Friday, September 30, 2016

And the winners are...

Hi, to everyone and happy last day of September! It's hard to believe that this month is almost past. It has been a busy month for me and I'm guessing for lots of you, too. 

I will not be doing posts for the first couple of weeks in October. I'm taking a little break to take care of some business...namely taxes! Doesn't that sound like fun?! Sure it does! Once the taxes are done, I will spend the extra time on some drawings of those handsome Austen Men in Film + Two. :) I've been enjoying this project immensely and hope you will, too. 
Remember to pre-order if you want the discount price. 

Now, without further adieux, I have some winners to announce! I will list them in order from the most recent post to the earlier ones.

A Most Singular Venture by Donna Fletcher Crow
eBook: Anonymous (laura)
Paperback: Claudine Pepe

Mr. Darcy's Present by Regina Jeffers

Because of the wonderful turnout for the post, Ms. Jeffers changed her giveaway from  2 eBooks to 4 eBooks. Thank you Regina Jeffers, and thanks to all of you who came out in support of the author and her new release!
4 Ebooks:

Dung Vu
Priscilla Teh

Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne

eBook: Anna Horner

The Rainbow Promise by Lory Lilian

2 eBooks, winner's choice of Ms. Lilian's books
Sophia Rose - The Rainbow Promise
Betty Madden 
(please contact me, Betty. I have emailed you and private messaged you)

Congratulations to all the winners and a big 'Thank You' to all the authors. We enjoy spending time with your creations. We hope you continue to write many more stories to entertain us.

Dear Readers, as always, I do so appreciate your support of my blog. There will be several good things coming toward the end of October so check back then. Marie Grace will be visiting. I'm participating in the Blog Tour for The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North and Brooke West. I'm also part of another Blog Tour that is for Suzan Lauder's soon to be released book, Letter from Ramsgate. There may even be another surprise post or two! 

Hope you have a great next few weeks and I'll see you again soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Georgia McCall...Obligation and Redemption

Available on Amazon
My guest today is new author and first time visitor to More Agreeably Engaged, Georgia McCall. Ms. McCall's book, Obligation and Redemption, is, in her words, causing a 'stir'.  She is sharing with us why she believes this to be true and why she wrote this novel. Her thoughts definitely gave me something to 'ponder' and I appreciate that! Please join me in welcoming Georgia McCall. There is a great giveaway too! :)


From Obligation to Redemption:  why is Georgia McCall’s new book causing such a stir?  By Georgia McCall

When I first decided to put my musings down for posterity in the form of a novel, I had the story clearly laid out before me within the confines of my mind.  I had read many Austen variations, some so very good and others reminiscent of every other version.  They all looked similar:  Darcy easily falling in love (albeit against his will at times), with Elizabeth eventually following suit after various trials and misunderstandings.    However, no book had ever brought the couple together when neither of them had any inclination whatsoever towards the other – before Darcy had even developed an attraction to the impertinent woman with fine eyes.  I considered what it might look like for Darcy to suspect malfeasance towards a woman bound to him for life, his suspicions based on his past prejudices and experiences.

The possibilities for misconceptions and vexations were fun to contemplate as each fulfilled his and her obligations, but as I met new characters and discovered how the couple’s struggles were taking shape, a deeper and more meaningful impression began to emerge within the context of the story.  That a proud, arrogant and self-sufficient man could be humbled and changed to such an extent as to go from loathing to loving, I came to the conclusion that something rather miraculous would have to take place.  I had considered the similarities between our romantic hero and the Apostle Paul – stay with me now – that they both had come from an established pedigree, were educated, proud, influential, revered, yet thought meanly of those different from themselves.  Of course, this occurred at different degrees, as Darcy never would have murdered the innocent to promote his cause.  However, I felt my Darcy needed to be brought to his knees much as the great apostle had been.   Paul had been blinded yet received his sight again in a way that not only brought about a restoration of his vision, but also enabled him to see himself and others with new eyes.  He went from destroying to delivering.

Now you do not have to believe the stories of the Bible to enjoy my story.  I saw the similarities and use Paul as a model for Darcy’s journey, but what I strive to demonstrate in my book is Darcy’s overwhelming struggles with his own shortcomings.  He has always taken pride in the strength of his own virtue, building this pride on a straw-man.  Quite simply, Darcy worships Darcy.  His ultimate deficiency is not how he treats Elizabeth or those of inferior birth.  Rather, he congratulates himself on doing what is right and good, but he is unable to see his true motivation to garner praise and admiration from his fellow man and woman, which is the magnification of his own worth.  Darcy needs to recognize his own insufficiency and vulnerability hidden within his cloak of honor and respectability, and this comes about through the most unlikely source:  a woman of unknown family, meager accomplishments and little beauty.

