Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Most Exciting Giveaway I've Seen

My dear followers, I have a very thrilling piece of news for you all. This is not your ordinary giveaway... this is the most exciting one I've seen. (Of course I am not biased...)

A perfectly delightful new book called Only a Novel has just been listed on Amazon. The genre happens to be my favorite--Historical Fiction, set in the 1800s, with a lot of Jane Austen references. (I cannot imagine how thrilled I would be to randomly stumble across this book. It is everything I look for in historical fiction.) And as it happens, the author is hosting a giveaway to launch her new novel. And furthermore, this author happens to be my own dearest Amy

I am indeed ecstatically, exuberantly, extraordinarily excited (I do like my 'e' words, it would seem) about this, and though I am fond of typing-all-in-caps and putting tons of exclamation points in e-mails and such, it is not my general habit while writing blog posts... so you'll just have to take my word for it.
My dearling friend is an Authoress.
This is amazing.
I am incredibly proud of her.

Anyways. I shall proceed.

This book, everybody, is well and cleverly written (if you've read anything Miss Dashwood has written, you should already have guessed that); has interesting, realistic, and endearing characters; is on many occasions laugh-out-loud hilarious; has a fun story-line; and is, in short, purely delightful. How do I know all this? Why, I have it on good authority. Very good authority. That is, my own.

Yes, everyone, I have read it. Well, not the book itself, in its actual paperback form.  That, at this point, would be impossible. But I had the very great honor of reading the original manuscript, as it were, and offering a few suggestions along with a, shall we say, generous amount of silliness. Now, I forbid you to feel insanely jealous (and I certainly am not gloating), because the book is now available to you as well; you can always purchase it. (Don't look at me like that. I am not advertising, I am simply pointing out a fact.) If you don't win the giveaway, of course.

Which I very strongly encourage you to go enter, forthwith and posthaste. Today. This moment. :D 
If you like Historical Fiction and/or Jane Austen... this should be your cup of tea. And since I assume all my followers like Jane Austen... well... *motions to link*

"Oh! it is only a novel!" replies the young lady; while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. — "It is only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda"; or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.‎
~Passage from Northanger Abbey, dubbed "Jane Austen's Defense of the Novel."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Announcing and Requesting Your Opinion

I wanted to make you, my readers, aware of this lovely blog, in case you have not yet seen it! 

If you are interested in sewing or collecting doll dresses, you will want to take a look at The Well-Dressed Doll, which sells historical dresses for American Girl (18-inch) dolls. 

There is a delightful assortment of dresses from different eras... here are some of my favorites:

Now for a little bit about the seamstress, in her own words...
"My name is Jessica, and I love sewing! I have been sewing since I was a little girl, so I have a lot of experience, especially sewing doll clothes for the American Girl dolls. All my doll dresses are beautifully sewn and finished to perfection.
I  love period style clothing, especially the Jane Austen/Regency and Edwardian era.
I think you will find that the doll dresses on my blog are very special, and perfect for the adult collector and children's play alike."

Lastly, I have a question for you all. Would you be interested in a giveaway from this website? Jessica is considering having a giveaway with her Romantic era dress, which I would be hosting. What do you think? It would be a lot of fun, but I want to know first whether there is sufficient interest. ;-) I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts in a comment, and also please vote on the poll on the sidebar!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Helpful Blogger Award

Last month I was awarded the Helpful Blogger Award by Miss Woodhouse!


The funny thing is, I had actually thought in passing about making such an award to recognize the helpful bloggers around--and then I saw this one which Miss Woodhouse made herself! I'm very honored to have been one of the bloggers you chose, Miss Woodhouse--thank you!

There was also a similar one a while back that Miss Elizabeth awarded me with, but I didn't get around to passing it on at the time. Thank you, Miss Elizabeth!

Can't have awards without rules though, right? Here they are...

~Link back to the person who awarded you in your 'acceptance' post
~Tell three helpful things you have done either on or off the blogosphere
~Nominate three other bloggers and tell them that you've nominated them

Three helpful things I've done... hmm. This is kind of awkward. It's much easier for me to mention helpful things people have done for me, but I'll try to think up something.
1. Recently I've been helping with a certain friend's writing project (she knows who she is--but I am as silent as the grave!) by reading it and offering (solicited) suggestions (and countless nonsensical comments)... she says it's helpful which is why I'm mentioning this, but really it's so much fun I think I get an equal amount of good from it. :D
2. The only person who might possibly get confused with what I've just written would be one "Obstinate, Headstrong Girl" (as she has signed her e-mails), who has a writing project herself, set in the Regency era, and she's asked a couple questions about that which were way fun to answer. She said it 'helped a ton,' so I suppose I have a right to mention it. I hope. ;-)
3. One more... one more... ummmm... well, recently I've been trying to put all our home videos onto DVD in a very organized fashion with titled chapters and whatnot, which I hope will be helpful to my family in the future. However, when I was almost done with the last one it somehow messed up (I have no idea why!) and now it won't let me finalize it and takes forever to load... really, I don't know what's going on there, and it's extremely uncivil. With no excuse for incivility, mind you! What, this post wasn't supposed to be a rant about technology? Oh.

