Tuesday, 18 February 2020

SENSE WITHOUT SENSIBILITY BY KEENA RICHINS - AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY


I love interconnected stories where characters from one story will be in another one. I always find them fun to read. So it was a no-brainer that when I decided to modernize the Jane Austen stories, that they would all be interconnected.

The easiest way to pull this off was to have Darcy be the CEO of a huge corporation and have most of the other characters either work for him directly or indirectly in some form. But I also loved the idea of characters from other books being best friends. Colonel Brandon and Captain Wentworth both had military service in Austen's version. That makes it easy for them to have met each other during their naval service in my modern version and, since they both were denied their first loves, become instant best friends.

Frank Churchill from Emma has a rather controlling aunt. Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility has an equally controlling mother. Having those two bond together due to similar family situations was a fun connection.

The Elliots from Persuasion were aristocrats (Sir Elliot is a baron). They're in their own class and so it made sense to make them a family of lawyers, dealing with high-end cases. The first chapter of Persuading Him (my modern version of Persuasion) shows Anne Elliot working on a case for Darcy v Wickham (mwahaha).

Another fun fact is that Jane Austen used the last name of Smith rather often in her books. This gave me the fun opportunity to make those Smiths the same person. So, Anne's good friend, Mrs. Smith, in Persuasion is now also the Mrs. Smith that is related to Mr. Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility (I made her a cousin instead of the aunt).

Monday, 17 February 2020

PROMISED BLOG TOUR - LEAH GARRIOTT ON HOW MUCH JANE AUSTEN INFLUENCED HER WRITING



A new awesome blog tour starts at My Jane Austen Book Club! Let's welcome Leah Garriot and her newly released Promised to our online club and wish her all the best on the rest of the tour.   

Debut novelist Leah Garriott tours the blogosphere February 17 through March 15, 2020 to share her new historical romance, Promised. Forty popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed Regency romance novel. 

Hello everyone! Thanks to Maria Grazia for hosting my first stop on the blog tour for my novel Promised, a Proper Romance set in the Regency England world of 1812. Since the Georgian and Regency periods have become somewhat synonymous with romance thanks to the great romantic satirist Jane Austen, I thought I would take this opportunity to share a little about Jane Austen’s influence on my writing.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

TWO MORE DAYS AT NETHERFIELD BLOG TOUR




 "Oh!" cried Miss Bingley, "Charles writes in the most careless way imaginable. He leaves out half his words, and blots the rest."
   "My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them -- by which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents."

Hello Maria Grazia and thank you for welcoming me back to My Jane Austen Book Club to share my new release, Two More Days at Netherfield, with you and your readers. An overhearing and an extended stay during Jane’s illness shift this story’s plot away from canon, but Bingley’s notoriously bad handwriting also has a significant impact on Darcy and Elizabeth’s journey to their happy ever after.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

FIND WONDER IN ALL THINGS - FEATURE POST




*****Book Blurb*****


“There could have never been two hearts so open… Now they were as strangers”
Persuasion

Mountain Laurel Elliot is like her name—she blooms best in the cool comfort of shade, hidden in the Kentucky foothills of Appalachia. Alone on her mountain, she lives a private existence with only her pottery—and her regrets—for company.
James Marshall had a secret dream and Laurel was part of it, but dreams sometimes lead to unexpected places. James’s heart broke when Laurel cut him loose, but he moved on—and became successful beyond his wildest dreams.
For one glorious summer, James and Laurel had each other, but life has kept them far apart.

Until now.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

MR DARCY'S PERFECT MATCH BLOG TOUR: AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY


Austentatious and Covent Garden

If you live in London or ever travel there, do yourself a favor and go see Austentatious at the Fortune Theatre. The theatre is located within the Covent Garden section of London, a delightful area to have dinner and explore. Covent Garden is served by the Piccadilly line at Covent Garden Tube station on the corner of Long Acre and James Streets. During my family’s first ever vacation in England this past June, we found London’s subway system to be a wonderfully efficient, economical, and speedy way to travel throughout the city.

When strolling the streets of Covent Garden, you are apt to find a restaurant to suit anyone’s tastes. All manner of shops are scattered throughout the area, ranging from the most exclusive upscale shops to popular chain stores. Covent Garden’s Apple Market offers a wide range of homemade goods and art. The East Colonnade Market features a variety of gift items, jewelry, and sweet treats. Street performers often entertain the passersby on the pedestrianized piazza.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

BOOK REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY - JANE AUSTEN & KATE RIORDAN, SANDITON




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 working 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.

Meanwhile, Lady Denham, a widow, is playing matchmaker for her destitute nephew, Sir Edward, who is determined to seduce Lady Denham’s ward, Clara. The arrival of wealthy, mixed-race heiress Miss Lambe, under the protection of Tom’s upright brother Sidney, adds an interesting complication. Eligible men naturally find Miss Lambe fascinating, while Charlotte is intrigued by Sidney…

Thursday, 9 January 2020

THAW: A QUILLS & QUARTOS BLOG TOUR



Hello everyone, and thank you,  Maria Grazia, for hosting this stop of the blog tour for my new novella Thaw! As Thaw is an epistolary story, I thought I’d take the opportunity today to say a few words about writing a story through letters.

When I first started writing Thaw some ten years ago, it was meant to be a very short story. I had never written a story told entirely through letters before, and intended it as a quick experiment. But what started out as an experiment of 10 to 12 letters soon grew into something bigger—when I finished the original version of the story in 2011, it was three times longer than I had originally intended. And now, in its expanded, published form, Thaw has grown into a collection of altogether 51 letters, describing the early days of a forced marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy—and the events that led to it.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

BOOK UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: THE DARCYS OF NEW ORLEANS BY MAGGIE MOOHA




THE DARCYS OF NEW ORLEANS


In this sequel to Elizabeth in the New World, Elizabeth and Darcy's romance endures and deepens. After Elizabeth suffers a devastating loss, Darcy decides to take her, their daughter Emma, and their son, Bennet, to visit Elizabeth’s dear friend Poppy in New Orleans. Now a free woman of means, Poppy lives on a plantation with her husband, daughters, and son, Phillipe.

Friday, 20 December 2019

JANINE BARCHAS, THE LOST BOOKS OF JANE AUSTEN



"Hardcore bibliography meets Antiques Roadshow in an illustrated exploration of the role that cheap reprints played in Jane Austen's literary celebrity—and in changing the larger book world itself."

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” What if you weren't wealthy nor stupid but simply couldn't afford a Jane Austen original? 

In her beautifully illustrated,  unique exploration into the world of books, Janine Barchas answers that question and also reveals an entire world of publications and readers we could not have figured out otherwise. The lost editions of Jane Austen's books have been hunted down by Barchas with great enthusiasm and acumen. 

Thanks to her, we discover that a great deal of popular, cheap editions of Austen's works appeared over the last two centuries, from her death on, even in those years when it is commonly believed her novels were neglected or off radar. 

Friday, 13 December 2019

JAYNE BAMBER, MY FANON FAVORITES - GUEST POST, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY





Hi everyone, it’s great to be here and talk about my upcoming release, Strong Objections to the Lady. This is my fourth novel, and after a year last week (yay!) of writing full time, I love being able to sink my teeth into all the best parts of Jane Austen Fan Fiction.  

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