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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jane & the Southern Belle: guest post & giveaway from Velvet

One of my first book blogging buddies*, Velvet from vvb32reads, has joined us today to share a fun spin on the Austenesque retelling genre: the Southern-centric modern adaptations of Mary Jane Hathaway! Featured below are three of her (amusingly titled) books, with a chance for YOU to win one!
Click through to check them out and win! And make sure to stop by Velvet's blog in November, for her annual Pemberley Ball!

*Case in point: in most of my vlogs, in one of the cubes on the wall behind me, I have a little acorn fairy, made by Velvet's daughter. It is holding a miniature "book" of The Book Rat blog posts, and has sat there and watched over me for years. D'awww!


rapidly fanning
heavens to betsy, oh my
jane austen goes south


DISCOVER Jane Austen love and romance with a southern flair...

Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits
by Mary Jane Hathaway
just released: June 2014
Amazon | Goodreads

This hilarious Southern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice tells the story of two hard-headed Civil war historians who find that first impressions can be deceiving.

Shelby Roswell, a Civil War historian and professor, is on the fast track to tenure—that is, until her new book is roasted by the famous historian Ransom Fielding in a national review. With her career stalled by a man she’s never met, Shelby struggles to maintain her composure when she discovers that Fielding has taken a visiting professorship at her small Southern college.

Ransom Fielding is still struggling with his role in his wife’s accidental death six years ago and is hoping that a year at Shelby’s small college near his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, will be a respite from the pressures of Ivy League academia. He never bargained for falling in love with the one woman whose career—and pride—he injured, and who would do anything to make him leave.

When these two hot-headed southerners find themselves fighting over the centuries-old history of local battles and antebellum mansions, their small college is about to become a battlefield of Civil War proportions.

With familiar and relatable characters and wit to spare, Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits shows you that love can conquer all…especially when pride, prejudice, love, and cheese grits are involved!


Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs
by Mary Jane Hathaway
just released: July 2014
Amazon | Goodreads

From the bestselling author of Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits comes a new and comical contemporary take on the perennial Jane Austen classic, Emma.

Caroline Ashley is a journalist on the rise at The Washington Post until the sudden death of her father brings her back to Thorny Hollow to care for her mentally fragile mother and their aging antebellum home. The only respite from the eternal rotation of bridge club meetings and garden parties is her longtime friend, Brooks Elliott. A professor of journalism, Brooks is the voice of sanity and reason in the land of pink lemonade and triple layer coconut cakes. But when she meets a fascinating, charismatic young man on the cusp of a brand new industry, she ignores Brooks’s misgivings and throws herself into the project.

Brooks struggles to reconcile his parents’ very bitter marriage with his father’s devastating grief at the recent loss of his wife. Caroline is the only bright spot in the emotional wreckage of his family life. She’s a friend and he’s perfectly happy to keep her safely in that category. Marriage isn’t for men like Brooks and they both know it… until a handsome newcomer wins her heart. Brooks discovers Caroline is much more than a friend, and always has been, but is it too late to win her back?

Featuring a colorful cast of southern belles, Civil War re-enactors, and good Christian women with spunk to spare, Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs brings the modern American South to light in a way only a contemporary Jane Austen could have imagined.


Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread
by Mary Jane Hathaway
to be released: November 11, 2014
Amazon | Goodreads

A lively Southern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, featuring Lucy Crawford, who is thrown back into the path of her first love while on a quest to save her beloved family home.

Lucy Crawford is part of a wealthy, well-respected Southern family with a long local history. But since Lucy’s mother passed away, the family home, a gorgeous antebellum mansion, has fallen into disrepair and the depth of her father’s debts is only starting to be understood. Selling the family home may be the only option—until her Aunt Olympia floats the idea of using Crawford house to hold the local free medical clinic, which has just lost its space. As if turning the plantation home into a clinic isn’t bad enough, Lucy is shocked and dismayed to see that the doctor who will be manning the clinic is none other than Jeremiah Chevy—her first love.

Lucy and Jeremiah were high school sweethearts, but Jeremiah was from the wrong side of the tracks. His family was redneck and proud, and Lucy was persuaded to dump him. He eventually left town on a scholarship, and now, ten years later, he’s returned as part of the rural physician program. And suddenly, their paths cross once again. While Lucy’s family still sees Jeremiah as trash, she sees something else in him—as do several of the other eligible ladies in town. Will he be able to forgive the past? Can she be persuaded to give love a chance this time around?

