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The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen - Excerpt and Giveaway!

Ada Bright and Cass Grafton
I have the enormous pleasure of hosting Cass Grafton and Ada Bright on the blog today - they have a new novel just out, dedicated to their long friendship - The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen. I've just received my copy, and I'm so looking forward to reading it! As you probably know I love Bath and this book is set in that fabulous city - how could anyone resist? There is a wonderful GIVEAWAY - leave a comment at the end of the post to be entered. Winners announced in a week's time!

Thank you, Jane, so much for inviting us to visit you on your Blog! We feel you are very much a part of the whole journey we’ve been on this last year, not only because of your love for and in-depth knowledge of the city of Bath, where the story is set, but also because you were with us in Bath on the day we started to write the book!

For anyone who doesn’t know us, we are Cass Grafton and Ada Bright, two friends from different continents (the UK and the USA respectively) who have written a story together that just so happens to incorporate a few of our favourite things: Jane Austen, online friendships, and romance… oh, and the beautiful city of Bath!  So, perhaps it’s fairer to say we’ve co-written a story that incorporates almost all of our favourite things. Seriously, there’s even talk of Cadburys chocolate!

The Book!

What is The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen about? Well, it raises a question: what might life be like if something had prevented Jane Austen from ever publishing any of her books? Our heroine, Rose - a dedicated Janeite - is about to find out!

When the story opens, it’s September, and the city of Bath is playing host to the Jane Austen Festival, an annual celebration of the famous author and her works.
Rose, a Bath resident as well as an avid Jane Austen fan, can’t wait for her friends to arrive and for the Festival to start, but she’s unaware one of the recently arrived guests will turn her life upside down by sharing with her a magical secret that ultimately leads to Jane Austen’s entire literary legacy disappearing!

With the support of a displaced two hundred year old author and a charmed necklace, can Rose help to bring back some of the most beloved stories of all time and turn her own life around in the process?


We’d like to share with you an excerpt from the first part of our story, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen.

Rose, our heroine, is such a dedicated Jane Austen fan, it has influenced her choice of home (the basement flat located beneath No 4 Sydney Place, the Austens’ main Bath residence) and her choice of job.

As the Festival begins, she starts to notice one particular guest whose behaviour has roused Rose’s curiosity, so much so that she overcomes her natural reticence to speak to the lady, albeit briefly.

Later that evening, back home in her cherished flat in Sydney Place, she is enjoying a quiet read before going to bed when - for the third time in recent weeks - the smoke alarm in the holiday apartment above her own flat begins to sound; only this time, it doesn’t stop.

Realising she won’t get to sleep at all unless it stops, Rose puts her book aside and heads upstairs to see what the problem is...

Excerpt from Chapter Nine:

