Friday, 3 April 2020

Mr Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'Dell - Blog Tour, Guest Post and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Mr Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'DellI’m pleased to be welcoming Lari Ann O’Dell to the blog for the first time, as the blog tour for Mr Darcy’s Clan stops here at Babblings of a Bookworm. This is a Pride & Prejudice-inspired story featuring vampires. So let’s take a look at the blurb and then we will hand over to Lari for her guest post and an excerpt of the story. There’s a giveaway too, so read on for more details!

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'Dell
Book Description

The upper echelon of English society—comprised of vampires, or Firstborn Sons—is a world Elizabeth Bennet has no desire to join. She has little exposure to Firstborn Sons until Mr. Bingley arrives in the neighborhood and falls in love with her sister Jane. His mysterious friend, Mr. Darcy, attracts Elizabeth’s attention, but she is convinced he is hiding a dark secret. In spite of this, powerful feelings draw her to him. She learns a shocking truth when Mr. Wickham appears, and disaster strikes at Netherfield. Forced into Mr. Darcy’s supernatural realm, a confusing new world of danger threatens their deepening love. How can they find eternal happiness when members of his illustrious clan are plotting her demise? Can Mr. Darcy rise beyond his past to save her or will he lose her for all eternity? 

Guest Post from Lari Ann O’Dell

I am excited to be here today at Babblings of a Bookworm. Today I have a fun post about “celebrity vampires” in the world of Mr. Darcy’s Clan, as well an excerpt featuring one of my favorite scenes in the book.
What do I mean by “celebrity vampires”? Well, exactly as the term implies. In this variation, the right to become a vampire is determined by wealth and status. A man must be a Firstborn Son of a prominent family. For women to become vampires, they must marry a Firstborn Son, though there are special exceptions for female heirs in the monarchy.
The excerpt I am sharing today of Darcy and Elizabeth sharing a peaceful moment in the library at Pemberley showcases an example of another Firstborn Son rule exclusion. The vampires of the greater Fitzwilliam Clan have many connections spanning the centuries, including ties to prominent vampires, some leading back directly to the monarchy. One of those connections is to William Shakespeare, the Bard himself.
In the excerpt, we learn about the fate of the Darcy relation, but what about the fate of William Shakespeare? I never included it in the story because it was not relevant, but I like to imagine that he stopped writing after his known plays and retired elsewhere in the country. Perhaps he frequented the Globe theater and heckled if one of his plays was not performed to his standards. Did he have an Eternal Partner? I don’t think so. His marriage to his wife, Anne Hathaway, preceded his vampire transformation, and I do not envision Shakespeare having a desire tie himself to one lady in particular for an eternity. Is he alive during the time of Mr. Darcy’s Clan? The short answer is no. I imagine he grew tired of immortality and chose to move on to the next great adventure: death.
As for other possible “celebrity vampires,” I am certain that Bloody Mary earned that moniker. I imagine her breaking the Dictates, her father’s laws for vampires, and slaughtering anyone who revered these new Firstborn Sons. Her reign was short, because she could not bear being forced to become a vampire and begged someone to put a stake through her heart once she realized that overturning her father’s reformation was futile.
I would like to believe that there were many English authors and artists that were given the chance to become immortal, but declined the offer. As to notable people in other countries, well, who is to say. Vampire laws outside of England were not as strict. One did not have to earn the right to be turned. From my perspective, the lives of notable people throughout history, monarchs included, remained relatively similar to actual history. If any of these people were vampires, after the year of their “death”, they retired and spent their eternities pursuing other interests and enjoying a sedentary  life.
So I pose an interesting question to all you lovely readers. If you could chose three noteworthy artists, authors, or even scientists who could have been a vampire, who would you select? For me, Jane Austen is the first person who comes to mind. Imagine how many more books she could have written had she not died so tragically young! And I too would choose Mary Shelly. I am certain she would have loved the idea of being a vampire. My final choice would be Tchaikovsky simply because of my love for Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.
And now, I present to you, the excerpt from Mr. Darcy’s Clan that features a reference to William Shakespeare, and the mysterious Darcy relation who was the inspiration for Viola from Twelfth Night. This discussion of famous relations leads to a tender moment and a heart-warming promise from Elizabeth to Darcy.
Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'Dell
Excerpt from Mr Darcy’s Clan
Darcy found Elizabeth in the library later that day. She sat curled in one of the chairs beside the fire, with a book of sonnets in her lap. She glanced up when he entered, a bright smile crossing her features.
“Where have you been today, William? I thought we were going to walk to the lake.”

