christmas cheer…now on audiobook

Somehow it is already December…Do you ever feel like the year just gets away from you? I definitely feel that way this year (and every year).

The exciting news though, is that along with a brand new Holidays with Jane book (Thankful Hearts), we also are releasing Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer on audiobook this holiday season.

Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer is available on audible.com and on Amazon. I also want to say thanks to our amazing narrator Tiffany Dougherty for doing such an amazing job with so many different narration styles and characters. I absolutely loved listening to her read It’s a Wonderful Latte, her take on Izzy cracked me up.

 

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As always, Victoria Austen-Young knocked our cover out of the park!

To celebrate its release, I am giving away a copy of Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer. Enter in the rafflecopter below!

 

 

 

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austen, magic, and a modern teenage darcy

Hello lovelies! Welcome to my post on the Holidays with Jane: Trick or Sweet collection as part of our Fall into Austen event. I am so excited to have been able to announce our latest collection (see the post right before this one). Holidays with Jane: Thankful Hearts will be hitting ereaders and shelves next month and I’m thrilled for you guys to get to read my take on Northanger Abbey – Catherine is definitely one of my favorite Austen heroines!

 

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Fall is upon us (at least here in the Rocky Mountains – where leaves are already changing and I can see snow on Pike’s Peak), and before we get to Thanksgiving we get to celebrate one of my favoritest of all holidays: Halloween!

 

Trick or Sweet

 

For our Halloween collection I ended up with Pride and Prejudice. Now, you wouldn’t think this would be a hard story to adapt because everyone has and even I’ve done it before…but everyone has and I have done it before! How could I possible write something new and/or interesting when it’s been done a million times? I absolutely love P&P adaptations that focus on Darcy’s point of view (see Nancy Kelley’s His Good Opinion if you’re in the market for one), and I also love the idea of setting P&P in high school. I always hope that there will be men that learn Darcy’s lesson early. And that lead me to Will Harper – and boy, did I fall in love with him as I wrote him!

My other is issue is magic. I love it. I write it into almost every story. So far two of my Holidays with Jane stories have had magical elements and two haven’t – and those two that haven’t almost killed me. Writing straight, modern romance isn’t necessarily my strong suit as it turns out. But Halloween is the perfect time to write magic, and the perfect time to turn Georgiana Darcy into a fairy godmother of sorts (teenage fairy godmothers are another secret obsession story idea of mine).

So in Beyond Midnight I got to combine all of my favorite things – Halloween, Austen, YA, magic, fairy godmothers, and a young Mr. Darcy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it. In fact, you can get it FREE for Kindle during our Fall into Austen event.  Let me know how you liked Will and Elena as a modern Darcy and Lizzy if you do!

If you scroll down, I’ve included the first scene from Beyond Midnight. If you were heading out to the Trick or Sweet dance, who (or what) would you go as?

And make sure to enter our Fall into Austen giveaway! Winners get picked tomorrow night, so there’s still time!
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~ Beyond Midnight ~

Will Harper stared at his sister in horror. He actually couldn’t see his sister, she was completely obscured by the large, shiny plastic garment bag she was swinging in front of his face. But the horror—the horror was real. “What IS that?”
“It’s your costume!” Her grinning face popped out from behind the bag.

Will gritted his teeth. “That much I got, Ana.” There was a white tag attached to the hanger on a string. He flipped it over. “Regency Dandy,” he read out loud.

“Yup.” Her head jerked up and down.

“Do I even want to know what a dandy is?” He was pretty sure he didn’t. He could see lace through the clear plastic of the garment bag. Lace. He was going to be laughed out of the locker room on Monday morning. He might as well not show up for football practice. He probably should just skip school altogether. Maybe drop out completely.

Ana lowered the garment bag as her grin turned fiendish. Will was sure it was the kind of grin demons used to welcome poor, lost souls into hell. “A dandy, Will, is a stylish gentleman—much like yourself—but from the 1800s.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “I’ve never been accused of being a stylish gentleman.”

Ana’s grin transformed into a smirk. “True. Scratch the ‘like yourself’ part.”

He shook his head. “I’m not wearing it.”

“You haven’t even seen it.”

Will glared at the lace. “I’ve seen enough of it to know I’m not wearing it.”

“A bet is a bet, William Harper.” She blinked her wide, blue innocent eyes at him. Too innocent.

He narrowed his eyes at her in suspicion. “Don’t you think GOING to the Trick or Sweet dance is enough punishment? No one I know goes to that.”

