Category Archives: Frederick Wentworth

Men are a little bit blind

“I was six weeks with Edward,” he said, “and saw him happy. I could have no other pleasure. I deserved none. He enquired after you very particularly; asked even if you were personally altered, little suspecting that to my eyes you could never alter.”  Chapter 23, Persuasion

Just after meeting up with Anne Elliot again, Wentworth said that she was so altered he would not have known her. But we also know that guys say a lot of things they don’t mean. Whether to stay out of trouble or make themselves look better, who knows. Women are prone to this as well, but usually for more complicated reasons. Men also have the ability to overlook a lot. They can walk around the same plate and glass on an end table for weeks if no one mentions them. I think this offhand comment was in the same vein as Darcy’s in P&P, said to look clever but never meant to be heard by the object.

The other day I was reading a blog post about many men not noticing when their wives change a lot over time. The example was of a man who married a beauty queen and she lost her looks over the course of their 40 plus-year marriage. He said he only noticed the change in her face and body when he saw how others looked at her. But when they were home, alone, she was his lovely beauty queen.  The author of the blog is newly widowed and he said it was the same for him, and that he was pretty certain that his memories of his late wife will be ever green.

This bit of mental magic is alive and well in my own marriage. I’m considerably heavier than I was when Bill and I married 38 years ago. That doesn’t matter to him, he’s never said anything that can be construed as disappointment. And that’s why we’re heading for No 39 in a few weeks.

I like to think that Frederick was telling Edward the truth while his comment early on was just palaver you say to fill the time when you meet new people. We all get a little precious when we are trying to make a good impression. Maybe I’m all wet. I hope not. I like having a bit of a fairy tale world to retreat to these days.

Take care.



Loving Jane Austen’s Persuasion

persuasionpanelToday Susan Kaye and Laura Hile join a panel of authors (Karen Cox, Regina Jeffers, Shannon Winslow, and Melanie Stanford)  to discuss our love for Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

A big thank you to  author Karen Cox for hosting us!

“Persuasion-esque authors are a sisterhood of sorts,” she writes. “We know that Darcy gets the majority of the press around Austen-World, but…Wentworth…Letter!…Pierce my soul!!!”

Come by and enjoy the rest of the article here: Persuasion Panel

Honorable Men

In two or three weeks I will finish the third book (Forever Yours) in my second series (Yours by Design), and I’m already contemplating my next project. That line of thought led me to two questions: What makes a man honorable? Are there any honorable men today?

Two weeks ago, I mentioned Urban Meyer – not a perfect man, but an honorable one. He made a conscious decision to put his family above his career. He decided that his wife and children were more important than football. He was right, though his decision could have cost him his job. In actuality, his choice made him a better coach. It balanced the areas of his life. He’ll probably live longer as well.

I think men who are true to their beliefs (religious or not), regardless of what it might cost them, are honorable. Jane Austen was the queen of the flawed, but honorable, man.

Darcy Actors

Darcy Actors

Fitzwilliam Darcy certainly fits the bill. He recognized his pride and conceit through the humiliation of his rejected proposal, and he changed – even though he would possibly suffer in society and still not win Elizabeth.

Frederick Wentworth was another such man. The spurned Wentworth returned from the sea determined to think of Anne no more. When he raised the expectations of the Musgroves with his pronounced attentions to Louisa, he would have married her, though he realized he still loved Anne. Fortunately, Louisa fell in love with Benwick.

Wentworth Actors

Wentworth Actors

Edward Actors

Edward Actors

Another Austen hero, Edward Ferrars, held to an engagement he made when he was very young, though he did not love Lucy Steele, and he passionately loved Elinor Dashwood. Austen rewarded him for his steadfastness by having the scheming Lucy marry Robert – the man she truly deserved.

Colonel Brandon did not damage the reputation of his rival, John Willoughby, though he had both the proof and the right to do so. Once Willoughby’s true character was revealed, Brandon won the affections of Marianne, who had finally learned to appreciate a man of impeccable character more than a rogue with a handsome face.

Colonel Brandon Actors

Colonel Brandon Actors

Today’s honorable men would be found mainly in the unheralded ranks. We all can name some husbands, brothers, friends, and sons who are honorable, but who in the limelight today deserves that accolade?

The Best Kind of Christmas Gift

Frederick Wentworth, Captain NONE BUT YOU FOR YOU ALONE

Frederick Wentworth, Captain

Yesterday, I received a lovely surprise in the mail: the two books in Susan Kaye’s Frederick Wentworth, Captain series, None But You and For You Alone with a beautiful Christmas card. Because she and Laura Hile live on the west coast and I am in the southeast, we have never met, though we hope to correct that grave circumstance next summer.

The best kind of Christmas present is an unexpected gift and, at the same time, something a person will cherish. I have Susan’s books on Kindle, but I didn’t have print copies. There’s just something wonderful about holding that weight in your hand, turning the pages as you read, and marking the spot for your return when you must get something else done. I read these books several years ago, and I’m looking forward to enjoying them again before the new year.

Susan and Laura will laugh at me, but I enjoy their Persuasion variations more than the original Austen. Susan’s characters are developed more to my taste, and Laura makes a minor character, Elizabeth Elliot, the main character of her three Mercy’s Embrace books.

