Friday, March 27, 2020

Mr. Darcy's Clan...Lari Ann O'Dell

It is my pleasure to welcome for the first time to More Agreeable Engaged, Lari Ann O'Dell, author of Mr. Darcy's Clan. It is a story about vampires and Firstborn Sons in English society. Sophia Rose is giving us her early impressions of the story and will review it at a later date.

Before we read Sophia's impressions, let's take a look at the book description and get to know Lari Ann.

Book Description:

The upper echelon of English society—comprised of vampires, or Firstborn Sons—is a world Elizabeth Bennet has no desire to join. She has little exposure to Firstborn Sons until Mr. Bingley arrives in the neighborhood and falls in love with her sister Jane. His mysterious friend, Mr. Darcy, attracts Elizabeth’s attention, but she is convinced he is hiding a dark secret. In spite of this, powerful feelings draw her to him. She learns a shocking truth when Mr. Wickham appears, and disaster strikes at Netherfield. Forced into Mr. Darcy’s supernatural realm, a confusing new world of danger threatens their deepening love. How can they find eternal happiness when members of his illustrious clan are plotting her demise? Can Mr. Darcy rise beyond his past to save her or will he lose her for all eternity?  

Author Bio:

Lari Ann O'Dell first discovered her love of Pride & Prejudice when she was eighteen. After reading a Pride & Prejudice variation she found in a closing sale at a bookstore, she said, "This is what I want to do." She published her first novel, Mr. Darcy’s Kiss, two years later.

Born and raised in Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned a bachelor's degree in History and Creative Writing. After graduating college, she wrote and published her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Ship. Her third novel, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, is her first supernatural variation, and she is working on two more fantasy variations. She is now back at school and pursuing a degree in Nursing. She adores her two beautiful nephews, Hudson and Dean. She currently works at a middle school and writes whenever she can.

Are you ready to see what Sophia Rose has to say about Mr. Darcy's Clan? I am so I will turn this over to her. Thanks, Sophia Rose. 

Sophia Rose's Early Impressions for Mr. Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'Dell:

A Vampiric Pride and Prejudice?  My interest was piqued.  Mr. Darcy is just the sort of tall, brooding hero who would make a good vampire character and Elizabeth a feisty heroine whose courage would rise in the face of fangs and blood.

The book opened with a history of how England became a nation ruled by vampire royals and aristocrats and received the Dictates, a code of honor, to live by and hence an alternate history with a paranormal element joined with the familiar P&P storyline.

From the opening chapter, I encountered a curious new take on an old story.  Wealth and family are important to Mrs. Bennet, but having a daughter married to a First Son (vampire) and taken as an Eternal Mate (become his vampire wife) is her end game.  News of a rogue vampire who killed a neighbor barely registers before news of a First Son and his party arriving to take the lease of Netherfield Park puts them all in a dither.

Elizabeth is eager to meet the Netherfield party because they will, if nothing else, break up the monotony of things, but soon a snub from the rude and abrasive Mr. Darcy and the snobbish behavior of Mr. Bingley’s relations gets her back up.  Even still, she is drawn to Mr. Darcy and senses he is keeping a secret.

Darcy recognizes Elizabeth immediately as her blood Calls to him, but her lower position means she cannot be for him.  Or so he keeps telling himself.  It pains him to see her fall under Wickham’s Thrall and he won’t walk away now.

But, of course, the wicked Wickham is a vampire and doesn’t follow the Dictates and he has his dastardly gaze fixed on Elizabeth when he sees what she means to his old nemesis Darcy.

The table is set for a tension-filled supernatural conflict and romance.  I reluctantly stopped at the beginning of Part Two.  A heart has already been broken, an uneasy accord has begun, and a villain is ready to wreck havoc.  It has been fascinating to see the story alter to accommodate the paranormal worldbuilding and the swifter arrival of conflict and romantic development between the characters.

My curiosity is not assuaged and I am eager for more.

Thank you, Sophia Rose! It is great to read your thoughts. You have given us much to think about, and now I want to know more. How about the rest of you? Are you ready to know more? If so, you can get the book here.

Buy Info:
Amazon UK

If you want to reach out to Lari Ann, you find her here:

Contact Info:

Have you been following the blog tour? If you have missed any stops or if you want to know where it is going in the next few days, please take a look at the schedule below. You can go to any stop from here. 

