Mar 102014

Author Guest Post


Get ready for something special, readers!  Jan Hahn is visiting Austenesque Reviews today, and she has prepared a fantastic little scene where several Jane Austen characters discuss her newest novel, The Secret Betrothal.  This inspiring work of prose is a sequel of sorts to her first guest post on Austenesque Reviews in 2011!  Thank you, Jan!! I’m thrilled to bits about sharing this post with everyone!Jan Hahn

Thank you, Meredith, for the opportunity to be a guest at Austenesque today and post about my latest release, The Secret Betrothal. Rather than take the floor myself, I would like to give you an account of a recent somewhat anxious meeting between several of Jane Austen’s characters and let them discuss my book. Miss Elinor Dashwood has invited the ladies for tea.

ELINOR DASHWOOD: Do come in Miss Woodhouse and Miss Smith. I believe you know my other guests, Miss Elizabeth Elliot, Miss Catherine Morland, Miss Elizabeth Bennet and, of course, my sister Marianne.

MARIANNE DASHWOOD: Sit beside me, Miss Woodhouse. And Miss Smith, here is a chair for you beside Miss Woodhouse.

EMMA WOODHO– USE: Thank you, Miss Marianne. I hope everyone is well. (notes Elizabeth Bennet’s frown) Miss Bennet, are you well?

ELIZABETH BENNET: Perfectly well.

HARRIET SMITH: (to Emma) Then why does she look like she’s sucking on a persimmon?

EMMA WOODHO– USE: (whispers) Please, dear, sucking is such an ill-mannered word.

MARIANNE DASHWOOD: Miss Bennet has had some distressing news.

EMMA WOODHO– USE: Oh? Do tell.

ELIZABETH BENNET: It is that author again―that Mrs. Hahn. She pursues me with a vengeance.

CATHERINE MORLAND: That should not surprise you. Do not most authors write of you and Mr. Darcy?

ELIZABETH ELLIOT: (rolls her eyes) At times, I think authors forget Miss Austen wrote books other than Pride and Prejudice. They might consider Persuasion now and then. I would not mind being the heroine who wins the hero for a change. After all, I am not yet on the shelf.

HARRIET SMITH: If you ask me, she’s sat on that shelf so long, it’s getting bowed in the middle.

EMMA WOODHO– USE: (whispers) Harriet, please!

MARIANNE DASHWOOD: Why not write of Sense and Sensibility? I would adore falling in love with Mr. Willoughby again.

ELINOR DASHWOOD: Marianne! You pledged yourself to Colonel Brandon at the end of the book.

MARIANNE DASHWOOD: One never forgets one’s first love, Elinor.


HARRIET SMITH: Oh, that dog Willoughby! He could rescue me in the rain any old day of the week. (begins to fan vigorously)

EMMA WOODHO– USE: (whispers) Harriet, you must govern yourself.

ELIZABETH BENNET: I would love for Mrs. Hahn to choose one of you for this story, for she has placed me in the worst predicament. I am secretly engaged to Mr. Darcy’s worst enemy!

(Collective horrified intake of breath by all the ladies)


CATHERINE MORLAND: Why would you ever become engaged to Mr. Wickham? Why, he’s as wicked as Frederick Tilney!

ELIZABETH ELLIOT: The idea is preposterous! I could sooner envision some addle-brained man proposing to my sister Anne. (begins to laugh) Insupportable!


HARRIET SMITH: (to Emma) But doesn’t that smoking-hot dude Wentworth marry Anne at the end of Persuasion?

EMMA WOODHO– USE: (whispers) Smoking-hot dude? Harriet, have you lost all sense of decorum?

HARRIET SMITH: No more so than Elizabeth Bennet if she gets engaged to Mr. Wickham. And I thought she was supposed to be the brain among this bunch.

EMMA WOODHO– USE: We do not use brain in that manner, dear, and we most certainly do not refer to these ladies as a bunch! Miss Bennet, knowing Mr. Wickham’s character, how could you do such a thing?

 MARIANNE DASHWOOD: As I recall, in Miss Austen’s book, Miss Elizabeth thinks quite highly of Mr. Wickham for a good part of the story. She is not aware of his unsavory character until she reads Mr. Darcy’s letter.

