Monday, 17 June 2019

The Meyersons of Meryton by Mirta Ines Trupp - Author Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: The Meyersons of Meryton by Mira Ines Trupp
Today I'm welcoming a new visitor to the blog, Mirta Ines Trupp. Mirta has written a book which brings a Jewish family into P&P. She has joined us today with an excerpt from The Meyersons of Meryton, an author interview and an international ebook giveaway! Let's take a look at the blurb first.

Book Description

When a new family, thought to be associated with the House of Rothschild arrives in Meryton, a chain of events are set in place that threaten the betrothal of Miss Elizabeth Bennet to her beloved Mr. Darcy.

Rabbi Meyerson and family are received at Longbourn. This inconvenience leads to misfortune, for when the rabbi disappears from the quiet market town, Mr. Bennet follows dutifully in his path.

Her father’s sudden departure shadowed by the Wickhams’ unannounced arrival has Elizabeth judging not only her reactions to these tumultuous proceedings but her suitability as the future Mistress of Pemberley. A sensible woman would give her hand in marriage without a second thought. Can Elizabeth say goodbye forever to the one man who has captured her heart?

The Meyersons of Meryton is a Pride and Prejudice variation. The narrative introduces Jewish characters and history to the beloved novel and, although there are some adult themes, this is an inspirational and clean read.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour - Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston
I'm delighted to be welcoming Nicole Clarkston back to the blog with her latest Pride & Prejudice-inspired story, Nefarious which is already receiving great reviews. It sounds like an angsty one. Let's take a look at the blurb and then I'll hand over to Nicole for an excerpt and giveaway.

Book Description

He hates everything about her.
She despises him even more.
So why is his heart so determined to belong to her?

Once trapped by marriage to a woman he loathed, Fitzwilliam Darcy is finally free again. Resentful, bewildered, and angry, he is eager to begin his life over—preferably with a woman who is the exact opposite of his wife.

He never imagined a short stay in Hertfordshire would bring him face to face with his worst nightmare; a woman similar in face, form, and name. He certainly never expected her to be so impossible to ignore.

Torn between what he believes he wants and what his heart cannot live without, his dignity begins to unravel. Will his desperation to escape his past drive a wedge into his closest friendship and destroy any hope of a future?

Will Miss Elizabeth Bennet prove to be as nefarious as his wife? Or, will the last woman in the world be his only chance at happiness?

Wraparound Book Cover - Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston


Excerpt from Nefarious

I cannot believe Mr Collins touched me in such a way! I had almost persuaded myself that it was merely the effect of his terminal oafishness—that he truly was the clumsiest, dullest, most insensible man alive, and that he was likely unaware of what his hand had just done. But then, Mr Darcy had to call him out over the matter.

The nerve of that man! It was worse because all in the vicinity heard every word of his scathing remonstration. Even had they not seen what Mr Darcy had—and I did have to ponder a moment about why that man had been watching my posterior—no one could misunderstand that Mr Darcy was accusing Mr Collins of some impropriety towards myself. My shame was complete.

“Mr Darcy,” I snapped, “in the future, if you decide to take upon yourself the mantle of the knight in armour, I will thank you not to create so gauche a scene as you have just done.”

The miscreant, he gritted his teeth and leaned close, as if he thought the entire episode my fault!

“Then you make a habit of permitting gentlemen improper liberties?”

“I do not, but I could have taken the matter up with my father, without causing a public disturbance.”

He clenched his fists, his face changed colours, and he opened his mouth…

Well… I shall not think now of the scornful, shameful exchange that followed, save to recall that he had insulted my father, sneered at me, made a mockery of every chivalrous notion a proper gentleman ought to have expressed, and then… and then… I buried my heated face in my palms.

He dared me to dance with him.

It was no common banter, such as our precious skirmishes. No, this was nearly a hostile demand, an expressed doubt of my courage… a confrontation from which I could not back down.

After it was over, and he had stalked his sullen way back to the corner where he liked to stand, I fled to the ladies’ retiring room to fan my crimson cheeks and wash down my humiliation with great draughts of punch.

