The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen Virtual Book Launch Party and Blog Tour with Author Shannon Winslow & Giveaways! 

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen banner x 500

I am very pleased to welcome author Shannon Winslow to Austenprose today to officially open her virtual book launch party and blog tour of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, published today by Heather Ridge Arts. This new Austenesque novel is a fascinating combination of fact and fiction, exploring Jane Austen’s unknown personal journal— revealing her secret romance with a Royal Navy officer, Captain Devereaux, who was the inspiration for her final novel, Persuasion. 

Shannon has generously offered a guest blog sharing her inspiration to write her new novel—and to add to the festivities—we will be offering an amazing selection of giveaways including: trade paperback and digital eBook copies of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, a tote bag bundle stuffed with a print copy of the book and Jane Austen-inspired merchandise, and an original pastel drawing “By the Seaside at Lyme” inspired by the 1995 movie, Persuasion, created by Shannon. Just leave a comment following this blog post to enter. The contest details are listed below. Good luck to all. 

Please join us in welcoming Shannon Winslow.

What inspired me to write The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen?

I can’t quite put my finger on when the concept for this book first occurred to me. It was more of a slowly germinating seed rather than a bolt out of the blue, something that needed to ruminate in my brain a while before emerging onto the page. But this will give you an idea how my thoughts about the book evolved.

First, I am no different than any other fan. Which of us hasn’t at some point wished Jane Austen had met with a better fate? She, who has given pleasure to countless thousands through her novels, surely deserved to have experienced the same romance and happy ending she carefully crafted for each of her heroines. That’s what motivated me.

But perhaps there was more to her story than is generally known, I considered. Since most authors draw heavily from people and situations in their own lives, it didn’t seem unreasonable to me that Jane Austen had more real-life experience in the field of romance than the official record suggests—obviously, not a married-her-sweetheart-at-twenty-and-lived-happily-ever-after kind of affair. But what about a bitter-sweet romance marked by grand passion, misfortune, and long separation? That would be a better fit. Perhaps, something on the order of her novel Persuasion.

Persuasion by Jane Austen banner

Ah, Persuasion—her last and most poignant novel. Yes, that was the model! A young couple falls rapidly and deeply in love. They are soon cruelly parted again, however – so soon that few people, even in their own families, ever know about it. When fate brings the two together again, years later, it should be their second chance at happiness. But pride and resentment get in the way, keeping them estranged. Only surprising, near-miraculous events serve to reunite them in the end.

So, Persuasion became the basis for my novel about Jane Austen’s secret romance.

No. It’s the other way round, really, for it’s my contention that Jane’s secret romance with a navy captain of her own actually inspired her to write Persuasion in the first place. Doing so allowed her to pay public homage to the man who was the love of her life, whilst at the same time keeping their true story strictly private in a journal she wrote alongside the novel. The two run parallel, the events of one reflected in the other, and together forming a fuller picture then either one alone… which reminds me of a passage in The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen. Jane, having just completed the novel and her journal, writes:

These two now lie alongside one another before me. Their pages are written in the same hand. Their stories merge as almost to form one body. Indeed, they are so fiercely intertwined as to be impossible to cleanly divide. When one is wounded, does not the other bleed? 

But why the secrecy, you ask? If Jane Austen truly lived and loved more largely than we’ve been led to believe, why did she and her family keep the story so tightly under wraps? That was the difficult puzzle I had to solve before I could even begin. Then it all became clear. But it’s Jane’s secret, and I’d best leave it for her to explain in her own way and her own time. She begins her personal journal by writing…

What people may hereafter say about my life, I cannot control. My biographers, if any, must do the best they can with the sources available to them. It is necessary that this, my own account, shall remain for some time to come concealed from their eyes. For now, the story belongs to me alone – to me and to that one other.

And so it has remained for nearly two hundred years, until there is no longer any need for concealment. This new novel represents Jane Austen’s account of her life-long romance with a gentleman by the name of Captain Devereaux.

