Tuesday, 22 January 2019

UNMARRIAGEABLE BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - INTERVIEW WITH SONIAH KAMAL


Hello Soniah and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club. Thanks for accepting my invitation! My first question for you is, when was your first encounter with Jane Austen and what was it like? How did the idea of writing Unmarriageable come to your mind?

Thank you so much for inviting me. When I was around fourteen years old, my Aunt Helen gifted me a gorgeous red and gold hardback copy of Pride and Prejudice. I remember skimming through it, mesmerized by the illustrations. I finally read it cover to cover when I was sixteen and promised myself then and there that I would do a retelling set in Pakistan. Growing up there were no novels in English set in Pakistan and so I’d just grown used to imaging everything I read terms of my miliue. I find it interesting that the desire to do a parellel retelling of Pride and Prejudice stayed with me versus any other book.   


Was it difficult to blend a story originally set in Regency England with a modern-day Pakistani context?

No and Yes. No beause Austen’s was a patriachal culture as is Pakistan’s to this day. I think one of the reasons Unmarriageable resonates so strongly with women everywhere is because they intuitively understand the constraints of living under ‘a man is more important and knows best.”  Also, the morals and manners of Regency England such as maintaining a good repuation and landing a great catch is still very much the expectation in Pakistan, although, thankfully, the world has opened up for Pakstani women on career options and divorce is no longer the great stigma is used to be.
Yes because mirroring some of the plot points was very challenging. For instance, Netherfield Park is a house the Bingelys rent and one which Jane Bennet stays at after she catches cold, and where a ball is thrown. In Unmarriagable I needed an equivalent setting, however a house did not make sense. Turning Netherfield Park into Unmarriageable’s multi event wedding, called NadirFiede, by  joining together the names of the couple getting married (Nadir Sheh and Fiede Fecker), was a huge bingo moment.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

NAPOLEONIC WARS, SPIES & SEA BATHING: DARCY AND DECEPTION BY VICTORIA KINCAID


Thank you for having me as a guest, Maria Grazia!  In some ways, Darcy and Deception was one of my most challenging books to write.  I started it nearly two years ago and then set it aside when the plot wasn’t working out, but I kept thinking about.  This summer I figured out how to solve the biggest problem plaguing the story and recently finished it. 

I didn’t plan to write two Napoleonic War spy stories this year (the other is TheUnforgettable Mr. Darcy), but that’s how it worked out.  Fortunately, the research for one benefitted the other.  Despite the similarity of the espionage theme; however, the two books are quite different—with Darcy and Deception ending up as more of a mystery story.  I hope you enjoy the excerpt below!

Book Blurb

Returning home from Kent, Elizabeth Bennet is still distressed over Mr. Darcy’s insulting marriage proposal.  However, her attention is diverted by the local militia commander who asks her to observe Wickham, now suspected of being a French spy.  Pretending to be besotted with Wickham, Elizabeth accompanies the regiment when they relocate to Brighton. 
Darcy arrives at Longbourn with the intention of making amends to Elizabeth, only to discover that she is now at Brighton with Wickham.  Desperate to save her from the scoundrel, Darcy follows her to the seaside, where he hopes to woo her away from the other man.   
Deception piles on top of deception as Elizabeth attempts to carry out her mission without betraying confidences—or breaking Darcy’s heart.  However, the French plot runs deeper than she knows; soon she and Darcy are plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of international espionage.  Can Darcy and Elizabeth escape with their lives and their love intact?

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

BLOG TOUR: HAPPIER IN HER FRIENDS THAN RELATIONS. AUTHOR GUEST POST AND GIVEAWAY


Evil Jane!


Giving you flowers or giving you the finger?

As a reader (okay, addict) of Austen fanfiction for over a decade I have, like many of you, consumed a lot of JAFF over the years, and have seen all sorts of wild liberties taken with the characters and storylines we love so dearly.
One of my favorite tropes in fanfiction is raising antagonists to Supervillain Status, and it’s been done with a lot of characters from Pride & Prejudice – Lady Catherine, Caroline Bingley, and George Wickham (the usual suspects) are often upgraded to evil masterminds with nefarious schemes against our dear Lizzy and Darcy. Even characters like Mr. Collins, Lydia Bennet, and Mrs. Bennet, who are more chaotic-neutral (or idiotic neutral?) than true evil, have taken their turn as villains, as have revered supporting characters like Mr. Bennet, Georgiana Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam. So why not the angelic Jane Bennet?

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND PERSONAL STATEMENTS - AUTHOR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY


(Image from Clueless - 1995)
Mary Pagones is a New Jersey-based writer, horseback rider (she says with more enthusiasm than talent), and Shakespeare and Jane Austen fanatic. Mary's our guest author with a Q/A post and a book giveaway contest. Her Pride and Prejudice and Personal Statements is a lovely YA Austen-inspired novel which reminds the lively world of Clueless. Ready to read the interview, welcome Mary in the comment section and try your luck in the giveway? (Sorry, US only)


How did the idea of writing a YA modernization of Pride and Prejudice come to your mind?

         For the past eighteen years, I’ve worked for a private college consulant. She’s quite a bit like Ms. Desborough, the Lady Catherine character in the novel. It occurred to me that the competition and social wrangling over getting in to top colleges was very similar to the warring over men of large fortunes in the Regency marriage market of Pride and Prejudice.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

ELIZABETH IN THE NEW WORLD BY MAGGIE MOOHA: SPOTLIGHT POST & GIVEAWAY


Book Blurb 




Darcy's sudden, passionate kiss sweeps Elizabeth into a bliss she has never known...but their love is short-lived. On a field of honor, Wickham, once again, engages in an irresponsible act, which leaves Darcy mortally wounded and Elizabeth broken. Refusing to leave Darcy's side, the last vestiges of her reputation are shattered, and when Elizabeth sees Darcy in his coffin, she is ruined in more ways than one. Devastated and without hope, reluctantly she agrees to accompany friends to Grenada, a Caribbean island on the brink of revolution.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

PRAYING WITH JANE: A NEW DEVOTIONAL BASED ON THE PRAYERS OF JANE AUSTEN


“Reading Jane’s prayers is a bit like looking into her heart.”

A New Devotional Based on the Prayers of Jane Austen:

Praying with Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen by Rachel Dodge

While much has been written about Jane Austen’s life and novels, less is known about her spiritual side or the three prayers she wrote. In Praying with Jane, Christian readers and Jane Austen fans can explore Austen’s prayers in an intimate devotional format as they learn about her personal faith, her Anglican upbringing, and the spiritual truths found in her novels.
Jane Austen’s faith comes to life in this beautiful 31-day devotional through her exquisite prayers, touching biographical anecdotes, and illuminating scenes from her novels. Each daily entry includes examples from Austen’s own life and novels, as well as key Scripture verses, ideas for personal application, and a prayer inspired by Jane’s petitions. 

The author, Rachel Dodge,  teaches college English and Jane Austen classes, gives talks at libraries, teas, and Jane Austen groups, and is a writer for the popular Jane Austen’s World blog. She is passionate about prayer and the study of God’s Word. A true “Janeite” at heart, Rachel enjoys books, bonnets, and ball gowns. She makes her home in California with her husband and their two young children.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

TWELFTH-NIGHT CAKE & THE ROSINGS GHOST: GUEST POST, EXCERPT & 5 EBOOKS GIVEAWAY


Is there a scarier place than Rosings to have a ghost? I mean, we already have the scary and snappish Lady Catherine at Rosings. But what if this mischievous ghost appears only during the twelve days of Christmas? That’s the story within a story in my Christmas novella, Twelfth-Night Cake & the Rosings Ghost.

The novella opens with Colonel Fitzwilliam and his eight-year-old daughter, Sofia-Elisabete, travelling to Rosings, where they will spend a winter’s month. If you haven’t met my plucky girl hero Sofia-Elisabete before, see I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon, a humorous and poignant novel about an abandoned girl who is born in Portugal during the Napoleonic Wars and who turns out to be the illegitimate child of the colonel.

I wondered how Sofia-Elisabete feels to be half-Portuguese, Catholic and a love child living in England during the Regency Era. She’s not getting along with Lady Catherine, and then the ghost arrives to play its tricks. I imagined a crazy, troubled world for Sofia-Elisabete because Lady Catherine, who doesn’t believe in the Rosings Ghost, blames the girl for everything that goes wrong. What’s a young eight-year-old to do?

Ever since my “perfect moon world” novel, I’ve been immersed in writing YA historical fiction that appeals to all ages, finishing three novellas about the lovable, strong-willed Sofia-Elisabete and her close relationship with her father, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Twelfth-Night Cake & the Rosings Ghost is the first novella to be released in this series. My sincere thanks to Maria Grazia for helping me launch the Rosings Ghost novella on her site!

 Robin Elizabeth Kobayashi

Monday, 29 October 2018

LOVE WITHOUT TIME BY ELAINE JEREMIAH - AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY


Hello and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club, Elaine! Let’s start from your book, 'Love Without Time’.  Is it a variation/modern day retelling of one of Austen’s works or something different? Could you tell us more about it?

‘Love Without Time’ is my own original story about a Jane Austen-mad girl called Cassie Taylor who accidentally walks into Regency England. It’s best described as a Jane Austen-inspired time travel romance. It’s the first in a trilogy and I’ve nearly finished the first draft of the second book, ‘By Time Divided’.
My heroine Cassie is in the grounds of a hospital when she finds herself walking into Regency England. The reason she’s at a hospital is that the man who she only just met that day, and who saved her life, has been badly hurt and she’s waiting for news of him. I won’t give anything else away, except to say that once in Regency England, she has to learn to fend for herself in a world that’s very different from the twenty-first century one she’s been used to.

Do you have a best favourite among Austen’s novels? Why do you like it more than others?

I know nearly everyone lists ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as their favourite Austen novel, but it’s mine too! It’s just so witty and fun and Elizabeth Bennet is the kind of person I’d love to be. She’s feisty, intelligent and confident and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. She won’t settle for anything less than true love and that’s why she refuses Mr Darcy the first time. She doesn’t love him – in fact at that point she can’t stand him. And Mr Darcy – the archetypal hero. Tall, handsome and brooding, what’s not to like?
Another aspect of it that I love is how it goes deeper than just a formulaic love story. Both Elizabeth and Darcy are forced to examine themselves and their behaviour. The fact that they’re both willing to change, to admit they were wrong is a sign of their integrity as people. They feel like such real characters and I think that’s why they’re so loved.

Friday, 26 October 2018

UNWRAPPING MR DARCY BLOG TOUR - GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY


Hello! Thanks so much Maria Grazia for having me today! I can’t wait for everyone to read Unwrapping Mr. Darcy, but in the meantime, I have an extra scene for you. When I first posted the prologue of Unwrapping Mr. Darcy as a sneak peek, someone wished they knew what Charlie said to Lizzy to keep her from quitting on her first day. I liked the idea so much, I wrote it. I’ve overlapped a little and added some in so Darcy’s insult is in the clip. I hope you enjoy it!

L.L. Diamond



Charlie exhaled, sounding a lot like a growl. “You always make a point of meeting new employees. Why are you being so stubborn about this one?”
Darcy slapped the papers in his hand on the work surface. “I’m busy, Bingley. If you haven’t noticed, I have a mountain of paperwork on my desk. I can’t be expected to take the time to welcome a new company attorney—especially one who required her sister’s boyfriend to get her the job. You hired her, Bingley. You make her feel welcome.”
What? Elizabeth gasped, they both looked up, but she backed from the door. She couldn’t stay—not in his office and certainly not at this job! She walked as fast as she could to the elevator. What a mess! Charlie insisted Darcy Holdings needed her, but apparently, he created the position for her. She never asked him for special treatment—after all, he’d been the one who bugged her for months about “moving to the dark side” as he liked to joke. She touched the down button, and thankfully, the door opened quickly.
Charlotte wasn’t around when Elizabeth returned, so she went into the office where her briefcase still remained sitting wide open on the desk. That would definitely make things easier! She reached up over the computer, pulled down her calendar, and threw it inside.
She certainly wasn’t staying where she wasn’t wanted! Charlie had sworn they needed someone with her skills. Why would he lie? She hadn’t been looking for a new job. She’d been happy where she was, but working for Darcy Holdings was a move up she couldn’t ignore. The company was larger than the law firm, and the position held more room for advancement.
“Don’t you dare put another thing back in the case!”

Sunday, 14 October 2018

EMMA THE MUSICAL STREAMING ONLINE: SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR MY JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB READERS!



