Giveaway Winners Announced for How to Rescue a Rake

How to Rescue a Rake by Jayne Fresina 2016 x 200It’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

Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, by Winston Graham – A Review

Demelza A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 by Winston Graham 2015 x 200From the desk of Pamela Mingle:

If you’re like me, you are spending your Sundays killing time until Poldark lights up the TV screen. When I learned that Season One would be based on Winston Graham’s first two books in the series, Ross Poldark, and Demelza, I was determined to read them before viewing the adaptation. Although the episodes I’ve seen so far can stand on their own merit, reading the books has given me a richer understanding of the two protagonists. If Ross’s character functions as the moral compass of the story, Demelza’s represents the emotional heart of the books. Her struggle to be accepted as Ross’s wife makes us empathize with her, root for her, right from the start.

Demelza opens with the birth of Ross and Demelza’s baby girl. The new mother plans two christening parties, one for the country folk and another for the gentry. Trouble arises when her father, now a Methodist and wearing his religion like a cloak of righteousness, shows up on the wrong day and promptly insults some of the guests. Put in the uncomfortable position of defending his father-in-law, Ross must intervene. Demelza flees to the house, mortified. “…I thought I would show ’em I was a fit wife for you, that I could wear fine clothes and behave genteel an’ not disgrace you. An’ instead they will all ride home snickering behind their hands…” (51) Continue reading

Ross Poldark & Demelza, by Winston Graham – Preview & Giveaway of New Sourcebooks Editions

     Ross Poldark A Novel of Cornwall, 1783 to1787 2015 x 200         Demelza A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 by Winston Graham 2015

It’s always a red-letter day to bibliophiles when books originally published eons ago get a new life and a new audience. It usually takes a major television series or movie for this to happen. In the case of Jane Austen, we have seen new tie-in editions for Pride and Prejudice in 1995 & 2005 and Sense and Sensibility in 1996. Just the other day I saw a beautiful new movie tie-in cover for Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd in my bookstore. A good story is a good story no matter what generation it is introduced to.

Now the Poldark Saga, one of my favorite historical fiction series, is up for a remake. Some of you might remember the wildly popular television adaptation entitled Poldark on the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre in the mid 1970’s. Robin Ellis stared as dashing Captain Ross Poldark and Angharad Rees as his fiery Demelza. The two season and twenty-nine episode series was based on the first sevens novels in Winston Graham’s multi-generational saga. Now the BBC and Masterpiece have created a new production of Poldark. It aired in the UK in March and April to critical and public acclaim, garnering up to 7 million viewers an episode. Happily, US audiences will spend this summer in Cornwall swashing and buckling with dishy hero Ross Poldark when Poldark begins on Masterpiece Classic on June 21. Continue reading

All Around the World with Jane Contest

All Around the World with Jane banner 2012

In celebration of the release of All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane, by Amy Elizabeth Smith in June, publisher Sourcebooks is offering a contest with great prizes!

It’s easy to qualify. Just take a picture of yourself with the Flat Stanley image that you can download and print out and submit your pictures on the All Around the World with Jane Facebook page or email your submission to landmark@sourcebookspr.com.  Here are the details from the publisher:

In the June memoir, All Roads Lead to Austen the author Amy Elizabeth Smith took Jane Austen’s works along with her as she traveled to foreign countries. Her goal was to see if the magic of Jane Austen could hold its power across borders, languages and cultures.

Amy took Jane to far off countries – and we need your help to take her even further! We are holding a contest called All Around the World with Jane! Join us on our Austen love fest by printing out our Jane Austen “flat Stanley.” Take pictures of yourself with Jane in your hometown or on your vacation, and submit it from April 30th – June 3oth!All Around the World with Jane 2012

We will award the following prizes to the individuals with the most creative picture:

Grand Prize Winner will receive:

  • An E-reader with all of our available Austen sequels/continuations downloaded on to it
  • A signed copy of All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
  • A Skype session with Amy Elizabeth Smith

Second Place Winner will receive:

  • A signed copy of All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
  • A choice of 5 Jane Austen sequels/continuations from Sourcebooks

Third Place Winners will receive:

  • A signed copy of All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith

Below is an example of where Jane has been already from The Jane Austen Centre in Bath! along with the flat Stanley that you can print off (also available on the Facebook page).

All Around the World with Jane in Bath, England

Barnes & Noble will be offering All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-long Journey with Jane in NOOK format as an early exclusive and will be offering the eBook at $6.99 starting Monday April 30th for a limited time!

