Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Suffusion_Widgets has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets/suffusion-widgets.php on line 10

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Suffusion_Search has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets/suffusion-search.php on line 9

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Suffusion_Follow_Twitter has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets/suffusion-twitter.php on line 10

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Suffusion_Category_Posts has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets/suffusion-query-posts.php on line 10

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Suffusion_Google_Translator has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets/suffusion-translator.php on line 10

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Suffusion_Subscription has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets/suffusion-subscription.php on line 20

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Suffusion_Child_Pages has a deprecated constructor in /var/www/wp-content/themes/suffusion/widgets/suffusion-child-pages.php on line 10
Guest Post + Giveaway with Shannon Winslow – Austenesque Reviews
Apr 162012

Author Guest Post

I’m delighted to be a stop on Shannon Winslow’s Blog Tour for her new release, For Myself Alone!  In her guest post today, she discusses the implications of gossip and shares with us an excerpt from her new novel!  Thank you, Shannon, for including Austenesque Reviews on your blog tour!  We wish you the best of luck in your new release!

The Gossip Game

Where did “inquiring minds” find entertainment before Peoplemagazine and tabloid TV? Mr. Bennet gives us the answer: “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?” (Pride and Prejudice, chapter 57) He calls the rumors and innuendo contained in Mr. Collins’s letter admirable, amusing, and delightfully absurd, declaring, “I would not give up Mr. Collins’s correspondence for any consideration. Nay, when I read a letter of his, I cannot help giving him the preference even over Wickham, much as I value the impudence and hypocrisy of my son-in-law.”

And speaking of Wickham, he takes it one step further, crossing over the line from gossip to slander:

I have no right to give myopinion,” said Wickham… “I have known him too long and too well to be a fair judge.  It is impossible for meto be impartial(but then he proceeds to dish his dirt on Darcy anyway)…We are not on friendly terms, and it always gives me pain to meet him, but I have no reason for avoiding him but what I might proclaim to all the world; a sense of very great ill usage, and most painful regrets at his being what he is… His behavior to myself has been scandalous.  (Pride and Prejudice, chapter 16)

When Wickham is done, Mr. Darcy’s reputation is in tatters.

Gossip and slander play pivotal roles in my new, Austen-inspired novel For Myself Alone.  In fact, the prologue is nothing but:

Through the first two decades of her existence, Josephine Walker led a singularly uneventful and ordinary life that gave little hint of what was to come. She had done nothing in that period to significantly distinguish herself from her contemporaries by way of either excessively good or prodigiously bad behavior. So it was, therefore, a matter of considerable surprise to those who best knew her when, at the promising age of one-and-twenty, she became the concentrated focus of so much local speculation and gossip.

The inhabitants of a place so unaccustomed to serious scandal could not reasonably be expected to ignore an exceptional bit of news when it came their way. Tongues wagged tirelessly as accounts of “the trouble in Bath” made the rounds. Where or how it began not one of the residents of Wallerton, in Hampshire, could testify with any security. What is not in dispute, however, is that Mrs. Oddbody was overheard dishing out a fine portion of the story to her neighbor in the street one day.

My dear Mrs. Givens, have you heard about Miss Walker? She is just returned from Bath, you know, and in quite a state of agitation. There is big trouble brewing with that young man of hers; depend upon it. I expect it is the corrupt atmosphere that worked the mischief. The things that go on in that town. Well, let me tell you, it is quite shocking! I daresay many a respectable young woman has lost her character in that heathen place.”

Mrs. Givens, being of an unselfish nature, shared the somewhat-altered morsel with her husband. “Miss Walker has completely lost her character, Mr. Givens. I have just had it from Mrs. Oddbody, a most reliable source. Evidently, she began cavorting with a very unsavory element in town, keeping company with some strange man. Now she has brought a great calamity down upon her head.”

