Monday, 19 November 2018

When Jane Got Angry by Victoria Kincaid - Winner

Book Cover: When Jane Got Angry by Victoria Kincaid
Recently I was joined by Victoria Kincaid who explores an interesting premise in her latest Pride & Prejudice variation. What if perennial nice girl Jane Bennet got angry? You can read an excerpt of Victoria's book, When Jane Got Angry, here.

Victoria was very kindly offering to give away an ebook/paperback of When Jane Got Angry to a commenter on the guest post. I selected a winner using a random number generator. That winner is...

BookLuver88

Congratulations to you! As you very kindly left me contact details I'll drop you a line.

Thanks to everybody who commented, and of course, huge thanks to Victoria for the giveaway.

If you weren't a lucky winner, you could always treat yourself to a copy of the book to cheer yourself up :)

It's available in e-book and paperback - Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

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Monday, 12 November 2018

Twelfth-Night Cake and the Rosings Ghost by Robin Kobayashi - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Twelfth-Night Cake & The Rosings Ghost by Robin Kobayashi
Today I'm welcoming a new visitor to the blog. Robin Kobayashi has written two young adult novellas featuring characters from Pride & Prejudice. This latest story, Twelfth Night Cake and the Rosings Ghost is set in the festive season. Robin has stopped by with an excerpt of the story and the chance to win an ebook! Read on for more details.

Book Description 

In this Christmas novella set in the year 1818, a plucky little girl must contend with a mischievous ghost at Rosings.

Colonel Fitzwilliam and his eight-year-old daughter, Sofia-Elisabete, pass a winter’s month at Rosings, the estate of his aunt, Lady Catherine. There, the Colonel must help his illegitimate child, who is half-British, half-Portuguese, navigate the prejudices of their world as his outspoken daughter clashes with the imperious Lady Catherine.

One evening, on the first day of Christmas, they hear the tale of the mysterious Rosings Ghost who, centuries ago, vexed the inhabitants of Rosings during the twelve days of Christmas. The next morning strange things begin to happen. Why has the Rosings Ghost returned now? Why does a furious Lady Catherine blame Sofia-Elisabete for all of the ghost’s pranks?

Will our girl hero Sofia-Elisabete, with the help of her father, uncover the real secret of the Rosings Ghost and put an end to its tricks?

Guest Post from Robin Elizabeth Kobayashi

I’ve always imagined that there was more to Colonel Fitzwilliam’s story than meets the eye. A key scene in Pride and Prejudice occurs at Rosings, where Elizabeth Bennet is grilling him and making him feel awfully uncomfortable about justifying his life-style choices. Finally, in an effort to cut her off, the colonel says, ‘These are home questions…’

What other choices had he made in his lifetime? And which ones did he regret, particularly those made during a time of war? If he rose to the rank of colonel or lieutenant colonel, he must have seen some military action. So, I placed him in Portugal when Napoleon’s army is about to invade that country for taking sides with England. In Lisbon, he meets a beautiful Portuguese girl, and that’s when Sofia-Elisabete, his illegitimate daughter, is conceived.

Book cover: I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon by Robin Kobayashi
My novel I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon, which is told from Sofia-Elisabete’s point of view, describes in both a humorous and poignant fashion her beginnings as an abandoned foundling, her search for her father and their close relationship when she finds him, and the tragedy that occurs when, at the age of five, she runs away from home to find the perfect world in the moon – a utopia that she believes will cure her father’s bouts with melancholy.

After finishing the novel, I wanted to know what happened to these characters of Sofia-Elisabete and the colonel. Sofia-Elisabete, who is half-Portuguese, Catholic and a love child, is very much an outsider. How does she feel growing up in England during the Regency Era? Her father, who adores her, refuses to hide her in the countryside, to be brought up by strangers.

In my novella Twelfth-Night Cake & the Rosings Ghost, I imagined how the bold and outspoken Sofia-Elisabete would clash with the bold and outspoken Lady Catherine at Rosings. And all this clashing would take place during the Christmas season, a time of peace and goodwill to all people. But the colonel and his daughter aren’t the only two visitors at Rosings. The Rosings Ghost has returned; a ghost that very much enjoys playing pranks! Lady Catherine, who doesn’t believe in the Rosings Ghost, blames Sofia-Elisabete for everything that goes wrong. What’s a young eight-year-old to do?

This past year I’ve been immersed in writing YA historical fiction that appeals to all ages, finishing three novellas about the lovable, strong-willed Sofia-Elisabete and her close relationship with her father, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Twelfth-Night Cake & the Rosings Ghost is the first novella to be released in this series. My sincere thanks to Ceri for helping me launch the Rosings Ghost novella on her site!

Excerpt from Twelfth-Night Cake & the Rosings Ghost

Lady Catherine, who calls Sofia-Elisabete ‘the little brown one’, is making our girl hero eat tasteless gruel as punishment for taking her ladyship’s candy to give to the poor children. Hungry as ever, Sofia-Elisabete gulps down the remains of Anne de Bourgh’s chocolate. She wonders why her color matters. She never thought of herself as a color before. Towards the end of this scene, she questions the colonel about her brown-tinged skin.

