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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Have you spotted the shiny new yellow button adorning my sidebar?


Dear Friends,

Recently, a few blog friends have been asking whether they can support me and my blog, and so to make this possible, I have just added a "Donate" button to my sidebar, (look left! But if you are viewing this on a tablet or mobile device, you need to click "view web version" to be able to see it).  It brings me real pleasure and happiness to see how many of my followers are entertained by my posts and enjoy sharing my Austen adventures.  I would naturally be grateful for any donation, and it will go towards supporting future blogposts and endeavours. Any donation is welcome, just  £1 or $1 would be appreciated.
 

So if you enjoy my blog and would like to buy me a 'virtual' cup of tea, please click the button to make a secure payment through Paypal, (it doesn't require an account).  Of course, this is a completely voluntary option.  

Thank you to all my friends and followers for 'Laughing With Lizzie'; I look forward to sharing more news, thoughts, interesting information, happy occasions and fun and laughter together soon, for...  
 
"I dearly love a laugh"!














 

Your affectionate friend,
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sweet Caresses by Sarah Johnson - excerpt reading and giveaway!



 
Today I welcome Sarah Johnson to my blog, with her latest book Sweet Caresses! Rather than posting an excerpt, I have actually read it for you! The video is posted below, and there is also a giveaway - details below!
 
“There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” ~ Jane Austen
 
Sweet Caresses is a charming compilation of inspirational and heart-warming Regency and Modern short stories, interspersed with fun letters. These tales have appeared, over the years, on several Jane Austen forums and blogs, and now they have been bundled together with all new material written just for this book for your reading pleasure. Feel the joy and triumph as our favourite characters defeat each obstacle set in the way of their own happily ever after moments.
 
Book trailer:
 
 
 

I have to say, I am truly blessed to have the husband I have. He loves the classics just as much as I do, his favorites being Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and while he cannot boast of loving or knowing the intricate details of Jane Austen’s books as well as I do, he never tires of hearing me opine, even after 17 years of listening to the same boring subjects.

Talking of this subject reminds me of the first time he watched Pride and Prejudice was with me—sort of. He was in the Army for 15 years, and there were many times throughout those years that he was on the other side of the world from us. One of those times was when he spent a year in South Korea while we were living in Oklahoma. Phone calls were too expensive, letter would take forever to get across, so they were few and far between, but our sleep schedules worked out to give us a few hours each evening (evening for me at least) to spend talking on instant messenger.

Every night we would chat. Mostly it was just about whatever was on our minds that day, but often on the weekends when we had more time it was centred on what we were reading. I, of course, was reading Jane Austen and JAFF stories a lot. (This was the year I was determined to read through every story listed on the JAFF Index. What a chore that was!)

It was one evening while we were chatting that the subject of us watching a movie together on YouTube came up. So, thinking that would be a fun way to have a “date”, we both went searching for the perfect movie. The hubby is wonderful, because he found Pride and Prejudice and suggested we watch it together. Even more amazing was it was my favorite version – the 1980 series.

Yes, the 1980, very dated version is my favorite. Go ahead and laugh… I can take it.

Sorry all you Matthew and Colin fans, but my favorite is not with their gorgeous faces. Though, I honestly can’t say that David Rintoul is my version of Darcy either. However, I do so love Elizabeth Garvey’s portrayal of Elizabeth, and I feel that Sabina Franklyn gave more life to Jane Bennet than any other actress in other versions did.

My hubby not only watched it with me, he enjoyed it! We talked about the details that usually only come up with other JAFFers, and I found that his explanations from a man’s perspective gave me great insight into things I never thought about before with some of the characters. It turned out to be a date I will always cherish.

My hubby does not resemble Mr Darcy hardly at all, but he is the perfect complement to this unromantic JAFF lover. Perhaps I am Darcy and he is my Elizabeth Bennet? Hmmmm...now, that is something to ponder in my dark corner of the room as I watch all the others dancing about in their social haze.
 
 
 
 

 ** GIVEAWAY - ends Saturday August 1st**

Sarah has provided me with a giveaway with two lucky winners!
I have an 2 ebooks (international) of Sweet Caresses.

To enter, leave a comment below and the winners will be picked randomly.

Please leave your email address and i
f you are one of the lucky winners, I will pass on your email to Sarah who will be in touch.

