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Monday, 19 September 2016

Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne
Today I have the pleasure of bringing you a post from Pamela Lynne, an excerpt from her new book, 'Family Portraits', which is a sequel to P&P variation 'Dearest Friends'. I was lucky enough to have Pamela visit the blog when 'Dearest Friends' came out too. It's one of my top 5 most popular posts, and you can read it here. 'Family Portraits' focuses more on Mary Bennet, who many of us are partial to seeing a bit more of. Pamela is also kindly offering to give away an e-book of 'Family Portraits' to a commenter on this post. Read on for an excerpt!

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Hello everyone! Thank you, Ceri, for hosting me. I was here at Babblings of a Bookworm two years ago with my first release, Dearest Friends, and am so happy to be back for the sequel. In my previous visit, I shared a deleted scene that showed the Fitzwilliam family at their improper, drunken finest as they mortified Darcy in front of Elizabeth. They are a wild bunch, those Fitzwilliams, so why is it that the very proper and dutiful Mary feels closer and more comfortable with them than with her own sisters? Below, we see just one of the instances where Mary contemplates her family and her role within it.

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“So much for a joyous celebration,” Richard, who sat in a corner with Anne and Mary, looked on the spectacle with irritation. “Can Lydia not be happy for five minutes without that woman making it all about her? Forgive me, Mary, but I do not understand why your mother is so determined to bring misery with her wherever she goes.”

Mary sighed. “It is true. Mama can only express emotion in excesses. Either she has never been happier or the world is coming to an end, with the latter occurring most often. I will say, though, that when she was travelling more, she was more tempered. She has been with Jane for a while now, and in that time, she has become more like the woman I knew in Hertfordshire.”

“Perhaps there is some foul, evil thing in the air there that makes people behave abominably. Or perhaps she and Jane just bring out the worst in each other.”

Mary took a sip of tea and nodded. “I think you might be right, Anne. I asked Mama how she kept busy at Netherfield, and she said that she and Jane mostly sit and talk about the neighbors. I am not surprised Mama would do so, but Jane was the victim of such malicious gossip. You would think she would be more circumspect.”

Anne shrugged. “Perhaps you should say something to her.”

“I did,” Mary said flatly. “She merely rolled her eyes and said, ‘We are not all meant to be saints, Mary.’ Of course we are. What is the point of this life if it is not to learn and grow in goodness?”

Richard laughed. “You must always remind us of that, Mary. You are our only hope for salvation.”

His dry, teasing tone pulled at her, and though she smiled, her mind wandered somewhere else momentarily. She looked around at all the faces assembled before her. This was the first time in many years that her entire family was gathered together in the same place. In spite of all the time passed and changes they all had been through, old hurts always surfaced when she was with them. In truth, Mary never felt lonelier than when she was with her family.

Of course, she realized part of that was her own fault. She had played the role so well that her mother and sisters still saw her as the self-righteous, sermonizing girl she had been at Longbourn, at least in some ways. Seeing past the pieces known of each other in childhood is difficult, especially when adulthood is spent so far apart. In some way, in one another’s eyes, Lydia would always be a flirt, Kitty a follower, Jane a thoughtless beauty, and Lizzy a sarcastic wit. Those small prejudices were ingrained and, in Mary’s case, kept them all at a distance, and this she did not mind. Past injuries were easier to forgive without reminders, and she feared that no matter how much time passed, seeing them all together would always remind her of a childhood spent on the outside.  

Not wanting to become mired in melancholy thoughts, she returned her attention to the conversation with the Fitzwilliams, hoping they would not mention the name that would send those melancholy thoughts into gloom.

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I have to admit that I love Mary, and she became one of my favorite characters during this process. She never felt like she belonged with the Bennets and, like so many of us, created her own family from those she felt bonded to, not by blood, but by acceptance. So, tell me your experience. Do you have a particular friend or group that has become your family? Comment below for your chance to win an ebook copy of Family Portraits. Thanks again, Ceri, for welcoming me back to your wonderful blog. Happy reading, everyone!

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Book cover: Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne
Blurb:

In Dearest Friends, Pamela Lynne drew complex and interesting characters who joined Darcy and Elizabeth on their road to happily ever after. But, what happened after ‘the end’? Did Lydia survive her time at Rosings? Did Jane find fulfillment as Mrs. Bingley? Did Mary and Sebastian adhere to duty or allow their hearts to lead them? Follow the Fitzwilliams, Bennets, Gardiners and Darcys through portraits of their lives at two, five and ten years after the Darcys’ marriage. Their canvas is studded with heartbreaking loss, new beginnings and, through it all, the indelible bond of family. 

Buy Links for Family Portraits:

Amazon UKAmazon USBarnes & NobleKobo • 

Connect with Pamela Lynne:



Thank you so much for that excerpt, Pamela! So much in this excerpt rings true, I think people often keep their perceived role in the family long after things change. Sometimes this can be a nice, comfortable thing, but other times people can feel themselves to be pigeonholed in a way they wouldn't like. Poor Mary!

Giveaway Time!

Author Pamela Lynne is kindly offering to give away an e-book copy of 'Family Portraits' to a commenter on this post. To enter, just leave your answer to Pamela's question, whether you've found family outside your actual family, or if you prefer, leave a comment on the excerpt. Please include a way for me to contact you in case you are the lucky winner. This giveaway is open to international commenters, who leave a comment before the end of the day on Monday 26 September 2016.

