Monday, 20 July 2015

Sketching Mr Darcy by Lory Lilian ~ Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Fetch the smelling salts!!! Lory Lilian has a new book out, Sketching Mr Darcy!!!

It is no secret that Lory Lilian is one of my favourite authors!
Lory creates secondary characters you will adore and keeps her primary characters as close to Austen's as possible.
Lory's description of thoughts, feelings, wit, banter and humour, are what make Lory such a brilliant storyteller.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that I have been besides myself with excitement  since discovering Lory had a fifth book on the way and lo and behold it is a forced marriage scenario, my favourite!  

I am elated to be welcoming Lory today, for an interview, excerpt and giveaway! 
I had a task deciding what to ask as I had a million questions but I hope the few I have asked, you will enjoy.


Hello Lory and welcome! 

Q. When did you fall in love with Jane Austen?
I first came across Jane Austen when I was 13, and the first book I read was Pride and Prejudice. It was love at first sight and it is my favourite book in the world! I still carry a copy of PnP with me (paper!) wherever I travel! It is therapy for hard moments. Of course I love all the other Jane Austen’s books- she was a genius!

Q. What compelled you to write JAFF, much to our delight?
In the winter of 2004, I was searching the internet for Pride and Prejudice information during a break from a very demanding job. I discovered Derbyshire Writers Guild, then Firthness, and then Hyacinth Gardens. At that time, especially after seeing PnP 95, I have been already obsessed with Darcy and Elizabeth for many years, imagining them in various scenes that did not belong to the original story. To be honest, I thought I was a little bit crazy and I was ashamed to admit this obsession to anyone (LOL). Then I suddenly discovered that there were thousands of people out there sharing the same passion and the same madness. I spent the next six months reading hundreds of stories (and, of course, sleeping very, very little) and interacting with many JAFF fans. Neither Firthness nor Hyacinth Gardens is alive now, sadly. I miss those times. I have some wonderful cyber friends from those days whom I miss, too.
Then, in 2005, I started to write, because I have lots and lots of ideas spinning in my mind! Rainy Days—my first book — was first posted on DWG, so it was PG general; I finished it, and I even wrote the wedding night, keeping it PG 13! Then, I started posting it on HG — which was an adult site — and some cyber friends started to “demand” me to enhance some scenes – so this is how my NC 17 writing carrier started lol.
So here I am, on my fifth book – and my first forced marriage scenario!
Why I am doing it? Because I just cannot have enough of Darcy and Elizabeth. Jane Austen implied so much and told us so little, and I simply cannot have enough of them. I keep thinking of scenes, dialog, situations involving them, and every time I read Pride and Prejudice again or watch P&P-95 once more, these scenes came to my mind with overwhelming insistence (LOL). I could easily fill 10 books if I had enough time.

Q. What is it about Pride & Prejudice that resonates with you?
The reason why I love this story so much (besides Jane Austen’s genius and her fabulous writing) is Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship.
For me, Darcy and Elizabeth can only belong together with no other men or women interfering with them. Despite pride, prejudice and many other things, Darcy and Elizabeth are meant to be together and they will be ‘the happiest couple in the world’, no question about that for me! 
 And I think this is part of the answer regarding the desire of reading (and writing) more about this aspect of their happy married life. Jane Austen implied so much and told us so little, and we simply cannot have enough of it.

Q. Favourite Pride & Prejudice scene and why?
The Netherfield Ball dance – it is like a duel of wit with two opponents with different kind of skills but equal value, ready to perform to their best
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Q. How did you come up with the idea for your new book?
The idea for Sketching Mr. Darcy came to me during a 600 km drive, alone in my car ! In two days I had the entire story planned! Of course, it took me two years to actually publish it, but this is a … different story lol. The first title was “My husband, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy”, but I changed it after some debate with my awesome editors Ellen and Margaret.
It is my first FMS, and the first challenge was that most of the book takes place in a month time! Can Elizabeth fall in love with her husband in such a short time? Well – let’s see: in canon, she met him again and witnessed his changes at Pemberley – and a few days ago, when she found about Lydia’s elopement, she was already certain that he could have been the right man for her! So yes, I think it was possible, even more so if she was “trapped” in the same house with him and “forced” to be the recipient of his generous care and tender affection.
The second challenge for me was to keep the right amount of mush and angst, to come with new characters and new situation to avoid boring the readers.
And the third one was to keep the story under 400 pages, which I almost did.