Mr. Givens, in turn, generously passed the tidbit on to his brother-in-law Mr. Pigeon, adding his own considered opinion to the report. “It will lead to legal action, I shouldn’t wonder. It shows a careless disregard for the credit of her family to involve herself with a man of obscurity. Then, as they say, ‘The apple does not fall far from the tree.’ Was there not rumor of some trouble of that kind with the mother years ago?”

Mr. Pigeon recapitulated the account to his wife. “They say the mother is to blame…”

And so it goes. I’m probably dating myself here, but I was thinking of a party game (actually called “Gossip,” I believe) we used to play as kids, where you would send a “secret” through a string of people, whispered from ear to ear until it came out unrecognizable at the other end. That’s what I had in mind when I wrote this. Although there’s no malicious intent here, the results are still damaging. Later in the book, a life-long friendship is nearly destroyed by a more deliberate case of character assassination.

Poor Jo. She really gets put through the wringer – fortune hunters, a two-faced friend, a breach-of-promise suit, on top of the slanderous gossip of her neighbors. It’s all part of the conflict necessary for a good story.  As a writer, I have to torture my characters on the page. As human beings, I hope we are kinder with the words we say, write, text, and tweet.

Can you think of another case of gossip, harmful or harmless, in a Jane Austen novel? Who was the perpetrator, and who the victim? What character gets your vote for the biggest gossip in all Austen-dom?


Set in nineteenth century Hampshire and Bath, For Myself Alone is the tale of Josephine Walker, a bright, young woman whose quiet life is turned upside-down by an unexpected inheritance. With a tempting fortune of twenty thousand pounds, she’s suddenly the most popular girl in town. Yet Jo longs to be valued for who she is, not for her bank balance. She cannot respect the men who pursue her for her money, and the only one she does admire is considered the property of her best friend. Now, even the motives of her new fiancé are suspect. Does he truly love her for herself alone? There’s one sure, but extreme, way to find out… if she has the courage to take it.

This novel is an Austenesque story, written in Austen-style language, with lines from her books hidden throughout the text for her fans to find.

GIVEAWAY!!!  Today Author Shannon Winslow generously brings with her ONE BRAND NEW paperback copy and TWO EBOOK copies of For Myself Alone for me to giveaway!!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this guestpost answering one of Shannon’s questions above. (To save your inbox from unwanted spam, please don’t leave your email address.) Just check back to see if you win! Fortunately for our international friends, the ebook giveaway is open worldwide! (The paperback giveaway is open to US and Canada residents)  Thank you, Shannon!!

This contest ends April 30th!!!  Best of luck and thank you for entering!


Shannon, is the second of four authors visiting Austenesque Reviews this month.
Previous posts in this series:


Follow My Reviews!

No spam guarantee.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

  34 Responses to “Guest Post + Giveaway with Shannon Winslow”


    Oh this looks so interesting! Added to my TBR!


    This sounds like such an interesting book! It is now on my TBR list!
    Another example of gossip is the rumor Elizabeth hears from Wickham that Darcy is engaged to his cousin (even though Lady C has it in her mind, it is just a rumor).
    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂


    A fascinating book which sounds captivating. Fanny Dashwood is a scheming and nasty piece of work.


    Lydia Bennett was a great gossip monger.


    Gossips? In S&S, Mrs. Jennings comes to mind. In Northanger Abbey, there’s Isabella Thorp. In Emma, there is Miss Bates though she’s harmless. As to who the worst is, I define that as most intentional and harmful, I’d say its Wickham.

    This story sounds interesting. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.


    I always think of Miss Bingley as the gossip queen! Lol

    Thanks for the giveaway!


    I thought of Jane Fairfax & Frank Churchill gossiping about the Cole’s carriage. The gossiping almost let their secret out!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Amy B.


    We’re off to a great start! Excellent comments. It appears we don’t have to look very far to find gossips – in Jane Austen novels (or today either, I’m afraid).


    That looks like a great book – I’ll definitely have to get around to reading it!


    Biggest gossip in all of Austen-dom??! Hands down … Mrs. Jennings from S&S!!! LOL But I LOVE her! Loved the excerpt & thank you for the giveawy!! 🙂


    The biggest gossip is Miss Bates in my opinion. She has no sense of what to tell her neighbours and what to keep to herself.

