Sunday, October 30, 2016

Letter from Ramsgate...Suzan Lauder

Today is my stop for the blog tour for Letter from Ramsgate and it is the last official day of the tour. It has been a fun two weeks and I want to especially thank Suzan and all the bloggers for making it so nice. It has been great working with you again, Suzan.


Janet Taylor is special to me because she created the original cover art for Alias Thomas Bennet in lead pencil crayons from a photo of her son and granddaughter, and they weren’t in period costume! When she gave me free reign for a topic for the final blog post in this tour, I thought she might like to know the fun I had picking names for characters.

Isabel Younge (Artwork:
Eglee Auguie Ney, Duchese
d'Elchingen, 1st Princess de
la Moskowa by Baron Francois
Pascal Simon Gerard, 1808)
I already mentioned during this blog tour that Mrs. Younge was named Isabel after Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey. This is partly as homage to the first Austen novel I read (and my second favourite Austen novel after P&P), and also just because I imagined a similar character. Her husband became Frederick purely because it was a name Austen used a few times.

Some names were just pulled out of the air. Mrs. Gardiner’s maiden name of Palmer, for example. Lady Edwina and the original Lady Cecilia also sounded right for the role. When I realized the potential confusion when referring to Lady C as being Lady Cecilia or Lady Catherine, I decided to 
change my new character. I found out that Amelia meant “rival” and it was perfect. Westhaven as the peerage name for Lady Amelia’s family sounded strong, steadfast, ancient, and loaded (as in money). The Westhavens’ surname, Goodhope, sounded about right for Elizabeth’s rival, particularly since I decided to characterize her as a more-suitable-than-Elizabeth love interest for Darcy to up the ante on the angst.

Baverstock came out of my head because it sounded like all those Regency romance names that start with B or D and end with –stock, or –stone, or –theringham, or similar. But Lady Edwina’s surname came from a real person: an English fellow I used to work with who was always professional, yet super warm and kind-hearted, Geoff Moore. This is an example of authors looking for a name that sounds right and running every possible name through their heads of people they know! There are old co-workers in some of my unpublished stories, too, and villains often wind up named after someone who “done me wrong!” Poor Miss Allesworthy got her name that way, though it’s disguised! On the flip side again, Jim Harding, also professional and kind, had a bon ton party at his home in Letter from Ramsgate.

Speaking of parties, when my editor was reading of the soirée at which Elizabeth first sees Lady Amelia and Lord Westhaven, she said I needed to name the hosts. Well, Gail Warner, I adjusted your name to make it at the Warreners’ home.

Henry Fitzwilliam, Lord Courtland, Mr.
Darcy's cousin and Colonel Firzwilliam's
older brother. (Actor Henry Cavill in
The Count of Monte Cristo.
The original plot beta for Letter from Ramsgate at AHA has the username defiantfalcon. That became the inspiration for Miss Falconer’s name (as well as her size and character!), and Laura was a pretty name to go with it. She married Lord Saye, in homage to Alex9903’s stories on AHA, but when A. D’Orazio decided to publish The Best Part of Love, that novel deserved to use it first, too.

I looked to Kilmarnock, Scotland, the area my Lauder ancestors came from, for ideas for alternatives. The lands around the town belong to the Duke of Portland, but I didn’t like that as a character name. Portland, OR, Portland, ME, or Portland cement came to mind. I scanned lists of names Jane Austen used, and she had a Mr. Courtland. This became the elder Fitzwilliam brother’s title name as a viscount. He was christened Henry after actor Henry Cavill, who I’ve always liked to see cast as Mr. Darcy (before the huge bulk of the action heroes roles) because he’s terribly handsome and close to the right age. Henry makes an even better future Earl of Matlock than Darcy in this story, as he’s more of a party guy. I think Amy wouldn’t mind him as Saye, either! Their children were top of my head, and not Friends and Happy Days!

