Ms. Simonsen has been supportive of my clumsy efforts–but is in no way responsible for any of my missteps–and, though she claims not to be good at giving tips, she did offer lots of valuable advice. She even read my short story “Maria’s Romance” and, lemme tell ya, having her read it made me nervous!
Again, I do not review books, including Austen sequels, on this blog. It just seems better for me to present books and let you decide for yourself if you’re interested. Please find links to Ms. Simonsen’s books on Amazon at the end of this post.
Ms. Simonsen has one independently published novel–a parody of Persuasion–titled Anne Elliot, A New Beginning: A Persuasion Re-imagining. Here is the blurb from Amazon:
On Anne Elliot’s 25th birthday, her family declared her to be a spinster, but instead of being downcast by this change in status, she finds it to be quite liberating. As a result of her new-found freedom, Anne becomes a long-distance runner, and this activity greatly increases her confidence. It is this new Anne who Captain Frederick Wentworth meets when he sees the love of his life after eight years of separation. The Captain admires the changes in Anne, and he finds that he is falling in love with her all over again. However, there is a complication. The heir to Kellynch, the Elliot estate, William Elliot, has also come back into the picture after an estrangement with Anne’s father, Sir Walter Elliot, and he has set his sights on Anne. Now living in Bath, Anne senses that something is not right, and with the help of a street urchin named Swoosh, she sets out to discover what William Elliot is really like.
Searching for Pemberley was released by Sourcebooks Landmark in December 2009 and has received excellent reviews. And the cover is pretty too. From Publishers Weekly via Amazon:
Using a literary mystery rooted in Jane Austen’s inspiration for Pride and Prejudice, Simonsen’s debut novel brings resonance to the story of a love-torn American girl in post-WWII London. Young and eager for adventure, Maggie Joyce has left her jobless Pennsylvania coal-mining town for a typist position overseas. In London, she discovers two love interests as well as connections to the real-life Londoners rumored to have been the basis for Pride‘s Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Learning to disregard her prim and proper instincts, Maggie becomes closer to her very own version of Darcy, as well as the families of the original Darcy and Bennet, from whom she receives old diary entries and letters. Simonsen is clever and evenhanded, maintaining an unhurried pace in both the Austen adventure and Maggie’s love life. Fans of historical fiction and Austen should savor this leisurely read. (Dec.)
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And coming January 1, 2011 is Ms. Simonsen’s newest book, which is sure to be a breakout hit: The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy. From Amazon:
If the two of them weren’t so stubborn…
It’s obvious to Georgiana Darcy that the lovely Elizabeth Bennet is her brother’s perfect match, but Darcy’s pigheadedness and Elizabeth’s wounded pride are going to keep them both from the loves of their lives.
Georgiana can’t let that happen, so she readily agrees to help her accommodating cousin, Anne de Bourgh, do everything within their power to assure her beloved brother’s happiness.
But the path of matchmaking never runs smoothly…
Pre-order now and have something fun to read in the new year.