Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Darcy's Melody...Jen Red


Available on Amazon

I have been looking forward to today's post for quite some time. Jennifer Redlarczyk is with us this Wednesday, and it is her first visit to More Agreeably Engaged as a guest. She often stops by to comment on other posts but she is the visiting author today! I'm thrilled to have her here. I forgot to mention that today is the three month anniversary of the release of Darcy's Melody. Happy Book-iversary.

Jennifer has some great things in store for you, Dear Readers. She shares two fun scenes from her new release, Darcy's Melody, one from Chapter One and one from Chapter Two. I think you are going to love both. I certainly did. Next, if you check out her links at the end of this post, she has a fabulous Pinterest Page that follows her book by chapters. That took some work and time. Last is her YouTube channel link. This one is very special, if will notice on the end credits. Wonderful job, Jen. I loved both of these as well as your Chapter excerpts. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

*****

Greetings! I am pleased to be here on More Agreeably Engaged with my new release, Darcy’s Melody, inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In the year 1811 the war with France continues to rage, sending many injured men home to England where accommodations are limited. Raising funds to build an additional structure at the London Hospital for the wounded has become a top priority for Lady Eleanor Fitzwilliam, Countess of Matlock. She has not only enlisted members of the ton to assist with her committee, but women who are well-known throughout the trade community. It is within this endeavour that Elizabeth Bennet and Georgiana Darcy first meet through a mutual love of music. In this particular scene, however, Darcy and Elizabeth encounter each other under very different circumstances.


FROM CHAPTER ONE



London

Tuesday, 21 May 1811

Early afternoon


Ballard’s was an eclectic treasure trove of rare first editions and unusual books located on the thoroughfare of Piccadilly. Although it appeared somewhat dingy and dimly lit from the outside, inside the ageing building the atmosphere was inviting, and a vast array of literature beckoned lovers of the written word.


Promptly at one o’clock, Fitzwilliam Darcy entered the bookshop and walked directly towards his favoured section. While paging through a military war journal, he instinctively glanced toward the back of the shop. Even with several patrons milling about the establishment today, Darcy’s eyes were drawn to a young lady who appeared to be examining a small book in the poetry section.


Closing the journal, Darcy ambled over to where the woman stood and began perusing the titles on a nearby shelf. After taking a book in hand, he purposely turned his head towards the young lady. Captivated by her large, dark emerald-green eyes sparkling with mischief, he felt his lips curve into a half smile when she spoke.


“Pray, sir, may I trouble you to hand me the book of Cowper poetry on the upper shelf?”

     
Darcy nodded. “With pleasure. Cowper is an excellent choice.” 


As he reached for the book, she continued, “One poem in particular reminds me of Oakham Mount in Hertfordshire. I find I am rather desirous of its solace today if only through the eyes of the poet.”

     
Handing her the book, he answered in kind. “I understand your sentiments for I, too, am from the country and have longed to return to Derbyshire.”

     
Arching an eyebrow in his direction, she inclined her head and said, “I thank you, sir.”  
    

“You are most welcome.”

     
As she turned the pages of her selection in search of the poem, Darcy heard the young lady gasp when both of her books slid out of her hands and onto the floor. “Oh dear,” she sighed, stooping down to retrieve them. 
    

“Allow me,” he immediately offered. Both reaching for the books, Darcy felt her small, warm hand carefully slip a folded piece of paper into the palm of his own. The young lady had not replaced her glove after perusing her own book, and her skin was soft to the touch. Leaning closer, the faint scent of lavender seemed to strengthen, causing his chest to tighten and his heart to quicken in response.


Feigning innocence, she looked up at him and said, “Again, sir, I am in your debt. Perhaps I should make my purchases before I have another mishap.”


“Permit me to carry these to the desk for you.”


Acknowledging his offer with a slight curtsey, the young lady whispered, “Sir, I think we are being observed.” Then speaking louder, she added, “Thank you again. You are most kind.”

  
“Your servant.” He bowed. With his senses heightened from being forewarned of impending danger, Darcy spoke softly in return, “How did you come? I would not have you leave here unescorted.”


“There is a carriage waiting, sir. A manservant is nearby and a maid is within.”


“Then leave now and be careful.”


So now that Darcy and Elizabeth have met each other, let’s see what happens after they are properly introduced. At this point in the story, Mrs. Gardiner, Jane and Elizabeth have all been invited to Darcy House at Lady Matlock’s instance. Their purpose is to present Georgiana with the workings of her hospital charity and to invite the young woman to participate.


Since meeting Elizabeth at the bookshop, Darcy has learned more about her standing in society. Needless to say, he was not particularly happy at the prospect of his sister interacting with three women who resided in Cheapside. Shall we observe?

FROM CHAPTER TWO



Darcy House


Walking back into the room, Darcy returned to his former position near the mantelpiece, where he quietly resumed his previous demeanour. Taking note of him, Elizabeth retrieved a large envelope from her satchel and excused herself from the rest of the group.


