Friday, 22 September 2017

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF YOUNG LADIES IN JANE AUSTEN'S NOVELS + GIVEAWAY


(from guest blogger Eliza Shearer)

Several words pop up all the time in Jane Austen’s novels: ‘fine,' ‘nice,' ‘civil,' ‘pleasant’ and ‘elegant’ immediately come to mind. But my personal favourite is ‘accomplished,' a word that comes up over and over again, particularly when referring to young ladies.

While in the XVIII century the education of young women of genteel families left a lot to be desired, in the Regency there was a renewed interest in cultivating the mind and spirit of girls. For girls, being accomplished became a positive trait, and one that could lead to a good marriage. Jane Austen herself benefited from an open-minded approach to female education, and her father’s extensive and fascinating library was as open as Mr Bennet’s.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

THESE DREAMS BLOG TOUR - VIGNETTE BY NICOLE CLARKSTON: LYDIA & GEORGIANA, GIRL TALK + GIVEAWAY


The events in this vignette fall just before Chapter 28 in These Dreams. Lydia and Georgiana are becoming close, as each girl tries to find ways to cheer the other. They have found a common bond in the disappointments of their young lives, but Elizabeth, the thread which first brought them together, is still emotionally distant.

There are quite a few sibling and sibling-like relationships running through this book. I enjoyed the relationship between Lydia and Georgiana for several reasons. The first was that Lydia is such a marvelous plot device! She will say things that no one else will say, and she brings an earthy freshness to the other characters just by her tart observations. She has absolutely no class-- not until the influences of Georgiana and Elizabeth begin to permeate her shaken senses-- and no fear, save for her own future.

Another thing I love about these two is that they are such opposites. They grow from each others’ example, and it is entertaining to watch how easily they come to terms with the elephant in the room: George Wickham. He played dirty by both of them, and they form a decided sisterly bond over the matter. As their friendship strengthens, they almost embark upon the girlhood that both had been denied; playing instruments, learning new crafts, planning picnics and comforting one another.

Elizabeth, through no fault or intent of anyone’s, becomes something of the outsider. Unlike the younger girls, her grief knows no balm, and she is tormented by night and day with her dreams and visions of the man she believes lost to her. Additionally, she is weighed down with the duties and responsibilities that the other two are yet unprepared to shoulder. In this short vignette, Georgiana and Lydia do a little speculating about the cause of Elizabeth’s low spirits.

~NC

Monday, 18 September 2017

I COULD WRITE A BOOK BLOG TOUR - KAREN M. COX, LOOKING FOR A NEW LOVE


Looking For a New Love: Why We Should Let Lizzy have Mr. Darcy, and Set Our Caps for George Knightley (a tongue-in-cheek male review)

All of Austen’s heroes have their excellent qualities. Henry Tilney is charming. Captain Wentworth is romantic. Edward Ferrars is loyal (sometimes to his detriment). Edmund Bertram is kind.

But one Austen gentleman is more famous than all the others combined (thank you, Colin Firth!) Mr. Darcy is the ultimate catch, right? Brooding, rich, tall, and with that noble demeanor, he has turned readers’ heads for 200 years. He fell for Elizabeth Bennet when she never suspected that his feelings ran so deep. He saved her family from certain disgrace. He changes his prideful ways for the woman he loves.
He’s everyone’s favorite book boyfriend.
But hold on a minute…
Have you met George Knightley?

Saturday, 16 September 2017

PARTICULAR ATTACHMENTS BLOG TOUR - L.L. DIAMOND INTRODUCES HER HERO, LORD NATHANIEL SELE


Particular Attachments

She swore would never marry!

Georgiana Darcy is a lady with a secret! The last thing she wants is to return to London, but what else can she do when her brother and his wife make plans to spend the Christmas season in town. When Lizzy’s youngest sister, Lydia, joins them, Georgiana gains a confidante, but will Lydia’s outgoing nature cause problems when Lord Sele, son of a family friend reappears in Georgiana’s life?

As an insufferable boy, Lord Sele vowed he would marry Georgiana, but was his return from Ireland a coincidence or was his sole purpose to pursue her? He admits to desiring friendship, but Lydia is determined his desire is Georgiana and she will stop at nothing to see her best friend happily settled.

What is Georgiana to do when faced with the society she has managed to avoid for her entire adult life as well as the one man determined to change her mind about marriage? Will she be able to overcome her fears despite the spectre from the past that seems to be haunting her? Will she be forced to tell her secret and choose happiness or will someone from her past ruin everything?

Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgiana Darcy

Thank you so much for having me,  Maria Grazia!

