Monthly Archives: August 2016

Readers Reviews – The Bridget Jones Diary by Flávia Pais

Hello everyone,

I have been talking for some time of a new feature I would like to have at From Pemberley to Milton, and today I’m finally launching it! It’s called Readers Reviews and its purpose is to give my readers a more active part in my blog by sharing their reviews with everyone else.

Many of my readers are great reviewers but for numerous reasons they don’t have a blog or a particular place to share their reviews with everyone, so why not given them voice to express their thoughts on JAFF books right here at From Pemberley to Milton?

My first guest is a fellow book review blogger called Flávia Pais. She is an intelligent, independent and determined young lady who happens love books and work with me, but she explains a little of our history in her guest post, so I will not repeat that. Let me just tell you she immediately caught my attention when I met her, why? A reader always notices when someone else carries a book with her every single day 🙂

I hope you enjoy her post and her review of The Bridget Jones Diary and The Edge of Reason. The adaptation of the third volume, Mad About the Boy is also coming shortly to the theatres, so you might take this inducement to re-watch the films with our beloved Colin Firth!

 

***About Me***

 

I’m a 26 years old Portuguese girl, with a passion for books, sports and life in general. I have a terrible temper, but I always have a smile on my face. My favourite authors include Portuguese José Saramago, Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, Japanese Haruki Murakami, J.K. Rowling and, most recently, the Swiss author Joël Dicker completely stole my heart. I usually say I don’t have a favourite genre; I enjoy reading good books, with characters that make me fall in love with them and their lives. This passion for literature has made me start my own blog about two years ago. Unfortunately most of you won’t be able to look it up because it’s written in Portuguese, but meeting Rita has made me consider also keeping a blog in English to reach a wider public.

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(Me and Flávia at the office, casual friday, hence the clothing :))

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***Guest Post***

First of all I have to tell you how I met Rita. She’s my Team Leader and, as you can imagine, being an intern in a new company is quite scary and I was a bit afraid of the welcome I’d get. I was particularly worried about my direct bosses as in my old job some distance was always kept between ‘the bosses’ and the workers. I was really surprised how nice everyone was, and Rita made me feel very welcome. During my first week we took some coffee breaks together and, as we both talk a lot, we quickly found out we had a lot in common and discovered we shared a common passion – books and blogging about books. She told me all about her blog and this genre I had never heard of – Jane Austen Fan Fiction, or as I’ve learned, JAFF.

I am a Jane Austen fan (who doesn’t love Mr. Darcy?) and I know there are a lot of fan fictions in the internet about everything, but it was a surprise to find out there were even publishers dedicated only to this literary genre. And this brings us to why Rita asked me to do a guest post in her blog. She saw me reading Bridget Jones and was really surprised, so surprised it was even a little scary, and she said ‘We need to talk’. Turns out Bridget Jones is considered JAFF and she thought it would be interesting to have a review on her blog about a JAFF book from a person who (thought wrongly) had never read any JAFF. I have to apologize in advance since the review will be about the two books as I’ve read them as one, so I’m not entirely capable of distinguish between them.

 

 

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We all know Bridget Jones, everyone has seen the film, and if they haven’t they have heard of it at least. The most well-known singleton on the planet. Just to give you some insight, Bridget is a chubby Londoner, journalist, with a slight drinking problem who smokes way too much. Her love life is a mess, sometimes non-existing, but we get to know her two romantic lovers – her boss Daniel Clever and a lawyer, Mark Darcy. And now I can see you all leaning in towards your screen because finally you see some JAFF here.

So Mark Darcy is clearly our beloved Mr. Darcy (but I only made the connection after talking with Rita), a nice British gentleman, with high moral standards and what is considered by all our mothers (and Bridget’s) as a proper husband. However, just as Elizabeth duels on the goodness of Mr. Darcy so does Bridget with Mark. I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but in the film adaptation Colin Firth also plays Mark Darcy. How lovely is this?

There is something very funny in the book that is totally cut-out from the film – Bridget and her friends are absolutely obsessed with Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy and they make a lot of comparisons between them. Actually one of the funniest moments in the books is precisely when Bridget is invited to interview Colin Firth in Rome about his upcoming movie. She’s totally distracted from the main point, which is the upcoming film, and just stares at Colin Firth in awe while asking silly things. They engage in a hilarious dialogue about Mr. Darcy’s dive in the lake in Pride and Prejudice that made me laugh quite a lot, and I’ll give you an excerpt:

Bridget Jones: You know in the BBC Pride and Prejudice?

Colin Firth: I do know, yes.

BJ: When you had to dive into the lake?

CF: Yes.

BJ: When they had to do another take, did you have to take the wet shirt off and then put a dry one on?

CF: Yes, I, I probably did have to, yes.

BJ (Breathing heavily): How many takes diving into the lake did you have to do?

And then it goes on and on, and at some point Colin Firth is already losing his mind because she’s only interested in talking about Mr. Darcy, and he wants to be asked about the new film, and she insists again ‘How many times altogether exactly did you have to take it off and put it on again?’ and I could tell you more, but you’ll find it funnier if you read the all thing!

As a JAFF novel this really takes some things out of Pride and Prejudice, not straight away, but if you’re familiar with the book you can spot the character traits from Mr. Darcy on Mark and some similarities with the love story shared by Darcy and Elizabeth.

To finish this, and to give you a non-JAFF fan opinion, I find these books very good and entertaining. Of course, they are not Russian classics or Victorian relics, with deep and profound analysis of society and the human nature, but they really give you an insight on a singletons life. For me, as a recent singleton, I found Bridget Jones both funny and enlightening, with a lot of what the hell situations that you can totally relate to, and some others that you wish you’ll never have to face. Overall it’s a light story to read with an open mind and an open heart. And, like Bridget, you might just fall in love before you know it!

Curious about these books? You can find them on Amazon.com following the below links:

Bridget Jones’s Diary

The Edge of Reason

 Mad About the Boy

 

What about Flávia’s review? Quite diferente from my own and I absolutly loved that!

She has an interactive way of expressing her opinion and is very funny, so I would recommend to those of you who speak Portuguese to check her blog Reading in Style.

For the readers who do not speak Portuguese, I think we need to do something about Flávia! Bridget Jones Diary cannot be the only JAFF book on her list! We’ll have to get her to read something else! What would you suggest to her?

20 Comments

Filed under Pride and Prejudice, Readers Reviews

Second Impressions, Guest Post & Giveaway

Hello everyone,

I am very pleased to bring you today a guest post by author Amy George.

The author was unknown to me, but when I read the plot of her recently released novel, Second Impressions, I immediately wanted to read it.

This post is part of the blog tour that has been going on for some days, so you probably already heard about the author and the book, but if you haven’t, here is an opportunity to learn more.

There is also a giveaway, so don’t miss your opportunity to win a copy of this book 🙂

 

***Author Bio***

Amy George is a middle-aged woman who hates her “old lady/grown-up” car and refuses to listen to its radio at a reasonable volume, especially when the Beastie Boys or the Violent Femmes are playing. She lives in a town in the middle of the country where the county fair is one of the biggest social events of the season and everything is fried. Her household consists of a dog, a cat, a man, a hermit, and stubborn soap scum.

She has been writing since she was a child and was a frequent contributor to the Hyacinth Gardens, a popular but defunct JAFF site.

Author Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramygeorge

Blog: http://amygeorge.merytonpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramygeorge/?fref=ts

 

***Book Blurb***

Second Impressions CoverOnce, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet were foes, then tenuous friends. After Elizabeth discovers Darcy is engaged to another woman, she flees to Boston to seek solace with her cousin, the brash and worldly Emeline Poston.

When she returns to England after years spent abroad, Elizabeth must face the man who shattered her heart, and she is shocked to find the proud man she once knew drastically altered. Does she have the courage to seek out the man with whom she fell in love—whatever the cost?

Fitzwilliam Darcy has spent his days regretting what might have been and his nights being tormented by the decisions he has made. His life in tatters, he can barely face the once-respectable man in his mirror or the baby girl in Pemberley’s nursery. Now that Elizabeth has returned, will he atone for his mistakes and win her heart for good?

This alternate path reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is recommended for adult readers.

 

 

 

***Guest Post***

A lot of readers and some writers look down on fan fiction. (I’m looking at you Stefenie Meyer and Anne Rice.) I have never understood this. Why denigrate being somebody’s inspiration?

I love Jane Austen and her characters speak to me in a way other characters don’t. I wanted more Darcy & Lizzy. And when I discovered fan fiction, I not only fulfilled a need for the characters, I gained an entire world. Only Janeites know that Colonel Fitzwilliam is Richard and Mr. Bennet is Thomas or what P&P means.

Fan fiction, to me, is a very sincere form of flattery. It’s a way to interact with people you love-fictional and non-fictional-and explore your own need to create. It can lead to remarkable things. There is a noticeable improvement between my first story, published online at the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild, and the last thing I wrote. Fan fiction has allowed me to grow as a writer within safe confines because the community is so crazy supportive. It has allowed me to learn how readers respond and to interact with my own fans in a way I think some writers miss out on.

So, from my little fandom heart to yours, please enjoy and keep loving our community.

 

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***Second Impressions Blog Tour ***

8/15: Review at Margie’s Must Reads

8/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaway

8/17: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club

8/18: Guest Post & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight

8/19: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day

8/20: Review at Liz’s Reading Life

8/22: Excerpt & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged

8/23: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope

8/23: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…

8/24: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice

8/25: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton

8/26: Review at Diary of an Eccentric

8/27: Review at Just Jane 1813

8/28: Author Interview & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm

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***It’s giveaway time***

As I said, you have an opportunity to win one of the many copies of Second Impressions that Meryton Press is giving away. To participate click on the link.