I love musicals and theatrical performances. I go to the theatre as often as I can, which is not that often considered that I live in a very small town in the centre of Italy with no cinemas and no theatres. When I read or post about Austen inspired stage shows I'm really jealous of those lucky audiences who will have the chance to enjoys those performances in the UK or the US. 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

BOOK UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: GEORGIANA DARCY, A SEQUEL TO PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, BY ALICE ISAKOVA


From the book blurb


With her temptingly large dowry, the beautiful and talented Georgiana Darcy catches the eye of numerous suitors, not all of whom wish to marry purely for love. As Georgiana navigates the treacherous waters of courtship, her story becomes intertwined with that of Anne de Bourgh, her wealthy but painfully awkward cousin, who stirs up trouble when she sets her sights on a young gentleman with a rank far below her own. In so doing, Anne encounters the opposition of her proud and domineering mother, the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and sets in motion a chain of events that brings a damaging secret to light and threatens to destroy Georgiana's dreams of happiness. Intrigues, gossip, and elopements further complicate Georgiana's efforts to find love and avoid the snares of fortune-hunters.


Written in a sparkling, witty, humorous style on par with Jane Austen's own in Pride and Prejudice, Alice Isakova's Georgiana Darcy continues the tale that has delighted readers for over two centuries.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

RATIONAL CREATURES BLOG TOUR: LAUNCH POST BY CHRISTINA MORLAND & SUPER GIVEAWAY


Thank you, Maria Grazia, for launching the tour of our book, Rational Creatures, at My Jane Austen Book Club. It’s a pleasure to be here with your readers and for me to have the opportunity to share my post about Miss Elinor Dashwood, one of Austen’s earliest heroines.

Monday, 17 September 2018

OBSTACLES BLOG TOUR - AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEWAY


WHY OBSTACLES
Thank you, Maria Grazia, for inviting me to launch the tour for my debut book, Obstacles, on your blog. For this launch post, I thought your readers would like to learn about the inspiration for this book.
The inspiration for Obstacles came soon after I finished posting my second story, Paper Jam, when I was thinking about what to write next. My sister and I were having dinner at a friend’s house, who happens to be a horse breeder and trainer, when she told us about the foal she wanted to import from Germany and all of the issues she was having with the stable that was currently housing her horses. Like us, she was a middle class woman who was struggling to pursue a dream with only a few resources, while the rich and powerful gloated about their insanely expensive Grand Prix horses and achievements that can usually only been obtained with tons of money. As I listened to her, I thought, “Wow! This would make an excellent setting for a Pride & Prejudice story.” I mean, what a better backdrop for a battle of the classes than the equestrian world? While more and more people around the globe practice equestrian sports, it still remains the one most associated with wealth and royalty.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

LIZZY BRANDON, RECOGNIZING LOVE - GUEST POST, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY


I didn’t read Jane Austen until I was forced to do so in college.  Pride and Prejudice – sounded depressing and I actually considered changing sections of my British Literature course when I saw it on the reading list.  After I read the book, I was hooked.  For Thanksgiving break, my roommate and I were both staying on campus, so we borrowed my professor's VHS set of the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice that we binge watched twice. 
Like a good dealer, I got my next roommate addicted as well. Days where one of us was sick or having a really bad day we would pop tape #4 into the VCR, curl up in our pajamas, and watch Colin Firth dive into a lake. 
I had never heard of fanfiction and was wandering Target one day when I discovered Linda Berdoll's Darcy Takes a Wife.  I devoured the book, then proceeded to continue my dealer-like tendencies by passing it on to everyone I had already hooked on Pride and Prejudice.  As I was ordering my 4th copy of the book on Amazon, the site suggested some variations by Abigail Reynolds.  After ordering a few of her books I started getting more suggestions and finally realized Pride and Prejudice variations were a genre all their own. Since then, I've been hooked.
As I was writing the epilogue to Recognizing Love I discovered the heart of why I love variations so much.  Not only do they provide an opportunity to spend more time with my favorite characters from all fiction, the stories provide a plethora of ways for Elizabeth and Darcy to find happiness.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

REGINA JEFFERS, MOURNING CUSTOMS IN REGENCY ENGLAND & WHERE THERE'S A FITZWILLIAM DARCY, THERE'S A WAY




The mourning rites we customarily think of as being so strict during the Regency era, were actually those imposed by Queen Victoria after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Victoria was known to wear black for many years and strict forms of comportment during the mourning period. The Georgian Era/Regency held its moments, especially during the country's mourning for King George III and later, King George IV. But the mourning of individuals differed. 

