Monday, 16 March 2020

When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella - Blog Tour, Guest Post

Blog Tour - When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella
I'm very happy to be welcoming author Belén Paccagnella here with the blog tour for the Pride & Prejudice variation, When Duty Calls. Belén has brought a guest post, and the opportunity to win an ebook of When Duty Calls. Let's look at the blurb and then I'll hand over to Belén for her guest post.

Book cover - When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella
Book Description

The Netherfield ball brings about many changes for the population of Meryton, and more so for the female residents of Longbourn. Mr. Bingley’s departure leaves the eldest, Jane Bennet, heartbroken whilst Mr. Collins’s proposal induces Miss Elizabeth to make a hasty escape. During her flight, she happens upon Mr. Darcy, a gentleman she despises. A moment of solitude in the woods leads to rather improper behavior, and the couple departs with the promise they will tell no one about their minor indiscretion. When their secret is finally uncovered, marriage becomes the only solution to saving Elizabeth from social disgrace. Her other grudges against Mr. Darcy are amplified by resentment and the prospect of spending her life with a man she can never respect. Nonetheless, the marriage takes place, forcing the young couple to deal with their pride and prejudices as husband and wife.


Originally posted online almost twenty years ago, this Regency tale of redemption narrates the struggles of two people, their differences, and their rocky start. But will they succeed in overcoming lies, misunderstandings, and their own errors to finally find love?

Guest Post from Belén Paccagnella 

Hi Ceri! Thank you for hosting me here at Babblings of a Bookworm. I hope you enjoy what I wrote for this guest post

Lockets

I have always loved lockets. For some reason, I find them fascinating, not only for their unique designs but also because of what they represented along the centuries. There is something about these little pieces of jewelry that rouses my imagination and makes me want to guess what secrets they enclose, and why would someone want to carry them with them all the time. 

Over time, lockets were worn for different purposes, some of them quite obscure. Originally, especially in the 15th to 17th centuries, they were used to identify the members of one family, to hide amulets for good luck, as the symbol of some forbidden religion, or even to contain a vial of poison to be used in case of emergency. You never know when you’ll have to commit suicide or murder someone! 

In the 18th and 19th centuries, lockets grew in popularity and were associated with love, whether it was romantic or familial. They could contain the lock of hair of a lover or the ashes of a deceased spouse. Later, in the early 20th century, during World War I and II, soldiers wore lockets to carry with them pictures or letters of the family they left behind, and that they might never see again.

Some of you must be wondering why I chose this topic for this stop at Babblings of a Bookworm, and what it has to do with my story. Well, it has a good bit to do with my story. Sometimes, in books or movies, objects and props can become characters on their own right. They are almost an extension of the character. In others, like this locket, objects are simply tools the author uses to show a character’s frame of mind in a certain moment in time. 

When I first wrote When Duty Calls, almost twenty years ago, the locket wasn't even a locket, it was just a heart-shaped charm that was mentioned only twice in the book. The first time was when Elizabeth received it as a present from the man she’s forced to marry. The second one happened halfway through the story, in a very pivotal scene where she finally acknowledged she’s in love with her own husband. I didn’t think the locket was relevant for the plot at the time. To me, it was only a colorful way to portray the characters’ feelings through an everyday object. I don't even think its historically accurate, as heart-shaped lockets weren't a popular symbol of romantic love until the late 1800s and early 1900s, but I added it nonetheless.


Book cover - When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella
It was Janet, the designer of the beautiful cover of When Duty Calls, who drew my attention to the locket when she told me she would use it on the cover. I loved the idea, I thought it was brilliant.  With her excellent eye for details and extraordinary sensibility, she made me realize its relevance within the story. This inspired me to include the locket in a third scene, and also make it part of this blog tour. Throughout the story, the locket reflects Elizabeth’s feelings in three very different stages of her relationship with Darcy. First it conveys her confusion and despondency for an unwanted marriage; later it becomes a way to demonstrate her growing affection for her husband, and in the third scene, when she believes everything is lost, she clings to it while blurting out the words that trigger Darcy’s (spoiler alert!) second proposal. (Fun fact: when Janet and I searched the Internet for images of lockets, we both chose the same picture!)

So now you know a little more about lockets and my fascination with them. Thank you for your participation in this blog tour, your encouragement, and words of affection. They mean the world to me. Also thank you, Ceri, for letting me be part of your blog and sharing with your readers this little secret of how a simple prop became a cherished part of my novel. 

For those who missed the previous posts and are curious about the two scenes that mention the locket, you can find them here, at Meryton Press and Austenprose

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Thanks so much to Belén Paccagnella for highlighting the significance of the locket in the story. Now it's been highlighted it's something I will look for when I read the story :)

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Author Belén Paccagnella
Author Bio

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Belén Paccagnella discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction after watching the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice. In her teens, she lived in Brazil when her family moved to the city of Curitiba due to her father’s work. She moved back to Buenos Aires a few years later, where she studied agronomy but finally pursued a different career and started working in the development and administration of shopping centers.

