Follow by Email

Saturday, 31 December 2016

My Favourite Reads of 2016

Well hello there! I hope you've had a lovely Christmas (if you celebrate it). Jane-on-my-tree hopes you had a good one :)

2016 has been a tricky year for me, reading-wise as I've been constrained by time, however, I read some wonderful books this year. Less five star reads than in previous years, but still some very enjoyable books. I've also read some more audio books than previously. Unfortunately, I haven't reviewed everything I've read, something that I hope to remedy next year, but this is my pick of the bunch, with links to my reviews for a fuller view:

Monday, 19 December 2016

A Very Darcy Christmas by Victoria Kincaid - Except and Giveaway

Book cover: A Very Darcy Christmas by Victoria Kincaid
What do you have planned for Christmas? A quiet celebration of your nearest and dearest, or maybe something more chaotic? Victoria Kincaid's latest story sees the Darcys first Christmas as a married couple; they had planned something quiet, but the best laid plans can sometimes go awry :) Read on for a post from Victoria about Christmas in Jane Austen's day, more details about 'A Very Darcy Christmas' and a chance to win a kindle version of this story.

* * *

Nowadays we tend to think of gift-giving as one of the central parts of Christmas celebrations. Certainly businesses and stores encourage us to think of the season that way.  But in Jane Austen’s time, gift-giving was not a big part of the holiday.  Parents or other relatives might give presents to children.  On Boxing Day, employers often gave money and Christmas boxes with gifts of clothing and other goods to their servants. Wealthy landowners (like Mr. Darcy) might give gifts of food or other necessities to tenants or people in the neighborhood who were down on their luck.  But there was no widespread exchange of presents between adults of equal station, and it was not considered an essential part of Christmas the way it is today.

So how did they celebrate Christmas during the Regency?  They decorated houses with greenery and lit yule logs and went to church.  But they also did a lot of socializing.  The Christmas season ran from the beginning of December through Twelfth Night, and during that time people would visit friends, hold dinners and parties, play parlor games, and eat lots of good food.  In other words, Christmas was a time to hang out with your friends and family.

This Regency propensity for partying inspired a central idea in my novel, A Very Darcy Christmas.  In it, newlyweds Elizabeth and Darcy are besieged by relatives who arrive at Pemberley uninvited and take advantage of their Christmas hospitality.  The Darcys end up with Lydia, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, and Lady Catherine all under one roof—as well as two friends of her ladyship’s who she hopes will pay court to Georgiana.  As you can imagine, mayhem ensues.  While the inhabitants of Pemberley enjoy parlor games and yule logs and fine dining, they also suffer through Mrs. Bennet’s hysterics over an impending French invasion and Lydia’s tendency to accidentally set things on fire.  
I had great fun writing about how Pride and Prejudice’s characters enjoy a traditional Regency Christmas—but with a uniquely Austenesque twist.  Hopefully you will have just as much fun reading it!

Book Description

Elizabeth and Darcy are preparing for their first Christmas at Pemberley when they are suddenly deluged by a flood of uninvited guests.  Mrs. Bennet is seeking refuge from the French invasion she believes to be imminent.  Lady Catherine brings two suitors for Georgiana’s hand, who cause a bit of mayhem themselves.  Lydia’s presence causes bickering—and a couple of small fires—while Wickham has more nefarious plans in mind….The abundance of guests soon puts a strain on her marriage as Elizabeth tries to manage the chaos while ensuring a happy Christmas for all.

Meanwhile, Georgiana is finding her suitors—and the prospect of coming out—to be very unappealing.  Colonel Fitzwilliam seems to be the only person who understands her fondness for riding astride and shooting pistols.  Georgiana realizes she’s beginning to have more than cousinly feelings for him, but does he return them?  And what kind of secrets is he hiding?  

Romance and merriment abound as everyone gathers to celebrate a Very Darcy Christmas.  

Excerpt

“You barely had an opportunity to make the acquaintance of Mr. Worthy or Viscount Barrington.”  Aunt Catherine gestured to the two men seated on either side of her chair.  “The viscount’s ancestral estates are here in Derbyshire.” 

This was at least the fourth time her aunt had relayed that information—as if propinquity would be Georgiana’s primary criterion for choosing a husband.  “Indeed?  How interesting,” Georgiana said as she focused on cutting her meat into smaller and smaller pieces.  In truth she found Lord Robert intriguing.  While Mr. Worthy was impossible in every way, the viscount was handsome and well-spoken.  But Georgiana had no opportunities to speak with him alone; her aunt was always present, directing the conversation.  

Lord Robert smiled and appeared ready to speak when Mr. Worthy interjected, “My family’s land is in Kent.  It is very fertile.”  

William seemed to catch something in his throat and coughed loudly into his napkin.  

Mr. Worthy continued, oblivious.  “We have implemented all of the latest techniques in crop circulation.” 

One of William’s eyebrows rose.  “Crop rotation?”

“Exactly!”  Mr. Worthy beamed at William as if he were a small child who had solved a mathematics problem rather than a powerful landowner who had corrected the other man’s inaccurate language.  
William cut his meat rather more forcefully than usual, but he said nothing.  

“Mr. Worthy’s mother and I are second cousins,” Aunt Catherine intoned. 

Is that the only reason Aunt Catherine is imposing this man upon me? wondered Georgiana.  She could not possibly believe we would make a good match.

