Friday, 9 August 2019

Mrs Collins' Lover by Bronwen Chisholm - Author Interview and Giveaway

Book cover: Mrs. Collins' Lover by Bronwen Chisholm
Today I’m very happy to be hosting a first time visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm. A very warm welcome goes to Bronwen Chisholm, who has written a new Pride & Prejudice variation, Mrs Collins’ Lover. As I don’t know Bronwen very well, she has agreed for an author interview, and she's brought a giveaway too!

Let’s take a look at the blurb for Mrs Collins’ Lover, and then we will pour out a virtual cuppa and have a chat with Bronwen.

Book Description

Elizabeth Bennet was raised with a strong belief and faith in God's plan for her life. She knew He had a plan, even if the details were hidden from her. But, when placed in an untenable situation, she turned instead to the arms of a man to find brief moments of joy. Finally, when able to realize the happiness which was always intended for her, the weight of her guilt over her past sins convinces her of her unworthiness. Only through reconciliation with the Lover of her soul can she truly fulfill the life He planned for her. But first, she must forgive herself in order to find redemption.

Remember: In order to be redeemed, there must be sin. This story is intended for mature audiences. Trigger Warning: There are incidents of abuse in this story.


Author Interview with Bronwen Chisholm

Ceri: Thanks so much for joining us here today Bronwen, and for agreeing to have a chat with me.

Bronwen: Thank you for having me. I am excited to get to know you and your readers.

C: How did you discover the works of Jane Austen, and which is your favourite?

B: Many years ago, I shared an office with a young woman who was shocked to learn I had never seen the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. The next day, the VHS set was sitting on my desk when I arrived and the rest is history. Unlike my co-worker, I was not required to read Jane Austen for school. My family had a copy of Pride and Prejudice, but I was a Bronte girl growing up and never read it. Needless to say, after seeing the movie, I read all six of Austen’s novels and then delved into the fan fiction. My favorite is Pride and Prejudice, probably because it was my “gateway drug.”

C: You’ve written quite a number of Pride & Prejudice variations. What started you off writing in this genre?

B: At the time I discovered the genre, I was already writing suspense romance but had not completed anything. A few years in, I had finally completed a story, but it needed work. I began writing the variations to improve my writing skills and explore writing techniques without having to create a new world and characters. Of course, it soon became so much fun and I did end up creating new characters to interact with the originals.

C: What inspires the ideas for your stories?

B: Ooh, that’s hard to narrow down. A song, a new reading of an old passage; it could be just about anything. Many times I will get ideas when I am reading other variations. The author will put a different twist on a quote from the original and I realize I never thought of it that way, I wonder how else it could be read. Then my brain takes off and a scene is playing out in my mind.

C: The blurb for Mrs Collins’ Lover has raised quite a few queries for me! It seems to be quite different in tone from your previous stories. The premise for this story seems to be very sad – presumably the Mrs Collins is Elizabeth, and we know that will make her unhapppy, and from the blurb it seems that having a lover has brought her moral conflict. Would you say that this story is a heavier read than your previous ones? Is there a happy ending, or are you making no promises?!

B: You are correct. For the most part, I like to write light-hearted stories, and you will find amusing moments in Mrs. Collins’ Lover along with a happy ending.

In 2014, just before I began publishing, I lost both my parents within 6 months of each other. My father was a man of God and his wish when he was dying was that his daughters renew and strengthen their relationship with Jesus. His favorite scripture was The Prodigal Son.

I went through a period after releasing A Beneficial, If Unwilling, Compromise where I lacked motivation so I began to think about why I had started publishing. At that time it had been to prove something to myself. I felt this was more a tribute to my dad and my upbringing.

C: A lot of readers of Austenesque stories have favoured scenarios, such as compromise, or marriage of convenience, but in these cases we get a Darcy/Elizabeth pairing from the beginning. For those who might be dissuaded from reading this story, can you tell us what you think is compelling about this scenario?

B: There are a couple things that I believe will attract readers. First, there are moments where you see that, if they would just speak honestly, much of their heartache could have been avoided. Also, though it is not an upright relationship, we get to see how they learn to trust and come to know what love really is. We also see Elizabeth in an unusual light. There is a break between her January wedding and Easter where we do not know what has occurred, but she is no longer the outspoken woman from the original. She is broken and the remainder of the book is her journey back to wholeness.

C: The blurb implies that the story has religious elements. Is this quite a religious book? Would you say that your books are generally religious?

B: Anyone who has read Behind the Mask will tell you my books are NOT normally religious. As I said, I was raised in a Christian household. Though my father was not a preacher like Jane Austen’s, he did have a prison ministry and was the lay leader for our church. This book is a redemption story because that was what was required for Elizabeth to gain her happy ending. That said, it is interesting to see how the different characters react as they become aware of what is occurring and how they use religion to justify those reactions.

