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.  Continue reading

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star Blog Tour with Author Heather Lynn Rigaud

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, by Heather Lynn Rigaud (2011)Please join us today in welcoming author Heather Lynn Rigaud on her blog tour in celebration of the release of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, a new contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice published today by Sourcebooks.

It’s so nice to be here on Austenprose today. It’s the first stop on my very first every blog tour, so I’m very, very excited.

So many people have asked me “Why a modern Pride and Prejudice and WHY a Rock Band???” Well, as always, it’s Jane’s fault. I came to Jane Austen, as many people have, through the movies. It started with Bridget Jones’ Diary the movie, then the book, then the 1995 Pride and Prejudice movie, and then the book. And then Persuasion, and then Northanger Abbey, and then Emma, and then Sense and Sensibility and then… Well, your readers know how that goes.

Like many hungry JA fans, I found JAFF fan fiction on the web, and soon was writing and posting my own. That’s when I met Abigail Reynolds. I was writing a modern P&P adaptation called Longbourn & Pemberley Go to War and she was writing Impulse & Initiative when she asked if I’d be willing to look at her love scene. Of course it was fantastic, but it started us beta-reading for each other.

It was Abigail who got me thinking about how would Darcy live in this modern time. It’s given that he would be wealthy and successful, but he also needed a modicum of fame. I was puzzling on how to make him a celebrity, but still Darcy- proud and aloof. He would never be glad-handing fans on TV Guide, or pushing his next big thing on Letterman.

He would be Darcy, at heart always true to his integrity, and yes, his pride. It came to me that he could be some kind of artist. They could easily maintain a quiet and aloof persona. A musician maybe? At the same time I was thinking about this, I heard a new song from a new band called “Puddle of Mudd”. The song was ‘She Hates Me’ and it occurred to me that this was so much like Darcy right after Elizabeth rejects him at Hunsford (I freely admit to having Jane Austen on the brain, and I strongly believe I’m not the only one) The chorus of the song goes like this:

I tried too hard

and she tore my feelings like I had none

and ripped them away

It was perfect. It expressed so clearly Darcy’s bitter anger at Elizabeth after she rejects him, as well as his underlying anger at himself. It was something I had to incorporate into my story. So then I thought about well known guitarists: Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Eddie Van Halen from Van Halen, The Edge of U2, even Slash from Guns & Roses. Men who were perfectly content to let someone else do the front man stuff. Men who let their instruments express what they felt. Then in a flash I had it:

Fitzwilliam Darcy is the enigmatic virtuoso guitarist of the world famous rock band Slurry.

I knew right there I had my story, and my Darcy. It was remarkable how quickly the pieces fell into place after that: Of course Bingley and Col. Fitzwilliam would be in his band. Of course, Wickham would have previously been part of the band until the ‘incident’ at Ramsgate. Of course Lady Catherine would own the record company. And of course Lizzy would be part of an ‘up & coming’ band. A new band seeking success and fame by playing with a world famous group is an excellent parallel to poorer women in the regency seeking to improve their lives by finding and marrying richer men. And of course Darcy would try and protect his friends from these opportunistic women.

In short, it was all there and I just had to write it down. I took the blueprint for my Mr. Darcy from JA – tall, handsome, dark eyes and hair. From there, I made him very talented, so there would be a basis of his pride. I made him independently wealthy, so he would be jaded by the whole music industry. And because he’s so good, and so rich, and so proud, I also made him very responsible. For him, everything connected to his band is his concern, especially his tour. So when something comes along to upset it, he’s going to be very defensive.

Into that already messy pile of emotions comes Elizabeth Bennet, who is as talented as Darcy, but is not rich and is not famous, and who has a big chip on her shoulder about being ‘good enough’. Is it any wonder that when these two fiery, driven, brilliant souls come together it’s explosive?

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star is their story. There are also the stories of their companions to keep things rolling, but it’s always Darcy and Elizabeth.

I hope your readers will try this crazy premise out and read it, and let me know what they think.

Thank you for having me, Laurel Ann, I’ve enjoyed being here.

Author Heather Rigaud (2011)Author Bio:

Heather Lynn Rigaud can usually be found trying to juggle too many things. A wife and mother of two, she suffers from excessive interest in almost everything that comes her way. She cooks, she sews, she writes, she knits, she Geo-Caches, she makes soaps, she collects perfume, she paints silk-and she overthinks every single one of them. But she’s lively and has a good (if bawdy) sense of humor.