She would have preferred to familiarize herself with the viscount, but he had become involved in a conversation with Mr. Bennet.  Richard was engaged in discourse with Mrs. Wickham.  Mr. Worthy, on the other hand, regarded Georgiana like an eager puppy, awaiting her next words.  I really should speak with him.  Under the table she wiped damp palms on her dress.  She had never claimed much expertise in the art of making conversation.  But Mrs. Annesley had given her advice about it: “You may always ask the other person about his or her life.  Everyone loves to talk about himself.”  

That was the answer.  She could ask one question, and then he would do all the talking.  “What sorts of crops do you plant on your estate?” she asked him. 

The man beamed at her, sitting a little straighter in his chair.  “Well, in our north fields we have wheat, although the steward has suggested switching those to corn.  That could increase the yield by up to twelve percent.  The east fields were fallow last year, but now we have them planted with a heartier variety of potatoes.  And then in the west—oh, I should add that one of the east fields is dedicated to barley because my steward thought…”

Half an hour later the occupants of one end of the table were still listening to the fascinating tales of Mr. Worthy’s adventures in crop rotation.  He spoke with the superior air of someone who condescended to share great pearls of wisdom that others should be grateful to receive.  Georgiana cast a sidelong glance at her brother.  Although he could usually talk about agriculture for some time, even his eyes were glazing over.  Of course, this was a monologue rather than a discussion.

“…Naturally, it required a great deal more irrigation.”  Mr. Worthy paused to take a breath, but Georgiana had been waiting to pounce on the slightest lull.  

“And what do your tenants think about such improvements?” she asked.  Surely Mr. Worthy’s improvements had created a vast deal more work for them. 

“The tenants?” he echoed as if he had never heard the word before. 

“Have they been supportive of all the changes?” she asked.  Both Richard and William were now watching with avid interest.  They must have had the same thought.  

“W-why yes—of-of course!  I believe so…” he stammered. 

In other words, he had never asked them.  William always emphasized the importance of working with the tenants and involving them in any major changes on the estate.  After all, it was their livelihood.  

Mr. Worthy’s briefly troubled expression gave way to one of renewed enthusiasm.  “Oh, and I neglected to tell you about the new fertilizer we have been experimenting with!”  Georgiana cast an imploring look at her aunt, but the older woman’s eyes were closed.  Good gracious, the man had managed to put her to sleep at the dining table!  

This would not do.  If Georgiana must tolerate the man’s ramblings, then her aunt must suffer as well. She glanced around the table for tools with which to enact a plan.  Her eyes fell on a metal cover over a basket of rolls. 

Reaching out her fork as if she were stretching her arms, she allowed the utensil to fall on the cover with a loud clatter.  The noise startled Aunt Catherine awake with a jerk. 

“As I was saying,” she declared quite loudly to Mr. Worthy, “Georgiana is an accomplished player of the pianoforte.  She will oblige us with some music after dinner.” 

“How wonderful!” Lord Robert chimed in.  He had been speaking with Mr. Bennet on his other side but now took fresh interest in their discourse.

* * *

Giveaway Time!

Book cover: A Very Darcy Christmas by Victoria Kincaid
Victoria Kincaid has kindly offered to give a kindle version of 'A Very Darcy Christmas' to one of you lovely people (open internationally). To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post. You can tell us what type of Christmas you hope to have, or if you have any good stories of Christmases that didn't go to plan we'd like to hear about those too! Make your comment by the end of the day on Thursday 22 December to enter and please leave a way for me to contact you in case you are the lucky winner.

Thank you so much for dropping by, Victoria!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen - Excerpt and Giveaway

Hello everybody! Today the blog tour for 'The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill' by Julie Klassen drops by so I have the pleasure of bringing you an excerpt and giveaway opportunity. Let's start off by learning some more about the book:

Blog Tour: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

Book Description

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

Visit talesfromivyhill.com to find a map of the village, character profiles, a book giveaway, and more!

Let's enjoy the excerpt now :)

Book cover: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen
Ever since her husband was killed, Jane Bell has lived an isolated, lonely life. She slowly begins taking an active role in managing the coaching inn she inherited, hoping to turn things around in time to pay back a massive loan. As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own.

* * *

The gentleman, of average height and confident bearing, set down his valise. “I would like a room for a few days, if you please.”

That piqued Jane’s interest. Most of their guests stayed a single night, on their way somewhere else. But with so many rooms empty, she was not about to complain.

“You are very welcome,” she said, hoping not to sound too eager. She opened the registration book and slid the ink pot and quill toward him.

He picked up the pen with clean, well-groomed hands and bent over the registry, scratching away. She took the opportunity to study him. He was in his early to mid-thirties and handsome, with golden brown hair and side-whiskers. He wore the fine clothes of a gentleman, but there was nothing of the dandy about him. No ostentatious flair to his cravat. No jewelry, quizzing glass, or walking stick. He had good, regular features—a straight nose, full lower lip, and vertical grooves bracketing his mouth.

He glanced up and caught her staring. His soft green eyes shone with humor, and the corner of his mouth quirked in a knowing grin.

Jane looked away quickly, making a show of searching for an available room and selecting a key from the drawer. Then she turned the registry toward herself, ready to add the room number in the appropriate column.

“And how many nights you will be with us?” she asked.

“May I let you know? I am not certain how long.”

“Of course. Just let me know when you decide. I will put you in number seven, Mr. . . .” She glanced at the registry, then bent to look closer. She couldn’t quite make out the name. James D-something.

He offered, “My friends call me JD.”

