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Friday, 21 July 2017

Joy Dawn King - Guest Post and Giveaway

Author J. Dawn King
Today I am welcoming one of my favourite blog visitors, author J Dawn King. Joy has brought a conversation piece and giveaway, so channel your inner Lady Catherine de Bourgh; you must have your share of the conversation!

Usually when an author stops by, they are here to share their latest release, however Joy asked if we could play a game. Without further ado, I will pass over to Joy.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

200th Anniversary of Jane Austen's Death - What Jane Means to Me

Jane Austen
Today is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and I wanted to mark the day with a little tribute to her and share with you what Austen and her work means to me. Her sister Cassandra said,
“I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed. She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a part of myself.” 
This is a wonderful tribute from her closest friend. Cassandra had lost a personal treasure and the wider world had also lost a treasure. Austen was only 41 when she died; who knows what else she might have written if she had lived longer. I suppose we will have to be philosophical about it, and instead focus on the positives. Her works – the six major novels, plus the lesser works and juvenilia have given me and hundreds of thousands of others worldwide many hours of enjoyment and enriched our lives. In fact, Austen’s works were actually prescribed reading for former WWI soldiers to soothe them. There is comfort in reading her novels, in a world where everybody knows their place, but there is more to their popularity than just that.

Austen didn’t write about the wider world in which her novels were set, the world news, and she lived in a tumultuous time, with Napoleon marauding across the continent. But that wasn’t what Jane was about, and she was perfectly well aware of that:
‘What should I do with your strong, manly, spirited sketches, full of variety and glow? How could I possibly join them on to the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as produces little effect after much labour?’ – Jane Austen, letter to her brother, 1816
This is one of the things I love about her work – the details are exquisite, the embroidery of the details and humour makes it come alive.

She was criticised by Charlotte Bronte for the lack of passion in her work:
‘She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood’
I love Charlotte Bronte’s work, but I really think she was unfair to Jane here. Not only was Jane forging a path that Charlotte could benefit from in the departure from the norm in the new style of work that she was writing but I find Jane’s books so much more real to me, as they don't have the dark streak and melodrama that are so often found in the works I've read by the Brontes and are things which are thankfully absent from my life.

I was lucky in that I ‘found’ Austen fairly early on in life. Teenage Ceri, in the pre-internet era, was mooching about the house on a rainy day and feeling pretty bored. So I thought I’d read a book. This in itself wasn’t unusual because I read books A LOT.

So, I was perusing my mother’s bookshelves and found a book called ‘Sense and Sensibility’. I was vaguely aware that this was a famous book, and if it was that old and still famous then I reasoned that it was probably quite good, so I read it. Since I always enjoyed quite old books (the Secret Garden, Heidi etc.) the vocabulary wasn’t an obstacle to me, and I found, to my surprise, that not only was it quite good, it was also quite funny. So I embarked upon ‘Pride & Prejudice’. From the first line, my attention was caught and within no time at all I had fallen in love with the book. I found Elizabeth so relatable; she was just like me but with a tall, handsome admirer. What was not to love?! It amazed me then and still amazes me now that Austen was able to write a character that was so timeless, despite the time gap and societal change, Elizabeth was easily accessible to a young person reading the story nearly 200 years later.

I went on to read Austen’s other main works, and her letters, and I found that, as funny and as biting as her humour was in her published works, she was reining it in. The woman had a truly wicked sense of humour. She would without doubt have a place on any fantasy dinner table of mine!

