Showing posts with label C P Odom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label C P Odom. Show all posts

Monday, 18 January 2021

Determination by C P Odom - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Determination by C P Odom
I’m happy to be welcoming C P Odom back to Babblings of a Bookworm with his latest book, Determination. This is a Pride & Prejudice variation with a lot of Colonel Fitzwilliam by the sound of it, which I know will please a lot of people. Meryton Press are also offering a giveaway to accompany the blog tour. Read on for an excerpt of Determination and details on how to enter to win an ebook.

Book cover: Determination by C P Odom
Book Description

“Love at first sight” was, in the considered opinion of Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, simply a laughable concept, not one that occurred in real life. Certainly not in the life of an experienced man-of-the-world such as himself. 

This was so patently obvious, based on his own experiences and observations, that he had given it little thought. It was, after all, a fanciful concept emanating from the new romantic literature written exclusively for the diversion of the fairer sex. In fact, until he observed the smitten nature of his cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy, he would not have been certain that such an emotion as true, fervent love existed at all. Marriage was a matter of money, social standing, and property, an arrangement far too critical to be influenced by transitory emotional attachments.

But his cousin had become quite besotted with a lovely but quite penniless daughter of a Hertfordshire gentleman and had determined that he must make her his wife. Unfortunately, due to his emotions overcoming his normal good judgement, he had made an incredible botch of his offer of marriage. It should have been a simple affair to accomplish, given his wealth and position, but he had bungled it badly, and Fitzwilliam had dutifully set about trying to untangle the muddled threads of his affections for Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

Then his own world became almost as chaotic when he made the accidental acquaintance of Miss Jane Bennet, Elizabeth’s beloved elder sister. Seized by emotions he would have previously deemed impossible for such a level-headed person as himself, he found himself facing a commander of a regiment of His Majesty’s Dragoons, he faced different but equally substantial obstacles as his cousin. Only a man of true determination would be able to find a path through such impassible, thorny undergrowth.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

A Covenant of Marriage by C P Odom - Blog Tour - Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: A Covenant of Marriage by C P OdomThe blog tour for C P Odom's latest Pride & Prejudice variation, A Covenant of Marriage, stops here today with an excerpt and ebook giveaway! Let's look at the blurb and then I'll share the excerpt with you.

Book cover: A Covenant of Marriage by C P Odom
Book Description

A Covenant of Marriage—legally binding, even for an unwilling bride!

Defined as a formal, solemn, and binding agreement or compact, a covenant is commonly used with regard to relations among nations or as part of a contract. But it can also apply to a marriage as Elizabeth Bennet learns when her father binds her in marriage to a man she dislikes. Against her protests that she cannot be bound against her will, the lady is informed that she lives under her father’s roof and, consequently, is under his control; she is a mere pawn in the proceedings.

With such an inauspicious beginning, how can two people so joined ever make a life together?

* * *

Monday, 15 April 2019

Perilous Siege by CP Odom - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Perilous Siege by C P Odom - Blog Tour
Today I'm welcoming author C P Odom back to the blog with his latest Pride & Prejudice-inspired book Perilous Siege. C P Odom's previous books have been set in Jane Austen's time, and so is this one, though it has a modern element too - let's have a look at the blurb and then I'll hand over to the author for him to introduce a lovely, long excerpt.  There's also a chance to win a copy of the book! Read on for more details.

Book Cover: Perilous Siege by C P Odom
Perilous Siege Book Description

What is the Siege Perilous, and how does it affect the lives of everyone in the Regency universe of Pride & Prejudice?

When a man dressed in bizarre attire suddenly appears in a field on his Pemberley estate, Fitzwilliam Darcy has little inkling of the many and startling changes this man’s strange arrival will have on his life, his family’s lives, and indeed, his whole world.

