Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Take a Leap with Shannon Winslow

Available on Amazon
It is my pleasure to have with me this morning, Shannon Winslow, and her heroine, Hope O'Neil, from her latest release Leap of Hope. It is such a privilege to have you both visit today. It has been too long Shannon, and I'm happy to see you again. Miss O'Neil, it is a wonderful to meet you and I look forward to knowing you better. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. I understand you have quite an unusual and rather breath-taking adventure ahead. Shall I turn the floor over to Ms. Winslow so you may tell us all about it? Thanks, Ladies. Over to you, Shannon.


Would I like a chance to visit Regency England, the time and place where my imagination has been hanging out for the last dozen years or more? Of course! But I have a couple of conditions.

First, I would have to insist on the Jane Austen version, where even the bad guys have good manners and being poor means you can only afford to keep two servants. Secondly, I must go like a tourist, with a round-trip return ticket and a carry-on bag containing the basic necessities of life. Only offering one-way passes? Then, no thank you. I’m much too fond of my electric toothbrush, modern medicine, and indoor plumbing.

Hope O’Neil – perky southern co-ed, Jane Austen devotee, and heroine of my new novel – is made of braver stuff. She’s at the Crossroads Center now and about to use her one-way pass to Regency England. Before she goes off to start her new life, though, she’s agreed to sit down with me for a little chat. Do stay and join us.


Shannon: Thank you for speaking with me today, Miss O’Neil, and especially for selecting me to document the incredible adventure you’re about to embark on. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am! But that’s nothing compared to what you must be feeling. Did you ever imagine you would find yourself in this position – soon to travel into the past?
Hope: Gosh, no! I had no clue that anything like this was even possible, but now I’m about to head off to 1809 to become a proper English gentleman’s daughter. Is that awesome or what?
Shannon: That’s going to be quite a trip! The staff here at Crossroads really seem to know what they’re doing, though. Routine stuff for them, I suppose, which must give you confidence.
Hope: It does. Crossroads is in the business of handing out second chances; they do it all the time. I’m very lucky to have been selected, though, and everybody here has been so nice. I think Mr. Poindexter is absolutely super. And isn’t Cora just as cute as the knees on a honey bee? And twice as sweet.
Shannon: Well, you know them both better than I do, I’m sure. So, you’ll soon be off to Regency England.
Hope: That’s right; it’s what I decided on – what I’ve always wanted, really. Ever since I discovered Jane Austen, I’ve felt like I belonged in the world that she wrote about, so this is really a dream come true for me.
Shannon: I’m not sure I could do it. I’d miss the modern conveniences too much. You don’t have any misgivings about that?
Hope: It’s going to call for some adjustments, I know, especially the no-indoor-plumbing part. But I’ve been camping before, plenty of times. How much different could it be?
Shannon: At least you were allowed to choose your situation. Have I got that right? You won’t wind up as a scullery maid or a beggar?
Hope: No, nothing like that. I picked a spot as much like Elizabeth Bennet’s as I could find. I’ll be gentry and live in a fine manor house called Laurelwood – nothing too grand but it reminds me of Longbourn. There’s even an entail.
Shannon: Is there also a neighbor like Mr. Bingley, who happens to have a rich and handsome friend visiting?
Hope: I sure wouldn’t mind! But I can’t count on that. What I do know is I’ll be the second oldest, just like Lizzy, in a family of four daughters with a mother and a father and everything. Having a big family this time is important to me.
Shannon: That’s right; you’re recently orphaned, aren’t you? I’m so sorry. And no brothers or sisters either?
Hope: No, ma’am. I was an only child. I’m not leaving anybody behind – not a boyfriend or even a flea-bitten hound dog to miss me.
Shannon: Tell me more about your new family, then. How exactly do you join a family anyway? Somebody’s bound to notice, aren’t they?
Hope: (laughing) Right. Like Cora told me, “You can’t just show up at the dinner table one day, out of the blue and fully grown, and expect people not to wonder where you came from.” So the way they do it is they slip you into someone else’s spot – somebody who just that second died – and you get to live life out in their place. There’s a whole menu of openings to pick from. It’s practically like ordering lunch at Denny’s! Well, anyway, this girl Kate Barrett – the one I’ve chosen – she died in a riding accident in 1809. Now she’ll seem to survive, only it will be me instead. Do you see?
Shannon: That’s pretty amazing. I never would have believed it.
Hope: It’s done all the time, like I said. You might even have run into a ‘transplant’ before without knowing it – a person who surprisingly recovered from something that should by all rights have done him in, maybe. Like I knew this gal once – her name was Sandi Baker – and everybody said had no business surviving this terrible kind of food poisoning she got from eating bad sushi. But then she did survive after all, and she bounced back, right as rain. Now I wonder if she could have been somebody from Crossroads on a second chance. But Cora wouldn’t tell me. Top secret stuff, apparently.
Shannon: I guess the possibilities opened by time travel are endless.
Hope: It’s mind boggling! Sometimes it actually makes my head hurt to consider… (gasping) Oh, my goodness!
Shannon: What is it?
Hope: A wild idea just popped into my head! I was just thinking that it’s possible you could be a ‘transplant’ on a second chance!
Shannon: Me? No!
Hope: It’s possible – you or anyone. You see, the person eventually loses their memories of their original life. That’s what I’ve been told. So after a while, you wouldn’t know yourself that you had ever been anybody else. That’s why I said it’s possible. You must admit… Uh, Ms. Winslow, are you okay?
Shannon: (hand pressed against forehead) What…? Oh… yes, of course. Just a sudden headache.
Hope: (nodding) Uh-huh. Like I told you; thinking too hard about time travel can do that.