The couple has a difficult beginning, full of all of the trials one might suppose between two people who distrust and exasperate one another yet bound in a way that leaves no room for escape.  Darcy attempts to exert the same degree of control in his marriage as he exerts everywhere else in his life but with no success – in fact, his life begins to unravel before his eyes.  But he cannot find fault in his own actions, so he seeks blame in the woman whom he suspects has manipulated him into marriage.  I found, at least for my story, that I desired Darcy to behave in a way that he never would have suspected himself capable of in order to truly see his frailty.  Within the context of the time period, he does nothing outside the social order of things, but his conscience tells him of his misdeeds and will not let him rest.

Elizabeth, hurt and betrayed by his fall from perfection, builds an immovable wall of distrust to protect her heart.  This is where Redemption enters the story.  I will not give away the details (enough people have done that in the reviews!) but I will say that healing and forgiveness are possible, as demonstrated in this story depicting the nature of redeeming love.

So why does the book cause a stir?  The quote I use at the beginning of my novel sums it up:

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved:
loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Victor Hugo

And I believe that to many this idea is too good to be true.


About the Author:

Georgia McCall resides in Memphis, Tennessee where she has practiced as a dietitian/nutritionist for the past twenty-four years.  Much to her delight, she has come to appreciate the joy of reading classic literature, including Jane Austen, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the Brontë sisters, in addition to indulging in the vast array of Austen variations.  She also treats herself to a BBC drama and a glass of wine on occasion with her family, which includes a devoted husband of twenty–one years and two beautiful daughters, ten and fifteen.  Georgia enjoys jogging in the mornings during which time many stories have developed, although Obligation and Redemption is the first to make it from her active imagination onto paper.  She enjoys cooking, but not nearly as much as eating out, and being from Memphis, her favorite food is good ole’ Memphis-style barbecue.  Georgia faithfully attends a local Presbyterian church where she has been blessed with the best of friendships, and from where she experienced grace and learned the redeeming value of forgiveness.   



I'm glad to have you visit, Ms. McCall. I enjoyed reading your post and it gave me food for thought. I found it interesting that you used Paul and his redemption as your model for Darcy and his own sins. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. For any of those reading this post, maybe it will make them think on your book in a different 'light'. I love your quote at the beginning! It is so true. I hope you will come back and visit again.

It's giveaway time! Yes, dear readers, Georgia McCall is giving away three things: 1 Paperback, US only and 2 eBooks, International. Just leave a comment with your contact info, to be entered. Tell us what you think. We want you to have your share in the conversation! Giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 3rd of October. Good luck to all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Most Singular Venture...Donna F. Crow

Available on Amazon
Today, I welcome back to More Agreeably Engaged, Donna Fletcher Crow, author of the newly released,  A Most Singular Venture.  It is a modern day mystery that follows in the footsteps of Jane Austen's London. Having read this novel, I can tell you that it is an awesome read. It is intriguing and educational at the same time. The author is writing from her own experiences and that shines through in her writing. Another book in this series is A Jane Austen Encounter. (click on the link to see that post) I highly recommend this book as well.

Ms. Crow is sharing some of her photos with us from her travels. I'm certain you will enjoy seeing them as much as I did, plus you get the added bonus of learning more of Jane's visits to London. Thank you, Donna F. Crow. Don't miss the giveaway info either! It's a good one!


Jane Austen’s London—Now and Then

Because one of my primary goals as a writer is to give my readers a “you are there” experience, visiting all the scenes in my book before I write it is essential. This is always one of my favorite parts of being a writer, but visiting Jane Austen’s London was a special treat because I had my own Mr. Knightly with me.

