Wednesday, 18 January 2017

"The Best Part of Love" by Amy D'Orazio Blog Tour ~ Vignette & Giveaway!

Hello Fellow Readers, Happy NEW YEAR!

I am delighted to welcome Amy D'Orazio author of "The Best Part of Love", for my first blog post of the year!

Welcome Amy, it is a pleasure to have you here. I have enjoyed following the blog tour thus far, each blog stop has only increased my interest further and had my kindle screaming "read me" every time I glanced in its direction!!. Especially when you read vignettes, like the one you are kindly sharing with us today!

Book Blurb:
Avoiding the truth does not change the truth

When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Miss Elizabeth Bennet he has no idea that she — that indeed, the entire town of Meryton — harbors a secret. Miss Elizabeth, a simply country girl from a humble estate, manages to capture first his fascination and then his heart without him ever knowing the truth of her past.

When she meets Darcy, Elizabeth had spent the two years prior hiding from the men who killed her beloved first husband. Feeling herself destroyed by love, Elizabeth has no intention of loving again, certainly not with the haughty man who could do nothing but offend her in Hertfordshire.

In London, Elizabeth surprises herself by finding in Darcy a friend; even greater is her surprise to find herself gradually coming to love him and even accepting an offer of marriage from him. Newly married, they are just beginning to settle into their happily ever after when a condemned man on his way to the gallows divulges a shattering truth, a secret that contradicts everything Elizabeth thought she knew about the tragic circumstances of her first marriage. Against the advice of everyone who loves her, including Darcy, Elizabeth begins to ask questions. But will what they learn destroy them both?

Vignette ~

We meet again, Lady Courtenay. Mr. Darcy bowed. “May I have the honour of—”
Joining me?Elizabeth gave him a sidelong glance. I could not dare refuse you, sir.
He drew back. I beg your pardon?
Elizabeth repressed her grin wondering if it was cruel of her to enjoy teasing him so, particularly when, ofttimes, he seemed rather bewildered by what to make of it. 
Only think, Mr. Darcy, all these many lanes, the acres and acres of park landand yet somehow we have managed to meet one another each of these three days past. Extraordinary, is it not?
Mr. Darcy stood silent and still with one hand resting comfortably on his walking stick and the other by his side. He would have been the picture of sedateness, but his ears betrayed him, turning a delightful shade of mortified crimson. 
How can one account for such a concurrence of whims and undertakings? There are only two explanations I could contrive.
He spoke carefully. I should be delighted to know them, I am sure.
If one of us had hoped to avoid the other, then I must presume it is all the perverseness of mischance which keeps throwing us in each others way. But I am not trying to avoid you. I do hope you are not trying to avoid me?
Mr. Darcy, who seemed to have perceived the light humour in her tone, conceded a faint smile to her. “Of course not.
Then I must attribute these unlikely meetings to fate. In either case, I should not dare to disoblige whatever forces keep contriving to unite us.
It is excessively unwise to disoblige mystical forces.” After a moments hesitation, Mr. Darcy added, Perhaps, to be perfectly obliging, you should take my arm.
Of course,she agreed. They set off into the feeble but burgeoning warmth of the spring morning, the weather an apt metaphor for the strange feeling Elizabeth found within her heart. His society was not unwelcome, she realised. A surprise, for in truth, Elizabeth prized the solitude of her rambles as much as she prized the ramble itself. But here, at Rosings — well, she rather liked having him along. Indeed, she almost would say she preferred it. 
With that understanding came a bit of guilt for how she had teased him. He had clearly expended some effort in learning her planned course — she had varied it over these last three days and yet somehow he found her every time. She should not tease him for it. 
Shall we have some conversation, my lady?He had noticed her reverie. 
We shall — but first I must beg your pardon.
Oh? Why is that?
She smiled up at him. I fear my teasing might imply distaste for our present arrangement.
He stared straight ahead. I do hope you would tell me if I was intruding on your pleasure.”“No.She squeezed his arm, making him look at her. Truly, no. I am glad you are with me.
She watched, with odd delight as his ears again told his secrets. You are always welcome to join me, Mr. Darcy.
Lightly, he said, I pray you speak in earnest, Madam, for I do find a great deal of enjoyment in these outings.
Then it is settled,she said. For whatever forces have begun this — be it fate or the perverseness of mischance — we shall continue it on our own inclinations.

Thank you for sharing Amy! Was not that, a lovely little scene? Wouldn't you like to read what inspired it? Amy D'Orazio is kindly giving readers the opportunity to win one of eight copies! I would also like to thank Janet at More Agreeably Engaged for helping to bring this blog tour to fruition.

Terms and Conditions:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants should provide the name of the blog where they commented (which will be verified).

Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries. 

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. Paperback or ebook format will be randomly selected for each winner as well. 

