Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A Sister's Curse Blog Tour ~ Excerpts & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! Today Jayne Bamber is here to share a few excerpts from her new book A Sister's Curse! There's also a giveaway going on! Details are at the bottom of the page. 

Please, let's give a warm welcome to Jayme Bamber! 

Hello! It’s wonderful to be back at So Little Time...! As some of you may already know, I have taken a break from my mash-up series, Friends & Relations and written something entirely new. A Sister’s Curse is a stand-alone P&P variation, with a major deviation from canon taking place when Elizabeth Bennet is just a child. This not only sets the rest of the story on an entirely different course, but also shapes Elizabeth’s childhood, her relationships, and her feelings about her complicated family (as well as matters of the heart!)

Today is the official release day of A Sister’s Curse, and to celebrate, I’d like to share three short excerpts of Elizabeth Bennet as she grows up through the course of the story – So here’s a peek at our dear Lizzy at 13, 14, and finally, age 20….

     There was an old staircase in a little-used passageway at the back of the west gallery upstairs, that led to a little ornamental balcony overlooking the ballroom. Elizabeth and Charlotte were hidden away there, sitting cross-legged on the floor, concealed from sight by the shadows and the thick stone railings, taking in the spectacle of the Twelfth Night ball. 

     Elizabeth looked out across the ballroom in wonder. “Everyone looks so fancy,” she breathed. “Is this what London will be like?”

     “It will be for me, when I come out next year. I cannot wait!”

     Elizabeth knit her brows. It was all very dazzling, but frightening, too. “I wonder how I shall get on in London.”

     “You are determined to go, then?”

     “I must,” Elizabeth said, tearing her eyes from the ballroom below to look over at her cousin. “Mamma and Uncle Edward said I do not need to go away, that I am punishing myself for no reason.”

     “That is what Richard said, too.”

     “I know.” Elizabeth sighed, feeling as though she were full of swirling, angry emotions that she could not gather into words. “I want to go.”

     “Jane will be cross with you.”

     “I know. Oh, what does it signify? She is going away to school in a few weeks, when William goes. She will not even miss me.”

     “Lizzy, there you are!” Jane peeked her head into the alcove behind them, and Charlotte swatted at her. Jane grimaced, and crouched down to hide herself from sight of the ballroom. Sitting down on Elizabeth’s other side, she said, “You are always getting up to something without me, Lizzy.”

     “That is because you never want to sneak around with us.”

     Jane gave her a gentle but reproving look. “You will get into trouble. Mother and Father are already worried about you, and Uncle was very cross with you last week.”

     “They need not be. Look, they are having a very fine time.” Charlotte smiled as she pointed out Lady Anne and Sir Edward dancing together halfway down the ballroom.

     Jane flicked her eyes over to Charlotte, and then back to Elizabeth. “You are wrong, you know, Lizzy. I will miss you when you go to London. I think it is very unfair that Uncle Edward should take you away from Pemberley.”

     “William goes away to school, and soon you shall, too. Why should I not go to London?”

     “But why should you?”

     Seeing Charlotte on the verge of speaking, Elizabeth nudged her. “Because.” Because I do not deserve to live here. “I want to.”

     “I am happy you are coming to London,” Charlotte said. “You will not be able to go to balls and parties with me – not yet, anyway – but I shall be happy to have you close. Your aunt is to be my new Mamma, so I am sure we shall be together very often. It will be such fun!”

     “I am not going to London for fun,” Elizabeth snapped.

     “Well, I wish you would tell me why, then,” Jane said with frustration. “I saw Mamma crying about it. If you will have no pleasure in going, then you had better stay here!”

     “It would make Uncle happy,” Elizabeth said, averting her eyes and watching the dancers below.

     “He does not seem happy about it to me,” Jane retorted.

     “He does not seem happy about anything,” Charlotte observed. “I suppose it must be the curse.”

     “What curse?”

     “Hush, Charlotte,” Elizabeth whispered, sticking out her leg to kick at her cousin.

