Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Watch Pride & Pyramids by Amanda Grange & Jacqueline Webb




Pulled into the craze of Egyptology, the Darcys and their lively children embark on an expedition to find a hidden tomb and uncover its treasure. Not only are immeasurable riches awaiting them in the exotic land of the Sphinx, but also danger and betrayal and the chances to lay an ancient grudge to rest…

Amanda Grange, bestselling author of Mr. Darcy’s Diary and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, teams up with Egyptologist Jacqueline Webb to create a breathtaking historical tale. The Darcys’ adventures at the hands of these talented storytellers open up whole new realms of exploration for lovers of Jane Austen and the Regency World.  (from the back of the arc)

Title: Pride & Prejudice

Author: Amanda Grange & Jacqueline Webb

ISBN: 978-1-4022-6534-1

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Release Date: July 2012

Read an Excerpt 

Fans of Amanda Grange will be pleased to know that Sourcebooks Landmark is releasing Pride & Pyramids July 2012.

Having read and loved the majority of Amanda Grange’s Austen-inspired novels, I was super excited when I received the offer to review Pride & Pyramids. I was even more excited when I came home today and the arc was in my mailbox!

After reading the first two chapters, this is definitely a book to watch for.

Until We Meet Again,

Angela 5

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday’s Film Bride & Prejudice


movie review


A clash of cultures in the spirit of MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, this modern musical retelling of Jane Austen's classic PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is a hilariously entertaining tale of one girl's unlikely search for love! Sparks immediately fly as a love/hate relationship ignites between a small-town beauty (international star Aishwarya Rai) and a wealthy American (Martin Henderson -- THE RING, TORQUE) who's visiting her modest Indian village. In a swirl of music, dance, and comic misunderstandings, these opposites continue to attract and repel each other in a riotous romance that spans three continents! Featuring Naveen Andrews (TV's LOST, THE ENGLISH PATIENT) and a memorable performance from top recording artist Ashanti -- love will eventually conquer all in this acclaimed treat from the director of BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM!

My Thoughts:

In this adaptation, Pride & Prejudice goes Bollywood. I liked the way that they kept the characters and the plot similar to the original version of P&P while infusing them with their own flavor. I also enjoyed the cinematography. However, I found the musical aspect of the movie highly annoying; I guess I just prefer my P&P adaptations with no random singsongs.

I did finish the movie, although it almost drove me mad. I was surprised that I did not like this move as I had seen Bend It Like Beckham, also directed by Gurinder Chadha, and loved it. Although I just could not get past the musical numbers in Bride & Prejudice.

Normally, I love musicals, I have watched My Fair Lady so many times I know the songs by heart, but for some reason I did not think the songs worked in this movie. It could have been because it made the movie feel like it was more for teens. This movie was not my cuppa tea.

Until We Meet Again,

Angela 5

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly Review & Giveaway

book reviewmr. darcy forever

Title: Mr. Darcy Forever

Author: Victoria Connelly

ISBN: 978-1-4022-5128-2

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Release Date: April


Sisters are forever….

Sarah and Mia Castle are closer than best friends and share just about everything, including a deep and abiding love for all things relating to Jane Austen. Their annual trip to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath is a highlight of their lives—until the year they discover that no matter how close two sisters may be, it’s impossible to share one man between them. Even if he does seem like their own perfect Mr. Darcy, if one wins him, won’t they both lose? (from the back of the arc)

My Thoughts

In the latest installment of the Austen Addicts, we meet sisters— and Jane Austen Addicts— Sarah and Mia Castle. For Mia’s twenty-first birthday, Sarah rents the cottage that was used as Barton Cottage in the 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Sarah was expecting a week of sisterly bonding yet when a handsome stranger, Alec, appears and helps a wounded Mia back to the cottage; Sarah has a feeling that he is more of a Willoughby than a Mr. Darcy.

However, I am not quite sure that Sarah realized just how much damage Alec could cause and not the two sisters that were once closer than ever have broken apart.  Can a trip to Bath for the Jane Austen Festival save their relationship?

