The Janeite Blog Tour of Love & Friendship Begins June 13

Love & Friendship (2016) poster 2016 x 200A new Jane Austen-inspired movie released on May 13th. Love & Friendship has received rave reviews from critics and Jane Austen fans alike.

  • “FLAT-OUT-HILARIOUS. Jane Austen has never been funnier.” – The Telegraph
  • “Whit Stillman and English novelist Jane Austen make for a delightful pairing in this comedy of manners.” – The
  • “Kate Beckinsale magnetizes the screen.” – Variety

Written and directed by renowned independent filmmaker Whit Stillman, (a big friend of Jane Austen with his previous movies Metropolitan and Last Day of Disco), the movie has been adapted from Austen’s comic gem, Lady Susan, and features an all-star cast reuniting Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny and featuring a string of British period drama acting royalty: Steven Fry, James Fleet and Jemma Redgrave. I saw it on Sunday. I was astounded to discover there were actually people in the theater laughing louder than me, inspired by Tim Bennet’s performance as the rattle, Sir James Martin, and the all-around witty banter and comedic timing!

Love and Friendship Wit Stillman 2016 x 200In addition, Stillman has written a companion novel to the film also entitled Love & Friendship with the added subtitle: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated. For those who have read Austen’s original novella, you will remember that Lady Susan Vernon is described by Reginald De Courcy as “the most accomplished coquette in England.” and by others as devious, wicked and “with a happy command of language, which is too often used, I believe, to make black appear white.” To vindicate her scurrilous behavior is an intriguing premise indeed!

Love & Friendship, the novel, is told from the perspective of a new character, Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca, Lady Susan’s nephew. His voice throughout the book is very Austenesque, with tongue-in-cheek humor and inside Austen jokes that will delight Janeites. Continue reading

Progressive Blog Tour for Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia Begins April 14

Belgravia Julian Fellowes 2016 x 200Downton Abbey may have ended but its creator/writer Julian Fellowes has not missed a beat. The multiple award-winning screenwriter, playwright, and TV show creator has a new novel called Belgravia to fill that huge whole in our hearts when the sixth and final season of Downton concluded in the US last March. Breaking new ground in the digital age, the book will be released in 11 serialized installment beginning Thursday, April 14 by Grand Central Publishing followed by hardcover release on July 05, 2016.

Julian Fellowes’ Belgtavia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London’s grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is people by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond’s new legendary ball, one family’s life will change forever.

The serialized novel is hardly a new concept. Victorian authors such as Dickens, Gaskell, Collins and Conan Doyle became famous through their weekly newspaper installments popular because of their addictive episodic format of twists and cliff hangers. Belgravia will embrace the same concept but with new technology. An app available for download from the official website will send the weekly file to reader’s phones, tablets or computers. Additional annotation and historical detail will also be available to embellish the narrative while readers can jump between the digital text and the audio recording by acclaimed British actress Juliet Stevenson. Continue reading

The Secret of Pembrooke Park Blog Tour

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Award-winning historical romance author Julie Klassen tours the blogosphere February 16 through March 2, 2015, to share her latest release, The Secret of Pembrooke Park. 

Klassen’s eighth novel is a Gothic romance, a “gem for Regency and inspirational readers alike.” — Bookpage, introducing us to Miss Abigail Foster, a heroine in the making who travels to an ancestral manor where she discovers a past tainted by family secrets, rumors of hidden treasure and the surprise of an unexpected romance. Continue reading

Jane Austen’s First Love Virtual Book Launch Party & Blog Tour with Author Syrie James, & Giveaways

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I am very pleased to welcome author Syrie James to Austenprose today to officially open her virtual book launch party and blog tour of Jane Austen’s First Love, published by Berkley Trade. This new Austenesque novel is a fascinating combination of fact and fiction, exploring the first romance of fifteen year-old Jane Austen with the handsome and sophisticated Edward Taylor. 

Syrie has generously offered a guest blog sharing her inspiration to write her new book—and to add to the festivities—we will be offering an amazing selection of giveaways including: trade paperback copies of Jane Austen’s First Love, a muslin tote bag stuffed with Jane Austen goodies, and a specially commissioned painting inspired by the novel. 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 Syrie James.

The inspiration for my novel Jane Austen’s First Love originated several years ago when I was re-reading Jane Austen’s letters. I was struck by three sweet and tender references Jane made to a young man she met as a teenager while visiting her brother Edward Austen in Kent. Continue reading

The Truth About Mr. Darcy Blog Tour with Author Susan Adriani & a Giveaway!

The Truth About Mr. Darcy, by Susan Adriani (2011)Please join us today in welcoming Austenesque author Susan Adriani for the official launch of her blog tour of The Truth About Mr. Darcy, a new Pride and Prejudice variation that was released on May 1, 2011, by Sourcebooks.

If someone had told me I would end up writing a novel someday (never mind that it would actually be published) I would have laughed at them. As a matter of fact, I’m laughing right now. I can’t help it—the entire experience has been completely surreal.

I never set out to be an author. I was a freelance illustrator turned stir-crazy stay-at-home mom; and I’d discovered early on it was nearly impossible to lay down a watercolor wash and work on a commission when there was a very determined little person clinging to my arm, trying to “help” me all the time. As much as I appreciated my daughter’s assistance (she meant well and was ridiculously cute), it soon became apparent that I needed to find an alternative outlet for my creativity, or completely sacrifice my sanity.