Mrs. Crofton was characterized from my first landlady when I left home for college. She was 82 years of age and quite the pistol in her youth, and had lived in a town called Crofton. Another town, Frobisher Bay, is now Iqaluit—the ancient name given by the original Canadians has been re-established. The explorer gets to be Mr. Darcy’s university friend who made his fortune with Enos Collins in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Goldstone, Miss Barkwell, Miss Card, Mr. MacDonald, Lady Henrietta, Mr. Graystone, Miss Bond, and Miss Smart all come from me searching for English-sounding names among acquaintances, teachers, co-workers, and other people in my past again! Other names were more or less what just sprang to mind: servants Molly and Sarah, for example.
Noëlle is named after a real sloth at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, LA, and Chunee (Chuny) was a real Indian elephant who lived at the real Menagerie at Exeter ‘Change during the Regency period. Place names are all real—I tried to pick blocks where the characters would live or visit: Albion Place, Nelson Crescent, The Paragon, Bedford Square, Portman Square, and The Circus. The vessel Liverpool Packet and its story is real as well.

I hope this amused you! Thanks so much to everyone who has come out for the blog tour. You can still enter until November 3, 2016. Best thanks to Janet B. Taylor for organizing this amusement for all of us! Speaking of amusements, I’ll be posting a Letter from Ramsgate related original essay about the Menagerie and related modern historical bloggers’ links on my own blog (road trips with the redhead) on October 31, 2016 for those who have followed the blog tour. It’s like an amuse-bouche or lagniappe, a parting gift or a bonus. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you, Suzan. I loved reading about names and your thoughts behind the process of choosing them for your characters. It did amuse and made me smile! :) I will enjoy this shared knowledge as I read your book. 


Book Blurb:

Sir, I am not known to you. I fear you may have concerns regarding some intelligence that recently came to me from your sister...
...a simple letter shatters illusions and turns the world upside down!
On holiday in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet befriends shy, romantic Georgiana Darcy, who shares an adoring description of an ideal elder brother. When Georgiana discloses a secret infatuation with her brother’s “close friend” Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth’s altered perception of both men affects her actions and alliances.
The secret within an anonymous letter from Ramsgate ties Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth together but also separates them. A second missive unlocks the disguise, but Mr. Darcy realizes his true passions too late to assist Elizabeth in her darkest hour. Will the shocking disclosure of a forgotten letter transform his understanding of her heart and lead them to embrace their future?
Letter from Ramsgate is a Pride and Prejudice variation suitable for most audiences (youth and up).


Author Bio:
A love for Jane Austen’s novels and Regency and Austenesque romance novels inspired Suzan Lauder to write her own variations, which led her to a passion for Regency era history and costuming, as well as social media book marketing. She cherishes the many friends she’s made as a result of these interests.
Suzan is a member of JASNA, VIRA, RWA (PAN and Beau Monde chapters), and is a registered professional engineer. She enjoys independent travel, design, Pilates, yoga, cycling, sustainability, upcycling, architecture, beta editing, and blogging. Most of the time, a Vancouver Island penthouse loft condominium with a view of the Salish Sea is home. For a few months each winter, Mr. Suze and their two rescue cats accompany her to their tiny Spanish colonial casita in Centro Historico of an industrial city in Mexico.
Letter from Ramsgate is Lauder’s second published novel and comes on the heels of her successful upcycled costuming blog series, the Thrift Shop Regency Costume Experiment. Her latest venture is blogging about her learning experiences while editing Letter from Ramsgate. Suzan’s first novel, Alias Thomas Bennet, is an Austen-inspired Regency romance with a mystery twist. She also contributed a short modern romance, Delivery Boy, to the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter. All Lauder’s published fiction is based on Pride and Prejudice and is available from Meryton Press.


Contact Info: 



Buy Links:



Blog Tour Schedule:

10/17   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; My Jane Austen Book Club
10/18   Excerpt, GA; Margie’s Must Reads
10/19   Vignette, GA;  Just Jane 1813
10/20   Review; From Pemberley to Milton
10/21   Vignette, GA; Babblings of a Bookworm
10/22   Excerpt, GA; Liz’s Reading Life
10/23   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; From Pemberley to Milton
10/24   Review; Tomorrow is Another Day
10/25   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA;  So little time…
10/26   Vignette, GA; Austenesque Reviews
10/27   Review, Excerpt; Half Agony, Half Hope
10/28   Review; Diary of an Eccentric
10/30   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; More Agreeably Engaged



Terms and Conditions:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. (Review posts are not part of the giveaways). Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified). If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified. 

Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries. 

A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) copy of Letter from Ramsgate by Suzan Lauder. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and paperback or ebook format will randomly be selected for each winner as well. 

**NOTE: Paperback copies are ONLY available for continental US winners! Ebook copies are available for ALL winners, including international winners! If more international winners are randomly chosen than the 4 allotted ebooks, then that will decrease the number of paperbacks. 8 books will be given away to 8 different winners.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Once again, thank you Suzan Lauder, for giving us the insight to your naming process and for all the wonderful posts, vignettes and excerpts during the blog tour. It has been an amazing tour and I applaud you. I wish you much success with the book and from all I've read, I'm sure you will have it. I was happy to see it had already gained #1 Best Seller in Classical Romance, a place of honor on the Amazon lists. Congratulations! I was thrilled for you. I look forward to having you visit when you roll out another book. 

Readers, don't forget you have until November 3rd to leave a comment and tweet each day for extra entries! Good luck to all and thank you for following the blog tour and Suzan's latest book.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner...Nicole Clarkston

eBookPaperback at Amazon
Nicole Clarkston's The Courtship of Edward Gardiner, has just released and I am excited to be launching the blog tour for Nicole and her book here at More Agreeably Engaged. I have had the privilege of reading along as this Pride & Prejudice Prequel was being written and I knew from the onset that it was a winner. The Gardiners have always been two of my favorite minor characters in Pride & Prejudice. Having their own story is icing on that cake that I love! 

Ms. Clarkston does a remarkable job of bringing into her prequel, a little Lizzy, Jane, Georgiana and a teenage Darcy. (even a young Charles Bingley) As I was reading this novella, the events in it were so realistic and natural that I could see it happening exactly as it was portrayed! Well done, Nicole! 

Readers, if you love the Gardiners, you will adore their story. Today, Nicole Clarkston tells why she chose this couple for her tale. We also have an excerpt and a giveaway! Enjoy!


When I wrote No Such Thing As Luck and Rumours and Recklessness, I found that tag-teaming my books actually helped me break through the dreaded writer’s block. Therefore, while I was working on Northern Rain, I started playing with the idea of writing another Pride and Prejudice-inspired story at the same time. I toyed with a few possible plot lines, but the one which kept coming back was to look at some secondary characters whom I admired, and to develop their romance a little.

The Gardiners play such a pivotal role in the original story. Theirs is the common sense, the model of a loving marriage, and the mature intervention which helped to save Lydia and which brought two most deserving couples to the only sensible conclusion. Little, however, was given about their history in Jane Austen’s work, and they have continued to be only secondary characters in the JAFF world. When I picked them up and started studying them, I soon found out why.

One of my favorite sayings is “Perfect people are boring,” (and then I usually tack on some quip about being rather “interesting” myself, but I digress). In this case, the maxim tends to hold true. One of the things we love about Elizabeth and Darcy is that they are both terribly flawed people, who fortunately both possess good hearts and a desire to improve themselves. Even sweet Jane and her affable Bingley have their foibles, for their own troubles would never have proven so monstrous had Jane expressed her feelings and Bingley acted upon his. Every other character in the story (with the exception of Mrs Reynolds, perhaps) is absolutely full of imperfections and leaves the imaginative writer plenty of room for creativity.

Not so with this eminently sensible, reasonable pair of people. One must conclude that, being human, they would naturally have experienced their share of trials, but they are not the focus of Jane Austen’s work. What we do see is a man and a woman who are respectable above their station, who never utter a syllable that is not wise, and who care deeply about their relations. What is not to love, right? A great deal, if you are an author trying to dig up their past and make it interesting!

I wanted to stay as close to their canon characters as possible, so gross misunderstandings and misfortunes brought on by judgements in error were not an option. The sort of wisdom and maturity this couple exhibits did not seem to have grown out of such a background. We all have our difficulties, however, and Regency romances (or Georgian, as this story technically would have been) are rife with young women in need of a husband. From that idea, the story began to spin itself.

As is so often the case, Madeline is the beautiful vase left on the top shelf, and it is starting to get a little lonely up there. Even the shelf upon which she perches is shrinking, as she discovers her friends moving away for good and her father unable to continue much longer with his business. She desperately wants a home and children of her own, but as Elizabeth Bennet would similarly declare over a decade later, she wishes to marry only for love, and to find a man she can respect.

