Thursday, February 18, 2021

Death in Highbury by Riana Everly ~ Blog Tour ~ Charades & Riddles ~ Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! It's my stop on the Death in Highbury Blog Tour! Riana Everly is here to with some fun Regency parlour games! Plus, there's a chance to win an e-copy of Death in Highbury! Details are at the bottom of the page.

Thank you for letting me stop by your lovely blog today as part of my blog tour for Death in Highbury: An Emma Mystery. It’s always a pleasure to be here.

Death in Highbury is the second of my Miss Mary Investigates mysteries, where Mary Bennet steps out of her sisters’ shadows and shines as a detective. In the first book, Death of a Clergyman, she helped prove her sister Elizabeth innocent of killing Mr. Collins. In this new release, she finds herself in Emma’s Highbury, where she helps solve a series of strange deaths in the community. 

While the storyline does not follow that of Jane Austen’s Emma, it does include Jane Austen’s beloved characters, and that includes what they do for amusement. In Emma, Emma and Harriet amuse themselves with parlour games and collecting riddles. In fact, it is through these riddles that Mr. Elton makes some of his first overtures towards Emma – ones which she misinterprets as being directed toward Harriet.

These activities do not stop just because Mary Bennet is staying at Hartfield, and Mary sometimes finds herself engaged in the planning and collecting of the same.

So what, exactly, were Regency-style charades? The term was used synonymously with “riddle.” They were not the contemporary game, where a word is acted out, syllable by syllable. Instead, the clues were spoken, and you had to guess each syllable and then put them together.

For example, in Emma Mr. Elton offers a well-known riddle:

My first doth affliction denote, 
     Which my second is destin'd to feel
And my whole is the best antidote
     That affliction to soften and heal.

Here, the “first,” or first syllable, is woe. The second syllable is man. And the “whole” is woman.

When asked to come up with his own, Mr. Elton then provides the following:


My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings, 
     Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease.
Another view of man, my second brings,
     Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!

But, ah! united, what reverse we have!
     Man's boasted power and freedom, all are flown;
Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave,
     And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.

Thy ready wit the word will soon supply,
     May its approval beam in that soft eye!

Here, the first syllable is court, where a king’s wealth is displayed, and the second is ship – the monarch of the seas. And together they make courtship. A not very subtle hint, which Emma completely misunderstands!

Here is another one by Jane Austen:

When my first is a task to a young girl of spirit,
     And my second confines her to finish the piece,
How hard is her fate! but how great is her merit
     If by taking my whole she effects her release!

You might have seen this, but if not, any guesses? I’ll put the answer at the end.

Now, I am the first to admit I would be a complete flop at Regency parlour parties. I have no head for these things whatsoever. They are like cryptic crosswords to me: I understand the theory but am totally unable to do them.

Let me try to make one, though. See if you can guess it.

My first with scones and toast is often served
     My second that which hovers near the table
My whole a lovely image, well deserved
     That flits and takes what nectar it is able

Yes, I know. It’s not very good, is it? What about you? Are you good at these word games? Would you like to try one to challenge us with? Put it in the comments and let’s see how we all do.


Here are two short excerpts from Death in Highbury. In the first, Mary is not too happy about sitting all afternoon with Emma and Harriet.


Mary had, by now, become sufficiently accustomed to Mr. Woodhouse’s laments that she imagined “poor” Isabella to be quite well settled. 

“Isabella?” Emma called from her seat. She must have heard the name. “I had a letter from her just today. The boys are all very well, and baby Emma is growing as you watch her! Isabella,” she explained to Mary, “is my sister in London, and she is married to none other than Mr. Knightley’s brother! Is that not amusing? We quite adore our shared nieces and nephews, and when he is very angry with me, Isabella’s children are our path to reconcile. I was still in the schoolroom when they married, but Mrs. Weston will tell you how I foresaw they would do very well for each other. And so it has transpired!”

She gave a wide and self-satisfied smile before returning to her conversation with Harriet about the best sort of charades, and if poetry were superior to verse, or the opposite.

