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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Guest Post from Karen M Cox: Jane Austen’s Emma: a Novel of Firsts

Author Karen M Cox
Today I'm welcoming the very talented Karen M Cox, author of some wonderful JAFF reads such as 1932 and Undeceived (Spy Darcy!). I heard that Karen was writing a new book and I was so excited. Firstly, because it's a Karen M Cox book; secondly, it's based on Emma - much as I love P&P, I love the others too and it's good to visit another book. Thirdly, it's not Regency or contemporary - like many of Karen's other books, she's gone for a different time period, which is such fun! This latest one is based in the 70s. While I was around for part of that decade, I don't really remember it, and I am so looking forward to being transported to the decade when little Ceri made an appearance!

The blog tour for Karen's new book will take place next month, including a visit here, but in the meantime Karen has joined us today to talk about Emma. Emma is known for being a heroine that Austen herself described as being "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like" but I've always been very fond of her because her intentions were so good!

I'll now hand over to Karen M Cox for a post about Emma:

Friday, 18 August 2017

Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams - Blog Tour - Guest Post and Excerpt

Book cover: Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams
Today I am hosting an author who I interact with often online but who I've never had to visit so I'm very pleased to be able to welcome her to the blog today. Let's all say a big hello to Alexa Adams, author of the highly regarded The Madness of Mr Darcy. Alexa has a new book out which sees the long-married Darcy meeting the world of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, which as you probably know was written later in the 1800s.

Alexa has a guest post and excerpt from Darcy in Wonderland for you to enjoy today. Read on for more!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer - review of book, audio and film

115 years ago today Georgette Heyer was born. Ms Heyer is one of my favourite authors, and I’ve reread most of her books more times than I can count. I have a sizeable paperback collection of her works, but recently I’ve started listening to her books on audio (if you’d like to do the same, but don’t have an audible subscription, you can get most of the audios at a reduced price if you buy the kindle version). I had heard good things about the audio of this book, so I treated myself to it :)

Friday, 11 August 2017

Devotion by Meg Kerr - Guest Post, Excerpt and UK/Canada Giveaway

Book Cover: Experience by Meg Kerr
Today I am happy to welcome an author who I had heard of, but not yet read, Meg Kerr. Meg has written a pair of sequels to Pride & Prejudice. The first of these, Experience, picks up directly after the end of P&P and follows the fortunes of Mary, Kitty, Lydia and Caroline Bingley over the course of the next three years. The second book, Devotion, follows on from this, but can be read as a stand-alone book.

Devotion takes a look at Georgiana. I think she's an interesting character because she's a bit of a closed book. We know that she nearly eloped with Wickham at the tender age of 15. What type of girl would do that? One option is that she is quite naive and trusting... but she may have been a bit of a Lydia under her shy exterior! She might have been as fond of her brother as he is of her, but on the other hand, perhaps she was resentful of the attention he gave to his estates and social obligations and wanted to do something she knew would hurt him or just as a cry for attention. It's open to speculation.

I'll share the book blurb and then hand over to Meg for a guest post and excerpt. Meg is also kindly offering a giveaway to UK / Canada readers.

Book Cover: Devotion by Meg Kerr
Book Description:

In this sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Georgiana Darcy, now twenty years old and completely lovely, is ripe for marriage. Her brother has carefully selected her future husband, but the arrival of a long-delayed letter, and a secret journey, bring Georgiana into the arms of an utterly wicked and charming young man whose attentions promise her ruin. At the same time, events in Meryton are creating much-needed occupation for Mrs. Bennet and a quandary for Lydia Bennet’s girlhood companion Pen Harrington; and the former Caroline Bingley is given — perhaps — an opportunity to remake some of her disastrous choices. Meg Kerr, writing effortlessly and wittily in the style of Jane Austen, sweeps the reader back to the year 1816 for a reunion with many beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice and an introduction to some intriguing characters.

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Hello readers of Babblings of a Bookworm! My name is Meg Kerr, and I’m thrilled to be here with you. First, I’d like to thank Ceri for allowing me to contribute this guest post and which contains an excerpt from my new Austen-inspired book, Devotion. I am also happy to offer a giveaway of three (3) signed copies of the book! The giveaway is open to readers from UK and Canada.

As Ceri mentioned at the beginning of August, Devotion explores events after Pride and Prejudice ends through fan-favourite characters including Georgiana Darcy and Mrs. Bennet, and I think you’ll find it an interesting read as I’ve added several twists. As Georgiana Darcy is one of the main focal points of the book, I wanted to choose a book excerpt where she’s featured. But first, a bit of context:

John Amaury, the illegitimate son of a lord, is handsome, charming, penniless, ruthless, and determined to marry Georgiana Darcy for her fortune. And if lawful marriage can be faster attained through seduction, so be it!

So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy this short excerpt! If you’re interested in reading the full book, it’s available via Amazon. I’d love to hear your thoughts (and your own ideas!) via a review soon.

