Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Blog tour: Five Daughters out at Once by Jayne Bamber - with giveaway!

Hello Dear Janeites, it is a pleasure to be back at Laughing with Lizzie to share more details of my new release, Five Daughters Out At Once.

Available on Kindle April 7th

The novel centers around the premise of the Bennet sisters re-entering society (and encountering heroes from across Austen’s other works!) after mourning the loss of first their father and then their mother, with Lady Catherine de Bourgh as their unlikely champion and ally against Mr. Collins. Things begin with a shaky start; we discover that the Bennet sisters have not been idly awaiting some rescue, but making plans of their own – which leads me to today’s excerpt….



The sight of Mr. Gardiner entering the room instantly put the young ladies at ease, for his jovial manners were tempered with a degree of solicitude and curiosity that gave Elizabeth some hope he would not dismiss her careful planning out of hand. “Well, Jane, Lizzy, Mary – good morning, Miss Lucas – what is all this about then? Your letter has given me no little concern. Have you heard from him, this Collins fellow?”

“Not yet, but we expect to presently,” Jane said with a placid smile.

Elizabeth added to this with a petulant grimace. “If he is at all like his sister, he may arrive without notice any day now – that is what I expect, sir.”

Mr. Gardiner nodded evenly. “I will confess, I had shared my poor sister’s hope that these Collinses were content enough with their own lot, that they would not disturb you.”

“That is what I had wished as well,” Elizabeth replied, quirking her eyebrow up with wry humor as she tried to dispel her own bitterness. “I hoped for the best, but have prepared for the worst.” The two ledgers, one blue and one red, sat before her on the desk, and she opened them both with triumphant pride. “Come and see, Uncle.”

Mary had checked the numbers meticulously the night before – she moved that way and began to show Mr. Gardiner her work. “I reviewed our father’s accounts going back to 1806, here in the blue ledger.  From there, we simply duplicated all the monthly expenses, as if we had continued to live the same, these past two years, as we ever had before – a slight reduction was logical, with fewer… fewer of us.”

Jane joined them at the other side of the desk. “Here, in the red book, we have recorded how we have actually lived these two years – much more frugal, you see. We have reduced the staff, limited unnecessary spending – and our income has increased, a little. Lizzy has seen to the tenants that were in arrears, and gotten them to pay some, if not all their rent, which Papa never paid much mind to. The harvest last year was far beyond what it had ever been,” Jane added, pointing to a sum that Elizabeth was particularly proud of.

“Well! Lizzy, I must venture a guess that you have been the mastermind behind all this?”

Though Lizzy sat in her father’s chair, looking and feeling every bit in command of the household, she had never been easy with taking all the credit of it. “No indeed – not entirely. Jane and Mary have helped a vast deal with the sums, and they have even taken in some mending and sewing to supplement our income – and we have all three taken on a pupil apiece for piano lessons.” Again Jane pointed out the corresponding columns representing the income from their other enterprises.

 Elizabeth could see that it pained him to consider his nieces’ labors. “You poor girls – having to run the estate is dreadful enough, but your other pursuits….”

Elizabeth held her chin high as she met his eye. “There are worse things than work – of all people I had hoped you would understand.”

“That is not what gives me pause.” Her uncle knit his brow, his eyes scanning the columns of sums in the two ledgers. “This is dangerous, girls. If you were found out….”

Jane and Mary both shifted uncomfortably and averted their gaze, but not Elizabeth. “How so, sir? We are not stealing, not really – not any more than we would be if there was only one ledger. It can make no difference to Mr. Collins, if and when he darkens our doorstep, whether we have disbursed the income of this estate in the same fashion we have always done, or differently. Why should he feel entitled to the fruits of our thriftiness – of our labor – when he has not come to claim what is his? He could hardly expect us to set aside every spare shilling for his future – and hypothetical – usage. At any rate, I had always supposed, from the remarks I have heard Papa make, that none of the Collinses are entirely sensible. His sister certainly is not. It is likely that when the time comes for Mr. Collins to sit in this chair, he will simply accept what is written in the blue ledger and think no further than how fortunate he is to no longer be at the pulpit.”

Elizabeth had not meant to rail at her uncle as she had done; Charlotte was obliged to lay a palliative hand on her arm, and in doing so attracted her own share of Mr. Gardiner’s notice. “That is quite an assumption. Miss Lucas, what has been your role in this little enterprise? I should expect you to be the voice of reason in all this.”

Charlotte had always been the most pragmatic figure in Elizabeth’s life – she had neither the high spirits of Mrs. Bennet, Kitty, and Lydia nor the serenity of Jane, neither Mr. Bennet’s excessive sardonic wit nor Mary’s somber want of mirth. But despite Charlotte’s steadiness, the events of the last two years had affected her just as much as the Bennet sisters. And she was not Mr. Gardiner’s niece – she looked up at him and smiled evenly. “I have helped them however I could.”

