Friday, 17 December 2021

Five Daughters Out at Once by Jayne Bamber, Narrated by Stevie Zimmerman - Author Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: Five Daughters Out at Once by Jayne Bamber, Narrated by Stevie Zimmerman
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Jayne Bamber back to the blog to celebrate the audio release of Five Daughters Out at Once, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman. Jayne visited us with the print version of this book too, and you can read more about that here.

I am so happy when Austenesque authors make their books available in audio. Not only does it make the book available to those who cannot read print, for whatever reason, but it can enliven our travelling and chore time, and also brings us closer to Austen’s time, when reading aloud was a common way that people would spend time together.

Let’s look at the blurb and then I will bring you an author interview with Jayne, and share an excerpt with you. Jayne is giving away an audiobook of Five Daughters Out at Once to accompany the blog tour. Read on for more details!

Book Description

After the untimely death of their parents, Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters are left to make their own way in the world, and the dubious decision to stay at Longbourn until they are forced out leads to chaos and confrontation two years later, when their cousin Mr. Collins comes to claim his inheritance.

Hot on his heels is his noble patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a woman consumed by grief of her own after the loss of her husband and daughter in a terrible fire at her estate, Rosings Park. While her nephew Mr. Darcy is shocked by his aunt’s interest in the five orphaned girls, her niece Georgiana thinks it just the thing to soothe the dowager’s low spirits. Moved by the bonds of sorrow and a shared contempt of Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine offers the Bennet sisters her protection and assistance in society – and what better way to help them than to find them all rich husbands?

Much to her chagrin, Lady Catherine is not the only one to meddle in Meryton’s marriage mart – Richard Fitzwilliam joins her, at leisure to make mischief, Charlotte Lucas, now an heiress in her own right, has a secret of her own, and Georgiana Darcy finds herself inspired to write a novel that will document – and change – the lives of her new friends.

Tensions rise between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy as they both bristle at Lady Catherine’s plans – for very different reasons. Misapprehension and misunderstandings abound and plans go awry as the great lady rents Netherfield Park and hosts a horde of single gentlemen in possession of good fortunes, who must be in want of wives.

Will the Bennet sisters find love and happiness? What other Austen heroes and rakes might appear in the once dull village of Meryton? Will Darcy and Lizzy overcome the obstacles of their own making?

Interview with author Jayne Bamber

You’ve written quite a few Austenesque novels. How did you discover Austen’s work and how did you come to write your own novels based on hers?

I discovered Jane Austen in high school, when it was assigned reading. After reading Pride & Prejudice, I devoured the rest of Austen’s work. I was especially fascinated by Sanditon – I read several completions of the unfinished seventh novel, and writing one of my own was my first attempt at writing JAFF. I didn’t finish it, but I did fall in love with reading Jane Austen fan fiction, especially in the years leading up to my first novel. I was reading at least a book a week when I finally got to the point where I just couldn’t stop thinking about what might happen in a novel of my own.

This book explores a really interesting premise – Lady Catherine taking on the Bennet daughters in their hour of need – despite all five being out at once. Can you tell us what prompted this plot bunny?

Just the sheer absurdity of it! I like to push the envelope in my novels; it’s an amusing sort of challenge for me to see how preposterous an idea I can render believable, and this one was definitely a stretch, but I think the circumstances in the novel make it seem like a really naturally way for things to play out. In Pride & Prejudice, Lady Catherine is appalled to learn from Elizabeth that all the daughters are out in society, but in taking them in as her wards, she sees the advantage in providing them all an opportunity to make a good marriage – which in turn provides a chance for a veritable parade of Austen’s eligible bachelors to make an appearance at Netherfield.

I understand that although this book is billed as a Pride & Prejudice variation, we will meet some characters from other Austen novels – can you tell us a bit more about that?

I have kicked around so many different ideas that revolve around the concept of characters from other Austen novels make an appearance at a house party at Netherfield, and I’m really happy with house it all came together in this variation. Lady Catherine shows a side of herself that will come as quite a surprise, but in canon she professes a determination to be useful that rings true in this novel – so becomes determined to make matches for the Bennet sisters. I chose her friends wisely: Lady Bertram, Mrs. Churchill, Mrs. Ferrars, and General Tilney. All of these characters not only possessed qualities I imagined Lady Catherine would deem worthy, but they all conveniently come with some eligible bachelors in tow.

I love that you have brought so many of your books to audio – both for readers who enjoy audio for the chance to read while doing other things, and for those readers who aren’t able to read text, like my Grandad, who went blind and relied on audio for his reading. Do you do anything differently with your writing in order for it to work well in audio, or do you find that they can be translated to audio directly as written?

