*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
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...
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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.
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