Feature: Sci-fi / Star Struck by Jane Lovering

starstruckStar Struck by Jane Lovering

“Our memories define us – don’t they?

And Skye Threppel lost most of hers in a car crash that stole the lives of her best friend and fiancé. It’s left scars, inside and out, which have destroyed her career and her confidence.

Skye hopes a trip to the wide dusty landscapes of Nevada – and a TV convention offering the chance to meet the actor she idolises – will help her heal. But she bumps into mysterious writer Jack Whitaker first. He’s a handsome contradiction – cool and intense, with a wild past.

Jack has enough problems already. He isn’t looking for a woman with self-esteem issues and a crush on one of his leading actors. Yet he’s drawn to Skye.

An instant rapport soon becomes intense attraction, but Jack fears they can’t have a future if Skye ever finds out about his past …

Will their memories tear them apart, or can they build new ones together?


From the first line, I thought – this is classic Jane Lovering. Her trademark wit leaps off the page and starts the book off with a smile.

Jack Whitaker is a jaded script writer who is dark, brooding, disobliging and a tiny bit curmudgeonly. He isn’t your first pick for a Romantic hero. As Jane Lovering often extols the virtues of the Beta-male; I agree. Gethryn is the Alpha-male of the story, but he is so slick and full of himself- my money would be on Jack any day of the week.

Skye in many ways is like a blank page and since her accident, she has become a new person. Skye has a wicked crush on greasy Gethryn, and takes her time to figure out who she should be with.

Jack is such a contradiction – on the outside he is stern and enigmatic; but on the inside he is full of insecurities and doubt. That is Jack’s appeal, he is cerebral, creative and very delicious.

Jack understands Skye- and they compliment each other like bookends. Their scars are both physical and emotional; and it is that combined empathy that draws them together. It is very touching how they deal with each other.

Underneath all the sarky comedy- there is a serious under current about loss and learning to forgive yourself. No one or nothing is as it seems- it is all about how you perceive things.

There is rather a few earth shattering twists towards the end that you will not see coming. I have to admit I was a bit shocked by them.

Star Struck is full of complex emotions. The genius of Jane Lovering is that one minute she can make you laugh and the next make you cry. This book is going on my list of favourite books of all times. I loved this book!

Make sure to visit Jane Lovering’s blog for musings and updates on new releases .


Next up is a man who to me is the real life embodiment of Jane Lovering’s Jack Whitaker; minus the chain-smoking but just as charming.


The Canterbury Tales by Luke Bellmasoncant

Every ten years each spacer pilot must make the pilgrimage to Vale, where the mighty and all powerful Federal Galactic Spaceflight Licensing Authority resides. From all corners of the nine galaxies they come, on ships such as the GSS Canterbury.

To pass the time over their three nights journeying through the void each traveller tells their story. Volume One features the tale of the Smuggler, the Merchant, the Assassin and the Knight. Join them to hear their tales of rivalry, revenge, piracy, insurrection, daring escapes and adventure in this all new re-imagining of the original Canterbury Tales.

This is what Geoffrey Chaucer might have written if he’d owned a ZX Spectrum when he was 12 and wasted his formative years playing video games through the 1980’s.

Luke Bellmason weaves a series of plot-lines worthy of a Cardassian enigma tale, with an emphasis on storytelling and characters. Explore the parts of all those video games universes that your computer could never show you and begin your journey…


The Canterbury Tales by Luke Bellmason is exactly what a Space Opera should be. It is in the style of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and follows his matrix, but this is not a re-telling of his book. This is a truly unique and original work. Each tale has its own voice and it is as different as the person telling the tale.

The writing style is innovative, with short dynamic sentences- highlighting the taut urgency of the situations involved. What I really loved about this book is the portmanteau feel of it; It reminded me of techniques used in many Monty Python films. Wherein, smaller stories are told, that tie into a bigger picture.

Each story is a vignette that packs a powerful punch. By being dropped into the middle of the action- you aren’t weighed down by space facts and details. Instead, you are shunted from one action scene to another in a roller coaster ride of excitement..

The only thing that disappointed me about the Canterbury tales was its length. It felt like as soon as I got into a story, it was over so quickly. I suppose that is the hallmark of a good author- always leaving you wanting more.

This isn’t your stodgy Science fiction of the 1970’s; this is a vibrant fresh Sci-fi for the new millennium. Even if you aren’t particularly a science fiction fan, there is plenty of action and intrigue to satisfy the most selective reader.

