Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mercy’s Embrace print proofs are here!

Get ’em while they’re hot. Or when they’re released anyway! Congratulations, Laura Hile.

Laura Hile

Which one is your favorite?

So very beautiful, aren’t they?

The eBook editions have been out since December-January, but being able to hold the print editions makes them more real, somehow.

My very own books to hug!

Seriously, I carried these with me, even to school — even to my bedside table at night — for the first few days they were here.

Anyway, I’m hoping to pull the trigger for their release over the weekend. I’ll give a shoutout when they’re available.

People wonder why the three Mercy’s books can’t be published as one volume. Darcy is huge enough — and it’s smaller!

I love my job and my students, but yeah. Teaching teens is emotionally wearing … and when I’m worn out, I don’t do well with detail work.

Proofing books is all about detail work!

Oh! I’m giving away one Darcy By Any Other Name, Kindle…

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Sir Walter Would NOT Approve

How could I forget such an auspicious occasion? March 1 was Persuasion’s Sir Walter’s birthday. Had he survived old age and decrepitude, he’d be 278! I think that’s the oxygen birthday. Yes, gallows humor all around!

In honor of the old boy, he’s a little retrospective of several of the men who have played him in adaptations:


Basil Dignam’s portrayal was the closest to the Sir Walter Austen wrote. He wasn’t overly foolish, and not so sharp-tongued as other performances. Unfortunately, the 1971 adaptation, while faithful to the book, is hampered by polyester and zippers. LOTS of polyester and zippers.



Corin Regrave gave a great performance of Sir Walter. The guy is so foolish as to think that giving up an estate for a townhouse in Bath is a step-up in the world. This humorous portrayal gave the character a lot of undeserved sympathy, but it was fun to watch.





Anthony Head’s performance was, in my opinion, what men with an overweening sense of importance are really like. He was harsh and intractable when countered, and when his mind is made up, all boats will be floating or all are going down with his ship. And with Walter at the tiller, man the lifeboats.



So, here’s to Sir Walter, the man who retrenched and thought it a good thing.

Happy 278th.



Takin’ a Break From Love

I first published this in October of 2011. Wow, how time does fly. And things do change.

The relentless romance of Valentine’s Day has me a little weary today so I thought I’d bring back this wonderful photograph.

I call her Joy. I call the camel Fred.

matchless joy

Look at those precious little fingers!!

Photo credit:

Prezzies on the BIG Day

Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day and I’m sure, like me, you’re being inundated with ads for gifts to give your beloved.

If you believe the day is being prostituted by the flower and card cabal, I’m sure you do your best to ignore it all. I think it’s funny that we’ve taken a day dedicated to a saint, who died a gruesome death, and made it over as a day for lovers.

We won’t even talk about the massacre that took place in Chicago in 1929.

Leading up to the big day I thought it would be interesting to take a quiz.

You can view the poll results by clicking on the link right above.

And what do I want? I’m big on kitchen gadgets and lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Lupe’s Escape.

A Very Austen Christmas

Book Launch Tomorrow!

A Very Austen Christmas - 3DIn early June, Laura and I broached the idea of an anthology to include all the authors of Jane Started It, along with our lovely friend, JAFF author Wendi Sotis. Susan Kaye, Pamela Aiden, and Gayle Mills originally intended to be a part of the project, but real life threw several hitches in their plans. Laura Hile, Barbara Cornthwaite, Wendi Sotis, and I kept the dream alive.

Tomorrow, that dream will be realized with the book launch of A Very Austen Christmas, hosted by Claudine Pepe at JustJane1813.  We are very much looking forward to reading Claudine’s review (our first one!), as well as chatting with our readers.

The kindle version is already available for pre-order (to be delivered tomorrow) on Amazon, and the print copy is live, though they are not yet linked together.

Does this sound tempting, lovely readers?

Four favorite authors, four heartwarming stories set in Jane Austen’s Regency world.

Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite revisit Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Mansfield Park to deliver the uplifting holiday storytelling you’re looking for.

Her Christmas Gift by Robin Helm
Elizabeth Bennet finds herself snowbound at Rosings with two rejected, but highly eligible, suitors. Does either man have a chance? Will her childhood friend, Meryton’s golden boy, win her affection, or will she accept the master of Pemberley? Perhaps she will refuse them both a second time. Her Christmas Gift deftly combines tension and emotion with humor and romance.

The Christmas Matchmaker by Laura Hile
It’s raining; it’s pouring – and what could be better than a little Christmas matchmaking? So says Emma Woodhouse who is unexpectedly stranded at Netherfield Park. Mr. Darcy disagrees, for she has someone else in mind for adorable Elizabeth Bennet. Amid meddling, misunderstanding, and an unwelcome proposal or two, will True Love find a way?

No Better Gift by Wendi Sotis
On his way to Derbyshire to spend Christmas with his family, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy plans to retrieve an item he left behind during his rushed escape from Netherfield—and the country miss who touched his heart. Finding Meryton practically deserted, he fears the worst. What fate could have fallen upon this once-thriving village in only three weeks? More importantly, was Miss Elizabeth Bennet in danger?

Mistletoe at Thornton Lacey by Barbara Cornthwaite
When Edmund Bertram realizes that Fanny is the perfect wife for him, he wants to propose without delay. What better time than at Christmas? Ah, but the course of true love never does run smooth …

A Very Austen Christmas - jpeg

The stories are arranged according to length. Mine is really a novella of 30K words, and Laura’s is 24K words. We have decided that we can’t write short stories (insert laugh). Wendi’s is 17K words and Barbara’s is 7K words. Curl up in your PJs with a mug of hot cocoa and enjoy the writing of four friends with quite different styles and story lines.

We hope that Sue, Pamela, and Gayle will be able to join us in our next anthology. (Yes, I just said next anthology!)

Oops, Jane did it again!

I was busy with RL last week and didn’t see the story that Jane Austen took pen to the pages of her local marriage register and signed up, first with  Henry Frederic Howard Fitzwilliam of London and then again with Edmund Arthur William Mortimer of Liverpool.

There are lots of sources, The Daily Mail and Times of India were my primaries. And they seem to be nearly the same story. They all mention this will be Hampshire’s time to shine with Jane Austen 200th, a celebration of all things Jane. (Jane Austen lived much of her writing life in Hampshire so they get the honor.)

It’s an interesting story, one of the world’s most celebrated spinsters faking, not once but twice, marriage announcements. Very naughty and very modern. However, I am always skeptical when information, readily available for, in this case, well over a century suddenly comes to light. Especially when you consider how many genealogy fans there are all over the world combing the dusty pages of family histories.

Maybe it’s just the mystery fan in me rebelling. Maybe someone stumbled on this tidbit a long time ago and has been saving it. I don’t know.

I’m wearing my wary face on this one.