Monday, February 29, 2016

Rumour & Recklessness...Nicole Clarkston

Available at Audible and Amazon
Dear Readers, I am so excited about the guest visiting today. As several of you know, I recently posted a review of Nicole Clarkston's North & South variation, No Such Thing as Luck. (it won one of my MAE Awards for favorites of 2015) Then a few days later, Ms. Clarkston allowed me to post an excerpt from her work in progress which is another North & South variation! That excerpt has us 'all anticipation' for the release of this book!  As you can probably guess, my guest is Nicole Clarkston! Yay! She is here to visit with us about her Pride & Prejudice variation, Rumour & Recklessness. It is now out as an audio book and she has two of them up for grabs! Isn't that fantastic!

Ms. Clarkston agreed to answer a few of my questions and let us learn more about her . I think you will agree that she shared some informative and entertaining thoughts. She is also giving away two of her just released audio books, Rumours & Restlessness!  The paperback and eBook were already available for purchase and now the audio book is available. You know I am excited about that as I dearly love a good audio book! :) Be sure and check back tomorrow as there is a mystery post to go along with this one. Comments left at both posts will increase your chances of winning! You are going to love tomorrow's post too!

Yes, I am getting ahead of myself so back to the present and today's interview! Please join me in welcoming Nicole Clarkston to More Agreeably Engaged!


How and when did your interest in Jane Austen take root?

I was a bookworm from age five, but I managed to survive until my early thirties without ever once picking up a Jane Austen book. I kept seeing Pride and Prejudice everywhere, so I finally decided I ought to read it at some point. My expectations were not very high, but I got a library copy of both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and took them on a camping trip. I spent most of that camping trip buried in those books- I’m afraid I was rather unsociable. I read them each twice in four days and I was hooked!

That sounds like an interesting camping trip even if you were not so sociable! I would bet it was great atmosphere for reading. What drove you to start writing your own books? Did you write other things before writing JAFF?

I stumbled upon some great JAFF selections in my library. I never knew this kind of thing existed! I quickly found myself scanning the shelves for more. They were such clever continuations of the story I already loved, and I couldn’t get enough. Soon after that, I discovered Kindle and read everything I could get my hands on.

I have always wanted to write. Even as a child I remember watching my favorite cartoon- at the time, it was Walt Disney’s Robin Hood- and then fantasizing about how I would have changed the story, or imagining the scenes they left out. In Jr high, I constantly had either a stack of books or my own writing journal at my side. I was always too bashful to let anyone read it but my very closest friend.
One summer, twenty years later, my husband went out of town for a week. While he was away, I committed to stripping and finishing my wood floors (because he told me I couldn’t do it). I rented a commercial floor sander, bought a bunch of varathane and set to work. It was a dusty, smelly project, and I did most of the work in the middle of the night with my kids sleeping in the yard in a tent to protect them from the fumes. To keep me company, I set up my laptop with a queue full of Netflix movies I had been meaning to get to. The very first was North and South. I was instantly in love with the story and had to get my hands on the original book, as well as the very meager selection of variations I was able to find.

My old desire to write my own versions had been growing again, and late one night when I couldn’t sleep, I slipped out to my computer and No Such Thing as Luck was born. I couldn’t get enough of it! About a month later, the same thing occurred and I started Rumours and Recklessness. In my mind, those are the “sister stories,” because I worked on them mostly concurrently for about a year.

I loved hearing about stripping and finishing your floors! Awesome! I bet the kids loved sleeping in the tent too! Sounds like you had good company while working too. I love North and South, as you know. On to the next do you approach religion in your stories?

Both Pride and Prejudice and North and South have distinct cultural influences by religion. Jane Austen was a rector’s daughter, and Elizabeth Gaskell the wife of a Unitarian minister. It is only natural that their faith should flow through their work and be a topic of discussion by their characters. At the same time, both handle religion with subtlety, particularly Austen. Gaskell’s characters wrestle with their notions of religion and morality more openly, but never too bluntly. What I particularly love is how honor and sacrifice are portrayed through the characters of Darcy and Thornton. Both learn, in humility, to lay aside their own desires and seek the good of the woman they love at a time when it seems she will never belong to them. This is the very best kind of love, and it stems right out of the authoress’ experiences in their faith.