Shannon Winslow’s Crossroads Collection is made up of two very different books so far, stories about turning points, possibilities, and second chances. Leap of Hope and Leap of Faith are each complete in themselves but connected by theme and the Crossroads characters. They can be read in either order.

Who hasn’t wondered at least once how life would have changed by making an alternate choice at some crucial moment in the past? Where would you be today if you’d turned right instead of left at an important crossroads or been able to sidestep a particular misfortune? Or perhaps you’ve daydreamed about a different life altogether, in a different place and time. Each book in the Crossroads Collection features a new hero/heroine who’s given the extraordinary gift of a second chance at life, the chance to answer for themselves the intriguing question “what if?” 

Both Available on Amazon along with other books by Shannon Winslow

Leap of Hope: Chance at an Austen Kind of Life
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of granting second chances. And their newest client is Hope O’Neil – college student and Jane Austen devotee, who always believed she’d be more at home in Regency England, wearing corsets and courted by men in cravats. But can a modern girl really fit into a world with no electricity, cell phones, or indoor plumbing? Hope is about to find out when her wish for an Austen kind of life is unexpectedly granted. Although she envisions her second chance will be like something straight out of Pride and Prejudice – complete with her own Mr. Darcy and a romantic happy ending – she gets more than she bargained for in this delightful romp through Regency England… a lot more.

Available on Amazon

Leap of Faith: Second Chance at the Dream
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of granting second chances. And their newest client is Ben Lewis, a former star athlete who never recovered from the death of his dream to make it big in the big leagues. Now he’s being offered the opportunity to return to 1991 and try again, this time without the illness that originally ended his baseball hopes. What’s the catch? He will pay for his second chance by forfeiting his memories of the first… and possibly along with them, the love of his life. Can he find his way home to the woman he’s long forgotten but never stopped missing? Or will reaching for the brass ring with both hands cause the treasure he once possessed to slip forever from his grasp?


My, I'm not so sure that I would be as brave as you, Miss O'Neil, although I have a longing for a return to England, that is almost unbearable at times. That longing calls to my heart as if I belong there so I do understand those feelings you have. I would love to 'visit' Regency times but fear I would not enjoy doing without some of my necessities of this life, like toilets and computers, for a couple. I know, they are at two ends of the spectrum of necessary, but I find I would miss both terribly. All of my misgivings aside, I must tell you, you have my deepest admiration and my best wishes for your journey. How eager I am to hear how it all turns out! I guess the only recourse is to read your story as told by Shannon Winslow and find out for myself! What do you think? 