© 2007 – 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

$1.99 eBooks from Sourcebooks in Celebration of Jane Austen’s Birthday

Sourcebooks Austen Birthday Banner (2011)

Come celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday on December 16th with eBooks available for only $1.99!

Sourcebooks, the number one publisher of Jane Austen sequels is offering a selection of fourteen Mr. Darcy themed eBooks for only $1.99, available December 13th thorough December 30th, 2011. Here is their description:

The Darcy of your dreams is just a click away! This promotion gives you Darcy as a tortured vampire, a modern day rock star, a Texas rancher and anything and everything in between. Purchase them all while you can – like Darcy’s good opinion, once this promotion is over, it may be lost forever…

Titles available

Darcy and Fitzwilliam
ISBN: 9781402245947
By: Karen Wasylowski

Darcy Christmas
ISBN: 9781402243394
By: Carolyn Eberhart, Sharon Lathan,  Amanda Grange

Darcys & the Bingleys
ISBN: 9781402213489
By: Marsha Altman

Darcy’s Voyage
ISBN: 9781402241024
By: Kara Louise

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star
ISBN: 9781402257810
By: Heather Rigaud

Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice
ISBN: 9781402237324
By: Abigail Reynolds

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One
ISBN: 9781402215230
By: Sharon Lathan

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard
ISBN: 9781402246937
By: Belinda Roberts

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife
ISBN: 9781402202735
By: Linda Berdoll

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
ISBN: 9781402236976
By: Amanda Grange

Pemberley Chronicles
ISBN: 9781402211539
By: Rebecca Collins

Pemberley Ranch
ISBN: 9781402241284
By: Jack Caldwell

Searching for Pemberley
ISBN: 9781402224393
By: Mary Simonsen

Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy
ISBN: 9781402221101
By: Sara Angelini

Follow this link to the Sourcebooks website to purchase books from a variety on online eTailers like Barnes & Nobel, Amazon, iBooks and many more.

Don’t own a digital reader? Not to worry. You can download Kindle, Nook and other eBook reading software for free and read books on your computer, blackberry, iPhone and many other devises. If you are tempted to buy an eReader, I have a Nook and love it!

Happy birthday Jane!

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Georgette Heyer Birthday Bash Celebration with Laura Wallace & Sourcebooks!

Georgette HeyerQueue the paper streamers and party hats – today, Tuesday August 16th, is Georgette Heyer’s 109th birthday! We are celebrating the Queen of Regency Romance in style with a great guest blog from our resident Heyer enthusiast Laura Wallace and a ton of fabulous giveaways from Sourcebooks. So put on your best party frock and dancing slippers and let the merriment begin!

Welcome Laura:

When I was about twelve years old, I received a mysterious box for Christmas from one of my aunts.  It was an ordinary flat shirt box, but it was heavy.  I opened it to find a rather tattered collection of paperback books.  The spines were broken, the pages dog-eared, the covers occasionally torn, and the pictures on the covers were of rather dreadful-looking females in high-waisted dresses in atrocious colors with ´60s hairstyles.

With many years´ hindsight looking back, I was not, perhaps, quite as enthusiastic as I ought to have been.  But I wasn´t at all disappointed.  I was a great reader, and while I hadn´t yet discovered Jane Austen, I had discovered Victoria Holt and similar gothic novels (in the quaint, mid-20th century sense of the word) which would today probably be marketed as young adult fiction.  So I was not at all daunted by this large box of what appeared to be historical fiction.  This was, it turned out, my aunt´s well-loved Georgette Heyer collection, which she was passing along to me.  I don´t remember what she said.  I don´t remember which novel I read first, or how long it took me to get around to it.  I don´t remember much about them, except that once, a few years later, I went searching through my Heyer books looking for the one about Catherine Morland, who was duped by that jerk John Thorpe who drove off with her when she had promised to take a walk with her friend Miss Tilney and her brother, and hurt their feelings.  I never did find it, until I read all of Austen´s novels (some of them for the first time) many years later when I made the acquaintance of Colin Firth´s Mr. Darcy.  But by the time I graduated from high school, I was devoted to Georgette Heyer.

I still have all those old paperbacks, which are now truly falling apart.  I never passed them along to my own niece because she was uninterested.  (She eventually returned most of the ones I tried to give to her, including Heyer, Austen, and Holt-I guess I impressed on her too much how precious they were to me.)  A few of them are still on my shelf as my only copy of that particular novel, though most have been replaced.  The rest are in a protective box.

