Wednesday, August 27, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ August 27, 2014


W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions. 


  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?


What am I currently reading? I'm currently reading  
The Giver by Lois Lowry. I'm only about four chapters in, but it's good so far.







What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan M. James. It was really good! I hear they are making a sequel! I'll be reading it if they do!






I also read Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally. I really enjoyed this quick read! It was one of those stories that sticks with you for a while. I would put this YA in with We are the Goldens (my review) and The Truth About Alice (my review). Oh, and I just noticed it's a bargain book on Amazon for only $3.60 for a paperback! 






What do I think I'll read next? I think I'm going to read The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen by Shannon Winslow. It sounds so good! Shannon is guest posting on my blog right now and is giving away a copy of her new book. Check it out here.





FTC Disclaimer: Book links are to Amazon. I'm an Amazon Associate and should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!


What are you reading? I'd love to hear! :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen ~ Virtual Book Tour + GIVEAWAY!

Hey Everyone! I'm so happy to welcome Shannon Winslow to So little time...! She is here to talk about her new book The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen!  

(Make sure you read all the way to the bottom for an awesome giveaway!)




Thanks so much, Candy, for inviting me to stop off here on my tour celebrating the debut of my new book, The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen.

In Jane Austen’s day, writing a good letter was a skill every accomplished young lady needed to master. And she herself, judging from the surviving examples, made sure that hers entertained as well as informed. (Read them sometime if you haven’t already.)

Of course, the letters Jane Austen wrote with which we’re most familiar are the ones she transcribed on behalf of the characters of her novels. Probably the two most memorable examples are the letter Darcy wrote to Elizabeth following his failed proposal midway through Pride and Prejudice, and Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne near the end of Persuasion. Much as we all love Mr. Darcy, I believe we must give the nod to the other gentleman here. In case you’ve forgotten…

You pierce my soul I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that  such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been; weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant…

Did I hear a collective sigh, ladies? Was there ever a more poignant plea for the ultimate consummation of a long-thwarted love? I think not.

So imagine how excited I was to be able to incorporate this letter into my novel! Since in it the author herself tells “the story behind the story” of Persuasion – how her secret, life-long romance with the dashing Captain Devereaux inspired what she wrote for Anne and Captain Wentworth – it only made sense that something as important as “the letter” had its origins in her life as well. 

The idea for this novel had been rolling around in my brain for a long time. Jane Austen took care that all her heroines found romance and a happy ending. I figured she deserved the same. The problem was how to develop that concept within the framework of her recorded life.

Here too, letters play a role. Cassandra Austen, according to which of Jane’s letters she preserved for posterity and which ones she destroyed, became the filter through which we have received much of our information. What we are told about her sister is only what Cassandra wanted us to know or believe. So what was in the letters Cassandra burned, I wondered? What didn’t she want us to know, and why? Intriguing possibilities. 

This new novel contains seven letters including Captain Devereaux’s to Jane (which ultimately inspired the one above). Here is that letter, edited to remove spoilers: 

My Dear Miss Austen,
      Please excuse the extreme liberty I take in writing to you directly, but I must speak by such means as are within my reach. I would come to you in person this instant if I could, but my ship sails with the tide, and who knows when my next chance might be?... 
      I feel compelled to say it once more, now that I am at liberty to speak openly. The fault has been mine, wholly mine. Had I done as I ought when I first met you in Sidmouth (or even sought you out before that, as soon as I had established my fortune – dear God, how I wish I had done so!), none of this would have happened…
     …And yet, by some miracle, purely by the grace of God, I have been given leave to hope that things may still be put right. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings as we once expressed and later revived, are now gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it four years and a half ago. I have loved none but you, Jane. Unjust I may have been. Weak and resentful I know that I have been, but never inconstant. 
      You said last September that you had forgiven me with all your heart. Too good, too excellent creature! Is it possible that your heart could do still more? Could you persuade it to love me again?
     For you alone I now think and plan. For you alone I shall fight and return. The dream that you may then, at long last, be my wife – this must sustain me. I go now, uncertain of my fate. Do us justice, my darling. Consider that there is indeed true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in… -PD

Of this missive, Jane later writes in her private journal: 

I would not be convinced to part with that treasured letter for any price. It is to this day my most cherished possession. Because of it, I know I was once well and truly loved by a man of superior worth. That can never be taken from me. 

Thinking about what’s happened in the story up to this point, I can barely read this without tearing up, even now. But this is not the end. Jane will receive at least one more, very important letter.

Separations can be painful. But, when you think about it, they are responsible for the creation of all treasured letters – in Jane Austen’s day as well as for some of us. I still have a lovely bundle my husband wrote to me while we were dating. If we hadn’t been kept apart by circumstances, however, sending them would have been unnecessary.

Now – due to our easy access to cheap phone service, email, and Skype – the art of letter writing seems to be dying, and perhaps some of the romance with it. What do you think? Can an email be as romantic as a hand-written letter? Do you have a bundle of saved love letters too, or a story about one? Do you agree that Captain Wentworth’s letter is unsurpassed in all Austendom (or beyond)? What is your personal favorite and why?  


For every fan who has wished Jane Austen herself might have enjoyed the romance and happy ending she so carefully crafted for all her heroines…

The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen
By Shannon Winslow

What if the tale Jane Austen told in her last, most poignant novel was actually inspired by momentous events in her own life? Did she in fact intend Persuasion to stand forever in homage to her one true love?

While creating Persuasion, Jane Austen also kept a private journal in which she recorded the story behind the story – her real-life romance with a navy captain of her own. The parallel could only go so far, however. As author of her characters’ lives, but not her own, Jane Austen made sure to fashion a second chance and happy ending for Anne and Captain Wentworth. Then, with her novel complete and her health failing, Jane prepared her simple will and resigned herself to never seeing the love of her life again. Yet fate, it seems, wasn’t quite finished with her. Nor was Captain Devereaux. 

The official record says that Jane Austen died at 41, having never been married. But what if that’s only what she wanted people to believe? It’s time she, through her own private journal, revealed the rest of her story.

Amazon  •  B&N  •  goodreads


* * * * *



About the Author:

Author Shannon Winslow specializes in fiction for fans of Jane Austen. Her popular debut novel, The Darcys of Pemberley, immediately established her place in the genre, being particularly praised for the author’s authentic Austenesque style and faithfulness to the original characters. For Myself Alone (a stand-alone Austen-inspired story) followed. Then last year Return to Longbourn wrapped up Winslow's Pride and Prejudice saga, forming a trilogy when added to the original novel and her previous sequel. Now she has given us a “what if” story starring Jane Austen herself. In The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, that famous author tells her own tale of lost love, second chances, and finding her happy ending.

Her two sons grown, Ms. Winslow lives with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier.


Connect with Shannon Winslow



I love this! Letter writing is a dying art. I can't wait to hear what you all think, and if you have any love letters of your own! 


~ ~ ~ GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~



Giveaway time!! I'm super excited! Shannon Wilslow has generously offered to giveaway one SIGNED paperback (US only) and two e-books (Kindle or Nook ~ Open Internationally) of 
The Persuasion of Miss Austen

Thank you, Shannon!

  • One person will win a SIGNED paperback of The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen! (US only)
  • Two people will win an e-copy (Kindle or Nook) of The Persuasion on Miss Jane Austen! (Open Internationally)
  • Last day to enter: September 1, 2014
Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please, leave a comment! We'd love to hear from you! Remember to enter the giveaway you MUST fill out the Rafflecopter above. Please don't leave your email in the comments. If you need any help entering, email me! Just click on the icon at the top of the sidebar. Thanks! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

W... W... W... Wednesdays ~ August 20, 2014


W... W... W... Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. To play along, just answer the following questions:


  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?



What am I currently reading?  I'm currently reading Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James. I don't usually read paranormal stories, but I'm really enjoying this story! 






What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Bet by Marilyn Brant. I loved this fun romantic comedy! Being part of a bet Bingley makes doesn't sit to well with Jane, and they get off on the wrong foot right away! 






What do I think I'll read next? I'm going to try to read The Giver by Lois Lowry for reals this time! LOL! Unless, of course, I change my mind. ;) 


FTC Disclaimer: Book links are to Amazon. I'm an Amazon Associate and should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!



What are you reading? I'd love to hear! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Jane Austen's First Love GIVEAWAY ~ A SIGNED COPY

Hey Everyone! On Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to a book launch party for Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James! This was totally unplanned. I didn't know about the event until the day before. I asked my kids if they wanted to drive to Santa Monica, have lunch and then go to Barnes and Noble for the book launch. They said yes, so off we went. 

