Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jane Austen’s First Love–Blog Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to The Little White Attic, my stop on the Jane Austen’s First Love blog tour, with a special guest post by Syrie James, along with my review of Jane Austen’s First Love. There will be more information about the blog tour and your chance to enter the giveaway later in this post.JaneAusten'sFirstLovebySyrieJames2014x350

But first and foremost, here is a Special Guest Post by Syrie James:SyrieJamesheadshot2012x250

A Few Quotes From Jane Austen’s First Love

Which Have Special Meaning For Me

By Syrie James

I’m often asked, when I finish writing a novel, if any particular lines or quotes from the book have a special meaning for me. I gave it some thought, and here are six quotes from Jane Austen’s First Love of which I’m particularly fond, because they either inspired an important aspect of the book, or because they represent something I really wanted to say.

1. This enigmatic and emotional quote by Jane Austen, from one of her letters to her sister, inspired Jane Austen’s First Love. Jane is reflecting here with affectionate longing upon her long-ago relationship with Edward Taylor, the heir to Bifrons Park:

“We went by Bifrons and I contemplated with a melancholy pleasure the abode of him, on whom I once fondly doated.”

2. This quote from Chapter One of Jane Austen’s First Love, in which Jane’s mother expresses her opinion of Jane’s writing, perfectly captures my own mother’s attitude toward my desire to become an author:

My mother raised her eyes heavenward. “I know how much you enjoy your writing, Jane. Lord knows, we all love a good laugh now and then, and if any one understands the pleasures of composition, it is I—I flatter myself that my poetry is not entirely unreadable—but it is only a hobby, Jane: an amusement for the family. We are neither of us Mozart nor Shakespeare.”

3. Edward Taylor and Jane sneak away during a ball and talk for hours and hours, as they get to know each other better en route to falling in love. This sentiment Edward shares is one of his deepest convictions, and mine as well:

“One should not, must not, be swayed by popular opinion or the ideas of others, to think or act against his or her own convictions. It is not always easy…but if possible, we must be true to ourselves, for I believe the only route to happiness is to follow our own hearts.”

4. And here’s what Jane thinks, after that very meaningful interlude:

What a difference an hour or two of conversation can make, with an intelligent, deep-thinking person! I had entered the ball-room that night with one set of ideas, and after my dialogue with Edward Taylor, returned to it with quite another.

5. Every heroine needs to go through a few trials and tribulations, and Jane makes her share of mistakes in the novel, leading to this introspection (after she performs in a home theatrical of A Midsummer Night’s Dream):

“How sage is Shakespeare’s line, What fools these mortals be! How ironic that I was obliged to speak those words on this very day, for he may as well have written it specifically about me.”

6. Finally, here is a line from Jane’s rumination at the end of the novel, which sums up a great deal about her journey:

I learned so much that summer, from him as well as all the others: about the human mind and heart—about what motivates people to marry—about what really matters when two people are falling in love.

-Syrie James

I would like to thank Syrie for sending the quotes from her book along with the insightful background information. I am so grateful for the chance to participate in this blog tour! So now for my review:

As a hard core Janeite I have read many variations and spin-offs in the Austen genre. Some are very well done, some amuse, and some I have tossed without finishing. It’s a tricky business due to the varying images that different people hold of Jane Austen. Some writers want to show Austen’s characters in situations that Jane Austen never would have dreamed of publishing. Personally I have too high a ‘blush factor’ to read through some of these romance novels.

I am a bit more of a Jane Austen purist. Well- as much as you can be when indulging in the Austenesque. I want the characters to stay true to themselves as found in the original writings. I want adaptations to be accurate to the original, and historical fiction to fit well within the context of Jane Austen’s life.

I guess you could say I want the type of writing that Syrie James delivers. I have been a fan of Syrie James’ work for years, and even met her on a few occasions. Her novel The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen was very enjoyable, and I have to say, I like Jane Austen’s First Love even better.

I have read several Jane Austen biographies, collections of her letters, and her juvenilia, and I found that the story line of Jane Austen’s First Love successfully fills in the gaps of a romance only hinted at in her letters, and does it with imagination and wit. The family characterizations ring true with what I already know about her family. James also managed to capture the youthful spirit of a clever young Jane Austen.

My favorite books are those that manage to weave in a little bit of charm and sparkle, just a little bit of magic that makes you smile for a moment before turning to the next chapter. I highly recommend this book. Add it to your Christmas list. It is the perfect after-holiday read when you can cuddle near the fire with some cocoa.

Of course I understand if you can’t wait that long!

And now the details of the Blog Tour and Giveaway.

Grand Giveaway Contest

Win One of Five Fabulous

Jane Austen-inspired Prize Packages

To celebrate the holidays and the release of Jane Austen's First Love, Syrie is giving away five prize packages filled with an amazing selection of Jane Austen-inspired gifts and books!
To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any of the blog stops on the Jane Austen's First Love Holiday Blog Tour.
Increase your chances of winning by visiting multiple stops along the tour! Syrie's unique guest posts will be featured on a variety of subjects, along with fun interviews, spotlights, excerpts, and reviews of the novel. Contest closes at 11:59pm PT, December 21, 2014. Five lucky winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments on the tour, and announced on Syrie’s website on December 22, 2014. The giveaway contest is open to everyone, including international residents. Good luck to all!

JAFLGrandPrizex420

-Lynnae

Remember, just by leaving a comment here you will be entered to win! Good luck friends!

