Monday 27 July 2020

The Dragons of Kellynch and Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion by Maria Grace - Excerpt and Giveaway

I’m happy to be welcoming Maria Grace back to the blog. As you may know, Maria has written some stories weaving Dragons in with Austen’s stories, and she has two books which cover Persuasion, The Dragons of Kellynch and Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion. The story picks up Anne and Wentworth’s stories from five years before the start of Jane Austen’s Persuasion and covers the entire Persuasion novel. The second of the two books release earlier this month and to celebrate Maria has been having a blog tour. She’s stopped by here for a guest post and giveaway. Let’s take a look at the blurbs for both books and then hand over to Maria Grace.

Blog Tour: Jane Austen's Dragons - Persuasion

Book Descriptions

Book cover: Dragons of Kellynch by Maria Grace
Dragons of Kellynch  

In order to secure her future, a young lady must marry well.

One would think Anne Elliot, a baronet’s daughter, would find the marriage mart far easier to navigate than a more ordinary woman. One would be wrong.

After refusing a poor, but otherwise perfect sailor, on the advice of her friend Lady Russell, Anne finds an unhappy choice before her: marry deathly dull Charles Musgrove or hope against hope that another suitable proposal might come her way before she becomes a spinster on the shelf.

Anne’s disgracefully independent choice to refuse Charles’ offer turns her world entirely arsey-varsey and not in the expected  turned upside down sort of way. She begins to see things … hear things … things like dragons.

And once one sees dragons, one talks to them. And when one talks to them, nothing is ever the same again.

Must a young lady marry well if she hears dragons?

Book cover: Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion by Maria Grace
Kellynch: Dragon Persuasion

Keeping a hibernating dragon should have been a simple thing.

Should have been, but it was not. Apparently, nothing involving dragons was ever simple, at least not for Anne Elliot, junior Keeper to dragon Kellynch.

With the estate in debt, Anne’s father in denial, and the dragon’s treasure missing, Kellynch’s awakening was shaping up to be nothing short of catastrophe. Not to mention there was the pesky matter of her own broken heart and resentment against the old friend who had caused it.

Captain Frederick Wentworth had spent his life making something of himself in the Navy. With the  war that kept him employed at an end and a small fortune in prize money, he found himself beached and at loose ends. What was he to do with himself now—take a wife like Laconia, his dragon Friend, insisted? Not when none compared to the woman who had broken his heart.

Working as an agent of the Blue Order, managing dragon matters across England, seemed a much better alternative. At least until investigating one such matter sent him directly in the path of Anne Elliot, the woman who had ruined him for all others.

Now a royal dragon rages, a sleeping dragon lurks, and too many treasures have gone missing. Can Anne and Wentworth lay aside resentment, pride, and heartbreak to prevent Kellynch’s awakening from ending in bloodshed—or worse?

Jane Austen meets Pern in a fantastical regency romp bound to delight readers of Jane Austen and Anne McCaffrey alike.

Friday 24 July 2020

Adventure Awaits by Virginia Kohl - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Adventure Awaits by Virginia Kohl
I’m pleased to be welcoming a new visitor to the blog today, author Virginia Kohl. Virginia has written two Austeneque books, which unusually are based on Sense & Sensibility. Of all the variations and sequels I have read, I think I’ve probably read the least based on S&S, so I’m really pleased to feature this book today. Adventure Awaits is a story about Margaret Dashwood. Virginia has visited us with an excerpt of the story and there’s also an ebook giveaway for those who get their ebooks from Let’s look at the blurb first.

Book Description

Beautiful, venturesome Margaret Dashwood, known to her family and friends as Daisy, has always dreamed of traveling to exotic locations. With her first Season behind her, those dreams are relegated to the stories she tells her niece.

Alexander Mallard, a handsome young doctor, came to the small village of Delaford straight out of medical school. With the knowledge and desire to help everyone, he soon settles into the life of a country physician.

The day Daisy and Alexander's paths cross, an adventure grander than either ever imagined begins.

Book cover: Adventure Awaits by Virginia Kohl

Monday 20 July 2020

Madness in Meryton by Jayne Bamber - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Madness in Meryton by Jayne Bamber
I am happy to be welcoming Jayne Bamber back to Babblings of a Bookworm with her new book, Madness in Meryton. This book has a Groundhog Day theme, with one day repeating. I love this idea, as an author can have such fun with it and go to lengths that wouldn’t be allowable due to the lack of consequences! Jayne’s also offering an ebook giveaway. Let’s look at the blurb and then I will hand over to Jayne for an excerpt.

Book Description

Jane and Elizabeth Bennet return home from Netherfield, and two days of heavy rain confine them indoors with their quarrelsome younger sisters, a mother in perpetual need of smelling salts, and their tedious cousin, Mr. Collins. When the rain clears, the ladies from Longbourn and the gentlemen from Netherfield are drawn to Meryton by the excitement of Market Day, setting in motion a series of significant events.

