Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Forgotten Betrothal by L M Romano - Blog Tour, Author Interview & Giveaway

Book cover: Forgotten Betrothal by L M Romano
Today I’m welcoming a new author to Babblings of a Bookworm. L M Romano has written a Pride & Prejudice variation called Forgotten Betrothal, which sounds potentially angsty to me! Let’s look at the book description and then we will settle in for a chat with L M Romano to learn more about both her and Forgotten Betrothal. Publishers Quills and Quartos are also offering an ebook giveaway so please read on for more details. 

Book Description 

Enlightenment dawned, sharp and painful in its glaring exactitude. He knew. From the moment she had uttered her true name, he had known that she was not free. So why was he here? Why did he still look at her in that way? Why could she see the adoration in his eyes and the torment in his features? Had he come to say goodbye? To leave her to this fate?

How can an innocent stroll through Hyde Park change the course of so many lives?

Confused and chastened following her cruel rejection of Mr Darcy’s proposal, Elizabeth Bennet returns to her aunt’s home in Gracechurch Street. Unable to find solace while pondering her terrible misjudgment of his character, she is overwhelmed with guilt for how she treated the puzzling gentleman from Derbyshire.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has retreated to his London home after being spurned by the lady he loves, and after serious reflection has come to the realisation that he never deserved Elizabeth’s good opinion.

A chance encounter brings the opportunity to seek forgiveness, and possibly, a new start to their budding romance. But the introduction of a stranger into Elizabeth’s life threatens to reveal old family secrets that have the potential to truly unravel her world and all that she holds dear.

Author L M Romano
Author Interview with L M Romano

C: Thanks so much to L M Romano for stopping in to visit Babblings of a Bookworm and consenting to answer my nosey questions!

LMR: Hi, Ceri! It’s a pleasure being here today. Thank you for hosting me and Forgotten Betrothal at Babblings of a Bookworm.

C: So let’s start with Jane. What was your introduction to Austen? 

LMR: My first exposure to Jane Austen was actually through film. My mom bought both the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility and the 1996 adaptation of Emma on VHS when I was maybe eleven or twelve years old, and they became favourites in our household. Naturally, those particular works of Austen became the first that I read, followed by Mansfield Park and then Pride & Prejudice. What I find distinctly funny now is the fact that my desire to read Pride & Prejudice also came through film, but not from an actual adaptation of the novel. In You’ve Got Mail (1998) with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, Ryan’s character confesses to reading Pride & Prejudice over 200 times and is frequently seen with a copy of P&P throughout the movie. I figured it had to be a worthwhile read! While I don’t believe I have read it over 200 times (as admirable as that figure is), I do read through it at least once a year.

C: What other authors do you enjoy reading? 

LMR: My nose is almost constantly stuck in a book, so this could be a pretty long list – I’ll try to keep it short! I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the historical fiction/mystery novels of Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series, and I’ve probably read all of the Harry Potter novels at least four times each. I do enjoy Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and I’ve read plenty of the classics (the Bronte sisters, Shakespeare, Homer, Milton, etc.), but mostly I read history books. My favourite historians are Natalie Zemon Davis, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Lyndal Roper, and Joel Harrington – all of which have produced excellent books on various topics of early modern European history. I also really enjoy the geopolitical works of Tim Marshall, which my students can attest since I assign them quite frequently as required reading. Sometimes I even read poetry, my favourite work being Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal.

C: What is your favourite Austen work/character? 

LMR: My favourite work by Jane is Austen is most definitely Pride & Prejudice, and Mr Darcy would have to be my favourite character. Don’t get me wrong, I think Elizabeth Bennet is one of the best heroines ever written, but there is just something about Darcy that intrigues me more. His character is far less revealed in the novel, and I think this element of mystery combined with his reserved, yet passionate, nature simply makes him more alluring.

C: I see the attraction of Mr Darcy, but for me, Elizabeth was the character that made me fall in love with the story of Pride & Prejudice, I identified with her so strongly the first time I read the book. It blew my mind that a book written so many years before I read it could have a character who was so relatable.

C: How did you discover the Austen-inspired genre?

