Monday, June 26, 2017

From Down Under to Awed Wonder

with guest Carolyn Miller.

Hello Seekers - greetings from Australia!

It’s a real honor to be with you today, so thank you for taking the time to read about this Aussie historical romance writer’s love affair with England and Jane Austen.  πŸ™‚

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of Jane Austen. I love her novels, I enjoy (most of) the film and TV adaptations of her books, I even appreciate the prayers said to be written by her. I like how the daughter of a country church reverend could be so irreverent in her social skewering of polite society, that she understood the inner foibles and fears of people, that her words contain such wit and wisdom. I like how her books have a core of romance that is so very different to what is deemed romance today. There’s barely any touching, let alone kissing, which means the entwining of hearts must come from other means—no, not just smouldering looks from Mr. Darcy-type characters, but the growing notice of and

appreciation for such qualities as kindness and concern for others, lively spirits, good temper, good humor, etc. I endeavour to emulate some of these qualities in my own Regency-era novels, including The Elusive Miss Ellison, and The Captivating Lady Charlotte, who makes her entrance into the world tomorrow!

I’ve always enjoyed Jane Austen’s work, and that of Georgette Heyer, which is why I felt extremely blessed to travel to England in 2015 on a ‘research trip’ (but also to visit my sister, who was living in London at the time). Now, Australia is a LONG way from England, and by the time I arrived I’d spent over a day in the air or waiting in airports. But did I care? No! I was finally in England, the land of so many dreams nurtured by the words of everyone from Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie to Shakespeare, the land depicted onscreen in shows like To The Manor Born and Midsomer Murders—and of course, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Anyone who has ever experienced a dream come true would understand the sense of wonder at sitting in the (recreated) Globe Theatre in London, watching a production of As You Like It, just as a theatregoer might have 400 years ago. Would understand the awe of seeing Roman-era baths in Bath (especially true for an Aussie when the earliest European contact with Australia happened in 1606, only a millennia and a half after Bath was founded by those Romans!). Anyone who has ever travelled to places only virtually explored via Google-Earth would know the thrill of walking the same Bath streets that Catherine Morland and Anne Elliot explored, or seeing…(drumroll, please) Pemberley.

Yes, Pemberley, the home of Mr. Darcy, hero of Pride and Prejudice, the hero responsible for countless women’s unrealistic expectations since 1813 (according to one popular meme).

Now I consider the 1995 BBC five-hour production with Colin Firth to be the definitive

version of P&P, partly because its length means it can explore some of the novel’s nuances that much more, and partly because the house used as Pemberley is not Chatsworth, as is used in the 2005 Keira Knightley version. (A careful read of P&P mentions Chatsworth in its own right as one of Derbyshire’s “celebrated beauties." Later mention of Pemberley House shows these to be two distinct great houses in the Peak District of Derbyshire. But I digress…)

Lyme Park, a magnificent estate that dates back to the 14th century (my Aussie mind can’t process such antiquity—heaven help me if I should one day visit Israel!), was used in the 1995 version of P&P, its grand Baroque-inspired features perfect for the home of the ultimate Austen hero. The day I visited the house was closed, but my sister and I could wander the grounds, which suited me as only the exterior was used in the 1995 version. (Interesting side note: my husband actually worked at Lyme Park! – last century, and on the grounds staff, but I’m pretty sure that gives him bonus Mr. Darcy points. πŸ™‚)

As mentioned above, Chatsworth has also been used as a film location for Pemberley, in both the 2005 version, and the 2013 adaptation of PD James’s P&P sequel Death Comes to Pemberley. I was fortunate enough to see inside the house, as well as the amazing gardens, and can fully attest to the grandeur and splendour depicted in the films. To think this was a home—still is a home!—for one family, the Cavendish family, who just happen to be known as the Dukes of Devonshire…

Chatsworth is considered by some to be Jane Austen’s model when creating Pemberley. Consider these lines from Chapter 43 of P&P:

They gradually ascended for half a mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills;—and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. 
Compare that description with images of Chatsworth and there may be some basis for such belief. 



Regardless of which Pemberley you prefer, I think it cannot be argued that Jane Austen was a master craftswoman of words, someone whose writing ushered in the advent of realism in novels (unlike the Gothic and sentimental of the 18th century), whose significance is such that this year, 200 years after her death, the Bank of England is commemorating her life with the release of her image on the ten-pound note. (Ironic, because she sold her first manuscript for ten pounds.) Jane Austen’s legacy of realistic yet romantic novels—and creation of such characters as Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy—is definitely worth celebrating.

Visiting England (and side trips to Ireland and Scotland, but that’s another story and a half!) was a dream come true for me. Seeing gentle rolling hills and muted skies so different to the brash landscapes and bold blue skies of Australia, experiencing a tiny taste of life as I imagine might have been lived by some of my literary heroes, was something I shall always cherish, and something I shall always be grateful to my husband, as much for his encouragement to go see the places I’d researched and written about, as his willingness to look after our four children – God bless him!

Now over to you. Have you taken a ‘dream come true’ vacation? Have you ever travelled to England (or Australia!), and if so, what did you enjoy seeing? What would you like to see? Which is your favourite Jane Austen film, and which location would you like to visit? 



Leave a comment today for  chance to win an e-copy of either The Elusive Miss Ellison or The Captivating Lady Charlotte. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.



The Captivating Lady Charlotte
Her heart is her own--but her hand in marriage is another matter.

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.


Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace?


Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked part-time as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A long-time lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her debut Regency The Elusive Miss Ellison released in February 2017 from Kregel; The Captivating Lady Charlotte releases June 27. Both are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD etc.

Connect with her:


www.carolynmillerauthor.com
www.pinterest.com/camillering
www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor/
twitter.com/CarolynMAuthor

167 comments :

  1. Welcome to Carolyn Miller. The current time down under is...2:31 pm. Time for tea and cookies. (I saw Tim Tams in our local grocery store, btw).

    We're delighted to welcome you to our little Village.

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    1. Tina, this is the second time I've seen Tim Tams mentioned in a blog post and I'm wondering how I can get my hands on some to try and what all the fuss is about. I don't have any idea where they'd sell those? I live in a small town with really no major grocery store other than Safeway (Albertsons) or Fred Meyer (Kroger). Guess I'll have to do some sleuthing :-)

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    2. Thanks so much Tina! Yes, I have my pot of tea and some Tim Tams at the ready. Thanks for the invitation - it's a real pleasure to be here! xx

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    3. Trixi, I tried finding them last year, but they weren't available without a mega shipping fee... I wonder if that's still the case?

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  2. I don't know if you would call this a 'dream come true' vacation, but my husband and I just took our 20th year anniversary trip to Crater Lake, Oregon. I've lived on the coast almost that entire time, and have always wanted to go there but have never made it due to time or money. It's well worth the wait!! We had snow up there....lots of snow (yes even in the first weekend in May) and it was SO cold, but wow the view was spectacular :-) It was one of the places we've wanted to travel and I'm so glad we were able to this time. Next on our list of "places we want to travel", the inside passage cruise in Alaska! That may take a little more doing, but we're determined to make it happen sometime on one of our future anniversary trips!

