Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blog Tour: No Cause to Repine by Rose Fairbanks - with giveaway!

Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for the lovely Rose Fairbanks's release, No Cause to Repine. And there is a giveaway, which I will tell you about at the end of this post!



This is a portion of a letter from Darcy to Elizabeth as they are separated for a time during their engagement. Due to the conflicts in the story, they must actually keep their engagement a secret. It took several weeks, and a few letters, to get to this point but Mr. Darcy is finally able to woo Elizabeth! I think he does a pretty good job!


It is much easier to explain when I realised the deep, abiding love I felt for you. I had accompanied Bingley to yet another ball. I had left Hertfordshire determined to forget you and had resigned myself to a marriage of duty and with little affection. Too soon, I realised what I believed was mere infatuation was the stirrings of love. For weeks, I compared every young lady to you, but none of them met your standard. In the midst of this ball, while I danced with some lady I do not recall, I thought instead of dancing with you at Netherfield. I began to imagine marriage to you, a future with you. I had been careful not to ponder the thought before. But finally, I admitted to myself that I did not wish to deny myself true happiness and gave a loose rein to my fancy and indulged my imagination. I knew then I could never marry another, for you pierce my soul.

I know a young lady who once jested that poetry drives away love, that it is not the food of love; but rather everything nourishes a fine, stout, healthy love. I laughed at the jest then, but now I perceive truth in it, for I find that even our trials nourish my love for you.

Today, I find myself captivated by memories of your eyes. The poets cannot do them justice, but even still, these words are all I have:

If I could write the beauty of your eyes

And in fresh numbers number all your graces,

The age to come would say ‘This poet lies:

Such heavenly touches ne’er touch’d earthly faces.’


Drink to me, only with thine eyes,

   And I will pledge with mine;

Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

   And I’ll not look for wine.

The thirst, that from the soul doth rise,        

   Doth ask a drink divine:

But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,

   I would not change for thine.


And to remind you of my constancy:  

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my Luve’s like the melodie

That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in luve am I:

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:

I will luve thee still, my dear,

While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve

And fare thee well, a while!

And I will come again, my Luve,

Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.


Yours in passionate fidelity and adoration,

F. Darcy


Elizabeth felt as though she could scarcely breathe after reading the depth of Darcy’s regard and admiration. After allowing a few moments to compose herself, she began to leaf through book. She soon came to the conclusion that Darcy recorded the lines in this journal while thinking of her over the course of their acquaintance. She perused his letter again and realised the loneliness from which he must have suffered. He appeared to have much of his mother’s personality, and she died when he was still young. The age difference between Darcy and Georgiana made Elizabeth wonder if his small family had faced other tragedies before the demise of their parents.

She perceived that she still had much unravelling to do to understand Darcy better, as he seemed unwilling to speak on the misfortunes he had faced. Nevertheless, she found his letter left her quite at peace. How fortunate this letter would arrive today, just as she found herself frustrated by their separation and jealous of his dance partners! As she closed her eyes and drifted off to a well-deserved slumber, she could imagine his rich baritone whispering his words of love as he held her tightly in his arms.


As I mentioned above, I am very lucky to be able to offer a giveaway of an ebook copy of No Cause to Repine, 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 6th of June, and I will be in contact with the winner!

Good luck! My thanks again goes to Rose for the giveaway and the lovely extract!

I wish Rose all the best with any stories in the future!

Your affectionate friend,
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Blog Tour: An Unwavering Trust by L.L. Diamond

Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for the lovely L.L. Diamond's release, An Unwavering Trust

"Two strangers with no one to turn to but each other…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is in a difficult situation. His father is pressing him to propose marriage to the last woman in the world he would wish to take as his wife. With a fortnight to announce his betrothal, he makes the acquaintance of Elizabeth Bennet, who is in a predicament of her own.

Could Darcy be willing to consider Elizabeth as a solution to his problem and to hers? And can Elizabeth ascertain enough of Darcy’s character to trust him upon nothing but a first impression? "

We are to be treated to a post about Blickling Hall, a place I actually visited just a few weeks ago!


