Monday, October 30, 2017

Teaching Eliza...Riana Everly

Welcome, Riana Everly, to More Agreeably Engaged. It is great having you visit and share with us some tidbits about your new release, Teaching Eliza. Mr. Wickham's visit is,, well, shall we say, exactly what I would expect from the man. You notice I left of 'gentle'? :) I couldn't quite bring myself to state it otherwise. He is quite the gossip, is he not? 

Dear Readers, Mr. Wickham will enjoy speaking much of himself and his looks in your presence. Enjoy, but beware. He forgot his purse and his coins. 

Oh, and Mr. Wickham, there is a giveaway of books that might 'flatter' you somewhat as the story must surely mention you, by name and by deed!

Mr. Wickham visits the blog

Well, hello there! I didn’t see you walk in. Come, sit down and keep me company for a while. Allow me to introduce myself. The name is George Wickham, recently arrived in London from more provincial parts. Much more exciting, London is, than that little village where I was stationed. Better food and drink in the pubs like this one as well, and so many pretty girls!

Ah, I see you have nothing to drink. Let me call the serving girl. What will you have? An ale? Tea, perhaps, or plate of bread and cheese? Ah, here she is. A tea and biscuits for my companion, and another ale for me, there’s a good wench. Oh, this is embarrassing. Perhaps the other pocket. Heh, heh, heh… I seem to have left my bag of coins in my rooms. Would you mind, just this once? I shall treat next time, to be certain! Thank you so much.

Did I mention I had been with the militia? We were stationed in this little village in Hertfordshire, nowhere you would have heard of, I’m certain. Meryton, they called it. Not much going on there, although some of the girls were very amenable. They liked me, although I do wonder if they liked my red coat more. But no, for I think I look just as smart and handsome in this dark blue. I do believe it brings out my eyes. Do you think my eyes are my best feature? They are a most attractive shade, are they not? Or it is my golden hair? Many a lass has cooed over these curls. Or really, perhaps I ought to be most proud of my fine and straight nose and square jaw. I must admit I do not mind a mirror at all, for I am a rather handsome fellow, am I not?

But, to the point, I enjoy sitting here in this pub. It is close enough to where the Nobs live that their servants frequent these tables, and I hear the most salacious gossip at times. It is remarkable, really, how people will talk on and on when they are confronted with a silent companion. You would not imagine the most intimate details one hears! Why, just the other day I heard from his very footman that Lord Sommersby was seen leaving rooms not his own…

Forgive me. You did not come to listen to this second-hand rumour, although it can be most diverting. What are more interesting still are the stories from people who do not frequent these tables. For what happens is this: A gentleman confesses a confidence to his valet, whose discretion we shall not judge, but who is overheard by a footman in the corridor. Well, the footman might have a friend in the stables, who in turn tells the tale to his girl at the bakery, who tells it to her brother, and before long the story has made its way from Mayfair to the alleyways. And most of these stories end up here, if a man has the patience to sit and listen for them. Better still, when one such as I has connections, one may put out a request for such juicy items of gossip, and they veritably fly to my ears! Do I profit from these gems, you ask? Well, a gentleman never tells. But, heh, heh, heh, I am no gentleman!

Look! The lady author Mrs. Everly has even written about some such events in her novel. I never read such things myself, for the effort is surely greater than the reward, but I do say that if ever a book were to be interesting, I should be the subject of it. Here, let us see what wonderful words she has to offer about me!

George Wickham is well entrenched in the gossip mills, but perhaps he does not always listen as carefully as he ought! Perhaps he should start paying a bit more attention to details.

Ale and brandy were consumed in quantity and money was wagered and lost even more liberally, and by the time Wickham returned to his rooms in London three days later, his purse empty and his head full and pounding, the immediate ado over Darcy’s engagement had subsided, to be replaced by some scandal from the palace and a rather cryptic article about the Duke of S’s wife and the Earl of P and some unusual event at the recent races.

It was two days after this that Wickham’s head and stomach had settled sufficiently for him to contemplate a visit to his usual drinking spot, and at last, he finally heard the news.

“D’ye hear the news, Georgie boy? Yer old pal, Darly or sompin’ like dat, he’s gettin’ hisself leg-shackled!” Wickham knew the man only as Higgins; he was some ten years Wickham’s senior, a retired petty naval officer on half-pay, and a regular denizen of the tavern. Although often somewhat in his cups, the man was usually clean and well-enough dressed that he was not to be thought of as a complete reprobate. Mrs. Higgins, whoever she might be, took some care of her wastrel husband, it was clear. Wickham had spent many an evening relating his tale of woe to all who would listen, and Higgins, a good-seeming soul behind his drunkenness, was happy to listen. In turn, he had told his own story, dwelling on the battles he had seen and the final assault on his ship that had left him with his injury, but Wickham had not bothered to pay more attention than was needed to nod, frown, or comment suitably. This was one of Wickham’s most valuable skills, he considered: the ability to listen only to what he felt was important, whilst leaving the appreciation of the details and specifics to those whose smaller intellects might need them. A smart man such as he could always supply the details from his imaginings, if ever they were needed.

Taking his flagon over to the table where Higgins sat, Wickham grabbed a chair and placed himself upon it. The man’s news intrigued him. “Darcy, you say?”

“Aye,” came the affirmation.

“Getting married! Well, this is news indeed! Tell me what you know. I have been out of… town for some days, and had missed this item!” He leaned forward and placed his elbows on the low wooden table, bracing himself above his ale, encouraging his companion to speak.

Always happy to relate gossip, Higgins grinned, belched, and threw back a large gulp of his own ale, before relating all of his meagre information. “‘Twas in the newspapers some days back - yesterday, day b’fore, p’rhaps. I didn’ read it none meself, but I done hear the nobs talking.” The tavern was a fairly respectable spot, as often frequented by gentlemen on their way to some slightly unsavoury entertainment or gaming house as by the more presentable of the underclasses, such as Higgins. Its location, just off the streets that housed more acceptable establishments, with its slightly seedy character, allowed these ‘nobs’ the conceit of feeling they were bashing at the walls of society, living rough, and taking wild risks, all the while never really leaving the safety of their fashionable part of town. It was, in short, a marvelous place to hear gossip.

“So, as I was sayin’” Higgins continued, “these nobs was talkin’ ‘bout yer man, Darcy, being engaged for a shackling, and how the other one’s sister had best start lookin’ elsewhere, as should everyone else’s.”

Wickham suppressed a snicker. Caroline had said nothing at all about this, the little minx! Had she known he would ask when they last met? Or had it been so inconsequential to her, in the light of being with him, George Wickham, that she had not thought to comment? Oh, how Darcy would suffer! “What do you know of the girl?” Wickham asked, feeling he should make the appropriate inquiries, all the while celebrating his triumph.

“Some little thing from the country, they was sayin’. Father or brother or someone has an estate out not too far from town. She must be sompin’ mighty pretty to catch his eye like that, and mighty wealthy too! From all ye’s said of the man, he wouldn’t let hisself go for less than his sister’s dowry.”

“Then let us raise a glass to him, Higgins,” Wickham proclaimed with all good cheer. This was certainly Caroline. His Caroline, the woman he had tumbled only short days before, and whom he would have again, and again, before her wedding… and if he had his luck, even after! Ah, yes, at last things were going his way!


What? Can it be? Darcy and Caroline? You might have to read the book to see what’s going on!

Book Description

A tale of love, manners, and the quest for perfect vowels.

From a new voice in historical romance comes this sparkling tale, wherein the elegance of Pride and Prejudice and the wit of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion collide. The results are clever, funny, and often quite unexpected….

Professor Fitzwilliam Darcy, expert in phonetics and linguistics, wishes for nothing more than to spend some time in peace at his friend’s country estate, far from the parade of young ladies wishing for his hand, and further still from his aunt’s schemes to have him marry his cousin. How annoying it is when a young lady from the neighbourhood, with her atrocious Hertfordshire accent and country manners, comes seeking his help to learn how to behave and speak as do the finest ladies of high society.

Elizabeth Bennet has disliked the professor since overhearing his flippant comments about her provincial accent, but recognizes in him her one opportunity to survive a prospective season in London. Despite her ill feelings for the man, she asks him to take her on as a student, but is unprepared for the price he demands in exchange.

“With her clever mash-up of two classics, Riana Everly has fashioned a fresh, creative storyline with an inventive take on our favorite characters, delightful dialogue and laugh out loud humor. Teaching Eliza is certain to become a reader favorite. It’s a must read!” – Sophia Meredith (author of the acclaimed On Oakham Mount and Miss Darcy’s Companion)

Teaching Eliza is a full-length novel of about 110,000 words.

About the Author

Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11, and has never looked back.

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

Links to Purchase: Pronoun

Social Media Links

Riana Everly is giving away five copies of the ebook to blog readers through a random drawing on Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, Riana Everly and George Wickham, for taking the time to chat with us today. It was, hmm, enlightening! I truly enjoyed having you visit, Riana. It was nice to get to meet you. I'm impressed that you play in string quartets. I love photography too, but don't get to enjoy it as much as I used to because of time constraints. I may have to fix that! :)

I hope your book does really well. Your cover is eye-catching and lovely. Best wishes with your release and thanks so much for allowing my readers to get in on your generous giveaway.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Fair Lizzy...Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone and Mr. Darcy are the esteemed guests for More Agreeable Engaged today. It's such a pleasure for you to have us visit your London town house, Mr. Darcy. It is lovely and my Readers and I grateful. We appreciate you, Barbara and Mr. Darcy, for allowing us to sit in on your interview about My Fair Lizzy. Thank you also for such a generous giveaway for my readers. 