Mysteriously sent to the Regency world of Pride and Prejudice, this refugee from a future Armageddon is befriended by Darcy. How will the presence of Major Edward McDunn influence the events of Jane Austen’s signature work, especially the tangled courtship between Darcy and the complex and endearing Elizabeth Bennet?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Winner - Pride, Prejudice & Secrets

Book cover: Pride, Prejudice & Secrets by C P Odom
A winner has been selected at random for the ebook of 'Pride, Prejudice & Secrets' by C P Odom. Thank you to the author for his guest post, Meryton Press for the giveaway and Jakki from Leatherbound Reviews for arranging the blog tour. Without further ado, the winner is:

RS

Since no contact details were left with the entry, please can you contact me with an email address by end of the day on Saturday, RS? You can contact me through the details here. If I don't hear anything I'll choose another winner on Sunday. Thank you to all commenters :)

If you would like to enter other giveaways for this book, both paperback and ebook copies are up for grabs on other legs of the blog tour:

 4 Jan: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
 5 Jan: Review at Margie's Must Reads
 6 Jan: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
 7 Jan: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
 8 Jan: Review at Wings of Paper
10 Jan: Review at The Calico Critic 
11 Jan: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen 
12 Jan: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
13 Jan: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
14 Jan: Author Interview at Wings of Paper
15 Jan: Excerpt & Giveaway at Everything Books & Authors 
18 Jan: Review at The Delighted Reader
19 Jan: Guest Post at More Agreeably Engaged

But if you really can't wait, the good news is that 'Pride, Prejudice & Secrets' is now available to buy - you can buy it from Amazon US, UK, and very likely other Amazon sites too!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Pride, Prejudice & Secrets by C P Odom - Blog Tour - Guest Post and Giveaway

Today the 'Pride, Prejudice & Secrets' blog tour makes a stop here and I am welcoming author C P Odom, who has a guest post for us, and a chance to win an ebook of Pride, Prejudice & Secrets. I will start off by whetting your appetite for the new book by sharing the blurb with you...

Book Cover - Pride, Prejudice & Secrets by C P Odom
“Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.”
Jane Austen

It is always the completely unforeseen events that lead to the most unexpected consequences, and such is the case in this variation on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. One of the crucial points in Austen’s novel is Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s fiery and passionate refusal and denunciation of the equally passionate but infinitely more repressed Fitzwilliam Darcy. 

What might eventuate if the robustly healthy Elizabeth falls prey to illness for almost the first time in her life just when Darcy comes to call? Bemused by her illness, she hardly comprehends what Darcy is asking, and her simple nod of acknowledgment is misinterpreted as acceptance of his suit by a joyous Darcy. 

By the time Elizabeth regains her health, it seems that every one of her acquaintance and many outside of it accept that she has become engaged to the last man in the world she would ever have considered marrying. Can she openly demand her engagement to the amorous but prideful Darcy be broken, a course fraught with hazards in the social milieu of Regency England? In a maelstrom of confusion, choices have to be made and disclosures closely considered. Elizabeth knows that nothing in her life will ever be the same, and the consequences will likely spread further than she can imagine.

Sounds like a really juicy read, doesn't it! Without further ado, I will pass over to the author of the book, C P Odom so we can learn a little bit more about how he ended up writing Austenesque books.

* * *

Book Cover - A Most Civil Proposal by C P Odom
One of the questions I am asked most often is what it is like to be one of the few male authors in the Austenesque genre, and the answer, a simple, straightforward answer, is that it hasn’t really been an issue.  The overwhelmingly female readers of my fan fiction efforts, starting with A Most Civil Proposal in 2005, have been very nice, gracious, and rather complimentary at getting the male perspective.  This has continued since an altered and edited AMCP became my first published novel in 2013, followed by Consequences in 2014.  

Book Cover - Consequences by C P Odom
Actually, I got more raised eyebrows and flat open-mouthed stares of astonishment from my male friends than my female readers—but that’s okay.  I kind of like being able to shock my guy friends—it’s good for their assumptions to rock their cages!

A more difficult question is how I drifted into the Jane Austen world rather than trying to publish in the science fiction or historical fiction arenas, which have formed the bulk of my reading over the years (not that I completely neglected other areas, such as histories, mysteries, techno-thrillers (a la Tom Clancy and others), and a sampling of the classics).  I didn’t have too many opportunities to visit the library when I was growing up, since it was a long way away, we only had one car, which my father took to work, and the rest of the family, while they certainly read books on occasion, did not read as compulsively as I did.  In my early teens, I mowed yards during the summer (at $3.00 a yard) in order to be able to buy the thirty-five cent paperback science fiction books on the turning stands at the grocery stores and drug stores.  For you younger reader, you’re probably wondering what this old dinosaur is talking about (I just turned 67, by the way), but that’s the way it was growing up in Oklahoma City in the late 1950’s.  Actually, it was a transitional time, and paperback books made reading much more available to the general public than ever before.  I still have a lot of those old paperback books, and the covers are a colorful and vibrant art form in and of themselves.  My wife wonders why I have three or four copies of favorite old books, and it’s because I love the covers and how they changed as newer editions were published.


Anyway, I digress and, to get back to the question of whether I’m writing in the right genre, I will admit that it came as kind of a surprise to me also.  I was an engineer for thirty-five years before retiring in 2011, a football player and Marine before that, and now I have three novels published (soon-to-be three, at least).  And all three are in the genre one of my fellow engineers refers to as “chick lit.”  (Of course, he also felt compelled to purchase and read AMCP because of the years we worked together, and he rather stunned me when he told me later that he enjoyed it and when was my next book coming out!  People continually will surprise you.)  Anyway, after I finally read Pride and Prejudice when I was going through my late wife’s books and decided I owed it to her to read one of her favorite books.  I enjoyed it so much I rented and watched two P&P mini-series, after which I discovered several Austen fan fiction sites and read a number of well-written stories.  Somewhere in there I came up with the idea of what became AMCP and started to write.  That took a rather long time—about three times as it would today—with all kinds of starts, stops, ripping out large chunks of text, and generally making every mistake a first-time author makes.  I had some experience in actually generating readable text from my engineering work, but I’m not sure how much generating project proposals, user manuals, and training guides prepares one for writing fiction.  So there is a nutshell is how I came to be invited to post here today.


Book Cover - Pride, Prejudice & Secrets by C P Odom
Now, on to my new book, Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets, which is, like my previous two efforts, a variation on P&P.  I’ve read Austen’s other books (truth time:  I couldn’t finish Mansfield Park – I had to skip to the end to see how it came out), but somehow I keep coming back to P&P.  Part of that is because I like it best of all Austen’s books, but something in it calls to me, and my plot bunnies all seem to go back to it (including a prospective new book that is partway between the science fiction/fantasy arena and Jane’s world.  I’ll have to see if that one every gets written).  I had some familiarity with the time period, both because of my interest in history and my reading of several naval historical fiction series (C. S. Forester and Patrick O’Brien, among others), so I wasn’t as confused by the different social customs as I might have been.  In fact, I think that the civility, manners, and politeness which are so much a part of Austen’s world is one of the most compelling attractions to me, since it seems like such behavior has all but disappeared from our present culture.  Present company excepted, of course, which is another reason I like to hang out here.  In my completely dispassionate opinion, whoever invented the phrase “Let it all hang out!” (defined as “Be totally candid in expressing feelings and opinions; hold nothing back.”) is a twit, and I’d love the opportunity to tell him so—in the most polite and civil manner, you understand, since we former Marines are well-known for our sensitivity.

Unlike my two previous novels, PP&S is a completely new novel, written last year in the spring and never previously published in any form, either as fan fiction or anything else.  It is also longer than my other books and covers a lot of territory, not only with Darcy and Elizabeth but with several subsidiary characters and subplots.  It’s not like a Tom Clancy omnibus, but it does come in at about 345 pages. In my dedication, I give a tip of the hat to my eldest daughter, Mikaelie, since she was instrumental in providing a rationale for how Elizabeth Bennet might wind up with everyone believing she was engaged to Darcy (including Darcy himself), while our heroine was wondering what elephant just ran over her and disrupted her entire life.  She made an idle comment about not having to worry about the latest health scare since she “doesn’t get sick.”  She says it’s because she always drinks after everyone else and thus keeps her immune system working at high efficiency as it develops antibodies for the illnesses which send we mere mortals to our sickbed.  Ah, the delusions of the young—except that the last time she missed school because of illness appears to have been in the fifth grade, and she’s now in her second year of college!

So Elizabeth, in a blurry and hazy state because she is ill for almost the first time in her life, gives Darcy a nod of acknowledgement when he falls to a knees and simply asks for her hand in marriage.  Before she knows what has happened, Charlotte re-enters the room (having cleverly left in order to give Darcy his opportunity), Darcy informs her of Elizabeth’s acceptance, and Elizabeth falls into a swoon (also a first) and is carried to bed.  I had a bit of fun with the events here as the news sweeps through both the Darcy and Bennet circles faster than Elizabeth could have moved to counter it, even if she had been completely well.  In fact, I had quite a bit of fun both with the main plot and some rather surprising subplots (at least, I hope the reader find them surprising and believable, since I attempted some rather unusual pairings among our characters).

So I’ll bring this post to an end, hoping I’ve whetted your appetite without giving away all the story lines.  On topic to discuss before I go, however, is the title.  My working title when I was writing and editing the book was “Secrets,” since the characters in my novel are virtually forced to be guarded rather than outspoken in what they say.  For example, if Elizabeth does not break the engagement (rather difficult to do in the Regency), then she can never tell Darcy what she thinks of him, both for separating Jane and Bingley and of blasting Wickham’s hopes.  So Darcy thinks Jane is indifferent to Bingley, and Elizabeth doesn’t learn of Wickham’s transgressions against the Darcy family, etc., etc., etc.  In any case, “Secrets” eventually became Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets after my editor pointed out there were more than a dozen novels on Amazon with the title of Secrets, with the only differentiation being the author.  She pleaded for a change of title, and I’ve learned to listen to her advice, so we eventually settled on the new title.  And for those concerned after reading Consequences that I have a morbid element in my psychology, let me assure you that book was a one-off.  There is some inevitable stress and worry in PP&S, but no undue angst.  I hope those who take a chance on this book have a good experience reading it, and I’ll close by thanking Ceri for the opportunity to visit with you.  Happy New Year, everyone!

Author C P Odom
Author Bio - C. P. (Colin) Odom: By training, I’m an engineer, born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma following a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps.  The next thirty-five years was spent as an engineer in Arizona with my first wife, Margaret, where we raised two sons before her untimely death from cancer.  Six years later, I married Jeanine, and we are raising our two girls that we adopted from China.  I have always been a voracious reader and collector of books, and my favorite genres were (and are) science fiction, historical fiction, histories, and, in recent years, reading (and later writing) Jane Austen romantic fiction. This late-developing interest was indirectly stimulated when I read my late wife's beloved Jane Austen books after her passing. 

One thing led to another, and I now have three novels published:  A Most Civil Proposal (2013), Consequences (2014), and Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets (2015).  After retiring from engineering in 2011, I currently live in Chandler, Arizona with my family, two stubbornly untrainable dogs, and a quartet of very strange cats.  My hobbies are reading, woodworking (which helps with bookcases for all those books), college football (no NFL gladiatorial arenas for this citizen!), and Formula One racing (no NASCAR – at least they turn both ways in F1).

You can find out more about C P Odom and his books on Facebook, his Amazon author page, Goodreads author page and his page at Meryton Press

* * *

I'd like to thank C P Odom for the guest post. Funnily enough it tied in with something I'd been thinking just last week, when I looked at a reading challenge which had a list of things to tick off, amongst which was 'Read a book by a female author' and I realised that 95% of the books I read last year were written by females! I read 'Consequences' early on in the year so C P Odom made my very select male authors read in 2014 list! 

Now, would you like read 'Pride, Prejudice & Secrets'? Yes? Me too! Well, the kind people at Meryton Press are giving away an e-book (Kindle or Nook format) to one lucky winner here. To enter, just leave a comment below by the end of Wednesday 14 January. Please leave a way for me to contact you if you should be the lucky winner :) - Please note that this giveaway is now closed - 

Since this is a blog tour, that means there will be other stops, with excerpts, reviews and other chances to win. Here is the schedule:

 4 Jan: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
 5 Jan: Review at Margie's Must Reads
 6 Jan: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
 7 Jan: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
 8 Jan: Review at Wings of Paper
10 Jan: Review at The Calico Critic 
11 Jan: Excerpt & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen 
12 Jan: Guest Post & Giveaway at So Little Time…
13 Jan: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
14 Jan: Author Interview at Wings of Paper
15 Jan: Excerpt & Giveaway at Everything Books & Authors 
18 Jan: Review at The Delighted Reader
19 Jan: Guest Post at More Agreeably Engaged

Edited to add: 'Pride, Prejudice & Secrets' is now available to buy - you can buy it from Amazon USUK, and very likely other Amazon sites too!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Consequences by C P Odom

This is a variation on Pride and Prejudice in two books – the first explores a less happy outcome, which Elizabeth dreams prior to Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford, and the second book looks at what could have happened if she’d prudently accepted his proposal and so doesn’t give him the vehement response that changed his behaviour.

To make sense of this book I think it’s important to appreciate something of the state of affairs in the Bennet finances – Mr Bennet’s estate was entailed on Mr Collins. In the event of his death pretty much everything Mr Bennet owned would revert to Collins, and he could evict the Bennet ladies.  Mrs Bennet would have a minuscule income and would probably have to rely on family such as the Gardiners and the Phillips family to support her and her daughters. The girls could potentially find genteel work but their options were very limited. Jane, Elizabeth and possibly Mary could perhaps have found jobs as governesses, but the younger girls had a poorer education. Ladies could become a paid companion (such as Mrs Jenkins, Anne de Bourgh’s companion) but I think these tended to be widows rather than maidens.

The only way to secure the future of the family after Mr Bennet’s death is for his daughters to marry, preferably all of them, but if just one of them married a man who was rich it would secure the future of all the sisters.  Yet, in Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth spurns not one, but two advantageous proposals. A modern reader can understand and sympathise as to why she does this – she has no respect for Collins and actively dislikes Darcy, but I wonder what somebody reading Pride and Prejudice when it was first published would have thought.  Would they have thought Elizabeth was selfish to have put her own happiness ahead of her family’s security? When Elizabeth tells Jane that she has rejected Darcy’s proposal she asks Jane “You do not blame me, however, for refusing him?” so Elizabeth is certainly aware of the difference it could have made.  She doesn’t seem to feel the same about Collins’ proposal, but that was nowhere near as good a match.

In Book One, C P Odom explores what could have been the consequences of Elizabeth turning down Darcy’s proposal if she’d never met him at Pemberley. Here, Elizabeth gives the scathing refusal that she gives in canon, and events follow the path of Pride and Prejudice until Elizabeth and the Gardiners go to visit Pemberley. Darcy’s horse gets a stone stuck in his hoof, meaning that Darcy arrives later to Pemberley than in Pride and Prejudice, so he doesn’t see Elizabeth. This in turn means that there is no follow up visit to Pemberley, and obviously when Elizabeth gets the letter telling her that Lydia has eloped Darcy is not there to tell, meaning that Lydia is not found in time to prevent lasting damage being done to her sisters’ reputation, leading to them being shunned by Hertfordshire society. This is how bad things get, look at this quote from poor Jane:
“I cannot deceive myself any longer that everyone is good – I have become aware there is indeed evil in the world.”

The story follows on for the next forty or so years, showing what Elizabeth’s life could have become. Obviously, this is not the happiest of stories, but I thought it was an interesting exercise in exploring what could have been. Much of the book deals with happenings that are in Pride and Prejudice anyway, so it doesn’t really start feeling sad until they miss each other at Pemberley. I felt it wasn’t too far-fetched or unkind, although the fate of the Bennets could have been happier. I thought Elizabeth faced adversity courageously and with good humour.

Book Two sees Elizabeth waking from her dream. She doesn’t remember the details, only a vague recollection of some things, but she knows it was a bad dream. Charlotte Collins suspects that Mr Darcy is interested in Elizabeth, and, being a prudent person, she sees all the advantages of it. She works on Lizzy to extract a promise that if he were to propose that Lizzy won’t dismiss it out of hand. She has some interesting arguments in regard to Darcy’s behaviour in Hertfordshire, and his likely reasoning for interfering with Jane and Bingley. Charlotte is so persuasive that when Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, although he makes offensive comments regarding her family, she manages to bite back the words of her retort and asks for time to consider.

When she does, she can’t help but think of all the financial advantages her family would receive from the marriage – lifetime security for her mother and her four sisters, and the probability that Jane and Bingley will cross paths again, thus securing the happiness of Elizabeth’s most beloved sister.  Lizzy wryly tells Charlotte “It is truly distressing to have such sensible arguments occur to me when I want to ignore them”.

The thing that swings the balance towards accepting Darcy is her vague recollection of the dream, that it could be a terrible mistake to reject him. Elizabeth has also begun to wonder whether she’s judged his character correctly; she’s obviously massively misjudged his feelings towards her at the very least. After considering, Elizabeth decides to act prudently and accept the proposal, politely making it clear that since she is only just aware of his interest she cannot pretend to have the same level of feelings for him that he’s expressed to her.

At first, I wasn’t very keen on this calculating portrayal of Lizzy who sees Darcy as a bit of an improvement project:
“Perhaps she, in time, could soften the harshness of his pride and arrogance.  It would need slow, careful work; his character had been formed over the years, and modifications could not be accomplished overnight. In the meantime, it was essential she not damage his regard for her, for his affection would be the motivation to induce him to change his manner, if such were actually possible.”

In this view I am joined by Jane, who calls Lizzy out on her obstinate view of Mr Darcy as an unpleasant man:
“I would only ask you respond to him in a more kindly and less calculating fashion than was indicated in your letter.”

Go Jane! From Jane Bennet, this is the equivalent of what would be strong disapprobation from anybody else. Luckily, Lizzy makes a conscious effort to improve her attitude, and finds many good sides to Darcy that she never suspected. The Gardiners love him, she finds that he has a sense of humour, and she cannot fail to appreciate his loving behaviour toward his sister. 

I felt a bit sorry for Darcy in this book (as opposed to the first book where I felt very sorry for them both!) because he realises that Lizzy has accepted him solely for prudent motives, and that she finds him lacking.  He has a number of moments when he realises times when he has not done himself justice in her eyes, such as in his behaviour in Hertfordshire, and when he finally hears the lies that Wickham has told about him he then finds out that Lizzy believed him capable of such behaviour. I am pleased to report that there is a lovely happy ending to this book, but it was a little sudden.  I felt the book could have done with a few chapters after they finally had equal feelings so I could revel in it a bit. I think the reader deserved to wallow a bit in happiness at the end of this book to balance out the book overall.

One thing I particularly appreciated about this book was the care taken with the language, as often these books have language that doesn’t fit the setting. There were very few instances throughout the book that jumped out at me, which was refreshing, although Mr Bennet says at one point that Lydia won’t get a cent from him, this was a rare lapse!  Since I knew it had quite a sad first book I started it when I had time to read right through the first half and that approach worked well for me! On the whole, I really enjoyed this book, and I’d recommend it.  I will only add, for the benefit of those who prefer to avoid them, that there are no sex scenes.