Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Best Part of Love with A. D'Orazio

Good morning everyone. Happy Saturday! I hope you have had a good week. Today, More Agreeably Engaged is the last stop on The Best Part of Love Blog Tour for A. D'Orazio. It has been an amazing couple of weeks with great guest posts, interviews, reviews and excerpts. There have also been some fabulous vignettes and we have one here today! I love vignettes and this one is perfect for closing the tour. Thank you, Amy, for sharing with us and for doing such a great job on your first tour. It's been a pleasure working with you. 

Henry Discovers the Fortune

Pemberley, 1848

They were a loud and merry group that gathered at Pemberley that year; indeed, when they were all together, even the largest dining table could scarcely contain them all. There were scores of Bingleys and Courtenays and Darcys, along with Ellises and du Champs since the marriages of their daughters. The grandchildren ran mad in the Grand Hall — Elizabeth would often scold them for knocking things about but Darcy never quite had the heart to do so. If a broken statue was the price paid for youthful merriment, so be it. He had long ago decided he would much rather be remembered as the good-humoured grandfather than the grandfather with the excellent art. In any case, his grandchildren adored him and he would not have it otherwise. He was never more happy than he was in these wondrous times when Pemberley’s halls bustled with laughter and noise. 

When the ladies withdrew after dinner, Darcy sat with his three sons: Henry, or Lord Courtenay; Thomas Darcy, his heir, and Colonel Edward Darcy. Fine distinguished men, all of them and as dear to one another as any brothers could be. 

“I have a bit of interesting news,” said Henry. “You will all remember the old cipher?”

“The one which concerned the fortune at Warrington?”

“Yes,” Henry said. “I brought it out recently for James.” James was Henry’s eldest and only son. At only ten years of age, he had shown a remarkable aptitude for mathematics and his parents were always seeking little puzzles and codes to divert him. 

“Did he find the fortune?” asked Thomas with a laugh. The fortune which had caused so much trouble to their parents was spoken of often, in the manner of fables and legends. 

“He did not,” replied Henry. “However he found a mistake made by our mother and grandfather Bennet when they deciphered it.”

“Pray do not suggest she made a mistake,” Darcy advised. “Call it an alternate solution if you must but not a mistake.” 

His advisement caused the gentlemen to chuckle; their mother was much beloved but rarely inclined to admit she made mistakes. 

“In any case,” said Henry, “it would seem that there is most certainly a hidden fortune.

For a moment, everyone ceased moving. Darcy had begun to raise a glass to his lips but stopped halfway there. His jaw dropped, and he lowered the drink with a thump on the table. “Can that be so?”

“My son did not find it — but I did.” Henry lowered his eyes, shaking his head. “I can hardly credit it myself.”

“How much?” Edward was, as always, just slightly too bold, but in this case Darcy did not mind. He was, himself, mad to know. 

When Henry named the sum, he did so quietly and the gentlemen around the table immediately gasped and then doubted the veracity of what they had heard. “How could that be!” “From the purses of simple market folk? No, I cannot credit it!”

“The money is there,” Henry replied mildly. “It cannot be denied. My guess is that Lord Strange must have secured a bit of his own coin there as well.”

“He did raise quite a lot of money for his troops,” Darcy acknowledged. As Lord Strange had become the Earl of Derby back then, it had always been a bit of history that interested him. “He did not, perhaps, spend it all.”

“Warrington was dear to him,” Henry added. “They protected him as best they could. I think my father and uncle must have suspected his lordship’s money was in there too, else they should not have been so keen to go after it.”

“Well, good for Warrington then,” said Thomas. “And good for James. It will be to his benefit after all.”

“No,” said Henry. “No, I do not think it shall after all.”

The gentlemen looked at him with varying degrees of surprise marking their faces. Henry grinned and in that grin Darcy saw the little boy who had once sat at his feet and played, who had been so good-natured his life long, and he knew some proud moment was about to transpire. 

“That money came from the town,” he explained. “Whether from their labours or their loyalties, it was theirs and though they are long gone now, I would like the descendants to obtain some benefit from it.”

As his brothers and father looked on, Henry said, “I shall establish a school with a large library for the children in the town to learn to read and write. All of them, such as are able, shall be able to come and learn and the tutors shall be employed by Warrington — none of the families will need to part with a farthing for it.”

A capital idea,” said Darcy. “I have always said that I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library.”

“You have indeed, sir,” Henry replied with a smile.

And so it was that the legacy in Warrington Castle was used to establish the Bennet School in Lancashire where generations of children thenceforth, from the highest to the low, could learn to read and write and, eventually, learn mathematics and science.


I don't believe there could have been a better way to end this blog tour than with a vignette like this one! I hope you all loved it as much as I did. 

Book Blurb:

Avoiding the truth does not change the truth.