     “I was only joking,” Charlotte said. “Of course there isn’t a curse. Richard said so, and he is the smartest person I know.”

     “William said Richard is a blockhead,” Jane quipped. “He is the smartest person I know.”

     “William does not say anything to me,” Elizabeth snapped, “and I think Uncle is the smartest. I know he is very sad, but I will go to London to make him happy. And I can see Aunt Olivia’s new baby. I am going to be her helper, and make Uncle happy.”

     “Hush,” Charlotte scoffed. “Someone will hear us. I want to stay awhile and look at all the handsome gentlemen. I shall get to dance with them next year, and I am trying to decide which one to set my cap at.”

     This elicited a giggle from Elizabeth and Jane; their quarrel momentarily forgotten, they all sat silently for a few minutes as they peered down at the ballroom in youthful admiration.

     “Cousin Richard is very handsome,” Jane whispered with a bashful smile, “even if my brother says he is a blockhead. I like his new uniform very much.”

     “I do not,” Charlotte huffed. “If he goes to war, it shall break my heart.”

     “Maybe that is why William called him a blockhead,” Elizabeth said absently.

     “Cousin William is looking well tonight,” Charlotte sighed, leaning closer to the railing. “He is the finest dancer I ever saw!”

     “Shall you dance with him when you have your come out?”

     “Cousin Anne would probably tear my hair out if I tried! Anyhow, I daresay I am not handsome enough to tempt him. My mother told me I am quite plain, and I suppose she was right.”

     “No, Charlotte,” Elizabeth hissed. “You are perfectly lovely. You always have the prettiest gowns, and your hair is like chocolate.”

     “Or mud!”

     “I like mud.”

     Charlotte nudged Elizabeth playfully, and Elizabeth smiled back at her cousin before glancing over at Jane, who was eyeing their exchange with wounded suspicion. She had tears welling in her eyes, and her lip began to tremble as if she might cry. “I think I understand,” she whispered. “You two shall be the best of friends together in London, and I shall go off to school, all alone among strangers!”

     “Jane, it is not like that! I have to go!”

     “Why? You will not tell me why you must go.”

     “I cannot tell you. You would hate me if I told you the truth.”


     Elizabeth set aside her book and smiled. “Good day, Uncle Henry.”

     “Happy birthday, Miss Lizzy!” The earl reached into his coat pocket and withdrew a present for her – he hadn’t wrapped it properly, but had tied a generous length of very lovely pink ribbon around a leather-bound book, which he presented to her with a cheerful grin.

     Elizabeth accepted the book with thanks, and then looked down at the title. Smirking, she held up the book she had been reading before – it was the very same, Letters for Literary Ladies by Maria Edgeworth.

     Uncle Henry guffawed. “Well, my goodness!”

     Laughing, Elizabeth said, “It is quite a coincidence – Richard sent me a copy last week.”

     “And how do you like it? Rather daring reading for a lady of fourteen!”

     “It is certainly edifying! I am glad to have another copy, for I have been discussing it with Aunt Olivia, and now it will be easier for us to go through it together.”

     “And how are you and your aunt getting on?”

     Elizabeth raised her hand to her forehead and laughed. “Well, I certainly think she would be scolding me for having gone on for so long without offering you some tea, and making her apologies to you – she is resting presently. I have been learning my way around playing hostess since she was in confinement. Let me call for some refreshments. Here, come and sit in Uncle Edward’s chair – he will never know.”

     Uncle Henry sat down where he was bid and watched her with a look of pride. “Well, go on then, my dear. Show me how it’s done.”

     Elizabeth called for the tea, and when it arrived she poured him a glass, embarrassed that she was not quite sure how he liked it, and so she compensated by slicing him a rather large piece of cake.

     “You spoil me, my dear. Tell me,” he asked, sipping his tea, “how do you like living in London?”

