Thursday, April 25, 2019

Unexpected Friends & Relations...Jayne Bamber

This is the week for new to my blog authors. Jayne Bamber, author of Unexpected Friends & Relations, visits today. This book is the second in her series about Friends and Relations.  Jayne is talking to us about the gentleman in her release, and it is quite interesting and delightful. I know you are going to enjoy this post. There is also an excerpt and a giveaway so be sure to join in the fun!

Please welcome Jayne Bamber.


Ten More Things to Expect in Unexpected Friends & Relations
By Jayne Bamber

Volume 2 of the Friends & Relations Series is here! To celebrate the new release, I’d like to share a few hints with you of what you can anticipate in this continuation. Volume 1 focused largely on Elizabeth & Darcy’s relationship, but this volume is of a broader scope, and focuses on several heroines and smaller characters. I made a post last week about the ladies in the story, because female friendship and sisterhood play such a large role in the tale, but now I would like to talk about the gentlemen in Unexpected.

#10 After appearing in Volume 1 as the audacious flirt every lady needs in her life, the original character Henry Audley returns to push his luck and flirt with ladies and disaster alike.

#9 Handsome, charming, and fully aware of the fact, Mr. Elton delivers everything one might expect – pursuit of the unattainable, collateral damage along the way, and ultimately, exactly the kind of marriage he deserves.

#8 Frank Churchill, one of the more dubious heroes from Jane Austen’s Emma, appeared at the end of Volume 1 for just long enough to be scolded by Mr. Knightley at a ball, and convinced by Sidney Parker to bring his ailing aunt to Sanditon. That decision plays a key role in his development in Unexpected, which brings him to Highbury.

#7 After divorcing his scandalous first wife, Mr. Rushworth is thoroughly convinced that he is not looking for another, until he encounters a lady who shows him what he needs in a mate – in short, the opposite of Maria Bertram.

#6 This paragon of antisocial snark plays a background role with rippling effects through the story, after being dominated by the influence of his wife’s cousin, Lady Rebecca Fitzwilliam, and will likely be back for the third and final book.

#5 After meeting with some rather physical rejection from the widowed Marianne Brandon in Volume 1, Willoughby returns and meets with a lady who offers all the same charms as Marianne, as well as a friend with a plan to encourage romance all around...

#4 Ever the glutton for punishment, Captain Wentworth exchanges one complicated relationship for another. Acting only on suspicion that all is not as it seems for a lady of his acquaintance, Captain Wentworth leads them both to the brink of scandal, saved only by a miracle.

#3 Sidney Parker returns to fill everyone’s ears once more with talk of Sanditon, stirring up trouble in the process, until he finds an unlikely ally in matters of the heart, and a shot at redemption.

#2 What started as a chance meeting with Lady Rebecca in Volume 1 leads to more confrontation between the two of them in this volume, as Mr. Knightley struggles to ensure that all is well for his friends in Highbury.

#1  Arguably the best hero in all of Austen, Henry Tilney reads novels, understands muslin, and proves to have unexpected depths as he woos the lady who most deserves such a man, long after winning over her mother with his profound genius.

Honorable mentions….
Sir Walter Elliot makes an appearance as an undesirable suitor looking to find a wife to bear him an heir. Charles Bingley makes a tearful departure from the action of Volume 2, with a promise of return in the third and final book. Captain Fred Tilney and his father, General Tilney, make a brief appearance and the end of the tale, bringing relief to more than one character. Edmund Bertram visits London, braving Lady Catherine’s displeasure as he resigns his post at the Hunsford Parsonage, and receives in unexpected reward from an unlikely ally. Sir Gerald Sutton, Lady Catherine’s nearest neighbor plays a large part in the story, bringing hope to some, indulgence to many, and helping more than one lady find love.

Unexpected Friends & Relations is available now on Kindle, and the paperback version is coming soon, too. To enter the e-book giveaway, click here – winners will be announced on May 20th. Below is a little excerpt, depicting the first glance of recently-divorced Mr. Rushworth….