Good luck!
 
Thank you again to Sarah for this giveaway, and for the sweet story! I hope you enjoyed my reading too! I wish you all the best with this story and any future stories!
 


Your affectionate friend,
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blog Tour: Inspired By Grace by Jeanna Ellsworth - with giveaway!

Today I welcome the lovely Jeanna Ellsworth back to my blog, with an excerpt from her latest story Inspired By Grace - and there is a giveaway!

~~~~~~~~~~~
I can’t believe the blog tour for Inspired by Grace is almost over! Everyone has been so kind to let me talk about my latest release. I was lucky enough to meet Sophie Andrews in England in June so this is especially thrilling to be hosted on Laughing with Lizzie.  She has been the dearest friend to me over the last two years and solidified out friendship when she treated me and my girls to a real English picnic on the grounds of Basildon (2005 Pride and Prejudice Netherfield).  I have attached a few pictures for you as well. She really went all out and I felt so special.
 
You are most welcome - it was great to finally meet you!


 


English picnic at Basildon Park

















Lovely to finally meet Jeanna!












Many of you have followed the blog tour and know what the book is about, but just in case, here is the blurb on the back cover:

 

*****

 

“She was never the demure lady who was afraid of getting her petticoat dirty. He was never the calm and collected lad who coddled her. What had started as friendship had evolved into something quite tangible . . .

A lady always hopes that the man she falls in love with will sweep her off her feet in a dramatic and graceful way. Well, for Grace Iverson, at least it was dramatic. Her childhood best friend, Gavin Kingston—now His Grace, the Duke of Huntsman—is still just as clumsy as ever.

Despite their painful separation as children, a chance encounter has offered them a second opportunity for happiness. But after ten years apart, they both carry hidden scars. Trust takes time. And soon, forces from the past threaten to destroy the love they both have hoped for all of their lives.

Can Grace’s best friend break down her emotional fortress and prove his love before she disappears from his life a second time?

This lovely Regency romance started well before either of them knew what they wished for in a partner; but it will surely be one that stands the test of time.

 

*****

As you can see, it is different than my other books I have written, which are variations of Pride and Prejudice. I thought it would be hard to spark your interest or help you understand the excerpt I will share if I didn’t prep you with understanding the original characters or the plot.  So I found a method of sharing that is a fabulous teaching tool. TV tropes! You might already know what a TV trope is from your own personal experience in research, or maybe you simply have learned a bit on this blog tour, if so, I’m glad! But I will explain why I will use TV tropes on a book tour. TV tropes are a way to classify or characterize different plot tools or events that occur frequently in media. They are found in everything from movies, to books, to animation, to theatre, to television!

The TV trope I will introduce you to is the “Green-Eyed Epiphany” trope.  I bet by the name alone, you can probably guess what kind of plot tool this describes. Here is the actual definition straight off www.tvtropes.org :“The jealousy-spurred Love Epiphany of a character who's in love with someone else, but has been in denial about this up until now. Before the crisis, the character is perfectly fine being Just Friends or totally platonic bickering partners with another. But then, that other character gets romantically involved with an interloper, causing their not-at-all love interest to suddenly feel the sting of their absence. Once they finally admit to themselves their feelings, the Romantic False Lead's got hell to pay.”

Here are some examples in media and literature that help you get a feel for the trope.

·         Ron and Hermione and Victor Krum n Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

·         Mr. Knightly and Harriet and Emma in Jane Austen’s Emma

·         Buttercup and Westley and Countess Rugen in Princess Bride

·         Julianne and Michael and Kim in My Best Friend’s Wedding

 

Get the picture? I hope so, because this is what happens to the main character, Gavin, when he is forced to introduce his friend, Mr. Silence, to his newly rekindled childhood best friend, Grace, or Gigi, as Gavin calls her. In this scene, Gavin just won a chess match, something that Grace was ill prepared to experience. They just finished a very deep discussion about how his brother, Spencer, died prematurely and the title of Duke of Huntsman fell to him. Enjoy this excerpt:

 

*****

Grace stared at the chessboard, worry etched in every corner of her face. Gavin felt a twinge of guilt for winning.

