Tag Archives: Jane Austen

Pride & Predjudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop

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Happy Happy Anniversary Pride & Prejudice. Can you believe it’s been 200 years? It’s amazing when you think about it that something written so long ago still has such a hold on so many individuals, still inspires such passion in our hearts and minds. I cannot tell you how excited I am to celebrate this milestone and to be able to co-host this fabulous event with author Alyssa Goodnight. Thank you to each and every one of you who are joining us and helping make the Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop possible.

My love of Jane Austen is something very dear to my heart. This love is something that happened so early on in my life -it has become such an engrained part of who I am as a person and my personality that it’s hard to really remember myself before. Digging further, Pride and Prejudice is an especially personal work for me. I came to love it at the age of 13 when I first read the book…soon after I laid my eyes upon Colin Firth and my Mr. Darcy found a forever face in my mind. It’s also a very very special book for me because of it’s connection to my great great grandmother.

My Granny was a reader. As a child I often spent time with her since she lived only two houses down. She watched me while my mother worked and summers were spent in her care as well. My grandmother was a life-long reader. She owned multiple bookshelves and perusing them became a favorite past time of mine from a very young age. I loved staying up nights reading with her and making my way through her personal bookshelves knowing each book had been read and selected by her. Unfortunately around the age of ten, I was no longer able to spend time with my Granny. She began to suffer from dementia and quickly lost the ability to live on her own, take care of herself and even recognize me. To her the adult Courtney was unconceivable, she pictured me as a little girl and so I stayed away as not to upset her. Needless to say I was devastated. Although she did not pass away until my early twenties…our relationship ended too early and a large hole was put into my heart much before she left this earth. While my grandmother never shared Pride and Prejudice with me personally (I suspect she would have had I reached the age), she did encourage a love of reading that defines me and the path I have chosen in life. When she died I was desperate to revisit our special times and luckily her entire book collection became my very own. By this time I was a devoted Janeite…imagine my joy when I discovered tucked amongst her books her very own copy of Pride and Prejudice.

My Grandmother had a unique habit when she read a book. She would write her name and the year she read it within the cover. However she did not do it to every book she owned. I suspect she started in later in life so her earlier books remained blank.  When I saw that copy of Pride and Prejudice I literally burst into tears but then immediately prayed that it contained her handwritten name as well. As I opened the cover I could not contain myself, inside was her name in the handwriting I will never forget to the day I die. To this day that book is one of most prized and valued objects. It is not only one of my favorite books by my favorite author…it is a link to my Granny. A symbol that she and I are forever linked and so very similar. Though she left me too early, I know she would be so proud of who I have become. For that reason Pride and Prejudice goes so far beyond being just any book. And that one volume means the sun, moon and stars when I hold it in my hands.

Jane Austen Journal Giveaway

Join the Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party HopPlease remember to join in and travel to all our wonderful participants in this hop…some may even have goodies up for grabs. Speaking of goodies, I wanted to give away something Austen themed for this very special occasion. So the lovely Jane Austen journal below will be finding a home with one of you dear readers. I own one myself and love to jot down quotes that jump out for me and even after over 15 years of Austen, I still come across lines that make me think, laugh and smile. So want to add this journal to your collection of Jane Austen items? It’s very easy to be entered…just share a Pride and Prejudice moment or memory with all of us as we share and celebrate on this very special 200th anniversary. Happy Anniversary Pride and Prejudice…here’s to 200 more years and once again “Bravo” dear Jane.

Giveaway ends midnight EST on January 29, 2013. Open internationally. Winner will be notified via e-mail address.

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Filed under Contests, Events, Jane Austen, Movies, Reading Fun

Join the Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop

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Can you believe it? In exactly two weeks or as Jane would say “in only a fortnight”, our beloved Pride & Prejudice is about to turn 200 years old! How can you let an event like that pass without a celebration of enormous proportions amongst all Janeites and even those who only have a passing relationship with the classic…the answer is….you can’t. That’s why when the very talented Jane Austen inspired author Alyssa Goodnight approached me about doing a 200th Anniversary Party Blog Hop, I simply couldn’t resist. 200 Austen lovers getting together to celebrate 200 years of Pride & Prejudice is our goal. That’s right 200 of you…I know that’s quite a large number but what can I say we’re optimists and this is a very big milestone indeed. How often does this type of anniversary come around after all?