    James Rushworth arrived late at the ball, hoping to slip in relatively unnoticed, as he was not yet comfortable attracting too much attention in society. Yet, it must be done. His former schoolmate, Sam Sutton, had called on him that afternoon, urging him to attend. After all, it had been four months since his divorce, and he felt it time to put the scandal to bed at last. This event seemed as good a time as any to do just that. For the most part, the gossip about his ex-wife’s dalliance had given way to other, juicier tales. And, as Sam had so candidly observed, it was time for him to prove that Maria’s infidelity had not unmanned him.  So, here he was, pretending that all was well. Sam had noticed him, and was making his way over, an uncommonly handsome young woman on his arm.
     “I was beginning to fear you would not come,” Sam said, clapping him merrily on the shoulder. “We have all just had our supper, but at least there shall be more dancing, and I have just the partner for you! May I present my sister, Miss Sutton? Sister, this is my old friend, James Rushworth.”
     Sensing his friend Sam’s expectation, Rushworth thought he had better ask the girl to dance.
     “Wonderful,” Sam exclaimed when his sister accepted. “And perhaps a little while later, you might favor my new cousin Miss Darcy, as well,” he said, gesturing in the direction of a willowy blonde standing not too far away from them.
     Rushworth was obliged to decline. Lowering his voice, he replied, “I appreciate your enthusiasm, Sam, but I have heard the whispers about that young lady’s reputation, and I believe I have had my fill of scandal already.”
     Sam frowned; Rushworth began to fear she had overheard them, for she abruptly walked away, approaching a very attractive brunette and speaking to her with great animation. Before his friend could rebuke him for making such a faux pas, he hastily offered Miss Sutton his arm and they joined the dance.
     He found her to be a pleasant partner, though her manners were very different from the fashionable ladies of the ton. Given how his own fashionable ex-wife had behaved in the end, he could not fault Miss Sutton, for she seemed a good sort of girl. She was eager to please and be pleased, full of nothing but the highest praise for everyone she had met and everything she had seen and done since she had come to Town.
    Having been recently married to a woman who was never quite satisfied, despite having so very much, Miss Harriet’s unabashed positivity was a breath of fresh air; he was sorry when their dance came to an end. Before he could do so, Miss Sutton cheerfully recommended him to one of her new friends, Miss Mary Bennet.
    “Miss Sutton was singing your praises, Miss Bennet,” said he as they took to the floor. “Your family must be quite delighted to have her now amongst you.” Miss Bennet agreed that it was so, but did not elaborate. He tried again. “She seems quite the ingenue. I understand you have not been long in London yourself. Do you find you and she have much else in common?”
     The girl seemed uncertain of how to reply. “I am still getting to know her better,” she said cautiously. “At present I would not dare to speculate, or gossip about her in any way.”
     Though disappointed by her reticence, Rushworth was pleased at least by the morality of her impulse. “I appreciate your sentiments,” he replied, “though I believe we must have some conversation.”
     “Do you talk by rule then, while you are dancing?”
     “Sometimes. One must speak a little, you know. It would look odd to be entirely silent for half an hour together, particularly when one might become better acquainted with someone new.”
     Miss Bennet appeared to consider his words. “Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine you are gratifying mine?”
     “Both, I would hope,” he replied.
     Miss Bennet offered him a smile. “I apologize if I have seemed discouraging. In my admittedly limited experience, I have always been content to let my dancing partner say whatever he liked, and have little experience with leading the conversation myself. Were it left up to me, I am sure I should talk of books, and you should find me exceedingly dull.”
     “And you, in turn, should find me exceedingly disappointing,” Rushworth said, attempting to put her more at ease by admitting to a fault as she had done. “Unless, of course, your taste in reading material tends to a more botanical direction.”
     “It does not, though it does not follow that I should not find such subjects uninteresting. Are you a naturalist, sir?”
     He regretted mentioning it, though it would not do for him to fall silent now. “Last year, I took an interest in improving the gardens and grounds at my estate, and did a little research in anticipation of the project.”
     “And what was your success?”
     “The project was unfortunately suspended, but I do hope to finish the improvements at Sotherton someday.”
     “I can see how it might be quite interesting, though it is not what I would have guessed of you. You seem quite suited to London, though it seems your interest lies in the country.”
     “I am less often in Town than at home, yes,” he replied. “Though it is gratifying indeed to hear that I do not appear as a fish out of water tonight.”
     “I am certain I must,” Miss Bennet said ruefully. “I have spent most of my life in the country – all of it, actually, until last September, when we came to London after my sister Lizzy married Mr. Darcy. Then we were in the country again, at Pemberley in Derbyshire.”
     “I hear it is one of the most spectacular estates in the north.”
     Here Miss Bennet grinned at him. “Do not say so, Mr. Rushworth – in Mr. Darcy’s hearing, it must be the finest estate in the whole of England!”
      Miss Bennet, in time, became more conversant. Though she enjoyed practicing music, she described herself as more of a hopeful student than a polished performer. “I do take pleasure in the fact that I have been told I have shown a tremendous improvement, these last several months. Though my friend Lady Rebecca tells me I shall never sing truly well, my performance at the pianoforte is much improved, and she is even teaching me the harp.”
     “I wonder at your having time to be an avid reader,” he replied.
     “I daresay I shall always have time for that. Only Lady Rebecca says I must give up Mr. Fordyce, who was always a favorite of mine. I am learning to appreciate poetry more, as Lady Rebecca says it will improve my ear for music. I have become her protégé, you see, as she is Mr. Darcy’s cousin and my sister Lizzy’s dearest friend. I have also developed, I must admit, something of a taste for novels, much to Miss Sutton’s delight. She was eager to recommend The Romance of the Forest when first we met, and I suppose I shall have to read it, for she declares she shall not be satisfied until she has somebody to discuss it with.”
     He conjured up a most pleasant image in his mind, of the two young ladies huddled together, whispering between themselves. Miss Bennet was certainly not as lovely as Miss Sutton, nor so well dowered, but her modesty and intelligence were highly in her favor. By the time their dance had ended, Rushworth found himself obliged to remember that he was not, at present, in want of a wife.

