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.




Born into a society that viewed women as incapable of governing their passions, Elinor Dashwood exercises a most radical form of power: self-control. She faces the death of her father, the loss of her family home, and the uncertainties of a new social circle with wit and stoicism, qualities that most other people—of any gender—would have been hard pressed to display under even the best of circumstances. And when her hopes for love are dashed by the machinations of others, Elinor bears her disappointment in silence.


If penned by another author, the character of Elinor Dashwood would likely have come across as meek and submissive. Not so with Jane Austen. In her worthy hands, Elinor’s silence is utterly subversive. By keeping her own council, Elinor not only spares the feelings of those she loves best—the other women in her life—but also comes to learn the art of self-reliance. In this regard, Elinor is stronger than perhaps almost every other character in the novel, even (perhaps especially) the men. Trapped by mothers and unwanted finances, ruled by greed and lust, haunted by the ghosts of their past, the men of Sense and Sensibility are emotional wrecks. Even Mrs. Dashwood and Marianne—worthy as those dear women are—regularly submit to emotional excess.

Elinor alone practices true self-control—but hers is not the dispassionate restraint of a saint or martyr. She is a flesh-and-blood woman who loves with all her heart and wants what so many women of her time wanted: a family of her own. It is precisely because Elinor possesses such great capacity for love that her self-control is so remarkable. Critics of Sense and Sensibility have noted that this early Austen novel takes on a moralistic tone by creating such a stark contrast between Elinor and Marianne’s approaches to life and love.[1] Yet it is just as notable that the central struggle of the novel is not between virtue and vice, but between sense and sensibility. The trial that Elinor and Marianne both must undergo is to find a balance between head and heart.
It is in this balance that Elinor finds her greatest strength. She uses her self-control, not to cut all feeling out of her life, or to strike it alone in the world, but instead to live and love within a flawed community, acknowledging the limits placed on her while never once abandoning her extradorindary sense of self.

Christina Morland




[1] David M. Shapard, “Introduction,” The Annotated Sense and Sensibility (New York: Anchor Books, 2011), xxx. I am indebted to Shapard’s brilliant introduction for many of the ideas in this piece.

Christina Morland spent the first two decades of her life with no knowledge whatsoever of Pride and Prejudice—or any Jane Austen novel, for that matter. She somehow overcame this childhood adversity to become a devoted fan of Austen's works. When not writing, Morland tries to keep up with her incredibly active seven-year-old and maddeningly brilliant husband. She lives in a place not unlike Hogwarts (minus Harry, Dumbledore, magic, and Scotland), and likes to think of herself as an excellent walker. Morland is the author of two Jane Austen fanfiction novels: A Remedy Against Sin and This Disconcerting Happiness.



Book Description


“But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” —Persuasion
Jane Austen: True romantic or rational creature? Her novels transport us back to the Regency, a time when well-mannered gentlemen and finely-bred ladies fell in love as they danced at balls and rode in carriages. Yet her heroines, such as Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Elinor Dashwood, were no swooning, fainthearted damsels in distress. Austen’s novels have become timeless classics because of their biting wit, honest social commentary, and because she wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. True to their principles and beliefs, they fought through hypocrisy and broke social boundaries to find their happily-ever-after.
In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, sixteen celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s brave adventuresses, her shy maidens, her talkative spinsters, and her naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity.
Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism.
“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; —that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” —Mary Wollstonecraft

Stories by  Elizabeth Adams * Nicole Clarkston * Karen M Cox * J. Marie Croft * Amy D’Orazio * Jenetta James * Jessie Lewis * KaraLynne Mackrory * Lona Manning * Christina Morland * Beau North * Sophia Rose * Anngela Schroeder * Joana Starnes * Caitlin Williams * Edited by Christina Boyd * Foreword by Devoney Looser

Giveaways




Rational Creature SUPER Giveaway 

The Random Name Picker winner review all blog comments and select one winner from these blog stop comments during the tour for all 21 prizes: Winner’s choice of one title from each authors’ backlist (that’s 16 books, ebooks, or audiobooks), our bespoke t-shirt/soap/candle; #20, a brick in winner’s name to benefit #BuyABrick for Chawton House; and #21, the Quill Collective anthologies in ebook or audiobook.


