Tuesday, 29 December 2015


Sway is out today and Melanie Stanford is our guest to launch her blog tour. Sway is a new  modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Ready to welcome Melanie  to our online club? And, by the way, don't  miss the chance to win a signed paperback copy. The giveaway is open internationally. Good luck, everyone! 

First off, a big thank you to Maria Grazia for having me today!

Why write a retelling? Why Jane Austen? These are two questions I often hear from people when they find out about SWAY, my contemporary retelling of PERSUASION set in LA.
Before starting SWAY, I’d written a young adult time-travel novel and its sequel. Even though I’d read tons of Jane Austen retellings, I’d never considered writing one of my own. I wanted to write YA and I wanted to write stories with some kind of magical element to them—I never once thought I’d write straight up contemporary.
Then I was in the middle of a re-watch of 2007’s PERSUASION (I’ve got a thing for Rupert Penry-Jones in that movie, not gonna lie *swoons*). I don’t remember what point in the movie it struck me, but I just knew it would make an awesome modern day story.

Out of all of Jane Austen’s novels, I really got Persuasion when I read it. I felt it. I understood Anne’s pain and heartache when she’s constantly thrown into company with Captain Wentworth. I think we all know what it’s like to regret a break-up. There are just so many feelings and drama going on in Persuasion (and I love me some drama) that I wanted so badly to write it down myself, take it into a modern world and put my own spin on it.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015


To celebrate dear Jane's 240th Birthday, here's a special bargain (US readers only) + giveaway contest (INT.) for our readers!

beautiful devotional, brimming with the wit and wisdom of Jane Austen and the timeless truths of Scripture. 
The works of Jane Austen can transport a reader to a world that exudes beauty, peace, wisdom, wit, and love. Captivating audiences for 200 years, the works of Jane Austen continue to capture today’s readers in droves.
This daily devotional includes short excerpts from the Austen classics, and a devotional thought and Scripture that meaningfully translates to women’s daily lives. Offering temporary transport to a simple and peaceful place, women will love taking a moment to revel in the beauty and truth of a Scripture paired with excerpts from Northanger AbbeyPride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion,Mansfield Park, and Emma.

Monday, 14 December 2015


An original, cute Christmas gift,  perfect for a Janeite who loves knitting. Well, if she doesn't, she'll wish to learn as soon as possible, once she has had a look at the Austen-inspired knitting projects included in Pride and Preju-knitsTwelve Genteel Knitting Projects Inspired by Jane Austen by Trixie Von Purl. This lovely book is  published by Harper - Collins  and is available on many online bookshops. But,  what about winning a free copy? Read through this presentation and, at the bottom of the post,  you'll find a rafflecopter form with many chances to win! Unfortunately, this contest is limited to US readers only. Good luck!
What can you find in the book?

Knit your way through the incredible world of Jane Austen’s beloved novels, from Pemberley to Mansfield Park, and create your favorite Austen characters, including Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse, and more with this delightful collection of twelve knitting projects from the famed craftsman, Austen enthusiast, and author of Knit Your Own Kama Sutra, Trixie von Purl.
Knitting maven Trixie von Purl helps knitters and Austen fans create the world of Jane Austen like never before with this inventive and unique craft book. Featuring a high-class art, Pride & Preju-knits gathers together the best sassy heroines and brooding heroes from all six of Austen’s beloved and widely acclaimed novels, including Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley, and Marianne Dashwood and Mr. Willoughby.

Thursday, 10 December 2015


Hello Lynn and welcome to our online Jane Austen club. My first question is, what was your first encounter with Austen and her world like? And was it through reading one of her books or watching one of the movie/TV adaptations?

My first experience was reading Pride and Prejudice when I was fifteen years old. I was in the back of my car and my family were driving from Long Island to Montreal to go skiing, which was, like, an eight-hour trek, and I’d slept for most of the trip, so when we arrived at the slopes I’d just gotten up to Mr. Darcy’s letter to Lizzy and the last thing I wanted to do—I mean, the very last thing—was put the book down and go ski.

When and how you came to think of writing  a Jane Austen –inspired book?

I came up with the idea after seeing Bride & Prejudice—Gurinder Chadha’s Bollywood adaptation—in the movie theater so that was eleven years ago now. I was waiting with a friend for her bus and we were chatting about the film and we both thought it was slightly off because the Elizabeth character was so mean. She was, we thought, more like the Darcy character, and by the time her bus came, say, ten minutes later, I had the general idea mapped out. What I loved about it was how perfectly the names worked with it: Fitzwilliam Darcy becoming Darcy Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Bennet becoming Bennet Elizabeth. OK, his last name doesn’t work at all, and don’t think I haven’t been sulking about that for more than a decade.

What’s surprising in your retelling of Jane Austen’s most beloved tale is … a gender-bendy twist. Could you tell us more about your choice and briefly introduce us your characters?

It’s all hazy now, but years ago I read about a director who switched all the parts in a Shakespeare play—it might have been Macbeth—to see if the emotional truths held regardless of gender. That stayed with me and a few years later I wrote a book about a girl who stages a gender-bendy Hamlet to protest gender inequality in her high school’s drama department. So as soon as I came up with the idea, I embraced it with both hands because it dealt with things I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Monday, 7 December 2015


Austen at Christmastime

Thanks to Maria Grazia for inviting me to share my work with all her lovely readers!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always love a good dose of Jane Austen for the holidays. Whether it’s watching the six hour Pride & Prejudice miniseries for the zillionth time, reading one of the many variations and updates of her works—or reading the work in its original form—I enjoy it all.

So that was partly why I chose to write a Christmas novella with an Austenesque theme. Christmas with Miss Austen, a lighthearted, inspirational romance, features a modern-day heroine named Julia who is obsessed with all-things Austen. Waitress by day, painter by night, and Jane Austen on weekends might be a good way to describe her. When the story begins, it finds her volunteering at a historic open house for the holidays. Here, Julia dresses up in Regency style clothing and reads to visitors from an antique copy of Northanger Abbey.

Julia’s adventure begins when she falls asleep after the customers have gone, and accidentally gets locked inside the old house. She must walk home in the dark in full Regency garb. When she bumps into a stranger in the snowy park, Julia doesn’t stop to explain—she just scurries home.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


Fitzwilliam Darcy never forgot the little girl, with the beautiful dark eyes, who saved his life fifteen years ago… though he never expected to meet her again. But when he comes to Rosings Park to spend the Advent season with his aunt, he discovers that at Christmastime, miracles - and wishes – can come true… 

DARCY'S CHRISTMAS WISH is a sweet, clean standalone Pride and Prejudice variation - a holiday romance inspired by Jane Austen's classic novel!


"Penelope Swan has captured the essence of the characters and their "voices" so well that one would think the text was written by Jane Austen, herself." ~ Ingrid Holzman