    I've never been to England or Australia. The only other country I've been to is Canada for our 2nd & 3rd year anniversary. This was before you had to have a passport to cross the border. I think if I had my choice of countries to visit next, it would be New Zealand. My mom moved there in 2001 and I'd love to visit her and stay for like a month or so! She sends me some beautiful scenery pictures and tells me how much she loves it there :-)

    Carolyn, can we still be friends if I said I've never watched a Jane Austen film? Though I am a huge Regency fiction reader fan! I hope that counts for something :-) My favorite Regency author of all time is Julie Klassen. I've read just about every one of her books except for maybe two. I love her work and how she brings the stories to life!

    Anyway, I'm excited for "The Captivating Lady Charlotte" as I have a copy of "The Elusive Miss Ellison" on my Kindle. Please add my name to the contest, thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Trixi! Congratulations on your 20th anniversary - my husband and I celebrate 20 years on Wednesday! I think it's well worth the investment to have a memorable trip for a special anniversary - or for any reason, really! πŸ˜‰
      And OF COURSE we can be friends, even if you've never watched a Jane Austen film. Can I say you'll be doing yourself a favour to watch one? Trust me... (I'd start with the Keira Knightley 2005 Pride & Prejudice, only because it's two hours, not five.) You'll be thanking me,especially if you're a Julie Klassen fan πŸ˜€ Speaking of, do you have a fave of hers? I recently read The Painter's Daughter - and loved it!
      (And as for the Tim Tam questions - yes, hunt them down. Delicious Aussie chocolate goodness, now in a variety of flavours, but the original milk chocolate is best!)
      I hope you enjoy Miss Ellison - and Lady Charlotte one day!
      Name added!

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    2. I found them at Walmart.... https://www.walmart.com/ip/Arnott-s-Tim-Tam-Original-Cookies-7-oz/46028131

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    3. Ruth - I hope you tried them :) Although I have to say, it seems sacrilegious to see them called cookies! 😳 As every Australian knows Tim Tams are BISCUITS! :)

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  3. Amazon carries them, Trixie. I don't know the price in my grocery store. I'll put it on FB next time I do the shopping trip, expedition.

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    1. I found them at WalMart in our little town so, you might try your WalMart Trixi.

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    2. Hope you enjoyed a little taste of Australia, Cindy! πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί

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  4. P&P used to be my favorite but lately I've really fallen more and more in love with the 1995 Persuasion. It's really so well done and so romantic. The dialogue and subtext are wonderful.

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    1. YES! I think that Persuasion is the most romantic of Jane's novels (we're friends, which is why I call her by her first name πŸ˜‰), although I do prefer Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Wentworth in the 2007 version of Persuasion. In the 1995 version I love watching how Anne becomes prettier as the film progresses (sigh...)

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    2. Rupert is eye candy, but the 1995 version is so much more romantic and so much more realistic.

      What do you think of Becoming Jane? I mean the authenticity of it. I could watch James McaVoy forever..but that's a different issue.

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    3. I liked BJ, but question Anne Hathaway's overt 'prettiness' in the role. It's interesting to compare that film with 'Miss Austen Regrets' which is set towards the end of her life. Both seem to take some liberties with her life, but it's so hard to know, seeing as Jane's sister Cassandra burned so many of Jane's letters and diaries, it's hard to know how close they veer to the truth :)

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    4. I loved Miss Austen Regrets!!! Yes.

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    5. Wow! I love today's comments ALMOST as much as Carolyn's wonderfully informative post, in which I learned something new about the houses used in the films. I have never heard of "Miss Austen Regrets" and I only vaguely remember watching part of "Persuasion". I will hunt both down forthwith. It is important in 120 degree weather to watch feel-good movies in an air-conditioned room. :)

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    6. Hi Dana - I think it's also important to watch feel-good movies when there is frost on the ground, in the depths of winter, snuggled into a blanket next to the fire, with a pot of tea beside you.
      I hope you enjoy Persuasion -it is so lovely ❤️

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  5. I've been to Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. I barely stepped foot into Italy for an open air market, so my goal is Tuscany and Scotland and Ireland. (My family is from Northern Italy and Sicily)

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    1. What part of Scotland and Ireland would you like to see?

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    2. I'm a tourist. Plunk me down anywhere in the country and I'll be happy.

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    3. Nice. My sister insisted we visit Ireland's 'Ring of Kerry' to see the 'family castle' near Sneem (doesn't every family have a castle or royal connection somewhere?) - Ireland is a beautiful, welcoming place. (As is Scotland. My fave place there is Dunrobin Castle, in the north of the Scottish Highlands. Magical!!!)

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  6. Hi Carolyn! It must be daytime in Australia! So many comments already!
    Thanks so much for being on!

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    1. Thanks so much for having me, Mary! Yes, it's 3.13pm here, which makes it a lot easier for commenting πŸ˜‰

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  7. Good morning, Carolyn!

    I LOVE Austin's novels. I try to read one every year, and watch the 6-part BBC series of Pride and Prejudice once a year too. Jennifer Ehle is my favorite Elizabeth Bennett. And Colin Firth...need I say more? I would love to visit the inspiration for Rosings Park, but who could resist a trip to Pemverly?

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge of Austin's life today. I'm totally fascinated by her spunk and tenacity.

    ~ Renee

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    1. Hi Renee - gosh, it's early morning for you, late afternoon for me! Yay, a fellow Jane Austen fan! I love Jennifer Ehle too - such fine eyes! - it came as quite a shock to learn she was a natural blonde, and was (part?) American! I agree with you regarding Jane's tenacity being admirable. She's often considered the creator of the modern novel, with good reason. Have you seen any of the films based on her life, like Miss Austen Regrets or Becoming Jane? Although somewhat fictionalised, they give even more intriguing insights as to her life. What a woman!

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    2. Yes, when Jennifer Ehle pops up in an American TV show as a blonde, I am always floored.

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  8. I've been passing along this info for you British historical writers. There is a show called Salvage Hunters...the British version of American Pickers. Often it takes place in English castles.

    The old guard needs to get rid of centuries worth of...excuse the vernacular...CRAP. I was watching one episode and I swear it was like it was filmed in Downton Abbey. Fascinating. Season 1 Free for Amazon Prime. http://amzn.to/2s6b14O

    I'd do a hot link but my brain is fried.

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    1. Looks like a good one to look out for!

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  9. I guess I have led a 'sheltered' life as I have yet to see a Jane Austen film.

    I have set foot on English soil but only to change planes at the airport. What I saw when we went outside was beautiful though.

    My dream trip just occurred. We spent a week in Florida at Walt Disney World for our 16th anniversary. I love Disney and I had never been to Disney World and I loved it...however...I still love Disneyland in California more.

    I would love to have my name tossed into the drawing. Thank you.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    1. Be 'sheltered' no longer, Cindy! Truly, if you enjoy historical romance then there is so much to appreciate about Jane Austen adaptations: the clothes, the setting, scenery, the swoony romance, the manners, oh, and the handsome gentlemen! Then there's the witty dialogue. (And did I mention the handsome gentlemen?)
      I'm glad you enjoyed your recent trip - congrats on your anniversary!!

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    2. CINDY W. Disney California more? Okay, France in Disney California is better, but wow, I love Disney World.

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  10. Welcome, Carolyn! Gosh, it's a busy morning here. My favorite Austen book and movie is Pride & Prejudice. One of my most memorable trips was to St. Lucia. Australia is on my bucket list. Thanks for visiting today!