Relieved to see no sign of flames or smoke as she walked up to the door of No 4, Rose pressed the bell for the ground-floor flat. Looking upwards, the floor above was in darkness. The current holidaymakers were either out or very deep sleepers.
The door was opened cautiously, a pair of bright eyes peering round its edge.
‘Hi! I live down there,’ Rose gestured towards the basement flat. ‘I can hear the smoke alarm. Is everything okay?’
Slowly, the door was pulled back to reveal the young woman Rose had spoken to earlier in Queen Square. She was still neatly attired in Regency costume, though her chestnut hair now hung around her shoulders.
‘Oh! It’s you.’ Rose smiled and offered her hand. ‘My name’s Rose Wallace. It looks like we’re temporary neighbours whilst you’re in Bath.’
The lady smiled politely and took Rose’s hand briefly. ‘I am pleased to make your acquaintance. My name is Miss… Jenny; Jenny Ashton.’
There was a pause, with only the piercing bleep of the alarm to be heard.
‘So…’ Rose gestured towards the open door. ‘Is there a problem? Smoke or something? We’d best call the fire brigade and quickly!’
‘No, indeed.’ Jenny shook her head, the shorter curls framing her face dancing around. ‘Be not alarmed. There is no fire, merely a recalcitrant contrivance; it will not cease!’ She glanced over her shoulder. ‘I know not what I am to do.’
‘Shall I take a look?’
With a relieved smile, the lady stood back and Rose walked into the hallway, then followed her along into the ground-floor flat, amused at the attempt to speak in old-fashioned dialogue. Definitely the dedicated fan she had supposed!
There was no sign of smoke or flames inside the flat, but the beeping was incredibly loud and very persistent as they went into the bedroom. Rose stood beneath the alarm and chewed on her lip thoughtfully. Georgian buildings were all very elegant, but the high ceilings weren’t as practical as modern ones.
‘Are there any ladders here?’
Jenny shook her head. ‘There is a spacious closet, but no ladder within.’
‘How have you managed to stop it in the past?’ Jenny raised a brow, and Rose added. ‘I’ve heard it before.’
‘Forgive me. It was not my intention to disturb.’ She gestured towards the mantelpiece. It was covered in candles of all shapes and sizes, and though none were lit, Rose could tell from the smell in the room they had only recently been extinguished. Beside the bed there was an old-fashioned oil lamp, also not in use.
‘I find the lighting pains my eyes. I am more accustomed to candlelight.’ Jenny waved a hand at the mantel. ‘By dousing the flame, the noise would hastily cease. I find its continuance unfathomable.’
‘Perhaps there’s a fault.’ Rose tried not to stare as she looked around the room for something to stand on and then peered into the adjacent sitting room, but it was impossible to miss the books piled high on every possible surface, including the floor. Jenny was clearly an avid reader!
‘Might this suffice?’
Rose looked over her shoulder; Jenny was resting her hand on the back of a sturdy-looking chair at the desk by the fireplace.
‘It might.’
Jenny stood aside, which Rose took as a hint she expected her caller to drag the cumbersome seat over to the opposite side of the room.
It was hard to miss the array of items stacked along the rear wall as she walked over to fetch it: neatly piled below the window and an old iron door set into the wall were small, wooden crates, the contents spilling out onto the floor – an array of antiques and collectibles. Perhaps she had some connection to the Bartlett Street Antiques Centre – a collector, or a trader or something...
Trying to curb her curiosity, Rose tried to pick up the chair. It was heavy, and it took all her effort to manoeuvre it into place below the still beeping alarm.
Kicking off her slippers, Rose climbed onto it. She was tall enough, with the aid of the kitchen utensil quickly supplied by Jenny, to reach the cover of the smoke detector and managed to flip it open. The only answer for now would be to remove the battery, and with a little difficulty she finally managed to grasp it with the tweezers and it fell to the floor, narrowly missing Jenny who ceased her intent study of the quote on Rose’s discarded slippers to jump out of its way.
Picking up the battery from the floor, she then studied it warily. ‘Such loud disturbance from such small means.’ Then she looked at Rose with a warm smile. ‘I am indebted to you.’
‘No problem!’ Rose stuffed her feet back into her slippers and concealed a yawn behind her hand. ‘I’ll just put this back.’
Jenny stood aside again as Rose manhandled the heavy chair back into place by the desk. There was a writing slope on there – a lovely replica – a glass bottle of ink and what she supposed must be pens, though they bore little resemblance to the fancy quills with long feathers often depicted for the era! By contrast, there were also several bottles of eye drops next to them. Then Rose blinked. There was a piece of paper – rich textured – on the slope, and the writing on it was very familiar to her. Jenny was clearly trying to mimic Jane Austen’s well-known hand.
Rose started at the sound of someone clearing their throat and spun around. Jenny was watching her from across the room, her expression keen, and, feeling as though she had stepped over a line, Rose blushed.
‘Sorry! Too curious for my own good. You have some lovely things.’ She gestured around at the silverware, old books and suchlike.
‘One man’s disorder is another man’s treasure, do you not find?’
Rose eased past her and opened the door to the outer hallway. ‘Er, yes, I suppose so. Make sure you let someone know you had a problem with the alarm as soon as you can, and I’m sure they’ll get it fixed. ‘Night.’
If Rose wasn’t mistaken, she could have sworn Jenny almost curtseyed before deciding against it, merely inclining her head in almost regal fashion, and, keen to make her escape, Rose hurried out into the street, closing the door to No 4 firmly behind her.