I loved the way that novel started flipped between the present day with each sister separately attending the Jane Austen Festival in Bath and the events that happened at Barton Cottage three years ago. It was a very interesting and intriguing way to move the story forward while telling the backstory.

I loved the quirkiness of Sarah and her OCD; I could read her story for ages. However, Mia drove me mad. I felt that she was childish and needed to grow up.  You could see the parallels between Elinor and Sarah and Marianne and Mia. Of course, when you have heroines you must have heroes and in Mr. Darcy Forever, Lloyd and Gabe made brilliant modern-day versions of Edward Ferrars and Colonel Brandon.  Although, it seemed that Alec was a combination of every vile rogue Jane Austen created.

Overall: All good things must come to an end and so must Victoria Connelly’s Austen Addicts trilogy. I must admit that I was a wee bit sad whilst reading Mr. Darcy Forever, al though several characters from the previous two books did make cameos, which made the trilogy feel well rounded.


As a Jane Austen Addict, I though that I should do my part fuel other people’s addiction and what better way than to giveaway an entire set of Victoria Connelly’s Austen Addict Trilogy?

The Prize: 

a weekend with MR. darcy dreaming of mr. darcy mr. darcy forever

Here are the rules:


Contest is WORLDWIDE.

Ends on June 1st

To enter please leave your name and a valid email address.


Just for fun, what actor has played your favorite Jane Austen Hero?

Until We Meet Again,

Angela 5

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy & Dreaming of Mr. Dacry by Victoria Connelly

book review

a weekend with MR. darcy Title: A Weekend With Mr. Darcy

Author: Victoria Connelly

ISBN: 978-1-4022-5132-0

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Release Date: Release Date: July 2011


Surrounded by appalling exes and fawning students, the only thing keeping professor Katherine Roberts sane is Jane Austen, and her secret love for racy Regency romance novels. She thinks the Jane Austen Addicts weekend will be the perfect getaway. Maybe she’ll even meet her own personal Mr. Darcy…(from the back of the ARC)


My thoughts:


Katherine Roberts is in need of some time away from her everyday life, far away from her disastrous ex-boyfriend David and those who look down their noses at the sexy Regency romances she loves to read. Her escape comes in the form of a Jane Austen Conference hosted by Dame Pamela. Invited as a guest speaker, Katherine cannot wait to escape into the world of Jane Austen. Although things do not quite go as planned when a suitcase assaults her.

Lawton Warwick never imagined that his first encounter with Katherine Roberts would involve running over her foot with a suitcase, yet that is indeed what happened. So much for first impressions. Now he is trying desperately to make amends and succeeding. Yet he is harboring a secret that could destroy everything he has work to gain.

Robyn Love is hopeless romantic, but then again, what would you expect from someone with a name such as hers? Obsessed with Jane Austen, she cannot wait to see what this weekend holds, and she was hoping for a bit of space from her boyfriend, Jace. Although things do not go as planned, instead of breaking up with him, he ends up accompanying her to the conference. While Jace has promised to stay at the B&B, he ends up becoming bored and--um, shall I call it ‘visiting’ Robyn at Purley Hall. Making a nuisance of himself and embarrassing Robyn tremendously.

Then we have Dan, the man who tends to the stables at Purley Hall and has captured Robyn’s attention. Now Robyn finds herself drawn to him, while still in a relationship with Jace.

So, what are they to do?

I have this series book three times now since it was released and it still has not gotten old to me.

A Weekend With Mr. Darcy is the perfect way to start an Austen Addicts trilogy. Not only does Victoria Connelly pull you into the world that she creates, she reminds you why you first fell in love with Miss Austen.



dreaming of mr. darcy Title: Dreaming of Mr. Darcy

Author: Victoria Connelly

ISBN: 978-1-4022-5135-1

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Release Date: January 2012

A romance worthy of Jane Austen herself

Shy, brilliant screenwriter and producer Adam Craig throws himself into work to forget his broken heart. And Jane Austin addict Kay Ashton purchases a B&B in the seaside town of Lyme so she’d have a peaceful place to finish her book, The Illustrated Mr. Darcy. Neither is looking for a romance. Until they meet-and Kay tries to set Adam up with another woman.

