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:

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

Blog Tour Schedule

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

Note Regarding Comments: I love to read your comments, but a few blog visitors have reported difficulties in commenting while using the Safari browser. If you are unable to comment, please try using another web browser, such as Google Chrome, or please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)
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Friday 7 February 2020

Two More Days at Netherfield by Heather Moll - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Two More Days at Netherfield by Heather Moll
I'm very happy to be welcoming author Heather Moll back to the blog, as the blog tour for her new book Two More Days at Netherfield stops here for a guest post. I love posts where I learn something, and this is what Heather has treated us to today, with a post about parlour games in the Regency period. There's also the chance to win an ebook of Two More Days at Netherfield for yourself! Let's look at the blurb and then I'll hand over to Heather :)

Book Description

While her sister Jane is ill at Netherfield, Elizabeth Bennet overhears Miss Bingley and the proud Mr Darcy discussing his admiration of Elizabeth and her fine eyes. Not sure what to think of his praise after all of their previous disagreements, and more flattered than she wants to admit, Elizabeth teases him for the disparaging remark he made about her at the Meryton Assembly. Darcy is then forced to reconsider his opinion of a woman who has truly bewitched him more than any other. 

The result of this unintended eavesdropping leads to confrontations and apologies on both sides and, eventually, the beginnings of a friendship between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their warming acquaintance impacts the courtship of Darcy’s friend and Elizabeth’s sister, the jealous temper of Miss Bingley, and even the behavior of Mr. Wickham after he arrives in Meryton. 

How are the events of the winter drastically affected by the Bennet sisters choosing to spend two more days at Netherfield?

Tuesday 4 February 2020

A Good Name and Beauty and Mr Darcy, both by Sarah Courtney - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book covers of Sarah Courtney's Austenesque Reads
Today I'm happy to welcome a new visitor to the blog, author Sarah Courtney. Sarah has written two quite different Austenesque books. A Good Name was released back in November 2019 and Beauty and Mr Darcy, came out in January 2020. Sarah is visiting here with excerpts and giveaways of BOTH books, so whether you prefer modern or Regency we have something here for you today! I'll share a blurb and excerpt for each book, starting with the most recent book, the Regency-set Beauty and Mr Darcy

As an aside, when Sarah sent me the excerpts I realised that although they are set in different time periods they actually have a common theme, which is - Caroline Bingley, please shut up :)

Book cover: Beauty and Mr. Darcy by Sarah Courtney
Book Description - Beauty and Mr Darcy

Elizabeth Bennet knows that Fitzwilliam Darcy is a beast. At least, that's what George Wickham tells her, and she is inclined to believe him. Why, then, is it so hard not to find him interesting and attractive? Is she just another young lady intrigued by a rogue?

Jane Bennet was in love once and has never quite recovered. When the object of her affections returns to Meryton, she is thrilled, until she realizes that the same problem that has frightened off all of her other suitors might drive away the man she truly loves.

Mary Bennet's pedantic pronouncements irritate her sisters and repel the man she longs for. Is there any hope for a happy ending for her?

Kitty and Lydia Bennet's giggles and foolish ways make the matrons of Meryton shake their heads. Without real parental guidance, they long for attention, even if means risking their reputations and hope for the future.

Charlotte Lucas has long since given up the idea of finding a husband and having the children she longs for. When an unusual suitor arrives in Meryton, she has one last chance to avoid spinsterhood.

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is a Pride and Prejudice variation in which romance and humor abound! The Bennet sisters' fairy tales intertwine as they each find their very own happy ending, but there is no fantastical magic in this retelling.

Excerpt from Beauty and Mr. Darcy, introduced by Sarah Courtney

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is my first Regency, and it was a fun adventure writing it after my first novel, a modern. Regency language is an interesting challenge, and I will admit to having had an etymological dictionary open the entire time I was writing. I was amused sometimes to see some words that sound rather new have been around since Shakespeare’s times and other words that sound old are from the twentieth century!

In some ways, Beauty and Mr. Darcy is rather like six novellas in one book. Elizabeth and Darcy’s story runs throughout, but along the way we get to watch all of Elizabeth’s sisters and her friend live their own fairy tales and find their true loves, with the tales intertwined and dependent on each other.

The scene I have included here is from Jane’s last day at Netherfield. She has recovered from her illness and is ready to return home, but she and Mr. Bingley have a few last moments together. Their relationship is not as new as in canon; in this story, they met and fell in love in London several years ago but were separated by circumstance.

Book cover: Beauty and Mr. Darcy by Sarah Courtney
From Beauty and Mr. Darcy:

Mr. Bingley scooted the chair closer to Jane, until the arms of the chair and the sofa touched. “This is such lovely country. I have never seen any more beautiful.”

Beautiful. There was that word again. Jane had heard it far too often. She sighed.