Book cover: Twelfth-Night Cake & The Rosings Ghost by Robin Kobayashi
On my third and final day of eating cruel gruel, which is how I dubbed it, I got it into my brain that my own suffering would no longer do. Breakfast over, and no one attending to me, I seized Annie’s cup of chocolate and, quick, quick, quick, I slurped up what remained in it. Now, most mornings after breakfast, Annie would hie to the stable to call on her beloved ponies, Sylvester and Macdougal, and she, being an eccentric, would kiss them and slobber them and talk like a stable boy to them and rub them down with fresh straw. I hear you cry, ‘Surely you are funning?’ I own that I had spied on her the other day. Having burst into giggles at her silliness and stable-boy talk, I was found out and banished from the stable.

Feeling emboldened by my chocolate caper to-day, I sneaked into the stable where I eavesdropped on Annie’s conversation with her ponies. She told them how naughty I had been. She growled like a dog at my ‘gggrruel punishment’ – a wit she is not – and how I needed to be taught a lesson for having done a bad thing, a very bad thing by stealing Lady Catherine’s medicinal drops. ‘She be a bad ’un. A’n’t I right, Sylvester? You knows I am.’ She fed a carrot to her pony.

Well, I never! I waited for Annie to quit the stable, and that’s when I pilfered her prized driving-whip. One of the ponies stamped his hoof in protest. ‘Shush, Macdougal,’ warned I, shaking my finger at him.

The sun in a cloudless sky had begun to melt the thin layer of frost on the ground. I sallied forth to the garden; from there, I bounded down the sloping lawn to reach the meadow land, my very own secret meadow. I pranced about, cracking the long whip – crac crac – again and again and again. I imagined myself atop a gleaming barouche, driving four-in-hand, my team of chocolate unicorns galloping to the great beyond. ‘Gee up! Awhi! Awhi!’ shouted I, mimicking a driver.

Unbeknown to me, papai had sighted me from a window at the manor-house. What a strange scene I must have presented to the servants, leaping about and crac-crac-ing my whip and taking a tumble now and then on the slippery ground. But papai was used to my peculiar ways. He strode out across the brown meadow to join me.

Having heard papai’s approach, I spun round to face him, my countenance flushed with exercise. ‘Papai, I’m driving a barouche and four with chocolate unicorns.’ He slowed his step in a most quizzical manner. ‘Come here, silly gooseberry,’ ordered he with an outstretched hand. But I sensed a trace of trouble on his face. Would he lecture me about my hoydenish ways?

I stepped away from him. With mingled feelings of childish panic and impish glee, I darted off like a hunted hare, doubling and turning. ‘Ha! Ha!’ I, the prey, taunted the hunter. But I was no match for a keen sportsman like my papai, who seized me by the back of my unlucky scarlet cloak and thereafter confiscated the driving-whip, scolding me that it wasn’t a toy and that I could hurt myself or someone or something.

‘Egads!’ He drew back. ‘What’s that big brown stain on the front of your pinafore?’

‘Methinks it’s mud.’ I felt my soiled pinafore.

Papai sniffed. ‘It smells chocolate-y. I wonder how it got there?’

‘I do believe…’ I puzzled my wits together for inspiration, ‘the chocolate unicorn nudged me with his magical horn.’

Papai cast a sceptical look at me. ‘I dare say you’re lying. Did you sneak about and drink chocolate at breakfast?’

It has long been a maxim with imps like me that one must always answer a question with another question to get oneself out of a scrape. And if one is very lucky, the all-knowing grown-up will have forgotten his question by then.

‘Papai, am I as brown as chocolate?’ I peered up at him with the saddest eyes I could muster.

He started at my question. ‘Nay. Your skin is a…lovely, light brown colour – very milky, with a bit of chocolate in it.’

‘Like your milky tea?’

‘Ye-e-e-s,’ faltered he.

‘But you hate milky tea.’

Papai gave a slight grimace, his eyelids crinkling. ‘True. That’s why I sweeten it with sugar.’

‘Am I your sweet little girl?’

‘Quite so.’ Papai tugged at his cravat. ‘You’re my sweet little girl, the colour of very milky tea.’

I sensed his relief, he having summoned up a grin for me. I wondered why my milky tea-ness caused him to fidget. Did my brown-ness vex people for some reason? I thought about people colours – the milky-white young ladies, the scarlet-faced old men, the nut-brown farmers. My wee brain couldn’t make sense of why that sort of thing mattered.

Papai strode through the meadow, his hands clasped behind his back, thinking many a deep thought, for a prodigious thinker he is. I ran alongside him, trying to keep pace with his manly stride. I clasped my hands behind my back likewise to summon up some deep thoughts of my own, as mine were always coming and going whenever they pleased. ‘Papai, I feel a deep thought coming round finally,’ said I with pride. And he laughed at me, wearing those sad, crinkling eyes of his.

