Although many of you are already familiar with novels by Georgina Young-Ellis, she is a new author for Meryton Press. We are so happy she is part of our family. Her new book, Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy, is now available for preorder and will be released to your Kindle, Monday, June 27th.
Would you like to read the blurb and see the cover? Let’s begin with the back cover copy.
The wind ruffled Darcy’s hair. “You’re beautiful.”
Happiness surged through Elizabeth’s body like electricity. This moment was as close to perfection as she had ever known.
1943. World War II has torn the continent since 1939 and tested families, the Bennets included. Elizabeth and Jane nurse wounded soldiers and civilians in a London hospital. The other sisters volunteer as best suits their inclinations. Mr. Bennet rattles about Longbourn. Wickham sniffs about the edges of the estate—and the Bennet daughters.
Even the ever-present threat of death from the skies cannot prepare Jane and Lizzy for the most devastating news. The words one never wishes to hear are delivered by two officers, each scarred by years on the front lines. In the dark days that follow, devotion is tested, and affection blooms.
Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy drops Jane Austen’s timeless characters into the midst of the most horrific conflict in human history. Their trail twists and encounters those who would turn sacrifice to their profit. Follow the women of Longbourn as they navigate the rocks and shoals of wartime Great Britain to endure misunderstandings and discover lasting love.
Doesn’t that sound intriguing? What is the devastating news? Where is Mrs. Bennet? I like the idea of Elizabeth and Jane being nurses. I also wonder what Lydia, Kitty, and Mary are doing. How about you?
Are you ready to take a look at the front cover? Let’s do!
I do believe Major Darcy is kissing someone good night! It better be Elizabeth, right? The picture looks like it might be from the World War II era. (Actually, it is!) What do you think?
Now for the full wrapper with blurb!
Aww, the back cover shows more of the story. Do you have any ideas? If you do, share them with us in the comments. What about the look and feel of the 1940s?
When you read “From the Author,” Georgina’s ideas on her cover and book setting, light may be shed on some of your thoughts and questions.
From the Author
When I imagined the cover of my World War II-themed Pride and Prejudice variation, I always had in mind a vintage photo from the 1940s of an officer and a young lady kissing. That famous photo of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on VJ-Day sprang to mind, and yet, that wasn’t quite it. I knew the story behind that photo: that the sailor grabbed the nurse, a stranger, and kissed her without permission. My Major Darcy would never do anything like that and, besides, my book takes place in war-era England. Times Square wouldn’t do at all. Both I and the designer at Meryton Press looked and looked for just the right photo to no avail. But the delightful solution she came up with surpassed my wildest dreams!
One might wonder: why place the novel in World War II? As we know, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Jane Austen inspired stories that take place in every conceivable location, time, and situation, with every conceivable twist on the canons. I could have chosen a canon other than Pride and Prejudice, especially since we do have military leading men in other books of Austens’, i.e. Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth. And yet, something about the thought of tall, handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy in an officer’s uniform really appealed to me. Add to that, the Bennet girls working as nurses and in other volunteer capacities, and the theme really came together.
I have a few other reasons for placing my story, which, by the way, has plenty of twists and turns that veer from the original, during World War II. I have always been fascinated by the war era. On a superficial level, I love the fashions of the 1940s, love the music, and even took lessons for several years with my husband to master the jitterbug, which is sometimes referred to as the Lindy Hop, but also can include East Coast Swing, Jive, the Charleston and other dances from the 1920s through the ‘50s. In fact, it’s easy to romanticize the war era for many reasons, yet we all know how truly tragic the reality is. In my book, I tried to paint a realistic picture of the anguish of war while using the bright and beautiful love story of Darcy and Lizzy (and Jane and Bingley) to shine a light over that dark time.
Finally, readers will notice that I dedicated the book to David and Dorothy Ellis, my in-laws. Dave was a tail gunner in a patrol bomber aircraft during World War II, a terrifying job that adversely affected him the rest of his life (he’s still with us at 98 years of age). He married his wife, Dorothy, when they met in New Orleans just after the war. They were lovingly married until her death in 2019. Though Dave and Dorothy didn’t have a story like Darcy and Lizzy’s, I kept them in mind as I wrote: two people who faced the hardships of wartime bravely, and who emerged at its end to find an everlasting love.
It is interesting to read of Georgina’s in-laws being in the back of her mind as she wrote this story. What a tribute to them!
A tall, handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy in an officer’s uniform does sound appealing! There is much about this premise that intrigues. Maybe the excerpt will give more insight! Let’s see what Georgina shares with us today.
