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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

FLASH GIVEAWAY: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict!

Earlier today, I reviewed Laurie Viera Rigler's Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. I had then planned to do a little featurette, or tell you on Twitter, or something, that this book is currently on SUPER SALE -- a sale that is, coincidentally, lasting the exact length of AIA!

But then I thought, Misty... it's so cheap! Why not just give away a copy?
And since I agreed with myself, here we are.


One lucky winner will receive an ebook copy of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler.
This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.
Unlike any other giveaways in Austen in August, this giveaway will only be open for about a week!
Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.
Must be 13 years or older, void where prohibited, and all that jazz.
DO NOT leave any personal info or email addresses in the comments; those comments will be deleted, and the entries invalidated. (Stay safe online, guys, jeez!)
Giveaway ends August 28th at 11:59 EST.
Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(And, um, obvs: if you don't want to wait on the chance to win a copy, as I mentioned -- this is on super sale. =D )

Historical/Time Slip, 304 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Dutton

In this Jane Austen inspired comedy, love story, and exploration of identity and destiny, a modern LA girl wakes up as an Englishwoman in Austen's time.

After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman's life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her love of Jane Austen has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney's borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own.

Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman and being this other woman is not without its advantages: Especially in a looking-glass Austen world. Especially with a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.

Click here to return to the Austen in August main page!

Excerpt: Coming Home by Marilyn Brant

Please join me in welcoming back to Austen in August author Marilyn Brant! Today, she is stopping by to share with us an exclusive excerpt of a complete scene from her upcoming novella collection, Coming Home! Click through to read it in full, and then make sure to stop back by tomorrow for a chance to win a copy! 

**This is from Chandler & Jaleina’s story, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, my modern nod to Austen’s PERSUASION. This scene is from Jaleina’s point of view and takes place in mid-December, a few days before the wedding of Chandler’s twin brother (Chance) and Jaleina’s friend (Nia), the romantic couple featured in the first Mirabelle Harbor book, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek!!**

I yawned. Clearly, I was getting too old for this routine.

As I unlocked the door to my bookshop, I figured I’d better start acting my age and getting a few extra hours of sleep. I should really push my workouts to eight thirty in the morning, rather than go to the gym at the crack of dawn. I’d been up since six a.m.—only because it allowed me to zip into Harbor Fitness for the earliest exercise class and then zip out again before Chance even arrived on the scene. Seriously, I needed to get over my aversion to running into members of the Michaelsen family.
Chance was a good guy and I’d always liked both him and his twin, Chandler, but I still didn’t relish spending a ton of time with their family. Didn’t matter how pleasant they all were to me. Thankfully, the big wedding was this weekend. I was happy to attend for Nia’s sake, but I knew I’d be relieved when Saturday was over.

I rubbed my eyes and went to plug in the coffee maker. C’mon, little stainless-steel machine. Start perking. Please.

The coffee had just begun to brew when I heard the bells chime and an early customer enter the store.

I turned to look at the door and—oh, hell!—speak of the devil.

Chandler Michaelsen.

After several years away, the guy still had a noticeable presence when he entered a room. A trait he shared with his brothers, although he was a slightly torn and tarnished version of his twin and tended to sport a little more facial hair than his clean-shaven mirror image.

But, wow.

Review: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Click through to read my full thoughts on this Austenesque timeslip novel, and make sure you check back later today for a giveaway! And while you're at it, don't forget to peruse through our Janeite Conversations, past and present, for Laurie's hilarious take on all things Austen!

Historical/Time Slip, 304 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Dutton

In this Jane Austen inspired comedy, love story, and exploration of identity and destiny, a modern LA girl wakes up as an Englishwoman in Austen's time.

After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman's life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her love of Jane Austen has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney's borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own.

Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman and being this other woman is not without its advantages: Especially in a looking-glass Austen world. Especially with a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict has been on my to-read list for ages; every year when August rolls around, I always think: this is the year. And then time and my procrastination skills prove me wrong. But this year, when I was prepping (after much procrastination, of course) for Austen in August, I pulled a stack of books off of my JAFF shelf, Confessions among them, and read a tiny bit of each to see what would pull me in and get me psyched for the workload that is AIA -- and this was the book that did it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Persuading Austen by Brigid Coady | review from Sophia Rose!

