A Very Austen Valentine Celebrate Lit Blog Tour – PRIZES!

Robin Helm takes A Very Austen Valentine on tour with Celebrate Lit!

Hop on over to Celebrate Lit to see the list of fabulous blogs on the tour.

And don’t forget to enter for your chance to win:

Grand Prize: a $50 Amazon gift card
1st Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1
2nd Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 2
3rd Place: A set of three ebooks – Reader’s Choice of any three of Robin Helm’s books
4th Place: a $5 Amazon gift card

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A Lesson Hard Learned #giveaway

A Lesson Hard Learned is now available in Kindle Format and on Kindle Unlimited!

I’m so excited about revealing the cover of my soon-to-be-released book that I’m going to give away a copy! (Sorry, US only.)

Once again, the beautiful painting used on the cover was crafted by my husband, Matthew Sotis.

Comment below before midnight ET on August 26, 2016, to enter. Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win. (I promise not to use your email address for anything else!)

The winner will receive a signed copy once the paperback is released.  Good luck!

_ALHL cover KINDLE FINALsmall

Shortly after Elizabeth Bennet refuses Fitzwilliam Darcy’s offer of marriage, he becomes convinced her reproofs were correct and determines to become worthy of her love. His attempt to arrange a “chance” meeting is successful and they cross paths in London.

Soon afterwards, Darcy sails for Virginia to retrieve his newly widowed cousin, who has found herself stranded in a country on the verge of war with her native land. Once there, he suspects her sights are set on him as her next mate. Even worse, his journal—which details his feelings about Elizabeth—is accidentally posted to Elizabeth. Can he return to England, convince her he has taken her opinions to heart, and win her love before she receives it?

The impulsive Elizabeth Bennet is injured while touring a Derbyshire estate with her aunt and uncle, and circumstances find her at the home of Georgiana Darcy while she recuperates. While there, Elizabeth realizes she is in love with Darcy, but will he arrive home and assume the worst about her after finding her living at his estate?

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(Winner will be announced here and by email on August 27. If the winner does not respond by August 31, I will choose another winner on Sept. 1. US only. Please comment below to enter.)

A Lesson Hard Learned is now available in Kindle Format and on Kindle Unlimited!

 

 

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O’Rourke

I was very happy to find out what happened to Eliza Knight and Fitzwilliam Darcy in Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, the delightful sequel to The Man Who Loved Jane Austen. Again, Sally Smith O’Rourke makes the whole idea of time travel believable. In the beginning, I was a little worried that Sally would have Jane pass through the portal and into the future and then relieved when instead it was her brother’s stable hand, Simmons. Simmons’ reactions to many changes in the future were fun to read. Yes, poor Eliza spends quite a bit of time worrying about whether Darcy could actually be in love with her, but who wouldn’t be jealous of his relationship with Jane? Almost as fun to read as the first, I definitely recommend Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen.

Blurb: Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

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I won this book as part of a promotion for AustenAdmirers.coma smartphone application designed to bring together authors, bloggers and fans of Austen in one

easy-to-use RSS application.

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This review is part of my commitment towards

The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge

hosted by AustenProse.com.

A Change of Heart (A Regency Romance) by Candice Hern

Although it took me longer to really “get into” A Change of Heart than it did Candice Hern’s other novels, once I did, it was definitely worth it. I enjoyed it quite a bit and recommend this book. I feel the backstories of Jack Raeburn, Marquess of Pemerton, and Lady Mary Haviland are more well developed than those of Hern’s other novels, and I have to admit that I love it when detailed backstories are revealed slowly, always keeping me guessing! The characters are definitely not perfect, their flaws so realistic that I couldn’t help but love them, and I was squirming in my seat through their mistakes. Don’t you love it when you find yourself talking to the characters, telling them, “Don’t do it!” 😉 The “Happily Ever After” doesn’t always seem possible, but of course, it comes in the end.