Lizzy looked around the room expectantly. The band was just finishing a tune. Then, a trio of ladies took the stage and launched into “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.” Their close harmony was spot on and every bit as good as the Andrews Sisters! Lizzy was dying to dance. She caught the eye of a nice-looking soldier who immediately approached her.
“Miss,” he said, “would you like to dance?”
“I’d love to!” Lizzy replied. “Do you mind, Jane?”
“Of course not,” her sister said.
Elizabeth flashed a triumphant smile at Major Darcy. He could have asked her to dance, but the idea of the staid man doing the jitterbug was unimaginable.
The soldier swung Lizzy onto the floor, and they fell into the steps, flying in unison across the parquet and looking as if they were in the Imperial Finals at the Paramount on Tottenham Court Road! He was an excellent dancer and led Lizzy flawlessly through moves she had only imagined doing. She was laughing breathlessly. When was the last time she had had this much fun? When she happened to look in the direction of their table, she saw Major Darcy watching her intently. He had turned away from the others and was staring directly at her. She threw him a carefree grin. Elizabeth scoffed that he was probably shocked at her uninhibited behavior, but she could not care less. Let him think whatever he wanted.
The song ended, and Lizzy shook hands with the soldier. As he returned her to her table, another fellow asked if she would dance. The tune was not as energetic, so they fell into a foxtrot. The previous song had been more fun, but this was very nice as well. The soldier was a good dancer as most of the men in the hall seemed to be. Lizzy let the rhythms of the music flow over her. There was no war, no death, and no destruction—only the swaying of their bodies in time and in company with the others. Conversation was limited to a few perfunctory remarks, but the mood did not feel right to encourage anything more. When the song was over, she thanked him as they walked back to her table.
As she approached, Major Darcy stood and held out a hand to her. “May I have the next dance, Miss Bennet.”
“Only if you call me Elizabeth,” she replied with a smile.
“Very well,” he said, barely cracking one himself.
If she had thought her last partner had been proficient on the dance floor, she was surprised to find that Darcy’s foxtrot made the other’s seem amateurish. His arms were strong yet relaxed as he led her across the floor. It felt as though they had been dancing together forever—as if they were formed for each other. Elizabeth’s face flushed as she looked up into his. He was gazing down at her. For a moment, their eyes locked, and energy surged through her core. Quickly, though, she remembered Private Wickham and his tale, which dashed cold water on…that…something. Her anger flared, but she managed to tamp it down. This was neither the time nor the place to bring it up. Major Darcy seemed disinclined toward any conversation.
“My previous partner and I spoke while we danced,” she finally said, smiling. “I think it makes the activity all the more enjoyable.”
“I prefer not to talk while I dance.”
She seized on the opportunity to tease him. “Why is that Major Darcy? Do you not consider yourself an adept conversationalist?”
“I am when the occasion arises.”
She let her smile fade, tipped her head slightly, and allowed only her eyes to reflect the humor she felt. “What occasions suit your criteria?”
“Over a dinner table,” he said seriously, “tea with an acquaintance, catching up with a friend. I do enjoy conversation when the moment is right for it.”
“I just said I did.”
She paused. Her teasing was leading them nowhere, certainly not through his reserve. Her tone became more serious. “Do you have many close friends, Major Darcy?”
His eyes took on a faraway look. “No. Bingley is one; Duncan was another.”
This was sad territory. She was still curious though. “What about Miss Bingley? Charles made it sound like the four of you were a close lot, one that includes your sister.”
He sighed. “I suppose you could say that. My sister is my sister though. We don’t talk about intimate things. Words that pass between friends often are those you can never say to a relative.”
This was too good an opening to let pass. “It’s recently come to my attention that we have a friend in common who also knows your sister.”
His eyes grew wide. “To whom are you referring?”
“Private George Wickham. He’s a recent acquaintance—one might say a friend. He spoke of you and your sister when last I saw him.”
Darcy’s back stiffened against her hand. “What did he say?”
“That you and he had been very close once. That he practically grew up with your family; that Georgiana was a ‘sweet kid’ as he put it.”
“Interesting,” he said bitterly. “We indeed grew up together, but George Wickham and I were not close.”
“Ah. I misunderstood. He did say he admired your father very much. He said it was because of him that he was able to attend Cambridge.”
“This is also true,” Darcy’s face grew grim.
“I find myself wondering, then, why he didn’t also attend the Officer’s Academy when the war broke out. It seems strange.”
