Showing posts with label Excerpt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Excerpt. Show all posts

Friday, 26 March 2021

Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Monica Fairview - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m happy to be welcoming author Monica Fairview back to the blog with her latest release, Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variationwhich mixes Pride & Prejudice with some magic! First I’ll share the blurb with you, and then hand over to Monica for a guest post and excerpt from the novel.

Book Cover: Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Monica Fairview
Book Description

A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two magicians who must work together to save the Kingdom. 

Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans. 

But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.

Join the author of ‘Fortune and Felicity’ in this Jane Austen Fantasy Variation, an enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Nine Ladies by Heather Moll - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: Nine Ladies by Heather Moll
I’m really happy to be welcoming Heather Moll back to the blog. Heather has a new Pride & Prejudice variation out! Nine Ladies is a variation featuring time travel. I’ll share the blurb with you and then hand over to Heather for an excerpt from the book. There’s also the opportunity to win an ebook. Read on for more details.

Book Description

The Darcy family has grudgingly kept the secret about the power contained within a nearby stone circle called Nine Ladies. Fitzwilliam Darcy is forced to contend with this secret when a young woman from the future appears at Pemberley. Until the opinionated stranger can return to when she belongs, Darcy is responsible not only for her safety, but also for ensuring that nothing she does threatens Pemberley’s well-being.

Elizabeth Bennet has returned to England to take care of her estranged father, and her life was off track long before she walked into that stone circle at sunset. She quickly discovers that, as a poor and single woman, she’ll have to rely on the arrogant Mr. Darcy. She tries her best to survive in the nineteenth-century until she can return home but, as she and Darcy grow closer, the truth she knows about his and Pemberleys bleak future becomes harder to keep.

How can Darcy and Elizabeth overcome 200 years of differences in this era-spanning love story?

Monday, 25 January 2021

Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again by Elaine Jeremiah - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again by Elaine Jeremiah
I’m happy to be welcoming Elaine Jeremiah back to the blog today. Elaine has joined us with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again. She has an excerpt for us to enjoy, plus she’s also offering a giveaway for two lucky commenters on the post. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Elaine.

Book Description

Little does Elizabeth Bennet think the journey across muddy fields from her home at Longbourn to Netherfield Park will change her life forever. 

But an unexpected encounter with the proud and haughty Mr Darcy leaves her injured and vulnerable. Worse still, she is left alone with him for a significant amount of time. Her reputation at risk, she is forced to make a decision about her future. Now her life will never be the same again.

Can Elizabeth ever be happy? Or will she always loathe Mr Darcy?

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Unexpected Gifts by Maria Grace - Guest Post and Excerpt

Book cover: Unexpected Gifts by Maria Grace
I’m happy to welcome Maria Grace back to Babblings of a Bookworm with a festive offering. Unexpected Gifts is a Pride & Prejudice sequel set at Christmas time. One thing I love about Christmas and the run up to New Year is the feeling of optimism and hope. I am an unabashed optimist and the New Year always seems to me to be a good chance for a fresh start. 

Maria Grace joins us today with an excerpt of Unexpected Gifts, which she will introduce, but first I will share the blurb with you.

Book Description

Yuletide 1814, the Darcys are celebrating their third wedding anniversary and the baby Elizabeth is expecting. Overprotective and perhaps overbearing, Darcy is ready to do anything for Elizabeth’s comfort, including defying the will of his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh who demands their presence to bestow a gift that absolutely cannot wait.

What sort of gift is so urgent it cannot wait for a more auspicious time?

Christmastide 1815, the Darcys hope for a particular sort of joy to bring a close to a dark and difficult season. It only seems fitting that an unexpected—and unwelcome—guest disrupts their small family house party. Could the unexpected gift they bring be the key to the fulfillment of the Darcys’ most heartfelt desires?

Friday, 11 December 2020

Plots, Ploys, and the Art of Matchmaking by Sarah Courtney - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Plots, Ploys, and the Art of Matchmaking by Sarah Courtney
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Sarah Courtney back to the blog with a post about her new book, a Pride & Prejudice variation called Plots, Ploys, and the Art of Matchmaking. Sarah has brought us a guest post, excerpt and giveaway. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Sarah.

Book Description

When Darcy’s eccentric uncle Lord Matlock arrives in Meryton for a visit with his old friend Mr. Bennet, nobody can escape their mischief. From locked doors to misdirected carriages, Matlock and Bennet wreak havoc on inhabitants of Longbourn and Netherfield alike.

Darcy and Elizabeth fall prey to their relations' schemes more than once, but they firmly resist any matchmaking efforts. Darcy knows his value in the marriage market and has no intention of marrying beneath him. Elizabeth could never marry such a pompous bore. But their pride and prejudice become a lot harder to maintain when they find themselves trapped alone together.

Will Matlock and Bennet succeed in making matches for all of Meryton—except the two stubborn fools they know belong together?

This sweet comedic variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is 73,000 words of mischief and matchmaking.

Monday, 7 December 2020

Port and Proposals by Mark Brownlow - Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Picture of Book: Port & Proposals by Mark Brownlow
Today I’m delighted to be welcoming Mark Brownlow back to the blog with the blog tour for his new book, Port & Proposals. This can be read stand-alone but is a sequel to Cake & Courtship, a book that focuses on Mr Bennet from Pride & Prejudice. Cake & Courtship has the reader accompany Mr Bennet up until Elizabeth goes to Kent, and we spend the rest of the timeline of Pride & Prejudice with him in Port & Proposals.

I’ll share the blurb with you, and then hand over to Mark for a guest post and excerpt from Port & Proposals. He’s also offering an ebook giveaway to a commenter on the post.

Book Description

All Mr Bennet wants to do is read books, eat cake, and study butterflies. But life has other plans for him in this Regency tale of love, regret, and second chances.

Family troubles and a promise to his middle daughter, Mary, force our father of five out of his library to deal with reticent bachelors, stubborn curates, and glib officers. Though his greatest challenge may be to face up to a past he cannot seem to forget.

Mark Brownlow presents a Pride and Prejudice variation full of Mr Bennet's wit and wisdom that plays out against the backdrop of Vols II and III of Jane Austen’s famous novel.

Although a standalone story, Port and Proposals is also the sequel to Brownlow's Cake and Courtship.

Friday, 27 November 2020

A Life Worth Choosing by Anngela Schroeder - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m happy to be welcoming Anngela Schroeder back to the blog with her upcoming Pride & Prejudice variation, A Life Worth Choosing. This book has such a great premise, melding my favourite book, P&P, with one of my favourite Christmas films, It’s a Wonderful Life.

Now, let’s look at the blurb and then hand over to Anngela for a guest post, excerpt and giveaway opportunity.

Book cover: A Life Worth Choosing by Anngela Schroeder
Book Description

“You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.” 

Reeling from the unexpected rejection of his proposal, Fitzwilliam Darcy prepares to quit Hunsford for London but not before he defends himself against Elizabeth Bennet’s accusations. He cannot forgive her harsh words; her assertion Mr. Wickham would have made a better son has cut him to the core.

Suffering an accident while delivering the fated letter, he wakes to a world he does not know—and to those who do not recognize him. With a new life, a different  name, and a fresh chance at winning the woman he loves, Darcy must decide which is A Life Worth Choosing ––the past he remembers or a future he has created for himself.

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Monday, 23 November 2020

Fitzwilliam Darcy Undone by Sue Barr - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: Fitzwilliam Darcy Undone by Sue Barr
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Sue Barr back to the blog with her latest book, Fitzwilliam Darcy Undone. This book is a Pride & Prejudice variation set in a world where magic exists.

First, I’ll share the blurb with you, and then I’ll hand over to Sue for a bit of a saucy excerpt, and a giveaway opportunity.

Book Description 

She’s the outcast in her family…

Elizabeth knows she’s different from the rest of her family. She has visions and strange dreams and sees things others do not. With the advent of the odious Mr. Darcy and his friends from Netherfield Park, as well as the amiable Mr. Wickham of the _____shire Militia, her powers seem to increase and her greatest fear is that she won’t be able to contain them and will be discovered.

He has eight hundred years of tradition to uphold…

No Darcy has married a non-magical woman since arriving on the shores of England with William the Conqueror in 1066.  However, his kind – Miatharans – are dwindling in numbers. Miatharan magic only flows through aristocratic blood lines, so his strange obsession with Miss Elizabeth Bennet is puzzling as she is not of noble blood. Just a country squire’s beautiful daughter who has him slowly becoming undone.

Friday, 16 October 2020

As Only Mr Darcy Can by Laura Hile - Excerpt and Giveaway

Banner - As Only Mr Darcy Can by Laura Hile
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Laura Hile back to Babblings of a Bookworm with her newest book, As Only Mr Darcy Can. Laura is visiting us with a delightful excerpt for you to enjoy plus an ebook giveaway for one of you. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Laura for the excerpt.

Book Description

What a tangled web!

Mr. Darcy’s departure has solved nothing. He loves Elizabeth Bennet as much as ever—and he has left her vulnerable to Wickham’s lies. Why not send her a warning? Anonymously, of course. He must conquer his obsession, yet he must also do something to protect her.

But when Darcy is dunned for a bill of Wickham’s—an old trick—he sends the magistrate’s men with a warrant. Wickham, however, is nowhere to be found. At the same time, a titled lady appears in Hunsford. Why does she look so familiar? What of her pointed interest in Darcy’s sister? Is there anyone who will believe what Darcy suspects?

Elizabeth has her hands full when she comes to Hunsford. Her army-mad youngest sister causes trouble everywhere! What is more, those cryptic Valentines keep arriving. And then there is Mr. Darcy, a man she is determined to dislike. Why must his suspicions about the unknown lady match hers? Sparks fly as she joins forces with him to discover a truth that is both laughable and treacherous.

As for being at odds with Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth’s heart has other ideas. Will a nonsensical demand ruin what has grown up between them?

As Only Mr. Darcy Can is a feel-good Regency romp, featuring all your friends from Pride and Prejudice. Intrigue, romance, and laughter are waiting for you.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Death of a Clergyman by Riana Everly - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Death of a Clergyman by Riana Everly
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Riana Everly back to the blog with her latest book, Death of a Clergyman. Name a clergyman we could do without – why yes, Mr Collins does spring to mind! But how did he die? In this case, not naturally. So we have a mystery on our hands. And who is a serious minded person who would be drawn to looking into this mystery? Why, Miss Mary Bennet! I know that this book will already be drawing some of you in with it being a mystery and having a focus on Mary.

Riana has come here today with my favourite type of guest post, where authors are so kind as to share with us some history that they have gleaned from their research, to save us having to research for ourselves. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Riana, for her guest post, an excerpt from Death of a Clergyman and a giveaway for you.

Book Description

Mary Bennet has always been the quiet sister, the studious and contemplative middle child in a busy family of five. She is not interested in balls and parties, and is only slightly bothered by the arrival of the distant cousin who will one day inherit her father’s estate. But then Mr. Collins is found dead, and Mary’s beloved sister Elizabeth is accused of his murder. Mary knows she must learn whatever she can to prove Elizabeth innocent of this most horrible crime, or her sister might be hanged as a murderess!

Alexander Lyons has made a pleasant life for himself in London, far from his home village in Scotland. He investigates missing documents and unfaithful wives, and earns an honest living. Then one day Mr. Darcy walks into his office, begging him to investigate the murder of Mr. Collins and to prove Elizabeth innocent of the crime. It seems like a straightforward enough case, but Alexander did not count on meeting a rather annoying young woman who seems to be in his way at every turn: Mary Bennet. 

As the case grows more and more complicated, Mary and Alexander cannot stop arguing, and discover that each brings new insight into the case. But as they get close to some answers, will they survive the plans of an evildoer in the midst of quiet Meryton?

Friday, 2 October 2020

Play with Fire by J Marie Croft - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Play with Fire by J Marie Croft
You might well have noticed that quite a few authors and publishers have been putting out novellas lately. I know some people like to get their teeth into a longer read but this year has been such a stressful one that some of us want the escape of reading but don’t have the concentration to take on a longer book! J Marie Croft is visiting us here today with her new Pride & Prejudice novella, Play with Fire to share an excerpt, and Meryton Press are offering to give away an ebook of the story to one of you. Read on for more details!

Book Description

Madness! It was nothing but madness from beginning to end, and Darcy was caught up in it. 

What do occupants of Netherfield Park do on a dreary Saturday while the Bennet sisters are still in residence and they have nothing at all to do? They take a page from Mansfield Park, of course, and decide on a theatrical.


In the process of planning and performing the play, certain participants get more than a little carried away, especially Fitzwilliam Darcy where Elizabeth Bennet is concerned. There might even be a kiss...and a skirmish...leading to a duel.


No one involved in the play had set out with the intention of creating a scandal. None performing in the theatrical began with the aim of ending with blushing faces, or bruised bodies, or blemishes on their reputations.


Blame it on The M├ęsalliance.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Accusing Mr Darcy by Kelly Miller - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour - Accusing Mr Darcy by Kelly Miller
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Kelly Miller back to Babblings of a Bookworm with the blog tour for her her latest book, Accusing Mr Darcy. Isn't that an exciting title?! Who is accusing Mr Darcy and why? Let’s look at the blurb, and then I will hand over to Kelly for an excerpt from the book. There's also an ebook giveaway accompanying the blog tour, details below!

Book Cover - Accusing Mr Darcy by Kelly Miller
Book Description

Could Fitzwilliam Darcy harbour a shocking, sinister secret?

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet count themselves among the many guests of the Kendall family, whose estate lies amidst the picturesque hills, gorges, and rocky slopes of the Peak District in Derbyshire. Elizabeth’s cousin Rose Kendall believes her dashing brother-in-law, Captain James Kendall, is Elizabeth’s ideal match. Rose’s husband, Nicholas, hopes his good friend Darcy—a rich, proud, and taciturn gentleman with a spotless reputation—will fancy one of the other eligible lady guests. 

News of a brutal killing at a neighbouring estate sends a wave of shock through the genial group of friends and family. When one of the Kendalls’ guests is attacked, all of the gentlemen become suspects, but the former Bow Street runner tasked with investigating the crime finds the evidence against Mr. Darcy particularly compelling.

In this romantic mystery, the beloved couple from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice cross paths with a ruthless killer. When faced with dire warnings against Mr. Darcy, will Elizabeth heed them or follow the dictates of her heart?

Friday, 24 July 2020

Adventure Awaits by Virginia Kohl - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Adventure Awaits by Virginia Kohl
I’m pleased to be welcoming a new visitor to the blog today, author Virginia Kohl. Virginia has written two Austeneque books, which unusually are based on Sense & Sensibility. Of all the variations and sequels I have read, I think I’ve probably read the least based on S&S, so I’m really pleased to feature this book today. Adventure Awaits is a story about Margaret Dashwood. Virginia has visited us with an excerpt of the story and there’s also an ebook giveaway for those who get their ebooks from Let’s look at the blurb first.

Book Description

Beautiful, venturesome Margaret Dashwood, known to her family and friends as Daisy, has always dreamed of traveling to exotic locations. With her first Season behind her, those dreams are relegated to the stories she tells her niece.

Alexander Mallard, a handsome young doctor, came to the small village of Delaford straight out of medical school. With the knowledge and desire to help everyone, he soon settles into the life of a country physician.

The day Daisy and Alexander's paths cross, an adventure grander than either ever imagined begins.

Book cover: Adventure Awaits by Virginia Kohl

Friday, 26 June 2020

In Plain Sight by Don Jacobson - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveway

Blog tour: In Plain Sight by Don Jacobson
Today the blog tour for Don Jacobson’s new book, In Plain Sight stops here for the last stop of the tour. Let’s take a look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Don for an excerpt. There’s also a chance to win a copy of the book. Please read on for details!

Book Description

At the end of the day when we are each of us lyin’ flat on our backs, lookin’ at the ceiling, and the vicar is whisperin’ in our ear, the greatest comfort we shall ’ave is to know that we loved well and were well loved in return.”

When Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father slides into an early grave, his son is forced to take on Pemberley’s mantle. Brandy numbs his pain, but Darcy’s worst inclinations run wild. After tragedy rips everything away, he spends years finding his way back: a man redeemed by a woman’s loving understanding.

Elizabeth Bennet is afflicted with a common Regency ailment: observing the world about her but not seeing those beneath her notice. Then a clarifying act shatters the propriety that has denied her heart the transcendent love she craves.

In Plain Sight explores Jane Austen’s eternal love story by flipping social roles on their heads. From their first encounter, Elizabeth Bennet and the convict known as “Smith” must overcome their prejudices and break through their pride. Only then can they share the treasure hidden in plain sight.

Friday, 12 June 2020

So This Is Love by Laura Hile - Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: So This Is Love by Laura Hile
Today I’m excited to be welcoming Laura Hile back to Babblings of a Bookworm with the first blog visit for her new book, So This Is Love. This book focuses on one of my favourite minor characters from Pride & Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas, who is going to take a different path to canon. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll hand over to Laura for a guest post. There’s also an ebook giveaway for one of you!

Book cover: So This Is Love by Laura HileBook Description

“I am not romantic, you know. I never was.”

Newly escaped from a loathsome engagement of convenience, Charlotte Lucas has no interest in romance. More than ever, she is convinced that no man would—or could—love her. As companion to an aging aunt, Charlotte’s new life is as predictable as it is circumspect.

But then she is rescued from a robbery by her uncle’s heir, a masterful man who is disastrously handsome. Why has he remained as a guest in the house? Why is he so determined to draw Charlotte out and make her talk? And what of his invitation to visit his home by the sea?

Romance is not on the chart for Captain Jack Blunt. Never again will he be played for that kind of fool! He is ashore only to heal from an injury and see to business, nothing more. And yet the pointed disinterest of his cousin’s pert niece is intriguing. She is forthright, refreshingly honest—and altogether lovely.  She will make a fine wife for one of his officers. But not, of course, for him.

So This Is Love is a joyride of a Regency, bringing whirlwind romance and happily-ever-after to Jane Austen’s staid and practical Charlotte Lucas.

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Friday, 5 June 2020

Rebellion at Longbourn by Victoria Kincaid - Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m very happy to be welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to the blog with her latest book, Rebellion at Longbourn. Isn’t that an exciting title?! Victoria joins us with an excerpt and ebook giveaway. Let’s look at the blurb, to get an idea of why there would be rebellion at Longbourn, and then I’ll hand over to Victoria for the excerpt.

Book cover: Rebellion at Longbourn by Victoria Kincaid
Book Description

Elizabeth Bennet’s father died two years ago, and her odious cousin Mr. Collins has taken possession of the Longbourn estate. Although Collins and his wife Charlotte have allowed the Bennet sisters and their mother to continue living at Longbourn, the situation is difficult. Viewing Elizabeth and her sisters as little more than unpaid servants, Collins also mistreats the tenants, spends the estate’s money with abandon, and rejects any suggestions about improving or modernizing Longbourn. After one particularly egregious incident, Elizabeth decides she must organize a covert resistance among her sisters and the tenants, secretly using more modern agricultural methods to help the estate thrive. Her scheme is just getting underway when Mr. Darcy appears in Meryton.

Upon returning from a long international voyage, Darcy is forced to admit he cannot forget his love for Elizabeth. When he learns of the Bennet family’s plight, he hurries to Hertfordshire, hoping he can provide assistance. Sinking into poverty, Elizabeth is further out of Darcy’s reach than ever; still, he cannot help falling even more deeply in love. But what will he do when he discovers her covert rebellion against Longbourn’s rightful owner?   

Falling in love with Mr. Darcy was not part of Elizabeth’s plan, but it cannot be denied.  Darcy struggles to separate his love for her from his abhorrence for deception.  Will their feelings for each other help or hinder the Rebellion at Longbourn?

Monday, 18 May 2020

Margaret of Milton by Elaine Owen - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Margaret of Milton by Elaine Owen
Good morning to you all! Today I have something a little different for you. Regular visitors to this blog will know that as much as I love Austen’s heroes I also love Mrs Gaskell’s John Thornton, from North and South. You can read my review of North & South here, and see other posts on the blog connected with the novel here

North and South is Victorian novel which I feel has many similarities to Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and I love to see that authors are also taking this novel on variations. Elaine Owen has a new North & South variation novel out, Margaret of Milton. She’s visiting here today with a guest post, excerpt and international ebook giveaway. Let’s take a look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Elaine.

Book Description

Margaret Hale loses her father unexpectedly and must marry the man she refused months earlier - the same man who has said he no longer cares for her. At the same time John Thornton is compelled by his sense of honor to offer his name and a home to the woman he believes is in love with another man. How will our couple find their way to happiness and love in a union born of obligation?

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Friday, 15 May 2020

Persuaded to Sail by Jack Caldwell - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Persuaded to Sail by Jack Caldwell
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Jack Caldwell back to Babblings of a Bookworm. Although Pride & Prejudice is my favourite novel by Jane Austen I also love books based on her other novels. My second favourite book of hers (and actually, my second favourite book of all time!) is Persuasion, so I’m very happy to say that Jack has written a sequel to Persuasion, Persuaded to Sail. This book also ties in with some of his other books, The Three Colonels, which I have yet to read, and The Last Adventureof the Scarlet Pimpernel. He’s come here today with an excerpt of Persuaded to Sail, and he’s brought an ebook giveaway too. Without further ado I will hand over to Jack.

* * *

Greetings, everybody. Jack Caldwell here.

Ceri was kind enough to allow me to announce the publication of my latest work, my long-promised sequel to Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion, PERSUADED TO SAIL!
PERSUADED TO SAIL, a sequel to Persuasion and Book Three of Jane Austen’s Fighting Men, is a companion novel to my other novels in this series, THE THREE COLONELS and THE LAST ADVENTURE OF THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. This means that all three books happen at the same time (the 1815 Hundred Days Crisis and the Battle of Waterloo) and many of the characters know each other in my expanded Austenseque universe. The cross-overs include Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice.
Persuaded to Sail, my tenth published novel, stands on its own, but your reading pleasure will be enhanced by including the other books.
So, let’s kick things off. Below is an excerpt. The newly-married Wentworths are to enjoy a honeymoon cruise to Frederick’s posting in Bermuda. Anne gets her first glimpse of HMS Laconia.

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!

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.

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