Monday 8 November 2021

Skirmish & Scandal by C P Odom - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Skirmish & Scandal by C P Odom
I’m really pleased to be welcoming C P Odom back to Babblings of a Bookworm with his new novella, which lends its title to the Skirmish & Scandal series of novellas from Meryton Press. There is a mini blog tour for Skirmish & Scandal and I’m happy to be hosting an excerpt and giveaway on this stop. Let’s look at the blurb and then move on to the excerpt.

Book Description 

Astounding! Mr. Darcy’s baited hook is for Elizabeth Bennet!

In the Regency era, surface appearances of politeness and civility often conceal more intense and hostile activity. More than one wealthy or noble family of seemingly sterling reputation is torn apart and sometimes all but exterminated by savage intra-family feuds.

That situation unexpectedly confronts Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Skirmish and Scandal when Darcy’s interest in Elizabeth as a future mistress of Pemberley becomes known to Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her noble Matlock relations. Determined to prevent an affront to the reputation of their aristocratic clan, the most prominent members of the family gather with Lady Catherine to confront Darcy and force him to choose a more suitable wife. The resulting conflict and its aftermath involve furious arguments, abduction, pursuit, and personal clashes that narrowly avert meetings on the field of honour.

How can such emotionally intense and seemingly insurmountable personal conflicts between the couple result in an amorous resolution?

Book cover: Skirmish & Scandal by C P Odom
Excerpt from Skirmish & Scandal by C P Odom

I'm happy to start my mini blog tour with a visit to Babblings of a Bookworm. Thank you, Ceri, for allowing me to drop by and share a little about my novella. 

This excerpt is a continuation of the excerpt from the Meryton Press cover reveal and intro. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam are still in the billiards room discussing the strange encounter that Colonel Fitzwilliam had with Elizabeth Bennet. If you have not read the first part, you may find it here.


The two men were silent for some moments before Fitzwilliam was stirred by a sudden question.

“See here, Darcy. Why are you so despondent? Is there anything between you and Miss Elizabeth? Something has certainly upset you, but I have no idea what it may be.”

Darcy said nothing, but Fitzwilliam continued. “As regards the lady herself, I admire her greatly as you well know. If I did not need to marry well, I might be interested enough to pursue her. She is amiable, intelligent, and beautiful, and I cannot believe any sister of hers could be that objectionable.”

It was a few seconds before Darcy roused himself to speak. “There is nothing objectionable against Miss Jane Bennet herself. She is as sensible, polite, and lovely as her younger sister, but the same cannot be said for the rest of her family. The mother is one of the loudest and most vulgar women it has ever been my misfortune to encounter, and finding husbands for her five daughters seems to her sole purpose in life. Why, within my hearing and amidst a number of others at a ball that Bingley hosted, she openly boasted of soon having a daughter in residence at Bingley’s estate in Hertfordshire! She went on to say that the forthcoming marriage between her daughter and Bingley would throw her unmarried daughters into the paths of other rich men!”

“Amazing,” Fitzwilliam said with a whistle of astonishment. “Still, both of us have seen supposedly cultured mothers make silly comments that are not too different from what you just quoted.”

“True, but none of them were trying to marry a daughter off to my best friend. As for the three other daughters besides Miss Elizabeth, one is rather innocuous, but the two youngest are prone to the most wild and improper behaviour you can imagine. Those younger girls needed a firm hand growing up, but neither mother nor father bothered to exert themselves.”

Fitzwilliam nodded his understanding, and his cousin continued. “But, despite these reasons making it a bad idea for Bingley to connect himself to such a family, my most important reason to advise him against making an offer of marriage to Miss Bennet was a more fundamental one. I observed the two of them closely, and I concluded that, while she is a sweet girl and received Bingley’s attentions agreeably, she was otherwise indifferent to him. Certainly her attraction was not nearly as strong as his was. I knew she would accept if he offered marriage. Her mother would have pressured her into it. You know how I feel about such things, having encountered far too many ambitious mothers desiring a daughter settled at Pemberley.”

Fitzwilliam frowned grimly, for Darcy indeed had a point, having been pursued most assiduously by any number of available young ladies and their avaricious mothers. The whole experience had left him permanently soured on many aspects of London society, and these days he confined his social calendar almost exclusively to those friends with whom he was on intimate terms.

But Fitzwilliam had not received an answer to his previous question. “Darcy, I repeat: Is there something between you and Miss Elizabeth? I am sorry I inadvertently upset her, but why has that upset you? Is your history with her more involved than you have mentioned?”

“Involved?” Darcy said, with a barking, derisive laugh. “No, there is nothing particularly involved in our history. The question plaguing me is this: Do I want to be more involved with her? It is a question I am pondering…so far, without an answer.”

Fitzwilliam was taken aback by this somewhat cryptic answer, but it was clear that Darcy was more than a little smitten with Miss Elizabeth, irrespective of her feelings towards him. And that might well be a problem given Fitzwilliam’s observations today and previously.

The colonel’s tone was casual. “So, how do you plan to address your problem?”

“I am not sure.”

“You could make her an offer of marriage. Of course, there is her family to consider—those foolish sisters and the boastful mother.”

When Darcy did not reply, Fitzwilliam continued. “And there is the more prudent path, of course. You could simply leave on Saturday and forget her. After all, it is not as if you have to worry about the answer she would give you following an offer.”

This comment drew a response as Darcy gave a look of annoyance at the sarcasm in Fitzwilliam’s voice.

“And just what is that comment supposed to mean?”

“Simply this, Cousin. I infer you are at least considering an offer of marriage to Miss Elizabeth with the secure assumption of a favourable response. I feel it my duty to warn you that her reply might not be what you expect.”

“Do not talk rubbish,” Darcy said sharply. “I already know she expects me to make my addresses at some time or the other. What concerns me is whether I can honourably back away if I decide not to proceed.”

Fitzwilliam looked at his cousin in sheer stupefaction for several seconds, wondering whether Darcy was jesting with him. When he saw his cousin was perfectly serious, he leaned forward and virtually forced Darcy to look him in the eye.

“Listen to me carefully. The conversation I had with her this morning is only the latest indication of her attitude towards you. Have you not listened to her when she speaks to you? Do you not remember when she taunted you about being ill qualified to recommend yourself to strangers? Or when she said she would not be alarmed at your attempt to intimidate her even though your sister plays her instrument so well? She has been slipping barbs into her conversations with you and using her quickness of wit to disguise what she was doing.”

“You do not understand, Richard. That is just her way: she is supremely lively, playful, and intelligent. I enjoy verbally sparring with her. She remains herself and does not try to simper and coo as Bingley’s sister does.”

“How can you be so blind?” Fitzwilliam exploded. “She is not verbally fencing with you. She is mocking you!”


Well, I would say that Colonel Fitzwilliam is spot on with that remark! Poor Darcy. What is he to do now? If you want to know, visit So little time, tomorrow, Tuesday, the 9th of November.

* * *

About the Author

You can find out more about C P Odom and his books on Facebook, his Amazon author pageGoodreads author page and his page at Meryton Press 

Buy Links

Skirmish & Scandal is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. 

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time


Meryton Press will giveaway one eBook of C. P. Odom’s novella, Skirmish & Scandal, for each of the blog visits. To win, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on 14 November. If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)


Mini Blog Tour Schedule

8 Nov Babblings of a Bookworm

9 Nov So little time…

10 Nov Austenesque Reviews 



  1. I read yesterday's post and it interested me. Today's Drew me in further! I'm excited to read tomorrow's post!

  2. I am anxious to see tomorrow's offering. This looks pretty interesting.

    1. Glad to hear it's caught your interest :)

  3. I have read the others in this series and look forward to reading this. I also have read most of this author's works and enjoyed them. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  4. This sounds so good! It is hard to believe that Darcy doesn’t see Elizabeth’s disdain for him, but what fun would it be if he did?

    1. His arrogance in this regard contributes to our enjoyment at the Hunsford moment, when Elizabeth sets him straight!

  5. Darcy is such a hypocrite,complaining about the Bennets when Georgiana nearly eloped, and what about the behaviour of Lady Catherine

    1. It's true, he could be more understanding. Lydia's behaviour at this point is unrestrained, but she hasn't done anything anywhere near as bad as what Georgiana, with all the benefit of her 'superior' upbringing was prevented from doing.

  6. Thank you for hosting C. P. Odom today, Ceri. It is a pleasure visiting your blog.

    1. I was happy to host, Janet. Thanks for all you do!

  7. Sounds wonderful. Enjoyed the excerpt especially Col. Fitzwilliam.

  8. I've enjoyed each of the Skirmish and Scandal novellas and this one looks like another one that would hook me in.

  9. Darcy can be so very clueless that I sometimes pity him. Sadly he sets himself up for the set down that is sure to come.

  10. Yep, it will be interesting to see if FD believes the Col., or continues to explain it all away.

    1. Yes, he has been warned, let's see if he heeds it!

  11. Ouch! Mr Darcy's taciturn, aloof, and proud manner's going to bite him back very quickly! Thank you for sharing this excerpt.

  12. Thank you for this enjoyable excerpt. I love the Colonel's wit and glad he is guiding his cousin. I wonder what Mr D will do next?

    1. Glad you liked it, thanks for commenting.

  13. Thanks all for the comments, apologies for the delay in selecting a winner.

    I used a random number generator which chose Cyndy. I don't have an email address for you, so would appreciate it if you'd contact me within the next few days:

    Thanks again to Janet Taylor for arranging the mini tour, and to author C P Odom.


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