Aug 102018

Happy Friday, readers! Need help starting the weekend off right? How about an enticing excerpt from Ann Galvia’s newest release What’s Past is Prologue (such an Elizabeth Bennet kind of mantra, isn’t it?) Which sounds like an interesting Pride and Prejudice variation. I’m looking forward to reading it especially as Side by Side, Apart was one of my favorite reads of 2017!!! Ann is here today to share an enticing excerpt from her new story! We hope you enjoy!

To set the scene: Elizabeth has learned of a painting of Pemberley that hangs in the gallery at Rosings. She has asked Darcy to show it to her as a bonding activity.

“I must warn you, it is not any grand work. It is an amateur effort painted by my mother soon after her marriage.”

Elizabeth’s interest had already been secured, but this charming origin caused it to grow. “Even better! As a new bride myself, I hope I can understand your mother’s feelings about her home.”

Darcy led her to the gallery where the likenesses of Sir Lewis de Bourgh’s antecedents hung intermixed with landscapes and pieces the family had purchased.

The painting they came to see was done in watercolours. The great house was represented by a muddy brown rectangle, rising on what Elizabeth supposed was intended to be a ridge. It was difficult to say. A thin blue line was probably a river. Most of the canvas was green.

“Is it very like?”

Darcy’s critical eyes swept over the painting. He declared it a fair enough representation, though he quickly added, “My mother was not a skilled artist, so it is not very like. Yet I do not believe your imagination could be led far astray by this painting.”

“I expect I shall see more of your mother’s work in the gallery at Pemberley?”

Darcy nodded.

“I shall look forward to getting to know her through her art.” Elizabeth stared at the painting. Her own parents, she hoped, would be part of her life for years to come. Darcy had the misfortune of losing both of his already. Was it possible to get to know a person who had died by looking at their paintings? “Why does this piece hang at Rosings?”

“It was a gift.”

Elizabeth raised her eyebrows. “A painting of her own house seems like an odd choice of gift.”

“My mother and Lady Catherine were very close. My grandfather felt Lady Catherine was too young at the time of my parents’ marriage to leave home to live with her sister, which, if I am not mistaken, she took very hard. The painting was a gesture.”

“For Lady Catherine to feel she was with her sister even when they were apart—such a touching gesture.” Looking at the pigments and the way they seemed to run into one another, Elizabeth decided one could learn about another through their painting—perhaps not through their skill or lack thereof but in what they painted and what they chose to do with it. “I think Lady Catherine must have relied very much on your mother.”

His lips curled incredulously. “Why do you say that?”

“Such disbelief! Are you shocked I am so perceptive or shocked I could be so wrong?”

“You cannot shock me anymore.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Ah, you have been shocked enough to have grown numb. Well, as my capacity for error cannot surprise you—and you were surprised, do not deny it—I must be correct.”

“You will have to enlighten me.”

“Well, Lady Anne was the older sister—probably much older if your grandfather insisted she stay home when so many other sisters go to help with the transition of maiden to wife. The much older sisters are often expected to help care for the younger children. Am I correct so far?”


“Lady Anne painted this after her marriage, so she took time away from her duties to do something for her sister, which shows, I think, a great deal of affection for her. And that is not the only proof of their affection, for they both wished you would marry Miss de Bourgh. That speaks of sisterly devotion as well.”

Darcy refuted nothing but pointed out, “You are arguing more for affection than reliance.”

“I was not finished!”

“Pray, continue.”

“You and Georgiana are very generous towards Lady Catherine. She relies on you. She always intended to rely on you. What you tolerate from her, I think you struggle to tolerate, and you certainly would not tolerate it from anyone else. Georgiana is so desperate not to disappoint her that she will not come out of her bedroom because honesty requires letting Lady Catherine down. There are no men in Lady Catherine’s life to supervise or educate her, and there have not been any for a very long time. Even her own brother you do not wish to involve in her affairs! I am sure the only person she ever relied on was her older sister, and with Lady Anne gone, those responsibilities have fallen to you and your sister. She does not fear your anger because she knows you would never dishonour the memory of your mother by forsaking her.”

Elizabeth clasped her hands behind her back and rocked on her toes, beaming with pride. She had been doing little more than thinking aloud, but she felt she had done rather well. “Is my portrait very like her?”

