Some Long Awaited Winner Announcements

Congrats to all of you. 

And there is still time to enter the National Poetry Month giveaways through the end of TODAY!

Winner is Anna of Diary of an Eccentric

Winner is Heather of The Maiden's Court

Winner is Sophia Rose

Winner is Dawn from She Is Too Fond of Books

Winner is Janel from Janel's Jumble

Winner of Dr. Seuss Giveaway is The Girl from Diary of an Eccentric; check out that hat.

Guest Post: Romantic Comedies Ooze Love and Laughter by Victoria Connelly

Yesterday, I reviewed Victoria Connelly’s third book in the Austen Addicts series, Mr. Darcy Forever, which is a more serious look at the bonds of sisters among Janeites.  Sarah and Mia Castle are friends and sisters and while friends shouldn’t like the same man, it is even worse when the same sisters like him.

Like most Austen-inspired novels, there is misconceptions, misunderstandings, and downright fun in those pages.  Connelly, however, has a gift for creating Austenesque characters with modern sensibilities and troubles. 

Today, Victoria is stopping by to share with my readers her favorite genre of books and why they’re her favorites — and by now, you should have guessed its romantic comedies.  Without further ado, please give her a warm welcome.

I grew up watching the films of Doris Day, Gene Kelly and Marilyn Monroe so I’ve always been a great fan of romantic comedies and it’s no surprise that I longed to write them myself. It’s a genre that blends two of the most important things in life: love and laughter.

I also love reading romantic comedies and some of my favourite authors are Sophie Kinsella, Deborah Wright, Ruth Saberton and Raffaella Barker. I adore their lightness of touch and their zany, larger-than-life characters. Sophie Kinsella never fails to make me laugh out loud. Her first-person narratives are highly addictive and really let you get close to her heroines, and her heroes are irresistible – of course!

One of my favourite books of all time he is H E Bates’s The Darling Buds of May. It was first published in 1958 and I think it’s really stood the test of time. It’s full of warm humour and has at its heart two love stories: that of the awkward tax inspector, Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton, who falls under the spell of young Mariette Larkin and never returns to the tax office and his dreary old job. There’s also the more mature love story of Pop and Ma Larkin and their ever-increasing brood of children. Whenever I needed a pick me up, I turn to this book and the wonderful TV adaptation made in the early 90s. It is romantic comedy at its very best.

Thanks, Victoria, for sharing your favorites with us.

If you’d like to win a copy of the book, leave a comment below.

Giveaway is open to U.S./Canada residents and will end on April 13, 2012.

Good Luck!

Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly

Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly is the third book in the author’s Austen Addicts series (to be published in April by Sourcebooks), though each book can be read as a stand alone.  Sarah and Mia Castle could not be more different, and while they compare themselves to Austen’s famous sisterly pair Marianne and Elinor from Sense & Sensibility, they are far more complicated.  Mia is a wanna-be actress/singer who is struggling to find her niche in her career and who readily sticks her foot in her mouth, while Sarah is suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and can barely eat in restaurants without first examining their cleanliness.  These sisters are like best friends and both love Jane Austen and the yearly festival in Bath, but what happens if a man comes between them?

“But it wasn’t his face Sarah was trying to get a good look at, but the cover of his book.  She was always fascinated by what other people were reading and couldn’t help wanting to know what the handsome stranger was reading.”  (Page 58 ARC)

While both sisters are seeking their very own Mr. Darcy, they end up with a Willoughby and broken hearts.  Sarah and Mia spend three years without speaking, a sisterly relationship that seems irrevocably broken, but Jane Austen comes to the rescue when both cannot resist the Regency period and all of the celebration Bath has to offer.  Can Austen repair this damaged relationship and help them find true love and a happy ending?

Connelly peppers her prose with wit and fun, but she also tackles tough issues when Sarah and Mia fall for the same man.  Her characters react in real ways to the hurts they endure and they react with anger and passion when the situations warrant it.  Readers will be swept away by Mia and Sarah’s story as Connelly alternates between the present when they are not speaking and three years prior when the incident that tears them apart happens.  From the side characters Connelly creates to the reappearances of characters from the previous two novels in the series, she weaves an intricate story that Austen lovers will be unable to put down.

Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly is about love and forgiveness between sisters who are swept up in Austen’s fairy tale-like world of happy endings, only to find that the happiness they thought they would have was fleeting.  A more serious, modern Austen that explores the bonds between sisters and the power of the love they share to overcome anything.

About the Author:

Victoria Connelly grew up in Norfolk before attending Worcester College where she studied English Literature. After graduating, she worked her way through a number of jobs before becoming a teacher in North Yorkshire.

In 2000, she got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and moved to London. Five weeks after their wedding, her husband, a television news cameraman, was sent to Israel. Convinced something terrible would happen to him, she came up with the idea for a novel about a young widow who starts seeing angels on her desk at work, but was scared to write it in case she tempted fate. It was only years later that her husband admitted to having a bullet graze his shirt sleeve whilst filming in Israel!

Mailbox Monday #161

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is the At Home With Books.

Kristi of The Story Siren continues to sponsor her In My Mailbox meme.

Both of these memes allow bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received this week:

1.  The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy, which I received for my TLC Tour stop in March.

2.  Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller, which came unsolicited from Random House.

These I won from BookHounds and some of these will find homes with my mother (who just loves mystery novels) and some other friends:

3. Fadeaway Girl by Martha Grimes

4. Day by Day Armageddon Beyond Exile by J.L. Bourne

5. The Rock Hole by Reavis Wortham

6. Bet Your Bones by Jeanne Matthews

7. Swift Justice by Laura DiSilverio

8. Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey

9. Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward

10. Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

11. Knit Two by Kate Jacobs

BACK to the review copies and the book buys from the weekend:

12. The Unauthorized Biography of Michele Bachman by Ken Brosky

13. The Three Colonels by Jack Caldwell for review from Sourcebooks

14. Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly for review from Sourcebooks

15. Catalina by Laurie Soriano for consideration in the Indie Lit Awards Poetry category

16. If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O’Brien, which I bought at the book club meeting at Novel Places for $1.50 to complete by collection of O’Brien books.

17. The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore, which I also bought at the book club meeting at Novel Places for $1.99 because I loved this book when I first read it and want my own copy.

18. Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos, which I also bought at the book club meeting, since Anna told me it was hilarious.

What did you receive this week?