Mr. Darcy’s Clan Blog Tour Schedule:

April 6 Austenesque Reviews

Lari Ann O'Dell is hosting a giveaway of 8 eBooks! That's right! Be sure to enter so you can have a chance to win Mr. Darcy's Clan. The giveaway is international.


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Saturday, March 21, 2020

When Duty Calls...Belén Paccagnella

It is my pleasure to have the lovely Belén Paccagnella visit today. She allowed me to interview her for my stop on the When Duty Calls blog tour. I hope you enjoy her responses as much as I did. Thank you, Belén, for stopping by and answering my questions. Are you ready to get started? I am so let's do it! :)

Why did you decide to write a forced marriage scenario? What about it intrigues you?

When I discovered the wonderful world of Fanfiction I read almost everything that was out there. But as it usually happens, the more you read, the more picky you become. Some stories became too sweet and mushy for my taste and I walked away for angst for the sake of angst. I remember distinctively the first forced marriage story I read in 2000.  I was fascinated by it, by the idea of Elizabeth and Darcy overcoming their issues and dealing with their problems as a married couple and not apart as it happens in the original novel. As a reader, I want them to interact, to argue, and to really know each other before falling in love. The only way to achieve that, at least in a Regency context, is by marrying them early in the story. Making it against their will makes it even more interesting, at least to me!  

I feel the same way you do. I don't like angst for the sake of angst. That does nothing for a story. I also want Darcy and Lizzy together as much as possible and witness them interact. Thankfully, you have lots of that in When Duty Calls. I loved the scene where Darcy sent a letter and locket to Elizabeth. Was there anything specific that inspired that scene?

Not something specific per se. That scene was written with the purpose of keeping them apart until the wedding so Elizabeth wouldn’t have the chance to ask Darcy about Wickham. Initially, it was going to be a very short letter that would increase Elizabeth’s animosity towards her betrothed. But something quite unexpected happened as I was writing Darcy’s letter. I am a very visual person, scenes flow in my head like videos which I then translate into written words.  So, here I was envisioning of this scene of Elizabeth sitting on her bed, opening the letter, sulking because her plans are ruined, when suddenly the image of a heart-shaped pendant falling from the envelope appeared in my mind. I wrote it down and, of course, Elizabeth reacted to this beautiful token and the passionate declaration engraved behind. It only added to her confusion. She wants to hold on to her hatred, but she wishes things were different between them. The locket also shows the reader Darcy in a more benign light, because, until that point, he comes out as a complete idiot.

That scene was truly well done. You showed Elizabeth's confused state of mind and emotions quite well. As the story progresses from that letter and gift of the locket, readers begin to see the Darcy you meant us to see. Even though this scene is later in the book, you made Darcy “real” and likable when he fell into the water going after the frog. Was that a fun scene to write? What about the way he hushed Lizzy’s protests? That was well done!

It was, wasn’t it? Who doesn’t love a wet, cheeky Darcy? That was actually the first scene I wrote for this story. The very first one. The image of him stealing a kiss from his wife in front of everyone popped in my mind and I wrote it down. I knew it had to be a forced marriage scenario, so then I sketched the entire story around that moment. Aside from the sudden kiss, the other thing I love in this scene is Mr. Gardiner’s comment on Darcy’s method to silence a woman. It was a fun way to wrap it up.

How interesting that the "wet scene" was the first one you wrote! I love that! Yes, Mr. Gardiner's comment was wonderful! I laughed when I read that part and I agreed with him! Tell us something about When Duty Calls that you love most. What is your favorite scene? (if you can tell us without giving anything away)

Two of my favorite scenes have been posted during the blog tour, so I won’t be spoiling much. There is also one happy scene I like a lot, and it’s the one where Darcy gives Elizabeth the letter. She comes to bid him goodbye and runs like a maniac across the house because she overslept. It was great fun to write that one. But I also like angst and drama, so there are also a couple of sad scenes that I think are beautiful and poignant. One of them is the one where Elizabeth sheds her first tear at the townhouse and Darcy sees her crying. That is a turning point for him and it’s the kickoff for some important character growth.

Oh, I love the scenes you mentioned too, and some of my favorites have been in the blog tour. I loved your book, so I can pick quite a few favorite scenes! I must admit that I prefer novels set in Regency times so I was thrilled that you wrote this one in that era. Do you prefer to write stories that are in Regency times or modern times?

