Monday, December 7, 2020

Maria Grace...Unexpected Gifts

Maria Grace is my guest today, and it is always so good to have her stop by. She has a new Christmas book, Unexpected Gifts. Doesn't that sound lovely! I always enjoy reading Christmas stories and especially those about Darcy and Elizabeth. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this one. Maria is going to tell us a little about it, and she shares an excerpt with us. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thank you, Maria, for visiting today. I think we can all enjoy some "warm fuzzies" this year.


Thank you for hosting me, Janet. I love getting to visit with you.

I knew I wanted to write another Christmas book way back in the spring. But try as I might, I could not find the holiday vibe anywhere. Gee, I wonder why, right?

I kept trying and trying then pretty well gave up. Which was when I finally figured out what I wanted to write on. With all this this year has brought (I actually caught myself saying ‘then it all went 2020’ to describe something!), I wanted to write about difficult  relationships that come to the fore during a quarantine—oh I meant  the holidays.

The holidays just seem to bring out all those rough edges and leave us at risk for rubbing each other the wrong way but they also offer a chance for making difficult relationships better. That seemed to be a very appropriate place to dwell this year.

I didn’t have to look too long or hard at the Darcy family to identify places were prickliness was likely: Lady Catherine, Lady Matlock, Lydia, even Charlotte Lucas might harbor some serious resentments towards Elizabeth and Darcy. So that became the foundation for this collection of three holiday short stories. They may make you laugh, make you think, and might even make you cry, but they will definitely leave you with the warm fuzzy holiday vibe that we all so need right now!

This is the fourth book in the Darcy Family Christmas series. Remember to check out the other three!

Here’s a little excerpt:

Elizabeth paced the spacious, well-appointed bed chamber of Matlock Manor, the taffeta of her dinner gown swishing with that peculiar sound only taffeta made. Darcy had chosen the color, a luxurious green—a color he said set off her eyes. The gown had been purchased for hosting Christmas dinner at Pemberley which of course had not happened. So instead, it would be subject to Lady Matlock’s subtle and polite critique.

Even after the—events—of Elizabeth’s first Christmas in Derbyshire, her relationship with Lady Matlock remained—formal—yes, that was the best way to describe it.

She sat on the edge of the bed, piled high with feather beds and a generous counterpane. The bed curtains, striped burgundy and gold, matched the drapes and the linens while the mustardy-gold painted walls echoed the warmth of the fire and candles making the room seem warmer than it was. Boughs of evergreen, tied with red ribbons, draped the mantlepiece, scenting the air with their perfume. The guest room was tasteful, but a bit too elegant to be truly comfortable.

It was only a meal, only a dinner. It was not as if she had never attended a fancy dinner or even one at Matlock before—but none were quite like this. Lady Matlock had made certain that she knew the company tonight would be quite fine and if anything went wrong it would be the talk of Derbyshire and not easily forgotten.

Lovely woman.

Two knights and their wives and a baronet and his lady were among the guests tonight, along with several landowners with estates that made Longbourn look like a yeoman’s farm. Thankfully, Darcy’s favorite cousins would also be there, so that was some mercy.

Lady Matlock—she would never be Aunt Matlock any more than Lady Catherine would be Aunt Catherine—had ever so gently suggested that it would behoove Elizabeth to guard her conversation and behavior very carefully. All eyes would be on the Darcys. Even those guests so unfortunate as not to hold titles had intimated to Lady Matlock that they still considered Elizabeth a mere country farmer’s daughter, not truly fit for their company. Not that she felt that way of course; she and the earl supported Darcy in his choices, however unexpected they might have been.

It was probably a very generous sentiment all told, but it hardly made her feel any better. And the way in which Lady Matlock said it somehow left it sounding no more genuine than when she had declared the same thing at Pemberley.

Elizabeth let her head fall back and she stared into the inside of the bed canopy: generously gathered gold wool that swirled into a rosette in the center.

Merciful heavens! Back in Hertfordshire she had enjoyed dinner parties and social occasions. Looked forward to them, planned for them. Never, truly never, had an event caused her to experience the flutterings in her stomach and pains in her head that her mother so often described. The ones she experienced now and could not blame her increasing state for.

What did it mean that Mama was suddenly sounding reasonable?

How Darcy would laugh at that! He dearly loved to laugh now. Hopefully, after this was said and done, they would be able to look back at this night and laugh, too.