The official blurb is a perfect description, so here it is:

Jack Raeburn, a longtime pleasure-seeking rakehell, is now unexpectedly the Marquess of Pemerton, a title inherited after the tragic deaths of his father and older brothers. Unfortunately, he inherited a mountain of debts along with the title, and believes his only option is to marry an heiress. He finds a surprising champion in Lady Mary Haviland, a spinster of unremarkable looks and a charming personality, who has decided to help him find a bride. When Jack discovers that Mary has a large fortune, their comfortable friendship takes an unexpected new direction. By turns witty and emotional, A CHANGE OF HEART follows the path of two wounded souls from friendship to betrayal to redemption. The ballrooms of London and the rugged cliffs and coves of the South Devon coast come alive in this poignant tale of the healing power of love.

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This review is part of the Regency Romance Reading Challenge

hosted by Austenprose.com

New story! The Gypsy Blessing Chapter 1

I’m posting the first draft of a new story,

The Gypsy Blessing

at BeyondAusten.com!

Please stop by and take a look. Here is the blurb:

Blurb: Whilst taking a solitary ramble on her father’s estate, Elizabeth Bennet finds an injured woman, cares for her, and helps her return to her gypsy camp. Impressed that a gentlewoman would come to his wife’s aid, the king of the gypsies promises that she will find happiness through his wife’s special blessing. Forgetting the incident, Elizabeth thinks it merely odd when she begins to receive drawings in the mail with no return address—until she begins to recognize the scenes depicted in the sketches as they become true events in her life.

A Proper Companion (A Regency Romance)

A Proper Companion (A Regency Romance)

First in Candice Hern’s Regency Rakes Trilogy

Here is another highly enjoyable, light romance by Candice Hern!  Hern’s delightful style of writing makes me never want to stop reading her books.

The novel opens with a prologue—I know some readers skip prologues, so I’m hinting that you should read this one since it explains how our heroine’s parents became estranged from her mother’s parents, the Earl and Countess of Pentwick.

Emily Townsend is a beautiful, intelligent, modest, and proper lady of twenty-six, who is also very much aware of her place in the world as a penniless orphan. Emily is employed as a companion to the Dowager Countess, Lady Bradleigh—a feisty, eccentric older lady who loves deeply, and has great affection for Emily (I loved Lady Bradleigh!) Escaping her employer’s early attempts at matchmaking was not difficult while they lived in Bath, where year-round residents are mostly of an older generation, but that is about to change.

The story begins with Lady Bradleigh upset after reading an announcement in the newspaper stating that her beloved grandson, Lord Robert Cameron, Earl of Bradleigh, has become engaged to marry a woman his grandmother does not like.

Having traveled from London to inform his beloved grandmother of his news in person, Lord Bradleigh comes upon the ladies just after his grandmother reads the article. Since he had never felt affection toward any woman he’s met, and since he knew it was high time that he provide an heir to his title, Lord Bradleigh admits that he has now sworn off his disreputable, rakish ways and arranged a marriage of convenience.

His grandmother is miserable knowing that her grandson has taken such a business-like approach to marriage when she had hoped  he would follow her example by marrying for love. Eventually resigning herself to accept his choice, Lady Bradleigh decides to make the journey to the earl’s house in town so that she may prepare a grand engagement ball in celebration of her grandson’s betrothal.

Upon first meeting him, Emily is wary of Lord Bradleigh due to his notorious reputation with the ladies, but she finds she can’t help but like him since he is very much like his grandmother. The attraction between Emily and Lord Bradleigh is immediate, although they keep to themselves. After living in the same household in Bath, and then in London, knowing it is impossible to become more, the two become good friends.

Once in London, the fun really begins. With gentlemen of an appropriate age available, Lady Bradleigh recruits her grandson to assist with her matchmaking efforts for Emily. Emily’s nasty, estranged relatives also come into the picture. Meanwhile, Lord Bradleigh can’t seem to keep his mind on his engagement to the coldhearted Miss Windhurst. Although he regrets the betrothal, he feels a responsibility to follow through with the marriage.

Can Emily and Robert find happiness elsewhere while denying the love they feel for each other?