We shall now quietly fade into the background so you may proceed with your interview, Ms. Silkstone.

Chatting with Mr. Darcy

Join me in the London town house of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy as we enjoy a bit of a chat and a cup of Lapsang tea. Accomplished in linguistics and etiquette, Darcy’s manners immediately put me on edge. I know how Lizzy must have felt in such fine company. I can only hope to be on my best behavior. The safest way to acquit myself is to follow his lead. Darcy did not use cream or sugar in his tea, and so I nervously follow suit. He holds his cup and saucer at chest level, and I do the same hoping I do not spill it in my lap.

Gazing around the elegant room done up in shades of burgundy and rich purple against a soft gray background, I take a deep breath and begin the interview while trying hard not to notice Darcy’s dark flashing eyes, and thick curly hair. I realize my cup is rattling on the saucer and carefully place them on the table at my side.

Barbara Silkstone:  Mr. Darcy, Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. I understand that you are a very private person, and that makes me doubly grateful for this opportunity to speak with you. If I appear nervous please accept that you are a legend among half the women on earth. I was surprised to learn that you maintain a townhouse in London. Do you no longer reside at Pemberley?”

Darcy: My heart is always with Pemberley. I am in Derbyshire six months out of every year, but currently find myself drawn more and more to London. I don’t enjoy the insincerity of the ton, but the stimulation of the multitudes flowing into the City feeds my passion for elocution and dialects. I am forever studying how best to preserve our beautiful language from the odd vernaculars that seem determined to destroy it.

Silkstone: Is this the room where you tutored Elizabeth Bennet—Lizzy?

My host seems to relax at the mention of her name. He settles back in his chair, carefully balancing his cup and saucer. A smile graces his face allowing a dimple to appear in his left cheek.

Darcy: Miss Bennet and I spent many frustrating hours in this room. I have fond memories of us stretching one another’s patience within these walls. She does not take to repetition well, and learning proper elocution takes repeating.

Silkstone: Surely it couldn’t have been that bad? We are talking about Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a lady known for her charm and wit.

Darcy: If only you could have heard her. Close your eyes and you just might hear her. Press here!

Darcy: Lizzy may be charming and clever, but the lady was in a hurry to be done with her instruction and return to her flower shop in Covent Garden. Let me offer a short explanation to you on how this all came about. You see, I accepted a wager from my dear friend Charles Bingley. He bet that I could not teach a lowly tradesman to pass for nobility.

Silkstone: So your tutoring Miss Bennet was the result of a wager?

Darcy: Yes. Bingley duped me into accepting Lizzy, Miss Bennet, as my student. During our first encounter at her flower shop I had taken an instant dislike to her for she was like an angry kitten. But I am a people person and quick to understand the inner feelings of others, and so I was patient with her.

Silkstone: You are a people person? That was not exactly the way Lizzy had described Darcy.

Darcy: You doubt me? I am known for my understanding of the human heart.

Silkstone: Even your own heart? At this point I am having a bit of trouble keeping a straight face.

Darcy: You have been talking to Lizzy, haven’t you? I suppose she used all those descriptive words she keeps in her pocket: pompous, proud, prideful, presumptuous, and ponderous? Hmm. Do you notice how they all begin with a “p”?
Repeat them after me; remember to sound those “p’s” without spitting.

Silkstone: I cast him a sympathetic look knowing he can’t help himself for he is naturally pedantic.  I understand you and Lizzy are to be wed, soon?

Darcy: I have learned many things from tutoring Lizzy, but the most important is: In order to be happily married a man must understand every word his wife is NOT saying. See how understanding I am? Now please excuse me. I have an appointment with the Archbishop of Canterbury. He has prepared our special license to marry!

Suddenly appearing nervous, he stood spilling his tea onto his waistcoat.

Darcy: Pardon me! Love has a tendency to make one clumsy. He blushes. The butler will see you out.

Buy Links

A Regency tale ~ Lizzy Bennet, a sassy London shop girl is instantly attracted to Fitzwilliam Darcy, the arrogant, handsome visitor to the Bennets’ struggling Covent Garden flower shop. Darcy insists on purchasing Lizzy’s lucky orchid as a gift for his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Will Lizzy sell her family’s much needed good fortune to the haughty know it all?

Complications arise when Darcy accepts Bingley’s wager to make a sophisticated lady out of the humble flower girl. Can Lizzy endure Darcy’s mentoring in order to save the Bennet family’s flower shop? Will Caroline Bingley tolerate Darcy’s peppery new student? Will Wickham finally bring about Darcy’s ruination?