Now Dear Readers, what do you think? Would you want a one-way ticket to Regency England, or anywhere, for that matter? Tell us in your comments. Let us know where you would go if you could and if you would be willing to stay or only go if you could return. It should be fun reading your answers to that thought provoking question! Thanks to all of you for stopping by and a special 'thank you' to Shannon Winslow and Hope O'Neil. It has been wonderful having you today and I loved the interview, ladies. Hope, I think you left Ms. Winslow with a few things to ponder! Delicious, isn't it!?

There is a giveaway! Some of you will have the chance to find out about Hope's adventure and also about Ben's. Isn't that great? I'm thrilled for you. Once you do, you must write and tell me what you think. Ms. Winslow is giving away two paperbacks, one of each title, US only and two eBooks, one of each title, worldwide. That's one paperback and one eBook for Leap of Hope and one paperback and one eBook for Leap of Faith. There will be four  different winners and the giveaway is international for eBooks and US only for paperbacks! Isn't that a fantastic giveaway? Thank you, Shannon Winslow. Readers, when you tell us about your thoughts on time travel, if and where, don't forget to include your contact info too. Thanks for popping in and good luck to all of you. Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 3rd of April. Can you believe it is already nearly April? I can't either!

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Darcy Monologues Cover Reveal

It is my pleasure to be a part of The Darcy Monologues Cover Reveal. Isn't it striking? There are sixteen blogs participating and the reveal is happening at all of them at the same time! Fifteen great authors are featured in this anthology. Won't it be fun when we finally get to read their stories? I have already read one of them and can tell you, if the rest are as good as it is, we are all in for a treat!
There are some fabulous giveaways to go with this reveal so be sure to check them out toward the end of the post.
Below is a little bit about the cover art designer and the graphics designer. Enjoy!
The amazing cover art is the genius of Shari Ryan of MadHat Books. She took the cover concept and created exactly as I envisioned. Shari professionally, quickly, and concisely handled my countless questions, suggestions, and “just one more tweak” in the challenging format of the print interior—even had a special script code written to make it happen. And then when the original concept had to be scrapped because of the print-on-demand company’s limitations that were beyond our control (long, convoluted story only to be shared over strong cocktails), Shari AGAIN created the present cover and interior for both print and e-book. I could not recommend her expertise more!
Multi-talented author Beau North designed the individual fantastic short story graphics for our social media promotions. I think each gives a lovely overall feel for each story. And the color concept I think works well with #TheDarcyMonologues branding, too!

Pre-Order Link

Book Description

The book blurb reads as follows:

“You must allow me to tell you...”

For over two hundred years, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy has captivated readers’ imaginations as the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes, how are we to know what his tortured soul is indeed thinking? How does Darcy progress from “She is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me” to “I thought only of you”? 

In this romance anthology, fifteen Austen-inspired authors assemble to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the fanciful. Herein “The Darcy Monologues”, the man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all told with a previously concealed wit and enduring charm. 

Stories by: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams

Blogs Participating in the Cover Reveal

Author Info

Formally trained as a fine artist and illustrator, Susan Adriani discovered her passion for storytelling over a decade after she graduated from a local art college near her childhood home in New England. Susan is the author of The Truth about Mr. Darcy and Darkness Falls upon Pemberley.

Sara Angelini is a lawyer living in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband, three kids, two dogs, a frog, some fish, and a few hundred stick bugs. She never went to veterinary school but if she had, she would have been a true proficient. She enjoys writing from Darcy’s point of view in a way that shows his humor and vulnerability. Her first book, The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy, was published in 2008. She is the co-founder of www.austenunderground.com, where her other Pride and Prejudice-inspired works can be read.

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of four novels accented with romance and history: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, At the Edge of the Sea, and Undeceived. She also wrote “Northanger Revisited 2015”, which appeared in the anthology Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer. Originally from Everett, Washington, Karen now lives in Central Kentucky with her husband, works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter. Like Austen’s Emma, Karen has many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but like Elizabeth Bennet, she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker. 

J. Marie Croft is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.’ Bearing witness to her fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter are Joanne’s light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight, a Babblings of a Bookworm Favourite Read of 2014, her humorous short story, “Spyglasses and Sunburns,” in the Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology, and a playful novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities, Just Jane 1813’s Favorite JAFF Novella of 2016.

