Giveaway Winners Announced for The Harrison Duet

The Harrison Duet, by Syrie James (2014)It’s time to announce the 3 winners of The Harrison Duet, giveaway. The lucky winners drawn at random are:

One digital copy of The Harrison Duet

  • Diane who left a message on Feb 12, 2014

One Muslin Book Bag

  • Schilds who left a comment on Feb 17, 2014

Two Jane Austen Note Cards

  • Donna Holmberg who left a comment on Feb 14, 2014

Congratulations ladies! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by February 27, 2014 or you will forfeit your prize! Mail shipment to US addresses only.

Thanks to all who left comments, and to author Syrie James for her guest blog and great giveaways.

Cover image courtesy of Syrie James © 2014; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2014, Austenprose.com

A Romantic Valentine’s Day Celebration with Author Syrie James: The Harrison Duet & Giveaways

syrie valentines banner

Please help me welcome multi-talented author Syrie James. In addition to her best-selling The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, Syrie has written eight critically acclaimed novels in the historical fiction, romance, young adult, and paranormal genres. Renowned for her spirited heroines, swoon-worthy heroes and romantic plots, who better to chat with us during Valentine’s week, a time when cupid’s arrow is so acute! Her latest release is The Harrison Duet, a combination of two full-length contemporary romance novels which includes: Songbird and Propositions. Originally published years before Fifty Shades of Grey changed the way we think about love affairs, you will be intrigued by their similarities and mesmerized by the Harrison siblings who each find an unexpected love. Two sexy romances in one steamy volume! 

Syrie has kindly shared a brief introduction to this new edition and offered a giveaway chance for three prizes: one digital copy of The Harrison Duet, two note cards from the Jane Austen House Museum at Chawton and one book bag resplendent with all the covers of her books to three lucky winners. The Contest details are listed below. 

Welcome Syrie:

It’s February, the month of romance! To help you celebrate in style, I’ve combined two of my most romantic novels, Songbird and Propositions, into a single volume at a special introductory price. I’m thrilled to say that Christina Boyd of Austenprose gave each of the books in The Harrison Duet a five star rating, and said they kept her “turning pages well into the wee hours of the morning.” The Harrison Duet is available now for download in eReader editions (promo price ends Feb. 26) and the print edition will soon follow. As a bonus, the book also includes my short story, “Jane Austen’s Nightmare.”

The Harrison Duet by Syrie James 2014 x 200These are very personal love stories. In looking over all the books I’ve written, I find that an immediate attraction between lovers and a whirlwind courtship is a recurring theme—and here’s why! From my great-grandparents to my parents to my own relationship with my husband, my family has many examples of couples who met, fell in love, and married within a matter of weeks—or months—all marriages which have stood the test of time and have been very happy.

The lovers in The Harrison Duet are similarly overwhelmed by a powerful romance. Both novels feature strong, intelligent, accomplished heroines who meet men who are every bit their equals, and who discover a love so deep and profound, it forces them to rethink their futures and the very meaning of romance.

In Songbird, when Southern California radio deejay Desiree Germain hosts a contest on the air, she is immediately taken by the voice of caller number twelve, Kyle Harrison, a handsome, wealthy entrepreneur from Seattle. They embark on a passionate love affair that plays havoc with the life Desiree has struggled so hard to control. It might take a Maserati, dozens of red roses, and a lot of airplane tickets…but can Kyle convince Desiree to risk her heart and her career for love?

“I loved it! A beautifully written, almost lyrically told story about two people overcoming their fears and the profound love they share.” —The Book Hookup

“Provocative, sultry romance! Songbird hits all the right notes…Syrie James’s realistic characterization of two strong personalities kept me turning pages well into the wee hours of the morning.” —Christina Boyd, Austenprose

Read an excerpt from Songbird here.

Hearts from SyrieIn book two in The Harrison Duet, Propositions, freelance advertising artist Kelli Ann Harrison can’t resist teaming up with ingenious Grant Pembroke to create an ad campaign for a casino account in beautiful Lake Tahoe. But a high-voltage charge sizzles between them from the start. They make a wonderful creative team—but can business and pleasure mix? If Kelli and Grant play their cards right, can a whirlwind love affair last forever?

 “I loved, loved, loved this perfectly crafted, lush love story…This poignant, steamy romance will have you believing there can be love at first sight. 5 stars!” —Christina Boyd, Austenprose

Read an excerpt from Propositions here.