35 comments:

  1. I'm happy you published the sequel, Pamela! I hope you will have a HEA for Mary. Please, count me in for the giveaway.

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    1. Hi Kate, I love to see Mary get a happy ever after. Thanks for your comment!

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  2. I need to read both of these!! Thanks for the giveaway

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    1. I need to catch up with them both too, Serena, I have read such wonderful reviews of these books.

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  3. Don't enter me in the giveaway, but I loved this excerpt! I learned to love Mary from reading Dearest Friends and I have to say, I feel quite akin to her in your stories. I can relate better to my husband's favorite relatives than I can to any of my own. I almost hate for the story to end. Trilogy?

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    1. Hi Rose! You asking for a trilogy reminded me of one of Jane Austen's wonderful quotes: "If a book is well written, I always find it too short." :)

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  4. I think it's quite true that we learn acceptance for who we truly are,from our friends and those we choose to spend time with.

    Mary feels like a fish out of water in her family and it is gratifying to see that she had finally found a circle of friends that welcome,love and accept her for who she is.

    That is what we'll seek in this life,each in our own unique way.

    Really enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks to all concerned.

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    1. Hi Mary. I absolutely agree, acceptance outside the family circle really helps you come to accept yourself, particularly if you're unlike your family.

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  5. I do love this version of Mary. :)

    Thanks for sharing the excerpt. Please do not enter me in the giveaway, Ceri!

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    1. Hi Sophia, glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Oh, this sounds fantastic! I love seeing Mary in the spotlight. Since I live so far away from my family, we have a few groups of friends that have become our family, and we spend holidays with them and everything. I come from a small family anyway, so it's nice to be part of their families, too.

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    1. That is so lovely Anna, you are lucky to have friends close enough to feel like family :)

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  7. Wonderful excerpt! I just love this Mary! Congratulations, Pamela! Please do not enter me.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Becky. Thanks for commenting!

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  8. I have found family outside my actual family! My closest friends have become closer to me than some of my immediate family! Can't wait to read this book!

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    1. It's wonderful to have friends like that Leah! I hope you enjoy the book when you read it.

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  9. I only have my real family & it's a small one but luckily very close :)

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    1. That is so nice, Jo's Daughter :)

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  10. Congrat Pamela on the new book. I also love this Mary. Growing up I adopted my guitar teacher as a mother figure. I met her when I started lessons at age 8. Our relationship did change until I was 18 or so. She taught me many things and introduced me to new foods, travel, and some label names. When I had my first child and was bringing her home from the hospital we (my husband, my daughter and I) stopped by to see her. When we got home our daughter smelled (perfume) like Linda. Linda has since passed away and I miss her dearly and can still smell her perfume. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks!

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    1. I love your story, Shelley. It reminded me of somebody who used to be in my life but has since passed on. For years I used to go to my mum's old neighbour before and after school so my mother could work and she became like another grandmother to me . I *may* have got a speck of dust in my eye when reading your comment... or something else made them water :)

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  11. patkf2007 {at} Hotmail {dot} com

    I have some friends who are like siblings to me. I even have a couple co workers/friends who are like aunts and uncles to me.

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    1. It sounds like you've been really lucky BookLuver :)

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  12. I know this sounds rather lame... but I try to find pleasure in group where ever I find myself. We can't always be with friends or family so create friends and family where ever you find yourself. Smile and be friendly and you will always find friends. I too have never been more alone than at a reunion surrounded by blood relations and times when I have been in a group of strangers and never felt more welcome. Isn't that strange? Thank you for the excerpt. I look forward to reading this book. Blessings to you Ceri for hosting Pamela and blessings to you Pamela on your writing success. JWG

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    1. It doesn't sound lame at all J.W., there's nothing wrong with making the best of things - a stranger might just be a friend you haven't met yet, and it's much easier to make friends when you're open to the idea. I hope you enjoy the book when you read it :)

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  13. Yay for Mary being in the spotlight! I think the different type of friends we have contributes to apart of who we are and provides us with a sense of belonging.

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    1. Hi Dung. The best friends are the ones you feel like you belong with. I think women's lives were so much more constrained in those times that it must have been harder to find friends you could really click with.

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  15. I am very excited about this book! I loved Dearest Friends and, for some reason, I like any book that paints Mary in a more favorably light.

    To answer your question, I do a have a group of friends who are "like" family to me, but I am very fortunate in the family I have. They are and will remain first in my heart always!

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    1. I think it's very easy to feel a bit of pity for Mary in P&P as she is so unappreciated and overlooked. I always enjoy seeing her come into her own.

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  16. I loved Dearest Friends and very much look forward to reading this as well! My 4 siblings and I try to get together at least once a year as we're scattered about the Midwest. It took years for us to let go of those childhood assigned identities and get to know each other on an adult level. So glad we did, I like my siblings much more now than I did when we we're younger!

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    1. Hi Lynn. I know just what you mean, it can take a long time to shake off our labels. I hope you enjoy this book when you read it.

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  17. I've been feeling that the wonderfully talented and generous group of writers and readers who comprise JAFF Authors and readers has become like a second family to me. My dear husband has often observed that I spend more time lately with you all than with him!

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    1. I was so pleased to find book friends as well, teaguide, as a love of reading is unfortunately not common amongst my friends and family.

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  18. I have your previous Family books and look forward to this one. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Betty. I hope you enjoy this book when you read it! Thanks for commenting.

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