Fantastical Austen – The Spirit of Jane and a Giveaway! — 139 Comments

  1. I haven’t seen this book but I do like this excerpt so will definitely be checking it out. I have the ebook of Perfect Match which is on my TBR list but I admit I do love actual books. I don’t have any plans for Halloween although it is my birthday and I am retiring. I don’t really like big celebrations and as my daughter and family live in Australia and my son and his wife have 9 week old twin boys who were actually due on my birthday neither will be able to attend a party. I am going for a meal with some friends and family which is my idea of a good birthday. I will get to cuddle my newest grandsons and I will Skype my other two little boys in Australia – always a pleasure 😊 thanks for this post and the lovely giveaway.

    • Glynis, first and foremost, Happy Birthday early and HUGE congrats on your new grandsons!! I always prefer intimate gatherings with just a few friends/family for my birthday, too. I hope your celebration will be an especially lovely one this year 🙂 .

  2. Hi Marilyn. Thanks for such a generous giveaway and for making open to those of us who live overseas. Thanks also for sharing some of your book with with us. It sounds amazing! I have to confess that I haven’t read this one but it sounds right up my street, mixing JAFF with something a little paranormal.

    In my profession as a community pharmacist, I sometimes have to deal with people who are being, shall we say…..difficult. Sometimes, it’s understandable, after all they wouldn’t be in a pharmacy if they didn’t have a problem/problems. Other times, it seems as if they are being awkward just for the sake of it. At times like those, it’s be lovely to have Jane whispering advice to me on how to be perfectly polite whilst giving them a set down.

    At Hallowe’en, we won’t be doing anything special ourselves as our family is grown and left home, but we have quite a lot of small children living nearby, so I don’t doubt we’ll have visitors during the course of the evening and are well prepared for it!

    • Anji, thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and share your thoughts! I can imagine that pharmacists must be asked quite a few unusual questions…and I’d bet Jane would have some good comebacks, LOL. 😀 I’d love to hear a few of her responses, too!

  3. Good morning, Marilyn. Contemporary romances are not my favorite, but I really enjoyed according to Jane. On October 31 I am going to be grateful to get home from 10 hours with my preschoolers, put up my feet, watch a movie, and be in my bed by 8:30. Thank you for this generous give away.

    • Deborah, I’m thrilled you enjoyed According to Jane!! And, ohhhh, I know a day of Halloween excitement with a group of preschoolers has to be a LONG one! (It was tough trying to teach 2nd and 3rd graders on holidays, so I can imagine how much goofiness you’ll have to deal with on Monday…) Sending you hugs!! xo

  4. Hi Marilyn, I’ve read “According to Jane”, a long time ago. But “Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match” is currently on my wishlist. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    We don’t do anything special for Halloween, other than prepare for trick-or-treaters. My boys were there not so long ago, so we always have pizza for a quick easy meal. And then off we’d go. But now, we just enjoy the pizza while waiting for the doorbell.

    • Ginna, pizza on Halloween sounds like an *ideal* dinner plan!! (I may just have to do that, too. 🙂 ) And thank you for having read According to Jane and wanting to read Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match!

  5. It is fun to revisit According to Jane. It had been awhile since I reread. Thank you for the generous giveaway. What a great bunch of goodies!

  6. Love the excerpt…makes me want to go back and read again. You are well aware that yours are on my re-read often shelf. I would have *loved* to have the voice of Jane in my head at Ellie’s age. I also loved Emilie Loring books at that time and her voice would have been cool as well. Very different from Jane’s but cool none the less. I was very much nose-in-book girl and only popular with those that made other people’s lives miserable, so advice at that point would have been priceless. 🙂

    This will be the first year we’ve lived “in town” and I’m hoping I can successfully hide from trick-or-treaters. This introvert just wants to lay low. LOL

    • LOL about being an introvert during Halloween, Stephanie!! I hear ya. I’ve been so thankful in the past few years that my very extraverted teenage son *loves* to open the door and hand out candy 😀 . He was an insatiable trick-or-treater when he was little (we’d be out for HOURS!) and he gets into the spirit so exuberantly now. Next year, when he’s away at college, my husband and I will be back on duty again… I’ll be thinking about you on Monday night and hoping it’ll be a fairly quiet evening for you!! xox

  7. Oh my word, look at that giveaway pack!! Thank you for your generosity! I love fantasy novels, especially JAFF with a fantasy twist.

  8. Love the excerpt.
    Love your other books.
    Love the cartoon.*
    Love to win the prize.
    *Now to see if I can copy it to share and save.:)

  9. As a I was a teen in the 80’s, you had me at Jane Austen, big hair, and leg warmers ;-). Very interesting premise and well written. Thanks, as always, for sharing your talent with us.

