Love Downton Abbey? Check Out Wendy Wax’s Latest!

Are you a Downton Abbey fan?  I am!

I’m hooked on the show–loved it so much last year that I even mentioned it in The Good Woman of my Brennan Sisters series (Kit introduced Meg to the show)–and now the talented Wendy Wax has a gorgeous new novel out this week, While We Were Watching Downton Abbeythe story of four friends and a shared passion that could change their lives.

Wendy is such a love.  She took such great care of me when I was in Atlanta in February, during my birthday weekend.  She had me in as a guest in her home, hauled me to book events, joined me in book club discussions, joined me as a special guest author at my reader tea in Roswell, threw me a lovely birthday dinner at her home, and then sent me off to Raleigh with a slice of birthday cake!  I felt spoiled and loved and I want to show her some love back, by sharing with you more about her new book.

The book’s back cover blurb:

When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with each other…

Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money—for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.

Claire Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old world charm of The Alexander, and for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.

And then there’s Brooke MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She’s just starting to realize that it’s time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.

For Samantha, Claire, Brooke—and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings—it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey.


Doesn’t it sound fantastic?  I think so and have just slipped my copy of While We Were Watching Downton Abbey into my suitcase for our trip to Hawaii tomorrow morning and can’t wait to dive in!

In honor of Wendy’s new release, I’m celebrating Wendy by giving away 10 copies of her novel, Ocean Beach. That’s right!  10 copies.  Plus other fun goodies.  For a chance to win one of these special prizes, tell me if you’re a Downton Abbey fan, and what you love about the show!

Contest runs through Sunday night and we’ll announce the 10 winners Monday morning so be sure to check back and see if you won!




  1. Hi Jane,

    I have never watched a single show of Downton Abbey, but I love books like TJ Brown’s Summerset Abbey. So I should probably grab a copy of Wendy Wax’s While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.
    Have a great time in Hawaii.

  2. I watched the entire series of Downton Abbey and I love the characters, the actors and the era. Simply wonderful and special.

  3. I have never watched Downtown Abby. My mil just bought the DVDs. I plan of borrowing them from her. I hear such great things about the show!

    Have fun in Hawii!

  4. I love Wendy’s writing! And I have been so thrilled with Downton Abbey — I’m going to have to figure out how to get more BBC offerings to my tv..but then I might have to read less.. Now I’m between a rock and a hard place.

  5. I have never seen it, but keep hearing about it, so I will have to check it out.
    Wendy’s book sounds wonderful, so in the meantime, I will pick that up.
    Have fun in Hawaii.

  6. Wendy sounds like a lovely person!

    I haven’t seen Downton Abbey yet, since I don’t have cable tv. But, I noticed it’s available to watch on Netflix, so I plan on watching it very soon. Can’t wait to see it, as I’ve heard so many good things about the series. Wendy’s new book sounds like a fun read!

  7. I’m a huge fan of Downton Abbey and Maggie Smith’s character is my absolute favorite in the show. I love how expressive her face is.
    Wendy’s new book sounds delightful and I’ve just added it to my Nook. So looking forward to reading it soon. Thanks for sharing, Jane!

  8. Downton Abbey was my Sunday Night escape which was enthralling and captivating for me. I enjoyed the wonderful and meaningful acting and the storyline greatly.

  9. I love Downton Abbey! My favorite on the show is Maggie Smiths character. Love her! My favorite seasons were 1 and 3. Love the whole show.

  10. I’m guilty of never watching Downtown Abbey either, but with all the comments and now this book set around the show I’m definitely interested in starting!! Can you jump right in or do you need to go back to the beginning?

  11. I Love Downton Abbey because of the story and the great charcters that are part of the story. It is wonderful to see the beautiful fashions worn by the ladies of the show and the gorgeous house. The male actors are not bad to look at either. Makes me wish sometimes we still lived in such a polite and refined era.

