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Ebook Details
  • 11/2017
  • B0778WQF53
  • 365 pages
  • $4.95
Paperback Details
  • 11/2017
  • 9780998654010
  • 365 pages
  • $12.95
Hardcover Details
  • 12/2017
  • 0998654035
  • 356 pages
  • $24.95
Audio Details
  • 04/2018
  • 978-0998654010 B0778WQF53
  • 356 pages
  • $17.47
Christina Boyd
Editor (anthology)
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues
Christina Boyd, editor (anthology)
Jane Austen's masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen--Willoughby, Wickham, Tilney, Crawford, et al--adding depth and color to her plots but barely sketched. This titillating collection of eleven Georgian era short stories is written by some of the most popular authors in the Austenesque genre. Each offers a back story or parallel tale off-stage to Austen's canon--whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in her great works. Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy but heaven help us if we marry one.
Reviews
This capable homage anthology brings new life to the rakes of Jane Austen’s worlds. Each of the stories details either a rake’s rise to roguishness or his fall from it. Beyond this unifying theme, the authors seem to come together in the belief that women set the men on their wicked paths, except in one or two stories. In Katie Oliver’s “A Wicked Game,” George Wickham is the victim of a woman who stole his innocence, much as he tried to steal Georgiana Darcy’s. In Jenetta James’s “The Lost Chapter in the Life of William Elliot,” William Elliot is seduced and humiliated by a young actress. In “Willoughby’s Crossroads,” Joanna Starnes imagines the woman who broke John Willoughby’s heart. Though the final story, Amy D’Orazio’s “For Mischief’s Sake,” seems to want to redeem this point, teaching Capt. Frederick Tilney to feel ashamed of casually destroying women’s reputations, the other portrayals of women as villains is disheartening and may turn some readers off. For fans of Austen, bad boys, and romance, this anthology will be a fun frolic into the worlds they know well, so long as they do not dwell on the fates of women. (BookLife)
"Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's #RakesAndGentlemenRogues" another 5 star revie

This time it is the “bad boys” who fill the pages, the ones that you actually hate or despise but at the same time you could have a soft spot for them because maybe they redeem themselves or maybe because they are actually not so bad… (wait until you know more).

ABOUT DANGEROUS TO KNOW: JANES AUSTEN’S RAKES & GENTLEMEN ROGUES

“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.

It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.

What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

In Dangerous To Know we have eleven stories about eleven rakes or rogues who were created by Jane Austen. However, their differences cannot be greater, on one hand we have Willoughby and  Crawford, who I cannot stand, and on the other hand we can see Colonel Fitzwilliam and Thomas Bertram, who I like. There are other characters as well, as you have read above, but I can tell you already that these stories could make you like them or at least understand the reason why they turned out as they did. Although, I am going to be very mean and I have to say that I still do not like, for instance Willoughby even if Joana’s story is really good.

Redemption is a difficult word for characters that you have already “judged” but some of these stories are going to be difficult to ignore… I am mainly thinking about Wickham (you will have to read it!).

I have dearly enjoyed Dangerous to Know but I believe that I will always like The Darcy Monologues a bit better

"You had me at hello" --REVIEW for: Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gen

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the works of Jane Austen are beloved. She managed to create fascinating characters, from the swoon-worthy leading men to the heroines that we can either relate to or that we want to become. Jane Austen also created some of the best rogues and rakes that have ever appeared in literature, from Tom Bertram to John Willoughby.

Published on the 7th of November, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a peek into the lives of the most notorious bad boys of Austen, with a glimpse at Darcy’s cousin Fitzwilliam, General Tilney, and Sir Walter Elliot as well.

Edited by Christina Boyd and published by Quill Ink, a variety of authors write the short stories in this collection. Each writes with her own unique style. They all take a different Austen Bad Boy and give us a short story about them. These either tell us what these characters were doing before the book or during the novel itself. For the most part, they served to humanize these bad boys of Austen. They give them a backstory where there wasn’t one before.

These stories also answer questions about what these characters were doing. What was Tom Bertram doing before he came back to Mansfield? How did Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax meet and fall in love? What happened to Henry Crawford? I want to know more about Fitzwilliam! Was General Tilney ever in love?  These questions were answered beautifully in Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues!

THE STORIES

Some of the short stories tie together many characters from Austen’s work. My favorite example of this was in “Willoughby’s Crossroads,” where Darcy, Bingley, and Willoughby all attended school together. I also really enjoyed “Fitzwilliam’s Folly,” because I always wanted to know more about Darcy’s cousin in Pride and Prejudice.

If I was going to be completely honest, though, I really couldn’t pick a favorite. I finished the collection feeling bad for Willoughby, disliking Frank Churchill, and rooting for Tom Bertram to find happiness. I also found myself feeling a little more sympathetic towards General Tilney, something that I never expected to feel.

This is a collection of short stories by some very talented authors. Each tells a story that was left out of Austen’s original works. They manage to tell each in such a way that feels authentic to her vision and style. They are also using their own unique writing styles. This makes the book a lot of fun to read. Some of these stories end in happily ever after, or redemption for some of our favorite bad boys, and some of them do not. The tragic endings were just as wonderful as the stories that had a happy ending.

It is important to note that, since these are stories about romance and rakes, some of these stories have content warnings. These are labeled clearly. This way, you can skip anything with a content label that is different than what you’re looking for.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are looking to spend more time in the world of Jane Austen, enjoy stories about gentlemen bad boys, or if have a specific bad boy from the works of Jane Austen that you have a soft place in your heart for, this is a collection that you should not miss. Some of the stories made me dislike these characters even more than I did while reading the book. Others made me feel a little sorry for these guys. Overall, it is a beautifully crafted and fun book. The stories range from sweetly romantic to sassy and a bit tragic. I think that Jane Austen would approve.

 

OVERALL RATING​: “You had me at hello.”

#TuesdayBookBlog by Olga Author Translator

After reading many great reviews of The Darcy Monologues, when I had the opportunity to sign up for this blog tour I could not resist. My fondness for Jane Austen’s novels cannot compare to that of the authors of this anthology, but rest assure that you don’t need to have read several times all of Austen’s novels to enjoy this collection (although I don’t doubt you might enjoy it even more if you have).

Each story centers on one of the rakes or gentlemen rogues in one of Jane Austen’s novels (sometimes several from the same novel). As the editor explains in her note, after The Darcy Monologues she and some of the authors started looking for another project and noticed that there are many characters that are fundamental to Austen’s novels, but we don’t get to know much about, and on many occasions we are left wondering how they got to be how they are, and what happens to them later. All the stories retain the historical period of the novels, sometimes going back to give us information about the background of the characters, to their childhood, early youth, and on occasion we follow them for many years, getting a good sense of who they become when they exit the novel.

Each one of the stories is prefaced by a little snippet about the character chosen, and by one or several quotations (sometimes spread throughout the story) taken directly from Austen’s novel, where the character is mentioned. I must say the authors remain very faithful to Austen’s words although they use their imagination to build upon those snippets, always remaining faithful to the language and the spirit of the period, although the modern sensibility is evident in the stories.

We have stories with happy endings, stories that are dark and sad, stories of broken hearts, funny stories (sometimes thanks to the wit of the characters involved, others thanks to the wit of the writers who follow in Austen’s footsteps and poke fun at the most preposterous individuals), and some touching ones. There are very clean stories and some steamier ones (as it seems only appropriate to these “gentlemen”), but the editor includes a very detailed classification of the degree of heat of each one of the stories, and apart from one of the stories A Wicked Game, the rest are not scandalous (even by Regency standards).

Many of the stories are told in the first person, and that helps us share and understand better the characters (however much we might like them or not), but the few told in the third person also work well, especially as they tend to centre on characters that are perhaps particularly insightless and more preoccupied with appearances than by the truth.

I imagine each reader will have his or her favourite stories. I was a bit surprised because I thought I’d enjoy more the stories featuring characters of the novels I was more familiar with, but that was not always the case. (OK, I truly loved Fitzwilliam’s Folly about Colonel Fitzwilliam from Pride and Prejudice, but not only because of the novel, but because the character is wonderful, witty, yes, Darcy makes an appearance so we get to see him from somebody else’s point of view and someone who knows him well at that, and I loved the female character in the story too). Some writers managed to create a sense of a small society, as it must have felt at the time, where characters from several novels kept meeting or just missing each other but are all connected or know of each other. I know this was a book about the gentlemen, but I was very taken by some of the female characters, that on many occasions were the perfect match for the men.

If you are curious to know which of the characters are featured, here is the list: John Willoughby (Willoughby’s Crossroads by Joanna Starnes), George Wickham (A Wicked Game by Katie Oliver. This is the hottest one and there are some similarities to the previous story but, if you’re a fan of the character, I think you’ll enjoy this one), Colonel Fitzwilliam (Fitzwilliam’s Folly by Beau North. I’ve already mentioned this one. I love Calliope Campbell too. Well, love everything about this story and the style and the repartee reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s plays), Thomas Bertram (The Address of a French Woman by Lona Manning. How blind can one be, or perhaps not!), Henry Crawford (Last Letter to Mansfield by Brooke West), Frank Churchill (An Honest Man by Karen M Cox. One of these characters enamoured of himself who tries to do the right thing but only if it is convenient and at little personal cost. I suffered for poor Miss Fairfax), Sir Walter Elliot (One Fair Claim by Christina Morland. This is one of the stories told in the third person that do follow the character for a long time. The song “You’re So Vain” might as well have been written about him. I really enjoyed this one, first because the comments about the character were funny, later, because the tone changes and I liked his wife, who, of course, loves to read), William Elliot (The Lost Chapter in the Life of William Elliot by Jenetta James. This somewhat related to the previous story but is quite different and particularly interesting for the comments about life in the theatre), General Tilney (As Much As He Can by Sophia Rose. This story, that uses both third and first person, I found particularly touching. Appearances can be deceptive, indeed), John Thorpe (The Art of Sinking by J. Marie Croft. This is a farce, the character a buffoon and the story really funny, especially because the character is the butt of all jokes but remains full of his own importance), and Captain Frederick Tilney (For Mischief’s Sake by Amy D’Orazio. Another great story. The main character justifies his actions insisting that he is helping other men avoid mistakes, but eventually learns to see things from a female perspective. A great female character too, Miss Gibbs).

 

I highlighted many passages and lines, but I don’t want to make this a never-ending review. I’ll just say the language is perfectly in keeping with the period and the stories and I’ll be exploring the books of all these writers. (There is information included about each one of them after their respective stories).

I did not cry with any of the stories (although some were quite touching), but I did laugh out loud with quite a few. I recommend this book to readers of historical romance and romance of any kind, those who enjoy short-stories with fully-fledged character, and I’m sure anybody interested in Regency novels and Jane Austen’s, in particular, will love this book.

Another Fabulous Review for 'Dangerous to Know; Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen

After getting marvelled with The Darcy Monologues last year I was thrilled to know that Christina Boyd had gathered another group of incredible authors who would work with her to create an appealing anthology dedicated to Austen’s rakes and rogues, so it was with great expectations that I started reading Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, and I must say I did not get disappointed.

I don’t really like the box of chocolates analogy but I can’t think of a better way to describe this anthology. In Dangerous to Know we will find 11 stories which will focus on Austen’s rakes, rogues and I dare say gentleman, because let’s face it, who can ever consider Colonel Fitzwilliam a rogue?

With such a group of authors and an experienced editor, I was bound to love this book and what I loved the most about it was the fact that we never knew what we would find, hence the box of chocolates. As we finish one story and move along to the next one, we do not know which is the character we will find, if it will be a prequel, different POV, sequel or the sum of the several sub genres. Better yet, we never know if the author decided to redeem the character or not! When I first heard about this anthology I thought that it would give us the point of view of these characters and maybe for that reason we would come to understand their reasoning, but that is not what I found in this book. Some of the characters remain the rogues we know them to be, and that is just perfect because it makes us wonder at every story.

The creativity of these authors were also part of why I liked this book so much. There were many original characters that I learned to love or hate, which is always a desirable effect in a book, and I saw sides of some characters I never expected to see. They have also made me love stories about characters I really despise such as Sir Walter Elliot. I didn’t come to like him, by the contrary, I think I ended up despising him even more than I did before, but I did love the story, and that is the beauty of this anthology. Even if we hate the characters about whom we are reading, we are still captivated by their story and have a true pleasure reading it. That is why I think everybody will like this book, because it is not so much about the characters, but about their stories and Austen’s world. The stories explore areas unexplored by Austen but that sound familiar to the reader nonetheless and that could only be accomplished by talented authors who know quite well the attributes of her work.

This book is perfect to be savoured through time, I think it will enhance the reading experience to read one story per day as it will allow the reader to focus on each character and consider all the possibilities associated to them.

I’m finding these anthologies absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait for Christina’s new project! I wonder what she will do next!! Whatever it is, I know I will read it 🙂

BOOK LITERATI: Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues (Th
  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 14 hours and 4 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: The Quill Ink, LLC
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 25 April 2018
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07CMFSLJ5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

 

Review

This is the first time I have been asked to take part in a blog tour for an audiobook, so I accepted immediately as I like to try something new.  I should point out that book is also available in ebook and physical book if you prefer.

Being a huge Jane Austen fan, this book was a joy to me, especially as this concentrated on those handsome rogues from the novels.  There are eleven stories in this collection, written by different authors, and each tell the back story of those rogues  from each of the books.  The collection features Willoughby’s Crossroads. by Joanne Starnes (Sense and Sensibility); A Wicked Game by Katie Oliver (George Whickham, Pride and Prejudice); Fitzwilliam’s Folly by Beau North (Pride and Prejudice); The Address of a Frenchwoman by Lona Manning (Thomas Bertram, Mansfield Park); Last Letter to Mansfield by Brooke West (Henry Crawford, Mansfield Park); An Honest Man by Karen M Cox (Frank Churchill,  Emma); One Fair Claim by Christina Morland (Sir Walter Elliot, Persuasion); The Lost Chapter in the Life of William Elliot by Jeanette James (Persuasion); As Much as He Can by Sophia Rose (General Tilney, Northanger Abbey); The Art of Sinking by J Marie Croft (John Thorpe, Northanger Abbey); For Mischief’s Sake by Amy D’Orazio (Captain Frederik Tilney, Northanger Abbey).

Having read all of Jane Austen’s novels, most of them more than once, I was interested to see how these rogues would be portrayed and what their back story would be.  I was pleasantly surprised at how good these stories were, I am quite protective of Jane Austen and always worry that new authors will ruin it for me, and many have in the past. These stories however, were written in very similar style, and gave a wonderful insight to events only hinted at by Austen herself.  My favourite, I think, was Frank Churchill’s story from Emma.  It was hoped that Frank would wed Emma, but we learn of his relationship with Jane Fairfax “a woman of no fortune”.  In an Honest Man we learn of Frank’s childhood, where he was brought up by his aunt and uncle after the death of his mother, and his original courting of Jane, and goes onto tell us the conclusion to this story.

All of these rogues are charming, handsome and lets face it, we all like a bad boy, especially in uniform as most of these men are.  There wasn’t one story I didn’t like, all were well written, true to the origional Austen style, and for me beautifully narrated by André Refig.  André has a wonderful voice, the perfect English accent that suits the characters, and brings these Gentleman Rogues to life.  André’s resume is vast including acting in Shakespeare and being part of musical theatre and Opera.  He has kindly given me an interview which is at the end of this review.  Personally, I think this works superbly as an audiobook, probably better than a reading copy, so much more is gained by listening to the stories, the characters come to life, and the nuances of the characters come through in the vocal performance. I highly recommend this in audiobook format.

This is a perfect read for Jane Austen fans.  These rogues get to to tell their story, the reasons behind their behaviour, and what became of them.  There are many other characters you will remember from the books; the gorgeous Mr Darcy appears in several of these stories, which I also loved.  All the authors write with a flowing style and treat these characters with the care and respect they deserve.  A superb set of stories, and one I highly recommend.

 

 

 

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I’m an actor and voice artist. I’ve been working as an actor for 10 years now, mostly on stage, having performed a mixture of modern plays, musical theatre, operetta, Shakespeare and children’s theatre. I’ve also been working as a voice artist for about 6 years, voicing explainer videos, E-Learning, computer games and most recently, audiobooks.

What drew you to be the narrator for Dangerous To Know?
I was approached by Christina Boyd, the editor, who asked if I wanted to audition to narrate this anthology. I submitted an audition and then was lucky enough to be chosen. I think what drew me to it was the quality of the writing, the variety of different characters I had to portray and of course the chance to play Jane Austen’s most infamous cads.

Do you have a favourite Jane Austen Book?
My favourite Jane Austen book would have to be Pride and Prejudice. I feel that I empathise more with the protagonists than in any of her other novels.

This books is about the gentlemen rogues and cads in Jane Austen’s books, who is your favourite rogue?
I can’t say I have a favourite Austen rogue, I think they’re all very interesting and different in their own ways.

What makes a good rogue?
I think a good rogue has to be charming, while being someone you know you shouldn’t be mixing with. The best rogues are fully fleshed out three-dimensional characters, whose faults are usually only visible to the reading/listening public, but not always to the protagonist.

Could you tell me a bit about the process of recording an audiobook?
I guess everyone’s process is different. In my case, I read the story first of course, then think about the overall style and find voices for all of the specific characters. I then record it, usually in sessions of about 2-3 hours. In the case of this anthology, I tried to record each individual story in one session. Then I edit, listening through the recording, noting down errors or things I’d like to improve and doing some post-processing (improving the sound quality). I then re-record any corrections or changes, do the final edit and submit that story. Depending on feedback, I might have to re-record some parts before uploading once again.

You have an extensive CV in the arts field, an actor in works by Shakespeare and Gilbert and Sullivan, singer in musicals and opera, what is your favourite genre of the arts?
My favourite genres are Shakespeare and Sondheim but I think what I actually love the most is the sheer variety of different genres.

