Cover Reveal – Determination by C. P. Odom

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The first Meryton Press release for 2021 is C. P. Odom’s Determination. We are happy to see it make its way into the world. To celebrate, Meryton Press is giving away two eBooks of Determination. More information will be given after the excerpt. Oh, did I forget to mention there is an excerpt too? Yes? It is the first one for this book, and we hope you will enjoy reading it! 🙂

The cover will be revealed shortly, but first, let’s take a look at the blurb.

Blurb

“Love at first sight” is a laughable concept in the considered opinion of Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam and never occurs in real life—certainly not in the life of an experienced soldier. In fact, until he observes the smitten nature of his cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy, he doubts that fervent love truly exists. Marriage, after all, is a matter of money, social standing, and property.

But his cousin becomes besotted with Elizabeth Bennet, the lovely but penniless daughter of a Hertfordshire gentleman, and is determined to make her his wife. Unfortunately, emotions overwhelm his good judgment, and he botches an offer of marriage.

When the colonel attempts to untangle the mess, his own world becomes almost as chaotic when he makes the accidental acquaintance of Miss Jane Bennet, Elizabeth’s beloved elder sister. Can emotions previously deemed impossible truly seize such a level-headed person as himself? And can impassible obstacles deter a man of true determination?

What do you think of the blurb? Does it pique your interest? It did mine! Now that we’ve read a bit about the book, it’s time to take a look at the front cover.

Pre-order at Amazon

The front cover “represents” a scene from the book. Here’s C. P. Odom to tell you a bit about the writing of that scene.

Thoughts about the cover and Ch. 26

Chapter 26 is the chapter in which all four of our protagonists, Elizabeth, Jane, Darcy, and Fitzwilliam, go on a picnic in order to get away from Longbourn and the frenzy of Mrs. Bennet, who is maniacally preparing her home for visitors, most especially a peer of the realm (Earl Matlock) and his wife, Lady Matlock.

This chapter was the most difficult chapter to deal with, and I spent more time on it than I did on any other five chapters combined. Many readers will be familiar with this story that I published as fan fiction on the old and defunct Hyacinth Gardens site, which was the place where I read so much fan fiction by many superb authors such as Abigail Reynolds, Jan Hahn, and others. I have to admit that this fan fiction story was more risqué than it should have been, and in my re-write for publication I definitely wanted to portray loving adults who were well aware of the physical side of marriage without being explicit.

So I wrote and re-wrote, overwrote and edited, and labored over this chapter. It was difficult and took an exceedingly long time before I ever submitted it for publication and editing by my editor, Neil McFarlane. But I’m happy with it now, just as I’m happy with many other drastic changes from fan fiction, many suggested by Neil. I hope those who read it are able to enjoy it also.

Are you ready to read the excerpt and see how C. P. Odom resolved his issues with Chapter 26?

Cover excerpt from Ch. 26

Richard sat comfortably, his back against a tree, with Jane close beside him, her legs tucked under her. The two of them talked easily with Jane laughing delightedly at his recollections of humorous episodes from his military experiences. She was obviously very comfortable sitting so close, often touching him on the hand or arm to make a point as if she had been doing so all her life.

He was disappointed, however, that the same was not true for Elizabeth and Darcy . . .

***

He was not surprised when Elizabeth said, about a quarter of an hour later, “I would like to walk on, perhaps to Oakham Mount. Would you care to accompany me, Mr. Darcy?”

Darcy was quite agreeable and quickly arose to assist her. Richard wondered whether Jane might wish to chaperone her sister, but she remained seated. “I shall never be the walker you are, Lizzy. I would prefer to stay here with Richard. Will you be returning for the noon meal?”

“I am not sure. Perhaps we should divide the bounty and take one of the baskets. Then we might eat when we feel hungry.”

“That is sensible, but take care in your selections—remember how much Hill packed. But I do suggest coming back here before returning to Longbourn so we can all return at the same time. Our mother is likely to be angry that we did not tell her of our plans.”

“Trying to offer more targets and spread her fire, eh?” Richard said cheerfully. “Good military tactics, my love.”

Elizabeth nodded her agreement, and she and Darcy packed a smaller, lighter basket before departing. After they left, Richard looked over at Jane and raised his eyebrows inquisitively. “I wonder if those two might need a chaperone,” he said with a mischievous lift of his eyebrows.

“And if they should?” Jane said lightly before growing serious. “I know Lizzy wishes some time alone with Mr. Darcy without the press of our family and all our visitors. This morning seemed to both of us the perfect opportunity since I wished the same thing with you.”

