Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jan Hahn...In Appreciation of Readers

Dear Readers, you are in for a special treat today. Author Jan Hahn is having a great matching game with wonderful prizes as a giveaway. It is all in appreciation of you, the reader. I will let Jan Hahn tell you the rest! Have fun!


As a writer, I confess that I write stories for myself.  Traveling back into the elegant world of Jane Austen’s characters and creating new adventures for them is a delightful escape for me.  Unfortunately, it’s also hard work.  At times, it results in downright hair-pulling frustration.  And sometimes, it comes to a complete and utter stop.  I lose my inspiration; the right word or phrase does not exist; and everything I write seems like rubbish. 

That’s when I thank God for readers.

Most of you have no idea what an encouraging comment on your part can do for me or any writer. To know that someone else gets what I’m trying to say gives me a feeling of kinship with the reader.  It restores my confidence.  I believe I actually can tell the story that’s disturbing my sleep.  When I am ready to give it all up, readers make me want to try again. 

So, today’s little post is my small way of offering a great big THANK YOU to each of you wonderful people who have read my books or even thought about reading my books!  I may write stories for myself, but when I can share them with you it’s like someone just added a generous dollop of chocolate syrup to my bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Below are four short quotes from my published novels.  See if you can match the quote to the correct novel.  If you haven’t read any of these books, pretend you’re taking a multiple choice quiz and guess. What can you lose?

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
The first four winners with the most correct answers will win (1) an autographed copy of their choice of any one of my books; (2) a set of lovely guest soaps made by Evie Cotton to commemorate publication of my latest novel A Peculiar Connection; (3) and a bookmark designed by Janet Taylor.  The first person to get all four answers correct will win all of the above plus a $25 gift card from Amazon.  This giveaway is international.  Don’t delay, do it today because time matters, and above all, have fun!
After the first four winners have been found, the remaining entries will be in a separate giveaway for one eBook, winners choice. (international)


Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon


                 An Arranged Marriage
                 The Journey
                 The Secret Betrothal
                 A Peculiar Connection



(A)  She reached inside her reticule and pulled forth a folded square of paper, creased and yellowed by time. “I hoped to avoid this, but you leave me no choice. You cannot marry my nephew. It would not only be despicable in my eyes and that of the world, but it would be a sin against Heaven itself!”

(B)  I felt the heat of his hands upon me through his black leather gloves.  He was dressed entirely in black, from boots to cape to the jaunty hat on his head with a fluffy dark feather stuck in the band.  Blonde curls escaped from beneath his hat and provided the only contrast to his dark appearance.  He possessed the bluest eyes I had ever seen, a blue I had witnessed in neither man nor woman—almost crystalline—eyes I would have considered striking if encountered in a ballroom or parlour.  Staring straight ahead through cut-outs in the black mask covering his face, however, they appeared deadly.

(C)  That morning, an explosion of thunder awakened our household at dawn with such force that I fully expected to witness Napoleon’s cannon aimed at my window. If truth were told, such woe would not have been less welcome than the ceremony awaiting me. I stood at the window, watched the storm clouds unleash their fury, and judged the day perfect for my wedding.

(D)  Darcy shook his head.  “I do not know if I can overcome this, Fitzwilliam, and it has nothing to do with my pride!”

“I beg to differ on that point.  It has a great deal to do with your pride.  She is the only woman I know of who would actually have the impertinence to refuse your offer of marriage.  Is not that the reason you are ready to believe the worst about her behaviour?  I might remind you that any such misbehaviour is completely suspect and unproved.  No, Darcy, I say you have erred in this matter.  You choose to judge and condemn Miss Bennet because she has followed her heart and now her conscience.  You live in an ivory tower, and you demand that the woman you deign to love must have dwelt in one as well.  You must face reality, my friend.  You will not have your way this time, and you are in dire consequence of losing the one person you love because of your arrogance! If you cannot overcome this flaw in your character, then believe me . . . you do not deserve her.”

Okay, Readers! Now it is time to guess which book goes with which quote. Good luck to each of you. Remember, time is of an essence and there are prizes to be won! This giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M., 31 August, 2015 AND it is international!

Friday, August 21, 2015

My share in the conversation...Mr. Darcy to the Rescue by Victoria Kincaid

This novel grabbed my attention from the first page of the book and held it to the end. I was definitely hooked by the second chapter and did not want to put it down. It is a fast read but the story line is not rushed. It is well developed and complete.

