Tuesday, 3 September 2019

BLOG TOUR - KAY BEA, LETTERS FROM THE HEART: GUEST POST AND GIVEAWAY




Geetings to Austen lovers everywhere and thank you for hosting me at My Jane Austen Book Club and allowing me to talk about my debut publication, Letters from the Heart!

I don’t think I can talk about this story without talking about the online Jane Austen experience. I am so incredibly thankful to the Jane Austen community. It has welcomed me, challenged me, and absolutely pushed me to do more than I thought I could. I still have a little trouble believing that a series of letters I wrote almost on a whim has grown into this!


I first published this story on fanfiction.net as Letters from Elizabeth. Clicking that button was both terrifying and exhilarating. It’s not entirely unlike the way I feel now, except now it’s much more intense. The reviewers there were amazing and were the entire reason I created the companion piece, Letters from Mr Darcy. Those reviewers also introduced me to A Happy Assembly where I published the combined letters under a new title, Letters from the Heart. It is impossible for me to under state how much the friends I made there encouraged and inspired me.

I didn’t really “discover” Jane Austen until I was in my late thirties, but my journey to discover sequels and variations started almost as soon as I finished Pride and Prejudice. I was in love with Darcy and Elizabeth and I wanted more! I couldn’t have imagined how that desire would change me in the years to come. I found Sharon Lathan’s works at my local library and they left me wanting still more. I was greedy, but I hadn’t learned where to look. Time moved on, the internet grew, and one happy day, many years later, I discovered a whole new world of joy – online fan fiction. Oh, the bliss! The more I read, the more I began to consider…what if? What if Darcy and Elizabeth reached an earlier understanding, what if Mrs Bennet was truly awful, what if Georgiana eloped with Wickham, what if Mr Bennet died? What if? What if? What if? Finally, the questions demanded answers and I began to write the story I wanted to read.

Of course, like many other authors in this genre, I found I had more story ideas than I had time to write and that first story sat in the background while others clamored for more attention. Letters from the Heart was one of those that would not be silenced. I’d recently read several stories where Elizabeth was forced to marry Mr Collins and / or where Mr Collins turned out to be a terrible man. I started to wonder, what if? What if she had to marry Mr Collins when he first proposed? What if she couldn’t see her family? As I was contemplating all of that, an old song by the Forester Sisters popped in my head. It’s called Letter Home. Then I picked up my pen (Yes, a pen. Most of Letters from the Heart was initially hand-written) and wrote those first lines, Dear Jane, I must apologize…

Kay Bea

About the Book

The Bennet sisters of Longbourn lack both decorum and connections and do not possess a decent dowry between them. Even the best of the them is in every way unsuitable for a man whose income is as a good as a lord. But love is not so easily set aside and in January 1812, Mr Darcy persuades Mr Bingley to reopen Netherfield Park, the country estate from which they both fled only two months before. On returning to Hertfordshire, they discover a near tragedy took place three days after the Netherfield Ball and has changed the lives of the Bennet family forever.  Mrs Bennet’s relentless fear of losing her place in society has led her to condemn her least favourite daughter to a life of isolation and pain that will greatly complicate Darcy and Elizabeth’s journey to happiness. Old bonds are strengthened, family ties are severed, and unlikely allies emerge as each of them struggles to make sense of the changes they face.


About the Author

Kay Bea is an administrative assistant and Jane Austen lover living in Kansas City with her husband of twenty-five years, her mother-in-law, and her fur kids. She has written several short stories and drabbles on fanfiction.net as “I Found My Mr. Darcy” and on A Happy Assembly as MrsDarcy2032.
Kay grew up in Wyoming, enjoyed a two-year adventure in Maryland, and now calls Missouri home. When she isn’t writing, Kay enjoys photography, cooking, and spending time with her adult children and three granddaughters.

The Giveaway 

You can win a $50 Amazon gift card!  The contents ends on September 19. To be eligible, just comment on any of the blog tour stops. You need not visit all the stops (one point per stop and comment), however, it does increase your chances of winning by earning more entry points.



The Blog Tour

*Tuesday, September 3: My Jane Austen Book Club
*Wednesday, September 4: Austenesque Reviews
*Thursday, September 5: My Vices & Weaknesses
*Friday, September 6: Calico Critic
*Monday, September 9: Babblings of a Bookworm
*Tuesday, September 10: Savvy Verse & Wit
*Wednesday, September 11: Margie’s Must Reads
*Thursday, September 12: From Pemberley to Milton

73 comments:

Vesper said...

I wonder why Mrs Bennet didn't insist of another daughter accompanying Elizabeth to Hunsford as it would be one less daughter to keep

KBea said...

I think the only one she may have considered parting with would have been Mary, and as she rarely gives thought to her middle child...

Christina Boyd said...

Congratulations on your debut book—it is so good!

Thank you for launching the tour, Maria, from your gorgeous blog.

Maria Grazia said...

Thanks Christina for being a perfect coordinator and an enthusiastic Janeite! Congratulations to Kay for her debut novel and many thanks for being our kind guest at My Jane Austen Book Club.

Anniina S. said...

Congratulations on your first release, Kay! I've already put in an order in Amazon and am very much looking forward to reading it. Love the way you describe the first feelings of finding out about the world of JAFF and then taking the brave, exhilarating steps of posting your first story- spot on! :)

Bookluver88 said...

I must have read your work on ff at some point!

KBea said...

Thank you so much! I love being a part of this community. It is such a positive place to be!

KBea said...

This is entirely possible 🙂

KBea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KBea said...

Thank you for helping make all of this possible!!!

KBea said...

I am excited to be here. Thank you again and again for hosting me!

Gail W said...

Congrats on your debut novel! The online JAFF community has been a blessing in my life too, and I wish you all the best!

Eva said...

Keep asking "what if" so we have more books from you. I always shutter when Elizabeth is forced to marry Mr. Collins. Congratulations on your debut book and thank you for the giveaway.

KBea said...

It’s a crazy good community and so very welcoming! Thank you!

KBea said...

I think I can safely promise to never stop asking “what if?”. Thank you!!

Lucy S said...

It’s a great story! Congratulations!

kneyda said...

I loved this book and gave it 5 stars on goodreads. I loved Lady C in this one.

KBea said...

Thank you so much! And thanks for stopping in today.

Diana said...

Congratulations on having the courage to push the button for the first time and for your determination to release the characters to tell the tale that took over your heart. Keep going!

KBea said...

Aww...thanks! I enjoyed writing her. It was fun to take all that she is and put it to use for Elizabeth’s benefit.

KBea said...

I will certainly attempt to continue channeling my inner Lizzy! Thank you.

Mary Preston said...

The book sounds wonderful.

Sarah P said...

I must admit, I read your stories both on FF and the combined story on AHA, which I did preferred.
Mainly as I ended up in the 2 individual stories (when I discovered them), re-reading and comparing what Darcy and Elizabeth wrote around the same times.
Cross checking the tale from both protagonists point of view.

maomac said...

Just finished the book on KU. A great story! I love the progression done through the different letters. And a wonderful HEA. Thanks for the story and for the chance to win a gift card.

Joan said...

I would have loved to read this on Fanfiction before publication. I usually end up purchasing the book. I read "Letters From the Heart " from beginning to end nonstop. It was just that good! I appreciated that although Mary didn't accompany Elizabeth, she was a faithful correspondent. Even the comments from Lady Catherine didn't stop the abuse unless Elizabeth was at Rosings Park. Mr. Bennet finally put his foot down with Mrs. Bennet!

BeckyC said...

Congratulations! Definitely on my TBR!

Leah Pruett said...

I read this book on KU and it was totally fabulous! I actually want to go back and reread it ASAP. Thanks for such an amazing story!

darcybennett said...

I didn’t discover jaff until my late thirties as well and I’ve been trying to make up for lost time ever since. Imaging “what if” is what draws me to them too. Thanks for the giveaway!

Patty said...

Congratulations. Thanks for opportunity to win.

Glynis said...

I have this on my list. I’m a little worried as I believe Mrs Bennet forces Elizabeth to marry Mr Collins! From comments I have read I’m assured that somehow Darcy and Elizabeth eventually get their happy ending so I must read it to discover how!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadAboutAusten said...

Congratulations of the publishing of your first book. So looking forward to (re)reading it. Also thanks for the opportunity to win!! ;)
Best,
M :)

Christina Morland said...

Congratulations on your release! The premise sounds fascinating. How lucky we all are that you found your way to the Austenesque community! Like you, I was so excited when I discovered the world of JAFF. Yay for what-ifs!

Lily Bernard said...

Added to my TBR list!

Daniela Quadros said...

Congratulations on your first book, Kay! I read this story when you posted it on AHA and loved it! And now I am really curious to read the published version ;)

Karen K said...

Congrats!

