Austenesque

“Maria Lucas”

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“Maria Lucas”

A Short Story in the Personages of Pride & Prejudice Collection

After a great deal of romantic strife, Maria Lucas finds herself married to Mr. Jonas Card in a desperate attempt to extricate herself and her sister Charlotte from a dire financial situation. Mr. Card, however, truly loves Maria and has vowed to woo her. Alas, she views him only in friendly terms. But when it seems that Mr. Card’s feelings have changed, Maria sets out to discover why. And through a series of unexpected events, Mr. Card succeeds in wooing his wife without saying a word.

“Maria Lucas” is a post script to the novel Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. As such, it contains minor spoilers, but it can be read as a stand-alone piece.

This is a short story (approximately 5,000 words) and was formerly titled “Maria’s Romance.”

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Southern Fraud Series

Death Benefits (Southern Fraud Thriller 2)

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DB Ebook redo Crop SmDeath Benefits

Southern Fraud Thriller 2

Fraud investigator Julia Jackson is back in action, and her next assignment throws her straight into the crosshairs of a bevy of desperate people…and one man who will do anything to keep his secret safe.

Late one night, a car burns on a lonely rural road, and the discovery of a body—charred beyond recognition—in the driver’s seat sets in motion a series of deadly events. And when the wife of the supposedly deceased driver demands her husband’s million-dollar life insurance policy payout before the autopsy can be completed, fraud investigators Julia Jackson and Mark Vincent must determine exactly how the victim died and at whose hands.

As Julia and Vincent interview witnesses and tangle with a host of angry suspects, another man is working behind the scenes to erase his mysterious connection to the body by any means necessary.

Soon Julia and Vincent realize they are not dealing with an average death benefits scam, but with a potential serial killer instead.
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Book Clubs: Download discussion questions (pdf) by clicking the following link: Death Benefits Discussion Prompters

At Fault

At Fault (Southern Fraud Thriller 3)

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At Fault In Prog CropAt Fault

Southern Fraud Thriller 3

Operating on an insider’s tip, Julia and Vincent must go undercover to infiltrate an organized fraud ring led by a cruel, manipulative boss. But the closer they come to identifying the size and scope of the organization, the more they realize that their source has withheld vital information, causing them to make errors in their investigation—errors that may have grave consequences for an innocent victim.

Meanwhile, Vincent and Julia must both confront mistakes from the past that could rise up to destroy their hopes for the future. Vincent’s tenuous relationship with his son is tested once again. And now that Julia’s search for her sister’s rapist has finally paid off, how will Tricia and the rest of the family react to the news that she has been hiding her investigation from them all?

Will Julia and Vincent unravel the fraud ring before someone innocent gets hurt? Will they be able to keep their families together? Will they cling to the belief that they have done right, or will they begin to see themselves as people At Fault?
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Moral Hazard

Moral Hazard (Southern Fraud Thriller 4)

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Moral Hazard Ebook Cover2Moral Hazard

Southern Fraud Thriller 4

Now that Julia Jackson has completed her quest to identify and bring charges against her sister’s rapist, everything finally seems to be going her way. All she has to do is await his trial and sentencing, and she has a new fraud case and a burgeoning relationship with Mark Vincent to occupy her time.

As usual, her simple fraud case turns out to be much more complicated–and dangerous–than anyone anticipated. That’s nothing she hasn’t dealt with before. But when an anomaly is discovered in the DNA evidence needed to convict the rapist, Julia’s past mistakes may come to light, and she is thrown into a moral dilemma that will define who she is as an investigator and as a person.


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Austenesque

Charlotte Collins

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Charlotte Collins

A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

When Charlotte Lucas married Mr. Collins in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, she believed herself to be fortunate indeed. Her nuptials gained her a comfortable home and financial security. If she acquired these things at the expense of true love, it did not matter one whit. To Charlotte, love in marriage was nothing more than a pleasant coincidence.

As the years of her marriage dragged by, Charlotte began to question her idea of love as she suffered continual embarrassment at her husband’s simpering and fawning manners. When Mr. Collins dies, finally relieving everyone of his tedious conversation, she must work feverishly to secure her income and home. She gives no further thought to the prospect of love until her flighty sister Maria begs her to act as her chaperone in place of their ailing parents. Hoping to prevent Maria from also entering an unhappy union, Charlotte agrees, and they are quickly thrust into a world of country dances, dinner parties, and marriageable gentlemen.

But when an unprincipled gentleman compromises Charlotte’s reputation, her romantic thoughts disappear at the prospect of losing her independence. As she struggles to extricate herself from her slander, her situation reveals both the nature of each gentleman and of true love.

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With Charlotte Collins, Jennifer Becton mines the rich vein of literary characters who’ve vanished into the mists of history. Her newly widowed Charlotte is an expert in social nuance, but does she know her own heart as well? Charming, witty, and grounded in period detail, Becton’s debut novel will make Jane Austen fans rejoice.

Beverle Graves Myers, author of Her Deadly Mischief

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