Bringing Jane Austen to the 21st Century
Kaitlin Saunders: A Modern Day Persuasion

Happy Birthday Jane!

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on December 16, 2011 - (85 Comments)

I used a time machine device and traveled back to 1804,
celebrating Jane’s 29th birthday with the then unknown authoress…

Jane arrived half-passed noon dressed in a delicate blue muslin gown and was received with hugs to the luncheon Cook had prepared for us in honor of her birthday. Jane looked bright despite having been under the weather earlier that week, although I did notice a queer look in her eyes but didn’t say anything. Instead, I attributed it to her known dislike of Bath. She and her family had been living in the city several years by then but Jane had yet to form a positive opinion of it. The only good which came out of her family’s relocation, she told me one afternoon, was being introduced to me. We met at a concert one fateful evening and had become fast friends, my being an appreciator of fiction and she, a gifted yet unpublished author.

As we sat down at the table, Jane complimented the array of goodies laid out
on the white linen tablecloth and I nodded my equal appreciation. My cook had outdone herself. There was a mouthwatering selection of finger sandwiches, cold cut pork, several flavors of freshly baked cookies and a pink layered cake with sprinkles on top of the frosting!

While nibbling ladylike on these tasty items, we lamented the fact that Cassandra had not been able to join us, having unfortunately contracted whatever the birthday girl had just recovered from. Jane intimated that she and Cassandra were due for a visit to the country to visit their brother and she hoped it would do them both a bit of good.

After the pleasant lunch, I gave Jane a handmade card and a short book of poems. She opened her gift with pleasure and read aloud several poetic selections before divulging to me her latest venture in fiction. It was quite an interesting tale but she hadn’t finished it yet. I believe she said the title was “The Watsons”. [to be continued...]

Enter to win a FREE copy of A Modern Day Persuasion by leaving a comment below.  The contest ends Dec. 23rd, and the winner will be announced shortly after.  My contest is open world-wide!

Thanks Maria of My Jane Austen Book Club and Katherine of November’s Autumn for asking me to be a part of the celebration!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANE!

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS IN THE JANE AUSTEN’S BIRTHDAY SOIREE

1.Sharon Lathan
Blog: Sharon Lathan
Giveaway: Miss Darcy Falls in Love

2.Emily Snyder
Blog: O! Beauty Unattempted
Giveaway: Letters of Love & Deception

3.Laurel Ann Nattress
Blog: Austenprose
Giveaway: Signed copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It

4.C. Allyn Pierson
Blog: SemiTrue Stories
Giveaway: Mr Darcy Little Sister (open worldwide)

5.Cindy Jones
Blog: First Draft
Giveaway: A signed copy of “My Jane Austen Summer” and a package of Lily Berry’s Pink Rose Tea by Bingley’s, Ltd.

6.Farida Mestek
Blog: Regency stories set against the backdrop of Regency England
Giveaway: I was Jane Austen Best Friend by Cora Harrison

7.Marilyn Brant
Blog: Brant Flakes
Giveaway: A canvas ACCORDING TO JANE tote bag and a pair of A SUMMER IN EUROPE luggage tags.

8.Prue Batten
Blog: Mesmered’s Blog
Giveaway: Anna Elliot’s  “Georgiana Darcy” (Kindle book)

9.Erin Blakemore
Blog: The Heroine’s Bookshelf
Giveaway:  A set of Potter-Style Pride and Prejudice notecards

10.Velvet
Blog: vvb32 reads
Giveaway: Jane Austen’s Little Instruction Book (Charming Petites) By
Jane Austen    Edited by Sophia Bedford-Pierce, Illustrated by Mullen &
Katz,  Introduction by  Barbara Paulding

11. Karen Doornebos
Blog: The Fiction vs. Reality Smackdown
Giveaway: 2 Jane Austen Candles and 2 signed DNMD books plus drink coasters and tea!

