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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Northwest Bookfest 2012

Shannon Winslow, Jenni James, Laurel Ann Nattress, Susan Mason-Milks

The Northwest Bookfest in Kirkland, Washington, this past weekend was my first big book promotional event. Fortunately, I had three other amazing writers with me at the Austenesque Authors’ booth – Laurel Ann Nattress, Shannon Winslow, and Jenni James.

Aren't we a fabulous couple?

Our portrait of Jane Austen was lovely but what really grabbed the attention was our poster of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. We asked nearly everyone who walked by if they would like us to take a picture of them with Mr.Darcy. Who could resist, right? We got four categories of responses:

1) No interest at all

2) Who the heck is he?

3) Claimed no interest but we could tell that they were secretly intrigued by the idea

4) Said “yes” immediately!

"Oh, Mr. Darcy," said Shannon Winslow.

For the benefit of those who looked interested but reluctant, I pulled out my iPad and shamelessly showed them the picture we’d taken of me with Mr. Darcy. Sometimes that was all it took to sway them. I guess just seeing that we were willing to risk looking a little silly and have some fun with Mr. Darcy persuaded them to do the same.

Other highlights include a visit from my son and daughter-in-law who had just returned from their honeymoon and a chat with a co-worker whom I hadn’t seen since 1996. There was also the lovely woman who said she’d read my book (and Shannon’s too). I think she was the first person other than friends and family who’s told me that! What a great feeling! I also loved talking to people who are just as devoted to books as I am.

Mostly, what stands out in my mind from the weekend is all the fun the four of us had together. We talked and laughed and shared from our hearts. We’re all very different writers, but our love of Jane Austen brought us together. Seriously! I like to think that somewhere, somehow Jane actually did bring us together for a very special weekend I’ll never forget.

There are some ideas flying around for a future collaboration of the literary kind. Stay tuned!
Please follow these links to more about the bookfest and more pictures on the blogs of my friends – Laurel Ann Nattress, Shannon Winslow and Jenni James.

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Part One of Edward’s Dilemma: Edward Visits Barton Cottage

Welcome to Austenesque Extravaganza’s “Touring Thursdays.” For this project I worked with amazing authors Amanda Grange (Mr. Darcy’s Diary, Dear Mr. Darcy, Pride and Pyramids) and Stephanie Barron (author of the Jane Austen detective series beginning with The Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor plus ten more in the series). For your pleasure, we’ve created three interrelated missing scenes from Sense and Sensibility. These should, ideally, be read in order. My part kicks off the project. To read Parts Two and Three, you’ll have to go to the blog sites for my co-authors. (Links provided below.) I hope you enjoy our insights into the delicate and complicated romantic triangle involving Edward Ferrars, Elinor Dashwood, and Lucy Steele.

Here’s Part One of Edward’s Dilemma: Edward Visits the Dashwoods at Barton Cottage

Edward Ferrars had always considered himself to be a man of education and rational thought, but he was learning that when it came to matters of the heart…well, that was an entirely different story. Escaping the confines of Barton Cottage, he sought refuge under a large, shady tree. He had just settled himself comfortably when he saw Miss Dashwood – Elinor – walking purposefully toward the garden with her sketchpad in hand. So intent was she on her mission that she failed to see him although he was no more than thirty feet away. Raising himself up on one elbow, he watched silently as she took a seat on one of the stone benches with her back to him.

His first impulse was to join her, but he restrained himself and chose instead to remain where he was and observe her from a distance. Distance. That was definitely what he needed. Although he knew it was an invasion of her privacy to watch her when she thought she was alone, he could not find it in himself to leave or turn away. First, she carefully removed her bonnet and set it beside her. Then she opened her sketchpad and began to draw, moving her slim hand over the paper in long, graceful strokes. From time to time, she paused, cocking her head to the side as if she needed a different perspective on her subject.

Edward was captivated by Elinor’s every move. Cherishing these few moments when he could indulge himself completely in watching her, he let his mind wander. In his imagination, he saw himself walking up behind her and putting his hands on her soft white shoulders. As he leaned in to look at her drawing, a lock of her hair, which had come loose from its pins, tickled his cheek sending a light, pleasant sensation through his entire body. As he inhaled, he detected the familiar scent of her lavender soap mingling with the garden smells of sun-warmed flowers. Unable to resist, he pressed a gentle kiss to her cheek.

Just as he saw himself turning her around to taste her lips, he was brought up short by the realization that this could never happen. Never! It was nothing more than a fanciful dream. Foolish mistakes from earlier in his life made any serious relationship with this amazing woman impossible. Edward had fancied himself in love once before, but as soon as he met Elinor, he had realized how naïve he had been to mistake that earlier experience for love. Through chance and his own carelessness, he was tied forever to another, and as a result, Elinor would never be his.

