Showing posts with label Austenesque. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Austenesque. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

The Year in Between by Christina Morland - Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m happy to be welcoming Christina Morland to the blog, and I am particularly happy about this for two reasons. Firstly, although I’ve reviewed two books that she has contributed to, the Quill Ink anthologies, Elizabeth: Obstinate, HeadstrongGirl and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentleman Rogues, I haven’t had the pleasure of welcoming her to Babblings of Bookworm until now. 

The other reason that I’m pleased to be welcoming Christina is that although her latest book is Austenesque, it’s not based on Pride & Prejudice, but Sense & Sensibility, which is exciting, as there are so few stories based on S&S. This story, The Year in Between, takes a look at a period right at the end of S&S, where Elinor has married and before Marianne does. For those of you who like to immerse yourself in a nice long book I have the good news that this over 700 pages :)

Let’s look at the blurb and then hand over to Christina for an excerpt, which I think you will really enjoy. She’s also offering a giveaway to a commenter on this blog post.

Book Cover: The Year in Between by Christina Morland
Book Description 

Marianne Dashwood was "born to an extraordinary fate...to discover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by her conduct, her most favorite maxims" (Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility). After Willoughby's betrayal, how did Marianne learn to see Colonel Brandon—and herself—in a new light? And how did Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars fare during their first year of marriage?

The Year in Between explores the untold year in the last chapter of Sense and Sensibility. Whether you know Austen's novel well, or this is your first introduction to Elinor, Marianne, Edward, and Brandon, I invite you to visit Delaford, where friendship, love, and all the challenges that come with these gifts abound.

Please note: The Year in Between is a novel that I hope affirms the beauty of love, community, friendship, and family. However, there is at least one storyline that may cause distress in readers who have experienced loss. (There are no graphic descriptions of violence or sex in this novel, if those are areas of concern for you.) If you would like specific details before continuing to read, please visit my author biography on Amazon or the Author's Note in the opening pages of the book. A link to more information is included in both locations.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Lover's Meeting by Catherine Lodge - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: Lover's Meeting by Catherine Lodge
I’m really happy to be welcoming Catherine Lodge back to the blog with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Lover’s Meeting .I can’t believe it’s been over 3 years since her last visit, with Fair Stands the Wind, it seems like yesterday!

Let's look at the blurb and then I'll share an excerpt of Lover's Meeting with you. There's also an ebook giveaway, so read on for more details. 

Book Description

‘Journeys end in lovers’ meetings, every wise man’s son doth know.’ — William Shakespeare

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the disastrous first meeting of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly provided each with a ready-made set of prejudices to apply to the other. But when a horrific rural accident reveals Darcy to be a man of active, intelligent benevolence, and Elizabeth, in the absence of her appalling family, to be an extraordinary lady of courage and decision—then surely the course of true love will run smoothly.   

But alas, the lovers’ meeting is not the end but a new beginning. For though they have found each other, a seeming multitude of complications—a catastrophic flood, the last wishes of a dying friend, Lydia’s misfortunes, a dastardly Member of Parliament, and even their own fears— contrives to come between them and their ‘journey’s end.’

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

The Longbourn Quarantine by Don Jacobson - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

I’m happy to be bringing you a post from Don Jacobson today. Don has visited Babblings of a Bookworm many times and his posts are always popular. Many of his visits have been to do with his Bennet Wardrobe series, but this one is a stand-alone novella, The Longbourn Quarantine. Don has brought us a guest post and an excerpt of the novella, and Meryton Press are offering an ebook giveaway of The Longbourn Quarantine on this blog post. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Don.

Book Cover: The Longbourn Quarantine by Don Jacobson
Book Description 

“Papa handed Mama a brace of pistols. Her tears, Mr. Darcy, her tears: yet, all she did was nod when Papa looked at us and said, ‘You know what to do if they enter the icehouse.’”

Refugees flood the roads. A feared specter has escaped London’s grimy docklands and now threatens the wealthy districts. Amongst that ragged steam is a single carriage jostling its way toward Meryton. Inside are the Darcy siblings along with Charles and Caroline Bingley. They desperately seek the safety of Netherfield Park.