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    1. Hi Jill, thanks so much for having me! I bet St. Lucia was amazing - it's always great to visit a place very different to home :) My husband and I just got back from New Caledonia, a French-speaking tropical island in the South Pacific - tres bien! I'm glad Australia is on your bucket list!
      Now the all important question: which Pride & Prejudice film is your favourite? Colin, Keira, or the Mormon one? ;)

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  11. What a wonderful post! I grew up devouring regencies, combing the library for them, and reaching the depths of despair when I had read them all. Your books are definitely going in my TBR pile!

    I got to spend 2 days in London on a layover to Africa. It was pure heaven. I think my favorite part was walking through Hyde Park and envisioning all the lovely curricle rides and walkabouts that have transpired over the years. Such romance!

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    1. HI Sherrinda - thank you! Yes, Regencies are fascinating, aren't they? (I'm a HUGE Georgette Heyer fan- have you read her? Got a fave? 😊) Hyde Park is so lovely to walk through, especially when you 'see' so much history - and Rotten Row!
      Now you know I'm going to have to ask about your trip to Africa...?

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  12. Hi Carolyn, love this, I am SUCH an Anglophile. You are right, the 1995 version is definitive, and not just because of Colin Firth. The production value and attention to detail is superlative.
    I'm an Anglophile, everything from growing up with Hayley Mills movies through Beatlemania through Upstairs Downstairs, Downton Abbey, Poldark (twice) and Harry Potter. Throw in Lord Peter Wimsey while you're at it. I've never been there, but both my daughters have, one for two weeks and one for almost a year. She didn't want to come home and had only pennies on her credit card when she finally gave in.
    I love the SPIRIT of the British people and how they staved off Hitler. Sorry, P&P, but my favorite Colin Firth role is "The King's Speech," when he played one very flawed man who had to unite an entire country to fight the desolate evil that was Adolf H. That one movie made me forgive them for India, Ireland, Scotland, Africa and what they did to us. Love the Brits...
    Back later,
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. HI Kaybee, nice to 'meet' a fellow Anglophile! I agree about 'The King's Speech' - what an amazing role that was for Colin, so poignant - and true! (Did you notice the irony of an Aussie from the colonies helping the king? Love that!)
      There is much to admire about the indomitable British spirit, especially in light of the recent terror attacks 😞
      Thanks for your comments - I sense Lord Peter Wimsey will be on my watch list! Speaking of watch list, are you watching the new Poldark series? (And have you ever seen Outlander?)

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    2. I'm saving Poldark for a marathon. The same with Outlander. Sigh.

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  13. Only overseas place I've ever been is the Azores for a church work trip, but loved the experience. I don't have a definitive "dream vacation," but there are a couple of things on ye old bucket list. I would love to attend the Service of Lessons and Carols at Christ Church, Cambridge, England. I would love to visit the German and Austrian Christmas markets. I would also love to attend the Vienna Symphony's concert on Christmas Eve. And of course there's the Holy Land. I'm getting more choosy in my old age, though. I don't really want to go anywhere where they hate Americans or don't have toilets. Sigh.
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. Oohhh, yes, yes and yes! (I think I might have to come visit those places, too) And yes, toilets do make a difference - although the lack of them make for good stories later πŸ˜‰

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    2. Kathy, I've been to a few of those locales with, um, "different" toilets. Not pleasant. :-/ That's why, for our Africa trip, I was glad to have invested in a handy little gadget from Amazon.

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  14. Hello Carolyn,
    Wonderful post! I enjoyed reading about your travels and what you have seen in England. I am in awe that your husband worked on the grounds staff at Lyme. Very cool. My husband visited Lyme while he was at conference in England. I was so jealous. He did buy me a great book while there on the making of P&P. . the 1995 version which is my favorite version as well. I am excited to read your new book.
    Have a great day.
    Becky B.

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    1. Thanks Becky - I'm so glad you're excited about Lady Charlotte! I think I might need to know more about that book of the making of P&P - I suspect I might have the same one! (with details about everything from the great houses chosen for production, to choreography, to the actors 'mug' shots, etc, etc)

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  15. Carolyn, thanks for sharing highlights of your travels! I lived in Germany for three years and visited most of Europe, including the UK. Loved it all. Hubby and I took a trip to Greece, as well, and I was awed with the age of all we saw. This fall we're off to the Holy Land...and hoping to visit Ireland next year. So much to see.

    We have dear friends in Australia. Lovely country that I would love to visit someday...and lovely people!

    Your stories sound delightful. The covers on your current releases are both so beautiful!

    So glad you can be with us today!

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    1. Thanks Debby - it's great to be here! (although it's close to 11.30pm, so I might need a little nap soon :)
      Having the opportunity to travel is a wonderful blessing, isn't it? How fortunate were you to live in Europe and have so many opportunities to travel around. It certainly is much easier (and more affordable) than when great distances are involved!
      I hope you get to visit your friends in Australia - and you're right, the country (and people πŸ˜‰) are very lovely!

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  16. My dream vacation was a trip to Scotland to hunt down the lighthouse at Cloche in which my grandfather was raised. Our oldest daughter was teaching band at the time, her band was performing at a festival in Edinburgh. When the kids went home, she stayed on another 10 days and I met her. A memorable trip, in which I did what I do best - got lost, over and over. :)

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    1. How wonderful! Scotland is wonderful full stop (you say period, right?), but to 'hunt down a lighthouse' sounds like a story and a half! And what a blessing that you got to visit your daughter at the same time! I think it very important to have family members living in places one wants to visit. Thanks for sharing your memories :)

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  17. Carolyn, I'm about to run out the door so will have to come back and read your post later. But I wanted to say welcome, and that I LOVE your covers!!

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    1. Thanks so much Missy - I'll probably catch you after I have some sleep 😴 I'm glad you love the covers; I'm a big fan of them too!

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  18. Welcome, Carolyn! My dream vacation was to England, Scotland and Wales. As an Anglophile who grew up reading the classics from "across the pond" and with my ancestry predominantly from the British Isles, I immediately felt so relaxed and at home there and loved every second of it--except saying goodbye! When my weeks were coming to an end, I actually felt SAD to have to leave. I could go on and on for pages with details, but need to back to my WIP. Your book sounds intriguing--and I love the cover. You can't beat a good Regency!

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    1. Thanks Glynna. I totally understand what you mean; some places grab a hold of you and it's hard to leave. I would have liked to visit Wales but alas, time constraints prevailed (and perhaps the patience of my hubby and kidlets while I was off gallivanting πŸ˜‰)
      And yes - you can't beat a good Regency!
      Happy writing!

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  19. The Captivating of Lady Charlotte sounds cute. It's been forever since I've read a regency. I love the cover.(But don't put me in for the drawing, I never read e-books...)

    I've only been to Mexico. My husband and I have been wanting to go to England. Maybe in a couple of years...

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    1. HI Connie- thanks for commenting! (I'll confess I don't tend to read e-books too often; nothing beats a 'real' book, but unfortunately the cost of sending 'real' books to the US from Australia is a trifle challenging at times!)

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    2. Definitely understand the costs of shipping overseas. :)

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  20. Welcome Carolyn! I have no idea what time it is now but you're likely in bed down under. Thank you for sharing about the houses because while I've never seen a Jane Austen movie - and I don't know why because I've adored the Bronte movies - I do love architecture in the UK. Our most memorable trip outside of a Caribbean cruise was to Edinburgh. It's my dream to go back there (have Scottish relatives) and see the castles again and maybe drive up to Inverness. The covers for both your books are amazing! I love historical romance from almost any period. Congratulations on the release of Miss Charlott'e story.

