Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Colonel Brandon ...in His Own Words by Shannon Winslow ~ Blog Tour ~ Excerpt

Hello, my friends! I’m delighted to have Shannon Winslow on the blog with her new book, Colonel Brandon ...in His Own Words.  




Colonel Brandon
       ...in his own words
By Shannon Winslow



Colonel Brandon is the consummate gentleman: honorable, kind almost to a fault, ever loyal and chivalrous. He’s also silent and grave, though. So, what events in his troubled past left him downcast, and how does he finally find the path to a brighter future? In Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen gives us glimpses, but not the complete picture. 

Now Colonel Brandon tells us his full story in His Own Words. He relates the truth about his early family life and his dear Eliza – his devotion to her and the devastating way she was lost to him forever. He shares with us a poignant tale from his military days in India – about a woman named Rashmi and how she likewise left a permanent mark on his soul. And of course Marianne. What did Brandon think and feel when he first saw her? How did his hopes for her subsequently rise, plummet, and then eventually climb upwards again. After Willoughby’s desertion, what finally caused Marianne to see Colonel Brandon in a different light? 

This is not a variation but a supplement to the original story, chronicled in Brandon’s point of view. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the things Jane Austen didn’t tell us about a true hero – the very best of men.
 


Colonel Brandon is such an intriguing character. We learn from what he says and does in Sense and Sensibility that he is kind and honorable. But he is also silent and grave. So much of what shapes his character and current outlook happens prior to the scope of the original book, things only mentioned briefly – primarily his relationship with Eliza and his years in India. To really get to know the man – to tell his full story – I obviously needed to delve deeper into these and other areas, which was a total pleasure. That’s what I love doing best: spending more time with characters I adore and filling in the blanks in their stories!

Today, I have a brand new excerpt for you, based on a pivotal moment in Colonel Brandon’s life. And of course, he tells it in his own words:

~~*~~

What can I say about Eliza that would do her justice? She was the sun, moon, and stars to me…

I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like without her. My mother was dear to me as well, of course, but her time was much in demand elsewhere. A series of nursery maids and private tutors hovered nearby, to none of whom I ever developed a tender attachment. Too many years separated my siblings from myself for any true camaraderie between us. But Eliza and I were of an age, of compatible temperaments, and in a common state of need. She had nobody else and neither did I. In many ways, we lived in a world of our own, especially in the early years, taking all of our meals and lessons together sitting opposite each other in the school room, where a kick under the table or a conspiratorial look between us served as secret communication…

Eliza had come to us in her infancy, the orphaned offspring of a distant Brandon cousin, now become my father’s ward. So we were raised together like brother and sister. And yet I always knew she was not my sister in reality. I believe I would have known it even without being informed of the fact. From my earliest recollections, my young heart told me that Eliza was something more, something special, something unique – not a sister but a friend of the bosom, my sweet partner and confidante, the perfectly designed counterpart to my own soul.

In short, I cannot remember a time when I did not love her. Who could have helped it in my place – so tender and affectionate as she was, so giving and vulnerable?
I was drawn to Eliza, not because she was exactly like myself, but because she was different, irresistibly so. Whereas I was naturally shy and reserved, she was open, artless, eager, and warm. While I lived confined by what my mind told me was true and logical, Eliza knew no such bounds. She was light and air – a free spirit – and she frequently took me along on her flights of fancy. In exchange, I balanced and steadied her, I believe, keeping her feet planted on solid ground… but only when absolutely necessary.

As long as we stayed clear of my father – something we became very skilled at doing – Delaford was our own private playground, indoors but especially out. The great but forbidden garden wall would have been an irresistible temptation to nearly any child of a certain age. My brother walked it first, of course, and then he dared me to do likewise. I was too young at the time and shortly tumbled off – fortunately, into the brambles on one side and not the rocky drop-off on the other. I came away bruised and scratched to pieces but otherwise unharmed. A few years later, though, both Eliza and I had mastered the feat.

