Friday, July 10, 2015

Cupid's Traps by Sarah Johnson - with giveaway!

Today I welcome Sarah Johnson to my blog! She has posted an excerpt from her latest novel, Cupid's Traps: A Matchmaker's Tale for our enjoyment. And there is also a giveaway - details below!

"William Shakespeare said it best when he penned, ‘Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps’. Georgiana Darcy, in her first matchmaking adventure, might need to call in a few favors from her family, or even Cupid himself, in order to pull off the perfect match for her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy. He is truly smitten, but the lady, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, is not impressed with his character. Within the throes of Cupid’s traps, will she finally see that her heart is touched by this handsome gentleman before these traps force them into a union?"


The four were so eagerly discussing the awe-inspiring experience that they did not notice the latch on the door did not fully catch when they left the cage.
Anne was compelled into a coughing fit, and the next thing they knew, a flock of parrots flew overhead, squawking loudly, with more coming out of the opened door.
A curdling scream came from the sitting area, and all four rushed to find out what had happened. They were brought to a stop immediately when they rounded the corner and saw Georgiana’s favorite parrot sitting atop Lady Catherine’s head, firmly planted in her hair, while Mr Collins’ flailing arms tried to fend off another persistent bird. Charlotte was in such shock she watched on in stunned silence. Maria jumped into the fray and tried to help her brother-in-law, but only succeeded in chasing him, and the bird, in circles and making herself quite dizzy. The colonel was no help to anyone as he was laughing so hard he was doubled over and nearly on the floor.
The four raced over and tried to help Lady Catherine, but the squawking only increased as two more parrots joined in on the attack. Anne was trying to remain composed and help her mother, but when Lady Catherine’s prized peacock, which had always had full run of the solarium, came running towards them, his tail feathers wide and on display for all to see, she could control herself no longer and began to laugh just as hard as her cousin Richard.
Georgiana joined Maria in trying to chase off the parrot that was engaged in a game of tag with Mr Collins, leaving Elizabeth and Darcy to battle the birds that were attracted to Lady Catherine’s hair.
Servants were filling the room quickly, most busily trying to find all the escaped birds to put them back into their enclosure, though none dared step in to be hit by the flying arms of their mistress, Lady Catherine.
Elizabeth tried to get the most annoying of the parrots off of the grand lady, but his talon was stuck in her hair. Lady Catherine was putting up such a fuss that Elizabeth was willing to do anything to free the bird, so she pulled harder. What she thought was Lady Catherine’s hair turned out to be nothing more than a wig, and the tugging made it come off, exposing Lady Catherine’s bald head to all in the room.
The grand lady’s hands immediately went to her head and her shrill voice filled the air as shrieks of ‘how dare you’ and ‘you will pay for exposing me to such censure’ escaped her lips.
In her anger, Lady Catherine pushed Elizabeth away, causing her to stumble backwards and right into Darcy.
Darcy was already stunned by the revelation that his aunt had no hair, and when Elizabeth fell into him, he did not have the wherewithal to do anything but grab at her falling form. His arms reached around her in a most ungentlemanly fashion, and their feet became entangled, causing both of them to land on the floor in such a manner as to send Lady Catherine into shrieks once again, this time about the compromising position in which Elizabeth now lay, sprawled out atop her nephew.
Every eye in the room now turned to the two, and, in her haste to stand, Elizabeth caused the ties of her dress to become caught on Mr Darcy’s coat button. She felt mortified and trapped. Scrambling to get to her feet was not working and was only causing more problems.
Richard stepped in to lead his enraged aunt from the room, followed closely by Mr Collins, who still flailed his arms about trying to rid himself of the persistent bird, his loud voice booming his concern to ensure the serenity of his patroness once again.
Anne rolled her eyes at the ridiculous man and turned away to address the servants, ensuring the others were given some privacy as Charlotte knelt beside her distraught friend, joined by Georgiana as well.
Maria, not knowing what to do now that her brother-in-law was not in the room, turned her attention  to the two who lay sprawled out on the floor, a wicked grin displayed on her lips as she thought of what fun her good friend Lydia Bennet was missing. This was certainly something she would have to tell in great detail!
Elizabeth was on her back, lying atop Mr Darcy, who was amazingly still for such chaos surrounding them. As she looked up to the ceiling above where birds still flew overhead, her eyes filled with tears. What had happened to lead to such a situation?
Darcy was completely mortified at his own actions, even if they were unintentional. When Elizabeth fell against him, his arms flew around to catch her and his feet stumbled backwards, causing their fall. But what was now so mortifying was where exactly his hands had grabbed in his attempt. Being a well-sought after gentleman, he had occasionally had a lady rub against his arm when he offered his assistance, especially Miss Bingley. But he had long tried to remain as far from those women as possible, for he did not wish to be put in such a position as to be forced to offer his hand. Now here he was, being/acting the one whose hands had grabbed so willingly, and with Miss Elizabeth as well! After all they had both said today, this was certainly not going to help his plight. He tried to remain as still as possible now, knowing that if he moved, he might embarrass them both even more. Just her moving atop him was enough to cause his heart to race. He had to focus on something else, so he chose, instead, to think of the pain he felt at her elbow being in his ribs, hoping it would be enough.
Georgiana and Charlotte both tried to undo the knots that held the two entwined, but when it was clear something more was needed, Georgiana ran off to get the scissors from her sewing box.
While they waited, Charlotte assured Elizabeth it would be well, but the more she said the more distraught her friend became. Finally she just chose to remain silent as they awaited Georgiana’s return.
Soon the scissors were produced, and the ties on Elizabeth’s dress were cut, allowing the two to stand once again, though it was not so easy to accomplish as Elizabeth had to hold the top of her dress.
When Elizabeth was once again on her feet, Charlotte said, “I must go and find my husband now. Come, Maria,” she grabbed her sister’s hand, pulling her out of the room.
Georgiana quietly added, “I will check on Aunt Catherine,” and followed as well, leaving the two alone in the solarium.
Darcy removed his coat and draped it over Elizabeth’s shoulders as he asked, “Are you injured?”
Elizabeth looked from the doorway back to the man at her side, then down to the coat that now hung on her shoulders. She reached her arms out into the sleeves and buttoned the front, folding the lapels up and over the top portion of her dress. “It is only my pride that is injured, sir.”
“I believe you once espoused that you dearly love to laugh at follies and nonsense, and you even accused me of being without them. Do you still feel as such?”
His tease was just enough to ease the anxiety that had arisen in her chest. She pushed the sleeves of his coat up, a laugh finally escaping her lips, “Certainly we both espoused much nonsense that evening. I believe I was most shocked at your teasing Miss Bingley about her figure being to the greatest advantage when we took a turn about the room.”
Darcy’s eyes grew dark, “It was not Miss Bingley to whom I was referring when I made such a statement.”
Elizabeth looked up into his eyes, not knowing what to say to such a statement. Could he have been admiring her all those months ago?
Her thoughts were interrupted when her cousin came storming back into the room, talking of the situation, followed by Charlotte and Maria. He insisted they must leave, and Darcy watched as the four gathered their belongings and left the solarium, Elizabeth still wearing his coat. Once they were gone, he went to find his cousins and sister and see what needed to be done about keeping the servants quiet after such an evening.

         ** GIVEAWAY - ends Friday 17th of July**
Sarah has provided me with a giveaway with three lucky winners!
I have an 2 ebooks (international) and one signed paperback (US only) of Cupid's Traps.

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

Please leave your email address and which draw 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 this story and any future stories!
Your affectionate friend,
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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Funny excerpt! I'd love to win the book!

    Either version is fine with me. If I must choose, I guess I'd choose the e-book. :-)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Pamh5230 at yahoo dot com

  3. I still can't stop laughing! Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway!

    tgruy at netscape dot net

  4. That was a pleasure to read. Please enter me in the e-book drawing. Thank you!!

  5. This sounds like such fun! I would really love to have the PB version. Thank you.

  6. I could vividly picture the scene. I was laughing, too, as Mr. Collins' was running around with flailing arms and the parrot pulling off Lady Catherine's wig. Oh, yes, how will this be resolved. Is Elizabeth compromised? Thank you for the giveaway. I would like to entered for the paperback and ebook.

  7. This story sounds too funny. Thank you for the giveaway. Either book is fine, but if I have a choice I would prefer the ebook. Integr67 at AOL dot com.

  8. That scene was certainly unexpected! So lively and exciting - can't wait until the book is brought to the big screen - it'll be such a great hit. And what a etiquette conundrum for Darcy - to choose between leaving Elizabeth in a state of undress and actually letting a lady see him in - gasp! - his shirtsleeves. Of course he gave her his jacket without a second thought. I'm international, so the ebook, please. beatriceyn at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

  9. Thank you for sharing with us this wonderful excerpt, it was really funny!!!
    I am international so enter me for the ebook copy.
    My email chiarapiccirilla(at)hotmail(dot)it

  10. Thanks for the chance to win! The E-book version is fine with me.

    savedbyhisamazinggrace at gmail dot com

  11. Please do not enter me as I just HAD to have this as soon as it was available. It is the sweetest of stories. Well done, Sarah, and best wishes for your launch.

  12. Love the excerpt! Such a fun and chaotic scene and Lady Catherine bald? Looking forward to reading novel! Thank you for the giveaway. My email is tdungnvu (at) yahoo (dot) com

  13. This excerpt was hysterical! And a bald Lady Catherine to boot. Looking forward to reading more. Thank you for the generous give away. I'd like to be entered for the paperback. skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. Genius! I could just picture the scene on film. Such truly Janian style, writing with brilliant humour. I would love to win the e-book. carrieppm(at)gmail(dot)com

  15. This sounds like it will be one of her greatest novels so far. I would have loved to have witnessed Aunt Catherine's face when Elizabeth pulled the wig off. That would have been hilarious. What a thrill Darcy got when Lizzy wound up on top of him.
    Love begins ln a different light. What does the future hold? I would love to be entered for the signed copy. Thank you for the generous give aways.

  16. This excerpt really teased me to know more of what happened next. I hope Elizabeth accept Darcy's hand because she loves him and not to save her reputation. Thanks a lot for offering the giveaway, Sarah. And Sophie, please enter me for the e-book as I'm international.


  17. Love this excerpt - Would love to know what led up to it and what follows. Thanks for the giveaways I would love to win an e-book please.

  18. Haha! Sounds like a very fun story! Thanks for the chance to win a copy! E-book for me as I'm international.


  19. I would love to win the paperback. Love the concept, can't wait to read it.


  20. Oh my! This is a must read! Love the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!
    Cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net

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