About the Author

Author Robin Kobayashi
Robin Elizabeth Kobayashi is a native Californian who has lived in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. When she was twelve, she used to haunt the public library where they had a section of books called “Classic Fiction”. She made it her goal to read all of these books, starting with the A’s (Alcott, Austen), then the B’s (Brontë), but she got stuck on the D’s, because Dickens’ books were just so l-o-o-o-n-g in length. She never did finish her reading challenge. She never did understand Pride and Prejudice at the time; that would come much later. Fast forward several decades. After reading countless JAFF eBooks, many of them superb, she never thought she had a story to tell. Until one day she began to write about a half-Portuguese half-British girl living in the Regency Era. That novel, I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews which also selected the novel as an Indie Best Books of the Month (August 2018). During the day, she works as a senior legal writer and editor for a leading global publisher.

Connect with Robin on Facebook and Goodreads

This novella is available to buy now: 
• Amazon US • Amazon UK •  Barnes & NobleSmashwords • Add to your Goodreads Shelf

Giveaway Time

Book cover: Twelfth-Night Cake & The Rosings Ghost by Robin Kobayashi
Robin is kindly offering to give away 5 ebooks to visitors of Babblings of a Bookworm! To enter, just comment on this blog post before the end of the day on Monday the 19th of November. Please leave a way for me to contact you in case you are a winner.

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Friday, 9 November 2018

When Jane Got Angry by Victoria Kincaid - Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I'm welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to the blog with her latest book, When Jane Got Angry. Victoria is bringing us an excerpt of the book, plus a giveaway to a commenter on this post. Let's read the blurb and then I'll hand over to Victoria.

Book Description

Book cover: When Jane Got Angry by Victoria Kincaid
When Mr. Bingley abruptly left Hertfordshire, Jane Bennet’s heart was broken. Since arriving in London to visit her aunt and uncle, Jane has been hoping to encounter Mr. Bingley; however, it becomes clear that his sister is keeping them apart. But what would happen if she took matters into her own hands? Defying social convention, she sets out to alert Mr. Bingley to her presence in London, hoping to rekindle the sparks of their relationship.

Bingley is thrilled to encounter Jane and renew their acquaintance, but his sister has told him several lies about the Bennets—and his best friend, Mr. Darcy, still opposes any relationship. As Jane and Bingley sort through this web of deceit, they both find it difficult to retain their customary equanimity.

However, they also discover that sometimes good things happen when Jane gets angry.

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Saturday, 27 October 2018

Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond
I'm very pleased to be welcoming L L Diamond back to the blog. As Hallowe'en is nearly upon us, she has brought us a seasonal book... about Christmas! She's here with a post about Unwrapping Mr Darcy, and has also brought us a wonderful giveaway. Let's start with the blurb:

Book Description

Elizabeth Bennet’s first day at Darcy Holdings was turning out to be everything she'd imagined—that is until she met her new boss William Darcy. True, he’s hotter than Hades but he's also rude, abrupt, and stares at her as though she’s committed some grievous sin. If only she could avoid him, but her friends’ not so brilliant ideas keep throwing them together.

William Darcy put his foot in his mouth when he met Elizabeth Bennet! Now, he’s head over heels for her and needs to apologize, but how? The dreaded office Secret Santa draw is a possibility, but would that help or would it only make things worse?

Twenty-five days of gifts? It's creepy and overzealous if you ask Elizabeth. And what’s with this weird reaction she has to Mr. Darcy? He's an ogre, isn't he? But what if her friends are correct and he isn't? Could there be more to him than she assumes? What would happen if she were to take a stab at unwrapping Mr. Darcy?

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Georgiana Darcy by Alice Isakova - Winner

Book cover: Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice by Alice Isakova
We were joined by Alice Isakova who was offering a generous giveaway of 5 ebooks of Georgiana Darcy, A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. You can read Alice's guest post, which includes an excerpt, here.

I selected the winners using a random number generator. As two of the winners selected had won the book elsewhere, the winners are:

Elaine
Dung Vu
J W Garrett
SChilds

Congratulations, ladies! I will get in touch with you ASAP, or if you prefer, you can contact me to tell me if you'd like to claim your prize and the email address you'd like me to pass on to Alice.

If you'd like to read this book it's available to buy now:


Thank you so much to Alice for the guest post and giveaway. All the very best of luck with your book!



Monday, 8 October 2018

Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice by Alice Isakova - Excerpt and Giveaway

Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice by Alice IsakovaToday I'm welcoming a new visitor to the blog. Alice Isakova has written a sequel to Pride & Prejudice, Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. She's come here today with an excerpt and giveaway! Let's read the blurb, and then I'll hand over to Alice.

