Jun 192019

Hi readers! I hope you are enjoying a great week! I am so excited to be welcoming a brand new-to-me author to Austenesque Reviews today – Kelly Miller! I understand Kelly has been writing for a long time and I am so happy to see that she is debuting her first book this month – Death Takes a Holiday at PemberleyI’m not one to gravitate towards fantasy stories, but this one definitely has me intrigued! Poor Mr. Darcy escapes a near-death experience and now an angel of death is paying him a visit with lots of demands!

Pomfret Cakes

In Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley, an ailing, elderly tenant at Pemberley is shown to have a preference for confections referred to as Pomfret Cakes. The lady is quite appreciative when Mrs. Darcy thoughtfully brings her a jar of them. Some readers might be confused at the true identity of a Pomfret Cake. Is it a cake or is it candy? A Pomfret cake is actually a small, round, piece of liquorice candy that was first produced in Pontefract, Yorkshire, England. They have also been called Pomfrey cakes and more recently, Pontefract cakes. (Pomfret is an old Norman word for Pontefract.)

As far back as ancient Egypt, a sweet liquid liquorice mixture was favored by prophets and pharaohs, who believed it had healing properties. Beginning in 1612, Pomfret cakes were being produced and stamped with the castle lodge emblem of Pontefract, along with the initials “G S,” which is thought to stand for Sir George Savile, a prominent local land-owner. These Pomfret cakes were used as medicine for people and horses, In fact, the flavinoids in the liquorice root have been proven to be effective in reducing stomach discomfort.

In 1760, an apothecary named George Dunhill added sugar to the recipe of the Pomfret cakes. The Dunhill factory was to be the more enduring and well-known of the manufacturers of Pomfret cakes. However, the product did not become extensively used for confectionary until the 19th century. Today, the Dunhills factory is still in operation, but it was purchased by the candy company Haribo in 1972.

~ Excerpt from Death Takes A Holiday at Pemberley ~

Elizabeth was making her way towards them with Rory at her side. The collie burst forth with a series of excited barks as was his wont when within sight of the sheep. The vision of his wife brought an automatic smile to Darcy’s face. At her wave, he raised his arm and waved back.

As she drew near, his spine stiffened. His happiness at seeing her was eclipsed by Graham’s unsettling presence. Darcy made an effort to smile. “I should have known you would be back to see the lambs this morning.”

“They are so adorable, and they will be grown soon, so I want to see them as often as possible.” Elizabeth faced the blond gentleman. “Mr. Graham, I hope you like our little herd. In the last year, we have attempted to expand our flock. Their wool is extremely fine and a popular material for pelisses and stockings.”

A smile lit up the man’s face as he stepped nearer to her. “Mrs. Darcy, your sheep are impressive, but I would greatly appreciate it if you would call me Graham. Darcy and I are so close that calling you Mrs. Darcy and your calling me Mr. Graham would feel wrong.”

Her eyes widened.

Although he maintained his countenance, Darcy cringed at the man’s presumption. However, he held his tongue; certainly, a more grievous reason to challenge him would present itself before long.

Graham’s words flowed out with eloquence. “I realize it might not be considered the height of propriety here, but I beg your indulgence. You see, in the section of Calabria where I live, we use given names unless we do not like each other. I am quite a vain man, and I cannot bear the thought that my hostess, and wife of my dearest old friend, dislikes me.”

Elizabeth glanced at Darcy, and he fought to keep his unease from showing on his countenance. He was tempted to state his objection, yet it was a small enough thing. His instincts told him to cooperate with the man for now.

Her easy smile had returned. “I have no objection to your request, Graham. Please feel free to call me Elizabeth.”

Graham’s smile widened. “Thank you, Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth looked over the area. Her brow creased as she fixed her gaze upon the collie sitting on the road a fair distance away. “Rory, what are you doing there? Come here.”

Rory took halting steps towards her for a short distance. The dog stopped and sat again.

She turned to Darcy and pointed at the dog. “Do you see that? Is it not odd? Most of the time, Rory cannot wait to meet new people. I often need to restrain him from being too friendly and boisterous.”

“Yes, it is unusual behaviour for him.” Did Rory sense Graham’s uncanny nature?

Graham presented an ingratiating smile. “He may be too distracted by the sheep. A collie is a herding dog after all.”

Darcy examined his wife’s expression as her eyes focused upon Graham. Her sight remained riveted upon him as the sunlight illuminated the blond man’s striking blue eyes. Whatever she had been prepared to utter appeared to have died on her lips as she continued to stare at the man.

With a start, Elizabeth looked around herself as her composure returned though her cheeks blazed a deep red. She shook her head as if to clear it and addressed Darcy in a bright, cheery cadence. “Have you seen the lambs? Are they well?”

