Monday, 7 December 2015


Austen at Christmastime

Thanks to Maria Grazia for inviting me to share my work with all her lovely readers!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always love a good dose of Jane Austen for the holidays. Whether it’s watching the six hour Pride & Prejudice miniseries for the zillionth time, reading one of the many variations and updates of her works—or reading the work in its original form—I enjoy it all.

So that was partly why I chose to write a Christmas novella with an Austenesque theme. Christmas with Miss Austen, a lighthearted, inspirational romance, features a modern-day heroine named Julia who is obsessed with all-things Austen. Waitress by day, painter by night, and Jane Austen on weekends might be a good way to describe her. When the story begins, it finds her volunteering at a historic open house for the holidays. Here, Julia dresses up in Regency style clothing and reads to visitors from an antique copy of Northanger Abbey.

Julia’s adventure begins when she falls asleep after the customers have gone, and accidentally gets locked inside the old house. She must walk home in the dark in full Regency garb. When she bumps into a stranger in the snowy park, Julia doesn’t stop to explain—she just scurries home.

Unfortunately, she drops the rare copy of Northanger Abbey (on loan from a friend, no less) and must find a way to replace it before Christmas day. Helping her on this quest is Eliot, a handsome book historian, whose own connection to Austen’s world is more than a little unusual.

It was fun to insert lots of Austen references into the book, with character and location names chosen from her various novels. And hopefully readers will have as much fun spotting them, should they chose to add Christmas with Miss Austen to their stack of holiday reading!

Laura Briggs

About the Book  - Christmas with Miss Austen

Laura Briggs
Julia Allen is a waitress by day, painter by night, and…a famous 1800s authoress on weekends? 

Moonlighting as Jane Austen for a historical open house is a strange hobby for a contemporary artist, but Julia loves the role–until she falls asleep and gets locked inside after all the visitors are gone! Rushing home from the dark, historical mansion, she collides with a stranger in the snowy park, and discovers later her shortcut cost her the rare copy of Austen’s Northanger Abbey borrowed from a friend’s treasured collection. 

Book historian Eliot Weston thinks he imagined the Regency-era figure, but the book he finds in her wake proves otherwise. The first edition of Jane Austen’s novel is authentic and incredibly rare, but he fails to find any trace of its owner. Reminders of the unusual encounter keep popping up, however, like the pretty modern artist eager to buy an identical volume. Coincidence? Or Divine intervention making it clear this is anything but an ordinary Christmas for these two hearts? 

Author Bio

Laura Briggs’s first published work was Only in Novels, a short romance story from Pelican Book Group that garnered a CAPA award nomination. She has since published several other titles with the same company, all featuring an Inspirational Romance theme. Among her independently published works are a series of wedding-themed romances and Jane Austen-inspired fiction. Laura is also the co-author of a series of Grimm-esque fantasy-themed fairytale retellings known as The Dark Woods.

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Vesper said...

I like the idea in dressing Regency dress, even if it is dark.Being used to wearing ankle length dresses I wouldn't have run, just walked normally

Laura Briggs said...

Thanks so much for sharing this guest post, Maria! Your website is just so lovely!

And Vesper, I have to agree--it would be pretty hard to run in full Regency dress!It's so pretty in the movies, but must have been terribly inconvenient to actually wear.

Maria Grazia said...

You're welcone, Laura!

Maria Grazia said...

You're welcone, Laura!

Anonymous said...

Gosh this book sounds fun!! Combining two of my fav things, Jane and Christmas :D best wishes, Jo's Daughter

kim hansen said...

Sounds like a great read.

Kirk said...

Interesting idea! I love Christmas/Jane Austen books. Best wishes for a successful book release!

Sonja said...

I too, have watched Pride and Prejudice on many occasions. So I know that I would enjoy this read. Specially if it's a Christmas read!

Lúthien84 said...

This book sounds like a good and fun read. I love the premise of the novella and the romance is promising.

Dung said...

I would love to dress up in Regency attire... The book sounds like a fun read.