Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lona Manning's A Contrary Wind

Available on Amazon
Have you been seeing the buzz about a new variation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park? I have too, and I am excited to welcome the person responsible for all this buzz. Lona Manning has a debut novel in JAFF, A Contrary Wind, that is generating much interest. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Manning to More Agreeably Engaged where she tells us a little about herself and shares an excerpt with us! (Be sure to notice the giveaway at the bottom of the post!)


Hello. I was born in South Korea a few years after the Korean War. My father taught library science at Yonsei University. And -- being from the American South, he also taught his students how to do the Virginia Reel. My mother fostered Korean war orphan babies.

My folks returned to the United States in the early 60’s and were active in the civil rights movement. We always had the kind of house that was filled with books and magazines. Our family (with six kids by then) moved to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, in 1967. Then we had a house filled with books, magazines, and war objectors playing guitar and singing “Where have all the flowers gone.”

I put myself through university in Vancouver. Over the years, I've been a home care aide, legal secretary, political speech writer, office manager, and vocational instructor. Mainly I worked in non-profit administration until suddenly deciding (in my late 50’s) to get an ESL teaching certificate. So most recently I’ve been teaching English in China. My husband Ross and I raised two boys; one is now a computer programmer and the other is finishing law school.

Although I have not written much in recent years, I have authored several lengthy non-fiction pieces about notable American crimes, such as: the murder of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the Lindbergh kidnapping, the 1920 Wall Street bombing, the satanic ritual moral panic of the 90's, and the Rubin Hurricane Carter case. These articles have been cited in over a dozen books and been used in secondary school and university courses [for  example, Sam Houston University, University of Missouri-Kansas City] My article about O'Hair was used in a course on the history of atheism at the Center for American Studies at Heidelberg University. My Wall Street bombing article was referenced in a New York City Law Journal Review article. 

Last spring, after a long silence, my Muse showed up and started writing this book in my head.

Hobbies, interests, passions and peeves:  I've sung in a number of bands and choirs, most recently the Kelowna International Choir. My husband and I love to travel around Asia. I get buggy when people use possessive apostrophes when they really mean plural, as in "apple's for sale."


In this excerpt from “A Contrary Wind,” Tom and Julia Bertram have caught their sister Maria in a compromising situation with Henry Crawford, and therefore, her engagement to the wealthy but dim-witted Mr. Rushworth must be called off.


Tom Bertram could not long endure being the only soul, apart from Julia, who knew what evil the day must bring. He woke his brother Edmund before six o’clock and gave him enough information to comprehend that Maria and Henry Crawford had secretly formed an understanding while Maria was still pledged to Mr. Rushworth.

“What would I give not to have to perform this interview with Rushworth, Edmund. I would almost condition for my father to be here, rather than have this fall to my portion!” Tom exclaimed.

“But our father is expected every day, and I grieve to think of how imperfectly we have discharged the trust he placed in us, to superintend his daughters – “

“Stop! Stop, don’t preach to me now, for pity’s sake, Edmund!” cried Thomas. “We have enough to do. We must break the news to our mother, we must manage Julia somehow. Can she reconcile herself a marriage between Maria and Mr. Crawford? What think you?”

“Perhaps, if given enough time. I can hardly take it in myself and I never fancied myself in love with Crawford, as I fear Julia has. But as awkward as this situation is, matters may yet tend for the best. You know what misgivings I was harboring about Maria’s union with Rushworth. Crawford is inferior to Rushworth in point of fortune, but his superior in understanding, education, address, wit –

“Surpassing Rushworth in wit would be about as challenging as surpassing our dear mother in enterprise.”

“Yes, yes, and perhaps this augurs well for Maria’s happiness, once the scandal attached to the sudden dissolution of her engagement to Rushworth passes over. However, can an understanding formed under such circumstances be expected to prosper? Whatever intimations Crawford has given to Maria of his attachment to her –

(May you never know about the intimations Crawford gave to our Maria, old boy, Tom thought to himself.)