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    1. HI Laurie - and thank you! Yes, I'm about to toddle off to bed, because it's creeping ever closer to midnight here :) Do yourself a favour and watch a Jane Austen film - if you've enjoyed the Bronte movies then you'll enjoy these ones, too, especially as you'll appreciate the beautiful houses used - plus they don't have so many dark undertones!
      And Scotland... so many lovely castles to see. Dunrobin is my favourite! Thanks for commenting!

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  21. Welcome Carolyn.

    I started raising support to go to Liverpool England as a missionary in 1980 Then in 1982 an urgent call from the mission board came that said I was needed in Niamey, Niger to teach missionary kids so instead of going to England I ended up in Africa instead. I got to take a ride through the Sahara Desert and stay at a town in the desert. I rode in a dugout canoe across the Niger river where someone was bailing water out of the canoe as we rode. We went to visit a family where we were given a live chicken as a welcoming gift. Now mind you, I am terrified of chickens so quite an experience. Living in Africa for six months was something I will never forget. I never made it to England.

    I do love the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice, I have read some great books that are a take on the Jane Austen books.

    I will have to look for your books.

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    1. HI Wilani - wow, what adventures you've had! I visited South Africa and Zimbabwe on a short term missions trip back in 1995, but it seemed quite tame compared to your experiences :)
      I love to read some of the adaptations of Jane Austen novels, too - have you got any favourites?

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    2. Robin Helm has some great ones

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    3. Thanks, Wilani - I will look out for them :)

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  22. Hi Carolyn and welcome to Seekerville. As a fellow Jane Austen fan, this is a great post and I intend to look for your books. P&P will always be my favorite Austen, but I love them all (and blame Mr. Darcy for high expectations-great meme!)

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    1. HI Cindy, and thank you :)
      Yes, Mr Darcy has a lot to answer for. Although these days I'll confess to holding a slightly bigger candle for Captain Wentworth (but that might be Rupert Penry Jones's fault πŸ˜‰)

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  23. Oh, gosh, you are still up? Go to sleep little regency Australian writer. I'll hold down the fort until you wake. LOL

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    1. Thanks Tina - it's morning here, so g'day again from Down Under! :)

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  24. Welcome, Carolyn! I agree--this sounds like a fabulous vacation! England is definitely on my bucket list, and you've given me several more reasons to go. I actually "discovered" Jane Austen through the BBC productions, which prompted me to read several of her novels. She truly was masterful.

    Our "dream come true" vacation was in 2013, when we spent a week with our daughter and family while they were missionaries in Ethiopia, then met up with a group from our church for a Kenyan photo safari.

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    1. We need a writer conference in England, Myra!!!

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    2. Sounds like a great idea, Tina. Start planning...

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    3. Wow, Myra - Ethiopia and Kenya would have been amazing, and no doubt filled with experiences very different from home.
      God bless the BBC productions of Jane Austen films - I think many people have come to appreciate JA's wit and wisdom through such an accessible medium :)

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    4. Oh, and I second (or is it third?) the idea of a writer's conference in England, with perhaps a side order of Scotland...? πŸ˜€

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  25. Hi, Carolyn! I've heard great things about your first Regency! I need to read it, but alas, my reading-for-fun time is almost nil.
    I totally agree about the Colin Firth version of P&P being the best! Oh my. I can't even watch any other version. I have been desperately wishing someone would make another version of P&P and use the same script, just different actors and locations, since I've watched the old one soooo many times it's gotten a little boring. (I almost feel guilty saying that!) I also wish someone would make all of her movies into new versions, except maybe Northanger Abbey. The one with JJ Field is perfect and I haven't watched it ad nauseum yet. LOL!
    Anyway . . . sorry for the rambling. Just wanted to say hi to a fellow Jane Austen fanatic! :-)

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    1. See, that's it. I love the old version of P and P but am at the point of skim watching. Horrible. Horrible. So now am about ready to watch Persuasion on two different laptops sitting next to each other to analyze.

      OH, MY GOSH. I will admit the father in the modern Persuasion. Is he not a kick. Oozes vanity. I want to slap the man.

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    2. HI Melanie - thank you for your kind words 😍
      I know what you mean about reading time (although it's surprising how many films and TV shows I can watch. I call the watching of JA films research, cos they're always historically accurate, right? πŸ˜‰ Well, actually, I AM watching them for research, because I'm presenting at a Jane Austen Society conference in September about music used in Jane Austen films, so I really DO need to watch them. But i digress...)

      I totally understand re the need for a new version of P&P - I presume neither the Mormon version or the one with zombies were what you meant? And seeing it has been 12 years now since the Keira one, it's high time for a new one.
      Thanks so much for commenting, fellow Janeite! :)

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    3. Tina, I've actually watched Persuasion while reading the novel, pausing when there's digression from the script. I do understand why the directors have chosen to do certain elements in the way they have, to increase the degree of surprise, but when it's such a neatly packaged story, there really shouldn't be too much variation from the novel 'script'. And the really important, memorable lines should ALWAYS be uttered in the right place, by the right people.
      I'll be interested to see what you think!

      Delete
  26. The official time in Australia is 12:01 am. The Tim Tams are overflowing and we've got tea with lemon in abundance.

    I pulled the vanilla scones from the oven. So let's eat drink and be merry until the sun rises again down under.

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    1. Reaching for a Tim Tam!!! Pouring another cup of tea, as well.

      Thanks, Tina!

      Delete
  27. G'Day Carolyn! I've not traveled outside the U.S. I do agree that Colin Firth is the perfect Mr. Darcy!

    TINA, thank you for the tea and scones!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

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    1. G'day Caryl! (Thank you for using one of my fave expressions - it's the Aussie equivalent of the more Regency appropriate 'good day to you' isn't it? 😊)
      What has been your favourite place to travel in the US?

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  28. Fun post, Carolyn. I know you are sleeping now. Seems strange that I'm just into a few hours on Monday morning and your Monday is already over.

    I love Jane Austen books. Not sure I really even have a favorite. Several years ago I reread all of them, although I had never read Emma, so that became a first time read. I think that was my least favorite. I also love reading books that are modern day retelling of the Jane Austen stories.

    I took a trip to Ireland in college that was fantastic. That was almost 40 years ago. I would love to go again. And I would love to go to England and see all the Jane Austen sites as well as Shakespeare.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

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    1. I love retellings too, Sandy! Even the Bollywood movies.

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    2. HI Sandy - yes I love these time zone differences. It makes connecting with my US publishers pretty fun :)

      I've never been a big fan of Emma, although I do have to say I really like the newer version with Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller in it - Romola just glows!

      What part of Ireland did you visit? It's such an amazingly diverse country, for such a little one :)

      And Shakespeare... When you do go, make sure you visit the Globe theatre in London. I've been a high school English teacher, and there's nothing like sitting there watching a production without all the trappings modern productions use to fully appreciate Shakespeare's words.

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    3. Carolyn, we flew into Shannon and spent time in the western part of the country and about 10 days or so in Dublin. I loved Dublin. Fun city. It was so long ago, I don't remember exactly where all we went without digging out my journal from the trip.

