Thursday, January 30, 2020

Mr. Darcy's Perfect Match Blog Tour! ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm very excited to be part of the Mr. Darcy's Perfect Match Blog Tour! Author Kelly Miller is here today with a lovely excerpt. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to enter the giveaway! Details are at the bottom of the page.

This excerpt takes place at Rosings Park shortly after Darcy gave Elizabeth his letter.

Upon his return to the house, Darcy went to the bedchamber of his cousin Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam. He hesitated with his hand raised at the door. This conversation was certain to bring discomfort. If he could avoid it, he would, but it needed to be done—the sooner, the better. He straightened his shoulders, knocked, and entered upon his cousin’s cheerful invitation.

Richard sat beside a table set up with a pot of coffee and a plate of morning buns. A mug of the steaming beverage balanced upon his thigh. “Cousin, how are you on this fine—" Richard tilted his head as his eyes settled upon Darcy’s countenance. “Are you well? You look terrible, as though you have been up all night.”

“Yes, I am well.” Darcy picked up the other chair in the room and moved it to face his cousin before sitting upon it. “When I was in Hertfordshire last autumn, I encountered Wickham.”

A fiery gleam entered his cousin’s eyes. “Did you have words with him?”

“Not at all. I scarcely acknowledged him. At any rate, the scoundrel had obtained an officer’s position with the militia camped at Meryton.” Darcy took in Richard’s passive expression. Thus far his cousin was letting him off easily, rather than hurl questions at him as he was apt to do. “Wickham managed to make a favourable impression on many in the neighbourhood—including Miss Bennet. The lady may question you in regard to Wickham. If she does, I want you to answer any questions she may have with complete honesty.”

A line of tension arose across Richard’s brow. “I see. Everything, of course, excluding the events of last summer.”

Darcy’s breath quickened. He swallowed against his dense, parched throat. “No, I mean everything including Ramsgate.”

Richard moved his mug to the table with a thump, heedless of the resultant splattering of hot coffee upon the wood. “You told Miss Bennet what happened to Georgiana last summer? What is the lady to you? Have you an understanding with her?”

He braced against the back of the chair, steeling his posture as he crossed his arms before his chest. “No, there is nothing of the kind between us. Miss Bennet is naught but an acquaintance, but since she was taken in by Wickham’s lies and does not have a high opinion of me, I could think of no other way to be certain of convincing her to take my word.”

His cousin rose from his chair and paced before him, shaking his head. His tone conveyed equal parts scorn and incredulity while his thrashing arms marked each sentence. “You could think of no other way? Instead of revealing such private personal information involving your own sister, who is as much my responsibility as yours I might add, you could have asked me to speak to the lady first. From what I have observed, Miss Bennet’s response to you has been at best one of tolerance and at worst as one might react to a fly in one’s soup; yet I dare say lady likes me quite well. The list of Wickham’s unsavoury propensities is long; it would have been no great feat to convince Miss Bennet of Wickham’s poor character without any mention of last summer.”

His cousin’s words ripped through Darcy like a blade. Even Richard had known of her disapprobation for him? What a fool he had been!

Richard paused in front of him to shake a finger in his face. “You and I agreed that other than my brother, Henry, we would tell no one of that incident. No one else! You know the sort of damage that could occur to Georgiana’s reputation if this became common knowledge. Miss Bennet is nothing to you, a mere acquaintance by your own words, and yet you gave her this confidential information!”

Darcy’s mask of confidence slipped in the face of his cousin’s vehement words of reproof. Richard’s response was valid. Would he not have reacted the same way—or worse—if his cousin had revealed the details of Wickham’s plot to elope with Georgiana to another?

“Why? Why did you do this?”

How Darcy had agonized over the question of how much to reveal to Miss Elizabeth last night! Had he made a dreadful mistake? No, the lady had a benevolent character. Since the episode at Ramsgate, Georgiana had been quiet and withdrawn―so much so that his sister had become a subject of anxiety. Upon making his decision to offer for Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy had never doubted that he would be giving Georgiana a loving, caring sister whom she would adore, but it was not to be. “Miss Bennet is trustworthy.”

