Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Unlocking secrets from Jane Austen's Steventon home

Finds from an archaeological dig at the birthplace of Jane Austen are beginning to reveal details of the author's early home life. Aren't you curious to discover more?

Sunday, 16 December 2012



Thanks to all the Janeites who will drop by and decide to celebrate Jane Austen's birthday with us. It is a very special day, one in which I feel we must express our gratitude to our beloved best favourite author and spread the love for her and her work.
This event, The Jane Austen Soirée is a simple hop,  linking  a few blogs, the ones you find listed below,  in the effort to celebrate Jane's talent and wit. 
The Austenite bloggers involved are posting their favourite page from their favourite Austen novel and readers will have the chance to win some gorgeous Austen gifts in several giveaway contests.
After taking your chances in the rafflecopter form at the end of this post, check out all the blogs taking part in the event. Good luck and Happy Jane Austen Soirée, everyone!

Here's my favourite page

You will not ask me what is the point of envy.--You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.--You are wise--but _I_ cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment." (…)

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


The Book

Jane Austen thought she knew everything about love, but was there something she wasn't telling us?

A self-confessed dreamer, gossip, and matchmaker, Jane emerges from a prophetic meeting with gypsies and sets out to discover her soul mate. As Jane writes through the twists and turns of her turbulent romances, Southard ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years - did she ever find love? What would the story of that love be like if Jane could write it?

Binding fact with fiction, courting brave new literary twists, and written in the style of Jane Austen herself, A Jane Austen Daydream is the tale of Jane's life as a novel. It contemplates the eventual fate of Jane's heart, and uses her own stories to fill the gaps that history left to the imagination.

The author

Scott D. Southard, the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, swears he is not obsessed with Jane Austen. He is, however, also the author of the award-winning novels, My Problem With Doors, Megan, and 3 Days in Rome. His eclectic writing has also found its way into radio, being the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog "The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" where he writes on topics ranging from writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site (currently creating a novel in "real time" with one fresh chapter a week; it is entitled Permanent Spring Showers). His blog can be found at Currently, Scott resides in Michigan with his very understanding wife, his patient two children, and a very opinionated dog named Bronte.

Read the first two chapters from A Jane Austen Daydream

Monday, 10 December 2012


Today I'm guest blogger at Krista's Book Review Club on her December event dedicated to Jane Austen. My post is ME, JANE AND HER BAD BOYS. You know, I've got a weakness for Austen handsome scoundrels ... CLICK HERE and join me at Krista's blog.

"When I first met Jane…  I got everything wrong.I was 14 and reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time I hit it off with George Wickham (OMG!) . So I  got quite angry with Jane for making him a villain. OK, Mr Darcy was a great catch for Lizzy, that’s undeniable,  but why couldn’t Jane let her at least meet George Wickham at Netherfield and dance with him, flirt a bit  and then marry her well-off,  dashing baronet?  Closing the book at the words THE END , my disappointment was not completely over yet.Then I read Sense and Sensibility and I  was mesmerized by John Willoughby’s  romantic charm and passionate ways.  Again, Jane had played a trick on me: he was the villain in the novel . Once the two  heroines were in London,  I happened to be extremely disappointed  like Marianne.  Of course, I didn’t risk my life and I even kind of accepted the excuses he alleged to Elinor while Marianne is very ill.  I so wanted Willoughby to be my hero! Jane must have laughed a lot at my naivety". (...)

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Ready to spend your Christmas holidays with your special one? What about  adding some dreamy time with Victoria Connelly's Christmas with Mr Darcy, a  truly romantic novella? (Read my review HERE).

Read Victoria Connelly's Christmas interview,  then take your chances in the rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is open internationally and ends on Dec. 7th . Thanks to Kathy at I am a Reader not a Writer and to  Laurie Here for hosting another great hop. Remember to check all the sites taking part in the event. Lots of Christmas books for you and many chances to win! You'll find them in the list  at the end of this post. Good luck!

Welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club, Victoria.  My questions today will focus on Christmas and your Christmas novella. Are you ready?  What do you like best and what the least of Christmas time?
Best thing – it’s a good excuse to eat plenty of wonderful food. Worst – the cold, dark days.

