Austen Prose Blog Tours

#BlogTour | The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner #TheJaneAustenSociety #Review @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress

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Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. I am super excited to share my review of the enchanting book with you, I hope you love as much as I do!

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Format: Ebook, Audio, Hardback

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with readers for years to come.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYINDIEBOUND | AUDIBLEGOODREADS | BOOKBUB

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AudioBook

The full unabridged text of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was read by the distinguished English film, television, theatre and voice actor Richard Armitage for the audiobook recording. Best known by many period drama fans for his outstanding performance as John Thornton in the BBC television adaptation of North and South (2004), Armitage also portrayed Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit (2012 – 2014).

YouTube audiobook excerpt

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Praise for Natalie Jenner

Just like a story written by Austen herself, Jenner’s first novel is brimming with charming moments, endearing characters, and nuanced relationships…Readers won’t need previous knowledge of Austen and her novels to enjoy this tale’s slow revealing of secrets that build to a satisfying and dramatic ending.”Booklist (starred review)

Few things draw disparate people together so quickly as discovering they love the same writers. Few writers cement such friendships as deeply as Austen does. I believe that the readers of Jenner’s book will fall in love with the readers inside Jenner’s book, all of us thinking and dreaming of Austen the whole while. What could be better? Nothing, that’s what! A wonderful book, a wonderful read.” ―Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

Fans of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will adore The Jane Austen Society… A charming and memorable debut, which reminds us of the universal language of literature and the power of books to unite and heal.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris

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This is a real sweet and feel-good story of love, friendship and the power of reading! If anything this charming tale just goes to prove that books really are the balm for the soul, they can bring so much joy, which is what I am assuming Jane Austen would have loved to hear, that her books have brought people so much happiness and joy.

I have to say that I am immensely impressed by how solid and beautiful the writing is if I didn’t know that this was Natalie Jenner’s debut book I wouldn’t have believed it. This is a gorgeous, heart-warming and inspiring book which really does drum home the power of good friendships.

I have to be honest and say that when I volunteered to review this for this blog tour, it wasn’t the Jane Austen link that caught my attention first, I did love the sound of it but what captured my attention was the era, I love a WW2 or post WW2 novel and I caught up by the idea that the power of books and one author, the history and legacy of a place can help restore the hope in a time that was so fraught with its own challenges, the war is over but that isn’t the end; men are coming home, women are losing their positions, loved ones are lost forever and those left behind are having to cope plus on top of that there is still unease and rationing it was those aspects and how the Society would help rebuild peoples lives that captured me most.

Set during 1948, we are whisked away to the picturesque village of Chawton, the last home of one Jane Austen a place where she spent the last days of her life. Unfortunately, Janes familial estate is under threat which is where a group of completely different people all come together in a shared hope and attempt to save not only Jane’s home but her legacy too, and the Jane Austen Society is born!

Each one of these eight individuals may have come together to preserve history and to keep Jane’s legacy of friendship and love from books alive, they have thrown themselves in on the task, but they each are battling their own personal issues. They are all so different each one is from a completely different world from the next each has come into the village with different reasons, they are all trying to either forget, move on or find a new life, some have suffered because of the war, some are facing the worst possible moments of their lives, some have found themselves in tragedy but. But despite their differences and their struggles, they have two things in common; 1. they all need a friend and 2. they are all passionate about Jane Austen.

I can’t really go into too much detail regarding this book, as apart from each of the members own personal histories and drama, the back blurb practically tells the story itself,, it’s not a taxing heavy read you can sit back and lose a couple of hours easily as you are transported to Chawton. I love the overall feel to this is an enchanting and engaging, its beautiful nod to one of this countries greats, but what surprised me most is that this is Natalie Jenner’s debut book, I would never have thought that as the writing is so clear and rich in detail, it’s definitely easy to read the story flows over the reader like a swirling mist and before you know it you’re near the end and wondering how that happened.

