Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A Sister's Curse...Jayne Bamber

My guest today is Jayne Bamber, and this is a special day for her. Not only is she here to share an enticing excerpt from her new book, A Sister's Curse, she is also celebrating her birthday! Happy Birthday, Jayne! I'm so excited that my readers and I can help you celebrate! How fun for us to be with you on this day. I know my dear readers will join me in wishing you the very best of days!

Getting back to reason that Jayne joins us today, her new release sounds quite intriguing and different. Have any of you read it yet? If you have, maybe you will share some of your thoughts with us in the comments. 

Jayne, I will turn the floor over to you. 


Fan-casting A Sister’s Curse

When writing, it’s easy enough to imagine Lizzy and Darcy, Jane and Bingley, and even Colonel Fitzwilliam, with all the adaptations I have seen. Of course, there are times when I picture them a little differently – a handsomer Colonel, a younger Lady Catherine, etc. With my new release, A Sister’s Curse, there are several characters I imagine very differently from any portrayal I’ve seen, and a few original characters that exist only in my imagination!

So, I thought I ought to provide some visual aid, as I share with you just a little introduction to these new characters, and a few minor tweaks to some existing characters. Lizzy, Darcy, Jane, and Bingley have been omitted from this list because I think their portrayals have always been so very perfect in film, even when so different from one movie to another.

As to the minor characters and new characters, allow me to introduce Darcy and Lizzy’s extended family….

Lady Anne Darcy (Kelly MacDonald)

As a writer who is weirdly interested in small characters, Lady Anne was a delight to written and to get to know. In A Sister’s Curse, I envisioned her as a spirited woman who, being related to so many feisty Fitzwilliams, she still seems tame in comparison – Lady Catherine, the Earl, and even their mother are overpowering in contrast. Early in the story, Lady Anne will stand up for herself, when pushed to do so, though her brother likes to anticipate her. As the story progresses, time is not kind to Lady Anne, and it is more of a struggle for her to go back to speaking her mind as freely as she once did, so there is a strong sense of regret that clouds her character.

Sir Edward Gardiner (James Frain)

I definitely see Uncle Edward as more complex than the jolly, portly, white-haired standard depiction in films, and in A Sister’s Curse he is an integral part of the story from very early on. Like Lady Anne, Sir Edward first appears in the story as a younger man; he, too, shoulders a great burden that wears him away over the years, until he begins to resemble Mr. Bennet in terms of parenting style as well as general marital woe. He has a dose of self-loathing to overcome before the story ends, but he is still fortunate in his friends and beloved by his nieces.

Henry Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Matlock (Sean Bean)

The Earl is a powerful enough man to be used to having his own way, and but still a man of enough good intention to interfere in the affairs of others on behalf of those he loves. His meddling early on in the story, though well-meaning, leads to some unexpected consequences for the people that he seeks to assist.


Lady Eleanor, Dowager Countess of Matlock (Caroline Goodall)
My sass queen! Mother to Lady Anne Darcy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and the Earl of Matlock – the kind of mother who will loudly and proudly declare she loves all of her children equally, and in the next breath throw some serious shade.

Lady Charlotte Fitzwilliam (Jodie Comer)

The younger sister of the Viscount and Colonel Fitzwilliam is also a stand-in for Charlotte Lucas, as Lizzy’s friend and confidante. On the verge of spinsterhood, Charlotte retains a sense of humor and good cheer, and though she may speak sensibly and practically, she secretly harbors a romantic nature.

Phyllis Gardiner – Fitzwilliam (Harriet Walter)

The younger sister of Edward Gardiner and Fanny Bennet is still a young lady at the opening of the story, not yet wed to Mr. Phillips of Meryton. Thanks to the dowager countess, Phyllis’s life takes a very different turn – she first becomes a paid companion to the Sass Queen Extraordinaire, and then marries far beyond what might have been expected of her.

William Collins (Tom Mison)

A Sister’s Curse portrays Mr. Collins as both kinder and wiser, having had the advantages of growing up at Longbourn, receiving a gentleman’s education, and never having to grovel to the likes of Lady Catherine de Bourgh! As a friend of Mr. Bingley’s, he takes the opportunity to extend an “olive branch” to his fair cousins, but on this occasion it is much better received.


Georgiana Augusta “Rose” Gardiner (Lily James)

Ostensibly Sir Edward Gardiner’s oldest daughter, Rose goes by her middle name to hide the fact that her spit-fire mother Lady Olivia named her after her natural father – that’s right, you guessed it, none other than the Prince Regent himself! While her parentage is only a problem inasmuch as the discord it sows in the family, Rose, who is four years younger than Lizzy, is a fiercely loyal, though sometimes Lydia-esque accomplice.

