Monday, 8 February 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON ... A LITTLE WHIMSICAL IN HIS CIVILITIES BY J. MARIE CROFT - EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY


Hello there! I'm really glad to open J. Marie Croft's Blog Tour for the release of her new humorous novella! Good luck to her and great success to her new book and, of course, good luck to all of you in the giveaway below. Don't forget to read and enjoy the excerpt before you try your luck! 
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Excerpt

It’s the third evening following Darcy and Bingley’s return to Hertfordshire,
and they’re attending another Meryton assembly in the hopes of winning their hearts’ desires.

For Darcy, old habits die hard.
Already on tenterhooks and made increasingly impatient while awaiting the Bennets’ arrival,
he has become a tad testy, to put it mildly.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

KATIE OLIVER, JANE AUSTEN - REGENCY SHOPAHOLIC? AUTHOR GUEST POST & GREAT GIVEAWAY!


"Chick lit is genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly. Although it sometimes includes romantic elements, chick lit is generally not considered a direct subcategory of the romance novel genre, because the heroine's relationship with her family or friends is often just as important as her romantic relationships." - Goodreads

"[Romance] books are about the celebration of falling in love and emotion and commitment, and all of those things we really want." - Nora Roberts


Jane Austen blazed the trail that every writer of romance and chick lit ever after has followed. Her popularity is still strong after 250 years. Numerous film adaptations of her novels, including the recent Austen-meets-horror film mashup, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, continue to be produced, watched, and admired, and discussed. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

JANE AND THE WATERLOO MAP BLOG TOUR - STEPHANIE BARRON ON LOVING AND WRITING JANE AUSTEN + GRAND GIVEAWAY!


Award winning author Stephanie Barron tours the blogosphere February 2 through February 22, 2016 to share her latest release, Jane and the Waterloo Map.  Twenty popular book bloggers specializing in Austenesque fiction, mystery and Regency history will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts and book reviews from this highly anticipated novel in the acclaimed Being a Jane Austen Mystery series and I'm proud and honored to open the festivities here at My Jane Austen Book Club!  A fabulous giveaway contest, including copies of Ms. Barron’s book and other Jane Austen-themed items, will be open to those who  will enter the contest.   
I discovered Jane Austen when I was twelve, trapped by a gale of rain in my aunt’s paneled library. Cass—yes, my aunt’s name was Cass, just like Jane Austen’s sister—was an anglophile and a horticulturalist who spent long hours in her Westchester County garden or ambling with her beagle, Biff, down graveled back country roads. She raised prize daffodils, an occupation short on season that I hope was long on gratification. She had a matched bound set of Austen but for some reason my fingers pulled out the spine of Pride and Prejudice first. As it ought to do, when one is twelve.

I am the last of a family of six girls. The story of Mrs. Bennet desperately trying to marry off her daughters made immediate sense to me. The varying temperaments and allegiances among the Bennet sisters, the shifting cabals and jealousies of a family of women, were instantly familiar. And my discovery of duplicity—Wickham’s lies, Darcy’s unsuspected generosity—was the beginning of a lifelong education in the subtleties of relationships.

Monday, 1 February 2016

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - UNDECEIVED, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IN THE SPY GAME BY KAREN M. COX


Hello everyone! Welcome to the Undeceived blog tour. Thanks, Maria Grazia, for inviting me back to My Jane Austen Book Club!
It’s been over two years since my last full-length novel was released. That’s partly because my life has been very busy with some major changes and transitions: My youngest is graduating high school and heading off to college this year. My job as a pediatric speech pathologist became a full-time gig. And I’ve been busy adoring my first grandchild, who is just about to turn one.
But another big reason it’s been so long since my last book is because of what I chose to write: a spy novel variation of Pride and Prejudice set during the last few years of the Cold War. It was a project that required a lot in terms of research, writing and re-writing, but wow! What a ride it has been!
One of the first questions people ask me about this book is: “What on earth inspired you to write a Pride and Prejudice-themed spy novel?” It’s a valid question, given that my work to date has been mostly character-driven Austenesque fiction.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

UNLEASHING MR DARCY - FROM BOOK TO MOVIE, TERI WILSON'S LOVELY MODERN SPIN ON P&P

The TV movie

We all need a bit of fairy dust on our grey lives from time to time and watching this lovely TV movie helped my mood like a touch of magic wand last night. So romantic!
In this modern day spin on “Pride & Prejudice,”  inspired to Teri Wilson's 2013 novel, Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby), is fishing for direction in her life and gets the opportunity to professionally show her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a fancy New York dog show. Dog show judge Donovan Darcy (Ryan Paevey) comes across as aristocratic and rude and a chain of misunderstandings unfold during the competition, complicating their mutual attraction. In true Jane Austen fashion, Elizabeth and Donovan begin to see the error of their ways and it turns out Mr. Darcy is far more kind and interesting than Elizabeth ever imagined.
Then he is almost charming, despite all his flaws, and Elizabeth just can't resist him. But their mutual attraction will find obstacles to overcome: not only Darcy's Aunt Violette and wife - to -be, Felicity, but also Darcy's own pride and Elizabeth's prejudices against wealthy people. 

However, their love for puppies and dogs will help them to find a compromise ...

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

SWAY BLOG TOUR - A CONTEMPORARY RETELLING OF PERSUASION BY MELANIE STANFORD

Sway is out today and Melanie Stanford is our guest to launch her blog tour. Sway is a new  modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Ready to welcome Melanie  to our online club? And, by the way, don't  miss the chance to win a signed paperback copy. The giveaway is open internationally. Good luck, everyone! 

First off, a big thank you to Maria Grazia for having me today!

Why write a retelling? Why Jane Austen? These are two questions I often hear from people when they find out about SWAY, my contemporary retelling of PERSUASION set in LA.
Before starting SWAY, I’d written a young adult time-travel novel and its sequel. Even though I’d read tons of Jane Austen retellings, I’d never considered writing one of my own. I wanted to write YA and I wanted to write stories with some kind of magical element to them—I never once thought I’d write straight up contemporary.
Then I was in the middle of a re-watch of 2007’s PERSUASION (I’ve got a thing for Rupert Penry-Jones in that movie, not gonna lie *swoons*). I don’t remember what point in the movie it struck me, but I just knew it would make an awesome modern day story.

Out of all of Jane Austen’s novels, I really got Persuasion when I read it. I felt it. I understood Anne’s pain and heartache when she’s constantly thrown into company with Captain Wentworth. I think we all know what it’s like to regret a break-up. There are just so many feelings and drama going on in Persuasion (and I love me some drama) that I wanted so badly to write it down myself, take it into a modern world and put my own spin on it.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

HAPPY 240th BIRTHDAY, JANE AUSTEN + GIVEAWAY


To celebrate dear Jane's 240th Birthday, here's a special bargain (US readers only) + giveaway contest (INT.) for our readers!


beautiful devotional, brimming with the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen and the timeless truths of Scripture. 
The works of Jane Austen can transport a reader to a world that exudes beauty, peace, wisdom, wit, and love. Captivating audiences for 200 years, the works of Jane Austen continue to capture today’s readers in droves.
This daily devotional includes short excerpts from the Austen classics, and a devotional thought and Scripture that meaningfully translates to women’s daily lives. Offering temporary transport to a simple and peaceful place, women will love taking a moment to revel in the beauty and truth of a Scripture paired with excerpts from Northanger AbbeyPride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion,Mansfield Park, and Emma.