It’s a simple story one that will really hold onto your heart and what I love about it is that it can be enjoyed by all readers of historical fiction, whether you are an Austen fan or not. I know this as a fact as – and yes, I realise that this admission will probably get me outcast for life, but hey, I am all for speaking the truth – I have never read a Jane Austen and I don’t particularly like Pride and Prejudice, I am and always have been a Bronte lass, sorry to all Janeites.

Oh and for those who like audiobooks, I would definitely recommend this one, I am not a big fan of audio, in fact, I can never get into them much preferring to read a book for myself but The Jane Austen Society is narrated by the very talented Richard Armitage (Yes, I know ladies, its Mr Thornton and now we shall all stop and remember that kiss…#DoubleSigh) so whether you like audio’s or not, who can say no to Richard Armitage? 😉

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Spotify Playlist

Spotify users can access a playlist for THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY  here – The Jane Austen Society Playlist.

The playlist includes music from various film adaptions of Jane Austen’s books, as well as film scores by such incomparable artists as Hans Zimmer, Ennio Morricone, Rachel Portman, and Michael Nyman.

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About the Author

Natalie Jenner is the debut author of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, where Austen wrote or revised her major works. Born in England and raised in Canada, Natalie graduated from the University of Toronto with degrees in English Literature and Law and has worked for decades in the legal industry. She recently founded the independent bookstore Archetype Books in Oakville, Ontario, where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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Blog Tour Schedule

Join the virtual online book tour of THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, Natalie Jenner’s highly acclaimed debut novel May 25 through June 30, 2020. Seventy-five popular blogs and websites specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, women’s fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature interviews and reviews of this post-WWII novel set in Chawton, England.

May 25 Jane Austen’s World

May 25 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

May 26 Frolic Media

May 26 A Bookish Affair

May 26 Courtney Reads Romance

May 26 Margie’s Must Reads

May 26 The Reading Frenzy

May 27 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina

May 27 Gwendalyn’s Books

May 27 Romantically Inclined Reviews

May 28 Getting Your Read On

May 28 Living Read Girl

May 28 The Lit Bitch

May 29 History Lizzie

May 29 Silver Petticoat Reviews

May 30 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please

May 30 Historical Fiction Reader

May 31 Jane Austen in Vermont

June 01 From Pemberley to Milton

June 01 My Jane Austen Book Club

June 01 AustenBlog

June 02 Lu’s Reviews

June 02 The Green Mockingbird

June 03 The Interests of a Jane Austen Girl

June 03 Relz Reviews

June 03 Impressions in Ink

June 04 The Caffeinated Bibliophile

June 04 Life of Literature

June 04 Laura’s Reviews

June 05 Reading Ladies Book Club

June 05 Bookish Rantings

June 06 From the TBR Pile

June 07 Rachel Dodge

June 07 An Historian About Town

June 08 Bringing up Books

June 08 Austenesque Reviews

June 09 Captivated Reading

June 09 Savvy Verse and Witt

June 10 Lady with a Quill

June 10 Drunk Austen

June 11 Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

June 11 Inkwell Inspirations

June 12 Nurse Bookie

June 12 A Bookish Way of Life

June 13 Calico Critic

June 14 Jane Austen’s World

June 15 Stuck in a Book

June 15 Storybook Reviews

June 15 Confessions of a Book Addict

June 16 Literary Quicksand

June 16 Becky on Books

June 17 The Reading Frenzy

June 17 Anita Loves Books

June 18 Chicks, Rogues, & Scandals

June 18 The Write Review

June 19 Diary of Eccentric

June 20 Cracking the Cover

June 21 Short Books & Scribes

June 22 Reading the Past

June 22 Babblings of a Bookworm

June 23 My Vices and Weaknesses

June 23 The Book Diva Reads

June 24 Books, Teacups & Reviews

June 24 Wishful Endings

June 25 Robin Loves Reading

June 25 Bookfoolery

June 26 Lit and Life

June 26 Vesper’s Place

June 27 Foxes and Fairy Tales

June 28 Probably at the Library

June 28 Scuffed Slippers Wormy Books

June 29 The Anglophile Channel

June 29 So Little Time…

June 30 BookNAround

#BlogTour | Rakes And Roses by Josi. S. Kilpack #RakesAndRoses #AuthorInterview #BookFeature @JosiSKilpack @ShadowMountn @austenprose

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Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well? I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour; Rakes and Roses by Josi. S. Kilpack. Not only will I be sharing this gorgeous book with you all, but I have an exclusive author interview with Josi; which is amazing! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Rakes and Roses by Josi. S. Kilpack

A standalone novel in the Mayfield Family series with an unusual premise and an uplifting ending.

Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | DESERET BOOK | BOOK DEPOSITORY INDIEBOUND | AUDIBLE | GOODREADS

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Praise 

“Uplifting…Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero. Kilpack’s strong, upright heroine who finds a way to claim her power in Regency society sets this love story apart. This magnetic tale will appeal to fans of emotional romance.”—Publisher’s Weekly 

Kilpack takes traditional regency roles and challenges them. She shows how one person can make an impact in the world. I found the story and premise unique.”—Heather Gardner, Fire and Ice

This is a story of redemption above all else…the ending was perfect.”— Lucinda Whitney, author of Rescuing the Prince

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Hi Josi, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Thank you for having me! I’m excited to be here and talk with you and your readers.

Can you tell us a little about your latest Regency romance, Rakes and Roses?

You bet. Rakes and Roses is the third book in my Mayfield Family series. Like the other books in the series, it stands alone so you can read them in any order. The premise of the series is that an Uncle returns to England after spending thirty years trying to save the family coffers only to find that it was the family connection that has suffered the most. With his brother and sisters passed away, he creates marriage inheritances for his nieces and nephews if they will marry well, settle down, and live respectable lives he hopes will give better foundation to the future generations. Rakes and Roses follows one of the nephews, Harry Stillman, who has squandered his privilege and inheritance in the gaming hells of London and is desperately in need of rescue.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of your main characters?

Harry starts our story as a bum, out of money, friends, and options. His charm and good looks haven’t done him the sort of favors to give him stability. Over the course of the story and as he dries out, we get to see the things in him that even he hasn’t seen before—that he’s smart, that he’s determined, and that can care about other people.

Sabrina is a strong and independent woman. She works hard to live above reproach and make the world a better place. She’s compassionate, generous, and optimistic. However, she’s also insecure and lonely and has a bit of a temper that Harry is really good at triggering.

What are the dominant themes in Rakes and Roses?

Redemption for themselves and trust for each other. There’s a strong theme of family connection, as there are in all the books in the series, and how that strengthens the individual. At the same time, everyone’s journey is not meant to be the same as anyone else’s.

If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead character’s?

I would love to see any of the Mayfield Family series made into movies—I’ve already chosen Sean Connery to play Uncle Elliott, though he may have aged out of the role by now. If Rakes and Roses were made into a movie, I would love to see Harry played by a blonde Zac Efron—I’m sure he could pull it off—and Lady Sabrina played by Scarlett Johansson. I mean, why not?

When writing, do you plot or do you go with the flow?

I plot a little bit, but not a lot because when I spend too much time plotting, I feel beholden and my creativity works best when I let the story grow as I go.

What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?

1—Attend writing conferences

2—Learn your craft

3—Read!

When not writing, what do you like to do to relax?

I love to watch TV and movies, and it is the Golden Age of all things on the screen. I’ll often watch the same movies over and over, dissecting plot and character and dialogue. I love the true-crime series that have been popping up too.

If you could have a holiday home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Aberdeen Scotland. Gorgeous!

If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite?

That would come? I’m going to assume they would come if I invited them—Michelle Obama, Meryl Streep, and Ed Sheeran. Man, that would be fun.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, Josi. I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun; What is your favourite snacking food?

Peanut M&Ms and almonds are eaten with a spoon, 1 M&M and 3 almonds per spoonful. 

Mmmm, that’s a huge thumbs up from me, thank you!

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About the Author

Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton’s Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do visit all of the other amazing blogs which are participating in this epic blog tour and do show them some love.

