Thursday, September 26, 2019

Don Jacobson's "The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Solder's Portion" Blog Tour! ~ Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! It's my pleasure to have Don Jacobson visiting today! His newest book The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier's Portion is out now! It's the seventh book in the Bennet Wardrobe series. These books sound amazing, especially if you love historical fiction! 

Redemption in the Time of the Wardrobe

     Over the past four years, as I developed the tales about the Bennet Family and the forces which the Bennet Wardrobe has exerted upon, the enduring theme has been Redemption.

     Exagoras Agapis

     The Fifth Love—the love which redeems

     I realize that my next will likely be seen as sacrilege by many adherents to the Lady’s words and themes.

     But the truth is the truth. And my truth is that I found myself profoundly dissatisfied with the way Miss Austen treated Mary, Kitty, Lydia, and Mr. Bennet (and, for that matter, Mrs. Bennet). True, they were never intended to be anything more than dramatic foils to frame the characters of Lizzy and Darcy.

     However, at times they seemed to be utterly two-dimensional, tropes held up before the reader to make a point. 

     Mary was the prosy prudish disapproving-of-everything scold. Mr. Bennet was the indolent father who cared little for his estate or the welfare of his family. Mrs. Bennet was the grasping tradesman’s daughter. Kitty was a non-entity, noticeable only because of her nervous cough.

     And, Lydia was a living, breathing Hogarth cautionary portrait. Who better to fall prey to Wickham’s worst efforts? At least Elizabeth had the excuse that she was receptive to Wickham’s lies about Darcy because Darcy had insulted her and acted as if he were so far above the company around him.

     Elizabeth and Darcy were surrounded by unredeemed souls. Now, I am not speaking in religious terms here, but rather I refer to my concept of the Fifth Love (building upon C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves) where Redemptive Love encourages persons to strive to become the best versions of themselves. None of the younger sisters, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (and for that matter Caroline Bingley), ever grow beyond Austen’s framing. Only Darcy, Lizzy, and Bingley overcome their weaknesses to find the path which leads to true happiness.

     How could three daughters be so different from the older two? Was it all Mrs. Bennet’s fault? Should credit be wholly given to the Gardiners? This seemed simplistic.

     Hence the Wardrobe…a device that allowed those of the Bennet bloodline to be shuttled to times and places where they could learn that which they needed to realize their potentials.

     As we learned in The Avenger, the Wardrobe is not only the portal through which Bennet’s may pass from their current here/now to a future where/when, but it is also the worldly manifestation of The Old One. This entity has as its sole purpose the maintenance of equilibrium in a universe which is powered by the forces of the Six Loves: Lewis’ four plus my Fifth and Niebuhr’s ultimate (Sixth), the love which forgives.

     The core question remains: can Lydia Bennet Wickham use the Fifth Love to create the best version of herself.

     My response is a resounding Yes!

     You see, I believe that the Lydia of the Wardrobe is the embodiment of all the great traits demonstrated individually by her sisters. She exhibits Jane’s uncommon sense of fairness, Elizabeth’s impetuous nature, Mary’s thoughtful dedication, and Kitty’s extraordinary leadership. I will not endeavor to explain the previous characterizations here. 

     While Austen holds Lydia up as a horrific cautionary tale, I subscribe to a slightly less stark version, that of the Prodigal Son. With Lydia, her selfish nature leads her into peril. She is forced to marry a despicable man (the examination of Wickham’s redemption must also wait). She is dispatched to the outer reaches of England, to the cold, miserable climes of Newcastle, there to discover just what it means to be the wife of a lowly lieutenant.

     There is the true beginning of her path from the depths.

     Kitty, as the Dowager Countess of Matlock (11th), returns from her life in 1932 to 1811 (see The Countess Visits Longbourn). While her overt purpose is to assist Mr. Bennet in the creation of the Bennet Family Trust and the implementation of the Founder’s Letters, the Wardrobe has a different scheme in mind. Kitty lifts the scales from Lydia’s eyes in a powerful meeting. She then goes on to foster Lydia’s “education” during Epiphany.

