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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

On Equal Ground by Elizabeth Adams - Guest Post and Giveaway

On Equal Ground by Elizabeth AdamsI have the pleasure of welcoming Elizabeth Adams back to the blog today. Elizabeth has a new book out, On Equal Ground, which is a Pride & Prejudice variation. This book deals with a premise that can be somewhat less popular in romance, and particularly in JAFF, but it's one which happens in real life and may well have happened to somebody you know - continuing on with life and finding happiness after the love of your life has died. Now, don't worry, Elizabeth & Darcy are both still around; one of them has married another, and been very happy, but this book looks at the loss, and moving on afterwards.

I was interested in what had prompted Elizabeth to explore this road and she was so kind as to write us a post detailing just that. Let me share the blurb with you, and then we'll hand over to Elizabeth:

Blurb:

Well-read, observant, and spirited, a young Elizabeth Bennet draws the attention of a wealthy widower.

When she finally meets Mr. Darcy, she outranks him. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from insulting her. Married and wealthy, is she still beneath his notice?

Elizabeth’s high society connections create new opportunities for her sisters and, in turn, keep Darcy close to her family.

When tragedy strikes, will Darcy rise to the occasion? Or will his propensity to give offense show no respect for rank?


Author Elizabeth Adams
On Equal Ground - Guest Post by Elizabeth Adams

There are so many reasons I wanted to write this book, it’s hard to know where to begin. For the sake of brevity, I’ll stick with the big ones.

There were some themes I wanted to explore. I’ve been thinking about Elizabeth on a more even level with Darcy for a long time now. I was curious so see what would happen to their relationship—how they would interact—if she wasn’t so far beneath him.

There are a few ways to accomplish this. The Bennets can be higher as a whole, Elizabeth can be someone other than a Bennet, or she can marry up. Of those options, I liked marrying best. That was the germ of this story, but I didn’t act on it. It existed in the back of my mind as an idea of a book I might write one day, but nothing I was burning to write immediately. Then, inspiration struck.

I also wanted to write a widow.

Widowhood is a theme I’ve been wanting to explore for a little while. An old friend of mine was widowed two years ago. It was fairly unexpected; she was thirty-two and had two children under six.

It really shook me up.

Besides the obvious reasons of being heartbroken for my friend and her children, I couldn’t help comparing her to myself. We are the same age—only two weeks apart. We met at a Christmas party when we were ten. My husband was actually a couple years older than hers. We had learned to drive together, gone on our first double dates together, and been pregnant together. Seeing her lose her husband to an unexpected heart condition was shocking to say the least.

When the shock had worn off and I got back to work, I started thinking about broader themes of love. We put a lot of pressure on love—in western culture, as writers, and as readers. If there is only one person for everyone, what happens when the one you’re with dies? Should the widowed partner be alone the rest of their lives because their one and only love is dead?

That seems like a sad existence, especially if your partner dies relatively young.

I’ve read books before where the widowed partner moves on to someone new. It seems like a pretty common theme to have the protagonist discover that their new love is their true love, and the person that they were with before was just a placeholder, or puppy love, or less than in some way.

But I don’t like that either. It devalues the first relationship and glosses over an entire period of life.

I’m not saying you can’t love your second spouse more than your first, or the other way around.

Maybe the loves are just very different. But I wanted to write something different from what is often read and show another side to the story.

Love can come twice. A person doesn’t have to deny their first love to attain their second.

It is a complicated situation and a complex story to tell, but I thought it was worth telling, for people in a situation similar to my friend’s, for anyone who’s ever loved twice, or lost a love. And who better to show us how that’s done than Elizabeth Bennet?

You can buy this book now at Amazon US, Amazon UK and add it to your Goodreads shelf.

Bio:

Elizabeth Adams is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips - as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand.

She writes romantic comedy and comedic tragedy in both historic and modern settings.

She is the author of historical books The Houseguest, Unwilling, Meryton Vignettes, and On Equal Ground, as well as Green Card, a modern comedy.

You can find more information, short stories, and outtakes at elizabethadamswrites.wordpress.com
  
Giveaway Time

Book Cover: On Equal Ground by Elizabeth Adams
Elizabeth Adams is very kindly giving away an ebook of On Equal Ground for a commenter on this blog post. To enter, please make your comment by the end of the day on Wednesday 4 October, ensuring that you leave contact details of some sort. This giveaway is open internationally.

Thank you so much to Elizabeth for visiting us, and giving us this peep into her inspiration.

63 comments:

  1. Looks awesome! I love your books and it is definitely another on the TBR list! :)

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    1. Hi Kari, I hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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  2. I like the idea of two true loves as obviously this must be possible in situations like this.
    I've only read one other variation with Elizabeth married to someone who died and that was Mistress by Sophie Turner where there was definitely no love for the first husband!
    I look forward to reading this one and have already bought it so please don't enter me in the giveaway.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Glynis. I am trying to think of versions with previous marriages. I can't think of many but one that springs to mind is The Best Part of Love by Amy D'Orazio, which I didn't read all of because of the angst, but there were some interesting comments on the forum on AHA about first loves/subsequent loves.

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    2. Oh my Ceri, how could I forget that one? I too am not a big angst lover but I just had to read it after reading all the praise. It was hard because I had to constantly wipe my glasses with all the tears I shed. You really should try to finish it if possible as it's so worth it.

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    3. It almost broke me, Glynis, I am not sure I'm brave enough! I don't think it helped that I was reading it on the forum, so I had to wait for each chapter to be posted. Also, I believe that that author was going to go in a direction which was too much for me, and she afterwards changed her mind. So I possibly could read it now, but I am not sure I will ever have the courage!

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    4. Well I must admit I don't think I could have finished it in those circumstances Ceri. As it is I just had to keep reading and sobbing my way through until the end and catch up on sleep etc later. Good luck if you ever do try.

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    5. What are we like, Glynis! I bet I will be the same if I am ever brave enough to read it. Some people love angst, but I find it uncomfortable to read.

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  3. I like the idea that the first marriage create new opportunities for her sisters, hopefully that is explored in the book

    meikleblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. That's an interesting idea, isn't it, Vesper. I'd like to know what difference it made too.

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  4. I love how authors use the framework of P&P to explore such profound and real aspects of life. This book sounds amazing.

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    1. I hope you like the book! I think JAFF as a whole has started exploring broader themes lately, and as a writer, I was ready to do so as well. Life is messy, and sometimes it helps to see our favorite characters overcoming the same struggles as we do.

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    2. I think that's a good point, dezigner. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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  5. Your books sounds very interesting. I am looking forward to reading it.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it, Joan.

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  6. I love Elizabeth's books and am so excited about her latest. Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy!

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    1. Thanks Pamela, good luck in the giveaway.

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  7. Some of us have loved more than twice, altho' not necessarily had more than one or two spouses. Things change, people change, life changes. I look forward to seeing how Elizabeth has Elizabeth handle this situation. TeaGuide.net at gmail dot com.

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    1. I think that's such a good point, we change so much as people even just through the passage of time but big life events definitely leave their mark, for better or worse.

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  9. Hi Ceri,

    I've heard great things about this book and must admit that I'm looking forward to reading it!

    I,too,read Mistress by Sophue Turner,where Lizzy was married to another and I think I can fairly say that we,as readers,were delighted that she got a second chance with Darcy as her first marriage was horrific,to say the least.

    Therefore it will intetesting to see how readers will react to find Lizzy happily married to a man,other than Darcy.

    Grieving the loss of this, her first lover and partner will not be easy,nor will the person watching from the sides,so close yet so far away,have an easy time of it.
    I'm assuming this will be an angst filled read,but as long as we are assured of a HEA,I think a little sprinkling of angst can make the tale more compelling and satisfying! Anything worth achieving is worth fighting for,after all!!

    Best of luck with this book,Elizabeth.
    Cheers Ceri for such a lovely post! ☺️

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    1. Thanks Mary. I think that one of the big attractions of JAFF is the idea of a love being meant to be. It's a very romantic notion and I like it a lot although I don't really believe in it for real life, only in fiction.

      So bearing that in mind, in some respects it's easier to think of Elizabeth having a bad first marriage, whereas in reality I'd prefer her to be happy twice!

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  10. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend's husband. I do appreciate that you are exploring this avenue. I have read two books that have taken this route as well. Each was handled beautifully. I look forward to reading how Elizabeth and Darcy come together under your imaginative 'pen'.

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    1. Thank you, Carole. I hope you like the book. :-)

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    2. Thanks Carole. I was really touched to hear Elizabeth's inspiration for this story and I admire her for exploring something that touched her heart on such a personal level.

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  11. I am curious to know whom Elizabeth married. It is a very interesting premise. Elizabeth would be giving up her freedom to remarry, and I would expect that would be very hard for her. I can also imagine that Darcy would not want to always worry if he was being compared to the first husband. Thank you for the giveaway.

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    1. That's very true, Eva. If a widow was left well-provided for, a remarriage was a risk. From a practical point of view, widowhood gave a woman a measure of autonomy that she couldn't expect otherwise.

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  12. Sounds deliciously angsty. My kind of thing.

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    1. I am a bit scared by it. You are a braver woman than me!

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  13. Read this, enjoyed this, recommend this.

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    1. Good to know, Sheila! I find that reassuring.

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  14. Elizabeth, you really explained the concept of first love vs next love as not being either or... or even one over the other, but both. Does that make sense? I liked where you rejected the concept of the first love being a placeholder for the second. That diminishes the first love. I don't like that. You really impressed me with this concept. Thanks Ceri for hosting this informative post. Blessings Elizabeth on the success of this launch. I look forward to reading it.

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    1. Yes, it makes sense! That's exactly what I'm saying! Loves can just be different, they don't always have to be greater or less than. I hope you like the book. :-)

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    2. Thanks for commenting, Jeanne. I agree with what you say. As a first wife, if something happened to me I'd like my husband to find happiness again, but to have our relationship diminished to placeholder seems wrong to me too.

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  15. Thank you so much for hosting me, Ceri. And thank you for all the thoughtful comments. I think I can honestly say this is the most thought-provoking book I've ever written. Thanks for being open to it and sharing your impressions with me.

    EA

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    1. Thank you for this post, Elizabeth. I was a little concerned when we talked about what to post about whether it might be a little personal, but I loved reading it, and I am so glad you shared it with us.

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  16. This sounds interesting! Would love to see how E&D navigate through their hate&love.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it, Priscilla.

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  17. The book sounds really good. I am intrigued that Elizabeth is a widow and outranks Darcy and look forward to finding out this changes things. jadseah4 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. The thought of her outranking him is interesting isn't it, Darcybennett!

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  18. I am intrigued! Can't wait!
    Cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net

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  19. I don't believe one can love again after they lose the love of their life, but I can understand the need of having someone special in one's life to overcome the pain. I think that choosing "another" love would be disrespectful towards the lost one. That said, I've read some books with widows/widowers falling in love again and I have to admit they made me reflect more on this topic, so I'm curious to read this story.

    newyorkgirl82(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It's interesting to hear your perspective, Maria.

      Hopefully I'll never need to find out personally, as I am married to the person I started going out with when I was seventeen, but if something did happen, I would like to think that part of life wasn't closed off to me (or closed to him, if the situation was reversed). I don't necessarily think the relationship would be the same, but I think we change so much as people that it's not a bad thing.

      When I was pregnant with my second child I worried that I wouldn't be able to love baby 2 as much as baby 1 but I did, right from the beginning. I think we have so much capacity for love that I can see it being possible to have more than one true love. I hope so anyway, for people who lose their love.

      Good luck in the giveaway, Maria!

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    2. Thanks, Ceri! Probably I think that because I've always thought (and still think) that people can only have one true love. If one gets married because deeply in love, I really can't imagine how they can find another person to love and share their life with if they lose the first one. Of course it's possible (since I have seen lots of people that got married twice) but I wonder if they did it not to live alone the rest of their life or if they really fell in love again.

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    3. I know there are definitely people who marry again for companionship, but I would like to think that people can love more than once. I suppose you don't know unless it happens to you or to somebody close to you who would be honest about it. I know people who've married again after losing their first spouse but it's a bit too much of a personal question to ask!

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  20. Life is too short not to grab happiness where you can. And Elizabeth's first husband made her promise to find love again...he knew the value of that commodity.

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    1. 100% agree, Sheila. You only have one life and need to make the most of it.

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  21. Thanks for the great post, Ceri and Elizabeth, so moving! Please don't enter me in the giveaway, I'm just stopping by to say how much I enjoyed reading this book. I love Elizabeth's writing style, so vibrant and real. Best wishes and congrats!

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    1. So glad to have your seal of approval, Joana! Thanks for commenting.

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  22. I would love to win this as Elizabeth is a favorite author of mine! The Houseguest is one I like to re-read when I need an escape.

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    1. Isn't it great when an author we enjoy has a new book out! Best of luck in the giveaway, Sarah :)

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    2. Thank you, Sarah! I'm so pleased you're reading! The whole point of The Houseguest was to escape, so I'm glad it worked. :-)

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  23. Elizabeth is one of my favorite authors! I can't wait to read this novel! Thanks for the wonderful blog post and the giveaway!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Leah. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  24. I’ve been following this blog tour and every post makes me want to drop everything to read this book! Loved reading Elizabeth’s thoughts on writing the book.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post, Anna, I found it so interesting to have this insight into what prompted this particular scenario.

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  25. I like that Elizabeth is married into the nobility and thus of higher rank than Darcy. I cannot wait to find out how Darcy snub her and how their love story will be portrayed. Thank you for sharing your motivation to write On Equal Ground, Ms Adams.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. There is no pleasing Darcy, is there, he snubs high and low!

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  26. I find this premise intriguing. I have read a few Darcy and Elizabeth stories where one or the other was previously married. I am interested in seeing how this story comes about. Thank you for the generous giveaway.
    skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks Debbie! I hope you enjoy the book when you read it.

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