You seem so busy, but what type of books do like to read?
I have to admit I don’t get the time to read as much as I’d like. When I do find the time, I suppose I read a mixture of classic literature, non-fiction (mostly popular science), whodunnits and fantasy.

Finally, if you had a choice to play the romantic hero or the gentleman rogue in one of Jane Austen’s novels, which would you prefer and why?
Normally, I would choose the gentleman rogue as they do tend to be more fun to play, but in the case of Jane Austen’s novels, I would be equally happy to play the romantic hero as she writes them so well.

 

 

DANGEROUS TO KNOW Shortlisted for Book of the Month

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues by Various authors :

by Joana Starnes, Katie Oliver, Karen M Cox, Jenetta James, Beau North, J. Marie Croft, Christina Morland, Lona Manning, A. D'Orazio, Christina Boyd  (Editor)

shortlisted for Book of the Month



AMAZON UK £3.68

AMAZON US $4.90 

AMAZON CA $6.38


Jane Austen fan-fiction
1800s

‘ “One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” Jane Austen. Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms ... a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken...by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. "Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues" is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily...but heaven help us if we marry one.’

To dip in and out of short stories is a blessing sometimes after a busy day, or on a journey, when it is not always desirable to become engrossed in a two-or-three-hundred page novel. This Jane Austen spin-off is a delight. I guess all of us who are familiar with Austen’s novels have often wondered more about the background lives of the important sub-characters: Willoughby, Wickham, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Thomas Bertram et al, as these authors obviously have – and their ‘wonderings’ have paid off nicely.

Some stories are tongue-in-cheek, some somewhat sad, some intriguing, some imaginative: yes some are better than others, but that is a matter of personal taste for they are all well- and cleverly-written with well-portrayed characters and lovely touches of witty humour, or tear-jerking episodes of sadness. I could, at times, almost expect to hear Ms Austen gulping back a tear or chuckling quietly to herself whilst browsing through the lives of these scoundrels, rakes and rogues.

Most excellent about this compilation of stories is how the individual authors have skilfully retained the feel of Austen’s original novels, through attention to detail, dialogue and a very good research of  the period.

Perhaps it is not original (I think I have heard this as a joke elsewhere) but one line which made me laugh out loud was ‘'I'd have married her if it wasn't for something she said... she said no.”

Good stuff.

Diary of an Eccentric Reviews "Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentleme

Editor Christina Boyd and her team of Austenesque authors have done it again with her latest anthology, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues. I absolutely loved The Darcy Monologues, so when I heard about this collection, I knew I had to read it, and it lived up to my expectations and more. I love to read about the bad boys in Austen’s novels because they make things more exciting, and I have often wondered what led them astray. The 11 stories in this anthology cover all of Austen’s infamous bad boys and anti-heroes, and while I enjoyed each story on its own, reading them together was even more delicious.

The collection features: “Willoughby’s Crossroads” (John Willoughby, Sense and Sensibility) by Joana Starnes; “A Wicked Game” (George Wickham, Pride and Prejudice) by Katie Oliver; “Fitzwilliam’s Folly” (Colonel Fitzwilliam, Pride and Prejudice) by Beau North; “The Address of a Frenchwoman” (Thomas Bertram, Mansfield Park) by Lona Manning; “Last Letter to Mansfield” (Henry Crawford, Mansfield Park) by Brooke West; “An Honest Man” (Frank Churchill, Emma) by Karen M Cox; “One Fair Claim” (Sir Walter Elliot, Persuasion) by Christina Morland; “The Lost Chapter in the Life of William Elliot” (William Elliot, Persuasion) by Jenetta James; “As Much as He Can” (General Tilney, Northanger Abbey) by Sophia Rose; “The Art of Sinking” (John Thorpe, Northanger Abbey) by J. Marie Croft; “For Mischief’s Sake” (Captain Frederick Tilney, Northanger Abbey) by Amy D’Orazio

It should come as no surprise that my favorite of all the stories was “Fitzwilliam’s Folly” by Beau North because I am a sucker for a good story about the colonel. The agreement he makes with an American heiress shunned by ton was clever, and I loved the bit of action and even getting a glimpse of Mr. Darcy after his failed proposal at Hunsford. I enjoyed the glimpse of the obnoxiously vain Sir Walter Elliot and how he went about choosing a bride in “One Fair Claim,” and he was just as delightfully silly in his youth. But what surprised me is the ability of these authors to make me feel some compassion for the characters I love to hate, like the heartache experienced by George Wickham and Tom Bertram in their stories, which emphasized the complexity of Austen’s characters. Still others will never change, but I felt like I understood their motivations a bit more.

Dangerous to Know is a must-read for those looking for something new in the realm of Austen-inspired fiction. Some of the stories were steamy and passionate, some were more humorous, but all of them make you take another, deeper look at Austen’s rakes and rogues and make you feel something more than contempt.

Early Reviews are Trickling in to Amazon

This is an anthology to read slowly for full enjoyment. Each rake and/or rogue has a story that is unique and excellent while staying true to Jane Austen's characterization. It's always a welcome treat when a book, novella or short story is well edited, and these all show Christina Boyd's attention to detail; you won't find those distracting punctuation, grammar or spelling errors anywhere. Take your time. Step away after a tale or two and then come back for more later. You won't want to rush through and miss any of the delicious morsels contained in these short stories.

Even the most prudish of readers can enjoy this book because it offers us a sexual content rating of 1 to 5 for each story, ranging from "none" to "erotic." Interestingly, none are in the 5 category ("explicit, abundance of sex"), though there are a few 3's ("some sexual references but not explicit") and 4's ("some nudity and some provocative sex"). Most are rated 1 ("possible kissing and affection") or 2 ("kissing"). Wouldn't it be nice if all books used this kind of rating system!

There are 11 different stories by 11 different authors, each focusing on a different Jane Austen "bad boy." Unfortunately, there are just too many to describe individually in a review, but I found it fascinating to read how the various authors addressed their "assigned" rogues. Sorry, girls, but in several cases, the tipping point that turns a possibly respectable man into a rogue is a heartless female. However, other men have the opposite experience: their rakish ways are tamed by the love of a sweet soulmate. In one story, the gentleman (and the reader) is in for a huge surprise when he learns the true reason for his love's refusal of his marriage proposal. Yet another has a softer side beyond Austen's very hard-edged treatment of him. One gentleman has numerous acquaintances from several Austen books who are mentioned or have cameo appearances at various points in his story. Like Elizabeth Bennet, I dearly love to laugh, and so my favorite short story features the most buffoon-like character of the book, whose misadventures are all the result of his own misguided actions.

How was Jane Austen able to imagine these characters into existence in the first place? Don't skip the Prelude. Claudine Pepe has researched it and gives the reader her insight into that question.

Although I love the previous collection in this editor's The Darcy Monologues, I believe this group of stories is even better.

Goodreads

The well-drawn rakes and rogues in Jane Austen’s novels leap off the page. Happily, Christina Boyd has gathered a group of authors in this anthology who provide a place for these “gentlemen” to land. The characters we love to hate all have stories of their own. If you ever held any curiosity about John Willoughby’s formative romantic encounters, pondered the fate of Lydia Bennet and George Wickham, or wondered about the backstory of Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax, you will feast on the stories these eleven talented authors have concocted. “Dangerous to Know” is the perfect companion piece to the beloved Jane Austen canon.Diane Michaels, author of "Ellen the Harpist"

Jane Austen Runs My Life Reviews #RakesAndGentlemenRogues (Part 1)

  

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December 10, 2018 by Moreland

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd

So last year I was contacted by the remarkable Christina Boyd to read and review The Darcy Monologues. It contained stories from Susan Adriani, Sara Angelini, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Jan Hahn, Jenetta James, Lory Lilian, KaraLynne Mackrory, Beau North, Ruth Phillips Oakland, Natalie Richards, Sophia Rose, Melanie Stanford, Joana Starnes, and Caitlin Williams.

 

The stories were all told from Darcy’s point of view with half the book set in the Regency Era and the other half set in different time periods (from 1880s Western to modern times). I really loved it! It was just so refreshing to see a point of view that is often overlooked or not done well. Just like the movies, there are many different forms of Darcy, so you have your pick of Darcy-being sure to find one, two, or more to love.

 

After that project, Christina Boyd teamed up with Karen M. Cox: J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Katie Oliver, Sophia Ros, Joana Starnes, and Brooke West for a new book. Instead of Darcy, this one will be on the rogues and rakes of the Austen books-Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Wickham, Captain Tilney, General Tilney, Mr. Elliot, Mr. Thorpe, and more.

 

I promised to read and review it but unfortunately life got in the way and I was unable to do it.

 

I hate breaking a promise, that is my number-one most hated thing of all time.

 

So now things are back on track. And this will be the first of a few posts as I am going to break them up. Why?

Hmm…

Well…this is about rakes and rogues, so you know…they aren’t the best of men or respectful…you know…so some of them are going to be more sexy.

Hmm…

And I just want to say thank you to Christina Boyd for including this little chart to help you:

Mature Content Guidelines:

  1. None: Possible kissing and affection.
  2. Mild: Kissing.
  3. Moderate: Some sexual references but not explicit.
  4. Mature: Some nudity and some provocative sex.
  5. Erotic: Explicit, abundance of sex.

Because not everyone is interested in books like this:

 

It’s nice giving us a head’s up so those that aren’t interested know to skip or skim, or those that do can enjoy.

Something for everyone

I will review them all, starting with the none in this post, the next will cover mild, then moderate, etc.

I am very excited as I loved The Darcy Monologues and I can’t wait to see what these authors are going to do with the bad boys of Jane Austen.

 

This idea really interested me as we don’t know much about these bad boys, except for Wickham. Some of them aren’t even main characters, only in the story for a bit, but all play crucial roles in the path the story takes. So there is a lot of wiggle room for these authors and all kinds of scenarios and directions they could take. And almost-the original story can’t be changed-anything could happen…

 

 

The Art of Sinking by J. Marie Croft

 

So this one is on John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey. Let’s get his stats:

  • Liar
  • Unscrupulous
  • Rude
  • Braggart
  • Only interested in horses, carriages, money and drinking
  • Manipulative
  • Narcissist
  • He lies to everyone about how wealthy Catherine is-as that is what he has made up in his head
  • He lies about the Tilneys to try and get Catherine away from them.

 

There is not enough hate in the world to give him what he deserves.

Ugh

Okay first let me say, I love that Croft uses the first quote from Northanger Abbey and tweaks it about Thorpe, showcasing his buffoonery. This is a ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) so I can put in the actual quote. But yeah-

 

In this we see where John gets his  lying streak from. He learns from his mother how to “stretch” the truth. He doesn’t get anywhere or do anything on his own, but manages to skirt through his life through his big mouth. He was never disciplined and basically believes he can do no wrong.

 

And I have to say that Croft is amazing at crafting all kinds of little jabs, puns, etc. This was such a pleasure to read.

I like it.

But John really crafts his skill when he goes to university. He doesn’t study, but tries to make “connections”, gambles, spends all his money on drink, women, gambling, etc. He and Isabella scheme to get rich wives and husbands, his plan to get his sister to hook his friend James Morland and he to get his sister.

 

But, before that scheme he has another. He bets that before the term ends he will bed a married woman. He stupidly believes Mrs. Waters, an elegant married woman, has the hots for him.

Uh no.

She learns of his scheme and both her husband and her unwittingly plan schemes of their own. Mr. Waters bets him to see of his wife will succumb, and Mrs. Waters plans a Shakespearean worthy scam. Mrs. Waters tricks him into the super smelly,stinky laundry and dump him in the river.

 

He tries again with Mrs. Fields, but that ends up with a dog attacking him, getting beat by the husband, and thrown again the river.

 

Isn’t nice to see people get what they so deserve.

 

He tries again with Mrs. North, but when he gets there he finds not just that woman but the previous two. They try to force him in the laundry, send the pug after him, and all three women dump him in the river in front of everyone.

 

What Did I Think: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha I LOVE it!!!

 

For more by J. Marie Croft, go to From the Ashes in The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

 

For Mischief’s Sake by Amy D’Orazio

 

Fredrick Tilney…ugh…onw of the most awful men ever. Hate him! He makes me think of James Spader in Pretty in Pink

 

  • Handsome
  • Rich
  • Narcissist
  • Class A totally complete 100% jerkwad
  • Cares about nothing and nobody
  • Uses girls, takes what he wants and then dumps them-without caring a fig for their reputation, life, what will become of them.

I’d like to punch him in the face!

 

So this starts off with Captain Fredrick Tilney, brother to Henry Tilney, going to be in a duel after seducing his friends fiance. He stops the duel by telling his friend he did it “for his own good”. That he did it to prove his fiance was “unfaithful” and that he is “better off” without her.

 

HATE HIM!!! HATE HIM!!!! NO real friend would do that. Now I want to punch him in the face and the balls. Excuse my anger.

 

He learned this from his father, General Tilney, when he fell for a girl and his dad believed she was untrue. General Tilney seduced her, and Fredrick has “made it his mission” to do so for all his friends.

 

You know who else has creepy evil missions, serial killers! Yes, serial killers. He as evil as a serial killer.

 

A year later, General Tilney is furious that Henry has proposed to Catherine who has nothing in his estimation. Fredrick tries to reason with his brother:

 

No dice. The General sends Fredrick down to take her down.

 

He does and this is one of the best scenes ever! He sees that she is naive and thinks she’s just right for the kill. He throws down his classic seduction moves and Catherine…she cries. She weeps, she sobs, she is utterly heartbroken that Captain Tilney has been so hurt, so heartbroken, so betrayed that he has become this man in his grief. She laments over what happened to him, she is honored that he has shared this secret self as it is a mark of bonding as they are going to be siblings.

What?

When seduction doesn’t work, he tries logic. He spells out clearly that his father will never approve of the match, but Catherine ignores him believing love will find a way. Fredrick was proved wrong twice, as his father rescinds and they do marry. That conversation sticks with him…

 

At a ball one night he sees a vision of loveliness, wowed by her but then realizes it is Miss Rose Gibson, the woman he seduced in the beginning of the story.  She hates him with a passion, but Fredrick has been struck by cupid’s arrow (but doesn’t realize it yet). Miss Gibson is an amazing woman who has no fear-she throws herself in front of the wolves by going to balls, parties, etc even tough she is a fallen woman. Fredrick befriends her and realizes that there was a lot more too her. He never saw her as more than a body before.

 

Love, love love the conversations. Fredrick is all (I’m paraphasing and using my own words nothing is a direct quote, just fyi) a woman just wants the richest man they can get, women be gold diggers. And then Rose is all, so what a man just wants the richest woman they can get, but she also has to be drop-dead gorgeous, accomplished, baby-bearing, etc.-how’s that fair? Fredrick is all women are just after security-while Rose is like when a woman gets married they go from being controlled by father to husband. Boom Rose-you are one awesome lady. Suck on that Fredrick! You suck!

 

The best is this-“If the vows were what I awaited to gain his loyalty,’ she said, ‘then I suppose he should have expected likewise from me.” BOOM BOOM BOOM. Yeah! Why does the guy get to be going in all kinds of brothels and being with all kinds of ladies and no one bats an eye, but then she is seduced and life is over. Not fair, not cool. Although I will say, that Rose does take responsibility for her actions and the mistake that she made with Fredrick. She doesn’t solely blame him-I think she is awesome.

 

Fredrick realizes he loves her, but he tries and tries proposing and each time is rejected.

 

What can he do? He decides to turn to the biggest romantic and the only one who can help, his sister-in-law: Catherine Morland-Tilney.

I’ve got my popcorn ready, it’s going to be good.

What Did I Think:

I LOOOOOOVEEEEED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t think it was possible to like Fredrick Tilney, like I literally thought it was impossible. But I did. D’Orazio is a revolutionary, can perform a miracle-seriously.

Squee! I loved it!

 

One Fair Claim by Christina Morland

 

So this story is about Sir Walter Elliot:

 

I hate him. He’s a major jerk.

  • All he cares about is physical apperance
  • He is critical
  • Rude
  • Spendthrift
  • Doesn’t care about anyone but himself

Will I continue to hate him or see him in a new light?

 

The story starts in March of 1784, and Sir Walter…

 

Is being Sir Walter…

Ugh

Commenting on people’s looks, the fact that he is lucky that the arm band (meaning a relative has died) doesn’t ruin his outfit…

 

He has “fallen in love”- ultimately chosen-Miss Elizabeth Stevenson because she is sweet and naive-flattering and playing to his ego.  Also she has “perfect skin”-no freckles, lines, blemishes, moles, sags, etc…so of course she will be perfect to procreate.

 

But there is another man interested. There is a new vicar of Monkford Parish, who is “ugly”-he sweats, has a large nose, double chin, cares more about others than his personal appearance.

 

Sir Walter gets second thoughts when it appears that Elizabeth reads! The horror! An intellectual…and reading! We all know how he hates that.

 

We then move to July 1784 when they are to be married. Elizabeth has the blinders on and believes him to be better than he really is-seeing him as caring for others when he only cares about himself. Unfortunately, Elizabeth chains herself to that jerk. She gets a sad wake up call when his wedding gift is a copy of the Barontency-yes a book about him and his whole family. What a narcissistic jerkwad.

 

1790-They have been married and Elizabeth has been hit with the truth of her situation, trying to make the best of it. She spends most of her free time helping take care of the orphans and poor until she dies.

 

After her death, a letter for Anne from her mother was left, but Sir Walter burns it as he doesn’t want Anne’s eyes opened. Anne is the only one that received the personality of her mother, as Elizabeth and Mary are all Sir Walter.

What Did I Think?: I didn’t know it was possible to hate a character more than you already do. But Christina Morland changed that.