I highly recommend this fast paced, action packed novelette.

DSC_0131_3_2EPBR: What inspired you to write the Canterbury Tales?

LB: It’s rather a long and convoluted story, and if you buy the book you can read all about the development process in great detail. As unlikely as it sounds the idea began as a board game based on the 80s classic video game Elite.
There were six character types in the board game such as, miner, scout, trader, bounty hunter,
pirate, etc. Then I came up with a good and evil version of each, so the good pirate was the Knight, the bad miner became the Slaver, the bad trader became the Smuggler. Then I took a book of plots and assigned each character a plot and a commodity type and started writing a series of short stories.
The idea to string them all together somehow came much later, but when I discovered Chaucer’s original Canterbury Tales I was surprised to discover he’d also written a Knight’s Tale and a Merchant’s Tale. The linking of the stories has now become another story of itself and I’m developing that element in parallel with writing the other tales.

bellmason1EPBR: You’re releasing the Tales in three volumes. Why did you decide to do it this way, rather than writing the whole thing in one go?

LB: It’s because I write extremely slowly. I simply couldn’t wait to put something out there and start getting feedback from readers. If I wanted to wait until it was all finished, I’d probably never get to the end. I think this is something that self-publishing allows that traditional publishing might not. Generally there isn’t much enthusiasm from publishers about short stories, which I think is a great shame.
Certainly, through writing the Tales, I’ve learned to appreciate what an art writing good short fiction is. When you start out, you tend to assume it’s going to take less time to write a short piece than a long one, but I soon learned that this wasn’t the case. The first four stories took about a year each! But, I am getting slightly quicker.


EPBR :When can we expect more tales?

LB: At the moment, I’m working on Volume 2, which will feature the tales of the Miner, the Slaver, the Spy and the Scout. This will hopefully be out at the end of the year, but if you’re especially impatient to read more you can find the Miner’s Tale on my blog.

The plan is that Volume 3 will come along in 2015 and then you can expect a complete edition soon after.

EPBR: In Jane’s book Skye goes to a fallen skies convention in Las Vegas. What kind of convention would you like to go to.

LB: I’ve not been to many conventions, but favourites are always gaming related. GenCon used to be in my home town and I used to go every year until it was moved to London and then stopped entirely. I like how gaming conventions bring people who’ve never met together around a table. My perfect convention would be one where all the celebrity guests sit down and play board games with you. I know Wil Wheaton is a big boardgamer, so maybe this idea isn’t so far-fetched.
EPBR: Hob-Nobs or Custard Creams?

LB: I’m more of a pink wafer man myself, but in the unlikely scenario that you’re holding a gun to my head and forcing me to choose, I’d have to go with Custard Creams.

Visit Luke Bellmason’s blog for sneak peaks and great articles.

startrekshipStar Trekking-

Long ago in a galaxy far away….or as I call it 1986. I discovered something so wonderful, it changed my life- and this is how it started:

Sunday was always my day with my father. So often he had to work Saturdays, that I hardly had time to see him some weeks, but Sunday’s were sacred. We would wake up early and watch repeats of Doctor Who and Star Trek together. After breakfast we would go to a baseball card convention, if one was local. One day we saw signs advertising a special Star Trek convention; without a word being spoken between us, my father promptly bought two tickets.

The day that would change my life finally arrived; dressed in my home-made blue science officer shirt, we set out to the Pennsylvania hotel in Manhattan.

stquotesAfter we did the tour of the stalls, which mostly consisted of multi coloured knitted Tom Baker Doctor Who scarves; we were herded into the conference hall.

There were a few speakers, production assistants on The Terminator film and the like, but the crowd was getting restless. I have to admit it was quite boring and you felt like they were just babbling on to fill time.

Then the house lights went down, a few Movie trailers were shown and a few disappointed people started to leave. Then the familiar theme music started and every one froze. It was the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation and for forty-three minutes- not a sound was made.

comicbook guy

The house lights went up as the credits started to roll and I felt like I had a religious experience. I scanned the crowd to see if anyone else was a moved as I was. I do have to mention, the audience was predominately made up of middle-aged men that looked like comic book guy in Spock ears. As I watched those grown men cry just from the sheer beauty of the show- my only thoughts were “These are my people” and “I am home”.

That day will always remain a very treasured memory of time spent with my father and I am so grateful that we shared such a pivotal movement in my life together.