Yes, I know—Mr. Darcy is usually the hero of choice, but since Mr. Knightly does not enjoy accommodations that make him uncomfortable (a quality heartily shared by my husband) it makes him a traveling companion of choice. That translates into staying in a convenient hotel, never missing a meal and even taking a taxi on occasion—comforts I seldom indulge in when on my own. Jane Austen, however, would approve, since she wrote to Cassandra how “very pleasant” she found “parading about London in a Barouche.” 
Queens of Crime

My newest Elizabeth and Richard literary suspense A Most Singular Venture, Murder in Jane Austen’s London, finds Richard teaching Jane Austen as a Queen of Crime at the University of London—as I was privileged to do in the summer of 2014. My seminar, like Richard’s, was held in the wonderful art nouveau Senate House. I don’t have any pictures of Richard speaking, but here I am in the Senate Room where he lectured.
Senate House

I was most anxious to see Henry Austen’s homes where Jane stayed with her favorite brother on her frequent visits to London. When Henry, then a successful banker, married his fashionable cousin Eliza, widow of the guillotined Comte de Feuillide, they lived in elegant accommodations in Sloane Street. Jane stayed with them in April of 1811. She was correcting the proofs of Sense and Sensibility and said she was ‘never too busy to think’ of it, but her letters tell of a rather constant round of visits, dinners and museums.

Octagon Room

Henry and Eliza gave a very grand party while Jane was with them and she recounted it all to Cassandra in great detail. “‘At half past seven arrived the musicians in two Hackney coaches and by eight the lordly company began to appear. . .I spent the greatest part of the evening very pleasantly. . . The drawing room being soon hotter than we liked, we placed ourselves in the connecting passage, which was comparatively cool and gave us all the advantage of the music at a pleasant distance, as well as that of the first view of every new comer. . .We were all delight and cordiality of course.” 

Sadly, Henry and Eliza lived here for only 3 years because she died in April 1811. Henry then moved across London to the less fashionable, but bustling Covent Garden to live in rooms above his bank at number 10 Henrietta Street. Shortly after the move Jane reported to Cassandra that “it was all dust and confusion, but in a very promising way.” “No. 10 is made very comfortable with cleaning and painting and the Sloane Street furniture. The front room upstairs is an excellent dining and common sitting parlour.” 
027 10 Henrietta St.
26 10 Henrietta St.

The black-painted ground floor exterior with its bright yellow door one encounters today would hardly have done for Henry’s bank, but the classical design of the upper floors are little changed.


Jane made three visits to Henrietta Street in the year and a half Henry lived there, all a constant round of shopping and theatre-going. The location couldn’t have been better, Covent Garden being in the center of the theatre district. Jane did not give a good review of “The Clandestine Marriage” which she saw at the Lyceum, but we were delighted with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” which we saw there. As were Elizabeth and Richard when they took the young boy they suddenly became responsible for.

The Albany
Henry's Bank Cleveland Court
Jane was much more taken with Edmund Keane in “The Merchant of Venice” she said she “could not imagine better acting.” Nor could we have imagined a more delightful evening than the one we had seeing “Lion King”—which turns out to be a wonderful evening for Elizabeth and Richard also—until they view a most disturbing scene.

Henry had two other bank locations in London as well, at Cleveland Court and at the exclusive Albany in Piccadilly.

Somerset House

Five days of almost non-stop walking also enabled us to visit some of Jane’s favorite art galleries and shops and worship in churches she attended. The modern Courtland Exhibit has replaced Royal Academy exhibit Jane planned to see at Somerset House, but Twining’s Teas, where Jane bought the tea supply for her family, is little changed. Jane probably worshipped at St. Paul’s Covent Garden, and at St. James’s Piccadilly, but Belgrave Chapel where she most often attended, has been replaced with a more modest building.

Covent Garden
Belgrave Chapel Site

Belgrave Chapel

St. James

Of course, after 200 years many of the sites Jane wrote about in her wonderful reports to Cassandra are no long there, but the miracle, I felt, was that so many are still standing to help the imaginative visitor step back in time and experience Jane Austen’s day alongside our own.
And I had the delight of reliving it all again back home at my computer as I put my characters in those very scenes reminiscing about Jane and looking for clues to understanding the events that threatened them today. Because Elizabeth and Richard are exploring Jane Austen’s London, but their murderous opponent is all-too contemporary.


Donna Fletcher Crow is a former English teacher, a lifelong Anglophile and Janeite, and a Life Member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.  She is the author of 50 books, mostly novels of British history.  The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of Christian England, is her best-known work.  Where There is Love is a series of historical romances set in the Church of England of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Besides her Elizabeth and Richard literary suspense series she also authors The Monastery Murders, a clerical mystery series, and The Lord Danvers Victorian true-crime novels. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho.  They have 4 adult children and 14 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.