     The Wardrobe later sends Lydia to Kitty to continue her learning, although this time in the dark days of World War II.

     The Pilgrim uses Austen’s note about Lydia’s character—that anything in a red coat is to be pursued—as its structural basis. The Wardrobe needs to expand her education to enable her to become its working tool to realize its ultimate goal. Thus, the cabinet uses soldiers as the means through which she uncovers that which she will need to understand about humanity. 

     Structured as a triptych, The Pilgrim first continues the exploration of the Lydia/Wickham relationship through 1815. Here she learns about the soldier’s wife’s portion…that of enduring uncertainty followed by joy, fear culminating in crushing pain.

     The second book explores her time at Deauville with her sister, now an elderly, ailing woman in her seventies. Lydia’s insertion into a wartime household in Occupied France offers her a first-hand perspective on the realities of war: no balls or parties, just the grinding cruelty of those who would be masters. In the midst of it, though, she discovers the ambiguities of “sides.” Long had she been taught that the enemy was craven and bloodthirsty. Yet, in the figure of Hans Richter, she finds a noble heart devoted to duty and selfless sacrifice. That he wore feldgrau and not scarlet was immaterial.

     Once Lydia returns to her own timeframe, she spends years on the periphery of the Darcy-Fitzwilliam clan, gradually finding an old warrior, one whose sacrifice was that he survived. She and General Sir Richard Fitzwilliam move along together in the current that is the Wardrobe’s Universe. Yet, it is her own sacrifice, that final payment, that completes her remolding into the tool needed by the Wardrobe.

     It is difficult to compose a blog exploring the complexities of a 151,000-word novel without spoiling the reading. I do hope that this gives you some insight into how Lydia Bennet fits into the Wardrobe’s greater scheme.

     Please enjoy this excerpt from The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion. I look forward to replying to your comments. 


Chapter VIII

After Sergeant Wilson’s cricket ball made an unexpected appearance at breakfast the day after the three soldiers returned from Spain, t’was decided to take full advantage of the break in the heat that had beset Hertfordshire. A cricket match serves at the background for this next scene between Lydia and George.

     Exultant cheers and raucous jeers rose up into the turquoise, cotton-dappled hemisphere that arched above Longbourn’s grounds. T’was the sound of boys at play. Mrs. Bennet sarcastically reminded herself to be certain that Tom Coachman’s bottle of horse liniment made its way to Mr. Bennet’s chamber before the dinner gong. 

     All men are convinced that they are but eight-and-ten even when their looking glass tells them otherwise. They will deny any infirmity of age until they are hunched over like a gnarled pilgrim groaning because of their foolhardiness.

     The population at Longbourn Manor had swelled as both Bennets had sent flash messages to their circle—Fanny to the ladies and Thomas to the gentlemen. The result of this draft was now displayed in the grassy reaches behind Bennet manse. Three distinct groups, two of roughly equal size and one a bare twosome, were arrayed as their disposition was so inclined.

     The players had divided themselves into two sides. Bennet captained John Lucas, Charlie Tomkins, and James Footman. Campbell, for his part, had proven his contrition by selecting Henry Wilson, Walter Goulding, and the youngest, in part to offset the Sergeant’s obvious advantages, Sammy Lucas. Stripped to shirtsleeves, the men gamboled about belying the decades in their knees and snow in their hair—at least on the part of Bennet and Sir William. The elder Goulding had determined not to join in and had relegated himself to the spectator seats as he again was suffering from gout. Thus, Sir William stood as sole umpire, although he chased around the grounds equally cheering on his sons. 

     The pitch was laid out on the sward that stretched from the veranda on the back of the house. The far boundary was the front edge of Mrs. Bennet’s pride-and-joy, her rose beds.

     The Lucas men had, upon Mr. Bennet’s entreaties, emptied their closets of bats and wickets, deposited there as the boys were forced into more solitary pursuits in a neighborhood uniquely bereft of young males. As many a local matron had lamented, there must have been something about Meryton’s water that led to the birthing of a regiment of young ladies during the final decade of the last century.

