Monday, November 28, 2016

Joana Starnes and Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter

Available on Amazon
Happy Monday to all and to those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you had a lovely holiday. Mine was nice and enjoyable with my family.

Dear Readers, we have a treat today! I've been looking forward to this post for weeks! This is my stop for Joana Starnes and the Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter Blog Tour. We are most fortunate in that we get an exclusive vignette for our visit! Isn't that wonderful! Oh my! Be still my heart! Wait until you read it! 

Not only do we have this touching and heartfelt vignette, but Mrs. Starnes gives us some enlightening background for it, too.

Goodness, Joana Starnes, I do love your writing! Thank you for sharing your talent with us and welcome, once again to More Agreeably Engaged. It's always so nice to have to pop in. (The painting for your cover is so fitting and you know how I love for covers to help tell the story!)


Thank you, Janet, for your ever so kind welcome at More Agreeably Engaged on the blog tour for my latest book, Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. As the title suggests, this is an ‘early marriage’ scenario, where Elizabeth accepts Mr Darcy’s first proposal on account of her father’s sudden illness. There are no heated exchanges in the Hunsford parsonage and no explanatory letter either, so Elizabeth and Mr Darcy begin their life together with the full baggage of prejudices on both sides, as well as his unchecked pride. The differences they did not get the chance to reconcile before the wedding gradually come to light in the first months of their marriage. One of them is centred on Darcy’s views of Mr and Mrs Gardiner. He had brought himself to just about endure the Bennets with minimal grumbles, but he draws the line at Elizabeth flaunting relations in trade. Lady Catherine and several others have already demonstrated that it would be a great challenge for Elizabeth to be accepted into the highest circles and, as he bluntly puts it, “With added millstones, it would be insurmountable.”

Needless to say, Elizabeth is horrified. Ever since their marriage she had grown to discover a number of encouraging facts: that he is much kinder and considerate than she had originally thought; that he is very much in love with her, however self-absorbed and flawed the sentiment; that he had already done a great deal for her family and is prepared to do more. But that does not extend to welcoming relations in trade.

The revelations that emerge after Mrs Gardiner’s visit to the Darcy townhouse spark open conflict, and Elizabeth can barely contain her shock:

“But my Gracechurch Street relations are not welcome?” she incredulously asked. “When Mr Bingley’s own fortune was made in trade?”
Darcy gave a gesture of impatience.
“His grandfather was the last of the Bingleys to live within sight of his own warehouses.”
Elizabeth gripped her hands together in her lap, overcome with anger at the hopelessness of the situation.
“So in the face of that, affection, loyalty, family, they count for nothing!” she bitterly exclaimed.
“You have daily proof it is not so,” Darcy retorted, just as bitterly. “You have my affection, my loyalty and everything that is in my power to give. But it is not in my power to give you safe passage in the world if you persist in hampering your own progress by every means possible! Elizabeth, we have had this discussion once before, and I will not endure it again,” he cut her short, when she opened her lips to harshly comment on how much she valued the progress he was speaking of. “Against my better judgement I have conceded to having your mother and younger sisters visit us in town on occasion, although goodness knows why you should wish it when you could spend more than enough time with them at Netherfield and Pemberley. At least they have some claim to gentility, in name if not in substance. Must you expose yourself to further censure by flaunting connections in trade?”

Predictably, this does not go down well. The shock is so much greater for Elizabeth because she had tentatively begun to warm up to her husband as she had discovered some of his well-hidden good qualities and witnessed his kindness to her. But this makes her feel they are poles apart, each unable to understand the other as they heatedly debate the issue over a couple of days – when her husband is at home, that is. He had taken himself away after their first bitter disagreement, and the pattern keeps repeating itself.

Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter is very much from Elizabeth’s point of view as she tries to make sense of her new life and understand her husband. She can barely guess what he is thinking, and she often guesses wrong. When Claudine suggested that one of the blog tour posts could be an exclusive vignette from Darcy’s point of view, I leapt at the opportunity. So here he is, the gentleman himself (if you have already read the book, this belongs at the end of Chapter 16). Mr Darcy has just spent another evening away from home rather than repeatedly arguing with his wife. He is as distressed as she about their disagreement, even though he can’t see any flaws in his reasoning. But his head and his heart have agreed to disagree a long time ago…

(Photo: BBC)

* * * *

‘In His Head – In His Heart’

His raised hand, poised to knock, fell away from the polished wood and Darcy rubbed his mouth and chin instead, in a half-nervous, half-frustrated gesture.

The nervousness, once recognised as such, only served to fuel the frustration. Not long ago he would have scoffed at the merest intimation that he would come to this – pacing in his chambers like a schoolboy confined for some misdemeanour; loitering on this side of the wretched door in all devils of a quandary over the most ludicrous of matters: whether he should knock on his own wife’s door – or not.

His friends and foes alike would laugh themselves into a fit to see him thus – tied into knots over a slip of a girl, eight years his junior. Bewitched body and soul by this mesmerising, fiery and sometimes downright infuriating woman who just so happened to be the love of his life.

The frustrated scowl gave way to an unexpected smile. Fiery. She was that. Had always been, from the earliest days of their acquaintance. A fire that had drawn him like the hapless moth to the proverbial flame.

He sighed. Her father’s illness and subsequent demise had sadly dimmed the fire he relished and feared in equal measure, but could not extinguish it. Not in someone as vibrantly alive as her. It had sparked again in the least likely, indeed the very worst of circumstances: their bitter disagreement over her unsavoury relations. For two days the sudden discord had poisoned every moment – yet even as the most hurtful words had shot between them he had recognised the old sparks with a jolt. Had welcomed them, even!

Darcy’s lips tightened into a grimace of exasperation. What did it say of him, for goodness’ sake – and worse still, of her power over him – that he should desire her all the more when she was fiercely rebellious rather than softly spoken and amenable to reason? That, ever as she argued the most preposterous and untenable of positions, as far removed from his ingrained sense of right and wrong as it could be, he should still want nothing quite as much as to stride forth and silence her absurd suggestions with a forceful kiss?

The mental picture was doing him no favours whatsoever, and with a muted oath Darcy stepped back from the door linking his bedchamber with hers. He stood in no need of further proof that he could barely trust himself around her, and keeping his distance over the last couple of days had been the only means of not having her see him as either a savage or a fool. Yet all he had achieved was to miss their time together all the more – miss her – as he had resigned himself to spending the previous night at his club and the best part of tonight at Fanshawe’s townhouse. In both instances seeking not companionship, but sanctuary.

Even had he sought it, there was no companionship to be had among the assortment of men in various stages of inebriation. In order to escape them, on the first night he had availed himself of a bedchamber at White’s, little as he had imagined he would sleep – and he had not. He could not bear to exile himself to the soulless solitude of yet another restless night there. He needed to come home. He needed her.

The thin sliver of light under the interconnecting door had caught his eye from the very first step into his darkened chamber. It was very late – yet she had waited up. Hope swelled, and a fresh wave of tenderness threatened to undo him. She had waited up!

His valet was dismissed in no time at all. Darcy had neither the patience to be helped out of his apparel, nor any thought to spare for their habitual exchanges and arrangements for the morrow. It was all that he could do not to glance too often at the tantalising strip of light in his man’s presence, like the veriest mooncalf. And now Weston was gone – he had left as bid a quarter of an hour ago, or more. Yet here he was, still in his shirtsleeves and still battling with all manner of maddening indecisions.

Enough! Although still quiet, Darcy’s footsteps grew suddenly firmer as they brought him back to the confounding door. She had waited up. Bless her guileless heart, she never was one to hold a grudge. She always dealt fairly, as honest in her loyalties and affections as in giving voice to her displeasure. She loved him. And she must be pained by this artificial distance as much as he. Enough!

The least he could do was to assure her he did not cling to resentments either. Surely he could trust himself to walk in and bid her good night!

Darcy rapped with his knuckles – two taps, light and quick – and before he could even strain to listen for an answer the door moved away on well-oiled hinges. It had been left open – by a hair’s breadth, but open – and another surge of hope rushed to flood his heart.

