Writer and novelist.
Editor's Choice Award, Historical Novels Review, 2007, for Captain Wentworth's Diary.
A Most Unusual Governess, Robert Hale (London, England), 2001.
Anything but a Gentleman, Robert Hale (London, England), 2001.
Marriage at the Manor, Robert Hale (London, England), 2002.
The Six-Month Marriage, Robert Hale (London, England), 2002.
Rebecca's Refusal, Robert Hale (London, England), 2002.
The Silverton Scandal, Robert Hale (London, England), 2003.
Carisbrooke Abbey, Robert Hale (London, England), 2003.
Titanic Affair, Severn House (Sutton, England), 2004.
Harstairs House, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2007.
Lord Deverill's Secret, Berkley Sensation (New York, NY), 2007.
Stormcrow Castle, Robert Hale (London, England), 2007.
"AUSTEN DIARY" SERIES; HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVELS
Mr. Darcy's Diary, Sourcebooks (Naperville, IL), 2007.
Mr. Knightley's Diary, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Edmund Bertram's Diary, Robert Hale (London, England), 2007.
Captain Wentworth's Diary, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Colonel Brandon's Diary, Robert Hale (London, England), 2008.
Amanda Grange is a prolific novelist who works primarily in the historical romance genre. In Lord Deverill's Secret, Cassandra Paxton is facing the difficult realities of her life; her parents are dead, killed some years ago in a riding accident, and her brother Rupert has himself lately perished in a horse-riding mishap. The family's fortunes are on the wane, and Cassandra heads to Brighton to prepare the family's summer home there for sale. Proceeds from the sale will allow her to pay the expenses on the main Paxton estate, allowing her ten-year-old sister Lizzie and herself to live relatively unencumbered and without being hounded by creditors. While sorting through Rupert's personal effects, Cassandra finds an enigmatic letter in which Rupert says he has done something terrible. Fearing he has seduced a woman and left her with no support, Cassandra is determined to find out the meaning of the letter and to help the woman if she actually exists and needs assistance. Cassandra seeks out Rupert's friend, Lord Justin Deverill, and presses him for answers. For his part, Lord Deverill says there is no such woman, but Cassandra is not entirely convinced. Deverill also assures her that Rupert's death was truly the result of a riding accident and nothing any more sinister. As she looks for answers from other friends of Rupert's, Lord Deverill has her secretly followed to ensure her safety. Soon, however, unexplained accidents begin to occur, which appear to be aimed at Cassandra. Fearing for her safety, Deverill finally tells her the truth about Rupert's death and the mysterious letter, even as an undeniable romantic attraction starts to build between himself and Cassandra. "This is a pure Regency novel that delights the senses and allows a reader to get a real feel for life in the time period," observed reviewer Shirley Lyons on the Romance Reader Web site.
Helena Carlisle, the protagonist of Stormcrow Castle, makes a dangerous trip across the British moors to visit her aunt Hester, a housekeeper at the titular castle. On the way, Helena is picked up by Lord Torkrow, the lord of Stormcrow Castle. Torkrow mistakes Helena for Hester's replacement, and soon Helena learns that her aunt left the castle to nurse a sister, but her aunt does not have a sister. Hoping to learn more about her aunt's mysterious disappearance, Helena pretends to be the housekeeper's replacement and searches for answers within the dreary castle. A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded that readers of romantic suspense "will enjoy this tale of intrigue and deception on the barren moors."
Grange is the author of a series of novels that recreate the personal diaries of prominent characters from Jane Austen novels, including Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Grange attributes her interest in writing Austen-influenced works to her own longstanding interest in the writer's novels. "I'm a huge Austen fan—I first fell in love with Darcy when I was about thirteen—so I was aware of a great deal of responsibility when writing the books," Grange told interviewer Amanda Ashby on Amanda's Writing Diary Web log. "I wanted to make sure they were true to the originals, so that I wouldn't upset anyone—myself included!—whilst at the same time I hoped I could shed some new insights onto the characters and allow readers to revisit the books in a new and different way." She also elaborated on her motivation to write the diary novels in an interview with Evonne Wareham on the Title Magic Web site. Upon a rereading of Pride and Prejudice, Grange told Wareham, "I found myself thinking that one of the reasons for the book's continuing appeal is that the hero and heroine both have to make a journey before they can be together. Darcy's struggle to overcome his pride is just as compelling as Elizabeth's struggle to overcome her prejudice, and I found myself wanting to know more about his transformation." The idea for the diary novels grew from Grange's imagination as she tried to envision missing scenes from these characters' lives.