The story opens with Elizabeth receiving a proposal of marriage from Mr. Collins. It does not happen in quite the same manner as in canon and there are circumstances involved that change things considerably. When Mr. Darcy discovers this turn of events he is aghast. Thus the story unfolds and what a delightful journey it is.

There are many things about this book that I love but one of them is the author’s talent of revealing the thoughts of our hero and heroine in such a witty fashion. I found myself laughing on many occasions. It was such an amusing and endearing way of knowing their innermost feelings. I was happy to be along for the ride and ‘feel’ with them.

Mr. Darcy was true to character and had trouble expressing himself in the beginning but he did improve on further acquaintance. His witty private contemplations made me love him all the more. Victoria Kincaid’s Mr. Darcy is why we lovers of JAFF read these stories.

Elizabeth’s personality, her wit and her sense of obligation are spot-on. She acted in a way that I would expect of the Lizzy of Pride and Prejudice.

Mr. Collins was all that is disgusting and sycophantic. His obsequiousness rises to a new level and I could picture him as I read the words on the page.

One of the best things about the book, besides being well-written and entertaining, is the amount of Darcy and Lizzy time. They are in company for most of the book and that is a good thing. That is when we are privileged to share many of their intimate contemplations and recriminations. It was enchanting, especially when Mr. Darcy’s imagination would unleash. He would then rein it in and castigate himself. It made him extremely real and genuine, a man of honor, but a man violently in love. Jane and Mr. Bingley do share some page time, as well, which was a nice addition to the tale, but as I mentioned, it is Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth centric.

I enjoyed this third tale by Victoria Kincaid immensely. There is some angst but she leads the reader down the path to happily ever after, for our hero and heroine, with a story that captivates. The tale is chaste in that there are no sex scenes. The passionate scenes and the steam they generated were just the right touch and not overstated. Well done, Ms. Kincaid. I loved your first two books and this one did not disappoint. I look forward to more books from you.

Victoria Kincaid was my guest on August 15, 2015, where she shared an excerpt and the blurb from this book as well as her post about writing what you know. If you have not visited yet, please do. There is a giveaway and I am extending the date of the giveaway to include the comments from this review. The giveaway is for one eBook  and it is international. We would love to hear your share in the conversation, so please leave a comment to be entered.The giveaway will end 23 August, 2015 at 11:59 PM. Please leave an email or other contact information should you be the randomly selected winner of Mr. Darcy to the Rescue! Good luck to all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Carolyn Murray...Jane by the Sea

Available on Amazon
Today I welcome, and with much excitement, I might add, new author, Carolyn Murray! Her first book, Jane by the Sea, is based on evidence of a mutual attachment to a man she met during a seaside holiday. As we so often wonder if Jane Austen ever knew love, Ms Murray expands on that idea in her novel. When you read her author bio, I think you will find she has quite an interesting background. Now please join me in welcoming her to this community of JAFF lovers...for our reading pleasure, too. 

Interestingly enough, I just got a notice from another JA fan and blogger. Look what it says! A movie in the works??? Carolyn Murray, you better tell us about this! I am all anticipation for your reply! :)


Excerpt from Jane by the Sea:

I was engrossed in my playing and did not hear the door open behind me. But I certainly heard it close, and I whirled around to see an apologetic Lieutenant Barnes.
“I hoped there was better entertainment to be found in these back rooms. And so I was right. A very pretty tune, Miss Jane,” he praised.
“I do not play for the enjoyment of others. Only myself,” I replied, coolly.
“That is most ungenerous. Why should you not share your talents with the world?” the lieutenant scolded.
“First of all, the ladies who share their talents with the world do so with one object, and that is to attract a marriage proposal. Hardly a charitable motive. After that object is secured, she is free to abandon the pastime,” I explained.
The lieutenant was full of objections. He had known many gifted young ladies who evidenced a true love of music for its own worth, including his younger sister who had a wondrous gift with the pianoforte. And she was married. I wondered how many times he had seen her since she married.
“There have been three visits,” he recalled.
“And did she play? This prodigy? Or did she step aside for the unmarried ladies?”
The lieutenant stared at me in mute revelation, followed by an amused chuckle.
“And secondly? You have another objection to sharing your talent?”
“Only this: my playing does not qualify as talent. No, do not indulge me in false compliments. My playing is of a mediocre quality and can bring pleasure only to myself. Society must prevail without the contribution of my talents, for I have none.”
“What? None? Surely you can sing?”
“Surely not.”
“Harp? Drawing? Needlework? Are you in earnest? Are you absolutely free of talent? That is most refreshing.”
What a strange idea. “You find this a cause for celebration?” I asked.
“Indeed, for you know not how exhausting it is for gentlemen to continually be expected to appreciate a woman’s talents. Hours of recitals. Endless displays of embroidery. A woman without talent is a rare find.”
He gave all appearance of sincerity, but I had never heard an odder sentiment.
“To look at you,” I mused, “one would never suspect such a peculiarity of mind.”
He slid down onto the bench beside me.
“You have the appearance of normalcy yourself,” he returned.
Before I had the chance to rebuke him, he began to play a tune with his free hand. It was a simple Scottish jig, quite familiar to any student of the instrument.
“Can you lend me your left hand, Miss Jane?”
I could not resist the novelty of the experiment. I joined in, matching his tempo, which was rather sprightly. Owing to his cast, he could not bend his left arm, and the fingers of that hand tapped soundlessly on his lap, as my right hand did on mine. It was a most unusual duet, but though unrehearsed, we managed to stay together, and were both pleased with the result.
“You play well … for a man,” I conceded. For as a rule, gentlemen did not seem to exert much effort in providing musical entertainment for others.
“I have learned today that fine playing is a matrimonial inducement for a partner of quality. Had I known earlier, I should have applied myself even more.”
“For accomplished women, Lieutenant. I did not say it worked in the other direction. But you do play well enough for your own enjoyment. And for mine.”
“That resembled a compliment!” He cocked his head in surprised amusement. “I rather expected a scathing critique.”
I was obliged to acknowledge that few could withstand the barrage of bad manners I had thrown in his path. And he had passed all tests.
“That would be to little purpose, for you never take offense … despite my best efforts.”
This confession made us both smile.
“You take great enjoyment in laughing at your fellow man,” he observed.
“I will not deny it. But I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good.”
“And do you laugh at yourself?”
“When I am not busy laughing at others.”
“And when is that?” he inquired skeptically.
I thought for a moment. “Tuesdays.”

“Oh, blessed day! I shall mark my calendar.”

Find it at Amazon
Jane Austen’s love stories have withstood an incredible test of time. They are widely read and loved two hundred years after they were written. We know that Jane Austen never married. Where did her expertise in love come from? There is some evidence that she developed a deep mutual attachment to a man she met during a seaside family holiday. But almost no details are known of this man. Only that her sister was later to say that he was a man who was truly worthy of Jane.

This is the story of that pivotal encounter. It is written in Jane’s own voice, as closely as it could be captured. Not the gentle wit of her novels, but the sharp, blunt tongue that she used so freely in her candid letters to her sister.

At the same time, we will watch how her writer's voice evolved; how she drew from the people and events in her life to create the masterpieces of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.


Author Bio:

Carolyn V. Murray, a former sociology instructor and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast (she has been to Chawton, Winchester, and Bath to pay her respects.), had The Odyssey read to her before she was even in kindergarten. Then spent her childhood buried in books, and only came up for air long enough to run to the library and make her next selection. It would be many years before she realized that she could write stories of her own.

Her "9-5" life included the good (teaching) the bad (working in casinos) and the ugly (catering in an electric clown suit.) Her writing path took a long detour into the pursuit of screenwriting, where she got selected as a Walt Disney Writing Fellow, had four original screenplays optioned, and wrote one freelance script that made it to the TV screen.

But these days, she's a lot more excited about creating the kinds of books that sustained her childhood. She is drawn to history, biography, love stories, and travel. Jane by the Sea is her first novel.


The excerpt and blurb have both intrigued me and left me wanting to read more. Thank you for sharing with us a little about your new release. I wish you the best and if it is to become a movie, then I think my wishes are late coming! Congratulations to you. 

Thank you again for visiting today, Carolyn Murray. It is indeed an honor to have you. For you readers, you will be happy to know she has included a giveaway. Two eBooks are up for grabs to two lucky commenters and the giveaway is international! You must leave a comment and your contact information to enter. The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM, 25 August, 2015. Good luck to all!