I hope The Harrison Duet will touch your heart and make you believe in love at first sight!

BONUS MATERIAL: “JANE AUSTEN’S NIGHTMARE” 

This short story, originally published in the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It, is a first person narrative by Austen herself, in which she unexpectedly meets some of her own characters—many of whom have a few choice words for her about how she portrayed them.

“A clever story which asks the question, what would happen if Jane Austen met her literary creations?…This story just proves why Syrie James is one of my favorite authors.” —For the Love of Austen

“It is only fitting that the collection begins with the woman who started my journey onward into the world of Jane Austen and subsequent retellings and inspired novels, Syrie James with ‘Jane Austen’s Nightmare.’… The short story personifies every writer’s nightmare – that the characters will not like how they have been drawn and will seek justice. From characters perceived as too perfect to those with a great number of flaws, Austen meets them all in her nightmare set in Bath.” — Savvy Verse and Wit 

Win an ARC of JANE AUSTEN’S FIRST LOVE!

Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James (2014 )

Post a review of The Harrison Duet, Songbird or Propositions on Amazon.combn.com or Goodreads, email the link(s) to authorsyriejames@gmail.com, and you’ll be entered into a contest to win one of several free advance copies of Syrie’s next book, Jane Austen’s First Love, due out August 5, 2014! For every review posted you will receive an additional chance to win! Reviews must be posted by April 15, 2014.

A GRAND GIVEAWAY 

Enter a chance to win one of three prizes being offered:

  1. A digital copy of The Harrison Duet, by Syrie James
  2. A muslin book bag featuring images of all of the covers of Syrie’s books
  3. Two Jane Austen-inspired note cards from the Jane Austen House Museum at Chawton, England

Syrie book bag Syrie Note cards

To qualify for the giveaway, just leave a comment stating which one of Syrie’s books is your favorite and why, or what intrigues you about reading The Harrison Duet, by 11:59, February 20, 2014 PT. The winners will be drawn at random and announced on Friday, February 21, 2014. Shipment to US addresses only.

Author Syrie James (2012 )Author Bio:

Syrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed novels The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Dracula My Love, Forbidden, Nocturne, Songbird, and Propositions. Her next novel, Jane Austen’s First Love, is due out from Berkeley on August 5, 2014. Follow Syrie on twitter, visit her on facebook, and learn more about her and her books at syriejames.com.

The Harrison Duet, by Syrie James
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (2014)
Digital eBook
ASIN: B00IDER454

Further Reading:

Cover image courtesy of Amazon Digital Servies, Inc. © 2014; text Syrie James © 2014, Austenprose.com

Longbourn: A Novel, by Jo Baker – A Review

Longbourn: A Novel, by Jo Baker (2013)From the desk of Syrie James:

What was happening below stairs in Pride and Prejudice? Who were the ghostly figures that kept both the storyline and the Bennet household going behind the scenes? That is the premise of Jo Baker’s engrossing novel Longbourn, which takes Jane Austen’s famous work, turns it upside down, and shakes out a fully realized and utterly convincing tale of life and romance among the servants.

Although Longbourn begins slightly before Pride and Prejudice and continues beyond Austen’s ending, for the most part it matches the action of that novel, focusing almost exclusively on the domestic staff. The protagonist is the young, pretty, feisty, overworked housemaid Sarah, an orphan who turns to books for escape from the menial daily duties which repel and exhaust her.

At first, reading about her duties repelled me as well, and I yearned to go back to the nice, clean world of Pride and Prejudice, where young ladies in pretty gowns dance at balls and engage in clever conversation with handsome gentlemen in frock coats and breeches. Longbourn reminds us that our perception of that world is highly idealized, and that the Bennets, the Bingleys, and the Darcys enjoyed a lifestyle which depended entirely on the hard work of people whose lives were anything but pretty:

Sarah lifted his chamber pot out from underneath the bed, and carried it out, her head turned aside so as to not confront its contents too closely. This, she reflected, as she crossed the rainy yard, and strode out to the necessary house, and slopped the pot’s contents down the hole, this was her duty, and she could find no satisfaction in it, and found it strange that anybody might think a person could. She rinsed the post out at the pump and left it to freshen in the rain. If this was her duty, then she wanted someone else’s. (p. 115)

The book offers an unflinching look at the unpleasant physical realities of life in the early nineteenth century, from chilblains and lice to hauling water on freezing mornings, polishing floors, scrubbing food-encrusted dishes, laundering filthy clothing, washing rags soaked with menstrual blood, and even the sight of Elizabeth Bennet’s underarm hair. Did I want to read about such things? Not really! But Sarah’s spirited nature and her fierce desire for a more fulfilling existence immediately endear her to us, and make us eager to learn more. She yearns to be appreciated by the people she serves, yet remains invisible to anyone other than the exacting housekeeper Mrs. Hill.

