Friday, March 26, 2021

Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Most Clever Girl

You guys know I am a huge Jane Austen fan, right? Women's History Month is the perfect time to showcase strong and inspiring women, so I partnered with The Children's Book Review and Jasmine A. Stirling to celebrate the publication of A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice by Jasmine A. Stirling.  It comes out March 30th and not only am I sharing a guest post from the author today, I am also hosting an exciting giveaway that Janeites will absolutely swoon over!

About A Most Clever Girl:


Publisher’s Synopsis: "Witty and mischievous Jane Austen grew up in a house overflowing with words. As a young girl, she delighted in making her family laugh with tales that poked fun at the popular novels of her time, stories that featured fragile ladies and ridiculous plots. Before long, Jane was writing her own stories-uproariously funny ones, using all the details of her life in a country village as inspiration.  In times of joy, Jane’s words burst from her pen. But after facing sorrow and loss, she wondered if she’d ever write again. Jane realized her writing would not be truly her own until she found her unique voice. She didn’t know it then, but that voice would go on to capture readers’ hearts and minds for generations to come."  

You can pre-order A Most Clever Girl at Amazon and  You can learn more about Jasmine A. Stirling by visiting her website and when you visit her site, you can even get a free Jane Austen paper doll kit with the purchase of her book.  Also, you can connect with Jasmine A. Stirling on Instagram and on Facebook



Guest Post From Jasmine A. Stirling:

Why Jane Austen is the perfect pandemic read (for you or your kids!)

by Jasmine A. Stirling
Author of A Most Clever Girl: 
How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice

“Ah! there is nothing 
like staying at home
 for real comfort.”

Jane Austen - 

From Bridgerton to Sanditon, Regency romances and Jane Austen are experiencing a distinctive cultural moment—one could possibly even call it a craze. As people adjust to the slower pace of pandemic life, Austen book clubs, online groups, and cheeky Austen memes have exploded. Dating during Covid-19 looks a lot more like dating during the Regency era, and for the first time in recent memory, people find they have time to talk, read, and walk. Lizzie and Emma's worlds have, in many ways, come to resemble our own. There’s even a trendy new moniker for the phenomenon—Regencycore.

Regencycore has made its way into the books we read (Jane Austen, over and over again, please), the shows we binge watch (bring on the period dramas), the clothes we buy (feather headbands, elbow-length gloves, and corsets, says Vogue), and even the accomplishments we pursue. Eighteenth-century crafts like needlework and embroidery are experiencing a renaissance (Hobbycraft reported a staggering 545% increase in recent sales of cross stitch kits), reportedly because of the sense of calm they bring in a world in which one’s agency and activities are severely restricted. Sound familiar?

It’s not surprising—in addition to the obvious similarities between our current lives and those of the rural gentry in eighteenth-century England (never thought I’d say that in a sentence), all things Jane Austen provide an endless supply of comforting, thought-provoking, witty, escapist fun. And I think it’s safe to say we could all use a little bit more of that in our lives right now.

And there’s something else. Jane Austen lived through numerous devastating infectious diseases in her lifetime. In fact, families in Regency England often went into what we today call lockdown to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. So it is not surprising that ailments and infections impact minor and major characters alike in her novels. Austen, who herself only lived to age 41, comforted one of her relatives when she lost all three of her very young daughters to scarlet fever in the space of one week. Jane’s best friend Martha, and her sister Mary—who later married Austen’s brother—were both permanently scarred from smallpox. Martha’s younger brother, seven-year-old Charles, didn’t survive the outbreak.