“– he knew she was promised to Rushworth. What’s more, considering matters in this new light, I think Crawford’s manner was a little too warm with Julia. I was disposed to like Crawford, but, taken all in all, I doubt that Maria will find lasting happiness with him. How can she rely upon his constancy, faithfulness, honour? I will always regret how this came about, as should they. Even though – “ Edmund could not but consider the effect upon her who was always foremost in his thoughts – “even though I have reasons of my own for desiring closer ties to this family. But happily for us, Tom, we may defer any decision regarding a union with Crawford until our father’s return, which will accord with our inclinations and his principles. He asked that Maria not marry until he returned, and this condition should abide even if the bridegroom changes.”

Tom suddenly had a happy inspiration. “You are to become a clergyman soon, Edmund. Bearing sad tidings will be no small part of your future duties. Who better than you to separate Maria from Rushworth?”

Fortunately for Tom Bertram, nothing so reconciled his brother to the performance of an unpleasant task than the hint that it was a moral duty. Edmund charitably disregarded the motive that prompted it, and saw matters as Tom could have wished – if he shrank from addressing the follies and sorrows of others, he was perhaps unsuited for ordination. With a heavy sigh, Edmund arose and dressed and sought out Mr. Rushworth for the first of many unpleasant interviews that must be held before the morning was over. He had never before had such cause to be thankful that his mother was not in the habit of early rising, and that his Aunt Norris preferred to take a dish of hot chocolate in her room before joining the family at breakfast.

He cared not a jot for the loss of the connection to Mr. Rushworth’s grand estates and fortune, and he hoped, rather than believed, Maria would feel more regret for the pain she would be causing Mr. Rushworth, than for the loss of Sotherton and all the consequence and distinction attached to it. But above all Edmund wondered, how would Mary – for so he thought of her – bear this news? Would she be chagrined, as he was, that their near relations had engaged in secret intrigues – Maria, breaking her pledge to another, and Henry, requiting the hospitality of the Bertrams in such a fashion? Or would Mary welcome the joining of the two families as a precursor to another, more intimate tie?

Edmund found Maria’s fiancĂ© – or so poor Mr. Rushworth still fancied himself – pacing up and down in the little theatre, attempting to memorize one of his two-and-forty speeches, beating time with one hand as he furled and unfurled his copy of the script.

…..:In a gay, lively, flimsy…..hang it all!  In a gay, lively, inconsiderate, flimsy……. gay, lively, inconsiderate, flimsy, frivolous coxcomb…… such as…… such myself, it isexcusable.  No, it is inexcusable: In a gay, lively, inconsiderate, flimsy, frivolous coxcomb such as myself, it is inexcusable. For me to keep my word to a woman, would be deceit: 'tis not expected of me. It is in my character to break oaths in love.

A quiet shuffling, an ahem! brought Mr. Rushworth to order. He brightened at the sight of Edmund. “Is everyone awake? Is breakfast ready?”

Although Edmund had never congratulated himself on the prospect of having Mr. Rushworth as a brother-in-law, it was with genuine shame that he explained the connexion between the families was not to be, – if Mr. Rushworth wished to hear confirmation from Maria’s own lips he should have it, but circumstances had arisen which compelled the Bertram brothers, acting in loco parentis, to state that they could not, in honour, countenance the proposed union. Maria had transferred her affections to another – Mr. Rushworth could not be in doubt as to whom Edmund referred – Mr. Rushworth was held in too high esteem by them all, not excluding, of course, Maria, for any of them to be a party to the marriage going forward under the present circumstances. Edmund observed Mr. Rushworth’s countenance change slowly from perplexity, to surprise, to indignation, before Edmund’s concluding ‘greatest esteem and very great regret.’

Rushworth cleared his throat, and asked for his carriage. “I think I shall go away. I believe I shall, Mr. Bertram. I believe I shall go home to Sotherton.”

“Without,” he added, after some additional thought, “Without seeing Miss Bertram. Or having breakfast.”

Edmund stayed with the disappointed lover until his manservant was summoned, his valises were swiftly packed and his carriage was brought round, and Mr. Rushworth left Mansfield Park, never to return. Although Maria’s rejected suitor does not appear in this story again, the reader may kindly wish to know that by the time he reached the outskirts of Mansfield village, he was as angry as he had ever been in his life; by the time he crested Sandcroft Hill, he was wanting his breakfast very much indeed, and by the time he reached the long avenues leading to Sotherton, he was reflecting that, all things considered, he was tolerably relieved that he would not marry Miss Bertram, as for many months past she had been cold and careless in her manner, rejecting even the touch of his hand, and causing him to doubt whether she was of a truly amiable disposition.


