Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey

Book cover: Spies of Our Acquaintance by Brigid Huey
I’m happy to be welcoming Brigid Huey back to the blog with her new novella. It’s the latest in the Skirmish and Scandal series from Meryton Press and is called Spies of Our Acquaintance. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I will bring you an excerpt. There’s an ebook giveaway too! Read on for more details.

Book Description 

French spies in Meryton!

Can the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice “keep calm and carry on” when Napoleon’s war comes to their neighborhood?

After Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she has sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance grows into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.

Darcy, meanwhile, cannot stop thinking about Miss Elizabeth. After the nefarious Wickham appears in Meryton, Darcy resolves to warn her of the man’s previous offenses. Matters become more urgent when Wickham proves to be involved in espionage for the French!

When Darcy and Elizabeth are captured by a French spy, they must work together to find a means of escape. With reputations and hearts at risk, what consequences will result from their perilous adventure?

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Christine Combe - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Christine Combe
Today I’m welcoming a new visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm. Christine Combe joins us with her upcoming book, The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, bringing us an excerpt and the chance to enter an ebook giveaway. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Christine.

Book Description

When Elizabeth Bennet moves with her widowed sister and niece to an estate in Derbyshire, she does not expect to find herself captivated by the mysterious steward of Pemberley. Though cautioned not to spend more time in his company than she ought, Elizabeth finds she cannot stay away from him.

Fitzwilliam Darcy’s father lost half the family fortune to a pair of swindlers, and the rest to gaming and investments that gave no returns. He knows he is no good for the daughter of a baronet, but he falls for the lively Elizabeth in spite of every reason he should not.

When the two determine their mutual attraction cannot be denied Darcy decides to accept the challenge of re-entering society more for the sake of Elizabeth’s reputation than his own. Because both know if won’t be easy for him to regain the good opinion of the ton, Darcy goes to his noble relations to seek their assistance and Elizabeth joins him in London to support his efforts.

Of course, the expectation of whispers and snobbery is scant preparation for facing down the harshest critic of them all; one’s own family.

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So this sounds like a bit of a switch in circumstances for Elizabeth and Darcy! 

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Excerpt from The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy, introduced by Christine Combe

Back cover of book: The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Christine Combe
Greetings, fellow Austenians! I’m so excited to be visiting Babblings of a Bookworm today to talk to you about my upcoming release, The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy. It’s my first standalone Austen variation, and I really hope you’ll like it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

In this new story, circumstances are vastly different for ODC: Elizabeth and her sisters are the daughters of a baronet, and Darcy has no fortune. But as always, the stars align and one of literature’s most beloved couples unite, determined to take on the world together! 

In case you haven’t visited my blog or been following along as I posted the chapters at A Happy Assembly, here’s the 2nd half of chapter one:


The next day, on seeing that the rain had eased and the sun was shining through what clouds remained, Jane saw to Margaret’s needs before she and Elizabeth set off in the carriage for the three-mile journey to Longbourn. They would arrive in time to break their fast with the family; afterward, Jane would speak to their father about searching for a new home.

As the Bingley carriage trundled along, Elizabeth considered what her father’s reaction would be. She did not believe he would object overmuch—after all, Jane was past the age of majority and she had a sensible head on her shoulders. She’d been married, and had spent the whole of her widowhood almost entirely on her own; Elizabeth had stayed with her often, of course, and various other family members had made occasional two- or three-day visits. Their aunt Mrs. Gardiner had stayed an entire fortnight just after Charles’ death just to tend Margaret—who’d just turned a year old four months prior—as Jane had been inconsolable those first weeks and had barely risen from her bed.

The only real concern Sir Thomas might have with the plan was Elizabeth’s joining her sister in moving away. Though Jane could certainly be trusted as a guardian, the latter was the baronet’s favorite child, and parting with her would be difficult for him.

First objective, Elizabeth mused, would be gaining their father’s blessing. Second would be convincing their mother to accept that the decision was not hers to make. The third would be locating a suitable home to reside in—on this matter, she was sure, their mother would make her opinion known: only an estate would do if Jane was determined to avoid Town. It need not be so large as Netherfield, but the daughters and granddaughter of a baronet would absolutely not be allowed to lower themselves so far as to reside in a cottage.

The former Mr. Bennet’s elevation to a baronetcy some fifteen years prior had given an already silly woman with weak understanding and an illiberal mind more airs than she was perhaps entitled to. But one could not convince Lady Bennet that she thought her family more important than they truly were—after all, her husband’s title had been bestowed upon him by request of Prince Edward himself!

