Guess what we have in store for you today? Grace Gibson has a new book, and it is available to preorder now! Readers have been wishing for longer books by Grace, and with this one, you will get your wish! The Last House in Lambton Cover Reveal and first excerpt is here! Are you ready to know more about this story? The blurb is below.
Does it ever stop raining in Lambton?
Darcy and Bingley depart Netherfield Park, leaving Elizabeth Bennet acutely aware of the monotony of her life. Seeking a reprieve, she volunteers to serve as temporary companion to Mrs. Gardiner’s elderly aunt who lives in Lambton. Nothing turns out as Elizabeth expects, and she is forced to dig deep into her reserves of common sense, humor, and stubborn persistence to prove herself equal to the dreary circumstances.
Initially unaware that Pemberley is only five miles away, Elizabeth crosses paths with Darcy annoyingly often. When the gentleman rescues her from a shocking situation, Elizabeth faces some hard choices, at the same time struggling against the smoldering attraction that can neither be repressed nor fulfilled.
Mr. Darcy, meanwhile, in whose heart a fire has also been lit, is shocked by the lady’s stubborn refusal to accept his help. Alternating between alarm and begrudging admiration, he stands helplessly on the sidelines while she struggles to retain her independence. He, too, must make some hard choices in the end. Will he let her go?
The painting on the front cover looks much like a scene from Grace’s book. We felt it was the perfect fit for the story.
Do you like the painting? Does it look like a place you want to visit? It seems like a peaceful, cozy village. I like it, and I wonder, who are the people on the road?
Grace found several paintings for the back cover, all by the same artist, Vilhelm Hammershoi. The paintings were similar in their depiction of a young woman who is alone in a house or looking into another room or hallway. The hallway is a critical feature in the dramatic moments in the story. Does that you make you wonder what?
Hmm, what could Elizabeth be seeing? What is she thinking? The tension builds, and I feel strong emotions when viewing this painting. What does it make you feel?
We are doing something a little different for this cover reveal. Instead of talking about the book, Grace is paying tribute to Jane Austen and her writing. What better time to do this than now. Without Jane and her writings, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the upcoming release by Grace.
From the Author
Browsing this year’s issues of the Jane Austen Literary Foundation’s Journal, Pride and Possibilities, I came across this gem:
Jane Austen was an expert in including only those details which moved her story forward, thus creating a rather large sandbox in which other authors love to play…Melanie Rachel, May 2022
This brilliant quote distills the very reason I fell in love with JAFF.
I have a confession to make. I am an artist whose guilty pleasure is writing. That I am writing this article for the cover reveal of my newest release speaks to the rise of inclusivity in this genre. If I have been invited into this glorious sandbox without conventional credentials, then this truly is an egalitarian genre.
I toggle freely between writing, art, and general laziness, and lately, I have been exploring another guilty and playful pleasure—that of making folk art with recycled materials and traditional motifs like the ‘tree of life’ and such. Trust me, this is not fine art which is an altogether different form.
In this same spirit, Jane Austen’s work has provided me with some gorgeous motifs to use as inspiration, and I am engaged in folk writing. How fun is that?
Austen’s motifs are unique, reassuring, and timeless. We are so enamored, so delighted, we begin to pick and choose which way we too will express the same idea. With the lightest possible touch—because I cannot picture Jane relishing the notion of being made into such a profound subject—I will suggest the genre of Austenesque has become something of a living and evolving art form, elbowing its way into a sort of homegrown legitimacy.
Through our obstinate devotion to these retellings and the demands of readers who cannot get enough, Jane Austen’s novels have organically sprouted a specific kind of folk art. To those who don’t resonate with her work, this phenomenon is hard to explain, but to me, the reasons are perfectly clear.
Darcy, Elizabeth, and so many of the personalities that populate Jane’s worlds are either such fully realized archetypes or perfectly sketched caricatures that writers are liberated from the job of building people and their histories from scratch. Instead, we gleefully take off at a sprint, imagining alternative universes for her inspired characters to explore.
