I am thrilled to be a part of the huge International Women’s Day Book Festival with Zooloos Book Tours and Spellbound Books. This is my final stop on the tour, I can’t wait to share Catherine by Linda O’Byrnewith you all, plus I have an exclusive excerpt to tempt you with.
About the Book
Catherine by Linda O’Byrne
Many years have passed since the dramatic events of Pride and Prejudice. In The Cousins of Pemberley series we follow a new generation of heroines – cousins with lives as different and interesting as those enjoyed by their mothers.
Catherine Collins, a very ordinary young woman – plain, quiet, often over-looked but possessing a reputation for having great common-sense.
Or so her distant cousin Elizabeth Darcy believes and so recommends her as governess for little Matilda Courtney.
Catherine travels to Northumberland, full of good intentions to do her best and be a credit to the family.
But appearances and reputations can be deceptive – Robert and Martin Courtney will soon learn exactly what type of girl Elizabeth has sent them.of Pemberley series.
Catherine sat on the very edge of her seat in the pony trap, clutching a large parcel wrapped up in brown paper and string. Wooden hatches containing two clucking chickens and a dozen fluffy yellow chicks stood on the floor next to her and an enormous sack of potatoes was squashing her against the side of the trap. Shivering, she was very cold, even though she was wearing her heavy dark blue skirt and jacket and a warm cloak. The wind that whistled in from the North Sea was bitter, even though the sun was shining in a pale blue sky.
She gasped and jolted forward as the little trap, the shaggy pony was pulling, hit a large bump in the uneven track. The young boy driving turned, laughed and told her to hold on tight in an accent she could only just understand.
Nodding, she wished her whole body didn’t ache so much, longing for this journey to be over and only hoping that at the end there would be a bed she could fall into to sleep. But as tired as she was, she knew she was too excited to relax. The past few days had been such a whirlwind that her mind had found no time to settle down and let her think things through clearly and calmly.
Her whole life had been turned upside down in a matter of hours. Back at Pemberley, a week or so after the wedding, she’d realised that Cousin Elizabeth and Mama Collins had been closeted together for hours, but she had been so busy caring for Harriet that she hadn’t had time to wonder what it was that they were talking about with the drawing-room door closed. Then to her astonishment she was called to Mama Collins’ bedroom and found her over-seeing a maid packing her portmanteau.
“Are we leaving so soon? I thought we were to stay until the end of the week.”
Mama Collins had glanced at her and said, almost as if it didn’t matter. “Mama, Harriet and I are leaving tomorrow.”
“Am I to stay? How will you manage with Harriet on the journey?”
“Really, Catherine, you make it sound as if you are indispensable. Not an attractive trait. No, of course you are not staying at Pemberley. What use would you be here? Apparently, Lizzie has been asked by Sir Robert Courtney to find a companion for his young daughter for a few months until he marries. She has written to him about you and received a favourable reply. They seem to think you would be suitable, goodness knows why, and so you are to travel north with Lydia as far as Newcastle and then you will journey on to Alnwick where you’ll be met by one of the Courtney servants and taken further up the coast to Courtney Castle.”
“Please don’t argue with me, Catherine! I have a dreadful headache. I am so fatigued. It is a good opportunity for you to be of use rather than just lazing around at home. You met Sir Robert at the wedding, did you not?”
Catherine had thought back to that day. She was sure she had never been introduced to Richard Courtney’s eldest brother. She would have remembered.
About the Author
Fiction has always been my go-to world, a place of entertainment, excitement and imagination – I am told that I wrote my first story when I was four about a lady who had twenty children! Sadly it has been lost for posterity.
I have been writing all my life in the time I could spare from having a “proper job”, mostly for children under the name of Linda Blake, stories of ballet dancers, pony riding and talking animals! Not all in the same book!
But my love of romance, a great tendency to say “What if..?” and the endearing characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have now resulted in a series of books that will take the reader forward to the next generation of heroines.
I am retired, live in Kent and am a keen member of my local drama group. Directing and acting take up a lot of my time – I have been given the onerous task of writing the Christmas pantomimes – but I still need to cope with a large garden, doing daily battle with the heron who thinks my pond is his own breakfast buffet and keeping in touch with friends and family scattered all over the world.
Follow the Tour
A quick thank you to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours and Spellbound books for the invite to this book festival.