Since moving to England a little over a year ago, I have ventured out to quite a few National Trust properties. We have a membership, so we pay for fuel and whatever lunch we choose for the day and it’s a fun outing for everyone. There is usually a scavenger hunt type game of sorts, artwork and history for me, and gardens and hikes for all of us.

The experience has been rather eye opening for someone who writes novels based in Regency England. I pick up tidbits of information from guides and tours. I have seen real Georgian wall coverings, and sometimes I gain inspiration for a story in what I experience. Blickling Hall was one of those homes where I found inspiration.

Blickling, which is located in the village of the same name near Aylsham in Norfolk, was built in 1616 on property once owned by the Boleyn family (Yes, that Boleyn family!). Anne Boleyn is thought to have been born at Blickling in 1507 based on a portrait and sculpture with inscribed with the information.

 The Jacobean architecture has an ornate yet austere quality that I felt lends itself well to a house owned by Lady Catherine, and the exterior became the inspiration for what little description I give of the front of Rosings in An Unwavering Trust.

Uncle Henry peered from the tip of the cupola, to the clock, and finally to the arched entrance beneath them, took a deep breath, and looked back to him.

They passed through the arched entrance to the small court and the ornate front door, flanked by columns and overset by gargoyles and a relief of the de Bourgh coat of arms.

When you pass through the arch entrance at the front of Blickling, you do indeed find yourself in a small courtyard. Not a garden sort of a courtyard, but a small stone paved area before you enter the actual house. I loved the detail and could not resist including it in a description of some house or another. The more I considered it, the exterior of Blickling was a perfect fit.

A first edition Eliot Bible was another fascination at Blickling. For those who are unfamiliar with the Eliot Bible, it was the first Bible to be published in the United States by the English missionary John Eliot. The Bible was also translated into the Algonquian language for the Native Americans of Massachusetts.

According to the guide, the Bible was recently found by the book curator at Blickling and is quite rare. I required a story about Wickham for a scene, and the Eliot Bible figures into it.

A heavy exhale left him as he gave her a sad smile. “Are you familiar with the Eliot Bible2?”

“My father once mentioned it to me. It was a version of the Bible translated into the Indian language in America, was it not?”

“Yes, it was, and my father received an edition of that book from the first printing in 1663, as a gift.”

Obviously, there is more to the story, but I will leave that for you to discover when you read the book!

While the exterior of Blickling fit Rosings, I will not say that the interior was quite what I had envisioned for Lady Catherine’s home; however, Blickling does have a bedroom with real Georgian wall coverings! They were originally installed in the late 18th century, and still in quite good condition considering they had been removed, cleaned, and re-installed.

Blickling held quite a bit of inspiration as it turns out. The house also has three first editions of Jane Austen’s novels! I viewed first editions of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, and we were told of a reticule-sized first edition of Pride and Prejudice, but the guide was not certain where in the library the copy resided.


Where do you find inspiration? Is it something every day or have you travelled somewhere that captured your imagination? I would love to know!


My thanks again goes to Leslie for this post and I wish her all the best with this release as well as any stories in the future!
Your affectionate friend,
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Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Perfect Match by Lory Lilian

Today I am reviewing a wonderful little novella, by the lovely Lory Lilian! And there is a giveaway!

"“The Perfect Match” is a short story, a sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” that takes place a year after the events of Jane Austen’s novel. Her beloved characters are approaching their first wedding anniversary as the Darcys and Bingleys experience somewhat different marriages.
In addition, Elizabeth Darcy has the burden of organizing her first ball while she encounters the challenges of the high circles of Regency London, not to mention a mysterious “affliction” that has Mr. Darcy in a panic . . .
This novella is light and very sensual, with low angst and several scenes suggested for a mature audience. There is no explicit sexual content."