“Mr. Darcy, may I have a moment of your time?”  

    
“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.” He nodded.

    
“Sir, at your aunt’s suggestion, I have prepared some documentation detailing our proposals and projected expenditures to date. May I leave them for your perusal?” Holding out the envelope which he promptly took, Elizabeth gifted him with one of her mischievous smiles. Then quickly donning a more serious face, she whispered, “Sir, I must warn you, it might be a rather boring read since it does not contain any errant pages from my uncle’s War Journals.”


Momentarily caught off guard, Darcy purposely scowled at her tease. Even though he had avowed to remain distant, he could not resist challenging this self-assured young lady from Cheapside. In response, Darcy decided he would purposely provoke Elizabeth, testing her ability to hold her own against his remarks.


“Frankly, Miss Elizabeth, I find it rather odd a young woman with so little formal education could have much knowledge of the financial workings in matters such as these.


Elizabeth, obviously surprised by his response, squared her shoulders and looked directly into his eyes. “Mr. Darcy, in Hertfordshire, where I come from, I am considered to be my father’s son with regard to these types of matters. I must inform you I have been thoroughly trained in the affairs of my father’s humble estate, having assisted him since the age of sixteen.”


Darcy schooled his face into an expression of disbelief. “Come now, Miss Bennet. Surely you do not expect me to believe such assertions.”


“Sir, I have often acted as my father’s secretary, studying his financial ledgers and formal documents. With his encouragement, I have settled disputes with our tenants and attended to their needs. I can assure you I do comprehend a great deal in this respect.”

     
Yes, that did raise her ire, he thought with the intent of continuing to annoy her. “I must confess I am curious to know what sort of man your father is. It is highly unusual for any gentleman to entrust the running of his estate to his young daughter.”

     
“Mr. Darcy.” She glared at him in defiance. “My father may not have had the means to educate me in the manner of the more affluent, but I must defend him in saying I was given every advantage a young man under his care and tutelage would have had.”


While she waited for his response, Darcy studied Elizabeth’s face, taking delight in the fire he saw in her eyes. “You are very singular, indeed!”


“Pray, Mr. Darcy, have you never encountered any ladies of the ton who are bold enough to invade a gentleman’s domain in this fashion?”  


Rubbing his chin for a moment before responding, he finally answered, “With the exception of my aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, I would definitely have to say … no.” Then giving her a patronizing grin, he continued, “Where many ladies of my acquaintance are well educated, I find most accomplished women choose to devote their time to more refined activities, such as music or drawing. They have studied the modern languages and have sought the improvement of their minds through extensive reading. They do not take pleasure in the invasion of a gentleman’s domain in this manner, as you have intimated.” 

    
“An accomplished woman!” declared Elizabeth, looking rather indignant.

  
Before she could further respond, he put the envelope on the mantelpiece and said with another attempt to provoke her, “I must say I am looking forward to examining your work, Miss Elizabeth, and I shall bring forth any pertinent comments, should I find something amiss.”  

     
Amiss?” Her eyes sparkled as though she were accepting his unspoken challenge. “Mr. Darcy, I shall eagerly await your evaluation. Of course, I should warn you, sir, all of my efforts have been reviewed and met with the approval of your aunt’s very own solicitor.” Turning up the corners of her mouth in a self-assured smile, she attempted to mock him.


Darcy was exhilarated by her response, but continued to give the appearance of indifference. “So be it, Miss Elizabeth, I shall endeavour to give these documents my full attention.”  


“Thank you, Mr. Darcy.” Elizabeth curtseyed then turned with the intention of re-joining the ladies. 


“Miss Elizabeth,” he said, halting her with his words. She boldly looked back at him arching her brow. Darcy would not placate Elizabeth with an apology for annoying her since he had purposely meant to unnerve her and she bore it well. He would, however, offer up his thanks where Georgiana was concerned.

    
“If I may, I would like to extend my gratitude for the kindness you, Miss Bennet, and Mrs. Gardiner have shown to my sister this afternoon.” His face relaxed, revealing a half smile. “It is greatly appreciated.” He bowed.


Surprised by his sincerity, Elizabeth softened her own expression and replied, “Mr. Darcy, your sister is a lovely, sensitive, young woman. It has been our privilege to speak with her today.




So what do you think? How did you like this second meeting? Did Darcy behave as you might have expected. Please let me know in your comments and you will be entered in the giveaway for two eBooks of Darcy’s Melody. Thanks for stopping by and thanks so very much to Janet Taylor for hosting me and my new book today. Jen Red

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Jennifer Redlarczyk

I am a private music instructor living in Crown Point, Indiana where I teach voice, violin and piano and work as an adjunct music professor at Purdue University Northwest. As a teen, I was introduced to Jane Austen by my mother who loved old books, old movies and old songs. In the summer of 2011, I stumbled upon Jane Austen Fanfiction at a Barnes and Noble store and became obsessed with this genre. From there, I met several talented JAFF authors and devoted readers who were active on social media and eventually became a moderator for the private JAFF forum, DarcyandLizzy.com. It was there that I first tried my hand at writing short stories. I have the greatest appreciation for the creative world of Jane Austen Fanfiction and am thrilled to be a part of the JAFF community. 

