Project Darcy Book Launch & Blog Tour with Author Jane Odiwe & Giveaways!

Project  Darcy, by Jane Odiwe (2013)Fall is always a peak season for great novels in publishing so I am happy to host the virtual book launch party of Project Darcy, by popular Austenesque novelist Jane Odiwe. In celebration Jane has kindly shared an exclusive excerpt of her new novel with our readers.

Please enter a chance to win one of two gift packs available, including a copy of the book, prints of Jane’s wonderfully enchanting artwork and note cards, by leaving a comment below this post. Details for the giveaway are listed at the bottom. Good luck to all! 

Welcome Jane…

Laurel Ann, I am so excited to be here as a guest to launch my new book, Project Darcy – thank you so much for inviting me to celebrate today and share an exclusive excerpt!

The 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice has been a special year for Jane Austen’s wonderful book, and I couldn’t let it go by without celebrating it myself with a new novel!

Five friends who have recently finished university, volunteer for an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home in Steventon, Hampshire. Ellie, Jess, Martha, Cara and Liberty, are all excited to go on the trip for very individual reasons – Ellie is an illustrator and loves painting landscapes, Jess is obsessed with Jane Austen’s books, Martha is keen to indulge her interest in archaeology, and Cara and Liberty can think of nothing but the guys they might meet and the possibility of starring in the documentary that’s going to be made.

One of the girls, Ellie, has an unusual gift – she often picks up vibrations from objects and places, which help her to see into the past. Whilst in Steventon, this happens more and more and with such intensity that she is transported back in time to become another person – Jane Austen!

Here’s an excerpt from Project Darcy, which I hope you’ll enjoy!

As soon as supper was over, the girls disappeared off to their various rooms agreeing to meet downstairs in the drawing room before they went out to meet Charlie and the others. Ellie got changed in about five minutes and with plenty of time before they were due to go out she fetched her sketchbook from her bedroom and ran downstairs. She had an idea to try a drawing of the front elevation of Steventon Rectory based on what she’d learned that day, and was really looking forward to talking to the other girls about all the ideas she had. The door to the drawing room was closed, but as soon as Ellie touched the handle, she could sense that the very air was different. Sounds, smells and furniture were all changing before her eyes beyond anything she recognised. Gone was the circular table in the hall, and instead a pier table and ornate looking glass graced one side of the corridor. There was an umbrella stand and a bookcase full of heavy tomes, two mahogany chairs either side of the doorway, and a familiar object in the recess where it had probably stood for over two hundred years telling of the moments, seconds, minutes and hours that passed.  She heard the Grandfather clock in the hall whirr into action and chime again and again, with each sonorous strike of the bell seeming to take her further and further back in time.

Painting of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy by Jane Odiwe

Painting of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy by Jane Odiwe

I brushed my hands over the blue and white checked poplin of my morning gown, and despaired. The hem was spattered with mud from the walk but more than that I knew my faded dress had seen better days, and would have been improved for having another three inches added to its length. My hair, always unruly and curly to the point of being wild, was threatening to fall entirely down my back from the knot on top of my head, and tucking stray strands behind my ears was not doing a very sufficient tidy-up. Though why I was so keen to impress the stranger come to Ashe, I could not think. I’d lived in the world for twenty years and had not yet worried about my appearance when meeting any single young man. But, I’d heard enough from my dear friend, Madame Lefroy, to be exceedingly curious about her nephew Tom – his coming to visit his aunt and uncle had often been talked about, but never accomplished. When at last he’d been expected, every morning visit in Steventon had included a mention of the well-composed letter his aunt had received. Every lady in the village had been full of the news.

‘I suppose you have heard of the handsome letter Mr Tom Lefroy has written to Madame?’ said Mrs Bramston. ‘I understand it was a very handsome letter, indeed. Mrs Harwood told me of it. Mrs Harwood saw the letter, and she says she never saw such a splendid letter in her life.’

Art print of Steventon Rectory in winter by Jane Odiwe

Art print of Steventon Rectory in winter by Jane Odiwe

We knew that he hailed from Ireland, which lent him an air of romanticism. I loved some of the country airs and songs that were composed by his countrymen, and I suppose I had imagined him to be something of a romantic figure. We were told he was clever, and I remembered someone saying that overwork was the reason for his visit. After a suitable rest, he was going to study law in London and until then he was to spend Christmas with his relations. When the invitation came, I couldn’t believe I was to meet him. He’d achieved almost mythical status, and he surely couldn’t live up to the nonpareil of my imagination.

‘Jane, your hair!’ my mother exclaimed. ‘Why did you not let Rebecca see to it this morning?’

‘I do not like to be always asking her to be looking after me with tasks I can do for myself. She has quite enough to do with running errands for Nanny Littleworth and Nanny Hilliard.’

‘You will have to do, I suppose. Just remember not to talk too much and run on like you do at home.’

