Tuesday, 10 December 2019

SPEECHLESS BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: TALKING JANE AUSTEN WITH AUTHOR JESSIE LEWIS


Hello and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club, Jessie. Congratulations on your new release,
Speechless! Let’s start right away talking about the premise of your Pride and Prejudice Variation. 

It’s set during the winter following the Netherfield ball, after which Darcy leaves Hertfordshire and takes Bingley with him. As I’m sure your readers will know, at that point in the original story, Darcy is in denial about his feelings for Elizabeth, whereas Elizabeth is very clear about her feelings for Darcy: she detests him! That is how we find them at the start of Speechless, when a horrible accident leaves them stranded together at a remote inn. Darcy has been badly injured,and despite her antipathy towards him, Elizabeth is forced to be his nursemaid. You can imagine how unimpressed either of them is with this turn of events, and it gets even worse when they realise Darcy’s wound has left him unable to speak. Our dear couple have to work out how to understand the words they’re saying before they can even begin to understand what each other means.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

THE CLERGYMAN'S WIFE BLOG TOUR - GUEST POST + EXCERPT


ABOUT THE BOOK

For everyone who loved Pride and Prejudice--and legions of historical fiction lovers--an inspired debut novel set in Austen's world.

Charlotte Collins, nee Lucas, is the respectable wife of Hunsford's vicar, and sees to her duties by rote: keeping house, caring for their adorable daughter, visiting parishioners, and patiently tolerating the lectures of her awkward husband and his condescending patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Intelligent, pragmatic, and anxious to escape the shame of spinsterhood, Charlotte chose this life, an inevitable one so socially acceptable that its quietness threatens to overwhelm her. Then she makes the acquaintance of Mr. Travis, a local farmer and tenant of Lady Catherine..

In Mr. Travis' company, Charlotte feels appreciated, heard, and seen. For the first time in her life, Charlotte begins to understand emotional intimacy and its effect on the heart--and how breakable that heart can be. With her sensible nature confronted, and her own future about to take a turn, Charlotte must now question the role of love and passion in a woman's life, and whether they truly matter for a clergyman's wife.

REDISCOVERING CHARLOTTE

It took about a year of once-weekly writing sprints to finish my first novel, The Clergyman’s Wife, but the idea had been slowly germinating for a long time. I have, in fact, been thinking about Charlotte Lucas and herchoice for more than twenty years, eversince Ifirstread Pride and Prejudice. Back then Iwasten years-old, and with a child’s understanding ofwhatIread, my first and strongestreactionwhen Charlotte chose to marry Mr. Collins was complete revulsion. Mr. Collins was gross, andworse, hewas a little bit stupid. Someone like Charlotte, who was friends with Elizabeth Bennet and therefore must be intelligent,would be miserable married to him. I agreed completely with Elizabeth’s first reaction to the news of her friend’s engagement: Charlotte had made a terrible mistake. But time, and many subsequent readings, softened my take on Charlotte’s decision, and as I grew up, she became the character in Pride and Prejudice who fascinated me most, her choice to marry Mr. Collins less horrifying than the circumstances that led to it. 

Sunday, 1 December 2019

TALKING SANDITON WITH ... JANET TODD


The first-ever television adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel SANDITON will air on PBS Masterpiece from 12 January 2020.  Written by award winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Les Miserable, Mr. Selfridge), the first TV trailer for the 8-part series has just been released. (Watch it HERE)

Today December 1, 2019 a new and easily accessible edition of Sanditon is published by Fentum Press. It includes an innovative introductory essay by Janet Todd, a leading Austen scholar, plus the text of the novel.

Jane Austen's Sanditon

Written as a comedy, Sanditon continues the strain of burlesque and caricature Austen wrote as a teenager and in private throughout her life. She examines the moral and social problems of capitalism, entrepreneurship, and whether wealth trickles down to benefit the place where it is made. She explores the early 19th century culture of self: the exploitation of hypochondria, health fads, seaside resorts, and the passion for salt-water cures. Written only months before Austen's death in 1817 the book was never fully completed by the author.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

BLOG TOUR FALLING FOR MR THORNTON - INTERVIEW WITH DON JACOBSON, ELAINE OWEN, NICOLE CLARKSTON AND ROSE FAIRBANKS


First of all  as an old fan of North and South (1855) and Mrs Gaskell’s work, I was super happy when I  discovered an anthology of short stories inspired to her novel was going to be released.  I can’t wait to read Falling for Mr Thornton! You can bet I’ll do it as soon as possible and I’ll keep you updated of my progress and my response, of course. 
Meanwhile,  I have had the opportunity to ask three of the authors in the anthology a few questions about their approach to the novel. First of all, I asked  Rose Fairbanks, Don Jacobson, Elaine Owen and Nicole Clarkston, four Austen authors you’ve already met on different occasions here at My Jane Austen Book Club, how difficult  it was to move from Austen’s world to Gaskell’s. 

Sunday, 17 November 2019

THE WATSONS BLOG TOUR LAUNCH! INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ROSE SERVITOVA



Jane Austen commenced writing The Watsons over two hundred years ago, putting it aside unfinished, never to return and complete it. Now, Rose Servitova, author of acclaimed humour title, The Longbourn Letters: The Correspondence between Mr Collins and Mr Bennet has finished Austen’s manuscript in a manner true to Austen’s style and wit.

The Watsons' Blog Tour starts today here at My Jane Austen Book Club with an interview with Rose Servitova. Join us in the discussion in the comment section below the post. Whether you've read Jane Austen's fragment or not, we'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

C. P. ODOM, A COVENANT OF MARRIAGE - GUEST POST, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY




The Marriage of Georgiana Darcy and Charles Bingley
I suppose I ought to warn readers that there are spoilers in this guest post about one of the situations from my new Pride and Prejudice variation, A Covenant of Marriage, but I’ve probably already let the cat out of the bag by the title of this post. This particular variation on Jane Austen’s signature work revolves around the summer holiday planned by Elizabeth Bennet’s aunt and uncle, who invited her to accompany them. In P&P, the original plan was for an excursion to the Lake District for six weeks in June, but the tour had to be delayed and shortened to four weeks because of Mr. Gardiner’s business. So, instead of journeying to the Lakes, they decided on a shorter vacation to Derbyshire, with the result that Elizabeth coincidentally meets Darcy when her party is visiting his estate of Pemberley, which leads to events critical to the happy ending of the novel. My thought was to allow the original tour to take place as planned and see what develops.

Monday, 11 November 2019

BOOK REVIEW: DIANA BIRCHALL, THE BRIDE OF NORTHANGER


As she revealed in the interview I posted opening the blog tour, the Doyenne of Austenesque fiction, Diana Birchall,  started writing The Bride of Northanger  soon after the last JASNA conference whose theme was Northanger Abbey, in Portland in 2010. 

She had always found Northanger Abbey very charming and youthful and was particularly curious about the central relationship.  


I've personally always found Northanger Abbey very entertaining and,  in the same time,  an interesting experiment in the literary world of Jane Austen's time: it blends the conventions of two differnt types of novels,  the Gothic Novel and the Novel of Manners. 

So, I was really glad  when I heard there was a sequel to Northanger Abbey by Diana Birchall coming out and gladly accepted the invitation to take part in the blog tour to promote it.  We have a lot of Pride and Prejudice material to enjoy,  but rarely get to read fan fiction dealing with the other novels. This is why I also accepted to read and review The Bride of Northanger. 

Sunday, 10 November 2019

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT DARCY - INTERVIEW WITH DR GABRIELLE MALCOM


Hello and welcome, Dr Malcolm! Thanks a lot for accepting my invitation. First of all, can you tell us how you came to write There’s Something About Darcy? 

Hello – and thank you for inviting me, it’s a great pleasure to be here.

My inspiration to write the book, firstly, comes from my fascination for Austen’s characters and – of course – huge admiration of her work and legacy. But I also had an encounter soon after I moved to Bath when I was standing at a bus-stop. I saw a young woman carrying a tote bag with the slogan ‘I “Heart” Darcy’ on it. This got me thinking – what other 19th Century character from a classic novel could possibly provoke such a sentiment? So much so, that merchandise would be created, and people would buy it! From there, it took me to investigating – why Darcy? Why does he provoke such interest and adoration around the world?
  