LMR: I first read Linda Berdoll’s Mr Darcy Takes a Wife back in college because one of my roommates recommended it to me, but I didn’t realise it was an entire genre until 2019. I think the first book I downloaded to my Kindle was Elizabeth AdamsThe 26th of November (a thoroughly delightful read) and from then on, I was hooked. My all-time favourite is still one of the earliest books I read – Jessie LewisMistaken, which I think has the best Darcy I have ever seen in the JAFF world.

C: I was the same, I read a book in the genre years before I discovered that it was a genre, although to be fair this was back in the mid 1990s so it was in the early stages! It took me until 2011 to find that there was more.

Next question - What sparked the idea for this story? 

LMR: There are plenty of stories that follow the “Elizabeth is not a Bennet” trope, and I think the challenge it presented excited me. In most books that follow this storyline, it is common to see the plot diverge from canon quite early – either Elizabeth has always known she was adopted or is at least aware at the opening of the story, or she is presented as a Bennet cousin and her circumstances are known in Hertfordshire. I was curious to see if I could create a storyline that did not diverge from canon until after the failed Hunsford proposal. I didn’t want Elizabeth to know of her origins, nor for Mr Darcy to miss the deserved set-down she delivers when she rejects his hand.

Basically, I wanted both Darcy and Elizabeth to still experience the growth that Austen wrote into their characters’ development, but in a wholly different setting. I also wanted to make Elizabeth’s elevation in society an obstacle for Darcy, rather than a relief. Darcy needed to prefer that Elizabeth had actually been a Bennet – to feel the irony of disparaging her previous circumstances when her new position threatens his plans and their future happiness.

C: The blurb for this story reads like it might be an angsty read. Do you prefer a relaxing read or an angsty rollercoaster, and are your tastes different depending on whether you are reading or writing?

LMR: Actually, I’m not overly fond of excessive angst. I don’t know if I would characterize Forgotten Betrothal as “angsty” – perhaps “suspenseful” would be more fitting, but I will leave that to the opinion of the reader. When it comes to my reading preferences, I think it depends on the kind of angst involved. I enjoy delving into a character’s internal struggles and definitely find it satisfying to reach that culminating moment when all conflict is resolved (a good HEA is always appreciated), but I’m not a huge fan of drama for drama’s sake. When writing, it depends upon the plot I’ve cooked up. For some stories, I want the reader to be anxiously flipping to the next chapter so a little angst is needed.

C: I always enjoy learning things from historical reads. Is there anything you learned from research for this book that you found interesting and could share with us?

LMR: As a history teacher, I love to do some good research! I had a lot of fun reading up on Regency England as I prepared to write various sections of this book (much to the dismay of my husband who I probably bored to tears with my somewhat random fun facts), especially since my main areas of research pre-date the Georgian period, so I had quite a bit to learn. When I started researching topics for dinner table conversation, a notably useful resource was the British Parliamentary Papers, particularly the journals from the House of Lords in 1812 which have all been digitized and are available online (Yay Google Books!). During a scene in Chapter 8, I used the minutes from a specific session of Parliament in April 1812 to form the basis for a political discussion between Lord Matlock and Lord Grey. Since the majority of my own historical research revolves around religious conflict (primarily the effects of the Reformation in Europe), I was quite tickled to find an appeal from an Irish county to the crown in regards to the continued recusancy laws (a fine or tax on those who did not attend Anglican services). Even though the storyline of Pride & Prejudice does not address issues of religion in Regency England, it was fun for me to incorporate my other interests – even if only for a tiny snippet of dialogue!

C: Do you have any ideas for a second book? 

LMR: As a matter of fact, I have one novella and two other full-length novels currently in the works! The novella is a Christmas/Twelfth Night piece (very fluffy and sweet!) and the novels are quite different from Forgotten Betrothal in both direction and trope. While both are P&P variations, they have little else in common with my debut book.

Thank you, Ceri, for hosting me on your blog!!

C: Thank you so much for visiting!

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Author L M Romano
Author Bio

L. M. Romano is, as Miss Bingley would say, ‘a great reader,’ though she still owns to taking delight in many things. As an inveterate bookworm and a longtime lover of historical fiction, she is delighted to present her d├ębut novel, Forgotten Betrothal, as a tribute to her love for the works and characters created by Jane Austen. As a history professor, she eagerly embraced the opportunity to delve into Regency England and the many facets of London’s high society, which provided endless evenings of entertainment for both herself and any unfortunate family members who happened to be nearby. 

