Thursday, 7 December 2017

MARIA GRACE, THREE CHRISTMASES - BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY


Thanks so much for having me Maria Grazia! I’m so excited about this Christmas season! It’s been a doozy of a year in these parts with Hurricane Harvey just being the icing on the cake. So much has happened that it calls for not one, but two Christmas books.  The two books go along with The Darcys’ First Christmas, kind of forming bookends to the story. Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811 tells the behind the scenes story of what might have happened during the Christmastide Darcy spent in London, while the militia (and Wickham!) wintered in Meryton. From Admiration to Love tells the story of the Darcys’ second Christmas as they try to hold Georgiana’s coming out at the Twelfth Night ball as Lady Catherine and Anne de Bourgh descend as very unwelcome guests. (The story was such fun to write, I hope you love it as much as I do!)

Monday, 4 December 2017

ALL THE THINGS I KNOW BLOG TOUR: AUDREY RYAN ON WRITING PRIDE AND PREJUDICE FOR THE MILLENIALS


 I’ve chosen an excerpt to feature in this post that’s related to finding the perfect job. Why is this important? Because there some very unique trends in the current job market.

     There is no more glass ceiling. This means climbing the ladder doesn’t really exist anymore. Instead, we career hop. It’s rare and frowned upon to be in a role longer than 4 years. People wonder why you haven’t tried anything new. They think you’re lazy if you don’t move around. Where’s your ambition?

2   40-hour work week is becoming obsolete. Instead, flexible hours are the thing. While this seems awesome (I can travel as much as I want?!), this also means you’re constantly on the clock. Canceling plans last minute so you can finish a presentation for your 9PM meeting with New Zealand office is not unusual. It just is. Going to a coffee shop and seeing other people on a work computer, also normal. As is the person on their laptop on the bus, working during the commute home. God forbid if you have to travel for work the plane doesn’t have Wi-Fi.

Friday, 1 December 2017

THE MARRIAGE OF MISS JANE AUSTEN VOLUME III IS OUT! INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR COLLINS HEMINGWAY + GIVEAWAY

Welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club, Collins! Congratulations on your latest release and thanks for accepting to answer a few questions. Here's the first one: most of the authors writing in the Jane Austen world are doing sequels to her books or variations on her plots and characters. You chose to write about Austen herself. Why?

I had two different ideas come together. The first is that I wanted to tell a serious story of what life was like for women in the early 1800s. This was a time when everything was against them, from society to biology. I wanted to test the heart and soul of an intelligent, sensitive woman. As I began the early scenes, the voice that kept coming to me was that remarkable voice. Also, I had a literature professor at university, long ago, who encouraged me to see the depth of Austen’s writing as well as its brilliance. The literary constraints on a woman of that day limited Jane to courtship novels and forced her to deal with important issues in the background or in passing, with secondary characters.

Through the years, I kept asking myself: What would have happened if Jane Austen had been able to put her talents toward the serious issues of life after marriage? What if she had been able to write directly about some of the big social issues of the day? What if she herself had faced the good and bad of married life, as most women of that era did? How would all that come together in a story involving a man very much her equal—though unsuitable, perhaps, to her family.

Monday, 27 November 2017

DANGEROUS TO KNOW BLOG TOUR - AMY D'ORAZIO, CAPTAIN TILNEY vs MR DARCY


Was Captain Tilney the Darcy of Northanger Abbey?

 Ok, stay with me here.
I was really excited to have the opportunity to write Captain’s Tilney’s story for my recent project with Christina Boyd’s Dangerousto Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues. He’s always intrigued me — strange, I know, but I guess I like a bad boy. Sure, I know his younger brother Henry is supposed to be the real hero of the story but if I’m being completely honest here, I would have to say that squeaky-clean Henry and sweet-but-silly Catherine don’t really fascinate me.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

LONA MANNING & KYRA KRAMER: FANNY VS MARY - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY


Hello, I'm Lona Manning, author of A Contrary Wind: a variation on Mansfield Park.  and author of true crime articles available at http://www.crimemagazine.com/category/authors/lona-manning.

And I'm Kyra Kramer, author of  Mansfield Parsonage and the nonfictional historical books, Blood Will Tell, The Jezebel Effect, Henry VIII’s Health in a Nutshell, and Edward VI in a Nutshell.

Lona: Please join us for the knock-down drag-out (maybe) Fanny versus Mary debate of the decade/epoch/millennium. We will take turns posing each other questions. Please feel free to join in, in the comments!


