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Mailbox Monday #451

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride & Prejudice (Tales of Less Pride and Prejudice Book 1)  by Alexa Adams, a kindle freebie.

In Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy begins his relationship with Elizabeth Bennet with the words: “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present togive consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.” What would have happened if Mr. Darcy had never spoken so disdainfully? First Impressions explores how the events of Jane Austen’s beloved novel would have transpired if Darcy and Elizabeth had danced together at the Meryton Assembly. Jane and Bingley’s relationship blossoms unimpeded, Mary makes a most fortunate match, and Lydia never sets a foot in Brighton. Austen’s witty style is authentically invoked in this playful romp from Longbourn to Pemberley.

Second Glances: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice Continues (Tales of Less Pride and Prejudice Book 2)  by Alexa Adams, a kindle freebie

A year has passed since the conclusion of First Impressions, and the marriages made by the three eldest Bennet ladies are prospering. Expectations are high for the two youngest sisters to do equally well. Kitty, having excelled in school, receives an invitation to join Georgiana Darcy in her first London season, leaving Lydia to bear the burden of the classroom alone. Will the most forward Bennet tolerate such inequity?

Kitty arrives in London prepared to be happy, but her delight is marred when she finds a most unwelcome gentleman on intimate terms with her hosts. She has met the reckless Sir James Stratton before and would like nothing more than to never encounter him again, but his acquaintance she is forced to endure. Struggling for firm footing amidst the whirlwind of London society, will Kitty be allowed to follow her heart, or will her family force her hand? Join the reimagined cast of Pride and Prejudice as they pursue happiness amidst the ongoing obstacles of life, love, and interfering relations.

Holidays at Pemberley, or Third Encounters: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice Concludes (Tales of Less Pride and Prejudice Book 3) by Alexa Adams, a Kindle freebie

Both a Christmas celebration and conclusion to Tales of Less Pride & Prejudice, Holidays at Pemberley begins where First Impressions ends, with the marriage Fitzwilliam Darcy to Elizabeth Bennet, and spans the course of Second Glances to conclude their story. As the Darcys enjoy their first years of marriage, Charlotte Lucas is often invited to join them. Watching as the Bennet sisters, one by one, marry to both outrageous advantage and with great affection, her only ambition remains independence and respectability, stubbornly blind to the virtues of a love match. Miss Lucas thinks she has found an acceptable husband in David Westover, rector of Kympton and determined bachelor, but he remains oblivious to the implications of befriending a Miss Lucas. It may mean some heartbreak, but if Mrs. Darcy’s pragmatic friend will only surrender to Cupid, she may find wild fantasies do come true, even for ladies dangerously close to thirty.

Nachtstürm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel by Emily C. A. Snyder, a kindle freebie

Moonlight! Castles! Ghosts! Storms! Secret trap doors! Suicide! Grave yards! Mistaken Identities! Carriage accidents! Gypsies! Hauntings! A kidnapping! Purloined letters! A duel! Swooning! Wild Pursuits! Demonic possession! A disputed inheritance! Three romances! A ransacking! Ancient curses! A stolen will and testament! Dank subterranean passageways!

Multi-talented Emily C. A. Snyder has managed to pack the above list (and more) into Nachtstürm Castle, a sophisticated Gothic fantasy sequel, taking up the further adventures of Henry and Catherine Tilney where our divine Miss Austen finished the last lines of Northanger Abbey.

Rumours & Recklessness: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Nicole Clarkston

Fitzwilliam Darcy is desperate. Finally confronted with a woman who ignites all his hopes, he agonizes over the cruel trick of fate which placed her in a situation beneath his notice. The morning after the Netherfield ball, he resolves to put as much distance between himself and her as possible.

That very morning, however, Elizabeth’s future is jeopardized by her father’s untimely accident. With Mr Bennet unconscious and surrounded by concerned neighbors, Mr Collins presses his suit. Elizabeth’s mother frantically demands her acceptance to secure the family’s welfare. With so many witnesses to his proposal and everyone expecting her to make a practical choice, Elizabeth’s reputation hangs in the balance.

Without her father to defend her refusal of Mr Collins, there is no one to speak up for her… except the last man in the world she would ever marry.

A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart, a kindle freebie

Sometimes your life is split by a single decision.

I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them.

But now he’s back.

I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid.

Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance.

One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.

*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*

Love Blooms at Pemberley: A Sweet Pride and Prejudice Variation by Cassandra Knightley, a kindle freebie.

In the aftermath of Elizabeth’s rejection of Mr Darcy, the worst possible outcome has befallen the Bennet family. Mr Bennet has died unexpectedly, leaving his widow and unmarried daughters at the mercy of Mr Collins.

In this time of hardship and sorrow, Mr Darcy shows his true nature through his kindness, generosity, and friendship. But will Darcy and Elizabeth be able to put aside their hurt pride and stubborn natures to find the Happilly Ever After they both seek?

A Darcy and Elizabeth P&P variation bubbling with spirit, humor, and romance. Pour yourself a cup of your favorite tea, find a comfy sofa, and settle in for an afternoon of love, laughs, and manners with Love Blooms at Pemberley.

Mr. Darcy’s Debt: A Pride & Prejudice Variation Novel by April Floyd, a kindle freebie.