“It is,” Darcy replied. “I knew you were a student of character among the living, but I had no notion that you studied the character of the dead as well.”

“I do not paint, but I do enjoy sketching, in a manner of speaking.”

“Our daughters—will they paint?

“I shall ask them when I meet them. Be patient; it will be many years before they choose their answer.”

Ooh! It is interesting to hear that Lady Anne is the older sister, and not Lady Catherine in this variation. I wonder how that effected the dynamic of their relationship. Speaking of dynamic, Darcy and Elizabeth seem to have an interesting one as well…playful and agreeable, but not exactly loving.


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Giveaway Time!

Meryton Press is generously giving away 8 ebook editions of What’s Past is Prologue in conjunction with this blog tour!!  Woot woot!  



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  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Meryton Press!
  • This giveaway ends August 17th!

Thank you to Claudine Pepe, Meryton Press, and Ann Galvia for making this blog tour possible! Click the image above to check out the rest of the tour!

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  52 Responses to “Excerpt + Giveaway with Author Ann Galvia!!!”


    I love that they mentioned daughters in their conversation.


    Great excerpt, I loved Elizabeth’s description of the Darcy siblings relationship with Lady Catherine. And it’s an interesting twist with Lady Anne as an older sister.


      Glad you enjoyed it! Oddly enough, I have always assumed Lady Anne to be the older of the two. I’m surprised to see this being called a twist!


    I think this is the first time I’ve read of Lady Catherine being younger than her sister. I enjoyed this excerpt as Elizabeth attempts to work out the family she has married into and their discussion ‘re their children.
    I am definitely looking forward to reading this.


      The first time my now brother-in-law attended a family function when he and my sister were just dating, we wrote out a family tree and explained who everyone was, what they were like, how they were related to us and what our relationship with them was.

      Darcy and Georgiana neglected to do this for Elizabeth before she came here. ;p


    Anne being the older does change the dynamics some what


    I enjoyed the excerpt and am looking forward to reading the book. Nice, easy banter between Darcy and Elizabeth. Thank you for the giveaway!


    Lovey excerpt…leaves me wanting to read more…Like the original idea of Lady Anne being the oldest sister…Definitely going on my TBR list.


    The character development for Lady Catherine in that short excerpt was superb, as well as the interaction between the young married couple in what’s essentially a forced marriage. Thanks so much for sharing it, Ann. Meredith, I hope you enjoy this book as much as you did “Side by Side, Apart,” which is also a favourite of mine.


    Oh, delightful post. Thanks Meredith for hosting and to our author for the generous giveaway. Good luck to those in the drawing. And a special hello to Mr. Bingley.


    Maybe Lady C is subdued slightly now that she is the second daughter. She may not feel bossing around Darcy. Hope E realizes her for D earlier part of the story.

    Thank you for this chance of winning the book.


      Darcy said she’s younger than Lady Anne. He didn’t say she was *second.* But I think anyone can be bossy regardless of birth order, and especially when they are dealing with a generation of young upstarts that think they know best and are making bad decisions.


    Thanks for sharing your review! It’s on my TBR list!


    Lovely excerpt! Elizabeth can be very perceptive. Hopefully that will bode well for her marriage to Mr. Darcy.
    Thanks for the giveaway! I’d love to win a copy!


    I did read and enjoy this book.


    I enjoyed the insight Elizabeth had regarding Lady Anne and Lady Catherine. I wonder if Lady Catherine is afraid of losing Darcy to his own wife and family and that he will not have time for her and Anne? Looking forward to reading this book!


    Hmm…this story does present Darcy’s and Lizzy’s relationship in a different light. Darcy seems to not care about her all that much! I hope I’m wrong. I LOVE reading about the true love between the two. Of course, Lizzy is her usual cheerful self. I like being able to depend on that too! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!


      You may prefer the excerpt posted today at My Love for Jane Austen. Darcy depends on Lizzy being her cheerful self, too!


    Thanks for this post, Meredith and Ann! What a sensitive and insightful excerpt. I loved ‘Side by side, apart’ and looking forward to another book by Ann Galvia.


    What a lovely piece of dialogue between these two! Amazing insight from Elizabeth into Darcy’s mother’s character. It puts Lady C’s character into a totally new perspective.