Book Description

With her temptingly large dowry, the beautiful and talented Georgiana Darcy catches the eye of numerous suitors, not all of whom wish to marry purely for love. As Georgiana navigates the treacherous waters of courtship, her story becomes intertwined with that of Anne de Bourgh, her wealthy but painfully awkward cousin, who stirs up trouble when she sets her sights on a young gentleman with a rank far below her own. In so doing, Anne encounters the opposition of her proud and domineering mother, the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and sets in motion a chain of events that brings a damaging secret to light and threatens to destroy Georgiana's dreams of happiness. Intrigues, gossip, and elopements further complicate Georgiana's efforts to find love and avoid the snares of fortune-hunters.

Written in a sparkling, witty, humorous style on par with Jane Austen's own in Pride and Prejudice, Alice Isakova's Georgiana Darcy continues the tale that has delighted readers for over two centuries.

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Hello readers, and thank you, Ceri, for having me as a guest on your blog. I am really excited to share my debut novel Georgiana Darcy with all of you. The following is an excerpt from chapter eleven of my book, in which Georgiana learns how to waltz with the help of Sir Matthew Leigh, a young gentleman vying for her heart.

Excerpt from Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice by Alice Isakova
Hearing Georgiana practicing on the pianoforte, Sir Matthew Leigh smiled to himself, and with a book in hand, he followed the sound to the drawing room.

"I hope I am not disturbing you, Miss Darcy," said he upon entering.

"No, not in the least. I am practicing some new music, that is all. It is a difficult piece, and I have not yet mastered it, but if you do not mind hearing my mistakes, you are welcome to stay."

"I am always glad of an opportunity to hear you play, Miss Darcy—even your mistakes are charming."

Sir Matthew settled into a chair and opened his book, but it is doubtful whether he profited at all from the volume, for half the time his eyes were directed at Georgiana rather than at the page before him.

At last, the gentleman dropped all pretence of reading and came towards the pianoforte.  Leaning his elbows on the instrument, he looked into Georgiana's eyes deeply until she cast them down shyly to the keys below. Yet, the slight smile on her lips gave proof that she did not find these attentions displeasing.

"What are you thinking of now, Miss Darcy?" asked Sir Matthew softly.

"I was just remembering the ball we attended on Friday… the dancing—it was such a happy evening."

"And you would like to dance again now, perhaps?"

"Well, yes—only, of course, the next ball will not be for some time," came Georgiana's answer.

"Must we really wait that long? We could dance here, right now."

"What, just you and I, right now?"

"Yes, why not?"

"But Sir Matthew, consider," laughed Georgiana, "What kind of dance will it be with just two people? The English country dance and the quadrille are designed to be performed by several couples at once. It will not be the same with only one couple."

"Perhaps if the English country dance or the quadrille is what you have in mind, but we could try something else instead, such as… Miss Darcy, do you know the waltz?"

"I have heard it mentioned—it is popular in Germany, I believe."

"It originated in Germany, yes, but the waltz has since spread to other parts of Europe, and recently it was introduced in England. The advantage of the waltz is that it can be performed as successfully by one couple as by several together. When I was last in London, I learned the steps of the French waltz—I could teach you if you like."

"Oh no, I think it would be better if you did not. Though I know little of the waltz, I have heard that it is not a very proper dance."

Raising himself back up to a standing position, Sir Matthew answered, "Doubtless, that is the opinion of some stuffy, old clergyman of the Puritan persuasion. When the dance is better known in England, I am certain that it will become widely accepted. Miss Darcy, I have seen the waltz, and I can assure you that it is a very beautiful dance—here, if you will stand up, I can show you."

Somewhat reluctantly, Georgiana obeyed. As the gentleman led her across the floor to the centre of the room, he explained:

"The dance begins with a short march, which leads into the first part—the slow waltz. The next part is the sauteuse, which is faster and consists of a series of springs and leaps. Last of all is the jetté, which is faster still. Would you like me to show you the march steps first, Miss Darcy?"

"Yes, I suppose."

"Then let us begin. Instead of facing each other, we start with standing side by side, and we face in the same direction, like this. Now, I will reach my arm across behind you and place my hand on the back of your shoulder—and you do the same."

The next thing Georgiana felt was the electric sensation of Sir Matthew's arm encircling her shoulders. Hesitantly, she followed suit by lifting her own arm and placing it on the back part of his shoulder.

"Now, Miss Darcy, we must bring the outer arm around to the front so that we may join hands."

Georgiana obediently but tremulously placed her hand in his.

"Next, we take four steps forward: one… two… three… four."

Georgiana had always considered dancing, regardless of what kind, to be a romantic, exciting amusement, but neither the English country dance, nor the Scotch reel, nor the quadrille was anything like this. With Sir Matthew's arm on her shoulder, and her arm on his, they were essentially in an embrace. She had never danced so close to a man before—he was so near, in fact, that she could hear his breathing and feel his warmth. All this was somewhat foreign to her sense of female delicacy, but she had no wish to pull away, although the thought kept returning to her mind that perhaps she should.

