A Very Austen Valentine

A Very Austen Valentine

A Very Austen ValentineA Very Austen Valentines five-stars

I Dream of You by Robin Helm
Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her. A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.

Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile
Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen's worst snobs.

My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis
Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?

Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite
A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.

My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook
Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?

The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye
In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth's love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers' Ruse” follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

Excerpt from My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis

Darcy had spent the months of October and November while at Charles Bingley’s estate in Hertfordshire trying to avoid her, but it had been a useless endeavour. She was like a magnet to him. Anywhere she was in a room, in a house, he would find himself drawn there like a moth to a flame. However, she was wrong for him, he knew. She was lacking all the qualities that were expected of the woman he married. Her place in society was well below his station in life, she had no fortune, and her family was an embarrassment.

So, he had left the county behind and returned to London, hoping if she was out of sight, he could put her out of mind. He would forget her. He must. He could do anything if he put his mind to it.

Therefore, he had not seen her in a month — three and thirty days, if he was to be precise.

Three and thirty days of accepting every invitation, hoping to stay so active, he would forget her. Three and thirty days of making a fool of himself wherever he went because he was distracted by thoughts of her instead of what he was supposed to be doing. Three and thirty days of imagining he heard her tinkling laughter in every crowd, and then spending the remainder of the evening searching scores of faces, hoping to catch a glimpse of her.

In other words, three and thirty days of pure torture.

Now she was in his aunt’s parlour, of all places, visiting her cousin and his new bride, formerly Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s particular friend.

It all made perfect sense, and yet it made no sense at all.

But that did not matter; she was here, and somehow she was even lovelier than he had remembered. It seemed impossible, but it was true.

Though he had been tempted to interrupt when some of his aunt’s questions became too personal, Elizabeth had handled the situation with grace, and he suspected only Mrs. Collins and he had understood some of her answers had double meanings.

Now, she at the pianoforte performing a song he had heard her present once before at Lucas Lodge. At that time, although her performance had not been executed perfectly, he had taken much pleasure from it. Now it was spoiled by the smile she aimed at Richard, who turned the pages for her.

“Is that not correct, Darcy?” Aunt Catherine asked, but he had no idea of what subject she had been speaking.

He glanced at Anne, who stifled a smile. Mr. Gibbs sat next to her, his eyes shining with repressed mirth.

Was his inattention that obvious?

Anne’s nod was faint. He hoped that was a signal as to what his answer should be.

“Yes, of course, Aunt,” Darcy replied.

He looked at Mrs. Collins.

Elizabeth’s friend found even more humour in the situation than Anne and Mr. Gibbs did.

Aunt Catherine did not seem upset. She probably thought Mrs. Collins was smiling in appreciation of whatever advice she was dishing out, which he had just agreed to. She had been talking about caring for chickens earlier, but sometimes her instruction flitted from one subject to the next.

After what Anne had said about her mother’s memory, he only hoped whatever guidance he just supported was something appropriate for mixed company.

When Aunt Catherine turned her head, Anne gestured towards the pianoforte. Before his aunt began speaking again, he took his cousin’s suggestion and excused himself.

Once Elizabeth was in his sights, he could not take his eyes off her. He headed straight to the pianoforte, or as straight as one could in Aunt Catherine’s cluttered parlour.

A bit of jealousy coursed through him. Richard was always so smooth with the ladies, and as the party from the parsonage entered, Richard had leaned in and whispered to him that this was the dark-haired angel he had seen walking near the road on their way here. He hoped Elizabeth was not as taken with his cousin.

Elizabeth was laughing when she fixed hers eyes on him. His heart skipped a beat.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Darcy,” she said.

He hoped his deep intake of breath did not show. Whenever she said his name, he had a similar reaction.

“Miss Bennet.” He bowed.

“Colonel Fitzwilliam just asked how we met. I was telling him about my meeting you at the assembly ball in Hertfordshire, sir.”

“Were you?” Good grief, could he not muster up something better than that to say?

“Yes, shall I tell him all, sir?”

“Darcy can keep no secrets from me, Miss Bennet. I always sniff them out.” Richard threw a meaningful look his way, but Darcy could not sort it out.