Affectionately yours,
Meg Kerr

Excerpt (from Chapter 13 of Devotion)

Amaury came to her as soon as she was in the room. “Georgiana, I am in love with you,” he said. She was very willing to hear him, and suddenly he was making violent love to her, proclaiming his passion and declaring that he would die if she refused him. Georgiana could not respond; but Amaury did not want her to talk. Departing so far from every honourable feeling, even from the common decorum of a gentleman, he took hold of her, clasped her around the waist and began to kiss her eagerly, until he was stopping her very breath and she could hardly remain upright. Indeed she would have fallen had she not been locked in his arms, pressed to his ribs. Still on fire with his first assault, her astonishment and perplexity decreased as he took these barbarously insolent freedoms with her, and her struggles against him were brief, if indeed they existed at all. Even then she had not sense enough to try to avoid her fate. Instead of acting as virtue and honour required, instead of striving to avoid destruction, she began to return him kiss for kiss, the friendly darkness emboldening her. He then took the liberty of thrusting his hand in her bosom, an affront at which Georgiana demonstrated her resentment by re-doubling the fervour of her kisses. She seemed to have not the least hesitation to assist in her own undoing. No longer in doubt about the capabilities of her—heart, or that she was completely under his ascendancy, he knew that the business could be accomplished within five minutes.

A wolf has no aspiration to heroism, or to the satisfaction of carrying out a difficult task. He would not rather attack a lion than a lamb, and if the lamb meekly offers her throat for the sacrifice he does not spare her in the conviction that he ought to work harder for his dinner.

That Amaury intended to do what is called the worst is entirely certain and that Georgiana would have granted what is called the last favour is little less so. What a strange revolution of mind therefore that Amaury should have drawn back! But he was overcome by a feeling of tenderness unlike anything he had known before. What a miracle it was to be loved by such a pure and modest girl, to excite her virginal ardours! Five minutes were not enough to initiate her into the pleasures of love. She must be allowed to savour at length her weakness in his embrace, and at last admit the ecstasy of defeat. They must marry, and he must find another method to persuade her than that of robbing her of her precious innocence. With some difficulty therefore he put Georgiana from him, holding her at arm’s length while both endeavoured to regain breath; and with yet greater difficulty he persuaded her to withdraw from him and go to her room, promising that they would meet early on the morrow.

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Surprising, no?! When I received the excerpt I was expecting a battle-scarred Georgiana, who would be shy of men, having learned her lesson at her near-escape from Wickham, despite this book being set some years later (5 years after the aborted elopement, I think). But clearly Meg has gone another way with this character.

If you're interested in reading more, Meg has also visited some other blogs lately, including a post on seduction over at Madame Gilflurt's, a review at More Agreeably Engaged, and an author interview and video from Meg at My Jane Austen Book Club.

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Author Meg Kerr
About the Author:

What do you do when you live in the twenty-first century but a piece of your heart lies in the nineteenth? If you are author Meg Kerr you let your head and hand follow your heart. With her love of country life—dogs and horses, long walks in the woods and fields, dining with family and neighbours and dancing with friends, reading and writing and the best conversation—and her familiarity with eighteenth and nineteenth century history and literature, Meg has a natural gift to inhabit, explore and reimagine the world that Jane Austen both dwelt in and created, and to draw readers there with her.

Connect with the author:

Email via Prism PublishersPublisher's WebsiteAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Giveaway Time!

Book Cover: Devotion by Meg Kerr
Meg is kindly offering three commenters here the chance to win a signed paperback of Devotion. This giveaway is open to readers in the UK/Canada for postal reasons. To enter, just leave a comment on this post by the end of the day on Friday 18 August. Please leave a way for me to contact you, so that I'll be able to get in touch if you are one of the lucky winners.

Thank you so much to Meg and her publishers for the guest post and giveaway, and all the best with Devotion, which I look forward to reading.

Friday, 4 August 2017

When We Are Married by Caitlin Williams - Winner

Book cover: When We Are Married by Caitlin Williams
Recently I took part in the mini blog tour for Caitlin Williams' latest book, When We Are Married, which takes an interesting variation on Pride & Prejudice, seeing more than one Bennet sister decide that Mr Darcy would be a good match for her, unbeknownst to the other. Here's my review of the book.

Caitlin was giving away an ebook of the story to one commenter. The winner, chosen at random, is:


Congratulations to you. I will be in touch.

Thank you so much to Caitlin Williams for the review copy and giveaway, and to Claudine from JustJane1813, who arranged the blog tour.

If you missed out this time, then maybe you should treat yourself to a copy of the book. You deserve it!

Buy Links
This book is available to buy now, on Amazon USAmazon UK and elsewhere. It's available on Kindle Unlimited and you can also add it on Goodreads.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Journey Home by Karen M. Cox - Review

Book Cover: The Journey Home, a 1932 Sidequel by Karen M. Cox
Karen M. Cox has a new novella out which I was really excited about, as it’s connected to one of the first JAFF books I ever read, and one that I often have a sneaky re-read of! Read on to see what I thought of it.

The Journey Home’ is a ‘sidequel’ for Karen M. Cox’s ‘1932’. I’ve posted about that book previously, and you can read the review here, but in a nutshell, ‘1932’ is a ‘Pride & Prejudice’-inspired story, which transports Meryton into small-town, depression-era USA. The Bennet family are down on their luck, William Darcy is a well-to-do local farmer who takes a fancy to Miss Elizabeth Bennet. It broadly follows the story of P&P although there is one major variation from canon.