I will say that when Sir Walter doesn’t believe in “passion so strong” that you “get it on” in the grime, dirt, and dust-I actually agreed with him. I don’t get that either. I agreed with Sir Walter. I think my life just ended.

I loved it, I think Morland did a fantastic job, I loved it. I love hating people more that I already hate.

 

 

As Much as He Can by Sophia Rose

 

So I have to admit, when I saw Sophia Rose’s name I got SUPER excited!!! I loved her story in The Darcy Monologues-if you haven’t read it, you need to.

 

Anyways, this is about General Tilney:

  • Conniving
  • Mean
  • Controlling
  • Jerk
  • Uses children as pawns
  • Wants to make more money through children

He and Eleanor Young in Crazy Rich Asians would be perfect for each other.

 

The story begins in 1799, with a party at Northanger Abbey. General Tilney is trying to maneuver a more suitable match for his daughter Eleanor and trying to get Henry Tilney to move his interest from  Catherine, but no dice so far.

 

He starts thinking back to when he met their mother-Genevieve. General Tilney is thought to be unfeeling or a villian-but is that how he really felt about her?

 

March 1768-General Tilney-Major then, is coming for his best friend’s, Longtown, wedding (wow another Crazy Rich Asians flashback). His other friend Courtenay is engaged and his fiance is hoping that Tilney can help them out. Her friend, Miss Genevieve Drummond needs attention and a partner for some of the dances. But Tilney isn’t interested as Miss Freethy is the woman he wants, having meet and spent time with her in Jamaica- he stationed her visiting.

 

Tilney and marriage is something that he and his father fought over-his dad parading “suitable” women of his choice in front of Tilney. He never wants to be like that and ran away to the army. Since then his father has given him no money-and Tilney has had to go it on his own.

 

Tilney spends the night with Miss Drummond and really enjoys it, but still has his eyes on Miss Freethy trying to sneak away to talk to her as soon as he can.

But Miss Freethy is not interested in Tilney anymore. He was just a flavor of the month for her. She set her eyes on Lord Stanbridge, an Earl with great land and money. Tilney is not heartbroken, but angry, embarrassed, and betrayed.

 

While Tilney is in sorrow, Miss Drummond proposes to him.

What?

Yes, Miss Drummond had a fortune-hunter after her and was greatly humiliated and talked about. That’s why her friends had to hunt up someone to give her “attention.” She does not want to return to her father’s or aunt’s household-where the humiliation and lecturing will continue. She knows that Tilney will face the same humiliation and wants to propose marriage to Mr. Tilney. The humiliation will stop as the ton will reverse and talk about the nuptials, how Tilney spurned Miss Freethy for Miss Drummond, and how Miss Drummond scooped up a winner.

 

Tilney turns him down as Miss Drummond is lower than him, and does not have the connections and wealth Miss Freethy had. He is a total jerk when he does too-awful.

 

So the friend’s wedding comes and goes, but the tongues are wagging about Tilney being Miss Freethy’s little toy soldier. Tilney thinks over the proposal more and more and meets up with her later. He sees her again and can’t believe that he didn’t see how beautiful she was before. He accepts her proposal and they are married-forget his father.

 

The two were married and became “partners” in their venture. Tilney did all he could to hold up his end of the deal, getting her the things she wanted.

This remembrance made him realize he does not want to be his father and he lets Eleanor and Henry marry the people of their dreams.

What Did I Think?: So adorable. I never thought I would ever like General Tilney, ever-even a little bit. He’s so rude and just-urgh, yuck. But in this I felt for him, I liked him! I thought it was absolutely adorable and just loved it. 

 

For more by Sophia Rose, go to Darcy Strikes Out in The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

 

So far what do I think? I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED It!!! This stories were great! Some people I absolutely hated, I found myself loving! And others I hated I found myself hating more! It was amazing and I found myself having a hard time putting it down as I wanted to read more and more.

 

But will I love the others? I don’t know, we will have to wait and see!

 

 

 

  

Jane Austen Runs My Life Reviews #RakesAndGentlemenRogues (Part 2)

So today is Jane Austen’s birthday!

 

And what better gift than a review of:

 

 

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues edited by Christina Boyd

So it’s that time again, bring out the bad boys:

 

For those of you who missed post one, Dangerous to Know, is compilation novel of the bad boys of Jane Austen-Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Wickham, Captain Tilney, General Tilney, Mr. Elliot, Mr. Thorpe, and more.

 

Each story takes place before the Austen book, during the book, or after the book-giving us a look into these guys’ minds and from their point of view. One of the most interesting things about this subject is that we don’t know a lot about these bad boys in Austen’s work. Most of these men, besides Wickham, play a small role-but have a big impact. This allows the authors a ton of wiggle room and almost anything can happen.

 

The other thing about this book is that…well…this is about rakes and rogues, so you know…they aren’t the best of men or respectful…you know…so some of them are going to be more sexy.

Hmm…

And I just want to say thank you to Christina Boyd for including this little chart to help you:

Mature Content Guidelines:

  1. None: Possible kissing and affection.
  2. Mild: Kissing.
  3. Moderate: Some sexual references but not explicit.
  4. Mature: Some nudity and some provocative sex.
  5. Erotic: Explicit, abundance of sex.

Because not everyone is interested in books like this:

 

It’s nice giving us a head’s up so those that aren’t interested know to skip or skim, or those that are, can enjoy.

Something for everyone

So last time I reviewed the none posts, in which we had a stories on Captain Fredrick Tilney, General Tilney and John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey; along with Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion. I loved these stories as some of these men I love to hate and it made me hate them ever more:

 

And some men I have hated and actually began to like them:

 

I know, but true.

 

Let me say, that if you can get me-one of the most stubborn people in the world-to change their thinking…that is some fantastic writing.

 

So now onto the mild posts-just to refresh you memory, that means kissing.

 

 

The Address of a Frenchwoman by Lora Manning

 

So when I saw that this story was about Tom Bertram I was surprised and confused.

Huh?

I never really saw him as a rogue or rake-to be honest I have never really focused on him when reading the story- and with how awful Henry Crawford is in that story, his rogueness overshadowed all.

 

But after reading this I really started thinking about his character and Manning is right. Tom Bertram is the oldest son-a gambler, drinker, and partier. Because of him, they have to sell his brother, Edmund Bertram’s, living-parsonage-to strangers.

 

He’s a man born into a life of privilege, gambles, sleeps around, and never considers how his actions affect others, nor does he care-like F. Scott Fitzgerald says-

“They were careless people…they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

But unlike the other bad boys, he does change after a long illness. When he gets through it, he begins to think of his life differently.

 

In this story, Tom is telling his friends a story about how he met his dream girl, a French woman, Rose. It all started when he visited a racetrack to place a bet. He is interrupted when a beautiful French woman is being assaulted by two ruffians. Tom steps in to help her, and finds himself smitten.

 

They have so much in common, they spend all their time together-except when Rose has to work, singing, to pay for all the aid she received in her escape from the Reign of Terror. Tom wishes to marry her, but she turns him down.

 

Disheartened, despondent, he returns home to put on a risqué play, but is thwarted by his father. From there he goes off again to the racetrack and runs into  horrifying truth that brings his undoing. Rose is not at all who she seems…

 

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was really good. I figured out the end of the tale in the beginning, but that didn’t take away from the story. I also liked how the author wrote the Rose character. I found it to be very enjoyable.

 

Fitzwilliam’s Folly by Beau North

 

Like the previous story when I saw that Darcy’s cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam was included as a rogue or rake I was confused.

 

I mean he seemed like a nice guy to me.

Hmm…

So I began to think about it.

Hmmm….

I have to say that I realize his behavior with Elizabeth was not okay. I mean if someone were to flirt with my friend the way he does with Elizabeth and then just flatly drops her with “we can never be together, you aren’t rich enough”-is a total jerkwad. And I would take that sucker down!

 

So Colonel Fitzwilliam is a second son, and we all know how that works. Second sons need a profession and to marry money…

 

So the story starts off with Colonel Fitzwilliam on his horse riding off in a hurry after someone…

 

We then cut to…

Six Months Earlier

Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy leave their aunt, Lady Catherine, to return to their homes. Darcy is heartbroken over Elizabeth’s refusal, while Fitzwilliam is also puzzled as to why she said no.

 

Fitzwilliam resumes life as normal, heading to Lady Snowley’s ball to oogle the women, but their attempts at him are in vain-as cupid’s arrows will never strike him…

 

This ball is different from all the others as Fitzwilliam receives a proposal.

Huh?

Calliope Campbell is the eldest of three girls. Her father is an American who has made a lot of money, nouveau riche, and the family is on the prowl for title gentlemen to wed their girls off to. Like in The Buccaneers or the marriage of Cora to the Earl of Grantham, Robert Crawley, in Downton Abbey. Needless to say, her parents are eager to get their girls settled.

 

However, Calliope is tired of being treated like a cow up for auction and has hatched a plan. She wishes to hire Colonel Fitzwilliam to “court” her-not compromise her, but turn away her other suitors (especially General Harrington yuck!)-so that she remains an old maid. In turn when she receives her majority and inheritance, she will give him £8000.

 

Fitzwilliam is horrified at this vulgar proposal and turns her down flat. However…Fitzwilliam goes to visit a very upset and sloshed Darcy. He joins him and later wakes up with a massive hangover in his family home. There he gets more news of his older brother’s profligate ways and that proposal is sounding better and better.

Hmmm….

Fitzwilliam agrees to Calliope’s terms and begins spending time with her…and starts falling for her. He finds her irresistible, her family loves him as he is from an important family…but there is one fly in the soup: the General. The General will not give up as he wants that fortune. He and Fitzwilliam compete-but then Calliope is kidnapped! Will Fitzwilliam save her in time?

 

Thoughts After Reading:

I LOVED this!!!!! Fitzwilliam is a character that could go in any direction, and I liked how North wrote him. I also loved the ending as…I can’t give it away, it was too good. You must read it yourself.

 

Some may say this story has been done before, but I don’t care what they say. I loved the characters and I had to keep flipping pages to find out what happened next. As I said before, you must read it!!!!!!

 

For more by Beau North, go to You Don’t Own Me in The Darcy Monologues: Part II, Other Eras

 

So now that we have reviewed the stories let’s talk about the other question on people’s minds: How sexy was the sexy parts?

 

My conclusion is that it wasn’t that sexy. Mostly the narrator’s talk about the women’s curves, oogling their decolletage, kissing ( I think they might have mentioned tongue.) But nothing too crazy.

 

 

So I really enjoyed these two as well. I felt that the authors did a fantastic job of keeping Austen foundation, along with fleshing them out.  I LOOOOVED it! So hard to put down!

 

But will I continue to enjoy it?

Hmmm…

I guess we will find out in the next installment MODERATE.

 

Just Jane 1813: "insightful, brilliantly plotted...emotive tension...dryhumor"

As a self-proclaimed Janeite with a penchant for a few of her bad boys, (think John Willoughby, especially when he’s played by the dashing Greg Wise!) I looked forward to getting lost in a world where maybe, just maybe, I could squeeze out even a bit more empathy, and yes, some small amount of adoration for the rakes and rogues that serve as foils for her heroes and who wind up teaching her heroines a thing or two about the kind of men they should truly set their caps for in her stories. Yet, Jane Austen knew even 200 years ago, as well as we do today, that a bad boy can also be easy to fall in love with. So here in “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues,” we find ourselves falling in love (or in at least a state of very amicable feelings) for the bad boys of literature who were once deemed too dangerous to dabble with by any proper lady.

This evolution of our feelings could only happen at the very skilled hands of a writer who knows how to breathe new life into a character that others have since discarded or deemed unredeemable and that’s the talent that drives this collection of stories. Christina Boyd, editor of “The Darcy Monologues,” as well as a bevy of other Austenesque books that I love, has carefully matched this grouping of rakes and gentleman rogues from Jane Austen’s stories and has invited the perfect mix of Austenesque writers to skillfully tell the backstories based on these men in a way that illuminates their histories and allows readers a chance to take another look at them. After all, who better to write about Frank Churchill, than Karen M Cox, who just published her own modern retelling of “Emma” or Lona Manning to tell Tom Bertram’s story, as she’s also currently writing a sequel to her “Mansfield Park” variation, “A Contrary Wind?” If you look closely at the list of authors and the gentlemen they have been matched up with, you’ll see the connections between most of these matches.

As a fan of Jane Austen Fan Fiction, I can’t imagine a lover of Austenesque fiction not wanting to devour each and every one of these stories. Simply stated, these stories are, from start to finish, insightful, brilliantly plotted, and layered with that terrific combination of emotive tension and dry humor that Austenesque readers find so entertaining. Would I want to marry one of these men? Probably not! Would I like to be one of the women in these stories for a short time? Sure! Being John Willoughby’s first “love,” (thank you, Joana Starnes!) would have its thrills, paying my addresses to Tom Bertram could certainly be some time well spent and having two men at the center of a fierce duel fought over me (Loved your Captain Tilney, Amy D’Orazio!) could have its charms. But in the long haul, these are not the men you want waiting for you as you walk down the aisle on your wedding day.

However, not all of these stories shine a flattering light on each rake or rogue. Some stories are rather gritty and offer an edge to these characters that I loved pondering about in my mind. I loved how the authors related many of these stories to canon and fleshed out a whole new way for me to understand these men. The quotes that open each chapter from canon really set the short stories up nicely and I appreciated the background information that was offered as a mini Austenesque-refresher so that even if you haven’t picked up one of these stories in twenty-plus years, (gosh, it really is time I reread “Northanger Abbey!”) you can immediately find yourself enjoying the story based on the specific rake or rogue that the story is based on in the anthology.

All of the stories take place during the Regency era, which I believe will appeal to Austenesque readers who love being immersed in the manners and the culture of Austen’s era. I think the sequence of the stories was also another strength, as the order allowed a subtle connection to be felt between the stories, either due to the connections between the stories and/or the characters. The anthology also includes a mature content rating system, to inform readers of the various levels of mature content throughout this collection of stories. From beginning to end, I loved the well-drawn characters, the clever plot twists, and my time well spent with these bad boys from Austen’s literature.“Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues” belongs on every Austenesque readers’ bookshelf! 

Margie's Must Reads: blogger

I am not a big fan of anthologies, they’re hit or miss with me but how on earth could I say no to Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues? Yeah, I simply could not! As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have ever turned down an Austen Anthology. #Austenite ♥♥♥♥ Well needless to say, Christina and Crew do it again! They take our favorite scoundrels and give them new life! I mean really, who here doesn’t LIVE to LOVE a bad boy? I even feel Darcy is somewhat of a bad boy, a Gentlemen Rogue if you will. I know, I know, I know, these stories (although he has a cameo in a few) are not about him, but what is life without Mr. Darcy after all? Sorry back to the Rakes, these short stories were nothing short of amazing! I loved them all but I really came to love Colonel Fitzwilliam all over again. I had so much fun reading these titillating tales and finding redemption in all of our rakes! These stories were sweet, sexy and so so satisfying! I can’t wait to see what else Christina and her band of Janeites will have for us next!  

Prestigious Jane Austen Centre in Bath Shines a Light on "Dangerous to Know: Jan

Written byMeredith Esparza, Posted by Jenni Waugh

After delivering a splendidly successful and praiseworthy short story anthology devoted to Mr. Darcy, editor Christina Boyd and a team of skilled and imaginative authors have decided to join forces again for Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues. This time to divulge the inner workings, untold heartaches, and sometimes scandalous pasts of Jane Austen’s anti-heroes, villains, and charming scoundrels. Eleven roguish characters, eleven talented authors, and eleven fascinating tales of human nature and romance. However the question does remain – can these bad boys be redeemed?

MY READING EXPERIENCE:

All stories in this anthology take place during the Regency period – either during, before, or slightly after the original stories’ timeline. Some of the characters featured in this collection are truly nefarious villains like George Wickham, Henry Crawford, and Captain Tilney, and some are more tame with their bad behavior such as Frank Churchill, John Thorpe, and Colonel Fitzwilliam. In addition, some are gentlemen rogues from the previous generation – Sir Walter Elliot and General Tilney (we know those two are far from innocent!)

I read all the stories in order and I thought it was very clever that they were arranged in accordance with the order of novels published by Jane Austen (starting with Sense and Sensibility and ending with Northanger Abbey). The stories ranged from 22 to 38 pages in length and I mostly read one to two stories in each sitting. (I enjoyed savouring each story and reflecting on it before diving into the next one.) If I were to give a star rating for each individual story, there would be mostly 5 star ratings for all with just one 4.5 or 4 star rating among the group.

MY ASSESSMENT:

How incredibly excited I am that an anthology like this finally exists! Although I adore Mr. Darcy and love reading stories from his point of view, I love it even more when authors shine their spotlights on and flesh out some of Jane Austen’s other creations. Just like with The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know met and exceeded my high expectations and hopeful desires. Each story was thoughtfully composed, skillfully executed, and wonderfully plausible. In addition, I loved the elegant formatting of this compilation and I appreciated all the extra touches like the mature content rating system, foreword, acknowledgments, and informative characters introductions.

However, what I admired and loved most about this anthology was the diverse and unique treatment these rakes and rogues received by the pens of these authors. Some authors revealed the past and gave new understanding of why these characters became unscrupulous cads, while others illustrated how even these hardened rakes can find themselves caught unawares by stirrings of a powerful love. I greatly enjoyed the many creative ways these authors told their tales – the backstories they provided, the clever twists they employed, and the new characters they introduced. I also appreciated the fact that not all these characters were redeemed, and not all lived their lives happily-ever-after – they can’t be like Jane Bennet and make them all good. I admired the honesty about characters and their natures, but I must admit my romantic heart loved seeing some tender tales of how the love of a good woman can irrevocably change a man.

I loved the feelings that these stories evoked in me, and how these thoughtful character developments induced me to feel more sympathy and compassion for these characters than I have ever felt before. Yes, even for the truly nefarious rogues! Their pain and disappointment, their insecurity and jealousy, their remorse and regret, their infatuation and devotion were all sensitively rendered and palpably felt.

