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Archive for January, 2011

This is such an exciting time for me with the launch of Mr. Darcy’s Secret coming up tomorrow! I do hope you will join me in celebration as I will be announcing a competition to win two copies of the book.


In the meantime, I have been thrilled to bits with reviews received from the Historical Novel Society, Booklist, Jane Austen Reviews , Linda Banche and My Book Addiction and More . Thank you to all those lovely people who took time to read and consider my book.


Continuing a novel like Pride and Prejudice is a daring enterprise, and Jane Odiwe comes to it steeped in Austen, in all her renditions; Odiwe’s sentences often glint with reflections of the great Jane, and she has a full command of all the connections of the new Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as they begin married life at Pemberley…all in all an enjoyable read.
Historical Novel Society 

Odiwe picks things up where Austen left off in Pride and Prejudice, in an impeccably crafted tale of Elizabeth and Darcy after the wedding. John Charles –Booklist

Jane Odiwe crafted two compelling and absorbing plot-lines in this Pride and Prejudice sequel. One about Elizabeth, Darcy, and Darcy’s secret, and the other one about Georgiana, the man she is engaged to, and the man she loves. I was equally engrossed in both stories, and the added tension and drama Ms. Odiwe generated made this novel hard to put down! …Similar to Ms. Odiwe’s previous novel, Willoughby’s Return, Mr. Darcy’s Secret is a beautiful and well-written continuation that captures the spirit of Jane Austen’s original. Even though the story focuses on the Darcy family, there are many appearances by Jane Austen’s comical and lovable minor characters. Ms. Odiwe accurately represents all these minor characters and gives a few of them some diverting side-stories. I especially enjoyed witnessing the conversations between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Ms. Odiwe’s portrayal of them was flawless! Jane Austen Reviews

Full of the manners and mores so dear to Regency readers, Mr. Darcy’s Secret is another fine addition to the Jane Austen universe…Young love, old sins, characters we love, villains we love to hate, and a mystery threading through the whole–Mr. Darcy’s Secret has it all. Linda Banche

 If you enjoy Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice you will enjoy this book. My Book Addiction and More

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I’m trying to keep the gloom of January at bay! For those of you that couldn’t watch yesterday, I’m hoping this might work for you instead and that it will make you laugh! Lots of familiar faces – gorgeous Alan Rickman and fabulous Imelda Staunton to name only two of the great cast who performed in this tongue in cheek Regency comedy.

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I found this really funny – hope it brightens up your Monday!

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  It’s always a great mistake to go onto Youtube because all I want to do is get out my DVD and watch it from start to finish! Here for your pleasure is the original text and the appropriate clip for comparison. Enjoy!

 Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time Mr. Darcy had been standing near enough for her to overhear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from the dance for a few minutes, to press his friend to join it.
   “Come, Darcy,” said he, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”
   “I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with.”
   “I would not be so fastidious as you are,” cried Bingley, “for a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty.”
   “You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,” said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.
   “Oh! she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.”
   “Which do you mean?” and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.”
   Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him. She told the story, however, with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous.

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There’s a sneak peek from Mr Darcy’s Secret over on Austen Authors today – I hope you can join me!

I’m very excited to think that in less than a month (February 1) Mr Darcy’s Secret will be out at last! In celebration I include this short extract. Elizabeth Bennet has married her Mr Darcy at last, and they are travelling to Pemberley in Derbyshire.

~  ~  ~

Elizabeth Darcy looked out of the carriage window, her spirits in high flutter as they crossed the ancient stone bridge on the road into Lambton village. Nestled at the foot of a hill, on the western side of the river, a number of stone cottages, a church, and a few handsome buildings formed the landscape. Her eyes were drawn to the rich and romantic scenery of the place, enhanced in beauty by the noble appearance of wood-clad hills, wreathed in mist on this damp, November morning. She could not help but remember her first journey to Lambton, accompanied by her uncle and aunt Gardiner on their northern tour. How different had her feelings been in August when the trees had been lush with greenery, the sunshine dazzling her eyes and burnishing her skin to tones of golden brown. Elizabeth recalled her feelings of dread at the thought of being in near vicinity to that of Mr Darcy and how she had feared visiting Pemberley, the house that was now to be her home. She laughed out loud.

Click here to read more!

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It’s just over a fortnight to go before Mr Darcy’s Secret launch – I can’t quite believe it, but it won’t be long before I shall be able to hold my ‘new baby’!
When I was researching the book and thinking about the plot, I very much wanted to make Lizzy’s dream of visiting the Lakes come true and who better to share the experience than with her new husband Mr Darcy.
At this time the Cumbrian Lakes were beginning to grow in popularity as a holiday destination. The area became the retreat for painters and poets with Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey living and writing in the area. Wordsworth was inspired to pen his most famous daffodil poem in 1802 when he and his sister Dorothy were wandering along Ullswater.

Dorothy wrote in her journal:
When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park, we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more and more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road.