Another thing which is different is Georgiana, William’s sister. In P&P she is a 16 year old girl who has suffered a narrow escape from eloping with George Wickham, a man who was after her fortune and to avenge himself on his former friend. In ‘1932’, Georgina is at first a bit of a mystery; although going by the name of Miss Darcy, she has two young daughters. She lives with her brother and there is no husband in the picture. She is 23, rather than 16 but her soul is older than the average 23 year old. Georgiana here made some bad decisions and paid for them. She has endured physically, mentally, and her own image of herself has been humbled and brought low.
‘I could almost feel the disgrace lingering on my skin.’
She almost feels like she doesn’t deserve anything good because of the bad decisions she has made. An event happens that gives Georgiana the impetus to overcome what little pride she has and go back to her brother to recover both physically and mentally and to provide a safe haven to help her girls recover, particularly the elder, as the baby is small enough to have been unaffected.

By the time we first meet Georgiana in ‘1932’ she has recovered bodily, and is starting to come to the point where the love and support of her brother has given her the mental strength to start again. Georgiana wants to have her own life and to be a good role model for her two little girls. In the background of William and Elizabeth’s story in ‘1932’, Georgiana starts to forge her own path. This ‘sidequel’ focuses on things from Georgiana’s perspective, starting with the aftermath of the event that caused her to leave, so it begins at an earlier point than the other book. I enjoyed having a bit more of an insight into Georgiana’s mind. When I read ‘1932’ I deeply sympathised with her, as well as admiring her as a person who had hit rock bottom and managed to climb back out.

Maggie is Georgina’s elder daughter and one of the highlights of the previous book. She was an absolute sweetie and I was very glad to meet her again. I knew that when Maggie had gone to live with her ‘Unca’ she at first had been traumatised and refused to speak, and it was very touching to see the point when she first began to talk again.

William Darcy is a sweet man under his handsome yet unwelcoming shell and of course his sister gets to see under the hard shell to the sweet man that we know from ‘1932’. He is charmingly unaware that his niece has a lot in common with him:
‘He shook his head. “I wish she’d quit staring at me like that. It’s unnerving.” 
I laughed through my tears, softly, so as not to frighten the toddler in my lap. “I don’t know why it bothers you. She looks just like you do half the time.” Maggie’s dark-eyed stare was the little-girl version of William’s curmudgeonly scowl.’ 
Sheriff Richard Fitzwilliam is Darcy’s closest friend, there for him during his lonely time during Georgiana’s absence. He is such a lovely character and surprisingly wise. I liked him a lot in ‘1932’ for his kindness so it was good to see more of him.
‘Richard looked at me with kindness but not with pity. He addressed me, rather than my brother, and I could see how William would be able to tell him private information without a second thought. His expression was open and accepting, without a hint of disapproval.’
There is a hint of Christianity in this book. Georgiana’s faith in God is something that didn’t falter even at her lowest point and it helped form her decision to come home. As I said, though, this is a hint rather than a theme, it’s a very small part of the story. Although there is some sex in the story there are no overt sex scenes.

I very much enjoyed reading this book but I felt that I would have liked to have had a bit more exploration of some things, such as Georgiana’s time away from home, or the visits she received after moving to her cottage in a little more depth. There are some instances where things happen off the page which sometimes made the pace feel a little rushed to me. However, this book adds a further dimension to ‘1932’ which I really enjoyed. I would certainly recommend reading ‘1932’ first to get the full benefit, as you will get to know Lizzy and William better that way and fill in the gaps with ‘The Journey Home’. I’d rate this as a 4 star read.

4 star read

*I received a copy of this novella from the author for my honest review.

Author Karen M. Cox
Connect with the author:

WebsiteFacebook • Twitter • Pinterest • Instagram • Tumblr • GoodreadsAmazon Author Page

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Planned Reading for August 2017

It’s school holiday time here in the UK which means that I will be taking some time off work to spend some time shouting at with my children. I always hope for more reading time during the school holidays and usually it doesn’t happen. As ever, it will be one of my aims, along with losing an unrealistic amount of weight and achieving a completely organised home. Never say I am unambitious!

Book Cover: The Journey Home by Karen M. CoxI have a fairly quiet month planned on the blog. Firstly, Karen M. Cox has a ‘sidequel’ out – a companion book to ‘1932’ which is a P&P variation set in the US depression. ‘The Journey Home’ focuses on Georgiana’s story during the same time period. I’ll be bringing you my review of this novella.

Author Karen M. Cox
Karen has an ‘Emma’-inspired book coming out in September, and in the run up to the blog tour I’ll have the pleasure of hosting her for a post here. I was very excited to hear about this book, because not only is it an ‘Emma’ book, which I’ve read very few of, but it’s neither modern nor Regency, which is another unusual touch.

Book cover: Devotion by Meg Kerr
I will also be welcoming author Meg Kerr. Meg has written a new ‘Pride & Prejudice’ sequel, ‘Devotion’, which focuses on Georgiana. She really is a mystery isn’t she? On the one hand she’s shy, very quiet, seemingly lacking in confidence and on the other she was nearly bold enough to elope with somebody that she must have known to be unsuitable. She is certainly an enigma.

As for my reading plans, I just hope to catch up a bit! I have so much that I’ve planned to read in previous months and didn’t get round to. I might struggle as we are planning some home improvements which takes up time. Wish me luck :) What do you plan to read? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Winner of J Dawn King Giveaway

Author J Dawn King
Recently I was joined by the lovely J Dawn King for a game of twenty questions, related to your view of Darcy and Elizabeth. We shared what we thought and settled whether we thought Mr Darcy had a unibrow / monobrow! Answers can be found on the original post. Joy was very generously giving away a $100 Amazon gift card to a commenter on the post. Joy chose a winner at random and that person is...