“Here, now, Lizzy,” Charlotte protested, “you will make yourself ill!”

“A capital notion,” I declared, and reached for another glass.

“But what is this?” she cried. “It is not like you to hide here in the retiring room.”

“Nor is it like me to accept a dance with Mr Darcy. What could I have been thinking?”

Charlotte’s eyes widened. “You did what?”

“Please, do not make me repeat myself, Charlotte. What am I to do? I cannot possibly stand up with him! How am I to do it?”

“It is simple,” she scoffed. “You place your feet side by side, and stand in the line facing the gentlemen…”

“Charlotte, I know you delight in teasing me, but I cannot bear it just now. I shall have to be civil to him for a full half an hour!”

“Why should you behave any differently than you have always done? It was he who asked you to dance, was it not? I suppose he knows you well enough by now to understand what sort of company he is to expect. You needn’t talk at all, if you do not wish to, you know. Why, when I danced with Jonathan Sanders, we said not a single word to each other.”

“Jonathan Sanders is not Fitzwilliam Darcy,” I groaned.

“Indeed, not! Mr Darcy is ten times as handsome. Come, Lizzy, I know very well that you admire the man’s person. How could you not? Now, surviving the dance shall be the simplest thing. All you need do is keep your mouth closed and look on his face. The time will pass agreeably enough.”

“How simple you make it sound!” I sighed.

There was nothing simple about it. All through the dinner, I felt his scorn for my family’s antics, but that was not the worst of it. I was partnered with the highly amiable Mr Bingley during the first set after dinner when we both saw Mr Darcy clasp Jane’s hands like a jealous boor. Poor Jane!

And poor Mr Bingley! I thought my partner would tear his friend’s head off right there on the dance floor, but he had the good grace to continue, as if nothing were amiss. However, as soon as the strains died away, no one had to encourage Mr Bingley to escort Jane away from Mr Darcy. He took her from the floor at once, leaving me standing there facing the brute alone.

For a moment—an instant, really—I saw a flash of something in his eyes that threatened to draw me, lead me on to some folly. It was fear, I am sure of it. I stiffened my spine. I was determined to punish him for his infamous behaviour to Jane, and I would begin by tormenting him.

It was easy… in theory. I knew very well how wildly uncomfortable he was whenever he was forced into proximity with me. If his feelings were anything like mine, I knew precisely how to play him, just as the violinist coaxed both sweet and discordant notes from the same instrument. A step near, a clash of gazes, a brush of hands, and his desolation would be complete.

Unfortunately, so was my own.

The dance was the Allemande, which required more physical intimacy than many others. That I should have had to dance it with Mr Darcy was nothing short of a celestial injustice! We clasped each other's fingertips and twirled together, then fell into step dos à dos. His face was so near, and I could feel the heat of his body through the thin fabric of my gown sleeves. He was indignant, provoked by my challenges, and his good sense—or whatever sense he possessed—was ebbing.

“Are you so determined to view each of my actions in the worst possible light?” he demanded of me at length. “Do you so readily discount my position and understanding?”

“Your understanding is woeful, at best,” I shot back, “and always has been regarding my sister. As for your position, it means less than nothing to me against the interests of one I love. Indeed, sir, your arrogance knows no bounds!”

“You mistake me yet again, Miss Elizabeth. I meant to say that I am no wet-behind-the-ears lad. I have moved among Society for many years, and never have I slipped so grievously as to offend a lady during a ball. My actions earlier were as startling to me as they were to Miss Bennet, and I deeply regret any discomfort I may have caused her.”

“May have! Sir, the only reason I remained here on the floor with you rather than rushing to attend her is that I did not wish to deepen her humiliation any more. What cause could you have had for taking such a vulgar liberty and frightening her so?”

“I… I cannot tell.”

“You do not even know!” I cried.

“I do. I simply cannot tell you.” He sealed his lips and looked, for just a second, miserably unhappy.

“Then, sir, I am afraid we have nothing more to say to one another.”