     Elizabeth considered, swirling the spoon in her own tea. “I like talking with Uncle Edward; we have such interesting conversations. And with Aunt Olivia. She is very smart – frighteningly so, at times, but I admire her. I know there is some great secret about her that no one will tell me, but I think I can get her to confide in me.” She gave her uncle a look of triumph.

     He smiled back at her. “Is that so? She speaks candidly with you, does she?”

     “More and more, yes. I think she is quite frank with everybody.”

     “How long do you think before you wheedle it out of her?”

     She smiled wolfishly at him. “So there is a secret?”

     He laughed. “You have got until your eighteenth birthday – ten pounds on it.”

     She shook the earl’s hand on the wager. “With such an inducement, I am sure to succeed.”

     Her uncle leaned back in his chair, studying her with an expression of affectionate curiosity. “Something about you has changed. You are far more... grown up, different since we were all at Pemberley.”


     “Oh Lizzy, look at you hiding away, vexing yourself; you are always quite determined to do it.” Charlotte peeked in the doorway at Elizabeth before coming into the room and sitting in the window seat next to her. The two had been nearly as close as sisters could ever be since Elizabeth had come to London, and had grown up a great deal since their days of spying on their family at Pemberley. No longer was Charlotte a carefree, mischievous girl, but a thoughtful, pragmatic young woman who had been passed over for several seasons, despite Elizabeth’s loyal belief that her cousin was one of the finest women in London.

     Elizabeth knew she had changed, too – she had felt so grown up from such a young age, and her knowledge of her uncle’s unhappy marriage and the alienating tragedies in her family had darkened her once sparkling wit. Aunt Olivia would have wanted her to be bold at such a time, but in truth she could face neither the arrival of her family, nor the prospect of marriage.

     “Do not think of marriage,” Charlotte chided her. “You will see how it shall be. My father can scarcely arrange seven marriages all in the space of a single season! Do not dwell on it, I am sure it will come out right. Think of your sisters and your mother. Occupy your time mending your relationship with them, and I daresay you shall have no time for a courtship.”

     “Perhaps you are right. Mary is so sure it shall be well, and I do wish for it. I shall do my best with Jane and Mamma.”

     “And William too?”

     Elizabeth shrugged. “I do not see the point in that – I know he despises me. So much the better. I could never allow him to meddle in my affairs as he has done with poor Jane.”

     “And yet I hear he has played a rather large role himself in bringing this Christmas visit about.”

     “I cannot think why, except that he hopes to cheer Mamma.”

     “He is still your brother, Lizzy.”

     “Indeed he is not! Whatever regard Jane and Mary have for him, I do not share it. He did not deign to trouble himself over his sisters until long after I went away. It hardly matters – I do not care a whit.”

     “Oh yes, I can see that.”

     There was a knock on Elizabeth’s door. “Not now, Rose,” Elizabeth cried, and muttered under her breath.

     Aunt Phyllis opened the door and slipped into the room. “Richard has asked me to convey his apologies, if he gave you any alarm, Lizzy.”

     “But of course he – no, no. It is well, aunt. I am sure he was just as surprised as I was.”

     “Were you really so shocked? You have never thought of it, not even recently? You have been very diligent in visiting since he has been home.”

     “I was only trying to help his recovery! He is like a brother to me.”

     “Well, I am sorry your uncle sprang it on you like that. You know how worked up he gets when he has some scheme in his head, but nothing is certain just yet, my dear. Only think on it is all we ask. Perhaps if you start to consider Richard in a different light... well, he had not seen you in years, until he came home injured, and suddenly you were a woman grown, and always at his side….”

     “Aunt! Are you suggesting he has feelings for me? That I have somehow done something to, to....”

     “I am not suggesting anything, just thinking aloud, I suppose. You are not children playing together anymore, Lizzy.”

     “I have not been a child in a long time, Aunt.”

     “I know. And for that I am sorry – we all are. But it is time to let go of the past and think of the future. It need not be a future with Richard, if you decide against it, but it ought to be a future that brings you fully back into this family. You have been walking about with a dark dreary cloud over your head for years, child, and you must ask yourself if that is how you really want to go on. Or, do you want to open up your heart and let your family back in, and maybe someone to share your life with, too?”

