Mark Knightley - handsome, clever, rich - is used to women falling at his feet. Except Emma Woodhouse, who's like part of the family - and the furniture. When their relationship changes dramatically, is it an ending or a new beginning? Emma's grown into a stunningly attractive young woman, full of ideas for modernising her family business. Then Mark gets involved and the sparks begin to fly. It's just like the old days, except that now he's seeing her through totally new eyes. While Mark struggles to keep his feelings in check, Emma remains immune to the Knightley charm. She's never forgotten that embarrassing moment when he discovered her teenage crush on him. He's still pouring scorn on all her projects, especially her beautifully orchestrated campaign to find Mr Right for her ditzy PA. And finally, when the mysterious Flynn Churchill - the man of her dreams - turns up, how could she have eyes for anyone else? With its clueless heroine and entertaining plot, this modern re-telling of Jane Austen's Emma stays true to the original, while giving fresh insights into the mind of its thoroughly updated and irresistible hero. The Importance of Being Emma is the first in Juliet Archer's series, Jane Austen in the 21st Century.
Juliet Archer is a 19th-century mind in a 21st-century body. Actually, some days it's the other way round. She's on a mission to modernise all six of Jane Austen's completed novels, in a series called 'Darcy and Friends'.
Her debut novel was The Importance of Being Emma, inspired by Austen's Emma and a desire to give Mr Knightley a makeover. It won the 2011 Big Red Read Fiction Award, was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and has had wonderful reviews on Amazon. The second novel in the series, Persuade Me, came out in 2011 and was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read.
She says: 'Updating Austen is not an original idea - think Bridget Jones's Diary and Clueless, for a start. And, let's face it, as the first writer in the genre to achieve worldwide cult status, Austen provides the inspiration - consciously or unconsciously - for most romantic novelists today. So I'm looking to differentiate - through sticking as closely to the original plots, characters and settings as possible, while developing the hero's point of view. If this involves spending lots of time with imaginary modern versions of Mr Darcy, Captain Wentworth and the like - well, they say suffering is good for the soul!'
Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire, Pride & Prejudice country. Unlike Anne Elliot in Persuasion, she resisted well-meant advice and married young, before graduating from the University of Nottingham with a First in French and Russian. Many years later, she is still married, with almost grown-up children - a Mrs Bennet in waiting?
She gives talks all over the UK - and even in the US - about why and how she is updating Jane Austen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of background for her novels.
You can find out more about her books and talks at www.julietarcher.com.