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Friday, August 30, 2019

The Janeites Play Austen MASH

Before we get into today's Janeite Conversation, I just want to take a moment to give a
to all of the authors who participated in this year's silly discussions, and in Austen in August, in general. And to all of you who gave your own answers and opinions in the comments. You all brought such insight and personality and general interestingness to this year's event, and Austen in August would be nothing without you.
Thank you!!

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For our final roundtable of the year, I want you to get a little silly — Play a game of Austen MASH!
MASH is a childhood fate-telling game, and if you've never played, yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds. I have a post about it here, which tells you how to play and even includes a print-out if you want to use it (though I encourage hand-written instead! It's easy!) Basically, sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, give yourself some options both good and bad, then find out what fate has in store for you. Snap a pic if you'd like and send it to me, along with your reaction to your fate!

MISTY: Here's how things worked out for me last time, as a refresher:

ABIGAIL: I'll skip Austen MASH, since I don't want to live in the Regency. ;)
MISTY: Honestly, can't say I really blame you.

GIVEAWAY: Janeite Swag Pack

In case you missed it, a couple of days ago, I offered up a set of free printables, because even though there are a ton of giveaways in Austen in August, I'd hate for any Janeites to walk away empty-handed.
In that post, I mentioned that you'd be seeing some of the printables artwork again — and today is the day!

Oooh, shiny...


For our last giveaway of Austen in August 2019, I'm giving away the original watercolor pieces that were used in this year's printables!
One US Austen in August reader will receive:

  •  a 5x7 blue floral piece with the quote "her heart did whisper..." in gilded lettering 
  • an "obstinate, headstrong girl!"  pink floral bookmark, also with gilded lettering 
  • and a set of Emma-inspired earrings*!

Additionally, 3 more Austen in August readers (from anywhere in the world) will receive a customized Jane Austen bookmark, in shades of their choosing, similar to the "Janeite" bookmarks featured in this year's Mega Prize Packs!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Full terms in the Rafflecopter.
Ends September 5th, 2019, at 11:59pm EST

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Please note, the final earrings may look different, as I'm still fiddling with them!
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Click here to return to the master list of Austen in August posts!

More Austen Retellings Than You Can Shake a Stick At...

This month has flown by! We've made it to the final day of #AustenInAugust 2019, and I feel like there's still so much more to say!
10 years on, and my love of Jane Austen (and all things related, including JAFF, or Jane Austen fanfic) is showing no signs of slowing down.

And to that end, here's a look at a handful (and a half) of JAFF books I've read recently, most of which are out now, and some of which you'll be able to get your hands on soon(ish). Let me know your thoughts -- and your recommendations! -- in the comments!

And make sure to check out the full Austen in August schedule for more Austen goodies and giveaways!


Thursday, August 29, 2019

GIVEAWAY & Guest Post: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time... from Jessica Grey!

Author Jessica Grey has been sprinkled throughout Austen in August this year, from our Janeite Conversations to a number of our AIA Mega Prize Packs! Today, she's stopping by to talk to us a bit about the Holidays with Jane series, and just how all of that came to be — she's also giving you one more chance to get your hands on the books (this time, the entire set!), so make sure to click through and enter! 

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: The Writing of the Holidays with Jane Collections

by Jessica Grey

I recently told my mom that when I die I want “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…” on my gravestone. She laughed and told me if I die before her that she’s having it made to read “Wait, I’m overthinking this too.” I wasn’t even mad, because both describe my life (and writing) style pretty well.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time” is my number one response when people ask me about the Holidays with Jane series. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love these books and I am so freaking proud of what my fellow authors and I accomplished. But I’m going to admit that in the middle of the two and a half year process of adapting all six of Jane Austen’s main novels into modern short stories/novellas, I had a few major meltdown moments that I didn’t see coming.

"Austen, For the Rest of Us" — guest post from Nikki Payne

Earlier this month, Kerri stopped by to dream-cast Austen films with diverse actors. Today, debut author Nikki Payne is joining us to talk about Austen's place in a modern diverse world, and the types of new, relatable storylines Jane Austen fanfiction can take on.
Click through to check out her thoughts, and find out more about her serialized contemporary Pride & Prejudice retelling, Netherfield Must Go! And you can keep up with Nikki & future installments of her book on her instagram or her author page!

Austen, For the Rest of Us

As Hot Girl Summer comes to an end, I like to retreat into my Pumpkin-Spice-Regency-Novel-Fall. When I crack open Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility, it is to be taken away to a different time — one of genteel politeness — where manners, position and propriety rule every aspect of our heroines' lives. Almost every heroine has one fundamental thing in common in Austen novels — they are bursting with social commentary about the times in which they lived. So why do we so often read Jane Austen contemporary remakes filed with the false tension of a bygone era?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

How Pride & Prejudice Shaped Romance Reading, from Marines!

Earlier this month, booktuber Marines shared her thoughts with Read Bliss on Pride & Prejudice as a Romance genre forerunner, setting the mold for what we expect and desire romance to be to this day.
And to all of that, I say: yesssss!