  10. I haven’t read this book yet – I need it!!! I love your writing!! As for Halloween here, now that my children are older I’ll just be hanging out at home handing out candy to the adorable kids who come trick or treating, while my husband tries to keep our dogs contained downstairs so they don’t scare the children! Oh, and this weekend my youngest daughter (a high school senior) is hosting a Halloween get together for her friends at our house.

    • Stephanie, ohhhh, thank you!! I’m thrilled you loved the writing. Makes my day 😀 . xox My son is a high school senior, too, by the way! How fun that your daughter is hosting a Halloween party for her friends. Hope they’ll have a wonderful celebration!

  11. I’ve read According to Jane, and really enjoyed it. My Halloween plans are to take a five year Darth Vader and five year old Chewbacca trick or treating. LOL At least I think that’s what they want to be (this week). Thanks for the chance at a great giveaway.

  12. Loved the book, and posted a review. I am meeting Claudine in NYC on Sunday so I consider that my Halloween Treat!!! We live in a condo so get hundreds of children coming by on Trick or Treat night. When I was young you only went to houses in which dwelt people you knew and they invited you in and tried to guess which neighbor you were. We got lots of apples and homemade popcorn balls. But then we lived way out in the country side with few neighbors close enough to walk to. Now you don’t invite children in plus apples or homemade treats might hide pins or needles so they are not given out. Pleas count me in this lovely and generous give away.

    • LOVED your review, Sheila!! Thank you again for your very sweet words… xox Really enjoyed reading about your trick-or-treat experiences growing up. I remember the days of apples and homemade popcorn balls! And how fun your trip to NYC will be!! Hope you & Claudine will have a wonderful time 🙂 .

  13. Wow — I suppose most of us had a Wickhamesque character in our lives at some point, and it surely would have been a boon to be the recipient of Jane’s help and advice. I admit that I did not know of this book before, but am now going to seek it out (unless I’m lucky enough to win your very generous giveaway!). And altho’ I would not want to re-live the 80s (well, maybe if I could have big hair this time around!) I look forward to the fun reminders of what a strange decade it was. Many thanks for the tantalizing excerpt.

    Hallowe’en here is rather tame; we live in the Southlands where it’s not a popular holiday. And as our home is in the middle of nowhere with few neighbours, we have never seen a trick-or-treater. Before we moved here we lived up North, where Hallowe’en was lots more active and lots more fun, with people wearing costumes to work almost everywhere. (Altho’ I’m glad they don’t take part in Cabbage Night around here either!)

    • Janis, I’m so pleased you enjoyed the excerpt and that it brought back a little of the ’80s! I agree with you — it was definitely a strange decade, LOL. It’s been fun to talk about those years with my teenage son, who considers that time period to be almost as foreign to his experience as WWII or the Civil War 😀 . Wishing you a relaxing (and Cabbage-free!) Halloween night!!

  14. Thanks for sharing this excerpt with us. What a great idea to have Jane Austen as a cautionary voice in Ellie’s head. The time frame for the story brings back many memories for me as well. I can relate to the big hair and legwarmers. I think I still have a pair somewhere, too. I’d love to be included in your giveaway. Thanks again!

    • Laura, I must admit to having *loved* my legwarmers back in the day (!!), and I wish I still had a pair of them around here, so I envy you that 🙂 . Many thanks for taking the time to stop by and read the excerpt!

  15. What an interesting excerpt. Will have to go check it out as I, too, went through the 80s. Wearing leg warmers was the only time my ankles were warm. I think I have a pair stashed somewhere that I should dig out… Thank you for the chance to win some fun stuff!

    • Oh, Linda, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt!! With winter coming soon to Chicago, I truly wish I still had some legwarmers in the house, LOL! Hope you pull out yours and stay warm for the both of us 😀 .

  16. From the excerpt, I suddenly recalled reading this book a long while ago. I remember that I enjoyed it thouroughly. I think it will have to reread it soon.

  17. I loved the excerpt and now I need to add According to Jane to my wish list.
    I have no idea how I didn’t read it yet since I enjoyed every book I read by you so far.

    Thank you for the chance to win 🙂

    • Moran, thank you, sweet friend! Your kindness always brings a smile to my face 😉 . And I hope you’ll like my debut novel!! It’s been seven years since its release, which is hard for me to believe… xox

  18. Your novels are enjoyable and special. Thanks for this beautiful feature and giveaway. We love giving out the treats to the little ones in their adorable costumes. Not as many kids in the neighborhood as it matures.

  19. What fun to have Jane Austen in one’s head especially when she is warning you off from Wickham. So, I wonder who Ellie’s Darcy will be? Thank you for the giveaway – so generous!