May 04 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)

May 04 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)

May 04 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

May 04 All About Romance (Guest Blog)

May 05 Timeless Novels (Review)

May 05 Literary Time Out (Review)

May 06 For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)

May 06 Courtney Reads Romance (Review)

May 07 Fire and Ice (Excerpt)

May 07 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

May 08 History Lizzie (Review)

May 08 Wishful Endings (Review)

May 09 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight)

May 09 Relz Reviewz (Character spotlight)

May 10 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

May 10 Delighted Reader (Excerpt)

May 11 Frolic Media (Guest Blog)

May 11 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

May 11 Bringing Up Books (Review)

May 12 Lu Reviews Books (Review)

May 13 English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)

May 13 Adventure. Romance. Suspense (Review)

May 14 Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Interview)

May 14 So Little Time…So Much to Read (Spotlight)

May 15 Storybook Reviews (Excerpt)

May 16 The Book Diva’s Reads (Review)

May 16 The Fiction Aficionado (Review)

May 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Spotlight)

May 17 Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)

May 18 Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)

May 18 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

May 18 The Lit Bitch (Review)

May 19 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Interview)

May 19 Heidi Reads (Review)

May 19 Bookworm Lisa (Excerpt)

May 19 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

May 19 Katie’s Clean Book Collection (Review)

May 20 The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)

May 20 Joy of Reading (Review)

May 20 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

May 21 The Calico Critic (Spotlight)

May 21 Getting Your Read On (Review)

May 21 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

May 22 Wishful Endings

#BlogTour | Duke Darcy’s Castle (Dare To Defy #3) by Syrie James #DukeDarcysCastle #DareToDefySeries @SyrieJames @AvonImpulse @Austenprose

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Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; Duke Darcy’s Castle, which is the third and final book in the Dare to Defy series by Syrie James. As always take a seat, grab a cuppa and enjoy!

Duke Darcy’s Castle by Syrie James

Series: Dare to Defy #3

Genre: Historical Romance

Lance Granville, the Tenth Duke of Darcy, was none too happy to give up his career in the Royal Navy to inherit the family title, complete with an ancient castle he needs to renovate. When an architect arrives on his doorstep, Darcy is astonished to discover that she’s a woman.

Kathryn Atherton has one goal: to become the first woman architect in Britain. Marriage doesn’t figure in her plans. Despite the odds, her schooling is behind her. Now she needs experience. When she’s sent to a small tidal island in Cornwall to remodel a castle, the last thing Kathryn wants is to be attracted to its roguishly handsome owner.

Kathryn is determined to keep things professional, but the sizzling attraction between her and the duke quickly blazes out of control. When Darcy learns that Kathryn is an heiress whose fortune would save St. Gabriel’s Mount, he wages the most important battle of his life: to woo and win the woman who’s captured his heart. But (in an homage to Austen), the Duke’s first proposal is so Darcyesque, he is refused. In any case, duchesses can’t be architects. And Kathryn has worked too long and too hard to give up her career for anyone ….

Links

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB

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I have read so many great things about this authors works, yet this is the first of her books I have read which seems to be happening a lot lately, I can say for a fact that I am definitely going to grab the previous books from this series, in fact, I will be grabbing other books from this author when I can. I thoroughly loved her immersive, articulate, clever and hugely romantic writing.

As always I have started a series at the end, no change there and as always I seem to be playing catch up on what is going on in this series. I did hugely enjoy this but I do think that I should have read the previous books in the series first. Even though this is very much a stand-alone, I did have this feeling I had missed out on something by not getting to know the series and the characters before now. But saying that,! still hugely enjoyed it.

Gorgeous Captain Lancelot Granville – deep sigh! Has had to give up his much loved and hard-worked for career in the Royal Navy to claim the title of the Tenth Duke of Darcy – a nice hint to that famous hero 😉 to say that Lancelot isn’t happy about these turn of events is a nit of an understatement, but he is a dutiful man and he will always do what is right. What he didn’t count on that when he reaches the family seat he finds the castle in the midst of a renovation and a eye-watering mountain of debt that his late brother has racked up, not to mention the young beautiful architect that turns up at the front door stating she has been hired by the previous Duke. Poor Lancelot, it’s one thing after another for him!