This is a light-hearted tale of a headstrong, London lass (Lizzy) whose drive to achieve more than life has handed her compels her to accept the position of pawn in a wager between two friends, (Darcy and Bingley). Gumption meets true love.

A fun read for all those who have ever enjoyed George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

Barbara Silkstone Bio

Barbara Silkstone is the author of over forty novels and novellas including the hilarious Wendy Darlin Capers – a five book series.
She has currently written nineteen Pride & Prejudice variations both Regency and Contemporary—always with a light comic touch. Look for Darcy and Elizabeth Serendipity and Darcy, Lizzy and Emma, Darcy, Lizzy and Lady Susan, The Gallant Vicar and The Return of the Gallant Vicar and My Fair Lizzy. Enjoy her Mister Darcy series of comedic mysteries – eight book series with more on the way! Also The Witches of Longbourn – a three book series imagining Darcy and Elizabeth as witches who come together to save the king of England from one of Darcy’s spells that has gone terribly wrong.

Second Act Café ~ Barbara’s occasional newsletter ~ 

***Give Away***

Giveaway:  Please post a comment by midnight Sunday October 29th to qualify for the drawing. One winner will received a signed paperback copy of My Fair Lizzy (US Only) and one winner will received an ebook version of My Fair Lizzy (outside the US.) Winners will be announced during the week of October 30th

With love & laughter!
Barbara Silkstone

Thank you for letting us sit in on your interview. Mr. Darcy was, well, he was awesome, and I liked his blush when talking of 'love'! *sigh* What a man! Barbara, I was thrilled to get to have you share a More Agreeably Engaged post. I've been looking forward to this visit and I hope you will come again soon. The giveaway for my readers is much appreciated. Thank you again and I wish you much success with My Fair Lizzy. It sounds delightful!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Making of A Most Handsome Gentleman Cover

Available at Amazon
This post first appeared on the Meryton Press website on October 10th. Since the blog tour for Suzan Lauder's book, A Most Handsome Gentleman, begins tomorrow, October 20th, Suzan and I decided it would be nice to repeat the post here at More Agreeably Engaged. Enjoy!


The Making of A Most Handsome Gentleman Cover

AKA Who's Who of Handsome Gents by Janet Taylor

Rita Deodato of From Pemberley to Milton hosted Suzan Lauder's Cover Reveal for A Most Handsome Gentleman. During that reveal there was much discussion over which gentleman was Collins and which one was Darcy.

The two being favored for this discussion were the main gentleman, the one in the center and the gentleman to his immediate left. Suzan and I laughed and had the best time reading those comments. We talked about divulging the identity of them and when would be the best time to do it. Suzan even left a few hints in her responses to some of the comments. When Zorylee asked me to do a post for Meryton Press for the making of the cover of A Most Handsome Gentleman, Suzan thought that would be the perfect time to reveal which man is which and to give the identity of one of them, in particular! As Mr. Bennet would say, "Read on."


When Suzan Lauder and I started discussing the cover for her lighthearted story, A Most Handsome Gentleman, she had some great suggestions and ideas. Having read her manuscript, those ideas were spot on with some of my own thoughts, so the collaboration began! 😊

During the writing of this book, Suzan had posted it at A Happy Assembly. She had reader participation in picking the gentlemen for #HOT Collins, as the book was then called! A Pinterest Page had been set up for these gentlemen and I was given the ‘difficult’ task of rummaging through those handsome Regency men. Such are the trials of designing covers.

Robert Waller, Esq. - Bingley
Many hours were spent looking for men that would fit each gentleman gracing the front cover. I needed them to have shadows on their faces from the same direction or be such that I could make those shadows fall the same. I searched Suzan’s Pinterest pages, my own pages, and anywhere I could find paintings of Regency men. I found the perfect Bingley. The only problem was the shadow on his face. It was on the wrong side. I tried several other guys but kept coming back to Robert Waller, Esq. He looked like Bingley. He was Bingley. My only choice was to create the shadow on the correct side and take it off the wrong side. I WANTED that man for Bingley! Thankfully, Suzan agreed!

William Whewell - Mr. Collins
Even though there was one gentleman, William Whewell, who had been picked as a good Collins, Suzan had a different thought…my grandson, Chayseland Taylor. If he wouldn’t work for Collins, she wanted him for Darcy. (He is on the front cover of Jan Hahn’s The Secret Betrothal, and Suzan was familiar with the story behind that cover.) Since Collins had striking blue eyes, I knew it was going to be tough using Chayseland for Collins. Chayseland’s eyes are a dark brown and appear almost black, thus the decision to make him Darcy. William Whewell had light eyes so it was easy to make them bluer without them looking weird. William Whewell made a perfect Collins for other reasons too. He was handsome, had curly hair, and was a Reverend. The main difference between him and Collins, Whewell was an exceptionally intelligent man. He even had some inventions to his credit. No foolish talk spewing from his mouth! 