Thanks for joining me on this stop of my blog tour! See the full schedule for the blog tour below, and click here to follow me on Facebook for updates on the final installment of the Friends & Relations  Series, coming soon!

Thank you to Jayne Bamber for being my guest today and entertaining us with eye candy and the fun post about the ten things to expect involving the gentleman from Unexpected. I enjoyed reading along and I hope everyone else did too. What did you think of all those pictures? Neat, huh!

Don't forget the Ms. Bamber is giving away one eBook of Unexpected Friends & Relations. You will need to use the Rafflecopter to enter. Good luck to everyone.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Gloved Heart...Charlotte Brentwood

Good morning to everyone. I'm excited to tell you about today's guest. This is a first time visit to More Agreeably Engaged for Charlotte Brentwood. Her book, Gloved Heart, is the focus of today's post. Charlotte previously published The Vagabond Vicar, the first in her "Hearts of Amberley" series. Gloved Heart is the second in the series and I hope you enjoy reading more about it. 

Thanks for visiting today, Charlotte.


I hope readers enjoy the second book in the “Hearts of Amberley” series. GLOVED HEART can be read as a standalone but if you’ve read THE VAGABOND VICAR you’ll enjoy seeing your favourite characters again.

As a mother of a young baby, I was able to pour my heart into this story of a new mother, Amy Miller, adjusting to her life in less than ideal circumstances. She has sworn off men for good, but she comes to rely on the friendship of Henry Russell. She resists her growing feelings for him, building walls around her heart. Just as she begins to trust, the revelation of a secret will ruin everything.  GLOVED HEART is about a heart in recovery, about taking a chance to love again even when you’re scared.

This is also a book about strong women and the relationships between them. It’s really the women who drive the story and I loved exploring their unique bonds despite their different stations in life. The men provide the sparks and also the problems, just like in real life!
Now I’m working on book three of the “Hearts of Amberley” series, BARRINGTON MEETS HIS MATCH. What will happen to our dastardly villain when he meets a woman he can’t charm? Will he see the error of his ways? One thing’s for certain, he’ll be put through the wringer along the way!

Book description:

Can she ever trust again?

Amy Miller is struggling to come to terms with her new life as a mother, while being a reluctant guest in a rigid gentry household. A victim of abuse, she is determined to never trust a man again.

Henry Russell has loved Amy for as long as he can remember, but his family want nothing to do with her. A chance encounter with Amy rekindles a friendship which might save them both.

The discovery of a secret which holds the key to Amy’s past will change them forever, and jeopardise any chance they have for happiness. Can Henry show Amy that true love will give her everything she could ever need?
Note, although this is a 'sweet' read, there is some subject matter that may offend sensitive readers, including mention of a rape and very mild violence and coarse language.