You may have noticed but I hardly ever read and review sequels. Why? Two reasons; 1. I like to read how Darcy and Lizzy come together, and once they are married, I know they will be happy, and my imagination can do the rest. But mostly because 2. in most sequels people seem to throw so many problems at poor Darcy and Lizzy! Why? What's the need? They had their problems - many problems! - in getting together, so when they reach the wedding, please can they be left alone and be allowed to be happy!

So it took Lory a lot of persuading to get me to read this, but I am really glad I did! This sequel was how it should be, how Jane Auten intended it from all the clues she leaves us in the novel about life after "the end". We are told in the last line of Pride and Prejudice that Darcy and Lizzy are very happy, and so they are in this story! Jane and Bingley are also happy, but they face a few problems to overcome, but these are not "made up" problems; Lory is very clever how she uses what Jane Austen herself tells us about Mr and Mrs Bingley's married life. So this sequel really does work very well in my opinion.

Darcy and Lizzy in this story are just perfect. As in many sequels, so I hear, Darcy's pride and Lizzy's prejudice doesn't randomly return and all the changes that both go through in the novel don't suddenly get forgotten, and they are perfectly and incandescently happy! There are some fantastically romantic scenes - clean, but so swoon worthy! Darcy is just the PERFECT husband! Believe me, this will make you love Darcy even more - I didn't think it was possible, but I was very wrong! The story is set a year after the marriage, so I also loved seeing how Elizabeth had been accepted by Darcy's family (mostly) and how she interacted with them, particularly the Matlocks.

Following Bingley and Jane was also very enjoyable to read, even more so as we see them overcome their small problems. They are as cute as you would expect! I don't want to give anything away about them, but take it from me, you will love them!

I think something which surprised me the most was that I actually liked Mrs Bennet in this sequel! I know, I know, it sounds unbelievable! But I predict you will too! She has delt with her daughters two brilliant marriages very well. Read it yourself if you don't believe me!

Georgiana is lovely in this. I always like to see more of her. It is great to see Lizzy and her as sisters, and how close they have become. It was also great to see how Georgiana flourishes under Lizzy's influence.

Caroline Bingley.... What can I say... Well, I don't think I have ever wanted to strangle a character in a book more! She is just... intolerable in this story! Brilliantly so, but really intolerable! She gets what's coming to her though, don't worry!

Another favourite character who I always like to see more of is Mrs Gardiner. She shines in this story, particularly in her handling of members of the Darcy family. But I will say no more!

My favourite new character has to be Lady Matlock. She is brilliant, and is very accepting of Elizbeth into the family. She has a great part in the story!

This review is short and sweet, just like The Perfect Match! This is a lovely sequel to Pride and Prejudice. There is also an epilogue at the end which sums up the future for our couples as well as other characters, such as Georgiana, just perfectly!

This novella is extremely romantic, has a lovely storyline, and it is brilliantly written. Lory never disappoints in that area - she has such a way with words! To sum up, I think The Perfect Match is a perfect book!

As I mentioned above, I am very lucky to be able to offer a giveaway of two copies of The Perfect Match in any format (ebook or paperback), 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 winners.

The giveaway will end on the 17th of May, and I will be in contact with the winners!

Good luck! My thanks again goes to Lory for the giveaway!

I wish Lory all the best with any stories in the future!

Your affectionate friend,
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Monday, May 04, 2015

Bath Boutique Stays

I am often asked about recommendations of places to stay when visiting England, particularly in Bath, and so I thought it was about time to try out one of the places I have heard a lot about, 4 Sydney Place, owned by Bath Boutique Stays.

I am lucky enough that an opportunity has arisen for me to be able to go and stay there, and I am very much looking forward to my stay in July.

I had heard much about this company, and particularly 4 Sydney Place and Jane Austen's apartments due to it being the only remaining Bath family residence of Jane Austen.

I am going to be staying in Emma's Garden Apartment.

I have been told the garden is particularly lovely in July!

I will be doing a full post about and review of my stay, so watch for that in late July! If anyone is planning on or has already stayed with Bath Boutique Stays I would love to know about your experience!

