Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank you to everyone who entered last week's giveaways!

Here are the winners - Congratulations!!!!

Gabriella - A signed copy of Effusions of Fancy
Lauren Gulde - Illustrated Letters of Jane Austen
Nancy Kelley - Illustrated copy of Persuasion
Amy B - A copy of Mrs Hurst Dancing
Issy - A signed copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth

I'm taking a little blogging break for the holidays - I'll be back in the New Year.
Happy Christmas everyone!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Austen Soirée at My Jane Austen Book Club

Happy Birthday Jane Austen! Read below for one of my favourite JA excerpts, and for a chance to win some free books and a free download. Then hop over to the next blog on the list for more treats - see below for further details.

Thank you very much to Maria Grazia of My Jane Austen Book Club for hosting this splendid event!!! It's wonderful to be a part of the Austen Soirée at My Jane Austen Book Club.

This was an impossible task - to find a passage from all of Jane Austen's writing that could be described as my favourite. There are so many excerpts that I could pick - there truly isn't one that I love above all others, but the following is particularly dear to my heart.

It's from Persuasion - chapter 19. I love the way Jane Austen lets us into Anne's head and we experience what Anne sees, hears and feels when she sees Captain Wentworth again.

   Mr. Elliot was attending his two cousins and Mrs. Clay. They were in Milsom Street. It began to rain, not much, but enough to make shelter desirable for women, and quite enough to make it very desirable for Miss Elliot to have the advantage of being conveyed home in Lady Dalrymple's carriage, which was seen waiting at a little distance; she, Anne, and Mrs. Clay, therefore, turned into Molland's, while Mr. Elliot stepped to Lady Dalrymple, to request her assistance. He soon joined them again, successful, of course: Lady Dalrymple would be most happy to take them home, and would call for them in a few minutes.
   Her ladyship's carriage was a barouche, and did not hold more than four with any comfort. Miss Carteret was with her mother; consequently it was not reasonable to expect accommodation for all the three Camden Place ladies. There could be no doubt as to Miss Elliot. Whoever suffered inconvenience, she must suffer none, but it occupied a little time to settle the point of civility between the other two. The rain was a mere trifle, and Anne was most sincere in preferring a walk with Mr. Elliot. But the rain was also a mere trifle to Mrs. Clay; she would hardly allow it even to drop at all, and her boots were so thick! much thicker than Miss Anne's; and, in short, her civility rendered her quite as anxious to be left to walk with Mr. Elliot as Anne could be, and it was discussed between them with a generosity so polite and so determined, that the others were obliged to settle it for them; Miss Elliot maintaining that Mrs. Clay had a little cold already, and Mr. Elliot deciding, on appeal, that his cousin Anne's boots were rather the thickest.
   It was fixed, accordingly, that Mrs. Clay should be of the party in the carriage; and they had just reached this point, when Anne, as she sat near the window, descried, most decidedly and distinctly, Captain Wentworth walking down the street.
   Her start was perceptible only to herself; but she instantly felt that she was the greatest simpleton in the world, the most unaccountable and absurd! For a few minutes she saw nothing before her.: it was all confusion. She was lost, and when she had scolded back her senses, she found the others still waiting for the carriage, and Mr. Elliot (always obliging) just setting off for Union Street on a commission of Mrs. Clay's.
   She now felt a great inclination to go to the outer door; she wanted to see if it rained. Why was she to suspect herself of another motive? Captain Wentworth must be out of sight. She left her seat, she would go; one half of her should not be always so much wiser than the other half, or always suspecting the other of being worse than it was. She would see if it rained. She was sent back, however, in a moment, by the entrance of Captain Wentworth himself, among a party of gentlemen and ladies, evidently his acquaintance, and whom he must have joined a little below Milsom Street. He was more obviously struck and confused by the sight of her than she had ever observed before; he looked quite red. For the first time since their renewed acquaintance, she felt that she was betraying the least sensibility of the two. She had the advantage of him in the preparation of the last few moments. All the overpowering, blinding, bewildering, first effects of strong surprise were over with her. Still, however, she had enough to feel! It was agitation, pain, pleasure -- a something between delight and misery.
   He spoke to her, and then turned away. The character of his manner was embarrassment. She could not have called it either cold or friendly, or anything so certainly as embarrassed.
   After a short interval, however, he came towards her and spoke again. Mutual enquiries on common subjects passed: neither of them, probably, much the wiser for what they heard, and Anne continuing fully sensible of his being less at ease than formerly. They had, by dint of being so very much together, got to speak to each other with a considerable portion of apparent indifference and calmness; but he could not do it now. Time had changed him, or Louisa had changed him. There was consciousness of some sort or other. He looked very well, not as if he had been suffering in health or spirits, and he talked of Uppercross, of the Musgroves, nay, even of Louisa, and had even a momentary look of his own arch significance as he named her; but yet it was Captain Wentworth not comfortable, not easy, not able to feign that he was.
   It did not surprise, but it grieved Anne to observe that Elizabeth would not know him. She saw that he saw Elizabeth, that Elizabeth saw him, that there was complete internal recognition on each side; she was convinced that he was ready to be acknowledged as an acquaintance, expecting it, and she had the pain of seeing her sister turn away with unalterable coldness.
   Lady Dalrymple's carriage, for which Miss Elliot was growing very impatient, now drew up; the servant came in to announce it. It was beginning to rain again, and altogether there was a delay, and a bustle, and a talking, which must make all the little crowd in the shop understand that Lady Dalrymple was calling to convey Miss Elliot. At last Miss Elliot and her friend, unattended but by the servant, (for there was no cousin returned), were walking off; and Captain Wentworth, watching them, turned again to Anne, and by manner, rather than words, was offering his services to her.
   "I am much obliged to you," was her answer, "but I am not going with them. The carriage would not accommodate so many. I walk: I prefer walking."
   "But it rains."
   "Oh! very little. Nothing that I regard."
   After a moment's pause, he said: "Though I came only yesterday, I have equipped myself properly for Bath already, you see" (pointing to a new umbrella); "I wish you would make use of it, if you are determined to walk; though I think it would be more prudent to let me get you a chair."
   She was very much obliged to him, but declined it all, repeating her conviction, that the rain would come to nothing at present, and adding, "I am only waiting for Mr. Elliot. He will be here in a moment, I am sure."
   She had hardly spoken the words when Mr. Elliot walked in. Captain Wentworth recollected him perfectly. There was no difference between him and the man who had stood on the steps at Lyme, admiring Anne as she passed, except in the air and look and manner of the privileged relation and friend. He came in with eagerness, appeared to see and think only of her, apologised for his stay, was grieved to have kept her waiting, and anxious to get her away without further loss of time, and before the rain increased; and in another moment they walked off together, her arm under his, a gentle and embarrassed glance, and a "Good morning to you!" being all that she had time for, as she passed away.


