“Jane Austen’s First Love” by Syrie James Debuts Today! Giveaways + Excerpt! — 33 Comments

  1. I loved the excerpt. I am looking forward to reading it. I find the premise intriguing. Where the ideas for your stories come from? Congratulations on the release and your accomplishments.

    • Hi Deborah–so pleased that you loved the excerpt. You can read all about my inspiration for this novel in my guest post on here:

      I hope you’ll stop by there soon–there are only a couple of days left to win some amazing prizes on offer, including a tote bag full of Austenesque goodies and a new, unique painting of Jane Austen at Goodnestone Park, where my novel Jane Austen’s First Love takes place. Good luck!

      • Thank you. I think I am losing my mind…before I asked this question I had read that 3 times and this time I thought every time Zi’ve read it I’ve thought it’s a great way to write a story…becauaebit interests you. I researched Robin Hood & King Arthur to find out if there was an actual historic figure and discovered interesting info (30+ yrs ago, but have forgotten a lot).

    • Thanks Maggie! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the excerpt and am envious that you’re off to the book store, one of my favorite places! (Or did you mean the virtual B&N?) LOL!

  2. You’ve done it again, Syrie! I can’t wait to read my copy. I especially love the relationship between Jane and her mother. Having only one daughter myself, I see both strengths and weakness through both if their eyes. Having been a teenage girl and now raising one. I love her quip “Dancing does not necessarily lead to matrimony.” I can see my daughter saying that! Congratulations on your success, Carrots. 🙂 It’s a beautiful read!

  3. Congratulations, Syrie! I wish you success with the book. The first chapter is excellent and I look forward to reading the whole book. I agree with one of the reviewers’ comments. It is as if Jane Austen is alive and writing her own story. I understand and get it that mothers are sometimes harsh and expect the best as I’m also in this situation.

    You don’t have to enter me for the giveaways as I’m not living in US. I wish it could be open worldwide though because the gifts are beautiful.

  4. I can not imagine the amount of research you must have put in to write this new book. I have never heard of this love interest so I am very interested to learn more.

  5. Lovely excerpt, Syrie, just as I would have expected, and I’m looking forward to finding the time for reading the rest. I should have been sure to get my book out before yours. Yours is a tough act to follow, but then I don’t really fancy this a competition! Congratulations and best wishes. 🙂

    • Ha ha Shannon! Thanks so much for the kind words. This is so not a competition. I’ve heard great things about your new book, The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, which I look forward to reading. Only a few days left til it releases, right? Kudos and best of luck with it!!

  6. I love both of your other Jane Austen books and can’t wait to read this new one! The cover art is absolutely beautiful too!

    • I love the cover, too! I was excited when the publisher agreed with my suggestion to feature Goodnestone Park on the cover–it’s that beautiful manor home where most of the story takes place–and it’s fun to see a young Jane Austen!

  7. Fascinating idea to develop and so interesting to hear how you researched it! I am so glad to hear of your work and have certainly added to my to-read list.

    As far as my first love, I guess I was around 17, a friend of a friend, and we dated only a couple of times before he went away-in the air force and we wrote letters for a time until he found someone else and I was quite put out, but it is funny how things become clearer as the years go by, as now it seems so puny compared to my dearest love, my wonderful passionate husband of almost 39 years!

    Best wishes for the success of your book!

    • I know what you mean, Evelyn. I had such momentous crushes on several young men in my youth–but they are nothing compared to my love for my husband–for us it’s 38 years! How about that!

      • Syrie, So awesome to hear about your long marriage! As I am the only one married out of my foursome from college, I love to hear about others happy after many years!! Than you for sharing that.

  8. I am so eager to read this! Did he know how much Jane liked him? Is that a spoiler? lol What would he think about being immortalized in your book? 😉 Congratulations on this new book and I wish you continued success.

    My first love was when I was about 15; he’s a year younger. We dated about 2 years before he realized he was gorgeous and let it go to his head a little and that was all she wrote. I still get butterflies when I think of him and now that I’ve moved back to my hometown I keep hoping I won’t run into him or his family!