From that day forward my fate was sealed as Trekkie and a geek. Boldly going…nowhere- but loving the journey.

Also by Jane Lovering:
Hubble Bubble by Jane Lovering
Hubble Bubble has as many twists, darkness and drama as you would expect from the title, but its true strengths lay in its quieter moments and its humour. Any true romantic will be put under its spell.
Be careful what you wish for…
Holly Grey only joined the women’s group to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery…and a sarcastic Welsh journalist.Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing with a bunch of women who are trying really hard to make their dreams come true.Together they realise that getting what you wish for is sometimes just a matter of knowing what it is you want…

pleasePlease don’t stop the music by Jane Lovering

Winner of the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year & the Romantic Comedy award.The panel of judges described Jane’s voice as ‘fresh and new with an unexpected hero’, and included WH Smith’s Matt Bates, Foyles’ Jonathan Ruppin, Jane Mays from The Daily Mail and The Bookseller’s Sarah Broadhurst. Please Don’t Stop the Music was singled out by the judges for its ‘dark undertones’ and for engaging with ‘issues a lot of people recognise’.

How much can you hide?
Jemima Hutton is determined to build a successful new life and keep her past a dark secret. Trouble is, her jewellery business looks set to fail – until enigmatic Ben Davies offers to stock her handmade belt buckles in his guitar shop and things start looking up, on all fronts.
But Ben has secrets too. When Jemima finds out he used to be the front man of hugely successful Indie rock band Willow Down, she wants to know more. Why did he desert the band on their US tour? Why is he now a semi-recluse?
And the curiosity is mutual – which means that her own secret is no longer safe …




Feature: Out of time

This weeks theme is “Out of time”, featuring the best in Time travel, time-slips and parallel universes. As always there will be book reviews, author interviews, original articles, quizzes and film & book recommendation. Please remember to check the Facebook page for features. Let’s start the week off with a book review.

ifyournotJennifer Wright is full of ‘what if’ questions. If she’d stayed with unconventional, carefree Aidan, would she be enjoying life in sun-kissed Australia?

Should she have married fabulously wealthy, workaholic Tim?

Could she have found happiness after all with kind, gentle Steve?

Jennifer’s about to find out. After a terrible row with her husband, she runs out of the house and straight into the path of a car. Whilst in a coma she’s given the gift of seeing exactly how each choice she’s made has dramatically altered her life.

But maybe those answers leave her with even more life-changing decisions to make…

jemmameme2I found the book to be like “Peggy Sue gets married” meets the Ghost of Christmas past. It is very easy when you are unhappy to dwell on “what-ifs” and I thought Jemma Forte portrayed an unhappily married life very honestly.

Jennifer has an accident and she is transported to a kind of afterlife waiting room in the form of the famous tunnel. Each door she picks leads her to another “what if” scenario.

To be honest, I found all of the jumping around from past to present to present past all very confusing at first. It took a lot of getting used to and I think it distracted me from the story because I had to keep turning back pages to figure out the time-line in my head.

jemmameme1After five weeks in a coma, Jennifer wakes up. Having lived multiple “what if” lives, she is now blessed with gift of hindsight. If there is a moral to the story, I would have to say this: it is nice revisiting the past but you can never wish away your children. In theory, any choice that is made – that results in children, by default is the right one.

The ending is slightly inconclusive, but so is life. Sometimes you end up exactly where you are meant to be. It was a very enjoyable book that will lead to you being thought provoked and take you to the land of “What if’s”.




termintor movie posterThe Terminator: Greatest love story ever told

Usually when you think of “The Terminator” film, the first thing that comes to mind is a metallic faced Arnie saying “I’ll be back” and not of a deeply romantic love story. Kyle Reece falls in love with Sarah Connor just from stories he heard and the pictures of her he’d seen.

When the opportunity arrives to travel back in time to protect her; he jumps at the chance. Although, he know it is a one way trip and his survival with be for a limited time.

It is unclear if John Connor knows the truth of Kyle being his father or not; but at that time Kyle has no idea of his important place in fate. All he knows is the woman he loves needs help.