Thomas Bennet has died and left his wife and five daughters during the visit of his cousin Mr. Collins who has come to offer marriage as an olive branch to soothe the way when he inherits their home, Longbourn. A deathbed promise from the past saves the ladies and Elizabeth Bennet becomes better acquainted with the wealthy, handsome Mr. Darcy, the man who insulted her at the assembly in Meryton. With the Bennets living at Somersal, a country estate that belongs to the Fitzwilliam family and is only a short distance from Pemberley, the home of Mr. Darcy, their mutual love of riding fosters a love neither Darcy nor Elizabeth can deny. After a terrible accident, Elizabeth believes she must race in the spring to secure her family’s future, much to Mr. Darcy’s dismay. His proposal, given to keep her from racing, is summarily refused as Elizabeth Bennet will not marry from necessity.

A Vintage Halloween by Cat Gardiner, purchased because I love her books.

Halloween is an exciting time at the Memories of Old antique shop, and William Darcy and Lizzy Bennet are about to discover why–yet again. The shop holds much more than trinkets from the past in the modern day. It holds the memories of those who once cherished them– maybe even their spirits.

Anxiously missing and waiting for her fiance’s return from military service, our dear heroine has a heavy heart and–a little envy–as she helps to arrange her sister’s wedding, putting off making wedding plans of her own. Perhaps a mysterious mirror in the shop and a little mischief-making on All Hallows’ Eve will help to fill that hole in her heart by working a little miracle back in 1944.

Join the fun and travel back in time with Lizzy Bennet to the WWII-era where she attends an exciting masquerade ball at Pemberley Manor, meeting a bevy of characters–one in particular–who will lift her spirits

What did you receive?

First Impressions by Charlie Lovett

Source: Viking
Hardcover, 320 pgs
On Amazon and on Kobo

First Impressions by Charlie Lovett is a literary mystery in which the fate of Jane Austen’s reputation as a premier novelist hangs in the balance.  Sophie Collingwood has finished her master’s degree at Oxford when she meets a beguiling Eric Hall, an American traveling through Europe.  In a meeting of the minds, they share one passionate kiss, but after he’s gone to France, she must deal with a lot more than her future after university when the family is hit by tragedy.  As she regains her footing, her sister, Victoria, provides her with the framework she needs to move forward, even if it is in baby steps.  She shares a similar relationship with her sister that Jane shared with her own, Cassandra.

“Uncle Bertram’s books were not arranged by author or title or more perplexing to little Sophie, by size or color.  ‘You have to read a book to understand its place on the shelf,’ said Uncle Bertram.”  (page 26)

Soon as a bookshop worker in Boxhill, Sophie finds that she is unwittingly at the center of a book controversy as two separate customers want her to locate the second edition of book, A Little Book of Allegories, by an obscure clergyman named Richard Mansfield.  Sophie is a bookish woman who loves a good mystery, but this mystery has a darkness to it, especially when one of the customers begins issuing veiled threats to motivate her in her search.  Even as she is afraid, she is still determined to uncover the mysterious connections between Mansfield and Austen, but she also finds herself being romantically pursued by two men.

First Impressions by Charlie Lovett is a literary mystery that is not hard to unravel, but it does make for a fun journey.  When your companions are Jane Austen and Sophie Collingwood, you’ll have little to be disappointed about.  From a young Austen crafting her novels at home and sharing them with her small family and social circle to Sophie finding her way after tragedy, Lovett has created an enjoyable mystery full of companionship, love, and suspense.

About the Author:

Charlie Lovett is a writer, teacher, and playwright whose plays for children have been seen in over 3000 productions worldwide. He served for more than a decade as Writer-in-Residence at Summit School in Winston-Salem, NC.  Check out the Book Club Kit.

 

84th book for 2014 New Author Reading Challenge.

Mailbox Monday #291

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1. The Madness of Mr. Darcy by Alexa Adams, a nice thank you gift from the author.

The year is 1832 and regrets beleaguer Fitzwilliam Darcy. All he ever cared for has been taken from him: his pride, his sister, and his true love, Elizabeth Bennet. Now, having nearly murdered a man in a fit of rage, he might lose Pemberley, too. More than just his home, his very identity is at stake. In desperation, he seeks the help of Dr. Frederick Wilson, owner and proprietor of Ramsey House, a madhouse for fine ladies and gentlemen. Is Darcy’s confinement the inevitable end to his tortured descent, or will he rediscover what he lost in the most unlikely of places?

2.  First Impressions by Charlie Lovett from the publisher for review.

Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield.  Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.

In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.

3.  By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review edited by Pamela Paul and foreword from Scott Turow for review from the publisher.

Sixty-five of the world’s leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to them

Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian, short story writer, or artist will be the subject of the popular By the Book feature. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, and here she brings together sixty-five of the most intriguing and fascinating exchanges, featuring personalities as varied as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, and James Patterson. The questions and answers admit us into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations.

By the Book contains the full uncut interviews, offering a range of experiences and observations that deepens readers’ understanding of the literary sensibility and the writing process. It also features dozens of sidebars that reveal the commonalities and conflicts among the participants, underscoring those influences that are truly universal and those that remain matters of individual taste.

What did you receive?