Good Luck everyone!

 

13 Comments

Filed under giveaway, Pride and Prejudice

Stepping out in NYC Giveaway Winners

Hello everyone,

Last month was epic for me as I got to travel to the New York City and meet Claudine From Just Jane 1813.

During our time together we thought it would be nice to share our joy with our readers by offering a giveaway of some of the Jane Austen memorabilia we couldn’t resist buying ourselves.

We launched a giveaway of some very cute Pride and Prejudice adhesive page flags, a Mr. Darcy Funko POP from Pride &Prejudice and Zombies and an Elizabeth Bennet Funko POP from Pride &Prejudice and Zombies as well along with an interview performed by Joana Starnes to each one of us. This was the first time I ever did a joint post and it was incredibly fun! I loved working with Claudine defining how we would make our posts, adjusting the details, helping each other etc.

I hope this is something I can repeat in the future as the collaboration between bloggers is one of the things I love the most about this community and Claudine is so easy to work with 🙂

But I’m sure you all want to know who the lucky winners were, so without further ado, the randomly selected winners are:

1 – Pride and Prejudice adhesive page flags – Carole in Canada

2 – Mr. Darcy Funko POP from Pride &Prejudice and Zombies – Dholcomb1

3 – Elizabeth Bennet Funko POP from Pride & Prejudice and Zombies – Sophia Rose

 

Congratulations ladies!!!

Please send us your mail addresses to ritauzdeodato at gmail dot com and justjane1813 at gmail dot com so that we can ship the items to you 🙂

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Blog Anniversary Giveaway Winners

Hello everyone,

This month was my blog’s 1st anniversary and to celebrate, I decided to giveaway paperback copies of the first 2 books I reviewed here: Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections by Abigail Reynolds and The Subsequent Proposal by Joana Starnes.

You were all amazing and I was incredibly happy to see so many people leaving me messages of support and congratulations!

You guys are the best!!! Thank you so much for visiting, liking, following, twitting, sharing, commenting and letting me know your thoughts on reviews and books!!!

I hope we can all get together again next year, but now without further ado it is time to announce the winners!

 

 

Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections – Rellaenthia

The Subsequent Proposal – Laurie May Aquino

 

Congratulations ladies!!!

Please send me your addresses to ritaluzdeodato at gmail dot com until the 30th of August so that I can mail you the the paperback. Unfortunately if I don’t hear anything back from you I’ll have to randomly select another winner, so please do not forget to send me your contacts.

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Northern Rain Review & Giveaway

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Hello everyone,

I could not be happier when I was told Nicole Clarkston had released a new North and South variation novel, so I bought it immediately and from the moment I started reading it I could not put it down. Nicole Clarkston sure knows how to captivate readers with a stunning beginning!

Northern Rain begins on a cold rainy day with Mr. Thornton visiting his father’s graveside on the anniversary of his death. He is heartbroken thinking of Margaret and what he lost, when the lady herself passes by and, seeing a sad Mr. Thornton on the rain, decides to be kind and offers him protection under his umbrella. In this initial scene they do not communicate with verbal words, but much is said and perceived. I absolutely love when and author makes me feel the intensity of the characters feelings without even making them say a word, and that is precisely what happens in this intense and emotional scene. On their walk home Margaret tries to clear her name and reputation in Mr. Thornton’s eyes as this story is set after Mrs. Hale’s death, and this is the first step for a growing friendship between them, that will obviously turn into an angst filled romance very soon.

This small change in the plot will have some important impacts: Mr. Thornton begins to wonder about Margaret’s indiscretion, Mr. Hale has John’s company and with Margaret’s support and medical intervention survives, and Margaret’s love and admiration for Mr. Thornton begins much sooner in the story.

However that does not mean that all the angst, tribulations, internal and external struggles will not come in the way of John and Margaret, by the contrary. The story has villains we will not see coming, and subplots that are a page turner until the end.

I believe Nicole Clarkston has an incredible knowledge of Gaskell’s characters and that is shown in this book. Mr. Thornton and Margaret’s characters are so true to themselves, so well developed that I believe Gaskell herself could have written this story. He is honorable, just, strong and vulnerable at the same time and she is independent, and also strong and vulnerable in different ways, just as Elizabeth Gaskell portrayed them.

Dixon is the same grumpy person, Hanna Thornton remains herself but we get to know her a little better as she is exposed to new situations. In fact, Hanna’s reaction at the drapers store is absolutely perfect and in accordance to the character. It also allowed us to know that Margaret would have an ally in Mrs. Thornton once she realizes that this is the woman who will make her son happy. The consequences of her reaction made this book an agreeable read and it gave us a glimpse of a brighter future in the Thornton household.

