Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blog Tour: Interview, Giveaway & Book Review: Suddenly You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #4) by Cecilia Gray

Today, I'm happy to join the Suddenly You Blog Tour hosted by IMR Blog Tours.
Find the other tour stops here.

Suddenly You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #1) by Cecilia Gray
The  blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Gray Life, LLC
128 Pages

Fanny doesn't want to be at The Jane Austen Academy. She intends to lay low until graduation when she can try out for the Olympic track team. She doesn't need friends or love. She only needs her running.

But The Academy is in danger. In an effort to save it, Fanny joins forces with the friends she never knew she wanted. Suddenly, Fanny finds herself center stage in the middle of the Academy's biggest love triangle as the lead in the school play...only this track star can't afford to break a leg.

1. What is the reason behind this series being all retellings Jane Austen titles?

I outlined and drafted  the series without the Jane Austen gimmick, but I happen to really love Austen (I mean…I LURVE Austen) and started to see similarities between the heroines I'd developed and Jane Austen's heroines.  Except hers stand the test of time and mine are just…mine. REGARDLESS…that made me wonder: Iif Jane Austen's heroines all knew each other, would they be friends? Enemies? Once the brain started cranking in that direction there was no shutting it down. That's the problem with brains. They like to think, what if.

2. What is your favorite "classic" novel?

I'm bad at picking favorites because I'm moody and inconstant but the classic book I reread more than any other is Jane Eyre. I'm also a sucker for classic children's books like Heidi and Secret Garden.

3. What your favorite current book trend?

Strong and positive female relationships. I'm not into mean-girl-for-the-sake-of-mean-girl stories. I love books like Code Name Verity where the female relationships are interesting and dynamic.

4. What do you want readers to be left feeling when they finish your books?

It depends on the book - but for The Jane Austen series, I want the reader to feel like they've just hung out with their best friends for an afternoon and are ready for a meal and a nap. Which is pretty much my ideal day.

6. How do you spend your free time?

I'm kind of obsessed with doing things, so it's different every time. Last Saturday, for example, I did archery for a couple hours, hosted a girlfriend's birthday brunch barbecue (so…think barbecue…but we're grilling French Toast instead of burgers), saw Much Ado About Nothing with a different set of girlfriends, went on a dinner date, taught myself Final Cut Pro so I could make a youtube video, and started reading The Fifth Wave.

My free time is usually a mix of reading, trying out something new, some kind of exercise, and my girlfriends. And napping. Lots of napping.

7. Are you currently working on a project? If so, what's it about?

I'm putting the finishes touches on a brand new project. DRAWN is a contemporary young-adult novel about a young spy set to infiltrate a ring of graffiti terrorists in Europe but she ends up seduced by the people she's set to spy on. The chapters are intermixed with comics. I'm nervous about the format but excited for the story.

8. Which of your books has been your favorite to write, and why?

I actually love writing the Jane Austen Academy character of EMMA in every book. Emma is completely self confident, self-important and she' the kind of person who says what you're wishing you could say. Her story is a blast.

9. Which of your heroines do you relate to the best, and why?

Oooh, none of them so far. My heroines tend to be nice and sweet in ways that I'm not and flawed and imperfect in ways that I'm not.

10. What is your writing method, and from where do you draw your inspiration?

I just sit and type whenever I have snippets of time. I have a 9-5 day job and think it's important to make time for a social life, so I tend to sneak in writing in 20-30 minute bouts throughout the day. I'm sure it is 100% NOT the way you are supposed to write, so definitely find another role model for that. 

My inspiration is from whatever is catching my attention. For my current project, DRAWN, I drew inspiration from a variety of things including modern day graffiti, the riots in Egypt and Alias. Hmm…when I put it like that, it sounds insane.

Big thanks to Cecilia for allowing me to pick her brain!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Suddenly You is the perfect addition to this short, sweet and absolutely swoon-worthy series. It has everything a YA romance fan could need: a bit o' drama, a lot of kissing and a mission to save what's dear to them. Cecilia Gray's fourth installment of the Jane Austen Academy series ties in wonderfully with the first four and will leave readers more than ready for book five!

Fanny is stressed. She's constantly busy with keeping up her grades, earning her scholarship and trying to become the next Olympic track star. When she overhears some distressing news about the future of Jane Austen Academy, she, at the urging of her new friends, adds actress to that list. Fanny's junior year at Jasta may not be going as she had planned, but will her newfound friends, and swoony boys make it worth it?

I can definitely relate to Fanny's constant pressure and that is probably one reason it was so easy to fall into this book. She's a flawed, but kind girl who has her heart set on her future and isn't going to let anything get it the way of it. That's extremely admirable in my opinion. Gray has always written female protagonists that instantly likable and Fanny's no different. Tran, too, is a fantastic male lead. He is so good for Fanny, and their relationship made me laugh. I adore Tran. (His tongue ring and tattoos may help that along a bit.) The other character I enjoyed seeing was Josh. If you've read the previous books in this series (which you don't have to, each of these books can be read as a stand-alone), you'd know that Josh isn't the nicest guy. Seeing him in Suddenly You was great because even though he was the antagonist in previous books, Gray gives him a good side, a backstory that makes him relatable. He'll tug at your heartstrings and have you wishing for him to get a happily-ever-after as well!

This is a very short story, but an engaging one nonetheless. It's fun read that will have readers feeling happy and satisfied. The plot moves quickly, but the pace is very steady and never feels rushed. It's simple and oh-so-cute. Though I must say, Suddenly You is by far the sexiest installment yet--what with tongue rings, tattoos, bras and Tran in a towel. 

The wait for book five, Only With You, is too long! I cannot wait to get my hands on it, especially since Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel! Pick up these books and you'll understand why I adore this author and have read everything she has written. Her stories never fail to hook me, and I am so looking forward to seeing what Gray's writing ability takes her! (Girl's got major talent.)
I received an e-copy of this novel from the author for my honest opinion and review.

Thank you Tabby from IMR Blog Tours and Cecilia Gray for allowing me to partake in this tour!


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. I love to learn new things about my favorite authors. Thank you for this amazing interview.

  2. Awesome post! I wish I could take up archery- but I think I'd be a bit scared of accidentally shooting someone (I'm a bit uncoordinated haha)

  3. It's good to learn about a new series based on Jane Austen's novels and characters as I adore her works. I have not had the opportunity to read the books yet but I plan to. Cecilia Gray is one author that I love to know more. The review for Suddenly You is well written.


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