Austen wrote some very quotable quotes. I would just like to share some of my favourites with you. This first one sums up one of the reasons she is my favourite authors. I read for escapism - other people may like gritty realism; they are welcome to it! I want happy endings.
‘Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.’ – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
And this one, which tells me that we have the same idea of how to have a good time!
‘By the bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many douceurs in being a sort of chaperon, for I am put on the sofa near the fire and can drink as much wine as I like.’ – Jane Austen – Letter, 1813.
And this one, which is so true.
‘It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.’ –  Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Austen is not only the writer of my favourite novel, ‘Pride & Prejudice’, but the writer of the most exquisite page of any book I’ve ever read. Captain Wentworth’s letter in ‘Persuasion’ is just perfection. I would like to quote the entire letter in all its glory, but instead, as it is spoilery, I will content myself with:
'You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.' - Jane Austen, Persuasion
So today I’ll spare a thought for Jane Austen, and be thankful for the wonderful works she brought into the world. What is it about Jane’s work that speaks to you? Do you have any favourite quotes that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments and have your share of the conversation.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Miss Darcy's Beaux by Eliza Shearer - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Miss Darcy's Beaux by Eliza ShearerToday I have the pleasure of welcoming new author Eliza Shearer to the blog. Eliza has written a book described as a 'Persuasion', 'Mansfield Park' and 'Pride & Prejudice' continuation which focuses on Miss Georgiana Darcy after the marriage of her brother. The book is already getting excellent reviews so I'm pleased to be able to bring you some insight into the author's feelings towards Miss Darcy, plus an excerpt to whet your appetite to read the book. In addition, Eliza is offering to give away an ebook of 'Miss Darcy's Beaux' to a commenter on this post. Please read on for more details!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Planned Reading for July 2017

Picture of Author Jane Austen, drawn by her sister CassandraAlthough it doesn't feel like July at the time of writing, my calendar assures me that it is so. Happy July to you, my friends. In the UK the kids have 3 more weeks in school so we're not in full summer mode yet. So, what do I have planned for July?  First and foremost, as I'm sure you're aware, the middle of this month is the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, my favourite author. Therefore I hope to have a bit of a Jane-fest, and read some books about her as well as books inspired by her.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds - My Review

Book cover: Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
Recently author Abigail Reynolds visited my blog with a guest post and giveaway of 'Conceit & Concealment', her latest 'Pride & Prejudice' variation. I was provided with copy to read and review, so read on to see what I think of the book and whether I'd recommend adding it to your 'To Be Read' list.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque by Don Jacobson – Character Interview and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Exile - Kitty Bennet and the Belle Epoque by Don Jacobson
Today I’m welcoming Don Jacobson to the blog with my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque’ with a character interview and giveaway. 

This is the second book in the ‘Bennet Wardrobe’ series; ‘The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey’ is Volume 1. I had heard of this series but I didn’t really know what the concept of it was. Let’s start off by explaining a few things!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Joana Starnes Audio and Ebook Winners

Recently Joana Starnes joined us with a post about her recent move into audio books. 'The Falmouth Connection' and 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' are available to buy now and 'The Unthinkable Triangle' is coming soon.

Joana was very kindly giving away audio codes to five commenters on the post, and a choice of her ebooks to two commenters. The winners were chosen using the random number generator on Google and are as follows...

Joana Starnes books
Audio book winners are:

Sophia Rose

Lynn Bischoff


Brenda Webb Bigbee


Ebook winners are:

Priscilla Teh


Congratulations to all of you! I will be in touch as soon as I can.

Thank you so much to everybody who commented on the post, and big thanks to Joana Starnes for the generous giveaway!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Mendacity & Mourning by J L Ashton - Blog Tour - Vignette and Giveaway

Mendacity & Mourning by J L Ashton - Blog Tour
Today the blog tour for J L Ashton's 'Pride & Prejudice' variation, 'Mendacity and Mourning' begins with a stop here at Babblings of a Bookworm. Ms Ashton has visited the blog before with her previous book 'A Searing Acquaintance' and I am very pleased to welcome her back. I have part one of a vignette to share with you, which will be concluded this Friday over at 'More Agreeably Engaged', and there's also a chance to win an ebook of 'Mendacity & Mourning'. Let me share the blurb with you first:

Friday, 16 June 2017

Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds - Giveaway Winner

Book Cover: Conceit and Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
Recently I was joined by one of my favourite authors, Abigail Reynolds with a guest post on angst and 'the black moment' of a story, when hope is at its lowest. Abigail was also giving away an ebook of her latest book, 'Conceit and Concealment' to two lucky commenters on the guest post. The winners, chosen at random using Google random number generator, are....