Award-winning writer Jan Hahn is the author of four Austen-inspired novels. She studied music at the University of Texas but discovered her true love was a combination of journalism and literature. Her first book, An Arranged Marriage, was published in 2011, followed by The Journey, The Secret Betrothal, and A Peculiar Connection. She agrees with Mr. Darcy’s words in Pride and Prejudice: “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” She is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, lives in Texas, has five children and a gaggle of gorgeous grandchildren.

Jenetta James is a mother, lawyer, writer, and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practices full time as a barrister. Over the years, she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego. She is the author of Suddenly Mrs. Darcy and The Elizabeth Papers.

Lory Lilian fell in love with Pride and Prejudice thirty-three years ago and discovered the charm of Jane Austen fanfiction exactly twenty years later. She lives in Bucharest, Romania, is a proud mother of an amazing daughter, and addicted to anything Austen. After a career in business, she dedicates her time to reading and writing. Lory is the author of six bestselling books: Rainy Days, Remembrances of the Past, His Uncle’s Favorite, The Perfect Match, Sketching Mr. Darcy, The Rainbow Promise, and A Man with Faults. JAFF readers call her the “Queen of Hot Mush” and she loves it.

KaraLynne Mackrory is no newbie to the writing world. She made her debut as an author at the tender age of 13 when she wrote her first set of bad poetry. As a young adult, she steered clear of bad prose and achieved a degree in social work. Years later, she has published four Austen inspired novels so full of romantic sensibilities as to give you a swoon and hopefully a few laughs. Her books turned out better than her poetry and are: Falling for Mr. Darcy, Bluebells in the Mourning, the IPPY award-winning Haunting Mr. Darcy, and Yours Forevermore, Darcy.

Beau North is the author of Longbourn’s Songbird, The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy, 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 co-host of the podcast Excessively Diverted: Modern Austen Onscreen.

Mild-mannered business woman by day, hopeless romantic by night, Ruth Phillips Oakland was always a fan of the fictional gentleman from Derbyshire, but it was her discovery of Jane Austen fanfiction in 2006 that inspired Ruth to become a writer. Ruth has written dozens of short stories posted online and the published novel entitled, My BFF. Ruth lives in New England with her favorite husband of over thirty years and is thrilled to be included in this anthology with so many of her favorite authors and friends.

Natalie Richards is a writer, blogger, and singer. She started her book review blog, Songs & Stories, in late 2010 after falling in love with Jane Austen fanfiction. Her writing can also be found on Figment, the Darcy & Lizzy Forum, TeenInk Magazine, and in the Austenesque anthologies Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and Then Comes Winter. She resides with her family in the Oregon countryside and currently works as a waitress and babysitter.

Sophia Rose is a native Californian currently residing in Michigan. A long-time Jane Austen fan, she is a contributing author to Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and Then Comes Winter anthologies. Sophia’s love for writing began as a teen writing humorous stories submitted for creative writing class and high school writing club. Writing was set aside while Sophia pursued degrees and certificates in education, special education, family history, and social work leading to a rewarding career. Health issues led to reduced work hours and an opportunity to read, beta, and review books, and return to writing stories that lean toward the humorous side and always end with a happily ever after.

Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives in Canada with her husband and four kids. She is the author of SWAY, a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and the short story “Becoming Fanny” featured in the anthology Then Comes Winter. Her second novel, Collide, inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, is coming soon. You can find her at melaniestanfordbooks.com, on Twitter @MelMStanford, and on Facebook @ MelanieStanfordauthor.

Joana Starnes lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats—physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst—but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine. She is the author of seven Austen-inspired novels: From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley, The Subsequent Proposal, The Second Chance, The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle, Miss Darcy’s Companion, and Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. You can connect with Joana through her website http://www.joanastarnes.co.uk/ and on Facebook via All Roads Lead to Pemberley.

Caitlin Williams is an award-winning author of two novels, Ardently and the best-selling The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet, both of which spin the plot of Pride and Prejudice around but keep the characters just the same. Originally from South London, Caitlin spent thirteen years as a detective in the Metropolitan Police but is currently on a break from Scotland Yard so she can spend more time at home with her two children and write. She now lives in Kent, where she spends a lot of time daydreaming about Mr. Darcy, playing with dinosaurs, and trying not to look at the laundry pile.