You can find me at: DarcyandLizzy.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on YouTube. On my Pinterest page I’ve posted inspiration pictures for each chapter of Darcy’s Melody, and on my YouTube channel you can listen to the recordings I made of Lizzy’s songs. ~ Jennifer Redlarczyk (Jen Red)


Available on Amazon



It's giveaway time! Isn't that wonderful! As Jennifer  already mentioned, she is giving away two eBooks and the giveaway is international. Be sure to leave your contact info, if I do not already have it, for your chance to win. I always feel bad when I'm unable to contact a winner and have to choose another. I hope that will not happen this time. Leave us a comment and tell us if Darcy behaved as you expected. What do you think of these scenes, the Pinterest page and the YouTube video.  Do you have a favorite? Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck to all. Giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 21st of October, Trafalgar Day.
Jennifer, thank you for being my guest today. It has been such a pleasure to have you stop by. I enjoyed your post. The scenes were delightful, and your Pinterest page was awesome. I liked how you had it set up by chapters. Your video was lovely, too. Thank you for allowing us the privilege of viewing it and listening to it. Last but not least, I really like your book cover. It is so pretty. Congratulations and best wishes with Darcy's Melody.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Recognizing Love...Lizzy Brandon

Lizzy Brandon visits More Agreeably Engaged today as part of her blog tour for her new release, Recognizing Love. I'm so glad to have you here, Lizzy. I see you are having great reviews for your book and you've had some wonderful posts for your blog tour. Congratulations on your success, and thank you for allowing me to be part of your tour. Lizzy shares an entertaining excerpt and has a lovely giveaway.

By the way, I'm so glad that you did not change sections of your British Literature course! Think what a difference that would have made for you and for us fans! Now I'll give the floor to you! :)

*****

I didn’t read Jane Austen until I was forced to do so in college.  Pride and Prejudice – sounded depressing and I actually considered changing sections of my British Literature course when I saw it on the reading list.  After I read the book, I was hooked.  For Thanksgiving break, my roommate and I were both staying on campus, so we borrowed my professor's VHS set of the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice that we binge watched twice.  
Like a good dealer, I got my next roommate addicted as well. Days where one of us was sick or having a really bad day we would pop tape #4 into the VCR, curl up in our pajamas, and watch Colin Firth dive into a lake.  
I had never heard of fanfiction and was wandering Target one day when I discovered Linda Berdoll's Darcy Takes a Wife.  I devoured the book, then proceeded to continue my dealer-like tendencies by passing it on to everyone I had already hooked on Pride and Prejudice.  As I was ordering my 4th copy of the book on Amazon, the site suggested some variations by Abigail Reynolds.  After ordering a few of her books I started getting more suggestions and finally realized Pride and Prejudice variations were a genre all their own. Since then, I've been hooked.
As I was writing the epilogue to Recognizing Love I discovered the heart of why I love variations so much.  Not only do they provide an opportunity to spend more time with my favorite characters from all fiction, the stories provide a plethora of ways for Elizabeth and Darcy to find happiness.  No matter how wrong things go, there is some way they can find each other in the end.  In this mini excerpt Elizabeth is talking to her Aunt Gardiner. 
“When I think of all the whims of fate, I feel positively faint. How very different my life would be if we had come to Pemberley the day before, or if Mr. Darcy had not ridden ahead of his party. I wonder if we ever would have met again.”
“You would have come together again, Lizzy. Some things are simply meant to be. If you had not seen him at that time then you would have seen him at Jane and Bingley’s wedding or run into him on the streets of London. I cannot believe life to be so fragile that we have only one moment in which to find and seize our happiness. You might as well ask what would have happened had you not told him of Lydia’s plight or had he not chosen to join us in our search for her. Still, the two of you would have found one another again.”
“I hope that you are correct and there is some master plan for our happiness that offers multiple chances. Much as I am determined to act of my own free will, I would not mind having a safety in reserve.”
If they can do it, maybe there is hope for the rest of us to find a happily-ever-after, no matter what shape our lives may be in at the moment.  I certainly hope so.