The flaring of his nostrils and clenching of his jaw betrayed Mr. Gardiner’s silent offense at what Charlotte had really meant. Elizabeth attempted to keep her own countenance neutral. She loved her uncle dearly, and in her heart she could not blame him for being so occupied in his own business matters – but she wished the same respect for what her own actions had been. “Sir, with Charlotte’s aid we have put by nearly three thousand pounds. She helped us send to auction a great many items of value that did not belong to the estate, and she has aided us in the safeguarding of these funds.”

“Has she? It did not occur to you to ask for my help?” The three sisters and their friend were silent a moment, holding a collective breath as Mr. Gardiner scowled at them each in turn.

Finally, Elizabeth squared her shoulders back and answered him. “It seemed expedient that we should pool our funds with Charlotte’s – we mean to open a school together at Lucas Lodge. Her uncle in Plymouth has been advising us on how to go about it.”

Some of her uncle’s vexation seemed dispelled, though his incredulity was not an improvement, in Elizabeth’s estimation. “A school!”

“It would be perfectly respectable,” Mary ventured, her hopeful eyes revealing how desperately she desired their uncle’s approval.

“And not at all dangerous.” Elizabeth could not help herself.

Jane looked between her two sisters, and then offered their uncle one of her most angelic smiles – the softening effect on him was instantaneous, as it ever had been. “You have been so busy – every time our aunt has written, she has indicated you are very often out of town or abroad, working so hard already. We did not wish to add to your burdens.”

“I was occupied in expanding my business so that I could afford to take you all in,” Mr. Gardiner replied. “I have worked tirelessly this past year, doing everything I could to increase my income enough to allow me to support you all.”

“And so have we,” Elizabeth cried. “We did not know of your plan, sir, and were obliged to form one of our own.”

“I did not wish to give you poor girls any false hope – I meant to tell you of my intentions once they became possibilities, you see.”

“We, too, wished to present a fait accompli. And we nearly have done – we have the funds we need, at least. It is no small accomplishment, Uncle.”

“Yes, well, Lizzy, perhaps you are to be commended for your efforts,” he conceded.

“That is all I ask, sir. Well, not all – but if you are still willing to offer any assistance, let it be for Kitty and Lydia. We have all the funds we need, to start our school, and an extra thousand to add to the five from Mamma. Kitty and Lydia might share the sum, and the interest of it might go toward their support, if they were to live with you in London.”

“They would not like our plan,” Mary added. “We have agreed they deserve a better fate, anyhow – and I cannot imagine them as teachers.”

“And as they are the youngest and prettiest of us – and with three thousand apiece – they stand the best chance of marrying well,” Jane said, just the barest trace of regret on her countenance.

“You would forfeit your share of your mother’s portion? This is madness, girls,” their uncle cried, throwing up his hands in frustration. “Charlotte Lucas, I would have expected better from you. When my sister, rest her soul, was taken from us, I asked you to look after my nieces while I was to be away so often.”

The three sisters all looked at Charlotte, who still appeared the most tranquil of them all. “And so I have, sir. You said nothing of the future you had in mind for them – I have only helped them conceive of a different one.”

“You have helped yourself to their money!”

“That is hardly fair, Uncle!” Elizabeth was not surprised that Charlotte had agreed to help them; she would have done so without anyone asking it of her, and Elizabeth took her friend by the hand, more for her own equanimity than Charlotte’s.  “She has offered us some modicum of security and stability, when all we have had these two years is uncertainty. Even before – before the fire, you know how it was at Longbourn. Mamma spoke often and without restraint of how we would someday be turned out of the house by a stranger, left to starve in the hedgerows! Knowing that we should all have a roof over our head at Lucas Lodge someday, when we are turned out of Longbourn, which may in fact be any day now….”

Mr. Gardiner held up a hand to silence her. “I understand you perfectly, my dear. And I do commend your efforts, but such drastic measures are quite unnecessary. Notwithstanding your… unorthodox methods of fundraising, which I think we ought to agree to hush up, if we possibly can – perhaps we had better let the matter rest. I shall take you all to London with me.”

Mary had picked up the bundle of papers that constituted their emergency plan, and the diary in which Charlotte had transcribed the details more coherently; she clutched them both to her chest, her eyes beginning to glisten with tears. Out of all four of them, Mary had wanted this the most. “Please, Uncle. At least consider our plan.”

“I believe it is a sound one,” Jane said softly. “We have put considerable thought into it.”