We entered by the parlour door, and saw a young gentleman sitting with Madame. The Tom Lefroy so long talked of, so high in interest, was actually before me. He was introduced, and at first, I did not think too much had been said in his praise. He was very tall and fair, his hair the colour of buttercups in sunshine. But, it wasn’t his shock of yellow hair that drew my attention. It was his eyes I noticed straight away. They were the colour of the sea on a winter’s day and as restless as the waves crashing to the shore. The grey coat he wore intensified the shade – one minute they were as lavender as sea thrift, the next as pale as pebbles in sand. He was a very good-looking young man; and his countenance had a great deal of spirit and liveliness. I felt immediately that I would like him; but as the afternoon wore on I found I was completely deceived in my first impressions. There was no well-bred ease of manner, or a readiness to talk, which convinced me that he had no intention to be really acquainted with me. Taciturn and proud were the words that sprang to mind. He looked as if he were there on sufferance, that the invitation from his aunt was most unwelcome.

Art print of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy dancing at Ashe ball by Jane Odiwe

Art print of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy dancing at Ashe ball by Jane Odiwe

My mother and Madame did most of the talking, but on feeling that perhaps we were a little overwhelming for someone who was not entirely well, I moved from my chair on the opposite side of the room to sit next to him.

‘You have come from Ireland, I understand, Mr Lefroy.’

‘Yes, from Dublin, Miss Austen.’

‘Ah, and is Dublin the town where you were born?’

‘No, that is Limerick.’

‘Thomas has been studying at Trinity College,’ Madame offered, as she caught our rather one-sided conversation.

Thomas nodded in assent, got up and walked over to the window where he stood looking out. It was then that I gave up trying to engage him further. Every now and then, I felt his eyes on me, and when once I dared to look back at him, he stared at me in such a way as to make me feel decidedly uncomfortable. I did not know what to make of him.

‘Well,’ said my mother on the walk home, ‘what a very proud and conceited young man. And never to open his mouth the whole time … Irish airs are all very well, but he’ll not make many friends if he looks down his nose at his aunt’s Hampshire neighbours. I suppose his father is a Colonel and fancies himself very high and mighty, and there I was thinking that I’d heard his mother was a very sensible woman.’

‘I understood from Madame that Thomas has been ill, that he is suffering the effects of too much work and that his eyesight has been affected.’

‘A poor excuse to behave badly, in my opinion,’ answered my mother. ‘He is most disagreeable, and rude. Why, I should have given him a dressing down if I were his aunt. To stand up and walk away when you were trying your very best to converse with him, I never heard of such a thing!’

He was dressed in a dark coat and satin breeches for the Basingstoke Assembly just a day later, a distinguished figure who seemed to have no wish to join in either the conversation or the dancing, merely standing at the edge of the dance floor with the Lefroy party almost as if he looked down on anyone who chose to take part. He walked here and there, occasionally whispering something in his cousin Lucy’s ear, which despite his serious expression seemed to make her laugh heartily. Nevertheless, there was something about him I could not dismiss, and I was intrigued by his haughty manner. It seemed improbable that he’d look my way, and yet I wished he would. I wanted him to notice me. He intrigued me in a way no other person ever had, and yet, he made me cross. I was angry with him for being so superior in his manners, but I loved a puzzle, and there was no doubt, Tom Lefroy was an enigma. I could not help staring at him, enjoying the way his yellow hair curled into the collar of the coat that closely fitted broad shoulders and skimmed over neat hips. He didn’t smile; he only observed the other dancers. I wondered if he knew that I watched him, but all I could see was his static expression, and an eyebrow twitching in response to his observations.

End of excerpt.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing this novel. There are several stories running alongside – I enjoyed thinking about both the modern stories as well as those in the past. I wanted to reflect the themes of Jane’s Pride and Prejudice and attempt to keep it ‘light and bright’ – there is, of course, a happy ending!

I’d love to know if you’ve ever imagined you were transported back in time. Have you ever visited anywhere that almost made you feel you’d re-visited the past?

Many thanks to Jane for visiting today. We wish you great success with your new novel, Project Darcy.

Author Jane Odiwe (2013)Author Bio:

Jane Odiwe is the author of five Austen-inspired novels, Project Darcy, Searching for Captain Wentworth, Mr Darcy’s Secret, Willoughby’s Return, and Lydia Bennet’s Story, and is a contributor to Laurel Ann Nattress’s anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, with a short story, “Waiting”.

Jane is a member of the Jane Austen Society; she holds an arts degree, and initially started her working life teaching Art and History. When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting and trying to capture the spirit of Jane Austen’s world. Her illustrations have been published in a picture book, Effusions of Fancy, and are featured in a biographical film of Jane Austen’s life in Sony’s DVD edition of The Jane Austen Book Club. Visit Jane at her website Austen Effusions; her blog Jane Austen Sequels; On Twitter as @JaneOdiwe; on Facebook as Jane Odiwe and Pinterest.

A Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of two gift packs available in celebration of Project Darcy’s book launch. The first pack contains a print copy of the book and one 16.5” x 11.7” signed, original art pint by Jane Odiwe of Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy dancing at Ashe Rectory, and the second pack contains one 16.5” x 11.7” signed, original art print by Jane Odiwe of Steventon Rectory with one pack of 6 holiday cards in two designs, 3 each of Christmas at Steventon with Jane and Cassandra walking in the snow, and 3 each of Steventon Rectory . To enter, leave a comment either asking Jane a question about her writing process, or tell us who your favorite character is in Pride and Prejudice and why, by 11:59 pm PT, Wednesday, November 13, 2013. The two winners will be drawn at random from the comments and announced on Thursday, November 14, 2013. Shipment is international. Good luck to all.

Jane Austen cards by Jane Odiwe design 1

Note cards: Christmas at Steventon with Jane and Cassandra, design 1

Steventon Rectory cards by Jane Odiwe design 2

Note cards: Steventon Rectory by Jane Odiwe design 2

Project Darcy, by Jane Odiwe
Paintbox Publishing (2013)
Trade paperback (326) pages
ISBN: 978-0954572235

Cover image courtesy of Paintbox Publishing © 2013; text Jane Odiwe © 2013, Austenprose.com

82 thoughts on “Project Darcy Book Launch & Blog Tour with Author Jane Odiwe & Giveaways!

  1. Well My definite fav is Lizzie and that is also why one of my children will be named Elizabeth :) She is a strong, smart and independent woman and I feel I can relate to her the most out of all the characters in Jane’s books :)

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  2. Thanks once again Laurel Ann for keeping us up to date with all the new releases. And, I hope I win one of those gifts, too – they look and sound amazing.

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  3. My favorite character in Pride and Prejudice is Mr Darcy because he stayed in love with Lizzy despite her lack of fortune and that he had to become BiL to Wickhead. Too many people in this world will leave at the first sign of trouble.

    I am curious if you have any similarities in your writing process and your drawing process, and if one process drives the other.

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  4. Congratulations Jane! You chose the perfect excerpt to share. I love time travel stories because I love to read about the past. Whenever we visit Williamsburg, Virginia I feel I have stepped back in time. It’s one of my favorite places to visit! And of course my favorite characters from P&P are Elizabeth and Darcy!!:)

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  5. Someone recently asked why read JAFF? This is why! I dearly love Lizzy and Jane.

    With multiple stories going on, how difficult is it to decide where they should across each other?

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  6. Loved the post today, Laurel Ann, and really enjoyed the excerpt from Jane’s new story. I could detect shades of Frank Churchill in the suspense over Tom Lefroy’s arrival and of course the parallels with Darcy are clear too. Brilliant!

    It’s the thing I love most about your writing, Jane, the blending between your original storyline, the characters or situations of Jane Austen’s novels and her real life too. Skilfully done.

    I really love that you weave past and present so effectively into your writing as well. In answer to your question, the closest I have come to feeling I am in the past is when I am at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton.

    This probably sounds really silly, but I can feel her all around me there, even in the garden. There is so much there that ‘speaks’ of her, even though not every artefact belonged to the family. There is such an effective mix of real Austen family items and those on loan, reproduction furniture in line with what was there and just somehow this tangible, emotional feeling that she is still there, that her spirit rests peacefully cocooned within the walls of the home where she fulfilled her dreams of being an author.

    With regard to Laurel Ann’s questions re the giveaway, I would love to know how you approach a new story: do your ideas tend to come from the location (which seems to be significant), the aspect of Jane’s real life that intrigues you or that of her characters?

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  7. Jane, your illustrations are so delicate, just beautiful. I enjoyed the excerpt, especially the allusions to Emma, my favorite novel.

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  8. After spending the last several days watching my husband ‘staring into space’ waiting for the next idea to appear for his next book – I wondered where do your ideas come from?, Is there a definite plot before you start writing?

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  9. Wonderful excerpt, Jane, the only drawback being that I wanted to keep reading! I very much look forward to perusing this book in full. I remember a quotation (though not the exact words) of Jane Austen’s where she said that Sir Walter Scott had no business to write novels and especially good ones and she didn’t mean to like the one she was reading – referring to his already-established reputation for poetry, though she thought perhaps she couldn’t help doing so. With your lovely artwork also offering such pleasures, I could say the same of you. Except that I absolutely mean to like Project Darcy! I recognized so many Austen references already in the excerpt, I anticipate more quite happily.

    There was an old Twilight Zone episode when I was a kid, where a man goes to a museum and stares so long at an idyllic painting that he becomes part of the scene. He goes there over and over again to do that and escape the present. The story resonated with me and I’ve remembered it for years. I often feel myself transported back in time when visiting historical sites of particular interest. I can get so immersed in my surroundings and wondering about the stories of the lives of people who inhabited a place, that I feel as though time slips away and I’m there.

    Being something of a “haphazard” writer myself, I wonder at your preparation for writing a new book. Do you outline? And if so, how minutely? Do you research all up front or as you go along and need it? I’m always interested in how an idea plays out.

