Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Giveaway!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though some of my followers are not from the US and do not celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, I still want to wish you all a Happy day as we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the USA. I want to thank all of you for your support of my blog this year. It has been a wonderful and fun experience. It means so much that you take the time to visit and comment. Thank you to all the authors and Jane Austen fans that have taken time out of their busy schedules to be my guest and share something of themselves with all of us. To all of you fellow bloggers that helped me during the learning process, (you know who you are, and I'm still learning) I thank you sincerely!

As a start to the holiday season approaching, I am giving away one

Fitzwilliam & Elizabeth 2014 Calendar

To enter, please leave a comment sharing something for which you are thankful, 
even if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving.
With your comment leave your email address for contact purposes should you be the winner! 
Giveaway ends at midnight, December 4.

This giveaway is worldwide! 

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

And the winners are...

Congratulations to the two winners of:

Mr. Darcy's Dilemma and Delight
by Jadie Brooks

Without further adieux, the winner of  the paperback is:

TessQ who left a comment on 11-20

and the winner of the eBook is:

Vesper Meikle who left a comment on 11-20

Again, my congratulations to you, ladies. Get back to me as soon as possible with your information.
I appreciate your support of my blog.

Thank you, Jadie Brooks, for being my guest and for the giveaway.
I wish you the best success with this book and future books.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

And the winners are...

EvaE who left a comment on November 17
Maria Maderi who left a comment on November 12

Congratulations, ladies!

You are the winners of Alias Thomas Bennet
by Suzan Lauder

According to the last comment by the author, the book should be released November 22.

Congratulations again and thanks for having your say!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Story of Healing with Author, Jadie Brooks

My guest today is debut author, Jadie Brooks. Her book, Mr. Darcy's Dilemma and Delight, was released in October. Jadie shares an excerpt below and also tells us how this story originated. The picture of Jadie Brooks is taken in Bath on the steps of the house where Jane Austen resided when she first lived in Bath. I love the picture and think it is perfect for the post! Ms. Brooks is also having a giveaway so be sure and check out the details below. Welcome, Jadie Brooks.

Thank you, Janet for having me here on More Agreeably Engaged. It is wonderful to be where so many wonderful writers have been.

I started writing stories in my teens, but I have been a story teller most of my life. I can remember convincing a third-grade school friend that a place quite close to my home was where the character in our favourite book must have lived. I was nearly convinced myself since that was what I imagined as we listened to the teacher read to us.

I didn't finish many of my earlier stories, but the year 2000, just about the time my daughter left for college, I started writing again. At first, I wrote sci-fi fanfiction, but sometime around 2009, I discovered the wonderful world of Jane Austen variations, particularly the Pride and Prejudice variety. I had loved the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth version for many years, but it was not until I read Linda Berdoll's Mr. Darcy Takes  a Wife did I understand what I was missing.

At first, I didn't think I would ever write a variation of Pride and Prejudice of my own until an idea popped into my head. I had read countless stories by then and had not read one like it, so I ventured into Austenesque fiction. During writing of the pages of that story, another idea grabbed me and would not let go. What if Elizabeth were assaulted? What would her reaction be? What would Mr. Darcy's be? I put aside the first story and started writing to answer those questions. The resulting story was Mr. Darcy's Dilemma and Delight.

The story begins after Jane is ill at Netherfield and before the Netherfield Ball. Elizabeth is brutally attacked and Darcy comes to her rescue. What follows is a hard-fought journey for them both. They learn to deal with the aftermath of the attack and through prayer and persistence, to find love and joy. It tells a story of healing.

Here is just a taste of the first chapter of Mr. Darcy's Dilemma and Delight.

Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire inhaled deeply of the crisp autumn air as he stood in the paddock waiting for his horse to be brought to him.  The day was perfect for his desired solitary ride. The morning sky shone bright, clear, and the air was cold. He had left the house eager for a good gallop away from the insipid, overly flattering attentions of Miss Caroline Bingley. Since he was a guest at Netherfield, the house her brother and Darcy's good friend Charles had leased, there were few places inside where he could avoid her.
The groom finally brought Darcy's horse, Paladin, to the mounting block. As soon as Darcy was in the saddle and out of the yard, the large bay obliged his master by galloping quickly over Netherfield's pastures. The two travelled with great pleasure over many acres of land before Paladin slowed and began to favour his left front foot. Darcy quickly pulled the animal to a stop and dismounted. After examining the horse's leg, he found that his mount had a loosened shoe.  He knew he could not ride anymore without the risk of injury to the stallion.
Taking stock of his surroundings for the first time, Darcy realized he could see the spire of Longbourn church at not too great a distance. The road to Meryton lay between his location and the Longbourn estate. Grabbing up the reins, he guided his horse down the rise toward the road.
Darcy understood that most of his morning would be spent in the pursuit of a new shoe for his mount. He kicked at the grass and then upbraided himself for his irritation. Nothing could be gained in allowing free rein to the frustration caused by the inconvenience of having to find a blacksmith. Only aggravation and a bad mood would be the result. His father had never shown such a negative attitude, so he decided to follow his parent's example once again.
The late Mr. Darcy would also have been ashamed of his son's conduct during the past few weeks. He had allowed his distress about his young sister's near elopement to colour his dealings with the people of the small Hertfordshire village. Lifting his eyes heavenward, he asked for patience and understanding of why this inconvenience should happen on such a fine day for riding. Drawing upon the sudden infusion of strength resulting from the prayer, Darcy moved on with resolve.
When he arrived at the fence that separated the field and the lane, he could find no gate through which to pass. To his left he spied a copse of oaks with a brook running through it. Paladin could use the refreshment after such a ride, as could I, he thought.
Guiding his horse toward the bubbling stream, Darcy thought he heard a woman cry out. He stopped and strained his ears to listen. Perceiving no other sound, he shook his head. It must have been a magpie, he told himself, remembering several swooping and diving across his path as he rode.
Darcy tethered Paladin within reach of grass and the stream before he stuffed his gloves into his coat pocket and crouched to scoop up a drink for himself. When he finally stood up again, he became conscious of the fact that he could not see the road from his position amongst the trees. Leaving his horse, he walked toward the place where he knew the lane to be. As he reached the edge of the grove, he viewed the road through a tall hedge of wild roses growing over the fence.
Pulling a face that expressed his annoyance at not being able to find a place from which to gain the road, Darcy made to turn back to his horse when he heard the sound of rapid foot steps on the lane. Curiosity got the better of him, and once more he peered through the gap in the hedge. He was astonished by what he saw.
George Wickham strode quickly up the lane toward the village of Meryton. He was buttoning his fall, which in most circumstances would not have seemed too unusual. Darcy knew of men who relieved themselves by the side of a road, however ungentlemanlike the action was. On the other hand, because of the bright, bloody scratches on Wickham's cheeks and the leering, smug expression upon his face as he straightened his uniform jacket, Darcy came to a completely different conclusion. 

Contact Jadie Brooks on her Facebook page or by email at:
Her book may be purchased at Amazon and Createspace

Thank you for taking time to visit More Agreeably Engaged, and telling us about your love for Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. I always enjoy learning how a writer found that spark and turned it into a published novel. 

Thank you also for allowing me to host a giveaway of your book. This giveaway is for a paperback or eBook for an eReader, winner's choice, to one lucky winner in the USA. The second giveaway is for an eBook for an eReader to a lucky winner worldwide. Good luck to all. Leave a comment to be entered. We want to hear your say in the conversation. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @.  Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight, November 25. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Sophia Rose!

Sophia Rose left a comment on November 8
and is the randomly selected winner of 

by Jane Odiwe

Thank you, Jane Odiwe, for being my guest. It was a pleasure to have you visit my blog.
I love your art! It is absolutely beautiful!

Again, congratulations to Sohpia Rose.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Mystery Is Lurking at Longbourn & Suzan Lauder Wrote It!