It hardly needs to be said that Jane Austen’s writing is brilliant. But, what else about her stories is so addictive? There are aspects of the period, culture, and settings in which she placed her characters that stand out to me.
In a culture in which we videotape every pimple, post every opinion, air every grievance no matter how petty, and document our minute criticisms on social media, Jane Austen gives us an antidote for the modern world—a palate cleanser, per se—by introducing us to a few radical concepts like reserve, stoicism, duty, honor, courage, and good manners.
Vulgarity in her novels is certainly depicted—sometimes brutally so—but it is never celebrated. Moreover, her protagonists are people who can, and do, admit their mistakes and know how to apologize. They discover how to make allowances for the failings of others, and most critically, strive to become increasingly impeccable in the development of their own characters, irrespective of the lesser examples that abound.
Darcy and Elizabeth grow as human beings. Through the challenges of love and its non-negotiable requirement of vulnerability, they become wiser, kinder, and more expansive in their thinking. This is so refreshing, and I find myself exploring these themes again and again in my own novels.
I also find the development of a love relationship through friendship and respect to be amazingly romantic in an era in which it is common to fall into bed before discovering if we even like one another. To be fair, modern dating is highly practical given our social norms, and yes, my notions of Regency period courtship are unabashedly idealistic.
Yet exploring love through fiction, applying the pressure of the challenges and strictures common 200 years ago, is a source of endless fascination to me. Austen’s piercingly direct conversations between as-yet undeclared lovers are, for me, the purest form of seduction—lovemaking on an altogether different level. And, in The Last House in Lambton, it is just this kind of love that I wished to wrap the story around.
But romance between two intellects is only one aspect of Jane Austen’s genius. By looking into her crystal-clear mirror, we explore basic human psychology and all its messy implications. Any one of her emotional themes, such as that of deservedness, class bias, or relational power, are ripe for exploration.
The icing on the cake is that the structural tension of daring to choose one’s heart’s desire in a society that used marriage for practical purposes leads us inevitably to the most satisfying conclusion. In the end—at The End—a place so many of us rush to get to for the sheer joy of it, we are rewarded for our hope, and, for just a little while, our modern-day cynicism about just about everything is forgotten. Love really does win, every single time!
There is so much to admire, so much to love in Austen’s work, but for me, one essential quality stands apart. Few writers could lampoon our humanness with such precision. We have little choice but to laugh at ourselves when we come under the scrutiny of her well-sharpened quill. And lest I begin to take my writing too seriously, I try to keep in mind that no one would find my efforts to emulate her more hilarious than Jane herself. Are our variations, prequels, and continuations providing her with hours and hours of amusement in heaven? I certainly hope so!
But I also hope she knows that her genius has truly touched us, that her work is appreciated by legions, that her enduring contribution to a modern society—which she might be surprised to discover—is that she is more relevant, more brilliant, and more respected than ever.
This is a lovely tribute, Grace. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and for writing your stories about Darcy and Elizabeth, as well as the many other characters you include. I believe Jane Austen would be pleased.
How about a short excerpt to give you a taste of Grace’s new book, The Last House in Lambton? This one is from Darcy’s point of view.
There were innumerable advantages to being the master of Pemberley. There was also one distinct disadvantage. I had no privacy whatsoever.
I awoke with an extraordinary degree of anticipation. My mood could not be contained, and by visceral means alone, the whole house, from the butler to the scullery maid, became aware of my excitement. Unfortunately, this was interpreted as moment for urgency. My valet dressed me with meticulous alacrity, and my sister gulped down her breakfast and sat ready to leave nearly an hour early. The stablemaster hitched my most powerful team, restive from the lazy days of winter, and we veritably dashed off to Lambton to visit Mrs. Jennings.
A prompt, even a premature arrival, might be assumed as a lover-like attention by some, and in almost all cases, a lady expecting to receive a gentleman caller could be found sitting in an attitude of ready anticipation for at least three-quarters of an hour before the usual time for morning visits.
Elizabeth Bennet was in no way ready to receive us.