**NOTE: Paperback copies are available for continental US winners! Ebook copies are available for all winners, including international winners! If more international winners are randomly chosen than the 4 allotted ebooks, then that will decrease the number of paperbacks. 8 books will be given away to 8 different winners.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:
  6 Jan My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
  7 Jan Just Jane 1813; Review
  8 Jan Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway
  9 Jan Every Savage Can Dance; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
10 Jan Tomorrow is Another Day; Review
11 Jan Savvy Verse & Wit; Character Interview, Giveaway
12 Jan Half Agony, Half Hope; Review
13 Jan Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
14 Jan Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway
16 Jan From Pemberley to Milton; Review  
18 Jan Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review
19 Jan My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice; Vignette, Giveaway  
20 Jan Diary of an Eccentric; Review
21 Jan More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway

Author Bio:

Amy D’Orazio is a former breast cancer researcher and current stay at home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in about equal measures. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh PA.

She has two daughters who are devoted to sports which require long practices and began writing her own stories as a way to pass the time she spent sitting in the lobbies of various gyms and studios. She is a firm believer that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses and happily ever afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker. 

Where you can find Amy


Facebook: Amy D’Orazio


Instagram: amydorazio


As always, I delight in hearing your thoughts!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Book winners! 'The Courtship of Edward Gardiner' & 'Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter'

Congratulations ladies!

Eva you have won a copy of  'The Courtship of Edward Gardiner' by Nicole Clarkston, your choice of either a paperback or e-book copy.

Vesper You have won an e-book copy of 'Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter' by Joana Starnes.

Please contact me ladies, with your details.

Thank you again, Nicole Clarkston & Joana Starnes for your generous giveaways!

(Winners picked using

Friday, 25 November 2016

“Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter” by Joana Starnes ~ Blog Tour & Giveaway!

Hello Fellow readers!
I am delighted to be welcoming Joana Starnes to my blog today, for another stop on the 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' blog tour!
I was unaware of the subject of Joana's post and was pleasantly surprised to find it featured one of my favourite chapters in the book, dear Mrs Reynolds diary! (by the by, a book i heartily give a 5 heart ~ Mr Darcy rating!)

Now, let me not leave you in any more suspense and hand you over to Joana.

Thank you, Tamara, for ever so kindly welcoming me at My Kids Led Me Back to P&P on the blog tour for my latest book, Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter.

By now your kids probably are well past the cookie-baking stage, but I still thought I might bring 
Mrs Gardiner’s Oatcakes on my visit to your lovely site.

 The Oatcakes are mentioned twice in the book, and one of those instances is in a tender moment between Darcy and Elizabeth, once they are settled in their Derbyshire home:

The old housekeeper looked up from her papers at the sudden noise. She could not quite place it, but it sounded like an exclamation of some sort. From Mrs Darcy’s pastry-room. She was still there, then? Pen poised, Mrs Reynolds stopped to listen. But the room around the corner had grown suspiciously quiet. Perhaps she ought to check that Mrs Darcy was well – it was always better to be safe than sorry.

Sorry she was not, far from it, as soon as she rounded the corner to come across a highly unexpected but also highly gratifying sight. There was the Master, in a part of the house where he had not ventured for fifteen years or so; not since the days when he and his cousin were pilfering sweetmeats from the pantry. There was no question of pilfering now, the treats were willingly bestowed, and Mrs Reynolds very nearly chortled as she wondered what Mr Howard [the butler] would say to see their young master literally eating out of Mrs Darcy’s hand. The diverted smile grew warm and maternal and the housekeeper dropped her eyes, unwilling to intrude even unnoticed on the joyful and very private moment. So she made to turn away and leave the dear pair to their good cheer – he grinning widely, she likewise, her youthful cheek marked with specs of flour – but was not quick enough and chanced to catch a heart-warming glimpse of Mr Darcy abandoning the confectionery for the even sweeter treat of his wife’s kiss.

Mrs Reynolds quietly hastened on her way, yet she still heard her master chuckle, “I would not dream of saying so to your aunt when they visit, but your oatcakes are even better.”

Would you like to hear more about Mrs Gardiner’s oatcakes? Once again, it was Claudine’s wonderful idea that I include them in the blog tour and share the recipe with you. It’s based on a traditional Derbyshire one for Winster Wakes Cakes (“sweet wheatflour biscuits with egg and currants, associated with the annual Wakes holidays at Winster, near Matlock” Derbyshire oatcakes are sometimes savoury; they’re cooked as pancakes and served with bacon and eggs (Ann Wall, ‘Favourite Derbyshire Recipes’). But since it might have been a step too far to imagine the mistress of Pemberley flipping pancakes and frying bacon and eggs, I went for the more genteel option of Elizabeth baking sweet oatmeal biscuits.