Selflessly he leaps into the unknown past. He doesn’t even know if he will find be able to find Sarah, let alone, if she would even give him the time of day.

kylereee1 “John Connor gave me a picture of you once. I didn’t know why at the time. It was very old-torn, faded. You were young as you are now. You seemed just a little sad. I used to always wonder what you were thinking at that moment. I memorized every line, every curve. I came across time for you Sarah. I love you, I always have.”- Kyle Reese

I don’t know about you but I just melted a bit. That is the most romantic thing I have ever heard. A man risking everything for the woman he loves, and she doesn’t even know he is alive. Luckily for him, she falls under his spell for the rest of her life. Kyle remains the only man for her. It was love from the first words he spoke to her “Come with me if you want to live.”

lovedup1The Terminator has all the hallmarks of the perfect love story. There is conflict, peril, a love that conquerors all adversity, and homicidal robots. OK- maybe not the last one.

It is an unforgettable timeless romance, and who could forget the first scenes when a very naked Michael Bien arrives. My ardour was quickly cooled by him going commando in a pair of vagrant trousers, but I am confident that he had time to shower before his first love scene with Sarah.

Love must have been in the air on set because Linda Hamilton, the actress who played Sarah Connor, later married the director, James Cameron of Titanic fame.

In many ways, The Terminator is the perfect date film. For him, mechanized carnage and Arnold Schwarzenegger and for her, romance and love. Either way, I guarantee you wont be able to look at the film in the same way again.


Here is another great quiz for you, this time it is Time Travel Movie trivia, Don’t forget to post your results.


Other great books that feature time travel:

ruby broochFrom the white-plank fenced pastures of central Kentucky to the Bay of San Francisco, The Ruby Brooch, an emotional saga steeped in family tradition follows a young woman’s quest as she attempts to solve the murder of her birth parents 160 years in the past.

As the lone survivor of a car crash that killed her parents, grief-stricken paramedic Kit MacKlenna makes a startling discovery. A faded letter and a well-worn journal reveal that she was abandoned as a baby. The only clues to her identity are a blood-splattered shawl, a locket with a portrait of a man from the 19th century, and a brooch with mystical powers.

The brooch sweeps her back to the American west in the year 1852 where she meets Scotsman Cullen Montgomery, a San Francisco-bound lawyer who resembles the ghost who has haunted her since childhood. With Cullen’s assistance, she joins a wagon train heading to Oregon.

 The journey is fraught with danger, but nothing is more dangerous than Cullen’s determination to uncover the source of her unusual knowledge and life-saving powers. From the white-plank fenced pastures of central Kentucky to the Bay of San Francisco, The Ruby Brooch, an emotional saga steeped in family tradition and mystery follows a young woman’s quest as she attempts to solve the murder of her birth parents 160 years in the past.
stepbackFrom a review:
When Jo-Jo is hit by a car, the last thing she expects is to wake up and find herself in 1963. The world around her is suddenly very different – from the fashion to the music, even her romantic life. But then it happens three more times, and Jo-Jo finds herself living in the 70′s, 80′s and the 90′s! Why is Jo-jo jumping through time? And if she gets back to her old life, will it be the same?

map of timeFrom review:

It’s difficult to describe the plot of this novel without giving too much away. It’s set in Victorian London and is a rollercoaster ride of time travel, parallel universes, romance, murder and intrigue, featuring Jack the Ripper and novelists H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker and Henry James.

This is a lengthy book, written in three parts. Each is initially a separate story, but
interweaving threads soon appear. Time travel is central to the novel and the author takes the reader on a fascinating and twisting journey – is time travel real or imagined, or just an elaborate parlour trick, the next step on from Victorian Spiritualism?

This is a clever book, with a narrator who is constantly winking at the reader. The author explores the idea of how people might affect the future by making small changes in the past, and uses real historical events and figures to illustrate this, which actually makes the story much more interesting.

H.G. Wells emerges after a while as the central character, who helps a variety of lovelorn folk with their dramatic romantic dilemmas, whilst also hunting down a vicious murderer. There are plenty of other well drawn characters: brave romantic heroes, rich dandies, swooning young girls eager for romance, tenacious police inspectors and wily, scheming criminals. In many ways this novel is typical of the Victorian potboiler with stereotypical characters and situations, but the author manages to elevate it greatly by his ingenious plotting and the introduction of sci-fi elements.

Review: Love and Liability- Katie Oliver

loveandliaLove and Liability is the second book in the Dating Mr. Darcy series by Katie Oliver. This book features Holly James, previously mentioned in Prada and Prejudice. The book starts off when Holly is due to interview “Henry Barrington” for BriTeen again. She is expecting an old duffer, but he is really Alex, the gorgeous.

