Sunday 30 December 2018

My Pick of the Year 2018

Pick of the Year 2018Well the Earth has orbited the Sun another time and we've reached the end of the year. For me, it's been a very busy year in work and at home, with a new job, plus some major building work, which is still not entirely complete (gaaaah!). Unfortunately this has impacted on my mental energy and reading time. I got far less read this year than I'd like, and didn't review everything. However, I still had some good reads, and here is my pick of them.

Friday 28 December 2018

The Avenger by Don Jacobsen - Book 6 in Bennet Wardrobe Collection - Blog Tour

Blog Tour: The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father's Lament by Don Jacobson
I'm pleased to be welcoming Don Jacobson back to Babblings of a Bookworm. The latest book in his Pride & Prejudice-inspired Bennet Wardrobe series, The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father's Lament, is now available, and this is the first stop on the blog tour, which features a guest post, excerpt and giveaway!

If you're new to this series, let me explain a little about it:

What is the ‘Bennet Wardrobe’? Well it’s literally a wardrobe, but it’s no ordinary piece of furniture. It can transport people of the Bennet bloodline forward in time for a period, and then transport them back to their original time. The time traveller doesn’t get to choose when they travel to; it’ll take them to a period that will teach them something they need to know.

Let's look at the blurb for The Avenger, and then pass over to Don Jacobson for his guest post.

Book Cover: The Avenger: Thomas Bennet and a Father's Lament by Don Jacobson
Book Description

Bennet looked at his wife’s swollen lips, softly bruised from several deeply loving kisses, and her flushed complexion, as alluring when gracing the countenance of a woman of four-and-forty as that of a girl of nine-and-ten. He was one of the lucky few to have fallen in love with the same woman at both ages. 

Thomas Bennet, Master of Longbourn, had always counted himself amongst the few educated gentlemen of his acquaintance. But, he had to travel over 120 years into the future to discover how little he knew about the woman sharing his life.

Once again, the amazing Bennet Wardrobe proved to be the schoolmaster. Tom Bennet’s lesson? Mrs. Bennet had been formed especially for him. Yet, t’would be the good lady herself who taught him the power of the Fifth and Sixth Loves: Redemption and Forgiveness.

Fanny Bennet also would uncover deep wells of courage and inspiration as she stood by her man’s side in the bleak years after World War II. Together they would lead their descendants in pursuit of the beast who had wronged every member of the Five Families.

The Bennet Wardrobe series stands alone… 

The Avenger takes us on a new journey through The Bennet Wardrobe – an alternate universe rising from Don Jacobson’s vivid imagination and based upon the immortal Pride and Prejudice. The Avenger is another important step leading to the culmination of this enchanting trip: one that has drawn us into its reality to travel side-by-side with richly sketched characters. Each book has left us wanting more.

The Bennet Wardrobe series stands alone as a unique result of originality focused on beloved characters as they move—and grow—through surprising plotlines.
Lory Lilian, author of Rainy Days

Monday 17 December 2018

Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

I'm very happy to be welcoming Abigail Reynolds back to the blog with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Mr Darcy's Enchantment. This time the variation is quite a major one... this is a world where magic is real....

Let me share the blurb with you, and then we will hand over to Abigail for an excerpt from Mr Darcy's Enchantment.

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Enchantment by Abigail Reynolds
Book Description

In a Regency England where magic and faeries are real…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a powerful magician who controls fire, water, and wind. What he cannot control is his growing feelings for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. But Darcy is also sworn to uphold the laws which forbid women to use magic, and Elizabeth knows it.

Elizabeth’s sentiments towards Darcy are quite different. She detests his arrogance, and she fears he will expose her use of forbidden magic. He is the last man in the world she would choose to help her on a difficult and dangerous task.

But when a magical war looms between the land of Faerie and their world, a Lord of Faerie demands that Darcy and Elizabeth serve together as his emissaries to make peace with the other mortals. That mission throws them into the middle of a chaotic power struggle between magicians whose power dwarfs their own, and everything Elizabeth has ever believed about her family, her friends, and her enemies will be called into question.

This magical variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice makes the land of Faerie as real as Regency London and Rosings Park, as bestselling author Abigail Reynolds presents new challenges for Darcy and Elizabeth in her longest and most enchanting story to date.

Sunday 16 December 2018

Winners Post - Sophie Turner, Maggie Mooha and Anngela Schroeder

It feels like Christmas is here already with all the winners I have to announce! We've had some visitors to the blog lately who have been so kind as to provide some giveaways.