CONCLUSION:

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues is another sensational release from Christina Boyd and her team! While this anthology highlights Jane Austen’s bad boys, it also pays tribute to her powers of perception and observations of human nature. I commend Christina and all the talented authors of this anthology for constructing another insightful, stimulating, and remarkably high-caliber anthology for we readers to enjoy! I emphatically recommend!

NOTE: With some stories marked “mature,” I’d recommend this story for mature readers.

Review from OBSESSED WITH MR. DARCY

To be honest, after The Darcy Monologues, I expected and hoped for an anthology from Elizabeth’s point of view. But instead, Christina Boyd, the editor of TDM came up with the idea of having a book about the less liked characters. In Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rouges, Ms Boyd gathered 11 authors to write about 10 bad boys. The book is based on Rousseau’s idea that nobody is naturally evil. The authors did a great job showing us how different circumstances turned the scoundrels into what we had known about them from Jane Austen’s novels. If the aim was to make us fall in love with them, then they were successful. In some cases they managed to “justify” their actions; and I haven’t liked them in the past, after these interpretations I understand them more and not only tolerate them but actually feel for them: for e.g. Willoughby, Wickham, Frank Churchill.

Joana Starnes has managed to write a story where Willoughby is the main character and you can’t help but feel for him. In his story, he is not the worst person, but a woman: Isobel. Cruel woman…poor Willoughby… Ms Starnes rightly lined up more villains in association with Willoughby (Willoughby’s Crossroads), like Lady Susan or Captain Tilney. After all who would be in contact with a rouge if not another rascal.

I have always hated Wickham with passion. Katie Oliver (A Wicked Game) has managed to change it. I feel for Wickham too. I haven’t really thought about that Wickham was brought up as a gentleman, but after all, he was only a son of a servant. Thus, he was in between two worlds, not truly belonging to any of it. Ms Oliver shows this duality very well.

Karen M Cox’s story, An Honest Man, is a typical instance which should have been a full-length novel, an Emma variation from Frank Churchill’s point of view. Great story, and even though it is from a minor character’s point of view, it is very interesting and fascinating.

Other authors chose to write a story where I can’t help but continue to hate the “person”, like Brooke West’s Henry Crawford (Last Letter from Mansfield) and J Marie Croft’s John Thorpe (The Art of Sinking). Great job with those too, as it takes an effort to create a story where you end up loathing the characters more than ever.

I have never considered Sir Walter Elliot, General Tilney, and Colonel Fitzwilliam as a rouge or rake, but I was very glad to read about them as the authors did justice to the characters.

Besides Ms Cox’s writing, another story which should be a full-length novel and would make a delightful Northanger Abbey prequel is Sophia Rose’s As Much as He Can about General Tilney. What a beautiful love story!

As I mentioned, I haven’t considered Sir Walter Elliot as a rouge. Ridiculous, vain, snob- yes, but not a rake, however, Christina Morland came up with a lovely story (One Fair Claim).

I tried to pick a favourite story, but I couldn’t as there are at least 5 which could qualify for the 1st prize.
On the other hand, I can pick a favourite character – OK, not completely true, as I will pick two – who is Miss Campbel (from Beau North‘s story about Colonel Fitzwilliam, Fitzwilliam’s Folly) and Miss Drummond (from Sophia Rose‘s story about General Tilney, As Much as He Can). I can also pick a character who is entitled to get the most annoying /hated character prize [compliment:)]: John Thorpe (J Marie Croft, The Art of Sinking).

Most of the stories are written in first person singular; however, there are a few which mixes first person singular with third person singular.
It comes with a “mature content guideline” and every story is classified by the editor.
It also includes a very interesting foreword by Claudine D. Pepe from Just Jane 1813.

If you think what I did before reading- who cares about minor characters and assholes– you should read it and I promise you will be surprised to see that the stories are interesting and worth to read.

Sketching the Character of Jane Austen's Bad Boys, 5 Stars

OVERVIEW:

After delivering a splendidly successful and praiseworthy short story anthology devoted to Mr. Darcy, editor Christina Boyd and a team of skilled and imaginative authors have decided to join forces again. This time to divulge the inner workings, untold heartaches, and sometimes scandalous pasts of Jane Austen’s anti-heroes, villains, and charming scoundrels. (Can I get a woot woot?!?) Eleven roguish characters, eleven talented authors, and eleven fascinating tales of human nature and romance. However the question does remain – can these bad boys be redeemed?

MY READING EXPERIENCE:

All stories in this anthology take place during the Regency period – either during, before, or slightly after the original stories’ timeline. Some of the characters featured in this collection are truly nefarious villains like George Wickham, Henry Crawford, and Captain Tilney, and some are more tame with their bad behavior such as Frank Churchill, John Thorpe, and Colonel Fitzwilliam. In addition, some are gentlemen rogues from the previous generation – Sir Walter Elliot and General Tilney (we know those two are far from innocent!).

I read all the stories in order and I thought it was very clever that they were arranged in accordance with the order of novels published by Jane Austen (starting with Sense and Sensibility and ending with Northanger Abbey). The stories ranged from 22 to 38 pages in length and I mostly read one to two stories in each sitting. (I enjoyed savoring each story and reflecting on it before diving into the next one.) If I were to give a star rating for each individual story, there would be mostly 5 star ratings for all with just one 4.5 or 4 star rating among the group.

MY ASSESSMENT:

How incredibly excited I am that an anthology like this finally exists! Although I adore Mr. Darcy and love reading stories from his point-of-view, I love it even more when authors shine their spotlights on and flesh out some of Jane Austen’s other creations. Just like with The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know met and exceeded my high expectations and hopeful desires. Each story was thoughtfully composed, skillfully executed, and wonderfully plausible. In addition, I loved the elegant formatting of this compilation and I appreciated all the extra touches like the mature content rating system, foreword, acknowledgments, and informative characters introductions.

However, what I admired and loved most about this anthology was the diverse and unique treatment these rakes and rogues received by the pens of these authors. Some authors revealed the past and gave new understanding of why these characters became unscrupulous cads, while others illustrated how even these hardened rakes can find themselves caught unawares by stirrings of a powerful love. I greatly enjoyed the many creative ways these authors told their tales – the backstories they provided, the clever twists they employed, and the new characters they introduced. I also appreciated the fact that not all these characters were redeemed, and not all lived their lives happily-ever-after – they can’t be like Jane Bennet and make them all good. I admired the honesty about characters and their natures, but I must admit my romantic heart loved seeing some tender tales of how the love of a good woman can irrevocably change a man.

I loved the feelings that these stories evoked in me, and how these thoughtful character developments induced me to feel more sympathy and compassion for these characters than I have ever felt before. Yes, even for the truly nefarious rogues! Their pain and disappoint, their insecurity and jealousy, their remorse and regret, their infatuation and devotion were all sensitively rendered and palpably felt.

CONCLUSION:

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues is another sensational release from Christina Boyd and her team! While this anthology highlights Jane Austen’s bad boys, it also pays tribute to her powers of perception and observations of human nature. I commend Christina and all the talented authors of this anthology for constructing another insightful, stimulating, and remarkably high-caliber anthology for us readers to enjoy!! I emphatically recommend!

WriterGurlNY says...

For every hero, there is a villain. For every romantic leading man who ends up with the romantic leading lady, there is a rogue who fails to keep them apart.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, edited by Christina Boyd, is a series of short stories by a group of authors who delve into the lives and emotions of some of Austen’s male characters who are not typically given the spotlight. The includes Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice, Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion and Mr. Willoughby from Sense And Sensibility.

I really enjoyed this book. As both a writer and a reader, it’s always interesting to look at secondary characters who normally do not receive the same attention as the leading characters. Like any writer, Austen spent most of her time focusing on her main characters, opening the door for other writers to focus on characters normally do not receive the same attention.

I recommend it.

News
12/17/2017
#RakesandGentlemenRogues Blog Tour, I have Christina Morland's "One Fair Claim"

Feature, Excerpt & Giveaway | Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen rogues

by Christina Boyd, Karen M. Cox, Amy D'Orazio, Sophia Rose, Brooke West, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Katie Oliver, Joana Starnes, J. Marie Croft 

FEATURE

For this stop on the #RakesandGentlemenRogues Blog Tour, I have Christina Morland, the author of the novella One Fair Claim.

Nissa: Thank you so much for visiting the blog, Christina! What was it like to get into the headspace of Sir Walter Elliot, a man who is, if not outright disliked, dismissed for being so vain and indulgent in his vices? Especially a Sir Walter who claims himself to be in love. And to show us Lady Elliot, who was merely mentioned in the book, as a real person, and as his wife.

 

I, for one, had a lot of fun reading this novella and found myself grinning and then a little melancholic when it ended, although I was glad to see Lady Elliot learned to manage him in a way that was not unkind. 


Christina: Thanks for your kind words about the story! Writing from Sir Walter's perspective was a real challenge, especially after writing from the perspectives of Elizabeth and Darcy (much more likable characters!) in my previous JAFF works. At first, I wasn't sure how I was going to tell a story from such a vain, foolish character's point of view. But then I reread Persuasion, and I was struck by the ways in which Austen described Anne Elliot's mother, Lady Elliot. She seemed to be much more like Anne than any other character in the Elliot household. Both Anne and Lady Elliot were thoughtful, compassionate, and intelligent. 

We can all understand how this kind of woman ends up with a hero like Frederick Wentworth. But how does this kind of woman end up with a Sir Walter Elliot? It could have been that she was forced to marry him, but in Persuasion, Austen suggests Lady Elliot had some choice in the matter by calling the marriage Lady Elliot's "youthful infatuation" (Persuasion, Chapter I). This made me think of all those excellent women out there who somehow end up falling in love with the wrong men. And I could imagine how a man purported to be as handsome as Sir Walter would cause a young lady, just out, to blush and sigh and forget all the other nonsense that comes with a vanity like Sir Walter's.

So, I found myself sympathizing with Lady Elliot -- and yet this wasn't her story. It was supposed to be Sir Walter's. Eventually, I found myself sympathizing with Sir Walter, too, for even vain and ridiculous men can fall in love! Still, I wanted to make sure I allowed Sir Walter to be Sir Walter. I couldn't turn him into a hero (or even a likable supporting character) when he clearly wasn't. So, I attempted to balance my sympathy for Sir Walter with my disdain for him. The result is the story "One Fair Claim." 

It was a real treat to be part of this anthology project. Each of the authors in the book did a marvelous job of humanizing Austen's less likable characters while still remaining true to the spirit of Austen's novels and characterizations. I hope your readers enjoy the stories of Austen's rakes and rogues! (continue to link for EXCERPT)

 

 

12/17/2017
"Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogies" Wins COVER WARS

...and will be Featured at Author Shout for the week of December 17-December 24, 2017. Thank you to all the readers, bloggers, reviewers, et. al. who voted for our cover designed by Shari Ryan of MadHat Covers.

01/09/2018
"Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues" BEST OF AUSTEN 2017

​"Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues" makes Margie's Must Reads BEST of AUSTEN 2017 List. #ILoveBestOfListSeason

10/26/2017
"Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues"--A PLAYLIST

On Spotify? Here's the #RakesAndGentlemenRogues Playlist. What do you think?

WILLOUGHBY: "Willoughby’s Crossroads"/ Joana Starnes;
"Love Lust" by King Charles

WICKHAM: "A Wicked Game"/ Katie Oliver;
"Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak

COLONEL FITZWILLIAM: "Fitzwilliam’s Folly"/ Beau North;
"Cosmic Love" by Florence + The Machine

TOM BERTRAM: "The Address of a Frenchwoman"/ Lona Manning;
"Fools Rush In" by Jaimee Paul, Mason Embry Trio

HENRY CRAWFORD: "Last Letter from Mansfield"/ Brooke West;
"Devil Like Me" by Rainbow Kitten Surprise

FRANK CHURCHILL: "An Honest Man"/Karen M Cox;
"Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh

SIR WALTER ELLIOT: "One Fair Claim"/ Christina Morland;
"Scars to Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara

WILLIAM ELLIOT: "The Lost Chapter of William Elliot"/ Jenetta James;
"Mr Brightside" by The Killers

GENERAL TILNEY: "As Much as He Can"/ Sophia Rose;
"From This Moment" by Shania Twain

JOHN THORPE: "The Art of Sinking"/ J. Marie Croft;
"Everybody Lies A Little" by BB King

CAPTAIN TILNEY: "For Mischief’s Sake"/ Amy D’Orazio;
"Pony" by Ginuwine

02/07/2018
"To Redeem or Not to Redeem a Rake" #RakesAndGentlemenRogues

Feature from Silve Petticoat Review:

'I am proud to say that I have a very good eye at an Adultress, —Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, 12 May 1801

Jane Austen certainly knew not only how to recognize an adulteress, she also had a remarkable talent for writing about one too; her books are filled with rakes, rattles, and rogues who made sport of toying with ladies’ hearts.

The Elizabethan period witnessed the emergence of the English rogue in fiction, when rogues were considered different from the outlaws of the Medieval Period. Unlike the outlaw, the rogue was not part of any criminal underworld, but instead, symbolized a figure that remained a part of normal society, while simultaneously believing that there was no issue with breaking the law. Perhaps we might acquit ourselves of harboring any affections for her bad boys after all.

Jane Austen even encountered gentlemen rogues in publishing. I was astounded to learn that she self-published three of four books during her lifetime. She received her first contract with a publisher for Susan, much later posthumously published as Northanger Abbey. However, that publisher did nothing with the book but allow dust to collect, and when she applied to have the rights revert to her, she was told that she must return the original ten-pound payment. At that time, she did not undertake the loss. How remarkable that two hundred years after her death, her likeness would appear on the ten-pound note!

'Mr. Murray’s letter is come. He is a rogue, of course, but a civil one. He offers £450 but wants to have the copyright of ‘Mansfield Park’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ included. It will end in my publishing for myself, I daresay. He sends more praise, however, than I expected.' —Letter from Jane Austen to her sister, Cassandra, during her negotiations to have Murray publish Emma.  —From the Foreword in 'Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues’ by Claudine di Muzio, JASNA-NY Metro, Regional Coordinator"

While she obviously did not condone the shocking behaviors that many of her contemporaries engaged in, she did know that there were at least two sides to each story. Evidenced through her body of work, she created three-dimensional characters, comprised of good and bad, strength and weakness, bravery and cowardice, and all shades in between. Though she does not fully sketch these characters, she understands all too well: How can there be light without the dark?

 

When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.Ursula K. Le Guin

This left me wondering… How did those secondary, even tertiary, characters become the men Jane Austen created? After publishing The Darcy Monologues in May 2017, an anthology of Pride and Prejudice short stories all told from Mr. Darcy’s point-of-view, rumblings began about another anthology. After a collection of stories told from Austen’s most iconic romantic hero, I was curious about her anti-heroes and assembled another gifted group of authors, giving voice to these scandalous men. Perhaps all of Austen’s bad boys are capable of redeeming themselves, and yet, they don’t. Perhaps that was her point: What makes a man a hero or the villain of the story are the choices he makes. Different choices, he becomes a different man—and maybe part of a different story.

 

In Emma, we know Frank Churchill was a toddler when his mother died. Soon after, his father gave him away to a rich aunt and uncle in hopes of offering him a more promising prospect. As the heir to a fortune, his fine countenance and good-nature added to his manifold of agreeable attributes. Yet all along, he manipulated others to mask his secret engagement to the comely and talented Jane Fairfax, a woman of no fortune. “My idea of him, is that he can adapt his conversation to the taste of everybody, and has the power as well as the wish of being universally agreeable.” —Chapter XVIII.

 

In writing her anthology contribution, “An Honest Man,” Karen M Cox said, “I actually didn’t decide whether to redeem Frank Churchill [or not] because that wasn’t the biggest issue for me. I wanted to reveal him, in the most excruciatingly honest way I could manage. Frank is the quintessential ‘Teflon Austen Character’—nothing sticks to him. How does he do it?

“I had just recently written a modern Emma adaptation, which helped, as I already had Frank on the brain, so to speak. I’d re-read the novel of course, but to prepare for ‘An Honest Man’, I also studied Shepard’s annotated version of Emma. And interestingly enough, I found on re-reading that Emma’s and Mr. Knightley’s remarks about Frank Churchill gave me considerable insight into his character too. After I’d collected all this information, I sat, pondering: ‘Okay, Karen. You know old Frank pretty well by now. What makes him tick? What would he do to get and keep hidden a beautiful, secret fiancée? How would he spin that situation to make it work out the best for him?’ 

Because the way Austen wrote him, Frank Churchill is not a villain. He is insidiously selfish, which produces its own brand of villainy. Once I realized that, I knew how it had to go.”

 

I asked J. Marie Croft to take on the most unlikely rake: John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey. The supercilious braggart, who contrived tales of his own heroics, Thorpe proved to be more than a buffoon but the real villain. Though his ambitions drove him to covet the life of a rake, without the means to afford such extravagance, his character was fixed as a grasping, lying social-climber, whose guile was only surpassed by his sister Isabella’s.

Catherine listened with astonishment; she knew not how to reconcile two such very different accounts of the same thing; for she had not been brought up to understand the propensities of a rattle, nor to know to how many idle assertions and impudent falsehoods the excess of vanity will lead. —Chapter IX.

Having accepted the challenge, Croft said, “The realization I really didn’t want to touch the loutish loudmouth with a ten-foot pole (let alone get inside his stupid head) proved problematic. How could I possibly vindicate a character no one likes?

“Thorpe is downright despicable—more rat than rake, and more rattle than rogue. There’s no way the boorish buffoon would ever attract an Austen heroine … or any human female. But, just as the title of the anthology implies, Thorpe is dangerous to know. He’s a deceiver; and in Northanger Abbey, naive Catherine Morland suffers the consequences of his lies.

