Thursday, January 13, 2022

Much Ado in Meryton by Riana Everly ~ Guest Post & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! Today I have the lovely Riana Everly visiting with an interview with Elizabeth Bennet and a delightful excerpt from her new book, Much Ado in Meryton

Be sure to read to the bottom of the page for giveaway details!

Happy New Year to everyone! I wish you all the very best for 2022. And thank you for hosting me here today and letting me talk a bit about my new book, Much Ado in Meryton.

As you might guess from the title, this is a mash-up of sort of Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare’s blistering play, Much Ado About Nothing. There are two main storylines in the play, and one of those involves the “merry war” between main characters Beatrice and Benedick. They have a past and cannot stop trading barbs and insults, until their friends step in to settle matters.

So what does this have to do with Elizabeth and Darcy? I’ll let Elizabeth Bennet herself tell you all about it.

~ * ~

Riana Everly: Thank you, Miss Bennet, for joining us today. I
always enjoy our conversations.

Elizabeth Bennet: Please, call me Lizzy. We are old friends, after all. 

Riana: I hear your first encounter with Mr. Darcy was not entirely amiable.

Lizzy: (lets out a huff) No, it was not at all amiable. The man is quite dreadful. Why, at a ball full of ladies with not enough gentlemen to dance with us all, he quite refused to even look at me. I should not have minded, but then he had the nerve to offer a most cruel insult, calling me tolerable, at best. Can you imagine it?

Riana: That is quite upsetting. And how did you respond?

Lizzy: I remarked, as I walked past him, that I did not mind at all for I only dance with gentleman. And he was no gentleman!

Riana: Oh. I see. He must not have been too pleased. Did he improve upon subsequent meetings?

Lizzy: No, indeed! He grew worse and worse. He was rude and insufferable, and I dare say he had fewer wits about him than a fish has hair. Why, he could not find a single sensible thought were it on a map presented right to him, and with an arrow pointing directly to it. You cannot imagine the things he called me: Harpy, termagant, virago! Can you imagine? These words directed at me? The horror of it!

Riana: Say it is not so! And he offered these insults without provocation?

Lizzy: Well… perhaps I was not always as temperate in my own comments as I might have been. But others have always enjoyed my particular wit. Why should he not? The only possible is that he has more earwax than brain in his head. Oh, that it were not so handsome.

Riana: He is quite pleasant to look at.

Lizzy: (sighs) Alas, I must agree with you. If only the person inside matched the outside. Then he would be the perfect man.

~ * ~

Here is an excerpt from Much Ado in Meryton. I hope you enjoy it.

* * * 

Elizabeth and Charlotte were sitting on the settee with Miss Margaret Robinson, talking about some diverting, if quite inconsequential matter, when Mr. Bingley and his party arrived. All rose and a series of bows and curtseys ensued, with one remarkable exception. Mr. Darcy most definitely did not offer any manner of salutation to Elizabeth. He bowed to Charlotte and muttered appropriate words to Miss Margaret, and quite ignored her very existence. It was the Cut Direct if ever she had seen one. She gaped after him as he walked on.

“I was correct, it seems,” she observed for any ears that happened to be near, “when I presumed Mr. Darcy to be no gentleman.” 

To which, Mr. Darcy surprised her by turning to speak directly to her for the first time since the night of the assembly. “How fortunate then, Miss Bennet, that you are no lady to care.” He turned his back and began to move into the room.

What? The nerve of that man! How dare he insult her in such a way? She had, a small voice in her head insisted, started this particular skirmish, and ought to ignore his taunts and show herself to be the superior creature. But her pride would not listen to this quiet voice of reason and her mouth began moving almost before her brain agreed with it.

“How happy that his purse is full then, for the man himself is an empty pocket.” There. That should put him in his place. She ignored Charlotte’s gasp of horror at her side, as well as the tinge of guilt that nagged at her conscience.

He turned once more and glared at her, eyes narrow and jaw tight. “How happy that we are so distant from Egypt, lady, for your tongue is more venomous than all the asps in the Nile.”

“Darcy!” Mr. Bingley was at his side in a trice. “What are you doing? This is most unlike you. I know you have a hot temper at times, but I have never heard you speak to a lady like this. You were the one who told me always to take the higher path. What is this? Come away at once.”

Darcy sniffed and stuck his nose up into the air and walked away without another word, Bingley hissing into his ear. That man’s back was his best side, to be sure! If only his face weren’t so handsome.

Much Ado in Meryton
Pride and Prejudice meets Shakespeare
by Riana Everly

A tale of friends, enemies, and the power of love. 

“Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.” – Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, 5.2 

Mr. Darcy’s arrival in Meryton raises many people’s disdain, and Elizabeth Bennet’s ire. An insult at a dance is returned in full measure, and soon the two find themselves in a merry war of words, trading barbs at every encounter. Matters go from bad to worse when Elizabeth and Darcy find themselves living under the same roof for a time, and their constant bickering frays everybody’s nerves. 

Will a clever scheme by their family and friends bring some peace to Netherfield’s halls? And what of Mr. Wickham, whose charming presence is not quite so welcome by some members of the party? When the games get out of hand and nastier elements come into play, will everybody’s chances for happiness be ruined forever? 

This clever mash-up of Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing casts our beloved characters in fresh light, uniting Jane Austen’s keen insight into love and character, and Shakespeare’s biting wit.
Buy: Amazon (paid link) • books2read
Add to Goodreads

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

About the Author

Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11, and has never looked back. 

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

Riana’s novels have received several awards and citations as favourite reads of the year, including two Jane Austen Awards and a Discovering Diamonds review.

Connect with Riana

She loves meeting readers!

Blog Tour Schedule 

January 11 ~ A Novel Sentiment
January 13 ~ So Little Time… ~ you are here!
January 14 ~ Austen Authors
January 27 ~ Austenesque Reviews

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Riana Everly is giving away five eBooks of Much Ado in Meryton for this blog tour! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below. If you have trouble entering with the Rafflecopter, you can email her directly with you name and preferred email address and she will add you manually to the list for the draw. Her email address is 

 Open internationally!

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Riana, thank you so much for stopping by! I enjoyed this interview and excerpt! Sounds like a fun read!

Dear readers, what do you think? Does Much Ado in Meryton sound like something you’d like to read?


  1. Oh my, the fur is sure to fly in this one. :)

    1. Yes, the fur does fly for a while! But never fear, they discover the good in each other before too long. I hope you enjoy the book.

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Riana! It's always a pleasure to have you here!

  3. I love both Much Ado about Nothing (since watching the adaptation of it with Emma Thompson) and of course P&P, so to have them combined is like "Wow!":) And although it seems unusual, but at the same time very refreshing and intriguing to see such open "merry war" between lizzy and Darcy. Thank you very much for the excerpt and giveaway!

    1. Isn't that movie lovely? The cinematography, the music, the acting... It's all just about perfect. There is actually some thought that Jane Austen was inspired by Much Ado when she wrote P&P. I hope you enjoy the book!

  4. +Oh, I really needed the giggles today in reading the excerpt. Thanks! Looking forward to reading the book.

    1. If I made you smile, then I am very happy! They certainly don't get off on the right foot, and I had a great deal of fun researching Shakespearean insults for inspiration. I hope you love the book.

  5. Thank you for the excerpt. Enjoying the word fight between these two

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Lizzy has a way with words, but they do see eye-to-eye eventually!


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