     The ladies, matrons and misses alike, had clustered on the flagstone piazza, shaded now by Longbourn’s bulk from the afternoon sun which had earlier passed over the roof. There they sipped from pitchers of Mrs. Hill’s delicious lemonade and nibbled on small cakes and sandwiches. Mrs. Bennet flinched from time-to-time as one batsman or another would send the ball looping above the verdant lawn stretching from the veranda out toward her rose beds which dominated the bulk of what once had been referred to as a pretty little wilderness. Her protestations fell unacknowledged on the ears of the players. Lady Lucas discreetly supported her sons while her daughter, Maria, devoured a letter from her betrothed, the young Commander Will Rochet, delivered to her hands by Laura Wilson. The Sergeant had received it directly from Rochet when the Sprite raised Portsmouth.

     Two of Longbourn’s denizens neither sat on the veranda nor bowled. The duo had found privacy in plain sight: a small stone bench tucked beneath overhanging oaks, richly shaded by a leafy canopy. There they rested; he looked not at the lady but rather into an indeterminant middle distance. She, however, focused entirely on his ruggedly handsome chiseled features. His blue eyes, sparkling chips of azure deeply set above distinctive cheekbones, stared unseeing out at the players chasing around before him. 

     Wickham’s jaw was set, not in anger, but in response to the inchoate thoughts tumbling through his mind. He sat near-motionless, although Lydia, close as she was to his side, could see the slightest movement beneath the light shadow of whiskers bristling his cheek as hidden muscles reacted to micro-twitches triggered by the intensity of his thoughts.

     Lydia gently gripped her husband’s thigh, still firm despite five weeks in a sick-bed, and softly spoke to him, “George…George.”


     “George, where are you? You surely are not here with me.

     “No, please do not think I am some selfish wench, concerned only about ribbons, bonnets, and the next compliment I will be paid” she continued, “That girl is long dead.

     “No, George, I know that you are reliving something. And, dearest, if you must do that alone, I can understand. 

     “I know.

     “Marty Smithvale told me how disturbed and depleted Billy was when the First Battalion returned to Newcastle after you replaced them in Portugal. It took him months to recover. Even then, he rarely slept through the night.

     “So, I do know even if I have not seen that which troubles you. And, if you need to talk and neither the Sergeant nor Tomkins are around, I always will be.”

     Wickham’s hand crept up and covered hers where it rested on his leg.

     He inhaled a deep and ragged breath.

     Even the Guide has not helped. Try as I might, I can never reach out to earn that inner comfort I feel when with him. Maybe my mind is not enough at peace to allow him to join me.

     Not shifting his gaze, he replied, “Lydie, my Titania must not be burdened with my doleful reveries.* ‘Tis a soldier’s portion to be sorely tested both on the field and off.”

     The adolescent matron nodded at the truth of this assertion, but resolutely replied, “And, my Oberon forgets that ‘tis a wife’s portion to shoulder the same burden, to allow her king surcease from darkling dreams that try his soul.”

     Her resounding declaration of support shook Wickham from his brown study. He turned to her and regarded her as if seeing his wife for the first time.

     He recalled the vision in rose that had glided into his arms that remarkable night in the Year Twelve. T’was nearly two months before he learned that the beauty hidden beneath the bauta and tricorn hat was none other than his lady wife. Yet, across intervening fortnights, he had severely tasked himself, Darcy-like he wryly grinned to himself, for his unaccountable attraction to the unknown tigress who strode across Madras House’s great parquet floor. Her first touch after Harlequin had declared her Queen, the great frisson that shook Wickham’s core, was an unforgettable and blessed memory that colored his life during all his lonely months on the Peninsula. 

     Lust, passion, the mutual joy we shared in each other’s arms: those were the start of it. We both began our change at the hands of the Countess, to be sure. Even then, the dear girl still could easily be overset by the sight of a milliner’s shop.  Now, young Lydia Wickham has, with a single sentence, shown me that she is nothing like the fluff-brained Bennet child who threw herself at anything wearing the King’s red coat.

     If she has been so altered since last March, how must she see me?  