Digital on Smashwords

What if Fanny Price, the meek and docile heroine of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, ran away from home? What if Fanny could no longer endure living with the Bertrams? What if she could not bear to watch Edmund fall in love with Mary Crawford?

In Lona Manning’s debut novel, Fanny Price is given an opportunity to change and grow, to learn and to make mistakes; while Edmund Bertram’s fascination with Mary Crawford, and Henry Crawford’s efforts to avoid matrimony, lead to completely different outcomes than in Jane Austen’s masterpiece.
All of the familiar characters from Mansfield Park are included, and many – such as Mrs. Norris and little Betsey Price – help drive the plot. New characters, such as the brusque but kindly widow, Mrs. Butters, and the impecunious but charming writer, William Gibson, are involved with the movement to abolish slavery. Real characters from history – politicians, writers, and sea captains, join the story and there are even some cameo appearances from characters in other Austen novels.
The text employs many of the techniques which made Jane Austen so popular – dialogue in which each character speaks in their own unique voice, free indirect style of narration, Johnsonian cadences, and some snark.

A Contrary Wind differs from Mansfield Park in that not all the scenes involving sex occur off-stage and instead of having “[t]hree or four families in a country village,” the action moves from Mansfield Park, to Bristol, London, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and the coast of Africa, where young Lieutenant William Price fights the slave trade as part of the West Africa Squadron.

“Like many Jane Austen fans, I’ve wished that Austen had written more than six novels,” says Manning. “’A Contrary Wind’ is my homage to Austen, and a bit of a “what if” scenario. I really loved working with the unforgettable characters Jane Austen created, such as Henry and Mary Crawford and Mrs. Norris, while adding a few new characters of my own.”

High resolution photos are available from http://www.lonamanning.ca/a-contrary-wind.html

A paperback version is available on Amazon.com and a digital version is also available on Smashwords.

Lona Manning is the author of “The Hurricane Hoax,” “The Murder of Madalyn Murray O’Hair,” and other true-crime articles available at True Crime Magazine online. She is currently teaching English in China. She and her husband make their home in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. This is her first novel.

For more information:  lonaleemanning@gmail.com or www.lonamanning.ca 


Thank you for visiting More Agreeably Engaged and letting us get to know you a little and learn more about your new release. I'm so happy to have you visit. I believe this is my first time to have a Mansfield Park variation here. How neat that it is yours! I wish you much success!

Well, dear Readers, what do you think? Does not this sound like a good read to you? I know I want to read it! There is a giveaway so two of you will get the chance! Yes, that's right. Two digital books of A Contrary Wind are being given away and the giveaway is international. Leave us a comment and make sure I have your contact info, if you want to be entered in the giveaway. It will end on the 6th of March at 11:59 PM. (can't believe it is nearly March!) Good luck to all

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ginger Monette...Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey

Happy Friday to all of you! Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey is stopping by my place today. If you've been following the tour, you have probably noticed all the great reviews for this book! I certainly have and today the author answers some questions about the book itself and her inspiration for writing it. So for this post, we have an interview with the author, a blurb and an excerpt. Of course, you can take part in that wonderful giveaway. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter to enter.

If you want to check out the first visit to More Agreeably Engaged by Ginger Monette, follow this link. Darcy's Hope, Beauty from Ashes is spotlighted on that post. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the interview.


Q: What inspired you to write Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey?

Matthew Crawley of Downton Abbey! The war dealt him a tragic blow that played an important role in the storyline of season 2. I was really fascinated at how wealthy English families offered their lavish homes as hospital facilities during WW1. I began to imagine Darcy with his own wartime tragedy, then mixed it with the characters and homes from Austen's works and, voila, Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey was born.

Q: You've described Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey as a 'stand-alone sequel' to Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes. That sounds like a contradiction of terms. Can you explain?

A: Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey picks up moments after Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes ends. For those who have read Beauty from Ashes, the story will seem like a seamless continuation. For those that have not read book 1, book 2 can be enjoyed on its own, as the backstory from book 1 is woven into the content of Donwell Abbey as part of the dialog and internal thoughts of the characters. Some readers may experience minor confusions at the beginning, but soon the story moves into its own realm, making the specific backstory details somewhat inconsequential.

