Friday, 27 March 2015


From the Author

I am happy for the chance to visit My Jane Austen Book Club once again to share an excerpt from my newest release, So Far Away. Thank you so much, Maria Grazia!

In Lady Elizabeth: Everything Will Change Book One, Darcy made an astonishing discovery that set him on a course destined to change Elizabeth’s life forever. So Far Away: Everything Will Change Book Two centers upon the aftermath of Darcy’s discovery.

The Book

So Far Away: Everything Will Change Book Two

Now that Elizabeth knows the truth about her past, she has returned to Longbourn. Wanting to reclaim her rightful place in the lives of her Bennet relations, she needs time before considering a life far away in Derbyshire with Mr. Darcy.

He promised he would wait for her for as long as it takes. With so much distance between the two of them the question soon became how long is too long.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


About the Book

Violet Desmond has just learned from her dying grandmother that the life she’s been living is a lie.
Left with only a locket, a newspaper clipping, and a name–Atherton–Violet sets off to discover her hidden personal history.  Simultaneously, the London academic begins to have vivid dreams in which a woman from the past narrates her life story involving the same locket, a secret marriage, and a child. A story intimately connected to Jane Austen.
Violet reluctantly agrees to receive help from cavalier treasure hunter, Peter Knighton. Blacklisted from his profession, Knighton can almost taste the money and accolades he’d receive for digging up something good on Austen; the locket alone is unique enough to be worth plenty to the right collector. It would be enough to get his foot back in the door.
The unlikely pair begin a quest for answers that leads them to Aerendgast Hallows. Knee-deep in hidden crypts, perilous pursuits, and centuries-old riddles, Violet must put her literary expertise to the test as she battles to uncover the secret that her loved ones died trying to reveal, before an unknown enemy silences her as well.

About the author

Rachel was born and raised in Los Angeles, which naturally resulted in a deep love of the UK from an early age. Reading and writing have been favorite pastimes for as long as she can remember. 

Rachel has a BA in English Literature from Scripps College and an MA in London Studies from Queen Mary, University of London. Her focus is 19th century British Literature. She enjoys hiking, musical theatre, fancy water, pilates, vegan baking, good tv and movies, and researching new book ideas!
Jane Austen has always been an author near and dear to Rachel's heart for her ability to tell a story so compelling, it remains relevant hundreds of years later. And for creating Henry Tilney.

Read an excerpt 

Violet walked over the threshold into Winchester Cathedral and instantly recognised it from her many dreams. She could see everything from her visions coming to vivid life around her. The
quiet joy of the secret wedding that happened so long ago still hung in the air, along with the sorrow that Violet knew had almost immediately followed. The building’s beauty and age were awe-inspiring. Violet moved through an arch and into a narrow section off the centre aisle. She put her hand on the ancient walls and let herself feel the cold stone. The room illuminated with images from her visions. She saw Jane and Edward in all stages of their lives floating around her: the wedding,

Monday, 23 February 2015


Are you as curious as I am to discover more about Theo Darcy, Fitzwilliam's brother?  Theo Darcy is everything his disapproving elder brother, Fitzwilliam, is not – easy-going, charming, and full of fun. A tragic event as children severed their bond of friendship, but now they are together again. They are still at odds, though, this time over the love of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and the truth about George Wickham. Will Wickham manage to divide the brothers again? And more importantly, which Mr. Darcy will Elizabeth choose? 

Find out as the two brothers lock horns in this unique Pride & Prejudice variation collectively written by five respected authors: Maria Grace, Abigail Reynolds, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Monica Fairview.

Saturday, 21 February 2015


Hello and welcome, Samantha. It's great to have you here at My Jane Austen Book Club. First of all I'll invite you to tell us something about your writing background 

 I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing, especially fiction.  I come from a family of writers. Both of my grand-fathers wrote nonfiction and my Dad writes both fiction and nonfiction.  In grade six, my teacher gave us a novel-writing project.  I wrote a fantasy story called The Amazing Dollhouse and I’ve been hooked ever since.  English was my favourite subject in junior and senior high and I went on to study journalism and professional writing in college.  I have since self-published seven books and one picture book.

Why do your write Jane Austen-related fiction?

My sister loved the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice as well as the Bridge Jones books and movies.  For her birthday, one year, I thought I would write her a short sequel to Pride and Prejudice.  The planned 20 page story turned into a novel called Expectations and I fell in love with all things Jane Austen.  I loved her books, researching the time period and watching all of the movie and television adaptations.  I was then asked to write a murder mystery tea for our church and chose to do a Jane Austen murder mystery involving six characters from different books.  This led to an interest in Jane Fairfax from Emma which turned into Suspiciously Reserved: A Twist on Jane Austen’s Emma.