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  10. Thank you, Chelsea, for the kind words about my art work!

    Anda, I love Elizabeth too-even over Mr Darcy. And I must admit, I struggled slightly when I was thinking about my modern Ellie. Would such a modern, independent girl give him the time of day? Thank you for your comments!

    Agnes, thank you-I’m so glad you like the look of them!

    june7-there’s always an idea that pops into my head with both processes-for instance, when I read Jane Austen’s letters, I wanted to see Jane and Tom dancing together. This was a painting I did before films like ‘Becoming Jane’. The painting inspired my writing too-I wanted to know how they got together and what they said to one another. Thank you for your lovely comment!

    Kelli, thank you so much – I’d love to visit Williamsburg – it sounds like my kind of place. I’ve had a few spooky experiences, especially in Bath, but when visiting St. Nicholas Church in Steventon a few years ago, I felt there was a very fine layer of time keeping me from the past – so tranquil and peaceful.

    rearadmiral – I just let myself go with the flow-it never seems to be a problem if I don’t try and get too far ahead with plotting. I usually write out a basic synopsis, as I did with Project Darcy, but find my characters take the story away and they decide how it’s going to go. It sounds silly, but sometimes it feels I’m not writing the book myself-I go on automatic pilot, and when I read it back-I can’t remember writing some of it. It’s quite useful when it comes to editing so it keeps fresh in my mind. Thanks so much for joining me today!

    Cassandra, – yes – you spotted the Frank Churchill undertones – in fact, those that know all Jane’s books will find influences from them all, I think. When writing about Jane, I feel there is so much of her in the books, it’s impossible not to reference it in some way. I think the inspiration for my books comes from many things – I wanted to write Jane’s story many years ago, but didn’t feel confident enough to do it, and I was wary about the subject because everyone has their idea of what she was like. It’s impossible to do total justice to her character, and there are many things I didn’t tackle about her as a writer-but this is a P&P inspired book, and for that reason, I wanted to attempt to keep it ‘light and bright’. The location was significant in the case of this book- I’ve always wanted to do a book based in Steventon, which was the home where I think she was as happy as at Chawton. Years ago, I left a copy of Effusions of Fancy in the church there, and several people contacted me through that-one lady I still correspond with now-so it’s very special to me. Thank you for your thought-provoking comments!

    Vesper-I don’t tend to write unless I have an idea-I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to write every day. Often, ideas come out of the blue-mostly at night when I’m in bed and starting to drop off. Sometimes, a dream inspires me, and one I had years ago, helped me with this book. I have lots of ideas-and sometimes don’t know which one to do next, but in the end, one usually speak to me. Thank you-I’m sure your husband will find his inspiration soon!

    When you’ve left a comment here-please join me at my Jane Austen Sequels blog for a special giveaway- I’d love to see you there.

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  11. Hi Tess, thank you for your comment- you sound like a kindred spirit!
    As for outlining a novel, I used to plot minutely, but found my characters just didn’t like it-they always have a will of their own. So, now I have a brief outline, where I want to go- I use pictures and imagery a lot- I like to ‘see’ what they look like, where they live-what the house is like etc-especially if lovely Georgian houses are involved. I love the research-recently, in Bath, I discovered that the Lefroys must have been in Bath when Jane was in 1797, and to discover I could roam round the house where they stayed in Edgar’s Buildings was brilliant-it’s now a ‘Slug and Lettuce’ pub/restaurant and it was eerie to stand looking out of the window knowing they probably did the same. Thank you for visiting!

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  12. This sounds like an interesting premise and I would definitely be keen to read it and see how you combine Austen’s themes with more modern story lines. Jane, did you actually get to experience working on an archaeological dig as part of your research? (or is it something you’ve done in the past?)
    My favourite character from Pride & Prejudice is Jane Bennet – I think she’s a really cleverly written character because she is good, but completely likeable because she’s never sanctimonious or preachy. She just chooses to see the good in everything and everyone. Some people would say that was naïve, and it’s true that it leads to her getting hurt at one point, but generally she is much happier for believing the best of everyone – I wonder if there’s something we can all learn from a character like hers, and what life would be like if more of us chose to be less cynical and judgemental!

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  13. When it comes to writing, do you have ideas and summaries of books written out already, or do you work at one book at a time?

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  14. I love Mr. Bennet! Even though he has his faults, he love Lizzie and always knows when to retreat to the library. Jane Austen must have loved him very well too as she gave him all the best lines.

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  15. Thanks for the excerpt. I can’t wait to read the book. I bought several of your cards a few years ago and the are framed together. I love looking at them and thinking of the scenes in Jane’s novels. You’ve for so much talent!

    Best of luck with the new book!
    Felicia

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  16. He isn’t exactly my most loved character but I think Mr Collins is one of the great comic characters of all time. The scenes with him are so much fun to read!

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  17. My favorite character from P&P… that’s a tough decision, but I think I have to go with Miss Elizabeth Bennet! I may be partial because we share the same name, but I have always admired Lizzie’s spirit and wit. She recognizes the faults of her family, but she is devoted to them wholeheartedly and will stick up for them no matter what. I think we can all relate to her changing feelings for Darcy as she gets to know him on a more personal level and learns about the circumstances that have shaped him into the man she grows to love in the end. I am very excited to read Jane’s work and I would love to have one of her original pieces!

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  18. northmum – No, I didn’t get to study an archaeological dig, but I used to teach history, and have read on the subject, plus, I love a TV programme we have here in the UK called Time Team. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert, but the archaeology really provides just a backdrop for the characters to interact, and of course, is a device for Ellie to travel through time. I love Jane too – in my book I have a character, Jess, who is very similar – she is always thinking of others and is a very sweet person! Thank you for stopping by.

    Patricia – I usually have several ideas going on for books, and I often jot down ideas or I might write a couple of chapters and see how it feels. It’s when I can’t stop writing, and I feel excited, that I carry on-love it when that happens! Thank you for joining in the fun!

    BSCBell – Mr Bennet is a fabulous character – Jane must have laughed out loud when she wrote his lines – wonderful! Thank you for your comment.

    Felicia, I remember you writing to me – thank you so much for your very lovely comments about my work.

    Theresa M – Mr Collins is fantastic! If you get a chance to read Project Darcy – look out for Donald – he may remind you of someone! Thank you.

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  19. Beth, I love Elizabeth too- she is an amazing heroine-we’d all like to be her, wouldn’t we? Thank you for coming to celebrate with me.

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  20. Thank you so much Laurel Ann and Jane for this wonderful chance and for sharing an excerpt. I cannot wait to read the book! And I am glad this giveaway is internationally. I have a question to ask, Jane. Have you got a special place where you prefer to write? In your house or outside? Thank you and good luck with your new book :)

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  21. It has always been Mr. Darcy – trite, but true. I keep waiting to find another hero but, truly, there isn’t one.

    I continue to be impressed, Jane, with your artistic talents. “Project Darcy” will complete my proud collection of your novels. The opportunity to have a piece of your artwork boggles the mind.

    Thank you, Jane and Laurel Ann, for such a lovely opportunity and for continuing to make so many Janeites so very happy.

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  22. Your art work is simply beautiful! I love the colours!
    Thank you for the lovely excerpt!
    My favourite character in P&P is Mr Darcy. I can’t avoid falling in love with him every time I reread the book.
    Thank you for this awesome giveaway! :)
    Giada M.

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  23. Thank you, Maria – I have a room in my house where I write, but it’s only very small and has become so full of books that there’s hardly room for me. When my daughter finished university and started working from home-she’s an illustrator- we found we liked working together side by side. So I’m now working downstairs alongside her. I do love working outside in the summer, but here in the UK, we have to wait for the sun!

    Lilyane, thank you for your truly lovely comments, and for all your support – I’m thrilled to hear you have all my novels. Mr Darcy is a wonderful hero – Jane was a genius in creating him!

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  24. I really enjoy your books but somehow missed that you painted so well. I give you leave to pursue your painting so long as you continue to write books on a regular basis. :-)

    Any plans for any additional books on Capt Wentwrorth and Anne? I really enjoyed Searching for Capt Wentworth. Persuasion is my favorite Austen book.

    Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

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  25. I love the way this blog has expanded my reading list–so many books I would never have heard of any other way! What excites me most about this book is the young women headed off on such an adventure, but each with different ways to enjoy it–it reminds me of my friends, which always makes me smile.

    As for my favorite character, I love Lizzie, Jane and Mr. Bennet, but Georgiana has always captured my attention–perhaps because we don’t have much information about her.

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  26. I am impressed with your creativity and wonderful talent. My favorite character is Mr. Darcy and has always been. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway and post.

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  27. Your books are delightful and unique. Your artwork is exceptional and lovely. I would enjoy this giveaway since it is done with love. Thanks so much for this great giveaway and fascinating post.

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  28. thanks for this post and the chance to learn about your artistic endeavors. Your writing and notes are to be admired. My favorite character is Darcy, the one and only.

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  29. Hi! This is such an exciting giveaway. My favourite P&P character would have to be Jane. I always considered her and Elizabeth to be me and my BFF Lisa. They are as close as sisters can be. Jane is so calm and sweet. Sort of opposite of me but she’s definitely the type of sister I’d want!

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  30. Danielle, thank you- I love your ‘I give you leave’ comment-made me smile. My next book may have a hint of Persuasion about it, but my lips are sealed… hope that makes it sound mysterious!

    Greta, I really enjoyed thinking about how the five friends would react to different scenarios. I love Georgiana too- in my book, Mr Darcy’s Secret, I told her story – loved writing it!

    Annie, you have a lot in common with a number of ladies who like Jane Austen’s books. What is it about that Mr Darcy, I wonder?

    Thank you, Pearl, for your lovely and most generous comments-I hope you’ll come over to my blog where I have a jewellery giveaway today and a collector’s book from yesterday!

    Ellie, you share the same name as my heroine – is it you? It must be, because you love Mr Darcy!

    Do come over to my blog at Jane Austen Sequels where there are more giveaways on offer!

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  31. This book sounds wonderful, and I just love the illustrations. Jane, you are so talented! The 5 women in this story obviously are modern versions of the 5 Bennet sisters, even down to having the same initials (Kitty is a Catherine, I presume). How did you come up with the idea for re-imagining the 5 girls in modern times?

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  32. My favorite character in Pride and Prejudice would probably have to be Elizabeth. I love her devil-may-care approach to the art of courtship and how she is completely unphased by the pomp of Mr. Darcy’s original entrance into the ballroom in Meryton. She’s “in it to win it” where marriage is concerned, and although she doesn’t want to be a spinster, she’s willing to risk it if it means avoiding a future of unhappiness with an unsuitable and unlovable mate (*cough*Mr. Collins*cough*).

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  33. Being a wanna be writer myself, where does the courage come from to put on paper (or computer) what rambles around in your mind for days at a time. I have wanted so long to complete a book I started years ago as an Emma sequal, but find myself putting it off. It is almost complete but in my head but I am afraid to put it on paper. Writing to me is a courageous process, putting not only yourself but your creation in front of others. Like sending your children to college. Is the drive to write so compelling that you can’t resist?
    I have greatly enjoyed your books but have never seen your art before. How beautilful it is. Can we make a cross stictch pattern out of the Rectory painting?

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  34. Your paintings are an inspiration. How nice that you can see those wonderful scenes so clearly. Thanks also for the excerpt. Time travel books intrigue me, so this book ought to be a lot of fun. It doesn’t hurt that it is about my favorite family. Jane and Elizabeth are my favorite characters. I feel as if I am a combination of their characters. My mother had the foresight to name me Jane Elisabeth as if she knew I would fall in love with everything Austen, even though she liked other authors better. Looking forward to another very good read of my favorite country, characters in various forms, and anything Austen. Thanks.

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  35. Loved the excerpt, Jane. Definite shades of Mr. Darcy and Mrs. Bennet here. How wonderful that you manage to blend so many different elements together! And the art is absolutely delicious! I have Project Darcy on my Kindle. Can’t wait to read it!

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  36. You art work is wonderful and I always enjoy your books. How do you manage to create such fun things and still have a life in the today? I think it would be difficult to live in 2 worlds at once…
    Ruth

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  37. Sounds fascinating and I love the blend of science and fantasy. My favorite character? How to choose? Depends in part on whether I’d have to live with my choice! Mr. Collins and Mrs. Bennett are wonderfully drawn, but I wouldn’t care to live with either! Jane would be my choice for living with; Georgiana and Mr. Darcy for learning more about, and probably Lizzie for actually being.

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  38. Wooo!!! Wonderful excerpt and you have picked my curiosity. I am intrigued and I already wish to read it.
    The gift packs are precious, and I would be glad if I am fortunate to win one the them.

    Is yours the design on the cover?

    Thank you so much for opportunity :D

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  39. My favourite character is Darcy. Not because he is the hero of the story but because I relate to him so much. I AM a female Mr Darcy. Just without the grand estate and lots of money.
    He is such a wonderful character and its great being able to connect with a male character instead of the female ones all the time. He is a prime example that there is hope for everyone that is socially awkward.

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  40. Hi Jane, congratulation on your new release. I am so honored to have you here for your book launch.

    I wanted to add, but did not have the room in the blog, that Jane also created the image of Tom Lefroy for her beautiful cover. I think it is a stunning design. Those lips are just so intriguing/enticing. How could Jane resist such temptation? I love how you re-imagine, from known facts, a story that we are dying to read. Thank you for sharing. I know I will love your delightful prose.

    Cheers, LA

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  41. Congratulations on the new release! I know it’s obvious, but my favourite Austen character is Elizabeth Bennet, I completely identified with her when I first read Pride and Prejudice, and it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with the book.

    I liked the shades of the expectation of Frank Churchill, Darcy’s standoffish-ness and Mrs Bennet’s indignation here.

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  42. I adore Elizabeth. To me she is practically perfect in every way: pretty, intelligent, cheerful, observant, easy-going, witty and when she does make a mistake she is able to admit it. I wish I was more like her.

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  43. I’ll have to say Jane is my favorite character and I feel most under utilitized character in Austen fanfic. Lizzy gets all the publicity, she is fabulous of course but how about a story from our dear Jane’s perspective? I have read books on Darcy, Charlotte, Georgiana, and even Caroline’s perspective, nothing on Jane however. I feel she could vere off on a “what if” successfully.

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  44. Loved that excerpt of Ellie and then the past with Jane and Tom. I’ve never done more than wondered what it would be like to live in the past. I look forward to reading the whole story now.
    Your artwork is adorable, Jane!

    My favorite P&P character is Colonel Fitzwilliam.

    Thanks for the fantastic giveaway opportunity.