What is your favourite …

     Christmas movie            It’s a Wonderful Life
    Christmas book             A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    Christmas song             Silent Night
    Christmas decoration?  Christmas tree lights!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Enid Wilson, Close Encounters with a Martian Hunk - Giveaway Winner

Quick posting to reveal the name of the winner of 

Enid Wilson's "Close Encounter with a Martian Hunk".

Congratulations to Ao Bibliophile! And many thanks to Enid Wilson for being my guest.

Monday, 26 November 2012


The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is an awesome new book by Syrie James, author of bestselling novels like  The Lost Memoirs Of Jane Austen, Dracula My Love, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Nocturne  and Forbidden. Due to release on 31st December, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is a  novel within a novel :  a brilliant Austen-style Regency tale inside a lovely modern romance.

I must admit that with this new novel Syrie James has surpassed herself and moved forward even respect to a successful achievement like The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. She did a brilliant job both at delivering a well-designed plot echoing Jane Austen’s voice - but modernizing it for a present-day audience -  and at enclosing it in an intriguing frame of quest and romance.

Samantha is an American librarian who had to give up her Ph D in English Literature while preparing a dissertation on Jane Austen’s work. She was forced to interrupt her studies in Oxford and go back to home   in order to take care of her seriously ill mother.
Now she is on a trip in England with her cardiologist boyfriend, Stephen. Since he is  engaged in a  medical conference in London,  she spends her time alone visiting the places of her happy years at Oxford university and while perusing old little bookshops in search for something interesting, she happens to find an ancient book of poetry containing a letter. The book reveals itself as belonging to Jane Austen  and inside it there is one of her missing letters.  Even more extraordinary is the fact that in that letter Jane refers to a manuscript she lost in 1802 visiting Greenbriar, the Whitakers’ mansion in the countryside, in Dorset.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


What about joining me there? I'm a guest at Maria Grace's blog, Random Bits of Fascination. What do we talk about? Blogging,  mainly. But discover more about our chat visiting Maria's Blog. I'll wait for you all there! 

Get to Know Maria Grazia founder of Fly High and My Jane Austen Book Club

Friday, 16 November 2012


In a month it will be Jane Austen's 237th birthday,  since she was born in Steventon on 16th December 1775. Just like last year I'd love to celebrate this special occasion here at My Jane Austen Book Club inviting all Janeite bloggers to join me in the event. Let's spread the love for our beloved Jane.

I thought that the best thing we can do to demonstrate our admiration and reverence for her talent is to post Jane Austen's special pages. Special to us.

So,  what do you have to do to join the party? 

- Subscribe your blog through the linky tool below (deadline 10th December 
  2012) N.B. Link title: name of the blog (you don't have to say which  
   passage you  are going to choose nor what novel, there can be similar posts
   if we have similar tastes)

- Prepare your post including your favourite Austen page from your favourite      
   Austen novel (with pictures, videos, links, whatever else your wish to add to
   make  your happy birthday post more attractive)

- Add the graphics of the event (you can copy  from this announcement post) 
  or ask me to send them to you via e-mail writing to 

- What about a  giveaway contest to win something Austen-related? (books, 
   bookmarks, DVDs, gadgets,  etc.)

- Your post must be ready and posted by/at 00.01 a.m. 16th December 2012 
  (your local time) and the giveaway contest must be closed after 2 days, 
   that is 18th December 2012 (you can choose the time)

- Each blog will have one or more winners and will post the results of its own
   giveaway contest

- Your post should show the list of the blogs participating in the event which 
   I'll send to you  once the subscriptions are closed (10th December 2012)

"One cannot have too large a party".


Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Antonia Christophers and Noel Byrne are the Box Tale Soup, a two-actor company on stage these days with a very special adaptation of Northanger Abbey. Welcome them to our online club and discover more about them and their work.

Welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club,  Antonia  and Noel thanks for accepting my invitation to talk Jane Austen with me.

First question is ... Where does your name come from? 

Antonia: It actually took us rather a long time to come up with a name for the company that we are happy with. We wanted the name to encompass the various things that make us unique. One of our aims is to fit all the necessary props, costume and set for out shows into our vintage trunk so we wanted to have something luggage related in the name. And then Noel ended up coming up with a pun on the traditional English Soup ‘Oxtail Soup’ thus ending up with Box Tale Soup. We spell the ‘Tale’ that way to refer to the fact that we create adaptations of classic literature.