He, in turn, was thinking of how exceedingly gracefully Georgiana executed even those first few simple steps of the dance. Her dainty, slippered feet pointed beautifully and landed lightly, as if stepping on a cloud. Positioned so close to her, the gentleman was better able to observe, in minute detail, the perfection of Georgiana's person: her delicate, rose-coloured mouth; her soft, satiny curls framing a lovely face; her flawless, glowing complexion, made more enchanting by her modest blushes. He felt himself grow more enamoured of her with every moment. Holding her little hand in his, he said:

"Now I make a half-turn to face you, and then we step so that we are again positioned side by side, only this time, we will be facing in opposite directions. From here, we encircle each other's waists from the front with one arm, and with the other, we join our hands above our heads in the form of an arc."

Sir Matthew spoke gently and looked at Georgiana tenderly, his eyes seeming to caress her. Feeling as if in a haze, she managed to summon just enough presence of mind to inquire, 

"And our feet? What do we do with them?"

"With our feet, we perform the pas de bourrée step, and at the same time, we turn together in a circle. But even more important is what we do with our eyes; in the waltz, while revolving about their own axis, the partners must look into each other's eyes without breaking the gaze."

Georgina did her best to comply, but at last she could bear it no longer, and laughing softly, she turned her face away.

"No, no, Miss Darcy, do not look away! We must dance the waltz properly!"


The maiden forced her clear orbs back to his, and with their eyes thus fixed on each other, they turned slowly in a rotating embrace. Although there was no music to accompany their dance, both felt then, and remembered their time together afterwards, almost as if there really had been music; the moment was perfect as it was.

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About the Author

Author Alice Isakova
Born in Eastern Europe, Alice Isakova spent the latter part of her childhood in the United States before finally settling in Australia. There she obtained a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and won multiple university prizes for outstanding academic achievement.

Alice now lives with her family in rural Tasmania. She spends her free time either writing or pursuing her passion for fitness, especially the disciplines of rhythmic gymnastics, yoga, and ballet. Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is Alice Isakova's first book.


Buy Links

This book is available to buy now!


Giveaway Time!

Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice by Alice Isakova
Alice is offering a generous giveaway; 5 ebooks of Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Pride & Prejudice are up for grabs for visitors to Babblings of a Bookworm. To enter, just comment on this blogpost by the end of the day on 14 October. It would really help me if you could leave me some contact details so that I can get in touch with you in case you are a lucky winner. If we're Facebook or Goodreads friends just let me know, add a Twitter handle or tell me you've followed the post and I'll add a comment when the winner is chosen :)

Thank you so much to Alice for visiting us today. I wish you all the very best of luck with your book!

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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Rational Creatures Anthology from The Quill Ink Collective - Blog Tour and Giveaway

Blog Tour- Rational Creatures Anthology, Edited by Christina Boyd
Today the blog tour for the anthology Rational Creatures stops by. This is the the third anthology brought to you by The Quill Collective, brought together by editor Christina Boyd (see also The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues). Some of my favourite Austenesque authors have contributed short stories to this collection, which focuses on the ladies in Austen's works.

I'm happy to be welcoming author Elizabeth Adams here to chat with me about rational creatures in general, and in particular Persuasion's Anne Elliot, the character in Elizabeth's story. There's a fantastic giveaway accompanying the blog tour too. Let's read the blurb, and then we'll move on to my interview with Elizabeth Adams.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Plans for October 2018

Afternoon tea
Well, we blinked, and September came and went! It's always a very busy month, with the kids going back to school and getting back into the usual routines. My birthday is in September too. I had a lovely day, and went out for afternoon tea :)

Book Cover: Rational Creatures by the Quill Ink Collective
Now, let's get on with my plans for October. I have some good visits on the horizon. Firstly, the blog tour for Rational Creatures stops by. This is another anthology from the Quill Ink Collective, following on from The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues. This time, the focus is on Austen's ladies. I will be welcoming one of the authors from the anthology, and plan to read the book too.

Book cover: When Jane Got Angry by Victoria Kincaid
I also hope to welcome Victoria Kincaid back to the blog with her latest story, a novelette called When Jane Got Angry - Jane in this case being Bennet. I can't imagine it, as she seems so serene, but I am looking forward to learning more about the story.

Book cover: Georgina Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice by Alice Isakova
I'll be welcoming Alice Isakova to the blog for the first time, with her book: Georgiana Darcy: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I haven't read many sequels to Austen's works, so will be interested to see what this author has in store for us.

Book cover: Unwrapping Mr Darcy by L L Diamond
L L Diamond will be visiting late on in the month with a book with a festive flavour; Unwrapping Mr Darcy. All I know about this book is that it has a Christmas theme and features a black cat!

I'm also hoping to take a look at Melanie Rachel's upcoming Pride & Prejudice variation.

Phew! Busy month! I hope you can join me for these posts. I'd love to know what you've got planned to read this month, and if you've read anything recently that you'd like to recommend. Please let us know in the comments!