Elizabeth Hossenlopp

Congratulations to you, Elizabeth! Joy will be in touch via the email address you left.

Thank you so much to everybody who posted their views, and huge thanks to Joy for the wonderful giveaway!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Miss Darcy's Beaux by Eliza Shearer - Giveaway Winner

Book cover: Miss Darcy's Beaux by Eliza Shearer
Apologies for my lateness in posting this. Recently Eliza Shearer visited the blog with a guest post and excerpt of her debut novel, 'Miss Darcy's Beaux'. Eliza was also giving away an ebook of the book. I assigned each of the comments a number and used the random number generator on Google to pick a winner, who was....

Deborah Ann

Congratulations to you, Debbie! I will be in touch.

Huge thanks to Eliza for the guest post, and to everybody who commented. For those of you who missed out, there is a Goodreads giveway for a print version of the book which is open to many countries.

When We Are Married by Caitlin Williams Blog Tour and Giveaway

When We Are Married by Caitlin Williams - Blog Tour
Today the blog tour for Caitlin Williams' new book, the 'Pride & Prejudice' variation, 'When We Are Married' stops by. I get to share my review with you, and there is a giveaway of an ebook of the story for a commenter on this post. Read on for more details!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Joy Dawn King - Guest Post and Giveaway

Author J. Dawn King
Today I am welcoming one of my favourite blog visitors, author J Dawn King. Joy has brought a conversation piece and giveaway, so channel your inner Lady Catherine de Bourgh; you must have your share of the conversation!

Usually when an author stops by, they are here to share their latest release, however Joy asked if we could play a game. Without further ado, I will pass over to Joy.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

200th Anniversary of Jane Austen's Death - What Jane Means to Me

Jane Austen
Today is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and I wanted to mark the day with a little tribute to her and share with you what Austen and her work means to me. Her sister Cassandra said,
“I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed. She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a part of myself.” 
This is a wonderful tribute from her closest friend. Cassandra had lost a personal treasure and the wider world had also lost a treasure. Austen was only 41 when she died; who knows what else she might have written if she had lived longer. I suppose we will have to be philosophical about it, and instead focus on the positives. Her works – the six major novels, plus the lesser works and juvenilia have given me and hundreds of thousands of others worldwide many hours of enjoyment and enriched our lives. In fact, Austen’s works were actually prescribed reading for former WWI soldiers to soothe them. There is comfort in reading her novels, in a world where everybody knows their place, but there is more to their popularity than just that.

Austen didn’t write about the wider world in which her novels were set, the world news, and she lived in a tumultuous time, with Napoleon marauding across the continent. But that wasn’t what Jane was about, and she was perfectly well aware of that:
‘What should I do with your strong, manly, spirited sketches, full of variety and glow? How could I possibly join them on to the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as produces little effect after much labour?’ – Jane Austen, letter to her brother, 1816
This is one of the things I love about her work – the details are exquisite, the embroidery of the details and humour makes it come alive.

She was criticised by Charlotte Bronte for the lack of passion in her work:
‘She ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood’
I love Charlotte Bronte’s work, but I really think she was unfair to Jane here. Not only was Jane forging a path that Charlotte could benefit from in the departure from the norm in the new style of work that she was writing but I find Jane’s books so much more real to me, as they don't have the dark streak and melodrama that are so often found in the works I've read by the Brontes and are things which are thankfully absent from my life.

I was lucky in that I ‘found’ Austen fairly early on in life. Teenage Ceri, in the pre-internet era, was mooching about the house on a rainy day and feeling pretty bored. So I thought I’d read a book. This in itself wasn’t unusual because I read books A LOT.

So, I was perusing my mother’s bookshelves and found a book called ‘Sense and Sensibility’. I was vaguely aware that this was a famous book, and if it was that old and still famous then I reasoned that it was probably quite good, so I read it. Since I always enjoyed quite old books (the Secret Garden, Heidi etc.) the vocabulary wasn’t an obstacle to me, and I found, to my surprise, that not only was it quite good, it was also quite funny. So I embarked upon ‘Pride & Prejudice’. From the first line, my attention was caught and within no time at all I had fallen in love with the book. I found Elizabeth so relatable; she was just like me but with a tall, handsome admirer. What was not to love?! It amazed me then and still amazes me now that Austen was able to write a character that was so timeless, despite the time gap and societal change, Elizabeth was easily accessible to a young person reading the story nearly 200 years later.

I went on to read Austen’s other main works, and her letters, and I found that, as funny and as biting as her humour was in her published works, she was reining it in. The woman had a truly wicked sense of humour. She would without doubt have a place on any fantasy dinner table of mine!

