A Preview & Giveaway of The Year in Between: A Sense and Sensibility Variation, by Christina Morland

The Year in Between by Christina Morland 2021Happy Friday dear readers. I have a new Austenesque novel to share with you today that gladdens my heart by just reading the title. Yes, a Jane Austen-inspired novel based on Sense and Sensibility. They are as rare as hen’s teeth and as welcome as tulips in the Spring.

The Year in Between has so much going for it without even opening the cover. Its author is Christina Morland, one of the most astute and sensitive writers of my reading acquaintance, it continues the story of Marianne and Elinor Dashwood after the end of the original novel, and it is a whopping 715 pages! Now, some of you might be intimidated by that size. Stop. There is no need for apprehension, I assure you. The advance praise of this novel is so encouraging and if it is the quality of Christina’s other novels, those pages will just fly by.

We are thrilled to feature The Year in Between here on Austenprose today with an exclusive excerpt and a giveaway chance offered by the publisher. Please check out the details at the bottom of this post and leave a comment to qualify.

I hope that you all have your reading lined up for the weekend and are enjoying the beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere.

Cheers, Laurel Ann 

BOOK DESCRIPTION 

Marianne Dashwood was “born to an extraordinary fate…to discover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by her conduct, her most favorite maxims” (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility). After Willoughby’s betrayal, how did Marianne learn to see Colonel Brandon—and herself—in a new light? And how did Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars fare during their first year of marriage?

The Year in Between explores the untold year in the last chapter of Sense and Sensibility. Whether you know Austen’s novel well, or this is your first introduction to Elinor, Marianne, Edward, and Brandon, I invite you to visit Delaford, where friendship, love, and all the challenges that come with these gifts abound.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Marianne put her hands to her face and sighed. Would she never learn?

“Are you unwell, my dear?” asked Mrs. Richardson, who had joined them for tea.

“Oh, I am quite well.” Straightening in her seat, Marianne tried for her very best smile. “I am only…”

Fatigued? This would have been the polite response, but it was not precisely true. She tried to think of a way to explain her behavior, but how could she say, “Each day is a reminder that I am not the person I believed myself to be,” in a way that was both civil and honest?

The silence stretched on for several ticks of the mantel clock—an awkward eternity, if Mrs. Richardson’s pitying smile and Margaret’s squirming were an accurate measure of time.

“Miss Margaret,” said the housekeeper, “I have just had a thought. You must see the specimens in our herb garden! You may find one or two plants that are new to you, and I will be only too happy to provide seeds so that you may plant new herbs in your garden at Barton Cottage. Oh no, Miss Dashwood, Colonel, do not get up. Sit, sit! Enjoy your tea. I will have Miss Margaret back to you before you know it.”

Chagrined, Marianne saw how Mrs. Richardson looked at her as she ushered Margaret out of the room. It seemed as if the housekeeper had been trying to help Marianne in some way. But why ever had she supposed leaving her alone with Brandon would be a consolation to either of them? Indeed, Mrs. Richardson had done her employer a disservice, for Brandon seemed even more discomfited by this turn of events than Marianne.

“If you like, Colonel”—she offered him a rueful smile—“I could burst into tears or fall into a faint, and then you may have an excuse to hurry out of the room and fetch help.”

He raised his eyebrows.

“I was trying for humor,” she explained with a sigh. “It is a strategy I have seen Elinor put to good use, but I am afraid my own results are rather hit-or-miss.”

Now he smiled—yet still he remained silent.

It was clear he wished himself elsewhere. Embarrassed that she kept him here out of a mere sense of duty, she said, “If you have other business to attend to, I am quite able to—”

“Manage on your own,” he cut in, surprising her. Had he ever interrupted her before? “Yes, you mentioned that earlier.” When he stood, she groaned to herself, knowing what would come next—a bow. And yes, there it was: civil, correct, cold.

“Excuse me. I will leave you to—”

Of course: retreat.

Vexation shot through her then—sudden, fierce, but hardly unexpected given her many turns of mood that morning.

Marianne jumped to her feet. “You cannot leave. You have not even finished your tea!”

He furrowed his brow, which, though it emphasized the lines in his face, made him appear oddly youthful, as if any show of feeling, even bafflement, were more natural than the placid resignation he so often wore. She could hardly blame him for his confusion; in almost the same breath, she had dismissed him and then entreated him to stay. If ever there was a model of inconstant womanhood, it was she, Marianne Dashwood.

Though she told herself to apologize, to smile, to make some small effort at lessening his uneasiness, she did just the opposite: she strode toward him, making sure not to come too close—she knew how little he liked even the possibility of her touch—but near enough to see the rise and fall of his chest. With more boldness than she really felt, she raised her eyes to his and thought, I dare you to look away.

He did not.

“I know how little you esteem me, Colonel—and with good reason,” she added after seeing how he flushed and started. “The way I behaved last year, toward you most especially—”

“Marianne.”

One word, so well known to her, and yet how strange the sensation that shot through her then! Alarm—or something else? She had heard him speak her name before, though always with the obligatory “Miss” attached. Was it the unexpected informality, or was it the tone—at once gentle and fierce—that caused her stomach to swoop?