I couldn’t in good conscience post a recipe without trying it first, and hey, I’m still here to tell the tale of baking Mrs Gardiner’s oatcakes. Would you like to try? It’s ever so simple. A bit messy and sticky halfway through, but quick and easy. Here are the ingredients again:

12.5 oz (350g) oatmeal or finely ground oats
3 oz (85g) butter
3 oz (85g) caster sugar
1.5 oz (40g) currants
1 egg
1 pinch of cinnamon, if you’d like to make them a bit more Christmassy

The more finely-milled the oats, the less chewy the texture and less crumbly the oatcake. The milled oats I used looked like breadcrumbs. I could have used the more floury oatmeal, or just flour (white or wholemeal). If you’re using rolled oats the oatcakes will be really chewy. As for the butter, Mrs Gardiner might frown but surely a healthier spread would do.

So, what next?

Mix the oats or flour with the sugar and the softened butter, then stir in the currants, the beaten egg and the pinch of cinnamon. Mix everything till it forms a dough. If the dough is still too sticky add another sprinkling of oats or flour.

Roll it on a floured surface to a thickness of about 1/2 inch and cut into 2 inch- or 3 inch rounds. If you’re using a 3-inch cutter the above quantity makes 12 oatcakes.

Place the rounds on baking paper on a tray, reasonably well apart (they spread a bit) and bake for approx. 20 mins in a moderately hot oven (350ºF; 180ºC; Gas mark 4 in UK). You might have to use a spatula to get them off the baking paper and they're quite crumbly when hot, but if you let them cool down there's a good chance of getting them on a plate in one piece :D

So how about reading Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter with a glass of milk and a plate of oatcakes? (Although some recommend red wine and lots of chocolate ;) ). For a chance to read it for free, please leave a comment to enter the international giveaway of a Kindle copy. Thanks for stopping by to read the post and if you’re baking Mrs Gardiner’s oatcakes please let me know if you liked them :) All the best, and thanks again, Tamara, for having me as your guest today!

Thank you, for your wonderful post Joana and another wonderful book to add to my JAFF collection, as well as a recipe to add to the experience :) 

Giveaway Time!

Joana Starnes is kindly giving bloggers a chance to win an e-book copy of 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' on each stop of the Blog Tour! How delightful!

For your chance to win leave a comment below and maybe tell Joana what you think of her efforts in the kitchen, could she possibly get a job below stairs, at Pemberley! 

Winner to be announced on the 2nd December 2016.

Blog Tour ~ 
November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
November 18/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
November 19/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt's Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway
November 21/ Margie's Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 23/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving
November 25/ So Little Time... So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway
November 26Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway
November 2 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway
November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway 
December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway

As always, it is a pleasure to hear your thoughts!

Monday, 21 November 2016

"Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes" By Ginger Monette Spotlight & Giveaway!

Hello fellow readers! Today it is my turn to shine the spotlight on  "Darcy's Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes" by Ginger Monette, as part of the blog tour!
Ginger's latest book is a WW1 Pride and Prejudice variation, told in two parts, with "Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey" currently available to pre-order.

In addition, Ginger is planning a Great War Romance series. Several of the characters that readers encounter in Darcy’s Hope will have stories of their own including Colonel Fitzwilliam, John Thornton, Robert Knightley and a few more.

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside literature’s iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy. You'll watch their tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences amidst the carnage of war.

Blurb ~
1916. World War I has turned French chateaux into bloody field hospitals, British gentlemen into lice-
infested soldiers, and left Elizabeth Bennet's life in tatters.

Her father is dead and her home destroyed. Never again will Elizabeth depend on a man to secure her future!

But when an opportunity arises to advance her dreams of becoming a doctor, she is elated—until he arrives....

Heartbroken. Devastated. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy is left rejected by the woman he loved and reeling from the slaughter of his men on the battlefield. “Enough!” Darcy vows. “No more sentimental attachments!”

But arriving at a field hospital to pursue a covert investigation, Darcy discovers his beloved Elizabeth training with a dashing American doctor and embroiled in an espionage conspiracy. 

With only a few months to expose the plot, Darcy is forced to grapple with his feelings for Elizabeth while uncovering the truth. Is she indeed innocent? Darcy can only hope….

Giveaway time! 

Ginger is offering a giveaway of Seven Downton Abbey ornaments via entry through Rafflecopter. Also leave a comment below for additional entries.
The ornament giveaway is open to US residents in the continental US. The prize for residents of the continental UK is a Downton Abbey mug.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bonus! Exclusively Available to blog readers until 22/11/16 click here!

I do hope you enjoy the bonus pictures and as I have already, had the pleasure of reading this book, I look forward to reading part two, "Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey"

Thank you again to Ginger, for the wonderful giveaway and special bonuses! 

As always I delight in hearing your thoughts.