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My debut book ACCORDING TO JANE won RWA's prestigious Golden Heart® Award for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements!!




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According to Jane ~ reviews

"This is a must-read for Austen lovers..."
~Holly Chamberlin

Author Praise for According To Jane

"Marilyn Brant's debut novel is proof that Jane Austen never goes out of style. This is a warm, witty and charmingly original story of a woman coming of age and finding her own happy ending--with a little help from the ultimate authority--Jane Austen herself."

~Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author


"Entertaining, sincere, real...well, okay, that the acclaimed author, Jane Austen, speaks across the centuries to beleaguered romantic Ellie Barnett is not quite real, but it is fun. An engaging read for all who have been through the long, dark dating wars, and still believe there's sunshine, and a Mr. Darcy, at the end of the tunnel."

~Cathy Lamb, Author of Such a Pretty Face


" 'Where were the true Darcys?' That's the burning question bookish Ellie Barnett has been asking herself since high school when handsome, charismatic Sam Blaine first captured her heart--and then broke it. In this lively, clever novel by Mariyn Brant, Ellie is accompanied along the perilous path of romance by none other than famed novelist and formidable woman Jane Austen, who, for reasons of her own, has taken up residence in Ellie's head. Ms. Brant wittily parallels the two women's difficult journey to the understanding that love has the power to transform even the most selfish of men into a 'true Darcy'. This is a must-read for Austen lovers as well as for all who believe in the possibility of a happily-ever-after ending."

~Holly Chamberlin, Author of Tuscan Holiday


Critical Reviews & Awards for According To Jane

I was thrilled to find out that ACCORDING TO JANE hit #1 on Amazon Kindle's Top 100 Paid Bestseller List -- very exciting!


It was also given the tremendous honor of being included on's list of the 100 Best Romance Novels of All Time!

2009 and 2010 brought in some AWESOME reviews, and my debut novel even made it onto Pop Syndicate's "Best of 2009: Books", thanks to reviewer Margay Leah Justice :-).

It was mentioned on Library Journal's list of debut novels in their article "Falling Into Bounty"! They used these words to describe the offerings this fall: "Poignant. Imaginative. Passionate. Original." I was delighted mine was included on their list.

It won the GDRWA's Booksellers' Best Award for "Best Single Title," which was thrilling!

BBA award

It won the Heart of Denver's 2010 Aspen Gold Reader's Choice Award for "Best Single Title"!

Cheryl Grant at Family Circle's online magazine, "Inner Circle," called my novel "A charming book."

B&N Review selected ACCORDING TO JANE to be on "The Long List" for the week of October 13, 2009! They said the book was "Fresh, original, and lots of fun."

On January 22, 2010, John Charles of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Brant infuses her sweetly romantic and delightfully clever tale with just the right dash of Austen-esque wit."

A Winner of the 2009 Single Titles Reviewers' Choice Award!!

Reviewers' Choice

A Double Finalist in the Booksellers' Best Awards (2010) for both "Best First Book" and "Best Single Title/Mainstream Novel" -- yay!!

A Finalist in ACRA's Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Awards (2010) in the "Strong Romantic Elements" category.

heart of excellence

A Finalist in the Golden Quill Awards (2010) for "Best First Book," too.

Golden Quill

Romantic Times called it "a pleasant read."

Emily at Single Titles gave the story 4.5 Stars and said, "Marilyn Brant has written a spellbinding tale with enjoyable characters and hilarious story telling capabilities... A wonderful first book for Marilyn Brant. I am sure we will be seeing her name over the years attached to more wonderful books."

Then, Pat at A Romance Review gave it 5 Roses and wrote, "What a great book."

And Robin Lee at Romance Reviews Today said my debut was "A fun, quirky story...charming."

Check out the others I've showcased below and, also, the great reader comments in the right sidebar!

A "Fresh Pick" from Fresh Fiction!!

fresh pick

A fabulous 5 Regency Star rating from Laurel Ann at Austenprose:

"What an unexpected, uplifting, and urbane debut novel! To paraphrase Jane Austen's character Lady Catherine, Marilyn Brant has given us a treasure. Granted that there are hundreds of Jane Austen inspired novels written over the years, this totally unique and original concept of Austen's ghost inhabiting and advising a modern young woman is brilliant. The play of early nineteenth-century social mores against twentieth-century culture is so droll that I laughed-out-loud several times in total recognition. Like Austen, Brant excels at characterization offering a heroine in Ellie Barnett that I could totally identify with, and a hero in Sam that is so endearingly flawed that any woman worthy of her worn out VHS copy of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries will be happy to swoon over. Subtly powerful and amusingly acerbic, you will be gently reproved into agreeing in the power of love to transform us all."

And a reprint of Laurel Ann's wonderful 5 Star review is posted in The Jane Austen Centre's online magazine!

Babs from The World of Book Reviews gave it 5 Cups:

"Now this is a story that will keep you hooked till the very end... This is one book I have to say is a MUST READ."

5 Stars from author & reviewer Kelly Moran with Bookpleasures:

"Admittedly, I thought this was a peculiar premise for a book, but after reading it, in fact after page one, I can’t think of enough positive adjectives to throw at it that could possibly give it justice. Told in first-person, this book jumps past and present smoothly, with an equal mix of sweet, funny, and heart-breaking. And, may I add, several ‘ahh’ moments... The plot flowed well without any dead spots. The secondary characters were endearing and the setting perfect. Mostly, Jane Austen fans will revel in this modern day unique twist on a classic, as well as learning interesting facts about Jane herself. There is just enough mystery of ‘why’ to keep you guessing, and the ending is thoroughly satisfying. This was a truly, irrevocably inspiring novel."

A 4 Cup rating from Coffee Time Romance!

An exciting 5 Stars from Cheryl's Book Nook:

"I absolutely loved According to Jane. Marilyn Brant out did herself with this debut novel. I read this book in only a matter of a few hours. Ellie and Jane had me spellbound. I kept finding myself smiling and laughing. Forget the Jane Austen you know…this Jane is hip, fresh and sassy. She says it like it is. It was great to see Ellie blossom from a young girl into a beautiful woman. Fans of Jane Austen will fall for Ellie in According to Jane. According to Jane is a pleasure read and it belongs on everyone’s shelf."

A 4 Star review from Harriet Klausner:

"Just when you think Jane Austen could not appear in anything new, a refreshing reincarnation occurs as Marilyn Brant provides an engaging modern day take on the writer. Ellie is a terrific lead character as she adapts to the voice in her head while Sam is her nemesis...readers will thoroughly enjoy this fun contemporary romance that also provides insight into Jane Austen and her characters."

A 5 Star review from Carrie at The Book Girl:

"This book will definitely be on my top ten list for this year... I think EVERYONE should read this book."

A 4.5 Star rating from reviewer Ivy D. at Manic Readers:

"According To Jane is a delight from beginning to end...a definite keeper that I can see myself returning to time and again, just for the happy pick me up feeling it gives me. I’m eagerly looking forward to Ms. Brant’s next book."

4.5 Star

An enthusiastic 5 Star rating from reviewer Brande at Book Junkie:

"All I can say is, again without any spoilers is that Marilyn Brant you have a new super fan and I am singing your praises...5 STARS--LOVED IT! COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN."

And a lovely 5 Shoes/Best Book rating from reviewer Willow at Working Girl Reviews:

"According to Jane is an intriguing, appealing story full of warmth and wit...a fast read, perfect for the busy woman and the author has a definite gift for keeping you turning those pages. This is a book you don’t want to miss if you’re a fan of Austen, romance, coming of age, women’s fiction, or if you’re just looking for a highly entertaining story from an author with superb style and fresh voice."


According to Jane
Kensington Books
Print & Ebook
October 1, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7582-3461-2

Buy the Book:

Amazon (U.S.)
Barnes & Noble
Kensington Books
Amazon (Canada)
Amazon (U.K.)
Fishpond (Australia)
Fishpond (New Zealand)


Some Favorite Comments from Readers:

"Sometimes I go through a phase where I'm so blase about reading fiction and focus mainly on non-fiction (my usual staple), but once in a blue moon, a book grips me and makes me fall in love with fiction again. Thank you. A very grateful reader." ~Nina

"I gobbled this book up in less than 24 hours. This book will be a hit in 2009, mark my words! It flowed so easy, Ellie is a lovable character, if you grew up in the 80's you will be nodding feeling a piece of you in her."~Tonya

"ACCORDING TO JANE felt like a delightful mix of part Pride and Prejudice, part Ally McBeal with a little bit of High Fidelity thrown in. Discuss… as the main characters Jane and Ellie would say."~Kwana

"Have you ever gotten giddy from reading a book, just because you felt it was written for you? I treasure that experience, because it doesn’t come along very often---and indeed, it has been a very long time since it last happened to me. Finally, Marilyn Brant’s debut novel, According to Jane, showed up on my doorstep, jumped into my eager hands and fulfilled all my expectations."~Kimm

"In a story more than coincidentally parallel to Pride and Prejudice, Marilyn Brant weaves an inventive tale of one woman's search for her heart's desire. I can't help but think how lucky we would all be to have Jane Austen guiding our own romantic adventures."~Leah

"Brant's debut release sparkles with the wit and wisdom that Jane Austen fans adore. But even if you don't know Jane Austen from Jane Eyre, you'll delight in this journey of a thoroughly modern heroine navigating the pitfalls of love while aided by the whispering advice (not always welcome) of Austen's ghost. Highly recommended. A must read. Can't wait to see what Brant has in store for her readers next."~Karen

"I loved this book! Whether or not you're a Jane Austen fan, you will be a Marilyn Brant fan! This book is the story of a woman in search of true love and her journey is one of the most honest and enjoyable ones I've ever read. Brant's writing completely pulled me into the story and I couldn't read the pages fast enough."~Robin

"The voice of Jane Austen adds a flavor to the book that makes it irresistible. The characters are believable and realistic, and it is a must read for those who can't get enough of Jane Austen."~Amber

"I smoothly sailed through the pages and the world surrounding me got vaguer and vaguer as I got deeply involved in the story. I couldn’t and wouldn’t  put it down. Despite the fireworks being set off, it being new year, I was so much enjoying your story I let it all pass unnoticed and stayed up till 4 am finding out how it ended."~Kirsten

"I read Jane on the way to Tulsa and back (2 hours each way) and I never lifted my eyes from the book."~Jill

"Brant manages to jump around time and place without making you lose a second of the story to confusion.  She has the rare ability as an author to take you from reliving your awkward high school years along with Ellie (and the traumatic male/female interactions) to within the psyche of a single, searching, adult woman in the next paragraph.  Ellie is a unique female protagonist that I find endearing in her failures and utterly relateable in her fears..."~Lydia

"I have already sat down and read your book. Having taught Jane Austen over many years I can honestly say that your creation was wonderful - I cannot wait for the next one!"~Al

"I loved hearing Jane Austen. The voice really sounded authentic, Jane gives her ideas in a rather confident manner, as if she already knows she is right. The idea of Jane Austen living in some one's head is such a fun, quirky idea. According to Jane was a lot of fun and had me smiling."~Melanie

"This book was spectacular! I devoured it in one day. It's a sweet story of love, loss, confusion and growing up that hits right on the mark of reality."~Clarissa

"I think the crowning moment for me was the first post high-school interaction between Sam and Ellie in the bar. I was expecting one thing, and totally got another, a lovely gift I wasn't expecting and just made me fall in love."~Pamela

"I have so many books I'd like to read that I rarely revisit ones I've already read, but I'll definitely be making an exception with According to Jane."~Caryn

"This was an unexpected delight! According to Jane is well written and has the bonus of Jane Austen lurking and giving advice. Loved it!! The best part might just be the interview of the author by the main character after the end of the book. I'm going to look for more of Marilyn Brant's works."~Diane

"You need to read this book, it is absolutely delightful...What's bestest in this book is the writing. It's simple. Yet it has many layers. And it gives you that warm cosy feeling.  The characters are all very well written, you identify with Ellie. You want Sam. And you wish you had someone like Jane to lean on during the horrible times."~K

"Honestly, Ellie was one of the most identifiable characters I have ever read...I was hooked in the first few pages..." ~ Jill

"Triple A+ book. I picked it up today and didn't put it down until I finished it. Okay, so that's a lie. I had to put it down to get my son from school and to make dinner and to do all that stuff, but my head was still firmly between the pages of this book all the while. This is a life long romance done right. There is the heartbreak and insecurity of the teen years, the anger and bitterness of the early twenties and the forgiveness and ultimate reconciliation of the early thirties. And through it all, the wonderful voice of Ellie... According to Jane is a entertaining frolic through romance and would be throughly enjoyed by anyone with a fully functioning heart." ~Lielabell

Thank you all for your wonderful comments ~ I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story!












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