Saturday, 7 January 2012


Her AUSTENTATIOUS is going to be released on January 31st (see countdown widget in the sidebar on the right) in the USA and today Alyssa Goodnight is here to meet us at My Jane Austen Book Club. She's going to share her favourite Austen quotes. We expect lots of others from you. Choose your best favourite and write it in your comment. Don't forget your e-mail address to enter the giveaway contest of a signed paperback copy of AUSTENTATIOUS! The giveaway is open internationally and ends on January 31st when the book is out! And now, enjoy Alyssa's guestpost!

We are all familiar with the famous first line of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowleged, that a single man, in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." It has been quoted, tweaked, reused, and generally adored by Jane Austen fans everywhere. For good reason. In that one sentence, an important theme of the book is established, as is Ms. Austen's rather cheeky brand of eloquence, wit, and sarcasm. It defines for us, so perfectly, our beloved Pride & Prejudice. But this one exquisite quote does not, by any means, stand on its own as a measure of the wit of Jane Austen. There are a plethora of utterly quotable quotes from Jane's six published novels, not to mention her letters and diaries. And the majority of them still have relevance today.

My novel AUSTENTATIOUS is not a retelling of any of Austen's works, nor is it a sequel. It is a contemporary spin-off, imagining that Jane Austen's spunky spirit remains (not so difficult to believe, is it?), and that she isn't quite done with match-making yet. The story revolves around a magical journal that simply can't keep its opinions to itself. As the story progresses and the interactions between the protagonist, Nicola, and the journal start to escalate, Fairy Jane moves beyond the confines of the journal to affect other aspects of Nicola's life.

 For instance, she starts to mess with the Jane Austen Quote-A-Day calendar sitting on the kitchen counter. Rather than let pass an opportunity to make her point, and possibly influence her 'charge,' Fairy Jane switches things up a bit, magically altering the daily quote to fit her purposes. And they do--fit her purposes (and mine), that is. Jane's wisdom continues to be relevant two hundred years later.

Right after Nicola discovers the journal and its evidently magical properties (which she doesn't yet believe in), she glances at the calendar to find:

“Sense will always have attractions for me.” Sense and Sensibility
When her journal hints that she'll be meeting someone new, the calendar reads,
“Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.” Northanger Abbey
When she's fighting against the impossibility of it all, she gets,
“Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.” Emma
And when she persists in being close-minded about her magical journal with resident literary darling, she gets,
“Better be without sense than misapply it as you do.” Emma
(which just happens to be one of my absolute favorites...)

These are just a few of several, and I have to admit, I had the best time rummaging through Jane's writings to find the most sensible, witty, relevant quotes. Perhaps not surprisingly, given what we know of Jane, there are an extraordinary number of snippets to be had in the collection of her writings. Including them in AUSTENTATIOUS, via the Quote-A-Day calendar, made her spirit come alive even more, particularly as Nicola is such a Jane Austen fan and already very familiar Jane's style and flair. I think the quotes help make an arguably unbelievable situation easier to accept and more fun too. I hope you agree!

What about you? Do you have a favorite Austen quote? Please share!

Alyssa Goodnight
The Book

What happens when an eighteenth century literary darling magically pops up in the weirdest city in Texas? Magic and weird collide in AUSTENTATIOUS, the story of Nicola James, a left-brainer with a Jane Austen obsession and a carefully finessed life plan. A plan that doesn’t include an enchanted journal or an interfering fairy godmother, who just might be the spirit of Jane Austen herself.

When Nicola discovers her journal entries mysteriously whittled down to a cheeky bit of commentary on her life, she’s freaked first, skeptical second, and finally downright curious. She can’t help but keep writing, dueling really, with a two-dimensional fairy godmother she doesn’t totally believe in. Soon, the witty little notes start coming true, screwing with her plans, her head, and her life, and nudging her towards an impossible—and impossibly seductive—romance with a man who’s inarguably wrong for her. Nicola’s torn, trapped between a life that makes sense and a man who doesn’t, with “Fairy Jane” wedged in the middle, relentlessly rooting for another “Mr. Darcy”.