CATHERINE MORLAND: I had forgotten that, but you are correct, Miss Dashwood. For the longest time, I thought Mr. Wickham good and Mr. Darcy horrid!


ELIZABETH ELLIOT: As I recall, you were never clever, Miss Morland. Do you not have a penchant for seeing ghosts?

ELINOR DASHWOOD: This is too much to bear, Miss Bennet. It is almost as bad as your affection for that dreadful highwayman in The Journey.

ELIZABETH BENNET: I never felt any affection for Nate Morgan! My feelings were naught but sympathy.

HARRIET SMITH: Well, I would have shimmied ‘round a pole all night for that highwayman! At first glance of that scar on his face, I was a goner! I bet that scar was in the form of a Z as though Zorro himself slashed his cheek.

EMMA WOODHO– USE: (hisses at Harriet) Really, Harriet! Shimmied around a pole? Goner? Of what are you speaking?


HARRIET SMITH: Zorro was this swash-buckling, hot-blooded blade from Mexico or Spain or somewhere in the south. Believe me, he was right down your alley, Miss Morland.

ELINOR DASHWOOD: May I pour you some more tea, Miss Smith?

EMMA WOODHO– USE: By all means, have some tea, dear, a full cup. And let us speak of more suitable subjects.

ELIZABETH ELLIOT: I would ask Miss Elizabeth more about this new book. Surely, your attachment to Mr. Wickham destroys Mr. Darcy’s interest in you, does it not? (leans forward) Tell me, is the gentleman from Derbyshire…uh…available now?

ELIZABETH BENNET: I am sworn to secrecy, but I will say that in untold numbers of books Mr. Darcy has never yet given up his quest for my hand.


MARIANNE DASHWOOD: His constancy is astounding! It does not seem to matter what writers do to him, his passion for you refuses to die―not like Willoughby who dropped me like a hot coal for that rich witch.

ELINOR DASHWOOD: Marianne, must you employ such indelicate speech?

MARIANNE DASHWOOD: Forgive me, ladies.

HARRIET SMITH: Nothing to forgive, Miss Marianne. I like the way you speak, and speaking of Zorro―

EMMA WOODHO– USE: Must we, dear?

HARRIET SMITH: I have a theory. Men from the southern countries seem to be filled with more than their share of untamed desire.

ELINOR DASHWOOD: What is untamed desire?

MARIANNE DASHWOOD: Oh, Elinor! Have you never read Byron?

EMMA WOODHO– USE: Is today not a lovely day?

ELIZABETH ELLIOT: Most lovely. Now, getting back to Miss Smith’s theory, I would like to hear more.

EMMA WOODHO– USE: I fear you shall regret it.

ELIZABETH ELLIOT: Can you give us another example to support your theory, Miss Smith?

HARRIET SMITH: Of course! Just look at Rhett Butler.


HARRIET SMITH: Butler, Catherine, Butler. He hailed from the colonies down in the old south, and what he did to Scarlett O’Hara―ooh, girl! It would curl your hair! I think it’s the heat from those southern nights that gives men such vigor. Now, if we moved our men to the south of England, perhaps―

EMMA WOODHO– USE: Harriet, do have a biscuit, perhaps two or three!


ELIZABETH ELLIOT: Miss Bennet, does Mrs. Hahn ever write books about these southern men of whom Miss Smith speaks? If so, I might be persuaded to sacrifice myself to fill their needs…that is, to serve as the heroine. Naturally, you understand, I make this offer with great, great reluctance.

ELIZABETH BENNET: Unfortunately, Mrs. Hahn appears to be fixed upon Mr. Darcy and me, Miss Elliot. She delights in making us suffer repeatedly.

CATHERINE MORLAND: At least tell us that Mr. Darcy succeeds in disentangling you from this secret betrothal.

ELIZABETH BENNET: I can tell you but one truth―Mrs. Hahn’s previous books had happy endings. As for The Secret Betrothal, you shall have to read it for yourself.

The Secret Betrothal

HARRIET SMITH: Well, my money’s on dishy Mr. Darcy, but if he came up against Zorro or Mr. Butler―oh, just imagine all three at one time―I’d probably wet myself right here in front of everyone!