Austen wrote some very quotable quotes. I would just like to share some of my favourites with you. This first one sums up one of the reasons she is my favourite authors. I read for escapism - other people may like gritty realism; they are welcome to it! I want happy endings.
‘Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.’ – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
And this one, which tells me that we have the same idea of how to have a good time!
‘By the bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many douceurs in being a sort of chaperon, for I am put on the sofa near the fire and can drink as much wine as I like.’ – Jane Austen – Letter, 1813.
And this one, which is so true.
‘It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.’ –  Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Austen is not only the writer of my favourite novel, ‘Pride & Prejudice’, but the writer of the most exquisite page of any book I’ve ever read. Captain Wentworth’s letter in ‘Persuasion’ is just perfection. I would like to quote the entire letter in all its glory, but instead, as it is spoilery, I will content myself with:
'You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.' - Jane Austen, Persuasion
So today I’ll spare a thought for Jane Austen, and be thankful for the wonderful works she brought into the world. What is it about Jane’s work that speaks to you? Do you have any favourite quotes that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments and have your share of the conversation.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Miss Darcy's Beaux by Eliza Shearer - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: Miss Darcy's Beaux by Eliza ShearerToday I have the pleasure of welcoming new author Eliza Shearer to the blog. Eliza has written a book described as a 'Persuasion', 'Mansfield Park' and 'Pride & Prejudice' continuation which focuses on Miss Georgiana Darcy after the marriage of her brother. The book is already getting excellent reviews so I'm pleased to be able to bring you some insight into the author's feelings towards Miss Darcy, plus an excerpt to whet your appetite to read the book. In addition, Eliza is offering to give away an ebook of 'Miss Darcy's Beaux' to a commenter on this post. Please read on for more details!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Planned Reading for July 2017

Picture of Author Jane Austen, drawn by her sister CassandraAlthough it doesn't feel like July at the time of writing, my calendar assures me that it is so. Happy July to you, my friends. In the UK the kids have 3 more weeks in school so we're not in full summer mode yet. So, what do I have planned for July?  First and foremost, as I'm sure you're aware, the middle of this month is the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, my favourite author. Therefore I hope to have a bit of a Jane-fest, and read some books about her as well as books inspired by her.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds - My Review

Book cover: Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
Recently author Abigail Reynolds visited my blog with a guest post and giveaway of 'Conceit & Concealment', her latest 'Pride & Prejudice' variation. I was provided with copy to read and review, so read on to see what I think of the book and whether I'd recommend adding it to your 'To Be Read' list.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque by Don Jacobson – Character Interview and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Exile - Kitty Bennet and the Belle Epoque by Don Jacobson
Today I’m welcoming Don Jacobson to the blog with my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque’ with a character interview and giveaway. 

This is the second book in the ‘Bennet Wardrobe’ series; ‘The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey’ is Volume 1. I had heard of this series but I didn’t really know what the concept of it was. Let’s start off by explaining a few things!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Joana Starnes Audio and Ebook Winners

Recently Joana Starnes joined us with a post about her recent move into audio books. 'The Falmouth Connection' and 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' are available to buy now and 'The Unthinkable Triangle' is coming soon.

Joana was very kindly giving away audio codes to five commenters on the post, and a choice of her ebooks to two commenters. The winners were chosen using the random number generator on Google and are as follows...

Joana Starnes books
Audio book winners are:

Sophia Rose

Lynn Bischoff


Brenda Webb Bigbee


Ebook winners are:

Priscilla Teh


Congratulations to all of you! I will be in touch as soon as I can.

Thank you so much to everybody who commented on the post, and big thanks to Joana Starnes for the generous giveaway!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Mendacity & Mourning by J L Ashton - Blog Tour - Vignette and Giveaway

Mendacity & Mourning by J L Ashton - Blog Tour
Today the blog tour for J L Ashton's 'Pride & Prejudice' variation, 'Mendacity and Mourning' begins with a stop here at Babblings of a Bookworm. Ms Ashton has visited the blog before with her previous book 'A Searing Acquaintance' and I am very pleased to welcome her back. I have part one of a vignette to share with you, which will be concluded this Friday over at 'More Agreeably Engaged', and there's also a chance to win an ebook of 'Mendacity & Mourning'. Let me share the blurb with you first:

Friday, 16 June 2017

Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds - Giveaway Winner

Book Cover: Conceit and Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
Recently I was joined by one of my favourite authors, Abigail Reynolds with a guest post on angst and 'the black moment' of a story, when hope is at its lowest. Abigail was also giving away an ebook of her latest book, 'Conceit and Concealment' to two lucky commenters on the guest post. The winners, chosen at random using Google random number generator, are....




Congratulations to both of you! I will be in touch. I hope that you both really enjoy this trip to an alternate version of Great Britain :)

Thank you so much to everybody who enjoyed Abigail’s post, and of course, huge thanks to Abigail for visiting Babblings of a Bookworm and kindly offering a giveaway.

If you weren’t lucky this time then you can buy the book at Amazon US / Amazon UK and elsewhere.

US readers, you can enter a giveaway on Goodreads for a paperback of the book!

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Joana Starnes Audio Books - Guest Post and Giveaway

Audio book cover: Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter by Joana Starnes
Today I'm welcoming the lovely Joana Starnes back to the blog. Joana has recently had some of her books made available in audio format - 'The Falmouth Connection' and 'Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter' are both now available. As I have relatively recently started to listen to audiobooks, this is very good timing! Joana has come here with a guest post and excerpt of 'The Unthinkable Triangle', which is her next book that will be made available to listen to. Joana is also giving away five audio books of the titles currently available, and if you're not ready to move to audio yet, there is something for you too; two commenters will win their choice of Joana Starnes ebook! Read on for more details.

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Lory Lilian - A Man With Faults - Winners

Book cover: A Man With Faults by Lory Lilian
Recently I had the pleasure of being joined by the lovely Lory Lilian, who has recently released a 'Pride & Prejudice'-inspired book, 'A Man With Faults'. Lory brought a guest post about love scenes (waggles eyebrows) which you can read here. Lory was very kindly giving away a choice of one of her e-books to two lucky commenters. I have chosen them using a random number generator, and the winners are....




