Monday, 4 March 2019

Inspiration by Maria Grace - Guest Post and Excerpt

I'm delighted to be welcoming Maria Grace back to Babblings of a Bookworm to celebrate her latest book. Inspiration is a Pride & Prejudice variation featuring an artist Darcy. I have a lovely long excerpt to share with you, so grab a beverage of your choice and settle in! Let's have the blurb first and then I'll hand over to Maria Grace for the excerpt.

Inspiration by Maria Grace

Book Cover: Inspiration by Maria Grace
Book Description

His muse desires her; she detests him. How will his soul survive?

Gentleman artist Fitzwilliam Darcy had never been able to express himself in words, but with his brushes and paints, he expressed what few men ever could. When his flighty muse abandons him, though, he finds himself staring at blank canvases in a world that has turned bland and cold and grey.

Worried for his friend, Charles Bingley invites Darcy to join him in Hertfordshire, in hopes the picturesque countryside might tempt Darcy's muse to return. The scheme works only too well. His muse returns, with a vengeance, fixated upon the one young woman in the county who utterly detests him.

Will his selfish disdain for the feelings of others drive her and his muse away or can he find a way to please this woman with the power to bring color and feeling back into his world?

* * *

Monday, 18 February 2019

The Most Interesting Man in the World by J L Ashton and Justine Rivard - Blog Tour

Blog Tour - The Most Interesting Man in the World by J L Ashton and Justine Rivard
Today I am welcoming the blog tour for The Most Interesting Man in the World by J L Ashton and Justine Rivard. J L Ashton has been here previously with her earlier books, a modern P&P story, A Searing Acquaintance and the Regency set Mendacity & Mourning, but this is the first opportunity I've had to host Justine Rivard. The ladies have dropped by with a guest post for us about the book plus the chance to enter a giveaway. Let's take a look at the blurb and then I'll hand over to Jan and Justine for a guest post.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Persuasion - Behind the Scenes by Various Authors - Blog Tour

Persuasion - Behind the Scenes by the Austen Authors
Today I am bringing you a post that I'm really excited about for a few reasons. One, the Austen Variations authors have brought out a joint work (woohoo!). Two, it's based on Persuasion! Much as I love P&P, I also love Austen's other works, so I am so pleased to see a new book based on another of her novels. Thirdly, I am welcoming Kara Louise back to the blog, which is always lovely.

Let's have a look at the blurb of Persuasion - Behind the Scenes, and then hand over to Kara Louise for a guest post, including an excerpt. If you read right until the end, you will find that there's a giveaway too!

Book Description

You pierce my soul.

Before Jane Austen wrote that romantic letter from Captain Frederick Wentworth to Anne Elliot, she crafted a masterful story of heartbreak and longing that still resonates with readers today.

But what of those scenes that Jane Austen never wrote?  What Persuasion fan doesn't want to listen in on Anne and Wentworth's first courtship, laugh at the follies and foibles of the Elliot family, sail along on Captain Wentworth's harrowing adventures at sea or attend Wentworth and Anne's wedding.

Twelve authors of Austen-inspired fiction:  Diana Birchall, Marilyn Brant, Jack Caldwell, L.L. Diamond, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Kara Louise, Susan Mason-Milks, Jane Odiwe, C. Allyn Pierson, Mary Lydon Simonsen, and Shannon Winslow collaborated to put this unique collection that fills in "missing" scenes from Austen's classic work, sure to delight any true Persuasion fan.

Guest Post from Kara Louise

I want to thank Ceri for allowing me to visit her blog today to talk share with you about a newly released book, Persuasion ~ Behind the Scenes. This is an anthology of missing scenes from Jane Austen’s novel written by 12 different authors. 

As I pondered what to write about for this post, I began looking closely at Persuasion and realized how conducive it is for writing missing scenes. Why is that? Well, there is a lot of backstory. In fact, the whole initial romance between Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth takes place before the novel begins. How did they meet? What was their love like? What were they like? What was his proposal like? What about when he applied to Sir Walter Elliot for her hand? How was it that Lady Russell was able to persuade Anne to give him up?

There are other backstories, as well. Their cousin, William Elliot, has a backstory that affected his relationship with Anne’s family. What happened? Wentworth’s time at sea has a backstory. There was Charles Musgrove’s proposal to Anne, and Mrs. Smith has a backstory.

In addition to backstories, there are many scenes that are only briefly alluded to, or barely mentioned at all. How did Wentworth hear about his sister and the admiral letting Kellynch? What were his feelings when he went to visit his sister and her husband at Anne’s home? Can we have more details on Anne and Wentworth’s first encounter? How did the engagement come about between Benwick and Louisa? And finally, what about the wedding - and after - for Wentworth and Anne?

As you can see, Persuasion is the perfect novel to be expanded upon.

Now, here is a little teaser of a post I wrote on Wentworth’s reflections as he rode to visit his sister and the admiral at Kellynch. 


Book cover: Persuasion Behind the Scenes by the Austen Variations Authors
“Whoa!” Captain Frederick Wentworth gave a slight tug on the reins, bringing his horse to a stop. He took in a deep breath and his heart began to pound as looked at the crossroads before him.

Taking the road to the left would lead to Taunton, where his brother had served as cleric. How often he took this road when he was visiting Edward. His mouth grew dry as he slowly turned to the right. The road to the right led to Kellynch Hall.

He gave the horse a slight kick and pulled the reins to the right. He did not wish to gallop to Kellynch; he would take it slowly, for the feelings that had resurfaced since discovering his sister and her husband were letting Anne’s home, or at least her former home, had assaulted him with great force.

Has it really been eight years? Wentworth felt as though it was just yesterday that he travelled this road. He knew it well, almost by heart.

As the horse moved slowly along, Wentworth took in the landmarks that were familiar, yet not. There was the gnarly old tree with the large hole in it. He and Anne often commented about the birds or animals that might seek refuge in it. He believed the wise owl would have claimed it as its domain, while Anne thought it would be a perfect respite for a peaceful pair of nesting doves.

The road crossed a dried stream bed, and he recollected how it had flowed with water when he had been here last, after several days of rain. Up ahead and around the curve would be the large tree under which he and Anne sat, shaded by the canopy of leaves.

At the turn in the road he came to abrupt halt. The tree had broken off along the trunk and fallen. Its tangled, lifeless branches were strewn across the meadow, void of any greenery. A few small twigs were sprouting from the trunk where it had split, attempting, so it seemed, to bring life back into it. He surmised it was a useless case.

Will I see her? He shook his head, wondering which he feared more: encountering her again or not seeing her. The family was apparently going to reside in Bath, so most likely he would be spared having to face her. A very familiar sense of regret flooded him, causing an ache that was as fresh as when she first broke off their engagement. In recent years those feelings had gradually diminished as he resolutely pushed them down when they chanced to surface. Until, that is, he received the letter from his sister, informing him about their letting of Kellynch.

Another bend in the road and a slight incline were all that was left before he would have his first view of the manor since leaving these parts in great anguish of soul.  He nudged the horse along, knowing exactly what he would see. The place was etched in his mind, and it held such tender memories as well as heartrending ones.

He shook his head and kicked the horse soundly. Enough of this sentimentality! Miss Anne Elliot has no hold over my heart any longer!

The horse took off in a fierce gallop, as if sensing its rider’s mood, leaving a trail of kicked up dust behind them.

  * * *

Author Bio

Author Kara Louise
Kara Louise began writing Austen inspired stories in 2001 and began publishing them in 2006. She has written sequels, variations, different POV retellings, and modern versions of “Pride and Prejudice.”

She grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles. She and her family moved to Kansas from Los Angeles in 1991, and in September, 2013, she and her husband moved to 5 wooded acres in the St. Louis area to be near their son and his wife. They now have two granddaughters they enjoy spending time with. They also love animals, and have an ever changing number of cats and dogs.

Buy Links

You may have made the decision that you must buy this book immediately. If you have made this decision I will try and help you as best I can. Here are some buy links:

Giveaway Time!

There is a wonderful giveaway accompanying the blog tour. Take a nosey at these prizes!

Lovely prizes

To enter, please use the rafflecopter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Persuasion - Behind the Scenes - Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, 25 January 2019

Through a Different Lens by Riana Everly - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Through a Different Lens by Riana Everly
Today I'm welcoming Riana Everly back to Babblings of a Bookworm. Riana has a new story out , Through A Different Lens, which explores as a variation a concept which I saw mooted as an explanation of Mr Darcy's behaviour some years ago.  Riana brings us a guest post and excerpt, plus an ebook giveaway. I'll share the blurb with you and then hand over to her.

Book Description

A tale of second glances and second chances

Elizabeth Bennet has disliked the aloof and arrogant Mr. Darcy since he insulted her at a village dance several months before. But an unexpected conversation with a startling turn of phrase suddenly causes her to reassess everything she thought she knew about the infuriating and humourless gentleman.

Elizabeth knows something of people who think differently. Her young cousin in London has always been different from his siblings and peers, and Lizzy sees something of this boy’s unusual traits in the stern gentleman from Derbyshire whose presence has plagued her for so long. She approaches him in friendship and the two begin a tentative association. But is Lizzy's new understanding of Mr. Darcy accurate? Or was she right the first time? And will the unwelcome appearance of a nemesis from the past destroy any hopes they might have of happiness?

Warning: This variation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice depicts our hero as having a neurological difference. If you need your hero to be perfect, this might not be the book for you. But if you like adorable children, annoying birds, and wonderful dogs, and are open to a character who struggles to make his way in a world he does not quite comprehend, with a heroine who can see the man behind his challenges, and who celebrates his strengths while supporting his weaknesses, then read on! You, too, can learn what wonders can be found when we see the familiar through a different lens.

This is a full-length novel of about 100,000 words.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post and Giveaway

I'm happy to be welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to Babblings of a Bookworm. She's joining us with an excerpt and giveaway of her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Darcy and Deception. Where's the deception? Spies!!!! Let's have a look at the blurb and I'll hand over to Victoria for her post.

Book Description

Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid
Returning home from Kent, Elizabeth Bennet is still distressed over Mr. Darcy’s insulting marriage proposal.  However, her attention is diverted by the local militia commander who asks her to observe Wickham, now suspected of being a French spy.  Pretending to be besotted with Wickham, Elizabeth accompanies the regiment when they relocate to Brighton.

Darcy arrives at Longbourn with the intention of making amends to Elizabeth, only to discover that she is now at Brighton with Wickham.  Desperate to save her from the scoundrel, Darcy follows her to the seaside, where he hopes to woo her away from the other man. 

Deception piles on top of deception as Elizabeth attempts to carry out her mission without betraying confidences—or breaking Darcy’s heart.  However, the French plot runs deeper than she knows; soon she and Darcy are plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of international espionage.  Can Darcy and Elizabeth escape with their lives and their love intact?

Friday, 18 January 2019

Happier in Her Friends Than Relations by Jayne Bamber - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Happier in Her Friends Than Relations by Jayne Bamber
Today I'm happy to be welcoming debut author Jayne Bamber, who has brought us a very interesting-sounding novel. Happier in Her Friends Than Relations is an Austenesque variation which features characters from both Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. Some of the characters are differently drawn to their canon counterparts, too. Interested? I bet you are :)

Let's have a look at the blurb and then I will hand over to Jayne Bamber for a guest post about her portrayal of Anne de Bourgh. There is also a chance of winning an ebook of Happier in Her Friends Than Relations for a commenter on this post.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

A Very Austen Valentine Story Anthology - Blog Tour

Blog Tour: A Very Austen Valentine
Today the blog tour for A Very Austen Valentine stops by. This is an anthology from the same four authors who brought us A Very Austen Christmas, plus another two authors! I am happy to bring you an author interview from 3 of the authors of the anthology. There's also an opportunity to enter a giveaway to win a copy of A Very Austen Valentine for yourself! Read on for more...

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Winners - Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds
I am so sorry for the delay in bringing you this post! I've been unwell and many things have fallen by the wayside.

Recently I was joined by Abigail Reynolds with an excerpt of her new book, Mr Darcy's Enchantment, which puts the characters from Pride & Prejudice into a world where fairies exist. I am really looking forward to reading this, and hope to get to it very soon.

Abigail was very kindly giving away 2 ebooks of the story to visitors to my blog. I chose the winners using a random number generator, and they were:

Sheila Majczan

Lily Bernard

Sheila, I have contact details for you and will be in touch. Lily, I don't think I have details for you. Please can you contact me by the end of the day on Wednesday 9 January? Otherwise I will have to select another winner. Congratulations to both of our winners.

For those of  you who weren't lucky on this occasion, why not treat yourself to a copy of the book? You are worth it :)

Buy Links

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

Thank you so much to Abigail Reynolds for the giveaway!

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year - and Happy Blog Birthday

Babblings of a Bookworm Blog Birthday Giveaway
Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2019 is full of good things for you - happy times, good health, good wealth and good reading.

It's not only a New Year, but also a new blog year for me. I posted my first ever blog post back in January 2014, making my blog 5 years old this month. If you want to see any of my past posts they are all accessible via the blog archive menu on the right (desktop site only).

To celebrate my blog's birthday, I will be having a little giveaway, but more of that later :)

Sunday, 30 December 2018

My Pick of the Year 2018

Pick of the Year 2018Well the Earth has orbited the Sun another time and we've reached the end of the year. For me, it's been a very busy year in work and at home, with a new job, plus some major building work, which is still not entirely complete (gaaaah!). Unfortunately this has impacted on my mental energy and reading time. I got far less read this year than I'd like, and didn't review everything. However, I still had some good reads, and here is my pick of them.