We separated for the moment to face another couple, and I tried with all my might and main to act as if the man had not triggered something deep within me. I could not decide if it were rage, or something uglier. Destructive fascination? Much as I loathed the man, there was some mystery at work that caught at my thoughts, tugged all my feelings, and made me itch to piece together the puzzle of his existence.

We returned to our places, and I stared back across the set at the man I could not help but despise. Surely, I must despise him… mustn’t I? I fixed my glare, readied my tongue for the next sally, but something in his look drew me in. There was something so broken, so lost in his expression, that I found myself studying him once again.

His lips were moving—very faintly. No sound emerged, but he looked for all the world like a man whispering a deep confidence to one he hoped might listen. I could almost swear the words shaped by his mouth were,  “I regret…”

Curiosity burned within me, and I mouthed back, “What did you say?”

He did not answer, of course, but his expression appeared startled. He blinked, and then it was our turn to come together again. With each pass, each step, his movements were more sluggish, more hesitant.

 “Miss Elizabeth,” he faltered at last, “I pray you, let us have some conversation.”

“Do you seek to relieve your own feelings on the matter, or flatter mine?” I asked.

“I seek to make myself understood, and to mitigate our obvious discord. Or do you prefer that everyone believes us both to be unsociable and taciturn?”

“Surely you cannot claim such a criticism for yourself!” I protested. “Or do you imply that we share such a fault, both of us unwilling to speak unless we can say something that will amaze the whole room?”

“Faith, I imagine we have more than certain faults in common, but for now I seek only to make what amends I may.” His figure seemed to darken, his entire body leaning close, hanging on my response.

I felt my own face heating, for there was something not unwelcome in the way he seemed so desperate for my absolution. He was nearly likeable in that moment, and that revelation unnerved me so greatly that I fell back to my defences.

“Then you are to be pitied,” I retorted, “for you shall be disappointed on both counts. We, sir, are nothing alike, and it is too late for you to make your amends. A man such as you ought to have every advantage, every natural feeling of kindness for others. But from our first introduction, you have impressed me with your arrogance and conceit. I have told you this before, and you do not improve with correction. You hate everyone but those who you see as useful, for they are merely objects for your amusement! You take no pains to truly understand others—you simply expect them to conform to you. And you have the audacity to think yourself above reproach!”

“Are you so blameless?” he shot back. “You wilfully misunderstand me, and then refuse to hear any sort of justification. Has it ever occurred to you, Miss Elizabeth, that no man lives or acts independently of his experiences? That simply…”

The dance called for another pirouette just then, so I spun about, his arms surrounding me in a way I found distractingly appealing and looked over my shoulder at him. “Simply what? What excuse have you to offer?”

“Simply…” he choked, “… seeing you… being in the same room with you… I cannot bear it.”

That one brutal statement was the culmination of all my embarrassment, all my feelings of inferiority.

His words scalded my pride and reminded me once again that fascinating as he was, striking as I might find him, Mr Darcy was truly a swine, and his company toxic for me.  “Then I shall not ask it of you any longer!” I cried, snatching my hands away. “Good evening, sir.”

I fled the room, tears of humiliation pricking my eyes. Once—just once—could I not pass the time with an amiable gentleman who was a pleasure in company, appealing to the eyes, and perhaps even found me agreeable? And would it be too much to ask that he not flirt with other women like Mr Wickham or insult me like Mr Darcy while we danced?

At least there was one other in this whole house who could sympathise with my plight. I dashed the tears from my cheeks and set out to find Jane. In comforting her, I might salve my own wounds. I set my teeth in determination and resolved to forget all about Fitzwilliam Darcy.

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Book Cover - Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston
Buy Links

If you can't wait to read this, the good news is that Nefarious is available to buy now, both in ebook and paperback - Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads 


Author Bio:

Author Nicole Clarkston
Nicole Clarkston is a book lover and a happily married mom of three. Originally from Idaho, she now lives in Oregon with her own romantic hero, several horses, and one very fat dog. She has loved crafting alternate stories and sequels since she was a child watching Disney’s Robin Hood, and is never found sitting quietly without a book of some sort.