Big thanks to Marines for letting me share this with you for Austen in August! Make sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

16 Times Austen-Twitter Was the Best Twitter

Eleven months of the year, I find myself saving tweets and links and all manner of Jane Austen -related things, and then August rolls around, and I forget about all of them. So to say that my bookmarks bar, Evernote notes and Twitter bookmarks are crammed and chaos-filled is an understatement.

But this year, I actually remembered to wade through the Twitter pile, at least, and pull out some of my favorite Austenesque amusements from the mass. Presented below, you'll find a curation of some of my favorites, from general Darcy-obsession to Lady Catherine De-Bird. I highly suggest you give each of the users a follow, for occasional (or continual) Austen love and humor, if nothing else.

Enjoy, and let me know of any you've come across!

"Considering Caroline" — guest post from author Maria Grace!

Today we have our final post of the year (frowny face) from perennial Austen in August -supporter Maria Grace, who is tackling one of my new favorite things to consider: Caroline Bingley. I've found as I've gotten older, and become better able to parse our motives and circumstances from initial reactions, that I've begun considering Caroline in a new, much more forgiving light. And though I don't know that I'll ever come around on certain characters (coughLucySteelecoughMrsNorriscoughcough), I do find myself softening a bit on ol' Caro.
Click through to see what Maria has to say on this favorite Austen "villain," and let us know your thoughts — and if you've been convinced to look at Caroline in a new light! — in the comments! And make sure to check out Maria's other Austen in August posts, including her series on Regency women's archery, her part in this year's Janeite Conversations, and her contributions to this year's giveaways!

Considering Caroline

by Maria Grace

I get it. Caroline Bingley is the character Pride and Prejudice fans love to hate. Really, what is there likeable or redeemable about her? She is after dear Mr. Darcy for his money, she puts down Elizabeth, and discard’s Jane’s friendship like a wet newspaper. What more do we need to know?
What more indeed?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

FREE Pride & Prejudice Printables! | #AustenInAugust 2019

I've gotten in the habit of making free printables for my blog events, for two reasons:
  1. I like to make things, and
  2. I hate for people to feel left out. 
There are so many giveaways during Austen in August especially, but there's still not enough to go around (so many Janeites!), and I want everyone to walk away with a list of books to read, and something concrete to remember AIA by. . . 

So this year is no different! I've painted us up a new batch of Austen in August printables, featuring two of my all-time favorite Austen quotes (and my much-beloved floral motifs), and you can download them to print or use digitally, right now, for free
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GIVEAWAY & Guest Post from Amy D'Orazio, author of A Lady's Reputation

Please join me in welcoming Amy D'Orazio to Austen in August! This is Amy's first post here, and I'm always happy to expand our group (flock? clutch? murder?) of Janeites! Amy has stopped by today to talk about Regency ladies amusements (or lack thereof), and how that played into her most recent release. She's also giving you an opportunity to win one of her books, so make sure to click through and enter! And leave her some love in the comments, to welcome her to AIA!

One thing that always strikes me when I read Jane Austen’s works is how limited the opportunities for amusement really were. After all, our world is one of constant amusement— we can travel nearly anywhere, watch almost anything, read millions of books, play a game with someone we’ve never met. Endless possibilities! Compare that to a young woman living in rural England in 1811 and you have… a walk. Talking to you mother, sisters, or close neighbors. Reading one of the three books your father bought this year. Maybe another walk? No wonder gossip ran rampant! It was fun! It’s always a challenge to those of us who love to write Austenesque fiction: what should we have our characters do? Where can they go, and what will they do when they get there?

In my recent release, A Lady’s Reputation, most of the action takes place at Pemberley, and that decision came about because of an article I read on the renovations to Chatsworth. I saw the pictures and immediately thought that I wanted to have Darcy and Elizabeth have a picnic on the roof at Pemberley.

Chatsworth Roof One.jpg

Monday, August 26, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Jane Austen Made Me Do It, from Laurel Ann Nattress!

Earlier in Austen in August, in one of our Mega Prize Pack giveaways included a copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, but why stop there?
Today, editor and head of Austenprose.com, Laurel Ann Nattress, is giving you two more chances to win a copy!


To celebrate Austen in August, Laurel Ann Nattress is offering up two additional copies of Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart to two lucky winners!
This giveaway is US only!
Giveaway ends September 5th, 2019, at 11:59pm EST.
If you are chosen as the winner of Austen In August Mega Prize Pack #2, which already contains a copy of the book, a new winner will be chosen for this giveaway (you'll still get your prize pack).
Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.
Full terms located in the Rafflecopter.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#TeamHenry... guest post from Jacqueline Firkins!

Earlier this month, Jacqueline Firkins stopped by to tell us why, yes, we should appreciate the Fanny Prices of the world — you can check that out here. But today she's back to take on Fanny's (almost) other half, everyone's favorite Austen bad boy, Henry Crawford.
Click through to see Jacqueline's thoughts and share your own! And remember, comments on this post count as entries in the giveaway for Jacqueline's book, Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things!

