Thursday, October 27, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Letter From Ramsgate by Suzan Lauder ~ Review and Excerpt

Today I have a review and excerpt from Suzan Lauder's newest work, Letter From Ramsgate. I adore Ms. Lauder's stories and hope to read more of them in the future. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blurb: Sir, I am not known to you. I fear you may have concerns regarding some intelligence that recently came to me from your sister...

...a simple letter shatters illusions and turns the world upside down!

On holiday in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet befriends shy, romantic Georgiana Darcy, who shares an adoring description of an ideal elder brother. When Georgiana discloses a secret infatuation with her brother’s “close friend” Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth’s altered perception of both men affects her actions and alliances.

The secret within an anonymous letter from Ramsgate ties Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth together but also separates them. A second missive unlocks the disguise, but Mr. Darcy realizes his true passions too late to assist Elizabeth in her darkest hour. Will the shocking disclosure of a forgotten letter transform his understanding of her heart and lead them to embrace their future?

Letter from Ramsgate is a Pride and Prejudice variation suitable for most audiences (youth and up).

My Review: I didn't think that Ms. Lauder could top her debut book Alias Thomas Bennet but she's done it. This book is a new favorite for me. I love how even though Lizzy had connections to nobility (even though it was through her Aunt Gardiner) she still wasn't good enough for Darcy. Granted throughout most of this book I wanted to strangle Darcy because he is so dense. His reasoning that since Lizzy has sympathy for Mrs. Younge she must have been in on the scheme between Wickham and Georgie's companion. And because Lizzy had made a vow of silence she couldn't tell him the full truth.

I enjoyed the fact that the author had taken the time to only use langauge and words they only would had back then. Of course the only pause I had was when they used the word character I kept adding reference in my mind. It just sounded weird to me to only hear them say character when talking about a reference. Other than that I was fine with the regency speech and the UK spellings.

This riveting book had me on the edge of my seat wondering if Llzzy and Darcy would end up together. I recommend it as one of this year's must read books.

Rating: 4½ stars out of 5

Excerpt
Wickham appeared at Longbourn two days after Elizabeth’s return from London, and he was welcomed by her mother and two youngest sisters. His appearance shook her from her ill spirits; this was not the time to sulk. Her disposition leapt from quietness to one that did not hesitate to show clear disapproval. Yet, however tempted she was to express her venom to his face, she controlled her remarks in company. Her words, however, were not meant to make the man feel welcome but to send subtle insults his way.

“You are kind to call on Longbourn, Mr. Wickham. I am surprised indeed that you trouble yourself, given the other amusements of interest to a young man.”

“'Tis no trouble at all, I assure you, when such company is offered.”

“But surely your preferred interests lean more to cards than to drawing room conversation.” She made certain her voice was sweet. “Or is it dice?”

Jane gave her an alarmed look while the others varied in their levels of ignorance. Mama, Kitty, and Lydia were insensible to the cut. Mary disregarded it altogether in favour of a book. The other officers appeared uncomfortable but were attentive to Wickham’s reaction. The conversation had become interesting.

Her mother clapped her hands. “Perhaps we should have a card party with all the officers!”

“That may not be the sort of cards Mr. Wickham prefers.” Elizabeth’s eyes held fast on Wickham’s face.

“Any entertainments Mrs. Bennet chooses to provide will be delightful. Do you not agree, Denny?” Wickham kept his ingratiating smile as he struggled to appear unaffected; however, the twitch of his eye and the unsteady way he held his teacup told the story.

Mr. Denny, caught in the middle, cleared his throat before he spoke. “Mrs. Bennet is a generous hostess. I am certain all the officers agree.”

“Thank you, Mr. Denny,” said Mama. “Let me speak to Mr. Bennet about a date for the event, and we shall invite you all!”

With her mother gone from the room, Elizabeth could increase her torment of Mr. Wickham.

“Mr. Denny, do you think a simple card party at the home of honourable people will entertain Mr. Wickham? It seems to me he prefers to mingle with those who share their fortune with him. There are no heiresses here, you know.”

Under most circumstances, the subsequent sound would not have travelled much farther than Elizabeth as she was so close, but in the dead silence, all ears heard Jane gasp.

They stared for a moment until Lydia protested. “What are you about, Lizzy? Mr. Wickham could have had Mary King, but he escaped. He has no need for heiresses.”

“Is that right, Mr. Wickham?” Elizabeth challenged.

Wickham squirmed from one side of his chair to the other. His artificial grin was tight. “I know no pleasanter company than those assembled in this room.” XXX

“For company, yes. But at one time, you told me you have no choice but to marry an heiress; hence, I wonder why you spend your time at Longbourn when other homes have more to offer?”