Noel: Yeah, it was a joke at first, but then the name grew on us!

Monday, 12 November 2012


Welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club, Enid! 

Thank you Maria for hosting me again.

Well, where can we start from?  You know I love Jane Austen and period drama. Honestly, what is this book about Martians doing in my blog?

Haha, Maria, I confess that I had a ball when you hosted my co-authors Aimée Avery, June Williams and I in July about our Jane Austen-inspired short stories, Honor and Integrity (HERE). I itch to find another excuse to appear in your blog again.

My latest novella Close Encounters with a MartianHunk is a romantic science fiction. It definitely doesn’t have a Mr. Darcy in it. But believe it or not, when I first wrote the story five years ago, it was a fun piece I posted at a JAFF forum, featuring a Martian Darcy.

A Martian Darcy?  How can you put Jane Austen’s characters in Space?

Sometimes I think my imagination has a life of its own, especially with my obsession with Jane Austen’s novels. Pride and Prejudice highlights the social division in Regency England. I took this theme and developed the story around it, with Martians being more superior to Earthlings. When Martian Darcy met Earthling Elizabeth, their views clashed even though they were attracted to each other. But in this published version, I no long use Jane Austen’s characters. My hero and heroine become Eric Dark and Sophia Wilkinson. Dark still slighted Sophia and they still had to overcome some obstacles to gain their marital bliss.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Rebecca Smith at Jane Austen's House Museum.
 Photo by Isabel Snowden

My guest today is really special to me and I hope you'll be ready to welcome her and make her feel at home here at My Jane Austen Book Club.

Rebecca Smith is the author of three novels published by Bloomsbury: The Bluebird Café (2001) Happy Birthday and All That (2003) and A Bit ofEarth (2006). Barbara Trapido called her “the perfect English miniaturist”.
Rebecca studied History at the University of Southampton and is now a Teaching Fellow in English and Creative Writing there. From autumn 2009 until summer 2010, Rebecca was the Writer in Residence at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire; she continues to work closely with the Museum. Her first work of non-fiction,Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas, has just been published in North America and the UK. Rebecca is Jane Austen’s great great great great great niece.

Rebecca’s first novel for children, Shadow Eyes, was shortlisted for The 2012 Kelpies Prize and will be published sometime in 2013. She is currently working on another novel.

Here are her answers to a few  questions about her Austen-inspired book and her writing. Check the giveaway details below this post and take your chances to win in the rafflecopter form. Good luck!

While researching Miss Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas, you immersed yourself in Jane Austen’s books as well as her letters and early writings. What were some of the most surprising things you learned about Austen in the process?

I found that I could answer every single dilemma with advice from Jane’s work or letters! Dozens and dozens of different dilemmas were suggested by family, friends and my students – there were too many to fit into the book – but all of them could have been answered. The more I read, the more I saw answers.  I kept thinking of extra dilemmas that I’d like to include. I found that Jane’s wit and wisdom could be applied to anything.

Monday, 5 November 2012


The Book

A life altering event inextricably links a fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet to Fitzwilliam Darcy while simultaneously creating an almost insurmountable divide. This Pride and Prejudice deviation takes the reader on a journey through a labyrinth filled with misunderstandings, bias, guilt and fear--not to mention, laughter, animal magnetism and waltzing. As Elizabeth says, 'she shed enough tears to float one of Lord Nelson's frigates' but as she also observes 'unhappiness does, indeed, have comic aspects one should never underestimate.' Though the path for our protagonists is much more ardurous than canon the benefit remains the same, a very happy Janeite ending for these two soul-mates. Along the way there is retribution, redemption and reward for other characters--including a few that recall players in Ms Austen's 'Sense and Sensibility.' While reading her first published novel, I came across grievances so unjust that they called out to this long-time struggler for women's rights. With this novel, I became determined to give them some vindication. A sampling of comments left for this story at an online Jane Austen fan fiction site: Thank you for bringing this amazing, complex, heart-wrenching, story to a beautiful conclusion.

Before revealing the names of the 4 winners I want to thank Beth Massey for being such a kind and generous  guest as well as all the commenters who entered the giveaway contest.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


The Book (from

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!