“For the record, I don’t suffer liars gladly; and I balked at making one a sympathetic character. So, how did I finally redeem John Thorpe? Well, I didn’t. I failed as miserably as he fails at being the rake he fancies himself in my story. The weasel deserved to be made a laughing stock. Ergo, ‘The Art of Sinking,’ became a farce based, in part, on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. For a dubious character like Thorpe, a farce—with its ludicrously improbable situations—just seemed fitting.

“Hopefully, though, within that farce, readers will find a crumb of explanation for why John Thorpe is the way he is. Influenced by a blowhard father, and by a mother who approves aversion of truth, and by a selfish, manipulative sister, the rotter couldn’t help but become an irredeemable rat.” Croft adds: “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

 

I had tasked Brooke West to take on one of Austen’s most notorious rakes, Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park. Rich, fashionable, and self-satisfied, Crawford was accustomed to having his own way and motivated to find pleasure in all his pursuits. Though not depicted as good looking, his affable and pleasant manners more than countered his plain countenance. He and his sister had been raised by their uncle, Admiral Crawford, who after the death of his wife, invited his mistress to live in their home.

“My dearest Henry, the advantages to you of getting away from the admiral before your manners are hurt by the contagion of his, before you have contracted any of his foolish opinions…” —Chapter XXX.

After an indecent flirtation with the engaged Maria Bertram, he decided to seduce her timid and penniless cousin, only to discover he had indeed fallen in love with the virtuous Fanny Price. On writing “Last Letter to Mansfield,” West said, “Christina’s charge to me: ‘Tell us Henry’s story. Redeem him, if you can. Explain him, if you cannot.’

“Redemption? No. I could not expect readers to accept a Henry Crawford in love and happy. If he had loved before Fanny, he would never have treated her and Maria so abysmally. And perhaps he loved after, but that would have to come much farther in the future than I wanted to peek.

“So, I began with the question asked by every Mansfield Park reader when Henry revisits Maria in London:

‘How could you?!’

“It was clear to me that Henry had never held a true affection for a woman. His cavalier attitude to flirtation and scandal—even to his sister’s well-being and happiness—indicated a young man who had yet to experience the delightful discomfort of putting another person’s desires and interests above one’s own. But neither was he intentionally cruel. I could feel the yearning for approval and affection simmering below the surface of Henry’s flippant encounters.

“Something had happened to take an inexperienced boy and turn him into an unfeeling rake. Pondering this, I knew somehow the admiral was to blame. Like a flash, I was struck with what is, by any measure, a psychologically abusive and unhealthy relationship with his uncle.

“So, the slice of Henry we see is him recognizing the harm his uncle has caused and dancing near to the emotional maturity of realizing the extent of his own blame. The question I could not answer is whether Henry becomes the better man he believes he can now be.”

 

In the spirit of Jane Austen, not all of the eleven rakes and gentlemen rogues could be redeemed in this anthology—if we were to stay true to her characterizations. Like Meredith Esparza at Austenesque Reviews says, “They can’t be like Jane Bennet and make them all good,” so I like to take a pinch from Austen herself, “…from knowing him better, his disposition was better understood.” In Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, tales are shared, secrets are revealed, and hearts are toyed with across Georgian England. I am proud and maybe a little prejudiced to have been a part of this deliciously singular collection of stories aimed to grant Austen’s other men an opportunity to unveil their side of the story as told by a reliable narrator, the rakes and rogues themselves! 

RELATED DARCY: THE ULTIMATE BOOK BOYFRIEND (BEFORE BOOK BOYFRIENDS WERE EVEN A THING) – GUEST POST BY CHRISTINA BOYD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/16/2017
#RakesAndGentlemenRogues Release Party

We are having a release party! And you are invited. Games, trivia, meet and greet, giveaways... Over twenty four hours on Monday, November 20. In  "Best Sellers & Best Stellars Party Room" on Facebook. Pop in through out the day! Pssst--pass it on! https://www.facebook.com/groups/beststellarspartyroom/

10/20/2017
#RakesAndGentlemenRogues Social Media Artwork

Check out the individual short story promo graphics designed by Beau North #rakesandgentlemenrogues!

01/24/2018
#RakesAndGentlemenRoguesSightings at oldest established bookshop! Bertrand, Lisb

Another #RakesAndGentlemenRoguesSightings at the oldest established bookstore! Bertrand's in Lisbon. Wow! Remember you have until February 10 to share your #RakesAndGentlemenRoguesSightings to be eligible to win a hardcover edition. International giveaway.

 

 

01/01/2018
'Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues" Makes AUSTENESQUE RE

"This insightful collection pays lovely tribute to Jane Austen’s bad boys and shows true perception, skill, and creativity." --Austenesque Reviews

04/25/2018
'Dangerous toKnow: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues" now LIVE in AudioBook

Oh happy day! Dangerous toKnow: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues now LIVE in AudioBook​ at Amazon, #Audible, and #iTunes. Over 14 hours with the rich, sonorous tones of British voice actor Andre Refig...

Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy...even temporaily...but heaven help us if we marry one.

01/22/2018
99c BookBub for Limited Time Only

Pull back the curtain on the rakes and rogues that make up Jane Austen’s antiheroes! This fun anthology imagines the backstories of these infamous, irresistible Regency bad boys.​ 99cents for limited time. (1/22/2018 --US & UK Amazon only) and Kindle Countdown for remainder of the week.

04/26/2018
Another Anthology in the Works

Another Anthology Coming from The Quill Ink

I am not a little proud to announce my third anthology in The Quill Collective series. Never heard of it? Aha! Likely because we have only coined the name when I decided to do another Austen-inspired anthology, and well, “series” would best indicate a number of books coming one after the other. You might better recognize the previous in the series as The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues.

When asked about doing another anthology, readers frequently suggest another Darcy book or Elizabeth’s stories... But for me, it seemed to make sense, during this time of forwarding feminist sensibilities and given the verve of the present equality movements that the female perspective might be embraced amongst the Austen fandom—possibly beyond our polite borders. After all, Austen wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day.

Jane Austen’s novels evoke romantic imaginings of fastidious gentlemen and gently-bred ladies ... Yet through her veiled wit, honest social commentary, and cleverly constructed prose in a style ahead of her day, Austen’s heroines manage to thwart strict mores—and even the debauchery of Regency England—to reach their fairytale endings. But have you never wondered about her other colorful characters like Mary Crawford, Hetty Bates, Elinor Tilney, Louisa Musgrove, et al.—and how they came to be? In Persuasion, Mrs. Croft says, “But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” Those words have always struck me as terribly modern and I have wondered what Mrs. Croft might have been thinking of when she said those very words to her brother Captain Frederick Wentworth. I believe several of Jane Austen’s characters hinted of feminist sensibilities, even if they yielded to the expectations of their sphere. It is our intent that in this collection of backstories or parallel tales off-stage of canon to remain true to the ladies we recognize in Austen’s great works—whilst stirring feminism in the hearts of some of these beloved characters. Thus, our title was born. Rational Creatures. Coming to you in October 2018. Stay tuned.

Once again, an extraordinary dream team of authors—I will refer to this group from here forward as #TheSweetSixteen—have entrusted their words to me. Previous anthology authors Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’ Orazio, Jenetta James, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams are joined by Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkson, Jessie Lewis, and Anngela Schroeder. And if that isn’t enough for your “wow factor,” acclaimed author, Jane Austen scholar, and Guggenheim Fellow Devoney Looser is to write the foreword! I know, right? Wow! Just wow. #RationalCreatures indeed.

But wait! There’s more. Because this anthology is an homage to Jane Austen and her female characters, written by female authors, cover designed by Shari Ryan of MadHat Covers, and edited by me, Christina Boyd of the Quill Ink…it only made sense that our giveaways throughout this venture also highlight women-owned small businesses. And it is our sincere hope that whether you win any of our giveaways or not, you will support these business savvy, creative “rational creatures”:

1)      Northanger Soapworks has specially created a “Rational Creatures” soap: fresh scent with notes of bergamot, apricot, and currant.

2)      Paper & Slate has customized a “Rational Creature” candle: lovely scent of white tea and plumeria.

3)      PNW Vibes has bespoke tanks and tees, perfect for making the point that you too are a “rational creature.”

The Giveaways. Plural. And worldwide. The Quill Ink will giveaway three (3) prize packages of:

1)      An advanced copy of one story from Rational Creatures anthology; available in September

2)      One “Rational Creatures” custom soap by Northanger Soapworks

3)      One “Rational Creatures” novel candle by Paper & Slate

4)      One “Rational Creature” bespoke tank or tee by PNW Vibes

5)      E-books of The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

Giveaway closes May 10 at 11:59 PM, EST. How to enter:

1)      One prize package will be sent to one randomly drawn name. Simply visit and comment at all three blog stops for this announcement: Just Jane 1813, Austenesque Reviews, and From Pemberley to Milton.

2)      Two of the same above packages will be available to two winners via Rafflecopter.

Thank you for supporting another indie project by The Quill Ink. If the stories that have trickled in so far are any indication of the quality of stories for this collection, I am expecting Rational Creatures to exceed even my own exacting standards. Am beyond excited for the possibilities. This is sure to be a diverting journey. I hope you will join us. Follow us at Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/TheDarcyMonologues

And Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39909769-volume-three-from-the-quill-collective

 

 

 

06/22/2018
Austen Wrote of Strong Women

I became aware of Christina Boyd through the Austenesque anthologies penned by The Quill Collective. Christina is the driving force and editor behind the books, which have enjoyed remarkable success, not least due to their strong author lineup, bold premises, and striking covers.

The stories in the Darcy Monologues feature everyone’s favourite male protagonist from Pride and Prejudice. Dangerous to Know shines a spotlight on some of Jane Austen’s “Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues”. Rational Creatures (due in October) switches emphasis to Austen’s female characters.

With the Quill Collective anthologies becoming a cornerstone of the Austenesque writing world, it seemed a good time to ask Christina about her work, the books, and her affection for Jane Austen’s novels…

Q: Let’s go back to before The Darcy Monologues appeared. Why decide to do an anthology of short stories in a field dominated by novels and novellas?

Pride and Prejudice is told in the third-person narrative, limited omniscient, from Elizabeth Bennet’s point-of-view. In my fiction, I have always had a weakness for the rich, powerful, noble, and handsome man who changes his “less desirable” ways for love and a woman worthy of his efforts. I’ve long dreamt of putting together a collection of stories all from my favorite Austen hero’s eyes.

What I REALLY dream about is a TV series based on The Darcy Monologues with each of the short stories an episode or two. Throughout the entire series, the same actors play the same characters—regardless of setting or era.

Q: Later this year, you’ll be bringing out your third anthology. The first two were built around Jane Austen’s male characters, but Rational Creatures puts her female characters front and centre. What’s the thinking behind this?

When asked about doing another anthology, readers frequently suggest another Darcy book or Elizabeth’s stories… But for me, it seemed to make sense, during this time of forwarding feminist sensibilities and given the verve of the present equality movements that the female perspective might be embraced amongst the Austen fandom—possibly beyond our polite borders. After all, Austen wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. The authors I asked to take part in this endeavor, #TheSweetSixteen, all seemed keen to share their feminist bent on an Austen female character.

Jane Austen’s novels evoke romantic imaginings of fastidious gentlemen and gently-bred ladies… Yet through her veiled wit, honest social commentary, and cleverly constructed prose in a style ahead of her day, Austen’s heroines manage to thwart strict mores—and even the debauchery of Regency England—to reach their fairytale endings. Have you never wondered about her other colorful characters like Mary Crawford, Hetty Bates, Elinor Tilney, Louisa Musgrove, et al.—and how they came to be?

In Persuasion, Mrs. Croft says, “But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” Those words have always struck me as terribly modern and I have wondered what Mrs. Croft might have been thinking of when she said those very words to her brother Captain Frederick Wentworth. I believe several of Jane Austen’s characters might have had feminist sensibilities, even if they yielded to the expectations of their sphere.

It is our intent that in this collection of backstories or parallel tales off-stage of canon to remain true to the ladies we recognize in Austen’s great works—whilst stirring feminism in the hearts of some of these beloved characters. Thus, our title was born. Rational Creatures.

Further, I could think of no one more fitting to write the foreword than Austen scholar, Guggenheim Fellow, and author Devoney Looser. I am thrilled (and not a little star-struck) that she would think enough of the concept and my previous projects to take this on.

Q: In the anthologies, you have numerous authors writing in different settings, historical eras and styles. What challenges does that pose for you as the editor?

The only anthology that had different eras was the first, The Darcy Monologues. The challenge then was to keep Darcy the man we know and expect. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. If the author wrote him in another era, he still had to be recognizable to fans of Pride and Prejudice.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues has stories set in the Georgian era and all are either a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.

Rational Creatures is in that same concept—parallel stories to canon or prequels leading to canon or even a mini-sequel. As the editor, and in the spirit of the collective while maintaining consistency throughout, the anthologies adhere to US style and punctuation, though some of the authors prefer to use British spellings.

Q: It’s fascinating how Jane Austen’s novels and characters can be reworked in so many diverse ways, each of which finds an audience. Why do you think that is?

Her work is timeless and because many wish she had written more (we are greedy creatures in that), we cannot help but let our imaginations wander and wonder “what if?” Out of those musings, a story is born. I think the Jane Austen fandom has a wide enough umbrella to welcome all types of fans and readers.

And some quickfire questions…

Q: How did your interest in Jane Austen’s novels arise?

Albeit I read Jane Austen as a moody teenager, it wasn’t until Joe Wright’s 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice that my interest in all things Austen was really sparked.

After reading The Six major works again, my thirst for more simply could not be slaked, despite having discovered on-line Jane Austen fan fiction (JAFF), purchasing ALL the movie adaptations, and even joining and attending my first Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) Annual General Meeting (AGM)—all within that first year!

Eventually, I became a life member of JASNA, and my addiction continues. I confess, I become totally immersed in my passions—and my friends forever remind me that it’s provident I use that ardor for good!

Q: What’s your favourite Austen novel?

Usually whichever one I re-read last.

Q: What’s your favourite Austen quote (from a book or letter)?

There, I will stake my last like a woman of spirit. No cold prudence for me. I am not born to sit still and do nothing. If I lose the game, it shall not be from not striving for it.” (Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park).

Q: What/who are your other literary and artistic inspirations?

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is one of my favorite books. I love Philippa Gregory’s first-person POV storytelling-style and how she makes the reader have such empathy for the narrator; then she changes to another’s POV, and boom, the readers’ loyalty switches to that character.

Q: Which Jane Austen character should Henry Cavill play?

(Mark’s note: Christina was lucky enough to once win an Omaze experience to meet him atop the London Eye !)

When I handed Henry a copy of The Darcy Monologues, I explained the entire concept of the anthology and how he is always Darcy when I dreamcast. But I also think he could play any of the rogues well—except John Thorpe. No. Never Thorpe.

Thanks, Christina!

(Learn more about Christina and The Quill Collective at her website.)

12/11/2017
Austenesque Reviews Features Author Jenetta James

Happy Monday, friends!  As you may recall I read and reviewed the anthology all about bad boys, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, last month and I liked it just a teensy bit (okay, I absolutely adored it!)  Today, I have one of the authors of that lovely anthology stopping by for a visit!  Jenetta James has written some remarkable works (her Austen-Inspired story The Elizabeth Papers was one of my favorites for 2016!) and was thrilled to see her lovely story in Dangerous to Know!

Thank you Meredith, for having me back to Austenesque Reviews. It is always a pleasure and an honour to visit your lovely blog. This week, I am talking about my short story “The Lost Chapter in the Life of William Elliot” in the anthology Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues. Those who have read the story will know that Meredith is actually in it in recognition of her generous support for Hurricane Relief.

 

The idea of the anthology was to take each of one Austen’s baddies, (as my children would call them), and give them a back story. Readers will recall the fortune hunting, scheming, opportunist Elliot from Persuasion. He is a character who appears to pick up his relations when it is to his advantage and drop them without a care when it is not. Of the gallery of cads on offer, he struck me as among the least redeemable characters, and that is what appealed to me about him. I can’t say that my story redeems him, I don’t think it does. But I suppose that it is an attempt at explaining the man behind the roguery.

I have always loved theatre and since I see William Elliot as a man constantly putting on an act, I decided to give him a pre-Persuasion story in the world of the stage. During the Regency, there were three theatres in London with “letters patent” (that is to say that they could call themselves “Theatre Royal”). Amazingly, they were lit entirely by candlelight (until 1817 when gaslight started to be used) and were enormously popular. There were stars of the stage, just as there are now and a rich tradition of noblemen and wealthy patrons becoming romantically entangled with those stars. So, without further ado, here is an excerpt from my story, in which Mr William Elliot, gentleman and widower steps into the world of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane… (follow link for EXCERPT)

12/18/2018
Author Accused of Using Excessive Farce on Austen Character

J. Marie Croft and John Thorpe

J. Marie Croft visits today with a witty tale about her efforts to redeem or write about John Thorpe.  I laughed often when reading this post. I think no one, but you, Ms. Croft, could write about this most unredeemable character and make an interesting story. The jokes you share, the dilemma of writing about John Thorpe, all were so fun to read. You, dear lady, have a remarkable way with words. I'm glad to have you stop by and tell us a little about your troubles! :) This story is part of the latest anthology edited by Christina Boyd, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentleman Rogues.

*****

Thank you, Janet, for  hosting an additional stop on our Dangerous to Know blog tour.

Christina Boyd’s latest anthology features ten captivating stories of swoon-worthy rakes and gentlemen rogues, tales that evoke compas-sion for Austen’s anti-heroes, backstories that — at least somewhat — redeem cads we love to hate. Then there’s my contribution.   


