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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Aerendgast by Rachel Berman

Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for the lovely Rachel Berman's release, Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane AustenMy thanks must also go to Jakki of Leatherbound Reviews for asking me to be part of this tour.







"Violet Desmond has just learned from her dying grandmother that the life she’s been living is a lie.

Left with only a locket, a newspaper clipping, and a name–Atherton–Violet sets off to discover her hidden personal history.  Simultaneously, the London academic begins to have vivid dreams in which a woman from the past narrates her life story involving the same locket, a secret marriage, and a child. A story intimately connected to Jane Austen.
Violet reluctantly agrees to receive help from cavalier treasure hunter, Peter Knighton. Blacklisted from his profession, Knighton can almost taste the money and accolades he’d receive for digging up something good on Austen; the locket alone is unique enough to be worth plenty to the right collector. It would be enough to get his foot back in the door.
The unlikely pair begin a quest for answers that leads them to Aerendgast Hallows. Knee-deep in hidden crypts, perilous pursuits, and centuries-old riddles, Violet must put her literary expertise to the test as she battles to uncover the secret that her loved ones died trying to reveal, before an unknown enemy silences her as well."

 
Rachel has written us a post about Jane Austen locations you can visit.
 

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7 Real-life Jane Austen Locations You Can Visit

 

In my novel, Aerendgast: The Lost History of Jane Austen, Violet Desmond and Peter Knighton go on a treasure hunt of sorts to uncover Jane Austen’s hidden past. Along the way they stop at many monuments that were near and dear to Austen’s heart. Today I’m highlighting the ones that you can actually visit on your next trip to the UK (if you’re already there, first of all I’m jealous, second, these sites are just a train ride away)!

 

1. Winchester Cathedral

 
 
Austen’s grave is inside the grand Cathedral. If you’ve never been it’s a pretty moving experience for fans of her writing and her life.

 

2. Chawton House

 

The Austen family moved to this home eight years before Jane’s death. It’s where she wrote her final three novels. Her room and many of her things have been preserved here.

 

3. Bath Assembly Rooms

 

Many pivotal scenes from Persuasion and Northanger Abbey play out in Bath, and specifically these rooms, which you can still visit—you can’t take the waters (and frankly, they’re probably not the healthiest)—but you can tour the Roman spa, just as Austen herself did.

 

4. The Vyne

 

Jane Austen attended dances at this stately sixteenth-century house that once belonged to the Chute family. 

 

5. Lyme Regis

 

While Austen enjoyed this seaside village, her character, Anne Elliot, did not have a great time at the Cobb staircase. Watch your step!

 

6. Steventon Church

 

Austen was born in Steventon, and it’s where we first meet her in my novel. The church is 600 years old and the Austen’s lived in the rectory.

 

7. Stoneleigh Abbey

 

With origins in the twelfth century as a monastic house, Stoneleigh belonged to Austen’s mother’s family and played host to Jane—as well as multiple monarchs. In my book, Violet and Peter tour the house and get more than they bargained for in the process.

 
These are just some of the many places where you can walk in Austen’s footsteps. What are some other places you’ve visited that are associated with Austen?
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Author Bio:

Rachel was born and raised in Los Angeles, which naturally resulted in a deep love of the UK from an early age. Reading and writing have been favorite pastimes for as long as she can remember. Rachel has a BA in English Literature from Scripps College and an MA in London Studies from Queen Mary, University of London. Her focus is 19th century British Literature. She enjoys hiking, musical theatre, fancy water, pilates, vegan baking, good tv and movies, and researching new book ideas!

Jane Austen has always been an author near and dear to Rachel's heart for her ability to tell a story so compelling, it remains relevant hundreds of years later. And for creating Henry Tilney.


Links:




To purchase:




 

My thanks again goes to Rachel Berman for this post and to Jakki for setting up this tour!

I wish Rachel all the best with this release as well as any stories in the future!



Your affectionate friend,
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blog Tour: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen




Hello! Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for the latest release from one of my favourite authors, Julie Klassen. All of her stories that I have read I have thoroughly enjoyed, and this latest one sounds equally as intriguing as her others! I am very much looking forward to reading it!


Award winning historical romance author Julie Klassen tours the blogosphere February 16 through March 2 to share her latest release, The Secret of Pembrooke Park. Twenty five popular book bloggers specializing in historical and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, book reviews and excerpts of this acclaimed gothic Regency romance novel. A fabulous giveaway contest, including copies of all of Ms.Klassen’s eight books and other Jane Austen-themed items, is open to those who join the festivities.


"In the spring of 1818, twenty-four-year-old Abigail Foster fears she is destined to become a spinster. Her family’s finances are in ruins and the one young man she truly esteems has fallen for another woman — her younger, prettier sister Louisa.

Forced to retrench after the bank failure of Austen, Gray & Vincent, the Foster family optimistically pool their resources for another London Season for her sister in hopes of an advantageous alliance. While searching for more affordable lodgings, a surprising offer is presented: the use of a country manor house in Berkshire abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to the imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left, the tight-lipped locals offering only rumors of a secret room, hidden treasure and a murder in its mysterious past.

Eager to restore her family fortune, Abigail, with the help of the handsome local curate William Chapman and his sister Leah, begins her search into the heavily veiled past aided by unsigned journal pages from a previous resident and her own spirited determination. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?"
 


AUTHOR BIO:

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Julie and her books at her website, follower her on Twitter, and visit her on Facebook and Goodreads.








Grand Giveaway Contest

 
Win One of Four Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the release of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, four chances to win copies of Julie’s books and other Jane Austen-inspired items are being offered.

Three lucky winners will receive one trade paperback or eBook copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, and one grand prize winner will receive one copy of all eight of Julie’s novels: Lady of MilkweedManor, The Apothecary's Daughter, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Tutor’s Daughter, The Dancing Master, and The Secret of Pembrooke Park, one DVD of Northanger Abbey (2007) and a Jane Austen Action Figure.

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on The Secret of Pembrooke Park Blog Tour starting February 16, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, March 9, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Julie Klassen’s website on March16, 2015. Winners have until March 22, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to residents of the US, UK, and Canada. Digital books will be sent through Amazon or Barnes &Noble. Good luck to all!
 
 
Thank you to Laurel Ann of Austenprose for organizing the tour, and good luck to Julie on the release of her new book!


Your affectionate friend,
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blog Tour: The Darcy Brothers - An interview with Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy!




Today I am part of the blog tour for the new release, The Darcy Brothers, written by Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds.

"Theo Darcy is everything his disapproving elder brother, Fitzwilliam, is not – easy-going, charming, and full of fun. A tragic event as children severed their bond of friendship, but now they are together again. They are still at odds, though, this time over the love of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and the truth about George Wickham. Will Wickham manage to divide the brothers again? And more importantly, which Mr. Darcy will Elizabeth choose? 

 Find out as the two brothers lock horns in this unique Pride & Prejudice variation collectively written by five respected authors.

 The Darcy Brothers was first conceived as an interactive group writing project and has developed into a full-length novel featuring the charismatic Theo Darcy."

I have the very great honour of welcome Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy to my blog today, who has been kind enough to answer a few questions about him and his brother, Theo.


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Welcome Mr Darcy! I am very glad that you were able to pop by and agree to answer a few questions for me! 

1. So, to begin, have you and Theo always been at odds? 

Not at all. As children, we were best of friends, until I outgrew childish pranks.


2. Do you see your tastes as being in every way different from Theo's? 

Well, Theo has excellent taste in brandy and fine wine, and I would like to think I share that. (laughs) We like many of the same things. It is more an issue of our attitudes toward life and sense of responsibility. It would be enjoyable to do nothing but what one pleases, but the world would not be a pleasant place if no one attended to their responsibilities.

Very profound Mr Darcy, and very true.


3. Tell me something positive about your brother. I know there must be something! 

(Long pause)  Theo has an admirable sympathy for anyone less fortunate than himself who has been wronged. Perhaps it makes him feel heroic. But I have seen him take the part of a servant against the master if he feels the servant has been wronged.
 
That is certainly an admirable trait.


4. Do you ever wish you were not the eldest son?

What would be the point of wishing that? I would still be the eldest son. I admit there were times when I wish I could be as frivolous as Theo – for a short time only, I might add. But my temperament is well suited to my responsibilities. It would be a disaster if Theo were the eldest son.


5. When Theo was born, how did you feel about having a younger brother?

I was thrilled by the thought of a new playmate. I understand I sulked for quite some time when I learned it would be years before he could play at toy soldiers with me.

I can imagine that must have been a test of your patience, especially at that young age!


6. Are you jealous of Theo in any way?  

I envy his easy way with strangers, and how quickly he wins their liking.
 
 
7. Why do you seem to struggle with your brother's ease and charm, and yet you don't seem to mind it in your good friend, Mr Bingley?  

It is not Theo’s ease and charm I object to, but his failure to apply himself to anything but his pleasures. Bingley is well aware that I do not approve of his impulsive behaviour, which reminds me of Theo.
 

8. What sort of woman would you like to see Theo marry? 

An heiress who can support him in the style he enjoys. (Laughs) I suppose I would like to see him marry a strong-minded, serious woman who might be able to make something of him. I see you have made quite a success of your internet journal at a very young age – perhaps you would be willing to take on my undeserving brother?

