Cass and I were honored to be invited to launch our new release through Canelo Escape, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, at the Pre-Festival Get Together for the Jane Austen Festival in Bath last month, and it was a fantastic night!
The book is, after all, set during this very Festival in the beautiful city of Bath, so what could be more fitting?
The sell-out event took place at St Swithin’s Church (where Jane Austen’s parents were married), and we arrived to find the lovely Festival volunteers had readied everything. All we had to do was set out our books and publicity material and wait nervously for people to arrive (Cass felt a lot better once she had a glass of wine in her hand)!
We’d had posters made up for both The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen and the sequel, The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen (releasing 7th November but already up for pre-order!), along with the blurb – which you can read here for the first book in the Austen Adventures series, and here for the second. This enabled us to have some lovely conversations with people attending the event, and we were delighted with the interest in our stories.
We’d made up some goody bags for the first 30 people to buy signed books, which proved very popular, especially the Californian candy and the Swiss chocolate!
We were honored to have Dr. Gabrielle Malcolm (amongst other things, an Austen scholar and author of the upcoming non-fiction book, There’s Something About Darcy – releasing on 11th November) introducing us and moderating a Q&A, which was a lot of fun.
Afterwards, there was time for more conversation as we signed books and handed out the goody bags, during which we met some lovely people from across the globe.
We were also touched and thrilled to see several friends there, who had all travelled some distance to support us.
A huge thank you to everyone involved. We had a great time!
Most of you know that, much as I love the people that I travel to see and the places that I stay when I travel, TRAVEL, in and of itself is not something I love.
But once in awhile, there comes an opportunity that even I am eager to travel for.
In The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, our characters participate in The Jane Austen Festival in Bath. This is a weeklong, world famous event Cass has been to several times and they (very kindly) invited us to be part of their pre-festival get together on September 13… nowhere special… only at St Swithens Church, the same church where Jane Austen’s parents were married. No big deal.
Ummm.. that’s a lie. This is a very big deal to us. Our friend Gabrielle Malcolm will be moderating for us (hey – she can make a conversation about forks interesting, so you know it’s going to be a great time).
We so appreciate the festival organizers for thinking of us and inviting us and we will be there with bells on.
If you follow Cass or I on any social media platforms you probably already know our biggest news (also mentioned in my last post): the eBook of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen… AND it’s sequel (I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you the title yet) were acquired by Canelo Digital Publishing at the end of last year.
One of the many things we were excited about on entering the traditionally published world was that there would be real artists and professionals creating our covers!
Our first cover will always be near and dear to us, but at the end of the day it didn’t reflect the light hearted nature of our writing and so… drumroll please… HERE is what the professionals came up with:
I love the color and the whimsy of it. I love the animals and the little Royal Crescent at the top. Hopefully it will grab readers that our first cover might have put off.
But wait! There’s more!
We did edit the manuscript before submitting to Canelo, and with the interior updated to reflect this, it seemed the perfect time to brighten up the paperback cover as well.
Of course we couldn’t step on the publisher’s toes as far as making the two too similar, but we found something refined and pretty (just like main character Rose).
So HERE is what we came up with:
This means that if you have a book with this new cover, then you have the new and revised version of our book, which we are immensely proud of.
Whereas if you have this cover:
Congratulations! You have the OG (this is apparently a reference no one is going to get based on asking several peers – basically I just mean ‘the original’) version of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen.
Regardless of the covers, it might be sensible to tell you a little about the inside of the book, for those who haven’t yet read it!
Here we go:
When a time travelling Jane Austen gets stuck in modern-day Bath it’s up to avid Janeite Rose Wallace to save her… because she’s the only one who knows that Jane exists!
Rose Wallace’s world revolves around all things Austen, and with the annual festival in Bath – and the arrival of dishy archaeologist, Dr Aiden Trevellyan – just around the corner, all is well with the world…
But then a mysterious woman who bears more than a passing resemblance to the great author moves in upstairs, and things take a disastrous turn. Rose’s new neighbour is Jane Austen, whose time travel adventure has been sabotaged by a mischievous dog, trapping her in the twenty-first century.