The man that had been designated as Wickham became a problem. The painting was copyrighted and
I couldn’t find one of him that wasn’t. The hunt for a new Wickham ensued. Every time I found one that might work, I ran into the same licensing problem. The man that had been a possible Darcy candidate became the head of the new Wickham. Finding a military painting, turned the same way, with the same shadowing, that could be used for the body became the next issue. As it turned out, the one on the cover, Sir Henry Brougham, made a better Wickham anyway.

Chayseland has dark brown, wavy hair and I felt I could make it look like the hair of Mr. Darcy from the 1995 miniseries…yes, Colin Firth. 😊 My intentions were to take a picture of my grandson and put his head on the body of a Regency gentleman! On the day of the ‘photo shoot’ I had planned—but had failed to enlighten Chayseland of those plans—he got his hair cut! Not just cut, he got it cut short! I shrieked! “You cut your hair!” He looked at me like I was stating the obvious and said, “Yes!” “I was going to take your ‘Darcy’ pictures today,” said I. “Well, I didn’t know that,” said he. Thus, much to my despair, the search began for a painting I could use, one that would allow me to replace the gent’s face with Chayseland’s, not his face AND hair as originally planned. (What is that saying about best laid plans?) You should see some of those efforts. Well, on second thought, you shouldn’t. UGH! Chayseland would shake his head and we would both get a good laugh. After much trial and error, mostly error, I decided to look among my plethora of pictures, shot from my movie stills of Darcy in the 1995 miniseries. (another trying and tedious task…lol) Taking many pics of Chaysleland, with short hair, over several days, I had some I could use. I just needed to match his stance and direction with one I had of Mr. Darcy. Success! I found one, put them together, made a painting, and Darcy was done, much to the satisfaction of all! Suzan was pleased, I was relieved, and all was well in the world of handsome gentlemen. 😍

Mr. Darcy - Chayseland Taylor

Moving on to the back cover, Suzan wanted a picture of a couple leaning on a tree in a passionate embrace. Several paintings were found but something was off with each so I turned to my son, Jeff, for help. He does 3-D renders, or computer-generated images. I told him what we wanted and how we needed it to look. He went to work. His final image was perfect. The female even had messy hair from ‘making out’ in the woods behind the tree.

A photograph from Luckington Court, one I took while visiting England in 2012 with Jan Hahn, was used for the background. (Longbourn in the 1995 miniseries)  This chosen photo had the appearance of the scene in Suzan’s story. It went easily behind the graphic image of Collins and his lady. The back cover image was complete and ready for text.

One fun ‘aside’, a picture from the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands appeared in my Pinterest suggestions. I went to the sight to view more lovely photos and, voila, look what I saw!  Immediately, I sent the picture to Suzan! Although this couple is more daring in their dress, or lack thereof, than Collins and his 'lady love', the pose is PERFECT!

Keuykenhof Gardens Sculpture

A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder is a comical and witty book. I hope everyone has as much fun reading it as I had depicting it.

 Blog Tour Schedule:

10/20   My Jane Austen Book Club; Character Interview, Excerpt, Giveaway
10/21   My Love for Jane Austen; Guest Post, Giveaway
10/22   Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review
10/23   Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
10/24   Tomorrow is Another Day; Review
10/25   Babblings of a Bookworm; Guest Post, Giveaway
10/26   From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway
10/27   Just Jane 1813; Guest Post, Giveaway
10/28   Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway
10/29   My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Giveaway
10/30   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt
10/31   Laughing With Lizzie; Vignette, Giveaway
11/01   Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway
11/02   So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
11/03   Margie’s Must Reads; Review, GA

Thanks for stopping by. We hope you enjoy the blog tour for A Most Handsome Gentleman by Suzan Lauder. Suzan has some fun and entertaining posts lined up for you. There will also be 8 eBooks to be given away at the end of the blog tour. The giveaway is international.   

Meryton Press is celebrating the October 20th release of Suzan Lauder’s new comedy, A Most Handsome Gentleman, i.e., #HOT Collins, with a sale of Suzan’s first two books, Alias Thomas Bennet and Letter from Ramsgate. Sound like fun? We hope everyone will think so. Please spread the word! Dates of the sale are October 17-24 for both books.

Your share in the conversation is always welcome!                                                                                                                                 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

And the winners are...

I have some more winners that I need to announce. 
These are all from earlier posts in September and October.
All winners have been notified. 

Particular Attachments by L. L. Diamond



Pride and Prejudice Restored to 1813 by Sophie Turner



The Earl Claims His Comfort by Regina Jeffers
2 eBooks



Miss Darcy's Beaux by Eliza Shearer



Congratulations to all the winners. This list looks like it will give some good reading time! :) I hope each of you enjoys your book. 

