Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mischief and Mistletoe: Modern Austen Short Story

Mischief and Mistletoe: Modern Austen Short Story

First of all, yay! The book is released! We are so excited to share the book with you.
Published by Indie Jane Press

Here's the gorgeous cover, made by the talented Victoria Austen-Young.

My short story is based on NORTHANGER ABBEY. Jane Austen wrote NA as a tongue-in-cheek response to the Gothic romance/horror novels of the day. The heroine, Catherine Morland, is obsessed with reading these novels and they scare her and fill her head with nonsense. She has the opportunity to travel to Northanger Abbey and she imagines it to be a setting from one of her Gothic novels. In the Austen novel, Catherine is from Fullerton, a small village in England. I live in Fullerton, a city in California. I knew that I had to write this book because of that connection. :-) I've read NA three times and I like it the more I read it. (The first time I read it, I didn't really understand it to be a type of satire, poking fun at the popular gothic novels of the time. I read it again in college and my professor is an expert at Victorian literature. She was able to make the book understandable and therefore, awesome.)

In "Mischief and Mistletoe", Cate is still a pastor's daughter who has had a sheltered life. I gave her an occupation - she "thrifts" clothes from yard sales and thrift stores and makes them over into awesome clothes and sells them on a website. She gets to travel to Santa Barbara (instead of Bath) and meets Henry Tilney. He was a fun character to write. In the original, he is attentive to Catherine but not super flirty. I wanted to keep him the same in my short story.

All of the "gothic novel" references in my book, including "The Mystery of the Mirror", are from my own imagination. (Those were fun to make up.) I wanted Cate to be likeable, a bit naive, but not annoyingly so. I love Christmastime and I threw in a few of my own personal Christmas memories into the story. (My mom makes the best chocolate pixie cookies! I'll post the recipe later.)

And if you're wondering, yes, I have thrifted clothes in costumes. One of my favorite projects was making over a dress for a Jane Austen costume party. Here's my blog post on it.

We have a giveaway to celebrate the release of the book.
We'll also be celebrating with a "12 Days of Christmas Cheer" as we get closer to Christmas. Lots of fun, presents, and Austenesque shenanigans coming your way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can hop on over to the other authors' blogs for the week.

Monday, October 27 – Indie Jane
Tuesday, October 28 – Jennifer Becton
Wednesday, October 29 – Melissa Buell
Thursday, October 30 – Rebecca M. Fleming
Friday, October 31 – Cecilia Gray
Saturday, November 1 – Jessica Grey
Sunday, November 2 – Kimberly Truesdale

And if you're wondering which Austen heroine you're most like, you can take this quiz!
For more Austenuesque quizzes, here you go!
Test Your Knowledge

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Holidays With Jane: Christmas Cheer - Cover Reveal!

Scheduled release date: October 28
Check out updates on the Facebook page - Holidays With Jane

Six talented authors make your Christmas lights twinkle with these modern-day adaptations of Jane Austen's novels. Curl up with some peppermint tea and enjoy something special in your stocking this holiday season.


The Work of an Instant
by Jennifer Becton

When Frederick Wentworth's ship docks at the Navy base in Charleston just in time for Christmas, Anne Elliot feels torn between desire to see her former fiancé and fear of rejection. Will taking a risk end in humiliation or give Anne a second chance with her first love? To find out, all she has to do is turn around and face him.

Mischief and Mistletoe

by Melissa Buell

Thrifty designer and secret Gothic novel enthusiast Cate Morland gets the opportunity of a lifetime to plan the costumes for the upcoming Dickens' Christmas Festival. There she meets Henry Tilney who shows an interest in more than Cate's costume designs. Mistaken by Henry's father as a rich heiress, Cate is invited to stay with the Tilney family at their estate. Will Henry feel the same for Cate once he discovers she is a seamstress paying her own way through design school?

A Tale of Three Christmases

by Rebecca M. Fleming

When their father dies, leaving their brother everything, life changes radically for the Dashwood girls. Librarian Ellie and musician Marianne have their work of course, but what about teenage Maggie? Maggie only has her writing—a surprising saving grace that helps her chronicle the ups and downs of life, love and family in this tale of three Christmases.

With Love, from Emma

by Cecilia Gray

A visit to Emma Gold's flower shop can save a relationship but a date at Lance Knightley's bar can take that relationship to the next level, so who should be considered Heartfield, Oregon's resident romance expert? Emma and Lance square off at their best friends' wedding to settle the score. Sparks fly as bets are made and favors are won in this contemporary Christmas retelling, recounted With Love, from Emma.