Jane peered at him, stifling a retort. She reminded herself she was no longer a genteel young lady awaiting a proper introduction. “Well, Mr. JD,” she said, not quite concealing the disapproval in her voice. “I hope you shall be comfortable here.”

He said, “Thank you. And you are?”

“Mrs. Bell.”

“Ah. The innkeeper herself.”

Jane automatically shook her head, demurring, “That was my husband’s title.”

“Oh? I thought I read that a Mrs. Bell owned this inn.”

Where had he read that? “Well, I suppose I do, officially. Though it is a family business.”

“Ah . . .” He nodded out the window in Patrick’s direction. “I did meet a Mr. Bell briefly when I arrived, but—”

“My brother-in-law,” Jane explained. “My husband passed away last year.”

“I see.” His gaze ran over her black dress. “I am sorry.”

“Thank you.” She stepped around the counter, wishing Colin were there to attend to this man.

“Now, right this way. Watch your head.” She led the way through the low archway and up the stairs.

“Do you have friends or family here in Ivy Hill?” she asked casually.

“I am here on business.” His tone was polite but did not invite further inquiry.

“Oh?”

“Um-hm.”

When he did not expand on his two-syllable answer, she decided it would be rude to probe further.

“Be careful of this step,” she warned. “It needs looking after. And the handrail is a little loose here. Pray, don’t lean on it.”

Reaching the half landing, Jane noticed the patterned paper coming away from the wall, and a large spider web draping the candle chandelier above them. She’d noticed neither before. But suddenly, with this well-dressed gentleman behind her, every cobweb and crack in the plaster seemed to shout of neglect. She also felt self-conscious, wondering if her backside was at the man’s eye level as she climbed the stairs. She hoped he wasn’t looking. She ought to have suggested he precede her.

She reached number seven and inserted the key, disconcerted to find her hand not quite steady. How foolish. The door refused to give. “A little sticky, I’m afraid.”

“Allow me.”

She stepped aside, and he gave a well-placed shove with his shoulder and the door gave and swung wide.

“After you,” she insisted.

Inside, she pointed out the basin and towels, described the location of the outside privy, and reiterated mealtimes. “I’ll ask Alwena to bring hot water. If you need any clothes washed, she’ll take them to the laundress for you. Anything else you need while you’re here, just let us know.”

“I will certainly do that, Mrs. Bell.”

Jane knew she should leave but found herself lingering. “The floor slants a bit; please watch your step.”

“It’s not too bad,” he said affably. “When was the inn built?”

“I don’t know exactly, but it is over a hundred years old.” She gave a sheepish little chuckle. “And probably looks it.”

“I don’t know . . .” he mused. “She isn’t in her first blush of youth, I grant you. But she has good bones. She’s still a beauty.”

Jane looked over and was disconcerted to find the man’s gaze resting on her. Surely he did not mean . . . ? She swallowed and reached for the door latch, backing across the threshold. “I shall leave you to get settled. Enjoy your stay.”

He smiled, and the grooves in his cheeks deepened. “I believe I shall.”

* * *

Author Julie Klassen
Author Bio

JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Her books have been honored with the Christy Award for Historical Romance, the Minnesota Book Award, and the Midwest Book Award, among others. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.julieklassen.com.

Giveaway

Be sure to enter the giveaway before you leave—the winner will receive a $20 Teavana gift card and a package of four inspirational British romances from four different eras (The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen, A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell, The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White, Not by Sight by Kate Breslin). The winner will be notified on December 22.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill Blog Tour Schedule

December 5: Author Q&A on Pemberley to Milton
December 6: Excerpt on My Love for Jane Austen
December 8: Review on Laura's Reviews
December 9: Book Spotlight on More Agreeably Engaged
December 10: Review on A Bookish Way of Life
December 11: Review and Excerpt on Delighted Reader Book Reviews
December 12: British Show Inspiration Guest Post on Living Read Girl
December 13: Historical Background Guest Post on English Historical Fiction Authors
December 14: Review on Calico Critic
December 15: Excerpt on So Little Time
December 16: Review and Author Q&A on My Jane Austen Book Club
December 17: Review on Just Jane 1813
December 18: Excerpt on Babblings of a Book Worm
December 19: Review on Austenesque Reviews
December 20: Guest Post on Jane Austen in Vermont
December 21: Review on Luxury Reading

Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes - Winner

Book cover: Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes
Well, my dear friends. You may have wondered where I'd been lately. I am pleased to be able to tell you that I was NOT abducted by aliens or seriously injured; it was just the busyness of the season. December is always sooooo busy. When I finally get to relax for the day I find myself in a zombie-like state which is not conducive to any thinking or blogging. I am so sorry for my absence. I have been meaning to post the winner of Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes for so long. So I will not make you wait any further. The winner, chosen at random, is....

Kirsten!

Edited to add: Unfortunately Kirsten didn't get in touch so I've had to choose another winner, and that person is...


Becky C!

D'oh! Becky has won a copy elsewhere. Will third time be the charm? Let's try;

Maria!

Hopefully, you haven't won a copy. I will be in touch.

If you have not been so fortunate as to read this book then I'd recommend it. You can read my review here, or alternately treat yourself to the book (you are worth it!) - Buy link (US / UK). Thank you so much to Joana Starnes for allowing me to take part in the blog tour.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Planned Reading for December 2016

Well hello-ho-ho to you all! This year has flown by, and now it's December! Apologies to those of you who don't celebrate Christmas for the theme of this post. I am somewhat of a fan of the festive season once I'm organised and I'm in the throes of that at the moment.

