Monday, 19 August 2019

A Sister's Curse by Jayne Bamber - Author Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway

I'm very happy to be welcoming Jayne Bamber back to the blog today with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, A Sister's Curse. Jayne has joined us for an author interview, and she's also brought an excerpt of A Sister's Curse and a giveaway! Let's take a look at the blurb, and then we will have a chat with Jayne.

Book cover: A Sister's Curse by Jayne Bamber
Book Description

Two families from very different situations in life are linked forever after a fatal accident on the Great North Road. This tragedy breeds years of sorrow and misunderstanding as well as prosperity and even romance in an emotional coming of age tale not only for Elizabeth Bennet, but for her sisters, and even the adults who let them down.

For nearly two decades, Edward Gardiner is haunted by the difficult decisions he has made. Lady Anne Darcy must bear all the guilt and delight of being granted her heart’s desire... at a price. The Fitzwilliam family has motives and misgivings of their own as the Earl of Matlock tries to keep them all together, right the wrongs of the past, and pave the way for the next generation.

Fitzwilliam Darcy realizes too late what it means to be a brother, and is faced with a parts of his past he regrets, just as his desire to protect the family he loves leads him back to the woman he was destined to love the most… a woman who despises him.

Elizabeth Bennet struggles through the turbulence of adolescence, her judgement clouded by past trauma and the complicated dynamics of her extended family. Secrets are revealed and re-examined as she is forced to come to terms with the truth of her past and the promise of her future, in a family bound together by heartbreak.



Author Interview with Jayne Bamber

Ceri: Jayne, thank you for coming back to visit Babblings of a Bookworm. You've visited us with your 'Friends and Relations' series previously, but I understand that this book isn't part of that series. Is this one stand-alone or part of a new series?

Jayne Bamber: This is stand-alone. I will eventually come back to the final installment of F&R, but this new book was a separate idea that I couldn't seem to shake out of my head.

C: What type of JAFF do you enjoy reading/writing (sequels, variations, mash-ups, modernisations etc.)?

JB: I generally prefer variations that show the story breaking off at some point from canon, with one of two changes that set events in motion in a different way. I also enjoy some alternate universe stuff, where circumstances are different from the beginning. I struggle with modernizations just because the time period is really part of the allure for me.

C: Your previous books included characters from many of Austen's works. Does the new book only include characters from P&P or can we expect to see characters from other Austen books, and if so, will they be small roles or major characters?

JB: This is strictly a P&P variation, though there are a few original characters introduced.

C: Do you like to try and keep Austen's characters close to her creations or do you like varying the character's traits as well as the situations they find themselves in?

JB: I do try to keep them close to their true selves, as far as how they react in situations, but in this story most of all, it's been about finding the right balance of resemblance to canon, combined with the ways characters' personalities might be affected by significant events in their lives, such as childhood trauma, etc. It's not all bad, as we also get to see a version of Mr. Collins that is raised at Longbourn from childhood, has had a gentleman's education, and is actually quite likeable.

C: Do you have a favourite character in Pride and Prejudice? What about Austen's other works?

JB: Lizzy and Darcy are surely too obvious to chose as my favorites, though I do love them! I have a soft spot for Colonel Fitzwilliam, ad I think a lot of JAFF readers do. I'd pick him over Darcy any day -n he's more fun and open minded, and its great as a reader and as a writer to see him interacting with Darcy, just because he gets away with needling his cousin when he deserves it, and its satisfying to read about it. Out of all of Austen, I also really love Marianne Dashwood because I was a lot like her at that age, and I think her character is so much fun.

C: The blurb of your new novel is very mysterious, with the mention of families being linked, Mr. Gardiner 'failing', Lady Anne's 'guilt and delight' etc. What can you tell us about the novel (without spoilers of course!)?

JB: Without spoilers - not much, but I will try! I think the excerpt will give just a little taste of the story away, enough to at least have your forming a theory of what goes on early in the book. So, we see glimpses of Elizabeth's childhood in this version, with special attention to her at age 3, and age 13. Lady Anne Darcy and Edward Gardiner both play their own role in influencing Elizabeth's life, and I think that part of the complexity of their characters is that there will be times when you can blame a lot of different people for things going wrong when they do, but ultimately what everyone involved - the extended Fitzwilliam family - needs to learn is that casting blame is something they need to grown past in order to move forward. So this sort of dysfunctional family dynamic really affects Elizabeth and by the time she is 20, she has a lot to work through.

I can also tell you this: there is no Kitty, Lydia, or Georgiana Darcy, and Charlotte comes with a twist!

C: The blurb also mentions Elizabeth having past trauma. Is this a very angsty read? Will I need to skip ahead to reassure myself that it's safe to keep reading?

JB: It is a very angsty read, but it is tempered at times with the development of some really interesting and very flawed & authentic character relationships. There is a HEA, of course, but until then I think the readers can expect to get mad at just about every character at some point in the first ten chapters!
* * *

Thanks so much to Jayne for answering my questions. Read on for an excerpt and giveaway opportunity!