Rose’s life is instantly changed – new home, new job, new friends – but she’s the only one who seems to have noticed! To right the world around her, she will have to do whatever it takes to help Jane get back home to write Rose’s beloved novels. Because a world without Mr Darcy? It’s not worth living in!
As we approach the release date for the eBook (12th September – it’s available for pre-order here!), we’ve decided to give away a few copies of the new, revised paperback! What’s more, these will be signed by both authors (not a thing that happens very often with the distance between us!)
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, letting us know your thoughts on any of the covers (do you have a favourite, anything you love, anything you don’t), and then we’ll enter your name in the draw, which will be made on Sunday, 15th September in Bath!
Draw open internationally! Closing date for entries is 12th September 2019.
Thank you for bearing with us! We hope you enjoy the next few months where we should be posting here more regularly!
It has been quite a while since I’ve been here on our own beloved tabbycow.com (Cass! I think we need to grab the addy tabbyhippo now too! – sorry, private joke that you’d know about if you followed Cass or I on twitter!)
I came to update you all on changes to the cover of our first book together, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen. But lo and behold, when I got here, I saw that we had never officially marked our partnership with Canelo Digital Publishing here on Tabby Cow!!
And THAT was ridiculous! But then, that made me remember WHY we never did so.
It was the best of times…
Cass, being all things brilliant – but in this case Twitter savvy in particular – entered our book in Canelo’s open pitch in the Summer of 2018. There were discussions and contracts and boom! Cass and I had joined the Canelo family.
This was exciting and terrifying, particularly since Canelo wanted not just The Particular Charm, but its sequel which, if you’ve read the first book you know, we’d left a pretty wide open door for.
An open door that we’d not yet walked thru! So, one of the first things Cass and I did after signing with our publisher (after sharing a drink over Facetime together), was book a ticket for me to go to the UK so that Cass and I could outline the sequel and we could officially meet with Canelo and sign on the dotted line.
While Cass and I are quite adept at communicating over the interwebs in all it’s many forms, there is something about being in the same room that is important for us when outlining. We shared an adorable place very near the Royal Crescent. We ate lovely meals and drank Luxe Chocolate Bailey’s Irish Cream and saw friends and ironed out plot points and I fell asleep every twenty minutes. (I’m usually very unaffected by the journey TO the UK. I usually fall into a jet lag coma when I get home).
We also toured all the places our characters would be walking around in the sequel and just generally had a lovely time.
It was the worst of times…
Honestly, most of the work was done (thank goodness) when I started to feel… awful.
I couldn’t eat or sleep or lay down or sit up or walk or be a functioning adult. Joan (a friend and our B&B hostess) very sweetly took care of me (as did Cass, of course) as I spent my last day and a half wondering if anyone would be willing to just knock me over the head until I could get better. Spoiler: no one was willing to do it.
I am so so lucky that my seatmates on the flight home were total arses because I didn’t feel bad one bit that I looked like I was carrying the plague.
I got home, dropped by bags, hugged my kids, and went straight to the ER. I then spent the next two months trying to figure out what sort of antibiotics would finally do the job. Here is me back at the ER on Thanksgiving still trying to figure it out! I wish I looked this good for my family Christmas pictures!
Anyway… I think that robbed some of our enthusiasm for what we’d just accomplished (outlining the sequel!!! I’m so excited to share with you when we can!!).
I wonder if you’ll be able to gather any hints to the sequel by noting where we went to research 😉 😉 ;).
You can say a lot of things about Cass and I. We’re brilliant and funny and obsessed with cats to name a few. But you can’t say we overly self promote ourselves; considering I’m seven months late telling you all about a really wonderful book signing we did here in Pasadena, CA.
September 24, 2017
Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena is a historic local shop that is notorious for supporting artists from the community. I have loved Vroman’s since I moved here in 1998.
After our mountain-top experience for our book launch at 4 Sydney Place in Bath, England, we always had the intention of doing something on my side of the pond. After some research and communication with Vroman’s, we decided a book signing there would be ideal. And then… well, obviously… we’d need a party afterwards.
As excited as we were to plan another visit together and celebrate The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen with our friends and family, we were not overtly excited about the presentation portion of the book signing evening. Cass had a list of diseases she planned to use to get out of it, but I promised her that there would only be four people in the audience and that we’d be back at my house for the party in no time (she had no problem with the party portion of the plan).
Well, we had a few more than four people in the audience. And we were surprised to get a solid slate of questions from them. While we did have a good set of people that were there to support us because they knew us, there were quite a few from the public too.
This was beautiful and wonderful but we were *not* prepared. We signed books for an hour, and we sold out!
After that, we went home to an amazingly catered meal by my mom and an amazing show of support from our friends and family. Special appreciation goes to our husbands who were more than supportive, more than gracious and more than wonderful.
Thank you to my mom for the food and help, for Megan for taking photos for us and everyone for the support! We will endeavor to be slightly quicker to update Tabbycow the next time something exciting happens!
One year ago today The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen was published! It also happens to be on sale right now on Amazon or available free in Kindle Unlimited!!
As many of you know, we celebrated the launch of the book in Bath at 4 Sydney Place (thank you again, Bath Boutique Stays!). This was an incredible event for the two of us as we were surrounded by such lovely support celebrating the publication of the book. Do you want to see pictures? Here! Look! It was so much fun!
We were able to have the books carried in JA Centre Bath and Visitor Information Centre Bath for what was initially a ten day period during the Jane Austen Festival. Well, we are very proud that The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen is still being sold in both places ten months later. This tickles us endlessly as I’m sure you can imagine.
Now it’s time to work on my side of the globe. Anyone who has spent any length of time in Pasadena will have heard of Vroman’s Bookstore. They are a large, local bookseller with amazing character. They have championed the local artist and author for many years… and, starting a couple days ago, that includes me (and Cass, who is an honorary local).
Here it is at the main location on historic Colorado Blvd:
And here it is at the Hastings Ranch location which is conveniently located next to an Einstein Bros Bagel shop ;)!
But, wait! There’s more! As part of the deal with Vroman’s, they will host a book signing at the Colorado Blvd location on September 24! BOTH authors will be there, (though one of us may be slightly jet lagged).
This is not a drill! Friends from near and far, please save the date as we would love you to show up and say hi! More information to come!
There have been a couple other notable things happening this year with the book which Cass will share soon, but for now I must end this post because it’s my birthday!
Thank you for your support on social media and in purchasing our novel. We will hopefully be sharing updates on… *gasp* the sequel soon.
*If it’s not July 7th where you are, please pretend it is. Having writing partners in different time zones does make anniversaries confusing!
Only 48 hours (from LA time) left to get The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen on sale at only $2.99! That’s a 50% saving on the usual price of $5.99!
Read more about it and a couple of excerpts on the About the Book page here!
You can obtain a Kindle copy at this special price at Amazon.com orAmazon.co.uk (and hopefully every other Amazon site there is!)
The price reduction probably won’t be reflected in the Nook, Kobo andApple stores anymore, but if you go to Smashwords.comhere and enter the code LK28F at checkout the 50% reduction will still be applied!
One unexpected result of writing our book was that Bath became more than a setting in The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen. The city has such a unique feel to it, a really lovely regal quaintness. Anyway, we strived to paint a picture of this place the way we know it very, very accurately. We knew exactly where each of our characters would live, socialize and… just as importantly, where they would eat!
I’m not sure how this became such a priority for us, but I think it started with Las Iguanas. Cass wanted to make sure I tried their fajitas (which is a favorite food of mine), and we had such a nice seat by a big window overlooking an attractive little courtyard that we immediately agreed the moment had to be mirrored in the book.