Edward is experiencing romantic woes of his own. As a successful tradesman just hitting his stride, he would have been well positioned to marry. However, he did not have a long pedigree to his name, so it is not impossible to believe that another, better established businessman might have snapped up the marital connection that Edward had desired for himself. In the opening chapters of the book, Edward is licking his wounds. We see him reevaluating what he really wishes for in a wife, and coming to the conclusion that perhaps his first choice was not truly the best one. Perhaps there is more to finding a life partner than just seeking a pretty face, and in the expected places. Perhaps, somewhere in the forest, there still lives a unicorn.

I picture Madeline Gardiner as a woman who is not given to drama, who is accustomed to tempering her own desires and caring for others. Hopefully we all have a woman like this in our lives. She is the woman who sows grace and comfort wherever she goes; who quietly and unobtrusively walks through this world lifting others up. Those of us blessed to know one of these gems understand her true worth far better than she herself does. She has a ready and understanding smile to light our day, and we never go near her but that we come away feeling a little better about ourselves and about humanity in general. Such is the woman that Edward Gardiner encounters, and he recognizes that fact the instant he sees her.

Austen gives us only few hints about Edward’s character. He is intelligent and gentlemanly, he must be a clever businessman, he maintains close ties with his two eldest nieces, and bears little resemblance to his sisters. He is a cheerful man who is interested in fishing, and a devoted husband. Perhaps it is inevitable that I filled in the remaining gaps of his character with traits from another man I admire: my husband. From him, I borrowed Edward’s slight bashfulness at the beginning, his easy sense of humor, and his almost immediate decisiveness regarding Madeline. Several times during the course of the story, Edward has an opportunity to either do what he most wishes to do, or stop to help someone else. Just as he does in Austen’s original story, he consistently chooses the later. What woman would not love such a man?

It was a treat to bring together two such admirable people, and to plant the seeds for all that we know is to come. They are not a flamboyant couple. They are as most of us are- simple hearts searching for another to love; honest folk who make this world a little better by having lived in it.

A modern saying goes something like this: “If you really want to know a person’s character, give them a slow internet connection.” It is how we approach our difficulties which defines us, be they earth-shattering or comparatively trivial. As Edward says at the end, “All roads are not perfectly smooth,” but their journey was an enjoyable one for me.