Mary listened to the discussion for a while with her accustomed detached boredom and believed that Mr. Woodhouse had dropped off to sleep, for he had not spoken in a while. Suddenly he raised his head and gave her a quizzical look. “We often played charades in my younger years. It was a great favourite in the neighbourhood on a summer evening, or in the winter if the roads did not become too covered in snow for the carriage. I was not the most adept at the game, but Mrs. Woodhouse—that is Emma’s dear mother, now departed—was most proficient, and Mrs. Bates the cleverest of the lot of us. Though we might try and try, we never were able to catch her out, for she got all of them. She had a fine mind, better at figures and puzzles than many men I knew, always with an eye to the future. Pity she was not born a man, for she would then have been very smart indeed.

Mary’s head snapped up and only with difficulty did she hold her tongue. Foolish old man, to believe that a woman could not be as intelligent as a man! One’s sex had nothing to do with one’s ability to think, to reason. What ridiculous and ancient ideas he had! Prudence triumphed, and she refrained from making a sound. 

Her host stared into the flickering fire and continued, “Young Jane Fairfax promised to be as quick-witted as she. As a very young thing, all Mrs. Bates could do was boast about how Jane was counting to ten by a year of age and reading by four and playing the fortepiano at five. She seemed destined for such great things, a splendid match, no matter that her father left her with nothing but his name. Poor Miss Fairfax. Perhaps if her poor mother had eaten more gruel…”

He returned his eyes to the hearth, and in short time soft snores wafted to Mary’s ears. She would learn nothing more from Mr. Woodhouse this evening. With a resigned sigh, she left her chair and moved to the sofa, asking if she might join Emma and Harriet at their contemplation of tableaux and parlour games.


In this second excerpt, Alexander has gone to interview some townsfolk, and Emma has decided to join him against his wishes.


What was the man not saying? He was so certain there was some other iota waiting to be learned. But he also knew when he would hear no more. Abdy did suggest another person to seek out, who had a farm near the woods where Smith had made his home when first he arrived, and who had allowed the tramp to sleep in his barn on the coldest or wettest nights.

Alexander thanked the clerk for his time, and then thanked the bank’s supervisor, and led Emma back out onto the streets. 

From here, matters followed the same pattern. Every man they spoke to had some small crumbs to offer, but with each, Alexander suspected they knew more than they were willing to say. Emma would often interject her own questions with the same glee as if she were solving a delightful charade, as often interrupting a useful response and thereby distracting the teller to the point of forgetting what he was about to say, as offering anything helpful. She was lovely and charming and everybody to whom they spoke wished greatly to please her, and Alexander rued the moment he ever first spoke to her. How he would prefer to have Mary beside him: quiet, thoughtful, calm Mary, who had the gift of melting into the background to the point that his witnesses forgot she was there. They would then speak easily, telling him what he needed to know, without deference to a woman’s delicate sensibilities.

Instead, he heard only what the men believed Emma ought to hear, and when Alexander at last walked Emma back to the village where she was to meet Harriet, he had discovered precious little.


The answer to Jane Austen’s charade is “hemlock.”

The answer to my riddle is “butterfly.”

Death in Highbury
An Emma Mystery
by Riana Everly

Book Blurb 

When political chaos in London forces Mary Bennet to take refuge in the picturesque town of Highbury, Surrey, she quickly finds herself safe among friends. Emma Woodhouse welcomes her as a guest at Hartfield, Jane Fairfax is delighted by her love of music, and Frank Churchill can’t stop flirting with her. But it is not long before Mary starts to suspect that beneath the charming surface, Highbury hides some dark secrets.

Alexander Lyons is sent to Surrey on an investigation, and at his friend Darcy’s request, heads to Highbury to make certain Mary is comfortable and safe. But no sooner does he arrive than one local man dies, and then another!

Soon Alexander and Mary are thrust into the middle of a baffling series of deaths. Are they accidents? Or is there a very clever murderer hiding in their midst? And can they put their personal differences aside in time to prevent yet another death in Highbury?
Buy: Amazon (paid link)
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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!

About the Author

Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval Studies and is trained as a classical musician, specialising in Baroque and early Classical music. She first encountered Jane Austen when her father handed her a copy of Emma at age 11, and has never looked back.

Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!

Connect with Riana Everly

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Riana I am giving away five eBooks worldwide over the course of this blog tour, chosen randomly from people who enter. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter link or widget. 

If you don’t like Rafflecopter, you can still enter. Just send me an email ( saying so, and I’ll add your name to the list for the draw.

The giveaway will close at 12am EST on February 27, 2021.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulation, Riana, on the release of Death in Highbury! And thank you for stopping by with this diverting post! 

So, friends, are you good at word puzzles or charades? Please, feel free to accept Riana's challenge and leave one in the comments! 😃

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Reckless, Headstrong Girl Giveaway winner!

Hello, my friends! I hope you are all doing well. It's time to announce the winner of the Reckless, Headstrong Girl by Grace Gibson eBook! 

Many thanks to Grace for stopping by with that fun character interview. I really enjoyed seeing the change in Lydia, and I truly liked her!

Also, a big thanks to Meryton Press for offering one of my readers a chance to win an e-copy.

Without further ado... the randomly picked winner is:

Sophia Rose!

Congratulations, Sophia Rose!

Buy: Amazon USAmazon UK

Add to Goodreads

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!

Thanks again to all who entered!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Came a Flight Gently by Leigh Dreyer ~ Excerpt

 Hello, my friends! Leigh Dreyer's third book of the Pride in Flight Series is now available, and I have an excerpt from Came a Flight Gently for you to read! I hope you enjoy it! 


Came a Flight Gently
by Leigh Dreyer

In the exciting conclusion of the Pride in Flight Series (The Best Laid Flight Plans and The Flight Path Less Traveled), our dear couple Elizabeth and Darcy have moved to Pemberley to begin their lives together. An outsider to New York society and the affluent world of Darcy, our heroine uses her characteristic drive and wit to begin her marriage and all that comes with him. Helped along by Mrs. Reynolds and a curmudgeonly airplane mechanic, Elizabeth discovers a new path to the civilian flight world. Darcy, ever the hero, supports her and learns to trust her instincts. Fast-paced and dramatic, Came a Flight Gently soars through love, adventure, and intrigue as it races through Reno to the finish.