“Perhaps they should have stayed to provide a chaperone for us,” Richard said teasingly.

“I suppose we could catch up with them if we hurried…”

“No, no, that would be too tiring,” Richard said, never having stirred from his comfortable seat against the tree. “In any case, Darcy is eight and twenty and well aware of the bounds of propriety. If he is hesitant to do anything that might offend your sister, he is unlikely to chance liberties that she did not expressly sanction.”

“Perhaps you might be surprised at what either of the Bennet sisters would expressly sanction,” Jane said softly, her eyes on her hands in her lap. Richard’s eyebrows went up as he wondered about this comment, but Jane waved the thought away.

“Never mind, never mind. It was a frivolous thought, not at all serious.” She looked around at the trees overhead, which let only muted dapples of sunlight through the thick branches. “This is a pretty place, is it not? Very relaxing with the gurgling of the stream and the birds singing in the trees. Lizzy comes here often to be away from the chatter and noise of our sisters and our mother.”

She looked at Richard solemnly for a moment. “Having such a large family has its drawbacks, you know. I believe Lizzy feels those disadvantages more sharply than I do.”

Richard nodded his understanding, reaching out to squeeze her hand while he enjoyed looking into those beautiful eyes of hers. “Perhaps we should discuss other topics than a life you will be leaving behind. I asked Darcy this morning whether he had given any thought to renewing his addresses, but he still seems hesitant, not wishing to rush her into making a decision that he worries will go against him.”

Jane said nothing at first, looking down at his hand. “I still marvel at how much larger your hand is than mine, and I am not a small woman. Also, the calluses on your hands are clearly the result of hard work, yet your touch is as gentle as that of a baby.”

“I shall take care when sliding my hand over your skin when I have you safely in my clutches, dearest—I have learned gentleness along with strength. I should not wish to abrade your skin’s delicacy.”

“That is certainly a relief. I believe I would be a twig in your fingers.” She smiled happily and squeezed his hand again.

“As for what you said about your cousin, I have to say this: I have been keeping Lizzy’s secrets for so long, and she mine, that my first impulse was to evade your question. But that will no longer do, will it? We shall be married in just a few days, and I shall be keeping your secrets from that point.”

“You do not have to say anything if it would cause you to betray a confidence.”

Jane only smiled and shook her head, squeezing his hand again to emphasise her point. “That is not my concern. I am only saying that the changes in our lives will require some getting used to. But I do not believe Lizzy would expect me to keep such secrets from you. So, yes, she has concluded that she and Mr. Darcy would do quite well together, and while she has not said so specifically, I am sure she would give him a favourable reply if he repeated his offer. But please do not share this with him just now. Lizzy knows he is being cautious, and she will eventually say something if his hesitation continues; his desires are plain to see. But she wishes to wait until after we are married. She says our mother is difficult enough with only one daughter formally engaged.”

Richard had to laugh at the image that came to his mind. “Especially since your mother will not have the objections she had to me. Very well—I am relieved for Darcy’s sake, and my lips are sealed. I have no wish to worsen your relations with your mother.”

“Oh, I have got over most of my anger. I am afraid my mother cannot help being the way she is.”

“I never took offence at what she said, dear heart. She is trying to resolve an unpleasant situation, and her desperation drives her to foolishness. Let it go and remember that she loves you.”

“She has much to keep her occupied since you so casually mentioned the social triumph she will accomplish by having an earl and his family visiting her home.”

Jane shook her head in resignation, and she and Richard shared a wry smile at the foibles of both their families.

***

Jane looked down for a moment before she asked, almost in a whisper, “Richard, I…I am feeling…very…oh, I do not know. Will you hold me? I am all…”

She had no need for further words as Richard lifted her effortlessly onto his lap with her back cradled by his right arm while his left went around her waist and pulled her tightly against him. Her head came naturally to rest on his shoulder, and he heard her sigh in relief as the tension seemed to flow out of her.

“Thank you,” she said softly. “I do not want to…burden you, but I cannot tell you how comforting you are to me. I feel that nothing can go wrong when you are holding me.”

“You could never be a burden, dearest one,” Richard said, luxuriating in the clean, sweet smell of her dark hair under his chin. “I shall hold you as often and for as long as you wish for all of our life together.”

Jane snuggled in even closer at these words. “That sounds like so long now—‘for all of our life together.’ Who could have thought my life would change so much and so quickly?”

Did you enjoy the excerpt? Even though it was difficult for the author to write, I believe he wrote it well. He should be happy with it.

