Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blog Tour Schedule

A Wife for Mr. DarcyThe official launch for A Wife for Mr. Darcy is today at Austenprose, and Laurel Ann is giving away three, yes that's three, copies of my latest novel. Here is my blog schedule. Along with brilliant blog posts, there will be additional giveaways, and I hope you will stop by for a visit.

July 1 – Austenprose
July 5 – Savvy Verse and Wit
July 7 – Psychotic State
July 13 – Historical Hilarity (Linda Banche has a new book out.)
July 15 - Songs and Stories 
July 19 – Love Romance Passion
July 22 – Laura’s Reviews
July 25 - My Jane Austen Book Club
July 27 – Diary of an Eccentric

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Kind of Car Would Jane Austen's Characters Drive?

Jane at The Book Rat asked some Austen Authors, including me, to say what type of car Jane Austen's characters would drive. I chose Captain Wentworth. Please come and visit Jane as she celebrates Jane Austen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The World of Books is Changing

From Amazon's Kindle Newsletter:

Amazon Now Selling More Kindle Books Than Print Books

In November 2007, Amazon introduced the revolutionary Kindle. By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, and six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com. Today, less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books - hardcover and paperback - combined. Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.

Amazon announces the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Austen Pairings - Giveaway

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
For the giveaway, I asked for people to suggest Austen pairings. Here are the wonderful comments contributed by my readers.

Margay: I think Colonel Brandon deserves a stronger and more dedicated woman than the flighty Marianne, so I would probably put him with Elinor or perhaps with Fanny Price. On the flipside, I don't think Bertram was strong enough for her.

I agree that Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood are mismatched. Although the colonel has many fine character traits, I still don’t like how Marianne reminds him of his former love. Temperamentally, I think the colonel is much better suited to Elinor.

Luthien: How about Margaret Dashwood with Captain Benwick? They both can read poetry together, and Margaret's gaiety can make Benwick forget about his deceased fiancé.

Other than the difference in their ages, I think this is a good pairing. Hopefully, Margaret can convince James Benwick to read less maudlin poetry—something more uplifting--a greater selection of prose.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
I love English. I love grammar. Even when I get it wrong (dangle a particple, don't use an antecedent, run-on sentence), I love learning about the nuts and bolts of English. If you attended a Catholic school in the 1950s and '60s as I did, then you know how to diagram a sentence, that is, breaking a sentence down into its component parts so that you know how a sentence goes together. It was boring, but necessary, and it has served me well.

I am a sucker for buying books about the English language. As a result, I know about the great vowel shift and inkhorn terms and Chancery English, and so when I saw Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots, and Leaves at a used bookstore, I bought it.

Publishing a book on grammar takes guts. Inevitably, you will have thousands of people poring over your every sentence looking for mistakes and posting reviews on Amazon, and in this book, it doesn't take long to find them. We all make mistakes, but the author's overuse of the semicolon borders on abuse. A similar complaint can be made for her use of the colon. Even her use of commas is questionable.

In short, this book should not be used as a grammar guide, especially if you are an American. (Truss is British.) British and American grammar differ, particularly in the use of quotation marks. Another quibble: One half of this small book is devoted to the misuse of an apostrophe. This is a legitimate complaint, but half a book? That's overkill.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Austen Authors on The Book Rat

Jane from The Book Rat has asked Austen Authors to pick out one of our favorite scenes from Jane Austen's novels. I'm sure you'll find one of your favorites from among those mentioned. I hope you will visit Jane in June.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Jane Austen Education - A Review

A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter

Although I have greatly enjoyed most of what Jane Austen wrote, I never liked Mansfield Park. I found Fanny Price insufferable, and Edmund Bertram a bit of a bore. As for the other characters, with the possible exception of Mary Crawford, I didn’t like them enough to care about them. For me, personally, the novel was a dud, but that was before I read William Deresiewicz’s A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love and Friendship.

According to Deresiewicz, Austen had something to teach us in Mansfield Park: a form of usefulness. After Edmund encounters ten-year-old Fanny Price, who was crying after being separated from her family and brought to Mansfield Park, he said: “Let us walk out in the park, and you shall tell me all about your brothers and sisters.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Few Things Going on in Austen Land

Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and PrejudiceJennifer Becton is having a summer e-sale on her novel, Charlotte Collins. It is now only .99. How can you resist this highly-praised novel?

Karen Wasylowski, author of Darcy and Fitzwilliam, writes about a real Mr. Darcy on Austen Authors. Speaking of Austen Authors, I will have a fascinating post on the blog tomorrow that contains an excerpt from Mr. Darcy's Angel of Mercy.

The Jane Austen HandbookDon't forget about the annual general meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America in October. There are only 600 slots available, and 420 of them are taken.

Please do visit Jane at The Book Rat to participate in Jane in June. Austen Authors will be popping in to answer some questions throughout the month. Today, Margaret Sullivan, author of the Jane Austen Handbook, is being interviewed.

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Day in History - Congress of Vienna Concludes

The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states, chaired by Klemens von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815 for the purpose of settling the many issues that arose from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. The Congress resulted in the redrawing of the continent's political map, establishing the boundaries of France, Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw, the Netherlands, the states of the Rhine, the German province of Saxony, and various Italian territories, and the creation of spheres of influence through which Austria, Britain, France and Russia brokered local and regional problems. The Congress of Vienna was the first of a series of international meetings that came to be known as the Concert of Europe, which was an attempt to forge a peaceful balance of power in Europe.