Jane Austen Journal

So you want to be a part of the party? It’s simple really. Just sign up and post on January 28, 2013 about the anniversary of Pride & Prejudice. You can post about anything you would like as long as it is P & P related…write a letter to Jane herself about how she’s affected your life with her most treasured tome, reminisce about the first time you saw your favorite embodiment of Mr. Darcy whether it be Colin Firth (as it should be) or any other I suppose (wink) on the big or small screen. You could even write a bit of fan fiction yourself if you felt so inclined. Also if you’d like you can host a giveaway or mini-challenge event as we hope people will be hopping around the participant blogs and having a grand ole time.

Here at Stiletto Storytime I will be posting about Pride & Prejudice as well as hosting a fun little game for all my devoted Janeite friends. The prize will be a lovely Jane Austen journal for you to jot your favorite Austen quotes into in the future. So get fun, get creative and get excited as we celebrate a classic that has made all our live richer in so many ways. And remember begin to prepare for the party coming up in two weeks but sign up now here.

So you’re formally invited ladies and gentlemen. Won’t you please honor us and dearest Jane with your online presence?

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Book Blogs, Contests, Events, Jane Austen

It’s Another Happy Birthday Dearest Jane!

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Happy Birthday to Jane Austen!

I am always reminded as I trim my tree with one special ornament flown in all the way from Bath, England ….It’s that time of year again. Once again it is time to celebrate the birth of my favorite and undoubtedly one of the most influential and talented authors in all of history: Ms. Jane Austen herself. I always love talking about Jane especially with other Janeites who love her just as much as I do…mostly because she seems to cross all barriers and holds such a dear place in my own heart. She is beloved around the world and even non-readers know her name and work through various forms of media that now make her even more immortal. She continues to inspire and create for one simple reason: she is truly timeless. Her work is such an exquisite study of human nature that it can fit in  any time period or place in history in which one might try and place it. Beyond that she continues to inspire writers today in amazingly large numbers whether their work be connected to her characters, herself or her memory. To help commemorate Ms. Austen’s birthday here at Stiletto Storytime I have invited two of my favorite Austen loving authors to share what Jane has meant to them personally. So fellow Janeites enjoy and do light a candle tonight in celebration while your peruse your favorite Austen masterpiece, giggle along with Bridget Jones or dream of Colin Firth….in any case have a fabulous Austen evening!

Happy birthday, dear Jane!  I wish I could give you a gift, for you’ve given me so many over the years, from six of the best novels a girl could ever ask for, to one of the best pieces of writing advice a girl could ever wish for:  

“Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on,” you counseled your niece a long time ago.  I hope you don’t mind that I took your words to heart, too.  They helped steer my Mother-Daughter Book Club series, which I set in my old hometown of Concord, Massachusetts — a village of which you would have heartily approved.  I had such fun writing those stories that I’m diving in all over again with a new book set in another village, the fictional town of Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire.

So thank you, Jane, for blazing a trail for so many of us who have followed you, pen in hand.  We may never measure up to your inimitable genius, but we’ll nevertheless delight in every step of the way.

Respectfully yours,
Heather Vogel Frederick

What Jane Austen Means To Me…

Hmmm…tough question.  What Jane Austen means to me is almost indefinable, perhaps because she is so many things that I simply can’t consolidate.  She is wit, silliness, and romance—lovely, memorable romance—and certainly, she is comfort.  Her own novels bring back a simpler time, even with all the rules and restrictions.  And the fictions written by all of her fans offer another connection to that charming setting that was never truly imaginary: The World of Jane Austen.  She has infused her novels with such substance that they feel real and relevant even centuries later.  That is magic—she is magic, perhaps that’s the best way to describe what she means to me.  Jane has a sparkle that I hope will never dim in the eyes of the world’s readers.