Amy was glad of the ride back to Briarwood. She was so weary she thought her legs might give way. Her emotions were close to the surface, threatening to brim over. Henry had touched on more than one nerve with his innocent line of questioning just now. He was right to wonder why a respectable couple such as the Fortescues, who she had hardly said a word to in her life, would stoop so low as to house an unwed mother when no one else wanted her. She had asked herself that question many times; it was reasonable for him to wonder too.
    She wanted to believe his assertions that they wanted to make her more like them so she would belong. But she couldn’t bring herself to foster such a happy illusion; she was no more an innocent young girl who would see the best in people first. She knew most people were hiding something, and their actions were not always a good indicator of their motivations or intentions. In fact, sometimes they acted to deliberately deceive. She couldn’t believe the Fortescues would intentionally hurt her, as there was undeniably an altruistic motive for most of their actions. But their efforts to re-make her in the image of a lady were an affront to her very identity.
    “Miss Miller?”
    Amy turned to see Henry waiting for her on the cart. She laughed at him. “Come now, Henry, don’t address me as if you were my chauffeur. It’s only Amy, and it always has been.”
She stepped towards the box and he automatically offered his hand to help her up. She stared at it, dismayed.
    It was perfectly natural for him to help her up into her seat, but despite her recent familiarity with him, she still could not stand to let their hands touch. She tried to fight the irrational terror which overtook her. Nothing bad would happen, it would be over in a matter of seconds and Henry was not going to abuse the situation, was he? But she could not bring herself to put her hands in his.
    “I’m sorry,” she said.
    He shook his head as if to dismiss her apology. “It’s nothing, just put your foot here, and hold on here, and you can pull yourself up.”
    She nodded, did as he instructed, and managed to hoist herself up onto the seat.
    Henry took up the reins. “Are you comfortable?”
    She met his eyes and nodded again, startled by how close his face was to hers. “Thank you.” Her voice came out as a squeak and she immediately felt herself colouring. She focussed on the lane ahead as Henry brought the cart around and steered the mare down towards the road.
    He sat as far as he could to the right of her while still maintaining control of the cart, but the seat was not very wide, so their thighs were still only inches apart. She could see his muscles flexing within his buckskin trousers. Suddenly she was unbearably warm.
    Comfortable? Perhaps too comfortable.
    She could not resist taking sly glances at him as they bounced along towards her home. The freckles across his nose had multiplied, giving him a boyish charm. His shock of fiery hair was tossed about in unruly waves like a turbulent sea. He caught her looking at him, and threw her a bashful smile, which she couldn’t help returning before forcing her eyes to her lap. She caught a whiff of his scent; he smelled of the grasses and earth and a rich, masculine aroma.
    The motion of his hands guiding the reins caught her attention as they rounded a corner, and she took in his strong, toned forearms. He’d rolled his shirt up above his elbows, and even beneath all that fabric his upper arms bulged. His chest strained against his waistcoat. He was a robust working man, of course he would be… strapping. It was just that she’d never had such leisure to observe all this before. Or perhaps she had just never taken notice, never appreciated him in his masculinity. She’d been a slip of a girl when she’d last spent any length of time with him, without any notions of forming attachments. Now, she was all too aware of him, and the nearness of him. She began to feel a little light-headed, and her heart seemed to be pulsing through her entire body.
    She hadn’t felt like this since… her breath quickened as a painful pang hit her heart. She’d rather not remember the last time.
    “Amy? Are you all right?”
    Henry was looking at her seriously as he guided the cart through the gates that led to Briarwood.
    She tried to slow her breathing, but the rising panic could not be quelled.
    The last time she had felt this way, it had nearly destroyed her. It had made her giddy, blind, defenceless. She’d been a gullible fool, and she had paid the price for her infatuation with her innocence.
    Fear closed over her heart in a vice-like grip, and she clutched the sides of the seat with white knuckles. She could not explain to him, could not summon any words lest she begin to cry.
    The cart came to a stop outside the house, and she leapt to the ground, nearly falling over.
    “Amy!” Henry cried, dismounting in a flash and coming around to her side. “What on earth is the matter?”
    She darted away from him, wishing she hadn’t let her fancies get the better of her, that she could go back to the simplicity of their recent friendship. Perhaps she still could if not tempted in such a way.
    “Goodbye, Henry,” she called as she began walking away from him. “Thank you.”
    Then she turned and took quick steps up to the front door, banging until she was granted admittance. Once inside, the house felt like a safe place for the first time. She was in no danger of being overcome by treacherous feelings here. She went to her room and closed the door, leaning back against it. She would have no reason to see Henry again, and it was just as well. She could not risk putting her heart in danger again.


