Showing posts with label Variation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Variation. Show all posts

Monday, 29 March 2021

Five Daughers Out at Once by Jayne Bamber - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

I’m really pleased to welcome Jayne Bamber back to Babblings of a Bookworm with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Five Daughters Out at Once. I love that Jayne comes up with ideas that I haven’t seen anywhere else before and this book is no exception. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Jayne for a guest post.

Book Cover: Five Daughters Out at Once by Jayne Bamber
Book Description

After the untimely death of their parents, Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters are left to make their own way in the world, and the dubious decision to stay at Longbourn until they are forced out leads to chaos and confrontation two years later, when their cousin Mr. Collins comes to claim his inheritance.

Hot on his heels is his noble patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a woman consumed by grief of her own after the loss of her husband and daughter in a terrible fire at her estate, Rosings Park. While her nephew Mr. Darcy is shocked by his aunt’s interest in the five orphaned girls, her niece Georgiana thinks it just the thing to soothe the dowager’s low spirits. Moved by the bonds of sorrow and a shared contempt of Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine offers the Bennet sisters her protection and assistance in society – and what better way to help them than to find them all rich husbands?

Much to her chagrin, Lady Catherine is not the only one to meddle in Meryton’s marriage mart – Richard Fitzwilliam joins her, at leisure to make mischief, Charlotte Lucas, now an heiress in her own right, has a secret of her own, and Georgiana Darcy finds herself inspired to write a novel that will document – and change – the lives of her new friends.

Tensions rise between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy as they both bristle at Lady Catherine’s plans – for very different reasons. Misapprehension and misunderstandings abound and plans go awry as the great lady rents Netherfield Park and hosts a horde of single gentlemen in possession of good fortunes, who must be in want of wives.

Will the Bennet sisters find love and happiness? What other Austen heroes and rakes might appear in the once dull village of Meryton? Will Darcy and Lizzy overcome the obstacles of their own making?

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.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress – Blog Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Book cover: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress
I’m very happy to be welcoming a new visitor to the blog today. Gailie Ruth Caress has published a book called Fearful Symmetry: A Pride & Prejudice Variaion with Quills and Quartos, and the blog tour for the book visits here today. Let’s take a look at the blurb and then we’ll move on to an interview with the author. There’s also a giveaway to accompany the blog tour. Read on for details!

Book Description 

Darcy had never known such a woman, one who could rush into an inferno and emerge as bold and brilliant as burnished brass, bright as any mirror.

Fitzwilliam Darcy had planned to leave Netherfield Park and all thoughts of the enchanting Miss Elizabeth Bennet behind him—until one night when he saw smoke rising from Longbourn and realised she was imperiled.

Elizabeth Bennet found Mr Darcy arrogant and insufferable right up until he became her hero, pulling her and her sister from the fire that devastated their home, and could have claimed both of their lives. Seeing how he put his own life at risk to pull her from the fire, how could she help but change her opinion of him?

Thrown together again in the refuge offered at Netherfield, Darcy and Elizabeth’s unexpected bond gains strength. But disapproval, debts, and doubts all arise when the costs in time and expense involved in rebuilding Longbourn threaten to widen the gulf in standing between Elizabeth and Darcy in the eyes of society. Amidst these perplexities of destruction and decorum, can love’s courage overcome calamity?

Author Gailie Ruth Caress
Author Interview with Gailie Ruth Caress

Thank you for having me here, Ceri! I feel so honored to be invited to come visit for an author interview.

I’ll do my best to be a good guest and behave myself. **Sits and pours some tea** Let me see if I can tackle these good questions on your list!

1. What inspired your Pride and Prejudice variation?

In 2012 when I began to write Fearful Symmetry, I was still actively processing what felt like the rather abrupt end to my carefree youth. My excellent father had passed away from a long and rough battle with cancer just a few years prior, when I was twenty-one years old—very close to Elizabeth Bennet’s age in Pride & Prejudice. In the weeks and months after his death, I graduated college and entered the workforce during the 2009 US economic recession. It was a rough year to say the least, and I felt like I’d had to hurry up and finish becoming a fully-fledged adult very quickly, and without a lot of support or stability. In Fearful Symmetry, the housefire that guts Longbourn in its early chapters similarly catapults Elizabeth out of her idyllic, sheltered life as a young country miss, and she must rise to new responsibilities and open her eyes to a deeper understanding of the real challenges of the world she inhabits. It’s ultimately a coming-of-age tale for her, and it served as a bit of “narrative therapy” for me!

