years is finite, however and tarnished by the knowledge that she must earn her own independence one day.

Frank Weston is also transplanted from Highbury, adopted as heir to the wealthy Churchills and
taken to their drear and inhospitable Yorkshire estate. The glimmer of the prize which will one
day be his is all but obliterated by the stony path he must walk to claim it.

Their paths meet at Weymouth, and readers of Emma will be familiar with the finale of Jane and
Frank’s story. Dear Jane pulls back the veil which Jane Austen drew over their early lives, their
meeting in Weymouth and the agony of their secret engagement.

*****

We know from Jane Austen that Mr Knightley is some sixteen years older than Emma. Their relationship is a peculiar one; in some ways they are as close as siblings. Mr Knightley has no compunction about speaking to Emma very directly. He is, we are told, one of the very few people who presume to see faults in her. He makes himself at home at Hartfield, calling there almost every day without invitation. We can presume that he has seen Emma at her worst, as well as at her best. Depending upon your view of Emma Woodhouse it seems either amazing or inevitable that Mr Knightley should fall in love with her.

I enjoyed imagining their relationship when Emma was still a child. Here she is eleven years old. She and Mr Knightley and others have been invited to drink tea at the vicarage.

Excerpt:

Mr George Knightley stood by a far window – well away from the fire – and turned the pages of an atlas for Miss Emma Woodhouse. ‘Good evening Miss Bates,’ he said as that lady entered the room, and to pre-empt the protracted monologue usually attendant upon her arriving anywhere, added, ‘won’t you join us? Emma, move to one side to make room for Miss Bates on the window seat. I am just putting Miss Emma right on a question of geography,’ he said. ‘I cannot let her go on in her mistaken belief that the Peak District is in Wales.’
‘Goodness me now, Miss Woodhouse,’ Miss Bates said, settling herself happily on the seat, ‘that would be a lamentable error to make if one were travelling in that direction. Upon my word! To set out for the one and arrive at the other! What a pickle!’
Mr Knightley pointed to the atlas. ‘Look, Emma,’ he said, ‘the Brecon Beacons, the Cambrians, the Snowdon Massif – all in Wales, but not the Pennines.’ 
Miss Emma pouted and folded her arms. ‘It does not matter where they are, since I have not been to them,’ she said.
‘Jane has been,’ Miss Bates said, ‘to both, if I am not mistaken. The colonel and Mrs Campbell are so very assiduous in their care. Jane has been all over! Lyme, which is in Dorset, you know, and Derbyshire,’ she looked a little uncertain, ‘that, I think, is in the Pennines, is it not Mr Knightley?’
Emma gave a little snort of laughter. Mr Knightley moved his foot and pressed the toe of her slipper with it. ‘One certainly could not traverse one without touching the other,’ he said. ‘I am very pleased to hear that Miss Fairfax is being given such opportunities. If I had my way all young ladies,’ with a significant glance at Emma, ‘would benefit in similar fashion. Young ladies can become very insular when they remain in one place.’
‘Oh! Jane is exposed to a wide range of places,’ Miss Bates cried, ‘and experiences, too; the theatre and exhibitions of curiosities. She wrote of a menagerie… let me think… perhaps last December. I shall have to go and re-read her letters. I keep them all, you know Mr Knightley. I have them all in a box, right from the very first. One a week for three years that is… oh! Ever so many! My box is quite full, you can imagine!’
‘Emma, how many letters might Miss Bates have? Can you calculate? I am sure Miss Taylor has taught you arithmetic.’
‘Oh,’ said Emma, ‘she attempts it, but I am always able to divert her on to more interesting subjects.’
‘She ought to be firmer with you,’ Mr Knightley said with a frown, closing the atlas and restoring it to a shelf.
‘Girls have no need of arithmetic,’ Emma declared.
‘Girls who are seamstresses or cooks use arithmetic,’ Mr Knightley chided. He indicated the maid who at that moment brought in the supper. ‘Susan Bright used arithmetic just now when she cut up that cake. How else could she have made twelve such equal slices?’
‘I shall never need to sew clothes or cook,’ Emma said archly. ‘We have Searle to cut our cake. If I were ever likely to sink so low I suppose I should have to learn, but that is a distant prospect.’
‘Jane can add things up in her head as quick as lightning,’ Miss Bates said. ‘She has her own allowance, you know. The Campbells encourage both the girls to keep their own accounts. She has a little pocket book with the figures written in such neat columns; shillings and pence, of course. The allowance does not stretch to pounds; that would be too much.’ She gave a little trill of laughter, to show the absurdity of such a notion. ‘Nobody expects it. Jane does not expect it. She does not expect anything! They are so very good.’
‘As to a shilling here or there,’ Emma arched her eyebrows, ‘for a person like Jane Fairfax, I quite see the necessity, but it is of no moment to me. I know there are twenty shillings to a pound but I would have to multiply that by thirty thou…
‘Emma!’ Mr Knightley said sharply, ‘that is a vulgar and disgusting observation. Go and sit with your sister. Miss Bates and I can converse more pleasantly without you.’
Emma slipped off the seat, ‘Very well,’ she said grumpily. ‘I will leave you to deliver a piece of news which I am sure will interest Miss Bates very much.’

