Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, and Giveaway!

Amateur sleuth Jane Austen returns in Jane and the Waterloo Map, the thirteenth novel in Stephanie Barron’s delightful Regency-era mystery series.

Award winning author Stephanie Barron tours the blogosphere February 2 through February 22, 2016 to share her latest release, Jane and the Waterloo Map (Being a Jane Austen Mystery). Twenty popular book bloggers specializing in Austenesque fiction, mystery and Regency history will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts and book reviews from this highly anticipated novel in the acclaimed Being a Jane Austen Mystery series. A fabulous giveaway contest, including copies of Ms. Barron’s book and other Jane Austen-themed items, will be open to those who join the festivities.  

 I am honored to a part of the Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour that was put together by Laurel Ann Nattress of one of my favorite blogs, Austenprose.  I first discovered Stephanie Barron's wonderful novels in 2003 when I was walking through the Milwaukee Public Library downtown and saw the beautiful cover of Jane and the Ghosts of Netley.  I picked up the book and discovered it was a historical fiction mystery novel with Jane Austen as the main character.  The books are immersed in the real events of Jane's life, but have made her the plucky heroine with her own adventures in solving myseries. I was riveted and soon had read all of the books that came before it in the series.  Jane and the Waterloo map continues the streak of excellence.  It can be read as part of the series or alone.  Return for my review as part of this tour on February 16th.  Continuing reading for an exciting excerpt of the novel and more details on the book and an exciting giveaway.

EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 3: In which we find Jane Austen on a visit to Carlton House, royal London resident of the Prince Regent, with her host, the royal chaplain James Stanier Clarke.

“I begin to think that the smokes and fogs of London carry every sort of contagion, Miss Austen.  You will be wanting to fly into Hampshire as soon as your brother may spare you.”
“I do not think of quitting London before December,” I replied.  “My business with Mr. Murray precludes it.”
“John Murray, the publisher?  Of Albemarle Street?” Mr. Clarke sat up a little straighter in his chair.  “He has the printing of your latest work, I presume?  As how should he not—the publisher of Byron, to link his name and fortunes with so celebrated an Authoress as Miss Jane Austen!  Pray, is the work very far advanced?”
“We have only just embarked on the proofs of the first volume,” I replied.  “My brother’s illness, as you may imagine, must take precedence.”
“And will it be as admirable in every way as Mansfield Park?  I confess that is my favourite of your works—so pleasing in its treatment of Ordination, and its sober picture of the clergy.  Is your heroine to be as modest and humble a lady as Miss Fanny Price?”
“Not at all,” I truthfully replied.  “Indeed, I cannot think Emma a creature anyone but myself will very much like.  She is too full of spirits, self-assurance, vanity and pride; and she is in the habit of always getting her own way.”
“The very picture of the Princess Charlotte!” Mr. Clarke cried. 
He rose and began to turn in some agitation before the stove, which threw out a good deal of heat.  I was fortunate in having a fire screen close at hand, however, and employed it.  The Bow Room was a marvel of luxury and comfort—and this, by all appearances, was the least of the Regent’s chambers.  The window that gave the room its name looked out on an area clad in Portland stone, the insipid color dappled with the silhouettes of perhaps a dozen yew trees in glossy black tubs.  The shrubs had been clipped into fantastic shapes—a charger’s head, mane blown back; a sea nymph rising from a wave.  Placed in a spot where no garden could grow, an entire storey below ground, they refreshed the eye on a dark November afternoon.  Again, I suppressed the desire to accept Mr. Clarke’s invitation, and write in the peace and comfort of this remarkable house.  I might be undisturbed for hours, treated to good coal fires, and have my pick of myriad Jameses to bring me ratafia and cakes whenever I desired them.
“I hope you will not think me impertinent.”  Mr. Clarke broke in upon my reverie.  “--Although it must be impossible for the Notice of the Regent to be considered as anything but a Blessing.  I wonder, Miss Austen—I have informed you, I know, of His Royal Highness’s immense regard for your work, and indeed, that of his daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte—would it be indelicate, nay, presumptuous of me to offer a little hint?”
Bewildered, I stared at him, my ratafia suspended in one hand.  “If you could perhaps speak more plainly, sir,” I said. 
“Of course.  To be sure.”  He turned again, hands clasped behind his coat.  “You are aware that on occasion the Regent grants the favour of Notice to various Luminaries of Art and Letters.  It is to be your honour, Miss Austen, to receive that Notice.”
I felt heat in my cheeks.  What was the absurd little man suggesting? 
“It is His Royal Highness’s pleasure and happiness to command that your next published work be dedicated humbly, and gratefully, to Himself, as Regent of the noble land that gave you birth, Miss Austen--that inspired your Genius--that has so warmly embraced your interesting histories of Genteel Romance.”
He beamed at me, confident of the joy that must even now be surging in my spinster’s breast. 
“You will wish, I know, to send a simple note of thanks to the Regent for this Notice—which I will be happy to convey myself.  I will procure you pen and paper directly.  The Dedication, when composed, may also be sent for my perusal, so that any little improvements that might strike my fancy, and that have escaped your scrupulous intellect, may be subscribed therewith.”
I, commanded to dedicate my cherished Emma to a man I abominated?  Commanded, moreover, to regard His Royal arrogance as an occasion for gratitude?  Absurd.
I had endured enough of Carlton House for one day.
“You are too kind, Mr. Clarke,” I said stiffly.  “But now I must take my leave of you.  My maid will be wondering what has become of me.”
“As to that—surely it is a maid’s office to wait upon her mistress?  You will be wanting another glass of ratafia, I am sure.”
“You are all politeness, but I am unequal to--”
A sound at the Bow Room doorway brought my head around.  Doctor Baillie was silhouetted in its frame.
“You are wanted, Clarke,” he said brusquely.  “The Colonel ought to have Absolution, and there is no time to waste.”
“Good Lord!  It cannot be so bad as that!”
“It is.  You will find him above, in the Green Velvet Room.  Make haste, man!”

Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful Regency-era mystery

November, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo has come and gone, leaving the British economy in shreds; Henry Austen, high-flying banker, is about to declare bankruptcy—dragging several of his brothers down with him. The crisis destroys Henry’s health, and Jane flies to his London bedside, believing him to be dying. While she’s there, the chaplain to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent invites Jane to tour Carlton House, the Prince’s fabulous London home. The chaplain is a fan of Jane’s books, and during the tour he suggests she dedicate her next novel—Emma—to HRH, whom she despises.

However, before she can speak to HRH, Jane stumbles upon a body—sprawled on the carpet in the Regent’s library. The dying man, Colonel MacFarland, was a cavalry hero and a friend of Wellington’s. He utters a single failing phrase: “Waterloo map” . . . and Jane is on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.



"A well-crafted narrative with multiple subplots drives Barron’s splendid 13th Jane Austen mystery. Series fans will be happy to see more of Jane’s extended family and friends, and Austenites will enjoy the imaginative power with which Barron spins another riveting mystery around a writer generally assumed to have led a quiet and uneventful life."  Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Writing in the form of Jane’s diaries, Barron has spun a credible tale from a true encounter, enhanced with meticulous research and use of period vocabulary."

"Barron, who's picked up the pace since Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, portrays an even more seasoned and unflinching heroine in the face of nasty death and her own peril."  Kirkus Reviews

"Barron deftly imitates Austen’s voice, wit, and occasional melancholy while spinning a well-researched plot that will please historical mystery readers and Janeites everywhere. Jane Austen died two years after the events of Waterloo; one hopes that Barron conjures a few more adventures for her beloved protagonist before historical fact suspends her fiction." Library Journal 


Stephanie Barron was born in Binghamton, New York, the last of six girls. She attended Princeton and Stanford Universities, where she studied history, before going on to work as an intelligence analyst at the CIA. She wrote her first book in 1992 and left the Agency a year later. Since then, she has written fifteen books. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Learn more about Stephanie and her books at her website, visit her on Facebook and Goodreads.


February 02              My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
February 03              Laura's Reviews (Excerpt)                                               
February 04              A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
February 05              The Calico Critic (Review)           
February 06              So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)                            
February 07              Reflections of a Book Addict (Spotlight)                                  
February 08              Mimi Matthews Blog (Guest Blog)                                  
February 09              Jane Austen’s World (Interview)                                                
February 10              Just Jane 1813 (Review)                                      
February 11              Confessions of a Book Addict (Excerpt)                                 
February 12              History of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Guest Blog)               
February 13              My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)                        
February 14              Living Read Girl (Review)                        
February 14              Austenprose (Review)
February 15              Mystery Fanfare (Guest Blog)                             
February 16              Laura's Reviews (Review)                                               
February 17              Jane Austen in Vermont (Excerpt)                                             
February 18              From Pemberley to Milton (Interview)                                       
February 19              More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
February 20              Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)                                         
February 21              A Covent Garden Gilflurt's Guide to Life (Guest Blog)
February 22              Diary of an Eccentric (Review)


Grand Giveaway Contest

Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the release of Jane and the Waterloo Map, Stephanie is offering a chance to win one of three prize packages filled with an amazing selection of Jane Austen-inspired gifts and books!  

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour starting February 02, 2016 through 11:59 pm PT, February 29, 2016. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Stephanie’s website on March 3, 2016. Winners have until March 10, 2016 to claim their prize. Shipment is to US addresses. Good luck to all!


  1. I enjoyed that book Jane and the Ghosts of Netley so much that I had to see Netley Abbey for myself. I dragged my husband who is not appreciative of ruins to see it. Very atmospheric and a great setting for a,book.

    1. That is awesome that you have been to Netley Abbey yourself! I would love to travel there someday.

    2. Wonderful to hear, Linda. One of the best parts of writing - or reading - about Jane, is following in her footsteps.

    3. Wonderful to hear, Linda. One of the best parts of writing - or reading - about Jane, is following in her footsteps.

  2. I love the way Jane's voice is captured in this excerpt. It is the same voice I hear in my head while reading Austen's novels. And Mr. Clarke sounds exactly as I imagined.

    1. I agree. You've captured what I love about this novel and others in the series so well - they do perfectly represent how I think of Jane and how she would speak and act.

  3. James Stanier Clarke reminds me of the toady Mr. Collins in P&P. He must have appreciated the character more than most!

    1. He reminded me of Mr. Collins as well! I especially love how he also gives advice to Jane about writing about a hero clergyman and seems to totally miss how Jane depicted Mr. Collins in a less than flattering light!

  4. The excerpt has worked its magic! Thank you, Laura and Stephanie!

    1. It's a wonderful book - I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

  5. I am just loving the cover for this book!

  6. What a lovely excerpt to share! I agree in every way that Stephanie captures what I also would imagine as Jane's tone and inner voices... The reflective voice narrates the story so well and pulls the reader right into Jane's brilliant mind! Thanks for the post!

  7. A great excerpt. Had me imagining the tone of voice when she reenacts ferry stories with her siblings. Thanks! Annie

  8. Wonderful excerpt and giveaway! I will add a link to the giveaway to my blog's sidebar. Thank you for hosting this, Laura.

  9. James Stanier Clarke's letters to Jane are preserved in the LeFaye edition of her collected correspondence, as sell as her droll responses, in which she manages to convey humility about her skill at capturing in literature such a paragon as he describes. When you know Jane, you know she was smirking as wrote it!

  10. James Stanier Clarke's letters to Jane are preserved in the LeFaye edition of her collected correspondence, as sell as her droll responses, in which she manages to convey humility about her skill at capturing in literature such a paragon as he describes. When you know Jane, you know she was smirking as wrote it!

  11. I love the dialogue in the excerpt!

  12. The excerpt makes me want to read more! Also, the giveaway is amazing :)

  13. Sounds delicious! Can't wait to read!

  14. I am so excited to discover a new-to-me author! I loved the excerpt. Thank you for the fun giveaway!

  15. I love this series and am so excited for the next installment. Cannot wait to read.

  16. The excert really caught my attention, and I'm actually really excited to dive into the book.

  17. What a fun sounding book - I will be looking these up so I can get them and a fun giveaway. Thank you for sharing

  18. This sounds like a great series. Thank you for the enjoyable excerpt!

  19. I love well crafted historical fiction. Add Jane Austin and it must be magic.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. This excerpt is so intriguing. I have loved every book in the series! Thank you for
    the giveaway.

  22. Thank you for being a host for this contest, the book sounds like a winner!

    wfnren at aol dot com

  23. I can't imagine many more things I'd rather read than a book about Jane and a mystery :)

  24. What a great book and giveaway!! Thanks so much!!

  25. I 'saved' Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas to read at the holidays. Looking forward to Waterloo!

  26. Same here. Thought Twelve Days of Christmas was perfect to read then. Thanks for the giveaway - wonderful prizes.

  27. I'm finally finding time to read Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas which Santa left under my tree. Thanks for the chance to win.

  28. I am so looking forward to the new book! It seems like ages ago since I read Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas!

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

  30. I can't believe I've never read this series. So excited to find a new author and series to delve into. Thanks!

  31. This book sounds intriguing. A must read on my list.
    Maureen M.