Friday, 13 May 2022

Born to be a Heroine by Christine Combe - Except

Book cover: Born to be a Heroine by Christine Combe
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Christine Combe to the blog with her new book, Born to be a Heroine. You may recognise this as a Northanger Abbey reference, but this is a Pride & Prejudice variation. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll pass over to Christine for an excerpt from Born to be a Heroine. 

Book Description

When Elizabeth Bennet meets the new residents of Netherfield at Meryton’s monthly assembly, she does not expect to make a fast friend in the perpetually cheerful Catherine Morland -- nor does she expect the surprise of being asked to dance by the proud and haughty Mr. Darcy.

Fitzwilliam Darcy doesn’t care to dance unless he is particularly acquainted with his partner, so no one is more surprised than he when not only does he accept the challenge presented to him by Miss Morland, but he also asks the playful Miss Bennet for a dance as well.

Catherine Morland joined Mrs. Allen in accepting the invitation of Mr. Bingley, great nephew of Mr. Allen, to visit Netherfield for the simple pleasure of making new acquaintances and seeing a new place. She is most delighted to have found in Elizabeth Bennet and her elder sister Jane the kind of dependable friendship she found in Eleanor Tilney.

When an old nemesis of Darcy’s comes to town, trouble quickly brews in which both Elizabeth and Catherine become entangled. While one young lady battles the workings of her heart, the other is caught in a compromise which could damage her respectability in society. Each is forced to look deep inside herself to discover the strength that proves she was born to be a heroine.

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Tuesday, 10 May 2022

The Barrister’s Bride by Suzan Lauder - Blog Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Barrister's Bride by Suzan Lauder
I’m happy to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for Suzan Lauder’s new Pride & Prejudice variation, The Barrister’s Bride. Suzan has joined us with an excerpt of the book and has brought a giveaway opportunity. Let’s look at the book description and then I’ll hand over to Suzan to introduce the excerpt.

Book cover: The Barrister's Bride by Suzan Lauder
Book Description 

A pact that will change their lives forever…

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a successful young barrister with a bright future. His late uncle has guided his career, made him his heir, and even selected a bride for him—sight unseen—whom he’ll meet and marry upon her majority. Who could have predicted that making the acquaintance of Miss Elizabeth Bennet in Meryton would throw those careful plans into disarray?

Elizabeth Bennet doesn’t know what to make of “Fitz” Darcy, who intrigues and draws her notice like no other. Despite Fitzwilliam’s warnings, she allows Mr. George Darcy, Fitzwilliam’s older brother and master of Pemberley, to charm her. Little does she know that she, too, has been promised in marriage by her late father—to an unknown barrister, no less. What is she to do when her hopes to marry for love disappear in the blink of an eye?

Is George Darcy’s suit in earnest? Can this mysterious bridegroom of her father’s choosing become the husband of her dreams? With the danger of duels and deceit, what will come of the initial attraction between her and Fitzwilliam? Will she become the barrister’s bride?

Note: contains scenes with adult content.

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Friday, 6 May 2022

The Murder of Mr Wickham by Claudia Gray - Review

Blog tour graphic: The Murder of Mr Wickham by Claudia Gray
One of my favourite genres to read aside from Austenesque is cosy mysteries.  So when the chance came to read a book that was the two combined I obviously jumped at it. The Murder of Mr Wickham by Claudia Gray has an enticing title for any Austenesque reader, and when you read the blurb and find out that there are characters from a number of Austen’s novels then it draws you in all the more. I’ll share the book description with you and then move on to my review of the book.

Book cover: The Murder of Mr Wickham by Claudia Gray
Book Description

A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen's Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang. 

Friday, 22 April 2022

Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke - Review

Earlier this week I posted about a fund raising appeal that author Jennifer Duke is running in order to have her Pride & Prejudice-inspired time travel book Back to the Bonnet converted to audio format. 

