Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Blog Tour: If I Could Write a Book by Karen M Cox - with giveaway!

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…”

Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered and predictable, if a bit confining.

Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

I am thrilled today to be part of the blog tour for Karen M Cox's latest release, If I Could Write a Book. My thanks also goes to Claudine Pepe for inviting me to take part.

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the I Could Write a Book blog tour! I want to give a big shout out to Miss Lizzie for hosting me on this first stop.

I Could Write a Book is an atypical step in the Jane Austen Fan Fiction world for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s a quasi-modern variation of Emma, whereas most JAFF centers around Pride and Prejudice. Second, it’s neither Regency nor modern era; it takes place during what was a socially turbulent time in the 20th Century U.S. – the 1970s.

But never fear, the cast of characters are all here in I Could Write a Book’s Highbury: We have a Miss Smith, a Mr. Martin, a Mr. and Mrs. Elton, a Mrs. and Miss Bates, a Frank Churchill, a Jane Fairfax, and a Mr. Woodhouse—all up to their usual shenanigans.

To me, the major theme of Austen’s Emma is the redemptive character arc of one Emma Woodhouse, a young woman who (unlike her Austen novel contemporaries) has the money and the time to royally mess up her life, and tries to mess up everyone else’s. But in true Austen style, once she faces her foibles, she gets the Austen HEA trifecta: self-awareness, the great estate (although she already has one), and the man (and what a man he is!) This journey is what I’ve tried to adapt to the 20th Century, because it’s a journey that is still relevant today, and I believe will be relevant for as long as human beings are human. That’s why Jane Austen was a genius, and why she will live on through the generations.

So, onward to today’s fun and games. During the 1960s and 1970s, there was a cringe-worthy game show called “The Dating Game”, where three bachelors (or bachelorettes, in some cases) were put behind a screen and asked questions by a bachelorette (or bachelor). After they answered, she would choose one to take her on a date, paid for by the show. It was kind of like online dating sites, or speed dating, but much…slower. And played out in front of a lot of voyeuristic TV viewers – ha.

While thinking of blog tour post ideas, I imagined Miss Woodhouse in that bachelorette chair and wondered how she’d do with three bachelors of her own to question. Here is the result of that flight of fancy… 

Announcer: From Hollywood, California, the dating capital of the world, it’s The Dating Game!

Jim: Thank you and welcome to the Dating Game. Well, it’s time to meet our first three bachelors for game number one—and he-e-e-re they are!

Our first bachelor works in state government and has political aspirations for the US Senate and beyond. He likes small towns, college basketball and playing tennis. He calls Leitchfield, Kentucky his hometown. Please welcome Tim Elton.


Our second young man is an attorney and gentleman farmer. He likes various forms of leisure, such as tennis, horseback riding and jogging. He hails from Highbury, Kentucky, please give a hearty round of applause for George Knightley.


Bachelor # 3 has just finished his business degree, and is currently working in the restaurant supply business. He was a college baseball player, likes fast horses and beautiful women, and is a fan of off-Broadway theater. Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, please welcome Frank Weston.


Welcome, and good luck, gentlemen.

Now, to prevent our young lady from hearing about today’s bachelors, we have kept her isolated off-stage, in a soundproof room. Let’s bring her out right now. She’s a college co-ed who enjoys giving her friends advice, indulging in night-time swimming, and engaging in a variety of arts and projects she doesn’t finish. She’s a self-proclaimed modern woman and a health nut. Bachelors, meet Emma Woodhouse.


Jim: Welcome, Emma.

Emma: Thank you, Jim.

Jim: I see you have some questions ready to help you pick the man you think you’d like. Are you ready?

Emma: Yes, I am. I know exactly what I want to ask to find the best man for me. I’m very good at reading people.

Jim: Then let’s get started.

Emma: Bachelor #1, I believe that people are always self-conscious when they arrive in a way that is beneath them. In other words, a true gentleman should arrive in style. What kind of car would you drive to a big party—or on our date—if you could choose any vehicle you wanted?

Bachelor Elton: I’d drive the newest Cadillac. Nothing says success like a Caddy. That’s what my father says. 

Emma: A Cadillac man. Interesting. How about you, Bachelor #2?

Bachelor Knightley: Well, Emma, I do have my choice of vehicles, and if the weather is nice, I would drive my convertible. If not, I would drive the Volvo. A true gentleman keeps in mind what car is appropriate for the situation—and who will be along for the ride.

Emma: I love a convertible with the wind blowing in my hair. And you, Bachelor #3?

Bachelor Weston: I think style is important too, Emma. I once drove two hours from my house, just to get a haircut.

