Tag Archives: Wendi Sotis

The Ides of March … and Christmas too?

Robin, Barbara, and I are celebrating today, together with our good friend, author Wendi Sotis.

Our A Very Austen Christmas anthology made Janet Taylor’s 2017 Favorites list at More Agreeably Engaged.

What a lovely surprise!

To be honest, everything about this book has been wonderful — from the designer’s beautiful cover and the quality of the stories (who knew?) to the enthusiastic reader responses.

We thought this book would only sell copies at Christmastime. We were wrong!

These favorites lists are the best way to discover some really good reads. Have a look: More Agreeably Engaged’s 2017 Favorites




FREE Understanding Elizabeth

My latest novel, Understanding Elizabeth, is on Book Bub today!

I have never been good at keeping my feelings to myself, so I’m going to FREELY admit that I’m VERY excited about being on Book Bub. I tried years ago to promote my books with them, but I wasn’t accepted. For me, this is a milestone.


The giveaway is for Amazon Kindle only, but if you don’t own a Kindle, that’s not a problem. I downloaded the Kindle app for FREE to my phone. Now I have several thousand books at my disposal wherever I am.


Stuck standing in line? I whip out my phone, go to the app, and read. Waiting at the doctor’s office? I actually like it. Stuck in traffic? It doesn’t bother me.

And – because I love you all so much, and I’m just that kind of person (Ha!) – I’ve lowered the prices of ALL of my books to $1.99 for the two day sale. Even A Very Austen Christmas is $1.99 for two days!


So, hurry over to Amazon and download some enjoyment for those times you’re sitting somewhere bored to death. You won’t regret it.

Here’s a little secret: If you already have the book, you can “gift” it to a friend for FREE!

End-of-year Pricing

Wintry weather, a bright fireside, and good reading!

Titles by your friends at Jane Started It

What could be better?

For your quiet holiday moments, may we suggest these lovely books? Many are at holiday prices through the end of the year.



A Very Austen Christmas…

There are several giveaways still active for A Very Austen Christmas and even more coming in December.

A Very Austen Christmas - 3D

Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit posted a lovely book review with an excerpt from Laura’s story. The giveaway will end December 5.

Nissa, Of Pens and Pages, presented the backstory of my original character, Thomas, along with a wonderful review. Her giveaway ends  December 9.

On Laura Hartness’s blog, The Calico Critic, you’ll find an excerpt from my story, as well as a giveaway ending December 9.

Giveaways at Claudine’s JustJane1813, author Chautona Havig’s lovely blog, Ceri’s Babblings of a Bookworm, and Janet’s More Agreeably Engaged have already ended; however, there are author biographies, story blurbs, author interviews, story excerpts, and great reviews at those sites.

Upcoming giveaways, reviews, and other fun events are scheduled throughout December at Meredith’s Austenesque Reviews, Elisabeth’s Poolside Musings, Candy’s So Little Time, Anna’s Diary of an Eccentric, and Rita’s From Pemberley to Milton.

In other exciting news, Laura Hile is releasing the second edition of her Mercy’s Embrace books. Her book one, So Rough a Course, cover reveal  will be at JustJane 1813 on December 2. That’s tomorrow! Be sure to stop by and cheer her on.

You’re going to LOVE the new covers. I’ve seen them, and they are truly beautiful. I would love to post her new cover myself, but you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow. (Insert evil laugh.)

More to come, too! Watch for upcoming reviews, blog posts, and giveaways of So Rough A Course at Savvy Verse & Wit, Of Pens and Pages, and The Calico Critic.

Another bit of good news – Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, and I have all lowered the prices of our other books throughout December. Merry Christmas!

Two more A Very Austen Christmas giveaways

A Very Austen Christmas has been flying with her own wings for ten days now.

Thanks to readers like you, the #1 Best Seller spot in Amazon’s British Anthologies continues to be ours.

This week, two opportunities for you to win an eBook.

More Agreeably Engaged’s Janet Taylor is showcasing excerpts from each of the four stories.

And there’s an excerpt from Laura Hile’s The Christmas Matchmaker at Ceri Tanti’s Babblings of a Bookworm too.

Just leave a comment at each of these blogs to enter. How easy is that?

If you win, Christmas will be coming to your Kindle!

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!)

Guest Author: Wendi Sotis!

My guest today is author Wendi Sotis, who has just published Safekeeping, a contemporary mystery thriller with a nod to Jane Austen.