Things change when a handsome new footman seemingly appears out of nowhere and is employed by Mr. Bennet. Sarah isn’t sure what to make of James Smith at first, and is both worried and intrigued by his mysterious past. Although her head is momentarily turned by Mr. Bingley’s rakish footman Ptolemy, there is never any doubt about who the real hero is—and what a divine hero he is. James Smith may be dirt poor and hiding secrets, but he is smart, thoughtful, hard-working, and gentle, a committed abolitionist, a great reader, a lover of horses, and a gentleman; and he is always on the lookout to protect our heroine.

The characters from Pride and Prejudice are only shadowy figures in this novel, and not always presented in a favorable light; there is nothing much to like about Elizabeth Bennet as seen through Sarah’s eyes. The gentlemen seem larger than life to her, as in this moment when she opens the door to admit Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam:

A blur of rich colours—one green velvet coat, one blue—and the soft creak of good leather, and a scent off them like pine sap and fine candlewax and wool. She watched their glossy boots scatter her tea leaves across the wooden floor. The two gentlemen were so smooth, and so big, and of such substance; it was as though they belonged to a different order of creation entirely, and moved in a separate element, and were as different as angels. (p. 198)

Baker has a way of using an unexpected word here and there which I quite liked, as in her description of rain that “bounced off the flagstones, bumbled down the gutters, juddered out of the down-spouts.” Some of the gaps and allusions in Pride and Prejudice are filled in: Mr. Bingley’s inherited wealth is based on the sugar, tobacco, and slave trades; we become aware of the vicious realities of slavery; and army officers are not merely flirtatious objects in red coats; here, they are subject to brutal acts and shipped overseas to fight in horrific conditions. While these are all very worthy subjects, I had trouble with the section of the book that covers a character’s experiences in the Napoleonic War. It was overly long and violent, spent too much time away from the main story, and it didn’t seem to fit with the tone of the rest of the novel.

The narrative in Longbourn shifts between third person perspectives, usually from Sarah’s point of view, but occasionally from others such as Polly, the innocent scullery maid (tempting prey for a particularly fiendish Wickham), Mrs. Hill (who harbors her own secrets and deep disappointments), and our hero James Smith. Unlike Austen, Baker gives us a taste of the passion we crave to read about between our romantic protagonists:

Here was James, now, with his hand wrapped around her arm, and his touch and his closeness and his voice pitched low and urgent, and it all seemed to matter, and it was all doing strange and pleasant things to her. She felt herself softening, and easing, like a cat luxuriating in a fire’s glow. And there was just now, just this one moment, when she teetered on the brink between the world she’d always known and the world beyond, and if she did not act now, then she would never know. 

She caught him, as it were, on the hop. Her lips colliding with his, surprising him; he swayed a little back, against the arm she’d reached around him. Her lips were soft and warm and clumsy, and her small body pressed hard against his. It was too much to resist. He slid his arms around her narrow waist, and pulled her to him, and let himself be kissed. (p. 154)

Tension builds as an unexpected turn of events separates the young lovers, and Sarah is forced to deal with James’s problematical past and the Bennets’s endless demands. There is a great twist to the story, and although I saw it coming early on, it was handled in a touching manner. I found the plot sequence involving Sarah at the end of the book to be rushed and implausible. I hope it’s not a spoiler to say that you will get your happy ending; however, the scene was so brief as to be unsatisfying, with only a single line of dialogue. Jane Austen often similarly glosses over her lovers’ climactic moments, and it’s one of the few faults I have with her writing. When you spend an entire book invested in these characters (especially when they’ve been apart for such a long time), you look forward to a romantic climax that plays out and stirs the emotions. I was dying to hear Sarah and James voice their feelings aloud to each other, and disappointed that they didn’t.

These quibbles aside, I found Longbourn to be a fascinating novel with unforgettable characters who I truly cared about. I will never read Pride and Prejudice or any novel about the “upper classes” in the same way again.

