First Page Friday - Guest - Riana EVERLY


Welcome Riana Everly to First Page Friday. Today, Rianna is sharing from her Pride and Prejudice variation novel: Through a Different Lens. I don't know about you, but I love reading stories of Darcy and Elizabeth. There's something about an enemy to friend trope that takes hold of your imagination. Regardless of how many stories I read, I never tire of them. Without further ado, here is more details about Riana's book.

Book Blurb:

A tale of second glances and second chances

Elizabeth Bennet has disliked the aloof and arrogant Mr. Darcy since he insulted her at a village dance several months before. But an unexpected conversation with a startling turn of phrase suddenly causes her to reassess everything she thought she knew about the infuriating and humourless gentleman. 

Elizabeth knows something of people who think differently. Her young cousin in London has always been different from his siblings and peers, and Lizzy sees something of this boy’s unusual traits in the stern gentleman from Derbyshire whose presence has plagued her for so long. She approaches him in friendship and the two begin a tentative association. But is Lizzy's new understanding of Mr. Darcy accurate? Or was she right the first time? And will the unwelcome appearance of a nemesis from the past destroy any hopes they might have of happiness?

Warning: This variation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice depicts our hero as having a neurological difference. If you need your hero to be perfect, this might not be the book for you. But if you like adorable children, annoying birds, and wonderful dogs, and are open to a character who struggles to make his way in a world he does not quite comprehend, with a heroine who can see the man behind his challenges, and who celebrates his strengths while supporting his weaknesses, then read on! You, too, can learn what wonders can be found when we see the familiar through a different lens.


First Page:
Chapter One
Ill Qualified to Recommend Himself
It was an evening much like many others over the past few weeks. The small party were gathered in the salon after an uncomfortable dinner, to amuse, delight, and take advice from the doyenne of the house. The meal had seemed endless, with one overly fine dish superseding another, testimony more to the expense of a fine French chef than to the consideration due to the palates of the assembled guests. Likewise, the conversation, more of a series of interrogatory demands by the lady of the house than an exchange of light and pleasant thoughts to lend enjoyment to the meal. Now, the last of the dishes cleared away and the company retired to the salon, Elizabeth sat perched upon the uncomfortable sofa, seeking something amusing to say that would astound those gathered around. Beside her sat her dear Charlotte, whom she was visiting, and nearby, Charlotte's husband, Mr. Collins, who held the living at Hunsford, adjacent to the grand manor house of Rosings. Also in the room were the mistress of the house herself, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, domineering and fierce of temperament, her sickly daughter Anne, who seemed more intimidated than truly ill, Anne's companion Mrs. Jenkins, and Charlotte's timid sister Maria, who hardly spoke a word.
In all of these particulars, the scene had been repeated many times since Elizabeth first arrived at Hunsford for a prolonged visit with her friend; recently, however, two more members had joined their party, one adding to its pleasure, the other to its awkwardness.
The increased pleasure was due entirely to the newly formed acquaintance with Lady Catherine's nephew, Colonel Fitzwilliam, on a short leave from the army to visit his aunt and cousin and help tend to affairs of her estate. The colonel and Elizabeth had quickly formed a comfortable and easy friendship, for the gentleman was intelligent, quick-witted, and extremely good company. Elizabeth had taken an immediate liking to him and was pleased when he sought her companionship, either in the salon or whilst walking through the park.
His friend, however, was a far less of a source of pleasure. Silent, stiff and brooding, the colonel's constant shadow was none other than Mr. Darcy, whom Elizabeth had come to know and rather dislike several months ago at her home in Hertfordshire, near the village of Meryton.
There you have it, dear reader. Mr. Darcy is still looked upon unfavorable by Miss Elizabeth Bennet. (Sigh) He really was quite the dunderhead, wasn't he? I'm hoping Ms. Everly will take us on a wild ride with enough twists and turns to satisfy our angst ridden desires.



Learn more about Riana by clinking on the links shown above. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you. Until then, 


First Page Friday ~ Guest ~ Jayne BAMBER

Welcome Jayne Bamber to First Page Friday with her debut novel: "Happier in Her Friends Than Relations". The title speaks for itself. I have to admit - full disclosure here - I read this story as Jayne posted it on A Happy Assembly and looked forward to each and every post. I had a bit of a girl crush on Lady Rebecca Fitzwilliam. We all need a friend like her. I also liked how Jayne wove characters from Sense and Sensibility so seamlessly into our beloved Pride and Prejudice.

Book Blurb:

In this angsty fusion of two of Jane Austen’s most beloved novels, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, the actions of their sisters cause challenging chain reactions for one of literature’s most celebrated couples...

Fitzwilliam Darcy is faced with a family crisis of epic proportions after the fallout of his sister Georgiana’s ill-fated elopement in Ramsgate, while his friend Charles Bingley is persuaded to abandon his scheme of renting Netherfield Park.

Elizabeth Bennet journeys to London to recover her spirits, after Jane’s unexpected marriage changes the sisters’ relationship forever, and the consolation of the Gardiners proves insufficient.

The bonds of friendship offer Elizabeth a lifeline after a series of tragic events causes her to fear for her future. The support she receives from her new neighbor Marianne Brandon, and snarky socialite Lady Rebecca Fitzwilliam prove she is truly happier in her friends than relations.

First Page:
Prologue
The several hours Elizabeth Bennet had to wait between learning of her elder sister’s engagement, and finding the opportunity to speak with her privately, felt like an eternity. The house had been in uproar since breakfast, when their odious cousin Mr. Collins, a dubiously welcome guest in their home these two weeks, had requested a private audience with Jane. While Jane had acquiesced to Mr. Collins’s request with forbearance, Elizabeth had no idea that her sister truly meant to accept him, and was shocked when Mrs. Bennet fluttered into the drawing room less than an hour later, rejoicing over their good fortune. Jane and her intended had barely made an appearance, to receive the bewildered congratulations of her younger sisters, before Jane was promptly whisked away by her mother to make the requisite calls around the neighborhood, announcing the news.
Mr. Collins was unceremoniously left behind by his future mother-in-law, and remained in the drawing room to extol, at length, on the anticipated virtues of his future life to his young cousins. Claiming the excuse of a headache, Elizabeth was the first of them to flee the uncomfortable interlude, and she remained out of doors, alone with her agitated thoughts, until her elder sister had returned.
Elizabeth entered the room she shared with Jane and found her sister seated at the vanity, staring blankly at her own reflection; the sight of it tore at Elizabeth’s heart. She sat down on the bench next to her, covering Jane’s hand with her own. “Are you well, Jane?”
Jane nodded absently, offering a thin smile. “Indeed, Lizzy, I am quite content.”
“Jane, you cannot be serious. You cannot really tie yourself to that awful man!”
Jane’s expression was one of innocent shock. “I am serious. It has been announced all over the neighborhood. And, truly, he is not so very bad, though I know you dislike him. He has made me an honorable offer.”
Elizabeth let out a derisive snort. “Honorable indeed! As if he isn’t pompous enough already, he seeks to puff himself up even more by securing a wife who is far too good for him. And Mamma is so eager to see one of us settled that she does not care if it is to a foolish toad! No, Jane, you deserve better than that.”
Jane recoiled, visibly distraught. “Lizzy, that is unkind. It was very generous of Mr. Collins to select a wife from amongst us.”
Jane might have said more, but Elizabeth cut her off. “He likely knows that no other woman would have him! At least with us, in his mind, he has some chance of success, as he seems to think us so indebted to him. But you needn’t be, Jane, for you are five times too lovely to be wasted on such a man, when you could do so much better!”
At this, Jane’s expression hardened, and she launched herself up from the bench beside Elizabeth, to pace the room. “Could I? I am two and twenty years old, I have hardly any dowry to speak of, and no other prospects. The northern gentleman who was rumored to be leasing Netherfield never came, and who knows what other opportunities may ever come our way. I cannot take any more chances, Lizzy. The truth is none of us may ever receive a better offer."
Well... dear Jane-ites. What do you think of our sweet Jane marrying the odious Mr. Collins??? I'd love to behave like Lydia and spill all the beans, but then I'd take away your delight of this book with its unexpected twists and turns. This is a sweet romance even though some of the characters are decidedly NOT sweet and behave in atrocious manners. 'Nuff said.