    • Eva, thanks so much for your comments on the excerpt!! Yes, the big question in According to Jane is exactly what you said: Who is Ellie’s Mr. Darcy?! 😀 She spends the whole book trying to figure that out, LOL, and eventually she does! xo

  20. Yay! So happy to see this book and author out and about the blogosphere. I had such a great time through the pages of this one… and hardily agree, others will too! One might wonder if the sage advice of our favorite authors or characters would help or hinder us in times of need… but sometimes the wonder or fictional adventures are more than enough. After all, it gets crowded enough up there without adding ANOTHER voice! 😄

    As for Halloween, never been the party person or anything, but I do get to dress us to give out the candy at our house. Started for fun but the one year I was rushing home from work and didn’t have time, the neighbors were all…”aren’t you dressing up this year?”. LOL. Happy reading everyone!

    • Gina, thank you so very much, my friend!! You know I’m always delighted to see you around the ‘net 😉 . One day, I hope our paths will cross in person… Thanks for being so supportive & have a wonderful Halloween! xoxo

  21. Marilyn, I can’t wait to read this one. Sounds great. My sweet Keeshond puppy was named Ellie. And I collect teapots. So, a great giveaway as far as I’m concerned! Thanks for offering it.

  22. Thank you Marilyn for your generosity. I’m dressing up at work on Halloween, and when I get home I’m handing out candy. Thank you for this chance!

  23. Love the excerpt. It is a very generous giveaway! I will be working on Halloween, selling candy to last minute parents.

  24. What a brilliant idea!! As soon as I have funds and time I will get it and read it!

    In the meantime, I hope I get lucky and win your wonderful prizes!!!

    • Joanne, thank you! I can’t express how much your kind words about my stories mean to me ♥. It’s because of lovely readers like you & all of our Austen friends here that I keep on writing 😉 .

  25. Wow, Marilyn, I love this excerpt! I will definitely have to get my hands on According to Jane! I’ve only read some JAFF (mostly Pamela Aidan and Abigail Reynolds) and as a former mid-80s teen, I can see I’ll relate well to your story. 🙂 Thanks so much for offering such a great giveaway! I love being reminded that there are many out there who love JA as much as I do. <3

    • Christine, thank you! I’m always so excited to hear from others who grew up in the ’80s & share memories of that wonderfully goofy time! And I’m delighted you enjoyed this excerpt 😉 .

  26. Thank you for such a fabulous giveaway offer, Marilyn! Those are some lovely items.

    I have not read According to Jane but it does sound great. I must read it soon. 🙂 I”m behind on all my reading at the moment.

    I do not have plans for Halloween but will probably have my grandchildren come by for treats. I live in the country so they are usually the only kids I have visit. We might to to trunk or treat at church but don’t know yet. Then again, I will probably stay home and work on one of those handsome ‘Austen Men in Film + 2’!

  27. Such a fun excerpt–and a wonderful giveaway! The cartoon was hilarious, too!

    And I have a pendant replica on a black leather cord of the Peacock edition of P&P, a Christmas gift from my daughter. I love all of the literary jewelry on Etsy and also at Hot Topic where I got my Sherlock Holmes pendant. 😉

    Thank you for posting for us, Marilyn!

    Susanne 🙂

    • Susanne, what a fabulous and thoughtful gift from your daughter! And I didn’t know about the Sherlock pendants… I’ll have to scope those out 😉 . I love the creative literary items available now! Thanks for your lovely comments about my post, too — I so appreciate them ;).

  28. I’d love to have Jane Austen’s voice in my head. I feel like she’d be the ultimate “people-watcher” and would have great things to say, and wisdom to impart.

    I doubt I’ll do anything Halloweenish on Halloween unless I tag along with my nephew for trick or treating [he’s going as a zombie baseball player]. I do want to carve a jack o lantern this weekend, too.

    • Monica!!!! So wonderful to see you here — thank you for popping by 🙂 . I haven’t been on Twitter much lately… I’ve missed chatting with you ♥. Love the sound of your nephew’s costume, LOL. Hope you go with him & that he shares some good treats!

  29. Hi Mariilyn, that’s a fun-tastic excerpt! Enjoyed it to the core.Will definitely read the whole novel. Your style is so simple and chatty.You do observe ,pretty well, the mischievous maneuvers of teens in an English classroom!. The idea of Jane Austen as the ghost adviser is marvelous.The Elizabeth-Darcy pair parallels ironically with Ellie and Sam!I suppose Wckhams are common in the modern world and of which young ladies must beware.
    In Bangalore( India), Halloween is enjoyed in just few pocket areas. Mine does not fall into it.
    Wish you an exciting Halloween.
    Thanks for the absorbing read and the great giveaway.