For all their riches, they could not evade the epidemic’s dark hand. Bingley’s leasehold had been reduced to rubble as roving bands raped, pillaged, and burned. The only sanctuary was Longbourn where, once installed, the Darcys and Bingleys were barred from leaving by a fortnight’s quarantine.

Events converge with disease in The Longbourn Quarantine. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy abandon old prejudices to face grief and mourning. Pride is set aside as Death hovers nearby. The couple forges ahead knowing that love unexplored is love lost: that words must be said lest they remain unspoken in the time of smallpox.

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Monday, 20 July 2020

Madness in Meryton by Jayne Bamber - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Madness in Meryton by Jayne Bamber
I am happy to be welcoming Jayne Bamber back to Babblings of a Bookworm with her new book, Madness in Meryton. This book has a Groundhog Day theme, with one day repeating. I love this idea, as an author can have such fun with it and go to lengths that wouldn’t be allowable due to the lack of consequences! Jayne’s also offering an ebook giveaway. Let’s look at the blurb and then I will hand over to Jayne for an excerpt.

Book Description

Jane and Elizabeth Bennet return home from Netherfield, and two days of heavy rain confine them indoors with their quarrelsome younger sisters, a mother in perpetual need of smelling salts, and their tedious cousin, Mr. Collins. When the rain clears, the ladies from Longbourn and the gentlemen from Netherfield are drawn to Meryton by the excitement of Market Day, setting in motion a series of significant events.

That night, Mrs. Phillips hosts a card party for the officers of the local militia, where the charming Mr. Wickham reveals to Elizabeth his shocking history with Mr. Darcy, a man who has only given Elizabeth offense since coming to stay with his friend Mr. Bingley at Netherfield.

The next day, the same thing happens again.

And again, the day after that – and so on, for what begins to feel like an eternity. Elizabeth takes increasingly drastic measures to further the romance between her beloved sister Jane and their handsome neighbor Mr. Bingley. Along the way, she arranges improvements in the lives of all of her family, in a effort to end the relentless redundancy that only she seems aware of.

As Elizabeth’s frustration turns to madness, she realizes that her inexplicable dilemma is somehow connected to a certain officer and a certain gentleman of her acquaintance….

Elizabeth Bennet must forge unlikely alliances and devote her considerable wit to the task of achieving a perfect day for those she holds dear, while facing familiar Fitzwilliam friends and foes, as well as all the mortification and delight of falling in love.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

A Good Name and Beauty and Mr Darcy, both by Sarah Courtney - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book covers of Sarah Courtney's Austenesque Reads
Today I'm happy to welcome a new visitor to the blog, author Sarah Courtney. Sarah has written two quite different Austenesque books. A Good Name was released back in November 2019 and Beauty and Mr Darcy, came out in January 2020. Sarah is visiting here with excerpts and giveaways of BOTH books, so whether you prefer modern or Regency we have something here for you today! I'll share a blurb and excerpt for each book, starting with the most recent book, the Regency-set Beauty and Mr Darcy

As an aside, when Sarah sent me the excerpts I realised that although they are set in different time periods they actually have a common theme, which is - Caroline Bingley, please shut up :)

Book cover: Beauty and Mr. Darcy by Sarah Courtney
Book Description - Beauty and Mr Darcy

Elizabeth Bennet knows that Fitzwilliam Darcy is a beast. At least, that's what George Wickham tells her, and she is inclined to believe him. Why, then, is it so hard not to find him interesting and attractive? Is she just another young lady intrigued by a rogue?

Jane Bennet was in love once and has never quite recovered. When the object of her affections returns to Meryton, she is thrilled, until she realizes that the same problem that has frightened off all of her other suitors might drive away the man she truly loves.

Mary Bennet's pedantic pronouncements irritate her sisters and repel the man she longs for. Is there any hope for a happy ending for her?

Kitty and Lydia Bennet's giggles and foolish ways make the matrons of Meryton shake their heads. Without real parental guidance, they long for attention, even if means risking their reputations and hope for the future.