Mr. Gardiner flicked his gaze back to Elizabeth, who had grown so tense that every muscle in her body ached. He did not look angry, only terribly sad; Elizabeth realized that her own sense of frustration was much the same. She was so very tired of struggling, and offered her uncle a thin smile. He nodded with an almost imperceptible upturning of his lips. “Very well, I shall hear you. Miss Lucas, would you allow me a few minutes to speak privately with my nieces?”

Elizabeth did not release her grip on Charlotte’s hand, but Charlotte withdrew with a little shake of her head. “I shall step out into the garden.” Charlotte opened the door to depart the study, and Kitty and Lydia, crouched on the other side of it, tumbled into the room in such a commotion that only Elizabeth noticed the other great shock that moment held – out of the wide front window she spied a very grand carriage approaching the house.

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Five Daughters Out at Once: A Pride & Prejudice Variation - Kindle edition by Bamber, Jayne. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Jayne Bamber – Audio Books, Best Sellers, Author Bio | Audible.com


Jayne Bamber is a life-long Austen fan, and a total sucker for costume dramas. Jayne read her first Austen variation as a teenager and has spent more than a decade devouring as many of them as she can. This of course has led her to the ultimate conclusion of her addiction, writing one herself.

Jayne’s favorite Austen work is Sense and Sensibility, though Sanditon is a strong second. Despite her love for Pride and Prejudice, Jayne realizes that she is no Lizzy Bennet, and is in fact growing up to be Mrs. Bennet more and more each day.

Thank you so much for stopping by Jayne! Love the sound of the new book. Wishing you all the best! 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Blog Tour: Came a Flight Gently by Leigh Dreyer and Paul Trockner

"In the exciting conclusion of the Pride in Flight Series (The Best Laid Flight Plans and The Flight Path Less Traveled), our dear couple Elizabeth and Darcy have moved to Pemberley to begin their lives together. An outsider to New York society and the affluent world of Darcy, our heroine uses her characteristic drive and wit to begin her marriage and all that comes with him.  Helped along by Mrs. Reynolds and a curmudgeonly airplane mechanic, Elizabeth discovers a new path to the civilian flight world. Darcy, ever the hero, supports her and learns to trust her instincts. Fast-paced and dramatic, Came a Flight Gently soars through love, adventure, and intrigue as it races through Reno to the finish."

How did I find Austen?

Leigh: I had heard of Austen, obviously, in high school (possibly before). I first became interested in her work, however, after attending the 2005 movie premiere with my college roommate and several friends. I read Pride and Prejudice and watched other movies as I slowly became a huge fan. I found Jane Austen fan fiction while commuting on the metro to and from work when I lived in Washington, DC in 2012. I fell in love and devoured as much as I could find.

Paul: I was introduced to Jane Austen in college.  It was an English class during summer school.  I needed the credit and it was the only class available.  So me and one other guy, 12 or 13 female students and a woman professor.  Yes we read Pride and Prejudice, Little Women and some other female centric books.  In hindsight it’s fun to look back at some of the class discussions of what would we do today versus the 1800s. But at the time it was a bunch of reading in a short time period. The professor was quite good and I enjoyed the class but oh I hated Jane Austen and regency manners.  Let’s face it they are not easy reads and I had a ton to read that summer as a history major. You have to pay attention all the time. You can’t doze off and wake up a paragraph or two later and know what’s going on.  Anyway, once Leigh set off on writing her books and found the JAFF community, I started reading the other Austen novels and other JAFF writers. I try to be interested in things my kids think are important.  I generally prefer the moderns to Regency.  I really like the stories told from other characters points of view.  This book is a continuation, maybe the next one we can throw in a little twist or reflection from another character. 


What is your favorite Austen?

Leigh: I like Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion best, but I also really enjoy Sense and Sensibility.

Paul: My favorite Austen is Pride and Prejudice, though I’ve been reading them all and I think Persuasion is next.


What makes Pride in Flight Series (The Best Laid Flight Plans, The Flight Path Less Traveled, and Came a Flight Gently) unique in a Austenesque Fiction?

Leigh: Well, aside from it being a modern and Darcy and Elizabeth are pilots, I think the most distinguishing feature is that there are a lot of other familiar characters to Austen fans. Aside from the ever-popular Pride and Prejudice characters, you’ll find Frederick Wentworth, Mr. Weston, the Dashwood sisters, Sir Walter, Mrs. Jennings, and others. I love mixing and mingling the various worlds of Austen and discovering how those characters would interact with each other.

Paul: First, it puts women in a modern profession—being a pilot. Second, after the first book, it is a continuation and isn’t just a rehash of the Pride and Prejudice plot. The variations are great with different points of view, but they are retellings and these books keep the story going and give Darcy and Elizabeth a new conclusion.


