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! 

Many thanks to Laurel Ann @ Austenprose for organizing this blog tour! 

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!


  1. Oooh, shudder at the use of the tea made from Yew. Can't wait to read the rest. This series always hooks me in with each new book.

    1. Hi, Sophia Rose! Good to hear you enjoy these Austenesque mysteries by Stephanie Barron!

  2. What a great giveaway with a fun book to read. I am going to have to look these books up and get them. Thank you for sharing

    1. You're welcome, Angela! I hope you do get a chance to read them!

  3. Great excerpt and great giveaway! I am so looking forward to this! Thanks for sharing! Happy weekend!

  4. I enjoyed this excerpt! Thank you!

  5. I enjoyed the excerpt, too. Looking forward to reading the book.

    1. Hi, Linda! I hope you get a chance to read the book soon!

  6. Ah yes! The telling yew tea! Who knows what secrets may be revealed... loved this book, and glad to be a part of the tour as well.

    1. Hi, Laura! I'm so glad you loved the book! Looking forward to your review! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Replies
    1. Hi, Stephanie! Congratulations on the release of 'Jane and the WATERLOO MAP'! You may have already answered this question, but is it necessary to read this series in order?

  8. Love the cover design! Who does it?

    1. Hi, Bookluver! It is a nice cover! Good question! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  9. So cited that this series has a new installment. Cannot wait to read it.

    1. Hi, Seth! I hope you get a chance to read it soon! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Considering that yew trees are used as shrubberies (hedges) in about every garden in England makes me realize the potential for murder, if someone was so inclined. Thanks for posting the great excerpt Candy! I hope you have the opportunity to read Jane and the Waterloo Map or any of the other 12 books in the series. Barron's Austen voice is amazing.

    1. Hi, Laurel Ann! Oh, I didn't know Yew trees were so widely available. Interesting! Thanks for including me in this book tour! I have read the first in the series, but I need to get to the rest!

  11. Intriguing book. Thanks for the excerpt. I will need to put these on my TBR pile.

  12. Thanks for sharing this post. I love the historical information woven into this book. I love Barron's Austen voice too, it feels spot on. The narrator for the audiobooks is amazing as well!

  13. Thanks for the post! I look forward to reading this, I've followed the series all the way!

  14. Fantastic excerpt! This series sounds awesome! Thank you for the giveaway!

  15. I love tea and this sounds great!

    wfnren at aol dot com

  16. Loved the excerpt and really, really can't wait
    to read the book! Thank you for this giveaway.

  17. I always associate yews with a nasty smell akin to cat urine. But the berries are cute, and...useful!
    thanks for sharing this excerpt!

  18. That excerpt was a little bit alarming to read :) especially when you are able to get right into the scene as I could and see their faces in your mind movie. I love books I can just sink into like that.

  19. I will probably never look at a yew the same way again!

  20. Loved the excerpt. Loved this book! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  21. Interesting excerpt. I wonder what Jane was trying to reveal by her questions and how that will affect the story. I can't wait to read it!

  22. I am looking forward to the new Being Jane novel!

  23. Such an interesting series. Love Jane Austen!

  24. I can't wait to read this latest in the series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  25. Huge fan of this series!!! I still remember picking up Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor at Borders. It is one of my favorite books. I cannot wait to read Jane and the Waterloo Map.

  26. More Jane please, and more time to read about her!

  27. Love, Love Jane Austen. This is a must read on my list. Maureen M.


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