Christina Boyd wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a ceramicist and proprietor of 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 was made possible by her book boyfriend and star crush Henry Cavill when she won a trip to meet him on the London Eye in the spring of 2017.

Cover Reveal Giveaways

The giveaways are for two separate winners.

 One winner will be selected to win a Kindle Fire with Alexa, and a 7” display.

This giveaway will take place from March 27 – April 21, 2017.
The winner will be announced on April 22, 2017.
All entries will be entered through the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The second giveaway is for a $25.00 Etsy gift card.

To enter this giveaway, you will create a Pinterest Board named The Darcy Monologues and post all fifteen story images from the cover reveals, one per each author included in the anthology, and Tweet the board on Twitter. The Tweet must include the hashtag, #TheDarcyMonolgues.
This giveaway will take place from March 27 – April 21, 2017.

The winner will be announced on April 22, 2017.

The Darcy Monologues Blog Tour Schedule

April 3 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Launch Post & Giveaway
April 10 / Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
April 17 / The Reading Frenzy / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 20 / My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 24 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway
May 1 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway
May 8 / Just Jane 1813 / Excerpt Post & Giveaway
May 15 / Austenesque Reviews / Book Review & Giveaway
May 22 / Austenesque Reviews / Guest Post & Giveaway
May 25 / Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway
May 29 / More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway
June 5 / So Little Time / Excerpt Post & Giveaway
June 12 / Diary of an Eccentric/ Book Review & Giveaway
June 19 / Book Lover in Florida / Book Excerpt & Giveaway
June 26 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway
July 3 / Savvy Verse & Wit / Book Review & Giveaway

Dear Readers, I hope you take some time to visit the different blogs and look for the author story images. It will be fun to see the Pinterest Board with all fifteen of them. Thanks, Claudine, for a great reveal. I was glad to be part of it. Best wishes on the anthology, Christina. You have quite an amazing bunch of authors featured. Good luck to all with the generous and exciting giveaway!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mistress...Sophie Turner

I am happy to have Sophie Turner visit More Agreeably Engaged again. Today, she pops in during her busy blog tour for Mistress: A Pride and Prejudice Variation with Parts Not Suitable for Those Who Have Not Reached Their MajoritySophie discusses this release and shares her answers to some interview questions, giving us a chance to know her better. Sophie is also the author of the A Constant Love series, as well as Less Proud and More Persuasive: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Novella. Please join me in welcoming Sophie Turner.


Sophie, can you share with us some of your background and tell us about the person behind the writer?

Sure! I began my working life intending to be in journalism, and worked as an online editor for a while before I decided to jump completely into the tech world, where I work in web design. Since then I’ve been off-and-on working on writing in a more fictional style, and then I found the JAFF world and decided to give that a try.

I love reading and writing, of course, and also really enjoy hiking and travel. I try to go to Britain once every year and really immerse and enjoy myself there. I’m very interested in history, and I find Britain has some of the most interesting history and some of the best storytellers, so it’s a wonderful place to travel, for me. Lately, of course, it’s also been very inspiring!

I know you’ve been writing JAFF for a few years now, but can you tell us why this new book, Mistress: A Pride and Prejudice Variation with Parts Not Suitable for Those Who Have Not Reached Their Majority, is such a departure from your other JAFF stories?

Aside from my little novella, Less Proud and More Persuasive, everything I’ve done has been continuations. That’s what I really wanted to read more of when I found JAFF, so that’s what I found myself writing. So it’s different in that it’s the first novel-length variation that I’ve done. It also features Elizabeth as a widow, which is something that’s a departure for me, and not something featured as often in JAFF generally.

The more striking difference, of course, are those “parts not suitable for those who have not reached their majority.” I have kept the Constant Love series as close to canon as I could, and so while that series does veer into the bedchamber more than the original, by virtue of having so many married couples, it’s very much been fade to black. That is definitely not the case with Mistress! It was a really interesting challenge to try to write sensual scenes but still keep them in a more Austenesque tone. I wanted to try to do something that was steamy, but still classy.

What led you to write a JAFF story that's so different from anything else you’ve published so far?