Elliot de Bourgh (Jason Momoa)

This de Bourgh cousin is deployed as a secret weapon of sorts; a second son and cousin of Anne de Bourgh, who arrives in London to fulfill his family’s wish of getting Rosings back into their hands, much to the dismay of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Elliot is clever and a little shy around ladies, despite his staggering good looks, and his visit to London is quickly derailed.

Madeline (Helena Bonham – Carter)

Sir Edward Gardiner’s first love fulfills a very different role in this tale. While she typically appears as Lizzy’s doting aunt, full of wisdom and encouragement, Madeline and Edward do not marry in their youth in this tale, leading to a domino effect that brings her back into his life later on, in much different circumstances….


The excerpt I will be sharing today is a view of the extended Fitzwilliam family at Christmas, when Lizzy is just 13 years old – as you will see, life has been very different from canon for many characters….

     Lady Anne looked about her drawing room and let out a sigh of contentment as she cast her eyes
about everything before her – everything she had ever wanted. The Yule log her husband had collected
with their son and young George Wickham was blazing brightly in the fireplace, and Mary and
Elizabeth were hanging up garlands of holly with little Rose Gardiner and their Fitzwilliam cousins,
who were bearing up cheerfully on their first Christmas without their mother. George was turning the
sheet music for Jane as she practiced at the pianoforte she had been given for St. Nicholas’s day, and
the sound of the traditional carol, mixed with the crackling of the fire and the laughter of her children,
was sheer bliss.
     Upstairs, the rest of her recently arrived relations were settling in from their journey; Catherine, Sir
Lewis and Anne, the earl, dowager countess, and Phyllis Gardiner – soon to be Phyllis Fitzwilliam – 
would join them soon. Sir Edward Gardiner ambled into the room with a broad smile, and Anne patted
the sofa beside her.
     “How are you this evening, Lady Anne?”
     “The same as I am every Christmas – incandescently happy.”
     “I am glad to hear it,” Sir Edward replied, seating himself beside her. “That is just what I love
about visiting Pemberley. This place is always full of happiness and laughter.”
     “It is, is it not?” Anne gazed at her daughters and smiled. “I suppose I owe a great deal of that to you,
my old friend. You have given my husband and I three very good reasons to be happy. I only hope that
you are half as contented as I am.”
     Sir Edward smiled sadly; he must have known what she was really saying, and the question she
could not bear to ask. “I am well enough. Rose is a delight, in her own way. She is every bit a little
princess, you know, and stubborn like her mother.”
     “Is Lady Olivia well?”
     “She will be, after her confinement. She sends her regards, of course. I think she really would have
liked to be here this year. It is my hope,” he confided in a low voice, “that after the babe comes, she
may yet return to her former self. There are still traces of it about her, at times....” He sighed and
broke off.
     Anne looked away, recalling her attempts, all of which had been in vain, to dissuade him from the
match that had brought him wealth and a title, as well as a decade of misery that he had not been able
to conceal. Fond as she was of Sir Edward, she had often been forced over the years to remind herself
that he was a grown man, capable of making his own decisions. She had long felt little but doubt at his
attempts to assure her, whenever Lady Olivia acted up, that he had made his peace with his marriage,
if not his wife.
     “I have given some thought to your last letter,” he said. “If you wish to formally give the girls
the Darcy name, I have no objection to it. I think it would be better if I were with them when you and
George tell them about it, if only to assure them that they need not feel any uncertainty about the matter.”
     “Oh, Edward, thank you. Truly, it means the world to George and me. And of course it will be a fine
thing for Jane, too, with her going off to school in the new year. She is so very shy, and I think the
Darcy name might help her make friends in spite of her reserve.”
     Sir Edward regarded his eldest niece and smiled warmly. “She is nearly a woman grown, is she not?
The years certainly have flown by. She is a fine young lady, and I appreciate your influence on her.”
     Anne swatted at him. “And what of the other girls?”
     “Lizzy is still all Thomas, and I daresay she ever shall be.”
     “I could not wish her any different. She gives me the most trouble of the three, but between you
and I, I confess I rather adore it.”
     “And little Mary, how she diverts me! I should never have imagined Fanny having a daughter who
would be so very serious, and so bookish. She rather reminds me of your William. I see his influence
in her, as much as your own.”
     “And dear William is entirely his father, as I am sure you are aware.”
     “He has got a good head on his shoulders, and is every bit the gentleman.”
     Anne smiled to herself as her eyes drifted over to her son. Her husband had shaped William
into a fine young man indeed, and she was tremendously proud of him. She only wished that he might,
in time, grow closer with the girls. She supposed it was a great disparity in their ages, and the fact
that he was already of an age to begin schooling so soon after the girls first came to them, that must
have produced this reserve she sensed from him. He was certainly not as outspoken as young
George Wickham, their steward’s son, but he was easy and open enough with Richard
and John Fitzwilliam.
     “I think he is rather mortified by Catherine’s new notion of his marrying Anne someday,” she felt
herself blurting out. “He shows the same reserve to poor Charlotte as well.”
     Sir Edward chuckled. “They are all of them far too young to be thinking of such things yet,
but given how time does tend to fly, I am sure we must all be thinking of such things ere long.
Soon it will be our girls.”
     “Perish the thought!” Anne shook her head teasingly, and was on the point of changing the
subject entirely when her mother swept into the room. She greeted her family warmly, saving Anne
and Sir Edward for last.
     “You are looking well tonight, Daughter,” she said cheerfully as she took a seat nearby. “And how
are you, dear Edward? I hear you have left Lady Olivia in London on this visit. Tell me, how does
your charming wife?”
     Anne could perceive the barb by the turn of her mother’s smile, and suspected Sir Edward could
as well, but he only replied, “She sends her love.”
     “Oh yes, I am sure. Well now, Anne, I suppose the rest of our party will be down soon. Have you
asked him?”
     Sir Edward quirked his eyebrows knowingly, and Anne laughed. “Well Good Heavens, Mamma!
I suppose if I had not, you would have quite muddied the waters, putting him on edge by making
such a speech!”
     “Yes, well, I like to keep my beaux on their toes, you know.”
     “We have spoken of it, Lady Eleanor,” Sir Edward said with humor in his tone. “I have given
my hearty approval to the girls taking the Darcy name.”
     “I am glad to hear it. I was quite your supporter, I shall tell you that. I told them how it would be,
that you would think it the most natural thing in the world, and most advantageous. You are a fine
uncle indeed! Now then, when shall we tell the girls?”
     “Oh, I do not know,” Anne sighed. “To own the truth, I am rather nervous. George assures me
I am making a fuss over nothing, but I worry about Lizzy.”
     As Sir Edward gave her a nervous look, her mother harrumphed. “Yes, well, I worry about all
thirteen-year-old girls. It is a difficult age!”