  12. I have never seen it. I don’t get a chance to watch much t.v. Bella always has the t.v set to Nick Jr. And she’s the princess in the house. What she wants, she gets 😉

  13. Haven’t Watched the how yet…will be doing a NetFlix marathon when my daughter comes to visit!

  14. I have to say, I have not yet seen it, but my Dad got me all 3 seasons on disk, so I just have to sit down and watch them….I have a feeling I need a chunk of time because once I start… I can’t wait!

  15. I haven’t seen Downton Abbey yet, but all my friends are telling me I have to watch it. I may start on the past seasons this summer.

  16. I have not seen DTA, but I hear so much about it. Maybe I’ll catch up with the show and see what everyone’s talking about Lol. Have a fun & safe trip to Hawaii! 🙂

  17. I’ve just started watching Downton Abbey on Netflix. It’s fascinating watching the societal norms and fashions back then.

  18. I did not watch the first season but I did watch some of the second but I felt lost and could not get interested because of it. I might try again if I can catch up on the first season.

    I am looking for new authors and Wendy’s book looks like a very good book to read. I would love to win one. Thank you for your contest.

  19. I haven’t watched it yet but it’s on my playlist. I have a new baby so TV watching has been less a priority lately. I’m anxious to see it as I hear great things though!

    (And in a side note, I still am making a point to find time to read.)

  20. I haven’t actually watched Downton Abbey yet (gasp, I know!). I do however have it on Netflix and plan to watch it over the next week and a half while my husband is out of town.

  21. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve watched of Downton but haven’t really ’embraced it’ per se. But I understand how a show can influence one’s perspective.
    I did enjoy Shirley MacLaine’s part on the show-she was such a perfect foil for Maggie Smith.
    Have a great trip!

  22. I’ve seen every episode of Downton Abbey and feel Maggie Smith gets the best lines! I’m glued to the set with my bowl of popcorn whenever it’s on.

  23. My hubby, daughter and I love Downton Abbey and have recently caught up with all the shows. I love the era, the costumes, the writing and the characters are all so wonderful. Two of our favorites are Anna and Mr. Bates. 🙂

  24. I am a Downton Abbey fan. I started the series late (maybe 2 months ago) and I’m just savoring season 3 now–WHILE reading Wendy’s new book. Absolutely perfect read after losing myself in the Crowley’s world! (Should finish the book tonight–yay!)

  25. I have never watched Downtown Abbey (haven’t heard of it) but plan to check it out & see if it is another show I must become addicted to. Thanks for the chance to win the book!

  26. Honestly…don’t have T.V. I’ve heard a lot about Downtown Abbey and will probably rent the season when it’s released on DVD, but until then the computer and my books keep me busy and happy!

  27. I have heard of the show, but I never watched. I have looked through the site and it does look interesting. I will have ti check.

    Have fun on your vacation!

  28. I LOVE Downton Abbey, and while I love the “upstairs” group, my favorite characters on the show are “downstairs” – Mrs. Padmore, Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Bates and Anna. This has become one of my favorite shows, and I’m so sad that the season is so short!

  29. I’ve never watched Downton Abbey, but have been wanting to with all the press and raves it gets. I know Seasons 1-3 are out in DVD, so hope to pick them up soon. I’ve also never read any of Wendy’s books, so I look forward to meeting a new author.


  30. I am sorry to say I have never watched Downtown Abbey. I have heard so much about it but have never checked it out, must do that. So little time to watch things like that. I tend to watch the things my husband watches. We keep the DVR loaded with things he likes to watch. I do watch Greys Anatomy and he doesn’t watch that.

  31. I may be disqualifying myself but I’m afraid I’ve not seen it. I don’t watch a lot of TV and have to share the TV with my husband who unfortunately had no interest in it.

