Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jakki's Review and Giveaway - P. O. Dixon's He Taught Me To Hope

From the Publisher: What if Elizabeth is promised to another when she meets Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the one man who captures her heart and imagination like no other? As dire as their chance for "happily ever after" seems, there is a measure of hope by way of a strong and enduring bond between them ...

Fitzwilliam Darcy has been many things, angel, werewolf, rock star, and cowboy, but King Arthur? Yes! King Arthur! P.O. Dixon's He Taught Me To Hope is a new spin on a most beloved story. And it works! Because knights were noble men of courage, honor, and dignity, they had to be true to their word, and none of these areas finds Darcy lacking.

I love storytelling. I love being transported to another place and time by the vivid pictures the storyteller’s words create. In He Taught Me to Hope, I felt as if I was like listening to a fabulous tale where the handsome and charming knight comes to the rescue of his lady love.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Was Mr. Darcy Irish?

by Mairie O'Loideain O'Simonsen

When you hear someone’s last name that starts with the prefix, “Fitz,” as in Fitzgerald, Fitzsimmons, Fitzpatrick, Fitzhenry, etc., you probably assume you are speaking to someone of Irish descent. So it is possible that Fitzwilliam Darcy was descended from a Hiberno-Norman family. And who exactly were the Hiberno (Irish) Normans (French) by way of England people? This group came to Ireland at the request of Diarmaid Mac Murchadha, aka Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster, who had been given the heave-ho by Tighearnán Ua Ruairc. (Try and pronounce that!) These Hiberno-Normans liked what they saw of the Emerald Isle, decided to stay, and freely intermarried with the Irish and became “more Irish than the Irish.”

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mr. Collins's Cucumber

Need a laugh at the beginning of your workweek? Today at Austen Authors there is a bit of a mystery, Mr. Collins's Cucumber Has Gone Missing.  Who is the culprit? You may first wish to read the post in which we are introduced to the giant gourd in Mr. Collins's Cucumber.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

High Collars and the Regency Era

As I mentioned in the post below, At Home by Bill Bryson is full of fun historical facts including a paragraph about the clothing worn by the Prince Regent, the future George IV:

"Some of the fashion was dictated by the ever-increasing stoutness of the prince of Wales (or "Prince of Whales," as he was known behind his back). By the time he reached his thirties, the prince had taken on such a fleshy sprawl that he had to be forcibly strapped into a corset... All this pushed his upper body fat upward through the neck hole, like toothpaste coming out of a tube, so the very high collars fashionable in his day were a kind of additional mini corset designed to hide an abundance of chins and the floppy wattle of his neck."

Now you know. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Clergy - Time for Other Things

I am currently reading At Home, A History of Private Life  by Bill Bryson, and it is chock full of interesting facts including the role of clergy in England: "Piety was not necessarily a requirement or even an expectation. Ordination in the Church of England required a university degree, but most ministers read classics and didn't study divinity at all... Many didn't even bother composing sermons, but just bought a big book of prepared sermons and read one out once a week. Though no one intended it, the effect was to create a class of well-educated, wealthy people who had immense amounts of time on their hands. In consequence, many of them began to do remarkable things:

George Bayldon, a vicar in remote Yorkshire, became a self-taught authority in linguistics and compiled the world's first dictionary of the Icelandic language.
Laurence Sterne vicar of a parish near York, wrote popular novels, including The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jakki's Review of Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight

Austentatious! What a fun, hot novel! I was swept up in a whirlwind of kooky advice, humorous characters and steamy romance.

When Nicola James begins to write in an antique-looking diary, her life starts to change. Once her journal writes back, she must decide if she is going to cling to normalcy, predictability, and her life plan, or throw caution to the wind and cross over to the weird side. After all, the unofficial motto of her hometown, Austin, Texas, is “Keep Austin Weird.” And who knows, maybe she will finally get her “weird” t-shirt.

Helping Nicola along her journey are her friends who truly added to the exuberance and humor of the story. For starters, there are Nic’s neighbors, Leslie and Laura. Leslie’s salacious humor and superfluous use of clichés garnered many laughs and shakes of the head, accompanied by eye rolls. Throw in Nic’s mentee Bec, best friend Gabe, and co-worker Brett, and the smiles and laughs abound. Finally, there is Sean MacInnes with his wealth of innuendoes and one-liners, guaranteed to make any girl blush.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Winner of Mr. Darcy's Proposal

The winner of Mr. Darcy's Proposal is Luthien. Congratulations! Susan will be contacting you! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.