     Elizabeth sighed and turned to Charlotte, who quietly nodded her agreement. “Very well,” she sighed. “You are both quite right – as regards the family. I am ready to make more of an effort, and to be happy again.”


I hope you enjoyed the three excerpts! The eBook is available now on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, with a paperback version coming soon. I will be making a few more stops on my blog tour, sharing more excerpts, and there is a giveaway with each one!

August 19 - Babblings of a Bookworm
August 22 - My Jane Austen Book Club
August 23 - Austenesque Reviews
August 26 - From Pemberley to Milton
August 27 - So Little Time...
August 29 - Wonderland Book Reviews
August 30 - Diary of an Eccentric
Sept. 4 - More Agreeably Engaged
Sept. 7 - My Love For Jane Austen
Sept. 9 - Interests of a Jane Austen Girl
Sept. 13 - Half Agony, Half Hope
Sept. 17 - Savvy Verse & Wit

A Sister's Curse
by Jayne Bamber

Two families from very different situations in life are linked forever after a fatal accident on the Great North Road. This tragedy breeds years of sorrow and misunderstanding as well as prosperity and even romance in an emotional coming of age tale not only for Elizabeth Bennet, but for her sisters, and even the adults who let them down.  

For nearly two decades, Edward Gardiner is haunted by the difficult decisions he has made. Lady Anne Darcy must bear all the guilt and delight of being granted her heart’s desire... at a price. The Fitzwilliam family has motives and misgivings of their own as the Earl of Matlock tries to keep them all together, right the wrongs of the past, and pave the way for the next generation.  

Fitzwilliam Darcy realizes too late what it means to be a brother, and is faced with parts of his past he regrets, just as his desire to protect the family he loves leads him back to the woman he was destined to love the most… a woman who despises him.  

Elizabeth Bennet struggles through the turbulence of adolescence, her judgement clouded by past trauma and the complicated dynamics of her extended family. Secrets are revealed and re-examined as she is forced to come to terms with the truth of her past and the promise of her future, in a family bound together by heartbreak.  

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  This story is based on a deviation from canon 18 years prior to the opening of Pride & Prejudice. Several canon characters are omitted entirely, and aside from Darcy and Elizabeth, the story will focus on several minor canon characters. Some of these characters have developed differently from canon due to the events of the story as they unfold. New characters have also been introduced: the Earl and Countess of Matlock and their children: the Viscount and Lady Charlotte, as well as the Dowager Countess of Matlock, lady Olivia Gardiner and Rose Gardiner, Sir Lewis de Bourgh and Elliot de Bourgh. This story may be unsuitable for anyone triggered by the loss of a spouse, parent or child.     
Buy: Amazon
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! 

Connect with Jayne Bamber on Facebook!

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! As part of the blog tour, Jayne is giving away one e-copy of A Sister's Curse! You can enter the giveaway here. Open Internationally.

Good luck!

Congratulations Jayne on the release of A Sister's Curse, and thanks so much for being a guest here at So Little Time...! 

So, friends, what are your thoughts? Please show Jayne some love by leaving a comment or question below. Thanks! 

Monday, August 12, 2019

A Lady's Reputation Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! I'm thrilled to be part of the A Lady's Reputation Blog Tour! Amy D'Orazio had stopped by with a lovely excerpt to share with you! Also, to celebrate the release of A Lady's Reputation, Quills & Quartos Publishing is having an excellent giveaway! Details are at the bottom of the page!

A Lady's Reputation
by A. D'Orazio

Book information:  

“Mr Darcy, I am eager to hear your explanation for the fact that quite a few people believe we are engaged.” 

It starts with a bit of well-meant advice. Colonel Fitzwilliam suggests to his cousin Darcy that, before he proposes to Elizabeth Bennet in Kent, perhaps he ought to discuss his plans with their families first.  

