Friday, May 18, 2018

The Best Laid Flight Plans...Leigh Dreyer

Available on Amazon
Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I last posted. I've been taking a bit of a spring break from blogging. Well, I'm back today with a first time guest to my blog! Leigh Dreyer is here to talk about her book, The Best Laid Flight Plans. She shares a chapter with us and some lovely photos. I have to say that I think this story sounds quite fascinating, as does Leigh's life. I hope you all enjoy her post as much as I did! I'm sure you will love reading Chapter One of her book, ! Welcome, Leigh Dreyer, to More Agreeably Engaged. I'm happy to have you visit.

Hello!  I am so pleased to be here and speaking (typing?) about my new novel The Best Laid Flight Plans. Before I start off, here’s the blurb:

In this modern Pride and Prejudice variation, Captain William “Fitz” Darcy has just received a new assignment as an instructor pilot at Meryton Air Force Base. Soon he meets the intrepid 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet, a new student at the base that he cannot keep out of his head. Elizabeth, on the other hand, finds Captain Darcy to be arrogant and prideful and attempts to avoid him at every turn. Despite Darcy’s insulting manners, Elizabeth soars her way through pilot training, but can she soar her way into love as well?

In the novel, our Mr. Darcy is a flight instructor and the novel begins (and ends) with him reciting from the poem “High Flight” by John Gillespie McGee Jr. Today, I wanted to share a little bit about the poem and why it finds a special place in the novel and in my heart.

John Gillespie McGee had received a scholarship from Yale University, but in September of 1940 he signed on to become an American pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He travelled to Britain for combat duty flying the Spitfire in July 1941. In August or September of that year, he penned the poem “High Flight” and sent it in a letter to his parents in a letter home. His mother was able to get it published in a Pennsylvania newspaper where it enjoyed limited readership. On December 11, 1941, only four days after the US was attacked on Pearl Harbor and entered World War II, after colliding with an Airspeed Oxford (another plane) over England, McGee’s Spitfire crashed and he and the other pilot was killed. McGee was only nineteen. After McGee’s death, “High Flight” was published across the country and now graces memorials around the world.

For me, as the wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law of pilots, this little sonnet is the embodiment of something that they love and a life that I have come to love.

Here is the poem in it’s entirety:

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."

For me, a novel about the grace of flight simply could not do without at least a passing mention of this poem and the beauty it encompasses.

