Dec 2, 2017

Guest Author Ginger Monette on Jane Austen Fan Fiction

Jane who?...what? Jane Austen fan fiction. You probably read Pride & Prejudice in your high school British lit class. Yes, that Jane Austen. And if you're a swoon for period drama, surely you've watched either Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen portray the iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy as he wins the heart of Elizabeth Bennet.

Well, you weren't the only one swept up in their romance! Audiences clamored for more of the dashing rich landowner and the obstinate headstrong girl, and authors began imagining what if. The result has been a wildly popular sub-genre known as Jane Austen fan fiction, (JAFF for short) or Austenesque literature.

For the past ten years, authors have been spinning the lives of Lizzy and Darcy in a dizzying array of alternative situations and circumstances. Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, and Death Comes to Pemberley are two of these re-imaginings that have made their way to the big screen.

So why is JAFF so popular? Probably for a few reasons. First, it appeals to us for the same reasons we love Cinderella—a rich, handsome “prince” falls in love with a woman decidedly below his station. And off course we all love a happily-ever-after. But I think it is more than that. Most of us can relate to Austen's themes of embarrassing relatives, family scandals, or wishing we could take back hurtful words.

But my love for Pride & Prejudice goes beyond its fairytale quality and universal themes. I appreciate the evolution of Austen's hero and heroine. After a scathing castigation by Elizabeth, Darcy is forced to examine himself and determines to become a better man. Elizabeth realizes her prejudice has blinded her against a good man who is her perfect match. I also love how Elizabeth is willing to defy cultural expectations regarding a “suitable” marriage to stand up for what she believes. And finally, I'm a sucker for a handsome, brooding hero like Fitzwilliam Darcy—I married one!

But why so many retellings and re-imaginings of this story? Because, beside the fact that audiences love the story, Austen's original novel works particularly well for fan fiction. It easily lends itself to manipulation. Not only are Austen's characters varied and colourful, but the plot itself has numerous key turning points. Shifting a detail here, or character there can completely change the course of the storyline and results in endless (and delightful!) alternate outcomes.

For my Darcy's Hope series, I chose to manipulate the era. While watching Downton Abbey, I could see Darcy dining with Lord Grantham with little change in decorum. I began to imagine, what if the romance between Darcy and Lizzy were to unfold in the era of Downton Abbey? I could reframe Austen's original storyline and characters against the dramatic backdrop of a field hospital on the Western Front. Hmmm. That had potential for an exciting plot and romance. Besides, the “turbulence” of WW1 seemed a fitting setting for a romance between two characters known for “clashing.” It was out of those daydreams that The Darcy's Hope Saga was born.

If you are a fan of Jane Austen and/or Downton Abbey, I urge you to give Darcy's Hope a try! Not only have reviewers found it a riveting romance, but it is an entertaining way to learn a little about the era of our great-grandfathers and WWI, which is the event that ushered us into the modern world as we know it.


“...a stellar example of fine Austenesque literature. Ms. Monette has crafted an exceptionally moving story complete with a compelling plot, danger, mystery, action, introspection, vivid detail, and an emotionally wrought romance. Even if you are not one to enjoy war stories, I entreat you to give this one a try!” [emphasis mine] ~Austenesque Reviews 

Downton Abbey Meets Pride & Prejudice!

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside Jane Austen's iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy in this two-volume saga.

In Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, you'll watch the couple's tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences at a field hospital only miles from the Front. 

In Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, Darcy is crushed when espionage separates him from Elizabeth and injury leaves him in a dark and silent world. But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that could change everything….

-Buy link:

-Do you love Jane Austen, Downton Abbey, or period drama? Join me on Facebook at Ginger Monette Author
-I’d love to hear from you!

Ginger currently writes riveting romances inspired by Donwton Abbey and Jane Austen. Her use of compelling plot, vivid historical detail, and deep point of view has earned her stellar reviews for her Darcy's Hope saga and a grand prize for flash fiction. Living in Charlotte, NC, Ginger enjoys Pilates, period and Turkish dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon. 


-If you love Period Drama or Jane Austen, join Ginger on Facebook at Ginger Monette Author.

Nov 19, 2017

Arched Cabins || Steel Frame and Termite Free

I first learned about this tiny house on youtube when I saw this lady {{video below}} showing her arched cabin to a friend. They’re calling this a tiny house but honestly I’m not seeing “tiny.” These arched homes are spacious and roomy with high ceilings, an element that truly gives the impression of space.

You can imagine the size inside as you see these workers on the top level.

And the location is incredible! Look at that view. 

The interior isn't styled to my preference, but you can sense its spaciousness.

The upstairs loft is probably cozy warm

I love the open floor plan.

Get more information on these affordable homes at, a family owned and operated small business based in Cypress Texas, just outside of Houston.

From the builder: Arched Cabins prides ourselves on having designed an efficient, cost effective, durable, attractive, and easy-to-build structure with multiple uses. Arched Cabins can be used for workshops, offices, animal shelters, vacation homes, RV shelters, retirement homes, hunting lodges, student housing, tiny houses, tiny houses on wheels, granny pods/man caves/she sheds, and many other uses!

The beauty of an Arched Cabin is in part due to our very fast build times, and also because each one is an empty canvas waiting on you to finish it to suit your personality and needs!

Our Arched Cabins Build Team employs skilled professionals to complete your exterior rough-in and put together your new Arched Cabin kit in 3-14 days. If you're looking for a DIY solution, you've also come to the right place. Every Arched Cabin kit purchased comes with a build manual and a direct line to our company's build team, who can answer any questions you have about building your own Arched Cabin!

Nov 4, 2017

Jacqueline Diamond on Medical Romance

What’s a Medical Romance, Anyway?

I had no idea what medical romances were when I started writing them.

The medical field has always interested me, perhaps because my father was a doctor. My own encounters with medicine, aside from routine checkups, came when my husband and I had trouble conceiving. I’m happy to report that our efforts resulted in two wonderful boys.

That was the situation in the 1980s when I began writing romances for Harlequin. A popular theme was the secret baby story. Typical storyline: after the hero disappears or enlists in the military, the heroine discovers she’s pregnant. With no way to reach him (no cell phone! No email!), she raises the baby alone, facing rejection by the townspeople. When he unexpectedly returns, drama ensues.

My challenge was to find credible, engaging twists that fit into our contemporary world. I had fun with ideas like a mix-up at the sperm bank (Designer Genes) and an egg donor who discovers she’s the nanny to her own triplets (Yours, Mine and Ours).

Along the way, I encountered a subgenre called the medical romance. These are stories of people falling in love in a medical setting such as a hospital or clinic. They can be doctors, nurses, technicians, surrogate mothers, even police who interact with medical personnel.

I decided babies and doctors were a natural combination for a series set in a fictional medical center remodeled to focus on fertility and maternity care. I live in California, one of the few places in the world where fertility treatments and practices such as surrogacy and embryo adoption aren’t restricted, so this opened intriguing story possibilities.

A new law to protect abandoned babies by offering safe havens in hospitals and fire stations got me thinking. What if a news report confused the name of my hospital, Safe Harbor Medical Center, with save havens, leading to a sudden influx of surrendered babies? How would this impact the hospital? How would the story unfold?

Book number one, The Would-Be Mommy, began a journey for me that grew to include 17 Safe Harbor Medical romances. Currently I’m writing a spin-off mystery series, including The Case of The Surly Surrogate. The Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries feature young, widowed obstetrician Eric Darcy, who helps solve crimes that affect his patients, such as when someone murders the father of a surrogate’s baby-to-be. Note: each book in the series can be read separately.

I enjoy doing research that draws on my experience as an Associated Press reporter and on my contacts in the medical and law enforcement fields. Mostly, I love writing tales of people forming families and redeeming their past mistakes.

Where better to find drama and healing than in a medical center?

USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold more than 100 medical romances, romantic comedies, Regency romances and mysteries. A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie is best known for her 17-book Safe Harbor Medical romance series, beginning with The Would-Be Mommy. She currently writes a spin-off series, the Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries, including The Case of the Surly Surrogate.

The Would-Be Mommy

Babies, babies, everywhere! When journalist Ian Martin stirs up trouble with his story about a hospital welcoming abandoned babies, the roguish reporter accidentally ignites a firestorm around public relations director Jennifer Serra. Now she faces losing her heart to a baby she can’t keep, and losing her job because of a scandalous secret. To help her, Ian must choose between his ambitions and his heart. called this a “brilliantly moving story.”

Oct 25, 2017

Tiny House Infatuation: The Cousin Cabana

I have stumbled across the perfect tiny house. It’s hard to believe this stylish cabana house is only 610 square feet.  I guess it’s true, smart use of floor plan makes all the difference. Though I’m not certain there’s a bedroom. I found the builder’s website and there wasn’t a photograph of a bedroom there, either.  Perhaps they simply didn’t show it for privacy’s sake. 


Also, they claim it’s only 480 square feet. I absolutely love the sleek, efficient lines of this postmodernist structure and its vast windows. If I were to show examples to a potential builder, this would be the first house with the only caveat “add a bedroom.”

The bathroom is spacious, the windows let in lots of natural light and spectacular access to the view, wherever you decide to build. The exterior is as beautiful as the interior, and blends so beautifully with a green environment. I love the patio area and the fact that it “steps up” adding to the set-apart feeling of privacy from any neighbors (if there were) and the way the roof line, with its recessed lighting,has uninterrupted flow from inside to outside. 

A new favorite! Visit the builder's website: