Today on Monday Give Away, we have… a copy of Syrie James’s latest, Jane Austen’s First Love!

Here’s the official blurb:

syrieFifteen-year-old Jane Austen dreams of three things: doing something useful, writing something worthy, and falling madly in love. When she visits her brother in Kent to celebrate his engagement, she meets wealthy, devilishly handsome Edward Taylor—a fascinating young man who is truly worthy of her affections. Jane knows a match between her and Edward is unlikely, but every moment she spends with him makes her heart race—and he seems to return her interest. Much to her displeasure, however, there is another seeking his attention

Unsure of her budding relationship, Jane seeks distraction by attempting to correct the pairings of three other prospective couples. But when her matchmaking aspirations do not all turn out as anticipated, Jane discovers the danger of relying on first impressions. The human heart cannot be easily deciphered, nor can it be directed or managed. And if others must be left to their own devices in matters of love and matrimony, can Jane even hope to satisfy her own heart?

I very much enjoyed Syrie’s The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen when it came out a few years ago– and she has very generously offered a copy of Jane Austen’s First Love for today’s give away. Jane Austen’s books have been printed and reprinted, but her personal life remains mysterious, so it’s always tantalizing to get a peek into what might have been.

So, for a copy of Jane Austen’s First Love, here’s your question:

— Which novelist’s life would you like to know more about?

The winner will be announced on Wednesday.


  1. Daniele K on August 18, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I’m sure there is already quite a bit out there, but Agatha Christie would be fascinating.

    • Syrie James on August 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I love Agatha Christie, too. I’ve read all her books and her autobiography. She was amazingly prolific and so talented. I love the story that she got her best ideas while relaxing in the bathtub and eating an apple. I’ve tried it–it works!

    • SuzanneH on August 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Agatha Christie’s autobiography was wonderful. She also wrote a fabulously funny book called “Come Tell Me How You Live,” which is an autobiographical account of her trips to archaeological digs in the middle east with her husband between the wars. It has been out of print for many years but can still be found on 2nd hand sites such as Abe Books.

  2. Jocelyn Wang on August 18, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Definetly Jane herself, her writing can appeal to anyone from any time, situation, or circumstances, but we rarely know the real Jane Austen—how her experiences shaped the six novels we love to love then and now.

  3. Kayse on August 18, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I’ve read “Invincible Louisa” about her, as well as the fun, imaginative novel by Kelly O’Connor McNees, but I would love to know more about the life of Louisa May Alcott.

  4. Winter on August 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

    My pick would be Zane Grey. What a history, I’d like to see more of his early years to learn what made him into the man he became.

  5. Pat D on August 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I think Rudyard Kipling’s life would be pretty interesting. Although I would love to know about that time Agatha Christie went missing!

  6. Jane on August 18, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Jane Austen – I agree that what makes it so intriguing is so much is not known; yet we see a glimpse of who she was through her writing.

  7. Katie on August 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  8. Devin on August 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Always love reading about Jane Austen’s life but would also like to know about Agatha Christie.

  9. Momma Sue on August 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Noel Streatfeld!

  10. Catie on August 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    The Bronte sisters!

    • Syrie James on August 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      I’m crazy about the Bronte sisters, too. The Bronte family’s story–Charlotte’s life in particular, and the true story of her real life romance–is so fascinating that I researched it for two years and brought it to life in my novel “The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte,” which I’m thrilled to say won all kinds of awards. You can find out more at:!

  11. jeffrey on August 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Apart from Jane Austen herself, I am most fascinated with the Bronte sisters and how so much talent came to reside in those women.

    • Syrie James on August 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Jeffrey, I couldn’t agree with you more. The fact that three sisters who lived is the middle of nowhere and had no contacts whatsoever in the publishing world, managed to become published authors within a few months of each other–with novels that are to this day considered among the best of romance fiction–is astonishing. I felt such a responsibility to be true to their spirits and genius in my novel about the Brontes, and hope you think I got it right!

  12. Sheila on August 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Seton, loved her books and there seems to be something a bit mysterious about her life.

  13. Sue Luce on August 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Ian Fleming.

  14. Chelsea F on August 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Alexandre Dumas(pere), Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, or Baroness Orczy. So hard to decide!!! Fascinating people who wrote fascinating books and we know so little about them!

  15. Jennifer on August 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Ann Radcliffe…is that weird? And of course, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, for purely selfish reasons.

    • Betty S. on August 19, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Have you read Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin? Primarily about Alice Liddell, sometimes reputed to be “Alice” in Wonderland.

  16. Emily on August 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Diana Wynne Jones and Elizabeth Peters.

  17. Marie on August 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Naomi Novik

  18. Lúthien84 on August 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Definitely Jane Austen. Some parts of her life are shrouded in mystery as her sister burnt and censored thousands of her letters. I would love to learn of her mysterious suitor and how he won her heart.

  19. Syrie James on August 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you so much, Lauren, for hosting this giveaway! I am honored to be here, and hope everyone enjoys the novel. To learn more about Jane Austen’s First Love and my other books, please visit I look forward to all your comments!

  20. Meredith A on August 18, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    The Bronte sisters, definitely.

  21. Joan on August 18, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    D.E. Stevenson or Georgette Heyer. I’ve also often wanted to know more about Agatha Christie’s amnesia episode.

  22. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon on August 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I would have to vote for Elizabeth Gaskill.

  23. Beverly Edgcombe on August 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    I read many Bobsey Twin Books.
    Laura Lee Hope

  24. Vesper Meikle on August 18, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I think I would like to know more about Mrs Margaret Oliphant as I love her books

  25. Jayne J. on August 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I think I would like to know more about Pearl S. Buck.

  26. Sarah R on August 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I would have to say Jane Austen!

  27. bn100 on August 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Mark Twain

  28. Kathy Miller on August 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Maeve Binchy

  29. Schilds on August 18, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I would love to know more about Anne Bronte. To me her writing was better than her well known sisters.

  30. Patsy Turner on August 18, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I would love to know more about Jan Karon.

  31. Karen H on August 18, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Beatrix Potter is a very interesting character, would love to learn more about her life!

  32. Paige on August 19, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Jane Austen is always fascinating to me.

  33. SuzanneH on August 19, 2014 at 8:17 am

    M M Kaye. Her autobiographies finished at Indian independence in 1947. I so wish she had started earlier and got to her adventures following her husband around with the British Army during the 40s and 50s. She went to so many amazing places and lived a lifestyle that has now vanished. It would be amazing if somebody could pick up her story after the end of her autobiography and continue it.

  34. Meg on August 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I grew up idolizing young adult author Meg Cabot (and she’s a Meg, too!), so I would eagerly devour anything written about her life!

  35. Lynn F on August 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    There are so many wonderful authors to choose from who I would like to know more about, so it is difficult to choose! Jane Austen would be at the top of the list 🙂

  36. Joan on August 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I so agree with SuzanneH about M.M. Kaye. I loved her 3 volume autobiography, but she stopped too soon. Would love to know more of her life as an officer’s wife and author.

  37. Christina on August 19, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Maud Hart Lovelace, I would love to know more about her, if only to hypothesize about what happened to Betsy and Joe and Margaret and Tony!

  38. Cindy on August 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Elizabeth Gaskell. I imagine she knew such a variety of women, and also some very special men.

  39. Betty S. on August 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    The Bronte Sisters as many have mentioned above. Also, Daphne DuMaurier.

    I didn’t reply to win Syrie’s book, as my daughter attended her book signing last Saturday in Santa Monica, and I already have an autographed copy coming. However, I just wanted to comment on how wonderful Syrie’s books are. I have read The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen; The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen; Dracula, My Love; and Nocturne. All are absolutely wonderful! I also own The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, and must try to get to it soon, especially after Syrie’s comments above. Can’t say enough about her writing, and am lucky to have a daughter on the west coast who will attend events for me and mail books to the east coast!

  40. Alexandra on August 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Bronte sisters, pretty much any female writer who lived back then, since it was so much more difficult to be published then.

  41. NovElla on August 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I’d like to learn more about William Shakespeare—we seem to know so little about his writing career. And of course, Jane Austen 🙂 .

  42. Robin Driscoll on August 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I would have to say Agatha Christie. I love the cover of this book!!

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