50% off one order @JMS Books

If you’re a bit on the edge right now (understandably!) and in dire need of some retail therapy, JMS Books got you covered. Use coupon code NeedMoreBooks to get 50% off one order through November 14.

This is the perfect time to stock up on holiday stories, so you’re ready when December 1 hits! (Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been reading Christmas stories since September ๐Ÿ˜€ )

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Book Recommendations, Book Talk

JAFF – Jane Austen Fan Fiction

Her Particular Friend by JL Merrow and Lucas by Elna Holst

Last year, I read a short Jane Austen F/F story, Her Particular Friend by JL Merrow (and wrote about it here). I was surprised by the ship: I could never imagine Mary Crawford and Susan Price from Mansfield Park ending up together, but it worked really well.

So when I stumbled upon Lucas by Elna Holst, also a F/F Jane Austen fanfic, I thought Why not? I downloaded a sample and liked what I read, so I bought the whole thing, and I’m really glad I did. Lucas is Pride and Prejudice fanfic, and it’s about Elizabeth Bennet’s friend, Charlotte Lucas, who’s been married to the dreadful Mr. Collins for three years at the start of the book. Then a new lady, Ailsa Reed, moves to the neighborhood, and the connection between Charlotte and Ailsa is instant.

Lucas is written in epistolary format, as letters Charlotte addresses to Lizzy but never sends (if you read the story, you’ll understand why) and I love epistolary novels. There’s cheating in the story (which didn’t come as a surprise considering Charlotte is married at the start of the book) but although I usually don’t like cheating, I didn’t mind it here, because let’s face it: Mr. Collins is awful! But it is a romance after all, so there’s a HEA. A very interesting, unexpected HEA.

The story was very well written and I enjoyed it immensely. I warmly recommend it.

Buy links:

Her Particular Friend | Lucas

After I finished Lucas, I was in the mood for more Jane Austen fan fic, so I went on Goodreads and searched. (Also, I’ve learned the very useful acronym JAFF, meaning Jane Austen Fan Fiction. Much quicker and easier to write ๐Ÿ™‚ )

And OMG, there are a lot of JAFF out there. A lot of it isn’t so great, but there are good stories to find if you have the patience to look, which I had.

Through a Different Lens by Riana Everly and Mr. Darcy’s Vice by Lin Mei Wei

I found two Pride and Prejudice variations, retelling Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s story, that I read and liked. Through a Different Lens by Riana Everly and Mr. Darcy’s Vice by Lin Mei Wei.

Mr. Darcy in Through a Different Lens is on the autism spectrum which explains his behavior. Lizzy recognizes it because she has a cousin (one of the Gardiner children) with the same problem, and she teaches him techniques that are meant to help him, that she learned by being around her cousin. The story is not a modern version, it’s still set in the regency era, so the words autism or Asperger aren’t used in the story itself, instead they are described as “different.” Through a Different Lens starts during Lizzy’s visit to Charlotte and Mr. Collins, before the disastrous first marriage proposal, and it follows all the plot points in the original novel, but altered to fit the idea of Darcy on the autism spectrum. It’s a lovely story and an interesting way to look at Darcy.

Mr. Darcy’s Vice tells the story of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Elias Bennet, because I had to read a M/M adaptation, didn’t I? It follows the plot points of the original novels pretty faithfully, but adapts it so the story fits a male Bennet. The story is told from Mr. Darcy’s POV, and I loved following his thought processes and his character development after this version of the disastrous marriage proposal (which isn’t a proposal ofc, because gay and regency). Elias Bennet is a delightful character and I thought the author had done a good job at adapting Elizabeth Bennet to Elias. I loved how the whole Lydia-Wickham situation was handled considering Elias being a man instead of a female without agency like Lizzy in the original. This, too, is a romance with a HEA, and a clever and believable one at that. I was very happy when I finished the story.



Finally, I read a couple short, free fanfics over at AO3 that I wanted to share. They are both Sense and Sensibility variations, one M/F and one M/M, and neither of them were about a canon couple.