This was another case where I felt like there was a gap in the genre that I could help fill: a story with sensual elements that were relevant to the greater story being told, and the characters act appropriately for themselves and people of their standing during that time. That meant if there was pre-marital sex, Elizabeth had to be a widow, which ended up creating all sorts of interesting possibilities for the greater story.

I was also really interested in trying to depart from what’s such a common scenario, in JAFF and in romance in general when it comes to sex, where you have this experienced guy and an inexperienced lady. I wanted to try telling a story where it’s a lot more complicated than that. Darcy is a guy whom Elizabeth thought had “selfish disdain of the feelings of others” in the original book (they don’t get that far in canon, in Mistress), and I thought it would be very interesting for him to have to disprove that in every possible way, including in the bedchamber. What he didn’t have in experience, he could make up for in, errrm, research, and in empathy.

And, just generally, I like a challenge and an opportunity to grow myself as a writer. With the Constant Love series generally planned out through all seven books, and needing to retain some degree of consistency through the remaining books, this was a chance for me to do something different.

I understand this story was posted on FanFiction.net as a work-in-progress. Can you tell us about this process and how it helped you shape the published version of this story?

Yes, it was posted both on FanFiction.net and Archive of our Own, and the whole process was tremendously helpful! I knew this story was going to be a departure from the JAFF norm, and I was really interested in getting a lot of upfront feedback on it, just to see how readers were going to react to a story like this. Was there really a niche that needed filled? Or did people want nothing to do with a widowed Elizabeth and all those steamy bits?

The online postings helped me validate that yes, there were readers out there interested in a story like this. But what they did even more was help me shape the final story. I let readers know when I first posted that I really wanted constructive criticism, and those who provided the most helpful feedback would receive a free copy of the final story, and I got such a range of useful feedback.

When I first wrote this story, it basically ate my brain in November of 2015, when all of these various things I’d been wanting to do sort of coalesced in my head, and then I just had to write it. This isn’t my usual way of doing things – usually I have an outline planned out before I begin writing, and while I may deviate from it as needed, it generally holds me to writing all of the scenes I think will be necessary.

The most critical feedback that I got during the online posting were that there were areas where I had been rushing, which I think was due to the lack of my usual discipline. What are now chapters 9 and 10 were originally one chapter, and after I posted it, I think about half of the readers liked it, and half felt that it was too rushed, and pointed out all sorts of issues that I hadn’t realized. I actually halted posting for a while, rewrote it into two chapters, and really saw how much better it was because of the feedback I’d incorporated. That’s not the only instance of this – there are two other chapters that have been added to the final published story to help with pacing issues that the online readers helped me understand.

There was more micro-level feedback, too – in order for this story to work, there are certain things that streeetch pretty far from canon. One example is that Charles Bingley is the one to give Darcy his Hunsford moment. As a result of the feedback I received, I saw where I needed to refine these things to make them more believable. In the original draft, it’s merely learning of Darcy’s (and Caroline’s) attempts to separate Bingley from Jane that cause him to react in the way that he does. After the feedback, it was both that and remarks Darcy makes that Bingley takes as an insult related to his fortune from trade. You can read more about this particular edit in my post on Austen Authors. That’s just one example, but there were so many comments that encouraged me to make refinements that made the story more believable, or improved the flow.

What did the research process look like for you when you were writing this story?

Let’s just say that I often had a blush upon my countenance! I actually think there is a Google engineer in some basement somewhere doing analysis and wondering why on earth the same person was alternating between googling sex positions and Regency dress.

I’m pretty staunch on doing research about anything that I’m writing about, particularly since I’m writing about a period of time in which I haven’t actually lived. Well, except that one day when I attempted it. So that meant I had to read about sex and pornography in the Georgian era. That research Darcy does is key, and I wanted to have some sense of what would actually have been available to him.

I also read a biography of Beau Brummell – there’s a thread that runs through this story related to men’s fashion and hygiene during that time, and Brummell was undoubtedly the arbiter of both.  

Some JAFF readers struggle with a story where Elizabeth has been married to someone else other than Mr. Darcy. What would you like these readers to know to encourage them to give your story a try?

I think the first and most critical is that what choice Elizabeth did have, in accepting her first marriage, was whether she would leave what remained of her family homeless, and in genteel destitution. Which is not really much of a choice. It’s certainly not a marriage for love, and so she’s still free to fall in love for the first time with Darcy, albeit in a different manner than the unmarried Elizabeth did.

