The book begins in the present with Samantha McDonough, a university librarian who finds a clue to the existence of an unknown Jane Austen manuscript. She embarks on a quest that will bring her to a beautiful, centuries-old English estate, a handsome gentleman, and a carefully hidden manuscript that--when they find it--is unmistakably Austen's.
Samantha and Anthony are immediately absorbed in the story of Rebecca Stanhope, daughter of a small-town rector, who is about to encounter some bittersweet truths about life and love. As they read the newly discovered tale from the past, a new one unfolds in the present--a story that will change both of their lives forever. The Austen manuscript is inspired by a famous comedic outline that Jane Austen wrote herself, Plan of a Novel.
It was such fun to climb into Jane Austen's head again to write this book. I'm thrilled to say that Austenprose gave it 5 stars and deemed it "swoon worthy," Kirkus Reviews gave it a starred review and called it a "richly imagined Jane Austen 'road novel' and "a page turner," and My Jane Austen Book Club said: "Syrie James has surpassed herself... it'll be one of your favourite reads in 2013!" I hope that's true!
Read an excerpt from The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen here.
The book's available in Trade Paperback, on Kindle, Nook, and other e-book readers. Audio book coming soon. Handy book order links: Amazon. Barnes & Noble. Indiebound.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! If you live in southern California, please join me on Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 at 3PM at the Barnes & Noble 3rd St Promenade book store (1201 3rd Street, Santa Monica, 90401) for a fab BOOK LAUNCH EVENT for The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. I'll be doing a reading and signing books, so bring your friends--and any other books you want me to sign. I look forward to seeing you there!
To tickle your funny bone, check out the video highlights reels from two comedic plays I did this year. I played Jane Austen in "You Are Passionate, Jane" by Diana Birchall, in which Jane meets Charlotte Bronte in heaven.
In "The Austen Assizes" at the JASNA conference in Brooklyn, three Austen villains (I was Lucy Steele) are put on trial before a magistrate and an enthusiastic audience. Hilarity ensued!
Congratulations to Betty Strohecker of Virginia Beach, VA, winner of an advance copy of THE MISSING MANUSCRIPT OF JANE AUSTEN in my newsletter contest. Thank you to everyone who participated.
And don't forget to check out the pair of newly edited romance novels I just re-released--books one and two in The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. I hope these sexy, page-turning tales about strong, accomplished women and passionate, successful men will ignite your senses, touch your heart, and make you smile.
I wish you and yours all the best that life has to offer in 2013.
Happy New Year!
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen:
"A novel within a novel honoring what we love most about Austen: her engaging stories, her rapier wit, and her swoon worthy romance. James's pitch perfect, brilliantly crafted prose will have you enchanted and in awe of her mastery until the very last page. 5 out of 5 Regency stars!" --Austenprose