One of my favourite scenes in Particular Attachments is the first time Georgiana sees Nathaniel (Lord Sele) after so many years. It’s not a major interaction between the two, but in some ways it shows so much in his reaction to her as well as her reaction to him. Since Particular Attachments is from Georgiana’s point of view, I thought I’d write an outtake from Nathaniel’s perspective. I hope you enjoy it J

 L.L.Diamond
~ * ~

Thursday, 14 September 2017

JANE AUSTEN AND THE MEN WHO LOVED HER



(by Alice Chandler)

Why do so few men read Jane Austen? That question has been getting a lot of attention recently. In an article reprinted in the blog Jane Austen’s World, William Deresiewicz writes about “the strangeness, the effrontery, of a heterosexual man who reads Jane Austen.” Another article by Margaret Barthels, talks movingly about her father, who was a lifelong Austen reader, even in a world of “female-dominated fandom.”  A 2008 survey readership found that 96% of all Austen readers were women. Even allowing for the distortions of such self-reported data, the evidence is clear. Women read Jane Austen. Men do not--or to be more accurate, most men do not. It was not always so.

Monday, 11 September 2017

FAIR STANDS THE WIND BLOG TOUR - CATHERINE LODGE, IN DEFENCE OF MRS BENNET


Author Guest Post

I admit it, I feel sorry for Mrs Bennet.  I know she would be horrendously annoying to live with, no one likes to hear the same thing over and over again, and no one likes to be told what they ought to be doing, especially if it's the one thing you don't want to do, whether it's tidying your bedroom or marrying someone you can't stand.
But the poor woman, really doesn't understand her own life.  She must know that her husband despises her and most of her children, he makes no secret of the fact and she, equally obviously, does not understand why.  As far as she is concerned, she is doing everything right, she runs a comfortable, well-fed household and she is doing her best to get her daughters advantageously married.  Indeed, she seems to be the only person who understands how desperately important it is to get them married, and what a horrendously stupid thing Elizabeth does in refusing Mr Collins.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

SHARON LATHAN, THREE WAYS TO WED DURING THE REGENCY - GUEST BLOG & GIVEAWAY

My sincerest thanks to Maria Grazia for hosting me on My Jane Austen Book Club today. It is an honor to be here, and a great pleasure to share a bit of my research with your readers, as well as my latest novel. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.

Three Ways to Wed during the Regency

Today I thought I would talk about the legitimate avenues for a legal marriage in England during the period our beloved characters lived. As a result of the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1753, the rules and requirements were strictly detailed, in large part to prevent the rash marriages of the prior decades. 

The five major points of the 1753 Marriage Act were:


      1.  A license and/or the reading of the banns were required to legally marry.
  1. Essential parental consent if either person was under the age of 21.
  2. The ceremony must take place in a public chapel or church where at least one of the two resided AND by an authorized Church of England clergyman.
  3. The marriage must be performed between 8am and noon, AND before designated witnesses.
  4. The marriage had to be recorded in the marriage register with the signatures of both parties, the witnesses, and the minister.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

DANGEROUS TO KNOW: JANE AUSTEN'S RAKES AND GENTLEMEN ROGUES. CHRISTINA BOYD PRESENTS HER NEW PROJECT.


Oops, I’m at it again.

I’m Christina Boyd, the editor of The Darcy Monologues, and I am thrilled to finally announce that my next anthology project, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues, is well underway. My team and I thank you for helping us launch the news to the Jane Austen community.

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with any number of unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched out to the reader. Have you never wondered about the back story of her rakes and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories.

Friday, 1 September 2017

AUTHOR MARIA GRACE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN JANE AUSTEN - A LESS AGREEABLE MAN BLOG TOUR

Jane Austen portrays a wonderful vision of heroines like Elizabeth Bennet who are hardly doormats to their men. It is important to realize though, that our modern views of marriage did not apply to Jane Austen’s day, and expectations (and realities) of marriage were very different for women then. These differences applied to many areas of life. One of particular notes was the tolerance for domestic violence.

Warm and affectionate marriages were desirable, but practical considerations were probably the backbone of most matches. Loving relationships were more likely to form after marriage than before, if they formed at all. Whatever amiable feelings might develop did so in the context of a clear hierarchy. In regency society, no one doubted that the husband was the head of the relationship, in charge of essentially everything.
There cannot, indeed, be a sight more uncouth, than that of a man and his wife struggling for power: for where it ought to be vested, nature, reason, and Scripture, concur to declare;
… How preposterous is it to hear a woman say, ' It shall be done!' —' I will have it so!' and often extending her authority not only beyond her jurisdiction, but in matters where he alone is competent to act, or even to judge. (Taylor, 1822)

Sunday, 27 August 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON ... P.O. DIXON, BY REASON, BY REFLECTION, BY EVERYTHING + GIVEAWAY

From the Author

Thank you so much, Maria Grazia, for this opportunity to visit My Jane Austen Book Club and share an excerpt from my new release, By Reason, by Reflection, by Everything. It’s always a great pleasure to be here.