That night, Mrs. Phillips hosts a card party for the officers of the local militia, where the charming Mr. Wickham reveals to Elizabeth his shocking history with Mr. Darcy, a man who has only given Elizabeth offense since coming to stay with his friend Mr. Bingley at Netherfield.

The next day, the same thing happens again.

And again, the day after that – and so on, for what begins to feel like an eternity. Elizabeth takes increasingly drastic measures to further the romance between her beloved sister Jane and their handsome neighbor Mr. Bingley. Along the way, she arranges improvements in the lives of all of her family, in a effort to end the relentless redundancy that only she seems aware of.

As Elizabeth’s frustration turns to madness, she realizes that her inexplicable dilemma is somehow connected to a certain officer and a certain gentleman of her acquaintance….

Elizabeth Bennet must forge unlikely alliances and devote her considerable wit to the task of achieving a perfect day for those she holds dear, while facing familiar Fitzwilliam friends and foes, as well as all the mortification and delight of falling in love.

Sunday 19 July 2020

Missing Jane by Bronwen Chisholm - Winner

Book cover: Missing Jane by Bronwen Chisholm
Recently Bronwen Chisholm visited with a post about her new novella, Missing Jane, in which Jane Bennet has mysteriously gone missing. You can read the post here

Bronwen was kindly giving away an ebook of Missing Jane to a commenter on her guest post. I chose a winner at random and that person was:


Congratulations to you, I will drop you an email :) Thanks so much to Bronwen for offering a giveaway.

Maomac has been lucky enough to win at another stop of the tour. Therefore I chose another winner who was: 


Hopefully Buturot would like to claim their prize. I will look to see if I have your email but please can you contact me

If you weren't a lucky winner this time then check out the other stops on the blog tour, where there might be other opportunities to win.

Blog Tour - Missing Jane by Bronwen Chisholm

Or, you could forget games of chance and just treat yourself to a copy; Missing Jane is available to buy now for Kindle.

• Amazon US • Amazon UK • Amazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

* * *

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

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

Friday 17 July 2020

When Mary Met the Colonel by Victoria Kincaid - Audiobook Giveaway

Audiobook cover: When Mary Met the Colonel by Victoria Kincaid
Today I'm happy to be welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to the blog with a guest post and giveaway of her new release, an audiobook version of When Mary Met the Colonel. You can guess which Mary and which Colonel the title refers to :)

Victoria visited me with this book when it came out (you can read her guest post here) and I also reviewed it. I'm really pleased to see that more Austenesque titles are making their way to audio. It's great that the option is there for people who can't read print for whatever reason. My audio reading has taken a huge hit since lockdown because my commute was my main audio reading time, and I would often solve the dilemma of exercise or reading by taking a lunchtime walk while listening to my audio book! Audio reading can also be an enjoyable way to limit the dent that things like housework makes to your reading time.

Let's look at the blurb and I will hand over to Victoria for an excerpt from When Mary Met the Colonel.

Book cover: When Mary Met the Colonel by Victoria Kincaid

Book Description

Without the beauty and wit of the older Bennet sisters or the liveliness of the younger, Mary is the Bennet sister most often overlooked.  She has resigned herself to a life of loneliness, alleviated only by music and the occasional book of military history.

Colonel Fitzwilliam finds himself envying his friends who are marrying wonderful women while he only attracts empty-headed flirts.  He longs for a caring, well-informed woman who will see the man beneath the uniform.

A chance meeting in Longbourn’s garden during Darcy and Elizabeth’s wedding breakfast kindles an attraction between Mary and the Colonel.  However, the Colonel cannot act on these feelings since he must wed an heiress. He returns to war, although Mary finds she cannot easily forget him.

Is happily ever after possible after Mary meets the Colonel?

Monday 13 July 2020

Murder at Northanger Abbey by Shannon Winslow - Guest Post

Blog Tour: Murder at Northanger Abbey by Shannon Winslow
Today I’m welcoming a first time visitor to the blog, Shannon Winslow. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of hosting Shannon previously, I’ve featured a Persuasion anthology that she contributed towards. Funnily enough, although most Austenesque books are based on Pride and Prejudice, Shannon’s latest book isn’t a P&P work either. Murder at Northanger Abbey is an NA sequel, which picks up after Austen’s books closes. As it says in Northanger Abbey, “There must be murder” and although Catherine only now expects to encounter murder in novels, it appears that just has she has learned to be sensible, she will be encountering it in real life too.

Let’s look at the blurb and then I will hand over to Shannon Winslow for a guest post.

Book cover: Murder at Northanger Abbey by Shannon Winslow
Book Description

Sequel to Jane Austen’s Spoof on the Gothic Novel

Newly married to her beloved Henry, Catherine’s eyes are now open to the grownup pleasures of wedded life. Yet she still hasn’t quite given up her girlhood fascination with all things Gothic. When she first visited Northanger Abbey, she only imagined dreadful events had occurred there. This time the horror is all too real. There’s been a murder, and Henry has fallen under suspicion. Catherine is determined to clear her husband’s name, but at the same time, she’s afraid for her own safety, since there’s a very good chance the real murderer is still in the house.

