Tag Archives: Pies and Prejudice

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

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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

Review & Giveaway: Pies & Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick

“Right before the start of their freshman year, the mother-daughter book club faces yet another challenge when Emma’s family unexpectedly moves to England. Leave it to the resourceful girls, however, to find a way to continue meeting and discuss a particularly fitting choice, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

In England, Emma encounters a new queen bee, Annabelle, who sets out to make her life miserable. Back in Massachusetts, meanwhile, Annabelle’s cousins swap homes with Emma’s family and are causing some major distractions. Cassidy clashes with moody Tristan, a modern day Mr. Darcy, while her friends swoon over Tristan’s younger brother Simon. As the year progresses, the girls each discover new talents, and when they cook up a plan to bring Emma home for a visit by holding a bake sale, it grows into a thriving business, Pies & Prejudice. After their sweet scheme looks like it’s going to fall short, though, they’re left wondering if the club will ever all be together again.”

It’s no secret that the The Mother Daughter Book Club series is one of my favorites for girls and now for teens as well since the girls are growing up and so are their book selections.  Best of all they are finally discovering my favorite author: Jane Austen. From the very first book in the series, we saw Austen connections with Emma whose mother just happens to be an Jane Austen loving librarian. She even named her son Darcy (something I tried and my husband nixed by the way). So it was only a matter of time before the girls aged and encountered Jane among other things such as boys and the pressures of starting of high school.

In Pies & Prejudice we get all the things we love about the series and much much more. One of my favorite aspects of the books has always been the girls themselves. Each girl is so unique that almost any reader can identify and connect with a character on a personal level. As the girls have grown older, readers may find themselves connecting with another or multiple characters as well. No matter what there is a girl for each reader to find something in common with. With a great story, fantastic characters and the immersion into the true classic Pride and Prejudice, this book has become my favorite of the series so far. I loved how each chapter began with an Austen quote which connected with the upcoming happenings in that chapter. Austen lovers, teens and mothers will all enjoy this special book.  Read it with The Mother Daughter Book Club Series, read it as a stand alone or even read it along with Pride and Prejudice. No matter what you choose you’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to share it with all the mothers and daughters in your life.

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Series Giveaway

Thanks to the fantastic Heather Vogel Frederick two lucky winners will receive a copy of all four books in The Mother Daughter Book Club series by simply leaving a comment below sharing their favorite Austen themed book or series. Remember to leave your e-mail address. US/Canada addresses only. Giveaway ends on December 31, 2010. Merry Christmas & Good Luck to All from Heather Vogel Frederick and Stiletto Storytime.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Books for Girls, Children's Literature, Girly Books, Heather Vogel Frederick, Jane Austen, Middle Grade, New Books, Young Adult 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