66 comments:

Christina Morland said...

Thanks again for hosting us, Maria! I'm honored to be part of this amazing team of authors and editors, and I'm excited for readers to rediscover their favorite Austen heroines! (Or, perhaps discover a new favorite!)

Maria Grazia said...

Thanks to you, Christina! For a lovely post and for opening the blog tour :-)

Unknown said...

Thrilled to finally discover this blog, and excited to read Rational Creatures. I love everything English and everything Austen! Thanks for putting this out there.


darcybennett said...

Love anthologies so very excited for this release and look forward to the blog tour.

Christina Boyd said...

“If penned by another author, the character of Elinor Dashwood would likely have come across as meek and submissive. Not so with Jane Austen. In her worthy hands, Elinor’s silence is utterly subversive.” What a thought provoking analysis of Elinor Dashwood, Christina Morland. Your short story in this collection is sublime and perfect as the opener for our collection. Can’t wait for readers to read your “Self-Composed”. Thank you for your emotive prose and being part of the Sweet Sixteen!

Thank you, Maria, for hosting our blog launch at your gorgeous site. Hope you enjoy the collection! And hope lots participate in the tour to win our international prize package!

Eva said...

Another glorious anthology . Thank you to all of the writers for their contributions and, of course, for Christina Boyd. Thank you for the incredible giveaway.

Anji said...

Thanks for another generous Quill Collective giveaway!

I love Christina Morland's analysis of Elinor Dashwood, especially as I often identify with her, not only in those online tests, but in Real Life too. Right now, I'm very much in 'an Elinor situation' in my home life due to various circumstances. Thankfully, one of those is NOT my marriage but a lot of other stuff is happening at the moment.

I'm so looking forward to this new anthology, as I did the previous two. Indeed, I have both of them in all three formats! Hopefully, I'll be making it a triple triple in due time.

Sophia Rose said...

Ah, love the warm welcome for the tour and intro to Christina. Her art-loving Elinor is great. Thanks for hosting, Maria!

Vicki H said...

I love Jane Austen anthologies. I'm really looking forward to the blog tour. Thanks!

Mary Preston said...

I'm loving everything about this.

Lona Manning said...

Christina Morland, this is an excellent, eloquent profile of Elinor Dashwood!

Christina Boyd said...

I am sorry to hear you are experiencing troubles on your homefront but I am glad to hear you are managing it in Elinor Dashwood fashion. “I will be mistress of myself.”

Thank you for your enthusiasm for the anthologies. I am excited to hear what you think of this one!

Christina Boyd said...

Thanks for the interest! I’m so proud of all these writers.

Christina Boyd said...

That’s encouraging! I’m pretty pleased with it myself :)

Christina Boyd said...

Thank you, Eva! I appreciate you always supporting the authors.

Christina Boyd said...

We are off to a great start! The authors have really brought their a-game!

Christina Boyd said...

It really is a lovely blog! Thanks for checking our book!

Karen M Cox said...

Thanks for getting us started on the blog tour, Maria! I love Elinor - she is a favorite, and I'm so glad to see her have a story to herself!

Ruth Clapp said...

I tried to pre-order on Amazon but they appear to have no idea this is coming. It seems strange that you are promoting a book that cannot be ordered.

Christina Boyd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina Boyd said...


We defintely don’t want to be that book people see months later and say I did not know this was published. Hoping to build some excitement, and if you are on Goodreads, would love for you to add it your Want to Read List. We release October 15! Thanks for the interest, Ruth.

Charlotte said...

Gosh this sounds like an amazing book!! Elinor Dashwood is becoming more and more one of my favorite Austen characters. There is so much more to her than portrait in S&S.

Christina Boyd said...

Aw, thank you for your entrhusiasm. I think each story is remarkable and Christina’s Elinor Dashwood-story “Self-Composed” is so well done; I think perfect to start our collection. Can’t wait for you to read it!

Debbie B. said...

As wonderful as the other two anthologies put out by Quill Ink are, I think Rational Creatures is even better. Every story reveals a new side to a familiar Austen character but still remain consistent with the plots and characters in her books. These are amazingly inventive short stories. Having read it, I can promise the collection lives up to the advance buzz in the JAFF community. (No need to enter me in the giveaway) Thanks for introducing this to your readers, Maria!