C: Your stories seem to spotlight different Pride & Prejudice characters – Georgiana Darcy in Georgiana Darcy, Matchmaker, Mrs Bennet in A Beneficial, if Unwilling, Compromise etc. Do you have favourite minor characters?

B: Jane Austen created such wonderful characters. Even when she said little about a person, the reader felt like they knew them immediately. I love playing with Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgiana. He is usually my comic relief and I like to give her a backbone that surprises her brother. Mary is another of my favorites, especially in this story. In Mrs. Collins’ Lover, everyone seems to like Anne de Bourgh. Though quiet in her mother’s presence, she becomes a nicer mini-me when away from her.

C: This book is just coming out, but do you have the idea for your next story yet? Could you share anything with us about it?

B: Well, anyone who follows me on Facebook knows that I went to Scotland, England, and Wales last year. One of the reasons we included Wales was because I had written a story that was supposed to take place on its border, but my characters sounded more Scottish. I found a lovely lady at a manor house where we stayed who agreed to read the dialogue while I recorded her. That story will be called Missing Jane. I do not have any idea of a publication date as I have not even begun sending it to my beta reader yet.

Ceri's note for blog visitors: As somebody who comes from Wales I would just like to mention that you don't need to be writing a story to have a reason to come to Wales. I am clearly very biased but I think it's a pretty part of the world. Lots of castles, nice beaches, undulating countryside. Come here for your hill and valley needs :)

Author Bronwen Chisholm
About the Author:

Bronwen Chisholm began her writing career working on Suspense Romance, but finally became a published author with her Pride and Prejudice Variations. She takes great pleasure in searching for potential "plot twists" and finding the way back to a happy ending.

Her love of writing has led her to several writing groups, and she is currently serving as the Vice President of The Riverside Writers and heads up the Riverside Young Writers.

For more information, visit her at www.bronwenchisholm.com.

Book cover: Mrs. Collins' Lover by Bronwen Chisholm
Buy Links

Mrs Collins' Lover is due for release in ebook on 10 August - Amazon UK / Amazon US / Add to Goodreads Shelf.

Bronwen has written quite a few other books too. Check out her Amazon and Goodreads Author Pages for details.

Giveaway Time!

Bronwen is kindly offering a giveaway of Mrs Collins' Lover to one of you. To enter, just leave a comment on this post by the end of the day on Friday 16 August. Please ensure you leave your name, or you won't be entered. You can also earn another entry by tweeting about the giveaway. Tag me, @Frawli1978 to make sure I see it :)

Thanks so much to Bronwen for coming to visit and offering the giveaway! We wish you all the very best with your book.

Blog Tour Schedule

Bronwen has some other blog visits planned. You'll be able to find out more about the book by visiting these blogs on the dates below :)

August 10 Diary of an Eccentric

August 12 From Pemberley to Milton

August 14 More Agreeably Engaged

August 17 My Love for Jane Austen


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41 comments:

  1. I’ve read all Bronwen’s books. The first was Behind the Mask which I loved. I read this as it was posting and loved it also, so I’m looking forward to owning a copy and reading it from start to finish without having to wait!
    As a child we mostly spent our holidays at my Gran’s house in North Yorkshire, but occasionally we went in a caravan in Conway and Abergele which we really enjoyed. I loved the nearby castles and the boat trip to Anglesey, plus the beaches and the nearby train line complete with steam trains! I was only little but I’m sure my brother said that the Flying Scotsman went past!
    Back to this book! I hate that Elizabeth had to marry Mr Collins, I hate that he destroyed her spirit but I loved her interactions with Darcy and how he restored her. I had issues with some members of her family but I’m not giving spoilers! For anyone who is unsure there is definitely a happy ending!

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    1. Thank you, Glynis! I wish we had had more time to visit all of this beautiful country. The United Kingdom has always held a special place in my heart.
      I am glad you enjoyed the story - you will probably note a few changes in the final book as I cleaned up some of the point of view changes. I hope you it does not disappoint.

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    2. I haven't read anything by Bronwen yet, Glynis (so many books, so little time!) so I'm glad to hear that they are so good. I felt my angst levels rising just reading the blurb of this one so it's also good to hear you recommend it! I hope you enjoy this revised version as much as the version posted online.

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  2. My favourite books is Mistress Mary and the General - my two favourite characters in one book. Looking forward to reading this book

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm9 August 2019 at 14:33

      Thank you, Vesper! Mistress Mary holds a special place in my heart.

