Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Monday, 17 September 2018
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
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
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!
Tuesday, 24 July 2018
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
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
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.
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.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
In London Holiday, Darcy spends some time *gasp* in disguise as a footman. While the circumstance is terribly uncomfortable for him, it does afford him some freedoms he would not have had otherwise. However, life as a Regency era footman was no cake walk. If your name did not happen to be Fitzwilliam Darcy, and if you did not get to replace your livery with a custom-tailored set of clothing the next day, what would your life have been like?
First of all, footmen were typically fit, young, handsome, and tall. Darcy would have looked rather fetching in livery, and it is not so surprising that there might have been a set somewhere that would fit him. The footman was almost a functional piece of furniture in a wealthy household, for his appearance was one of the first considerations upon hiring him. His job, as Elizabeth says in the book, is to be handsome, and a well-turned calf which showed well in silk stockings was considered a job qualification.
Wednesday, 30 May 2018
IS THERE ANY HOPE OF REDEMPTION FOR GEORGE WICKHAM? LILY BERNARD ANSWERS MY QUESTIONS ON THE PROTAGONIST OF HER "NEW BEGINNINGS"
|Rupert Friend as Wickham in P&P 2005|
Wickham is the protagonist of Lily Bernard’s “New Beginnings” . What’s your opinion on dashing George Wickham? Compare yours to Lily’s opinion reading my interview with her especially focused on the character we all love to hate while reading Pride and Prejudice.
1. In your novel Wickham’s aim in life is to revenge against Darcy. Is he even more wicked than in the original version of the story, then?
Yes, during the course of the story we learn that he is much more wicked than he was in the original. Besides his usual complaints (not having the respect, social standing or wealth that Darcy does), he
vows to destroy Darcy because Wickham believes Darcy is solely responsible for death of his betrothed. He is the protagonist when the story begins but for the remainder of the book he is mentioned only in the context of the ramifications of his prior activities.
Monday, 28 May 2018
I was asked about Kitty’s transformation in my latest release, CATHERINE: Pride & Prejudice continued… Book Two. At first, I was a bit flummoxed. You see, I never thought of my story in that manner. However, having mulled about this for a few days I came to the realization that this is exactly what I did.
Let me start in this manner. As I wrote the book I was very careful to portray Catherine’s POV (point of view) as being Kitty. When you think of Pride & Prejudice, this is how everyone saw her. Kitty Bennet who followed Lydia in all things. Kitty Bennet who was a silly girl. Kitty Bennet who coughed too much (thank you, Mrs. Bennet for that one). Her character was never fully developed and all we know from original canon ending that she became ‘less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid’. Oh my.
Wednesday, 23 May 2018
The older I get, the more I like Lady Catherine. This is partly because, as an ageing woman, I have more sympathy for other older women. Older women are often mocked in fiction: dismissed as silly, no longer beautiful, and frequently poor. Even Jane Austen was not beyond ridiculing them – think of Miss Bates and of Lady Bertram – but Austen also treated many with respect, even when her characters do not (Marianne Dashwood is extremely rude to Mrs. Jenkinson, and Emma is impatient with Miss Bates).
Lady Catherine may be proud, but that is something to be expected of a woman who is the daughter of an earl and the mistress of Rosings Park. And she has, in my opinion, many admirable character traits.
Saturday, 12 May 2018
Canadian author, Tara Rout, launches an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to buy Longbourn, or Luckington Court, which is up for sale in the U.K. The property is famous for its appearance in the BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice. The property may have captured the attention of Prince Harry, who is believed to have an interest in buying the home.
Monday, 7 May 2018
Two of my favorite books as a child were a huge illustrated book of world mythology and an equally huge anthology of fairy tales. I read those stories over and over despite the fact that many of them were rather gruesome with less than happy endings. (Hmmm … That just might be the source of my penchant for happily-ever-afters in my own writing.) So it shouldn’t be surprising that fantastical creatures have always run rampant in my imagination.
Monday, 30 April 2018
Would Mr Darcy with any other name - not Fitzwilliam, I mean - be the fascinating hero he is? Today's guest, Leigh Dreyer, author of a Pride and Prejudice modern retelling thinks so. In her version of our beloved story, Darcy and Elizabeth form their bond while flying high in the sky. Read her answers to my questions and discover more about The Best Laid Flight Plans. Don't forget to try your luck in the giveaway contest below!
Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Thanks so much for hosting me, Maria Grazia! The Secrets of Pemberley is told entirely from Mr. Darcy’s perspective. In the book, Elizabeth’s diary becomes important, and as a long-time fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I decided to do video entries for each of diary entry I’ll be sharing on the blog tour. I hope you enjoy as we get a bit of insight on what Elizabeth Bennet felt when seeing Darcy again for the first time after his proposal and reading his very different letter.
Thursday, 29 March 2018
The one where Mr. Darcy turns detective: non JAFF detective fiction influencing Lover’s Knot (or Regency Sleuths whom I have loved…)
Thank you to Maria Grazia for having me back at My Jane Austen Book Club. It is a pleasure and an honour to visit with my new book, “Lover’s Knot”.
“Detective” is not an epithet that fits particularly well on the shoulders of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. At least, not at first sight. The Regency is not the right period for a start, being well before the heyday of crime fiction and prior to the literary evolution of the “gentleman detective”. The formation of the police as we know and understand them had only just begun. What is more, fighting crime just isn’t what everyone’s favourite hero is about. Mr. Darcy’s world view was likely narrower than that of your average sleuth. He is, after all, a gentleman of the landed classes, a reluctant character of the ton, a man of means and a man of his age. His focus is family, home, close friends, dependants. He doesn’t look too hard at the wider world and nobody asks that he does.
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Several months ago, when author Shannon Winslow was still in the research phase of her just-released novel, she sat down with one of the principle subjects of her story. As it turned out, the lady was less that fully cooperative.
Winslow: Thank you for meeting with me, Lady Catherine. As you know, I am writing a novel entitled The Ladies of Rosings Park, and so naturally I wanted to speak to you, among others – to get your opinions and some background information. You understand.
LC: You are wise to come to me first, for I can save you a great deal of time. You shall find there is no need to speak to anybody else afterwards, because I can tell you what you need to know. I am very well informed.
Winslow: I don’t doubt that for a minute.
LC: Now, to begin with, I will set you straight about your title. What do you mean by ‘the ladies’ of Rosings Park, as if there were more than one? I am the mistress here. Certainly your title should more correctly be The Lady of Rosings Park or perhaps Portrait of an Illustrious Lady. That has a nice ring to it.
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
What a great place to begin the blog tour for my latest book! Thank you, Maria Grazia, for hosting me. I enjoy visiting your book club and discovering what you’re reading.
Most of my previous books have been written in Elizabeth Bennet’s voice, but I’ve ventured into new territory in The Child. It’s written strictly from Darcy’s viewpoint. Today, I thought we might start where he does, on the steps of St. George’s Church in London.