Monday, 16 October 2017

VICTORIA GROSSACK, LIES & LIARS IN JANE AUSTEN


(by Victoria Grossack)

 In Jane Austen’s works, the bad guys lie.  A lot.

In fact, dishonesty in both word and deed frequently propels the plot.  Let’s take a tour through the deceptions in Jane Austen’s six novels and then discuss her depictions of lies, liars, and those who believe them.

Northanger Abbey.  One of the things I like about this novel is that much of the plot turns on the lies that characters tell about each other.  Most are delivered by John Thorpe, who tells many lies to General Tilney about Catherine Morland, the novel’s protagonist.  Northanger Abbey is, as many people know, Austen’s riposte to the over-the-top melodrama of the gothic novels that were so popular in the late 1700s.  And although Austen incorporated some gothic imaginings, she was able to devise a lovely little novel with prosaic lies.

Monday, 9 October 2017

DON JACOBSON, LIZZY BENNET MEETS THE COUNTESS

The Process Behind the Cover of “Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess”

By this point, Janet Taylor and I have firmly established the overall cover format for Bennet Wardrobe stories. There have been two in the “new style” –The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey and The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque. This latest novella will be the third utilizing the unifying “look.”  

One might suggest that if you have the frame, it is a relatively simple process to drop a picture into the hole. However, there is a peculiar zen behind an art director’s craft. As opposed to being almost incidental, what truly drives the underlying creative impulse for the cover design is the core visual. Even if Janet is not creating a new image, she derives the primary background color for the title block and then the complementary colors for the type itself. Wrong choices can have awful consequences.

Friday, 6 October 2017

BARBARA SILKSTONE, MY FAIR LIZZY - EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY

The fun things you discover while creating a new adventure for Darcy and Lizzy! It was important to my new release, a mashup of Pride and Prejudice and Pygmalion, that Lizzy talk with a cockney accent. But how could I do that to our darling girl? And how much of her quirky speech pattern would the reader enjoy? I hope I hit a near perfect balance as the tale begins with Lizzy speaking in cockney only to blend into proper English.


Amazon   Kobo   iBooks   Nook 

A Regency tale ~ Lizzy Bennet, a sassy London shop girl is instantly attracted to Fitzwilliam Darcy, the arrogant, handsome visitor to the Bennets’ struggling Covent Garden flower shop. Darcy insists on purchasing Lizzy’s lucky orchid as a gift for his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Will Lizzy sell her family’s much needed good fortune to the haughty know it all?

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

DANGEROUS TO KNOW - COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY


Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with any number of unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched out to the reader. Have you ever wondered about her rakes, rattles, and rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, the book designed to expose certain histories about Jane Austen’s anti-heroes, reveals its cover today.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

MISTAKEN BLOG TOUR - VIGNETTE BY JESSIE LEWIS + GIVEAWAY


Thank you so much, Maria Grazia, for hosting the first leg of the blog tour for Mistaken. I’d like to celebrate the occasion by sharing with your readers a scene that didn’t make it into the finished novel. There were quite a number of outtakes strewn across my virtual cutting room floor by the time I finished writing; I thought this one would give readers a wonderful introduction to some of my favourite characters. It’s dated, as is every scene in Mistaken, so readers can place it within the story. In it, we join Colonel Fitzwilliam, his brother Lord Ashby and their incorrigible grandmother Tabitha Sinclair, as they discuss Darcy’s uncommon state of melancholy.
Jessie Lewis

Monday, 25 September 2017

CATHERINE LODGE, THE PERILS OF PERFIDIOUS PLAGIARISTS


In August 2015, I was preparing to enjoy my birthday party at a sister's house, my family was around me, a small nephew was instructing me on the correct way to build with lego,  and the cake was flowing. I made the mistake of looking at my email.
"Hi," said and eagle-eyed reader who'd seen my novels on the Meryton.com site. "I didn't know you'd published your stories."
Celebration ground to a halt, I rampaged around Amazon - horrified to see that someone had smooshed my two stories together, under a hideous cover, with an ungrammatical title and using the pen name I'd used on-line.  Horribly, this meant it was someone who'd read my stories in a closed group I'd thought was a safe space, perhaps even someone I'd interacted with socially. 
It took me two days to get Amazon to admit that the stories were mine and take them down, followed by Nook and Barnes and Noble.  "Phew," thought painfully naive me. "Thank heavens that's over."  Of course, I never saw a penny/cent/pesos of what the plagiarist had made but I consoled myself that they probably didn't either and that it had all disappeared into Amazon's coffers.