44 comments:

  1. Looks fun!
    Glad to see you post here again, I love your blog ~

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  2. Gosh, this book does sound super fun.

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  3. I agree with you, this is a great book. I'm reading and enjoying it now. It does seem true to how Jane Austen's first love would have been. Thanks for the great post.

    Lauigl [at] carolina [dot] rr [dot] com

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  4. Can't wait to read. tresha_7atmsndotcom

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  5. Love Edward's quote, it's a really great line

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  6. I love your quote about staying true to yourself. It can be hard to be different from the crowd.

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  7. I enjoyed reading Syrie's favorite quotes from her book--I remembering thinking "ouch!" when I read the one that Mrs. Austen delivers to poor young Jane.

    Charm, sparkle and magic are definitely essential ingredients--I liked the way you put that!

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    1. My mother actually said that to me... The part about my writing being only a hobby! :)

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  8. Enjoyed reading the favorite quotes. I especially liked the one about being true to one's self, in this day and age it is hard.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

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  9. Lynnae, thank you so much for your wonderful review of Jane Austen's First Love. I have added it to my Christmas list. I also agree with your view of being a Jane Austen purist. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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  10. One of my favorite quotes is What fools these mortals be! I am happy to see it come into a JA fan fiction and can't wait to read that scene and see why Jane felt like that line talked about her.

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  11. I'm excited to read this new book....especially since I've read all the others, and have most of them. You are off to a great start for Syrie James!

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  12. The sixth quote is just beautiful! Thank you for the giveaway.

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  13. Thank you Lynnae for hosting me today, and thanks everyone for your lovely comments. I hope you love Jane Austen's First Love as much as I enjoyed writing it! Have a great turkey day!

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  14. I have enjoyed looking around on your blog, there were many things I enjoyed as well as the quotes from the book were great to read. I am looking forward to this book. I am new follower to your blog - griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy it. -Lynnae

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  15. Nice quotes

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  16. I really liked the quotes that were chosen...a lot of thought were put into the choices.
    kimbers10[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  17. Looking forward to adding this to my wife's collection.

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    1. Thank you, David! I hope she loves the book. Happy holidays!

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  18. Wow this book swag looks awesome! I love historical fiction and do read it to my children that are interested in the homeschool. But this one I am positive would be just for mom :D Have a beautiful holiday season!

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  19. Thank you all for visiting and for your thoughtful comments. Syrie, it's hard to believe you were encouraged to be more practical.
    Growing up in my house it seems like every creative effort was praised and encouraged. And I'm always telling my daughter she would be a great writer. But your success shows that no matter what the background, the dream is yours to reach for or ignore. Let's all reach for our dreams!
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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    1. My mother was a wonderful, generous woman who was raised during the Depression, and as a result she emphasized practicality over everything. She couldn't treat herself a piece of art unless it was useful (i.e. a punch bowl or ceramic soap dish.) She worked hard to instill that fundamental belief in me as well, but it didn't entirely "take." :) Although I am in general a very practical person, I throw caution to the wind where creativity, art, and spoiling my children are concerned! Otherwise I wouldn't have given my sons so many fun, imaginative, and fabulous toys... and I never would have the nerve to write novels on spec!

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  20. Love the hop! Nrslalee00@yahoo.com

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  21. A little bit of magic does always make a book better.
    k3kdpv at gmail dot com

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  22. I loved reading Syrie's favorite quotes from the book. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. I forgot to leave my email address...
      skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  23. I love blog tours! I always end up adding a handful to my "regular reads" and this blog will definitely be one of them. Thanks for a delightful post! Excited to read this book over the holidays!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Madeline. I hope you treated yourself to a copy of Jane Austen's First Love--and that you love it!! Happy holidays!

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  24. I loved all these quotes, but #3 especially spoke to me!

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    1. Thanks, Susan, for following the Jane Austen's First Love holiday blog tour. Quote #3-- to follow your heart-- is one of my favorites as well. It was great fun to imagine Edward Taylor into being in my novel Jane Austen's First Love and to incorporate this message as one of his deepest beliefs. I hope you fall in love with him just as Jane (and I) did!

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  25. The fourth one is brilliant. The best discourse has been like that, engaging and expanding to the mind. Lovely!

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  26. Love this!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  27. Surely going to add this to my wishlist!

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  28. "It is the perfect after-holiday read when you can cuddle near the fire with some cocoa."

    This really made me smile, how many people are there in the worl who love to do that. It is such a delight ! Love quote number 3 !

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    1. Yes, let's all cuddle near the fire with some cocoa at this very moment!!!

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  29. thank you Syrie for another fun blog stop

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  30. I would love to win this and the book looks awesome.
    dez3b@yahoo.com

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  31. Love the quotes - and ooooh they snuck away :) Naughty naughty! LOL :) Thank you!

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  32. Oh this was a wonderful post. Now I have to go back and revisit those quotes. The tour just seems like a gift over and over and the best way to ring in the holiday season.

    I am going to have so much fun poking around your blog. Your banner sets the stage for a blog I want to visit over and over again.

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    1. I love your comments, Poofbooks!! They always bring a smile to my face. Thank you for following the Jane Austen's First Love Holiday blog tour.

      If you haven't finished your holiday gift shopping... I hope you'll consider Jane Austen's First Love as the ideal gift for your Austen-loving friends and relations! :) Wishing you ver happy holidays!!

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  33. primera vez que visito este blog, me alegra haberlo echo, y me encanto este post !

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