The chimes of a long case clock, stationed on the landing of the great stairs, striking six filtered through the heavy oak door of her chamber. Dinner guests would be arriving. She should make an appearance in the drawing room.

To her fate she went.


Ah, poor Elizabeth. I hope the dinner goes well for her. It does sound a bit intimidating, to be sure. I guess we will have to read the book to learn how it went. Have any of you read it yet? Here's the blurb or back cover copy if you want to know more about it.


Unexpected Gifts Back Cover Copy

Yuletide 1814, the Darcys are celebrating their third wedding anniversary and the baby Elizabeth is expecting. Overprotective and perhaps overbearing, Darcy is ready to do anything for Elizabeth’s comfort, including defying the will of his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh who demands their presence to bestow a gift that absolutely cannot wait.

What sort of gift is so urgent it cannot wait for a more auspicious time?

Christmastide 1815, the Darcys hope for a particular sort of joy to bring a close to a dark and difficult season. It only seems fitting that an unexpected—and unwelcome—guest disrupts their small family house party. Could the unexpected gift they bring be the key to the fulfillment of the Darcys’ most heartfelt desires?

Buy Link:

Unexpected Gifts


Author Bio:

Six-time BRAG Medallion Honoree, Maria Grace has her PhD in Educational Psychology and is a 16-year veteran of the university classroom where she taught courses in human growth and development, learning, test development and counseling. None of which have anything to do with her undergraduate studies in economics/sociology/managerial studies/behavior sciences. She pretends to be a mild-mannered writer/cat-lady, but most of her vacations require helmets and waivers or historical costumes, usually not at the same time.


She writes gas lamp fantasy, historical romance and non-fiction to help justify her research addiction. Her books are available at all major online booksellers.  

She can be contacted at:



Random Bits of Fascination

Austen Variations 

English Historical Fiction Authors



What about the other three books in the series? Do you have them or do you want to buy them? The buy links are below.

Buy Links for Other Books in the Series:

Christmas 1811

The Darcy's First Christmas (currently on sale!)  

From Admiration to Love

 Let's take a look at the back cover copy of each of the other books. If you have read them, which is your favorite?

Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811

Jane Austen never wrote the details of Christmastide 1811. What might have happened during those intriguing months?


Following the Netherfield ball, Darcy persuades Bingley to leave Netherfield Park in favor of London to avoid the match-making machinations of Mrs. Bennet. Surely, the distractions of town will help Bingley forget the attractions of Miss Jane Bennet. But Bingley is not the only one who needs to forget. All Darcy wants this Christmastide is to forget another Miss Bennet.


Can the diversions of London help Darcy overcome memories of the fine eyes and pert opinions of a certain Hertfordshire miss?  


Without the Bingleys, the Bennets are left to the company of Mr. Collins and the militia officers—entirely suitable company, according Mrs. Bennet. Elizabeth disagrees, refusing an offer of marriage from the very eligible Mr. Collins. Mama’s nerves suffer horridly until Elizabeth follows her advice to make the most of the officers’ company.


Even Mr. Bennet seems to agree. So, whilst Jane pines for Bingley, Elizabeth admits the attentions of one agreeable Lt. Wickham. What possible harm can it cause, especially when her parents are so pleased? 

The Darcys' First Christmas

Elizabeth anxiously anticipates her new duties as mistress of Pemberley. Darcy is confident of her success, but she cannot bring herself to share his optimism.


Unexpected guests unsettle all her plans and offer her the perfect Christmastide gift, shattered confidence.


Can she and Darcy overcome their misunderstandings and salvage their first Christmastide together?  


From the award winning author of Given Good Principles, Remember the Past and Mistaking Her Character, Sweet Tea short stories offer the perfect bite to transport readers back to the Regency era for the first days of new love.

From Admiration to Love

After the debacle of the previous holiday season, Darcy and Elizabeth joyfully anticipate Christmastide 1813, Georgiana’s come out at Pemberley’s Twelfth Night Ball culminating the season. With months of planning behind the event, even Lady Matlock is satisfied and sends Colonel Fitzwilliam to represent the family, assuring there will be no repeat of the previous Christmastide.