Monday, August 17, 2015

My share in the conversation...The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen by Shannon Winslow

Available on Amazon
The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen is an ingenious ‘what-it’ of the life of Jane Austen, but with a much different ending. The author has obviously done her research and is familiar with the life and travels of Jane Austen, as well as quite a few specific events in her life. She uses these bits of fact, intermixed with fiction, to create a believable tale of love, love lost and love found again, filling in the gaps with everyday real-life happenings so that fiction becomes reality in the mind of the reader.

At the beginning of Chapter One, August 1815, Jane is sitting at her writing desk at Chawton cottage, wistfully reminiscing about Captain Philippe Devereaux, a man she had met years before at the wedding of her brother, Henry. Love had bloomed from that encounter. I quote Jane’s thoughts according to Ms. Winslow.

‘My fires are at least tolerably quenched, and I have reconciled myself to the prudence of never fanning the remaining embers ablaze again. Instead, I have determined to steep the warm essence of my recollections into a novel about youthful errors, mature love, and second chances – to write the story I would have preferred for myself, one which embodies all the early promise of the genuine article but a more felicitous conclusion than providence has seen fit to authorize. I shall call my captain Frederick Wentworth, and his lady will be Anne Elliot.’

Thus Persuasion was born to mirror her relationship with Captain Devereaux but with a much happier ending. What follows is a wonderfully imaginative tale of life, love, twists of fate and disappointments as Jane lived them, the very heart of this story.

Ms. Winslow includes passages from Persuasion, as if Jane is writing them as she recalls similar incidents from her own life. We get to see in her mind why she wrote what she wrote, how it deviated from her life and how it was similar. It was fascinating, even more so because Shannon Winslow writes in a voice similar to that of Jane Austen. I loved the tidbits from the other writings of Jane Austen interspersed throughout the story, as well. They made me smile with pleasure as I read.

Although the happily ever after of her characters comes much quicker and with much less struggles than her own, we are left with the happy prospect of a wonderfully imaginative outcome for dear Jane. I enjoyed the vision put forth by Ms. Winslow and her research to arrive at this poignant possibility.

I felt the pain and agony experienced by Jane as the years passed and her life moved on. I felt her determination to continue, to write as an outlet, to tell her story through her novel and give her heroine what she herself wished so desperately to have. It was a touching tale that left me thinking on it for several days. I wished and even longed for that outcome for dear Jane. I recommend this novel to anyone who loves Jane Austen and her writings.


Available on Amazon
Shannon Winslow, I love the cover of this novel. It fits perfectly with story inside. 

Readers, if you leave a comment here and at Shannon Winslow's post on Tuesday, the 11th of August, you will double your chances of winning a signed paperback or one of two eBooks of Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley. That's right! Leave a comment here and at her post and you will get two chances at this fabulous giveaway. I am extending the giveaway period two days. It will now end at 11:59 PM on the 19th of August. Please have your share in the conversation by leaving a comment and including your contact information. Good luck to all and thanks for visiting.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Victoria Kincaid...Mr. Darcy to the Rescue

Available on Amazon
I am excited to have Victoria Kincaid visit again. She is talking to us about writing what you know and I certainly believe she does a good job of that. She mentions drawing somewhat on her own experiences when writing her latest, Mr. Darcy to the Rescue. I must admit, I hope her experience with a 'bad kiss' was not as repugnant as the one she wrote for dear Lizzy. The scene was described so well that I felt nauseous myself! Poor, poor Lizzy. Just wait until you read the blurb and the excerpt. I promise you will be wanting to read more of this book!


“Write what you know” is one of those overused adages of writing that’s not immediately obviously
applicable in every situation.  For example, what if you write Jane Austen fan fiction?  I can do research on the Regency time period, but I don’t “know” it in the way that Austen did or in the way that I know life in the U.S. suburbs in 2015.  While there are many elements of Austen’s novels that are universal (otherwise they wouldn’t appeal to us), there are also many aspects that are foreign.  It’s hard to imagine an entire family’s reputation being threatened because one sister ran off with a man.  Or that it would be scandalous for an unmarried woman to accept a letter from a single man.

However, I do find myself digging into my own experiences and memories when I write my Pride and Prejudice variations—at least when it comes to writing about characters’ thoughts and feelings.  I would guess that the anxiety provoked by wondering what other people are thinking about you hasn’t changed in 200 years.  And the excited, giddy feeling of falling in love is probably essentially the same. 

