Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Carolyn Murray...Jane by the Sea

Available on Amazon
Today I welcome, and with much excitement, I might add, new author, Carolyn Murray! Her first book, Jane by the Sea, is based on evidence of a mutual attachment to a man she met during a seaside holiday. As we so often wonder if Jane Austen ever knew love, Ms Murray expands on that idea in her novel. When you read her author bio, I think you will find she has quite an interesting background. Now please join me in welcoming her to this community of JAFF lovers...for our reading pleasure, too. 

Interestingly enough, I just got a notice from another JA fan and blogger. Look what it says! A movie in the works??? Carolyn Murray, you better tell us about this! I am all anticipation for your reply! :)


Excerpt from Jane by the Sea:

I was engrossed in my playing and did not hear the door open behind me. But I certainly heard it close, and I whirled around to see an apologetic Lieutenant Barnes.
“I hoped there was better entertainment to be found in these back rooms. And so I was right. A very pretty tune, Miss Jane,” he praised.
“I do not play for the enjoyment of others. Only myself,” I replied, coolly.
“That is most ungenerous. Why should you not share your talents with the world?” the lieutenant scolded.
“First of all, the ladies who share their talents with the world do so with one object, and that is to attract a marriage proposal. Hardly a charitable motive. After that object is secured, she is free to abandon the pastime,” I explained.
The lieutenant was full of objections. He had known many gifted young ladies who evidenced a true love of music for its own worth, including his younger sister who had a wondrous gift with the pianoforte. And she was married. I wondered how many times he had seen her since she married.
“There have been three visits,” he recalled.
“And did she play? This prodigy? Or did she step aside for the unmarried ladies?”
The lieutenant stared at me in mute revelation, followed by an amused chuckle.
“And secondly? You have another objection to sharing your talent?”
“Only this: my playing does not qualify as talent. No, do not indulge me in false compliments. My playing is of a mediocre quality and can bring pleasure only to myself. Society must prevail without the contribution of my talents, for I have none.”
“What? None? Surely you can sing?”
“Surely not.”
“Harp? Drawing? Needlework? Are you in earnest? Are you absolutely free of talent? That is most refreshing.”
What a strange idea. “You find this a cause for celebration?” I asked.
“Indeed, for you know not how exhausting it is for gentlemen to continually be expected to appreciate a woman’s talents. Hours of recitals. Endless displays of embroidery. A woman without talent is a rare find.”
He gave all appearance of sincerity, but I had never heard an odder sentiment.
“To look at you,” I mused, “one would never suspect such a peculiarity of mind.”
He slid down onto the bench beside me.
“You have the appearance of normalcy yourself,” he returned.
Before I had the chance to rebuke him, he began to play a tune with his free hand. It was a simple Scottish jig, quite familiar to any student of the instrument.
“Can you lend me your left hand, Miss Jane?”
I could not resist the novelty of the experiment. I joined in, matching his tempo, which was rather sprightly. Owing to his cast, he could not bend his left arm, and the fingers of that hand tapped soundlessly on his lap, as my right hand did on mine. It was a most unusual duet, but though unrehearsed, we managed to stay together, and were both pleased with the result.
“You play well … for a man,” I conceded. For as a rule, gentlemen did not seem to exert much effort in providing musical entertainment for others.
“I have learned today that fine playing is a matrimonial inducement for a partner of quality. Had I known earlier, I should have applied myself even more.”
“For accomplished women, Lieutenant. I did not say it worked in the other direction. But you do play well enough for your own enjoyment. And for mine.”
“That resembled a compliment!” He cocked his head in surprised amusement. “I rather expected a scathing critique.”
I was obliged to acknowledge that few could withstand the barrage of bad manners I had thrown in his path. And he had passed all tests.
“That would be to little purpose, for you never take offense … despite my best efforts.”
This confession made us both smile.
“You take great enjoyment in laughing at your fellow man,” he observed.
“I will not deny it. But I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good.”
“And do you laugh at yourself?”
“When I am not busy laughing at others.”
“And when is that?” he inquired skeptically.
I thought for a moment. “Tuesdays.”

