Tuesday, December 14, 2010

E-book Giveaway - Jane Austen's Birthday!


Free E-books from Sourcebooks on December 16 - One Day Only

From Leah Hultenschmidt of Sourcebooks:

December 16 is Jane Austen’s birthday and as the world’s leading Jane Austen publisher, Sourcebooks, is throwing a huge one-day-only birthday book bash. We will be offering special ebook pricing on ten of the best Austen-inspired novels – and what better pricing could there be than free?

On December 16 only, the following bestselling ebooks will be available free through our retail partners (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc):

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan 
Eliza’s Daughter by Joan Aiken
The Darcy’s & the Bingley’s by Marsha Altman
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
What Would Jane Austen Do? by Laurie Brown
The Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Collins
The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview
Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange
Lydia Bennet’s Story by Jane Odiwe
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds 

But the party doesn’t stop there, because also for one day only, we are offering free illustrated ebook editions of all six of Austen’s novels. These special editions include the full novels plus the legendary color illustrations of the Brock brothers originally created to accompany the books in 1898.

Even if you don't have a kindle you can download them onto your computer. I'm thrilled that my naughty Lydia is included in this set of wonderful books!
Here's the link to claim your books from Sourcebooks

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Jane Event on Thursday, 16th December!

It wouldn't be fair to neglect someone as important and dear to  us  as  Jane Austen  on her birthday.  She was born on 16th December 1775, it’ll be 235 years next week. We owe so many immensely pleasant moments to her that we decided she deserved a great B-day celebration.  My Jane Austen Book Club and other bloggers and Austen dedicated writers are going to have a blog party in her honour. You are all invited to join us on our “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JANE!” event on Thursday December 16th. Who will be there? Where is the party going on?


1.     Adriana Zardini at  Jane Austen Sociedade do Brasil 
2.     Laurel Ann at Austenprose 
3.    Vic Sanborn at  Jane Austen's World 
4.    Katherine Cox at November's Autumn 
5.     Karen Wasylowski at Karen Wasylowski 
6.     Laurie Viera Rigler at Jane Austen Addict Blog Jane Austen Addict 
7.      Lynn Shepherd at her blog Lynn Shepherd 
8.      Jane Greensmith at Reading, Writing, Working, Playing 
9.      Me! Jane Odiwe at Jane Austen Sequels 
10.  Alexa Adams at First Impressions First Impressions 
11.  Regina Jeffers at her blog Regina Jeffers 
12.  Cindy Jones at First Draft 
13.  Janet Mullany at Risky Regencies 
14.  Maria Grazia  at  My Jane Austen Book Club 
15. Meredith Esparza Austenesque Reviews 

You’ll find Happy Birthday posts and tributes to Jane Austen on all these blogs on December 16th with the HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JANE  logo created by Adriana Zardini (JASBRA)  just for the occasion. Lovely, isn’t it? Visit all the blogs on December 16th and leave your comments + e-mail address to have lots of  chances to win one of the wonderful gifts we are giving away:
Books -  1 signed copy of…
1.     Willoughby’s Return by Jane Odiwe
2.     Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
3.     Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
4.     Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd
5.     Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith
6.     Darcy's Passions: Fitzwilliam Darcy's Story by Regina Jeffers
7.     First Impressions. A Tale of Less Pride  and Prejudice  by Alexa Adams
8.     Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany
9.     Bespelling Jane Austen by Janet Mullany

Other gifts:
1.      Austen bag offered by Karen Wasylowski
2.     DVD Pride & Prejudice 2005 offered by Regina Jeffers
3.     Package of Bingley's Tea.  (flavour  "Marianne's Wild Abandon" ) offered by Cindy Jones
4.     DVD Jane Austen in Manhattan offered by Maria Grazia
5.     3 issues of Jane Austen Regency World offered by Maria Grazia

Giveaways will end on the 23rd.  Winners will be announced on My Jane Austen Book Club

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Skating Party in Willoughby's Return

As I look through my window this morning I see Jack Frost has been in the night decorating the trees and hedges with ice crystals and sprinkling the grass with fairy sparkles and spangles. There is a robin chirruping on the holly tree, his scarlet breast glowing as he surveys the scene. The picture could be from a Christmas card and all it needs is a large red velvet ribbon to frame it in a swag and bow.
The wintry weather here in England reminded me of this extract in Willoughby's Return. Margaret Dashwood and her sister Marianne Brandon are in London for the season. The snow has arrived and they are tempted out to enjoy the wintry weather by Margaret's friends. However, Marianne has not reckoned on bumping into a certain person she would really wish to avoid at all costs.