“I was making preparations for our trip to Rosings, with Richard. I wish we did not have to go. Lady Catherine’s company will be far more unpleasant than my father’s. Not to mention there is that ridiculous parson.”

Elizabeth laughed. “I will agree with you that spending time with my cousin is not my idea of pleasant, but I did promise Charlotte I would visit her. I suppose it shows Lady Catherine is considerate—at least where it concerns her rector and his wife.”

Darcy crossed the room to stand beside Elizabeth. He laid a hand on her shoulder and absently began to caress the delicate flesh at the base of her neck.

Elizabeth smiled up at him. “Whatever unpleasantness Rosings may have in store for us, we will endure it together.”

Darcy saw the wisdom of Elizabeth’s words, and knew there was nothing he could say to truly prepare her for meeting Lady Catherine. Instead, he glanced at the book she was holding.

“Are you fond of Shakespeare?”

“I would be a poor English lady if I were not,” Elizabeth said.

“Then I believe you might be interested in our collection of first editions.” He took her hand and brought her to the bookshelf between two windows.

Elizabeth gazed in awe at the collection of all Shakespeare’s works. She took one of the volumes in hand and saw it was signed by the Bard himself.

“How did you get these?” Elizabeth asked.

“William Shakespeare was given the honor of going through the Immortal Rite by Queen Elizabeth, after he delighted her with one of his plays. One of the many members of the Darcy Clan had the honor of being in Her Majesty’s retinue, procured these editions, and had them signed. It is my understanding this lady had a dalliance with him once, and that she was the inspiration for Viola.”

“You have a fascinating family history, William. It this muse still alive?”

“No. Her Eternal Partner set her aside and she was banished from his clan. She journeyed to France in the eighteenth century and did not return.”

“Poor lady. It would be a terrible fate to be abandoned by one’s Eternal Partner.”

“You need never worry about such a fate,” Darcy promised, wrapping his arm around her.

“Never say never, William,” Elizabeth said. “But I do believe I am far too stubborn to allow you to leave me without a fight.”

“I am happy to hear it, my love, as I would do the very same.”

“It is fortunate for us we have moved past the point of running from each other, is it not?”

The statement was rewarded with a kiss, and soon enough, everything else was forgotten.

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Author Lari Ann O'Dell
Author Bio

Lari Ann O'Dell first discovered her love of Pride & Prejudice when she was eighteen. After reading a Pride & Prejudice variation she found in a closing sale at a bookstore, she said, "This is what I want to do." She published her first novel, Mr. Darcy’s Kiss, two years later.

Born and raised in Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado in Boulder and earned a bachelor's degree in History and Creative Writing. After graduating college, she wrote and published her second novel, Mr. Darcy’s Ship. Her third novel, Mr. Darcy’s Clan, is her first supernatural variation, and she is working on two more fantasy variations. She is now back at school and pursuing a degree in Nursing. She adores her two beautiful nephews, Hudson and Dean. She currently works at a middle school and writes whenever she can.

Buy Links

Mr Darcy’s Clan is available to buy now in both ebook and paperback. It’s also available in Kindle Unlimited:

Giveaway Time!