Later, on something called BITNET, I discovered both Austen-L and the Georgette Heyer Mailing List, the latter of which was run by Eileen Kendall.  There I found like-minded readers who loved these authors and whose discussions of their books enriched my enjoyment and appreciation of them.  Although I love many other authors, I have never found any to equal their elegance of prose, gentle manners, and exquisite settings.  Both Austen and Heyer literally changed the way I feel about words and about literature, and even about the world.  Reading them makes me want to write novels.  (I am still attempting to do so.)  Reading them makes me study history and even genealogy.  Reading them makes me collect books about Regency England and much of the preceding and following centuries. It makes me spend hours studying in academic libraries, and sometimes makes me wish I´d majored in history, or gone back to school for a Ph.D. in history.  It makes want to write biographies of Regency-era people as well as novels.  It certainly was the genesis for my website on the British system of noble titles.

Reading Austen and Heyer led even to my falling in love with the portraiture of Sir Thomas Lawrence, which I collect avidly in electronic images, books, and prints, and to the study of other portrait artists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and to the study of costume.  It placed Beethoven and Mozart in a particular context and enriches my enjoyment of both playing and listening to them, as well as seeking out other composers of the era (and I was a music major, so I didn´t exactly lack context for them).

I could go on, but I think you get the picture!

So, to celebrate Georgette Heyer´s birthday, I give thanks for her life and for her work, which gives me so much pleasure so frequently, and impacts my own world almost every day.  I know there are others like me among her legions of fans who value her work for all the reasons she herself valued it:  for the meticulous research, the exquisite language, the wit and humour, the memorable characters, and the wonderful world she created that we can go back to again and again, always certain to find something beautifully wrought and something that is new.  And most of all, perhaps, always certain to find pleasure and inspiration.  Happy Birthday, Miss Heyer!

Laura A. Wallace, is a musician, attorney, and writer living in Southeast Texas.  She is a devotee of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer and is the author of British Titles of Nobility:  An Introduction and Primer to the Peerage (1998).

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Heyer Laura. We all have our own personal Georgette Heyer stories, or you should have if you have not discovered this great author yet.

Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of the three Heyer ‘Novel Packs’ that have been generously donated by Sourcebooks. Share your favorite Georgette Heyer story with us such as: Who recommended her to you? What was the first novel you read? Which novel is your favorite? Who is the most swoon worthy hero?  To qualify, leave a comment by midnight PT, Wednesday August 24th. Winners to be announced on Thursday, August 25th. Shipment to the US and Canada only. Good luck to all.

Heyer Pack #1

  • Bath Tangle
  • The Reluctant Widow
  • The Grand Sophy
  • Regency Buck
  • The Convenient Marriage

Heyer Pack #2

  • The Black Moth
  • The Masqueraders
  • False Colours
  • Black Sheep
  • Lady of Quality

Heyer Pack #3

  • Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle
  • Charity Girl
  • Cousin Kate
  • The Foundling
  • The Talisman Ring  

Remember – in celebration of Georgette Heyer’s birthday, Sourcebooks is also offering all 46 of the Heyer’s books that they publish in eBook format for $1.99 from August 15-August 21 ONLY.

Stock up. These great prices may never happen again.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2007 – 2011 Laura A. Wallace, Austenprose

A Happy Birthday Celebration for Georgette Heyer!

HUZZAH!

Incredible news for historical fiction, mystery and romance fans…

In grand celebration of the 109th birthday of Regency Romance Queen Georgette Heyer on August 16, 2011, Sourcebooks is discounting EVERY SINGLE one of the eBooks they currently have available of her titles to $1.99 for one week only. The party starts a day early on Monday August 15th, 2011 and ends on August 21st!

That’s 46 books by Georgette Heyer, plus the fabulous reader companion, Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester, available for $1.99 from August 15-August 21 ONLY.

Below is the full list of titles, separated by category: regency romance, mystery, historical fiction and non-fiction. The eBooks will be available through Sourcebooks.com and major eBook retailers (and please give them some extra time if prices aren’t adjusted right away on Monday—this is a long list and a lot of data to update)

REGENCY ROMANCE

Arabella
Bath Tangle
Beauvallet
The Black Moth
Black Sheep
Charity Girl
The Convenient Marriage
The Corinthian
Cotillion
Cousin Kate
Devil’s Cub
False Colours
Faro’s Daughter
The Foundling
Frederica

Friday’s Child
The Grand Sophy
Lady of Quality
The Masqueraders
The Nonesuch
Powder and Patch
The Quiet Gentleman
Regency Buck
The Reluctant Widow
Sylvester
The Talisman Ring
These Old Shades
Venetia

MYSTERY

Behold, Here’s Poison
A Blunt Instrument
Death in the Stocks
Detection Unlimited
Duplicate Death
Envious Casca
Footsteps in the Dark
No Wind of Blame
Penhallow
They Found Him Dead
Unfinished Clue
Why Shoot a Butler?

