Jan 112019
 

Woot woot it is almost the weekend! And what better way to start my weekend the celebrate a new anthology release!! As you may have seen, I LOVE anthologies!! 😍And I love seasonal/holiday-inspired anthologies because thanks to these lovely authors you can celebrate the time of year with your reading, whatever the holiday may be! 🎄🌺🎃⛵️ What a great way to be in the spirit of the season! ❤️🥰 I’m so excited to see the Austen Anthologies series continue…(we thoroughly enjoyed their first short story collection – A Very Austen Christmas) and expand! Yay for new authors coming on board!

Today authors Laura Hile and Robin Helm stop by to share some tasty little samples of their novellas from their new anthology – A Very Austen Valentine!!

Here’s to Love, Happiness, and Friendship!

Love Makes the World Go Round is a song I sang as a young girl. How true this is! Romantic love is what Valentine’s Day is all about. But there is also friendship love. And friendship love is at the core of our A Very Austen anthologies. They are books built because of friendship.

As authors, we come from a variety of backgrounds (and even continents—Barbara lives in Ireland!). Even though most of us have not met in person, we are brought together by our love for Jane Austen and the Regency world of her novels.

Just like we are brought together with you!

The novellas in A Very Austen Valentine are each based on Jane Austen’s works. I find it remarkable that there is such diversity. Robin’s is pure romance, as adorable Elizabeth seeks to recapture her too-busy husband’s interest. Mandy’s is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, combined with characters from Sense and Sensibility. Wendi and Barbara take our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth through “but-what-if” misunderstandings and adventures. Susan turns back the clock for Persuasion’s Anne and Captain Wentworth. And my novella? Oh dear, what can I say? I bring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs together in a laughable Valentine mash-up.

I should add that the A Very Austen anthologies can be enjoyed by most any reader, from teen to grandma.

Just for you, I’ve written an extra scene from Sir Walter Takes a Wife. But wait, there’s more. We have an excerpt from Robin Helm’s romantic I Dream of You.

So grab a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy. Continue reading »

Jan 092019
 

Hi Friends! I am so excited to welcome back Abigail Reynolds to Austenesque Reviews today for several reasons…one being because she is Abigail Reynolds – and one of the first Austenesque authors I read that wrote variations (which completely blew my mind!). But the other reasons are because I know her newest book Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment is a little out of the norm for this genre and I’m eager to learn more about it! And because this new release of hers was quite popular in the Readers’ Choice Vote for 2018 Favorite Austenesque reads! Woot! Congrats, Abigail! I’m so happy readers are loving your new story! Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

How did I come to write a Pride & Prejudice variation with fantasy elements? Well, the explanation starts with a short excerpt from my previous book, Conceit & Concealment, of Darcy and Elizabeth meeting for the first time in Regency England occupied by Napoleon’s troops:

~~~

Darcy had loved springtime when his mother was alive. She had taught him the names of each spring flower in the Pemberley gardens, encouraged him to watch each stage of leaves unfolding, made wishes with him over the star-shaped wood anemones, and taken him on adventures in Pemberley’s magical bluebell wood. She had died in the springtime, too, just as the bluebells were fading away to nothing. And then there had been the terrible spring of 1805 which had cost him his father and more relatives and friends than he could count, as well as his freedom and his country.

Spring had once been a time of beginnings for him. Now it made him think of all he had lost.

At Pemberley he could gallop for miles over the empty moors, but Hertfordshire was more settled. He spotted a copse in the distance and made for that, hoping to find some semblance of untamed nature there. He skirted the edge until he found a path leading into it, but before he even entered the copse, a familiar floral scent transported him into the past. It was a bluebell wood.

On impulse, he dismounted and tied Hurricane’s reins to a tree. Ahead of him bluebells swayed in the dappled sunlight. He strode towards them as their almost otherworldly scent enveloped him, raising goose bumps on his skin. The spring green of the wood was the perfect frame for the sapphire flowers. Magic, his mother had called the bluebells.

His pace slowed. How long had it been since his last visit to a bluebell wood? He could not even recall. The bluebells seemed to dance around him with a ripple of laughter. But no – that was human laughter, and it was followed by a squeal of pain.

“That hurt, young man! Or young woman, if that is what you are.” A woman’s musical voice seemed part of the magic, drawing him towards it with a seductive enchantment of its own. Where was she, the woman of the rippling laughter? He searched for a side path through the flowers. His mother had taught him never to trample bluebells.

There it was, so faint it could barely be called a path, just grass dividing a sea of bluebells. Carefully he stepped along it.

He could see her now. Tendrils of dark chestnut hair escaped their binding to riot across her long neck in exuberant curls. She sat on the ground, her legs curled up beside her, and she was surrounded by… puppies? Yes, puppies, crawling over her lap, nipping at her skirts, and rolling over for petting. She picked one up and kissed its head. Fortunate puppy!

His lips curved. A poet would call her Titania, queen of the fairies, in the flesh. More woodland magic.

She must have heard his footsteps, or perhaps the yapping of a puppy alerted her, because she looked back over her shoulder. At the sight of him, she twisted around and scrambled backwards.

In the dappled sunlight, his Titania’s face was alive with energy, full of fine sparkling eyes and kissable lips.

And she was pointing a fully cocked pistol at him.

He took a step back and opened his hands to show they were empty. “I mean you no harm.” The sound of his own voice startled him.

“English?” Her voice was sterner now.

“Yes. I am visiting from Derbyshire. Or, if you prefer, I will say it – Theophilus Thistle, the thistle sifter, sifted a sieve full of unsifted thistles, thrusting three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.” It was the tongue twister no Frenchman could pronounce, no matter how accentless his English might be.

Her lips quirked, but she kept the pistol leveled at him. “Well, Theophilus Thistle from Derbyshire, why are you following me?”

“Because I was walking through an enchanted bluebell wood when I heard the dulcet tones of Titania, queen of the fairies, which bespells any mortal man.” He swept her a full court bow.

She chuckled. “Lovely words, but perhaps you should avoid sudden movements when I have a pistol trained on you.”

~~~

Continue reading »

Jan 072019
 

Pre-Teen Problems and Prejudice

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Author

TYPE OF NOVEL: Modern-day Pride and Prejudice, Novella

SYNOPSIS: Will Darcy needs help. His sister, Gianna, at the age of twelve, is on the brink of adolescence and experiencing all the lovely changes that go along with it. With no mother or female relations close by, Will feels ill-equipped to help Gianna through these uncharted waters. He turns to recent acquaintance, Elizabeth Bennet, who he knows has many younger sisters, to seek her help with Gianna while she is with him this summer. Little does he know that Elizabeth can’t stand him and thinks he is the most arrogant and unpleasant man of her acquaintance! Continue reading »