Friday, 22 September 2017

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF YOUNG LADIES IN JANE AUSTEN'S NOVELS + GIVEAWAY


(from guest blogger Eliza Shearer)

Several words pop up all the time in Jane Austen’s novels: ‘fine,' ‘nice,' ‘civil,' ‘pleasant’ and ‘elegant’ immediately come to mind. But my personal favourite is ‘accomplished,' a word that comes up over and over again, particularly when referring to young ladies.

While in the XVIII century the education of young women of genteel families left a lot to be desired, in the Regency there was a renewed interest in cultivating the mind and spirit of girls. For girls, being accomplished became a positive trait, and one that could lead to a good marriage. Jane Austen herself benefited from an open-minded approach to female education, and her father’s extensive and fascinating library was as open as Mr Bennet’s.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

THESE DREAMS BLOG TOUR - VIGNETTE BY NICOLE CLARKSTON: LYDIA & GEORGIANA, GIRL TALK + GIVEAWAY


The events in this vignette fall just before Chapter 28 in These Dreams. Lydia and Georgiana are becoming close, as each girl tries to find ways to cheer the other. They have found a common bond in the disappointments of their young lives, but Elizabeth, the thread which first brought them together, is still emotionally distant.

There are quite a few sibling and sibling-like relationships running through this book. I enjoyed the relationship between Lydia and Georgiana for several reasons. The first was that Lydia is such a marvelous plot device! She will say things that no one else will say, and she brings an earthy freshness to the other characters just by her tart observations. She has absolutely no class-- not until the influences of Georgiana and Elizabeth begin to permeate her shaken senses-- and no fear, save for her own future.

Another thing I love about these two is that they are such opposites. They grow from each others’ example, and it is entertaining to watch how easily they come to terms with the elephant in the room: George Wickham. He played dirty by both of them, and they form a decided sisterly bond over the matter. As their friendship strengthens, they almost embark upon the girlhood that both had been denied; playing instruments, learning new crafts, planning picnics and comforting one another.

Elizabeth, through no fault or intent of anyone’s, becomes something of the outsider. Unlike the younger girls, her grief knows no balm, and she is tormented by night and day with her dreams and visions of the man she believes lost to her. Additionally, she is weighed down with the duties and responsibilities that the other two are yet unprepared to shoulder. In this short vignette, Georgiana and Lydia do a little speculating about the cause of Elizabeth’s low spirits.

~NC

Monday, 18 September 2017

I COULD WRITE A BOOK BLOG TOUR - KAREN M. COX, LOOKING FOR A NEW LOVE


Looking For a New Love: Why We Should Let Lizzy have Mr. Darcy, and Set Our Caps for George Knightley (a tongue-in-cheek male review)

All of Austen’s heroes have their excellent qualities. Henry Tilney is charming. Captain Wentworth is romantic. Edward Ferrars is loyal (sometimes to his detriment). Edmund Bertram is kind.

But one Austen gentleman is more famous than all the others combined (thank you, Colin Firth!) Mr. Darcy is the ultimate catch, right? Brooding, rich, tall, and with that noble demeanor, he has turned readers’ heads for 200 years. He fell for Elizabeth Bennet when she never suspected that his feelings ran so deep. He saved her family from certain disgrace. He changes his prideful ways for the woman he loves.
He’s everyone’s favorite book boyfriend.
But hold on a minute…
Have you met George Knightley?

Saturday, 16 September 2017

PARTICULAR ATTACHMENTS BLOG TOUR - L.L. DIAMOND INTRODUCES HER HERO, LORD NATHANIEL SELE


Particular Attachments

She swore would never marry!

Georgiana Darcy is a lady with a secret! The last thing she wants is to return to London, but what else can she do when her brother and his wife make plans to spend the Christmas season in town. When Lizzy’s youngest sister, Lydia, joins them, Georgiana gains a confidante, but will Lydia’s outgoing nature cause problems when Lord Sele, son of a family friend reappears in Georgiana’s life?

As an insufferable boy, Lord Sele vowed he would marry Georgiana, but was his return from Ireland a coincidence or was his sole purpose to pursue her? He admits to desiring friendship, but Lydia is determined his desire is Georgiana and she will stop at nothing to see her best friend happily settled.

What is Georgiana to do when faced with the society she has managed to avoid for her entire adult life as well as the one man determined to change her mind about marriage? Will she be able to overcome her fears despite the spectre from the past that seems to be haunting her? Will she be forced to tell her secret and choose happiness or will someone from her past ruin everything?

Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgiana Darcy

Thank you so much for having me,  Maria Grazia!