Assembly Rooms at Bath
Assembly Rooms at Bath
As part of my Christmas prep I am off to Bath this weekend. I am not looking for Captain Wentworth wielding his umbrella or visiting any of the Austen attractions in Bath this time, unfortunately. Bath is a popular destination for a bit of Christmas shopping for people who live in my neck of the woods. I don't think I need much though I'm looking forward to seeing if there are any delights in the Christmas market that they have each year. If I end up with any nice photos that you might be interested in I'll share them with you :)

I don't have much planned for this month as it's likely that I'll be pretty busy with other things, however, I'd like to try and squeeze in some festive reading, or even catch up on some reads I failed to get to earlier in the year. I really need to win the lottery at some point if I am ever going to really make inroads into my TBR list!

Book Cover: A Very Darcy Christmas by Victoria KincaidI have some visitors stopping by this month. Firstly, I'll be welcoming Victoria Kincaid, who has a new Christmas-themed book out, 'A Very Darcy Christmas', which seems like a fun book looking at the Darcys' first Christmas as a married couple.

Book cover: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen
Later in the month the blog tour for Julie Klassen's new book, 'The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill' will be stopping by. This sounds like an intriguing read, with a genteel lady having to team up with her less genteel mother in law to take over the running of an inn.

What do you have planned for this month? Do you have any good reading lined up or will you be too busy with your festive events and traditions? I will be wrapping Christmas presents while having my annual watch of 'It's a Wonderful Life' and we'll be making a very poorly decorated gingerbread house, amongst other things!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Winner of Mr Darcy's Bargain by Regina Jeffers

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Bargain by Regina Jeffers
Recently Regina Jeffers joined me with a guest post, excerpt and giveaway of her latest book, 'Mr Darcy's Bargain'. The premise of the book is that Mr Bennet has fallen foul of a money making scheme, which is based on a real life con that Regina outlines in the guest post. I chose a winner from amongst the commenters using a random number generator. The winner is...

Sophia Rose!

Sophia, congratulations! I will be in touch. Thank you so much to all of you who came by to read the post and comment. It was a very popular post :) Many thanks to Regina Jeffers, for coming here to share the guest post and giveaway with us.

It's a shame if you didn't win, but on the bright side, this book is available to buy right now, in quite a few different formats. Maybe you should treat yourself to it!

PURCHASE LINKS

• Amazon US - Paperback / Kindle
• Amazon UK - Paperback / Kindle
• Kobo • CreateSpace •

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner by Nicole Clarkston - Giveaway Winner

Book cover: The Courtship of Edward Gardiner by Nicole ClarkstonRecently I was joined by Nicole Clarkston who shared a scene featuring Lady Catherine that didn't appear in her new book 'The Courtship of Edward Gardiner'. As the title suggests, this book focuses on Mrs Bennet's brother, and how he courted the lady who would become his wife. Nicole was kindly offering to give away a copy of her book to a commenter on the post. A winner has been selected at random, and that person is...

Dstoutholcomb

Congratulations to you! I will be in touch. Thank you to everybody who took the time to read the post, and comment, thank you to Rita, the blog tour organiser and of course, thank you to Nicole for the lovely post and providing the giveaway!

If you didn't win this time, maybe it's a sign that you should buy the book instead ;) If you'd like to do that it's available here.:


More info on the book, including the blub, can be found in the giveaway post.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Blog Tour: Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes - Review and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes
Today the blog tour for Joana Starnes’ latest novel, ‘Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter’ stops by for me to share my review of the book with you. There’s also a chance for you to win an ebook of the story for yourself! Let me share the book blurb with you:

“When Colonel Fitzwilliam’s disclosures are interrupted by the bearer of distressing news from Longbourn, Miss Elizabeth Bennet is compelled to accept an offer she would have otherwise dismissed out of hand. An offer of marriage from the all-too-proud Mr Darcy.

Yet how is she to live with a husband she hardly knows and does not love? Will she continue to feel trapped in a marriage of convenience while events conspire to divide them? Or would love grow as, day by day and hour after hour, she learns to understand the man she married, before she loses his trust and his heart?”

* * *

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Darcy's Hope - Beauty from Ashes by Ginger Monette - Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Darcy's Hope - Beauty from Ashes by Ginger MonetteThe blog tour for 'Darcy's Hope - Beauty from Ashes' drops by today. Author Ginger Monette's book moves 'Pride & Prejudice' to World War I. Read on to find out more about the book, and for a US / UK giveaway opportunity.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Mr Darcy's Bargain by Regina Jeffers - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Bargain by Regina Jeffers
I have such a treat for you today! Regina Jeffers has dropped by with a very interesting guest post about a real-life conman, and how that is linked to her new book, 'Mr Darcy's Bargain'. There is also an excerpt from the book, and a chance to win an ebook of it. It's win, win, win today :) So without further ado, let me pass over to Regina.

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Courtship of Edward Gardiner Blog Tour by Nicole Clarkston - Guest Post and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Courtship of Edward Gardiner by Nicole Clarkston
 Today I am pleased to welcome author Nicole Clarkston to the blog as part of the blog tour for her new book. The book focuses on Uncle Gardiner and his courtship, which of course takes place before the events of 'Pride & Prejudice', as by the time we meet him he is a married father of four.

