Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Snow Storms and Kissing Games by Sarah Johnson and an excerpt - with giveaway!

Today I welcome Sarah Johnson to my blog! I will be reviewing her recent novella, Snow Storms and Kissing Games, and I also have a video of myself reading an excerpt from her latest novel, Just to Hear 'I Love You'. And there is also a giveaway - details below!

"A sudden and fierce snow storm causes Elizabeth, Jane, and Lydia Bennet, as well as their would-be rescuers, Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley, to take shelter in an empty cabin. Lydia’s suggestion to pass the time with games might be just what Bingley needs to prove Jane truly cares for him. Will Elizabeth’s prejudices of Mr Darcy hold up under the scrutiny of being stranded with him? What changes could possibly come from the effects of ‘Snow Storms & Kissing Games’? 
A 'Pride & Prejudice' Novella Variation"

This was a really fun little story which I would sum up as short and sweet! 

It begins around the time when Jane is invited to dine at Netherfield Park. Due to the threat of snow and Mrs Bennet's instance that Jane still go to her dinner at Netherfield, Lizzy decides to accompany her sister. And, unbeknownst to them, Lydia decides to follow them as well! Consequently, when the snow begins to fall they must seek shelter in a nearby disused cottage. As panic ensues back at Longbourn, a note is sent to enquire whether the Bennet daughters made it to Netherfield, and upon hearing that they did not, Darcy and Bingley rush to the rescue to try and find them! However, this means that once they do find them they must also join the ladies in the cottage as the weather takes a turn for the worst!

The premise of the story of having Lizzy, Jane, Lydia, Darcy and Bingley getting snowed into a small cottage together was rather fun! The 5 of them was a very interesting mix and made for some... interesting scenes and conversations! 

One of the real problems with novellas is that due to the length, the story often feels rushed or unrealistic, particularly when it comes to Darcy and Lizzy who often need to go from Lizzy really not liking Darcy to loving him in a very few pages! This problem was tackled well in this book because of where the story picks up; by this point Lizzy is not completely set against Darcy as 1. Wickham hasn't come on the scene to blacken his name and 2. The full issue around Jane and Bingley hasn't reached its peak as Bingley hasn't been persuaded to leave the neighbourhood. Therefore, while Lizzy isn't a friend of Darcy's at the beginning of this tale, it is much easier for her opinion to change when they are forced to get to know each other more, as situations arise during their forced time together which reveal certain aspects to Darcy's personality that Lizzy had perhaps overlooked or ignored before.  These 'situations' which arise I don't want to ruin for you, but the use of games (and don't let 'kissing' worry you - it's nothing very scandalous!) as a distraction while they wait for the weather to improve comes in very handy for many different reasons and many different people!

The time in the cottage is very important for Lizzy and Darcy's relationship as Lizzy learns that perhaps her initial opinion of Darcy wasn't quite correct and that maybe she was being too harsh on him. Once the weather is better and they get back to Netherfield, Darcy and Lizzy begin to quickly become more than friends and it is very cute to see their relationship change! Darcy is unbelievably cute in this story - but in a good way! We see his teasing and also his more forward (and persuasive!) side which was fun. And as the last line of the novella states, "who would have thought that snow storms and kissing games could bring two people such as us together!"

Jane was sweet, as always, in this book but she had a slightly less 'looking through rose-coloured glasses' and a more realistic view on the world, which made a change. Her and Lizzy were sweet in this tale! Bingley is also very sweet and the forced confinement together proves to be very beneficial for the couple!

We mustn't forget that Lydia also was snowed in with them! Due to certain topics of conversation which arise we begin to see a different Lydia and the whole experience ends up having a positive effect and influence on her which was lovely! I will let you read it to see exactly how!

Caroline Bingley still had to make her appearance and she was just as annoying as she should be, and very fun to laugh at!

This really was a light-hearted, cute and fun read! Short and sweet, as I said. I enjoyed it! Perfect if you need a break or 'pick me up' during the day or as an uplifting read before bed!

In other exciting news, I am just entering the world of audiobook narration and my first book to narrate is going to be this one, Snow Storms and Kissing Games! A shorter novella to get me going, so keep your eyes peeled for that in next few months!
"Mary Bennet’s life changes forever when a childhood accident leaves her isolated in a silent world. Her sister Elizabeth emerges as her fiercest champion and unstinting protector. When further tragedy befalls Longbourn, Aunt and Uncle Gardiner embrace their orphaned nieces into their London household. Mary and Elizabeth must face the disapprobation of London society as they endure a Season of intense scrutiny. Will Mary’s own dearest wish— just to hear ‘I love you’ —ever come to be, or will her deafness forever consign her to life apart? The sisters must face their past and Mary’s worst critic when another family’s tragedy lands directly on their doorstep. Will they both have the strength to return love from unexpected suitors?"

** GIVEAWAY - ends Thursday 6th November **

Sarah has provided me with a giveaway with four lucky winners!
I have an ebook (international) and paperback (US only) of both Snow Storms and Kissing Games and Just to Hear 'I Love You'.  

To enter, leave a comment below and the winners will be picked randomly.

Please leave your email address and which draws you would like to be entered into (remembering the paperbacks are US only, but ebooks are international).

If you are one of the lucky winners, I will pass on your email to Sarah who will be in touch.

Good luck!
Thank you again to Sarah for this giveaway, and for the brilliant extract! I wish you all the best with these stories and any future stories! I have already read and enjoyed her first story, Leaving Bennet Behind: Chosen, (review here) and so I am looking forward to another story from her!

Your affectionate friend,
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  1. I have always wanted to read Snow Storms and Kissing Games! Please enter me for both paperback copies!


  2. I find really interesting the plot of Snow storms and kissing games, please enter me for the eBook!

  3. I would love to read the paper back of Snow Storms and Kissing Games. It sounds delightful! Your reading was wonderful by the way.

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed Sarah Johnson's 'Leaving Bennet Behind - Chosen' and the 'Snow Storms and Kissing Games' is just too adorable for words. What I most enjoy about Sarah's style is the ability to find redeeming features in every character, even the less likeable, and the ones that are already likeable she makes them wonderful.

    Thanks for the delightful excerpt, Sarah (it was such a pleasure to hear it read in your lovely voice, Sophie!!) and thanks for the very generous giveaway too. I would love to be entered for the 'Just to hear I love you e-book'.

  5. Thanks for the giveaway either of the books would be awesome tresha_7@msn.com

  6. Both the books sound like a wonderful read. I can never get enough of P&P variations!

    Thank you for the giveaways! My email is tdungnvu (at) yahoo (dot) com

  7. I sometimes feel like I am addicted to Pride & Prejudice fanfiction - whether it be novellas variations, continuations etc. I love them all!! From what I know of these books, they both sound fabulous! I could always use some more P&P reading material! So I would like to enter the competitions for both books in ebook form - since I'm only an Aussie and not an American :) My email is lambaa97@hotmail.com

  8. Hi Sophie and Sarah. Sophie, I've just listened to your reading and was very impressed. I listen to a lot (and I mean A LOT) of audiobooks and I feel sure that you're going to do very well as an audiobook narrator!

    As I'm in the UK, I'd like to be entered for the ebook draw for both of Sarah's works, please. They both sound very interesting.



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