Here is an excerpt of Chapter One of The Best Laid Flight Plans and the first mention of “High Flight” in the book. Enjoy!
Chapter One
The clouds burst below and wispy peaks spiraled out as the plane surged through the sky. Captain William Darcy gazed at the horizon, crimson ribbons blazing across the sunrise. These peaceful moments were the only time he participated in anything resembling prayer. He checked his altitude and trimmed up.
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings...”
Darcy recited these lines from “High Flight” to himself as he scanned his surroundings and instruments again, his situational awareness high. 
This mission was bittersweet. His last in the F-22. He would miss the deep alien whistle from the engines as it flew over the base, close enough to wave at families walking near the harbor. This sortie was an easy ride, nothing but practice and war games, but he took it seriously. He knew a few meters off perfection meant life and death. A slight left bank and the deep green mountains were to the east as he approached the runway for a quick touch and go.
            Those jade Hawaiian mountains rising from the blackness of the earth were what he loved most about this base. Oddly, they were quite alien to his upbringing in Central New York. The woods surrounding Pemberley were green but never quite this other-worldly, tropical color. Somehow Pemberley’s hills and forests were more real, and he missed seeing the horizon curve over the gentle hills of his land. Here, that prospect was only available in the sky and he ached for it. He loved that feeling of being alone in the world and watching it go on forever.
            Pushing forward on the stick, he felt the quick descent in a tactical approach before touching the runway for a split second—up on the thrust and away again, off to his place in the clouds and his head. He ran through the memorized checklist he needed to complete on this ride... Touch and goes: check. Ship car: incomplete. Go to the TMO office: incomplete. Schedule movers: incomplete. He blinked, staring unseeingly at his controls. Damn moving checklist! He halted the intruding checklist and reoriented to task. Tactical approach: check. One more turn and then in for landing.
            He could not allow himself to think about moving again as he had spent enough energy on it already. He would have a quick Pilot Instructor Training in San Antonio and then the three-hour drive to the Mexican border to Longbourn City and Meryton Air Force Base to train America’s best and brightest student pilots. He loved flying more than anything in the world but wondered if that love extended to the staleness of helping brand new pilots grasp the basics of the T-38 Talon.
Darcy hated moving; it was the worst aspect about the Air Force. Having grown up at Pemberley, near the Finger Lakes, Darcy always knew his place in that perfect, idyllic world. He did not understand how anyone would ever want to leave where they had grown up. Pemberley was the place his soul lived. He looked again at the green around him as he flew, but it was not the right shade—nothing like the bright emerald leaves at home. Pemberley had the best views the world had to offer: brilliant green trees in the summer, vibrant fall colors in autumn, winters full of snow and sledding, and fields of wildflowers to rival any florist shop in spring. There were lakes for swimming, canoeing, or fishing. There were large rocks and mountains to hike. Darcy had never known a bored moment in his childhood.
His father had taught him to fly at twelve, first in a small Cessna and then later in the Bonanza. Together with his father, Darcy had grown up looking down on the prospect of his family’s holdings and missed them every time he was in the air. Flying was the only thing that kept him connected to his father and, thus far, the only reason he continued to tolerate moving by whim of the Air Force.
Meanwhile, Meryton, Texas was stuck in the middle of a desert. When he looked up information about the base, the pictures only showed brown dirt, brown grass, brown sage bushes, and brown mesquite trees. The only positive was that there were ranches nearby. Bingley had even talked about leasing a little working farm and maybe living together when he arrived. Perhaps this move would be fun if he could put himself back in wide, open spaces where he belonged. He might even mentor Bingley in the business of agriculture along the way. William Darcy and Charles Bingley had become best friends at Cornell despite Bingley being a couple years junior. Both had been business majors and in the challenging program, Darcy’s reticence had balanced Bingley’s natural exuberance; it was a relationship that worked well for them both and followed into their military careers.
            Darcy shook his head brusquely. He could feel his precision lagging as he pulled back from his daydreaming. Bank left, roll right. He held the stick just a little tighter and felt the metal, hot and slippery in his hand. It was hot. The cockpit was always hot, regardless of the external temperature, and as he pulled his damp flight suit away from his sticky chest, he smelled the musk of his sweat. It would be even hotter at Meryton. Hotter than Pemberley, to be sure. Possibly hotter than Hell itself, if his friends were to be believed.
On the upside, at Meryton, he would be able to go home to Pemberley occasionally as Meryton was near an airport and the ops tempo was significantly lower. As an instructor, he would be able to enjoy holidays, a luxury he had not experienced in the last four years; he might even be able to get other leave approved for once. Hawaii was too far to go home often and when he did go, he just depressed himself. Georgiana deserved more than a brother who moped around the house, seeing ghosts around every bend, and hearing voices that could no longer be heard. Besides, he missed Mrs. Reynolds’ meals. He added “Enjoy a glass of Pemberley cabernet franc” to his moving checklist.
            “Tower, this is Fitz 27. Request five-mile initial for the overhead.”
            “Fitz 27, this is Tower…” Darcy listened and noted the vectors to begin his landing. After breaking, he threw down his landing gear and banked right, watching his speedometer and began to slow to two hundred and fifty knots after breaking over the numbers.
            “Fitz 27 in the Break.” Darcy spoke clearly into the mic, adjusting the mask slightly closer to his lips in an effort to maintain clarity for the air traffic controllers watching the field.
“Fitz 27 Clear to Land,” the tower replied through the scratchy radio.
“Roger. Clear to Land.”
Darcy snapped the aircraft right again and applied the slightest of back pressures to the stick continuing his turn through the perch. He crossed the runway at fifty feet and grimaced as he felt the thud of a harder than usual landing. He pushed on the brakes and began his taxi to park. The runway was smooth, and he felt the long muscles of his legs flex as he steered toward the hangar.