Happy Birthday Jane!  No candles necessary—you’re glowing! ~Alyssa Goodnight

Jane Austen Birthday Celebration Giveaway

What would a birthday be without gifts? And thanks to these two truly fabulous ladies two lucky Stiletto Storytime winners will walk away with a little Austen themed literary goodness to help celebrate the occasion. One lucky winner will receive a copy of Pies & Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick and another lucky winner will receive a copy Austentatious by Alyssa Goodnight.

To enter please share below what Jane Austen has meant to you. When did she first come into your world? How did she make her entrance….do you think she’ll ever leave? 

Giveaway will end on December 23, 2012 at midnight EST. This giveaway is open to US/CAN addresses only please. Winners will be chosen by random number generator and notified by e-mail.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway at Stiletto Storytime (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Classic Literature, Events, Heather Vogel Frederick, Jane Austen

Blog Tour & Author Guest Post with Ali McNamara of From Notting Hill with Love…Actually

“Scarlett O’Brien, utterly addicted to romantic films, has found her leading man. She’s convinced Sean is Mr Right, but the day-to-day reality of a relationship isn’t quite like the movies. With Sean constantly away on business, Scarlett and her new best friend Oscar decide to head to New York for the holiday of a lifetime. From one famous landmark to the next, Scarlett and Oscar make many new friends during their adventure – including sailors in town for Fleet Week, a famous film star, and Jamie & Max, a TV reporter and cameraman. Scarlett finds herself strangely drawn to Jamie, they appear to have much in common: a love of films and Jamie’s search for a parent he never knew. But Scarlett has to ask herself why she is reacting like this to another man when she’s so in love with Sean . . “

I know I am not the only lover of British romantic comedies out there and even more so a lover of the books that these films often issue forth from. For instance take one of my absolute favorite films Bridget Jone’s Diary which of course was based upon the novel of the same name written by the fabulously clever Helen Fielding and stars my own personal vision of Mr. Darcy personified: the Colin Firth. It was from Jane Austen herself that Ms. Fielding found her inspiration in the ultimate classic Pride and Prejudice which just may be perhaps the very first and most beloved romantic comedy of all.

As soon as I saw the title to this book I knew I not only wanted to read it and be a part of the blog tour but I also had to know a little bit more about Ms. McNamara’s inspiration. The two films mentioned in the title are two of the most well known and loved contemporary British romantic comedies of modern times in my opinion..but what lay behind the films for this writer personally and ultimately led to the inspiration to put pen to paper? Well, who better to ask than the author herself….so without further ado:

Where did and do  your literary inspirations usually derive from Ms. McNamara?

Guest Post by Author Ali McNamara

“My inspirations come from all over. I got the idea for From Notting Hill with Love…Actually when I was watching one of the music channels on TV one day.  It was a countdown of the Top 50 best movie songs of all time. I just thought wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could feature as many of those movies as possible in one story, and the idea began to develop from there.

The idea for my second novel Breakfast at Darcy’s came when I was on a touring holiday of Ireland. My husband and myself were parked in our car one day overlooking the island of Great Blasket in County Kerry. We began to talk about how you would go about living on an island such as that, and how easy or difficult it would be. My initial spark of an idea began to turn into a plot for a fully formed novel, when we later went over and visited the island.

 My characters usually come from my own imagination, but my latest book, out in the UK in November, has a couple of characters that are based on real people I met when I was in New York doing research. Luckily they both agreed, and are quite happy about me basing two characters on them, I haven’t had to pretend or try to conceal anything!

 But I’m always thinking and never find myself stuck for inspiration, and even thought I’m currently writing my fourth book at the moment, I currently have ideas for at least 2-3 more books after that!”

~ Ali McNamara

 Thanks so much to the very stylish Ali McNamara for stopping by Stiletto Storytime today and sharing her novel that has just recently hopped over the pond to us lucky Americans. If you enjoy a good romantic comedy…especially one of British origins, then From Notting Hill with Love…Actually is perfect for you. And if we’re lucky soon the sequel From Notting Hill to New York…Actually which releases this November in Britain will also make it’s way over as well. Another of Ali’s books Breakfast at Darcy’s can be gotten through UK means as well if you become hooked…and that’s a very real possibility.