Author website:
Buy page for GLOVED HEART:

Author bio:

Charlotte developed serious crushes on a series of men from age fifteen: Darcy, Knightley, Wentworth and Brandon. A bookworm and scribbler for as long as she can remember, Charlotte always dreamed of sharing her stories with the world. 

Earning a degree in communication studies, she was seduced by the emerging digital world and has since worked with the web and in marketing. She is a member of the Auckland chapter of RWNZ. 

Now mother to an adorable human tornado, Charlotte is trying to find the time for reading, seaside walks, warbling at the piano and quaffing far too many hot chocolates.


It's been great, Charlotte Brentwood, having you visit today. Your books sound interesting and I'm intrigued already. Congratulations on Gloved Heart and best wishes with it and the third one in the series. I do hope you will come back for a visit when it is released.

Charlotte is giving away one eBook copy of Gloved Heart and the giveaway is international. Please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway, and make sure I can contact you should you be the winner. Giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 29th of April. Good luck!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Perilous Siege...C. P. Odom

This is the last stop on C. P. Odom's Perilous Siege Blog Tour. I'm glad to have C. P. visit again. It has been too long since his last time here. I believe it was in 2015 during the blog tour for Pride, Prejudice and Secrets

Have you been following the blog tour? There have been some great posts and interviews. Has this book caught your interest? It certainly has caught mine. I'm fascinated with Major McDunn and his appearance in the world of Pride and Prejudice. I want to know more. How about you? 

Colin, I give you the floor!


