Friday, 20 November 2020

Blog Tour: Northfanger: A Gothic Austen Mash Up by Jayne Bamber

Book cover: Northfanger by Jayne Bamber
Today I’m happy to welcome Jayne Bamber back to the blog with her new book, Northfanger: A Gothic Austen Mash Up which sounds like a seasonally spooky read. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I will hand over to Jayne for an excerpt. There’s a rafflecopter link too, if you’d like to enter to win a copy!

Book Description

A campy, vampy fusion of Pride & Prejudice with Northanger Abbey...

Elizabeth Bennet and her cousin Catherine Morland travel into Kent to visit the recently married Collinses in the village of Hunsford, near the great estate of Rosings Park. Elizabeth anticipates that the visit will be very dull indeed, while Catherine believes adventure and romance await them there, just as in the gothic novels she adores.

Within a week, both women have their expectations subverted by the sudden arrival of a vampire into their midst. The ladies at the parsonage take flight, accompanied by the outraged Colonel Fitzwilliam, his outwitted cousin, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy – and an out-of-control fledgling vampire.

Proving herself indispensable during the undead Darcy debacle, Elizabeth becomes the heroine her cousin Catherine always knew she was – and enviously wishes to be herself – as she leads them to Bath in search of the wily Silas Bennet, an expert in all matters vampiric.

But amidst the hunt for Uncle Silas, other predators enter the fray, all in search of one very old man, and a very young vampire. In Bath they encounter the Tilneys, the Thorpes, and an array of familiar faces and vicious villains bent on wreaking bloody havoc, leading a merry band of misfits to take shelter in a place too spooky not to hold secrets of its own: Northanger Abbey.

Book cover full wrap: Northfanger by Jayne Bamber
Excerpt from Northfanger: A Gothic Austen Mash Up by Jayne Bamber

Elizabeth could scarcely keep her eyes open when she finally left Georgiana’s room, just before dawn. Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam had heeded her instructions in preparing Georgiana for the coming sunrise, the former with surprising grace. The colonel’s temper had not abated much over the course of their conversation with Georgiana; he had put a great many questions to his cousin, and had gotten little back in answer. 

Elizabeth was inclined to believe that the poor girl knew nothing beyond what she had revealed, and more than once she had been obliged to reprimand Colonel Fitzwilliam for the emotional outbursts that jeopardized their safety. This was but one of the many ways that the long night had felt surreal to her - that the jovial man she had laughed with on a few merry occasions could have such an edge should not be surprising, given his profession. 

It was Mr. Darcy’s tenderness that had astonished Elizabeth the most - aside from her encounter with a vampire, that is. But the existence of such creatures had been known to her for many years; Mr. Darcy’s compassionate heart was a new discovery, and just as unsettling.

She was moved to take advantage of the moment when he escorted her to the room that had been readied for her use. Her arm was linked through his, and she gave it a gentle squeeze as she looked up at him. The first rays of dawn lit them in a pale grey light from the window at the end of the hall, and she could see the conflict of emotion battling exhaustion on his countenance as she addressed him. 

“Sir….”

He stopped beside her and raised his free hand to her shoulder. “Miss Bennet, I cannot begin to thank you for what you have done for us all this night. I am shaken to my core, but without your strength and expertise, I cannot bear to think….”

“Do not think of it,” she said with a shudder. The shawl she had borrowed from Miss de Bourgh slipped down her shoulders, and Mr. Darcy moved it back into place with the slow, deliberate movements they had all been obliged to practice in Georgiana’s presence. She was grateful for this much - else she might have been too startled by the strangely intimate feel of it. 

His hand was on her shoulder again, and she covered it with her own. “You have borne a great shock with incredible forbearance. Your sister is a very lucky girl, even after everything - to receive such love and acceptance will make her situation much easier now.” She bit her lip and shifted with anxiety - she had not meant to imply that she had expected him to rage and judge as the colonel had. 

Mr. Darcy responded with a wan smile, and his hand slid out from under hers, to caress her cheek. “You were extraordinary tonight.”

Elizabeth blushed, and as she leaned into his touch, she decided it easiest to excuse her shockingly favorable response - this had been the longest night of her life. “I was happy to be of use. That is - not happy - what a sordid thing, from start to finish - but I hope I have done something to mitigate what could have been….”

She could see that he understood the sentiment behind her nonsense; the corners of his eyes crinkled as he gave her another magnificent smile. “You have saved my life, in more ways than one, Elizabeth. I shall forever be in your debt.”

Still his hand lingered on her face, and with trembling fingers Elizabeth reached up and reciprocated the gesture. His eyes did not leave hers, and a single tear slid down his cheek. Elizabeth wiped it away with her thumb and drew in a sharp breath, overcome with the powerful emotion that seemed to fill the small space between his body and hers. It occurred to her, when she pushed aside the flutter of excitement his proximity inspired, that she may be of some further use to him - and that she was not ready for her role in this strange saga to end.

“You have been too kind, sir - you have not asked me, though I am sure you wished to, how I have come upon the knowledge you have thanked me for.”

Mr. Darcy gave a short, rueful laugh. “I was not sure you would tell me, and I did not wish to agitate my sister, after all your efforts to subdue her.”

Her hand drifted down from his face to his chest, and she leaned against him - her energy was waning, and yet she wished to speak before she changed her mind. “Your cousin means to take her to London, to find Mr. Wickham.”

She could feel his body go tense. “Yes,” he said with uncertainty. “I do not know when - that is, we must have a funeral, and give it all the appearance of… I hardly know what will happen next.”

She nodded slowly, stifling a yawn as she buried her face in his cravat. “My uncle,” she murmured. 

“You said he is a vampire expert….”

“He is,” Elizabeth said carefully. “We could take her to him, in Bath - would it not be safer? If Mr. Wickham is such a villain… I could not bear it if he….” 

Mr. Darcy was quiet for a moment - Elizabeth smiled with dizzying contentment as she realized that he was idly stroking her hair. Finally, he asked, “Could he change her back?”

She flinched at the painful hope in his voice. “No, he cannot do that, but there is so much more you do not know….” 

Elizabeth yawned again, and knit her brow in consternation as she could not still her sudden trembling. Her knees gave out, and Mr. Darcy reacted swiftly. Elizabeth actually giggled and let her fingers tangle into his hair as he lifted her in his arms and carried her the rest of the way to her bedchamber. 

The thick curtains were drawn, and the guest room was darker than the corridor had been. Disoriented and delirious, Elizabeth clung to Mr. Darcy until he laid her on the bed. The plush mattress elicited a sigh of relief she could not suppress, and then Mr. Darcy made a throaty, strangled sound. Elizabeth closed her eyes, savoring the comfort and safety after their fearful ordeal. He laid the blanket over her, and her last waking thought was that perhaps she would wake beside her cousin Catherine to discover this had all been a dream - how they would laugh at the gothic horror, and the incomprehensible notion of Mr. Darcy placing a tender kiss on her forehead as he bid her goodnight. 

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Book cover: Northfanger by Jayne Bamber
Buy Links

Northfanger: A Gothic Austen Mash Up is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.  

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

 

Giveaway Time!

Jayne is running a rafflecopter giveaway of an ebook of Northfanger - visit that to enter!

Rafflecopter

Note about comments:  If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)

Blog Tour Schedule

Check out the other stops on Jayne's blog tour!

Blog Tour: Northfanger by Jayne Bamber

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10 comments:

  1. The Rafflecopter took me to the book listing on GoodReads.

    This was an amazing excerpt. Thanks, Ceri for hosting. I am looking forward to reading this. It is on my wish-list. Blessings, everyone, stay safe, and healthy.

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  2. Wow, what an unique and intriguing excerpt! I will add this to my TBR.

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  3. I really love the excerpt, although the contest link led me to the Goodreads page. Thank you for posting this!

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  4. Thanks for the excerpt. This will be a unique book to read. Also thanks for the opportunity to win a copy in the raffle

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  5. When I clicked on rafflecopter it also took me to Goodreads' site for this book.

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  6. So sorry about the link to the rafflecopter not working, I have fixed it! Please try again :)

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  7. Now, this is quite the mash up and the excerpt drew me in. :)

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  8. Sounds intriguing and just around Halloween. Congratulations on a new release, I enjoyed your previous books.

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  9. This is a different EB and FD interaction esp with such an ordeal they just had. Wonder if there will be an ill-fated proposal still?

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