Q: Why did you break it up into two novels instead of just making it one continuous novel?

A: I chose to make them two novels because both books are complete stories on their own—with a definite beginning, middle, and end. And although Donwell Abbey can be read by itself, consensus among reviewers is that the overall experience is more enjoyable if Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes is read first.

Q: That brings up another question. Some readers may be hesitant to read Beauty from Ashes due to its wartime setting. What would you say to those who don't do war stories?”

I would say it isn't a war story  : )  The Darcy's Hope saga is very much a romance in a wartime setting. Just like Downton Abbey, the war provides a dramatic backdrop against which the romance unfolds. The war's fast pace and ever-changing situations meant that nothing was predictable, and things could (and did) change in an instant. Readers have commented that they couldn't predict where either story was going! And much of that is due to the volatile nature of the setting.

Q:  Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes is primarily set on the Western Front of WW1. Can we expect the same in Donwell Abbey?

A: Although Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey opens with Darcy still in Belgium, the setting quickly shifts to England. Most of the story takes place at Hartfield and Donwell Abbey, homes from Austen's novel Emma. And yes, the two homes are still in the Knightley family, and the descendants of George and Emma Knightley are important characters in this story.

Q: Did you face any particular challenges in writing Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey?

A: Yes! Writing to accommodate the tragedy that befalls Darcy was an enormous challenge. But if I tell you what the injury is and the accommodation it required, I would be giving away a major spoiler!

Q: If this tragedy plays an important role but you can't elaborate on it, what can you tell us about the story?

A: It is a tender romance between Lizzy and Darcy with their romance central to the plot. In lieu of specific plot details, I've made up a list of 'notables' to whet readers' appetites and pique their curiosity. Here goes:

Notable scenes
-Breakfast at Pemberley
-Horseback ride for two
-Secrets at a cemetery
-Dancing on the terrace
-Excursion on a rowboat
-Drama at a pond
-A visit to a prison

Notable characters
-A meddling matriarch
-John Thornton
-Margaret Hale
-Colonel Brandon
-Marianne Dashwood
-Sarah Knightley
-A dog

Notable objects
-A newspaper report
-A factory smokestack
-A music box
-A garnet bracelet

Other notables
-Romance in the air for several couples
-Hands touching. (Yeah, lots of hands touching hands)

Q: I see your notable characters list contains several characters familiar to fans of Austen and Gaskell. Can you elaborate?

A: Elizabeth Gaskell's John Thornton saves the day,” and readers will catch a glimpse of his romance with Margaret Hale. And Austen's Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility make an appearance.

Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey also contains some original but familiar” characters as well. Sarah Knightley is a spirited descendant of George and Emma Knightley, a couple from Austen's novel Emma. Dr. Matthew Scott is a creation of my imagination who debuted in my first book Tree of Life. I liked him so much, I've given him a similar role in Donwell Abbey. And finally, readers are treated to matriarch extraordinaire, Mrs. Knightley, who is on par with none other than Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Q: Why only glimpses of these budding romances?

Because I have plans for all of the couples to have their own Great War Romance! If you would like to be kept abreast of the progress of these dear couples, please join my low-volume newsletter family at GingerMonette.com.  (And if you like period drama, Downton Abbey, and Jane Austen, join me on Facebook at Ginger Monette Author.)

Q: Anything else you would like readers to know about Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey?

A: Yes, three things:

•Rest assured the story focuses on Lizzy and Darcy and has a happily-ever-after ending.
•It’s a clean romance that will keep you guessing until the very end! But do know that tense moments can occasionally prompt mild language, and there are some references to war that might be too intense for sensitive readers.
•And finally, in April of 2017, America will commemorate its 100th anniversary of participation in WW1. If you're like me, you learned almost nothing about this period of history in school. The Darcy's Hope saga is an entertaining way to get a glimpse of what our great-grandfathers experienced, and will give readers some context as they will undoubtedly be hearing a lot about this pivotal event that ushered the world into the modern era as we know it.

I hope readers will give the Darcy's Hope saga a try! I don't think they'll be disappointed : )

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog!


Thank you, Ginger Monette for the interview. I enjoyed your answers and the thought that went into them. Now, Readers, here is the blurb and an excerpt for this book.

Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey

1917. Amidst the chaos of WW1, Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy has won the heart of Elizabeth Bennet. Finally.

Then she disappears.

Still reeling from the loss, Darcy is struck by a battlefield tragedy that leaves him in a dark and silent world.

Sent to Donwell Abbey to recover, he's coaxed back to life by an extraordinary nurse. A woman whose uncanny similarities to Elizabeth invite his admiration and entice his affections.

His heart tells him to hold on to Elizabeth. His head tells him to take a chance with his nurse.

But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey in this enthralling stand-alone sequel* to Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes that includes appearances by John Thornton, Margaret Hale, Colonel Brandon, Marianne Dashwood, and descendants of George Knightley.

•*May be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, but readers may experience some minor confusions without the context of the mystery of Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes.
•Has a happy ending for Lizzy and Darcy.
•Romance is clean. Minor language and some recollections of graphic war scenes.

Excerpt: Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey by Ginger Monette

Elizabeth bolted from the chair. “Fitzwilliam, wake up!” She nudged his arm in the darkened room, but he continued writhing with great heaving breaths. “Captain!” She squeezed his hand, but he jerked it away, whimpering.

On impulse, she slid her arms under his shoulders and held him close. Instantly his thrashing ceased.

Gently rocking him, she massaged the unbandaged hair at his temple and whispered against his cheek, “It’s all right. Just a dream.”

He breathing slowed, but his body remained tense. “My ribs...hurt.”

She lowered him back to the pillow, then tapped on his hand, Try to relax. All right now?

“Mmm.... Water. And morphine.”

She squeezed his hand and poured water into the hospital cup. She touched the pill to his lips then offered the porcelain straw.

He swallowed. “Who are you?”

Elizabeth froze and closed her eyes. How she longed to tell him the truth, then brush a kiss on his lips, assure him of her love, and promise to stay by his side.

She took his hand and spelled, Miss Thomas.

“Thank you...Miss Thomas.”

Elizabeth sank into the wing chair and released a heavy breath. Could she bear to be so close and yet so far away from Fitzwilliam?


Heartbreaking!!! After the blurb and the excerpt, are you ready to read more? If so, guess what? The first book is on sale for $2.99 right now. Get started with it and then be ready for this one. That's what I plan to do! It is for a limited time so don't miss out on this special deal!

Blog Tour Schedule

Link to webpage with tour schedule and hyperlinks: http://www.gingermonette.com/blog-tour-links

Feb 5  vvb32reads

Feb 26  Linda Andrews

Link to webpage with tour schedule and hyperlinks: http://www.gingermonette.com/blog-tour-links


It's giveaway time and what a nice giveaway! Open to US winners only, there will be three lucky winners. If you want to participate, fill out the Rafflecopter below the prize picture. Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
To contact the author or for purchase links, look below.

Author: Ginger Monette

Email: SperoBooks@gmail.com

Website: GingerMonette.com

Goodreads:  here or https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=ginger+monette

Book length: 347 pages     DHaDA Publication Date: Jan 1, 2017

Romance sizzle rating: mild. Clean story with minor language, and some graphic recollections of war.

Link to webpage with tour schedule and hyperlinks: http://www.gingermonette.com/blog-tour-links

Purchase Links for Darcy’s Hope at a Donwell Abbey:
            -Universal link that shows links to every outlet (including all international ones). books2read.com/u/3yP2Le
            -Amazon USAhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M6A76CZ/

Purchase Links for Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes:
            Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/47kXOj  

            -Amazon USAhttp://bit.ly/2cy01KFBlogTourAmaUS

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Re-Release of No Such Thing as Luck by Nicole Clarkston

Good evening to the blogging world. I hope you are all doing good and have had a great week so far. My week has been good and like yours, I'm sure, busy! Where have these weeks gone? I can't believe we are already into the last half of February! It's flying by too fast!

I have the special privilege of sharing with you the re-release of Nicole Clarkston's first novel, No Such Thing as Luck! What makes this post even better is I had the honor, with my son, Jeff, of redesigning the front and back cover for Nicole's book. That is one of the things I have been busy doing and it was such fun!