“That’s because you only know Neanderthals and cheerleaders. And that’s the point: expanding your horizons.” She gestured widely.

“I was only going to make you wash my car. Costumes should not be included in World Series bets.”

“All caveats and disclaimers need to be made prior to the placing of the actual bet,” she replied in a sing-song voice. “And I’m sure you were going to make me do something more horrid than just washing your car.”

He shrugged. “You’ll never know.”

“No, I never will, because your team bit the big one, brother o’mine. And now you have to go as Mr. Darcy to the Drama Club Trick or Sweet Dance and basically my life is all rainbows and unicorn horns and magical pixie dust.” Ana bounced up and down in barely contained excitement.

“Mr. Who?”

“Darcy. Women around the world love him. Here, try it on.” She thrust the garment bag at his chest.

“Is this someone from your Houston books?”

Ana stared at him in confusion. “My what?”

“Those books you’re so into. Jane Houston.” He raised an eyebrow as Ana let out a peal of laughter. “Jane Dallas?”
“Oh my god. I’m, like, actually ashamed to be related to you right now.”

“Get over yourself and your Jane Some-Town-in-Texas snobbery, Ana. Actually don’t. Take this moment to realize that I’m too uncivilized to even be seen in public with.”

Ana regarded him suspiciously. “You’re messing with me to get out of going to the Trick or Sweet Dance, aren’t you. You know Jane Austen.”

“Not personally, no.” Will grabbed the hanger and pulled the plastic up. The buff colored breeches seemed to mock him. “These pants look ridiculous.”

“They look almost exactly like the football pants you wear to every game. But yes, you’re right. Ridiculous.”
He scowled at her beaming face. “I don’t like how much you’re smiling.”

“I know! Isn’t it amazing?!” she asked, eyes shining.

“What are you going as?”

“You’ll see.” She rubbed her hands together in glee. “My costume is perfect. Perfect in a way that you—a guy who wears the same pair of jeans for three days in a row—couldn’t fully comprehend.”

Will laughed. “Okay, crazy.”

Ana sighed in happiness and clasped her hands over her heart. “Tulle. There’s tulle with tiny, sparkly rhinestones on it. And it’s eggshell blue. I’ll probably get punch all over it by 9:30. I’m so not getting my deposit back.”

“How much was this deposit?” he asked. “Like, how upset is Dad going to be when I completely accidentally,” he winked broadly, “spill something on you so that we can leave the dance early?”

Ana crossed her arms and glared at him from under too long bangs. “Do. Not. Think. About. It. Will. Harper.”

Will sighed. “Sadly, I’m a man of my word.”

“Yes, quelle tragédie.” Ana rolled her eyes.

“How long do we have to stay?” He asked as he inspected the costume. “What is this thing, like a lace tie?”

“A cravat. And to the last dance.”

Will poked at the lace. What felt like a dull jolt of electricity ran up his index finger. “What the hell?” He jerked his hand back and shook it. “Is this thing rigged with one those hand buzzer things?”

Her brow knitted. “What are you talking about?”

“Your stupid costume shocked me.”

“Really?” Ana looked from the costume to her brother’s hand which he was still shaking. Her eyes were too wide and innocent again. “Interesting.”

“What are you planning? Murdering me with a Halloween costume?”

“Static electricity is an actual thing, you know. You don’t have to accuse me of practical joking your costume.” She grinned. “Just you wearing this thing is going to be the best thing that happens to me this year.”

He groaned.

“It’s gonna be okay, bro. I’ve recruited moral support for you.”

“Yeah?” Will poked at the lace again, tentatively. This time there was no shock. He still planned to examine it thoroughly before he put it on ‘cause he trusted Ana nowhere near as far as he could throw her.

“Charlie,” she announced with pride.

“Is?”

“Going to the Trick or Sweet Dance with us.”

Will looked up from the costume in shock. “How’d you manage that?”

“I have my ways.” She twirled a strand of dark hair around her finger. “Evil, evil ways.”

“Truer words,” he said with disgust as he pulled the plastic back down over the costume.

“Whatever. I just pointed out that Jen Benson is going to be there. And that she’s planning to wear a hella sexy costume. Steampunk Tinker Bell.”

Will stared at his sister. “Who’s this girl? And how is a teapot sexy?”

Ana rolled her eyes. “Steampunk has nothing…well, very little usually…to do with teapots. How can you not know who Jen Benson is? Charlie has had a crush on her since the start of the year.”

Will shrugged.

