Wednesday, 23 July 2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... HOPE & SENSIBILITY BY P.O DIXON + DOUBLE BOOK GIVEAWAY


From the Author


Anyone who read and enjoyed He Taught Me to Hope will recall the story ended with a lovely little epilogue. It told of the Darcys’ happily ever after: how Darcy’s love for Ben was as great as if they were of the same blood, and how he had given Ben more than a home; he had given him a loving family such as Ben truly had never known.

I supposed at the time that was the end of the story. As more and more readers began embracing the story, not only did they find themselves falling in love with Darcy and Elizabeth all over again, many hearts and imaginations were also captured by young Ben, the precocious child who fancied himself Sir Lancelot and Darcy, King Arthur. So many of Ben’s adoring fans insisted the Darcys’ story continue, and I listened.


The Book


Hope and Sensibility (Darcy and the Young Knight’s Quest, Book 3)

Being the new father of a precocious little boy is but one of the challenges Darcy faces in this delightful sequel to He Taught Me to Hope. Extended family and friends—old and new—also demand their share of attention.

Join Darcy, Elizabeth, and Ben on a diverting adventure, which picks up where The Mission (Book 2 in the Darcy and the Young Knight’s Quest series) ends. Travel with them to Kent, and then Hertfordshire, and finally back to Derbyshire and enjoy young Ben's exploits along the way.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

JANE AUSTEN IN THE WORLD - A JANE AUSTEN BALL IN HUNGARY: MEET MOLNAR JULIA DORA

Mòlnar Jùlia Dòra
Confessions of a late Janeite

For a long time I didn’t consider myself as a Jane Austen fan – a Janeite as I learned the term a few months ago. Of course I knew the books, or at least I heard about them. But – the moment of truth – I was about 16 when I first saw (saw, not read) the Sense and Sensibility. The Emma Thompson/Kate Winslet movie. And I loved it. But still, the great recognition, the falling in love was still missing. I mean yes, Willoughby was handsome and I admire Alan Rickman, but come on... Neither of them is Darcy, am I right?

So I needed a few more years for The Day to come... My sister showed me the Pride and Prejudice. THE Pride and Prejudice. The BBC one. With Colin. And Jennifer Ehle. And I fell in love. Not just with Darcy, but with the whole ... Austen World! The atmosphere, the characters, the dresses, the balls, the story amazed me and I thought how wonderful it would be to relive or at least try to reproduce the Jane Austen era atmosphere.

After I got hooked,  I not only watched the series many, many times, but I showed the episodes to my best friends, and read the book in Hungarian and in English as well, and read many others and I discovered other writers. By the way my sister’s favourite is  Wives and Daughters (also BBC with Justine Waddell) from Elizabeth Gaskell's novel, but I don’t argue, because I love that too. So I think I can say that slowly but surely now I understand a little more about the regency era.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

LOVELY JANEITES: MEET ABIGAIL BOK, AUTHOR

First and foremost, I’d like to express my appreciation to Maria Grazia for so graciously inviting me to post as a guest on her fabulous Web site!

My life in Austen began at age thirteen. Someone gave me a one-volume collection of all six novels, and in an idle moment, I started to read. I kept going, and going, till I had read all thousand-plus pages. Then I went back to page 1 and started again. Five times before I could be torn away to read anything else.

Like so many Janeites, I’ve often thought about why her work so obsessed me, and I think I have an answer, at least for myself. At that point in my life, I spent night after night attempting to construct a viable plan for how I could survive after running away from my guardian. As it turned out, I never did run away, because I never came up with a plan that seemed realistic. For me, Jane Austen was never about the romance (though that part is a lot of fun!)—her books have always been about how a young woman, finding herself in a world in which she is completely powerless, crafts a future that offers her security without loss of integrity. It’s about how you find that one place where you belong.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

WRITING GEORGE WICKHAM, GUEST POST BY GAIL McEWEN - STRONGER EVEN THAN PRIDE BLOG TOUR

  
According to Newton’s Third Law of Fiction, for every protagonist there is an equal and opposite antagonist. The truth is immutable, but it’s the ‘equal and opposite’ part that gets a little tricky.

