Friday, July 2, 2021

Mistress of Netherfield by Julia Winter ~ Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! Today, Julia Winter is here with an excerpt of her new book Mistress of Netherfield! There's also a giveaway going on as part of the blog tour! Details at the bottom of the page.

Mistress of Pemberley
A Pride and Prejudice Variation
by Julie Winter

About The Book 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that on escaping an unhappy marriage, a young widow will be delighted to remove to the dower house and lease the marital abode to a single man in possession of a good fortune, provided he looks elsewhere to fulfil his want of a wife. 

     Five years after being forced into an unwanted marriage at the age of sixteen, and freed six months later by the death of her abusive husband, Elizabeth Grayson (née Bennet) has finally found a measure of peace. The inheritor of her husband’s estate, Netherfield Park, Elizabeth is now a wealthy young widow, independent and self-reliant. With an eye always on improving her four sisters’ woefully small dowries and providing for her mother, who will be homeless when her father dies, Elizabeth is pleased to lease out Netherfield to the Bingley family, making her home in the dower house in Meryton and vowing that she will never remarry. 

     Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire is rich and well connected, but reserved in company with anybody outside the very few he counts as friends. Towards those friends, he is loyal and steadfast, the staunchest of supporters. So when a young man comes to him with a tale of the clandestine marriage and mysterious death of Darcy’s old schoolfriend, James Grayson, and begs Darcy’s help to investigate the widow’s role, Darcy agrees. Visiting Charles Bingley, the new tenant of Netherfield, Darcy is very soon torn between his loyalty to his dead friend, and his burgeoning attraction to the widow. 

     Throw two unprincipled rogues and an elopement into the confines of Meryton, and how will Darcy’s dilemma over Elizabeth ever be resolved? And is she willing to put aside her misgivings, and trust again? 

 (British English spelling and grammar used throughout).

A note from Julia.

Not everything written in the first draft of a books makes it through subsequent edits. There are a host of reasons for cutting something: it doesn’t add anything to the plot or characterisation, it’s from a self-indulgent author having fun, it slows the pace, or it’s made redundant by plotting changes later. Here’s a cut scene that I decided could be conveyed with much more economy, something of a consideration in a book the size of Mistress!


     With a murmured excuse to Charlotte, Elizabeth rose and went out into the garden, seeking her two youngest sisters. She drew them to one side away from their companions, though both complained at the curtailment of their merriment.

     “I will only take a moment,” Elizabeth said, choosing to soothe rather than inflict the acerbic correction she longed to apply to the two heedless girls. “I wish to speak to you about the regiment coming to town next month.”

     Lydia clasped her hands at her bosom again, and sighed. “Oh. Redcoats.”

     “Yes. Indeed. When they arrive you must remember that you are not to speak to strangers of Netherfield or that I have any connection to it. You must promise that you will remember.”

     “No one cares about that,” said Lydia, while Kitty nodded.

     “No one cares here, where everyone knows about it. But I do not choose to have strangers know so much about me.”

     “La! What difference can it make?”

     “Oh well.” Elizabeth affected a careless indifference. “If you wish me to take every red-coated conquest from you, that is entirely your decision.”

     Kitty stared. “Whatever do you mean?”

     But Lydia narrowed her eyes, and tapped her foot.

     “What I mean is… sisters, have you never considered what sort of man becomes a militia officer?” At their blank expressions, Elizabeth hid a frown and a sigh, while wishing their mother would take a more sensible approach with her younger daughters. With all her daughters. “Well, take Sammy Goulding.”

     “I would much rather not!” Lydia snorted most inelegantly. “Sammy has not two ha’pennies to rub together!”

     “That is my point, Lyddie. Sammy is the Goulding’s third son, and he has no prospect of an inheritance. He is just the sort of man who will join the army or the militia, because there he will have an excellent opportunity to make a living for himself. Such men will always have an eye to marrying a lady who has some property of her own. They cannot afford to do otherwise. If you boast that your sister has such a property… well, I dare say your beaus will think as much of their pocket books as their hearts.”

     “You would never steal them!” Kitty stated. “You are too old!”

     “I am barely one and twenty!” Elizabeth choked down her offence. “No, I think you will find that your elder sister with a property is a fine, attractive proposition for a young officer. They will be as bees around a flower.”

     “You will not steal the officers. You are far too prim and proper.” But Lydia’s eyes were still narrow with suspicion.

     “But you cannot be sure they will not wish to be stolen, can you?” Elizabeth said, softly.

     They stared at each other until Lydia huffed out a breath and nodded. “We will not say anything, will we, Kit?”

     “No, indeed. You have had your turn, Lizzy.”

     “Excellent. Then we are agreed. You will say nothing, and I will be indifferent to the officers.”

     The girls nodded. Kitty was already looking longingly to where the other girls were taking turns on the swing set under the old oak tree on the lawn, and preening and flirting before their audience of similarly-aged young men, including the despised Sammy.

     Elizabeth smiled. “Thank you. Now, go and join your friends.”

     They needed no further encouragement. They ran across the lawn with more haste than decorum to push into the crowd of young ladies exhibiting before the young men, quite the two flightiest moths fluttering around the masculine candles.

     Elizabeth could only hope they had the sense not to be burned.

Buy Links 

Amazon US (paid link) • Amazon UKBooks2Read
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

Once Julia was a communications specialist with several UK government departments. These days she's thankfully free of all that, and writing full time. She lives in the depths of the Nottinghamshire countryside with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo, who’s supported by Mavis the Assistant Editor, a Yorkie-Bichon cross with a bark several times bigger than she is but with no opinion whatsoever on the placement of semi-colons.

Connect with Julia

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

Between 21 June and 3 July, enter this Rafflecoptor for the chance of a first prize of a copy of Mr Darcy’s Hunsford letter (complete with seal, and tied in red ribbon) and a copy of the eBook, or one of two second prizes of an eCopy of Mistress of Netherfield.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Julia Winter for visiting with us and sharing a deleted scene from her new book, Mistress of Netherfield!

So, friends, let us know your thoughts! Your comments are always welcome!


  1. Hi Candy

    Thank you so much for hosting me here today! Your support is much appreciated.


  2. Oh ho! Elizabeth has her hands full with those two. Sounds like a good one.

  3. Sophia Rose: She certainly does!


  4. Wonderful excerpt! Can't wait to read this!


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