Unknown said...

I first read this story on fanfiction.net. It was a difficult story, and yet I couldn't stop reading. I have now purchased the ebook, and once again, it was intense and consuming. Congrats on publishing the whole story.

Lynn Bischoff said...

This is a wonderful book. I didn't want to put it down.

Anji said...

Many congrats on your debut in the 'official' world of publishing! I read all three parts to this story on ff.net and AHA a few months ago, before I knew it was going to be published and, is it wrong to say I loved it, when the main storyline tells such a horrific story at times? Obviously, one had to read between the lines of Elizabeth's letters to realise what was going on as nothing was explicitly described. I'm so looking forward to reading this version with its extra narrative. I agree with the commenter who said that they loved Lady C's involvement in Elizabeth's salvation. Best wishes for success with this and for the rest of the tour.

KBea said...

Thank you!

KBea said...

That timeline was brutal to construct...but incredibly helpful when it was done! Thank you.

KBea said...

I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! Good luck!

KBea said...

What a great thing to hear! I enjoyed writing a firm Mr B

Thank you

KBea said...

Thank you. Happy reading!

KBea said...

Perfect! I love that you want to revisit the book! Thank you.

KBea said...

I can never get enough...good luck and thanks for stopping by!

KBea said...

Thank you and good luck!

KBea said...

I’m told it’s worth the journey...happy reading!

KBea said...

Thank you! If you read it online, I think you’ll enjoy the additions.

KBea said...

Thank you! This community really is the best.

KBea said...

Thank you.

KBea said...

Thank you and happy reading! There are new bits for you to discover!

KBea said...

Thank you.

KBea said...

I’m glad you continue to enjoy the story. Thank you!

KBea said...

My favorite compliment! Thank you!

KBea said...

It is a difficult story at times. But for all the darkness, there is still that under current of hope and love that keeps you going. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the story.
Thank you!

monkee said...

I cannot wait to read this!!! Thank you for a chance to win a money card on Amazon. I already have the book. Sharon Legg

Diana said...

Read it in one evening and loved it! Congratulations on a wildly successful debut novel. So we’ll done. You do a good job of showing the reality of the lives of buttered women without forcing us to endure descriptions of brutality. Insightful and well done. Great love story!

Christa Buchan said...

I have read your letter and many comments, therefore my curiosity is peeked. I am totally looking forward to getting this novella. I, who is in my 70th year of life, have just discovered the joy of Jane Austen a year ago. However, I have been reading P&P variations for some time. I have seen the BBC series of 1995 and the 2005 movie. I have read and re-read Sharon Lathan's series at least 7 times; there are the things that have led me to Austen in all its splender. There is a Readers and Writers get together, in early November of this year, which I will be attending, and perhaps you would like to come as well. Victoria Kincaid is our hostess and Abigail Reynolds will be giving a presentation. I am just excited to be in the midst of such wonderful authors. I am also looking forward to reading your debut novel Thank you for your insight and the story you weave in letters.

KateB said...

This book sounds so good and so well written. now when I know that there will be a HEA for ODC I will brave reading it. Congratulations. Thanks for the giveaway.

Charlotte said...

Oh dear Lizzie forced to marry Mr Collins... that is hard to imagine, but I’d love to be surprised! The book sounds really special :)

KBea said...

Thank you and happy reading!

KBea said...

Such high praise! Thank you!

KBea said...

Thank you for the kind invitation and for sharing your Jane Austen journey!

KBea said...

Thank you. I hope there is enough good woven in to keep it from getting overwhelming

KBea said...

Just hold in mind that I am a firm believer in HEA for Darcy and Elizabeth

Dung said...

Congrats on your debut novel, I cannot wait to read it. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it.

Danielle said...

This sounds like it will be a great book, looking forward to discovering a new author!

Buturot said...

Intrigued how EB can escape this unpleasant situation. Thank you for the chance to win

Sophia Simeonidou said...

Congratulations on your first book! It sounds very interesting though I have to admit I cringe to the idea of Mr Collins touching Elizabeth!

Caryl Kane said...

I enjoyed the excerpt and I'm excited to read more!

Claire said...

Oh to think she had to marry Mr Collins :(
I'm looking forward to reading this one though, i'm expecting quite an emotional ride!
Congratulations on your book!

Lúthien84 said...

Thanks for sharing your writing journey, Kay. Indeed generally the Austenesque community is very friendly and welcomes people from all over the world. I've not seen such enthusiasm and devotion like us.