Congratulations to both of you! I will be in touch. I hope that you both really enjoy this trip to an alternate version of Great Britain :)

Thank you so much to everybody who enjoyed Abigail’s post, and of course, huge thanks to Abigail for visiting Babblings of a Bookworm and kindly offering a giveaway.

If you weren’t lucky this time then you can buy the book at Amazon US / Amazon UK and elsewhere.

US readers, you can enter a giveaway on Goodreads for a paperback of the book!

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Joana Starnes Audio Books - Guest Post and Giveaway

Audio book cover: Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes
Today I'm welcoming the lovely Joana Starnes back to the blog. Joana has recently had some of her books made available in audio format - 'The Falmouth Connection' and 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' are both now available. As I have relatively recently started to listen to audiobooks, this is very good timing! Joana has come here with a guest post and excerpt of 'The Unthinkable Triangle', which is her next book that will be made available to listen to. Joana is also giving away five audio books of the titles currently available, and if you're not ready to move to audio yet, there is something for you too; two commenters will win their choice of Joana Starnes ebook! Read on for more details.

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Lory Lilian - A Man With Faults - Winners

Book cover: A Man With Faults by Lory Lilian
Recently I had the pleasure of being joined by the lovely Lory Lilian, who has recently released a 'Pride & Prejudice'-inspired book, 'A Man With Faults'. Lory brought a guest post about love scenes (waggles eyebrows) which you can read here. Lory was very kindly giving away a choice of one of her e-books to two lucky commenters. I have chosen them using a random number generator, and the winners are....




Congratulations, ladies, I will be in touch to find out which of Lory's books you would like to choose.

Lory Lilian books

Thank you to everybody who commented on Lory's post, and of course, huge thanks to Lory for the giveaway. If you weren't lucky enough to win this time then why not cheer yourself up by buying a Lory Lilian book! They are available on Amazon UK, Amazon US and elsewhere :)

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Cover: Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
As you may know, Abigail Reynolds has a new book out. I love Abigail's stories; she wrote the first Austenesque story I read that completely blew me away ('Mr Darcy's Obsession', if you're curious!), so I am very happy to be able to welcome here today. She has brought a guest post, and an international giveaway. Read on for more details!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Winner - Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks

Book cover: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks
Recently I was joined by debut author Sara Marks for an author interview and excerpt from her book, 'Modern Persuasion'. Sara was offering to give away an ebook of 'Modern Persuasion' to a commenter on the guest post. The winner, chosen at random, is:


Congratulations! Denise, I will be in touch. Thank you so much to everybody who read the post, and commented, and big thanks to Sara for visiting the blog and offering a giveaway. If you are in the US, you might still be able to enter the other giveaway for some knick-knacks and a signed paperback of the book, at the time of posting it has some time left to run. Details are on the guest post.

If you didn't get lucky this time, why not treat yourself to a copy? You can buy the book here:

• Amazon US • Amazon UK • Goodreads •

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Friday, 2 June 2017

Planned Reading for June 2017

Hello my friends! I hope you are well. June is here! I don't know what happened to May but my calendar never lies :) I have two of my favourite authors due to visit in June which I'm very excited about, so I'll tell you about them first of all.

Book cover: Conceit and Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
I have Abigail Reynolds visiting with her new book, Conceit & Concealment where the man for whom disguise of every sort is an abhorrence is ... a spy! This is, by all accounts, an angsty read.

Audio Book Cover: The Falmouth Connection by Joana Starnes, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman
Joana Starnes will be joining us too. She has just moved into the world of audio books. I was lucky enough to win a copy of the audio book of 'The Falmouth Connection', which is the one currently available, but more are expected to go live soon.