LASTLY THE QUESTION I LIKE TO ASK EVERYONE! BE HONEST LOL

Q. If you were in Elizabeth’s place in that era, knowing of the entail, would you have accepted Mr Collin’s proposal?

Mr. Collins’s proposal? No way – under no circumstances, because of his lack of wit and common sense (I have a long passage dedicated to him in my new book)

About Darcy’s proposal at the parsonage – a proposal from a man who is bright, well educated, witty and handsome, and very rich –in 1811 - knowing this would have helped my family ? Most likely I would have said yes, despite his faults.  If he looked like Colin in PnP 95 – hell YES ! lol 

Excerpt ~

The book is a forced marriage scenario and I hope you will read it to see how things got to the point to make the marriage necessary. This is an excerpt from chapter 6, following Darcy’s proposal, which did not go very well, but not as bad as in the cannon, either, due to the fact that he already had the chance to redeem himself a little bit in Elizabeth’s eyes. The following scene is between Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner.  - Lory Lilian

“Lizzy, what worry me are the feelings with which you accepted Mr. Darcy’s proposal. It is not your will but rather the burden you agreed to carry, the sacrifice you agreed to make for your family. You seem angry and bitter, so I must ask: Are you angry with Mr. Darcy because there is another man whom you had hoped to marry?”

“Not at all, Aunt; I might be angry and bitter, but it does not have to do with Mr. Darcy himself. We had the chance to speak today more than we did during his entire stay at Netherfield. I have little with which to reproach him regarding his behaviour towards me. ”

“Very well—I am relieved to hear that. I was afraid that… You mentioned Mr. Wickham quite often in your letters, and I thought you might—”

“Oh, Mr. Wickham is not… I mean—he is, beyond all comparison, the most agreeable man I ever saw, but he is certainly not the reason for my concern regarding this marriage.”

“I see…Lizzy, you know that I grew up in Lambton—a small town only five miles from the Darcys’ estate, Pemberley. I knew Lady Anne Darcy quite well; she was the most wonderful lady that ever existed.”

“Yes, you told me that. You seemed quite charmed by everything related to Pemberley.”

“You may laugh, but you do not understand what it means to be part of this family. You do not know the extent of their name and their fortune. I would never imagine that someone from my family could one day become a Darcy and I cannot help wondering why Mr. Darcy would want to marry you! Yes, you are beautiful, smart, witty, kind, and generous, and I love you dearly. But I imagine there are many other young ladies equally beautiful and smart with impressive fortunes and connections who would be happy to marry him.”

“I asked myself and I asked him the same. He said the gossip was his fault, and it was his duty to propose to me and protect both our families from the rumours. I felt he was forced by his honour and by his concern for his family to propose, and that is unfair to both of us.”

“Yes, I understand that—partially. I mean—he heard the reports, and he came to propose to you, though he could have pretended to be oblivious and waited for the rumours to disappear in time. But once you refused him, he could have left. Yet, he persisted and tried to persuade you to accept him. Why? Forgive me for being insensitive to your feelings, but you and your family have everything to gain from this marriage while he wins nothing.”

“I asked him that too. He said that he wanted to put an end to the gossip as soon as possible to protect his family. And he said he was certain that I would be suited for the position of his wife. He said he would not have proposed to me, all gossip aside, had he not been certain that I would be a proper Mrs. Darcy,” Elizabeth replied, her emotions growing.

“He seems a very sensible and wise man, capable of recognising and appreciating your qualities, Lizzy. And, if he considers you suited to be the future Mrs. Darcy, he has made you an extraordinary compliment. I hope you are wise and sensible enough to recognise that.”

“Do you not believe me capable of accomplishing the duties required of being Mrs. Darcy? Do you doubt I am suited for the role?”

“I believe you capable of accomplishing anything you want, Lizzy. The question is: Do you want to do this? Are you willing to go through the circumstances that forced this alliance and to really become Mrs. Darcy? I am sure Mr. Darcy is not an easy man to live with, and the fact that you do not really know each other—nor will you have time to do so before the marriage—will only make things more difficult. You will need patience, wisdom, and strength. As Mrs. Darcy, you will have a duty to raise this marriage to the level of your predecessors. I am sure Mr. Darcy will expect and demand a lot from you, and so will everyone else. It is not something to be taken lightly.”

“I know that, Aunt. There are many things I need to think of before tomorrow. Besides, Mr. Darcy already told me that he has some requirements. I shall see if I can—or want to—accept them. Both he and I have time to change our minds. Nothing is decided yet.”