--~ Book Giveaway ~--

WIN one of the books above (print or ebook).

Open to all.

Offer ends: September 6th, 2014


ANSWER at least one of below...

1. What is your favorite Southern dessert.

2. Tell me the title/author of a Southern book or movie you liked.

3. Tell me a Jane Austen related joke.

AND, leave your email OR make sure I have a way to contact you (twitter link, clickable profile, etc).


* image source: southern belle

Click the button or HERE to return to the Austen in August main page!


  1. Hi Velvet!

    These look divine and I would grab them for their titles alone I think. ;)

    I love moonpies. I hope that counts for Southern Dessert. And my favorite southern book is Gone With the Wind.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win one of these books!
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

  2. I have read only one book about the South and that was Gone With the Wind and that is the only film as well - does it count that I have watched and read them both quite a few times.

    Unfortunately I rarely eat any kind of dessert and don't know any jokes of any subject.

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  3. I have the first two books and they are delightful! My favorite dessert is Pecan Pie. I was raised in TX and we had three big pecan trees in our backyard, so pecan pie was a staple in my house. I know it has already been mentioned but Gone With The Wind is one of my all time favorite movies. Also, the movie Giant is basically the Tx version of GWTW (southwest still counts, right?) and it is sublime.

  4. Why, Pecan Pie, of course! I can't eat it these days without a sugar rush of epically bad proportions, but Pecan Pie and Chess Pie were staples in my (not-at-all-Southern) home when I was a kid.

    It's not an amazingly wonderful Southern book, but I *did* enjoy Confederates Don't Wear Couture but Stephanie Kate Strohm.

    And sadly, I know no Jane Austen jokes. But now I really want to!

  5. These books sound so intriguing!

    Like several other people, my favorite southern dessert would probably have to be pecan pie. It's one of my necessary treats for Thanksgiving :) - Maggie @ An American in France (twitter: @magsteronni)

  6. Apple Dumplings is one of my favorite deserts, my grandmother used to make them all the time when I was little.
    Would-Be Witch by Kimberly Frost, I got this book for xmas last year and I loved it!
    Answering machine message from Anne
    "I am most seriously displeased to have missed your call. I will return it at my earliest convenience (yours is of no consequence) for I must have my share in the conversation."

  7. My favorite Southern Dessert is Lemon Meringue Pie. A book that I enjoyed greatly Flying Shoes by Lisa Howarth. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. Southern Sweet Potato Pie is the ultimate dessert. Wonderful giveaway. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. I have only watched but not read Gone With the Wind and wish it could end differently for Scarlett O'Hara. I also love modern romance movies set in the South such as Sweet Home Alabama. As for desserts, my favourite is scones with strawberry, butter and whipped cream. Is it a Southern dessert?


  10. My favorite southern book and movie is Gone With the Wind! I just can't seem to get enough Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler! Thanks for the giveaway!!:)

  11. I don't think I've ever tried a Southern dessert, but I just put weight on looking at pictures of them :)

    I have read a couple of JAFF that I think were set in the south, both by Karen M Cox - '1932' and 'Find Wonder in all Things' which are versions of Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion set in different eras.

    Don't know any Austen jokes, but I'd be interested to hear any!


  12. I love the movie "Sweet Home Alabama" with Reese Witherspoon. So much fun.


  13. Velvet! You're the coolest. As is Misty of course. :)

    FAB giveaway. SO up my alley.

    1. Fav Southern dessert? Kentucky Derby Pie
    But you know what's better than Southern desserts? Southern savory things like a Kentucky Hot Brown

    2. Title/author of a Southern book or movie you liked? Got an hour? I love all thing Southern. The first thing that pops to mind would be Sarah Addison Allen. She brings magic to the South.

    3. A Jane Austen related joke? Eeeek. I'm stumped. How about..."What's stiffer than a corset? Lady Catherine."


  14. I don't have one particular favorite Southern book, but I've enjoyed quite a few cozy mysteries that are set in the South......

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  15. I love Gone With The Wind! The movie is gorgeous, and the book is good, too :)
    akaleistar at gmail dot com

  16. Hello Velvet! One southern movie I adore is Gone with the wind.I haven't read the book but the movie was amazing. Thank you for the giveaway :)


  17. I have some of these on my very long TBR. My favorite southern dessert is Pecan Pie. The southern movie I can think of off the top of my head is Gone With the Wind. Thank you for the generous give away.
    skamper25 at gmail dot com


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