There are another couple of blog tours which I'm hoping will stop by this month too, but more news of those anon :)

I had a good month in terms of getting lovely books. I was lucky enough to win a copy of 'The Longbourn Letters' by Rose Servitova. We know from P&P that Mr Bennet corresponds with Mr Collins, and actually enjoys it. In this book, we get a take on what these letters could have been like.

My in-laws went to visit Haworth, which, if you're not familiar, is the home of the Bronte family. They very kindly got me a souvenir, 'Tales of Angria' by Charlotte Bronte, which I understand is a very early work of hers.

The last book I got is by Lucy Worsley, who you might well have heard of, as she's done a number of TV programmes. 'Jane Austen at Home' looks at the houses Austen would have been familiar with, and how they may have influenced her works. I picked this one up at a book talk by Ms Worsley that I went to earlier this week, and even waited around to get it signed.

Book covers: Mr Darcy's Bad Day and For Pemberley by Christie Capps
My good month continued with another win. Have you heard of Christie Capps? I'd seen rave reviews from some of my reading chums and wondered about her work. Well, it turns out it's a pseudonym, of another JAFF writer, and I was lucky enough to win two of her ebooks from the reveal post at 'From Pemberley to Milton'.

As for what I plan to read, well, as you probably know, we're fast approaching the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, and I'd like to try and read something about her, rather than about her characters.

What do you have planned to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Lory Lilian - A Man with Faults - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: A Man With Faults by Lory LilianToday I have the very great pleasure of welcoming Lory Lilian, the 'Queen of Hot Mush' to the blog. Lory has recently released a new 'Pride & Prejudice' variation, which I understand is an angsty read, 'A Man with Faults'. She's here with a guest post and is also giving away the winner's choice of her ebooks to TWO lucky winners.

Book Blurb

Resentment or love, anger or passion, guilt or hope—which will win?

How does a man with faults and a resentful temper act when the woman he ardently loves fiercely rejects his marriage proposal and accepts no explanation from him? How does he react when she finds him again in London four months later, asks for his help, and places all her hopes in him?

And what does he do if she is in a position to help him in return?

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks - Author Interview and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks

Today I'm joined by Sara Marks, an author who has written as her debut novel an update of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'. To get to know Sara a bit better, I posed her some questions which she was kind enough to answer. Read on for more about Sara's book, 'Modern Persuasion', the author interview and a reader giveaway!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Cover: Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Kate Watson to the blog. Kate has written 'Seeking Mansfield', a book based on 'Mansfield Park'. I re-read the original on its bicentenary a few years ago and sought out some MP-related reads. I found that there wasn't a huge amount of choice so I am always really pleased to see something with a nod to MP.

Kate has joined us with a guest post, and there's a chance to win a copy of the book too. So without further delay, I'll share the book description with you, and then pass over to Kate.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Winner of Melanie Rachel - Courage Rises and Courage Requires Giveaway

Book covers: Courage Rises and Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel
Recently I welcomed Melanie Rachel to the blog with an excerpt of her Pride & Prejudice continuation, 'Courage Rises', and the sequel to that, 'Courage Requires'. Melanie was kindly offering to give away the winner's choice of either book to a commenter on her guest post. A winner was selected at random, and that person is...

J W Garrett

Congratulations to you, Jeanne! I will be in touch.

Thank you so much to everybody who visited the guest post, and especially to those who left comments.

Both of these books are available to buy now! Amazon UK / Amazon US

Monday, 8 May 2017

Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Melanie Rachel to the blog. Melanie has written a book picking up at the end of 'Pride & Prejudice' called 'Courage Rises', and she has just released a sequel to this, 'Courage Requires'. Melanie has written us a guest post, which I'm pleased to bring you, and she's also giving away a book to one of you, either the first or the second in the series. I'll hand over to Melanie now for her guest post and an excerpt from each of the books.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Winner - Darcy's Honor by Victoria Kincaid

Book cover: Darcy's Honour by Victoria Kincaid
Recently I was joined by Victoria Kincaid for a guest post and excerpt from her new book, 'Darcy's Honor'. Victoria was very kindly offering to give away a copy of the book in either ebook or paperback to one commenter on her guest post. The lucky winner, chosen at random, is:


Congratulations! I will be in touch. If you were not the lucky winner, there is another giveaway opportunity available on Goodreads.

