Cozy Wednesday with Author Joanna Campbell Slan (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am jumping up and down today because I am thrilled Joanna is here plus I can’t wait to tell you all about her new book and this new series. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite reads. I reread it often and must say it was one of the few books that I was forced to read in high school that I actually enjoyed and have worn out several copies. When I heard Joanna was writing The Jane Eyre Chronicles I knew I was going to love them. If you haven’t read Jane Eyre you can get it at for your Kindle for free. A great book to check out from the library as well. But you can just take the plunge into Death of a Schoolgirl even if you have not read the classic as the author drops us masterfully into Jane Eyre Rochester’s life. I will continue my praise in my review after Joanna’s post.

Please join me in welcoming Joanna Campbell Slan!

Hi Joanna!

Hi Everyone!

A storm is brewing outside my window. Isaac threatens us here on the Florida coast, and the sea is rough with the slap-slap-slap of waves. A low drumroll of thunder grumbles in the distance, a harbinger of the wild weather to come.

Far from being afraid, I look forward to the stormy weather. You never know what the seas will toss onto the sand! After a storm, I love looking for shells and bits of treasures. However, not so long ago, someone walking these beaches could have easily come upon a half-drown sailor. Ships were often blown off course and crashed on the Anastasia rock formation, a barrier that runs parallel to the shore. Back in 1876, the government built five “houses of refuge” up and down the coast of Florida. These were places charged with offering temporary shelter to sailors. A decade later ten more were added. But today, only one still exists, the House of Refuge on Gilbert’s Bar, on the St. Lucie Rocks, on Hutchison Island, Florida.

Although I’ve visited the House of Refuge many times, I dropped in again yesterday. As always, I was fascinated by the artifacts from the past. One item in particular interested me this time—the large piece of hair work adoring a wall of the dining room. Now I can’t imagine anyone on HGTV suggesting, “Oh, let’s put a humongous wreath made of human hair over your dining room table!” At least, not without the homeowners gagging. But years ago, it was quite the thing.

 As you can tell, I have a passion for history. When I wrote Death of a Schoolgirl, I immersed myself in the years 1820-21. Imagining the smells of London, the sorts of clothing women wore, the way people spoke, the food they ate, the places they went, well, I enjoyed every minute of it. Hardest of all was to capture the mindset of the people of that time.

Today we worry about climate change. About the shooting sprees that seem rampant in our country. About the upcoming election. These concerns color the way we live our daily lives. Growing up during the Cold War, I worried about Russia hitting us with a nuclear bomb. Sociologists suggest that the tenor of our formative years shapes who we are as adults. For example, my grandmother grew up during the Great Depression. As an adult, she saved tin foil and rubber bands. When she died, we cleaned out cabinets full of such “treasures!” To us, it seemed silly, but to her, such economies gave comfort.

When I sit down to write about another era, I try to imagine the zeitgeist of times gone by. By doing so, I can approach my characters more honestly, with compassion for them. As a result, I hope they are more real to my readers…because they certainly are to me!


Thank you Joanna for visiting today. Your characters jump right off the pages and into our hearts.

About This Author

Joanna Campbell Slan is the author of Death of a Schoolgirl (The Jane Eyre Chronicles)(Berkley), the first book in a new series featuring Jane Eyre as an amateur sleuth.  She also writes the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series and has the Southern Beauty Shop Series in the works. To learn more, visit Joanna at

2012 best historical cozy

Death of a Schoolgirl
(The Jane Eyre Chronicles)

A Brand New Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Publish by The Penguin Group (August 7, 2012)
Cover Art by Alan Ayers
Cover Design by George Long
Trade Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425247747

Death of a Schoolgirl


In her classic tale, Charlotte Brontë introduced readers to the strong-willed and intelligent Jane Eyre. Picking up where Brontë left off, Jane’s life has settled into a comfortable pattern: She and her beloved Edward Rochester are married and have an infant son. But Jane soon finds herself in the midst of new challenges and threats to those she loves…

Jane and Edward are very upset by a letter they receive from Adèle Varens, Rochester’s ward. She is residing at a boarding school in London and the letter is a cry for help. Adèle has a tendency to be a bit dramatic and she craves attention but Jane feels Adèle is truly in trouble.

Jane decides she must go to London immediately even if that means leaving her son and invalid husband behind, traveling alone into the big city. Her travels are event filled but nothing comes close to arriving at the school just in time to see a body being removed. A classmate of Adèle’s has died and no one seems very upset. Jane uses the chaos created by a teacher leaving and her replacement being delayed to pose as an instructor to find out what is really going on behind the walls of the school. She starts to uncover some “unsavory secrets” that may lead to her own demise.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
A FANTASTIC STORY!!!! This is one of those that earns well beyond the five stars!!!

Joanna Campbell Slan has masterfully dropped us right into Jane’s life. She picks up right where Charlotte Bronte leaves off and spins a wonderful tale turning Jane Eyre into a Nancy Drew from 1820. What a marvelous idea.

