Friday 5 August 2022

A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney - Blog Tour - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour Graphic - A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney. Picture shows a young woman in period costume standing in front of a relatively grand building. There is an aura of flames around her
Happy Friday everybody! The blog tour for Sarah Courtney's new Pride & Prejudice-inspired book, A Season of Magic visits us for its last stop today with an excerpt and giveaway. As you can tell from the title, it has magic, but to learn more let's look at the book description:

Book cover - A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney. Picture shows a young woman in period costume standing in front of a relatively grand building. There is an aura of flames around her
Book Description

Everyone knows Elizabeth and Jane’s parents were magical murderers. But blood isn’t everything.

When the girls are forced to reveal their elemental magic, it does not matter to the Mage Council that they did so only to save lives. Their parents were traitors, and the entire magical community is simply waiting for them to descend into evil themselves.

The Council reluctantly admits Elizabeth to the magical university (and unofficial marriage market) called The Season, where she will learn how to control her powers. If she can keep her head down and avoid drawing any untoward notice, she might be able to graduate and finally be accepted as a fire mage.

But fading into the background will be difficult. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, nephew to Lord Matlock of the Mage Council and a student himself, is assigned to observe her and report any misstep. One mistake could send her back to her foster parents, the Bennets—or worse, to prison. Yet when that mistake inevitably comes, he stands up on her behalf. Could he be an ally instead of an enemy?

When pranks between classmates become something more dangerous—and potentially deadly—Elizabeth will be forced to depend upon her friends—including Mr. Darcy. There’s something terrible lurking beneath the surface of the Season, and it will take everything Elizabeth has to survive it.

Excerpt from A Season of Magic, Introduced by Sarah Courtney

Thank you so much for having me on Babblings of a Bookworm! I’m thrilled to share with you my newest book, A Season of Magic, a fantasy variation based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Full Wrap Book cover - A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney. Picture shows a young woman in period costume standing in front of a relatively grand building. There is an aura of flames around her. The back cover shows stone columns which look to be part of a walkway

In A Season of Magic, the most powerful mages are able to control one of the four elements: fire, wind, water, or earth. Elemental mages attend the magical university, the Season. Not only is it an opportunity to learn how to use their magic, it is also the unofficial marriage market of the magical community.

Fire is often considered the most dangerous element, and fire mages are notorious for being hot-tempered. Elizabeth sometimes struggles to keep her temper in check, but years of keeping her elemental magic a secret have given her a great deal of control—crucial, considering the antagonism she must deal with during her time at the Season. Her special talent is metalworking, and she uses this ability to provide for herself and Jane during their time at Longbourn.

Water, in contrast, is considered the gentlest of elements. It is often paired with healing, and that is just the combination of element and talent that Jane Bennet possesses. Her empathy sometimes adds challenge and heartbreak to her healing, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Air may seem less substantial than the other elements, but that does not stop Charles Bingley from saving lives with his ability. It can be associated with lies and illusion, but the light-hearted and cheerful social gentleman fits the more positive aspects of air perfectly with his open temper and amiability.

Earth may sometimes seem the least exciting of the elements, but it is also the most deeply rooted. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s devotion to the land that has supported his family and tenants for generation comes from his earth element. Even the very plants respond to him, and he has his own particular animal talent that lets him delve deeper into the land he loves.

The Season is all about teaching students to work together with the other elements, even if—and when—they personally dislike each other. Through joint assignments, mock battles, and even group projects, the students will learn how to combine their abilities for the good of their country and people.

That does not mean there is no rivalry between the elements—sometimes good-natured, sometimes not. 


Book cover - A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney. Picture shows a young woman in period costume standing in front of a relatively grand building. There is an aura of flames around her
Emma cocked her head. “It is interesting, is it not, that for both of us fire mages, anger caused our powers to emerge?”

“Or revealed them,” Elizabeth said ruefully. 

“Perhaps it is in the nature of fire mages.” Mr. Darcy looked at her with a half-smile. “They are known for their fiery tempers, are they not?”

Elizabeth worried her lip at the reminder of all the times she had had to keep a tight rein on her fire in the past few months. Those sparks that had longed to leap from her hands when she was furious would certainly prove his point.

“You might say that,” Elizabeth said thoughtfully. “But of course, history is full of passionate fire mages who refused to accept injustice and changed history. Archimedes, Marcus Agrippa, William the Conqueror, Queen Elizabeth, William Wilberforce . . .”

“Guy Fawkes,” Mr. Darcy said.

Miss Bingley laughed.

“There is no denying the contributions of fire mages and their rather lively contributions to history.” Mr. Darcy rubbed his chin. “But I shall admit to admiring the contributions of earth mages like Cincinnatus, myself. Heroism does not have to come with sparks and fire . . . it can come with quiet steadfast conviction and duty.”

“I do not think I have ever heard societal change described in a duller way.” Elizabeth gave him a wry smile.

“Spoken like a true fire mage. Just be careful to emulate Queen Elizabeth and not Elizabeth Dunharrow.”

Elizabeth frowned. “Elizabeth Dunharrow?”

“The notorious fire mage who set fire to a village hall during a dispute with her husband and ultimately burned down the entire village.”

Elizabeth winced. She could only imagine the woman’s fate after that. She did not ask. “I suppose she must be in the removed chapter of my history book,” she said, shaking her head. “Still, I am sure that all elements have both heroes and villains. Was not Genghis Khan an earth mage?”

This time it was Mr. Darcy who looked taken aback. “Well, yes, so it is theorised, although never proven.”

“We put elemental mages in positions of power,” Elizabeth mused, “because they can do a great deal of good. But the combination of their powerful position with their elemental power means they can do a great deal of evil as well.”

“On the whole, the system has benefited England. There have been a few who have gone wrong, but the safety and prosperity created by elemental mages far outweighs the occasional misuse of magic.” Mr. Darcy met her eyes and blanched suddenly, and Elizabeth was amused that he seemed to have forgotten to whom he was speaking.

“I am glad to hear you approve, cousin.”

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy broke their gaze to look at Emma, whose smile was bright and contagious.

“After all, it would take an Act of Parliament to change things now,” she added.

Mr. Darcy bowed to them all. “Indeed. Thank you for the stimulating conversation, ladies. Good evening.”

Miss Bingley left the moment he did, hurrying to take his arm for the arduous walk back to the dormitories.

Emma raised her eyebrows. “You like him, Elizabeth!”

“What?” Had Emma been listening to the same conversation? “Not at all! He is arrogant and far too sombre. It was no accident that he compared me to Elizabeth Dunharrow!”

Emma shook her head. “It is not uncommon for a young lady to pretend to disdain the gentleman she secretly admires. And there was such heat in your discussion!” She feigned a swoon. “He is my cousin, so I think I am allowed to say how handsome he is. And he is a good man. I commend your choice.”


Author Bio

Sarah Courtney loves to read fantasy, fairy tales, and Pride and Prejudice variations, so what could be more fun than combining them? She currently lives in Europe where she homeschools her six children and still manages to write books, which has to be proof that magic exists!



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Thanks so much to Sarah for visiting with this explanation of the different types of mage in her book and the excerpt. I really enjoyed that bit of banter between Elizabeth and Darcy and am now off to Google some of those historical figures to improve my knowledge! Thanks also to Janet Taylor for arranging the blog tour.

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Book cover - A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney. Picture shows a young woman in period costume standing in front of a relatively grand building. There is an aura of flames around her
Buy Links

A Season of Magic is available to buy now in Paperback and Kindle.  

Universal Amazon LinkAdd to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time!

Sarah is offering a giveaway with each stop of the blog tour. An e-book of A Season of Magic is up for grabs, and if the winner is based in the US, they can have a paperback if they would prefer. If you already have a copy of A Season of Magic you can choose another of Sarah’s books as your prize. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post by the end of the day worldwide on Thursday 11 August 2022.

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

Blog Tour Schedule 

Check out the previous stops on the blog tour to find out more about A Season of Magic! Remember, there is a chance to win a copy of the book at each stop.

Blog Tour Graphic - A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney. Picture shows a young woman in period costume standing in front of a relatively grand building. There is an aura of flames around her
July 28 Austenesque Reviews

July 29 My Jane Austen Book Club

August 1 From Pemberley to Milton

August 2 Savvy Verse & Wit

August 4 My Vices and Weaknesses

August 5 Babblings of a Bookworm 

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  1. Replies
    1. Yes! Combining my two favorite genres.

    2. It's such a fun combination isn't it!

  2. Good lord! You're throwing Emma into the mix? I can only imagine how difficult the whole Season will be for Elizabeth with fending off Lucy Steele and Caroline Bingley. Emma trying to throw her at Darcy is going to make it arduous!

    1. Yes! Emma and a few more Austen characters just for fun. The Season is going to be pretty crazy for Elizabeth but important as well.

    2. I wondered if Emma was Miss Woodhouse! Well at least we know she's an active friend, although somewhat hard to handle, I'd presume.

  3. I'm enjoying the excerpts on the blog tour. P&P plus magic is a terrific combination!

    1. Yes! I really loved combining the two genres.

    2. Glad you've been enjoying the tour!

  4. I have a comment to add from Robin:

    Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway. I am really looking forward to reading it. Best wishes and congrats on the new release!

  5. I have a comment to add from Glory

    I can totally see Lizzy as Fire & Jane as water. Darcy with land so fits his love and devotion to the estate and those it supports. Can't wait to see how it all turns out and what "explodes" to life

    1. Yes, I had a lot of fun thinking about personality types and what would fit best. I thought Elizabeth had plenty of "fire" and Darcy has his beloved Pemberley, so I like those choices for them. I hope you like the other ones I chose as well!

    2. I really enjoyed this aspect too, Glory, the elements they are make absolute sense.

  6. Enjoyed these conversation between the two. I am not a history buff, so this stimulated me to research some of the name mentioned above. Thank you for making this story as realistic/historical as can be

    1. This is Buturot

    2. Hi Buturot. It gave me some names to learn as well.

  7. I have a comment to add from Teresa:

    I Iove the premise of the 4 elements and think every character fits with the right element. I also like there is a mix of characters from some Jane Austen's novels. Thanks for the giveaway, Sarah

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Teresa. I like it when variations include characters from other Austen stories too.

  8. I really love how you explain a bit of the element based magic system and the tie ins into history, and I loved that verbal jousting season between ODC with contributions from Emma. Thank you for presenting that excerpt!

  9. I love the premise of this story. Congrats on the release!

  10. Thank you for the explanation on fire, earth, water and wind mages and providing examples of historical figures that fits their elements. Is this Emma that you mentioned in the excerpt Emma Woodhouse? And she is Darcy's cousin? I think she and Elizabeth are going to be best friends if they aren't already.

    1. I think it may be Emma Woodhouse. It will be interesting to see her character in this, with some people plotting against Elizabeth and some people plotting for her who knows what will happen!

  11. I selected a winner using a random number generator. The winner selected was.... Darcybennett. Congratulations, I will drop you an email now. Thanks again to everybody who commented on the post, thanks to Janet for arranging the blog tour and of course, thank you to Sarah for the post and the giveaway.

  12. Congratulations Darcybennet


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