Born and raised in world famous Woodstock NY by Republican parents, Heather Lynn has a lot of experience feeling like you just don’t fit in. This used to bother her greatly, but she’s mostly managed to overcome it, and even learned to enjoy walking ‘to the beat of a different drummer’. She enjoys reading, fine food and wine, and art. She is a professional writer with degrees in music therapy and teaching who lives with her husband and two sons in Kingston, New York. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star is her debut novel.

Visit Heather Lynn at her blog Austen Nights, on Twitter as @hlrigaud and on Facebook as Heather Lynn Rigaud.

Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, by Heather Lynn Rigaud by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you most about reading a contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice, or which character from the original novel will, in your estimation, translate easily into a modern rock band setting, by midnight PT, Wednesday, September 14th, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, September 15th, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, by Heather Lynn Rigaud
Sourcebooks (2011)
Trade paperback (432) pages
ISBN: 978-1402257810

© 2007 – 2011 Heather Lynn Rigaud, Austenprose

New Heroes and Heartbreakers website launches on Valentine’s Day

Heroes and Heartbreakers Logo

Myretta Robens from the Republic of Pemberley sends us news of a great new website dedicated to romance readers. Heroes and Heartbreakers (what a great title) was launched yesterday on Valentine’s Day!

Heroes and Heartbreakers (H&H) brings together original stories, pre-release excerpts, blog posts, giveaways and more in a publisher-neutral environment, which means romance content from all publishers, imprints and authors will be featured on the site.

Myretta is a featured blogger. Check out her posts on Valentine cards and a humorous take on the four episodes of Downton Abbey.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Nocturne, by Syrie James – A Review

Nocturne, by Syrie James (2011)From the desk of Christina Boyd:

After loving best selling author Syrie James’ The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, as well as her Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker, my next obvious step was to read her latest offering, Nocturne. Our story begins with Nicole Whitcomb driving to the Denver airport from a Rocky Mountain wedding and ski mini-break, when a blinding snowstorm whips up, and her car hits black ice, spinning her out of control and over an embankment. She blacks out, only to wake in a rustic, mountain lodge having been rescued by its owner, a handsome, recluse named Michael. The blizzard outside prevents her from continuing on her journey. As the hours turn into days, an uneasy companionship ensues, as Nicole becomes ever curious of her mysterious host. Why does he choose to dine alone? Why is the kitchen so under stocked? Why is he shockingly rude but yet still thoughtful?

Curious attraction fuels this odd companionship through their common interest in books when she discovers his first edition collections of classic literature represented by Daniel Defoe, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain… When she asks if she can borrow one, he answers,

‘Whatever you like, Miss Whitcomb.’ She heard something different in his voice—a quieter, mellower tone that he’d yet exhibited – and she turned to look at him. He was leaning up against his desk, his arms crossed over his chest, his long legs stretched out before him. His guard was down, and he was studying her with an expression that resembled something like tentative delight. It was the first time he’d looked at her that way – as if she might prove to be an interesting human being after all and not just an inconvenience. It wasn’t the most flattering look in the world, and yet the newfound warmth in his blue eyes made her heart skitter. ‘This isn’t Pride and Prejudice.  You can call me Nicole.’ Page 49.

As the sexual tension increases and her imagination runs rampant in this mountain seclusion, she readily makes his excuses, only to discover that her wildest dreams, or nightmares, are now her reality. Will I ruin it for you if I tell you that yes, Michael is a vampire? Like the iconic vampires of Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, and even Stephenie Meyer, Michael has his impossible strengths and weaknesses. When Nicole realizes what he is, the shock and fear that she has fallen for a vampire sets her on a dangerous escape.

But it’s his unlikely humanity, as well as his “love for her” that allowed him “to hold his carnal instincts in check” that endeared me most. As the sun comes out and the roads have cleared, Nicole and Michael must find a way to co-exist if their forbidden love is to survive.

Tauntingly compelling, the ending left me spent. Let’s just say however, thankfully Syrie James included an Author’s Note (and helpful Author’s Questions and Answers) that gave me hope (or at least wishful thinking) that she might revisit Nicole and Michael’s love story in the future. If not, let me be the first to petition such a work! The haunting Nocturne is the perfect escape book for romance readers with some pretty steamy love scenes sure to warm you to your toes these cold, winter months.  Enjoy!

4 out of 5 Stars

Nocturne, by Syrie James
Vanguard Press (2011)
Hardcover (288) pages
ISBN: 978-1593156282

Cover image courtesy of Vanguard Press © 2011; text Christina Boyd © 2011, Austenprose.com

Jane Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for January 2009

Frederica Heyer by Georgette Heyer, Sourcebooks (2009)The Austen book sleuth is happy to inform Janeites that Austen inspired books are heading our way in January, so keep your eyes open for these new titles. 

Fiction (prequels, sequels, retellings, variations, or Regency inspired) 

Frederica, by Georgette Heyer. Accolades to Sourcebooks for taking up the banner and reissuing thirteen Georgette Heyer novels to date and more scheduled in the queue for 2009! My co-blogger Vic (Ms. Place) at Jane Austen Today has religiously read each one as they have been released and you can catch up on the reviews at her blog Jane Austen’s World. I have yet to venture into Heyer territory, so am pea green with envy. This month, we are presented with Frederica which was one of Heyer’s later romance novels originally published in 1965. (publisher’s description) In Frederica, Georgette Heyer explores the difficulties of a woman of the Regency era operating without the patronage and protection of a man. A country beauty and a very capable young woman, Frederica is burdened with the responsibilities of being head of her family, leaving her little time to think of herself and her own future. When she brings her brood to London to find a husband for her stunningly beautiful younger sister, she naturally expects the patronage of their guardian, the Marquis of Alverstoke, who is, however, too bored and cynical to be bothered. But when Frederica’s younger brother’s obsession with such scientific innovations as ironworks and balloon flight leads to a devastating accident, the Marquis can no longer ignore his charges. You can read about all of the Heyer titles in print at the Sourcebooks website. Sourcebooks Casablanca ISBN: 978-1402214769 

The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, by Sally Smith O'Rourke (2009)The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, by Sally Smith O’Rourke. In this reissue of her 2006 novel, O’Rourke sends her contemporary heroine Eliza Knight on an investigation to discover if the letters she found in an old vanity table addressed to ‘Dearest Jane’ from ‘F. Darcy’ are indeed the Regency era novelist and her most famous character Fitzwilliam Darcy. The trail leads her to a majestic, 200-year old estate in Virginia’s breathtaking Shenandoah Valley and into the arms of man who may hold the answer to this extraordinary mystery. Kensington ISBN:  978-0758210388 

Imitations of Jane Austen, by Jane Greensmith (2008)Intimations of Austen, by Jane Greensmith. (publisher’s description) A collection of nine short stories including back stories, sequels and what-ifs to Jane Austen’s beloved novels. Greensmith provides sympathetic insights into characters you love to hate. Her what-if stories are realistic, true to Austen’s characters, and delightful to sink your teeth into. And always, Greensmith, Romantic that she is, calls forth the power and beauty of the natural world to heal, bless, and nurture the wounded, the misunderstood, the lonely, and the confused on their journeys through life. Visit the author’s blog Reading, Writing, Working, Playing for her insights on fiction, writing and Jane Austen. I missed this one in my December announcement, but it is well worth a mention. Lulu.com, ISBN: 978-1435718890 

Nonfiction 

Jane Austen and Mozart (2009)Jane Austen and Mozart: Classical Equilibrium in Fiction and Music, by Robert K. Wallace. Originally published in 1983, this reissue by the same publisher aims to give a detailed comparative analysis of the intriguing similarities between Jane Austen’s (1775-1817) writing and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (1756-1791) music. This scholarly treatise will interest students and scholars who appreciate Austen’s classical vs. romantic style and Mozart’s restraint vs. freedom that defined both of their works. (note to publisher: pink covers do not equate chic lit sales) University of Georgia Press ISBN: 978-0820333915 

Cinematic Jane Austen (2009)Cinematic Jane Austen: Essays on the Filmic Sensibility of the Novels, by David Monaghan, Adriane Hudelet and John Wiltshire. Three professors contribute their academic insights on how Austen has been successfully transferred to the screen. (publisher’s description) The novels of Jane Austen are typified by their comedic power, often most powerfully demonstrated by the singular voice of their narrators. Yet what makes them arresting novels can also produce a less than satisfactory transformation to the world of cinema, where the voice of a narrator often becomes obtrusive. This work argues that despite the difficulties in adapting Austen’s writing for the screen, there have been many successes. Each author examines Austen’s texts for their inherent cinematic features, analyzing the use of these features in film versions of the novels. (note to publisher: pink covers do not equate chic lit sales) McFarland & Company ISBN: 978-0786435067 