It's a Wonderful Latte

by Jessica Grey

Evie St. Laurent can always count on three things: being single during Christmas in Los Angeles, her job as manager at Mansfield Perk, and Frank Nakatomi, her best friend and coworker, cheering her up when she's down. But when the glamorous Piper siblings come to town and sweep everyone off their feet, what Evie thought was sure in her life starts slipping away. It will take some Christmas magic and the help of a very special angel named Jane to help Evie see that the love she's been waiting for has been there all the time.

Pride & Presents

by Kimberly Truesdale

Liz Bennet wants to make this Christmas the best that Longbourn Community Center has ever had. When basketball superstar Charles Bingley shows up to volunteer, it looks like that just might happen—even in spite of his unhelpful friend Will Darcy. But when everything starts to go wrong and Longbourn itself is in danger, Liz must set aside her pride and ask for help. Then she'll discover that the best presents are the ones you never expect.(less)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Feeling some Christmas Cheer!

I'm very happy to report that some super cool Janeite friends and I are coming out with a short story collection just in time for the holiday season! We each took a Jane Austen novel, modernized it, shortened it, and added some Christmas cheer to it. :-)

Back story to the short story collection. A family member was in the hospital and I desperately needed some happymaking in my life. I was thinking about what makes me happy. Christmas and writing came together in my mind. I called Jessica Grey and said, "Hey, what do you think about writing a Jane Austen Christmas story together?" That quickly swirled into all the Austen novels and calling up amazing writing friends to add to our Christmas writing fun. All this to say that you never know where inspiration will come from! (And my family member is much better now!)

My book was NORTHANGER ABBEY. My short is called "Mischief and Mistletoe." If you know Catherine Morland, you'll understand the mischief portion. Mistletoe, because, obviously, Christmastime also starts with "M". I'm a big fan of alliteration. Below is one of my favorite quotes from NORTHANGER ABBEY. It helped inspire me to send Cate away from home. I'll write more about that later.

The other authors are:
Jessica Grey - My co-conspirator, YA fairy tale author, and writer-of-other-amazing-books!
Cecilia Gray - YA author of "The Jane Austen Academy" series!
Jennifer Becton - Austenesque author and thriller writer!
Kimberly Truesdale - Austenesque author and fellow English teacher!
Rebecca M. Fleming - One of my first bookish friends on the interwebs! We both share a love of Anne of Green Gables and hobbits. Rebecca is a blogger and a librarian. This is her first published work.

As we get closer to the release date, we'll have fabulous giveaways and fun blog hop things. We're all about the Christmas Cheer!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book Review: HIT by Lorie Ann Grover

HitHit by Lorie Ann Grover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah's future is all laid out before her that is until she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Haddings. Convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back, she sets off for school in the rain with a poem in her back pocket one that will declare her feelings once and for all. Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah's attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning. But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels a thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road, and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her."

I loved that this book was based on true events that a friend of the author went through (that may sound horrible!). I was drawn into the story immediately. Sarah is a likable character and though she is mature, she still thinks like a teenager. This made the story more real to me. I enjoyed seeing Sarah and her mother go through real mother-daughter conversations. I enjoyed that the story was told from both Sarah and Haddings' points-of-view. I felt the pain of what each character went through emotionally.

I think that when you read a book and are able to place yourself into more than one of the character's shoes, that is very impressive. I saw myself in the young girl of Sarah. I saw myself as the driver who is temporarily distracted. (I've never hit anyone! But all drivers do get distracted...) I saw myself as the overprotective mom. I saw myself as the overprotective friend. This made me get totally into the story. I read the book very quickly because I couldn't put it down.

I recommend this book for readers: who enjoy clean reads, novels based on true events, contemporary young adult novels. I have recommended HIT to my students and they have made a "waiting list" for who can read the book next. :-)

**Book received for free from Blink/Zondervan for an honest review.

Now available for purchase! Amazon   Barnes and Noble   IndieBound (indie bookstore near you)  Powells


Lorie Ann Grover is an awarded YA novelist and board book author whose works include Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn, and Parents Magazine Best Children's Book, Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish. She co-founded readergirlz and readertotz. Living with her husband in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, she writes, practices weapons tai chi, and watches hawks take flight.

*Personal note* I met Lorie Ann through mutual friends. She gave me advice when I first started to write. I appreciate her wisdom very much! She is a sweet lady who has much perseverance. I admire her greatly.