When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Miss Elizabeth Bennet he has no idea that she — that indeed, the entire town of Meryton — harbors a secret. Miss Elizabeth, a simply country girl from a humble estate, manages to capture first his fascination and then his heart without him ever knowing the truth of her past.

When she meets Darcy, Elizabeth had spent the two years prior hiding from the men who killed her beloved first husband. Feeling herself destroyed by love, Elizabeth has no intention of loving again, certainly not with the haughty man who could do nothing but offend her in Hertfordshire.

In London, Elizabeth surprises herself by finding in Darcy a friend; even greater is her surprise to find herself gradually coming to love him and even accepting an offer of marriage from him. Newly married, they are just beginning to settle into their happily ever after when a condemned man on his way to the gallows divulges a shattering truth, a secret that contradicts everything Elizabeth thought she knew about the tragic circumstances of her first marriage. Against the advice of everyone who loves her, including Darcy, Elizabeth begins to ask questions. But will what they learn destroy them both?

Author Bio:

Amy D’Orazio is a former breast cancer researcher and current stay at home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in about equal measures. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh PA.

She has two daughters who are devoted to sports which require long practices and began writing her own stories as a way to pass the time she spent sitting in the lobbies of various gyms and studios. She is a firm believer that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses and happily ever afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker. 

Contact Info: 

Goodreads Author Page
Facebook: Amy D'Orazio
Instagram: amydorazio

Blog Tour Schedule:  If you missed any of the stops,  I hope you will visit today and leave a comment if you choose. Thanks.

  6 Jan My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
  7 Jan Just Jane 1813; Review
  8 Jan Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway
  9 Jan Every Savage Can Dance; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
10 Jan Tomorrow is Another Day; Review
11 Jan Savvy Verse & Wit; Character Interview, Giveaway
12 Jan Half Agony, Half Hope; Review
13 Jan Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
14 Jan Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway
16 Jan From Pemberley to Milton; Review  
18 Jan Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review
19 Jan My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice; Vignette, Giveaway  
20 Jan Diary of an Eccentric; Review
21 Jan More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway

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Thank you to everyone who took part in the blog tour. Thanks to all the readers who visited, commented and participated. Good luck to all of you in the giveaway! I hope you will get the chance to read the book soon.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Special Announcement!

This is my first post for 2017! Can you believe it? I can hardly believe it myself. Here it is, already January 20th and I'm just now wishing all of you a very Happy New Year! In a later post, I will tell you what I've been doing the first part of January but many of you already know! lol 

Now, on to the reason for this post!

Today, on many blogs, simultaneously, there is a very exciting announcement being made about an upcoming release! I think you will love it. As you read more about it, you will see why! So rather than me going on about it, I will get right to the interview with Christina Boyd. (Don't forget to check out the giveaway, too! It's awesome!)


“The Darcy Monologues” Announcement!


Interview with Christina Boyd

There are many well-known names behind today’s exciting announcement in the JAFF community and the one person at the center of it all is here today to share this news with us; the lovely Austenesque editor, Christina Boyd.

Christina, there’s a buzz going around the JAFF community that you are heading a new project and it’s a pleasure to have you visit so many Austenesque blogs today to share your big news!

Can you share with us what you’ve been working on behind-the-scenes?

Thank you for hosting and shining your light on this project. I am excited and not a little proud to announce “The Darcy Monologues”—a short story anthology with sixteen of my very favorite Austenesque writers. I doubt anyone will be surprised by my list—authors I’ve either enjoyed working with and admire their work or authors I have simply fan-girl’d over for years: Susan Adriani, Sara Angelini, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Jan Hahn, Jenetta James, Lory Lilian, Judy-Lynne, KaraLynne Mackrory, Beau North, Ruth Phillips Oakland, Natalie Richards, Sophia Rose, Melanie Stanford, Joana Starnes, and Caitlin Williams.

Wow, that is an exciting line-up of talent!

“The Darcy Monologues” sounds like such a fitting title for this anthology. Would you share with us how it was selected as the title, especially with so many authors involved in this project?

This project is collection of stories all told from Fitzwilliam’s point-of-view—set in Regency, contemporary, as well as other eras. Because the stories are strictly from his eyes, I felt it imperative we find a title that clearly illustrated the book would be more than one tale but all from his point-of-view. In an e-mail from “The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy” author, Sara Angelini, she mentioned how she had long wanted to write a story titled “The Darcy Monologues” or something like… So, in presenting the idea to the group, other ideas were thrown about. After a quick Google search, we learned there was a short story on Derbyshire Writer’s Guild by Judy-Lynne with the same title. She had written a short story described as six “extemporaneous rants” expressed by Fitzwilliam Darcy. Not one to be a copycat, we moved on to other names. But as time passed, nothing resonated with me as much so I felt incumbent to ask Judy-Lynne if she would be offended if we used the same title. Unfortunately, she is rarely on the fanfiction sites anymore and everyone I asked claimed they did not know how to get in touch with her. Finally! Finally, I connected with her through “A Happy Assembly” and asked her about the title use, she accepted, and I asked her if she was still writing and would she be interested in writing a short for the anthology. She said she wasn’t writing but agreed to the challenge. And that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

How does this project differ from anything you’ve worked on before?