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    4. My sister and I flew into Cork and only saw the Ring of Kerry in the west (amazing how many castles can be packed into one area) - which means I have plenty of reason to return one day and see the rest!

      Delete
    5. We were in Cork, too We were going to drive around the ring of Kerry but the weather was bad that day and the bus driver said it wasn't safe to do.

      Delete
  29. Carolyn, I am swooning over your post!!!! I actually just finished reading the Elusive Miss Ellison a few weeks ago, and let me say it was everything a Jane Austen fan desires.

    You've seen Pemberly? Heart be still! I would love, love, love to see it in person. My favorite P&P is of course the BBC miniseries version. I couldn't get it to stream this week so I fell to Death Comes to Pemberly instead while I cleaned my room, because who wants to endure that drudgery without Darcy?

    As far as dream vacations? I love all places historical, and the idea of going to Europe where so many of the buildings are older than the United States itself makes me drool. I want to go to England and have REAL Devonshire Cream, have high tea in the midst of a beautiful garden, and then tour all things literary. I want to go to France and Germany to see the old castles and gardens, and to do a fairy tale tour. I need months in Europe to accomplish all I want. My husband travels to Europe quite a bit for work, but I have yet to go.

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip and I look forward to the next book. You have definitely captured me as a fan!

    Tina, thank you for the scones while I sit here drinking my tea from London - one of the only benefits of a husband who travels. I so appreciate Seekerville!

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    1. Ooh, tea from London! Swoon. And happy belated birthday wishes.

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    2. Crystal, you need to play a trip with hubby! Tell him I said so. :)

      Hugs!

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    3. Play a trip? Hmmm...

      That would be plan! :)

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    4. HI Crystal! Thank you so much for your lovely words - I'm so glad you enjoyed Miss Ellison's adventures. Yay!

      What did you think of 'Death Comes to Pemberley?' I really enjoyed it (more than the book), probably because it was so swoon a location, and it was fun playing 'spot the famous actor' (everyone from Grantchester to Poldark to Dr Who!)

      I think the fact your husband travels to Europe often is reason enough for you to insist on accompanying him - he should have enough frequent flier points, right? (It won't cost him thing! πŸ˜‰)
      And because he goes regularly, then it's probably your wifely duty to keep him company regularly, too. And if a side trip to some castles just 'happens' to occur, well...

      Enjoy the tea! (I think it's time to refresh my pot of tea...and have some fruit toast, maybe even with vegemite. Because it's brekkie time. And I'm an Aussie. And I'm hungry)

      Crystal, all the best with your forthcoming European vacation/s! πŸ˜‰

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    5. Thanks guys! and Carolyn, I am getting closer. I almost got to go to Knottingham with him, but his boss is coming so probably not the best one to go with him on. Maybe next summer though!

      Delete
  30. Carolyn, welcome to Seekerville! Your trip and DH sound wonderful.

    Your book's beautiful cover and blurb hooked me immediately!

    I'd love to go to England one day and try to hunt up relatives. If my memory is correct, the first Dean came to America from Devonshire in the mid 1800s. He came alone except for a foot adze that we have. I would love to know about the romance in his life.

    Janet

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    1. More Devonshire connections. Cream and Dean.

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    2. HI Janet - thank you, and thank you!

      I think a hunt for relatives is reason enough to go visit England, and if it involves such a pretty part, and scones and cream, then yes, you should go.

      (I'm sorry - what is a foot adze? It's a little early, and maybe my brain is not caffeinated enough yet...)

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  31. I've been to Australia, on board USS Kitty Hawk. Funny story: Being an air craft carrier, small boats were used to transfer the sailors to shore. A storm hit, stranding many sailors on shore. A Perth radio announcer, announced this: "To the nation that can put a man on the moon, can't get their men back to the ship. You're asked to go to the dock and adopt a sailor for the night." All had somewhere to stay until the storm passed.

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    1. Great story! Have you submitted it as a filler for a military magazine? I'm sure it would bring a smile to the lips of many readers!

      BTW, my very first sale was a short piece to Army Magazine, many years ago.

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    2. Hi Randy! Now that does make for a great story - yay for Aussie hospitality :)

      I remember a few years ago going to Sydney where there was a massive US aircraft carrier docked at Garden Island, right near (for some reason) a tiny reproduction version of the Batavia, a 1628 Dutch East India ship that used to carry hundreds of people thousands of miles across the oceans. The size difference was startling, as was the knowledge of the bravery involved, especially for those sailing to unknown parts the world, in the days without sat nav, in boats so vulnerable to the weather.

      Thanks for sharing your story!

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  32. Randy Tramp, welcome to Seekerville. Delighted to have another male in the Village. We love the male POV.

    What a terrific story!!! Thank you for sharing.

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  33. And BTW, we have another Navy vet who hangs out here. Rogenna Brewer. I'm Army myself. Stationed in Germany. Oh I must add Holland to the list of places I got to see thanks to Uncle Sam.

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  34. Carolyn, what a fun post. The first movie version of P and P that I ever watched was the BBC version. I am forever partial to that rendering of the story! :) I loved the nuances that were brought out. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth were wonderful in their roles. I also enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow's version of Emma. I like the movie better than the book though, I confess.

    Your book sounds interesting! I enjoyed reading your post today. I haven't been to visit England (other than a brief jaunt to the Manchester airport), but I would love to one day!

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    1. HI Jeanne!
      Yes, it certainly helps to have more time devoted to the story in order to bring out the subtleties, which is why that version of P&P is the best :)

      I agree it's perhaps easier to watch Emma than read it; she needs someone who can portray her sympathetically, otherwise she can come across bit too self-seeking and manipulative.I think this is why I love the Romola Garai/Jonny Lee Miller version so much - Romola is amazing in the role :)

      Thanks for commenting!

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  35. I do love the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma and feel bad for liking it. LOL. But Toni Collette and Alan Cummings are so perfect in the movie.

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    1. And Juliet Stevenson! She stole every scene she was in.

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  36. Still waiting for Vince to share his partiality to Keira Knightly.

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  37. Pay no attention to that mysterious blog post that appeared... was seen by three people... and disappeared... OY VAY..... sorry, Teenster!!!!

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  38. I'm so jealous. Your trip sounds like a dream come true. I've always wanted to travel to England, or Scotland, or any country of Europe really. Or even a tropical island... or anywhere really. I've always wanted to travel. But unfortunately I've never been out of country. The farthest I've ever been is Florida.

    Here's hoping on someday...

    Your books sound interesting, please enter my name in the drawing.

    Have any of you heard of the game Marrying Mr. Darcy?

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    1. Hi Nicki!

      I totally get it. For years my sister and brother would travel for work and pleasure and I felt 'stuck' at home - all the while desperately praying that one day I could. Which is why when the opportunity presented, and the husband seemed amenable, I was determined to pack in as much as I could, knowing that perhaps I wouldn't get the opportunity again. (Although now I might be able to claim such a trip as a business expense...)

      Marrying Mr Darcy sounds awesome- have you played it? (Are you, perhaps, Mrs Darcy?)

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    2. Marrying Mr. Darcy is a very fun game (and on many occasions I have been Mrs. Darcy, though not as Elizabeth, I much prefer Lydia myself). There was one time I played the game with my friend (who was Elizabeth) and Mr. Darcy proposed to me, I of course accepted. Then my friend broke off our engagement... not to worry, he proposed to me in the end, and she ended up with Mr. Denny.