Excerpt:
Darcy had not partaken of a meal at Longbourn before but he suspected Mrs. Bennet had set her best table for him. While he would have rather sat next to Elizabeth, he was content to have her directly across from him where he could look upon her face. He could only be grateful they sat next to Mr. Bennet instead of his wife, leaving that pleasure to Bingley and Miss Bennet. 
As Mrs. Bennet and Miss Kitty discussed a recent call upon Lady Lucas, taking great care to describe her gown, Mr. Bennet shook his head before turned to Darcy and muttering, “Welcome to the family.” The gentlemen shared a look as Elizabeth covered a laugh with her napkin. Darcy had been largely ignoring them, a skill he imagined Mr. Bennet had mastered long ago.
Elizabeth rejoined the ladies’ conversation, laughing at some comment, and Darcy marveled at the complete change in expression that came over her whenever she did so. This picture was how he envisioned her when they were apart, face glowing with diversion, and her eyes a bit saucy. The dining room of Pemberley would be a lively place from the day he brought her home. Far too often it was a quiet room where he and Georgiana might discuss events of the day. In the future he expected laughter to become commonplace. 
“Mr. Darcy? Are you woolgathering?” she asked and finally broke his reverie.
“My apologies. I suppose I was. Forgive my inattention.”
“And what weighty thoughts consume you so?”
“You are mistaken. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.” The eyes in question glowed in response. 
Mr. Bennet chuckled, reminding Darcy they were not without an audience. He wished, not for the first time since they sat down, that she was beside him so he could speak words only she might hear. Soon enough.
Talk turned to Pemberley and Bingley described his latest visit with his sisters.
“I cannot say that I was surprised when I received Darcy’s letter informing me of his engagement and intention to come to Hertfordshire. We had all noticed a change in him after Miss Elizabeth’s visit.”
Mrs. Bennet sighed dramatically. “And never did any of us have an idea of his attachment while he was here.”
“How did Miss Bingley respond?” Miss Kitty asked with a wicked grin, and her sisters all sent her quelling glares.
“They do enjoy being the first to have any on dit,” Bingley said quickly as he fidgeted with his napkin.
“We are advised to accept God’s will for our lives and not covet what is outside our reach,” Miss Mary said with her usual solemnity. “Disappointment may be inevitable, but one can find comfort by adhering to one’s duty.”
“Thank you, Mary,” Mr. Bennet said with a sigh as an awkward silence descended upon the group. Mrs. Bennet was not one to allow silence to reign at her table for long.
“Lizzy has ever been a dutiful child,” she said to Darcy. Unable to think of a response, he looked to Elizabeth who was staring at her mother in abject incredulity.
“Come now Mrs. Bennet, that is hardly true,” Mr. Bennet said with a sardonic chuckle, “and you must be glad she does not heed all your instruction, else she would now be Mrs. Collins.” Elizabeth frowned at her father.
“Never would I have done so had I any idea she had caught the eye of someone better,” Mrs. Bennet cried out in alarm.
“When was this?” Darcy asked.
“She did not tell you?” Miss Kitty asked. “’Twas the day after the Netherfield ball. Lizzy flatly denied him but he persisted until she had to leave the room. Then Mamma demanded she go back and accept him.”
“That is enough, Kitty,” Elizabeth said as her color rose.
Darcy’s horror must have been evident as Elizabeth quickly reassured him, “I tried to make my refusal as plainly and gently as I could, but Mr. Collins is not a man of great comprehension.”
“Nor would I have ever allowed that buffoon to marry you. Let that serve as a lesson for your matchmaking, Mrs. Bennet. At least you need never fear, Mr. Darcy. Lizzy is well able to refuse a proposal she does not desire.”
Elizabeth’s pleading look to her father and the twinkle in Mr. Bennet’s eye told Darcy that her father knew of his first proposal. That he shared company with Mr. Collins in being a recipient of her refusal was mortifying. That she had been kinder in her refusal of Mr. Collins allowed humor to finally break through his horror.
He looked to Elizabeth who appeared mortified by the conversation. “Yes, Elizabeth knows her own mind and would not be persuaded into accepting less than is her due.” He sent her a teasing grin as she met his gaze. “I must be grateful she accepted me.” Elizabeth visibly eased and grinned back.
“As if Lizzy would ever dare refuse an offer from you,” Mrs. Bennet said with a laugh.
Elizabeth smirked at her mother’s words and sent him a challenging look, seeming to dare him to share their tale. He blinked and feigned ignorance, an expression he had seen Elizabeth use often enough. She shook her head playfully as she laughed once more into her napkin.
They did not need words to converse after all.
Recognizing Love Blurb
Secrets will surface...

Accepting Mr. Darcy’s proposal and allowing him to assume a love she does not yet feel pains Miss Elizabeth Bennet but she is certain she can love him…in time. After all of the miseries he endured to salvage her youngest sister’s reputation, how could she not come to love such a man?

Unfortunately, Lady Catherine arrives, bringing even thornier complications. With the many objections Darcy’s family will have regarding his marriage to the daughter of an unremarkable country squire, what more trouble can Lady Catherine stir up should she learn Elizabeth’s secret? 
In this Pride and Prejudice romance variation, what will Mr. Darcy do when he learns his beloved has accepted him although her heart is not engaged?