4 out of 5 Regency Stars

Longbourn: A Novel, by Jo Baker
Alfred A. Knopf (2013)
Hardcover (352) pages
ISBN: 978-0385351232

A GRAND GIVEAWAY

Our celebration of Longbourn continues from the October 8th, launch party. Double your chances to win one of six (6) copies of Jo Baker’s new novel by leaving a comments stating what intrigues you about the premise or characters in his novel in both posts. The contest closes at 11:59 pm PT on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Winners will be drawn at random and announced on Thursday, October 24, 2013. Open to US residents only. Good luck to all.

  • UPDATE: 17 OCT: Because of the outstanding turnout on both posts, Jo’s publisher Alfred A. Knopf has generously increased the number of giveaway copies of Longbourn to 12! By leaving a comment on both blogs you not only double your chances to win, but now there are twice as many copies available! HUZZAH!

Syrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed novels The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Dracula My Love, Forbidden, Nocturne, Songbird, and Propositions. Her next novel, about a time in Jane Austen’s life which has never been written about before, is due out from Berkeley in summer 2014. Follow Syrie on twitter, visit her on facebook, and learn more about her and her books at syriejames.com. 

Cover image courtesy Alfred A. Knopf © 2013; text Syrie James © 2013, Austenprose.com

A Jane Austen Tour with authors Syrie James and Laurel Ann Nattress

Chawton Cottage, Hampshire, England

Imagine being offered the opportunity to create your own dream excursion to Jane Austen’s England? What would you choose to see? Her home at Chawton, the cob at Lyme Regis and the pump room in Bath of course—but what other family estates, seaside villages and country escapes would be on your list? This was the question that author Syrie James and I were presented after we were approached by Ingenious Travel to create the ultimate dream Jane Austen tour—and boy did we have fun brain storming on this topic. We hope that you will be as excited by our choices as we are to be part of this fabulous eight day tour to Jane Austen’s Seascapes and Landscapes.

Here is our itinerary:

7 Sept (Saturday): Fly USA to London.

8 Sept (Sunday): Arrival at London Airport, welcome by the accompanying Jane Austen specialist guide, transfer by private coach to London. Visit the British Library, walk through the Covent Garden area to see places where Jane Austen stayed. Continue to Kent, check into the hotel. Welcome dinner.

Godmersham Park, Kent

9 Sept (Monday): Full breakfast (included daily). Visit Ramsgate and Goodnestone, lunch here; continue to Godmersham House and village. Visit Canterbury Cathedral if time permits. Return to the hotel for overnight.  (Lunch included)

10 Sept (Tuesday): Travel northwards to Oxford, visit the University and especially St. John’s College, which Jane Austen’s father and two of her brothers attended. Then to Steventon, the village where she was born: see the site of the old Parsonage, visit St. Nicholas’ Church where her father and eldest brother were Rectors. Continue to Winchester, check into the hotel. Evening social meeting after dinner with local Austen experts.  (Breakfast and Dinner included)

Winchester Cathedral

11 Sept (Wednesday): Touring in the lovely city of Winchester, visit the Cathedral, short ceremony at Jane Austen’s grave. View the house where she died. Then to Chawton, visit the Jane Austen House Museum: special meeting at Chawton House to see the Library, informal talk by the Director and (subject to permission) tea at Chawton House. Return via Alton, the charming country town which the Austen ladies frequented. Stay in Winchester.  (Breakfast and tea included)

12 Sept (Thursday): To the coast today – visit Cadland House, overlooking Southampton Water, to meet the Drummond family and see their fine display of maritime paintings and memorabilia. Then to Portsmouth, tour the historic Royal Naval Dockyard including HMS Victory, and see the former Naval College where Jane Austen’s naval brothers Frank and Charles received their training.  (Breakfast included)

The Cobb Stairs at Lyme Regis

13 Sept (Friday): Travel west to the pretty port town of Lyme Regis, walk the Cobb (scene of Louisa’s fall in ‘Persuasion’), meet Patrick Stokes and Diana Shervington, Austen descendants. Then to Bath, check in for 3 nights – the Jane Austen Festival begins this day. (Breakfast and Dinner included)

14 Sept (Saturday): Tour Bath, seeing houses where the Austens lived, also St Swithin’s Church, where Jane’s parents were married and her father is buried. Visit the Jane Austen Centre, 1 Royal Crescent, and the Assembly Rooms. Participate in the Festival Parade. (Breakfast included)