      At the end of the day, I think this is a book that’s more about family than anything else, and how the dynamics of extended family can be surprisingly complicated.


    Elizabeth never disappoints!


    A touching and memorable scene for our dear couple, Meredith. Elizabeth has such an astute understanding of human behaviour which I find fascinating. Regarding Lady Catherine, I would not have thought that she is younger than Lady Anne Darcy. I mean with her domineering and dominating ways, she most likely would have been the elder daughter. But it could work either way I suppose.


      I don’t know that it is fair to attribute Lady Catherine’s domineering ways to birth order. Austen doesn’t give us any glimpse into her relationships with Lady Anne or her brother the Earl. The people she tries to dominate are all either significantly less powerful than herself (Collins, Elizabeth, the cottagers that live in the neighborhood) or younger (Darcy, Anne, Col. Fitzwilliam). That kind of bullying behavior could just as easily be someone who used to be at the bottom and is flexing their muscles now that they have power.


      It is touching, Sylvia, and I’m eager to see more of their relationship journey together. I so admire Elizabeth’s skills at perception!


    I love this scene! I’d say that for once, Elizabeth appears to have correctly interpreted characters and relationships. Perhaps it is easier to do through a painting than through personal contact? Perhaps it’s because there isn’t (couldn’t have been) a personal interaction between her and Lady Anne that might have biased her opinions (there was another excerpt earlier in the blog tour where Darcy said his parents likely wouldn’t have approved of Elizabeth)? Or perhaps she is maturing (if I remember correctly this is a main theme of the book)…
    Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway!


      Even a broken clock is right twice a day!

      Elizabeth’s problems are generally caused by misinterpretation of other people’s feelings and motives, and (what’s probably a much larger issue) a failure to recognize the signs that things are not what she thinks they are. This scene is all about showing that she does have the tools to do better. She’s a smart person. She *can* synthesize information. She *is* empathetic and can understand others. She just has to figure out when she’s misapplying it. Which is something I think will always be an uphill battle for her, because it’s impossible to course correct if you don’t *realize* you are wrong.


    Even if I hadn’t read the excerpt, I would have wanted to read Ann’s new book based on how much a loved ‘Side by Side, Apart’ so much. But the excerpt does definitely make me want to read this new one, and even more so after reading all your responses to comments thus far, giving us more insight into your version of Our Dear Girl. Best of luck Ms. Galvia.


    Thanks, Meredith and Ann. I enjoyed this excerpt. This conversation between Darcy and Elizabeth was neat to read. I liked that Lady Catherine was younger than Lady Anne. That is an interesting concept to me as I have always thought of her as being the older of the two. I’m not sure why, either. Elizabeth did a good job sketching character and learning about Lady Anne through her painting. Darcy’s comment about their daughters was priceless. It said much with only five words. Loved it!

    I thought I had already posted but couldn’t find my post so decided to try again! 🙂


      It just goes to show that reading is transformative. We all read the same text of Pride and Prejudice, yet we make different assumptions. I always thought Lady Catherine must be the younger of the two, because I assume Anne d B must be younger than Darcy if so many people are assuming he’s going to marry her.


    I thoroughly enjoyed this excerpt — thank you, Meredith and Ann! I appreciated getting more of a feel for Lady Anne and as always, love the exchanges with Elizabeth and Darcy.

    Congrats, Ann, on your new release! I must add this and “Side by Side, Apart” to my wish list.


    Oh wow….Those are very interesting twists. The Darcy’s being allowed into Rosings Park as newlyweds is one. Lizzie did say she was a new bride as they were touring. Apparently she had not even seen Pemberley before the wedding either (she asked him if the painting closely resembled the original) which means the summer holiday through Derbyshire with the Gardiners didn’t happen either. And of course, in this version Lady Anne was older than Lady Catherine and there were more sisters too previously not mentioned in the original text.
    I would like to read this story. Will this book be released on Audible later as well?


      Indeed, Elizabeth has not been to Pemberley! And there were more than just two sisters! You have quite the eye for ferreting out the details! When I chose this excerpt, I wondered if it implied the existence of additional Fitzwilliam siblings.

      As far as I know, there are no plans for an audio release, though I suppose one never knows what the publisher may decide to do in the future.

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