Now for the FUN part, where I get to award other people. Here goes...

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm. Oh goodness, I can't begin to say how helpful Miss Laurie is, with anything and everything! She's so knowledgeable about anything period drama and blogging-related, and she's been so quick to sweetly offer me help whenever I've asked! I often feel a bit guilty for how often I've 'trespassed upon her kindness' (and, heh, resources), and then she makes it seem like no big deal. Also, she's always been there whenever I needed to randomly rant about something and when I have prayer requests... it's very much appreciated. Really, Ladybird, thank you so, so much for everything. =)

Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Elegance of Fashion. Another young lady who is always ready to help out, quite promptly and usefully I might add! Some computer stuff, you know, goes over my head, and Miss Elizabeth is always there to give step-by-step instructions when needed! Also delightful to do blogging projects with--I still have fond memories of our S&S comparisons! Good ideas for such things are definitely helpful, and she has lots of them. Also, letting me 'help' with fun projects is helpful in its way too, which she's definitely done! Oh, and I remember how nice it was to see her comments on my posts when I first started this blog... that was very helpful too, in a different way. Thank you, Miss Elizabeth!

Miss Dashwood/Amy/[long list of nicknames here] of Yet Another Period Drama Blog. She's already been awarded this one, but I didn't see that I couldn't award people who already have been in the rules, so I'm doing it anyways. ;) My Mouse has been helpful in so many ways I can't even explain here... but I think she has some idea of what I mean, so I'll just get on to the stuff I can explain. Miss Dashwood, like the others, is always ready to offer assistance wherever she can--like, when I randomly need something proofread, for instance. Heehee. Another way she's been a big help is when it comes to advice. We think so alike on so many things that if I'm having trouble deciding what to do or something like that, I can just send her a quick e-mail and she straightens out my thoughts for me. I don't know how she does it, but she does.

Thanks again, everyone!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Several Guest Posts

I've done two guest posts in the past few months that I never posted about here, and now I've been helping out with two others, so here's a list of them all from newest to oldest--and as for the older ones, if you hadn't seen them yet, I do love comments on old posts! ;)

Emma Comparisons--A 4-part comparison of the 1996 Miramax film and the 2009 BBC mini-series, along with Miss Woodhouse and Miss Elizabeth, over at Elinor, Elizabeth, and Emma

Persuasion Comparisons--Comparisons of the 1995 and 2007 film versions of Persuasion, with Miss Dashwood, Miss Laurie, and Miss Elizabeth. This is also a 4-posts comparison, and can be found over at Austenitis

Road to Avonlea (TV Show) Review--Now this is from Miss Dashwood's Anne Week (at Yet Another Period Drama Blog) all the way back in March. It's an overview of the entire 7-season series, which I hope to review season-by-season on my own blog sometime soon-ish.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Emma Week Tag & Contest Entries

I can rarely resist tags when they have to do with Jane Austen! Here's an original one, with the usual survey-ish questions, and a few trivia ones thrown in! You can find it here at Elinor, Elizabeth and Emma.


Did you read the book or watch an adaption first?
I watched an adaptation first (which was the 1996 A&E version). I think it's best to read the books first, but unfortunately I didn't achieve it with any of the Jane Austen novels. I'm a rather slow reader and once I saw Sense and Sensibility (1995) I wanted mooooore! Heehee.

How many times have you read Emma?
Yep, snagged this from Miss Laurie. (With her permission. :P)
Two times. Surprisingly, it's the only Jane Austen novel I've read all the way through twice. (At this time. Before the year is out there should be two or three others.) I finished it in early 2011 for the first time (enjoying it thoroughly), and then again in November and December for school. What fun schoolwork!

Your favorite adaption is?
The BBC mini-series from 2009. It's SUPERB. 

Do Emma’s matchmaking ‘skills’ annoy you?  
Of course, a little; but in a comedic sort of way, and the more I am familiar with the outcome of the story, the less I am annoyed.