“Not near Meryton, they don’t,” said Kitty, “unless you count the Purvises. But they are in Yorkshire now.”

The discussion was interrupted by Mama, who returned to announce a card party to be held two days hence with all the officers invited. The room filled with the noisy delight of those who appreciated such an evening.

~~~

Of course, you’ll have to read the novel to know what happened to Elizabeth to make her want to dress Mr. Wickham down so dramatically!

Buy Link
Amazon

Author Bio:
 A love for Jane Austen’s novels and Regency and Austenesque romance novels inspired Suzan Lauder to write her own variations, which led her to a passion for Regency era history and costuming, as well as social media book marketing. She cherishes the many friends she’s made as a result of these interests.
Suzan is a member of JASNA, VIRA, RWA (PAN and Beau Monde chapters), and is a registered professional engineer. She enjoys independent travel, design, Pilates, yoga, cycling, sustainability, upcycling, architecture, beta editing, and blogging. Most of the time, a Vancouver Island penthouse loft condominium with a view of the Salish Sea is home. For a few months each winter, Mr. Suze and their two rescue cats accompany her to their tiny Spanish colonial casita in Centro Historico of an industrial city in Mexico.
Letter from Ramsgate is Lauder’s second published novel and comes on the heels of her successful upcycled costuming blog series, the Thrift Shop Regency Costume Experiment. Her latest venture is blogging about her learning experiences while editing Letter from Ramsgate. Suzan’s first novel, Alias Thomas Bennet, is an Austen-inspired Regency romance with a mystery twist. She also contributed a short modern romance, Delivery Boy, to the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter. All Lauder’s published fiction is based on Pride and Prejudice and is available from Meryton Press.
Contact Info:
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THE GIVEAWAY POSTED ON OTHER STOPS ON THE BLOG TOUR HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 3, 2016 AT MIDNIGHT. 

Blog Tour Schedule:

10/17   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; My Jane Austen Book Club
10/18   Excerpt, GA; Margie’s Must Reads
10/19   Vignette, GA;  Just Jane 1813
10/20   Review; From Pemberley to Milton
10/21   Vignette, GA; Babblings of a Bookworm
10/22   Excerpt, GA; Liz’s Reading Life
10/23   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; From Pemberley to Milton
10/24   Review; Tomorrow is Another Day
10/25   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA;  So little time…
10/26   Vignette, GA; Austenesque Reviews
10/27   Review, Excerpt; Half Agony, Half Hope
10/28   Review; Diary of an Eccentric
10/30   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; More Agreeably Engaged

10 comments:

  1. Tina, I'm overwhelmed at how well you understood and appreciated my story. My editor, Gail Warner, still loves ATB more because of the unique premise, but I felt I'd improved after 4 years of practice before bringing LfR to the public. Thank you for your generous words. I too feel that character needs the word reference after it, and you're not the first reader to mention it! I'd also prefer W calling D a snob rather than a stiffrump, but there it is!

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  2. Congratulations on a great review!

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    1. Thanks so much, Christina! I love it, too.

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  3. Ooo, what a delicious excerpt. Elizabeth is being so snarky! I do like it when she's giving a proper set down to Wickham but always in the politest of language.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Tina and Suzan.

    P.S. I really like the portrait you've chosen to presumably represent Wickham? Very handsome and agreeable in looks but just a little something about him to suggest that all is not as it appears.

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    1. It's tricky doing snarky E, as readers love her and want her to be more positive and upbeat. But she has too much against W to be nice to him at this point, never mind later on.

      The portrait is indeed supposed to be Wickham, as the young woman is Elizabeth. She has the right expression, like she doesn't want to be there. He looks a bit cocky, a bit like he feels he can charm the pants off any lady, even if she's dressing him down. (Too many modern clothing cliches in there! Hahaha.) The actual portraits are of Amelie Wolff-Malcolmi, a German actress, and Andrew Copland, in a uniform from 1802 and the Egypt campaign.

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  4. What a riveting excerpt...intriguing enough to leave us wanting more!
    Lovely review!
    Best of luck with the book,hope it's well received by Austen lovers worldwide!

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  5. I think if you are writing about any novel set in the UK you should use UK spelling. Looking forward to reading this.

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  6. I agree, Vesper, and that's what I always do. I use a beta reader from London to help me when I write for AHA prior to submission for publication. I wrote one for AHA set in the US, and my American beta kept reminding me that Americans don't go to university, they go to college. Even if it's at a university! Of course, Canadian English is in the middle and is a bit of a hybrid. Try rubbish, garbage, and trash. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Love the excerpt and how Wickhams swarms! Serves him right! Can't wait to read it!

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