Then I think the second thing I would say is that the story doesn’t delve deep into her first marriage. The prologue establishes how everything came about, and when we begin with the first chapter, she’s already a widow, about to meet Darcy again at a dinner party.

That’s not to say that her first marriage doesn’t haunt her – it does, and causes most of the obstacles in the story. But the relevance of her first marriage is in how it affects her relationship with Darcy. And I think that’s the most important thing that I’d say for readers hesitant to read a story where Elizabeth has been married before: the scenario opens up a lot of new possibilities for the Elizabeth/Darcy relationship, particularly in how he helps her heal.

Sophie, here’s the short-answer portion of this interview. Can you answer the following questions for my readers?

Favorite book of all-time? Persuasion

Favorite Austen badboy? Willoughby

What’s your favorite piece of inspiration when you sit down to write a JAFF story? Argh, I was doing so good with keeping to short answers, but here I have to say my biggest inspiration is hiking, which is not at all sitting down! Something about walking in beautiful places and letting my mind wander truly inspires me and helps me decide where I want to go with my stories. More’s the better if the hiking is in Britain!

Is there a song that resonates with this story for you?
Yes, “Hello,” by Adele.

Ereader or reader of paper-based books?
Ereader. I have limited shelf space!

Anything to share about your work on your A Constant Love series?
Yes, that I’m still working on it! Book three will be titled A Season Lost.

What can readers do to support your work?
Give it a try, of course! Beyond that, leave their reviews, and follow me on my social media channels to see when my next online posting on Fanfiction.net and Archive of our Own will be, to give feedback on work in progress:


Purchase Links: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA

Book Description

One night, to decide his entire life's happiness.

Chastened by Charles Bingley following Mr. Bennet’s untimely death, Fitzwilliam Darcy determines he will offer marriage to Elizabeth Bennet, but she marries another.

Years later, a widowed Elizabeth is mistress of Longbourn, and has vowed she will never marry again. A house party at Netherfield brings them back together, but Darcy will have to win more than her heart if he is to have any chance at making her mistress of Pemberley.

Readers of Sophie Turner's more chaste Constant Love series should be aware that this novel contains decidedly adult content at certain parts of the story.

Author Links

Author Biography

Sophie Turner worked as an online editor before delving even more fully into the tech world. Writing, researching the Regency era, and occasionally dreaming about living in Britain are her escapes from her day job.

She was afraid of long series until she ventured upon Patrick O’Brian’s 20-book Aubrey-Maturin masterpiece, something she might have repeated five times through.

Alas, her Constant Love series is only planned to be seven books right now, and consists of A Constant Love, A Change of Legacies, and the in-progress A Season Lost.

She blogs about her writing endeavours at sophie-turner-acl.blogspot.com, where readers can find direction for the various social drawing-rooms across the Internet where she may be called upon.

Blog Tour Schedule

March 18 / My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
March 19 / Of Pens & Pages/Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
March 20 / Margie’s Must Reads /Book Review & Giveaway
March 21 / More Agreeably Engaged/Author Spotlight & Giveaway
March 22 / A Lady’s Imagination / Guest Post & Giveaway
March 23 / Just Jane 1813/Guest Post & Giveaway
March 24 / Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
March 25 / My Love for Jane Austen/Excerpt Post & Giveaway
March 26 / My Vices and Weaknesses/Book Review & Giveaway
March 27 / So Little Time…/Excerpt Post & Giveaway
March 28 / Babblings of a Bookworm/ Guest Post & Giveaway
March 29 / From Pemberley to Milton / Vignette Post & Giveaway


Sophie Turner is giving away two ebooks of Mistress at each blog tour stop. That is quite a giveaway. Be sure and leave a comment to be entered. Unless I notify you otherwise, the giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 27th of March. Good luck to all. If you haven't visited the other stops in the tour, I hope you will take a few minutes to do that and see what all is happening at each of them, as well as enter their giveaways.

Thanks, Sophie, for stopping by and allowing us to get to know you and learn more about your latest book. It has been a pleasure having you. I hope you do well and have a fun blog tour. Please come back anytime!