#teamhenry: A Regency Rake Enters the Modern Age

Jacqueline Firkins, Hearts Strings and Other Breakable Things, Mansfield Park, Jane Austen, Austen in August, jane austen adaptations, young adult books, ya books, the book rat, book rat misty, By Jacqueline Firkins, author of Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things (HMHTeen 12/17/19)

I started working on my adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park in June 2014. While balancing other projects, a fulltime job, and life in general, I’ve now spent 5 years in close relationships with Fanny Price, Edmund Bertram, and Henry Crawford. I love these characters. They’re all flawed and messy and riddled with unfulfilled wants. In other words, they’re the best kind of people to spend time with. Austen’s novel relies heavily on a love triangle between these three, though one could more accurately call it a heptagon with all of its permutations. At its heart, Fanny’s in love with Edmund. Edmund’s in love with someone else. Henry sets out to make Fanny fall in love with him instead. While doing so, he falls for her. Now Fanny has to make a choice.

Friday, August 23, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Austen in August Mega Prize Pack #4!

Can you believe we're almost at the end of Austen in August? Not only does that mean we'll soon be out of amazing guest posts, interviews and the like, but we're also down to our last Mega Prize Package. Frowny-face indeed. BUT it's a good thing this prize pack is just so, so good!

This prize pack is crammed full of Austenesque goodies for you to get your hands on.

Click through to see what's up for grabs, and enter to win!

And don't forget to enter to win our other  three mega prize packs, featuring 22 books plus swag, in total!


Assignment Austen: a New Dawn, a New Day. . .

. . . a new media!

So far in Austen in August, we've been spending a fair amount of time in the past. And though last week's "assignment" took me somewhere modern, it. . . didn't quite work out the way I'd have hoped. So I'm giving modern Austen adaptations a chance to redeem themselves by going super modern! We're diving straight into the digital world by sampling a few of the (surprisingly many) available-on-youtube adaptations of Austen. These adaptations tend to be bite-sized and vlog-style, taking their cues from the LBD (more on that below), and though I've seen a few in their entirety, some I've only sampled, and some are completely new to me!

Below you'll find trailers and info for a number of these web series (often put together by enterprising young Janeites), but I'm sure there are more out there — and if you know of any, let me know!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Disappointed Hopes & Dreams | A Janeite Conversation

This week's Janeite Conversation is a follow-up to last week's discussion, in which we talked about scene anticipation: those little things that we love so much, we get butterflies pages before we even get to them. This time around, we're looking at the opposite of excited anticipation. . .
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Are there any things you wish would have happened, either differently or at all, that never did?

MISTY: I would imagine there might be some overlap with our "controversial Austen opinions" conversation.
JESSICA: I wish Edmund Bertram had died in a fire.
MISTY: Welp. Guess I was right...
JESSICA: No, I'm just kidding. I wish he was in the fire, didn't die but suffered terribly...then died in another fire.

The Dark Side of Jane Austen from Eliza Shearer

I mentioned earlier in AIA that there's a lot of discussion of Mansfield Park this time around, much of which is making me look at the book in a new light. Here today we have another such piece, from Eliza Shearer, who's taking a look at the darker aspects of the story — and how they may reflect Jane, herself.
Check it out below and let us know your thoughts in the comments! And make sure to keep an eye on this year's Austen in August mega prize packs, because Eliza's book, Miss Darcy's Beaux, shows up in 3 of them!

Mansfield Park, or the dark side of Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged that, while all Jane Austen admirers admit they enjoy Pride and Prejudice, dissent appears at the mention of Mansfield Park. The Mansfield Park protagonist, Fanny Price, who is arguably Austen’s least popular heroine, has no small share of the blame.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

GIVEAWAY & Excerpt: Darcy in Hollywood by Victoria Kincaid!

Today's post comes from Victoria Kincaid, who is sharing a sneak peek at her latest adaptation of Pride  Prejudice, Darcy in Hollywood! Click through to read it and enter for a chance to get your hands on a copy of your own!

Hi Misty! Thank you for having me as a guest today!

I’ve had great fun imagining Darcy and Elizabeth in contemporary settings. For Darcy in Hollywood, Darcy is a movie star and Elizabeth is the daughter of a producer of B movies (Mr. Bennet) who would rather be a doctor than chase fame. After I had those characters in place, I had to determine roles for the other Pride & Prejudice characters. I needed a new way for Mrs. Bennet to obsess over her daughters, so she evolved into a stage mother who particularly believes Lydia is destined for greatness. Lady Catherine became a Hollywood diva/legend while Mr. Collins is her slavishly devoted personal assistant. Charles and Caroline Bingley are actor friends of Darcy’s.

Below is a scene from near the beginning of the book. The cast has just finished a table read of the screenplay they’re about to shoot. Having had a bad day, Darcy is eager to escape the room.