Hello fellow Austenites. Today I’m doing a guest post for Janet Taylor’s More Agreeably Engaged blog in support of my fourth novel, Perilous Siege. I want to thank Janet for hosting me here, and I also want to give kudos to Claudine Pepes for arranging everything.
This is the last scheduled stop on the tour, and the topics have ranged from a book review to a long post discussing the 3D images I generated to a vignette about an interaction with Darcy and Elizabeth at the Pemberley ball that got ripped out of the text as I struggled to write that intense event in a way that satisfied me. So now we come to this last stop, and the question in my mind was, what do I write about? What would people who might read this novel want to see? What would interest them?
So after considerable thought and a serious evaluation of the alternatives, I decided to . . . ramble.
That’s right. I haven’t a clue what would be a good topic. So how about if I go where the muse takes me?
Firstly, for those who wonder where authors get their ideas (aside from Hollywood script writers, whose answer seems to be, “Let’s re-make things we made that were successful.” Yuck), my best place for ideas seems to be during my morning shower. I’m still trying to wake up, the cobwebs are only slowly dissipating from my mind, and I must be in a receptive, free-association state. That’s certainly what happened with Perilous Siege.
The thought that popped into my head more than three years ago was, “What if I could go back to the world of Pride and Prejudice and be one of the other characters?” Not a character who has anything to affect the story, but a third-person who could watch things happen with a modern-day perspective. As brain-storming goes, ideas started popping into my head, and the first was to make it possible by a variation on The Time Machine. Of course, that one got dismissed immediately. It wasn’t because fictional time traveling isn’t a viable concept (in fiction, at least, though Einstein says it’s impossible), but because even with a working WayBack Machine, you can’t go back to a time that never existed (except in Austen’s fertile imagination).
That then led to another science fiction concept, that of parallel universes. Ah, I said to myself, with an infinity of parallel universes resulting from different outcomes in history (the South won the Civil War, the American Revolution never took place, etc.), there would be one world where Austen’s characters lived and breathed.
Now we’re cooking, I told myself.
But I had to get my modern-day observer back to the world of that interests from the modern-day world. I briefly considered some kind of interdimensional shuttle such as used by H. Beam Piper in his Paratime series, where the Paratime Police protected the secret of paratime travel. But I really couldn’t see how that would get me what I wanted.
At almost the same time, I remembered Witch World, a science fiction novel written by Andre Norton (really Alice Mary Norton), in which the protagonist, a black marketer in the years after World War 2, is fleeing from contract killers set on his trail. The Siege Perilous was the means of transporting him to the Witch World, a completely fanciful world in which female witches make magic.
Aha! I thought. That’s how I’ll get my character to a similarly fanciful Regency England in which fictional character roamed the country!
However, it was easier said than done. I didn’t want my character to be a criminal of sorts, as was the male protagonist in Witch World. I wanted him to be admirable enough to form a friendship with Fitzwilliam Darcy so that he might get to view all the events in Pride and Prejudice through modern eyes. But the Siege Perilous of legend was supposed to have disappeared when Arthur’s knights dispersed after his death. My modern-day observer couldn’t go looking for it. There would be no ads on the internet to come be transported to the world where you belonged for only $1,999.99. He had to happen upon it by accident, and, since I wanted to stir the plot with the differences between the United States and Regency England, I had to get him to England. As well as in trouble, so he would take the one-way trip through the Siege.
So, since post-Apocalyptic scenarios have been flourishing lately (at least, judging by the programs on Netflix my wife sometimes watches when I’m trying to get to sleep), I decided to put my character into an end-of-the world scenario in which he was one of the Marines sent to England sometime in the future to save it from barbarian invaders. I know it’s a stretch of the imagination, but the whole setup was going to be completed in the Prologue. He’d get transported to the alternate world of Austen’s Regency after the last of his Marine unit was overrun and he was grievously wounded. With virtually everyone dead, then the priest whose family had cared for the Siege after it was returned to Cornwall upon the demise of Camelot could emerge from a cave and rescue our wounded observer. He’d be sent on his way at the end of the Prologue, and the first part of the book (about a third) would deal with him finding a place at Pemberley. Then I could get down to the meat of the novel and deal with what happens with Darcy and Elizabeth.
Now, the reader might ask if everything is going to transpire as it did in Austen’s novel. After thinking this over briefly, I didn’t want our observer to see Pride and Prejudice carried out as if the characters were actors reading from a script and performing for his benefit. After all, our observer might throw in a monkey wrench merely by being around. Even if he makes every attempt to refrain from interference, it might not be possible to do so. Since he and Darcy would become friends, he likely would travel with the Darcy family just as Bingley and his sisters did. So I decided to let the character of the various people be much as in canon, but I wouldn’t feel compelled to have them do and say the same things.
In short, there were going to be differences.
I’m not going to say much about the ending except that I came up with how I wanted to end things at about the same time as I started sketching in the plot outline and actually writing the Prologue. So, I ended up with a starting point and I knew how I wanted to end things. Now I just had to flesh out the plot outline to go from start to finish. Piece of cake, right?
Well, not exactly. As in so many cases, the devil is in the details. For example, I had a terrible time figuring out how to write the Pemberley ball sequence. I had about four or five different scenarios, some of them written with some detail, and I didn’t like any of them. I couldn’t figure out how to make them work, whether I stuck to Austen’s plotline or sailed off into the wild blue yonder. On one of my previous blog stops, I collected one of those discarded variations and posted it as a vignette that got snipped from the action.
Anyway, I’d done a fair amount of writing—some sixty thousand words, to be honest—with a lot of in-between stuff consisting of ideas and conflicts with what I had written. So, for the first time since I started writing in this genre, either in fanfiction or for publication, I came face-to-face with the abominable snowman of the writer. The dreaded Writer’s Block!
I’d always known it existed—but for other writers. I knew I was fortunate not to have encountered it. Somehow, when I sat down at my laptop, the words just seemed to flow. My fingers were living a life of their own, and everything was good.
Now my writing muse went into hiding. In my first stop on this blog tour, I wrote of my attempt to jump start my fingers by doing some 3D art to illustrate how I thought various characters and certain scenarios might look. But I also mentioned that this artistic effort didn’t really have much effect. I was stumped.
Plus, right about the same time, my wife came down with a deadly serious kidney infection that got into her bloodstream and almost killed her. She spent a month in the hospital, and she was out of her head for the first four days. It scared me silly. I lost my first wife to cancer, and now I was terrified I might be in the same fix. But things got better, and she eventually came home to recuperate. But it took the next year for her to get to the point where the doctors admitted she was about as close to fully recovered as she was going to get. The critical specialist was her kidney doctor, and he admitted she had suffered some irreversible kidney damage. But he also said she’d die of something else before her kidneys gave out. Not a great prognosis, but one heck of a lot better than what I’d been listening to for a year.
So, from late 2016 to the end of 2017 was a complete wash as far as Perilous Siege was concerned. And, when I tried to sit down at the laptop and pick up the threads of the story, I usually found myself pursuing other avenues. That whole period was when I started building model airplanes, ships, and tanks, something I hadn’t done since I was a teenager. But it kept me busy when Jeanine was sleeping or resting, but I was just a room away if she needed me.
But a solution was on the way, even if I didn’t know it. Around the end of 2017, I’d given my approval for my wife to look for a Rhodesian Ridgeback canine from one of the rescue organizations. She found a nice dog (who’s turned out to be a GREAT dog!), but he was in Texas and was suffering from heartworms. It was August of 2018 before he was cleared to travel, so we set off in our van to pick him up. It was on that trip that I finally defeated my Writer’s Block.
I did all the driving, since my wife still slept a lot during the day. And I really enjoy driving. So, with my wife snoozing away peacefully and the vehicle hard drive playing my musical favorites, I found myself thinking of how I might resolve certain contractions in Perilous Siege. When we stopped for the night in New Mexico, I stayed up long enough to write down what I’d been thinking. This continued for the whole trip to Texas and the whole trip back. I had scores of those little squares of note paper that are in the more economical motels when we got back to Arizona with the hound. (Have I mentioned that Amos has turned out to be the best dog I’ve had in more than forty years?)
I’d talked over some of what I’d considered, and my wife made suggestions. Unfortunately, they were pretty far reaching suggestions which would have turned the book into virtually a science fiction novel, so they didn’t make the cut. But they did make me think, so I was pretty busy getting everything down on paper and then setting out to really write. My fingers were alive again, and I informed Meryton Press that, after an delay of three years, I was finishing up another novel. I turned it in at the end of October, and Debbie Styne and I finished editing it right at the end of February.
So there you probably have more than you wanted to know about what goes on in an author’s mind when he’s putting a book together. I hope I’ve entertained you a bit, and I want to repeat my thanks Janet Taylor for hosting me and Claudine Pepes for managing everything on this blog tour.