“Do not be a sore loser, Gigi. Surely you have grown out of that by now.” Gavin watched her flush even redder. “I am sorry,” he added. “It was unfair for me to distract you.”

He had always softened the blow when she lost, as he knew just how painful it was for her to admit defeat. Grace was the kind of girl who excelled at everything she put her mind to. She never held herself back from a challenge. It didn’t matter that she was a girl and two years younger and in a dress. No matter the challenge, she fought with a spirit of endurance and self-sacrifice that only Grace had.

Just as he was about to offer a rematch, there was a familiar, patterned triple-knock on the study door. He turned to find his friend, Kenneth Silence, letting himself in, closely followed by a frustrated Mr. Robison.

Silence and the poor butler, Mr. Robison, were engaged in a long-standing war. It was Robison’s job to announce guests before they entered, but Silence, determined to announce himself, always managed to weasel his way ahead.

“Silence, Your Grace,” Robison called out, rushing into the room.

Silence’s laughter rolled, and he replied, “Robison, I am impressed! Not many servants would dare hush their masters so boldly.”

“Your Grace, I would never attempt such a thing,” Robison quickly added. “Mr. Silence is here, as you can see. Shall I bring in refreshments?”

Gavin chuckled and said, “Yes, please do.”

“And bring some sherry,” Silence requested. “I see there is a lady here, and if she has spent any time at all with Kingston, she is surely in dire need of fortification.”

“I do not require sherry,” Grace replied.

“No?” Silence asked. “Have you given up the drink like Kingston?”

Gavin cleared his throat and stood up. “Grace,” he said, “I would like to introduce you to Spencer’s close friend, Mr. Kenneth Silence. Silence, this is Miss Grace Iverson.”

She stood and curtsied, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Silence.”

“Please, call me Silence. Everyone else does.”

Grace smiled back, far too wide for Gavin’s taste. “But then what shall I say when I need you to stop talking?” she asked. “Must I really stutter, ‘Silence, Silence!’?”

Is she flirting with him?Gavin wondered.

Silence laughed, bowed deeply, and kissed her hand. “The pleasure is entirely mine, Miss Iverson. Now, how is it that we have not met before? I know I would have sought an introduction to such a handsome lady if I had seen her. Kingston, how is it you have hidden this gem from me? Do tell me she is a cousin. Hopefully a distant one who has no chance of passing on your ugly features or your innate lack of humor. Oh, come now, Kingston, you must wipe that frown off your face; it limits your attractiveness even further.”

Gavin turned to Robison and said, “Please bring tea, thank you.” He then turned toward Grace and saw that charming smile again being bestowed upon Silence and felt the need for a drink for the first time in three months.

“Now, Miss Iverson,” Silence began, “do not tell me that you too have given up drink like Kingston.”

Grace’s questioning look forced an explanation from Gavin. “I was a captain,” Gavin conceded, “so, of course I drank. We all drank as if we had hollow legs. There are few sailors, if any, who do not mute the hardships of sea with a bit of spirits. But I have recently sworn it off.”

“I see,” Grace replied. “Well, to be honest, I rather detest the stuff myself. I do not like feeling like I am not in control of myself.”

Grace smiled at Gavin, and he felt his heart begin to relax again. How on earth will I introduce her to anyone if I don’t even want to share her smiles with Silence?

Grace turned back toward Gavin’s friend and said, “I was sorry to hear about Spencer, Silence. I spent many summers tagging along behind him. I grew up in Suffolk with the Kingstons and have very fond memories of him.”

“Then we have something in common,” Silence said, “for there are few people who still hold Spencer in high regard. Gavin and I have been through it all together. We both saw Spencer walking the tightrope he called life and knew that sooner or later gravity would win. His untimely death was a terrible blow, but Gavin helped me through it. Unfortunately, Kingston tried for a while to drink his way through it, and that proved unsustainable. But in the end, he gave up the drink. I admire him for it, although it took him banishing all the alcohol from Willsing Manor and the rest of us enduring a few days of him in high dudgeon. He has not touched alcohol now in . . . how many months?”

“Three,” Gavin answered. “So, stop trying to order Robison to bring you sherry. You know there is not a drop of it in the house.”

“Indeed. But it never hurts to try. That is my life’s motto, which brings me back to you, Miss Iverson. Has anyone ever told you how beautif—”

Gavin quickly cleared his throat and pronounced, “Silence, Silence!” Everyone laughed.

“Well, Miss Iverson,” Silence chuckled, “thanks to you, I will never know whether Kingston is trying to quiet me or whether Harrison’s stuttering has become contagious. Speaking of which, Kingston, I am here to pass along a message: Harrison’s mare is ready if you wish to breed Zeus with her.”