If you remember back to last year, I gave this book the favorite North & South variation for 2015's More Agreeably Engaged awards. (To see my review of the book, click here.) I tried to reach Nicole to let her know about her book's award and offer her award seal. It took me some time to locate her. I finally found her through Goodreads. Little did I know that I was not only finding the author of a book that I dearly loved, but I was finding a treasure in a new and cherished friendship. The rest is history. I'll let Nicole tell you about it and I'll add more of my part at the end of the post. 

When I published my first book, No Such Thing as Luck, in 2015, I had every intention of keeping to myself as a writer and “seeing what would happen.” What did happen was pure magic. While my second book, Rumours and Recklessness, was more popular, it was the first which sparked a friendship. Some months after it was published, Janet wrote to tell me that the book had ranked as the favorite N&S book of the year on her blog. What a surprise! The even greater gift was Janet herself, for coming to know her has been a pleasure, and I am richer for it.

I quickly discovered that not only is Janet one of the loveliest people I had ever encountered, she is also a breathtaking artist. When we first “met,” I was about three chapters into writing Northern Rain. I was quick to solicit her expertise for the cover, and shortly after that we were discussing The Courtship of Edward Gardiner. Both times she graced my humble efforts with a cover that perfectly captured everything the book could ever hope to convey. All this time, I had been looking back at the frumpy old cover for No Such Thing as Luck and disliking it more and more. I was not alone, either, for the single biggest complaint I have heard about that book is the cover!

With the previous two books, we had traded brainstorming images back and forth, talking about ideas for this or that, but with No Such Thing’s new cover, the inspiration was all Janet’s. She spent months on this cover, tweaking and refining until I had tears in my eyes and was hopping up and down like a little kid. I offer the following text stream as evidence of my glee.

Well, there you have it. Janet reduced me to a blubbering puddle of goo when she sent the final proof, and I am bursting with pride to put it on the front of the book that introduced us. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Available on Amazon

Audio Book Available at Audible

Well, folks, that's the story of an award winning novel, a good friendship and a new cover.  As much as I love a good book, as much as I love to design covers, best of all, I love finding a new and dear friend. That's what I have found with Nicole Clarkston. We have had many such 'chats' as the one above and lots make me laugh, just like that one. We visit often and even though we have never met in person, I feel I know this lovely young lady well, and her children, too. All of this because I found, read and thoroughly delighted in a book. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

I'm thrilled that Nicole likes the new cover. I must say, she does know how to stroke a girl's ego, doesn't she! lol I can't take all the credit though. Jeff, my son, does the 3-D renders. He puts up with a lot to do a render for me. We talk and email back and forth with things such as...Can you move his hand up? How about turning his body a bit more? Have him look a bit to the front instead of at Margaret. I want to see his eyes better. Give him a little smile and some five o'clock shadow. Oooh, I like that, but could we add a pocket watch and have him holding it? I would like to change Margaret's dress.(Not once but twice!) Let's try a red cravat. Nope, don't like that. Can we go back to the black? These are just a few of the many things we went through getting the picture where it is now. I never realized how much he had to do to tweak one little thing until I sat and watched him one day. Then I felt bad...just a little! lol I think he did a fantastic job and he was patient with me! The later is the more admirable of the two. :)

Here's a tiny bit of history behind the two covers. Part of the book takes place in Cadiz, Spain. When I found this painting of a market in Cadiz, I knew it was perfect for the back cover. Nicole agreed. The easy part was done! As you can tell from the front cover, some of the book takes place on a ship! That always makes for some good quality time for our hero and heroine. After all, we do love that together time. If you haven't read the book, I do hope you will soon. It is an excellent N&S variation and the characters are true to Elizabeth Gaskell's original characters. I highly recommend it. 

The book is available on Amazon and at Audible. The Kindle version has the new cover and the paperback should be available any minute. The audiobook is available but the new cover is not displaying yet. All should be soon. Now in celebration of our friendship and the re-release of No Such Thing as Luck with its new cover, there will be a giveaway! Yay! We love those giveaways, don't we? There is one paperback and one eBook up for grabs. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think. If you have read the book, tell us something you loved about it. The giveaway will end on February 22nd at 11:59 PM. The giveaway is international and please leave me your contact info. Good luck to all.

By the way, Nicole Clarkston's first post at Austen Variations went live last night. For a little Jane and Lizzy pre-wedding nerves and some good advice from Aunt Gardiner, pop over and read her vignette.