Aug 202018
 

Happy Monday, readers! I hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend! I am excited to welcome a new author to Austenesque Reviews today, Carolyn Miller! Carolyn, has written several Regency romances and is a fan of both Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. (She is definitely our kind of people!) Today Carolyn shares with us a little about her writing journey and how we can see some Jane Austen influences in her novels. 🙂

I like to think I’ve always been a fan of Jane Austen, but it’s not really true. (How scandalous!) But in fairness, I have to say I don’t think encouraging high schoolers to study Mansfield Park in necessarily the best introduction to appreciating the joys of Jane Austen. Fortunately, my librarian’s mother’s persistence in ensuring her daughters watched the films and TV adaptations of the 1990s helped bring Jane Austen’s books and the Regency era alive, and as I grew older I gained a new appreciation for the wit and mastery of the language, the way so much could be said in just a glance, and a love for the manners and general swoon-worthiness of big houses (!), fancy gardens (!), and heroes of good looks and great amiability. (Apart from Mr. Darcy’s initial frostiness, of course, but he is – and always will be – the exception!)

As someone who perhaps longed to live in these times a little too much I suppose it was inevitable that I would one day write a story based in the Regency era. My writing journey started with contemporary stories, after I watched the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics and wondered why an Australian girl was walking into the arena holding hands with a US athlete. What was their story? Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find out, so I made it up. Thus began a very long journey to publication as I honed my craft through entering online writing contests and taking on feedback, among which came the realization that US publishers aren’t so interested in stories with Australian characters or settings, so perhaps I should write something they were interested in: historical romance.

So I kept writing, a Regency romance this time, something I hoped could blend the wonderful wit and memorable characters I love in Georgette Heyer’s Regency-era novels, with the social mores and subtlety of Jane Austen, along with my own Australian sensibility, and desire to write stories offering hope. I kept entering contests and started finaling and eventually gained the attention of a US agent, who agreed to represent this little Aussie (yay!), and eventually found me a US publishing home (double yay!).

The Elusive Miss Ellison, an inspirational Regency romance with shades of Pride and Prejudice, became the first of my Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series, published by Kregel Publications. Last year was a wild ride with my author debut, then seeing two more books release, all while juggling writing, editing and learning more about the joys of marketing. A second series (Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope) is being published in 2018, with the first of these, Winning Miss Winthrop, releasing in March this year.

Winning Miss Winthrop is something of a homage to Persuasion, which vies with Pride and Prejudice as my favorite Jane Austen. I love the angst of poor Anne Elliot, the way the social niceties of the day force her to hide her pain as she suffers from the thoughtlessness of those around her, the way she patiently holds true to her values even as all hope (and love) seems lost. And how can you not love someone like Captain Wentworth, unable to ever find Anne’s equal – especially when he looks like Rupert Penry Jones?

I wanted to create a similar character to sweet Anne, and so Catherine Winthrop was born, the eldest daughter of a Baron, who, after a family tragedy, is led to scandal-breathing Bath, a masquerade, and many misunderstandings, before finally being reunited with the man she thought lost. Ah, true love…

In 2015 I was extremely blessed to visit my sister in England, managing to see several places I’ve only ever dreamed about—or ‘seen’ in books, films or TV- and of course, my first port of call had to be Bath. A visit to this World Heritage-listed town, filled with grand Georgian buildings and cobblestoned streets, helps understand the need for sedan chairs instead of carriages (many streets are steep), whilst ‘taking the waters’ at the Pump Room and seeing the Assembly rooms gives new insight into Austen’s references to such activities in her novels—and also adding greater authenticity to my own work, as does a visit to the Jane Austen Centre (and enjoying high tea there ‘with Mr. Darcy’). I have a page on my website about my time there: www.carolynmillerauthor.com/a-trip-to-bath which is a fun way to connect a little more with some of the scenes mentioned in Winning Miss Winthrop.

Here’s the blurb for Winning Miss Winthrop:

Catherine Winthrop is almost at her last prayers, rejected years ago by the man who stole her heart. When tragedy brings him back into her life, she must suffer further grief in silence, amid her family’s pain and hostility, which eventually sends her to seek solace in Bath. 

Jonathan Carlew might be wealthy, but the mystery surrounding his birth has shadowed his life, bringing fresh challenges as he takes on the Barony. Caught between appeasing the Winthrop family’s concerns and doing what he could to salvage their failing estate, he must also weigh the echoes of the past with the demands of his new responsibilities.