Persuading Austen by Brigid Coady
Women’s Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital; Published: 7.18.17
Pages: 384  |  Format: eARC  |  Source: Net Galley
Get It  |  Add It

It is a truth universally acknowledged that working with an ex is a terrible idea…
Annie Elliot never expected her life to turn out this way: living with her dad, working as an accountant – surely the least glamorous job in Hollywood?! – and dodging her family’s constant bickering.
Landing a job as a producer on a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice seems like the piece of luck she’s been waiting for. Until the cast is announced, and Annie discovers that the actor playing Mr Darcy is Austen Wentworth: the man she’s spent nearly a decade trying to forget.
Not only is Austen her ex – but while Annie’s life has stalled, Austen is Hollywood’s hottest property…and has just been voted World’s Sexiest Man.
With nowhere to hide, there’s just one question. Now the one who got away has come back, should Annie stand by her pride? Or give into Austen’s powers of persuasion?

A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion set against the world of the British Period Drama and the production of Pride & Prejudice sounded like all sorts of fun so this was an easy sell for me after reading the blurb and wanting to try a new to me author.

With modern retellings, I am always keen to discover how Austen's original characters will translate into the modern world and what the author will choose for the modern setting. I thought it was clever to cast the Persuasion characters as actors and actresses and at the same time offer a fun wink at the more popular Austen novel, Pride & Prejudice.

I was all set to love this one to death, but I ended up settling for milder feelings of like.

5 Minutes with Jane Austen: a Janeite Roundtable discussion

A brand new year of AIA means a brand new round of roundtable questions! (See what I did there? Eh?) If you're unfamiliar, basically I round up a bunch of Austenesque authors (or even a group of you guys, as I did last year!), and ask 'em so half-serious/half-silly questions about Austen, and then I work those answers into one longer "conversation" piece. It's like we're all just sitting around, chattin' Austen, which you know is what we'd be doing if any of us got together IRL.

Our first question this year is one that — why did it take me so long to ask this? I mean, this should have been standard from day one.
If you had 5 minutes alone with Jane Austen, just you and her in a room, and you could ask or do anything, how would those five minutes play out?

ME: I'm gonna assume we're all perfect ladies, and that this "5 minutes alone in a room with Jane Austen" isn't going to turn into Seven Minutes in Heaven. But if it does. . . no judgement. *looks at you all judgmentally*

Introducing Lady Susan Vernon | guest post from Maria Grace!

To aid us in our group read along of Lady Susan, the fabulous Maria Grace has dropped by to lay a little learnin' on us. Enjoy!

I would like to introduce you to my favorite, little known Regency work Lady Susan, by Jane Austen. The most remarkable thing about this short, epistolary novel is how very modern it sounds. Possibly written in 1794 but not published until 1871, after Jane Austen’s death, Lady Susan is almost entirely unlike her better-known pieces.

What makes it so different? In modern terms, it is a train wreck. Imagine if you will The Real Housewives of… or The Bad Girl’s Club ‘reality’ shows. Now picture them set in Regency era London. A little hard to wrap your head around perhaps, but it does give you a feel for a book that starts off with a startling character that you love to hate and just can’t take your eyes off.

Lady Susan is nothing like Austen’s typical heroine. She is one part Gregory House from House MD television drama, one part a housewife from The Real Housewives of… pick your favorite city and one part pageant mom/dance mom, all wrapped up in an empire waistline and feathered turban. Doesn’t that alone make you want to pick this up and read it?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Save the Date: Movie Watch Along & Chat: Love & Friendship

Every year, I try to do a movie watch-along, where I watch an Austen movie and live tweet it as I do so, and invite you guys (gals, probably) to watch and tweet along with me. I know that it's not possible for everyone who wants to watch along to do so, purely due to timing (I mean, a good evening show time here in the Mitten might be the middle of the night for some of you, or the time you're usually struck in rush hour traffic, etc.).

BUT THAT'S OKAY! I encourage you to watch it and tweet (hashtag #AustenInAugust, of course) or weigh in where and when you can!

Especially because this year's film promises to be a fun one!
Since our group read is Lady Susan this year (a super quick read, you should join us), we're going to be watching Love & Friendship! I somehow haven't seen this one yet, even though it looked so hilarious that I'd intended to do something I rarely do, and see it in an actual theater.