Shortly before the youngest of their five daughters was born, Mr. Bennet had been elected mayor in Meryton, the market town nearest their estate. To amuse his wife during her confinement, he made an address to the king, though without expecting any response. Quite surprised then, was he, to receive one, and as soon as Mrs. Bennet was out of her lying-in following Lydia’s entrance into the family circle, they made for London for his presentation. He’d expected little more notice than to receive a “trifling knighthood.”

However, upon discovering him to be the same Thomas Bennet with whom he had been engaging in an “ongoing private war” of chess-by-post for some years, Prince Edward had declared that a man of such intelligence and wit as he possessed deserved greater reward than a mere knighthood. It was then announced that he had convinced their Majesties to bestow upon him a baronetcy and a “small” fortune of twenty thousand pounds.

“How very necessary was that fortune, Lizzy,” her father had once said, “for it enabled me to provide you and your sisters dowries which you would not otherwise have had.”

Ever since their place in society had risen, Jane Gardiner Bennet had ceased to be overly concerned about the entail preventing Longbourn’s being passed to one of her husband’s children—for surely five thousand pounds each and a titled father would attract many a wealthy gentleman. Jane had successfully fulfilled her mother’s dreams for her by capturing the attentions of the very young Mr. Charles Bingley, so Lady Bennet expected similar matches were to be found for the younger girls in turn.

As such, no daughter of hers would be allowed to live in a house meant for poor relations or tenants to reside in.

“We’ll have to find an estate, you know,” said Elizabeth aloud as the carriage turned up the drive to their childhood home.

“Indeed,” Jane concurred. “Mamma would never abide our taking only a cottage. A baronet’s daughters should be seen—”

“—to be living like a baronet’s daughters,” Elizabeth finished with a grin.

The two were greeted warmly by Mrs. Hil—the longtime Longbourn housekeeper—when they entered the front hall. Soon their youngest sisters, Catherine—whom the family called Kitty—and Lydia, came excitedly down the stairs, followed at a more sedate pace by the middle Bennet girl, Mary. The five sisters greeted each other with smiles, kisses, and embraces as though it had not been only a few days since last they’d seen one another. The noise soon drew the attention of Lady Bennet, who was as profuse with her praise of Jane as was her habit, before she then scolded her for not bringing Margaret along.

“Why would you deny me a visit with my only grandchild?” the lady asked indignantly.

“I have denied you nothing, Mamma,” Jane replied calmly. “Meg is hardly of an age to be making morning calls, and you know you are perfectly welcome to come to Netherfield and see her anytime.”

“Well,” said Lady Bennet with a huff, “you can be sure I will at the earliest opportunity. I have been so very busy of late, you know—I am always visiting this neighbor or that, to show the charity and compassion the wife of a baronet ought to bestow upon her fellow man.”

Elizabeth only just stopped herself rolling her eyes in a very unladylike fashion at her mother’s pompous remark—which was really a euphemism for going about town and gossiping with her friends—though her restraint hardly proved necessary as Lady Bennet had already turned away to lead them into the dining room.

Breakfast passed pleasantly for about ten minutes until the lady of the house said to her eldest daughter, “So, my dearest Jane, when would you care to begin planning your Season? Margaret needs a father, and I am very sure your beauty and fortune will attract many admirers to your drawing room in Grosvenor Square.”

Before a startled Jane could even respond, Lady Bennet continued with, “Of course, we must take Lizzy with us—she is almost one and twenty already!—and has also not had a proper debut. You know I cannot bring Mary out in London without having the two of you married. Oh, for shame, I could not do it!”

Elizabeth was stunned by how oblivious her mother was to how much her talk upset Jane, and looked to her father to see if he would speak up on her sister’s behalf. Imploring him to act proved unnecessary, however, as Jane herself took up her own defense.

“Mamma, I shall not be going to Town for the Season,” said she in a voice that only just shook.

Lady Bennet’s eyes widened. “Not go to London? Not go to London?! But of course, you must go! How else will you find another husband if you do not?”

Jane drew a breath, and Elizabeth’s pride in her rose as her sister sat straighter, looked her mother in the eye, and said, “I do not want another husband, Mother. Not at this time, for my heart is still held by Charles. Further, I intend to remove from Netherfield and find another home for Meg and me.”

Lady Bennet gasped; Mary’s eyebrows rose toward her hairline, and Kitty and Lydia giggled as they were wont to do whenever their governess wasn’t around.

Taking advantage of her mother’s shocked silence, Jane turned to Sir Thomas. “Papa, now the subject has been brought up, I should like to say that I intended to seek your counsel after breakfast, as well as your permission for Lizzy to come and live with me in my new home.”


All eyes turned to Lady Bennet. “Jane Bennet Bingley, I forbid you to take my granddaughter out of the only home she has ever known and away from her only grandmamma! And how can you be so cruel as to deny your sisters the chance to marry as well as you did? You know I cannot marry the rest of them if you are not!”

“Firstly, Mamma, you cannot forbid me from taking my daughter anywhere,” said Jane with a hint of fire in her voice. “Secondly, I have already been married—that will be enough for the society matrons you desire so much to become acquainted with, as well as their husbands, and the sons to whom you hope to marry your younger daughters.”

The rapid blinking of her eyes was Lady Bennet’s initial response, then she sniffed, raised her nose a little higher, and said, “Ungrateful child! Oh, you have no compassion for my poor nerves. Do as you will then—ruin your daughter’s future at your peril by staying from Town to find a new father to protect her. But I’ll not allow you to ruin your sisters’ chances, young lady! You shall not be taking Elizabeth wherever it is you mean to run off to. Oh, my nerves—do you see what you have done? Such fluttering and spasms I now have all over me!”

“Oh, do please control yourself, Lady Bennet,” spoke up Sir Thomas at last. “Jane is not being an ungrateful child just because she refuses to bend to your whims, my dear. She is well within her rights to both refrain from visiting London—which I commend you for, Jane, as you know well my thoughts on that subject—and to remove with her daughter to any place of residence she should wish. As to Elizabeth’s joining her, that is for me to decide.

“Now, my daughters,” he went on, turning his attention to Jane and Elizabeth, “shall we retire to my study to discuss?”

The baronet did not wait for their response; he simply rose and took his leave, and expected them to follow. Neither minded; the sisters stood in silent unison and departed to the sound of their youngest siblings twittering madly and their mother sputtering nonsensically about betrayal and ill-usage in her own family.

Sir Thomas’s study was, perhaps, the only room within Longbourn that was not kept immaculately tidy. Oh, the housekeeper herself came in to dust and tidy up every day, but he was such a collector of books and maps that every available surface had been taken up by them—there were books even on the two visitors’ chairs that sat before his desk, which his two daughters had to move before they could make themselves comfortable.

“So, Jane… You truly mean to give up Netherfield?” Sir Thomas asked when they were all settled.

Jane cleared her throat delicately, and Elizabeth noted color in her cheeks; the poor dear had always been just a little intimidated by their father.

“Yes, Papa,” she replied. “That is, I do mean to move out and live elsewhere. I have no plans to sell the estate—I mean to keep it for Margaret, that she may be assured of a home if I should marry again.”

The baronet nodded slowly. “A very wise decision, my dear. It seems you have given the matter much thought.”

Jane inclined her head as well. “I have, sir. In the interim, I have thought to let the estate, or to offer residence to you, Mamma, and my sisters. Even before Mamma first spoke of my marrying again last week, I had decided to seek your advice. My heart is just too full of grief and memories of my husband for me to remain comfortable in our home. I need to get away, at least for a while.”

“And you are certain London does not appeal to you?”

“It does not, sir. I confess that I dread the very idea,” said Jane. “I have always lived in the country—I find that, normally, being surrounded by nature relaxes me. And I daresay it is a more pleasant and healthy environment for a young child than Town.”

Sir Thomas chuckled. “Indeed it is.” His eyes then flicked to Elizabeth. “What say you, Lizzy? Do you approve of Jane’s plan?”

Elizabeth glanced briefly at her sister before replying, “I do not think it my place to approve or not, Papa. Jane is a woman grown; she has been a wife, is a mother—and more, she knows her own mind. If she is determined to go, I daresay we cannot stop her. Or rather, we should not.”

“And does her wish to have you accompany her on this removal from Netherfield appeal to you?” her father pressed.

She chanced a smile. “It does indeed, sir. I should very much like to be of use to my sister in any way I am able.”

“So you’ve no desire for a Season in Town?”

Elizabeth laughed. “Oh, Papa! While I can imagine it would be delightful to attend many balls and parties, I have no desire at present to parade myself about in the hopes of securing a rich husband. I am not yet one and twenty—only Mamma is distressed by my being older than Jane was when she married dear Charles. At present, I have no desire to turn my mind to matrimony.”

Sir Thomas seemed almost relieved to hear her speak so, and smiled as he said, “Very wisely spoken, Lizzy.”

He sighed then and sat back in his chair, lacing his fingers over his slightly protruding middle as his expression turned contemplative. “I imagine that removal from Netherfield means also removal from the neighborhood, so Purvis Lodge is out of the question—as is the great house at Stoke.”

Elizabeth laughed again. “Mamma could never abide the attics at Purvis Lodge, for she has already declared them dreadful, and the drawing rooms at Stoke are not large enough for her taste.”

“But it is not your mother’s tastes we must appeal to,” Sir Thomas rejoined, though he grinned as he said it. His eyes then looked to Jane again, and when next he spoke there was a hint of emotion in his voice “My dear girl, I do understand your need to get away, thus I will not only offer my blessing but my assistance in locating a suitable home for you. And Lizzy may join you, as it is your express wish as well as hers.”

Jane’s relief was obvious. She blinked away tears as she rose and went around the desk to embrace him, before kissing his cheek and saying, “Oh, thank you, Papa! I cannot tell you how grateful I am for your understanding.”

Sir Thomas patted her arm. “Well, well, now… Now we’ve got the two of you sorted, I shall begin sending out inquiries on Monday. In the meantime, I will work to convince your mother it was all her idea in the first place—only then shall any of us have peace.”


Jane is moving out, and taking Elizabeth with her! Tell me what you think in the comments below to enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy!

Contest open until August 14, 2021. Good luck!

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Author Bio

Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen's work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on the next book in the series.

Christine Combe’s Blog / Facebook page


Buy Links

The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy is due out on 7 August. I can’t see any pre-order links, so will just pop a link in to Christine’s other Amazon books, so if you’d like to buy at least you’ll be in the right ball park!

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAGoodreads Author Page


Book cover: The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Christine Combe
Giveaway Time

As Christine said, above, she’s giving away an ebook of The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy to a commenter on her blog tour. Please leave a comment by the 14 August. If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour schedule!

Blog Tour Schedule

Blog tour schedule: The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Christine Combe

Thanks so much to Christine for visiting, and all the best with the book!

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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.




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...

Monday, 28 June 2021

Mistress of Netherfield by Julia Winter - Blog Tour, Deleted Scene and Review

Book cover: Mistress of Netherfield by Julia Winter
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Julia Winter, a new author, to the blog. Julia has written a Pride & Prejudice variation, Mistress of Netherfield, and she’s visiting here today with a deleted scene from the book and a giveaway opportunity. She was also so kind as to provide me an ebook of Mistress of Netherfield to read and so I’ll share my review below. Let’s look at the blurb first, and then I’ll hand over to Julia.

Book Description

It is a truth universally acknowledged that on escaping an unhappy marriage, a young widow will be delighted to remove to the dower house and lease the marital abode to a single man in possession of a good fortune, provided he looks elsewhere to fulfil his want of a wife.

Forced into an unwanted marriage at the tender age of sixteen, and freed six months later by the death of her abusive husband, Elizabeth Grayson (née Bennet) has finally found a measure of peace. The inheritor of her husband’s estate, Netherfield Park, Elizabeth is now a wealthy young widow, independent and self-reliant. With an eye always on improving her four sisters’ woefully small dowries and providing for her mother, who will be homeless when her father dies, Elizabeth is pleased to lease out Netherfield to the Bingley family from the north of England, making her home in the dower house in Meryton and vowing that she will never remarry.

Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire is rich and well-connected, but reserved in company with anybody outside the very few he counts as friends. Towards those friends, he is loyal and steadfast, the staunchest of supporters. So when a young man comes to him with a tale of the clandestine marriage and mysterious death of Darcy’s old schoolfriend, James Grayson, and begs Darcy’s help to investigate the widow’s role, Darcy agrees. Visiting Charles Bingley, the new tenant of Netherfield, Darcy is very soon torn between his loyalty to his dead friend, and his burgeoning attraction to the widow.

Throw two unprincipled rogues and an elopement into the confines of Meryton, and how will Darcy’s dilemma over Elizabeth ever be resolved? And is she willing to put aside her misgivings, and trust again?

(British English spelling and grammar used throughout)

Monday, 21 June 2021

Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game by Karen M Cox - Audio Release and Giveaway

Audio Cover: Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game by Karen M Cox
I’m happy to be welcoming Karen M Cox back to the blog. She’s celebrating the audio release of Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game. This is a Pride & Prejudice-inspired story, transported to the 1980s and involving spies! I read the book some time ago, and really enjoyed it; you can see my review of it here.

I’ll share the blurb with you and then hand over to Karen for a guest post about the audio book, narrated by Elizabeth Grace, and a chance to win a copy.

Book Description

“...if I endeavor to undeceive people as to the rest of his conduct, who will believe me?” 

-Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 40

Elizabeth Bennet, a rookie counterintelligence officer, lands an intriguing first assignment—investigating the CIA's legendary William Darcy, who is suspected of being a double agent. 

Darcy’s charmed existence seems at an end as he fights for his career and struggles against his love for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move.

Elizabeth’s confidence dissolves as nothing is like she planned—and the more she discovers about Darcy, the more she finds herself in an ever-tightening web of danger.

Unexpected twists abound in this suspenseful Cold War era romance inspired by Jane Austen’s classic tale.

Friday, 11 June 2021

Parallels by Linda Gonschior - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour - Parallels by Linda Gonschior
Today I’m welcoming Linda Gonschior to the blog. I have featured her work previously as part of the anthology Then Comes Winter but today she joins us with the blog tour for part 3 of her Reflections series, Parallels. This is a modernised story based on Pride & Prejudice and begins with Reflections, followed by A Tarnished Image, and the story concludes in Parallels. Linda joins us here with an excerpt and giveaway of the story. 

Book Description

Love, heartbreak, and self-discovery
are life’s greatest challenges,
no matter who your parents may be.

Will and Elizabeth Darcy faced those challenges twenty years earlier, yet marriage taught them patience, understanding, and most importantly, the irreplaceable value of one another. Now their children are about to embark upon that path, hopefully to learn those lessons more gently and avoid the mistakes of their parents.

This third book in the Reflections series brings to a conclusion the story of a couple whose love drew them together in spite of themselves and continues to test them when least expected.

Monday, 7 June 2021

For the Deepest Love by Mary Anne Mushatt - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: For the Deepest Love by Mary Anne Mushatt
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Mary Anne Mushatt to Babblings of a Bookworm. Mary Anne has just released For the Deepest Love, which is a Pride & Prejudice variation and she joins us today with an excerpt of the novel. Publishers Quills and Quartos are offering an ebook giveaway too. I’ll share the book description and then hand over to Mary Ann.

Book Description

“After thinking long and hard, I have come to the conclusion that—although it may not be the kind of love my sister and I once had in mind—marrying Mr Darcy would be marrying for a love of the deepest kind.”

Recovering from their parents’ deaths, Elizabeth and Jane Bennet have held their family together, leaning on the support of their uncle, Edward Gardiner, to help them survive.  Thus, when Mr Gardiner is threatened with scandal and ruin, Elizabeth vows to help him.  Hearing of her distress, the scandalous Fitzwilliam Darcy enters her life—offering his aid in exchange for her hand.  Accepting his proposal upends her life in unimaginable ways as she learns of the treachery of the peer courting her, the betrayal and violence committed by her childhood friend, and the threat to her country as it faces another war. 

As Elizabeth and Darcy face the turmoil and trials swirling around them, they risk opening their hearts to unexpected passion.  In order to survive challenges from without and fears within, they must summon unknown strengths and forge new bonds to solidify a love of the deepest kind.

Friday, 4 June 2021

An Unexpected Harvest by Cat Andrews - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book Cover: An Unexpected Harvest by Cat Andrews
I’m happy to be welcoming Cat Andrews back to the blog today with her new book, An Unexpected Harvest. Some of you will have read Sanctuary, which is a 3 part story that takes Pride & Prejudice-inspired characters to a modern setting in New England. If you haven't, I recommend that you do - you can read my review of part one of it here.

Well, An Unexpected Harvest is also a modern, but this time it’s all in one book, and has a bit of a twist in the approach to the characters. I don’t have time to read a lot of stories posted online these days but I did read this one, and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to seeing how the published version turned out! 

Cat is joining us as part of her blog tour to celebrate the book’s release, and she’s brought an excerpt and giveaway for Amazon US / UK /CA kindle customers. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Cat for her excerpt.

Book Description

Elizabeth Bennet left her affluent New England home at the age of sixteen and never looked back. She’s built a fabulous life in Boston and loves everything about the city—especially her dream job as creative director at an advertising agency.

Will Darcy has never lived anywhere but in rural Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He lives the quintessential small-town life and loves everything about the country—especially his family’s farm, which he’s doing his best to modernize and return to prosperity.

When her older sister moves back to New England, Elizabeth reluctantly pays a visit to the hometown she left behind. Soon enough, the city girl meets the country boy and the insults and misunderstandings fly—but so do the sparks.

No one is more surprised than Elizabeth and Will when those sparks turn into a brilliant flame, and the 300 miles between them that once felt far too close suddenly turns into an unbearable distance.

The city girl and the country boy know a good thing when they see it—even if they don’t see it nearly enough. Can they overcome their greatest challenge and find common ground—and their happily-ever-after?


This novel is a modern variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but with a slight spin on the usual cast of characters. It contains adult content and is meant for mature readers.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Fitzwilliam Darcy, In His Own Words by Shannon Winslow - Guest Post and Excerpt

Book Cover: Fitzwilliam Darcy... in his own words by Shannon Winslow
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Shannon Winslow back to Babblings of a Bookworm with her new book, Fitzwilliam Darcy, In His Own Words, which as the name suggests is a book from Darcy’s point of view. Read on for the blurb, followed by a guest post from Shannon and an excerpt of the story. 

Book Description

What was Mr. Darcy’s life like before he met Elizabeth Bennet? – before he stepped onto the Pride and Prejudice stage at the Meryton assembly? More importantly, where is he and what is he doing all the time he’s absent from the page thereafter? And what is his relationship to a woman named Amelia?

With Fitzwilliam Darcy, in His Own Words, the iconic literary hero finally tells his own story, from the traumas of his early life to the consummation of his love for Elizabeth and everything in between.

This is not a variation but a supplement to the original story, chronicled in Darcy’s point of view – a behind-the-scenes look at the things Jane Austen didn’t tell us. As it happens, Darcy’s journey was more tortuous than she let on, his happy ending with Elizabeth in jeopardy at every turn in his struggle between duty and his heart’s desire, between the suitable lady he has promised to marry and the woman he can’t stop thinking about.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Faults of Understanding by Jennifer Altman - Author Interview and Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Jennifer Altman back to the blog. Jennifer has joined us with a post to celebrate her upcoming book, the Pride & Prejudice variation Faults of Understanding. Jennifer subjected herself to an interview, which I hope you will enjoy. She’s brought an ebook giveaway with her too! I’ll share the blurb with you and then we will move on to the interview.

Book Cover: Faults of Understanding by Jennifer Altman
Book Description

“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding.” – Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice 

When Fitzwilliam Darcy makes an impetuous offer of marriage to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, he is convinced they have as good a chance as any for a harmonious life together. That is, until an overheard conversation changes everything, and Darcy realizes he is now joined in perpetuity to a woman who loathes the very sight of him.

Elizabeth Bennet’s expectations for matrimonial accord were never very high, having accepted Mr. Darcy’s proposal in a fit of pique, not love. Still, she is determined to make the best of her situation, despite having tied herself to such an arrogant, disagreeable man.

But life at Pemberley is not at all what she imagined, and Elizabeth soon finds herself with more questions than answers about the enigmatic gentleman she agreed to wed.

Trapped in a marriage founded on misunderstandings, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy struggle with deepening attraction while confronting self-doubt and old betrayals. But is love enough to heal the wounds of the past? What will it take for two people bound by duty to find their way home to one another?

Monday, 26 April 2021

Dragons Beyond the Pale by Maria Grace - Guest Post and Giveaway

Jane Austen's Dragons Series of Books by Maria Grace
I’m happy to be welcoming Maria Grace back to the blog to celebrate her latest book, Dragons Beyond the Pale. As you will have deduced from the title, this is the latest in her Jane Austen’s Dragons series, the seventh book in the series. Maria has brought us one of my favourite types of post, which is a post about history, specifically the history of the Georgian terrace house. Now, I live in a street where there are terraced houses but they are not in the same vein as Georgian ones, which are FANTASTIC. And also, in some cases, HUGE. There are stunning examples of Georgian terraced houses in places like London or Bath.

Maria has also been so kind as to bring a book giveaway with her too; either the first in her Jane Austen’s Dragons series, if you are new to the series, or this latest book, Dragons Beyond the Pale. First, we will look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Maria for her guest post, which I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I did 😊

Book Cover: Dragons Beyond the Pale by Maria Grace
Book Description

Smugglers. A kidnapping. A fire-breathing fairy dragon? The Blue Order is falling apart at the seams.  

After months in Bath mentoring Dragon Keepers and Friends, Dragon Sage Elizabeth Darcy actually anticipates traveling to London for the Keeper’s Cotillion. Which says a great deal considering the she-dragons who make up the Cotillion board would very much like to show the Sage her proper place.

The she-dragons, though, are no match for what Sir Fitzwilliam Darcy finds waiting for him in London. Threats to the Order on every side, and Lord Matlock demands he keep them secret from Elizabeth. No one keeps secrets from Elizabeth.

In the meantime, Anne and Frederick Wentworth arrive in London with hopes of finally being accepted in good Blue Order society, unaware of the burgeoning maelstrom about to engulf them.

Darcy manages to keep matters under control until a fairy-dragon’s prank unleashes sinister forces who perpetrate an unthinkable crime that could spell the end of the Pendragon Accords and usher in a new age of dragon war.

Can Elizabeth and Darcy, with the Wentworths’ help, restore balance to the Blue Order before the dragons decide to take matters into their own talons and right the wrongs themselves?

Monday, 29 March 2021

Five Daughers Out at Once by Jayne Bamber - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

I’m really pleased to welcome Jayne Bamber back to Babblings of a Bookworm with her new Pride & Prejudice variation, Five Daughters Out at Once. I love that Jayne comes up with ideas that I haven’t seen anywhere else before and this book is no exception. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Jayne for a guest post.

Book Cover: Five Daughters Out at Once by Jayne Bamber
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?

Friday, 26 March 2021

Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Monica Fairview - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m happy to be welcoming author Monica Fairview back to the blog with her latest release, Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variationwhich mixes Pride & Prejudice with some magic! First I’ll share the blurb with you, and then hand over to Monica for a guest post and excerpt from the novel.

Book Cover: Dangerous Magic: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Monica Fairview
Book Description

A sparkling tale of Regency England, a forced marriage, and two magicians who must work together to save the Kingdom. 

Elizabeth Bennet is stunned when the Royal Mages come to her peaceful country home of Longbourn to take her away. She is even more bewildered when she is commanded to marry a powerful mage by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy. She has always dreamed of marrying for love, and an arranged marriage with an arrogant stranger was never part of her plans. 

But Darcy and Elizabeth have no choice in the matter. Uniting their two forms of magic is essential if the Kingdom is to defeat Napoleon’s mages. They may dislike each other on sight, but Darcy and Elizabeth have to overcome their differences and find common ground before it is too late. Fortunately, it is not long before the sparks begin to fly between them.

Join the author of ‘Fortune and Felicity’ in this Jane Austen Fantasy Variation, an enchanting story of determination, love, and hope against all odds.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress – Blog Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Book cover: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress
I’m very happy to be welcoming a new visitor to the blog today. Gailie Ruth Caress has published a book called Fearful Symmetry: A Pride & Prejudice Variaion with Quills and Quartos, and the blog tour for the book visits here today. Let’s take a look at the blurb and then we’ll move on to an interview with the author. There’s also a giveaway to accompany the blog tour. Read on for details!

Book Description 

Darcy had never known such a woman, one who could rush into an inferno and emerge as bold and brilliant as burnished brass, bright as any mirror.

Fitzwilliam Darcy had planned to leave Netherfield Park and all thoughts of the enchanting Miss Elizabeth Bennet behind him—until one night when he saw smoke rising from Longbourn and realised she was imperiled.

Elizabeth Bennet found Mr Darcy arrogant and insufferable right up until he became her hero, pulling her and her sister from the fire that devastated their home, and could have claimed both of their lives. Seeing how he put his own life at risk to pull her from the fire, how could she help but change her opinion of him?

Thrown together again in the refuge offered at Netherfield, Darcy and Elizabeth’s unexpected bond gains strength. But disapproval, debts, and doubts all arise when the costs in time and expense involved in rebuilding Longbourn threaten to widen the gulf in standing between Elizabeth and Darcy in the eyes of society. Amidst these perplexities of destruction and decorum, can love’s courage overcome calamity?

Author Gailie Ruth Caress
Author Interview with Gailie Ruth Caress

Thank you for having me here, Ceri! I feel so honored to be invited to come visit for an author interview.

I’ll do my best to be a good guest and behave myself. **Sits and pours some tea** Let me see if I can tackle these good questions on your list!

1. What inspired your Pride and Prejudice variation?

In 2012 when I began to write Fearful Symmetry, I was still actively processing what felt like the rather abrupt end to my carefree youth. My excellent father had passed away from a long and rough battle with cancer just a few years prior, when I was twenty-one years old—very close to Elizabeth Bennet’s age in Pride & Prejudice. In the weeks and months after his death, I graduated college and entered the workforce during the 2009 US economic recession. It was a rough year to say the least, and I felt like I’d had to hurry up and finish becoming a fully-fledged adult very quickly, and without a lot of support or stability. In Fearful Symmetry, the housefire that guts Longbourn in its early chapters similarly catapults Elizabeth out of her idyllic, sheltered life as a young country miss, and she must rise to new responsibilities and open her eyes to a deeper understanding of the real challenges of the world she inhabits. It’s ultimately a coming-of-age tale for her, and it served as a bit of “narrative therapy” for me!

The title of my novel comes from a line in a poem called “The Tyger,” a work pulled from William Blake’s collection called “Songs of Experience,” which he wrote as a counter-themed collection to his “Songs of Innocence.” Fittingly, the journey Elizabeth takes in my novel not only borrows from some of the fiery imagery from “The Tyger” (hello, housefire!), but it also moves her into a brand-new world of experience, and out of the innocence of her halcyon days at Longbourn.

This was a story I would compose in spurts and then set aside—sometimes for years at a time. But there was something healing for me in the experience of writing this new path for Elizabeth. The worlds and characters of Jane Austen feel “safe” to us since they are known and familiar, and I think that sense of safety helped me to gather courage as a writer to explore some of the more difficult parts of my own life within these fictional confines. Because I know, in Elizabeth’s world, I can count on making my way towards a resolution with a happy ending even when my own might be far more uncertain.