“He’s your best friend.” Ana planted her hands on her hips and shook her head sadly.

Will shrugged again. The plastic bag around the costume making a crinkling noise as he did.

“Dudes are weird. Clueless and weird.”

“Okay.”

“You’re just accepting that?” she asked.

“No point in arguing with you. I’m exhausted already.” Will slung the bag over his shoulder and headed for the stairs.

“We are leaving this house at exactly seven p.m., Will Harper. Not a minute later.”

Will grunted in assent.

“This is going to be epic!” she called after him. “Tonight will change your life!”

Will rolled his eyes at her dramatics. Horrible as it sounded, playing Mr. Darcy for a night at least promised to not be life changing.

 

 

introducing…holidays with jane: thankful hearts

Happy first day of fall! As part of the Holidays with Jane Fall into Austen event, I get to introduce you to our NEWEST COLLECTION of awesome holiday inspired Jane Austen adaptations!

 

But first a little bit about the Fall into Austen event!

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Our collection of Halloween stories (Holidays with Jane: Trick or Sweet) is now FREE for your Kindle (September 22 – 26). Grab a copy here.

Also, we are giving away lots of fun prizes (see the rafflecopter below to enter!)

And now, here is our newest collection!

 

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Holidays with Jane: Thankful Hearts

It’s time for crisp weather, colorful leaves, and a Thanksgiving feast. The authors of the Holidays with Jane series bring you Holidays with Jane: Thankful Hearts, six modern-day adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels. Join your favorite heroines around the fire with a cup of hot apple cider for heart-warming takes on these classic stories.

Coming October 2016

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end of summer sale…

I can’t believe it is the end of summer already! Someone needs to slow this year down!

To celebrate the end of summer the Holidays with Jane: Summer of Love collection is on sale for your kindle at 99 cents. This sale will run through the end of Labor Day weekend, so make sure to grab the last few moments of summer with our Austen heroines!

Snag your copy on Amazon.

 

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christmas in july…our favorite things

The Holidays with Jane authors are celebrating Christmas in July by blogging about Our Favorite Things!

 

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It’s no secret that I LOVE food and one of my favorite things about Christmas is definitely the food! Though my family’s food traditions might not be as…typically traditional…as some, they make us unique and I look forward to them every year!

The number one item on our Christmas food list is actually our Christmas Eve meal. We would spend Christmas Eve night at my Grammy and Fafa’s house and open a brand new ornament from our parents. The giving of a new ornament every year is something that I’ve continued with my kids.  The number one item on the menu for Christmas Eve: Toasted Sourdough Bread with Avocado. And the avocados were most often from my Grammy’s tree. You guys, this is legit the best meal ever.

The secret to good a toasted avocado sandwich is the bread. You MUST get real sourdough. In spite of what you’ve been told, Seattle Sourdough is not real sourdough. Real sourdough comes from San Francisco. There is no discussion on this. And while I am all for reducing one’s intake of starchy carbs, this is not the time to go whole grain. Get yourself some good sourdough so you can fully appreciate these little slices of California!

 

CA Avocado

 

Here’s how you make this sandwich. Pay attention, it’s complicated.

1. Toast the sourdough

2. Smash avocado (a fork works great) on top of the toasted sourdough

3. Salt and LIBERALLY pepper

4. Squeeze some lemon juice on top

5. EAT

6. Repeat 5 or 6 times until you are stuffed like the Christmas turkey we are not actually having the next day cause we do brunch.

I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Fun fact: Grammy’s avocado tree is a Reed Avocado. They are delicious and they are huge (up to 18 ounces!). The neighbor kids use them as softballs before they’re ripe. There’s more to avocados than just Haas (though Grammy went to second grade with Haas’ daughter, true story).

 

Reed Avocado

Reed Avocado

 

Another Christmas food tradition in my family is Grammy’s Famous Snowball cookies. My Grammy makes the best snowball cookies. I discovered why hers are so amazing once while searching for recipes online…they have about twice the butter as most snowball recipes. I am sharing these with you today, because I love you and you deserve this much butter. You really, really do.

 

Snowball Cookies

 

Grammy’s Famous Snowball Cookies

 Ingredients

1 pound butter

4 cups sifted flour

1 cup powdered sugar (plus 1 more cup for coating)

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds – I always do pecans)

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Instructions

Let butter stand at room temp until it gets soft. Cream butter in a large bowl, gradually working in flour, sugar, nuts, and vanilla (you may have to mix with your hands!). Chill until firm enough to roll into large marbel siezed balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart. Cook at 350 degrees until light golden brown (approximately 20-25 minutes). Cool on cookie sheet for approximately 10 minutes. Remove carefully. Shake gently in a bag with 1 cup powdered sugar until generously coated. Cool completely on a wire rack before stroing in a tight container with wax paper between layers to keep from sticking.

