How to Rescue a Rake – Guest Blog with author Jayne Fresina, & Giveaway

How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina 2016 x 200Please help me welcome author Jayne Fresina today to Austenprose. Jayne’s third book in her Book Club Belles series, How to Rescue a Rake, has just been published by Sourcebooks Casablanca. 

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, this new Regency romance features heroine Diana Makepiece whose life and troubles resemble Austen’s Anne Elliot in many respects. Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

Nathaniel Sherringham has returned to Hawcombe Prior a changed man. Gone is the reckless rake who went out on a limb to propose to Diana Makepiece three years ago. Now Nate’s mysterious new wealth has the town’s rumor mill spinning. To stir things up (and get Diana’s attention), Nate boldly announces his plans to marry “any suitable girl” under the age of 25.

Diana, now 27 and still single, is acutely aware of Nate’s return. When her mother suggests a trip to visit a cousin in Bath, Diana leaps at the chance to escape the heartbreak and regret she can’t help but feel in Nate’s presence…and avoid his irritating charade to find a bride.

But for Nate, Diana has always been the one. He might just have to follow her to Bath and once again lay his heart on the line to win her attention-and her heart.

Here to tell us more about her inspiration for the Book Club Belles series, and her love of Jane Austen, is author Jayne Fresina.

TAKING A LEAF OUT OF JANE’S BOOK…

I have been an Austen fan since I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was fifteen. It was a recommendation by my English Literature teacher at school, because a BBC production had just started airing on Sunday evening TV and she suggested we might want to read the book too.

It was love at first read.

After that, I worked my way through each of her books, greedily absorbing every word (checking the dictionary for a few of them) and learning about that strange world of manners and morals, balls and carriage rides, parasols and fine prospects. It was wonderful escape from the dreariness of this teenager’s life, in a cold, rainy Northern England town in the 1980’s. So I owe a huge debt of thanks to that teacher — Ms. Jones — who, with her big shiny glasses and bubbling enthusiasm for all things Austen, made me a convert.

Many years later, when I finally became a published author, I flirted with the idea of writing another version of Pride and Prejudice, but there were a lot of other authors who had the same idea and the results were not always well-received. Was there room for yet another Austen-inspired book? Was it superfluous? Were people tired of all that?

I didn’t want to upset Austen fans, of course, by doing anything that might be seen as insulting to Jane or her characters. (“Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?” – Lady Catherine de Bourgh squawks in my ear) But I really wanted to create a tribute of my own to Jane and her stories. I kept putting it off, but the idea always crept back in, poking away at me. It’s a very dodgy business taking on something like that and I spent quite a long time deciding how I might do it in a way that would add to the story, not just purloin the plot or the characters.

Finally, as I was reading an Austen biography one day and looking at a sketch of a Regency era lending library, I came up with the idea of a Book Society – a small group of young ladies reading Austen’s works when they were first published. Wouldn’t it be fun, I thought, if their lives begin to follow the plot of whichever book they are reading? They certainly had more chance of meeting a “real” Captain Wentworth, Mr. Darcy or Colonel Brandon than anyone living today.

For one thing, men just don’t dress that way today. Sigh! Not since Elvis has there been a man who could carry off a good sideburn!

I sent the series proposal to my editor at Sourcebooks and she loved it. And so the idea for the Book Club Belles was born. Justina and Catherine Penny, Diana Makepiece, Lucy Bridges and Rebecca Sherringham were soon sketched out in my mind and then filled out on paper. As young ladies living in Austen’s time, her books are a form of escape for them too, just as they once were for me — and as they continue to be for so many readers, old fans and new.

I thought it was important that the books have a sense of humor, so I kept them light-hearted and not too “angsty”. As I wrote I was very conscious of staying as true to the period as possible. The ladies of my book society, however, are considerably more rebellious and daring than Miss Austen’s heroines — a sign of these times, I’m afraid. Hopefully, Jane can forgive me for that!

After all, Mr. Darcy is now remembered by many as Colin Firth walking out of his lake in a rather fabulous wet shirt— a state of undress in which the real Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy would never be caught. Whenever I watch that scene (drool over it, may be more accurate), I wonder what Jane Austen would think of all this— of how beloved her characters have become to so many generations of readers (and watchers now too). What would she think of all these TV adaptations and movies? What would she make of all these books influenced by her work?

I can’t help thinking she’d be laughing. Once she got over the shock of Mr. Darcy’s impromptu swim and delightfully bedraggled wet curls.

Yes, it’s a chancy business taking on the work of an author like Jane Austen and giving the story a new twist, but I think she would agree that, if a little fresh treatment brings more readers to her books and introduces them to that wonderful world, all the better!

