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Hello, my friends! I hope you’re as excited as I am about Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, the latest Austen-inspired anthology from Christina Boyd and her talented team of authors. I apologize that I didn’t finish reading the book in time to post my review, but while you wait for my complete thoughts, just know that the stories I’ve read so far are fantastic and emphasize all the reasons why Elizabeth Bennet is our favorite Obstinate, Headstrong Girl.

One of those stories is Leigh Dreyer’s “The Last Blind Date,” a modern-day story that imagines Elizabeth as a grad student/waitress and Darcy as a soon-to-be oil company CEO. It’s set in Oklahoma, where (from what I gathered from the story) football is life (my husband would agree), and takes our dear couple on a blind date to a college football game.

I’m delighted to have Leigh as my guest today to celebrate the release of Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl. Please give her a warm welcome as she shares with us her “Elizabeth” story!

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Why Elizabeth? by Leigh Dreyer

Meg Ryan said it best in You’ve Got Mail when she said, “The heroine of Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. She is one of the greatest and most complex characters ever written, not that you would know.” Elizabeth Bennet is one of a million classic heroines alongside the likes of Jo March, Margaret Hale, Anne Shirley, Sara Crewe, Meg Murry, or Hermione Granger. All of these women are intelligent, kind, romantic, obstinate, and headstrong, but only Elizabeth Bennet is the perfect combination of all of those traits.

How did I fall in love with Elizabeth?

I first was exposed to Pride and Prejudice in high school. I started reading it, but I had a lot of trouble understanding the cultural aspects. What’s a dance card? Why are they walking around the room? Where are “the lakes” (are there only like seven in all of England)? I finished it, but I hate to say that it made little impact on my day to day. In college I watched the 2005 movie, and something clicked. I began to see Elizabeth’s intricacies. I saw how she loved fiercely, sought for intelligence, killed people (especially Caroline) with kindness, and learned from her mistakes. I re-read the book and later found JAFF and continue to delve more deeply into Elizabeth’s fierce personality on a regular basis.

How did my story come to life?

“The Last Blind Date” was sparked by the story of how my in-laws met. They were set up on a blind date to an Oregon University football game (Go Ducks!) As my father-in-law later told me, they hated each other when they first met. They were fire and ice. Like Darcy and Elizabeth, they later came to their senses and have now been married for more than forty-five years.

My mother-in-law is another obstinate, headstrong girl who has followed my father-in-law across the world and back. She raised six children while the family lived in the Philippines when President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos (famous for owning more than 3000 pairs of luxury shoes) were ousted during the People Power Revolution of 1986. They lived in housing originally constructed before World War I in Hawaii right on the canal leading into Pearl Harbor. They also lived in Ohio, Washington, Alaska, Alabama, and Oklahoma.

Just like Elizabeth, she was willing to turn down a suitor who would have provided financial security for a man who would become the love of her life. Luckily, I found her son who happens to be mine. This story is just a fun idea from that first date story, but I’m glad it was their last blind date.

LEIGH DREYER is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way: “You know the ‘Great Balls of Fire’ scene in Top Gun (‘Goose, you big stud!’), where Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane obsessed son, a “pink pilot” daughter, and a newborn boy, who at two months had already been on six flights. Connect with Leigh via Facebook / website

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About Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl

#OmgItsOHG TOUR

“Obstinate, headstrong girl!” For over two hundred years, Elizabeth Bennet has enchanted and inspired readers by being that “obstinate, headstrong girl” willing to stand up to the arrogance and snobbery of her so-called betters. Described by Austen as having a “lively, playful disposition,” Elizabeth embodies the perfect imperfections of strong-willed women everywhere: she is spirited, witty, clever, and loyal.

In this romance anthology, ten Austenesque authors sketch Elizabeth’s character through a collection of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times. In ELIZABETH: OBSTINATE, HEADSTRONG GIRL, she bares her most intimate thoughts, all the while offering biting social commentary about life’s absurdities. Elizabeth overcomes the obstacles of others’ opinions, not to mention her own flaws, to find a love truly worthy of her—her Mr. Darcy—all with humor and her sparkling charm.

“I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, January 1813―and we think so too!

Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare.

Stories by Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, Joana Starnes, Karen M Cox, Elizabeth Adams, Leigh Dreyer, J. Marie Croft, and Christina Boyd.

Amazon | Goodreads

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Giveaway

Christina and her team of authors are offering a very generous giveaway for the blog tour: The #OmgItsOHG (Oh-my-gosh, it’s Obstinate Headstrong Girl) Blog Tour began February 18 with announcement and cover reveal at Austenesque Reviews, and we hope you will continue to join us and connect with each author about their “Elizabeth” story. We’ve included a Grand Prize package giveaway (a book of your choosing from each of the eleven author’s backlist) as well as additional giveaway: my Silly Austen-inspired blank note cards and coordinating coffee mug. Open worldwide, so be sure to participate. 1) Enter the Rafflecopter for the Grand Prize package of books, and 2) comment on the blog stops to be counted for the additional giveaway (you need not comment everywhere to be entered in that drawing but we hope you’ll have your share of the conversation.) Ends March 31. Good luck!

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