About the Author

Lizzy Brandon once attempted to switch sections of a Brit Lit course after seeing Pride and Prejudice on the reading list.  How could a book with such a boring title possibly compete with Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, or Frankenstein?  Luckily, her request was denied and she was introduced to Jane Austen’s amazing world of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Years later, Lizzy was thrilled to discover the world of Pride and Prejudice sequels and variations where her favorite characters could live on with countless adventures.  After enjoying reading variations for years, she decided to try writing her own. 

Contact Info



Blog Tour: September 13-28

From Pemberley to Milton:   September 13
Jane Austen Book Club:   September 15
Babblings of a Bookworm:   September 17
Just Jane:  September 18
So Little Time:   September 20
My Love for Jane Austen:   September 22
Diary of an Eccentric:   September 24
Austenesque Reviews:   September 26
More Agreeably Engaged:   September 28

Rafflecopter Giveaway: September 13-30

Prizes:
3 Paperback copies of Recognizing Love
3 $10 Amazon eGift Cards

Open worldwide.  Winners will need to provide email or physical address to receive prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for being my guest today. It was such a pleasure reading how you "hooked" so many of your friends on P&P! A close friend of mine hooked me in the same way and I'm so glad she did! :) Several sentences in your post resonated with me! I feel similar to the lines below.

"As I was writing the epilogue to Recognizing Love I discovered the heart of why I love variations so much. Not only do they provide an opportunity to spend more time with my favorite characters from all fiction, the stories provide a plethora of ways for Elizabeth and Darcy to find happiness...If they can do it, maybe there is hope for the rest of us to find a happily-ever-after, no matter what shape our lives may be in at the moment. I certainly hope so."

I love reading stories with lots of Darcy/Lizzy time together. I am also a fan of falling action where they spend some time together after finally "getting together."

Thank you for visiting my blog today and best wishes with your book. I look forward to what you have in store for us in the future. Please know you are welcome to come back anytime.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

And the winners are...In Good Conscience

This is a fun giveaway to announce! Cat Gardiner had 2 eBooks of In Good Conscience, and a fabulous swag up for grabs. Shall we get on with it and announce those winners? Lets do it!

Swag:



RS


******

eBooks:



ChristinaTaylor

Deborah Ann

******

Congratulations to all of you! Thanks to everyone for visiting my blog
and supporting the authors and guests. 

Thank you, Cat Gardiner, for this fabulous giveaway for my readers. Best wishes with this last book in the series. Please come back and visit More Agreeably Engaged anytime.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Obstacles...Belén Paccagnella

I'm thrilled to be a part of the Obstacles Blog Tour and have Belén Paccagnella, Meryton Press's newest author, visit More Agreeably Engaged. Belén already has quite a following in the fan world. She posted her stories at A Happy Assembly and was much loved. After reading her book, I can see why. I hope you get a chance to read it soon. It captured my attention from the first page! 

Belén is answering some questions for us today. I'm sure you will find her answers as interesting as I did. If you would like to ask a question yourself, please leave it in the comments below. Without further ado, I give you Belén Paccagnella!

Interview:


Belén, as a new JAFF author, I am sure you have a lot to share with us about your love for Austen and the steps you took from going from aspiring writer to a published writer. Would you share with us some of your background and tell us about the person behind this story.


I was born in Buenos Aires, which is Argentina’s capital. There was a brief period in my youth where my family moved to Brazil, and I attended high school there, in the city of Curitiba. My family owned a farm outside of the city, where we had cows, horses, and other animals. This helped shape the foundation of my love for horses, as well as rural life. I have a grown-up daughter and I’m still working full time.

My love for Jane Austen began when I saw the movie Sense and Sensibility. I didn’t initially know the author of the book, but I fell in love with the story as well as the characters and the portrayal of English society in Regency times. Then I watched the 1995 Pride and Prejudice adaptation, which took my obsession to a whole new level! After re-watching the series over and over again, I found several fanfiction sites and read everything that was published on the boards, both stories set in Regency and modern times. It wasn’t long before I started imagining my own stories until one day I gathered the courage to post my first piece. Although I studied in a bilingual school, I was quite insecure about my English at the time, so I was very apprehensive about posting my stories. I was lucky that everyone was so kind and encouraging and welcomed my stories, despite their flaws.

Please share with us the premise of your new release, “Obstacles,” including what helped you decide to publish this story.

The story was originally written in 2002 and then revised and re-posted a couple of times. I knew that several authors were pulling their stories from these sites and publishing them, so one day I decided to do the same thing.  I occasionally received emails from readers asking about the story and even received emails telling me that they would buy my story if I ever decided to publish it, but, for one reason or another, I never took that final step. For many years, publishing was just a dream I always had, but wasn’t sure I would ever fulfill. Then, in 2016, everything changed. I had breast cancer and when all of my treatment was over, I made the decision to finally become a published author. I contacted the lovely ladies at Meryton Press, and here I am, publishing my story.