HISTORICAL FICTION

The Conqueror
An Infamous Army
My Lord John
Royal Escape
Simon the Coldheart
Spanish Bride

NON-FICTION

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World

A big thank you to Sourcebooks for re- issuing all of Georgette Heyer’s novels over the past three years and for offering this incredible deal to all of her fans!

Be sure to visit Austenprose on Tuesday, August 16th for our own birthday celebrations with tons of giveaways.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

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

A Wife for Mr. Darcy Blog Tour with Author Mary Simonsen

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

I am so pleased to be back at Austenprose to kick off my blog tour for my latest novel. Thank you, Laurel Ann, for hosting me. It’s always a pleasure.

You asked that I write about my inspiration for my new novel, A Wife for Mr. Darcy. That’s easy: Elizabeth Bennet. Since I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was 17 (that’s a few decades ago), I have loved the character of Lizzy Bennet, probably because she was the antithesis of me. Lizzy had spunk; I admired spunk. Lizzy was willing to refuse an offer of marriage from a handsome, well-to-do man of rank and privilege because he exhibited a “selfish disdain for the feelings of others” and because he had injured her sister. In an era, when a woman faced a life of privation and pity if she did not find a husband, refusing such an offer took real courage. On the other hand, I usually played it safe, except for that time I went to Greenwich Village in New York City without telling my mother. (Long story short: I got caught.) If Mr. Darcy had asked me to marry him, I would have accepted him, keeping my fingers crossed that I could mold the man to my liking. However, if things didn’t go as planned, I could always mope about in one of Pemberley’s exquisitely decorated rooms or go sulk in the gardens.

When I write about Lizzy, I always portray her as someone who knows her own mind, but I also try to be true to the times in which Elizabeth Bennet lived. In A Wife for Mr. Darcy, Darcy realizes that he was rude to Elizabeth at the Netherfield ball and goes to Longbourn the next day for the purpose of apologizing, thus setting their relationship on a different trajectory. But there are difficulties. (Of course, there are difficulties.) During the season, Darcy paid sufficient attention to a Miss Letitia Montford to get the gossip mills going. Because there are expectations of an offer of marriage to Miss Montford, Darcy must tread carefully or risk injuring the lady. Both Lizzy and Darcy must navigate a minefield of societal norms in order to come together.

I think another reason that I have always been attracted to Lizzy Bennet is because she belongs to a family of five daughters. I was the fourth daughter in the family of six girls. Jane Austen did an excellent job in mixing up the personality traits of the five Bennet daughters. In my family, there was definitely an Elizabeth, Jane, and Lydia. When I was in my teens, I was most like Mary Bennet: quiet, bookish, and someone who frequently said stupid things. But as I gained confidence (especially after my marriage to a wonderful man), I became more like Elizabeth Bennet. I gained enough confidence to write and publish novels and to put them out there for other people to comment on just as Jane Austen did nearly 200 years ago. In doing so, I exhibited another of Elizabeth Bennet’s qualities: courage.

Do you find the character of Elizabeth Bennet to be inspirational? I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading my post.

Author Mary Simonsen (2011)About the author:

Mary Lydon Simonsen’s novels, Searching for Pemberley and The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, were acclaimed by Publishers Weekly, RT Book Reviews, and Booklist. She is well loved and widely followed on all the Jane Austen fan fiction sites with tens of thousands of hits and hundreds of reviews whenever she posts. She has also self-published a parody of Persuasion, Anne Elliot, A New Beginning, two Austen novellas, Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy and For All the Wrong Reasons, and a modern romance, The Second Date, Love Italian-American Style. Mary lives in Peoria, Arizona where she is currently working on her next Jane Austen novel. Visit Mary at her blog, on Facebook and as @bibliofilly on Twitter.

Giveaway of A Wife for Mr. Darcy

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of A Wife for Mr. Darcy by leaving a comment answering what intrigues you most about reading a Pride and Prejudice-inspired what-if novel or what characters you would like to see Mary write about next, by midnight PT, Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, July 14, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

A Wife for Mr. Darcy, by Mary Simonsen
Sourcebooks (2011)
Trade paperback (384) pages
ISBN: 978-1402246166

© 2007 – 2011 Mary Simonsen, Austenprose

UPDATED! Download Free Jane Austen-inspired eBooks on her Birthday, December 16, 2010

Sourcebooks Jane Austen Birthday Banner 2010

Update 16 December 2010: 1:00 pm PT

Breaking News:

Sourcebooks has extended the one day offer through 17 December 2010.