Charlotte Lucas has long since given up the idea of finding a husband and having the children she longs for. When an unusual suitor arrives in Meryton, she has one last chance to avoid spinsterhood.

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice variation in which romance and humor abound! The Bennet sisters' fairy tales intertwine as they each find their very own happy ending, but there is no fantastical magic in this retelling.

Excerpt from Beauty and Mr. Darcy, introduced by Sarah Courtney

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is my first Regency, and it was a fun adventure writing it after my first novel, a modern. Regency language is an interesting challenge, and I will admit to having had an etymological dictionary open the entire time I was writing. I was amused sometimes to see some words that sound rather new have been around since Shakespeare’s times and other words that sound old are from the twentieth century!

In some ways, Beauty and Mr. Darcy is rather like six novellas in one book. Elizabeth and Darcy’s story runs throughout, but along the way we get to watch all of Elizabeth’s sisters and her friend live their own fairy tales and find their true loves, with the tales intertwined and dependent on each other.

The scene I have included here is from Jane’s last day at Netherfield. She has recovered from her illness and is ready to return home, but she and Mr. Bingley have a few last moments together. Their relationship is not as new as in canon; in this story, they met and fell in love in London several years ago but were separated by circumstance.

Book cover: Beauty and Mr. Darcy by Sarah Courtney
From Beauty and Mr. Darcy:

Mr. Bingley scooted the chair closer to Jane, until the arms of the chair and the sofa touched. “This is such lovely country. I have never seen any more beautiful.”

Beautiful. There was that word again. Jane had heard it far too often. She sighed.

“There are more important things than beauty,” she said.

“Of course! Like productivity. The land here is excellent for farming and hunting. I have also found a great deal to admire in the society here. So many friendly, engaging, kind people.”

And now there was the other word that always got applied to Jane: kind. Being kind, she supposed, was better than being beautiful, at least in that she could choose to be one and the other had been chosen for her. Usually people said that she was “kind” as if she was a rather sweet and docile child, or as if it were the only thing they could think to say about her. But somehow hearing “kind” from Mr. Bingley’s mouth made it seem so much more.

“Kind,” she said softly.

“The most important of all attributes, in my opinion,” Mr. Bingley said softly. “Truly kind people are few and far between. Somebody who is kind sees the good in every person and wants the best for them. It is such a rare quality, but there is nothing superior.”

Jane swallowed. “Do you honestly think so?” She realized that she was leaning towards him, but she could not make herself pull away.

“I do.” He must have been leaning toward her as well, because his face was inches from hers. “I strive to be kind, but you, Jane, are the kindest person I know. I love . . . I love that about you.”

Jane took in a quick breath. “I love that about you, too.” She dared not say more.

She swallowed hard at the realization that his face was so close to hers that she could feel his breath warm on her lips. Was he going to . . . would he dare kiss her?

Before the idea had done more than cross her mind, they were both startled back into sitting upright at a noise in the hall. Caroline bustled into the room.

“Charles!” she said sharply. “That chair does not belong there. Really, brother, how am I to keep order in the house when you insist on rearranging the furniture at every opportunity? And did you not tell me that you had important letters to write this morning?”

She turned to Jane and hurried to her side.

“Dearest Jane, do say you will take a turn in the gardens with me. My brother here”—she turned to smile at Mr. Bingley—“is far too busy with his correspondence and cannot be interrupted any further. Let us hurry outside to enjoy the sun, as I know the carriage is to be ordered for you this afternoon.”

Jane was surprised at Caroline’s haste and reluctant to leave Mr. Bingley’s company, but she knew she should let him get his work done. She allowed herself to be dragged outside into the gardens. She found herself short of breath and near laughter when Caroline finally stopped, for Caroline had never so much reminded her of Lizzy as she did now.

“I am sorry to be so abrupt, Jane, but I wished to give my brother privacy,” Caroline said with a smile, taking Jane’s arm in hers. They walked past a row of rosebushes which Jane would have liked to stop and smell, but could not while arm in arm with Caroline.

Jane was not going to ask, but Caroline did not wait for her to do so. “He likes his privacy, you know, when he is writing about delicate matters. He does so admire Miss Darcy, but it is of course not quite proper for them to correspond.”

“Mr. Bingley writes to Miss Darcy?” Jane asked, startled. Surely he would not do so unless there was an engagement between them? But Caroline said it was not quite proper, and it would be appropriate if they were engaged, so perhaps . . . Jane could not think of a reason.

“Oh, forgive me,” Caroline said with a giggle. “I have been shockingly indiscreet! Please do not tell anyone I said anything about it. It is just that, now that Miss Darcy is of age to marry, my brother’s wait is nearing its end. I have longed for the special day when Miss Darcy and I become sisters for quite some time now.”

“I see,” Jane said, not seeing any of the flowers as they walked. She fought to keep her eyes from tearing up. How embarrassing if Caroline were to see how foolish Jane had been. Of course Mr. Bingley was engaged, or practically engaged. He was too handsome and amiable a man to still be single long. She had known that from the first time she had met him when she was seventeen. She lost her struggle and tears filled her eyes. She looked up and blinked them away quickly before Caroline could see.

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback!


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Book cover: A Good Name by Sarah Courtney
Book Description - A Good Name

George Wickham's childhood friendship with Lizzy Bennet saved his life. How will it change her future?

Ten-year-old George Wickham was hungry, lonely, and desperate until the day he met Lizzy Bennet. She transformed his life with a peanut butter sandwich and the magic of books. Losing her friendship devastated him, until his meeting with the Darcy family set him on a course to a new life.

Will Darcy insulted Elizabeth Bennet at their first meeting and accidentally injured her a few months later. She is just starting to overcome her first impression of him when something from his past comes to light. Will the revelation of Elizabeth’s childhood friendship with George Wickham change everything?

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Excerpt from A Good Name, introduced by Sarah Courtney

"A Good Name" is a clean modern variation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," not a retelling. Is George Wickham born to be the villain, or can he be something more? At its heart, this is a Darcy & Elizabeth romance.

My first book, A Good Name is a clean modern variation that is centered largely on George Wickham. Don’t let that turn you off, though! It’s not a villain book, but a book about an opportunity to be something other than what others might expect of you. Despite the significance of Wickham, this is a Darcy and Elizabeth love story with a happy ending.

In this scene, Will Darcy has been invited to dinner at Jane’s house, where Elizabeth is staying temporarily, along with his cousin Richard and Charles and Caroline Bingley. Will has meandered into the kitchen, where Elizabeth is keeping an eye on dinner.

Book cover: A Good Name by Sarah Courtney
From A Good Name:

“Uh . . . so I heard you lost your job,” Will said, and then immediately felt like hitting himself on the head. Not subtle.
Elizabeth kept her back to him, flipping the squash on the stove. “Yeah.”
“So what did you do?” He was compounding his error, he knew, but Charlie would never think to interrogate her and make sure she wasn’t going to live off him forever. Not that Will was interrogating her, of course. Just checking her story out. Charlie had said not to bug her about it at dinner . . . but technically they weren’t eating dinner yet.
“I managed a bookstore for my father,” she said curtly, opening a cabinet and rummaging through it.
“Your father fired you?” he asked, stunned.
She took a spice down from the cabinet and added it liberally to the squash. “No. He lost the store.”
“Ah.” Will paused. “I’m sorry.” Then how― “And your apartment?”
Jane walked in and headed for the stove. She hip-butted Elizabeth out of the way so she could turn on the light and check whatever was cooking inside. Elizabeth hip-butted her back.
Elizabeth turned off the burner and brought the pan to the counter, placing it on a trivet. She glanced at him briefly as she got out a serving plate for the veggies. “I lived in the store’s building. He had to give up the lease on the building, so that meant I lost my housing, too.”
Will was surprised. He wasn’t sure exactly what he expected, but she didn’t sound like the leech he thought she was. Was there a possibility she really would get a new job and move out soon?
“Something smells great in here!” Charlie walked into the kitchen with Richard right behind him.
Caroline wrinkled her nose, looking down at the lovely seared squash slices that Elizabeth was arranging. “Did you put butter on that? You may not care about your figure, Liz, but I do!”
“I can see that,” Elizabeth said calmly.
Will hid a smile.
Elizabeth cocked her head at him. "I have to ask, Will, do you happen to have a brother who looks like you? Or a cousin, maybe?"
"No brothers, just my sister Ana. Richard's my cousin, but he looks nothing like me."
She frowned. "Ah. Okay."
He wondered why she asked, but before he could say anything, dinner was ready and there was a flurry of activity to get it on the table.
Soon everyone was seated around the table enjoying Jane’s meal. Will somehow found himself seated next to Caroline and almost across from Elizabeth.
“So I heard you lost your job!” Caroline said brightly to Elizabeth.
“I just love how this is everybody’s first topic of conversation.” Elizabeth took a bite without looking up.
“Oh, but we all just feel sooo very sorry for you! It’s just terrible to be fired, you know. I mean, I never have been, but I totally sympathize anyway.”
“What do you do again, Caroline?” Elizabeth glanced up at Jane, then back to Caroline.
Caroline smiled sweetly at her. “I’m Charlie’s social secretary! I make sure he has time for the important things.” At that, she frowned at Jane, then turned back to Elizabeth. “It’s a very important role, you know. I have sooo much influence over Charlie’s commitments, and whether he keeps them or not.” She gave a meaningful look at Jane, then raised her eyebrows to Elizabeth.
“Do you?” Elizabeth turned back to her meal.
Charlie broke in. “Whether I keep them or not? What are you painting me as, Caroline, some sort of flake? Of course I keep my commitments!”
Caroline turned her scowl to Charlie. “We’ll see,” was all she said.
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A Good Name is available now on Amazon in both ebook and paperback!


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Author Sarah Courtney
About the Author

Sarah is a homeschooling mom of six kids, ages thirteen to two. Her first introduction to Jane Austen was the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice, which aired when she was fifteen. The first scene she ever saw was Mr. Wickham telling his story to Elizabeth Bennet, and Sarah asked her mother if he was meant to be the hero. She didn't like him and didn't plan to continue watching if he was. 

Assured by her mother that he was not the hero, she kept watching and fell in love with Jane Austen's most beloved work. The first time she read the novel, she read the final page and immediately flipped back to the first to start again, unwilling to let it go.

Follow Sarah on Facebook or check out Sarah's blog, for extra scenes, previews of new books, and updates on her writing

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Giveaway Time!

Book covers of Sarah Courtney's Austenesque Reads
Sarah is very kindly offering to give away an ebook of both A Good Name and Beauty and Mr Darcy to visitors to Babblings of a Bookworm! To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on Tuesday 11 February 2020.  If you have a preference for one book over the other, please indicate this in your comment, or I will assume that you would be equally happy with either. 

Two winners will be chosen, one to win A Good Name and the other to win Beauty and Mr. Darcy.

Note Regarding Comments: I love to read your comments, but a few blog visitors have reported difficulties in commenting while using the Safari browser. If you are unable to comment, please try using another web browser, such as Google Chrome, or please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

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Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Blog Tour and Giveaway - Thaw by Anniina Sjöblom - Review

Book cover: Thaw by Anniina Sjöblom
Today I'm happy to be featuring an author who has made the jump from the forums to publishing as the blog tour for Anniina Sjöblom's debut Pride & Prejudice-inspired novella, Thaw stops at Babblings of a Bookworm for my review of the story. Let's take a look at the blurb and then we will move on to my review. There's also an ebook giveaway :)

Book Description

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one false step can involve a lady in endless ruin. On a rainy November day in 1811, Miss Elizabeth Bennet finds herself wondering why no one ever bothered to tell her about this.

A few blithe steps on a morning walk, taken after a succession of rain, lead to unexpected events that irrevocably change the course of Elizabeth’s life, placing her fate in the hands of the haughty and conceited Mr. Darcy – the last man in the world she had ever thought to marry.

As long winter days slowly pass, she writes letters to her loved ones, trying to come to terms with her new role as a wife and the Mistress of Pemberley. But can she ever learn to love her husband? Will he overcome his arrogant notions of rank and circumstance?

