Jan 142019
 

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you enjoyed a lovely and restful weekend! I’m excited to welcome a debut author to Austenesque Reviews today! If you haven’t already met her, Jayne Bamber is a new Austenesque author that just released a Pride and Prejudice variation – Happier in Her Friends Than Relations, which also includes some characters from Sense and Sensibility! Check out Jayne’s post where she shares the surprising fate for one of Jane Austen’s characters…

Use of Deadly Farce

By Jayne Bamber, Author of Happier in Her Friends Than Relations

I’m so excited to be here, and tell you all about my new release, Happier in Her Friends Than Relations. I should warn you, though, that this post will contain a few spoilers about the book, for those of you that haven’t read it yet. On the other hand, the spoilers are about an event that I think a lot of Austen fans would really enjoy, and there are boiled potatoes involved….

The excerpt I’ll be sharing with you today is one of my favorite scenes in the book, and it almost didn’t make it into the story because the whole time I was writing it, I was laughing maniacally and growing increasingly certain this chapter was entirely too preposterous for the serious, angsty book I wanted to write. As some of you may know, I was posting chapters weekly on A Happy Assembly as well as Archive of Our Own, and this particular chapter incited far more comments than I usually received, most of which were enthusiastic about the events that took place in this part of the story.

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Jan 092019
 

Hi Friends! I am so excited to welcome back Abigail Reynolds to Austenesque Reviews today for several reasons…one being because she is Abigail Reynolds – and one of the first Austenesque authors I read that wrote variations (which completely blew my mind!). But the other reasons are because I know her newest book Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment is a little out of the norm for this genre and I’m eager to learn more about it! And because this new release of hers was quite popular in the Readers’ Choice Vote for 2018 Favorite Austenesque reads! Woot! Congrats, Abigail! I’m so happy readers are loving your new story! Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

How did I come to write a Pride & Prejudice variation with fantasy elements? Well, the explanation starts with a short excerpt from my previous book, Conceit & Concealment, of Darcy and Elizabeth meeting for the first time in Regency England occupied by Napoleon’s troops:

~~~

Darcy had loved springtime when his mother was alive. She had taught him the names of each spring flower in the Pemberley gardens, encouraged him to watch each stage of leaves unfolding, made wishes with him over the star-shaped wood anemones, and taken him on adventures in Pemberley’s magical bluebell wood. She had died in the springtime, too, just as the bluebells were fading away to nothing. And then there had been the terrible spring of 1805 which had cost him his father and more relatives and friends than he could count, as well as his freedom and his country.

Spring had once been a time of beginnings for him. Now it made him think of all he had lost.

At Pemberley he could gallop for miles over the empty moors, but Hertfordshire was more settled. He spotted a copse in the distance and made for that, hoping to find some semblance of untamed nature there. He skirted the edge until he found a path leading into it, but before he even entered the copse, a familiar floral scent transported him into the past. It was a bluebell wood.

On impulse, he dismounted and tied Hurricane’s reins to a tree. Ahead of him bluebells swayed in the dappled sunlight. He strode towards them as their almost otherworldly scent enveloped him, raising goose bumps on his skin. The spring green of the wood was the perfect frame for the sapphire flowers. Magic, his mother had called the bluebells.

His pace slowed. How long had it been since his last visit to a bluebell wood? He could not even recall. The bluebells seemed to dance around him with a ripple of laughter. But no – that was human laughter, and it was followed by a squeal of pain.

“That hurt, young man! Or young woman, if that is what you are.” A woman’s musical voice seemed part of the magic, drawing him towards it with a seductive enchantment of its own. Where was she, the woman of the rippling laughter? He searched for a side path through the flowers. His mother had taught him never to trample bluebells.

There it was, so faint it could barely be called a path, just grass dividing a sea of bluebells. Carefully he stepped along it.

He could see her now. Tendrils of dark chestnut hair escaped their binding to riot across her long neck in exuberant curls. She sat on the ground, her legs curled up beside her, and she was surrounded by… puppies? Yes, puppies, crawling over her lap, nipping at her skirts, and rolling over for petting. She picked one up and kissed its head. Fortunate puppy!

His lips curved. A poet would call her Titania, queen of the fairies, in the flesh. More woodland magic.

She must have heard his footsteps, or perhaps the yapping of a puppy alerted her, because she looked back over her shoulder. At the sight of him, she twisted around and scrambled backwards.

In the dappled sunlight, his Titania’s face was alive with energy, full of fine sparkling eyes and kissable lips.

And she was pointing a fully cocked pistol at him.

He took a step back and opened his hands to show they were empty. “I mean you no harm.” The sound of his own voice startled him.

“English?” Her voice was sterner now.

“Yes. I am visiting from Derbyshire. Or, if you prefer, I will say it – Theophilus Thistle, the thistle sifter, sifted a sieve full of unsifted thistles, thrusting three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.” It was the tongue twister no Frenchman could pronounce, no matter how accentless his English might be.

Her lips quirked, but she kept the pistol leveled at him. “Well, Theophilus Thistle from Derbyshire, why are you following me?”

“Because I was walking through an enchanted bluebell wood when I heard the dulcet tones of Titania, queen of the fairies, which bespells any mortal man.” He swept her a full court bow.

She chuckled. “Lovely words, but perhaps you should avoid sudden movements when I have a pistol trained on you.”

~~~

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Jan 072019
 

Pre-Teen Problems and Prejudice

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Author

TYPE OF NOVEL: Modern-day Pride and Prejudice, Novella

SYNOPSIS: Will Darcy needs help. His sister, Gianna, at the age of twelve, is on the brink of adolescence and experiencing all the lovely changes that go along with it. With no mother or female relations close by, Will feels ill-equipped to help Gianna through these uncharted waters. He turns to recent acquaintance, Elizabeth Bennet, who he knows has many younger sisters, to seek her help with Gianna while she is with him this summer. Little does he know that Elizabeth can’t stand him and thinks he is the most arrogant and unpleasant man of her acquaintance! Continue reading »