What neither man could have predicted however was that Lord Matlock would write the news to his sister or Viscount Saye would overhear, and tell his friends, or that his friends might slip a little and let their friends know as well. The news spreads just as quickly through Hertfordshire once Mrs Bennet opens the express Mr Bennet receives from Mr Darcy, and in a matter of days, it seems like everyone knows that Mr Darcy has proposed marriage to Elizabeth Bennet.  

Everyone, that is, except Elizabeth herself.  

Her refusal is quick and definite—until matters of reputation, hers as well as Jane’s, are considered. Then Mr Darcy makes another offer: summer at Pemberley, so that Jane can be reunited with Mr Bingley and so that he can prove to Elizabeth he is not what she thinks of him. Falling in love with him is naturally impossible…but once she knows the man he truly is, will she be able to help herself?


The Gardiners received the express from Mr Collins at approximately the same time as they received the subject of it. All were gathered in the drawing room when Elizabeth appeared, and if they were surprised by her arrival, they were kind enough to put it aside to see to her comfort. 

Hugs and exclamations of greeting went all around while Elizabeth apologised for her precipitous appearance. “Has Mr Collins afforded you an explanation of the matter?”

Mr Gardiner said, “He did, and I must say—”

“Engaged to Mr Darcy! What a notion! Nevertheless, I should not have provoked Lady Catherine as I did. I would have done much better to tell her I was not engaged to Mr Darcy!” Elizabeth smiled her thanks at a servant who handed her a glass of wine. “This is all my fault.”

There was clear discomfort on Mr Gardiner’s face as he hesitantly enquired, “So, you are…not…engaged to Mr Darcy?”

“Of course not!” Elizabeth laughed. “Had I been accused of flying, it could hardly be less likely.”

Her aunt and uncle regarded her with a mixture of both puzzlement and uneasiness on their faces. Jane, at their side, twisted her hands anxiously. 

Clearing his throat, Mr Gardiner handed her a letter. “Read this letter from your father. We have reason to suspect its contents.”

Elizabeth took it from him and, after one last look at Jane, unfolded and read it.

My dear Lizzy, 

I was most curious several days ago to receive a request to call from none other than Mr Darcy, but my surprise was quickly made into utter astonishment when he informed me that he had come to request my permission to marry you. 

You did not tell me Mr Darcy was in Kent during your visit, and I wish now you had. I might then have been better prepared to address his assertions that you had furthered your acquaintance and have grown attached to one another. His sentiments were a far cry from his insult of you last autumn, and I could only accept his word on how his esteem of you had grown. I must assume yours did likewise.

In any case, I have given him my consent and my blessing. Indeed, he is the sort of man I would not like to refuse anything once he had condescended to ask for it. I applaud Mr Darcy for recognising in you the treasure he seeks.

With my best wishes and eagerness to see you returned home, 

T. Bennet

Elizabeth read the letter three times through before raising her eyes from the paper. She looked at Jane and said faintly, “This is a joke, I am sure. Papa is playing one of his silly tricks on me and will likely be awaiting my response with glee.”

“If it is a joke,” Mr Gardiner said, “then it is at my expense as well. Here is my letter.” 


It seems I am to lose a daughter, and my favourite no less. I was most surprised today to receive a request for Lizzy’s hand from Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, a very distinguished and wealthy gentleman from Derbyshire. Margaret might know of his family from her days in that county. 

He is a good man and will treat her well. They did not begin their acquaintance on the best footing but apparently have resolved their differences. You may expect his call when Lizzy returns to London on Saturday. I am eager to hear your report of how he enjoys Gracechurch Street as, I daresay, it is a new experience for him to find himself so far from Mayfair. 

I am sure you can imagine your sister’s response to the news. There are one or two families in Hertfordshire who do not yet know of Lizzy’s impending greatness, but I am sure by the time this note reaches you, Fanny will have rectified that situation. 

