Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Yours Affectionately Jane Austen (Sally Smith O'Rourke)

Yours Affectionately, Jane AustenWas Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!
His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?
Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

Praise for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen
O’Rourke creates a world that defies cynicism and demands suspension of disbelief – even in this age of doubt and hyper-realism. Sheer escapism at its best. Clever, charming and affectionate. ~Jocelyn Bury …the reader must tenaciously read on rather than put the book down to satisfy their hunger for the story to resolve, which it does in characteristically Jane Austen fashion. ~Erin Murdock
In Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, author Sally Smith O’Rourke creates a compelling story that investigates what and who might have inspired Jane Austen. While the story line is certainly far-fetched, it is a truly unique idea, one that captivated this reader until the very last page. ~Meg Massey
Audio Book Excerpt

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Author Sally Smith O'Rourke Sally Smith O’Rourke is a surgical scrub nurse at the City of Hope national cancer research hospital in Duarte, California and resides in the near-by Victorian village of Monrovia. With her late husband, author Michael O’Rourke (aka F.M. O’Rourke) Smith O’Rourke owned and operated a medical advertising company where she used her diverse talents to produce and co-write teaching films and videos. Working not only with major medical and surgical manufacturing companies but also network television. These endeavors ultimately led to a collaboration on two feature films (direct to video) and three published novels. The wife and husband writing team of Sally Smith and Michael O’Rourke, being long-time fans of Jane Austen, wrote The Man Who Loved Jane Austen released by Kensington Books in 2006. Kensington followed that very successful effort with The Maidenstone Lighthouse in 2007 and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage in 2009, both also collaborative projects by Smith and O’Rourke. Published after her partner and spouse’s untimely death in 2001, the publisher chose not to use the names Michael O’Rourke and Sally Smith (as the manuscripts were presented), releasing all three books under Sally Smith O’Rourke. Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is Sally Smith O’Rourke’s first solo novel.

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What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The inspiration for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is threefold; my late husband, Michael was my teacher and mentor and is always my inspiration in everything; The Man Who Loved Jane Austen, the prequel to Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen and, of course, Jane Austen who inspired all of it.

Who is your favorite character in the book?
Fitz Darcy is based on Michael so holds a special place in my heart.

Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first, the working title was simply ‘Jane’. The title comes from a gift Jane Austen gives Fitzwilliam Darcy in the story.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
That’s a hard one because I’m proud of the entire book. Several reviewers and readers have commented that the writing makes them feel as though they are in the story watching it unfold from across the room. It makes me proud that people feel that way and I’m guessing it’s the whole of the book and not a single sequence.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer?
As my teacher, Michael told me I had to WRITE. You can’t just think about doing it, you have to sit down and do it.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The cover is very special to me. The traditionally published The Man Who Loved Jane Austen had a cover reminiscent of a watercolor so I wanted a watercolor image for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen as well.
During the writing process I was in contact with Ann Channon, the house manager at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, England and she was a huge help during my research process as well as helping while I was writing. Anyway at one point I asked if there was a written description or drawing of the house as it was when Jane was living there and Ann sent me the lovely watercolor image of Chawton Cottage.
When it came time to create the cover I asked for and was granted permission to use the painting as the cover, thanks to the Jane Austen Memorial Trust.
Lovely, is it not?

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2013?
I can’t say I’m really looking forward to any particular book this year (except my own). The truth is that I don’t keep up with books coming out and since I started writing my reading tends to be mostly research so is generally non-fiction.

What was your favorite book in 2012?
Again I read almost exclusively non-fiction now and for research but I did read an interesting little book called The Missing Ink about what society might be missing with the elimination of handwriting (cursive) as it is no longer taught in schools. When so much personality can come through the written word it is a shame that the ability to write with pen and ink is being lost.

What’s up next for you?
I’m working on a novel tentatively titled, Physician, Heal Thyself. It is the story of college sweethearts who meet twenty years later but the relationship is impacted when they discover that one of them is harboring reincarnated spirits.
At the same time I’m making notes for the third and final entry in the realm of Jane Austen, a ghost story set in San Francisco’s Chinatown and a fairy story that takes place on the central coast of California.

Is there anything that you would like to add?
Just that I hope folks will want to read Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen which is available as a trade paperback at Amazon, eBooks in all formats and now an audio book as well at, and iTunes. Here is a trailer using a bit of the narration from the audio book.

Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/27/13

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