Avoiding her eyes, Darcy replied in a hollow tone. “Yes, they are all well, though I am certain you will want to get a closer look for yourself.” The pain in his chest was akin to having been smote with a dagger. He had always taken it for granted that he was considered handsome, having heard as much from family and friends all of his life—but not just from them. On countless occasions, ladies in Derbyshire or London whispered words of approval for his tall stature, striking, even features, and his thick, dark, curly hair—without bothering to wait until he was out of earshot. Yet unlike several vain men of his acquaintance, he never dwelt upon his appearance. Until Graham arrived, he had never encountered a man who so surpassed him in looks and stature. His wife’s reaction to Graham shook him to his core. It was unmistakable: she was attracted to this man, angel, or whatever he called himself.

Thank you so much for sharing such an enticing excerpt, Kelly!! I love that Elizabeth has a dog and I am very intrigued about Graham’s intentions…and if Elizabeth knows what he is…I am definitely looking forward to reading Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley. We wish you the best of luck with your debut release! 



Connect with Kelly

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~ Author Bio ~

Kelly Miller discovered her appreciation for Jane Austen late in life, and her love of writing even later.  It was the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice that made her take notice and want to read the actual book.  It was many years later that she discovered the world of JAFF.  After reading a slew of wildly inventive stories featuring the beloved characters created by Jane Austen, she was inspired to write one of her own.  Now, writing is one of her favorite pastimes.  When not writing, she spends her free time singing, playing the piano, and working out.  (Yes, like Elizabeth Bennet, she is an excellent walker.)  Kelly Miller lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, daughter and their many pets.



Meryton Press is generously giving away 8 ebook editions of Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley in conjunction with this blog tour!!  Woot woot!  


Commenting on this post and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!


 a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Meryton Press!
  • This giveaway ends June 25th!

Thank you to Janet Taylor, Meryton Press, and Kelly Miller for making this blog tour possible! Be sure to check out the rest of this tour!

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  77 Responses to “Excerpt + Giveaway with Author Kelly Miller!!!”


    What an intriguing excerpt! I really want to know what Elizabeth is thinking right now. And my heart aches for Darcy being in such an impossible situation. A struggling Darcy is always so compelling!


      Hi Brigid, later in the story, Elizabeth does reveal her something of her thoughts from a key moment in that scene. Thank you for visiting and commenting!


    I plan to read this book soon. Thanks for the chance to win. Great excerpt.


    I have heard good things about this one. It’s on my must-read list!


    I love fantasy so this is one I think I would enjoy.


    Dogs often sense the unusual. Enjoyed the excerpt and thank you for the giveaway.


    I love this scene because it shows how extraordinary Graham is and how human Darcy is. So rich and full of layers. Kelly Miller is a talented writer. I hope to have more great tidbits like this on the rest of the blog tour. Thanks, Kelly and Meredith!


      You and kind and generous, Suzan. I’m glad you enjoyed it. You are very welcome and thank you for the comment!


      I forgot to say that my great grandfather believed there were two kinds of candy: liquorice pipes and candied ginger. To this day, my mom loves any kind of ginger or liquorice candy because they remind her of him.


    This is an intriguing glimpse into the story and the main characters. Smart dog, too, but then I have a soft spot for collies. Can’t wait to read the book, Congrats, Kelly!


    I already have this book on my radar! Would love to win a copy. 🙂


    I already have this book on my radar and would love to win a copy!


    I get the impression that Rory doesn’t like Graham


    Awww, another excerpt and ending that leaves me sighing with all the emotions stirring! My heart hurts for Darcy! The pomfret cakes sound like something I might like to try! My mother certainly would have liked them! 🙂 Thanks, Kelly and Meredith for a great stop today.


      I’m glad you liked the excerpt and post. I am not fond of the taste of liquorice, but I know many people love it. Thank you so much for your comment!


      Is Graham wielding some sort of supernatural power over Elizabeth, to distract her from her husband for some reason? Is he trying to teach Darcy some sort of lesson, such as not taking his wife for granted? Oh, these excerpts are so tantalising! Thanks once more for sharing them with us, Kelly.


        Oops! Somehow my comment has posted in the wrong place. My mistake, I expect – tapping on the wrong part of the screen.


          Oh and I also meant to add a bit about the Pomfret cakes. Pontefract is only about an hour’s drive from where I live, but very little liquorice is grown there now, sadly. My husband is growing some in pots at home, but it takes several years before you can harvest the roots, from which the liquorice is extracted. And if you consume too many of those little “cakes”, they can have a laxative effect!


            Hi Anji, that is good to know about the liquorice! As to Graham and his supernatural powers, he is capable of unfairly influencing others. How, when, or if he uses this ability is something I shall not give away. 🙂 Thank you so much for visiting and commenting!


    Meredith, thank you so much for hosting me today! I really appreciate it!


    Fun excerpt and one I would enjoy reading. Thanks ladies for sharing here.


    Enjoyed the excerpt and am looking forward to reading your book.Congratulations on its release. Thank you for a chance to win a copy.


    Enjoyed the excerpt and am looking forward to reading the book. Congratulations on its release. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.


    Enjoyed the excerpt and am looking forward to reading your book.Congratulations on its release. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.


    Enjoyed the excerpt and am looking forward to reading the book. Congratulations on the release of your first book. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.


    jealous Darcy seems like the start of a fun story,


    I just finished your book and I enjoyed it. BTW, I really dislike licorice, always have!


