Friday 31 July 2015


Thank you, Maria, for inviting me here today to tell your readers a little about Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley. I can hardly believe that I now have five novels published! Each one has been a delight to write and share; each one has presented new and interesting challenges!

Georgiana Darcy is a fascinating creature, and I had already been thinking about a way to expand on what I had written about her in The Darcys of Pemberley when the idea for this novel occurred to me. I felt she deserved more space on the page than I had been able to devote to her in that earlier book, which focused primarily on Darcy and Elizabeth. So, that’s what started me off. I decided I would write a companion piece, retelling the story, this time from Georgiana’s point of view.

I had never written this kind of book before. Sequels, yes, and a variation on Jane Austen’s own life (The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen), but never a retelling. I expected it would pose certain difficulties, but at least I was uniquely qualified for the job since I had written the original myself! Even though I knew The Darcys of Pemberley backwards and forwards, however, I had a couple of surprises in store for me when I reviewed it once more with a mind to writing its companion.

First, I was amazed how different things – various events and what people said – appeared through an alternate point of view, which is as true in real life as it could be in any work of fiction, I’m sure. Examining it all through Georgiana’s eyes for a change, I began noticing how infrequently anybody consulted her for an opinion and how often she was left out altogether – left out of the conversation, the decision, the excursion, etc.

There was no malicious or even conscious intent to do so – not by Darcy and Elizabeth when they behaved that way, and certainly not by me when I wrote it. We had slighted Georgiana by thoughtlessness, not design. And despite the fact that she’s supposed to be very modest and mild mannered, it had to hurt.

So this became one of the themes of the book: Georgiana’s struggle to be respected as a competent adult. Here’s a brief excerpt as an example, told in her own words:

Whatever was taking place in the library behind closed doors, I could have no part in it. Did they think me disinterested? No, more likely I had been disqualified on the basis of my age. The colonel had said to me less than two weeks before, “When you are grown…” implying I was still a child. Now here was more evidence that I was not yet to be taken seriously. I was to be sheltered and set aside rather than being consulted on adult matters for a mature opinion.

Monday 27 July 2015


I blame Ross Poldark for ...

I hadn’t read any of the books from the Poldark saga before the new adaptation started on BBC1, though I had been totally smitten by the original series back in the 70s. I was just a kid who was beginning to learn English as a foreign language at school at that time and my love for everything British is,  for sure,  a result of Robin Ellis’s good looks and Ross Poldark’s charm as a character. My interest in Jane Austen's novels came soon after.

However, I bought the first 2 Poldark books when the remake was announced in the press. I decided I wanted to read them,  to compare them to their adaptation in the upcoming TV series.

You know, that’s one of my favourite passtimes! 

Synopsis of Book 1 - Ross Poldark

In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth—believing Ross to be dead—is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.
Thus begins the Poldark series, a heartwarming, gripping saga set in the windswept landscape of Cornwall. With an unforgettable cast of characters that spans loves, lives, and generations, this extraordinary masterwork from Winston Graham is a story you will never forget.

The hero

“His was not an easy face to read, and no one could have told that in the past half hour he had suffered the worst knock of his life. Except that he no longer whistled into the wind or talked to his irritable mare, there was nothing to show.”

(pictures: Robin Ellis and Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark

Respect to other 18th century gentlemen, Ross Poldark is quite the restless Romantic type and very little the well-mannered Austen hero. As a matter of fact, being Ross a gentleman of the Georgian Era, his good manners may be well considered flawed.
He is a living contradiction - as alive as a literary character can be - in so many aspects. He is generous and passionate, has a huge sense of honour and dignity. Anyhow,  his impulsiveness, rebelliousness, anticonformism, pride and moody temper distance him from other literary gentlemen of his time. 

Wednesday 15 July 2015


Very little is known about the young man that Jane Austen met during a seaside holiday in 1800. Her sister was later to say that she believed this young man was falling in love with Jane and was someone she felt was truly worthy of her sister. What transpired that summer? Perhaps it happened this way …

Jane begins her search for love with giddy optimism, but her first encounter proves devastating. The young Irishman who captured her heart is convinced by his family that marrying a penniless clergyman’s daughter would be a terrible mistake. Jane resolves never again to succumb to false hope, romantic delusions, and pathetic heartbreak.

Lieutenant Frederick Barnes is on medical leave from the Royal Navy. By the time he crosses paths with Jane, she has lost her faith in love and is determined to protect her heart at all costs.But the Lieutenant is captivated and equally determinedto break through her defenses. Jane must battle between what she knows and what she feels. What will happen to her heart if she is wrong again?

