Friday, May 20, 2016

Coloring With Jane by Sarah Johnson - with giveaway and a free printable for everyone!

Today I welcome the lovely author Sarah Johnson who has recently spread her wings into
something a bit different; colouring books!  Sarah is visiting me today to tell us about her new colouring book, and why she wanted to do it. See below for the giveaway details, and there is also a free printable for everyone so you can get a feel for what the book is like!

Coloring with Jane: A Mind Lively and at Ease

Jane Austen is best known for her classic tales of love and marriage set in Regency England. Her insight into this bygone era, as well as her extraordinary wit, are what have made these stories live on in our hearts and on our book shelves for so long. It is this wit that has also become the inspiration for the pages of this coloring book, with some of Jane Austen’s most beloved quotes taking centre stage.

Who isn’t able to finish this line themselves:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” (Pride & Prejudice)

Or what about:

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.” (Persuasion)

Who could forget this admission from Mr Knightley:

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” (Emma)

Or the feeling in your heart to have this one said to you:

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” (Pride & Prejudice)

We all cringe to know the sorrow held in these words:

“If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.” (Sense & Sensibility)

These and other quotes are what sent me on my journey that has led to this coloring book. I have been collecting 18th and 19th artwork for years. You have no clue how excited I get when I find old postcards or advertisement pages.One evening, while sitting at my desk trying to find some coloring pages for my daughters, the thought hit me that I could create pages featuring Jane Austen’s quotes.

And the little book bunny was born.

I began searching through my stash of images and chose those that would be featured in this book. The next part was fun – finding favorite quotes! I asked my friends if they liked to color and who would be willing to try out some coloring page for me, and I was off to create! I learned a lot about what does and does not make a good image for coloring, and, unfortunately, that meant spending many hours creating some pages that did not end up in the final book.

The artwork featured in this coloring book may not be “perfect”, as artwork in this digital age usually is, but it represents the era in which it was created. I tried to keep that character as I cleaned up the images and put these pages together.

Jane Austen is well-known for her extraordinary wit in creating characters that, like these pages, were also imperfect, and yet we still dearly love them. We hope for the happy ending that will eventually come as we read of the friendships and courtships that made up the bygone era in which she lived.

In the novel Emma, Jane Austen wrote:

“…Emma went to the door for amusement. Much could not be hoped from the traffic of even the busiest part of Highbury; -- Mr. Perry walking hastily by, Mr. William Cox letting himself in at the office door, Mr. Cole's carriage horses returning from exercise, or a stray letter-boy on an obstinate mule, were the liveliest objects she could presume to expect; and when her eyes fell only on the butcher with his tray, a tidy old woman travelling homewards from shop with her full basket, two curs quarrelling over a dirty bone, and a string of dawdling children round the baker's little bow-window eyeing the gingerbread, she knew she had no reason to complain, and was amused enough; quite enough still to stand at the door. A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer.”

It is my wish that, just as Emma Woodhouse, you find yourself with no reason to complain, and that you are amused enough with Coloring with Jane to keep your mind lively and at ease and your creativity flowing through each design.

** GIVEAWAY - ends Friday 27th May **

Sarah has been kind enough to offer a giveaway of one copy of the colouring book, US only, and also two printable PDF versions, which is open internationally

Please leave a comment for a chance to win, with one of your favourite Jane Austen quotes, or just with a general comment about the colouring book.

The giveaway ends on 27th May. I will be in touch with the winner to get the address, so please leave your email! The very best of luck, and thanks again to Sarah for this giveaway!

***Free printable for everyone!***

Here is a PDF of one of the pages from the book for you to print and try for yourself. I would love to see your completed pages, so share them with me on my facebook page!

Click here!: -

Amazon UK link here

Amazon US link here

Etsy digital pdf download

I am very much looking forward to getting my copy! I am glad to see a colouring book which is Jane Austen related but isn't just illustrations by Hugh Thomson or Brock for you to colour. This is something new and different!

Your affectionate friend,

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Blog Tour: A Fine Stout Love by Renée Beyea - giveaway!

I am thrilled today to be part of the blog tour for the lovely Renée Beyea's release, A Fine Stout LoveMy thanks must also go to Jakki of Leatherbound Reviews for asking me to be part of this tour.