It is with great pleasure that I introduce debut author, Suzan Lauder, to you today, dear readers. Ms. Lauder has a novel of twists and intrigue that involve my favorite couple and the Bennets. Suzan shares with us how this new novel came to be a reality. For two lucky winners, there is also a giveaway! 

Now, please join me in welcoming Suzan Lauder to More Agreeably Engaged. 

I’m trying to guess how many Jane Austen fan fiction stories I read before I actually opened a Word document and “scribbled” down some notes about the story ideas that had been in my head for a while. Probably hundreds. It was then that I realized that one of the ideas was simple enough that I got up the nerve to post my own very short story. And after that, I probably read a hundred more while the notes turned into separate files for separate story ideas, then drafts of scenes, then something coherent enough to show to another person for feedback. And probably another hundred in the time since the first story was posted until I decided to submit Alias Thomas Bennet for publishing this year.

This love of Austen and fan fiction related to her novels is very recent for me. A few years ago my health started deteriorating to the point where I was unable to work. Prior to that, I’d been a very driven professional, always looking to the top of the job hierarchy, having little time for self, including virtually no reading of fiction past high school. One or two bestsellers a summer was it. So while I was off work, I decided to get back to the enjoyment of reading, with my attention on nothing special, just crime-type bestsellers. After a couple of months of reading those, I decided that it really was time to try reading some more classic novels, and turned to my Public Library for those.

But I also had a copy of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. It was a cheap, worn, little paperback and I had no idea where it came from. I knew people who liked Austen, in fact, an old friend, Pulitzer Prize winning author Carol Shields, was a die-hard fan and wrote and excellent biography. But I am no literati, and had no idea what I was getting into. Weren’t these types of books dead boring?

Then Catherine Morland came into my life, surrounded by words strung together in the most darling ways, making me smile at a time when I really felt like crap. I read sentences and paragraphs over several times because they just blossomed, popped, grabbed me. Of course I wanted more! And the public library was just the thing! Heck, this could be my go-to novelist whenever I wanted to read a book. No more best-sellers, I was a Jane Austen girl. I’d read every Jane Austen novel that was ever printed… in two weeks.

What? Only six novels? Okay, the Juvenilia, the Letters, then a couple of biographies. I re-read Pride and Prejudice twice. There were movies and TV series available at the library, too.

Then luckily for me, when I was using the library’s search tools to find more, books by Linda Berdoll and Pamela Aiden and a couple of other authors came up. (If you haven’t read these two authors’ books, I highly recommend them!) But that was pretty much it for my library, so I went out and purchased Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. (I’m making a face here thinking about it!) Thinking there may be titles my library and book store didn’t carry, I turned to the Internet to find more books.

Eventually I found some lovely short stories at a web site called Bits of Ivory, which is no longer around. Then I found another now-defunct small site with a handful of authors, Firthness, where the stories were longer and more mature. After reading one or two excellent stories there, I began to resent its policy of stories by a list of preapproved authors. It wasn’t fair. What if I wanted to write, too? How did one get on this list? Well, soon after I found the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild, which does allow new writers. Not that I was writing yet.

At some point I found the phrase “fan fiction” and found out what it meant, and it gave me new power in my search for stories. It wasn’t long before I was reading on a dozen different sites, some large, some hosted by the individual author.

I learned a lot of things during that time, some about my own preferences, and some about the community of Jane Austen Fan Fiction. But one that is in the forefront is that I like spicy what-if story variations as opposed to sequels. So when I started to write, my stories were set during the course of the original plot of Pride and Prejudice, asking a question about a key aspect of the story that, if changed, could have affected a great deal in the original plot.

Alias Thomas Bennet is the first novel-length story I wrote, and it is definitely a “what-if.” It asks the question, “What if Mr. Bennet was a better man?” The answer takes us to a new-and-improved Bennet family, very different interactions with other characters such as Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham, and the absence of several issues that put Darcy and Elizabeth at odds during the Hunsford proposal in canon. However, we can’t have the book end at a saccharine Hunsford. Fortunately we always have characters like Mr. Wickham and Lady Catherine to throw a wrench into things and threaten the happiness of our dear couple.