I found myself using my experiences and reactions when I needed to describe Mr. Collins kissing Elizabeth in Mr. Darcy to the Rescue.  I had a hard time envisioning such a kiss since I find Collins so repugnant, and I knew the kiss itself would be an unpleasant experience for Elizabeth.  So, I drew on my memory of a bad kiss from high school.  The guy (my prom date) was a nice enough guy—not anything like Mr. Collins (except also a little nerdy)—but he had thin, wet lips and it was an unpleasant experience.  I remember thinking “It’s got to be better than this or other people wouldn’t be doing it.” Little did I know at the time that someday a fictional Regency parson would be kissing a gentleman’s daughter in the same way!

Fortunately bad kissing isn’t the only thing I know about, so my novels are full of emotions drawn from my own experiences.  And that is one of the brilliant things about Austen.  Yeah, I don’t have to worry about my cousin proposing to me (ew!) to keep my family from poverty.  But I have had the experience of being embarrassed by the bad dancing of my partner (yeah, the prom date).   I haven’t met anyone who thought highly of themselves just by virtue of belonging to the aristocracy, but I’ve met people whose pretentions were nearly as amusing as Lady Catherine’s.  Like Austen’s writing, human foibles are not only universal, but they transcend time. 



When the irritating Mr. Collins proposes marriage, Elizabeth Bennet is prepared to refuse him, but then she learns that her father is ill. If Mr. Bennet dies, Collins will inherit Longbourn and her family will have nowhere to go.  Elizabeth accepts the proposal, telling herself she can be content as long as her family is secure.  If only she weren’t dreading the approaching wedding day…

Ever since leaving Hertfordshire, Mr. Darcy has been trying to forget his inconvenient attraction to Elizabeth.  News of her betrothal forces him to realize how devastating it would be to lose her.  He arrives at Longbourn intending to prevent the marriage, but discovers Elizabeth’s real opinion about his character. Then Darcy recognizes his true dilemma…

How can he rescue her when she doesn’t want him to? 



“I had a letter from Jane Bennet yesterday.”

These words, falling from the lips of Caroline Bingley, had the power to make Darcy’s gaze lurch in her direction.  Was that her intent?  The smirk forming on her lips suggested it might be.  He turned his gaze back to the fireplace.

Darcy had invited Bingley to tea at Darcy House, and the addition of Miss Bingley to the party had been an unwelcome surprise.  When she had followed her brother into the drawing room, Bingley had given Darcy a small, apologetic shrug.  Darcy was most concerned about her effect on Georgiana, who found Miss Bingley intimidating.  When would Bingley ever learn to gainsay his sister?

So far, however, the afternoon had proceeded smoothly.  Georgiana had not uttered a word, but at least had remained in the room.  Then Miss Bingley had proceeded to introduce this sensitive topic of conversation.

Charles Bingley was hardly less interested in his sister’s surprise announcement than Darcy.  He shifted in his chair and set down his tea cup.  “Ja-Miss Bennet wrote to you?  W-what news is there from Meryton?”  He made no attempt to sound casual. 

Enjoying the effect she had on her listeners, his sister leaned back in her chair and drawled, “They have had a good deal of rain over the past fortnight.”

Bingley rolled his eyes.  “Yes.  And?”

“Jane’s Aunt Phillips had a cold but seems to be improving.”  Miss Bingley’s smirk only widened.

Bingley made a frustrated noise.  “Is that all?”

Darcy could sympathize.  Her triumphant tone suggested she had news of great import, but perhaps she was simply teasing them.  Darcy settled back in his chair and took a sip of tea.

Caroline Bingley had been the only member of their party at Netherfield who had guessed about Darcy’s attraction to Elizabeth.  Three months before, he had left Hertfordshire determined to forget everything about Elizabeth Bennet but had found the task far more difficult than he anticipated.  Elizabeth haunted his days and nights without ceasing.  During the day, his thoughts turned to her: her musical laugh, teasing voice, light and pleasing figure.  At night, he struggled to sleep, and when he did, he dreamed of her.

Again and again, he had examined the problem but had always determined there was no other solution than to banish her from his thoughts.  So far, he had met with little success, and now this reminder from Miss Bingley only threatened to further disturb his equanimity.

Georgiana nibbled a biscuit, attempting to appear interested in a conversation about people she had never met.