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties- how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project (undertaken when her husband unsuspectingly left town for a few days) she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Nicole’s books are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.

Nicole is part of Austen Variations, a group of talented authors in the Jane Austen Fiction genre. In addition to her work with the Austen Variations blog, Nicole can be reached through Facebook  Twitter, her blog at Goodreads.com, or her personal blog and website, NicoleClarkson.com.

Giveaway Time!

Book Cover - Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston
Nicole is generously offering a giveaway to you. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post. If you have difficulties commenting then drop me an email with your comment and I can add it on your behalf and enter you into the draw - my email address can be found here. Leave your comment by the end of the day on Saturday 15 June to be included. This giveaway is open to international entrants.

Option 1: $10 Amazon Gift Card plus eBook or Audiobook of winner’s choice; International
Option 2: Signed Paperback of winner’s choice; US only

Blog Tour Schedule

Blog Tour - Nefarious by Nicole Clarkston
Nicole is also visiting some other blogs. Why not check out their stops on the blog tour to find out more about the book and increase your chances of winning?

June 3rd - More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway
June 4th – From Pemberley to Milton; Review, Giveaway
June 7th - Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
June 8th – Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway
June 11th – So Little Time…; Guest Post, Giveaway
June 13th - Savvy Verse & Wit; Guest Post, Giveaway
June 15th – Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

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Monday, 20 May 2019

Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell - Author Interview and US Giveaway

Book cover: Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell I'm welcoming author Allie Cresswell to the blog for the first time. Allie has written 3 books based in the world of Jane Austen's Emma. These books focus on the ladies from the Bates family. The first, Mrs Bates of Highbury is about Mrs Bates when she was younger, The Other Miss Bates is about Jane Fairfax's mother, and Dear Jane is about Jane Fairfax herself.

Book Description

The final installment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane narrates the history of Jane Fairfax, recounting the events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma.

Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. The velvet path of her early years is finite, however and tarnished by the knowledge that she must earn her own independence one day.

Frank Weston is also transplanted from Highbury, adopted as heir to the wealthy Churchills and taken to their drear and inhospitable Yorkshire estate. The glimmer of the prize which will one day be his is all but obliterated by the stony path he must walk to claim it.

Their paths meet at Weymouth, and readers of Emma will be familiar with the finale of Jane and Frank’s story. Dear Jane pulls back the veil which Jane Austen drew over their early lives, their meeting in Weymouth and the agony of their secret engagement.

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Allie has kindly joined us for an author interview, which is fantastic as I get to ask her lots of nosey questions. She's also brought a US giveaway for a copy of Dear Jane. Read on for details!

Monday, 13 May 2019

The Mist of Her Memory by Suzan Lauder - Blog Tour - Character Interview and Giveaway

Blog Tour - The Mist of Her Memory by Suzan Lauder
I'm welcoming Suzan Lauder back to the blog today as part of the blog tour for her latest Pride & Prejudice variation, The Mist of Her Memory. Suzan is joining us today with a character interview with Mrs Gardiner, and there's also a giveaway opportunity from Meryton Press. I'll start by sharing the blurb, and then hand over to Suzan.

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Book cover - The Mist of Her Memory by Suzan Lauder
Book Description

What happened that fateful morning in Lambton?
What brutal attacker caused such grievous, near-fatal injuries?
Does she remain in danger? Elizabeth cannot remember!

Sequestered in her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner’s London home, Elizabeth Bennet tries to recover from a devastating incident that stole her memories during their Derbyshire tour. She continues to suffer from strange, angry voices in her head and to recall events that people tell her never happened. Even those who love her refuse to believe her. Elizabeth can barely endure the confusion!

Fitzwilliam Darcy is desperate for any hint of his beloved’s well-being, yet he lacks the information he seeks as her family forbids him contact with Elizabeth. His frustration mounts when he learns that her mental impairment incited taunting and torment in her home village of Meryton.