Clever got me this far
And tricky got me in

You see, though I dearly love to read action adventures, Stronger Even Than Pride is a character driven story—no one is abducted by pirates, contracts amnesia or time travels through a portal into another dimension in its universe. Instead, I wanted to explore how Jane Austen’s obstinate and headstrong Elizabeth and proud and aloof Darcy would fare if one small but significant detail in their journey to self-knowledge was changed: Elizabeth does not read the letter Darcy presses upon her in the grove at Rosings Park. And with that one alteration, the entire progression of the story changes: Darcy’s Hunsford Awakening is interrupted and Elizabeth’s “till this moment I never knew myself” realization never takes place. Instead, each goes about his or her way, every bit as flawed and mistaken as ever. So I had to spend a lot of time thinking… trying to get into their heads to figure out how my un-Hunsfordised protagonists would behave and react to each other and their choices.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... 'JANE AUSTEN AND NAMES' BY MAGGIE LANE + GIVEAWAY

"They say his name is Henry. A proof of how unequally the gifts of Fortune are bestowed — I have seen many a John & Thomas much more agreeable. " (from J. Austen,  Letters)

What's in a name? According to William Shakespeare - or better his Juliet -  not so much, "That which we call a rose. by any other name would smell as sweet". But Maggie Lane thinks otherwise and has researched the importance given to names by Jane Austen, especially in her mature work. That means Ms Lane focuses her analysis on the major six novels: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. 
In the six sections of the book, the author proposes interesting reflections, comparisons and analysis related to the use of names in history, in Jane Austen's time and in Jane Austen's most famous novels: A Brief History of Names, Naming Patterns and Practices, The Use of Christian Names, Jane Austen's Feeling For Names, Names in the Novels of Jane Austen: An Alphabetical Index.
Take your chances to win 1 of the 5 ebook copies I was kindly granted  to give away among you readers. It's a precious addition to any Austenite's collection! Check out the giveaway contest in the rafflecopter form below this post.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

TALKING JANE AUSTEN WITH ... SARAH PRICE, AUTHOR OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS, AN AMISH ADAPTATION OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

Join Sarah Price and me in our "Talking Jane Austen Session" and take your chances to win her retelling of Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions. 5 ebook copies for 5 lucky winners! Check out the rafflecopter form below this post. 

Hello and welcome, Sarah. It's a great pleasure to make your acquaintance and present you to our Austenite friends here at My Jane Austen Book Club. My first question for you is: Why Jane Austen? I mean, what  are  the reasons  of the appeal  of Jane Austen’s world for the  21st century reader?

I’ve always been a reader as well as a writer. I read Jane Austen’s books so many times over the years, starting as a young girl. In today’s world, I believe more people are starting to read again after a lull. However, I also believe that in the world of 140 characters or less statuses, we have lost an appreciation of the classics. Many of my regular readers have not read books like Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility. This was my way of blending my love for the classics with my deep appreciation of the Amish. It was a way of showing readers that the themes in Jane Austen’s books transcend far beyond one particular time period. It was also my way of introducing my Amish genre readers to Jane Austen and vice versa. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

THE JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL AT LOCUST GROVE, LOUISVILLE - REGISTRATION OPENS TODAY!


Beautiful Locust Grove, the Georgian farm that hosts the Jane Austen Festival, awaits.  It is not hard to imagine you have stepped into Meryton, the fictional village of Pride & Prejudice.  Inside the home, a beautiful array of Regency fashions will be on display as well as a bobbin lace making demonstration (Mr. Bennet will ignore this we are sure).  In the basement/cellar, Commonstock Entertainment will be performing shadow puppet shows.  The restored house itself is a wonder to behold.


We are pleased to say THE BRITISH ARE COMING, THE BRITISH ARE COMING  to the Jane Austen Festival!  Jo Baker, author of LONGBOURN, will join us Saturday to talk about her book.  Ever wonder what Hill thought of Lizzie's petticoat 6 inches deep with mud.. read Longbourn and know!

Our other author from across the pond is...

Sunday, 1 June 2014

MARY RIZZA, CHARLOTTE'S WEDDING: A 21st CENTURY JANE AUSTEN NOVEL + GIVEAWAY

Discovering Jane Austen when you are young is a particular pleasure. Not only can you delight in the stories and the characters, but you are also guided by the author’s voice as to exactly what to make of them.
When I first read the novels, I shared Austen's scornful attitude to the snobbishness and vulgarity of Mrs Elton in Emma. I winced at Emma's self-delusion. I derided the vain Sir Walter in Persuasion. I rooted for the meek and overlooked Fanny in Mansfield Park.
And how I mocked Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice for her limited intelligence and lack of judgement. As for Charlotte Lucas in the same novel – I shared Elizabeth's opinion of her. How could she marry such man as Mr Collins?
Really, I thought, with the certainty of youth, Charlotte is letting down women everywhere. She sacrifices self-respect for the sake of a comfortable home, I thought, with the smugness of one who had yet to fend for herself in the world.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

SPOTLIGHT ON ... MONICA FAIRVIEW'S MR DARCY'S PLEDGE + GIVEAWAY

Mr Darcy's Pledge

Torn between his heart and his mind… Mr. Darcy must make a choice.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has always been able to keep his emotions under control. That is, until he falls under the spell of Elizabeth Bennet and surprises himself by blurting out a proposal to her like a moonstruck youth. Stung to the quick by her rejection, his pride in tatters, and left with no possibility that she will ever return his regard, Darcy determines to put all thoughts of Elizabeth behind him. But not even Town with its boundless opportunities for amusement can keep the image of Elizabeth Bennet from pursuing him everywhere he goes.

By the time Darcy leaves Town to travel up to Pemberley, he has learned one thing. There is only one way of overcoming Miss Bennet’s bewitching hold over him and Darcy is desperate enough to try it. The solution is to get married. And this time, he is not going to choose a wife by allowing his emotions to lead him by the nose.

His choice will be entirely rational…

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - FATE & GHOST STORIES, KARALYNNE MACKRORY PRESENTS HER HAUNTING MR DARCY

Hello Janeites!

                I read a survey recently that said over 72 % of Americans believe a supernatural power directs the events of their lives: that good or bad, it is all part of that supernatural power’s plan.  The Greeks had their own set of Gods that they believed did just that too.  They were called the three Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They chose when someone was born, what major events happened in their life, and when and in what manner they were to die. 
                I read another survey said that 48% of Americans believe in ghosts with an overwhelming majority (78%) believing that there is life after death.
                So with nearly equal amounts of people believing the events of their lives are designed by a supreme being also believing that they will live after of their bodies die – I got an idea.  It was absolutely absurd and so unbelievable.  At best, it was a stretch of the imagination.  It was … it was absolutely perfect for literatures best couple.  For what two persons were more fated for each other, more designed by destiny to be together than Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy?

Monday, 5 May 2014

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: A NOVEL OF OLD BOOKS, UNEXPECTED LOVE, AND JANE AUSTEN - COVER REVEAL

This lovely new book inspired to Jane Austen's work will be out on October 16, 2014. Looking forward to reading it! Meanwhile, let's have a look at its cute cover and at the book blurb.



Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.

In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.


First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen (Viking; October 16, 2014; 978-0-525-42724-7)

Monday, 28 April 2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY - PREJUDICE MEETS PRIDE BY RACHAEL ANDERSON

Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson Book CoverPrejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome new neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Fun, compelling, and romantic, Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

DEAD WRITERS THEATER PRESENTS MICHAEL BLOOM'S ADAPTATION OF EMMA IN CHICAGO

Most readers prefer Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility, but critics generally regard Emma as Austen's most carefully crafted or skillfully written novel. 
Austen herself acknowledged that Emma might present a problem for readers, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." And much about Emma is indeed unlikable; she is snobbish, vain, manipulative, power-hungry, self-deluded, often indifferent to the feelings of others, and on at least one occasion terribly cruel. 
Does the comedy of watching Emma the Egoist get her comeuppance through a series of errors and admit she deserved her comeuppance make her likable? Although Emma knows what the right thing to do is, she still behaves badly; does this all too common human trait make her sympathetic because readers can identify with her?

Saturday, 19 April 2014

TALKING JANE AUSTEN WITH ... VICTORIA KINCAID: THE SECRETS OF DARCY AND ELIZABETH. WIN ONE OF THREE EBOOK COPIES!