List three minor characters you like in the story.
Like... how minor are we talking here? Hmm. Okay, I'll try for as minor as I can.
--Mr. Weston. He's a bit flighty, but he is likable. 
--John Knightley. He can be annoying, but he's not in it enough to make me too annoyed... just enough to make me laugh, because he is funny. And kudos to him for giving Emma a heads-up about Mr. Elton! 
--Anna Weston. Who's she? She's the baby Mrs. Weston has at the end. How do I know I like her? I don't, really... but she's a baby. Heehee.

Which character is the most annoying of the three? Mrs. Elton, Mr. Elton or Miss Bates? 
Mrs. Elton. Mr. Elton is super annoying too... Miss Bates is so well-meaning, I can't call her "annoying." But Mrs. Elton is VERY annoying. EERRMMM. One day I should do a post about the annoyingness of Mrs. Elton... I do like some of her quotes, though. "There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." (Indubitably!) "Without music, life would be a blank to me." Although she's not sincere when she says either of them... but they're still good quotes. Oh, wait, that's attributed to Jane Austen... okay, Mrs. Elton, I have no reason to like you. (Though you do make me laugh. Only because I don't have to know you in real life.)

Have you seen any Emma spinoffs? (meaning modern adaptions like the original story)
Unless the 1996 Gwenyth Paltrow version counts. 
(Cough, cough. Sorry.) 

The perfect sum-up of Mr. Knightley is?
Okay, that question is almost like an oxymoron. I can't just "sum up" Mr. Knightley! If you want to know what I think of him, you can read my posts about him. ;-) 

Described what you think of Emma herself in three words or less.
Exasperating, endearing... um... Emma.

Harriet Smith receives a proposal from ____?
Mr. Elton.
(If all went according to Emma's plan, that is.)
Real answer: Mr. Robert Martin. 

Your most enjoyed scene is?
Book or movie? I'll just do both... book: Chapter 49. The proposal scene. Movie: the dance scene. Though I like the proposal scene in the movie, too. And the ending. And...lots.

The villain is?
Frank Churchill. I know I'm going against the grain to say that, but I'm saying it anyways. Frank just seems to have more in common with the usual Jane Austen villains, whereas Mr. Elton seems to fit better into the category of annoying characters (such as Mr. Collins).  If you want to know my opinions on this subject in greater detail, you can read this post, as well as this one (and the comments), but there will be spoilers. 
Anyways, Frank or else a combination of him AND Mr. Elton. 

Jane Fairfax is engaged to be married to ____? 
Mr. Dixon.
I'm kidding. But that's top secret information, people; if you don't know the answer, you should go read the book. ;D

Miss Taylor was Emma’s ____?
Governess; but also friend, mentor... combination between an honorary sister and a mother-figure. 
{end of tag}
And now for my contest entries. First, we have an Emma-themed Caption Contest at "Miss Emma Woodhouse." Here are mine...

Quote: Emma (2009)
Picture: Pride and Prejudice (1995)
(Mr. Collins' real quote in that scene is "Upon my word, this puts me in mind of a small breakfast room at Rosings," and it reminded me of Mrs. Elton always talking about being reminded of Maple Grove. :P)

Quote: A paraphrase of Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Picture: Emma (1996, Miramax)
(Emma was complaining to Mr. Knightley about Jane Fairfax not telling her anything about Frank Churchill in this scene.)

Next, the "Keep Calm and Quote Emma" posters. I am limited as to number--only three. ;-) So here are my three.

(So that you might not be so uneducated compared to Jane Fairfax! Heehee.)

I think that's all! If you like Emma, be sure to get in on the fun! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?

Quite a while ago I was wanting to write a Jane Austen Heroine quiz, but I kept thinking I would wait until I'd read all the novels, because I wasn't going to be one of those who writes quizzes based from the movie characters. Well, that goal was achieved nearly a year ago, and I still hadn't written my quiz! Finally I remembered and got around to it... so here it is!

Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You Most Like?
As with my two other quizzes (P&P Misses and Emma Ladies), comment with your answers, and I will respond with your result. Someday I might put these onto a website... but for now, figuring out your results is rather fun for me and I don't trust them quiz-making sites... (Yes, the grammatical error was intentional.) 
The only thing different this time is that for your result, I'll link to a picture that will say "You are most like... [heroine's name and picture]". 

Have fun!