On St. Nicholas’, Anne de Bourgh and Lady Catherine arrive on Pemberley’s doorstep—never a good sign—demanding sanctuary against the de Bourghs who (according the Lady Catherine) are trying to retake Rosings Park for their family with plans to seduce and marry Anne. Needless to say, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are skeptical.

Not long afterwards, three gentlemen suitors appear at Pemberley, hoping to court Anne and obliging Darcy to offer holiday hospitality. Anne adores the attention whilst Lady Catherine makes her displeasure know, throwing Pemberley into turmoil that threatens the Twelfth Night Ball. Can Darcy and Elizabeth, with a little help from Fitzwilliam, soothe Lady Catherine’s nerves, see Anne to a respectable match, and still salvage Georgiana’s come out?   


These sound like good Christmas reading. With our strange year, all of us may have more time to read this year. Sitting in front of a warm, cozy fire with a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate or hot tea, and a good Christmas story sounds like a wonderful way to spend an evening or two. Thank you, Maria Grace, for stopping by, and for giving us some lovely stories to warm our hearts for the holidays. I look forward to spending some time with the Darcys at Christmas.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Fitzwilliam Darcy Undone by Sue Barr

 It is my pleasure to welcome back, Sue Barr, to More Agreeably Engaged. It is always so nice to have you visit, Sue. This new book, Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Undone, sounds different and interesting. The excerpt you shared has me really curious. The descriptions give the scene such an ethereal quality. I look forward to reading more about this story. 

I've rambled enough so now, let's turn this over to Sue.


What would Pride & Prejudice be like if Darcy and Elizabeth had a touch of magic in their lives?

Thank you, Janet, for hosting me today. This is last stop on the tour for Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Undone and I’m thrilled to be here. As I’ve stated earlier, I’m humbled by how close the JAFF community is and how well they treat others as we stumble along in life. Truly amazing. 

I’m not one to talk a lot about myself, I’d rather share who I am with my writing and even then, I don’t delve too far because my mind is a twisted, cavernous valley filled with shadow and light, highs and lows. Usually I write what I call ‘fluffy’ pieces, solely about romance and I’m a huge sucker for an ‘out of this world’ alpha male who knows what he wants and sets out to get it. Fortunately, it’s usually our feisty heroine who keeps him on his toes, and my latest novel, Elizabeth most definitely has Fitzwilliam unbalanced. Or should I say… Undone? 

I hope you enjoy the following short excerpt.

“Do not leave me, Elizabeth.”

“Never. Now rest. We’ll discuss this in the morning.”

“What if morning never comes again.”

He heard her soft chuckle.

“Believe me, Fitzwilliam, we have all the time in the world right now.” 

“I cannot bear for us to be apart.”

The bed dipped softly as she joined him and curled into his side on top of the counterpane. When he would have protested and begged her to crawl beneath the covers, she laid a hand on his chest and murmured, “Sleep.” When he awakened, the sound of crashing waves and the salty tang of the ocean teased his senses. 

He opened his eyes and took in his surroundings. The room in which he lay was unlike anything he’d seen before. Floor to ceiling terrace doors opened wide, allowing fresh sea air to flow through the room. Wisps of almost translucent material for curtains fluttered in the breeze and beyond the window, a stone terrace. From there, he noted a strip of white sand sloping down to azure blue water which stretched as far as his eye could see. But what caused his heart to almost stutter to a stop was the sight of a slight woman standing on the pristine sand, her hair and skirts billowing out behind her like a glorious sail. 


As though he’d called to her with his mind, she turned and flashed a brilliant smile. Pain free, he stood and moved to meet her on the terrace. Without any thought of propriety, or who may be in the area, he hauled her up against his chest and captured her mouth with his. She met his demands with her own and they remained locked together for minutes, hours, days. He had no concept of time except this exact moment with his Elizabeth.

“My love,” he murmured into her hair, holding her close to his chest. “I thought I’d lost you.”

She stepped out of his embrace and when he would have protested and dragged her back, she took his hand and tugged. 

“We have much to discuss and we have all the time in the world to love each other.” 


Take a look at this book blurb. It puts more questions in my mind. 

Book Blurb:

She’s the outcast in her family…

Elizabeth knows she’s different from the rest of her family. She has visions and strange dreams and sees things others do not. With the advent of the odious Mr. Darcy and his friends from Netherfield Park, as well as the amiable Mr. Wickham of the _____shire Militia, her powers seem to increase and her greatest fear is that she won’t be able to contain them and will be discovered.

