Monday, August 27, 2012

Amazing Austenesque Giveaway for Austenesque Extravaganza!!

Many of you may know I am helping Meredith Esparza, along with Angie Kroll, this year with her AustenesqueExtravaganza: A month long celebration Austenesque authors and THEIR novels.
Over the past couple months, I have been in contact with several Etsy shops and other Jane Austen related companies in regards to this year’s AMAZING Austenesque Giveaway! The response has been REMARKABLE! These shops have been more than generous to us and our readers with their giveaway items. Team Austenesque is so ecstatic about these giveaways, we couldn’t keep them a secret any longer. So, without further ado, here they are, along with information about each company!

Laura Boyle is  fascinated by all aspects of Jane Austen’s life. As the proprietor of Austenation: Regency Accessories, she is able to indulge her passion for the Regency by creating custom hats, bonnets, reticules and more for customers around the globe. Her greatest joy is the time she is able to spend at home with her family (one amazing husband, three adorable children and a one very strange dog.) Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends, is her first book.

Laura Boyle has been beyond generous in her donations! She has donated a copy of her cookbook, Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends, a set of 6 Jane Austen/Hugh Thompson postcards, a set of 4 rainbow colored Jane Austen cards (in green), and an Anne and Wentworth Clothespin Doll Christmas Ornament Kit!

The true story behind this shop is that at a certain point in our lives we were depressed and out of job. Not able to find new ways to waste our infinite free time anymore, we decided to start working on something we really loved, just for fun. We were probably watching too many costume dramas and reading too much Jane Austen (but there is never enough Jane in your life!) at the time and that's how our PemberleyPond website was born. We started our jurney from Pride and Prejudice obviously and then moved on to other beloved books and authors.
We love books, good stories, great characters and anything able to fill out little heads with wonderful images... that we later try to put on paper.
We can easily say that meeting Mr Darcy was one of the best thing that ever happened to us! :) :)
PS: Mr Thornton >>>>>>>>>> Mr Darcy

Pemberley Pond has a wonderful collection of Jane Austen related posters, notecards, bookmarks, and notebooks! These ladies have been kind enough to donate their Jane Austen Bibliography poster for our AMAZING giveaway! 

I think I was born with rosebuds in my soul.I love pretty, delicate things and I adore creating collages from collected, pretty ephemera. I also have loved Jane Austen since I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was fifteen. When I went to college, I studied costume design and preferred making anything that looked like it could be in a Merchant Ivory production. When you combine all of these things, you get what you see in my shop. It is the reason I came up with the idea for my Jane Austen Journal!

Dorothy Jane makes the most beautiful journals, bookmarks and gift tags ANY Austen lover would want! (I know I want them all)! Dorothy Jane has graciously donated her Jane Austen Journal to Austenesque Extravaganza. One lucky recipient will win this beautiful journal!


ScentsnSensibility on Etsy is inspired by the literary works of Jane Austen.
I make items such as hand poured soaps, hand poured candles, room freshners, Bath Bombs, solid lotion bars whipped body butters, seasonal items and other Austen inspired treasures for lovers of Jane Austen and the Regency Era!

Doesn't ScentsnSensibility's products sound wonderful? I know right now I want to curl up with Persuasion or Pride and Prejudice and take a long, hot bath with some of this lovely soap or a bath bomb and a fresh cup of tea.
Meghan from ScentsnSensibility has sent us an Emma Woodhouse and a Mr. Knightly soap to giveaway to one of our lucky participants in Austenesque Extravaganza. Thank you, Meghan. I am sure this lucky winner will enjoy her Knightly baths!

Patricia Marq: Amor Amas Amat
When I was twelve, I came across a small calligraphy kit that I used to teach myself the basics of calligraphy. Over the years, I learned more about calligraphy and started to use what I learned to make cards and presents for people I knew. I became very interested in illuminated letters, particularly those decorated with leaves and I would make initials. However, a month ago for my birthday I bought myself some new inks. I put all of my inks in one place and realized I had about 24 inks and I got this massive creative energy I needed to expel. I decided to combine my illuminated letters with a new script I had never used before to do quotes. I have been a fan of Jane Austen for the seven years since I’ve read Pride and Prejudice. When I was thinking of what quotes to do, I naturally gravitated to the quotes that I had memorized from Pride and Prejudice. After doing two quotes from Pride and Prejudice, my friends Erica Monroe, Jessica Grey, and Nancy Kelley convinced me to sell them on Etsy. I sell other quotes besides Austen but the Austen quotes are my favorite. While the other quotes are philosophical comments on love, Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth’s quotes were words meant for the love of their lives and had a backstory that made them even more special. 