“Caroline—”  Bingley’s voice held a note of warning.

Miss Bingley sighed dramatically as if extremely put out by her brother’s demands.  “Well… There was one item of interest.  One of Jane’s sisters is engaged to be married to that parson who is a cousin of theirs.”  Miss Bingley sneered, a singularly unattractive expression.

“Mr. Collins,” Darcy supplied.

“Yes, that is his name.”

Darcy’s chest compressed with anxiety, making it hard to breathe.  “Which sister?”

“The second.  Elizabeth.”  Miss Bingley slid him a look that could not be interpreted as anything less than triumphant.

It was now impossible for Darcy to breathe.  What had happened to the air in the room?

Elizabeth!  Engaged to that idiot?  Married to that fool for the rest of her life?  Going to his bed?  Bearing his children? 

No!  It was not possible.  Darcy needed to protest the impossibility of this pronouncement, refute it immediately, but nothing emerged from his mouth save a strangled gurgle.  Georgiana’s gaze shifted to him, wide-eyed with alarm.

Bingley, fortunately, had not lost his powers of speech.  “Engaged to Mr. Collins!  I thought she had more sense.”

“She does,” Darcy growled.  “There must be some error.”

Miss Bingley’s laugh held no actual mirth.  “Jane would hardly make such a mistake!” 

“The man is a fool!” Darcy expostulated.  “How could she accept him?”

Georgiana had plastered herself against the back of her chair, her eyes never leaving his face.  His outburst was out of character, he knew, but at the moment, he could not find the means to control himself.

“Now that I think of it,” Bingley said, “I do recall that Collins danced two dances with her at the Netherfield Ball.”

“Yes, he danced very ill!” Darcy said.

“Perhaps he had been courting her back then,” Bingley concluded.

Darcy closed his eyes and considered this.  The idiot parson had danced with Elizabeth and made a fool of himself.  He had tried to engage her in conversation, but Darcy had seen no signs of interest on her part.  Elizabeth had far too much sense.  She had been mortified when Collins had presumed to converse with Darcy without an introduction.  No, it was impossible.  How could she have accepted his hand?

When he opened his eyes, he noticed the gaze of everyone in the room upon him.  Damnation!  He too easily betrayed himself when it came to Elizabeth Bennet!

Taking a bite of a biscuit he had no interest in, Darcy attempted to appear more casual.  “Did Miss Bennet’s letter say when the wedding is to take place?” he asked, taking a sip of tea and attempting to calm the trembling in his hands.

“No.”  Miss Bingley’s tone was sharp.

Good Lord!  They could already be wed!  This thought constricted his throat, and he almost choked as he swallowed his biscuit.

“Miss Bennet did tell me that Longbourn is entailed away from the female line,” Bingley said.  “Mr. Collins will inherit it upon Mr. Bennet’s death.”

Blast!  Why had he not known that Longbourn was entailed?  It was a common enough practice.  He should have thought to inquire.  “I did not know,” Darcy murmured, now feeling faintly nauseous.

Mr. Collins must have resolved to choose a wife from among his cousins since he was to inherit their home.  And he did not select Jane because everyone believed she would marry Bingley….

Elizabeth would have accepted his offer for the good of her family.  He had not misjudged her powers of discernment after all.  She recognized the man’s stupidity but sacrificed her future happiness—all her future happiness—so her family would not have to leave their ancestral home.

For a moment Darcy feared he might be sick.  She would be married forever to man she could not love—or even respect.  What a horrible fate.

“So she accepted the proposal for the sake of her family?”  Georgiana entered the conversation for the first time.  Clearly Elizabeth’s dilemma had drawn his sister’s compassion.  At least Georgiana would never need to make such an awful choice, Darcy thought warmly.  Far better she died an old maid than marry such a man.

Bingley nodded.  “Yes, I believe so.”

“What a sacrifice to make!” Georgiana exclaimed.  “She must be an exceptional woman.”

Miss Bingley’s expression turned from triumphant to sour.

“She is indeed,” Darcy agreed while simultaneously wishing she were more selfish and less devoted to her family. 

And now she is lost to me.  Before I ever had her.  My Elizabeth is gone.