Monday, 14 December 2015

SPOTLIGHT ON ... PRIDE & PREJU-KNITS, TWELVE GENTEEL KNITTING PROJECTS INSPIRED BY JANE AUSTEN


An original, cute Christmas gift,  perfect for a Janeite who loves knitting. Well, if she doesn't, she'll wish to learn as soon as possible, once she has had a look at the Austen-inspired knitting projects included in Pride and Preju-knitsTwelve Genteel Knitting Projects Inspired by Jane Austen by Trixie Von Purl. This lovely book is  published by Harper - Collins  and is available on many online bookshops. But,  what about winning a free copy? Read through this presentation and, at the bottom of the post,  you'll find a rafflecopter form with many chances to win! Unfortunately, this contest is limited to US readers only. Good luck!
What can you find in the book?

Knit your way through the incredible world of Jane Austen’s beloved novels, from Pemberley to Mansfield Park, and create your favorite Austen characters, including Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, and more with this delightful collection of twelve knitting projects from the famed craftsman, Austen enthusiast, and author of Knit Your Own Kama Sutra, Trixie von Purl.
Knitting maven Trixie von Purl helps knitters and Austen fans create the world of Jane Austen like never before with this inventive and unique craft book. Featuring a high-class art, Pride & Preju-knits gathers together the best sassy heroines and brooding heroes from all six of Austen’s beloved and widely acclaimed novels, including Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley, and Marianne Dashwood and Mr. Willoughby.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

TALKING JANE AUSTEN WITH ... LYNN MESSINA, AUTHOR OF PREJUDICE & PRIDE. WIN COPIES OF THE BOOK!

Hello Lynn and welcome to our online Jane Austen club. My first question is, what was your first encounter with Austen and her world like? And was it through reading one of her books or watching one of the movie/TV adaptations?

My first experience was reading Pride and Prejudice when I was fifteen years old. I was in the back of my car and my family were driving from Long Island to Montreal to go skiing, which was, like, an eight-hour trek, and I’d slept for most of the trip, so when we arrived at the slopes I’d just gotten up to Mr. Darcy’s letter to Lizzy and the last thing I wanted to do—I mean, the very last thing—was put the book down and go ski.

When and how you came to think of writing  a Jane Austen –inspired book?

I came up with the idea after seeing Bride & Prejudice—Gurinder Chadha’s Bollywood adaptation—in the movie theater so that was eleven years ago now. I was waiting with a friend for her bus and we were chatting about the film and we both thought it was slightly off because the Elizabeth character was so mean. She was, we thought, more like the Darcy character, and by the time her bus came, say, ten minutes later, I had the general idea mapped out. What I loved about it was how perfectly the names worked with it: Fitzwilliam Darcy becoming Darcy Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Bennet becoming Bennet Elizabeth. OK, his last name doesn’t work at all, and don’t think I haven’t been sulking about that for more than a decade.

What’s surprising in your retelling of Jane Austen’s most beloved tale is … a gender-bendy twist. Could you tell us more about your choice and briefly introduce us your characters?

It’s all hazy now, but years ago I read about a director who switched all the parts in a Shakespeare play—it might have been Macbeth—to see if the emotional truths held regardless of gender. That stayed with me and a few years later I wrote a book about a girl who stages a gender-bendy Hamlet to protest gender inequality in her high school’s drama department. So as soon as I came up with the idea, I embraced it with both hands because it dealt with things I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Monday, 7 December 2015

LAURA BRIGGS,CHRISTMAS WITH MISS AUSTEN - GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY

Austen at Christmastime

Thanks to Maria Grazia for inviting me to share my work with all her lovely readers!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always love a good dose of Jane Austen for the holidays. Whether it’s watching the six hour Pride & Prejudice miniseries for the zillionth time, reading one of the many variations and updates of her works—or reading the work in its original form—I enjoy it all.

So that was partly why I chose to write a Christmas novella with an Austenesque theme. Christmas with Miss Austen, a lighthearted, inspirational romance, features a modern-day heroine named Julia who is obsessed with all-things Austen. Waitress by day, painter by night, and Jane Austen on weekends might be a good way to describe her. When the story begins, it finds her volunteering at a historic open house for the holidays. Here, Julia dresses up in Regency style clothing and reads to visitors from an antique copy of Northanger Abbey.