All the sparkling drama of Jane Austen’s Persuasion comes to life as old Lyme Regis becomes the site of the new big-screen adaptation of the classic. Kay attracts the attention of handsome actor Oli Wade Owen, Adam struggles to know the secrets of his own heart, and life in quiet Lyme gets very interesting indeed… (from the back cover of the arc)

My thoughts:

When Kay Ashton purchased Wentworth House, a B&B in Lyme Regis, she never imagined that she would be housing the cast and crew of Persuasion and that the man portraying Captain Wentworth would strike her fancy. Yet, that is exactly what happens and since she is getting cozy with the Captain, Kay decides that it would only be fair if she aided the screenwriter and producer, Adam Craig in his quest for love.

Love is the furthest from Adams mind, but it seems that Kay is determined to set him up with Gemma, although Adam’s heart has other thoughts in mind. And the handsome actor, Oli Wade Owen proves that even though you play a hero on the big screen it doesn’t mean that you are one in real life.

Bringing to mind the matchmaking skills of Emma, Dreaming of Darcy is laced with twists and turns that will delight the reader.

I loved this book! Like Victoria Connelly’s previous Austen Addicts novel, A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, her new novel, Dreaming of Darcy has both a plot and characters that I thoroughly enjoyed. I found that I could not get enough of this book and I must admit that I have read it three times since receiving the arc.

Although the title is “Dreaming of Darcy” it may be a bit misleading for those of you looking for a Pride & Prejudice spin-off. While Mr. Darcy is mentioned, this book is centered around Persuasion.

Until We Meet Again,

Angela 5

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Tea- Windsor Castle Tea


I have been searching, and searching, for the perfect black tea to go with a salmon dish that I want to serve at one of my upcoming teas. I knew that I was going to serve a whisky-flavored black tea, the smooth malty and oaky notes that are in the whisky tea blend perfect with the salmon, although I needed to find an alternative black tea for those who would not drink the whisky tea

Thus, I began my search for that perfect blend of black tea. Many of the black teas that I had sampled were too strong for the dish that I had in mind while others were too weak. I had almost given up on finding my ‘perfect black tea’ when a box of samples arrived from Culinary Teas.

I sniffed each tea hoping that one would stand out as the perfect blend of black tea, when the Windsor Castle tea caught my attention. Of course, at the time I did not think that it would be that ‘perfect black tea’ because the tea held a distinctive Darjeeling smell to it. Nevertheless, I fixed me a single pot of it and I have to say that the notes that I tasted in the tea surprised me.

The Assam in the tea has a nice full-bodied malty taste, which is what I liked about the whisky tea, but it’s the Kenya helps pull out the flavor while the light and delicate muscatel flavor of the Darjeeling rounds it out.

For me, Windsor Castle  Tea is the prefect blend of black tea and it is highly versatile because I can easily see this tea being served for breakfast or in the afternoon.

The only thing that was left for me to do was to hold a sample tea to ensure that the Windsor Castle Tea would go well with the dishes that I was going to serve. I can happily report that the tea and the dishes were perfect together!


  I can see Mr. Darcy ordering this tea to serve at Pemberley.


Fresh Garden Veggies on top of an oatmeal bap with a lemon-dill spread, cucumber sandwiches, and open-faced  freshwater salmon with a honey mustard sauce.


Windsor Castle Tea is a full bodied flavorful tea with toasty notes of Darjeeling. Maltiness from Assam and deep flavor with golden brightness from Kenya. Worthy of being served at the Queen's home.

Country of Origin:
Sri Lanka/India                        

Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula / Assam, Darjeeling, South India

Cup Characteristics:
Full bodied flavoury tea with toasty notes from Darjeeling, maltiness from Assam and lively flavor from Ceylon. Worthy of royal households.

Bright coppery color.

Find out more about this tea HERE

PD*28518050 Windsor Castle 


To order Windsor Castle Tea you may do so HERE.

I would like to thank Culinary Teas for sending me this sample!

Until We Meet Again,

Angela 5

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday’s Wonderings-Cover Thoughts

I was looking through my stacks and stacks of Pride & Prejudice spin-offs and I could not help but to notice that the image they use on the covers of most of these books bears a striking resemblance to Frances Anne Vane, the Marchioness of Londonderry.

                    darcysvoyage imagesCA0MZM1E   imagesCAVQ7B1I imagesCAS20KIE imagesCAO5EYC6

Frances_Vane,_Marchioness_of_Londonderry Frances Anne Vane, the Marchioness of Londonderry

Who is the Marchioness of Londonderry?


January 17, 1800

St. James’s Square, London, England


January 20, 1865

Seaham Hall, County Durham, England






Charles Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry


George Henry Robert Charles William Vane-Tempest, 5th Marquess of Londonderry

Lady Francis Anne Emily Vane

Lady Alexandrina Octavia Maria Vane

Lord Adolphus Frederick Charles William Vane-Tempest

Lord Ernest McDonnell Vane-Tempest


Sir Henry Vane-Tempest

Anne, 2nd Countess of Antrim

Random Facts:

-Through her daughter, Lady Francis Vane, wife of John Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, she was the great-grandmother of Sir Winston Churchill.

-She inherited extensive lands from her father in north east England

-With her husband, she started an extensive coal mining operation that included coal mines, a railroad, and docks at Seaham.

-Tsar Alexander I of Russia became infatuated with her after viewing her portrait.


Do you think the covers bare a resemblance to to the Marchioness of Londonderry?

Until We Meet Again,

Angela 5

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater

book review

mr. darcy's diary

Title: The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy                   

Author: Maya Slater

Publisher: W.W. Norton

ISBN: 978-0-393-33636-8

Format Read: Trade Paperback $14.95

Source: My Own Personal Library

Literature’s most famous hero, Mr. Darcy, opens his diary to disclose a complex, passionate inner world.

The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy is a captivating novel of love, pride, passion, and of course prejudice. Off-stage events barely mentioned in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice are revealed, and many surprising new facts come to light, such as Mr. Darcy’s proposal of marriage to another young woman. Mr. Darcy’s writes of his daily life as a society gentleman in Georgian London and of his dangerous friendship with Lord Byron, and he tells the full story of his sister’s infatuation with the dastardly Wickham. Most importantly, he describes how he gradually falls in love with Elizabeth Bennet, and, in the process, painfully gains self-knowledge. (From the back of the book)

My Thoughts

I am a huge fan of P&P adaptations and when I spotted this novel in the window of Barnes & Noble, I knew that I had to buy it.

I was hoping for something along the lines of Amanda Grange’s series of Austen-inspired diaries, sadly it was not the case with this book. The iconic character of Mr. Darcy was thoroughly destroyed in this novel.

Why did I say that? Well, Maya Slater’s version of Darcy has him leading of life of debauchery, which is the polar opposite of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Also, I do not believe that Darcy would have been friends with Lord Byron. I mean come on Lord Byron was an amazing poet, but he was a bit of a nutter and I do not really see Darcy of Pemberley associating with Byron.

Mr. Darcy is the one literary character that should always be upstanding. This version of him made him feel slimy and more like Wickham.

Sadly, this became a DNF! Maybe one day when I am really bored, or they stop making books, I might go back and try to finish this but for now life is too short to read bad books!

An excerpt from the book to show my dislike:

I took much Port Wine, & raised no objection when Byron came to find us & carried us off to meet some ‘charming women’ of his acquaintance. I remember little of the evening after that. My bit of muslin was fair & curvaceous, with a loud laugh. She had fine paps to her, her name, I believe, is Clarabelle.

I am not sure who brought me home.

-page 21

Until We Meet Again,

Angela 5