He has eight hundred years of tradition to uphold… 

No Darcy has married a non-magical woman since arriving on the shores of England with William the Conqueror in 1066.  However, his kind – Miatharans – are dwindling in numbers. Miatharan magic only flows through aristocratic blood lines, so his strange obsession with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is puzzling as she is not of noble blood. Just a country squire’s beautiful daughter who has him slowly becoming undone. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Undone is available in Kindle Unlimited (Amazon) until Dec 12 when it will be released to other major digital retailers.


Author Bio:

‘The prairie dust is in my blood but no longer on my shoes.’ 

Although it’s been over forty-two years since Sue called Saskatchewan home, her roots to that straight-lined province and childhood friends run deep. The only thing strong enough to entice her to pack up and leave was love. When a handsome Air Force pilot met this small-town girl, he swept her off her feet and they embarked on a fantastic adventure which found them settled in beautiful Southwestern Ontario when hubby retired from the military and began his second career as an airline pilot.

Sue started writing in 2009 and sold her first manuscript in 2010. Always a reader of Regency romance, she discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction in 2014 and almost immediately wanted to know – Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and Mr. Darcy became engaged to a Bennet sister? From that question, her first JAFF book was launched.

In her spare time, Sue cans and preserves her own food, cooks almost everything from scratch and grows herbs to dehydrate. Her latest venture is to create her own spice seasonings, experiment with artisan breads and make her own homemade vanilla. Hubby has no complaints other than his jeans keep shrinking. At least that’s what he claims…. Her sons, their wives and all seven grandchildren don’t mind this slight obsession either.




Amazon Author Page:


If you have missed any stops along the way, be sure to go back and visit the other blogs.

If you want to get your own copy of the book, use the buy link below. 



Thank you, Christina Boyd, for organizing the blog tour and for including my blog. It was great having Sue visit again. 

Sue Barr, I wish you the best with your new release. Thank you for sharing the excerpt and a little about yourself. I enjoyed reading both. I've been seeing much about your book around the blogosphere and in social media. Since this is the last stop for your tour, I hope it has been a fun tour for you. Again best wishes with your book.

Now for the giveaway... :)


*Sue Barr will giveaway an ebook of this latest novel to 3 random winners for entire blog tour. Follow the tour and join in the comments to be entered to win. Sue will choose the random winners and announce the winners on social media on December 5.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

North Fanger...Jayne Bamber

 It's great to have Jayne Bamber visiting today. We've had a hard time getting together with Jayne's last two books, so I'm happy we were able to make this post. Welcome, Jayne. 

This sounds like a different book and an interesting one. I confess, I'm quite intrigued by the cover. What do you think, Readers? Don't you like it? Have any of you read it yet? If you have, we would love to hear from you.

Jayne has an excerpt for us and a giveaway. Be sure you enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of the post. 


Darcy knocked on the door to the chamber where Elizabeth had taken his sister. She bid him enter, but made no other acknowledgement as he joined her beside the bed where Georgiana had been laid. The silence did not bother Darcy - what was a man to say to the woman he loved, after they had just covered up the murder of his relation and hers, a murder committed at the hands of his own sister?

Elizabeth was perched on the bed at Georgiana’s side, and Darcy took a seat nearby, content to watch Elizabeth’s curious ministrations. She was slowly unwinding her silver chain from around Georgiana’s wrists, which were marred with blistered red burns. Georgiana’s jaw was clenched and her countenance belied her pain, but she was silent and almost serene as she held Elizabeth’s calm, confident gaze. She was also, inexplicably, covered in a thin layer of dirt across her chest. 

Georgiana’s eyes landed on Darcy and her face twisted in despair. “Oh, William, I am so sorry. You must hate me!” She shifted uncomfortably as the last of the silver was pulled away.

Elizabeth reacted at once to Georgiana’s agitation by repositioning herself to sit on top of Georgiana’s legs. She laid her hands on Georgiana’s shoulders, her fingers slowly rubbing in the dirt. “Close your eyes, Georgie. Remember what we practiced? You do not need to breathe, but you can go through the motions of it. Good. Just like that. Feel the cold earth on your skin. Can you feel my heart beating?”