Captain Peter Parker (1785-1814) by John Hoppner

Captain Peter Parker (1785-1814), by John Hoppner

So what makes this different from other books, delightful novels that have portrayed augmentations to the famous authoress’ love life before? I took it one audacious step further. I wasn’t content with Jane finding romance. I desperately wanted it all for her, including the happy ending. I didn’t know if it would be possible, but that was my goal at the outset—to find a plausible and more pleasing alternative outcome for her, something that would fit within the framework of what we know (or think we know) about her life.

You can decide for yourself if I have succeeded, but I shall be satisfied thinking Jane Austen might have approved—of my motives at the very least. Borrowing a phrase from the end of the novel Atonement by Ian McEwan, I mean it as a final act of kindness to her, in partial repayment for all she has done for me.

Author Shannon Winslow (2013)AUTHOR BIO: Shannon Winslow specializes in fiction for fans of Jane Austen. Her popular debut novel, The Darcys of Pemberley, immediately established her place in the genre, being particularly praised for the author’s authentic Austenesque style and faithfulness to the original characters. For Myself Alone(a stand-alone Austen-inspired story) followed. Then last year Return to Longbourn wrapped up Winslow’s Pride and Prejudice saga, forming a trilogy when added to the original novel and her previous sequel. Now she has given us a “what if” story starring Jane Austen herself. In The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, that famous author tells her own tale of lost love, second chances, and finding her happy ending.

Her two sons grown, Ms. Winslow lives with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier. Learn more at Shannon’s website/blog (www.shannonwinslow.com). Follow her on Twitter (as JaneAustenSays) and on Facebook.

Many thanks Shannon, and best wishes with The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen. Be sure to return on Monday, September 1st for our review.

A GRAND GIVEAWAY 

In celebration of the release of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, we are offering five chances to win amazing prizes. Please leave a comment by 11:59 pm, Wednesday, August 20, 2014 stating what intrigues you about this new novel. Winners will be drawn at random from the comments and announced on Thursday, August 21, 2014. Print books, tote bag bundle and pastel drawing shipment to US addresses. Digital eBook shipment internationally. Good luck to all!

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen: A Novel, by Shannon Winslow (2014)

PRIZES 1 – 3: ONE TRADE PAPERBACK AND TWO DIGITAL COPIES OF

THE PERSUASION OF MISS JANE AUSTEN

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen tote bag giveaway

PRIZE 4: COTTON TOTE BAG WITH JANE AUSTEN-INSPIRED MERCHANDISE

  • One 14” X 14” cotton duck tote bag
  • One trade paperback edition of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen
  • One box of Jane Austen note cards by Potter Style
  • One box of Jane Austen Bandages with re-usable tin
  • One “I believe in Jane” pin

By the Seaside at Lyme pastel by Shannon Winslow

PRIZE 5: ORIGINAL PASTEL DRAWING “BY THE SEASIDE AT LYME”

One 7” X 10” original pastel drawing matted to 11” X 14”, entitled “By the Seaside at Lyme” by Shannon Winslowinspired by the 1995 movie, Persuasion.

Thank you for joining in the celebration of the release of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen. Please visit other stops along the blog tour, August 11 – September 15, 2014, where you will find additional guest blogs by Shannon Winslow, book reviews and giveaway chances.

THE PERSUASION OF MISS JANE AUSTEN BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Read an exclusive excerpt of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen: A Novel, by Shannon Winslow
Heather Ridge Arts (2014)
Trade paperback (266) pages
ISBN: 978-1500624736

Cover image courtesy of Heather Ridge Arts © 2014; text Shannon Winslow © 2014, Austenprose.com

98 thoughts on “The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen Virtual Book Launch Party and Blog Tour with Author Shannon Winslow & Giveaways! 