About the Book



What if Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her late sister, Lady Anne, were not the only two who enjoyed a favorite wish for Fitzwilliam Darcy’s future marital felicity? What if the elder Mr. Darcy had a favorite wish of his own? What if he promised his firstborn son to the firstborn daughter of his old university friend, Thomas Bennet? Are promises made always promises kept? Or is a love like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet's destined to prevail? 


Sunday, 20 August 2017

DRESS-UP JANE AUSTEN: DISCOVER HISTORY THROUGH FASHION. WIN A COPY!

Think you know your morning dresses from your riding habits? Whether it’s dancing the night away or preparing for a winter walk are you sure you know what it is the best outfit to wear? Have a close look at the costumes contained in Dress- up Jane Austen and you'll find wonderful suggestions. 

And what about discovering Jane Austen’s Regency era through fashion! Aren't you curious to know more about such a fascinating time? Thanks to Dress-up Jane Austen you'll get to find out unusual details, how a Regency bride and groom dressed for their wedding  or why everyone used to wear hats, for instance.  

What is Dress-up Jane Austen?

It is a beautifully illustrated activity book. Written by Catherine Bruzzone and illustrated by Hennie Haworth, it is part of a series,  Fashion Paper Dolls,  and it's all about discovering the history of the Regency Era through the fashions of the time. It provides a healthy dose of nostalgic paper dolls fun and interesting information.  Whilst the series of books is meant for children, leafing through its lovely pages,  I'm sure that adults, especially Jane Austen fans,  might enjoy the level of detail in the drawings, too.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

GUEST POST AND GIVEAWAY: ALEXA ADAMS, FRIENDS & FOES FROM PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IN WONDERLAND

Thank you so much for hosting me today at My Jane Austen Book Club! It’s always a pleasure to drop in.

Today I’d like to focus on some of the side characters in my book, Darcy in Wonderland, all of whom are of great interest to Janeites. While the story primarily focuses on the immediate Darcy family, particularly Mr. Darcy and Alice, many of our friends and foes from Pride and Prejudice receive mention, and some even play a major role in the plot, like Lady Catherine. She has had ample time in the spotlight over the past several days as I’ve done the rounds of the blogs, so let’s set that imposing grand dame aside and turn our attention to quieter members of the cast.

Mary Harding and Kitty Crawford

Austen was rather specific regarding the fates of some of her characters, and even though this is a rather unorthodox continuation, I have stuck to cannon as much as possible. For example, the fates of Mary and Kitty Bennet are clearly disclosed at the end of Pride and Prejudice, so I didn’t tamper with their destinies.

“The days passed quickly in a frenzy of preparations, visiting, and new arrivals, who swelled the numbers in the dining room. Elizabeth’s sister, Mary Harding, her husband, and their three rather grown children arrived from Hertfordshire two days before the ball. They traveled with the Collinses of Longbourn, who left their children at home. Kitty Crawford and four of her brood of nine did not descend upon Pemberley until the following day, as her husband, a clergyman, worked in a parish not far away. The halls of the great house veritably rang with the footsteps and laughter of children while the nights were marked by family gatherings in the drawing room, full of games, performances, conversation, and laughter. What did it matter if Mr. Collins was abysmal at cards? Under his wife’s skillful management, the former rector’s absurdities were never subjected on any single person for too long, and Bennet was often happy to partner him, finding his cousin just as diverting a source of entertainment as his grandfather had before him.”

Saturday, 12 August 2017

MR DARCY'S BRIDEs BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - AUTHOR REGINA JEFFERS, BREACH OF PROMISE LEGALITIES IN THE REGENCY


In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Miss Austen brings up the issue of “Breach of Promise Suits” as they apply to Lydia and Wickham. This exchange actually occurs after Darcy’s second proposal (chapter 60) when Elizabeth is asking Darcy when he fell in love with her:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON ... THE JOURNEY HOME BY KAREN M. COX


The Journey Home

Georgiana Darcy has left girlhood far behind her. A young, single mother with two small daughters, she escaped a precarious existence. Now she has returned to her ancestral home, ready to rebuild her life. Her brother, William, welcomed her with open arms and helped her back on her feet. But home is more than a place—it’s a state of mind, and Georgiana has a journey of the heart ahead of her. As her brother falls in love with Elizabeth, the new girl in town, Georgiana finds herself drawn to William’s long-time friend, Sheriff Richard Fitzwilliam, a widower fifteen years her senior. Richard would never want her, or so she believes, but when he’s near, her sorrow vanishes. When Georgiana’s past comes roaring back to haunt her, can Richard and his kind, gentle ways help see her through?

Sunday, 16 July 2017

SIGNATURE'S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO JANE AUSTEN


July 18, 2017, marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. In honor of such an important date Signature — the Penguin Random House site dedicated to books and culture— has just released The Essential Guide to Jane Austen.