I love your thoughts on the last question, especially the last three sentences. Moving on, what is your writing routine?

I tend to squeeze in writing whenever I get a spare moment. I work in a portable file, so I can literally use any of my devices whenever I feel like it. This has, at times, included my waterproof cellphone in my shower! My favorite time to write is early in the morning before my kids are awake. I homeschool them, so our mornings are probably more leisurely than most, but my days are fairly packed. I treasure those hours when I can curl up by the fire alone in my own head with my story.
I begin my stories with a loose outline, as well as several key scenes very vividly played out in my imagination. As I get to know the story a little better, that outline tightens up. I am getting better and better as I go about plotting my course before I blunder ahead, but sometimes the most amazing things happen when I simply sit down and let the characters start talking. They often surprise me.

It is fascinating to read how often the characters lead an author and/or talk for themselves. I hope they are talking a lot for your next book. Tell us something about it that you love most. (if you can without giving anything away)

After No Such Thing as Luck, I wanted to return to this same couple in a more traditional setting. The first was a fantastical, whirlwind romance that was a true joy for me to write. While I tried to keep it believable, I wanted to see how a much more minor change to their story would play out. Also, this story will be completely clean. I loved writing the romantic scenes, and I think they are an invaluable part of real life and marriage, but there are a sizeable number of readers longing for a real relational story without any bedroom scenes.

Sounds wonderful and I cannot wait! I did enjoy your romantic scenes in No Such Thing as Luck. You wrote them in a touching and passionate way without them being explicit. I liked that very much.  Have any real people in your life influenced your stories?

I was a very spoiled daughter and am a rather pampered wife. I do not mean that in the material sense. My father is a quiet, strong, loving man. He has always portrayed to me a very clear sense of what it is to be a man of integrity. He works harder than anyone I know. He speaks gently, but firmly, and he does not compromise his values.

When I met my husband, he first impressed me with his intense desire to live according to what he believed was right. He earned my respect long before I fell in love with him, and his devotion to me and to our family is truly inspiring.

In a way, my portrayal of both Darcy and Thornton are an homage to the two men who have most shaped my life. People speak disparagingly of romantic tales because men such as these could never truly exist, and women are making themselves miserable fantasizing over something that is impossible to find. I beg to differ. Real men are out there, and they are a remarkable species. Find one if you can, and hold on to him.

Excellent advice! What a nice tribute you pay to the two men in your life. Is there anything special about yourself or your writing that you would be willing to share with us?

I’m a farm girl at heart, and a bit of a mechanic on the side. I live in a t-shirt and jeans, and I love my critters- both two and four legged. Most of my friends are stunned when they find out I’ve been writing classic fan fiction, which is a large part of why I keep it quiet. I love it though! I have a lot to learn and I am so grateful to each and every reviewer who offers encouragement or critique.


Author Bio:

Nicole Clarkston is the pen name of a very bashful writer who will not allow any of her family or friends to read what she writes. She grew up in Idaho on horseback, and if she could have figured out how to read a book at the same time, she would have. She initially pursued a degree in foreign languages and education, and then lost patience with it, switched her major, and changed schools. She now resides in Oregon with her husband of 14 years, 3 homeschooled kids, and a very worthless degree in Poultry Science (don't ask). 

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt in her early thirties- how does any book worm really live that long without a little P&P? She has never looked back. A year or so later, during a major house renovation project (undertaken when her husband unsuspectingly left town for a few days) she discovered Elizabeth Gaskell and fell completely in love. Nicole's first two published books are her pitiful homage to two authors who have so deeply inspired her.


Available at Audible and Amazon
As I already mentioned, I have been so eager for this post ever since discussing it with Nicole Clarkston. It has been such a pleasure getting to know you, Nicole, and I love the picture of you on the beautiful horse! Looks like you were having a good time! By the way, I live in the country and I love my critters, too. There are an abundance of them as you might notice on the nature page of my website JT Originals. :)

Now to this marvelous giveaway...Ms. Clarkston is giving away two audio books of Rumours & Recklessness. To be entered, you must 'have your share in the conversation'... so leave a comment below. Be sure and include your contact info so I may reach you if you are randomly selected. The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 7th of March, 2016. Good luck to all of you AND don't forget to stop back by tomorrow for the mystery post and more chances to win!!!

