Monday, January 28, 2013

My Pilgrimage to Chawton - Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of P&P

Our Chawton Home, how much we find
Already in it to our mind;
And how convinced that when complete
It will all other houses beat
That ever have been made or mended,
With rooms concise or rooms distended.

Letter from Jane to her brother James

Like thousands of pilgrims before me, last spring, I journeyed to Chawton Cottage, the residence of Jane Austen, her sister Cassandra, mother Cassandra, and friend Martha Lloyd, during the last eight years of her life. It is a lovely house where Jane went to work revising Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice as well as writing Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion.

Prior to her brother, Edward Austen Knight, providing his sisters and mother with the cottage, Jane had lived in Bath for a few years, and biographers agree that she was not happy there. Despite the pump room, assembly rooms, teas, dances, and gardens, Jane longed for the country and left Bath with “happy feelings of escape.” Her brother’s generosity of providing Jane with a house in the country is a gift to all of us. The years between Jane leaving Steventon Rectory and her arrival in Bath were fallow, but upon her arrival at Chawton, she more than made up for it.

Chawton’s setting is much more rural than it was in Jane’s time as the cottage was at the juncture of three roads, so there was hustle and bustle right outside her door. I was pleased to see just how roomy the house was. With Cassandra seeing to the running of the household, Jane would have had the time, space, and solitude she needed to write her brilliant novels. I especially liked how much the floorboards creaked. As Jane worked, the movements of her family and friend  would have served as a background to her writing.

While standing in Jane’s bedroom, I found the house meant a good deal more to me than I had expected. I have five sisters (four living), and growing up in a tiny two-bedroom apartment in North Jersey, we all shared a bedroom (two bunks, two sisters in one bed, and a folding cot in the middle). So there was nothing unusual about the idea of Cassandra and Jane sharing a bed. The room oozed sisterly affection, and it brought back good memories for me.

I had gone to Chawton expecting to examine the artifacts of a great writer, but it turned out to be so much more than that. I honestly felt Jane’s presence and her contentment at being in a place she loved, with people she loved, and doing what she loved. It was truly inspirational.

Congratulations on the 200th anniversary of the publication of Price and Prejudice. Your writing changed the world.

(This post originally appeared on the Austen Authors blog.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Killing in Kensington - Free Download on Kindle

On January 23 and 24, A Killing in Kensington will be available for free download on Amazon. This will be the last opportunity to get the book for free. Here is the blurb from the back jacket:

Detective Sergeant Patrick Shea of London's Metropolitan Police and his new partner, Detective Chief Inspector Tommy Boyle, have been handed a high-profile murder case. In the penthouse of Kensington Tower, playboy Clifton Trentmore lay dead with his head bashed in, and the investigation reveals a man who was loathed by both sexes. With too few clues and too many suspects, Shea and Boyle must determine who hated Trentmore enough to kill him. But as Patrick digs deeper, he finds his suspects have secrets of their own.

A Killing in Kensington is the second in the Patrick Shea mystery series. 
If you enjoy Law and Order UK, you will enjoy A Killing in Kensington.

I hope you will share with your friends. If you should download my mystery, and you enjoy it, please consider writing a review on Amazon, B&N, or Goodreads. A review can make or break a novel. Thanks.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Loving Austen by Sophia Thorsen

I would like to welcome Sophia Thorsen to my blog. Sophia is an ardent admirer of Jane Austen's works. You can learn more about this budding authoress at the end of her guest blog. 

Firstly I want to thank Mary Simonsen for allowing me to write this little blog entrée. Thank you, Mary! And brilliant work on all your works!

As you all know, 2013 is the 200th year of the publication of Miss Austen’s second book, namely, Pride and PrejudiceThis year has already started off with the promised publication of Shannon Winslow’s second book, the sequel to The Darcys of Pemberley called Return to Longbourn and the next book from Abigail Reynolds. Meantime in the musical world, it is also the 200th year of Strauss and Wagner. Therefore, there is much to look forward to during the year, and then there is the annual Jane Austen Festival in September which I am personally attending. 

My year has started with writing my very first serious book, co-authored by my friend Laura Hannah Russell. My year also presents me with the beginning of half a year stay at a writing school, where I am to learn how to put a book together, with text, cover, and how to make it a real book. And now I am to write a blog for two of my favorite authoresses, this blog and the one for Mrs. Tiller Cole during the next few weeks, hopefully.