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'Dell
Lari Ann O’Dell is giving away eight eBooks of Mr. Darcy’s Clan. The giveaway is international. Rafflecopter information is below.

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Blog Tour: Mr Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'Dell
Mr. Darcy’s Clan Blog Tour Schedule:

Blog Tour: Mr Darcy's Clan by Lari Ann O'Dell

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Monday, 30 March 2020

Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin - Review

Book cover: Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin
Today the blog tour for Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin stops by. This is a gem from the story forums that I thought would never be available published so I’m very happy to take part in this tour. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll let you know what I thought of the published version of one of my forum favourites.

Book Description

One distressing night in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet impulsively offers Georgiana Darcy aid. Scandalous rumours soon surround the ladies and Fitzwilliam Darcy, forcing Elizabeth and Darcy, strangers to each other, to marry.

Darcy despises everything about his marriage to the daughter of an insignificant country gentleman with vulgar relations. Georgiana, humiliated after a near-elopement with George Wickham and full of Darcy pride, hates her new sister. Their family look upon Elizabeth with suspicions and do little to hide their sentiments.

Separated from those who love her, Elizabeth is desperate to prove herself to her new family despite their disdain. Just as she loses all hope, Darcy learns to want her good opinion. He will have to face his prejudices and uncover the depths of Georgian’s misdeeds to earn it, and Elizabeth will learn to trust him if she is ever to find happiness being Mrs Darcy.

Monday, 16 March 2020

When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella - Blog Tour, Guest Post

Blog Tour - When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella
I'm very happy to be welcoming author Belén Paccagnella here with the blog tour for the Pride & Prejudice variation, When Duty Calls. Belén has brought a guest post, and the opportunity to win an ebook of When Duty Calls. Let's look at the blurb and then I'll hand over to Belén for her guest post.

Book cover - When Duty Calls by Belén Paccagnella
Book Description

The Netherfield ball brings about many changes for the population of Meryton, and more so for the female residents of Longbourn. Mr. Bingley’s departure leaves the eldest, Jane Bennet, heartbroken whilst Mr. Collins’s proposal induces Miss Elizabeth to make a hasty escape. During her flight, she happens upon Mr. Darcy, a gentleman she despises. A moment of solitude in the woods leads to rather improper behavior, and the couple departs with the promise they will tell no one about their minor indiscretion. When their secret is finally uncovered, marriage becomes the only solution to saving Elizabeth from social disgrace. Her other grudges against Mr. Darcy are amplified by resentment and the prospect of spending her life with a man she can never respect. Nonetheless, the marriage takes place, forcing the young couple to deal with their pride and prejudices as husband and wife.

Originally posted online almost twenty years ago, this Regency tale of redemption narrates the struggles of two people, their differences, and their rocky start. But will they succeed in overcoming lies, misunderstandings, and their own errors to finally find love?

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Elizabeth - Obstinate Headstrong Girl Anthology by Quill Ink Collective - Blog Tour, Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

Book cover: Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl by various authors
Today the blog tour for the latest Quill Ink Collective anthology of stories stops by. We've spent time in Mr Darcy's head with The Darcy Monologues; we've become more closely acquainted with some of the less savoury of Austen's men in Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues. The ladies took the spotlight in Rational Creatures and now the short stories focus on my favourite character, the one who made me love Pride & Prejudice more than any other book I'd ever read. Let's take a look at the anthology Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl. We'll take a look at the blurb, then I'll bring you a guest post from Jenetta James, who contributed a story to the anthology, I'll let you know what I thought of the book, and then you have a chance to enter a giveaway!

Book Description

“Obstinate, headstrong girl!” For over two hundred years, Elizabeth Bennet has enchanted and inspired readers by being that “obstinate, headstrong girl” willing to stand up to the arrogance and snobbery of her so-called betters. Described by Austen as having a “lively, playful disposition,” Elizabeth embodies the perfect imperfections of strong-willed women everywhere: she is spirited, witty, clever, and loyal.