Buy Links:

Amazon
GoodReads

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to
lifelong learners. Most recently she has been working on her Highbury trilogy, books inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.

You can contact her via her website at www.allie-cresswell.com or find her on Facebook.

*****

Thank you, Allie Cresswell for visiting More Agreeably Engaged and sharing your excerpt. It was a pleasure having you stop by. I enjoyed seeing Emma as an eleven year old. It was interesting reading  the discourse between Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Miss Bates. This sounds like a good book. I hope to read it soon and learn more about Jane Fairfax. I wish you the best with this release and the rest of the Highbury trilogy. Please visit again when each of the other two are released.

Thank you, Serena Cox, for organizing the blog tour.

*****

Giveaway: 

The giveaway is for one copy of Dear Jane, by Allie Cresswell.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Mist of Her Memory...Suzan Lauder

The Mist of Her Memory Blog Tour for Suzan Lauder stops by More Agreeably Engaged today. It is always a pleasure for me to have Suzan visit. She shares a post about the different gowns that Elizabeth wore in The Mist of Her Memory. This post is complete with lovely drawings from Rudolf Ackermann. The drawings would be a neat companion to keep. We can imagine Elizabeth wearing these beautiful gowns as we read the scenes in the book, maybe even take them out and look them over as they are described.

Thank you, Suzan Lauder, for sharing the details of the gowns, the places where each was worn, and an occasional hint about the scene. I'm glad you took the risk of being chastised, but you will not receive any chastisement from me! I loved this post!

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The Gowns of The Mist of Her Memory
At the risk of being chastised for descriptions of lace related to a mystery and suspense novel, I would like to share Elizabeth’s gowns from The Mist of her Memory. Three evening gowns make centre stage: one for the ball where Darcy and Elizabeth meet after a seemingly never-ending separation, one for their engagement reception at the Bingley town house, and a final ball gown for the closing chapter of the story. In addition, there are two morning gowns mentioned that I’ll share.
A November 1813 fashion plate inspired the ball gown that excited Darcy’s “manly parts” at the ball when he saw Elizabeth across the room because the colour in The Mist of her Memory was close to Elizabeth’s skin colour. The inspiration for a brief, flesh-toned dress as an enticement to the male protagonist comes from “Sex and the City.”
The Ackermann’s Repository for Art plate for the blossom-coloured and white-trimmed original is shown here. The hairstyle is irregular curls, just how Elizabeth likes hers.

