Monday, September 17, 2012

Searching for Captain Wentworth Guest Blog by author Jane Odiwe (and GIVEAWAY!)

I am excited to have Jane Odiwe, a fantastic Austen inspired author on my blog today.  Her latest novel involves one of my favorite literary heroes, Captain Wentworth from Austen's wonderful novel, Persuasion.  It's next on my "to-read" pile and I can't wait to get to it!

Thank you very much Laura for inviting me as a guest to your blog today!

My new book, Searching for Captain Wentworth, is inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion - my favourite of her novels.

When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it's an invitation she can't turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house where Jane Austen lived. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie's story travels two hundred years across time and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together, the tale of Jane Austen's own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion.

I’ve loved being able to write about a contemporary love story as well as one in the past and it’s been wonderful to write about all the places I love that Jane wrote about too.

One of these places is the Pump Room in Bath and it’s here that my heroine Sophie first meets my hero Josh who lives in the flat beneath her. He is rather a mysterious figure - Sophie’s never met him face to face - she’s only had a little glimpse of him from the back. And because she’s ‘borrowed’ something, which belongs to him and not yet returned it, she’s taken aback when fate brings them together before she has a chance to explain. Knowing he is completely in the dark about her, she’s not at all sure what to do or say. Here’s an excerpt:

The room was buzzing with chattering people whilst a trio on the stage entertained everyone with music from a piano, viola and violin. Presiding over it all was the statue of Beau Nash who along with the portraits of stern gentlemen looked as if he might climb down from his stony pedestal at any moment to remonstrate with the table underneath him, a noisy family who were gathered to catch up with their gossipy news. At the water fountain in the bow-windowed alcove, a man in fancy livery was dispensing water into glasses. A little queue was forming and there was a lot of laughter and pulling of faces as people decided whether they liked or disliked the taste of Bath’s spa water. I made my way to the counter, pulling off my gloves and hat and leaving them to one side. The steaming water frothed from an urn into the mouths of copper fish, green with verdigris, as the Pumper filled the glasses placing each one before reticent customers. He put one before me with an enquiring look. I couldn’t really come to Bath and not try the waters. After all, I was sure Anne and Captain Wentworth had managed, as had Jane herself, so I handed over my money. I must admit, I wasn’t thrilled by the smell and I did end up holding my breath so that I couldn’t taste the warm, sulphurous liquid. But, I managed to get to the bottom of the glass, which I felt was an achievement, though I wasn’t sure I was going to do it again. I was just about to leave when I was suddenly aware of someone standing too closely behind me, right by my elbow, wedging themselves in between the person next in line and myself. I think I probably looked a bit cross when I turned round, but I was sure that they were rudely barging in.

‘Does this belong to you?’

I started and stared, both at the glove in his hand and the face looking down at me. Although I’d never seen this face before, I immediately recognized the mop of chocolate curls. Registering the lightly tanned skin and deep velvet eyes; brown as the bed of the brook I paddled in as a child, I watched sensuous lips curve into a smile revealing white teeth. I’m sure my mouth fell open in surprise.

‘I’m sorry if I made you jump,’ he said, ‘but I just saw your glove fall to the floor a moment ago and someone tread on it. The next thing it had been kicked to one side, and I thought you might not notice, or find it yourself.’

I managed to say thank you, but I couldn’t utter another word.

‘Are you sure you’re okay? You know, you look really pale. Would you like to sit down?’

I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was Josh whatshisname. Though I hadn’t seen his face before, I knew the rest of him so well. Standing right next to me, he was so close, I could have put a finger up through one of those long, loose curls that tumbled in dark, unruly waves. I could just imagine what Lara would have said about his leather jacket, the silver chain he wore round his neck and his snug fitting jeans. I admit I was slightly over-awed; he had such presence. He was one of those people that command attention, who everyone stares at when they enter a room. His large, expressive eyes were looking at me in concern, but he smiled again, a sort of funny, half smile that just hinted at a sense of humour. I was shocked, utterly dumbfounded. I just kept thinking, he must wonder if I’m totally stupid as I stood with my mouth open doing a very good impression of the copper fish on the water pump behind the counter. It was so unexpected.

‘Have you come for your usual, Mr Strafford?’

‘Yes, line them up, Toby,’ Josh said, thumping the counter, ‘I’m ready and willing!’