* * *

Book cover: A Sister's Curse by Jayne Bamber
Excerpt from A Sister's Curse by Jayne Bamber

             A respectable family of the lower gentry were travelling on the Great North Road toward Lambton, a village of little consequence to any but those happy enough to reside there. The gentleman felt entirely indifferent to the notion of travelling thither with his wife, her younger sister, and his three young daughters; he occupied himself chiefly in reading his newspaper, idly stroking the hair of his second and favorite daughter, a lively girl of three who had finally dozed off in his lap.

             His wife, seated opposite him, was equally engrossed in coddling her own favorite, a darling fair-haired angel of five, while the lady’s younger sister sat beside her, cradling the youngest of the children. Though she quite longed to be as doting an aunt as ever there was, the young lady grew restless as the babe in her arms drifted to sleep, and the gentleman’s hope of having silence at last was soon dashed; his wife and her sister resumed the tedious chatter that had been nearly constant during their three-day journey.

             Their intention was not to attend the wedding to which they had been invited, but to prevent its taking place. Their brother, the jovial bridegroom, was a fine-looking and affable young man of thirty with a promising future in trade. Moreover, his sister had come up in the world, having married into the landed gentry these six years, and she felt her brother could now likewise do better than a penniless country miss from some remote northern backwater – he ought to marry a young lady of means, perhaps with younger brothers of an age and standing to some day look toward her own three daughters.

             The lady found a ready audience in her younger sister, and with the hour of confrontation nearly upon them as they approached their destination, her wit flowed long. The gentleman could only conceal a smirk; he had resolved to wait until the very last to make his own sentiments known to his wife and her sister by pledging his full support of his brother-in-law’s choice, for six years had taught him there could be little pleasure in such a marriage beyond vexing his wife from time to time.
Unfortunately, it was his turn to be vexed by his lady, whose increasingly animated lamentations inevitably resulted in the disruption of her daughters’ equanimity. The babe began to cry, and her aunt would insist on tending to the child herself, rather than handing her off to her mother. The babe’s cries soon roused the middle daughter, who squealed a great deal, grappling wildly at her father in disorientation.

             Still coddling her eldest, there was little else the mother would do; she scolded her sister and the babe, scolded her second child, and scolded her husband for the girl’s distress until the gentleman was obliged to stop the coach entirely and claim a seat on top beside the driver, leaving the wailing of his daughters to his wife and sister, the responsible parties for the current uproar.

             His lady wife let out a huff of indignation as he slammed the carriage door behind him, and a moment later deposited himself heavily on the seat beside the driver. He had taken the reins himself and gave the carriage a heavy, impatient jolt as he set them off toward the road leading into the village. Recovering from such a rustle about the carriage, the lady exchanged a look of shared annoyance with her sister, before chastising her second daughter again.

             There was another disturbance a moment later – they were going far too fast – and then there was a great commotion of sound outside, on the road – all hooves and shouts. The lady met her sister’s eye a moment before the carriage began to tumble. She cradled her eldest girl close, as her sister likewise held the baby, and both women had only just begun to reach out for the middle daughter when the carriage tumbled over.

***

             Two great ladies, sisters, were travelling south on the Great North Road – had in fact just begun their journey – one sister had come north to accompany the other down to Bath, to see a doctor of a certain speciality, as a matter of some urgency. The elder sister was always happy to be of assistance to anybody, particularly her beloved younger sister, and a great deal more keen to be away from their husbands. Her own husband had remained behind at the manor, where he would no doubt debauch himself for the duration of her absence; her younger sister’s husband, a much finer man, had ridden as far as the village to see them off.

             It was not long after he guided his horse away from them, and their carriage began to pick up speed where the road widened at the edge of the village that their journey went amiss. What followed happened too quickly for either sister to recall with any clarity just what transpired, but when it was over, the younger woman sprang from the carriage. The elder sister was well enough recovered from the collision to instantly begin scolding the driver, while the younger sister hastened to assess the condition of the carriage they had struck.

             It was in pieces. Both equipages had taken the curve at far too dangerous a speed, and only hers, the finer of the two, had survived the impact. She was immediately struck with no little dismay at just how many passengers had been within the battered carriage – all women and children, and two men riding atop, both now prostrate on the ground, their bodies twisted impossibly.

             The lady cried out to her maid, who stumbled out of the carriage wide-eyed and shaking, but uninjured. The girl was dispatched to the village for help, and ignoring the dramatic fits of her elder sister, the sisters knelt amongst the wreckage to ascertain the injuries of the two women and three small girls, ignoring the pang in her heart at the certainty that the two men were beyond help.

             The women and children were seen to – the fine lady felt some hope that they wanted only a little more assistance to be quite well. Assistance soon arrived in the form of her husband, the foremost gentleman of the area, who quickly took command of the situation. His wife, cradling one of the crying girls in her arms, watched with tears glistening in her eyes as her husband heard the final words of the man dying on the side of the road. He locked eyes with his wife, and gave her a solemn nod as the gentleman, assured that his wife and daughters would be safe, drew his last raspy breath.