Next Thursday, December 16th is Jane Austen’s 235th birthday and Sourcebooks, the world’s leading Jane Austen publisher, is throwing a huge one-day-only birthday book bash. They will be offering ten of their best Austen-inspired novels for FREE. Yep. That’s right. FREE!

Anyone with a digital eReader, or free application on their computer, or blackberry, or iPhone, or Android, or iPad can download the books. Just go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. online on December 16th and download away! (I highly recommend Barnes & Noble’s free Nook applications if you do not already own an eReader like me! You can read the eBooks on five different electronic devices )

Here is the list of amazing titles available:

  • Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken – 9781402225963
  • The Darcys & the Bingleys by Marsha Altman – 9781402233227
  • Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll – 9781402234859
  • What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown – 9781402227370
  • The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Ann Collins – 9781402234996
  • The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview – 9781402245329
  • Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange – 9781402225727
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan – 9781402235184
  • Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe – 9781402234651
  • Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds – 9781402246289

But that’s not all – read on.

The party doesn’t stop there. For one day only Sourcebooks will also be offering free illustrated eBook editions of all six of Austen’s major novels filled with unabridged texts and the legendary color illustrations by the Brock brothers circa 1898.

  • Sense and Sensibility: The Illustrated Edition – 9781402256813
  • Pride and Prejudice: The Illustrated Edition – 9781402256776
  • Mansfield Park: The Illustrated Edition – 9781402256875
  • Emma: The Illustrated Edition – 9781402256790
  • Northanger Abbey: The Illustrated Edition – 9781402256837
  • Persuasion: The Illustrated Edition – 9781402256851

♥ Here is a link to Sourcebooks for the free Jane Austen eBooks with all of the links to download for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Sourcebooks, Google eBookstore and Sony eBookstore. 

Don’t be a Mr. Knightley and miss the party. Make haste and mark your calendars today.

Many thanks to Sourcebooks for their generous tribute to our favorite author!

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2007-2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Austen Book Sleuth: New Books in the Queue for August

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, by Amanda Grange (2009)The Jane Austen book sleuth is happy to inform Janeites that many Austen inspired books are heading our way in August, so keep your eyes open for these new titles. 

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

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, by Amanda Grange 

Amanda Grange, the best selling author of Mr. Darcy’s Diary continues the story of Pride and Prejudice after the wedding revealing a truly dark secret. Yes, gentle readers, that noble mien and brooding demeanor was all a front to disguise the truth during their courtship, and now on their honeymoon through Europe his new bride Elizabeth will shortly discover that her husband is much more than the proud man she married. Yep, you guessed it! Mr. Darcy is indeed a vampyre. Shocking you say? Quite. (Publisher’s description) Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. After reading this dark tale, readers will re-imagine the original Pride and Prejudice and Darcy’s brooding nature and prideful demeanor with new reason – he’s not shy or reserved: he’s a vampire! A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen’s beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love. Sourcebooks, ISBN: 978-1402236976 

The Plight of the Darcys Brothers, by Marsha Altman (2009)The Plight of the Darcy Brothers: A tale of the Darcys & the Bingleys, by Marsha Altman 

For those who enjoyed the gentle rancor and lively pleasantry of Marsha Altman’s humorous first novel The Darcys & the Bingleys, you will be glad to know the story continues with the second installment in the series. Elizabeth and Darcy travel to the Continent in pursuit of family honor and the seducer who deflowered Elizabeth’s sister Mary leaving her in a family way. In addition to Altman’s imaginative and swashbuckling style, readers will be introduced to new foreign Darcy relations, and treated to her signature a duel at dawn. (Publisher’s description) In this lively second installment, the Darcys and Bingleys are plunged into married life and its many accompanying challenges presented by family and friends. With Jane and Elizabeth away, Darcy and Bingley take on the daunting task of managing their two-year- old children. Mary Bennet returns from the Continent pregnant by an Italian student promised to the church; Darcy and Elizabeth travel to find the father, and discover previously unknown—and shocking—Darcy relations. By the time Darcy discovers that there’s more than one sibling of questionable birth in the family, the ever-dastardly Wickham arrives on the scene to try to seize the Darcy fortune once and for all. Sourcebooks Landmark, ISBN: 978-1402224294 