Available on Amazon
Wow, what an excerpt! When I read this in the book, Chapter 2, I believe, I had to go on. I could not stop and didn't want to, either. I felt sorry for Darcy but loved his reactions too. I despised Carolyn but what else is new! Very well done, Victoria Kincaid. Thank you for sharing the excerpt and your post about writing what you know. You do the job admirably.

For you readers, Victoria is giving away one copy of her new release, Mr. Darcy to the Rescue. The giveaway is international and the lucky winner gets an eBook! Isn't that fantastic! Again, I thank you, Ms. Kincaid! Please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway. We would love to hear your share in the conversation...maybe tell us about a bad kiss you experienced! The giveaway will end 23 August, 2015 at 11:59 PM. Please leave an email or other contact information should you be the randomly selected winner of Mr. Darcy to the Rescue! Good luck to all!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley...Shannon Winslow

Available on Amazon
It is with much pleasure that I welcome back the lovely Shannon Winslow. She is here to tell us a little bit about her latest release, Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley. (I love your cover! It is very pleasing to the eyes.) Dear readers, you do not want to miss her fabulous giveaway either! So...please, 'Read on!'


Thank you, Janet, for inviting me here to share a little more about my recently released novel, Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley – a new sequel to Pride and Prejudice and companion of my earlier book, The Darcys of Pemberley.

While I was in the midst of writing Georgiana’s story and still struggling to round out her character, a friend made some very helpful comments to me on the subject, words to this effect:

“Georgiana is supposed to be so accomplished, but what does she do exactly? Play pianoforte? Is that all? How will she manage as mistress of a large estate? Does she ever check accounts, make decisions, or visit tenants?”

According to Miss Bingley, arguably Georgiana’s most verbal proponent in Pride and Prejudice, Georgiana is “extremely accomplished for her age!” Although only her excellence at the pianoforte is specifically mentioned, presumably Miss Darcy could claim her fair share of the long list of other female achievements mentioned moments later in the same conversation: painting tables, covering screens, netting purses (so says Mr. Bingley), possessing a surpassing knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages (Miss Bingley suggests), along with a superior air, etc. Mr. Darcy adds the final qualification… “the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

Sounds like a lot, but my friend’s comment still left me wondering, “Is that all?” Had Georgiana been taught anything practical? With no mother to train her in the role she would likely occupy in the future, did Georgiana have the first idea how to manage a large household?

So, at my direction, the question likewise occurred to Georgiana halfway through her story when she realized she would probably have more success in romance if she presented herself as a “mature and competent young woman, one who was ready for the responsibilities entailed of being a gentleman’s wife and mistress of a manor house…” Here are her thoughts:

It occurred to me that I was very ill prepared for either. I suppose I had some notion of how a wife should behave, thanks to Elizabeth’s example. And I knew the lady of the house was expected to create a gracious home for her family and guests alike. I could contribute music, but I would need to further overcome my shyness to be more comfortable as a hostess. And as to running a household, I was almost completely at a loss. The current Mrs. Darcy managed everything at home now. And before she came, Mrs. Reynolds had carried on mostly alone (probably with some direction from first my father and then my brother) since my mother, the former mistress, had died. I had been the presiding mistress of Pemberley in name only during that interval, and I still would not know where to begin if ever I were left on my own.

That must change, I decided. Whether it be Reddclift Hall, a townhouse in London, or as a help to Elizabeth at Pemberley, I wanted to be of some practical use.

Everybody seemed to consider that my pursuit of excellence in music was achievement enough, that and my efforts on behalf of the parish poor – something which I had always been allowed to assist with. But surely I was capable of more. A truly accomplished woman must have something to offer beyond the purely ornamental; she must know how to manage servants, how to keep accounts, to exercise economy where appropriate, and to see to it everything necessary for keeping a household running smoothly is done. I had very little idea about any of these things at present, but I could learn. I would learn, and I would begin at once.

Georgiana immediately appeals to Mrs. Paddington (the housekeeper at the Darcys’ London townhouse) to undertake her education. From her, however, Georgiana learns one more lesson than expected. After seeing firsthand how that woman handled her heavy responsibilities with proficiency and grace, Georgiana declares she will never again think of truly accomplished women without including Mrs. Paddington on her list.

I know this is pretty forward thinking for a young lady of her time – to consider the work of a servant, even one holding the highly respected position of housekeeper, as being of comparable value to the elevated claims of any gently born woman. But I don’t believe it is out of character for an Austen heroine. And it shows Georgiana has a good head on her shoulders, being astute enough to perceive that there is merit and honor in any worthwhile job done well.