In this romance anthology, ten Austenesque authors sketch Elizabeth’s character through a collection of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times. In ELIZABETH: OBSTINATE, HEADSTRONG GIRL, she bares her most intimate thoughts, all the while offering biting social commentary about life’s absurdities. Elizabeth overcomes the obstacles of others’ opinions, not to mention her own flaws, to find a love truly worthy of her—her Mr. Darcy—all with humor and her sparkling charm.

“I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, January 1813―and we think so too!

Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare.

Stories by Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, Joana Starnes, Karen M Cox, Elizabeth Adams, Leigh Dreyer, J. Marie Croft, and Christina Boyd.

Friday, 21 February 2020

1932 - Pride & Prejudice Revisited: 2nd Edition - by Karen M Cox

1932 - Pride & Prejudice Revisited by Karen M Cox
Today I'm happy to be welcoming Karen M Cox back to Babblings of a Bookworm. Karen's books often take Austen's works to other eras, and my personal favourite of her books, 1932, transports Pride & Prejudice to the Great American Depression of the 1930s. Karen has revised and re-launched this book and comes here today with a post about 1930s movies, and a chance for me to share my review of the 2nd edition of 1932 with you. She also brings a giveaway! Read on for more details!

Book Description

“…do anything rather than marry without affection.” 
—Pride and Prejudice

During the upheaval of the Great Depression, Elizabeth Bennet’s life is torn asunder. Her family’s relocation from the bustle of the big city to a quiet family farm has changed her future, and now, she must build a new life in rural Meryton, Kentucky. 

William Darcy suffered family turmoil of his own, but he has settled into a peaceful life at Pemberley, the largest farm in the county. Single, rich, and seemingly content, he remains aloof—immune to any woman’s charms. 

Until Elizabeth Bennet moves to town.

As Darcy begins to yearn for something he knows is missing, Elizabeth’s circumstances become more dire. Can the two put aside their pride and prejudices long enough to find their way to each other? 

1932, Karen M Cox’s award-winning debut novel, is a matchless variation on Jane Austen’s classic tale.  

Winner of the Bronze Independent Publishers Book Award in Romance, 2011

Movies from the 1930sGuest Post from Karen M Cox - Movies

Thank, Ceri, for welcoming me to Babblings of a Bookworm to celebrate the new 1932. As part of the blog tour, I’ve gathered some fun information about the time period of the book, the 1930s. Yes, the decade of the Great Depression had tragedy and suffering, but it also had joy too, shining through like a brilliant smile suddenly appearing in the stoic countenance of a certain Austen hero.

With that in mind, here are the 5 Best Movies Set During the Great Depression. Why are they the best? Well, because I said so, I guess!  Here we go...
  • The Sting (1973) Why? Because I've always had a huge crush on Paul Newman.
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000) Why? Because it's my dad's favorite movie. And it has great quotable lines, like "I've spoken my piece and counted to three," and "Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!"
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Why? Because Atticus Finch. And Gregory Peck. That is all.
  • The Untouchables (1987) Why? Because it's dramatic, and the actors are superb: Sean Connery, Kevin Costner, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith, and Robert De Niro just nail their roles in this one.
  • Cinderella Man (2005) Why? Because James J Braddock rises like a phoenix above the ashes of adversity. And a man who takes care of his family is sexy as hell.

 Okay, movie buffs, have your share in the conversation—anything I missed?

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1932 - Pride & Prejudice Revisited by Karen M Cox
1932 - Pride & Prejudice Revisited by Karen M Cox - My Review

1932 is a story based on Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, but moved into Depression-era Kentucky. It doesn’t follow Austen’s story exactly, but takes the characters into another era. When I first discovered the Austenesque genre 1932 was one of the early stories that I found, and I loved it! You can see my review ofthe first version here

When I heard that Karen M Cox was planning to release a second edition of 1932 I was equally excited and apprehensive; I am such a fan of the book that I was happy that it was getting some attention, but I was a little worried that the things that I charmed me in the first version might be removed or changed in this one but I still jumped at the chance to read and review it for the blog tour.

