Saturday, February 6, 2016

Jane and the WATERLOO MAP Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, Friends! I'm delighted to be part of the Jane and the WATERLOO MAP Blog Tour! On this stop of the tour, I have a lovely excerpt of Stephanie Barron's new book, Jane and the WATERLOO MAP! Plus, a chance to win a lovely prize package! Details below! 

Amateur sleuth Jane Austen returns in Jane and the Waterloo Map, the thirteenth novel in Stephanie Barron’s delightful Regency-era mystery series.

Award-winning author Stephanie Barron tours the blogosphere February 2 through February 22, 2016 to share her latest release, Jane and the Waterloo Map (Being a Jane Austen Mystery). Twenty popular book bloggers specializing in Austenesque fiction, mystery and Regency history will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts and book reviews from this highly-anticipated novel in the acclaimed Being a Jane Austen Mystery series. A fabulous giveaway contest, including copies of Ms. Barron’s book and other Jane Austen-themed items, will be open to those who join the festivities.   


EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 4: In which Jane interviews Mr. Charles Haden, her brother Henry’s neighbor and surgeon, over a glass of port at Hans Place.

     Manon would be laying the table soon for my own dinner, in the solitary state of Henry’s dining room, but I intended to take the meal by the parlour fire. The effort of appearing in Carlton House had tired me; and I wished to intercept Mr. Haden on his departure.
     His light tread descended the stairs just as I was sampling Madame Bigeon’s pudding.  He hesitated in the parlour doorway, and I bade him enter.
     “Will you take a glass of Henry’s port, Mr. Haden?”
     “Thank you, Miss Austen—I should like that very much.”
He seated himself in the chair opposite as Manon carried away my tray.
     “And how did you find my brother this evening?”
     “Mending apace.  The fever is entirely abated, and other  than a fluttering in the pulse and weakness of the limbs—hardly unusual in one confined so many weeks—your brother appears to have suffered no lasting injury from his illness.  Your decision to consult Dr. Baillie proved sound.  I am relieved that his greater skill could save Mr. Austen when I could not.”
     The humility of his words must disarm reproof.  But I confess I felt no sense of injury at Mr. Haden’s unhappy treatment of Henry; he had attempted all he could; we were merely fortunate to have a wealth of natural philosophers in a city so great as London.  Had my brother fallen ill in Chawton village, he should have expired within the fortnight.
     Manon appeared with a glass of port.  As Mr. Haden took his first sip, I observed, “I am sure you possess skills that Dr. Baillie does not.  We each of us complement the strengths of the other.  His experience is in physical decay; yours lies, I believe, in remedies and tinctures.  You spend a good deal of your time at the Brompton Dispensary, do you not?”
     “That is true.”  A wave of eagerness swept over his countenance.  “I have not the practical learning of a Baillie—he has spent years in the hospitals of Edinburgh and Town—but I hope you will credit me, Miss Austen, when I say that I have done something else—I have spent hours unnumbered in a laboratory of my own devising, studying the effects of various medicines.”
     “Upon whom do you experiment?” I asked with a smile.  “The unwitting sheep amongst your flock of patients?”
     He shook his head.  “I have used stray cats, such mice and rats I may trap near my lodgings—both in Sloane Street and at the dispensary—and occasionally, myself.  I should never risk the health of a patient on an untried remedy.  Every healing tincture may prove to be poison, if administered without care.”
     “Now you put me in mind of a cherished family dispute, Mr. Haden,” I said archly.  “My brother and I cannot agree on the nature of yew.  Henry insists that it has no virtue under Heaven, and that he will not have it in his garden.  I tell him he does not know what he is about.  There is nothing so charming as clipped yew, in all its fanciful shapes.  Tell me: Is there any benefit to the shrub?”
     Mr. Haden frowned, and took a sip from his glass. 
     “It is often employed in a rheumatic liniment,” he said, “that may be rubbed on joints and limbs.  The aromatic nature of the plant induces a spurious warmth, and fleeting relief of pain.  But yew is also a deadly poison, Miss Austen.  To ingest the needles or chew the berries is mortally dangerous.”
     “Only an innocent child should do such a thing, surely?”
     “Perhaps,” Haden conceded.  “Tho’ it is also deadly to drink a tea in which yew is steeped.”
     “Yew tea!” I declared.  “That smacks of witchcraft and incantation!  Why should anyone drink such a thing, pray?”
     Haden looked at me strangely.  “There are homely healers in villages all over England who concoct the brew.”
     “To despatch their neighbours?” I returned satirically.
     “Their neighbours’ dogs,” he said, “or unborn babes.”
I had admired Mr. Haden for his openness; but this was frank indeed.  I wondered suddenly how many young women in my own village might have resorted to such a remedy--and shuddered.  “How does the poison act?” 
     “Upon the nerves,” he replied.  “First the tongue tingles; then a gradual numbing of the limbs occurs.  There is often an intense nausea as the body attempts to dispel the noxious stuff.  At last the lungs and heart cease to move.  Like Medea, yew turns the body to stone.”
     “In a matter of seconds?”
     He shook his head.  “Over the course of a few hours, perhaps.”
     “But...” I swallowed with difficulty.  “In the cases you mention—of an unwanted child—how does...”
“The mother escape?  She rarely does.”  Haden set down his port as tho’ it no longer agreed with him.  “It depends upon the strength of the yew tea.  If she is fortunate, she is merely ill to the point of death for several days, and loses her child in the process.  If she dies--” He lifted his shoulders.  “She takes the secret of her remedy with her.  Yew is rarely exposed for the poisonous quackery it is.”
     We were both silent in reflection; then Mr. Haden collected himself and essayed a smile.  “How serious we are become, Miss Austen!  I have never known port to induce a similar effect!  But you and Mr. Austen have no cause for alarm--one may clip a yew tree into something charming without the slightest injury.  I shall persuade your brother to plant it, solely for your enjoyment.”
     “I am satisfied,” I said, with an attempt at lightness.  “But for my part, I shall never enter the garden again without gloves, Mr. Haden.” 


Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful Regency-era mystery

November, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo has come and gone, leaving the British economy in shreds; Henry Austen, high-flying banker, is about to declare bankruptcy—dragging several of his brothers down with him. The crisis destroys Henry’s health, and Jane flies to his London bedside, believing him to be dying. While she’s there, the chaplain to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent invites Jane to tour Carlton House, the Prince’s fabulous London home. The chaplain is a fan of Jane’s books, and during the tour he suggests she dedicate her next novel—Emma—to HRH, whom she despises.

However, before she can speak to HRH, Jane stumbles upon a body—sprawled on the carpet in the Regent’s library. The dying man, Colonel MacFarland, was a cavalry hero and a friend of Wellington’s. He utters a single failing phrase: “Waterloo map” . . . and Jane is on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.


Stephanie Barron was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written fifteen books. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Learn more about Stephanie and her books at her website, visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Grand Giveaway Contest

Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the release of Jane and the Waterloo Map, Stephanie is offering a chance to win one of three prize packages filled with an amazing selection of Jane Austen-inspired gifts and books!  

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour starting February 02, 2016 through 11:59 pm PT, February 29, 2016. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Stephanie’s website on March 3, 2016. Winners have until March 10, 2016 to claim their prize. Shipment is to US addresses. Good luck to all!


February 02 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
February 03 Laura's Reviews (Excerpt)
February 04 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
February 05 The Calico Critic (Review)
February 06 So Little Time… (Excerpt)
February 07 Reflections of a Book Addict (Spotlight)
February 08 Mimi Matthews Blog (Guest Blog)
February 09 Jane Austen’s World (Interview) 
February 10 Just Jane 1813 (Review)
February 11 Confessions of a Book Addict (Excerpt)
February 12 History of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Guest Blog)
February 13 My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)
February 14 Living Read Girl (Review)
February 14 Austenprose (Review)
February 15 Mystery Fanfare (Guest Blog)
February 16 Laura's Reviews (Review)
February 17 Jane Austen in Vermont (Excerpt)
February 18 From Pemberley to Milton (Interview)
February 19 More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
February 20 Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
February 22 Diary of an Eccentric (Review) 

Interesting excerpt! Yew tea, remind me to stay way from that! ;) I wonder what Jane was really after? I'm sure she has heard of the effects of Yew tea. I guess I'll have to read the book to find out! 

Remember to enter the giveaway, you have to comment here or at any of the other blogs on the tour! The more blogs you comment at, the more chances to win! Good luck!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What are you Reading? & #FitReaders ~ February 3, 2016

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What are you Reading? is my weekly Wednesday meme! You are welcome to join me, just answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you plan on reading next?

What am I currently reading? As you see, I am on a Harry Potter binge right now, and loving it!  At the moment, I'm reading  Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire by J.K. Rowling. 

What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. 

These are great books, and as this is my first time reading them, I just want to keep going! But I may take a break after HP and the Goblet of Fire. That said...

What do I plan on reading next? I would like to read  Truthwitch: A Witchlands Novel by Susan Dennard. My goal is to read each book I get from Uppercase before the next shows up. :) But we'll see if I can break away from Harry! 

FTC Disclaimer: Links to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!

#FitReaders 2016 is hosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog and That's What I'm Talking About.

I was able to run 4 days this week, totaling 12.31 miles. :) 

How was your week? Let me know what you've been reading! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Undeceived Blog Tour ~ Excerpt and Giveaway!

It's my great pleasure to be part of the Undeceived Blog Tour! Today, Karen Cox is here with an excerpt from her newest book, Undeceived!  

Hello, everyone! Thanks, Candy, for your invitation to post an excerpt on “So Little Time...”! 

Undeceived takes place during the latter part of the Cold War. Roles for women in the U.S. continued to change during the 1970s and 1980s, but some embraced those changes more readily than others, as seen in this scene between Elizabeth Bennet and her mother, from Chapter 1:


Charleston, West Virginia
October 1980

     It is a truth, universally acknowledged that, when a young woman decides to follow her late father’s career path, especially when her father died in pursuit of said career, her mother will be vehemently opposed to that plan of action. 
     “Lizzy, I don’t understand your thinking. You were at the top of your high school class. You left for college to be an UN interpreter. I thought you’d move to New York City, meet some dashing diplomat with a ton of money. You’d get married, quit your job, and give me a passel of smart, dashing grandchildren. Not be some kind of…career girl!”
     “Mama.” Elizabeth Bennet rolled her eyes and gritted her teeth with the effort of being patient. “This is 1980. Women aren’t just entering the work force; they’re changing it. There was a Women’s Liberation Movement a few years back. Maybe you read about it? There was a song, ‘I Am Woman.’ It was on the radio, remember?”
     “Pfft. That agency is a man’s world.”
     “There is nothing mannish about the CIA. Lots of women work there.”
     “If you have to be a career woman then, why can’t you work somewhere else? Anywhere else! That agency sent your father away, and I never saw him again. I was left all alone—with a baby girl to raise by myself.”

Monday, February 1, 2016

Month in Review ~ January 2016

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Hello, Friends! Wow, 2016! Can you believe it...time goes by way to fast. It's already time for January's wrap-up!

Month in Review is a monthly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date

Books Read: 

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom 
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
The Twisted Road to You (Perfect, Indiana) by Barbara Longley
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

FTC Disclaimer: Links to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!


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