His cousin resumed pacing. “You cannot be certain! How could you have been so reckless? Damn it, this is not like you.”

“Nevertheless, it serves no purpose to argue over the matter; it is done and cannot be undone. Do you agree to confirm the information should Miss Bennet ask you of it?”

“Did she seduce you? Does she hold some power over you? Is this some sort of coercion?”

A crushing weight of rage rumbled through his chest. He stood and confronted Richard with his hands fisted at his sides. “Miss Bennet is a lady, a gentleman’s daughter. You have no cause for making such outrageous statements about her!”

His cousin’s mouth twisted into a sneer. “Excuse me for having more concern for your sister than for a lady so unconnected to me.”

Darcy ground his teeth in an effort to settle his disordered emotions. “You have not answered my question. Will you or will you not agree to confirm the truth about Wickham to Miss Bennet should she ask you?”

With a noisy, rushed expulsion of breath, Richard threw his hands in the air. “Fine, why not? As you said, the damage has already been done. This is evidently so important to you that you have risked your sister’s reputation, so yes. You and I shall call at the parsonage after breakfast and take our leave of them. While we are there, I shall ask Miss Bennet to take a walk in the garden. If she asks me of Wickham, I shall tell her the truth.”

“I thank you.” With a brusque nod, Darcy left the room. Having garnered his cousin’s cooperation, his tumultuous thoughts centred on the item of most importance: he was to see her one final time.


Darcy and his cousin marched in a mutual brooding silence to the parsonage. The exercise did nothing to soothe his chafed spirits. He held back several feet behind Richard as they passed through the entryway of the parsonage. His heart beat at a frenetic pace as he endeavoured to prepare himself for his final time in her presence. But it was all for naught. As his eyes skimmed the room without finding their object, Mrs. Collins spoke, lamenting upon the fact that Miss Bennet had gone for a walk that morning and had not yet returned.

Fifteen minutes into the intolerable visit, during which Darcy had flinched at the slightest noise made within or without the house, he stood and stated a need to take his leave. Richard expressed a wish to stay in the interest of making his farewell to Miss Bennet. Darcy nodded his thanks to his cousin and bowed to the ladies before departing with undignified haste from the house.

Mr. Darcy's Perfect Match
by Kelly Miller


When secrets are revealed and a family agenda works against him, can Fitzwilliam Darcy recover his damaged spirits and find happiness? 

Following his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to London from Kent broken-hearted and dejected. One bright spot penetrates his sea of despair: his sister, Georgiana, has finally recovered her spirits from the grievous events at Ramsgate the previous summer. She has forged a new friendship with Miss Hester Drake, a lady who appears to be an ideal friend. In fact, Lady Matlock believes Miss Drake is Darcy’s perfect match. 

Upon Elizabeth Bennet’s arrival at the Gardiners’ home from Kent, she finds that her sister Jane remains despondent over her abandonment by Mr. Bingley. But Elizabeth has information that might bring them together. She convinces her Uncle Gardiner to write a letter to Mr. Bingley providing key facts supplied to her by Mr. Darcy. 

When Mr. Bingley discovers that his friend and sisters colluded to keep Jane’s presence in London from him, how will he respond? Given the chance, will Darcy and Elizabeth overcome their past misunderstandings? What will Darcy do when his beloved sister becomes a hindrance towards winning the lady he loves?

Buy: Amazon US (paid link) • 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

Kelly Miller is a native Californian and Anglophile, who made
her first visit to England in 2019. When not pondering a plot point or a turn of phrase, she can be found playing the piano (although like Elizabeth Bennet, she is errant when it comes to practicing), singing, and walking her dogs. Kelly Miller resides in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter, and their many pets.

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match is her second novel published by Meryton Press. Her first was the Regency novel Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice romantic sequel with a touch of fantasy. Her third novel, Accusing Mr. Darcy, will be released later in 2020.