Jayne-Fresina 2016 x 150AUTHOR BIO

Jayne Fresina sprouted up in England. Entertained by her father’s colorful tales of growing up in the countryside, and surrounded by opinionated sisters, she’s always had inspiration for her beleaguered heroes and unstoppable heroines. She lives in upstate New York. Learn more about the author at www.jaynefresinaromanceauthor.blogspot.com, follower her on Facebook as Jayne Fresina and on Twitter as @JayneFresina.

How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society #3), by Jayne Fresina
Sourcebooks Casablanca (2016)
Mass market paperback & Ebook (384) pages
ISBN: 978-1402287824

A GRAND GIVEWAY

Enter a chance to win one of three paperback copies available of How to Rescue a Rake, by Jayne Fresina by leaving a comment listing your favorite quote from Persuasion by 11:59 pm, Wednesday, January 27, 2016. Winners will be drawn at random from the comments and announced on Friday February 29, 2016. Shipment is to US addresses. Good luck to all!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

Cover image courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca © 2016; text Jayne Fresina © 2016, Austenprose.com

21 thoughts on “How to Rescue a Rake – Guest Blog with author Jayne Fresina, & Giveaway

  1. “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever… I have loved none but you.” Captain Wentworth’s declaration of love for Anne is one of my favorites in all of Austen’s novels. I am excited to read Fresina’s latest work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Second only to his written words to Anne, I most enjoyed this line from Wentworth, in response to Lady Russell: You have an extraordinary ability to discompose my friend, sir.
    Captain Wentworth: And you have an extraordinary ability to influence her, ma’am, for which I find it hard to forgive you.

    Looking forward to reading it all over again!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? “

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi! How wonderful! Ever since he penned his carefully-written ‘agony and hope’ letter to Anne Elliot, I have been in love with Captain Wentworth. And Ciaran Hinds’s portrayal of Captain Wentworth further cemented this character as being my all-time favorite sentimental literary hero. I love reading…historical fiction primarily, and Regency historical fiction is my favorite fiction sub-genre. It seems, indeed, the case that there is a dearth of Persuasion-inspired books out there…I was considering writing one, as I have already self-published two books – one of which is an historical fiction novel (but takes place earlier, during the American Revolution ). Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen book, and I am very excited to see that there is now a new book! How to Rescue a Rake seems like a lovely book and tribute to the author and characters in Persuasion. I look forward to reading! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well that was easy for me…my favorite is: “My idea of good company…is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.’
    ‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Persuasion is one of my favorites–I love the gift of a second chance!

    And since my husband wrote me letters while we are dating, it’s only right my favorite quote would be this:

    “Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Here is a nut,” said he, catching one down from an upper bough, “to exemplify: a beautiful glossy nut, which, blessed with original strength, has outlived all the storms of autumn. Not a puncture, not a weak spot any where. This nut,” he continued, with playful solemnity, “while so many of its brethren have fallen and been trodden under foot, is still in possession of all the happiness that a hazel nut can be supposed capable of.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh, Persuasion. Choosing a favorite quote is next to impossible! I am extremely partial to most all the lines spoken by Captain Wentworth, but I love this quote. Knowing the words of devotion he writes in his later letter make this earlier declaration so poignant.

    “A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My favorite quote of all is : There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison. To me this represents true love and my soulmate and myself have achieved this for 45 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this one because not everyone receives kindness even if they give kindness to others

    “To flatter and follow others, without being flattered and followed in turn, is but a state of half enjoyment.”

    Like

  11. Thanks for having me as a guest today! I’m enjoying reading the comments and seeing how much Jane Austen’s work means to so many.

    Like

  12. “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

    “I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.”

    Denise

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Persuasion is my favorite Austen book, and I love to read new twists of this great story. I look forward to this book!
    There are many favorite quotes I have, but one is: “She was deep in the happiness of such misery, or the misery of such happiness, instantly.”

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  14. My favorite lines from Persuasion are those in that letter…half agony, half hope. I will not repeat them again. All those chosen above are good lines. I do also like the one about good company. That one is apropos for today’s idea concerning an excellent group of friends and acquaintances.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Apart from the quote in that famous letter from Cpt. Wentworth to Anne, my favourite is “I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” Thank you for this giveaway opportunity!

    Like

  16. I don’t have a favorite quote and don’t have the book here, but I do like the line: “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” Anything towards the end when Captain Wentworth declares his feelings would be a good line.

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  17. There is definitely “You pierce my soul…” but I also like: “My idea of good company, Mr Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” Wonderful post. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Like

  18. The letter, of course, and the definition of “good company,” but there is also Sofia Croft giving her younger brother this excellent advice about women: “But I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.”

    Like

  19. Ahhh. Persuasion is one of my faves. And of course this quote from Captain Wentworth just melts my heart. “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.” thank you for the giveaway.

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  20. Captain Wentworth’s letter is the easy favorite, although my second favorite is: “All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone.”

    Like

  21. Pingback: Giveaway Winners Announced for How to Rescue a Rake | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

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