You Know You’re An Austen Fan When…

  • Every situation in your life can be boiled down to a quote from ‘Pride and Prejudice’,
  • You know what the word ‘diverted’ means…
  • And how to use it in a sentence,
  • The voice in your head speaks with an English accent,
  • You insult people by telling them ‘I send no compliments to your mother’,
  • You are especially gracious to rude young men in case they are Mr. Darcy,
  • You dream of a double wedding,
  • Your dream wedding ceremony starts with ‘dearly beloved…’
  • You want a corset…
  • And a high waisted gown,
  • You wish you had the time to pick chamomile while talking to your mother about your sister’s dashed romance,
  • You worry about your reputation in ‘society’…even if no one else does,
  • Going on walks in the country is on your list of to-do’s,
  • Writing letters by hand, and preferably with a steel pen and ink, is appealing,
  • You wish men actually wore nice things on a daily basis,
  • You wish that Lizzy would have smacked Wickham instead of letting him kiss her hand,
  • Hertfordshire is on your bucket list of places to go

If you relate to any of these things, or think of other defining traits of Austen fans, please comment!

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That Moment You Realize Your Book is in at the Library

Isn’t it just like Christmas in the middle of the year when you get the notification: the title you had on hold is available for pick up. Does anyone ever read the following dates and small print? I know I don’t. I figure out just how soon I can get there.

And isn’t it torture when you can’t get to town until tomorrow? Worse yet, when you don’t see the notification and they send it back! That is pretty much a bookworm’s worst nightmare.

Oh, the joy when the librarian slides your precious, long-awaited present across the counter and you finally get to hold it! I always want to start reading it as soon as I get into the car for the drive home, but I know I’ll get car sick, so I wait for a few more agonizing minutes until I’m safely in my dent on the couch and then I crack open the cover for the first time…and devour it. Preferably in one sitting.

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Romance Rides the Range By Colleen Reece

I came into this book with pretty high expectations, knowing something of the author, but unfortunately, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

My Rating: Three stars

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Author Melanie Dickerson

Melanie Dickerson currently has four series out. She writes YA romance in historical settings, with a strong Christian current. The writing is well done, and smooth. But, these are romances, so young readers should opt for something else. That being said, if you aren’t a young reader, and you like an easy, sweet read. You will probably like her books.

There are a few things that I’ve noticed that I felt could be done better, such as the amount of time the main characters spend alone on their quests (even though nothing inappropriate happens, per se. I wouldn’t put myself in some of the situations they do). I feel it wouldn’t be realistic for young men and women to always be going off by themselves to save the castle, and the frequency with which the event occurs can make me roll my eyes a little.

Also, I find that the characters, and the final resolution of the plot, can tend to be the same for several books (not really surprising when there are so many, though). However, that knowledge has not often dissuaded me from getting another of her books. So it must not be that big of an issue to me.

Though the vast majority of her books are set in a medieval time period, the first books that I read were actually the Regency Romance (the Regency era is pretty much my favorite era of all time). They were fast paced, and I didn’t want to put them down. Here is the quick review for each of them (in order):

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The Letters of Sarah Norman: The Second Letter

Dearest,

I was very sorry to miss a day writing to you, but truthfully, I was too busy.  Everything has been in uproar these last two days.  Mrs. Sheepshanks discovered my friend Fredrick, the mouse, and I only barely averted her attempt on his life.  She was angry with me, but even more angry with her beast of a cat.  She refused to feed him, since he had obviously failed in his job to keep down the mice.  I think she hoped that if George was hungry, he would try to catch my little friend.  I did the only thing I could think of, which was to feed the dragon in the hopes of pacifying it.  I’m beginning to believe the maid was right, and that George came straight from hell, for as soon as I placed the scraps I’d painstakingly collected for him on the floor, the demon swatted my hand and left me with bloody scratches.  I’ve been terribly tempted to catch him and use a little ether to get rid of him.  If I didn’t have a conscience I would have by now.