She stood before me in a crumpled apron with her hair half undone, clutching a ladle, her eyes wide and well-lit, cheeks pinking, and a reflexive smile of surprise. I had never seen anyone, anywhere, more beautiful.
“Mr. Darcy!” she cried.
Delightful! I can picture this scene in my mind. How about you? I can also imagine how Elizabeth must have felt. She has no idea of the true impression she has made on Darcy!
If you want to read more excerpts, be sure to follow the blog tour. It begins November 7th. The schedule will be posted on the Meryton Press Blog and Facebook page.
Meryton Press is giving away two eBooks of The Last House in Lambton. Tell us what you think of the blurb, Grace’s tribute to Jane Austen, the book cover, excerpt, or share any thoughts you may have on this book. We want to hear from you. Your comments will enter you in the giveaway which is worldwide. It will end on Wednesday, November 2nd at midnight. Good luck to all.
Other books by Grace Gibson
Silver Buckles; Reckless, Headstrong Girl; and Old Boots are available at the Amazon of your choice.
Thank you for stopping by, and thank you for your support.
Grace, That was such a beautiful and perfect tribute to Miss Austen. I want to use parts of it as I begin to teach “Emma” to my British Literature students. (As most of them haven’t read P&P, some parts would confuse them.) I and my daughter (17 yrs old) greatly enjoy your books. Old Boots os one of our favorites. Thank you for your contributions to JAFF. I will joyfully read each and every one of them!
Rebecca, I would be so honored for you to use as much or as little of my post as you would like. I am also thrilled that your daughter finds anything relatable in my stories – wow! What a compliment. Thank you so much for your support – it means the world to me!
I agree with you 100%. It would be good to use parts in your British Literature class. I would be curious how your students react to it. You will have to let us know. Good luck with the giveaway. We hope you get to read this book soon.
I absolutely love that cover painting! It’s one that I would have on my wall and enjoy studying to spot things I didn’t see the first time!
I love Melanie’s quote as it perfectly describes the true authors of JAFF who understand the characters. The tribute to Jane was brilliant! I too could imagine the pleasure and sometimes laughter she would get from some of these variations.
As for the excerpt? Perfect! Is Elizabeth cooking the dinner? Perhaps she’ll invite Darcy and Georgiana to stay and eat? 🙂 it’s definitely a shame that she doesn’t know Darcy’s thoughts! I’m so looking forward to more.
Dear Glynis, I love hearing from you! I’m so glad you like the cover art – after you read the story, I hope you will agree how well they convey the feeling of Elizabeth’s stay in Lambton. You made me laugh at the notion of Elizabeth cooking for Darcy and Georgiana – particularly if the meal was terrible! What a comedy that would be! Hmmmm…..
Glynis, I could see that painting on my wall too. I would love it. I would be like you, studying it for things I missed on first viewing it. Wasn’t Melanie’s quote a good choice for summing up true author of Austenesque? The tribute to Jane Austen was such a nice way to start off the release of Grace’s new book. We are happy you stopped by and commented. We always love reading your thoughts. Thank you!
Congratulations and best wishes for your latest book baby, Grace! The cover has a delightful old-fashioned poignancy and the premise is a fascinating one! 🙂
Thank you, Kelly! Janet Taylor is so good at giving each of us just what we want for a cover. I know you have “Kelly-style” nailed and its great!
We’re happy you stopped by and supported Grace. Thank you, Kelly.
It is a joy to read an essay written by someone who loves the English language and bothers to use it properly. I feel the same way when I read your books – the plot is 5 times better when pictured so perfectly in words. You are truly a visual artist, and you are very much appreciated. I look forward to this next book with its lovely cover!
Whst an absolutely gorgeous cover! I love it! Congratulations on your new book, I’ve loved the others I’ve read and can’t wait to read it.
That’s great to hear, Laura. We hope you get to read this book soon. Maybe you will be one of the winners!
Oh my goodness, C. Kepler! Thank you so much for those affirming and reassuring words. I am privileged to have such an appreciative reader. Your support means more than you know.
