Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Teaching Eliza Blog Tour ~ Interview with Professor Darcy, Excerpt & #Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm excited to have Riana Everly here today! Her new book Teaching Eliza sounds delightful - a mash-up of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion! I'm looking forward to reading it! 

As part of the Teaching Eliza Blog Tour, Riana is here with a lovely interview with Professor Darcy and an excerpt from Teaching Eliza. I hope you enjoy it! And be sure to enter to win a copy! Details are at the bottom of the page.

Riana Everly interviews Professor Darcy

Me: Good evening, Professor. How kind of you to take time out of your busy schedule to visit with us.

Darcy:  Good evening. I am pleased to be here. It is always a relief to escape the demands of society for an hour or two. Er… there are no society matrons lurking in the wings, are there? I feel quite hounded by them.

Me: No indeed, sir. No matrons, I promise. No mamans on the hunt, nor d├ębutantes waiting for a husband. You are quite safe here.

Darcy: That is a relief. I spent all day trying to escape my own Aunt Catherine. I finally gave her Wickham’s address when she asked of my whereabouts this evening. That ought to amuse her for a minute or two.

Me: You surprise me with your devious sense of humour! Now, to my first question: Our readers would like to know what first interested you in the field of phonetics.

Darcy: It began as a game of sorts. As a lad, I travelled extensively with my father as he conducted affairs pertaining to his estate and investments across England, and into Scotland and Ireland, even. I found that I had particularly sensitive ears and a prodigiously sharp memory. I derived my entertainment in listening to and emulating the various incarnations of English as I heard it. Some were melodic and lyrical, others assaulted my poor sensitive ears. By ten years of age, I could mimic the major regional distinctions of speech from across our great country and could identify the origins of a speaker from a few words. As I grew older and my skills grew more sophisticated and refined, I was able to pinpoint a man to within a few miles of his birthplace and more. That made for some grand entertainment whilst Father was conducting his business.

Me: Fascinating. But…

Darcy: Now, you, Madam, are a most interesting case. Unfortunate, but interesting.

Me: ME?

Darcy: To be certain. Most unfortunate. Oh, I see I have offended you. No matter, ‘twas not personally meant. I would be pleased to take you on as a student should I find myself with the time.

Me: I did not realize, sir, that I was to be subjected to your scrutiny this evening.

Darcy: Madam, my delicate ears can never rest. Now, let us see…. Hmmmm…. Born in South Africa. You can never lose those sharp consonants and high front vowels, no matter how you attempt to soften them with North American sounds. Yes, North American, that is next. You have incorporated the common rhotic…

Me: Er, Professor, I thought I was to interview you. (He glares at me, like I have just confessed that I hate his cravat).

Darcy: We shall dispense with the specifics then. You moved from South Africa to the west of Canada as a child, but then moved again to more central regions, where the general accent is fairly neutral. But, alas, you shall never live down your time in Montreal.

Me: Montreal? 

Darcy: You drop in French words every so often. Mamans and d├ębutantes, as you said a few minutes ago. We shall not begin to analyze your deplorable French accent. I might be able to ameliorate your English pronunciation, but your French is quite beyond help.

Me: Well! Perhaps we ought to call this interview to an end, before I embarrass myself further by uttering a word in German or Spanish. Good night, Professor Darcy.

Darcy: Madam. Good night.

Me: Well! I never. The professor is rather insufferable, is he not? Shall we see how he treats poor Elizabeth Bennet?

In this excerpt, she has become aware of the inadequacies of her Hertfordshire accent and manners in the salons of London, and has come to ask the professor to take her on as a student. Darcy is confident in his skills as a teacher, but Lizzy is less certain. And the professor’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, has something to add as well, to sweeten the pot.


“But do you believe I can learn all the manners and graces and patterns of speech in sufficient time for this?” Elizabeth still was unsure of her thoughts on the scheme.

“Six months, Eliza. Three if you have a good ear and a quick tongue.”

“I don’t think you can do it, Darcy,” the Colonel interrupted, “but I’ll throw in a wager if you can. Pass her off as the daughter of a duchess at some celebrated ball in six months, and I shall endeavour to see a case of that contraband French cognac you so like make its way to your house. Further, I shall contribute to outfitting her in all the fashions of Town. My allowance from the pater must be put to good use. We shall send for Mrs Pearce immediately, and take her to London for fittings and a meeting with your sister’s dressmaker.”

Darcy jumped to his feet and strode over to his cousin. “Let us shake on it, Richard. It is a deal!”

Elizabeth was stunned. The decision had been made, one that concerned her most completely and intimately, and she, it seemed, had little say in it.

“Gentlemen,” she protested once she finally was able to speak again, “you have forgotten to consult my wishes!”

“That is true, Darcy. Have you forgotten that Miss Elizabeth might have some feelings about your proposal?” The colonel’s concern was sincere.

“Oh no, I don't think so. Not any feelings that we need bother about. Have you, Eliza?” His cheery smile and the quizzical tilt to his head spoke of his utter disregard.

“Well I never! I was mistaken to speak to you. Please forgive me for interrupting your privacy,” she stood and turned to leave, but Darcy caught her by the elbow. She flinched at the unexpected physical contact, but remained still.

“No, no, not so fast, Eliza. I have decided that this little endeavour will be of great value to us both. I shall achieve my aim of throwing off the husband-hunters of town; you shall achieve yours of being able to move in society; and the colonel here will achieve his of procuring for me the cognac his fully intends to drink himself. Don’t be missish, Eliza,” his marvelous voice grew mesmerizing and seductive. “Think of the future. You shall pass as a grand lady, as a duchess. You shall be so admired that even should your custom slip and you revert, momentarily, to your present manners and speech, it shall be seen as something new and wonderful from the highest strata, and everyone will fall over their feet to emulate you. You shall have the pick of the finest men in town, and you shall marry very, very well. You will even have the opportunity to spend as much time as you wish in my library, perusing my vast collection, and reading at will. Think on it, Eliza! Think on it!”

He waved his hands suggestively as he spoke, and Lizzy was put in mind of the snake charmers she had seen once at an exhibition. But she was no slithering creature to be so manipulated!

“You have decided? You? What gives you the right to decide what will be of value to me? Have you appointed yourself my lord and master already, when I wished merely to enter into a business arrangement? How dare you!” She would have stamped her foot in indignation, but refused to give him the satisfaction of observing such a typical gesture. Instead she straightened up her posture and intensified her glare.

The colonel was biting his lips and could not suppress a wide grin. “Oh, I am enjoying myself immensely!” he proclaimed to nobody.  “You might wish to reconsider, Darcy. This one has fire that will meet yours in equal force. I might be a betting man at times, but I would not wish to wager a penny on which of the two of you would win a battle of wills.” He sat back in his chair and made himself comfortable, as if he were about to watch some entertainment.

Darcy, for his part, met Elizabeth’s indignation with a sally of his own. “How dare I? I dare by having the means, knowledge, and experience to give you what you want. What you asked for, in fact, only a few moments ago. Have you changed your mind already? Are you so unsteady in your convictions that a mere disagreement over price will send you fleeing? Or are you a woman made of sterner stuff — the sort of woman the ton would accept as my betrothed? I, for one, believe it is the latter.”

“And, sir, the only way I can prove my mettle is by surrendering to your terms? You sadly underestimate me! I shall be on my way and shall never bother you again. If my season in Town were to throw me in the paths of others like yourself, I should be glad to have avoided that fate.”

Book Description 

A tale of love, manners, and the quest for perfect vowels. 

From a new voice in historical romance comes this sparkling tale, wherein the elegance of Pride and Prejudice and the wit of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion collide. The results are clever, funny, and often quite unexpected…. 

Professor Fitzwilliam Darcy, expert in phonetics and linguistics, wishes for nothing more than to spend some time in peace at his friend’s country estate, far from the parade of young ladies wishing for his hand, and further still from his aunt’s schemes to have him marry his cousin. How annoying it is when a young lady from the neighbourhood, with her atrocious Hertfordshire accent and country manners, comes seeking his help to learn how to behave and speak as do the finest ladies of high society.

Elizabeth Bennet has disliked the professor since overhearing his flippant comments about her provincial accent, but recognizes in him her one opportunity to survive a prospective season in London. Despite her ill feelings for the man, she asks him to take her on as a student, but is unprepared for the price he demands in exchange. 

“With her clever mash-up of two classics, Riana Everly has fashioned a fresh, creative storyline with an inventive take on our favorite characters, delightful dialogue and laugh out loud humor. Teaching Eliza is certain to become a reader favorite. It’s a must read!” – Sophia Meredith (author of the acclaimed On Oakham Mount and Miss Darcy’s Companion

Teaching Eliza is a full-length novel of about 110,000 words.

Buy: Amazon • more links can be found on Pronoun
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

About the Author

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! 

Connect with Riana Everly

Blog Tour Dates

Oct. 31 - Savvy Verse and Wit (review)
Nov. 1 - Austenesque Reviews

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Riana Everly is generously giving away 5 e-copies of Teaching Eliza! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below! Giveaway is open internationally! 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Riana Everly for stopping by today! Congratulations on the publication of Teaching Eliza

Well, Professor Darcy certainly took over that interview, didn't he? ;) Just as, in the excerpt, he and the Colonel took over the education plans for Eliza! Lol! What are your thoughts?


  1. I am just glad that there is another book with the Colonel in it

    1. He plays a large role later on. He really deserves his own story, doesn't he? He's such a great character.

    2. Oh, yes! I love the Colonel! He does deserve his own story! Although, I really like how he interacts with Darcy.

  2. Fun little "interview". I use quotation marks because you didn't get to interview him much, did you? Seems like the prof needs to keep his thoughts to himself.
    Looking forward to this amusing read.

    1. He's a forceful personality! And he definitely has his opinions, as poor Lizzy will discover. :-D

  3. This excerpt is everything I have come to expect from ODC. It was delicious! Bravo! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy. Congratulations on its release.

  4. Glad I wasn't the subject of Professor Darcy's scrutiny. ;) Oh boy does he get Eliza's dander up.

    Thanks for the interview and excerpt!

    1. Thank you. He may finally have met his match in Elizabeth, but she won't have an easy time of it!

  5. I thought the "interview" was great fun and I look forward to reading more!

    1. Thank you. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.

  6. Love how Elizabeth stands up for herself and how the Colonel is involved. Can't wait to read read it. Congrats on your debut novel.

    1. Thank you! I love the colonel, and he gets lots of stage time in my story. I hope you enjoy it.

  7. this looks like a great debut novel :D very clear looking, the blurb is interesting. I do have to admit I never read the original tho >.<

    1. Hi, Lily! What?! You've never read Pride and Prejudice! You really need to fix that. :D Lol!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. The original is delightful- definitely worth a read! I hope you enjoy it, as well as my variation.


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