Since I can’t seem to get enough of Candice Hern’s stories, I’m sure you’ll be seeing more reviews here as part of the Regency Romance Reading Challenge hosted by Austenprose.com

The Best Intentions (A Regency Romance) by Candice Hern

It was a pleasure to become reacquainted with a minor character, Miles Prescott, from A Garden Folly, and get to know him better as a main character in this delightfully light and witty romance.

The Best Intentions (A Regency Romance)

by Candice Hern

Miles Prescott, Earl of Strickland, of Epping Hall in Northamptonshire, is reserved, conservative, and fastidious. His wife Amelia died two years ago, leaving him with two young daughters who he feels desperately need a mother. Having had a love-match with Amelia, Miles doesn’t believe he can fall in love again and wants a marriage of convenience the second time around.

Winifred also believes it is time for her brother to remarry. When she and her family travel to Epping for their annual, Winifred asks two of her husband’s cousins to join them, intending the widowed Lady Charlotte Abingdon for Miles.

Charlotte is a beautiful young widow, elegant and sophisticated—exactly what Miles wanted for his second wife as long as she gets along with his daughters.

Charlotte’s half-sister, Miss Hannah Fairbanks, is nineteen years old and so backward that she has not yet come out. Quite intelligent, she is more interested in architecture than putting herself forward on the marriage mart. In fact, Hanna has no interest in marriage at all and repeatedly tells herself that she doesn’t care that people think she’s still a child.

Almost immediately after their arrival, everyone in attendance assumes Miles and Charlotte will marry, but of course, all does not go as everyone expects 😉

I’m enjoying Candice Hern’s books so much that I’m sure I’ll be adding many more to my list for the Regency Romance Reading Challenge (Austenprose.com) before 2013 is done!

One Thread Pulled: The Dance with Mr. Darcy

One Thread Pulled:

The Dance with Mr. Darcy

by Diana J. Oaks

Although I’ve read it twice before, I decided to revisit this excellent story—full of sweet romance, intrigue, and even a mystery—for The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge. I highly recommend this book!

What if, from the story of Pride and Prejudice, weaved by Jane Austen, one thread was pulled? Diana J. Oaks imagines just that when she pulls the thread that has Elizabeth Bennet overhearing Mr. Darcy’s insult at the assembly ball. As a result, One Thread Pulled goes off in  directions increasingly dissimilar to the original as the story unfolds.

Since there was no knowledge of the insult, Mrs. Bennet declares that they should forgive Mr. Darcy’s pride, and Elizabeth agrees. Jane suffers a fall on her way to Netherfield rather than an illness, resulting in some rather amusing scenes which explain the changes in her character from the original.Without Elizabeth’s injured pride, her behavior toward Mr. Darcy is friendlier, causing both their feelings to develop sooner. Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgiana Darcy appear earlier, as well, and the characters we love to hate are even more hate-worthy in this adaptation—a very satisfying deviation.

I was sorry to see this book end, and I am looking forward to the second of the series to be published! Diana’s first draft of the sequel is being posted to BeyondAusten.com, titled Constant as the Sun.

Valentine Babies (Holiday Babies Series) by Mona Risk

Although the challenges Roxanne Ramsay and Greg Hayes face are complex, Mona Risk somehow manages to turn this story around into a light and sweet romance that easily grabbed my attention and had no trouble holding it. I’d recommend this story to anyone looking for a quick and easy dose of happily-ever-after. Although the name implies that it’s only for Valentine’s Day, it would be a nice read for any time of year.

Roxanne Ramsay is a fiercely independent woman and an ace journalist who travels the world to get her stories. At Roxanne’s sister’s wedding, she’s paired up with the best man, the handsome Dr. Greg Hayes. Determined not to ruin such a special day, Roxanne tries to hide the devastating news she’s received the day before, but Greg can’t help but notice the sorrow and distress of the beautiful lady who has already worked her way into his heart. When she faints, Greg comes to her rescue, and as an OB/GYN, he realizes that she’s pregnant.

Greg befriends Roxanne as she faces many difficult decisions, and the two fall in love. But can Greg ever accept another man’s child as his own? Thinking she is partially responsible for her child’s father’s death, will Roxanne give in to her guilt, giving up her way of life and Greg’s friendship in the process?