Austen Authors April 2, 2018: A New Title, a New Cover Style, and a Giveaway

Please note: The giveaway mentioned in this post is closed.

I’m happy to announce that I (finally) have Darcy’s Surprise Betrothal completed! By the time this post goes live, the book should be available for purchase. 🙂

This book is kind of a new start for me. Last year, I published seven books, five of which didn’t do as well as I would have liked. I examined all the angles, and came to some conclusions about my books. I have addressed many of these conclusions in posts on my own blog, so I won’t go into them much here. However, one of the things that I felt I needed to change was my covers.

I knew that my Regency covers were very different from all the other JAFF covers. However, there is no consistency in our genre, so I had not worried about it. I learned from some cover/design experts and other authors that my covers look like contemporary romances. Well, they’re not, and they needed fixing.

So, I embarked on a quest to design new covers. After several iterations, below is the design I settled on. I have to thank Rose Fairbanks for her assistance with it. One of the people in the group of experts shared with me a basic mockup; I was able to find images that fit and throw them into one of my own. But, Rose made me a template and then, when I could not figure out how to replace the watermarked image with the good one and was about to melt down over it, she stepped in and finished it up for me.

All of my new books will have covers that are similar to this one. Some things may change as I learn to actually use Photoshop, and some will remain the same. There will be a different couple, or at least a different pose, and probably a different building in the background with every new one. The fonts will probably remain the same, though their colors may change. I will probably change out the old covers for ones in the new style, as well, though that’s going to take a while to do.

Some of you have probably read the excerpts of Darcy’s Surprise Betrothal that I posted on my blog on Thursdays, but I thought it would be nice to share one here, too, because not everyone reads my blog. In this book, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father is still alive, so I refer to the father as Darcy and the son as Fitzwilliam. Below the excerpt, you will find the details of my giveaway.


Fitzwilliam was stunned. His mouth had fallen open a little and his head continued its shaking, as if to negate the words he had heard. He saw the truth in his father’s expression, though, and knew it was no use to protest, despite the anguish and denial in his heart. He subsided, slumping down into the seat. “I had no idea you were ill. You never said anything!” He reached into his pocket and withdrew his handkerchief, pressing it against his eyes to stem the tears that ached to flow.

“I did not want to worry you. To be honest, I ignored it for a long time, because I feared that whatever it was would be bad.”

“There is no hope?” Fitzwilliam could not keep the grief out of his voice.

“None. There are steps I can take that might prolong my life, such as avoiding extreme emotions and eating more bland foods, but at some point, this malady will take my life.”

Fitzwilliam bowed his head, still fighting the tears that ached to be released. The thought of his only remaining parent leaving him was almost more than he could bear. “You said you made plans with your friend Bennet? And that I am a part of them?”

“Yes, I did, and you are.” Darcy paused, rubbing his chest. He was tired already, and their trip had barely begun. “Of course, you know that you are the heir of Pemberley. When I do go to my reward, you will inherit everything. I have named your cousin Richard as an additional guardian for Georgiana, but you will be in charge of her. With war on the horizon, we do not know what will happen with Richard, and if he is gone much of the time, you will be unable to consult him anyway.”

Fitzwilliam nodded. “Yes, sir. This is true. Thank you for trusting me with her.” He swallowed hard, doing his best to keep his emotions in check.

“You have long ago proven yourself responsible enough. I am happy and relieved to have you as my son.” Leaning over, he put his hand on Fitzwilliam’s knee and squeezed. “You will do well, I am sure of it.”

“Thank you, Father.” Fitzwilliam knew he sounded calm, but on the inside, he dreaded what was to come. He knew there was more by the way his father was looking at him. He swallowed, closing his eyes for a minute as a way to gather his composure, but opened them when the elder gentleman began to speak once more. What he heard next would throw him into even deeper turmoil.

“Now I come to the next item on the list, and again, I will come right out and say it. One of the things Bennet and I planned was for you to marry his daughter.”

“M-, m-, marry?” Fitzwilliam’s voice rose with each syllable, ending on a squeak. He swallowed, forcing himself to remain quiet as he listened to his father’s explanation, though his mind was once again racing. Surely he cannot mean this. It is odd for a joke, but … I am not ready to be tied to a woman just yet, no matter who she is.


Please note: The giveaway mentioned in this post is closed.

I’m giving away two ebook copies of Darcy’s Surprise Betrothal. All you need to do for a chance to win is to comment on this post. All comments must be in by 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, April 8, 2018. Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Please note: The giveaway mentioned in this post is closed.

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