T. Bennet

Elizabeth touched a hand to her forehead. “I cannot imagine what induced Mr Darcy to go to Hertfordshire and speak to my father. Perhaps my father misunderstood or…” She was unable to summon any other likely explanation. 

“Well, you must have courted in Kent,” Jane said, with all of the optimism inherent to her character. “Perhaps you did not realise his intentions, but—”

“Are you saying I was courted without my knowledge? That will not do, not even for you.” Elizabeth laughed weakly, but it turned into an angry sound even as she did it. “And clearly his family knows something of it as well!” Elizabeth’s provocation gained momentum with each word spoken, her cheeks feeling heated and flushed. “Lady Catherine received a letter from her brother, the Earl of Matlock, after which she came to the parsonage to berate me! How well I understand her distress now, though it must pale in comparison to my own.”

Book Links

Buy: Amazon US • Amazon UK
Add to Goodreads.

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon US. 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

Amy D’Orazio is a long-time devotee of Jane
Austen and fiction related to her characters. She began writing her own little stories to amuse herself during hours spent at sports practices and the like and soon discovered a passion for it. By far, however, the thing she loves most is the connections she has made with readers and other writers of Austenesque fiction. 

Amy currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and daughters, as well as three Jack Russell terriers who often make appearances (in a human form) in her book.

Amy’s other releases include “A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity” and the “The Best Part of Love,” a Readers Choice Gold Medal Winner for 2017. She has also contributed short stories to “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues,” “Rational Creatures: Stirrings of Feminism in the Hearts of Jane Austen's Fine Ladies” and “Yuletide: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories.” 

Connect with Amy D'Orazio

Tour Schedule

August 5 - Austenesque Reviews
August 6 - Diary of an Eccentric
August 7 - Margie's Must Reads
August 8 - My Jane Austen Book Club
August 9 - My Love For Jane Austen
August 12 - So Little Time...
August 13 - My Vices & Weakness
August 14 - Babblings of a Bookworm
August 15 - From Pemberley to Milton

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Quills & Quartos Publishing is giving away one $50 Amazon gift card to one enthusiastic follower of this Blog Tour! You get one point for ever blog stop you visit and leave a comment. See the Tour Schedule above! 

  • You get one point for ever blog stop you visit and leave a comment.
  • Open Internationally!
  • Last day to enter is August 18th! 
Good luck! 

Congratulations to Amy D'Orazio on the publication of her new book, A Lady's Reputation!

Many thanks to Christina Boyd for organizing and including me on this book tour!

And a big thanks to Quills & Quartos Publishing for this excellent giveaway! 

So, friends, what did you think of that excerpt? Elizabeth is in quite a spot! To find everyone thinks she is engaged to Mr Darcy! I can't wait to see how this plays out! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

What Are You Reading? ~ Aug. 7, 2019

* * Post contains affiliate links. * *

Happy Wednesday! Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a "What Are You Reading?" post. A busy summer working on the house and going on vacation has taking up my time. I've really enjoyed my summer! I hope you have, too! 

What are you Reading?  Let me know what your current read is, what you recently finished reading, and what you plan on reading next! 

I'm reading a couple of books right now, which is not my norm (I'm more of a one book at a time kind of gal!). I've been in a little reading slump and have been jumping around books hoping something will catch. 

Currently Reading:

I'm presently reading Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. - Darcy and Rachel are best friends, and Rachel is sleeping with Darcy's fiance. - I really don't like a cheater, so at the beginning of the book, I kept getting annoyed with Rachel, and I kept asking myself, "why am I reading this?" Then last night I picked this up and got sucked in! Yay!  

I also started reading Rules of Conflict: A Post-Apocalyptic EMP Survival Thriller (Book 2) by Jack Hunt back in June. I read the first book and enjoyed it, but I'm not getting into this one. Hopefully, I will soon. I pick it up every now and then. 

Recently Finished:

I recently finished To Conquer Pride: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Jennifer Altman. Elizabeth and Darcy trapped together in a snowstorm? Always a great way to start a variation! I enjoyed this one! ~ 4 stars

What's next?

