Jane in Love: A Novel, by Rachel Givney — A Review

Jane in Love by Rachel Givney 2020From the desk of Sophia Rose:

Australian filmmaker, and debut writer, Rachel Givney brings us a whimsical time travel romantic adventure for none other than Jane Austen herself with her new novel, Jane in Love.  What does the twenty-first century have to teach this well-loved author? Equally important, what does Miss Jane have to teach her counterpart in the twenty-first century?

Jane is twenty-eight and living with her aging parents in Bath. Her writing isn’t good enough to get published and her mother threatens to burn any further attempts. Mrs. Austen insists Jane focus on the Continue reading “Jane in Love: A Novel, by Rachel Givney — A Review”

Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel, by Sonali Dev — A Review

Recipe for Persuasion 2020From the desk of Sophia Rose: 

Jane Austen’s Persuasion gets a modern facelift Desi-style in this standalone sequel to Sonali Dev’s 2019, Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors, as Indian American chef, Ashna Raje, and Brazilian footballer, Rico Silva, encounter each other once again as acrimonious cooking partners on a reality TV show. I love that the author has cooked up a series of modern retellings of Jane Austen’s classic works by giving members of the Raje family their chances at romance.

In Recipe for Persuasion Ashna’s family is convinced a reality cooking show is just the jumpstart her dying Continue reading “Recipe for Persuasion: A Novel, by Sonali Dev — A Review”

Polite Society: A Novel, by Mahesh Rao–A Review

Image of the cover of Polite Society, by Mahesh Rao (2019)From the desk of Katie Patchell:

I have loved Jane Austen’s Emma for as long as I can remember. Yes—I mean that literally. When I was six, my first introduction to the Regency and the magnificent world of Jane Austen began with a battered VHS copy (Gwyneth Paltrow/Jeremy Northam version) and, well, has never ended.

In fact, my first classic ever read was a neon yellow copy of Emma gifted for Christmas at the age of ten. It is now battered and torn, but will forever hold a place on my shelves. To me, the heroine Emma has always gone beyond the place of a lovable but mistaken fictional friend; she’s been in some ways, a mirror of myself. Perhaps this quality is why people love to hate her – she reflects how we all would be if given enough time, money, and influence. And that is: Sure that our way is the best way. Mahesh Rao’s Polite Society shows a world and cast of characters where this idea is everything.

Retellings can always be tricky – there’s a whole host of questions we ask ourselves. Will the modern setting give or detract something from the original? How much do morals connect to ethics, and Continue reading “Polite Society: A Novel, by Mahesh Rao–A Review”

Austenprose’s Favorite Books of 2018

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Dear readers:

Along with oodles of other media outlets and book bloggers, it’s time to reveal my own favorite books of 2018. It has been a serendipitous journey—full of adventure, comfort, and surprises—mostly generated from reading beloved authors and stepping outside my sphere.

Traditionally I gravitate toward classic or modern authors in the historical fiction genre, focusing on novels inspired by Jane Austen. My reading choices this year were diverse within historical and contemporary fiction, romance, mysteries, and nonfiction, exploring new tropes and themes. However, they all share a common thread—sharp writing, comprehensive research, compelling stories, and levity. Continue reading “Austenprose’s Favorite Books of 2018”

A Preview of Longbourn’s Songbird: A Novel, by Beau North

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Just released this week is a new Jane Austen-inspired novel, Longbourn’s Songbird. Based on Austen’s iconic novel, Pride and Prejudice, author Beau North has transported the action to post WWII South Carolina.

While Pride and Prejudice has spawned the largest number of sequels in print, most of those are set Continue reading “A Preview of Longbourn’s Songbird: A Novel, by Beau North”

Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer Blog Tour Launch Party — Featuring editor Christina Boyd

From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress: 

It is a pleasure to welcome Austenprose reviewer Christina Boyd here today in celebration of the release of her first book, Sun-kissed, a summer-themed short story anthology. Christina has been a contributor here at Austenprose reviewing Jane Austen-inspired books for seven years. In fact, she was my first recruit to the staff in 2008. Christina has an eye for a great story and I always had a hunch that she would make a Continue reading “Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer Blog Tour Launch Party — Featuring editor Christina Boyd”

The Proud and the Prejudiced: A Modern Twist on Pride and Prejudice, by Colette Saucier – A Review

From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:  

As most Austenprose readers will know by now, I’m a big fan of Pride and Prejudice variations, what-if’s, and retellings. In fact, if you look at the scope of Jane Austen fan fiction that I read it’s almost entirely comprised of Pride and Prejudice inspired novels. A recent addition to this group that I adored was Colette Saucier’s Pulse and Prejudice (review is here).  After reading this I couldn’t wait to see what else Continue reading “The Proud and the Prejudiced: A Modern Twist on Pride and Prejudice, by Colette Saucier – A Review”

Imperfect Bliss: A Novel, by Susan Fales-Hill – A Review

From the desk of Lucy Warriner: 

How could Pride and Prejudice be adapted to reflect the reality realevision craze? Those intrigued by this question may consult Imperfect Bliss, a comedic examination of class and celebrity by Susan Fales-Hill. The escapades of the Harcourt family of Maryland will keep readers turning the pages.

To her chagrin, recent divorcee Bliss Harcourt is once again living with her parents. She cares for her young daughter Bella, pursues her doctorate at Georgetown University, and laments the antics of her mother and two younger sisters. Harcourt matriarch Forsythia is obsessed with emulating British royalty and suppressing her Jamaican heritage. Second-youngest daughter Diana is starring in The Virgin, a Continue reading “Imperfect Bliss: A Novel, by Susan Fales-Hill – A Review”

Mr. Darcy Forever: Austen Addicts (Book 3), by Victoria Connelly – A Review

From the desk of Jeffrey Ward: 

Following A Weekend with Mr. Darcy and Dreaming of Mr. Darcy comes the caboose in Victoria Connelly’s “Austen Addicts” trilogy: Mr. Darcy Forever.  Every niche of this contemporary romance is lavishly replete with enough references from Jane Austen’s six novels to sate even the worst addict. This charmer, set in two of Jane’s best-loved locations: South Devon and Bath, is devoid of lurid sexuality or profanity, and sweetly laced with humor.

Sisters Sarah and Mia Castle have always been closer than twins although Mia is almost a decade Sarah’s junior.  Because of their shared love of Jane Austen, Sarah books the actual home used as Barton Cottage Continue reading “Mr. Darcy Forever: Austen Addicts (Book 3), by Victoria Connelly – A Review”

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly – A Review

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly (2011)I am amazed at how many Austenesque novels continue to have “Mr. Darcy” worked into the title. Recently there has been: A Wife for Mr. Darcy, by Mary Lydon Simonsen, The Trouble with Mr. Darcy, by Sharon Lathan, The Truth about Mr. Darcy, by Susan Adriani, Mr. Darcy and the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman, by Maria Hamilton, Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, by Kara Louise, What Would Mr. Darcy Do?, by Abigail Reynolds and ironically Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard, by Belinda Roberts – and that is only in the last four months!!! Gentle readers, have we indeed gone overboard over Mr. Darcy? *shudder* Can there ever be too much Mr. Darcy?

As I opened A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, yet another new novel featuring Jane Austen’s romantic icon of Nonpareil in its title, it was difficult not to feel a rush of astonishment. What could Victoria Connelly possibly offer that has not already been said several times in historical, contemporary or Continue reading “A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly – A Review”

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy Blog Tour with Author Victoria Connelly

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly (2011)Please join us today in welcoming Austenesque author Victoria Connelly for the official launch of her book blog tour of A Weekend with Mr. Darcy a new Pride and Prejudice-inspired contemporary novel that was released on July 1, 2011, by Sourcebooks.

Inspiration for my books can come from anywhere.  It always amazes me what can get the imagination going.  My first book published in the UK, Molly’s Millions, was inspired by junk mail – a very unlikely beginning for a romantic comedy!

But it was when I was visiting Chawton in Hampshire that I seriously began thinking about writing about Jane Austen fans.  I’d visited Lyme Regis – the gorgeous setting for Persuasion, and Bath which was also used in Persuasion as well as Northanger Abbey.  I kept thinking about these three very different and beautiful settings and soon came up with the idea for a trilogy about Jane Austen addicts – each book set in a different Austen location.

The first book, A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, is set in Hampshire at a Jane Austen conference and I knew I wanted a grand Georgian manor house to have the starring role.  I’d pictured Newby Hall in North Yorkshire as my ideal house.  It had starred as Mansfield Park in the recent TV adaptation, but Yorkshire was a bit too far away for a research trip and so started an Internet search and discovered a gorgeous Georgian manor called Ardington House in the depths of the Oxfordshire countryside.  It was the perfect Purley Hall for my book with is sweep of driveway, its great cedar tree, and its pretty gardens leading down to the river.

Visiting locations for a book is a pleasure and a privilege.  Not only is it nice to get away from the desk once in a while but it’s vital if you want to make a place come alive and help readers really visualize it.

So, I went back to Chawton because I knew I was going to have a couple of chapters set there.  I also visited the nearby hamlet of Steventon and sat in the little church where Jane Austen would once have sat and where my own heroine, Robyn, sits, contemplating heroes.

I also visited Winchester.  I wanted to end the book at Jane Austen’s resting place and managed to visit it on the very day when the scene is set – Jane Austen’s birthday on the 16th December.  The Christmas market was in full swing and there were ice-skaters in front of the cathedral and, inside, there was a giant Christmas tree covered in simple white lights.  I sat next to Jane Austen’s grave and quietly thought of the scene I wanted to set there.  It was a magical moment.

The second book in my Austen addicts trilogy is called Dreaming of Mr. Darcy (The Perfect Hero in the UK) and is set in Lyme Regis.  We were lucky enough to stay in Lyme for two separate weeks whilst I was writing the book – choosing an apartment in the heart of the town with the most incredible view of the Cobb.  I wanted to write as much of the book as possible in situ and spent a freezing afternoon on the beach at Charmouth where my heroine and hero, Kay and Adam, go fossil hunting.  My hands were so cold that I could barely hold my pen and yet I wrote a good amount for the scene I had in mind.  I also walked the length and breadth of Lyme Regis, really getting to know the place which is just as well because I’d written a scene in which my heroine looks out of her bed and breakfast on Marine Parade and the hero spots her from the Cobb and waves.  I quickly realized that he’d never ever see her from that distance and so revised my idea for the scene.

The third book in the series, Mr. Darcy Forever, is set during the Jane Austen Festival in Bath and I had the good fortune to spend a long weekend there – but more about that another time.

I feel very fortunate in my chosen profession.  Not only do I get to spend my days creating stories but I get to visit some truly inspiring and beautiful places.  Now, I really must think about setting a novel in the Seychelles one day …

Author Victoria Connelly (2011)About the author:

Victoria Connelly’s first novel was promoted in Germany to celebrate World Book Day and was adapted into a TV movie. Her second novel was published as a lead title in the UK and chosen as a “hot pick” in Closer magazine. Her new trilogy is her first foray into Jane Austen related fiction. Connelly lives in London with her artist husband, Springer spaniel and ex-battery chickens. Visit Victoria at her blog, on Facebook and as @VictoriaDarcy on Twitter.

Giveaway of  A Weekend with Mr. Darcy

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by leaving a comment answering what intrigues you most about reading a Pride and Prejudice-inspired contemporary novel or what characters you would like to see Victoria write about next, by midnight PT, Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, July 14, 2011. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Connelly
Sourcebooks (2011)
Trade paperback (352) pages
ISBN: 978-1402251320

2007 – 2011 Victoria Connelly, Austenprose

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard Blog Tour with Author Belinda Roberts, and a Giveaway

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard: A Tale of Tide and Prejudice, by Belinda Roberts (2011)Please join us today in welcoming Austenesque author Belinda Roberts for the official launch of her book blog tour of Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard: A Tale of Tide & Prejudice, a new Pride and Prejudice contemporary retelling that was released on June 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks.

GUEST BLOG

Salcombe is a lively, fashionable seaside town on the south west coast of England – the sort of busy place where you turn a corner and whoops!  Excuse me!  Sorry!  After you!  You have had an encounter with a young Mr. Darcy.  They are everywhere, mixed in with young Mr. Bingleys, anxious Mrs. Bennets and shrieking Kittys and Lydias making themselves heard from one end of Fore Street to Continue reading “Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard Blog Tour with Author Belinda Roberts, and a Giveaway”

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