I love the idea of a story set in the world of competitive horse jumping. How did you get to become so knowledgeable about this sport and what led you to write a “Pride & Prejudice” story within this setting?

I used to ride a lot in my youth (on the farm), I took riding lessons, and I attempted some jumping, but I never really competed beyond the novice level. Yet, I absolutely loved the sport, so I went to every show near my home, and I watched every tournament I happened upon on TV.  My knowledge about international competition was a bit limited when I started writing the story, so I did a lot of research and talked to friends who were involved in grand prix tournaments. It’s much easier now; you can find everything online—from interviews with top riders to how they fly the horses for the Olympics—but at the time, and especially in my country, information was scarce.

Choosing this setting was a no-brainer. Growing up among horses and going to riding clubs gave me a fairly good idea of how this world worked. People with resources owned the best horses, and paid to take lessons with the most exclusive teachers, while the rest of us took our lessons on the club’s old horses. As an enthusiastic 12-year-old, I didn’t care if the horse I was riding was one-eyed, but many years later, I understood the differences and applied them to my story.   Show-jumping is a highly competitive sport, as well as one of the most expensive and exclusive ones. Now it’s a huge industry, but it’s still a practice associated with wealth and aristocracy. Therefore, I thought it was the perfect backdrop for a Pride & Prejudice adaptation.

As a writer of a modern JAFF story, why do you believe Austen’s characters and themes resonate so well within a modern-day setting?

Austen novels are very character driven, and most of their conflicts are timeless and can be easily adapted to modern times.

Was your entry into Jane Austen Fan Fiction as a reader, and if so, how do you find JAFF stories that you’re interested in reading?

I’m the kind of reader that either gets hooked and won’t leave the book until I finish it, or I just drop it at the third page if the plot doesn’t interest me. If it’s well written and the characters are interesting, I’ll read it. Also, when I like an author, I read all their stories because I know I won’t be disappointed. Since I’ve been away from the boards and published JAFF for some time, I have a lot to catch up right now.

I loved imagining the character that I would cast in the role as the “England’s Hottest Horseman,” which is a nickname for the Darcy character in your story. Do you have any actors in mind who you would cast in this role?

Originally, Darcy was based on a gorgeous picture of Olivier Martinez I found online. Now he looks a lot like Tom Ellis.

I can certainly see Tom Ellis as Darcy! Click on the two names above and it will take you to a Bing page full of each man! :) What do you think? Okay, back to the interview since we must move on, what can readers do to support your work and stay in touch with you?

I love to have feedback from my readers! I used to post my stories chapter by chapter, and one of the things I liked most about that process was to read the comments made by readers and their interpretations about how a certain scene developed. They were so passionate and sometimes their analysis of the situation surprised me, because I didn’t think of it from that perspective. It’s very rewarding. Even now, many years later, I still receive emails from people who read my stories, asking me when I’m going to publish them. Readers can reach me at my personal email: bpacca2000@yahoo.com.

Thank you for stopping by to visit with my readers and good luck with the new release!

Thank you for having me and for all you are doing to support fan fiction and fan-fiction writers.

Book Description:
Not all obstacles are restricted to the show-jumping arena… Though Elizabeth Bennet lives an uneventful life instructing young equestrians at Longbourn, the family farm, she dreams of winning a show-jumping competition on Liddy, her spirited mare. But her life is upended when a team of world-renowned riders arrives at Netherfield, the neighbouring estate, and uses it as their training headquarters. As she assists the newcomers and their prize-winning mounts, she meets William Darcy, a wealthy and arrogant—albeit talented—rider with Olympic aspirations. He first insults and then ignores Elizabeth, and her feelings teeter between disgust at his hauteur and admiration for his equestrian prowess. As she discovers first-hand the rigors of a world for the elite, will Elizabeth change her perspective about love, trust, and the foibles of her own family?


Originally known as “Obstacles to Overcome,” Obstacles pays homage to Pride and Prejudice in the highly competitive world of equestrian show jumping.
Biography:
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Belén Paccagnella discovered the world of Jane
Austen fan fiction after watching the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice.
In her teens, she lived in Brazil when her family moved to the city of Curitiba due
to her father’s work. She moved back to Buenos Aires a few years later, where she
studied agronomy but finally pursued a different career and started working
in the development administration of shopping centres.


In 2001, she started writing both Regency and modern stories adapted from the
Pride and Prejudice storyline, merging drama, humour, and adventure while creating
characters with unique traits.


Belén still lives in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, where she shares her home with her
daughter and her pets while spending her time working, reading, and writing.