This delightful sequel reprises the mischievous spirit of Austen’s original spoof on the Gothic novel, while giving Catherine a genuine murder mystery to unravel.

Guest Post from Shannon Winslow 

As Jane Austen’s earliest novel (first written, although last published), Northanger Abbey occupies a unique place in her canon. And it boasts a few unique features as well. For one thing, in it, Austen occasionally comes out from behind the narrator’s mask to address her readers directly, even sometimes using the words, “Dear reader…”

For the most overt example of what I’m talking about, I would direct you to chapter five, where Austen (referring to herself as “I”) launches into a protracted statement in defense of the novel as a literary form:

Catherine and Isabella… shut themselves up, to read novels together. Yes, novels; – for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel writers, of degrading by their contemptuous censure the very performances, to the number of which they are themselves adding – joining with their greatest enemies in bestowing the harshest epithets on such works, and scarcely ever permitting them to be read by their own heroine, who, if she accidentally take up a novel, is sure to turn over its insipid pages with disgust. Alas! If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it…

 As with much else in Northanger Abbey, Austen’s diatribe (of which this is only a fraction), was no doubt written more in tongue-in-cheek humor than as a serious complaint. In the final line of the book, Austen again shows herself, as she tells us directly that we readers must decide for ourselves the lesson to be learned from the tendency of this work.

 This technique – the author speaking directly to readers – was not uncommon at the time, but it’s long out of fashion now. In fact, were you as a writer to attempt such a thing today, or otherwise draw attention to your presence, your editor would probably shake her head, mark the offending phrase in red, and accuse you of “author intrusion.”

However, since my goal was to carry on in my Northanger Abbey sequel with the same playful tone and quirky style as the original, I thought I might just get away with it!

And so, dear reader, as you peruse Murder at Northanger Abbey, keep your eyes open for places, here and there, where your authoress breaks into the story – sometimes very obviously and sometimes less so. Here’s an example taken from the final chapter:

 …However, as this tale comes rapidly to a close, you will be wondering about Henry and Catherine. You will wish to be assured that they are also safe and well, to witness for yourself their early perfect happiness at Woodston restored, and to catch at least a glimpse of the years ahead.

Far be it from me to deprive the reader this satisfaction, although we must agree to be discreet. We must grant them a degree of privacy. After all, they are still essentially newlyweds. And yet I owe you this much…

 I trust you won’t consider this a spoiler, since I ALWAYS write a happy ending to my novels!

I’ve read that in certain circumstances – especially in works of satire or where the narrative voice is firmly tongue-in-cheek – author intrusions can contribute to the humor. I hope you agree because, believe me, I wrote Murder at Northanger Abbey with my tongue firmly in my cheek the whole time!

 * * *

Author Bio

Author Shannon Winslow
Shannon Winslow says she was minding her own business - raising two sons and pursuing a very sensible career - when she was seduced by the writing bug a dozen years ago. Stirred by the novels of Jane Austen, she set out to produce more stories in the same vein, beginning with a sequel to her favorite, "Pride and Prejudice." "The Darcys of Pemberley" (published in August 2011) quickly became a best-seller, praised for being true to the original's characters and style. Several more Austen-inspired novels have followed. "Winslow is one of the few authors who can channel Austen's style of prose so well that I could not tell the two apart if I tried," reports one reviewer. A life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest, Ms. Winslow resides with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier.

You can connect with Shannon via her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Book cover: Murder at Northanger Abbey by Shannon Winslow
Buy Links

Murder at Northanger Abbey is available to buy now in Paperback and Kindle.

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Note Regarding Comments: I love to read your comments, but a few blog visitors have reported difficulties in posting comments. If you can’t add your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

* * *

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

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

Friday 10 July 2020

Missing Jane by Bronwen Chisholm - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Missing Jane by Bronwen Chisholm
Today I’m very happy to be welcoming Bronwen Chisholm back to Babblings of a Bookworm with a post about her latest story, Missing Jane. Bronwen has come here today with a guest post and giveaway.

What I find particularly exciting about this story is that it crosses over into Wales, which is the part of the UK where I come from. I’m not sure how polite the society was here in Regency times, which is why Wales may be a bit of a mystery to some historical romance readers (there is also the interesting point of the moving border, which means that although I live about 30 miles from the England/Wales border, the part of Wales I live in was part of Monmouthshire which was technically considered part of England in those times!). I think the closest Austen gets to Wales is a mention of a picture of Tintern Abbey (also in Monmouthshire) in Fanny Price's little room in Mansfield Park.

Let’s take a look at the blurb and then I will and over to Bronwen for her guest post.

Book Description

Mr. Bennet is dead; his daughters “scattered to the winds,” according to Mrs. Bennet.

And the eldest Miss Bennet? No one really knows.

Poor Mr. Bingley is led to believe she is no more, but her sister swears she is alive.

Can Mr. Darcy and his friend find her and, in turn, their own happily ever afters?