EMMA WOODHO– USE: (rises) Harriet, come! Let us bid our farewells. (aside to Harriet as they hurriedly depart) Really, Harriet, I cannot take you anywhere!

All of us who love Pride and Prejudice, have read the book, seen the movies, and read countless variations encounter difficulty at the thought of Elizabeth Bennet preferring Wickham to Darcy. If possible, however, think back to the very first time you read the book. Can you remember how long you thought Wickham was a good man and Darcy a villain, or did you ever? I’d love to hear your comments.

 Oh, I love it, Jan!  Can’t wait to read The Secret Betrothal!  (And yes, Harriet is quite right about men from southern countries…they are the best! ;))



Michele and the lovely people at Meryton Press have kindly donated 1 paperback and 1 digital copy of  The Secret Betrothal for me to giveaway to 2 lucky winners!  Woot Woot!

The Secret Betrothal  The Secret Betrothal

To enter this giveaway leave a comment, some love, or an answer to Jan’s question below!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Meryton Press!
  • This giveaway ends March 17th!
Follow My Reviews!

No spam guarantee.

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

  57 Responses to “Guest Post + Giveaway with Author Jan Hahn”


    Well, that was well worth the read! LOL Jan, that was hilarious!! Poor Miss Woodhouse, trying to curb Miss Smith’s tongue! 😀 I love your stories, as you know, but based on this I must admit I’d love to read a story from you that involves a crossover with another of Jane Austen’s books!

    As for being taken in by Wickham and believing Darcy to be a thoroughly unpleasant man who had no interest in Elizabeth – I was totally taken in on my first reading! In my defence, I was only 15 at the time! I did a Blog post about this last year which admitted I was as shocked as Elizabeth when the first proposal came! Big sigh – you can never recapture that moment, can you?


    Now that was funny!
    I would love to win a paperback (don’t have an e-reader). I really loved Jan’s previous two books, so this is a must-read for me!


    Ooo, secretly engaged to Wickham. Given get declaration only to marry because of love she must have been pretty far gone over him to become secretly engaged. The scandal! How will Mr. Darcy overcome this obstacle. I must find out.


    I don’t know what it was about Wickham I never fell for his “charm”. I just never saw it from the very beginning I loved Darcy. Thanks for the giveaway!!


    I first read and fell in love with P&P 41 years ago so I really cant remember when I started to distrust WIckham. I do know I fell for Mr Darcy quite early on because I too was shy and uncomfortable being 16 and living on a farm. This book sounds like a good read. Thanks for the giveaway!


    I really enjoyed the post. So creative. I would love to find out more about the secret engagement. Good luck with your book.


    I can’t believe that Lizzy is engaged to Wickham, so will have to read it to find out why and how it is all resolved which I presume it will be. The very first time I read the book (I think it was at the dawn of time or when I was about 14) was as a class read back at Secondary School and I can’t remember that far back.



    I always thought Darcy was shy & uncomfortable with everyone talking about how much he was worth. Can’t wait for it to be released for the NOOK.


    Ah, Cassandra! Like you, I thought Wickham was the man and Darcy a snob for quite a while when I first read the book ages and ages ago. I must have been about 15 like you. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Thanks for your comment. I think a crossover would be fun to write.


    Good luck with the drawing, arjanne and Amanda, and thanks so much for your comments!


    I’ll bet you’re good at solving mysteries, Tresha, or at least you have excellent radar against bad boys. Good luck with the giveaway and thanks for your comments.


    Lizzy? Wickham? Oh, yes please! What a delicious story to which I very much look forward. Thank you so much!


    Loved the post and chuckled all the way through! Poor Emma trying to rein in Harriett! Poor Elizabeth for being secretly betrothed…must find out how that happened. As for my first reaction to Wickham, he was just too smooth for my liking. Thank you for the giveaway!


    Theresa and Deborah, I see you both identify with the shy Darcy, so it’s no wonder you felt compassion toward him early on. Too bad Elizabeth didn’t, but then we wouldn’t have had our story. Thank you for your lovely comments and good luck with the giveaway.


    Thank you for your comments, Vesper, and good luck with the giveaway. You’re not the only one who has to prod your memory to recall the first time you read Pride and Prejudice. I can hardly remember when it wasn’t a major part of my life. Too many years have gone by.