The door was still moving, and the widening gap allowed him to finally grasp why his knock had yet to be answered. She was asleep. Not in her bed, but curled up in a wingchair. Waiting for him to come home to her.

There was such overwhelming joy in that simple thought that Darcy did not dwell on the wasted hours as he pushed the door open until the gap was wide enough to permit him to walk in. A couple of floorboards creaked under his footsteps, yet she did not stir. Not even when, crouched beside her, he reached for the book in her lap, to lift it and noiselessly place it on the table.

It was not the first time he had watched her sleep. It had happened before – most notably, and most blissfully too, on the first morning of their marriage – when out of habit he had awakened much earlier than she and had remained precisely where he was, cherishing the joy of waking up beside her and finding her beloved features softened in repose, rather than clouded with concern or sorrow.

More often than not he could scarce credit the good fortune that she was his wife. This was one of the occasions as he sat on the floor, elbow on one knee and chin in hand, revelling in every detail of her appearance. The tremulous light from the three low-burning candles played on her cheek, the moving shadows now and then creating the illusion of fluttering lashes. Yet it remained nothing but illusion. She was still asleep when Darcy stood to slide an arm behind her back and the other underneath her, to lift her off her seat, then straightened up with her warm weight cradled to his chest.

Her head fell on his shoulder and naturally found its place, nestling under his chin as she gave a sleepy little murmur of contentment – and he remained stock-still, his heart overflowing. She loved him. And nothing else mattered in this world.

The longstanding yet nebulous notion that he would do anything for her suddenly came into the sharpest focus. He knew then that he would relent; that he would put an end to their destructive disagreement. He would do anything to make her happy – accede to her every wish, just for the joy to see her lips curl into a smile. It should have frightened him, that certainty, yet it could not. Not now, when she was in his arms, soft, warm and trusting, nestling against him; instinctively knowing this was where she belonged. She was his, and she loved him. Everything paled before that; every concession ceased to be a sacrifice.

If it meant so much to her to maintain a close connection with the Gardiners, then so be it. Let them call. He would even go as far as dining with the man who, for all he knew, might have supplied the wine for his table or the silks for his sister’s dresses. Since Mr Gardiner was clearly able to keep command of a successful business, hopefully he had more sense than Mrs Bennet. And, to give credit where it was due, Mrs Gardiner was nothing like her sister by marriage. Surely he could survive the more decorous aunt, if he had brought himself to endure the mother!

His fashionable acquaintances had no say in this. No one – very likely not even Elizabeth herself – would expect the denizens of Mayfair to dine with her Cheapside relations, and while she was still in mourning they would not be entertaining anyway. As for his relations, should they quibble – and quibble they doubtlessly will… Darcy suppressed a shrug so as not to wake her. Let them quibble. What fool would choose to please them over her?

This was all he had ever wanted anyway: to protect her from malice, keep her safe, make her happy. It might well border on insufferable presumption to claim he knew what would make her happy better than she.

He bowed his head a fraction to press his lips into her hair as he turned to carry her to her bed. Everything about her was intoxicating. Her scent. Her warmth. The softness of her skin. And, much as he had endeavoured not to wake her a few moments earlier, claiming that he did not wish she would awaken now, as he settled her against the pillows, would have been a grievous falsehood. As would have been to claim he was not sorely tempted to slide beside her under the bedcovers. She might unthinkingly wrap her arms around him in her sleep, or awake to welcome him in the spirit of the truce she had so sweetly offered before dinner – and yet, however tantalising those prospects proved themselves to be, he knew full well that he wanted a great deal more. Not sleepy habit. Not conciliation. And, heaven forefend, not placid compliance. So for now he merely brushed his lips over her cheek and whispered, “Sleep well. I love you,” before reaching to cover her with the counterpane. Then he blew out the candles and quietly walked out.