Julia’s adventure begins when she falls asleep after the customers have gone, and accidentally gets locked inside the old house. She must walk home in the dark in full Regency garb. When she bumps into a stranger in the snowy park, Julia doesn’t stop to explain—she just scurries home.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

SPOTLIGHT ON ... DARCY'S CHRISTMAS WISH BY PENELOPE SWAN - BLOG EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY



Fitzwilliam Darcy never forgot the little girl, with the beautiful dark eyes, who saved his life fifteen years ago… though he never expected to meet her again. But when he comes to Rosings Park to spend the Advent season with his aunt, he discovers that at Christmastime, miracles - and wishes – can come true… 

DARCY'S CHRISTMAS WISH is a sweet, clean standalone Pride and Prejudice variation - a holiday romance inspired by Jane Austen's classic novel!

PRAISE FOR PENELOPE SWAN 

"Penelope Swan has captured the essence of the characters and their "voices" so well that one would think the text was written by Jane Austen, herself." ~ Ingrid Holzman

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

CELEBRATE THE 200th ANNIVERSARY OF JANE AUSTEN'S EMMA THIS DECEMBER IN WINCHESTER

December marks 200 years since the publication of one of the world’s most famous novels, Emma, written by Jane Austen. The author spent much of her life in Hampshire, died in Winchester’s historic College Street and is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

December is the ideal month to visit Winchester, fans of the novel, whose heroine was a great lover of Christmas, can expect a backdrop of ‘England as it used to be’ that is bustling with shoppers and revellers enjoying the compact medieval cityscape.
  
Winchester provides a tasteful and authentic Christmas experience - the festive season is celebrated with old and new traditions.  Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market is integral to the celebrations and recognised as being one of the best in Europe. This year is the tenth time the Christmas market has occupied the inner close. To celebrate, the Tourist Information Centre team have created a magical children’s grotto for Saturdays and the iconic Coca Cola lorry is coming to town on 17 December.  With lantern parades, Christmas shows and traditional pantomimes, Christmas 2015 will be a busy one for the ancient capital.

Friday, 20 November 2015

LOVELY JANEITES - MEET JULIET VONTURI: EMMA CALLS MR KNIGHTLEY

A very heartfelt thanks to Maria Grazia for her gracious welcome to join her and you all at My Jane Austen Book Club.

In 1997 the Miramax Production of ‘Emma’showed me with such clarity a higher quality lifestyle. She enchanted me and I fell head over heels in love with him, nothing could be further from my own life than this beautiful movie. Mesmerized I grew my hair long and started making choices in my thoughts and atmosphere which reflected the values I refined upon.


Poetic license lit up my mind since I’m in the midst of publishing my own book of poetry ‘Sunstar’. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

LONGBOURN'S SONGBIRD BLOG TOUR - READ BEAU NORTH'S GUESTPOST & WIN A PAPERBACK COPY!


Thank you to My Jane Austen Book Club for being the very first stop in my very first blog tour!

I thought that it would be fun to show you all how I came by some of my inspiration for Longbourn’s Songbird. Several people have already asked me what gave me the idea to write this story. Funnily enough, it was this photo of my grandmother, who was so beautiful in her youth that I thought “She’s as lovely as Jane Bennet.” And thus an idea was born.  




My grandmother, Ola Elizabeth Davis.

While it might be a bit of a cliché, I stuck to the old adage of “write what you know.” Yes, I was born and grew up in the South, but haven’t actually lived there for ten years now. I found that I was having to pull some pretty deep memories to get across the description of things there, like the way the crickets sing at night, the red clay dirt, the humid summer air. Some of the details I woefully forgot, like the sight of trees dripping with Spanish moss, or the way the leaves from the live oaks carpet the woods in the autumn.

Friday, 30 October 2015

SPOTLIGHT ON ... A JANE AUSTEN CHRISTMAS BY CARLO DEVITO + GIVEAWAY


Who wouldn't want to have a Jane Austen Christmas? Jane Austen wrote about Christmas time in each of her major novels. Who can forget Mr Elton's proposal to Emma on Christmas Eve,  Anne Elliot visiting the Musgroves at Uppercross during the holidays, or newly engaged Elizabeth Bennet inviting Aunt Gardiner to Pemberley for Christmas?


Carlo DeVito, the author of A Jane Austen Christmas, does what Austen didn't, since she didn't need to describe in details what her contemporary certainly knew: how to decorate or what to cook for Christmas, what music to sing or play or what little gifts to make. He collects all those  details for us and depicts what a typical British Christmas must have been like in the Georgian Era.



Tuesday, 20 October 2015

THE UNTHINKABLE TRIANGLE BLOG TOUR - GUEST POST BY AUTHOR JOANA STARNES & BOOK GIVEWAY

Glad to be hosting again Joana Starnes, this time on occasion of her promoting tour for The Unthinkable Triangle. Ready to discover more about her new intriguing variation of Pride and Prejudice?


Book Blurb - All is fair in love and war – or is it? What if Mr. Darcy’s rival for Elizabeth Bennet’s affections is not some inconsequential stranger, but his dearest, closest friend? How is he to reconcile the claims of loyalty and kinship with the urge to pursue his heart’s desire?



**********
Author Guest Post

Many thanks, Maria Grazia, for having me here today. It’s always wonderful to be your guest, and I greatly appreciate your warm welcome at My Jane Austen Book Club, on the blog tour for the launch of my latest book, The Unthinkable Triangle.

We are all familiar with the courtship dance of our favourite couple, in the original novel as well as in countless variations. The aloof gentleman, drawn against his better judgement to a pair of fine eyes and the playful, pert disposition of one who, instead of fawning upon him like the majority of his acquaintance, persists in challenging him at every turn. And then there is the opinionated lady, with her deep-set prejudice against him, for valid reasons as well as not so valid ones. They meet, the spar, they part. They meet again, they argue heatedly, and then they part once more. And just as they begin to understand each other, they are drawn apart again, by all manner of adverse circumstances.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

LOVELY JANEITES: WHAT WOULD JANE DO? AUTHOR SHERRI RABINOWITZ WONDERS ...

As I began the process of writing my first non-fiction book I tried to figured a way to tackle it.  I have several favorite writers and one of the tops in my book is Jane Austen.  My thought at the time as I began the process was, “What would Jane do?”  How would she handle the transition of writing non-fiction after years of writing fiction?

As I continued the process of writing down memories, settling them in some sort of order I kept thinking about Jane Austen and her talent for writing about everyday life.  She was able to take ordinary things like fighting with her mother, and make it into a brilliant comedy scene in her novels.  Or going to a dance in her neighborhood, and translate it into the scene where Lizzie first meets Darcy.  What I needed to do was the reverse, to take my real life and write it so it is both honest and entertaining.  Not the easiest of missions.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

CHARLIE LOVETT'S FIRST IMPRESSIONS IS OUT IN PAPERBACK. READ AN EXCERPT AND WIN A COPY.


Charlie Lovett’s  FIRST IMPRESSIONS is now out in paperback! To celebrate the event, here's a   great excerpt to read and the chance to win a copy! (See  the rafflecopter form below this  post)