I think this form of narrative “therapy” worked; finishing the manuscript for this novel under pandemic lockdown definitely helped me retain some hope for the days to come!

2. Besides Jane Austen, what other books are your favorites and why?

I should start off by saying I’m a long-time fan of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. I also survived my angst in middle school reading Jane Eyre; and then in high school, when I wasn’t working my way through The Lord of the Rings, I was diving into postmodern gothic-inspired works like Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire) and Thomas Harris’s (Silence of the Lambs) novels.

I really loved Gaskell and Brontë’s narrative voices, which convey their leading characters’ keen emotional self-awareness without being cloying. I was fascinated by Tolkien’s world-building. And I was constantly in awe of Rice and Harris’s story craft. Each of their books’ plotlines feel like a rollercoaster! They launch the reader out of their seat with some kind of revelation or action sequence in the very first chapter, then the middle-plot develops a steep and unstable arc of conflict and growth, and finally the whole tale just rolls downhill at a gathering pace towards a breathless ending each time. It’s mesmerizing. Harris in particular knows how to pace his pages, and he never wastes a word.

3. What do you do when you are not reading or writing?

Right now, I am taking care of my two wild little boys, ages five and two, which is my main daily challenge as a mom. You might also find me trying not to fall on my face at Jazzercise class (yes, Jazzercise! I’m a former show-choir kid and musical theatre geek, so I fit right in). Sometimes I sew, bake, help people build websites, and sing. My husband is a pastor in a rural church, so I help organize church events and children’s ministry, gather community resources for folks in the margins, and sometimes lead Bible studies for adults that let me be nerdy in my hermeneutics by pulling in socio-historic and linguistic context for scripture. And that last bit involves me researching, which I also love to do. I’ll be looking to return to the work force in some form or other in 2021, but I’m grateful I could stay home during this terrible pandemic so my whole family could literally survive the virus (since we all had it in November, and it was awful!).

4. Do you have any plans for a second book?

Oh yes, but it’s not a sequel, if that’s what you mean. I’m trying to be secretive about it. I suppose I could tell you that it’s a “crossover” between two of Austen’s works—but I won’t give away which ones! I’m also working on a short story woven out of some side-plot threads I had cut away from Fearful Symmetry. I admit I have a soft spot for gothic tropes, and they’ll appear in this shorter tale featuring a bit of the paranormal. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Thank you so much for having me by to chat today! I really enjoyed this interview!

* * * 

I hope you enjoyed this interview, because I certainly did! 

I think all our experiences shape us but some big experiences are like a milestone in our lives that we can see as life changing when we look back, there is us before the event and a different us afterwards. It's amazing to me that Gailie Ruth has weaved her loss into something as creative and lasting as a book.

I am so glad Gailie Ruth told us about her reading habits, too, because that’s something I always find interesting. I have actually read all the books she mentioned, most of them more than once! Big thanks to Kristi from Quills and Quartos for her input to this post 😊

If you are wondering about the poem, I am sure you will recognise it. Here is the first stanza:

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

I am not a big one for poetry, but I love this one, it’s very dramatic! I know it's written by Englishman William Blake but if I read it aloud I go full on Welsh sounding. I think it's something we learn at school here, if we read poetry we all sound like Dylan Thomas!

Author Bio

Gailie Ruth Caress, author of Fearful Symmetry, never dreamed of writing a debut novel in her own pleasure-reading genre when she was a no-nonsense, 4.0-chasing English major who won prizes for her academic essays at Hanover College in her home state of Indiana. Forced to readily adapt after a pivotal loss in early adulthood, she became a dabbler in many forms of expression and relationship-building—from opera and ballroom dance to nonprofit education and mentoring. And yet, she committed mid-Pandemic to the challenge of completing the manuscript of the story that kept her up at night, driven by a need to borrow from the courageous vulnerability of her favorite Jane Austen couple in a landscape transformed by disaster.

Her everyday life continues to hold unexpected adventures. Her two small boys and a duo of sassy tabby cats run wild on the Illinois prairie around a parsonage, where they keep her busy alongside rural community and ministry work with her pastor-husband. Learn more about Gailie Ruth at

Book cover: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress
Buy Links

Fearful Symmetry is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It’s also available in audio!

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time 

Quills and Quartos are giving away an ebook of Fearful Symmetry to a commenter on this post. They will choose the winner on 19 March.

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Visit the other stops on the blog tour to learn more about Fearful Symmetry.

Blog Tour: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress

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