Thursday, March 19, 2015

HWJ: Weddings!

I love, love, love weddings! I've helped out with quite a few wedding for family and friends. Here are some of my favorite things about the most recent wedding that I helped out with. I drew inspiration from the location for my short story "Whine and Wineries" that is in Holidays With Jane: Spring Fever.

Special request wedding cake - Irish Cream Wedding Cake!

Similar to Elinor in my story, I love helping with weddings. Like Marianne, I love taking photographs. Like Meg, I love baking cupcakes. I split up bits of me into my characters. A wee sprinkling of Melissa. ;-)

Enjoy an excerpt from my story...

Elinor gaped at the hive of activity on the green space in front of the winery the next morning. Marianne jogged in place next to her.
            “Let’s go, Ellie,” Marianne urged, stretching her arms out. “I want to get this run in before it gets too hot.”
            “It never gets too hot here,” Elinor replied, her eyes focused on the people streaming in and out of the main building. “Didn’t you hear what Cousin Jack said last night at dinner? That’s what makes it such an excellent place to grow wine grapes.”
            “Hello, girls!” Jack’s mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings, called from the double doors into the tasting room. “Come on up here!”
            “No, Ellie,” Marianne groaned. “Didn’t we get enough of her last night?”
            Elinor ignored her sister and joined Mrs. Jennings. She took in the sight of the tasting room overflowing with buckets of flowers, yards of tulle, and rows of candleholders.
            “Is this the wedding you mentioned last night?” Elinor asked Mrs. Jennings.
            Mrs. Jennings’ eyes glittered. “Yes, isn’t it going to be amazing?” Her face darkened. “Now if my wedding coordinator, Winnie, would only show up, that would be fantastic.”
            “I can help you until she gets here,” Elinor found herself saying. She felt Marianne pinch her arm and she winced. “And Marianne will be happy to help me.”
            “You girls are lifesavers!” Mrs. Jennings exclaimed, clasping them to her ample bosom. “Winnie was in charge of the flower arrangements and the decorations. Her husband is the photographer so we were able to book it as a package for the bride and groom. Oh, I see the catering truck has just arrived. I have to go meet them and tell them to use the elevator at the basement level by the Cave.”
            She bustled away as Marianne scowled at her sister. “Why, Ellie? You don’t have to save everyone, you know. We were all set for a run and then getting settled in the house.”
            “Just think of the bride, Marianne,” Elinor insisted. “That poor girl will show up here soon and see all of this. How would you feel?”
            “We’ve never done a wedding before,” Marianne protested.
            “We have helped Mom with enough Junior League luncheons, Ladies’ Teas, and Christmas parties to know what to do. And don’t forget all the wedding shows Rosa would watch while she was cooking. We can do this. We owe this to Cousin Jack for his hospitality to us. And it would make Mom happy,” Elinor added.
            “Fine,” Marianne grumbled as she lifted a handful of tulle from the tasting counter. “But you owe me.”

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sense and Sensibility Film Adaptations

Holidays With Jane: Spring Fever!
Anticipated release date: 3/18
From Indie Jane Press

The story that I adapted into a modern tale was Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.
I've read this book five or six times. (Maybe more?) It's one of my favorites and for good reason. STRONG characters! I love the stark contrast between Elinor's sense (reason) and Marianne's sensibility (feeling). There are many film adaptations of S&S. My favorite for years was the Emma Thompson version (it won her an Oscar for best adapted screenplay). Several reasons this version is fantastic can be explained in gifs.

Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, Hugh Grant. All in one movie. Awesomeness.

I just watched the new S&S produced by BBC as a TV mini-series in 2008.

I *loved* the casting in this series, for the most part. Namely, Edward Ferrars. Willoughby looks very devious in this adaptation and it's not very believable that Marianne would fall for him. She would want a romantic guy, not a bad boy. Now Edward, on the other hand, is the perfect romantic hero.

What version is your favorite? Or do you like a completely different adaptation of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY?

Hop on over to my fellow authors' sites all week to see what Austenesque films they love!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Holidays With Jane: Spring Fever

Winter’s almost over and Jane Austen’s got a case of spring fever! The authors who brought you Holidays With Jane: Christmas Cheer return to bring you six modern retellings of Austen’s classics. So put up your parasols and prepare for sunshine, smiles, and, of course, happily ever afters.
Anticipated release date: 3/17
“Extra Innings” – A Persuasion Story
by Jessica Grey
Annie Elliot still regrets breaking off her engagement to minor league baseball player Rick Wentworth ten years ago. Now he’s back in town coaching the team she works for and stirring up feelings she’d rather forget. Will Rick and Annie get a chance to hit a walk-off home run or will they strike out in Extra Innings?
“Miracle at the Abbey” – A Northanger Abbey Story
by Cecilia Gray
Kathia, paranormal investigator extraordinaire, is out to prove her hometown Abbey is a bona fide miracle site—even if its sexy owner-slash-handyman Henry is dead set against it. Kathia and Henry square off and settle the score that’s been brewing since high school in this contemporary Easter retelling that ends with a Miracle at the Abbey.
“Whine and Wineries” – A Sense and Sensibility Story
By Melissa Buell
After their father dies, the Dashwood girls must make room for their half-brother John and his wife Franny in their Hollywood Hills home. When Franny’s brother Edward shows up unexpectedly, Elinor finds a new friend.But any dreams of something more are crushed when the girls have to move far away to Barton Winery. There Elinor begins her new life as a wedding coordinator. Her first challenge? Bridezilla Anne Steele’s spring wedding. When Anne’s sister Lucy reveals a secret that changes everything, Elinor must sort through the lies to find the truth of her feelings and hope for her future.
“Emma’s Inbox” – An Emma Story
By Rebecca M. Fleming
Emma Woodhouse keeps her finger on the pulse of Hartfield, Georgia through a series of texts and emails full of hometown gossip and romantic intrigue. In Hartfield, nothing ever changes: people fall in love (sometimeswith a little help from her), get married, and life goes on in the same comfortable way. But when hometown favorite Frank Churchill returns unexpectedly, the whole town develops a case of spring fever. Though a master at maneuvering the love lives of those around her, Emma finds she needs some advice of her own—and her family and friends are happy to fill her inbox with all the help she needs.
“No Vacancy at Mansfield Motel” – A Mansfield Park Story
by Kimberly Truesdale
Fanny Price runs Mansfield Motel, the family business in sunny South Florida, mostly on her own. But she dreams of following in her Uncle Thomas’s footsteps and becoming a marine biologist. She plans to talk to her cousin Eddie about her dreams when he comes home for Spring Break. But when he brings along Henry and Mary Crawford, trouble starts to brew. Fanny watches her precious future begin to slip away. With everything on the line, will Fanny finally speak up for herself? Or will she be stuck running Mansfield Motel for the rest of her life?
“Lydia Reimagined” – A Pride and Prejudice Story
by Jennifer Becton
When reformed party girl Lydia Bennet receives an invitation to her ex George Wickham’s destination wedding, she accepts with the intention of showing him exactly what he gave up when he dumped her. But no amount determination can change Wickham’s view of Lydia, especially not when circumstances conspire to make her look even more like a party girl than ever. And then there’s her sudden attraction to old college friend Kyle “Denny” Dennison…. Now that Lydia has reimagined her whole life, will she be able to forget the past and open her heart to the future?
All of the authors are SO excited to share these stories with you! If you are a reader / reviewer and would like a digital copy to review, please follow the link below to a Google form.