Monday, 16 February 2015


Hello dear Austenite friends! I'm really glad and honored to give the start to this great blog tour. 
Award winning historical romance author Julie Klassen tours the blogosphere February 16 through March 2 to share her latest release, The Secret of Pembrooke Park. Twenty five popular book bloggers specializing in historical and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, book reviews and excerpts of this acclaimed gothic Regency romance novel. A fabulous giveaway contest, including copies of all of Ms. Klassen’s eight books and other Jane Austen-themed items, is open to those who join the festivities. 

Inspiration for The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Guest post by Julie Klassen

People often ask me where I find the ideas for my books. And the answer varies. Most ideas have come from research—historical practices, professions, or events that spark the idea for a situation or premise. Some ideas have been inspired by movies I’ve seen, or books I’ve loved, especially those by Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte. Others have come from historic places I’ve visited in England—if only I could travel there more often!

My latest book, The Secret of Pembrooke Park, is about a young woman who moves with her family into a mysterious manor abandoned for eighteen years. With help from a handsome neighbor, she searches the house, hoping to find its secret room and rumored hidden treasure—but finds danger instead. The idea for this setting came from closer to home.

I grew up in rural Central Illinois. We could only see one house from ours, and that was across a field. (I spent a lot of time playing alone as a girl, which likely helped develop my imagination.) About a half mile behind our house was a wood. I liked to walk there, all the while making up stories in my head. In these woods, I stumbled upon an abandoned house. The roof and most of the upper story was gone, but three walls still stood. Through the gaped opening, you could see the entire ground floor, still furnished. A moldering piano listed in one corner, a tattered blue dress hung on the wall, a set of stairs lead upwards to nowhere… Behind the house I discovered a root cellar—a hollowed out mound of earth with stairs leading down into it. Inside there were still shelves filled with mason jars of home-canned peaches and vegetables.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Hi Maria Grazia and thank you so much for inviting me to share a little bit about myself on your blog. I’ve been writing for almost forty years, starting when I was just a little girl when I would write stories about gnomes in little notebooks (which I still have!). I gravitated to writing about the Amish genre because my heritage is Anabaptist and I find the Plain culture fascinating. 
Unfortunately, there is often a misconception that Amish fiction books are poorly written and formula romance. And then there is often a problem concerning many authors’ accuracy of the portrayal of Amish. Many authors do not have first-hand experience with the Amish or readers are basing what they know on “reality” shows. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


BEGINS9:00 a.m. Feb 1, 2015 (US Pacific time)
ENDS11:59 p.m. March 15, 2015 (US Pacific Time)
Meryton Press is conducting a contest to find the best short stories.
The theme of the contest, “Summer Lovin’,” represents the summer season. The interpretation of the theme is left to the writer’s imagination; the story may have summer as a backdrop or may convey a sense of happiness and light. It might be a romantic comedy set in the South Pacific, a thriller in the everglades of Florida, a romance in Queen Victoria’s summer court, an ode to the ocean and Elizabeth Bennet, or a mail -order bride in the Old West—anything your summer muse suggests.
Any genre is acceptable as long as there is ROMANCE. Austenesque is a plus, but is not required. In other words, so long as there is a commonly accepted or acceptable interpretation of the theme embedded in the plot, it works for us. However, this contest is not for children’s stories. Our target audience is readers over 18 years old.
The contest will be judged by a panel of independent judges, and the results will be announced by mid-April 2015.
A long list of entries will be selected for final judging by a panel of expert editors and reviewers. The long list will consist of at least eight quality entries. All entries on the long list will receive a letter with constructive criticism on how the story could have been improved. Four winners will be selected from the long list and will be awarded prizes as detailed in the guidelines below (see “Contest Prizes”).

Saturday, 24 January 2015


About the book 

What's to be done with an angel who breaks the rules? Until then passion had lived only on the page- Jane Austen hasn't written a creative word in months. She secretly fears she may not have it in her to write a single word more about love. Yet when the mysterious Michael Grace appears on her doorstep, she's cast into a world of emotion beyond even her wildest imaginings. Though she fears he might be a spy, she enlists his help to find her friend's fiancee, missing in the Peninsular War. But Michael isn't what he seems, and the passion and doubts he ignites turn everything Jane trusts upside down. What Jane doesn't know is that her mystery man is an angel. One who's never failed to get what he goes after. Some rules just beg to be broken- It's not easy being a bad-boy angel and Michael is paying the penalty. Demoted to working undercover in a sleepy English village, he's chafing to launch the dangerous mission he's been sent to command. But when he meets Jane, he's irresistibly drawn to her, even though involvement with her could jeopardize her life and his status as an angel. When Lucifer tries to use Jane as a pawn in his vile schemes, Michael discovers that fighting the forces of darkness is nothing compared to the challenge of telling Jane the truth. Can the angel who's never lost a battle win the heart of a woman who's afraid of love?