Unfortunately, knowing this did not stop him from wanting to be with her every moment, to see her smile, to comfort her when she was sad, to support her when her burdens became too great to bear. Edward knew he had no right to think of her this way, but he could not stop these thoughts that had taken root deep in his very being. He had never wanted the grand, important life his mother and sister envisioned for him. All he had ever wanted was a quiet life in the country, and Elinor was exactly the woman who could make that dream complete.

He should leave Barton immediately. Yes, he would leave tomorrow. No sooner had he formed this plan than he remembered promising Elinor that tomorrow they would walk into the village for market day. Well, the day after that then. No, some neighbors were invited to supper that day. If he left before that gathering, he might insult Mrs. Dashwood as she was holding the event specifically in his honor.

So two more days and then he would ride away from here – from her – forever, taking with him his aching heart and shattered dreams. With a deep sigh, Edward promised himself, that for the time remaining here at Barton, he would try to maintain the delicate balance of paying just enough attention to the object of his affections to feed his growing need, but not enough to make anyone, especially Elinor, suspect the true depth of his attachment.

###

I hope you enjoyed Part One! Please continue reading the other parts of Edward’s Dilemma:

Part Two – Flashback! Edward and Lucy Reach an Understanding – Amanda Grange

Part Three – Lucy Steele’s Sense – and Jane Austen’s Sensibility – Stephanie Barron

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Austenesque Extravaganza is Coming in September!

Austenesque Extravaganza! at Austenesque Reviews! It’s a celebration of all things Austen during the month of September 2012. I’ll be participating with well-known Austenesque authors Amanda Grange and Stephanie Barron to create an original vignette (more as I know the details) tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 13th. Here’s some of what you have to look forward to:

SOCIABLE SUNDAY – This event takes place here @ Austenesque Reviews on our NEW chatboard and will consist of an informal chat with several Austenesque authors.  Here’s your chance to chat live with your favorite Austenesque author, ask them your questions, and learn more about their writing! Here’s more on the authors who are participating in this Q&A event and how you can submit questions.

MATCHMAKER MONDAY – Here’s your chance to act like Emma Woodhouse!  One of your friends is looking for a specific type Austenesque novel and she needs your help.  Which novel will you pair her with?  What do you recommend?

TRAVELING TUESDAY – Time to travel through the blogsphere and take a few stops at some spectacular Austenesque author blogs!  Lot’s of fun, CREATIVE, and interesting posts for you to enjoy!

WEDNESDAY WORD GAMES – Mad Libs, crosswords, and all sorts of fun with words!

TOURING THURSDAY – Just like on Traveling Tuesday, you will be leaving Austenesque Reviews to visit other Austenesque author blogs and check out the awesome Austenesque posts they have written!

FUN AND GAMES FRIDAY – On Fridays, indulge in some fun with BRAND NEW and INTERACTIVE diversions!

SPOTLIGHT SATURDAY – Make sure you set aside some time each Saturday to check out all the fantastic posts ardent admirers of Austenesque literature are sharing with us!  There are so many wonderful readers for you to meet and learn about!


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Guest Post on Indie Jane

Recently when struggling to understand the inner thoughts and motivations of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, I decided to try creating journal entries for her. The results were amazing! I felt as if I had stepped inside her skin and could feel what she felt.

If you’d like to read Elizabeth’s journal entry written shortly after she received “the letter” from Mr. Darcy, check out Exploring a Character’s Inner Thoughts on Indie Jane.

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What Makes Darcy Tick?

I’m guest blogging today on Darcyholic Diversions talking about what makes Darcy tick. He’s a complex and fascinating man who’s not so easy to get to know. So who is Fitzwilliam Darcy underneath all those intense looks and frowns?

“…Darcy is a gentleman in the best sense of the word. As such, he is a loving brother, a loyal friend, and concerned landlord. He’s also honest…In terms of his personality, he is an introvert. He sees things logically and literally and is a bit of a control freak.” – from blog post on Darcyholic Diversions

I’ve also included a scene from the last chapter of Mr. Darcy’s Proposal that shows how after getting to know Elizabeth better, Darcy learns to tease her back in his own unique way.

In case you’re not familiar with Darcyholic Diversions, it’s a blog dedicated to all things Darcy – for those who are addicted and don’t want a cure! Barbara Tiller Cole started the blog just this winter and it’s been a great success. You might also want to check out the Facebook page for Darcyholic Diversions: All Things Austen Posting Board.

 

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