Book cover: A Season Lost by Sophie Turner
Firstly, Sophie Turner visited with A Season Lost, which is the third book in the Constant Love series, a series of sequels to Pride & Prejudice. Sophie was giving away winner's choice of any of the three books in the series so far. The winner's name was chosen using a random number generator and that person was:

Anon (mcwarrillow)

Congratulations to you! You very helpfully left me contact details, so I will be in touch :)

Book Cover: Elizabeth in the New World by Maggie Mooha
Then Maggie Mooha visited us with her debut novel, Elizabeth in the New World, a Pride & Prejudice variation, which sees Elizabeth Bennet travelling to the Caribbean. Maggie was offering to give away a print version and ebook of her novel to commenters on the post. The winners were chosen at random, again using a random number generator. The paperback winner is:


The ebook winner is:


Congratulations, both!
Book cover: An Unexpected Merry Gentleman by Anngela Schroeder
The final winner I have to announce won an ebook of Anngela Schroeder's festive novella, An Unexpected Merry Gentleman, which sees Elizabeth spending Christmas in a party including Mr Darcy, and seeing another side of his character. Again, the winner was chosen using a random number generator, and that person is:

Melanie Rachel

Congratulations to you, I will be in touch.

Thank you so much to the authors for these giveaways and to everybody who visited the posts and commented :)

Wednesday 12 December 2018

An Unexpected Merry Gentleman by Anngela Schroeder - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Are you feeling festive yet? I hope so, because I am welcoming author Anngela Schroeder back to the blog with a seasonal novella, An Unexpected Merry Gentleman. I'll share the blurb with you, and then hand over to Anngela for her guest post. She's also brought a giveaway!

Book Cover: An Unexpected Merry Gentleman by Anngela Schroeder
Book Description

 ‘Tis the season to be jolly and Mr. Darcy and his sister have been invited to Netherfield for Christmas with Bingley’s business associate and the Bennets of Longbourn. There is no comfort or joy for this taciturn man when he discovers the sparkling Elizabeth Bennet finds him proud and arrogant. His only choice is to win her heart, but is it too late to change her opinion of him?

Monday 10 December 2018

I Could Write a Book by Karen M Cox - Audio

I am a big admirer of Karen M Cox's works, which generally take Austen's works to another era. The books I have read are mainly based on Pride & Prejudice, but last year Karen released I Could Write a Book, which transported Emma to the 1970s. I loved the book, and you can read my review of it here. Karen is currently going through the process of having I Could Write a Book converted to audiobook, and has come here to post about that. I'll share the book description with you first, and then hand over to Karen.

Book cover: I Could Write a Book by Karen M Cox
Book Description

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…”

Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered, and predictable, if a bit confining.

Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who’s come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy, and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

Sunday 9 December 2018

Winners - Drawing Mr Darcy and To Conquer Pride

Book cover - Drawing Mr. Darcy: Sketching His Character by Melanie Rachel
It's been very busy on the blog lately, and so I have two winner posts to bring you. Firstly, Melanie Rachel visited with the first book of the Drawing Mr Darcy duology, Sketching His Character. You can read the post here. Melanie was offering to give away a paperback to a US reader, and an ebook to a reader based anywhere. I chose the winners using a random number generator. The first winner selected got the paperback, if they were eligible, and the second got the ebook. The winners are:

Deborah Ann - Paperback

Ria - ebook

Ladies, I have contact details for both of you so I will be in touch.

Book cover: To Conquer Pride by Jennifer Altman
We were also visited by debut author Jennifer Altman, who visited with an excerpt of her P&P variation, To Conquer Pride. Jennifer was giving away an ebook of To Conquer Pride. The winner was again chosen via a random number generator. The winner is:

Dung Vu

Dung, I have your contact details, so I will be in touch.

Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to the authors for the posts and the giveaways!

Friday 7 December 2018

Elizabeth in the New World by Maggie Mooha - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Elizabeth in the New World by Maggie Mooha
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming a new visitor to the blog; Maggie Mooha has written a Pride & Prejudice variation which has been garnering some excellent reviews. This book sees Elizabeth visiting the Caribbean, after a traumatising event. I have an excerpt to share with you, and Maggie is kindly offering a giveaway too. Let's have a look at the blurb first.

Book Description


Darcy's sudden, passionate kiss sweeps Elizabeth into a bliss she has never known...but their love is short-lived. On a field of honor, Wickham, once again, engages in an irresponsible act, which leaves Darcy mortally wounded and Elizabeth broken. Refusing to leave Darcy's side, the last vestiges of her reputation are shattered, and when Elizabeth sees Darcy in his coffin, she is ruined in more ways than one. Devastated and without hope, reluctantly she agrees to accompany friends to Grenada, a Caribbean island on the brink of revolution.