From there, the idea took root. By the time we were together again for the book launch we pretty much exclusively went to the restaurants that our characters had gone to.
The Boater is a cute little pub close to where we (and one of our characters, Morgan) stayed. It is a little dark, in a homey sort of way, and only about two tables wide (though it goes back quite a bit and there are other levels, including a garden!).
Bill’s Restaurant is a nice restaurant, very amenable even when your very large, loud group want to stay to close out the place. They had the BEST spicy chicken sandwich. I tried to get Cass go to back only to there the whole rest of the trip.
Las Iguanas, as I’ve already mentioned, has a really nice location and very good food. After a few days without salsa, my California soul starts to shrivel up, so they were incredibly refreshing.
Speaking of location, Graze has an incredible one:
They are on the top floor of a building near the train station so not only do they overlook the tracks, but the city centre below. We had some lovely blue skies which shone through the 360 degree windows when we ate there and the food was great (and the scene set here is a fav with some of our readers – we know, because they told us so!)
The Chequers feels like more of a secret Bath location, though I’m assured they are well known. It’s very nice inside, with easy seating and the menu feels straight out of a reality show cooking competition.
Hall & Woodhouse has special significance because this is where our two female lead characters meet face to face for the first time. It is one of those bars that has a ton of character. The outside feels very traditional Bath, and the large sprawling inside is inviting and warm even though it’s spread over two floors – and it has an awesome roof terrace!
Finally, there’s also a key scene set in the Roman Baths Kitchen. We didn’t get to eat there together (though Cass is a bit of a regular!), but they did us the most awesome buffet for our post book launch party… party!!
Basically, even if you have no interest in Jane Austen or the Roman Baths, Bath is still a wonderful place to spend some time at and, oh yes, with more than a few delicious fares to choose from.
“If you’re going to Bath – take it (The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen) with you – it’s also a wonderful guide to some of the best pubs and restaurants in town.” – Jane Odiwe
On my to do list for next time (because our characters got there before me!):
What Book Club charm does The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen hold? We’ve been considering just that question after the subject was broached by some of our friends indicating we might be their next pick.
FRIENDSHIP is a strong theme in the book and also sometimes in Book Clubs! (I mean, I guess it’s not a pre-requisite for those of you into the serious art of reading literature, but I assume it helps!)
It’s got history in it! I mean, not all of it is totally true, but a good amount of it is, and I think it’s fairly easy to spot where we deviate (intentionally anyway).
It’s a virtual tour of Bath, UK. And trust me, Bath is AWESOME. I hate traveling. But I love Bath. When a cranky traveler gives a place a thumbs up, I feel that should mean something.
It’s FUNNY. And considering the sometimes subtle, sometimes substantial differences in UK and US humor, the fact that we both thought it was funny might just mean it is.
It’s LIGHT (the Kindle edition is anyway – *insert rim shot here*). In some Book Clubs, the books (no matter how worthy of being read) can be a tad heavy and depressing. The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen can be a nice palette cleanser between Nobel prize winning novels.
ROMANCE that you don’t have to cover your eyes for. I mean, I enjoy extra steamy love scenes as much as the next gal, but I grew up with the sort of subtle, funny romance that was almost like a secret between the writer, the characters, and only some of the readers. All my favorite romance novels have dog-eared pages where I’ve distinguished hints that the relationship is progressing, but would otherwise struggle to find those moments again.
Most our characters have British Accents! Okay, perhaps not as fascinating to you British people, but I love the British accent and feel extremely lucky to have an actual, real, live British person writing with me, transforming my Americanisms into verified Britspeak (unless I’m writing for an American character).
It has at least one American accent! No? This doesn’t get anyone excited? Of all the billions of people that adore the British accent, I thought maybe there would be one oddball who wanted an American one but no… How about… It has an American! Which I find funny and refreshing because it does help to highlight some of those subtle but all important differences between our cultures and why we should appreciate each other.