I'm going to start reading Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld soon. Have you read it? I've heard good things and not so good things about this one. 

Disclaimer: Links 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! 

Here's a couple of pictures from my vacation. We spent a couple of days in New York City, then a week at the shore in New Jersey. 

Morning walk - LBI, New Jersey
New York City - Brooklyn Bridge

Have a great week, friends! Be sure to share what you've been reading! 

Monday, August 5, 2019

His Choice of a Wife Blog Tour! ~ Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveway!

Hello, my friends! I'm so happy to be part of Heather Moll's His Choice of a Wife Blog Tour! Heather's sharing a bit about how her writing journey began. As a stay-at-home mother myself, I know what she means about wanting to identify as more than just a 'Mommy'. 

Heather is also sharing an excerpt of His Choice of a Wife!  And stay tuned, you can find details for the giveaway at the bottom of the page! 

Hello Candy and thank you and your readers for welcoming me today! I’m eager to share an excerpt of His Choice of a Wife with all of you and talk a little bit about how I came to write this book. 

I never wrote anything other than a term paper until I sat down to write His Choice of a Wife. I loved Jane Austen from the moment I cracked Pride and Prejudice’s spine, and I enjoyed JAFF for almost as long, but never wrote so much as a sentence of fiction. So what on earth made me think that I could, or even should, write a story of my own?

I was a librarian in a small-town library until I had my son and decided to stay home. Even though it was what I wanted, transitioning from working professional to stay-at-home mom was quite an adjustment! Once we settled into a routine, I felt isolated and was questioning the things that defined me. Was I just ‘Mom’ now, and was that enough? None of my friends had children yet and the days sometimes felt long. I had enjoyed reading online cute JAFF stories with a faster way to the happy ending, and one day during nap time I thought, “I could write a little one-shot story.”

I intended to entertain myself, and possibly someone else in the JAFF community, by writing something short and sweet that hinted at a quicker way to Darcy and Elizabeth’s happy ever after following the Hunsford proposal. I sat down one day during nap time and wrote 5,000 words, and Elizabeth hadn’t even left Kent yet! “Okay, maybe a short story, then, just a couple of chapters.”

So, I thought about it more, beyond what needed to happen to get a still-reforming Darcy and an-almost-in love Elizabeth together at Longbourn. What happens if the militia is still there and Wickham suspects Darcy’s interest? What could happen if Lydia still goes to Brighton? What else could go wrong? These thoughts kept me company driving in the car, in the shower, falling asleep at night—that last one didn’t happen often with a fussy infant. Soon I had the entire story, with twists and cliffhangers and romantic longing, plotted in my head. If I hadn’t been so eager to see the project through, to have something of my own beyond being ‘Mommy’, His Choice of a Wife might have stayed in my head.

I quickly fell into a routine: morning nap time to research and outline the next chapter. Afternoon nap: write what was planned out that morning. If there was any other spare moment: go back and review. Before my son turned one, I typed “The End”.

I was so proud. It wasn’t the project of Heather the mom or Heather the wife, it was Heather’s. Writing helped me find and strengthen my identity beyond motherhood, and has made me a better mother. Researching, plotting, outlining, writing and editing His Choice of a Wife and other JAFF stories filled nap times through my son’s infancy and toddlerhood. I might have held off on dropping that afternoon nap out of selfish reasons! Soon preschool mornings were set aside to write and now, once my son gets on the school bus, I happily head back to the laptop!

Front cover photograph of Heather Moll’s book courtesy and copyright RegencyCouture, Regency fashion for today's Jane Austenista!

This excerpt is an exchange between Darcy and Elizabeth in the Gardiners’ home in London. They have had a few cautious meetings and now Darcy has brought his sister to be introduced to Elizabeth, but Elizabeth isn’t sure what it is she feels for Darcy.