I’ve worked on two other anthologies, published in 2015 by Meryton Press: “Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer” and “Then Comes Winter.” Both were set-up as writing contests with a panel of judges reading and selecting the submissions. This project, I am self-publishing and have assembled my own dream team.

At this point, what can you share about your experiences working with so many talented Austenesque writers?

I feel lucky! Blessed. Not only that these talented writers have all graciously committed to this project—some having not written anything Austenesque in years—but have over a short period of time become so dear to me on a personal level.

What can readers expect from this anthology?

The authors have all committed to write a short piece from Darcy’s point-of-view, between 5000-15,000 words, and must have romance—but no scenes that I wouldn’t be able to share with my teenage daughter or eighty-year-old mother-in-law. Even with that last tenet, I am amazed how these writers can turn up the heat in a room. Have your fans handy—and even a few tissues!

It seems like we just can’t get enough of Mr. Darcy! What’s his appeal, Christina, 200 years later?

“Pride and Prejudice” is told in the third-person narrative, limited omniscient, from Elizabeth Bennet’s point-of-view. In my fiction, I have always had a weakness for the rich, powerful, noble, and handsome man who changes his ways for love, and a woman worthy of his efforts. I’ve long dreamt of putting together a collection of stories all from my favorite Austen hero’s eyes. Yes, “Pride and Prejudice” has been told before from Darcy’s point-of-view by the talented Pamela Aidan, Stanley Hurd, Amanda Grange, Janet Aylmer, and Mary Street, to name a few—but with all the amazing “Pride and Prejudice” re-imaginings out there, I wanted to read alternate stories in his own words.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us today about The Darcy Monologues?

The anthology is scheduled for release May 22, 2017 and we have a few promotions planned in the coming weeks as we finish the editing process to spit and polish the collection.

Before we part, Christina, I hear you have some rather thrilling news to share with us on a personal level, which was just announced early this week. Care to divulge the details here too?

Well… I can barely believe it myself but…I won—I WON, the Omaze “Champagne Toast with Henry Cavill on the London Eye" experience! (Fundraiser to benefit the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.) You read that right. I won. I’m flying to London to meet my all-time favorite book boyfriend, the very talented British actor, Henry Cavill. I have never been to England, except layovers in Heathrow—which doesn’t count—so I feel like the French teacher who has never been to France. And here I get to go, stay in a luxury hotel, explore London, and have a champagne toast with Henry Cavill. Pinch me! And yes, if he is willing, I do hope to have him sign some swag for “The Darcy Monologue” giveaways—after all, he is my book boyfriend.


I love the video of Christina finding out she won. If you get a chance, click the link below to take a look for yourself.
Christina's Winner Reveal Video



Christina Boyd wears many hats as she is an editor, a contributor to Austenprose, and a ceramicist under her own banner, Stir Crazy Mama’s Artworks. A life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England remains on her bucket list.


We are giving away some really fun prizes to three lucky winners! One winner will receive a stash of gifts to enjoy with his/her own significant other. These treats include assorted British food and beverage snacks and a Mr. Darcy quote mug.
(This prize is open to a winner with a U.S. mailing address only)

Another winner will receive two stories form the anthology; a Regency story and a contemporary or alternate era short story. The winner will choose his/her prize stories based on the authors in this anthology. These stories will be distributed to the winner on March 15, 2017.

 Our third prize winner will receive a walk-on role in one of the stories in this anthology. That’s right…This winner will have a piece of the action in one of our stories, which means having a character in one of these stories in the anthology named after her/him.
 This is something every JAFF reader dreams about, isn’t it?

These giveaways are open for entries from Friday, January 20 until midnight, ET, on Saturday, January 28, 2017.

The winners will be announced on Sunday, January 29, 2017.


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Isn't this great?! I can hardly wait. This anthology has a fantastic group of authors. Take a look at that line-up!  Wow! It will be such fun to get my hands on this one! Yes, I'm going for the paperback when it is released and probably the eBook too! :)

On another note, Christina, congratulations on winning the trip to London to share a Champagne Toast with Henry Cavill on the London Eye. Sigh!  How neat! I'm thrilled for you and can hardly wait to hear all about it when you get back. I do hope you get to visit more of England, too.

Thank you, Dear Readers, for stopping by today. Keep a watch out for The Darcy Monologues. There will be a blog tour later so we will have lots of opportunities to hear more about this anthology! Yay!
Once again, Happy New Year!