Alternatively, 'Darcy's Honor' is available to buy now. Go on, treat yourself:
• Amazon UK • Amazon US • Nook •

My thanks to Victoria for the guest post and generous giveaway!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Planned Reading for May 2017

Spring blossom
Hello everybody. It's May! I don't quite know how that happened. Each new month always takes me by surprise, I always seem to feel so busy. I am sure I have told you before but I love the spring. It makes me so happy to see all the plants coming into bloom, and the weather getting warmer. My tree in the back garden has decided that it's springtime too. Most days aren't suitable for outdoor reading yet, but we are getting there. I have still been listening to audio books and am currently listening to 'The Secret Garden'. This was a childhood favourite of mine so I'm enjoying it very much, and it's all about a garden coming alive, which of course is what's happening in the wider world so it's quite seasonal reading.

So, what do I have planned this month? well I will tell you :) I have the potential for some extra reading time this week. I'm staffing a polling station as we have local elections here. Now on the one hand of course I want lots of people to come in and vote, but if there is a quiet period I might be able to get some reading done, which would be good. I'll have to make sure my kindle is charged!

Courage Rises and Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel
I have a few visitors to the blog planned in for this month. Firstly, Melanie Rachel will be joining me. Melanie wrote 'Courage Rises', which is a P&P continuation, and she has written a further book in the series, 'Courage Requires', which is already getting excellent reviews.

Book cover: A Man with Faults by Lory Lilian
I will also be welcoming Lory Lilian, with her latest P&P variation, 'A Man With Faults'. In 'Pride & Prejudice', Darcy describes himself thus:

"I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding -- certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost for ever."

Lory's novel looks at how a resentful Darcy might react to a plea for help from Elizabeth to find her sister in London. This is another book that is being really well-received so far :)

Book Cover: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks
Late in the month, I'm expecting Sara Marks to drop in. Sara is an author that's new to me. She has written a book called 'Modern Persuasion', which moves Austen's story to the modern day, in the world of publishing. The book is coming out at the end of the month.

Book Cover: Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley
Also at the end of the month I am off to a talk. As this year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death there are some additional events planned. Historian Lucy Worsley is touring to promote her new book, 'Jane Austen at Home', and the tour is coming near enough for me to go. I bought a ticket that includes a copy of the book, which looks pretty gorgeous.

As for what I plan to read, I am hoping to do some catching up on books that people have kindly given me for review. I have unfortunately got quite a stack, both physical and electronic. Whenever people give me books I have every intention of reading them, but if I don't manage to get to them they slip further and further down the pile and then I forget about them, so I'd like to read a few of those.

What do you have planned for May? Is it outdoor reading season for you yet? Have you read anything recently that you'd really recommend? Let us know in the comments :)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Darcy's Honour by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Darcy's Honor by Victoria Kincaid
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to the blog to celebrate the recent release of her latest book, 'Darcy's Honor'. She has brought with her a guest post about the concept of honour in relation to Mr Darcy, an excerpt of the book, and she is offering an international giveaway, paperback or ebook, for one lucky commenter here. Read on for more details!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Blog Tour: My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley by Linda Beutler - Vignette and Giveaway