Thanks to the authors for not only entertaining us with their talent but also for having the giveaways for my readers. We appreciate you. I invite you to visit again, anytime.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

And the winner is...Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage

The live draw for an answered question and a hardbound copy of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage, has taken place and what a lovely draw it was. Thank you, Caroline Jane Knight, for answering two questions, not just one, of the questions left for you by the visitors to my blog. It was great hearing you talk about your ancestral home too. 

The winner of the Hardback copy,
 Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage by Caroline Jane Knight

Clansi Rogers

Congratulations, Clansi. I hope you were able to hear your question answered. If not, go to the Austen Heritage Facebook page. You can still watch the video of the draw and hear your
question answered.  I will need you to email me
at jbtaylor12 at gmail dot com and send me
your mailing address. I will then get the address to Caroline
so she can mail you your book!
Once again, congratulations. 
I loved your question and the answer to it!

Caroline decided to answer another question and the draw was;


Congratulations! You not only got your question answered, but Caroline is sending you a paperback copy of her book. Please check the link above for the video that answers your question. You will also need to email me your shipping address
so your book can be sent to you.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a question for Caroline. There were some excellent questions. Maybe they are all answered in the book! If you would like to get the book and read it for yourself, it may be purchased at Amazon 
or directly from the Austen Heritage Facebook page.

Thank you again to everyone for stopping by and especially to Caroline Jane Knight for being my guest and for allowing my readers to ask you a question. It was so lovely having you visit.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Giveaway of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage by Caroline Jane Knight

Available on Amazon
It is an honor to host Caroline Jane Knight at More Agreeably Engaged today. I have had the great pleasure of visiting with Caroline on a couple of occasions and found her to be a lovely and personable woman, who is highly intelligent. Not only was it easy to chat with her, she made me feel comfortable. That is a trait that I admire as I will admit to being extremely nervous before our first visit. I mean, she is Jane Austen's fifth great-niece! :)  Caroline immediately put me at ease. Her warmth and caring was evident and her love of family history, strong. She is real and I am privileged to have visited with her. 

The stories Caroline shares of Chawton House and Jane Austen are fascinating! I could listen for hours and not tire of the knowledge gleaned from hearing about the lives of the Austen and Knight families. I felt it a privilege to have Caroline Jane Knight, personally, tell me some of those stories and some of her history. Now she has published a book that tells much more. How wonderful for any Janeite, or any person, for that matter, to learn first hand some of the family traditions that Jane Austen experienced, the books she read, and the family book plates passed down. What a heritage you have, Caroline. Thank you for writing about it and giving us the inside stories that you lived.

Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage is the memoir of Caroline Jane Knight. In it she talks about growing up in Chawton House, her family home. The fame of Jane Austen and her novels also had an effect on Caroline. It changed her life in many ways, one of which was to found The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.  If you are not familiar with it, follow the link and learn about the wonderful things the foundation is doing to spread literacy across the globe. I would think Jane Austen proud of her great-niece. 

I invite you to take a few minutes, get to know Caroline Jane Knight, ask her a question that you would like answered, and take part in her giveaway. It is a special one so be sure to read more about it later on in the post.


Caroline Jane Knight shares more than Jane Austen’s name and DNA. As a direct descendant of Jane’s brother, Edward Knight, Caroline is the last of the Austen Knight family to grow up at Chawton House on the estate where Jane Austen lived and enjoyed the most productive period of her writing career. Caroline explored the same places around Chawton House and its grounds as Jane did, dined at the same table in the same dining room, read in the same library and shared the same dream of independence.

Caroline’s early life was filled with the delights of living in a sixteenth-century English manor, the good cheer of family gatherings and centuries-old Christmas traditions in the Great Hall of Chawton House, the beauty of a country life, and the joys of helping her Granny bake cakes and serve Jane Austen devotees in the Chawton House tea room. But when she was seventeen, Caroline and her family were forced to leave the home her family had lived in for centuries. Heartbroken, but determined to leave all things Austen behind her, Caroline eventually carved out a highly successful career in business.

Caroline moved to Australia in 2008 to become CEO of DemoPlus, Australia’s largest sampling and demonstration agency. In 2010 Caroline joined the board of Life Education Victoria. In 2012, Caroline was a finalist in the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Awards and the same year was made an honourary life fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

But the 2013 bi-centennial celebrations of the publishing of Pride & Prejudice started a chain of events in Caroline’s life that took her back to her roots and inspired her to launch the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation to increase literacy rates in the world’s poorest communities.

Caroline has recently published her memoir Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage to share her memories of Chawton House as her family home and how her fifth great-aunt Jane Austen’s phenomenal rise to global fame has changed her life today.

Caroline now lives in a leafy village on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband, dogs and chickens.