First Page Friday ~ MAN OF HER DREAMS

Man of Her Dreams is the second contemporary novel I self-published after I exited the traditional publishing world and launched my own career.

Blurb:

Making it in a mans' world as a home renovation expert is tough, but Lindsay Swanson is up for the job, leaving no time for family and friends, let alone any kind of social life.

Jared Kane moved to Ravenwood for some much needed peace and quiet to finish his next book, which is hard to do when he's hired his sexy neighbor to renovate his kitchen.

Things start to heat up between the two neighbors until Lindsay overhears Jared talking about her notebook. A notebook wherein she and her BFF - after one too many bad dates and one too many glasses of wine - concocted a checklist of the perfect guy.

Is Jared the real deal, or has he been molding himself into the man of her dreams to sneak past her defenses?

First Page:
Lindsay Swanson turned into the Food Mart parking lot and pulled to a stop near the entrance. Waves of heat shimmered from the hood of the truck, making the near empty parking lot look like a Saharan mirage. Sweat trickled down the side of her temple and she swiped it away before twisting her hair into a Ravenwood Hooligan’s ball cap.
She climbed out of the truck and a fluttering movement caught her eye. With a sigh she peeled a rogue piece of drywall tape off her tee-shirt. When you owned your own renovation business, things got messy.
Through the front window she spotted one of the cashiers working a check-out line and groaned. Just her luck, Carla would be working today. Now everyone in town would know how pathetic her life was. She could hear her now. Poor Lindsay, she only bought a loaf of bread.  No one to cook for...
For a brief moment, she considered hopping back into her truck and driving to her parent’s farm for a home cooked meal. Mom wouldn’t mind an extra body at the table, but Lindsay wasn’t up for the subtle guilt that would be sprinkled throughout the meal.
Over a savory pot roast, Mom would say, ‘A few grandchildren would be nice while we can enjoy them – without assistance from a walker.’ Or, ‘When are you going to find a nice young man?’ Lindsay would always remind her that she had a business to run. Finding a man and having a family wasn’t a top priority right now.



WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS #70

Welcome back for another week of authors teasing you with eight to ten lines from their current Work In Progress. We continue on with Maxwell (the Duke of Adborough), Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Richard, better known as Colonel Fitzwilliam. Max has just divulged there is a desperate fortune hunter trying to ferret out information about Mr. Darcy's sister, Georgiana.
“Is there nobody who can love Georgiana for who she is and not for money?” The colonel flopped back into his chair. “How many fortune hunters need we fight off?”
Darcy cut a sharp glance at his cousin and the colonel abruptly quit speaking although Max was quite sure he still fumed silently. He finished his drink and stood.
“I must be off, Mother has opened Kerr House to receive visitors and demanded I make an appearance to lend support to Caroline and Catherine against would be vipers.”
“Should I enlist your aid for Elizabeth and Georgiana?” Darcy asked as he rang for a footman.
“I defy anyone to slander your wife and sister, Lady Matlock would have them for breakfast and spit out the bones. You forget, I’ve seen the Colonel’s mother at work.”
There you have it. Poor Georgiana. IS there anyone who will love her for herself and NOT the thirty thousand pounds that comes with her as soon as she says 'I do'?

Please use this LINK to visit the Weekend Writing Warriors web site and check out other authors. We are an eclectic group and you never know, you might find your next favourite author in this bunch.

P.S.: Hug someone you love today.