Wednesday 28 July 2021

A Learned Romance by Elizabeth Rasche - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover - A Learned Romance by Elizabeth Rasche
I’m welcoming a new visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm today. Elizabeth Rasche has just brought out a Pride & Prejudice-inspired book called A Learned Romance. This looks to be a sequel of Pride & Prejudice, focussing on Mary Bennet. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll hand over to Elizabeth Rasche, who has joined us with an excerpt and an ebook giveaway. Read on for more details!

Book Description

“She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning"--Jane Austen, Persuasion, chapter 4 

MARY BENNET HAD NEVER WISHED for anything more than to be known as the meek and pious Bennet sister, the one who sweetly brought peace to her family.

BEING THE LAST UNMARRIED BENNET SISTER, the pressure to partake of a London Season with the nouveau riche Wickhams was considerable, no matter how little she desired it; but, her young sister Lydia would not hear a refusal. Mary hoped she could pass her days as quietly as a mouse and maybe encourage her still-wild sister to become a more demure wife and stop quarrelling so much with her husband.

BUT WHEN LYDIA'S FLIRTATION with scientist begins stirring gossip, Mary discovers it is not enough to stay meek and quiet. She must protect Lydia’s reputation by drawing the man’s attentions her way, and convincing the world it is Mary, not Lydia, who attracts Mr Cole. If she fails, Lydia’s disgrace will taint every family member connected with her—Bennet, Bingley, and Darcy alike—and Mary will have no hope for her own future. But alluring a gentleman is hardly the sort of practice Mary has a knack for. Though it goes against every fibre of her being, Mary must turn aside from the peace she craves and uncover the belle within—all while finding her heart awakening in the illusion of romance she has created.

Monday 26 July 2021

The Olive Branch by Sarah Courtney

Book cover: The Olive Branch by Sarah Courtney
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Sarah Courtney here with her latest Pride & Prejudice variation, The Olive Branch. Now, some of you might have picked up a hint of who this book features from the title. Here’s a quote from a letter in P&P to give you a hint.

I flatter myself that my present overtures of goodwill are highly commendable, and that the circumstance of my being next in the entail of Longbourn estate will be kindly overlooked on your side, and not lead you to reject the offered olive-branch.

So it’s a book about Mr Collins! Let’s look at the blurb and then we will hand over to Sarah for an excerpt and ebook giveaway.

Book Description 

Elizabeth Bennet faces an impossible choice—wed Mr. Collins or watch him destroy her entire family.

Given a choice, Elizabeth would never dream of marrying the pompous, ridiculous Mr. Collins. But when she refuses his offer, he threatens to reveal a shocking secret that could ruin the Bennets.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has no intention of giving in to his unsettling attraction to Elizabeth Bennet. Still, before he flees to London, he cannot resist seeing her one last time and discovers, to his dismay, that she is now betrothed to her odious cousin. She did everything in her power to evade Mr. Collins at the Netherfield ball, and the woman he sees before him now is not merely unhappy, but afraid. Elizabeth is in trouble, and Darcy cannot bear to abandon her in her distress.

As the wedding day looms, Darcy and Elizabeth become desperate to break the engagement without scandal. It is only when a stranger arrives—a stranger Mr. Collins seems to fear—that Darcy and Elizabeth have any hope of extricating her from this frightening predicament.

As Mr. Collins’s plan begins to unravel, it is clear that Elizabeth may not be the only one in danger. Will she and Darcy be too late to stop Mr. Collins’s vile plans?

The Olive Branch is a clean, full-length Pride and Prejudice variation of about 90,000 words.

Friday 16 July 2021

Mr Darcy's Persuasion: An Austen-inspired tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright - Review

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright
Today I'm posting a review of a book I read quite some time ago, but I have been very slow in writing my review of this, unfortunately. Mr Darcy’s Persuasion: An Austen-inspired tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright features characters from both Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion, as you will probably have guessed from the title. I will share the blurb with you and then move on to my review.

Book Description

Two of Jane Austen’s classics collide in this intriguing tale of pride, prejudice and persuasion, set in England’s beautiful West Country.

In the aftermath of the Netherfield Ball, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are determined to find respite—Darcy from the allure of the lady and the feelings she evokes in him, and Elizabeth from the drama unfolding at Longbourn.

Fate is not done with them, however, as they both—unbeknownst to the other—take refuge on the Kellynch estate in Somersetshire, home to Sir Walter Elliot and two of his daughters.

Whilst Elizabeth takes solace from her friendship with Anne Elliot, Darcy finds little comfort in his reacquaintance with the woman fast taking hold of his heart and senses—or, indeed, in the eldest Miss Elliot’s company, whose fluttering eyelashes make her intentions plain.

As for Anne, it is five long years since she last laid eyes upon Frederick Wentworth, and though her regret lingers, she has found some contentment in life... until distressing news of the captain arrives.

When hints of deep secrets emerge—some recently stolen, others harboured for decades—the mystery begins to wrap tendrils around Darcy as he struggles to free himself from its ever-tightening bonds.

Can Darcy discover the truth before it is too late? Will Elizabeth even care if he does? And just what has become of Captain Wentworth?

If you enjoy Austen-inspired variations, then you’ll love this tale of romance, friendship and mystery from award-winning writing duo, Cass Grafton and Ada Bright.

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Forgotten Betrothal by L M Romano - Blog Tour, Author Interview & Giveaway

Book cover: Forgotten Betrothal by L M Romano
Today I’m welcoming a new author to Babblings of a Bookworm. L M Romano has written a Pride & Prejudice variation called Forgotten Betrothal, which sounds potentially angsty to me! Let’s look at the book description and then we will settle in for a chat with L M Romano to learn more about both her and Forgotten Betrothal. Publishers Quills and Quartos are also offering an ebook giveaway so please read on for more details. 

Book Description 

Enlightenment dawned, sharp and painful in its glaring exactitude. He knew. From the moment she had uttered her true name, he had known that she was not free. So why was he here? Why did he still look at her in that way? Why could she see the adoration in his eyes and the torment in his features? Had he come to say goodbye? To leave her to this fate?

How can an innocent stroll through Hyde Park change the course of so many lives?

Confused and chastened following her cruel rejection of Mr Darcy’s proposal, Elizabeth Bennet returns to her aunt’s home in Gracechurch Street. Unable to find solace while pondering her terrible misjudgment of his character, she is overwhelmed with guilt for how she treated the puzzling gentleman from Derbyshire.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has retreated to his London home after being spurned by the lady he loves, and after serious reflection has come to the realisation that he never deserved Elizabeth’s good opinion.

A chance encounter brings the opportunity to seek forgiveness, and possibly, a new start to their budding romance. But the introduction of a stranger into Elizabeth’s life threatens to reveal old family secrets that have the potential to truly unravel her world and all that she holds dear.

Monday 5 July 2021

Twists of Fate by Joana Starnes - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Cover: Twists of Fate by Joana Starnes
I’m happy to be welcoming back an author who I have featured many times, Joana Starnes. Joana has written a new book, Twists of Fate, which is a Pride & Prejudice variation coming out later this month, and it looks like it will be an excellent read! 

Joana has been so kind as to come here with a guest post and ebook giveaway. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Joana.

Book Description 

What if Mr Collins shocked Elizabeth with his base conduct at the time of his proposal, thus sending her dashing out of her house, and into the arms of Mr Darcy? What if that accidental encounter was witnessed, and impropriety was assumed? What if Mr Darcy was glad of the excuse to marry his heart’s desire – only to have his best hopes blasted within hours of his wedding? What if he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time more than once?

Evil rumours, an early marriage, a dreadful misunderstanding, an old secret and good intentions gone awry. What if ‘I do’ is not the end, but the beginning of the adventure? 

Friday 2 July 2021

Susan: A Jane Austen Prequel by Alice McVeigh – Excerpt

Book Cover: Susan; A Jane Austen Prequel by Alice McVeigh
Today I’m welcoming a new visitor to the blog. Alice McVeigh has written a book based on Lady Susan, Susan: A Jane Austen Prequel, which came out this week. I’ve only read Lady Susan, which forms part of Austen’s juvenilia, once, but it’s really something, and I am excited to see a book based on this character, particularly as according to the blurb, it's the first book of a series. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll share an excerpt. 

Book Description

Susan is a Jane Austen Prequel (or Pride and Prejudice Variation) brilliantly capturing Austen's own Lady Susan as a young girl.


As the BookLife review put it for Publishers Weekly: "McVeigh's prose and plotting are pitch-perfect. Emma mingles with Pride and Prejudice in a delightful confrontation between the two books' worlds... This Austen-inspired novel echoes the master herself."


Familiar characters abound - Frank Churchill, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Darcy himself - but Susan - mischievous and manipulative - is the star. This is Austen that even Austen might have loved, with a touch of Georgette Heyer in the romantic sections. Fans of Bridgerton will also relish this classic regency romance, the first in a six-book series.


Sixteen-year-old Susan Smithson - pretty but poor, clever but capricious - has just been expelled from a school for young ladies in London.


At the mansion of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, she attracts a raffish young nobleman. But, at the first hint of scandal, her guardian dispatches her to her uncle Collins' rectory in Kent, where her sensible cousin Alicia lives and "where nothing ever happens."


Here Susan mischievously inspires the local squire to put on a play, with consequences no one could possibly have foreseen. What with the unexpected arrival of Frank Churchill, Alicia's falling in love and a tumultuous elopement, rural Kent will surely never seem safe again...