My mom calls these the No Fail Cookie. They are a hit every time and make great gifts.

 

So there you have it, some of my absolutely favorite “Christmas” foods (though I suggest enjoying toasted avocado sandwiches year round because IT IS OKAY TO LOVE THE CALIFORNIA AVOCADO!).

I hope that you guys are enjoying the Christmas in July posts! If you haven’t already entered the giveaway for a $10 Amazon card and the complete ebook set of Holidays with Jane (3 winners), you can here!
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Also make sure to enter our goodreads giveaway for a paperback copy of Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Holidays with Jane by Jennifer Becton

Holidays with Jane

by Jennifer Becton

Giveaway ends August 02, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Lastly, I am live tweeting White Christmas tonight with Jennifer Becton so make sure to follow along! (@JenniferBecton and @_JessicaGrey). We will get started at 5 PST / 8 EST.

 

 

 

 

 

christmas in july full schedule!

Our Holidays with Jane Christmas in July event starts this Sunday, July 24th! Here is a full schedule of all the fun!

 

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Join the Holidays with Jane authors as we blog about Our Favorite Things!

07/24

Jennifer Becton (http://bectonliterary.com/blog/)

07/25

Rebecca M. Fleming (http://fairyjane.blogspot.com/)

Jessica Grey (http://www.authorjessicagrey.com/blog/)

07/26

Nancy Kelley (http://nancykelleywrites.tumblr.com/)

Melissa Buell (http://www.authormelissabuell.com/#!blog/c1tu)

07/27

(Wrap Up and Winners Announcement)

​Jessica Grey (http://www.authorjessicagrey.com/blog/)

 

Movies!

Join us for movie watching fun on Twitter! These authors will be live tweeting some favorite Christmas movies.

 

Sunday, 07/24 starting at 6 PST / 9 EST

The Holiday (available on Netflix)

Make sure to follow Rebecca M. Fleming (@FairyJanePress) & Cecilia Gray (@CeciliaBooks)

 

Monday, 07/25 starting at 5 PST / 8 EST

White Christmas (available on Netflix)

Make sure to follow Jennifer Becton (@JenniferBecton) and Jessica Grey (@_JessicaGrey)

 

Christmas in July Giveaways

$10 amazon gift card and complete ebook set of Holidays with Jane (3 winners). Enter here:

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Two paperback copies of Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer are also up for grabs on goodreads! Enter here:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Holidays with Jane by Jennifer Becton

Holidays with Jane

by Jennifer Becton

Giveaway ends August 02, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

During our celebration, Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer is FREE for your kindle! Did you know that you can also gift free kindle books? If you have a friend that you’d love to share Christmas Cheer with, now is a great time. Snag a copy here. 

christmas in july…a celebration!

I love working with my fellow authors on the Holidays with Jane series! They’re a super amazing group of women and so much fun to write with! We’ve published FOUR of these collections so far, and I am constantly amazed by their creativity and ability to bring Austen’s classics into the modern era.

Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer was our FIRST collection, and it is definitely among my favorites! To celebrate it, we are hosting a Christmas in July event July 24-26. We will have lots of fun stuff happening (giveaways, live Christmas movie tweet-alongs) on Twitter and on Facebook, as well as all of our individual sites. Make sure to follow the Holidays with Jane Facebook page to not miss out!

I will be posting a schedule later this week of all the fun!

Christmas in July Main

 

 

 

summer of love is out…and a giveaway!

HolidaysWithJane-SummerOfLove-KINDLESomehow it’s already June! I have no idea how this happened, honestly. The good news, is this means Holidays with Jane: Summer of Love released yesterday!

I am so proud of this collection and my fellow authors. I got to play in the Emma sandbox this time around I find myself more and more fascinated by how Emma thinks and in love with Mr. Knightley (because of course!).

 

Holidays with Jane: Summer of Love is now available on Kindle with the paperback to be available shortly! Make sure to add us to your goodreads as well.

The Holidays with Jane ladies are giving away some summer goodies. Each of these two adorable prize packs has a $10 Starbucks gift card in them (not pictured).

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Visit our rafflecopter giveaway here.