Monday, September 5, 2016

Cherished Memories

It's that time again - time that I shuffle from expensive Manhattan apartment to expensive Manhattan apartment offering me a new a lease. This means, for me, getting rid of a lot of books. I know that sounds like heresy, but it's actually quite hard to shlep around 800+ books from apartment to apartment if you move every 2-3 years.

This time around, a lot of the old Pride and Prejudice sequels and prequels and rewrites and AUs and "variations" and general fanfic published in book form are going. I'll save my absolute favorites, but the rest I'm definitely never going to reread, and space is money.

I have a general policy not to review or comment on other people's JAFF books. The reason is I don't like giving false reviews, but I don't want to give other others bad reviews, especially if I might know them. If I only reviewed the books I like, then one could infer which ones I didn't like from their absence on my Goodreads. There was a time - around 2006 to 2010 - when I tried to collect every single one, including all of the out-of-print PODs that were published around 1997 or 1998, inspired by the 1995 miniseries. Some were quite costly and I had to wait for them to be picked up and reprinted by Sourcebooks. I bought a few when I was in England. Oh, those were the days.

Largely, I remember them being pretty boring. Published authors are - or were - more conservative than fanfic authors, and Pride and Prejudice fandom has to be the most conservative fandom I've ever been in, so people don't skew far from Austen's work in tone, style, or content. There were a lot of Darcy's version of the story, which followed the plot pretty exactly and even used most of Austen's dialogue. There were sequels were Darcy and Lizzy love each other soooooo much and mostly just ... hang out and host dinner parties. And then there were the ones where there was so much sex I was concerned about chaffing. Man, the Regency was a boring time period for rich people.

But there were the magic ones - the ones I really loved, but also the ones I really hated, but loved because they were at least original, or downright bizarre, or missed the mark by so much that you just had to wonder. Without naming names (of authors), here are some of my favorites:
- The one where Darcy's first name is spelled wrong.
- The one where Elizabeth's first name is spelled wrong.
- The one that outright implies that Darcy finds his sister hot, on like, the first page
- The one where Darcy is married to someone who isn't Elizabeth and then has an affair with someone who also isn't Elizabeth. As far as I can tell, the Bennets are never involved.
- The one where Darcy cuts out of a dinner party to avoid an orgy with Byron, Bingley, and the male servants.
- The one where there is real life magic, for real, and you can't possible get around it but this shakes no one's worldview when they find out and it's pretty much never mentioned again
- The one from the POV of Darcy's dog
- The one where Darcy is molested in boarding school by his drama teacher
- The one where Darcy and Elizabeth go to France and visit "the Effiel" because the author wanted them to visit the Effiel Tower but wasn't sure if it existed yet and didn't want to commit to it existing but also didn't want to look up when it was built (1889) - I mean I know it's a minor point, but come on, it took me right out of the book
- The one where everyone's gay/bisexual
- The one where Jane gets molested by Bingley's sisters
- The one where Wickham has a purple spaceship
- The one where the plot could have been cleared up in five minutes IF YOU HAD JUST TALKED TO EACH OTHER YOU IDIOTS. (actually that just describes Pride and Prejudice, too, so I have to give her a pass on that)

And that doesn't include all the fanfic that wasn't published, thank G-d, but that's another story.

So if you're in Manhattan in the next 10 days (before September 15th) and you want a lot of JAFF books, send me an email.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Whoops! Email Problems

While trying to clean up my different profiles to prepare for new postings, I discovered that stopped forwarding my mail some time ago (about 3 years) to my gmail account, meaning I missed a lot of people's emails. It still charged me for the forwarding, of course. So if you emailed me and never got a response, that's why. I sincerely apologize.

In other news, I am offering the publishing service of reviewing people's query letters on Fiverr! If you're a JAFF author (current or past) I will offer you a pretty sweet deal to use my service. Check it out!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Updates! Updates! Get your updates here!

Whew. I've been a very irresponsible blogger. Or just technically speaking, not a blogger at all, as I haven't been blogging for the last year at all. I'm probably going to be shifting this blog to a more all-in-one page for my collective works, not just the work I did as Marsha Altman. But at least let me update you on what's available for purchase now.

The Last of the Wine (Pride and Prejudice Continues Book 10) (Paperback and eBook)
The path to true love is not always straight. Edmund Bingley is trying to divorce at a time when it takes no less than an Act of Parliament and even a king can’t acquire one. His brother Charlie is hopelessly in love with someone he can never marry. And the last Darcy daughter is giving her living legend of a protective father a run for his money. Can Edmund find a way out of his loveless marriage? Can the family find the missing Cassandra Darcy before it’s too late? With the help of old friends, former enemies, priests, monks, Romani, American diplomats, and Tibetan lamas, they’ll have to find a way. In Altman’s tenth and final installment of The Darcys and the Bingleys, life has come full circle for the original clan, who has watched its children grow, make mistakes, and take responsibility for themselves.

Every Precious Word (Book of Gabriel 2) (eBook only)
As a storm descends on Wayward Pines, the fence that protects the town is endangered, abbies attack the soldiers protecting it, and Gabe Ramirez goes to the worst dinner party ever. This book is the sequel to The Redundant Man, a novella I wrote for Kindle World's Wayward Pines series.

The Lord of Durham Road (The Perseid Collapse Series) (eBook only)
As the Jakarta Pandemic destroys the US and the inhabitants of Durham Road hunker down for a long winter of slow starvation, Alex Fletcher's doomsday preparations pay off for him and his family. This is the story of his neighbors, the ones he chose not to help, and the path they are forced to take to survive. Will they lose their souls in the process? (Hint: It'll probably be a toss-up) This is another Kindle Worlds book, based on the Jakarta Pandemic, though the book should be pretty readable to new people.


I have a couple things in the pike, though whether they get published or not and how they get published (self versus traditional) will depend on people's responses and my own ability to finish and revise things.
- a YA sci-fi book set in a futuristic Tibetan culture
- a steampunk urban fantasy that's been shelved for a while
- a comedy airport thriller
- a book on Judaism and Tibetan Buddhism, which will probably take a few years of research

In Other News

This summer I'm completing a three-year Rabbinical program for Orthodox Jewish woman and will be receiving, instead of being ordained, a "Certificate of Halachic Mastery" from Rabbi Chaim Brovender and Web Yeshiva. The men in the program will be able to go on to an additional year and receive Rabbinic ordination. Sigh.

Also, if anyone wants to hire a ghostwriter, I'm available.

And I have a new hamster!