Happy New Year Janeites! I am starting off the new decade by introducing you to a fabulous forthcoming book in the Austenesque genre, Miss Austen, by Gill Hornby.
I had the great pleasure of reading an early manuscript of Hornby’s new novel Miss Austen last year. If like me, you have always been baffled by Jane Austen’s older sister Cassandra destroying much of her sister’s correspondence after her death and are curious why she felt she needed to do so, this forthcoming novel which releases on April 7th fills in the story, and much more. I was moved by this beautiful and engaging story and I hope that you will be intrigued by the book description and the exclusive excerpt here and add it to your TBR pile. There is also an announcement of a sweepstake by the author’s publisher Flatiron Books of a giveaway of five (5) copies of an advance reader’s copy of the book. Enjoy, and good luck to all.
For fans of Jo Baker’s Longbourn, a witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was? England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone, spending her days visiting friends and relations and quietly, purposefully working to preserve her sister’s reputation. Now in her sixties and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the Fowles of Kintbury, family of her long-dead fiancé, in search of a trove of Jane’s letters. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister’s legacy to the flames? Continue reading
It’s time to announce the winners of the giveaway contest for The Jane Austen Society cover reveal. The three lucky winners of an ARC paperback copy of the book drawn at random are:
- Stacy Edwards who left a comment on September 15, 2019
- Lynne Lewis who left a comment on September 17, 2019
- Miranda Liasson who left a comment on September 15, 2019
Congratulations ladies! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by October 16, 2019, or you will forfeit your prize! Shipment is to US addresses only.
Thanks to all who left comments and to St. Martin’s Press for the giveaway prizes.
Cover image courtesy of St. Martin’s Press © 2019, text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2019, Austenprose.com
From the desk of Tracy Hickman:
Lady Susan is my favorite of Jane Austen’s minor works. A scheming widow who also happens to be “the most accomplished coquette in England,” Lady Susan Vernon is intelligent, attractive, and unscrupulous, agreeing with her immoral friend Alicia Johnson that “Facts are such horrid things!” (256) Her letters to Alicia detail her plans to snare wealthy husbands for both herself and her daughter Frederica while causing pain and suffering to those she deems detestable. As she includes her own daughter in this camp, calling her a “stupid girl,” she has no qualms in forcing Frederica to marry a decidedly silly man with a large fortune. Lady Susan is a terrible person, but a wonderful character. While the novella lacks the depth of later works, it is a wickedly funny short story in epistolary form; its tone is reminiscent of the snarky comments found in many of Austen’s letters.
Who better to capture Austen’s witty social commentary than filmmaker and writer Whit Stillman? His first film, Metropolitan, was one of my favorites from the 1990s, but I confess that I didn’t catch its similarities to Mansfield Park until many years later. Now Stillman has written a companion piece to his latest film Love & Friendship in straight narrative form. He introduces a new character to the story: Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca, Lady Susan’s nephew. Rufus has penned his “true narrative of false-witness” to expose Austen’s supposed hatchet job on his aunt. His loyalties are made clear with the novel’s subtitle, “In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated (Concerning the Beautiful Lady Susan Vernon, Her Cunning Daughter & the Strange Antagonism of the DeCourcy Family).”
Readers familiar with Austen’s Lady Susan will notice an inversion of good and evil from the outset. Rufus has dedicated his novel to none other than the Prince of Wales, mimicking Austen’s dedication of Emma to the Prince Regent, but in a much more effusively toad-eating style. After two knowing winks from Stillman in two pages: consider yourself warned. Rufus is the quintessential unreliable narrator, writing his rebuttal of Austen’s version of events from debtors prison in Clerkenwell in 1858. The vindication of his maligned aunt, riddled with inconsistencies and bizarre logic, is peppered with tirades on a range of subjects: history, theology, and grammar. These make for some of the funniest passages in the novel. Continue reading
It’s time to announce the winner of the giveaway of the Love & Friendship prize pack offered in honor of the new movie release. The lucky winner was drawn at random and is:
- Amanda Mauldin who left a comment on May 11, 2016
Congratulations Amanda! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by May 25, 2016, or you will forfeit your prize! Shipment is to US addresses only.
Thanks to all who left comments and to Roadside Attractions for the giveaway prize package.
Cover image courtesy of Roadside Attractions © 2016, text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2016, Austenprose.com
Hold on to your bonnets historical fiction fans! Today is the official debut of Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia, a new serialized novel by Downton Abbey’s creator/writer. Set in London in the early Victorian-era, the story follows one family’s life and how a secret from twenty-five years earlier, changed them forever.
Austenprose is honored to be the first stop on the Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia Progressive Blog Tour which will, over the course of ten weeks, travel through the ether visiting popular book bloggers and authors specializing in historical fiction and romance. Today we will be recapping and reviewing the first episode, “Dancing Into Battle.”
Released in 11 weekly installments, each episode of Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia will conclude with twists, turns and cliff-hanger endings popularized by the novels of Dickens, Gaskell and Conan Doyle in the nineteenth century. Delivered directly to your cell phone, tablet or desktop via a brand new app, you can read the text or listen to the audio recording narrated by acclaimed British actress Juliet Stevenson, or jump between the two. In addition, you will have access to the exclusive bonus features available only through the app including: history, fashion, food & drink, culture and more that will frame the story while immersing you into the character’s sphere. In addition, the first episode is totally free!
Here is a short video on how it all works: Continue reading
It’s time to announce the winner of the giveaway of one hardcover copy of Death Sits Down to Dinner, by Tessa Arlen. The lucky winner was drawn at random and is:
- Paige B., who left a comment on March 30, 2016.
Congratulations Paige! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by April 13, 2016, or you will forfeit your prize! Shipment is to US addresses only.
Thanks to all who left comments, to author Tessa Arlen for her great interview and to her publisher Minotaur Books for the giveaway copy.
Cover image courtesy of Minotaur Books © 2016, text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2016, Austenprose.com
It’s time to announce the winners of the giveaway of three paperback copies of How to Rescue a Rake, by Jane Fresina. The lucky winners drawn at random are:
- clm1743, who left a comment on January 18, 2016.
- Priscilla, who left a comment on January 19, 2016
- dholcomb1, who left a comment on January 18, 2016.
Congratulations to the winners! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by February 04, 2016, or you will forfeit your prize! Shipment to US addresses only.
Thanks to all who left comments, to author Jayne Fresina for the guest blog and her publisher Sourcebooks for the giveaways.
Cover image courtesy of Sourcebooks © 2016, text Jayne Fresina © 2016, Austenprose.com
It’s time to announce the giveaway winners of the first two novels in the Poldark Saga: Ross Poldark and Demelza. The lucky winners drawn at random are:
1.) Eight (8) trade paperback copies of Ross Poldark
- lex6819, who left a comment on June 22, 2015
- Bookfool, aka Nancy, who left a comment on July 13, 2015
- Ladycrumpet, who left a comment on August 05, 2015
- Trudystattle, who left a comment on June 9, 2015
- Veronica Sweet, who left a comment on June 7, 2015
- Patricia Barraclough, who left a comment on July 19, 2015
- Elizabeth, who left a comment on August 3, 2015
- BeckyC, who left a comment on June 10, 2015
It is release day for one of my favorite Regency-era series: The Pink Carnation, by Lauren Willig. Her latest and last installment is The Lure of the Moonflower. As you all gasp in shock over my last statement—yes—it is the last book in the series, now totaling 12 novels.
This week, we are honored to be among a group of select bloggers celebrating the release of The Lure of the Moonflower. Here is an excerpt and a chance at a giveaway of the novel. Details are listed at the bottom of the post. Just leave a comment to qualify.
In the final Pink Carnation novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, Napoleon has occupied Lisbon, and Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation, teams up with a rogue agent to protect the escaped Queen of Portugal.
Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman—especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.
All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad seventy-three-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it’s only a matter of time before she’s found and taken.
It’s up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower—an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue.
It’s time to announce the winners of the giveaways for the Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley blog tour launch party. The lucky winners drawn at random are:
One digital copy (eBook format of your choice) of Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley.
- clm1743, who left a comment on July 21, 2015
One signed paperback copy each of The Darcys of Pemberley and its companion novel, Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley.
- Anna who left a comment on July 28, 2015
One 11” x 14″ matted print featuring an oval inset from the cover artwork of The Darcys of Pemberley that was used in the creation of the cover art for Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley and one signed paperback copy of the book.
- Sheila L. M., who left a comment on July 26, 2015
It is a rare delight in reading to discover a new author that you feel could become one of your most cherished favorites. When “every feature works,” I am revved up and ready to share my excitement.
Such is the case with Patrice Kindl, who until a review copy of A School for Brides landed on my doorstep last month was entirely unknown to me. Further research revealed that this new release was a companion novel to her first in the Lesser Hoo series, Keeping the Castle. Set in the Regency period both novels share many of the same characters, paralleling the same time frame, but from a different perspective. Better and better.
Before diving into A School for Brides I decided to power through an audio recording of Keeping the Castle. It knocked my bonnet off. If I could describe Kindl’s writing in one sentence, I would say that it is a skillful blending of Jane Austen’s genius with social satire, Georgette Heyer’s exuberant humor and Dodie Smith’s poignant romance.
Here is a description of A School for Brides from the publisher:
The Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy of Lesser Hoo, Yorkshire, has one goal: to train its students in the feminine arts with an eye toward getting them married off. This year, there are five girls of marriageable age. There’s only one problem: the school is in the middle of nowhere, and there are no men. Set in the same English town as Keeping the Castle, and featuring a few of the same characters, here’s the kind of witty tribute to the classic Regency novel that could only come from the pen of Patrice Kindl!
Curious to learn more about Patrice Kindl and the inspiration for her Lesser Hoo novels I asked her if she would be game for a brief interview. Happily, she agreed.
Welcome, Patrice: Continue reading