 Chapter five, pages 108-109 

ADVANCE PRAISE

  • “Ms. Morland’s writing is flowing and emotive, sweeping the reader completely into the story. The various plots and subplots weave through and around each other throughout the book, with a definite build toward climactic moments for both Elinor and Marianne…Highly recommend!”— Debbie Brown, Goodreads
  • “I always love an author who can create word pictures. Christina Morland is a master of the craft… recommend it to anyone who enjoys JAFF.”— wosedwew, Goodreads
  • “Five stars. This was the book I really, really needed.”— Colleen Cowley, Goodreads

AUTHOR BIO

Christina Morland spent the first two decades of her life with no knowledge of Pride and Prejudice—or any Jane Austen novel, for that matter. After overcoming this childhood affliction, she became a devoted fan of all things Austen.

Morland is the author of three Pride and Prejudice variations, a Sense and Sensibility variation, and three Austenesque short stories featured in the Quill Collective anthologies. She is currently at work on a new Pride and Prejudice variation, as well as a fantasy novel that has nothing at all to do with Jane Austen.

When not writing, Morland tries to keep up with her creative, mischievous daughter and her maddeningly brilliant husband. She lives in a place not unlike Hogwarts (minus Harry, Dumbledore, magic, and Scotland), and likes to think of herself as an excellent walker.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

ADDITIONAL BOOKS BY CHRISTINA MORLAND

GIVEAWAY CHANCE

Christina Morland has generously offered a giveaway of 3 (three) Kindle copies of The Year in Between for our readers. This giveaway is open to US residents. To qualify, please leave a comment with this post before 11:59 pm PT on March 11, 2021. The winners will be announced with an update to this post on March 12, 2021. Good luck to all.

  • The Year in Between: A Sense and Sensibility Variation, by Christina Morland
  • Independently Published, January 23, 2021
  • eBook (715) Pages
  • ASIN: B08TW4B8DS

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

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Disclosure of Material Connection: We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. Austenprose.com is an Amazon.com affiliate. We receive a modest remuneration when readers use our links and make a purchase. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cover image, book description, excerpt, & author bio courtesy of Christina Morland © 2021; text Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose.com

Flirtation & Folly: A Season in London (Book 1), by Elizabeth Rasche – A Review

Flirtation and Folly by Elizabeth Rasche 2020From the desk of Katie Patchell:

Northanger Abbey is one of Jane Austen’s greatest gems, yet one of her most underrated novels. It is a coming-of-age tale of Catherine Morland, a comedy, a romance, and a commentary on the Regency-era literary scene. In all of that, it is both a down-to-earth study of real-life and a beautifully plotted promise that even the most mundane of circumstances hold a glimmer of heaven. In Elizabeth Rasche’s Regency debut, Flirtation & Folly, these same ingredients are bound together in the endearingly flawed, eternally hopeful heroine, Marianne Mowbrey.

Marianne Mowbrey is a dreamer. Fresh from the country to visit her aunt in London, she believes with all of her heart that she will become a heroine just like those in her favorite novels. As she soon discovers, wishing is not the same as getting. Under her aunt’s disapproving gaze, Marianne tries to learn the skills needed to be a society darling from her new “friends,” the beautiful yet mocking Stokes’ sisters.

No matter if day after day proceeded with the same rise and fall of expectations. For Marianne, the morning always burst with the fresh, flowering hope of the charming young lady she would become by eventide. (78)   

Robert Hearn arrives in London not knowing where he belongs anymore. Originally from Ireland yet raised in England, he has spent his adult years in India and beyond. All that is left of his home are memories of an idyllic childhood. With the desire to win his estate back from the hands of another, Robert has no time for social graces or flirtations. What slips past his guard, however, is a newfound friend who might be as lost as he. Continue reading

A Captain for Caroline Gray: Proper Romance Regency, by Julie Wright — A Review

A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright 2021From the desk of Katie Jackson:

An outspoken bluestocking lady in Regency England, unless independently wealthy, was most likely to be shunned by Society into involuntary spinsterhood and poverty. Suitable husbands were difficult enough to come by, but for a lady with a clever mind and vibrant opinions, her options were fewer still. Desperation led many a spurned lady onto a ship bound for India in search of Englishmen with lower standards and plentiful wealth. That long and arduous journey is depicted in author Julie Wright’s latest Proper Romance, A Captain for Caroline Gray.