I will share the blurb of the book with you and than hand over to Nicole for a wonderful guest post featuring Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and what she did after she left Pemberley and Lambton. Read on for more details and a chance to win a copy of the book!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes Cover Reveal and Giveaway

Cover Reveal: Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes
Today I am joining with some of my favourite bloggers to reveal the cover of Joana Starnes' latest book, 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter'. You might wonder from that title which of Mr Bennet's daughters has deserved that monicker and why. Read on to see the cover and find out more about it, read the book description and to see the wonderful giveaway that Joana is offering to celebrate the launch of this book!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Planned Reading for November 2016

Hello everybody! I hope you are well and had a suitably spooky day yesterday. I had such a busy month in October, worst one yet! I started a new job and then promptly got a cold that lingered for ages so I spent many evenings zonked out on the sofa instead of being able to read lovely books.

I really feel the title of this post is a misnomer, because instead of telling you about what I plan to read, instead I am mainly going to tell you about all the lovely visitors I have lined up for November.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth by Colette Saucier - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Tour: Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth by Colette Saucier
Today I have the pleasure of bringing you something that you might well be in the mood for in the run up to Halloween. Author Colette Saucier has dropped by to share a guest post with us relating to her series of books that imagines Mr Darcy as a vampire. The first book, 'Pulse and Prejudice' imagines that Austen's Darcy was actually a vampire, and hiding it. 'Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth' is the sequel, and sees the Darcys settling into married life. I'll share the book blurb with you, and then I'll hand over to Colette for her guest post. There is a giveaway as part of this book tour too, details below!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Letter from Ramsgate by Suzan Lauder - Blog Tour, Vignette and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Letter from Ramsgate by Suzan Lauder
Today the blog tour for Suzan Lauder's latest story, 'Letter from Ramsgate' stops by for a vignette and giveaway. This is not the first time Suzan's writing has appeared on this blog, as I have previously blogged about her first book, 'Alias Thomas Bennet' and the anthology 'Then Comes Winter', which features a short story by her. Read on for a vignette from Suzan Lauder, learn more about this story and have the chance to win a copy of the book for yourself!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Winner - Mr Darcy's Present by Regina Jeffers

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Present by Regina Jeffers
A little while ago Regina Jeffers joined me with an excerpt of her new Christmas-themed book, 'Mr Darcy's Present' and a post about how Christmas used to be celebrated. You can see the post here. Regina was kindly giving away an e-book of 'Mr Darcy's Present' to two commenters on her guest post. The winners, selected at random, were:

Becky C

and

Bookluver88

Congratulations to you both! I will be in touch. Thank you to Regina for the guest post and giveaway. I am so sorry for the delay in choosing a winner, I have been unwell and have been spending a lot of time flaked out on a sofa :(

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North and Brooke West - Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Many Faces of Fitzwilliam Darcy
Today the blog tour for ‘The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy’ by Beau North and Brooke West drops by for my review of the story and a wonderful giveaway opportunity for you - Four ebooks and four paperbacks are up for grabs, so read on for more details!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Winner of Pamela Lynne's 'Family Portraits'

Book cover: Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne
Recently I had Pamela Lynne dropping by with an excerpt of 'Family Portraits', which is a sequel to her 'Pride & Prejudice' variation, 'Dearest Friends'. Pamela was very kindly giving away an ebook of 'Family Portraits' to a commenter on the post. The winner, chosen at random is...

Audrey Reed

Congratulations, Audrey! I am not sure whether I have your contact details, so please can you contact me. My contact details are here. Thank you so much to everybody who commented, and huge thanks to Pamela Lynne for visiting the blog and offering a giveaway.

If you were unlucky this time, 'Family Portraits' is available to buy now:

Buy Links for Family Portraits:

• Amazon UK • Amazon US • Barnes & Noble • Kobo • 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Planned Reading for October 2016

Booky goodness! Love & Friendship and Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesHello everybody, and happy October! I had an insanely busy and stressful September, so I apologise for being absent for a lot of the month. It was also my birthday, which was the least stressful part of month. I have such a huge backlog of reading that I didn't get any more to add to that huge pile but I did receive some book-related delights - 'Love and Friendship' and 'Pride & Prejudice & Zombies' on blu ray. I saw 'Love and Friendship' in the cinema but I haven't seen P&P&Z yet.

When I am really stressed I find it a struggle to read, which is a real shame as I am sure it would help me feel better. Between getting back into the routine of the children going back to school, additional childcare to sort, numerous medical appointments, two job interviews and one of my cats having an injury that required her tail to be amputated I had such a stressful month! I am starting a new job on Monday, so October has the potential to be quite stressful too - hopefully not though :) I am hoping that I will get my reading mojo back, so here is what I have lined up for this month.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Regina Jeffers - Celebrating Christmastide + Excerpt and E-book giveaway of 'Mr Darcy's Present'

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Present by Regina Jeffers
I have the pleasure of welcoming Regina Jeffers to the blog today with a post relating to how the festive season used to be celebrated in history. Regina is also kindly offering an e-book giveaway of her latest book, 'Mr Darcy's Present' to two commenters here. Read on for more details!


* * *

Monday, 19 September 2016

Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne - Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne
Today I have the pleasure of bringing you a post from Pamela Lynne, an excerpt from her new book, 'Family Portraits', which is a sequel to P&P variation 'Dearest Friends'. I was lucky enough to have Pamela visit the blog when 'Dearest Friends' came out too. It's one of my top 5 most popular posts, and you can read it here. 'Family Portraits' focuses more on Mary Bennet, who many of us are partial to seeing a bit more of. Pamela is also kindly offering to give away an e-book of 'Family Portraits' to a commenter on this post. Read on for an excerpt!