* * *
Author Bio

Author Jayne Bamber
Jayne Bamber is a life-long Austen fan, and a total sucker for costume dramas. Jayne read her first Austen variation as a teenager and has spent more than a decade devouring as many of them as she can. This of course has led her to the ultimate conclusion of her addiction, writing one herself.

Jayne's favorite Austen work is Sense and Sensibility, though Sanditon is a strong second. Despite her love for Pride and Prejudice, Jayne realizes that she is no Lizzy Bennet, and is in fact growing up to be Mrs. Bennet more and more each day.

After years of dating Wickhams, Collinses, and the occasional Tilney-that-got-away, Jayne married her very own Darcy (tinged with just the right amount of Mr. Palmer) and the two live together in Texas with a pair of badly behaved rat terriers, and a desire to expand their menagerie of fur babies.



* * *

Book cover: A Sister's Curse by Jayne Bamber
Buy Links

A Sister's Curse is due out on 27 August and can be preordered now. It's also included in Kindle Unlimited. Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads shelf.

Giveaway Time!

Jayne is offering an ebook giveaway of A Sister's Curse. To enter, please comment on this post and then use the rafflecopter linked here.

Note about commenting
I love to read your comments, but a few blog visitors have reported difficulties in commenting while using the Safari browser. If you are unable to comment, please try using another web browser, such as Google Chrome, or please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

Blog Tour Schedule

Here are the other stops on the blog tour. Visit them to find out more about the book!

Blog Tour: A Sister's Curse by Jayne Bamber


* * *
If you don’t want to miss any of my future posts, please subscribe:


If you'd like to be friends on Goodreads then please invite me - just say that you visit my blog when it asks why you'd like to be friends with me.

36 comments:

  1. Hoping that my two favourite people will be featured a lot - the Colonel and Mary Bennet. Always hoping that Mary does not marry Collins in any guise but is linked to the Colonel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder if all lines to Longbourn were severed after the accident, as Mr Collins senior and Mr Bennet weren't on terms. It will be interesting to see what affect the earlier prosperity for the Collins family will make to the son.

      Delete
  2. Patricia Finnegan19 August 2019 at 21:10

    I am tearing up just reading this blurb! T_T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I have been thikning this book should come with a free pack of tissue LOL...

      Delete
    2. It is certainly a tragic beginning to a story!

      Delete
  3. As one of your Beta readers, I state my belief that this will be a very popular story. Good luck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aww thank you!! <3 <3 <3

      Delete
    2. I think this has a great premise, and I'm sure I won't be the only one to be intrigued to try this story.

      Delete
  4. Carole in Canada19 August 2019 at 23:12

    Oh Wow! Now that is an excerpt! I can only begin to imagine what you have created! Oh Mr. Bennet, what were you thinking!
    Looking forward to reading this one...angst and all! Loved 'Happier in Her Friends than Relations' and have the 2nd book to read in the very near future! Thank you for a chance at the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was a fantastic excerpt too, Carole, glad you enjoyed it :)

      Delete
  5. Looking forward to reading this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Jean! I hope you enjoy this one when you read it.

      Delete
  6. I am so curious to see how this story pans out. Loved reading the interview and excerpt about Jayne's latest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The excerpt and blurb makes me very curious too, Sophia, so many questions!

      Delete
  7. Oh-My-Goodness!! My heart is beating wildly. Mr. Bennet what have you done or set in motion? Once again his behavior has caused problems for his family. How will Lizzy develop without the influence of her father. What will Mrs. Bennet do now? La! I cannot imagine a story without Kitty or Lydia. This will certainly be a different interesting. Thanks, Ceri for hosting, and blessings to Jayne on the launch and success of this work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor Mr Bennet! And those poor little girls.

      Delete
  8. Bronwen Robinson20 August 2019 at 16:06

    Oh my! Without Mr. Bennet so much could happen ... or not happen. I cannot wait to see what choices you make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bronwen. This really sets things off in another direction, doesn't it!

      Delete
  9. As I have a membership in KU I will read this under that version. It doesn't name names so even though I think the man who died is Mr. Bennet I will have to wait to read. Now who the other carriage contained I can't begin to guess even though there are hints. Thanks for the excerpt. I look forward to reading this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sheila. I'm making the same assumptions as you. Hope you enjoy the book when you read it.

      Delete
  10. I'm hooked. It looks like Mr. Bennet is dead and the Darcy's got involved. I wonder is Lady Ann going to adopt Elizabeth? I'm looking forward to reading this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be a very different relationship in that case, wouldn't it!

      Delete
  11. Wow! That was an emotional excerpt. Who is dying? Who is the wife and children? Intrigued!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was a little surprised when I read the excerpt, because I hadn't been expecting such an emotional scene.

      Delete
  12. Wow! That is some excerpt!

    Congratulations on this new release.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What an intriguing excerpt. Can't wait to see how this changes things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's fair to say that the changes from this diversion to the back story will be huge!

      Delete
  14. eager to know what disagreements they have. Congratulations on the release of your book.thank you for the glimpse of it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I’m excited about this new twist on the story. Thank you for offering a giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my. I can't wait to read this. Thank you for sharing the excerpt and for the give away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it, Deborah Ann!

      Delete