But in order to facilitate the change in Mr. Bennet, I came up with a plot twist that affects people in more ways than just Bennet’s influence can manage. How’s that for a sneaky way to interest you in reading my book? I can’t tell the secret, though the cover art does give away a few hints!

Yes, that is a very young Jane and Elizabeth Bennet with their father on the front cover of my book. I have to comment here that I adore the details in the artwork done by More Agreeably Engaged’s Janet Taylor, such as how Jane has her little fist tightly around her father’s finger as she looks timidly at something we can’t see, and how her father tenderly looks on her while he carefully holds a wiggling infant Elizabeth. The love of this father for his family, and the extra lengths he goes to for their benefit, is key in the novel.

The differences in Mr. Bennet mark only the start of the changes I’ve employed in Alias Thomas Bennet. Once the butterfly has flapped its wings, all sorts of things have potential to result. I’m fairly confident that you’ll enjoy the roller coaster ride that follows.

Alias Thomas Bennet will be available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble upon its release later this month.

Connect with Suzan Lauder at Roadtrips with the redhead
(By the way, I love the picture on your blog!)

Suzan, what a thought-provoking story you tell about your journey to Jane Austen and writing. Isn't it amazing how many of us have similar paths to our love for all things Austen and...dare I say it, in my case, obsession for them. Thank you for taking the time to share yours with us. Thank you also for the nod to the artwork for your cover. I'm thrilled that you like the details. Hopefully, the hints there will intrigue the reader, as your plot twists and story are very enticing.

Michele Reed at Meryton Press is generously offering two books for the giveaway. One is a trade paperback and the other is an eBook for your eReader. Both are international. Good luck to all. Be sure and leave a comment to be entered. We want to hear your say in the conversation. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @.  Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight, November 18. 
NOTE:  This book has not been released yet so winners will not receive their copies until later in November...after the book's release!

Monday, November 11, 2013

And the winner is...

We have two winners for the paperback of

Thursday's Child 

by Pat Santarsiero

Both ladies left a comment on November 3, 2013

Joana Starnes
Lauren K

You are the lucky winners chosen at random.

Contact me as soon as possible with your shipping address. I have sent you both an email.

Thank you, Pat, for the lovely giveaway and for being my guest. It was a pleasure having you.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Jane Odiwe's Project Darcy

I am so excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Jane Odiwe's new book Project Darcy. Not only do I enjoy the books that I have read by Jane Odiwe, but I adore her art! It is so beautiful and in this post she talks of her new book and her art.  She even shares some of her paintings with us. Aren't we the lucky ones! I have always been fascinated with both time travel and archaeology. To mix them with Jane Austen is a treat, indeed. Thanks for sharing with me and my readers, Ms. Odiwe, and for allowing a giveaway too.

Thank you so much, Janet, for inviting me to your blog today to talk about my new book, Project Darcy. As a fellow artist, I know how much work goes into creating one of your fabulous pictures, and I thought I’d talk about one of the paintings I did that inspired my novel.

This is a book I’ve wanted to write for a long time, the story of Jane Austen’s exciting Christmas of 1795/96, when she fell in love with Tom Lefroy. I enjoyed writing a time travel novel so much with my last book that I wanted to do the same again. Ellie is a modern heroine (a little like Elizabeth Bennet) who travels back to the past to witness not only what happens to Jane, but experiences her every thought and feeling!

About thirteen years ago, I started making paintings of Jane Austen and depicting scenes from her life. I was fascinated by this young Jane, and how she looked. Every contemporary account said she was tall, slim and attractive - she had hazel eyes, rather rosy cheeks and curly brown hair. I used Cassandra’s portrait of her to make my own and took off her cap, as she wouldn’t have worn one in her youth. More than anything, I wanted to see her dancing with Tom Lefroy and I decided to paint them at Ashe Rectory with Tom’s aunt, Madame Lefroy, and all their neighbours.