The Author

Alyssa has lived in Austin, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, worked in the semiconductor industry (just like Nicola), and experienced the weird. She has not owned a magical journal or ever bandied words with the spirit of Jane Austen, but she's relish the opportunity! She currently lives between Houston and Galveston with her husband, two sons, and their adventure dog, Indiana Jones. She does her writing with an ice-cold can of Dr. Pepper and her reading with cake whenever possible. She is dutifully working on her next novel while dreaming of the day that she finds herself conscripted into a flash mob dance. (This just happened!! You can watch on her blog!)


Kate @ Musings said...

I cannot wait to read this one! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had Jane's wisdom on any given day?

There are so many quotes that I love - especially the Letter from Captain Wentworth (can that be considered a quote?) However, for short and sweet... I like:

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

If you don't read, what good are you?! ;)

austenite78 said...

My favourite Austen quote is "Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love".
My friends are always there for me when I get a disappointment in that field :D And when I feel like that, I always turn to Jane Austen and I feel better.
Thanks for the giveaway. I think the book is going to be very interesting.

Cinta García (@Austenite78)

cyn209 said...

'I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.'

it's amazing that so many Austen quotes are so life-related!!!

thank you for this giveaway!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

Linda said...

What an absolutely wonderful book! I love quotes - reading them, sharing them, collecting them. And as I am growing older, I love this quote, "It sometimes happens that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before."
Thanks for the giveaway.

marilyn said...

Splendid idea for a book!
My favorite quote is "The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love". From Sense and Sensibility.

Thanks for the giveaway,

Alyssa Goodnight said...

This is fun! I'm enjoying reading all these favorites!

It really is amazing how many of these quotes are relevant today.

Margay said...

Jane Austen was an absolute master at writing quotable phrases and one of my favorites is from the letter
Captain Wentworth wrote to Anne Elliot:

"You pierce my soul."

If anyone ever wrote something like that to me, I would just melt.


Debra Brown said...

I totally agree: the Letter from Captain Wentworth.

Or anytime Jane writes, "I am all..." this or that. Or "I am half..."

I want so badly to steal her words.

Jakki L. said...

I too love Capt. Wentworth's words, but I am also a huge fan of, "My courage always rises st every attempt to intimidate me." Love Lizzy's line there!
Thanks so much for the giveaway!
Jakki36 at yahoo (dot) com

Debra Brown said...

kescah at comcast dot net

Danielle said...

I love Capt Wentwoth's letter so of course my favorite quote is from it. "I am half agony half hope".

Can't wait to read your book!

BeckyC said...

I have many favorites. I must agree with Captain Wentworth's letter! And Jakki's pick. But to find one not mentioned yet, how about Mr Bennet: For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?
Or Elizabeth's motto: Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.

Thank you for the giveaway!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Captain Wentworth is ever so popular... :) And rightly so!

I love that Mr. Bennet quote, Becky!

Mystica said...

Thank you for the giveaway. I like Mrs Bennet sayings - the one that of course a man needs a wife!!


Farida Mestek said...

I think your book sounds simply wonderful! I'd LOVE to have the chance to read it. As for my favourite quote - there are so many... - but there is one that I remember now that strikes a chord with me: "Without thinking highly either of men or matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want. This preservative she had now obtained; and at the age of twenty-seven, without having ever been handsome, she felt all the good luck of it." Pride and Prejudice

Thank you for the giveaway!

Sophia Rose said...

I am envious of the heroine with her magical 'quote a day' calendar. The books sounds really good.

Persuasion is my favorite book and the best quote has been taken so I'll offer this lesser one from when they are still trying to determine each other's feelings. "One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering."

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

bn100 said...

We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

This will be a wonderful book to read!
I love this quote: "A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer" (from Emma).


Heather M. said...

What a fun book to read! Thanks for hosting a giveaway. There are so many witty and poignant quotes to chose from, but I'll select this one from Persuasion:

"My idea of good company, Mr Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company"


Alyssa Goodnight said...

Loving these!

And thanks for all your lovely comments on my book!

Veronica Monique said...

This is such a fantastic story premise. One of my absolute favorite quotes is from Sense and Sensibility spoken by Elinor to herself.

"I will be calm; I will be mistress of myself."

One reason is because I regret the loss of this meaning of the word mistress in the American English language. Too many understand the word mistress to connote a woman on the side of a man's marriage. A man may be master of himself, but I chose to be mistress of mine.


DDCKnitt said...

Captain Wentworth "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant."

Kelli H. said...

In my opinion, I think that our beloved Jane gave Mr Knightley some of the best lines she wrote. I love the whole scene between Emma and Mr Knightley discussing Harriet Smith and Robert Martin and and my favorite quote is "Better be without sense, than misapply it as you do." =)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Thank you, Veronica Monique!

Excellent choice, DDCKnitt!

That's one of my favorites too, Kelli. :)

Lúthien84 said...

My favourite quote is from Persuasion. You pierce my soul. I'm half agony, half hope. It's one of the most romantic letter I have ever read in print.


Gabriella Parisi said...

My favourite is definitely the one already chosen by Heather M. (Anne and Mr Elliot in Persuasion), so, as I'm a dancer, I choose this one instead, it comes from Emma:

It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively, without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind;--but when a beginning is made-- when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt--it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more.

I assure you, this is quite true!


Rebecca (RivkaBelle) said...

I am getting really excited about this book! :oD

Oh man...Jane has so many wonderful quotes...I think, right now, my favorite is Mr Knightley, at the end of Emma:

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.

I really like that - and that he's not trying to be all flowering and beautiful in his speech. He's frank and endearing :o)


Margaret said...

This sounds like a fabulous story! Thank you for the giveaway!


MonicaP said...

I love "run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!" from "Love and Freindship." Admittedly, I haven't read it, so I don't know the context, but I loved it when I heard it in the Mansfield Park film. It reminds me that life might make me feel a little crazy sometimes, but I won't let it knock me out.

I'm so looking forward to reading your book, Alyssa! Thanks for the giveaway.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Sooo many good ones!

Thank you all for participating!! You have me wanting to read Persuasion again! :)

pianobarb said...

"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."

My mother use to always say this to me. To Improve my mind trough extensive reading. She loved P&P so I have always loved that particular quote.

Your book sounds wonderful!


Gisele Alv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gisele Alv said...

My favorite quote is "My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.” by Mr. Darcy! For me is like, If they lost my trust once, they might as well do it again.

I forgot to put my email last time!

Yayy! Thanks for the giveaway!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Two excellent Darcy quotes, ladies!

Patricia said...

It sounds so interesting!
One of the quotations that comes to my mind now is one that Jane wrote to Cassandra in one of her letters: "We greatly prefer the sea to all our relations"
Thanks for the giveaway! This is my email: pato3_89(at)

Asatooriana said...

Congratulations on your novel!

There are many great quotes! But I have to admit one of my favorites is actually a Caroline Bingley quote (especially in the amazing portrayal by Ms. Chancellor

"Miss Elizabeth Bennett! I am all astonishment! when am I to wish you joy?"

rainakochan said...

the plot looks very intesretsing, the fact that there is jane as a fairy godmother and she is helping nicola and i feel like she writting trough her !
for my favourite quote .."sense will always have attraction for me " sense and sensibilty

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I love that one, Raina!

Thank you, Patricia and Asatooriana! Good luck!

Deb said...

I adore Captain Wentworth. Jane Austen must have known a man of passionate heart to have written about him. Here's one of my favorite things he said which I have come to know is so true:
"Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than a woman, that his love has an earlier death." Wentworth was the most gentle-hearted of Austen's men, I think.
Can't wait to read and review Austentatious in March!

Jennifer W said...

I like the quote from Emma

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.

Hook 'em!

Marci ( said...

"Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch."
Mansfield Park

This always comes to mind when I'm rushed and late for some event!