Could you tell us how you developed some of your favorites?

Leigh: My favorite was probably Peggy Fitzwilliam, Col. Fitzwilliam’s mother and Darcy’s aunt. I loved picturing her as a New York socialite. I was heavily inspired by the mother in the Harrison Ford version of Sabrina. I picture Peggy as a fabulous mix of her and Iris Apfel. I love codgery, prickly older women (hey there Lady Catherine!) and she was so much fun to write.

Paul: We tried to pick character names so that knowledgeable readers would wink a bit as they read.  Generally, we kept to similar characteristics as the Austen character. Bad guys are bad, good guys are good.  For my portion I needed two instructors, Weston and Allie, and a pit crew at Reno, Wentworth, Benwick, and Marianne.  So, with Leigh’s guidance off we went. Weston from Austen’s Emma was older, and I’ll be honest, I put myself into his situation.  I’ve been an instructor and would love to take time off to learn mechanics. I like to let people see humor in situations but care about them and always want the best for them. There are many quick-witted pilots with a bit of gallows humor and sarcasm, so Weston was easy to write.

Allie is a combination of several female Instructor Pilots I know and from watching a whole bunch of YouTube videos of Reno races where the women compete right alongside the men. Most women pilots become mentors to other women pilots whether they want to or not as they are still a small part of the pilot class.  The best of the instructors really enjoy teaching and getting the best from their students.  Allie is Elinor from Sense and Sensibility.  So, I made her calm proficient and a good listener as well as instructor.  Leigh and I agreed we needed a strong female as a pilot as an example and to balance out the other strong females in the other parts of Elizabeth’s new life.  Allie also treats Elizabeth as an equal, less experienced, but equal in all other aspects something she doesn’t get elsewhere.

The pit crew’s job is to show Elizabeth that teams and groups who work together for common goals don’t just exist in the military.  In contrast to the board room where Elizabeth’s looked down on, the pit crew includes and bonds with her. They integrate their work to help her achieve and likewise she recognizes their contribution.

Wentworth and Benwick name’s come from Austen’s Persuasion. Good friends in that book, they help move the story and help Darcy figure out his role in the effort.  Marianne is Elinor’s, and thus Allie’s, sister in Sense and Sensibility.  Trying to stay true to Austen she is a bit more dramatic and a bit of a chatterbox.  Though seemingly a bit of an airhead, I made her the chief aerodynamicist and an intelligent important part of the team. There are no dumb women allowed in the book. Later Marianne keeps Elizabeth and Darcy informed of other activities not Reno related.  I wanted all the team to be smart, likeable, and people I’d want to spend time with. 


Do you have any original characters that you are fond of?

Leigh: Dr. Abbott in this book is based on a doctor that helped me with research for book one and the doctor that did my dad’s physical for pilot training in the 80s. It’s a tribute to those medical professionals that have helped so many different people in my life.

Paul: The easiest characters to write were Homer and June Rudd.  They are my in-laws and Leigh’s grandparents.  All their characteristics were biographical and I can imagine them doing everything and saying everything in the book.  I hit the jackpot for the world’s best in-laws.


Author Bios

Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way: “You know the ‘Great Balls of Fire’ scene in Top Gun (Goose, you big stud!) when Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son, a daughter who was a pink pilot for Halloween, and a one-year-old son who is so used to F-16 noise, he does not even startle to sonic booms.               

Paul Trockner was an Air Force fighter pilot for twenty-eight years. He flew the F-111, T-37, A-10, and T-38. He currently teaches fighter pilots using simulator instruction. He has been happily married for thirty-six years to his lovely wife Elizabeth. Leigh is the oldest of his five children.


Came a Flight Gently Links

Amazon UShttp://bit.ly/CameaFlightGentlyUS


The Flight Path Less Traveled Links

Amazon US:http://bit.ly/FlightPathLessTraveled

Amazon UK:http://bit.ly/UKFlightPath


The Best Laid Flight Plans Links

Amazon US link: https://amzn.to/2IkAWTF

Amazon UK link: https://amzn.to/2SfGA9m


Contact Information

Author Name: Leigh Dreyer and Paul Trockner

Email: leighdreyerauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: Leigh Dreyer

Facebook Page: @leighdreyerauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/leighdreyer

Website: http://www.leighdreyer.com/

Thank you for that interview. I have really enjoyed watching this series progress. I wish you both every success! 

Monday, February 08, 2021

Blog Tour: Death in Highbury: An Emma Mystery by Riana Everly - giveaway!