My special guest for these Easter holidays is Victoria Kincaid, author of The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth. Victoria has a Ph.D. in English literature and has taught composition to unwilling college students. Today she teaches business writing to willing office professionals and tries to give voice to the demanding cast of characters in her head. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two children who love to read, and an overly affectionate cat. A lifelong Jane Austen fan, Victoria confesses to an extreme partiality for the Colin Firth miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice.
You'll find updating about her writing and releases at her site. You can purchase her Pride and Prejudice variation here. There's a giveaway contest for 3 ebook copies below this post, it is open internationally, so,  please, take your chances.  Good luck and Happy Easter time, everyone!
Maria Grazia

Jane Austen and the 21st century. She lives in book clubs, conversations, sequels and movie adaptations. Do you think she has travelled through the centuries unchanged?

I think how we view Jane Austen changes constantly because our culture is always in flux.  If you look at the 1940 version of P&P, it’s quite different from any Austen adaptation today because they were focused on different aspects of her work.  She’s enjoying a surge in popularity today because particular aspects of her writing are particularly appealing to our culture at this moment.  I guess I would say that Austen hasn’t changed, but how we see her changes quite a bit.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

ON JANE AUSTEN AND ACTIVE VOLCANOS. MEET JOY DAWN KING, WIN HER "A FATHER'S SINS" + AMAZON GIFT CARDS

Welcome to our online club, Joy.  I'm really glad you accepted to be my guest at My Jane Austen Book Club and I'm so curious to discover more about  you and your debut novel, A Father's Sins!

Thank you so much for inviting me Maria. This has been an exciting adventure for me, both in writing, publishing, and promoting my book “A Father’s Sins” and in learning the finer points of modern technology. In the last three weeks I’ve Twittered, Googled, Blogged, and posted more than I have in the 57 years before that time and I do not think it will stop now that I have started.

Your book was released on March 22nd of this year. What has been the biggest change so far?

It is funny that you should ask that, Maria. My husband and I had just been discussing that very question. I think the biggest change is the number of my friends that want to tell me the stories that they have been thinking of writing or those that ask for help to get published. This is delightful to me because I love to hear what goes through the minds of the people that I am around. The tales vary so much. Other Jane Austen fans seem to be pouring out of the woodwork and the support I am getting from friends, family, and even complete strangers is phenomenal. My circle of friends is certainly much wider now than it was before publishing.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

BLOG TOUR: SPOTLIGHT ON ... JAN HAHN, THE SECRET BETROTHAL + DOUBLE BOOK GIVEAWAY

  


Why would a gentleman ask a lady to conceal their betrothal?

Jane Austen writes of secret engagements in more than one of her novels, and in The Secret Betrothal, author Jan Hahn explores the question of what would happen if Austen’s most famous heroine from Pride and Prejudice reluctantly agrees to accept such a proposal.
When Fitzwilliam Darcy learns that Elizabeth Bennet has committed herself to such an arrangement, his hopes of winning her hand are shattered.  After circumstances continue to bring the two together—from Hertfordshire to Rosings Park to the seaside town of Brighton―he finds he is unable to tame his desire for the woman who has stolen his heart.
Will Darcy’s efforts to win Elizabeth succeed, or will his sworn enemy lead her to the altar?

Saturday, 5 April 2014

LOVELY JANEITES - DONNA FLETCHER CROW, WRITER: JANE AUSTEN & ME. GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY

Donna Fletcher Crow at the Jane Austen Centre - Bath
Hello dear Janeites and readers of My Jane Austen Book Club. Happy weekend to all! I'm here to introduce you a new friend and lovely Janeite: Donna Fletcher Crow, author of Jane Austen Encounter. There are 3 free ebook copies for you to win. Take your chances in the rafflecopter form below after reading Donna's guest post and good luck! Many grateful thanks to Donna for being our guest and for granting us the copies to give away.
Maria Grazia

I’ve been a Janeite longer than most of my readers have been alive. It all began my sophomore year in high school when my English teacher, little Mr. Hodgsen— who looked like Charlie Chaplin— knew me better than I knew myself and insisted that I delve into the English classics—while everyone else in my class was allowed to choose their own reading. I’ve never looked back. Nor have I ever quit saying thank you to Mr. Hodgsen because my love for Jane Austen has grown and flowered for more than half a century.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! JANE AUSTEN AND HER MOTHERS

Alison Steadman as Mrs Bennet (1995)
Today is Mother's Day in the UK, Jane Austen's country, and author Victoria Grossack wants to celebrate it with us,  sharing this brilliant post about Jane Austen's   mothers. Thank you so much, Victoria!

Jane Austen is celebrated for many things: her wit, her irony, her insight into the human heart, her romances, and her skill in creating characters.  This article looks at Jane Austen’s mothers, the ones she brought to life in her stories.

The mothers in Jane Austen’s novels differ in each book.  In part this is due to her mastery of characters – they are all unique and three-dimensional – but they also reflect Jane Austen and her own development as a person and an author.  Jane Austen had two main writing periods.  When she was young, before 1800, she wroteNorthanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.  These books were not published until later, and certainly they were revised, but the mothers in them reflect the author’s youthful attitude.  Between 1800 and 1809 Jane did not produce much, mostly because her life was unsettled.The novels that she wrote later, after finding a new home in Chawton – MansfieldPark, Emma and Persuasion– show motherhood with greater maturity.

Friday, 21 March 2014

LOVELY JANEITES: MEET RENEE DIGGS AND WIN MR DARCY & ELIZABETH NECKLACES


Happy Spring Day, darling readers. What's better than meeting a new lovely Janeite and try to win one of her cute creations? Read Renee Cohen Diggs's blogpost, welcome her  and ... good luck in the giveaway contest. The details are in the post. To enter, use the rafflecopter form below, please.

Greetings Lovely Janeites and thank you so much Maria Grazia for inviting me to post in your amazing blog.


My first encounter
with Jane Austen was when I read Pride and Prejudice in high school. It wasn’t until years later when I saw the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice that I developed a passion for her novels. At the risk of sounding a bit shallow, Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy may have had a hand in rekindling my interest! Or, was it Captain Wentworth’s proposal letter to Anne Elliot at the end of Persuasion that sealed the deal? Whatever the reason, I began reading her books, and following film adaptations of her novels and one day I realized I wanted more. I wanted to create 
something visual and more tangible from this experience. I am an artist and a graphic designer and I decided to use my skills to create digital illustrations based on Jane Austen characters. My illustrations are silhouettes influenced by Austen characters depicted in film, however, I wanted to convey more about the time period in my work so details of clothing are reversed in each piece. Quotes are included with the characters. Some were quotes I loved from the very beginning, but I find myself going back to her books looking for pieces of conversation I may have missed. I have even had people email me at my shop 10 Camelia Way to include their favorite quotes in my pieces. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

BLOG TOUR - CONSEQUENCES BY C.P. ODOM, A NEW VARIATION OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE BY MERITON PRESS


Hello,  Janeite friends! 

I hope that you're fine and merry wherever you are and , especially, that you are ready to join today's guest at My Jane Austen Book Club, C.P. Odom. Let's discuss his new variation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Consequences. Looking forward to reading your comments to the guest post and to the excerpt from Consequences!

C. P. Odom
My second novel, Consequences, was recently published by Meryton Press, and Maria Grazia has been gracious enough to invite me to talk about it.  Both it and my first novel, A Most Civil Proposal, are variations on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Essentially, they are “what if” stories, which look at how things might have turned out if some element of the story went in a different direction.  A Most Civil Proposal pivoted around Darcy making a more civil proposal at Hunsford rather than the proud and arrogant proposal as in the book.  Would that really lead the story in a different direction and, if so, how would events transpire?  The critical point in Consequences is Elizabeth Bennet’s angry and vituperative rejection of Darcy’s proposal.  The book has two parts resulting from differing consequences resulting from that critical decision.

I’ve read most of Austen’s other novels, but Pride and Prejudice is the one that continues to call to me.  Both my two novels came into the world as fan-fiction postings on the old Hyacinth Gardens website.  I kind of stumbled into reading and then writing Jane Austen fan-fiction by accident, resulting from reading my first wife’s beloved Jane Austen’s books following her untimely passing almost twenty years ago.  I’m continually surprised to find myself writing in this arena—after all, as a long-time left-brained engineer by training and a former Marine by inclination, one would think my writing efforts would be in something other than Jane Austen’s world.  But life is always full of surprises, isn’t it?