Tuesday, November 29, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Did you know I have another blog? Yup! I started a site for my pen name - Jessica Grey. It's all pretty and shiny AND right now I' am participating in a 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway and Blog Hop. I'm giving away two books and a Starbucks card. Free coffee, people, you can't beat it. You should totally head on over and enter my giveaway (and the others that are going on too, they are all great!) The giveaway will be open through December 12th.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: His Good Opinion by Nancy Kelley

Last week I reviewed my friend Nancy Kelley's book His Good Opinion, A Mr. Darcy Novel on the site Indie Jane.

“But Jess,” you might say, “you’re really good friends with Nancy. You run Indie Jane with her. How can you give an impartial review of her book?”

“Well, you,” I might answer back, “I am friends with Nancy, and she is nice enough to put up with my crazy shenanigans and blog with me, but I’m totally just a cool, impartial chick and if this book sucked I totally would tell you.”

Actually, if this book sucked I would just sort of of slink off into a corner and pretend that I’d never read it or been asked to review it… avoidance is my go to response in those sorts of situations. But luckily for me, and the world in general, this book is frickin’ frackin’ brilliant and now it is available for you all to read so you can agree with me!

So yes, I know Nancy as personally as one can on the interwebs, and this is going to be a gush fest – I didn’t create the hashtag #HotDarcy on Twitter when talking about this book because I just had nothing better to do…I created it cause Nancy writes a really #HotDarcy AND I had nothing better to do!

So, now that we’ve gotten that cleared up, here is my review!

Darcy is hot. He is really, really hot. There is more than one occasion on which he loosens his cravat and is all sexy and hot like. You should buy this book. The end.

This review brought to you by the puddle of goo formerly known as Jess.

Kidding! Well, actually that’s a pretty decent summation, but here is my real review!

In His Good Opinion, author Nancy Kelley sets out to tell the story of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view. Although Darcy is the hero in Pride and Prejudice, for the first part of the book he comes across to Elizabeth (as well as everyone else in Hertfordshire) and the reader as proud and aloof. In the second half of the novel, Austen shows us how Darcy changes and Darcy himself admits to flaws in his behavior. But why was Darcy seemingly so proud? Why did he refuse to be easily pleased, withholding his good opinion more often than he bestowed it. And why would someone like Darcy fall in love with a girl like Elizabeth - someone open and vivacious and not at all concerned with securing his good opinion?

Told from Darcy's point of view, this novel follows Darcy from London where he has become increasingly turned off by the artifices of society, to the country where he meets Elizabeth for the first time. As he become enchanted with her the reader is similarly enchanted by this version of Mr. Darcy. The blow of Lizzy's rejection of Darcy's proposal is felt more keenly than ever before because we as readers find ourselves rooting for Darcy. His heartbreak is real and touching, and frankly, makes him irresistible. As he comes to term with the rejection and takes Lizzy's criticisms to heart, he endeavors to become a man worthy of her love - even if he can never have her.

The book follows the timeline of Pride and Prejudice, but because it is told from Darcy's point of view, readers are treated to scenes that we have previously been imagined, such as Darcy's hunt of Wickham and his eventual confrontation with him in London. We are also get to see the relationship between Darcy and his sister Georgiana, as well his relationship with his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. All of this serves to flesh Darcy out and make him an even more desirable hero.

And here is where Nancy Kelley's genius really shines. Darcy is already an incredibly loved, and if we are all honest with ourselves, desired, hero. She has managed in this story, to make him even more desirable while also injecting levels of sensitivity and vulnerability that are absolutely heart-wrenching. While this book could be given a G rating based on it's content, Ms. Kelley manages to raise the reader's temperature with a look or a gesture. In fact, every time Darcy loosened his cravat I melted into a tiny puddle of goo.

The tagline of this novel is "Mr. Darcy speaks from the heart," and in the end that is what endears readers the most to this incarnation of Mr. Darcy. Yes, he's tall, dark and handsome (and has ten thousand a year), and yes he is very, very hot. But in this retelling of Pride and Prejudice it is his heart that truly shines through. And I think it is that heart that will make readers fall in love with him all over again and wish that they too could be a woman worthy of... His Good Opinion.

Five Stars

And guess what! Right now on Indie Jane we are giving away two copies of this book! Head on over and enter!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Yellow House

Sorry for being MIA recently. Between moving and writing for NaNoWriMo I've barely got time to breathe!

I grew up in a little yellow house, so maybe that is why they seem so homey to me.

Now we are finally moved into our new yellow house here in Helena, Montana.

And right after we moved it snowed. A lot.