Kyra: Everyone who comments will be entered in a draw to win a gift pack of Austen goodies from Bath, England. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

PRESIDENT DARCY BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - VICTORIA KINCAID, WHITE HOUSE SECRETS

White House Secrets

All right, I’ll confess that this title is somewhat misleading.  Everything I will discuss is publicly available information.  But it is information that I personally didn’t know before I started doing research for my new modern Pride and Prejudice variation, President Darcy.  I live near Washington D.C. and I knew a fair amount about the presidency and the White House in general, but in order to write a book with several scenes set in the White House, I needed to do a lot of in depth research.  In the process I learned some interesting and new facts about the president’s home.
The White House is divided into three parts.  The West Wing is the most famous part of the White House.  This is where the president and his staff conduct the business of government—and is home to the Oval Office, the press room, and the cabinet room.  The East Wing houses the first lady’s offices.  The center part of the White House has multiple floors.  The bottom two floors have public rooms like the State Dining Room and the East Room as well as functional rooms for the staff like the kitchen.  There’s also a chocolate shop, bowling alley, and a very large flower shop.  Who knew? 
The top two floors of the main building are called the Residence and comprises the top two floors of the main part of the White House.  This is where the president and his family live.  The most famous part of the residence is the Lincoln Bedroom, which has hosted some of the White House’s most prestigious guests.  As you can see from the floor plan, the Lincoln Bedroom is adjacent the Treaty Room, so called because in 1898 William McKinley presided over the signing of a peace treaty in this room which ended the Spanish-American War.  Today it’s used as the president’s personal study. 

Friday, 20 October 2017

A MOST HANDSOME GENTLEMAN BLOG TOUR - SUZAN LAUDER INTERVIEWS ELIZABETH BENNET + GIVEAWAY


I’m delighted to begin the blog tour for A Most Handsome Gentleman at the same site that hosted my first blog tour stops for my other two published novels, Letter from Ramsgate and Alias Thomas Bennet, both of which are now on sale for $1.99. Here at My Jane Austen Book Club, you’ll be treated to an interview with Elizabeth Bennet and an excerpt from the new book, which is a comedy mini-novel suitable for all readers of Pride and Prejudice.
Suzan Lauder

Monday, 16 October 2017

VICTORIA GROSSACK, LIES & LIARS IN JANE AUSTEN


(by Victoria Grossack)

 In Jane Austen’s works, the bad guys lie.  A lot.

In fact, dishonesty in both word and deed frequently propels the plot.  Let’s take a tour through the deceptions in Jane Austen’s six novels and then discuss her depictions of lies, liars, and those who believe them.

Northanger Abbey.  One of the things I like about this novel is that much of the plot turns on the lies that characters tell about each other.  Most are delivered by John Thorpe, who tells many lies to General Tilney about Catherine Morland, the novel’s protagonist.  Northanger Abbey is, as many people know, Austen’s riposte to the over-the-top melodrama of the gothic novels that were so popular in the late 1700s.  And although Austen incorporated some gothic imaginings, she was able to devise a lovely little novel with prosaic lies.

Monday, 9 October 2017

DON JACOBSON, LIZZY BENNET MEETS THE COUNTESS

The Process Behind the Cover of “Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess”

By this point, Janet Taylor and I have firmly established the overall cover format for Bennet Wardrobe stories. There have been two in the “new style” –The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey and The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque. This latest novella will be the third utilizing the unifying “look.”  

One might suggest that if you have the frame, it is a relatively simple process to drop a picture into the hole. However, there is a peculiar zen behind an art director’s craft. As opposed to being almost incidental, what truly drives the underlying creative impulse for the cover design is the core visual. Even if Janet is not creating a new image, she derives the primary background color for the title block and then the complementary colors for the type itself. Wrong choices can have awful consequences.

Friday, 6 October 2017

BARBARA SILKSTONE, MY FAIR LIZZY - EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY

The fun things you discover while creating a new adventure for Darcy and Lizzy! It was important to my new release, a mashup of Pride and Prejudice and Pygmalion, that Lizzy talk with a cockney accent. But how could I do that to our darling girl? And how much of her quirky speech pattern would the reader enjoy? I hope I hit a near perfect balance as the tale begins with Lizzy speaking in cockney only to blend into proper English.


Amazon   Kobo   iBooks   Nook 

A Regency tale ~ Lizzy Bennet, a sassy London shop girl is instantly attracted to Fitzwilliam Darcy, the arrogant, handsome visitor to the Bennets’ struggling Covent Garden flower shop. Darcy insists on purchasing Lizzy’s lucky orchid as a gift for his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Will Lizzy sell her family’s much needed good fortune to the haughty know it all?