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Winners of the Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges Giveaway

Book Cover: Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges
We were recently visited by Amy Hilliges, who has written a modern update of Emma, based in modern-day New York.  You can read Amy's guest post and excerpt here, and my review of the book here. Amy was offering a really generous giveaway of 5 ebooks of Emma and the City, plus for a UK/Europe-based reader, there was the chance to win a signed paperback, plus bookmarks and a tote bag.

3 ebooks were won via a rafflecopter giveaway, and the names of the winners are displayed on the rafflecopter:


2 ebooks were won by commenters on the guest post and my review post. These were chosen by using a random number generator:

Christina Boyd


Carole in Canada


Paperback of Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges and tote bag
Finally, the winner of the signed paperback, bookmarks and tote bag, who was also chosen via a random number generator, was:

Elaine Jeremiah


Congratulations all!

Other Blog Visits

Amy has stopped by at other blogs too, if you'd like to read more excerpts and have another chance for a giveaway!


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Monday, 24 September 2018

Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges - My Review

Amy Hilliges recently visited the blog with an guest post plus an excerpt and giveaway of Emma and the City. Today I'm sharing my review of the book. Read on for my review, and for an opportunity to enter Amy's generous giveaway.

Book Description

When arrows fly, Cupid better get out of the way . . . or risk being shot

Book cover: Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges
It-girl and blogger Emma Worth appears to have it all: beauty, brains, connections and a fabulous Manhattan apartment. Emma makes it her business to tell others what to wear and who to date because she knows best. Obviously.

Despite her designer outfits and glitzy New York lifestyle, something's missing . . . If she only knew what it was. That is, until a hot A-lister swoops into her life and sends Emma's pulse racing and fills her head with red-carpet fantasies.

Emma's neighbor Adam Knightley is disapproving, telling her she needs to fix her priorities and stop chasing celebrity pipe dreams. The man would look hot on a red carpet himself, if only he’d stop frowning for more than five seconds.

When Emma’s matchmaking backfires and her meddling causes mischief, what's a girl to do? Try to lie her way out of it, of course.  Anyway, who cares, right? Because Emma's finally getting the kind of attention she deserves. Except in her fantasies, things looked a lot different. And it didn’t feel this heartrendingly painful . . .

Love her or hate her, Emma is back––with a sexy makeover, 21st-century problems, and another chance to redeem herself in this grippingly entertaining, thoroughly original retelling of the Jane Austen classic.

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Friday, 21 September 2018

Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges - Guest Post and Giveaway


Book Cover: Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges
Today I'm welcoming an author to the blog for the first time. Amy Hilliges has written an Emma update, moving Miss Woodhouse to modern day New York. Think a cross between Emma and Sex and the City. Amy has visited here today with a guest post and giveaway. of Emma and the City I'll share the blurb with you and then hand over to Amy for her guest post, excerpt and giveaway!

Book Description

When arrows fly, Cupid better get out of the way . . . or risk being shot

It-girl and blogger Emma Worth appears to have it all: beauty, brains, connections and a fabulous Manhattan apartment. Emma makes it her business to tell others what to wear and who to date because she knows best. Obviously.

Despite her designer outfits and glitzy New York lifestyle, something's missing . . . If she only knew what it was. That is, until a hot A-lister swoops into her life and sends Emma's pulse racing and fills her head with red-carpet fantasies.

Emma's neighbor Adam Knightley is disapproving, telling her she needs to fix her priorities and stop chasing celebrity pipe dreams. The man would look hot on a red carpet himself, if only he’d stop frowning for more than five seconds.

When Emma’s matchmaking backfires and her meddling causes mischief, what's a girl to do? Try to lie her way out of it, of course.  Anyway, who cares, right? Because Emma's finally getting the kind of attention she deserves. Except in her fantasies, things looked a lot different. And it didn’t feel this heartrendingly painful . . .

Love her or hate her, Emma is back––with a sexy makeover, 21st-century problems, and another chance to redeem herself in this grippingly entertaining, thoroughly original retelling of the Jane Austen classic.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Recognizing Love by Lizzy Brandon - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: Recognizing Love by Lizzy Brandon Today I'm welcoming Lizzy Brandon to the blog for the first time. Lizzy is the author of Folly and Forgiveness, and has come here with her latest Pride & Prejudice variation, Recognizing Love. Let me share the blurb with you first, and then we'll hand over to Lizzy for an excerpt from the book. Lizzy has also brought an international giveaway with her!

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Plans for September 2018

It's September! Already! How can this be?!!! Actually, I believe it; the weather is starting to have an autumnal tinge here. My kids are about to go  back to school (and in the case of my elder child, start a new school, eeeeeeeek!). The school holidays have gone pretty well. The extra building work we are having done is still happening, more slowly than I'd like, and this has had an impact on the things we've done over the school holidays. We haven't managed to get away, but I'll definitely try and get in a weekend away at some point. I managed to get some reading time in, hurrah, but not as much as I'd wanted.