"When political chaos in London forces Mary Bennet to take refuge in the picturesque town of Highbury, Surrey, she quickly finds herself safe among friends. Emma Woodhouse welcomes her as a guest at Hartfield, Jane Fairfax is delighted by her love of music, and Frank Churchill can’t stop flirting with her. But it is not long before Mary starts to suspect that beneath the charming surface, Highbury hides some dark secrets.

Alexander Lyons is sent to Surrey on an investigation, and at his friend Darcy’s request, heads to Highbury to make certain Mary is comfortable and safe. But no sooner does he arrive than one local man dies, and then another!

Soon Alexander and Mary are thrust into the middle of a baffling series of deaths. Are they accidents? Or is there a very clever murderer hiding in their midst? And can they put their personal differences aside in time to prevent yet another death in Highbury?"

A Few Words from Emma

Thank you so much for hosting me here today. It’s the first stop on my blog tour for my new Austen-inspired mystery, Death in Highbury: An Emma Mystery, and I’m thrilled to be sharing a bit of it with you today.

This is the second mystery in my Miss Mary Investigates series. Mary Bennet steps out from her sisters’ shadows and takes centre stage as a sleuth, accompanied by annoying London-based investigator Alexander Lyons. The first mystery, Death of a Clergyman, took place within the world of Pride and Prejudice. This new one, Death in Highbury, takes Mary and Alexander into the world of Emma.

Although Mary and Alexander are the ones who look into a rash of mysterious deaths in Highbury, their arrival on the scene rather throws the whole town into a bit of chaos. And since Emma reigns in Highbury, I’ll let her explain what’s going on.


Greetings, friends. I am delighted to see you. As Ms. Everly has said, our ordinary little town has seen a bit more excitement of late than is usual. It all started when, for reasons too shocking and unsuitable for delicate ears to discuss, a young lady arrived in our midst. Our friend and neighbour Mr. Knightley came to bring us the news that she would be in need of a place to stay, and I am always pleased to be of use to everybody in Highbury, whether from here or from away.

Well, perhaps not always pleased. I spare only as much time for Miss Bates as I really must, and now that Jane Fairfax is come to stay, I find I am forced into their company far more than truly pleases me. But our new guest – Mary Bennet is her name – seems a very charming young lady and I was very happy to offer her a room at Hartfield for as long as she might require it.

Let me tell you a bit of Miss Bennet. She is quiet in manner with a rather studious expression upon her face, and is most often happier to listen than to speak. In this matter we get along very well, for I am much happier speaking than listening. I knew at once we should be friends. She is genteel and well bred, and really quite pretty when she puts forth the effort to look her best. She tries most hard to be pleasing, and this is an admirable trait in everybody.

I have to say, however, that not everything about Miss Mary Bennet delights me. She and Jane Fairfax have struck up a friendship, which vexes me. Mr. Knightley says that I dislike Miss Fairfax because she is the one young lady in Highbury more accomplished and more elegant than I am, but I cannot agree with him. If I do not warm to her, it is because she is so reserved. Rather like Miss Bennet, I suppose.

Further, Miss Bennet seems to have attracted the eye of my own friend Frank Churchill, who until now has lavished his attentions upon me! Not that I desire them, of course! But… well, I must admit to being a wee bit put out.

Ah well, there is nothing to be done for that. Miss Bennet will be gone from our midst soon enough once this unmentionable trouble in London is cleared up. And in the meantime, I propose to spend a great deal of time with another arrival in our midst: the very interesting and rather handsome investigator, Alexander Lyons!



Here is an excerpt from Death in Highbury: An Emma Mystery

“Yes, indeed, Miss Bennet!” Emma seemed quite keen to escape Miss Bates’ monologue, “Please let me introduce you to our other guests.” She took her leave of the foursome and hustled Mary across to the pianoforte where a very elegant young lady sat at the keyboard, not playing but talking to a smart young man who stood sorting through a pile of music.

“Here, perhaps this one, Miss Fairfax,” he spoke rather loudly as Mary and Emma approached, and handed the lady a selection he had pulled from the stack.

The lady herself blushed and took it to set upon the stand before turning her gaze to Mary. Emma made the introductions once more. Jane Fairfax was quite lovely in a very different way to Emma Woodhouse. Her beauty was of the classic and refined variety, where Emma’s was broad and extravagant; and where Emma’s eyes sparkled with ideas and emotions only just suppressed, Miss Fairfax’s betrayed nothing.

“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Bennet.” Jane Fairfax’s manners were as quiet and elegant as her appearance. “Are you to be in the neighbourhood for long?”

Mary explained the situation as best she could in a few short sentences. “Only until it is safe to return to London, or until my sister and her husband decide to continue with their plans to visit the area.”