Fanny remains the silly creature we know her to be but in this book we also get to see a little more of Watson, and he reveals himself as an insecure besotted man. This was an interesting addition as these secondary characters are not always approached or developed. Watson remains a minor character, but the fact that Nicole Clarkston decided to let us know more about him, and many other characters was definitely a plus.

The new characters were also essential to the success of the book. Even though I love North and South, there is not a lot of variety in terms of characters and that makes it especially hard for writers to create new scenarios. But Nicole Clarkston had a perfect equilibrium between the canon story and its own characters and new characters who gave a new life to Milton’s society and made this new plot possible with all its trials.

I felt Mrs. Clarkston brought the best there is to offer in a Jane Austen novel and added it to Gaskell’s already rich prose. This was a risk but perfectly executed. All relevant aspects of North and South were kept by the author, but the reading became more light, pleasing and romantic. Thornton’s reaction when he discovered who Frederick is was so genuine and passionate that I could not stop reading. And then all the kitchen moments followed and I felt myself swoon with the romance and intimacy in it! Of course the tea set present was the cherry on top of the cake for me 🙂

I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this book, and can only hope the author releases a new N&S variation soon. The vignettes posted during the blog tour had me craving for more 🙂

I could not end this review without mentioning the cover. Isn’t it just absolutely marvelous? I have said several times that I love Janet Taylor’s covers, and this one is just another pearl she has created 🙂

You can find Northern Rain on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

***It’s giveaway time***

 

Apart from being a great author, Nicole Clarkston is a very generous person and she would like to, once more, offer one of her books to my readers.

You can choose any of Nicole Clarkston’s books and even the format!

Let us know what you think about Northern Rain, if you ever read anything from Nicole Clarkston, and of course, which book and format you prefer. You can choose the e-book, paperback or audible.

For more information on the different formats available for each book please see the links below:

Northern Rain

Rumours & Recklessness

No Such Thing as Luck

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The giveaway is international and is open until the 29th of August.

Good luck everyone!

35 Comments

Filed under 5 stars, North and South

Stepping out in NYC with Claudine of JustJane1813, Austen-Style

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Hello everyone,

If you’ve read my latest post you know I’ve been to NYC and spent the most amazing time with Claudine from JustJane1813 while I stayed there.

What I’m not sure you know, is that Claudine and I became such great friends due to a mutual acquaintance, author Joana Starnes.

Our mutual love for Joana’s books and the long talks we both had with her brought us closer together, and while we were in NYC we often wondered what it would be like to have Joana with us and have a share in our conversations, so despite having an ocean separating the 3 of us, we decided to do just that! We asked Joana to take part in this adventure and she asked us a series of questions about our time together, JAFF, regency and of course Jane Austen.

Me and Claudine replied to all of Joana’s questions and today we are sharing our answers with you. If you are interested in seeing my perspective of our time together visit JustJane1813, but I think the most interesting perspective is Claudine’s and you can find it right here at From Pemberley to Milton.

Enjoy her answers, and ask her anything! I’m sure she’ll love to talk more about our time together.

 

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How long have you known each other before meeting face to face? Where did you first ‘meet’? Did you already know you’ll hit it off by the time you met in real-life?

I have known Rita since last fall when I started my own blog. We actually met online through our mutual admiration of each other’s reviews and blog posts. I had been talking with you, Mrs. Starnes, about Rita’s blog and you made me aware that she also admired my blog. The rest, as we say, is history! We’ve been talking ever since online and through the app, WhatsApp, so by the time we had met each other In New York City, I had a really strong suspicion that we would hit it off really well.

 

Where did you go? What did you see? Any pics you’d like to share?

We had so much fun in New York City! We started with a really great afternoon tea at the King’s Carriage House. Rita had told me that she had never been to an English tea before, so I wanted to surprise her and take her to a place that I heard was really great for a nice afternoon tea. After that we were able to go down near Washington Square Park to see an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by the Bedlam Theater. It’s in adaptation of Austen’s first publication that I had seen earlier this past spring and I just knew that Rita would love to see the show. After the show we made our way through some places in New York City that Rita wanted to see, including Time Square and we traveled to the top floor of the Marriott Hotel. On the following day she wanted to see a lot of the midtown New York sites, such as the New York Public Library, Bryant Park, the top of Rockefeller Center, and Grand Central Station. It was just so much fun because we were able to do a lot of things that we both were interested in doing and Rita’s enthusiasm made me really feel like a tourist in New York City. I kept joking that instead of the accidental tourist, which Rita is too young to know about, LOL, I was the reluctant tourist. But truly, it was a really special experience to share with her!

 

 

How soon into the conversation did you get to mention Jane Austen and JAFF? How much of that endless list of goodies did you get to cover?

