Book Clubs

Thank you for considering Mischief and Manors for your book club!

Here you will find discussion questions, activities, dessert/food ideas, and excerpts to help you decide if this is a good fit for your group.

1. Throughout the story, Annette is burdened by a promise she made to her parents and in turn, herself to not allow anything to distract her from her responsibility toward Peter and Charles. How might she have interpreted this promise differently? How has it affected her decisions? Have you ever felt trapped by a promise? At what point can a promise be broken?

2. In her society, Annette is considered unaccomplished because she doesn’t draw, sing, or play an instrument. Because of this, she is deemed inferior. When considering her character, do you find anything attributing accomplishment? What abilities and characteristics do you find more important to any society?

3. Peter’s and Charles’s behavior improves gradually throughout the book. What circumstances influenced this change? How did Owen have a positive influence on their behavior and overall happiness? Do their roles have a large impact on the story?

4. Securing an advantageous match was paramount in the regency period. When you consider Miss Lyons’s deception, do you find any justification? Given her mother’s behavior, what do you assume she was raised to believe? How does our upbringing affect our moral values?

5. The pink rose is a continuous symbol throughout the story. What events led Annette to overcome her irrational fear of the color? How do you see this symbolism come full circle? Have you ever associated an object or sensation with an event? How did it affect you?

6. Owen conceals the truth about Willowbourne for most of the story. Why was this necessary? What was his intention for doing so? He had several opportunities to confide in Annette, but didn’t. What does this tell us about his character?

7. Near the end of the book, Owen’s grandfather tells a story. How do you interpretit? How and why is the message such a turning point for Annette? How does it apply to her views and reservations?

8. At the ball, Annette notes that Miss Lyons and her mother both use words as weapons. What other characters do we see acting similarly? How do the negative words from others affect Annette’s self worth throughout the story? When used as weapons, how have words affected you?

9. Mr. Coburn, though a minor character is portrayed as an antagonist. Were you surprised by his change of heart? What might have motivated him to turn against Jasper? What do we learn pertaining to revenge and regret?

1.

Make it a tea party!

The Regency period, if nothing else, is known for two images. One of a group of intelligent women sitting in a closely knit drawing room circle, sipping delicately on tea and nibbling on cakes and miniature sandwiches, and the other of a handsome Darcy-esque gentleman.

-Invite your group to come in costume! You can find the basics of Regency fashion here.

-Serve tea (or an alternative drink)

-Have each member bring a tea party appetizer like these sandwiches, tarts, or scones.  Try frosting cupcakes with a pink rosette to represent the book! Tutorial here.

-Hand out this fun ‘fan etiquette’ page along with inexpensive fans (can be found here) and practice your best fan communication so you’ll be ready for that day when time machines are invented.

2.

Take this Mischief and Manors quiz! The person with the best score wins a prize!

3.

Fan-fiction or extend-the-end! Create a piece of fan-fiction as a group. Begin with one member writing a paragraph, then leave the last line showing, and pass the story along, allowing each person to add to the story. The result will likely be a hilarious scene that (almost certainly) should have been in the book.

4.

Create a movie cast! Who would you choose to play each of the characters? Divide up the characters and have each group or individual share the actor or actress they would choose.

5.

Flashback! Each member writes down a mischievous story from their childhood (we were all as mischievous as Peter and Charles, right?) and one member reads them aloud, allowing everyone to guess which story belongs to who.

Try these miniature mixed berry pies from bakersroyale.com– Just like the ones Peter and Charles try to steal from Mr. Coburn!

Ingredients:

Pie crust:

  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 6-8 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

  • 3 oz. blueberries
  • 3 oz. raspberries
  • 3 oz. blackberries
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1//3 cup sugar

Directions:

Preparation: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To make crust:

  1. Place flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add butter,  using a pastry blender or two forks, cut into the flour until mixture resembles coarse meal (or place in a food processor bowl and pulse). Add 5 tablespoons ice water and stir (or pulse until dough comes together). Dough should hold together when squeezed and released. If not, add remaining water, 1 tablespoon at time, until dough does hold when squeezed and released.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using the heel of your hand and working in small portions smear each part out in one forward motion.  Gather portions and form into one ball, divide dough in half and chill for at least 2 hours.

To make filling:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.

Assembly:

  1. Remove dough from refrigerator. Lightly cover work surface with flour and turn out dough on to it. Roll out dough to an 1/8 inch in thickness and use a 4-inch round cutter to stamp out rounds. Place rounds in muffin wells. Fill wells ¾ of the way up with filling.
  2. Using a scalloped pastry cutter cut 5-inch strips. Arrange strips into lattice design on top of filling, using a fork press lattice design into the sides of crust. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until crust starts to golden brown.  Transfer pies from muffins wells to a wire rack for cooling.

 

EXCERPT

Owen turned his attention to my brothers again, resuming his tutorial tone of voice. “Anyhow, the answer I was looking for, when I asked you what a lady likes more than anything in the world, is . . . compliments.”

Peter’s brow furrowed. “What is a compliment?”

“To compliment someone is to flatter them with kind words. To tell them of something that you like about them, whether it be of their appearance or conduct. But don’t be mistaken into thinking that you should pay a compliment to every pretty girl that passes by. Give compliments only to those who truly deserve them.”

He stood up and walked in front of me where I sat on the edge of the fountain. His body acted as a shield from the sunlight, trapping me in his shadow. I looked up at him. Nervousness fluttered in my stomach for a reason I couldn’t name.

“Now, I know your sister doesn’t particularly like compliments,” he paused to shoot me a relentless smile, “but she is certainly one who deserves them.” He waved my brothers over. “So, come here and practice your compliments. You may say something about her beauty, her kindness, or whatever it is you like about her.”

I watched with amusement as Charles trudged to his feet and stifled a giggle. There was no possible way that he would take this seriously. He stopped beside Owen in front of me and flashed me a gap-toothed smile. “Your eyes are green.” He giggled and looked at Owen for approval.

Owen laughed and knelt beside Charles on the grass. He was facing me, his line of sight directly even with mine. He looked back at Charles briefly. “Almost. But you must tell her more about her eyes.” He took a slow breath and moved his gaze to me. “Tell her how beautiful they are, and how they make the rest of the world disappear. How any man would have to be blind not to lose himself within them.”

I scolded my heart for how wildly it was jumping around in my chest. This is only another demonstration. Surely he is not serious, I told my heart.

Charles giggled again. “I don’t want to say that!”

Owen didn’t move his gaze from my face. “Don’t worry. That one was from me.”

***

Check out the author’s pinterest board to see places, quotes, and people that inspired the book. https://www.pinterest.com/ashtynnewbold/mischief-and-manors/

See what readers are saying about Mischief and Manors on Goodreads, and visit the author’s page to ask questions about the book.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15362222.Ashtyn_Newbold

Contact the author about a visit, a written interview, or a goodreads Q&A!

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