* * *

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Winner - The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Jack Caldwell

Book cover: The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel
Hello everybody! I have been missing in action a bit lately so you may have worried that something bad had happened but luckily that is not the case, it was just a combination of the kids being back in school, my mum being on holiday, a job interview, a small medical procedure and various other domestic reasons. But I am back now, and ready to announce the winner of an ebook of Jack Caldwell's 'The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel'. It's been a while since I posted my review, but you can see it here. I would really recommend this exciting story, and indeed, I'd recommend reading 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' too.

The winner, chosen at random is...

Carole in Canada

Congratulations, Carole. I will be in touch. I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I did. Many thanks to all of you who read the post and commented, and of course, huge thanks to Jack Caldwell for being so kind as to offer a giveaway. Again, I am so sorry for the delay in posting the winner.

If you missed out this time, you can buy the book or read it through Kindle Unlimited here: - Amazon UK - Amazon US


Saturday, 3 September 2016

Particular Intentions by L L Diamond - Vignette

Book cover: Particular Intentions by L L Diamond
I am very pleased to be able to bring you a vignette written by L L Diamond. This is an expansion on an outtake from her new 'Pride & Prejudice' variation 'Particular Intentions'.  Here's the blurb of the book:

Who is this Mr. Darcy and what are his intentions? 

Like much of Meryton, the Bennets of Longbourn anticipate the arrival of Mr. Bingley and his friends to Netherfield, yet an unexpected visitor is not a part of Mr. Bingley's or Mr. Darcy's plans. While the two gentlemen attempt to control their uninvited guest, Elizabeth Bennet arrives to tend to her ill sister. An overheard conversation, the intriguing behaviour of Mr. Darcy, and Miss Bingley's cloying manner all fascinate her, but manage to throw her emotions into turmoil as well. 

As Elizabeth becomes better acquainted with Mr. Darcy, his world unfolds and, if possible, it is more complicated than the man himself! Mysterious strangers and seducers lurk in the shadows--enough to threaten anyone's equanimity. Elizabeth's courage will be tested as she not only struggles to discover her own heart, but also why danger seems to surround Mr. Darcy.

Hmm, sounds intriguing! I wonder who the visitor could be? This one is certainly on my TBR.

I am going to hand over to L L Diamond for her to share a vignette with us relating to Mr Bennet and Lydia

* * *

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Planned Reading for September 2016

How? How can it be true? It's September already? Who stole August?! I was super busy in August and I didn't read much at all. I am so far behind on my reading! If I read about 14 books this month I can catch up, so that isn't going to happen anytime soon! Despite my lack of reading, August was actually a pretty good month for me in other respects; we were decorating the children's bedrooms. I hate the stress and upheaval of decorating, but they are both really happy with the result, which was the object of the exercise. They are back in school next week so maybe life will come back on kilter and I will get a chance to catch up a little.

I love September, it's probably my favourite month of the year, as the weather in the UK is usually pretty lovely, the leaves on the trees begin to change colour and it's my birthday, which always makes you like a month. I am not expecting any booky goodness for my birthday though, as due to my struggles for reading time I have a booky goodness surplus to work through :)

So, rather than tell you what I plan to catch up on reading, instead I will tell you about some of the lovely visitors I have planned in for September, all of whom have new books out!

Book cover: Particular Intentions by L L Diamond
L L Diamond is celebrating the release of 'Particular Intentions'. This is a 'Pride & Prejudice' variation which has an unexpected visitor come to Netherfield early on. I have a wonderful vignette to share with you featuring Mr Bennet taking his youngest daughter in hand.


Book covers: Dearest Friends and Family Portraits by Pamela Lynne
I also have Pamela Lynne dropping by with an excerpt of her new book, 'Family Portraits'. This is a sequel to one of Pamela's previous books, 'Dearest Friends', which is a 'Pride & Prejudice' variation.

Author Regina Jeffers
Late on in the month, I have Regina Jeffers dropping by with news of her new book 'Mr Darcy's Present'. I don't know much about this book yet, but I think it may have a Christmas theme.

And this is not all I hope to bring you! It would be lovely if you could drop in to enjoy these posts from my visitors. I hope you have a wonderful September, and enjoy some good reading this month :)

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Second Impressions by Amy George - Blog Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Second Impressions by Amy George
The blog tour for Amy George’s ‘Second Impressions’ stops by today. Amy George is a new author so I don’t know much about her – luckily for me, my stop on the blog tour is the author interview, so I get to be nosy and ask some questions!

Friday, 26 August 2016

The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Jack Caldwell - Review and Giveaway

Book cover: The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Jack Caldwell
Today I have the pleasure of sharing my thoughts with you on Jack Caldwell's latest book, 'The Last Adventure of the Scarlet Pimpernel'. Not only that, but Mr Caldwell is very kindly offering an e-book giveaway to a commenter on this post. Read on for more details!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Winner - Mr Darcy's Pride and Joy by Monica Fairview

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Pride & Joy by Monica Fairview
I am sorry to be late with this post, it's been a very busy week. Recently I was joined by Monica Fairview for a wonderful guest post from the third novel in the 'Darcy Novels' series. Monica was kindly offering an ebook giveaway of the winner's choice of novel from the series. The winner, chosen at random is...