12.Regina Jeffers  ReginaJeffers’s Blog
Giveaway: An autographed copy of “Christmas at Pemberley“

13.Alyssa Goodnight
Blog: Alyssa Goodnight
Giveaway: Jane Austen Action figure

14.Deb
Blog: Jane Austen in Vermont
Giveaway: JASNA 2012 calendars from the Wisconsin JASNA Region

15.Laura Hile,  Susan Kaye, Pamela Aidan, and Barbara Cornthwaite
Blog: Jane Started It!
Giveaway:
One copy of Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honour by Pamela Aidan
One set of Frederick Wentworth, Captain (Books 1 and 2) by Susan Kaye
Two copies of Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough a Course (Book 1) by Laura Hile
George Kinghtley, Gentleman (Books 1 and 2) by Barbara Cornthwaite.

16.Juliet Archer
Blog: Choc Lit Authors’ Corner
Giveaway: A copy of “Persuade Me”  and one of “The Importance of Being Emma”

17.Jane Greensmith
Blog: Reading, Writing, Working, Playing
Giveaway: A copy of  “Intimations of Austen”, and Sense & Sensibility (Marvel Illustrated)

18.Jenny Allworthy
Blog: The Jane Austen Film Club
Giveaway: A copy of Northanger Abbey DVD starring Felicity Jones and JJ Feild (The winner will choose region 1 or 2 DVD)

19.Sitio Jane Austen
Blog: El Salón de Té de Jane
Giveaway: Spanish edition of Sense and Sensibility for the 200th Anniversary + A DVD package with adaptations of Jane Austen
(It’s only zone 2, but it’s in Spanish and English ) +  blu-ray of the BBC’s Emma with Romola Garai

20.Kaitlin Saunders
Blog: Kaitlin Saunders
Giveaway: “A Modern Day Persuasion”

21.Becky Rhodehouse
Blog: One Literature Nut
Giveaway: Selection of Austenesque Reads

22.Patrice Sarath
Blog: Patrice Sarath
Giveaway: A copy of The Unexpected Miss Bennet

23.Adriana Zardini
Site: Jane Austen Brasil
Giveaway: DVD – Sense and Sensibility (1995) – English / Portuguese subtitles

24.Jane Odiwe
Blog: Jane Austen Sequels
Giveaway: A mug with one of  Jane Odiwe’s illustrations and a copy of her “Mr Darcy’s Secret”

25.Courtney Webb
Blog: Stiletto Storytime
Giveaway: Noble Satyr by Lucinda Brant (Regency Romance)

26.Jennifer Becton
Blog: Jennifer W. Becton
Giveaway: An ebook of the Personages of Pride and Prejudice Collection, which contains all of my Austenesque works: Charlotte Collins, “Maria Lucas,” and Caroline Bingley. The giveaway will be open internationally.

27.Vera Nazarian
Blog: Urban Girl Takes Vermont
Giveaway: A copy of Vera Nazarian’s gift hardcover edition of her inspirational calendar and diary, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

28.Abigail Reynolds
Blog: Pemberley Variations
Giveaway: A signed copy of “Mr. Darcy’s Undoing”

29.Blog: AustenAuthors
Giveaway: Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester

30.Katherine Cox
November’s Autumn
Giveaway: $10 B&N Gift-card (US only)

31.Maria Grazia
My Jane Austen Book Club
Giveaway: A selection of Austenesque reads

Read the latest review of my novel, A Modern Day Persuasion, on the For the Love of Austen website.  Thanks Kate!

Readers, I woke up this morning wishing I could call in sick, pull the covers over my head, and stay in bed till noon–but then I read Indie Jane’s review of my book, A Modern Day Persuasion.

When I first started reading the review, I must admit I was a little worried.  The reviewer started out by saying she’s not a fan of Persuasion.  Surely she wouldn’t like mine then, since it follows the original so closely, right?!?  Wrong!  I think I’ve found a kindred spirit in Rebecca!

Thank you, Indie Jane, for making my day!  And readers, to check out the review, visit IndieJane.org

Have a wonderful day!

Kaitlin

Special Discount on Ebook – 2 DAYS ONLY!

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on October 5, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Reward yourself for making it through summer and start your fall off with some romance!

For 2 days only, you can purchase a copy of A Modern Day Persuasion for only $1.99!

This coupon is valid only October 5th-6th through Smashwords Ebooks by using this coupon code: KK59D

Smashwords – A Modern Day Persuasion

Happy reading!

