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Showing posts from 2014

Happy Birthday Jane Austen - The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation!

Happy Birthday Jane Austen! In honour of Jane's Birthday on 16th December, the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation are offering donors the chance to write in Jane's birthday card.   Simply make a donation through the form, and you can write in Jane's 'virtual' birthday card, which is  published  on the website.   Founded by Caroline Jane Knight, the last descendant of Jane Austen’s family to have been raised in Jane’s beloved Chawton, The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation works to effect positive and significant change to global literacy rates. End poverty It’s estimated that if every child in developing and low-income nations acquired basic reading skills, 171 million people would be lifted out of poverty. Equality Girls and boys deserve equal access to reading, writing and numeracy.  “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society”  -- Sonia Sotomayor  Empowerment Reading and writing are essential skills for those who want t

A Happy Mr Darcy Advent Calendar!

I just made an online Advent calendar that I hope you will enjoy! Please click on the link    to find some of what inspired me to write Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar.

Book Launch - Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar!

I'm over at Austen Variations today to launch my new book, Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar! I hope you'll join me - there are links to chapters one , two and three , plus prizes to be won - paperbacks, e-books, Advent calendars and more, to get you in the festive spirit. I've loved writing this book and hope you enjoy it - I'd love to know what you think. There's a chapter for each day including Christmas Day - it's a bit of a fairytale with all our favourite characters from Pride and Prejudice. Lizzy Benson visits Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, and buys a special advent calendar in the gift shop, but strange things start to happen when she opens up the first door and finds herself back in time with all the beloved characters from her favourite book, Pride and Prejudice. As she finds herself increasingly drawn into an alternate reality, Lizzy discovers not only is Mr Darcy missing from the plot, but also that Jane Austen has never heard

Chapter One - Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar

Chapter One Door Number One It really did look like a Christmas card. The red brick house glowed with yellow light through frosted windowpanes brightening the gloom of the wintry day. Lizzy wrinkled her nose as feathers of snow tickled her face and settled like iced stars on her scarlet beret. It had been a bit of a nightmare to find it: a train, a bus ride, and a twelve-minute walk along snow-covered lanes, but now she considered it had all been worth it. Jane Austen’s house buried in the countryside village of Chawton couldn’t have been more perfect to Lizzy’s eyes. Perhaps deciding to visit the house in the middle of winter hadn’t been her brightest idea, but there was no denying her excitement. Lizzy felt a sense of anticipation, the house looked enchanted as if under a fairy spell, and she half wondered if she might bump into Jane herself at the door. Finding the entrance at a barn door by the side of the building Lizzy soon realised it was locked, and it occurred to her t

Mr Darcy's YouTube Christmas Calendar!

I love making these trailers - it's just a short one, but I couldn't resist, and the snowstorm features in my book! Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar is now up on Amazon and available for pre-order . There'll be a launch party on November 4th on Austen Variations with lots of prizes! Please join me for some chocolate goodies and more! I'll be on Austen Variations on Wednesday October 29th with chapter two - if you'd like to read chapter one, please click here ! I hope you enjoy it.

Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar - Cover Reveal!

Here's the cover for my new Christmas novella - Mr Darcy's Christmas Calendar. I've had such fun writing a Christmas story that has twenty four days of magical paintings behind every door and an enchanted tale which takes my heroine from Chawton to Debyshire, and back home again!   Lizzy Benson visits Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, and buys a special advent calendar in the gift shop, but strange things start to happen when she opens up the first door and finds herself back in time with all the beloved characters from her favourite book, Pride and Prejudice . As she finds herself increasingly drawn into an alternate reality, Lizzy discovers not only is Mr Darcy missing from the plot, but also that Jane Austen has never heard of him. All Lizzy can hope is that she can help to get the story and her own complicated love life back on track before Christmas is over, and bring everything to a happy resolution in Jane Austen's imaginary world! If you'd lik

Mrs Darcy's Diamonds Book Launch!

It's Mrs Darcy's Diamonds Book Launch today. Come over to Austen Variations where I'm giving away prizes - books and jewellery - in celebration! Here's an excerpt from the novella-I hope you enjoy it! Elizabeth’s view through the window beyond her looking glass was a scene from a picture book. Even on the greyest day in December, she thought she’d never seen anything quite to rival its beauty. Today in the sunshine, the copses to the east shimmered like veils of hazy blue gossamer, casting long shadows upon the golden hillsides. The Pemberley estate stretched endlessly before her, and there in the very middle of this rustic panorama she watched a horseman gallop into the distance. She would have recognised Fitzwilliam, had he been a dot on the horizon. He cut such a handsome and athletic figure, urging the horse on across the fields. Riding out with him was one of her greatest joys but today Mr Darcy was engaged on estate business, something she was getting

Mrs Darcy's Diamonds - A New Novella!