And most importantly – will the shades of Pemberley ever recover from being thus polluted?

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Speechless by Jessie Lewis - Blog Tour, Guest Post and Giveaway

I'm very happy to welcome Jessie Lewis back to Babblings of a Bookworm today with the blog tour for her new book, Speechless. This is a Pride & Prejudice variation with a premise I haven't seen before... a speechless Darcy?! To be fair, that might help him! Let's look at the blurb and then hand over to Jessie for a guest post. There's an ebook giveaway too, so read on.

Book cover: Speechless by Jessie Lewis
Book Description

Could anything be worse than to be trapped in a confined space with the woman you love?

Fitzwilliam Darcy knows his duty, and it does not involve succumbing to his fascination for a dark-eyed beauty from an unheard of family in Hertfordshire. He has run away from her once already. Yet fate has a wicked sense of humour and deals him a blow that not only throws him back into her path but quite literally puts him at Elizabeth Bennet’s mercy. Stranded with her at a remote inn and seriously hampered by injury, Darcy very quickly loses the battle to conquer his feelings, but can he win the war to make himself better understood without the ability to speak?

Thus begins an intense journey to love and understanding that is at times harrowing, sometimes hilarious and at all times heartwarming.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Headstrong Books One and Two by Melanie Rachel - Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I'm welcoming Melanie Rachel back to the blog with her latest Austenesque novels. She's written a three part story, and the first two parts are already available with the third to follow later this month. Unlike Melanie's earlier books, this latest series, Headstrong, is a contemporary story. Let's look at the blurbs of both books, and then you can enjoy an excerpt from book one, Headstrong Book One: Improvise. Melanie has also brought a giveaway for one of you!

Book cover: Headstrong: Book One: Improvise by Melanie Rachel
Book Description - Headstrong Book One: Improvise

A few months after teaming up with Major Richard Fitzwilliam to thwart a terrorist attack in Europe, USMC Staff Sergeant Elizabeth Bennet is back in the States as a civilian. Her training in cyber-security makes finding work easy, and she’s learning to fit into her new life. But there is lingering fallout both from the attack and her life before it that she's not yet prepared to face. Complicating matters is the major’s handsome cousin.

Co-owner of Darcy Acquisitions, CEO of FORGE, and guardian to his younger sister, Will Darcy is stretched to his limits. When Richard sets up an interview at FORGE for his friend Elizabeth Bennet, Will insults her instead of hiring her. In making amends, Will falls for the witty, troubled Marine with long legs and fine eyes.

Falling in love is easy, but do these two very different people have what it takes to make love last?

Book cover: Headstrong: Book Two: Adapt by Melanie Rachel
Book Description - Headstrong: Book Two: Adapt

The holidays are approaching, and Will Darcy has a lot to be thankful for. His cousin Richard is coming home from the Marines, his sister Georgiana is flying back from university for a visit, and he’s in love with Elizabeth Bennet.

But his well-ordered life is about to be turned on its head.

There's a prank war being waged between Elizabeth and Richard, which might be funny if he weren't constantly caught in the middle. Georgiana's hostility to Elizabeth is puzzling--how can she have it out for somebody she's never met? And just when Elizabeth is starting to trust Will with the truth about her difficult past, someone from his own reappears to cause havoc.

Strange things are happening all around, and Elizabeth seems to be in the middle of it all. Is she involved? A target? Or is she just caught in the crossfire of someone conspiring against his own family?

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston - Audio Book Giveaway

Book cover: Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston, narrated by Harry Frost
Earlier this year Nicole Clarkston visited the blog with her Pride & Prejudice-inspired story, Nefarious. You can read the post, which includes an excerpt, here. Nicole is very kindly offering a giveaway of the recently released audio version of the book, narrated by Harry Frost! I'll share the blurb below as a reminder of what Nefarious is about :)

Book Description

He hates everything about her.
She despises him even more.
So why is his heart so determined to belong to her?

Once trapped by marriage to a woman he loathed, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally free again. Resentful, bewildered, and angry, he is eager to begin his life over—preferably with a woman who is the exact opposite of his wife.

He never imagined a short stay in Hertfordshire would bring him face to face with his worst nightmare; a woman similar in face, form, and name. He certainly never expected her to be so impossible to ignore.

Torn between what he believes he wants and what his heart cannot live without, his dignity begins to unravel. Will his desperation to escape his past drive a wedge into his closest friendship and destroy any hope of a future?

Will Miss Elizabeth Bennet prove to be as nefarious as his wife? Or, will the last woman in the world be his only chance at happiness?

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Book Cover - Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston
Buy Links

Nefarious is available in audio now - Audible US / Audible UK.

If you would rather read this in ebook or paperback, you will be pleased to know that it's available in both formats. It's currently on a kindle countdown deal in the US and UK which makes it a great time to pick up the ebook if you'd like to read it, but act quickly as it's a time limited deal! You can buy the book on Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads 

Author Nicole ClarkstonAuthor Bio:

Nicole Clarkston is a book lover and a happily married mom of three. Originally from Idaho, she now lives in Oregon with her own romantic hero, several horses, and one very fat dog. She has loved crafting alternate stories and sequels since she was a child watching Disney’s Robin Hood, and is never found sitting quietly without a book of some sort.

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties- how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project (undertaken when her husband unsuspectingly left town for a few days) she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Nicole’s books are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.

Nicole is part of Austen Variations, a group of talented authors in the Jane Austen Fiction genre. In addition to her work with the Austen Variations blog, Nicole can be reached through Facebook  Twitter, her blog at Goodreads.com, or her personal blog and website, NicoleClarkson.com.

Giveaway Time!

Book cover: Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston, narrated by Harry Frost
Nicole is generously offering a giveaway of an audio version of Nefarious one of you. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post. If you have difficulties commenting then drop me an email with your comment and I can add it on your behalf and enter you into the draw - my email address can be found here. Leave your comment by the end of the day on Friday 6 December to be included. This giveaway is open to entrants who can download audio books from Audible.com or Audible.co.uk.


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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds - Review

Today I'm sharing a review that I wrote a few months ago but didn't have chance to share at the time. At the end of last year I took part in the blog tour for Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds. You can read Abigail's guest post and excerpt from the book here. I didn't have the chance to read the book at the time but over the summer I took a trip into a world where magic and faeries meets pride and prejudice. Let's look at the blurb and then I'll tell you what I thought of the book.

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds
Book Description

In a Regency England where magic and faeries are real…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a powerful magician who controls fire, water, and wind. What he cannot control is his growing feelings for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. But Darcy is also sworn to uphold the laws which forbid women to use magic, and Elizabeth knows it.

Elizabeth’s sentiments towards Darcy are quite different. She detests his arrogance, and she fears he will expose her use of forbidden magic. He is the last man in the world she would choose to help her on a difficult and dangerous task.

But when a magical war looms between the land of Faerie and their world, a Lord of Faerie demands that Darcy and Elizabeth serve together as his emissaries to make peace with the other mortals. That mission throws them into the middle of a chaotic power struggle between magicians whose power dwarfs their own, and everything Elizabeth has ever believed about her family, her friends, and her enemies will be called into question.

This magical variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice makes the land of Faerie as real as Regency London and Rosings Park, as bestselling author Abigail Reynolds presents new challenges for Darcy and Elizabeth in her longest and most enchanting story to date.

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Mr Darcy's Enchantment - My Review

Abigail Reynolds is one of my favourite writers of Pride & Prejudice variations so I was very keen to give this one a read. Although I know that there are a few others out there which meld magic with  P&P I haven’t read any published ones, which was another good reason to give this a go.

Mr Darcy’s Enchantment picks up the story in Kent, when Elizabeth visits the Collinses, so you can assume the previous parts of P&P have already happened, but there is obviously a major change in the fact that people can do magic. Actually, though, only men are allowed to practice, it’s not only frowned upon for a woman to do magic, but punishable, by a spell which changes the woman’s mind. This is a pretty terrifying thought, that a part of you will be, in effect, killed off. Therefore, as a woman who not only can practice magic, but actually does, in order to help people, Elizabeth has a good reason to be pretty wary of Darcy. The spell to lock up women’s minds is carried out by the Collegium of Mages and Darcy is a member of this. His uncle, the father of Colonel Fitzwilliam, is a very senior member. Darcy being tied to such an organisation is yet another reason for Elizabeth to despise him.

When Elizabeth decides to out herself in order to save another’s life she risks not only her mind, but her family’s respectability and her whole life as she knows it. Running away, she stumbles into a faerie ring and transports to the land of the fae, where she learns that there are even bigger problems, in terms of a looming war between the fae and mankind. Elizabeth will also learn that she has been mistaken in some of her judgements, and uncover some of the darkest secrets of her own family.

I found this to be a book of two parts. I really enjoyed the first part, which saw us in Rosings and later in the fae world. I thought the construction of the different types of magic was interesting and well-explained and I loved all the Darcy and Elizabeth time, as she realises how wrong she has been in her perceptions of him and her perceptions of how he considered her.

Later on, the book’s focus moves out much wider and while it was still good, and kept my attention I didn’t enjoy that part quite as much. I don’t think it was the magic. For me, it was that the story was so much wider than Darcy and Elizabeth so they were more part of an ensemble cast than having the starring roles. A whole new world is described and while I might like a tighter focus on Darcy and Elizabeth other readers may revel in the additional depth and breadth of the story.

One thing I did enjoy was uncovering some of the secrets in both Elizabeth and Darcy’s families. I gasped more than once at some of the the revelations. I really want to tell you some of the secrets, but even who the secrets involve would be potential spoilers in some cases! I anticipated some of the events, but some were surprising, which is always refreshing.

There is a glossary of terms at the back, which might have been more useful if I had realised that it was there before I finished reading the story! If I am reading something that makes me worry about the characters I may flick to the back of the book to reassure myself, but otherwise I try not to spoil the story, so I missed the glossary until that point. To be fair, I think I understood the terms anyway, as they are explained well in the story.

This is a long book and I stayed up far past my bedtime because I didn’t want to put it down, which is always satisfying. I was a bit undecided on the rating, but I think I’d round it up to a 4½ star read, and would recommend it to those who don’t mind some magic in their reading. Those who prefer to avoid sex scenes are safe, although there is an instance of a Regency lady wearing fairy attire, which would have been pretty racy by their standards :)

Now, I need to find some more magical variations. Any recommendations?

4.5 star read

*I was kindly provided with an e-book of this story by the author for my honest review

Buy Links

This book is available to buy in paperback or kindle. It's also available in kindle unlimited. Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads Shelf

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Friday, 8 November 2019

The Bride of Northanger by Diana Birchall - Blog Tour - Review

Blog Tour: The Bride of Northanger by Diana Birchall

The blog tour for Diana Birchall's Northanger Abbey sequel, The Bride of Northanger, stops here today for my review of the book. I read Northanger Abbey a few years ago and would heartily recommend it. I was very interested to read this sequel, because so much Austenesque that I read is based on Pride & Prejudice and it's good to have a change. I have also read very few sequels of the stories, so I was intrigued to where Diana Birchall would take these characters. Let's look at the blurb, and then we will move on to what I thought of The Bride of Northanger.

Book cover: The Bride of Northanger by Diana Birchall
Book Description

A happier heroine than Catherine Morland does not exist in England, for she is about to marry her beloved, the handsome, witty Henry Tilney. The night before the wedding, Henry reluctantly tells Catherine and her horrified parents a secret he has dreaded to share - that there is a terrible curse on his family and their home, Northanger Abbey. Henry is a clergyman, educated and rational, and after her year’s engagement Catherine is no longer the silly young girl who delighted in reading “horrid novels”; she has improved in both reading and rationality. This sensible young couple cannot believe curses are real...until a murder at the Abbey triggers events as horrid and Gothic as Jane Austen ever parodied - events that shake the young Tilneys’ certainties, but never their love for each other ...