Emma: Impressive. rolls eyes and smiles at Jim So, what car would you drive on our date?

Bachelor Weston: It’s an obvious choice. I’d drive my ‘Stang, baby!

Jim: All great answers, gentlemen. Here comes question two.

Emma: Okay then. Bachelor #2, if you were a wild animal, what animal would you be and why?

Bachelor Knightley: I’d be a lion.

Emma: Why is that?

Bachelor Knightley: grins Because I’m king of the jungle.

Emma: Intriguing. Bachelor #3?

Bachelor Weston: I think I’d be a black panther because he’s sleek and stealthy and—looks at audience and winks—handsome.

Emma: I see. Bachelor #1?

Bachelor Elton: Bachelor #2 took my answer. So um, a cheetah, I guess. Because he’s the fastest animal alive.

The other two look at him, puzzled

Jim: Okay, Emma. This is your final question, so make it a good one.

Emma: I plan on it, Jim. Bachelor #3, if your house caught on fire, what would be the first thing you’d grab on your way out the door?

Bachelor Weston: Hmm…probably my baseball trophies. Those are really irreplaceable.

Emma: I can see why they would be important to you. Bachelor # 1?

Bachelor Elton: My tennis racket?

Emma: I’m sensing a sports theme here.

Jim: Our bachelors are pretty athletic-looking guys.

Emma: Oh, that’s good. I like a man who stays fit. How about you Bachelor #2? Would you save your sports equipment first?

Bachelor Knightley: I do enjoy my sports, but that’s not what I’d save first if my house was on fire.

Emma: What would you save?

Bachelor Knightley: Why, I’d grab you, honey!

Emma: whispers to self  Excellent answer, number two.

Jim: (music riff) Well, there’s the signal that it’s time to make your choice, Emma. You’ll have sixty seconds to decide which lucky bachelor it will be. (camera pans the contestants) Bachelor #1? (Elton grins self-consciously at the camera) Bachelor #2? (Knightley looks toward the dividing wall, trying to get a glimpse of Emma) or Bachelor #3? (Weston winks at someone off-stage).


So, readers, which bachelor will our Emma choose? Who would be the most fun? Who would be the worst date? Who would be the best?

You know, it occurs to me that if Emma had done The Dating Game for real, she would have made the correct choice right off the bat. Or do you think Emma Woodhouse has to learn most things the hard way?

Thanks so much for stopping by Laughing with Lizzie, and helping me kick off the I Could Write a Book blog tour! We’ve got some fun stops ahead in the next few weeks, so I hope you join us!

Karen blows big kiss, Dating Game style


Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of novels accented with romance and history, including 1932 and its companion ebook novella The Journey Home, and the novels Find Wonder in All Things and Undeceived. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and a story titled, “I, Darcy” to The Darcy Monologues.

Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

Connect with Karen:


Amazon Author Page:

Visit with Karen on several of the usual social media haunts such as Facebook, (karenmcox1932), Twitter (@karenmcox1932), Pinterest (karenmc1932), Instagram (karenmcox1932), and Tumblr (karenmcox).

If you would like bits of authorly goodness in your inbox once a month (updates, sales, book recommendations, etc.) sign up for News & Muse Letter

Karen loves to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. Contact her through social media, her website, or online sites like Amazon and Goodreads.

Giveaway Time!

Karen is giving away two themed prizes during the blog tour, tokens of appreciation for readers of I Could Write a Book, and for supporters of the wonderful sites on the blog tour.

Tea Prize Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, Mr. Knightley’s Reserve and Emma’s Perfect Match teas from Bingley’s Teas, a set of Jane Austen Book Coasters, and a Jane Austen Quotes mug.

Pretty Things Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, an “Emma” quote pendant, an Emma bangle bracelet, Regency cameo earrings, and a jewelry roll.

Readers can enter for chances to win these prizes here. There are bonus entries for social media shares and visits, if you’re on social media. This is one big giveaway with two prizes.
Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My thanks again goes to Karen for this fun excerpt! My thanks also to Claudine for setting up this tour.

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

Blog Tour Schedule

Laughing with Lizzie / September 6 / Launch Post/Dating Game / Giveaway

So little time… / September 7 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Book Lover in Florida / September 8 / Guest post / Giveaway

Austenesque Reviews / September 15 / Book Review/ Giveaway

My Love for Jane Austen / September 16 / Guest Post / Giveaway

Granny Loves to Read  / September 17 / Book Review / Giveaway

My Jane Austen Book Club / September 18/ Guest Post/Mr. Knightley / Giveaway

Just Jane 1813 / September 19 / Author Interview / Giveaway

Sophia’s Sofa Chat / September 21 / An Interview with Karen M Cox on Goodreads

Babblings of a Bookworm/ / September 22 / Book Review/ Giveaway

Silver Petticoat Review / September 23/ Guest Post/ Giveaway

From Pemberley to Milton / September 25 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Margie’s Must Reads / September 27 / Book Review / Giveaway

Obsessed with Mr Darcy / September 28 / Book Review

My Vices and Weaknesses / September 30 / Book Review / Giveaway

Diary of an Eccentric / October 2 / Book Review / Giveaway

More Agreeably Engaged / October 4 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway


  1. What a diverting game, Karen. I didn't know there was a dating game show on TV at the time. Btw, congrats on the new release and best wishes for the blog tour.

    1. Thanks! I only watched The Dating Game show a few times - it wasn't my parents' sort of thing, so it was probably at a babysitter's or friend's house. It was campy, but had some funny moments.

  2. This was such a funny post! Loved it!

  3. That was too dang cute. And Bachelor No1. Hilarious. "He took my answer." Hahahhahah!

  4. Fun game!! Congratulations on your new book, Karen! I am half way through it and loving every minute of it! It's the first time I read an Emma fic and your excellent stories before this one induced me to try this one and I am having a wonderful time! Sometimes I just love Emma and other times I just want to shake her! lol. Great writing!

    1. Oh, and I'd pick bachelor 2. ;)

    2. So glad you're enjoying it, Daniela! Yeah, I think we'd all pick Bachelor #2, but Frank might be fun for a date or two.

  5. And I'd pick Bachelor No 2. Of course. I like how he calls her honey.

    1. Lots of Southern men call women "honey" - I've always found it endearing, although not everyone agrees with me ;)

  6. Really enjoyed the Dating Game with our batchelors. I have to say I'd choose batchelor number 2, as I loved his final answer.

  7. :)) this is great! I bet Emma would choose well at first try if it was like this :) Bachelor Knightley is simply the most gentlemanlike of them all.

    1. She could have saved herself a lot of grief if she'd just gone on The Dating Game - lol

  8. Loved the character interview! Fun, fun! Thanks, ladies and best wishes on your new release, Karen!

    1. Thank you, Janet! I'm glad you stopped by :)

  9. I find that the impertinence of certain players (we know who they are) exposed themselves to be like a peacock, on full display. In saying so, I do declare my meaning to be quite implicit.

    I'm quite grateful to you, Ms. Cox, for allowing us to delight in this clever and amusing piece of work. (Although I find it perplexing why anyone would wish to live in such a bizarre time as the 1970s, when garments were abominable and quite loathsome!) ;)

    1. Garments might have been abominable, but the music was pretty good ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Loved the Dating Game interview with the characters. I have fond memories of the 1970s so look forward to reading this.

    1. I hope you enjoy the story - the 70s were an interesting decade!

  11. Wonderful post! Haha. That was awesome!

  12. Glad you enjoyed it :) Bachelor #2 is a shoe-in for the win, don't you think?

  13. I really enjoyed this Karen. It was a lot of fun. I liked how you stayed true to their characters throughout.

    1. Thanks, Elaine. This was a fun post to write :)

  14. Do you still have The Dating Game in the US, Karen? Our version in the UK was/is called Blind Date (it's been revived recently). It was never favourite Saturday night TV in our house but I saw enough of it to appreciate this post! From the answers, I hope/think Emma would choose No. 2 and hopefully their story would end in a wedding. The original host of Blind Date in the UK (singer Cilla Black) always used to joke about needing to buy a new hat (for a wedding) if the pairing looked promising!

    According to my Kindle, I'm 73% through ICWaB and I totally love it! It's amazingly true to the original whilst incorporating 70s USA, I think. Looking forward to the rest so much.

    1. The Dating Game is a relic of the past, at least to my knowledge. There were some revivals, but 70s was the height of its popularity. Thanks for dropping in to say hello!

  15. Just discovered this blog after attending a talk by Caroline Jane Knight last night. So excited! Fun reading the dating game!

    1. Welcome, Jenny! And glad you found your way here :)

  16. Once again, my comment disappeared! Anyway, I had a lot of fun reading this. Thanks, Karen! :)

  17. Thanks for hosting this launch post, Sophie!

    I love this guest post, as I also loved The Dating Game when I was younger. I think Emma would have been wonderful on this show, LOL!

    I hope your readers give this book a try. It's a real dream for Janeites who wish there was well written JAFF based on "Emma!"

  18. Laughing out loud => Why, I'd grab you honey.... What fun!!


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