What is your personal interpretation of Darcy’s appeal, especially to contemporary readers? 

I simply love what Austen did with her hero. This is at the heart of his longstanding and continuing appeal. I think it’s because she created a character with a fascinating story arc. She expertly crafted his learning process, in company with and apart from Elizabeth, with input from other family members and new acquaintances. Without drawing attention to it, Austen cunningly demonstrates Darcy’s education in the world. She even has him write a long essay explaining himself halfway through! Stroke of genius. He accounts for his actions and apologises. I think that goes down well with contemporary readers. He is also devoted and full of hope. He carries out his tasks for Elizabeth’s family without knowing if he will ever have the chance to see her again. He remains hopeful and in love throughout the second half of the book.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

TALKING JANE AUSTEN AND SANDITON WITH AUTHOR KATE RIORDAN





Have you seen ITV Sanditon?  Have you rewatched it countless times on ITV Hub and started longing for series two? We have a cure for your withdrawal symptoms:  a novelisation of Andrew Davies' script, which will gratify your wish to discover  more about the characters and the story you love.


If you are you still watching it - in Australia or South Africa,  for instance - you maybe want to wait on to avoid spoilers or ... maybe not. 
If you are in the States, you must be patient because Sanditon is coming soon: it will premiere on PBS Masterpiece on 12 January  2020!

Kate Riordan is the brilliant historical fiction writer who accepted to work on Andrew Davies' (and Justin Young's!) script and to follow in Jane Austen's footsteps to tell the rest of the story.

Kate kindly accepted to answer a few questions and be my guest at My Jane Austen Book Club today and I want to thank her very much indeed for a great interview.  Read on!

Saturday, 2 November 2019

SPOTLIGHT ON ... GRAVITY BY P.O.DIXON: EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY


From the Author


Thank you so much, Maria Grazia, for this opportunity to visit My Jane Austen Book Club and talk about my new release, Gravity. It’s such a great pleasure to be here.

When I can, I always like to include a Jane Austen quote as the epigraph in my books. I was amazed to find one so ideally suited to my new release as the following words from Sense and Sensibility:

What have wealth or grandeur to do with happiness?

In Gravity, Mr. Darcy is about to find out.

P.O. Dixon

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

THE WORLD OF SANDITON: BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY


This post offers you the chance to win an ebook copy of the book described, The World of Sanditon, The Official Companion to the ITV series.Thanks to Orion Books for providing a free copy to give away.  Scroll down and take your chances to win. The giveaway contest ends on 12th November and it is open internationally. Good luck! 


The World of Sanditon, the official companion to the ITV series, published by Orion Books delves behind the scenes giving you the inside scoop on Andrew Davies’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s last, unfinished work.

The book allows you to go behind the scenes with the cast and crew, exploring the world that Austen created and offering fascinating insights about a period and the real – life heartbreak behind her final story.

The book will be a gorgeous addition to your Austen or period drama shelf: good-sized, beautifully designed, loads of pictures and the best information on every Regency and Sanditon related subject you can imagine.

You will also have access to location guides, interviews with the cast, beautiful photography from the series and in-depth historical information by esteemed author Sara Sheridan.

Monday, 28 October 2019

THE BRIDE OF NORTHANGER BY DIANA BIRCHALL: BLOG TOUR LAUNCH


Hello #Janeites and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club! I'm so glad  to be opening a new great event here at our online club. Aren't you thrilled too? There aren't so many Northanger Abbey-inspired novels out there so this is a truly special event. 

The Doyenne of Austenesque fiction, Diana Birchall, tours the blogosphere starting today October 28 through November 15 to share her latest release, The Bride of Northanger. I'm in truly good company in this adventure: thirty popular bloggers specializing in historical and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed continuation of Jane Austen’s Gothic parody, Northanger Abbey.  

INTERVIEW WITH DIANA BIRCHALL

Hello Diana and welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club. You were one the first Jane Austen Fan Fiction writers in the 1990s. Can you share your inspiration to become an Austenesque writer and your career journey so far?

“Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure,” as Elizabeth told Darcy, and it does give me pleasure, Maria Grazia, for you to invite me to talk about the past! My Jane Austen adventure began when I won a contest in the JASNA journal Persuasions, as long ago as 1984, writing Austen style dialogue, a little sketch of the chatter of Miss Bates, in Emma. It was so much fun, and I was so pleased at winning, that I decided to do more. Over the next few years I wrote lots of what I thought of as pastiche (the terms Austenesque and fan fic hadn’t yet been invented!), and this led to my writing a full-length novel: Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma was written in 1992. At the time there had not been a Pride and Prejudice sequel since the 1940s, and I thought it was an idea whose time had come. Two other authors had the same brain wave simultaneously, and there was a fierce competition. I had an excited New York literary agent and was told to expect a bidding war – but no. The others (Emma Tennant with Pemberley and Julia Barrett with Presumption) were better known, I was as yet unpublished, and the publishing world decreed that there was no ROOM for a third Pride and Prejudice sequel, if you can believe that, in a world where there are now hundreds!

THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN BY JULIE COOPER: BLOG TOUR LAUNCH & GIVEAWAY


Hello everyone and welcome to a new great event. The Perfect Gentleman Blog Tour starts here at My Jane Austen Book Club today. Author Julie Cooper introduces you to the world of her novel with a lovely excerpt and offers you the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing!
By the way, it's time to reveal the winner of the giveaway of a $20 Amazon gift card from Quills & Quartos Publishing attached to our previous cover reveal post

Monday, 21 October 2019

VICTORIA KINCAID, WHEN CHARLOTTE BECAME ROMANTIC. AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY



Hi Maria Grazia, thank you for having me as a guest!  I am pleased to announce the release of a new Pride and Prejudice variation, When Charlotte Became Romantic.  It’s part of a series of secondary character books I’ve been writing that envision the women of Pride and Prejudice in a new light. This novel is for any reader who felt sorry for Charlotte and bemoaned her fate of being stuck with Collins for the rest of her life.  It imagines what would happen if she had other choices and the chance to revisit her opinion on romance.  Below is an excerpt from the very beginning of the book.  Enjoy! 


Desperate to escape her parents’ constant criticism, Charlotte has accepted a proposal from Mr. Collins despite recognizing his stupid and selfish nature.  But when a mysterious man from her past visits Meryton for the Christmas season, he arouses long-buried feelings and causes her to doubt her decision. 
James Sinclair’s mistakes cost him a chance with Charlotte three years ago, and he is devastated to find her engaged to another man.  Honor demands that he step aside, but his heart will not allow him to leave Meryton. Their mutual attraction deepens; however, breaking an engagement is not a simple matter and scandal looms.  If they are to be happy, they must face her parents’ opposition, Lady Catherine’s disapproval, dangerous figures from James’s past...and Charlotte’s nagging feeling that maybe she should just marry Mr. Collins.  
Charlotte had forsworn romance years ago; is it possible for her to become romantic again?

Saturday, 19 October 2019

BLOG TOUR - ELIZA SHEARER, MISS PRICE'S DECISION: AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY


Finding Inspiration in Jane Austen: Introducing Miss Price’s Decision

Thank you, Maria Grazia, for having me today! It is a pleasure to be amongst Janeites to present Miss Price’s Decision, my latest novel in the Austeniana series.

Jane Austen’s novels have accompanied me since my teens. To me, they are a source of solace, amusement and hope. But my favourite thing about Jane Austen is that, no matter how many times I re-read her novels, I always discover something new.

At times the finding is about me. Austen’s stories connect with my inner world in a way few other books do, and as a result, immersing myself in them is different every time, depending on my circumstances and what I am experiencing in life.

On other occasions, however, I notice elements in the novel that were always there, but I had not seen before. And sometimes, these nuggets of new information will develop into full-blown ideas for my own stories.

This is precisely what happened two summers ago, upon re-reading Mansfield Park, when I came across a particular sentence that inspired a great deal of Miss Price’s Decision.

Friday, 18 October 2019

THE WORLD OF SANDITON: INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SARA SHERIDAN.