Rich and arrogant movie star, William Darcy, was a Hollywood heartthrob until a scandalous incident derailed his career. Now he can only hope that Tom Bennet’s prestigious but low budget indie film will restore his reputation. However, on the first day of filming, he nearly hits Bennet’s daughter, Elizabeth, with his Ferrari, and life will never be the same. Okay, she’s a little sarcastic, but he’s certain she’s concealing a massive crush on him—and it’s growing harder to fight his own attraction….

Elizabeth Bennet has a lot on her plate. She’s applying to medical school and running the studio’s charity project—while hoping her family won’t embarrass her too much. Being Darcy’s on-set personal assistant is infuriating; he’s rude, proud, and difficult. If there’s one thing she dislikes, it’s people who only think about themselves. But then Elizabeth discovers Darcy has been doing a lot of thinking about her.

She might be willing to concede a mutual attraction, but events are conspiring against them and Darcy subject to constant public scrutiny. Do Darcy and Elizabeth have any hope of achieving Hollywood’s elusive happy ending?

Chitchat was simply intolerable. He’d had to endure it when he was new to Hollywood, but now it was better left for people with time to burn and careers to build. Darcy could tell people what he wanted them to do. Small talk was pointless.

"Women Archers of Jane Austen's Day" from Maria Grace

Good morning, Janeites! Today brings to a close Maria Grace's Toxophilite series, which takes a closer look at the place of archery, particularly for women, in Regency times. If you missed any of this series, you can find the first part here, and last week's post here. And of course, don't forget to check out Maria's answers in this year's Janeite Conversationsand her contributions to this year's giveaways!

Women Archers of Jane Austen's Day

Instructions and fashions for the young women archers.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

GIVEAWAY & Excerpt: The Flight Path Less Traveled by Leigh Dreyer!

Earlier this month, Leigh Dreyer stopped by to once again give us side-splitting shenanigans, when she made her husband and brother sit down and watch Sense & Sensibility, but today she's dropping in to share a peek at the latest in her modernized Pride & Prejudice retelling, The Flight Path Less Traveled, as well as giving two of you a chance to win a copy!

The Flight Path Less Traveled is a modern Pride and Prejudice continuation and the second in a series following The Best Laid Flight Plans by Leigh Dreyer. The final novel in the series, Came a Flight Gently will be released in 2020.
Here’s the blurb: In this modern Pride and Prejudice continuation and sequel to The Best Laid Flight Plans, 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet and Captain William Darcy are facing trials after the events of Elizabeth’s last flight. Darcy’s proposal lingers between them as Elizabeth becomes almost single sighted to her rehabilitation and her return to pilot training. A secret is revealed to Elizabeth about Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s past that throws all she has known to be true into a tail spin. The romance between our hero and heroine begins to blossom through military separations, sisterly pranks, and miscommunications. Can Darcy and Elizabeth come together or will flying in the Air Force keep them apart?
Leigh is giving away two copies of the e-book!

Please enjoy an excerpt from Chapter One of The Flight Path Less Traveled by Leigh Dreyer. (Caution, contains spoilers from The Best Laid Flight Plans)

Chapter One

Rain. She shuddered with a sudden chill as a raindrop slid down the back of her shirt. The dark, heavy clouds settled around her, prickling her skin. Her eyes searched for shelter from the storm and spotted the familiar stone house in the distance. Running toward it, her shoes heavy in the mud, she felt herself pick up speed. Soon she found herself on a winding, paved driveway.

To her left was a small stream that emptied into a quaint pond. Raindrops rippled at the banks. It’s a great day if you’re a duck. She smiled as a single drake waddled from the bank, then glided effortlessly into the pool.

The house loomed in front of her and she soon found herself at the door. She knocked loudly and waited, rubbing her arms in an attempt to stay warm.

There was no answer.

She knocked again, much louder this time, and looked around the entrance for a doorbell of some kind. She shuffled anxiously from one foot to the other, shivering, and hoping that someone would answer the door.

No answer.

She pounded against the door, then walked back a few steps, looking at the windows in the home, trying to ascertain if anyone was there.

Finally, she saw him. He was as handsome as she had ever seen him. Dressed in a sweater and jeans with his hair perfectly in place, he looked out at her through the window and smiled. Warmth immediately flooded her chest and she felt alive. She needed him.

She stretched out her hands and he came to her with a thought. She looked into his dark eyes and her stomach turned in anticipation of his touch. He brushed her cheeks with his thumbs, pulling her face gently to him, touching his lips to hers. As he kissed her, his fingers combed through her wet hair and ran down her back. Every part of her touched by him was on fire, electric somehow, and every sensation was heightened by the contrast with the cold rain around them.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss that seemed to touch her very soul. The raindrops ran down their faces and she sighed. Warm, content, happy, and in love. She closed her eyes gently, letting her body take over. He moaned in response, a deep vibration against her chest and suddenly―

Scents & Sensibility: a Befuddled Rant

So, you may know from following along in Austen in August (or from following me on Twitter) that for this weekend's Assignment Austen, I chose to watch the modern S&S update, Scents & Sensibility, and I documented the "journey" on Twitter.
And I. . .
I just. . .

Why is this movie? Why?

You probably know the drill by now, so let's get into it!

"How Did I Get Here?" — Guest Post & GIVEAWAY from Heather Moll!

We're kicking off today — a day of double giveaways — with a look at how Heather Moll came to be the Janeite she is today. She's also giving you a chance to get your hands on a copy of her book, His Choice of a Wife, so make sure to click through and enter!

Heather Moll Guest Post, or: How Did I Get Here?

Thanks for welcoming me to Austen in August, Misty! I’m excited to be on this side of your blog and have the chance to talk Jane Austen and offer a giveaway of His Choice of a Wife to your lovely readers who love Jane just as much as I do.

For years, I thought Jane Austen wasn’t for me. I’m an avid reader, I was a librarian, and if there was a classic that you had to read, I probably read it because I wanted to. But when I tried to read Emma in high school, I hated it. Or, more to the point, I hated her. Emma Woodhouse may have been handsome, clever, and rich but she was also spoiled, meddlesome, and I never finished the book. Not even Clueless could make me go back to Austen.

Monday, August 19, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Regina Jeffers Prize Pack!

You can catch Regina Jeffers thoughts in this year's Janeite Conversations (including this hilarious story about teaching "The Letter" to high schoolers), but today she's dropping by to offer up a chance for two of you to get your hands on two of her books!


Regina has offered up two prize packs of her books, In Want of a Wife and Where There's a Fitzwilliam Darcy, There's a Way to two separate winners!

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To enter, follow Regina on Twitter or on Facebook, and tweet or leave her a message mentioning Austen in August!
If you already follow Regina, you can email her at reginalm@rjeffers.com and mention that you're entering this AIA giveaway.
This giveaway is international, but act quick, because unlike the majority of the giveaways in Austen in August, this giveaway only lasts a week!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congrats to all the winners!

Karen M. Cox interviews Northanger Abbey's Catherine Morland!

Welcome to today’s event for Austen in August! I’m Karen M Cox, author of novels brushed with history and romance. I love writing Austen-inspired stories and flipping them into different times and places, so today, I have the privilege of introducing you to one of Austen’s charming leading ladies, updated for the 21st Century.
Is it Elizabeth Bennet? No, not THAT famous leading lady.
Is it Emma Woodhouse? No, she isn’t all that charming (just kidding, Emma fans—of which I am one—Emma can be quite charming when she applies herself.)
No, today we’re interviewing a modern version of Northanger Abbey’s young ingenue: the enchanting, romantic, darling, sweet, funny, headstrong—and, let’s face it, sometimes frustrating…

Catherine Morland

Our modern Catherine is U.S. college student, double-majoring in history and English literature. She likes historical romance novels, walks on the beach, and handsome, witty young men with avaricious fathers...

Karen: Welcome, Catherine!

Catherine: Thanks for having me on Austen in August! Wow!

Friday, August 16, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Austen in August Mega Prize Pack #3!!

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We're two full weeks down in Austen in August (how is this month going so fast?!), but we're into the third weekend, which means we've got our third Mega Prize Package up for grabs! This prize pack is, well, packed once again with a slew of books from our Austeneque authors!

In fact, this prize pack is the prize pack prize pack.
I promise I'll stop saying "prize pack," but this one is crammed with duos & trios from this year's amazing group of authors!

Click through to see what's up for grabs, and enter to win!

And don't forget to enter to win our other two mega prize packs, featuring 22 books plus swag, in total!


Assignment Austen #3: Finally.

So far this Austen in August, I've given you two homework assignments and a challenge, because I am a harsh task-mistress. And in keeping with that, below you'll find your third assignment (which, hey, fulfills one of the tasks in the challenge!).

This week, I want you to finally sit down and watch one of the Austen adaptations you've been meaning to, but haven't yet. This might be a hard one for some of you, being such devoted Janeites that you've seen everything. Every BBC version? Been there, done that (twice). Clueless and Bollywood and Scents & Sensibility? Yeah, you've been there. But I'll be there's something out there you haven't seen. (May I suggest youtube?)

For the rest of us, I'm sure there's a whole laundry list of adaptations you've been meaning to spend some time with.
Maybe it's the old black and white versions, because you get stuck in the current times (or current versions, because you're stuck in the past).
Maybe it's a different version of a favorite book, because you keep watching the same version of Sense & Sensibility over and over again, because it's so good (and you don't even know, because you haven't watched it, that there's another one that's even better).
Maybe you don't even know what's out there, and you need to spend some time googling and finding the period piece of your dreams. . .

Whatever it is, find an Austen movie you haven't seen yet, track down a copy, and finally watch it this weekend — and then let us know what you think!

As for me, since I've already gone traditional for two weeks, this week I'm going to watch a modern version I haven't watched yet: Scents & Sensibility. Is it going to be awful? Possibly. Am I going to love it anyway? Most definitely.

If you want to watch it with me, I'll be watching & live-tweeting the experience on Saturday night at 8:30pm EST, and you can join me with the hashtag #AustenInAugust on Twitter!
It's available for free viewing if you have Amazon Prime, and though I haven't checked, I feel fairly certain someone has uploaded it to youtube as well, because that's how these things go...
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Austenesque Anticipation... | A Janeite Conversation

Before we get into the second of today's posts, I just want to take a moment to say: you guys are killing it this year! The insight I've seen shared in the comments and on Twitter over the last two weeks is seriously blowing my mind — so many of you have made me think of scenes or characters in a new way, or added something to my understanding of Austen!

And I hope to continue that trend with today's Janeite Convo, were we're taking a look at one of my favorite things in all of reading, but especially in all of Austen: scene anticipation.

Jane Austen, Austen in August, Austenesque, JAFF, jane austen fanfiction, Austen variations, jane austen interview, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty

I think one of my favorite things about reading (and rereading) Austen is the anticipation of certain scenes and events. Sometimes it's even minor things, a single line, that sets my little heart a-flutterin' pages in advance. What are those scenes for you (especially beyond the classics, like proposals)?

JESSICA: Anne seeing Wentworth the first time. Obviously Wentworth's letter is the best ever but I love how that scene is mostly just Anne's internal monologue. As the reader, we don't even really "see" Wentworth, just Anne's reactions to being in the same room and her pep talks to herself. I don't know why, but I love it so much! And when I did a Persuasion adaptation that's what I started with and it was as fun to write as I'd hoped!
DEBORAH: Sorry to be predictable, but the one that always gets me is The Letter in Persuasion. Every time Captain Wentworth returns to the room in the White Hart and places his letter in front of Anne “with eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her,” I feel my pulse speed up.

If Austen Adaptations Were Diverse... guest post from Kerri

We've had some Austenesque dream-casting discussions here on Austen in August before, but today's guest post from Kerri (aka The Book Belle) takes Austen adaptation casting in a direction it sadly hasn't gone, and desperately needs to. After all, Jane is a writer of the people, beloved the whole world over. You can find Kerri on her blog or booktube channel, but before you jet off to internet-stalk her, click through to see who she would choose for some diverse Austen adaptation casting, and to share your picks in the comments!

The recent casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel in the new live action Little Mermaid got me thinking. What if we recast Austen's characters with POC actors? It's no secret that all of her adaptations are very white, so let's bring them into the 21st century and imagine a more diverse casting!
Now, I can't recast every character or we'd be here all day (though I'd love to, tbh), so I decided I'd just recast the main couples in each of Austen's books. So without further ado, let's get this party started!

Pride and Prejudice

Yaya DaCosta attends the 2019  Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards LuncheonFox has cast
Inspired by Pride by Ibi Zoboi, I decided to cast Yaya Dacosta (Afro-Brazilian) as Elizabeth and Jessie T Usher (Black) as Darcy. You can't tell me that the look Yaya is serving isn't 100% Elizabeth.
Danilo Carrera
For everyone's favorite sweet beans that must be protected at all costs, I've cast Tessa Thompson (also Afro-Panamanian) as Jane and Danilo Carrera (Mexican) as Bingley.

[Side note from Misty: I'm here for Tessa Thompson all-the-things, but I especially love the idea of her as Jane, of all the characters! I'd like to see her sweet side.]

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Emma (1996): a Review in a Million Parts

As you probably know, the "homework" for this past weekend was to spend some time getting reacquainted with your first Austen — and though my first Austen is debatable, the one that stands out, that I remember as being most definitely my first knowing brush with Austen, is the Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam -starring Emma of the mid-nineties. (This was not the only Emma of the mid-90s, mind you. Or even the only Emma of 1996. Who was in charge of planning the 90s, because I would like to speak to them?)

ANYWAY, this weekend, I sat down to watch this long-standing favorite that I haven't seen in the better part of two decades, to see if it stood the test of time. What followed was a long, enthusiastic twitter chat, the highlights of which I'm going to share with you below. If you'd like to see the whole thing in all its somewhat snarky glory, you can find that here. Otherwise, click through, see what I had to say, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

"The British Amazons" from Maria Grace

Hello, my fierce, bow-wielding Janeites! Today brings us the second in a series from Maria Grace that takes a closer look at the place of archery, particularly for women, in Regency times. You can find the first part here. And of course, don't forget to check out Maria's answers in this year's Janeite Conversations, and her contributions to this year's giveaways!

The British Amazons

British Amazons? In the Regency? Not possible--or was it?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Jane Austen's Best Insults

Is it any surprise that Jane Austen is a master of the insult, the zinger, the perfect one-liner? After all, this is a woman who said of herself:
"I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal."

A post shared by Misty (@bookishmisty) on

A few nights ago, in my twitter chat Emma viewing, I said that one of the things I always tell people who haven't read Austen is that Jane Austen is FUNNY! There are many, many reasons why Jane is hilarious; truly, they are legion. But one of them — one of the best of them — is that she is damn good at an insult. Some of her insults are deliciously subtle (like Mr Collins' statement to Lizzie, "I have the highest opinion in the world of your excellent judgment in all matters within the scope of your understanding," made all the more hilarious because it's Mr Collins), and some are more overt, throwing-a-fit type insults ("Obstinate, headstrong girl!"). And of course, some of the most pivotal scenes in her books are based around insulting and being insulted (Hello, Darcy's entire proposal and also existence).

So collected here are some of my favorites, but before I get into them, this post was inspired by the following tweet, which is such the perfectly subtle Austen insult that I feel like a lot of readers miss it, or (like me, originally), think there's no way that's what she meant, right? Right?
(Hint: she totally did.)

Now, onto some of my faves! (There are truly so many!)

Austen's Best Heroes (for 2019) — guest post from Jennieke Cohen!

Today's post (likely, a controversial one) comes from Jennieke Cohen, whose debut novel, Dangerous Alliance, comes out this December. She's taken on the Herculean task of ranking Austen's men, not by who's the swooniest, or the handsomest, or the best at the quadrille, but by who best suits our modern sensabilities. Take a read through her reasoning below, and then let us know how much you agree or disagree and why, in the comments!

Greetings, Austenites!! I’m delighted to be taking part in Austen In August this year! Thanks, Misty, for having me and for letting me take on the question that Austen fans have debated for two hundred years: Who are Jane Austen’s best male characters??? No doubt EVERYONE has their own personal strong feelings on this subject, but I want to talk about who the best men are if we judge their personalities by 2019 standards. In this challenging, mixed-up, postmodern world of ours, I really think we ought to have some standards for judging the people we swoon over, so let’s pretend Austen’s men are magically transported into our time (and that they understand how everything works so they’re not wandering about staring at our modern conveniences as though they were magical) and see how they measure up. Here goes!

Monday, August 12, 2019

GIVEAWAY + Guest Post: Military influences in Jane Austen, from Debra-Ann Kummoung!

This morning, I took a look at some more unusual Austen retellings I've read recently, two of which center on the Napoleonic Wars, using it to get the characters into place, so to speak, and playing up this everyday fact of life for Austen's characters. Today, Debra-Ann Kummoung has dropped in to do a bit more of a deep dive on the subject, as well as give you a chance to win a copy of her latest book, True Love Never Fails..., as well as her previous book, Falling for Elizabeth Bennet, AND two gift cards, for a total of four winners!
Click through to read the piece and enter to win!

Military Influences in Jane Austen’s Works.

In four of JA's six books, major and minor characters are in the military. What is interesting to me is that of the branches that JA speaks of, she decides to pursue the army over the navy. This is surprising that two of her brothers served in the navy and rose to the rank of Admiral. However, this could have been done on purpose. I’ll explain later.

The military members that JA represents in her books all happen to be officers. This means that in one way or another they were able to purchase their ranks (this was not something cheap to do) and officers were either the sons of peers or younger sons of wealthy men. While JA does not always give us specifics on all her military men, she does give us an array of interesting “gentlemen” to speak of.

UNUSUAL Austen Retellings!

I've been noticing more of a trend to push the envelope in newJane Austen retellings, so I thought I'd take a look at 3 I've read recently, and highlight a few more off the backlist that fit the bill.

Let me know your thoughts if you've read these or any other unusual JAFF, or if there are any on your radar!

All of the books mentioned are listed below (click through!), and just as a heads up: There will be a giveaway of both Mr Darcy's Enchantment and Conceit & Concealment going up soon, and there already is one for Pemberley: Mr Darcy's Dragon!

Both Conceit & Concealment and Unforgettable Mr Darcy should have trigger warnings for violence and possibly implied or overt sexual threats? (I don't remember for certain). UNFORGETTABLE centers around Darcy lying to an amnesiac Lizzie that they are married (which was his only way to protect her, given the place and time period, but it deserves mentioning).

And totally forgot to say that CONCEIT is an alternate history! in which the British are definitely NOT winning the Napoleonic war. So now you know. =D

Friday, August 9, 2019

GIVEAWAY: Austen in August Mega Prize Pack #2

The Austen Authors are back at it again, with the amazing giveaways!

For week 2 of Austen in August, we've got another Mega Prize Package, once again featuring 11 books from our generous crop of Austeneque authors!

Can I say crop? August is garden season, after all, and it is a mighty fine crop of authors. . .

ANYWAY, click through to see what's up for grabs, and enter to win!


GIVEAWAY: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner!

Earlier today, Natalie Jenner stopped by to share with us her absolute favorite "hidden" romantic moments in all of Austen — a list sure to set you to swooning. Now, the awesome folks at St. Martin's are giving you a chance to be one of the first ones to read her debut novel, The Jane Austen Society by winning this super early copy!
Click through to find out more about the book, and enter below!

St Martin's Press have offered up one ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Natalie Jenner's 2020 release, The Jane Austen Society, to one (1) lucky winner!
Open to US/CAN
Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter; full terms and conditions located in the Rafflecopter.
Ends September 5, 2019 at 11:59pm EST
Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Friday Five: My Favourite “Hidden” Romantic Moments, from Natalie Jenner

This morning, 2020 debut author Natalie Jenner is joining us to share her ultimate "hidden" romantic moments in Austen — those little, subtle incidents that lay thr groundwork for the characters' budding romances, and get us seasoned Janeites' butterflies a-flappin'. Click through to see if your favorite made the cut, and let us know your own personal list in the comments!
And make sure to stop back by later today for a chance at an advance copy of her book, The Jane Austen Society!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

MISUNDERSTOOD AUSTEN: A Janeite Conversation

Jane Austen, Austen in August, Austenesque, JAFF, jane austen fanfiction, Austen variations, jane austen interview, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty

It's Thursday, so that means it's time for our next Janeite Conversation! This week, I gathered our lovely Austenesque authors round the ol' pianoforte, and we had a little chat about our misunderstandings and misconceptions.

 What are some things, no matter how minor, that you interpreted wrong when you first read Austen, that may have changed your perception of the story/characters/etc? (ie how truly wealthy certain characters are, the significance of things we'd consider minor nowadays, like letters and gifts that Mean Things in the 1800s, the importance of "bloodlines" or the place of trade, etc.)
MISTY: I've realized recently that there are a few images and significances I'd built up in my mind that colored the way I was interpreting things. It was JAFF that made me realize, actually — little elements I may have missed or misunderstood were highlighted in adaptations that made me rethink things. For example, I really underestimated how nice both the Gardiner's house and warehouses were likely to be. Also, that Cheapside was far from cheap! Who'd have guessed. I've had to drastically revise my mental image of that whole quadrant, and of the tasteful, homey slight-shabbiness I'd built up in my head.
ABIGAIL: I've given an entire hour-long lecture about things I originally misinterpreted about Austen over the years! Like most readers, I initially liked Mr. Bennet and thought he was funny, but now I think he was neglectful and verbally abusive.
MISTY: Yeah, you're not the only one.
ABIGAIL: For years I missed the fact that Jane Austen carefully set up the scene of Elizabeth's first meeting with Wickham so that Wickham is in a position to observe Darcy's face when he sees Elizabeth. Before that I'd always thought it was odd he was so interested in Elizabeth who really wasn't his type (he likes them young and stupid), but once I realized he knew from the beginning that Darcy was interested in her, it put a completely different light on his decision to charm her and pour his poison about Darcy into her ear. I'd thought that was pure coincidence until then.
MISTY: OH MY GOD, I never considered that Wickham knew from the beginning that Darcy liked her! I mean, I did figure he had the jump on Darcy as far as noticing him, but that's about as far as my brain went with it. Mind. Blown.

Assignment Austen #2: Firsts

Last week I gave you a mission, an assignment, if you will, to watch an Austen adaptation that was made in the 80s (like me!). This week, we're creeping forward in time (for me, and some of you), or backward in time (for others of you), or maybe stopping RIGHT NOW (for the rest) to finally rewatch (or just plain ol' watch) our first Austen movie.

You may remember it fondly. You may remember it not at all. Chances are, it was the thing that got you into Austen in the first place. But we all have a first time with Austen, or what we count as our first, and this weekend, the goal is to revisit those warm, fuzzy memories, and see if the film lives up to the nostalgia.
(Or, if you're a fledgling Janeite and have yet to dive into the world of  her films, it's time to pick one and finally commit!)

Why Does Mansfield Park End Like THAT? — guest post from Cara at Wilde Book Garden!

I'm seeing a bit of a mini-trend this year in how many people want to talk about — and defend — Mansfield Park, and I have to say: it's fascinating. MP has long been my least-favorite and least-read of Austen's works (which is not to say I dislike it... just that I like it less), but all of the discussions this year, in the posts and in the comments, are really making me reconsider the text and my own reactions to it, as well as making me want to read it again.

In keeping with that, today Cara from Wilde Book Garden is stopping by to talk about that ending, which many consider unsatisfying on one level or another, and how she thinks it was all a very calculated choice to be so.

See what she has to say below, and let us know your thoughts — agreements and disagreements! — in the comments!

You can subscribe to Cara's booktube channel here or follow her on Twitter here!

    And for more Mansfield Park content, may I point you in the direction of these posts:
    (click through for more)

    Wednesday, August 7, 2019

    GIVEAWAY: Maria Grace Audiobook Prize Pack!

    You'll find Maria Grace's books peppered throughout this year's massive Austen in August prize packs — and her words peppered throughout this year's Austen in August posts — but today we're focusing on two in particular — and giving you a chance to win them!


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