The back cover shows another scene, but you will need to read the book to learn more about it. 🙂

It’s giveaway time. As I mentioned earlier, Meryton Press is giving away two eBooks of Determination. To be entered leave a comment below. The giveaway will end at midnight central time, Saturday, the 16th of January.

Tell us what you think about the excerpt. Did any of you read the story when it was on Hyacinth Gardens? As C. P. Odom said, this published book is much different from the one on fan fiction. We hope you will enjoy it.

Determination is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be auto-delivered to your Kindle on Monday, January 18th. The Blog Tour will begin on Monday, January 18th as well. The schedule with links will be posted on this blog later in the week or over the weekend. There will be more excerpts and giveaways. Be sure to visit each stop.

Pre-order Links

US & UK

Other books by C. P. Odom

eBooks and Paperbacks available on Amazon. These are also available as audiobooks, except for Perilous Siege, and it is in production.

125 Responses

  1. Don Jacobson
    | Reply

    Love this s concept. I know purists may complain about this particular tetrarchy, but many variations are now looking more closely at deepening the Jane Bennet character. I love this exploration of a possible non-canonical pairing. While one could argue that offering an excerpt from deep-deep in the book may constitute a spoiler. However, this has only fired up my imagination to consider how Jane snd the Colonel got to this point. Love it.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I hope you will get a chance to see how Jane and the Colonel got to the point depicted on the cover. We’re happy you visited. Thanks, Don.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I hope you enjoy the book, Don. I think the inspiration for it came way back when when I was thinking through some not-quite-so-obvious implications of the characters, and it just seemed that Bingley got off rather lightly in readers’ opinions (those that I read, anyway). It just seemed to me that he was thoughtless in the extreme, almost more selfish than Darcy, in the way he paid attention to Jane and then disappeared without even a note. Once I dismissed him as any kind of hero for the story kind of gelling in my mind, who should pop up but Col. Fitzwilliam. I had almost a free hand in painting his portrait, since he only appears once in P&P, and there are multiple explanations for much of how he was portrayed by Austen.

  2. Glynis
    | Reply

    The Colonel and Jane getting married? Wow! Darcy making a mess of his proposal? More wow! I’m happy to know that Elizabeth will accept him when he renews his proposal and just wish he did.
    I haven’t read this before but do look forward to reading it when published so will add it to my list.
    Thank you for the excerpt and the cover reveal (I hope the picture on the back isn’t regarding trouble with Wickham!)

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Glynis. There are definitely some “Wow’s” in this story! I hope you get to read it soon. As for the picture on the back, I’ll defer to the author for a response there! 🙂

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I’m sorry about your last wish, Glynis, but considering my opinion of Wickham (I’ve killed him off in two of my stories!), you’re unlikely to find the colonel having a beer and some guy talk with someone he meets in the street of Meryton with a drawn sword! 🙂

  3. Suzan Lauder
    | Reply

    Richard and Jane definitely have rapport in that excerpt. But I wonder what troubles await them with the Earl and Countess of Matlock and Mrs. Bennet? The cover is a lovely depiction of that scenes. Best wishes on your release, Colin!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      It’s fun to see the colonel smitten! There must be some trouble, right???

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Keeping Don Jacobsen’s comment about this excerpt almost being a spoiler, few problems remain for them to confront other than the colonel’s attempt to get enough sleep after marrying a most willing bride!

      Colin

  4. Jan Hahn
    | Reply

    You know, there’s just something about Austen stories written by men. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s different than those conceived by women. I suppose it’s the tone, but whatever it is, C. P. Odom is one of the best. I loved this story way back when, and I can’t wait to see how Colin has changed it.

    The cover is striking! Col Fitzwilliam reminds me of a younger Sean Bean. Now he would have made a fantastic colonel! I’m going to visualize him and Colin Firth when I read Determination this time. Congratulations on your newest release, Colin!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Good observation about the Austen stories written by men, Jan. C. P. Odom has a style and unique voice that makes his work stand out.

      Sean Bean for Colonel Fitzwilliam…I like that idea! Now I’ll probably be visualizing him too! lol Glad you like the cover.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Janet Taylor was in charge of doing the cover, and she had the able assistance of her son, who is an absolute whiz with 3D Art. Look at the way Jane’s dress drapes along the ground! I do some 3D Art myself and actually did the cover artwork for my Perilous Siege novel, but Jeff is by far my superior. As for Sean Bean, I hadn’t thought of him, though he is one of my favorite actors.

      As far as changes, there are a bunch. I made quite a few, and my editor, Neil McFarlane, suggested others that required a lot of ripping stuff out and going in a different direction. Thanks for your good wishes.