Author Bio

Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way, “You know the Great Balls of Fire scene in Top Gun (“Goose you big stud!!!”), where Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son and a daughter who is almost walking.


US link

UK link

Contact Information

Author Name: Leigh Dreyer
Phone Number: 830-422-0583
Facebook: Leigh Dreyer
Facebook Page: @leighdreyerauthor

Social Media Information



Thank you for visiting today, Leigh. It has been great having you stop by. I'm honored to be part of your blog tour. Your history and living this life, has to make your novel more realistic. 

The poem you quoted was extremely touching. I appreciate that you shared the poem and the story of its author with me and my readers. Beautiful!

I love your pictures. It was neat that you had the patches for Lizzy and Darcy! Nice touch! 

Leigh Dreyer is offering a giveaway for you, Dear Readers. Isn't that great! She will be giving away one eBook and the giveaway is international. Thank you, Ms. Dreyer! The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 23rd of May. Good luck to everyone.

Monday, April 16, 2018

And the winners are...

The winner for Shannon Winslow's latest novel, The Ladies of Rosings Park, has been randomly selected and emailed. Thanks to all of you for participating during my stop of the blog tour.

Vesper Meikle: eBook

I am also including on this post, the winners of the blog tour for Riana Everly's book, The Assistant.

Carol Roberts
Susanne Barrett
Lori Dykes
Luca Casale

Riana also had two blog posts that came out after the draw ended. One commenter was randomly selected from each.

Joan Rye

Congratulations to all the winners.
You all have some good reading ahead. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Secrets of Pemberley...Rose Fairbanks

It's so good to have Rose Fairbanks visit my blog again. It has been some time since she was last here. Today she stops by during her blog tour for The Secrets of Pemberley and shares another video entry of Elizbeth's diary. I think this is such a neat idea. I hope you all enjoy this vignette. Be sure to check out the giveaway too.


Vignette: Outtake, Elizabeth Bennet’s Diary #4 Shopping with the Darcys

Thanks so much for hosting me, Janet! The Secrets of Pemberley is told entirely from Mr. Darcy’s perspective. In the book, Elizabeth’s diary becomes important, and as a long-time fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I decided to do video entries for each diary entry I’ll be sharing on the blog tour. I hope you enjoy as we get a bit of insight on what Elizabeth Bennet felt when she gets a few moments of privacy with Mr. Darcy after his ill-fated proposal and letter.

Links to previous diary entries:

#1—After the proposal:

#2—After the Letter:

#3—Meeting Darcy in London:

Book Blurb

To the world, Fitzwilliam Darcy has it all. He’s the young master to one of the kingdom’s oldest and wealthiest Norman families. Through his mother, he is related to a powerful line of earls. Beneath the perfect façade lies the truth: he’s the product of his mother’s affair and the heir George Darcy never wanted.

At twenty-eight, Darcy has fought hard to put to rest the pains of the past and earn his place in Society. But can he resist the allure of ending his loneliness with the unsuitable woman who has tugged at his heartstrings? Will he tell her his secret and if he does, will she keep it? Or will someone else from the past destroy everything Darcy has worked for?

Prepare for another page-gripping read from Rose Fairbanks as she unfolds a Darcy and Elizabeth story unlike you have ever read before. For the first time ever, Ms. Fairbanks is offering a new novel release in Kindle Unlimited. Pre-order today!

Author bio

Born in the wrong era, Rose Fairbanks has read nineteenth-century novels since childhood. Although she studied history, her transcript also contains every course in which she could discuss Jane Austen. Never having given up all-nighters for reading, Rose discovered her love for Historical Romance after reading Christi Caldwell’s Heart of a Duke Series.

After a financial downturn and her husband’s unemployment had threatened her ability to stay at home with their special needs child, Rose began writing the kinds of stories she had loved to read for so many years. Now, a best-selling author of Jane Austen-inspired stories, she also writes Regency Romance, Historical Fiction, Paranormal Romance, and Historical Fantasy.

Having completed a BA in history in 2008, she plans to finish her master’s studies someday. When not reading or writing, Rose runs after her two young children, ignores housework, and profusely thanks her husband for doing all the dishes and laundry. She is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and Romance Writers of America.