For more information:

Visit Donna’s  website to see all her books and pictures from her garden and research trips,
Follow her on Facebook, Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History
Subscribe to her newsletter
Buy A Most Singular Venture


Thank you for taking us on a tour through Jane Austen's London, Donna. It was fun. It also adds much to the story knowing that it is based on history and true facts. (except for the modern day murders) I love your story-telling and hope you have much success with this book. I enjoyed it immensely!

Now for the giveaway! Donna Fletcher Crow is giving away, one eBook and one paperback and it is international! Great news! Thank you, Ms. Crow. I know that makes my readers happy! As always, leave a comment to be entered. Be sure to include your contact info. The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 26th of September, 2016. Good luck to all. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Celebrate Regina Jeffers's Birthday with Mr. Darcy's Present!

Happy Birthday, to you! I'm so glad to have you here today and help you celebrate. (even if you are not too big on birthdays) Part of the celebration is...well, I will not spoil your surprise, but...what a great gift to have on this day! Congratulations. I know it will be a big success. I have read many of your books and am eager to read this one. As you know, I am a big fan of your writing.

Dear Readers, help me welcome Regina and send warm wishers her way.


Today is my BIRTHDAY, but you will receive the present if you are one of the two winners of the giveaway below. I am 69 this year. In truth, I am not a big one for birthdays or holidays, in general. I would prefer to give and receive gifts for other reasons than counting 365 days. I give gifts throughout the years to loved ones.

Moreover, those who know me know I have a SARCASTIC sense of humor, and so instead of the traditional “Happy Birthday” song, I find the song from Arrogant Worms more appropriate…

Once a year we celebrate
With stupid hats and plastic plates
The fact that you were able to make
Another trip around the sun

And the whole clan gathers round
And gifts and laughter do abound
And we let out a joyful sound
And sing that stupid song

Happy birthday
Now youre one year older
Happy birthday
Your life still isnt over
Happy birthday
You did not accomplish much
But you didnt die this year
I guess thats good enough

So lets drink to your fading health
And hope you dont remind yourself
The chance of finding fame and wealth
Decrease with every year

If you wish to hear the whole song, you may do so HERE:

So, what PRESENT from me has arrived? It is something special. I think it is special, and I hope you do also. This has been a long hot summer in North Carolina, and so I am fast forwarding to Christmas. No time for Halloween or Thanksgiving! We need a little Christmas right NOW!  Therefore, I bear the gift of Mr. Darcys Present: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Vagary.

Available on Amazon
The Greatest Present He Would Ever Receive is the Gift of Her Love…

What if Mr. Darcy purchased a gift for Elizabeth Bennet to acknowledge the festive days even though he knows he will never present it to her? What if the gift is posted to the lady by his servants and without his knowledge? What if the enclosed card was meant for another and is more suggestive than a gentleman should share with an unmarried lady? Join Darcy and Elizabeth, for a holiday romp, loaded with delightful twists and turns no one expects, but one in which our favorite couple take a very different path in thwarting George Wickham and Lydia Bennet’s elopement. Can a simple book of poetry be Darcy’s means to win Elizabeth’s love? When we care more for another than ourselves, the seeds of love have an opportunity to blossom.


Words of Praise for Mr. Darcy’s Present
Jeffers takes a familiar story and reinvigorates it with humor, warmth, and wisdom. - Roses and Lilacs Reviews


Scene from Chapter 1. Darcy had a “dangerous” encounter with an overturned coal cart.

