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?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

PREJUDICE MEETS PRIDE - COVER REVEAL + $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY


Hello there! If you like modern romance inspired to Jane Austen's work, here's a new one.  Cover revealed for Rachael Anderson's Prejudice Meets Pride. It's coming out very soon. Stay tuned! Meawhile try your luck with the $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway below. Cheers!

Prejudice 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.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

TO AUSTENLAND AND BACK TO REALITY


I have been posting about it  for a while on My Jane Austen Book Club facebook page: pictures, news, trailers, clips, interviews,  whatever I could find about it. Expectations and anticipations grew my wish to see it. Now it is time to write my review. Ready to join me to Austenland


I was really curious about this movie - though I haven't read the book so far -  so I watched it as soon as I grabbed my copy of the DVD and it was an actually funny ride through Austen-fandom-fairy-land. What do

Monday, 17 February 2014

JANE AUSTEN AND THE ARCHANGEL - QUICK CHAT WITH PAMELA AARES & GIVEAWAY

“Jane Austen and the Archangel-- Jane Finds True Love!



My Jane Austen Book Club is featuring a quick chat with author Pamela Aares to remind you that Jane Austen and the Archangel is on sale for a limited time on Amazon for $.99! Grab your copy now or take your chances to win an ebook copy in the rafflecopter form below this post.

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You were working on an entirely different book in a different time period when you began work on Jane Austen and the Archangel. How’d that happen?

I was putting the finishing touches on a historical romance set in 1851 (The Lady and the Patriot coming out in Fall/Winter 2014), complete with loads of daring adventures around the globe, a hot, hunky American hero and feisty English heiress with a nose for natural history, when a flash of golden light kept appearing at the same time every day in my new home in the country.

Friday, 14 February 2014

VALENTINE'S DAY AT PEMBERLEY OR DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY DVD IS OUT!

Yep! I decided to spend a few hours at Pemberley today. The excitement of young Valentine's Days gone, nothing's better than a journey into romance and mystery. Dreams and old memories, do they really help on Valentine's Day? I'm not in a bad mood, not sad nor unhappy, not melancholic nor nostalgic. So the answer is, DEFINITELY YES, they helped a lot.   I played  my new DVDs  and  off I went on a very romantic Valentine voyage.   All alone,  but not truly.

I had already seen Death Comes to Pemberley when it was on BBC One during last Christmas holidays but to re-watch it has given me the chance to enjoy little details that had gone missed at a first view. 

Death Comes to Pemberley, P. D. James's sequel to Pride and Prejudice, is now available on DVD  ( check it out HERE and you can watch it on your TV or computer screen as many times as you wish and add it to your Austen - inpired DVD collection. 

This mini-series has  been a pleasant surprise for me, since I didn't expect to like it much. I wasn't that fond of P.D. James 's murder mystery set at Pemberley when I read it,  so I was ready to be bored and even more disappointed by its TV adaptation. Instead, in my opinion,  Juliette Towhidi's script improved the plot, enriching it with short flashbacks and giving it a fast paced rhythm it didn't have. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

MR DARCY'S PROMISE - BLOG HOP & GIVEAWAY



Hello and welcome to Mr Darcy's Promise Blog Hop! I hope you remember Jeanna Ellsworth and her P&P - inspired book. "Both" were my guests here at My Jane Austen Book Club not long ago (check out my interview HERE). Jeanna has now invited me to join the fun of a Valentine's Blog Hop to give you all,  dear readers, the chance to buy her novel at an extraordinarily cheap price or  to win and read her Mr Darcy's Promise

Here are your chances:

Monday, 10 February 2014

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE PREQUEL FREE FOR VALENTINE'S DAY!


200 years after the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Melanie Kerr is giving away the eBook of her new novel, whichtreats readers to the complete and dramatic history of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham. Follies Past:a Prequel to Pride and Prejudice, will be available to download for free HERE  from February 10 – 14, 2014. 

To read this book is to step back into the charming world of Jane Austen’s England, to pass a few more hours with some of her beloved characters, sympathetically portrayed as they might have been before ever they came to Netherfield.

In Pride and Prejudice, everything hinges on a letter which Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth - a letter setting forth all his dealings with Mr. Wickham. These facts, supplied by Austen herself, are at the heart ofFollies Past. The drama begins almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice itself, at Pemberley, at Christmas. We follow young Georgiana Darcy to London, to Ramsgate and to the brink of a perilous elopement. Along the way, readers will discover a host of new characters, with compelling histories of their own.Authentic in its use of language andmeticulously researched, Follies Past is a truly diverting entertainment.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

MEET AUTHOR SAMANTHA JAYNE ADKINS & WIN HER AUSTEN-INSPIRED BOOKS

My relationship with Jane Austen began on T.V.  In fact, when I finally read Pride and Prejudice and university, I wrote a paper complaining how the 1995 BBC version got it better.  How embarrassing.  However, I still hear people bemoan the language of Jane Austen, and Shakespeare for that matter.  For those of us who read either writer for pleasure, this can be difficult to understand, but as a teacher and fan, I often encourage struggling students to start with the movies. 