    Thank you for your sweet comments, Lilyane! Good luck with the giveaway.


    Another reader with natural radar against smooth rakes – good for you, Carole! Thank you so much for your comments, and good luck with the giveaway.


    Loved this “conversation” among Jane Austen characters! And I know I will love
    your new book too.
    Since I was 13 when I first read P&P, I
    didn’t like Darcy much and had to learn
    to like him along with Elizabeth.


    Delightful post, Jan. The repertoire was highly entertaining and had me laughing. Harriet Smith was a jewel!

    I agree that we tend to forget how long it took Elizabeth to realize that her usually astute character readings were actually reversed. I remember (barely, lol) thinking Wickham was the good guy and Darcy was arrogant. Once I realized the truth, it was then difficult to ever see Darcy in that manner again, and certainly more difficult, if not impossible, to see Wickham as anything other than a rake and an evil one at that! Add Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, (or Matthew Macfadyen) to the picture and I am a hopeless romantic for Mr. Darcy.

    Don’t enter me in the giveaway, Meredith, as I already have the book! I loved it as ‘The Engagement’ when I read first read it but loved this new and revised ‘The Secret Betrothal’ even better!

    Thanks, ladies, for a fun post!


    I’ve read the book so please do NOT enter me in the giveaway. Would I like you to write a continuation of your conversation above? Absolutely. A whole novel’s worth.


    I cannot quite remember exactly what I thought but I did think straight away Mr Wickham is very quick to dish out the dirt on Darcy something’s not right! The little tete-a-tete was hilarious! Thanks for the giveaway I have just finished the Secret Betrothal on Kindle but am not adverse to winning a paper copy to add to the other Jan Hahn’s on my bookshelf ! I loved it thanks for another great read Jan (The journey is my favourite of all three)


    It was excellent, Jan. Harriet was the only modern girl among the ladies and she contributed many of the lol moments.

    When I first read P&P many years ago, I also thought Wickham is good and Darcy is the anti-hero. Well the tables were turned after reading Darcy’s letter and like Elizabeth I began to open my eyes to the truth.


    I must be a pessimist. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with wickham so I never really liked him. I loved your tea party above. I’m so shocked about wickham and Lizzie. Must be a great story to unfold. Like the others I have read your other novels. Congrats on another book published. I would love to read this one.


    What I remember was that Darcy’s proposal stunned me. There were hints he liked Elizabeth, but I had no idea he was such a goner. I think I knew Wickham was a silver-tongued devil but again, not as bad as we discover. What I recall from “The Secret Engagement” is that we find that out earlier, but it’s already too late. I love angst, and I know that story had lots, and now with your revisions and additions, I can’t help imagining a delicious read.

    Now to that little tea party. Jan, I think you kidnapped a writer from for Harriet Smith’s lines. Or at least from the mall. Loved the interplay and cross-references between books (nearly wrote cross-dressing there–someone take that plot bunny and run with it!) The idea of writing other than a P&P is a bit scary, since I know it well, and would have to do my homework to tackle another. I admire those who’ve done it. I think I’ll keep it at that. But it would be fun to do something with Elizabeth Elliott.


    Cutest darn posting I’ve yet to read! I would expect nothing less from the incomparable Jan Hahn! I’ve read the this– and loved it! Even improved from what she had originally written as The Engagement… if you can imagine that!


    This was such a funny piece to read! Harriet especially 🙂

    I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was about 14 or 15 but I am a naturally suspicious person I think, I took Wickham’s story with a pinch of salt, thought it was fishy that he was pouring all that out to a complete stranger. Plus there are three sides to every story, your side, my side, and the truth, which lies somewhere in between!

    Please don’t enter me for the giveaway as I was lucky enough to win a copy. I’m looking forward to reading it when it arrives, although it sounds like it could be angsty, have to make sure I’m feeling brave!


    Your little “tea party” certainly whetted my appetite for The Secret Betrothal! I loved your previous books and can’t wait to read this one. I do love me some good angst so this sounds right up my alley!