“Is that all you needed?” Gavin was hoping he would just leave. He found himself feeling quite protective of his time with Grace.

“Kicking me out without tea? It is bad enough that you did not offer any port, but at least let me cool my saddle.” Without waiting for a reply from Gavin, Silence kissed Grace’s hand again and sat down on the sofa, motioning for her to join him. “Now, Miss Iverson, do not let Kingston’s coolness interfere with our short acquaintance. Please, sit down, and we shall hear what Kingston and his brother were like as children. No, wait, I have a better idea. Let us play a game. I shall act out something, and you tell me which brother it resembles.”

Grace smiled again and said, “Only if I get a turn.”

Silence’s eyebrows rose. “Indeed!” he declared. “I would be delighted to see you act!”

Grace sat down and, reluctantly, so did Gavin. He would have preferred to be alone, or at least alone with Grace. He sighed. The morning was not turning out as he would have liked. First, he had remembered that terrible day ten years ago when he realized Grace considered him only a friend, and then he had recounted the grisly details of everything that happened six months ago. Undoubtedly the worst memories of his life. Now, it seemed he had to watch Silence flirt with Grace while they mocked him in his own house.

But it really wasn’t so bad; he had spent the last hour entirely in Gigi’s presence. He would endure far worse to spend time with her. He took a seat that allowed him to observe her without being obvious.

 

*****

 

I know the excerpt was rather long but it was important to let you see the Green-eyed Epiphany that just barely began in this scene. He comes to the epiphany a bit later but you at least saw the jealousy emerge with the simple introduction!

Thank you all for stopping by and reading the excerpt of Inspired by Grace. It was a pleasure to be on your blog, Sophie.
 
You are welcome! Thank you for coming, and with such a great excerpt!
 
To say thank you, I’d like to give away a signed paperback (unless you would prefer an ebook), open internationally to one lucky commenter. You can tell me anything you would like!  Can you think of any other examples in media where this trope is used? Anxious to read more? I promise you that if you enjoyed my writing or books in the past, you will not be disappointed in Inspired by Grace. (And I won’t tell if you fall in love with someone other than Darcy! J).

Please also leave your email address so the winner can be contacted! Good luck! The giveaway will end Tuesday July 28th.

 
I wish Jeanna all the best with this latest release, and any future stories too!




Your affectionate friend,
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Cupid's Traps by Sarah Johnson - with giveaway!

 
 
Today I welcome Sarah Johnson to my blog! She has posted an excerpt from her latest novel, Cupid's Traps: A Matchmaker's Tale for our enjoyment. And there is also a giveaway - details below!



 
"William Shakespeare said it best when he penned, ‘Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps’. Georgiana Darcy, in her first matchmaking adventure, might need to call in a few favors from her family, or even Cupid himself, in order to pull off the perfect match for her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy. He is truly smitten, but the lady, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, is not impressed with his character. Within the throes of Cupid’s traps, will she finally see that her heart is touched by this handsome gentleman before these traps force them into a union?"

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
The four were so eagerly discussing the awe-inspiring experience that they did not notice the latch on the door did not fully catch when they left the cage.
Anne was compelled into a coughing fit, and the next thing they knew, a flock of parrots flew overhead, squawking loudly, with more coming out of the opened door.
A curdling scream came from the sitting area, and all four rushed to find out what had happened. They were brought to a stop immediately when they rounded the corner and saw Georgiana’s favorite parrot sitting atop Lady Catherine’s head, firmly planted in her hair, while Mr Collins’ flailing arms tried to fend off another persistent bird. Charlotte was in such shock she watched on in stunned silence. Maria jumped into the fray and tried to help her brother-in-law, but only succeeded in chasing him, and the bird, in circles and making herself quite dizzy. The colonel was no help to anyone as he was laughing so hard he was doubled over and nearly on the floor.
The four raced over and tried to help Lady Catherine, but the squawking only increased as two more parrots joined in on the attack. Anne was trying to remain composed and help her mother, but when Lady Catherine’s prized peacock, which had always had full run of the solarium, came running towards them, his tail feathers wide and on display for all to see, she could control herself no longer and began to laugh just as hard as her cousin Richard.