Before I gave it up to write fulltime, my “day job” was something very unglamorous but very practical, providing a necessary service to others and a good income for me. I was a dental hygienist, a profession not usually given much respect in popular culture, I’ve noticed. But when you go to get your teeth cleaned, don’t you hope you’ll see someone skilled at the job?

I was just reminded of a line often repeated on the show Dirty Jobs, something like “…they do the dirty work that makes civilized life possible for the rest of us.”

Since Jane Austen rarely speaks of the servants’ lot, it’s easy to forget that behind the highly civilized life of the Regency era gentry and nobility toiled a whole host of other people doing unglamorous but necessary tasks. I’m proud of Georgiana for valuing their efforts as true accomplishment!


See the Complete Blog Tour Schedule by clicking the link to visit Shannon Winslow's website.


Back Cover Blurb:

 What’s Georgiana Darcy’s story? Jane Austen tells us so little in Pride and Prejudice that we’re left to wonder. How did the early loss of her parents shape Miss Darcy’s character? And what about her near-disastrous affair with Mr. Wickham? Is that the true source of her shyness? She adores her brother and his new wife Elizabeth, but will their guiding influence be enough to steer Georgiana clear of new trouble as she comes of age and falls in love again?

This work is intended as a companion of sorts to The Darcys of Pemberley (sequel to Pride and Prejudice), with the timelines of the two running parallel. Both novels are unique and complete in themselves, but together they supply a richer reading experience than either one alone. The earlier book focused primarily on Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship during their early married life. There was a third Darcy represented in the title, however. Now she and her courtship story take center stage in Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley.


Author Bio:

Shannon Winslow specializes in writing fiction for the fans of Jane Austen. Her popular debut novel, The Darcys of Pemberley, immediately established her place in the genre, being particularly praised for authentic Austenesque style and faithfulness to the original characters. Since that bright beginning, the author has followed with two more Pride and Prejudice sequels (Return to Longbourn and Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley), a stand-alone Austen-style story (For Myself Alone), and a novel starring Jane Austen herself (The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen). With no shortage of inspiration, Winslow promises more romance and happy endings to come.

Her two sons now grown, Shannon Winslow lives with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier.

Learn more at Shannon’s website/blog ( Follow her on Twitter (as JaneAustenSays..) and on Facebook.


Thank you, Shannon, for sharing such an insightful post with us. I too, believe that Georgiana would be the kind of young woman who would consider 'every person', regardless of position in society, of value, especially one of her housekeepers. I am very happy to see that you have written her as such. After reading 'her thoughts' it appears that you have yet another book very much in the voice of Jane Austen. I look forward to reading it.

Shannon Winslow has a giveaway that each of you will love. She is giving away one signed paperback, US, and two eBooks, internationally. Yes, that is correct...three in all. Thank you Ms. Winslow for such a generous giveaway. Please have 'your share in the conversation' by leaving a comment and your contact info. Tell us what you think Georgiana Darcy would be like or what you would like to know about her. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on 19 August, 2015. (This date has been revised due to the review I just posted of another book by Shannon Winslow, The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen. The giveaway is still the same as above, only the ending date has changed.) Good luck to all! More chances to win and to learn more about the book, be sure and visit the other blog stops.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Still Time to Enter the Ross Poldark Giveaway!

The Ross Poldark Blog Tour has concluded but there is still time for you to leave comments and enter the giveaway contest until 11:59pm PT, August 10, 2015. And, there is exciting news. PBS has contributed a DVD of season one of Poldark to the list of prizes! Here is the updated prize list with it included:

(1) DVD of season one of Poldark
(2 ) Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Mugs by Johnson Brothers
(1) Twelve-inch Old Britain Castles Pink Pottery Plater by Johnson Brothers
(1) London Telephone Box Tin of Ahmad English Breakfast Tea
(1) Jar of Mrs. Bridges Marmalade
(1) Package of Duchy Originals Organic Oaten Biscuits
(2) Packets of Blue Boy Cornflower Seeds by Renee’s Garden Heirloom (1) Trade Paperback Copy of Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham

Attached is an updated photo of the group of prizes and an updated listed of tour participants with live links to each of the blog posts. Thank you to all who have participated and shared in this excellent event!