Holly bungles things at first, and the whole first encounter is adorable. Later disaster strikes as Holly’s job is being sabotaged. Her relationship with Alex heats up along the way and even manages to salvage every thing by the time she meets Zoe.

Although Love and Liability can be comedic at times, there is a more serious under current with  Zoe’s story line. The mystery of Erik’s merchandise is dark and gritty; which highlights an important subject matter with realism.

It just gets better and better as the series continues. The gaffs are funnier and the men get more delicious. Katie Oliver out did herself and I am preparing myself to be blown away by the next book in the series, Mansfield Lark.

Mansfield Lark hits shelves Monday, March 3rd, 2014. Pre-order it now.


The most recent televised adaptation was “Death comes to Pemberley” by PD James. It is a perfect example of an “Austen After”. Although critics did not like the program, I think it is worth a view.

Over the years, there have been many spoofs and quite frankly, a few very bizarre adaptations. Here are my picks in the category:



zombiessea monsters



misey memeYou can see the plot of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in almost every modern romance book. Usually is about a young woman who meets a man above her station. I know what I sound like and it does nothing for women’s lib, but you do have to admit there is an abundance of “Lords” and “Billionaires” in modern romance. Even though it is apparent to everyone the hero is above the heroine in Class stature and monetarily wealth, the heroine is far superior to the hero in virtue and in character, she out shines him.

The world was a different place two hundred years ago when Jane Austen wrote her novels, but certain things never change – like the human heart.

We continue to identify with these characters because their wants and our wants are so similar. We recognize ourselves in their insecurities, longings and failure to find love. More often than not, they are successful in love, but it is their humanity that makes Jane Austen’s characters timeless.

wetcolmemeAlthough, the class structure isn’t as stringent as it was in Jane’s days, there are still limitation in the world today. The landed gentry of yesteryear could be today’s CEO. The relevancy has just been shifted and adjusted to modern life.

Every modern heroine as a bit of Elizabeth Bennett in her, because Lizzie is what we all aspire to be. She is quintessential, every woman.

One of the most successful Pride and Prejudice adaptations, is the Bridget Jones franchise. Jane Austen is so engrained in our culture that we did not even questions it as being an Austen plot.

From Bridget Jones to Pretty Woman, Jane Austen the Grandmother of romance is everywhere. Her popularity has not waned in two hundred years and will stand the test of time. As long as there is love, Jane Austen will endure.

The BBC has a great article about the Janeites: The curious American cult of Jane Austen.

In production news: Longbourn by Jo Baker, “A new novel that retells the story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of its servants”. Looking forward to that Regency Upstairs Downstairs, I even heard rumours that it will be snapped up for film or tele soon.




shadesI did come across this book on my travels and I thought the series was worth a mention. I know it isn’t an “After Austen” but it is set in that time. When I saw this book I knew I had to have it, I then went and bought the whole series. I am hoping to review it very soon. These are some of the things that are being said about:

The Glamourist Histories are comedies of manners and magic, and a whole new way
of looking at an era that we only thought we knew before. (John Scalzi)

With magic, manners, mayhem, and no small measure of derring-do – the Glamourist Histories are everything you could wish for in a sleek, fashionable fantasy series. A shimmering adventure for history buffs and glamour enthusiasts alike. (Cherie Priest)

A beautiful, lyrical, tightly woven meld of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast – I couldn’t put it down! (Lili St. Crow)

Shades of Milk and Honey could easily fit into Austen’s canon… Kowal has captured both the style and content of an Austen novel, adding her own speculative fiction twist. Readers who enjoyed such novels as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell will find this novel appealing as well. (The Jane Austen Centre)

If Jane Austen had written a fantasy novel, [this] would have been the result. Written with painstaking attention to detail, Kowal’s prose is serenely evocative of the time period, and the fantastic elements are a seamless fit. The characterization is extremely well done and Jane is a sympathetic, strong and intelligent heroine whose
devotion to her family trumps nearly every other concern.= (RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ stars, Top Pick!, Seal of Excellence winner)

Today’s quiz is “Which Austen heroine are you?” Make sure to post us your results because we love to hear from you.

Please visit and like our Facebook page, for additional recommendations, freebies and fun.