We would love to offer a giveaway of a copy of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, winner’s choice of eBook or paperback (open internationally), along with the following:

Marvel Comics edition of Northanger Abbey
China thimble with Northanger Abbey quote: 'Oh, who could ever be tired of Bath?'
Jane Austen silhouette pin
Pendant and chain with Northanger Abbey quote re friendship

Thank you Cass and Ada for visiting - I loved the excerpt!

Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in the draw for the fabulous GIVEAWAY!

Where to find Ada and Cass:


Ada Bright

Cass Grafton




Tabby Cow Blog -

Pre Order Links

Smashwords (for all eBook formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, PDF etc)


Thank you so much for hosting us on your Blog, Jane!

We hope very much you enjoy the book, especially the Bath locations, many of which I've been lucky enough to visit with you! ;)

Ada Bright said…
Thank you so much Jane! We so appreciate you!
Jane Odiwe said…
It's a pleasure-I'm really looking forward to reading-I'm sure I'll enjoy reading those parts especially!
Jane Odiwe said…
Hi Ada-lovely to see you here!
Anonymous said…
What a lovely story of your friendship and how the story came about. I know I will love this book! Because I too love Jane Austen Bath and Chocolate! I have preordered the book and look forward to reading it! Thanks for a great passage Cass Ada and Jane!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for visiting, Vee! The book sounds really intriguing, doesn't it? I've added your name to the hat!
oloore said…
What a lovely excerpt! I read it with great interest and understand that the book must be a page-turner. Truth to be told, I am more inclined to read JAFF books with Regency settings, but a modern time adventurous book full of intrigue and mystery like The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen might be what I need for a refreshing change. And I would really like to read how Cass Grafton and Ada Bright have imagined the possibility of a world without Jane Austen legacy. And I thank you for opportunity to participate in such fabulous giveaway!
Maia said…
Intriguing! The excerpt leaves one wanting to read more. Thank you for this giveaway.
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for visiting and leaving lovely comments, oloore and Maia! I've put your names in the hat.
Thank you, Vee! Hope you enjoy the book when it comes!

Oloore, I'm so pleased you might give the book a try! We had lots of fun writing it and hope that it has translated into a fun read!

Thank you, Maia, and good luck in the draw!
BookLuver88 said…
The more I am reading about the book, the more I am excited for the book!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for visiting BookLuver88 - I shall add your name to the hat!
Sophia Rose said…
Fun excerpt! How thrilling to meet Jane Austen, erm, Jenny Ashton. LOL

I do love a book with some magical realism going on and even better when it involves Jane Austen and a city that had such meaning for her. Looking forward to reading this one, ladies. Congrats!

And on a side note. Yay, I can comment on blogs again. (Jane will get this joke). ;)
Jane Odiwe said…
Sophia, I'm so glad you managed to post your comment-I've put your name in the hat!
Bookluver88, thank you so much! We hope you enjoy the book!

Sophia Rose, I saw you were having difficulties! So pleased you have been able to post here. Hope you can soon post wherever else it was you were trying!

Magical realism... I like that. I spent quite a bit of time with the Local Studies Librarian in Bath Central Library doing research for the book, so I had to outline quite a bit of what happens to her. She was very supportive and said that we were doing the right thing, that fantastical things can be believed if they are grounded in reality.

It's something Jane Odiwe does so well in her time slip novels, so we really hope we hit the mark in this book!