Read an  excerpt

Steventon,  Hampshire, 1796
  
FOND AS  SHE  WAS of solitary walks, Jane  had  been  wandering rather  longer  than  she had intended, her mind  occupied not so much with the story she had lately been  reading as with one she hoped  soon to be writing. She was shaken  from this reverie by the sight of an unfa­ miliar  figure, sitting  on a stile, hunched over a book. Her first impres­ sion was that  he was the  picture  of gloom - dressed in shabby clerical garb, a dark look on his crinkled  face, doubtless  a volume of dusty ser­ mons clutched  in his ancient  hand.  Even the  weather seemed  to agree with this assessment,  for while the sun shone all around  him, he sat in the shadow of the single cloud  that hung in the Hampshire sky. Realiz­ ing how far she  had come  from  home,  Jane thought it best to retrace her steps without  interrupting the cleric's thoughts as he had  unknow­ ingly interrupted hers. During the  long walk home, across fields shimmering with  the  haze  of  summer   heat,  she  amused   herself  by sketching  out  a character  of this old  man,  storing  him  away, like so many others,  for possible inclusion  in some novel yet to be conceived. He was, she decided, a natural history enthusiast, but his passion lay not with anything beautiful  like butterflies  or wildflowers.  No, his particu­ lar expertise  was in the way of garden slugs, of which he could  identify twenty-six varieties.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A CONVERSATION WITH JULIETTE WELLS, EDITOR OF EMMA: 200th ANNIVERSARY ANNOTATED EDITION - READ AND WIN A COPY!

A gorgeous new Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of one of my favorite books of all time, Jane Austen’s EMMA, with a new introduction and notes by Goucher professor Juliette Wells is out today! This edition is being published to celebrate the 200th anniversary of EMMA, first published in 1815.

In the two centuries since its publication, readers have come to prize EMMA for both its good-humored good sense and its sharp wit—and for its lovably human leading lady. And with its smart and subtle exploration of relationships, EMMA is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work. Beautiful, clever, rich—and single—Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

Here is a conversation with Juliette Wells, editor of the new annotated edition and,  below it, you'll find the rafflecopter form to enter the giveaway contest for a paperback copy of the book (US only)




When we celebrate the 200th anniversary of EMMA, what in particular are we celebrating? What’s new about this edition?

We’re celebrating the 200th anniversary of Emma’s original publication, in London in December, 1815.  The date of publication is a little confusing because “1816” was printed on the title page of the first edition of the novel, but it was actually released in December, 1815.  I think this gives us the right to celebrate for a whole year!
And what better way to celebrate than to re-read Emma, or read it for the first time?  Our 200th-anniversary annotated edition has everything you need, all in one place, to help you appreciate this wonderful novel.   You can immerse yourself in Austen’s world and also have, right at your fingertips, explanations of some of the elements of the novel that tend to trip up or puzzle today’s readers.

Friday, 18 September 2015

A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM LAUGHING WITH LIZZIE

Sophie Andrews
Thank you very much Maria Grazia for allowing me to visit your blog today, My Jane Austen Book Club, to make my very special announcement! 

In fact, rather than making my own announcement, I am going to let the wonderful Caroline Jane Knight, Jane Austen's 5th great niece, tell you all!
  
"It is inspiring to see the positive influence Jane has on people’s lives today.     They say life is about what you leave behind and I couldn’t be more proud of Great Aunt Jane’s legacy, my inspiration for the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.     As Jane’s popularity continues to grow, I wanted to extend her legacy by harnessing the global passion for Austen to improve literacy rates.    Literacy is the key to self-improvement and unlocking potential.    Reading and writing are essential skills for anyone who wants to understand, enjoy and influence the world around them.

Caroline Jane Knight

The foundation raises money to help create CONFIDENT READERS and PROUD WRITERS by providing FREE books and writing materials to communities in need around the world, in honour of Jane.     We are a volunteer organisation with all monies raised spent on literacy resources and fundraising activity.   We are currently raising funds to provide literacy resources for the displaced children of Syria, delivered on the ground by UNICEF.
I only joined Facebook a year ago and was amazed to discover a world of Austen, involving Janeites from around the world, enthusiastically and vibrantly celebrating and discussing all aspects of Jane’s life and works.      With over 7000 websites and social media profiles associated with Jane, there is a never ending stream of content to keep even the most ardent Janeite engaged.