Darcy nodded to Elizabeth. No matter what she said next, it would be worth being on the receiving end of the smile she now directed at him. fffffff

Excerpt My Valentine – Mandy H. Cook

“Is that your lucky fan?” Henry inquired, crossing the room to the curio cabinet.

Charlotte sighed. “I am afraid it is too delicate to carry daily now,” she answered. “It is kept on display, for my pleasure.” She was silent for a moment, captivated by cherished memories. “It was a gift from my Valentine, you know,” she picked up again. “My thoughtful Valentine.”

“The same one who saddled you with that pompous beast? Where is old Valley anyway?” he asked, checking his heels.

Charlotte shook her head, chuckling. “Valley is not old, and she answers to Her Ladyship now, if you please.”

“Entitled, is she?”

“Since clearing the larder in Wellington. Her Grace nearly sent me off when I refused to let her keep Valley. In the end, the dog received a courtesy title, and I was able to keep my room in the guest wing.”

“Do you enjoy traveling to and fro?” Henry asked.

“A perk of being nearly shelved, I suppose, but I do not expect I will ever meet a cap that I find tolerable.” A comfortable silence settled for a moment, broken by the sound of small draperies being opened immediately followed by a tiny yawn and carpet scratches.

“Ah,” said Charlotte, smiling knowingly at her guest, “Her Ladyship rises from her bed. It must be tea time.”

Henry turned to look over his shoulder, noticing for the first time the tiny draperies arranged beneath Charlotte’s writing desk. The draperies now stood open, revealing a bed of pillows and blankets. A diminutive dog growled until correct homage was paid in back scratches, and then advanced to her mistress for a similar treatment. Once satisfied, Valley pranced to the extended pull rope and gave it a tug. A maid entered, listened to the yipped orders, curtseyed, and excused herself.

“’Tis the silliest thing I have ever seen!” Henry exclaimed.

Charlotte’s head bobbed in humble agreement even as she held up her hand, indicating there was to be more to the show.

Not a minute later, the maid returned with the tea tray. She set it up near to Charlotte but removed a small dish of tea and another of thumbprint biscuits. The maid also enjoyed teasing the dog and turned to go, but she was called back and deafened until adding the lemon slice to the tea. Valley growled, mumbling her opinion of such slack service before delicately lifting a biscuit from the plate.

“You take that beast out in public?” Henry asked, gawking.

Charlotte poured the tea, a soft smile playing about her mouth.

“Everyone loves her. They fuss when I leave her behind, in fact. Most invitations are now sent to both of us.” She chuckled. “When my Valentine gifted me the tiny terrier, I was not immediately impressed, I assure you. A noble hunter or pointer – sure, they are useful breeds. But I was saddled with a tripping hazard, an ankle biter at best.” Her voice quavered just a bit. “I could not have asked for a better companion. And as for usefulness! Well, she is a fierce huntress, better than any cat in the kitchens,” Charlotte finished with aplomb.

“You will be opening a Lady’s Club and taking wagers soon?” Henry asked in all seriousness, but his sparkling eyes contradicted the tone of voice.

“I shall be forced to find a cap after all, to keep it presentable,” Charlotte responded in kind.

“I do not recall – have you received any more treasures from your ‘Valentine’?”

Charlotte’s smile marked her contentment. “Every year, I expect to be disappointed. I have reasons why this year will be the last. Yet, every year, on the fourteenth of February, I receive a thoughtful momento.”

“And you have no idea who might be your Gallahad?”

“I was once convinced it was my parents, but not now. I really have no idea.”

Robin Helm bio

Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy (a guardian angel protects a supernaturally gifted girl), the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours (Fitzwilliam Darcy switches places in time with his descendant, Will Darcy), and Understanding Elizabeth (Regency romance).

She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017. A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2  was released on December 29, 2018. A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3 is planned for December 2019.

She lives in sunny South Carolina and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.   

Laura Hile bio

Readers are loving Laura Hile’s joyous Regency novels. Her signature style—with intertwined plots, cliffhangers, laugh-out-loud humor, and romance—keeps them coming back for more.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with teen students!

Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a collection of antique clocks.

Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.

Wendi Sotis bio

Wendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed of an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallows Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping (with just a dash of Austen); The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned.

The Marriage Pact, and some of Wendi’s works-in-progress, have branched away from JAFF to Regency Romance (the Loving an Aldridge Series) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (the Implicated series). Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Elizabeth together again and again in an unusual manner.

Barbara Cornthwaite bio

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

Susan Kaye bio

Susan Kaye discovered Jane Austen and writing at about the same time. She leads a quiet life with her husband and dog, Harley. “I don’t know a lot, but I do know I’ve probably spent more time with Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot than just about anybody else.”

Mandy Helm Cook bio

Mandy Cook was an RN for over ten years, half of which she served in the Navy, living in far-flung places, enjoying experiencing the world while following her calling. Just before she and her handsome Marine were both deployed to different places, they married. They now have three children, ages four and younger.

She previously published The Gifted, using her nursing experience to lend accuracy to her story about an ER nurse who is handed a gift that changes her life forever. Adversity, and a long history of secrets, constantly battle against her natural instinct for truth and justice, but will the truth be worth the dare?

Buy Link:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

A Very Austen Valentine Blog Tour Schedule

01/06 Just the Write Escape; Guest Post, Giveaway

01/07 Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Giveaway 

01/08 So Little Time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

01/09 Babblings of a Bookworm; Author Interview/Character Interview, Giveaway

01/10 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

01/11 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

01/12 My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, Giveaway

01/13 open

01/14 From Pemberley to Milton; Excerpt, Review or Vignette, Giveaway

01/15 My life journey; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

01/16 My Vices and Weaknesses; Guest Post or Vignette. Excerpt, Giveaway

01/17 open

01/18 Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

01/19 open

01/20 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

01/21 Austenprose; Author Interview

Contact Information:

Robin Helm

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Helm/e/B005MLFMTG

Website:  BeyondAusten.com https://www.beyondausten.com/

Twitter: @rmhelm

Facebook: Robin Helm https://www.facebook.com/RobinHelmAuthor/

Facebook: Austen Anthologies https://www.facebook.com/AustenAnthologies/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Instagram: @jrhelm  or @AustenAnthologies

Goodreads: Robin_M_Helm https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5210675.Robin_M_Helm

Blogging: Robin M. Helm https://robinmhelm.com/

Laura Hile

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Hile/e/B003UT6VDS/

Blogging: Laura Hile https://laurahile.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @LauraHile

Facebook: LauraHileAuthor https://www.facebook.com/LauraHileWriter/

Forum: BeyondAusten.com https://www.beyondausten.com/

Goodreads: Laura Hile https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2967234.Laura_Hile

Wendi Sotis

Amazon Author Page:             https://www.amazon.com/Wendi-Sotis/e/B005CSBVFS/

Website: http://wendisotis.com

Facebook: Wendi Sotis, Author https://www.facebook.com/author.wendi.sotis/

Twitter: @WendiSotis

Forum: BeyondAusten.com http://BeyondAusten.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5009020.Wendi_Sotis

Barbara Cornthwaite

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Cornthwaite/e/B00J47TTZM/

Website: Jane Started It! https://crownhillwriters.wordpress.com/barbara-cornthwaite/

Mandy Cook

Facebook: Mandy Helm Cook https://www.facebook.com/mandy.helm.7

Instagram: @hisloved1s

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Mandy-Helm/e/B07KND3K8R/

Susan Kaye

Amazon Author Page:             https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Kaye/e/B001JRVMYQ/ ]

Website: Jane Started It! https://crownhillwriters.wordpress.com/susan-kaye/

Facebook: Susan Kaye  https://www.facebook.com/susan.kaye2

Giveaway:

Ten eBooks of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2; International

One Paperback Copy of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2; US only

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five-stars

Comments

  1. Love the excerpts and I’m looking forward to reading this. I have it in my list however I have little success with Rafflecopter so I haven’t entered the giveaway.

  2. DarcyBennett says:

    Enjoyed the excerpts. Thanks for the giveaway!

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