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 US


The Flight Path Less Traveled Links

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:


The Best Laid Flight Plans Links

Amazon US link:

Amazon UK link:


Contact Information

Author Name: Leigh Dreyer and Paul Trockner


Facebook: Leigh Dreyer

Facebook Page: @leighdreyerauthor



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!

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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.
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The giveaway will close at 12am EST on February 27, 2021.

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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!