Austen Heritage - Website
Austen Heritage - Facebook (@CarolineJaneKnight)
The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation


~ 15% of the profits from the sale of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage is donated to the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation ~

Purchase a Signed Copy at Austen Heritage

Thank you, Caroline, for visiting with me and my readers today. I cannot wait to tell them what you have in store for them so guess I will 'get to it'.

Dear Readers, Caroline Jane Knight has kindly suggested that each of you ask her one question. It can be any question...about her new book, her family heritage, Jane Austen, the literacy foundation, or something about Caroline herself. I know she loves dogs, so you can ask her about her dogs! :) What would you like to know? Leave your question in the comments below. You have until Saturday, the 14th of October at 4 P. M. Central Time, to ask your question. At that time, the question session will close. At 4 P. M. Central Time on Sunday, the 15th of October, Caroline will draw the winning question live on her Austen Heritage Facebook page. Once the winning question has been drawn, she will then answer your question live. Won't that be fun?! I think it is pretty neat and I am anxious to know what the winning question will be and hear the answer. The question that is drawn, gets another bonus for the 'asker'! The writer of the chosen question gets a hardback copy of Jane & Me: My Austen Heritage by Caroline Jane Knight and it will be signed by Caroline Jane Knight, personally to the winner. That is so awesome! Thank you, Caroline, for sharing such a fantastic opportunity and giveaway for my readers. I know they appreciate it as much as I do. 

Remember to leave your question in the comments below. Go to Austen Heritage Facebook on Sunday, the 15th of October at 4 PM Central Time, for the live draw and hear the question answered by Caroline Jane Knight. Good luck to each of you. The giveaway is international!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I Could Write a Book...Karen M Cox

It is my pleasure to spotlight the release, I Could Write a Book, by Karen M Cox. This Emma based novel sounds delightful. I'm looking forward to learning more about this George Knightley and Emma Woodhouse of the 1970's. Thank you Karen, for sharing an excerpt and your talent with us. Best Wishes for your new release. 

Dear Readers, don't forget to participate in the Rafflecopter Giveaway. There are a few days left to sign up for the fabulous giveaways. Thank you to Claudine Pepe for organizing this blog tour and allowing me to participate. A special thanks to Karen for sharing the excerpt with us. I enjoyed departing your train at Donwell Abbey! It is quite a pleasant place.

Book Description

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…”

Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered and predictable, if a bit confining.

Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

Book Excerpt

Thank you, Janet, for helping me wrap up the blog tour for I Could Write a Book.
Let’s depart the blog tour train at the most pleasant place I can imagine.
Donwell Abbey is sometimes considered a secondary “character” in Austen’s Emma. It marks the place in the novel where Emma really becomes aware of just how fine a man Mr. Knightley is. So, of course, the Donwell horse farm in I Could Write a Book had to be impressive, elegant, and beautiful—like the man who waited for Emma there.
There’s a strawberry-picking outing today, upscale Kentucky Bluegrass style.
Welcome to Donwell Farms…