The guide features 12 incredible essays from a variety of well-known authors—plus a clever illustration detailing the theory of Austen’s secret radicalism from the talented illustrator Nathan Gelgud. These essays explore a range of topics: from book-to-film adaptations, to repackaging the work of a classic literary master for the modern age, to lessons the modern woman can learn from her Victorian countryside counterparts, and so much more in between—all connected with the thread of Jane Austen’s incomparable canon. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

MEG KERR ON PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: FROM EXPERIENCE TO DEVOTION


After answering in her first novel Experience some burning questions that Pride and Prejudice fans have always asked — just how happy ever after were Elizabeth and Darcy following their wedding? And what became of the other Bennet sisters?—in her upcoming companion novel, Devotion, Meg Kerr continues the story of the Darcy family, with particular attention to Darcy’s younger sister, Georgiana.

While her brother sets out without her knowledge to secure her a husband, Georgiana, upon receipt of a long-delayed letter, embarks on a secret journey—leading to a chance meeting with a charming yet wicked young man with nefarious intentions.

Full of intrigue, romance and humour, Devotion also brings to the forefront stories of some other characters first introduced in Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice, including Caroline Bingley and Pen Harrington, and seamlessly introduces new characters while maintaining the integrity of Austen’s beloved classic tale.

DEVOTION IS OFFICIALLY OUT 18 AUGUST!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

MENDACITY & MOURNING BLOG TOUR - JAN ASHTON, AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY


Hello Jan and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club!
Thanks so much for hosting me here, Maria, and letting me talk a bit about my new, slightly off-kilter romantic comedy, Mendacity & Mourning.

Tell us about Mendacity & Mourning.
Summed up simply: Mildly depressed boy meets lively girl. Each misunderstands the other’s attachment. Gleeful gossip and mendacious mayhem ensue. Many jokes and metaphors are made about fluffy clouds, errant sheep, lumpy heads, creamed turnips, and the importance of Thursdays in marital felicity on the road to their shared happiness. Also, Kitty idolizes Miss Bingley, there is a naughty artist, and the Fitzwilliams are a colorful bunch who enjoy fruit.

Friday, 16 June 2017

THE EXILE BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - DON JACOBSON, BENNET WARDROBE FAQS

Bennet Wardrobe FAQs


Why the Wardrobe as a device to create a story arc in the Pride & Prejudice Universe?

Through my years of reading Jane Austen’s fiction, I found myself gravitating toward the side characters—particularly those in the greatest novel…Mary the moralizing sister…Kitty who coughed and wilted in the glare of her younger sister’s boisterousness…Lydia who was, frankly, just this side of being a slut…Thomas who could have done so much more as a father. 

JAFF writers have sought to carry on the ODC saga by offering the younger sisters their own storylines. Epilogues usually place Mr. Bennet in the bowels of the Pemberley Library. Mrs. Bennet is rarely mentioned—and is often dispatched with a bout of apoplexy.

Monday, 22 May 2017

MODERN PERSUASION BLOG TOUR - SARA MARKS, 10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT CAPTAIN WENTWORTH


1. He’s in the Navy people!  In the Napoleonic era!  If you want to know why that is so awesome, I suggest reading the Horatio Hornblower, Ramage, and Master and Commander series.  

2. Dick Musgrove was clearly a pain in the rear, but Capt. Wentworth made a point of trying to help him.  Even after Dick died (and clearly from his own stupidity), Wentworth is kind to his parents and doesn’t disparage the memory of their son.

3. He is the balance to Anne, she is a woman of thought and he is a man of action.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

THE JANE AUSTEN PROJECT: SIX QUESTIONS FOR AUTHOR KATHLEEN FLYNN

Time travel and Jane Austen. It sounds like the perfect match for an intriguing story. How did you come to write The Jane Austen Project?

Thanks for your kind words, Maria Grazia! I hope people will find it so.  Although it took a long time to write this book, the idea came to me in a flash. One night lying awake I started thinking about Jane Austen: how sad it was that she died so comparatively young, and how unfortunate for scholars that the majority of her letters were destroyed. What a genius she was,  stuck in a time and place with little use for intelligent women, and how frustrating that must have been for her. But what was she really like? I found mself wondering. If only we could build a time machine, and go back and get some answers!
One piece of advice I’ve taken to heart is that you should write the sort of book you want to read, and I’ve always been happiest with  books with fantastical elements, yet grounded in reality, whether historical, mythological or emotional. I am thinking of novels like “The Doomsday Book,” or “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” or “The Golem and the Jinni.” Time travel is a crazy idea, but it seemed like a powerful metaphor about being human. We are all time travelers, but usually it’s a one-way trip.

Before we focus on Jane Austen as a character in your book, could you tell us something more about Liam and Rachel, your time travellers who are lucky enough to meet her?