You can connect with Rose on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and her blog:

To join her email list for information about new releases and any other news, you can sign up here:

Giveaway: One ebook copy of The Secrets of Pemberley. Entries close April 23, 2018.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you, Rose, for letting me be a part of your blog tour. I wish you much success with your new release. If it is like your other books, it will be a good one. Readers, tell us what you think of the diary entries? Do you just love these videos? I think they are a great and fun idea.

Rose, I hope to see you back for another visit soon. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

My share in the conversation...Lover's Knot

Available on Amazon
Today is my stop for the blog tour featuring the new release, Lover's Knot, by Jenetta James. I am having my share in the conversation with a review of this book. I appreciate you reading my thoughts and invite you to share yours. First up is the blurb; then my review. Don't forget the giveaway! :)


A great love. A perplexing murder. Netherfield Park — a house of secrets. 
Fitzwilliam Darcy is in a tangle. Captivated by Miss Elizabeth Bennet, a girl of no fortune and few connections. Embroiled in an infamous murder in the home of his friend, Charles Bingley. He is being tested in every way. Fearing for Elizabeth’s safety, Darcy moves to protect her in the only way he knows but is thwarted. Thus, he is forced to turn detective. Can he overcome his pride for the sake of Elizabeth? Can he, with a broken heart, fathom the villainy that has invaded their lives? Is there even a chance for love born of such strife?
Lover’s Knot is a romantic Pride & Prejudice variation, with a bit of mystery thrown in.

A Book Review: Lover’s Knot by Jenetta James

Jenetta James does it again. I had read and loved her two previous novels and was eagerly anticipating this one. I was not disappointed. Her writing style is excellent and the story flows. This novel is written from Darcy’s point of view and in first person, present tense. I found this fascinating. It reminded me of a television detective show and a newspaper comic strip, Dragnet and Dick Tracy, respectively, both of years past. (Yes, I’m telling my age!) I would think it difficult writing a novel in this fashion, but Ms. James did it smoothly and effectively. I was quite impressed.

The story begins at Netherfield when Jane is ill. As in canon Lizzy has come to take care of her. When going up to her room, Elizabeth discovers a dead footman and screams! Immediately, Darcy and Bingley rush to the rescue. Mr. Allwood, the magistrate, is summoned. The occupants of the house must remain for questioning. Thus, the murder mystery begins and the unraveling of it makes for enticing reading.

When Mr. Allwood seeks the opinions of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, he readily complies. I liked Darcy turned detective. He was charming, and he did an impressive job, too! His loyalty to and protection of those he considers under his care, is without question.

There are some interesting and mysterious new characters, as well as many who are familiar. The premise was different from other Pride & Prejudice murder mysteries I’ve read, and the writing of it was well done. I didn’t want to put the book down. The author did a superb job of keeping the identity of the murderer hidden from this reader. She had me guessing until the very end. I had a suspicion of who I thought it might be, but was I ever wrong! I was shocked when the culprit’s identity was revealed.

The narrative has romance and good romance, at that, yet I would consider it more a murder mystery with Darcy as the major sleuth. I truly enjoyed reading this novel and I was delighted being in Darcy's "head", knowing his thoughts and experiencing his emotions. I highly recommend Lover's Knot to all who love Austenesque books and mysteries­­. Thank you, Jenetta James, for giving us yet another book showcasing your many talents as a writer.

Author Bio:

Jenetta James is a mother, writer, lawyer and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practices full-time as a barrister. Over the years, she has lived in France, Hungary, and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing, and playing with Lego. She has written, Suddenly Mrs. Darcy and The Elizabeth Papers as well as contributed short stories to both The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues.