Grab your copy at or in the next 48 hours!

Read my interview with Pamela Aares

Thursday, 22 January 2015


I’m honored to be here at My Jane Austen Book Club to discuss my latest book. Thank you so much, Maria Grazia! I’ve been looking forward to sharing this story with Jane Austen fan fiction readers for quite a while. It’s very different from anything I have written thus far and that’s what makes it so near and dear to my heart.

Lady Elizabeth is a story full of twists and turns, the greatest being Elizabeth’s true identity. Heartrending at times, this Pride and Prejudice ‘what-if’ story has its fair share of heart-warming sentiments as well.

The first of two books in the Everything Will Change Series, Lady Elizabeth promises a happy for now ending. The second book in the series is titled So Far Away. It will be available in late winter 2015.

P. O. Dixon 

The Book

Lady Elizabeth: Everything Will Change (Book One)

Elizabeth lives a charmed life ... or so it seems. Despite her noble relations and all the wealth and privileges entailed, there's something missing.

Sunday, 11 January 2015


Thank you Maria Grazia for hosting me on your blog! It is always a pleasure. I thought I would share a part of my new book, To Refine Like Silver,  that I adore and always makes me giggle. In this scene, Darcy and Elizabeth both end up in the same bookshop in Lambton. Mr. Darcy and Georgiana had been loaned a book of thoughts by Elizabeth and he began to see the benefit of writing his confusing thoughts down. This is the afternoon after the ball at Pemberley where Darcy realized that he loved Elizabeth and also where he made the decision to pursue her. Up to that point, he kept trying to talk himself out of it. Here it is.


“Good afternoon, Miss Elizabeth. What brings you to the Lambton bookshop today?”
            “My aunt has come to Lambton to do some shopping, and I asked her to drop me off here. I could not think of a better way to pass the time than to peruse a bookshop. What brings you here?”
            He lifted the journal. “I suppose my purpose is the same as yours.”
            She reached for the book he had in his hand and asked, “But what have you found that you do not already own?” She flipped through the blank, lined pages and looked with surprised eyes at him. “It is blank. What do you need a blank book for?”
            “I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. Some of my thoughts are circulating through my mind, confusing and elusive, while others are well-formed ideas. Either way, I find I am in need of writing them down.”
            “Well, it is about time.”
            “I do not take your meaning.”

Sunday, 4 January 2015


I want to thank Maria Grazia for hosting me on her blog for my new book, “Pride, Prejudice, and Secrets,” as she did last year for “Consequences.”  To begin with, this novel is a variation on “Pride and Prejudice,” as were my previous two efforts, in that I try to portray what might have happened if a particular decision or even happened differently.  After that point, I try to keep the characters as true to those Austen portrayed as possible.  For example, I would have difficulty writing a variation in which Elizabeth Bennet married George Wickham; it just wouldn’t work for me, for my inner characterization of her would make such an event impossible.  If she would refuse both Mr. Collins and Darcy, then I can conceive of no way she would ever marry Wickham.  I know other authors have taken that path, and, if they made it work, they’re better writers than I am.

Friday, 26 December 2014


Sometimes the courage to face your greatest fears comes only when you've run out of ways to escape.

Hello Katherine and welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club. Your Lizzy & Jane is a revisitation of two Austen heroines  in a present-day urban context. Can you tell us more about the Bennet sisters protagonists of your new novel?

Lizzy and Jane Hughes are a bit more antagonistic than the Bennet sisters. You always get the feeling in P&P that Lizzy and Jane Bennet have “each others backs” and always put the other first. These two have lost some of that, if they ever had it, and need to learn to see and love each other again. So the Lizzy & Jane reference is more how their mother saw them or the dream of what they can become rather than a reflection of who they are.

How much of their original personalities can we still recognize?

Ah… Probably not much at the beginning. Lizzy Hughes may have Lizzy Bennet’s “fine eyes” and sharp wit, but I’d hate to go up against Austen in those categories. At the end, you’ll see more. My sisters begin to understand each other and develop a more playful, loving relationship.