I’ve always seen Rachel and Liam like characters in one of those screwball comedies from the 1930s – mismatched and sparring, yet with complementary strengths, eventually finding their way to respect and affection. Rachel is a physician, with a love of adventure and of Jane Austen. She’s competent and feisty, not quite prepared for how limiting  it is to be a woman in 1815. Because the story is told in Rachel’s first-person, we see Liam only as Rachel does, and he’s not someone who likes to talk about himself. So part of the story is the unfolding of Liam’s character to Rachel and to the reader. He is an academic who used to be an actor, and despite his reserved nature he’s good at assuming a part. It’s useful in the mission, but it starts to drive Rachel crazy – she wants to know who he “really” is. But how do we ever know that? What does it mean, to know another person, when it is hard even to know ourselves?

Saturday, 22 April 2017

10 DARCY QUESTIONS FOR VICTORIA KINCAID

DARCY’S HONOR

Victoria Kincaid has just released her new Pride and Prejudice Variation, Darcy’s Honor.  

Her imaginative retelling sees Elizabeth Bennet relieved when the difficult Mr. Darcy leaves the area after the Netherfield Ball. But she soon runs afoul of Lord Henry, a Viscount who thinks to force her into marrying him by slandering her name and ruining her reputation.  An outcast in Meryton, and even within her own family, Elizabeth has nobody to turn to and nowhere to go.
Darcy successfully resisted Elizabeth’s charms during his visit to Hertfordshire, but when he learns of her imminent ruin, he decides he must propose to save her from disaster.  However, Elizabeth is reluctant to tarnish Darcy’s name by association…and the viscount still wants her…

Can Darcy save his honor while also marrying the woman he loves?

10 DARCY QUESTIONS FOR VICTORIA KINCAID

I have this set of 10 Darcy Questions in my archive that I find great fun to ask. I thought that after writing several books featuring Mr Darcy as the protagonist, Victoria,   you must have got to know him  very well. Would you mind answering a few questions about our beloved Fitzwilliam? It’s a quick “either …or …”  game.   

 Not at all. That must be fun.

 Thank you, Victoria.  Let's start, then. To you Mr Darcy is …

1.    Proud or prejudiced?

Both.  The first few times I read the book, I thought Darcy was proud and Elizabeth was prejudiced (against Darcy), but I’ve come to realize that they both exhibit pride and prejudice.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

SEARCHING FOR MR TILNEY - JANE ODIWE ANSWERS MY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HERO OF NORTHANGER ABBEY AND HER NEW NOVEL


Jane Odiwe has just released a new book inspired to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey titled “Searching for Mr Tilney” (more about the book below). Loving Mr Tilney immensely, and while waiting to have a copy of the novel in my hands, I thought: “Maybe Jane has found out the answers to my perennial questions about Henry while writing her new book!” So I wrote down a few of my questions and sent them to her and she kindly and generously granted me her thoughtful answers.

What are Henry Tilney’s best qualities, Jane,  and is there anything we didn’t know about him that we could find out reading your new book?

Henry is handsome, intelligent, witty, and fun to be around. Catherine is clearly drawn to these qualities when she first meets him in Bath and delights in his teasing ways. She’s very naïve and inexperienced with men, and when she meets Henry who is seven or eight years her senior, it’s easy to see how the mature young man who can talk about history and art, and readily gives his opinions on many subjects would immediately captivate her.

Searching for Mr Tilney is not a re-telling of Northanger Abbey, but I have four male characters that share some, if not all of Henry’s characteristics. In 1975 Harry is a Theology student who has spent some time travelling in Africa. He meets Caroline, a fashion student who is studying in London and who shares some of Catherine’s naivety and love of Gothic novels. Like Henry, I hope you’ll find Harry charming, witty and lively!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

THE JANE AUSTEN PORTRAIT BASED ON SOURCE MATERIALS AND FORENSIC METHODS


Introduction


Melissa Dring
(by David Baldock, the Director of the Jane Austen Centre Bath)
In 2001, Melissa Dring was commissioned by David Baldock, the Director of the Jane Austen Centre, Bath, to produce a new portrait of the author, as she might have appeared during her time in Bath, 1801-06.
Combining the insights of the professional portrait painter with those of the police forensic artist, Melissa was uniquely qualified to accept this challenge.
David Baldock had heard of her work on a speculative likeness of the Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi. A film producer, wanting a likeness to use as a casting aid for a proposed film biography of the composer, and feeling it was a job for a forensic artist, had approached Scotland Yard, who recommended Melissa.
The difficulty with both commissions was their shared lack of reliable contemporary portraiture, although a wealth of written eye-witness accounts survive in both cases.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

LINDA BEUTLER LAUNCHES MY MR DARCY & YOUR MR BINGLEY BLOG TOUR WITH A BRILLIANT VIGNETTE + GIVEAWAY



Greetings again, Maria Grazia, and thank you infinitely for hosting the My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley blog tour—it’s first stop, too, you brave lady! It is a pleasure to be back at My Jane Austen Book Club. Hard to believe we met here four years ago, for the debut of The Red Chrysanthemum! You have requested I share an unpublished vignette from my new novel with your readers, and since you and I both adore Colonel Fitzwilliam, I offer this little scene. (I’ll just mention I gave the dear colonel the Christian name Alexander in my third novel, A Will of Iron and my best friend loves it so, I’m likely to stick with it, rather than the ubiquitous “Richard”.)