Assembly Rooms interior Bath

15 Sept (Sunday): To the nearby village of Lacock, film location for ‘Meryton’ in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice – as well as many other fictional places in various writers’ works. Return to Bath for a free afternoon – or a chance to attend other Festival events. Evening, private dinner party and entertainment in an elegant Bath townhouse.   (Breakfast and dinner included)

16 Sept (Monday): Transfer to London Airport for the return flight – opportunity for optional tour extension(s) in Bath (for more Festival participation) or London.  (Breakfast included)

As you can see, we are visiting all the special places in Jane Austen’s life and novels. Syrie and I are so excited to be part of this fabulous opportunity to share our admiration and knowledge of our favorite author Jane Austen and her world. We hope you can join us!

Additional information on the A Jane Austen Tour: Seascapes and Landscapes official website.

Cheers, Laurel Ann & Syrie

© 2013, Laurel Ann Nattress, Syrie James and Ingenious Tours

Giveaway Winners Announced for The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen Book Launch Party

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James (2012)152 of you left comments qualifying you for a chance to win one of the many prizes available during the book launch party for The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James.

The winners drawn at random are:

One box of Miss Lucy Steele tea from Bingley’s Teas

  • Beth Cohen who left a comment on December 30, 2012

One small box of 10 Lizzy and Darcy notes cards from JT Originals

  • Laura S. who left a comment on December 31, 2012

One Jane Austen charm bracelet by justbedesigns

  • Dana Huff who left a comment on December 30, 2012

Five print copies of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

  • Amanda M. who left a comment on December 30, 2012
  • Roselle N. who left a comment on December 30, 2012
  • Danielle C. who left a comment on January 09, 2013
  • Maggi G. who left a comment on December 30, 2012
  • Colleen Lane who left  a comment on December 30, 2012

Congratulations ladies! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by January 16, 2013.  Shipment is to US addresses only please.

Many thanks to author Syrie James for her fabulous guest blog and all the comments she left for the participants during her book launch. Also, a big round of applause to all of the kind giveaways from: Bingley’s Teas, JT Originals, Justbedesigns and Penguin USA! What a wonderful time we had and I hope everyone is inspired to read this superb new novel. Happy reading to the winners!

© 2013 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James – A Review

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James (2012)From the desk of Christina Boyd:

In such days as this, of on-line Jane Austen fan fiction, self-publishing, and perusing the stacks in traditional brick and mortar bookstores, it is incomprehensible to neglect reading the manifold of Jane Austen spin-offs, what-ifs and other such Austen-inspired musings. Those of us Austen addicts simply cannot get enough of her—and oftentimes inhale all we can in self-indulgent reading binges—in search of that same rush, that wonderful, satisfying moment we experienced upon discovering her for the first time. We all partake in the lamentation that she left this world but a handful of completed novels. And we all share in the unreserved, unrequited, whimsical dream to discover some misplaced work from our dear Jane. However, best-selling authoress, Syrie James has done just that! She has discovered the mythical, undiscovered novel in her soon to be released novel inside her novel, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen.

Samantha McDonough, an American librarian and Austen scholar, is on an English holiday with her cardiologist boyfriend. Well actually, he is at a medical conference and she busies herself with sight seeing and visiting the shops. She purchases a 200-year-old poetry book during her wanderings and later discovers a letter tucked inside—that leads her to believe that it is in fact a letter from Jane Austen… “The minute I saw the letter, I knew it was hers. There was no mistaking it: the salutation, the tiny, precise handwriting, the date, the content itself, all confirmed its ancient status and authorship…” And now for the pudding—in it, this treasure refers to a missing manuscript Austen lost while visiting a country manor in Devonshire! “Even at a distance of fourteen years, I cannot help but think of it with a pang of fondness, sorrow and regret, as one would a lost child. Do you recall my theory as to how it came to be lost? I still maintain that it was all vanity, nonsense, and wounded pride. I should never have read it out loud to you that night during our stay but kept it safe with all the others- although we did have a good laugh!”

What Austen addict could resist such a temptation? Hence Samantha, after a phone call to her dear bookseller friend and fellow Austenite, Laurel Ann (yes! our very own Laurel Ann!!) follows the clues to said estate and meets the handsome yet frosty, Anthony Whitaker, Greenbriar’s present-day owner. After he realizes the monetary windfall such a discovery could bring him, he thaws and the two embark on a search of the mansion.

