Saturday, 22 December 2012

That's What You Think! Challenge Round-Up


Hi Everyone!

I am sorry that I have not kept up with keeping the monthly update posts for you - my bad!

But here is the final post for you all.

If you have completed the challenge - or even if you haven't :) - either shoot me an e-mail and I will add you to the list at the end of this post or add a comment and I will add you to the list that way. Just be sure to leave the link to either a round-up post, or a tag link  :)

Megan over at Love, Literature, Art and Reason has her wrap up post here -

Valentina over at Peek-A-Book! has also completed the challenge with The Lovely Bones, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Color Purple, The Three Musketeers and The Great Gatsby.

Congrats Guys!!!!
x



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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Update

Hi everyone.

I have tried to write this post so many times it isn't even funny but here goes.

So first of all I AM ALIVE (hmm..or I am a zombie...)

As you may (or may not ;)) have noticed things have been eerily quite in my little neck of the webby woods and I am so sorry about that - this year has been pretty rubbish where the blog is concerned.

Over the past month or so my health has taken a bit of a nose dive (which I really should have seen coming what with the way that my emotions have been all over the place) so the blog has been pretty low on my list of things to be doing.

So, instead of freaking out about not getting as much done here on the blog I thought I would just say a quick "Hi" and let you guys know that I haven't abandoned Blethering About Books.

There will be a couple of posts - and my a couple I mean about...3 - going up between now and the new year (I will be away from the blog until at least the new year) and then I will be trying my very best to get back into the swing of thing. I have some really cool ideas for stuff that I want to do :)

So...yeah. That's all I wanted to say. :)

Keep reading everyone and stay safe!

xx


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Saturday, 3 November 2012

And So It Begins - NaNoWriMo Chapter 1

Hi everyone, 

So NaNoWriMo has started! 

How is everyone's word count going?

I thought I would share my first chapter with you all. Well...semi-prologue(ish) and first chapter :)

---


PROLOGUE(ish)


Easy - 10 mins 45 secs

Easy - 11 mins 58 secs

Easy - 10 mins 6 secs

Medium - 13 mins 16 secs

Easy - 9 mins 22 secs



So dad plopped this book down on my hospital bed last week...

I will admit it is a pretty cute little thing, all floral and girly. It stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb against the stark white of my hospital bedding - I think I might wake up one morning and go blind from all of the white glaring at my eyeballs if I don't get out of here soon. 

As cliche as this sounds, my dad is not a brilliant communicator. He gives amazing hugs - the great big bear kind that make you feel like you are being surrounded on all sides - and is a great listener and advice giver when you give him the time to think over an issue. But when it comes to general communication, not so much. The words just don't seem to happen the way that I am sure they were laid out in his head. 

Bearing this in mind, how the heck was I supposed to get "Treat this book like your new BFF and tell it all of your deepest and darkest secrets," out of "Sweetie this is for you, I'll see you at visiting time tomorrow,"? 

Really! How? Just...how?

 I just thought it was a random gift and that maybe my little brother had picked it out for me from the gift shop or something - he's a cute kid and has been filling up my side-table with all kinds of little presents he has been talking my dad into buying for him to give to me. Besides, you don't give someone a present and tell them what to do with it. You just don't do that kind of thing. My dad does. 

After finding out that I have been using the notebooks - sorry Journal - to keep track of my Sudoku solving times - don't judge me! - he was quick to inform me on how I am supposed to be using it. 

This book is now to be my bestest friend EVA!

Kill me now. 

Maybe I'll go for a paddle and let the shark finish me off. 

Yeah, that is why I am in hospital right now. Shark attack. And that is also the reason for this journal. Dad has been talking to shrink and apparently I need to get my feelings out. I have never been one to talk about things and I have a feeling that dad told the good Dr that and this was he next best thing they could think of. Of course it isn't stopping the shrink from coming to pay me a visit in a few days. 

I don't need to talk about anything! I mean, what am I going to say? It's not like I can complain about the shark bullying me and then taking it too far one day...

Besides, if I told him what really happened, I would be out of this hospital bed quicker than I can spit and in a padded cell. 



CHAPTER ONE
There is nothing special about me you know. I have always been normal. Happily so. I have never wanted to stick out from the crowd. I have never wanted to be different. I have never wanted to be special. 
I have skimmed through life always staying under the radar. Never  being paid more than extra attention at school, never drawing attention to myself…of course I cannot say the same for my best friend…
In the play of my life I am the third tree from the back. Actually I am probably not even the tree… I am the shrub, next to the third tree from the back. You know, the one you never notice because you are too busy watching the trees pelt apples at Dorothy – see I bet YOU have never noticed the shrub have you?
Until everything changed when we went to the beach. 