There were lovely fruit trees to climb and to stuff ourselves from in season; stew-ponds and a lazy canal to float ourselves and our toy boats upon; and a place in the old yew arbor – we called it our fort – where we could spy on horsemen and carriages passing on the nearby turnpike road, imagining them enemy troops. Between the two of us, Eliza and I never lacked for ideas of games to occupy our leisure hours.

I cannot say what age we were when we first agreed we would marry. It seemed like a foregone conclusion from the start, something kept secreted between ourselves but never questioned. As we matured in years, our feelings did as well. My love for Eliza – now that of a young man for a young woman – knew no bounds, and she gave every proof of her equally fervent attachment to me. It would be only a matter of time; we would marry as soon as we were old enough to do so.

Then one sunny day when she was sixteen and I had recently had my seventeenth birthday, I found her weeping in the garden.

“What is it, Eliza?” I asked, sitting down beside her on the sparse grass beneath the mulberry tree.

At first she could say nothing; she only shook her head and cried all the more.

“Indeed, you must tell me, friend, or you will make me sick with worry. Say what the matter is so I may help you.”

Although professing to be worried, at first I was not. I had known Eliza, who was prone to bouts of excess sensibility, to occasionally suffer a fit of weeping over nothing more than seeing some small rodent taken to its demise by a hawk, or having an anticipated pleasure outing ruined by foul weather.

“Come now,” I continued in a teasing manor. “Tell me the truth; you are making all this fuss about nothing at all, only to get me to put my arm about your shoulders. Is not that so? There, I have done as you wished, so smile at your success, why don’t you?”

Instead, she turned to cry into my shoulder, blubbering, “Oh, Christopher, it is the worst thing imaginable!”

“No, I cannot believe it is so,” I said, petting her hair, but less confident now. “Dry your eyes, and start at the beginning. Together we will see what can be done about it, whatever it is.”

A few minutes more and she was recovered enough to speak. “My uncle…” she began in faltering words. “Your father, that is… He has said that I must – Oh! How shall I tell you?”

I was genuinely troubled now. If my father was concerned in the business, it could not be good. “Steady, now. You know you can tell me anything, my dear Eliza.” 

“He has told me that I must marry Max as soon as I am seventeen!” And she dissolved into wretched tears again.

I felt as if I had been kicked in the chest by a mule. I could not speak; I could barely breathe.

“I explained to him,” Eliza continued a minute later, “that I could not, that I was promised to marry you instead. But it made no difference to him, though I reasoned and cried and pleaded for mercy. He is determined that I will marry your brother and not you! He says it is my duty and what my father intended all along. Now you see why I am so distressed.”

I did indeed.

~~*~~


You know what happens. After a failed elopement, Eliza marries Max and Colonel Brandon is shipped off to India in the army. But now those events (and so many more, including the duel between Brandon and Willoughby) are brought to life in Colonel Brandon in His Own Words.

Buy: Amazon (paid link) in Kindle and paperback. Audio will be available soon.
Add to Goodreads.

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


Congratulations to Shannon Winslow on the release of Colonel Brandon ... in His Own Words


So, friends, what do you think? Are you excited about getting into Colonel Brandon’s brain and more of his backstory? Along with finding out more about Eliza? (Speaking of, poor Eliza! I’m devastated for her) Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

 Hello, my friends! Today I'm delighted to be part of the Kiss Me Good Night Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis Blog Tour! I hope you enjoy the excerpt, and make sure to enter the giveaway! Details are on the bottom of the page!









Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy
by Georgina Young-Ellis


The wind ruffled Darcy’s hair. “You’re beautiful.” 

Happiness surged through Elizabeth's body like electricity. This moment was as close to perfection as she had ever known. 

1943. World War II has torn the continent since 1939 and tested families, the Bennets included. Elizabeth and Jane nurse wounded soldiers and civilians in a London hospital. The other sisters volunteer as best suits their inclinations. Mr. Bennet rattles about Longbourn. Wickham sniffs about the edges of the estate—and the Bennet daughters. 