Syrie gave an enjoyable talk, and I learned more about her new book. For instance, it was interesting to hear that every character in Jane Austen's First Love was a real person! The picture on the cover is what Goodnestone really looks like. Syrie did so much research for this book, it is amazing really. Most of this information and more is in the Author's Afterword in the back of the book. Plus, there is an article in Jane Austen's Regency World about it.



Syrie read chapter one aloud in a lovely British accent! It was a delightful afternoon!



There was also a raffle, and I won a beautiful little book full of quotes from Jane's books called, The Jane Austen Companion to Life.




I decided while I was there might as well get a book to give to one of my readers! So, I grabbed an extra copy of Jane Austen's First Love and had Syrie sign it




If you miss it, you can read my review here










~ ~ ~ GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~


To enter the giveaway you must fill out the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment! Sorry, since I am mailing it myself, it's open to US only. Last day to enter is August 25, 2014. 


  • One person will win a signed paperback of Jane Austen's First Love.
  • US only.
  • Last day to enter: August 25, 2014.
Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please, leave a comment! We'd love to hear from you! Remember, to enter the giveaway you MUST fill out the Rafflecopter above. If you need any help entering, email me! Just click on the icon at the top of the sidebar. Thanks!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James ~ Book Tour & My Review




Hey Everyone! Today, I happy to be part of Jane Austen's First Love Virtual Book Tour! As part of the tour I am reviewing the book! Enjoy!




Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James 

Publication Date: August 5th, 2014 
Publisher: Berkley Trade 
Pages: 400 
Received: Paperback from the publisher for my honest review. 
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



"We went by Bifrons and I contemplated with a melancholy pleasure the abode of Him, on whom I once fondly doated." ~ Jane Austen

 
My Review:

In true Austen style, Syrie James weaves together a tale of a fifteen-year-old Jane in her new story, Jane Austen’s First Love. Inspired by a letter written by Jane Austen to her sister, Cassandra, and some true events, Syrie's imagination creates a lovely picture of when Jane first meets Edward Taylor, someone whom just may have been Jane Austen’s First Love

With the news of Edward Austen’s engagement to Miss Elizabeth Bridges, Jane, Cassandra, Charles and Mrs. Austen are off to Kent to join in the celebrations. First to Godmersham Park, the estate Edward is to inherit, and then on to Goodnestone Park, the estate where Elizabeth lives. Numerous activities, house parties and an Engagement Ball are planned for the coming weeks. Jane is very excited about this as she is not out yet, but will be able to attend the ball! And so Jane’s adventure begins…

On the way to Goodnestone Park, their carriage becomes stuck in the mud, and whom might her rescuer be? Edward Taylor! Jane’s first meeting with him is a swoon-worthy moment indeed! Learning he will also be included in the upcoming activities and Ball, Jane is delighted to find she will frequently be in his company. Not only does Jane fall in love, but she is challenged by Edward to see the world differently, to not be swayed by popular opinion but to be true to herself.

“He challenged me to try things which I might never otherwise have attempted, helped me to view the world a bit differently, and taught me the importance of thinking for and believing in myself.” p. 378

I liked seeing how Jane’s life is shaped by this visit. She learns valuable lessons about people and relationships, and that maybe she should not judge people too quickly. I loved seeing people who looked familiar. People from whom Jane might someday use as characters in her stories.

I found the beginning of the story a bit slow, but once Jane begins her match-making scheme I was all in! I loved it! When the rains began and they were all stuck inside, Jane smoothly convinces everyone into putting on the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She subtly suggests parts for the couples she thought belonged together. Not everything goes as Jane hopes and she finds herself in a spot of trouble. Quite possibly dashing some hopes of her own.

I really enjoyed Jane Austen’s First Love! It may have been a fictional story of a fifteen-year-old Jane, but she is as inquisitive and adventurous as I imagined her to be! I would highly recommend it to all Jane Austen fans!


FTC Disclaimer: I received an paperback of the story from the publisher for my honest review.

Buy at: Amazon • B&N
Add to goodreads!


FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provide, I will receive a small commission. Thanks! 


Connect with Syrie James


For a list of Book Tour site click here

Update! I am currently having a giveaway of Jane Austen's First Love! Click here to go to giveaway!

Any thoughts? I love you hear from you! 
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