In a pivotal chapter, the Bingleys are hosting the entire Bennet family for shopping to prepare for Elizabeth and Darcy’s wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Bingley hold a large dinner party at their rented house in town to celebrate Darcy and Elizabeth’s engagement. Shown is Elizabeth’s pea-green evening dress with beaded and silver netting trim at the centre back, bottom of the sleeves, and round the feet. It is from October 1813, so Elizabeth is quite in fashion in the chapter that takes place in April.

At the end of the novel, the mystery has been solved, the Darcys are married, and they are about to attend the final ball of the 1813 Season. Elizabeth’s fashionable gown from June of that year is described by Rudolf Ackermann as a “Grecian round robe, of lilac or apple-blossom crape, worn over a white satin petticoat.” I’ve always loved Van Dyke lace, and the beaded trim and Kashmir shawl on this drawing won me over. Elizabeth is very much a fan of the short Circassian sleeves as well, though she leaves the turban to Miss Bingley and shows off her chestnut curls.


When Elizabeth is hurt, Darcy can’t see the extent of her injuries since she’s well-covered with a morning gown. It’s actually a promenade dress, since she’s intending to go out walking with her aunt and uncle before she gets Jane’s letters. Ackermann’s Repository
of Art featured this costume in July 1812. It features waggoner’s sleeves and a high,
full-gathered collar, and a cottage vest with net and fringe. The vest is uniquely unconfined at the normal empire waist band.



While newlyweds Elizabeth and Darcy each read their letters in August of 1813, she is wearing a very pretty round robed morning dress that Darcy considers removing. It has a little fringed cape that does nothing to hide her figure from him! There’s a funny out-of-scale puppy in the Ackermann’s plate from May 1813, and I think Elizabeth is more of a cat person. But Elizabeth is leaning against her writing table just with a drooping curl over her eye from under her Brussels lace cap just like in the epilogue of The Mist of her Memory. I’ve made the gown primrose coloured in the story.


Thanks to Janet for your indulgence in this favourite pastime of mine: costuming
for Jane Austen’s times and to Claudine for organizing this blog post for us.


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Author Bio:
About the Author
A lover of Jane Austen, Regency period research and costuming, cycling, yoga, blogging,
and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder is seldom idle.
Her first effort at a suspense novel, The Mist of her Memory is the fifth time Lauder has
been published by Meryton Press. Her earlier works include a mature Regency romance
with a mystery twist, Alias Thomas Bennet; a modern short romance Delivery Boy
in the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter, the dramatic tension-filled Regency romance
Letter from Ramsgate, and the Regency romantic comedy, A Most Handsome Gentleman.
She and Mr. Suze and two rescue cats split their time between a loft condo overlooking
the Salish Sea and a 150 year old Spanish colonial home near the sea in Mexico.
Suzan’s lively prose is also available to her readers on her blog, road trips
with the redhead www.suzan.lauder.merytonpress.com,
on her facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/SuzanLauder,
on Twitter @suzanlauder, and on Instagram as Suzan Lauder. She is a lifetime
member of JASNA.
~~~
Author Links:

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The Mist of Her Memory Blog Tour Schedule

May 7 / Just Romantic Suspense / Book Excerpt
May 8 /  Austenesque Reviews / Vignette Post
May 9 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Book Excerpt
May 10 / From Pemberley to Milton / Guest Post
May 11 / More Agreeably Engaged / Guest Post
May 12 / Half Agony, Half Hope / Book Review
May 13 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Character Interview
May 14 / Just Jane 1813 /  Author Interview
May 15 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Excerpt
May 16 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review

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Thank you for the interesting post, Suzan. I enjoyed reading about the different dresses in your book and it was fun seeing the drawings that depicted those dresses. The Mist of Her Memory kept me guessing and I loved it. Congratulations on the release and best wishes. Thank you to Meryton Press for the generous giveaway and to Claudine Pepe for organizing the blog tour.

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Giveaways
Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of The Mist of Her Memory. Thank you for your support with these giveaways. The giveaway runs until midnight, May 19, 2019.
Terms and Conditions:
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified. 
One winner per contest. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

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