JANE AUSTEN’S SANDITON


When Jane Austen was chronically ill with a mysterious disease in early 1817, she turned her thoughts to a happier subject. She started work on a witty and delightful novel set in a seaside town, Sanditon.  She never finished it. She just left us 11 chapters, about 60 pages.
Sanditon tells the story of Tom Parker, who is obsessed with turning the sleepy seaside village of Sanditon into a fashionable health resort. He enlists the backing of local bigwig Lady Denham. Through a mishap, Tom makes the acquaintance of the Heywoods and invites their eldest daughter, Charlotte for an extended stay at Sanditon.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

NEW RELEASE! ELAINE JEREMIAH, BY TIME DIVIDED: EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY




 A year ago, in October 2018, Elaine Jeremiah was my guest here at My Jane Austen Book Club and we discussed time travel fiction, Jane Austen fanfiction and other Austen-related topics. The occasion was the release of her debut novel, Love Without Time. (Read the post HERE).

Today I'm thrilled to celebrate with you all the release of her second novel, By Time Divided, with a lovely excerpt and a double giveaway! 

Monday, 14 October 2019

COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY! THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN BY JULIE COOPER



Greetings to all My Jane Austen Book Club followers, and thanks to Maria Grazia for hosting my cover reveal for The Perfect Gentleman!

This cover was kismet, or at least it feels so to me. When cover discussions began, the excellent publishers at Quills and Quartos sent over some book cover sites to surf for ideas. A few evenings later, I was browsing one of those suggested sites, www.londonmontgomerycovers.com, when I found one I loved. It showed the hero (albeit of the wrong historic period) pictured with just enough specifics to pique the imagination. I don’t know about you, but I don’t care to have my cover heroes depicted in too much detail…they invariably have the wrong nose, eyes, or hair, are too young or too old, are Matthew Macfadyen when you prefer Colin Firth (or vice versa—I don’t judge!). And since this story starts out with a most unusual Regency Road Trip, the sample cover’s prominent speeding carriage seemed especially appropriate.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

MARIA GRACE, FINE EYES AND PERT OPINIONS


Hello, Maria Grazia! It’s so good to visit with you again at My Jane Austen Book Club. I’m really excited to share with you my latest project, Fine Eyes and Pert Opinions. This has been an odd project for me—I started it, handwritten in 2014 and then set it aside when something shiny and urgent crossed my path. Recently I found the old notebooks and realized I had to finish to tale. I didn’t know how it ended and I just had to find out!

 In Fine Eyes and Pert Opinions Vicar’s daughter, Elizabeth has grown up in the shades of Pemberley, a great friend to Darcy and his sister Georgiana. A baronet’s elegant daughter distracts Darcy from his duties, leaving the Darcy family on the brink of disaster. Elizabeth holds the key to their restoration, but she has fled Pemberley, unable to tolerate another day there. Will Darcy relinquish his pride and prejudice to seek out a woman below his notice before his family is irreparably ruined?

Thursday, 3 October 2019

BLOG TOUR - A CASE OF SOME DELICACY BY KC KAHLER: EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY


The plot of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice hinges on timing: when characters meet, when characters travel, when characters read letters. What if one small change occurs in the timing of events early in the novel?


“About a month ago I received this letter, and about a fortnight ago I answered it; for I thought it a case of some delicacy, and requiring early attention. It is from my cousin, Mr. Collins, who, when I am dead, may turn you all out of this house as soon as he pleases.”

~Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 13

In A Case of Some Delicacy, Mr. Collins offers his olive branch to Mr. Bennet a month earlier. When the heir of Longbourn visits with the aim of marrying one of its daughters, he precedes Mr. Bingley’s coming into Hertfordshire. Mrs. Bennet is nothing but encouraging for a match between Jane and Mr. Collins. Elizabeth cannot sit by while the happiness of her most beloved sister is sacrificed for the good of the family. But interfering in the fawning parson’s courtship is a full-time job. Elizabeth receives help from an unexpected ally: Mr. Darcy.

A Case of Some Delicacy is a fun romp with the characters you already love, and a few new ones you’ll come to love. All of the Bennet sisters play roles in the altered events in Hertfordshire, some of them in surprising ways. Eavesdropping abounds, secret partnerships are formed, matchmakers and matchbreakers run rampant, and general hijinks ensue.