Obstacles Blog Tour Schedule:

September 17 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post September 18 / Diary of an Eccentric / Excerpt Post September 19 / Austenesque Reviews / Vignette Post September 20 / More Agreeably Engaged / Author Interview September 21 / So Little Time / Excerpt Post September 22 / Just Jane 1813 / Guest Book Review September 23 / My Love for Jane Austen / Character Interview September 24 / From Pemberley to Milton / Excerpt Post September 25 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review September 26 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Vignette Post September 27 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review September 28 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review

Giveaways:
Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of Obstacles.
The giveaway runs until midnight, September 30, 2018.

Terms and Conditions:
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.

One winner per contest. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, to Meryton Press, for the awesome giveaway, and to Claudine Pepe, for organizing the blog tour. I'm happy to have been included. Belén, I wish you much success with your new release. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

In Good Conscience...Cat Gardiner

Imagine my surprise when my request to interview the elusive Fitzwilliam Darcy was granted months after I had sent my June email to his new wife, Liz. I was expecting to be on the next flight to their estate in Virginia, but the ex-polo player, former Navy SEAL, and heir to the massive Darcy estate had other plans.  Of course, this is all on the q.t. and only this blog mistress was given his exclusive. How could I not grant his wish? As his secretary (a very hunky man named Higgins) later explained, Darcy was recuperating after a deadly summer and preferred to video chat from an undisclosed location.

Let me just state, dear readers, that the man was nothing that I expected and soooo handsome! His wife is one lucky lady! I have it on good authority that the blog mistress at Savvy Verse & Wit was summoned for an exclusive interview with Mrs. Darcy and that will post tomorrow.

Our Skype began at the precise minute scheduled and I was met with a smiling, clean-cut and shaved face. He wore a light blue T-shirt and … um … I could see his tribal band tattoo circling quite a bicep. Oh my!

Thank you, Mr. Darcy for taking the time to answer a few questions after what was described as an exhausting trip.
You’re welcome – and I appreciate your flexibility in doing a video chat versus an in-person interview. I’m sorry about all the mystery, but I’m sure you understand our need for secrecy and my obvious paranoia after what my wife and I survived. Once we settle in, we’ll relax, but for now

It was no problem, really! And I didn’t mind signing the non-disclosure. Word is that you’re quite the protector. So I understand that you’d go to extraordinary lengths to insulate those you love.
*Half-smile twitches on his lips* I guess I am, but don’t mistake Liz for needing my protection all the time. She’s fierce in her own right, quite brave in fact and has a mean south paw hook. *rubs his jaw*.

Oh? Is that among the things you’ve taught her since meeting her? I heard that you met under very dangerous circumstances, which haven’t let up over the last eighteen months.
You’re right. I did teach her a few things when she finally let me, but she’s mostly self-taught particularly in knife fighting. She’s an excellent student and a quick learner, and really, much more proficient with blades than I am. Like I said, she could be fierce when needed—or when mad as hell.

At you?
*Rubs jaw again.” Yeah. *Chuckles.*

I am sure you must have done something to deserve it, though. *Laughs lightly.*
Depends on your perspective. In her opinion, I deserved it … maybe I did, but I had the best intentions.

I’ve given some consideration to questions that my readers would particularly like answers to within the parameters of the NDA, of course. I thought, for starters, I’d just rapid fire a few and you can give me a one word answer if that’s okay.
Sure. That suits me fine.

What do you think of marriage to Mrs. Darcy?
A miracle
One word to describe how you feel about her?
It would take more than one, but at the moment, I’d say: Awestruck
Is there one word to describe your relationship?
Again, so many deep feelings there … I’d say: Perfect
How does she make you feel in the morning?
Renewed
In the afternoon?
Challenged
In the evening?
Lucky
At night?
*Laughs*  Exhausted
How many children would you like?
*Breaks into wide grin* Five

*Fans self* Oh dear! You will be exhausted!

Will you be returning to horse riding and breeding when you settle in?
Definitely
How about motorcycle riding? What kind of rider is Mrs. Darcy?
That’s two questions … Yes, we’ll continue riding … and she is quite the proficient biker.

And lastly, what is the plan for your future?
Serenity
No international travel, no wild edge of your seat adventures? Won’t that be hard for you?
Not at all. I have everything I need or want here and I’ve already seen the world – the good and the bad. I’ll leave those kind of adventures to someone else. This is a big, beautiful country; it’ll keep us busy for the rest of our lives.

And what country is that?
*Raises eyebrow* If I tell you … I’ll have to kill you. *Bursts out laughing.*

I must say, I’m surprised. Please don’t take offense, but I’ve heard so many reports about your severity, your chilly demeanor —and … and they’re quite wrong.

No, they were right, but I’m not that man anymore, and I’m definitely not that man around my wife. I’m just a guy filled with gratitude and optimism.  At my heart I’m just a simple man, in love with an amazing woman and have a beautiful—peaceful—tomorrow ahead of us.