To help Patty celebrate the launch of her new Etsy shop, as well as celebrate our shared love for all things Austen, Patty has enthusiastically given us one of her beautiful calligraphy creations! For one of our lucky readers, we have Mr. Darcy's famous proposal print! Isn't it magnificent! You must check out her store!

Antique Fashionista

When you read a book about a different time period, do you ever wonder what clothes people wore in them? What does "a dress of sprigged muslin" look like? And what is a "dress with puffed sleeves"? What is a chemise? A leghorn hat? A stomacher? I always wondered and finally started researching and painting them myself. Great books are my passion and antique fashion has become one too. I might not be an encyclopedia for all your period fashion needs, but you will be able to picture your favorite heroines in their appropriate period clothing.

Masha Laurence donated these magnificent Anne & Wentworth and Catherine & Henry 5X7 prints! Masha truly captures the beauty of the period in her pieces! 

Bingley Teas
Ms. Jane Austen, well known authoress during the Regency period of timeless favorites such as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion has held a longstanding place our hearts.
Our own company name is drawn from one of her characters, who was quick to approve of everyone he met and always approachable in his manner.
 This inspiration spilled over into our Jane Austen Tea Series. Characters from our beloved author's novels have been specifically paired with very particular premium teas and tea blends. Each was carefully chosen to reflect that character's personality and well known traits. We hope you will enjoy, what we find a natural combination of Jane Austen novels and Tea!

Often when I am reading a Regency romance or an Austenesque novel that takes place during the Regency, all I want is to sip some hot tea while I am whisked away to another time. Bingley Teas fully offers this experience for readers with their Jane Austen tea line. We are luck enough to have Compassion for Mrs. Bennet's Nerves tea to add to our ever-growing list of Awesomesque Giveaways! 

Jane Austen Centre
This website features an online magazine with over 500 articles. You will find articles on every aspect of Jane Austen’s life in Georgian Bath and work.  It is a compendium of recipes and historical observations and what to do in Bath UK. 
Just a click away is our wonderful online giftshop which is crammed with Austen and Regency themed goodies. There is extensive information about the annual Festival and Festival events and dates and times. The publication Regency World magazine, a full colour glossy is available online or from our giftshop. There is a comprehensive list of Austen and Regency historical related links. Finally, if you want more we offer a free monthly E-newsletter. This will keep you up to date with all the news, gossip and celebrities from  the world of our favourite author.

The Jane Austen Centre has been ever so kind in donating a copy of Jane Austen, A Celebration of Her Life and Work. This is a beautifully bound coffee table book!


I have always loved to draw but didn’t think I could draw people.  Jan Hahn, author of An Arranged Marriage and The Journey,  mentioned, one day,  that it would be nice if I could draw some pictures or scenes with Darcy and Lizzy.  I thought about it and then decided to give it a try. Since I love the 1995 PnP miniseries so much, I decided to use scenes from it as my inspiration.  That is how I got started. My first attempt was the card that has Darcy and Lizzy together in the woods of Pemberley. I tried to make them NOT look like Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I changed up the clothes, the nose and jaw line. This also was not a scene from the miniseries. I drew pictures of each and put them together with the woods as a backdrop.  The music room drawings of ‘The Look’, I did try to make them look like Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, as Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.
I hope to draw most of my favorite scenes.
I have a website,, but I do not have the cards on it yet. If anyone is interested, they may contact me via email. I do take Visa, MC and PayPal.