      It is one of my most favoritests games.

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    3. Okay, I will keep an eye out for it. Thanks Nicki!

      Delete
  39. Am I wrong or does any book that mentions Jane Austin or Mr. Darcy in the title become a bestseller? Something to consider! :)

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    1. Yes. I agree with that, Debby!

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    2. Debby, I think that is true. There are SO MANY spin offs based on one man. (And how funny to think how few existed before a certain Colin Firth came along. Poor man)

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  40. I ADORE Midsomer Murders!!!!! And I'm heartily envious of your England trip! I want my own little cottage in a Midsomer village. :-)

    I also loved The Elusive Miss Ellison and was beyond thrilled to discover a new Regency author! I've dusted off my fainting couch (not that it's left long enough to collect dust as a rule) in preparation for Charlotte's story. Don't enter me in the draw, please, as I'm an old-fashioned paper kind of reader so I'll be ordering a copy very soon! Its at the top of my TBR wish list.

    I agree with the Colin Firth version of P&P being the best. But I think my favourite Austen movie is Sense and Sensibility -- the one with Emma Thomson and Hugh Grant...think 2008 version.

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    1. Another gap in my education. Putting Midsomer Murders on my list!! Although the first time I typed it I wrote Misnomer Murders. lolol.

      Delete
    2. Start at the very beginning, Tina. The first episode aire in 1997 and it's still going strong! Only a few years ago the original Chief Inspector Barnaby finally retired, replaced by his cousin...Chief Inspector Barnaby. :-) Amazing the number of murders in this pastoral country community! Amazing they have anyone left alive to fill the villages. Bwahahaha!

      Delete
    3. HI Kav - thank you for your lovely words!
      I'm a Midsomer Murders girl, too (you knew that already, didn't you? πŸ˜‰) When my sister and I visited Bath I was EXTREMELY tempted to stop at a place called Midsomer Norton, just because of the name. BTW, I think Tom Barnaby is the best. I loved the family dynamics with Joyce and Tully.

      It contains SUCH pretty scenery, although the amount of murders there reminds me of Miss Marple's St Mary Mead, or Jessica Fletcher's Cabot Cove :)

      Delete
  41. Hi Carolyn:

    "Pride and Prejudice" was the only book in high school I had to read that I actually liked. I even went on to read Austen's other books without having to! (Two of the other required books were "Middlemarch" and "Return of the Native" which I still hate!)

    I was not so much into the romance -- that was girly stuff. I was in love with Elizabeth but really Jane Austen. I wanted to find a woman just like her! Wise, funny, interesting, intelligent, underappreciated in her time (I assumed she was a plain Jane but I would appreciate her the way she deserved). I was most impressed with her social commentary. Brilliant! Elizabeth may have been of the age of a recent high school graduate but she had a rich philosopher-like mind. She was someone I could imagine spending my life with. She was like the woman that men accepted to take part in Plato's "Symposium" -- a philosophic discourse on 'Love'. That is a very special woman!


    This fascination with Austen lasted for some years until I read Anais Nin's Diaries! Anais was perfect! And still alive! But Austen was a first love. And Austen wrote better books, oh, but how I wish Jane wrote diaries as insightful as Nin. Some have said that Nin's Diaries are among the five best ever written!

    As Tina mentioned, I am the biggest fan of Keira Knightley's P&P because she is of the right age. She is also so beautiful that I could understand why Darcy was so attracted to her. She had so many negatives, from a marriage POV, (for a man who could pretty much have any girl having a season) why would Darcy even consider her?

    The film itself seemed the most real. When that muddy pig walks thru the breezeway, that did it for me. Also that first dance was nothing like the glamour one thinks of Regency balls. It was really local. And real to me!

    Yes, Elizabeth has a great mind and a personality one might enjoy being with for a life time, but Keira, as Elizabeth, has the beauty to make a guy stop looking for an equal mind in a better positioned woman. That combination was just not out there!

    Did you see the Special features on the DVD? Great stuff. The sisters lived a week in that house being sisters and doing the things sisters would do back then -- all before the filming started. They formed a real bond you could see on the screen. As one famous actor felt they stopped being performers and became real actors who were reacting to each other as real people. (This is supposed to be hard to do today.)

    I think of Keira as being like the beautiful woman who becomes Miss America and also wins the Nobel Prize in Physics! It's just not fair. Do you think some women readers are a little jealous of Keira?

    BTW: I've been to England several times. The first was the summer of 1966. There was this thing called the world cup going on and I could not get a hotel room in all of London! I was in the Air Force and the American Embassy got me a room! It was a boardinghouse type room and very tiny. Once I was in, they brough in an Aussie as a roommate! He was back after 25 years down under to see his brother for the first time since he left. Very nice guy. The next day I was walking the streets when thousands of happy, singing, dancing, people ran out on the streets to celebrate! I asked the first guy I meet what was going on. "We won the World Cup" the man said. My first thought was "America's in the World Cup"? Little did I know that was to be the last time England won the Cup.

    My dream vacation were two trips to Athens and Delphi for my 50th and 51st birthdays! I'm a philosopher and to walk in the footsteps of the places Philosophy was born -- the ultimate high!

    Vince

    P.S. Have you read, "A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writes on Why We Read Jane Austen"? Well worth it!

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    1. I have ordered that book, Vince and now must buy the DVD of that version of P an P for the special stuff. You are an expensive commenter. LOL.

      Delete
    2. HI Vince!

      Yes, I know what you mean about the Keira Knightley version being a less sanitised version than the glossy Colin Firth version. I guess there are a few things I take exception to with the 2005 version, the use of Chatsworth as the site of Pemberley being one. And while Keira is beautiful, a reading of P&P suggests Elizabeth was definitely in second place when it came to looks compared to her sister, with a pair of fine eyes the most distinguishing of her features. I also think Keira's Elizabeth comes across a bit too abrupt, which makes her seem ruder than necessary. But anyhoo...

      Yes, I did see the special features bit at the end - such a clever idea to help the actors bond. I also liked how they showed the different houses they used, so the viewer could get some insight into why they were chosen, and how they were adapted for the film. My sister recently visited Basildon Park, which was used as Netherfield, and saw how the columns had been added/subtracted for the parlour scenes. These great houses (and the National Trust) certainly do a good business from JA, don't they?

      I've read a number of commentaries on Jane Austen, including 'Antipodean Views' by Susannah Fullerton; I might need to check out 33 Great Writes, too.

      Thanks for commenting.

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    3. TINA:

      "While enlightenment may be expensive and darkness usually free, it's the poor in spirit who most often choose ignorance."

      Vince

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    4. Hi Carolyn:

      I can agree that the older sister was more beautiful. She was also too sweet. She would be much like most of the women Darcy would meet who being single were in need of a fortune. :)

      It's Elizabeth's abruptness that gives her a spunky backbone and shows her to be more than a pretty face. It's also part of the conflict which generates those romantic sparks. Being filmed at the 'wrong' house causes me little concern as these are not real people. It's fiction. It's not like getting Jane Austen's actual home wrong.

      Of course, I'm not saying the Firth version is bad or even not as good. I just think the Keira P&P was more enjoyable for me to watch.