Congratulations, ladies, I will be in touch to find out which of Lory's books you would like to choose.

Lory Lilian books

Thank you to everybody who commented on Lory's post, and of course, huge thanks to Lory for the giveaway. If you weren't lucky enough to win this time then why not cheer yourself up by buying a Lory Lilian book! They are available on Amazon UK, Amazon US and elsewhere :)

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Monday, 5 June 2017

Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Cover: Conceit & Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
As you may know, Abigail Reynolds has a new book out. I love Abigail's stories; she wrote the first Austenesque story I read that completely blew me away ('Mr Darcy's Obsession', if you're curious!), so I am very happy to be able to welcome here today. She has brought a guest post, and an international giveaway. Read on for more details!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Winner - Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks

Book cover: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks
Recently I was joined by debut author Sara Marks for an author interview and excerpt from her book, 'Modern Persuasion'. Sara was offering to give away an ebook of 'Modern Persuasion' to a commenter on the guest post. The winner, chosen at random, is:


Congratulations! Denise, I will be in touch. Thank you so much to everybody who read the post, and commented, and big thanks to Sara for visiting the blog and offering a giveaway. If you are in the US, you might still be able to enter the other giveaway for some knick-knacks and a signed paperback of the book, at the time of posting it has some time left to run. Details are on the guest post.

If you didn't get lucky this time, why not treat yourself to a copy? You can buy the book here:

• Amazon US • Amazon UK • Goodreads •

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Friday, 2 June 2017

Planned Reading for June 2017

Hello my friends! I hope you are well. June is here! I don't know what happened to May but my calendar never lies :) I have two of my favourite authors due to visit in June which I'm very excited about, so I'll tell you about them first of all.

Book cover: Conceit and Concealment by Abigail Reynolds
I have Abigail Reynolds visiting with her new book, Conceit & Concealment where the man for whom disguise of every sort is an abhorrence is ... a spy! This is, by all accounts, an angsty read.

Audio Book Cover: The Falmouth Connection by Joana Starnes, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman
Joana Starnes will be joining us too. She has just moved into the world of audio books. I was lucky enough to win a copy of the audio book of 'The Falmouth Connection', which is the one currently available, but more are expected to go live soon.

There are another couple of blog tours which I'm hoping will stop by this month too, but more news of those anon :)

I had a good month in terms of getting lovely books. I was lucky enough to win a copy of 'The Longbourn Letters' by Rose Servitova. We know from P&P that Mr Bennet corresponds with Mr Collins, and actually enjoys it. In this book, we get a take on what these letters could have been like.

My in-laws went to visit Haworth, which, if you're not familiar, is the home of the Bronte family. They very kindly got me a souvenir, 'Tales of Angria' by Charlotte Bronte, which I understand is a very early work of hers.

The last book I got is by Lucy Worsley, who you might well have heard of, as she's done a number of TV programmes. 'Jane Austen at Home' looks at the houses Austen would have been familiar with, and how they may have influenced her works. I picked this one up at a book talk by Ms Worsley that I went to earlier this week, and even waited around to get it signed.

Book covers: Mr Darcy's Bad Day and For Pemberley by Christie Capps
My good month continued with another win. Have you heard of Christie Capps? I'd seen rave reviews from some of my reading chums and wondered about her work. Well, it turns out it's a pseudonym, of another JAFF writer, and I was lucky enough to win two of her ebooks from the reveal post at 'From Pemberley to Milton'.

As for what I plan to read, well, as you probably know, we're fast approaching the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, and I'd like to try and read something about her, rather than about her characters.

What do you have planned to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Lory Lilian - A Man with Faults - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book cover: A Man With Faults by Lory LilianToday I have the very great pleasure of welcoming Lory Lilian, the 'Queen of Hot Mush' to the blog. Lory has recently released a new 'Pride & Prejudice' variation, which I understand is an angsty read, 'A Man with Faults'. She's here with a guest post and is also giving away the winner's choice of her ebooks to TWO lucky winners.

Book Blurb

Resentment or love, anger or passion, guilt or hope—which will win?

How does a man with faults and a resentful temper act when the woman he ardently loves fiercely rejects his marriage proposal and accepts no explanation from him? How does he react when she finds him again in London four months later, asks for his help, and places all her hopes in him?

And what does he do if she is in a position to help him in return?

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks - Author Interview and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks

Today I'm joined by Sara Marks, an author who has written as her debut novel an update of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'. To get to know Sara a bit better, I posed her some questions which she was kind enough to answer. Read on for more about Sara's book, 'Modern Persuasion', the author interview and a reader giveaway!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Cover: Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Kate Watson to the blog. Kate has written 'Seeking Mansfield', a book based on 'Mansfield Park'. I re-read the original on its bicentenary a few years ago and sought out some MP-related reads. I found that there wasn't a huge amount of choice so I am always really pleased to see something with a nod to MP.

Kate has joined us with a guest post, and there's a chance to win a copy of the book too. So without further delay, I'll share the book description with you, and then pass over to Kate.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Winner of Melanie Rachel - Courage Rises and Courage Requires Giveaway

Book covers: Courage Rises and Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel
Recently I welcomed Melanie Rachel to the blog with an excerpt of her Pride & Prejudice continuation, 'Courage Rises', and the sequel to that, 'Courage Requires'. Melanie was kindly offering to give away the winner's choice of either book to a commenter on her guest post. A winner was selected at random, and that person is...