Toby, the pumper, poured three glasses of spa water and placed them before Josh. I watched him drink the first, draining the glass without flinching once. I noticed his hands, like artist’s hands, I thought, with long, slender fingers. He looked at me again with those eyes that seemed to acknowledge the effect he was having on me and he winked playfully.

I felt myself blushing but, at last, I found my tongue. ‘You’re not going to drink them all, are you?’ I asked, before I realized that I’d actually spoken my thoughts out loud.

He paused to turn and grin at me. ‘Every morning without fail, I’m here to take the waters. Isn’t that right, Toby?’

‘That’s correct, Mr Strafford,’ replied the pumper, with a tone that suggested a certain pride in what he obviously thought was a very admirable habit in his customer.

‘But, do you actually like it?’ I persisted. Drinking one glass had been quite enough as far as I was concerned.

Josh licked his lips and grinned, his eyes sparkling mischievously. ‘Don’t you?’

I wanted to say yes. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I really wanted to agree with him. I hesitated.

Picking up the next glass, he threw back his head in a theatrical manner and I watched his throat move as the liquid disappeared. ‘One to go,’ he cried, dashing the glass down noisily upon the wooden counter top.

Then he suddenly leaned towards me, which surprised me so much, my immediate reaction was to back off, but there was nowhere to go as I was up against the edge of a tall column. He buried his face in my hair and I remembered thinking how sorry I was that I hadn’t had a bath or shampooed my hair that morning, but hot water was something in short supply and I’d just had a quick wash. Thank goodness, I’d drenched myself in perfume, I thought.

‘The water is disgusting,’ he murmured, ‘but don’t tell Toby, it would break his heart.’

I couldn’t help but laugh. Toby, I noticed, was on the other side dispensing more water to hopeful clientele. Josh now turned away, looking straight ahead as if there had been no communication between us, all innocent and quite like a small boy who has just been very naughty.

‘Can I get you another?’ he asked, with a twinkle in his eye, just as Toby passed by.

‘Oh, no thank you, but it was delicious,’ I said, loud enough for Toby to hear and be rewarded with a smile.

‘I’m Josh,’ he said, putting out his hand very formally, the smile friendly, but less conspiratorial.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little excerpt from Searching for Captain Wentworth. Have you ever visited Bath? If you could travel to the UK, would you like to visit Bath and where would you like to go first?

Giveaway Details

Author Jane Odiwe has graciously offered a giveaway of one signed copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth.

If you would like to win a copy of this book please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the this book and/or answer Jane's questions from above about Bath.  I so long to visit Bath myself!!
As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is International!

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday September 28, 2012.

Please make sure to check the first week of October to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner but lately I have been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.
Good luck!


  1. There's a couple of reasons for my wanting to read this book. Like the author, Captain Wentworth is a favorite hero; and also I love time slip novels. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I would like to thank you for a fantastic book giveaway, that i would love to have the oportunity of reading and reviewing! I am a huge fan of Jane Austens work and book adaptations/ sequels that are reference to her work and her remarkable characters. This book sounds truly intreguing, as Anne Elliot's story is one that i admire, cherish and take much delight in; as a heroine of outstanding spirit.
    Thank you so much! x

    Post Link:

    My Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

  3. I love Jane Austin and this book sounds great. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  4. Thank you Laura for hosting me today!
    Thank you Miss Lucinda and Julie - I'm so pleased you like the sound of my book!

  5. Visiting Bath would be memorable and special. this novel sounds wonderful since it involves time travel. Thanks for this wonderful feature. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. What a fascinating novel. I enjoyed the excerpt greatly and this historical is unique. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Linda, petite and traveler - thank you so much for stopping at Laura's blog to leave a comment-much appreciated!

  8. Patkf2007 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    I love time travel novels since I was little . captain one of my favorite herpes along with persuasion being favorite book ive also visited bath not so long ago and been searching for books that takes place there.

  9. Jane Austen and time travel...sounds promising.
    nanze55 at hotmail dot com

  10. I have yet to visit Bath but I hope to do so soon! Jane, I love to read all of your posts about this delightful place you love so much! I guess I will get to experience Bath in the past and in the present through your lovely new novel! Thanks for the giveaway!!=)

  11. I would like to meet Captain Wentworth as he is my favourite character in Jane Austen's canon. Besides this Bath is a very interesting place that I would love to visit so I can virtually travel to the Georgian city by reading this book.