Back to the Bonnet is written from Mary Bennet’s point of view because she is the time traveller (most of the time). Mary uses a bonnet with mysterious powers to go back in time and is therefore able to undo some unfortunate events. You can read the previous post here and I’d recommend that you do, as it has an alternate take on the Netherfield ball which Mary has to undo.

I’ve been meaning to read the book since it came out and Jennifer’s fund raising appeal gave me a nudge to read it. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll share my review with you. 

Book cover: Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke - picture shows a clock dial
Book Description

Matrimony is not a destiny that attracts plain but clever Miss Mary Bennet.

With her family’s fortunes threatened by their own foolish mistakes, deceptive rogues and the inconvenience of male heirs to her family home, the future looks unstable, even bleak. But Mary possesses a secret weapon . . . a bonnet that allows her to travel in time.

In orchestrating events according to her own inclinations, Mary takes an unconventional route to protect her family from ruin. However, she is unprepared for the dark path down which duty and power will lead her.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke - Fund Raising for Audio Book Appeal

Book Cover: Back to the Bonnet by Jennifer Duke
Some time ago I featured a time travel book about Mary Bennet called Back to the Bonnet, written by Jennifer Duke. It’s a book where Mary can time travel. 

Jennifer is currently fund raising to create an audio version of Back to the Bonnet which I wanted to post about, and I thought it’d be a good time to read the book. I’ll bring you my review of that later in the week.

Now I’ll hand over to Jennifer for her to tell you about her fund raising.

* * *

Calling all Janeites! Can you help make this author’s audiobook dream a reality?

Back in 2020, author Jennifer Duke self-published her first novel, Back to the Bonnet, a reimagining of Pride and Prejudice in which Mary Bennet orchestrates events with the help of a time-travelling bonnet. Now she’s hoping to turn her novel into an audiobook read by Lucy Briers who played Mary Bennet in the BBC’s 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.

Author Jennifer Duke
Jennifer: Back to the Bonnet had been some time in the making and, as most writers have to do when starting out, I invested a lot of time and money into creating the final book and I did this whilst working in childcare and housekeeping jobs, as well as navigating lockdown like most of the rest of the world. Being new to the publishing and marketing side of things, about which I still have much to learn, and being self-published rather than having the backing of a traditional publisher, sales have been on the slow side, though I’m grateful for some lovely reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Actress Lucy Briars
I felt particularly encouraged after actress Lucy Briers got in touch with me via Twitter, having enjoyed Back to the Bonnet, to say that if it were to be made into an audiobook some day, she’d love to narrate it. This was so lovely to hear, though it wasn’t until more recently that I seriously thought I could make this happen. Now I have a team of women who are enthusiastic about creating the audiobook - Lucy Briers as narrator (which is so fitting as the novel is written in first person, it’s Mary Bennet’s narrative), Tamsin Collison as audiobook director (she directed a fairly recent version of Mansfield Park for Audible) and talented sound editor Tshari King.

All I have to do now is raise the funds for the production costs including the fees for these amazingly talented women, then it will get the green light. To do this, I’ve set up a Go Fund Me page in hopes of gaining financial help from people who wish to support the project. If you’re reading this and thinking that you like the idea behind this audiobook and that you might be able to make a donation, however small, to contribute to its manifestation, please know that I would be so grateful for your help. I’m not in a position to do this on my own and so I would be hugely appreciative of having my fellow Austen fans in my corner! 

If I happen to raise more than the required amount for this project, I will be donating additional funds to TreeSisters, a UK registered charity that plants trees in the tropics. I’m hoping to fund the planing of 1000 trees. Together I believe we can create beautiful things.

You can find out more about donating to this crowdfunding project here:

• Go Fund Me page • Jennifer Duke’s website • Email: contact@jennifer-duke.com

 * * *

Lucy Briars as Mary Bennet in the BBC Adaptation of Pride & Prejudice from 1995
How exciting that Lucy Briars might narrate this book if it makes the move to audio! As the book is written from Mary's point of view it would really bring the book to life to have it in a voice we can connect to Mary. I wish Jennifer all the best with her fund raising. 