J W Garrett

Congratulations to you, Jeanne! I will be in touch.

Thank you so much to everybody who visited the guest post, and especially to those who left comments.

Both of these books are available to buy now! Amazon UK / Amazon US

Monday, 8 May 2017

Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Melanie Rachel to the blog. Melanie has written a book picking up at the end of 'Pride & Prejudice' called 'Courage Rises', and she has just released a sequel to this, 'Courage Requires'. Melanie has written us a guest post, which I'm pleased to bring you, and she's also giving away a book to one of you, either the first or the second in the series. I'll hand over to Melanie now for her guest post and an excerpt from each of the books.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Winner - Darcy's Honor by Victoria Kincaid

Book cover: Darcy's Honour by Victoria Kincaid
Recently I was joined by Victoria Kincaid for a guest post and excerpt from her new book, 'Darcy's Honor'. Victoria was very kindly offering to give away a copy of the book in either ebook or paperback to one commenter on her guest post. The lucky winner, chosen at random, is:


Congratulations! I will be in touch. If you were not the lucky winner, there is another giveaway opportunity available on Goodreads.

Alternatively, 'Darcy's Honor' is available to buy now. Go on, treat yourself:
• Amazon UK • Amazon US • Nook •

My thanks to Victoria for the guest post and generous giveaway!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Planned Reading for May 2017

Spring blossom
Hello everybody. It's May! I don't quite know how that happened. Each new month always takes me by surprise, I always seem to feel so busy. I am sure I have told you before but I love the spring. It makes me so happy to see all the plants coming into bloom, and the weather getting warmer. My tree in the back garden has decided that it's springtime too. Most days aren't suitable for outdoor reading yet, but we are getting there. I have still been listening to audio books and am currently listening to 'The Secret Garden'. This was a childhood favourite of mine so I'm enjoying it very much, and it's all about a garden coming alive, which of course is what's happening in the wider world so it's quite seasonal reading.

So, what do I have planned this month? well I will tell you :) I have the potential for some extra reading time this week. I'm staffing a polling station as we have local elections here. Now on the one hand of course I want lots of people to come in and vote, but if there is a quiet period I might be able to get some reading done, which would be good. I'll have to make sure my kindle is charged!

Courage Rises and Courage Requires by Melanie Rachel
I have a few visitors to the blog planned in for this month. Firstly, Melanie Rachel will be joining me. Melanie wrote 'Courage Rises', which is a P&P continuation, and she has written a further book in the series, 'Courage Requires', which is already getting excellent reviews.

Book cover: A Man with Faults by Lory Lilian
I will also be welcoming Lory Lilian, with her latest P&P variation, 'A Man With Faults'. In 'Pride & Prejudice', Darcy describes himself thus:

"I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding -- certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost for ever."

Lory's novel looks at how a resentful Darcy might react to a plea for help from Elizabeth to find her sister in London. This is another book that is being really well-received so far :)

Book Cover: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks
Late in the month, I'm expecting Sara Marks to drop in. Sara is an author that's new to me. She has written a book called 'Modern Persuasion', which moves Austen's story to the modern day, in the world of publishing. The book is coming out at the end of the month.

Book Cover: Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley
Also at the end of the month I am off to a talk. As this year marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death there are some additional events planned. Historian Lucy Worsley is touring to promote her new book, 'Jane Austen at Home', and the tour is coming near enough for me to go. I bought a ticket that includes a copy of the book, which looks pretty gorgeous.

As for what I plan to read, I am hoping to do some catching up on books that people have kindly given me for review. I have unfortunately got quite a stack, both physical and electronic. Whenever people give me books I have every intention of reading them, but if I don't manage to get to them they slip further and further down the pile and then I forget about them, so I'd like to read a few of those.

What do you have planned for May? Is it outdoor reading season for you yet? Have you read anything recently that you'd really recommend? Let us know in the comments :)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Darcy's Honour by Victoria Kincaid - Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Book cover: Darcy's Honor by Victoria Kincaid
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Victoria Kincaid back to the blog to celebrate the recent release of her latest book, 'Darcy's Honor'. She has brought with her a guest post about the concept of honour in relation to Mr Darcy, an excerpt of the book, and she is offering an international giveaway, paperback or ebook, for one lucky commenter here. Read on for more details!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Blog Tour: My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley by Linda Beutler - Vignette and Giveaway

Blog Tour: My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley by Linda Beutler
 Today I have the pleasure of hosting the last stop on the blog tour for Linda Beutler's latest book, 'My Mr Darcy and Your Mr Bingley'. I had the pleasure of hosting the cover reveal, which I shared with the lovely Rita of the 'From Pemberley to Milton' blog. The reason that there was a joint cover reveal is that both the front and back covers have a story to tell. To finish the tour off nicely, this last stop has a lovely vignette that refers to the item on the back cover of the book, the infamous wine container. This is a real item that was lotteried off. You can read more about it on one of Linda's previous posts. Now, firstly I'll share the book blurb and then I'll hand over to Linda for her vignette. There is also a giveaway associated with this post - see below for details!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Mistress by Sophie Turner - Giveaway Winner

A little while ago I was joined by Sophie Turner, for a guest post about horses and an excerpt of her new book, 'Mistress'. Sophie was very kindly offering to give away an e-book copy to two commenters on the post. The randomly selected winners are:

Book cover: Mistress by Sophie Turner
Sophia Rose

Edited to choose another winner as one of the winners didn't get back in touch :( Congratulations to both winners.

