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Bespelling Jane Austen: Almost Persuaded\Northanger Castle\Blood and Prejudice\Little to Hex Her Paperback – September 28, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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The Underground Railroad
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"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
$14.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Four romance novellas put a paranormal gloss on elements from Austen's work. Bestseller Balogh (A Precious Jewel) turns in the plodding "Almost Persuaded," wherein Jane Everett and Capt. Robert Mitford realize they're reincarnated soul mates. Gleason makes reference to her Gardella Vampire series with "Northanger Castle," in which pert Caroline Merrill, lover of vampire novels, suspects handsome Mr. Blanchard of being a bloodsucker. Krinard (Bride of the Wolf) sets "Blood and Prejudice" in New York where bookstore staffer Elizabeth Bennet encounters pharmaceutical CEO Charles Bingley and an unusual variety of vampires. Mullany (Jane and the Damned) gives us a witchy Emma Woodhouse running a dating service for Washington D.C.'s supernaturals in "Little to Hex Her." Though none show Austen's gift with character, humor, or irony, all but Balogh's are lively, and Mullany's sparkles with genuine wit.
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About the Author

Susan makes her home in New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment,” with her husband, Serge, her dogs, Freya, Nahla and Cagney, and her cat, Jefferson. Susan’s interests include music (just about any kind), old movies, gardening and getting out into nature. She also bakes a mean chocolate cake.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 377 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373775016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373775019
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Diane B. Wilkes VINE VOICE on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a devoted Janeite, and while I'm not a purist, I'm quite selective when it comes to Austen sequels and variants. I recognize there are (relative) classics and clunkers in the ones set in Regency times and more modern settings, but I find myself consistently preferring the updated-to-contemporary-period retellings and revisions. I suspect it is because there's less of a direct comparison to the original Austen oeuvre--and no one alive benefits from that comparison in my fond eyes and heart.

In BESPELLING JANE AUSTEN, one gets two novellas of each era...with the twist of paranormal activity enthreaded in each tale. Mary Balogh, a Regency romance writer of great repute, returns PERSUASION's Anne Elliot to her time period, but renames her Jane (!) Everett. Captain Wentworth has also been renamed (Captain Mitford). Using reincarnation as her "supernatural" device, Jane and Captain Mitford have loved but lost one another again and again in past lives, but determine not to do so this time around. Jane is "Almost Persuaded" (the name of Balogh's novella), but...

Colleen Gleason (whose Gardella series has made me a devoted fan) upgrades NORTHANGER ABBEY to NORTHANGER CASTLE. I think revisioning one of the Thorpes into a vampire is perfect casting--I just wish she had chosen a different Thorpe. But then, both are innate bloodsuckers, so it works brilliantly. I won't say what profession Thaddeus Blanchard (ne Henry Tilney) has now taken up, but he is related to Victoria Gardella. Catherine Morland is now Caroline Merrill, and while they both have a penchant for reading Gothic novels and possess wild imaginations, Caroline is braver and more observant in many ways. She deserves her mate!
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Format: Paperback
Bespelling Jane Austen / 978-0-37377-501-9

I've always been fond of Jane Austen, and I've enjoyed the paranormal Jane Austen novels that have been coming out of the woodwork; I felt that zombies was precisely what "Pride and Prejudice" was lacking the first time around, and I absolutely adored "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters". And while "Bespelling Jane Austen" looks at first glance to be capitalizing on all the hype, this collection of novellas is really quite solid, and I enjoyed very much the chance to read the Advance Review Copy that was sent to me from the publisher.

This collection of novellas is not, unlike "PPZ" and "SSSM", a direct port of Austen novels, with new text woven in and around the original Austen text. Instead, these shorter renditions of Austen's novels are more like modern `adaptations' of her stories, not unlike the Shakespeare adaptations that maintain the underlying themes but with new settings, characters, and dialogue. Austen "purists" will likely not enjoy these adaptations, if only because of the more modern emphasis on physical passion and sensuality, but Austen lovers who enjoy seeing her delightful themes in new situations and experiences will find much here to enjoy.

"Almost Persuaded" by Mary Balogh, takes a serious and surprisingly deep look at the theme of reincarnation, applied against Austen's backdrop of marriages impeded by social distance. Two soulmates come together in the persons of Jane Everett and Captain Robert Mitford.
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Format: Paperback
This anthology of four stories/novellas is a delightful mash-up of Jane Austen's books. I could enjoy each for the clever, imaginative take on the characters and plots of the Austen's classics.

Almost Persuaded by Mary Balogh
Setting: Regency England
This was a sweet reincarnation story that just begged to be a bit more exciting. I hate to say that it wasn't just right because it was a good read, but I truly wanted more. It is too bad Ms Balogh, who is a favorite of mine, did not make this into a full book. Although I wanted more it was still a lovely story and worth your time. (79 pages) My rating- 3.5

Northanger Castle by Colleen Gleason
Setting: 1845 England
Ms Gleason has created a flibberdigibbet of a heroine in this story. Caroline can't seem to people watch without making up dramatic tales about their lives which are often very funny. But she is aware of a strange man watching her and who seems to be wherever she might find herself. She is convinced that he is a vampire and that she must in turn protect her friends and eliminate him so she carries a stake, a silver cross and garlic in her reticule. This was a fun, engaging story and left us wondering until the end who is the vampire. (75 pages)My Rating-4

Blood and Prejudice by Susan Krinard
Setting: Modern times
This story followed very close to the plot of Pride and Prejuidice as if it had been in modern times. Krinard kept all the names the same as Austen's characters and it was a fun to see how well it could all translate to the present; down to the silly, gossipy Mrs. Bennett. Of course there were changes. Lizzy was a bookstore owner, Jane worked in the family pharmaceutical labs, Bingley was a weathy business man as was Darcy. And there were vampires.
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