    A wonderful excerpt! I have to wonder what Graham wants with Darcy. I’m intrigued.
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book!


    I have been reading this and loving it. I am at 60 percent. It is always great to find a unique Pride and Prejudice fan fiction. This one is not to be missed. I am so glad you took the step of publishing this. Anyway, I am enjoying it. The excerpt is intriguing. There is quite a nasty and bitter Lady Catherine who still seems determined to cause pain and unhappiness to Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage no matter how much their love and happiness with one another and their toddler son. This is quite a plot. It is always a pleasure to discover a new talented and creative writer.


    Yay, another already-married-story! Your excerpt of the accident on one of the other sites had me worried, and this one has me intrigued. Now on my wishlist 🙂


      Hi Zoe, other authors have done a great job of depicting the Darcy’s marriage and I enjoyed reading them, so I wanted to give it a shot. 🙂 Thank you for your comment and adding my story to your wishlist!


    This excerpt is full of intrigue and makes me anxious to read more. Please enter me in the giveaway–perhaps I’ll get lucky!


    It’s such a shame that Elizabeth is not as wary of Graham as Rory is. Maybe she will realise that she should trust Rory’s instinct.
    Poor Darcy, I hope he is soon reassured of Elizabeth’s love and he can find a way to get rid of Graham.
    I admit to loving Pontefract cakes and all things liquorice. As a child I used to chew for ages on liquorice root which looked like a stick and used to go all stringy!
    Thank you for sharing this post and excerpt.


      Hi Glynis, I know some people love liquorice, but I am more of a Red Vine girl. 🙂 You are very welcome. I thank you for visiting and leaving a comment!


        Wow Kelly! I’ve just finished reading your wonderful book. Thank you. I’m not sure if you get notified of Amazon UK reviews but I left a five star one on there.
        I admit your story moved me to tears in places and I also admit that Grahem turned out to be a good guy!
        Great first novel and good luck with your next!


          Hi Glynis,
          Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed the book! I truly appreciate the review! I do not know if I will see it in the US, but I hope so! 🙂


            It’s weird. I think you need to go on the UK site to see it. We can see .com reviews but I don’t think you can see UK reviews. I used to be able to post them on .com even though I buy from uk but not any more


            I went to the UK site so I could read it; it was lovely, I could not have hoped for a better review, and you are the first to review it in UK! Thanks again!


    What an intriguing scene! I am quite eager to continue reading this tale! 🙂

    Licorice is not a favorite of mine. I can eat Red Vines, but they are not very high on my list of favorite candies. I prefer caramels and chocolate, especially Lindor truffles! Yum!! 😛

    Thanks for sharing your excerpt here, Kelly! And thank you for hosting, Meredith!!

    Susanne 🙂


    I loved the excerpt and I am intrigued. I have read 5 star reviews at Goodreads and would love the chance to win a copy.


    Interesting learning about the Pomfrey Cakes and the connection to the story. Now, I’m curious what is on Elizabeth’s mind now. Thanks for the excerpt!


    I do love a good mystery, and I love Jane Austen. Pairing them together should be awesome! Hope to read this very soon. Thanks for the chance!


      Hi Christina, though not categorized as a mystery, this romantic fantasy should definitely keep you guessing until the end. Best of luck to you, and thank you for the comment!


    This was amazing. I hope Elizabeth had other thoughts than Darcy thinks. I look forward to seeing just what is going on with the dog and with Elizabeth. Thanks to Meredith for hosting [say hello to your Mr. Bingley] and thanks to Kelly for the generous giveaway.


    Something happened to my previous comment. Well… I certainly enjoyed this excerpt. Man, Darcy is a bit jealous and that is unusual to find a man MORE handsome than our Darcy. This is a bit of a bitter pill to swallow for him. Thanks to Meredith for hosting [say hello to your Mr. Bingley] and thanks to Kelly for the generous giveaway.


    Congratulations!! I am intrigue with Graham and would like to know more about EB’s interest in him. Poor Darcy.


    Thank you also for the chance to win this book


    Great excerpt…this is on my TBR list….thanks for the giveaway….


    My husband loves licorice…me not so much. Interesting tidbit though! I am really curious what was running through Elizabeth’s mind as she was staring at Graham. I’m sure she blushed for looking so long, but I’m thinking it wasn’t because he was handsome. She senses something not right on several fronts. But I will just have to read this unique story to find out!


      Hi Carole, I think licorice is one of those things you either love or hate. I’m glad the excerpt stirred your curiosity. 🙂 Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment.


    Lovely to read another excerpt of your book, Kelly. It is truly intriguing and I’m interested to find out what happens next. Thanks for the giveaway and thanks to Meredith for hosting.


    Thank you for sharing your fascinating knowledge of pomfret cake, Kelly. Before reading your guest post, I have no idea what this is. indeed we can learn many new things when reading, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction books. The excerpt is entertaining too. I sense trouble might be on the horizon if Graham continues to stay at Pemberley.

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