And what has she done that makes her so amazing?
It’s not any one special thing, but a million seemingly small things that when put together make her such an amazing wife, friend, lover, and the perfect partner for me. She saved my soul and that, alone, was an amazing feat.

Okay, so one last question and then I’ll let you get back to your leading lady.  Will the world ever see Mr. Darcy again? What if your country needs you?
Lord! You make me sound like Batman. There won’t be any bat signal in the sky calling me out of retirement, but what I can tell you is that if my family needs me – I’ll sneak in like the night and do what I have to do. Once a protector … always a protector. I’ll leave the country-saving to the next generation of guys, and in time, the only thing I hope to be remembered for is being a loving husband, a great father, and a honorable friend, brother, uncle – even son-in-law. In fact, after this interview—and my wife’s tomorrow—we hope the name “Darcy” is never uttered again.

It sounds like a good plan.
It’s the only plan worth making.

Wow! What do you think of that interview, folks? *Fans self* I must admit to being a bit awe-struck! Darcy is quite a man! I'm betting he will be a great father. We already know he is a loving husband, loyal, and all the other attributes he wants to be remembered by. I think you will be, sir!



Revised Bio:
Cat Gardiner loves romance and happy endings, history, comedy, and Jane Austen. A member of the National League of American Pen Women and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America, she enjoys writing across the spectrum of Pride and Prejudice inspired romance novels. From the comedic Christmas, Chick Lits Lucky 13 and Villa Fortuna, to the bad boy biker Darcy in the sultry adventures Denial of Conscience, Guilty Conscience, and Without a Conscience, these contemporary novels will appeal to many Mr. Darcy lovers.

Cat's love of 20th Century Historical fiction merges in her first Pride & Prejudice "alternate era," set in a 1952 Noir, Undercover. Her most recent publications are the time-travel WWII P&P novelettes: A Vintage Valentine, A Vintage Victory, and A Vintage Halloween as part of the Memories of Old Antique Shop Series.

Her greatest love is writing Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. Her debut novel, A Moment Forever was the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award Romance Finalist. She is currently working on her second novel in the Liberty Victory Series.

Connect with Cat here:
facebook.com/cat.t.gardiner
cgardiner1940s.com
cattgardiner.wixsite.com/homefrontpodcast
twitter.com/40sExperience
twitter.com/VPPressNovels

BOOK BLURB:
The third and final romantic adventure in The Conscience Series

No man has loved a woman as much as Fitzwilliam “Iceman” Darcy loves his wife Elizabeth. His love is indestructible, insatiable, and his Achilles’ heel.

Since the whirlwind and dangerous adventure in Paris and Moscow in Without a Conscience, life at Pemberley has been a combination of idyllic repose and focused preparation and defense. Darcy’s enemy is still out there—a hair’s breadth from delivering revenge for his father’s assassination.

When the enemy strikes first, Iceman’s world comes crashing down kick starting a firestorm. How far will the gelid warrior go to protect all his loved ones? Just how much is the former Navy SEAL willing to sacrifice? Is his attritional warfare blind rage?—or are his extreme actions in good conscience?

This emotional, wild ride will take you on a breathless, white-knuckle international journey from heartbreak and revenge to survival and enduring bliss because …
No woman has loved a man like Elizabeth Darcy loves her husband Fitzwilliam. Her love is invulnerable, unyielding, and her strength.

Author Note: Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell wrote such wonderful characters, I borrowed their names and some of their characteristics for inspiration to tell my own tale of contemporary love. In Good Conscience - The Final Adventure is a sequel, and I recommend reading Book 1 (Denial of Conscience,) and Book 2 (Without a Conscience) beforehand. Further, it is an original story that follows the lives of the characters of the aforementioned books and therefore, not meant to be a Pride and Prejudice variation. This novel contains explicit sexual content and occasionally salty language. So if you are looking for a clean, canon read, this book is not for you.

IN GOOD CONSCIENCE GIVEAWAY
2 e-books (int'l and/or USA), Swag (USA Only) - Paperback, exclusive series mug, bookmark, and travel journal 




Thank you, Cat Gardiner, for helping set up this interview! I have been so excited about it and it was everything and more than I ever dreamed it would be. Looking forward to the interview tomorrow with Mrs. Darcy over at Savvy Verse & Wit. By the way, it was pretty neat talking to Higgins, the secretary! I like that man, too.

I'm thrilled to be part of your blog tour, Cat. Thank you for including me. I can't wait to start reading In Good Conscience. I have loved these books and hate to see them come to an end. From what I am seeing, this one is every bit as good as the rest, if not better! Thank you for sharing this story with us. You are an amazingly talented writer!

Readers, be sure and leave your contact info, and if you are US or not, in the comments below. This is an awesome giveaway and I would hate for anyone to lose out because I couldn't reach them. Good luck to everyone. The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 18th of September.