James Fairfax (2009)James Fairfax, by Jane Austen and Adam Campan 

If Pride and Prejudice and Zombies did not quell your curiosity of other writers lifting Jane Austen’s text and inserting their own kibbles and bits, then get ready for another literary mash-up. First, remove your tar headed Janeite purist bonnet. Second, imagine a gender bending alternate universe. Third, turn off your gaydar cuz Jane Austen’s characters from Emma are in same sex relationships. This will either be extremely clever, or the Post carriage ride from Highbury to hell. Enuff said. (Publisher’s description) It’s same-sex marriage in Jane Austen’s Regency England! In this stunning, gender-bending, stylish dance-of-manners version of Jane Austen’s beloved classic novel Emma — an alternate Regency where gay marriage is commonplace and love is gender-blind — matchmaking Emma Woodhouse tries to find a suitable spouse for her lover Harriet Smith, and is embroiled in the secrets of the relationship between the mysterious and accomplished James Fairfax and the handsome Frank Churchill. Norilana Books, ISBN: 978-1607620389. Read a review on AustenBlog 

Arabella, by Georgette Heyer (2009)Arabella, by Georgette Heyer 

Every month for over a year, Sourcebooks has presented us with a new re-issue of a Georgette Heyer Regency romance classic. After my introduction to Sophy Stanton-Lacy last month in Heyer’s novel The Grand Sophy, it’s hard to imagine that she could produce yet another engaging and unforgettable heroine like her, but Arabella Tallant will both surprise and charm away any doubt that Georgette Heyer is not the most incredibly gifted Regency romance writer ever be placed upon that august pedestal. (Publisher’s description) Daughter of a modest country clergyman, Arabella Tallant is on her way to London when her carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Her pride stung when she overhears a remark of her host’s, Arabella pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that deeply amuses the jaded Beau. To counter her white lie, Beaumaris launches her into high society and thereby subjects her to all kinds of fortune hunters and other embarrassments. When compassionate Arabella rescues such unfortunate creatures as a mistreated chimney sweep and a mixed-breed mongrel, she foists them upon Beaumaris, who finds he rather enjoys the role of rescuer and is soon given the opportunity to prove his worth in the person of Arabella’s impetuous young brother. Sourcebooks Casablanca, ISBN: 978-1402219467 

Biography 

Jane Austen, by Helen Lefroy (1997)Jane Austen, by Helen Lefroy 

A reprint of the 1997 biography of Jane Austen by Helen Lefroy, a cousin four times removed from Jane’s youthful flirtation Tom Lefroy, and vice-chairman of The Jane Austen Society of the United Kingdom. This short biography is a basic introduction and a quick read at 128 pages. The cover image is from the 1997 edition. (Publisher’s description) The perfect introduction to one of the most-loved novelists of all time. Jane Austen’s reputation rests on the six novels she wrote in her short life – enduringly popular novels which have become part of the fabric of English life, and which have reached new audiences through recent dramatisations on screen and stage. This book, which draws on her letters, describes Jane’s life in the vicarage at Steventon and later at Bath and Chawton, and her relationships with family and friends – especially her beloved sister, Cassandra, and the engaging Tom Lefroy (who it was rumoured was the love of her life). It also describes the parties and balls in country houses and assembly rooms which she attended and the detail of nineteenth-century life which she so sharply observed and which provided the background to her novels. This book is a pleasure for anyone wanting to understand the life of one of our great novelists. The History Press Ltd, ISBN: 978-0752453187 

Austen’s Oeuvre  

Pride and Prejudice (Pengiun Classics Deluxe Edition) 2009Pride and Prejudice: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition), by Jane Austen 

Do you judge a book by its cover? Penguin Books is hoping you do, doling out the big bucks and commissioning acclaimed fashion illustrator and sculptor Rueben Toledo to transform Lizzie, Darcy &C into “Couture Classics.” These striking silhouettes might look like stick insect runway models strutting to the black and white ball at Netherfield, but they are actually our favorite literary duo appropriately walking away from each other (Darcy stepping on her dress!). I just imagine that Darcy has just given Lizzy the “be not alarmed madame letter” and it all works for me. Get hip Janeites. We can now all be Austen fashionistas and exhibit our superior designer taste on our bedside tables. Now, (pray forgive) if our husbands, boyfriends, significant others or friends were ever in doubt of our obsession, this will certainly seal the deal. In defense, you can remind them that this new edition with the haute couture cover contains Penguin Classics definitive text and an excellent introduction by Tony Tanner that Paris Hilton won’t read, but she might deem useful as a door stop. Penguin Classics, ISBN: 978-0143105428 