Blog Tour: My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley by Linda Beutler
 Today I have the pleasure of hosting the last stop on the blog tour for Linda Beutler's latest book, 'My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley'. I had the pleasure of hosting the cover reveal, which I shared with the lovely Rita of the 'From Pemberley to Milton' blog. The reason that there was a joint cover reveal is that both the front and back covers have a story to tell. To finish the tour off nicely, this last stop has a lovely vignette that refers to the item on the back cover of the book, the infamous wine container. This is a real item that was lotteried off. You can read more about it on one of Linda's previous posts. Now, firstly I'll share the book blurb and then I'll hand over to Linda for her vignette. There is also a giveaway associated with this post - see below for details!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Mistress by Sophie Turner - Giveaway Winner

A little while ago I was joined by Sophie Turner, for a guest post about horses and an excerpt of her new book, 'Mistress'. Sophie was very kindly offering to give away an e-book copy to two commenters on the post. The randomly selected winners are:

Book cover: Mistress by Sophie Turner
Sophia Rose

Edited to choose another winner as one of the winners didn't get back in touch :( Congratulations to both winners.

Thank you so much to Sophie for her guest post and giveaway!

If you were not lucky enough to win a copy of the book in the blog tour, you can buy it now. Treat yourself, you deserve it :)

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Darcy Monologues - Spotlight on Caitlin Williams, Review and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Darcy Monologues, Edited by Christina Boyd
The blog tour for 'The Darcy Monologues' drops by today. This book features short stories from fifteen fantastic authors: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams. Phew! I see some excellent authors in there! The collection has been brought together and edited by Christina Boyd. The stories can be Regency or modern but what each story has in common is that they are from Mr Darcy's point of view.

The very first story in the anthology, 'Death of a Batchelor', is by Caitlin Williams, author of 'Ardently' and 'The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet', and we have a focus on her here today with a fangirl post by author of 'Suddenly Mrs Darcy' and 'The Elizabeth Papers', Jenetta James, who is also a contributing author to 'The Darcy Monologues'. To accompany the blog tour there is an international giveaway, with fantastic prizes for two winners.

I'll start by sharing the anthology blurb and then we'll have Jenetta's fangirl post and an interview with Caitlin Williams. If you are not too tired by then, my review of the anthology follows, plus a chance to enter the amazing giveaway!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Planned Reading for April 2017

Hello to you all! It's starting to feel like springtime here. I love the spring. I have some spring cleaning to do though, which I am not so fond of! Reading-wise, I haven't been feeling it lately, I never seem to have time or mental energy for it. I have been listening to quite a bit in the way of audio books though. I plug my phone into the car and it makes for a very enjoyable commute! I have also been listening to the books while doing housework and on lunchtime walks. The only problem I have is that I don't think I'll be able to listen to anything new, as I am doing something while I'm listening. On a reread your attention doesn't have to be 100%. But even so, I have some JAFF to read so I am thinking that I'll have to avoid JAFF audio books so I don't overlap the stories. It makes it tricky to decide what to listen to.
Book cover: Audio cover of The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
Last month I listened to 'Cotillion', by Georgette Heyer, and 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen and I'm currently listening to The Grand Sophy' by Heyer. I've read all of these many times so they have been very enjoyable to listen to. Do you have any audio book suggestions for me? I don't have a subscription, but if I can get them relatively cheap on kindle and upgrade to audio they are not too expensive.

Book Cover: Marvel Version of Emma by Jane Austen - Graphic Novel
I have also had some new acquisitions to add to the bookcase, courtesy of Mother's Day here in the UK. I have a Marvel version of 'Emma'. This is a graphic novel. I previously read a Manga version of 'Emma' so it'll be interesting to see how this compares.

Book cover: The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne
I also have a copy of Paula Byrne's 'The Real Jane Austen; A Life in Small Things'. This is a book about Austen's life, focussing on the small things which may have had significant impact on her writing.

Book cover: Illustrated Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen with Illustrations by Hugh Thomson
One thing I wanted for my bookcase were some illustrated novels. I was lucky enough to get two. Firstly, an illustrated 'Pride & Prejudice'. This is quite a large book, the same kind of size as an annual. The illustrations inside are copies of Hugh Thomson's 1894 pictures, though they have bee coloured for this version.