Things are not what they seem. Darcy hasn't died, but Elizabeth is gone and he fears it is too late to recapture what he has lost. As he struggles to recuperate, he must put aside his pride and his heritage in order to find the only woman he will ever love. Never before has Darcy sacrificed so much for a passion he fought against so vehemently. And never before has Elizabeth’s strength of character been stronger - it is the only thing standing between her and an end that doesn't include Darcy.

Monday 3 December 2018

A Season Lost by Sophie Turner - Guest Post and Giveaway

Today I'm joined by Sophie Turner with a guest post about the third book in the Constant Love series. The first book, A Constant Love, is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, following Elizabeth as she juggles the beginning of her married life with the social demands of launching sisters into society. The second, A Change of Legacies, continues the story. Let's share the blurb of this third book, A Season Lost, and then hand over to Sophie for a guest post and giveaway.

Book cover: Book 3 of A Constant Love, A Season Lost by Sophie Turner
Book Description

As the “Year Without a Summer” threatens estates across Britain, Elizabeth and Georgiana both go on journeys that take unexpected turns – journeys that will threaten the lives of those they hold dear.

Three of Elizabeth’s sisters find their lives changed by childbirth, while on Pemberley’s grounds, a surprising romance emerges.

A story of love and family, and the third instalment of the Constant Love series.

Sunday 2 December 2018

Plans for December 2018

Gratuitous Picture of Cat in Christmas Tree
My goodness me, another month gone already! I'm in the throes of Christmas preparation, but hope to carve out some reading time, probably late on in the month. I'm also hoping to get time to go to the cinema - there are 3 films I'd like to see (Bohemian RhapsodyThe Crimes of Grindlewald and Wreck it Ralph Breaks the Internet). There is no way I'll manage to see all three, but just one would be good! I also need to fit in wrapping presents, preparing food, and watching many, many, many Christmas films with my children (it's tradition!). I don't have my tree up yet, but here is a gratuitous picture of one of my cats in last year's tree.

I have a very busy month lined up for you on the blog, so I hope you'll be able to join me for some of the posts that I hope to bring you.

Book cover: A Season Lost by Sophie Turner
Sophie Turner has the third book of her Constant Love series out, A Season Lost. This series follow on from the events of Pride & Prejudice to imagine what might have happened next. You can see my reviews of books 1 - A Constant Love and 2 - A Change of Legacies to get an idea of what they are about. I hope to read this book in January, but Sophie is coming here with a guest post, which I'm really looking forward to.

Book cover: Elizabeth in the New World by Maggie Mooha
Maggie Mooha is a new author. She has written a Pride & Prejudice variation, Elizabeth in the New World which has garnered some glowing reviews already. As you can tell from the title Elizabeth ends up travelling further afield from usual, to the Caribbean. This book sounds extremely exciting, I hope my nerves are up to it! I'll be bringing you a guest post of this book, though I hope to read the book later this month.

Book cover: I Could Write a Book by Karen M Cox
I'll be welcoming Karen M Cox back to the blog. Karen has been here many times before, and I have always enjoyed her books, which usually take Austen's novels to different eras. Most of her books are Pride & Prejudice-inspired but her latest book, I Could Write a Book, saw Emma transported to 1970s Kentucky. I loved the book, and it's coming out on audio soon, so Karen is due to come here with a post in anticipation of the upcoming release.

Book cover: Drawing Mr Darcy: A Faithful Portrait by Melanie Rachel
You might have read my recent review of Melanie Rachel's Drawing Mr Darcy: Sketching His Character (if you missed it, you can read it here, and if you're quick, enter the giveaway for an ebook). This is book one of a series of two. I plan to bring you a post about book two, Drawing Mr Darcy: A Faithful Portrait.

Book cover: Enchanting Mr Darcy by Abigail Reynolds
Finally, I have Abigail Reynolds visiting here as part of her blog tour for her book, Enchanting Mr Darcy. This sounds a little different from Abigail's usual variations, as this one is set in a world where there is magic. I love Abigail's books so I'm really looking forward to her visit and finding out more about the book.

Phew! That's a lot, isn't it! Particularly as I have to fit in all the extra socialising that December brings. I also aim to bring you a pick of the year. I hope you can join me for these posts. Let me know in the comments what you hope to read this month!

Friday 30 November 2018

To Conquer Pride by Jennifer Altman - Blog Tour - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I'm welcoming a new visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm, Jennifer Altman. Jennifer has written a Pride & Prejudice variation, To Conquer Pride, and is visiting as part of the blog tour. Let's have a nosey at the blurb so we know what the book's about and then I'll hand over to Jennifer for a guest post, including excerpt. There's also a giveaway! Read on to find out more...

