Letter J The April A to Z Blogging Challenge #AtoZChallenge

April Author Spotlight 2015

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Letter ‘J’ is for Regina Jeffers author of Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion

 

Why do I recommend Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion?

I loved every minute I spent reading this novel. The author retells, explains and moves Jane Austen’s Persuasion on to the next stage, in a way the original author never did. Regina Jeffers masterfully uncovers the fears, prejudice, and immaturity which led to Anne and Frederick’s first separation, as we are at last able to look inside the characters’ minds, and understand the misery and turmoil they went through during their first separation and second meeting years later. There is plenty of conversation and telling instead of showing, as the tension builds and their relationship slowly unfolds. All the diverse characters also come to life; Wentworth’s crew and his loving family, are portrayed in stark contrast to Anne’s arrogant and conceited sisters and their families. You needn’t have read Jane Austen’s novel to enjoy reading this wonderfully written historical romance, with a compelling plot, and impeccably drawn characters. A masterpiece.

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What is your novel about, Regina?

Have you ever read a book and thought, “I wonder what happened when the main characters are apart? Did they think of each other? What kept them apart?” That is what the reader discovers in Captain Frederick Wentworths Persuasion. This book takes Jane Austen’s classic “Persuasion” and retells it from Captain Wentworth’s point of view. Wentworth and Anne Elliot were apart for eight years. We know Anne’s tale, but what of the gentleman? How did Wentworth go about forgetting the greatest love of his life? How did his pride get in the way when he encounters Anne again? What happens AFTER the “happily ever after”?

What are you working on now?

It is rare when I am not writing. I carry a notebook with me to doctor’s appointments, book events, etc. Otherwise, the stories claim my restorative sleep, and I am NOT a good person without my sleep. I have 5 stories coming out in 2015. The first is the conclusion to my “Realm” series. “A Touch of Emerald” will bring readers the answer to the missing emerald, as well as showing the Realm members in a new light.

I recently signed a contract with Black Opal Books for my next Regency romance, which will be called “Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep.” It is a sweet Regency. As soon as I finish reworking the ending of “A Touch of Emerald,” then I plan to start a sequel to “Angel,” which I am tentatively calling “The Earl Finds His Comfort.” I hope that happens soon for the idea for this one is bouncing around in my head and driving me a bit batty.

In addition to the Regency titles, I also write Austenesque novels, which is what Luccia is featuring today. As such, last week, I signed a contract with Pegasus Books for “The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin,” a Pride and Prejudice cozy mystery. This is my fourth such mystery, and they are widely popular in the JAFF community. Luccia will be happy to know that Captain Wentworth makes an appearance at the end of this new novel, and there are plans for a sequel to CFWP.

Finally, I am venturing into the Austen variation model, something I have not attempted before. For those who do not understand the “variation” format, the author changes one event in the original Austen story line, which changes everything. Even so, I still like my Austen characters to act as close to the original as possible and attempt to keep Darcy and Elizabeth “real.”

In “Mr. Darcy’s Fault,” Elizabeth has an accident will walking through Rosings Park after receiving Mr Darcy’s letter. She loses the letter Darcy pressed into her hand, and Mr. Wickham finds it. What will Wickham do with the letter to take more revenge on Darcy?

In “Elizabeth Bennet’s Deception,” Darcy does not approach Elizabeth and the Gardiners at Pemberley when he arrives home early to find them touring his home. Later, when Elizabeth calls a second time asking for Darcy’s assistance in locating Wickham and Lydia, Darcy makes the assumption that Elizabeth’s fondness for Mr. Wickham led Elizabeth into a compromised situation. Can Darcy deliver Elizabeth into Mr. Wickham’s hands or is there another solution?

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Question 3. What would you like readers to know about you?

Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of Jane-Austen inspired novels/mysteries, as well as Regency romances. A master teacher, for thirty-nine years, Regina passionately taught thousands of students English in the public schools of West Virginia, Ohio, and North Carolina. Yet, “teacher” does not define her as a person. Ask any of her students or her family, and they will tell you Regina is passionate about so many things: her son, children in need, truth, responsibility, veterans, history, the value of a good education, words, music, dance, the theatre, pro football, classic movies, the BBC, track and field, books, books, and more books. Regina is an Anglophile who is equally at home with those saying, “Let this be so, and doubt not but success will fashion the event in better shape,” as well as with those who say, “kin’t carry a tune in a bucket” or “Jist because ye find them in the oven, don’t make them biscuits.”

How can we find out more or contact you?