    No, I have not step foot in UK but given the chance, I would love to visit London and then onward to Bath. The first place I would stop is probably the Assembly Room, then to Pump Room, Bath Cathedral and the Jane Austen Centre where I will bankrupt myself by purchasing souvenirs like books that I cannot be bought elsewhere. :)


  12. I love the idea of a time travel Jane Austen romance. This sounds fun.

    As to Bath, yes, I would absolutely like to visit. There are a few places that my favorite books mention with the Pump Room being one, the Assembly rooms, Sydney Gardens and a home tour for sure.

    Thanks for the nice excerpt teaser and for the giveaway opportunity.

  13. This sounds like a terrific book! I'd love to visit Bath.

    Please enter me in this great giveaway! I'll post it in my blog's sidebar. Thank you for hosting this, Laura.


  14. Patricia-like you, I always enjoy books that are set in places I know.
    Nancy-I thought it might be a fun combination!
    Kelli, I hope you get the chance to read it!
    Evangeline-I hope you can come to Bath one of the days-I still get a thrill from seeing all those places.
    Sophia, I'm glad you enjoyed the teaser and I hope you can visit Bath one day!
    Suko, thank you-I hope you get an opportunity to read my book.

  15. Time-travel and a mysterious handsome man -- I'm sold! Captain Wentworth is an ideal man, but he's faithful to Anne so I can't guess how he fits in this time-travel story.

    ~ junewilliams7 at yahoo dot com

  16. Pursasion is my absolute favorite Austen novel for a few reasons, chief of which is how complex the emotions involved are. With all of Austen's other romances, even when social rules and obligations made said romances difficult, there was still a connection between the two involved. In Pursasion, Ann and Capt.Wentworth have to overcome something much more difficult: forgiveness.

    I have never been to Bath, though like every Austen Fan I've always wanted to. The first place I would visit if I went would definately be the Jane Austen Centre.

  17. As always I am a Jane enthusiast and love to discover new books continuing her stories. Thanks for the giveaway!


  18. Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. I love the idea of traveling through time. Who wouldn't to find their very own Capt. Wentworth.

  19. I'm in love with Captain Wentworth, so I had to enter this giveaway! Thank you for the chance! :D
    I never visited Bath, but I would love to be able to go to the UK for the Jane Austen Festival and ball in Bath! >_<

    fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. i love historical fiction...thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  21. I love Austen sequels and a chance to read about modern-day Bath would be great. Time travel books are interesting and I don't see them much. Maybe in movies time travel is more common.

    Never been to the U.K. Haven't traveled much. If I went I'd probably go to London, but if I went on an escorted tour then Bath would be great.


  22. I would love to visit the UK. I don't know enough about Bath to know where I would visit first. So I guess a guided tour would be most useful.


  23. I just visited Bath for the first time. It's a wonderful place, the abbey was breathtaking. I also went to see the Pump Room and it's so nice to have "pictures" in my mind now, when reading this excerpt. I would love to read the rest of the book!


  24. I'd like to go to Bath ... actually, I'd love to take a tour of England, Austen-style. Wouldn't that make the coolest honeymoon? :o) Of course, I'd need a date before I get a honeymoon, so maybe just a girl trip ;o) haha

    This sounds really fun, and I don't even particularly like Persuasion. I know, I know: scandalous ;o) But this does sound like way too much fun. Thanks for the giveaway!


  25. i love CaptainWentworth & Anne, so i MUST read this book!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  26. I would also like to visit Bath! I'm always interested in Austen adaptions and seeing the differences. Plus the hero sounds wonderful as well.


  27. Thank you to everyone who has left comments- I wish you all Good Luck!

  28. Wow, at last an international give-away!

    I find it intriguing that more recent authors are delving into some of the Austen characters that are less well known. Captain Wentworth is of course a hero and a handsome chap too! I have read the book a couple of times and seen the DVD more than that! You just can't get tired of a good story can you.

    I have had a few friends live in Bath so I have plenty of postcards of the place, must be a dream to visit the old buildings.

    Thanks for the article and guest blog, looks like a great read.

    I have blogged about the giveaway on my blog;

    my email is

    Good luck everyone!!