Good luck in the draw to you both!
Freya_1985 said…
Thank you that you have invited me to read this blog. I think this site is really well designed and very informative.
The detail of the book "The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen" I found really very well written and really very exciting.
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for joining us all the way from Germany, Freya, and for your lovely comments. I'll add your name to the hat!
Nicole said…
What a fun book! And giveaways are always exciting. I'll be preordering this book asap!! Thanks Jane, Cass and Ada!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for stopping by, Nicole! I shall put you in the hat ;)
Kathy Berlin said…
I love when an author (or authors) share background on thems6 and their books. Looking forward to this 9ne!
Kathy Berlin said…
Themselves and one. Sigh.
Kathy Berlin said…
Themselves and one. Sigh.
Janet Addison said…
I always enjoy books that blend the "now" with the "then" and anything about the charming Miss Austen goes on my To Read list!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for visiting Kathy and Janet - I have entered your names in the hat!
Deborah Ann said…
What a wonderful excerpt. I am intrigued. Thank you for sharing and the wonderful give away ladies.
Lex said…
Thank you for writing this book! I am a huge fan of P&P variations and fictional novels even about Jane Austen herself. I appreciate the creativity and imagination of authors today who try to keep her spirit and her characters alive. Because of them, Jane Austen and her characters feel like old friends to me. They calm me down when today's busy world is too much, and they make me laugh when I need a smile. I will definitely be adding this book to my reading list!

Northanger Abbey, I believe, is a really underrated book. It is actually tied for my #1 favorite (with Pride and Prejudice). It's a shame it is often ignored. I've never been to Bath, but I hope to some day. I know Jane Austen wasn't a fan of the place, but at least I could walk in her foot steps, over 2 centuries later.
Adalgisa SD said…
Thank you so very much for this opportunity! The excerpt is absolutely lovely and peaked my interest to keep reading more. The giveaway prizes are wonderful. Please add me to the hat :)
Denise Smith said…
Jane thank you for introducing me to Cass and Ada's work, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the excerpt and am really looking forward to reading the whole book. The gifts are delightful, please add my name to the collection! Kindest regards, Denise (Scotland)
Vesper Meikle said…
Sounds like Jane Austen has appeared in modern times - I wonder how she did that, please make sure she goes back
Anonymous said…
Jane thank you for inviting to visit your blog! Really enloyed learning about Cassie & Ada's friendship & writing partnership!
Loved reading the excerpt from The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen's! I love the name Rose!
I'm really intrigued to find out more about Rose!
Thank you all for your comments, Freya, Nicole, Kathy, Janet, Deborah Ann, Lex, Adalgisa, Denise, Vesper and Penny!

So pleased some of you found the excerpt intriguing; we're so grateful to Jane Odiwe for hosting us on her Blog!

If you've never been to Bath, you can enjoy getting to know the city as you read the book! Good luck in the draw to everyone!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you so much for joining us and for all your comments- Deborah Ann, Lex, Adalgisa, Denise, Vesper, and Penny - I've added your names to the hat!
Anonymous said…
I visited Bath twice. The first time was during a Jane Austen themed journey and I am still so grateful to my mother-in-law for asking me to come with her. The second time was with my husband and son, who patiently followed me to places I still had to see (the Assembly Rooms, Sydney Place, Sydney Gardens). Thanks for this giveaway, I would love to read your book.

moon.card (at) yahoo (dot) com
Avid_Eva said…
It was you, Jane, who introduced me to the Austen timeslip genre, with The Search for Captain Wentworth, and I've enjoyed several since. This looks like another thought provoking candidate, and as I've stayed in those No.4 apartments myself it adds another element of connection to the story, knowing the places spoken of draws the imagination in so powerfully :) Fingers crossed for the draw - I trust it's a top hat or beautifully trimmed bonnet into which our names reside?!
Avid_Eva said…
It was you, Jane, who introduced me to the Austen timeslip genre, with The Search for Captain Wentworth, and I've enjoyed several since. This looks like another thought provoking candidate, and as I've stayed in those No.4 apartments myself it adds another element of connection to the story, knowing the places spoken of draws the imagination in so powerfully :) Fingers crossed for the draw - I trust it's a top hat or beautifully trimmed bonnet into which our names reside?!
Anji said…
Thanks for such a lovely giveaway ladies!