Excerpt from Chapter Fifteen

     Elizabeth was back a few days later to meet Weston’s friend as arranged. 
     “Mrs. Reynolds sent you a sausage biscuit, hard-boiled eggs, and water,” Elizabeth announced walking into the hangar office and pulling the water bottle out with a flourish. 
     “Water.” Weston made a face of disgust.
     “She said you’ve got to watch your sugar.” Elizabeth laughed. “I think you two should go out,” Elizabeth added, watching Weston attack the breakfast bag. 
     “No, we’re just old friends.” He sighed, taking a bite and waving one hand. 
     An aircraft taxiing up outside the hangar interrupted them. Weston got up and opened the hangar door. “That would be your instructor.” 
     Elizabeth followed him out of the office. 
     As the door opened, the engine ticking of a beautiful red, white, and blue Lancair Legacy came to a stop. The canopy tipped forward and a thin, attractive woman in her early thirties stood up smiling and waved. She was wearing something like tennis shoes but different, khaki slacks and a blue woman’s polo shirt with wings on the left side. 
     The woman hopped down off the wing as Weston and Elizabeth waited. “How are you, you old curmudgeon?” she said, giving Weston a big hug. 
     He put her arms around her. Elizabeth noticed him blush. 
     “Check the oil and wipe her down,” the woman joked as she let him go. Weston backed away, looking down and coughing to recover his voice. 
     “Mrs. Darcy, may I present Allison Noreen Dashwood, airline first officer, and Lancair instructor extraordinaire. Allie Nore, Mrs. Darcy.”
     “Elizabeth, please,” said Elizabeth, putting out her hand.
      “Allie,” she answered, shaking her hand, and looking annoyed at Weston. “And when have you become so formal, Stephen Paul? Not Fog anymore? Should we just call you ‘Step?’” She laughed. 
     Weston blushed an even brighter red. 
     “You have a beautiful airplane,” Elizabeth said. 
     “So do you,” replied Allie, nodding to the aircraft in the hangar. “I’m the one that flew it in. You didn’t screw with the flight control balance, did you, Steve?” 
     “No, no, just checked out the engine, did a flight condition check, and changed the oil,” he replied. 
     “Good,” Allie answered, looking at Elizabeth. “It’s a sweet flying aircraft. Whoever built the kit did an outstanding job harmonizing the controls. Nice avionics too.” 
     They went into the hangar. 
     “Weston said you’re an airline pilot,” Elizabeth asked. 
     “Yep, for about five years. Should upgrade to captain soon. Seniority, you know? Flew checks and freight before that, some charter work, and instructed at a Cessna 141 school. And you?” 
     “Got my commercial couple weeks ago, Air Force T-6, and the mighty Skyhawk,” Elizabeth answered. 
     “Steve said you, how’d he put it, ‘crashed’ out of training.” 
     “Yeah, ejected and trashed my back. Medically retired.” 
     “Hmm,” said Allie, then perking up, “well, that won’t stop us today.” 
     Allie continued to talk, and Elizabeth listened. She discovered that she liked this calm woman who seemed to understand airplanes. They discussed various flights, procedures, and Allie shared how she started with the airlines. Soon, conversation shifted to the upcoming flight, and Elizabeth could tell Allie was probing her knowledge and desire to fly the Lancair. 
     After Allie appeared satisfied, she said, “Let’s go sit in the plane, go over systems and avionics. It’ll take about an hour. Steve keeps talking about a Mrs. Reynolds and a mansion for lunch, then we’ll take her up this afternoon.” 
     “Sounds good,” responded Elizabeth. “I’ll call Mrs. Reynolds to expect three of us.”
     At the aircraft, Allie showed Elizabeth what to look for in the pre-flight inspection, how the landing gear retracted, and how to check the oil and propeller. Elizabeth enjoyed the way she instructed and treated her as an equal. Allie had a quiet demeanor but shared her knowledge freely, allowing Elizabeth to learn quickly. Allie continued to quiz Elizabeth, but it was pleasant, unlike standup evaluations during Air Force pilot training which had left her sweaty and nervous. 
     With the walk-around completed, they entered the cockpit. “The biggest difference from something you’ve flown before is the stick is in your left hand, and the throttle, the right,” began Allie. “It’s different than the yolk, but you’ll get used to it. Most people initially over control in pitch so watch yourself on takeoff.” 
     Elizabeth moved the stick around, getting the feel and checking the flight controls. Together, they went through the instruments. Weston had hooked up an auxiliary power cart so they could view the avionics without draining the battery. Allie made Elizabeth operate and input data into the avionics. 
     “Each system is just a bit different,” said Allie. “Makes it a pain switching between aircraft.”
     Elizabeth nodded, concentrating on pushing the buttons.           “Yeah, this is similar, but different from the Bonanza. I’ll have to practice before taking this in the weather.” She finished putting in a typical flight plan and sat back. 
     “There. That’s a good place to stop. After lunch, we’ll get airborne. Typical stuff, stalls, slow flight. You know the drill. You said you just finished your commercial ticket…” 
Elizabeth nodded. 
     “Great,” Allie said, rolling her eyes, “you’ll probably be better than me at those maneuvers.” 
     “Oh, I doubt it,” said Elizabeth. “You’ve got the more recent Lancair practice.” They both laughed as they got out of the aircraft. 
     Weston came out of the office and turned off the power unit.
     “Ready for lunch? Mrs. Reynolds just called and said whenever you all are ready.” 
     “Sure, let’s go see this mansion.” Allie teased. 
     Weston and Elizabeth grinned at each other. 
     “I’ll drive,” said Weston. “Get in the truck.”
     During the short drive, Allie said, “Steve’s been telling me about this extravagant mansion forever. Which one is it? I saw four within five miles of the airport flying in.” She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at Weston. “Based on all the other jokes he’s pulled, it’s probably a mobile home at the other end of the airport.” 
     Elizabeth tried not to chuckle; Weston kept a straight face. They turned into the driveway and Pemberley came into view. Elizabeth remembered the first time she had seen Pemberley and how her stomach had dropped in amazement at the utter beauty of the home and the surrounding land.
     “Here we are,” said Weston, grinning. 
     Allie looked forward and her mouth dropped. “You gotta be kidding me,” she said. 
     “No, this is it. Just a small summer cottage.” A big smile erupted on Elizabeth’s face. “Welcome to Pemberley. Steve, drive to the front door.” 
     Weston said, “The front door, ooh, the front door. We must be getting the full treatment, Allie.”
     They parked and walked to the door. 
     “Oh my god. You live here? How do you not get lost?” said Allie. 
     “I have,” said Elizabeth, laughing. “I had to carry the tour map with me for the first few weeks.”
     Mrs. Reynolds met them at the door, and they made introductions walking to the breakfast room. 
     “You have a breakfast room and a dining room?” said Allie as they walked by. 
     “Yep, and a parlor, and a music room, and a study.” Elizabeth smiled. “Oh, and a bar, slash, game room.” 
     “Wow—now, I guess I’ve got something to work toward,” replied Allie. 
     Mrs. Reynolds brought out two platters with Reuben sandwiches, chips and pickles for the women and a Rueben sandwich only for Weston. 
     “Allie, what can we get you to drink?” asked Elizabeth. 
     “Root beer, if you have it, please,” responded Allie. 
Elizabeth chuckled. “Virgil’s, Dad’s, Barq’s, A&W? Here, you pick your poison,” asked Elizabeth.
     “I’ll take a Dad’s,” said Weston. 
     “You’ll have water,” snapped Mrs. Reynolds, glaring at Weston. 
     The two younger women giggled as a very maternal Mrs. Reynolds put a glass of ice water in front of him before sitting down next to him. 
     In between bites, Allie asked, “So Elizabeth, what do you miss about Air Force flying?” 
     “Well, I didn’t get very far. Instruments are about the same. I miss formation flying,” answered Elizabeth. 
     Allie said, “I’m a FAST instructor, and the Lancair is a good formation plane.” 
     “What’s FAST?” asked Elizabeth, intrigued. 
     “It’s a group that certifies people to fly formation together. Airshows require it, and various aircraft groups signed up to agree on signals and expectations. You have to practice with an instructor, take a test, and a checkride,” explained Allie. “But most of all, it’s fun! Not every day you get to fly formation, huh?” 
     “That sounds cool,” said Elizabeth. It wouldn’t be hard to talk Darcy into a few weekends away to fly. He could even come with me!
     “Get through your checkout before you go off flying too close to someone else,” grumbled Weston. 
     “Steve, what do you have against anyone having fun?” teased Allie. 
     “Yes, what do you have against fun?” asked Mrs. Reynolds, turning on him. 
     Elizabeth opened her mouth to add on, but Weston interrupted, “I know when I’m out numbered. Should have never agreed to lunch with three women. Like a zebra in a crocodile farm. Let’s go. Eat up. Some of us have to work for a living.”

About the Authors

Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way: “You know the ‘Great Balls of Fire’ scene in Top Gun (Goose, you big stud!) when Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son, a daughter who was a pink pilot for Halloween, and a one-year-old son who is so used to F-16 noise, he does not even startle to sonic booms.

Paul Trockner was an Air Force fighter pilot for twenty-eight years. He flew the F-111, T-37, A-10, and T-38. He currently teaches fighter pilots using simulator instruction. He has been happily married for thirty-six years to his lovely wife Elizabeth. Leigh is the oldest of his five children.

Connect with Leigh Dreyer

Came a Flight Gently 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!

Congratulations, Leigh, on the release of Came a Flight Gently! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing an excerpt with my readers! 

Friends, please feel free to leave a comment! Tell us what you think of the excerpt, or have you read any of the other books in the series? 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks ~ Blog Tour ~ Spotlight

 Hello, my friends! Today, I am spotlighting a new Proper Romance Regency book from Shadow Mountain Publishing! Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks!  

Advance Praise

"Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton's charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances."— Publishers Weekly


Georgana's Secret
by Arlem Hawks


A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, "George." 

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty's Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain's cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the "boy" under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy's secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her. 

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic's compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
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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! 

About the Author

Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn't writing, Arlem is baking her characters' favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.

Connect with Arlem Hawks

Advance Praise

“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson,

Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily

"Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love."— Booklist, starred review

Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship.


Jan 11 My Jane Austen Book Club         Excerpt

Jan 11 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog Review 

Jan 12 Wishful Endings                 Review

Jan 12 Lu Reviews Books         Review 

Jan 13 Lady with a Quill                 Review 

Jan 13 Timeless Novels                 Review 

Jan 14 Reading is My Superpower        Review

Jan 14 The Bibliophile Files                 Review 

Jan 15 Randi Loves 2 Read                Review

Jan 16 The Christian Fiction Girl         Excerpt

Jan 17 Nurse Bookie                Review

Jan 18 The Silver Petticoat Review        Review

Jan 18 Heidi Reads                 Review 

Jan 19 Bookfoolery                 Review 

Jan 20 Captivated Reading                 Review 

Jan 21 Greenish Bookshelf                 Review 

Jan 21 Bookworm Lisa                 Review 

Jan 22 Among the Reads         Review 

Jan 23 Gwedalyn's Books         Review 

Jan 24 My Bookish Bliss                 Review 

Jan 25 Wishful Endings                 Excerpt

Jan 25 Christian Chick's Thoughts         Review 

Jan 26 Relz Reviewz                 Review 

Jan 27 The Lit Bitch                 Review 

Jan 28 Reading with Emily                 Review 

Jan 29 Books, Teacups & Reviews         Review 

Jan 30 A Darn Good Read         Review 

Jan 31 From Pemberley to Milton         Spotlight

Jan 31 Impressions in Ink         Review 

Feb 01 Austenesque Reviews                 Review 

Feb 02 Laura's Reviews                 Review 

Feb 03 Literary Time Out         Review 

Feb 04 Chicks, Rogues & Scandals         Excerpt

Feb 05 The Bluestocking         Review 

Feb 05 Library of Clean Reads         Review 

Feb 06 The Caffeinated Bibliophile         Spotlight

Feb 07 So Little Time…                 Spotlight

Feb 08 The Readathon                 Review

Feb 09 The Book Diva Reads                 Excerpt

Feb 09 Books and Socks Rock         Review 

Feb 10 Our Book Confessions         Review 

Feb 10 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Spotlight

Feb 11 Rosanne E. Lortz                 Review 

Feb 11 Jorie Loves a Story                 Review

Feb 12 Fire & Ice                 Excerpt

Feb 13 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please         Review 

Feb 14 Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina Review

Thank you Laurel Ann Nattress @ Austenprose and Shadow Mountain Publishing for having me on this tour! 

What do you think about this story? Sounds like a grand adventure to me! 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Reckless, Headstrong Girl by Grace Gibson ~ Character Interview & Giveaway!

Hello, my friends! Today I have a fun character interview with Miss Lydia Bennet from Grace Gibson's new novella, Reckless, Headstrong Girl  - be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the page! 

But first, let's have a look at the book description! :) 

Reckless, Headstrong Girl
by Grace Gibson

A scandalous flight, an inconsiderate couple— how can things have gone so terribly wrong for Lydia Bennet? 

In Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Lydia Bennet runs away from Brighton with George Wickham, but this adaptation of Lydia’s adventures is not your typical story about this brash couple. 

Mr. Wickham, proving he is no gentleman, does the unthinkable and casts Lydia out of a second-rate coach. Filthy, exhausted, and penniless, Lydia is just facing the beginning of her ordeal! How can a spoiled, uneducated girl of fifteen—used to having her way—survive a night in the wilds of Sussex? 

As Mr. Bennet and Mr. Gardiner vainly search for her in London, Lydia’s sisters struggle to keep her secret from their Meryton neighbors. Though they fear the worst—that Lydia’s wild life has ended in tragedy—all hope is not lost. Mr. Darcy, in the midst of reigniting his courtship with Elizabeth, is determined to recover his love’s unfortunate sibling. 

Will Mr. Darcy succeed in finding Lydia and restoring her to respectability? In what shocking condition will this catastrophe render such a reckless, headstrong girl?

Character Interview

Today I am speaking with Miss Lydia Bennet, whose story is the subject of Grace Gibson’s novella, Reckless, Headstrong Girl.

Thank you for talking with us, Miss Lydia. How do you feel now that the scandalous details of your elopement have been made public?

Well, for one thing, I prefer to think of it as an adventure rather than some terrible scandal. Other than the loss of my hair, I have not come out of it much the worse for wear. Oh, dear. I am afraid I should not have hinted about my hair. I swore I would not give away too much of my story.

You lost your hair? What more can you tell us about that?

Nothing! Lizzy would kill me for speaking out of turn. Let us say I have a new coiffure as a result of my adventure.

Very well. What led you to go on ‘your adventure’ with Mr. Wickham in the first place?

At fifteen, I had turned out rather shocking, you see. With four sisters, I found it difficult to get the attention I wanted. One day, when I was eight years old, I overheard Lizzy speaking of me to Jane. ‘That child is wild to a fault,’ she complained, and I settled it then and there that shocking behavior was the most direct means of being noticed. 

You chose to elope in order to shock your family?
At the time, I thought I was in love. But, looking back, the case was just as you say. I wanted my mother’s attention. And I was so tired of being treated like the baby of the family! I just wanted to be grown up and to earn a little respect.

But your mother indulged you a great deal, and your sisters would likely say you were her favorite.  

Yes, and it certainly appeared as though I was first in her heart. But the trouble with being pampered and always having my way was that deep down, I did not get the feeling Mama wanted to bother with me.  I have since come to discover that training and discipline are hard work, and everyone except Lizzy found it easier to indulge me than correct me. I was not aware of my deeper feelings, of course, because I was silly and not the least bit self-reflective. But in truth, I pushed because I wanted something to push against.

You mentioned respect. Did it not occur to you that outrageous behavior was not the best way to go about earning it?

Ha ha! It is rather funny when you put it that way. I was terribly confused. I thought the horrified stares of my neighbors were looks of admiration. I did not know that the officers who clustered around me were laughing at me and encouraging me to act the fool.

How did you come to this realization?

Well, that is the whole point of making my story public, you see. The case is that when one experiences limitations and challenges, one can grow up! 

Are you suggesting you do not regret running away with Mr. Wickham?

Of course I do! I can never make up for the anxiety and grief I caused my family. If only I had—well, the list of my regrets is very long.

But I also shudder to think of who I would have been had I continued on as I was, living out my whole life throwing such fits that everyone must tiptoe around lest I become cross. But this is not comfortable to think about, and so I have taken Lizzy’s advice. Whenever I fall into the doldrums, she tells me to think on the past only as it gives me pleasure. And there were parts of the experience that I look back upon with gratitude and even happiness.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. What is next for you?

Well, I have developed a taste for adventure and I mean to travel as far as Egypt if I can. I would certainly like to see Rome, Paris and the ruins in Greece.

When you marry, will your husband take you to these wonderful places?

No, no. I do not plan to marry anybody! Lizzy says I should reserve judgment about this, but now that I understand that marriage is not one long party, I am not inclined to submit myself to it! In fact, there is a society of spinsters in London dedicated to the ideals of education and independence for females. Perhaps I will join them, though I believe my Mama would likely have a spasm if I did! 

I see you still take pleasure in shocking your family.

Ha ha! That is what Lizzy said to me just this morning when I came out of my room in trousers. I am learning to ride a horse, you see, and did not want to bother with my skirts. Well, let us just say I ended up going out in a neat little riding costume, but one day, I believe ladies will not be so horribly confined by our wardrobes.

If you’d like a peek into Lydia Bennet’s story, an excerpt will be featured at Diary of an Eccentric on February 5th.

About the Author

In addition to mosaic art, which I create at Studio Luminaria,
my home-based glass shop in El Paso, Texas, I enjoy writing regency romance and Pride and Prejudice variations for pleasure.    

Connect with Grace Gibson on Facebook.

Other Books by Grace Gibson
Silver Buckles is available on Amazon. "Old Boots" will be coming summer of 2021.

The novella, Reckless, Headstrong Girl, may be purchased on Amazon US (paid link) and Amazon UK. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in about a month.

Add to Goodreads.

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! 

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

It's giveaway time! Meryton Press is kindly giving away one eBook to one of my lucky readers! To enter, please leave a comment below with a way to get in touch with you! 

  • One person will win an e-copy of Reckless, Headstrong Girl by Grace Gibson.
  • One winner will be randomly picked.
  • To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below and include your e-mail with parentheses around (at) and (dot).
  • Open internationally.
  • The last day to enter the giveaway is Feb. 11th, 2021, by the end of the day. 

Good luck!

It was my pleasure to have Grace Gibson on the blog today! I enjoyed this interview and really like this Lydia! She sounds courageous, and it looks like she learned quite a bit from her adventure! 

Many thanks to Janet @ More Agreeably Engaged for organizing and including me on this blog tour! And to Meryton Press for offering one of my readers a chance to win an e-copy of the book!  

So, friends, what did you think of that interview? Are you looking forward to reading Reckless, Headstrong Girl as much as me? 
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