So in the spirit of the celebration of romantic comedies of both the film and literary type…what’s your favorite? Personally I will have to admit to being a “You’ve Got Mail” girl all the way. I watch it all the time and especially when I am feeling under the weather. It’s got everything…a cute, quirky heroine, a bookstore, Jane Austen references and the all important bad guy love interest turned Mr. Right. So which one is your favorite and why? I would love know…more to add to both my reading and viewing list. So enjoy and Happy Reading to All.

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Filed under Adult Books, Author Interviews & Posts, Blog Tour, Girly Books, Jane Austen, New Books

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop featuring Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight

Welcome to Stiletto Storytime’s Jane Austen Giveaway Hop stop. So glad to have so many of my dear Janeites swinging by to try and score some great Jane inspired goodies. I am especially excited to be able to offer one lucky winner a Jane Austen inspired novel that is yet to be published. Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight will not be officially published until January 29, 2013 but you can win an ARC now and be one of the first to enjoy this modern day romp into Jane culture. Many of you will remember Alyssa’s novel Austentatious. You can check out my review for that work here. And read below about her latest endeavor into Jane Austen inspired fiction….

Steamy, funky, and thoroughly modern, Austin, Texas isn’t much like the gardened country estates of Jane Austen’s work. But there might be a few similarities in its inhabitants…
Cate Kendall is no stranger to daydreams of brooding men and fancy parties–after all, she teaches one of her beloved Jane Austen novels in her English classes every year. But as for romance or adventure in her own life, the highlight of most weeks is Scrabble with her cute coworker, Ethan, and he draws the line at witty banter. But Cate is ready for a change. When she finds a mysterious journal that seems to have a link to the soul of the great Jane Austen herself, she knows it’s her chance. And she grabs on with both hands…
Before she knows it, Cate has invented an alter ego with an attitude, attended some seriously chic soirees, and gotten tangled up with a delicious mystery man. And she’s uncovered enough unexpected secrets about Ethan that her Scrabble partner has taken to brooding looks and unfathomable silences. It’s a positively Austenite predicament, and Cate is sure she’ll land in hot water and heartbreak–but maybe not with Jane herself to guide her…”

Sounds great right? I know you can’t wait to read it just as much as myself. In fact I will be digging into my ARC soon and posting a review here at Stiletto Storytime in the future. In the meantime let’s get to the giveaway…I’m going to make it as simply as possible for all my Janeites. Simply share your favorite Jane Austen quote. It can be from one of her novels, her personal letters…etc. Just share a moment of Jane that has stuck with you until this day. That comment below will automatically enter you into the giveaway. After all what better way to celebrate dear Jane than to share her immortal words? I can’t wait to see what everyone chooses and hopefully hear some new to me quotes as well. So think…dig deep and try to be as original as possible. I will share my own favorite when I announce the lucky winner.

 Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Giveaway ends midnight EST on October 24th 2012. Giveaway open to US addresses only.

Good Luck to all and Happy Reading! And of course make sure to check 0ut all the blogs in the fabulous The Jane Austen Giveaway Hop. One to make sure you stop by is author Alyssa Goodnight’s Blog where she is giving away a copy of Austentatious.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Author Alyssa Goodnight on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about the Jane Austen Giveaway Hop Stop at Stiletto Storytime (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Classic Literature, Jane Austen, New Books

My Week in Reading

Wow! What a week/month in reading this is turning out to be! It’s the week before we head out to the beach for vacation. This year we rented a house on Tybee Island for a week so I can’t wait to make my vacation reading list (you know those books I have been wanting to read forever but reviewing commitments or life just kept getting in the way). Can’t wait to pack my books and head out for some relaxation in the sun and water. We’ll be on the beach and have a pool so I can’t wait for my beach reading in the sand and my floating in the pool reading as well. Vacation reading is right up there with my very favorite types of reading. Probably a nice tie between vacation reading and holiday reading if I had to choose. What’s your favorite kind of reading? I will make sure to share my vacation books in a post closer to our departure. In the meantime….