Buy Link:
Amazon / This book is free through KindleUnlimited

Contact Info:

Blog Tour Schedule:

March 29 My Jane Austen Book Club/ Guest Post & Giveaway
March 30 Savvy Verse & Wit / Guest Post & Giveaway
March 31 Liz's Reading Life / Book Review & Giveaway
April 1 My Vices and Weaknesses/  Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 2 Of Pens and Pages / Book Review & Giveaway
April 3 So Little Time /  Guest Post & Giveaway
April 4  Austenesque Reviews / Author Interview & Giveaway
April 5 From Pemberley to Milton /  Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 6 Babblings of a Bookworm /  Book Review & Giveaway
April 7 More Agreeably Engaged / Book Review & Giveaway
April 8 My Love for Jane Austen / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 9 Diary of an Eccentric /  Guest Post & Giveaway
April 10 Laughing with Lizzie /  Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 11 Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway
April 12 Just Jane 1813/ Author Interview & Giveaway


Jenetta has selected a lovely giveaway package where one lucky winner will receive a Pride & Prejudice scarf, a Kindle cover and paperback copies of all five of her JAFF books.

Terms and conditions:

Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once each day and by commenting daily on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached to this tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented.

Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international. Each entrant is eligible to win one eBook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you, Claudine Pepe, for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Lover's Knot. I looked forward to being a part of it and loved reading the book. Best wishes to you, Jenetta James, on this release. I hope you soon have another book for us to devour. Fantastic Giveaway!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Ladies of Rosings Park...Shannon Winslow

Available on Amazon
Welcome back to More Agreeably Engaged, Shannon Winslow! I'm so happy to have you visit again. Your new book, The Ladies of Rosings Park sounds fascinating. It will be great to see Anne de Bourgh have her day! I like that idea. I also love your cover. Your paintings are gorgeous and this one is too.

Ms. Winslow, take it away.

The Honorable Mr. Darcy?

How well did Darcy treat his cousin Anne? Part of our enchantment with the man (and the reason Elizabeth changed her views about him from negative to positive) comes from discovering that he was truly honorable after all. He did not disrespect his father’s wishes. He did not cheat Wickham out of the living intended for him. In fact, he earned the respect (even affection) of his tenants and servants and was affable to the poor. In short, Darcy was a man who held high principles and lived up to them.

But did he treat his cousin Anne accordingly? I had wondered about this before, but it became a real issue when I started writing The Ladies of Rosings Park. Even though Darcy obviously didn’t feel bound by his mother’s and aunt’s desire that he should marry his cousin, I wanted to know that he treated Anne kindly and considerately. After all, she had heard all her life that he was supposed to marry her, and it was just possible that she believed it and had her heart set on it!

Have you ever worried about that, or am I the only one? Anyway, that’s what was on my mind when I wrote the prologue for the book (greatly condensed here):

Two things Anne de Bourgh understood from a very early age: first, that she was loved by her father, and second, that she would one day marry Fitzwilliam Darcy. These unalterable facts served as the sure foundation of her young life… But nothing lasts forever, it seems, not even sure foundations. One pillar of support crumbled when Anne’s father suddenly died a month shy of her fourteenth birthday. A few years later, the other – her betrothal to Fitzwilliam Darcy – was cast into serious jeopardy upon the arrival at Rosings of a young woman by the name of Elizabeth Bennet.

For better or for worse, Jane Austen gives us very little clue to the relationship between Anne and Mr. Darcy. There are no interactions between them recorded in Pride and Prejudice. In fact, Anne doesn’t have a single word of dialogue! All we’re told on the subject is Elizabeth’s impression at the end of chapter 31:

Elizabeth looked at Darcy to see how cordially he assented to his cousin’s praise; but neither at that moment nor at any other could she discern any symptom of love; and from the whole of his behaviour to Miss de Bourgh she derived this comfort for Miss Bingley, that he might have been just as likely to marry her, had she been his relation.

That’s not much to go on, but the good news is it meant I could fill in that giant blank any way I wanted!

Obviously, Darcy belongs with Elizabeth, not with Anne or Miss Bingley. That is a truth universally acknowledged! But it would tarnish even their incandescent union if too much carnage and destruction had been left in their wake in order to achieve it. Because of the kind of person she is, none of us mind that Miss Bingley’s ambitions are frustrated. But Anne was an innocent bystander. I would hate to see her heart trampled.

