Wednesday 30 March 2022

Death of a Dandy: A Mansfield Park Mystery by Riana Everly - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m happy to be welcoming Riana Everly back to the blog for a guest post, a chance to enjoy an exerpt of her new book, Death of a Dandy: A Mansfield Park Mystery, and a chance to win an ebook of it too!

This is the latest in the Miss Mary Investigates series, which sees Pride & Prejudice’s Mary Bennet solving mysteries. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll hand over to Riana for her guest post, excerpt from Death of a Dandy and giveaway.

Book Cover: Death of a Dandy: A Mansfield Park Mystery by Riana Everly
Book Description

The worlds of Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park meet when Mary Bennet lands in the middle of her third adventure with handsome investigator Alexander Lyons.

The two friends are travelling back to Mary’s home after a visit to the Darcy family at Pemberley when their journey is interrupted by the news that Tom Bertram, the heir to Mansfield Park, has disappeared. Alexander is asked to take the case, and he and Mary find themselves as guests at the estate. The house is abuzz with activity as plans go ahead for a fox hunt and the performance of a play, and Mary sees intrigue in every interaction between the beautiful residents of Mansfield Park and their sophisticated guests.

When the hunt ends in tragedy with the discovery of a body, Alexander’s involvement grows even deeper, but every clue leads to even more questions. The more Alexander digs, the more it seems this death might involve people much higher up than he can reach. And the biggest question of all is who, exactly, was the intended victim of what is surely murder most foul?

Mary and Alexander find themselves hard at work to unravel a web of secrets and dark goings-on that enshroud the elegant estate of Mansfield Park. But Alexander is hiding a secret of his own, one which he knows will forever doom any possible future for him and Mary.

Will they solve the mystery before somebody else dies? And will any hearts remain unbroken if they succeed?

Friday 18 March 2022

What Happened on Box Hill - Austen University Mysteries - Guest Post & Giveaway from Author Elizabeth Gilliland

Today I’m happy to be welcoming Elizabeth Gilliland to the blog. She has brought out a modern Austen-inspired murder mystery and she’s come here to talk to us about the book. What Happened on Box Hill is Book 1 of the Austen University Mysteries series. Read on to learn more, and have the opportunity to win an ebook of What Happened on Box Hill.

Book cover: What Happened on Box Hill by Elizabeth Gilliland
Book Description

What would happen if you combined all of Austen's characters into one modern-day novel?

Murder, of course.

When Caty Morland's roommate, Isabella, falls to her death on Initiation Night, Austen University is quick to cover up the scandal and call it a tragic accident. But avid true-crime lover Caty remains convinced that Isabella didn't fall; she was murdered. With the help of Pi Kappa Sigma President Emma Woodhouse, Caty organizes a dinner party with the most likely suspects, including familiar faces such as Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Knightley, and Marianne Dashwood. The theme of the night is murder, and Caty has three courses to find out what happened to Isabella—and to try to keep the killer from striking again.

What Happened on Box Hill is Book 1 of the Austen University Mysteries series. It can be read as a standalone novel but will be best enjoyed as part of the series.

Monday 14 March 2022

Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life: On Love, Friendship, and Becoming the Person God Created You to Be by Haley Stewart - Review

Book cover: Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life by Haley Stewart
So when you have a to be read list as long as your arm you shouldn’t be looking on Netgalley, but I was, and this title caught my eye. Let’s take a look at the (very long) blurb, and then I’ll let you know what I thought of Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life: On Love, Friendship, and Becoming the Person God Created You to Be by Haley Stewart 

Book Description

Popular Catholic podcaster Haley Stewart insists that there's no better life coach than nineteenth-century British novelist Jane Austen.

In this uniquely Catholic take, Stewart reveals Austen's thoughtful, deeply personal exploration of human relationships--including with God--through her six novels. Stewart's insights take you on a journey that is both literary and spiritual, revealing how Austen's characters and themes can lead to you to discover and become the person God has called you to be.

Stewart draws fascinating connections between Austen's novels and real life and introduces Austen as a capable life coach by how she guides her readers to understand virtue and vice through friendship, love, community, and God's grace. Austen's characters reveal how virtuous habits transform us and help us become who we were meant to be. Each chapter focuses on characters and virtues from a single novel:

·        Do you find yourself swayed by superficial charm and yearn to see others more clearly? Let Elizabeth Bennet teach you how to recognize substance in others and address the pride in your own heart through the cultivation of humility (Pride and Prejudice).

·        Are you stuck in selfishness that wounds others (and yourself)? Let Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley help you develop the compassion to see the world more clearly with the eyes of Christ (Emma).

·        Do you get swept away into poor choices due to a lack of self-control? Let the Dashwood sisters show you the virtue of temperance and guide you to embrace your God-given personality and temperament (Sense and Sensibility.

·        Do you have treasured ideals but struggle to live them out? Follow along with Edmund Bertram's journey toward constancy through the example of Fanny Price (Mansfield Park).

·        Have the disappointments of life grown resentment or bitterness in your heart? Be inspired by Anne Elliot's vulnerable fortitude in the storms of life (Persuasion).

·        Do you struggle to know what to do or who to believe in tricky situations? Join Catherine Morland in learning prudence to know and act on the truth (Northanger Abbey).

Whether you are already an Austen fan or are discovering her works for the first time, Stewart's infectious enthusiasm and captivating spiritual insights will have you digging in to experience firsthand the characters and stories that have captured imaginations in book and film for more than two centuries.

Discussion questions and recommended film adaptations make this book suitable for individual or group use or as a high school classroom or homeschool resource. A free, downloadable leader's guide is available at

Friday 4 March 2022

The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy by Don Jacobson - Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy by Don Jacobson
Many of you will be familiar with Don Jacobson’s The Bennet Wardrobe series which takes Austen’s Bennet family into the world beyond their time, as the wardrobe can transport them to other points in history. This is now the last installment in the series, The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy. Don has joined us as part of his blog tour for The Grail. He’s brought a guest post, excerpt, and the opportunity to win one of six ebooks.

Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll hand over to Don.

Book cover: The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy by Don Jacobson
Book Description

“You must throw away notions of what you want.
Only then will you be free to accept what you need.”

—The Brown Guide to
Fitzwilliam Darcy, 1840

Long has the amazing Bennet Wardrobe involved itself in the affairs of Longbourn. Where before its actions have been cloaked in mystery, its purpose now becomes clear. The fey cabinet has molded the universes to strike a balance that can be achieved only by saving the greatest love story ever told.

Follow the paths taken by Pemberley’s master and mistress after their children are grown. See Elizabeth Darcy struggle to rekindle the love glow that has dimmed after a quarter century. Grasp the unaccountable pain her departure levels upon the entire Derbyshire family. Watch Fitzwilliam Darcy learn that which he must in order to become the best version of himself: worthy of his Elizabeth.

The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy closes out the Bennet Wardrobe series.  The disparate threads spun by the remarkable women born to a Hertfordshire couple of insignificant fortune are woven together. These lives have become the tapestry that records the destiny of Jane Austen’s lovers, immortal in any here/now or where/when.

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