     Their visitors were obliged to stay longer when Jane and Maria Lucas returned as Miss Darcy requested to be made known to them. With the addition of two more ladies and the children, the room was alive with conversation and activity, and Mr. Darcy drew nearer to Elizabeth. 

     “Do you ladies return to Hertfordshire tomorrow?” After she nodded, he told her that Mr. Bingley intended to return to Netherfield in June and had invited him along. 

     “Perhaps you will better acquaint yourself with the families in the neighborhood this time? I do very much look forward to seeing you again,” she added. 

     “I shall attend to that with warm civility. My real purpose, however, is to ask whether, in the meantime, and also after Bingley returns, I may call on you in Hertfordshire?” 

     Elizabeth knew what was implied and was gratified but nervous. She felt shy of him after all that had passed between them. She could not account for what she felt for him although she did concede to herself that, whatever it was, the feeling was intense. 

     “I do not know what to promise you.” Darcy’s hopeful countenance shuttered. “The change of my estimation feels the work of an instant. Your affection was not the work of a day, even if you at one time did love me against your reason. I know not yet how I should feel.” 

     “Do I have any reason to hope that your feelings for me could change? Is it at least possible that I could ever earn your affection?” 

     Her cheeks felt hot and her breath came fast. “I, I—”

     Miss Darcy approached to say how much she enjoyed meeting her, and then she and Mr. Darcy left. He was gracious to all upon leaving, even the children, but he scarcely looked at her. Elizabeth longed for more time to sort her own thoughts before she had a private moment with him to answer his question. But she was leaving tomorrow, and she would have no further opportunity to speak to him. 

     Elizabeth lay awake hours considering Mr. Darcy. I do not hate him, and I am ashamed to have had such a strong dislike against him for so long! But did she feel what she ought for him in order to encourage him? 

     Elizabeth understood him better now; his disposition was better appreciated, and the improvement in his manners was undeniable. She was drawn to him, and she cared for his happiness. He was attentive to his younger sister and loyal to his friends. He had a ready wit and a willingness to laugh. Mr. Darcy had valuable qualities she could respect, and he respected her and held true affection for her. 

     When she considered her future, she could, for the first time, imagine Mr. Darcy by her side. 

     And I refused him again! He now has to abandon the renewal of his hopes. Elizabeth cried into her pillow where eventually sleep found her.

His Choice of a Wife
by Heather Moll


When a man’s honor is at stake, what is he willing to risk for the woman he loves? 

After a disastrous marriage proposal and the delivery of an illuminating letter, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet hope never to lay eyes on one another again. When a chance meeting in Hunsford immediately throws them in each other’s way, Darcy realizes his behavior needs correcting, and Elizabeth starts to appreciate his redeeming qualities. But is it enough to forgive the past and overcome their prejudices? 

Jane and Bingley’s possible reconciliation and Lydia’s ill-conceived trip to Brighton pose their own challenges for two people struggling to find their way to love. When scandalous news threatens their chance at happiness, will Darcy and Elizabeth’s new bond be shattered, or will their growing affection hold steadfast?

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About the Author

Heather Moll is an avid reader with a B.A. in European history and a M.A. in library science, so it is astonishing that she did not discover Jane Austen until her late-twenties. Making up for lost time, she devoured all of Austen’s novels, her letters, and unpublished works, joined JASNA, and spent far too much time researching the Regency era. She is thrilled to have found fellow Janeites and the JAFF community, if only to prove that her interests aren’t so strange after all. Heather is a former librarian turned stay-at-home mother who struggles to find time for all of the important things, like reading and writing.

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* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! As part of the blog tour, Meryton Press is giving away eight eBooks of Heather Moll's His Choice of a Wife! Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter below. 

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It is a pleasure to get to know you, Heather! Thank you for being a guest here and CONGRATULATIONS on your debut novel! That's so exciting!

A big thanks to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing and including me on this blog tour! 

Many thanks to Meryton Press for the giveaway! 

So, friends, what are your thoughts? Please show Heather some love by leaving a comment or question below! Thanks! 
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