One of my favourite scenes in Particular Attachments is the first time Georgiana sees Nathaniel (Lord Sele) after so many years. It’s not a major interaction between the two, but in some ways it shows so much in his reaction to her as well as her reaction to him. Since Particular Attachments is from Georgiana’s point of view, I thought I’d write an outtake from Nathaniel’s perspective. I hope you enjoy it J

 L.L.Diamond
~ * ~

Thursday, 14 September 2017

JANE AUSTEN AND THE MEN WHO LOVED HER



(by Alice Chandler)

Why do so few men read Jane Austen? That question has been getting a lot of attention recently. In an article reprinted in the blog Jane Austen’s World, William Deresiewicz writes about “the strangeness, the effrontery, of a heterosexual man who reads Jane Austen.” Another article by Margaret Barthels, talks movingly about her father, who was a lifelong Austen reader, even in a world of “female-dominated fandom.”  A 2008 survey readership found that 96% of all Austen readers were women. Even allowing for the distortions of such self-reported data, the evidence is clear. Women read Jane Austen. Men do not--or to be more accurate, most men do not. It was not always so.

Monday, 11 September 2017

FAIR STANDS THE WIND BLOG TOUR - CATHERINE LODGE, IN DEFENCE OF MRS BENNET


Author Guest Post

I admit it, I feel sorry for Mrs Bennet.  I know she would be horrendously annoying to live with, no one likes to hear the same thing over and over again, and no one likes to be told what they ought to be doing, especially if it's the one thing you don't want to do, whether it's tidying your bedroom or marrying someone you can't stand.
But the poor woman, really doesn't understand her own life.  She must know that her husband despises her and most of her children, he makes no secret of the fact and she, equally obviously, does not understand why.  As far as she is concerned, she is doing everything right, she runs a comfortable, well-fed household and she is doing her best to get her daughters advantageously married.  Indeed, she seems to be the only person who understands how desperately important it is to get them married, and what a horrendously stupid thing Elizabeth does in refusing Mr Collins.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

SHARON LATHAN, THREE WAYS TO WED DURING THE REGENCY - GUEST BLOG & GIVEAWAY

My sincerest thanks to Maria Grazia for hosting me on My Jane Austen Book Club today. It is an honor to be here, and a great pleasure to share a bit of my research with your readers, as well as my latest novel. Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future is the second book in the two-volume Darcy Saga Prequel Duo, which began with Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. These two novels perfectly fit with my Darcy Saga Sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the series now including nine lengthy novels and one novella.

Three Ways to Wed during the Regency

Today I thought I would talk about the legitimate avenues for a legal marriage in England during the period our beloved characters lived. As a result of the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1753, the rules and requirements were strictly detailed, in large part to prevent the rash marriages of the prior decades. 

The five major points of the 1753 Marriage Act were:


      1.  A license and/or the reading of the banns were required to legally marry.
  1. Essential parental consent if either person was under the age of 21.
  2. The ceremony must take place in a public chapel or church where at least one of the two resided AND by an authorized Church of England clergyman.
  3. The marriage must be performed between 8am and noon, AND before designated witnesses.
  4. The marriage had to be recorded in the marriage register with the signatures of both parties, the witnesses, and the minister.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

DANGEROUS TO KNOW: JANE AUSTEN'S RAKES AND GENTLEMEN ROGUES. CHRISTINA BOYD PRESENTS HER NEW PROJECT.


Oops, I’m at it again.

I’m Christina Boyd, the editor of The Darcy Monologues, and I am thrilled to finally announce that my next anthology project, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues, is well underway. My team and I thank you for helping us launch the news to the Jane Austen community.

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with any number of unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched out to the reader. Have you never wondered about the back story of her rakes and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories.

Friday, 1 September 2017

AUTHOR MARIA GRACE, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN JANE AUSTEN - A LESS AGREEABLE MAN BLOG TOUR

Jane Austen portrays a wonderful vision of heroines like Elizabeth Bennet who are hardly doormats to their men. It is important to realize though, that our modern views of marriage did not apply to Jane Austen’s day, and expectations (and realities) of marriage were very different for women then. These differences applied to many areas of life. One of particular notes was the tolerance for domestic violence.

Warm and affectionate marriages were desirable, but practical considerations were probably the backbone of most matches. Loving relationships were more likely to form after marriage than before, if they formed at all. Whatever amiable feelings might develop did so in the context of a clear hierarchy. In regency society, no one doubted that the husband was the head of the relationship, in charge of essentially everything.
There cannot, indeed, be a sight more uncouth, than that of a man and his wife struggling for power: for where it ought to be vested, nature, reason, and Scripture, concur to declare;
… How preposterous is it to hear a woman say, ' It shall be done!' —' I will have it so!' and often extending her authority not only beyond her jurisdiction, but in matters where he alone is competent to act, or even to judge. (Taylor, 1822)

Sunday, 27 August 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON ... P.O. DIXON, BY REASON, BY REFLECTION, BY EVERYTHING + GIVEAWAY

From the Author

Thank you so much, Maria Grazia, for this opportunity to visit My Jane Austen Book Club and share an excerpt from my new release, By Reason, by Reflection, by Everything. It’s always a great pleasure to be here.



About the Book



What if Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her late sister, Lady Anne, were not the only two who enjoyed a favorite wish for Fitzwilliam Darcy’s future marital felicity? What if the elder Mr. Darcy had a favorite wish of his own? What if he promised his firstborn son to the firstborn daughter of his old university friend, Thomas Bennet? Are promises made always promises kept? Or is a love like Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet's destined to prevail? 


Sunday, 20 August 2017

DRESS-UP JANE AUSTEN: DISCOVER HISTORY THROUGH FASHION. WIN A COPY!

Think you know your morning dresses from your riding habits? Whether it’s dancing the night away or preparing for a winter walk are you sure you know what it is the best outfit to wear? Have a close look at the costumes contained in Dress- up Jane Austen and you'll find wonderful suggestions. 

And what about discovering Jane Austen’s Regency era through fashion! Aren't you curious to know more about such a fascinating time? Thanks to Dress-up Jane Austen you'll get to find out unusual details, how a Regency bride and groom dressed for their wedding  or why everyone used to wear hats, for instance.  

What is Dress-up Jane Austen?

It is a beautifully illustrated activity book. Written by Catherine Bruzzone and illustrated by Hennie Haworth, it is part of a series,  Fashion Paper Dolls,  and it's all about discovering the history of the Regency Era through the fashions of the time. It provides a healthy dose of nostalgic paper dolls fun and interesting information.  Whilst the series of books is meant for children, leafing through its lovely pages,  I'm sure that adults, especially Jane Austen fans,  might enjoy the level of detail in the drawings, too.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

GUEST POST AND GIVEAWAY: ALEXA ADAMS, FRIENDS & FOES FROM PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IN WONDERLAND

Thank you so much for hosting me today at My Jane Austen Book Club! It’s always a pleasure to drop in.

Today I’d like to focus on some of the side characters in my book, Darcy in Wonderland, all of whom are of great interest to Janeites. While the story primarily focuses on the immediate Darcy family, particularly Mr. Darcy and Alice, many of our friends and foes from Pride and Prejudice receive mention, and some even play a major role in the plot, like Lady Catherine. She has had ample time in the spotlight over the past several days as I’ve done the rounds of the blogs, so let’s set that imposing grand dame aside and turn our attention to quieter members of the cast.

Mary Harding and Kitty Crawford

Austen was rather specific regarding the fates of some of her characters, and even though this is a rather unorthodox continuation, I have stuck to cannon as much as possible. For example, the fates of Mary and Kitty Bennet are clearly disclosed at the end of Pride and Prejudice, so I didn’t tamper with their destinies.

“The days passed quickly in a frenzy of preparations, visiting, and new arrivals, who swelled the numbers in the dining room. Elizabeth’s sister, Mary Harding, her husband, and their three rather grown children arrived from Hertfordshire two days before the ball. They traveled with the Collinses of Longbourn, who left their children at home. Kitty Crawford and four of her brood of nine did not descend upon Pemberley until the following day, as her husband, a clergyman, worked in a parish not far away. The halls of the great house veritably rang with the footsteps and laughter of children while the nights were marked by family gatherings in the drawing room, full of games, performances, conversation, and laughter. What did it matter if Mr. Collins was abysmal at cards? Under his wife’s skillful management, the former rector’s absurdities were never subjected on any single person for too long, and Bennet was often happy to partner him, finding his cousin just as diverting a source of entertainment as his grandfather had before him.”

Saturday, 12 August 2017

MR DARCY'S BRIDEs BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY - AUTHOR REGINA JEFFERS, BREACH OF PROMISE LEGALITIES IN THE REGENCY


In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Miss Austen brings up the issue of “Breach of Promise Suits” as they apply to Lydia and Wickham. This exchange actually occurs after Darcy’s second proposal (chapter 60) when Elizabeth is asking Darcy when he fell in love with her:

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON ... THE JOURNEY HOME BY KAREN M. COX


The Journey Home

Georgiana Darcy has left girlhood far behind her. A young, single mother with two small daughters, she escaped a precarious existence. Now she has returned to her ancestral home, ready to rebuild her life. Her brother, William, welcomed her with open arms and helped her back on her feet. But home is more than a place—it’s a state of mind, and Georgiana has a journey of the heart ahead of her. As her brother falls in love with Elizabeth, the new girl in town, Georgiana finds herself drawn to William’s long-time friend, Sheriff Richard Fitzwilliam, a widower fifteen years her senior. Richard would never want her, or so she believes, but when he’s near, her sorrow vanishes. When Georgiana’s past comes roaring back to haunt her, can Richard and his kind, gentle ways help see her through?