* * * *

The pruning scissors closed across the stem with a muted snap, releasing the perfect bloom into his keeping. Walking into the orangery in the middle of the night in search of floral offerings might well have been so out of character with him as to border on the juvenile or the quixotic, yet Darcy was very far from seeing it as such as he returned to Elizabeth’s bedchamber to place the token on her nightstand. A single red rose, as beautiful as she, and as vibrant as his restless heart.


Author Biography
Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. A medical graduate, in more recent years she has developed an unrelated but enduring fascination with Georgian Britain in general and the works of Jane Austen in particular, as well as with the remarkable and flamboyant set of people who have given the Regency Period its charm and sparkle.

Joana Starnes is the author of:
* 'From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley', a 'Pride & Prejudice' sequel
* 'The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion'
* 'The Second Chance', a 'Pride & Prejudice' ~ 'Sense & Sensibility' variation
* 'The Falmouth Connection', a 'Pride & Prejudice' variation where Jane Austen's beloved characters are compelled to leave their tame and reasonably peaceful lives in the south of England and travel to the far reaches of Cornwall, into a world of deceit and peril, where few - if any! - are what they seem to be...
* 'The Unthinkable Triangle', a 'Pride & Prejudice' variation that dwells on the most uncomfortable love-triangle of them all. What if Mr. Darcy's rival for Miss Bennet's hand and heart is none other than his dearest, closest friend? And how can they all find their 'happily-ever-after'?
*'Miss Darcy's Companion' - a variation that explores what might have happened if the warm-hearted Miss Elizabeth Bennet were employed instead of the scheming Mrs Younge.

Author Links

Book Description
When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

Purchase Link:  Amazon

Blog Tour Schedule

November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
November 18/Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
November 19/Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt's Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway
November 21/ Margie's Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 23/Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving
November 25/ So Little Time... So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway
November 26/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway
November 27 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway
November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway
December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway
Claudine Pepe, of Just Jane 1813, thank you for organizing such a great blog tour. You always make it easy on us bloggers!


Well, everyone? What did you think of this special treat - our exclusive vignette? I sighed at the depth of feeling and the thoughts that accompanied them. delivered so beautifully by Joana Starnes. I'm not sure why but I also felt a bit of apprehension. I'm fearing for the gentleman and what might be yet to come. No, I have not read the book, but do I ever want to read it! What I wouldn't give to have the next couple of days to sit and relish this story, savoring every morsel! For those of you who have read it, what are your thought? (Please, no spoilers, though) :)

Thank you, Joana. I keep hearing people say they feel this is your best yet. As much as I have loved your other books, it is hard for me to imagine one better than any one of them! I will happily let all my readers know my thoughts once I have had the opportunity to read and decide for of all or ranking at the top with the rest! 

Now I have the extreme pleasure to tell you about a giveaway for Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter. Ms. Starnes is giving away one eBook to one of you, and the giveaway is international! Leave a comment below and please leave me your contact info. I don't want any of you to miss this opportunity because I find you. That would be a shame! Thank you all for visiting and a special thanks to you, Joana. I hope this book continues to be successful, (I'm sure it will), and please, keep writing! :)

The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 4th of December, 2016. Good luck to all of you!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Ginger Monette...Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes

Hello everyone! Today is my turn to spotlight the new book, Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, by
author, Ginger Monette. There are many neat things available for this tour that it was hard to settle on two or three. I hope you will enjoy looking at some of the things that I chose to share with you. Ms. Monette, you did an amazing job of putting all of this together. :) Thank you for visiting me today.



Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes,
A WW1 Pride & Prejudice Variation

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside literature’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You'll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences amidst the carnage of war.

1916. World War I has turned French chateaux into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet's life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated—until he arrives....

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy.

With only a few months to expose the plot, Darcy is forced to grapple with his feelings for Elizabeth while uncovering the truth. Is she indeed innocent? Darcy can only hope….

•Cameo appearance by John Thornton (of Gaskill’s North & South).
•Rated PG. Clean romance, mild language, some war scenes.
Darcy's Hope has a happy ending but will continue in Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey, coming in February 2017. In the sequel, readers will experience the full resolution of the mystery, and our beloved couple's love will face a new, tragic test.

