Category Archives: Jane Austen

A Call for Help and a Great Video

Hello all!

I have a really fun project in the works, which I am SO excited to share with you…later this summer. I can only give you a few hints right now. It’s about Edenbrooke, and…um…okay, that’s the only hint I can give you. But I am telling you right now, you will squeal over this project.

But, before it can all happen, I need a little help. I need to choose a few scenes from the book that kind of tell the story without actually giving away the whole story. (And one of them should involve Mr. Whittles’s spittle.) So tell me in the comments what scenes YOU would choose, if you could only choose three or four.

And to thank you all for your participation, I have a giveaway. Yes, a giveaway! I will choose a random winner from everyone who comments and send you your choice of gifts–either a signed copy of Edenbrooke the book or a signed copy of Edenbrooke the AUDIObook. I will sign it with whatever message you want (as long as it’s not indecent) and send it anywhere in the U.S. So comment away!

Now you must watch this very funny video for Jane Austen fans. My favorite line: “If we lived in the time our favorite show is, we probably would have died of tuberculosis.” It’s clever, funny, and it even mentions Edenbrooke! My kids have been singing the song for days, and even dressed up and practiced their fine manners. It’s tremendously gratifying to see my Jane Austen love rubbing off on them. So check it out!

Announcement! And a Giveaway!

Right now you may be thinking to yourself, “Did I read that title right? A giveaway? As in, something free? And wouldn’t this be the first giveaway ever of this blog?”
Why, yes. You are absolutely correct. But before I explain the giveaway, I must make an announcement.
Edenbrooke will be released on March 27!
That is exactly 7 weeks from today. And because I feel like a child waiting for Christmas, I thought we could do something fun and special for the next 7 weeks to help us count down.
So, every Tuesday for the next 7 weeks I will be announcing a giveaway. The winner will receive an Advanced Reading Copy of Edenbrooke, signed by little ol’ me, along with something else related to England or the Regency period. I have a stack of goodies I’ve prepared for this very thing.
Are you as excited as I am???? Because I’m squealing inside, I’m so excited.
So…it’s a CONTEST, right? Meaning, you get to participate. But the winners will be chosen by a random number generator, so everything will be fair and square. To enter the contest this week, all you have to do is…
Tell us your favorite Jane Austen quote. It can be something she said herself, or a line from one of her books. Write it in the comments section, and then we can all read quotes from our favorite authoress. 
You will earn one point for commenting, and an extra point if you’re a follower. (So if you follow this blog, just say so in your comment. If you don’t follow yet, click the little follow button. It’s that easy.) You’ll get a third point if you share a link to this contest on Facebook or Twitter. Tell me about it, so I can give you that extra point, okay?
The contest will be open until Monday, February 13, at midnight. Then next Tuesday I’ll announce the winner and next week’s giveaway.
The winner of this week’s giveaway will receive one Edenbrooke ARC…
AND a copy of the DVD Becoming Jane, with my favorite James McAvoy.
Now…go find your favorite Austen quote! I can’t wait to read them!

Vote for Your Favorite Mr. Darcy

As a great Jane Austen fan, I have to state that Pride and Prejudice is one of the best love stories ever written, and Mr. Darcy is, for many women, the epitome of Mr. Right. Ms. Austen certainly supplied us with much to long for and dream about when she wrote his character. And thank goodness for movie adaptations for giving us a man of flesh and blood to associate with the great name of Mr. Darcy.

But which Mr. Darcy is your favorite? Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?

Vote in the comments, and I’ll reveal my own strong opinion next week!

Five Tips for Writing a Letter, Jane Austen Style

I was inspired by this picture to imagine what advice Jane Austen might give to those who want to write a good, old-fashioned letter. (I’m not the only one who misses real letter-writing, am I?) And so, without further ado, here is an imagined letter from Jane herself.

Gentle Reader:

I understand you have suffered of late from a serious lack of letter-writing. I cannot comprehend how such a thing can have happened, but I am distressed on your behalf. One may do away with embroidery, the pianoforte, or the hunt, for all I care, but the joy of penning a letter is a pleasure I cannot imagine doing without. Therefore, I am moved upon to instruct you somewhat in the ways of letter-writing.

To write a good letter, one must:

1. Have appropriate tools. A good pen is essential. Choose one that does not trail ink around in unwanted pools or faint away before a word is completed.

2. Choose high quality stationery. For maximum enjoyment for the reader, ensure the paper is smooth to the touch and of such quality that the ink does not bleed through from one side to the next.

3. Take your time. Letters are meant to be read over and over again. Do not rush your writing. This is not the appropriate place for abbreviations or sloppy penmanship. Make your words beautiful to both the eye and the mind.

4. Say something worth the time, effort, and cost of a letter. Platitudes that have become customary in social settings are often unnecessary in the real communication made possible through letter writing. Put your heart in your letter, and you will have created something worth saving.

5. Write regularly. Practice will increase your skill as a correspondent, and, as a result, the pleasure you take in the activity. With a little perseverance, you may form a habit of letter writing which will bring you joy for years to come.


Jane Austen

Let’s write more letters! I’m going to write a real letter in December and actually mail it, instead of letting it sit on my desk for months. I’ll let you know who I send it to. What about you? 

A Proper Romance

When I first felt the undeniable urge to write a novel, I heard the advice to “write what you know.” I said, “Hm…what do I know?” And for me, I didn’t want to write about being a stay-at-home mom, even though that is one thing that I know. I wanted to escape dirty diapers and laundry.

So I said, “I know Regency.”

(Here is a tiny tutorial. Regency refers to the period of time in England when the Prince Regent ruled. It lasted from 1811-1820. It was marked by classical styles in clothing and proper manners. If you think Jane Austen, you’re thinking correctly. Her novels, like Pride and Prejudice and Emma, are set in the Regency period.)

I have been enamored with the Regency period for decades. I studied English in college with an emphasis on British literature. I have read every Georgette Heyer book ever written. Next to Jane Austen, she was the expert on the Regency. And I have written entire college papers on Jane Austen’s works. 

So when I first started thinking about writing a novel, the Regency period was the logical choice. But I wanted it to be more than a flimsy romance. I wanted it to be a story that moved readers and changed them. Edenbrooke is, in essence, a love story. But it is so much more than a romance. It’s a story about how love can change a person–the love of a father, or a sister, or, yes, even a dangerously handsome young man. 

The sad thing is that most Regency romances these days are just as racy as any other category romance. I can easily imagine Jane Austen rolling over in her grave at all of the Regency young women running around being immoral with Regency men. I would rather never have my book see the light of day than ruin it by putting sex in it. And that almost happened, as agents told me they loved my story but couldn’t sell it unless I made it “sexier.”

And then along came Shadow Mountain and my agent Laurie McLean, with their visions of a new kind of romance…a Proper Romance, where you get all of the great stuff you want in a love story and none of the other stuff. The most exciting part of this is not that my book gets published, but that it opens an avenue for other writers of clean romances.

Aren’t you excited? I am. If you’re a writer with the kind of manuscript that would fit in this category, please contact me and I’ll give you some information about who to send it to. I would love for other authors to contribute to this new trend in publishing. I would love to have Jane Austen’s legacy elevated and for Regency romances to return to their rightful place as Proper Romances.

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