Georgiana joined Maria in trying to chase off the parrot that was engaged in a game of tag with Mr Collins, leaving Elizabeth and Darcy to battle the birds that were attracted to Lady Catherine’s hair.
Servants were filling the room quickly, most busily trying to find all the escaped birds to put them back into their enclosure, though none dared step in to be hit by the flying arms of their mistress, Lady Catherine.
Elizabeth tried to get the most annoying of the parrots off of the grand lady, but his talon was stuck in her hair. Lady Catherine was putting up such a fuss that Elizabeth was willing to do anything to free the bird, so she pulled harder. What she thought was Lady Catherine’s hair turned out to be nothing more than a wig, and the tugging made it come off, exposing Lady Catherine’s bald head to all in the room.
The grand lady’s hands immediately went to her head and her shrill voice filled the air as shrieks of ‘how dare you’ and ‘you will pay for exposing me to such censure’ escaped her lips.
In her anger, Lady Catherine pushed Elizabeth away, causing her to stumble backwards and right into Darcy.
Darcy was already stunned by the revelation that his aunt had no hair, and when Elizabeth fell into him, he did not have the wherewithal to do anything but grab at her falling form. His arms reached around her in a most ungentlemanly fashion, and their feet became entangled, causing both of them to land on the floor in such a manner as to send Lady Catherine into shrieks once again, this time about the compromising position in which Elizabeth now lay, sprawled out atop her nephew.
Every eye in the room now turned to the two, and, in her haste to stand, Elizabeth caused the ties of her dress to become caught on Mr Darcy’s coat button. She felt mortified and trapped. Scrambling to get to her feet was not working and was only causing more problems.
Richard stepped in to lead his enraged aunt from the room, followed closely by Mr Collins, who still flailed his arms about trying to rid himself of the persistent bird, his loud voice booming his concern to ensure the serenity of his patroness once again.
Anne rolled her eyes at the ridiculous man and turned away to address the servants, ensuring the others were given some privacy as Charlotte knelt beside her distraught friend, joined by Georgiana as well.
Maria, not knowing what to do now that her brother-in-law was not in the room, turned her attention  to the two who lay sprawled out on the floor, a wicked grin displayed on her lips as she thought of what fun her good friend Lydia Bennet was missing. This was certainly something she would have to tell in great detail!
Elizabeth was on her back, lying atop Mr Darcy, who was amazingly still for such chaos surrounding them. As she looked up to the ceiling above where birds still flew overhead, her eyes filled with tears. What had happened to lead to such a situation?
Darcy was completely mortified at his own actions, even if they were unintentional. When Elizabeth fell against him, his arms flew around to catch her and his feet stumbled backwards, causing their fall. But what was now so mortifying was where exactly his hands had grabbed in his attempt. Being a well-sought after gentleman, he had occasionally had a lady rub against his arm when he offered his assistance, especially Miss Bingley. But he had long tried to remain as far from those women as possible, for he did not wish to be put in such a position as to be forced to offer his hand. Now here he was, being/acting the one whose hands had grabbed so willingly, and with Miss Elizabeth as well! After all they had both said today, this was certainly not going to help his plight. He tried to remain as still as possible now, knowing that if he moved, he might embarrass them both even more. Just her moving atop him was enough to cause his heart to race. He had to focus on something else, so he chose, instead, to think of the pain he felt at her elbow being in his ribs, hoping it would be enough.
Georgiana and Charlotte both tried to undo the knots that held the two entwined, but when it was clear something more was needed, Georgiana ran off to get the scissors from her sewing box.
While they waited, Charlotte assured Elizabeth it would be well, but the more she said the more distraught her friend became. Finally she just chose to remain silent as they awaited Georgiana’s return.
Soon the scissors were produced, and the ties on Elizabeth’s dress were cut, allowing the two to stand once again, though it was not so easy to accomplish as Elizabeth had to hold the top of her dress.
When Elizabeth was once again on her feet, Charlotte said, “I must go and find my husband now. Come, Maria,” she grabbed her sister’s hand, pulling her out of the room.
Georgiana quietly added, “I will check on Aunt Catherine,” and followed as well, leaving the two alone in the solarium.
Darcy removed his coat and draped it over Elizabeth’s shoulders as he asked, “Are you injured?”