Friday, 12 August 2016

Lady Susan Book and Love and Friendship Film - My Review

Book cover: Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Lady Susan

I was unaware for years of this early work of Jane Austen’s, only hearing of its existence a few years ago. I was prompted to read it by a recent film adaptation, ‘Love and Friendship’. I always like to read the book before watching the film if possible so that I know the real story.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Mr Darcy's Pride and Joy by Monica Fairview - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Blog Tour - The Darcy Novels - Mr Darcy's Pride and Joy by Monica Fairview
I am happy to be welcoming Monica Fairview to Babblings of a Bookworm today. Monica has written numerous Austen-inspired books (here they are on Goodreads), and her latest book is the third book in 'The Darcy Novels' series. I read and reviewed the first two books when they came out. The story began in Book 1, 'Mr Darcy's Pledge', continued in Book 2, 'Mr Darcy's Challenge' and I believe will conclude with this book, 'Mr Darcy's Pride and Joy'.

Monica has brought us a guest post and excerpt from 'Mr Darcy's Pride and Joy' to enjoy today, and she's also offering to give away an e-book copy of the book to a commenter here (or a copy of another of the books in the series, in case you need to catch up). Read on for more details!

* * *

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Winners - Jane Austen Speaks and Northern Rain

Book cover: Jane Austen Speaks by Maria Emilia de Medeiros
I have a winners' post to share with you today. I recently had author Maria Emilia de Medeiros joining me with a guest post and excerpt of her book, 'Jane Austen Speaks About her Life, the Modern World, & Heavenly Pursuits', which considers what Austen may have thought of various aspects of modern life. Maria Emilia was kindly giving away an e-book copy of the book to a commenter here. The winner, chosen at random, is...

Pearl!

Congratulations to you. I will be in touch. Thank you to everybody who commented and of course, to Maria Emilia de Medeiros for the guest post and giveaway. You can buy the book in both paperback and e-book formats - Amazon UK - Amazon US

* * *
Book cover: Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston
In addition, the 'North & South' variation, 'Northern Rain' had a blog tour that recently stopped by. There were quite a few prizes up for grabs. I believe Janet, the blog tour organiser has been in touch with the winners but just in case, the winners are below. Thank you all for participating in the tour, and thanks of course to Janet and author Nicole Clarkston for holding the blog tour. Again, this book is available to buy now, in both paperback and e-book (Amazon UK - Amazon US).

Northern Rain Paperbacks:

Kirk:
Sophia Rose:
Eva Edmonds:
BeckyC:

Northern Rain eBooks:

Ceri
Maria
Mary
Anji Doyle

Audio Books - Rumours & Recklessness:

anadarcy
Tita Wyatt

Audio Books - No Such Thing as Luck:

Katrin Schädl
Vesper Meikle

Monday, 1 August 2016

Planned Reading for August 2016

The year is zooming by, it's August already! With August comes school holidays and although I have some time off work unfortunately I'm not likely to get much more reading done, though hopefully I will be able to spend some nice time with my children. This is what I have lined up to read this month...

Friday, 29 July 2016

Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile - My review

Book cover: Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile
Recently I was joined by author Laura Hile for a guest post and excerpt of her new book, 'Darcy By Any Other Name'. I was also lucky enough to read the book, so here's what I thought of it.

* * *

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Winner - Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile

Last week Laura Hile visited with a guest post, excerpt and giveaway of 'Darcy By Any Other Name' which sees Mr Darcy and Mr Collins getting hit by lightning and waking up in the other's body! Laura was kindly giving away an e-book of the book to a commenter on her guest post. The winner, selected at random, is:

MonicaP!

Congratulations to you, Monica! I will be in touch. My thanks to everybody who commented on the post, and big thanks go to Laura for the guest post and giveaway.

'Darcy By Any Other Name' is available to buy now - Amazon UK - Amazon US

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Winner - Mr Darcy's Journey by Abigail Reynolds

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Journey by Abigail Reynolds
Recently I welcomed one of my favourite Austenesque authors, Abigail Reynolds, to the blog. Abigail gave us a guest post and excerpt of her latest book, 'Mr Darcy's Journey' which weaves he Luddite uprising, a real life event, with the characters of 'Pride & Prejudice'. I reviewed Mr Darcy's Journey too.

Abigail was kindly giving away an e-book copy of 'Mr Darcy's Journey' to a commenter here. The winner, drawn at random, is...

Vesper!

Edited to add: Vesper was lucky enough to win the book from another blog, so I selected another winner using random.org. The new winner is...

Maria!

Congratulations on  your win! I will be in touch :) Thank you so much to everybody who dropped by and commented on the blog post, and of course huge thanks to Abigail Reynolds for the guest post and the giveaway.

Jane Austen Speaks About her Life, the Modern World, & Heavenly Pursuits - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Cover: Jane Austen Speaks About her Life, the Modern World, & Heavenly Pursuits by Maria-Emilia de Medeiros
I have the great pleasure of welcoming Maria-Emilia de Medeiros today. She has written a book about what Jane Austen may have thought about modern life, 'Jane Austen Speaks About her Life, the Modern World, & Heavenly Pursuits'. Read on to see what Maria-Emilia thinks that Jane Austen may have thought about feminism. There is also a giveaway associated with this guest post, as the author is kindly giving away an e-book of the book for a commenter on this post.

* * * 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Book cover: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
I had obviously heard of this book but never felt any impetus to read it. The reason I picked up the book is that Jack Caldwell has written  a book where the worlds of Baroness Orczy and Jane Austen come together, with characters from ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’ featuring in his new book, ‘The Last Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel’. I plan to read Jack’s book later this month so I wanted to have a fuller idea of ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’, and I am so glad I did, as it was a really compelling read! I read the book partly as an audio book, and partly as a kindle read, and followed it up with watching the DVD of the 1982 adaptation of the book, so here are my thoughts on all three of those!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Darcy By Any Other Name by Laura Hile - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Darcy by Any Other Name by Laura Hile
I have author Laura Hile visiting today with a guest post, excerpt and giveaway of her latest book, 'Darcy By Any Other Name' which has a 'Pride & Prejudice' meets 'Freaky Friday' premise.