Please come back later this week to find out what I thought of Back to the Bonnet.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Maria Bertram’s Daughter by Lucy Knight - Blog Tour, Character Interview and Ebook Giveaway

Blog Tour Graphic for Maria Bertram's Daughter by Lucy Knight - picture shows a historical painting depicting two children by a river
Today I am happy to be welcoming a new visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm, Lucy Knight. Lucy has written a book called Maria Bertram’s Daughter, which you will probably realise from the title is Mansfield Park sequel. In Mansfield Park’s Bicentennial year I read quite a few MP-inspired books and found that there were relatively few to choose from, so I am really pleased to bring you news of this new one.

Lucy has joined us with a guest post, and publishers Meryton Press are offering an ebook giveaway to accompany the blog tour. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Lucy for her guest post, which is an interview with the title character, Maria Bertram’s Daughter, Dorothea Rose.

Book cover: Maria Bertram's Daughter by Lucy Knight - picture shows a young woman in period costume looking off to the side
Book Description

She could be mistress of Mansfield Park. But is that what she wants?

An unwanted child—conceived in circumstances her mother would rather forget—Dorothea Henrietta Rose grows up solitary and neglected with her dissatisfied mother and unpleasant great-aunt Norris. Raised without the knowledge that her mother is her mother or that their occasional visitor, Sir Thomas Bertram, is her grandfather, she is forbidden ever to set foot in Mansfield Park.

Dorothea hopes for a happier life when sent away to school, but her difficulties are not over. She is obliged to make her way in the world as a governess and, thus, encounters human frailty, hypocrisy, good, and evil in her travels throughout England.

She meets the Crawfords—Henry and Mary (now Lady Drumroth)—and inevitably does the one thing she must not do: unwillingly makes herself known to the inhabitants of Mansfield Park.

* * *

Monday, 4 April 2022

An Affectionate Heart by Heather Moll - Excerpt and US Giveaway

Book cover: An Affectionate Heart by Heather Moll
Today I’m happy to be welcoming Heather Moll back to the blog with her latest book, An Affectionate Heart. The premise of this book is something I’m really excited about, as this book is based on Pride & Prejudice with flavours of one of my favourite books by another author, The Blue Castle by L M Montgomery.

If you are not familiar with that charming book, by the author of the Anne of Green Gables books, I’d definitely recommend reading it. It’s about a young woman, Valancy, who gets a diagnosis of a heart complaint and is told that she probably only has a short time to live. Valancy is nearing 30 and has never actually lived. She has always been well-behaved, always did what her family wanted rather than what she wanted and still never managed to please them. Now she is dying and, spurred on by compassion for an ailing former friend, Valancy decides the time to worry about what her family will think is gone. Valancy may not have much time left, but she is going to live while she can. It’s really a lovely story.

Now, how this meshes in with Pride & Prejudice in An Affectionate Heart, I am not quite sure, but I am assuming from the blurb that Elizabeth has a similar health worry and makes a similar decision to Valancy, to seize the day while she still can. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Heather for an excerpt. There’s also an amazing giveaway, open to US readers.

Book Description - An Affectionate Heart

ARE LOVE AND AFFECTION ENOUGH TO OVERCOME THE PAIN OF GRIEF AND ANGER?

In the spring of 1812, Elizabeth and Lydia are the only Bennet daughters still unmarried after the death of their father. Elizabeth’s health and spirits worsen as she moves among relations as an unwanted, dependent sister. She returns to Mary and Mr Collins at Longbourn to learn that the neighbourhood gossip centres on the reclusive Mr Darcy.

Darcy and his sister live an isolated life in a small rented lodge near Netherfield after the events at Ramsgate. As Georgiana’s health is failing, Darcy has his own regrets to bear. He tries to keep them secluded, but a young woman arrives who is determined to befriend his lonely, ill sister.

When Elizabeth receives disastrous news, she makes a daring plan to find happiness for herself while she still can. Misunderstandings and secrets abound for them both but in the end, Darcy and Elizabeth will find greater strength together than they ever had apart.

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Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Death of a Dandy: A Mansfield Park Mystery by Riana Everly - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m happy to be welcoming Riana Everly back to the blog for a guest post, a chance to enjoy an exerpt of her new book, Death of a Dandy: A Mansfield Park Mystery, and a chance to win an ebook of it too!

This is the latest in the Miss Mary Investigates series, which sees Pride & Prejudice’s Mary Bennet solving mysteries. Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll hand over to Riana for her guest post, excerpt from Death of a Dandy and giveaway.

Book Cover: Death of a Dandy: A Mansfield Park Mystery by Riana Everly
Book Description

The worlds of Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park meet when Mary Bennet lands in the middle of her third adventure with handsome investigator Alexander Lyons.

The two friends are travelling back to Mary’s home after a visit to the Darcy family at Pemberley when their journey is interrupted by the news that Tom Bertram, the heir to Mansfield Park, has disappeared. Alexander is asked to take the case, and he and Mary find themselves as guests at the estate. The house is abuzz with activity as plans go ahead for a fox hunt and the performance of a play, and Mary sees intrigue in every interaction between the beautiful residents of Mansfield Park and their sophisticated guests.

When the hunt ends in tragedy with the discovery of a body, Alexander’s involvement grows even deeper, but every clue leads to even more questions. The more Alexander digs, the more it seems this death might involve people much higher up than he can reach. And the biggest question of all is who, exactly, was the intended victim of what is surely murder most foul?

Mary and Alexander find themselves hard at work to unravel a web of secrets and dark goings-on that enshroud the elegant estate of Mansfield Park. But Alexander is hiding a secret of his own, one which he knows will forever doom any possible future for him and Mary.

Will they solve the mystery before somebody else dies? And will any hearts remain unbroken if they succeed?

Friday, 18 March 2022

What Happened on Box Hill - Austen University Mysteries - Guest Post & Giveaway from Author Elizabeth Gilliland

Today I’m happy to be welcoming Elizabeth Gilliland to the blog. She has brought out a modern Austen-inspired murder mystery and she’s come here to talk to us about the book. What Happened on Box Hill is Book 1 of the Austen University Mysteries series. Read on to learn more, and have the opportunity to win an ebook of What Happened on Box Hill.

Book cover: What Happened on Box Hill by Elizabeth Gilliland
Book Description

What would happen if you combined all of Austen's characters into one modern-day novel?

Murder, of course.

When Caty Morland's roommate, Isabella, falls to her death on Initiation Night, Austen University is quick to cover up the scandal and call it a tragic accident. But avid true-crime lover Caty remains convinced that Isabella didn't fall; she was murdered. With the help of Pi Kappa Sigma President Emma Woodhouse, Caty organizes a dinner party with the most likely suspects, including familiar faces such as Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Knightley, and Marianne Dashwood. The theme of the night is murder, and Caty has three courses to find out what happened to Isabella—and to try to keep the killer from striking again.

What Happened on Box Hill is Book 1 of the Austen University Mysteries series. It can be read as a standalone novel but will be best enjoyed as part of the series.

Monday, 14 March 2022

Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life: On Love, Friendship, and Becoming the Person God Created You to Be by Haley Stewart - Review

Book cover: Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life by Haley Stewart
So when you have a to be read list as long as your arm you shouldn’t be looking on Netgalley, but I was, and this title caught my eye. Let’s take a look at the (very long) blurb, and then I’ll let you know what I thought of Jane Austen's Genius Guide to Life: On Love, Friendship, and Becoming the Person God Created You to Be by Haley Stewart 

Book Description

Popular Catholic podcaster Haley Stewart insists that there's no better life coach than nineteenth-century British novelist Jane Austen.

In this uniquely Catholic take, Stewart reveals Austen's thoughtful, deeply personal exploration of human relationships--including with God--through her six novels. Stewart's insights take you on a journey that is both literary and spiritual, revealing how Austen's characters and themes can lead to you to discover and become the person God has called you to be.

Stewart draws fascinating connections between Austen's novels and real life and introduces Austen as a capable life coach by how she guides her readers to understand virtue and vice through friendship, love, community, and God's grace. Austen's characters reveal how virtuous habits transform us and help us become who we were meant to be. Each chapter focuses on characters and virtues from a single novel:

·        Do you find yourself swayed by superficial charm and yearn to see others more clearly? Let Elizabeth Bennet teach you how to recognize substance in others and address the pride in your own heart through the cultivation of humility (Pride and Prejudice).

·        Are you stuck in selfishness that wounds others (and yourself)? Let Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley help you develop the compassion to see the world more clearly with the eyes of Christ (Emma).

·        Do you get swept away into poor choices due to a lack of self-control? Let the Dashwood sisters show you the virtue of temperance and guide you to embrace your God-given personality and temperament (Sense and Sensibility.

·        Do you have treasured ideals but struggle to live them out? Follow along with Edmund Bertram's journey toward constancy through the example of Fanny Price (Mansfield Park).

·        Have the disappointments of life grown resentment or bitterness in your heart? Be inspired by Anne Elliot's vulnerable fortitude in the storms of life (Persuasion).

·        Do you struggle to know what to do or who to believe in tricky situations? Join Catherine Morland in learning prudence to know and act on the truth (Northanger Abbey).

Whether you are already an Austen fan or are discovering her works for the first time, Stewart's infectious enthusiasm and captivating spiritual insights will have you digging in to experience firsthand the characters and stories that have captured imaginations in book and film for more than two centuries.

Discussion questions and recommended film adaptations make this book suitable for individual or group use or as a high school classroom or homeschool resource. A free, downloadable leader's guide is available at avemariapress.com.

Friday, 4 March 2022

The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy by Don Jacobson - Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy by Don Jacobson
Many of you will be familiar with Don Jacobson’s The Bennet Wardrobe series which takes Austen’s Bennet family into the world beyond their time, as the wardrobe can transport them to other points in history. This is now the last installment in the series, The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy. Don has joined us as part of his blog tour for The Grail. He’s brought a guest post, excerpt, and the opportunity to win one of six ebooks.

Let’s look at the blurb, and then I’ll hand over to Don.

Book cover: The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy by Don Jacobson
Book Description

“You must throw away notions of what you want.
Only then will you be free to accept what you need.”

—The Brown Guide to
Fitzwilliam Darcy, 1840

Long has the amazing Bennet Wardrobe involved itself in the affairs of Longbourn. Where before its actions have been cloaked in mystery, its purpose now becomes clear. The fey cabinet has molded the universes to strike a balance that can be achieved only by saving the greatest love story ever told.

Follow the paths taken by Pemberley’s master and mistress after their children are grown. See Elizabeth Darcy struggle to rekindle the love glow that has dimmed after a quarter century. Grasp the unaccountable pain her departure levels upon the entire Derbyshire family. Watch Fitzwilliam Darcy learn that which he must in order to become the best version of himself: worthy of his Elizabeth.

The Grail: The Saving of Elizabeth Darcy closes out the Bennet Wardrobe series.  The disparate threads spun by the remarkable women born to a Hertfordshire couple of insignificant fortune are woven together. These lives have become the tapestry that records the destiny of Jane Austen’s lovers, immortal in any here/now or where/when.

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Friday, 11 February 2022

Jane and The Year Without a Summer by Stephanie Barron – Blog Tour, Review

Blog Tour: Jane and the Year Without a Summer by Stephanie Barron
Today I’m pleased to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for the latest of Stephanie Barron’s ‘Being a Jane Austen Mystery’ series – Jane and the Year Without A Summer. I will share the blurb with you and then move on to my review of the book. Read on for more details.

Book Description 

May 1816: Jane Austen is feeling unwell, with an uneasy stomach, constant fatigue, rashes, fevers and aches. She attributes her poor condition to the stress of family burdens, which even the drafting of her latest manuscript—about a baronet's daughter nursing a broken heart for a daring naval captain—cannot alleviate. Her apothecary recommends a trial of the curative waters at Cheltenham Spa, in Gloucestershire. Jane decides to use some of the profits earned from her last novel, Emma, and treat herself to a period of rest and reflection at the spa, in the company of her sister, Cassandra.
 
Cheltenham Spa hardly turns out to be the relaxing sojourn Jane and Cassandra envisaged, however. It is immediately obvious that other boarders at the guest house where the Misses Austen are staying have come to Cheltenham with stresses of their own—some of them deadly. But perhaps with Jane’s interference a terrible crime might be prevented. Set during the Year without a Summer, when the eruption of Mount Tambora in the South Pacific caused a volcanic winter that shrouded the entire planet for sixteen months, this fourteenth installment in Stephanie Barron’s critically acclaimed series brings a forgotten moment of Regency history to life.

Friday, 4 February 2022

Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation by Alice McVeigh - Guest Post

Today I’m really pleased to be welcoming author Alice McVeigh back to the blog with her new book, Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation. Now who is Harriet? Well, it’s Harriet Smith from Austen’s Emma! It’s lovely to be able to feature something based on Emma as there is so little out there. Alice has visited here before with an Austen-inspired book, Susan (which is a book about Lady Susan, from Austen’s juvenilia).

This book has an interesting premise, which Alice has written us a guest post about. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Alice for her guest post and giveaway!

Book cover: Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation by Alice McVeigh
Book Description

Emma, a privileged young heiress, decides to mentor Harriet Smith, a pretty boarding-school pupil, and to matchmake her as eligibly as she can… But how is she to guess that Harriet has a secret?


Meanwhile, the brilliant, penniless Jane Fairfax consents to a clandestine engagement with Frank Churchill – though not daring to confess, even to him, that she is being relentlessly pursued by her best friend’s husband.


Harriet sidelines Emma herself in favour of the ingenious Harriet and the fascinating Jane Fairfax. It is Emma – but an Emma with a surprisingly believable twist in its tail.

Monday, 31 January 2022

Austen-Inspired Children’s Book Suggestions

I have a number of children’s books which are Austen-inspired, but as they are so much shorter than the books I usually blog about I thought I’d put a post together featuring a few. If you’re interested in ones I’ve looked at previously you can see posts about a version of Pride & Prejudice for younger readers here, and a biography of Austen here. 

Cozy Classics My First Pride & Prejudice by Jack and Holman Wang
Firstly, Cozy Classics Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice by Jack & Holman Wang– this is a board book for babies featuring pictures of needle-felted characters with single words on each page. The characters are really SO cute – mostly inspired by Pride & Prejudice 2005 by the looks of them, although I’d say Elizabeth looks more like the 1995 or maybe even based on Jane Austen. I would recommend this as part of a baby gift to a parent who is a P&P fan. Five Stars

Five star read

Book Cover: Jane – My First Jane Austen from the Little People, Big Dreams series, by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vergara and illustrated by Katie Wilson

Friday, 28 January 2022

Threads of Magic: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Monica Fairview - Guest Post and Giveaway

I’m happy to be welcoming Monica Fairview to the blog today with Threads of Magic: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, the second book in her Mr Darcy’s Magic series. Monica has brought us a guest post about the book and an ebook giveaway.

You can read more about the first book, Dangerous Magic: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, here.