1. Which best describes your feelings about attending social functions?

a) How exciting!!!

b) It depends on who else is going. If there is no one interesting there, I will sit in a corner lost in my own thoughts, reading a book, or playing the piano if there happens to be one.

c) In such cases the company is, I must admit, often undesirable, but I try to make the best of it, converse with anyone who wants to talk to me, and hope for an intelligent conversation or two.

d) I greatly enjoy being out in company. An opportunity to laugh and converse with people I like is always very welcome, and observing people is a hobby of mine. I like to talk to many people, but a tete-a-tete with a good friend is most desirable.

e) I do not often go to social functions—but when I do have the rare opportunity, I prefer to be little noticed, and to listen rather than talk.

f) I am almost sure to enjoy myself, especially since what events I do attend (or host) are with intimate friends. I am often sought after outside of my set, but I prefer to be selective. Some people’s houses, you know, I would rather not be seen at…

g) It depends on the guests. I like to be in the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; their popularity or social status is less important.

2. How are you viewed by others in a crowd?

a) The shy one over in the corner who doesn’t speak unless spoken to.

b) The witty girl who gets along with mostly everybody—everybody who wants to be gotten along with, anyways.

c) Someone who is not much noticed besides for the people who already know her.

d) The girl who can be (and lets herself be) read like a book—if she’s upset, you’ll know it; if she’s happy, you’ll know it; if she likes you, you’ll know it; if she doesn’t like you, oh yes, you’ll know that too.

e) A sweet girl, not of much consequence; she will always be polite, and her conversation can be amusing, though she probably doesn’t mean it to be.

f) A nice young lady—slightly reserved and always in control of herself, always courteous and graceful, capable of good conversation.

g) She can tend to be a little snobbish and a bit too aware of her high social consequence, but still tries to acts respectful and good-natured to everyone.

3. In your family, you are closest to…

a) Your father. He dotes on you, and you dote on him.

b) Your mother in that she understands you best; but you and your sister are quite close, inseparable, and loyal at all times.

c) Your sister. She is your sole confidante and best friend.

d) You’re not at all close with anybody in your immediate family, but the one you get along with best is a younger sister; she looks up to you, and you do your best to guide her.

e) You and your family are just not on the same page—you can’t be close to any of them. You don’t fit in with them—much to their irritation.  

f) Rather a combination between your mother and your sister—you love them very much and get along well, even though you don’t see eye-to-eye on all subjects.

g) You don’t really have a family member you’re closest to; you dearly love them all.

4. Do you like reading?
a) Oh, yes! Well novels, anyway. Especially suspenseful ones. Reading is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time, and I love discussing books.

b) Reading is one of my passions; especially romance, tragedy… things with emotional depth.  You will always find me with a book.

c) I do enjoy a novel now and then, but I have little patience for deep, educational sorts of literature.

d) Oh, yes. I find reading an excellent way to improve my mind, and when reading, I can feel a sort of independence I seldom experience.

e) Yes, I do enjoy reading, when I have the time.

f) Very much; though I do enjoy a variety of pastimes.

g) I find reading most enjoyable and worthwhile. Discussing books & poetry with others can also be quite pleasant and interesting.

5. What are your thoughts on music? Can you play?

a) I am very interested in music and have a great love for it. People seem to think me a great proficient at the piano, and I am often sought after to play.

b) I play and sing a little, but very ill indeed. I have always supposed that to be my own fault, though, because I would not take the trouble of practicing.

c) I like music and enjoy concerts and such, but never had the patience to learn to play, I’m afraid.

d) I am a great admirer, but unfortunately not a musician.

e) I play well enough to get by – I tend to feel unpleasantly inferior when I see a true proficient play.

f) Oh! I could not live without music! If you have never seen me at the pianoforte, I must wonder at your ever having seen me at all. Pray do not ask me about music unless you desire me to go on all day.

g) I have never had the opportunity to learn, but music is delightful.

6. Which most accurately describes your looks?

a) Dark coloring, on the shorter side; people say you are very pretty.

b) Your figure is not perfect, but it is light and pleasing; your dark, merry eyes have been especially admired.

c) Pretty in a quiet sort of way—not always noticed at first.

d) Your height and figure are to much advantage, as is your complexion.

e) You are rather past your bloom, but in your best looks you have been much admired.

f) You never were a pretty child, but as you got older, your looks have blossomed enough so that you are sometimes called pretty.

g) Your looks are charming—such good health and bloom, and a true hazel eye!

7. Choose the group of virtues most applicable to yourself. You are…
a) Practical, cautious, unselfish
b) Gentle, modest, discerning
c) Witty, bright, very loyal
d) Intelligent, patient, sensitive
e) Passionate, talented, devoted
f) Cheerful, clever, amusing
g) Imaginative, candid, innocent

8. You can tend to be…
a) Too easily influenced 
b) Judgmental
c) Gullible
d) Meddlesome
e) Withdrawn
f) Imprudent
g) Shy and timid

Would you rather hear the story...

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