      • Meryton Press
        | Reply

        Thank you!
        You’re way too kind. I enjoyed doing the 3D art very much and wish the book much success!

        • Meryton Press
          | Reply

          Colin, the comment above is from Jeff.

          • Michelle Fidler
            | Reply

            Sounds like a good book. I like the cover. I’m not familiar with the Hyacinth Gardens fan fiction site. I may have to check it out.

            • Meryton Press
              | Reply

              We’re glad you like the cover, and I think you will like the book. It is good. I don’t believe Hyacinth Gardens is still active, but from what I’ve heard, it was a popular site. Thanks for visiting and good luck.

  5. Kelly Miller
    | Reply

    Congratulations and best wishes for your new release, Colin! I like the cover, and enjoyed the excerpt. It sounds like an intriguing variation! I look forward to learning more! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We hope you get to read it soon, Kelly. Thanks for dropping in.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      And I hope you enjoy reading it, Kelly!

  6. ForeverHis
    | Reply

    This story sounds wonderful! I’ve always thought that the colonel would make a great pairing with Jane–Bingley did not deserve her. Did he remain in the army? Did Jane “follow the drum”? So many questions–so few answers!! Anxious to find out how they met. I love the cover. The uniforms are so striking. Please enter me in the drawing.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I like the colonel and Jane paired too. You have lots of good questions.:) Maybe you can read it soon and find those answers. We’re glad you stopped by. You are entered in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      You and I are in agreement about Bingley, ForeverHis. And we’re also in agreement about the cover. Good job, Janet!

  7. Rose
    | Reply

    I read this a while ago when it was still online. I am so glad to see authors polishing up their older stories and putting them out in the published world to reach more readers.

    I will be watching for this one and doing a re-read. Good luck with the book.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Isn’t it nice when authors publish some of their older stories! I like that too. I’ll be curious to know what changes you notice after reading the published version versus the online version! Good luck in the giveaway and thank you for visiting.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Interesting comment about authors polishing up their older stories, Rose, since I recently completed the first draft rewrite of one of my older stories, “Georgiana’s Friend.” I still have a full scale self-edit to complete before I can submit it, but it’s on its way!

  8. Laurie
    | Reply

    I wish I had known about such internet sites for variations and continuations, as I would have frequented them continuously! I finally learned about the groups on FB via Pam Hunter in 2016. At any rate, I love this author (Consequences was one of my very favorite JAFF’s) and this excerpt. Looking forward to reading the rest!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I didn’t know about them for quite a while myself, Laurie. I remember desperately searching for more variations to read.

      It’s great to hear that you love C. P. Odom’s work. Consequences is one of my favorites, as well. We hope you get to read this one soon. Good luck in the giveaway!

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      “Consequences” was one of your favorite JAFF’s? Amazing! The ladies at Hyacinth Garden were on the march with pitchforks and torches when I killed off Jane and Darcy! As for the fan fiction sites, that’s where I got my start, but it’s amazing that I put that much work into my stories just to amuse the readership!

  9. Shelley Hoisington
    | Reply

    Congratulations n publishing your book. I remember this story and I am interested to read the published version. I love a Richard and Jane pairing. Love the cover and the back cover. Thanks for the chance in this giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for your interest, Shelley! Good luck in the giveaway!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Shelley. We’re happy that you stopped by. Glad to hear you like the cover and a Richard and Jane pairing! 🙂

  10. Michelle David
    | Reply

    I had not read this before and it sounds most interesting. Jane deserves a stronger man than Bingley. The Colonel deserves some happiness in his life as well. Can’t wait to read the rest.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I believe there are quite a few readers who agree with you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Colin has some great excerpts lined up for the blog tour! Good luck in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      ” Jane deserves a stronger man than Bingley.” I agree, and that’s one of the reasons that I came up with the plot. I hope you like it.

  11. J. W. Garrett
    | Reply

    I have read this before and LOVED our Colonel in this story. I can’t wait to see the differences that have been made. Our dear Colonel was large-and-in-charge… my favorite trope. Heavy sigh. I am so excited that this is being published. Congratulations to C. P. Odom on the launch. I wish him much success. I always enjoy seeing a pairing with our dear Colonel and Jane. She deserves a strong man in her life. Now… the cover. OMG! Great choice, most excellent. And that back is simply genius. That must be where he encounters Wickham in the street. LOL!! Yep, great picture choices. Blessings everyone, thanks to Meryton Press for the giveaway. Good luck to all in the drawing. Y’all stay safe and healthy.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Isn’t the colonel great in this story! I loved him too. Wow! You nailed with large-and-in-charge! We’re glad you feel the pictures on the cover are perfect choices! Thank you. Good luck to you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for your interest, and, despite the changes I made when I re-wrote it for publication, the colonel is still “large-and-in-charge”! 🙂