“I will enjoy our acquaintance, then, as short as it might be. Please feel free to call whilst you are in Highbury.” There was a coolness to her manner, but it bespoke a reserved nature rather than a disinclination towards the connection, and Mary replied that she would be pleased to accept. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a momentary wave of irritation pass across Emma’s face, and she decided she had yet another mystery to solve, namely the cause of Emma’s dislike of Miss Fairfax.

Could the answer to that be the young gentleman who was standing between the ladies? He had been introduced as Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston’s son. He beamed broadly at Emma and flirted most shamefully with her, but his eyes, Mary noticed, flitted towards Miss Fairfax just as Mr. Knightley’s had flitted constantly towards Emma. Oh my, this was quite a mare’s nest she had landed in! How fortunate that all the parties seemed amicable, if not the closest of friends, lest it turn into a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.



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!

Contact Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RianaEverly
Website: www.rianaeverly.com
Email: riana.everly@gmail.com

Buy Links

Universal Link:https://books2read.com/deathinhighbury

Amazon Link:http://mybook.to/deathinhighbury


I am giving away five eBooks worldwide over the course of this blog tour, chosen randomly from people who enter. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter link or widget.
If you don’t like Rafflecopter, you can still enter. Just send me an email (riana.everly@gmail.com) saying so, and I’ll add your name to the list for the draw.
The giveaway will close at 12am EST on February 27, 2021.

Giveaway - enter here!

Most intriguing! Thank you for that extract, and for stopping by. I wish you the best of luck with the new book! And thank you for the giveaway!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Blog Tour: A Life Worth Choosing by Anngela Schroeder - with giveaway!

“You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.”

Reeling from the unexpected rejection of his proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy prepares to quit Hunsford for London but not before he defends himself against Elizabeth Bennet's accusations. He cannot forgive her harsh words; her assertion Mr. Wickham would have made a better son has cut him to the core. 

Suffering an accident while delivering the fated letter, he wakes to a world he does not know—and to those who do not recognize him. With a new life, a different  name, and a fresh chance at winning the woman he loves, Darcy must decide which is “A Life Worth Choosing”––the past he remembers or a future he has created for himself.

Hello, Sophie!  Thank you so much for having me here today at Laughing with Lizzie. I hope you and your readers are having a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to the New Year. I am grateful you’ve given me the opportunity to guest post and also share a bit about my newest book, “A Life Worth Choosing,” with you.

In the summer of 2019, I was able to take my family on a dream trip to England. My husband and I had traveled there before, but we wanted to take our three sons to experience the UK. Deciding to do a two-week home exchange near London, we added an extra week at the beginning of our trip in the North. Miraculously, about three months before we left, Chatsworth House advertised a summer Pride and Prejudice Ball. Without telling my husband, I purchased tickets, and then set out to convince him that this was integral to every bucket list/wish list/desire of my heart. He is a good man, and after making me worry for a week, he consented. It was then that I told him I had already purchased tickets, and he had passed ‘The Greatest Husband in the World’ test.

We arrived at the Cavendish Hotel the day before the ball, and my boys and husband wanted to rest a bit before dinner, so they napped. I popped in my airpods, and began the 30 minute walk from the hotel to the estate house, all the while listening to the soundtrack from the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. As I came ‘through’ a grove of trees, I looked up at the climax of “Liz on Top of the World” to have the fa├žade of Chatsworth before me. I began to cry. Although there is an argument about which is the better version of P&P (I won’t begin that discussion here), the music for the 2005 version speaks to my soul, and I listen to it constantly while I write. I had not felt as at peace as I did at that moment, on a ramble through the British countryside like Lizzy Bennet with a herd of red deer running in the distance.

My husband and I had a wonderful time the next evening, getting a private tour of a section of Chatsworth with the other attendants after appetizers, before then being escorted through the garden to a courtyard restaurant where the ball was held.  We danced, and felt like the Bennets as we were truly the last to leave the ball! We didn’t dance every dance, but we did speak of books, even if only for a moment.

While being engrossed in the world of Jane Austen, I could not help but feel like Mr. Darcy, from my newest book “A Life Worth Choosing.” In the novel, Mr. Darcy finds himself in an alternate life, and although he initially yearns for his old one, he realizes just how wonderful things can be and must determine which life he’ll choose to live in.  Although I had no such choice (our boys were back at the hotel loving the wi-fi and air conditioning—so I couldn’t make any permanent changes), for an evening, I was a lady of the ton enjoying the Season. Once again, my husband (a history teacher) was a good sport, and even dressed up without much fuss, saying that he wouldn’t mind doing that again (but not in the too near future).

I want to thank Sophie again for allowing me to come out today, and wish you all a Happy and safe New Year!  

*** Giveaway - ends 20th January ***

Today’s international giveaway is to win an ebook copy of A Life Worth Choosing, when it is released later in January. 
All you need to do to win is to comment on this blog post.

