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What a lovely week I'm having!

I am having a very exciting week!
Jane Austen, inspired by Cassandra's portrait by Jane Odiwe
Yesterday, David Sillito, the charming BBC Arts Correspondent interviewed me for a short piece about Jane Austen and my books - if I don't end up on the cutting room floor you might see a little of me on Monday morning on BBC Breakfast Television. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is 200 years old on Monday and there is a special tribute to her being put together - one of many, I believe, over the coming months. Having 'tasted' the delights of filming on Masterchef which was aired last year, (sorry about the pun) yesterday's interview was not quite as scary as I thought it would be - David and the cameraman were absolutely lovely and put me at my ease. The horror was having to run round before they arrived trying to tidy up my very untidy house for my guests. I always forget what a pleasure it is to see a neat house until I'm forced into action - well, now I don't know myself - it looks a treat!
Anyone who knows me is aware that I can 'talk for England' on the subject of Jane Austen and it was lovely to indulge that pleasure!

B.R.A.G. Medallion for Searching for Captain Wentworth
A little later I received a wonderful email from the president of B.R.A.G. Medallion to tell me that I had been selected to receive this fantastic award. Although traditionally published in the past, I decided to go Indie this time with Searching for Captain Wentworth. B.R.A.G. Medallion was set up to recognise the achievements of Indie authors. I am very pleased and proud to be a "B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree"!
If you know someone whose book deserves this kind of notice you can suggest one. Here is a little about them.

From their website:

Who We Are is owned and operated by indieBRAG, LLC, a privately held organization that has brought together a large group of readers, both individuals and members of book clubs, located throughout the United States, Canada, and the European Union. The word “indie” refers to self or independently published books, while B.R.A.G. is an acronym for Book Readers Appreciation Group. By their nature, our readers are passionate about all books, but for the purposes of the service we provide, we focus exclusively on the work of self-published authors of print and digital books.

What We Do

Our mission is to recognize quality on the part of authors who self-publish both print and digital books. As such, we are constantly on the lookout for the work of talented men and women who have written indie books across a wide range of genres. Our primary focus is fiction, however, we selectively consider non-fiction books as well.

How We Do It

From the large and rapidly growing library of indie books that are available today, we select those that we believe deserve to be considered. These books are then read and evaluated by members drawn from our reader group. The readers judge the merits of the books based on our proprietary list of criteria. The single most important criterion that we ask our readers to use in judging a book is whether or not they would recommend it to their best friend. Once a book meets this standard of quality, we award it our B.R.A.G. Medallion™, and along with other medallion recipients, it is presented on this website. 

Then, as if it couldn't get any better I received notice of this lovely review for Searching for Captain Wentworth from Kim of Reflections of a Book Addict
My Persuasion-inspired novel, Searching for Captain Wentworth

What do Jane Austen, time-traveling, “Captain Wentworth”, and a pair of white gloves all have in common?  They’re all major parts of Jane Odiwe’s newest novel Searching for Captain Wentworth, a time-travelling tale that puts us smack dab in the middle of Jane Austen’s life!
Sophie Elliot is in a bit of a slump, to put it mildly.  Her boyfriend has cheated on her, with her best friend, no less.  Totally distraught, she can’t focus on the book she is attempting to write, and is quite depressed indeed.  So, in order to help her recuperate and focus on her writing, her great-aunt gives her the keys to the family townhouse in Bath.  She is shocked to learn that the home is located right next to the former home of none other than Jane Austen herself.  She is not alone, however, as she meets a somewhat mysterious man in the townhouse named Josh Strafford.  After Strafford drops an old glove, Sophie grabs it in order to return it to him.  Instead of simply picking up the glove, something extremely unexpected happens.  She finds herself transplanted into the body of her namesake, in Jane Austen’s time!  She is able to live out her wildest dream as she befriends Austen and experiences life in Regency-era bath.  She soon becomes caught in the dizzying travel between these two eras separated by 200 years.  She learns more about Austen than she ever thought possible.  What will become of Sophie now that this magical transformation has occurred?  What will happen with Josh once she tells him about the magical properties his glove seems to possess?
Right off the bat I was impressed with this book.  I loved how Odiwe was able to make Austen herself personify traits that fit all of her heroines.  She had the wit of Elizabeth, the matchmaking skills of Emma, the lost love like Anne, etc.  I personally like to believe that Jane truly did have traits from all of her heroines.  Knowing her characters so well and then believing they’re little parts of Jane herself makes me feel closer to her work for some reason. (Any one else feel this way??)  Also, can I talk about Charles Austen and Josh for a second?  What wonderfully male creations Odiwe has invented.  They were both written with such superbly gentleman-like characteristics that I couldn’t help but swoon over them.  Overall, Odiwe fleshed out each character quite well, with my opinions on them matching what I thought Odiwe would want to happen, making the story progress that much faster and drawing me in more.
Finally, I have to give Odiwe a lot of credit for her inspiring words throughout the work.  I was touched by several quotes, my personal favorite being:  Time is but a shadow; Too slow, too swift, but for those who love, time does not exist.  How amazing is that?  It’s all too true in our society today.  It makes the maxim “take time to stop and smell the roses” all that more important, as we are constantly bombarded by stimuli and fail to take in the importance of the people and places around us.  Between the exquisitely written story and  intriguing characters, I was hooked from cover to cover.  Even if time travelling books aren’t normally your style, I’d suggest that you still give this a try.  After all, haven’t we all wanted to be Jane’s best friend?
5 out of 5 Stars

Lastly, but by no means least, this lovely week will be topped off on Friday by a visit to my local library in High Barnet. I am giving a talk at the Chipping Barnet branch to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. My books and paintings will feature so if you're curious to know more I'd be delighted to see you. It's free!

Event Details

Author talk: Jane Odiwe

Date: Friday 25 January 2013
Location: Chipping Barnet library
Author Jane Odiwe will be talking about her love of Jane Austen and about her own writing.
Times: 18:30 - 19:30
Cost: Free
This month sees the 200th anniversary of the first publication of 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen. Help us to celebrate this landmark with a talk by Jane Odiwe - a lifelong Austen enthusiast who has written a series of successful books and sequels inspired by Austen's works.
For more information please contact Chipping Barnet library on 020 8359 4040.