Elizabeth looked from the doorway back to the man at her side, then down to the coat that now hung on her shoulders. She reached her arms out into the sleeves and buttoned the front, folding the lapels up and over the top portion of her dress. “It is only my pride that is injured, sir.”
“I believe you once espoused that you dearly love to laugh at follies and nonsense, and you even accused me of being without them. Do you still feel as such?”
His tease was just enough to ease the anxiety that had arisen in her chest. She pushed the sleeves of his coat up, a laugh finally escaping her lips, “Certainly we both espoused much nonsense that evening. I believe I was most shocked at your teasing Miss Bingley about her figure being to the greatest advantage when we took a turn about the room.”
Darcy’s eyes grew dark, “It was not Miss Bingley to whom I was referring when I made such a statement.”
Elizabeth looked up into his eyes, not knowing what to say to such a statement. Could he have been admiring her all those months ago?
Her thoughts were interrupted when her cousin came storming back into the room, talking of the situation, followed by Charlotte and Maria. He insisted they must leave, and Darcy watched as the four gathered their belongings and left the solarium, Elizabeth still wearing his coat. Once they were gone, he went to find his cousins and sister and see what needed to be done about keeping the servants quiet after such an evening.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


         ** GIVEAWAY - ends Friday 17th of July**
Sarah has provided me with a giveaway with three lucky winners!
I have an 2 ebooks (international) and one signed paperback (US only) of Cupid's Traps.

To enter, leave a comment below and the winners will be picked randomly.

Please leave your email address and which draw you would like to be entered into (remembering the paperbacks are US only, but ebooks are international).

If you are one of the lucky winners, I will pass on your email to Sarah who will be in touch.

Good luck!
 
Thank you again to Sarah for this giveaway, and for the brilliant extract! I wish you all the best with this story and any future stories!
 
 
Your affectionate friend,
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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Blog Tour: Mr. Darcy's Rival by Kara Louise


Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for the lovely Kara Louise's release, Mr Darcy's Rival. And there is a giveaway, which I will tell you about at the end of this post! I love Kara's stories, and I am looking forward to this latest story!
My Journey To and With Jane Austen
I regret that I am one of those people who came to Jane Austen relatively late in life. I never had the opportunity to read her in school and never took the opportunity to read her on my own when I was younger. In school I had read Jane Eyre and loved it, but I have to admit I struggled through other classics we had to read.
In the mid-nineties, I was finally introduced to the works of Jane Austen through the films Emma and Sense and Sensibility. I enjoyed those films as I enjoy most period pieces, but they did not move me enough to seek out the books and read them.
Then in 2011, a friend loaned me her DVD of the 1995 film Pride and Prejudice, and assured me I would love it. And I did. I could not get enough of it of that six-hour film, and watched either all or parts of it every day for at least a month. When we were about to take a road trip to Yellowstone, I wondered how I would survive without my daily fix. Fortunately, I had the sense to realize I could read the book. I purchased a small, Penguin-classics book that was very helpful to me as it also containedexplanatory notes at the back.
I devoured that book, realizing that even though the film was wonderful, the book was even better. Jane Austen’s writing jumped out from the page. It was clever and witty, and she had such a way with words. From there, I purchased a complete set of her works and read each one, along with watching a film version if I could find one. Within about 3 months, I had read each one, and Jane Austen had become my favorite author.
I went online one day just to see what I could find on P&P. I had no idea what was out there, and I have to say that I was quite surprised! I found communities of people who felt the same way I did! People were talking about her novels, characters, plots, and her writing. People had been as deeply moved as I had been!
What really surprised, me however, was discovering that people were writing continuations of her works. They were writing prequels and sequels, variations, and moderns! I suddenly found myself immersed in the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction. I no longer had to worry about there being no more books penned by her. Others had taken up the task, and I read the good along with the bad.