  32. Downton Abbey is a fabulous show and the cast is perfect. As a teenager I watched Upstairs Downstairs with my mum. We also watched many series & movies on the Tudors & other British Monarchs, Poldark, War & Peace, Anna Karenina, every Jan Austen series, movie & film, just to cover a few. My mum was a librarian and passed onto me the love of reading and books. I particularly enjoy historical novels and their movie & TV adaptions. My mum no longer has memory of any of us watching them but I know she would too have enjoyed Downton Abbey.

  33. I can’t wait to read Wendy’s new book. Sounds wonerful. I honestly have not caught an episode of DTA…but with what I am hearing, I will have to start watching. Enjoy your trip to Hawaii.

  34. I love Downton Abbey! I’m so upset that we won’t be able to see the new season until Jan 2014!!! I can’t wait that long!

  35. I have not read Wendy Wax’s book or watched Downton Abbey show. I can’t wait to though! I think it wonderful that Jane keeps her readers up to date on other great writers books! Have a great weekend!

  36. I’m not yet but you’re making me want to tune in!! Thanks for sharing…can ‘t wait to read them!!

    Enjoy your trip to Hawaii!!

    Love ya,

  37. I love how the show points out the individual flaws in each of the personalities on Downton Abbey. No one on the show is perfect and that’s what makes this show so watchable and so extremely enjoyable.

  38. I’ve never watched Downton Abbey before but I do want to read it. I definitely want to read Wendy Wax’s newest book!

    Thanks so much!

  39. I have season 1 & 2 on DVD, but haven’t watched them yet:(. I just finished Wendy’s book, 10 Beach Road and LOVED it! Ocean Beach is the sequel.

  40. I never watched a single show of “Downton Abbey” but I think “While We Were Watching Downton Abbey” sounds like an interesting read.

    Have fun on vacation!

  41. I’ve never seen the show and just looked in my tv listings and it doesn’t show it. I guess I’ll never know what it’s all about.

  42. Love the era, love Maggie Smith, love the accents, love everything about the show. And most definitely love reading Wendy Wax books.

  43. My whole family is addicted to Downton Abbey – how can you resist a show with Maggie Smith as its star??!!

  44. I totally need to watch the show, as I hear such good things about it. Wendy Wax’s books are awesome. I’m so happy she has a new one out!

  45. I have not seen it, but I have heard wonderful things about it. I have been debating whether or not I wanted to get sucked in to it. I have the feeling that I will someday soon, and I will love it.

    What a great friend Wendy is to you, thanks for introducing us to her. I will add her to my TBR pile.

    Have a wonderful relaxing time in HA!


  46. I do enjoy Downton Abbey. Historical period dramas give you a look at the dress, culture and attitudes of the people of that time. Always fascinating to watch.

  47. Hi Jane!
    I love DA! I started watching midway through the second series and had to backtrack immediately (thank goodness for Netflix!) so that I could be caught up with the storyline. I love the Crawleys and everyone downstairs, but I’m still reeling from the tragic loss of Matthew. I can’t wait until January so that I can immerse myself once again in my favorite English story.

  48. Oh, and I love Lady Violet—my girlfriends and I enjoy quoting her most memorable quips after each episode. 🙂

  49. DA sucks me in the moment I hear the opening music. My husband and I watched the first season in a weekend because heard such great things about it. Now we’re at the end of season 3 and panting for more!!

  50. I also must admit to never having seen it, but will have to check it out since everyone is raving about it!!

  51. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it yet either, but it is definitely on my to-watch list. I’ve seen a million and one good things about it. Hopefully I can catch up on it very soon!

  52. YES! I love Downton Abbey … everything about it. 🙂 First off, I love the time period … the history, fashions, home interiors, and lifestyles. Second, I love the location … fancy estates & cute little villages, wonderful accents, and daily tea time. Lastly, I have so enjoyed getting to know the characters … their ups & downs, their bonds & break-ups, I just get sucked right in! 😀 My only complaint … the seasons are WAY TOO SHORT!! 😉

  53. We have watched two seasons of Downton Abbey and the acting is amazing. What a great idea to have a book with characters who enjoy the series. My favorite character is Mr. Bates who always portrays his emotions carefully and correctly. Thanks for another great book recommendation.