Being a native Spanish speaker, I find easier to write modern.  But I like both. Modern allows me the possibility to play around with the original plotline, while Regency has more complexity and richness in the vocabulary that challenges me to try harder. For this rewrite I read 4 Jane Austen’s novels to be more in tune with Regency ‘lingo’.

Wow! That is dedication. Obviously you've read lots of Jane Austen! How and when did your interest in Jane Austen take root?

It happened when my sister insisted that I watched the 1995 BBC mini series. It was love at first sight. Before that, I didn’t even know about Jane Austen.

Watching the 1995 BBC miniseries was love at first sight for me too. What drove you to start writing your own books? Did you write other things before writing Austenesque stories?

When I was kid, around 11 or 12, I used to come up with episodes of my favorite show and then tell them to my cousins or friends (who obviously shared my passion for that show). So, I guess, fanfiction is in my genes! Even know, when I watch a movie or tv show, a ‘what if’ storyline always manages to sneak into my mind. 

That's neat. Can it be troublesome when watching shows though? You must have a strong muse! Does that muse cause your story to lead you at times, or do you use an outline and follow it religiously? What is your writing routine? Is there any setting that is more inspirational to you when writing?

I usually come up with the general idea, the backdrop for the story, and I sketch out the characters. It’s easy to get confused and switch names or places. Then I start writing. Random ideas and scenes pop in my head and I write them so I can use them when the right time comes. Sometimes the characters take me in a different direction and, if it works, I adjust the plot so they can be part of the story. But I somehow find my way back to the original plotline. Side stories and secondary characters are usually the ones that grow beyond what I imagined initially. It happened with Jane’s and Bingley’s storyline in Appearances (maybe I’ll publish it one day). That was a very interesting side story to write and I loved how it became entwined with the main character’s arc.

I'm fascinated with the possibility of "Appearances" and the side story entwining with the main character's arc. I hope you will publish it someday. Now for my last question, what have you learned from writing that has helped you in your daily life?

It certainly improved my English! And my knowledge about the things I write. I do a lot of research when I’m writing story. I also met very interesting people along the way and made great friends.

Readers, do you have any questions for Belén? If so, please leave them in the comments. I'm betting she will be happy to answer them. 

Thanks so much, Belén for taking the time to respond to each of my questions. I enjoyed all of your answers.
Should you want to find Belén on social media, her contact info is below.

You may purchase the book at these links.

If any of you have missed any stops along the away, you can go back to each of the blogs and read the posts as well as enter the giveaway for one of the eBooks of When Duty Calls. There are eight being given away so your chances of winning are good!

When Duty Calls Blog Tour Schedule

March 13 Austenprose

Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of When Duty Calls. Thank you to all following the blog tour and good luck in the giveaway. As of today, March 21st, there are four days left to enter the giveaway which ends at 12:00 AM on the 26th. 


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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl

Today I'm spotlighting the anthology Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl. I will be featuring an excerpt from Elizabeth Adams' s story, "Something Like Regret." I hope you will enjoy it. There is also quite a nice giveaway, so be sure to check that out at the bottom of the post.

Before we get to the excerpt, allow me to show you more about the book.

About the book(e-book, trade paperback, pp.350): “Obstinate, headstrong girl!” For over two hundred years, Elizabeth Bennet has enchanted and inspired readers by being that “obstinate, headstrong girl” willing to stand up to the arrogance and snobbery of her so-called betters. Described by Austen as having a “lively, playful disposition,” Elizabeth embodies the perfect imperfections of strong-willed women everywhere: she is spirited, witty, clever, and loyal.
In this romance anthology, ten Austenesque authors sketch Elizabeth’s character through a collection of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times. In ELIZABETH: OBSTINATE, HEADSTRONG GIRL, she bares her most intimate thoughts, all the while offering biting social commentary about life’s absurdities. Elizabeth overcomes the obstacles of others’ opinions, not to mention her own flaws, to find a love truly worthy of her—her Mr. Darcy—all with humor and her sparkling charm.
“I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, January 1813―and we think so too!
Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare.

Stories by Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, Joana Starnes, Karen M Cox, Elizabeth Adams, Leigh Dreyer, J. Marie Croft, and Christina Boyd. 