A Northern California native, L. M. Romano currently lives with her husband in Ontario, California. She plans to continue writing, teaching, and reading countless books to her heart’s content.

 

Book cover: Forgotten Betrothal by L M Romano
Buy Links 

Forgotten Betrothal is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf 


Giveaway Time

Quills and Quartos are kindly offering an ebook giveaway of a copy of Forgotten Betrothal. To enter, just comment on this blog post by 25 July. If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :) 

Quills and Quartos will announce the winner on their social media pages shortly after the end of the blog tour.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

L M Romano and Forgotten Betrothal are visiting other blogs. Please visit the other stops on the tour to learn more about the book and have more chances to win. 

Blog tour for Forgotten Betrothal by L M Romano


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If you'd like to be friends on Goodreads then please invite me - just say that you visit my blog when it asks why you'd like to be friends with me.

44 comments:

  1. Mistaken is also one of my favorite variations! Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to win a copy of the book!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Cynthia!

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    2. I still haven't read that one, but have been meaning to since it came out. So many books, so little time!

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  4. Congratulations on this release.

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  5. Wonderful interview! Those are some of my favorite movies as well! Loved your book!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Janet! I'm glad you liked the book!

      L.M. Romano

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the post :)

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  6. I also read and enjoyed this story. I have bought and enjoyed all the DVD's of JA's stories, as well as reading over a thousand JAFFs.

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    1. I, too, love to see Austen's novels on film - always a treat! Thanks for reading my book, Sheila, and for leaving some great reviews!

      L.M. Romano

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    2. Glad to hear you enjoyed it Sheila!

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  7. Every variation is so clever in its own way. Your book is definitely on my TBR list!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Lily!

      L.M. Romano

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    2. That's what I love about the genre, seeing how a deviation from the story can lead to another path entirely, I think it's so ingenious!

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  8. I certainly look forward to reading this story. Thank you for sharing your talent.

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    1. I hope you enjoy the book, Betty!

      L.M. Romano

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    2. I hope you enjoy it when you read it, Betty!

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  9. Fun to learn how the author came to Austen and JAFF through the interview. Quite the twist in the original and I look forward to getting the full story at some point.

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    1. Thanks for reading the interview, Sophia! I had fun answering the questions - it took me a moment to pinpoint exactly when I had first been introduced to JA. My mom was quite proud of her contribution, lol!

      L.M. Romano

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  10. Congratulations on the release! And a most lovely cover! I am anxious to see how your history degree influences the story content and writing style.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Thank you! I agree, the cover is beautiful (Thank you, Susan Adriani!). I've always enjoyed historical fiction, but this was my first attempt at it, so I hope I did the genre justice. It was rather daunting at times when I realized just how much research went into the tiniest portions of the story. For example, even though Wickham is only referenced in my story a scant amount of times, I did quite a bit of research concerning the militia and the overall perception of the army before Waterloo. All of that research influenced one tiny paragraph of Colonel Fitzwilliam's dialogue - but in the end, I still felt it was worth the effort to make the story convincing for the period. I'm not sure if any of that historical digging comes across when you read it, but I can hope, lol!

      L.M. Romano

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    2. It is a lovely cover. I like Susan Adriani's covers, she is very talented :)

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  11. Enjoyed the interview and am glad to hear that another book is already in the works.

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  12. I'm looking forward to enjoying your new book!

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  13. Congrats on the book! I’m looking forward to reading it. :)

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    1. Thanks, Lucy! I hope you enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed your books!

      L.M. Romano

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    2. Thanks for commenting Lucy :)

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  14. Intrigued with this story esp with this captivating cover. Thank you for the interview (insights to the story) and the giveaway

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post. The cover is lovely isn't it!

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  15. Poor Darcy! He gets another chance with Lizzy and then her life is interfered with. Sounds plenty angsty to me! I'm eager to hear how it all turns out. Magnificent cover!

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    1. Bless him, these authors put him through the mill don't they!

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  16. The winner on this stop of the blog tour was Maomac. Congratulations! Please email Kristi at quillsandquartospub.com to claim your prize.

    The winners at the other stops were Violingirl05, Cindy, KateC and Patty.

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  17. Congratulations to the winners. Enjoy your prize.

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