  54. I haven’t started watching, yet. I have heard it is a great show. I want to catch first 3 seasons before next season starts.

  55. I hope you get a chance to really dive into the book during your flight to Hawaii, Jane. I have not watched Downtown Abbey, though my daughter in law loves the show so I do hear about it and it sounds interesting.

  56. I LOVE Downton Abbey!! Just started watching this past year, and bought the first 2 seasons. I hope you have a great time in Hawai’i. It was nice to see you in Tulare last month 🙂

  57. Wendy’s book sounds like a wonderful read and has now been added to my TBR list. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii. Aloha Huaka’i philiatoha.

  58. I’ve never watched the show but just about everyone I know watches it. I guess I will have to try it sometime.

  59. Hi! I’ve watched the first season of Downtown Abbey,but have too much homework to watch TV. much but did enjoy the program. Maybe, will catch up this summer. Have fun in Hawaii!

  60. I LOVE Downton Abbey!!!! A few friends had mentioned it and I kept hearing about it so I decided to watch an episode. I watched my very first episode on a Friday and by Tuesday night I had watched all three seasons!!!! I never thought it was the type of show I would watch, but I am addicted!! I am just bummed I have to wait until January for the new season to start. Would love to win a copy:-)

  61. I am a big Masterpiece Classic fan and Downton Abbbey is the only TV show that my mother and I both watch (although not together). I think it’s terrific. My favorite character (by far) is the Dowager Duchess. Maggie Smith is wonderful in the role.
    I won 10 copies of Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax last year. I read it, loved it and then donated all the copies to my local library for the book club. It was a big hit!

  62. I have not see DA yet as I am currently boycotting my outrageous DirecTV prices! LOL I would love to read Ocean Beach. It is on my TBR list and always recommended by Thanks for the chance to win. (if I win monday, I’ll be on vacation and check winners on the 13th) I like to think positive!
    Good luck to all! Enjoy your vacation, Jane!

  63. I have never watched the show but I am knitting a shawl with the colorway “Downton Abbey”. It is beautiful!

  64. I’ve never seen Downton Abbey, but the more I hear about it, the more I want to watch it. I do LOVE Maggie Smith so it wouldn’t be a hardship to watch. 🙂

  65. I have not seen the show yet. I’m usually behind on watching the popular shows when they’re popular. I just started watching Sex in the City.

  66. Hi Jane,

    My favourite part of Downton Abbey is Maggie Smith: She’s just terrific as always! But seriously, I just love getting lost in the sounds of British English every now and then 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  67. I haven’t ever seen the show, but I’ve heard great things so I’ll have to check it out. This book of Wendy’s sounds great too…definitely adding it to my wish list 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend Jane!

  68. I’ve never seen Downtown Abbey but from the comments I should.
    It sounds like my kind of read; thanks for sharing.

  69. Wendy is a new to me author first so ty for sharing her work! secondly I have heard so many things about that series i started to watch it so far I like it alot I havent watched much because of my busy schedule but so far its awesome!I dont have a favorite character yet

    ty for the opertunity and the chance

  70. I do love to watch DOWNTON ABBEY. The costumes for one and I love the interactions between the upstairs & downstairs. Maggie Smith is a treasure.

  71. I have not watched Downton Abbey, but the reviews are super and maybe I should catch up. The book – While we Were Watching Downton Abbey – is already on my t-b-r list though. Dee

  72. I have never watched Downtown Abbey but have heard about it about 2 months ago. My curiosty is peaked and I need to check it out. I will definately search out Wendy’s new book.

  73. I have not watched Downton Abbey yet but every one of my friends tell me it is fabulous. I know I need to check it out but I care for my 88 year old mother and my 9 year old daughter, 2 kids in college and oh not to forget my husband. lol Time is a precious commodity. Have a fabulous time in Hawaii.