Feature: Katie Oliver- Prada and Predjudice

To celebrate Jane Austen’s 200th anniversary of publishing Mansfield Park, we are having a full week of a special theme “After Austen”. For over 200 hundred years, fans have delighted in Jane Austen books and even added their own special touches to it. To kick off the week, Katie Oliver stopped in for a chat to discuss her books. Let’s start with my review of Prada and Prejudice.

prada-and-prejudice    Prada and Prejudice is loosely based on Sense and sensibility. There are familiar themes and even some familiar character and names, but the rest is all Katie Oliver’s wonderful imagination.

The book starts off with Natalie, who is heir to a failing department store and London socialite. Spending more money than she can ever hope to make, her grandfather puts her to work on the sales counter.

After being dumped by her train wreck of a rock star boyfriend, she meets Rhys Gordon. I’d say more like ran into Rhys. Rhys was called in to save the store and as soon as he met Natalie, it was handbags at dawn.

It is love/hate relationship between Rhys and Natalie, with a sexual tensions you can not miss. Rhys has this stoic Scottish thing, that is totally irresistable. He manages to tell Natalie off a few times but in such a charming way, you could almost see a glint in his eye.

It is a glitzy world of “WAGs and Eurotrash” that is so recognizable as real life but so detached from our own life, that it makes the book pure escapism.

im free

“I’m free” John Inman as Mr. Humphries in “Are you being served?”

Katie Oliver adds so much humour that I found myself laughing out loud . The book really is a light-hearted romp. It is filled with designer labels, stroppy fashion designers and iconic London locations – It made me feel as if I was actually there.

Natalie’s grandfather reminded me of Mr. Grace from “Are you being served?” and whenever I pictured the declining Department store, I always thought of Grace Brothers.

With financial whiz kid Rhys Gordon on the case, and with Natalie’s help they get things off the ground. Things escalate between them and it gets very steamy.

Prada and Prejudice isn’t just a book, it is an adventure. There is intrigue, blackmail, buried secrets, and back stabbing. There are quite a few bombshells along the way and you will be kept in the action right to the very end. You don’t have to be a fan of Austen’s to appreciate this fresh, funny and exhilarating  romance.

Also by Katie Oliver:

love and liaSometimes your sensibilities make absolutely no sense!

Holly James is looking for her big break. A young journalist for BritTEEN magazine, she is dying to write about something more meaningful than pop stars and nail varnish. So when she spots a homeless teenager outside the office, she feels compelled to tell her story. But her evil boss Sasha has other ideas…
Holly is sent to interview a city solicitor she has never heard of. But Alex Barrington turns out to be the very opposite of fusty and boring and Holly’s interest struggles to stay strictly professional!
With Sasha sabotaging her every move, and her story about teens on the street leading her into London’s dark underworld, Holly is chasing both love and success at the same time. But happy endings like that only happen in books don’t they…?



Gemma Astley has succeeded where so many others have failed. She has somehow managed to tame tearaway rock star Dominic Heath and stop his womanising ways for good. But just as they  find happiness, Dominic’s secret aristocratic past becomes public knowledge, and jeopardises everything.

Dominic is actually Rupert Locksley, heir of Mansfield House, a crumbling stately home that needs major financial investment to save it from ruin.

Dominic’s mother pleads for his help, but his father, the Earl, is on the verge of disinheriting him. Meanwhile Dominic’s new status as Mansfield’s long-lost heir attracts the
attention of cut-throat socialite Bibi Matchington-Alcester, who means to make him hers at any cost.

Gemma and Dominic will need to test the strength of their foundations – as well as those of Mansfield House – if either are to remain standing.


Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Katie Oliver.

janebbc The BBC is also commemorating the anniversary in a new radio production:

The Mysterious Death of Jane Austen Episode 1 of 5

15 minutes
First broadcast: Monday 24 February 2014

Twenty-six years have passed since the death of Jane Austen. Armed with a lock of Austen’s hair as perhaps her best clue, Anne Sharp, former governess to the Austen family and Jane’s close friend, has decided at least to tell her story-a story of family intrigues, shocking secrets, forbidden loves, and maybe even murder.

Upon its publication in the UK, Lindsay Ashford’s fictional interpretation of the few facts surrounding Jane Austen’s mysterious death sparked an international debate and uproar. None of the medical theories offers a satisfactory explanation of Jane Austen’s early demise at the age of 41. Could it be that what everyone has assumed was a death by natural causes was actually more sinister? Lindsay Ashford’s vivid novel delves deep into Austen’s world and puts forth a shocking suggestion-was someone out to silence her?

