Austen Variations

AVA-badge-2-e1390713940174Please join me at my new home – Austen Variations! The focus of this new group blog will be on group and special writing projects. We’ll also have excerpts from Works in Progress, free fiction from participating authors, and more opportunities for interaction between readers and authors. The Reader’s Choice story I’ve been participating in, The Darcy Brothers, has moved there, too.

This spring we’ll be starting the Persuasion200 Project which is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion in real time. What does that mean? If the story was “real” it would have begun 200 years ago this spring. We’ll be adding all the scenes Austen never wrote following the timing of the original story. If you join us, you’ll read scenes from before the story began such as Anne and the Captain’s first courtship and naval scenes from Wentworth’s career, scenes that were omitted, and existing scenes from different points of view. Plus we’ll have historical background of the times.

You can follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@JAVariations), too.

I will still be maintaining my personal author blog here in addition to my contributions to Austen Variations.

 

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Pride and Prejudice: Scenes Jane Austen Never Wrote

It’s here!  The P&P200 Project has been published as a book. It’s in ebook format and also print.

This is not a novel. It is a unique collection of the back stories of Pride and Prejudice. What was Darcy thinking when Elizabeth and Jane left Netherfield? What was it like at Longbourn as the sisters prepared for the Netherfield ball? Did Jane forget Mr. Bingley when he didn’t return?

On Sale January 8th to 11th!

 

 

For the answers to these questions and much more, get your copy today. It’s on sale for just $0.99 from January 8th to the 11th. That’s a bargain. The book is over 700 pages long. It’s designed so you can read cover to cover or just the chapters that interest you. Mr. Darcy’s Proposal is also part of this special sale along with books!

 

 

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Please, Mr. Darcy – Cover Reveal!

While I’m toiling away on completing the book, I wanted to share the new cover of Please, Mr. Darcy with you. It’s so beautiful! The story of how I found this photo is quite interesting in itself. I had wanted to use another old portrait from the Regency period but couldn’t find just the right one. So many have already been used by other authors! I used Bing to search for something like “Regency dresses” and was directed to Flickr where I found a page called Hathaways of Haworth. Further digging revealed that the photos were of costumes designed by Lyn-Marie Cunliff who also has a storefront on Etsy called Abigail’s Ateliers.

The photos on Flickr show amazing costumes from many different historical periods including what I was looking for – Regency. I found several possibilities and contacted Lyn to explore obtaining permission to use one of these on my cover. I was thrilled when she said I could do that as long as I gave credit in the book – which of course, I am very happy to do!

Next, I sent several of the possible photos to Leslie Newman, a designer I’ve known for years and who did my first book cover (which I’m still in love with). The result is this lovely unique cover that is so different from my first book. It looks fresh and inviting and I’ve received so much positive feedback on it!

You’ll find an excerpt from Please, Mr. Darcy on Writings and Ramblings of Colette Saucier.

I’m hoping for a release in late December or early January! Now back to work!

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Coffee With Colette Saucier

Today, I’m having coffee – or in my case tea – with Colette Saucier on her blog, The Writings and Ramblings of Colette Saucier. She’s convinced me to share an excerpt from my work in progress, Please, Mr. Darcy.

This story is full of humorous misunderstandings many of which are related to Caroline Bingley’s attempts to sabotage any relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy so that she can secure him for herself. It’s been lots of fun to write because we all love to hate Caroline. Georgiana also plays a significant role as she tries to play matchmaker and bring her brother and Elizabeth together.

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The Darcy Brothers – A New Reader’s Choice Story on Austen Variations

Austen Variations have started a new Reader’s Choice story called “The Darcy Brothers.” What if Fitzwilliam Darcy had a younger brother? It’s an interesting idea that we’re going to explore with some help from our readers. At the end of each chapter, readers will have the opportunity to vote for one of several possible directions for the story. Sound like fun?

His name is Theophilus Darcy or Theo. He’s a younger son and not at all like his brother Fitzwilliam. In fact, he sometimes refers to his older brother as Prince William or simply His Highness. You can see he has a sense of humor!

This time we’re also using other social media. Theo has his own blog where his correspondence is posted. You can sign up to “follow” Theo’s blog so you’ll receive an email every time a new letter is posted. You can also make comments and ask questions. Several of the authors involved in the project will be writing Theo’s letters and responding to comments left by readers.

The first letter was to his dear friend, Sir Montgomery Preston. Theo also writes regularly to his little sister, Georgiana so you’ll see letters to her on the blog, too. Theo has his own twitter account (@Theo_Darcy) if you would care to follow him. Other characters in the story will also have twitter accounts and will be tweeting from time to time.

The first Reader’s Choice story which began earlier this year and ended in September was a great success not to mention lots of fun. The story took some unexpected twists and turns thanks to our readers! Please join us and follow the exploits of Theo Darcy. Here’s a link to the first chapter.

The authors contributing to this project are: Abigail Reynolds, Maria Grace, Monica Fairview, Cassandra Grafton, Regina Jeffers and yours truly, Susan Mason-Milks.

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Mr. Darcy’s Proposal – Audiobook Coming Soon!

I have just approved the recording of Mr. Darcy’s Proposal read by Marian Hussey! I am not certain the exact date of the release. I was told it would be 14-20 days after the approval. I’m very excited about the recording. Marian did such an amazing job of capturing the characters and bringing them to life.

The scenes between Elizabeth and Darcy are lovely and I think you’ll be amused at her interpretations of Mrs. Bennet and Lady Catherine. I will post again as soon as I have an exact release date! It should be available through Amazon and Audible.com.

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Dear Miss Austen…

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Dear Miss Austen,

Every time I read Pride and Prejudice or watch the movie, I am in awe of you! You created some of the most iconic and beloved characters in all of literature. I have to admit when I first read P&P (please forgive me for abbreviating the title) in the eighth grade, I didn’t like it very much, but for some reason, the essence of the characters stuck with me. I always loved the dark, brooding hero and the sassy, outspoken heroine in stories. It wasn’t until years later when I saw the 1995 BBC version of P&P that I realized where my love of those types of characters had originated.

Your fans are thankful for the six novels you wrote and only wish you’d lived long enough to write many, many more. I suppose that’s why so many of us feel compelled to create our own stories inspired by yours!

So here’s a toast to the 200th anniversary of the publication of my very favorite novel – your own “darling child”, Pride and Prejudice.

With all my love, affection and admiration!

Susan Mason-Milks

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