      BTW: We've gone to Europe several times on bus tours and always the Aussies have made the best fellow travelers. We made good friends with a judge and his wife from Brisbane and the next year when they came to America, they stayed at our house in Tulsa for two days as we showed them the general area. This had to be way out of their way!

      Also: have you read M. C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series of books set in the Scottish highlands? She started writing Regency romances with strong mystery themes. At the time I was reading almost all Regency romances and she was called Marion Chesney. She's a top mystery writer in England who I feel is very much like Jane Austen in her insights into the local culture. Worth reading or watching the Hamish BBC tv series.

      Vince

      Please place me in the drawing for either book. Sometimes I get very hungry for a Regency.

      Delete
    5. Hi Vince. Yes, I've read a number of MC Beaton's Regencies, as well as those by 'Marion Chesney'. My fave writer? Georgette Heyer. Have you read anything by her? If you like spunk and wit and historical accuracy, her works are fabulous!

      Delete
    6. Hi Carolyn:

      I really like Georgette Heyer. "The Conqueror" is a favorite but I must say Heyer seems to want much more to be a historian than a novelist! The facts were always slowing things down. She even had the names of William's lieutenants. I remember asking myself at the time why Goergette just didn't write a history book. I love history and I have a teaching minor in History so I was still okay with "The Conqueror" but I'm not sure everyone else would be. (Of course 1066 is far from being a Regency). I've noticed that Regency fans are very knowledgeable. I've said many times here that I think Regencies are the hardest romances to write. You better get it right. I guess I'm one of them.

      Delete
  42. Hi Carolyn, what a lovely post! Wonderful to hear about your trip to England! I loved visiting Chatsworth. We happened to be there the weekend where they were hosting an English Country Fair. That was so fun! I've taken two research trips to England and loved them both. A special memory is visiting Tyntesfield, the manor house and estate I had in mind when I wrote The Governess of Highland Hall and the other books in the series. Amazing!! Scotland was beautiful too. I was blessed to join a tour with author Liz Curtis Higgs. She knows Scotland and showed us so many great castles and gardens. I'm excited to read The Captivating Lady Charlotte!

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    1. Carrie! How lovely to see you here in our village.

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    2. HI Carrie! Thank you :)

      Chatsworth is amazing, isn't it? Beautiful, yet not overly pretentious, with so many intriguing historical treasures, and that amazing fountain. I think we really underestimate the ingenuity and engineering marvels present in centuries gone by!

      I feel the need to visit Tyntesfield one day, and I'm always happy to see more of Scotland.

      I really hope you enjoy Lady Charlotte's adventures!
      xx

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  43. Hi Carolyn, your post made me reminisce about my trip to the UK when I was in college. My roommate and I spent a month traveling throughout England, Scotland and Ireland. I loved it all. On the flights and over the course of my trip, I committed to reading all of Austen's works. I remember sitting in a park, in Stratford-Upon-Avon, by the pond with swans on a gorgeous August day, reading. Perfection.

    Toward the end of my trip, I was longing for an ice-cold coca-cola. (At that time, anyway, EVERYTHING was lukewarm.) My roommate's dad had hooked us up with a sweet room at the Gresham Hotel, downtown Dublin. After weeks of staying in tiny inns and cheap b&b's, it was downright luxurious. Excited, I called for room service.

    "Hello, I'd like a cold coca-cola, please."
    About fifteen minutes later, I hear a knock at the door. My mouth is watering in anticipation of guzzling it back, just like Cindy Crawford in the Pepsi ad. (In my head, anyway.)
    Imagine then, my dismay at picking up the bottle of coke only to discover it was room temperature.
    "Oh." I sigh. "I thought this was going to be cold. Why doesn't anyone around here refrigerate soda?"
    The man looks at me, stunned. "Refrigerate? Soda? There'd be no room for the liquor!"

    Thanks for bringing these memories to mind. It was fun strolling down memory lane!

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    1. And I enjoyed your trip vicariously! What fun. When I was in Germany I hunted for soda and all I could find was a lemonade beverage in a bottle. Warm. Sigh.

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    2. I guess it's a European thing. I put ice in every beverage for months after I came home. I chewed on it, too. It was one of those things I didn't think twice about until I couldn't get anything ice cold for 28 days in the heat of summer. :)

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    3. HI Josee!

      Travelling is great, isn't it, for making us realise how other people live, and for what we appreciate about home. When my husband and I visited the US and Canada for a few weeks back in 2010 I was hanging out for a proper cup of tea, made with an electric kettle, poured with boiling water. I imagine the ice cold Cindy Crawford cola moment would be much the same!

      I love your description of reading in the park at Stratford-upon-Avon. Don't you think it's amazing how these authors like Shakespeare from centuries ago could write so vividly about places they'd only imagined? Love it!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  44. Hi Carolyn, congratulations on your new book. The cover is beautiful and the story sounds great. Thanks for sharing today!

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    1. HI Jackie! Thanks for having me, and for your kind comments :)

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  45. Wow. The blurb for your new book sounds amazing. I love the idea that the duke she's been promised to has a thing for her :-). Alas, no great trip to report. I visited England in high school, but that feels like another lifetime. I'd love to go to Australia, though I've heard there are some freaky spiders. Hmmm. As someone with a degree in geology, I bet the pro of seeing those beautiful rock formations (among other things) would outweigh the con of large, nasty spiders. M A Y B E. :-D

    Please put my name in for the draw. I see "The Elusive Miss Ellison" on Amazon kindle for just $2.99. Sounds like a steal! ;-)

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  46. Spiders? Really? I didn't know that. Where are you in Australia, Carolyn?

    Thanks for the heads up on the Amazon sale.

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    1. That's what I heard from an English couple my parents know. (They have a condo in FL and go to the same church as my parents.) They're now living in London, but apparently the husband lived in Australia for a while when he was growing up. His mother did not like spiders but apparently got more used to them. :-P

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    2. HI Lana!

      Oh, as someone interested in geology you should definitely visit Australia one day. See Ayers Rock / Uluru, check out our Blue Mountains, see the 12 Apostles in Victoria - you'll love it!

      Spiders can be scary, but it all depends on where you live as to what type of spiders you *MAY* come across. I live halfway between Sydney and Canberra in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales; our spiders aren't too scary, neither are our snakes πŸ˜‰ But for the record, we don't have scary bears - our 'bears' are cuddly koalas! (And they are marsupials, BTW)

      My thinking re spiders is that we're so much bigger than them, they are far easier to squash :)

      I love the idea of visiting England as a high school trip - I can't think of too many teachers who'd want to put up with teenagers for almost a day's worth of travel to get to the opposite side of the world. Without teenagers, yes. (I say that as a former English teacher πŸ˜‰)

      I'm so glad you think the blurb for Lady Charlotte sounds intriguing - and thanks for mentioning the Amazon sale!

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    3. Logically, I can understand your reasoning about size differences, but I have a very strong negative visceral reaction to unexpected occurrences of spiders. Not so bad if they're not in my home and/or away from my person. It's not a rational thing, but there it is ;-)

      I have no such fear of snakes. In fact, as a kid, I caught a baby snake in a discarded styrofoam cup my sister and I found down by the lake. I brought it home and we discovered it was a baby water moccasin, which is poisonous. The adults aren't that dangerous because they'll usually just inject a little venom (to get the point across?) but the babies will hit you with everything you have. Fortunately, I wasn't bit.