Jane has evolved into a wife and a mother still retaining the complexity and strength that Bronte created. She has overcome so much in her life and emerged a strong woman with a compassionate heart. Edward Rochester has grown as well, coming to terms with his disabilities as the high price for the errors of his past, but not letting them consume him.  Together they are the perfect match and their love just shines. The author has made these characters jump right off the page and into our hearts. A trip back in time to visit some dear old friends.

The mystery is dynamic with many twists, turns and surprises. It is well researched giving the reader a clear sense of history and place.

Beautifully written. The writing style reminds me of Charlotte Bronte herself. While the novel Jane Eyre was  said to be “ahead of its time” and explored many social themes and mores, this “chronicle” is timed perfectly to show us life as the Rochester’s move forward.  Their eyes are have now been opened to the world outside Ferndean Manor. As the make plans to rebuild Thornfield Hall I see them taking on more responsibilities as landowners to care of the people around them. 

This will be one of my Best Reads of 2012. Right now it holds the top spot!! A Extraordinary Read!! A More Than PERFECT ESCAPE!! A great way to introduce a new generation to Jane Eyre.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Would you like to win a copy of this wonderful book?

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Joanne for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

53 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Joanna Campbell Slan (Giveaway too!)

  1. Ahh I absolutely cannot wait to read this book! 🙂 It has jumped to the top of my tbr list! Thank you for the post, and for the opportunity to win 🙂

  2. The thing that joins both writers and readers is getting into the lives of others. Thanks for writing. Dee

  3. Jane Eyre was always a favorite of mine when I was younger, so I am interested in trying this series. Thanks.

  4. Joanna,

    I can’t wait to read this book. I have been a fan of yours since you were writing the scrapbook journaling prompt books. Thank you and keep up the good work.

    1. Aren’t you kind? You should see how my son has grown! Remember him from the photos in my books? He’s 23 now. Can you believe it! If you enjoyed my scrapbooking, you might like my Kiki Lowenstein series because she is a scrapbooker.

  5. First of all, thank you so much Dollycas for your kind words. They mean more to me than you can ever know. I loved writing this book because like so many Jane Eyre fans, I never wanted the original to end!

  6. I like the idea of knowing what happened to someone after you have read a book about them. This seems to fit the bill telling what happened to Jane Eyre. Thank, Joanna.

  7. Joanna, this book sounds wonderful! I love Jane Eyre! Love the book and the old movie with Orson Wells! I cannot wait to read it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. It’s been so many years since I read Jane Eyre that I think I’d better go to the library and pick up a copy to read before I read your new book.

  9. Was nice to “meet” Joanna and hear about this brand new series! I can’t wait to dive in! P&P gets all kinds of press, glad to see Jane catching up!

  10. Joanna-
    I too like to pick up shells when we get to a beach. You have a very positive attitude toward storms! This looks like a great book, with the history and culture of that era immersed in it. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  11. Oh, Margie, if you could see all the shells I have, you would laugh. I could start my own beach–and yes, I love storms. As for the history and culture, I keep researching and learning–and then I’ll share with all of you.

  12. Great review . this is the kind of book I enjoy reading. It is also nice that you take the time to personally respond to each person who comments on your blog . That puts a personal touch to it that no other blog does. When I win books and read them I pass them on to other avid readers that I know would enjoy them too. No book goes unread

  13. This book sounds awesome….I can’t wait to read it….Thank you so much for the chance to win

  14. I too, enjoyed Jane Eyre in high school..all those years ago. I want to read your book Ms. Slan as in the synopsis, it is a sort of Part Two..seeing what happens after the last page. I admire you writing a book with characters that as a reader, I will be smack in the middle of their lives. It is on my to-read-list on Goodreads. Wishing you much success.

  15. Oh I love these types of books and Jane Eyre was one of the books that I read in High School in which I thought was interesting. I can’t wait 🙂 .

  16. i sat in on a panel which Joanna was part of at MaliceDomestic back in April, & when she mentioned about the release of Death of a Schoolgirl, i was alllll excited for it!!!

    good luck & congrats to Joanna!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!!

  17. I love books based on characters like this and look forward to checking your stories out. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. This book looks great! I’ve never read a “historical cozy mystery” but love historical fiction and cozy mysteries so this sounds like a perfect combination! Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it!

  19. The story line really appeals to me, and I am fascinated by the time period. This sounds like a great read!

  20. Joanne is a new author to me but Lori’s review has me as excited as she obviously was for this book!

    I always love reading how authors choose their stories and how they handle writing historical fiction so thank you for sharing, Joanne.

    Terrific giveaway – – thanks so much for the opportunity!

  21. Jane Eyre as Nancy Drew. That’s a very intriguing pairing! I can’t wait to read it and having a chance to win the book is even better, Thanks!

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