Janet Taylor has been very kind to us and has donated two sets of cards: One 10 card set of Darcy and Elizabeth in the woods at Pemberley, and another 10 card set of Darcy and Elizabath, "The Look" (5 cards of Darcy and 5 cards of Elizabeth)! In ADDITION, Janet has also given us one each of a 5x7 card of Darcy and Elizabeth in the music room at Pemberley! Thank you so much, Janet! Your work is wonderful!

What about books? After all, Austenesque Extravaganza is a celebration of Austenesque authors and their books. Boy, do we have AMAZING new for YOU!! Between the publishers, Sourcebooks, Ulysses Press, Meryton Press, and Berkley Books, in addition to the MANY authors who are PERSONALLY donating books, we have a plethora to giveaway, and the list keeps growing! 

For further information regarding The Amazing Austenesque Giveaway, head over to Austenesque Reviews, where the event will be taking place the entire month of September!

Which items have caught your fancy? Any books you are hoping are part of the giveaway? Comments are always welcome, as we dearly love to have our part in the conversation too! 

Meredith and I want YOU to join us in celebrating Austenesque Extravaganza! We could think of NO BETTER way than to KICK-OFF this AMAZING event with the first of our AWESOME GIVEAWAYS!! 
On Leatherbound Reviews you have a chance to win THE INN AT LAMBTON BUNDLE! Please FILL OUT the rafflecopter form below to enter! Remember, Tweeting about the event can be done once daily as a way of increasing your chances! :)

This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY!!

The Inn at Lambton Bundle

*Sponsored by Berkley Books and Sourcebooks!

***Enter to WIN the LUCAS LODGE BUNDLE Austenesque Reviews as a continuation of our KICK-OFF EVENT!!***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 24, 2012

Vlog: Echoes of Pemberley by Cynthia Ingram Hensley

Echoes of Pemberley and the Taming of Catie Darcy

After coming home for the summer, Catie Darcy desires to enjoy the perfect, full-mooned summer night on her estate, however, she  is startled by an intruder.
Let’s discover who this person is and what happens.

Well, it appears horses will not be the only thoroughbred Mister Kelly tames this summer. And the way things are looking, I don’t think Miss Catie is going to make it easy for him.

Sound interesting? What are your thoughts?

I thought this was a great coming-of-age story. What are some other coming-of-age stories you have read and enjoyed? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Echoes of Pemberley by Cynthia Ingram Hensley

From the Publisher:
A tragic plane crash eight years earlier has left Catherine Elizabeth Darcy orphaned and in the custody of her overly protective brother, Bennet. Since then, her life at Pemberley Estate - the Darcy's ancestral home in Derbyshire, England - has been sheltered and lacking adventure of any kind. When 16-year-old Catie arrives home for her school holiday, she is expecting another long, boring summer of daydreaming and whiling away warm afternoons reading the romance novels her brother calls "rubbish." What she discovers, however, is a handsome yet insufferable Irishman named Sean Kelly, her summer riding instructor. Coupled with an intriguing and mysterious WWI-era diary, which she finds hidden in the window seat of her bedroom, Catie Darcy's summer soon proves to be anything but boring.

Sixteen year-old Catie Darcy is looking forward to spending her summer riding her bike about her ancestral estate and escaping into the romantic world provided through her novels. However, when she arrives home, Catie quickly learns her brother, Ben, has other plans for her summer, which include riding lessons, rather than reading those “rubbish romance novels.”

Catie soon finds herself amidst a challenging summer. Not only is her brother stressed about an imminent scandal that could reach Pemberley, but Ben also seems to be taking out his frustration on Catie.

Assuming the role of guardian, Ben tends to act more like an overprotective mother hen than a brother. When tensions rise, the arguments that ensue between these siblings mirror those between parents and teenage children. (Reminiscent of my own teenage experience). Even though Catie and Ben might not always see eye to eye, Catie looks up to Ben just as I imagine Georgiana looked up to Darcy.

Adding to Catie’s trying summer is her new riding instructor, Sean Kelly. Catie’s relationship with the dark-haired dreamboat is equally as complicated as her relationship with her brother. Mister Kelly is the first person to question Catie’s haughty behavior to her face and Catie is taken aback. The lessons he teaches Catie, while also challenging her manners, along with their welcoming banter once they have called a truce, were entertaining.

One of Sean’s greatest challenges, besides uncovering the reason behind Catie’s fear of galloping, is to keep his feelings for her under tight regulation. He knows they come from different worlds, and he was hired to teach Catie, not fall in love.

When Catie stumbles upon the diary of Mary Elizabeth Darcy, she thinks this real-life romance is much better than any novel she has read.  A diary filled with passion, lovers, and secrets is exactly what a hopeless romantic like Catie needs to escape from her insufferable, yet handsome, instructor, her fear of riding, and fear of disappointing her brother. With its secrets, could this diary be just the thing to save the Darcys and Pemberley?

While the beginning moved a bit slow, the further I read, the more my emotions continued to become engaged, to the point I could really feel and connect with what the characters were going through.The imagery was also so descriptive that I could easily picture and smell the scenery as well as characters’ reactions.

Echoes of Pemberley is a wonderful coming of age story, not only great for young adults, but grown ups as well. A perfect read for mothers and daughters like!

Connect with Cynthia Ingram Hensley
Read It Now!
Kindle | Nook

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

JASNA Attends Decatur Book Festival!

I am all anticipation for September’s arrival. Not only does September bring the beginning of the preschool school year for my oldest child, but it also brings the Decatur Book Festival to Decatur, Georgia (just miles away from my house).

What is the Decatur Book Festival, you ask? Only the largest independent book festival in the country, with over 300 participating authors, who will be giving readings, talks, and panel discussions. I can think of no better way to discover new authors and wonderful books, meet many talented authors in person, and spend an entire week’s paycheck on savory paperbacks!

This year will be JASNA Georgia Region’s first year participating in the event. I am astounded at all of the work Barbara TillerCole and Jan Ashe have done to pull this event together and gather this unbelievable list participating Austenesque authors.

27 Austen-inspired authors will be participating at the JASNA booth! Each author in attendance will be signing books and reading excerpts from their novels. In addition, Abigail Reynolds, William Deresiewicz, and Regina Jeffers will be conducting a panel discussion on Saturday at 5 o’clock on the City Hall Stage discussing this year’s theme, Jane Austen, Then and Now. Author, Barbara Tiller Cole will be the moderator for this discussion.

Participating Authors at DBF 2012

Abigail Reynolds, Regina Jeffers, Jack Caldwell, Sharon Lathan, William Deresiewicz, Pamela Aidan, Marsha Altman, Amanda Grange, Laura Hile, Jan Hahn, Lory Lilian, Linda Wells, Jennifer Petkus, Robin Helm, Karen M Cox, Maria Grace, Barbara Tiller Cole, Cynthia Hensley, Colette Saucier, Amy Cecil, Dr. Laura Dabundo, KaraLynne Mackrory, Sally Smith O’Rourke, Susan Mason-Milks, Lori Smith, and Shannon Winslow, Katie Bailey

I cannot even begin vocalize my exuberance at the thought of meeting so many wonderful authors! I think I might be rather star-struck the entire weekend, and for once (if others are lucky), I may be rendered speechless!

With all of this said, I hope many readers and fans can make it to this event. It will be so wonderful to meet more people who share my love for Jane Austen and Austen-inspired fan fiction.

Planning on attending? The JASNA Georgia Region will hold a drawing for free one-year membership to JASNA (a $30 value)!

In closing, I have to share with you parts of my new Regency apparel. My lovely modiste, Barbara Moon, fashioned this dress out of the finest muslin to accommodate my ever-growing belly. And, I must not forget my milliner, Laura Boyle from Austentation. Without her assistance, I would still be mulling over which brooch, hairpins, and earrings to purchase. Her shop has everything a lady could want for her Regency frippery and accoutrements.

So, who will be attending? If I had a bigger house, I would gladly open up my house to my closest Austenesque friends, but unfortunately I do not. Yet, I am so very excited to finally meet two wonderful Austenesque friends, Meredith Esparza and Angie Kroll this year at DBF! 

If you could attend, which authors would you be excited to meet? Do you think you would be as star-struck as I imagine I will be?

*For more information about DBF, participating authors, authors' reading and signing schedules, or hotel information, visit Darcyholic Diversions!*