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of all Miss Austen’s completed works. My love of Austen started funnily enough with another brilliant woman author, namely Victoria Holt, author of Daughter of Deceit and many other brilliant books. Victoria Holt’s books was the first step on my journey towards being a romantic at heart, as well as a lover of Austen’s works, and a young woman with a thing for Fitzwilliam Darcy and almost anything Pride and Prejudice.

Ever since I saw Keira and Matthew in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, I have been a true Austen lover. My favorite characters from Miss Austen are definitely the two lead characters of Darcy and Elizabeth. The first time I read P&P in 8th grade, I didn’t understand the underlying meaning in the conversation that Miss Austen used since English isn’t my native tongue, but as I got older and understood the wit and feelings of the characters, I began loving Austen’s works and read all her completed works.

In 2007/2008 I joined as a member on, where I began reading “what if” fiction of Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, and many more. Here I had my first encounter with Mr. Darcy personally, where he began talking to me and gave me ideas, a lot of them! So I began writing and have done it ever since. This autumn I was asked to join a group on Facebook called “Austen Authors” and here I meet Mary Simonsen, herself, for the second time, since I wrote her a review on her book, Searching for Pemberley, which is a brilliant book! Meanwhile I have begun to know a lot of other authors, namely Abigail Reynolds, Jack Caldwell, P. O. Dixon, Sharon Lathan and many more. I just want to thank all of those amazing authors who write all these different sequels to Pride and Prejudice, and thank them for a great year!

Thank you again for hosting me, Mary! 

About Sophia: Sophia is a native of Denmark and will graduate from college in July 2013. She is currently a student at the School of Creative Arts (Journalism, Author Writing, Game Academy, Event, DIY, etc.). She is the author of several short stories on, including “The Masque” (P&P), “A Little Lizzie and Darcy” (P&P), “The Love of a Young Princess” (Romeo and Juliet), and the newly written; “Harry and the Three Ghosts” (Harry Potter, a H/HR story).

She is writing a book with her good friend, Laura Hannah Russell, that they have called “Power and Love,” a Pride and Prejudice sequel. It is set in 1955, and William J. Darcy has just been elected to Prime Minister in the United Kingdom.

Sophia loves to write and read and to spend time with her friends. She is hoping to get into Copenhagen’s Writing School after Vallekilde (School of Creative Arts). 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book News + Free Download

Free Download: On 1/8, 1/9, and 1/10, Darcy Goes to War will be available for free Ebook download on Amazon. Please tell a friend.

Free stories on The Writer's Block: Elinor and Edward's Plans for Lucy Steele and Anne Elliot, A New Beginning

I would like to share a review that I received for Mr. Darcy's Bite on Amazon. It is particularly gratifying because the reviewer understood that this novel is a love story, something not obvious from the cover.

I was at first turned off by the idea of Darcy's being a werewolf. After all, it seemed pretty far-fetched from Jane Austen. But as I read, I was totally captivated by this love story and felt that it captured Lizzy and Darcy's love in a way that reflected the authenticity and intensity of feelings that existed between Jane Austen 's original characters. This book is a page turner you won't be able to put down - it kept me up burning the midnight oil! I adored the active, loving roles that Anne DeBourgh and Georgiana Darcy played in bringing Lizzy and Darcy together, especially Anne's standing up to her overbearing mother and Georgiana's protective love towards her brother. Darcy continues to be the thoughtful, passionate, man of integrity whom we all - if we're honest with ourselves - dream of finding. Of course, Lizzy shines - her humanity is openly revealed, along with the depth of her passion for Darcy. I highly recommend this engaging book.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Fill Up Your Kindle or Nook

Tomorrow morning, just about the time you are enjoying your morning coffee or tea, six Austen Authors will place 28 of their eBook titles up for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. This is a three-day sale (1/2, 1/3, 1/4). Here is the list of titles with their prices.

Mary Simonsen
For All the Wrong Reasons
Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy
A Walk in the Meadows at Rosings Park
Captain Wentworth Home from the Sea
Three’s A Crowd, A Patrick Shea Mystery (Kindle Only)*

Darcy Goes to War (Kindle Only)*
Darcy on the Hudson
Mr. Darcy Bites Back
Becoming Elizabeth Darcy (Kindle Only)*