Now that is a very interesting proposition! I thank you for your kind words about my success. Perhaps I could try and take Theo in hand for you! 


9. Who do you think Elizabeth Bennet likes best, you or Theo? 

My dear Miss Sophie, everyone likes Theo best, and I assume Miss Elizabeth is among the majority. I could wish for her to be more discerning.


And finally, use one word to describe the following:

Georgiana - quiet

Theo - wastrel

Colonel Fitzwilliam - adaptable

Mr Bingley - loyal

Miss Caroline Bingley - derogatory (Let us hope she doesn't read this, for I don't think she would thank you for such a description!)

Lady Catherine – permit me to skip this one, I beg you! (I thought you might say that!)

Anne de Bourgh - tired

Miss Elizabeth Bennet - bewitching (It is all in the eyes...)

Miss Jane Bennet - smiling

Mrs Bennet – ill bred

Mr Bennet -  droll
 

Thank you again for stopping by Mr Darcy!

It has been my very great pleasure.

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Abigail Reynolds
Cassandra Grafton
 
 AUTHOR BIOS:

In addition to their collaborative effort in The Darcy Brothers, Monica Fairview, Maria Grace, Cassandra Grafton, Susan Mason-Milks and Abigail Reynolds between them have published over two dozen Austen-inspired books, including national bestsellers.
Monica Fairview


Monica Fairview (Mr. Darcy’s Pledge) holds down the fort for the team in London while Abigail Reynolds (Alone with Mr. Darcy) supplies cute cat pictures from Cape Cod, Susan Mason-Milks (Mr. Darcy’s Proposal) inspires with views of the Seattle skyline, Maria Grace (Remember the Past) frolics in the Texas bluebells, and British expat Cassandra Grafton (A Fair Prospect) has the critical responsibility of keeping the team supplied with much-needed chocolate from her home in Switzerland.

Susan Mason-Milks

Look for them at the Jane Austen Variations group blog (www.austenvariations.com) where they are all founding members. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Prize: Two eBook copies of The Darcy Brothers.

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment or ask Theo or the authors a question.
You can increase your chances of winning by visiting the multiple stops along the tour! Unique guest posts will be featured on a variety of subjects, along with fun interviews with Theo Darcy and, if he can be persuaded, his brother, excerpts, and supplementary material such as letters from Theo to his friends and family.


 
BOOK LINKS:

The Darcy Brothers



Amazon


 
B&N Nook


 
Kobo

 

 
Good luck to all the authors with the release of this new story! I will be reviewing it in the near future so watch for my review!


Your affectionate friend,
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Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Jane Austen Gift Shop: Jewellery review




I am sure many of you have either browsed, and probably bought, something from the wonderful online shop, The Jane Austen Gift Shop. Today I am going to be reviewing some of the wonderful jewellery I have bought from the shop.






The Jane Austen Replica Ring - purchase here!




I have admired this ring since I first saw it for sale at the gift shop a few years ago. So when I finally received it for my 19th birthday this January just gone, I was overjoyed!

        Jane Austen's Ring


It is such a beautiful ring and so well made! I haven't taken it off since it arrived! It looks just like Jane Austen's own ring, and it really stands out on your hand due to the beautiful turquoise stone, but it still looks very elegant as the size of the stone and thickness of the band, I think, is just perfect.






I love the extra detail of having "Jane Austen" engraved on the inside of the band.








On the website it says it takes 6 weeks to arrive, as it is made to order (and to your size), however for me it took 4.5/5 weeks, which was great.  
 


I also ordered the default size (as I wasn't sure about my ring size) and it fits me perfectly, and I wear it on my middle finger.








This is something every Jane Austen fan should have! (While it is very reasonably priced, there is a cheaper silver alternative to this gold plated one - see it here!)








Book Charm Bracelet - purchase here!




I absolutely love this charm bracelet which I was given for my 18th birthday.

It is very well made and very elegant!

Each book charm is very cute and delicate looking, but sturdily made.








The quotes inside each book are a lovely touch, and the 6 chosen quotes are well chosen.

It hangs very nicely on the wrist as well.

A really great present for any Jane Austen fan! (You can also purchase all of the individual book charms separately - have a look here!)



 



Darcy heart charm - purchase here!



I bought this for myself a little while back as I am, and always will be, a Darcy fan! It is a lovely charm!



It is a good size, not too big or too small, and it is sturdy.











The engraving of the word "DARCY" and the pretty pattern in the corner is well engraved. It sits nicely on the neck, very flat, and it makes a lovely necklace.


Keep your eyes peeled as I will be reviewing some other products from the Gift Shop in the next few weeks!


Your affectionate friend,
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