“Good. Eyes closed. Inhale, exhale, you remember that.” Elizabeth continued to massage the dirt into Georgiana’s chest, but turned to look at Darcy. “She is technically dead - her body wants to be in the ground. A little soil will keep her grounded - forgive the jest - it also obscures her ability to sense our heartbeats. She will eventually be able to control her impulses better without it, but for now….”

Darcy leaned back in his chair with an overwhelming heaviness, fighting the impulse to recoil from his sister. If Elizabeth could be so brave, so magnificently poised, he was determined to match her resolve. “She is technically dead,” he repeated stonily. “She does not look dead - she looks very well indeed.” 

In truth, the sight of Georgiana, even covered in dirt and blood, even after what had transpired downstairs, was still better than what he had begun to fear since her disappearance. He let out a long, slow breath, considering a painful truth: that he could reconcile himself to what he had witnessed this night, and what Georgiana was now, more easily than he could bear to lose her. It was a terrifying prospect, but he would conquer this. 

“I am a monster,” Georgiana murmured.

Elizabeth slowly lifted one of Georgiana’s arms, displaying her wrist to Darcy - the marks left by the silver had already begun to heal. “You are not a monster, dear girl. You are quite remarkable.”

Georgiana opened her eyes and peered up at Elizabeth before turning to look at Darcy. “Brother?” 

“I could never hate you,” Darcy said earnestly. He glanced over at Elizabeth for reassurance before slowly taking Georgiana’s hand in his. “I was so worried - you disappeared, and I feared the worst.”

“And this… is not the worst? You have seen what I am.”

Darcy struggled to formulate his reply. “What you are is safe. You are returned to me; that is enough right now. Whatever must be done, you must know that I would do anything for you.”

The trace of a smile formed on Georgiana’s lips.  “Lizzy said you would be kind to me. I was afraid you would be disgusted - I am disgusted by what I have done - what you have had to do to conceal it….”

Darcy again looked to Elizabeth when words escaped him. She smiled warmly at him, tears in her eyes, and he instinctively handed her his handkerchief. She accepted it and silently dabbed at her eyes for a moment before sliding off of Georgiana’s legs. When Georgiana made no sudden movements, Elizabeth let out a sigh of relief and began to stand. “I fear you have long been desiring my absence - I will leave you now.”

“No,” Georgiana cried, as Darcy echoed the same reply. In a frighteningly swift movement, Georgiana latched onto Elizabeth’s hand, and then released it. “Good God, I hurt you!”

“No,” Elizabeth said quickly, but she rubbed at the place where Georgiana had grabbed her. “I will stay, if you wish it, but you must practice your movements. Slow and soft. You do not know your own strength.”

Georgiana visibly relaxed. Elizabeth remained at her side, and began making slow gestures with her hands. “Mirror me, like this. It will feel natural with practice, and in time you will be quite proficient.”

Darcy watched Elizabeth in awe. He had teased her for not being afraid of him, but she had every reason to fear his sister. “Where did you learn this, Miss Bennet?”

She kept her voice neutral and her eyes on Georgiana, who had begun to mimic Elizabeth’s simple gestures. “My Uncle Silas is something of an expert concerning vampires.”

Darcy’s whole body clenched. He knew, but he had not been ready to hear the word spoken aloud. His mind rejected what he had seen - such creatures were the stuff of stories - and yet before him was proof to the contrary. “How can this be possible?”

Elizabeth lowered her hands and glanced over at him, giving Darcy an arch look and a shrug of her shoulders. “I cannot say, sir, but I find it fascinating.”

“That is one word for it.” Darcy, Elizabeth, and Georgiana all looked up at once as Richard strode into the room. “But I should like to hear from my cousin exactly how such a thing came to be, and why we have had to endure such a night as this.”


Georgiana had been too distracted by Elizabeth's calming presence to notice Richard come into the room, and his severity was a harsh surprise. Once again her agitation took hold of her, and Georgiana fought against her impulse to fly at her cousin. There was a weight on her legs as Elizabeth perched there once more, but it was her gaze that stilled Georgiana at last. 

Richard made no secret of his disgust at what she had become, and a glance at William told Georgiana that her brother was only doing a better job of concealing his revulsion. Only Elizabeth was truly at ease in her presence; this woman was a stranger to her, while William and Richard were her family. And so was Lady Catherine. 