Miss Caroline Gray’s unconventional education at the behest of her well-meaning parents had included “politics, science, and literature” (99) and none of the silly arts of flirtation that might have secured her future. Consequently, she had endured three London Seasons where the gentlemen “all liked her well enough before she opened her mouth. Conversation with her led them from interest to wariness. And when they’d discovered that she was often found at public lecture courses on physics, their wariness turned to outright disdain.” (182)

Living with her widowed mother on the family estate, Caroline is not prepared for the sudden news that her cousin—her father’s heir—has decided to marry and claim his inheritance, thus displacing Caroline and her mother. Her future looks bleak indeed as her mother asks if she wishes to see herself passed around by their relations like an unwanted parcel, a perpetual nursemaid or caregiver, husbandless and childless. The reality of their economic situation was that “all of her prospects hinged on marrying. Without marrying, she had no possibilities. No prospects. No choices.” (168) Caroline berates herself for her inability to make a match but quickly realizes that she could have been nobody but herself. And “did she truly want to cheat some man out of genuine happiness by making him believe her to be what she was not?” (210)

An opportunity arises in the form of an offer from her mother’s acquaintance. Mrs. Barritt’s third son has a purchased commission as a captain in the army is making his own fortune in India, and is looking for a pretty and proper English wife. She will pay half of Caroline’s passage to India in exchange for Caroline’s obligation to spend some time with her son, Captain Nicholas Barritt. Caroline is determined “to pretend she felt some excitement. She would pretend to thrill at the adventure of it all. She would pretend that her heart was not breaking at the thought of leaving her family and her beloved England.” (192) Continue reading

A Preview & Giveaway of A Life Worth Choosing: A Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Anngela Schroeder

A Life Worth Choosing by Anngela SchroederHappy Friday dear readers. Do you have your reading lined up yet for the weekend? I am working my way through Jane Austen & Adlestrop, by Victoria Huxley. It is a detailed history of the Leigh family of Adlestrop, a village in Gloucestershire, and Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire, the ancestral seat of Jane’s mother Cassandra Austen nee Leigh. I highly recommend it for those interested in Austen’s many family connections and how they influenced her writing.

Today I am delighted to feature a new Austenesque novel written by the exceptionally talented Anngela Schroeder. A Life Worth Choosing is a unique Pride and Prejudice variation—unlike any that I have heard of. Imagine the plot of Austen’s tale at the point after the failed first proposal by Mr. Darcy and then add in the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Yes, this is a fantasy story so to speak, and a very clever one at that.

Anngela is a seasoned author who has written several popular Austen-inspired novels including The Goodness of Men, and A Lie Universally Hidden. She has also contributed short fiction to three anthologies: Yuletide, Rational Creatures, and Then Comes Winter. I hope that you will be as intrigued as I was by the creative concept of A Life Worth Choosing and give it a try this weekend.

The publisher has generously shared an exclusive excerpt from the novel and offered a giveaway chance to our readers. Check out the details at the end of the post. Good luck to all and happy reading! 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

“You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.” Jane Austen

Reeling from the unexpected rejection of his proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy prepares to quit Hunsford for London but not before he defends himself against Elizabeth Bennet’s accusations. He cannot forgive her harsh words; her assertion Mr. Wickham would have made a better son has cut him to the core.

Suffering an accident while delivering the fated letter, he wakes to a world he does not know—and to those who do not recognize him. With a new life, a different name, and a fresh chance at winning the woman he loves, Darcy must decide which is “A Life Worth Choosing” ––the past he remembers or a future he has created for himself.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

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A Preview & Giveaway of Forget Me Not, Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Joy

Forget Me Not, Elizabeth by Jennifer Joy 2021Hey-ho dear readers. I am happy to feature bestselling author Jennifer Joy on Austenprose today to share her next Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel, Forget Me Not, Elizabeth.

Now, can you guess from the title what this novel might be about? If you thought memory loss, then, you are absolutely correct. It’s While You Were Sleeping meets Pride & Prejudice in a second chance romance!

Second chance romances are one of my favorite tropes—Jane Austen’s Persuasion topping the list. Other enjoyable historical romances containing this plot device are Bath Tangle, by Georgette Heyer, and recently, Someone to Remember, by Mary Balogh. Since everyone loves a do-over, especially in love, the combination of these hooks in Jennifer Joy’s capable hands is sure to be a winner.

We have an exclusive excerpt to share with you and a generous giveaway chance by the author to win a digital copy of the book. Please check out the details listed at the end of this post. Good luck to all!

Forget Me Not, Elizabeth is the 4th novel in the Mysteries & Matrimony series of standalone novels and releases on February 28th, 2021.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Can the heart remember what the mind cannot recall?

Elizabeth Bennet’s Happily-Ever-After is shattered when calamity strikes on her wedding day. Unable to remember the man she promised to marry, Elizabeth soon comes to appreciate that Mr. Darcy is the best ally she could have when a series of disasters put her life in peril.

After one failed proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally confident that Elizabeth returns his love … until she shows up for their marriage ceremony with no memory of him.  Proving his constancy, Darcy sets about courting his betrothed, determined to win her heart — again — but his wooing is interrupted when a mysterious malefactor conspires to keep them apart for good.

Working together, the amnesia-struck bride and her disgruntled groom discover an attachment more profound than the love stolen from them. But will they catch the murderous thief before it is too late?

If you can’t get enough of Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth, then you’ll love this thrilling post-canon, sweet romance based on Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice.

Forget Me Not, Elizabeth is the 4th book in the Mysteries & Matrimony series of standalone novels.

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Continue reading