So I set about developing her relationship with Darcy as I saw fit – some insights into past events, Anne’s current feelings, and some meaningful interaction between the two as the story goes along. I also wanted to show some signs of a burgeoning friendship between Anne and Elizabeth. All this with an eye to the three of them coming through with mutual understanding and respect. Above all, I wanted to be sure that Anne (as well as the reader) had no reason to feel that Darcy had dealt with her dishonorably.

Phew! That was a tall order, but you’ll be glad to know Darcy’s good character comes through undamaged. Yay! What might surprise you more, though, is how Anne was at work behind the scenes. She not only didn’t stand in the way of Darcy and Elizabeth’s happiness; at some personal sacrifice, she actively promoted it. Sounds to me like she deserves a HEA of her own. Don’t you agree?


At first glance, Anne de Bourgh doesn’t seem a promising heroine. But beneath that quiet exterior, there’s a lively mind at work, imagining how one day she will escape her poor health and her mother’s domination to find love and a life worth living.

Now Anne finally gets the chance to speak her mind. But Lady Catherine demands equal time. Even Charlotte Collins and Mrs. Jenkinson get into the act. Chapter by chapter, these ladies of Rosings Park take turns telling the tale from the moment Elizabeth Bennet sets foot in Hunsford, changing everything. Is Anne heartbroken or relieved to discover Mr. Darcy will never marry her? As an heiress, even a sickly one, she must have other suitors. Does Lady Catherine gracefully accept the defeat of her original plan or keep conniving? Will Anne’s health ever improve? And what really happened to her father?

Complete in itself, this work expands The Darcys of Pemberley series laterally, beginning during the timeline of Pride and Prejudice and carrying beyond to reveal the rest of Anne’s story. When a young lady is to be a heroine… something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way. (Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey)


Shannon Winslow is giving away one eBook of The Ladies of Rosings Park and this giveaway is international. Please leave a comment to enter. What do you think of Darcy's treatment of Anne? Do you think him honourable? Do you think Anne deserves a HEA of her own? I certainly do and I've a feeling that Shannon Winslow is going to give her one! Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on the 8th of April. Good luck to all.


Thank you for visiting my blog again, Shannon. It is always such a pleasure having you stop by and talk about your books. I agree with your sentiments that Darcy belongs with none other than Elizabeth. That definitely is a truth universally acknowledged! :) I look forward to learning more about your book, and I wish you the best with The Ladies of Rosings Park. Please come back for a visit anytime. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

A More Engaging Guest Review...Modern Persuasion

Sophia Rose is back with a review of Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks. Sophia writes such great reviews without giving any spoilers. I always enjoy reading them and hope you enjoy this one about an intriguing modern day Persuasion.

Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks
#1 21st Century Austen
Contemporary Romance
Publisher:  Illuminated Myth Publishing
Published:  5.29.17
Pages:  220
Format: eARC
Source:  Lola’s Blog Tours

GoodReads Blurb:

Which would you pick: the person you love or your own dreams?
What would you do if given a second chance at that decision?
Eight years ago Emma Shaw picked her career and family over the man she loved, Fredrick Wentworth. Since then she has built a career in publishing and spends her free time making sure her father and sisters are taken care of. Fredrick has spent the same years building his career as a screenwriter under increasing public scrutiny as a celebrity. When the editor of Fredrick’s first book is injured, Emma is forced to travel with Fredrick on his book tour.
Tension builds for the two former lovers over the course of the tour. Emma and Fredrick must face their emotional baggage and their misunderstanding about how their break-up impacted the other. Will they be able to find their way back together for a second chance at love?


Austen's Persuasion translated into the 21st century quite easily with a good old-fashioned second chance romance full of the usual miscues, sizzling glances across the room, and lots of regret and bittersweet memories of the past all set against the world of book publishing. 

Each time I get my hands on a modern retelling, I think what hooks me in initially is my overwhelming curiosity of how the author will describe the characters and what will be the setting.  The book publishing industry was an interesting choice here and one not entirely unfamiliar especially when they were out on the book tour.  Emma (aka Anne) is an accomplished editor and has all the makings of a brilliant publisher if her boss would only loosen up on the reins and let her follow her head.  She has the gift of picking bestsellers and making an author golden.  Her parents were industry legends though her dad is not doing well since his wife's death.  And... neither is Emma, really, as she is content to tread water indefinitely.