Arjanne said...

Wow, that's a great list of authors! I'm so looking forward to delve into this! Congrats on the new publication and thanks for the giveaway!

Claudine Pepe said...

Fabulous post, Maria!! Thanks for hosting the launch of our tour. I think your readers are going to simply adore these stories!!

Jo's Daughter said...

What a great collection of stories this sounds to be!! Something to look forward to :D

dstoutholcomb said...

currently reading and enjoying an ARC of this book

denise

Lori Johnston said...

What a great line up of authors! Must add this book to my wishlist.

Thanks for the super giveaway - - wonderful prize pack!

Carole in Canada said...

I am so excited for the release of this anthology! Looking forward to the thoughts of each of these characters! Thank you for such an amazing prize pack!

Leah Pruett said...

I have been waiting SO LONG for this book! I can't wait!

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Maria said...

So excited about this new anthology! Thanks for the giveaway ;)

Sheila Majczan said...

I am so looking forward to reading this book. I know from the list of authors that it will be amazing. Rational Creatures? But the heart leads without rhyme or reason at time.

Elaine said...

This is so exciting and thank you, Christina, for such a thoughtful, insightful post about Eleanor. I agree with you 100% and couldn't have said it better!

I can't wait to read your story and all the others in the anthology. I hope it does really well. Thanks for a fantastic giveaway. :o)

Christina Boyd said...

Thank you, save the date! October 15.

Christina Boyd said...

That’s music to our ears. I think Christina Morland’s Elinor Dashwood story is a fantastic read. Can’t wait for you to read all!

Christina Boyd said...

“Enjoying” is the key word! Yes!!! I am so glad you won the #AustenInAugust giveaway

Christina Boyd said...

If you are on Goodreads, yes please add to your Want to Read list! Thank you.

Christina Boyd said...

Thank you! Good luck!

J. Marie Croft (Joanne) said...

Thanks, Maria, for launching the Rational Creatures blog tour. I’m a fan of Christina Morland’s novels, and I know your readers will love her ‘Self-Composed’ Elinor Dashwood in the anthology. Jane Austen would be proud!

Christina Boyd said...

We’ve been working on it since last April at least. It’s been quite a behemoth of a project coming in over 450 pages! Hope you like it!

Christina Boyd said...

Good luck! Enjoy!

Christina Boyd said...

Isn’t that the truth!?!

Christina Boyd said...

I agree. Christina Morland wrote such an eloquent and thoughtful analysis! Can’t wait for you to read the collection.

Christina Morland said...

Thanks so much to everyone who has responded to the blog tour so far! Because I’m a complete social media dunce and don’t know how to comment to you individually…
— Maria, thanks again for hosting us!
— Unknown, so glad you found the blog, and hope you enjoy the anthology!
—darcybennet, good anthologies are like really good tapas! Or a buffet! (Can you tell I’m hungry? I need a better food analogy…)
— Christina Boyd— thanks for all your support and all the wonderful work you put into the anthology!
— Eva, the giveaway is indeed incredible! Good luck with it, and enjoy the anthology!
— Anji, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re facing hard times, and I admire you for taking Elinor’s approach to difficult circumstances. And thanks also for your kind words about the analysis. I really grew to appreciate Elinor after rereading Sense and Sensibility in preparation for writing her story in this anthology!
— Sophia Rose, readers are in for a treat when they meet your bold and brave Catherine Morland!
— Vicki H, thanks for your support of the blog tour! Jane Austen anthologies provide such a lovely assortment of reading. Oh, they’re a box of chocolates! (I was trying to come up with a food analogy in my response to darcybennet above, and realized just now that I really ought to borrow from Forrest Gump!)
— Mary Preston, so glad you’re enjoying the blog tour so far!
— Lona, thanks so much for the kind words, and I can’t wait until readers are introduced to your Penelope Clay! What a voice you’ve given her!
— Karen, thanks for bringing Eleanor Tilney to life in the anthology! Yay for Elanor and Elinor—such strong, passionate and practical women!
— Ruth, I hope you’ll find your way back to the anthology on October 15 when it’s available. Thanks for stopping by!
— Debbie B., thanks for all that you have done to make this anthology so wonderful!
— Arjanne, thanks for the kind words, and good luck with the giveaway!
— Claudine, thanks so much stopping by—and for all that you do for JAFF!
— Jo’s Daughter, I can’t wait for you to read the anthology!
— Denise, so glad you’re enjoying the ARC! Thanks for your kind words.
— Lori Johnston, good luck with the giveaway, and hope you enjoy the anthology!
— Carole in Canada, I love how you described the anthology as the “thoughts of each of these characters.” The book really does provide a range of thoughts about what it means to be a woman navigating Regency society. Good luck with the giveaway!
— Leah Pruett, the wait is almost over! Hope you enjoy the book, and thanks for stopping by!
— Maria, so glad you’re excited about the book!
— Shelia Majczan, what a beautiful way of explaining that conflict between heart and head!
— Elaine, thank you for your kind words about the post, and good luck with the giveaway!
— J. Marie Croft, I’m so grateful for your support, and your Hetty Bates is absolutely her own woman—and how I love her for it!