So if you haven’t read Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion or Mansfield Park lately, now is clearly the perfect time to do so. Afterwards, pop into the Jane Austen Fan Club Facebook Page (40,000 members) to quote your favorite passages and marvel as the likes and comments soar up into the hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands—even in the middle of the night. Participate in one of their ongoing watch parties and crack jokes with diehard Janeites who know all the lines before they are uttered. Dive into Jane Austen’s world from the comfort of your own home at JaneCon or the virtual Jane Austen Summer Program, where you can watch original theatrical productions of Austen’s unpublished juvenilia, learn to make Queen Cakes, or get an embroidery lesson from an eighteenth-century scholar. I promise you’ll come away inspired and awed by the incredibly bright and enthusiastic Austen lovers you’ll encounter along the way.

And if you have children, there will never be a better time to brew a hot pot of tea, cut a large slice of cake, and talk with them about Austen’s heroines, her life, and her legacy. Kick it off by reading and discussing my new book, A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice; then spend the evening watching Clueless, the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, or the new Emma to make it a party. Before you know it you’ll be trolling Etsy for Pemberley face masks and Janeite sweatshirts (I’ve scarcely taken either of mine off for several months now, much to the dismay of my loved ones—no feather headbands for me, thank you).

If you aren’t already convinced, please take a moment to ponder the following the resemblances between our era and Austen’s. I challenge you not to let out an unseemly giggle as you do!

Modern Pandemic or Regency Romance?
To which era does the following activity belong?

Undertaking school, work, and pleasure at home—with the same small group of people
Taking a turn about the room for exercise
Standing six feet apart while getting to know one’s potential romantic partner
Scandalous talk of people you know getting too close
Wearing gloves when going out
Regularly inquiring: “I hope your family is in good health?”
Obsessing about proximity, touching, and possible ruin
Drawing, needlework, and knitting to pass the time
Wondering if life will ever change
Overjoyed when one can speak to a neighbor
Worrying that someone’s recent cough might shortly result in their demise
Ambitiously concocting one’s own apricot marmalade and white soup
Endless hours spent gazing out the window
A walk outside to stimulate the blood suffices for the day’s entertainment
Persistent anxiety about future financial ruin
Quietly reading books to improve one’s mind
Socializing around the dinner table during elaborate home-cooked meals
Lengthy courtships in which eye contact and subtle gestures pay a key role

The verdict is in: the current pandemic offers the perfect opportunity to turn a passing curiosity into a full-fledged obsession with all things Jane Austen—a journey which is certain to bring you much pleasure and amusement. In fact, you might just find that you’ve discovered your tribe.

If nothing else, you will be dazzled and comforted by a brilliant author whose philosophy of equanimity has much to offer us in times of uncertainty. For as Mr. Gardiner insists to the Bennet family upon realizing that Lydia has run away with the scoundrel Mr. Wickham,

“Do not give way to useless alarm;
 though it is right to be prepared for the worst,
 there is no occasion to look on it as certain.”

Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

I love this guest post and I completely agree! I think now more than ever Jane Austen's novels can be appreciated. What do you guys think? 


The Giveaway: 


I've partnered with The Children's Book Review and Jasmine A. Stirling to host an amazing giveaway for you guys. Enter for a chance to win a glorious Jane Austen-themed picnic basket, including a hardcover copy of A Most Clever Girl autographed by Jasmine A. Stirling.  One grand prize winner receives a picnic basket filled with: 
  • a copy of A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice signed by the author
  • A vintage teacup
  • 1oz of tea from Adagio Teas
  • Truffles from Moonstruck Chocolates
  • Gardenia hand cream
  • A set of Jane Austen playing cards
  • A $15 gift certificate to Jasmine A. Stirling's Austenite Etsy Shop, Box Hill Goods
Two winners will receive signed copies of A Most Clever Girl.  The giveaway begins March 16, 2021 at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 16, 2021 at 11:59 P.M. MT. 
Guys, if I could enter this giveaway, I would! I love every about it! How perfect is this for the Janeite in your life? I can't wait to check out Jasmine's Etsy shop, too.  
Happy Friday,


  1. I love this! What a thoughtful guest post - I totally agree with it!

  2. We can never have enough books showing strong girls finding their voice and pursuing their passions. Thsi looks like such a good story1


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