Which of Elizabeth’s recollections bear the closest resemblance to the truth? And what is the result of her sister Lydia’s elopement with Mr. Wickham? How is Mr. Darcy to rekindle his romance with Elizabeth when her aunt and uncle strictly shield her from him?

Prepare to grip the edge of your seat during this original romantic tale of suspense and mystery, another Pride and Prejudice variation by bestselling author Suzan Lauder.

“Suzan Lauder skillfully weaves a story that submerges you into the plot and doesn’t let go. The Mist of Her Memory’s twists and turns hold a well-guarded secret that keeps you guessing until the very end.”
̶ author L. L. Diamond


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Winner - Be More Jane by Sophie Andrews

You will have to forgive me if this post looks a little off - my laptop may have died so I am resorting to my tablet to post this!

Book cover: Be More Jane by Sophie Andrews, illustrated by Jane Odiwe
Recently I was joined by blogger turned author Sophie Andrews for the blog tour of her debut work, Be More Jane, which shares advice that Sophie has gleaned from the works of Jane Austen, illustrated by some gorgeous pictures by the talented Jane Odiwe.

Sophie's publishers were giving away a hard copy of the book to a commenter on the blog tour post. A winner was selected using a random number generator and that person was....

Dung Vu!

Congratulations to you! I am pretty sure I have your email address, so I will drop you a mail.

Thank you so much to everybody who visited the post and commented. Special thanks to Sophie and her publishers, CICO Publishing, for coming here as part of the blog tour, and for providing a giveaway for us. I wish Sophie all the best with this beautiful book!

If you weren't lucky enough to win a copy of the book, you can buy it now.



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Saturday, 20 April 2019

Unexpected Friends & Relations by Jayne Bamber - Blog Tour - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: Unexpected Friends & Relations by Jayne Bamber
A few months ago I took part in Jayne Bamber's blog tour for Happier in Her Friends Than Relations, which featured characters from more of Austen's books than just Pride & Prejudice. When that book was released Jayne made it clear that there would be a sequel and I'm happy to tell you that this has now been released - Unexpected Friends & Relations. Jayne has popped in to visit us today with a guest post and giveaway, which is below.

I'll share the blurb with you and then hand over to Jayne. Just to warn you, though, that this book is a sequel; therefore the blurb and the excerpt could contain spoilers for book one and the guest post certainly does, so if you haven't read book one yet but would still like to enter the giveaway, scroll down quickly!

Book Description

Following their marriage and a cozy Christmas at Pemberley, Elizabeth & Fitzwilliam Darcy return to London with their family. As new dilemmas arise, the story shifts its focus to three of Austen’s beloved secondary characters, one of her less exalted heroines, a familiar villainess, and the fan-favorite original character Lady Rebecca.

Georgiana Darcy continues to suffer the consequences of her folly at Ramsgate, as well as the peril of following some well-intended but ill-advised counsel that jeopardizes her chance at true love.

Caroline Bingley, now unhappily married and desperate to salvage her position in society, takes on the arduous task of reforming her wild and willful young ward, though it’s anybody’s guess which of the two of them is in greater need of transformation.

Lady Rebecca Fitzwilliam travels to Surrey on a mission of mercy, but she and her cousin Emma embroil one another, and many familiar faces in in area, in a web of romantic entanglements from which not everyone will escape unscathed.

Mary Bennet struggles with matters of morality and self-discovery, attempting to find good in the world, as well as her own place in it, but must do so on her own terms, always tip-toeing around the dramas and difficulties of those she loves.

Amidst the complex maneuverings of a diverse and demanding family, an unexpected heiress emerges, and with her rise in station come all the glittering delights of the fashionable world, as wells as the challenge of navigating the uncharted territories of high society, extended family, and even her own heart.