Thank you for visiting me on this special day! In celebration I am offering my Persuasion-inspired book, Searching for Captain Wentworth as a free download from Amazon for today only! I am also offering several giveaways - please leave a comment on the appropriate post in order to take part.

Giveaway of a signed copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth

Giveaway of a copy of Mrs Hurst Dancing - an illustrated book by a young Regency lady, Diana Sperling.

Giveaway of an illustrated copy of Persuasion by Jane Austen

Giveaway of a copy of My Dear Cassandra: The illustrated letters of Jane Austen

Giveaway of a choice of one of my novels

All competitions open for today only - winners announced tomorrow, Monday, 17th December 2012.

Do visit the other blogs participating - I know there are some lovely treats on offer!

Friday, December 14, 2012

All I want for Christmas Giveaway - Day 5

I have two gifts today to giveaway!
Here's the first for those lucky enough to own a Kindle:
SEARCHING FOR CAPTAIN WENTWORTH
Free on Kindle - December 16th - Jane Austen's Birthday!
This offer is only open for one day so to claim your free copy make sure you download it on the 16th


My second gift is a choice of any one of my books!
i.e Choose one copy of either Searching for Captain Wentworth, Mr Darcy's Secret, Willoughby's Return, Lydia Bennet's Story or Effusions of Fancy!

Let me know your preference in the comment box with a contact email. As before, the winners will be announced on Monday 17th December. Thank you for joining me this week with all your lovely comments!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

All I want for Christmas Giveaway - Day 4

Today's Christmas gift is another book! 

My Dear Cassandra: The Illustrated Letters of Jane Austen - Jane Austen, Penelope Hughes-Hallett, Elizabeth Drury

This is also a second-hand book and one of my favourites!



