Tuesday, September 22, 2015

As Good as a Lord...P.O. Dixon

Available on Amazon
I am happy to welcome P. O. Dixon back to More Agreeably Engaged. It is always a pleasure, Ms. Dixon. I am quite intrigued by your new release, As Good as a Lord, and the character with the starring role. I agree with you on the comical rantings of this particular character!  Dear Readers, let us know what you think and if you have any favorite rants by this person named below! Your comments will enter you in the giveaway! Yay!

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The title of my newest release is As Good as a Lord. With such a title, can there be any doubt of which Pride and Prejudice character has a starring role? If you guessed Mrs. Bennet, then you are correct.

Many of Mrs. Bennet’s rantings provide some of my best laugh aloud moments in the story.

Here’s one of my all-time favorites:

“Oh! I am not afraid of her dying. People do not die of little trifling colds. She will be taken good care of. As long as she stays there, it is all very well.”

By the way, that particular quote to some extent inspired parts of As Good as a Lord. Of course, the following passage is the primary inspiration for the story:

“My dearest child,” she cried, “I can think of nothing else! Ten thousand a year, and very likely more! ‘Tis as good as a Lord! And a special license. You must and shall be married by a special license.”

As Good as a Lord includes the following question as its premise: What happens when Mrs. Bennet learns that her headstrong daughter has refused the hand of a second respectable man in less than six months?

I hope you will enjoy the following excerpt from Chapter 1.

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Elizabeth sat up in bed. “Jane, you will not believe what happened to me while I was in Kent.”

“Does this have anything to do with Mr. Darcy?”

Puzzled, Elizabeth asked, “Why would you think that?

“From my knowing he was there also. It is no secret that the two of you do not always get along, despite his having confided in you regarding Mr. Wickham’s true character.”

“Oh, dearest Jane, that is precisely the reason I find all this so troubling.”

“What happened? Did the two of you get into some sort of altercation?”

“In a manner of speaking that is exactly what occurred. That is to say, immediately after he offered me his hand in marriage.”

Jane gasped. “Are you—are you secretly engaged?”

“I most certainly am not!” Elizabeth stiffened. She thought she heard a thump from the other side of the door. “Did you hear that?”

Jane could not say that she did.

Elizabeth shrugged. “I suppose it is merely my imagination. Who would be afoot at this hour?” Having reasoned away the sound to her satisfaction, she resumed telling Jane all those things she could about the proposal.

“Why did you not tell me any of this before?”

“You cannot know how much I wanted to tell you, but I did not want to put you in the uncomfortable position of keeping secrets from Mama. Oh, Jane, you and I know only too well how impossible my life would be were our mother to learn that I spurned such an advantageous alliance.”

~*~

The moon was high in the midnight sky, and the lady of the house was quite restless. This must certainly account for Mrs. Bennet’s being out of bed at that hour when the house was otherwise still. That and a healthy dose of fate, for what she heard while passing by the slightly ajar door of her eldest daughters’ room might very well be the means of changing the rest of her life. Why, she was certain it would. She only needed to devise the means of using this newly discovered information to her best advantage. The first half hour after her startling discovery she spent pacing the floor.

“What a sly creature Lizzy is,” she cried to herself for she was the only one in the room. “Everyone in Meryton is aware that Mr. Darcy was in Kent at Easter. Sir William saw to that bit of information—he and his daughter Maria Lucas. Lizzy said nothing of his being there. Of course, no one expected her to. Everyone knows how much she has always hated the man. Nevertheless, is that any excuse to refuse such a man as Mr. Darcy? Oh, what on Earth was she thinking?”

Mrs. Bennet drifted to the window and stared out into the darkness. Fretting while watching the moon slip behind the clouds, she said, “Obstinate, headstrong girl! She has been the means of frustrating my hopes not once but twice. Who does she think she is always rejecting proposals of marriage from decent, respectable men?”

The aggrieved matriarch was half-tempted to march into her husband’s room, awaken him from his sleep, and consult him on the matter. Indeed, she made it to the door before the memory of what had happened last autumn halted her footsteps. Alas, recollections of the nasty business with Mr. Collins flooded her mind.

“I will not marry the odious man! You cannot force me to, either!”

Mrs. Bennet winched. It was months ago and yet her daughter’s defiance distressed her still and gave her cause to wonder what she had done to deserve such a disloyal child. She had thought that surely her husband would be an ally in forcing Elizabeth to be reasonable, even though he always considered their second born his favorite. His flippant reply had been the means of placating the latter and wounding the former.

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day, you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

Mrs. Bennet, who had persuaded herself that her husband regarded the affair as she wished, was excessively disappointed. Her own husband had been a party to ruining her fondest wish that the next mistress of Longbourn would be one of her daughters owing to that ridiculous entail on the estate to the male line.

“I shall have no help at all in getting Mr. Bennet to force Lizzy to marry where she will not this time either.”

Such a marriage would be the means of saving us all, she silently lamented. “Why, even I would not have been so foolish as to refuse such a man as Mr. Darcy, even if he is haughty and above his company. The man has ten thousand pounds a year. How rich and how great she might have been! What pin money, what jewels, what carriages she might have had!

“If only I’d had the slightest hint of Mr. Darcy’s regard for Lizzy, I might have better spent my time encouraging a match in that quarter. Instead, I wasted my time on his inconstant friend, Mr. Bingley, and my Jane. Mr. Bingley is nothing to Mr. Darcy—nothing at all.

“Lizzy might have had a house in town! Everything that is charming! Ten thousand a year, and very likely more! ‘Tis as good as a Lord!”

A fierce motherly impulse infused Mrs. Bennet’s resolve. “I cannot stand idly by and allow such an opportunity as this to escape. Mr. Darcy proposed to my Lizzy once. Surely he can be worked on and thereby persuaded to do so again. I shall take matters into my own hands to see that he does.”

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Loved the excerpt from Chapter 1. I can just hear Mrs. Bennet and see her 'nerves' on full display. Oh, but to wonder what she will do taking matters into her own hands...that is a scary thought, indeed! ;) Thank you so much for sharing this excerpt and your favorite rants! Now readers, it is your turn to have 'your share in the conversation'! Tell us your favorite rant/rants by Mrs. Bennet and you will be entered in the giveaway! P.O. Dixon is generously offering one paperback of As Good as a Lord, for giveaway, US only, and one digital book of the same, worldwide! Fantastic, isn't it! Thank you, Ms. Dixon, for this opportunity for my readers! The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM, 28 September, 2015. Good luck to all!

43 comments:

  1. Loved the excerpt. My favorite rant is to Lizzy when she will never speak to Lizzy again after she refuses to marry Mr. Collins. The second one is when she exclaims that she has three daughters well married.

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    1. Great choice, Patty! I love the one about never speaking to Lizzy again as well. It's hilarious! :-)

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  2. Thanks so much for the excerpt and the great giveaway!
    I like this quote from Mrs. Bennet:

    "Not that I have much pleasure indeed in talking to anybody. People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no great inclination for talking. Nobody can tell what I suffer!–But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.”

    She's quite the card, isn't she? :-)

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    1. LOL, Pamela! I love that one too. I actually used parts of the first lines while speaking to my obstinate, teen-aged DD, last night. I'll wait until she's a little older before throwing in those lasts lines. Oh great! I'm turning into Mrs. B. :-)

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  3. Oh, Mrs. Bennet, Mrs. Bennet, Mrs. Bennet - what mischief is afoot? she has such a poor understanding of EVERYTHING, I am sure that more than one person is going to be exasperated at her dithering about and whatever comes out of her mouth. This should be a very interesting and humorous read!

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    1. I have to confess that when I first fell in love with Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. B's shenanigans vexed me exceedingly. However, now that I'm older and wiser (and the parent of a teenager) I have a great deal more compassion for her poor nerves. ;-)

      I hope you'll enjoy reading As Good as a Lord, Sheila. :-)

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  4. Mrs Bennet's rantings are great. I have to say that I like when she says the "obstinate headstrong girl" but I like her reaction about Charlotte's engagement to Mr Collins. She is furious!

    From this excerpt I have liked the idea of Mrs Bennet talking to herself :)

    On my TBR list!

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    1. No one else listens to her. She might as well just talk to herself! ;-)

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    2. I love her reaction to Charlotte's engagement too! I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Ana. I hope you'll love the story!

      Excellent point, Ginna!

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    3. Ginna, you may be right. However, I can imagine Mrs Bennet whispering ^^

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  5. So is Mrs Bennet going to become cunning in her matchmaking efforts

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

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    1. Elizabeth won't see it coming, Vesper. :-)

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  6. Thank you the chapter and the chance to win a copy of "As Good As A Lord".

    My favorite quote from Mrs. Bennet is... "Oh, my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will overlook it."

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    1. It's my pleasure! Another good Mrs. Bennet quote. I love that one too.

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    1. So true, Carol. There's no way Mrs. Bennet would allow such an advantageous prospect to slip away.

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  9. Enjoyed the excerpt and I love the possibilities of Mrs. B off to fix matters for Lizzy. She kind of nailed it about Bingley being irresolute so I think she has enough shrewdness to do the job. haha!

    I don't really have a favorite, but she did have me rolling my eyes over her lament about Lydia's wedding clothes after Lydia was found.

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    1. Thanks, Sophia Rose. I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Great point! Mrs. Bennet's quick about-face on her youngest daughter's fate was interesting indeed.

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  10. I don't have a 'favorite' rant, but I have enjoyed several, much like the ones that others have posted here. And of course, when she claims she'll never speak to Lizzy again, yet....

    And then there's her idiocy when she goes on about how everyone (but her and Lydia) is at fault for Lydia choosing to elope.

    What I really want to say (and ask, too, I guess) is that I have never understood the purpose of waving around a handkerchief when one is agitated!

    Definitely would like to win a copy of your new book, Pam.
    GinnaSaisQuoi@verizon.net

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    1. It's been fun reading all the comments about Mrs. Bennet, Ginna. Her antics make for quite a lively discussion. As for the handkerchief waving, I really can't say. :-)

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  11. "Don't keep coughing so, Kitty, for Heaven's sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces." -Mrs. Bennet
    "Kitty has no discretion in her coughs," said her father; "she times them ill." -Mr. Bennet

    In P&P, 1995 movie--the best line ever: 'Oh play a jig Mary, no one wants your concertos here!' - Mrs Bennet to Mary

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    1. Great quotes, Lex. That's an interesting one from P&P1995. It looks like Mr. Bennet was not the only one to publicly disparage poor Mary.

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  12. Thank you for the giveaway, Pam!

    My favourite rant... I like it when she tells Mary to find some "useful employment" but I am really not sure if it is only in the 2005 film or if it is actually in the book.

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    1. It's my pleasure, Daniela. That's a good one. I can't recall where it's from either. The next time I watch the film, I'll be listening to find out if it's there. :-)

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  13. Great excerpt! There are so many fun rants to love! I am looking forward to this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. You're welcome, Caryl. I'm delighted to know you're looking forward to reading the book.

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  14. Difficult to pick a favorite but I like her saying to Lizzie she will not speak to her if she marries Mr Collins & her fathers reaction to it a lot :)

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    1. That was very entertaining, and it's what motivates Mrs. Bennet to take matters into her own hands in As Good as a Lord. I hope you'll enjoy the story.

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  15. Oh no! Can't wait to find out what match making ideas Mrs. Bennet has in trying to get Darcy to propose to Elizabeth again. Congrats on your new release!

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    1. Thanks so much, Dung. I hope you'll love the story! :-)

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  16. I have a couple of favorites. One is, "He is such a disagreeable man that it would be quite a misfortune to be liked by him.”

    And the other is, "Certainly, my dear, nobody said there were; but as to not meeting with many people in this neighbourhood, I believe there are few neighbourhoods larger. I know we dine with four-and-twenty families."

    I have loved all your stories, Pam and am eagerly looking forward to reading this one.

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    1. I can't help laughing aloud when reading that first one, Deborah Ann. Thanks for letting me know how much you enjoy my stories. I hope you'll love As Good as a Lord. :-)

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  17. I have a couple of favorites. One is, "He is such a disagreeable man that it would be quite a misfortune to be liked by him.”

    And the other is, "Certainly, my dear, nobody said there were; but as to not meeting with many people in this neighbourhood, I believe there are few neighbourhoods larger. I know we dine with four-and-twenty families."

    I have loved all your stories, Pam and am eagerly looking forward to reading this one.

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  18. I'd like to win the paperback, as I'm in the U.S. I've read one of P. O. Dixon's books, the one about Body and Soul, and really enjoyed it. I don't have a favorite rant of Mrs. Bennet, but I can imagine her saying, "My nerves, my nerves!" I think she has anxiety.
    catbooks72(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm delighted you enjoyed reading Bewitched, Body and Soul, Michelle. I hope you'll like As Good as a Lord just as much.

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  19. There are so many it's hard to choose. Mrs. Bennett grates on me, especially when she goes on about Mr. Collins throwing them out of Longborn as soon as Mr. Bennet dies. I always wish someone would put her in her place, everyone coddles her too much. Looking forward to the book!

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    1. I understand completely, Constance. It took years for me to warm up to Mrs. Bennet.

      I hope you'll love reading As Good as a Lord.

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  20. Why does your site don't want my comments?

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    1. I don't know why, Teresita, but at least this one did post! Yay! I wish it would go back to doing it all time like it used to do. Puzzles me!!!

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  21. Hi Pam and Janet. Thanks so much for the giveaway. I'm in the UK so should I be fortunate enough to win, it'd have to be the ebook for me. I have all of your books either as ebooks or audiobooks Pam, apart from one of the short stories I think, so I'd love to add this one to my collection.

    There are so many quotable lines from Mrs. B. that it's difficult to choose but I rather like this one:

    "But I can assure you," she added, "that Lizzy does not lose much by not suiting his fancy; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance with! I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set-downs. I quite detest the man."

    So it'll be interesting to see what she does to try to change things around in this book.

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  22. It's my pleasure, Anji. I like your choice. While reading it, I imagined a new Darcy and Elizabeth what-if story titled, Not at All Worth Pleasing. :D

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    1. Good title! :)

      Now, do we wait for that book???

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