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The Letters of Sarah Norman: The First Chronicled Letter

Darling,

I miss you dreadfully.  This room is cold and still.  My only friend, a small mouse, is nibbling a few crumbs I put out for him.  Mrs. Sheepshanks is downstairs, moping sullenly.  She fought with the maid again last night.  This time, the poor girl fought back, and Mrs. Sheepshanks is currently sporting a black eye.  The maid was immediately fired, of course, which leaves me no one but you to talk to.  You and Fredrick; the mouse.  He is a handsome fellow, as mice go, and I wondered that he wasn’t married until the other day I caught him sneaking a crumb to a pretty little field mouse that lives in the hedge that borders this wretched place.  So far, his clandestine meetings have gone unnoticed by George:  Mrs. Sheepshanks’ cat.  I’m going to try and keep it that way, even if it means playing up to the fat grouch. 

Mrs. Sheepshanks is screaming at the boys next door, now.  I can’t repeat what she’s saying, but it’s funny.  Apparently, she thinks they were the ones who left the scrub brush on the cellar stairs for her to trip on.  She either forgot, or doesn’t care, that she left it there herself.

Oh, dear!  It’s time to go down for supper, and I must conclude.  I won’t pain you by saying how much I miss you, but I do so long for the day when you come for me.

Your own,

Sarah Norman

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Introducing: The Letters of Sarah Norman

A collection of letters written to her fiancé in the west, the letters of Sarah Norman chronicle the somewhat dreary life of a young woman, and her friend, Fredrick, a mouse.

I wrote the first letter as a sort of bored exercise, but I really liked Sarah and Fredrick, and their war against Mrs. Sheepshanks and her wicked cat: George, had to be continued, so I wrote the second, and I hope there are more to come.

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Proper Andi Part 4 (Conclusion)

This is the fourth of a four-part fan fiction story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures. This story also won first place in the 14-17 age category of Mrs. Marlow’s annual short story contest. ‘Proper Andi’ is meant to fill the gap between Mrs. Marlow’s ‘Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers’, and ‘Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure’, dealing specifically with Andi’s struggle with growing up, and still doing the things she loves…which don’t happen to be considered ‘proper’.

After supper they adjourned to the sitting room. Mitch and Justin buried themselves in their respective dime novels and newspaper, Chad picked up a harness he was mending, and Elizabeth and Melinda sat down to sew.

Andi avoided sewing. Her stitches didn’t lie, no matter what kind of manners she put on for the moment. She hoped Jenny would do the same, but the cheerful tomboy from Washington state plopped down in a chair and brought out an embroidery hoop.

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Thy Will Be Done

Who hasn’t heard this phrase being used in connection with a tragic event or sudden loss?

It is odd to me that the only time we pull out our it-must-have-been-God’s-will card is when something horrible happens.  Kind of funny nobody uses it when somebody gets born again, or a miracle happens, huh?  A little bit fishy that we claim the God we serve loves us and died for us, only to turn around the next minute and lay the blame for everything wrong in our lives squarely on God with that one little phrase.

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Proper Andi Part 3

This is the third of a four-part fan fiction story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures. This story also won first place in the 14-17 age category of Mrs. Marlow’s annual short story contest. ‘Proper Andi’ is meant to fill the gap between Mrs. Marlow’s ‘Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers’, and ‘Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure’, dealing specifically with Andi’s struggle with growing up, and still doing the things she loves…which don’t happen to be considered ‘proper’.

The surrey rolled into the yard and stopped at the barn. Chad jumped out and grudgingly held up his hand for Andi.

Andi took it and hopped down. “Why are we stopped here?”

“I thought you’d like to see Taffy first.”

Andi laughed. “I’ll see Taffy after dinner. I’m exhausted and dirty from my journey. I want to clean up and eat. Taffy can wait.”

Chad stared, speechless. Then an angry flush spread over his face, and he glared. “I want to know what’s going on, Miss Frills-and-manners. Do we mean nothing to you? What about Taffy? She’s missed you for two whole months, and now that you’re home, you don’t care?”

Andi bit her lip angrily. They all wanted her to be a lady, and now that she was acting like one, Chad was yelling at her.

“That’s touching, but I really must clean up. Tell Taffy I missed her too.” Andi blew a kiss toward the barn and glided to the house.

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