Let's look at the blurb of Threads of Magic and then I'll hand over to Monica for her guest post. 

Book cover: Threads of Magic by Monica Fairview
Book Description

In a magical Regency England, two powerful magicians strive to find a balance between love and duty as they confront enemies who might well be their closest friends.

Elizabeth Bennet may be a heroine, but by defying some of the most powerful mages in England, she has made enemies who will stop at nothing to embroil her in scandal.

So when she is accused of endangering the Royal Mages through her reckless actions, she no longer knows who to trust. Even the gentleman she loves is taking their side. It seems the only person who believes her is the captive French mage who is imprisoned in the cellar at Netherfield.

Meanwhile, Fitzwilliam Darcy is willing to fight to the death to defend Elizabeth, if only she would stop getting herself into trouble. Why does she always have to break the rules? And why does even her sister Jane cause him so many problems?

Join us in this magical Jane Austen Regency variation. Set mostly in Meryton, with familiar beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice, you will once again be captivated by Elizabeth and Darcy as they struggle to find true love against the backdrop of England’s war with Napoleon.

Threads of Magic continues the bewitching tale of a forced marriage between two powerful mages. The novel picks up after Fitzwilliam Darcy has told Elizabeth that he is in love with her, but are the differences between them too difficult to overcome?

Since this is the second book of a series, there is more to come. Experience the slow-burn romance developing between Elizabeth and Darcy in this magical adventure spanning several novels. It is a standalone novel without cliff-hangers, but it is best read as part of a series.

Monday, 24 January 2022

Captive Hearts by Kelly Miller - Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour - Captive Hearts by Kelly Miller
Today I’m welcoming Kelly Miller back to the blog with her new Austenesque book, Captive Hearts, which is released today. This is a Persuasion variation, which is good news as there are so few of those out there! Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Kelly who has brought us an excerpt from Captive Hearts and a guest post about Bath, where the book is set.

Book Description

Will Captain Wentworth realize too late that he has a second chance at love?

With a successful naval career and a fortune to his name, Frederick Wentworth receives a hero’s welcome from his sister’s neighbours.

One person, though, presents a source of vexation. Years earlier, Miss Anne Elliot had reneged on her promise to marry Wentworth, revealing a significant character flaw. Yet Anne’s unmarried state at the age of seven and twenty, her altered demeanour, and her resolute avoidance of Wentworth raise questions that gnaw at his composure.

In this Regency variation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, the captain follows the advice of a respected new friend and re-examines the agonizing circumstances of his bitter break from Anne, reaching a novel conclusion. But before he can act upon his new resolve, a dire twist of fate threatens Anne’s life.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Blog update - changes to email subscription

As long-time visitors to my blog will know, I have been meaning to make some updates for a long time and I haven't, mainly because of lack of confidence in my limited technical abilities! Last year the email subscription service I was using, Feedburner, was discontinued. This email service would send out new blog posts to my email subscribers. As it was still working, I did nothing (shame on me) but it meant that new subscribers weren't able to sign up, so I needed to get it sorted and finally I have. 

Follow.it
I have moved active subscribers over to a new email service, Follow.it. I hope this service will be a good fit for my blog. Obviously the email addresses will not be used for anything other than letting subscribers know that a new post has been published. I understand that one of the benefits of Follow.it is that subscribers will be able to tailor the emails they receive, however I am not sure how much difference that will make as I'm not likely to start churning out a higher volume of posts! If you're interested in seeing the options you can do that here. As ever, if you have any suggestions for changes or improvements I'd be happy to hear them; please contact me with anything you'd like to raise. 

Who knows, if this update is successful, maybe it'll embolden me to try the other improvements I need to make, but don't hold your breath on that one :)

If you haven't subscribed already please do! 