After attaining a Happily Ever After, the Darcys retreat into the background as their friends and relations purse destinies of their own. Equal measures of mishap and miracle result in several alternately paired couples, while some stories are left to be resolved in Book Three, and a wide array of Austen characters will make an appearance in this tale of six unlikely heroines.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Perilous Siege by CP Odom - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Perilous Siege by C P Odom - Blog Tour
Today I'm welcoming author C P Odom back to the blog with his latest Pride & Prejudice-inspired book Perilous Siege. C P Odom's previous books have been set in Jane Austen's time, and so is this one, though it has a modern element too - let's have a look at the blurb and then I'll hand over to the author for him to introduce a lovely, long excerpt.  There's also a chance to win a copy of the book! Read on for more details.

Book Cover: Perilous Siege by C P Odom
Perilous Siege Book Description

What is the Siege Perilous, and how does it affect the lives of everyone in the Regency universe of Pride & Prejudice?

When a man dressed in bizarre attire suddenly appears in a field on his Pemberley estate, Fitzwilliam Darcy has little inkling of the many and startling changes this man’s strange arrival will have on his life, his family’s lives, and indeed, his whole world.

Mysteriously sent to the Regency world of Pride and Prejudice, this refugee from a future Armageddon is befriended by Darcy. How will the presence of Major Edward McDunn influence the events of Jane Austen’s signature work, especially the tangled courtship between Darcy and the complex and endearing Elizabeth Bennet?

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Be More Jane by Sophie Andrews - Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I'm pleased to be welcoming a new author to the blog. Although Be More Jane is Sophie Andrews' first book, many of you will be aware of her, as a blogger over at Laughing With Lizzie, and the creator of the Laughing with Lizzie Facebook page. Sophie is a very keen Janeite and she has created a gorgeous book, with illustrations from the very talented Jane Odiwe, who is a wonderful artist in addition to being a talented author. Let's have a look at the blurb to get a flavour of what Sophie's book is about, and then I will hand over to her for a guest post, excerpt, and a chance for you to win a copy of the book!

Book Description

Book cover: Be More Jane by Sophie Andrews
Are you more Marianne than Elinor, Lydia rather than Lizzy? Be More Jane will teach you to address life with more sense and less prejudice, taking useful lessons from the novels and letters of Jane Austen, one of the world’s best-loved writers. Times may change, but many of our problems remain the same. Sophie Andrews, a young Janeite, knows from personal experience that in times of trouble, or just on matters of friendship, family, and love, answers are to be found in the pages of Miss Austen’s novels.

Guest Post from Sophie Andrews and Excerpt from Be More Jane

Thank you so much, Ceri, for welcoming me to your blog. I am excited to be sharing an extract from my new book with your readers today. The extract I have chosen is from the chapter entitled 'Be More Lizzy'. Elizabeth Bennet has always been a huge inspiration for me, not to mention my blog persona as well. I find her such an admirable character.

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Be More Lizzy

“I dearly love a laugh.”
(Pride and Prejudice)

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet is one of the most well known, admired, and popular of Jane Austen’s heroines. Witty, independent, intelligent, loyal, and a loving daughter and sister, she is perhaps the character most closely linked in the reader’s mind to Jane Austen herself. Since my first introduction to Lizzy, when I was just 16, she has been my inspiration. She has been my blog persona for a number of years and, from her, I have picked up invaluable tips on how to be more of a “Lizzy” in my own life.

Life can be tough, so try to make it fun and enjoyable more of the time. Lizzy herself declares, “follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can” and we should do the same. Lizzy always searches for the funny side to any situation, which is a sensible approach to life, for laughing is proven to be good for us. In today’s challenging world, where we are faced with negativity on a daily basis, it is essential to find joy in as much as we can, to keep us smiling.

Lady Catherine confronts Lizzy
“You have widely mistaken my character, if you think I can be worked on by such persuasions as these.”

These are Lizzy’s defiant words during her clash with Lady Catherine de Bourgh, after rumors reach her ladyship of an engagement between Lizzy and her nephew, Mr Darcy. Elizabeth is a wonderful example of someone who knows her own mind and will not be persuaded to do anything she does not believe in. She is even strong enough to stand up to Lady Catherine, a formidable character, of far superior rank in society—no mean feat! Lizzy is someone who will always fight her own corner but is not afraid to support others when needed. She shows real courage and commendable strength of character, particularly for a woman in the Regency era. We can follow in her footsteps, be true to what we know is right, and stand up for our beliefs.