I've just finished reading Jane's book, Searching for Captain Wentworth, and absolutely adored it. As I'm always up for something involving time slip (being a sci-fi geek, as you know) and also featuring Jane Austen herself as a character (Jane Austen Lives Again is another amazing read), this excerpt sound really intrguing.

Good luck with the launch Cass and Ada!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you, Monica, Avid_Eva and Anji for your lovely comments- your names are now in Mr Darcy's hat!
I'm a huge fan of jane Odiwe's writing too! Searching for Captain Wentworth held the crown for me for a long time, but Jane Austen Lives Again took it this year! Adore both those stories!

Thank you for the good wishes and comments, Monica, Avid_Eva and Anji, and good luck in the drawing!
Tea Guide said…
Excellent excerpt! And what a treat to discover that there is a Marvel Comics version of Northanger Abbey. If I do not win this, I will be heading straight away for whichever online shop carries a copy of the comics version of my favourite JA story! Many thanks and regards -
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for joining us, Tea Guide! I've added your name to the hat!
Good look in the draw! This particular copy came from the gift shop at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton!
Bookworm said…
I would LOVE to win this book. It sounds fabulous and right up my street. I'll be reading it whether I win or not. So fingers crossed!!
Good luck, Bookworm!!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you for joining us, Bookworm. I've added your name to the hat!
BookLuver88 said…
I love stories that takes place in Bath! I can not wait to go back.

patkf2007 [at] hotmail [dot] com
Carolyn Perez said…
I love anything Jane Austen and would love to read this book and if I don't win I'll just have to get it from Amazon but I hope I win. Thank you for the opportunity.!!!!!
Just read the excerpt and now I can't wait to read the rest! ... Now I need to check the batteries in my smoke alarms to make sure they don't start beeping. Oh my goodness, that horrible, horrible sound! I can't get it out of my head now. Thanks for that little gift. I once had an incident rather like that of Phoebe on Friends (hopefully you've seen the smoke alarm incident). Nothing I did would shut it off, I finally had to call the emergency number for maintenance in my apartment complex and the person who came to check it out found a problem in the wiring. Ever since then I have nightmares about it going off again1
Jane Odiwe said…
Carolyn and Bonnie-thank you so much for joining us! Loved hearing the tale about the smoke alarm-they are so annoying-but, very useful! I'll add your names to the hat!
Rosa Penco said…
I love Bath and Jane Austen. I can't wait to read the book. I believe it's some kind of time travelling... which I love too!
Rosa Penco said…
I love Bath and Jane Austen. I can't wait to read the book. I believe it's some kind of time travelling... which I love too!
Ada Bright said…
I've been away, out of town with not awesome internet, but thank you again to Jane for hosting us and thank you for all the luck and comments everyone! I am packing up for the UK as we speak! Or rather - simply overpacking...
Carolyn, Bonnie, Rosa, thank you all for commenting and good luck in the draw! We wish everyone could win!

Sorry for reminding you of smoke alarm hassle, Bonnie!
Jane Odiwe said…
Rosa-thank you for joining us-I've added your name to the hat!
Danica Sembrano said…
More Austen! Yey! This is such a lovely Austen giveaway, and I am not gonna let this pass. Congratulations on your book Ada and Cass! Lots of love!
Thank you, Danica! Good luck in the draw for the prizes!
Leah Pruett said…
Been following posts about this book for awhile! Can't wait to read it!
Jane Odiwe said…
Thank you, Danica and Leah for joining us-I've added your names to the hat
pailofpearls said…
Love the items :)