I mean, just look at this:

And even if you haven't -- and don't intend to -- read Lady Susan, this is truly something anybody can watch, and most people will probably enjoy. I mean, it has the amazing Kate Beckinsale in it, how could it go wrong? So I hope you'll join me for our 2017 Love & Friendship Watch-Along, next Tuesday (not tomorrow, trying to give you lots of warning!)!

What: Love & Friendship movie watch along and chat
Where: Twitter, with the hashtag #AustenInAugust
When: Tuesday, August 29 at 8pm EST
How: copies are available via Amazon (free with Prime!), YouTube, iTunes and GooglePlay

I try to always find something that has a free option, but I know Netflix & Hulu are different in every country; I'm not sure if the same is true of Amazon rentals & Prime, but hopefully these venues will give all of you options! (And if you don't want to rent it, you have time to grab a copy from your library, if they have a DVD section!)

Hope to see you there!

Click here to return to the Austen in August main page!

Viewer's Choice: Vote on what you'd like to see during AIA!

Austen in August is going on RIGHT MEOW, so let me know which video you'd most like to see sometime in the next 2 weeks!

1. Review of an Austenesque book from my shelves (I'll let you guys pick if we get to that stage)!
2. A series of "first impressions" videos of 3 or 4 Austenesque books from my shelves!
3. A "tour" of all of the Jane Austen bits and bobs I've collected over the years!
4. An Austen-inspired book tag!
5. A step-by-step tutorial of Austen-inspired watercolor or word art!

I'll leave the voting open for about a week or so, and then record the winning video & post it for Austen in August!
Tell me YOUR choice in the comments and/or via the poll in the video!

Click here to return to the Austen in August main page!

Read Along Invite: Lady Susan by Jane Austen!

I know, I know.

We've read all of the Big Six, so earlier this year, I had a poll to determine what we'd read for our read-along this year, and technically, the winner was a bit of JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction for you noobs), aka a reinterpretation, sequel or adaptation of Austen's works. It won very slightly, but it won nonetheless.

And then I decided to toss that out the window, so...
Look, my reasons were GOOD, I promise. I decided that, for our first adaptation read along, I wanted much more planning to go into it. I wanted to have a whole series of things planned, and maybe work directly with an author or publisher to get you guys a discount on the book, so that everyone would have a little easier access to the title; I wanted to devote some serious time and thought to discussion prompts, and maybe have some kind of group reading thing on twitter or youtube live, or something.  And reading an adaptation just felt wrong, somehow.
Afterall, there's still a bit of original Jane to be read.

And that bit of Jane -- this year, at least -- is the silly, irreverent, absolutely madcap Lady Susan! It's been ages since I've read Lady S., and I've only read it once, so I'm coming to this with pretty fresh eyes, myself. But whether you've read it countless times, or never-not-once, I hope you'll join me not only in reading this very quick, very different incomplete novel from Our Lady Austen, but also in discussing and speculating and picking apart. . .

If you don't already own a copy, here are a number of options to pick it up (some even for free!):
FREE digital copies:

AUSTEN IN AUGUST 2017 Main Page!

Well hey there, you sexy Janeite, you! And welcome to our 8th annual Jane Austen celebration! If you're unfamiliar with Austen in August (which means you're probably new around here, so: welcome!), briefly: AIA is 2 solid weeks of non-stop Janery -- reviews, discussions, guest posts, giveaways. readalongs, etc., etc. -- if it's Jane, it's fair game. All are welcome in Austen in August, from the most diehard of Janeites, with their " If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more" tattoos and their invitations to Almack's*, to the most fresh-faced, wide-eyed initiates, who find no significance (as yet) in the term "fine eyes"... (noobs).
*If groups like this really exist, please tell me how to become one of your order...

Below is the schedule of events to help guide you through the next two WoJ (Weeks of Jane). The Austen in August button, seen above, will be at the bottom of every post, which you can click to be brought back to this main page, and from thense, onto your next bit of Janedom! Feel free to snag the button below and display it on your sidebars, tumblrs, or your own AIA blog posts, should you feel so inspired!

And speaking of your own posts - a lot of the amazing Jane goodness you're going to see during Austen in August was contributed by other bloggers and authors who are amazing and astounding and awesome, and I'm sure other words beginning with 'A,' so make sure to show them lost of love!

Also, while we're at it, I HIGHLY recommend that you join our read-along of Lady Susan (it's suuuper quick, I promise!), and the accompanying discussions, movie watching parties and/or twitter chats!

Last piece of business, I will be using page breaks this year, so if you see a post that interests you, click through! I've gone back and forth over the years, but the faster page load times and the minimization of clutter won out this year, so page breaks it is! But please, weigh in: if you'd much rather have each post in its entirety on the main page, let me know!

Now: let's get down to business. . .  (to defeat the Huns... wait, wrong fandom.)

(My, aren't you the belle of the ball?)

Sunday, the 20th 
Monday, the 21st 
Tuesday, the 22nd
Wednesday, the 23rd
Thursday, the 24th
to be revealed!

  • Save the date: Tuesday, the 29th: Live Twitter Chat & viewing of Love & Friendship. more info can be found here.

Please note, posts will go live staggered throughout the day, so if a post isn't linked, or the link isn't active, make sure to check back later!

Want more Austen while you wait for tomorrow's fresh posts? Check out past AIAs!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Jinx! Berserker! Roar! Yes Please!

As I'm preparing to head into this year's Austen in August fray, I've realized that I somehow got a little behind in posting videos from my youtube channel to this blog. (Oops.)
It hasn't all been bookish over there, but much of it certainly has -- and the most recent bookish video certainly should have made its way over here. It was a quartet of reviews for some of the books I read during my 30 Day Book Binge (on top of the trio of weird I reviewed previously), including one SUPER early review for what turned out to be a surprisingly good book!

You can find my thoughts on all four books below, and if you're curious what else you've missed over on the ol' channel, I also talked about the really, really weird dreams I've been having...

Yes Please

Close Kin
A Face Like Glass
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Friday, August 4, 2017

Mighty Jack & the Goblin King by Ben Hatke | Blog Tour

It's no secret around here that I love Ben Hatke's work. All of it. Every last drop of ink, right down to the tiniest, silliest character. Everything is very vivid and lively, with bright, bold colors* and big, big emotions, and I always, always, always finish his stories with a giant smile on my face.

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King was no exception. It's got that perfect blend of whimsical fantasy, sweet and fearless characters, and lush, vibrant coloring that I've come to associate with Hatke's work, and it's also possibly the funniest book he's written, thanks in large part to the goblins (goblins! Anf gobblets! I WANT A GOBBLET. Dammit, how does Ben always make me care about and want these silly little creatures in every. single. book.) As I've said before (in probably every review of Ben Hatke's work that I've ever written), the story feels like elements of my childhood come to life. It's a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, so of course there's that, but also, the giants remind me of the Gorgs from Fraggle Rock, with maybe a dash of Little Monsters and something else from my childhood that I can't quite out my finger on. And Jack and Lilly . . . where to even begin with Jack and Lilly. They're all the best bits of all of my childhood favorite adventurers combined, but with more modern finesse.  There's really nothing not to like about them, and I very, very much would like to see an entire series featuring the adventures of Lilly   the motherfreaking Goblin King!.

This one plunges right into the action, wasting no time from where the first book left off. This is great, but it also means that you definitely should read book one first (though that said, there is enough info given, and most people are familiar enough with the concept of Jack and the Beanstalk, that the majority of readers would still be able to pick this up and read/understand/enjoy it just fine, even without having read book 1. But, dude, read book 1. It's good!) The stakes feel very high in this (poor Lilly gets dragged through the ringer from page one!), and Ben reinterprets/repurposes original elements from Jack and the Beanstalk and similar tales in very fun, clever ways.

And it's just a joy to read. I mean, there's a giant suit full of rats, you guys. I know that's probably repugnant to a lot of you, but I mean, clearly with a blog name like "The Book Rat," I'm more than happy to find surprise rats in my books... And yeah, okay, maybe the rats aren't really good guys here (typical), and maybe a fewof them get a little stabbed. But still. The old sight gag of something smaller (two kids stacked one on the other's shoulders, etc), pretending to be full-sized and Very Important is only made funnier and more absurd by the fact that it's rats. But even for those of you who won't be won over by the rats, I can't imagine there will be many people who will pick this or any of Hatke's books up and not be charmed. And those who are already fans may find a surprise special guest or two tucked away in these pages...

If I haven't already made it clear, you should be reading Ben Hatke's books. Like, now.
Lucky for you, this hits stores TOMORROW SEPTEMBER 5TH, I know which month I'm in, really. O_O

*And shout out to Alex Campbell and Hilary Sycamore on the gorgeous coloring for this series!