I'm very excited to announce the upcoming publication of a new book - Mrs Darcy's Diamonds , the first novella in a new series ( Jane Austen Jewel Box ) all inspired by pieces of jewellery. Mrs Darcy's Diamonds  is available for pre-order on  Amazon  and is being released on  Tuesday, September 2nd . I will be launching my book on  Austen Variations  and there will be  prizes to win , so please join me on my special day. The next novella in the series will be  Miss Darcy's Parisian Pin , and I hope to have that ready for publication in Spring 2015.  Mrs Darcy's Diamonds Elizabeth is newly married to Fitzwilliam Darcy, the richest man in Derbyshire, landowner of a vast estate, and master of Pemberley House. Her new role is daunting at first, and having to deal with Mr Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is a daily challenge. But, Elizabeth is deeply in love and determined to rise to every test and trial she is forced to endure. When her husband presents

Project Darcy, a green slope, and Steventon Rectory!

Jane Austen with her father George Some years ago, I painted a little picture of how I imagined Jane and her father would look when she was about five years old. I thought about this painting whilst I was writing a little scene in Project Darcy when Ellie goes back into the past and becomes Jane Austen, and tied it in with what seem to be Jane’s own recollections that she wrote about in Northanger Abbey . Although she is writing about Catherine Morland when she says her heroine was ‘ noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house’, I have a feeling she was referring to a memory of doing that herself. If you’ve ever been to Steventon to see the site where the rectory stood, the back of the garden has a pronounced slope! Here’s how I imagine Jane and her beloved brother Henry playing at the back of the rectory. I hope you enjoy this little excerpt from my latest novel,  Project Darcy

Writer's Blog Tour

I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the Writers’ Blog Tour by my author friend Sue Wilkes – you can visit her blog  here.  You can read all about Sue's passions for Jane Austen and her upcoming non-fiction book - A Visitor's Guide to Jane Austen's England . Sue also invited Emma Jolly to take part, and you can find out more about Emma at   Sue was originally invited to join the tour by Michelle Higgs - do check out her work at I hope you'll stop by and enjoy your visits to these entertaining writers- this international community of writers and authors are all helping one another reach a larger audience! I was asked to answer four questions about my work and writing, so here goes.   What am I working on? I'm currently working on a couple of books - the first is a collection of novellas inspired by Jane Austen's heroines and Georgian jewellery. I posted the first fe

A Review for Project Darcy from Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine!

I am absolutely thrilled with this review from Joceline Bury in this month's edition of Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine .  Thank you to Joceline and everyone at the magazine!  CARDS ON THE TABLE: I'm a sucker for time-travel fiction - from H. G. Wells to, well, to Jane Odiwe in this instance. Her latest Austen-inspired romance takes Ellie Bentley, a modern-day student, to Hampshire, where her best friend has arranged for them to take part in an archaeological dig. Not particularly interested in either digging or Jane Austen, Ellie does have a gift for 'seeing' things - and on the girls' first night at Ashe Rectory she encounters a very handsome ghost. So the scene is set for Ellie to be spirited back to Steventon during the winter of 1796 to witness just what happened when Jane Austen met Tom Lefroy and to - perhaps - unravel the real love story behind the romance at the heart of Pride and Prejudice. Odiwe writes with great charm and assurance: her con

Happy May Day!

Jane Austen travelled to Bath at the beginning of May in 1801. It seems they enjoyed fine weather, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will enjoy the same soon-though it's raining today! I love this letter, full of gossip and news, the price of food, plans for a new gown, and the purchase of a new bonnet! Paragon: Tuesday (May 5). MY DEAR CASSANDRA, I have the pleasure of writing from my  own  room up two pair of stairs, with everything very comfortable about me. Our journey here was perfectly free from accident or event; we changed horses at the end of every stage, and paid at almost every turn-pike. We had charming weather, hardly any dust, and were exceedingly agreeable, as we did not speak above once in three miles. Between Luggershall and Everley we made our grand meal, and then with admiring astonishment perceived in what a magnificent manner our support had been provided for. We could not with the utmost exertion consume above the twentieth part of t

The Launch of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation!

An event not to be missed! I was contacted recently by Caroline Jane Knight who wrote to tell me of a new Literacy Foundation she is setting up in her 'Great Aunt Jane's' name. She is hoping to raise money to fund projects across the world, and is inviting everyone to the launch of this amazing foundation in Oxford. The event will take place on 16th April, at Holywell Music Room, Wadham College, Oxford University , Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PN from 10.30 to 12.30. This is such a worthwhile and incredibly exciting venture - one I shall be supporting wholeheartedly! For more details see below, and for tickets log onto   You can also follow on