“You should search both your heart and your mind before making the final decision, Lizzy. Search deeply and earnestly; this is a decision for your entire life, a decision that will affect many people besides you and Mr. Darcy, starting tomorrow.”

“I know that, Aunt. If I could only make ‘tomorrow’ wait a little longer.”


Thank you for stopping by today Lory, as always it has been a pleasure. 
I am thoroughly enjoying reading 'Sketching Mr Darcy' and I hope readers will enjoy it also. Thank you for kindly answering my questions, for the excerpt and the generous giveaway!

Giveaway Time!!!!

Are FMS one of your favourites too?  
Comment below for a chance to win a copy of  Sketching Mr Darcy! 
The Giveaway is open internationally!! 
2 x paperbacks and 1 x e-book. 
The Winners will be announced on 29th July 2015.

Good luck Everyone!!!!

Sketching Mr Darcy is now available to buy!!

Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

As always I delight in hearing your thoughts!

64 comments:

  1. So as it is a FMS (which I love) but she still believes in Wickham.
    I have all of Lory's books so really looking forward to this one

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    1. Let's better say that she has not enough proofs to distrust W yet. I tried to write this Elizabeth as a strong, smart, witty woman, who looks around her carefully and slowly put two and two together. But she is Elizabeth, of course, so she is very far from being perfect :-)
      Thank you for your kind words about my books and good luck !

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    2. If you have all of Lory's books you know you will be in for a treat Vesper :), Good Luck in the giveaway!

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  2. Oh I can not wait to read so very curious how the forced marriage happened. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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    1. I tried very hard to find something new, a twist to make this story different from the other forced marriage JAFF books. Hope you will read it and will find the circustances interesting :-). It is my pleasure to offer this giveaway - good luck !

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    2. Hello Tresha, like me I could not wait to read this one either, but the wait is over :) I hope you get to read it soon, Good luck in the giveaway!

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  3. I love Lory's books. His Uncle's Favorite is one of my all time favorite JAFF. FMS are also my favorite variation types. I love the angst I suppose.

    Great excerpt! I wonder what his requirements are ;) I will be adding this to my TBR list!

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    1. Shannon - so happy you enjoyed His Uncle so much !
      And glad you enjoyed this excerpt - I chose it because it is relevant for Elizabeth's behavior in her marriage and for the development of this story. :-)

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    2. Hello Shannon, if you know Mr Darcy I believe his requirements will be easy to fulfil, I cannot see him asking Elizabeth for more than she could handle, that's why we love him :) Good Luck in the giveaway :)

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  4. This sounds delightful! I have enjoyed all of Lory Lilian's book and know this one will be excellent as well. The forced marriage scenarios are always intriguing! Thanks for the great interview ladies and for the giveaway opportunity.

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    1. Hello Janet, thank you for the kind words, its always hard doing an interview as I could ask questions all day when it comes to JAFF & JA :) Good luck in the giveaway!

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  5. Thank you Tamara for hosting me today, and for starting together the journey of this story toward the readers. I hope your visitors will ask me lots of questions - I will be very happy to answer them.

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    1. Lory it has been a pleasure, all I ask is that you continue writing :) I really enjoy your work. Thank you for sharing the excerpt and being so kind as to answer my questions.

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  6. Lory, I have enjoyed reading your novels in the past and I am sure that I will enjoy this one as well!

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    1. Thank you - I hope so, too.

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    2. Good luck Julia, I am certain you will enjoy this one, Lory never fails to deliver :)

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  7. Thanks For sharing with us this wonderful interview and excerpt, which made me more curious about this novel!!!

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    1. You are very welcome and good luck !

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    2. lol Chiara,Excerpts are great for doing that! Its how my TBR pile gets so big! Good luck in the Giveaway!

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  8. So glad to read about how young you were when you got interested in Jane Austen. I read Pride and Prejudice at the age of 10 and felt like it was the greatest novel. Why not dream of being Lizzy while others are dreaming of being Cinderella or Snow White.
    Looking forward to reading your novel. Thank you for taking the time to chat and have a great giveaway. Enjoyed it!

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    1. Thank you ! Wow - 10 ? It seemed you were a very smart kid, with excellent taste in literature ! Good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. I totally agree Lory, never to young for some Austen. Happy you liked the post MaryAnn, we aim to please and Lory is so kind and accommodating. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  9. A good FMS is a great read. It puts things in such a different light. The excerpt was fantastic. Can't wait to read more.

