Reckless, Headstrong Girl

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Grace Gibson’s novella, Reckless, Headstrong Girl was released today, Friday, January 29th, and it is available on Amazon. It is the fourth in the “Skirmish & Scandal” Series of novellas published by Meryton Press. The premise for this novella is quite different from anything I have previously read. It is touching, intriguing, and satisfying. Would you like to learn more about it? Let’s look at the back cover copy first; then we will visit with Grace.

Back Cover Copy

A scandalous flight, an inconsiderate couple—

how can things have gone so terribly wrong for Lydia Bennet?

In Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Lydia Bennet runs away from Brighton with George Wickham, but this adaptation of Lydia’s adventures is not your typical story about this brash couple.

Mr. Wickham, proving he is no gentleman, does the unthinkable and casts Lydia out of a second-rate coach. Filthy, exhausted, and penniless, Lydia is just facing the beginning of her ordeal! How can a spoiled, uneducated girl of fifteen—used to having her way—survive a night in the wilds of Sussex?

As Mr. Bennet and Mr. Gardiner vainly search for her in London, Lydia’s sisters struggle to keep her secret from their Meryton neighbors. Though they fear the worst—that Lydia’s wild life has ended in tragedy—all hope is not lost. Mr. Darcy, in the midst of reigniting his courtship with Elizabeth, is determined to recover his love’s unfortunate sibling.

Will Mr. Darcy succeed in finding Lydia and restoring her to respectability? In what shocking condition will this catastrophe render such a reckless, headstrong girl?

Grace Gibson, it sounds like this novella gives us a skirmish and a scandal. Will you tell us more?

From the Author

For some of us who read—and write— Pride and Prejudice variations, Lydia Bennet is a tiresome obstacle. Reckless, silly, and selfish, she threatens the happiness of Darcy and Elizabeth in countless retellings. And although we must concede that without Lydia’s scandalous elopement, Jane Austen’s masterpiece would not have been quite so perfect, we do not always feel inclined to put up with her in our retellings.

I am always curious to discover how other authors navigate The Lydia Problem. I confess relief when, at the hands of an author who is just as tired of her as I am, Lydia Bennet is never born, or she dies unexpectedly—conveniently and early on—so that Darcy and Elizabeth can get on with their love affair. In my own private doodles, I twice married her off to harsh and unreliable husbands. I sent her to school to get her out of the way, and I made her so ill she couldn’t come out of her room. And once, though I am not proud of it, I had her murdered.

But the dratted girl is persistent—headstrong one might say—and she came back to life. One day, as I pondered the Lydia problem, I pictured her actually eloping with Wickham. There she sat in the coach, preening and jabbering in triumph, and I felt certain George Wickham had not brought sufficient brandy with him for such an ordeal. This is what I saw and heard:

Excerpt

“Can we not go any faster, Wicky?”

“It is dark, my dear.”

“And where shall we stop for the night? Oh, how much fun it will be to hear you tell the inn keeper that I am Mrs. George Wickham!”

“I doubt I shall say so.”

“Not say so?! But why will you not? I may as well be Mrs. Wickham, you know. Mrs. Wickham! How well that sounds! And how jealous my sisters will be. Lizzy will turn green, fly up to her room, lie down and weep, and demand a cold cloth for her head. But what will I wear? Mama always says the wedding clothes are the most important thing. Wicky, I must have wedding clothes.”

He took a swig from his flask and lit a cheroot.

“And where should we marry? I suppose we shall have to go to Gretna Green. I doubt the blacksmith will have seen a prettier girl than me this whole year. La! Is there anything more romantic? Scotland must be very cold even in summer. Oh dear. I wish I had brought my pelisse. But you can buy me one in London, can you not? Will it take very long, do you think? I mean, I have never heard how long it takes to elope…” Lydia Bennet was a voluble girl, and she unleashed her bouncing high spirits in a torrent of words.

George Wickham, who had taken her on a whim, began to wonder what the devil he had been thinking.

I had never wanted to write about Lydia Bennet, but suddenly I became intensely curious about what would happen to the girl if she were faced with a real challenge. This story was born of that curiosity, and for all of you who dread reading about this problem child, I will only say – she surprised me! 

Your story about Lydia surprised me! I enjoyed reading it and feeling it with her. I believe your curiosity paid off, and you gave her a challenge.

The novella, Reckless, Headstrong Girl, may be purchased on Amazon US and Amazon UK. It is available as an eBook, a Paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited. The audiobook, narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, should be released in about a month.

Giveaway

Would you like a chance to win the novella? Grace Gibson is giving away two eBooks of Reckless, Headstrong Girl. Two lucky readers will each get one eBook, and the giveaway is international. Meryton Press is also giving away an eBook of Grace’s novella. That makes a total of three eBooks being given away, two from the author and one form Meryton Press. Share your thoughts in the comment section to enter.

Remember, only comments here, on the Meryton Press Blog for this post, Reckless, Headstrong Girl, will be entered in the giveaway.

Both giveaways will end Tuesday, February 2nd, at midnight, Central Time. Good luck to everyone!

Other books by Grace Gibson

Silver Buckles is available on Amazon. “Old Boots” will be coming summer 2021.

64 Responses

  1. Kelly R. Miller
    | Reply

    Congratulations on your new release, Grace! It is more and more difficult these days to come up with P&P variations that are not familiar, but this one sounds fresh and innovative! 🙂

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I think you will enjoy it, Kelly! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Hi Kelly! Thank you so much for that. I do hope you are thinking up something fresh and innovative for us to enjoy? I am looking forward to whatever you dream up.

  2. Glynis
    | Reply

    Oh dear Lydia! I’m not really surprised that Wickham gets rid of her, he obviously hadn’t been trapped alone with her for any length of time before so he didn’t totally realise how absolutely annoying she was.
    I look forward to reading the rest of this and can’t wait for Darcy to the rescue!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      This is unlike any Lydia story I have read before, Glynis! It is really good. Yes, Darcy to the rescue is something to look forward to. I hope you get to read it soon.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Hello Glynis! It is so nice to hear from you. I do hope you enjoy this little story, even if it is about a very annoying girl!

  3. Suzan Lauder
    | Reply

    Oh, this one has me terribly interested! It’s not a surprise that Wickham doesn’t want anything to do with her, but my curiosity is high in regard to what Lydia gets up to once he’s gone. Does Lydia become resourceful? I assume that Mr. Darcy saves the day, but how on earth will he find her? I adored Silver Buckles and have a hunch this is as good. Best of luck on the new release, Grace.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      There is quite a story for Lydia in this one. I can’t wait for you to read it, Suzan. Thank goodness, Darcy is resourceful!

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Suzan. I truly appreciate your opinion and insight. I hope you get a chuckle or two out of Lydia’s adventure.

  4. Brigid
    | Reply

    This sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to read it!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I hope you get to read it soon, Brigid.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Great to hear, Brigid. Thanks!

  5. J. Marie Croft
    | Reply

    Grace, you’ve portrayed Lydia’s ‘voice’ brilliantly in the excerpt. I look forward to reading the rest of the novella. Congratulations on its release!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Grace did a great job with Lydia. This is another good novella. Stevie narrated Grace’s novella, and she did Lydia really well. It should be available in a month or so.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      I really appreciate that! But I can’t take much of the credit – my inner teenager helped me out quite a bit with this story.

  6. Teresa
    | Reply

    Wow! What an interesting premise! Lydia will take her own medicine, it serves her well!. I’m looking forward to seeing her facing reality and becoming some kind of “Dear Lydia” for the readers 🙂
    Thanks Grace for this long-awaited twist of facts and thanks to Meryton Press for hosting her and the giveaway.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Teresa. We’re glad you stopped and shared your thoughts! Good luck!

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      So nice to hear from you, Teresa. I hope you enjoy this story – good luck in the giveaway!

  7. Xena Anne
    | Reply

    This sounds like a really fun book!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Great to hear. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the post.

    • Jan Hahn
      | Reply

      Congratulations, Grace, on the release of your novella. I can’t imagine how delightful a tale of “annoying” Lydia will be in your clever hands. Sleeping in a cart full of potatoes – perfect. Can’t wait to read it!

      • Meryton Press
        | Reply

        Thanks for stopping by, Jan. Oh, the cart full of potatoes is only the beginning! Hope you get to read it soon.

      • Grace Gibson
        | Reply

        Hi Jan! So glad to hear from you. I am afraid things might not go well for Lydia, or Wickham either, for that matter!

  8. Betty Campbell Madden
    | Reply

    “Tiresome Lydia”–an accurate description. One of our favorites to earn a comeuppance.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Betty, this is unlike any Lydia story I have ever read. I hope you get to read it soon. Wait until you read what happens to Wickham.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Poor Lydia. She is in for a big dose of reality, Betty. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Buturot
    | Reply

    Congratulations on your new book. I feel sorry for Lydia and fearful of knowing what will happen to her in the story. But always counting on Lizzy’s Darcy to the rescue/

    Thank you for the chance to win a copy

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Never fear, you can always count on Darcy! 🙂 Good luck.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Great to hear from you! Good luck on the giveaway and thanks for stopping by.

  10. Mary Campbell
    | Reply

    It would serve Wickham right if he was to put up with Lydia forever. He deserves a comeuppance. Lydia is still as spoiled as ever. Poor Darcy! What he has to endure for Elizabeth.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Oh, Mary! I think you will like this novella. In a way, Wickham does have to put up with Lydia forever. That’s all I will say. When you read it, let me know what you think! 🙂 Good luck in the giveaway.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Hi Mary! Janet said it all – Wickham does get the comeuppance he deserves! Hope you enjoy this story and thank you for stopping by.

