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Tag Archives: Christmas presents

I’m taking it easy today, fighting a stupid virus, drinking lots of tea (the hot kind, of course), trying not to feel too jealous of everyone who’s already seen the new P&P movie, and generally trying to think happy thoughts.

Which include Christmas. Now as far as I can tell, Regency folk did not hang stockings up for Father Christmas to fill. I think that tradition became more popular in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, though I’d be happy to be corrected by anyone more versed in the history of Christmas!

What I’m thinking about today is what I want in my own stocking. My husband and I always exchange wish lists, from which we choose a few items (thus keeping a tiny element of surprise). My tastes are fairly simple: books and chocolate, maybe the occasional music CD or video and/or artsy costume jewelry (I always lose the real stuff).

The Jane Austen action figurine from The Writer’s Store is tempting—maybe she would inspire me during dry spells in my own writing?

More videos would be great. I still don’t have a copy of the Firth/Ehle P&P, which I’d love to own, though a three-volume set could be pricey.

Mostly, however, I want books!

I love writing references, so I’m definitely asking for some of those. I borrowed THE WRITER’S JOURNEY, by Christopher Vogler, from a friend and like it so much I want my own copy, for instance.

I still haven’t read all of Laura Kinsale’s books, so some of her backlist titles are on my list. Ditto for Judith Ivory.

I’ve also met several authors at conferences and decided they were such cool people that I must read some of their books. I’m a bit embarrassed to confess this, but I haven’t ready anything by either Anne Stuart or Susan Wiggs. