Follow by Email

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

60 comments:

  1. I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway. tresha_7(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi tresha! Good luck with the giveaway . . . but I don't think you'll need as many tissues with my new novel.

      Delete
    2. Hi Tresha! Thanks for commenting and good luck in the giveaway :)

      Delete
  2. A man after my own heart. I, too, love the variety of covers for the same book.

    You mentioned the perception of your male acquaintances towards your writing. What about your children? How do they feel about old Dad being a JAFF author? I imagine that they are excessively proud of you.

    Congrats on the new release and best wishes for a multitude of sales. See you at the next stop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of the colorful science fiction covers have absolutely nothing to do with the story! Marvelous!

      Both my wife and daughters are interested in my success, but, alas, I appear to be the only Austen aficionado in the family, and they haven't read much in my books.

      Delete
    2. Great question Joy! Thanks for commenting :)

      Delete
  3. I loved the novel 'Consequences' and I am surprised C P Odom is a male! You go Mr Odom! Would love to win an e-book of "Secrets". Cherri T.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Way back when I thought I might someday write something in the science fiction arena, I decided to use my initials as my author tag, and that's why I asked to be published as C.P. Odom. Actually, I would like to thank you for the implied comment about being surprised. If I'm able to write so that it's not blatantly obvious that I'm a guy, I must be doing something right. But Consequences was a one-off, and it's out of my system. I was in kind of an experimental mood when I wrote it, but I'm a "my glass is half-full" kind of guy, so I don't expect to travel that path again.

      Delete
    2. Hi Cherri, thanks for your comment. I remember reading that J K Rowling purposely used her initials rather than her name so that people would assume she was a male author but I guess in the romance genre we would be more likely to assume a female author. Good luck in the giveaway :)

      Delete
  4. I also had a comment from Teresita, who my blog won't allow to comment! I am so sorry Teresita, if I knew how to fix it I would - my blog might not want your comments but I am always happy to receive them! Here is Teresita's comment:

    "Since your blog doesn't want me and it never publishes my comments I will send you mine this way... I love C.P. Odom's stories. I have all the previous ones and I hope I will be able to get this one soon. Please let him know. Thanks in advance!"

    Thanks for your comment Teresita, and good luck in the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And compliments to your persistence, Teresita. I have had a few blogs that didn't want to allow me to post. Being of the left-brained geek persuasion, I eventually figured it out, but it was difficult. I hope you enjoy this book, one way or the other!

      Delete
  5. It sounds wonderful this book, Ceri. I be glad to read it. Mr. Odom is a great Author; his work speaks for him. Thank you to Meryton Press for the opportunity the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Warmisunqu. Good luck with the giveaway, and thanks for the kind words.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Warmisunqu. Good luck in the giveaway!

      Delete
  6. First thing I have to say is this: Colin, you simply MUST write your sci-fi/fantasy P&P story! This particular Jane Austen/sci-fi geek would absolutely love it, I'm pretty sure.

    I, too, have a collection of sci-fi paperbacks with cover illustrations that have nothing to do with the story. They are colourful, though. One artist was called Chris Foss. Do you have any of his covers?

    I haven't read AMCP yet, (on my TBR list) but I thought Consequences was a fantastic book. Tough going at times, plenty of tissues needed, but great nonetheless. So I'm looking forward to Secrets very much and wondering how, given the restraints of the times, we get to our HEA.

    Fingers crossed!

    angmardee(at)hotmail(dot)com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to read a sci-fi/fantasy P&P too Anji! I don't often read sci-fi, but what I have read I've enjoyed as they've been very imaginative.

      Delete
    2. Hi Anji. Actually, I do have some books with Chris Foss art, including one book just of science fiction illustrations. All of the books with his covers are British publications, so I assume Chris hails from there. He seems to be more from the 70s or 80s, and a lot of my paperbacks with the most colorful covers are from the late 50's, 60s, and 70s.

      Keep your fingers crossed on the Austen/fantasy book -- I've got to find time to write, and, despite being retired, I seem quite busy these days.

      Delete
  7. Yes I want to read it especially after loving Colin's other 2 books - any news when a paperback will be available in Canada? because I am saving my amazon vouchers to buy this

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vesper! I'm hoping Colin will be able to answer this question for you. I think some of the other giveaway stops on the blog tour have paperbacks up for grabs so you never know, you may be lucky enough to win a copy :)

      Delete
    2. I found out that the upload just got sent to Amazon and the printer today. The first email from the copy editor at Meryton Press appears to have disappeared somewhere in cyberspace for four or five days. But it'll probably be a couple of weeks before Amazon has any physical copies to sell.

      Delete
  8. Sounds interesting. Hope to win!
    saganchilds(a)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the premise for this book. I hope the Hunsford moment, even though it will be delayed, doesn't put poor Darcy too much through the ringer though. Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for the man! And in this instance he'll be so happy she accepted that the possible rejection later will be all the more painful. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    brendapwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great idea isn't it. I don't know how authors manage to come up with fresh ideas for deviations from Austen's plot, it amazes me!

      Delete
    2. Remember the name of the book, Brenda: Pride, Prejudice, and SECRETS. Don't assume there has to be a Hunsford moment--though if there isn't, then that has ramifications that will ripple through the rest of the story. I just love tweaking just one little thing and then keeping the characters true to Austen's characterization and watching how the changes spread out. Which is a partial answer to Ceri, for how this particular author gets his ideas. Austen provided quite a few moments in P&P where one little twitch can have momentous effects.

      Delete
  10. Thank you for giving us a sneak preview. Love the pic with your furry friends. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My elder daughter was taking the pic, so I was holding her dog for her. I swear those two seem like Siamese twins at times, as she walks around the house telling Frodo (the dog's name; one of our cats is called Pippen) how wonderful he is. But Shooki, the black cat, was just curious and stuck his head into the photo. We've got two dogs and four cats running amok through the Odom household.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for commenting Kneyda :)

      Delete
  11. Sounds like an intresting book. I can't wait to read it! e-mail: heleanna(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Ceri's blog and commenting. Good luck with the giveaway.

      Delete
  12. I'd like very much to read this book! The premises are really engaging! gabrielladiariodipensieripersi(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree, Gabriella, it's a really inventive idea for a variation.

      Delete
    2. I had some fun with not only the main premise but the subplots, so I hope you have fun reading it.

      Delete
  13. Cannot wait for this book. Love your variations of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. One more variation by you, sir, would be a very happy reward. Thank you for your stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Carol.

      Delete
    2. And thank you for your compliments and interest. Happy reading.

      Delete
  14. This book sounds wonderful. Poor Elizabeth when she recovers and findsnherseld married and poor Darcy when he realizes she never meant to accept his proposal. I wonder if there is some comedic aspect to this. It sounds as if there could be. Whether I win a copy or not I will add this book to my TBR shelf. Thank ypi for the giveaway and interview. skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, these poor people! Firstly poor Elizabeth having to deal with an unwanted engagement and then poor Darcy when he realises how she feels/felt about him! Thanks for commenting, Debbie.

      Delete
    2. While I think there are some humorous moments, they are a byproduct and not the main intention. However, since I'm an optimist, the reader may find more humor than I knew I was putting in. Only the reader can decide.

      Delete
  15. I've read your other two works Mr. Odom and loved them. I would love to read this one as well. carterkristina2 (at) gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've only read Consequences so far Tina, but I bought A Most Civil Proposal in a post Christmas ebook splurge, so I'm looking forward to reading that soon, glad to hear it's a good read!

      Delete
    2. Only "Consequences," Ceri? I'm glad you had the fortitude to take on another Odom novel. I assure you that "Consequences" was a one-off; I'm definitely more disposed to happily-ever-after than to doom-and-gloom, and "Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets" reflects that. And thanks for reading my other two novels, Tina. I think you'll enjoy this one also.

      Delete
    3. Although the first part of Consequences was sad, I thought it was also a realistic exploration of what Elizabeth's life could have been if things had gone differently, so it was interesting for that reason. I had also been warned about book one being sad so I had the strategy of starting it when I had a good stretch of reading time so I read straight through book one and into book two in one go! I'd recommend that approach to all angst-weenies :)

      Delete
  16. I am very intrigued by this variation. loved your other books so this is definitley on my TBR! Thank you for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Becky. I hope you enjoy this one as much.

      Delete
  17. I agree Becky, it's a great premise for a variation. Good luck in the giveaway :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is a great insight of how you come to become an Austenesque writer, Colin. I loved reading and learning something new about authors.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Luthien. I'll be stopping by your blog next to respond to comments.

      Cheers, Colin

      Delete
  19. Thanks for sharing about how you got started in writing P&P variations. It's always so interesting to learn more about an author and their thought process and what inspires them to write.

    Thanks for hosting the blog Ceri and for the giveaway! My email address is tdungnvu (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Dung Vu, I always find it interesting to know what's inspired an author to come up with their plots. Thanks for your comment and good luck in the giveaway.

      Delete
  20. I haven't read Mr. Odom's other books, but I think this might be a good one to start with! Also, I've never read any Austen inspired novels written by a man. Might be an interesting change! Thanks for the giveaway.

    newyorkgirl82(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there Maria! I can probably count on one hand the number of Austenesque stories I've read that were written by men. It's one of the things I want to try this year, to read more books by male authors. Good luck in the giveaway :)

      Delete
  21. I have wanted to read Mr. Odom's books for a while now; hopefully this will be my first!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Colin,

    I've read all of your other stories. This one sounds just as intriguing, and I look forward to reading it! I'd also love to win it! ;-)

    GinnaSaisQuoi at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm looking forward to reading it too Ginna. Thanks for your comment and good luck in the giveaway.

      Delete
  23. A book is born! Pride, Prejudice & Secrets by C.P. Odom is now LIVE on #amazon http://t.co/y9Ap6pgqdQ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christina, I added links to the US and UK Amazon sites above.

      Delete