  12. Patty Edmisson
    | Reply

    This sounds good. I do like it when Jane has another love interest. Congratulations on this newest release. I have not read any stories from Hyacinth Gardens.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Patty. Isn’t it fun when Jane has a different love interest! I think you will enjoy this one! Sadly, I never read any stories from Hyacinth Gardens either. Good luck and thanks for visiting.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Yup, the Hyacinth Gardens was where the Jane Austen dinosaurs roamed and made the earth shudder with the stomping of their feet!

      Heh, heh! Just kidding. I kind of stumbled over the site myself and really felt at home there for a number of year. Thanks for your interest, Patty.

  13. Buturot
    | Reply

    Congratulations Mr. Odom for your new book. Thank you for sharing an excerpt. Now I am intrigued what is the back cover about…

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We hope you get to find out about the scene on the back cover scene! It is a good one! Good luck in the giveaway and thanks for stopping by.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Well, as I said above, one of the other militia officers (note the different uniforms! Janet Taylor’s son, Jeff, did a great job of research, since militia uniforms really did differ from the uniforms of the regulars) is Wickham, and I don’t think he and the colonel are going to have a beer and chew the fat about the “good old days” . . . 🙂

  14. Lois
    | Reply

    It’s not common to read about the Colonel being so romantic! Loved the excerpt.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      True, and wasn’t it nice. C. P. Odom truly gave him a good voice in this novel. He’s romantic and witty. Several of the characters are quite clever with their comments and made me laugh.

      We’re glad you took time to visit and comment. Good luck with the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      When you read the book, Lois (as I hope you will!), you’ll see that it rather catches Fitzwilliam by surprise! He’d been thinking, as so many officers did at the time and later, that they’d look for a serious and prudent young wife after they retired from active service, so to find himself caught up in such an unexpected attachment gave me lots of ways to take the story!

      Thanks for your interest!

  15. Kay
    | Reply

    I love C.P Odom’s books and a pairing of Colonel Fitzwilliam with Jane is one of my favorite. Beautiful cover. Congratulations on the release.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      That’s great to hear, Kay. Thank you for dropping in today. Good luck!

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I hope you enjoy this pairing, Kay. And yes, the cover was excellent, wasn’t it? Thanks, Janet Taylor!

  16. Christin
    | Reply

    The recap and the excerps sound interesting. Wow Colonel Fitzwilliam and Jane? I have never read a variation with those two getting married. Intriguing indeed. My interest is certainly peaked. I’d love to win the giveaway ebook.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Yes, it is an intriguing premise to pair Colonel Fitzwilliam and Jane. We hope you get to read this variation soon! Good luck in the giveaway

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for your interest, Christin. When I first came up with the idea for the book, I’d never seen a variation that put the colonel and Jane together. Good luck with the giveaway!

  17. Vicki Hammons
    | Reply

    Sounds great. I like stories that give Jane a more interesting romance – and don’t leave her stuck with Bingley’s sisters! Colonel Fitzwilliam has a much stronger character, which is a good match with Jane’s sweetness – no worries about overspending income and being cheated by servants with this match.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      You are right on all of the above! Colonel Fitzwilliam definitely has a stronger character and he is “determined.” 🙂

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      And remember, Bingley abandoned her without even a note! That’s even worse than Darcy leaving Hertfordshire – he never raised Elizabeth’s explanations. He just was too much a product of his training – marriage is a matter for connections, status, and money, right?

  18. Lynn Bischoff
    | Reply

    This sounds like another wonderful C.P. Odum book. I look forward to reading it. I love when Col. Fitzwilliam gets together with Jane.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I do as well, Lynn. I think you will love this one. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      So you’ve seen other variations with Fitzwilliam & Jane? I’ve never ran into any. I did stumble across a variation matching Elizabeth and Wickham, but I got back to my feet and hurried away very quickly! Hopefully, the readership won’t have THAT reaction to my novel!

  19. Sheila L. Majczan
    | Reply

    I will have to read this story. I have read one other book in which the Colonel was paired with Jane but can’t remember the name of the book. I also want to know how they got to this point. What happened with Bingley or was he never part of the picture. Thanks you for sharing and thank you for a chance to win a copy. Good luck with the release.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      This is a good story, and I think it is one you will like, Sheila. We’re happy you stopped by. Good luck!