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Saturday, 15 January 2022

Jane Austen and Names by Maggie Lane - Review

Book Cover: Jane Austen and Names by Maggie Lane
Today I’m bringing you a review of a book I read a while ago. I had been meaning to read this book for literally years so I was pleased to finally get to it. The title of the book is Jane Austen and Names by Maggie Lane and as you will have inferred from the title, it takes a closer look at the character names that Austen used in her works. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll bring you my review.

Book Description

For Jane Austen, Edmund was a name the represented heroism and chivalry, Maria signified heartlessness and Richard was a joke.

She had a weakness for Emma and a passion for Frederick which endured from her earliest years until she bestowed it on her last, and most romantic, hero.

Unlike most novelists of her period, in naming her characters Jane Austen confined herself to the names found in everyday life, choosing them to fit not only their personalities but their place in society.

While the classic English names are her staple, she also drew on the Old Testament for her low-born characters and eighteenth-century creations for the would-be fashionable.

In this study of a hitherto neglected area of the novelist’s art, Maggie Lane looks at the history of English nomenclature up to Jane Austen’s time and at the naming patterns and practices current in her society, including who was entitled to use the Christian name of whom.

A section on Jane Austen’s own taste in names is followed by an alphabetical listing of all the Christian names used in her mature fiction, with their history, social status and associations.

'Jane Austen and Names' is a must-read for anyone interested in the great novelist.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

A Promise of Forever by Christine Combe - Blog Tour, Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: A Promise of Forever by Christine Coombe
Today I’m welcoming Christine Combe back to the blog as part of the blog tour for her new Pride & Prejudice variation, A Promise of Forever. Christine joins us with a guest post and a giveaway opportunity. Let’s take a look at the blurb – I think it’ll grab your attention!

Book Description

“How dare you think that you can just come along after four years and dictate the course of the whole rest of our lives, Mr. Darcy!” she cried. “You don’t have the right!”

He stood and stepped up to her, and stared down at her with an equally determined expression. “I am your husband and he is my son—I have the only right.”


****

In this new Austenesque tale, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner are Elizabeth’s parents and she grows up happy and carefree in Lambton. At sixteen, Lizzy meets and falls in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy, future Master of Pemberley. The couple decides to elope but they are torn apart by their closest relatives, and when reunited must determine whether the pain of the years that have passed can be overcome to regain the love that was lost.

****

Friday, 7 January 2022

Much Ado in Meryton by Riana Everly - Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Today I’m very happy to be welcoming Riana Everly back to the blog with the blog tour for her new book, Much Ado in Meryton. From the title, you will have guessed there is a Shakespeare influence mixed with a bit of Pride & Prejudice, as the title also mentions Meryton. Although I try and keep my blog mostly focussed on Austen, I actually read Much Ado About Nothing in my early blogging days, so you can learn a bit more about the play here if you're not familiar with it..

Riana has joined us with a guest post about home theatricals, which feature in her book, and also featured in Austen’s life and in Mansfield Park. She’s also treating us to an excerpt from the book. There is also an ebook giveaway to accompany the blog tour. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll hand over to Riana for her guest post.

Book Cover: Much Ado In Meryton by Riana Everly
Book Description 

A tale of friends, enemies, and the power of love.

"Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably." – Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing, 5.2

Mr. Darcy's arrival in Meryton raises many people's disdain, and Elizabeth Bennet's ire. An insult at a dance is returned in full measure, and soon the two find themselves in a merry war of words, trading barbs at every encounter. Matters go from bad to worse when Elizabeth and Darcy find themselves living under the same roof for a time, and their constant bickering frays everybody's nerves.

Will a clever scheme by their family and friends bring some peace to Netherfield's halls? And what of Mr. Wickham, whose charming presence is not quite so welcome by some members of the party? When the games get out of hand and nastier elements come into play, will everybody's chances for happiness be ruined forever?

This clever mash-up of Pride and Prejudice and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing casts our beloved characters in fresh light, uniting Jane Austen's keen insight into love and character, and Shakespeare's biting wit.