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Thursday Morning Links: It’s a Jane Austen Celebration

I wanted to post this early in the morning. Our reviews will follow later on today. Today is Jane Austen’s birthday and to celebrate Sourcebooks is giving away digital copies of the following books (look for them at your favorite etailer):

  • Eliza's Daughter, by Joan Aiken (Sense and Sensibility continuation)
  • The Darcy's & the Bingley's, by Marsha Altman (Pride & Prejudice continuation)
  • Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll (Pride & Prejudice continuation)
  • What Would Jane Austen Do?, by Laurie Brown (contemporary/time-travel romance)
  • The Pemberley Chronicles, by Rebecca Collins (Pride & Prejudice companion)
  • The Other Mr. Darcy, by Monica Fairview (Pride & Prejudice continuation)
  • Mr. Darcy's Diary, by Amanda Grange (Pride & Prejudice continuation)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, by Sharon Lathan (Pride & Prejudice continuation)
  • Lydia Bennet's Story, by Jane Odiwe (Pride & Prejudice continuation)

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In keeping with the Jane Austen theme, The Republic of Pemberly is hosting a short story contest in conjunction with Ballantine Books. The short story contest begins January 1, 2011. The grand prize is publication of your entry in the Ballantine anthology “Jane Austen Made Me Do It.” Publication of this anthology is tentatively set in the Fall of 2011.

Contest Highlights

  • Eligibility: Previously unpublished U.S. residents over the age of 18
  • Entries must be approximately 5,000 words in length
  • Manuscript submission January 1 – February 13, 2011
  • Voting for the Top Ten finalists February 14 – 28, 2011
  • Top Ten finalists announced on March 1, 2011
  • One Grand Prize winner receives $500.00 and a contract for publication in the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It
  • Grand Prize winner announced Fall 2011 in conjunction with the official release by Ballantine Books (Random House, Inc.) of Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Jane Austen Made Me Do It contains more than twenty best-selling and popular authors who have contributed short stories inspired by Jane Austen, her novels and her philosophies of life and love. From historical continuations of her plots and characters to contemporary spinoffs and comedies, the stories encapsulate what we love about our favorite author: romance, social satire and witty humor. Contributing to the line-up are best-selling authors Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club), Adriana Trigiani (Brava, Valentine), Lauren Willig (The Pink Carnation series), Laurie Viera Rigler (The Jane Austen Addict series), Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen), Stephanie Barron (Being A Jane Austen Mystery series), and the husband and wife writing team of Frank Delaney (Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show) and Diane Meier (The Season of Second Chances). Many Austenesque authors and others from related genres have also contributed stories to the project. One spot in the anthology remains open for the lucky Grand Prize winner.

The anthology's editor, Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose.com, is very excited at the prospect of discovering the next star in the burgeoning sub-genre of Jane Austen sequels and inspired books. "Jane Austen has been inspiring writers for close to two hundred years. It seems quite fitting that she should be the witty muse of our anthology and short story contest. Encouraging writing and discovering new talent is in spirit with her true legacy. I am "all anticipation' of what will develop, and am honored to be part of the selection team."

Visit the official Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest web page for official contest rules and eligibility requirements. Best of luck to all entrants.

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Samhain is giving away freebies, although not related to Jane Austen but rather to New Year’s Eve. These four New Year’s themed stories are freebies on Kindle and Nook and will run a full month from mid-December to mid-January.

The first date is the day the book price flips to $0.00 and the second date is the final day and the original price will go into effect again.