I think we started talking about JAFF pretty soon into our visit. We talked a lot about the books that we’ve read and the books that we would recommend for one another. We also described what we both prefer to read in a JAFF story and we discovered that we have some really different tastes.  We both prefer when are characters are true to canon and Rita seems to enjoy stories that follow canon more closely than I do. A lot of authors and a lot of stories we shared are ones we both happen to love; however we had quite a few that we disagreed upon and it was really fun trying to convince each other why the other should reconsider and reread certain stories. The saddest part is I don’t even think we really even touched nearly upon everything we wanted to talk about in JAFF. I know that we could easily spend several more days together and still be talking about all of the great stories, ideas, and experiences we’ve had through reading JAFF that we still didn’t get to share with each other.

 

Did you get the chance to chat about anything other than Jane Austen and JAFF?

Actually, yes! We spoke about a lot of things besides Jane Austen and JAFF stories. We talked a lot about our own countries and I learned a tremendous amount about Portugal, and I was able to obviously share a lot about America and New York, in particular, with Rita. We described  the similarities and the differences between our two countries, which I found fascinating. We spoke a lot about our families and friends, as well as our careers. It was interesting just to find out that although we have a lot in common, we are both in different places in our own lives. Rita is still newly married, compared to me and while she plans to have children, I am in the midst of raising four children right now. Even though we’re in different places in our lives, I love that because we are so connected to the JAFF community and we may not have even met if we lived in the same town because of our different life stages; but because of our love for Jane Austen, we are able to really connect as people through this shared passion.

 

Did you discover common favourites among Jane Austen’s novels? Would you like to share your top three?

We both love Pride and Prejudice the most,  and we both really enjoy Sense and Sensibility. I love Emma as my third favorite choice, and Rita really loves Persuasion. As I’ve told readers before, and I’ve covered myself with some protection as I say this, LOL, Persuasion is not one of my favorite Jane Austen stories. I do have to give it another chance to see if I would admire this story more after several years later. I was surprised to learn that Rita really dislikes Emma, who I have always loved, but not shocked, because whenever I meet another Janeite and we compare our lists, I see different combinations all the time, except for Pride and Prejudice typically being other readers’ favorite Austen story.

 

What drew you to reading Austen?

I was been drawn to Austen prior to having my first child. I read Pride and Prejudice as a 29 year old mother-to-be, thank you Anna Quindlen, and then I went on to read all of her work. The thing that really drew me to Austen were her characters. I will never forget Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy for the rest of my life. I feel very much the same way about Marianne Dashwood and John Willoughby and Colonel Brandon and Elinor and Edward Ferrars, as well as for Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley. I just simply adore them! I don’t think that you can love Austen and just not be enamored with her characters.  So for me, it starts at her characters and then moves into what Austen attempts to teach us about the world through her characters.

 

What drew you to reading JAFF in the first place? What keeps you attracted to the genre?

I didn’t know that JAFF existed and Rita has been reading JAFF quite a bit longer than I have. Initially, what happened was that I discovered JAFF by accident on Pinterest, and once I read my first JAFF story, Unequal Affections, I just never turned back. I think that the idea of living in Darcy and Elizabeth’s world is just mesmerizing for me. I love the history, I love the romance, I love the characters and I just simply adore what so many talented authors have been able to do in writing JAFF stories; so even though I’m coming later to the game pretty much after everyone else in the JAFF community, I hope to be able to spread my love and my passion of the JAFF community and discover the same quality of wonderful stories as I have in the past two years.

 

Are you glad / not so glad that most JAFF is based on Pride and Prejudice? Do you think that’s all Mr Darcy’s fault?

I do prefer most of the JAFF I read to be based on Pride and Prejudice. I certainly admire authors who break out of the Elizabeth and Darcy mold, however, after two years, I still want to read about them every single day. I just simply adore them and I adore them for several reasons. I don’t think I can say it’s Mr. Darcy’s fault. I think for me I have a passion and an attraction for Elizabeth Bennet that is just as strong and maybe even stronger. I have been posting a chapter a week this year on Just Jane 1813, with the intention of living and reading and talking about Pride and Prejudice with other readers (who I must thank here for their time, commitment and brilliant feedback each week!) for the commitment of a whole year. The name of the series is called “We Still Need Her’ and it comes from a great quote from Rosamund Pike about Pride and Prejudice. It’s really based on the premise that as women, we are still striving to find great female role models; we are still looking for a vision about what it means to be a woman in the modern world. So whether you’re living in 1813 or 2016, I think many women are still thinking about and deciding what womanhood means for them and what the possibilities are for their own lives. That’s why I think we love Elizabeth Bennet; she’s not afraid to be who she is, and she’s not unable to revise her opinions and ideas when faced with better information. I joke around in my head, but it’s true; when I read a JAFF story, I think I can only be as happy as Elizabeth Bennett is in each story while I am reading. So to answer your question, for me, it’s about both Darcy and Elizabeth, but probably a little bit more about Elizabeth.