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for your interest, Sheila. To answer your question, Bingley is a topic of conversation from the beginning and even puts in a personal appearance. I even arranged a suitable marriage for him!

  20. Cyndy
    | Reply

    I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you. I have read this author’s Consequences and A Covenant of Marriage and enjoyed them both, so I am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Wasn’t the excerpt enjoyable! Oh, it’s great to hear you enjoyed both Consequences and A Covenant of Marriage. Have you read A Most Civil Proposal? It was C.P. Odom’s first release, and it is still highly popular. Pride, Prejudice, & Secrets is another good one of his! Good luck in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Good luck with the giveaway, Cyndy. I’m still amazed at how well received “Consequences” has been. Because I broke so many parts of Austen’s framework, I was surprised when Meryton Press suggested publishing it! Thanks, Meryton Press!

  21. Debra-Ann Kummoung
    | Reply

    I didn’t read it previously but I love the thought of the levelheaded colonel falling in love with Jane Bennet. I can’t wait for this to come out and I love the book cover.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We are anxious for Monday too, so readers can begin experiencing this story! We’re also happy to hear you love the book cover! Thank you!

      Good luck in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      There’s quite a backstory with the colonel and Darcy before we even get to Jane. But Jane really didn’t write in a bunch of details on Colonel Fitzwilliam, so I had a lot of room to maneuver in! And I love the cover too!

  22. Betty Campbell Madden
    | Reply

    Such an enjoyable author! I’d certainly appreciate winning a copy of this newest story.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Betty! Maybe you will be one of the lucky winners. If not, the blog tour begins Monday and there will be more eBooks given away! We appreciate you dropping by.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I love the comment “such an enjoyable author”! It means you’ve read some of my other books! Thanks for looking in on this cover reveal.

  23. Debra Perrin
    | Reply

    I always love a story when Jane and the Colonel get together, whilst I don’t dislike Bingley, I don’t see much room for character growth. Thank you for calling the Colonel, Richard, it really does fit well. I hadn’t discovered JAFF when Hyacinth Gardens was running so this is new to me and I can’t wait to read the rest. Congratulations on the first Merton Press release of 2021.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We’re happy to have you visit today, Debra. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It seems that the general consensus of the readers for this post like a story with Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam together. We hope you get to read the rest soon! Thank you for commenting and good luck. Be sure to follow the blog tour for more chances to win an eBook.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Austen didn’t give us many details about the colonel. As for “Richard,” I guess I could have named him “Oscar”! But that wouldn’t have worked, would it? 🙂

      I hope you enjoy Meryton’s first of the year.

  24. Pam Hunter
    | Reply

    Such a sweet excerpt. I love stories that pair Jane with Colonel Fitzwilliam. As long as Lizzy and Darcy end up together at the end, I’m happy! I look forward to reading this story. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I feel the same as you, Pam. I want Darcy and Lizzy to end up together in the end. 🙂 The pairing of Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam works really well in this story. We hope you get to read it soon. Good luck!

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      If I were a really bold and aggressive author, I’d pick up the challenge and match Elizabeth up with someone else and let Darcy weep into his port. But I’m such a sucker for a happy ending, so you’ll never see such a variation from me. 🙂

  25. Sophia Rose
    | Reply

    First, I love the cover. Second, that blurb had me excited to see the Colonel and Jane’s story. And, yes, that excerpt showing them together just seals the deal.

    Congrats to Mr. Odom!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Great, Sophia! We’re thrilled to hear your thoughts on all of the above! Thank you! Good luck in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks, Sophia! And especially for what you said about the blurb. I always have a hard time coming up with the blurb when I’m getting a book ready for publication. After being so intimately involved in all the hair-splitting details for so long, I just find it hard to step back and take a “Big Picture” look at what I’ve just written. Luckily, my editors always help!

  26. tgruy
    | Reply

    I loved the excerpt. I don’t remember reading this story in the Hyacinth Gardens but I do remember how much I enjoyed the site.
    This looks like a great story and I hope I get lucky and get to read it soon.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We hope you get lucky too, Teresita! It’s good to know you remember and enjoyed Hyacinth Gardens.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for the kind words, tgruy. I really enjoyed my time at Hyacinth Gardens. It seem astounding that I put so much time into my stories there. Good luck with the giveaway!

  27. Carole in Canada
    | Reply

    Another gorgeous cover by Janet! Congratulations on your ‘newest’ release and one I have not read before. As much as I like Bingley, despite his lack of backbone, I always love a story where Jane and the Colonel are paired. There is something about her spirit and gentleness that would soothe the Colonel and he would always stand his ground and be protective. Lovely excerpt and look forward to reading this!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thank you, Carole! Most of the credit has to go to my son, though. He did the pictures. I just put them all together. Colin told me what scenes he wanted illustrated and we got busy.