I “met” Wendi Sotis about seven years ago on a JAFF forum, and we began to beta for each other. Since that time, Wendi has published seven books, while I have published six. We have worked together on all sixteen of them. She is presently working on a new Austenesque story, A Lesson Hard Learned, as well as a non-Austen Regency romance, The Pact. (The Pact is shaping up to be my favorite of all of her books!) She’s a very dear friend of mine who not only betas for me, but also formats my e-books and critiques my covers.

Wendi is an indie author from New York. She has triplets who are rapidly turning into young adults, and her husband Matt does the art work for her covers. She’s one of the administrators of Beyond Austen.com, along with me, Gayle Mills, and Annette Wristen. All of her books are clean, flinch-free, and very entertaining. Wendi has a degree in psychology, and I love the way her mind works.

Her author page on Amazon gives more detailed information about Wendi, as well as links to her other books.

Wendi's books

What was your inspiration for writing Safekeeping?

I dreamt about it!  Since literally dreaming up story ideas is common for me, I often incorporate dreams into my books, though usually not as heavily as Safekeeping does. Sometimes I dream the beginning or middle of a story. Usually, it’s one scene or even a snippet of a scene. This time, I dreamt the solution to the mystery/suspense part of the story. Once I wrote that down, it was just a matter of working backward from there… asking myself, “How can I make this happen?” I love amnesia stories, and it was easy to incorporate that into this one. As a matter of fact, I had originally began a different story as an amnesia story, and had to rewrite it once I decided to go in that direction for Safekeeping.

Tell us about your characters in Safekeeping.

Elizabeth and Darcy in this book are not from Pride and Prejudice, as they are in my other books. Their names are a wink at Jane Austen’s classic, and Pride and Prejudice is part of the story, but Safekeeping cannot truly be considered JAFF. I’m not sure I should give away more than that!

How much research did you do?

I LOVE to research, so I always do a great deal of research for all my stories. For Safekeeping, knowing all I could find about amnesia was a biggie. A few friends, including you, Robin, helped me with some details about Florida (as well as “traveling” along the route Elizabeth would take in Florida using Google Earth.) I picked the brains of a physical therapist, who is the son of a friend, about certain injuries that Elizabeth had in the story. I talked to other friends who had similar injuries or had to wear casts/boots in the past, including your blog-mate, Gayle. I put a great deal of time into naming my fictitious towns. For example, much of the story takes place in Mt. Wonnig, in upstate New York. Wonnig is one possible word for “delightful/blissful” in German (or at least that’s what Google Translate tells me.) My husband helped me watch quite a few car chases on YouTube. And I’m still receiving spam from private investigating equipment companies 😉

 What was the hardest part of writing this story?

Making the two time-lines fit together so the climax of both happened at the same time. Safekeeping is actually two stories in one—Elizabeth’s prior life and her life after the amnesia— fused together in her discovery of who she is… was… is. I actually wrote the two story-lines separately, then had to find places in the “amnesia” parts for her to remember. How to transition between the two time-lines smoothly without a big jolts to the reader was also challenging. Formatting that aspect for print/eBook without it becoming annoying or confusing was a difficult decision to make. I don’t think this book can be made into an audiobook without hiring two narrators.

Deciding details about Elizabeth’s injuries and giving her time to heal enough to remove the cast without the story becoming boring was also tough. At almost last minute, I decided to have her break a non-weight-bearing bone in her leg and sprain her wrist instead of breaking it.

And for some reason, I had a difficult time deciding how and when in the story to take her cast off. I was completely stuck on that for months!  Once I got past that, everything flowed easily. I wrote the remainder of the story—about 100 pages in the printed book—in a little more than a week.

Are there messages or themes you hope your readers will get out of this book?

Unlike a lot of writers, I don’t start out with a message or theme I’m trying to convey—just what I hope will be a fun and interesting story—but I think I do it unconsciously. Usually, readers will tell me they saw a message in my books that I didn’t realize I put there! It’s a pleasant surprise when I have an “Ah ha!” moment like that.

What would be the perfectly specific genre title for Safekeeping?

Oh, gosh, that’s a really good and difficult question! How about: Romantic Suspense/Mystery/Clean Read/Nod to Jane Austen.

Wendi SotisThanks so much for having me on Jane Started It!, Robin. I love this blog!

Thank you for stopping by, Wendi! I’m going to beta your next chapter of A Lesson Hard Learned today, and I hope to get a new chapter of The Pact soon. (I’m a hard taskmaster and a greedy reader.)

Find Wendi on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. She is presently posting A Lesson Hard Learned and The Pact on Beyond Austen.com.