His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?

Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

Congratulation to Gayle Mills! She's the winner in this giveaway contest. Many thanks to Sally Smith O'Rourke for granting us a free copy of her new book.

Friday, 2 November 2012


Christmas is a time to spend with the people we love, a time for shameless  sentimentalism and bittersweet   memories, a time for caring and sympathy.  Can it also be the right time for romance? The answer is yes, if you’ve found your Mr Darcy.
I know, I’m definitely turning into an incurable romantic while growing old. Is that the reason why I swiftly went through the little more than two hundred pages of Christmas with Mr Darcy with a blissed smile printed on my face?

Christmas with Mr Darcy is a light-hearted, delightful  novella, Victoria Connelly has recenlty published as a  sequel to  her A Weekend With Mr Darcy , The Perfect Hero (or Dreaming of Mr Darcy in the US version) and Mr Darcy Forever . I read the three of them with the same foolish grin mentioned above,  it means I simply loved them all. They are all brilliant Austen-inpired modern romances full of references to Austen beloved works and all the dreamy places connected to her life and novels. Delightfully written with a light touch on reality, irony,  and skillful characterization, they find a proper sequel in Christmaswith Mr Darcy
In  Victoria Connelly’s latest indie publication  all the heroes and heroines of her  Austen Addicts’ Trilogy gather together to celebrate Christmas as well as their favourite author, Jane Austen. The great reunion takes place  at Purley Hall in Hampshire because renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, is holding a special Jane Austen Conference.

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Book description

When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.

Set against the vivid backdrop of historical Regency England, this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice follows the cursed Mr. Darcy as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Although Pulse and Prejudice adheres to the original plot and style of the Jane Austen classic, it is not a “mash-up” but an imaginative, thrilling variation told primarily from Darcy’s point of view as he descends into the seedier side of London and introduces Elizabeth to a world of passion and the paranormal she never knew existed.

Have you read Colette Saucier's answers to my 5 vampire questions? (HERE) If you left your comment + your e-mail address below that post you may have won her debut novel, Pulse and Prejudice.

Monday, 29 October 2012


My students listening to one of their mates' lessons
I've been working on Jane Austen's novels with my students these days and you can only imagine what bliss that can be for me. Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are the novels we've been reading extracts from and working on. Now in one of the two class groups, they are going to read Emma - the whole novel - with their Italian teacher and, of course, we will discuss it in English together in my lessons after they finish. (You can find some of the materials and videos we used at my other blog LEARN ON LINE
1. My Students give their lessons: Persuasion by Jane Austen, 2.  Pride and Prejudice Part I  3. Pride and Prejudice Part II 4. Born to Be a Heroine: Watching Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey 
We discussed several issues like marriage, propriety and decorum, money and power, education of men and women in the Regency   but we also learnt something about irony and characterization in fiction.
This is what I wanted to share here tonight, something about characterization:  flat characters and round characters.
The difference was stated by the novelist E. M. Forster (I love all his novels!)  in his work Aspects of the Novel (1927)

Friday, 26 October 2012


Beth Massey lives in Chicago with her husband of forty plus years. Her first love as a child was the theatre. A voracious reader, she devoured plays and novels with an eye toward imagining how she would play certain characters. Beth was recruited to the Chattanooga Little Theatre's youth troupe at age eight. At Barnard College in NYC, Beth threw herself into the struggle against war, racism, the emerging women's liberation movement and the Columbia University student strike of 1968. While there, she met her husband Bill. Together they have devoted their lives to political activism.

Now that both are retired from their day jobs, Ms Massey spends her days in the company of her well-informed best friend and the two are free to engage in a great deal of conversation. Jane Austen would approve, and Beth is quite certain that like Dawsey and Juliet they have had a discussion that encompassed Jonathan Swift, pigs and the Nuremberg trials.

Beth may have left a life in the theatre behind, but the desire for a creative outlet and a need to sketch the human character is still fervent.

Please welcome Beth on My Jane Austen Book Club and check out the giveaway details below to win her 

I am an oddity in the world of Jane Austen inspired literature.  To me, my favorite author neither wrote nor began the genre of romance novels.  Yes, she felt the need to provide a happy ending for her women protagonists.  Happy, if you assume marriage is the most fortuitous life for gently-bred females.  In real life, Jane did the unthinkable and followed a different drummer and has been inspiring many for the last 200 years to take another path—even when it was so very difficult.  Still I am no fool.  It is a truth universally acknowledged that the majority of her female devotees spend their time repining for Mr. Darcy and his many film iterations and pay scant attention to her literary legacy.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Sally Smith O'Rourke is my guest today to present her new book, Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen. There's a giveaway for an e-book copy to giveaway in a contest open internationally (US readers can choose between e-book and paperback) Leave your comment + e-mail address to be entered. Deadline 2 November
Now it's time to welcome Sally Smith O'Rourke at My Jane Austen Book Club!

Hello and welcome, Sally! How would you introduce your new book in about 50 words?

Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? Eliza Knight thinks so. But can Fitz Darcy, The Man Who Loved Jane Austen love ordinary Eliza Knight? Things begin to happen in Chawton, England that could change everything. Will the beloved author be the wedge that divides or the tie that binds Eliza Knight and Fitz Darcy?

Why did you decide to give your “The Man Who loved Jane Austen” a sequel?

It wasn’t so much a decision as a kind of accident. I planned on a companion piece, a journal ostensibly written by Jane Austen. It would be her impressions and perception of the five days the American Darcy was in Chawton in the spring of 1810 from The Man Who Loved Jane Austen. I began feeling terribly presumptuous writing as Jane Austen and then one day I wrote an entry ending with “I wonder what Mr. Darcy is doing right now.” I found myself writing just that¸ what the tall Virginian was doing at that moment and Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen grew from there.

 How difficult was it to write Jane Austen as a character? Where did you draw your portrait of her from? Her work or her letters?

The answer to both of these questions is a complete immersion into everything I could find written by and about Jane Austen. I studied biographies, family memoirs, travel guides to the English countryside, books of etiquette of the era. I even read cookbooks and books on housekeeping. I wanted to capture her spirit and essence so read her letters many, many times. All the research in the world didn’t allow me to feel as though I could write as Jane but I definitely developed my own interpretation of who she was and how she lived and that’s what I wrote. All the research made it exceedingly enjoyable to write Jane and her story flowed naturally. It was not difficult at all but was a lot of fun.


Alexa Adams, author of First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice has planned something in honor of Halloween. It is a short story, posted in instalments over 8 days, beginning today October 24th and concluding on the 31st. She is my guest today to invite you to join her at her site for some fun. 

I adore the fall, “that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness.” My daughter and I, just steady on her feat, stomp through leaf piles and collect acorns, glorying in the mild temperatures. The air is scented with decay, always a surprisingly refreshing aroma, and the neighborhood decked with pumpkins and gourds, witches and ghouls. As we walk along, the spirit of the season overtakes me, and my imagination begins to run into realms most demented. 

It should come as no surprise to those who know me that I often inhabit something of an Austen dreamland. I have been currently sharing some of my most farfetched imaginings on my blog under the appellation Mixed Up Matchup, when

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Quick posting to announce the winner of  an  e-book copy of Matter of Trust, The Shades of Pemberley
Congratulations to Vesper Meikle!

Many thanks to all participants and to the author for granting the free copy.

Saturday, 20 October 2012


Four winners for two great Austenesque reads!

Faith Hope and Cherrytea & Kaewink win Kimberley Truesdale's My Dear Sophy

Anna (paperback) and AoBibliophile (e-book) are the winners of Karen Wasylowski's Sons and Daughters

Thanks to all of you who entered the contest and grateful thanks to both authors for granting the copies of their books to give away.

Friday, 19 October 2012


A great event linking 79 blogs in a Giveaway Hop which will give you lots of chances to win new Austenesque reads for your shelves and e-readers. The Jane Austen Giveaway Hop  is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer  and vvb32reads  and  will go on until October   24 th. Get ready to visit all the sites involved ( see the list of links at the end of this post), have a lot of fun, meet other Austen fans from all over the world and, of course,  good luck on winning your favourite books!

