By Trix Wilkins
Been enjoying being part of In the Bookcase’s Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge this year – and so, in honor of the final week, I’m running a Comment Challenge to give away a copy of The Courtship of Jo March.
Photograph by Greg Bridges
How to enter
You may enter in one of two ways 🙂 Please post your responses in the comment section below:
1) Ask a question about the novel (if you prefer, you may email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org)
2) Answer the question: “Why do you think Jo and Laurie should have been together?”
You will then go into a draw to win an eBook ARC of the novel.
(If you’re really keen you can do both! You can also ask more than one question but everyone goes into the draw only once ;))
I will be accepting entries during these final seven days of the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge – after which I’ll write up a blog post to answer them (and of course announce the winner, unless they would prefer to remain anonymous).
If questions are similar or related to others I may choose to combine them, but I would still count each person as having entered the challenge. I can’t promise I’ll be able to answer all questions satisfactorily but will certainly try!
Why this book?
I’m one of those readers in the awkward position of being utterly in love with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women yet wishing things had worked out differently for Jo, Laurie and Beth. Whilst on holiday I started doodling, “What if Laurie had proposed like this…” and The Courtship of Jo March was born.
Description (what’s on the back cover)
Authoress Jo March has lost her elder sister Meg to matrimony. When the aristocratic Vaughns – elegant Kate, boisterous Fred, thoughtful Frank, and feisty Grace – re-enter their lives, it seems her younger sisters Beth and Amy, and even her closest friend Laurie, might soon follow suit.
Yet despite the efforts of her great-aunt March, Jo is determined not to give up her liberty for any mortal man. Besides, she’s occupied with saving to travel abroad, securing music lessons for Beth, and befriending aspirant journalist Tommy Chamberlain.
The Marches’ neighbor Theodore “Laurie” Laurence was born with looks, talent, and wealth – and Jo is convinced he has a promising future in which she has no part. He is as stubborn as Jo, and has loved her for as long as anyone can remember. But what will win a woman who won’t marry for love or money?
Set in the 1870s, this re-imagining of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is for all who have ever wondered how things might have worked out differently for the beloved March sisters – the life Beth might have led, the books Jo might have written, the friends they might have made, and the courtship that might have been…
An excerpt (what Laurie might have written to Jo)
My dearest friend,
I could not believe my eyes upon reading your letter – how could it be possible, that I would receive such words from you! There was nothing to do but to write to you immediately, for such sentiments demand a response, and you cannot know how honored I am that you would entrust such things of your heart to me.
I wish I could be there right now, at this very instant, peering over your shoulder in the garret with a basket of apples, cheering you on, riding up and down the streets with your latest piece for publication to the world, as we once did (though perhaps, not keeping the secret as well as I did then!), and shouting, “Hail Jo March, our great and celebrated American authoress!”
For that is what you are Jo, that is who you are – you are an author. You cannot cease to write any more than you can cease to breathe. I know you. This difficult season will pass – your eyes and mind will inevitably be opened once more to the wealth of ideas all around you, as they always have been. For you see things that most do not, and you care to know of things that most do not.
On reading your letter, I couldn’t help but tell you immediately, and attempt to render to you the service you once so kindly and generously did me – Jo, keep writing stories, keep writing books. Keep learning, keep reading! For you are absolutely brilliant at it, Jo, and as of yet there is nothing I have read that compares to what you write.
My dear friend, keep writing – for I fear you will lose your heart, to lose your writing. And even if the ideas around you fall short of what you seek – even if, as you say, you have not the heart to write… perhaps it is your heart you ought to write of.
P.S. Please find enclosed a small gift I had the audacity to purchase for you in London. I came across this title, fresh off the press as they say, and immediately thought of you. May your adventures end, only to give way to new ones.
If you’re wanting to read more…
If you’re keen for a longer excerpt, sample chapters are available to download for free here 🙂 If you simply can’t wait for the Challenge to finish (or you’re reading this after entries have closed…), the eBook package is available here (social discount of 20% for sharing!).
Thank you everyone for all your encouragement and support! I’m looking forward to your questions and comments 🙂
P.S. If you’ve read/are reading anything related to Louisa May Alcott this month, it’s not too late to join the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge and link up! This includes LMA’s original works plus biographies, spin-offs, variations and adaptations. Simply hop over to In the Bookcase and enter the URL to your blog post, its title and a contact email address, and you’re in 🙂