Don't want to take my word for it? Check out others' thoughts on the rest of the Mighty Jack blog tour! Or watch Ben talk about creativity and shenanigans to Paste magazine here!

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke
Adventure, Fairy Tale Retelling; 207 pages
September 5th 2017 by First Second

The garden behind Jack’s house has gone wild with creatures set loose by the magic beans Jack and his kid sister Maddy planted. One particularly mean creature has kidnapped Maddy and carried her off. Now Jack and his neighbor Lilly must follow her to a world between worlds beyond the vines and stalks, where giants grind the bones of human children to feed their beast in the castle up above, and a fearsome goblin king rules down below. It'll take more than Lilly’s bag of concoctions and tricks, and more than one hero, to rescue Maddy, reunite Jack's family, and bring them all safely home again.

Ben Hatke is the author and illustrator of the New York Times–bestselling Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, the picture books Julia's House for Lost Creatures and Nobody Likes a Goblin, and the graphic novels Little Robot and Mighty Jack. He lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters. benhatke.com

Friday, July 21, 2017

THE TRUTH . . . is on audio | ad

I have a confession to make: I don't think I've ever seen a single complete episode of The X-Files. Maybe one. It's always seemed like something I would really like, and I have close friends who were pretty much obsessed with it, and yet. . . When it originally aired, I think there was something else I watched that came on at the same time, I dunno, and then maybe after awhile, it just seemed like it'd be too hard to catch up on. In this age of Netflix and binge-watching, I've thought about starting it, but it's just always seemed like such an undertaking, you know?

I've always intended to watch it, I just haven't.

But this month, The X-Files: Cold Cases is a featured title on Audible, and I've been listening to it a bit to get a feel for it (which is maybe silly of me, since it takes place after the original series run, so... probably spoilers, yeah?), and it's reminding me that I really should go and start a good ol' binge, because I probably really would love the show. And the audiobook.

It's performed (narrated certainly is not the right description in this case) by  Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, of course, along with additional cast and sound effects -- the works. This makes it unlike other audiobooks I've listened to at this point, because though I have full cast recordings in my audio collection, I've not yet listened to anything that wasn't narrated by a single person doing multiple voices as needed. This is more akin to the old school radio dramas -- the OG audiobooks, if you will -- that captivated audiences in the early decades of the last century.  It feels more immersive, more immediate, than audiobooks generally do (and they already feel a bit more immersive than a text book, since there's a voice and sounds in your ear). It makes for a pretty neat listening experience, and one that I'm sure will be a hit with the legions of X-Files fans.

And hey, if it sounds like something that'd be up your alley, you can download it for free as part of a FREE 30 day Audible trial -- Or maybe you want a different X-Files book (they've got it) or any other of the many, many audiobooks Audible has to offer. Doesn't even have to be about aliens! They've got it all.

You know what they say: the free audiobook is out there. . . 

*gazes off into the night sky*

[Also, did you know that Gillian Anderson wrote a book?!]

about the book:
The X-Files: Cold Cases
Written by: Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dirk Maggs - adaptation
Narrated by: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, Willliam B. Davis, Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, Bruce Harwood
Length: 4 hrs and 5 mins

The series that had a generation looking to the sky gets a breathtaking audio reprise in an original full-cast dramatization featuring actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson returning to voice FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.

Based upon the graphic novels by Joe Harris - with creative direction from series creator Chris Carter - and adapted specifically for the audio format by aural auteur Dirk Maggs (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Alien: Out of the Shadows), Cold Cases marks yet another thrilling addition to the pantheon of X-Files stories. Featuring a mind-blowing and otherworldly soundscape of liquefying aliens, hissing creatures, and humming spacecraft, listeners get to experience the duo's investigations like never before.

Set after the events of The X-Files: I Want to Believe and providing additional backstory to the incidents that pulled Mulder and Scully out of reclusion prior to 2016's miniseries revival, a database breach at FBI headquarters allows an unknown group to access and capitalize on those investigations left unsolved - dubbed cold cases - by the secret department once known as The X-Files. As friends and foes of the agency long thought gone begin to inexplicably reappear, former agents Mulder and Scully come out of anonymity to face a growing conspiracy that involves not only their former department but the US government and forces not of this world.

