Dec 152017
 

Hi friends!  Are you in the midst of Christmas preparations and celebrations?  This Christmas season has seen a lot of lovey new holiday Austenesque releases and two of them are from author Maria Grace!  I can tell Maria Grace has a fondness for the Christmas season, she has published several stories taking place during the Christmas season.  In addition to the three Christmas stories mentioned in this post, there is also A Jane Austen Christmas and Twelfth Night at Longbourn, which is about Kitty Bennet! Maria is here today to share about gift-giving traditions during Jane Austen’s time.  We hope you enjoy!

Thanks so much for having me Meredith! I’m so excited to be with you this Christmas season! It’s been a doozy of a year in these parts, so much that it calls for not one, but two Christmas books. The two books go along with The Darcys’ First Christmas, kind of forming bookends to the story. Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811 tells the behind the scenes story of what might have happened during the Christmastide Darcy spent in London, while the militia (and Wickham!) wintered in Meryton. From Admiration to Love tells the story of the Darcys’ second Christmas. Imagine trying to hold Georgiana’s coming out at the Twelfth Night ball as Lady Catherine and Anne de Bourgh descend as very unwelcome guests. The story was such fun to write, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Interestingly, one of the thing that does not figure prominently in the story is gift giving. That’s not to say no gifts are exchanged, just that the traditions were different in the Regency era. St. Nicholas Day, Christmas Day and Twelfth Night were the most likely days for gift exchange, although old traditions called for gifts to be exchanged on New Year’s Day. Continue reading »

Dec 042017
 

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Hi friends!  I hope your December has gotten off to a lovely start!  Did you have a busy November?  We did!  It felt like a very full month!  One of our highlights of the past month were taking a mini-trip to Massachusetts to see extended family for a long weekend!

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Sep 082017
 

Hi friends!  I am so happy to welcome author Maria Grace to Austenesque Reviews today!  As some of you know Maria has been dealing with Hurricane Harvey these past few weeks and it is amazing that she released her new book, A Less Agreeable Man at the same time!  Major applause to Maria for that – she is Wonder Woman with capital W!  Anyways, I am thrilled to share Maria’s post about secondary characters and a very beleaguered Colonel Fitwilliam!!

Writing Secondary Characters

Jane Austen gave us some amazingly memorable characters throughout all her books, characters we cannot get enough of. Darcy and Elizabeth make the most frequent appearance in adaptations of Austen for very good reason. But there’s something about the secondary characters that I find very compelling, as well.

A Less Agreeable Man is the fourth book I’ve written around secondary characters, and I’ve done almost as many short stories. There are just so many wonderful possibilities with these characters they are hard to resist.

Don’t get me wrong, they can be pretty challenging as well. Some of them show up as either bland or ridiculous in Austen’s works, unraveling the puzzle of what makes them so is a fascinating process that can result in a surprising, three dimensional character.

Lydia Bennet is a ridiculous, self-centered little flirt. Mary Bennet is bland and sermonizing. Harriet Smith (of Emma) is a ditzy little follower who does not think for herself. Elizabeth Elliot—or where to begin with that piece of work! The list goes on. But the delicious question is why are they that way? Is it possible that we have been presented with an unreliable narrator and only see them through the eyes of that opinion? What is going on underneath the surface of that character? Continue reading »