“Not everyone is cut out to be an officer,” he replied. He no longer looked at her, but off into the distance.
They danced without speaking for a few more minutes.
It was he who broke the silence. “Miss—er—I mean, Elizabeth, you would do well not to believe everything you hear. There are always two sides to a story, you know.”
How dare he lecture me! “Well then, what’s your side? Did you have something to do with him not getting into Academy?”
He looked down at her coldly. “Yes, I did.”
She gasped. “How could you?”
“I am not at liberty to say why, nor do I owe an explanation to you.”
She was speechless. She forced herself to get through their dance, but as soon as it was finished, she broke away from him and marched back to the table. She grabbed her ale, now warm, and downed it in one long gulp. It was unladylike, but she was beyond caring.
“Lizzy,” Jane whispered to her, touching her arm, “are you all right?”
She clenched her teeth. “Perfectly.”
Trouble is brewing! Do you want to know more? I do! Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy may be preordered at Amazon US and Amazon UK (not yet available) and be delivered to your Kindle on June 27th! The Amazon UK link will be added when it becomes available.
Meryton Press is giving away two eBooks of Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis. The giveaway is international and will end on the 25th of June at midnight central time. To be entered in the giveaway, be sure to leave a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts on the cover, the time period, and anything else you would like to share. Good luck to everyone.
I like the premise of P&P during World War II as there are few P&P books during this time frame. The cover is swoon worth of Elizabeth and Darcy. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway. And, congratulations on this publication!
We’re glad to hear from you, Eva. It’s good to know you like the WWII premise too! Ooh, love that you think the cover is swoon worthy! That’s music to our ears! Good luck!
sorry for the late response! I’m so happy you like the premise and the cover. I’m really excited about this one. Thanks for your lovely words!
I love the image and graphics of this cover, back and front. They fit perfectly for this WWII non-Regency period piece. I do love a WW romance and I look forward to reading this one.
Fantastic! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Marie, and we are happy to read you love the image and graphics on the cover! We hope you get to read the book soon. Good luck in the giveaway.
Hi Marie, I’m also really thrilled with what Meryton Press did with this cover and graphics. I hope you enjoy the book! Thanks so much for your kind words!
Congratulations, Georgina! I enjoyed the excerpt, and the book sounds like a great one! I absolutely love the cover! It is perfect for the story!
Thanks for stopping by and giving Georgina your support, Kelly. Isn’t the excerpt good? We are happy you enjoyed reading it. Glad you think the cover is perfect for the story! 🙂
Hi Kelly, thank you so much! I love the cover too and agree that it really fits the story!
Oh Elizabeth! Believing Wickham’s story without knowing both sides! Will you never learn? I do hope this misunderstanding doesn’t last and that she learns the truth sooner rather than later! I do love this cover and the fact that it’s set in WW2 England. My Dad was a flight engineer on Lancaster bombers and met my Mum while on R&R after surviving a hit! They were married for 63 years until his death in 2009 and he would have been 100 this year!
I so look forward to this story.
What a wonderful story about your parents, Glynis. Thank you for telling us. Sixty-three years of marriage is awesome! We would love for Elizabeth to learn, wouldn’t we? So happy you love the cover and that the story is set in WWII England. I think you will love the book, too! Good luck!
Don’t worry, Glynis, Elizabeth will come to see the error of her ways. That’s so interesting about your mum and dad! Thanks for sharing!
Joan G Brand
Looks like even in war time Wickham causes trouble for Darcy and Elizabeth! Hopefully, they will get it straight, and Darcy will tell her the truth!
Oh, they definitely get it straight! Wickham shows his true colors to all. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Joan.
Don’t worry, Joan, the truth will come out! Thanks for commenting!
I’m loving all the comments! Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I’m so excited about this book and I think readers are really going to enjoy it!
It was my privilege to work with Georgina on the edit for this new and insightful approach to our story. I promise that you will love it. I did!
It’s great to hear that you love the story! Thank you for editing. 🙂
Don, working with you was the best. I was so lucky to have such a great and expert editor!
The pleasure was all mine.
That was cool, reading a canon-ish scene done in the 1940’s. Congratulations on bringing your book to readers, Georgina. The cover is awesome. I love both the front and the back, which is typical for a Meryton Press book. Those retro fonts do make the kiss even better. It makes readers want the paperback instead of an e-book. Best of luck on your release.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. We’re thrilled that you think the cover is awesome! 🙂 We appreciate you giving Georgina your support.
Thank you so much, Susan. It’s readers like you that make it such a pleasure to write!