Let me tell you about some of the visitors I have lined up for this month, all of whom have books out this month.

Book cover: Recognizing Love by Lizzy Brandon
I'll be welcoming Lizzy Brandon, whose new book, Recognizing Love is a Pride & Prejudice variation.

Book cover: Obstacles by Belén Paccagnella
The blog tour for Belén Paccagnella's book Obstacles is due to stop by. This book is P&P-inspired, but it's a modernisation set in the world of show jumping.

Book cover: Emma and the City by Amy Hilliges
I will also be welcoming author Amy Hilliges with her Emma modernisation, Emma in the City. It's sort of a cross between Emma and Sex and the City. Amy will be coming by with a guest post and I'll be shairng my review of the book.

As for what I'll be reading, I'm not sure... as you might recall, I have my old friend, the backlog list, so I need to choose something off that, but as autumn is a-coming, I might try and get in a Persuasion-inspired read too.

What do you plan to read this month? Have you read anything good lately that you'd like to tell us about? Please let me know in the comments!

Friday, 31 August 2018

Winner - Audio of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth by Victoria Kincaid

Book cover: The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth by Victoria Kincaid - Audio
Recently we were joined again by Victoria Kincaid, who had brought us an excerpt of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, which is an older book of hers which has newly been brought to audio. Victoria was kindly offering an international giveaway of an audio version of the story. A winner was chosen at random, and that person was:

Helen Maddix

Unfortunately, Helen didn't get in touch so I had to choose another winner.

This time I used the random number function in excel and the winner selected was...

Eva

Eva, I will be in touch.

Thank you so much to Victoria for the giveaway. Remember, if you weren't lucky this time you can treat yourself to the audio of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth now!

You can buy this book in print, e-book or audio to enjoy today - Amazon UK /Amazon USAudible UK / Audible US


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Sunday, 26 August 2018

Literary Book Gifts - Feature and Discount Code

These days there are so many lovely book-related items for we bookworms to buy and I am featuring one today. Literary Book Gifts has items such as t-shirts and totes relating to various authors, including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and the Brontes, and the owner has offered a discount code for visitors to my blog.

Literary Book Gifts - Jane Austen Tote Bag
You could carry round your love of Jane Austen for all to see with this gorgeous tote bag.

Literary Book Gifts - Pride & Prejudice T-shirt
You could keep Pride & Prejudice close to your heart with a PnP tee.

Literary Book Gifts - Wuthering Heights T-shirt
Need suitable attire to run around on the moors seeking Cathy? There's a t-shirt for that too.

The full range of items can be found here: https://literarybookgifts.com.

If you'd like to have a discount, you can use the following code:

BABBLINGSOFABOOKWORM20 

This can be used to give you 20% off anything in the store with no minimum purchase, and can be used unlimited times.

I hope you enjoy your items, if you choose to take advantage of the discount. Thank you so much to Melissa from Literary Book Gifts for offering us the code!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth by Victoria Kincaid in Audio - Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I'm welcoming the lovely Victoria Kincaid who is treating us again, this time with a guest post and a giveaway of an audio copy of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth. This is one of Victoria's earlier novels which has now been made available in audio. I'll start by sharing the blurb with you, and then hand over to Victoria for a guest post.

Book Description

Book Cover: The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth by Victoria Kincaid - Audio
What if Darcy and Elizabeth were plunged into the war between England and France?

In 1803 a treaty has allowed England and France to enjoy a brief peace in the midst of the Napoleonic wars. With Darcy despondent over Elizabeth’s refusal of his proposal, Colonel Fitzwilliam proposes a trip to France as a distraction. In Paris Darcy unexpectedly encounters Elizabeth, who is visiting with the Gardiners. This is his opportunity to court Elizabeth properly.  But before he can make much progress, England declares war again and Darcy must help Elizabeth flee France.

En route, Elizabeth and Darcy must battle brigands, French soldiers, illness, and their own mutual attraction – all without a chaperone.

When they return to England, they have their own secrets to conceal – even from those closest to them.

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Guest Post from Victoria Kincaid

Hi Ceri,  Thank you for having me back so soon!  I am thrilled that The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth is finally out on audiobook.  Narrator Stevie Zimmerman did a terrific job (I particularly like her voice for Darcy).  Readers are in for a real treat! 

Here’s an excerpt from near the beginning of the book:

Slumping into his chair, Darcy regarded Richard through half-closed eyes, unwilling for his cousin to realize how shaken he was by the news about Georgiana. “I can see you will not grant me any peace until I have revealed all.”

“Now you are talking some sense.”

Darcy grabbed the bottle of port from the table next to Richard and quickly poured himself another glass, quelling Richard’s incipient protest with a glare. He would not tell the humiliating story without fortification. But after sipping his port, he fell silent, reluctant to relive the farce.

“Well?” Richard prompted.