Why, you may ask, would I chose to write about John Thorpe, the loutish liar?
The truth is …
Christina made me do it!
She mentioned ‘John Thorpe’ and ‘puns’ in the same sentence.
So I, of course, said, “I’m in!”

Then I changed my mind. “Sorry, Christina, but I can’t do this. I don’t know what to write. John Thorpe is unredeemable and … icky. There’s no way he’d ever attract a human female. And I really should concen-trate on my next book-length story.” (That novel, by the way, should be available in the year 2525, if my current rate of progress is any indica-tion.)

Christina, being the kind soul she is, understood.

What did I do next? Instead of working on my novel, I reread Northanger Abbey. Subsequently — as is a woman’s prerogative — I changed my mind and wanted to write the rat’s backstory after all.

Too late! Another writer had snatched up John Thorpe.

“Oh,” I said. “Okay, Christina. Good.” Drat!

When the other author bowed out, the character was up for grabs again, if I wanted him. Ugh! I didn’t want to touch John Thorpe with a ten-foot pole! How could I write about a character no one likes? So I said, “Okay. Great! Thanks, Christina.” Crikey.

Let me tell you, John Thorpe is dangerous to know. Poor, innocent Catherine Morland suffered the consequences of his lies. And I, having accepted Christina’s challenge, consequently suffered the agony  (oth-erwise known as writer’s block) of making Thorpe a sympathetic charac-ter.

How, you ask, did I redeem John Thorpe? I didn’t. I couldn’t. I failed as miserably as he fails at being the rake he fancies himself in my story. He’s a loser, a rattle, a buffoon; and buffoons are to be laughed at. Hence, The Art of Sinking became a farce (based, in part, on Shake-speare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor).


In The Art of Sinking, John Thorpe, the buffoon, became the butt of a few jokes. Some were original, some weren’t. Some made it to the first draft, some didn’t. Here are four out-takes:

1.

“Do you not like to dance, Mr. Thorpe?” asked Miss Andrews, catching his eye and turning hers deliberately towards the two lines of dancers.

“I do,” said John, “but my feet do not.”

“Well,” said she, “they are certainly big enough to know their own mind.”

2.

“You, sir, remind me of the sea,” said the town trollop, after falling from the gig John had driven into a ditch.

“You mean romantic, wild, and restless?”

“No,” she said in a huff. “You make me sick.”

3.

“I keep hearing the word buffoon,” said John. “I hope you are not re-ferring to me.”

“Oh, do not be so vainglorious, Thorpe,” said James Morland, grin-ning. “As if there are no other buffoons in the world!”

4.

Sir Humphrey Sumner and John Thorpe, sworn enemies, spent the night at the home of Peregrine Bathos, a mutual friend from St. John’s College, Oxford.

Having risen early the following morning, John went to the door of Sir Humphrey's bedchamber and wrote upon it, in chalk, the word ‘rogue’.

A half hour later, at breakfast, Sir Humphrey sauntered past John’s chair. “Thank you, Thorpe,” he said with a sneer, “for showing interest in my welfare.”

“What?” sputtered John, spitting toast crumbs clear across the table.

“You,” said Sir Humphrey, “left your calling card at my door this morn-ing.”
_________________________________________________________

A farce:
• is a comic dramatic work ✅
• uses buffoonery and horseplay ✅
• typically includes crude characterisation ✅
• includes ludicrously improbable situations ✅

Yep. A farcical backstory about John Thorpe seemed right up my alley, and I thank Christina Boyd for prodding me into writing it.

Can’t you just picture this scathing headline, though?

JAFF Author Accused of Using Excessive Farce on Austen Character

*****

I can see that headline now! LOL I cannot wait to read your farcical backstory about John Thorpe. I know it will be excessively diverting! Thank you, J. Marie Croft, for telling us a little about your backstory in writing about John Thorpe. It was delightful. I'm so glad you made this 'extra' stop on the Dangerous to Know Blog Tour.

11/22/2017
Babblings of a Bookworm Features DANGEROUS TO KNOW: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentle

The blog tour for Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues stops by here today. This is an anthology focusing on the 'bad boys' in Austen's works rather than her heroes, written by some fantastic authors: Karen M Cox, J Marie Croft, Amy D'Orazio, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Kate Oliver, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes and Brooke West, brought together by editor Christina Boyd. The tour joins us for a closer look at one of the stories in the book, written by Joana Starnes, who is one of my favourite Austenesque authors. Joana's story focuses on the breaker of Marianne Dashwood's heart, John Willoughby. I have an excerpt of this story to share with you. Also, if you've been following the blog tour you will know that there are two fantastic prizes up for grabs, details of which are below. (Follow link for full article.)

02/07/2018
British Actor André Refig to Narrate #RakesAndGentlemenRogues audiobook

Introducing our André Refig, our Voice Actor, for "Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues"🎩💗⚔ I could not be more excited! We expect the audio book in April!

Enjoy his media reel!
http://www.andrerefig.com/media/

10/04/2017
Cover Reveal of Dangerous to Know + GIVEAWAY!!!

Hello gentle readers!  I’m so honored to be taking part in a special cover reveal of Dangerous to Know today!  A few weeks ago we shared the announcement that Christina Boyd and a fabulous team of authors were at it again and creating a new anthology!  *woot woot*

But while that news is and of itself extremely exciting…it was topped by the fact that this anthology was going to spotlight a group of characters that really haven’t had much opportunity to “have their say” yet.  The bad boys who steal hearts, break promises, and are all around rascals!!  We’ve seen many books take us into the hearts and minds of Jane Austen’s heroes, now we finally get to do the same with her ‘rakes and gentleman rogues!’

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues

Expected Release Date: November 15th

~ Book Description ~

One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable

gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford,

Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots

but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about

the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues?

Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.

It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering

looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence.

All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears:

“He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how

tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving?

How did they become the men Jane Austen created?

In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors

expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—

a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—

whilst remaining steadfast to the characters

we recognize in Austen’s great works.

What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…

even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

And without further ado….here is the big reveal!!!

 

 

Isn’t it eye-catching?  I certainly think so! Well done, Shari and Christina!!

I love the little details like the torn parchment paper, the gold ribbon (similar to the pink ribbon in The Darcy Monologues!), the strong, masculine hand…

That estate looks massive, doesn’t it?  I wonder which estate it is?  My guess is Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey… 

Do you have a favorite Jane Austen bad boy?  I will admit to being partial to Henry Crawford!  

Whose story are you most excited for?  I love seeing so many great authors assembled in this team, but some are brand new to me (although I have heard of them!) I cannot wait to read everyone’s stories!

~ About the Cover ~

Shari Ryan from MadHat Books created the gorgeous book cover from a rough sketch by the editor, Christina Boyd, and she quickly and professionally created the beauty it is today. The back cover suggests the stories might have some steam (the collection is about Jane Austen’s bad boys after all!) Like in The Darcy Monologues, these authors can turn up the heat with but the turn of a phrase. However, the love scenes are not graphic, and the handful of stories with “mature content” are marked as such in the Table of Contents.

 

Author Beau North came through again by creating the stunning individual short story promotional graphics. She is quite an accomplished woman. Those individual story graphics will roll out over the next days from their Facebook page The Darcy Monologues, et al., and other social media.

~ About this Project ~

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with any number of unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched out to the reader. Have you ever wondered about her rakes, rattles, and rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, the book designed to expose certain histories about Jane Austen’s anti-heroes, reveals its cover today.

