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Today I’m delighted to spotlight Karen M Cox’s first audiobook, I Could Write a Book, which is a variation of Jane Austen’s Emma set in Kentucky during the 1970s. I had the honor of taking part in the blog tour in 2017 when the book was first released, and I absolutely loved it. (Feel free to check out my review.)

To celebrate its release as an audiobook, I invited Karen to share her playlist for the novel. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Hello everyone! And thank you, Anna, for inviting me to stop in at Diary of an Eccentric to celebrate the release of my first audiobook, I Could Write a Book, narrated by Emily Rahm.

I Could Write a Book was a story that was several years in the making. I started it soon after finishing Find Wonder in All Things, thinking it would be the next stop on my “Jane Austen in the 20th Century” journey. It wasn’t, as it turned out, because I had other stories banging on the inside of my head that had to burst forth. But finally, in September 2017, I Could Write a Book made its way to ebook and print formats.

I became interested in audiobook production early last year and put two of my titles, I Could Write a Book and Son of a Preacher Man on ACX to look for the perfect narrators. I had already decided to wait for a narrator that I thought was just right for the stories, and if it happened, that was great, but if not, I’d try again another time. I’d nearly given up when I heard Emily’s audition. She was very nearly perfect!

Audiobooks are a natural extension of my writing process, I think. I’ve used music as a “muse-enhancer” for years and make playlists for most everything I write. It isn’t so much that I write to music (I find it too distracting.) Rather I use the music to delve deeper into a character or scene, help me flesh it out a bit more.

Plus, playlists = fun!

I Could Write a Book’s playlist was probably the easiest one I’ve made so far. Many of the songs are from Me Decade. The 1970s, no matter what one might think about the hairstyles or the fashions, were good years music. I was a child and early adolescent during that decade (born in 1965) so I remember a lot of the songs playing on the radio.

I Could Write a Book’s playlist is also the longest I’ve created—45 titles strong. Some songs suggested scenes to me: Perry Como’s “Home for the Holidays” sets the stage for a Christmas party at Donwell Farms; “Love Train” (the O’Jays) tells us Emma’s mindset when she is in full match-making mode; and “Junior’s Farm” by Wings could be playing in the background at George Knightley’s Donwell strawberry party. Sometimes it’s the lyrics that speak to me; sometimes the music just sets a scene’s mood.

Of course, there are a couple of great representatives of the whole story: “I Could Write a Book” as sung by Harry Connick, Jr. from the When Harry Met Sally soundtrack has a friends-to-lovers vibe that’s perfect for the book, and “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen is another example.

A couple of song titles are mentioned specifically in scenes from the book: Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” is playing when George arrives to help Emma watch their toddler nephew and colicky niece and realizes she’s got it all in hand. “Color My World” by Chicago is playing while Emma broods over “losing” George.

What surprised me most, though, was how many of these songs informed characters’ personalities and actions for me. For those of you familiar with the music of the time, consider Emma’s predictable existence deftly described in “Another Day” by Wings, or George’s swoon-worthiness as sung by Karen Carpenter in “Close to You.”

Or, can’t you just see the mysterious Frank Churchill arriving to the beginning riff of “Gimme Shelter” on his way to shake up little Highbury? Or poor Jane Fairfax at her piano, wistfully singing “What I Did for Love”?  Obviously, Emma and George have to dance to Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” And Emma and George’s love story is traced through several songs: “Sister Golden Hair” (America), “I’m Not in Love (10cc), “Wild World” (Cat Stevens), “Show Me the Way” (Peter Frampton), and Harry Connick Jr.’s “It Had to Be You”, to name a few.

I hope you all will enjoy the audiobook for I Could Write a Book. While you’re waiting for an audiobook credit, or maybe in between listening to the chapters, be sure to check out the playlist and see if you can spot the characters in the music.

Spotify Playlist

Note: On YouTube, I sometimes choose a live version for a playlist—for the energy, or the arrangement—or just if I like the live rendition better. I love live music!

YouTube Playlist

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About I Could Write a Book

A Modern Variation of Jane Austen’s Emma (For fans of romantic comedy, coming of age, historical romance, and Southern fiction)

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…” Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village 200 years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered, and predictable, if a bit confining. Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy, and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

Listen to a sample/Buy on Audible

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About the Author

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of five novels accented with history and romance. She also loves writing short stories and has contributed to four Austen-inspired anthologies.

I Could Write a Book is her first audiobook.

Karen was born in Everett, WA, but now lives in a quiet little Central Kentucky town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

Connect with Karen: WebsiteAmazon Author PageAll Karen’s Spotify PlaylistsKaren’s You Tube Channel (videos, playlists, etc.)

If you would like bits of authorly goodness in your inbox each month (updates, sales, book recommendations, etc.) sign up for her News & Muse Letter. She loves to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. Contact her through social media, her website, or on-line stores.

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About the Narrator

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Emily Rahm is an actress residing in New York City with her husband, Kendall, and her dog, Monroe. She loves to read, so narrating was a natural extension of her literary affinities and her acting skills. Her favorite movie is The Princess Bride, and her favorite ice cream flavor is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. You can find her at her website, on Twitter, and on Instagram (emkrahm).

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Source: Review copy from author
Rating: ★★★★★

No, he couldn’t blame the young men in the crowd for following her around the room. He even admired her restraint given all that male attention. One thing about Emma, admiration for her looks alone didn’t turn her head; the poor fellow also had to flatter her brains and her sparkling personality to stir her vanity.

(from I Could Write a Book)

Karen M Cox’s latest novel, I Could Write a Book, is a variation of Jane Austen’s Emma set in 1970s Kentucky. Cox’s Emma Woodhouse is a college student who has sacrificed her future to care for her father following a stroke, and her George Knightley is a lawyer whose family has been connected to the Woodhouse’s since he was a child. Emma’s father was George’s father’s partner at Knightley and Woodhouse, and George and Emma have been close friends throughout the years, while George was away at college, through his long list of female companions, and throughout the illnesses of both Emma’s parents.

Cox does a fantastic job modernizing the story, keeping events and challenges true to the times while allowing the original novel to shine through. Mrs. Taylor has become Emma’s aunt, Nina, who cared for Emma and her sister Izzy while they were growing up without a mother; Harriet Smith has become Mary Jo, a secretary in George’s office who is just as flighty and easily swayed as Harriet; Mr. Elton has become Tim Elton, who is seeking a career in politics and a wife who will assist in those ambitions. Frank (Churchill) Weston, Jane Fairfax, Miss Bates (Helen), and the rest of Emma‘s cast of characters are featured here, and I loved going with the flow and seeing how the story would play out in a different setting.

I couldn’t help but love Emma even when it was obvious that her scheming was misguided. By giving readers a glimpse of Emma’s childhood and her bond with her mother, I felt like I really got to know her and understand why she was so willing to put her life on hold to take care of her father. I loved getting a peek into George’s head as well, and showing some of his romantic relationships made it so much better when his feelings for his best friend began to change. I’ve always loved Mr. Knightley, so I wasn’t surprised that I fell in love with him here.

As with Undeceived, where Cox transformed Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet into Cold War-era spies, I Could Write a Book showcases Cox’s cleverness and understanding of Austen’s characters in shaking things up while at the same time maintaining the structure of the original. Emma is one of my favorite Austen novels, and when I saw that Cox was writing a new spin on it, I expected it to be fantastic…and I wasn’t disappointed! Another contender for my Best of 2017 list, and another addition to my auto-buy author list!

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About I Could Write a Book

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…”

Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered and predictable, if a bit confining.

Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

Goodreads | Amazon (universal link)

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About the Author

Karen M Cox

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of novels accented with romance and history, including 1932 and its companion ebook novella The Journey Home, and the novels Find Wonder in All Things and Undeceived. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and a story titled, “I, Darcy” to The Darcy Monologues.

Karen was born in Everett, WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

If you would like bits of authorly goodness in your inbox once a month (updates, sales, book recommendations, etc.) sign up for News & Muse Letter

Karen loves to hear from readers, so don’t be shy. Contact her through social media, her website, or online sites like Amazon and Goodreads.

Connect with Karen via website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Amazon Author Page 

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Giveaway

Karen is generously offering two themed prize packages as tokens of appreciation for readers of I Could Write a Book and for supporters of the wonderful sites on the blog tour.

Tea Prize Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, Mr. Knightley’s Reserve and Emma’s Perfect Match teas from Bingley’s Teas, a set of Jane Austen Book Coasters, and a Jane Austen Quotes mug.

Pretty Things Basket includes: A signed copy of I Could Write a Book, an “Emma” quote pendant, an Emma bangle bracelet, Regency cameo earrings, and a jewelry roll.

Readers can enter for chances to win these prizes by clicking here. There are bonus entries for social media shares and visits, if you’re on social media. These giveaways are open internationally and end on October 7, 2017. You must enter through the Rafflecopter link. Good luck!

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Laughing with Lizzie / September 6 / Launch Post/Dating Game / Giveaway

So little time… / September 7 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Book Lover in Florida / September 8 / Guest post / Giveaway

Austenesque Reviews / September 15 / Book Review/ Giveaway

My Love for Jane Austen / September 16 / Guest Post / Giveaway

Granny Loves to Read  / September 17 / Book Review / Giveaway

My Jane Austen Book Club / September 18/ Guest Post/Mr. Knightley / Giveaway

Just Jane 1813 / September 19 / Author Interview / Giveaway

Sophia’s Sofa Chat / September 21 / An Interview with Karen M Cox on Goodreads

Babblings of a Bookworm/ / September 22 / Book Review/ Giveaway

Silver Petticoat Review / September 23/ Guest Post/ Giveaway

From Pemberley to Milton / September 25 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway

Margie’s Must Reads / September 27 / Book Review / Giveaway

My Vices and Weaknesses / September 30 / Book Review / Giveaway

Diary of an Eccentric / October 2 / Book Review / Giveaway

More Agreeably Engaged / October 4 / Book Excerpt / Giveaway 

Disclosure: I received I Could Write a Book from the author for review.

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