May 282018
 

Hello readers! Today I’m so excited to welcome two contributing authors of the recently published Austenistan anthology to Austenesque Reviews!!! For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Austenistan is a collection of short stories written by various members of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan (JASP) and edited by Laaleen Sukhera! The collection consists of seven stories inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan. I don’t know about you, friends, but I think this sounds terrific and wonderfully unique! 🙂 I’m so thrilled to have contributing writer and editor, Laaleen Sukhera, and contributing writer, Saniyya Gauhar, stop by for a little tĂŞte-Ă -tĂŞte.

Welcome, ladies! How about we begin by talking about Jane Austen! When and where did you first discover Jane Austen? Did you fall in love with her novels right away?

Laaleen: I did, yes. I grew up surrounded by books and had an early affinity for classics. My English aunt gave me my first set of Austens on my twelfth birthday and the very first one I read was Pride and Prejudice. I remember being fixated by the banter between Lizzie, Darcy and Caroline Bingley at that scene at Netherfield—I didn’t actually find Darcy crush-worthy until Colin Firth later portrayed him. Other first impressions of her novels: getting amused by Sir Walter Elliot keenly reading Debrett’s Peerage, relating to Catherine Morland, finding Anne Elliot a little sad, comparing Fanny Price to Jane Eyre, and preferring Willoughby’s glamour to Colonel Brandon’s decency. But of course, I was a child myself then.

Saniyya: I first discovered Jane Austen when I was twelve years old – Pride & Prejudice was required reading for our class and I started reading it very reluctantly because I never enjoyed books that school made us read! However, I found myself reading beyond the chapters that the teacher set and I still remember how Darcy’s first proposal took me by complete surprise- I really wasn’t expecting it and my reaction was to put the book down, smile and go “Wow!” Continue reading »

Apr 262018
 

CR

Hello friends!  I’m so honored to be taking part in this special announcement today! It is actually a 2-for-1 announcement as we are not just announcing a special project but also revealing its gorgeous cover!! How exciting!!!  After reading and loving the recent anthologies about Jane Austen’s most iconic romantic hero and her bad boys, readers started to ask for more…well, it looks like Christina Boyd, editor of The Quill Collective series, heard you!

Another Anthology Coming from The Quill Ink

I am not a little proud to announce my third anthology in The Quill Collective series. Never heard of it? Aha! Likely because we have only coined the name when I decided to do another Austen-inspired anthology, and well, “series” would best indicate a number of books coming one after the other. You might better recognize the previous in the series as The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues.

When asked about doing another anthology, readers frequently suggest another Darcy book or Elizabeth’s stories… But for me, it seemed to make sense, during this time of forwarding feminist sensibilities and given the verve of the present equality movements that the female perspective might be embraced amongst the Austen fandom—possibly beyond our polite borders. After all, Austen wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day.

Jane Austen’s novels evoke romantic imaginings of fastidious gentlemen and gently-bred ladies … Yet through her veiled wit, honest social commentary, and cleverly constructed prose in a style ahead of her day, Austen’s heroines manage to thwart strict mores—and even the debauchery of Regency England—to reach their fairytale endings. But have you never wondered about her other colorful characters like Mary Crawford, Hetty Bates, Elinor Tilney, Louisa Musgrove, et al.—and how they came to be? In Persuasion, Mrs. Croft says, “But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” Those words have always struck me as terribly modern and I have wondered what Mrs. Croft might have been thinking of when she said those very words to her brother Captain Frederick Wentworth. I believe several of Jane Austen’s characters might have had feminist sensibilities, even if they yielded to the expectations of their sphere. It is our intent that in this collection of backstories or parallel tales off-stage of canon to remain true to the ladies we recognize in Austen’s great works—whilst stirring feminism in the hearts of some of these beloved characters. Thus, our title was born. Rational Creatures. Coming to you in October 2018. Stay tuned. Continue reading »

Feb 022018
 

6 Sweet Stories Filled with Heart, Humor, and Happily Ever Afters!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Authors

The sensational and celebratory Holidays with Jane series would not be complete without an anthology about Valentine’s Day – a holiday that celebrates romantic love and affection! As with each of the previous collections, there are six short stories in this anthology (one for each Jane Austen novel) and each story takes place in present-day. With the assistance of cupid, fate, and other forces six couples find love on Valentine’s Day this year…

I hope you find this breakdown helpful!

DESIGN BY CHANCE – Rebecca M. Fleming

  • The Premise: While hired by the Crofts to renovate her childhood home into an art gallery, Gracie Elliot gets roped into planning a Valentine’s Gala that features her ex-fiancĂ© and now-famous ring designer, Derek Worth…
  • What I Loved: How Derek and Gracie both had artsy/creative professions and how they met during college. I also enjoyed how Ms. Fleming cleverly tied in some characters from her previous stories and Derek’s sentimental and sweet declaration at the end.

Continue reading »