     His hand captured hers as he ardently drilled into the depths of those emerald green pools. Then he slowly lifted it to caress her knuckles with his lips, cracked and chapped from constant licking as he sought to moisten them first in the xeric Iberian air and then, later, as the salt spray was thrown up from Sprite’s mustaches misted his face.

     Lydia’s eyes widened at his tenderness, not necessarily unexpected, but rather something she had long been missing. The bands that had held her heart in check while her husband was with the Army were loosed in one fell swoop. But, this version of Mrs. Wickham would not engage in an untoward public display of affection. The most she allowed herself was to carefully plant a kiss on the shoulder seam of his tunic.

     Lifting her chin, Lydia regarded her husband with a dewiness of eye that promised much, but only within the bounds of propriety. George could see that he was once again in her garden and would be subject to her rule. Lydia would be the one to transport him to other realms of bliss, but not until she was sure of his recovery.

     He vowed to pay close attention to her prescriptions knowing that his reward would surely follow.

* See the Madras House Twelfth Night Ball in The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn.

The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier's Portion
by Don Jacobson


“My life has been very much like an unfinished painting. The artist comes to the portrait day-after-day to splash daubs of color onto bare canvas, filling in the blanks of my story. Thus grows the likeness, imperfect as it may be, which you see today.” 

 Lydia Fitzwilliam, Countess of Matlock, letter to her sister Elizabeth Bennet Darcy, March 14, 1831. 

     Does it matter how a man fills out his regimentals? Miss Austen never considered that query. Yet, this question marks the beginning of an education…and the longest life…in the Bennet Wardrobe saga. 

     Lydia Bennet, Longbourn’s most wayward daughter, embarks on her quest in The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion. This biography reveals how the Wardrobe helps young Mrs. Wickham learn that honor and bravery grow not from the color of the uniform—or the gender of its wearer—but rather from the contents of the heart. 

     In the process, she realizes that she must be broken and repaired, as if by a kintsugi master potter, to become the most useful player in the Bennet Wardrobe’s great drama. 

     “Multifaceted and nuanced, The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion, speaks to the verities of life. Once again, Don Jacobson has combined the essence of Pride and Prejudice with an esoteric story line and the universal themes of redemption and forgiveness in this well-crafted narrative.”  ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, author of The Meyersons of Meryton

Buy: Amazon US • Amazon UK
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

     Don Jacobson has written professionally for forty years.  His output has ranged from news and features to advertising, television and radio.  His work has been nominated for Emmys and other awards.  He has previously published five books, all non-fiction.  In 2016, he began publishing The Bennet Wardrobe Series

The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey (2016)
Henry Fitzwilliam’s War (2016)
The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque (2017)
Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess (2017)
The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn (2018)
The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father’s Lament (2018)
The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier’s Portion (2019)

     Jacobson is also part of the collective effort behind the publication of the upcoming North and South anthology, Falling for Mr. Thornton: Tales of North and South due out in the Fall of 2019.

     Other Austenesque Variations include the paired books “Of Fortune’s Reversal” (2016) and “The Maid and The Footman.” (2016) Lessers and Betters offers readers the paired novellas in one volume to allow a better appreciation of the “Upstairs-Downstairs” mentality that drives the stories. 

     Jacobson holds an advanced degree in History with a specialty in American Foreign Relations.  As a college instructor, Don teaches United States History, World History, the History of Western Civilization and Research Writing.

     He is a member of JASNA.  Likewise, Don is a member of the Austen Authors collective (see the internet, Facebook and Twitter).
He lives in the Las Vegas, Nevada area with his wife and co-author, Pam, a woman Ms. Austen would have been hard-pressed to categorize, and their rather assertive four-and-twenty pound cat, Bear.  Besides thoroughly immersing himself in the JAFF world, Don also enjoys cooking; dining out, fine wine and well-aged scotch whiskey.  

     His other passion is cycling.  Most days from April through October will find him “putting in the miles” around the Seattle area (yes there are hills).  He has ridden several “centuries” (100 mile days).  Don is especially proud that he successfully completed the AIDS Ride—Midwest (500 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago) and the Make-A-Wish Miracle Ride (300 miles from Traverse City, MI to Brooklyn, MI).