 

What do you like most about the Regency period? If anyone offered you a seat on the time machine (and promised hand on heart you’d be comfortably well off on the other side, not scullery maids) would you go? How long for? What would you miss apart from friends, family, showers and modern medicine?

Regarding the Regency era, I have always been someone who has loved history and learning about other cultures, particularly European History. My father was a history teacher for over 30 years and I always had a great fascination with European History. I loved learning about royalty, I loved learning about how the different countries lived side-by-side with each other and yet, are so different from each other. Of course, I enjoy learning about the food and the clothes and the dancing, as well as other social engagements in each culture. I especially love learning about the people who were the movers and shakers during each era, so what appeals to me about the Regency era, appeals to me about every era I am interested in learning about.

 

If you could ask Jane Austen anything at all, what would that be?

If I could ask Jane Austen anything I would ask her to first write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, LOL. I would also like to know more about her life, including whether or not she ever regretted her decision not to get married and have her own children. I’d also love to know what she thinks of our Austenesque fan culture today and who was really her real-life inspiration for Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Hmm, that was more than one question…

 

Would you tell us more about your plans for your blog?

In the next week or so, I will be launching a new look for my blog, which I’m really excited about and I hope my Just Jane 1813 readers will love it too! I’m actually a little (ok, maybe very) nervous about the response from my readers because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I’m hoping to have a blog that has a simpler homepage and that has a little bit more of an Austen look and feel to the blog. I have some really great book reviews coming up in the next few weeks, and I am just really curious to see how the new blog design evolves. I am also trying to decide which blog events to repeat again, now that my blog is turning a year-old in October.

 

Will you meet again soon?

Given the fact that we live with an ocean in between us, we have no fixed engagements to meet anytime soon, but I did tell Rita that my goal is to get over to the UK very soon. Hopefully, she can meet me there, or I can get over to Portugal too, and that we can meet with Joana Starnes and some of our other friends in England, so that I can enjoy Jane Austen’s England with people I hold very dear to me. I think Austen would be so amazed at how many people she has connected through her stories; she never could have imagined her influence on our lives, and I like to think that possibility exists for each of us!

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Thank you Joana, for taking the time to interview both of us. You have played a vital role in connecting us with each other and it was so much fun to have you play a role in the making of these interviews! Your talents and hard work have brought both of us many pleasurable hours of reading and swooning, and your friendship makes you simply unforgettable to us.

Thank you, Rita, for inviting me to your blog to spend time with your readers and for being such a great JAFF friend! I feel blessed to have met someone like you, who shares such a special connection with me and who has such a generous soul!

 

***It’s Giveaway time***

 

You can tell from Claudine’s comments that we walked a lot through New York City and visited lots of places. That means, of course, that we also entered a lot of shops!

We could not resist to buy several Jane Austen related items and would like to share some of them with our readers!

We would like to giveaway 3 different items to 3 different winners:

 

 

1 – Pride and Prejudice adhesive page flags

2 – Mr. Darcy Funko POP from Pride &Prejudice and Zombies

3 – Elizabeth Bennet Funko POP from Pride & Prejudice and Zombies

 

Let us know what you thought about our adventure, ask us anything you would like, and basically have your share in our conversation. When we are talking about Jane Austen, the more the merrier. Don’t forget to comment on both of our posts, we will randomly select the winner among readers who have posted their comments on this post and on Claudine’s post as well.

The giveaway is international and ends on the 20th of August. The winners will be announced in both blogs, JustJane1813 and From Pemberley to Milton on the 22nd of August.

Good luck everyone!

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Filed under interview, Joana Starnes

My Jane Austen Road Trip…Chapter II – New York City

Hello everyone,

You’ve probably noticed I was too quiet in the end of July, and that was partly because I went on holidays to New York City. But even thought I have not posted anything during my stay in NYC, it doesn’t not mean I forgot about JAFF, by the contrary!

In fact, this trip ended up having too many references to the Jane Austen world, so today I am happy to share with you another chapter of My Jane Austen Road Trip 🙂

I would not have imagined I would find so many things across the pond that would remind me of JAFF, but the truth is that as I’m writing this post, I’m finding it hard to select the moments and pictures to share with you.

My very first day in the city was a true surprise. Once I arrived in NYC I went to my friends house in Jersey City were I would stay the entire week, as it was already late, my friends decided we would dine at a very nice restaurant called Porta just a few steps from their apartments. We went to this restaurant because of it’s proximity to their apartments so you can imagine my surprise when I looked at the menu and saw a drink called Mr. Darcy!!! The drink had gin in it, and I don’t even like gin, but I could not resist telling the waiter I wanted a Mr. Darcy! Who would have right?