Madeline delivered the letter for her father and sucked in a delicious breath of the summer air as she stepped out of the office door. She loved this time of the year. Spring had spoken of its promises long enough, and the time had come to deliver them. Closing her eyes briefly as she strolled down the street, she relished the fragrance of the growing hay fields near the village. So enraptured was she by the vibrancy of everything touching her senses, she tipped her chin yet higher and claimed another refreshing breath. It seemed the whole world was warm and alive!
Without warning, something else warm and very much alive assaulted her about the knees. Madeline nearly stumbled in shock. She opened her eyes and put her hands protectively forward, fearful of either falling or dropping her precious parcel. “B-beg your pardon!” tumbled automatically from her lips.
There, splayed on her bottom in the dust of the road, was a young girl in a light green traveling smock. She was turning her indignant little face slowly upward to survey her attacker. Her brow puckered and her dark eyes sparkled curiously.
Madeline gave a start. She shifted her parcel at once to help the little girl to her feet. “I am so sorry! Did I hurt you?” she inquired gently.
The child looked back thoughtfully for about two seconds, then her face lit with good humour. She began to laugh merrily and accepted Madeline’s offered hand. “No!” she answered brightly. “I am not hurt! It is such a lovely town, and there was a bird just there that I was watching and… oh, I think I am also to ask if I hurt you. Did I?”
Madeline chuckled at this extraordinary child. “Not at all. Where do you come from, my little bird-watching friend?”
The child’s eyes became at once suspicious. “Papa told me when we set out that I was not to speak to strangers.”
“Oh, of course he is quite right,” Madeline agreed seriously. “A lady can never be too careful!”
The child grinned happily again. “I suppose it is all right, if you are a lady too. You look like a lady- oh, my, your dress is such a pretty colour! I so love lavender. My mama does not like me to wear that colour because she says I stain it so in the grass, and green hides it better, but when I am old enough to wear my hair up I will wear lavender every day!”
Madeline was, by now, biting back a peal of laughter. What an unusual and interesting child this was! She dipped a slow, exaggerated curtsey. “Well, I am not forbidden to speak to strangers, my young friend, and I would very much like to make your acquaintance. My name is Madeline Fairbanks.”
The girl made an answering curtsey, her radiant smile now allowing Madeline to count her missing teeth and make an approximate guess at her age. “Pleased to make your aqu- acquain-tance, Miss Fairbanks,” she answered in the scripted way of a child using words she did not fully understand. “My name is….”
“Lizzy! Where did you go off to?” A young man now turned the corner of the building from where, Madeline guessed, the child had just come. He was striding quickly, his manner intimidating and agitated. He was peering right and left until his eyes lit on the girl and his face set into a look of great annoyance. “Lizzy!” he repeated as he drew closer, his voice growing more threatening. “I told you to stay with the coach and not to wander!”
Madeline’s protective instincts flared, and she stepped a little nearer to the child, perhaps intending to shield her from a less than amiable parent. The child, whose name apparently was Lizzy, looked up to him with complete unconcern.
“I did not wander, Uncle. I was following something. I think it was a robin, but I do not see it now. I have not gone far, Uncle- you see, the inn is just there.”
“Elizabeth,” the man clearly fought back his temper to keep his words civil, “your father may allow you to speak back to him in such a way, but I will not while you are under my care! Come, your sister is resting now, we must go!”
Madeline made a soft noise. Perhaps it was understandable that the man was flustered by his precocious and lively young charge, but it was more than a little mortifying that he had yet to even notice her, standing three feet away. She had not thought herself so invisible as that!
The man looked up to her quickly and blanched in horror. “Forgive me, Miss… er, I hope my niece did not trouble you!”
“Not at all,” she answered coolly. “I sometimes find children more amiable than their elders.”
The man grimaced, obviously understanding her meaning. He tugged his hat from his head and offered her a much-belated bow in greeting. “Edward Gardiner, at your service, Miss. My apologies again for just now. I was… well, in truth, I have no excuse.”
She lifted one expressive brow and the edge of her mouth tipped very slightly. “You are quite forgiven, Mr Gardiner. I have had occasion to learn before that the most sensible of people can appear quite unreasonable when trying to manage a child.”
A slow, hesitant smile began to grow on his face- and a rather pleasant face it was. At last he gave a light chuckle. “I see you have gotten to know my niece rather well already. Might… might I have the pleasure of your name, Miss…?”
“Fairbanks, Uncle!” Elizabeth spoke up pertly, happy to be of service. “Her name is Madeline Fairbanks, and is she not just lovely?”
Both parties reddened profusely. Madeline’s fingertips flew to her mouth and her eyes widened in embarrassment.
Mr Gardiner cleared his throat. Clearly he had little choice but to agree with his niece, so he smiled, nodded uncomfortably, and answered, “Yes, of course… I mean, it is very lovely to make your acquaintance, Miss Fairbanks. I am afraid we must be going, however. My brother-in-law is waiting for us.”
She drew an uncertain breath. “If you are going into that inn just there,” she nodded toward the back of the building, “that is my destination, as well.”
The man brightened in interest. His eyes revealed, far more than the words his niece had coerced from him ever could have, what his first impression of her truly was. He flushed shyly, perhaps wishing to escort her, but little Lizzy spared him the trouble of asking.
“We can walk you there, Miss Fairbanks!” she bubbled. Madeline found a small, somewhat sticky palm thrust into her own, and she had little choice but to fall into step with the pert young girl and her uncle.


Book Blurb:

Every great love has a beginning. 

In Austen's Pride and Prejudice, we meet with perhaps the most sensible, caring relatives a lovelorn young woman could hope for: Mr and Mrs Gardiner. What is their story?

Edward Gardiner has just been refused by the lovely young woman he had intended to make his wife. Heartbroken and eager for a diversion, he accepts an invitation from his brother-in-law, Thomas Bennet, to accompany him along with his two eldest daughters to the north on family business. Gardiner's pleasure tour is interrupted, however, when his eldest niece falls ill and is unable to travel farther. 