                My own foray into Jane Austen fan-fiction was inspired by a PBS marathon of Jane Austen adaptations.  Every Sunday night for several months, once my babies were tucked into bed, I settled into the couch in the middle of a long Canadian winter to indulge in the fantasy of a flower-speckled English countryside filled with lively characters and plot twists.  At some point, I thought to myself “What if there were a sequel to Pride and Prejudice?”  I had no idea at the time that hundreds of Jane Austen-themed books already existed, or I probably would have just bought one, but I was between novel projects and thought I’d write a sequel as a short story for my sister’s upcoming birthday.

                Shortly into my “short story”, I realized I would need a lot more space that a short story offered.  I wrote furiously, daydreaming about the book when I wasn’t writing.  I could only offer my sister the first volume by her birthday, which I printed off my computer with a cover featuring photos I copied and pasted from the internet.  I was able to give her the second and third volume within a year, but I was already thinking others might like to read the book I was calling “Expectations.” 

Monday, 3 February 2014

ELIZABETH'S BENNET FORGOTTEN SISTER - INTERVIEW WITH PAMELA MINGLE


The anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice has recently had Jane Austen fans around the world celebrating Elizabeth, Darcy, and the entire Bennet clan--well, perhaps not the entire clan. Mary Bennet, the bookish and often forgotten middle sister, gets a well-deserved fleshing out in author Pamela Mingle’s sequel to Austen’s works: The Pursuit of Mary Bennet


(thanks to Bookish Blog for wanting to share at My Jane Austen Book Club) 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY : THE COMPANION OF HIS FUTURE LIFE BY JACK CALDWELL


Hello, everybody, Jack Caldwell here. It’s been a while since I’ve been here. Last time I talked about my grand sequel to Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, THE THREE COLONELS – Jane Austen’s Fighting Men.

Today, I’m going to introduce my latest book, a comic re-imagining of Pride & Prejudice called THE COMPANION OF HIS FUTURE LIFE.
Some of you may recognize this title. It was on the fan fiction boards several year ago, and was warmly received. For those unfamiliar with the book, I’ll give you a short synopsis.
One of the great "what-ifs" among Pride & Prejudice aficionados is: If Mr. Collins married Mary Bennet instead of Charlotte Lucas, how would that influence Mr. Darcy's dogged pursuit of the elusive Elizabeth?
I take that thought and run with it. In my story, Mr. Collins decides that a pretty and pious Mary would make him a better wife than a lovely and lively Lizzy. Because Mary is now living in Hunsford as Mrs. Collins, Jane joins Elizabeth visiting Rosings Park at Easter. Yep, Jane’s in Hunsford, too, right when Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam visit. Does that mean Jane is there when Colonel Big-Mouth spills the beans about Mr. Bingley? What do you think?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

COUPLES WHOSE LOVE REMINDS US OF ELIZABETH AND DARCY


(from Bookish)

In vain they struggled, but it wouldn’t do. Their feelings would not be repressed, and as readers, we eagerly read on as their love overcame them and finally culminated in a moment of passion and truth. It's hard to believe it's been over 200 years since the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. In honor of this anniversary, allow us to share how ardently we admire and love these literary lovers who remind us of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

1.Tiger Lily

Though Neverland is “the second star to the right and straight on til morning” from the world of the English aristocracy, the same difficulties of love exist. Like Lizzie, Peter is energetic, social, and doesn’t often take in evidence that shakes his view of the world. Tiger Lily shares Mr. Darcy's stoicism and aloofness. Competition between these couples is fierce, with Darcy and Lizzie trying to best each other through wit, while neither Peter nor Tiger Lily would stand to be second bravest. All four should have “stubborn” as their middle names.

2. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

“It’s Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the ‘gar’ nice and long.” Since the day they met, Ron and Hermione have been getting under each other’s skin. It took them six years to get it together, so that when they first kissed at the end of the final Harry Potter book, there was not a single person who didn’t shout, “Finally!” Not even Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth were that stubborn. It’s easy to imagine that if Lizzie was a witch, she’d have sent conjured canaries at Mr. Darcy’s head, too.

Monday, 27 January 2014

TALKING JANE AUSTEN WITH ... AUTHOR JOANA STARNES + DOUBLE GIVEAWAY OF THE SUBSEQUENT PROPOSAL

Hello  Joana. I’m glad you accepted to join us here at our online book club to talk Jane Austen with us. Welcome!
Many thanks for inviting me, Maria Grazia – it’s a great pleasure to be here!

My first question is: when and how did your lucky encounter with Jane Austen take place?
If we’re talking ‘first encounters’, like many of us here, I began reading Jane Austen in my teens. Real appreciation, though, came much later. At first, I read her novels for the storyline, but as I grew older, I began to look for context, and reading them in context made me love them so much more!
And then came the 1995 adaptation, which I absolutely adored, not only for the usual reasons – i.e. Colin Firth J - but also for the fantastic attention to detail! Having watched the miniseries, I was left craving for more. Luckily, I came across ‘The Making of Pride and Prejudice’, a book explaining how the 1995 adaptation was put together and I was mesmerised by all the details it mentioned, from the endless hours spent looking for the perfect location, to the countless photographs and sketches done in order to get Lydia’s hairstyle right, or Mr. Bennet’s powdering gown, or the colour and the cut of Darcy’s coat! I was thrilled with the little inside stories too, like Benjamin Whitrow (Mr. Bennet) recounting how the period cook was kind enough to ask for his favourite pudding, so that it could be used in one of the scenes – and how he gorged himself on gooseberry fool during the first, second and third take, only to end up hating the very sight of it by the time that particular scene was finally ‘in the can’!
Then, having devoured the book, unlike Mr. Whitrow and his favourite pudding I was still left wanting more, so I began trawling the internet until one happy day I discovered JAFF – and the rest is history!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

ANGELA PARISI - MENOUTIS' S GUEST POST: SOLUTION TO THE QUIZ AND WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Mr Darcy and the Bingleys - Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Angela Parisi - Menoutis was my guest on January 13rd  (HERE). On that occasion she introduced herself to you,  as well as presented her Austenesque novel , Two Different Worlds: A Dance from Pride and Prejudice.

There was a quiz attached to a book giveaway contest. The question Angela asked was: "In the canon of "Pride and Prejudice", where is there inferred evidence that Darcy, like Caroline Bingley, may have also wished his sister to marry Charles Bingley? To be entered you had to answer that and to  email your guesses to her.  The contest is now over and ... she has finally picked the name of the winner 
among the ones who sent her the correct answer. 

Congratulations to J. June Williams for winning Angela's brilliant version of Pride and Prejudice!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

"THERE WERE TWENTY DANCES AND I DANCED THEM ALL.." - MEET AUTHOR JULIE KLASSEN + BOOK GIVEAWAY: THE DANCING MASTER

“There were twenty dances & I danced them all…” –   Jane Austen

In Jane Austen’s time, dancing was one of the few ways young men and women could spend time together and court one another. “Every savage can dance,” Mr. Darcy says, but unless one wished to dance very ill (Mr. Collins comes to mind) lessons were crucial. Dancing was considered such an important social skill, that parents hired dancing masters to come into the homes and teach their sons and daughters not only dance steps, but also deportment and etiquette. So, as an author of half a dozen other books set in the Regency era—and someone who loves to dance-- it was probably only a matter of time until I wrote about a dancing master.

To research the book, I read old instructional guides and journals written by dancing masters of ages past. But the best and most enjoyable kind of research was actually learning dances from that time period. My dear, longsuffering husband and I went English country dancing several times. It was research, after all! We learned a lot and enjoyed ourselves.

I also attended the annual general meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America, held in Minneapolis in September 2013. It was my first time attending the conference, though I have been a JASNA member for several years. A sold-out crowd of nearly 800 gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice—a favorite with Austen fans everywhere.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A MODERN DAY SENSE AND SENSIBILITY - INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR KAITLIN SAUNDERS & BOOK GIVEAWAY


A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility

Take a fresh look at the romantic Jane Austen classic in Kaitlin Saunders’s heartwarming new novel, A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility. After A Modern Day Persuasion proved a hit, this latest installment in Saunders’s successful series of Austen retellings will have readers swooning at the comical misunderstandings and classic romances that are newly envisioned for modern times.

After their father’s untimely death, Ellie and Marianne Dashwood must suffer the loss of both their beloved parent and their fortune when, together with their mother and younger sister, they find themselves at the mercy of their half brother and his greedy wife, Francil. Ellie temporarily finds solace in a new friendship with Francil’s brother, Edward. But as their connection deepens and Edward fails to make the next move, Ellie becomes increasingly confused. Eventually Francil’s manipulations become unbearable and the Dashwood ladies are forced to relocate to a dingy apartment building in Portland, Oregon, owned by their quirky cousin and his busybody mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings. Slowly, the women begin adapting to their newfound meager lifestyle. While cutting coupons and watching their budget, the Dashwoods welcome the chance to make new acquaintances in their new town. One such acquaintance is Mrs. Jennings’s friend Brandon, a wealthy thirty-something hotel entrepreneur who is immediately infatuated with Marianne. Turned off by their relatively large age gap, Marianne turns her attention to the suspiciously perfect Jim Willoughby. But just as things start heating up between them, she learns that the situation may not be exactly as it seems.
As the sisters struggle through secrets, illness, and broken promises, Ellie and Marianne must find the answer: Does love really conquer all? Find out in Saunders’s romantic rendition of a beloved classic.

INTERVIEW

Q: After retelling JA's Persuasion in a modern context, Kaitlin,  you decided to do the same with Sense & Sensibility. Are they your best favourites among Austen's major six? If not, what are the reasons of choosing them?
A: Yes, they are some of my favorites! After I read both novels, I couldn't help but wonder what they would look like if they were set in present day, or how it would be if I were Anne or Marianne or Elinor -- hence my modern day adaptations! My imagination penned for other woman to read!