I used reference material - there are portrait miniatures of Madame Lefroy and her nephew Tom, and I used these to make my own sketches. I wanted to show everyone dancing on a starry night, and to get as much movement in the dancers around them so the focal point would be on Jane and Tom. I wanted to see Jane dressed up and wearing a ball gown, and Tom in evening clothes.

When it came to writing the scene at Ashe, I wanted to draw the scene with words - here is my description of Tom and what he is wearing -

‘Good evening, Miss Austen.’
At the sound of his voice, I wanted to prolong the moment of turning – as soon as I did I knew the evening would start and it would all be over in the time a breeze ruffled the lake beyond the formal gardens, stippling the surface into beaten silver. Every second felt like an eternity as I revolved. At last, it was time to stare and take a memory picture in my mind. Fair hair shining in candlelight, a golden curl falling on an eyebrow, brooding grey eyes contemplating me with a steady scrutiny, broad shoulders, black coat, white cravat, silk waistcoat, satin breeches, gleaming shoes – a promising list, but the whole married into an epicurean feast for the senses – my senses. He bowed, and I curtseyed.
I’ve had a wonderful time writing this book, and imagining all the scenes - thank you again for giving me the opportunity to tell your readers about Project Darcy.

Connect with Jane Odiwe:

It is high summer when Ellie Bentley joins an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home. She’s always had a talent for ‘seeing’ into the past and is not easily disturbed by her encounters with Mr Darcy’s ghost at the house where she’s staying.
When Ellie travels into the past she discovers exactly what happened whilst Jane danced her way through the snowy winter of 1796 with her dashing Irish friend. As Steventon Rectory and all its characters come to life, Ellie discovers the true love story lost in Pride and Prejudice – a tale which has its own consequences for her future destiny, changing her life beyond imagination.

Jane Odiwe is the author of five Austen-inspired novels, Project Darcy, Searching for Captain Wentworth, Mr Darcy's Secret, Willoughby’s Return, and Lydia Bennet’s Story, and is a contributor to Laurel Ann Nattress’s anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, with a short story, Waiting.
Jane is a member of the Jane Austen Society; she holds an arts degree, and initially started her working life teaching Art and History. When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting and trying to capture the spirit of Jane Austen’s world. Her illustrations have been published in a picture book, Effusions of Fancy, and are featured in a biographical film of Jane Austen’s life in Sony’s DVD edition of The Jane Austen Book Club.

These paintings that you shared with us today are absolutely gorgeous. I love the Ashe Ball painting. I think you most definitely achieved your goal. From the pictures that I have seen, you certainly captured the look of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy. Thank you so much for allowing me to show your work here at More Agreeably Engaged. Thank you also for telling us about your new book, Project Darcy, and a little of how it came to be. I look forward with much anticipation, to reading it.

For the giveaway of her book, Project Darcy, Jane Odiwe is generously offering a paperback of her new book to one lucky winner and the giveaway is open internationally. To be entered leave a comment below as I always love reading your 'say in the conversation'Good luck to all. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @. Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight, November 13. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

And the winner is...

Gayle Mills
who left a comment on November 11, 2013

You are the winner of an eBook, The Subsequent Proposal
by Joana Starnes

Congratulations, Gayle

Send me the email address to which you want your eBook sent as soon as is convenient for you!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Pride and Prejudice Journey of Love with Pat Santarsiero

Pat Santarsiero, author of  Thursday's Child, is my guest today. Her journey to writing, her love for Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy may have begun on a slightly different path than some but the end result is the same. We are all obsessed Janeites that keep begging for more good stories involving our favorite hero and heroine, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. I first learned about Pat and her book when I purchased it on Amazon a few months ago. As the old saying goes, "The rest is history." (Don't miss the giveaway!)

Please welcome Pat Santarsiero.