Here, fans are treated once again to Mulder and Scully's irreplicable chemistry as only the series' leads could deliver, Duchovny's deadpan and cynical aloofness finding its natural counterpoint in Anderson's unwavering intelligence and rigidity. Appearances from series regulars and the actors who made them fan favorites round out this must-listen arc: the gruff, no-BS righteousness of Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi); the distinctive click-puff of the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis); and the stooge-like hijinks of three beloved conspiracy theorists called the Lone Gunmen (Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood).

Whether you're a believer or a skeptic, find your "I Want to Believe" poster. Break out that makeshift alien stiletto. Grab a pack of Morley cigarettes.

The truth is out there. You just have to listen.
Join the conversation: #istillwanttobelieve

©2016 The X-Files ™ & © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved. (P)2017 Audible Originals, LLC. THE X-FILES THEME Written by MARK SNOW, Published by T C F MUSIC PUBLISHING, INC. (ASCAP), Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible.  The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


So, uh... You guys have been asking me about Austen in August on Twitter for some time now, and I've been dilly dallying and tweeting things like "I'll have a post up soon, I promise!" but all the while, I've been debating whether or not to even have it this year. Frankly, I've just been feeling really worn down and tired, and the idea of all of the work that goes into it -- I've just had a mental block about it; if I don't think about it, I can keep putting it off and August will never come, right? I mean, all I want to do is cuddle my precious kitten and take a nap...

But no. Apparently the world keeps turning, and the fact of the matter is that I do love Austen in August, and I do love the enthusiasm and discussions you guys bring. And I have been bookmarking pages and jotting notes of things I want to share for AIA, so clearly I made my mind up without informing the rest of my mind? That's how that works, right?

But, um, it's almost August. As Austen would say, procrastination is a bitch. (It's true. She said that. Had it embroidered on a handkerchief and everything.) So Austen in "August" is once again going to start late and spill over into September a bit (but don't worry, Austen's just as good in September, I promise). And disclaimer: you might have to cut me some slack this year. A little. Maybe. (please?)

But that's enough preamble, I think. Most of you know the drill by now, but for those who don't or need a refresher:
What the Eff is AIA?
The Deets:
  1. Austen in August is a celebration of all things Jane Austen, featuring reviews, discussions, vlogs, giveaways, interviews and more! [See years onetwothreefourmother-freaking five, because it's been half a decade, yo!, six, because we didn't stop there, and holy crap seven -- we've been doing this for so long!] You can stop by any time during these 2 weeks and get lost in Austen. It's all very austentatious. . . alright, I'll stop now.
  2. It runs AUGUST 20th through SEPTEMBER 2nd, and everyone is welcome to participate. You can just read and comment on the daily posts, if you'd like, but  as always, I will also be welcoming guest posts. Wanna review or giveaway your favorite adaptation? Share your Top 5 MOJ (Moments of Jane)? Discuss why Edmund is actually totally a catch *gag*? I'd love to host your awesome post! Fill out the form below with what you'd like to do and I'll reserve a spot for you!
  3. Are you an Austenite author who wants to be involved? EMAIL ME! I'd love to have you involved!
  4. Once again I will be hosting an Austen Read Along to coincide with the event, but hey! We've worked our way through all of the Big Six! We could read the juvenalia, or letters, or anything really, but I thought it could also be fun to start in on some adaptations! What say you?  Answer in the poll below, and I'll update with what we're reading in about a week!

That about covers it.
So if you're interested in being a featured guest right here on this blog (or on my vlog!),fill out the form below! It'll remain open for the next few weeks, after which you can email me directly if you're still interested.

You guys are always amazing at contributing your time, creativity and enthusiasm to this event every year, I luuurve you for it and I can't wait to see what you come up with! And I said this last year (and the year before, and will forever and evermore), but I meeeeeeeeeaaaan it:
I don't ever want anyone to feel obligated to contribute in any way, but if you've been on the fence and too shy in the past, I'd love to feature you this year! I LOVE pulling in new Janeites, you have NO IDEA.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

#30DayBookBinge: Week 4 | VLOG

Uh, so enjoy this super mellow, animal-filled, chill final vlog of the #30DayBookBinge (that also happens to be a week late. Oops).

Let me know in the comments how you did this month, and what you'd like to see added or done differently next time! And if you didn't participate, let me know if you plan to!



"Old Bossa" and "Lightning on a Blue Sky" by Twin Musicom are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video, though some of these books were sent to me for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week THREE of the #30DayBookBinge -- I'm on a roll, y'all!