I was preparing myself to say “I want a Mr. Darcy, please” when one of my friends spoiled it for me! That’s true, my friend who also happens to be named Rita decided to order it for me. I was so frustrated I had to ask another one (I repeat, I don’t even like gin!). Anyway, Mr. Darcy was not a sweet drink, it was a bit bitter and not at all what I would expect, but still, it was the best drink served in our table 🙂

If you happen to visit Jersey City, and you don’t know where to dine, I do recommend Porta, apart from the great taste in naming their drinks, the food is really good and it is a nice place to be with your friends 🙂

girls at porta.JPG

Mr. Darcy at Porta was not the only surprise Jersey City had for me. The following day we decided to go to a cosy little bookshop just around the corner (on the same street as the restaurant) to buy a very late birthday present to one of my friends, and guess what? The bookshop was full of Jane Austen memorabilia!

I loved some of the items so much that I asked if they had more Jane Austen related articles, and that was my mistake! Of course they had more Jane Austen related things, and of course I wanted them all. It was my second day on holidays and I was already spending my months wage in JAFF related articles!

In my defence, I can not find any of these things in Portugal , and books are so much cheaper in the US! If I were American I think I would be buying paperbacks all the time 🙂

Don’t you think these things are the best?

If you liked some of these articles you can find them at Word bookstores in Brooklyn and/or Jersey City. For more info, you can visit their Website.

My journey at this point was only beginning and the best was yet to come. It was not a surprise but something I had planned a long time ago: meeting Claudine from JustJane1813.

Claudine started her blog just a few months after me and I’ve been a fan since the beginning. We started talking through our blogs, social media and lately I have found that discussing JAFF over whatapps with her is incredibly fun!

Meeting Claudine was a surprise because we had never met and have an entire ocean separating us, but also felt like meeting an old friend I hadn’t seen for a while and with whom I had a lot to talk about.

We spend two days together in the Big Apple (I’m sure she’ll laugh and tease me about my accent when she reads this) and those were the most wonderful day’s I’ve spent in the city.

She took me to a beautiful tea house called King’s Carriage where we enjoyed an English tea and could not stop talking about books! I loved the place, the company, the conversation and the coincidence of discovering the waiter was actually a writer trying to finish his first novel. He could be fooling us, but we never know, I like to believe that the tea house was a true literary place.

After the wonderful tea, Claudine took me to the theatre to see an adaptation of Sense and Sensibility by Kate Hamil performed by Bedlam’s actors. This was the second time Claudine went to see this play, and she reviewed it at her blog so I won’t go into much details as you can still read her review, but let me just tell you that I loved it!!! I was told they will adapt Pride and Prejudice next, so if you live near NYC, don’t miss it. The group of actors were very talented and the director Eric Tucker did a wonderful job in using the space, props and actors available (several actors portrayed more than one character and that was beautifully executed). I love the theatre and go quite frequently here in Portugal, so my standards are pretty high when it comes to theatre productions, but this one was clearly exceptional. I have Claudine to thank for this wonderful experience.

While on the first day Claudine took me to a Jane Austen experience, on the second day I took her on a tourist experience.

We went to the Top of The Rock and took beautiful pictures, we visited Saint Patrick’s Church, the Grand Central Terminal, and through all these places do you know what she did? She bloged! She is unstoppable! I’ve never seen anyone as multitasked as Claudine. She was with me the entire day and she could give me her attention, enjoy the places she was visiting and still work for Justjane1813. No wonder she is always so active and well informed in what concerns JAFF! She is unbelievable 🙂

The last place we visited together was New York’s Public Library which has beautiful architecture emanating a special feeling for us book lovers. It also has some very interesting paintings on some of the reading rooms. Don’t you think that looks exactly like Jane? What about Charlotte and Mr. Bennet?

But the best part about the Library was the shop. Again, I could not resist so many great things related to Jane Austen! I bought more things than I should, and Claudine was a sweetheart and offered me a pair of hearings as a token of our time together!I will always cherish them and think of her when I wear them:)

What do you think of my final purchases? Most of the items are available in their online shop if you’re interested,

goodies

After two incredible days, my time with Claudine ended, but once again, the love for Jane Austen and her characters brought me together with a wonderful woman who amazed me with her strength and knowledge. Someone with whom I could speak at ease about everything, not just JAFF, and that is probably one of the most valuable lessons I take from this trip.

We may have been connected by JAFF, and we may have spent most of the time talking about books, characters and authors, but JAFF has become much more than a common interest between people. It has become a means of connecting, making new friends and feel understood and cherished.

It has become a door that opens so many paths, so many roads to follow, and for that I am grateful!

It allowed me to open my horizons and dream about the next road trip and all the surprises it may bring me…

 

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Blog Anniversary and giveaway!