Stopping over in the scarcely remarkable village of Lambton, the men decide that Bennet must continue on, while Gardiner and the children remain. The only trouble is that Gardiner has not the least idea how he should care for one ailing niece and another who is ready to drive him to distraction... until he meets with Madeline Fairbanks.

Author Bio:

Nicole Clarkston is the pen name of a very bashful writer who will not allow any of her family or friends to read what she writes. She grew up in Idaho on horseback, and if she could have figured out how to read a book at the same time, she would have. She initially pursued a degree in foreign languages and education, and then lost patience with it, switched her major, and changed schools. She now resides in Oregon with her husband of 15 years, 3 homeschooled kids, and a very worthless degree in Poultry Science (don't ask). 

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties- how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project (undertaken when her husband unsuspectingly left town for a few days) she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Nicole's books are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.

Contact Info:

Goodreads Author Page
Goodreads Blog
Amazon Author Page

Buy Link: (eBook and Paperback are both available at Amazon)

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner


Blog Tour Schedule:

10/21: Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
10/22: Review & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813
10/27: Review & Giveaway Savvy Verse & Wit
11/01: Excerpt & Giveaway at Half Agony, Half Hope
11/08: Guest Post & Giveaway So little time…
11/10: Review & Giveaway My Kids Led me Back to Pride and Prejudice
11/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
11/15: Review & Giveaway at My Vices and Weaknesses
11/17: Guest Post & Giveaway at A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life
11/26: Excerpt & Giveaway at Margie’s Must Reads
11/30: Review & Giveaway at  Diary of an Eccentric
12/01: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton


It's been my pleasure to have you visit again and I'm honored you wanted me to launch your blog tour. Thank you, and thank you also for telling us why you chose to write about the Gardiners. I found it fascinating to read your reasons. I loved your comment, 'Madeline is the beautiful vase left on the top shelf'. That was brilliant, as was your statement, 'Perhaps, somewhere in the forest, there still lives a unicorn'. 

I'm so happy you chose to write about the Gardiners. Their story was delightful. (so were the nods to the original with hints of what is to come) I will be reading this again. I wish you much success with this novella. I look forward to seeing you here when you release another N&S or P&P variation You are always welcome.

Thank you, Rita Deodato, for setting up the tour. You did a fantastic job.


It's giveaway time! Nicole Clarkston is offering one paperback of The Courtship of Edward Gardiner and the giveaway is international! That's wonderful news and we thank you, Ms. Clarkston. Please be sure to include your contact info when you leave a comment. Tell us what you think of the Gardiners. Who are your favorite minor characters? The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 26th of October. Good luck to all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy...Beau North & Brooke West

Beau North and Brooke West stop by today on their blog tour for The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy. I don't know about you, Dear Readers, but I am intrigued by this book. It sounds fascinating and a bit perplexing for dear Darcy! Don't think I would enjoy living the same day over and over! Well, there have been a few that I might like having a 'redo'! :) 

The cover is fascinating and an excellent depiction for the premise! As many of you know, I'm all about the cover fitting the story! This one seems to do just that!

We are truly privileged today because the authors are sharing an exclusive vignette with us! Don't we feel special!? I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did! I adore vignettes! Thank you, thank you.


Our thanks to Janet and the readers at More Agreeably Engaged for the warm welcome on our blog tour! We have been so overwhelmed by the response so far and would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has followed the tour thus far.

When the idea of a vignette was suggested to us, we leapt at the opportunity. There is one character in particular we felt needed a bit more time in the sun (so to speak) and that was Colonel Fitzwilliam. In this book, Darcy truly finds himself in need of a steadying hand, and there is no one he trusts more than the colonel. In his predicament, Darcy is able to observe his friends and relations with a closer eye than they suspect, and it is revealed in time that Colonel Fitzwilliam may be harboring a secret of his own. We hope you enjoy this glimpse into his character!


The brandy poured smoothly despite the slight tremor in his hand. Colonel Fitzwilliam was not inexperienced in the ways of the world. He’d seen men torn apart by war—injuries to the mind that one might never recover from—but this time was different. Those men were soldiers, never his own family. He knew that Darcy had borne his fair share of suffering since the death of his father and in the unseemly business with Wickham, but Fitzwilliam never thought he would live to see the man so broken. It felt unnatural somehow, Darcy was the most stalwart person he knew.