Lizzy’s Scrapbook

**Special bonus for blog tour readers**

Anyone purchasing Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes during the blog tour Nov 1-22, can access Lizzy’s Scrapbook for free. The online album includes nearly 100 WW1 photographs of the people and places Lizzy encountered in 1916 & 1917. Once you purchase the book, just go to Ginger and follow the prompts to access the scrapbook’s link.  

Author Bio:

The teacher always learns the most. And in homeschooling her children, Ginger Monette learned all the history she missed in school. Now she's hooked—on writing and World War I.

When not writing, Ginger enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.

Her WW1 flash fiction piece, Flanders Field of Grey, won Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's 2015 Picture This grand prize.

Ginger lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she happily resides with her husband, three teenagers, and two loyal dogs.

General Info & Links
Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes

Author: Ginger Monette



Goodreads:  here or

Video trailer link is here or   (Also on website.)

Audio excerpt link is here. or  (Also on website.)

DHBfA Publication Date: Nov 1, 2016

Book length: 268 pages

Romance sizzle rating: mild. Clean story with minor language, and some war scenes.

Purchase Links:

            Universal link to every outlet (including all international ones).  
            Amazon USA 
            Amazon UK  
            B&N NOOK

Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes
                                            Blog Tour Schedule 

Giveaway Information

With Darcy’s Hope set during the era of Downton Abbey and the tour being right before Christmas, I thought it would be fun to use Downton Abbey ornaments as the giveaway. Seven ornaments will be given away via Rafflecopter.

The ornament giveaway is open to US residents in the continental US. The prize for residents of the continental UK is a Downton Abbey mug.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for visiting my blog during your tour, Ginger. I'm glad that you got to make it this year. The book sounds exciting and to have a cameo by John Thornton, makes it all the more so. 

The giveaway is fantastic and I hope my readers will take the time to visit the other blogs. Congratulations on such a successful launch and best wishes for your continued success. I hope to have you visit again when the next book releases.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cat Gardiner...Without a Conscience

Available on Amazon
Are you as excited as I am that Cat Gardiner's, Without a Conscience, the much anticipated sequel to Denial of Conscience, has finally arrived? Yes, dear readers, it was released on November 11th. Isn't that great news? 

If any of you ready my review of Denial of Conscience, you know how much I loved it. What were your thoughts? Are you as eager to read Without a Conscience as I am? Knowing the excellence of Cat's writing, I have no doubt but what I will love this new book just as much as the first one.

Cat is visiting today with a 'classified' excerpt! You don't want to miss this. I love it! We get to see Caroline Bingley in action and learn a bit more about her. She is one lethal lady!


Hi Janet! It’s wonderful to be back at More Agreeably Engaged. You’re one of my favorite ladies in the JAFF community, so I’m flattered to have been invited to share with you and your readers an excerpt from Without a Conscience.

 This final stop on the hog tour gives us the last of four CIA dossiers: Caroline Bingley.  In Denial of Conscience, readers were taken by surprise how this modern villainess possessed “other” skills of a true proficient. No painting tables for her! Her talents and lethal barbs are saved for her role in Obsidian. We all wanted to hate her more than we did―because we dislike her so much in canon. But we couldn’t. She is kick ass talented as a female ninja master (Kunoichi.)

Similar to her Regency counterpart, she is a proficient woman in a ballroom, but our modern version dances (teaches at The Bingley Dance Studio.) She carries a fan but it’s a deadly Japanese Tessen War Fan (to match the small Sai Fighting Sticks securing her hair,) and her tongue is still slithering (enough to earn her the nickname Viper from the men on the team.) Caroline is the most proficient woman we have ever met and she knows it. And yes, our modern Caroline still wants Darcy, but she will meet her match in Liz in Without a Conscience!

In this excerpt, Caroline is on a warpath. Determined to find out what has happened to Rick, she makes at stop to her former boss. One Mr. Thomas Bertram, Director of the CIA. She knows how to extract information and that’s what he’s afraid of. Even a powerful man such as him quakes at her arrival. I hope you enjoy this glimpse―and rest assured―Bertram – and Caroline both get their due.