One of the things that worries Mrs Bennet in P&P is the insecurity of the Bennets’ situation – they only have Longbourn as long as Mr Bennet lives. In 1932 the economic downturn is what has done for the Bennets’ financial security – Mr Bennet has lost his job, teaching at a university, and some investments haven’t worked out, meaning that he doesn’t have back-up savings. As he hasn’t been able to find another job, the whole Bennet family are going to move to the country, where her maternal uncle, Edward Gardiner is the local vet and still owns the Gardiner family farm, which he offers to the Bennets.

Elizabeth is a university student, but her family will no longer be able to afford the fees. Instead she will have to take a job at her uncle’s surgery to help out the family finances. Her elder sister Jane is found a job at a local store and the rest of the family are going to have to pitch in at the farm. Even so, it will be touch and go as to how they will manage; they are moving at the wrong time of year to plant crops so it’ll be some time before they can stand on their own feet financially.

Lizzy finds the whole situation chafing to her pride; she has moved to a society where she feels like just another poor girl. However, she soon begins to make friends in the town of Meryton, and she begins to attract the notice of a local farm owner, a certain William Darcy, although as his notice towards her doesn’t seem very admiring, she can’t really account for it:
Again, when she looked up, she caught Mr. Darcy staring at her. He turned quickly when she saw him. Elizabeth self-consciously rubbed an imaginary ink smudge from her cheek and returned her attention to Reverend Adams.

Mr Darcy lives with his sister, Georgiana. She has two daughters and there is some mystery surrounding the father of the children, as Georgiana is still calling herself Miss Darcy. Darcy is proud and reserved, but he shows another side of himself in his love for his nieces.

Meeting Miss Elizabeth Bennet has taken Darcy by surprise; she has entered into his well-ordered life and he can’t get her out of his head. He doesn’t want to love, having seen what misery it can bring but he is quite bewitched by Elizabeth and is very attracted to her. He feels compelled by this attraction to propose marriage. He doesn’t offer her love, but what he does offer her is an escape from her family life. This would be a way to ease the burdens on her family’s finances. This is an Elizabeth who has little hope for the future, so she decides to take a gamble on improving the short-term future rather than hold out hope of getting a better long-term future. There is another motivation for her gamble though:
She looked up at him and the words died in her throat. He was watching her with an intensity that was unnerving at worst, and at best–well it was somewhat stirring.

A marriage of convenience between two proud people who are both keeping secrets from each other… what could possibly go wrong?!

So, what is it that I love about this book? Firstly, I love the fact that this is set in a different period. I think that the options for women in those times were limited, although obviously there were more options than in a Regency setting.

I like the way that that author took text from Pride & Prejudice and worked it naturally into the different setting:
She had accused him of being too quick to judge others based on outward appearances, but was she not just as guilty as he? Until this moment, she had never truly known herself, and the knowledge she had gained was troubling.

1932 - Pride & Prejudice Revisited by Karen M CoxWhat I love most about this book is the feelings, particularly on Darcy’s side. He thinks he is infatuated with Elizabeth and has offered her a marriage based on compatibility and sense. When he realises that he feels more for his new wife than he has professed, he doesn’t have much hope that things will improve:
He was in love with the new Mrs. Darcy, and the pain of it was acute, because he knew she didn’t return his feelings.

When I started reading this second edition I didn’t know how comprehensive the changes were, whether I’d even notice them. However, in addition to minor amendments there were also several scenes added, some of which gave more of a flavour of the pre-marriage period, showing the building relationship between the couple, and also giving more insight into one of the secrets Darcy is keeping from his wife.