      The high school trip was with the French and Spanish clubs. We went to Spain, France, and England. I'm sure it would've been a nicer trip with family. Too many cliques in high school.

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    4. It's funny how our brains respond differently. See, I think snakes are heaps faster and sneakier than spiders, hence my fear of them (and rats - ughhh!).

      Glad you weren't bitten! :)

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    5. Sounds like your fears are more rational. It's not even that I fear what spiders can do to me, but just the sight of them freaks me out. Mainly just the larger ones.

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  47. I've gone to Disney World. Does that count as a dream vacation? Personally, I've never been to England or Australia, but I love Jane Austen (I may or may not have adopted her as my kindred spirit...). My favorite of the film adaptations would have to be the Karen Knightly one because I've yet to actually see the miniseries, with the poodle hair.

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    1. Hi Boo!

      Yes, when you have a spare five/six hours make sure you watch the 'poodle hair' version (I've never heard it called that before!). Especially if you're a Jane Austen fan, you'll appreciate the 1995 miniseries' faithful representation to the novel, which the Keira Knightley version simply doesn't have enough time for.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  48. Hi Carolyn, Welcome to Seekerville and what a treat to have a visitor from "down under". Yay. What an interesting post. I learned so much. Thank you for sharing all of that history and historical writer perspective. Great job. Looks like you are having a fun day. Thanks again.

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    1. HI Sandra!

      Thanks for having me. I think it's awesome how places like Seekerville allow those of us from the far flung corners of the globe to connect. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post - thank YOU!

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  49. Dear Carolyn, It's amazing how books can resonate the world over. When I was growing up, I so wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand. I read everything I could about the Australian Outback and New Zealand's Maoris. Now I'd love to go to England or Australia or New Zealand. Someday. Sigh. As for my favorite Jane Austen adaptation, I love Emma Thompson's screenplay of Sense and Sensibility. Oh, I love that movie. Elinor and Marianne. The scene where Elinor and Edward discuss geography with Margaret under the table. And of course, the real life romance as Emma Thompson married Willoughby (Greg Wise). Yes, I, too, love adaptations of Jane Austen books (even Clueless:)).

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    1. HI Tanya!
      That's so true how certain books can resonate the world over. I find it fascinating how particular films of books can be made that seem specific to a particular subset of society (like the upcoming film based on Liane Moriarty's book 'Big Little Lies', which was written about a primary school in Sydney's northern beaches district) yet resonate so much more widely.

      I'd love to know which books you read about the Outback - it wasn't the Mary Grant Bruce's Billabong series by any chance, was it?

      And yes, kudos to Emma Thompson - such a clever lady! (Although I'm not a High Grant fan, but his bumbling awkwardness suited this film)

      And it is fun, isn't it, seeing the parallels between particular films like Clueless and the more traditional adaptations. I think I might have to watch that again soon!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  50. CAROLYN -- WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!

    And I have to say that although I am not a Jane Austin fan (ducking here from any stray tomatoes), your covers are exquisite and actually lure me to want to read the book, so kudos to your publisher and cover designer!

    I am totally impressed at all the travel and research you have done, so that, too, entices one to pick up your books.

    I have never traveled on a dream-come-true vacation, but if I did, it would Ireland and England, so I'm hoping that someday I'll make it there before I'm too old to enjoy it. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. HI Julie - thanks so much for having me! (It's been a lot of fun 😊)

      Yes, England and Ireland should definitely be on the agenda, although I don't think age would necessarily impair one's enjoyment. Not with all those little tea shops, and lovely libraries, and theatres, and beautiful villages beside shining duck ponds that are practically begging you to sit down and appreciate the scenery.

      Thanks for your kind comments!

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  51. This thing I remember most about my trip to England a few decades ago is the White Cliffs of Dover. There are black marks on the cliffs from returning pilots that couldn't get enough altitude. Not romantic, but definitely memorable.

    I lived in Japan for four years and I dream often of going back. Still waiting for my dream-come-true trip to Italy and Norway.

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    1. HI Walt!
      Well, that not-quite-White Cliffs of Dover story is memorable!
      Japan must have been a fascinating time (the food is super yum). My sister-in-law taught English there for a year, before travelling to China, then Dubai, Vietnam and now Abu Dhabi working in international schools - definitely an interesting way to see the world!

      Thanks for commenting :)

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  52. Carolyn, you've actually spent TWO days with us. What a trooper. You're a long-suffering Lizzie Bennet!

    Thank you so much.

    And we pray for continued success and many more trips to England in your future.

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    1. Thanks Tina - this has been so much fun!

      And yes, I'd really appreciate it if you pray for more trips to England :)

      God bless! xx


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  53. Oh, to visit England and Europe. I'm likely to poor to ever get to visit all I want, I'm not even sure what I'd narrow it down to!

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    1. Hi Melissa!

      Yes, the bucket list is way too long :(
      Good thing we have so many great stories to help bring these corners of the globe alive in our imaginations :)

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  54. I've never been to England or Australia, but I'd LOVE to visit both. Perhaps one day...

    This sounds like a great book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Leslie.
      It's good to have a plan - I hope you get the opportunity to visit England AND Australia one day!
      Good luck in the draw! (& it is a great book πŸ˜‰)

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  55. I am so glad to learn about Carolyn. I read The Elusive Miss Elison and I am hoping to start Captivating Charlotte very soon. If the second is as good as the first....I am in for anither treat!
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks Connie - I'm so glad you enjoyed Miss Ellison's adventures!

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  56. I've never left the U.S. but would love to travel Europe. I'd rather do genealogy than do literary sightseeing. I'm silly, I know!

    I know that it's shameful, but I've never read any of Jane Austen's books or even seen Colin Firth's P&P! It's on my to-do list! I have seen Sense & Sensibility, and a couple other versions of Pride & Prejudice, as well as Emma (with Gwyneth Paltrow). I enjoy all of them in different ways.

    mylittlebirdie (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Hi Karen! I'm glad you have enjoyed her novels 'brought to life' on screen. Good luck in the draw!

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  57. I adore most of the Jane Austen movies, but, unbelievably, I've never actually finished one of her books--I will have to add that to my summer to-do list!

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    1. Hi Gracie - now that sounds like a good plan! Pride & Prejudice's storyline is most familiar, but Persuasion could be worth trying too (it's shorter, and SO poignant!) Happy reading!

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  58. Thank you for a wonderful post Carolyn, from a fellow Southern Highlander and huge Jane Austen fan. I was lucky enough to live in Cheshire for a year, and visited Lyme Hall a few times myself and always thought of it as Pemberley (rather than Chatsworth), however I suspect the wonderful BBC series had some influence on this! Thank you for keeping Jane and Regency alive as you do. Kathleen Gifford.

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    1. Hi Kathleen!!! How wonderful to have lived so near Pemberley! Thanks so much for commenting :)

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  59. My recent dream vacation was to Hawaii with my husband, sans kids ;) It was amazing! Next on our bucket list is Europe, including England of course! I just love the landscapes and scenery in both versions of P&P. The music in the more recent movie is especially lovely and I listen to the soundtrack when ! need to relax.

    Please put my name in for the giveaway! :)

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  60. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary soon and nothing exotic, we still have kids at home but I'd love to visit Colonial Williamsburg. Love historical things. The covers of these books are just like a confectionery treat such eyecandy. I look forward to reading them. Please enter me in the giveaways.

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