The characters are NERDS for Jane Austen (for those of you less nerdy than me, a nerd nowadays can be another way of saying fanatic). I know there are people out there that would not count themselves as nerds for anything, but these people are basically nerds about not being nerds. I mean, you kinda have to work at not being a nerd nowadays. We are in the Age of Nerd! a time when you can nerd out on gourmet cooking shows as easily as you can Star Trek. I can proudly list a dozen things in which I am overly invested (read: nerdy about) and a million ways to connect with others through each and every one of them.
Nerds create communities in which to be our most nerdy selves and these communities can be long- lasting, rock solid, and immeasurably fulfilling. Hey! Book clubs are communities too! Even if it’s not Jane Austen that you’re nerdy for, I bet you will recognize that spark – that love that inspires your nerd-hood in our characters’ love for Regency fiction.
A reader recently said of our book that “Loving Jane Austen is not a prerequisite but is a repercussion“. Speaking of, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen has a lot of Austen references: JANE AUSTEN character references, JANE AUSTEN book scene location references, etc. It was a little unbelievable for me to be walking the SAME streets, seeing many of the same facades, the same views not simply of THE Jane Austen, but of her imagination as well. BUT you don’t need to ‘know’ Jane Austen or her life to enjoy the book. We know; we’ve been told!
There are animals! Both Cass and I adore animals and maybe your Book Club does too! One animal in particular changes the course of our character’s lives in an unexpected, but we hope charming, way.
Our main female characters are SMART. There are no damsels in this book, though one of our main females does tend to be flighty about directions and keys which may or may not reflect the real life of one of the two authors of this book who still believes she is smart despite this defect and a few more she may or may not have. No, don’t ask my husband if it’s me, I don’t want to talk about it! I have degrees people! Okay, they are in English and Art, but that doesn’t make me any less of a female person!
Our male characters are smart too. Our female characters do not need to put men, individually or as a gender, down to prove their own salt. Everyone’s great in their own way – except for that one character and, face it, we all know that one person we wish no harm to, but would rather not be forced to work with daily! It’s probably that person you talk about with your Book Club before you all buckle down to business and discuss the book you’re supposed to have read but didn’t have enough time to because THAT person mucked up the workflow and you were late.
There are HATS. Actually, this is just a test to see if you’re still reading.
This novel is rare in that it is co-written. That could be an interesting topic of discussion in a Book Club. It certainly was an interesting topic of conversation between us while we were co-writing it!
There is a lot of talk of what influences shaped our characters that could be good Book Club discussion. What are the small things that would change in your life if one key influence from your past disappeared? What were those influences? How would their absence have affected your life (if at all)? And would you be the only one who’s life changed? Would an entire industry or city change? Or… would there simply be something indefinable in the universe missing?
17. It introduces us Americans to the Love Hearts candy which you can have shipped and available to serve at your Book Club meeting. Cheerful colors, sweet messages and it doesn’t even have to be Valentine’s Day!
18. There’s an element of fantasy to The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen. And how often do you have an element of fantasy in your Book Club selection? Probably often if you’re fantasy fans… but if you are… all the more reason to choose us.
19. Our characters love books too! I mean – if you’re in a Book Club you are probably there for one of two main reasons. 1. You wanted to spend more time with the people in your Book Club; 2. You wanted to read more books. Both of these themes – friendship and the love of reading – are of central importance in The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen.
20. Our book is set during the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. This is an amazing annual event that you and your book club could attend together after reading the novel! And if you book thru Bath Boutique Stays, you might even be able to stay in 4 Sydney Place (one of Jane Austen’s actual residences!).