With a deep breath, Fitzwilliam schooled his features into his usual, pleasantly affable mein before turning and handing a glass to Darcy.

“Here, take your medicine and there’s a good lad,” he commanded. Darcy’s own hand shook as he raised the glass to his lips and drank. Fitzwilliam observed there was still grass on his trousers from the scene in the park and suppressed a shudder at the memory of it. He refused to acknowledge Darcy’s claim that he had gone “quite mad.” Distressed, yes, but madness?

He had, of course, observed some unusual behavior from Darcy during this visit. It had not taken Fitzwilliam long to identify Miss Elizabeth Bennet as Darcy’s la belle mystère. When Darcy was not near her, he became sullen and distracted. When he was in her presence he was struck silent, watching her from a distance. Fitzwilliam’s suspicions were confirmed when Darcy delayed their return to London not once but twice. Only the most hopeless of love could keep Darcy at Rosings for such an extended visit. Not that Fitzwilliam had minded the delay so much. He’d had his own struggles to endure, temptations of his own to overcome. His nights became increasingly more restless, closing his eyes only to see a serious gaze from a pair of changeable grey eyes.

Damn and blast, man, that is not for you, he reminded himself once again. It had been some time since he had last visited Rosings as he’d been dispatched to Spain with his regiment the previous Easter. The year prior, an obligation to his father had kept him from Kent. When he’d arrived at Rosings Park with Darcy, it had been several years since he had set eyes on Anne. He remembered her as thin and sickly, but in the years since he had seen her last, she had blossomed into an elegant creature.

He never could have imagined the surprise he felt when she raised her eyes to his, sending a shock through him, followed by an ache he had only just begun to understand. It was a whisper in the dark, a beacon that became clearer as he mapped the paths of his own dutiful heart.

Perhaps the war had changed him, winnowing away his youthful indolence and allowing him to see what had always been in front of him. Anne de Bourgh was still quiet and reserved, but he’d seen flashes of humor and cunning when she thought herself unobserved. He knew her mind to be sharp and her opinions well-reasoned and steadfast. She would make an excellent mistress of Rosing Park one day and a superior wife to whatever fool was lucky enough to marry her. Fitzwilliam was certain now more than ever that it would not be Darcy, hopelessly smitten with Miss Elizabeth Bennet as he was. But he also knew that it could not be him, a penniless soldier and second son. His jaw flexed in silent frustration.

Shoving his own struggles aside, Fitzwilliam focused on his other cousin, the one currently in extreme distress. Once he had calmed somewhat, Darcy managed to recount a tale so fantastical that Fitzwilliam found himself caught up in it.

“. . . and that is how you find me in such a state now.” Darcy finished his story, staring morosely into his empty glass. Fitzwilliam paused before speaking, taking a moment to admire the rather stunning detail of the world that Darcy’s mind had created.

Fitzwilliam considered Darcy’s predicament before an idea struck him. And while he could not say that he believed his cousin’s tale, the light of hope in Darcy’s eyes as he explained his strategy was enough to make him want to try.

He did not know if Darcy was going mad or if his plan would meet with any success. He only knew that it was going to be a long night.

Book Description

“He could no longer claim to be Fitzwilliam Darcy of Derbyshire, brother to Georgiana, master of Pemberley. In that moment, he was but a man. A man filled with more frustration than most souls could bear. A man torn asunder by his desperation, his fruitless dreams and desires.”

After Elizabeth Bennet rejects his marriage proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy finds himself in the most unusual of circumstances. At first believing the extraordinary turn of events has granted him an inexplicable boon, he is eager to put the humiliating proposal behind him.

He soon discovers that he is trapped in the same waking dream with no end in sight and no possible escape. All that he holds dear—his name, his home, his love—remains ever out of reach. How will he find his way back to his normal life? Will one mistake haunt the rest of his days? It will take all of his fortitude to weather the storms of his strange new fate, and all of his courage to grasp the promise of his future. 


Book Title: The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy
Authors: Beau North & Brooke West
Tour Dates: October 8-20, 2016
Genre: Fiction-Romance, Historical-Regency and Fiction-Historical
Purchase Link: Amazon


Author Links:

Blog: (coming soon)

Brooke West
Facebook:  Brooke West   
@WordyWest and @BrookeWest

Author Biographies

Beau North is the author of Longbourn’s Songbird and a contributor to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Beau is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with Literature. In her spare time, Beau is the brains behind Rhymes With Nerdy, a pop culture podcast and website, and a contributor at the San Francisco Book Review.

Brooke West is a contributing author to the anthology Then Comes Winter. Brooke has a naturally creative soul that pulls her into myriad artistic endeavors.  While writing fiction always has been her life's passion, Brooke also finds joy in silversmithing, sculpting, and costuming. Between projects, she runs and practices yoga.  She lives in South Carolina with her fiancé, son, and three cats. 


 The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy” Blog Tour Description _________________________________________________________

After Fitzwilliam Darcy finds his suit rejected by the only woman in the world he would ever marry, he looks to make a quick exit out of Kent and go back to his life before he met Elizabeth Bennet. Yet, when he wakes the next day he discovers that getting back to everything he still holds dear may be more challenging than he ever imagined. What if finding his way back means getting another chance to win Elizabeth’s love?

Beau North and Brooke West, co-authors of Holiday Mix Tape from the Meryton Press winter anthology, Then Comes Winter, tour the blogosphere from October 8-October 19, 2016, to share their latest collaboration, The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Thirteen book bloggers, specializing in Austenesque fiction and romance stories, will share excerpts, guest posts, an exclusive interview with the authors and book reviews from this highly anticipated Austen-inspired novel. Four ebooks and four paperbacks are also being included in our giveaways and entry is available to anyone who participates in this blog tour.


Beau and Brooke are giving away 8 copies of their book, which includes 4 ebooks and 4 paperback copies. To win a paperback copy, the winners must have a U.S. mailing address. Be sure and check the Rafflecopter at the blogs with giveaways listed below.


Blog Tour Schedule
October 8/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
October 9/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Beau and Brooke
October 10/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
October 12/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway
October 13/ Margie's Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway
October 14/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
October 15/ The Calico Critic/Excerpt & Giveaway
October 16/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Guest Post
October 17/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
October 18/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Book Review & Giveaway
October 19/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Fitzwilliam Vignette
October 20/ So Little Time... So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway


To vote for your favorite image of Fitzwilliam Darcy from the images shown below, go to The Many Faces of Fitzwilliam Darcy Contest LinkThe winning image and the winner will be announced on October 20, 2016, at our last blog stop, So Little Time… So Much to Read.

The reader whose image receives the most votes will win the following prizes: A paperback copy of Then Comes Winter by Meryton Press, edited by Christina Boyd, a paperback copy of Longbourn’s Songbird by Beau Northpaperback copy of The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North & Brooke Westa $15.00 Amazon gift card, assorted Jane Austen postcards and Pride and Prejudice Post-its by Girl of All Work. (The details of this contest were also announced on Just Jane 1813.)

For readers who wish to vote in our The Many Faces of Fitzwilliam Darcy contest, the choices are shown below:

   Richard Maddon                          Matt Bomer                       Eduardo Verastegui


A special 'thank you' goes to Claudine Pepe of Just Jane 1813. She does a fabulous job of organizing her blog tours. She makes it easy on us as bloggers. I do appreciate you, Claudine!


Thank you ladies for visiting my blog today. I am so happy to have you. It is a first for both of you to be here but I hope it certainly will not be the last visit for either. I appreciate the privilege of sharing your vignette with my readers. It is a great vignette and made me want to read even more. Again, I thank you, ladies, and I hope you have much success! It sounds like your book is being wonderfully received from all I have been reading! Congratulations! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

And the winners are...

I have some winners to announce!
Are you ready to see if you are one of them?
Okay, let's do it!

Obligation and Redemption 
by Georgia McCall


Sophia Rose

Congratulations to the winners! Thank you for participating and giving us your thoughts. I always appreciate your support of my blog.

Thank you to Georgia McCall for visiting and telling us why she feels her book has caused such a stir. I hope your visit has answered some questions for readers and helped you have a place to state your case! :)