Monday, September 1, 2014

A Jane Austen Daydream by Scott Southard [Book Blog Tour by Historical Fiction Virtual Boog Tours] Book Review & Giveaway

Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Madison Street Publishing
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Women's Fiction

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All her heroines find love in the end—but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone's guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years—did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us—to a greater or lesser degree—are head over heels for Jane.

History is not known for being kind to writers. Their lives, when one takes the time to study them fully, are often fraught with pain, loss, and a desire to find meaning. Some are overcome by their passions, letting reckless emotions ride them to a bitter end. Others are obsessed with their losses and the losses of those around them. 
 The gypsy stared into Jane's eyes for a minute, as if she was reading her mind for the truth, then turned back to the palm. I have not seen this before. What is it? Jane asked excitedly. Am I going to die soon? No, I would have told you when you were to die if that was true. The gypsy shook her head. Your life line never ends. 
 I would not even know what to say to a stranger, especially a gentlemen. You speak to our brothers. I hardly consider them like men, especially gentlemen. Cassandra said crossly. They are brothers. They are like a third sex. What are sisters then? Jane asked quickly. Angels, Cassandra replied just as fast. So true. Jane smiled. 

Praise for A Jane Austen Daydream

"For those of you who are exhausted by the innumerable retellings of Austen's novels, this is a style entirely new.... be rewarded by a quick paced novel unlike any you can ever have read, which injects new ideas and possibilities into the world of Jane Austen." -Laura Boyle, The Jane Austen Centre

"Mix one part biography and one part historical re-imagining...add witty characters and some surprises and you have A Jane Austen Daydream. This was a delightful read." -Amelia Rodriguez, Jane Austen Society of North America

"...Lovely, thought-provoking novel. Fans of Austen will adore this book." -Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

"Southard has taken the facts about the great author and woven them into a credible, touching, and also entertaining portrait of a life." -Historical Novel Society

“The good news is Scott Southard’s Jane is a delightful creature. She is clever and witty and determined to do the best she can for herself, even when things take a turn for the worst….her thoughts and comments had me smiling (and even laughing) on more than one occasion.”

“This book takes the opportunity to dream her up the romance we are not sure she ever had… Watch out also for the many references to her novels, which are like a puzzle, challenging you to recognize where they are taken from.” -Dan Wiggs, publisher of The Jane Austen Travel Guide

“An excellent concept and a great achievement, a must read for Austen fans open for a playful read and those who wish Austen had written more. This is like a little welcome encore for us fans.” -Christoph Fischer, author

From Pride and Prejudice“A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM by Scott Southard, a fictionalized account of Jane’s life, is a book that should be placed on the shelf of every book-loving fan of Jane Austen because she’s absolutely “alive” on the pages of this book.” -Julie Valerie’s Book Blog

  I am always on the lookout for a good Jane Austen biography as I have always been very fond of her many novels. Ever since reading "Pride & Prejudice" and "Emma" when I was young, I was fascinated with this woman and what a romantic life she must have led. However, if you have ever read anything about Jane Austen you know that she was never married. She was engaged once briefly but never married. I find this fact to be intriguing to say the least, since her novels were very centered on love and romance.

The author brilliantly re-imagines the life of our beloved Jane Austen, weaving in facts, names, dates partly just fiction but some real based on the facts we know of Miss Austen's short life. He even tucks in quite a few quotes/book references, as to keep us on our toes.

Firstly, the quality of his writing is top-notch. From the opening sentence to the last word, I was captivated.  I felt the author knew where he wanted to take the story and did so in an authoritative as well as engaging way.

Secondly, Scott Southard is an expert at writing in such a fashion as to induce feelings of hate, love, joy, sadness, and righteous fury. I wept, I laughed , I talked back at the characters making foolish decisions, I even rallied against those standing in the way of Jane’s happiness.

Some will say that knowing the ending as we know that Jane's life came to spoils this story, but on the contrary. This story takes us on a new adventure from the viewpoint of a very gifted writer. The author kept me on my toes anticipating each sadness and trial Miss Austen faced. I was excited for the chance to get to know Jane's family, including her crazy brother Henry (who was the family outcast) and Cassandra, Jane's older sister who seems to be Jane's best friend, confidant and equal in many respects.

The story starts with Jane and Cassandra being invited to attend a ball in order for the two to find husbands. Sound familiar to anyone? This is one of the first scenes of Pride and Prejudice as most may recall. The girls are invited to their older brothers home for this ball and their sister in law is the host which Jane makes clear she could do without. The humor and scenes that follow are very reminiscent of Miss Austen's writings. I just loved the carefree tone of this story and how close I felt to the character of Jane.

Although I am saddened by the fact that Miss Austen never achieved the happy ending she desired, I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of her writing (which should be almost everyone) 
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About the Author
02_Scott D. Southard
 Photo Credit: Adam Emperor Southard

Scott D. Southard, the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, swears he is not obsessed with Jane Austen. He is also the author of the novels: My Problem with Doors, Megan, Permanent Spring Showers, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, and 3 Days in Rome. With his eclectic writing he has found his way into radio, being the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master’s in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog “The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard” ( where he writes on far-ranging topics like writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. Currently, Scott resides in Michigan with his very understanding wife, his two patient children, and a very opinionated dog named Bronte. 
You can find Scott on Facebook and Twitter.

A Jane Austen Daydream Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 1
Review at Bookish

Tuesday, September 2
Spotlight at I'd So Rather Be Reading

Wednesday, September 3
Review at Diary of an Eccentric

Friday, September 5
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, September 8
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read

Wednesday, September 10
Review at What Is That Book About

Thursday, September 11
Excerpt & Giveaway at Romantic Historical Reviews

Friday, September 12
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past


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