Book cover: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen with Illustrations by Hugh Thomson
The second illustrated book is a vintage one, a 1924 'Sense & Sensibility', also with illustrations by the same author.

So, now onto the reading for this month. Well, aside from all the catching up I have to do on planned reading that I hadn't managed, which is an albatross around my neck that is getting bigger and bigger, I am planning on reading some things which have come to me as part of the perks of blogging. Yes, that's right, books which haven't yet been released. I have two books to read that I'm very excited about.

The Darcy Monologues
The first one is called 'The Darcy Monologues', an anthology by some wonderful authors. I have read books by pretty much every contributing author to this anthology, and had many enjoyable reading hours courtesy of them. The stories in the anthology range in era, however, what they all have in common is that they are from Darcy's point of view. I'll share my review with you later this month as part of the blog tour but it's not available to buy until May. There is a fantastic prize package, open internationally which a lucky reader can win so please check back here for that. There is also a prize draw open as part of the cover reveal celebrations which you can enter by joining in the fun at one of the blogs that took part.

Book cover: The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A Flynn
The other book I have to read is a story by Kathleen A Flynn called 'The Jane Austen Project' (not to be confused with 'The Austen Project' books, which saw some famous authors like Alexander McCall Smith and Val McDermid create contemporary versions of Jane Austen's works). This book is also available to buy in May. This story sounds very interesting; two researchers are sent back in time to try to get hold of a suspected undiscovered Austen manuscript. Let's hope they can save her letters from Cassandra's destruction too! And take a photo, so we know that our upcoming £10 notes are accurate :)

I noticed something that I wanted to tell US-based readers about; Meryton Press is having a wonderful giveaway for you. Go and take a look (after you finish reading my post of course!).

So, that turned out to be a lot to tell you about! Kudos to you if you made it to the end. Remember, you can still enter to win an e-book of Sophie Turner's P&P variation, 'Mistress' here. Let me know what you're planning on reading in the comments, and if you have any audio book recommendations that won't make me crash my car then let me know those too! Happy reading, my friends!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Mistress by Sophie Turner - Guest Post and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Mistress by Sophie Turner
I am very pleased to be welcoming Sophie Turner to the blog again today. Sophie has visited previously with her series of books which starts with a sequel to 'Pride & Prejudice'. 'The Constant Love' series has two books currently available, but Sophie's latest book is a stand-alone volume. Again, it's a sequel of sorts to 'Pride & Prejudice' in that it takes place after that timeframe, but here Elizabeth and Darcy didn't marry. Instead she married another. Meeting up some years later, Darcy thinks hopefully of a second chance at happiness, but Elizabeth is by no means keen to marry again.

Let me share the blurb with you, and then we can move on to a guest post that Sophie Turner has for us to enjoy. There is also a giveaway opportunity; 2 ebooks of 'Mistress' are available for you to win. Read on for more details!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Caroline, Pride & Prejudice Continued, Book One by Sue Barr - Blog Tour - Vignette and Giveaway

Caroline, Pride & Prejudice Continued, Book One by Sue Barr - Blog Tour Today I have the pleasure of hosting a stop on the blog tour for Sue Barr's 'Caroline, Pride & Prejudice Continued… Book One'. This story takes a look at what Miss Bingley may have done after realising that Mr Darcy, her brightest hope for an excellent marriage, was lost to her. I know Miss Bingley is often cast as a villain, but canon Miss Bingley. although a bit of a social climber, actually wasn't that bad, so I'm interested to see what treatment she gets in this story.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Front Cover Reveal - My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley by Linda Beutler

Cover Reveal: My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley by Linda BeutlerToday I have the honour of joining one of my favourite bloggers in sharing with you the cover of Linda Beutler's upcoming new story, 'My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley'. I'll be sharing the front cover, and Rita, of 'From Pemberley to Milton' will be sharing the back cover.