First, I must thank Janet Taylor for a few things; one, for inviting me as a guest on More Agreeably  Engaged; second, for allowing Thursday’s Child  to be part of her beautiful 2014 Elizabeth and Darcy calendar and lastly, for recreating so many wonderful Pride and Prejudice moments through her artistry.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

How I came to write my first book was completely a fluke.   I have always considered myself a late bloomer; in everything, from boys to writing.  I am fairly new to writing and never had any literary ambitions.  I’m embarrassed to say that up until 2001 Jane Austen was just some author I had heard of who wrote unexciting books about Regency England. 

And then something quite ordinary happened that had an extraordinary affect on my life; I went to the movies and saw Bridget Jones’s Diary

To say that particular experience changed my life would be a vast understatement.  I saw Colin Firth and I was a goner.  I had never even heard of him before, but once I saw him, I had to know, watch and own everything he had ever done on film.

When I sent for the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, it started a chain of events that continues to this very day.  I decided I had to read all of Jane Austen and I did.  I started searching the internet for Pride and Prejudice fan fiction sites and read every story I could find.  I think I read almost every one of them posted on Hyacinth Gardens.  I still miss that site as it was my favorite.

As I read all these stories, I came to know these characters so well, that I convinced myself I could write a story too.  I had never written anything before, but I always felt I had a flare for the dramatic, especially in my real life.  I have always imagined conversations in my head in anticipation of certain situations I had to face, and, of course, they were always in the extreme and nothing like the conversations that actually took place. 

I had this idea about Darcy and Lizzy, strangers entering into an usual agreement, each for their own reasons, rattling around in my head for at least two years before I finally sat down to write it .  I’ve been told I have an unusual process for writing, as I have no storyboard laid out as to what exactly comes next, but rather I envision what I consider certain key scenes in my mind and find ways to connect them.  Of course, I did have a beginning, a middle and an ending in mind before I started “Thursday’s Child”, but how I got there was just as much a surprise to me as to my readers.  One thing I believe to be true, is that you have to let the characters direct the story.  You can’t force them to do things contrary to the personality traits you have established for them.

Here is an excerpt from “Thursday’s Child” as Lizzy is being interviewed as a candidate for a most unusual position.          
The older woman silently eyed her for a few moments.

“Have you any health impediments?” she asked.

“No, aside from the normal childhood ailments, I have never been ill.”

“What of your parents and siblings, do they also enjoy good health?”

“My father died about a year ago, but the rest of my family is alive and well.”

“What of mental impediments? Do any members of your family suffer from such a malady?”

If it wasn’t for her state of unease, Elizabeth might have found that particular inquiry almost humorous, for it was certainly subject to conjecture. Her mother suffered from many nervous conditions.

“Not to my knowledge,” was the best she could offer.

Elizabeth heard whispering and, for the first time, realized that there was someone else in the room. She looked slightly to the left of the woman and saw a silk screen that was completely devoid of light. Someone was sitting behind the screen, and, although she could not see them, they obviously could see her.

After the whispering stopped, the woman asked her to stand. Elizabeth rose from the chair and stared directly into the woman’s eyes. She then turned her gaze slightly to the left towards the source of the whispering voice. Imagining that she was staring directly at whoever was behind the screen, she raised her chin in an act of defiance.

Elizabeth was then asked to turn around and then finally to sit again. She complied with all that was asked. She was so nervous that she was starting to get lightheaded. She was also starting to get angry.
Again the woman conferred with the mystery person behind the screen. “Is there not some other more conventional way you might obtain the money you require?”

“No, there is not,” replied Elizabeth.

“No relatives from whom you might borrow? Or perhaps some young gentleman who might offer for you and resolve your financial situation?”

Elizabeth’s mind immediately went to Mr. Collins. She knew her mother still had not forgiven her for rejecting his offer of marriage. When he had proposed that day, Elizabeth had been adamant in her refusal. She was grateful that Jane had left for London on the previous day with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner. She knew if Mr. Collins had met Jane first, she most likely would have been his first choice, as Jane was five times as pretty as the rest of the Bennet sisters. She knew, too, that Jane would have acquiesced in order to save her family.

“If borrowing the money I required was a possibility, I would not be here. And despite my situation, I have vowed never to marry if I cannot do so for love.”

Again, the whispering began. However, this time Elizabeth could discern that it was a male voice coming from behind the screen. The anger she had been suppressing began to rise in her chest.

“Does the gentleman suffer an impediment, a defect of speech perhaps, that prohibits him from speaking to me himself?” asked Elizabeth, trying to keep her voice as even as possible.

Taken somewhat by surprise at the young woman’s impertinence, the older woman said, “I’m sorry, but you cannot know the identity of the gentleman. This situation is of a very personal and confidential nature. If a mutual agreement is reached, a future meeting time and place will be arranged. Of course, he must have your word that you will not disclose any of the details of this arrangement to anyone.”

“I am not asking that he make himself known to me, only that I be allowed the opportunity to hear his voice.”

“To what purpose, my dear?”

Before Elizabeth could reply, the gentleman spoke. His voice was deep, yet softer than she had expected. “I have no objection to speaking with you directly, if that is your wish; though I cannot perceive what hearing my voice would reveal to you.”

“I believe the sound of a person’s voice and their manner of speaking can be quite telling, sir.”
The room was silent for a moment. Then the gentleman asked, “Can you tell me for what reason you require this money?”

“Just as you, sir, do not wish to have certain personal information disclosed to others, I, too, wish to keep the particulars of my situation private. I will only say that it is a personal family matter that must be acted upon quickly if it is to be resolved in a satisfactory manner.”

The gentleman again whispered something to the older woman who nodded her head. The gentleman then asked, “Is this something you have done before?”

“No, never, sir!” came Lizzy’s immediate reply.

The silence this time went on longer than the last. He stared at her from behind the screen. She sat uncomfortably in the straight back wooden chair. After several moments, the silence was broken as the gentleman finally spoke. “Do we have an agreement then?”

Elizabeth looked down at her hands in her lap and replied in an almost inaudible voice.

The experience of posting my story on Austen Underground was exhilarating and gratifying and all the wonderful comments I received from the readers encouraged me to turn it into a book.  It is now available on all e-book devices and the soft cover version is online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I am currently working on my next story, which is about half way finished and is tentatively titled “The Last Waltz”.  I am looking forward to the positing experience once again.

Of course, my Mr. Darcy will always be Colin and it is amazing to me how a simple crush (okay, I admit it’s more than a crush) on an actor could have such a positive, long range affect on my life.  For I am convinced had anyone else played the part of Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary I would not have started down this road.  I would never have read Jane Austen, never have written a book and never have met so many amazing people who are just as obsessed with Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice as I am.

It has been a wonderful experience.

I am so glad to have you as my guest today, Pat, and I loved reading how your adventure began. I think it is fascinating how the extreme love for Jane Austen can begin in such a variety of ways. Thank you for visiting today and for sharing your story. I was thrilled to have Thursday's Child as part of my 2014 calendar and am happy that you enjoy my interpretations of some favorite Pride and Prejudice 'moments'.

Pat Santarsiero is kindly offering two soft cover books to give away! This giveaway is international! Thank you very much! To be entered leave a comment below as I always love reading your 'say in the conversation'Good luck to all. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @. Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight, November 8. 

And the winner is...

Pat Santarsiero
who left a comment on October 23

is the winner of  a signed copy All Hallow's Eve
by Wendi Sotis

Congratulations, Pat

Thank you so much, Wendi, for being my guest
and offering a signed paperback for my giveaway.

And the winner is...

The three lucky winners of one paperback book and two eBooks of their choice
by Shannon Winslow are:

cyn209 who left a comment on October 17

Wendy Norris Roberts who left a comment on October 15

Cassandra Grafton who left a comment on October 16

Congratulations, ladies
and thank you for stopping by to comment.

Thank you, Shannon Winslow, for offering these books for the giveaway 
and for being my guest.