Book cover: To Conquer Pride by Jennifer Altman Book Description

The course of true love never did run smooth…

When Fitzwilliam Darcy departs Hunsford after his disastrous proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, he does not expect their paths to cross again. Indeed, knowing the lady’s true feelings for him, he makes every effort to see that they do not. But when a chance encounter leaves him stranded in an abandoned cottage with the one woman he can never have, Darcy quickly realizes there is more at risk than just Elizabeth’s reputation.

Elizabeth Bennet knows Mr. Darcy is the last man in the world whom she could ever be prevailed on to marry. Until the morning he hands her a letter, his countenance as dark and forbidding as the windswept sky. Now, trapped in a snowstorm with the one person she was certain she despised, Elizabeth is startled to discover that her feelings are not at all what she expected.

But is one night alone together enough to alter the course of their future?

Can any man as proud as Mr. Darcy be expected to offer for the same woman a second time?

In this tale of serendipity and second chances, the world’s unlikeliest couple must conquer pride, prejudice, and faulty first impressions in the elusive quest for their own happily ever after.

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Monday 26 November 2018

Drawing Mr Darcy: Sketching His Character (Book One) by Melanie Rachel - Review and Giveaway

Book cover - Drawing Mr. Darcy: Sketching His Character by Melanie Rachel
Today I'm happy to be welcoming Melanie Rachel back to the blog. Melanie has written a Pride & Prejudice variation; Drawing Mr Darcy: Sketching His Character, which is published in two parts due to the length of the story. I have read part one and will be sharing my review of it here. Melanie is also offering a giveaway of the book! Read on for more details.

Book Description

When Thomas Bennet's childless aunt and uncle ask that one of his five daughters come to stay with them, he knows just which girl to send. Bright, energetic, and endlessly inquisitive, his little Lizzy is poised to become the apple of her father’s eye and the target of her mother’s fears. Neither will promote family harmony.

When she returns to Longbourn as a young woman, Elizabeth Bennet Russell has had an unconventional upbringing. She is in possession of an important name, a fine education, a good fortune, and a love of drawing. When her parents ask her not to use her Russell surname while she is home, she reluctantly agrees. After all, nobody she knows will meet her in Hertfordshire.

She’s mostly right.

Drawing helps Elizabeth to literally sketch people’s character, and she’s become rather good at it. But she’s about to face her greatest challenge yet. Netherfield Park is let at last, and her good friend's much older brother--whom she has yet to meet--has arrived as a guest.

It will take Elizabeth more than a drawing to help her understand Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Thursday 22 November 2018

Winners - Twelfth-Night Cake and the Rosings Ghost by Robin Kobayashi

Book Cover: Twelfth-Night Cake & The Rosings Ghost by Robin Kobayashi
Recently we were joined by Robin Kobayashi for a guest post and giveaway from her book Twelfth-Night Cake and the Rosings Ghost. This is a book focussing on Colonel Fitzwilliam, from Pride & Prejudice, who here has a small daughter.

You can read Robin's guest post here.

Robin was kindly giving away ebooks of her story. The winners are:

Betty Madden



Sheila Majczan

I will contact those of you who I have details for immediately on publishing this post. If I don't get in touch please contact me.

Thank you so much to Robin for the giveaway. If this book has tickled your fancy this novella is available to buy now: 
• Amazon US • Amazon UK •  Barnes & Noble • Smashwords • Add to your Goodreads Shelf

Monday 19 November 2018

When Jane Got Angry by Victoria Kincaid - Winner

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Monday 12 November 2018

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

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

Book Description 

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

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

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

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

Guest Post from Robin Elizabeth Kobayashi

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from Twelfth-Night Cake & the Rosings Ghost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Like your milky tea?’

‘Ye-e-e-s,’ faltered he.

‘But you hate milky tea.’

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

‘Am I your sweet little girl?’

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

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

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

About the Author

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

Connect with Robin on Facebook and Goodreads

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

Giveaway Time

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

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Friday 9 November 2018

When Jane Got Angry by Victoria Kincaid - Excerpt and Giveaway

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

Book Description

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

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

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

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Saturday 27 October 2018

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

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

Book Description

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

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

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

Sunday 21 October 2018

Georgiana Darcy by Alice Isakova - Winner

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

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

Dung Vu
J W Garrett

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

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

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

Monday 8 October 2018

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

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

Book Description

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes, why not?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes, I suppose."

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

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

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

Georgiana obediently but tremulously placed her hand in his.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About the Author

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

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

Buy Links

This book is available to buy now!

Giveaway Time!

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

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

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