My visual inspiration for Liz is the stunning actress, Jessica Chastain.



This is the exciting sequel to Denial of Conscience, a modern Darcy and Elizabeth adventure of international intrigue. Romance, Suspense, Passion, and Danger

Someone wants to kill The Iceman, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and will stop at nothing to lure him into the open. Out for retribution, the son of an assassinated South American drug lord is seeking payback. His diabolical objective puts Operation Macarena into play by dangling bait guaranteed to entice his enemy. Can Darcy’s new bride, Liz, accept his decision to leave their tranquil life at Pemberley to resume the deadly profession he swore was behind them forever?

But are Darcy and Liz each fully satisfied with their simple, peaceful existence raising polo ponies and planning exotic vacations? Darcy set Liz’s spirit free; how can she resist the urge to ride on the wild side? Perhaps coming out of retirement is just what her husband needs because The Iceman never truly melted.

Without a Conscience takes readers on an adventure from the dangerous Peruvian Amazon Basin to the salacious underbelly of Parisian nightlife, leading toward a perilous rescue in Moscow.

Conscience or no, but propelled by love, Liz and Darcy re-enter the realm of international intrigue for the one and only thing they know is truly worth fighting for: each other.


Cat Gardiner loves romance and happy endings, history, comedy, and Jane Austen. A member of National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and her local chapter TARA, she enjoys writing across the spectrum of Pride and Prejudice inspired romance novels. From the comedic Christmas, Chick Lit Lucky 13 and bad boy biker Darcy in the steamy adventure Denial of Conscience, to the romantic comedy Villa Fortuna and the sultry 1950s Noir Undercover, these contemporary novels will appeal to many Austenesque lovers.

Her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII–era Romance. Her debut novel, A Moment Forever was released in May 2016. She is currently working on her next, The Song is You.

Connect with Cat: / / /

Blog Tour Stops:

Margie Must Reads – October 31 
Of Pens and Pages – November 2
Austenesque Reviews – November 4
Just Jane 1813– November 6 
Savvy Verse & Wit - November 9 
Vanity & Pride Press - November 11 LAUNCH
Diary of an Eccentric – Nov. 12 
More Agreeably Engaged - Nov. 13

Cat, I love the way you chose to set up the blurb! Wonderful! The top secret file was perfect as was Caroline's pic. You are one clever lady! Thank you for your creativity in sharing with us today. After this teaser, I am all the more ready to dive in and read Without a Conscience!  It is such fun having you visit again. Thank you, Cat!

Readers, Ms. Gardiner has a fantastic giveaway. There are five eBooks, US and international and 2 Paperbacks, US only. Seven lucky people will get a chance to read Without a Conscience. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck to all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Meryton Vignettes and Elizabeth Adams

Available now on Amazon
I have the pleasure to have Elizabeth Adams visiting my blog today. I have loved her past books, The Houseguest and Unwilling, and the wonderful news is that they are now available as audiobooks! That is great to hear! Ms. Adams also has a new release of short stories Meryton Vignettes. Isn't that good news too? We get the best of all of them, with her post today. She shares an excerpt with us from one of the short stories. You are going to enjoy it, I'm certain.  She pegged Caroline Bingley and her absurb obsession over Darcy. For the giveaway, Elizabeth Adams is offering a chance to win one of her audiobooks. I'm delighted at this opportunity for you, dear readers!


Excerpt from Life after Darcy, by Elizabeth Adams

And really, what did Louisa know about it anyway? She was married to that drunken lump of a man. She had never burned with passion, consumed with feelings she couldn’t understand. She had never watched the man of her dreams fall helplessly in love with a woman that wasn’t worthy of him, couldn’t be worthy of him. No, Louisa understood nothing and she refused to listen to her.

Charles was even worse. He attempted to reason with her, telling her that she and Mr. Darcy would never have gotten along anyway, that they were ill-matched, that she should count herself lucky and try to find a man more suited to the life she wanted to live. He didn’t understand. None of them did.