---

I was in the back of our family car and I was moody. I admit it. I hate the beach. I always have, but just like always my mum always decides on the beach for the ‘family time’ when the weather is nice. Personally I do not see what it so wrong with a nice walk in the local park, or throwing water balloons around the garden – that sounds nice doesn't it? But no. We were on the way to the beach instead. 
It’s not that I have a fear of open water of the salty variety or a ‘Jaws’ complex or anything. Well…I have nightmares about drowning but that is a different story altogether. The thing is it doesn't matter how hard you try, skin always gets shown at the beach. What is it about the beach that it is always hotter than the main street one and a half minutes away? What is with that? It must be psychological. 
I hate showing my skin. To me going to the beach is a waste of time anyway. Fair skin, red hair and sun usually ends in painful sunburn and sheading my skin like a snake for the next month. And add to that the fact that I'm not exactly the skinniest chick on the block either... It's not that I mind this. I am happy with the way that I am. Well…as happy as I can be I suppose. I have curves – all in the right places I will add - it's just not my fault if some of the curves go in the wrong direction. I’m not huge, don't get me wrong. I am…medium (if there is such a thing). You know what I mean? Size 18 is too big but size 16 has the layer of fat trying to squeeze out of the top. So I go around in trousers a size too big that make me look like I am three sizes larger than I am and make me look like my thighs are huge. 
Welcome to my world. 
But back to the car for the time being I suppose.
We had been driving for a good two hours. My mum was in the front with dad nodding her head to whatever talk show she was listening to on the radio and ignoring everything Brian (my step-dad) was saying to her – what is it about radio presenters? Do they love the sound of their own voices? Or do they just not know when to stop? Mum had been doing that a lot lately, ignoring Brian. I couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor guy. They had been married for early five years and Brian was as much in love with my mum as ever, but I couldn't help but wonder about my mum's feelings. She had always been flighty when it came to guys, no one had been more shocked than me when she told me she was getting married. 
I was in the back seat plugged into my saving grace AKA my iPod – playing the rebellious moody teen to a tee with my little brother dozing off against my arm. 
Travel always made him sleepy for some reason. I wish it did the same to me. Then I wouldn't have all the time left to think about the torture that would be awaiting me at the beach. 
My brother is a little cutesy.  He can be annoying like any other younger sibling and I have considered sneaking him out of the house and dropping him at an orphanage somewhere on more than one occasion but at heart he is a darling who is just acting his age and I can't really hold that against him…well, for long anyway.  
He was the reason I was in the car heading to my near death experiance. He had turned on the flippy-lip syndrom when I had told mum that I was't coming. She would have let me get away with it too - staying behind - but Ben threw a mighty fit and since it seemed to mean so much to him I went along. 
Mum and dad fawn over him constantly. And in all honesty I don't mind this. Mostly. It gives me more space without someone constantly peering over my shoulder and checking up on me, but I wish sometimes that they would show a little more interest in me. It all comes down to the fact that Ben was not expected. My parents - biological and non - are not the type to freak out about the arrival of a new child – well, if mum falling pregnant with Ben was anything to go by anyway. The pregnancy had been normal until the last month or so and then there had been ‘complications’ To this day I don't know what they were but I do know that if they hadn't been uncomplicated Brian would have been raising me as a single parent. 
I stroked my little brother’s dark hair and he snuggled closer, chewing on his thumb. 
See what I mean?  A little cutesy. 
He was the family’s miracle child. 
I skipped my iPod to the next track and closed my eyes against the sun coming through the window as we came out of the line of trees that yelled ‘3 miles to the beach’ at me.
I really hate the beach. 