“’Let me try.’  Anthony wedged himself into the small, confined space beside me, until our faces were inches apart, and his lean muscled arm and the length of his torso were pressed against mine. My heart began pumping loudly in my ears – an effect, I told myself, that had nothing to do with his proximity but was due entirely to the excitement of the search and the anticipation of what we might find.”

It is this very cozy scene in which they discover the 340-page manuscript, a collection of 42 hand-sewn booklets! Lucky girl indeed, on all counts. Almost immediately they commence reading aloud The Stanhopes—the novel about a young woman whose clergyman father has fallen quite low under the specter of gambling parish monies. Cast out from all Rebecca Stanhope has ever known, they survive on wits and the charity of family amidst attempts to redeem her father.  “Mr. Stanhope was the picture of patience and delight through these many introductions, which Rebecca, although grateful, found more overwhelming than anything. While the gentlemen talked over the politics of the day and compared the accounts of the newspapers, the women gossiped about who had said and worn what at which party.” Like Austen’s canon, these Stanhopes are very much the people she would have known (or been), encountering friendemies, scoundrels, and even a handsome hero. Meanwhile, back in her real life, Samantha finds herself in unfamiliar terrain vis-à-vis her attraction to Anthony and what he might actually do with this secret Austen cache.

Ever since I heard the author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, Nocturne, Forbidden as well asa short story in Jane Austen Made Me Do It, had another novel in the works, I have been all anticipation. Syrie James luminously weaves an Austen-style plot within a charming contemporary love story. The real genius of this astonishing work is her use of Austen’s “Plan of a Novel,” the authentic notes for a book Jane Austen never wrote (that anyone knows about, of course…  says this ever hopeful fan girl.) By using Austen’s notes, Syrie James brought to life a tale that true Austen romantics and proficients (ie. Austen addicts) can only daydream but might pacify that gnawing want for more Austen—until a real missing manuscript is discovered. As expected, Syrie James’ latest offering, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is nothing short of masterful. This is a must buy—and should catapult to the top of your Must Read List for 2013.

5 out of 5 Regency Stars

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James
Berkley Trade (2012)
Trade paperback (432) pages
ISBN: 978-0425253366

Cover image courtesy of Berkley Trade © 2012; text Christina Boyd © 2012, Austenprose.com

In Celebration of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen Book Launch GraphicPlease join us on December 30th & 31st, 2012 for a book launch party honoring the release of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, a new Austen-inspired novel by best-selling author Syrie James.

Hailed as the queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings, Ms. James is renowned for her best-selling The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and the intriguing The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte. She will be our very special guest for a two-day soiree contributing a blog on her inspiration to write her new book and participating in our reader discussion.

Based on Jane Austen’s comical short essay “A Plan of a Novel”, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is a novel within a novel; a contemporary story framing a previously unknown Jane Austen manuscript discovered by heroine Samantha McDonough at an English grand manor house in Devon. I have had the pleasure of reading The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen and I would like to briefly share my first impressions:

“For two hundred years Jane Austen fans have bemoaned the fact that six novels from their favorite author is just not enough. Syrie James rectifies this dilemma in The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, offering the ultimate Janeite fantasy: a novel within a novel honoring what we love most about Austen: her engaging stories, her rapier wit, and her swoon worthy romance. This pitch perfect novel might not truly be Austen’s undiscovered seventh book, but who cares? James’s brilliantly crafted prose will have you enchanted and in awe of her mastery until the very last page. 5 out of 5 Regency Stars!”

And, to add to the festivities there will be chances for great giveaways too!

I hope you can join us. We look forward to a very merry party.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Giveaway Winners Announced for Jane Austen Birthday Soirée 2012

Austen Soirée

47 of you left comments qualifying you for a chance to win one copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It and one copy of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen offered during the Jane Austen Birthday Soirée 2012. The winners drawn at random are:

Jane Austen Made Me Do It

  • Sofia Guerra who left a comment on December 16, 2012

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

  • Bookfool, aka Nancy who left a comment on December 18, 2012

Congratulations ladies! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by December 27, 2012.  Shipment to US addresses only.

Many thanks to Maria of My Jane Austen Book Club for organizing the Jane Austen Birthday Soiree, and to author Syrie James and her publisher Berkley Trade for the giveaway copy of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. Happy reading to the winners!

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose