Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winner: Jane Austen Made Me Do It edited by Laurel Ann Nattress


Congratulations, Cyn209!! I hope you enjoy Jane Austen Made Me Do It! THANK YOU Laurel Ann Nattress for donating an inscribed copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, and Jo Beverley for providing readers with such a wonderful mistletoe excerpt! 
I want to thank everyone who took part in Under the Mistletoe, my first blog event! It was truly a pleasure reading your comments and hearing your thoughts on each excerpt, novel and giveaway! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winner: A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan

Gina Stewart!! 

Congratulations, Gina!! What a wonderful book to win! I hope you enjoy your new read! THANK YOU Sharon Lathan for providing such a delightful giveaway, and heartwarming Christmas excerpt! And a special thanks to all of the readers and commenters! I hope you each have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Didn't win A Darcy Christmas? That's okay! Sharon is still hosting her spectacular Christmas 2012 Giveaway!! That's right! Just head over to her blog to find out more detail and enter to win one of the many books she is giving away!! :)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winner: The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig

Monica P!!

Congratulations, Moncia!! What a wonderful book to win just in time for Christmas! I hope you enjoy reading about Turnip (not a dog) and Arabella. *Smiles* A special thanks goes to Lauren Willig for kindly offering a copy for giveaway. As always, I want to thank everyone who commented and entered the giveaway. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!!

If you didn't win a copy of The Mischief of the Mistletoe, you can purchase a copy from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Under the Mistletoe Day 10: The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds

For the last day of my Under the Mistletoe series, I want to share one of my all-time favorite mistletoe scenes. It takes place between Cassie Boulton and Calder Westing in Abigail Reynolds's The Man who Loved Pride and Prejudice (formerly titled, Pemberley by the Sea). Anyone who has read Abigail's books knows just what a talented writer she is. She is queen of creating passion-filled, tension-filled scenes, and this one does not disappoint! I hope you enjoy this mistletoe scene between Cassie and Calder as much as I do! And if you have yet to read this Pride and Prejudice modern adaptation, I hope you soon will! 

Excerpt from The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds

     As Cassie moved into the next room she caught sight of a familiar form. She felt a lurch within her at the memory of Calder Westing, but it was just her overactive imagination at work. He couldn’t possibly be there. Still, she found herself glancing over in the direction of the unknown man until he turned enough that she could see his face. Her breath caught. It was him. A sudden memory of that night at the beach came to her, and she felt herself blushing.

     Fortunately, he hadn’t seen her, and she began to edge away. She wasn’t precisely sure why she wanted to avoid him, beyond a vague thought he would question her presence there, or that somehow he might know just how often he had crossed her mind since their last meeting in August.
     She made her escape successfully to the living room, but didn’t find Tim there, only a group of older women sitting close together and gossiping. Feeling out of place, she continued into the dining room, and then the hallway, where she found herself face to face with the very man she was trying to avoid.
     The look on his face bespoke his astonishment at finding her there. Astonishment, and no particular pleasure, at least as far as she could see.
     “Cassie Boulton,” he said slowly.
     His deep voice stirred memories in her, but she wouldn’t be intimidated by his presence. Raising an eyebrow mockingly, she said, “Calder Westing. We both get full points for excellent memory for names.”
     “What are you doing here?”
     As if it was against the law for her to show up at a fancy party! “As it happens, I was invited. But you needn’t worry. I know how to mind my manners in polite company, and I even washed my hands before I came. You can always pretend not to know me if I commit some terrible faux pas. And what are you doing here?”
     His eyes moved down her body, making her feel hot inside. “The Crowleys are old friends of mine. I’m spending Christmas here. Running away from home, if you like. Is your family from this area?”
     “No, I’m just visiting. I don’t get done with work until just before Christmas, with grades being due. It’s too complicated to travel a long way on Christmas Eve, so I usually spend it with friends here.” She felt like she was babbling. She tried to ignore the part of her brain that wanted to find out if he still smelled like evergreens and dark spice, to feel his skin under her fingertips.
     A well-dressed older man came past and nudged Calder in the arm. “Westing, you lucky devil, you managed to catch a pretty one! All I found under the mistletoe this year was Mildred Samuelson.” He pointed above them.
     Cassie’s eyes traveled upwards to discover the sprig of mistletoe in the arch above them. She brought her hand up as if to hold Calder at bay, and said quickly, “There’s no need. It’s just an accident of timing.”
     “Can’t break with tradition, can you, Westing?” the older man said with a broad wink.
Calder smiled slowly, and said in a tone of discovery, “You’re right. I am a lucky devil.”
She felt mesmerized as his fingers touched her cheek gently. Slowly he leaned toward her until his lips caressed hers gently, and in a rush of sensation she was transported back to the last time she felt his kiss. He took advantage of her moment of weakness to tease her lips apart with his tongue.
     Desire raced through her as he gently explored her mouth, drawing an undeniable response from her. Nothing had changed. Despite everything, he still had that unique power to arouse her.
     She was so caught up in the pleasure of his lips on hers that she hardly noticed his arms going around her. Nothing could be more natural than for her to slip her arms around his neck. He groaned softly against her mouth as their bodies finally met, and she understood perfectly. The feeling of his body against hers sent an electric current of desire through her, fueling the ache deep within her where she had felt empty for months. With a sigh of pleasure, she arched against him, luxuriating in the feeling of his body pressing against her breasts.
     Their tongues danced in an age-old manner, familiar from memories she had replayed so often, but with a new life. Finally, he released her lips, leaving her looking at him breathlessly. His hand lightly caressed her lower back, each movement creating a greater need in her.
     It took an effort to remember where they were and how inappropriate this was. At least the older man had disappeared, probably embarrassed by their display. With a sense of shock, she realized how very close she was to giving him whatever he wanted, all for a kiss under the mistletoe she had tried to avoid.

*Excerpt provided by the author and used with author's permission
Mmm-mmm-mmm! Now you can see why I enjoy this story so much! If you have yet to read any of Reynolds's Woods Hole Quartet, you must. The Man Who Loves Pride and Prejudice remains one of my favorite modern adaptations. 

From the publisher:
A modern love story with a Jane Austen twist.. .

Marine biologist Cassie Boulton has no patience when a modern-day Mr. Darcy appears in her lab on Cape Cod. Proud, aloof Calder Westing III is the scion of a famous political family, while Cassie's success is hard-won in spite of a shameful family history.

When their budding romance is brutally thwarted, both by his family and by hers, Calder tries to set things right by rewriting the two of them in the roles of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice...but will Cassie be willing to supply the happy ending?

Author Bio:
Abigail Reynolds is a great believer in taking detours. Originally from upstate New York, she studied Russian and theater at Bryn Mawr College and marine biology at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.  After a stint in performing arts administration, she decided to attend medical school, and took up writing as a hobby during her years as a physician in private practice.
A life-long lover of Jane Austen’s novels, Abigail began writing variations on Pride & Prejudice in 2001, then expanded her repertoire to include a series of novels set on her beloved Cape Cod.  Her most recent releases are MR. DARCY’S REFUGE, MR. DARCY’S LETTER, A PEMBERLEY MEDLEY, and MORNING LIGHT, and she is currently working on a new Pemberley Variation and the next novel in her Cape Cod series. A lifetime member of JASNA and a founder of the popular AUSTEN AUTHORS group blog, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two teenaged children, and a menagerie of animals.  Her hobbies do not include sleeping or cleaning her house.

Connect with Abigail Reynolds
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Under the Mistletoe Day 9: Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss by Jo Beverley +GIVEAWAY

Jane Austen, is not only a most beloved author, but also a wonderful matchmaker. It's by her pen that Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot, and Henry Tilney and Catherine Moreland come together. *sigh* What if her characters weren't the only people Ms. Austen brings together...with a little help from some Mistletoe? 

Excerpt from Jane Austen and the Mistletoe Kiss, by Jo Beverley

“I was speaking with Miss Jane Austen earlier,” he said, “and she told me of a mistletoe legend.”

“Yes, she told us, too.”

“Apparently it doesn’t work when the mistletoe is still attached to the tree. It must be cut and formed into a bough.”

“A kissing bough.”

“Do you intend to hang a mistletoe bough in Ivy Cottage?”

“The girls will insist on it.”

“May I stop by this evening? I forgot to bring the bottle of port wine I had selected for you.”

Did he mean . . . ?

Elinor was blushing. She couldn’t control it, and suddenly didn’t want to. She’d run mad to read what she did into his words and manner, but it was a madness she’d cling to as long as possible.

“Of course.” But then she realized everything he’d said could apply to Amy, not herself. Of course that was what he meant. So what should she do?

“Mama, Mama!” Maria plucked at Elinor’s skirts. “Can we go home and start decorating the cottage?”

Escape. “Of course. We must have all our greenery hung tonight, including our kissing bough.” She dropped a curtsy and took a bold gamble. “I hope to see you this evening, Sir Nicholas. You will be very welcome.”

He bowed and joined his brother. Elinor watched him for too long, allowing herself to tell a fanciful story, but then gathered her daughters and headed home.

Captain Danvers hurried after, however, insisting that they’d need help to hang the evergreens. Once back at the cottage, Amy shared that task with him while Elinor helped Margaret and Maria tie up the mistletoe with ribbons. She put aside her anxieties and joined in the Christmas Eve excitement.

Captain Danvers hung the bough in the middle of the parlor ceiling and then stole a quick, light kiss from Margaret and Maria, pinching off a berry for each as they giggled. And then he did the same with Amy. It was quick and light, but afterward the two looked into each other’s eyes as if startled.

Elinor would not believe in mistletoe magic.

Captain Danvers turned and pulled Elinor beneath the kissing bough. If there was anything to the legend, she wasn’t in love with Captain Danvers. But she already knew that.

When he left, Elinor provided a quick supper and then shooed the younger girls upstairs to bed. Amy remained to help her tidy up, still lost in a daze.

When all was done, Amy asked, “Will I have to wear mourning for Twelfth Night, Mama? It will be so close to the end. I don’t want . . . But you understand!”

Elinor did. Come what may, it was time to face the future. “We’ll all put on our colors. Why be crows at the feast? But we’ll all have to spend some time on alterations, I fear.”

Amy hugged her. “Thank you, thank you, Mama! And . . . I think Sir Nicholas is the most wonderful man in the world!”

“Amy, you can’t mean that.”

Amy flushed red. “Well, no. But . . . I have hopes . . . Oh, you know what I mean.” She raced upstairs, doubtless to spin wondrous dreams. Elinor remembered what it felt like to be sixteen and in love, perhaps now more poignantly than ever. She returned to the parlor, looking up at the mistletoe bough, rapt in her own impossible dreams.

Men of rank and fortune didn’t marry penniless young women. Even less did they marry penniless old ones. But she wanted the impossible to be true.

It wasn’t a matter of wealth and station, though it would certainly be pleasant to be Lady Danvers of Danvers Hall. It was Nicholas himself. His kindness, his intelligence, his gentle humor. Everything, including his broad shoulders, vigor of movement,
steady blue eyes, strong hands.

At a clench of physical longing, she moved to pace the room; Lord save her, she might be tempted on the road to ruin by such physical hungers. It had been so long. . . .

Mince pies. The small oven by the kitchen fire was ready. She would make the pies instead of sinking into lewd thoughts. She was rolling out the pastry when someone knocked on the kitchen door, but Sir Nicholas opened it without waiting. At the
sight of her, he grinned.

“Oh!” Elinor put her hands to her face, only then realizing that they were floury from the pastry. “Why did you have to come barging in here?”

“My deepest apologies,” he said, putting a bottle of port on the table.

She turned to the basin of water to wash her hands, then wet a corner of her apron and scrubbed at her face.

“Allow me,” he said, and turned her to gently dab at some spots. “Though flour becomes you, my dear Elinor.”

Surely there was no mistaking the look in his eyes. “I’m five years older than you,” she said.

“Port improves with age.”

“Are you comparing me to wine?”

Shall I compare thee to a well- aged port . . .” he misquoted. “Good wine has depth, and warmth, and gladdens the heart. As you gladden mine.” He took her hand and led her into the parlor. “A very pretty bough. Now to put mistletoe to the test.”

“Should we?” Elinor whispered, frightened that his kiss might feel no different to his brother’s.

“We should.” He drew her gently to him and put his lips to hers.

Warmth. A warmth greater than lips to lips, a warmth that spread gently through her, melting, softening. She looked at him and he looked at her, as lightning- struck as Amy and his brother.


There could be no doubt in that, or in the hunger that instantly ignited deep inside her. She pressed close again, opened her lips to him, savored him, sliding her arms around him in order to be even closer.

She pushed back, but stopped herself from turning it into a panicked rejection. She shook with panic of another sort. She’d never felt anything like this before.

“In my opinion,” he murmured, “Miss Jane Austen knows a thing or two about mistletoe.”

“And about love. I do love you, Nicholas Danvers. I don’t know how I didn’t realize it months ago.”

“I’ve known for months, but you seemed such a stickler for the proprieties. When you denounced Pride and Prejudice, I feared I had a hard fight ahead.”

She chuckled, moving back to rest against his chest, despite or because of all her wicked hungers. “By all rights and reasons, you should not marry me, you know, any more than Fitzwilliam Darcy should have married Elizabeth Bennet.”

“We’ll have no shoulds. The mistletoe has spoken.”

She melted perfectly into another kiss, as if they’d kissed a thousand times, his strong arms around her already familiar.

Amy crept to the parlor door, squeezed into her prettiest pink gown. It just fit if she didn’t breathe too deeply. It would fit perfectly by Twelfth Night with some inserts of lace.

She peered around the corner and smiled, hugging herself in delight. Sir Nicholas Danvers was going to be the most wonderfully perfect father.

As for his brother . . . time would tell.

She crept back upstairs to dream.

*Excerpt provided by the author and used with author's permission

This is the first story from Jane Austen Made Me Do It that I have read, and I am looking forward to reading the rest, especially if they are all as good as this story! 

Have you read any of Jo Beverley's other works? If so, which ones have you enjoyed? For those of you who have read Jane Austen Made Me Do It, which stories are your favorites?

If you enjoyed this excerpt or Jo Beverley's other works, or are just looking for another heartwarming holiday read, then check out Beverley's latest release, Mischief and Mistletoe! It is one that is on my TBR list!


Laurel Ann Nattress, of Austenprose and editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, has kindly offered ONE paperback copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, PERSONALLY INSCRIBED to the winner by the editor! (US ONLY) To enter, please leave a comment and fill out the Rafflecopter form! Winner will be announced Wednesday, December 26!  Merry Christmas! Good luck! =) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From the publisher:
“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world. 

In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility;and in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.

Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.

Author Bio:
Jo Beverley writes bestselling historical romance set in her native England. She was born and raised in the U.K. and has a degree in history from Keele University in Staffordshire, but she lived in Canada for thirty years. Now that she’s returned to England she enjoys doing even more on-the-spot research.

Her more than thirty novels have won her many awards, including five RITAs, the top award in romance, and two career achievement awards from Romantic Times. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame and Honor Roll. Publishers Weekly declared her “arguably today’s most skillful writer of intelligent historical romance.” Her latest release, Mischief and Mistletoe, a Christmas themed anthology with eight other popular romance authors, is now available to extend your love under the mistletoe holiday reading. 

Connect with Jo Beverley
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