      Oh, you have something to look forward to when you get a chance to read this one. I hope it is soon! I agree with your thoughts about Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam being paired.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for your interest, Carole. Your compliments toward Janet and her son are well merited, and Jeff is an absolute whiz with the 3D Art. Since I dabble in it myself, I was blown away by how Jane’s dress looked so realistic as it draped to the ground. I’ve tried to do similar things using the same software Jeff uses, but my efforts don’t look that good. In fact, about half the time, something like a dress or blanket just seems to “explode” instead of draping! Very humbling!

  28. Kim P.
    | Reply

    What a sweet exchange between the Colonel and Jane. I can’t wait to see how their relationship came about. I hope that Darcy and Elizabeth come to an agreement soon. The cover art is perfect! I’ll be adding this to my TBR.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      That is good news, Kim. We love your comments and thank you for sharing them with us! Good luck!

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I appreciate your interest and your kind words, Kim. As for D & E, what would a P&P variation be without a little angst between those two! But I promise you, the pain isn’t too terribly bad, mostly because the colonel steps in!

  29. DarcyBennett
    | Reply

    Enjoyed the excerpt and the chemistry between them. Congrats on the release and thanks for the giveaway!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Glad you stopped by! Good luck!

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      It’s good to hear from you again, DarcyBennett! I hope you read and enjoy the book!

  30. Debbie
    | Reply

    The excerpt is so sweet. I am so glad Jane is paired with Richard. Looking forward to reading the entire book. Congratulations on the release and thank you for the give away.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Jane and Richard are a good pairing, aren’t they! We hope you get to read the book soon. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I hope the rest of the book lives up to your expectations from reading the excerpt. Good luck with the giveaway!

  31. Michelle Fidler
    | Reply

    Sounds like a good book. I like the cover. I’m not familiar with the Hyacinth Gardens fan fiction site. I may have to check it out.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We’re glad you like the cover, and I think you will like the book. It is good. I don’t believe Hyacinth Gardens is still active, but from what I’ve heard, it was a popular site. Thanks for visiting and good luck.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I’m sorry to inform you that the Hyacinth Gardens site disappeared more than ten years ago. <sniff, sniff!>. Doing a site like that is a lot of work and costs money, which most readers aren’t even aware of. As for the cover, I think Janet did a great job!

  32. Ada Vittoria
    | Reply

    Interesting concept. And Jane Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam make an interesting pairing. The cover is really lovely

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thank you, Ada. We’re happy you stopped by.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I’m a big fan of the whole Alternative History genre in general, and it was a lot of fun to change just one thing in P&P and then try to put myself into Jane Austen’s universe and see how things would work out! Thanks for your interest and your compliments.

  33. Lúthien84
    | Reply

    I love the excerpt that the author shared here but I cannot wrap my head around the idea that the colonel will marry Jane yet. Is this novel focus more of Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam’s romance? Where did Bingley go? Does he not deserve Jane’s love?

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Sylvia. It’s great to have you visit. I think you should read the novel as soon as it is released, and you will have all your questions answered. I think you will love the rest of the story! Good luck in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      To answer your question, Colonel Fitzwilliam is DETERMINED to make Jane his wife, while Bingley doesn’t deserve her! <heh, heh, heh!> As for Bingley deserving Jane’s love, look at all the heartbreak he created when he gave every indication that he would soon make an offer of marriage and then he allows himself to be talked into abandoning her without even telling her or dropping her a note!

      Anyway, the whole Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane and Bingley story is wrapped up around a new interested party, and I hope you read the book and see if I’ve managed to convince you that everything hangs together.

  34. Grace Gibson
    | Reply

    I love stories where Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam are paired! I can’t wait to read this one.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I do as well, Grace! We hope you get to ready it soon. Not long now until it makes its way into the world. It will be available Monday.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      And I hope you enjoy it when you do. And maybe you’ll even when the giveaway!

  35. Jennifer
    | Reply

    Consequences is one of the few JAFF stories that made me cry. Thank you for it! Also pleased to see work from HG because I entered the JAFF just months after it was gone. I always feel it’s a treasure trove I just missed.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      “Consequences” also made my wife cry. I thought I’d warned her sufficiently before she started reading it, but she still cried. Of course, I comforted her, so it wasn’t a total loss!