Oh my goodness, C. Kepler! Thank you so much for those affirming and reassuring words. I am privileged to have such an appreciative reader. Your support means more than you know.
Your comment was so special, CKepler. What a compliment you paid Grace! I agree with you too. Thank you for dropping by and good luck.
Oh my God!! What an absolutely delicious surprise!
I love the cover – the blurb – the paintings – the tribute – the excerpt – and most of all that the book seems to be written at the 1st person which I absolutely crave!!
Can’t wait to have my hands on this book – and no matter the satisfying (maybe?) length, I know I will read in one setting!!
Thank you for making my day💜
Oh yay, Mihaela! I don’t come across too many people who love first-person narrative like I do! I am sadly addicted to it when I’m writing. I do hope you enjoy this one and good luck on the giveaway! Fingers crossed for you.
Yay! It’s wonderful to read that you loved the surprise! We are happy to have made your day with a new Grace Gibson novel. Good luck and happy reading when you get your hands on the book! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your enthusiasm.
I have really enjoyed reading Grace’s books, so I am definitely looking forward to reading the next. The cover is beautiful, and having Elizabeth meeting Darcy with a ladle in hand is a hoot! Thank you for the cover reveal, excerpt and giveaway. Congrats and best wishes on the new release!
Thank you, Robin. I’m so pleased you like the cover and I hope you enjoy this story!
That is excellent to hear, Robin. We are glad you are looking forward to this one and hope you get to read it soon. Wasn’t it priceless having Elizabeth with ladle when Darcy calls? I loved it!
My only thought about this book is that anything by this author could not but be magic. I love her three earlier books and anticipate the new work with great eagerness.
I absolutely hope reading this story gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, Beatrice. Thank you so much for your kind words!
I believe you have a good way with words too. I like your comment about anything by Grace! Thank you for coming by and good luck.
The cover appears to be perfect for this story. Your tribute is lovely too. I never would have expected this genre to be such a big part of my everyday reading when I reached my senior years. I’m confident of your success with this latest release. Congratulations!
Hi Marie! I had my fingers crossed you would approve of this cover! Isn’t it great? Janet is a wonder! Thank you again, truly, for your support and wonderful editorial review.
I’m so glad that you think so. You just happen to know a bit about that, don’t you? lol The tribute to Jane Austen is lovely. Grace has a way with words, doesn’t she. I also never dreamed that Austenesque would be such a big part of my life, like it has been for over ten years now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and for visiting today.
Well said and written. The cover art is nice but the back cover art really grabs me. The blurb sounds so intriguing.you know she’s going to be livid being caught by company like that. Sparks are going to be flying in a minute I am sure. I look forward to reading the rest of the story.
Hi Michelle! I am so excited to hear you are looking forward to this story and that you resonated with the back cover painting by Hammershoi. If you get a chance to look at some of his other paintings, you will find they are all equally evocative, mysterious and intimate paintings of sparse interiors and the women who inhabit them. A whole novel could be wrapped around every one of them! Thank you so much for stopping by today and good luck on the drawing.
The back cover painting grabbed me to, Michelle. It brings out strong emotions and questions when I look at it. The woman in the painting is the artist’s wife. Maybe that is partly why he was able to have so much feeling in the painting. I’m with you on Lizzy’s reaction to being caught in such a way! It made me smile. If she only knew what Darcy was thinking!!! Thanks for dropping by.
The cover and the picture on the back are great! I really enjoyed the blurb and excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!
Hi Jennie, thank you for stopping by today and good luck on the drawing!
We are happy to hear it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and good luck in the giveaway.
I count Silver Buckles and Old Boots as two of my very favorite P&P variations, so it’s wonderful to hear that you have a new release! The singular cleverness of your plots and your exquisite writing style engage me like few other JAFF writers do. The cover is perfect and this book is even longer than the others — vapors, vapors! So looking forward to reading your latest!
You have two good favorites! We are thrilled to have a new release by Grace. You may need your smelling salts! 🙂 Good luck in the giveaway!