The quick fix was to submerse myself in Jane Austen’s world. During that time, I read Pride and Prejudice repeatedly, all the while wondering what happened to Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet after the story ended. To my very great pleasure, I found Helen Halstead and Pamela Aiden in my local Borders, and later, Abigail Reynolds online. I quickly fell in love with Abigail’s writing, but even more than that, I was awed by her ability to ask “what if…” and captivated by her talented storytelling. It didn’t take long for my head to become flooded with ideas and possibilities of my own.

The end result was my first book, The Truth About Mr. Darcy (formerly titled Affinity and Affection). Based on the premise of Mr. Darcy actually getting off his high horse (both figuratively and literally) to warn Elizabeth Bennet about George Wickham’s dissolute character. It is the story of a very different journey for our couple. With Darcy’s honesty, Elizabeth is able to see him with a new perspective, and Darcy, because he recognizes Elizabeth’s value earlier in their acquaintance, is far more willing to swallow his pride and attempt to win her good opinion. And of course, there is passion!

I’ve included an excerpt from the first chapter, and hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed being here today.

That evening, in the privacy of their room, Elizabeth disclosed to Jane the particulars of her conversation with Darcy. Never wanting to think ill of anyone, Jane insisted Wickham could not possibly be so very bad as Darcy’s account of him made him seem. “But, Lizzy, are you certain, absolutely certain, he has such designs at this time? Perhaps he has come to regret his past actions and is anxious to reestablish his character in the eyes of the world. He seems to possess such an expression of goodness in his addresses.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “No, Jane. I would well wish to think as you do, but I cannot help but believe it unlikely. Though Mr. Darcy’s countenance bespoke the most vehement dislike of Mr. Wickham, you did not notice the way Mr. Wickham looked at Mr. Darcy. His expression was one of such derision and insolence. No, I cannot so easily acquit him of the crimes Mr. Darcy has laid at his door. I feel most inclined to believe he is not a man to be trusted.”

“By this account, then, Lizzy, he appears to feel as passionately for Mr. Darcy as Mr. Darcy does for him. Something very bad, perhaps even worse than what Mr. Darcy has related to you with regard to their association, must surely have occurred to promote such strong feelings of aversion.”

“I confess I am of your opinion on this matter. Mr. Darcy was most disturbed, Jane. Even as he was speaking privately to me of Mr. Wickham, he remained visibly so. It is most out of character for him to reveal such emotions on any matter, and given this, I cannot help but wonder whether he may yet be keeping something further to himself.”

Jane was thoughtful for a long moment before saying quietly, “Lizzy, I do believe Mr. Darcy must be in love with you.”

Elizabeth stared at her and laughed. “Jane! Whatever makes you think such a thing? Surely Mr. Darcy feels nothing for me. You remember his comment at the assembly, do you not?”

“Indeed, it was very wrong of him to say such a thing at all, never mind in company, but, Lizzy, does it not strike you as incredible that a man of Mr. Darcy’s notoriety—such a proud, private man of much significance in the world—would speak with you so willingly and openly about his dealings with such a man as Mr. Wickham? I can hardly credit it. No, it could only be a compliment to you, my dearest sister.”

“Really, Jane, this is too absurd!” She laughed again. “You know just as well as I do, Mr. Darcy holds me in contempt for my decided opinions and my impertinent manner. He would never deign to pay his addresses to me, an unknown country miss with nothing more than fifty pounds and my charms to recommend me, not when he could have a fashionable woman with fifty thousand and a title.”

Jane smiled. “I beg to differ.”

Elizabeth made to protest, but Jane silenced her. “You forget, Lizzy, I, as well as Charlotte, have noticed the attention Mr. Darcy pays you, even if it is nothing more than staring at you from across the room. It cannot have escaped your keen observation that you are, indeed, the only lady he stares at.” Jane shook her head. “No, there is no other explanation for it. Mr. Darcy must be in love with you.” The discussion was continued in earnest, and half the night was spent in conversation.

Thank you, Laurel Ann, for having me on Austenprose today as your guest blogger. It was a pleasure for me to be here, and wonderful fun!

Author Susan Adriani (2011)Author Bio:

Susan Adriani has been a fan of Jane Austen and her beloved characters for as long as she can remember. Originally from New England, she attended a small art college close to her home, where she majored in illustration. In 2007, after contemplating the unexplored possibilities in one of Miss Austen’s most celebrated novels, Pride and Prejudice, she began to write her first novel-length story, The Truth About Mr. Darcy (formerly Affinity and Affection). With encouragement from fellow Austen enthusiasts she continued, and is currently at work on her second and third books. She lives in Southern New England with her husband, young daughter, and a very impertinent cat. Website: Austen Inspired Fiction by Susan Adriani, Blog: Austen Authors, Facebook: Susan Adriani, Twitter: @DarcyBabe1.

Giveaway of The Truth About Mr. Darcy

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of The Truth About Mr. Darcy, by leaving a comment answering what intrigues you most about reading a Pride and Prejudice variation, or which of Austen’s novels you would like to see Susan write about next, by midnight PT, Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Winner announced on Thursday, May 12, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

The Truth About Mr. Darcy, by Susan Adriani
Sourcebooks (2011)
Trade paperback (512) pages
ISBN: 978-1402246135

2007 – 2011 Susan Adriani, Austenprose