Why did you decide to have Lizzy be a talented chef?
 Food is so relational. I think food first entered the story as a reflection of my family life – and Lizzy working as a chef became an extension of that. We cook every Sunday – almost every day of the week, really. The kitchen is where my family connects, cooks, eats and shares best. It started when we lived in Ireland. We and another family got together every Sunday and cooked multi-course meals that took the whole day, post church, to prepare and enjoy. When we moved back to the States, we continued that tradition ourselves.

Monday, 22 December 2014


Resolved to forget Elizabeth Bennet during a winter in London, Fitzwilliam Darcy writes a letter in bitterness of spirit. Frustrated by her growing obsession with the arrogant man, Elizabeth commits her thoughts to paper. But angry people are not always wise, and secret thoughts do not always remain secret. Compelled to face their selfishness and fears, their actions encourage those dearest to them to change as well.
December 10, 1811
Darcy House, London
8:30 am
Fitzwilliam Darcy tore through the contents of his desk drawer again. I must find it! He lifted every single piece of correspondence from his letter tray. His usual fastidious standards did not help today, as there seemed no hope of finding the object of his search. 
The letter was not on or in his desk, or among his personal files. He considered he may have burned it after all, but soon rejected the notion. His earlier drafts were crumpled and in the waste bin. Surely if he would have burned the final product, he would have burnt all the evidence. He could only face the truth and the likely consequences of his actions. The letter he had written to Miss Elizabeth Bennet the night before had vanished!

Monday, 8 December 2014


I have a soft spot in my heart for historical fiction novels set in England during the Georgian and Regency eras. Why? There are so many reasons, but I’ll condense them down to eight:

1. I love stepping back in time.

Reading a novel set in the past is like discovering your own personal time machine. I love being immersed in all the sights, sounds, and smells of a time gone by, and experiencing, through the characters’ eyes, thoughts, and feelings, what it was like to live in another era. The Georgian and Regency eras are particularly appealing to me because it’s the time in which Jane Austen lived and wrote. Jane grew up during the Georgian era, which began in 1714 and spanned the reigns of the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain who were all named George. The Regency (which we more readily associate with Austen) was a brief sub-period of the Georgian era between 1811 and 1820, when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent

It’s such fun to read about the way people lived then, and to spend time with them in their country houses, where even the poorest of the gentry class had servants to wait on them. Nobody in Austen’s novels is ever seen doing anything we’d recognize today as work. They ride horses, drive in carriages, play cards, play music, sing, read, sew, embroider, draw, paint, hunt, take long walks in the shrubbery, and dance at balls. Of course, it took servants to make all that leisure time possible—but what fun it is to lose ourselves in what seems like a lovely, fairy tale existence.

Thursday, 4 December 2014


“Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on…”
-- Jane Austen’s advice to her niece Anna on writing novels

Ever since I penned my first multi-page story at the age of six, I knew I wanted to be an author. Always drawn to stories set in the past, I loved authors such as Louisa May Alcott and L.M. Montgomery as a girl, before I discovered Jane Austen as a teenager. I felt destined to pen similar stories of love and self-discovery, set in fascinating eras of history.

Despite writing throughout my younger years, I was in my twenties before I knuckled down to finish a book. After I completed my first full-length historical, I began to write a sequel. Featuring a jilted female minor character from the first book, I planned to have a vicar help her through her process of recovery, and have the two characters fall in love through her healing. The book never went anywhere – the heroine was weak and insipid and I soon lost steam. But the hero, the vicar, remained in the back of my mind.

The next book I wrote was a contemporary, and even through that process the vicar would not leave me alone. His character developed almost against my will. He kept telling me tales of his mercy missions in the seedy parts of London. He told me about how he was given a living in a small village, but that he would much rather be sailing the seas to adventures in exotic lands. I was moved by his compassion, his earnestness, and his heart. I wrote the opening pages of what would become “The Vagabond Vicar” as a shiny new idea while I was supposed to be focussing on editing and finishing the contemporary. I knew I had to find him a heroine worthy of his affections; one he would not be able to keep away from despite his ambitions.

Monday, 1 December 2014


Monica Fairview is giving away one e-copy of MR. DARCY’S CHALLENGE (international) and one paperback copy (USA, UK or EU only). 

For a chance to win a copy, you need to leave a comment answering the question at the end of the excerpt. Remember we also need an e-mail address to contact you in case you are one of the winners! Deadline December 9th, 2014.

Meanwhile, to whet your appetite:

Book Blurb

In this humorous Pride and Prejudice Variation, Mr. Darcy is determined to win Elizabeth Bennet's hand in spite of her rejection and he has a strategy worked out. He will rescue Lydia Bennet from Wickham and will return to Longbourn to convince Elizabeth to marry him. But when a chance encounter prompts Darcy to propose once again to Elizabeth before he has rescued Lydia, his plans go horribly wrong. 

Broken hearted, disillusioned and bitterly regretting his impulsive action, Darcy sees no point in assisting Miss Bennet. After all, rescuing Lydia might save Elizabeth’s reputation, but why should he care when they have no future together? His code of gentlemanly conduct, however, demands that he fulfill the terms of his promise to her. Once again, Darcy finds himself faced with impossible choices: helping Elizabeth when she is certain to marry someone else, or holding onto his dignity by turning his back on the Bennets once and for all. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014


Darcy and Elizabeth, A Most Unlikely Couple
With his persuasive tongue, Andrew Darcy is a very charismatic scoundrel. Having dealt for years with the scandals created by this wayward cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy has grown weary. Thus, when yet another gentleman confronts Darcy about Andrew’s blatant betrayal of his daughter, Darcy decides he has had enough.
He sets out for Meryton to find Andrew, but no sooner has Andrew left for Manchester to offer for the unfortunate lady, than Meryton is abuzz with a new scandal involving Andrew and a local woman.

Feeling obligated to offer his assistance to the father, Darcy has no idea that accompanying Bingley to Longbourn will change his life forever. For the lady whose reputation is now at stake, Elizabeth Bennet, is the very reason he fled Meryton only weeks before.

Read an excerpt 

DARCY!” Charles’ voice penetrated his senses and he realised his friend was standing behind the open carriage door. “Are you well? I called several times, but you paid me no mind.”

“I . . . I apologise—”

“Never mind, we must hurry! Mr. Bennet has agreed to see you.” As William stepped out of the carriage and they started towards the door, Bingley cautioned, “Please try not to upset him. Just remember that he has had a great shock and has a lot of things on his mind.”

William stopped in his tracks. “Bingley, do you think me bereft of good manners?”

“No, not at all! Just try not to appear superior! I know that you do not think yourself superior, but those who are not acquainted with you have no way of knowing. From your manner—”

William broke in. “Thank you for the vote of confidence.”

Thursday, 6 November 2014


A novella for the Christmas holidays - Lizzy Benson visits Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, and buys a special Advent calendar in the gift shop, but strange things start to happen when she opens up the first door and finds herself back in time with all the beloved characters from her favourite book, Pride and Prejudice. As she finds herself increasingly drawn into an alternate reality, Lizzy discovers not only is Mr Darcy missing from the plot, but Jane Austen has never heard of him. All Lizzy can hope is that she can help to get the story and her own complicated love life back on track before Christmas is over, and bring everything to a happy resolution in Jane Austen's imaginary world! 

Excerpt from Chapter One

Door Number One

It really did look like a Christmas card. The red brick house glowed with yellow light through frosted windowpanes brightening the gloom of the wintry day. Lizzy wrinkled her nose as feathers of snow tickled her face and settled like iced stars on her scarlet beret. It had been a bit of a nightmare to find it: a train, a bus ride, and a twelve-minute walk along snow-covered lanes, but now she considered it had all been worth it. Jane Austen’s house buried in the countryside village of Chawton couldn’t have been more perfect to Lizzy’s eyes. Perhaps deciding to visit the house in the middle of winter hadn’t been her brightest idea, but there was no denying her excitement. Lizzy felt a sense of anticipation, the house looked enchanted as if under a fairy spell, and she half wondered if she might bump into Jane herself at the door.

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Charlie Lovett first delighted readers with his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bookman’s Tale. Now, Lovett weaves another brilliantly imagined mystery, this time featuring one of English literature’s most popular and beloved authors: Jane Austen.

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.

About the author:

Charlie Lovett is a former antiquarian bookseller, an avid book collector, and a member of The Grolier Club, the preeminent club for bibliophiles in North America. He and his wife split their time between Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Kingham, Oxfordshire, in England.

Monday, 27 October 2014



For so many reasons, we are addicted to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. We simply can’t have enough of their beautiful love story. So we dream up all manner of variations on the theme and take them to so many places. Derbyshire, Hertfordshire and London of course, but also to the Lake District, Yorkshire, Devonshire, Bath, the Isles of Scilly – even to revolutionary France.

As far as I know, they have never been to mainland Cornwall. This is where my latest novel takes them. There is great beauty in its rugged shores and secluded beaches, and the scenery is so romantic that it cannot fail to touch the heart.

And then there is the aura of mystery, the frisson of danger brought by age-old tales of smugglers, wreckers and pirates, which might add a new flavour to a beloved tale.