I feel quite privileged to receive such a compliment from you! Thank you so much!
Lovely post! Best Wishes on your new release. Thanks for posting here.
Thanks for stopping by, Jen. We are always happy to have you visit. Good luck.
Thank you very much, Jennifer! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
Fantastic Cover!!! I have enjoyed Grace’s other stories especially Silver Buckles & Old Boots. The audiobooks for both of those were wonderful!
I really appreciate that, Glory, and I am so glad you enjoyed the audio versions. Thank you and best of luck on the giveaway!
Grace, if you decide to quit writing novels (and I hope you never do!), you will have another successful career writing essays. That was fantastic! I started to quote my favorite parts but soon realized I’d be copying and pasting your entire post. Having had a sneak peek at your story, I judge the cover to be a perfect reflection of the Lambton you describe. It’s colors and textures create the mood of the village and your story. Congratulations to you and Janet!
Wow, Jan! I am thrilled you liked that piece and that it resonated with you. Your support has meant so much to me since I first stepped onto this rollercoaster ride, and I can’t thank you enough. Your generous encouragement is truly appreciated.
Betty Campbell Madden
I would be looking forward to this book even had I not read the excerpt, such is my confidence in the quality of Grace Gibson’s P&P variations. Thank you for the pleasure you’ve given me!
Wonderful to hear, Betty. Thank you! I hope you enjoy this story too, and I also hope you win the drawing!
Congratulations onyour new book. Such a lovely cover!!! Powerful statements… looking forward to reading in this new story
Nice to hear from you! I’m so glad you liked the cover and the post, and I hope you enjoy my latest offering. Thank you for stopping by.
The painting is lovely and makes a wonderful cover. Congrats on the release!
Thank you very much! I agree that the painting Janet found is perfect for a book cover.
I can’t wait to read this book! After reading this excellent blog post, I went back and re-read Silver Buckles. Then I purchased the audio book…and oh my goodness, Neil Roy Mcfarlane is the perfect voice of Darcy! Last night (late!) I finished re-reading Old Boots (and also purchased that audiobook.) There are so many things I love about Old Boots. The book is entirely from Darcy’s POV, and what a wonderful Darcy he is. I love the quote about Jane Austen giving only details that moved her story forward, leaving a large sandbox in which JAFF authors could play. Grace Gibson is one of my favorite JAFF authors…she does a wonderful job playing in Jane’s sandbox!
Wow, Heather! What a lovely and encouraging set of compliments! Thank you so much! I loved hearing your thoughts on Neil’s narration too. As my editor says, he is very ‘posh’, isn’t he? I am rooting for you to win a copy of this story, and hope you enjoy it equally to my previous offerings.
Sheila L. Majczan
Having read three other of this author’s stories and enjoyed them, I did put this on my “Wish List” for its release. Looking forward to reading it. Good luck with the release.
Wonderful to hear from you Sheila! I hope you win the drawing–thank you for stopping by!
First I will say I love the cover. Second is I have read two of the three other books mentioned. Just put Reckless Headstrong Girl on my must rea list. Your latest book is also on my Must reads when it comes out. Wishing you success with your new release.
Thank you so much, Maria! I hope you enjoy reading about Lydia’s stirring adventure and how a hard lesson changed her. Good luck to you on the giveaway and thank you for stopping by.
Beautiful cover! Added to my wish list. Best of luck on your book!
Thank you so much Julie, and best of luck on the giveaway!
Oh, that excerpt had me smiling and wanting more, much more. Love the covers of the book–the colors, the scenes–it feels so homey. Looking forward to reading this new gem.
I am so glad you mentioned the homey feeling of the cover since that sets the tone for this story, Jeannette. I hope you enjoy a warm feeling after reading it! Thank you for stopping by, and good luck on the drawing.
Forgot to ask- but such a beauty of a cover should be on my bookshelf as well! Is the paperback to be out at the same moment as the ebook?
I am not quite sure, but I will find out for you!
Michaela, the paperback is available for purchase now. Thanks for asking.