“I am sorry, I am so sorry,” she moaned, afraid to meet anyone’s eye but Elizabeth’s.

Georgiana could sense her new friend’s annoyance, but realized that it was directed at Richard. She followed Elizabeth’s gaze over to William, and the snarly feeling of anger faded into something softer; Georgiana did not understand it - indeed, she understood little of what had passed in the last four months, but as the tension of the moment abated, she felt ready to speak rationally at last. “I will tell you whatever you wish to know.”

Elizabeth seemed pleased by the evenness of Georgiana’s voice, and after asking Richard to sit, she slid off of Georgiana’s legs and once again perched on the side of the bed. Georgiana entwined one hand with Elizabeth’s, and with her other hand she softly touched the dirt on her chest. It was an odd treatment, but stranger still was the realization that there was still a great deal Georgiana did not understand about herself. 

“I have been made a vampire,” she said, the statement nearly a question. “I have seen and done such horrible things - I cannot bear my own existence!” She began to sob, and again Elizabeth rubbed the dirt into her skin.

“Who did this to you? Tell me,” Richard thundered. Both William and Elizabeth sent him matching looks of warning, and he drew back in his chair. “Please, Georgie. I only wish to understand.”

Georgiana wrung her hands; she knew herself to be a vicious, bloodthirsty demon, but she was suddenly more frightened than anybody in the room. She could not bear the censure that would inevitably come. It was devastating enough to recall the events that she had endured - her abduction, transformation, captivity, and months of starvation - yet it hurt more deeply to consider that her family might cast her off after all. 

“I am so ashamed,” she whimpered, trembling as she leaned into Elizabeth’s shoulder. She was immediately drawn into an embrace; she made herself savor the human warmth of it, and not the heartbeat that sang to her. 

William slowly rose from his chair, his movements careful as he came to sit on Georgiana’s other side. He, too, wrapped his arms around her, and after a moment the faint smell of fear turned into something much sweeter. She looked up at his face and an incredible feeling washed over her. “Oh,” she murmured. “It is love. I did not know the smell of it, before.”

With a pained smile, William stroked her cheek; Georgiana closed her eyes again and let the warmth and affection wash over her, until William’s voice pulled her out of the brief reverie. “Was it Wickham? Did he do this to you, Georgie?”

Elizabeth drew in a sharp breath; Georgiana could feel her new friend’s heart quicken. She pulled away and buried her face in her brother’s chest. “Yes, it was.”


Elizabeth recoiled and instinctively looked at Mr. Darcy, who met her gaze as he cradled his shaking sister. With a sinking feeling, she recalled their conversation at the Netherfield ball - she had accused Mr. Darcy of cruelty toward the man, when he had tried to warn her. “But I do not understand… he was in the regiment….”

“He left Meryton for London just days before Georgiana disappeared from Matlock House,” Mr. Darcy said. 

Colonel Fitzwilliam swore and pounded his fist against the arm of his chair. “I knew there was some connection there.”

Elizabeth was still struggling to accept this shocking revelation. “Georgiana, are you saying… George Wickham changed you? He is a vampire?”

“He is,” Georgiana wailed, still clinging to her brother. “He is a monster.”

Reeling, Elizabeth attempted to console the trembling vampire; her hand brushed against Mr. Darcy’s and his fingers curled around hers. For a brief instant he looked at Elizabeth with the same intensity as he had done at the pianoforte that evening. She was strangely soothed by the certainty that there was indeed admiration in his ardent gaze, though this time there was panic and tremendous sorrow there as well - and a sense of shared calamity. 

The colonel stood and began to pace. “I do not know how, but I am going to find him, and I will kill him for this.” 

“No,” Georgiana said, finally looking up from her brother’s embrace. “I mean to do it myself.”

Wow! This was quite an excerpt? What did Georgiana do? Who did she kill? I am wanting answers. We know who turned her, but what is the rest of the story. You have piqued the imagination with this scene, Jayne. Thank you for sharing it with me and my readers today.

Dear Readers, if you haven't read the book yet, you can get your copy of North Fanger at Amazon. You might win it too! The giveaway link is the last thing on the post.

Have you visited the other blogs in the blog tour? If you have missed any, the blogs in the tour are listed below. You can also see which stops are yet to come! 