  74. Unfortunately , i haven’t watched the show yet . (Still on vacation, but really like to win the books)

  75. I LOVE Downton Abbey! I just started watching it earlier this year, which means I got to watch it all on DVD. The upside? I watched all three seasons in about three weeks. 🙂 The downside? I have to wait until January for season 4. 🙁 It’s such a great show! Great stories, great cast, and beautiful clothes! I’m so glad I caught up with this wonderful show! Hope you have fun in Hawaii!

  76. I haven’t seen the show. I have really wanted to but haven’t found the time! I need to DVR it. But if she writes anything like you, I’m sure I will like her. I was recently introduced to you through Chik lit central and have read all your books and have truly enjoyed them!

  77. I love Downton Abbey so much I’ve spread the love. I sent my girlfriend the season 1 and 2 DVD and now she and her children are hooked. She’s even got her sister, who lives in Cypress, addicted to the show. What do I love best about Downton Abbey? What don’t I love about Downton Abbey? I’m so enamoured with the show that I have most of the associated/affiliated books, bought a “Free Bates” t-shirt, and was in mourning after the deaths of Sybil and Matthew (seriously, I wore black for days). Can’t wait to read WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY to round out my DA books. Thanks for such an awesome giveaway.

  78. I’m a huge fan of Downton Abbey and recently watched the first 3 seasons in a row with my sisters. It’s such a great show to bond over because the characters are so well written and everyone gets time to shine. The costumes and scenery are just stunning and we know that no one is safe or gets to be happy for too long. I was shocked by the ending of Season 3 and can’t wait for Season 4 to begin! Maggie Smith is an absolute treasure and I love Anna & Bates, but I really hope that they stop killing off characters that I like!

  79. I LOVE Downton Abbey! I was so disappointed when the series ended for the season. This book looks fabulous!

  80. Love Downton Abby, especially the clothes and the fact that they can wear their same nice dress over and over again and no one cares! Always looking for a new author so would be excited to read a book by Wendy Wax.

  81. I have never watched the series of Downtown Abbey, but have been hearing lots of good things about it.

    I will have to add it to my list to watch and add Wendy to my author’s list to check out.

    Enjoy Hawaii! and send some sunshine this way!

  82. It’s so much fun when authors I like introduce me to new authors… I found Wendy Wax right here on the Janeblog a few months back and thoroughly enjoyed her book Ten Beach Road. This new one sounds wonderful, especially as I am hooked on Downton Abbey. I love the clothes/fashions on Downton Abbey, and I love the home and the grounds. Have a great time in Hawaii Jane!

  83. I haven’t watched this show yet, but I have to because so many of my friends keep recommending it to me. I really must check and see if Netflix has it. Hope you all have an amazing week. Maybe if I get my spring cleaning done I can get to watching it over the weekend.

  84. No, never got to watch the show, but sure sounds like I am missin’ out big time. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii..Ruth

  85. Hi everyone,
    It’s so good to be back in Hawaii. Had a great time with all my boys yesterday and I’m looking forward to another gorgeous day today.
    The ten winners for a copy of Wendy’s Ocean Beach are –

    #21 Sabrina-Kate Eryou
    #100 Rebecca Garrett
    #48 Janet Femmer
    #36 Suzy M
    #54 Diana Kaye
    #96 Ranee Wheeler
    #80 Sandy Pochapin
    #39 Leanna Morris
    #22 Kathy Fannon
    #44 Karen Pietrusinski

    Winners, drop me an email with your mailing address and I’ll get books and goodies in the mail to you.
    Happy Monday!
    Jane xoxoxo

  86. Received my book and gifts yesterday. Can’t wait to get started on the book and loved all the goodies. Everyone I know was tired of me bragging by the end of the day yesterday. 🙂 Thank you Jane.

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