Today I am so pleased to welcome Lisa Henry to Joyfully Jay. Lisa Henry has come to talk to us about her latest release, The California Dashwoods (which we reviewed here and loved). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

California Dashwoods Tour Banner


Hi! I’m Lisa Henry, and welcome to the blog tour for my new release, The California Dashwoods. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing The California Dashwoods, and sharing some of my influences, my ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win a prize of a $20 Amazon voucher plus a vintage copy of Sense and Sensibility that I’ll post worldwide. The winner will be drawn on May 10.

Sense and Sensibility has always been my favourite of Jane Austin’s novels. And I say that in full knowledge that the Pride and Prejudice crowd is sharpening their pitchforks as we speak… And of course I love Price and Prejudice, but for some reason I’ve always liked the characters in Sense and Sensibility a lot more. It’s a quieter story, I think, and maybe the fact that the Dashwood women don’t end up with the Regency equivalent of millionaire heartthrobs—unlike Elizabeth and Jane Bennett— makes it feel a little more real to me.

But for all that Sense and Sensibility is my favourite, I’ve always felt that it lacked a little something as well. For a story that opens with a death in the family, the impact of that death is never really seen except in practical terms: Henry Dashwood dies, and his wife and children are suddenly virtually penniless and homeless. Henry’s death is the inciting incident that sets the ball rolling, but we never see too much of an emotional impact. A lot of that is simply the way books were written back then, of course. They tell; they don’t show. So when I wrote The California Dashwoods, I really wanted to show that this was a family struggling with grief, and I hope there’s a strong sense of that throughout.

In The California Dashwoods, Henry Dashwood was a man from a rich family who divorced his first wife and ran away with the nanny. When he dies, his wife and children haven’t just lost their financial security, they’ve also lost the deeply flawed man they loved, and both Elliott and his sister Marianne deal with this in very different ways. Elliott puts his emotional needs on hold in order to look after the rest of the family, while Marianne dives headfirst into seizing the day.

Henry’s death casts a long shadow over the Dashwoods, which was something I really wanted to focus on. I think, at its heart, The California Dashwoods is a book about healing, and learning to live again after losing someone. And while both Elliott and Marianne approach that in very different ways, they both, of course, get their happy endings. Or, in this case, their new beginnings.

California Dashwoods Graphic


TheCaliforniaDashwoods_CoverMake a new future. Choose your true family. Know your own heart.

When Elliott Dashwood’s father dies, leaving his family virtually penniless, it’s up to Elliott to do what he’s always done: be the responsible one. Now isn’t the right time for any added complications. So what the hell is he doing hooking up with Ned Ferrars? It’s just a fling, right?

Elliott tries to put it behind him when the family makes a fresh start in California, and if he secretly hopes to hear from Ned again, nobody else needs to know. While his mom is slowly coming to terms with her grief, teenage Greta is more vulnerable than she’s letting on, and Marianne—romantic, reckless Marianne—seems determined to throw herself headfirst into a risky love affair. And when Elliott discovers the secret Ned’s been keeping, he realizes that Marianne isn’t the only one pinning her hopes on a fantasy.

All the Dashwoods can tell you that feelings are messy and heartbreak hurts. But Elliott has to figure out if he can stop being the sensible one for once, and if he’s willing to risk his heart on his own romance.

A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

Purchase Links:


LisaHenryBioPicLisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.


To celebrate the release of The California Dashwoods, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon voucher and a vintage copy of Sense and Sensibility!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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