Even the ever-present threat of death from the skies cannot prepare Jane and Lizzy for the most devastating news. The words one never wishes to hear are delivered by two officers, each scarred by years on the front lines. In the dark days that follow, devotion is tested, and affection blooms. 

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy drops Jane Austen’s timeless characters into the midst of the most horrific conflict in human history. Their trail twists and encounters those who would turn sacrifice to their profit. Follow the women of Longbourn as they navigate the rocks and shoals of wartime Great Britain to endure misunderstandings and discover lasting love.
 

     Hi Candy, thanks so much for hosting me on your blog! Today, I want to talk about one reason I chose to set my novel, Kiss Me Good Night Major Darcy in World War II England, and that is the clothes. It’s not the main reason, but it’s definitely one of them. Let me just say it: I love the styles of the 1940s. 

     Never the less, I had to scale back my imagination a little because new clothes were almost impossible to find due to all resources being dedicated to the war effort. Therefore, in this book, the Bennet sisters are nearly always dressed in clothes they’ve had since before the war started, things they repurposed out of old garments, items they borrowed, or treasures they happened upon in a second-hand shop. It was a make and mend world, and everyone had to make do. 

     I felt I could take a little more license with Major Darcy. While I love the thought of him in proper Regency attire just as much as the next person, there’s something about imagining him in the dapper men’s fashions of the war era that really appealed to me. 

     Most of the time he’s dressed in his officer’s uniform, but on the few occasions that he’s in civilian clothes, they are definitely not “make and mend.” I reasoned that, wealthy as he is, his clothes are either of such good quality that they seem new, or perhaps his tailor has some fine fabrics stashed away, available only for the use of his best customers. I don’t really go into detail about it because it’s not key to the plot but, suffice it to say, Major Darcy always looks fine. 

     In the following excerpt, Lizzy is borrowing clothes from a friend of Charlotte’s so she can go to a formal dinner at Rosings. At last, I found an opportunity to dress her in real style. I hope you have fun imagining Darcy and Elizabeth looking like movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood! 

Excerpt

     Lizzy and Charlotte laughed and walked on toward the drive, at the end of which was a fine home of a newer style. As they approached the door, it opened, and a lady of about forty years of age, very attractive with her light-blonde hair swept into an up-do. Her bright-green eyes shined as she welcomed them. 

     “Hullo! I’m Clare.”

     Lizzy stepped forward and shook her hand. Charlotte had neglected to mention that Clare was American, but Lizzy could tell from her accent. She liked her open manner and engaging smile.

     Clare led them inside. The entire place was abuzz with activity: nurses hurrying here and there, men in wheelchairs bent over game boards, playing cards, or reading books. Lizzy looked at it all with interest. With more time, she might have jumped in to help, but, as it was, there was not even much time for chit-chat. Clare took them upstairs to her bedchamber and opened a large wardrobe. Scrutinizing Lizzy, who was indeed around her size, she began to pull out dresses and gowns. They were not of the latest fashions, but they were beautiful. Lizzy was drawn toward a long black velvet gown, with sleeves draped into folds that extended almost to the elbow. It had a deep v-neckline. The waist was accentuated with ruching and cinched by a belt with a covered buckle.

     Charlotte nodded her approval. When Lizzy tried it on, the fit was perfect. Yes, it was low-cut, not immodest, but it accentuated her best features. She went into the hallway to model it for the others.

     “Oh, it’s perfect!” cried Clare. “I’m so glad you can use it. You need a couple of accessories, though.” They went back into the room, and from a dresser drawer, Clare extracted a pair of elbow-length white gloves. These she passed to Lizzy before asking, “Do you have shoes?”

     “None that will go with a gown like this.”

     “If they fit”—Clare went back to the wardrobe and drew forth a pair of high-heeled black pumps—“these would do perfectly.”

     As if in a tale by the Brothers Grimm, Clare’s shoes slid on as if they had been made for Elizabeth.

     Then Charlotte said to Lizzy, “I have a short pearl necklace and pearl drop earrings that will go perfectly with it too. My father brought them for me from Jamaica the last time he went. You’ll look like a movie star!”

     Clare tapped her chin with a well-manicured finger. “Too bad I don’t have any stockings to spare for you.” Lizzy and Charlotte glanced at each other and guffawed. Clare had the grace not to scold them after they had explained.

***

     Indeed, Lizzy did feel like a movie star when they entered the Rosings’ drawing room that evening. The expression on Major Darcy’s face when he saw her reflected that he thought so too. He was wearing a tuxedo and could have put Cary Grant to shame, a dark curl dangerously dangling onto his forehead. Charlotte also looked beautiful in dark red satin, although Mr. Collins in a dinner jacket reminded Elizabeth of a sack of potatoes—lumps and all.

     Anne, wearing a long, gown of dark blue velvet, floated across the room, and greeted them cordially. She looked like a whole new person from the one Lizzy had met the other night. She had color in her face and a sparkle in her eye that was not there before.

     “Come. Sit,” Lady Catherine commanded from her chair. She was wearing a dressier version of the other evening’s black and white ensemble. “We’ll enjoy an aperitif before we go in to dine.”

     A servant was at the ready to serve them glasses of dark liquid.

     “Miss Bennet, you look very well,” she said to Lizzy. “Mrs. Collins, I don’t like that color on you. It does not fit with your complexion.”

     Charlotte opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out. Lizzy was mortified. She looked at Mr. Collins, who smiled mindlessly at his hostess. Not a word crossed his lips in his wife’s defense.

     Darcy rose to the occasion. “On the contrary, Mrs. Collins, you look absolutely stunning. I think that color suits you perfectly.”

     “I agree!” stated Anne firmly.

     Lady Catherine looked at her daughter, astonished. “Well, I only meant—”

     “All the ladies look splendid.” Darcy smiled at Elizabeth.

     “Thank you, Nephew,” said Lady Catherine, taking the compliment for herself.

     The group settled down into the usual small talk. Shortly afterward, dinner was announced.

     “Nephew,” Rosings’s mistress said to Darcy, “will you accompany me and Anne?”

     Darcy held out arms to Lady Catherine and Anne. He walked them into the gigantic dining room where a long table sparkled with the finest crystal, flatware, and china. He was followed by the Collinses, then Elizabeth, bringing up the rear. The party was small for the table, so they were grouped around one end. The footman served the soup, and they fell to eating while talking amongst themselves. It was hard to make anything like meaningful conversation though, with Lady Catherine constantly interrupting to find out what had been said and to offer her opinion on it.

     They were halfway into the main course when the butler appeared abruptly in the doorway.

     “What is it, Smith?” Lady Catherine said to him, her brow creased.

     “There is news from London,” he stated.

     Elizabeth and Darcy both straightened.

     “Well, can’t it wait?” the lady demanded.

     “I’m afraid not. The message comes directly from Army headquarters.”

     Darcy stood. “What is it?”

     “All I have is what the caller said. London has been bombed again,” Smith said shakily. “They don’t know the casualties yet. You have been recalled, Major Darcy.”

     Lizzy leapt from her chair. “I must get to town!”

     Darcy’s face froze, and his voice assumed a commanding tone. “Smith, tell my valet to ready my bags. Elizabeth, go to the parsonage and pack your things. I will pick you up in half an hour. We’ll travel together.”

     “But dinner,” Mr. Collins whined.

     “William, please,” Charlotte said. “Come, Lizzy, let’s go.”

     “I’ll stay here with Lady Catherine and Anne,” said Mr. Collins. “The ladies will want a calming influence.”

     “There’s something else,” Smith interjected. “A ‘Mr. Freddy’ just phoned from the parsonage. He says a telegram was delivered there for Mr. Collins.”

     “For me?” said Mr. Collins.

     “Yes.”

     “Did Freddy say what it said?”

     “Yes. You have been called up to serve as chaplain to troops in Burma.”

     Mr. Collins collapsed back into his seat, his mouth opening and closing like a gaffed fish flopping around an angler’s feet.

     “Congratulations, Mr. Collins,” said Darcy. “But we must go.”

     “Oh, Charlie,” Lizzy said to her with concern.

     “We’ll talk it over at home, William,” said Charlotte. “I’ll see you there soon.”

     “Is there anything I can do?” Anne asked Charlotte.

     “I’m sure there will be,” Charlotte said to her. “I’ll let you know.”

     And with that, Lizzy, Charlotte, and Darcy were gone.




Buy Links


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



About the Author

Georgina lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Jon, who
is an artist and professor of Media Arts. In 2015, they moved from New York City, where they lived for eighteen years, to Portland Oregon. Their son, a professional musician and sound engineer, still lives in Brooklyn. Georgina is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and was a stage actress for many years. Born and raised in the Southwest, she went to school in New York, graduating from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. She’s also a language professor and, of course, a writer, recently graduating from Portland State University with a master’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature. In 2022 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to identify and connect with emerging female writers in Mexico and support them to free their literary voices. 

Connect with Georgina





Blog Tour Schedule


June 29 So little time… - You're here!



* * * Giveaway * * *

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is giving away six eBooks of Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis. Enter through the Rafflecopter below. 

Good luck!


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Congratulations to Georgina Young-Ellis on the release of her new book, Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy!

Many thanks to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing and including me in this blog tour!


Wow! I really enjoyed that excerpt! I love to read about that time period. This looks like a book I would really like to read! What about you? 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The One Who Loves Me by Joan Embola ~ Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm super happy to be part of The One Who Loves Me Blog Tour! I hope you enjoy the excerpt and be sure to enter the giveaway! 



On Tour with Prism Book Tours






The One Who Loves Me 
(Sovereign Love #2) 
By Joan Embola 

Christian Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 340 Pages 
May 21, 2022 by Love Qualified Press 

IS GOD SOVEREIGN OVER LOVE STORIES? 

Amara Ikezie is a new grad nurse who is thrilled to start her dream job in Atlanta’s biggest children’s hospital. But when her best friend gets engaged, Amara is faced with the looming pressure from her mom to find her own man. Determined to escape the pressure to marry, Amara takes on a task to find the ‘perfect’ man who ticks all the boxes on her list. 

Raymond Aderinto is a pediatric cardiologist with a wall of accolades and a string of failed relationships. After his fourth girlfriend dumps him, Raymond vows to get confirmation from God first before entering into his next relationship—even though he’d love to find his bride before turning thirty. 

When Raymond spills coffee on Amara’s scrubs, he becomes certain she’s the woman God wants to be his wife. But unfortunately for him, Raymond doesn’t tick Amara’s boxes, and worst of all, Amara is sure her Igbo mom would never approve of a marriage to a man from the Yoruba tribe. 

Despite Amara’s efforts to stay away from Raymond and convince herself he is not the one for her, her growing attraction for his character, values, and vision gives her more reasons to wonder if she was wrong about her prejudices toward him. When another doctor walks into Amara’s life who ticks all her boxes and shows interest in her, she is caught between running into his ‘perfect’ arms, or going with Raymond who is turning out to be more perfect than she thought. 

The One Who Loves Me, book two in the Sovereign Love series, is a beautiful standalone novel about surrender and learning to take comfort in the sovereign goodness of a loving God who writes the best love stories.
 
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FTC Disclaimer: Link 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!



Excerpt

       I never liked the idea of changing high schools, making new friends, and adjusting to a new state, city, and neighborhood. The first few months in Boston were horrible; I was bullied, teased, and mocked by the meanest girl back then, called Olivia Hastings. 

        But when I look back at it today, I don’t regret that my parents moved to Boston, and I don’t regret going to Coverton High. My life would be a lot easier now if I wasn’t bullied, but it was through those struggles that God helped me form the unbreakable bond I have with Teeyana. Those struggles helped me find a sister, and they drew me closer to God. The last few years have been tough; but I ain’t gonna lie, nothing prepared me for this current season of my life. 

Excerpted from The One Who Loves Me by Joan Embola, Copyright © 2022 by Joan Embola. Published by Love Qualified Press.


Other Books in the Series






The One Who Knows Me 
(Sovereign Love #1) 
By Joan Embola 

Christian Contemporary Romance 
Paperback & ebook, 318 Pages 
July 21, 2021 by Love Qualified Press 

IS GOD SOVEREIGN OVER TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY? 

 Bullies and family disasters have left eighteen-year-old Teeyana Sparks filled with anxiety and doubt. She feels pressured to believe in God, but as she embarks on her college journey in the hope of one day working at Google as a graphic designer, the only thing she believes in is controlling her own life. Things change when she meets Jayden Williams—the guy with a charming smile and kind heart. 

Struggling with grief and recovering from a season of depression, nineteen-year-old Jayden is determined to help Teeyana believe in God’s goodness again. But when yet another tragedy strikes close to home, Teeyana’s response exposes Jayden’s unhealed wounds and tips him into a mental health relapse. 

With the looming possibility of not getting her dream life, Teeyana is caught between holding on to her illusion of control and surrendering to a God she’s rejected. And as Jayden strives to break out of his despondency, he has to face that letting God in may involve him letting go of his friendship with Teeyana. Teeyana and Jayden must wrestle with uncomfortable truths, and the pride in their hearts, in order to face their biggest giant—God’s sovereignty over both triumph and tragedy. 

The One Who Knows Me, book one in the Sovereign Love series, is a heart-warming standalone novel about hope and learning to take comfort in the sovereign goodness of a loving God who knows all things.
 
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About the Author


Joan Embola is a UK-based Cameroonian-Nigerian Christian
author who is passionate about spreading God's love one word at a time. She is a Bible teacher, a blogger, a YouTuber, a podcaster, a dancer, and a poetess. Her book Outpourings Of A Beloved Heart; a 30 day poetry devotional about God's love, is available for purchase and her debut contemporary Christian Fiction novel--The One Who knows Me released on September 10th 2021.

Connect with Joan Embola

Website • Goodreads • BookBub • Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest  •  Instagram • YouTube



Tour Schedule




Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a $25 Amazon e-gift card (open internationally)

Ends June 1, 2022


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Thanks to Prism Book Tours for including me in this tour!

Congratulations to Joan Embola for the release of The One Who Loves Me!



Ooh, I like the thought about waiting on God's timing, but I know thats is not easy to do. Especially when you have a list of what your "perfect" man should be! Let me know your thoughts! And good luck in the giveaway!

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Bloomsbury Girls Blog Tour ~ My Review

Hello, my friends! I'm very happy to be part of the Bloomsbury Girls Blog Tour, and I was delighted to read the book!







Bloomsbury Girls 
A Novel
by Natalie Jenner

Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 368
Received: A received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.
Rating: 4 stars

Book Description

Natalie Jenner, the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world in Bloomsbury Girls.

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager's unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances--most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she's been working to support the family following her husband's breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she's working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time--Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others--these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.
 
My Review

Bloomsburg Girls is a novel set in London during the 1950s, just after WWII. During the war, many women went to work, filling jobs that men typically would hold. After the war, women were expected to return home to their domestic duties. But times were changing, and women wanted their independence. They did not want to be pushed out and under-valued.

Evelyn Stone (Evie), whom some of us first met in Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society, continues in this story. But don’t worry, Bloomsbury Girls is a stand-alone! You won’t have any trouble jumping into this one!

Evie, Vivien Lowry, and Grace Perkins all work at Bloomsbury Books. Each woman has their own reason for working there, and they soon learn they need each other to get ahead in this world. 

There are quite a variety of characters in the story. I enjoy getting to know each of them and seeing a couple of cameos from characters from The Jane Austen Society. Although, for me, a slow reader, it seemed to take forever to get to the heart of the story. There were so many characters to introduce! 

I loved the store illustration in the front of the book, mapping each department!

Bloomsburg Girls is a charming story! And a powerful story about women uniting for a common goal! #WomenStrong

FTC Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.

Purchase Links

Buy: Amazon (paid link) • Barnes & NobleBook DepositoryBookshopBookbub
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Link 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! 



Audiobook

Narrated by esteemed stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, enjoy the full unabridged edition of Bloomsbury Girls. “Stevenson delivers the satisfying triumph at the end with perfect polish.” —AudioFile Magazine


Audiobook Excerpt



Audiobook Links



A Message From Author Natalie Jenner

Dear readers, I am immensely grateful for the outpouring of affection that so many of you have expressed for my debut novel The Jane Austen Society and its eight main characters. When I wrote its epilogue (in one go and without ever changing a word), I wanted to give each of Adam, Mimi, Dr. Gray, Adeline, Yardley, Frances, Evie and Andrew the happy Austenesque ending they each deserved. But I could not let go of servant girl Evie Stone, the youngest and only character inspired by real life (my mother, who had to leave school at age fourteen, and my daughter, who does eighteenth-century research for a university professor and his team). Bloomsbury Girls continues Evie’s adventures into a 1950s London bookshop where there is a battle of the sexes raging between the male managers and the female staff, who decide to pull together their smarts, connections, and limited resources to take over the shop and make it their own. There are dozens of new characters in Bloomsbury Girls from several different countries, and audiobook narration was going to require a female voice of the highest training and caliber. When I learned that British stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson, CBE, had agreed to narrate, I knew that my story could not be in better hands, and I so hope you enjoy reading or listening to it. Warmest regards, Natalie



About the Author

Natalie Jenner is the author of the instant international
bestseller The Jane Austen Society and Bloomsbury Girls. A Goodreads Choice Award runner-up for historical fiction and finalist for best debut novel, The Jane Austen Society was a USA Today and #1 national bestseller and has been sold for translation in twenty countries. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie has been a corporate lawyer, career coach, and most recently, an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. Visit her website to learn more.




Advance Praise

"Jenner follows The Jane Austen Society (2020) with another top-notch reading experience, using the same deft hand at creating complex, emotionally engaging characters [against] a backdrop chock-full of factual historical information... Fans of Christina Baker Kline, Kate Quinn and Pam Jenoff [will] appreciate this gem." —Booklist (starred review)

"An illuminating yarn... Fans of emotional historical fiction will be charmed." —Publishers Weekly

"Bloomsbury Girls is an immersive tale of three women determined to forge their own paths in 1950s London. Jenner has proven to be a master at spinning charming, earnest characters and paints a vivid picture of postwar England. I wanted to stay lost in her world forever!" —Stephanie Wrobel, internationally bestselling author of Darling Rose Gold

"Bloomsbury Girls is a book lover's dream, one of those rare reads that elicits a sense of book-ish wistfulness and nostalgia. Jenner has created a colorful cast of characters in a story about friendship, perseverance, and the ways that determined women can band together in a man's world. You're in for a treat." —Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

"In a London still reeling from the ravages of World War II and the changes war has brought to English society, three young women take their futures into their own hands. With Bloomsbury Girls, Natalie Jenner has penned a timely and beautiful ode to ambition, friendship, bookshops, and the written word." —Janet Skeslien Charles, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library

“In post-war London, Bloomsbury Books survived The Blitz until Vivien Lowry, Grace Perkins, and Evie Stone set off their own bomb on the stuffy all-male management. What ensues is the most delightful, witty, and endearing story you will read this year. Natalie Jenner, bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, proves that she was not a one hit wonder. Like Austen, her second book is even better than the first.” —Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It 

 

Book Trailer


Congratulations to Natalie Jenner on the release of Bloomsbury Girls

Many thanks to Laurel Ann Nattress from Austenprose PR for organizing and including me in this tour!

And to St. Martin's Press for sending me a beautiful copy of the book!



Well, friends, what do you think? Is Bloomsbury Girls a book you'd like to read? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Maria Bertram's Daughter Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! I'm happy to welcome Lucy Knight here to So Little Time...! She is here with an excerpt from her new book, Maria Bertram's Daughter. What a fantastic idea for a story! To follow that thread of what might have happened to Maria after running off with Henry Crawford. Interesting!








Maria Bertram's Daughter
A Mansfield Park Sequel
by Lucy Knight


Blurb 

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much, Candy, for hosting me on my blog tour. This excerpt is short but extremely crucial. I love that it shows that my heroine, Dorothea, who is often so self-contained that she appears passive, is actually prepared to assert herself when she feels it is necessary. This action has many unforeseen consequences and I hope your readers will be left wanting to know what happens next! 

Excerpt


     “However, as it turned out, John was not to leave. Mr Allbright put him to work teaching the boys more of the practical skills so beloved of Mrs Edgeworth, so Dorothea saw him only at mealtimes when they ate with the family, and they had few opportunities for conversation. John continued to cast searching and ardent glances towards Dorothea, who was grateful for the fact that she was sitting next to Mrs Allbright and not closer to the pining swain. He hung about looking moody and disconsolate, and the atmosphere became strained between them. Eventually, she decided that she could not endure it any longer without speaking to him.

     One day while the little girls were engaged with their music teacher, an old lady who came up from the village once a week to coax the girls to make a pleasant sound on the pianoforte—at which attempt she was so far unsuccessful—Dorothea slipped away to the workshop that had been set up in an unused part of the stable block. She knew John would be alone because she heard the boys begging their father for a morning’s fishing at breakfast and saw them setting off across the lawn with their fishing rods shortly thereafter.

     John was alone, tidying up and putting new edges on the tools blunted by the careless schoolboys. He flushed as Dorothea entered.

     “Oh,” was all he said. He looked uncomfortable.

     “Mr Greenwood—” Dorothea began.

     “John,” he said quickly.

     “I feel we need to clear the air between us.”

     “I do not know what you mean,” said John hastily.

     “Oh yes, you do know what I mean. All this staring and looking like a dying codfish.”

     “You know, then?” He had turned pale.

     “I do not know what I know,” said Dorothea, who was determined not to admit what she thought she knew. Heaven knew she was not vain (though she knew she looked well now that the good food and fresh air at the Allbrights’ had filled out her figure and rosied her cheeks), but to suggest that she suspected a man of romantic leanings would sound like vanity indeed.”



This exchange between my young heroine and the handsome engineer who has been employed to build a Panorganon is about to precipitate a crisis. What is a Panorganon, you ask? Obviously, you need to read the book to find out, but I will just let you know that it was recommended by Maria Edgeworth as a useful aid to teaching the principles of mechanics to children. 

In addition to the crisis, this crucial conversation will lead to rediscovery of things that were thought lost, and, eventually, to some extraordinary revelations. 

I hope that has whetted your appetite? 


Buy: Amazon US (paid link) • Amazon UKAmazon FR


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



About the Author


Lucy Knight grew up in Whitby, North Yorkshire, now a tourist
town but until recently a small and historic port which was known for shipbuilding, fishing (including whaling) and having an important Abbey. During her life she has moved around a great deal both in England and on the continent of Europe; she now lives in a tiny hamlet lost in the French countryside with two rescue dogs, two rescue chickens, an unknown number of bees and eight sheep. 

Lucy has two children and three grandchildren, all of whom live in England.

Lucy has only recently begun to write historical fiction but she enjoys it so much she can’t stop! Her background is in comedy and drama, so there will always be some jokes and plenty of dialogue. 

When she is not writing, Lucy teaches English and French, and she love to take long walks with her dogs during which she revels in the birds, butterflies, trees and flowers which are so abundant in her part of France. 

Connect with Lucy Knight



Maria Bertram’s Daughter Blog Tour Schedule

April 12 So little time… (you're here!)




Tour Giveaway

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is giving away 6 eBooks of Maria Bertram's Daughter by Lucy Knight.

Enter through the Rafflecopter below. 



 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congratulations to Lucy Knight on the release of Maria Bertram's Daughter!

Many thanks to Janet Taylor @ More Agreeable Engaged for organizing and including me in this blog tour!


So friends, does this book sound wonderful to you? Please leave us a comment!
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