It definitely been a learning curve for me. I had written six novels before I began the process of adapting my work to audio, but going through that process definitely shaped the way I wrote my seventh and eight novels. Specifically, the way I write dialogue has changed quite a bit – in reading, I think that having that visual can make it easier to keep track of who is speaking, and you have a clear indication of where speech ends and description begins. In audio format, you don’t see the quotation marks – so you have to be able to hear them, and know who is saying what. Keeping that in mind has, I hope, made my writing a lot stronger.

You mentioned read a lot of books in the Austenesque genre - you’ve probably read a lot of different storylines. Is there a particular type of story you enjoy?

When it comes to P&P variations, I’m all for the angsty ones. I like seeing Darcy and Elizabeth forced to be around one another or to work together before they’re aware of their feelings for one another. I generally prefer longer ones over the novella length, and I especially enjoy the variations that have engaging storylines for the side characters as well as ODC. I’m also really fond of stories where Mr. Bennet has a bigger role, or at least wises up about parenting his daughters – ironic, since I think I have killed him off so many times in my own work!

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Book Cover: Five Daughters Out at Once by Jayne Bamber, Narrated by Stevie Zimmerman
Excerpt from Five Daughters Out at Once by Jayne Bamber

Darcy did not linger in the dining room after supper with all the other gentlemen; he took his brandy alone in the library, staring at the small treasure he had pilfered. Miss Tilney’s sketch of Elizabeth had been left behind in the drawing room, and had subsequently made its way into his coat pocket. But it was not a sketch of Elizabeth alone, and the other figure taunted him.

“You are wondering what she sees in him.” Darcy did not trouble to look backward as his cousin leaned against the top of the sofa and peered over his shoulder. “What a true likeness it is,” Richard added, snatching it unceremoniously from Darcy’s tenuous grasp and studying it in the candlelight. “Her and him. Miss Lizzy is quite perfect, of course, seen here to advantage, and no doubt making you more in love with her than ever. And Mr. Churchill – just look at the poor fool! His posture is too confident, his countenance too witless – Elizabeth could wreck him at any time of her choosing, just as she has done you; but at least you have the advantage of knowing that such a thing is possible.”

“What nonsense,” Darcy scoffed.

“Is that so?” Richard came and sat down across from Darcy, his expression unusually serious. There was generally something jaunty and light about his banter, bothersome as it was. This time Richard was different, more morose than mischievous; the sepulchral lines in his face were distressing to Darcy. “She wounded you, that day – with the books,” Richard said gruffly. “You ran away, but you could not stay away. Would that I could help you – you do look miserable, Darcy.”

“And so do you.” Darcy had not fully realized it until he spoke the words aloud, but there was more to his cousin’s dejection than mere sympathy. Richard was just as wretched as he was.

Richard fixed him with a dark, enigmatic look. “We both have our pride, I suppose.”

What was it that he had said to Elizabeth at dinner that first night? Where there is real superiority of mind…. “She may be my equal in intellect, but you know she is beneath me in all the ways that matter.”

“And not in the way you would like,” Richard spared him a half-hearted smile before pouring himself a drink.

“Do not be vulgar,” Darcy snapped, eliciting only a sad shrug from his cousin. “She is not what my parents would have wished for me, or what society expects. She possesses no fortune but what our aunt may choose to give her, no connections that may benefit Georgiana’s future prospects, and after that business at Longbourn….”

“Oh, for God’s sake,” Richard huffed, springing up from his chair. He moved toward the door, the anger audible in his heavy footfalls.

“Richard.” Darcy closed his eyes, clenching every muscle in his body to contain the confession that threatened to spill from him. “I do not say these things to puff myself up – I say them because they are true. It is the world we live in.”

Richard’s fingers clenched into a fist as he rested his hand on the door frame; he hesitated, fuming. “Forgive me, I was only ascertaining whether anybody else could hear you this time.” He looked pointedly over his shoulder. “Some of us have lived in this world longer than you, Darcy, and have found little merit in such dismal priorities. If you really believe your own words, you are not Elizabeth’s equal in intellect, but vastly her inferior.”

“The longer I live in the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it,” Darcy sighed, shaking his head.

“That is much more sensible.” Richard resumed his previous seat and sipped at his drink, his posture deflated. “The world is a stupid place, I think, and the society we move in the worst of all. Those who would hold you to such rigorous standards as to deny you happiness if it is not deemed appropriate – they are the same to turn on you at the first test of their mettle, and what have you gained in evading their judgement?”

“But it is not appropriate,” Darcy replied, beginning to grasp at any objection that might tether him to the distance between himself and the woman he could not put from his mind. “Elizabeth is under our aunt’s protection, and I do not think our aunt so changeable as that – you convinced me of the fact yourself – she will not turn on either of us. She would not like it, not after Anne – she would think it was anything but appropriate.” Darcy sneered on the final word, furious with his cousin’s uncanny insight.

Life is not appropriate!” Richard sipped at his drink. “Miss Crawford is appropriate.” He finished his drink in a furious gulp. “Eminently suitable, in fact. You need an heir, and if you insist on silently pining without giving pursuit, some fortune hunter or other is bound to catch you eventually. Miss Crawford is a fine lady, and will do the job creditably.”

Darcy grimaced. Mary Crawford was a gently born Caroline Bingley with a sense of humor. This was the best he could say of the lady, after four days’ acquaintance. He did not wish to know her any better, nor could he believe that doing so would alter his opinion of her. When he made no response but a stony scowl, Richard stood again and began to pace by the fireplace, his shadow flickering ominously on the far wall of the library.

“Our aunt’s notion of what is appropriate is beyond anything! She would have everyone under this roof married by Michaelmas if she could, and nearly all of us would be so flagrantly mismatched as to plague us until the end of our days.”

Darcy was struck by the recollection of what had been discussed in the drawing room that afternoon; he could not recall his own part in the conversation without some little shame – he had deserved to be laughed at by a woman so undeniably his superior in expression. He had nothing to say for himself now, and so his cousin continued to rant.

“Miss Lucas’ age marks her for my poor friend Brandon, before they have even met – if I had known our aunt would make such a match in her mind, I would never have invited him here. I am very sorry to see her stoop to such a small-minded scheme, to reduce people she has known for many years – and the vulnerable young women under her protection – to the barest summation of their circumstances, scant impressions that must determine compatibility, and actually shape the course of their future – and for what? So that the pretty sister can be admired, the clever sister shall be entertained, the moral one preached at, the dull one bored forever, and the bookish one confined to fiction because the reality is….”

A guttural, heaving breath put an abrupt end to Richard’s rant, and he threw his glass of brandy into the fire before storming out of the room. Darcy was left in a state of considerable shock at his cousin’s outburst – if he could overcome his own anguish, he should like to offer Richard some sort of support, but Richard’s temperament made his recovery far more likely than Darcy’s.

“The reality is….” He began to muse aloud, but stopped himself. The reality that had alighted on him was that, based on Richard’s framing of their aunt’s predilection, Mary Crawford might suit him well indeed. Frank Churchill’s lively wit and open temper rendered him far more suitable a match for Elizabeth than Darcy could ever be, and Mary Crawford’s situation in life answered every objection he had raised to Elizabeth. The four of them would all end with just the amount of fortune and affection their origins must teach them to expect.

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Book cover: Five Daughters Out at Once by Jayne Bamber, Narrated by Stevie Zimmerman
Buy Links

Five Daughters Out at Once is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It’s also available in audio.

Five Daughers Out at Once is available in paperback, kindle, kindle unlimited, and of course -audio!

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

Audio Audio - USAudio - UK Audio - Canada

Also, check out Jayne’s other books on Audible – Audible US • Audible UK

 

Giveaway Time

 

Jayne is offering to give away an audiobook of Five Daughters Out at Once. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter.

Link to Rafflecopter 

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

Many thanks to Jayne for visiting and offering a giveaway! 

 

15 comments:

  1. I'm so pleased to see a giveaway for an audio version. As my vision decreases, I must relay on them more and more. I do admit I prefer to read, for I can read sooo much faster, but one does what one must, it seems.
    Thank you, Jayne. I have enjoyed every one of your P&P variations.

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    1. I am so glad authors are making the investment in audio, to help out readers who need the audio option :)

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    2. Hi Betty, I am so glad to hear you have enjoyed reading my novels! I hope you also enjoy the audio of 'Five Daughters' - good luck in the giveaway!

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  2. I am not on Facebook so cannot enter to win this, but I did read and enjoy it. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. Happy Holidays if you celebrate a different holiday.

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  3. Congrats on the audio version. Looking forward to listening to it.

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    1. Hope you enjoy it when you listen to it :)

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    2. Thank you, and best of luck in the giveaway!

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  4. Wow, now on audioboook. Congratulations!!! thank you for sharing an excerpt and the giveaway

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    1. It's great isn't it. Hope you enjoy it.

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    2. Thank you :-) I am so very proud of this one. Good luck in the giveaway, and have a wonderful holiday!

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  5. Fingers crossed!!! Yes I love when books are available in audio now. I am going 80% audio now :)

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    1. It can make it a lot easier to fit in your reading to have an audio option. Best of luck with the giveaway.

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    2. Audio is great, isn't it? Whether I am driving or just doing housework, it always makes whatever I'm doing more enjoyable. Best of luck in the giveaway!

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