On the flip side, there is Fredrick, the guy Emma walked away from when he wanted her to follow him to LA and live a life together.  He went on to screenwrite a popular movie and now is a bestselling author on a book tour through Emma's publishing house.  Oh my, that reunion meet cute was as cringe-worthy as you imagine and the awkward tour was a test in fortitude for both Freddy and Emma.

Overall, I thought this was a great tribute to the original story while also proving it was a solid original piece of its own.  It has Persuasion nuances, but it didn't take long for me to realize that Emma is no self-effacing Anne who is loaded down with regret all around.  Emma has one regret, but also has lots of non-regrets, too.  She followed her dreams and is good at what she does with quite a bit of respect and admiration in the world she inhabits.  Fredrick might be the Hollywood writer, but really, it is Emma who is the success story here that everyone in the book industry is buzzing about.  I say that because this is the dynamic that is the domino effect changing things all the way through.

This is a romance, but it is also very much a women's fiction.  This is Emma's story of what she does when she gets the chance at a reset.  She is confronted with her past in a visceral way and spends a great deal of time pondering if she made the right decision back when she was twenty-two and fresh out of college, if the past should be left in the past, or, as many are hinting, is this a new opportunity eight years later because she is in a different place in her life as is Fredrick and what does it matter if he still hates her.

I think this more put together Anne figure will appeal to more people.  Those who adore Persuasion and don't mind it set in modern day will read it and have a good time, but I think this is also for those who might not have liked the meeker Anne of Austen's novel, but would enjoy her 2.0 version in Emma.  And drunk Emma is really quite the woman to be reckoned with, let me tell you.

So, yes, I was well pleased with Modern Persuasion and feel it has strong appeal for contemporary romance and women's fiction fans alike whether or not the reader has read or watched a tv adaption of Austen's Persuasion or not.

About the Author:

By day Sara Marks is a librarian in Massachusetts, but by night she’s an author, knitter, and Wikipedian.  She has been writing as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since 2004.  Her first novel, Modern Persuasion, was published in May 2017 with Illuminated Myth Publishing.  Her second novel, Phi Alpha Pi, is set for release in May 2018.

Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara attended Florida State University for 3 years.  She eventually graduated with an A.A from Miami-Dade College and a  B.A. from Florida International University before moving back to Boston for graduate school.  There she got her M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and a M.S. in Communications from Fitchburg State University.  Now Sara lives in Lowell, MA where she works with local writing group Mill Pages, which creates an annual anthology of short stories, poems, and art work.  She is a member of the Society of Independent Publishers and Authors (SIPA), a group supporting writers in the Merrimack Valley.

You can find and contact Sara Marks here:
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Thank you, Sophia Rose, for letting More Agreeably Engaged post your review of Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks. Your thoughts were awesome and your review well written. Thank you. It is always a pleasure to read what someone else thinks of a book. I like Persuasion and feel sure I would like this modern version too. Readers, what do you think? Have any of you read it yet? If so, tell me your thoughts.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

And the winners are...

I have some winners to announce.
One is for Mark Brownlow's post, Cake & Courtship.
There are two eBooks being given away for Jan Hahn's new book, The Child; one is for the cover reveal
and one is for Christina Boyd's review.
The last winner is for Sophia Rose's review of 
The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque by Don Jacobson.

Congratulations to all the winners.
Thank you for stopping by the blog
and taking the time to comment.

The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque
by Don Jacobson

Dung Vu

The Child by Jan Hahn

Cover Reveal

Carole in Canada

Christina Boyd Review
Patty Edmisson

Cake & Courtship by Mark Brownlow

eBook or Chocolates? The winner chose...


Thank you, Mark, for being my guest and hosting such a tempting and fun giveaway.

Again, congratulations to all the winners. Thanks so much for supporting my blog and the writers. You are appreciated.
A special thanks to everyone having the giveaways.
My readers love winning books. Who doesn't, right?