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    2. Hope you enjoy this one too, Vesper

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  3. Bronwen Chisholm9 August 2019 at 14:32

    Ceri,
    I was reading through the post this morning and got to my comments on Wales and thought, "Oh, that could be taken the wrong the way." I have had a love for Wales from the time I was a small child. My aunt read How Green Was My Valley and determined someone in our family would be named Bronwyn (of course my mother wasn't certain of the spelling when the nurse asked). She also had a pen pal who tried to "kidnap" me from a bus tour of England so I could see this beautiful land while I was there, but we couldn't make it work. I long to see the country in its entirety, but we were only there for 2 weeks and our main goal for this trip was to see as much of Scotland as possible. I will be returning in the future, and I am determined to see much, much more. ;)

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    1. Haha! I knew what you meant regarding the comments about Wales, I was just advertising my homeland :) The UK has lots of places worth visiting, and it's hard to fit them all in if you live here, let alone if you're trying to cram it into a few weeks.

      I've travelled so little in the UK myself, that I have lots of places I still want to go to.

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  4. Yikes!! I usually hate the stories where Elizabeth is forced to marry Collins -- and it seems this is one where she will have an abusive husband! But still … I want to read it!

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm9 August 2019 at 15:22

      I promise, I tried to keep the abuse to a minimum. Elizabeth had to be in a detestable situation to turn her back on her upbringing. I also promise that there are moments of joy and a satisfying HEA.

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    2. I found the blurb quite stress-inducing, actually! If you see this reply, could you add your name in so that I can add you in for the giveaway? Thank you!

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  5. I too, read this story as it was posted on-line. Phenomenal! I anxiously awaited each new installment. As a Christian, I was conflicted about the adultery (the title alludes to it) and the redemption of the couple as they sought guidance. Thank you for the chance to win this wonderful book.

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    1. It's so great to get the viewpoint of a Christian reader on this, foreverHis, bearing in mind the title of the book, and the fact it clearly has Christian themes.

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  6. Bronwen Chisholm9 August 2019 at 18:05

    Thank you! I am so pleased that you enjoyed it. I hope the couple's road to redemption sufficiently overcame your concerns. Good luck!

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  7. Thank you for the chance in the giveaway. From the book description it appears Elizabeth goes on a journey that is in full circle. Thank you for sharing some details about yourself.

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm9 August 2019 at 19:12

      You are very welcome! Good luck!

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    2. Thanks so much for stopping by Shelley!

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  8. I read two of your books, Behind the Mask and A Beneficial if Unwilling Compromise. I enjoyed both. I have read one other story in which Elizabeth was basically forced to marry Collins and every night it was a forced sex act which was painful. However I have never read any story in which Elizabeth took a lover. This does sound very interesting. Thank you for sharing here.

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm10 August 2019 at 15:01

      Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed my stories. I promise I kept the scenes with Collins as minimal as possible. I hope you enjoy this story.

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Sheila. Good to know that you've enjoyed Bronwen's other books :)

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  9. Enjoyed the interview. I feel so badly for Elizabeth, I am so glad that there is redemption and a happy ending.

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    1. Forgot to mention that I also tweeted tagging you.

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    2. Bronwen Chisholm10 August 2019 at 15:04

      Thank you! HEA and JAFF should be synonymous. ;) Good luck!

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    3. I feel just the same as you, poor Elizabeth. On the one hand I am a little conflicted about the adultery, because that's something I don't like to read about, but on the other hand I would find it easier not to be too judgemental if her husband is unkind to her.

      Thanks also for tweeting, that gets you an extra entry :)

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  10. Thanks for this interesting interview. Congratulations on the release of your new book.

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm11 August 2019 at 02:24

      Thank you!

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    2. Glad you enjoyed the interview, KateB! I enjoyed reading Bronwen's answers too :)

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  11. I enjoyed the interview. The story sounds do intriguing. I cannot wait until we see how ODC's HEA is reached.

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    1. Yes, I wonder how we will get to a happy ending too!

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  12. Bronwen Chisholm11 August 2019 at 02:26

    Thank you! I hope you enjoy it.

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  13. Wonderful interview. I am intrigued by this variation. Looking forward to reading.

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm11 August 2019 at 15:43

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it.

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    2. Thanks Becky, hope you enjoy!

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  14. We also had a comment from Buturot, who was unable to comment on the post, but contacted me separately. Sorry you had trouble commenting, I will include you in the giveaway draw :)

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    1. Thanks Ceri, I finally been able to post. Had to use a different computer.

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  15. It's a good way to to be introduced to Bronwen through this interview. The questions asked are things that I like to know about an author. Nice job, Ceri.

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm18 August 2019 at 21:54

      I was so thankful for Ceri's questions - it really helped me with the other blogs also.

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    2. Thank you so much for your comment, Luthien, I always worry that I'm not asking the right questions!

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  16. Nice interview. Thank you for sharing a little about your start Bronwen. Eager to read about EB's (and FD's)trials and redemption.

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    1. Bronwen Chisholm18 August 2019 at 21:55

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy it.

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    2. Glad you managed to comment in the end Buturot!

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