Kaitlin

Tea time, it seems, was a big part of the English society. Why ever did we do away with it, I have to ask? Just think of those long, tiresome days around the house or at the office—wouldn’t they seem that much more pleasant if you knew your afternoon’s bright spot was to gather around the tea pot and sip tasty tea blends while nibbling on scrumptious goodies and sandwiches? Not to mention the special time set aside to catch up with friends and family, or a good book if you happen to be doing this ritual alone. I find myself trying to incorporate a tea party element into many of the get-togethers I’ve planned in the past or presently. Even my 18th birthday party was a tea party (if I can recall that far back)! I guess I just feel so dignified and old-fashioned when I hold one of my mother’s many collectable tea cups and feign an English accent.

Maybe that’s why when my mother-in-law suggested an Anne of Green Gables movie gathering, I asked if we could make it into a tea party. Doesn’t it just sound so natural to have tea cup in hand while giggling over Anne’s predicaments and watching how Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert put up with her? Besides that, my mother-in-law makes fantastic gluten-free scones (yes, I am one of the many afflicted with gluten-intolerance…bad luck if you’re a bread addict like myself). But I’ve been thinking, what can I contribute to this tea party to accompany those delicious scones? And not only that, but something gluten-free that will be so good it’ll knock the socks off of even those gluten lover’s attending. I know there’s the typical finger sandwiches—your egg salad or cream cheese and cucumber—but what about a delicacy dessert item?

I remember when my “mum” and I were across the pond in England and had a stop over at York. Of course we had to try the “Rock” and Chips, but the next morning we went to the famous Betty’s Tea Parlor and ordered high tea. On the three-tiered tray served to us were cucumber and dill finger sandwiches, fresh scones of a variety of flavors, and delectable dessert items. While we sipped our tea (or in my “mum’s” case that particular morning, hot chocolate), we did our regular people watching as a pianist played some of my favorite show tunes on the grand piano mere feet away. It was a lovely way to end our visit to York.

Although we won’t have heavenly sounding piano music in the background of our tea party, we’ll have something better: laughter, good conversation, and the likes of Anne (with an “e”) Shirley up on our television screen reminding us of a beautiful time in the past and why everyone should visit Canada.

And to end on that note, see below the dessert recipe I’ll be introducing at the tea party!

Makes 12 individual cheesecakes.

Crust:

1 cup (100 grams) graham wafer crumbs or crushed digestive biscuits (gluten free of course)

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar

4 – 5 tablespoons (55-65 grams) butter, melted

Filling:

2 – 8 ounce (454 grams) packages of full fat cream cheese, room temperature

2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 cup (120 ml) sour cream, room temperature

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/Cheesecakes(Individual).html#ixzz1ZO6z0TH5

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on September 24, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Today is my first year wedding anniversary with my amazing husband, partner, and best friend, Timothy. Who knew that God would answer all my prayers in this incredible man
who loves me even when I’m unlovable, who takes care of me when I’m sick, and who
supports me in all that I do! Tim, you make me a better woman.


Tim and I dated only nine months before tying the knot—much to my parent’s concern—
but when it’s right, it’s right. And what Tim and I have is so special. I can’t imagine a
life without my man at my side. We have our differences, but those differences make us
stronger as a pair. And yes, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, our arguments and
disagreements, but what far outweighs them is all the laughter, the joyful tears, and just
the sheer awe of happiness we experience when we’re in each other’s company. I thank
God for giving me the special gift of my husband’s love.

I’ve learned so much through my first year of marriage. Tim and I had heard from so
many couples how difficult or unbearable this first season of growing together would be
and frankly, we’ve found it hard to believe. We’re more in love than ever and excited
about what God has in store for us next. It really just keeps on getting better and better.
Sometimes I think, has it really been a year already? But then I reflect, and honestly
the closeness Tim and I share feels founded on more than just this small amount of time
as husband and wife. And you know why—I believe it’s because I’ve found my other
half—my soulmate—my wonderful…

I love you, Tim. Thanks for inspiring me to finally publish my book and for cheering me
on every step of the way.

Kaitlin

I’ve got the reading bug which explains why lately I’ve spent the majority of my time with my nose in a book rather than with my fingers at a keyboard. But, alas, I’m back to post another “something” which I hope my readers will find interesting. (Oh, and what am I reading as of late, you may wonder…I seem to have gotten hooked on Lynn Austin’s novels!)

Yet, although I’d like to go on about how I’d love to bring Lynn’s books to the movie screen, I think it’s better that I divulge my latest artistic venture (beside reading, haha). I have been working on a screenplay for Jane Austen’s Mansfield ParkYou may or may not remember in one of my posts several months back how I complained that they’ve never done that particular adaptation correctly.

The 1980′s version came closest, yet the Fanny Price was stifled, seemingly vengeful, and liked to move her hands oddly in emphasis when acting unlike Jane’s Fanny (to see all of my objections to the known adaptations available, look through some of my first posts).

What I’ve been working on is a very accurate adaptation in which I dissected Austen’s Mansfield Park, trying to stay as close to her beautiful story as possible. Why this book does not have much of a following is no mystery when today’s Austen fans start out researching her works by watching the film adaptations first. If you don’t like the film, why waste your time reading the book?  

Alike the 1995′s Pride and Prejudice, my goal in creating this several-parter Mansfield Park was to truly bring the book to life–incorporating the dialogue, scenery, and characters as originally provided by the masterful Jane. Why add unnecessary plot twists and characterizations when Austen’s original concept was already plot enough?

I want audiences world-wide to finally be introduced to the real Fanny and her tale of sweet, unrequited love. Who’s ready for another period-piece Austen film to hit the screen? I, for one, can NEVER get enough! Now…if only I could get someone with connections to read it!

Hugs and adieu for now…and thanks for inspiring me, Cassandra!

Kaitlin

A Modern Day Persuasion featured on Austenised

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on August 20, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Over the past couple of weeks I have been collaborating with Anna of Austenised. She interviewed me for her website and it was a lot of fun–you should check it out!

http://austenised.blogspot.com/2011/08/meet-kaitlin-saunders-author-of-modern.html

Hugs,

Kaitlin

A

s Austen fans, we’ve been introduced to Jane’s ‘Major Six’, a title given to her most popular novels.  Jane’s words have touched the hearts of women world-wide for over a hundred years, so it was a great pleasure to take my personal favorite, Persuasion, and adapt it to a modern day setting.  Carefully studying each word, motive, and character, I sketched a portrayal of what I believe would have been Austen’s Persuasion had she lived in this present day world.  My most stringent goal was to not stray too far from the original.  This novel is exactly what it presents itself to be: A Modern Day Persuasion.

For those of you unfamiliar with the premise of Persuasion or its counterpart, A Modern Day Persuasion, take a moment to read the synopsis below:

Nearly eight years ago, Anne’s family, specifically her father, convinced her she was too young to wed and insinuated that her fiancé Rick was solely interested in their family’s wealth and status.  Against her better judgment, Anne agreed to postpone the marriage, only to watch the love of her life walk away, never to be heard from again.  Almost a decade later, still single and no longer wealthy, Anne struggles to make a name for herself designing greeting cards.  Unable to move on with her life, she finds herself still emotionally bound to the man who disappeared the moment things didn’t go his way.  Through a series of serendipitous events, however, Anne is reunited with her old love—just as a new beau enters the scene.  Only time will tell if her heart can finally be set free to love again, or if Rick’s initial betrayal will leave her single…forever.

When Meredith contacted me concerning a special blog post for her Austenesque Extravaganza, I was flattered and therefore eager to accept the invitation.  Dialing up my dear friend Anne Elliot, I scheduled with her a personal interview so that I could have something extra special to share with visitors on my Extravaganza debut.
The Meeting Place:A quaint coffee shop in downtown Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District.
What Anne Was Wearing:A white tank under a sheathy burgundy shawl, skinny jeans, and an adorable pair of ankle boots.

H

aving arrived twenty minutes before the scheduled interview, I purposely chose a quiet corner and made myself comfortable in the wood-finished chair opposite the one Anne would soon be occupying.  When Anne entered the shop she looked radiant.  Her cheeks glowed with a soft blush, most likely from hurrying down the crowded downtown sidewalk to make sure she wouldn’t be late.  Hair pulled half-up, Anne’s natural beauty shown through what little make-up she had on as she made her way towards my table.

Greeting me with a pleasant smile and her ever-constant shy demeanor, Anne joined me and soon afterwards the waitress interrupted our hellos to take our orders.  While I selected my one weakness, a green tea frappuccino, Anne decided on a passion ice tea lemonade.  With the waitress away to retrieve our selections, Anne set aside her purse and I wasted no time in asking what fragrance she was wearing.  It smelled heavenly!

Anne: [smiling as her face took on a heavenly blush] Oh, Carol [Anne's godmother] just picked it up for me.  It’s Celine Dion’s signature scent.  It’s nice isn’t it?

Anne lifted her wrist to my nose so I could get a better sniff.

Kaitlin: Beautiful!

Taking note of the fragrance’s title in my handy-dandy reporter’s notebook, I quickly reacquainted myself with the questions previously prepared for Anne.  I had agonized over what readers would want to know concerning my book’s heroine but finally came up with 5 to 6 questions, allowing myself to branch off if any of her responses spurred another inquiring thought.  But as the waitress returned with our drinks, I was given a few extra minutes to socialize and take a jumbo sip of my ‘frap’ before Anne and I got down to business.

Kaitlin: How does it feel knowing that your story has been made into a book?

Anne: It’s surreal.  I’m such a private person that at first I was hesitant to share my tale.

Kaitlin: Was it awkward revealing all your deepest hurts and desires with me?

Anne: Yes, definitely.  It’s my nature to keep things to myself—so honestly being able to unlock my heart to your paper and pen was extremely scary in the beginning.  But I’ll have to admit finally being able to open up and share made it feel like a weight had been lifted.  I don’t think I could have opened up like that to anybody but you, Kaitlin.

Kaitlin: Oh Anne, that’s so sweet of you!  It was a privilege and it allowed me to know the inner Anne.  I truly consider you a dear friend.

Anne: Likewise!  My nephews already think of you as an adopted aunt!

Kaitlin: [laughing with pleasure] I loved my interactions with your family!  Speaking of which, do you think I was able to correctly portray everyone to character, or do you think my presence intimidated them?

Anne: Oh yes, you did a great job. [blushing again]  At first I had misgivings about my family being documented on page, but they support the book.  In fact, Carol even sells it in her shop.

Kaitlin: Do you have a favorite chapter in my novel?

Anne: A favorite?  Well, I will admit some of the book is still hard for me to read.  It’s so real and it rehashes my former pain and heartbreak.  Yet, the book represents so many different ‘chapters’ in my life—each having a purpose and a place.  If I had to choose though, I’d say the last chapter is my favorite.

Kaitlin: So you’re definitely a believer in destiny and fate.

Anne: Yes.

Kaitlin: How is your card line doing?

Anne: It’s taken off, can you believe it?!?  Carol said I shouldn’t be surprised, but I can’t help it.  I mean, as an artist you really hope people will like what you create, but then when they do it’s so humbling.

Kaitlin: Does it surprise you then that your story is so well-received?

Anne: It’s amazing to me how many readers can relate to my story!  Like me, they’ve experienced some type of loss, the loneliness that follows, and also that doubt about whether they’ll ever be able to love again—and especially the aspect of not feeling like they’re in control of their own life.  It proves that although your past may be painful, you can overcome.

Kaitlin: What do you think was the lowest point for you during this ordeal?

Anne: Probably the fact that I’d basically given up on myself as a woman—not so much in a career aspect—but I guess I figured that if Rick couldn’t love me, no one else could either—so why try?

Kaitlin: I think we’ve all been there at some point–but before we give away too much of the book, can you answer one last question for me, which is [as I shuffled through my notes], do you have a favorite song at the moment?

Anne: Well, I love Corinne Bailey Rae’s stuff, but right now on my iPod [as she searched through her purse to reveal the gadget] is Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me You”.  What can I say?  I’m a hopeless romantic and like to believe in knights in shining armor and happy endings.

Kaitlin: Doesn’t everyone?  I know I do.

In closing this “interview” with Anne Elliot, I want to thank Meredith for allowing me to be a part of this exciting Austenesque Extravaganza.  For those of you who leave comments, you’ll be entered in to win a free copy of my novel, A Modern Day Persuasion.  Also, if you have questions, post them as well and I’ll answer them the best I can.

Best Wishes,
Kaitlin

Racquel of Jane Austen Reviews graciously took time to read my novel.  Read what she said and more, http://janeaustenreviews.com/.

Thanks Racquel!

Kaitlin