  1. I am completely intrigued by Shannon’s idea of changing Jane’s love life instead of only that of her characters. I have really enjoyed other books by Shannon so I can’t wait to get my hands on this new story!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am anxious to see how this ends. Also, I love the cover art. It looks old and in the style of a journal or a composition book. Looking forward to this read!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Shannon, what a grand day this is. Congratulations! Confetti! Champagne! Chocolate! My print book will be waiting for me when I get back to the US in less than a month and I will get the ebook as soon as I post this. Persuasion is one of my favorite books ever so to have that theme applied in JA’s life is clever and completely satisfies my wishful thinking. Sigh! Felicitaciones de Ecuador!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This sounds like an exciting read :) I am anxious for it to come out.A beautiful and generous giveaway, I would love to join in and participate. I have been a follower for ages, although usually a silent follower for awhile-Denise…of Coffeeberry Cottage

    Liked by 2 people

  5. First, I LOVE the antique motif of the cover! For our Miss Jane Austen, who has given so many readers so much joy in her romantic stories, I think we all fantasize on what a romance would be like if she was blessed with her own. Thanks for giving us all the chance to read it for ourselves…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My thesis was on the uses of author as character as applied to Jane Austen – that is, all the ff out there where Jane Austen is the character in the story. Mostly those works (both fiction and film) use P&P as inspiration, but I always thought Persuasion would make more sense, given Austen’s life as we know. So yes, I am looking forward to reading this one. Thank you, Shannon!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My thesis was on the uses of Austen as character so I am very interested in stories that present alternative history. Most works use P&P as main inspiration, but I always tought Persuasion would suit best. So yes, I am looking forward to reading this one. Thank you, Shannon!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The idea that JA actually had a romance of her own that she based Persuasion on is intoxicating. You have my imagination running and I can’t wait to read this story and find out how you gave her the happy ending she deserved.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I have often dreamed of what Jane Austen’s life could have been. I am interested in the ending you have provided through your book. I know it will be good because you share the love and respect for Jane that we all have. We just want her to have a happy ending.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Just read the excerpt and want this one in my hands so I will not order the e-book and will definitely get a copy even if I am not so lucky as to win. Love the cover, that print and the part of the excerpt I read.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a creative and intriguing concept. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel and the idea it could have been inspired by real life events is a pleasing thought. That dear Jane could have her happy ending would be happiness indeed. Best wishes and congratulations on your publication

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Congrats Shannon!! I am so glad this day is here!! I remember when you first started this process and I am glad you did. I was enough to have already read it early and I thought it was amazing. The way you bring together this story is so stunning and the cover completes the picture. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Honestly, Liz, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to write if there weren’t enthusiastic readers like you to appreciate and enjoy the books when they are finished. Thanks so much for your continued support and enthusiasm. :D

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoy reading anything about Jane Austen, and this book looks to be exciting. With all her romantic stories, it would be pleasurable to read one with her finding her own love. Love the old school book cover for your novel.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Shannon, I have long awaited your release of this story!! I loved the premise and the excerpts you’ve shared with us so far and am so intrigued to know what will happen… Congrats again & wishes for much success :) .

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I love Jane Austen. And because of her secrecy I feel like I need some sort of closure this book promises to provide that closure. I want a happy ending for dear Jane. :)

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Heartiest congratulations on the release of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, Shannon. I would love to read the book and find out what happened to Jane and her Navy captain. I hope they have secret wedding before she died or she didn’t die so young but left her family to be with him.

    Laurel Ann, thanks for organising and hosting Shannon’s blog tour. I must say the banners for the tour are beautiful and lovely. Please enter me for the digital edition as I’m international.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I look forward to reading this book. It combines my two favorite things. My favorite author and my favorite book by my favorite author. I love all things Austen. I am so excited to have a new read, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Very excited for this novel to come out! I very much enjoy when history and fiction are able to blend together into some refreshed; providing new insights and perspectives to what we may believe really happened.

    I’m hoping to question what I believe and think this novel will do just that.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Congratulations! I can not wait to get my hands on this book and read it. I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. I just love your work Shannon. You capture everything in your words to make it all so visible in thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Persuasion is my favorite book. I have been waiting for so long for this book to come out! I just purchased the e-book edition but I want the traditional book because it’s so lovely! I can’t wait to see how Shannon interweaves the life of Jane Austen into Persuasion.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. What I love most is that Persuasion has evolved into my favorite Austen novel (it once was P&P which is still a close 2nd)…. I enjoy updates and remakes but they seem to be mostly Darcy and Elizabeth’s happily ever after. I think Anne Elliot and Jane Austen should get happily ever afters too! This is a much needed addition to my JA collection/obsession…. Yay!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Pingback: We Have Achieved Liftoff! | Shannon Winslow's "Jane Austen Says…"