Connect with Don Jacobson

Blog Tour Schedule

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! As part of this tour, Don is giving away 4 eBooks of The Pilgrim: Lydia Bennet and a Soldier's Portion. Enter through the Rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Don Jacobson for visiting us today! I enjoyed hearing his thoughts on the Bennet family and his stories sound so fascinating! 

Also, a big thanks to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing and including me in this blog tour! 

Wow! What a huge change in both Lydia and Wickham!  What are your thoughts? We'd love to hear! And please feel free to leave Don any questions! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

What Are You Reading? ~ Sep. 25th, 2019

* * Post contains affiliate links. * *

Happy Wednesday! It's late in the day, but it's still Wednesday! 

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

Currently Reading:

I've just started reading The Bride of Northanger by Diana Birchall. I'm looking forward to digging into this sequel to Austen's Northanger Abbey! 

Recently Finished:

I recently finished re-reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Again, I really enjoyed it! ~ 5 stars

I also read Wool by Hugh Howey! This was a great story! So very interesting! These people are living in this huge underground silo because the earth above is very toxic. Law and order have to be strictly regulated. If something should go wrong, it could mean the end of their society. When people break the law, they are sent out to clean the cameras outside - their link to the world above ground. The cleaners never survive long. But there's trouble brewing for the people in the silo! ~ 5 stars

What's next? 

I may re-read the next in The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. It's been 5 years since I've read this series.

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! 

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

Friday, September 20, 2019

Guest Post with Victory Kincaid ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, friends! I'm so happy to have Victoria Kincaid visiting here today with an announcement about two new audiobooks! She also has an excerpt from one of the books, plus there's a giveaway! Details are at the bottom of the page. 

Hi Candy!  Thank you for having me as a guest today!  I am here to announce the recent release of two new audiobooks for Darcy vs. Bennet and When Jane Got Angry—both narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, who (as always) does a wonderful job with the voices of our favorite Pride and Prejudice characters. 

Below is an excerpt from Darcy vs. Bennet.  Right before this scene, from near the beginning of the book, Elizabeth and Darcy have met for the first time at a masquerade ball and have danced.  While Darcy fetches some lemonade, Elizabeth notices Georgiana (whom she has seen Darcy speaking with but has not been introduced to) meeting a young man in the garden.  

     What was a girl of Georgiana’s tender years about, embracing and kissing a man like that?  Where was her companion?  She was not yet out, so she could not be betrothed, and no one would embrace a relative in such a way.  I must do something or William’s sister will soon be ruined!

     The easiest course of action would be to await William’s return, but obtaining lemonade could take some time in a large crowd.  It was why she had chosen that errand for him.  By the time he returned, his sister’s reputation could be damaged beyond repair.

     And Elizabeth knew no one else at the ball, no one who might intervene. 

     Without a conscious decision, Elizabeth found herself hurrying across the veranda and down the steps to the garden.  She sped along the garden paths, brushing against a couple of guests without apologies.  How fortunate no one knew her identity.  Finally, she reached the entrance of the small area she had observed before.  She paused for a moment to collect herself and then turned the corner. 

     The couple remained in position, intimately drawn together.  The man’s hand was stroking Georgiana’s hair while the other held her waist.  She touched only the sleeve of his coat but gazed into his eyes with adoration.  The man wore no mask, suggesting that he was also an uninvited guest.

     “Georgiana!  I have been looking all over creation for you!”  Elizabeth spoke loudly in the hopes of attracting attention from other guests.  She walked boldly toward the couple, ignoring the man and closing her hand around the girl’s wrist.  “I need your help desperately!  Mama wants me to dance with this most dreadful man.  He is fat and greasy, and he has the moistest hands in England.  You can talk to her about it!  She will listen to you.”

     She tugged a stunned Georgiana away from the man, who promptly released her and stepped back as if to pretend there had never been inappropriate contact.  

     “W-Who are you?” Georgiana stuttered. 

     “You don’t know this chit?” the man demanded of Georgiana. 