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    1. Hello Sagan, FMS are great, sounds wrong, but when it comes to D&E its so so so right lol Good Luck in the giveaway!

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt - it was a little strange for me to write a FMS - circumstances have lots of potential but also lots of challenges.

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  10. I've read all your books and loved them, so I'm sure I will like this one! I love a FMS, don't know why exactly, but it always has some good tension!
    Thanks for the giveaway! Please enter me for a paperback, I don't have an e-reader!

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    1. Thank you so much, I hope you will enjoy it. I tried very, very hard to build the story step by step and - FMS offers many opportunities but also many traps - and yes, lots of tension. Good luck !

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  11. This excerpt was so interesting I hope I can get to read this book as soon as possible. Please enter me in this givaway!

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  12. Congrats on your new book, Lory! I have all your books and am anxious to read this one! Rainy Days is still my favourite and I have lost count of how many times I have reread it but who knows? Maybe Sketching Mr Darcy will surpass it? :)

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    1. I hope you will like SMD, too. It is a different type of story and I tried very hard to build their relation step by step, and to keep it realist. As you will see, there is a certain aspect that is already controversial but I did lots of research and I gave it lots and lots of consideration and I feel it was right to be as I wrote it. :-) Thanks for telling me that you liked RD so much. Here is a secrete - my next project will be a sequel for Rainy Days, which I planned since 2005 and people kept asking me for it since the. There are 10 years already, so it is about time :-). Good luck with the giveaway.

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  13. Well, well, well...that is always an interesting scenario for me. Most of the time I like it, but there were a few times when the resistance, lack of communication, and misunderstandings carried on too long for enjoyment.
    That snippet with Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth has me eager to read more. I've read two of Lory's delightful books and enjoyed them. I didn't realize there are others so I need to get busy and catch up. :)

    I am snoopy so I enjoyed getting Lory's background and the background on Sketching Mr. Darcy in the interview. Thanks, ladies!

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    1. Sophia Rose - I am with you about "resistance, lack of communication, and misunderstandings carried on too long" and I tried very hard to avoid this. I tried to keep both characters smart and wise enough to solve any conflict in the same chapter - or in the next one ! :-) There is a rather controversial part in the book, in which Darcy confessed Elizabeth something that happened 8 years ago ! I strongly believed that Elizabeth should react with apparent calmness and composure, despite her inner turmoil, instead of behaving hysterically. My reasoning was: it would be silly to create a war in the family for something that happened so long ago and which you cannot solve or vanish anyway; and second: I am pretty sure that in Regency times, a woman should have considered herself fortunate if her husband confessed something private to her, regarding both his past and even his present. lol (still happening in the present)
      The point is - I am sure some people would have preferred to see Elizabeth slamming the door, leaving the house and staying away for at least 5 chapters ... :-) Well, NOT in my story ...:-) Thanks for the comment and good luck with the giveaway.

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    2. Thanks Sophia Rose its always hard to cut down the million questions you have! Good luck in the giveaway!

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  14. Hello ladies! Thanks so much for the excerpt, I really enjoyed it. I agree that it's quite possible for Elizabeth to fall in love with Darcy quite quickly once she realises that she's been prejudiced against him. It also would make a difference where the story diverges from canon because there are a few circumstances that make him the 'last man in the world' she would consider marrying.

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    1. Thnaks Ceri. You said : "It also would make a difference where the story diverges from canon because there are a few circumstances that make him the 'last man in the world' she would consider marrying." This is precisely what made the difference in this story: the feelings with which Elizabeth entered into the marriage. She does not love Darcy, nor does he has any clue about his feelings but she had the chance to find a little more about his qualities and weighted than against his faults and errors.

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    2. Hello Ceri! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt I do enjoy them, (although your wish list gets longer lol). I'm sure it won't be long before you read it that is if you haven't already :)

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  15. I do love FMS! I loved your answer about Mr Collins vs Darcy! Had someone ever forced me to marry Mr C I'm sure he'd have soon divorced me for non-consummation haha.

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    1. HA HA ! Me too ! And I was only being honest about marrying Mr. Darcy lol. And in my story, Mrs. G will have a conversation with E about "handsome husbands" :-).

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    2. Lol Monica, non communication! I'd be down the garden centre everyday getting him more supplies lol good luck in the giveaway :)

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  16. Wonderful excerpt! I have all of Lory's book and look forward to this one as well! I have not been disappointed yet! Thank you for the giveaway! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Becky ! Hope you will enjoy this one, too. Good luck !