Mr Carey and his sister came with an invitation for Margaret to go skating with them in Hyde Park on Thursday. The Serpentine had frozen to a solid thickness, they reported, adding that Mr Mortimer and his sister were to be of the party also. Their excitement at the scheme soon infected Margaret with the idea that this venture might be as fun as it was proclaimed and so she accepted.
The following afternoon, as good as their word, the party called. Marianne greeted them in the hallway as they arrived.
“I do hope that you will consider joining us, Mrs Brandon,” pronounced Charles.
“Oh, Mr Carey, that is very kind of you,” Marianne answered, “but I am sure you young people won’t need me to chaperone you.”
“Marianne, please come,” entreated Margaret, who thought the change of scene would do her sister good. Moreover, she considered that another person added to the party could only be of benefit, although she was glad to see that Charles spent all his time observing Caroline Mortimer when he thought no one was looking. Indeed, his behaviour toward that young lady was becoming very particular, she surmised.
Everyone declared how much they would all enjoy Mrs Brandon’s company. Before she could make any further protest against their entreaties, Margaret summoned a warm pelisse and fur muff for Marianne to face the chill outside.
The main roads were quite clear so that the carriages made steady progress, arriving at Hyde Park in a very short while. All were astonished to see the great crowds of people intent on trudging through the snow for their amusement. Children with sledges slid down any likely hump in the landscape, their faces bright with laughter. Snow figures lined the roadways and a crowd of rowdy youths pelted one another with snowballs. As they approached the frozen lake, Margaret craned her neck to see the wintry scene. She had heard of famous frost fairs in London when the great River Thames had frozen over but nothing had prepared her for the sight of the Serpentine Lake fringed with glowing lanterns in the dim afternoon light, the branches of trees dipping their lacy fingers into the polished, black ice. Crossing and re-crossing the vast expanse skated a myriad of figures in a stately ballet, silhouetted against ribbon streams of sunshine in tints of rosy pink to gild the clouds. There were icemen sweeping and burnishing the lagoon to a gleaming finish, hiring out skates for those intrepid enough to try them. Several booths had been set up from which hot ginger wine, ale, or brandy could be purloined. The costermongers were setting up shop by selling fruit, their wives tempting weary skaters with oysters and hot meat pies. The noise of people shouting, cheering, and laughing echoed in the still air to the accompaniment of cracking ice, loud as a firing musket.
They soon had their skates on and were taking their first cautious steps upon the ice. The frozen water was very thick; leaves imprisoned in layers within the depths gleamed like amber jewels in Venetian glass. Margaret linked arms with her sister and before long Miss Carey and Miss Mortimer joined them. They kept up a swift pace to skate behind the gentleman and were soon out of breath, Marianne begging them to stop so that she could rest for a while.
“I cannot go any further,” she cried. “I will stop awhile and watch if you will excuse me.”
“Then I will sit with you,” added Margaret, holding onto her sister’s arm.
“That is quite unnecessary,” Marianne insisted, “you go on or the others will disappear. I am quite happy to sit on this bench until you have exhausted yourselves. Go and have fun!”
Marianne sat down, watching her breath in little puffs on the cold air gradually slow to a normal rhythm. Margaret disappeared from view. It was very gratifying to see her laugh again, thought Marianne. Miss Carey and Miss Mortimer were clearly intent on making her feel most welcome into their circle. Skating had lifted her spirits too. It was only now that she began to wonder about Brandon again. There had been no more post since last week but she knew that the weather was responsible for that.
“Will you take a turn with me, Aunt Brandon?”
Henry Lawrence’s voice brought Marianne out of her reverie. She looked up to see not only Mr Lawrence standing before her grinning from ear to ear, but also Mr Willoughby at his side, regarding her with an air of study.
“Good afternoon Mr Lawrence, Mr Willoughby,” Marianne managed to say. She was shocked enough to see Henry here at all but the recollection of Willoughby’s gift was enough to emblazon her cheeks the same hue as the setting sun.


The painting I've chosen to go with it was originally painted for a cover I did for Fenella J Miller for her book, Miss Bennet and Mr Bingley. I thought it would be very suitable to illustrate this post.