If you have a reader on your Christmas list, consider giving her (or him) copies of these books. You really should buy the series, though; otherwise the recipient will simply have to buy the other books herself.

Thank you so much, Susan, for your thoughtful gift!

I Had to Laugh … an explosive edition

It’s the Fourth of July, do you expect that I would miss an opportunity to hint at bombs bursting?

Anyway, I found a book cover that proves some things never change. Book covers in the 80s were drenched with moist men battling a girl on one arm and a ship’s wheel in the other. If I remember correctly, the trends then went to covers drenched in colorful jewels and colorful titles. Glittering jewels … sexy men. Toss-up. All fans of romance can rejoice because the boys are back!!

Here it is:

Frederick and Anne battle stormy seas and their growing passion.

Frederick and Anne battling stormy seas and about to say the heck with it and make whoopee on the deck of a sinking ship!

And do you like the title? This is the latest title of Joanna Lindsey, Stormy Persuasion. I think I sense a trend.

It’s obviously based on the 2007 adaptaion of Jane Austen’s Persuasion with the dashing Rupert Penry-Jones with his gleaming blond hair. The blond in his arms is more of a mystery. Let’s all pretend this is Frederick and Anne battling a hellacious storm, somewhere exotic, fighting for their lives. Better yet, Frederick and Anne, somewhere exotic, being chased by pirates through a hellacious storm, fighting for their lives, AND fighting their own mounting passions.

I think I made myself a little sick there.

Anyway, the bigger news is that IT IS  the Fourth of July. If you are an American, this is the day to eat burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and drink a beer or soda. I read somewhere that the White House website is suggesting instead eat veggie burgers and fruit salad. Potato salad is a vegetable salad so there. And, instead of summery drinks like soda or lemonade, drink fruit-flavored water. Isn’t that what lemonade IS?

Be careful of the fireworks. Put your pets in the house and pull the blinds. Also be mindful of veterans who may be sensitive to loud noises.

Raise your glass to freedom.

Wait. Now that I look at the cover, I think she’s asking, “What are you thinking about?” And he’s wondering if she even notices the raging waves. Next there will be a question about her dress making her look fat.


Celebrating 15 years of Suffering Love

LSLAIK - hard copy - 4Imagine the Internet without Facebook, without Twitter, without Blogspot or WordPress. This is the cyberworld we knew in 1999. The most popular provider was AOL, and yes, it was dial-up.

It was a heady time. Wondrous Austen adaptations burst onto our movie and television screens: Pride and Prejudice (1995), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Persuasion (1995).

Lovers of Jane Austen emerged from the woodwork. We swarmed on websites and message boards … and soon there was fan fiction. Many of these were re-tellings, with changes of scene or time or point of view. (Or featuring modern morals, but I won’t address that issue now.)

Susan Kaye and I posed a simple, provocative question: Why read fan fiction if you already know the ending? And also, what is real love all about?

Boldly, we removed a simple plot device of Jane’s in Persuasion and began to write. And write and write. The rest is history. If you were hanging out at DWG or Republic of Pemberley’s Bits of Ivory, you might remember seeing our posts.

Our But-What-If classic, Love Suffers Long and is Kind, is anything but the usual Anne and Frederick fare. It’s absorbing and entertaining and addictive. And best of all, readers have no idea how it will end. Isn’t that what you want with fan fiction? The series ran in weekly posts for almost two years. Pictures are of my printed hard copy.

Love Suffers Long and is Kind, print edition. All of it.

Love Suffers Long and is Kind, print edition. All of it.

Book 1

Book 1

On Friday, July 4, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of its launch by posting Love Suffers Long on Beyond Austen ( in weekly installments. Membership is free. Bring your kleenex. You can also follow along with LSLAIK on Blogspot.

We’ve promised one another only light “Do No Harm” edits to the text. Even so, I smile to read my beginner’s prose. Those were the days.

And when we figure out how to share the copyright without incorporating—a spendy process—Love Suffers Long and is Kind will be released as a series of ebooks. Until then, you may enjoy it as so many others have—online, in all its unabridged glory.

Sisterhood of the Traveling Books (Episode 8)

The rugged beauty of the Oregon Coast is about as far from Bikini Beach as you can get. And it’s my kind of scene.

Heceta Head Lighthouse.

The Captain visits Heceta Head

Here people wear grubby, comfortable clothes and do ‘normal’ beach stuff. We examine tide pools and climb on rocks and on wrecks of ships. And if it’s not drizzling, in the evening we build bonfires on the sand.

This is SO not the So Cal beach of my childhood! Body surfing? Um, no. Sneaker waves, a vicious undertow, floating logs, and frigid water discourage all but the most dedicated swimmer. Tanning? Only if there is enough warmth and sunshine. Most keep their jackets on and, like beachcombers, stroll the deserted shoreline searching for treasures.

After lunch, it’s time to find a comfortable log and settle in with a book. For me, summer reading means tucking in my Kindle. It saves pounds in the suitcase, for I must bring a stack of books, right? Who knows what favorite I’ll be in the mood for? Today, it’s Susan Kaye’s Frederick Wentworth, Captain.

Varied weather, varied  terrain, always lovely

Ah, Oregon. Varied weather, varied terrain, always captivating

And it wouldn't be Oregon without trees.

And it wouldn’t be the Pacific Northwest without the magnificent trees.