And the winners are...Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless?

Ready to see who won the two books,
winner's choice, in the giveaway of

Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless,
by Denise O'Hara?

Here they are!

Paperback/eBook: Anji

Congratulations! I appreciate you and your support of my blog. I hope you will come back often as there are good things happening in the next few months!

If you haven't already contacted me,
please do respond to my email. I need to know if you prefer the paperback or eBook and the corresponding addresses for your preference, shipping or email. Thanks so much!

Thank you to you, Denise O'Hara, for the generous giveaway. I was so glad to have you visit my blog and look forward to having you visit again!

And the winner is...When Mary Met the Colonel


Maria, you are the winner 
of Victoria Kincaid's novella,

When Mary Met the Colonel

I hope you will enjoy this story as much as I did. It was neat to see Mary in a new light.

Thank you so much for your support of my blog, and again, congratulations on winning.
Please respond to my email as soon as possible so your book may be sent to you! Thanks!

Victoria, it is always such a pleasure to have you visit. Thank you for stopping by and please come back again soon. Thank you also for the lovely giveaway! 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

And the winners are...

Congratulations to the winners of Undeceived and A Little Whimsical in His Civilities. These winners have also been announced on the Rafflecopter Widget. Thank you for your participation in the blog tours! Happy Reading!

A Little Whimsical in His Civilities WINNERS:

Sonia Braz
Vesper M.
Anji D.
Joy D. King
Colleen L.
Denise H.

Undeceived WINNERS:

Irma J
Diana Doan
Michelle Jolley
Laura Dannenmueller Capio

Friday, February 26, 2016

My share in the conversation...Austen in Austin, Volume One

Available on Amazon
Austen in Austin: Volume One
By Susanne Dietze, Anita Mae Draper, Debra E. Marvin, Gina Welborn

Volume One contains four novellas that are set in Austin, Texas, in the 1880’s and are based on different books by Jane Austen. The ingenious thing about these stories is that several of the characters make appearances in all of them and many of the settings and the school, the Jeannette C. Austen Academy for Young Ladies are central to the theme of Austen in Austin. This makes for a very interesting foundation as the heroines and heroes know each other and interact on occasion. I loved that about the book. For this reason, I recommend reading the novellas in order, although they may be read as stand-alone stories.

Besides the obvious difference of time and locale, the novellas have differences from canon in that the names are altered and some of the families, siblings and circumstances vary. I did not find this to be problematic but a plus in that it seemed to fit with the western setting and era. The personalities of the characters were true to their original counterparts and the core narratives still focused on the corresponding books by Miss Austen.

The first story, If I Loved You Less by Gina Welborn, is based on Emma. February 1, 1882, the heroine, Miss Emmeline Travis, is busy making plans for the St. Valentine’s Ball. Her attempts at matchmaking do not go unnoticed by Noah Whitley, the president of a Savings & Loan, and close friend to Emmeline and her father Henry, the owner of Hotel Brunswick where the Travis’s make their home. Observing Noah as he attempts to curb Emmeline’s predisposition to meddle and as he experiences frustration and unrealized jealousy over her attention to Garrison Churchill was amusing. As the two of them discover their true feelings, it is as charming as their earlier bickering and banter.

Romantic Refinement by Anita Mae Draper, (Sense & Sensibility), begins in September 1882. Marion McDermott is going to spend a month at her Aunt Mattie’s ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Upon arrival she is caught, quite literally, by the flirtatious and handsome ranch hand, Mr. Jeffrey Whelp, with whom she had danced three times at the St. Valentine’s Ball in February. The foreman, Brandon Tabor, a former Texas Ranger and friend to Noah Whitley seemed none too pleased at this ‘entrance’ by Miss McDermott or was it something more that bothered this striking man?