After about a month of reading dozens of stories, I got an inspiration for a story of my own. What I plotted out to be about seven chapters turned into a twenty chapter book, Assumed Engagement. From there I wrote others, receiving a fairly positive response. I was now journeying with Jane Austen, who at one point in her life plotted out how Darcy and Elizabeth would get together. I was now doing the same.
I began self-publishing my novels in 2006, and my recent release, Mr. Darcy’s Rival, is my ninth novel. In this variation, a nephew of the late Sir Lewis de Bourgh is visiting his aunt at Rosings when Elizabeth arrives to visit her friend, Charlotte Collins. Mr. Rickland is open and lively and very much the kind of gentleman who might easily touch Elizabeth’s heart. When Mr. Darcy arrives a few weeks later, she cannot help but compare the two men.
Here is the blurb for Mr. Darcy’s Rival:
Mr.Darcy has learned he must prepare himself when he and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, make their yearly visit to his aunt, particularly when it comes to Lady Catherine’s expectation that he marry her daughter, Anne.
This year, however, will throw in a few additional obstacles to Darcy’s peace of mind with the presence of a nephew on the de Bourgh side of the family, and quite unexpectedly, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
An interrupted proposal, a letter written and unknowingly lost, a harsh accusation, and a rival all conspire to thwart Mr. Darcy in securing Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s affections when he visits his aunt at Rosings.
Will Elizabeth find the handsome and engaging Mr. Rickland more suited to her than Mr. Darcy? And will a novel she reads that was written secretly by Miss Anne de Bourgh help smooth the path to the couple finding true love?
*~*~*
I hope you will be intrigued enough to discover for yourself whether Mr. Darcy will improve upon acquaintance before Elizabeth loses her heart to Mr. Rickland. There are several changes to the events at Rosings that I hope will keep readers interested.
There are often times I wonder what Jane would think about her fame two hundred years later. Would she shrug it off, laugh at it, or be a little envious of the authors who are now receiving the notice she ought to have received when her novels were first published? Would she be angry or jealous that her characters, fictional towns and homes, and plot elements were now in hundreds of other novels? Would she mind the vampires, zombies, moderns, and other ways her novels had been turned upside down?
I would hope she would not mind, and instead feel honored. My hope in writing Jane Austen variations is that it might prompt someone to turn to Jane Austen’s own novels, possibly for the first time. I visited a book club once that had read my book Darcy’s Voyage, and I was a little dismayed that more than half of them had not read Pride and Prejudice or even seen a film version. I told them quite bluntly that P&P needed to be one of the next novels the book club read! And if anyone reading this had not picked up a Jane Austen novel, I would beg of you to please do!
I am well aware that I do not write like Miss Austen, or even come close, but I hope my readers will enjoy the journey I take Darcy and Elizabeth on. It has been a journey that I have enjoyed taking with Jane Austen, as well.
Thank you Sophie, for allowing me to come and share with your readers! I am offering an ebook giveaway internationally.
Kara Louise
 
About Me:
Kara Louise began writing Jane Austen inspired stories in 2001 and has currently written nine novels, including "Darcy's Voyage" and "Only Mr. Darcy Will Do," which were both published by Sourcebooks. Her seven other novels are self-published, including the most recent release, "Mr. Darcy's Rival." She is also one of the contributing authors from the austenvariations.com blog.

Kara grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles. She and her family moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1991, which was quite a (pleasant) change for them. They left the hectic, crowded busyness of LA and found themselves in a medium sized city with a small town feel. In September, 2013, she and her husband moved to the bustling St. Louis area to be near their son and his wife. In May, 2014, they were blessed with their first granddaughter, whom they love and spoil endlessly. They live on five acres in a wooded area with their five cats, one dog, and a Shetland Pony.
Links
Twitter - @2karalouise
Mr. Darcy’s Rival Available at:
 
 
 ***GIVEAWAY***  
 
As I mentioned above, I am very lucky to be able to offer a giveaway of an ebook copy of Mr Darcy's Rival, and this is open internationally

To enter please leave a comment below and include your email address so that I can contact the randomly selected winner.

The giveaway will end on the 7th of July, and I will be in contact with the winner!




Good luck! My thanks again goes to Kara for the giveaway and the lovely guest post!
I wish Kara all the best with any stories in the future!
 
 

Your affectionate friend,

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