Above my gifts for one lucky winner:  Victoria Connelly's Mr Darcy's Forever in the kindle edition, one of my favourite Austen - inspired modern romances (see my review) + a set of 3 Jane Austen bookmarks I bought in Bath - where the novel is set - last summer. The contest is open worldwide.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


The book

A young bride he recently married to prevent a scandal. A mysterious, wayward aunt he never really knew. A woefully misguided sister he removed from harm’s way. Undermining Darcy’s relationships with the three women in his life is a most disturbing bombshell about his nemesis, George Wickham.

Scandal, secrets, deceptions—this story has it all. Its premise is what if George Wickham was not the son of old Mr. Darcy’s steward? What if he is of Darcy lineage?

 The Author says ...

A father’s dying words. A long lost relative from the past. What lies and deceptions promise disruption of all he once knew to be right and wrong?

Fitzwilliam Darcy has a history of cleaning up after George Wickham—the person whom he despises more than anyone in the world. First, he acted to save his sister from the villain when he set out to elope with her while she was only fifteen. Not long thereafter, Darcy impetuously declared his intention to marry a charming young woman from Hertfordshire, whom he secretly admired, to save her from scandal and ruination at the hands of his nemesis.

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Colette Saucier first book is a paranormal version of Pride and Prejudice in which Mr Darcy just happen to be a vampire: Pulse and Prejudice.  Do you want to discover more about  Colette’s  fondness for vampires? Read my 5 vampire questions and, especially, her answers to them. Finally,  try to win a signed paperback copy of her  novel, a new perfect Austen Halloween gift for you! Leave your comment and add your e-mail address to enter the giveaway contest. It is open internationally and will end on October 31st.

Welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club, Colette. Here's my first question for you: it seems the world has gone vampire crazy! (Meyer’s Twilight Saga and related films, TV series like True Blood and Vampire Diaries,  best – selling authors attempting their own vampire story) Have you got your own  interpretation of this phenomenon? Why is our world so attracted by this kind of supernatural characters?
At least now most of the vampires have been relegated to novels, films, and television (although an active vampire subculture thrives today). Myths surrounding demons and revenants who drink human blood go back to anitiquity, but the craze really took off in Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Just earlier this year, “vampire” graves were discovered in Bulgaria – skeletons with rods driven through their chests to prevent them from rising from the dead and feasting on the living. The desecration of graves in this manner became such a problem in the 1700s that the Empress of Austria finally had the claims of vampires investigated and declared they did not exist. These vampires, of course, bore little resemblance to those found in popular culture today. They were monsters – demons, witches, or the evil dead risen from the grave – who terrorized villages.
Why have vampires, in some form or another, always been part of the human psyche? Probably due to a fear of our own mortality and the dark unknown – death. Even in Christianity, believers drink “blood” to gain eternal life.  The current brood of vampires have the added appeal of being sensual, dark, mysterious, and complicated. Often
they are romanticized as fighting the temptation of succumbing to their desires but ultimately finding the object of that desire, typically a woman, irresistable. Sound familiar? Those are some of the same qualities that have caused women to fall in love with the enigmatic Mr. Darcy for two hundred years even though we learn so little about him on the few pages he inhabits in Pride and Prejudice.
Whether vampires exist or not, their mythology is immortal.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Did you enjoy the movie Clueless? If so, you will also enjoy reading Jane Austen’s novel Emma. That’s because Clueless was actually loosely based on the novel. There are obvious differences; the movie is set in modern-day Beverly Hills, California, and the novel is set in Surrey County, England, during the Regency era. However, the underlying theme is the same.
The character of Cher (played by Alicia Silverstone) in Clueless is based on the character of Emma Woodhouse, the protagonist in Austen’s novel. Like Cher, Emma is young, beautiful and free of financial concern, thanks to her rich father and likely inheritance. However, Emma is 20 years old and unconcerned with higher education, since she’s pretty much set for life financially.
To fill up her time, Emma enjoys socializing with the people in her neighborhood, along with her friend, Harriet Smith, a pretty yet unsophisticated girl. Although the ways of the upper class are quite entrenched in Emma’s character, she is still compassionate towards everyone in all social classes. Recognizing Harriet’s potential in high society, Emma insists on playing matchmaker to find her friend a favorable husband. Emma is able to use her charm and self-confidence to convince Harriet that she is correct in her matchmaking efforts, leading to some pretty interesting events that create quite a dilemma for everyone involved.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Jesse Kimmel-Freeman is the name I picked up through So, congratulations to her on winning this modern romance inspired to Jane Austen's PERSUASION: Find Wonder in All Things!

Many thanks to Karen M. Cox for being my guest and talking Jane Austen with me!

Monday, 8 October 2012


SONS AND DAUGHTERS, a sequel to Karen V. Wasylowski’s 'DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM' (which was itself a continuation of Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE), again follows the iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam.  Now we see the two battling best friends as loving husbands and doting fathers, older and a bit wiser, making the sacrifices, the difficult (and frequently unpopular) decisions that men must make for the good of their families and we see their large brood of offspring - the ‘Fitzwilliam Mob’ - grow from childhood to adolescence then on into adulthood.  Along the way, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are viewed by their children first as heroes, then as the enemy, but eventually as mortal human beings and the children’s adored champions once again. 

Of her new book,  Karen Wasylowski says:

SONS AND DAUGHTERS (Book Two of Darcy and Fitzwilliam) was published October 2012 and I was able to continue my family saga.  It begins five years after the ending of DARCY AND FITZWILLIAM.  The men are in their thirties and have young children now, their marriages are older and more settled, familiar.  And, like all married men, their responsibilities have doubled.  Every decision they make now affects many lives; people they love deeply depend upon them to choose what is best for their futures – each man faces unique challenges to his character. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Ever since I announced earlier this year to friends, family, and social media followers that I was writing an Austenesque novel about the Admiral and Mrs. Croft from Persuasion, people have asked me one question over and over: why Sophia Wentworth?

After I get over my perverse pleasure in simply answering "Why not?", I actually do have a few good reasons to choose Sophy Wentworth. Not the least of which is my deep and abiding love for Persuasion.

No one else has written about her. At least this is true to the extent that my internet and library researches can prove. If you are familiar at all with Austenesque fiction (and if you are not, Austenesque Reviews is a good place to get started), you will know that authors largely gravitate toward Pride and Prejudice, down to the minutest secondary characters. When it comes to Persuasion, authors have written some about Captain Wentworth (*swoon*) and Anne Elliot, but just haven't gotten to too many of the secondary characters.

Thursday, 4 October 2012


I  invited Aurora Berkestam Drysén  to be our special reporter from Bath during The Jane Austen Festival. She accepted to be our eyes and  ears there during the week of the celebrations. Read her journal and admire her great pictures. Doesn't she really fit the role of an Austen heroine?

Promenaders walking along Milsom Street  
For many of today’s Janeites around the world stepping into a Jane Austen novel, transporting themselves back to the time when she lived, dressing in the style of clothes she would have been familiar with (and which we are too, thanks to the countless television adaptations and movies we’ve watched!), conversing or gossiping with other girls in bonnets and dancing at balls, is something we dream of. To my knowledge it is, unfortunately, not possible to really step into the pages of a novel (or else I believe I would have done that a long time ago!), but there are things you can do to at least get as close to it as possible. And for me the Jane Austen Festival in Bath has proven to be such a thing.
The annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath in England is famous amongst Janeites, and every year it attracts hundreds of visitors from near and far, all with one thing in common, a love for this great author and her work. For some 7 to 9 days the city of Bath is filled with people running around in Regency clothes, attending events that range from walking tours and costume talks to musical soirees and grand balls.
I have had the great pleasure and privilege to be able to attend this wonderful event four years in a row now. I have written a little journal here of what it was like this year, to share with anyone who wishes to go but was not able to do so (and for anyone else who feels like reading it too of course).

13th of September, 2012 – at home in Sweden
It’s the evening before I leave for Bath, the bags are finally packed and everything made ready. As always it is a struggle to fit everything I need into the, for this occasion, far too small bags! Airlines with their luggage restrictions show NO respect for people who want to travel with bonnets, hats, ball gowns, thick woolen coats and all the other essentials of a Regency lady’s wardrobe!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Congratulations to Kelli H.,  the lucky winner of Mary Lydon Simonsen's new  re-imagining of "Pride and Prejudice", Darcy Goes To War,  and many thanks to the author for being my guest once again here at My Jane Austen Book Club.