“There are more important things than beauty,” she said.

“Of course! Like productivity. The land here is excellent for farming and hunting. I have also found a great deal to admire in the society here. So many friendly, engaging, kind people.”

And now there was the other word that always got applied to Jane: kind. Being kind, she supposed, was better than being beautiful, at least in that she could choose to be one and the other had been chosen for her. Usually people said that she was “kind” as if she was a rather sweet and docile child, or as if it were the only thing they could think to say about her. But somehow hearing “kind” from Mr. Bingley’s mouth made it seem so much more.

“Kind,” she said softly.

“The most important of all attributes, in my opinion,” Mr. Bingley said softly. “Truly kind people are few and far between. Somebody who is kind sees the good in every person and wants the best for them. It is such a rare quality, but there is nothing superior.”

Jane swallowed. “Do you honestly think so?” She realized that she was leaning towards him, but she could not make herself pull away.

“I do.” He must have been leaning toward her as well, because his face was inches from hers. “I strive to be kind, but you, Jane, are the kindest person I know. I love . . . I love that about you.”

Jane took in a quick breath. “I love that about you, too.” She dared not say more.

She swallowed hard at the realization that his face was so close to hers that she could feel his breath warm on her lips. Was he going to . . . would he dare kiss her?

Before the idea had done more than cross her mind, they were both startled back into sitting upright at a noise in the hall. Caroline bustled into the room.

“Charles!” she said sharply. “That chair does not belong there. Really, brother, how am I to keep order in the house when you insist on rearranging the furniture at every opportunity? And did you not tell me that you had important letters to write this morning?”

She turned to Jane and hurried to her side.

“Dearest Jane, do say you will take a turn in the gardens with me. My brother here”—she turned to smile at Mr. Bingley—“is far too busy with his correspondence and cannot be interrupted any further. Let us hurry outside to enjoy the sun, as I know the carriage is to be ordered for you this afternoon.”

Jane was surprised at Caroline’s haste and reluctant to leave Mr. Bingley’s company, but she knew she should let him get his work done. She allowed herself to be dragged outside into the gardens. She found herself short of breath and near laughter when Caroline finally stopped, for Caroline had never so much reminded her of Lizzy as she did now.

“I am sorry to be so abrupt, Jane, but I wished to give my brother privacy,” Caroline said with a smile, taking Jane’s arm in hers. They walked past a row of rosebushes which Jane would have liked to stop and smell, but could not while arm in arm with Caroline.

Jane was not going to ask, but Caroline did not wait for her to do so. “He likes his privacy, you know, when he is writing about delicate matters. He does so admire Miss Darcy, but it is of course not quite proper for them to correspond.”

“Mr. Bingley writes to Miss Darcy?” Jane asked, startled. Surely he would not do so unless there was an engagement between them? But Caroline said it was not quite proper, and it would be appropriate if they were engaged, so perhaps . . . Jane could not think of a reason.

“Oh, forgive me,” Caroline said with a giggle. “I have been shockingly indiscreet! Please do not tell anyone I said anything about it. It is just that, now that Miss Darcy is of age to marry, my brother’s wait is nearing its end. I have longed for the special day when Miss Darcy and I become sisters for quite some time now.”

“I see,” Jane said, not seeing any of the flowers as they walked. She fought to keep her eyes from tearing up. How embarrassing if Caroline were to see how foolish Jane had been. Of course Mr. Bingley was engaged, or practically engaged. He was too handsome and amiable a man to still be single long. She had known that from the first time she had met him when she was seventeen. She lost her struggle and tears filled her eyes. She looked up and blinked them away quickly before Caroline could see.

Beauty and Mr. Darcy is available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback!

Book cover: A Good Name by Sarah Courtney
Book Description - A Good Name

George Wickham's childhood friendship with Lizzy Bennet saved his life. How will it change her future?

Ten-year-old George Wickham was hungry, lonely, and desperate until the day he met Lizzy Bennet. She transformed his life with a peanut butter sandwich and the magic of books. Losing her friendship devastated him, until his meeting with the Darcy family set him on a course to a new life.

Will Darcy insulted Elizabeth Bennet at their first meeting and accidentally injured her a few months later. She is just starting to overcome her first impression of him when something from his past comes to light. Will the revelation of Elizabeth’s childhood friendship with George Wickham change everything?

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Excerpt from A Good Name, introduced by Sarah Courtney

"A Good Name" is a clean modern variation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," not a retelling. Is George Wickham born to be the villain, or can he be something more? At its heart, this is a Darcy & Elizabeth romance.

My first book, A Good Name is a clean modern variation that is centered largely on George Wickham. Don’t let that turn you off, though! It’s not a villain book, but a book about an opportunity to be something other than what others might expect of you. Despite the significance of Wickham, this is a Darcy and Elizabeth love story with a happy ending.