As an editor, Christina Boyd has been extremely fortunate to work with some incomparable authors. Several authors from The Darcy Monologues anthology including Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Jenetta James, Beau North, Sophia Rose, and Joana Starnes joined Amy D’Orazio, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Katie Oliver, and Brooke West in crafting this current collection. The intent: create clever, well-informed short stories, each from one of Austen’s male antagonists’ point-of-view—a backstory and, or parallel story from off-stage of canon. This Dream Team certainly upped their game accepting this challenge by undertaking characters that few even like and slyly earn the reader’s sympathies—maybe even adoration—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s masterpieces. This wickedly delicious anthology is scheduled for release mid-November.

~~~

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

When Christina published The Darcy Monologues, readers expressed how the blend of the authors’ writing styles worked well to make the overall collection stimulating. One reader suggested that she was so familiar with some authors’ writing styles, she was sure she could match the writers to their stories without being told. This Giveaway Challenge was thus inspired.

To win a $25 Amazon gift card, follow the Google link and complete a multiple-choice quiz, matching lines of prose to the author and her rake/gentleman rogue. Last day to enter is October 18. In case of a tie, a winner will be chosen at random in a Facebook Live drawing. Since it’s for an Amazon gift card, of course, it’s a worldwide giveaway. Gotta play to win. “Dangerous to Know” Challenge.

 

To enter this giveaway, click the link above and complete the multiple choice quiz.

  • This giveaway will end October 18th.
  • This giveaway is open worldwide.

Sounds like so much fun!  I love games!  I may just have to try this one for the fun of it to see how well I do!  I anticipate it being quite the challenge!   Thank you so much to Christina and her team for putting this all together!  I cannot wait to for the release of Dangerous to Know!! 

Be sure to follow the upcoming blog tour of Dangerous to Know beginning in November!

 

**I’ll be posting my review of Dangerous to Know on November 13th!**

**And I’m so excited to welcome author Jenetta James for a visit on December 11th!**

10/30/2017
DANGEROUS TO KNOW: Jane Austen's Rakes & Roggues BLOG TOUR begins Nov.6

Just days until our "Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's #RakesAndGentlemenRogues" blog tour begins November 6.🎩💗⚔ Have you added it to your Want to Read list at GOODREADS? https://www.goodreads.com/b…/show/36151853-dangerous-to-know

11/20/2017
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues – A Wicked Game

I’m very, very happy to tell you that I’m hosting Katie Oliver with an excerpt of her story which is about Austen’s most infamous rogue: George Wickham!!!

That’s right, today the stage goes to the most hated rake we know of, and I’m kind of hoping that your feelings towards him will change a little…just a little, we can’t love Wickham after all, can we?…Hum…Maybe we can, what do you think?

I hope you enjoy the excerpt and I’m looking forward to know your thoughts on “A Wicked Game.” (go to link for full article)

10/22/2017
Enduring Inspiration of Jane Austen

From the Jane Austen Centre in Bath: “I had discovered the world of fan fiction and life after Pride and Prejudice through the elegant hand of Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman…and then on to the madcap, puckish Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll. Soon after many on-line writers began to publish their stories via some online printing and distributing press—that was super expensive. Finally, larger presses started to mine the world of JAFF. All of that seems quite foreign now—because in this ever changing wild, wild west that is modern day publishing—small presses, hybrid presses, large publishers, and an explosion of self-published authors—have come on the Jane Austen scene. With the advent of e-readers, I rarely ever read at on-line sites unless someone directs me there specifically to discover an exceptional writer. Presently, I own over 400 Austen inspired novels in print and countless more on my Kindle…and cannot comprehend the neglect of the collection in such days as these.” --Christina Boyd, Austenesque editor of The Darcy Monologues

05/03/2018
FanGirlNation Interviews Voice Actor

André Refig is an actor, singer and voiceover artist. Previous audiobooks include Let Me Tell You About Asperger Syndrome and Victorian Verse. Stage credits encompass musicals (Wilson Mizner in Sondheim’s Road Show, Mr Sheinkopf in Fame), Shakespeare (Rosencrantz in Hamlet, Sebastian in Twelfth Night), children’s theatre (The Little Prince, Lily and Bear, Zeraffa Giraffa, the Old-Green Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach), new writing (The Commercial Traveller, Macbyrd, Heresy) and operetta (covering and playing roles in several Gilbert & Sullivan shows).

You studied doctoral- level physics. So how did you decide to switch to theater and voice over work, including recording audiobooks?

While I was studying physics, I became heavily involved with the student theatre societies and found myself spending more time doing drama than my degree. I thought it the natural next step to try my hand at acting professionally.

What did you do to turn that interest into practice?

I did a course in Musical Theatre and since then, luckily it’s worked out. Voice over work followed a few years later, initially as a way of supplementing my income but since then I have also been lucky enough to be involved in some more acting-based voice projects, including narrating audiobooks.

Tell us about your process of preparing to narrate an audiobook. Do you have any tricks for making it easier to perform?

Well obviously the first step is to read the book! I then start thinking about all the characters and ways to make them individual and distinguishable, as well as the overall style of the story: Is it a comedy, is it a tragedy, is the narrator a character involved in the events, are they reliable etc.? I don’t know of any tricks per se, but I suppose I don’t try to analyse the books academically, its merits or faults, but simply to empathise with the characters.

Besides audiobook narration, you do a variety of other things. As your website states, “His work has taken him across the UK and Europe and has included a wide variety of different genres, from Shakespeare to new writing, Opera to modern Musicals and voice work to screen work.” How do each of the media and genres help inform your performance of others? Or do they?

Well, this is a bit of a non-statement, but acting is acting, regardless of the medium. The same basic rules apply: connecting with the source material and then communicating that connection with the audience. The methods of communication are what vary the most from one genre to another, but they do inform each other. Working on singing for example, helps with unlocking the voice’s flexibility and any text’s musicality, which come in handy for audiobook narration. Also, the text work required for Shakespeare is a useful tool that can be translated into narrating. The intimacy and truthfulness needed in screen work contribute to the one-on-one communication of audiobooks. So yes, all the media help inform each other, in these and many other ways.

You have an audiobook, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, coming out on audio this week. It’s an anthology of short stories of how the bad guys in Jane Austen’s books got that way. Was it fun getting to play the bad guys? Were there any particular challenges?

Yes, playing the bad guys is always fun, but I think it’s always important when approaching them as a narrator to not think of them as bad guys but try to see things from their point of view. This is what all the stories in the anthology do so well I think: they make the reader/listener understand what motivates these characters and not to simply see them as bad boys.

Who was your favorite Austen rogue? Why?

I don’t think I can come up with one favourite Austen rogue, but I did genuinely enjoy reading every single one of them. They were all so well drawn out and very different, with their own particular faults and features, and they weren’t rogues in the same way: some were out and out cads and womanisers, some simply bon vivants and cold and calculating individuals, all equally fun to bring to life.

Was Dangerous to Know the first audiobook you recorded? How did the actual experience compare to your expectations?

This was the third audiobook I’ve recorded but the first one I produced. The previous two were a non-fiction book and a collection of poetry, both recorded in a studio with a separate producer, so this project was very different. I had prepared myself for it to be a lot of work and indeed it was! The preparation, the reading, the editing etc., but I’m happy to say I enjoyed every aspect of it and would be very keen on doing more!

How did you get selected to narrate Dangerous to Know?

I had joined ACX [Audiobook Creation Exchange] late last year, I had put up some samples of my work and was contacted by the editor of Dangerous to Know, Christina Boyd, asking me to submit an audition, which I did. I then got chosen, lucky me!

You’ve voiced animated characters. How does that experience differ from recording audiobooks?

I guess you need more flexibility and presence of mind to record an audiobook, as you’re constantly switching between characters, and from narration to dialogue. In animation, you’re concentrating on one part, which is easier, but you’re often recording your lines in isolation from the other characters and from the rest of the story, so there’s less continuity and less to react against, which is harder. I think the approach to characterisation is similar, and the stylistic choices depend more on the type of book or animation so can vary equally for both.

What is your favorite part of doing voice over work?

My favourite part of doing voice work is probably the breadth and variety of different work there is, and it never gets boring. However, I also love listening to my work afterwards! Although I’m very critical of my own work, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the sound of my voice (!) and I sometimes surprise myself with what I produce: I of course monitor myself during recording but I’m not listening fully because most of my brain is concentrating on the performance, so having a good listen afterwards, when the editing is done, can be quite satisfying. I guess it’s the pleasure of having created something new.

Check out his [audio] book that comes out this week:

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues
Edited by Christina Boyd
Narrated by André Refig

“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” –Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen–Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.–adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad–a brute–all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created?

In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories–a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon–whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

Stories by: Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Katie Oliver, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes and Brooke West.

 

Get the book on Amazon.

12/04/2017
Fitzwilliam’s Folly (in "Dangerous to Know") by Beau North with Giveaways

Today I welcome Beau North who is here to share an excerpt of her short story “Fitzwilliam’s Folly” from the anthology: Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues.

I think lots of us have a soft spot for Colonel Fitzwilliam, so it’s always good to read about him. I’ve never considered him as a bad boy or a rake, but according to the Cambridge Dictionary he just might be one. Beau North did justice to the character and he is even more appealing with all his faults than before. And then there is Miss Campbell, who is simply brilliant! I have mentioned in my review that she is one of my two favourite new characters in the anthology. I would totally love to read a book about her… [Just sayin’] ...continue to link for more.

12/07/2017
Harry Rodell Features Author J. Marie Croft

Hello All,

Today I bring you something extra special. I have been given an exclusive excerpt from Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, plus information of how to enter a fantastic giveaway! Below is the excerpt which I shall begin with…If you like the sound of what you read, continue and all shall be revealed! 

Excerpt from Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

“The Art of Sinking” by J. Marie Croft

With Isabella, the one closest to him in age and character, John was always more forthright. Many weeks later, in the dressing room that served as sitting area for all three girls, he sought his eldest sister. Poking his head around the door, he asked, “Am I disturbing?” He then walked in without invitation.

Offering a deep sigh, Isabella tossed aside the Gothic novel she had been reading. “Yes, John. You are always disturbing, offensive, and oafish. You quite plague me to death.”

“Saucy chit! You tease like my university friends; but, of course, none of you actually mean anything by it.” John flumped beside her on the settee. “What is that damned smell? Perfume? By God, it smells like a bloody brothel in here.” The room’s overpowering bouquet had aroused a memory of his one and only experience in such an establishment.

“What is a brothel?” asked Maria, tucked away, unseen, in the window seat.

“Oho, little dandiprat!” cried John, jumping up and turning red. “I did not notice you there. I … I was just saying the room smelled like … like, um … broth!” Sitting, he crossed an ankle over his knee and bobbed his foot. “I … I am a bit peckish, I suppose.” Looking anywhere but at his youngest sister, he whistled tunelessly through his teeth. “So, do you suppose there will be soup with supper?”

Maria flung her book on the cushion and, folding her arms, stood in front of her elder brother and sister. “You said brothel. I have heard the word before but know not what it means nor why it should smell like the rosewater I spilt earlier. And why would broth smell like perfume?”

“Go away, brat,” said John, tugging his cravat. “I need to”—check hidden corners, watch my language, and forget an embarrassingly brief episode in a bawdy house in which things went off prematurely—“speak privately with Isabella.”

Maria stuck out her tongue and, with a toss of her head, left the room.

“It is a good thing Mother did not witness that,” said Isabella. “She would have boxed your ears.”

“Look here, I know I am not particularly erudite but neither am I dull nor ignorant. Why must Mother always exaggerate my achievements? And—damn it!—why can I never come out ahead? The other blockheads are scheming cheaters, the stinking lot of them! There can be no other explanation.”

Making room for her brother’s stout, sprawling form, Isabella shifted uncomfortably against the bench’s wooden arm. “What have they done now?”

“After losing at hazard and thinking to step up my game, I wagered someone I could best him in a stair-climbing race. But, being rather short-shanked and frightfully gin-soaked at the time, I fell neck and crop and came out second best again. I suspect the long-legged stinker tripped me.” Springing up to pace around the cramped, cluttered room, John examined its delicate knickknackery, dropping only one out of ten figurines.

“John, you oaf! That squirrel is Anne’s favourite piece.”

“Was her favourite,” John grumbled, kicking at the shattered remains of a porcelain, bushy-tailed rodent. “Fine! I will replace it … if you will grant me a loan.” Stopping in front of the settee, he dragged palms down his face. “I am short on blunt and in debt to more than a few fellows. Will you help me, Bella?”

“We are English, not Italian!” Isabella flounced past him. “If you must shorten my name, call me”—primping at the mirror, she rearranged a few curls—“call me Belle. It has an amazingly exotic ring to it, do you not think?”

“I suppose Belle does have a certain ring, but—pish!—never mind your nonsense. I am in a monstrous spot and was hoping you would see me clear of it.”

“Lord help you, brother, for I cannot.” Turning back to the mirror, Isabella spoke through gritted teeth. “Ask one of your friends for assistance.”

“Ha! Not bloody likely! What a stupid head you have.” He walked to the window and fidgeted with its pulley. “Those skinflints are quick to single me out for a bit of gaming, yet they must know I can ill afford it. Even Peregrine Bathos and James Morland have turned down my entreaties for a loan, and Morland is such a devilish good friend that I am thinking of inviting him here for a visit. It might be a bit embarrassing, though.” John eyed the peeling paint and threadbare drapery. “I believe he comes from a wealthy family.” Hands balling into fists, he barked an ugly laugh. “They have it all—every bloody advantage, all presented to them on silver plate! How can I possibly hold up against those privileged fops with their innate elegance and ease?”

Hands clasped together beneath her chin, Isabella informed him that, of all things in the entire world, it would be the most wonderful.

“Eh? What would?” he blustered.

Something like a sigh escaped as she answered. “To be held up against a fit, wealthy gentleman.”

“This has nothing to do with you and your ungodly desires. Here I am mired—nay, drowning—in debt, yet you dare make light of my plight.” John affected a pitiful mien. “Truth is, I really am in

dun territory. You have no idea what it is like to be surrounded by temptation all the time!” Head bowed, he sat upon the vacated seat, his sunken, beseeching eyes meeting hers in the mirror. “These are dark, dark days, Belle.” With wry amusement, he added, “I can scarcely afford a candle.”

“Well, do not think to prevail upon me for any part of my allowance. Such fixed amount hardly meets my own basic needs.” The perfect picture of petulance, with the back of one hand against her brow, Isabella proclaimed she was thrown into the acutest agonies because of it. “So, you, brother dear, will just have to become more temperate in your habits.”

“Deny myself every common indulgence?” John stamped around the room. “I bloody well think not! Lawks! Such a deuced existence sounds as much fun as plucking nose hairs.”

She called him an odious, crude man and then asked of what indulgences he spoke. To which he replied sheepishly that, other than field sports and horses, his particular pleasures were gaming and drink and women.

“One of those is considered immoral, is it not?” Isabella held up a variety of ribbons, testing them against her complexion. “We, as a family, must give the appearance, at least, of respectability.” Gasping at her reflection, she rubbed her brow. “See what you have done! You have put me quite out of countenance, and frown lines on a lady are wretchedly unbecoming.”

“You put them there yourself, silly goose, with that sulky expression you have perfected. And how little you know of the world. In placing a few wagers, I am no worse than a man who is no bettor. And, sister dear, you need not worry about a few insignificant, little wrinkles marring your appearance.”

She turned to him with a brilliant smile which faded into a pout upon being told her face was already hideous. “John Aubrey Thorpe! You are the beastliest brother ever!”

“Beastly?” He laughed while dodging a poorly aimed cushion. “Well, I do own the lion’s share of brains and bravery in this family of younger brothers and squeamish females.”

“Speaking of beasts, why not try your hand at a racecourse?” asked Isabella with no lingering concern over the immorality of gaming. “One could make a small fortune on horses, right?”

“’Tis possible, I suppose.” Fingers drumming on the seat, John muttered, “If one starts out with a rather large fortune to whittle down to a small one.” Sweat broke on his brow, and he reached for a handkerchief. “Honestly, you are such a simpleton at times.”

“Well, I am astute enough to know that, before you end up wagering all our money away, you must marry exceedingly well. We all must. ’Tis the only way, at least until you come into Uncle Graham’s bequeathal.”

“Our eccentric, liberal-minded relation is taking his good old time in passing … and in passing

along my inheritance. Now, now,” said John, holding up a hand, “before you call me beastly again, or worse, all I mean is that the old coot is racked with pain. His passing would be a mercy.”

“And an amazingly blessed thing for us. But, until then, you really must find an heiress to woo. And I, with utterly beguiling charm, shall have a wealthy suitor fall head and ears in love with me.” Abandoning the mirror and while contemplating her seated brother, Isabella tapped a forefinger against her cheek. “I suppose, with enough time and much effort, I could teach you to be charming.”

“Oh, no! No, no, no! There is no damned way I am going to smile and flirt and flutter my lashes. Next, you would have me loosening my cravat and collar and bending forward so low that one could see all the way down to m–”

She clouted him.

“Lawks! What was that for? I have witnessed you in action, you know.” Taking her place at the mirror, John squared his shoulders then ran fingers through his forelock. “This marrying scheme of yours, I concede, is a famous good notion. But I hardly need a girl’s missish advice on courting.” Pleased with his reflection, he faced Isabella. “Oxford ladies eye me with devilish interest, let me tell you!”

A handful of Oxford denizens had shown mild interest in John Thorpe, and one or two of those were, indeed, female. Such interest, however, was rarely the appreciative or sympathetic sort. People in Oxford were no different than people in, say, Hertfordshire. They still made sport for their neighbours and laughed at them in turn.

05/23/2018
Interview with "Dangerous to Know" Audiobook Narrator, Andre Refig

Featured Title | Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

Click to purchase!

​"One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it." -Jane Austen 

Jane Austen's masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen - Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al. - adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms ... a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: "He is a cad - a brute - all wrong!" 

But is that not how tender hearts are broken...by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, 11 Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen's anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories - a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon - whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen's great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy...even temporarily...but heaven help us if we marry one. 

The full list of authors includes: Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D'Orazio, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Katie Oliver, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes, and Brooke West.

04/30/2018
Interview with #RakesAndGentlemenRogues Voice Actor on YouTube

Claudune diMuzio Pepe of Just Jane 1813 interviews voice actor Andre Refig of #RakesAndGentlemenRogues; vlog on YouTube.

05/03/2018
Interview with Voice Actor for #RakesAndGentlemenRogues Andre Refig

André Refig is an actor, singer and voiceover artist. Previous audiobooks include Let Me Tell You About Asperger Syndrome and Victorian Verse. Stage credits encompass musicals (Wilson Mizner in Sondheim’s Road Show, Mr Sheinkopf in Fame), Shakespeare (Rosencrantz in Hamlet, Sebastian in Twelfth Night), children’s theatre (The Little Prince, Lily and Bear, Zeraffa Giraffa, the Old-Green Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach), new writing (The Commercial Traveller, Macbyrd, Heresy) and operetta (covering and playing roles in several Gilbert & Sullivan shows).

You studied doctoral- level physics. So how did you decide to switch to theater and voice over work, including recording audiobooks?

While I was studying physics, I became heavily involved with the student theatre societies and found myself spending more time doing drama than my degree. I thought it the natural next step to try my hand at acting professionally.

What did you do to turn that interest into practice?

I did a course in Musical Theatre and since then, luckily it’s worked out. Voice over work followed a few years later, initially as a way of supplementing my income but since then I have also been lucky enough to be involved in some more acting-based voice projects, including narrating audiobooks.

Tell us about your process of preparing to narrate an audiobook. Do you have any tricks for making it easier to perform?

Well obviously the first step is to read the book! I then start thinking about all the characters and ways to make them individual and distinguishable, as well as the overall style of the story: Is it a comedy, is it a tragedy, is the narrator a character involved in the events, are they reliable etc.? I don’t know of any tricks per se, but I suppose I don’t try to analyse the books academically, its merits or faults, but simply to empathise with the characters.

Besides audiobook narration, you do a variety of other things. As your website states, “His work has taken him across the UK and Europe and has included a wide variety of different genres, from Shakespeare to new writing, Opera to modern Musicals and voice work to screen work.” How do each of the media and genres help inform your performance of others? Or do they?

Well, this is a bit of a non-statement, but acting is acting, regardless of the medium. The same basic rules apply: connecting with the source material and then communicating that connection with the audience. The methods of communication are what vary the most from one genre to another, but they do inform each other. Working on singing for example, helps with unlocking the voice’s flexibility and any text’s musicality, which come in handy for audiobook narration. Also, the text work required for Shakespeare is a useful tool that can be translated into narrating. The intimacy and truthfulness needed in screen work contribute to the one-on-one communication of audiobooks. So yes, all the media help inform each other, in these and many other ways.

You have an audiobook, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, coming out on audio this week. It’s an anthology of short stories of how the bad guys in Jane Austen’s books got that way. Was it fun getting to play the bad guys? Were there any particular challenges?

Yes, playing the bad guys is always fun, but I think it’s always important when approaching them as a narrator to not think of them as bad guys but try to see things from their point of view. This is what all the stories in the anthology do so well I think: they make the reader/listener understand what motivates these characters and not to simply see them as bad boys.

Who was your favorite Austen rogue? Why?

I don’t think I can come up with one favourite Austen rogue, but I did genuinely enjoy reading every single one of them. They were all so well drawn out and very different, with their own particular faults and features, and they weren’t rogues in the same way: some were out and out cads and womanisers, some simply bon vivants and cold and calculating individuals, all equally fun to bring to life.

Was Dangerous to Know the first audiobook you recorded? How did the actual experience compare to your expectations?

This was the third audiobook I’ve recorded but the first one I produced. The previous two were a non-fiction book and a collection of poetry, both recorded in a studio with a separate producer, so this project was very different. I had prepared myself for it to be a lot of work and indeed it was! The preparation, the reading, the editing etc., but I’m happy to say I enjoyed every aspect of it and would be very keen on doing more!

How did you get selected to narrate Dangerous to Know?

I had joined ACX [Audiobook Creation Exchange] late last year, I had put up some samples of my work and was contacted by the editor of Dangerous to Know, Christina Boyd, asking me to submit an audition, which I did. I then got chosen, lucky me!

You’ve voiced animated characters. How does that experience differ from recording audiobooks?

I guess you need more flexibility and presence of mind to record an audiobook, as you’re constantly switching between characters, and from narration to dialogue. In animation, you’re concentrating on one part, which is easier, but you’re often recording your lines in isolation from the other characters and from the rest of the story, so there’s less continuity and less to react against, which is harder. I think the approach to characterisation is similar, and the stylistic choices depend more on the type of book or animation so can vary equally for both.

What is your favorite part of doing voice over work?

My favourite part of doing voice work is probably the breadth and variety of different work there is, and it never gets boring. However, I also love listening to my work afterwards! Although I’m very critical of my own work, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the sound of my voice (!) and I sometimes surprise myself with what I produce: I of course monitor myself during recording but I’m not listening fully because most of my brain is concentrating on the performance, so having a good listen afterwards, when the editing is done, can be quite satisfying. I guess it’s the pleasure of having created something new.

Check out his book that comes out this week:

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues
Edited by Christina Boyd
Narrated by André Refig

“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” –Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen–Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.–adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad–a brute–all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created?

In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories–a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon–whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

Stories by: Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Katie Oliver, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes and Brooke West.

 

Get the book on Amazon.

04/30/2018
Just Jane 1813 Welcomes André Refig, Narrator of “Dangerous to Know: Jane Aus

Good morning readers! Today I am looking forward to introducing you to a new audiobook narrator named André Refig, who is the narrator of one of my favorite Austenesque anthologies, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, the second book from The Quill Collective, which earned a five-star review from me a few months ago. I even had the pleasure of writing the foreword for this anthology and I loved the way André brought even my own words to life too!

I had the pleasure of recently interviewing the narrator of this collection where we discussed the process of creating this audiobook and how André prepared for narrating the multiple characters in this collection. I found André to be such a friendly, engaging person, who not only has a real talent for narration but who also has a deep admiration for Austen’s work. I hope that you enjoy our video chat. 

I’d love share with you a bit about André before I share our interview. I think you’ll find his background quite interesting too and once you hear this audiobook, you’ll understand why he’s a perfect fit for this anthology too! Mr. Refig is an actor, singer and voiceover artist. Previous audiobooks include Let Me Tell You About Asperger Syndrome and Victorian Verse. Stage credits encompass musicals (Wilson Mizner in Sondheim’s Road Show, Mr Sheinkopf in Fame), Shakespeare (Rosencrantz in Hamlet, Sebastian in Twelfth Night), children’s theatre (The Little PrinceLily and BearZeraffa Giraffa, the Old-Green Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach), new writing (The Commercial TravellerMacbyrdHeresy) and operetta (covering and playing roles in several Gilbert & Sullivan shows).

https://youtu.be/vskTmxtYSgg

Are you new to The Quill Collective? You may want to read my review of this book on Just Jane 1813. Here’s the book description:

“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” -Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen – Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al. – adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories. It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad – a brute – all wrong!”

But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, 11 Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories – a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon – whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works. What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.

The full list of authors includes: Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Katie Oliver, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes, and Brooke West.

This is Andre’s first Austenesque venture through ACX. I think you’ll love his narration and I think watching this video is a great way to dive into this new anthology’s audiobook, so sit back enjoy our chat!  

IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Christina Boyd is offering a wonderful giveaway for my readers! Two lucky Just Jane 1813 winners will win a copy of the audiobook of Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues and one winner will win an audiobook of The Darcy Monologues. To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post. We’d love to know your thoughts about this anthology! Readers must leave comments no later than midnight, ET, on May 7 and the winner will be announced on this blog.

I’d like to thank André Refig for his time with this interview and for his amazing audiobook work. I’d also like to thank Christina Boyd for inviting me to host this post and for her generous giveaway for my readers.  

Dangerous to Know is available on Audible and you can hear a sample on Amazon too.

11/08/2017
Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues Sightings Worldwide

#RakesAndGentlemenRoguesSightings: photo reports are coming in from all around the world. Much like when readers took our well-traveled Mr Darcy on holiday... (via Instagram and Facebook) #TheDarcyMonologuesLIVE

09/05/2017
Rakes, Rogues, and Scandals, Oh My! Christina Boyd Drops By With a Big Announcem

Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with any number of unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched out to the reader. Have you ever wondered about the back story of her rakes and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.

I have always been drawn to characters that are not simply one dimensional. Through first person point-of-view, Philippa Gregory masterfully created empathy in her Plantagenet and Tudor novels: one novel I would find myself championing a queen and in the very next, she had become the villain! Author Laura Hile skillfully penned nobody’s favorite, Elizabeth Elliot from Persuasion in her Mercy’s Embrace series, and turned her into a true heroine we all might sympathize, all the while remaining faithful to the seemingly superficial and vain snob Jane Austen created. Even my own anthology The Darcy Monologues gave voice to the previously concealed wit and charm of the proud, brooding, and officious Mr. Darcy, allowing us some quality time in his handsome head.

After publishing The Darcy Monologues in May 2017, murmurings began about another project. Maybe from Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s point-of-view? With a surfeit of quality Jane Austen fanfiction recounting Lizzy’s story, I thought it might be a more titillating challenge to expose the histories of Jane Austen’s anti-heroes. It is a universal truth, despite our wisdom, we are captivated by smoldering looks, dangerous charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. Alas, some of us fall for the one that needs to be mended. All the while, our BFFs are shouting to deaf ears, “He is a cad! He is a brute! He is all wrong!” But isn’t that how tender hearts are broken…by giving credit to the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen wrote? The challenge was just too delicious to not undertake.

Once again, a Dream Team of authors were approached to join this project. Titles were bandied about: everything from “Consequently a Rogue” taken from the Jonathon Swift quote “He was a fiddler and consequently a rogue” to “Rakes and Rogues” to “Jane Austen’s Gentlemen Rogues”. “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” the very phrase used by Lady Caroline Lamb to describe Lord Byron, married the previous suggestions and—voila! A title was born.

As an editor, I have been extremely fortunate to work with some incomparable authors in the past. This project is a testament to my providence. It has been a pleasure to have several authors from The Darcy Monologues anthology including Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Jenetta James, Beau North, Sophia Rose, and Joana Starnes join Amy D’Orazio, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Katie Oliver, and Brooke West on creating this current collection of stories. The intent: create short stories, each told from one of Austen’s male antagonists’ eyes—a backstory and, or parallel story from off-stage of canon—all the while remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s masterpieces. As in The Darcy Monologues, these authors certainly can turn up the heat with but the turn of a phrase!

Here are a few quick lines from a sampling of the authors to whet your appetite:

We arranged to fight our duel at that place where all the most elegant duels were fought: the secluded gardens near the Circus, accessed by the Gravel Walk; naturally, the occasion was to be held at dawn. I had been in my chair, subject to the shavings and combings and clippings of old Morley until at last, I cried out, “’Tis enough man! I am not gone to my wedding day!”

Morley frowned at me, his dark eyes sharp with disapproval. “Your wedding day? That is not a day I shall likely live to see so I must keep at my art on these, more common, events.”—Captain Frederick Tilney, For Mischief’s Sake, Amy D’Orazio

I smiled drowsily as she caressed my chest. “I love you, Clémence.”

Her fingers stilled as I closed my eyes in pleasurable exhaustion and drifted towards sleep.

She did not reply. — Mr. George Wickham, A Wicked Game, Katie Oliver

Yes, fellows, since you press me so hard, yes, I confess it: Cupid’s darts have winged me. If you must have the story, pass me that bottle first. I can lift it with my left hand without paining my collarbone excessively. Now, you may not like what you are about to hear. You think lightning will never strike you. But let me tell you, last year on Basingstoke Down, I was neither looking to fall in love, nor looking for someone to fall in love with me, when all unawares—but stay, I must go further back… Mr. Tom Bertram, The Address of Frenchwoman, Lona Manning

What say you? Are you in? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues will be released mid-November and is listed at Goodreads so you might add to your “Want to Read” list.

To help us celebrate this project, we have prizes! One international Grand Prize via this Rafflecopter Link.

 

One print copy or ebook of Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues (when published), a print or ebook of The Darcy Monologues, one set of Jane Austen Playing Cards, one 16 oz. PEMBERLEY drinking glass, and Accoutrements Jane Austen novelty tattoos.  Got to play to win! If you “lose the game, it shall not be for not striving for it.”

— Christina Boyd, @xtnaboyd of The Quill Ink

I can only imagine from my experiences of reading The Darcy Monologues that this anthology is going to be another collection of dreamy stories that readers will be eager to devour! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this upcoming collection of stories in the comments section below!

Thank you to Christina Boyd for visiting today to share your news and this amazing giveaway with my readers! 

05/17/2018
Spotlight on #RakesAndGentlemenRogues; Audiobook Now Live

To Redeem or Not to Redeem Jane Austen’s Rake & Gentlemen Rogues
by Christina Boyd

I am proud to say that I have a very good eye at an Adultress, —Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, 12 May 1801

Jane Austen certainly knew not only how to recognize an adulteress, she also had a remarkable talent for writing about one too; her books are filled with rakes, rattles, and rogues who made sport of toying with ladies’ hearts.

The Elizabethan period witnessed the emergence of the English rogue in fiction, when rogues were considered different from the outlaws of the Medieval Period. Unlike the outlaw, the rogue was not part of any criminal underworld, but instead, symbolized a figure that remained a part of normal society, while simultaneously believing that there was no issue with breaking the law. Perhaps we might acquit ourselves of harboring any affections for her bad boys after all.

Jane Austen even encountered gentlemen rogues in publishing. I was astounded to learn that she self-published three of four books during her lifetime. She received her first contract with a publisher for Susan, much later posthumously published as Northanger Abbey. However, that publisher did nothing with the book but allow dust to collect, and when she applied to have the rights revert to her, she was told that she must return the original ten-pound payment. At that time, she did not undertake the loss. How remarkable that two hundred years after her death, her likeness would appear on the ten-pound note!

“Mr. Murray’s letter is come. He is a rogue, of course, but a civil one. He offers £450 but wants to have the copyright of ‘Mansfield Park’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ included. It will end in my publishing for myself, I daresay. He sends more praise, however, than I expected.” —Letter from Jane Austen to her sister, Cassandra, during her negotiations to have Murray publish Emma. —From the Forward in “Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues’ by Claudine di Muzio, JASNA-NY Metro, Regional Coordinator

While she obviously did not condone the shocking behaviors that many of her contemporaries engaged in, she did know that there were at least two sides to each story. Evidenced through her body of work, she created three-dimensional characters, comprised of good and bad, strength and weakness, bravery and cowardice, and all shades in between. Though she does not fully sketch these characters, she understands all too well: How can there be light without the dark?

When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow. —Ursula K. Le Guin

This left me wondering… How did those secondary, even tertiary, characters become the men Jane Austen created? After publishing The Darcy Monologues in May 2017, an anthology of Pride and Prejudice short stories all told from Mr. Darcy’s point-of-view, rumblings began about another anthology. After a collection of stories told from Austen’s most iconic romantic hero, I was curious about her anti-heroes and assembled another gifted group of authors, giving voice to these scandalous men. Perhaps all of Austen’s bad boys are capable of redeeming themselves, and yet, they don’t. Perhaps that was her point: What makes a man a hero or the villain of the story are the choices he makes. Different choices, he becomes a different man—and maybe part of a different story.

In the spirit of Jane Austen, not all of the eleven rakes and gentlemen rogues could be redeemed in this anthology—if we were to stay true to her characterizations. Like Meredith Esparza at Austenesque Reviews says, “They can’t be like Jane Bennet and make them all good,” so I like to take a pinch from Austen herself, “…from knowing him better, his disposition was better understood.” In Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, tales are shared, secrets are revealed, and hearts are toyed with across Georgian England. I am proud and maybe a little prejudiced to have been a part of this deliciously singular collection of stories aimed to grant Austen’s other men an opportunity to unveil their side of the story as told by a reliable narrator, the rakes and rogues themselves!

Narrator

André  Refig is a London-based actor, singer (high baritone) and voiceover artist.

Truly bilingual, he is equally at home working in French as in English.

He is also a multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, violin, accordion and guitar.

His work has taken him across the UK and Europe and has included a wide variety of different genres, from Shakespeare to new writing, Opera to modern Musicals and voice work to screen work.

 

ABOUT DANGEROUS TO KNOW: JANES AUSTEN’S RAKES & GENTLEMEN ROGUES
“One has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.” —Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot, et al.—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched. Have you never wondered about the pasts of her rakes, rattles, and gentlemen rogues? Surely, there’s more than one side to their stories.
It is a universal truth, we are captivated by smoldering looks, daring charms … a happy-go-lucky, cool confidence. All the while, our loyal confidants are shouting on deaf ears: “He is a cad—a brute—all wrong!” But is that not how tender hearts are broken…by loving the undeserving? How did they become the men Jane Austen created? In this romance anthology, eleven Austenesque authors expose the histories of Austen’s anti-heroes.
Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues is a titillating collection of Georgian era short stories—a backstory or parallel tale off-stage of canon—whilst remaining steadfast to the characters we recognize in Austen’s great works.
What say you? Everyone may be attracted to a bad boy…even temporarily…but heaven help us if we marry one.
AUDIOBOOK PUBLISHING DATE: April 27, 2018
APPROXIMATE LENGTH: 14 hours and 4 minutes
AMAZON, AUDIBLE, iTUNES https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Dangerous-to-Know-Jane-Austens-Rakes-Gentlemen-Rogues-Audiobook/B07CMFBVBN

PLAYLIST on Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/user/dimuzioc/playlist/4D32eY2iqoEkdq9gAknWqs

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36151853-dangerous-to-know?

ABOUT THE NARRATOR, AUTHORS and the EDITOR:

ANDRE REFIG ANDRE REFIG is an actor, singer, and voiceover artist. Previous audiobooks include Let Me Tell You About Asperger Syndrome and Victorian Verse. Stage credits encompass musicals (Wilson Mizner in Sondheim’s Road Show, Mr. Sheinkopf in Fame, Shakespeare (Rosencrantz in Hamlet, Sebastian in Twelfth Night, children’s theatre (The Little Prince, Lily and Bear, Zeraffa Giraffa, the Old-Green Grasshopper in James and the Giant Peach, new writing (The Commercial Traveller, Macbyrd, Heresy) and operetta (covering and playing roles in several Gilbert & Sullivan shows).

CHRISTINA BOYD wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner, The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a commercial ceramicist. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England was made possible by actor Henry Cavill when she won the Omaze experience to meet him in the spring of 2017 on the London Eye. True story. You can Google it.

KAREN M COX is an award-wining author of four novels accented with romance and history: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, Undeceived, and I Could Write a Book, as well as an e-book novella companion to 1932, The Journey Home. She also contributed short stories for the anthologies Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer and The Darcy Monologues. Originally from Everett, Washington, Karen now lives in Central Kentucky with her husband, works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter. Like Austen’s Emma, Karen has many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but like Elizabeth Bennet, she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker.

J. MARIE CROFT is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Bearing witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter are her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight (a Babblings of a Bookworm Favourite Read of 2014), her playful novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Just Jane 1813’s Favourite 2016 JAFF Novella), and her humorous short stories: “Spyglasses and Sunburns” in the Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer anthology and “From the Ashes” in The Darcy Monologues. Joanne lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.

AMY D’ORAZIO
is a former scientist and current stay-at-home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in equal measure. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has two daughters devoted to sports with long practices and began writing stories as a way to pass the time spent at their various gyms and studios. She firmly believes that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses, and happily-ever-afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker. She is the author of The Best Part of Love and A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity.

JENETTA JAMES is a mother, lawyer, writer, and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practices full-time as a barrister. Over the years, she has lived in France, Hungary, and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing, and playing with Lego. She is the author of Suddenly Mrs. Darcy and The Elizabeth Papers, Lover’s Knot, as well as a contributing author to The Darcy Monologues.

LONA MANNING s the author of A Contrary Wind, a variation on Mansfield Park. She has also written numerous true crime articles, which are available at www.crimemagazine.com. She has worked as a non-profit administrator, a vocational instructor, a market researcher, and a speechwriter for politicians. She currently teaches English as a Second Language. She and her husband now divide their time between mainland China and Canada. Her second novel, A Marriage of Attachment, a sequel to A Contrary Wind, is planned for release in early 2018. You can follow Lona at www.lonamanning.ca where she blogs about China and Jane Austen.

CHRISTINA MORLAND spent the first two decades of her life with no knowledge whatsoever of Pride and Prejudice—or any Jane Austen novel, for that matter. She somehow overcame this childhood adversity to become a devoted fan of Austen’s works. When not writing, Morland tries to keep up with her incredibly active seven-year-old and maddeningly brilliant husband. She lives in a place not unlike Hogwarts (minus Harry, Dumbledore, magic, and Scotland), and likes to think of herself as an excellent walker. Morland is the author of two Jane Austen fanfiction novels: A Remedy Against Sin and This Disconcerting Happiness.

BEAU NORTH is the author of three books and contributor to multiple anthologies. Beau hails from the kudzu-strangled wilderness of South Carolina but now hangs her hat in Portland, Oregon. In her spare time, Beau is the co-host of the podcast Excessively Diverted: Modern Austen On-Screen.

KATIE OLIVER is the author of nine novels, including the Amazon bestseller Prada and Prejudice, as well as the Dating Mr. Darcy, Marrying Mr. Darcy, and Jane Austen Factor series. She resides in South Florida with her husband (where she goes to the beach far less often than she’d like) and is working on a new series. Katie began writing as a child and has a box crammed with half-finished stories to prove it. After raising two sons, she decided to get serious and get published. She is convinced that there is no greater pleasure than reading a Jane Austen novel.

SOPHIA ROSE a native Californian currently residing in Michigan. A long-time Jane Austen fan, she is a contributing author to The Darcy Monologues, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer, and Then Comes Winter anthologies, short stories based on Jane Austen’s works. Sophia’s love for writing began as a teen writing humorous stories submitted for Creative Writing class and high school writing club. Writing was set aside for many years while Sophia enjoyed a rewarding career working with children and families. Health issues led to reduced work hours and an opportunity for a return to writing stories that continue to lean toward the lighter side of life and always end with a happily-ever-after.

JOANA STARNES lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats—physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst—but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine. She is one of the contributors to The Darcy Monologues anthology, and the author of seven Austen-inspired novels: From This Day Forward—The Darcys of Pemberley, The Subsequent Proposal, The Second Chance, The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle, Miss Darcy’s Companion and Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter. You can connect with Joana through her website www.joanastarnes.co.uk and on Facebook via her timeline and her author page, All Roads Lead to Pemberley.

BROOKE WEST has always loved the bad boys of literature and thinks the best leading men have the darkest pasts. When she’s not spinning tales of rakish men and daring women, Brooke spends her time in the kitchen baking or at the gym working off all that baking. She lives in South Carolina with her husband and son and their three mischievous cats. Brooke co-authored the novel The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy and the short story “Holiday Mix Tape,” which appears in the anthology Then Comes Winter. Find Brooke on Twitter @WordyWest.

Giveaway Details:

Two lucky commentators will have the opportunity to win an Audible code through either Audible US or Audible UK. First name drawn will choose between a code for The Darcy Monologues or Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rake and Gentlemen Rogues and second winner will be offered the other. The giveaway will close one week from the blog posting date. Reminder: winners must have access to Audible US or UK to use the codes. Good luck, listeners!

11/29/2017
vvb32Reads Features "Dangerous to Know: Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues"

Dangerous to Know: featuring Brooke West (Henry Crawford) -with giveaway​... Follow link for excerpt and more.

11/27/2017
Was Captain Tilney the Darcy of Northanger Abbey? #RakesAndGentlemenRogues

Was Captain Tilney the Darcy of Northanger Abbey?

 Ok, stay with me here.

I was really excited to have the opportunity to write Captain’s Tilney’s story for my recent project with Christina Boyd’s Dangerousto Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues. He’s always intrigued me — strange, I know, but I guess I like a bad boy. Sure, I know his younger brother Henry is supposed to be the real hero of the story but if I’m being completely honest here, I would have to say that squeaky-clean Henry and sweet-but-silly Catherine don’t really fascinate me.

Jane Austen doesn’t give us much info about Captain Tilney — we know he’s handsome, he’s rich, and he likes the ladies, but that’s about it. When I looked at him a little more closely though, I realized he shared quite a few qualities with Mr. Darcy and it led me to wonder if Captain Tilney could be something of an antihero in Northanger Abbey.

So first similarity I noticed between Darcy and Captain Tilney was in their appearance:

Captain Tilney​ Having heard the day before in Milsom Street that their elder brother, Captain Tilney, was expected almost every hour, she was at no loss for the name of a very fashionable–looking, handsome young man, whom she had never seen before, and who now evidently belonged to their party. She looked at him with great admiration, and even supposed it possible that some people might think him handsomer than his brother, though, in her eyes, his air was more assuming, and his countenance less prepossessing.

Mr. Darcy The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.

 And then of course there is the fact that neither one of them really liked to dance:

Captain Tilney​ His taste and manners were beyond a doubt decidedly inferior; for, within her hearing, he not only protested against every thought of dancing himself, but even laughed openly at Henry for finding it possible 

Mr Darcy ​ “You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable.”  

They both had responsibilities to tend to which their fathers, either directly or indirectly, put on them.

Captain Tilney​ The money is nothing, it is not an object, but employment is the thing. Even Frederick, my eldest son, you see, who will perhaps inherit as considerable a landed property as any private man in the county, has his profession.  — Gen Tilney

Mr Darcy​ '"How many letters you must have occasion to write in the course of the year! Letters of business, too! How odious I should think them!"

"It is fortunate, then, that they fall to my lot instead of to yours."

 “He is the best landlord, and the best master," said she, "that ever lived; not like the wild young men nowadays, who think of nothing but themselves. There is not one of his tenants or servants but what will give him a good name.'

And most important of al: neither of them had ever really been in love before.

Captain Tilney​ Frederick too, who always wore his heart so proudly, who found no woman good enough to be loved.

Mr Darcy​ "If your master would marry, you might see more of him."

"Yes, sir; but I do not know when that will be. I do not know who is good enough for him.”

 

Of course, there was one fundamental and massive difference between Darcy and Tilney. Darcy was never a seducer; Captain Tilney on the other hand destroyed Isabella Thorpe’s reputation and engagement for no more reason than the fact that he could. But Darcy too admitted that he really didn’t think much of anyone else’s feelings— he did what he wanted regardless of how it would affect others:

I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit… I was spoilt by my parents, who allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own.

And Darcy admits freely that it was the love of a good woman that forever altered him and his bad behavior: 

Such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled.

Jane Austen, of course, left Captain Tilney unredeemed, unchanged. But I think that like Darcy, he really just needed to fall madly in love with someone who made him wish to be better, to improve himself.  And that’s where I came in, dreaming up the lady who could bring a rogue like Captain Tilney to heel! She’s not your usual regency era-girl but I thought she had just enough spunk to teach a guy like the Captain a thing or two about life and love.

Of course that’s just my take on things! I would love to hear what you think about it! ​--Amy D'Orazio

03/10/2018
Wickham aka Mr Adrian Lukis: Ultimate #RakesAndGentlemenRoguesSightings

#RakesAndGentlemenRoguesSightings:

Mr. Adrian Lukis, the man who brought Jane Austen's most infamous rake off the page in the A&E/BBC Pride & Prejudice, received his very own copy of our Dangerous to Know

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2017
  • B0778WQF53
  • 365 pages
  • $4.95
Paperback Details
  • 11/2017
  • 9780998654010
  • 365 pages
  • $12.95
Hardcover Details
  • 12/2017
  • 0998654035
  • 356 pages
  • $24.95
Audio Details
  • 04/2018
  • 978-0998654010 B0778WQF53
  • 356 pages
  • $17.47

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