“I…proposed to a woman, and she turned me down….Something many a man has had to grapple with. Not much to tell actually.” He strove to keep his tone matter-of-fact and his voice steady.

“What?” Whatever Richard had expected, it was not that. He simply stared at Darcy. “You—?”

“Yes.” Darcy found his cousin’s shock oddly disturbing, as if it confirmed the enormity of his failure.

“I cannot believe it! All of London has been holding its breath waiting to see who you will marry. For eight years, you have not favored a single woman. You have been leaving a trail of broken hearts in your wake—”

“I hardly think…”

Richard ignored his protest and barreled on. “She refused you? Who in the world would do that? Who did you propose to? A princess?”

“Believe it, there are women in England who do not care about my fortune. At least one. She refused me because she does not care for me.” She was right to do so, a voice in his head whispered.

“She does not like you? Darcy, who is this paragon who has seen through you?” Richard meant it as a light-hearted jest, but it struck Darcy to the quick. He scowled; that was exactly what Elizabeth had done.

“Does it matter?” The words came out almost as a groan. Darcy rubbed his face, realizing how tired he felt. Hopefully, Richard would leave soon so he could stumble up to his bedchamber.

“Yes, because I am dying of curiosity.” Richard sat up straighter in his chair.

“I think I would rather let you perish.” Darcy no longer attempted to conceal his irritation.

“Wait, is this Miss Bennet we are discussing?”

Darcy sighed. “Yes.”

“I noticed you were in a foul mood when we departed Rosings, but I believed that was because you wanted her but thought she was beneath you.” Richard’s teasing tone disappeared, apparently sensing how seriously Darcy took this situation.

“It appears I am beneath her.” Darcy gave a mirthless smile.

“Come, it cannot possibly be that dire. I know she found pleasure in matching wits with you at Rosings. What reasons did she give for her refusal?”

“I am proud, arrogant, and insensitive.” Darcy ticked the points off on his fingers. “Also, her opinion of my character was shaped by conversations with our great friend George Wickham….And….I helped persuade Bingley to separate himself from her sister.”

“That was her sister you told me about?” Richard groaned. “I am afraid I conveyed that information to Miss Bennet.” He appeared genuinely contrite.
Darcy waved this concern away. “It does not matter. No doubt she would have discovered it another way.”

“These do not seem to me to be insurmountable obstacles. You can explain the truth behind your dealings with Wickham and fix the situation with Bingley. Then you only need to be nicer to her…I know that will be the hardest part.” He gave Darcy a wicked grin, his teasing nature resurrecting itself.

Darcy stood and started pacing, rather unsteadily, on the carpet before his desk. “I already refuted Wickham’s lies in a letter to her. I also confessed my sins to Bingley two weeks ago. Hopefully, he will forgive me someday.”

“That was well done.” Richard nodded approvingly. “Will he return to see the sister?”

“I believe he will visit Netherfield next week.” Darcy stared bleakly at the pattern on the carpet.

“You should accompany him. Perhaps you can change Miss Elizabeth’s opinion of you.” Richard’s voice was full of hearty encouragement.

Darcy considered it for a moment; perhaps his letter had altered her view of his character, but, no, it could not possibly change enough. He shook his head in despair. “I am afraid it is a hopeless cause. She made that abundantly clear.”

“Surely there is some small reason for hope.”

“She said she had not known me a month before she knew I was the last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry. I defy you to find cause for hope in that.”

Richard gave a low whistle. “That is…impressive.…”

Darcy raised his eyebrows in appreciation of Richard’s reaction. “Indeed.”
Richard rubbed his chin with his palm. “Well, she is a spirited woman with decided opinions.”

“Yes.” That is why I love her.

“So, may I ask, what purpose does the port serve?” Richard’s voice was gentler and less teasing. Did he sympathize with Darcy’s despair?

“The theory behind the port is that it dulls the pain and causes me to forget, at least for a little while. It also helps me sleep. And then the following day, I feel so awful that I cannot think of anything else.”

“So that is the theory. How does it work in reality?” Richard asked.

Darcy shook his head, realized that it made the room sway, and stopped. “A life in tatters with drink is still a life in tatters.”


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Author Bio

Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head.

She lives in Virginia with an overly affectionate cat, two children who are learning how much fun Austen’s characters can be, and a husband who fortunately is not jealous of Mr. Darcy. A lifelong Austen fan, Victoria has read more Jane Austen variations and sequels than she can count – and confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.

Visit her at www.victoriakincaid.com

Goodreads • Twitter • Amazon US Author Page •

Buy Links

You can buy this book in print, e-book or audio to enjoy today - Amazon UK / Amazon US, Audible UK / Audible US. Or, you can enter the giveaway to win an audio copy.


Giveaway Time

Book Cover: The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth by Victoria Kincaid - Audio
Victoria is offering an international giveaway of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth. To enter, just comment on this blog post by the end of the day on 29 August 2018. Please leave a way for me to contact you, should you be the lucky winner.

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