For those who like to know about these things, there are some sex scenes in this book. In this sort of marriage of convenience scenario, this kind of intimate scene can highlight for the reader the state of a relationship. I was glad to see the notable sex scene of the wedding night made it from the first edition into the second. It’s notable to me as so often first sex scenes between inexperienced people seem highly romanticised, and this one seemed more real!

The Journey Home by Karen M Cox
It’s also worth noting that there is a ‘sidequel’ to this story - The Journey Home which looks at Georgiana’s story. I would read 1932 first and then move on to The Journey Home.

In summary, I loved the second edition of 1932 just as much as the first; the changes made between the editions only enhanced the story for me. It was already a story that I re-read, but I will enjoy my reads all the more now! This is a definite 5 star read for me.

5 star read

Author Karen M Cox
Author Bio

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of five novels accented with history and romance, a novella, and several short stories.

Karen was born in Everett WA, the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee, and New York State before settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at age eleven. She lives in a quiet town with her husband and works as a pediatric speech pathologist.

If you would like periodic bits of authorly goodness delivered to your inbox, be sure to get Karen’s News and Muse Letter. Updates, sales, book recommendations, etc. are yours for the asking. 

Social Media and Publicity Links: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr / Pinterest

1932 - Pride & Prejudice Revisited by Karen M Cox
Buy Links

1932 is available to buy now in both paperback and ebook, and is also available in Kindle Unlimited - Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads shelf.

The sidequel, The Journey Home is also available to buy now in ebook - Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time!

1932 - Pride & Prejudice Revisited by Karen M Cox - Giveaway Bundle
1932 Tenth Anniversary Edition Launch and Birthday Party

To celebrate the 10th anniversary edition of 1932, Karen is giving away a signed copy of the book and some Jane Austen swag: fun notecards from The Quill Ink, What Would Jane Do? book of quotes, and Austen coffee mug (if US winner) or an ebook copy of the book and 25$ Amazon Gift Card (if International Winner - cause #shipping :) 

To enter, use the Kingsumo link below:

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Blog Tour Schedule

Feb 10          Karen M Cox
Feb 12          More Agreeably Engaged
Feb 15          My Love for Jane Austen
Feb 16          Diary of an Eccentric
Feb 17          The Reading Frenzy
Feb 17          From Pemberley to Milton
Feb 18          Olga: Author, Translator
Feb 19          My Jane Austen Book Club
Feb 20          Austenesque Reviews
Feb 21          Rosie Amber Book Reviews
Feb 21          Babblings of a Bookworm
Feb 25          So Little Time

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Sunday, 16 February 2020

Winners - Beauty and Mr. Darcy and A Good Name by Sarah Courtney

Book covers - A Good Name and Beauty and Mr Darcy, both by Sarah Courtney
Recently we were joined by new author Sarah Courtney who has released two books. The latest, Beauty and Mr. Darcy is a historical story, inspired by Pride & Prejudice and the previous book, A Good Name, is a modern Pride & Prejudice-inspired story.

Sarah brought us excerpts of both books - you can read them on the previous post. She was also offering to give an ebook of each book away to commenters on the post.

I chose the winners using a random number generator and those winners were.... drumroll....

Book cover - Beauty and Mr Darcy by Sarah Courtney
Deborah Ann - Beauty and Mr. Darcy


Book cover - A Good Name by Sarah Courtney
Patricia Finnegan - A Good Name

Congratulations to you, ladies! I will be in touch to see if you would like to claim your prize.

Thank you so much to Sarah for visiting us here at Babblings of a Bookworm and offering a giveaway. Thanks also go to everybody who visited the previous post, especially those who commented.

Remember, if you weren't lucky in winning a copy, you can treat yourself to a copy of either or both books to cheer yourself up.

Buy links:

Both books are available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback:

Beauty and Mr. DarcyAmazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon UK / Add to Goodreads shelf

A Good Name: Amazon US / Amazon CA / Amazon UK / Add to Goodreads Shelf

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