Darcy? Darcy? Can you hear me? It was Georgiana and she sounded frightened. Please, William. Open your eyes.
He did not wish to leave Elizabeths image behind. There was still much he wished to say to her. It was imperative that he convince her to accept his hand, but he held a duty to Georgiana. And so he lifted his heavy lids to welcome the worried features of his sister.
Oh, William. Her sob of relief had her bottom lip trembling. I feared we had lost you. I could not bear it.
He wished to take her in his arms to comfort her, but try as he might, Darcy could not lift his arms.
Bingley nudged Georgiana from her place. You gave us quite a scare, Old Chap, his friend said with a reassuring smile. Do not worry if you cannot yet move about. Doctor Nott and Mr. Harvon could not agree upon your treatment, but it was decided that they would tie your arms to the bed frame. Broke you right wrist and suffered a blow to your head, as well as multiple cuts and bruises. Neither Harvon nor Nott wished you to bolt up unexpectedly and do more injury to yourself.
Darcy made himself form the word Water. His mouth was excessively dry.
Miss Darcy, fetch your brother some water, Bingley ordered. His friend remained sitting with one hip on the edge of the bed. At length, Georgiana handed Bingley the glass. Darcy could feel her worried eyes upon him, and so he made the effort to appear alert. I shant attempt to brace you. Let us use this spoon. Bingley held up the utensil before spooning the water into Darcys mouth. A coal cart toppled over on you, Bingley explained as he tended to Darcy. You will be quite stiff for a few days, but Harvon says your wrist is the worst of it. Once the laudanum wears away, Harvon will untie your arms. Miss Darcy says the opiate provides you nightmares, and no one wishes you thrashing about in the bed.
Darcy thought of his dream of Elizabeth. It was far from perfect, but certainly not a nightmare. Thank you, he said as he refused another spoonful of the water. Sheffield?
Your man is fine. He took Lord Joyners son to task for the youths lack of forethought. His lordship was less than pleased with Sheffields tongue lashing of his son until he realized young Mr. Joyner had struck Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Bingley winked at him. Lord Joyner prays you will not withdraw your investment in the canal in which he holds the primary interest.
Darcy pronounced through stiff lips, Would be foolish.
My sentiments exactly, Bingley said as he sat the glass of water and the spoon aside. When you are well enough to consider the situation, the magistrate awaits your decision as to addressing a complaint against his lordships heir. But there is no need for you to place your mind to it at this time. Just rest. It will do young Joyner good to wait a few more days until he learns whether he faces charges of assault. I heard he has known great anguish at considering a charge of murder if you died. The wait will make him appreciate the privileges his fathers barony provides him. As to Sheffield, he tended you for the last two days. I sent him to his bed for some much required rest.
Two days? Darcy asked weakly.
The reason for your sisters distress, Bingley replied. Miss Darcy and I have fended off all those more curious than sincere. You have nothing of which to worry. The Matlocks and I will tend to Miss Darcy. For now, just rest.
Darcy attempted to nod his gratitude, but the movement sent a wincing pain shooting through his head. He squeezed his eyes shut to quell the piercing ache between his eyes. I am in your debt, he murmured through gritted teeth.
None of that, Bingley insisted. No soul can claim a truer friend.
Bingleys words had Darcy wondering if he had betrayed his friends trust by permitting Miss Bingley to separate Bingley from Miss Bennet. Was I protecting myself rather than my friend? he wondered. If Bingley claimed Miss Bennet, I will lose a friend, for I cannot bear to be in Miss Elizabeths presence and view her choose another. With that doubt planted firmly in his mind, he drifted to sleep only to return to the Netherfield ball and the disaster that marked his rejection.


If you did not like the above song for birthdays, perhaps this one from Don McLean will be more to your suiting. Perhaps, Darcy could sing it to Elizabeth on her first birthday they celebrate together

If I could say the things I feel, it wouldnt be the same
Some things are not spoken of, some things have no name
Though the words come hard to me, Ill say them just for you
For this is something rare for me this feeling is so new
You see I love the way you love me
I love the way you smile at me
I love the way we live this life were in
Long ago I heard the song that lovers sing to me
And through the days with each new phrase I hummed that melody
And all along I loved the song but I never learned it through
But since the day you came along, Ive saved it just for you.

(You can hear the whole song HERE


Purchase Links:
Mr. Darcy's Present: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Vagary is now available in PRINT and eBOOK formats.  


Connect with Regina at

Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency, historical mysteries, and contemporary novels. She is a retired English teacher and an often sought after consultant for media literacy and language arts.
Regina Jeffers Website (excerpts, news and events, reviews, etc.)   
You may also find Regina at


Thank you, Regina Jeffers, for sharing such a riveting excerpt with us! Poor Darcy! I'm happy he was not hurt seriously. It's also good to see Bingley taking charge! My interest is piqued in anticipation of how Mr. Darcy will receive his 'present'. What all will he have to go through to get Lizzy's love? Ahhh, what will she think when she receives a gift from him with a risque note, no less? Questions, questions...

Your blurb did just what it was supposed to do, make me want to read the book. I love your cover too. 

Again, I wish you a very happy birthday. It's a pleasure sharing time with you today.

Remember, you must leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway and please do not lose out by failing to leave me contact info. That would be such a shame. I have it for some of you but every week there are people not entered because I have no way of finding them. Help me make sure you are not one of them. Thanks and good luck to each of you.