21. And finally, our TPCoMJA (wow, what a catchy acronym!) would be a great addition to your Book Club list because: For a limited time we are trying to figure out a way to get you a discount on the physical books if you buy 6 or more for your Book Club. Full disclosure: We haven’t figured out shipping costs yet, and I am slightly concerned that shipping will end up making this less exciting. But we’re working on it! Message us and you might be the Beta group for this offer!!
Many years ago, I lived with my husband in a house on a hill. We were both working for my Father-in-Law and we had three cats even though we didn’t realize my husband was allergic to them yet. I was (and still am) a homebody and a book worm – which made online friendships extremely handy.
As with most people, the illusion of anonymity on the Internet lent me to do things that I wouldn’t normally do… like share my stories with them (thought I was going somewhere else with that didn’t you? Get your minds out of the gutter!).
You see, I’d been writing fanfiction long before I knew what fanfiction was. In high school, I used to write stories for my friends using their real life hopes and dreams… mostly about the boys they liked. So, when I was introduced to the idea of fanfiction thru the Scarecrow & Mrs. King community, it made absolute sense to me. Looking back, I realize it was an incredibly small and oddly like minded set of people compared to most fandoms. When I discovered them, they were just a bunch of fans rejuvenating a television show that had limped so sadly to its end. It was incredibly cathartic.
So when I quickly became obsessive about Harry Potter and impatient for the publication of new books in the series, I innocently searched for what the fans were doing in the fanfiction world. And… my eyes! my eyes!!!!
I realized quickly that what I had to find was another, smaller, set of like minded fans to obsess and share with. And that is where Cass comes in. On a sweet little Harry Potter site, a fellow forum poster and I hit it off. We were both totally hilarious, if I do say so myself. Once we were both assured that the other was not a psycho serial killer pretending to be an awesomely funny person, we became “real” friends who talked about “real” life. And one day, I honestly can’t remember how or why (maybe she does?), we started writing Harry Potter fanfiction together.
And that is how Cass and Ada first met and…why Cass and Ada finally met in person.
(TO WRITE! Isn’t that crazy? And 14 years later, that’s what we’re STILL doing!)
Anyway, I was pregnant, and not at all nervous… until I was at the baggage claim. Then, several concerns crowded me all at once:
What if I didn’t recognize her? All the pictures of her I’d seen to that point suddenly melded together in my mind as one (kind of general) amalgamation of a nice human face with brownish reddish hair.
What if I’d screwed up in some way the directions? I am NOTORIOUS for getting directions wrong and giving bad directions. Granted, the airport should have sent her in a pretty direct way to baggage claim, but… I really can’t take any chances with my direction-challenged brain.
What if my cell battery died? Oh – by the way – it did.
For at least five minutes I smiled at every female-ish person in the LAX baggage claim hoping to send a welcoming, non-psycho vibe that I wouldn’t be kicked out of the airport for. It was at this point that anxiety started in. I jealously thought, well at least SHE knows she’s looking for a pregnant person. That’s at least SOMETHING. Why hadn’t we worked out a code? A red hat! A white rose! A Harry Potter Scarf!
But it wasn’t long before a person with a suddenly distinct Cass looking face appeared on the escalator. Crazy how people look how they are supposed to when you’re not in an anxiety fueled panic.
Anyway, a big hug and a lot of undignified giggles later we were off.
The drive to and from LAX had long ago become old hat to me. Apparently it didn’t feel terribly old hat to Cass who looked green and not at all impressed with my impromptu attempts at tour guide (there may have been some weaving involved).
This started a several years long in joke with me sending her pictures of the Staples Center lit up purple at night (it was midday when we passed it so she couldn’t see how purple it got!).
We learned several things during the trip:
California waiters cannot understand the word “water” when said with a British accent
My three cats had no hunting prowess (they surrounded a spider and it got away)
We CAN write together faster in person
We DO like each other in person
We CANNOT understand each other in a loud restaurant
And it was upon these truths that our “real life” friendship was founded and these truths have carried us through!*
*ok, the inability of my now deceased cats to catch spiders has not recently affected us, but you get the idea.