It’s a real pleasure today to welcome Ada Bright and Cass Grafton to Being Anne to tell us about the inspiration behind their new novel, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen, published on 24th June and available in paperback, for kindle and in other e-book formats. Everyone will know how much I love a time-slip book (and this one looks as if it has a really unusual twist…) – and who doesn’t love Jane Austen? This is one I’m really looking forward to reading and reviewing in November. Let’s take a closer look:
It’s September, and the city of Bath is playing host to the annual Jane Austen Festival, a celebration of the famous author and her works.
Rose Wallace, Bath resident and avid Jane Austen fan, can’t wait for her friends to arrive and the Festival to start, unaware one of the recently arrived guests will turn her life upside down by sharing with her a secret that ultimately puts Jane Austen’s entire literary legacy at risk.
With the support of a displaced two hundred year old author and a charmed necklace, can Rose help to bring back some of the most beloved stories of all time and turn her own life around in the process?
Ada Bright is an author, wife, mother, friend and all around lover of stories. She’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and grew up in Southern California, where she maintains a fun household and frequently yearns for rain. I can’t remember how I first “met” Cass Grafton, but she’s been a great supporter of Being Anne for quite a long time now. She’s an author and explorer who loves travel, words, and wine – so I could tell immediately that we were bound to get on. A member of the Romance Novelists’ Association and also the Society of Authors, Cass is a British ex-pat living in Switzerland with her patient and lovely husband.
I’m offering the chance to win a copy of their lovely looking book, but first let me hand you over to Ada and Cass so they can tell you more…
We’re delighted to be given the opportunity of doing a guest post on Being Anne, so thank you, Anne, for fitting us in! We’re here to share with you the inspiration behind our recently released novel, The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen.
We are Ada Bright and Cass Grafton, and we live thousands of miles apart, with a 9-hour time difference between us. With this in mind, you’re probably wondering why we thought it was a good idea to start co-writing a story together, but this is exactly what we’ve spent the last 15 months doing!
The initial inspiration arose from our friendship. We’ve had a lot of fun writing together online in the past and, after years of talking about it, we finally decided it was time to turn this enjoyment into a book.
With one of us living in California and the other, although British, currently living in Switzerland, we’ve always been amused by what we have in common and yet how easy it is to confuse one another. All we needed to really get our book going was a story to showcase what we’ve experienced and hopefully express how fun and heart-warming it’s been.
So what was the story we came up with? It’s a contemporary mystery-cum-romance with a strong underlying theme of friendship running through it, and it’s set in the beautiful city of Bath.
Back in 2014, on a visit to the city, Cass stayed in the ground floor garden apartment of No 4 Sydney Place (Jane Austen’s former home), and she went to bed the first night feeling a heightened sense of where she was – this was a building the author had lived in, and she was going to sleep here!
Despite wondering as she drifted off to sleep whether she might be disturbed by Jane’s ghostly figure wandering around in the darkness, Cass slept peacefully and nothing untoward happened. Until she got up, that is.
The door between the bedroom and the drawing room wouldn’t open! It had no visible lock, but it simply would not budge! In the end, Cass had to email someone from Bath Boutique Stays (the company managing the holiday apartments) to ask for help!
It had never happened before, she was told, but as we writers tend to have our imaginations set to overdrive most of the time, a voice whispered in Cass’s ear that perhaps it was because Jane Austen had been on the other side of the door? Obviously.
Later that day, Cass had a chat with Marcus Whittington, Director of Bath Boutique Stays, to talk about the conversion of the building into holiday apartments. He informed her they had initially been unable to open the old iron safe built into the back wall of the bedroom. Nothing would unseal the heavy door, not even the expertise of a locksmith.
Off went the imagination again. Was there something mysterious afoot? Could there be some sort of protection on the safe so it would only yield to a certain hand?
From there, it was a quick step to imagining a time-hopping Jane Austen visiting Bath in the present day and staying in her old home at No 4, soon followed by the thought: what if she became trapped here and could never return to the past?
There it was – the early seeds of a story about friendship, fun and the Jane Austen Festival – with one very special guest!
Thank you Ada and Cass – that makes me want to read it more than ever!
Buying links follow, but with thanks to Ada and Cass I’m delighted to offer a giveaway of one copy of the book – paperback or eBook, winner’s choice – and open worldwide. Here’s the rafflecopter:
The winner will be contacted by email, and announced on Twitter and via the Being Anne FB page, and must reply within 3 days. If not, the prize will be forfeited and I will draw a new winner.
Ada and Cass have a great blog with the wonderful name Tabby Cow, where you can also read excerpts from Chapters Nine and Twelve. They can also be found on Facebook (Ada / Cass) and Twitter (Ada / Cass).