    Thank you for your kind comments, ladysusan, Janet, Tamara, Luthien, Suzan, Suzan Lauder, and Ceri! I’m amazed at how many of you suspected Wickham from the start, but I shouldn’t be. Jane Austen readers are the smartest readers around!


    I have never liked Wickham, he was always so slimy, until I saw Lost in Austen. That changed it for me, seeing the nice side of him. I really loved his character in that movie.


    I loved Emma Woodhouse’s comments to Miss Smith! I always thought that Darcy was a first rate snob and could easily see why Elizabeth was drawn to Wickham and his juicy gossip regarding Darcy. Thank you for the giveaway. I enjoyed Jan Hahn’s previous books and know that I shall also enjoy this one. So, how does Elizabeth get herself out of this predicament?


    I love this, having all the ladies of Austen’s world come together discussing men. Hahn does a great job in capturing the personalities of each lady. I am very looking forwarding to reading the Secret Betrothal.


    That was such a funny post! How fun would it be to sit in a room with all those ladies. I’ve often wished I could go back and read P&P with a blank slate, for the first time again. I saw the 95 film before I read the book, but I think I pretty much already knew that Darcy was the good guy.


    congrats to Jan & continued success!!!
    a definite ‘add’ to my Wish List!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!


    This is the best “interview” yet! Deep down I think Harriet speaks for us all. Let’s be honest, ladies!
    I don’t remember what I thought of Wickham at my first reading. Too long ago (I’m 68). I’d like to think I at least didn’t totally trust him. Too many confidences at first meeting.
    Ms. Hahn, I enjoyed your An Arranged Marriage and The Journey very much. I greatly look forward to The Secret Betrothal!
    Thank you for the giveaway!
    Catherine Commons


    Jan, your book Arranged Marriage is one of my all time favorites. Anything written by you goes on my tp-read shelf!


    That was a fun conversation to follow! We definitely need some crossover retellings now that I’ve enjoyed this ladies’ tea. LOL, Meredith! Yes, you would be in trouble with Mr. Bingley if you didn’t like the southern men.

    As to Wickham, I never really liked him. I confess to mistaking Willoughby, but Wickham’s first time meeting Lizzy and dishing all the bad on Darcy just rang warning bells with me.

    I look forward to reading with this unique premise about the secret engagement in the book. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.


    Great conversation Jan, very amusing! 🙂


    What a fun post! Congrats for your new release, Jan, I was looking forward to that. I was familiar with the outline of the story from some time back, and it’s great to see it published, AND under such a glorious cover! You and Janet have surpassed yourselves 🙂


    Thank you so much for all your varied comments, Joy, Christina, Gail, Robyn, Eva, Marcia, Monica, Cyn209, Catherine, Ginger, Sophia Rose, Brenda, and Joana! I enjoyed every one of them. Joy, I can’t imagine a novel with all those ladies in it – what chaos! Eva, your response to Wickham and Darcy was the same as mine. Guess we both like that juice gossip about rich men. Monica, if I had seen the 1995 film before reading the book, I’d definitely think Darcy the good guy. Colin Firth was way too handsome to be evil! And Joana, I agree that Janet Taylor did a fantastic job with both the front and back covers for my book!


    I remember watching P&P (1995) early on and thinking Wickham was the man for Lizzy. He was handsome and so attentive. Completely unlike Darcy! But yet, there was always something about Darcy! And then she saw Pemberly and the wet shirt! My absolute favorite part of that movie is when she is playing the piano and his eyes light up! I must have watched that so many times! You knew he was “the one”. Thank goodness Wickham made Lizzy’s choice so easy! I have to admit, I have said the words to myself about ex-boyfriends, “Go, go. I would not have you back again.” I know, I’m an Austen nerd! 🙂


    Boy, was that clever or what? Thanks for the give-away opportunity. I’ll have to admit also that I thought Mr. Wickham came along to rescue Elizabeth Bennet from that stiff-necked boorish Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen did a great job of diverting me off the trail.