---

Sand in my sandals, sand in my hair, sand in eyes, sand stuck to the sunscreen that was stuck to my skin.
Sand everywhere!!!!
I hate the beach. 
I glared at my dad who had proceeded to fall asleep as soon as the blanket had been put over the sand, I could hear his familiar snoring coming from behind the sport pages as his chest moved up and down rhythmically. 
I love my dad; he has got to be one of the most laid back people on the planet. And thinking about it you would have to be to live with my mum for any extended period of time. She is a very highly strung, easily excited kind of woman my mum. Which goes against everything that she surrounds herself with. She is a florist and believe me, if you saw her 'hippie' and 'peace' would be two of the biggest words flashing through your mind in neon lights. She wears some of the brightest clothes I have ever seen. One of these days her earrings are going to be touching the floor I am sure of it. But she is so serious - one of the ‘jump to worst conclusion possible and work your way down’ kind of people. 
“Myra can’t you at least pretend to be enjoying yourself. Honestly. Anyone one think you are waiting for the electric chair,” mum grumbled at me as she finished inflating the plastic armbands for Ben and sent him away with a pat to his behind to go paddling. He skipped away towards the foaming waves an empty plastic bucket swinging from his hand. 
That's my mum all over for you. ‘I will make you do something that I know you hate but do not you dare let me know you do not like it’.
“I might as well be” I mumbled, turning my iPod up higher and reaching into my bag for my book and sun glasses. That is another thing about being at the beach…or just being out side in general when it is sunny. On the adverts they always show you the sexy, slim, bikini clad woman by the pool, or on the beach lounger reading a book or magazine. Fake! They do not show you her squinting at the pages because of the glare or trying to get the right angle so she is not blinded by the sun bouncing of the pages and scorching her retinae. Which is what I was doing right now.  Even with sun glasses in my eyes were nearly closed in an attempt to minimise the retinae frying. 
After a few minutes I gave up. Mother Nature hated me today and there was no point in fighting it. I yanked my ear buds from my ears and began flapping my shirt in an attempt to cool down. 
I pulled the material away from my stomach and let it go with a pop, the movement producing a miniscule draft before immediately re-sealing itself to my skin. 
I could feel my mother’s blue eyes on me and I knew that she was itching to tell me to just strip off the t-shirt and make do with the bikini top I had on underneath it. She would not say anything though. After years of having the same argument she had finally realised this was one argument I was never going to let her win. It did not stop her from making me put the swim suit on under my clothes though. I think she was trying to sweat me out of my baggy clothes. But I would be victorious. 
The beach was buzzing. Not quite as noisy or as busy as it could get at the height of summer where you could hardly raise an arm without elbowing someone but it was almost uncomfortably crowded. 
Umbrellas and loungers were dotted all over the beach along with small children armed with buckets and spades. Further away from us there was a bunch of college students doing what college students do. Playing volley ball. What is it about volleyball and college students anyway. 
I rolled my eyes. The whole beached looked just how you would expect a beach to look and at any minute I knew someone was going to jump out with a camera yelling ‘You’ve been punked’
Everything was too perfect. 
Then the wind change direction carrying the small of seaweed and fish. Finally something to throw off the wonderful picturesque scene. That made me feel better in a perverted kind of way as I watched my mum’s nose wrinkle up and her hand cover her mouth. 
I scanned the shore line. Over all of the years of being ceremoniously dragged to the beach I could not remember there being fishermen around this particular one. After all, the wonderful aromatic smell of dead fish is not exactly a crowd pleaser.  I had only been to this beach a couple of times since we had moved to the Sates 6 months ago but I knew that fisherman tended to stay away during the tourist season, taking their hauls to the harbour several miles away instead. 
But there they were. A group of them at the small peer, gutting and boning and doing what fishermen do with speed and efficiency. And then throwing the remainders into the sea.
Yuck.
In the end, the smell was not all that difficult to get used to – despite its ability to get rid of some of those with a sensitive disposition. I smugly waved goodbye to the backs of the college kids. I have found though that after living with the smell of baby sick around the house and on my clothes and other unmentionables for the last 4 years I can stomach just about anything.  Except for warm milk. That is the one thing I just cannot stand. Gross.
I flopped back onto the blanket and kicked off my sandals. It looked like the smell was not even going to drive my mother from the beach. That woman had an iron stomach when she put her mind to it. 
I closed my eyes. If I wasn't going to be going anywhere I decided to catch up on my sleep. I was just beginning to doze. About to fall of the side of that skyscraper and float into blissful oblivion as the sun soaked into my skin - it felt almost pleasant in my sleepy state. 
“Shark!”




---------------------------

DUN DUN DUN!

So, what do you think? :)

I hope you are all having fun with your stories if you are taking part in NaNoWriMo this year.

:)


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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Preparing for NaNoWriMo. And maybe I'm an Alien.

Hi everyone!

I'm alive! I bet you were all starting to wonder weren't you?

*Crickets*

Moving on.

I am so sorry for the unplanned break from the blog. I have just lost the va-va-voom, when it comes to reviewing. I am still reading (and listening) but I just can't get my butt into gear to write up some thoughts on what I read. But look at it this way. When I do get back into the swing of thing. There is going to be an epic back log of stuff coming your way. :)

Anyhoo, it's nanowrimo time! Eeek. Who's taking part this year?

I did it - and won - last year and because I am a sucker for punishment I am throwing myself into the stress machine that is November and doing it again.

PLANNING IS THE DEVIL!!!!

Piccy time!


See ALL that? That is all the random note taking and idea jotting I have been doing. And want to know something else, that ain't even all of it. Oh yes, there is more where that came from.


I've been keeping a tally. Want to know what the damage is?

Yeah, course you do. 

*clears throat*

So, not counting the actual designated notebook I have for the idea keeping, my notes are on the following,

3 x pages of A5
4 x envelopes
4 x shopping list pages (you know the thin notebooks)
6 x square sticky notes
4 x pages of A4
10-15 x slim diary pages (some have been chucked already so I am guessing this one, but no less than 12 I would say)

AND NOW WE ENTER THE REALM OF WEIRD (YOU MAY WANT TO TURN BACK NOW)

3 x sheets of kitchen roll

and

*cringe*

4 x squares of toilet roll paper

*ducks in embarrassment* 

I told you to turn back. 

Look, there are moments when there is no PAPER paper around and I just need something that will make do so I don't forget the idea...

Don't look at me like that.

Although a quick word of advice. Cheap toilet roll falls apart really easily when you are scribbling on it, so don't scrunch it up, put it somewhere safe and then get it copied onto proper paper ASAP.

Yes, I am insane. If you are new here you will be running for the hills around about now.

:( I was going to make cookies and put up a welcome banner and everything.

*sulk*

ANYWAY! So, yes guys, I am alive and slightly crazy right now... Hmmm...maybe it was something I ate? OR there is a pod next to my bed? Yeah, that idea is way more interesting.

Tatty bye for now.

*goes to get a metal sieve to wear as a hat to stop the aliens*



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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Modified by C.A. Kunz - **Release Day**

I am sorry that this is a bit late guys. The release day was 12th October but my history with technology has not failed me and thanks to a screw up this is late. 



What would you sacrifice to save the one’s you love? To save the one who holds your heart? To save the world?

Kenley Grayson is all too familiar with these questions.

After Earth is thrust into its first intergalactic war with an unknown race called the Bringers, our military forces begin to suffer heavy losses. Desperate for a solution, the Allied Federation issues a worldwide draft for every able seventeen-year-old to enlist. As Kenley turns seventeen, she finds herself thrown into the very war that took her older brother’s life.
This year’s draft is a little different than in the past though. A new program, known as the Magnus Project, has been introduced, and only the best and brightest qualify. Kenley is amongst a select few whom are chosen to join this elite group of soldiers, and as a part of this project, undergoes a modification procedure that leaves her and her peers endowed with powers beyond their wildest dreams.
As Earth continues in its struggle against the Bringers, Kenley is transported to a high-tech training facility, the Magnus Academy, to prepare for the major battle that lies ahead. It’s here that she meets the California heartthrob, and son of a legendary war hero, Landon Shaw. As unexpected feelings toward Landon begin to develop, Kenley wonders if this is the right time or place for romance to bloom, especially when those feelings start to interfere with her training.
With the weight of the world on her shoulders, Kenley is constantly reminded of how important she and the rest of the Magnus cadets are to the fate of humanity. She is one of the Modified, Earth’s last line of defense against utter destruction.







About C.A. Kunz
The mom and son author duo, C.A. Kunz, thoroughly enjoys writing about things that go bump in the night and futuristic action-packed romances while drinking massive amounts of English breakfast tea and Starbucks coffee. To find out more about this duo and their books visit their blog, or find them on Facebook and Twitter!

You can buy the book here - 
Smashwords

And find the authors here - 



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Thursday, 20 September 2012

***Giveaway Reminders***

Hello  darlings.

So this post wraps up the 7 Weeks of Jane Austen!

I hope you all enjoyed reading my not so scholarly thoughts on the different bits and pieces and that you enjoyed the guest posts from Sharon, Cecilia and Alex (Thank you guys you all ROCK!)

Since things were pretty crazy with the posting - believe me when I tell you the hamsters inside by computer and internet home hub have both been fired and I have upgraded to a gerbil (we shall see how it goes - I didn't want any of you to miss out on the giveaways going so here we go. All the pretty rafflecopters in one place - can't say I am not good to you guys.

Win a copy of Mr. and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathon
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Win a copy of Emma by Jane Austen
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Amazing Mystery Box - This is a box of books and other lovelies! (the giveaway is Jane Austen themed so the books won't be totally random - and I can promise there will be at least 4 books in the box - that are not written by Jane Austen)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Books 1 and 2 in the Jane Austen Academy Series by Cecilia Gray
a Rafflecopter giveaway






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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

All Things Austen - Guest Austen Author and Giveaway - Cecilia Gray

Please turn off all mobile phones for the duration of the program, thank you.

*the stage is dark, a lone figure stands center stage*

*one beam of light illuminates this figure*

Welcome Austen Author Cecilia Gray everyone!