A Companion to Jane Austen, editor Claudia L. Johnson (2009)A Companion to Jane Austen (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture), edited by Claudia L. Johnson & Clara Tuite. Professor Claudia L. Johnson of Princeton University may very well be Jane Austen’s finest advocate with her many scholarly works in print, lectures and academic presence worldwide. Her latest ambitious work includes editing and contributing to this volume that includes 42 essays by leading scholars serving as a reference and speculative development in Austen scholarship. Way over this Janeites head, but headed to an academic library bookshelf near you. Blackwell Publishers ISBN: 978-1405149099 

Austens Emma (2009)Austen’s Emma (Reader’s Guides), by Gregg A. Hecimovich. Clueless about Emma? This new student guide could be your best friend while reading the novel. (publisher’s description) This is a student-friendly guide featuring discussion points, questions, suggestions for further study and a comprehensive guide to further reading. Emma is one of Jane Austen’s most popular novels, in large part due to the impact of Emma Woodhouse, the ‘handsome, clever and rich’ heroine. This lively, informed and insightful guide to Emma explores the style, structure, themes, critical reputation and literary influence of Jane Austen’s classic novel and also discusses its film and TV versions. It includes points for discussion, suggestions for further study and an annotated guide to relevant reading. Continuum; Student’s Guide edition ISBN: 978-0826498489 

Austen’s Oeuvre 

Catharine and Other Writings, by Jane Austen (Oxford World's Classics) 2009Catharine and Other Writings (Oxford World’s Classics), by Jane Austen. A round of applause goes out to the good folks at Oxford University Press who have now re-issued all of Jane Austen’s novels and minor works with introductions written by prominent scholars and supplemental material to help students and Austen enthusiasts better understand her writing and her life in context to her times. This latest venture includes Austen’s boisterous and comical early works of short stories which readers will find quite different than her later novels. (publisher’s description) In addition to prose fiction and prayers, this collection also contains many of Jane Austen’s poems, written to amuse or console friends, and rarely reprinted. The texts have been compared with the manuscripts and edited to give a number of new readings. The notes recreate the texture of daily life in Jane Austen’s age, and demonstrate her knowledge of the fiction of her time. The introduction by Margaret Anne Doody sets the writings within the context of Jane Austen’s life and literary career. Oxford University Press ISBN: 978-0199538423 

Austen’s contemporaries 

Castle Otranto, Horace Warlpole (Oxford World's Classics) 2009The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story (Oxford World’s Classics), by, Horace Walpole. Consider the granddaddy of Gothic novels, Castle of Otranto sparked a genre that would become a sensation in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and influenced Jane Austen’s gentle parody Northanger Abbey. Published in 1764, it includes all of the stereotypical trappings of a Gothic story including castles, dungeons and supernatural events. An absolute must for Austen fans and enthusiasts of the Gothic, this reissue is based on the 1798 second edition which was reworked by Walpole and includes an introduction by E. J. Clery, a Research Fellow in English at Sheffield Hallam University and author of The Rise of Supernatural Fiction 1762-1800 (1995). Oxford University Press ISBN: 978-0199537211 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge - The Major Works (Oxford World's Classic) 2009Samuel Taylor Coleridge – The Major Works (Oxford World’s Classics), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. (publisher’s description) Samuel Taylor Coleridge, (1772-1834) poet, critic, and radical thinker, exerted an enormous influence over contemporaries as varied as Wordsworth, Southey and Lamb. This collection represents the best of Coleridge’s poetry from every period of his life, particularly his prolific early years, which produced The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and Kubla Khan. The central section of the book is devoted to his most significant critical work, Biographia Literaria, and reproduces it in full. It provides a vital background for both the poetry section which precedes it and for the shorter prose works which follow. There is also a generous sample of his letters, notebooks, and marginalia, some recently discovered, which show a different, more spontaneous side to his fascinating and complex personality. Oxford University Press ISBN: 978-0199537914 

Until next month, happy reading to all, 

Laurel Ann

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