My Website  

Blogs “Every Woman Dreams”  

“Austen Authors” 

“English Historical Fiction Authors”

Amazon

Twitter @reginajeffers

Pinterest Regina Jeffers  

Goodreads Regina Jeffers  

Also join Regina on Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

Please take some time to check out some of the other blogs on the A-Z Challenge. There are plenty of interesting and varied topics. 

 

Book Review: Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion by Regina Jeffers.

You Pierce My Soul, Captain Wentworth

Persuasion, Jane Eyre, and Rebecca have been my favourite novels since I first read them as a teenager. I have reread them dozens of times since then, and although there are many others I reread regularly, too many to mention now, none are as dear to my heart and my mind as the former three.

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Title page of the original 1818 edition

I already confessed in an earlier post that My Ideal Fictional Hero is undoubtedly Captain Wentworth. To quote myself:

The most faithful and dashing fictional hero has to be Jane Austen’s Captain Wentworth, in Persuasion, he proposed to Anne Elliot, but he was rejected because her family thought he wasn’t good enough. Wentworth returned to Bath, nine years later, supposedly in search of a wife, but really he was out to impress Anne again, and impress her he did with his letter, because he’s also the greatest writer of love letters in English literature, saying things like, ‘you pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.’ and ‘Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.’ 

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I love rereading, because every time I reread a book is a new experience. I always discover something new between the lines, or feel differently about characters or events. However, the last time I reread Persuasion, a few months ago, I was disappointed. I found the first half of the book had far too much ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’. I also found parts of the dialogue ‘stiff’ with long drawn out ‘speeches’ instead of a more natural interaction between the characters. Finally, what displeased me most was the lack of introspection of the characters, especially the men, and specifically Wentworth.

We all imagine what he’s thinking, but we are never able to glimpse inside his mind, except for a few brief but powerful minutes when we read Frederick’s letter, in which he literally pours out his heart and his mind to Anne. From those brief words, I recreated his inner turmoil, integrity, loyalty, and passion, but alas, Jane Austen gave us very little information.

When I came across Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion by Regina Jeffers, just a few days ago, on twitter, I couldn’t resist reading. I was curious when I read the title and then the blurb: The love affair behind Jane Austen’s classic, Persuasion, rests at the heart of this retelling from Captain Frederick Wentworth’s point of view.

Could the author have captured the essence of my hero and retold the story from his point of view successfully? Could she have clarified what Jane Austen did not fully describe?

The answer is, yes, she did. I loved every minute I spent reading this novel, and I felt very upset when I finished, although it has become one of my personal classics, so I’m sure I’ll be rereading it, too.

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Ms. Jeffers explains many things which Ms Austen didn’t. She uncovers the fears, prejudice, and immaturity which led to Anne and Frederick’s first separation. Anne was only 19, the same age Jane Eyre was when she married Rochester, practically a teenager by contemporary standards. Her father and godmother advised her against the marriage, so she might have been afraid to leave everything and everyone she knew behind, and travel in a war ship with her husband.

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion starts at sea. Anne and Frederick are married and both living on a frigate during the Napoleonic Wars. When Wentworth is gravely wounded, during his delirious recovery, he recalls his first meeting with Anne, their brief courtship, and her family’s disapproval. He then remembers what happened nine years after Anne turned down his proposal. Wentworth returned to Bath as a wealthy war hero, while Anne’s family’s fortune had diminished, although her father retained his baronetcy and his pompous airs.

At first Frederick feigned indifference towards Anne, and pretended to flirt with Louisa Musgrove. We understand his misery, as he gradually realises it is Anne Elliot whom he still loves.

There is plenty of conversation and telling instead of showing, as the tension builds and their relationship slowly unfolds. The rest of the diverse characters also come to life. Members of Wentworth’s crew, Wentworth’s brother and sister and their loving family, are portrayed in stark contrast to Anne’s arrogant and conceited sisters and their families.

But the best is yet to come. Once Ms. Jeffers has arrived at the final point of Ms Austen’s novel, she moves the story on, and towards the end of the novel, a surprisingly complex political plot unfolds including the intervention of the Prince Regent.

I was devastated when the novel ended. I needed more!

Fortunately, Ms Jeffers has informed me that in her next novel, The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin, we will encounter Rear Admiral Wentworth once again. Personally, I can’t wait.

If you loved Persuasion, read it, you will love it. If you haven’t read Persuasion, read it, too, you will discover Anne and Frederick’s love story from a contemporary perspective, and then, if you like, read Persuasion! In any case, if you enjoy reading well-written historical romance, with a good plot, and wonderful characters, you’ll enjoy Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion.

Check it out on Amazon UK

Check it out on Amazon US