Shannon Winslow claims she was minding her own business – raising two sons and pursuing a very sensible career as a dental hygienist – when an ordinary trip to Costco about a dozen years ago changed her life. That was the day a copy of the ’95 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice fairly leapt off the shelf and into her oversized shopping cart. After watching the mini-series, Shannon was hopelessly hooked on the story, Colin Firth’s Darcy, and all things Jane Austen. One may guess what followed – compulsive reading, late-night trips to the library and video store, secret rendezvous with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley. Finally, only one thing remained. Her dedication (or obsession, as it could more rightly be described) ultimately inspired her to begin writing her own stories a la Austen.
Ms. Winslow first garnered attention as a finalist in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It short story contest, with her entry titled Mr. Collins’s Last Supper. Her 2011 debut novel, The Darcys of Pemberley, quickly become a best seller, praised particularly for the author’s authentic Austen style and faithfulness to the original characters. A stand-alone Austen-inspired story, For Myself Alone, followed. Then Winslow returned to Pride and Prejudice for her third book called Return to Longbourn, which completes a trilogy when added to the original novel and her previous sequel. Next she gave us a “what-if” tale starring Jane Austen herself. The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen is dedicated to every fan who has wished that famous authoress might have enjoyed the romance and happy ending she so carefully crafted for all her heroines. Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley (a companion book to The Darcys of Pemberley, written from Georgiana’s point of view) debuted in 2015, with two more novels (Leap of Faith and Leap of Hope) in a new collection added just recently.
Her two sons now grown, Shannon lives with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mr. Rainier.
Visit Shannon at her website/blog: Shannon Winslow’s “Jane Austen Says…”
Shannon’s Novels ~
The Darcys of Pemberley
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have been married for almost a year, and their heated arguments are a thing of the past. All that passion is now directed into more satisfying pursuits. But how long will the honeymoon last? The couple’s idyllic life together at Pemberley is jeopardized by secrets they begin keeping from each other, the troubles of their closest friends, and the threat of a villain in their midst. The Darcys of Pemberley is the tale of two romances: the continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth’s story, and the courtship of Miss Georgiana. For those who didn’t want Pride and Prejudice to end, it gives opportunity to learn what happens after the wedding, to revisit old friends and foes, and to share the next chapter of their lives.
For Myself Alone
The tale of Josephine Walker, a bright, young woman whose quiet life is turned upside-down by an unexpected inheritance. With a tempting fortune of twenty thousand pounds, she’s suddenly the most popular girl in town. Yet Jo longs to be valued for who she is, not for her bank balance. She cannot respect the men who pursue her for her money, and the only one she does admire is considered the rightful property of her best friend. Now, even the motives of her new fiancé are suspect. Does he truly love her for herself alone? There’s one sure, but extreme, way to find out… if she has the courage to take it. This Austenesque story is the author’s interpretation of what Jane might have written next, with lines from her classic novels sprinkled throughout the text for her fans to find.
Return to Longbourn
Beginning five years after the close of The Darcys of Pemberley, this continuation of the Pride and Prejudice saga finally answers the question posed by Jane Austen 200 years ago. What will happen to the Bennet females when Mr. Bennet has dies? With Mr. Tristan Collins on his way from America to claim his property, Mrs. Bennet hatches her plan. The new heir to Longbourn simply must marry one of her daughters. Nothing else will do. Will it be Mary or Kitty singled out for this dubious honor? When the gentleman in question turns out to be quite a catch after all, the contest between the sisters is on. Which one will be the next mistress of Longbourn? Or will the dark horse in the race take the prize? Darcy, Elizabeth, and the rest of the Pride and Prejudice cast are back as the socially awkward Mary emerges from the shadows to take center stage. Find out if Mary is destined to be a governess forever, or if she overcomes the misfortune of being ‘plain’ to discover love and her own happy ending.
The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen
What if the tale Jane Austen told in her last, most poignant novel was actually inspired by momentous events in her own life? Did she in fact intend Persuasion to stand forever in homage to her one true love? While creating Persuasion, Jane Austen also kept a private journal in which she recorded the story behind the story – her real-life romance with a navy captain of her own. The parallel could only go so far, however. As author of her characters’ lives, but not her own, Jane Austen made sure to fashion a second chance and happy ending for Anne and Captain Wentworth. Then, with her novel complete and her health failing, Jane prepared her simple will and resigned herself to never seeing the love of her life again. Yet fate, it seems, wasn’t quite finished with her. Nor was Captain Devereaux. The official record says that Jane Austen died at 41, having never been married. But what if that’s only what she wanted people to believe? It’s time she, through her own private journal, revealed the rest of her story.
Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley
What’s Georgiana Darcy’s story? Jane Austen tells us so little in Pride and Prejudice that we’re left to wonder. How did the early loss of her parents shape Miss Darcy’s character? And what about her near-disastrous affair with Mr. Wickham? Is that the true source of her shyness? She adores her brother and his new wife Elizabeth, but will their guiding influence be enough to steer Georgiana clear of new trouble as she comes of age and falls in love again? Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley is intended as a companion to The Darcys of Pemberley, with the timelines of the two running parallel. Both novels are unique and complete in themselves, but together they supply a richer reading experience than either one alone. The earlier book focused primarily on Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship during their early married life. Now Georgiana and her courtship story take center stage.
Leap of Faith
At the Crossroads Center, they’re in the business of granting second chances. And their newest client is Ben Lewis, a former star athlete who never recovered from the death of his dream to make it big in the big leagues. Now he’s being offered the opportunity to return to 1991 and try again, this time without the illness that originally ended his baseball hopes. What’s the catch? He will pay for his second chance by forfeiting his memories of the first… and possibly along with them, the love of his life. Can he find his way home to the woman he’s long forgotten but never stopped missing? Or will reaching for the brass ring with both hands cause the treasure he once possessed to slip forever from his grasp? Leap of Faith is the first in an innovative new collection, stories all about turning points, possibilities, and second chances.
Leap of Hope
Mr. Collins’s Last Supper
William Collins is a man upon whom the face of undeserved fortune has smiled. Despite his significant shortcomings of mind and character, he has managed to secure for himself a comfortable living, a sensible wife, and a very noble patroness. Yet he cannot help hungering for a slightly higher style of living than his pocket currently supports. When Mr. Collins induces Lady Catherine to send a fine joint of mutton to the parsonage, little does he suspect the inauspicious outcome to which that tasty meal will lead. Mr. Collins’s Last Supper is the tongue-in-cheek tale of how a pompous clergyman discovers too late why gluttony is considered one of the seven deadly sins. (This is a 5000-word short story available in e-book and audio)