     “We spoke at length at dinner last night.  Pray, do not tell me you forgot already!  I told you—”    Elizabeth hoped a constant stream of chatter would drown out Georgiana’s objections and the young man’s questions.  

     A crease formed between Georgiana’s brows.  “I sat next to Lord Pippenworth last night.” 

     Elizabeth shook her head impatiently.  “Perhaps it was the night before.  I cannot recall…” 

     “You need not go with her!” the man cried as he grabbed Georgiana’s hand, pulling her in one direction while Elizabeth pulled in another.  

     “I do not know you!” Georgiana cried in dismay, trying to free her hand from Elizabeth’s grasp.

     Elizabeth talked over them, desperation making her bolder.  “—and then when I was dancing with William, he spoke of—”

     “William!” Georgiana and the young man said in unison.  Georgiana seemed perplexed, but the man had blanched.  No doubt he wished to avoid Georgiana’s brother.  

     “Yes.”  Elizabeth pretended to be oblivious to their alarm.  “He is an excellent dancer and cuts a fine figure…”

     “Why, I thank you,” said a voice behind her.  She whirled to see William standing in the entrance, holding a small glass of lemonade.  Had he always been so tall and imposing?  Fortunately, his glare was not turned on Elizabeth but on the other man, whose face had drained of color.  

     “Wickham,” William growled.  “There can be no legitimate purpose for your presence here.  You are no friend of the Berwicks.  And the last time we spoke, I warned you to stay away from Georgiana!”  He took a menacing step toward the brown-haired man, who cowered, pressing his back against the surrounding hedges.

     “No, Brother!”  Georgiana grabbed onto William’s arm.  “We are in love!  He will take me to Gretna Green.”  Then her hand flew to her mouth as if to stifle words already spoken.

Darcy vs. Bennet
by Victoria Kincaid

Elizabeth Bennet is drawn to a handsome, mysterious man she meets at a masquerade ball. However, she gives up all hope for a future with him when she learns he is the son of George Darcy, the man who ruined her father's life. 

Despite her father's demand that she avoid the younger Darcy, when he appears in Hertfordshire, Elizabeth cannot stop thinking about him, seeking him out, or welcoming his kisses.... 

Fitzwilliam Darcy has struggled to carve out a life independent from his father's vindictive temperament and domineering ways, although the elder Darcy still controls the purse strings. 

After meeting Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy cannot imagine marrying anyone else, even though his father despises her family. 

More than anything, he wants to make her his wife, but doing so would mean sacrificing everything else.... 

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!

When Jane Got Angry: A Pride and Prejudice Novella
by Victoria Kincaid

A Pride and Prejudice Variation  

When Mr. Bingley abruptly left Hertfordshire, Jane Bennet's heart was broken. Since arriving in London to visit her aunt and uncle, Jane has been hoping to encounter Mr. Bingley; however, it becomes clear that his sister is keeping them apart. But what would happen if she took matters into her own hands? Defying social convention, she sets out to alert Mr. Bingley to her presence in London, hoping to rekindle the sparks of their relationship. 

Bingley is thrilled to encounter Jane and renew their acquaintance, but his sister has told him several lies about the Bennets - and his best friend, Mr. Darcy, still opposes any relationship. As Jane and Bingley sort through this web of deceit, they both find it difficult to maintain their customary equanimity. 

However, they also discover that sometimes good things happen when Jane gets angry.

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! 

About the Author

Victoria Kincaid is the author of several popular Jane Austen variations, including The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, Pride & ProposalsMr. Darcy to the Rescue, When Mary Met the Colonel, and Darcy vs. Bennet. All of her books have been listed in Amazon’s Top 20 Bestselling Regency Romances.  The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth was nominated for a Rone award, and Pride and Proposals was recognized as a top Austenesque novel for 2015 by Austenesque Reviews.

Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head.

She lives in Virginia with an overly affectionate cat, an excessively energetic dog, two children who love to read, and a husband who fortunately is not jealous of Mr. Darcy.  A lifelong Austen fan, Victoria has read more Jane Austen variations and sequels than she can count – and confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.

Connect with Victoria

Blog Tour Schedule

September 3 —  Babblings of a Bookworm
September 4  — My Jane Austen Book Club
September 5 — From Pemberley to Milton
September 6 – More Agreeably Engaged
September 10 — Austen Authors
September 11– Diary of an Eccentric
September 12 – Savvy Verse and Wit
September 20 – So Little Time...
September 21 – My Love for Austen
September 23 — Austenesque Reviews

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Victoria is generously giving away one audiobook of Darcy vs. Bennet and one audiobook of When Jane Got Angry to two of my lucky readers (one audiobook per winner)! Enter through the Rafflecopter below.

  • One person will win an audiobook of Darcy vs. Bennet.
  • One person will win an audiobook of When Jane Got Angry.
  • Enter through the Rafflecopter and comment below.
  • Winners will be randomly selected.
  • Open Internationally! 
  • Last day to enter the giveaway is Sept. 27th, 2019, by the end of the day - Pacific Time.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Victoria Kincaid for visiting here today, and for her generous giveaway! Woot! 

Wow! Elizabeth was very brave to rush out to save Georgiana! I wonder what Darcy thought about that! What do you think? 

Monday, September 9, 2019

"A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods" Blog Tour ~ Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm so excited to be kicking off this blog tour! A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods sounds like a wonderful story, and the excerpt left me wanting more! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! But first Brigid Huey is sharing a little of her journey into writing her debut novella. Be sure to read to the bottom where you will find details to the giveaway! 

Thank you, Candy, for having me here on your blog today. I’m quite excited to be here and start my very first blog tour! ​A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods​ is my debut work, so I thought I would share a little about myself and my love of Jane Austen.

I fell in love with Jane Austen’s work back in 1995 when the BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice aired in the United States on A&E. My dad was the one who had heard about it, and made sure we all sat down to watch. I was enthralled.

Being only thirteen, and a late bloomer at that, it wasn’t Mr. Darcy that first caught my attention. It was the whole package. The beautiful dresses, stately homes, ballrooms, and horse-drawn carriages all drew me in. And Elizabeth Bennet? Well, she fit right in with the other strong women I looked up to as role models.

 I was immediately drawn into her thoughts, feelings, and pursuits. I admired her courage and her ability to look inward and change her mind. Oh, I didn’t think about it in that way when I was thirteen exactly, but I knew there was something special about her. I’ll be forever grateful for my mom and dad who both introduced me to the miniseries and then encouraged me to read the book.

A few friends have asked how I came up with the idea for this story. The truth is, I don’t know. I can tell you that I was at a friend’s house for our playgroup (I have a nine-year-old and a five-year-old that I homeschool). My little boy had climbed high up into a pine tree, so I sat on the damp grass to wait until he called for some help getting down. And I thought of these words: “Madam! Are you quite well?”

I could see Mr. Darcy flying off his horse in concern for Elizabeth Bennet. The story had its start! Okay, I must be honest. What I really wrote down in my tiny notebook that I carry around in case inspiration hits were the words, “Madam, are you alright?” And the wonderful people at Meryton Press set me straight about the very modern origin of ‘alright’.

And now I’d like to share a scene with you from ​A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods​. It comes from the very first scene in the book. Darcy is riding home to Pemberley when he has an unexpected encounter!


     Fitzwilliam Darcy glanced at the sky, noting the ominous black clouds gathering over the hills near Pemberley. He could ​already​ hear the deep rumbles of thunder within them though they were still a few miles ​off​. He ​would​ ​likely be drenched​ in a few minutes, for there was no way he ​would​ reach his home before the skies released their torrent. Although he felt sorry that his horse Falcon ​would​ have to ride through the rain, for himself he felt only relief. ​Perhaps​ the storm ​would​ purge him of his restlessness.

     It was worth a thorough drenching to have a few precious hours alone without having to endure the constant sycophantic posturing of Miss Bingley. Darcy felt a momentary twinge of regret at leaving Georgiana with the Bingley sisters. Yet he knew that she understood. He had become downright uncivil last night at dinner, and it was Georgiana who had urged him to ride ahead. She knew how much solitude calmed his temper.

     What she did not know was the reason for his agitation. ​Caroline Bingley’s attempts to secure him as a husband were irritating to be sure, but it was not this alone that troubled him. Miss Bingley’s behavior reminded him of his own in months past, and he felt the sting of shame as the woman spoke ​slightingly ​of others. She was proud and unfeeling just as he had been.

     Darcy thought again of Elizabeth Bennet’s just reproofs. She had accused him of arrogance and conceit, and ​rightly ​so. Her adamant refusal of his proposal still made him shudder. What a fool he had been! He had asked for her hand with such pride of purpose, absolutely ​assured of her acceptance.

     A slight rain began to fall as he pulled Falcon up short and ​mentally ​shook himself. ​He was done​ dwelling on his own failings, having vowed instead to attend to his faults through action. Glancing again at the sky, he ​decided to take​ the shorter path through the woods. The path was narrow, but Falcon was surefooted, and no one would be out walking in this weather.

     As committed as he was to leaving the past behind, Darcy could not rid himself of one scathing rebuke. ​Elizabeth’s words came back to him as they did almost every day. “​You
could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.​”

     It mattered not that his respect for her opinion traveled so far as to influence his behavior. His attention to her criticisms ​would​ not change the truth. Elizabeth Bennet had no wish to know him, let alone marry him. ​She was not his, and she would never be.

     Lightning flashed as the rain began to pour ​down in earnest​, and Darcy quickened his pace. As he rounded the familiar bend that took him to the clearing just a mile from Pemberley, ​he was startled​ to realize he was no longer alone. A woman was standing in the open space between the trees, staring up at the sky.

     “Madam! Are you ​quite ​well?”

     He dismounted at once and approached her, noticing as he did so ​that ​she was holding a large bundle. She had turned her back when he rode into the clearing, and her attention was now on the blankets in her arms.

     She was petite, the bundle ​seemingly ​overwhelming her person. The harsh wind had blown her bonnet, so it hung from her neck by its light-blue ribbon. Her chestnut curls had fallen out of their coif, and they blew ​about​ her ​in a wild manner​. His heart clenched. Good God, she looked ​like​...


A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods
by Brigid Huey


A surprise meeting 

A baby alone in the woods 

And a second chance at love 

Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to his beloved Pemberley with one thing on his mind ̶ to forget Elizabeth Bennet. Riding ahead of his party and racing a storm, he happens upon the very woman he wants to avoid. To his astonishment, she is holding a baby whose name and parentage are unknown. 

Elizabeth Bennet never dreamed she had wandered into Pemberley’s Woods on her afternoon walk. But when she finds an infant alone in the storm, she turns to the last man in the world she wants to see ̶ and the only one who can help them both. 

As the mystery of the baby’s identity intensifies, Elizabeth finds Mr. Darcy to be quite the reverse of what she expected. But when the child’s family is discovered, will the truth bring them together, or tear them apart?

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Meet the Author

Brigid has been in love with Jane Austen since first seeing the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as a young girl. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids, and spends her free time reading and writing. This is her first Pride and Prejudice variation, though many others live in her imagination.

Connect with Brigid Huey

Blog Tour Schedule

September 9   – So little time…
September 10 – Darcyholic Diversions
September 12 – Savvy Verse & Wit
September 13 – Babblings of a Bookworm
September 14 – My Love for Jane Austen
September 15 – My Life Journey
September 16 – Austenesque Reviews
September 17 – Half Agony, Half Hope
September 18 – Diary of an Eccentric
September 19 – From Pemberley to Milton    
September 20 – My Jane Austen Book Club
September 21 – My Vices and Weaknesses

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of Brigid Huey’s A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods. Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

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Many thanks to Meryton Press and Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing this blog tour and inviting me along! :)

Congratulations to Brigid on her debut novella, A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods! It has been a pleasure hosting you, Brigid! 

So, friends, what did you think? Are you as curious as me to find out what Elizabeth is doing there in the woods with a baby no less! 
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