“Oh, blessed day! I shall mark my calendar.”

Find it at Amazon
Jane Austen’s love stories have withstood an incredible test of time. They are widely read and loved two hundred years after they were written. We know that Jane Austen never married. Where did her expertise in love come from? There is some evidence that she developed a deep mutual attachment to a man she met during a seaside family holiday. But almost no details are known of this man. Only that her sister was later to say that he was a man who was truly worthy of Jane.

This is the story of that pivotal encounter. It is written in Jane’s own voice, as closely as it could be captured. Not the gentle wit of her novels, but the sharp, blunt tongue that she used so freely in her candid letters to her sister.

At the same time, we will watch how her writer's voice evolved; how she drew from the people and events in her life to create the masterpieces of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.


Author Bio:

Carolyn V. Murray, a former sociology instructor and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast (she has been to Chawton, Winchester, and Bath to pay her respects.), had The Odyssey read to her before she was even in kindergarten. Then spent her childhood buried in books, and only came up for air long enough to run to the library and make her next selection. It would be many years before she realized that she could write stories of her own.

Her "9-5" life included the good (teaching) the bad (working in casinos) and the ugly (catering in an electric clown suit.) Her writing path took a long detour into the pursuit of screenwriting, where she got selected as a Walt Disney Writing Fellow, had four original screenplays optioned, and wrote one freelance script that made it to the TV screen.

But these days, she's a lot more excited about creating the kinds of books that sustained her childhood. She is drawn to history, biography, love stories, and travel. Jane by the Sea is her first novel.


The excerpt and blurb have both intrigued me and left me wanting to read more. Thank you for sharing with us a little about your new release. I wish you the best and if it is to become a movie, then I think my wishes are late coming! Congratulations to you. 

Thank you again for visiting today, Carolyn Murray. It is indeed an honor to have you. For you readers, you will be happy to know she has included a giveaway. Two eBooks are up for grabs to two lucky commenters and the giveaway is international! You must leave a comment and your contact information to enter. The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM, 25 August, 2015. Good luck to all!


  1. A movie! What a thrill!! I hope to have the chance to read it soon! Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Good luck in the giveaway, Teresita. I hope you get to read it soon too.

  2. Fun bantering excerpt! Look forward to this one. A movie would be wonderful, too.

    Please don't enter me, Janet!

    1. Wouldn't a movie be wonderful, Sophia Rose? Thanks for stopping by.

  3. One can certainly hear Jane's blunt speaking in the excerpt. It was wonderful. Thank you for the giveaway! A movie - tell us more. I look forward to reading this book. evamedmonds(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I agree, Eva. Wasn't it wonderful? Yes, we want more info on this movie, don't we! :) Thanks for popping in and good luck with the giveaway.

  4. Janet, thanks for the link to the Guardian article (my producers hadn't even told me about that yet!!)

    Yes, Jane by the Sea (screenplay) has been optioned four times in the past ten years. It finally found a strong financier, VOLTAGE (they financed The Dallas Buyers Club and The Hurt Locker, and have a few big profile films coming up.) But we're still in search of the director. Making an original film is such a long road....In the meantime, I decided to write the book!!!

    1. That is such wonderful news! Thank you for letting us know.

      I saw the link on Facebook so followed up on the article. It was fascinating and I am excited for you and for the Jane Austen community in general. Hope you find a director soon. Keep us updated, please.

      Thank you so much for being my guest. It has been a pleasure having you visit and getting to know a bit about you. I wish you the best with your book and the movie!

  5. So excited about this new Jane Austen movie. Make it great.

  6. Wonderful excerpt. You have my attention. Movie? I will be watching. Thank you for the giveaway. Cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net.

  7. I'm happy to welcome this new author in the Austen authors club and her novel in my tbr list! I'm impressed by the biography and want to read the lovely story she creates for our beloved writer. I hope there will be a movie and that one day we can go all together to the theatre! (It would be a dream *_*)

  8. Lovely excerpt! I can easily imagine our dear Jane speaking like that! :) Thanks for the giveaway! ;)