Fiction Fest: A peek inside Rebecca Jamison’s ‘Emma: A Latter-day Tale’

Emma 2x3Jane Austen’s “Emma” receives a makeover in Rebecca Jamison’s “Emma: A Latter-day Tale,” which will be released on Aug. 13, 2013. You can pre-order this title from,, and

“Emma is an embarrassment to the profession of coaching—at least in the beginning of the book,” said Jamison. “She has such great intentions, but every time she tries to help someone, she makes the situation worse. I think we’ve all felt like that at times.”

Take a peek at the book below!


At the end of the second chapter, Emma is shoveling snow and trying to figure out a way to set up her new friend with Phil Elton.

The snow shoveling gave me a chance to think. I’d planned on introducing Harri to Phil, but I hadn’t planned how I’d do it. Maybe if I asked to borrow something. It would have to be something unusual, something worth walking a mile through the snow to get from him. What would a single guy have that I would want to borrow?

I was so lost in thought, shoveling away the snow, I didn’t notice when Phil Elton himself came up behind me. “Emma, what are you doing here?”

I jumped a little and turned to see Phil, stylish in a gray wool coat. He hadn’t worn a hat, so his brown hair had the usual arranged disorder to it. I couldn’t help smiling. “Hi, Phil.” It was a lucky break, but I should have expected something like that to happen. Phil was always helping people.

Phil had his own snow shovel and was already at work on the driveway. “I can take care of this if you want to go inside and warm up. I guess I should have gotten here earlier.”

“Oh, that’s okay. I didn’t really come here to shovel. I brought my new friend, Harri, over to meet Barbara. They started talking and I decided I could help out a little bit while I’m here. Harri’s more interested in country music than I am.”

Phil nodded his head and chuckled. “Got it.”

It was amazing how much more snow Phil could pick up with his shovel than I could with mine. He cleared three feet of the driveway before I was done with one.

“When we’re done, if you have time, you should come in and meet Harri. I think you two will get along.”

Phil stopped and looked at his watch. “I’m planning to do a couple more driveways before it gets dark.”

“I’ll go get Harri now if you’re in a hurry. She wants to meet you.”

Phil leaned on his shovel. “Harry is a she?”

“Her real name is Harriet. She moved here a couple months ago and she’s hardly met anybody. I think you’ll like her.”

Phil threw his head back, laughed, and started shoveling again. “I thought you were trying to introduce me to your new boyfriend.”

“You think I would be out here shoveling snow while my new boyfriend stays inside?” I grabbed a handful of snow and threw it at him. I didn’t mean to hit him in the face, but that’s where it landed.

Phil wiped the snow off his face and grinned. “I wondered why you were dating such a loser.” I expected him to throw a snowball at me, but he just stood there. “So you don’t have a boyfriend?”

I giggled a little at his awkwardness. “Nope. Harri doesn’t either.”

Phil threw another shovelful of snow away from the driveway. “So you . . . I mean, you and your friend are . . . available?” Phil didn’t open his mouth enough when he talked. That was the one thing about him that always distracted me. I couldn’t help staring at his mouth.

I had to force myself to look into his eyes. “Why is that a shock, Phil? Every woman in that house right now is available. You can take your pick—Harri, me, or Barbara. You’re surrounded by single women.” It was safe to assume Phil wouldn’t pick me. I was at least three inches taller than he was, and it was a rare man who dated a taller woman.