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Monday, April 23

Book Giveaway for Wentworth Hall, by Abby Grahame


Update!: The winners are: Laurel and Angela. Please contact me and send me your addresses.

Gentle readers: Two lucky readers have the opportunity to win Abby Grahame's debut novel, Wentworth Hall and a vintage diary, courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Wentworth Hall is a novel aimed at Downton Abbey fans:
 The Darlington family of Wentworth Hall, an elite British family, fills their time by caring for their extensive estate, and looking over their shoulders as they struggle to keep up an elaborate charade to hide their scandalous secrets of illicit romances, and bitter betrayals.
Wentworth Hall is the historical novel by debut author Abby Grahame, which is spot-on perfect for fans of Downton Abbey! Read and excerpt of the book at this link!

Two (2) winners will each receive: A vintage diary and copy of Wentworth Hall! Prizing courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

To join the contest, all you need to do is let us know what you think of Shirley McClaine joining the cast as Cora's mother for Season Three of Downton Abbey.

The contest, which closes Friday May 27, is open to US residents only. Please make sure I have a way to reach the winners, who will be chosen by random number generator! 11:59 PM Friday, April 27th, EST, contest is closed. 

80 comments:

Susan said...

Shirley McClaine is a great actress but I can't quite picture her in Downton Abbey. It will be interesting though.

Kerri said...

Hmm... well, I think she's rather funny, but I'm also wondering if she's almost a little "too American" for Downton. We shall see!

Kristin said...

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. :) I've only seen a couple of her earlier films, so I don't really know what to expect. I'm sure she'll do fine, though- all of the other Downton Abbey casting is perfect.

I'm really excited about reading this book! Thanks for the giveaway. :)

~Kristin
sewtechnicolor (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mac n' Janet said...

I absolutely hate the idea of her joining the cast. They don't need more people, it's perfect the way it is. I wonder if her joining the cast is a factor in why Maggie Smith has said she wants to leave after the 3rd season.

The Sampler Girl said...

I think she'll had some spunk to the cast like Dame Smith does - looking forward to it!!

Downton fan forever, Tanya :)

Sally W. said...

I'm a huge Downton Abbey fan! Like some of the other comments, I'm not sure I like the idea of another character being added to the cast. I think there's still more character development that can take place with present cast members. But hey, no one asked me before now. Hoping to win the book! Thanks for the giveaway!

Becca A. said...

I'm just worried about how things will change. I'm nervous, but I don't want to convince myself that it's going to be bad for Downtown or not. I wasn't excited when I first heard, so I'm not sold on it.

Thanks for the giveaway!

kimie142002 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Michelle L. Hamilton said...

I love it, can't wait to see the sparks between the American mother-in-law and the so very proper English mother-in-law.

lincannon said...

I think she will be quite outspoken and wake everybody up, and and the 2 MILs will become fast conspiratorial friends.

Rain said...

Such a fun giveaway. Thanks :-) The thought of Downton without Maggie Smith breaks my heart. I do hope Shirley's not meant to be her replacement! No American could ever fill her shoes. :-)

Caroline said...

She will be an interesting addition, but I hope she does not change the show too much. Like Kerri said she may be a bit too American. (-:

Felicia said...

I am pleased that she will be joining the cast. I'm looking forward to some very interesting dialog between Cora's mother and the Dowager!

Valerie said...

While I have enjoyed some of her movies/roles, I'm not sure how I like Shirley MacLaine being cast in DA... and I have to agree, Maggie Smith is amazing!! So sad that she's asked to be written out!

Thank you very much for offering the giveaway!

Veronica Leigh said...

I am excited about Shirley McClaine joining the Downton cast. She was hilarious in "Steel Magnolias." And I can wait to see her character pitted against the Dowager Countess and Isabel Crawley. Now that ought to make for some interesting dinner table conversations.
whiterosegirl01 at joink dot com

Angus Mhor said...

Like others, I'm not sure how Shirley McClaine will be alongside the rest of the cast. She could be sly and witty or brash and bold (I hope not), but it'll be interesting to watch!
chrissieDOTstewart----and I'm at gmailDOTcom.

Tara Finlay said...

I can definitely see Shirley McClaine stirring up the cast the same way her character will likely stir up the other characters.

Martha said...

I think she'll fit well, and it'll be fun to see if there are any more 'American' jabs. ;D

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know what to make of Shirley McClaine joining the cast, having never seen any of her movies, but I'm very excited to see what will happen! I expect that she'll be a nice addition! Thank you for the giveaway!

-Karen
ponylover888@gmail.com

Amanda said...

Not quite sure about Shirley. Will be interesting though. Can't wait for Series three!!

Would love to read this book!

amandabarratt33@gmail.com

yummychunklet said...

Love it. You need a formidable woman to hold her own against Dame Maggie Smith!

yummychunklet@gmail.com

Ann in NJ said...

I'm not certain that she will fit in.

Bret said...

It seems to be more "stunt-cast-y" than appropriate - I mean, the one American on the cast now is the weak link, do we really need another? I guess we'll just have to watch and see!

Reina said...

I'm excited about it! Shirley McClaine is a great actress and I can imagine sparks between not only her character and the Dowager, but Cora and her daughters...and how will she get along with the men? Looks like a fun read...thanks for the giveaway! :) reina at reinamwilliams dot com

Dale Banning said...

Hmmm....not sure what Shirley will look like in period costume. Can't wait to tune in and see what havoc she wrecks!!!

roseolson@aol.com said...

I am not happy about Shirley McClaine joining the cast as I am sure she will play her rather stereotypical brash and brassy character she has played in so many of her recent roles. YOu just know they want sparks to fly between the two mother-in-laws. I like the more subtle clashes with Matthew's mother to bring out the best lines in Maggie Smith. Unless Ms. McClaine dramatically changes her personality for the part, I don't see her as the right actress to believably play the mother of Elizabeth McGovern's character.

Lynnae said...

Ya' know, I've never seen the series, and I am not familiar with the actress :) But I would still love to enter if possible!

Lynnae
living4myGod@gmail.com

Jan Wallace Reber said...

I have to say that I have never been a fan of Shirley McClaine, and I'm afraid she will be the undoing of a fabulous program with a [currently] fabulous cast. What is she channels William's spirit? At the very least, I hope her typical wisecracking comes to even half-par with the Dowager's wonderful wit.

Claudia said...

I love the idea of Shirley McClaine joining the cast of Downton Abbey. She is a terrific actress and will add to the talent of the ensemble cast!

Frances Fowlkes said...

I'm looking forward to Ms. McClaine! So far the casting has been spot-on and I believe she will add yet another strong female lead to the character ensemble.

adam_and_fran(at)hotmail(dot)com

ChrisTea said...

Shirley MacLaine is a pip. She's a great actress and will add some very interesting spice to any role.
ChrisTea
botm2@yahoo.com

mfantaliswrites said...

Hooray! This book sounds wonderful!

I think Ms. McClaine is a great choice for Cora's mother - brash but beautiful, with a streak of both will and weakness. She will certainly clash with the Dowager Countess, which is precisely the point!

If I am so fortunate as to win, you can reach me at shaxpeare(at)live(dot)com

Lauren Gilbert said...

I think Shirley MacLaine will be an excellent addition to Downton Abbey! She can play the iron hand in the velvet glove, and will be an excellent sparring partner for Maggie Smith, if she makes it across the pond. (She may be reserved for the bits with Lady Mary in America.) It will be nice to see the added dimension, I think. Cora IS an American, after all, so it will be good to see something of her background.

I would love to win this book!
bluecrabfla@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

I just wonder will Shirley MacLaine play to type or will her character be toned down for this series. It is rather baffling to me why she will join the cast. But I have often been surprised - pleasantly - by happenings in the series so far, so I will look forward to see what happens. I think losing Maggie Smith will be harder to accept than Shirley arriving.

Rita Watts said...

I am anxious because I have no idea what Julian Fellowes is writing for her. It all depends on his lines and the character he builds for her. I am 100% sure she will deliver whatever he wants. Shirley McLaine is a wonderful actress and she will if the character is fantastic. I hope they don't make her the traditional loud & dumb American who thinks money is everything. I hope the character is classy & witty so we can enjoy a historical battle of wits between two amazing actresses. I am soooooo looking forward to it!

Robin Colburn said...

I don't like Shirley, think she's been miscast and there's got to be other "vintage American" actresses to take the part. Maybe the series was too much for Dame Maggie, may she live long and prosper.
Robincolbwrites@gmail.com

Rita Watts said...

I am anxious because I have no idea what Julian Fellowes is writing for her. It all depends on his lines and the character he builds for her. I am 100% sure she will deliver whatever he wants. Shirley McLaine is a wonderful actress and she will if the character is fantastic. I hope they don't make her the traditional loud & dumb American who thinks money is everything. I hope the character is classy & witty so we can enjoy a historical battle of wits between two amazing actresses. I am soooooo looking forward to it!

Thanks for the giveaway! I would love to win!!!

ritalacerdawatts@aol.com

Vickie said...

I am a bit nervous about this too. Shirley McClaine is an excellent actress, but she's a little off the wall. It won't keep me from watching, though!

Kathleen said...

Shirley McClaine? Ermmmmm, how do I answer that and still feel good about Downton Abbey? Is she supposed to be someone's scandalous American bride we didn't know about?

Riley Cannon said...

I think it could be a great casting choice and can't wait to see her sparring with Maggie Smith.

Sarah said...

Shirley MacClaine is a phenomenal actress and great comedian. At least she will have a real american accent. I cannot wait to see what hi jinx she and the dowager get up to.

suzan said...

She's of the right age category. Since Cora is American that'll fit. She can do drama and comedy. I'm not sure she can handle battling wits with the Dowager but it'll be interesting to see how she fits in.
Shirley McLaine is an interesting character. I'd love to read the "Wentworth" book.
schafsue at gmail dot com

Angela said...

Shirley MacClaine is an interesting choice and has plenty to offer without a doubt. That said, her chemistry with Elizabeth McGovern and ability to play the role in an understated sort of way seem to me, to be what will make her performance really enjoyable. Jane Seymour would be fun to see in some capacity, too, I think. This Downton-esque novel sounds like a good read. Thanks for offering it in a giveaway! amhocking@gmail.com

noemozica said...

I don't know... I keep wondering if she is the best option... But, yeah, maybe she is... I bet she's going to have a strong character and some troubles with everyone English in the house... It can be soooooooo fun... ^_^
Maggie Smith vs Shirley McClaine... Jeez, can't wait!!
(I live in Minneapolis, even though I am Spanish)

jaimecallahan said...

I don't know anything about Shirley McClaine, honestly, but the rest of the cast is so great that I feel like they wouldn't have added her to it if she wasn't going to be phenomenal. I'm really looking forward to seeing the next season. (I'm more worried about the plot proceeding through too many years too quickly, if that makes sense.)

callahan(dot)jaime(at)gmail(dot)com

Liz in Palmyra said...

She is a great actress and will fit in well with the cast. I can't wait to see her with Maggie Smith! That should throw some heady banter into the dialogue.

Ruth said...

Oh what a great opportunity! I am so excited about Shirley MacLaine -- I think she will be a brilliant foil for Maggie Smith!

ruthellenanderson (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Shirley MacLaine will bring a real American "edge" to Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith will have some competition for best one-liners.

~ cdixonbee at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see the iconic Shirley MacLaine take on the iconic Maggie Smith. This is going to be so much fun!!

Nicole in MD

Tx065sat at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

I think she will spice up the story line and we will need aother feisty lady when Maggie Smith leaves.
celticnospacemaggieatyahoodotcom

Laurel said...

I think Shirley will be great. She will probably be straightforward and spunky, just like Cora only moreso. Sad to hear Maggie is leaving--she has all the best lines!

Laurel

llwright(at)aol(dot)com

Kristi said...

You never know, but it should be interesting!

Lili said...

I think she'll be great for Downton. Sure, she's VERY American, but sometimes things need to be shaken up.

J said...

Ms. MacLaine will be fabulous. I can't wait! I will miss Maggie though.

Karyn in California said...

Shirley McClain will bring her profound skills to the task and will make it look easy! Scenes with her and Maggie Smith's character should be absolutely pithy! Thanks!

catebutler said...

I am excited to see Ms. McClaine in this role, and I truly hope that she will bring more to the already fabulous cast!

Agnes said...