  23. I agree with so many who commented before me, that Jane Austen deserves this HEA for all the heas she’s given us. Persuasion is also one of my favorites she wrote. I am looking forward to reading this book, and thank you, Shannon, for the lovely concept.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. What intrigue me more of this book? Really I do not know, i must suppose everything considering who i want read this book from the time i read the the first excerpt from the WIP months ago… I am European so only ebook for me

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I love to reread my collection of Jane Austen books and the various spin off books that have come out recently. So far I have not read any of Shannon Winslow books so it sounds like a good place to start with a happy ever after ending for Jane Austen herself. It intrigues me how this ending can come about so look forward to sitting down and getting reading. Thank you Shannon

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Congratulations and best wishes to you, Shannon! From the first book of yours I read, I have loved your writing style and stories! I can’t wait to add this one to my collection of your wonderful books with their lovely artistic covers! (I have both your ebooks and real books on my shelf!) I must confess to being reluctant to read most novels based on Jane Austen’s life, as I know they have to have a sad ending, so this one is most appreciated! Good for you for taking this lovely step!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your faithful support Carol! Your comment reminds me of a time when I loaned my copy of “Becoming Jane” to a friend who apparently wasn’t familiar with JA’s life story. She was devastated by the ending. I guess I should have warned her it would be sad. :(

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Who doesn’t want a romance for Jane? Persuasion is my favorite of her stories, as I love the idea of a second chance, so this story naturally intrigues me. As for this book, three cheers for romance for Jane Austen!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Sounds so interesting! Persuasion has always been one of my favourite novels of Jane Austen and the idea of Jane Austen herself being in it is thrilling! Moreover the cover book is simply fantastic, love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. With Persuasion also being my favorite JA novel, how could I not love a book that offers the story behind the story!? So excited to read it! (and thanks for the very sumptuous give away!)

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I study Jane Austen in working toward my English PhD and always love reading new criticism and perspectives on Austen’s life and fiction. I’m looking forward to seeing this author’s take on Austen and Persuasion!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I have to say, I am a little intrigued by this article. First, the discovery that Jane had a story with this young Devereaux who died so young, and then the fact that someone can imagine a new end to a real person and change Jane’s Austen life. I wish she had a happy ending and didn’t die before written many other books. Persuasion is my favorite book from her. I’d love to read what you have imagined for our dear Jane!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Oh dear me where have I been! I just read the excerpt you posted here in July and dare I say it was better than the first excerpt I read. I was transported back to 1797 and was very abruptly reminded when I finished reading that I was not! Loved it, thank you for the giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I love the idea of Jane Austen getting a happy ending. I recently read a book based on her as a teen and I felt quite melancholy to think that she’d end up unmarried and to die so relatively young so I am definitely up for reading something a little happier! All the very best with this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. You had me with the word “Persuasion” in the title!!! Favorite book that features my favorite author?!?! Win win. Thank you for the giveaway! I would love the chance to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I have been tweeting and retweeting and facebooking about your book launch, Shannon, and presumed I’d already left a comment here–but in case I didn’t, I want you to know how excited I am about this book. I can’t wait to read it! I’d LOVE to win a copy of the book, or that GORGEOUS painting! Persuasion is one of my favorite books ever, and I’m excited that you’ve imagined a special romance for our dear Jane–totally my kind of read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for all your support and enthusiasm on my behalf, Syrie! As I’ve said before, we seem to have been tracking together without knowing it – both writing augmentations to JA’s love life with our new books debuting w/i a couple weeks of each other. Good luck on the drawing!

      Like

  36. I can ‘t wait to read this. I am very interested in the side-by-side aspect of the journal. That’s a clever idea. I am interested in seeing how the romance weaves into events we know about Jane’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Pingback: Winners Announced for The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen Book Launch Giveaways | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  38. Love, love, love the book! Of course, I am a hopeless romantic so a happy ending for Jane lured me in right off the back and I was hooked!!!
    Shannon, I have decided that this book is Jane’s story. She deserved a happy ending long before now and I am so glad I took the journey with her.

    Like

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