To set the scene, we have the Colonel heading to bed in the room saved for him at Darcy House. He and Darcy suffered a less than enjoyable evening at the London theatre in a box adjoining that used by the Gardiners and their guests, Jane and Elizabeth Bennet. It is about ten days since the contretemps between Darcy and Elizabeth at Hunsford. The colonel has been scolding Darcy, but has now retired from that particular field of battle.

Monday, 3 April 2017

THE DARCY MONOLOGUES BLOG TOUR - CHRISTINA BOYD LAUNCHES THE TOUR AT MY JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB & ... MUCH MORE!


Thank you, Maria Grazia, for inviting us to launch the blog tour for my latest project, The Darcy Monologues, here at My Jane Austen Book Club. Similar to your own lovely blog, Austen’s brooding hero has an audience of devoted readers that spans from one corner of the world to another, making it an absolute pleasure to share this collection with your readers and connect with people all over the world who have the same deep and abiding love for Mr. Darcy.

Christina Boyd
When my Dreamcast of Austenesque authors joined me in creating this collection, I knew I had a singular opportunity to collaborate on this collection of fifteen short stories. Since I have fangirled each and every one of these talented authors for quite some time now, we decided to turn the spotlight back onto them, as I have asked each author to join us as they fangirl one another throughout this blog tour. It is with the greatest pleasure that I thank you and your readers for allowing me to share with the world this anthology of Austenesque stories all told from the point-of-view of the most tolerable man in all of England!

I hope everyone who joins us for this tour finds delight in these author spotlights, the multimedia touches we’ve included for your everyone’s reading pleasures, and the fabulous grand prizes, which have been generously donated by this amazing group of authors. I can’t thank them enough for taking part with me in this exciting endeavor! Please allow me to introduce The Darcy Monologues.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

JANE AUSTEN IN THE WORLD - ENGIN INEL HOLMSTROM, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE WITH A TURKISH TWIST


Hi Maria Grazia,

So glad in your interest in my new novel House of Daughters -- a retelling of Pride and Prejudice with a Turkish twist. Here’s how it happened.

Would you believe it, that when I first read Pride and Prejudice as a sophomore at the American College for Girls in Istanbul, Turkey, I had to look up the dictionary definitions of “pride” and “prejudice”? My English was that bad then. So, I missed most of Jane Austen’s exquisite darts at the frailties of human behavior but I definitely got the basic story of a spirited girl putting a proud man in his place and taming him! Since then, I’ve read the book at least once every year and each time I find something new that puts a big appreciative smile on my face.

House of Daughters is my second novel. Waiting for an inspiration to start me on my writing journey, it was not surprising that I’d think about my favorite characters, Elizabeth and Darcy.  During the last three decades or so, retelling the story of Elizabeth and Darcy has become very popular as your blog site proves, but so far, no one had dared to imagine them as Turks! So, I said to myself, “why not? Austen’s love story is universal. Let’s see what happens!”

The setting I chose was 1920’s Turkey. The Ottoman Empire was dying. Istanbul was occupied by the British, and the nationalists were busy founding a new republic in Anatolia. This was a turbulent period in Turkish history and it gave me lots of opportunities to get my Turkish versions of Jane Austen’s beloved characters out of the drawing room and into the fray of social, cultural, and political change. 

Monday, 27 March 2017

THE DARCY MONOLOGUES - COVER REVEAL BLITZ & GIVEAWAY


Welcome to our cover reveal blitz, dear readers! The Darcy Monologues will be out soon, on May 22nd,  but we are here to anticipate the release with an exciting event including a great giveaway contest too.
The amazing cover art is the genius of Shari Ryan of MadHat Books. She took the cover concept and created exactly as I envisioned. Shari professionally, quickly, and concisely handled my countless questions, suggestions, and “just one more tweak” in the challenging format of the print interior—even had a special script code written to make it happen. And then when the original concept had to be scrapped because of the print-on-demand company’s limitations that were beyond our control (long, convoluted story only to be shared over strong cocktails), Shari AGAIN created the present cover and interior for both print and e-book. I could not recommend her expertise more!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

JANE AUSTEN FOR CHILDREN. ALICE CHANDLER, AUNT JANE AND THE MISSING CHERRY PIE

Jane Austen has been part of my life ever since I read Pride and Prejudice as a book-loving child. The book-loving child grew up to be an English professor, and I’ve taught Jane Austen, written about Jane Austen, and lectured abroad about Jane Austen. Currently, I am giving a Jane Austen course at our local senior citizens’ center.

But what to do about my granddaughter Dana? How could I introduce her to the author I loved and give her at least a sense of what Jane Austen was like? I thought Dana would like a story about Jane Austen, if only I could find the right format for it.

My first decision was borrowed straight from Stephanie Barron, whose Jane Austen mysteries I so much enjoyed. Mine would be a mystery story, too—only at a child’s level rather than an adult’s. That was how the mystery of “Aunt Jane and the Missing CherryPie” originated.

My next decision was deciding who should be the narrator. Jane Austen lived surrounded by visiting nieces and nephews—some, very sadly, because they needed childcare after their mothers had died in childbirth. (Four of Jane Austen’s sisters-in-law died in this way—two after the birth of their eleventh child.) We know from Jane Austen’s nephew that she told “the most delightful stories, chiefly of fairyland, and her fairies had all characters of their own.” We also know that she wrote what she called Miscellaneous Morsels for her brother James’s daughter. So, Jane-Anna-Elizabeth Austen (always called Anna) became the narrator of my story.

Monday, 20 March 2017

FIFTY SHADES OF PRIDE & PREJUDICE

Does it make sense? No? Well, it makes fun!

Fifty Shades of Pride and Prejudice? Does something like that make sense? I mean, really? A mash –up of Fifty Shades of Grey and Pride and Prejudice? Improbable.  That was my first thought. But, then, I decided to have a look at the video and it was a parody  and  I had to admit that if it didn’t  -probably - make SENSE  it made good FUN.

The trailer parody runs 1:55 and stars Jason Michael Snow (Book of Mormon on Broadway) and Nicole Wyland (Video Game High School) as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett and was written by Los-Angeles based comedy writers Caitlin Cohen (Dead State) and Heidi Lux (Reductress). 

Now, try it yourself!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

MISTRESS BLOG TOUR LAUNCH. AUTHOR GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: MASCULINITY IN THE REGENCY

Sophie Turner: Masculinity in the Regency

Good morning, Maria Grazia, and thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful blog. I am thrilled to launch the blog tour for my latest release, Mistress, here at My Jane Austen Book Club. Today I wanted to share with you and your readers a post about one of my favorite Austen heroes, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Like quite a few women, I was mildly horrified by the New York Times article that envisioned Mr. Darcy as a pale, rather thin man with powdered hair. Horrified, and a little perplexed.

Darcy from the study mentioned in the article, vs., of course, Colin Firth’s portrayal

Assuming the 1811 timeline of Pride and Prejudice, Darcy was better than 15 years past when hair powder was common. Following a tax on hair powder in 1795, use fell off rapidly. It’s pretty possible that Darcy might never have used hair powder at all, and I can see no way that an 1811 Darcy would have had powdered hair.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

SHANNON WINSLOW PRESENTS LEAP OF HOPE FROM HER NEW CROSSROADS COLLECTION


Leap of Hope: Write What You Love
Who hasn’t wondered at least once how life would have changed by making an alternate choice at some crucial moment in the past? Where would you be today if you’d turned right instead of left at an important crossroads or been able to sidestep a particular misfortune? Or perhaps you’ve daydreamed about a different life altogether, in a different place and time.
That’s what the stories of my new Crossroads Collection are all about: turning points, possibilities, and second chances. Each book features a new hero/heroine who’s given the extraordinary gift of a second chance at life, the chance to answer for themselves the intriguing question “what if?” The first two books feature Ben Lewis (a struggling minor-league baseball player) and Hope O’Neil (an Austen-obsessed college student). Their contrasting personalities and choices take them on radically different adventures. 

Maria Grazia has graciously offered to host both these new novels on blog tour today – Leap of Hope here, and Leap of Faith over at FLY HIGH!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

CAROLINE BY SUE BARR: BLOG TOUR LAUNCH, DREAMCASTING & GIVEAWAY


Good morning, Maria Grazia, and thank you for hosting the launch post of my first JAFF blog tour for my latest release, Caroline, Pride & Prejudice Continued… Book One. As you can tell from the title, I wrote a book about the much vilified Caroline Bingley and provided her with a new romantic interest. In light of this venture, I wanted to share with readers my very own Dreamcast for my story. What fun it was to put this eclectic group of actors together, (read that as much time spent on Google, sighing over images of handsome men), and I hope it leaves readers with the desire to learn more about my merry troupe characters!

I have written other romance stories, but this is my first foray into the Regency era and with this in mind, I wanted to convey a sense of who these characters are with regard to their looks as well as in their own styles. Pride and Prejudice has been adapted for the screen and stage so many times, that I think that most Austen fans have in their minds a version of each central character that is influenced by these adaptations, as well as created from the images based on their own various reading experiences. It is my hope that my Dreamcast resonates with the readers of Caroline and helps them to create their own lovely images of these characters throughout the story!

“Books belong to their readers.” John Green

Friday, 10 March 2017

MARINA CANO, JANE AUSTEN AND PERFORMANCE - THE 'PERFORMATIVE POTENTIAL' BEHIND AUSTEN WORKS

Dr Marina Cano has just published a very interesting study of Austen’s work and its afterlives. One chapter is dedicated to Jane Austen Fans; that is why I heard of Marina and her research before the book came out. She contacted me for her survey: am I not a truly devoted Austen fan who has the luck and joy to know a lot of truly devoted Austen fans?

I’m truly glad now to present the final work, Jane Austen and Performance, and to introduce  Dr Marina Cano  to you and let you discover more about her research in her own words.  She took some time to answer some questions and here’s the resulting interview.

When and How did you discover Jane Austen?

Like many of the fans who so generously answered my survey, I came to Austen through the film adaptations. In my case, it was Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995)—with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, etc.—that made the trick. From there, I went to the novels—and more films!—Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion...And the rest is history!

How do you explain her being the most beloved author in English Literature?

This is the ultimate question I try to address in my book Jane Austen and Performance: I examine the “performative potential” behind her texts—in other words, her ability to make things happen. Readers “perform” her novels and her stories; they inhabit her characters on every reading, or every time they watch one of the film or stage adaptations, or revisit her stories in any way. And this does have an effect on people’s lives; it changes things, as so many of the wonderful respondents to my survey made clear. It might happen to some extent with other authors but not as much; I think it is what makes Jane Austen so special in English literature.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - MANSFIELD PARSONAGE BY KYRA C. KRAMER + EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Fans of Jane Austen will recognise the players and the setting – Mansfield Park has been telling the story of Fanny Price and her happily ever after for more than 200 years. But behind the scenes of Mansfield Park, there’s another story to be told. Mary Crawford’s story.

When her widowed uncle made her home untenable, Mary made the best of things by going to live with her elder sister, Mrs Grant, in a parson’s house the country. Mansfield Parsonage was more than Mary had expected and better than she could have hoped. Gregarious and personable, Mary also embraced the inhabitants of the nearby Mansfield Park, watching the ladies set their caps for her dashing brother, Henry Crawford, and developing an attachment to Edmund Bertram and a profound affection for his cousin, Fanny Price.

Mansfield Parsonage retells the story of Mansfield Park from the perspective of Mary Crawford’s hopes and aspirations and shows how Fanny Price’s happily-ever-after came at Mary’s expense.
Or did it?

Praise for the book

This book captures Austen’s voice with a fascinating point of view."” – Maria Grace, Author of "Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World"

Friday, 3 February 2017

DARCY'S HOPE AT DOWNWELL ABBEY BLOG TOUR - 5 DARCY QUESTIONS FOR AUTHOR GINGER MONETTE

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Hello Ginger and welcome back! This time we'll focus on Mr Darcy. You’ve imagined him as a man living and fighting during the Great War in your Darcy’s Hope saga. Is he very different or slightly different from the Austen hero we met in Pride and Prejudice?

Only slightly different. The realisation that Regency Era Fitzwilliam Darcy could have dined with the Edwardian Era Crawleys at Downton Abbey with little change in decorum was one of the things that sparked inspiration for Darcy’s Hope.
I’ve written Darcy’s temperament as essentially the same. He’s just exchanged his frock coat for an officer’s tunic, added a telephone and bathroom to Pemberley, and become comfortable calling his friends by their Christian name. But he’s still the brooding, taciturn, yet sensitive and romantic landowner of Pemberley that we all love.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON ... SNOWBOUND AT HARTFIELD BY MARIA GRACE + GIVEAWAY


One of the things I love about Jane Austen’s characters is that they stay with you long after you’ve read the book. They become like old friends and you wonder how they would get along if they met each other. Of course, it might be challenging to manage to get them all together for tea, or better yet a house party, but it certainly would make for a fascinating time.

In Snowbound at Hartfield, a freak blizzard is just the thing to strand the Darcy party, including the Darcys, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Bennet, and Sir Walter Elliot’s party at Hartfield with Emma and George Knightley. Though Knightley has Emma’s assurances that she is finished with matchmaking, can she really resist the temptation their guests provide?

Maria Grace


 About the book: Snowbound at Hartfield  

Colonel Fitzwilliam should have been happy facing retirement. No more Napoleon, no more tromping the Continent, and his distant cousin had unexpectedly left him an estate. What was more, two of his favorite people, Darcy and Elizabeth, were travelling with him to visit his new home.

But the colonel wasn’t happy, not when he was forced to watch Darcy exchanging enamored glances with his wife. No, he wanted to pitch his cousin out the window. It didn’t help when Darcy kept lecturing him on the joys of wedded life— as if women like Elizabeth Darcy grew on every tree.