Elinor Dashwood and Colonel Brandon

An Unexpected Attachment by umbrafix is the story of Elinor Dashwood and Colonel Brandon falling in love, which in my mind makes much more sense than Marianne and Brandon. Besides, I’ve always found Edward Ferrars a bit boring, so I’m definitely shipping Elinor and Brandon. It starts when Marianne is ill after having her heart broken, and tells a lovely story about their connection, about Colonel Brandon being attentive toward Elinor, and they live happily-ever-after, of course, since this is a romance after all. And yes, I imagined Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman as Elinor and Brandon from the 1995 movie the entire time I read the story, hence the picture above. Because, hello, Alan Rickman!! ๐Ÿ˜

Willoughby and Edward Ferrars

The last story is about an even more unexpected ship than the one that got me started on this whole journey; Mr. Willoughby and Edward Ferrars. It’s called Heart of Stone and is written by user Lessandra. The story starts after Mr. Willoughby has broken Marianne’s heart, and I never expected I’d like to see him redeemed because he really is an ass to Marianne, but this was a great little story about him and Edward Ferrars connecting and falling for each other. I found the way the story progressed very believable, and how being around Edward made Willoughby better himself. If you like redeemed scoundrels, this is definitely the story for you.

Phew. That was a long blog post. And I admit to having lots of more JAFF samples in my Kindle app, so who know, maybe there’ll be a part 2 of this blog post one day.

Tell me: have you read any JAFF? If yes, anything you’d like to recommend? ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and of course I had to watch Pride and Prejudice on Netflix, too.

Final scene from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie

About Nell

Hello November

October has been a boring month. I scrolled through my camera roll on my phone and was amazed over how few pictures I have from October, and most of the ones I’ve taken are of food I’ve made. Because cooking is one of the few things I did last month. And reading and writing of course, but other than that…nothing.

So here are ten boring pictures from my October. Tell me, was your month better than mine? ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m starting off this blogpost with a picture of raindrops on my balcony door because this is what October has been for me; rainy and gray and depressing. If you’d asked me before the scroll through my camera roll, I could have sworn that we hadn’t had a single sunny day in all of October, but…

…clearly I was wrong. We had at least one sunny day as evidenced by this picture I took when I was out for a walk and found this cute little bridge ๐Ÿ™‚

Like I wrote in the beginning: I cooked a lot, and one night I was in desperate need of pizza. But since I don’t eat dairy, I had to make my own. I made it with mozzarella (made from buffalo milk) and pecorino (made from sheeps’ milk), Parma ham and baby spinach. It was delicious.

I’ve done a gazillion online puzzles, and it’s all Ofelia Grรคnd’s fault. She’s started to include puzzles in her newsletters, and after I finished hers, I thought Hmmm, this was fun, lemme check if there are any more. And there are. Too many. ๐Ÿ˜€

My husband bought me a beer. An autumn beer that was very yummy, and suitable for the infatuation with fall I’ve nursed this year.

More cooking. I made รคrtsoppa (yellow split pea soup) which is a Swedish classic. Traditionally, we eat it on Thursdays with pancakes, the thin crepe like pancakes we in Sweden call pancakes, not the thick fluffy ones from other parts of the world. But I didn’t feel like making pancakes so I skipped them, which made my husband pout for a minute or so. Maybe next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Swedes have eaten รคrtsoppa for hundreds of years: it first appears in Swedish literature in the 1300s, and also, in 1577 king Erik XIV ate รคrtsoppa laced with arsenic and died. No one died after I cooked it, fortunately ๐Ÿ™‚

I decorated my tea shelf with a string of fairy lights.

I wrote every day, drank lots of tea and burned a lot of candles.

I watched Pride and Prejudice from 2005 with Keira Knightly because I’d read a lot of Jane Austen fan fiction. Stay tuned for a post about that on the blog.

And on the last day of October, I prepared the word count tracker for November’s NaNoWriMo in my new, square bullet journal.

That’s it. That’s my exciting month. Told you it was boring. And traditionally, November is worse than October. We’ll see.

I leave you with this song by Tom Waits. (Lyrics is below the video)

No shadow
No stars
No moon
No cars

It only believes
In a pile of dead leaves
And a moon
That’s the color of bone

No prayers for November
To linger longer
Stick your spoon in the wall
We’ll slaughter them all

November has tied me
To an old dead tree
Get word to April
To rescue me
November’s cold chain

Made of wet boots and rain
And shiny black ravens
On chimney smoke lanes
November seems odd
You’re my firing squad

With my hair slicked back
With carrion shellac
With the blood from a pheasant
And the bone from a hare

Tied to the branches
Of a roebuck stag
Left to wave in the timber
Like a buck shot flag

Go away you rainsnout
Go away blow your brains out