Danielle said...

Yay!!! I love the anthologies!!! I get to discover some new authors and read old favorites all in one book! Thanks for such an AMAZING giveaway!!!

NovElla said...

Awesome giveaway! I just love the title. Elinor is a great character.

BeckyC said...

Loving the blog tour. Looking forward to reading all the stories.

Kristin said...

can't wait

Christina Morland said...

Danielle -- So glad you're looking forward to the anthology!
NovElla -- Elinor is indeed a great character! She's inspiring--and a little daunting. (As much as I love Elinor, I probably act more like Marianne!)
BeckyC -- Thanks so much for visiting this stop of the blog tour!
Kristin -- I also can't wait! October 15, here we come...

Thanks to everyone who has visited and commented thus far! Christina

schilds said...

I love these anthologies. It so wonderful to have something from all your favorite authors.

Christina Morland said...

Thanks for stopping by, schilds! So glad you enjoy anthologies. I do, too--both as a reader and as a writer!

Rachel Danziger said...

Ms Morland, I loved your books and can't wait to read your entry in this anthology. I really admire the way the Elizabeth-Darcy relationships in your books are realistic - Lizzy and Darcy's personal flaws are acknowledged, and while they definitely grow as people (and consciously try to do better) there isn't a sense that they are expected to transform out of their basic character traits. And their communication, especially in A Remedy Against Sin where Lizzy repeatedly barges in/steals chairs/breaks the silence somehow, is so real that I felt like it taught me something that's useful in real life. In a sense, it's very fitting that you're writing about Elinor - whose realistic tendencies frustrate her sister to no end...

Christina Morland said...

Rachel-- wow, thank you so much! I am so pleased and honored that you found my take on Elizabeth and Darcy to be meaningful to you. I really enjoyed writing from Elinor's perspective for Rational Creatures, and I hope you'll have a chance to read all the stories in the anthology, as each author is able to give life to Austen's diverse array of female characters. Thanks again for your kind words, and good luck win the giveaway! All the best, Christina

Christina Boyd said...

You will love her Elinor! Love.

Luisa Baudino said...

This antology really seems amazing! Can't wait to read it!

Christina Morland said...

Luisa Baudino, thanks for commenting! Hope you enjoy the anthology! Best, Christina

Lúthien84 said...

Sorry for being late to the party. This is a fascinating insight into Elinor's personalities, Catherine. And what a wonderful way to begin the blog tour.

Christina Boyd said...

Thank you for your interest! I think the authors did a remarkable job.

Christina Boyd said...

We had a wonderful time talking about the title and all that it encompasses. Thanks for stopping by.

Christina Boyd said...

Thanks, Becky!

Christina Boyd said...

Hope you enjoy it!

Christina Boyd said...

Thank you— I love this Elinor story as well as all the stories in the anthology. Not a clunker in the bunch;)

C Boyd Social Media said...

We have a winner for our #RationalCreatures blog tour giveaway! Thank you to all who participated. (Please claim before November 20 or we will have to draw for another winner...and that would be disappointing for all...except the new winner.) https://www.thequillink.com/blog/rationalcreatures-epic-blog-tour-ends-announces-grandprize-winner

C Boyd Social Media said...

Schilds is the winner of our giveaway! Congratulations!