      Most of the really excellent works at Hyacinth Garden have become available as the better writers moved on to publish their stuff through Amazon and other sources, but yes, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for your complimentary words.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Jennifer, it made me cry, too. I got through it because I knew the second book would give us the HEA! 🙂 We’re so happy you took the time to visit and share your thoughts. Good luck!

  36. Eva Edmonds
    | Reply

    The cover expresses who the couples are. This is certainly a different book since Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam are a couple. I could sense their closeness and reliance upon each other. I wonder why Mrs. Bennet didn’t want the Colonel since he is the son of an Earl. I did not read this on previous sites. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      In Mrs. Bennet’s eyes, the colonel is the next thing to penniless, despite the fact that in my version his lack of funds wasn’t as severe as it seemed in P&P. Austen left me an opening, since I have my Colonel Fitzwilliam saying that he was speaking of “younger sons” in general and not specifically about his own situation. But Mrs. Bennet fixated on Jane rescuing all her daughters from starvation the previous autumn, so even if Col. Fitzwilliam can support Jane, she still wants her to marry Bingley.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Eva! I’m glad to see you here! Determination is a different book, and I hope you get a chance to read it soon. Good luck in the giveaway.

  37. Anna
    | Reply

    This looks so good! And I generally love books about the colonel!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Anna, it is good! I think you will love it! We’re so glad you stopped by! Good luck in the giveaway.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for your interest, Anna. I usually treat the colonel much more favorably than Austen did, partly because she only sketched the bare outlines of his character in his single appearance in P&P. That means I’m less likely to insert contradictions with the rest of the plot when I start waxing eloquent!

  38. Jen Dowdy
    | Reply

    I had no desire to enter the contest, so I am commenting late. That is a really good cover, and I love that excerpt. Not to mention the idea of Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam being a couple! Thank you for sharing this!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      We are happy to have you comment whether you enter the contest or not. It is always good to hear from you. We’re happy you like the cover and love the excerpt! There seem to be many that are excited about Jane and Colonel Fitzwilliam being a couple. I’m one of them, too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      Thanks for your interest, Jen. I think that Janet and her son hit it out of the ball park with that cover, because I’ve never had so many posts to respond to on a cover reveal of any of my five other books! So, welcome, and I hope you read and enjoy the book. I put a lot of time and effort into it. I’m glad this is a post-retirement vocation for me, because I’d never be able to write enough books to support myself! Hats off to the successful professionals!

  39. C. Kepler
    | Reply

    Loved both of the excerpts I’ve read and the cover is lovely. Just noticed that the Ch. 26 excerpt mentions Jane having “dark hair”. The cover shows her with blond or light brown hair and she is typically described as having blond hair. Just curious. Really enjoy all of CP Odom’s books!

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      I noticed the blonde hair also, but I liked the look of the cover so much that I decided to put the variation down to “artistic license.” I didn’t even tell Janet and her son! And the response to this cover reveal indicates it may have been a good decision. And both images were otherwise taken from scenes in the book, so the imagery gives a good idea of what I wrote.

      I even considered changing the text, but it was already in the hands of Ellen Pickels, Meryton’s resident Grammar Goddess. I didn’t want to inject any more delay than had already been caused by this Covid 19 thing. Neil McFarlane, who worked with me to edit the book before sending it to Meryton, lives in the UK and couldn’t work for months because he got roped into providing medical care in UK hospitals for Covid victims.

      Good catch, though! You definitely get a Gold Star!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      C. Kepler, I must take full responsibility for the blonde hair for Jane! I always read a manuscript before doing a cover, and I noticed the darker hair at the time of reading. After the delay getting the book ready for publication, and I got back to work on the cover, my mind reverted to the “typically described” blonde Jane, as you say. I told my son to do blonde hair for the woman on the blanket with Colonel Fitzwilliam. When I read the excerpt as I was setting up this post, I definitely had one of those “UGH” moments! It was a little late to make any changes then! Colin, I like your thinking about “artistic license.” 🙂

      • C. P. Odom
        | Reply

        The cover looked really great to me, and I didn’t want to do anything else to change things! Do not worry about it–I knew about the blonde hair and made a command decision to leave things as they were. As we used to say when I worked as an engineer, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

  40. Betty Campbell Madden
    | Reply

    Wow! Lots of interest in this story, which is certainly not surprising!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      There really is! The response has been amazing, Betty. I agree with you though. It is not surprising. It is an interesting premise and a good one. I loved the story. Thanks for stopping by.

    • C. P. Odom
      | Reply

      The interest is really encouraging to me, Betty. I hope it continues in a positive vein.

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