Mr. Darcy's Diary explores the world of Austen's seminal novel, Pride and Prejudice, from the perspective of Fitzwilliam Darcy, the book's main male protagonist and a character who has become a romance literature icon. Grange recounts pivotal moments from the novel, well-known interactions between characters, and other elements of Austen's best-known work, reworking them to reflect Darcy's unique concerns and point of view. Darcy shares his thoughts on matters ranging from local high society to his family obligations to his pivotal relationship with Elizabeth Bennet. Reviewer Laura Moncur, writing on the Quotations Web log, called the book "an upscale romantic novel."
In Mr. Knightley's Diary, Grange reworks Austen's comic novel Emma from the perspective of main character George Knightley. "This retelling of Emma from a male point of view gives a much more accurate picture of the life of the landed gentry in the countryside than most homages to Jane Austen," remarked Bunny Callahan in the Romantic Times. Bette-Lee Fox, writing in Library Journal, called it a "charming reframing" of Austen's novel, and noted that "knowing the outcome of the story doesn't lessen the romantic tension and expectation for the reader."
Similarly, Edmund Bertram's Diary retells Austen's novel Mansfield Park from male protagonist Bertram's perspective. A character that Austen fans have found difficult to like, Bertram frequently but unknowingly hurts female protagonist Fanny Price with his words and deeds. The child of a poor family, Fanny was raised by her aunt and uncle along with her four cousins: Tom, Edmund, Maria, and Julia. The other cousins routinely treated Fanny poorly and felt themselves superior to her because of their wealth. Only Edmund treated her with kindness and a sense of equality. Steadfast in her friendship and support of Edmund, Fanny endures his inadvertent hurts and the trauma of watching him muddle through a doomed romance, even as her affection for him grows into love that is, ultimately, returned. "If you would like to try a different view of a sometimes hard to like character, Edmund Bertram's Diary is a sympathetic portrait of a young man struggling with the difficult choices that life throws at us all," remarked an Austenblog reviewer.
In her 2008 novel, Captain Wentworth's Diary, Grange returns to her diary-based reconstructions of Austen novels with a retelling of Persuasion.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, September 1, 2007, Bette-Lee Fox, review of Mr. Knightley's Diary, p. 127.
Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2007, review of Mr. Darcy's Diary, p. 67; December 24, 2007, review of Stormcrow Castle, p. 32.
Amanda Grange Home Page,http://www.amandagrange.com (April 10, 2008).
Amanda's Writing Diary Web log,http://amandaashby.blogspot.com/ (March 27, 2007), Amanda Ashby, interview with Amanda Grange.
AustenBlog,http://www.austenblog.com/ (March 3, 2008), review of Edmund Bertram's Diary.
Berkley Jove Authors Web site,http://berkleyjoveauthors.com/ (April 10, 2008), biography of Amanda Grange.
Genre Go Round Reviews,http://genregoroundreviews.blogspot.com/ (October 14, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Lord Deverill's Secret.
Quotations Web log,http://www.quotationspage.com/weblog/ (September 19, 2007), Laura Moncur, review of Mr. Darcy's Diary.
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (April 10, 2008), Lesley Dunlap, review of Harstairs House; Shirley Lyons, review of Lord Deverill's Secret.
Romantic Times,http://romantictimes.com/ (April 10, 2008), Bunny Callahan, review of Mr. Knightley's Diary.
Squeaky Books Web log,http://squeakybooks.blogspot.com/ (December 27, 2007), Enna Isilee, review of Mr. Darcy's Diary.