Connect with Kelly Miller

Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match Blog Schedule

January 27 Austenesque Reviews 
January 29 Austenprose
January 30 So Little Time…
February 4 Savvy Verse & Wit
February 6 Donadee’s Corner

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBook copies of Mr. Darcy's Perfect Match! Enter through the Rafflecopter below. Open Internationally! Thank you, Meryton Press!! 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kelly, thank you for that lovely excerpt! My favorite secondary character is Colonel Fitzwilliam. I loved seeing him here! :)

Many thanks to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing this blog tour! Also, I love the cover design you did for this book! It's beautiful!

So, friends, what did you think of the excerpt? Please, feel free to leave any comments or questions for Kelly here!  

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What Are You Reading? ~ Jan. 29, 2020

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

Current Read

I'm a little over halfway through Foul is Fair* by Hannah Capin. I can't really say how it's going. I love a good revenge story, but I'm not sure I like how Jade is going about it. Maybe as I read on, there will be a twist I didn't see coming. 

Recently Finished

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban* by J.K. Rowling. I don't need to say anything here! It's just so good! :)

What's next? 

I'll probably start Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire* by J.K. Rowling. :) 

*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!

It looks like I've come back to my usual reading speed! Well, it was a great start to the new year! I'm ahead on my Goodreads reading challenge now. :) I still need to set up my Jane Austenesque Lovers TBR Challenge 2020 with Sophia Rose on Goodreads!

I hope you've had a good week! Be sure to share what you've been reading! Or any reading challenges you are doing this year.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What Are You Reading? ~ Jan. 22, 2020

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

Happy Wednesday, friends! It's been another good reading week for me! Although to be fair, Lady Susan is a short story. :)

Current Read

I'm currently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban* by J. K. Rowling. I wasn't going to start this one yet, but I couldn't help myself! Lol! 

Recently Finished

I recently finished Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets* by J.K. Rowling. Of course, it was fabulous! I love reading this series.

I also read Call It What You Want* by Brigid Kemmerer. This was really good! I flew through it. ~ 4 stars

And I finished Lady Susan* by Jane Austen. Haha, Jane must have had a good time writing this one! Lady Susan is a trip. What a smooth talker, she is good at manipulating everything to her own advantage.

What's next? 

I would like to read Foul is Fair* by Hannah Capin. I've already read the first couple of pages, and it looks pretty good, although very dark. I read somewhere that it's supposed to be a modern retelling of Macbeth. In February, I'll have an excerpt for you to read as part of a blog tour for the book!

*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!

Please, share what you've been reading! I'd love to hear! 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

What Are You Reading? ~ Jan. 15, 2020

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Happy Wednesday, friends! I've had a fabulous reading week! 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! 

Current Read

I'm currently reading two books. I'm rereading Lady Susan* by Jane Austen for the JASNA Reading Group I belong to. We meet this Saturday. I love meeting up with these ladies! 

I'm also rereading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone* by J.K. Rowling. I love the Harry Potter series and find my self rereading them starting around Christmas. I thought about maybe skipping it this year... I'm not sure if I'll read all of them, but I do love them, and it's easy to get sucked into the story. :)

Recently Finished

I tore through three books this week! Love it! Woot! I don't do that very often at all. :)

I finished reading Sanditon: Official iTV Tie-In Edition* by Kate Riordan. I enjoyed it. I hope there is a sequel in the works because the ending was a little disappointing.

My full review will be posted on Feb. 24 as part of the Sanditon Blog Tour. ~ I think I'm giving it 3.5 stars. I'm still rolling that around in my mind. 

I've watched the first two episodes of the series on PBS. Do you have plans to watch them?

I also read The Storm (H2O, #2)* by Virginia Bergin. I really liked it! It was much better than the first in the series. I adore crazy, irresponsible Ruby! All I can say is she is lucky she survived at all! For me, this was just a fun book to read. ~ 4.5 stars.

Plus, I read I Am Still Alive* by Kate Alice Marshall. I love survival stories, and that's what this was. Sixteen-year-old Jess, whose leg was severely damaged in a car accident - which also killed her mother. She is sent to live with her father, who lives in the middle of nowhere! She misses her mother and is irritated with her father. Shortly after she gets there, her father is murdered, and she is left alone. It's almost winter, she knows nothing about surviving in a forest, and she is worried the men who killed her father will come back. Thank goodness Bo, her dad's dog is there. Jess is angry, scared, and has a strong will to survive. This was an intense, action-packed story that had me on the edge of my seat! ~ 4.5 stars.

What's next?

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking about reading Call it What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer. It's been sitting on my shelf for a while and would like to read it! Lol! It looks cute. 

*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!

Wow! What a great week for me! :) Like I said, that doesn't happen much. I hope it happens again! Lol! 

Please share what you've been reading! I'd love to hear! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Thaw Blog Tour! ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! It's my pleasure to welcome Anniina Sjöblom to So Little Time...! She is here today to talk a little about her new book Thaw, and forced-marriage-scenarios! I hope you enjoy! 

Hi everyone, and thank you for stopping by at the second-to-last stop of the blog tour for Thaw—and special thanks to Candy for hosting it!

When I agreed to publish Thaw last summer and started working on expanding the original, shorter version of it for publication, I often spoke about it with friends and family members who are not acquainted with Austenesque. They were enthusiastic and supportive about my book project—and, more often than not, wanted to know what it was about. I would explain that it’s a variation of Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice; a what-if where small changes to the original chain of events eventually lead to a very different path to happiness for our favourite characters. They would nod, interested to hear how the plot would differ from the original, until…wait, what? Darcy and Elizabeth are forced to marry?

I’ve read countless Pride and Prejudice variations over the years, and a good part of my all-time favourite stories are ones where Elizabeth and Darcy, for one reason or another, have to marry early on in their acquaintance. It’s such a familiar, oft-used trope, that I had never really much thought about why I liked it so much—I just knew that whenever I saw those familiar three letters, FMS, typed in the description of a JAFF story, the chances of me not clicking to see what the story was about immediately became slim.

And thus, I was surprised to find out many of my friends thought the concept entirely odd and confusing. Did I like seeing my favourite characters miserable? No. Did I think it romantic that people who dislike each other are forced to marry? Of course not. So why is it that we love a forced-marriage-scenario so much?

When I started thinking about it, the answer, of course, was simple. We like Elizabeth and Darcy to spend time together, too see them interact. As much as possible, and preferably without chaperones. In modern variations, there’s more flexibility to how this can be achieved—and less societal norms that need to be taken into account when the two do interact. In Regency variations, the options are fewer. Unless in exceptional circumstances, unmarried adults of the opposite sex are not expected to spend a lot of time together. And certainly not without the company of others.

And thus, having them marry often comes to play. Marriage opens up the possibilities of interaction on a new level. Suddenly, there’s no end to awkward dinners alone and walks in the park with no chaperone you can put your favourite couple through. Certainly, there are many other aspects that make for a good FMS, but when I thought about it, to me, this is the key—the romance is not in the marriage, but rather in maximizing the time our dear couple spends together while working towards their happily ever after.

And that happily ever after, of course, is the second key. When I said earlier I don’t like to see my favourite characters miserable, I might have lied a little—because of course, I secretly do. But only as long as I know that it all works out in the end!

What do you think? Are forced marriage stories your guilty pleasure too? Let me know in the comments—I’d love to hear your thoughts! And if you want, you can look me up on Facebook (@AnniinaSjoblomAuthor).

by Anniina Sjöblom

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one false step can involve a lady in endless ruin. On a rainy November day in 1811, Miss Elizabeth Bennet finds herself wondering why no one ever bothered to tell her about this. 

A few blithe steps on a morning walk, taken after a succession of rain, lead to unexpected events that irrevocably change the course of Elizabeth’s life, placing her fate in the hands of the haughty and conceited Mr. Darcy – the last man in the world she had ever thought to marry. 

As long winter days slowly pass, she writes letters to her loved ones, trying to come to terms with her new role as a wife and the Mistress of Pemberley. But can she ever learn to love her husband? Will he overcome his arrogant notions of rank and circumstance? 

And most importantly – will the shades of Pemberley ever recover from being thus polluted?

Buy: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA
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

Author Biography: Anniina Sjöblom lives in the beautiful but
cold Finland and works in university administration. She has an MA in History and enjoys a long-standing love affair with the works of Jane Austen.