Cecilia Gray is the author of Fall for You and So Into You the first 2 novels in the Jane Austen Academy Series. Fall for You being the re-telling of Pride and Prejudice and So Into You being Sense and Sensibilities turn. You can check out the very cool trailer for the book series here

 


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I did not set out to write a series of Jane Austen retellings. I set out to write a series set in an exclusive all-girl’s boarding school that becomes co-ed to the delight and despair of its female students.

I wanted the new guys to challenge my heroines who would also be challenged by each other. I wanted each girl to be very different.

There had to be a driven leader, a shy wallflower, a popular girl. As I began sketching the characters I found myself having thoughts like, “This girl will be spunky…you know…like Elizabeth Bennet.” It wasn’t long before Jane Austen was officially integrated into the series.

Reimagining Jane Austen’s heroines as modern-day high school girls is not new. Most famously, Amy Heckerling’s 1995 teen film Clueless gave us Cher Horowitz – a supernatural fashion queen who, like her source material Emma, engages in well-intentioned if misguided matchmaking.

Here are several of my modern interpretations:

Lizzie (Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice)
Sassy, intelligent and a tad judgemental? Lizzie had to be an opinionated, budding journalist – one who hadn’t learned to keep to the facts instead of her feelings. In FALL FOR YOU (Book #1 – The Jane Austen Academy Series) Lizzie protests the changes to the school and despises the incoming boys – especially Dante (Mr. Darcy) who is too rich and too superior for her taste.

Ellie (Elinor from Sense and Sensibility)
Sensible and reserved, Ellie always hides her feelings. It made sense to me that Ellie from SO INTO YOU (Book #2) would be a Santa Cruz surfer girl whose go-with-the-flow attitude is challenged when her parents decide to stop paying her tuition.

Anne (Anne from Persuasion)
Anne, by far my favorite Jane Austen heroine, is intelligent but easily persuaded to ignore her better judgement and regrets her decisions while in the throes of losing her home. My Anne has just lost her school – the Academy, to be precise - which was her family’s legacy until it was mismanaged. To make matters worse, one of the new male students is her ex-boyfriend who she broke up with when he moved away to military academy. He’s back, as hot as ever, and rich to boot.

Almost every character from the series is re-imagined although to keep the cast small, I’ve doubled up on roles.

Josh Wickham, a Hollywood heartthrob attending the school in my series, serves as my villain for the Pride and Prejudice retelling but is right back to being the bad boy for Willoughby’s role in the Sense and Sensibility story. I didn’t want any of the characters to have siblings at the school, so when sensible Ellie (Elinor/Eleanor) needed her dramatic Marianne, I let my Emma fill the role.

I’ve always loved Jane Austen, but developing and writing this series has exponentially increased my respect for the author and the enduring universality of her themes and characters.

Plus Jane Austen never shied away from giving her heroines “the win” – a cute guy and newfound self-respect. I hope I’ve able to do the same.


---------

You can find out all about Cecilia at her ----


Keep these in mind guys they are going to come in handy later on...

You can also sign up for her newsletter here

About Cecilia
Cecilia Gray lives in Oakland where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.
Cecilia has been praised for “instilling a warmth and weight into her characters”  (Romancing The Book Reviews) and her books have been praised for being “well-written, original, realistic and witty” (Quills & Zebras Reviews).
Several of her titles - including A Delightful Arrangement (The Gentlemen Next Door #1) and An Illicit Engagement (The Gentlemen Next Door #2) - have spent, in her view, a shocking amount of time on bestseller lists for romance, historical romance and regency romance in the US, UK, Italy and Spain.
Her latest release, FALL FOR YOU, the first in a series of young-adult contemporary Jane Austen retellings received a starred Kirkus review and was praised for being a “unique twist on a classic” and offering “a compelling action of action, drama and love.”
She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.


Giveaway Time!!
Cecilia has been kind enough to offer her 2 books - see above - for a giveaway! Yaaaaaay.

This will be international and the giveaway will be for e-books.

Fill out the pretty rafflecopter below and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway






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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

All Things Austen - Guest Post - Top 5 Favourite Austen Adaptations

Once again thank you to Alex (it is so weird thanking an Alex when I am an Alex...moving on) from A Girl, Books and Other Things.


Top 5 favorite Austen Adaptations.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that this little blogger loves writing up lists!
And in the spirit of the Seven Weeks of Austen I decided to put together a list of my favorite adaptations of Ms. Austen’s works.

I ‘ve tried to put a little bit of everything and this is all my humble opinion.

So, onto the list!

Pride and Prejudice (1995) BBC/Masterpiece
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112130
Okay, I’m going start with the absolute obvious choice. I absolutely love Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Darcy and Lizzie. They have great chemistry together to be sure, but they also look the part - they have a very British look in my opinion - plus I think the actors and director got the essence of the sisters right. Little as Kitty and Mary’s screen time is, I remember them. And Lydia is annoying and vain but also kind of fun. 
I believe this series is so well loved it has almost become cannon - like the Darcy -swimming scene.

Persuade Me by Juliet Archer (2011)   
Persuasion is one of those stories that I feel often gets overlooked, even by Austen fans but it has always been a favorite of mine mostly because it’s a story of second chances. And I think Persuade Me is a lovely modern retelling, because it gets the essence of the characters, their flaws, and yet it makes you connect with them. It’s hard to forgive someone when there are 10 years of misunderstandings in between, and Persuade Me shows that. Also, it manages to mirror a lot of the events in the original book in a way that makes sense in this day and age.

Sense and Sensibility (2008) BBC/Masterpiece
One of the things I love the most about this adaptation is that they got the ages of the characters right. If you read the book, Marianne is about 17 and Elinor about 19 - something you totally don’t get from Emma Thompson’s version, though I admit I kind of like that one too, but not as much as I like this version. Also, Edward doesn’t look like he goes around being constipated all the time - I’m looking at you Hugh Grant!
Sure, this version doesn’t have Alan Rickman or Greg Wise but it doesn’t actually suffer for it.

Clueless (1995)
I was only about 11 years old when Clueless came out but I still love watching it. It actually took me a while to work out it was an Emma retelling and I actually like that. Because of the setting and the way the argument was updated you feel just like you are watching a very fun story, no a retelling, and I love that.

Northanger Abbey (2007)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0844794/
I admit that until I saw this movie, Northanger Abbey was probably the Jane Austen story that I was least familiar with, but I was so charmed that I of course went and bought the book and read it and loved it even more. The story is silly and fun and I loved Felicity Jones as Catherine (she’s one of my favorite young Brit actresses), and how incorporated her dreams into the movie. For me it actually turned into a feel good movie


Shout Out to:
The Lizzie Benet Diaries (2012) You Tube
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?annotation_id=annotation_208531&feature=iv&list=PL6690D980D8A65D08&src_vid=kobsKwCbXHY
I’m a bit on the fence about this because the more time it passes the less I like Lizzie - which actually made me realize she is very judgmental and has less-than-stellar parts to her personality (she’s not very nice toward her sisters other than Jane - even in the original) but because of the medium, it kind of jumped at me this time. In this version I like Caroline B. a lot more than Lizzie (at least so far) so go figure!  On the other hand, it’s a pretty clever idea to tell P & P through vlog entries, and I don’t even mind the Americanization of the story… that much.
  

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Monday, 17 September 2012

All Things Austen - Janey DVDS

As this is Jane Austen free-for-all week I could not neglect to mention the films/programs that I am aware of that are all about the lady herself. 

I give you. 

The Janey DVDs (which I have watched and thought were both really good in their own ways BTW)




This drama depicts a passionate and emotional chapter of Jane Austen’s romantic life, inspired by the great writer’s own novels, letters and diaries.
As Jane Austen approaches her 40s, her success as a writer is assured and her witty and sharply observed romantic novels are widely admired. To her niece, Fanny Knight – a young, pretty girl desperate to fall in love – Jane is a favourite aunt who offers the wisdom and knowledge to help her in her own search for a happy marriage.
Yet, when asked by Fanny to help her vet potential husbands, Jane's usual confident composure is threatened. Surely the woman so capable of writing love on the page must have experienced love herself, so why did she never marry?
Protected by her wit, Jane has presented a front as dazzling as many of her novels' young heroines, but as she reflects on her own romantic encounters and affairs, we are drawn into the passions, suitors and choices of her life – the cruel flirting, the proposals spurned and the love that seemed to arrive too late.
As she recalls missed opportunities, the doubts arise. Did she make the right choice for herself and her family? Could the great romantic expert have been mistaken? And, could her principles about love and marriage possibly have been ill-judged?

I really enjoyed this. It wasn't at all what I expected it to be which at first I was a little disappointed by but by the end I loved it. It isn't one of those DVDs that I could watch over and over again but it is definitely one to bring out of hiding and snuggle up to with a bar of chocolate and a cup of tea. 




I couldn't find and synopsis that didn't go into crazy detail so I shall just say that this is a film that focuses mainly on the early years of Jane Austen.

Okaaaaay, so between the two Miss Austen Regrets is my favourite. I just couldn't quite gel with this one at all for some reason. And I think that it may be because it came across like Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. It is entertaining but I just couldn't ... get into it in the same way that I could Miss Austen Regrets. 

Have any of you guys seen these? I would love to know what you though of them :)



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Sunday, 16 September 2012

All Things Austen - Being Elizabeth Bennet by Emma Campbell Webster


Elizabeth Bennet is the wittiest and most attractive heroine in English literature. And for the first time, in "Being Elizabeth Bennet", you are given the opportunity to star in the most popular novel in the English language: "Pride and Prejudice". 

You will be faced throughout this book with delicate challenges and dangerous choices. Whether you're accepting Mr Darcy the first time he professes his attachment, deciding to elope with Mr Wickham or avoiding a murderous Lady Catherine de Bourgh, this is a chance to rewrite Austen's most famous book. You decide who to marry and when. And if you have always preferred Mr Knightley's sophistication or have a sneaking admiration for the odious Mr Elliot then you can marry them instead. 

However, make choices with caution: "Being Elizabeth Bennet" is packed with characters and plot twists to thwart your happy union with Pemberly's most eligible bachelor. You must complete five stages - and successfully negotiate your way through Austen's five other novels - before can choose to accept Mr Darcy. But if the outcome does not suit, simply return to page 1 and create a new Jane Austen adventure.


This is very much a choose your own adventure book. You are given choices to make through out the book to see what happens at the end. Will you die of the cold? Or will you live happily ever after with Mr Darcy?

One of the things that I found hilarious was that you have to make up a list of 'inferior' connections as you go through - that tickled me. 


'No more!' you cry, and with that you hurl Fordyce's Sermons directly at his head, killing him in an instant. 


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Saturday, 15 September 2012

All Things Austen - Jane Austen's Guide to Dating by Lauren Henderson




"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." --Jane Austen, Pride and PrejudiceThere was never a more astute chronicler of the hits and near-misses of love than Jane Austen. Now, she helps readers discover their inner heroines and get the guy in this witty book of romance and dating strategies.

Utilizing wisdom inspired by Jane Austen's novels, from Sense and Sensibility to Pride and Prejudice and beyond, author Lauren Henderson creates an indispensable guide for navigating the all-too-mystifying dating scene. Harnessing the triumphs and pitfalls of Austen's classic characters, Henderson shows how qualities like honesty, self-awareness, and forthrightness always win the right man -- and still let you respect yourself in the morning.

A completely new and amusing approach to dating, Jane Austen's Guide to Dating includes insightful personality quizzes that reveal which Jane Austen character you -- and your mate -- most resemble. Armed with this knowledge, you can learn what to do if you're a Lizzie, but the object of your affection is a Bingley. You can even find out how to gain the clearheadedness and confidence that Anne Elliot had and almost lost in Persuasion.

Full of wit and truly useful advice that has stood the test of time, Jane Austen's Guide to Dating will help readers overcome the nonsense and find the sense (and sensibility) to succeed in a lasting relationship. Fans of Jane Austen and newcomers alike will delight in this fun, fresh, and audacious guide.

I first read this book not long after it first came out and I loved it!

As there isn't really a story in the book I can't tell you about the characters or the plot etc. 

It is just what it says on the cover, this is 'Jane Austen's Guide to Dating'. There are case studies of the girls from Austen's novels and their relationships with others and what they did. And then there are real-life scenarios. 

At times this is just a fun read and at others slightly more serious. 




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Friday, 14 September 2012

All Things Austen - The Jane Austen Mysteries by Stephanie Barron

Shout out time!

This is a series of books were Jane Austen is the heroine of the story as she gets herself involved in some dodgy goings on.

There are 11 books in this series - so there is a lovely collection of them to read if you like the first (so that is always a good thing).













Jane Austen and the -

Book 1 - Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor
Book 2 - Man of the Cloth
Book 3 - Wandering Eye
Book 4 - Genius of the Place
Book 5 - Stillroom Maid
Book 6 - Prisoner of Wool House
Book 7 - Ghosts of Netley
Book 8 - Jane and His Lordships Legacy
Book 9 - Barque of Frailty
Book 10 - Madness of Lord Byron
Book 11 - Canterbury Tale

Stephanie Barron's Website is here
Stephanie Barron's Bog is here





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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Persuasion - Novel Shout-Out Time #2

For those of you with a love for Captain Wentworth who may want to know what was going through his mind.


Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange
(This is part of the Jane Austen's Heroes Series by the author)

(I love this front cover!)
During his shore leave from the Navy, Frederick Wentworth falls in love with the elegant and intelligent Miss Anne Elliot. Only to see his hopes of marrying her dashed by her godmother.

Eight years later, Wentworth has realized his ambitions. A wealthy captain, he has pushed his memories of Anne to the furthest recesses of his mind - until he sees her again. And though Anne's bloom has faded, Wentworth is surprised to find that his regard for her wit and warmth has not.

None But You (Frederick Wentworth, Captain #1) by Susan Kaye

Eight years ago, when he had nothing but his future to offer, Frederick Wentworth fell in love with Anne Elliot, the gentle daughter of a haughty, supercilious baronet. Sir Walter Elliot refused to countenance a marriage, and Anne's godmother, Lady Russell, strongly advised Anne against him. Persuaded by those nearest to her, Anne had given him up and he had taken his broken heart to sea. When Jane Austen's Persuasion opens in the year 1814, Frederick Wentworth, now a famous and wealthy captain in His Majesty's Navy, finds himself back in England and, as fate would have it, residing as a guest in Anne's former home. Now, it is the baronet who is in financial difficulties, and Anne exists only at her family's beck and call. For eight long years, Frederick had steeled his heart against her. Should he allow Anne into his heart again, or should he look for love with younger, prettier woman in the neighbourhood who regard him as a hero?

For You Alone (Frederick Wentworth, Captain #2) by Susan Kaye

How could he have failed to know himself so completely? Captain Frederick Wentworth, lately returned to England from a distinguished naval career fighting Napoleon, had re-visited the scene of his romantic defeat of eight years previous at the hands of Miss Anne Elliot to find his former love a pale, worn shadow of herself. Attracted by the libely young ladies in the area who regarded him as a hero, he had ignored Anne and entangled himself with Louisa Musgrove, a headstrong young woman who seemed all that Anne was not. Now, because of his careless behviour and Louisa's heedlessness, his future appeared tied to her just at the moment when it had become painfully clear that Anne was still everything he truly wanted. In honour, he belonged to Louisa, but his heart was full of Anne. What was he to do?


 

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Monday, 10 September 2012

Persuasion - My Favourite TV Adaptation



I am going to go against everything that I have said in previous posts about the modern-er adaptations of Jane Austen's Novels.

The latest adaptation of Persuasion is by far my favourite!

I love it.

It is not really how the plot is portrayed - I love that too, don't get me wrong - but the way that the characters have been painted. I found that I could really gel with them in this version more than any other Austen adaption I have seen.

The way that the difference is shown between Anne's blood family and her family through marriage is brilliant, with the playful light feel that comes from her being with people who care for her and then the strict, almost bleak feel of her actual family.

Not to mention is has one of the most beautiful closing scenes when Captain Wentworth dances with Anne in front of her family home that he has just purchased as a weeding present for her. I am telling you, it is enough to bring a sentimental tear to a glass eye.




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Sunday, 9 September 2012

**Giveaway** - The Mystery Giveaway

This giveaway is going to be something a little different.

It is going to be a surprise....

DUN DUN DUN.



It will be a Jane Austen themed giveaway, so there will be Austeny books in the box as well as other goodies in the box. But right now that is all the info I am giving you *insert crazy take-over-the-world laugh here*

Entering for the box of coolness is easy.

Fill out the rafflecopter below.

Good luck guys! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Persuasion - Novel Shout-Out Time!

Shout out time guys!

So here are some books that are based on Persuasion by Jane Austen.

Persuading Annie by Melissa Nathan (Yes, the author of 'The Nanny')

Meet Annie Markham. Gentle, sweet and kind. Except for her dark side. A dark side called Jake Mead. Seven years ago he’d been her entire world, even though her godmother had tried to persuade her to dump him. But when the going got tough, Annie’s tough got going. Jake’s hasty departure from her life proved that a) godmothers are cleverer than they look and b) the only thing reliable about men is that they’re totally unreliable.

Now Jake is back in her life. And he’s the one man who may just save her family’s ailing company. But what Annie doesn’t know is that Jake has an Achilles heel. An Achilles heel called Annie Markham. He’s never quite got over her treatment of him all those years ago. This is the perfect opportunity for what some may call closure. But what Jake calls, revenge.


Possibilities by Debra White Smith
(This is part of an Austen Series of books by the author)

Allie Ellen is the daughter of a respected, wealthy southern family who owns a plantation. Frederick Wently has no money and plans to join the Air Force. When the two meet, they feel a deep attraction. But Allie's unsentimental aunt dissuades her from the relationship--so when Frederick proposes, Allie runs off.

Years later, Allie and Frederick find themselves in the same city once again. But other love interests and Frederick's bitterness from their earlier break up may keep them apart. Will forgiveness and hope erase the memories of the past in time for Allie and Frederick to have a future?


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