Cover Reveal!

I am delighted to announce the upcoming release of my newest novel, Duty Demands, on November 15th, 2016.

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When Elizabeth’s father dies unexpectedly, she is surprised to find that the proud, arrogant Mr. Darcy wants to marry her- and even more surprised when her uncle tells her why. But after they are married she begins to see a different side of her husband.

Darcy thinks that Elizabeth has married him for love, but slowly begins to realize that all is not as it appears in their marriage. Will he still love her when the truth is revealed?

Will our two favorite characters overcome their misunderstandings and achieve a marriage based on more than duty and obligation?

Duty Demands will be available on Amazon.com.

 

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Dream A Little Dream

Jane Austen’s heroines had dreams, didn’t they? Elizabeth Bennet, of course, dreamed of marrying for affection. Fanny Price and Elinor Dashwood dreamed of being accepted by the men they loved. Anne Elliot had a dream, eight years before her story started, but she had been persuaded to give up on it. Catherine Morland had lots of dreams- more like fantasies, really. And Emma- well, I’m not sure what her dream would have been. Perhaps making the perfect match for Harriet? At any rate, what is a heroine (or hero) to do without a dream?

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Dreamers, all of them

 

All of this leads to sharing my dream: for almost two years now, I have been dreaming of becoming a third degree black belt in taekwondo.

My taekwondo journey started in 2008, when my husband and I joined a local karate school and began diligently taking lessons. At the time, my dream was much less ambitious: I wanted to be more physically fit, have fun, and make friends. I had no desire to ever earn even a first degree black belt, let alone second or third.

But the bug bit, and it bit hard. Loving the physical challenge, within six weeks of signing up I had decided to go for my first degree. That was as far as my dream went at the time–to just get my first degree black belt and then move on to another pursuit.

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Shortly after earning first degree

However, along the way I began to realize how much there was to learn after reaching that first major milestone, and I decided to go further. In 2010 I was able to wear the black belt for the first time, and then in 2012 I made my next goal. By that point, there was no question that I would also try for third degree.

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Yes, that’s me, demonstrating a sword form at tournament!

In August 2015 I tested for third degree and did not make it. At first that did not greatly upset me. Disappointments are a part of the taekwondo way of life, and I didn’t achieve second degree black belt the first time either. But then other obstacles came in my way. Injuries, interruptions in training and other things combined to make me think it would never happen.

However, I have decided to take up this goal again, and if all goes well, on December 16th, 2016, I will be testing once again. Please wish me well, and spare a kind thought for everyone out there who dreams a dream!

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New Five Star Review for Mr. Darcy’s Persistent Pursuit!

“I originally read this story on fanfiction.net and immediately fell in love with it. Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite book so obviously I immerse myself in that world every chance I get. Ms. Owen’s writing is beautiful and even better is her understanding of the times in which the original book was written.

She has managed to write a completely fascinating story that stays true to character, yet is a refreshing “what if.”

I often struggle with Lydia’s ending. A part of me believes she got what she deserved in the original book, but a part of me is heartbroken for her because her choices were based on her upbringing. This story offers a different ending for Lydia…a more suitable one for everyone else concerned too.

Great book; I would read anything written by Ms. Owens.”

A big thank you to Electronics Enthusiast for her wonderful review!

New 5-Star Review for Common Ground!

From the Amazon review page: “I really enjoyed this continuation of Gaskell’s North & South. It picks up where the BBC miniseries left off. As I was reading, it was easy to hear the voices of Richard Armitage, Daniela Denby Ashe, Sinead Cusack, etc, in my head! I enjoyed the interaction between Thornton and Margaret and gained an appreciation for Thornton’s mother as well. This book continues to focus on some social and economic issues, and it was interesting to see Thornton and his wife learn to work together during some challenging times. This is a clean read, something I always appreciate. Kudos to Elaine Owen for writing a sweet, engaging story that I can confidently recommend to others. My only complaint is that it was too short!”

From Reading To Writing

In the years that I’ve been reading and writing JAFF, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “Oh, I like to read these stories, but I could never write them!” Maybe you’re heard someone say this too. Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself.

But every single JAFF writer I know of started off writing it the same way- by reading JAFF first! Today there are hundreds of JAFF authors around the world, writing in every kind of JAFF imaginable. Some write variations or continuations of the original story, while others place our favorite characters in more modern settings. Some use only Austen’s original characters while others add their own. There are time-travel JAFF stories and fantasy stories.  There are stories set in the old west, in corporate America, and in boarding schools and colleges. There are stories incorporating famous historical figures. There are even stories with vampires, witches and wizards! The sky, quite literally, is the limit.  So, if you are an avid fan of JAFF but you hesitate to dip your toe into the authorial waters, let me be the one to encourage you: jump right in!!!

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But why write JAFF? Why not other fiction?

First, as the examples above show, JAFF is versatile. Austen’s characters can be placed in other settings because they are so vivid and so realistically drawn. We’ve all known lively, intelligent women and proud, condescending men. We’ve all had to face character flaws like pride and prejudice in our own lives, and most of us have dreamed of finding that one perfect someone to share our lives with, in spite of every obstacle in our way.

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Secondly, with the plethora of JAFF sites online, you will never lack for an audience to read what you write. Many of us started writing on fanfiction.net, but there are also DarcyandLizzy.com, A Happy Assembly, Austen Underground, and dozens of others, and they all have substantial audiences. The JAFF sub-genre started in 1850 when Jane Austen’s niece completed and published her aunt’s unfinished novel The Watsons, and it hasn’t stopped yet. And despite dire predictions in the past, it shows no signs of abating any time soon.

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And when you add your own voice to the collective body of JAFF, you help establish its place as a legitimate sub-genre of modern literature. You can help expose JAFF to a wider readership and promote it to people only you can reach.

So I hope you’ll be brave enough to try your hand at writing JAFF. Pick up a pen, turn on your computer, or prepare to use the medium of your choice. Please let me know if you decide to take the plunge- it’ll be fun to watch your progress! And remember:

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Rita Deodato Reviews Common Ground

Rita Deodato is the founder of the blog From Pemberley to Milton, a site which attempts to review and categorize all manner of fan fiction works based on books by both Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell- no easy task! Since first discovering the site, I have appreciated reading Rita’s thoughtful and comprehensive reviews on a number of books I have not had time to read.

I was delighted to receive a request for an interview from Rita, and even more delighted to read the review she posted today on her blog. I hope you’ll take a look both at her review and at her site!

Read Rita’s review of Common Ground here.

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Book Review: My Own Mr. Darcy

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My Own Mr. Darcy hardly needs a review from me. With 384 Amazon customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.5 stars, it’s safe to say that anything good I have to say about this charming book has probably been said already. But I will give my opinion anyway: excellent book, excellent price, and well worth your time.

Honestly, the synopsis of the book did not, at first, inspire me to download it onto my already-crowded Kindle. A young woman who cannot separate fantasy from reality struck me as immature, an unlikely candidate for charming leading lady status. But I gave it a shot and was almost immediately caught up with Elizabeth’s charm, intelligence, and remarkable self-assurance. This Elizabeth is a character I would surely like to meet in real life.

Chad and Matt, the two men vying for Elizabeth’s heart, were also well-drawn and engaging. The only possible right conclusion to the story was obvious fairly early on, but I was still so drawn in that I could not sleep until finishing the entire book.

This is also a family-friendly book. No swearing, no inappropriate scenes, but there is plenty of romance!

I was fortunate enough to discover this book when it was on Amazon for free, and perhaps you will be able to do the same. But if not, go ahead and splurge a little on this story. You will not be disappointed.