    • Prabha, your comments were such a delight to read! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts (and “first impressions” LOL) of According to Jane 🙂 . I’m so pleased you enjoyed the excerpt! Thank you for the Halloween wishes as well. We don’t celebrate quite as much as we did when our son was little, but it’s still a night of fun… and candy!

  30. I am so happy I found out about your page! I love everything Jane! This is amazing! thank you so much! I believe that Jane was a woman ahead of her time. She had such insite and independence. I have always loved her and I have always admired her, she is my hero!

    • Latonya, YAY! I’m so glad you found our page too! You’re in good company here with your admiration of Jane — I agree with you that she was a woman way ahead of her time 😉 . Thanks for commenting!

  31. Hi, Marilyn,

    I hear you Chicagoans have been having a lovely autumn. I miss it.

    You are a generous soul! What a lovely and bountiful giveaway opportunity. I like Hollis’s ‘Pick me. Pick ME. Pick ME ME ME.’ lol

    Very cool to read from your first work; as I’ve mentioned before, or meant to, I am dazzled by your creation of a writer’s life – all the way up to ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print- – WOW. My bonnet is off to you. Fun to sample your first – how fun – and satisfying – knocks my socks off – you and the likes of Ada and Cass – ‘Wow’ is my banal but, in this case apropos, refrain. You should be so PROUD.

    Very cool twist, btw, having Jane a whisper in your character’s ear. So refreshing. I have talked to her, more than I should mention (lol), but I am now inspired to listen for her talking to me!

    Love the pic of you at Chawton, too. Brings back the nearly spiritual experiences I had there. Mecca.

    Well, I’m glad to see you’re enjoying your fans. What a delight. Congratulations. And thanks. Karylee

    • Karylee!!
      It’s so lovely to see you here 😉 . Thank you for taking the time to stop by & comment on my post…and my heartfelt appreciation goes out to you for your sweet words about my stories. Truly, it means the world to me! xox I love what you wrote about Chawton being a nearly spiritual experience — YES!! Couldn’t you almost feel Jane’s spirit hovering in that room (probably shaking her head at all of the crazed tourists and chuckling with her sister in disbelief 🙂 )?! She’s never spoken to me, but I do play this game where I’ll ask Jane a question and then flip P&P open to a random page to see what she’s answered, LOL. It’s like a JA version of the Magic 8 Ball 😀 .

  32. Are you a Cubs fan? I’ve never been one for sports, but even I have been happier than a hog in mud, watching from San Diego. Oh, JOY. My son is in heaven. WrigleyHeaven. 🙂 Take care, Kbm

    Wonder what JANE would make of baseball… ha….

    • Just about everyone within a 200-mile radius of us is a Cubs fan right now!! I’ve never seen so many Cubbies t-shirts. 😀 My husband was born in the Chicago suburbs and has been a die-hard supporter of the team since he was a preschooler, though… So, even though my ability to intelligently follow a baseball game is pretty limited, we’ve *all* been watching them play, especially through these last big match-ups (Giants and Dodgers) and, of course, the first 2 World Series games against the Indians. I get so anxious when the score is close that I have to go to another room and pace every few minutes. That’s been my “exercise” for the week, LOL. ♥

  33. What a wonderful giveaway! I love Jane!!! Thanks for the chance! I am so happy I found out about your page! Good luck to everyone!

  34. I loved the book when I first read it and after seeing this on Facebook I read it again and enjoyed it even more. You write some of the best, most engaging novels. Thank you for the enjoyment you bring to us.

  35. I don’t know what I’m more excited about, a giveaway that’s for us international readers or a book of yours that I’ve not read!! Sitting here, this side of the pond, experiencing probably the most beautiful Autumn that England has had for a good few years, a new story will keep me from ,issing my travelling husband and two kids who are now both at university. I can look out of the windows into my autumnal garden and read. Thank you.

    • Oh, Debra, thank you so much! I truly hope you’ll enjoy According to Jane, and I can absolutely relate to wanting to delve deep into a novel when the family is away… My son will be starting at the university next fall and already I can feel how much I’m going to miss him ♥. Sending you good wishes for more beautiful autumn weather! 😉 xo

  36. Hi Marilyn! Happy Halloween! I loved this excerpt and think the idea of having Miss Jane in my head would be pretty awesome. I love your books, thank you for writing and sharing them with us. Amazing giveaway, you are a very generous lady.

  37. ****Drawing time!**** Congrats to Debbie Aldous – you just won my P&P autumn Austen giveaway! I’ll email you in the next day or two to find out your address (or you can send me a private message: MarilynBrant AT gmail DOT com).

    And a HUGE thanks to everyone here for commenting on my post. I loved hearing your thoughts!!! Wishing you all a wonderful November. ♥

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