    This was hilarious. It made me want to make a video like the one called “The Real Housewives of Jane Austen!” I cannot remember if I ever liked Mr. Wickham because it was too long ago. However, he possesses an amazing talent to enchant the ladies. He was very handsome and had a way with words like no other. We know that because kept Georgiana & Elizabeth entranced for quite sometime. When I started to think about the story of this book I thought of Willoughby, Marianne and Col. Brandon. There are, of course, many differences between the characters but at first Marianne dislikes Col. Brandon and thinks the world of Willoughby. I just hope that Elizabeth is not as invested in the relationship as Marianne was. I could not bear it!!! Be still, my heart because I want to read this book. Thanks, Jan Hahn, for one more adventure! I think it no book will beat “An Arranged Marriage” but I do love your tales.


    I honestly can’t remember ever thinking Darcy to be the villain. But, I’ll admit, at first I thought he was just an insufferable and extremely rude minor character and then I proceeded further with the book. We all know how that ends!
    Really looking forward to the book! Sounds fun!


    Thank you for this delightful piece of tea party crossover!:) I particularly liked “It does not seem to matter what writers do to him [Darcy], his passion for you [Elizabeth Bennet] refuses to die” part:)))) Really, Austenesque writers are very creative in finding new ways to “torture” Darcy on his path to Lizzy and happiness. And it is great to be certain that in any case and any scenario Darcy and Lizzy will be together.

    I liked An Arranged Marriage very much and I enjoyed The Journey as well. So for me the Secret Betrothal is something to look forward to. Thank you for wonderful post and thank you for the opportunity to win new book! If I’m very-very lucky, I would prefer ebook (crossing fingers) >_< .


    Very entertaining “interview” with some great comments by the “participants”! To answer the question: I always thought Wickham a devious character and considered Darcy to be much misunderstood. Then again, when reading Coriolanus I could never understand why everyone hated him; his superiority to others seemed totally clear to me. Guess I’ve always been hardwired toward the Darcy’s of this world!
    Sounds like an interesting book which I would love to read!


    You’re writing has fulfilled childhood longing! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to cross over her own novels. You did a fantastic job capturing the essence of the characters!


    Yes please!


    Thank you for this post. :). As for Darcy and Wickham, I have always thought one as good and the other a cad. I will leave it to you to guess which is which.


    What great comments from D Rudy, Jeffrey, Rita, Tanvi, Oloore, Regina, Leilani, and Rachel! Thank you so much! Regina, I wish I shared your hardwiring trait. I confess I kissed Wickham before I discovered Darcy. And D Rudy, I love “the look.” In fact, I have beautiful coffee mugs with Darcy and Lizzy’s looks from that scene made by Janet Taylor. Nothing like starting off the morning sharing my coffee with Mr. Darcy!


    That was quite an entertaining interview! Any plans to write a crossover, Ms Hahn? I’d love to read more with our favorite heroines all together.

    I really enjoyed The Journey, one of my faves, so even though Lizzy gets herself engaged to such an unworthy man, I’m eager to read this one.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


    I have really enjoyed Jan’s other books so this is a must read for me but I have to admit the idea of Lizzy with Wickham makes me cringe!! I never fell for him “too smooth” and am always loyal to the idea that Darcy is the one for Lizzy. I am excited to see how this story ends:)


    Thank you for your comments, Kneyda, Heather, and Joy! I enjoyed your thoughts on Wickham and Darcy. As for plans to write a crossover, Heather, right now I don’t have any. I have fun with these little tea parties, but I’d have to give some serious thought to writing a true crossover.


    I thought that was a fun post. I like things like that. If I win, put me down for the paperback copy, as I can’t do e-books.


    Thank you, Michelle! I’m glad you liked the post. And I’m with you regarding paperbacks. I’d much rather take an actual book to bed than a screen. It’s not as cold. Good luck with the giveaway.


      I have to say. I felt the same way about ebooks. But as I am an insomniac. With the screen on my Nook turned down. I don’t have to either turn on a light ( which would wake my husband) or leave my bed (and freeze in the process {which I used to do} to pass this time ( it is at least 6 out of 7 nights during the week I don’t sleep). So to me the ereader (in my case the Nook) is the best thing that had ever happened. AlthoughI love actual books and own over a thousand.


    I loved this! Made me laugh the whole way through! Very clever indeed. I’d love to win a paperback, as I don’t have an e-reader (nor do I ever intend to succumb to such evil), but even if I don’t win, this book is definitely going on my TBR list. Thank you!

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