Her previous works include titles such as Thirteen Days, Fix You and When He Comes Back, published in various online Austenesque forums under the pen name boogima. The new novella Thaw, expanded from the original version of the story first published online in 2011, is her first commercially published work.

When not writing, Anniina spends her time hanging out with friends, binge-watching TV dramas and re-reading her favourite books while the stack of new ones still waiting to be read piles higher on her nightstand. She can ride a unicycle, and once, after losing an unfortunate bet, ate a bowl of ice cream with green dish soap as dressing. She does not recommend attempting it to anyone.

Connect with Anniina

Blog Tour Schedule

Jan. 6 - Austenesque Reviews
Jan. 7 - Babblings of a Bookworm
Jan. 8 - Savvy Verse & Wit
Jan. 9 - My Jane Austen Book Club
Jan. 10 - My Vices & Weaknesses
Jan. 13 - From Pemberley to Milton
Jan. 14 - So Little Time...
Jan. 15 - Diary of an Eccentric

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Quills & Quartos Publishing is giving away one ebook of THAW per blog tour stop. All you need to do to enter the giveaway is comment on this blog post, and Quills & Quartos will randomly choose winners for the entire blog tour on January 22. So, make sure you join in the conversation!

Thank you for visiting here, Anniina! And yes, forced-marriage-scenarios are my favorite Pride and Prejudice stories! I can't wait to read your story! 

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

And thank you, Quills & Quartos Publishing, for offering one of my readers an e-copy of Thaw!

Friends, do you love forced-marriage-scenarios too? Let us know! And remember, to enter the giveaway you, have to leave a comment below! :)

Monday, January 13, 2020

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld ~ My Review

Hello, my friends! It's been a while since I posted a review. My goal this year is to post at least once a month. Having only written two last year, that's really upping my game!  I wrote most of this review last fall, and I'm finally getting around to posting it. 

by Curtis Sittenfeld

Publication Date: April 19th, 2016
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Pages: 492
Received: Purchased myself.
Rating: 4 stars

This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven't met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. 

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master's degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won't discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane's fortieth birthday fast approaches. 

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip's friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

My Review

I got a kick out of reading Eligible! This modern Pride and Prejudice retelling was entertaining to read! Just as Chip Bingley was on a reality TV show called “Eligible” (think The Bachelor), I felt the whole story was a little exaggerated like a reality TV show - in a fun way! 

First, I loved the quote by Mark Twain at the beginning of the book “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times.”  Now, I don’t know about Cincinnati, but this quote does set the stage for how behind-the-times Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are in their way of thinking.   

I was surprised how old the Bennett girls are - Jane is almost 40!! But I was super happy to see them all in this story. A lot of modern versions leave out a couple of sisters or make them cousins. Lydia, Kitty, and Mary are very selfish and mean-spirited. All three still live at home and don’t work. Although Mary is working on, I think, her third degree (studious as usual!). Liz and Jane live in NYC but are home because of Mr. Bennett’s health. 

Also, the very short chapters make for a quick read. The story carried me along! And the fact that I was reading along with my good friend, Meredith of Austenesque Reviews, made the story that much more entertaining! 

Altogether, I really enjoyed Eligible! It’s not a perfect retelling. There are a couple of things I would like to see played out differently, but I found it very amusing! And I’ll leave you with this little teaser - reality TV, hate sex*, and spiders, oh my! ;)

*not explicit, but PG-13

Buy: Amazon (paid link) • B&N
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

CURTIS SITTENFELD is the bestselling author of five novels: PrepThe Man of My DreamsAmerican WifeSisterland, and Eligible. Her first story collection, You Think It, I’ll Say It, was published in 2018 and picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. Her books have been selected by The New York TimesTimeEntertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into thirty languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York TimesTime, Vanity Fair, The AtlanticSlate, and on “This American Life.” A graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Curtis has interviewed Michelle Obama for Time; appeared as a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” CBS’s “Early Show,” and PBS’s Newshour; and twice been a strangely easy “Jeopardy!” answer. (taken from author's website)

Connect with Curtis Sittenfeld

Have you read Eligible? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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