Book Description:

What is the Siege Perilous, and how does it affect the lives of
everyone in the Regency universe of Pride & Prejudice?

When a man dressed in bizarre attire suddenly appears
in a field on his Pemberley estate, Fitzwilliam Darcy has little inkling of the many
and startling changes this man’s strange arrival will have on his life, his family’s lives,
and indeed, his whole world.

Mysteriously sent to the Regency world of Pride and
Prejudice, this refugee from a future Armageddon is befriended by Darcy.
How will the presence of Major Edward McDunn influence the events
of Jane Austen’s signature work, especially the tangled courtship between Darcy
and the complex and endearing Elizabeth Bennet?

Author Bio:

I’ve always been a voracious reader and collector of books, and my favorite genres
are science fiction, historical fiction, histories, and, in recent years, reading
(and later writing) Jane Austen romantic fiction. This late-developing interest
was indirectly stimulated when I read my late wife's beloved Jane Austen books
after her passing.  One thing led to another, and I now have three novels published:
A Most Civil Proposal (2013), Consequences (2014),
and Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets (2015).  My fourth novel, Perilous Siege,
was recently published in the second quarter of 2019.

I retired from engineering in 2011, but I still live in Arizona with my family
a pair of dogs (one of which is stubbornly untrainable), and a pair of rather
strange cats.  My hobbies are reading, woodworking, and watching college football
and LPGA golf (the girls are much nicer than the guys, as well as being fiendishly
good putters). Lately I’ve reverted back to my younger years and have taken up
building plastic model aircraft and ships (when I can find the time).

Author Links:

Colin Odom’s Facebook page:  C.P. Odom's Facebook Page
C. P. Odom’s Amazon page:  C.P. Odom's Amazon Page
C. P. Odom’s Goodreads page:  C.P. Odom's Goodreads Page
C. P. Odom’s page on Meryton Press site:  C.P. Odom's Meryton Press Page

Perilous Siege Blog Tour Schedule

April 8 / My Jane Austen Book Club / Guest Post
April 10 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Excerpt
April 12 / Austenesque Reviews / Character Interview
April 13 / Just Jane 1813 / Meet C.P. Odom
April 14 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review
April 15 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Excerpt
April 16 / From Pemberley to Milton / Vignette
April 17 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Excerpt
April 18 / More Agreeably Engaged / Guest Post

Congratulations to C. P. Odom for designing the artwork for his cover. From what I've been told, that's a first at Meryton Press. A special thanks to Claudine Pepe for organizing this blog tour and to Meryton Press for the giveaway.

Meryton Press is offering eight eBooks copies of Perilous Siege.
Thank you for your support with these giveaways.
The giveaway runs until midnight, April 21, 2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My share in the conversation...Be More Jane

It is my pleasure to take part in the blog tour for Sophie Andrews' new book, Be More Jane. I will be sharing my review of the book later in this post. I was thrilled to be part of the tour as I have felt I've known Sophie for a long time. She is such a lovely young woman and having this book published could not happened to a nicer person. Congratulations, Sophie. I'm so proud for you.

Jane Odiwe illustrated the book. I'm sure many of you are familiar with her watercolors. She is such a talented lady and has done an outstanding job with the paintings for Be More Jane. Congratulations to you, as well, Jane.

Isn't this a gorgeous book! It is hardbound and has the cut-out with a painting visible. One of you readers will be the lucky winner of one book! Isn't that nice!

Below is more information about the book. Then my thoughts will follow.


Book Title: Be More Jane: Bring out your inner Austen to meet life’s challenges
Authors: Sophie Andrews
Blog Tour Dates: April 8 – April 16, 2019
Publisher: CICO Books

Book Description:

Are you more Marianne than Elinor, Lydia rather than Lizzy? Be More Jane will teach you to address life with more sense and less prejudice, taking useful lessons from the novels and letters of Jane Austen, one of the world’s best-loved writers. Times may change, but many of our problems remain the same. Sophie Andrews, a young Janeite, knows from personal experience that in times of trouble, or just on matters of friendship, family, and love, answers are to be found in the pages of Miss Austen’s novels.


My share in the conversation...

Be More Jane is a delightful book! Sophie Andrews has done an excellent job of picking life lessons on which to elaborate. Some of the topics included are having fun in life, being in love, appearances, happiness, family, marriage, money, and others. I loved how Sophie expounded on each life challenge. For some she used characters from Miss Austen’s novels, and how Jane wrote those characters. Jealousy is one of the lessons, and who better than Caroline Bingley to be included in it! Through Jane, it is shown how jealousy never pays.  For other life lessons, Sophie used some of Jane Austen’s letters and things Jane said, relating how each applied. Well done, Sophie!

At the end of each section or life challenge, Sophie summarized with three main points to be learned or contemplated. I found those recaps an added bonus that I enjoyed. They were succinct and stated in a way that anyone could remember and apply them.

The talented Jane Odiwe illustrated the book with her lovely watercolors. Each one is beautifully done and pertains to the topic at hand. I believe there are eighteen paintings throughout the book and I looked forward with anticipation to each one.

Be More Jane is a quick read of only sixty-two pages and well worth the time spent reading it. The life challenges and related thoughts are good for anyone of any age. Everyone can gain something from this delightful book. The illustrations are the finishing touch to make Be More Jane a one-of-a-kind keepsake that any Janeite would love to have in their possession. I will treasure mine. I highly recommend this book.

Sophie Andrews Author Biography
Sophie Andrews is a founder member of the Jane Austen Pineapple Appreciation Society, and organises events such as picnics, balls and house parties for her fellow Austenites. Sophie started her blog, Laughing with Lizzie, in 2012, aged 16, after studying Pride and Prejudice at school. She has been attending Austen-themed events since then, and was featured in the BBC documentary “My Friend Jane” which focused on the fun and friendship she has found with her fellow Janeites. She lives in Berkshire and has over 100 different editions of Pride and Prejudice on her bookshelves.
Be More Jane Tour Schedule
April 8         Regency History/Q&A & Giveaway
April 9         Diary of an Eccentric/Book review & Giveaway
April 10       More Agreeably Engaged/Book review & Giveaway
April 11       Babblings of a Bookworm/Excerpt & Giveaway
April 12       My Love for Jane Austen/Guest Post & Giveaway
April 14       My Jane Austen Book Club/Book review & Giveaway
April 15       So Little Time/Guest Post & Giveaway
April 16       Austenesque Reviews/Book review & Giveaway

CICO books, Yvonne, and Sophie, thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. I would not have missed it! 

Dear Readers, the publisher is giving away one hard copy of the book and it is available to all in the US, Canada, and Europe. Leave a comment telling us what you think about the book, my share in the conversation, or just send Sophie and Jane some love. Be sure I have your contact info so I may let you know if you are the randomly selected winner. The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. Central Time on the 16th of April. Good luck to all.