Another week bites the dust! Enjoy the stroll down memory lane, 'cause... I found a box of old stuff. ^_^
And I am on a roll with this #30DayBookBinge, y'all. Loving. It.
Alsoooo, sorry for the occasionally super quiet, whispery voice. That's what I get for vlogging at bedtime...

Yes Please

Also Mentioned:
More of Me
In the Woods
Critical Role

Unthunk -- Perpetuum
Podington Bear -- La Di Day

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In It For The LOLS. . . | Audible Ambassadors [ad]

As any of you who have been following (or participating in!) the #30DayBookBinge will know, I've been getting in a lot of audibook time while I garden this month. Yes, yes, I took my own advice -- shocking, I know.

And I've come to realize something -- the audiobooks that win me over, that I tend to reach for, that I'm most excited about -- now, right here and right now -- are all really freaking funny.

They can be funny in different ways, from the dry yet absurd The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, to the off-beat and zany  Yes Please, or even the sorta-sexy-but-also-really-damn-funny Austentatious, which I've talked about before.  It can be hard to lure me into audiobooks sometimes, because I am very picky about narrators and voices and pacing and all kinds of other things that I can use as excuses. But a good, funny narrator? Well, then it really doesn't much matter what the story is, tbh.

If it's funny enough to make me forget I'm weeding my garden or doing my dishes (my god, how I loathe doing dishes...), then I'm in. And if makes me inelegantly laugh-snort, then all the better. I like an audiobook -- and a narrator -- that makes me feel light, that makes me feel happy, that makes me feel like I'm listening to an old friend. . .

That said, I know there's a whole big world of audiobooks and experiences out there that I should really be dipping my toes into. Some of you have recommended books in the past that were fantastical and mythological, because hearing the language and pronunciation helped transport you to the world (an experience which my listening of Exquisite Captive validates). I know others who love a good scary audiobook, because the around-the-campfire vibes help send the shivers down their spines.

So my question to you is: what type of story or narrator helps transport you when you listen to audiobooks? Or more importantly, which really, really excellent ones do you recommend I try?!

And if you're curious to try any of the books I mentioned (or any of the many other riotously funny audiobooks out there), remember, you can get the book of your choice, absolutely free!! as part of a FREE 30-DAY TRIAL TO AUDIBLE. So. . . take advantage of that.
(Seriously. Take my advice sooner than I take my advice. I am an audiobook convert, and I could kick myself for not have embraced them sooner.)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

#30DayBookBinge, Week Two | Vlog

So after much hair-pulling and some delay, the "magical disappearing vlog" that I had to redo is finally ready! (And please, for the love of jeebus, if there are any issues or weirdness or audio-level offness, just ignore it. This vlog was about to be the death of me. *insert unimpressed emoji*)

ANYWHO, I hope everyone's #30DayBookBinge is going FANTASTIC! After an iffy start to week 2, mine has really picked up, and I'm starting to feel like I'm back in the groove of things! Now, lemme go find some wood to knock on...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
A Face Like Glass
Words in Deep Blue
Yes Please
A Darker Shade of Magic
Weird Books Review Trio
Words in Deep Blue review
More of the binge


Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video.
Music: Riot "Safety Net" and "Jupiter One"
Silent Partner "Soul Search"
Jimmy Fontanez "Salgre" all from the YT creator library

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Trio of Weird Books | #30DayBookBinge REVIEW

I mean... there's a definite theme to the books I've been reading for the #30DayBookBinge...
Also: outdoor reviews! In public! With bugs! (blech)

(I would normally have made a nice, shiny thumbnail for this video, but I was very amused by the way I was nuzzling Conjured, so...)


Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst
Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
(audio narrated by Stephen Fry)

Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together, this dynamic pair began a journey through space aided by a galaxyful of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, three-armed, ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian (formerly Tricia McMillan), Zaphod’s girlfriend, whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; and Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he’s bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? For all the answers, stick your thumb to the stars!

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
In the underground city of Caverna the world's most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare. They create wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned. Only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear — at a price.

Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell's emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed ...

Also mentioned WORDS IN DEEP BLUE by Cath Crowley -- Review here!

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video, though one of these books were sent to me for review consideration purposes. All opinions are honest and my own, and all bugs are cuddly and not trying to eat my face (or so they claim).


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