I love that the story is set in WWII. There are a lot of possibilities for these characters in that time period. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway. Congrats and best wishes on the new release!
We appreciate you visiting, Robin, and hope you get to read the book soon! Good luck.
Thank you, Robin! This was definitely a fun one!
So many possibilities with it being set in that time period. I loved tne cover and the blurb. Looking forward to reading it.
We are happy to hear it, Michelle. Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. Good luck.
Thanks, Michelle! The time period definitely made for lots of interesting possibilities!
The cover is absolutely perfect!
Fantastic! We are thrilled that you think so!
Glad you love it! I do too!
I think this cover is perfect for your book! Here’s wishing you great success and lots of fun on your blog tour.
Thank you, Jan! We appreciate your support.
Love the premise and cover. Thanks for the giveaway!
Thank you! We appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Good luck!
So glad you like the premise and cover. It’s great to hear how people are responding to it!
Although I love Regency stories, this one sounds so good. I love the Andrew sisters and that era in movies. Love the cover. Can’t wait to read more.
Thank you, Maria. I always loved the Andrew sisters too! We are glad to hear that you think this story sounds so good! Good luck in the giveaway.
Sheila L. Majczan
Thank you for sharing the excerpt. This definitely sounds like one I would enjoy reading. My father served in English with the USA Army Air Force during WWII. Good luck with the release. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
Sheila, thanks for stopping by and telling us where your father served during WWII. We hope you do enjoy reading this story!
We thank your father for his service!
Thank you for this excerpt. Enjoyed this variation in a different time period. I dread what will happen next (esp when/if the soldiers are deployed).
Congratulations Ms Georgina Young-Ellis, glad to have another story from you. Looking forward to this new variation story of ODC.
Thank you for the chance to win a copy
Maybe you can read the book soon, Buturot! Isn’t it great to have a new book from Georgina Young-Ellis? We are happy to have her with us! Good luck with the giveaway.
Thank you so much!
It will be interesting to see how the time-period affects the story.
Hi Lois. We hope you like the story and how the time period affected it.
Hi Lois, it was interesting to write. Hope you enjoy it!
I have read very few P&P variations set during WW II and find the premise interesting. Now that I have read the excerpt, I am wondering if Col Fitzwilliam will make an appearance? If Bingley is also an officer? Is Caroline a nurse–although that would be a surprise. And most of all, I’m hoping that the misunderstanding about Wickham does not last too long and that Elizabeth soon gets over her snit! Congrats on joining Meryton Press and for publishing a new story.
You have some great questions, ForeverHis! Maybe you can read the book soon and get them all answered! We’re glad you dropped by and took the time to comment. Good luck.
Thank you so much!
First – the cover is beautiful and spot on for the era. Second – the blurb was interesting and closely follows original canon. Well done. Best of luck on your book release, Georgina. It was nice to read how your in-laws were part of your inspiration. My father was a sergeant for the Canadian Armed Forces in World War II. He met my mother at their best friend’s wedding. He was the groomsman, she was the maid of honour. They wrote for two years, and when the war ended, they married – May 1945.
Hi Sue. Thanks for stopping by. We are so happy that you like the cover and the blurb. It is a great WWII novel. I love the story about how your mother and father met. That is romantic. I’m glad that you shared it with us. Thank you again for visiting and good luck.
What an interesting story about your parents. Thank you for sharing that! Thank you for your kind comments!
I look forward to reading it! And terrific cover. I’m so glad to see Georgina back. She took time away from writing for a few years, to learn Spanish, I believe? How did that go?
Thanks, Ginna. I think we are all happy to see Georgina back. Good luck.
Hi Ginna, not exactly to learn Spanish; I already spoke it well. I took two years off to do a master’s degree in Spanish – mostly the literature of Spain and South America. More than anything, I’m interested in writers and writing. It was very inspiring!
This promises to be one unforgettable story! I hope sincerely to get lucky!
Hi Teresita. We’re so glad you stopped by, and we hope you get lucky too! 🙂
I hope you do too!
I love P&P variations set outside of the Regency period! I haven’t previously come across any WWII era stories, so I’m eager to read this one. Thank you for filling the gap!
We’re happy to hear you are eager to read this one! Good luck in the giveaway.
Thank you, Joy, I really hope you like it!
I’ve read a couple of P & P variations set it this time period, though one was set in America. I do like this time setting as well, and I love the cover! Congratulations on your new release, and thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
It’s great to hear you love the cover and the setting in the WWII era. Good luck in the giveaway, and thanks for dropping by.