Please include your email so I can contact you easily if you are they lucky winner. The winner will be chosen at random.

What a wonderful trip you had! And such a beautiful dress. I have never done the Chatsworth ball myself, but have done many others - balls are what I enjoy the most! I look forward to the release of your book in January - goo luck with it! And thank you for the giveaway!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Blog tour: North Fanger by Jayne Bamber, with giveaway!

A campy, vampy fusion of Pride & Prejudice with Northanger Abbey...

Elizabeth Bennet and her cousin Catherine Morland travel into Kent to visit the recently married Collinses in the village of Hunsford, near the great estate of Rosings Park. Elizabeth anticipates that the visit will be very dull indeed, while Catherine believes adventure and romance await them there, just as in the gothic novels she adores.

Within a week, both women have their expectations subverted by the sudden arrival of a vampire into their midst. The ladies at the parsonage take flight, accompanied by the outraged Colonel Fitzwilliam, his outwitted cousin, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy – and an out-of-control fledgling vampire.

Proving herself indispensable during the undead Darcy debacle, Elizabeth becomes the heroine her cousin Catherine always knew she was – and enviously wishes to be herself – as she leads them to Bath in search of the wily Silas Bennet, an expert in all matters vampiric.

But amidst the hunt for Uncle Silas, other predators enter the fray, all in search of one very old man, and a very young vampire. In Bath they encounter the Tilneys, the Thorpes, and an array of familiar faces and vicious villains bent on wreaking bloody havoc, leading a merry band of misfits to take shelter in a place too spooky not to hold secrets of it’s own: Northanger Abbey.


After Catherine and her new friend parted ways with Elizabeth, it was but a short walk to the Allens’ lodgings in Pulteney Street. She had already discovered the essentials about her new friend - Miss Tilney had lost her mother nine years before, and her oldest brother not long after. She was four-and-twenty, nearly a spinster, and perhaps this was why she rather reminded Catherine of Charlotte.

“I wonder that you have never married, Miss Tilney,” Catherine observed. “You are not so very plain, your manners are open and easy, and I think you said your father is a gentleman….”

Miss Tilney colored for a moment, and looked away. “Call me Eleanor, please.” She was quiet just long enough for Catherine to repent her impertinent question, but at length she answered, “I have wished to marry, to be sure - but I could never leave my brother Henry. I am all he has in the world.”

“What of your father?”

“My father is - well… Henry and I are very close, and he is so ill.”

“Oh! And he is not married, then?”

“No, and more’s the pity.” Eleanor smiled wryly. “He is very handsome, you know. He wished to be a parson, before… before he fell ill.”

“What is his affliction?”

Eleanor’s face belied a long-suffering melancholy. “It is a… a hematological disorder, a very uncommon thing - we have every hope of finding a doctor here in Bath who can cure him.”

“I hope you do! Is he very ill, then?” Catherine did not recognize the word Eleanor had used to describe her brother’s affliction, but she was too embarrassed to admit as much to her older and wiser companion. Her interest was captivated by the thought of her brave and kindly friend tending to a handsome, ailing brother - if he was truly so like Eleanor in disposition, Catherine thought she would very much like to meet him. “Is he confined to a sick bed, or might he take the waters? Shall he go out in society at all here in Bath?”

Eleanor bit her lip and knit her brow for a moment. “It is a curious thing - it comes and goes. I have every hope of coaxing him out of the house some evening - particularly as I now have some acquaintance here. He is generally unable to leave the house in the mornings and afternoons, but perhaps an assembly might tempt him.”

“Sick in the mornings! My mother was thus when she carried all my brothers and sisters - of course, I daresay your brother does not suffer that affliction. If he does not go out in the day, but only of an evening, I might guess he was a vampire!” Catherine laughed at her own folly, but Miss Tilney grew serious.

“He is very hopeful of finding a cure, and leading a perfectly normal life thereafter.”

“Oh - well, I am very glad for him, then,” Catherine said, fretting over her own silliness. By now they had reached the Allens’ lodgings, and Mrs. Allen appeared at the window, waving merrily at them. Eleanor was tempted to come inside and be introduced, though she insisted she must go away directly.

“Of course - it is nearly sundown, and we cannot let you walk all the way back to Laura place in the dark,” Mrs. Allen observed, simultaneously admiring the lace and intricate trim of Eleanor’s day dress. “But you must stay for dinner - what a fine thing, Cathy, for James is to bring guests tonight - my old school friend Mrs. Thorpe is in Bath, and her daughters - and your brother James is intimately acquainted with them - but surely your father will not object, Miss Tilney!”

Miss Tilney gently declined, Catherine pressed, Mrs. Allen pressed more, and in the end an engagement was formed for the following night instead - Miss Tilney would dine with them at seven in Pulteney Street, and convey the invitation to her invalid brother. 




Mr. Tilney, as it happened, was very handsome. He was fair, like his sister and looked no older than Eleanor, and though his countenance might be called pale, his face conveyed such candid affability and mischievous energy as to render him uncommonly good looking. He was tall and lean, but nothing about his person indicated the slightest detectable ailment. 

His vitality was coupled with impish charm and easy manners; ten minutes served to acquaint him so well with his six new friends as to rival a friendship of many years. Only when they sat down to dinner did Catherine recall his illness. 

He waved away the soup with a self-deprecating laugh, “You will think me far older than I appear - but I cannot possibly take a morsel of food - I hope I do not offend your gracious hospitality, Mrs. Allen. I am an invalid, you see.”

“You have come to the right place, then, sir!”

Now he turned to address Catherine in particular. “Do you think me very odd, Miss Morland? I must regiment my diet ever so carefully, until Dr. Bennet can advise me. But when I am cured, I am sure I shall devour every pheasant, quail, and pig in the county!”

Elizabeth coughed, and Mr. Darcy, seated at her side, quickly patted her back and gestured for her to drink some wine. Catherine gave her brother a knowing look, and he rolled his eyes from further down the table. Once she had recovered, Elizabeth asked incredulously, “Dr. Bennet?”

“Yes,” Eleanor replied. “When I asked after your relations yesterday, I thought there might be some connection. My father is hoping to secure my brother a meeting with Dr. Bennet, though I understand he is rather elusive - quite in demand, I imagine.”

“Ah. Well, my uncle is a merchant, not a physician,” Elizabeth replied. Catherine happily observed that her cousin and Mr. Darcy now appeared to be holding hands under the table. 

“You have not answered my question, Miss Morland. Do you think me very odd?”

“Very odd,” she said with a smirk.

He held her gaze for a moment, suppressing a smile as he pretended to pout. “I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow.”

“My journal?”

“Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Sunday, dinner at Pulteney Street. Appeared much to advantage, but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted invalid, who refused to eat any of Mrs. Allen’s fine fare, and distressed me by his nonsense.”

Catherine laughed. “Indeed I shall say no such thing.”

“Shall I tell you what you ought to say?”

“If you please.”

“I dined with a very agreeable man - danced a reel after, thought him exceedingly light on his feet and heavy with praise of me - seems most an extraordinary genius - I hope I may know more of him, so I have agreed to join him and his relations at the theatre tomorrow. That, my dear Miss Morland, is what I wish you to say.”

Catherine grinned at him, and he laughed at himself, smiling at her as though she were the only person in the room. Catherine felt a warm, pleasant sensation spread across her chest - a frightening fluttering of her heart - she realized she was being flirted with by this exceptionally handsome, charming, and entirely vital man - at last! 

Before she could reply, Mrs. Allen cried out with excitement. “But we are already engaged for the theatre tomorrow! What a fine thing - we are sure to see you there!”

“And will you come to the theatre Miss Bennet, Mr. Darcy?”

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy exchanged a look of private conversation before the gentleman answered. “My sister is not yet out in society, and the widow Collins is a guest of the house….”

“I shall attend,” Elizabeth declared, with a look of teasing defiance at Mr. Darcy. “I should not like to be out very late, but I should like to accompany you, Cathy. And Cousin James, I hope your Isabella will be in attendance.”

“I believe she will be.”

“Well!” Mrs. Allen clapped her hands. “What a fine thing! How very merry we shall be!”

Catherine shivered with anticipation, and in her mission to live as the heroine from one of her novels, she was far from disappointed. By the end of the evening she was satisfied enough that she knew she could, in all sincerity, make exactly the journal entry Mr. Tilney had predicted. They spoke of books between themselves at such length, even while dancing the promised reel, that Catherine fell asleep with her head full of romantic scenes between a dashing, fair-haired hero and a rather lusty heroine who looked remarkably like herself.


Jayne Bamber is a life-long Austen fan, and a total sucker for costume dramas. Jayne read her first Austen variation as a teenager and has spent more than a decade devouring as many of them as she can. This of course has led her to the ultimate conclusion of her addiction, writing one herself.

Jayne’s favorite Austen work is Sense and Sensibility, though Sanditon is a strong second. Despite her love for Pride and Prejudice, Jayne realizes that she is no Lizzy Bennet, and is in fact growing up to be Mrs. Bennet more and more each day.

Amazon.com link

Giveaway link

Thank you so much for stopping by Jayne! Your book sounds like a lot of fun! Great extract. Good luck with it!