June 5, 1976
The last time I had visited Donwell Farm was the Christmas party where Jack and Izzy had announced she was expecting Henry. To my shame, it had been that long ago. George was always stopping by the house on Hartfield Road, or the Randalls’ place if he saw I was there, and yet I hadn’t visited with him at his townhouse or his family home in a very long time. We were friends, close enough to not need formal invitations, but I was always so busy, with school, with Daddy, with my sillier activities. I hadn’t made time for him, even to check on how he was doing since his break up with Julianne. And that negligence had to change.
“I have such fond memories of Donwell.” Daddy’s eyes met mine in the rearview mirror. “I thought it might be a rather lonely place with Gary and Joanne being gone, but…” He leaned over to look out between Mary Jo and me, sitting in the front seats. “Today, it looks busy and happy. I’m glad I came with you.”
His words made me pay attention to the front grounds as we drove The Lane (and it was officially called “The Lane,” marked with a street sign and everything). Fruit orchards lay about the grounds to each side; the drive itself was lined with cedars, oaks, and maples in a way that suggested they’d been there forever. Closer to the house, the landscaping became more formal, well-trimmed boxwoods outlined the circular drive. In the center of that circle, now filled with parked cars, there was a carefully tended rose garden. The house itself looked as if it had grown there of its own volition over the generations. Our house on Hartfield Road was a two-story Georgian-style, almost antebellum-looking, with its tall Doric columns and porches on both floors. In contrast, Donwell Farms mansion was rambling and massive: rich, red brick with white trim and green shutters; long, generous windows and a decorative spire—much like the ones that adorned Churchill Downs. It was a stark reminder that George’s family wasn’t just rich or steeped in tradition, like my own—the Knightleys combined money, family, and tradition into a genteel sort of wealth that was becoming more and more rare. Jack Knightley had his faults, I mused, but they were minor in comparison to what he brought to the Woodhouse family. He was good to Izzy and the children, and he had generations of class and elegance behind him that would give Henry and Taylor, and any new Knightleys that might come along, a legacy to be proud of.
I pulled up in the circle and saw George Knightley, Esquire, Master of All He Surveyed, standing at the door, waiting for us. Butterflies floated from my stomach into my chest and up into my throat. What can I say? He was a compelling sight. I’d have to be blind not to notice. He wore khaki pants and a polo shirt in a sky-blue that I knew would bring out the blue in his eyes. I stopped the car and got out to get Daddy’s wheelchair from the trunk, and George pushed off the door frame, walking down the steps with a big smile.
I waved at him. “Good morrow, Professor! Don’t worry about our carriage here. I’ll move it as soon as I get Daddy inside.”
“Leave it, Emma Kate,” he said. “The others can drive around it, or I’ll get Benton to move it, if need be.” He lifted the wheelchair out of the trunk and expertly opened it.
“I brought the chair in case he got tired or wanted to explore the grounds some more. He’s been doing really well with the cane for short distances though.” I shut the trunk.
“Good thinking. Good morning, John.”
“Hello, my boy, hello. Beautiful day for a picnic. Perfect for young people to scamper around outside.”
“Indeed, it is.” George wheeled the chair to the open car door, where Mary Jo was helping Daddy stand. “Hello, Mary Jo, how are you this fine morning?”
“I’m well, Mr. Knightley, thank you.”
“Oh, we’re not at the office today. I think you can call me George, won’t you please?”
“Of—of course.” She blushed. “You have a lovely home. George.”
“Thank you. Let’s go in this way.” He led them around to the side entrance and muscled the wheelchair up and over the lower door threshold. “Almost everyone is here. They’re out in the back yard, walking toward the strawberry patch. Except for Nina. She’s on the veranda. I’ve got a place set up for you there too, John, or you can go inside, if you’d rather.”
“I’ll sit with my sister-in-law. We can catch up. I don’t get to see Nina nearly as much as I used to when the girls were smaller. Before she married.”
“Good enough,” George said.


How ’bout that George Knightley? I dare say he’s “good enough” for me!

Karen M Cox’s Links

Author Biography

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of novels accented with romance and history, including 1932 and its companion ebook novella The Journey Home, and the novels Find Wonder in All Things and Undeceived. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and a story titled, “I, Darcy” to The Darcy Monologues.
Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

Connect with Karen:
Amazon Author Page:
Visit with Karen on several of the usual social media haunts such as Facebook, (karenmcox1932), Twitter (@karenmcox1932), Pinterest (karenmc1932), Instagram (karenmcox1932), and Tumblr (karenmcox).

If you would like bits of authorly goodness in your inbox once a month (updates, sales, book recommendations, etc.) sign up for News & Muse Letter
Karen loves to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. Contact her through social media, her website, or online sites like Amazon and Goodreads.

Purchase Links

Kindle Universal Link:

Blog Tour Schedule

Laughing with Lizzie / September 6 / Launch Post/Dating Game / Giveaway
So little time… / September 7 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway
Book Lover in Florida / September 8 / Guest post / Giveaway
Austenesque Reviews / September 15 / Book Review/ Giveaway
My Love for Jane Austen / September 16 / Guest Post / Giveaway
Granny Loves to Read  / September 17 / Book Review / Giveaway
My Jane Austen Book Club / September 18/ Guest Post/Mr. Knightley / Giveaway
Just Jane 1813 / September 19 / Author Interview / Giveaway
Sophia’s Sofa Chat / September 21 / An Interview with Karen M Cox on Goodreads
Babblings of a Bookworm/ / September 22 / Book Review/ Giveaway
Silver Petticoat Review / September 23/ Guest Post/ Giveaway
From Pemberley to Milton / September 25 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway
Margie’s Must Reads / September 27 / Book Review / Giveaway
My Vices and Weaknesses / September 30 / Book Review / Giveaway
Diary of an Eccentric / October 2 / Book Review / Giveaway
More Agreeably Engaged / October 4 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway


Karen Cox has set up a Rafflecopter for two winners. One winner will receive The Tea Pack: JA mug, Mr Knightley & Emma teas from Bingley’s teas, and a set of Jane Austen coasters. The second winner will receive a Jewelry Pack, which contains a Little Emma charm on a necklace, Regency cameo earrings, Emma Bangle Bracelet, and a Jewelry Roll.  These giveaways are open internationally.

The giveaway ends on October 7th and the winners will be announced through the Rafflecopter widget on participating blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks, Karen for visiting and letting More Agreeably Engaged wrap up your busy and successful blog tour. It's been great having you stop by and give us a delightful excerpt to read and enjoy. Your giveaway is awesome! There will be two lucky winners! :)