What do you think? It's been enjoyable reading that Lady Anne and George Darcy are living. What
about the choice of characters? Elliot de Bourgh? (Aquaman and looking handsome!)
Hmmm, are you ready to read more? You can get your copy with the link below or just maybe, you will
win one in the giveaway!

Buy Link for A Sister's Curse

Connect with Jayne here: Jayne's Facebook Page

Now it is giveaway time! I believe this is a bit backward, don't you Dear Readers? Jayne is giving one
of you a gift on her birthday. How generous you are, Jayne! You should be the one getting gifts!

To enter the giveaway for one free eBook, A Sister's Curse, please click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Please share some birthday wishes and some book love with Jayne Bamber. I'm so glad that you were able to join us today, Jayne. It's lovely having you here. I hope your day is wonderful and full of many fun and happy times. Happy Birthday and Best Wishes with your new release.


  1. I like Elliot de Bourgh and the Earl of Matlock, WilliamsCollins is not too bad. But who is the villain of the peace

  2. Happy birthday, Jayne! This sounds like a creative P&P variation, and I like your actor choices.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I just love who you picked for your characters! I love Sean Bean, Helena Bonham-Carter, Tom Mison, and Lily James for these roles! I just ordered the paperback today and will have to keep these actors in mind as I read. I love 'outside the box' variations so I am looking forward to reading it. I still have the 2nd book in your trilogy to read, but I just might jump this one ahead of it. Congratulations!

  4. Happy birthday! Thanks for sharing this. I love your cast!

  5. Happy Birthday... that line up for the cast was amazing. Well done. I can now have character pictures in my mind when I read this story. Thanks to Janet for hosting.

  6. Some good choices. I like the imagination I can exercise as novel unfolds, but I also enjoyed the photos.

  7. Happy belated birthday, Jayne. I am impressed with the pictures of your cast. I look forward to reading this book.

  8. Happy Belated Birthday! This looks like it’s going to be a fun tale.

  9. Happy Birthday a bit late! I enjoyed your post and thoroughly approve of your casting choices. I, too, cast new characters in my stories with actors I think fit the type. It’s fun, and I’m glad you shared them with us.

  10. Belated happy birthday hope you had a wonderful day.

    Thank you for sharing another excerpt.I am not sure EB will like being a Darcy at that age...