This week/month I am also participating in two great reading events. First off the Summer Wrap -Up Read-a-thon hosted by Jennifer at Some Like It Paranormal and Jude at In Between which takes place from August 4th-12th which means it will even last a day into vacation. Right now I am working on finishing up Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver for this reading event. This event also has tons of mini-challenges and giveaways on offer and a Twitter following at #SWUR. Feel free to join….even though the event has begun you can still sign up here and try to finish up some of that TBR pile. I will be keeping track of my progress here on this post along with my participation in challenges.

Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-thon Progress

Books Completed: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

Pages Completed: 889

Mini-Challenges Completed: 4

The other great reading event going on right now is a month long reading challenge that is dear to my pure Janeite heart. It’s Austen in August: A Reading Event which you can learn more about and sign up for here. It’s being hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this one since I love any excuse to sit back and re-read Jane Austen. I am going to start this event out by reading my new Penguin Classics fabric covered copy of Persuasion that I won awhile back from Austenprose. It’s such a lovely book…I simply can’t wait. You can follow this event on Twitter with #AustenInAugustRBR . I will be keeping track of my progress in this event on this post as well.

Austen in August Progress

Currently Reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Books Completed: 0

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Filed under Adult Books, Challenges, Classic Literature, Contests, Events, Jane Austen, Reading Challenge

Guest Post: Kaitlin Saunders of “A Modern Day Persuasion”

    Today on the eve of that day of love…Stiletto Storytime welcomes Kaitlin Saunders author of A Modern Day Persuasion to the blog to talk about what else Jane Austen and true love, two of our favorite topics this time of year with Valentine’s Day fastly approaching on the morrow. For lovers of Austen and Persuasion specifically- what better way to celebrate the holiday of love than by reading Kaitlin’s book A Modern Day Persuasion? She’s done a terrific job of bringing all the dearly loved and despised characters of that classic right into the 21st century along with all the love and longing that make it so special. Saunders also has a great capacity for keeping the integrity and honor of Anne Elliott alive which I feel is essential to any re-write of this time honored favorite of Austen fans and others alike.

So what makes Persuasion so special to Kaitlin that she wanted to bring it into modern day literature? Read on and find out as she visits us here at Stiletto Storytime!

“A love story like Anne and Rick’s is timeless.  It seems only fitting to celebrate their romance during this infamous month of love.
Compared to most romantic tales of the heart, Persuasion, to me, seems much more meaningful because of its theme of having loved and lost.  I believe the heart so much more capable of the truest love when it has rebounded from heartbreak.  Anne knew the loneliness, the longing, the belief that she would never find love again.  Haven’t we all felt that way at some point?  Like Anne, I had my heart broken just after high school, and although I longed for my first boyfriend to pursue me again, he didn’t.  But sometimes we have God to thank for unanswered prayers.  I’m married now to a wonderful man who loves me whole-heartedly and will never leave me.  Isn’t that what we desire, ladies?  Someone who can look beyond our acne, bad hair months, and those few extra pounds we can’t shake?
Like my husband, Rick is a hero to be reckoned with.  Rick never forgot Anne.  In fact, I believe during their long separation he never had eyes for anyone else.  Some might argue that Louisa caught his fancy, albeit temporarily, but in my opinion she was just a means for making Anne jealous.  After all, Anne’s initial refusal had created a seed of rejection which no doubt flourished during their years apart.  But as soon as Rick realized Anne might share his long-enduring feelings, he wasted no time in writing her the letter immortalized within the pages of what some critics claim is Austen’s most sentimental of novels.
Persuasion, with all its ups and downs, is a tale of second chances.  This genuine love story has forever endeared itself to my heart, leaving no doubt in my mind which of Jane’s books I wanted to adapt first.  Now readers world-wide can enjoy Anne’s journey to happiness both in the past and present!”
Happy Valentine’s Day! ~ Kaitlin Saunders
Thanks so much Kaitlin for sharing and for being a guest on Stiletto Storytime. Happy Reading and
Happy Early Valentine’s Day to All!

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Filed under Adult Books, Author Interviews & Posts, Chick Lit, Jane Austen