      • Don Jacobson
        | Reply

        I am beginning to wonder how many different ways we authors will figure to give old George his just desserts.

        • Meryton Press
          | Reply

          This one was a new one and a just one! 🙂

  11. DarcyBennett
    | Reply

    Congrats on the release. I’ve never read a story featuring Lydia so this sounds interesting and I’m wondering if some redemption for her character occurs?

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      I think you will like what you read! It’s a good story! Thanks for dropping by.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Thank you. I agree that stories about Lydia are few and far between and understandably so. She is so annoying! I wrote this story to answer my own curiosity as to whether she could, as you say, find redemption. Hope you enjoy it.

  12. Cheryl
    | Reply

    What an excellent idea for a story! Your writing in “silver Buckles” was wonderful, so I expect you will have the same quality here, along with some hilarious, witty, and devious plot twists for Lydia, Wickham and ODC. Cannot wait to read it!

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Hi Cheryl! I do hope you get a chuckle and maybe a few surprises out of poor Lydia’s story. And thank you so much for your comment about Silver Buckles.I really appreciate that!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      It’s great to hear that you enjoyed Silver Buckles. Reckless, Headstrong Girl is an excellent story. You should enjoy it too. We’re glad you stopped by. Thank you for commenting.

  13. Carole in Canada
    | Reply

    As annoying as Lydia is, she is a product of her upbringing…spoiled, selfish and completely self-absorbed. I look forward to reading how you ‘challenge’ her to wake up and really smell the roses!

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      You are so right about Lydia, Carole. I hope you enjoy this reimagining of her character.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Hi Carole. It’s great to see you here. Oh, I do believe you will enjoy this story about Lydia! Good luck.

  14. Michelle Fidler
    | Reply

    Sounds like fun. I’d like to see what happens to Lydia and Wickham. They’re interesting characters. Haven’t read your books before.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Hi Michelle. I agree that Lydia and Wickham are both such interesting characters. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy it!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Michelle, you need to read the books by Grace Gibson. You will enjoy her stories! We’re glad you stopped by and good luck in the giveaway.

  15. Lois
    | Reply

    In a sense, Wickham and Lydia deserve each other – but Wickham is old enough to know better and Lydia is really just a child, even though she’s technically “out.”

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Yes, I discovered that what you say is true – Lydia is still a child. Thank you and I hope you get a chance to read her story.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      You are right. Wickham is old enough to know better. He doesn’t get off so easy in this one. Hope you get to read it soon.

  16. Debbie
    | Reply

    This sounds interesting. Lydia is so immature. Looking forward to reading this.

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      It is a really good story, Debbie. I think you will enjoy watching Lydia mature a bit! Thanks for stopping by and good luck.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Great! I hope you enjoy this novella, Debbie. Thank you!

  17. Pam Hunter
    | Reply

    Oh, that Lydia Bennet! I don’t know whether to feel sorry for her or to slap the silly out of her! Knowing how her mother and father are, I guess I’ll be nice and feel sorry for her. I’ll slap Wickham instead!
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Wickham certainly needs slapping. You will enjoy reading Lydia’s reaction to Wickham while they are in the carriage! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Pam.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Hi Pam! ‘Oh, that Lydia Bennet’ is right! Good luck to you on the giveaway.

  18. Don Jacobson
    | Reply

    Hey you!
    Wonderful story. Really enjoyed the inventive look at the world that existed unseen around all of the P&P characters. That is my cup of tea. What next for Carver and the other young women?

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Good question, Don! This was a wonderful story, I agree. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Hey to you too! Love hearing from you and thanks so much for this. In answer to your question, I imagine poor Darcy will be roped into fixing things for every last one of them – haha!

  19. Lúthien84
    | Reply

    I never really like Lydia in the first place but I confess if not for her troubles, Elizabeth and Darcy wouldn’t have gotten together. From the entertaining excerpt, she can be quite exasperating and trying on my nerves. It is no wonder that Wickham cast her off during the coach ride so that he can have his peace. I am eager to know if she learns something of the experience and change her attitude.

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      I totally agree that Lydia can be exasperating! But, as time went on in her story, she started to endear herself to me just a little. I hope she does the same for you. Good luck on the giveaway and thanks for stopping by.

  20. MaryAnn Nagy
    | Reply

    Lydia is always in trouble one way or another along with the other trouble maker, Wickham.
    The only thing Lydia needs is a mother who knows what is going on and acts accordingly, and a father who gets his nose out of the library and into the raising of his troublesome daughter.
    However, we know that sometimes doesn’t even work in real life.
    Enjoyed the story and good luck with the giveaway and best wishes in your future writing endeavors!

    • Meryton Press
      | Reply

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, MaryAnn. It was great hearing from you. We are happy to hear you enjoyed the story!

    • Grace Gibson
      | Reply

      Well said, MaryAnn! If only those parents would have done their jobs… Thank you for stopping by to comment.

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