July at Tabby Cow

Hello Tabby Cow friends!

What a year it has been for everyone so far. We hope everyone is staying safe and keeping well.

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 10.50.58 PM

Cass and I, of course, have always been socially distanced unless we’re in the same country—which only happens about once a year, if we’re lucky—so between us, things have been pretty much as usual.

We have lots of exciting things coming up later in the year, but in the meantime, we’ve kept busy on various projects, some solo and some together, and here’s a roundup!

Solo Projects

In case you missed it, Cass’s first ever contemporary romance novel, The Cottage in a Cornish Cove, was released in February, and it’s been really well received (despite Cass’s worries!). It’s also the perfect ‘lockdown summer’ companion, allowing you to armchair travel as you escape with a book to the stunning Cornwall, England coast (I know it’s stunning because I’ve been there)!

I also happen to know that when she was writing it, Cass was imagining the gorgeous Richard Armitage (more in his John-Thornton-Look-Back-at-Me guise than as a hairy dwarf) as a certain gentleman in the novel. Cass says this is why it took so long to write…

It really is the perfect quarantine read, described by reviewers as ‘romance to make you weak at the knees’, ‘like a warm hug’ and ‘brilliantly atmospheric and absolutely unputdownable’!

It’s available in both paperback and eBook in all the usual online stores, so what are you waiting for? Pick it up here!

As for me, I gained a new excuse not to be finished with my romantic suspense novel because, like so many moms, I became an unintentional and unwilling home school teacher when the world shut down.

I am still constantly working on it though and have joined a morning writing group to help me keep going and hone my plot (y’all… you don’t understand the dedication I must finally have to join a morning writing group. Mornings and me… we are not usually friends).  Oh my gosh guys this sounds so sad. The whole thing is ready, it’s just that my murderer is so crappy at hiding that he’s the murderer!  I’m wondering at this point if the suspense part of my romantic suspense novel really needs to be a whodunnit? Maybe it’ll just be a surprise exactly ‘what he done’?

Co-Writing News!

As we’ve mentioned, due to the time difference that we always have to deal with when we communicate, the pandemic has not had that much of an impact on how Cass and I write together.

Book Three of our time traveling Jane Austen series (*spoiler alert*) is still safe in outline form. Cass says it’s the final in the series. I think it’s the jumping off point of a Marvel Comics esque universe. Cass doesn’t talk to me for a few days after I say things like that. We can’t tell you too much about it just now other than you’ll get to spend more time with our time-travelling adventurers, Rose, Morgan and, of course, Jane! (I will acquiesce that it might be the last one with them in it).

If you haven’t given the earlier books a try, you can find out about them at the following links here on our blog:

Book 1: The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen

Book 2: The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen

We also have some very exciting news coming about these books in the autumn, but for now our lips are sealed!!

So, if we’re not writing time travel, what are we doing?

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to write anything set in the present day just now, so guess what? We decided to take a little detour back to Regency England, and we’re almost finished writing a crossover between Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion. Yes, that’s right: Mr Darcy and Captain Wentworth in one book!

I don’t want to say too much about it yet, but I have been enjoying going back to where it all began (in a way—did you know Cass and I co-wrote a couple of JAFF short stories back in the day, after we’d finished with the Harry Potter fan fiction)?

Incredible Cass, as usual, keeps us grounded in the source material when my fancies forget that Darcy would not be celebrating Thanksgiving (I’m kidding! I’m kidding! I haven’t made that mistake in decades!).

It’s been a lot of fun, as it always is when we co-write, and we hope to be sharing the opening chapters here on Tabby Cow with you next month, with the book planned for release in the Fall.

Much more to come on that project as it develops. In the meantime, I’m also busy delving back into cover art for Cass, updating A Fair Prospect and A Quest for Mr Darcy to make them more in line with Canelo Escape’s e-book branding (seen here):

94745-299

Once done and out there, I think Cass may just do a give away of the new cover paperbacks, so keep checking in! I’m excited about working together on visual art for a little bit, but we never stray too far from our writing.

Well, that’s it for now. We just wanted to hop in and say hi, and we hope you and your families are staying healthy and as stress free as possible in these challenging times.

Ada (& Cass)

Oh, And because all our pictures together in 2020 look alot like this…Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 10.44.38 PM

…I thought it would be fun to bring out a video outtake from our very first book launch together in Bath when people were allowed to travel and stand next to each other! As you can see we are incredibly suave and brilliant with timing and words all the time always.

 

 

 

New Year, New News!!

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?

Thank you!!!

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!

Diary of an Eccentric

Austenesque Reviews

GIVEAWAY Winners Announced!

We are delighted to announce the three winners of a paperback copy of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen!

There were 31 entries in the draw, and the winners are:

kneyda

Ashley

Carmen

Many congratulations to all 3 of you, and thank you so much to everyone who entered. We really enjoyed reading your responses.

Please can the winners email me on cass {dot} grafton at yahoo {dot} com with your mailing address, and I’ll get your book out to you as soon as possible!

 

 

 

The Countdown Begins with a GIVEAWAY!!

As you probably know (because we pretty much haven’t shut up about it over the last month), the long-awaited sequel to the first book in the Austen Adventures series, The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen, is coming out one month today (7th November 2019… It’s already the 7th somewhere in the world, isn’t it?)

9781788633703_wide

Billed by our publisher, Canelo Escape, as a page-turning story of adventure, friendship and family, the story picks up where the first book in the series, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, ends, taking the familiar characters on another exciting escapade, this time into the past.

You can read the blurb to The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen here, and you can find it up for pre-order on the ‘Where to Buy‘ page here.

Read below on how to enter a FREE GIVEAWAY for a paperback of the first book in the series!

bookcoverfrontThe Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen was released in September, and to celebrate the run-up to the release of the sequel, we’re giving away THREE copies of the paperback edition of the book.

The giveaway is free to enter and is open worldwide! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling us your favourite Jane Austen novel or adaptation. That’s it! No more, no less!

Entries close at midnight UK time on Sunday, 20th October 2019, and the names of all entrants will be entered in the draw, with three winners selected by an impartial third party.

Winners will be announced here on the Blog and the news will be shared on social media. If a prize is not claimed within seven days of the winners being announced, a further name will be chosen to receive the book.

So what’s it about? Here’s the blurb of this uplifting, comedic tale of time travel and friendship:

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!

~o0o~

charm-amazonSo there it is! A chance to win a free paperback of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen! So what are you waiting for? (please don’t say ‘the sequel’)

Zip on down to the Comments and share with us your favourite Jane Austen novel or adaptation (just the title will do if you don’t have time to say more)!

And if you don’t win the paperback and still fancy reading the book, the eBook is also available with this very pretty cover, and available through the Where to Buy page as well!

 

Dressing the Part

BP Soldiers

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know Cass and I were set to appear at the Jane Austen Festival’s Pre-Festival Get Together on Friday, September 13 in Bath!

What I haven’t mentioned yet is that my little traveling party (my 16 year old daughter, Abby, and my mother-in-law) decided to take advantage of the opportunity to walk in the famous Grand Regency Promenade during the Festival.

This is a costumed event that is always popular and… if I can just say it – AWESOME.

Cass had walked the Promenade before, but this year she decided to watch and was therefore designated as photographer. As for the rest of us, we needed to start from scratch.

BP Sarah
Beautifully dressed promenaders!!

First thing was to pick fabric.

I was pretty nervous about this part. I’m not great at visualizing a finished product. The last time I picked fabric for something it was an armchair and I regretted it and continue to regret it 18 years later.

I also know that a lot of the wonderful people who dress Regency for this type of event choose beautiful era appropriate fabric and patterns, so I went into the fabric store stressed by the entire idea.

Luckily, when I get like that my family knows well enough to ignore me and get on with the task at hand!

IMG_8148And sure enough, Abby was the one who caught sight of a pretty cream fabric with little flowers that looked right enough. And it happened to have a darker, sister fabric that I thought would compliment my complexion better as well. Sold!

It just so happens that my mother and my mother-in-law both know their way around a needle and thread. So my mother-in-law chose to make her own dress, and my mother got stuck with doing the other two.

They got to work on the measuring, cutting, sewing, and my mom twisted our ears until we made time to try on the dresses during the different stages. In fact, my mother-in-law ended up making not one but TWO dresses. Both very cute.

(Yes, never fear, I am aware I hit the mother AND mother-in-law jackpot. How often does that happen?)

Meanwhile I went hunting on Etsy for bonnets.  This is my daughter and I in ours:

 

The next worry was packing them!

IMG_9347
This is the bonnets in their own special box on the airport bus!

And then, after a flight, a few days of all sorts of fun, and a quick iron, we were dressed ready for the Promenade!

Have you ever walked the Grand Regency Promenade through the streets of beautiful Bath? We highly recommend it!

Charmed at the Festival! Our book launches at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath

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?

EERH9911
Outside St Swithin’s Church

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)!

IMG_9731
Sneak peak at goody bag contents!

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!

IMG_0083
Ada and Cass with Q&A host, Dr Gaby Malcolm

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Winners Announced!!

Hello! We’re back!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, with us both flying to the UK for the launch event of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, but now we’re back home and able to announce the winners of our paperback giveaway (from the earlier post, Don’t judge a book by it’s… wait! Go on, then!)

There were three copies up for grabs (signed by both authors), and here are the winners:

rp73fr

Vesper

Jeannie

Please email me on cassandra (dot) grafton (at) gmail (dot) com with the address you’d like your book sent to, and we’ll make sure they wing their way to you directly! 😉

Thank you to everyone who entered into the spirit of the draw and many congratulations to our winners!

More news coming soon about the upcoming sequel to The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen (official cover reveal tomorrow from Canelo) and some insights into our adventures in Bath this last weekend!

 

 

 

It was the best of times…

 

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!

IMG_8005 2.JPG

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 😉 😉 ;).

 

Happy Anniversary!

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).

IMG_2743 copyThe Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen will be sold in both of their locations through October.

Here it is at the main location on historic Colorado Blvd:

IMG_4030

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!

Rounding up Another Particularly Charming Month!

book_ad_001cWe’ve had another exciting month in October of visits to Blogspots, and there have also been some more lovely reviews coming in for The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen!

Firstly, we were delighted to visit talented author, Wendy Clarke, on her blog, Wendy’s Writing Now, for a guest post a few weeks ago. We talked about how our co-writing works on a day-to-day basis, and you can read all about it here!

Sophia Lykke Illner Thorsen invited us back to her Blog, Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, where we answered several questions, including ones on our inspirations for the men in the book! You can read the interview here.

PC front and backThen, to round off a wonderful month on the ‘road’, we have been delighted by several lovely reviews of the book coming in on blogs, Amazon and Goodreads, including Sophia at the aforementioned Interests of a Jane Austen Girl, Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer, Christina Boyd, Sophia Rose of Sophia’s Sofa Chats on Goodreads and the lovely Claudine at Just Jane 1813!

You can read Sophia’s review in full here, but we did love this bit (we’re assuming Sophia was in an aeroplane when she read the book!):

It felt like being there through Roses eyes, even if I was sitting 42000 feet above ground reading this exciting, lovely and nerve wracking book. You are definitely being forced through a lot of emotions, while reading, which I see as one of the best achievements an author/authoress can accomplish.

You can read Sophia Rose’s full review here. There was so much we loved about it, it’s hard to pick a quote, so we opted for her summary at the end!

This was a gently-paced, thoughtful, and heartwarming story of a woman and her simple life which grows richer for having her friends, her daydream romance maybe come to life, and her love of Jane Austen and her stories in it. I would recommend this to Austenesque lovers, of course, but also fans of contemporary romance and women’s fiction who don’t mind a bit of magical realism.

IMGP2155Christina Boyd is a Vine Voice reviewer on Amazon, and you can read her review here. We loved this review, but in particular, this:

Wow– just wow! What a story. The unrequited love was touching and the longing felt believable. I was captivated by the women’s friendships–rang very true to me. This is a great story that I’m glad I took the time to read. Now just to make time to get to Bath!

Finally, this week we’re part of the Haunted Austen feature over on Just Jane 1813, where we’ve shared an excerpt of the book and there’s also a giveaway!

You can read the full (lovely) review from Claudine here. We really enjoyed reading this, especially:

Ada Bright and Cass Grafton communicate their shared vision and passion for this story through their seamless collaboration. As an ardent Austen admirer, I could certainly relate to their love for Austen and the sheer despair their characters experienced in a world void of Austen’s work. My hope is that they’ve written this ending with a sequel in mind, even though the ending wraps this story up quite nicely.

I highly recommend this story to Janeites who want to experience the pleasures of Bath alongside the lovely Jane Austen and friends, as well as for readers who enjoy stories that allow us to explore the possibilities offered to us through friendship, shared optimism, and the bond we can share with other people through our love for the treasures found in the past.

Just leave a comment on the post on Just Jane 1813 to enter the GIVEAWAY,  a chance to win one of two eBook copies of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen!

What next for us? Well, we still have our virtual passports in our pockets as we have more Blog visits coming up between now and the end of the year and also quite a few reviews due to come in (continued serious nail biting on our side!), so we will continue to summarise things here in case you miss anything!

The Brit & The American (authors, that is)!

Aside from that, I’ve started to post a Pride & Prejudice inspired story (two chapters a week) called A Quest for Mr Darcy over on my Blog, Cass Grafton – Author. Do come on over and enjoy the read (and the comments!)

You can find the blurb and the chapters posted so far here!

quest6