Kathryn Atherton is the last of her sisters to marry, and she is determined to do be pushed into the vicar’s mousetrap for as long as she can. She is determined to forge her own way in life ad that plan doesn’t include getting hitched to a member of the British elite, just because it is what she should do – according to her family that is. She is an accomplished architect in her own right and when she arrives at the Castle to do the job she has been employed to do. That is until her head is turned and her lust wanting body sees the devilishly handsome Duke himself, believe me, any woman with a pulse in their body would have their heads turned by this man.

They are instantly attracted to each other, their first introduction is a great start to what follows to be sexy, at times very raunchy seduction on both parts. The chemistry between them is scorching, the banter is fun and clever and hugely enjoyable to follow throughout the book.

So the Dare To Defy series is a three-book trilogy, which follows the stories of the three Atherton sisters, as they go in search of not just love but of forging careers for themselves. These women are bright and beautiful young heiresses from America, who have been brought to Britain to find a title… mean a husband – in those days most marriages of convenience was the same thing right? 😉 Do excuse my cynicism but title hunting mama’s trope really doesn’t sit well with me. What is wrong with marrying for love?

What really caught my attention about this book and why I took a chance on reading the last book in a series without reading the previous and that was it has so many things that I look for and love about historical romance. For anyone who follows my blog will know that I have a real fondness for the Victorian era which for me is an era that is hugely fascinating.

Add to that a brilliant heroine, I do love strong, willful, determined and intelligent heroines who go against the grain to seek what they truly want despite rules and regulations – Kathryn really appealed to me she was so much fun to get to know and very likeable. I loved her passion for architecture, I love her determination for really pushing for what she believes in.

And, finally, it was that briefest mention of a man in uniform and – well I was hooked before even opening the first page – again I think my love for a man in uniform is universally known and I may just have to swoon and lay in a happy heap on the floor – my Gawd, this guy is gorgeous!!

Overall, a wonderfully written, richly romantic, sexy engrossing and delightful love story. Fabulously engaging plot and marvellously developed and likable character’s. I hugely enjoyed my first foray in Syrie James’s writing and look forward to reading more from her.

This was a complimentary copy via Edelweiss from Laurel-Anne at Austen Prose, which I voluntarily reviewed as a part of this blog tour, thank you Laurel-Anne. xx

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Runaway Heiress/Dare To Defy Series

Three American heiresses defy their family’s wishes, and social convention, to strike out and find their own happiness in late Victorian Cornwall.

Runaway Heiress: A Dare to Defy Novel (Book 1)

Brainy and college-educated, American heiress Alexandra Atherton will do anything to avoid marriage to the English peer her mother has chosen for her—even abandon the life of privilege she’s always known. But as her escape goes horribly wrong, Alexandra must invent a new identity to gain the help of a handsome stranger.

Summer of Scandal: A Dare to Defy Novel (Book 2)

An American heiress and an English earl fight against the conventions of society — and their attraction to each other — in the second book in the Dare to Defy series by USA Today bestselling author Syrie James.

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About the Author

SYRIE JAMES is the USA TODAY and Amazon bestselling author of thirteen novels of historical, contemporary, and young adult fiction and romance. Her books have hit many Best of the Year lists, been designated as Library Journal Editor’s Picks, and won numerous accolades and awards, including Best New Fiction by Regency World Magazine (the international bestseller “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen”), and the national Audiobook Audie for Romance (“The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte”, also named a Great Group Read by the Women’s National Book Association). Los Angeles Magazine dubbed Syrie the “queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings,” and her books have been published in twenty languages. A member of the Writer’s Guild of America, Syrie is also an established screenwriter and playwright who makes her home in Los Angeles. An admitted Anglophile, Syrie has addressed audiences across the U.S., Canada, and the British Isles. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB