Jane Austen, the holiday season and gifts go so well together that I am pleased to share the news that Austenesque author Syrie James is going on a holiday blog tour with her new novel Jane Austen’s First Love.
Readers will remember that Austenprose is a big fan of Syrie’s work and have reviewed many of her books here including:
I am participating in a special celebration of reading today – Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon. And, of course I have a Jane Austen theme!
For those of you unfamiliar with this bi-annual event, a book blogger named Dewey started the tradition in 2007. Here is a description of the event from it’s website:
For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.
It is an all day and night total celebration of reading! The best thing about participating is that you can read as much or as little as you like. I chose to read the first few chapters of three new Austenesque novels (no spoilers) and live-tweet my reactions as I progress. Here are the novels that I have selected: Continue reading
We are happy to announce the winners of the fabulous giveaways during the book launch party for Jane Austen’s First Love, by Syrie James.
Without further ado, the lucky winners are:
A print copy of Jane Austen’s First Love
- Carrie Turansky who left a comment on July 31, 2014
- blesso2013 who left a comment on July 28, 2014
A Jane Austen-themed tote bag
- Poofbooks who left a comment on July 28, 2014
An original painting “At Goodnestone Park” by Annmarie Thomas
- Tresha who left a comment on July 30, 2014
Congratulations to all the winners! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by 11:59 pm PT, Wednesday, August 13, 2014. Shipment to US addresses only. Continue reading
From the desk of Christina Boyd:
Everyone in my world knows of Jane Austen. Alas, I can speculate that there are those who might not recognize the name. If they look her up on Wikipedia they would learn that:
‘Biographical information concerning Jane Austen is “famously scarce”… Only some personal and family letters remain (by one estimate only 160 out of Austen’s 3,000 letters are extant), and her sister Cassandra (to whom most of the letters were originally addressed) burned “the greater part” of the ones she kept and censored those she did not destroy. Other letters were destroyed by the heirs of Admiral Francis Austen, Jane’s brother. Most of the biographical material produced for fifty years after Austen’s death was written by her relatives and reflects the family’s biases in favour of “good quiet Aunt Jane”.’
Further, they would learn that this masterful writer of the social commentary and romance had never married, little is known of her love-life, yet it has been widely speculated upon in some circles. It is not a secret however that in 1802, Miss Austen had accepted the marriage proposal from family friend, Harris Bigg-Wither, but by the morning had withdrawn her acceptance. There are also letters from Jane to Cassandra in 1795 when she was twenty years-old about a brief flirtation with a Mr. Tom Lefroy. Sadly, his family did not approve of the match. Neither had any money and Tom was sent away, later to marry an heiress. And yet for an author who wrote exclusively of what she knew in her own sphere, how could she write of love so well had she never fully experienced it? Continue reading
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
We have a winner of the two Jane Austen-inspired note cards offered with the excerpt of Jane Austen’s First Love, by Syrie James. Drawn from the comments, our lucky recipient is…
- Patricia Finnegan who left a comment on July 01, 2014
Congratulations Patricia. Please contact me with your address by July 16, 2014. Shipment to US address.
A big thank you to all who left comments and to author Syrie James for contributing the cards that she purchased at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, England. The sneak peek of her new novel Jane Austen’s First Love was fabulous. I look forward to its release on August 5, 2014 from Berkley Trade.
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY Continue reading
Austenesque and historical fiction readers will be thrilled to learn that bestselling author Syrie James will be releasing her next novel, Jane Austen’s First Love, on August 5th. For those who have had the pleasure of reading her previous two Austen-inspired novels: The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, this will be welcome news indeed; and for those new to her writing, be sure to make room on your reading list immediately. You are in for a wonderful treat.
Lauded as “the queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings”, James has a special affinity to my favorite author, Jane Austen. She has studied her life and times extensively and is not only renowned for her historical accuracy, but for her skill at creating romantic stories, fascinating characters and witty dialogue. I am very excited to say that I have had the honor of reading an advance copy of Jane Austen’s First Love and am delighted to share a preview and exclusive excerpt for Austenprose readers.
Be sure to leave a comment to enter the GIVEAWAY chance for two Jane Austen-inspired note cards!
PREVIEW (from the publisher’s description)
INSPIRED BY ACTUAL EVENTS
Fifteen-year-old Jane Austen dreams of three things: doing something useful, writing something worthy, and falling madly in love. When she visits her brother in Kent to celebrate his engagement, she meets wealthy, devilishly handsome Edward Taylor—a fascinating young man who is truly worthy of her affections. Jane knows a match between her and Edward is unlikely, but every moment she spends with him makes her heart race—and he seems to return her interest. Much to her displeasure, however, there is another seeking his attention.
Unsure of her budding relationship, Jane seeks distraction by attempting to correct the pairings of three other prospective couples. But when her matchmaking aspirations do not all turn out as anticipated, Jane discovers the danger of relying on first impressions. The human heart cannot be easily deciphered, nor can it be directed or managed. And if others must be left to their own devices in matters of love and matrimony, can Jane even hope to satisfy her own heart?