Hello!! Happy New Year from Tabby Cow (i.e. Cass and Ada)!
2019 was an incredible year for us, with both The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen and it’s sequel, The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen, being published by Canelo Escape. Not without note, we also wrote said sequel in 2019 and got to spend an incredible week IRL together in Bath for the Jane Austen Festival which… oh, have I not mentioned recently – we actually got to be part of the program?
We haven’t actually been in a cave, we’ve been hard at work writing… well, Cass has been writing (her novel, The Cottage in a Cornish Cove, is due out on 11th February, pre-order it here!). Ada has been deep in thought piecing together her fictional murder plot and avoiding writing by watching a lot of The Mandalorian on Disney +. There’s also the outline for the third book in our Jane Austen time-travel series in my tablet files, and Cass and I are excited to get back to these characters that we’ve grown to love so much.
We’re also about to go on a bear hunt… no, wait! A blog tour! The lovely Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources has arranged a ten-day tour for us with all the lovely bloggers on the banner below from January 25 through February 3!
Otherwise, we’d just like to say that we so appreciate the support of our loyal fans. Every “like” and “retweet” and “share” warms our hearts and makes us a little bit more guilty that we keep ending our novels with cliff-hangers. You must admit, they are mild cliff-hangers… that’s not as bad, surely?
Ada (and Cass)
P.S. In unrelated to writing news, but maybe related to this post news, Ada’s track pad on her laptop is possessed and can no longer be trusted. Okay actually, a little bit of Googling has suggested that her laptop track pad has become overly sensitive with age (#relatable). But what that means is that she has to know where the cursor is at all times, because if it is allowed to hover over anything clickable: a ‘buy now’ button, a different web page, an ad, any link what so ever, then it will actually double tap on its own. Yes, she was going to buy those paper towels on Amazon, but she doesn’t appreciate the track pad deciding on the when. She also cannot seem to log in to the blog as an owner, and therefore she is sending this to Cass to post for her 😉
P.P.S. We had two fab reviews come through this past week for The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen (the second book in the series), and you can read them at the following links. Thanks so much to Anna at Diary of an Eccentric and Meredith at Austenesque Reviews for taking the time to read and review!
So! September draws to a close, and so do our recent travels, both actual and virtual!
Earlier this month, I took myself off to the annual Jane Austen Festival in the beautiful city of Bath in search of our characters and, more particularly, Jane Austen herself, as Ada and I had a few pertinent questions for her!
At this stage, I can’t reveal how successful or otherwise this quest was, but aside from that adventure, I did make some exciting discoveries during my brief trip, including spotting The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen on the bookshelves in the Jane Austen Centreon Gay Street, the Bath Visitor Information Centre near the abbey and as part of an Austen-themed display in Bath Central Library!
As for our virtual travels, we’ve had a busy month! Firstly, we were delighted to visit talented author Karen King on her blog for her Friday Reads Blogspot a few weeks ago, where we answered questions about our writing habits, our inspirations and more, and you can read all about it here!
Then, Sophia Lykke Illner Thorsen interviewed me for her Blog, Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, where I answered several questions, including ones on my favourite Austen novel, my favourite Darcy and even my favourite Pemberley!
You can read this interview here, and soon Ada and I will back to visit Sophia, when she will interview us about the story and characters of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen and the potential sequel! (Shh, we’re not talking about it!)
This week we also had the honour of being featured guests on Being Anne, a lovely Blog where we had the chance to talk about the some of the inspiration behind the story, and you can read this post here!
There is also a GIVEAWAY! All you have to do is enter the draw for a paperback or eBook copy of our book (winner’s choice), open internationally.
You can read Susanne’s review in full here, but we did love these quotes:
What a wonderful “ride,” ladies, and congratulations on a delightful book!
And how in the world do two authors write in tandem so seamlessly??? So very impressive!!
Meredith’s full review can be found here, and as you might imagine, we were over the moon with this lovely, thoughtful and fun reflection on the story and characters, especially seeing them all through Meredith’s eyes!
We particularly loved this:
A tale of dear friends coming together, a mystery turned adventure, and more than one budding romance – Ada Bright and Cass Grafton seamlessly blended and perfectly balanced every ingredient of this novel. Each component was well-crafted and it is impossible to tell where one author’s writing ends and one begins. Hats off to such a stellar writing team!
And also, for those who recall how Ada and I first met:
I love it when characters geek out over Jane Austen! Not only did this book show that in abundance, but they threw in some Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings geekery for us multi-fandom book lovers! Readers who love these series will be pleased to find so many references and nods to these stories. I loved how they all tied together.
Kelly’s review was full of enthusiasm and so enjoyable to read, and we particularly loved this:
I was completely captivated by this story and the characters, so much so that there was a huge void in my world when I finished it. I missed the characters so much and visiting their world each day like you wouldn’t believe!
and also this:
The men in this book were also a huge plus. They were utterly adorable and downright gentlemen. James, Rose’s boss was sweet, kind and cute and I liked that he and Rose got on so well outside of work and that he looked after her. As for Doctor Aiden Trevellyan, there was just something irresistible about him, maybe it was the passion he had for his work and his good looks, or maybe it was the fact that he was so unaware of Rose’s feelings, which in turn made him seem a little mysterious. I don’t know, but whatever it was, I loved him and I still miss him…..
What next for us? Well, we still have our virtual passports in our pockets as we have several more Blog visits coming up between now and the end of the year and also quite a few reviews due to come in (cue serious nail biting on our side!), so we will continue to summarise things here in case you miss anything!
Aside from that, it seems we may have a little bit of writing to do ourselves… 😉
Today, we are delighted to welcome Meredith Esparza from the popular blog, Austenesque Reviews,
Meredith is an avid reader and reviewer who enjoys sharing her thoughts by blogging about and reviewing the books she has read.