I think it will be GREAT to have Shirley Maclaine in Downton Abbey - I can see her character locking horns with Maggie Smith's character. I envision an American woman something like the role Shirley played in Steel Magnolias - strong, opinionated but yet feeling and compassionate. I am really excited to see how they create this role of "Cora's mother".

Cayce Osborne said...

I can already envision Shirley in the period clothes. I think she will be lovely! I can even kind of see a bit of resemblence between her and Elizabeth McGovern. Can't wait.

Joan said...

i think she will be a great counterbalance to the congeniality of the characters. i see her taking charge (or trying to) of downton. looking forward to it coming back!

marilyn said...

Shirley MacLaine will be a breath of fresh air at Downton! She has an abundance of talent, many droll facial expressions, a sense of humor, and can stand out in the ballroom. I can't wait to see what is in store for us with her addition to the cast.

marilyn
daniel423@centurytel.net

Elizabeth E. said...

I think Shirley McClaine will be brilliant!!

Meredith R. said...

I am looking forward to the witchy dialogue between Shirley and Maggie. Bring it on!

Jynene said...

...shirley will be so funny as the American mother in law on downton... i can't wait. i sure do love your pinterest boards; i've subscribed! thanks... the book looks great! would adore reading it.

wilhelmina said...

Shirley MacLaine is an awesome actress and I'm looking very forward to her joining the cast of Downton...a bit of fresh air!

anime-babble said...

I'm been curious about Cora's family since the first season. Given that it's her family that bank rolls the estate really, I'm very excited about the clash of the titans (so to speak). I'm sure that Shirley McClaine will be splendid!

Jeni said...

I have to say, I'm a bit worried. But I have confidance in the people who hired her, so we'll see!

Anonymous said...

If I'm watching a British show, I'd like to see a British actress. I'm not too thrilled with having to watch her in this upcoming season.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little disappointed they couldn't find a British actress...we'll see how it goes.




Jill2370@msn.com

Courtney R. said...

The only way you can go toe to toe with Maggie Smith is to send in another Oscar winner! Shirley MacLaine will be great sparring with Maggie Smith this season. She's super talented and very funny! I can't wait to watch!
-Courtney
admin@protectivelife.us

phastings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phastings said...

I'm very excited that Shirley Maclaine will be playing Cora's mother. I think she will be a wonderful addition to the cast. I admire her as an actor. I hope her character shakes things up the "American" way. It should be very entertaining.
Thanks!
pamo321(at)comcast(dot)net

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of hers and can't picture her as Cora's mother at all but truthfully can't think of who would fit. Amy ---mombake3@gmail.com

Paula Pertile said...

I do worry that the sparring between Shirley and Maggie will eclipse the rest of the show, but we shall see, we shall see. I think it will all come down to the writing; certainly Shirley can handle whatever part she's given.
I think its at least safe to assume she won't be a shy retiring wallflower!

I read somewhere that Dame Maggie is NOT leaving after all. Who to believe?

Thank you for the offer of the book. My fingers are crossed, it looks wonderful.
paula at paulapertile dot com

Melissa said...

I have never been a fan of Shirley McClaine's, especially after she butchered the biography of, Mary Kay Ash.

my email:

dancing tea cup at g mail dot com

SassyCountess said...

Are you kidding? She is a fantastic choice. She has the range to play someone well cultured or American new money gauche. Great choice.

Sassy Past on Facebook
or taylorspeersims@yahoo.com

Blaire said...

I loved Shirley McClaine in Mrs. Winterbourne a rich woman who doesn't follow the typical rules. I think she can bring that characteristics to Downton Abbey so I am really excited to see her.

-Blaire
bwbh263@gmail.com

saltandpepper said...

I'm not sure I would have picked her for this role, but it should create some intense and well-acted scenes between the actors. Should be interesting!
Christine

aramblingfancy said...

I'm a little worried, but I'm hoping it will turn out well and I'll laugh at how silly I was for ever thinking she didn't belong.

Renee Adams said...

I am not that excited to hear about McClain playing Cora's mother, although I have enjoyed her in other roles. I can see a similarity in her & McGovern in terms of style. We will see.

affectionforfitness said...

I hope Shirley will be better than I imagine.

:-) Marion

Vic said...

Contest is over! 12 midnight EST USA.