If you'd like to win this copy, please leave your name and a contact email below. Open internationally - winner announced Monday, 17th December! Please come back tomorrow for another gift! 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All I want for Christmas Giveaway - Day 3!



Today's present is an illustrated copy of Persuasion! This is another old book, published in 1950 it is illustrated throughout by Charles E Brock and is the very same book that features in Searching for Captain Wentworth. If you've read my book, you will know how excited Sophie is when she receives this as a gift. Sadly, this copy has lost its cover but, nevertheless, it is a lovely book with some stunning illustrations!

Happy Christmas!

If you'd like to win this copy, please leave your name and a contact email below. Open internationally - winner announced Monday, 17th December! Please come back tomorrow for another gift! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All I want for Christmas - Day 2 Giveaway!

Today's gift is a lovely book - Mrs Hurst Dancing and other scenes from Regency Life 1812-1823

This is an old book published in 1981 but it is beautiful with some stunning illustrations! There are seventy of them and they were painted by Diana Sperling between 1812 and 1823.


Di, as she was known in the family was born in 1791 and until she married lived with her parents, brothers and sister at Dynes Hall near Halstead in Essex.

 She loved to depict the daily events of the family - many are humorous and all are charming!
If you'd like to win this copy, please leave your name and a contact email below. Open internationally - winner announced Monday, 17th December! Please come back tomorrow for another gift! 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

All I want for Christmas - Giveaways!



Presenting: All I want for Christmas Giveaways!



I may not be able to supply any of the men above, but I am giving away Christmas goodies this week!



Today's present is a copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth - please leave your name and a contact email below to be in with a chance to win! Open Internationally - winner announced Monday 17th December! Please come back tomorrow for another gift.

Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Christmas Advent!

Advent is here and the countdown to Christmas has begun! I have begun my shopping which is very easy to do when you're surrounded by all the lovely shops in Bath.

Christmas is coming!


Bath is looking very festive with some new Christmas lights and one of my favourite sights is of this carriage and horses trotting through the streets. I've been sitting writing and all of a sudden the clip-clop of horses hooves can be heard outside my window - it's wonderfully atmospheric and transports you back in time immediately!
Carriage rides around Bath
One of my favourite items at this time of year is an advent calendar and I'm not talking chocolate ones. My favourite kind is the old-fashioned, traditional sort with an alpine scene or nativity and lots of glitter. I love opening the doors and discovering a new picture inside every day. Here's a link to one of the best and here's another - I've always loved them since I was a child!
If you're fond of e-cards, Jacquie Lawson have a wonderful selection that you can send and have an advent calendar that you can download on your desktop.


If you're thinking of Christmas shopping I hope you'll consider some Jane Austen inspired books for Christmas - Searching for Captain Wentworth is on special offer all through December on Amazon and in paperback format too on all sites including the UK and US!

Here's a lovely snippet from Persuasion which describes a wonderful family Christmas scene.


 Immediately surrounding Mrs. Musgrove were the little Harvilles, whom she was sedulously guarding from the tyranny of the two children from the Cottage, expressly arrived to amuse them. On one side was a table occupied by some chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the weight of brawn and cold pies, where riotous boys were holding high revel; the whole completed by a roaring Christmas fire, which seemed determined to he heard in spite of all the noise of the others. Charles and Mary also came in, of course, during their visit; and Mr. Musgrove made a point of paying his respects to Lady Russell, and sat down close to her for ten minutes, talking with a very raised voice, but from the clamour of the children on her knees, generally in vain. It was a fine family-piece.
   Anne, judging from her own temperament, would have deemed such a domestic hurricane a bad restorative of the nerves, which Louisa's illness must have so greatly shaken. But Mrs. Musgrove, who got Anne near her on purpose to thank her most cordially, again and again, for all her attentions to them, concluded a short recapitulation of what she had suffered herself, by observing, with a happy glance round the room, that after all she had gone through, nothing was so likely to do her good as a little quiet cheerfulness at home.
   Louisa was now recovering apace. Her mother could even think of her being able to join their party at home, before her brothers and sisters went to school again. The Harvilles had promised to come with her and stay at Uppercross whenever she returned. Captain Wentworth was gone for the present, to see his brother in Shropshire.
   "I hope I shall remember, in future," said Lady Russell, as soon as they were reseated in the carriage, "not to call at Uppercross in the Christmas holidays."


Happy Advent!