The novella based on Pride and Prejudice, One Word From You by Susanne Dietze, is the third in the Volume. In October 1883 Eliza Branch with her mother and father, is attending a dance, hosted by the parents of her dear friend, Jeanie Hale. In Eliza’s haste to get to her friend, she collides with the tall, handsome and wealthy William Delacourt, owner of the Tennessee-North-Texas rail line. The ensuing encounter does not go well. The snub is made, but, unknown to Eliza, for much different and more understandable reasons. Her prejudice, sinking to a new low, reveals not only the truth behind the real man but her own shortcomings as well. Let the sparks begin! Bring in Charlie Bingham, Jeanie Hale, Jake Wicks, and Liddie and there are sparks aplenty, but all in a much different way.

Alarmingly Charming by Debra E. Marvin is the last novella of Volume One. In 1887, Kathryn Morton is accompanying her Cousin Jane to Austen Abbey, as it is called by the girls of the school. Traveling by train and reading a novel about train robbers has Miss Morton in typical ‘Catherine Morland’ form. Add to that a haunted graveyard, night visitations, a little mystery and the stage is set for an entertaining gothic story. I loved seeing Kathryn come into her own and blossom as a young woman of confidence. Mrs. Collins, the very British headmistress of ‘Austen Abbey, and her two nephews, Harmon Gray and Jonathan Wellington, are perfectly cast in this Northanger Abbey based novella. Charming!

The style of the novellas is so similar and the continuity so flawless that I might have thought they were scripted by one author had I not known otherwise. This obviously took excellent coordination and communication between authors. They all weave an inspirational thread through their stories giving the main characters a strong faith in God and a deep conviction of right and wrong. At the beginning of each novella and before Chapter One, the authors put a Jane Austen quote from their chosen book and a fitting Biblical quote. The main difference noted was two of the authors had quotes from Jane Austen’s book of choice at the beginning of each chapter and two did not.

The references to Jane Austen and the mention of her books were nice additions and always brought a smile. It was neat to ‘see’ her characters in a western setting yet acting in much the same manner. These were delightful tales and I loved seeing the interaction of the characters from all four books. Since the names were different, it was fun to guess which of Jane’s heroines/heroes/villains were being introduced or alluded to. Once I had read all four novellas, I continued to think about the characters, their interactions and how cleverly they were penned to affect their own story. There are references to some characters in Persuasion so I can hardly wait for the release of Austen in Austin, Volume Two. I initially read this volume in preparation for the interview of author, Debra E. Marvin. Now I plan to go back and read it again, this time to look for interactions/connections that I may have missed and to savor the ones I did not.

The novellas in Volume One were skillfully written and a joy to read. They were a change of pace and cleverly executed. I recommend them to anyone who loves Jane Austen and all her works. You will not be disappointed. Well done, ladies.


I am combining the giveaway for my interview of Debra E. Marvin with this review. Your comments at both will double your chances of winning one of the giveaway books. If you have not visited the interview post, I hope you will take a few minutes to do so. I think you will love getting to know Debra E. Marvin and learning more about Austen in Austin, Volume One, its authors and its creation.

Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
To recap the giveaway, it consists of either a paperback or eBook of the anthology, Austen in Austin, Volume One. Paperback is US only and eBook is international. If you are in the US, let me know if you prefer the eBook instead of the paperback. There is also a giveaway for the eBook of Ms. Marvin's novella, Alarmingly CharmingThe giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 29th of February. As usual please leave your contact info in your comment. Good luck to all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Austen in Austin with Debra E. Marvin

Available at Amazon
Dear Readers, we have another first time visitor to More Agreeably Engaged! Isn't that great! It is an honor to introduce, Debra E. Marvin to you. Debra and three other authors have written four novellas and released them in an anthology called, Austen in Austin, Volume 1. Yes, there will be a Volume 2 with four more novellas and it is available for preorder! Yay! These novellas are set in Austin, Texas, in the late 1800's and each one is based on a book by Jane Austen. They are delightful and I hope you will read them soon. 

When Ms. Marvin contacted me, I was intrigued. Living northwest of  Austin and being in Austin often, this book of novellas was of special interest to me. This time period was the time that some of my ancestors were living in the Austin area. That made the stories even more appealing. So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to welcome, Debra E. Marvin! Thank you so much for stopping by and letting us know about your new release! Thank you also for answering my questions and allowing us to know you better.


How and when did your interest in Jane Austen take root? Years ago, I decided to read all the novels, and catch up with any movie/telly productions I might have missed. It all came in handy when I began researching the War of 1812 (a big part of history here in upstate NY, but especially just over the border in Ontario, Canada) for a series I was writing.