These are the two principal lessons to be learned from our inspirational heroine, and they are two that have particularly helped me.

Lizzy walking to Netherfield
"six inches deep in mud"!
But it also seems to me that occasionally walking through a muddy field, as Lizzy famously does, might not be such a bad idea when seeking to impress! And perhaps she knows a trick or two when, out of curiosity, she unexpectedly goes visiting a rich man’s house and estate and successfully wins his love (and his fortune!).

BE MORE LIZZY
Seek out the fun in life.
Stand up for what you believe in.
Don’t worry about getting a bit of mud on your shoes!

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This is just one of many topics I touch on in the book, and I have  also had a little extra fun along the way, by writing 'vignettes' as some of Austen's most beloved, often comic, characters - who mistakenly believe they have their own sensible advice to share!  I do hope you all enjoy my new book, 'Be More Jane'.  And thank you again for letting me stop by.

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About the Author

Sophie Andrews
(photo by Brian Hubbard)
Sophie Andrews is a founder member of the Jane Austen Pineapple Appreciation Society, and organises events such as picnics, balls and house parties for her fellow Austenites. Sophie started her blog, Laughing with Lizzie, in 2012, aged 16, after studying Pride and Prejudice at school. She has been attending Austen-themed events since then, and was featured in the BBC documentary “My Friend Jane” which focused on the fun and friendship she has found with her fellow Janeites. She lives in Berkshire and has over 100 different editions of Pride and Prejudice on her bookshelves.

Contact Links:


Book cover: Be More Jane by Sophie AndrewsBuy Links:

Be More Jane is available to buy now!


Giveaway Time!

CICO books are very kindly giving away a copy of the book at each of the blog stops (there's a list below). The giveaway is open to readers in the US, Canada and Europe. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day on Friday 19 April. You can leave contact details here, such as a twitter name or email address to be notified if you are the winner, but if you'd rather not publish this info, then follow comments on the post, and I will pop in a comment once the winner's name is selected.

Thank you so much to CICO books and to Sophie Andrews for visiting Babblings of a Bookworm with this beautiful book!


Be More Jane Blog Tour Schedule

Be More Jane Tour Schedule

April 8          Regency History / Q&A & Giveaway
April 9          Diary of an Eccentric / Book review & Giveaway
April 10        More Agreeably Engaged / Book review & Giveaway
April 11        Babblings of a Bookworm / Excerpt & Giveaway
April 12        My Love for Jane Austen /Guest Post & Giveaway
April 14        My Jane Austen Book Club /Book review & Giveaway
April 15        So Little Time / Guest Post & Giveaway
April 16        Austenesque Reviews / Book review & Giveaway


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Monday, 4 March 2019

Inspiration by Maria Grace - Guest Post and Excerpt

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

Inspiration by Maria Grace

Book Cover: Inspiration by Maria Grace
Book Description

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

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

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

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

* * *

Monday, 18 February 2019

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

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

Friday, 15 February 2019

Persuasion - Behind the Scenes by Various Authors - Blog Tour

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

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

Book Description

You pierce my soul.

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

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

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

Guest Post from Kara Louise

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  * * *

Author Bio

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

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

Buy Links

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


Giveaway Time!

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

Lovely prizes

To enter, please use the rafflecopter.


Blog Tour Schedule

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Persuasion - Behind the Scenes - Blog Tour Schedule




Friday, 25 January 2019

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

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

Book Description

A tale of second glances and second chances

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Darcy and Deception by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post and Giveaway

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

Book Description

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

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

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

Friday, 18 January 2019

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

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

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

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

A Very Austen Valentine Story Anthology - Blog Tour

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

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Winners - Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds

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

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

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

Sheila Majczan

Lily Bernard

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

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

Buy Links

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

Thank you so much to Abigail Reynolds for the giveaway!