Andrew Davies, who has a phenomenal track record in adaptation, has collaborated with Eileen Horne in recent years, first as writer and producer on a new TV version of Room with a View (2007) and as writer and editor on The Purple Land for Radio 4 (2011).

Written by Lindsay Ashford Adapted by Eileen Horne and Andrew Davies


alan rickmanFor many of us, Emma Thompson’s 1995 film is the version we most identify with. There were a lot of great actors such as Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Greg Wise. Emma Thompson later married fellow Greg Wise- Lucky girl!

Each of us has our favourite Darcy, but who is your favourite your favourite Col. Brandon? For me it is David Morrissey from the 2008 television adaptions. I asked Janet Gover author of Flight to Coorah Creek, and was featured last week in two articles and reviews- Who was her Austen hunk? She is a big Alan Rickman fan, so for her it is him every time.  I have to admit, he does look very dashing .
There have been many adaptions over the years and each of them have their own merits. I found a television version from 1981 that features Tracey Childs of Howard’s way fame and babe of her day.


Now what we have all be waiting for my exclusive interview with Katie Oliver:

katie oliver

EPBR: Will there be anymore Dating Mr. Darcy books after “Mansfield Lark“?

KO: I’m currently furiously scribbling away on a new story featuring Natalie and Rhys, Gemma and Dominic, and a couple of brand new characters. The book is set in a small village in the Scottish Highlands.

It’s just before Christmas, and a blizzard has brought everyone together at Draemar Castle, the ancestral home of Natalie’s friend Tarquin Campbell. There’s conflict – Gemma is insisting that Dominic set a wedding date, now – and newly-married Natalie wants to have a baby straight away, but Rhys is adamant that they should wait.

Add in a mysterious groundskeeper, a female guest who isn’t quite what she seems, and a family secret, and you have the makings of…well, I can’t reveal the title just yet. But I promise, it’ll be a fabulous read!

EPBR: What else are you working on and how is it different?

KO: I have a couple of other books on the back burner, each featuring an American heroine and a sexy European hero. The first book is set in Baltimore, Maryland, and features an Irish-American family. Shauna has a brand new degree. But jobs are few and far between, and she’s returned home to work in the family’s sports bar, waiting tables until she finds something better.

When Declan Quinn comes in with a rowdy group of Irish rugby players, Shauna’s life is turned completely upside down…

The second book takes place in Manhattan. Lauren is an art director who falls for the sexy Italian barista who owns the coffee shop around the corner. Their chemistry is through the roof. But will Luca’s secret stop their romance in its tracks before it even gets started?

These books are different from my others (Prada and Prejudice, Love and Liability, and Mansfield Lark), in that they’re set in the USA, not the UK; but they still promise to be fun, romantic, page-turning reads. That will never change!bridget

EPBR: Which is your favourite Jane Austen Book?

KO: Oh, unquestionably Pride and Prejudice. I never tire of the story of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. My heart aches for Elizabeth, who believes herself cruelly snubbed early on by Mr Darcy; but I feel even more for Darcy himself, who comes across as snobbish and judgmental, despite the fact that he’s a fine and honourable man who gradually grows to love Elizabeth with all his heart.

I love Emma, too – because even though Emma Woodhouse is a terrible snob and an incorrigible busybody, I can’t help but root for her, as she always means well. As most busybodies usually do…


EPBR: Which is your favourite Jane Austen film, and it can also be an after, like Bridget Jones?

KO: Oh, how can I pick anything but Bridget Jones?

Colin Firth as handsome-but-stuffy lawyer Mark Darcy is comedic perfection, and Renee Zellweger as Bridget…well, she’s hilarious and she gets it exactly right. Add Hugh Grant as the office sleaze, Daniel Cleaver, and you’ve got a perfect, funny film. The blue soup…the granny knickers…the Tarts and Vicars party that isn’t, actually…who will ever forget those scenes?

EPBR: Which actor makes your Darcy?

KO: Colin Firth. He’s number one. That white shirt…that pond…that damp, manly chest…LOL!

Coming in at a very close second, however, is Matthew Macfadyen. In fact, I prefer the film with Matthew and Keira Knightley over the BBC miniseries (although it’s very good, too).

Thank you so much Katie Oliver, and remember Mansfield Lark is being released on March 3rd, 2014. Pre-order it today.

Please visit the Facebook site for other Austen themed books and links. Tomorrow we have more treats in store, but for now I will leave you with a Vicar of Dibley Sense and sensibility joke.