Wednesday, September 2, 2009


And the winner is:

Kathy - who said:
My favorite character is Anne Elliot from Persuasion. I think partly it is because she is older (as am I) than the other protagonists. She is level-headed, and sensible, and a little more reserved. People don't always get how great she is just by looking on the surface of things, but luckily Captain Wentworth does, and can't forget her over his 8 year absence.


I wish I could send everyone a copy of the books! If anyone wants me to send my copies out and promises to send them back I'm game, just let me know!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Cousin Caroline

Win the first book in the series! My Cousin Caroline features Rebecca Ann Collins favorite character, Caroline Gardiner. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite Jane Austen character - and why. Tomorrow night (9-2-09) at 9pm West Coast Time a winner will randomly be selected and receive the first book in this series, The Pemberley Chronicles. (If you already own this book then leave that in the comment as well and I'll send you a copy of My Cousin Caroline instead!)

My Cousin Caroline
Rebecca Ann Collins
5 Stars

The only way this book could be better is if Austen wrote it herself. It was a superb book and made me smile. Without giving everything away in the book, I included some of my favorite parts below.

My Cousin Caroline is the 6th book in the Pemberly Chronicles, but could be taken out of the series and read alone. The timeline of this story starts back at the beginning, Jane and Elizabeth’s wedding. Caroline falls in love with Colonel Fitzwilliam and the story follows their life together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the thoughts of Colonel Fitzwilliam at the beginning of the book. I love the idea of him being secretly in love with Lizzie first, although I am so happy that he finds Caroline.

Since the timeline of this story goes back to the beginning of this series, it’s fascinating reading a different perspective of certain characters, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Emily Gardiner, and Paul Antoine, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, even Lydia. I was crushed again while reading the account of the unfortunate accident of Edward Fitzwilliam and William Darcy. It was so hard to read the first time and even though I knew it would happen and I was expecting it really was heartbreaking.

In the last book, Mr. Darcy’s Daughter we learned more details about the Gardiners’ business and how Caroline had become very involved. In My Cousin Caroline we were able to read first hand how Robert’s behavior really changed and molded some of Mr. Gardiner final decisions. I think one could draw a parallel to Rose and Robert and their affiliation with the business and how many people act in our time today. At one point in the book Emily says to Caroline, “Don’t be too hard on them, Caroline, both Robert and Rose have grown up rather different to the way we did.” This statement says it all. Just a few lines down we read about how Robert and Rose are full of interests and life, but charity and work are just not one of them. I think this is so true of people in our world today!

Isabella. I love her character, first she is in love, but with a character that might be shady, then she finds love again only to have that shaken too. I just wanted to clap out loud at the end of the book when Mr. Philip Bentley came back and had made a name for himself. I loved that ending!

I could easily say that My Cousin Caroline was my favorite out of the entire Pemberly Series, but then when I sit down and take out each book in the series I am reminded why I love each and one so much. There are few things I love more than reading and enjoying a wholesome book. Not only has Rebecca Ann Collins provided me with a wholesome great book, but a whole series of them that I can enjoy over and over. Each character is though out and well developed and I easily fall in love with them. This book can be read if you are new to the series or in sequence, either way I believe there is no way that My Cousin Caroline will disappoint.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rebecca Ann Collins from Pemberley Chronicles

I am so excited - this is my first guest blogger, and I absolutely love her books! The sixth book, My Cousin Caroline comes out in stores tomorrow, I can't wait to post my review on it tomorrow as well as tell you how you can win the first book in the series sent to you! I hope you all enjoy reading!

Welcome Rebecca:

Q: Out of the entire series, who is your favourite character?
A: When I first started writing, and creating my own characters, as opposed to Jane Austen’s – it used to be Cassy Darcy. However, as the series progressed and certainly after completing My Cousin Caroline, I find myself drawn to Caroline. I still love Cassy, as I do many of the others, including Jonathan Bingley, who is my favourite male character- bar none, but Caroline has the edge over the rest.

Q: When I first read about the accident of Willaim Darcy and Edward in The Pemberley Chronicles, I was devastated. I knew it was coming in My Cousin Caroline, but it was still hard. Was this accident just as hard for you to revisit and write about in My Cousin Caroline?
A: You are quite right, it was hard, especially because the accident that takes the life of William and Edward is based on a very similar event that devastated our family some years ago and it was very painful to revisit it , but it also helped me both personally and in writing the books.
Personally, to share the deep sorrow of such an experience by expressing it and in the books, it helps to ground the characters in reality. Pemberley is not some Camelot like place where everyone lived happily ever after- it is real and the characters must endure the same sorts of things that afflicted many other families in that era– children died through disease and accidents, as did many adults. Elizabeth and Darcy and the other characters, could not lead some kind of charmed life filled only with love and romance.- it would not have been credible.

Q. After reading My Cousin Caroline, I think it could be read as part of the series, but also stand alone. Was it fun to go back and revisit some of the characters from the beginning of the series?
A: Yes it was great fun, particularly to bring back Mr Bennet and Mr Collins. There was also a practical side to it. We had completed five volumes- with Mr. Darcy’s Daughter, we had reached a particular mid- point in the series and it was a convenient and appropriate point at which to pull the threads together and look at the picture before going on again. Caroline’s story afforded me the opportunity to reprise some of the characters and events from the earlier volumes, but to do it while developing more fully two of the minor players from the original novel—Colonel Fitzwilliam and Caroline Gardiner.
I enjoyed very much the chance to track the development of Caroline from almost childhood to maturity, to contrast her character as a romantic young girl, with the shallow silliness of Lydia or the meanness of Caroline Bingley. To watch her become a personable and intelligent woman with a good eye for business and a warm, compassionate heart was a very special pleasure.
Also, I had long felt that Colonel Fitzwilliam deserved better than his fate in Pride and Prejudice—a very promising young gentleman, with excellent qualities, but very little means. It was clear that he would never be able to marry for love.
With a little manipulation of his circumstances—he could be given that chance. I thought Caroline and the Colonel would make a very good couple—and if you will pardon my saying so- I think they do.

Q: Besides Jane Austen, who is your favourite author?
A: In the same period, Charles Dickens and George Elliot. Both know how to tell a good story and Dickens creates so many wonderful characters. They also deal with several of the “difficult issues” that troubled 19th century England.

Q: If you could meet Jane Austen and ask her anything, what would you ask her?
A: I’ve always wondered at her capacity for creating such interesting characters and situations, while sitting in the front room of her father’s country parsonage. I’d love to ask her what set off that creative imagination and energy?

Q: P&P is obviously your favourite Jane Austen novel; besides P&P, which is your next favourite? Would you consider writing a sequel to any other of Jane Austen’s books?
A: Persuasion is the my next favourite. I think it is one of her best; it’s a really deep love story. in which Jane questions the very nature of love and what it involves for us.
I have considered writing a sequel to Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s first novel. There are three sisters- all completely different in character and the way story ends suggests some fascinating possibilities.

Q. The next book in the series is Postscript from Pemberley, to be released in the United States in December. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
A: Postscript from Pemberley is mainly the story of four young, attractive characters: Darcy Gardiner, Julian Darcy, Jessica Courtney and a fascinating new comer to the district, Kate O’Hare. Darcy, Julian and Jessica are all of the next generation of characters, each quite different in their attitudes to live, love and family loyalty. Yet they live within the circle of families that have strong links with Pemberley and its great traditions. As such they have certain responsibilities and when they face challenges in life, they are expected to deal with them with strength and courage, as their forebears have done… Whether they are all capable of fulfilling these expectations is explored in the novel. They are interesting and passionate young men and women and have their own secrets; they must come to terms with them as they make their way in the world, fall in and out of love and play their parts in the community in which they live.

Q. Last but not least- do you snack while writing? If so what is your favourite snack?
A: I don’t “snack” as such—not while writing (I am forbidden to have food and drink anywhere near my computer!) but, I usually work for a couple of hours straight and then break for half an hour when I like to have a coffee and ginger biscuits or tea and a slice of cheese toast—away from my desk—preferably sitting out in the garden. It re-energises one and helps to re-focus on the task at hand, although sometimes, it is difficult to return to the computer.
There are times, when I am really absorbed in developing a chapter or a character, when I don’t break at all; then I find when it over, that I am very hungry indeed. And have to put everything aside and cook a special meal.

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Debbi!
Rebecca Ann Collins