I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing.

This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway. We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy, and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the sea.

Lake Windermere, or Winandermere as it was known then was not the very busy tourist destination it is today. Prints of the time show it to be a very unspoiled area. Ann Radcliffe made a journey in 1794 to the Lake District and wrote: Windermere is distinguished from all the other Lakes by its superior length and breadth, by the gentle hills, cultivated and enclosed nearly to their summits, that generally bind its shores, by the gradual distance and fine disposition of the northern mountains, by the bold sweeps of its numerous bays, by the villas that speckle and rich plantations that wind them, and by one large island, surrounded by many islets which adds dignity to its bosom. On the other lakes the islands are prettinesses, that do not accord with the character of the scene; they break also the surface of the water where vast continuity is required; and the mind cannot endure to descend suddenly from the gigantic sublimity of nature to her fairy sports. Having said all that, however, she goes on to say that she found the area a little tame for her taste – it was the fashion to be in awe of the sublimity of nature, and the Lake District presented many opportunities for those ‘romantics’ who wished to be struck by the terror and beauty of all they observed in the stunning scenery.
I thought Elizabeth Darcy would love the Lake District, though perhaps be able to appreciate it with a more tempered and pragmatic eye, but nevertheless enjoy the reactions of certain individuals who wished to be ‘overcome’ by the dramatic landscapes, and given to painting or writing poetry.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but just as she and Darcy, along with Georgiana, Jane and Bingley, are enjoying themselves in the peaceful Lakeside Bellingham Hall, they receive news that a party from London who are tired with the  Season and have become enamoured of a certain new painter/poet are following in his wake, and about to descend. I wonder if you can guess who any of these characters might be?
While everyone else is occupied with following their artistic pursuits, Georgiana finds her own romantic nature in more ways than one, but I shan’t say any more! I really enjoyed writing this section of the book, and I hope you will be amused by it!

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Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you’ve all enjoyed a lovely holiday over the festive season!  Thank you to everyone for visiting my site during the last year, and for those who leave their kind comments on the blog, it really gladdens my heart. An especial thank you goes to all those lovely readers who take the time to write to me individually, and to the wonderful blogging community out there who are always so supportive. I’m very excited that the time for publication of Mr Darcy’s Secret is getting nearer – just a month away – thank you to everyone who have expressed such interest in my new book.
I hope 2011 brings you all health and happiness – I’ve not started too well myself, I’m battling with flu at the moment, but I had to tell you this exciting news from Laurel Ann at Austenprose. I am thrilled to be a part of her short story anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It!

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest 2011 graphicThe Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Short Story Contest Begins
January 1, 2011
In conjunction with the publication of the new anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Ballantine BooksAustenprose.com, and The Republic of Pemberley are pleased to announce an online short story contest.  Enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize: publication of your entry in the anthology – a collection of original short stories inspired by the life and works of popular English novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817).  Hosted by the Jane Austen web site The Republic of Pemberley, the contest begins on January 1, 2011. Publication of Jane Austen Made Me Do It is tentatively scheduled for publication by Ballantine in Fall 2011.
Contest Highlights
  • Eligibility: Previously unpublished U.S. residents over the age of 18
  • Entries must be approximately 5,000 words in length
  • Manuscript submission January 1 – February 13, 2011
  • Voting for the Top Ten finalists February 14 – 28, 2011
  • Top Ten finalists announced on March 1, 2011
  • One Grand Prize winner receives $500.00 and a contract for publication in the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It
  • Grand Prize winner announced Fall 2011 in conjunction with the official release by Ballantine Books (Random House, Inc.) of Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Jane Austen Made Me Do It contains more than twenty best-selling and popular authors who have contributed short stories inspired by Jane Austen, her novels and her philosophies of life and love. From historical continuations of her plots and characters to contemporary spinoffs and comedies, the stories encapsulate what we love about our favorite author: romance, social satire and witty humor. Contributing to the line-up are best-selling authors Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club), Adriana Trigiani (Brava, Valentine), Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation series), Laurie Viera Rigler (The Jane Austen Addict series), Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen), Stephanie Barron (Being A Jane Austen Mystery series), and the husband and wife writing team of Frank Delaney (Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show) and Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances). Many Austenesque authors and others from related genres have also contributed stories to the project. One spot in the anthology remains open for the lucky Grand Prize winner.
The anthology’s editor, Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose.com, is very excited at the prospect of discovering the next star in the burgeoning sub-genre of Jane Austen sequels and inspired books. “Jane Austen has been inspiring writers for close to two hundred years. It seems quite fitting that she should be the witty muse of our anthology and short story contest. Encouraging writing and discovering new talent is in spirit with her true legacy. I am ‘all anticipation’ of what will develop, and am honored to be part of the selection team.”
Visit the official Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest web page for official contest rules and eligibility requirements.  Best of luck to all entrants.
“[S]uppose as much as you chuse; give a loose to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford.” Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 60

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