In 2001, she began writing both Regency and modern stories, adapting the Pride and Prejudice storyline to different backdrops, merging drama, humor, and adventure while creating characters with unique traits. Almost two decades later, she published Obstacles, a modern variation released in 2018 by Meryton Press.

Belén still lives in the suburbs of Buenos Aires where she shares her home with her pets while spending her time working, reading, and writing.

Links: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Book cover - When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella
Buy Links

When Duty Calls
 is available to buy now in both paperback and ebook and to read via Kindle Unlimited - Amazon US / Amazon UK / Add to Goodreads Shelf


Giveaway Time!

Meryton Press is giving away 8 ebooks of When Duty Calls with this blog tour. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter.


Note Regarding Comments: I love to read your comments, but a few blog visitors have reported difficulties in commenting while using the Safari browser. If you are unable to comment, please try using another web browser, such as Google Chrome, or please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)


Blog Tour - When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella

Blog Tour Schedule

March 13 Austenprose

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32 comments:

  1. I admit to never owning a locket. I wonder who tells Elizabeth and Darcy's secret

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    1. Hi Vesper! That makes two of us!

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    2. Hi Vesper. I have a locket with nothing in it, what is the point in that?! I also have another that my mother gave me. It is hers from many years ago and has old black and white pictures of her mother and father.

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  2. I had a locket growing up that I absolutely loved. I will need to track it down as I hope it hasn't been lost. The story sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Darcybennet. They are a bit out of fashion right now, but they are lovely nonetheless

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    2. Hope you find it, Darcybennett!

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  3. Interesting post, Belen, I wonder who were these people who thought it necessary to carry poison in their lockets; they must have lived through dangerous times! Your use of a locket in your story sounds intriguing!

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    1. Hi Kelly! I guess those were more dangerous and dramatic times. Romeo carried a vial with poison with him, so I imagine it was a common practice then ;)

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    2. This comment reminded me that when I was a teenager I had a ring that opened up like a locket, like one of those poison ones from a period drama. I wonder what happened to it?! It was pointless though, as you couldn't put anything in it really, as I am not in the habit of poisoning people :)

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  4. I have a comment to add from Jan Hahn:

    I love lockets and look forward to the part one plays in your story. Leave it to Janet to notice this and include it on your cover. She’s a wonder at things like that. Good post, Belén!

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    1. Thank you Ceri! Yes, Janet has the talent to notice what others overlook.

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    2. Janet is fab isn't she!

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  5. I never owned a locket, but I do find them fascinating. I always wondered how someone chooses a picture to fit in them... It's usually so small. Looking forward to reading your story!

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    1. thanks Dung, I hope you do. I imagine it's either a small picture or a large locket.

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    2. Hi Dung. I wonder if the way we take photos now has contributed to the decline of the locket? When I was a kid, we didn't take half as many photos as we do now, and therefore a lot more group ones meaning that the faces were much smaller in the prints, so it was easier to find a picture for your locket.

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  6. I do have locket. I find it wonderful to have however I don't use due to my work and I fear losing it.

    Thank you for the post.Love to know more ofthe story and the couple's daily interactions.

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    1. Thanks Buturot! There will be more excerpts and deleted scenes in future posts

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the post, Buturot!

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  7. Belen,
    I must admit to looking forward to reading your book abc seeing the locket play its part in the three different stages of the book.

    I’m delighted and heartened to see that Janet has,once again,worked her special kind of magic on the cover and mirrored the wonderful story within.
    She certainly possesses a certain talent for finding that little ‘something’ that hides in plain sight and slowly reveals itself to the reader,on completion.

    Wishing you the best best of luck with your book.☘️

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    1. Thank you, Mary! You are such a dear! You do know how to make my day!

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    2. Thank you Mary, the credit goes entirely to Janet. What was a simple detail became a concept of greater relevance.

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    3. Thanks for your lovely comment, Mary :)

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  8. Sounds like a great FMS book, congratulations.

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  9. I have a beautiful silver heart locket that my granddaughter gave me one year. I treasure it. I really enjoyed this post, Belén! It was interesting and neat to read how you worked the locket into your story. It was really neat reading what made you realize its relevance. I had no idea, but I'm pleased! :) Now I need to find and read that third scene! Best wishes on this wonderful book.

    Ceri, than you for hosting and being part of the blog tour.

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    1. Thank you Janet for all the hard work with the cover and organizing this blog tour.

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    2. Thanks so much, Janet!

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  10. Back in the day it was popular to wear lockets. I've worm them on long and short chains. I've had lockets both large and small. It was fun to see what you could put inside them. What a memory. Blessings on the launch and success of this work. Thanks to Ceri for hosting and thanks to Belen and her publisher for the generous giveaway. Stay safe everyone.

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    1. Thank You for sharing your experience with lockets!

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  11. I have a couple of lockets, but I never know what to put in them. I always thought it was for photos, but never had photos so tiny. Mr. Suze will ahve to collect some hair next time he's at the barber!

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    1. Or ...you can always cut a lock of his hair while he sleeps ;)

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    2. It's so hard to find photos small enough, isn't it. I have a locket that I've had about 20 years and still don't have photos in it.

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