Today, she is here to share with us how she first discovered Jane Austen and how having Jane in her life has shaped and changed it!
Over to you, Meredith!
First I’d like to start by saying thank you Cass and Ada for so kindly inviting me to be a part of their lovely new series! Ladies, I’m honored to visit your blog and I’m so very excited to celebrate the release of your new book!
I love thinking back to when I first encountered Jane Austen, because for me it was such a pivotal moment that changed my life. I found Jane Austen by way of the 1940’s Pride and Prejudice film. During my sophomore year of high school I was big into classic romantic films (i.e. Roman Holiday, Three Coins in a Fountain, The Philadelphia Story) and was working my way through the DVD selection at my local library. The cover of the 1940’s Pride and Prejudice film caught my eye. It looked wonderfully romantic and from an elegant time period so I decided to add it to my pile.
I instantly loved it! I know many despise this adaptation for its inaccuracies, costumes, and actors, but I will forever hold it special and dear for introducing me to this world I now happily inhabit. I watched that film probably close to 30 times that first year. I read all of Jane Austen books, watched any movie I could get my hands on. By junior year of high school I was a full-blown Janeite, avid reader, and Jane Austen heroine in training!
If I never heard of Jane Austen or never read any of her works, I think my life would be quite different. I found Jane Austen when I was 15 and credit her for shaping me into the person I’ve become. I was a terribly quiet and shy person in high school (I still am around new people) and felt like I didn’t belong with the people of my age group. When I discovered Jane Austen I felt like I found my niche, I found the mindset and world that I could relate to, understand, and be “perfectly and incandescently happy” in. If I didn’t discover Jane Austen, I don’t know how well I would have matured or how I would have dealt with my shyness and feelings of not fitting in.
In addition, if I didn’t encounter Jane Austen, there is a good chance that there would be no Mr. Bingley in my life (my sweet, affectionate, and amiable husband has always been more Bingley than Darcy!) In my childhood I saw a lot of couples fight and divorce, and not too many that were happy. I thought married people looked perpetually unhappy and I used to vow to myself that I would not marry and become unhappy like them. But after seeing Jane Austen’s heroines find “marriages of true minds” and “perfect happiness,” I started to warm to the idea and hope that such happy unions can exist in real life. When I was 20 I met this warm, easy-going, fun-loving, and persistent music major and fate sealed the deal. This Jane Austen heroine was going to have her very own lovely hero and happy ending. 🙂
Since discovering Jane Austen in 2002, I’ve become a voracious reader. More so than I ever was as a child. After learning who my new favorite author was, a family friend recommended I try some Jane Austen sequels! I spent months looking for them in bookstores to no avail, but luckily I was able to track them down on Amazon! Some of the first ones I read were A Visit to Highbury by Joan Austen-Leigh, The Friendly Jane Austen by Natalie Tyler, and Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken. Back then Jane Austen inspired books were few and hard to find (not like now!). Many of the ones I found were already out-of-print and were purchased as used copies from third-party sellers.
But that didn’t stop me! I was determined to read anything and everything I could find! I noticed that for a lot of these books there weren’t many reviews on Amazon. And if there were reviews a lot of them were vehemently berating the author for daring to write about Jane Austen’s characters or in her style. Since I didn’t agree with such opinions, I decided to start writing my own reviews for all the books I was reading and enjoying.
In the summer of 2009 I noticed more and more Austenesque books were being published and met author Mary Simonsen through some Amazon chat boards as she was gearing up to publish Searching for Pemberley with Sourcebooks. Mary and I exchanged several emails over the summer and it was she who suggested I start sharing my reviews on my own blog. 🙂 Mr. Bingley encouraged me in this endeavor and on September 22, 2009Austenesque Reviews was born. Almost 7 years and 400+ reviews later, I am so very happy that I daily get to read, share, and discuss Jane Austen and books with lovely Janeite friends and authors all over the world! It’s amazing how Jane Austen continues to bring so many people together!
Thanks again to Cass and Ada for allowing me this opportunity to share my story with you! 🙂
Meredith Esparza is a piano teacher, business owner, avid reader, and blogger. She lives off the coast of North Carolina happily married to her very own Mr. Bingley. Her blog, Austenesque Reviews, is devoted to the reading and reviewing of numerous Jane Austen sequels, fan-fiction, and para-literature. Visit Meredith at her blog Austenesque Reviews, follow her on Twitter as @Austenesque, and on Facebook as Austenesque Reviews.
Meredith, thank you so much for visiting Tabby Cow and for such a delightful post! It’s been lovely to learn all about how you discovered Jane Austen and about the impact she has made on your life!
Once again, we’re offering one lucky commenter the chance to win a free copy of our upcoming new release, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen (find the blurb here), along with the following (all of which have a connection to the plot in one way or another!):
A copy of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen (eBook or paperback, open worldwide)*
A laminated bookmark showing the topaz crosses given to Jane and her sister, Cassandra, by their brother, Charles
A map of Bath in the time of Jane Austen (specifically, from 1803, a significant date in the story)
A set of Jane Austen bookplates
A charming necklace with a quote from one of Jane Austen’s Bath novels
There will be further chances to win the same bundle of prizes each week throughout our series of guest posts.
* eBooks will be sent out once the release date is reached (7th July), but we already have some copies of the paperback, so it can be sent out ahead of the official release date!
How to Enter
It’s simple! Just leave a comment below about anything in Meredith’s post above, or simply share how your life would be affected if Jane Austen had never published her novels.
All those who comment will be entered into a draw to select the prize winner, which will be announced the following week. So far, we’ve had 3 winners, and 2 of them won on their second attempt, so don’t give up if you don’t win first time around!