    Like

  45. Thank you, Giada for visiting on this special day!

    LizM-that’s a fabulous name-happens to be my middle name!

    Thank you, Susan-I didn’t want it to be a straight modernisation, and my own story so it’s not P&P as you know it. I liked the idea of five friends rather than sisters and thought it would work with the time travel element.

    Jordan, I agree, Elizabeth is wonderful!

    Maggie, in the end, I write for myself. It hurts when people don’t like your work, but when people do it’s all worth while. I think you should have a go-I’m sure you’d enjoy the process even if you don’t publish. I enjoy that side myself, and I’ve got braver as the years have gone by. You can’t please everyone but you can please yourself!

    Thank you, Gail, for your lovely wishes!

    Thank you, Joana-very kind of you!

    Jane-I am Jane Elizabeth too-aren’t we lucky?! Thank you for your lovely comments.

    Monica-you are so lovely-thank you!

    Ruth, it is difficult sometimes, but my family life is very important. They keep me grounded and are forever saying-Get off that computer! Thank you for visiting.

    sueannbowlingauthor-I agree, Jane would be lovely to live with!

    Warmisunqu’s Austen – yes, that’s my design with the help of my husband-thank you for your lovely comments!

    Melissar-thank you for joining the party and your kind comments!

    Crazypatterns-thank you-Mr Darcy is a fabulous character-I quite agree!

    Laurel Ann-thank you so much for hosting my party-I am the one who is honoured to be here. I do hope you enjoy my book!

    Thank you, Ceri- I agree-it’s the women for me every time and Lizzy is our heroine!

    LynnS – absolutely! Thank you for your comment and for visiting!

    Cherri-yes, Jane is wonderful too-I don’t think many writers have written her sequel-that’s a good idea!

    Thank you, Mystica- my pleasure!

    Thank you, Sophia Rose – I always imagine Colonel Fitzwilliam to be a lovely man! Thank you for your kind comments.

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  46. I really enjoyed reading the excerpt from Project Darcy and I want to read on to find out what happens next – Thank you Jane Odiwe and Laurel Ann

    My favourite character from P and P has to be Charlotte Lucas. Charlotte makes the best of life and enjoys her hens, her new house and her housekeeping duties. Importantly Charlotte keeps alive her long standing friendship with Lizzie Bennet and she can not only cope with the dreadful Lady Catherine de Bough but effortlessly manage her husband Rev William Collins.

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  47. Jane, your drawings are lovely; how fortunate you are to be so talented with your art and your writing!
    In answer to the question about the favorite character in P & P, mine is Elizabeth Bennett. She is smart, funny, and willing to learn about her flaws and so something about them.

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  48. The artwork is good. On my reading list. As for favorite characters .. do I have
    to choose ? The last time I re read Pride and prejudice I really enjoyed
    Mrs Bennet. Though I want to put in some good words for Charlotte Lucas
    and ….

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  49. I love all of your books – I have read everyone!! My favorite p&p character is Elizabeth Bennett – she is impertinent,witty and intelligent!

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  50. Thanks Laurel Ann and Jane for the giveaway!
    Another interesting excerpt!
    Jane, I was wondering, reading this excerpt, have you meticulously studied Jane Austen’s letters and have they inspired you in writing this story? (I hope nobody has asked this already…) I find it would be very interesting to have a fictional story about Jane Austen’s life that directly related to what she wrote in her letters (unfortunately, I myself haven’t read them yet).
    Also, the first time I ever thought I had gone back in time was in Bruges (Belgium), I felt like I was in the Middle Ages, and also when I visited small villages in Russia, with old wooden houses and a calmness that was enchanting (the more so during a starry winter night!). I find it hard though to feel the same thing when I’m inside a house or building, a house-museum for example. Usually many other people visit with you at the same time and you can’t really detach yourself from the present (and can’t really enjoy it either). I think your book could be an opportunity to feel what it might be like!

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  51. Sounds like such a fun novel! I just finished reading a book of essays on why we read Jane Austen. It’s do delightful to hear why others over the years have been so entranced by her works as I have.

    I have been dying to go to England for years because I’m such a huge British history and lit buff, and so I have no doubt when I get there, I will feel like I’ve traveled back in time. But as of now, I suppose I’ve most felt like I stepped back in time when I was in Germany, on my first trip there with my parents as a kid. We visited small towns nestled in the mountains, as well as some historical sites related to WWII, and I felt history rushing at me in all of those places. So much of Europe gives you that sense of the past.

    I’d love to know if when you’re writing, how much of yourself do you put in your stories, versus coming up with completely original characters and situations? How much of YOU is in your work?

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  52. I love your art, Jane. It is all so beautiful and you are truly talented as an artist and a writer. The book sounds enticing to me and I can’t wait to read it.