Discover what happens when Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy meet fancy and fantasy in this novella-length ensemble of Regency stories.
- What if two inexplicable trails of words led to the Meryton churchyard on the same blustery morning?
- What if Darcy stumbled across suggestive lines of verse following Elizabeth’s stay at Netherfield?
- What if a rumored engagement so thoroughly shocked Lady Catherine that she could not interfere?
- What if Elizabeth learned the last man she would ever marry was the only man she could marry?
- What if every Bennet family member read the love poem Darcy intended only for his bride?
With all the intimacy and lyricism of a chamber concert, these five whimsical shorts will inspire the heart, prompt a smile, and entice readers to many happy returns.

Thank you, Sophie, for hosting me at Laughing with Lizzie and participating in the blog tour for A Fine Stout Love and Other Stories. Each excerpt stop on the tour features an excerpt from a different story. Today’s comes from “Neither Slumber Nor Sleep,” the third story in the collection. Darcy has been prevented from returning to Longbourn to make his second proposal, but an unlikely series of events are set in motion when a weary Elizabeth seeks respite in a London church. Enjoy!


Soft footfalls stirred Elizabeth from her repose. Mary must have come to check on her, since she doubted having slept long enough for Jane to complete her shopping and return. And Kitty had never measured up to the stealth of her pet name.

An impish idea flitted through Elizabeth’s mind, and she bit back a smile. Yes, she did dare. Years had passed since they played such a childish game, but the very unexpectedness could only make it more effective. Besides, Mary would benefit from a healthy bout of laughter.

The footsteps continued. One quiet heel click followed by another until, coming even with her pew, they halted.

Elizabeth waited in perfect stillness, forcing herself to feign sleep and heighten the suspense until she could delay no longer.

“The bed’s mine,” she exclaimed, opening her eyes and thrusting her hands in the air all at once.

Her observer leapt backwards and collided with the opposite pew. Black clad arms and legs wheeled like a windmill. Unable to regain his footing, the man capsized, and she was regaled with his upturned soles.

“Oh, I am so sorry, sir.” Elizabeth jumped up and crossed the aisle, already framing her apologies to the rector. “Are you hurt?”

The dark eyes of none other than Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy stared at her from his recumbent position on the pew bench. He shoved himself to his elbows. “Miss Bennet!”

She curtseyed but did not know where to look. If the heat in her cheeks was any indication, all her blood must have rushed to her face. Of every possible manner in which she might have encountered him, why must she succumb to a juvenile whim at such a moment?

“Forgive me for not greeting you properly,” he said, “but I find myself momentarily indisposed.”

She forced herself to look at him. His pose was so undignified, reclining with knees elevated over the pew’s end, that were she not overwhelmed by mortification, guilt and shock, she might have laughed. “Er… May I assist you?”

He considered her for a moment and smiled, but did not accept her outstretched hand. His legs found the floor in a smooth motion and he stood. Her eyes followed his face until she was forced to angle her head back. She had forgotten precisely how tall he was. Or how handsome.

“I did not realize you were in Town, sir. Mr. Bingley said you were keeping Christmas in Kent this year.”

“Yes,” he smiled, “we did and are only recently arrived. I did not wish Anne to be alone for her first Christmas without her mother, and she was not strong enough to travel here.”

“How very thoughtful,” Elizabeth said, struck by the fondness and consideration with which Darcy mentioned Miss de Bourgh. Why had it never occurred to her that more than cousinly concern might have kept him in Kent? “May I extend belated condolences for your aunt’s death?”

“Thank you.” He gestured to the pew she recently vacated, clearly wishing an end to the prior subject. “I was making every effort to tread softly and not disrupt your prayers, but...”

“Oh, I was not praying. I mean, I was praying before, but just then I was—” How could she explain?

“Lying in wait for unsuspecting churchgoers?”

“No. Yes. For my sister anyway, you see—” She laughed despite her embarrassment. “I only meant to surprise her with a very silly game we devised in our girlhood.”

“That will not do at all.” He shook his head. “I require a better explanation for being compelled to such an indignity.”

She could not decide if he was humored or offended. “In which case I am afraid I must disappoint you, sir, as a better explanation does not exist.”

“Come, Miss Bennet, you may at least acquaint me with the particulars of how this game is played.”

“If you wish, but it is of no consequence.”

The corners of his eyes creased. “Your resistance has aroused my curiosity.”

Renée Beyea holds an undergraduate writing degree from Taylor University and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. She serves as full-time wife, mother to two sons, and ministry partner with her husband, an Anglican priest and chaplain. Her free time is devoted to crafting stories and composing poetry that delight the senses and touch the soul.

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8 books up for grabs - including up to 4 paperback - open internationally! Follow the below link to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My thanks again goes to Renée for this fun excerpt! My thanks also to Jakki for setting up this tour.

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

Your affectionate friend,