    Btw, congrats to Shannon on your latest release. And thanks to Meredith for hosting this and so many other goodies this two weeks.


    I was thinking first of Frank Churchill and all the Dixon-piano-talk.
    But Ms Bates and Miss Bingley came to mind too.

    (International entry)


    My first thought about gossip was Wickham, when he spoke about how Darcy mistreated him. Not only was he gossiping, he was lying which affected the way Elizabeth felt about Darcy. Thankfully Elizabeth came to her senses and saw the truth! This book sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!!=)


    I think Mrs. Elton is a gossip. She’s all about who she knows and what she knows about them. I think she thinks it gives her credibility but to me she’s just a desperate gossip. I never realized how many gossips there actually were in her book lol!


    Gossip? Take your pick! In P&P alone there are several! Lydia, Mrs Bennet and her cronies, Wickham, Collins, the list goes on and on! Thank you for the giveaway!


    Oh, how we love to hate Mr. Wickham! Good luck with the contest.


    Margaret and Becky are right – no shortage of gossipers!


    Lydia Bennett…Jane Fairfax…how does one choose!


    FOR MYSELF ALONE looks great Shannon, I think Caroline Bingley sister of Charles Bingley is one of the worst because she is malicious with her gossip.


    I enjoyed reading Shannon’s introduction to the new book. I never had really thought about all the gossip mongers before. I don’t really care for the act but I think I was more dwelling on the malicious kind. Wickham sprang to mind first but I loved reading thru the comments above to see who I wasn’t focusing on. Mrs. Jennings definitely but she seems to have a good heart. Sir John Middleton seems to thrive on knowing all about his neighbors and tho’ not specifically mentioned I can see him as quite a gossiper. Also Mrs. Long and Mrs. Phillips in P&P seem to feed Mrs. Bennet her info as well as enjoy getting her all bent out of shape. The girls rely on Mrs. Phillips since she lives in town for info about the men in the militia. The Steele’s stick out in my mind also. I guess I wasn’t going for the obvious. Nurse Rooke – now there’s one for Persuasion. It’s just way too hard to pick just one. Sorry. I’d love to read Shannon’s latest. I was privileged to get her first book from her at an event up by Seattle and I enjoyed that experience as well as the book.


    Strangly enough, but first name of a gossiper that came to my mind was Mrs.Phillips from P&P, though compared to others, she is not very harmful (or she just appears rarely and thus has less opportunity to harm anyone):) Mrs.Elton from Emma and Mrs.Jennings from S&S come in second.
    Thank you for international giveaway!


    I think it would have to be Mrs. Elton from Emma. She had something to say about everyone!


    I think it is Mr Collins, he is the one who tells everything to Lady Catherine, and he is supposed to be a clergyman.

    Thank you for the international giveaway, I hope I win!


    This book sounds absolutely wonderful. Adding it to my TBR list now.

    Fantastic post, Shannon and Meredith. I love the subject of gossip in general but especially in Austen’s books because she was so adept at writing brilliant characters and their interactions.

    My favorite gossip is Mrs. Bennet. I think she was relatively harmless in her gossip but she very nearly cost Jane her relationship with Bingley.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!


    I had never thought of it before, but I now realize that there are more than one gossip in each of the Austen novels. I suppose because I know that the Regency period was quite far from the information age that we enjoy. Although there is quite a lot of gossip now, it’s fairly easy to see what’s untrue if you’re willing to investigate, and gossip was probably the only way you would hear about the people around you then. I see Mr. Darcy explaining his story in his letter to Elizabeth showing this perfectly. Without that letter, Elizabeth would have taken Wickham’s account as fact until he ran away with Lydia. I enjoyed the excerpt very much, and I look forward to reading the book.


    wonderful post Shannon and excited for your generous offer giving more opps to win ~ bless you! and ConGrats !

Your conversation and participation are always welcome; please feel free to "have your share."