Austen’s Contemporaries & Regency era 

Old Morality (Oxford World's Classics) by Sir Walter Scott (2009)Old Mortality (Oxford World’s Classics), by Sir Walter Scott 

“Also read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of Pride and Prejudice. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied to me. What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!” 14 March 1826 

Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832) liked Jane Austen, more than a little. He was one of the first critics to praise her novel Emma when it was published in 1815. A prolific talent, he excelled at writing historical novels in on a grand scale. Old Morality is one of his earlier works in the Waverly series. Written in 1816, Jane Austen could actually have read it before she died the next year. This edition contains an introduction and notes by scholars Jane Stevenson and Peter Davidson. (Publisher’s description) Old Mortality, which many consider the finest of Scott’s Waverley novels, is a swift-moving historical romance that places an anachronistically liberal hero against the forces of fanaticism in seventeenth-century Scotland, in the period infamous as the ‘killing time’. Its central character, Henry Morton, joins the rebels in order to fight Scotland’s royalist oppressors, little as he shares the Covenanters’ extreme religious beliefs. He is torn between his love for a royalist’s granddaughter and his loyalty to his downtrodden countrymen. As well as being a tale of divided loyalties, the novel is a crucial document in the cultural history of modern Scotland. Scott, himself a supporter of the union between Scotland and England, was trying to exorcise the violent past of a country uncomfortably coming to terms with its status as part of a modern United Kingdom. This novel is in itself a significant political document, in which Scott can be seen to be attempting to create a new centralist Scottish historiography, which is not the political consensus of his own time, the seventeenth century, or today. Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN: 978-0199555307  

Until next month, happy reading!

Laurel Ann 

Austenesque Author Diana Birchall: Brouhaha in the Haha!

Image of the cover of Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma, by Diana Birchall, Sourcebooks (2008)LAUGH

“Oh! shocking!” cried Miss Bingley. “I never heard anything so abominable. How shall we punish him for such a speech?”

“Nothing so easy, if you have but the inclination,” said Elizabeth. “We can all plague and punish one another. Tease him — laugh at him. Intimate as you are, you must know how it is to be done.”Caroline Bingley & Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 11

My introduction to author Diana Birchall came in a very humorous round-about-way. Last fall, as I wandered onto a book review of a new Austen-esque sequel that she had reviewed on AustenBlog, I was doubled over with laughter and filled with awe.

In my professional capacity as a bookseller I read book reviews by the boat-load, always searching for a new author or title to recommend or enjoy myself. Many of the reviews are skillfully written by professionals who use trite phrasing and power words. (blaugh) Few rarely tell the truth. This was not the case with Diana’s review. She had entirely broken the mold, caught my attention, and earned my deep respect.

It’s always a good sign when the reviewer has me laughing within the first paragraph, and even more astounding when it continues throughout the entire book review – to the point of hysteria! Something very honest and profound resonated with me in her confident off-the-cuff remarks laced with irony and wit. What aplomb! What talent!

I was delighted to learn that her book Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma, which had been previously published in England, had been picked up by SourceBooks and would hit the bookstores in April, 2008. It could not have happened to a more talented or virtuous Janeite. Better yet, she might receive the recognition that she deserved, and other readers would have the opportunity to share in the delights of one of the finest writers in the Austen-esque genre.

Diana has kindly agreed to contribute a bit of writing to bring us up-to-date on her latest news about her book, and her amazingly diverse life. 

Wednesday 12 March, 2008

RE: Brouhaha in the Haha

Dear Laurel Ann:

Can any other author of Jane Austen-related fiction be having a stranger week than I am?  First, this week my Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma has sailed into all the Barnes and Noble bookshops across the country, flags flying and sails fluttering.  My son and I rushed to the one in our neighborhood last night, and he took a picture of me plopped down on the floor among the books, grinning ear to ear, and pointing wildly and inaccurately at a book by Maeve Binchy.  Very exciting!  And the overwhelmingly warm reception the book has already been given by a dazzling cyberuniverse of book reviewers has made me, as an author, feel like Fanny Price when Edmund assured her of his love:  “Let no one presume to give the feelings of a young woman on receiving the assurance of that affection of which she has scarcely allowed herself to entertain a hope.”  Happiness indeed!  Why, at this very moment, a cat temporarily named Mr. Darcy is pondering, on the Dove Grey Reader site, who is to win five free copies with a touch of his paws!

So, wild and wonderful happenings enough for one week, you’d think.  But no.  I’ve just been told that I am to fly to New York on Wednesday to appear as a deponent in the Harry Potter Lexicon trial!  The connection between Jane Austen and Harry Potter may appear to be tenuous; though in fact there is more than one link:  J.K. Rowling is known to be an Austen fan (or why else would she name a cat character Mrs. Norris?), and of course both are well beloved in our time.  Jane Austen, however, is dead, more’s the pity; and safely in the public domain, so that people like me and many of you can frolicsomely write about her characters, and she can neither complain nor institute intellectual property lawsuits.

That is not the case with Harry Potter.  J.K. Rowling has filed a lawsuit against the author and would-be publisher of a Harry Potter Lexicon, an encyclopedia dealing with her books, and the case is to be heard beginning on March 24.  So that is how it happens that J.K. Rowling and your far humbler author and blogger, namely me, will take the stand!  You may well wonder how this came about.  For I have lived in Austen’s created worlds for several decades now, reading her novels so many times as would always be called thousands. I actually wrote Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma as long ago as 1994; it was originally published in England, and I am thrilled that SourceBooks is giving it international publication in this very exciting week.

But my “day job” is at Warner Bros Studios, where I work as a Story Analyst.  This means that I read novels, manuscripts, sometimes quite old books (I’ve read all of Jane Austen for work at one time or another) to see if they’d make movies.  I love my work, but it’s usually fairly quiet in nature.  In fact, the years of my career have passed quite uneventfully, with nothing much happening except that I’ve read and recommended books and scripts that became movies ranging from Rocky and Terminator to Moonstruck and Becoming Jane.  Inevitably, I’ve read quite a lot.  And written a bit too:  a scholarly biography of my grandmother, the first Asian American novelist Onoto Watanna, as well as my Jane Austen-inspired fiction:  Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma and several Mrs. Elton stories, published as In Defense of Mrs. Elton and Mrs. Elton in America.  Late last year, however, it fell to me with my Story Analyst hat on, to do the literary/legal assignment of comparing the Harry Potter Lexicon with the Harry Potter novels of J.K. Rowling.  Compare them I did.  And that, in short, is how it happens that I am being Disapparated to New York next week.

It should be an extremely interesting experience; the case (which I will not describe explicitly for obvious legal reasons) is a fascinating investigation into intellectual property matters, and it is certainly shaping up as the biggest media circus I’ve ever been, or am ever likely to be, involved with in my life.  I labor, after all, in far more modest literary pastures than Ms. Rowling – mine is “the modestest part of the business,” as Mary Crawford said.  But I am not such a modest creature as not to be thinking how this remarkable media storm might be made, like the forked lightning that raked Harry’s brow, or the thought of love that fled with the speed of an arrow into Emma’s heart – into benefiting publicity efforts for my book!

Perhaps I ought to draw the curtain here; an author’s flailing energetic promotional efforts are not a pretty sight, and ought to take place behind the scenes.  Yet several helpful friends have already come up with suggestions.  I take the stand wearing a “Buy Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma” T-shirt.  I hand Ms. Rowling a copy of the book.  I give interviews and invoke the name of Mrs. Darcy twice for every once I say Harry Potter.  No:  I must regretfully conclude that the two events, my publication and this trial, had better not be mixed.  They are an unequal match. 

Yet it is undoubtedly an exciting time.  My spirits, like Elizabeth’s, are sometimes in a “high flutter”; but then the next moment I feel like another heroine:  “Never had Fanny more wanted a cordial.” 

Perhaps I should stick to the subject at hand here and tell you about Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma.  One thing I can promise you:  it is not as dull as Fordyce’s Sermons which had Lydia gaping.  No, it is a work, I hope, light, bright and sparkling; though as it opens twenty-five years after the close of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy’s eyes are a little dimmed by time.  Their love for each other is as strong as ever, and they are happy in their mature lives.  Until, that is, a certain possibly unwise invitation is issued and Lydia’s two daughters descend upon Pemberley, with consequences to the neighborhood, to the Darcys’ sons, and to the London theatre. The book takes place in changing times, when the young Queen Victoria is coming to the throne, and she is the exact age of Elizabeth’s daughter, who…

But I must not tell the whole story!  Don’t you want to own a book that by this time next week, J.K. Rowling herself may be reading?

Diana Birchall

Image of author Diana Birchall in Barnes & Nobel with Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma (2008)Thank you Diana and good luck with your Potter exploits. We hope to have a review of your book, Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma up shortly, but “I would not wish to excite your anticipation” by thinking that it will contain a fraction of humor or insight of your own genteel, but no-holds-barred book reviews! La!