Only dear, sweet Jane comprehended how hurt she was, how wounded her pride, how bruised her vanity. That he had been so near to her on so many occasions, and yet looked her over, was a blow to her self-worth. That he could prefer someone so different from herself challenged everything she had long believed to be true.

Could they not see how her world was set on its head? What was she supposed to do, now that every dream was lain waste to, every cherished hope lost?

After the wedding, a black day she refused to acknowledge as special in any way, she decided something must be done. She was not the sort of woman to collapse at the whim of a man. She was stronger than that. She saw the sniggers on the faces of her supposed friends, the ones who had known of her single-minded pursuit of him and seen it in action. She would show them how a true lady comported herself. She would not cower in the corner like a jilted miss. She would stand tall and show them what she was made of. Show him.

Oh, she knew that even if he realized his mistake (as she was sure he would—in short order), there was no way she could ever have him. Of course, Eliza could die in childbirth but she doubted that outcome. Country girls were oddly strong in that respect. But even though she knew he would never be hers, she did admit to a certain satisfaction in thinking about how he would wish he had wed differently. Perhaps even that he had wed her.

Her favorite fantasy, of course, involved Mr. Darcy realizing before a year was out that he had made a terrible mistake. He would explain all to her when they were both visiting Charles. It would be late and he would have had one too many glasses of brandy. She would come across him alone in the drawing room after returning to fetch her shawl or in the library long after everyone else was abed. He would unburden himself to her and she would become his confidant, his dearest friend, the one he turned to for solace and relief.

After a time of close friendship, he would tell her his feelings could not be repressed. He must tell her how he loved her passionately and beg her to become his lover, even though he knew she was engaged to a marquis. She would refuse him, firmly but gently, and for the rest of their lives, their eyes would meet across crowded ballrooms and their hands touch clandestinely under tables at dinner parties. Eventually, Eliza would succumb to some disease contracted from her vile relations and die. Caroline would comfort him once again, and after her husband perished in a tragic riding accident, leaving her a wealthy and established socialite, they would become lovers and eventually marry, but only after he begged her for months and apologized for slighting her so dreadfully all those years ago.

Alas, she was not so unrealistic to believe any of this would actually happen, but it was a pleasant day dream nonetheless.


Can't you just picture Caroline as she is fuming and thinking about her 'Darcy dream'? I could see her in all her magnificent humiliation and determination. That woman will not give up! If I didn't dislike her so, I would feel pity for her, but I don't! lol


Below are the bios of the narrators for the audiobooks.

Mark Topping's bio:

British actor Mark Topping has an increasing portfolio of audiobook titles to his name across a range of genres, from children’s stories and fantasy adventure to crime thrillers and romance. 
His recent stage work in England includes playing Leonato in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and Bernard in Yes, Prime Minister. He is also currently the voice of Mission Commander at Laser Quest arenas throughout the UK and France. He has been performing as Rev John Wesley for more than 15 years and tours with a one-man Passion play, Impossible God. 
He lives in the Forest of Dean with his wife and two daughters.

Brigid Lohrey's bio:

Brigid has always enjoyed reading classical literature. She loves Austen’s work, (and has even been to the Austen Museum in Bath!) and so jumped at the chance to narrate Elizabeth Adam’s The Houseguest as soon as she read it, as it was such a great story with colourful, quintessentially English characters which she loved bringing to life.   
Brigid is a character actress and started narrating audiobooks three years ago. She began with the RNIB for whom she has narrated seven Australian titles from romances to psychological thrillers. For Spoken4 (available on Audible), she has narrated Kelly Rimmer’s When I Lost You and is also currently narrating Kelly’s latest book, A Mother’s Promise, which will be out in December 2016. 

As well as audiobooks, Brigid has voiced commercials and corporate jobs for both the UK and Australian markets, as well as bringing characters to life in Radio Dramas such as the English rose Emma Finney in Dark Shadows: Beneath the Veil, and Dream Commando Wahn in Dr Who: Dreamtime with Sylvester McCoy for Big Finish Productions.  

Find more at  Follow on Twitter @brigidlohrey


I'm happy to have you visit with us, Elizabeth, and am excited about your new book of short stories and your audiobooks. I'm looking forward to reading and listening! I'm certain that your fans are just as eager to read Meryton Vignettes and to listen to the audiobooks as I am.

The giveaway is for one audiobook, winner's choice and the giveaway is international. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter to be entered in the giveaway. I'm trying it this time to allow entries without you having to post contact info on the blog. Rafflecopter takes care of that for you. It also gives you more chances at winning. The giveaway will end at 12 AM on the 16th of November. Good luck to all.  Meryton Vignettes is available on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 6, 2016

and the winners are...Letter From Ramsgate Blog Tour

Thanks to each of you, all the bloggers and Suzan Lauder for making the Letter from Ramsgate, such a big success. I appreciate you all very much. Below are the 4 Paperback winners and the 4 eBook winners. Everyone has been contacted and I have heard back from all but one. The books and eBooks should be coming your way soon. Congratulations to the winners! 

Paperback Winners:

Becky Boerner
Margie Longoria
Raquel Muniz

eBook Winners:

Glynis Whitelegg
Anji Dale
Vesper Meikle

Again, I would like to congratulate all the winners and thank everyone for supporting the blog tour and Suzan Lauder.

Winners are also listed at Rafflecopter. They are no particular order but all eight winners are shown.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter Cover Reveal

This is an exciting day for a fun simultaneous cover reveal. I believe it's a first! :) There are nine other blogs, yes, you read correctly, nine blogs besides mine, participating in this reveal for Joana Starne's latest novel, Mr. Bennet's Dutiful Daughter.  Isn't that fantastic? There are some neat prizes offered for a giveaway too!

I absolutely adore Ms. Starnes writing and all her books. I have followed her writing career from her first release and it has been a great ride. Cogratulations, Joana Starnes, on yet another new novel. I have no doubt that it is as fabulous as your other books. It is now added to the top of my growing list of TBR books. It is being released as we speak.

To get things rolling, let's hear a little about this book and the author! :)

Book Description
 When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to consider an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Would she be trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?

Author Contact Information


I guess it is time I reveal the cover of this lovely book. What do you think? That is, afterall, why we are here. Sooo.....drum roll, please! I present to you, Dear Readers, the latest novel by Joana Starnes,

Available on Amazon


Isn't it stunning. I love the painting. Some interesting information about the painting on the cover has been provided by the charming and efficient blog tour organizer, Claudine Pepe, and and the equally charming author, Joana Starnes. If you would like more information about the artist who painted this portrait, visit John Opie's Wikipedia Page. You can visit his work here. John Opie was a British landscape and portrait artist, who painted quite a few famous people, including the author, Mary Wollstonecraft. Some of his work is also featured in the Chawton House Library. Included is the Knight Collection comprised of family portraits, landscapes and some Jane Austen related pieces.

      Blog Tour Schedule
Nov. 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
Nov. 18/Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
Nov. 19/Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
Nov. 21/Margie's Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway
Nov. 22/Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
Nov. 23/Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
Nov. 24/Happy Thanksgiving
Nov. 25/So Little Time... So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway
Nov. 26/Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes
Nov. 28/More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway

Dec. 2/Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway


The giveaway is for three winners. One will receive a paperback and two will receive an ebook of Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. They will also receive assorted Austen-related mini-gifts. The giveaways are open to international winners.

Also, as a special bonus, all Rafflecopter entrants will receive an exclusive excerpt of the book that will not be included in the Amazon sample. Claudine Pepe or Joana Starnes will email these sample excerpts to entrants using their Rafflecopter email addresses. The Cover Reveal winners will be announced on November 16th,
the day before the blog tour begins.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

And the winner is...The Courtship of Edward Gardiner

It's time to announce a winner
in the giveaway for 
Nicole Clarkston's prequel to Pride & Prejudice,

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner 

The winner of a paperback copy is...
Suzan Lauder!

Congratulations, Suzan. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 

Thank you, Nicole, for allowing me the privilege of kicking off your blog tour. I know the readers thank you for making the giveaway international. Your book has been generating much buzz and I hope it continues its success. It is a great read and one I look forward to visiting often.