Thank you so much to Sophie for her guest post and giveaway!

If you were not lucky enough to win a copy of the book in the blog tour, you can buy it now. Treat yourself, you deserve it :)

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Darcy Monologues - Spotlight on Caitlin Williams, Review and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Darcy Monologues, Edited by Christina Boyd
The blog tour for 'The Darcy Monologues' drops by today. This book features short stories from fifteen fantastic authors: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams. Phew! I see some excellent authors in there! The collection has been brought together and edited by Christina Boyd. The stories can be Regency or modern but what each story has in common is that they are from Mr Darcy's point of view.

The very first story in the anthology, 'Death of a Batchelor', is by Caitlin Williams, author of 'Ardently' and 'The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet', and we have a focus on her here today with a fangirl post by author of 'Suddenly Mrs Darcy' and 'The Elizabeth Papers', Jenetta James, who is also a contributing author to 'The Darcy Monologues'. To accompany the blog tour there is an international giveaway, with fantastic prizes for two winners.

I'll start by sharing the anthology blurb and then we'll have Jenetta's fangirl post and an interview with Caitlin Williams. If you are not too tired by then, my review of the anthology follows, plus a chance to enter the amazing giveaway!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Planned Reading for April 2017

Hello to you all! It's starting to feel like springtime here. I love the spring. I have some spring cleaning to do though, which I am not so fond of! Reading-wise, I haven't been feeling it lately, I never seem to have time or mental energy for it. I have been listening to quite a bit in the way of audio books though. I plug my phone into the car and it makes for a very enjoyable commute! I have also been listening to the books while doing housework and on lunchtime walks. The only problem I have is that I don't think I'll be able to listen to anything new, as I am doing something while I'm listening. On a reread your attention doesn't have to be 100%. But even so, I have some JAFF to read so I am thinking that I'll have to avoid JAFF audio books so I don't overlap the stories. It makes it tricky to decide what to listen to.
Book cover: Audio cover of The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
Last month I listened to 'Cotillion', by Georgette Heyer, and 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen and I'm currently listening to The Grand Sophy' by Heyer. I've read all of these many times so they have been very enjoyable to listen to. Do you have any audio book suggestions for me? I don't have a subscription, but if I can get them relatively cheap on kindle and upgrade to audio they are not too expensive.

Book Cover: Marvel Version of Emma by Jane Austen - Graphic Novel
I have also had some new acquisitions to add to the bookcase, courtesy of Mother's Day here in the UK. I have a Marvel version of 'Emma'. This is a graphic novel. I previously read a Manga version of 'Emma' so it'll be interesting to see how this compares.

Book cover: The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne
I also have a copy of Paula Byrne's 'The Real Jane Austen; A Life in Small Things'. This is a book about Austen's life, focussing on the small things which may have had significant impact on her writing.

Book cover: Illustrated Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen with Illustrations by Hugh Thomson
One thing I wanted for my bookcase were some illustrated novels. I was lucky enough to get two. Firstly, an illustrated 'Pride & Prejudice'. This is quite a large book, the same kind of size as an annual. The illustrations inside are copies of Hugh Thomson's 1894 pictures, though they have bee coloured for this version.

Book cover: Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen with Illustrations by Hugh Thomson
The second illustrated book is a vintage one, a 1924 'Sense & Sensibility', also with illustrations by the same author.

So, now onto the reading for this month. Well, aside from all the catching up I have to do on planned reading that I hadn't managed, which is an albatross around my neck that is getting bigger and bigger, I am planning on reading some things which have come to me as part of the perks of blogging. Yes, that's right, books which haven't yet been released. I have two books to read that I'm very excited about.

The Darcy Monologues
The first one is called 'The Darcy Monologues', an anthology by some wonderful authors. I have read books by pretty much every contributing author to this anthology, and had many enjoyable reading hours courtesy of them. The stories in the anthology range in era, however, what they all have in common is that they are from Darcy's point of view. I'll share my review with you later this month as part of the blog tour but it's not available to buy until May. There is a fantastic prize package, open internationally which a lucky reader can win so please check back here for that. There is also a prize draw open as part of the cover reveal celebrations which you can enter by joining in the fun at one of the blogs that took part.

Book cover: The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A Flynn
The other book I have to read is a story by Kathleen A Flynn called 'The Jane Austen Project' (not to be confused with 'The Austen Project' books, which saw some famous authors like Alexander McCall Smith and Val McDermid create contemporary versions of Jane Austen's works). This book is also available to buy in May. This story sounds very interesting; two researchers are sent back in time to try to get hold of a suspected undiscovered Austen manuscript. Let's hope they can save her letters from Cassandra's destruction too! And take a photo, so we know that our upcoming £10 notes are accurate :)

I noticed something that I wanted to tell US-based readers about; Meryton Press is having a wonderful giveaway for you. Go and take a look (after you finish reading my post of course!).

So, that turned out to be a lot to tell you about! Kudos to you if you made it to the end. Remember, you can still enter to win an e-book of Sophie Turner's P&P variation, 'Mistress' here. Let me know what you're planning on reading in the comments, and if you have any audio book recommendations that won't make me crash my car then let me know those too! Happy reading, my friends!