In this scene, Will Darcy has been invited to dinner at Jane’s house, where Elizabeth is staying temporarily, along with his cousin Richard and Charles and Caroline Bingley. Will has meandered into the kitchen, where Elizabeth is keeping an eye on dinner.

Book cover: A Good Name by Sarah Courtney
From A Good Name:

“Uh . . . so I heard you lost your job,” Will said, and then immediately felt like hitting himself on the head. Not subtle.
Elizabeth kept her back to him, flipping the squash on the stove. “Yeah.”
“So what did you do?” He was compounding his error, he knew, but Charlie would never think to interrogate her and make sure she wasn’t going to live off him forever. Not that Will was interrogating her, of course. Just checking her story out. Charlie had said not to bug her about it at dinner . . . but technically they weren’t eating dinner yet.
“I managed a bookstore for my father,” she said curtly, opening a cabinet and rummaging through it.
“Your father fired you?” he asked, stunned.
She took a spice down from the cabinet and added it liberally to the squash. “No. He lost the store.”
“Ah.” Will paused. “I’m sorry.” Then how― “And your apartment?”
Jane walked in and headed for the stove. She hip-butted Elizabeth out of the way so she could turn on the light and check whatever was cooking inside. Elizabeth hip-butted her back.
Elizabeth turned off the burner and brought the pan to the counter, placing it on a trivet. She glanced at him briefly as she got out a serving plate for the veggies. “I lived in the store’s building. He had to give up the lease on the building, so that meant I lost my housing, too.”
Will was surprised. He wasn’t sure exactly what he expected, but she didn’t sound like the leech he thought she was. Was there a possibility she really would get a new job and move out soon?
“Something smells great in here!” Charlie walked into the kitchen with Richard right behind him.
Caroline wrinkled her nose, looking down at the lovely seared squash slices that Elizabeth was arranging. “Did you put butter on that? You may not care about your figure, Liz, but I do!”
“I can see that,” Elizabeth said calmly.
Will hid a smile.
Elizabeth cocked her head at him. "I have to ask, Will, do you happen to have a brother who looks like you? Or a cousin, maybe?"
"No brothers, just my sister Ana. Richard's my cousin, but he looks nothing like me."
She frowned. "Ah. Okay."
He wondered why she asked, but before he could say anything, dinner was ready and there was a flurry of activity to get it on the table.
Soon everyone was seated around the table enjoying Jane’s meal. Will somehow found himself seated next to Caroline and almost across from Elizabeth.
“So I heard you lost your job!” Caroline said brightly to Elizabeth.
“I just love how this is everybody’s first topic of conversation.” Elizabeth took a bite without looking up.
“Oh, but we all just feel sooo very sorry for you! It’s just terrible to be fired, you know. I mean, I never have been, but I totally sympathize anyway.”
“What do you do again, Caroline?” Elizabeth glanced up at Jane, then back to Caroline.
Caroline smiled sweetly at her. “I’m Charlie’s social secretary! I make sure he has time for the important things.” At that, she frowned at Jane, then turned back to Elizabeth. “It’s a very important role, you know. I have sooo much influence over Charlie’s commitments, and whether he keeps them or not.” She gave a meaningful look at Jane, then raised her eyebrows to Elizabeth.
“Do you?” Elizabeth turned back to her meal.
Charlie broke in. “Whether I keep them or not? What are you painting me as, Caroline, some sort of flake? Of course I keep my commitments!”
Caroline turned her scowl to Charlie. “We’ll see,” was all she said.
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A Good Name is available now on Amazon in both ebook and paperback!

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Author Sarah Courtney
About the Author

Sarah is a homeschooling mom of six kids, ages thirteen to two. Her first introduction to Jane Austen was the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice, which aired when she was fifteen. The first scene she ever saw was Mr. Wickham telling his story to Elizabeth Bennet, and Sarah asked her mother if he was meant to be the hero. She didn't like him and didn't plan to continue watching if he was. 

Assured by her mother that he was not the hero, she kept watching and fell in love with Jane Austen's most beloved work. The first time she read the novel, she read the final page and immediately flipped back to the first to start again, unwilling to let it go.

Follow Sarah on Facebook or check out Sarah's blog, for extra scenes, previews of new books, and updates on her writing

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Giveaway Time!

Book covers of Sarah Courtney's Austenesque Reads
Sarah is very kindly offering to give away an ebook of both A Good Name and Beauty and Mr Darcy to visitors to Babblings of a Bookworm! To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on Tuesday 11 February 2020.  If you have a preference for one book over the other, please indicate this in your comment, or I will assume that you would be equally happy with either. 

Two winners will be chosen, one to win A Good Name and the other to win Beauty and Mr. Darcy.

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

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