Here, Fitzwilliam Darcy and William Collins swap bodies! My first thought is: "Ewwwww!", but it is closely followed by other thoughts, like whether poor Elizabeth might find Mr Collins acceptable with a less ridiculous personality and then find herself married to him! I am assured that this story has a happy ending so I am guessing that Laura fixes it all by the end. Read on to find out more about the book and for a chance to win a copy for yourself...

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Mr Darcy’s Journey by Abigail Reynolds - My Review

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Journey by Abigail Reynolds
Earlier this week I was joined by author Abigail Reynolds for a guest post, excerpt and giveaway of her latest book, 'Mr Darcy's Journey'. Visit the giveaway post to enter to win an e-book copy of the book. You can gain a bonus entry by commenting on this review post.

* * *

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Winner - Chaos Comes to Longbourn

Book cover: Chaos Comes to Longbourn by Victoria Kincaid
Recently Victoria Kincaid dropped by with a guest post, excerpt and giveaway of her latest book, 'Chaos Comes to Longbourn'. If you missed the guest post you can enjoy the ego-deflating scene of George Wickham trying to impress the lady he has been forced to propose to here! The giveaway closed a little while ago so I hope you will forgive the delay in choosing a winner, I've had a very busy week.

The winner of the book is....

Priscilla T!

Congratulations, Priscilla! I will be in touch. Thank you so much to everybody who dropped by to comment, and huge thanks to Victoria for the guest post and giveaway.

Chaos Comes to Longbourn is available to buy now in e-book and paperback!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mr Darcy's Journey by Abigail Reynolds - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Mr Darcy's Journey by Abigail Reynolds
I am very pleased to be welcoming author Abigail Reynolds to the blog today. When I first discovered the Austenesque genre the first book to absolutely knock my socks off was 'Mr Darcy's Obsession'. I thought it was fantastic, and so far it has remained my all time number 1 Austenesque read. I am always excited when Abigail has a new book out and her newest book, which came out last month, also has the benefit of mixing some real-life history into the lives of Elizabeth and Darcy.

Jane Austen wrote 'First Impressions', the story that later became 'Pride and Prejudice', quite a few years before it was published. General consensus is that P&P is set around 1812, but in that year, there was quite a lot of Luddite activity in the North of England, which makes it less likely that the Gardiners would have chosen to go to the North on their holiday. What if... the Luddite activity affects our dear couple? This is what Abigail has chosen to explore in her latest story and she has come here today with a guest post, excerpt, and giveaway for a reader here. I will now hand over to Abigail for a guest post and excerpt from 'Mr Darcy's Journey'

* * *

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Northern Rain Blog Tour - Guest Post and Giveaway

Blog Tour - Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston
One of my favourite reads of all time is 'North and South' by the Victorian writer Mrs Elizabeth Gaskell. It's a wonderful story of two people from very different backgrounds, gentlewoman fallen on hard times Margaret Hale, from the South of England, and an honourable tradesman, mill owner Mr John Thornton, from the North. There are authors who are taking Mrs Gaskell's characters and imagining new paths for them, which is very exciting to see, as N&S is a wonderful book. Author Nicole Clarkston has written both 'North & South' and 'Pride & Prejudice' stories and her latest story, 'Northern Rain' again takes John and Margaret on a different journey. Nicole has dropped by today with a vignette, set before the events of the book. There is also an opportunity to win a copy of 'Northern Rain' or an audio book of one of Nicole's earlier books. Read on for more details!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Winner of Hope for Mr Darcy by Jeanna Ellsworth

Book cover: Hope for Mr Darcy by Jeanna Ellsworth
Recently Jeanna Ellsworth joined me with a really charming guest post relating to her new book, 'Hope for Mr Darcy. Jeanna was offering a giveaway of the book for a commenter on the guest post. I just got my daughter to draw out a name at random, and the winner is....

Ana!

Ana, your contact details weren't on your comment, so please could you contact me to claim your prize? If I haven't managed to get hold of Ana by the end of the day on Monday I will select another winner.

Thank you to everybody who commented on Jeanna's post and of course, big thanks to Jeanna herself for the lovely giveaway!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Chaos Comes to Longbourn by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Chaos Comes to Longbourn by Victoria Kincaid
Today I am pleased to welcome author Victoria Kincaid back to the blog. Victoria has a new book out with a very chaotic premise. There are wrong engagements aplenty here, and many tangles to unravel. Let me share the blurb with you, and then I'll hand over to Victoria for a guest post explaining her thought processes in coming up with the premise for this book plus a very amusing excerpt from the book. Victoria also brings with her a giveaway of winner's choice of either a paperback or kindle e-book of 'Chaos Comes to Longbourn' for a lucky reader here. Read on for more details!

Winner - Holidays with Jane: Summer of Love

Book cover: Holidays with Jane Summer of Love
Recently, author Jessica Grey stopped by with a guest post and giveaway of the latest 'Holidays with Jane', 'Summer of Love'.  I was also lucky enough to read the book and you can read my review of the book here.

The winner, chosen at random, is

Mary!

Congratulations on your win. I will be in touch. Thank you to everybody who commented on Jessica's post, and thank you to Jessica for sponsoring the giveaway.