1st year anniversary

Hello everyone,

Until one year ago I had no idea there was such an amazing JAFF community out there and felt alone in this addiction to Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

I remember re-watching the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice by Andrew Davies probably for the 100th time when I felt an incredible urge to have more of Darcy and Elizabeth, so I decided to search for something on Amazon. I mean, I couldn’t be the only one in need of more right? That is how I discovered Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife from Linda Berdoll and the doors of Jane Austen Fan Fiction were opened to me. With that book I discovered there were authors writing sequels and variations of Pride & Prejudice and soon I got addicted to this genre of literature. I started reading so much, that at a certain point I didn’t know which were the great authors I had loved and which were the ones I wasn’t so fond of. I also realized there were too many sub genres of JAFF and that I preferred some to others, even if Amazon didn’t distinguished that when it presented the recommendations to me.

When I started buying duplicate books and spending too much time in Amazon trying to discern which of those books being recommend to me would actually be the sub genres I preferred, my frustration increased and I started sharing this with my friends and even co-workers. One of them asked me if there was any place where I could find a list of these books by subgenre with a small description that would help me choose my next read, which prompted me to search for websites that could have these lists. I found some web sites with JAFF lists, but none of them would separate them by subgenre and rating, so I told him there was nothing of the sort, and that is when he suggested I did it myself. I started thinking on what I could do and that is how I imagined my Pride and Prejudice and North and South tabs where I have a list of all the books I have read per genre.

Before you tease me, I must confess I’m not very good with technology, so obviously in my initial search I did not discover one single JAFF blog. It was only after launching my blog and posting my first reviews that I discovered Meredith’s Austenesque Reviews, and with it all the other existing blogs.

When I saw Austenesque Reviews I thought that maybe my blog would not add anything to anyone so I was going to give it up, but then, I was so welcomed into the community and everyone was so very nice to me, including Meredith herself, that I decided to continue with my blog, even if it was just another blog dedicated to JAFF.

That was the best decision I have ever taken because until this day From Pemberley to Milton allows me to connect with people who share the same passion for P&P and N&S that I do. It allows me to talk and share experiences with people who understand me, and above all, it has allowed me to make friends that are now an important part of my life.

I am pretty certain Jane Austen never considered her books could one day have such an impact in the life of an unknown Portuguese girl, but she did, and for that I must thank her! Well…for that and for creating the most perfect, passionate, dashing gentleman ever known to mankind of course.

So, here we are, one year later celebrating the first anniversary of From Pemberley to Milton!!!

I hope to have the chance to celebrate many more blog anniversaries with all of you and many more readers who have not yet connected with our community.

From Pemberley to Milton still gives me much joy and today I would like to share that joy with you, by offering a giveaway of the 2 first books reviewed on this blog: Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections by Abigail Reynolds and The Subsequent Proposal by Joana Starnes.

The giveaway is for paperback copies and is international so that everyone across the globe can have an opportunity to read these 5 star books.

The Subsequent Proposal was offered and signed by Mrs. Starnes, so this is your opportunity to have a signed by the author copy.

To be entitled to the giveaway just leave your comment on this post. Let me know what you think of From Pemberley to Milton, if it meets your expectations or how I could improve it. Share your own experience of how you discovered JAFF, who are your favorite authors and genres or just share your love for Jane Austen. Everything is accepted 🙂

Thanks to all of you for taking this journey with me so far! And I hope we can continue to discover more of Darcy and Elizabeth and Thornton and Margaret adventures together.

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Filed under 5 stars, Abigail Reynolds, giveaway, Joana Starnes, Pride and Prejudice

Chaos Comes to Longbourn Giveaway Winner

chaos-comes-to-longbourn-thumbnail

Hello everyone,

I know it’s been a while since my last post and I have to apologize for that!

July was an incredibly busy month for me at work, and unfortunately I had to do a lot of overtime which took away my free time do to what I like the most: get into Jane Austen’s world. That meant failing to advise you I would be going on holidays after those crazy weeks and letting you know who was the winner of Chaos Comes to Longbourn, Victoria Kincaid’s latest release which I am looking forward to read.

I’m finally back from holidays and hopefully I won’t need to spend so much time in the office this month, so I will try to make it up for you with lots of interesting posts and giveaways 🙂

As I said, I haven’t announced the winner of the Chaos Comes to Longbourn giveaway promoted by Mrs. Kincaid, so without further ado, the winner is…

 

***BeckyC***

 

Congratulations Becky!!!

This book is next on my TBR list, so I’m hoping to review it shortly, but if you finish it before I do, please do share your opinion with us Becky 🙂

Please send me an e-mail to ritaluzdeoato at gmail dot com to let me know if you prefer an ebook or paperback copy of the book. If you prefer a paperback copy please send me your address so that I can pass it on to Mrs. Kincaid.

Speak to you soon everyone 🙂

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