What drove you to start writing your own books? Did you write other things before writing JAFF? I’ve been writing on and off for twenty five years and I have several manuscripts completed or partially complete. Hopefully they’ll make their way out to daylight again! I just always had the nagging desire to write.

I hope they make their way to daylight too! How did all of the authors for your new book get together? Did you know each other or how did you find each other? The eight authors of Austen in Austin Vol 1 and 2 are all blog-mates who met through writing contests. Twelve writers, mostly unpublished, were looking for a way to blog (publishers expect that) and support each other on our writing journey. We each blog once a month at Inkwell Inspirations.

That's neat! I'll be checking out your blog. Why did you choose Austin for the setting of your novellas? An excited group email discussion convinced us to try an anthology. We leaned toward regencies and Austen, but one of us admitted she’d be more comfortable with a western setting. You can all see what happened. It didn’t take long for us to pick Austin for its history and beauty, and, gosh, the alliteration was just too good to pass up!

Austin is an interesting city with much history. I'm excited that you chose it. What about this era in Austin history is appealing to you? Austin had a bustling energy: the newly rebuilt and centrally located capitol building, the excitement of the new University of Texas, and a city/country setting. Volume Two will take “Austen Abbey” right to the turn of the century.  We also found we loved writing in the ‘bustle’ period! Oh, the clothes!

Austin is still has the city/country setting. There are many stretches of undeveloped land amidst the city. It is wonderful! The clothes of that era were gorgeous weren't they! I love that each novella has some of the same characters as the other novellas even though each relates to a different book by Jane Austen. How did you manage to do that? I also like that each is a stand-alone novella although they read so seamlessly when read in order. Well done. Thanks Janet! We’re a close-knit group with high expectations of this project, but it took dedication, and flexibility. Once we each picked our Austen ‘plot and heroine’, we chose a timeline and dug into research.  I wrote my story very early in the process, so my pals were stuck with details that popped up in my story, even though it was fourth: the way the rooms looked, the staff of the school, and names that would eventually be carried through all the stories. Then, as each novella was written, we’d email questions like ‘what would your character be doing in 1884?’ and swap manuscripts for review. Mind you, this was happening over a five year period! Some of us were busy writing other contracted books.

It sounds like fun and you each did a great job. I enjoyed the novellas and would not have immediately realized they were by different authors had I not known. You were able to keep your writing styles similar. What about the Christian theme in the novellas…do you as a group feel the importance of this for your writing? I found it to be inspirational without being ‘preachy’, if you will. I feel it was pertinent to the time period in which you chose to set your stories, as well.  The ladies of Inkwell Inspirations write with a Christian world view, and know what the publishers prefer, but we don’t write for that market alone. There are a lot of readers who wouldn’t necessarily purchase Christian fiction, but still enjoy stories without a lot of sex and vulgarity. It’s all about sinking into the story, and I’m glad you didn’t find them preachy!

This is Debra Marvin and co-author,
Susie Dietze. Debra made both
of their lovely Regency dresses.
I didn't at all. Now, tell me a bit more about each of the authors in this book and in the second one. I am fascinated with your choices and would like to know why each of you, in writing your own story, chose the book that you did. The eight A-in-A authors (of course, Austen had six published novels, so we had to do some adjusting to make eight stories!) write both historical and contemporary fiction. I’d need much more time to describe my co-authors, so I’ll just say that Susie Dietze is the quintessential Regency fan among us, Anita Mae Draper is our western authority, and Gina Welborn is the creative mind who pulled us all together. Visit our blog! I chose Northanger Abbey because it was Austen’s nod to gothic literature and I’m all for mysteries and dark themes—and tongue-in-check fun. Imagine my joy when I found that Austin had a lunatic asylum! (went with a ‘haunted graveyard’ instead!)  Catherine Morland…well, you know…that sweet ditz was a challenge. Readers don’t tolerate weak heroines these days. (True gothics!) For me, she became a wallflower with a very kind and generous heart. I love her enthusiasm for life which not everyone took the time to see. Until a certain rancher showed up!

You wrote your heroine well! Do you have a muse that causes your story to lead you at times or do you use an outline and follow it religiously? What is your writing routine? Is there any setting that is more inspirational to you when writing?  Maps and old buildings really get my creativity going. That said, I’m a consummate plotter! It doesn’t reduce my creativity because once I get into my characters’ heads, they drive the story using the ‘map’ I hand them! (By the way, part of the cover of Austen in Austin is an actual post card of the city at the time of the story!)

That sounds neat! It's fun to look at old buildings and wonder about their history and what their walls could tell. As for the cover of your book, I love it! I have seen scenes similar to the foreground most every spring here in the Hill Country of Texas. The Bluebonnet and Indian Paintbrushes are beautiful! Would you tell us something about the book that you love most? (if you can without giving anything away) By this time next year, I’ll have three Arizona historical novellas out. All with the feel of an old Hollywood movie. But I’m anxious to get back to my British settings and the 1830s/1840s, though I’m trying to work more Austen-inspired fiction into my future. I love being part of this great community!

It is a great community and I am so glad that you are part of it too. Is there anything special about yourself or your writing that you would be willing to share with us?  I’m a granny, with a cat, a great job and wonderful friends. I’m a bit obsessive with fabric and would happily quilt or make costumes instead of going to work! I’m blessed to be able to write and enjoy it, and I love this journey with Austen in Austin. Thank you so much, Janet! This has been such a lovely interview, and I’m appreciative of the chance to visit your amazing blog.



Group Blog- Inkwell Inspirations:



Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live just a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankgul that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has pretty normal obsessions: fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas and whatever mystery series she’s currently reading. Visit her at, the Inkwell Inspirations Blog, @debraemarvin on twitter and Debra E Marvin on Facebook and Pinterest, but not her house because she usually has dirty dishes.


Ms. Marvin, it has been lovely having you here today and having you give us some insight into your anthology and the other authors. I very much enjoyed reading the book and 'seeing' some of the places and settings mentioned that were familiar to me as a Texan. I hope you have much success with this book and I am all anticipation for the next one. Thank you for visiting and allowing me the privilege of reading your book.
Available at Amazon

Debra E. Marvin and the authors of Austen in Austin are giving away some books for you, dear readers! Isn't that wonderful?! Thank you so much ladies. I'm excited that some of you will have the chance to read these novellas for yourself. The giveaway consists of either a paperback or eBook of the anthology, Austen in Austin. Paperback is US only and eBook is international. If you are in the US, let me know if you prefer the eBook instead of the paperback. There is also a giveaway for the eBook of Ms. Marvin's novella, Alarmingly Charming. The giveaway will end at 11:59 P.M. on the 29th of February. As usual please leave your contact info in your comment. Good luck to all.

Friday, February 19, 2016

My share in the conversation...Jane and the Waterloo Map

As part of the Jane And the Waterloo Map Blog Tour, I am sharing my review. I hope you will take a few minutes to read my thoughts and tell me a few of your own. I found this to be a well-crafted story and one that I highly recommend.

There is information regarding the giveaway associated with this blog tour so be sure and check out the wonderful prizes as well as the other stops for the tour.


 Jane and the Waterloo Map: Being a Jane Austen Mystery
by Stephanie Barron

I have always been a big fan of a good ‘whodunit’. Having one with Miss Jane Austen as the major sleuth makes it all the better! Author Stephanie Barron creates such books with her series, Being a Jane Austen Mystery. Her latest, Jane and the Waterloo Map is the first book of the series that I read but it will not be my last. Even though the book does make reference to some earlier books, it is not necessary to have read them prior to reading this one. I do hope to one day go back and read them in order, as I believe that would only add to the enjoyment of each.

Jane is in London having gone to care for her sick brother, Henry, and to negotiate the terms of the publication of Emma. The book opens with her drenched from rain on the doorstep of Carlton House, where she was invited to view and use the Royal Library for writing. She has also been given the great honor of dedicating Emma to His Royal Highness, the Prince Regent. During her tour of the library, she discovers a dying Colonel MacFarland. His last words are to Jane Austen as she aids him in his final sickness. He can barely speak the words but she is able to make out that he is saying ‘Waterloo Map’. The mystery begins…and oh what an intriguing mystery it is. I must confess, I was completely shocked at the outcome, so well-crafted was this tale.