Your affectionate friend,
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Sunday, May 03, 2015

Blog Tour: Suddenly Mrs Darcy by Jenetta James

Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for the lovely Jenetta James' release, Suddenly Mrs DarcyMy thanks must also go to Jakki of Leatherbound Reviews for asking me to be part of this tour. We are to be treated to an extract today! I also am able to offer you a giveaway - details at the end of this post! 

" Elizabeth Bennet never imagined her own parents would force her to marry a virtual stranger. But when Mrs. Bennet accuses Fitzwilliam Darcy of compromising her daughter, that is exactly the outcome. Trapped in a seemingly loveless marriage and far from home, she grows suspicious of her new husband’s heart and further, suspects he is hiding a great secret. Is there even a chance at love given the happenstance of their hasty marriage?"


Extract from Chapter 13

I hardly felt Mr Darcy’s hand upon mine as he assisted me out of the carriage. My mind was in chaos, and I could find no way forward but to focus on a stream of seemingly inconsequential things. My eyes moved from my slippered feet treading on the iron steps of the carriage to the tapered railings around my uncle’s front door and I listened to the calls of an urchin selling wares in the street behind me. I could not look at my husband. But as I lifted my hand to the great brass doorknocker, I heard him speak to James: “Yes, Queen Anne’s Gate.” He saw that the door of my uncle’s home had been opened to me and nodded. With no further show of interest, and seemingly eager to get away, he closed the door of the carriage and was gone.

I was undone, and I knew it. Clouds of horrors roared up in my mind. I thought of the shame that he brought on me, of how I loved him, and how little I could reach him. By the time my uncle’s butler announced me, I had decided.

“Aunt, I am so sorry; I know I am only just arrived, but I must reach my husband on a matter that cannot be delayed. I have not an instant to lose. But Mr Darcy has the carriage, so may I borrow yours? I shall have it back to you very shortly—within a couple of hours at the most.”

Aunt Gardiner’s concern was writ upon her face, but she thought I was a sensible girl and so, I believe, assumed I had a sensible reason for my escapade. “Why yes, of course. But, Lizzy, is there really cause to leave directly? Surely, we can send a message to Mr Darcy. Must you go yourself? I shall travel with you.”

“No, no, Aunt. There is no need for that, and I would not dream of imposing. No, there is nothing to worry about, but it is an urgent matter. I hope you will forgive me for postponing our tea.”

With little further ado, I was in my uncle’s carriage, whistling through the narrow streets. What I should do when I got there, I hardly knew, but I was full of righteous indignation, and though I could not say it to him, I was full of love—spurned, unreciprocated, unplanned, tormented love. Streets of tall houses seemed to unfold in all directions; the city noise of bartering men and clattering wheels hung in the air. How could it be so loud? Would I ever hear silence again? I sat forward in the seat of the carriage as if I wereatop a horse, and I knew that, if I paused or stopped, I might lose my courage. When we arrived in Queen Anne’s Gate, I realised I knew not which house I was looking for and was suddenly near collapse with frustration. Our carriage sitting outside a big black door, however, gave Mr Darcy away; almost within one breath, I knocked on it, and I was admitted.

My slippers tapped along a black and white tiled floor as a wigged footman led me forwards. The hush of the interior was a shock after the hum of the street and the banging chaos of my mind. Strange clocks ticked, doors creaked, and within a moment, the footman before me stood aside, announcing, almost to my own surprise, “Mrs Darcy.”

Author Bio:
Jenetta James is a lawyer, writer, mother and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practises full time as a barrister. Over the years she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego. Suddenly Mrs Darcy is her first novel.

As I mentioned above, I am very lucky to be able to offer a giveaway of one paperback copy, 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 8th of May, and I will be in contact with the winner and will pass on the details to Meryton Press who will end out your book to you.

Good luck! 

My thanks again goes to Jenetta for this extract and to Jakki for setting up this tour. 

I wish Jenetta all the best with this release as well as any stories in the future!

Your affectionate friend,
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