    • Thanks for sharing your first love story–I really enjoyed it. I hope you love Jane Austen’s First Love! When you read the book you’ll learn all about Edward Taylor’s relationship with Jane. I like to think he’d be thrilled to be “immortalized, ” as you put it! 🙂

  9. Congrats on your newest book! I look forward to reading it!

    I met my first love on a blind date. We married one year later. Three children arrived over the next few years, and then we were blessed again with a beautiful grandson two years ago. Hubby and I celebrated our 33rd anniversary last Friday. 🙂

    • How lovely that your first love was your forever love! That is wonderful and very rare. Congratulations on your 33rd anniversary!

      My parents also met on a “blind” (arranged) date. They were married six WEEKS later!! They were happily married for the rest of their lives.

  10. Congrats on the book Syrie! I know some authors put a little of themselves into a character in their book, but in your case your characters aren’t completely fictional. Did you ever find yourself including your own dialogue or personality in any of the fictionalized parts of the book? And how did you come up with the dialogue for the characters?

    • Interesting questions, Angela! Thanks for asking! Almost every person in Jane Austen’s First Love is real. There is a large cast of characters (there were so many children in the Bridges and Payler families!), and they all would have been there that summer–so I felt obliged to include everyone in the story. I researched and gathered every fact I could find, then used it as a basis to formulate their characters, trying to give each person a unique quality.

      I had so much wonderful new information about Edward Taylor, especially his early years, which made it exciting to bring him to life–I was able to include a lot of very specific details about his life and education abroad which are so amazing, I could never have invented them on my own. It was also fun to jump into Jane Austen’s head as a teenager, knowing her so well as the woman she would become. I suppose I did indeed draw a bit on my own feelings to express Jane’s drive and emotion, since like Jane, I wanted to be a writer from an early age.

      How did I come up with the dialogue? All I can say is, with every book I write, once I’ve researched my characters and gotten to know them so well that they are real and living people to me, once I put them in a scene, the dialogue just flows nonstop and it’s all I can do to keep up.

      The only dialogue drawn from my own life are two sentences which I alluded to in my introduction above–when Mrs. Austen tells Jane (echoing what my mother repeatedly told me), that every woman must learn to be proficient at SEWING– and, “Your writing is just a hobby. Your real job is to take care of your husband and family.” “Hobby” aside, it indeed good advice–my family IS the most important thing in my life. When my husband and I were raising our two sons, even though I was a working screenwriter at the time, I knew that my most important job in life was taking care of those boys, and I made it my priority. Even though they’re both now grown, I still consider them my two finest achievements–and I think my husband and I now take very good care of each other!

  11. Congratulations and so looking forward to reading this. The excerpt is such a wonderful teaser and I laughed when Jane said “But, Mamma! I have the whole dialogue in my head. If I stop now, I will forget! Did Shakespeare’s mother interrupt his efforts with a pen? Did Mozart’s father oblige him to sew gowns for his sister?”. Thank you!

    I must say though that “The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte” is an absolute favourite of mine. There is one paragraph in the first chapter that has truly stayed with me…I wont put the whole but…“It seems to me that every experience I have ever had, everything I have ever thought or said or done, and every person I have ever loved, has contributed in some essential way to the human being I am to-day.” There is such truth to that statement for me.

    • Carole, you just made my day! I have such a soft spot in my heart for “The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte” which I worked on for years. I really felt that I got to know Charlotte and all her family members during the research and writing of that novel,. Her story is a part of me now, and I think of it often.

  12. Announcing the WINNERS in my giveaway:

    The “I Heart Mr. Darcy Bookmark” goes to Monica P, who commented on August 6.

    The “Austen in the Garden” notecard + postcard go to schilds, who commented on August 5.

    Ladies, please contact me with your snail mail information. Thank you to everyone who commented, and congratulations to the winners. I hope you are following my blog tour for more chances to win! Details at:

  13. This appears to be a fascinating book! How do you get ideas for such creative plots? Does it just come to you, or do you do some sort of brainstorming to come up with ideas? Then how do you determine the final plot, out of many variations that may come to mind?

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