    When I was in England in August 2012, I felt like I was revisiting the past many times. I especially felt it when walking through Lacock and then at Lyme Park. The Royal Cresent in Bath made me feel like I was in Persuasion with Anne Elliot. So much history…

    I love both Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy who will forever be my heroine and hero. I love her wit and ability to not be intimidated. I love his brooding thinking and his desire to change to be deserving of a worthy woman.
    Besides those two, I adore Colonel Fitzwilliam. He has such an easy and affable manner. I believe he would light up a room on his entrance.

    Thanks for sharing. Thank you Laurel Ann for hosting.

    Like

  53. It’s hard to pick just one character as the book just wouldn’t be the same if someone were missing, but I do enjoy Mr Bennet’s sense of humor.

    Like

  54. I think my favorite character from P&P is Elizabeth. I just love her independence and strength.

    The notecard painting of the rectory is lovely and has a very peaceful image

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  55. Thank you Ann- I feel so sorry for Charlotte- it would be like a life sentence living with Mr Collins and having Lady Catherine for a neighbour!

    Danielle-thank you-you’re very kind!

    Pato389-yes, she’s very witty-wish I could be like her!

    MaryPreston – my characters are always naughty and wilful – they hardly ever stick to my plots!!

    Ritamaie-thank you-it’s lovely to have your work appreciated!

    Caroline-Mrs Bennet is one of my favourites and my heart goes out to Charlotte.

    Shelly-I hope you get a chance to read Project Darcy!

    Gina-thank you- music to an author’s ears-how kind you are to say you loved them all!!

    Lena-yes, I’ve read Jane’s letters many times-and some of them were an inspiration for Project Darcy. I think night time can be very atmospheric-I was travelling through France one time by train, and had the strangest feeling that I’d gone back to the turn of the 20th century- I was very sleepy, but the feelings were so real! Thank you for stopping by!

    jennasauber – I hope you’ll get to visit England-I think you will love the sense of history you get from visiting old places. Now, that’s a good question-the truth is that I think quite a lot of myself goes into my books-though I’m always trying to imagine how the characters would feel and see a situation. I’ve always spent a lot of time in my imagination and have always loved pretending to be other people-that’s the fun of writing! Thank you for visiting!

    Bev-thank you-I hope you enjoy my book if you can get hold of a copy somehow.

    Janet T-what a lovely thing to say about my work-thank you. I love all those places you mentioned – Bath, I find particularly atmospheric, especially in winter and at night I often feel I’ve gone back to another time and place. Thank s so much for visiting!

    Amy B – Mr Bennet is hilarious-always makes me chuckle!

    Colleen-thank you-I’m thrilled that you like it!

    Like

  56. Nicole-I’m sorry, I think I left you out! Thank you for visiting me on my special day – you must have a lovely best friend!

    Like

  57. I’d love to win the book. I think Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are my favorite characters. Mr. Darcy because he can be very caring and is willing to put up with Elizabeth’s mother and Mr. Collins, etc. Of course, he’s used to putting up with trying characters like his aunt!

    I went to Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2000 and visited the Colonial area, the outlet centers, Busch Gardens, and a water park.

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  58. Your artwork and illustrations are mesmerising to look at. Jane, you have gifted the Austen community with a real treasure with your novels, books and illustrations.

    My favourite character is of course Elizabeth Bennet. I aspire to be like her because she is witty, never back down in face of trouble, spirited (in a good way and unlike Lydia), clever and independent.

    Like

  59. Congratulations, Jane, on the launch of another book! I’ve loved every book of yours so far, and this new one looks to match the high standards you set with the previous books! I love the great stories you weave into your books, that things are done with a delicate touch, and of course the artwork is amazing!

    Thanks for doing this giveaway and the blogtour! It’s fascinating to see into your mind/how a book comes about. Love the picture of you and your daughter working side by side! All the ?s I wanted to ask are pretty much answered, except now I’m curious about the next book too! (before I’ve even gotten a chance to read Project Darcy)!

    All the best of luck!

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  60. My favorite character in Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth, because she has absolutely no care what Mr. Darcy thinks of her even though she is not as high on the society ladder as he is. She does not pretend to like him or anyone else if she truly does not like them. She is playful and smart and ready to match wits with any character in the book; it makes her interesting.

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  61. Jodi, thank you for visiting!
    Joanna, thank you for your truly lovely comments – I’m thrilled that you’ve enjoyed all my books, and I hope you’ll enjoy Project Darcy if you get a chance to read it. I am thinking about a new book – love this part in the process!

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  62. Thank you for the lovely excerpt! Project Darcy sounds like a very interesting book, and your art is so beautiful!

    My favorite P&P characters is Mr. Darcy, both for the obvious reasons and because I find it very easy to empathize with him. Like Darcy, I am a very shy person and have been known to hang out on the edges of parties without talking to anyone. :)

    I am curious, how did writing Project Darcy, a novel with multiple stories running alongside each other, compare to writing a novel with only one story?

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  63. Pingback: Giveaway Winners Announced for Project Darcy | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  64. Lieder, sorry for the late reply! I love the challenge of writing a novel with multiple stories – most of my books have more than one story – I love finding my way into the heads of different characters. Thank you for visiting me.

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