Sunday, 5 August 2018

VICTORIA KINCAID, THE UNFORGETTABLE MR DARCY - EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY



Hello and happy Sunday, everyone! I'm back from my summer visit to old England, which I consider my second home, and I'm happy to be back blogging featuring a great new release by Victoria Kincaid. Here's her kind message introducing an excerpt from the book she especially granted us: 

Hello, Maria Grazia, and thank you for having me as a guest!  The plot behind The Unforgettable Mr. Darcy has been germinating in my mind for a long time, and I’m so pleased to finally be able to share it with readers!  Below is an excerpt about Elizabeth’s experience after she awakens and is learning to cope with the amnesia. I hope your readers enjoy it!

Victoria Kincaid 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

MARY B. IS OUT TODAY! INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR KATHERINE J.CHEN


Hello, and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club, Katherine! Let’s start our chat remembering your first encounter with Miss Austen and her work. When was it? And what was it like?

I stumbled across Pride and Prejudice when I was around nine or ten years old. Since I was a relatively young reader for such a book, I don’t think I was able to fully enjoy the rhythm and nuances of Austen’s language and wit as much as I would have done, had I read the book for the first time later on as a teenager. The novel stayed with me because of its dynamic main characters: Lizzy and Darcy. Even as a kid, I knew, in my gut, that they would get together in the end, and I was never able to forget either of them. I wouldn’t liken my first encounter with Austen’s work as a kind of explosive, chemical moment. If anything, I really grew to love Austen and to genuinely appreciate the range of her works, only as I matured.


What about your favorite Austen hero and heroine? What do you particularly like about them?

My favorite Austen hero would have to be Mr. Darcy. It’s a generic answer, but I think also an inescapable one. When it comes down to it, he has most of the best lines in Pride and Prejudice, and the force of his dialogue always creates such a reaction that it is an almost physical experience. He’s such an imposing and regal character, even when he’s at his most unlikeable. He also undergoes the most remarkable transformation out of anyone in the book, and, as the novel progresses, the reader witnesses the spiritual betterment of a previously proud and awkward personality. Martin Amis puts it best in an essay he wrote: “The final paragraph gives us the extraordinary spectacle of Darcy opening his house, and his arms, to Elizabeth’s aunt and uncle, who make what money they have through trade. Darcy, Jane Austen writes, ‘really loved them.’ This is the wildest romantic extravagance in the entire corpus: a man like Mr. Darcy, chastened, deepened, and finally democratized by the force of love.”

Monday, 23 July 2018

CAROLYN MILLER, A SNAPSHOT OF ART IN REGENCY TIMES - GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY



Hello My Jane Austen Book Club readers, 

I’ve always enjoyed art, both the appreciation for the artist’s skill and patience involved, and as a form of creativity that (despite my poor attempts at painting) I find oddly soothing. Elinor Dashwood is one of Jane Austen’s heroines who is recognised for her artistic ability. Indeed, for young ladies of this time, skill with sketching or watercolours was considered an important accomplishment. For my latest inspirational Regency romance, Miss Serena’s Secret, I wanted to explore what it might be like for a young woman of artistic sensibilities in a time when young women were often seen as little more than a baby breeding machine.

Friday, 13 July 2018

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: THE MERYTON MURDERS: A MYSTERY SET IN THE TOWN OF JANE AUSTEN'S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - AUDIOBOOK

After writing The Meryton Murders: A Mystery Set in the Town of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice  and The Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the Village of Jane Austen’s Emma, Victoria Grossack wanted to try something new: an audiobook! Actually, as she told Meredith at Austenesque Reviews, one of her readers suggested her to do it and she loved the idea.

She found Erin Evan-Walker who is a voice actress and narrator that loves Regency novels and the result is a brand new audiobook on Audible: The Meryton Murders: A Mystery Set in the Town of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice . Victoria and Erin are also currently collaborating on The Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the Village of Jane Austen’s Emma

Try your luck in the giveaway below! Two of you will have the chance to win this intriguing mystery Audible audiobook inspired to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

LONA MANNING, A MARRIAGE OF ATTACHMENT. EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY



A Marriage of Attachment, Lona Manning’s sequel to A Contrary Wind: a variation on Mansfield Park, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Haven’t read A Contrary Wind yet? No problem it’s on sale this week for $0.99 at Amazon.com. It is also available to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

GIVEAWAY!!! 

Choose one or all the options you find in the rafflecopter form below the post to be entered into a draw for both ebooks. This offer is open internationally.  The giveaway ends on 13th July 2018.