An excerpt from in “Something Like Regret” by Elizabeth Adams, Elizabeth meets Darcy at Pemberley much like in canon, however, a little honesty helps them reach their happily ever-after sooner. This is an excerpt with a swoon-worthy letter exchange by the newly betrothed couple:

Our journey home was uneventful, and I reread Fitzwilliam’s letter more times than I can remember. One passage in particular made me blush in embarrassment, but I will admit, I read it more than any other.
I can hardly believe you will be my wife in little more than a month—more importantly, I will be your husband. Mine will be the privilege of sharing a life, a home, and a bed with you. Your kisses will be mine alone, your affection my reward—for what I know not, but I am grateful, nonetheless. My dearest, loveliest Elizabeth, you are all that I could ever wish for and more than I ever dreamed of. Speed time for me, my love. Five weeks now feels interminable…
I could do naught but reply.
My Dear Fitzwilliam,
How shocking it is to refer to you as such, and yet, how delightful. I have never written a love letter before. I am certain I will improve with practice, if you do not mind being the recipient of my fledgling efforts.
I have not opened your second letter, as requested (it really is quite cruel of you to leave me in suspense, teasing man), but your first has brought on more blushes than the whole of my life. I too look forward to our life together with eager anticipation. Was it only yesterday that I left Pemberley? It feels ages ago.
I watched the forest through the window as we left, wishing the trees and paths and animals a silent farewell. Is it strange that I feel Pemberley is already my home? Perhaps I feel that way because you love it so dearly and I love you so dearly. I have never been one to wax poetic on my feelings toward others, but if I am all you could wish for, you have far surpassed my wildest dreams.
I never dared to hope that such a man would be my husband. That he would love me, and want me with him forever, and hold me in such tender regard.
You honor me with your affection, Fitzwilliam, and you have mine in its fullest measure. All my heart has to give, I give to you. All my affection, my kisses, my embraces, my love, it is all yours. It is my privilege to be your wife and a source of great joy to have such a husband.
Have I made you blush yet? It is only fair as I was the color of a beet root while reading your letter and my aunt sat across the room, smirking behind her needlepoint as I did so. Have I told you how happy I am that you have become friends with the Gardiners? They are my dearest relations next to Jane and it pleases me greatly that you see their value.
I am quite a pathetic creature as I miss you already and I saw you only yesterday morning in Lambton. How ever will I maintain my equanimity for five long weeks? Hurry to Hertfordshire, my love. You will be greeted with open arms and warm affection.
Your Elizabeth
I followed instructions and waited until the third day of our journey to open his second letter. I was rather surprised to see practical suggestions of places to visit and a detailed travel guide. It wasn’t until I reached the end that I understood his game.
If you should visit Ravenswood Hall, explore the maze and pay special attention to the fountain in the northwest corner. It occurs to me that it would be an excellent place to steal a kiss, or three, when next we visit my friend John. He has recently married, and he and his wife will return to Ravenswood by the time I bring you home to Pemberley. (I do not think I shall ever tire of thinking of Pemberley as your home.) We can test the maze ourselves. You may tell me then if you approve my plan.
If you are not pleased with the maze, there is a ruin near Bellamy that has a very fine prospect; there is also the river at Peagram, with its secluded willows…
He went on, telling me of secluded glades and hidden follies he knew of. Truly, he was practicality itself.

ELIZABETH ADAMS is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips—as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand. She writes romantic comedy and comedic drama in both historical and modern settings and occasionally puts her sociology degree to use in nonfiction. You can find more information, short stories, and outtakes at

Giveaway: The #OmgItsOHG (Oh-my-gosh, it’s Obstinate Headstrong Girl) Blog Tour began February 18 with announcement and cover reveal at Austenesque Reviews, and we hope you will continue to join us and connect with each author about their “Elizabeth” story. We’ve included a Grand Prize package giveaway (a book of your choosing from each of the eleven author’s backlist) as well as additional giveaway: my Silly Austen-inspired blank note cards and coordinating coffee mug. Open worldwide, so be sure to participate. 1) Enter the Rafflecopter for the Grand Prize package of books, and 2) comment on the blog stops to be counted for the additional giveaway (you need not comment everywhere to be entered in that drawing but we hope you’ll have your share of the conversation.) Ends March 31.

If you haven't made all the stops in the blog tour, the schedule is below.

This anthology sounds really good. The letter from Darcy was, indeed, swoon-worthy! Wow! Elizabeth's letter to Darcy was quite nice too! I loved this. Thanks, Elizabeth Adams. If this is any indication, I know I will enjoy reading the anthology when time permits.  We may all have plenty of time on our hands in the coming weeks. Some good reading will be nice. 

Thanks, Christina, for including me in the blog tour. I wish you and all the authors well. 

Good luck to everyone in the giveaway.