Tag Archives: Janeite

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

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

Happy Birthday Dearest Jane

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Today marks the 235th anniversary of the birth of British author Jane Austen. Austen was born on December 16, 1775. 1775: How amazing is it fact that a woman who lived in a time so removed from our own, can still remain one of the most beloved writers to ever put ink to page?

I came upon my Austen devotion quite early thanks to the abundance of classics in my great grandmother’s bookshelves. She never believed in limiting me or my reading choices by my age. Looking back on this her reasons were probably two-fold: first her library consisted of mostly classical works which were very unlikely to damage my young mind and secondly my reading level was near that of your average English major by middle school. I don’t think anyone knew what to do with me at that point since I had exhausted all the reading options that were age designated. I literally grew up on books, my family never pushed me to read in an unhealthy fashion although of course they never discouraged my book addiction either. I simply had a book in my hand as soon as I was capable of it. To me reading was as necessary as breathing. It was the same to my Granny.

Years later after her death my mother and I went through her boxes of books that she had always claimed would someday come to me. As we opened each box, I waited barely breathing. As I looked over the treasure of classics and old books that showed my Grandmother’s reading library in all it’s detail, I hoped just one was contained within. Meticulously as my Granny would read a book inside she would write her name and the year she had read the book. Most of the books showed this distinctive habit but many did not. As my mother finally pulled out the treasured book I had wished with all my heart was in the box…I took it in my hands and took a deep breath. It was her copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. And as I opened the cover I saw the inscription that brought tears to my eyes.

R. Welch 1971.

Of all the books I have held in my hands and perused with my mind…this is one that means the most. Pride and Prejudice has always been a favorite of mine. It’s always been a book that I could fall into and live in again and again. But what means the most is not only that it is Jane but it is a connection to a woman who made me who I am today. A woman who led me on my path not only to reading but to Jane and eventually librarianship and a desire to spread the classics to others… most of all children.

Sometimes we have “kindred spirits” in this world and just rarely I believe we are lucky enough to find them. Heather Vogel Frederick is no doubt one of mine. Her passion to spread the love of classic literature with children including dear Jane is one I share with all my heart. I am so pleased to share below a little bit about her love of Jane Austen, her newest Jane inspired work and her much coveted pilgrimage. Welcome Heather once again to Stiletto Storytime!

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For Austen fans, all roads eventually lead to Jane, don’t they?

“When The Mother-Daughter Book Club was first published several years ago, I had absolutely no idea that my tale of four middle-school girls reading Little Women would spark a sequel, let alone what has now become a full-blown series (as of this writing, there are two more books in the works).  And yet, somewhere in the back of my mind I must have been open to the possibility, because in retrospect all the seeds for Pies & Prejudice, my just-published tribute to Jane, were planted right from the start (including Phoebe Hawthorne, the librarian mom who is such an Austen nut that she names her daughter and son Emma and Darcy.)

Once it was clear that there would be more than just the one book, I knew right away that at some point the girls would read Pride and Prejudice.  It is, after all, my favorite book, narrowly edging out Persuasion and Charlotte’s Web.  The question was, though, when would my club be ready for it?  I didn’t want to spring it on them too early and risk spoiling the experience.  As difficult as it was, I had to wait a few books while my girls grew up a little.  And so they went on to read Anne of Green Gables in Much Ado About Anne and Daddy-Long-Legs in Dear Pen Pal.  Finally, as ninth grade and the fourth installment rolled around, I deemed that they were ready for Jane.

Christmas came just as I was preparing to launch into the research for what would become Pies & Prejudice. Wanting to get me a meaningful gift, my husband presented me with a glorious set of the Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen.

“I had hoped to find first edition Austens for you,” he confided.  “But they were, um, expensive.”

“Really?” I replied, somehow managing to keep a straight face.  “I had no idea.”  I waited until he left the room to fall on the floor laughing.  Bless his heart, he is such an innocent.

I’m thrilled with the new set, of course, which joins my Everyman’s Library edition and Penguin Classics edition and several dog-eared paperback editions on the shelf.  And of course Jane is on my Kindle in her entirety as well.  One simply cannot be without one’s Austen, and I don’t leave home without her.  And leave home I did, at the earliest opportunity.  Travel for research is one of the perks of a writer’s life, and I take full advantage of it whenever I can, in this case hightailing it to England, where Bath and Chawton and all the other Austen sites awaited.  You can read about my pilgrimage here.

But I can sum it up in one word for you right now:  Sublime.

(Pictured: Heather Vogel Frederick and Jane Austen’s Writing Desk)

My goal for Pies & Prejudice, as with all the other titles in this series, is two-fold:  first and foremost, to tell a good story, because it is a truth universally acknowledged that a good story is the beating heart of any book.  Beyond that, however, I also hope to inspire my readers to seek out the originals and read them, too.  There are certain books that deserve to be known and loved by a new generation, and nothing could make me happier than if my Mother-Daughter Book Club series was single-handedly responsible for a spike in sales of Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Daddy-Long-Legs, Pride and Prejudice, and whatever classic novel my fictional book club ends up tackling next.

My plan appears to be working.  “Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorites now,” wrote one young reader recently, her words echoed by numerous others in the letters and emails I receive.  And really, what better reward is there for a writer, and an Austen fan, than that?”

~Heather Vogel Frederick

Coming up on Stiletto Storytime:

Review and Giveaway of Heather Vogel Frederick’s Pies & Prejudice which has been praised by School Library Journal: 

“With interesting facts about Austen interspersed throughout, and a visit to relevant sites in England incorporated, this book makes an excellent introduction to one of the most masterful—and popular—writers of all time. Don’t be surprised if 12-year-olds start checking out Pride & Prejudice after reading this teen-tailored adaptation.”

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Filed under Author Interviews & Posts, Classic Literature, Heather Vogel Frederick, Jane Austen

The Real Mr. Darcy

Janeites unite! The real Mr. Darcy needs your help! Austenprose is currently running  a poll on the best Mr. Darcy which we all know to be Mr. Colin Firth. So make sure to pop over and cast your vote!

And in other Austen news…there was a survey in 2008 of Jane Austen addicts done by JASNA and the results show who we truly are. The typical stereotype was stated as thus: “typical Jane Austen fan” — female, librarian, English major, tea drinker, classical music lover, NPR listener – with cats.. However the results show that is not always the case. Myself well…I don’t generally listen to NPR and I am a dog person…but other than that guilty as charged! I must say I was pleasantly surprised to see that 33% of us are under 29 and 12% are librarians. We are also generally highly educated and well traveled. Not too shabby at all. Jane would be proud.

Also on my mind…I am patiently awaiting Barnes and Noble to deliver my newly purchased copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Indeed. What would Miss Austen say? Many of the Austen Blogs have given reviews with most summing up that with so many of the Austen inspired modern fiction…a good sense of humor is needed. The Austen purists out there…well perhaps they might want to skip this one. I would love to hear any thoughts if you have beat my to this one!

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Filed under Jane Austen, New Books