Now for the giveaway - Jayne is giving away one eBook of North Fanger. Use the Rafflecopter link below to enter. Good luck everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2020

And the winner is... Be Your Own Heroine

 It was so nice to have Sophie Andrews and her sister Charlotte visit my blog. They cowrote a lovely book and you can read my review. The publisher  of the book, Be Your Own Heroine, generously offered a hardbound copy for one of my readers. 

And the winner of Be Your Own Heroine by Sophie and Charlotte Andrews is:


Congratulations, Denise! You will love adding this book to your library. 

I'll be emailing you shortly with the information I need.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and shared your thoughts.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Be Your Own Heroine...Sophie and Charlotte Andrews

It has been some time since I had a post on my blog. What better way to return and share some of my thoughts than with the Andrews sisters! It is a pleasure to have Sophie and Charlotte, the authors of Be Your Own Heroine, as my guests. Sophie has been a friend for many years, and I am happy to have her here, along with her sister, Charlotte. Welcome, ladies. I wish you success with your book. It is lovely that you wrote it together. I like the book cover and illustrations too! 

Before I share my thoughts with you, let me give you some background on these two lovely ladies.

Author Biography:

Sophie and Charlotte Andrews are sisters who both love to lose themselves in books. Charlotte’s passion for reading and writing began in her earliest years. She studied Latin American literature as part of her degree at Warwick University, but especially enjoys historical fiction. Younger sister Sophie appreciates many different genres – however her true love is for all things Jane Austen, an enthusiasm that was initially sparked by studying Pride and Prejudice at school. She started her blog, Laughing with Lizzie, in 2012, aged 16, and soon began to participate in Austen events and festivals around the country. As a founder member of the Jane Austen Pineapple Appreciation Society, she organizes house parties, balls and picnics and starred in the 2017 BBC documentary “My Friend Jane”. Her first book, Be More Jane, was published in 2019 by CICO Books. Sophie lives in Berkshire.

Would you like to contact them or visit Sophie's blog? The contact information is below:

Contact Links:

Laughing with Lizzie Blog

Laughing with Lizzie Facebook page

Laughing with Lizzie Instagram page

Laughing with Lizzie Twitter page

Sophie's email:


Be Your Own Heroine by Sophie and Charlotte Andrews

My thoughts and impressions:

The life lessons from literature center on six fictional characters or heroines:

1.      Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

2.      Jo March, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

3.      July, The Long Song by Andrea Levy

4.      Eleanor, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

5.      Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games, a trilogy by Suzanne Collins

6.      Hermione Granger, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowlings

Although I was unfamiliar with some of these heroines, each has her own section where the reader learns a little about her, her life, her strengths, and a memorable moment in her life. How did each of these leading ladies become a heroine? What made each of them? Who contributed? These are just a few of the questions covered by the Andrews sisters. They talk about family, friendships, love, and even bullying. At the end of each section, there are three bullets to stress the important lessons to be gleaned. I liked those and felt they could be beneficial to all readers.

In general, we should learn to love ourselves and know we do not have to be alone. We don’t have to be perfect, but we should strive to improve our less than desirable traits. We should be proud of who we are and where we come from. Who could not benefit from those lessons?

The simple truths found in this little book are good food for thought. The words within can be and should be an inspiration for women of all ages, especially so for those who are trying to find their path in life.

I enjoyed reading quotes from other books besides the six with the chosen heroines. These quotes were scattered throughout the sections in pertinent places. Be Your Own Heroine is interesting and a delight to read. It gave me a few things to ponder and improve. Congratulations, Sophie and Charlotte, on a job well done.


To purchase this book, visit or


My teenage granddaughter is living with me right now, and this is a book that would be helpful to her. I look forward to hearing her thoughts after she has read it. Would you like to read more about this book and its authors? If you do, there is one more stop on the blog tour. Be sure to visit it tomorrow, or go back and visit any you might have missed.

It is giveaway time! Yay! We all like a giveaway, and this is a book you will love having in your library. The publishers, CICO Books, are allowing me to give away one hard bound copy of the book, Be Your Own Heroine, by Sophie and Charlotte Andrews. Leave a comment below to be entered. Have you read it? What are your thoughts? Who are your heroines? Do you have a life lesson learned that you want to share? Please let us know your thoughts below. The giveaway is international and will end on the 29th of October at midnight US Central Time. Good luck to all and thank you for stopping by today!