I am pleased to be able to bring you news of Linda's new story. She's visited the blog before, as the author of 'The Red Chrysanthemum', 'Longbourn to London', 'A Will of Iron' and as a contributing author to the 'Sunkissed: Effusions of Summer' anthology.

Firstly, let me whet your appetite by telling you a little bit more about the premise of this story...

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Planned Reading for March 2017

Well you would be forgiven for thinking that I'd been abducted by aliens lately, for how much I've blogged. I've just been so busy in work that I end up flopping on the sofa of an evening. This month looks similarly busy, but I have to use up some annual leave so I need to make sure that I keep some time for myself rather than doing 'useful' things.

Luscious bookcase, keeper of dreams
We've been sorting out the house and got some new furniture in the last month. Feast your eyes on this bad boy!

I have a bookworm confession... due to space my poor books are all upstairs, squirreled away in cupboards. It's not fitting. This is the first really nice, tidy bookshelf I think I've ever had!

Bookcase livestock
I don't have all my books on it; I have my physical TBR pile, and some favourites, but there are gaps too, maybe too many gaps if you start finding livestock on there!

Pride & Prejudice Play Programme
In February I had the treat of going to see 'Pride & Prejudice' on stage. I really enjoyed it, although I think the story needs a longer piece to do it justice really. Without the gradual unfolding of Darcy falling in love and then, much later, Lizzy falling in love you couldn't quite feel it the same. Darcy came across as quite grumpy in this version too! One thing I hadn't expected was just how funny it was. It played up the comedic potential of Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins wonderfully. In fact, Mrs Bennet was my favourite. My mum favoured Mr Bennet, who was excellent, but not half as funny!

Book cover: Caroline by Sue Barr
Now, onto what March has in store. I am not sure what I plan to read, to be honest, aside from continuing my February reads, but I have a couple of blog tours dropping by, which I hope you'll come back to enjoy. First up is a story focusing on the foil to Elizabeth Bennet. Caroline by Sue Barr looks at what Miss Bingley might've done after her brightest hope for a good match got married to somebody else.

Book cover: The Mistress by Sophie Turner
Also visiting will be the blog tour for Sophie Turner's 'The Mistress'. This takes place after the original setting of P&P. Here, Elizabeth turns down Mr Darcy's offer of marriage and instead marries elsewhere. Some years later a widowed Elizabeth meets Mr Darcy again. She has vowed never to marry again, but can he convince her that to become the mistress of Pemberley would be something?

Book cover: Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters A Family Record
If you'd like to join in a group read this month, the Austenesque TBR Group on Goodreads will be taking on Jane Austen, Her Life and Letters: A Family Record. This book was written by relatives of Austen, so should provide a different perspective (sanitised perhaps, or maybe more personal?). It's a lovely group and they are very welcoming, so join in if you'd like.

What do you plan to read this month? Please let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Holidays with Jane - Will You Be Mine? - Winner

Book cover: Holidays with Jane - Will You Be Mine?
Recently we were joined by Jessica Grey, one of the contributing authors to the Valentine's Day-themed 'Holidays with Jane - Will You Be Mine?'. Jessica had come here to post about the struggles of making Valentine's Day boxes for two classes of children and adapting 'Sense & Sensibility' for the latest book. You can read Jessica's post here, as well as an excerpt of the book. Jessica was kindly giving away an e-book of 'Holidays with Jane' to two commenters on the guest post. I chose the winners using a random function on Excel, and they are:

Maria & Anji

Ladies, I will be in touch. Congratulations! Thank you to everybody who dropped by to enjoy the guest post and commented and of course huge thanks go to Jessica Grey for the guest post. Remember, if you'd like to read any of the 'Holidays with Jane' series, they are all available to buy on Amazon, and I've noticed that this particular title has been reduced, at least on Amazon UK, so this might be a good time to snaffle it up if you're planning to read it.

Buy links: Amazon USAmazon UK