I loved all the references to Jane’s books and her characters, especially Lizzy Bennet. I found that to be an excellent touch, again incorporating truth with fiction. The arrival of Fanny Knight, a few chapters into the book, added to the fun and humor of the story, as Fanny was quite the ‘partner in crime’. I adored Mr. Raphael West and his part in the sleuthing. The chemistry he had with Jane was exciting and I enjoyed reading her thoughts about this handsome artist with his penetrating gaze. (I was also fascinated with the art aspect of the book.)

Stephanie Barron skillfully used the language of the era and the wit of Jane Austen.
Only Henry could assume that a tale dismissed by an Egerton might be coveted by a Murray: our Henry has been tilting at windmills all his life.
Her words read as a book written in the time it was set, similar to authors of the era. The tone of her speech and the realistic relaying of events, gave me the sense or feeling of reading from actual pages of Jane Austen’s personal journal. The amount of research done by Ms. Barron was obvious as there are many references to affairs that occurred during or shortly before the timeframe of this novel and these references added to the authenticity of the storyline accounts. Much in the book is also gleaned from letters by Jane Austen to her family. Using Ms. Austen’s thoughts from her letters, actual events, and people and places in history, to write a wonderfully crafted mystery, was nothing short of genius. I loved this book and cannot wait to read the rest of the series. Well done, Stephanie Barron.

Portrait of Raphael West and his brother by their father, Benjamin West.
This portrait, dated 1796, is in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.


Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful Regency-era mystery

November, 1815. The Battle of Waterloo has come and gone, leaving the British economy in shreds; Henry Austen, high-flying banker, is about to declare bankruptcy—dragging several of his brothers down with him. The crisis destroys Henry’s health, and Jane flies to his London bedside, believing him to be dying. While she’s there, the chaplain to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent invites Jane to tour Carlton House, the Prince’s fabulous London home. The chaplain is a fan of Jane’s books, and during the tour he suggests she dedicate her next novel—Emma—to HRH, whom she despises.

However, before she can speak to HRH, Jane stumbles upon a body—sprawled on the carpet in the Regent’s library. The dying man, Colonel MacFarland, was a cavalry hero and a friend of Wellington’s. He utters a single failing phrase: “Waterloo map” . . . and Jane is on the hunt for a treasure of incalculable value and a killer of considerable cunning.


About the Author:



February 02              My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
February 03              Laura's Reviews (Excerpt)                                               
February 04              A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
February 05              The Calico Critic (Review)          
February 06              So Little Time…So Much to Read (Excerpt)                           
February 07              Reflections of a Book Addict (Spotlight)                                 
February 08              Mimi Matthews Blog (Guest Blog)                                 
February 09              Jane Austen’s World (Interview)                                                
February 10              Just Jane 1813 (Review)                                     
February 11              Confessions of a Book Addict (Excerpt)                                 
February 12              History of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Guest Blog)             
February 13              My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)                        
February 14              Living Read Girl (Review)                       
February 14              Austenprose (Review)
February 15              Mystery Fanfare (Guest Blog)                             
February 16              Laura's Reviews (Review)                                               
February 17              Jane Austen in Vermont (Excerpt)                                            
February 18              From Pemberley to Milton (Interview)                                      
February 19              More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
February 20              Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)                                         
February 21              A Covent Garden Gilflurt's Guide to Life (Guest Blog)
February 22              Diary of an Eccentric (Review) 



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·         Twitter handles: @SBarronAuthor; @Soho_Press
·         Twitter hashtags: #WaterlooBlogTour, #JaneAusten, #HistoricalMystery, #RegencyMystery, #Reading, #AustenesqueMystery #Austenesque #Giveaway





Grand Giveaway Contest

Win One of Three Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the release of Jane and the Waterloo Map, Stephanie is offering a chance to win one of three prize packages filled with an amazing selection of Jane Austen-inspired gifts and books!  

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on Jane and the Waterloo Map Blog Tour starting February 02, 2016 through 11:59 pm PT, February 29, 2016. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Stephanie’s website on March 3, 2016. Winners have until March 10, 2016 to claim their prize. Shipment is to US addresses. Good luck to all!