Two hearts must decide whether present speculation will condemn them to the dust of their memories, or if the whispers of forgiveness can provide freedom for the future. 

~~~

About the Author

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLanceyWinning Miss Winthrop and Miss Serena’s Secret, all available from Amazon, Book Depository, Koorong, etc.

Connect with Carolyn

website      facebook   ❧  pinterest   ❧  twitter      instagram

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Today Carolyn thoughtfully brings with her an ebook copy of Winning Miss Winthrop for me to give away to ONE lucky reader!!

To enter this giveaway, leave a question, a comment, or some love for Carolyn below!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Carolyn!
  • This giveaway ends August 27th!
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  28 Responses to “Guest Post + Giveaway with Author Carolyn Miller!!!”

  1.  

    We don’t meet many here from the other side of the world but I also have a fondness for the writer of some children’s books from there…Mem Fox. So happy to meet another Australian author. Thanks for sharing and from the chance to win.

  2.  

    Congratulations, Carolyn, on your books! I visited Bath for the first time last fall and, like you, was thrilled and excited to visit those places I had only “seen” in books. Did you visit 1 Royal Crescent while there? It’s a fascinating look at how the homes would have appeared back in Jane Austen’s day, complete with replications of their attire, accessories, hobbies and even meals.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway opportunity, Carolyn and Meredith! Enjoyed reading about Carolyn’s writing journey.

  3.  

    Congratulations on the release of your book. I like the premise and that it’s a homage of Persuasion as that is my favorite JA work.

  4.  

    Both books mentioned sound great. I’d love to read some or all of Carolyn’s books, and I’m really glad she came to Meredith’s blog today and told us her writing background. It’s always interesting to me how other people become introduced to and fans of Austen or Heyer, what their favorites are, and when they first were introduced to JAFF. Best of luck to you Carolyn. And as always, thank you Meredith.

  5.  

    Love any type of Jane Austen retelling, thank you for the chance to win!

  6.  

    Congratulations on your book! Thanks for the chance to win a copy! Lovely cover, too.

  7.  

    Hi there! I tried to go to Bath once when on one of my three trips to England, but we were driving and I guess we were on the wrong road. Anyway, we found what I think must have been the outskirts of town, but we didn’t get into Bath proper. I’ve always wanted to visit Australia too, but I think my traveling days are over due to my health. Not my reading days though! Thank you so much for the opportunity to win!

  8.  

    Your books sound wonderful, thanks for the chance to win one. I’m of the same mind as you, Pride and Prejudice along with Persuasion are my favorite Austen novels.

  9.  

    What an amazing post. Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on the launch of your book. Blessings. Thanks Meredith for sharing today and give a special hello to Mr. Bingley.

  10.  

    I have read Winning Miss Winthrop a few weeks ago and loved it! Can’t wait to read about Mrs Hale and Ms Serena .
    Don’t enter me in the giveaway as I’ve read the book on my kindle – just wanted to quickly share a few words of love for this book!

  11.  

    I’m so glad to be introduced to your writing, your books sound great.

  12.  

    Well, I have thoroughly enjoyed the TV shows from Australia that I have watched on streaming! I am so glad that you found a US publisher so your books could have a wider audience. I truly love how you have included your books to have a Austen nod. Thank you for the giveaway.

    •  

      I’ve watched a few Australian T.V. shows too. I get the DVD’s from the library (I also love British detective shows). I recently checked out The Doctor Blake Mysteries and I’ve also watched some of A Place to Call Home. Another one I’ve seen is Mr. and Mrs. Murder. On T.V. I watched a kids show: Mako Mermaids.

  13.  

    You will never be bored reading a Carolyn Miller novel. Her characters are very relatable, and they always have great wit!! Lady Carolyn is one of my favorite authors!! <3

  14.  

    So this is the first time hearing of you and now I am so excited to get a hold of your books! Thanks so much!

  15.  

    I have heard of this author before! I’ve seen her books on Hoopla – e-books and there are three on audio too. I think I found her when I was looking for other Regency books.

  16.  

    This looks neat! I’m excited to look into this one some more!

  17.  

    Sounds like good reading.

  18.  

    Thank you so much for sharing about your writing journey! Nice of you to do a giveaway.

  19.  

    Sorry for the duplicate comment….. having technology issues
    Please take it out before drawing

  20.  

    I’ve never been to England but it’s on my bucket list. I really need to find a copy of Persuasion too! I’m way behind on my British dramas! Thanks for for the chance to win!

  21.  

    What a beautiful cover. I’m looking forward to reading your book Carolyn. Thank you for the giveaway.

  22.  

    I’ve only recently discovered your books and I’m so happy to see this new one! I love historical fiction (especially clean historical fiction) and enjoy this time period immensely. Love your take on it!

  23.  

    Your books look perfectly lovely, Carolyn!! With my dear high school friend from California moving to Australia fifteen years ago, marrying an Aussie, becoming a dual citizen, and loving the Aussie lifestyle, I definitely have a soft spot for Aussie writers and even TV (Miss Fisher rocks!!).

    I hope to win a copy of your book, and I also hope to read them all–they sound amazing!! I especially love the “inspirational” edge; being an Anglican, I really love Regency stories set around the C of E worship. 😀

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

  24.  

    Great to know you through this guest post, Carolyn. I’ve not heard of you before until a few weeks ago when you were featured on My Jane Austen Book Club. Thanks for offering one of your books as a giveaway. Like you, I love Persuasion and P&P. I’ll be watching you and adding your books on my list.

  25.  

    How lovely to ‘meet’ an author from the other side of the world. Ten years ago, we had the good fortune to spend an extended holiday in your lovely country visiting some of my husband’s relatives. This was mainly in South Australia but we also had a week in New South Wales, seeing the sights of Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

    Persuasion vies with P&P as my favourite Jane Austen work so this book sounds right up my street! However, MY Captain Wentworth has to be Ciaran Hinds from the 1995 dramatisation, RPJ is very easy on the eye but just doesn’t look as though he’s spent years at sea without sunscreen, unless he had a secret stash of Factor 50 hidden away below decks!

  26.  

    Thanks so much everyone for your kind words! I’ve loved reading the various comments about your Australian connections 🙂 I hope you can enjoy reading ‘Winning Miss Winthrop’ one day soon! If you want to know more about the behind the scenes details of the book (and to find out about others I’ve written), please check out my website http://www.carolynmillerauthor.com

  27.  

    I love the fact that you are paying homage to the books rather than writing alternate stories with the same characters – that is a fresh take on JAFF. The Winthrop book looks amazing, I have always loved Persuasion (not that I don’t love all of them LOL). I am very interested in all of your books, thank you for sharing your story with us!

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