Read an excerpt 
It was after one o’clock in the morning when I climbed out of bed, pulled back the curtains for moonlight, and began to dress. The rustling awoke Cassie. I told her to return to sleep, but that the warm air was too much for me. If I could only steal down to the waves, and feel the cool water wash over my ankles, I should cool down immediately.
“You cannot be serious. To go down to the beach? At this hour?” Cassie inquired in disbelief.
“Go back to sleep. I shall return very shortly.”

Sunday 12 July 2015


Dear Maria and Readers at My Jane Austen Book Club,

Thanks for hosting a stop on the A Will of Iron Blog Tour. The excerpts I have selected need a touch of setting up before we begin. Here are two conversations that take place at the end of Chapter 5, “A Funeral”. The funeral in question is that of Anne de Bourgh, who has died due to complications of a secret pregnancy. In this chapter, Darcy and Elizabeth interact for the first time since Darcy’s return to Rosings for his cousin’s funeral, after the Hunsford Proposal. These two later conversations, first with Darcy and his sister, and then with Charlotte and Elizabeth, give us a hint to the changes in their feelings and how they look at themselves. The conversations are followed by an entry from the journal of Anne de Bourgh; it ends the chapter. The journal entries are sprinkled throughout A Will of Iron, for it is Anne’s iron character, and her Last Will and Testament, which color every moment of the Darcy + Elizabeth romance presented here.

Linda Beutler


Darcy and Georgiana at Rosings:

Having successfully gained his attention, Georgiana huffed into the chair that was the match of the one occupied by Darcy. “Do I understand correctly, Brother, that the young lady serving coffee is the Elizabeth Bennet of whom you have written?”

Darcy stared at his sister blankly for several moments, vastly disconcerted. … He straightened himself and met her gaze. “Yes. Mrs. Collins is her particular friend, and Miss Bennet has been a guest at the vicarage for some weeks. She was due to leave Friday last, but our family’s events and her inclusion in Anne’s will have lengthened her stay.”

Monday 6 July 2015


“If Jane Austen met Charlotte Bronte and they drank too much port, 
the Poldark Saga would be their literary love child.” 

Captain Ross Poldark rides again in the new Sourcebooks Landmark tie-in editions of Ross Poldark and Demelza, the first two novels in the acclaimed Poldark Saga by Winston Graham, adapted into the inaugural season of the new Masterpiece Classic PBS’s series Poldark, airing June 21 – August 2 on PBS. In celebration, July 6th through August 3rd, The Ross Poldark Blog Tour will visit thirty popular book blogs specializing in historical, romance and Austenesque fiction. Featuring spotlights, previews, excerpts and book reviews of these two acclaimed historical fiction novels, the tour will also offer readers a chance at a fabulous giveaway contest including copies of the books and a stunning Anglophile-themed prize package.

Sunday 5 July 2015


Thanks so much Maria Grazia for hosting my on your blog to talk about Inspired by Grace! I have always loved being your guest.  Mostly because I get to talk about my books and writing! But today I am going to not just tell you about the book with the intrigue and excerpt, but I will introduce the main female character by using TV tropes.  What is a TV trope and what does it have to do with a book blog tour?  Tropes are a way to classify characters that seem to follow patterns and they are called TV tropes because they were first noticed in TV sitcoms and movies but since then, they are recognized universally throughout all media. 

Although Inspired by Grace is not JAFF, I have to say that Jane Austen inspired all my writing (this book happens to have a loose Persuasion correlation).  One of my favorite things about Austen is her ability to create memorable characters.  Here is a quick video link for you to watch a sketch that a comedy group called Studio C from BYU created.  The skit is called, “Teddy’s Story Joint” and the idea is author’s come and order plots like it is a fast food restaurant.  My favorite is when Jane Austen orders her “usual” which is “girl likes a guy, looks like she won’t get the guy, but then she does. With a witty social critique on the side.”  If you want to see the full sketch, click here  

I had already finished writing Inspired by Grace when I was introduced to the concept of TV tropes. I was really intrigued by this concept that there could be repeated characterizations throughout TV and literature.  So I tried to classify Grace Iverson, the heroine of Inspired by Grace.  I found that she fits two tropes; English Rose and Spirited Young Lady. The English Rose trope is a character who is virtuous and possess a certain amount of modest beauty. She is also dignified in a social setting but may not be upper class, but acts like it.  Jane Bennet is somewhat of an English Rose.  But Grace has some spunk to her too that makes English Rose not entirely fitting.  She has quite a bit of the Spirited Young Lady trope too.  I probably do not have to define this one . . . if I just say Elizabeth Bennet then you will know what I mean.  She is intelligent, often outdoorsy, witty and has a will of her own that prevents her from always conforming.