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  17. Lory, I've enjoyed your other books! I've read all but one so far and look forward to this one as well! I wonder what Darcy has as far as expectations?

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    1. Ha ha - that was an interesting conversation: his expectations and her demand Sorry I cannot say more. :-). But let's keep in mind that he is a gentleman, so NO Fifty shades and dark rooms potential here. :-)

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  18. I read the kindle = loved it - reviewed it. Would love to win a paperback copy for re-reading.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila, for the comment and for the review on Amazon ! I truly appreciated it! Good luck with the giveaway!

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  19. I love the premise. I am a fan of your books and am looking forward to read your new book. I would love to win a paperback, thanks for the chance!

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    1. Thanks so much, you are very kind. Good luck with winning a free book!

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  20. Lory is a new Author for me and I'm looking forward to reading Sketching Mr. Darcy. A wonderful excerpt. Thank you for sharing. I have a few books of yours I have to play catch up with. :) Thank you so much for the giveaway chance. I'd love to enter for a print copy as I don't read e-books.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Hi Carol ! Interesting to know I am "new" to you - I have been in JAFF world for more than 12 years and I thought I was already "old" for everybody ! :-) Hope yo will manage to read my stories - especially the new one - and will enjoy it. Good luck with the giveaway!

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  21. I waited and waited for weeks for this book - and knew that it would be absolutely worth the wait!! ๐Ÿ˜„ I love Lory Lilian's books and have read and reread Rainy Days, Remembrance of the Past, His Uncle's Favourite and The Perfect Match several times. ๐Ÿ“š
    Lory, you have a way to get the perfect balance between angst, mush and passion - and the way you make Darcy yearn for Elisabeth is what really draws me in!!!
    Now I'm waiting for your next - the sequel to Rainy Days - and please, don't make me wait too long...!!!! And please come up with new stories! Oh, and I will let you know, that if you ask me, you don't have to limit your books to under 400 pages ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Your devoted fan, Charlotte ๐Ÿ˜œ

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    1. Thank you so much, Charlotte ! I am deeply touched by your kind words and very glad that you enjoyed my stories. Good luck with the giveaway and keep in touch!

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    2. Good luck Charlotte! Lovely to have such a big fan stop by :)

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  22. Interview is a great way to know more about an author and I'm glad to learn more about you, Lory. The excerpt is intriguing and good too. I haven't got the chance to read forced marriage scenarios but I think I will like the plot.

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    1. Oh, forced marriage scenarios are soooo good - just imagine them "trapped inside" a house, with nowhere to run and having to solve their misunderstandings. Almost as good as being caught in a cottage :-)

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  23. I love the cover of Sketching Mr Darcy -- it looks great! I enjoyed reading this interview :) .

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    1. Thanks so much ! I loved it, too. My editor / cover designer Ellen Pickles is just the best !

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  24. Love this interview and excerpt. I totally agree with Lory that Darcy and Elizabeth just have to be together. I have the e-book which I have read and absolutely loved. No spoilers but the discussions between the pair were so good. I see Lory that you are writing a follow up to Rainy Days - excellent - another one to look forward to. And the more pages the better. I have all the other books as paperbacks and would love to win this one to add to my collection. Thanks again Lory for your fabulous books.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind support, Glynis - good luck with the giveaway !

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  25. I like the JAFF stories that take place after Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage, which means I will have a lot of sweet scenes to enjoy. But a forced marriage scenario seems equally appealing. After all, P&P readers love witty banter between Darcy and Elizabeth. Those bitter yet wittily sacarstic remarks are one of the reasons I love about this couple. Sketching Mr. Darcy seems to have lots of developments for conflicts and heat. I can't wait to read it!

    I also love Lory's Perfect Match and Remembrance of the Past. Glad to have another quality-guaranteed JAFF book to savor. :)

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    1. I hope you will read and enjoy the book. I also love bitter, witty, sarcastic remarks between our dear couple ! Glad to know you enjoyed TPM and Remembrance. Hope you will some day give a try to Rainy Days and His uncle, too. I know there are lots of jaff stories to choose from :-) Good luck.

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  26. I love both Forced Marriage Scenes and regular marriage scenarios. Forced Marriage Scenes add a little spice here and there. I loved Remembrance of the Past and am sure I will love this story as well.

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    1. It is a forced marriage scenarios but - as you will see - both of them entered into it out of their own will. I do not like having Elizabeth a victim - I love her strength and self confidence and I try to keep her this way. Good luck!

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Thank you! Your comments are always welcome