The title of my novel comes from a line in a poem called “The Tyger,” a work pulled from William Blake’s collection called “Songs of Experience,” which he wrote as a counter-themed collection to his “Songs of Innocence.” Fittingly, the journey Elizabeth takes in my novel not only borrows from some of the fiery imagery from “The Tyger” (hello, housefire!), but it also moves her into a brand-new world of experience, and out of the innocence of her halcyon days at Longbourn.

This was a story I would compose in spurts and then set aside—sometimes for years at a time. But there was something healing for me in the experience of writing this new path for Elizabeth. The worlds and characters of Jane Austen feel “safe” to us since they are known and familiar, and I think that sense of safety helped me to gather courage as a writer to explore some of the more difficult parts of my own life within these fictional confines. Because I know, in Elizabeth’s world, I can count on making my way towards a resolution with a happy ending even when my own might be far more uncertain.

I think this form of narrative “therapy” worked; finishing the manuscript for this novel under pandemic lockdown definitely helped me retain some hope for the days to come!

2. Besides Jane Austen, what other books are your favorites and why?

I should start off by saying I’m a long-time fan of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. I also survived my angst in middle school reading Jane Eyre; and then in high school, when I wasn’t working my way through The Lord of the Rings, I was diving into postmodern gothic-inspired works like Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire) and Thomas Harris’s (Silence of the Lambs) novels.

I really loved Gaskell and Brontë’s narrative voices, which convey their leading characters’ keen emotional self-awareness without being cloying. I was fascinated by Tolkien’s world-building. And I was constantly in awe of Rice and Harris’s story craft. Each of their books’ plotlines feel like a rollercoaster! They launch the reader out of their seat with some kind of revelation or action sequence in the very first chapter, then the middle-plot develops a steep and unstable arc of conflict and growth, and finally the whole tale just rolls downhill at a gathering pace towards a breathless ending each time. It’s mesmerizing. Harris in particular knows how to pace his pages, and he never wastes a word.

3. What do you do when you are not reading or writing?

Right now, I am taking care of my two wild little boys, ages five and two, which is my main daily challenge as a mom. You might also find me trying not to fall on my face at Jazzercise class (yes, Jazzercise! I’m a former show-choir kid and musical theatre geek, so I fit right in). Sometimes I sew, bake, help people build websites, and sing. My husband is a pastor in a rural church, so I help organize church events and children’s ministry, gather community resources for folks in the margins, and sometimes lead Bible studies for adults that let me be nerdy in my hermeneutics by pulling in socio-historic and linguistic context for scripture. And that last bit involves me researching, which I also love to do. I’ll be looking to return to the work force in some form or other in 2021, but I’m grateful I could stay home during this terrible pandemic so my whole family could literally survive the virus (since we all had it in November, and it was awful!).

4. Do you have any plans for a second book?

Oh yes, but it’s not a sequel, if that’s what you mean. I’m trying to be secretive about it. I suppose I could tell you that it’s a “crossover” between two of Austen’s works—but I won’t give away which ones! I’m also working on a short story woven out of some side-plot threads I had cut away from Fearful Symmetry. I admit I have a soft spot for gothic tropes, and they’ll appear in this shorter tale featuring a bit of the paranormal. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Thank you so much for having me by to chat today! I really enjoyed this interview!

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I hope you enjoyed this interview, because I certainly did! 

I think all our experiences shape us but some big experiences are like a milestone in our lives that we can see as life changing when we look back, there is us before the event and a different us afterwards. It's amazing to me that Gailie Ruth has weaved her loss into something as creative and lasting as a book.

I am so glad Gailie Ruth told us about her reading habits, too, because that’s something I always find interesting. I have actually read all the books she mentioned, most of them more than once! Big thanks to Kristi from Quills and Quartos for her input to this post 😊

If you are wondering about the poem, I am sure you will recognise it. Here is the first stanza:

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

I am not a big one for poetry, but I love this one, it’s very dramatic! I know it's written by Englishman William Blake but if I read it aloud I go full on Welsh sounding. I think it's something we learn at school here, if we read poetry we all sound like Dylan Thomas!

Author Bio

Gailie Ruth Caress, author of Fearful Symmetry, never dreamed of writing a debut novel in her own pleasure-reading genre when she was a no-nonsense, 4.0-chasing English major who won prizes for her academic essays at Hanover College in her home state of Indiana. Forced to readily adapt after a pivotal loss in early adulthood, she became a dabbler in many forms of expression and relationship-building—from opera and ballroom dance to nonprofit education and mentoring. And yet, she committed mid-Pandemic to the challenge of completing the manuscript of the story that kept her up at night, driven by a need to borrow from the courageous vulnerability of her favorite Jane Austen couple in a landscape transformed by disaster.

Her everyday life continues to hold unexpected adventures. Her two small boys and a duo of sassy tabby cats run wild on the Illinois prairie around a parsonage, where they keep her busy alongside rural community and ministry work with her pastor-husband. Learn more about Gailie Ruth at gailieruthwrites.com.

Book cover: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress
Buy Links

Fearful Symmetry is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It’s also available in audio!

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time 

Quills and Quartos are giving away an ebook of Fearful Symmetry to a commenter on this post. They will choose the winner on 19 March.

If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)


Blog Tour Schedule

Visit the other stops on the blog tour to learn more about Fearful Symmetry.

Blog Tour: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress

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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.’

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?

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.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Fallen by Jessie Lewis - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Fallen by Jessie Lewis
I’m very happy to be welcoming Jessie Lewis back to the blog with the blog tour for her latest Pride & Prejudice variation, Fallen, which is released today. Let’s take a look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Jessie for an excerpt from the book. Quills and Quartos are also offering a giveaway of an ebook of Fallen to a commenter on this blog post. Read on for details.

Book Description

The air was all gone, and coldness overtook her, as though she had fallen into icy water and was sinking into the blackness. Her stomach churned, as it was wont to do these days. He would not marry her. She was ruined.

THE ARRIVAL OF TWO ELIGIBLE GENTLEMEN at Netherfield Park sends ripples of excitement through nearby Meryton. But Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy are not the only additions to the neighbourhood raising eyebrows. An unremarkable cottage in the woods between Netherfield and Meryton also has new tenants. One of them—a lively little girl with an adventurous spirit, a love of the outdoors, and a past shrouded in mystery—draws the notice of more than one local.

ELIZABETH BENNET—YOUNG, INTELLIGENT, and UNFASHIONABLY INDEPENDENT—forms a poor first impression of the haughty Mr Darcy. On closer acquaintance, and against her better judgment, her disgust begins to give way to more tender feelings. Yet standing in the way of any potential romance is the closely guarded history of a certain little girl in a cottage in the woods. Elizabeth might be ready to disclose her hidden affections, but she is about to learn that some things are better kept secret, and some hearts are safer left untouched.

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, 30 November 2020

Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke - Excerpt and UK Giveaway

Book promo picture: Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke
Today I’m happy to be welcoming a new visitor to the blog, Jennifer Duke. Jennifer has written a Pride & Prejudice-inspired book, called Back to the Bonnet.

This book is a Mary Bennet-focussed book which gives her a secret life, including time travel. Sounds pretty wild! Let’s take a look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Jennifer for an excerpt from Back to the Bonnet. Jennifer is also offering a UK ebook giveaway.

Book Description

“Oh really, Miss Mary!” He lowered his voice and leant closer. “Does convention hold you back? You who deny all conventions of time, twisting it from its proper course?”

Matrimony is not a destiny that attracts plain but clever Miss Mary Bennet.

With her family’s fortunes threatened by their own foolish mistakes, deceptive rogues and the inconvenience of male heirs to her family home, the future looks unstable, even bleak. But Mary possesses a secret weapon . . . a bonnet that allows her to travel in time.

In orchestrating events according to her own inclinations, Mary takes an unconventional route to protect her family from ruin. However, she is unprepared for the dark path down which duty and power will lead her.

Excerpt from Volume One, Chapter Twelve - ‘Sermons & Scandals’

Book cover: Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke
    Mr Chamberlayne bowed. Will you do me the honour?”

    Thank you,” I whispered, placing my hand in his. It is most kind of you to ask me when there are so many other women to chuse from.”

    But, my dear, there is no other Miss Mary Bennet.”

    As he led me down the dance, I made a small squeak, unable to hide my surprise.

    What is it? Did I tread on your toe?” he asked, before taking the hands of the lady next to me and turning about with her.

    My sister Lizzy,” I said, when he was opposite me once more. Shes dancing with Mr Darcy.”

    He squinted over at them. What of it?”

    To me, the look shared by Lizzy and Mr Darcy might either betray a mutual desire to partake in a duel or to make straight for Gretna Green. She always said she would never dance with him.”

    Women are always changing their minds about one thing or another,” he said, rolling his eyes. Not at all like men.”

    I glared at him. Lack of obstinacy is hardly a flaw. However, you wont find me being so changeable.”

    Of course not,” he said, smile lines creasing at his eyes. You never change anything, do you?”

I continued in conversation with him at supper and Charlotte came to sit opposite us.

    You surprise me, Miss Mary,” said Chamberlayne. He made to pour me wine but I placed my hand over the glass. I thought you would be an advocate of Mary Wollstonecrafts ideas.

    What I mean is that there are certain roles we adopt in society and certain boundaries within which we navigate that have been established for our own good and to ensure stability.”

    You just want to be careful that a boundary does not become a noose,” he said.

    Whatever do you . . .” my words trailed off as my attention was drawn to Mama who was toasting Janes good fortune with anyone who would clink glasses with her. Her boasts rang out across the room that Jane would soon be engaged to Mr Bingley and that this piece of good fortune would throw the rest of us into the way of other men of wealth. I clutched my cutlery, feeling the heat rise in my cheeks.

    Chamberlayne glanced at her. Can I serve you some chicken, Miss Mary?” he said, spearing a slice from the dish in front of him.

    I ventured to look at Mr Bingley who, thankfully, appeared not to have heard Mama. Mr Darcy, on the other hand, was regarding her with an expression of unconcealed alarm. Lizzy, too, had gone quite red and even whispered to Mama in an attempt to prevent further inappropriate speeches of unfortunate volume.

    I assumed that Lydias cheeks were merely rosy from the amount she had had to drink, rather than from any kind of embarrassment, for she chattered away merrily, holding out her glass to be refilled by an obliging officer.

    It is a most elegant room,” said Charlotte, taking in the high ceilings and fine windows. Mr Bingley has found himself a most charming residence, do not you think?”

    Indeed,” said Chamberlayne, grasping the subject with enthusiasm. Though I admire older buildings. Your house is Elizabethan, is it not, Mary?”

    As I looked up from my plate, I realised that my friends were trying to draw me out of my mortification. It is.”

    A manor built in the traditional E shape, for the queen,” said Charlotte.

    Indeed,” I said, though I like to think of it as an M. It could be an M you know, if seen from another perspective.”

    How whimsical! Is that because of your own name?” asked Chamberlayne.

    No. You see, at the age of six, when a historical book taught me that Queen Elizabeth had had her cousin Mary executed, I considered that, from another angle, the E shape might look like an M. So, in my mind, our house has been M shaped from that time, in solidarity with the unfortunate queen who lost her liberty and her birthright, followed by her head, of course.”

    Chamberlayne laughed. She did try to have Elizabeth assassinated, though.”

    I shrugged.

    When supper was cleared away and people began to get up from their seats and mingle about the room, Mr Bingley tapped his glass with a spoon.

    I should just like to thank you all, once again, for joining me at Netherfield this evening. I for one am having a most agreeable time.” A grin stretched across his face. All there is left for me to wish for is a song. The pianoforte awaits! Whom can we persuade to sing for us?”

    The gathering had quietened to listen to Mr Bingley and the muteness continued in the general tentativeness that is generally felt when no one wishes to push themselves forward as the focus of attention. In the lull, a twittering of laughter could be heard. I looked towards a door which must have led to the small room with the paintings. There was another burst of giggling but louder this time.

    Surely we can prevail upon somebody?” said Mr Bingley.

    Miss Morris, a girl I did not know well, looked frantically about the room, then rushed over to open the door. The doorway framed the room inside like a theatre curtain drawn back to reveal a scene from a licentious play. Mr Denny sat in a too relaxed posture on the chaise longue and Lydia threw her arms about him and kissed him on the lips. Catching sight of their scandalised audience, Mr Denny moved Lydia aside.

    Miss Morris, allow me to explain. I did not know that Miss Lydia was about to—”

    Were meant to be engaged!” wailed Miss Morris as she fled the room to the accompaniment of shocked gasps, piteous comments and accusations.

    Mama had been struck into silence, which was quite something. Papa went white. Lizzy was crying with humiliation and Jane looked close to fainting when Miss Bingley swooped upon her saying, You will get your family out of this house at once. At once, Miss Bennet.”

    Through the doorway I could see the painting of the woman holding the bonnet and the other standing behind. It seemed almost as though they were looking at me, willing me to do something.

    Were going.” Lizzy gripped my arm, frowning at me. Mary, I do not see how you can be smiling at a time like this. We need to leave. Now.”

    Tearing my gaze from the portrait, I looked at Lizzy. Ill get my bonnet.”

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Author Jennifer Duke

Author Bio
 

Jennifer Duke grew up in Basingstoke - a town in Hampshire, England, which Jane Austen visited for shopping and balls when her family lived in the nearby village of Steventon. Loving stories from a very early age and being the second of four sisters, Jennifer delighted in reading stories to her younger siblings.

She went to Bath Spa University to study English Literature with Creative Writing and gained a 2:1, later going on to achieve a distinction for her MA in English Literature at Oxford Brookes University.

She has had many jobs - including coffee barista, trainee English teacher, nursery nurse, nanny, housekeeper and dog walker - but kept returning to writing fiction.

A longstanding love of Jane Austen's novels led to her first published novel Back to the Bonnet.

As well as writing, she is interested in mindfulness, environmental issues and painting. She loves animals, history, art, travel and being out in nature. Currently, she is working on a fantasy novel inspired by ancient art at Chauvet-Pont d'Arc cave in the south of France, a story set 35,000 years ago - a slight change from Regency England! She also has plans to write a post World War Two romance inspired by Jane Eyre.

Back to the Bonnet is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle eBook formats.

You are cordially invited to sign up to Jennifer Duke’s newsletter via her website homepage or contact page.

Website: jennifer-duke.com / Goodreads page / Twitter: @JenniferEDuke / Facebook: @inkwellies / Youtube: Jennifer Duke - author

Book cover: Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke
Buy Links

Back to the Bonnet is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.   

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon Canada  / Amazon Australia / Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time!

Jennifer is running an eBook giveaway for UK residents only (or those who buy their ebooks from Amazon UK, due to gifting restrictions): To enter, visit Jennifer’s author website and sign up to the newsletter, which you can do on the homepage or contact page. Include ‘UK’ in the ‘last name’ box; if you are a UK resident, and you will be automatically entered into the giveaway.

A winner will be selected at random on 12th December and contacted shortly afterwards to arrange the receiving of their free eBook.

Even if you are not based in the UK Jennifer would love for you to sign up for the newsletter, so she can keep in touch with you about future giveaways and offers!

Note about comments:  If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

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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.

Monday, 19 October 2020

Silver Buckles by Grace Gibson - Blog Tour - Guest Post and Giveaway

Blog Tour Graphic - Silver Buckles by Grace Gibson
Today I’m happy to be welcoming a new author to Babblings of a Bookworm from Meryton Press. Grace Gibson has joined us with a guest post as part of the blog tour for her Pride & Prejudice variation book Silver Buckles. Let’s look at the blurb and then I will hand over to Grace for her post.

Book cover - Silver Buckles by Grace Gibson
Book Description

She staggered a great man. He was reeling. She was overwhelmed. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy, standing irritably at the edge of the Meryton assembly, declines to dance with Elizabeth Bennet. In a mood of revulsion, he rejects her without concern of being overheard. Country pretensions are always in need of squashing, and what better way to make clear he would not partner anyone outside his party? However, when he looks over at her, she does not appear humbled at all. She is secretly laughing at him!

Elizabeth is perversely delighted to encounter such an outrageous snob as Mr. Darcy. When he approaches her with a stiff, graceless apology, she coolly brushes him off, believing that, like most annoyances, he will go away when properly snubbed. But no! The man then puts out his hand and, not wishing to create a scene, compels her to stand up with him.

They go through the steps of the dance mutually disdainful and intent upon wounding each other. But by the time the musicians end their tune, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have traded barbs with such accuracy, they are unaccountably amused and engaged. Will this most inconvenient flirtation drive them apart—or, like silver buckles, are they a matched pair?