Thank you, everyone, for making this such fun, and for all the lovely words of encouragement here and elsewhere - it truly means the world to me! Tomorrow, I am a guest of Laura Hartness at Calico Critic - I hope you'll join me for a chat and a giveaway of Project Darcy!
I pretty much read Project Darcy in one sitting. Even though I knew at least how Jane Austen's own story would end, I loved spending time with Jane Odiwe's imagining of her again in that period, as well as being anxious to see where the modern-day characters would be at the end of the book - and who with! This was a highly enjoyable read for me because it had a bit of everything: sumptuous period detail - I can imagine that Jane Odiwe had fun imagining the interiors of Ashe, both in Jane Austen's time and in its more contemporary setting; seeing who the candidates for Jane Austen's characters were from her own circle of acquaintances and their modern-day counterparts; a good sprinkling of romance and pairings, including a glimpse into one of Jane Austen's own rumoured romances and the delicious puzzle of piecing all the connections together made Project Darcy for this reader.
Today's treat inspired a little scene in Project Darcy - Ellie has a vintage bag similar to the one below - I'd imagined Ellie's bag, but this one is similar in style, only with flowers and a short strap!
Ellie is getting ready for a party whilst she is staying near Steventon, at Ashe Rectory -
Half an hour later, Ellie was feeling refreshed for
having had a scented soak in the bath. She’d washed her hair and was now
standing in front of the wardrobe hanging her clothes, and trying to decide
what she was going to wear for the party. It was still warm and light so she
selected some cropped jeans and a short-sleeved cotton top, with a scoop neck
and embroidered pin tucked front. The detail made it a little bit more special
than the every day and to set it off, she picked a chunky necklace from her
jewellery roll with turquoise stones and silver beads threaded on a long
leather cord. Choosing a warm scarf in coral, scattered over with hummingbirds
and edged in silk fringe in case it got cooler later on, Ellie then added a
pair of canvas trainers to complete her outfit.
Jess knocked on the door. ‘I’ll just round up everyone
else so I’ll see you downstairs in a minute!’
Ellie shouted back that
she’d join them in a second and looked around for her bag. It was her
favourite, an antique bag that had belonged to her great-grandmother. Made of
black silk moiré, it was embellished with a bluebird and had a long silk strap.
She’d left it on the chest of drawers in front of the window next to a blue and
white jug and bowl. Dashing to fetch it, she was stopped in her tracks by the
sense of something or someone moving outside in the garden below.
If you'd like to own the little bag, please leave a comment below!
I'm so excited that launch day is here - I'm having a party over at Austenprose and there's a couple of giveaways so I hope you'll join me there!
I love setting a scene in my novels, and I've mentioned before how much I enjoyed writing and thinking about the girls' bedrooms in Project Darcy.
Jess's bedroom is a Regency haven with a French bed with buttoned silk upholstery - On the walls was a collection of silhouettes of people from past times.
The profiles of soldiers and debutantes looked across at one another from ebony
frames ranged around the marble mantelpiece. It looked as if it had been designed
with Jess in mind with its Regency furniture and vast portraits of ladies
dressed in white muslin.
Ellieloves anything vintage (how funny, that's just like me : ) ) - and her bedroom has an exquisite deco dressing table - A deco dressing table complete with a mirrored surface and a triptych
looking glass was topped with a selection of exquisite objects – a porcelain tray
and boxes for jewels, a Japanese fan, a silver hairbrush enamelled with blue as
vivid as a butterfly’s wing, and a cloisonné vase filled with old-fashioned
roses. When Ellie finds herself in Madame Lefroy's bedroom, she can't think where she is at first.
When I opened my eyes, I couldn’t think where I was
for a moment. I was sitting on a bed that looked nothing like the one I’d
collapsed onto earlier. This one was a four-poster, simply carved with reeded
motifs and dressed with drapes and swags of sprigged cotton. The panelled walls
were painted a dusky blue-grey which echoed the tones in the long curtains at
the floor-length windows. A chest of drawers and a dressing table were the only
other items of furniture, but the biggest clue to its owner lay in the
elaborate powdered wigs set on stands, the silver-topped scent bottles, and the
set of ivory-backed brushes, upon the dressing table. An open box of jewels
glinted in the candlelight, and I recognised one or two of Madame’s favourite
Rivière necklaces, one of amethysts, and the other of topaz.
Most people who know me, are aware that I love jewellery, and as it's such a special day for me today, I wanted to share some, as a way of saying thank you to all the wonderful people who make life so fabulous with their kind words and messages every day.
In celebration of the release of Project Darcy, I have two brooches to give away. They are both old pieces, one is Georgian and the other probably Victorian.
This is the Georgian brooch I am giving away - it is very small - half an inch or so, but perfect for a lapel or a scarf. The stones are paste and the backing pinchbeck, a form of brass made to look like gold, which was very popular in Georgian times. It has a long pin and c-clasp at the back.
The other heart-shaped brooch is probably Victorian, but quite Georgian in style - I love the pretty colour of the stones, which are paste, of course.
I hope you like them, and if you'd like one of them to be yours, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me about a favourite piece of jewellery that you own. The giveaway is open until Tuesday, November 19th 2013. Once you've done that, please visit me on Austenprose for more giveaways to celebrate my special day!
It's my Official Book Launch of Project Darcy tomorrow, November 5th, over at Laurel Ann Nattress's blog Austenprose so please check back then to read an exclusive excerpt from Project Darcy, and to see what we have on offer in the way of prizes and treats. I do hope you'll join me tomorrow for my very special day!
As you all know, Project Darcy is a novel inspired by Jane Austen's wonderful book, Pride and Prejudice, and as this is a very special year, celebrating 200 years, I thought you might like to have a chance of owning a collector's copy!
My first introduction to Jane Austen was through the film starring Greer Garson and Lawrence Olivier, many years ago, so I think it's very fitting that this little illustrated movie book should be my first prize.
Pride and Prejudice
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
"My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?"
Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.
"But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it."
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
"Do not you want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.
"You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."
Also on offer is one of my packs of six greetings cards, three of Steventon Rectory, three of Christmas at Steventon!
If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning this vintage book with a pack of Jane Austen Christmas cards, please leave a comment below. Names will be drawn from a hat - closing date for this competition is Sunday, 10th November - winner announced on Monday 11th November!
Don't forget to check back tomorrow for more goodies here and on Austenprose!
I'm so excited to announce that next week sees the start of my blog tour and Book Launch for Project Darcy! I hope you'll be able to join me here on my blog and also with all the wonderful bloggers who are generously hosting me.
There will be giveaways and treats on my blog, as well as those blogs listed below, so please keep checking back - after all, it's 200 years of Pride and Prejudice, and I want to celebrate that, as well as my new book.
It is high summer when Ellie Bentley joins an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home. She’s always had a talent for ‘seeing’ into the past and is not easily disturbed by her encounters with Mr Darcy’s ghost at the house where she’s staying. When Ellie travels into the past she discovers exactly what happened whilst Jane danced her way through the snowy winter of 1796 with her dashing Irish friend. As Steventon Rectory and all its characters come to life, Ellie discovers the true love story lost in Pride and Prejudice – a tale which has its own consequences for her future destiny, changing her life beyond imagination.