  • 12/15/2010 to 1/15/2011: Going All In by Jess Dee
  • 12/15/2010 to 1/15/2011: Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna
  • 12/15/2010 to 1/15/2011: The Bite of Silence by Mary Hughes
  • 12/15/2010 to 1/15/2011: With this Ring by T.A. Chase

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Remember the pedophile book?   Amazon is continuing to censor books that its reading public decides is offensive.   This time around erotic romances featuring incest is being pulled from the self publishing ranks.   As Ars notes, part of the settlement over the George Orwell debacle was that Amazon would not remove purchased content from a consumer’s account without a court order.   Yet, some readers have indicated that these now banned books have been deleted from their accounts.   No confirming details have been given.   Amazon’s censorship is concerning yet there isn’t enough of an outcry because the books being banned by Amazon are on the margins.   I guess so long as Amazon just removes the fringe books, then it’s all okay?

Note: Amazon is censoring.   Censorship, however, is not the same as a violation of the first amendment.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

30 Comments

  1. Carly M.
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 06:33:03

    Abigail Reynold’s “The Last Man in the World” should also be on that list (it’s free on bn.com now but not yet on Amazon). I really enjoy her writing and wish she’d strike outside of Austen continuations.

  2. Laura Vivanco
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 07:53:52

    The post seems to end rather abruptly with the words “Remember the pedophile book?”

    Were you planning to write something more about Amazon? Perhaps on the topic of how

    Amazon may be in the process of stirring up some more trouble for itself thanks to reports that the company is deleting certain kinds of erotica from both the online store and users’ devices. The erotica in question is controversial: it talks about certain acts of incest. Judging from Amazon’s most recent bouts with book “censorship,” users who have already paid for the deleted content are likely to get fired up. (ars technica)

  3. Laura Vivanco
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 07:58:06

    My comment vanished completely. I suspect it was because you have a spam filter which doesn’t like some of the words in the quotes I included, so I’ll be more circumspect this time.

    You leave a question hanging about whether readers remember something about a controversial decision by Amazon, and that makes me wonder if you were going to write something about Amazon’s most recent decision to remove certain content from their site and from people’s Kindles.

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  5. Jane
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 08:34:40

    @Laura Vivanco I did, in fact, mean to write about the censorship by Amazon and link to the Ars article. I don’t know what happened there.

  6. Brian
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 08:43:46

    Pride & Prejudice is on my list of top all time books, but I’ve never read any of the multitude of continuation/sequel books out there are any of them good? Does anyone have recommendations?

    the Orson Welles debacle

    That would be George Orwell. ;-)

  7. Sunita
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 08:54:03

    Brian beat me to it while I was trying to remember if they were pulling movies from the catalogue now.

    As someone in the Ars comments said, I guess VC Andrews is still available? And I see that Kathryn Harrison’s memoir about sex with her father is still for sale (they even have the “I want it on Kindle” button). If Amazon is going to take these positions, the least they could do is be consistent.

  8. Mireya
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 09:23:59

    I want some of the books in the Jane Austen celebration, but everywhere I am looking, they show with full price. Puzzled.

  9. Janet P.
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 09:38:19

    Barnes and Noble has the 10 for free. Amazon apparently isn’t participating. Can I just say Amazon is not winning many warm and fuzzy points from me this week?

    I found all the special illustrated Austen classics at iBooks except Mansfield Park. They won’t do me much good since it is impossible to put iBooks on anything but an Apple product but at least they are there.

    I’d like to look in the Google Bookstore but running any kind of meaningful search on that thing is beyond my talent.

  10. Brian
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 10:32:26

    Amazon apparently isn't participating.

    They’re supposed to be, they must just be slow in getting the prices dropped or something. Hopefully the prices will be changed to $0 soon.

    Amazon is also supposed to have free downloads of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Mansfield Park with the 1898 color illustrations included. These are $.99 now, but are supposed to be free today only.

    It appears the continuation titles are available at Google eBooks for free. I checked Books On Board, Borders and Sony and none of them appear to have them for free, at least not yet.

  11. Lada
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 10:56:01

    Would love to hear people’s thoughts on any of the books being offered.

  12. DS
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 11:22:00

    I’ve been reading Jane Austen and the Madness of Lord Byron by Stephanie Barron. It’s her tenth Jane Austen mystery. Barron has done a good job with both the period and the characters but it is not a happy book.

    Barron does though have useful footnotes.

  13. whey
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 11:28:36

    Amazon is going to regret going down this whole “offensive content” road.

  14. Janine
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 12:03:39

    Speaking of free books, The Pursuit of Pleasure by Elizabeth Essex and Marry Me by Jo Goodman are free for the kindle at the moment.

  15. cdouglas
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 13:17:02

    For those that shop at Books on Board, it looks like Mr. Darcy's Diary is the only one of the books listed as free. I checked several of the other titles, but they were listed at regular price.

  16. Ellen
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 13:54:01

    The prices on Amazon are now correct, but not in the Sony E-book store. Do you know if Sony is participating?

  17. jody
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 14:16:39

    Searching for JA b’day free ebooks in ePub format has been frustrating. Thanks to Janet, I scored Mr. Darcy’s Diary at Books on Board, but none of the others.

    I did come across a message somewhere that there was indeed a mixup and because of it, Sourcebooks would extend the offer through December 17, if that helps anyone.

  18. Lynne Connolly
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 14:52:53

    The free Jane Austen books aren’t available in the country of her birth (and the rest of her life, for that matter).
    Can’t get them in the UK.

  19. Author On Vacation
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 16:00:00

    @Brian:

    Pride & Prejudice is on my list of top all time books, but I've never read any of the multitude of continuation/sequel books out there are any of them good? Does anyone have recommendations?

    I love Austen and Regency period works. IMHO the better sequels and companion books tend to focus on either bit players in the Austenverse, or new characters, i.e. friends/cousins/neighbors of the originals.

  20. Sweeney
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 16:26:14

    Amazon is participating! Thanks so much for keeping us up to date on free books!! I love Austen.

  21. Brian
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 16:31:01

    @jody
    The books are available in the Google ebook store and those should be ePub’s.

  22. Mireya
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 17:51:04

    Of the sequels, I’ve read “The Other Mr. Darcy”. I enjoyed it. I have yet to read the others.

  23. Brian
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 18:30:03

    They are now all free @ Sony as well.

  24. Brian
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 18:32:22

    Looks like they’re free on the Sourcebooks website too.

  25. Pat
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 20:09:36

    I can see that any store has the right to carry or not carry certain products. That’s their right, and they can decide what policy is likely to offend more customers.

    But taking back something they have already sold you? That I do not understand.

  26. JoannaV
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 21:29:33

    @Brian: I’ve often been disppointed with Austenesque sequels, they are so often littered with blatant historical errors, or seem to be based more off one of the movie versions than the actual books. However, I recently found a short work available for Kindle which was delightful. It’s called A Man of Few Words by Katherine Woodbury and is a short retelling of P&P from Darcy’s point of view. It was charming and funny and didn’t stray too far from Austen’s original characters. And I think it’s only $.99.

  27. Mitzi
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 00:39:20

    @Lada: I’ve read Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife and loved it. It’s also rated #2 out of 100 on Goodread’s list of (Austen Spin Offs). It’s a very steamy novel….but then, I like steam.

  28. Ros
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 12:40:41

    @Lynne Connolly: This is something of a relief to me, to be honest. I’d rather we celebrated Jane Austen’s birthday by banning all ‘continuations’ and other cynical attempts to cash in on her name. The detective stories particularly make my blood boil. And all of them tend to make me wonder whether the authors have ever read Austen or just watched the TV/film versions.

    The only continuation story I’ve ever actually enjoyed was the 1970’s version of her unfinished novel, Sanditon by ‘Jane Austen and Another Lady’.

  29. Lynne Connolly
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 13:00:45

    @Ros: Have to admit, you do have a point. It’s just the colonisation of Jane that annoys me a bit.

  30. Laurel Ann
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 22:47:01

    Thanks for the shout out Jane. Happy Birthday Jane Austen you witty muse.

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