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

DANGEROUS TO KNOW - COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY


Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with any number of unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched out to the reader. Have you ever wondered about her rakes, rattles, and rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, the book designed to expose certain histories about Jane Austen’s anti-heroes, reveals its cover today.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

MISTAKEN BLOG TOUR - VIGNETTE BY JESSIE LEWIS + GIVEAWAY


Thank you so much, Maria Grazia, for hosting the first leg of the blog tour for Mistaken. I’d like to celebrate the occasion by sharing with your readers a scene that didn’t make it into the finished novel. There were quite a number of outtakes strewn across my virtual cutting room floor by the time I finished writing; I thought this one would give readers a wonderful introduction to some of my favourite characters. It’s dated, as is every scene in Mistaken, so readers can place it within the story. In it, we join Colonel Fitzwilliam, his brother Lord Ashby and their incorrigible grandmother Tabitha Sinclair, as they discuss Darcy’s uncommon state of melancholy.
Jessie Lewis

Monday, 25 September 2017

CATHERINE LODGE, THE PERILS OF PERFIDIOUS PLAGIARISTS


In August 2015, I was preparing to enjoy my birthday party at a sister's house, my family was around me, a small nephew was instructing me on the correct way to build with lego,  and the cake was flowing. I made the mistake of looking at my email.
"Hi," said and eagle-eyed reader who'd seen my novels on the Meryton.com site. "I didn't know you'd published your stories."
Celebration ground to a halt, I rampaged around Amazon - horrified to see that someone had smooshed my two stories together, under a hideous cover, with an ungrammatical title and using the pen name I'd used on-line.  Horribly, this meant it was someone who'd read my stories in a closed group I'd thought was a safe space, perhaps even someone I'd interacted with socially. 
It took me two days to get Amazon to admit that the stories were mine and take them down, followed by Nook and Barnes and Noble.  "Phew," thought painfully naive me. "Thank heavens that's over."  Of course, I never saw a penny/cent/pesos of what the plagiarist had made but I consoled myself that they probably didn't either and that it had all disappeared into Amazon's coffers.

Friday, 22 September 2017

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF YOUNG LADIES IN JANE AUSTEN'S NOVELS + GIVEAWAY


(from guest blogger Eliza Shearer)

Several words pop up all the time in Jane Austen’s novels: ‘fine,' ‘nice,' ‘civil,' ‘pleasant’ and ‘elegant’ immediately come to mind. But my personal favourite is ‘accomplished,' a word that comes up over and over again, particularly when referring to young ladies.

While in the XVIII century the education of young women of genteel families left a lot to be desired, in the Regency there was a renewed interest in cultivating the mind and spirit of girls. For girls, being accomplished became a positive trait, and one that could lead to a good marriage. Jane Austen herself benefited from an open-minded approach to female education, and her father’s extensive and fascinating library was as open as Mr Bennet’s.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

THESE DREAMS BLOG TOUR - VIGNETTE BY NICOLE CLARKSTON: LYDIA & GEORGIANA, GIRL TALK + GIVEAWAY


The events in this vignette fall just before Chapter 28 in These Dreams. Lydia and Georgiana are becoming close, as each girl tries to find ways to cheer the other. They have found a common bond in the disappointments of their young lives, but Elizabeth, the thread which first brought them together, is still emotionally distant.

There are quite a few sibling and sibling-like relationships running through this book. I enjoyed the relationship between Lydia and Georgiana for several reasons. The first was that Lydia is such a marvelous plot device! She will say things that no one else will say, and she brings an earthy freshness to the other characters just by her tart observations. She has absolutely no class-- not until the influences of Georgiana and Elizabeth begin to permeate her shaken senses-- and no fear, save for her own future.

Another thing I love about these two is that they are such opposites. They grow from each others’ example, and it is entertaining to watch how easily they come to terms with the elephant in the room: George Wickham. He played dirty by both of them, and they form a decided sisterly bond over the matter. As their friendship strengthens, they almost embark upon the girlhood that both had been denied; playing instruments, learning new crafts, planning picnics and comforting one another.

Elizabeth, through no fault or intent of anyone’s, becomes something of the outsider. Unlike the younger girls, her grief knows no balm, and she is tormented by night and day with her dreams and visions of the man she believes lost to her. Additionally, she is weighed down with the duties and responsibilities that the other two are yet unprepared to shoulder. In this short vignette, Georgiana and Lydia do a little speculating about the cause of Elizabeth’s low spirits.

~NC

Monday, 18 September 2017

I COULD WRITE A BOOK BLOG TOUR - KAREN M. COX, LOOKING FOR A NEW LOVE


Looking For a New Love: Why We Should Let Lizzy have Mr. Darcy, and Set Our Caps for George Knightley (a tongue-in-cheek male review)

All of Austen’s heroes have their excellent qualities. Henry Tilney is charming. Captain Wentworth is romantic. Edward Ferrars is loyal (sometimes to his detriment). Edmund Bertram is kind.

But one Austen gentleman is more famous than all the others combined (thank you, Colin Firth!) Mr. Darcy is the ultimate catch, right? Brooding, rich, tall, and with that noble demeanor, he has turned readers’ heads for 200 years. He fell for Elizabeth Bennet when she never suspected that his feelings ran so deep. He saved her family from certain disgrace. He changes his prideful ways for the woman he loves.
He’s everyone’s favorite book boyfriend.
But hold on a minute…
Have you met George Knightley?

Saturday, 16 September 2017

PARTICULAR ATTACHMENTS BLOG TOUR - L.L. DIAMOND INTRODUCES HER HERO, LORD NATHANIEL SELE


Particular Attachments

She swore would never marry!

Georgiana Darcy is a lady with a secret! The last thing she wants is to return to London, but what else can she do when her brother and his wife make plans to spend the Christmas season in town. When Lizzy’s youngest sister, Lydia, joins them, Georgiana gains a confidante, but will Lydia’s outgoing nature cause problems when Lord Sele, son of a family friend reappears in Georgiana’s life?

As an insufferable boy, Lord Sele vowed he would marry Georgiana, but was his return from Ireland a coincidence or was his sole purpose to pursue her? He admits to desiring friendship, but Lydia is determined his desire is Georgiana and she will stop at nothing to see her best friend happily settled.

What is Georgiana to do when faced with the society she has managed to avoid for her entire adult life as well as the one man determined to change her mind about marriage? Will she be able to overcome her fears despite the spectre from the past that seems to be haunting her? Will she be forced to tell her secret and choose happiness or will someone from her past ruin everything?

Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgiana Darcy

Thank you so much for having me,  Maria Grazia!

One of my favourite scenes in Particular Attachments is the first time Georgiana sees Nathaniel (Lord Sele) after so many years. It’s not a major interaction between the two, but in some ways it shows so much in his reaction to her as well as her reaction to him. Since Particular Attachments is from Georgiana’s point of view, I thought I’d write an outtake from Nathaniel’s perspective. I hope you enjoy it J

 L.L.Diamond
~ * ~

Thursday, 14 September 2017

JANE AUSTEN AND THE MEN WHO LOVED HER



(by Alice Chandler)

Why do so few men read Jane Austen? That question has been getting a lot of attention recently. In an article reprinted in the blog Jane Austen’s World, William Deresiewicz writes about “the strangeness, the effrontery, of a heterosexual man who reads Jane Austen.” Another article by Margaret Barthels, talks movingly about her father, who was a lifelong Austen reader, even in a world of “female-dominated fandom.”  A 2008 survey readership found that 96% of all Austen readers were women. Even allowing for the distortions of such self-reported data, the evidence is clear. Women read Jane Austen. Men do not--or to be more accurate, most men do not. It was not always so.

Monday, 11 September 2017

FAIR STANDS THE WIND BLOG TOUR - CATHERINE LODGE, IN DEFENCE OF MRS BENNET


Author Guest Post

I admit it, I feel sorry for Mrs Bennet.  I know she would be horrendously annoying to live with, no one likes to hear the same thing over and over again, and no one likes to be told what they ought to be doing, especially if it's the one thing you don't want to do, whether it's tidying your bedroom or marrying someone you can't stand.
But the poor woman, really doesn't understand her own life.  She must know that her husband despises her and most of her children, he makes no secret of the fact and she, equally obviously, does not understand why.  As far as she is concerned, she is doing everything right, she runs a comfortable, well-fed household and she is doing her best to get her daughters advantageously married.  Indeed, she seems to be the only person who understands how desperately important it is to get them married, and what a horrendously stupid thing Elizabeth does in refusing Mr Collins.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

SHARON LATHAN, THREE WAYS TO WED DURING THE REGENCY - GUEST BLOG & GIVEAWAY

My sincerest thanks to Maria Grazia for hosting me on My Jane Austen Book Club today. It is an honor to be here, and a great pleasure to share a bit of my research with your readers, as well as my latest novel. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.

Three Ways to Wed during the Regency

Today I thought I would talk about the legitimate avenues for a legal marriage in England during the period our beloved characters lived. As a result of the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1753, the rules and requirements were strictly detailed, in large part to prevent the rash marriages of the prior decades. 

The five major points of the 1753 Marriage Act were:


      1.  A license and/or the reading of the banns were required to legally marry.
  1. Essential parental consent if either person was under the age of 21.
  2. The ceremony must take place in a public chapel or church where at least one of the two resided AND by an authorized Church of England clergyman.
  3. The marriage must be performed between 8am and noon, AND before designated witnesses.
  4. The marriage had to be recorded in the marriage register with the signatures of both parties, the witnesses, and the minister.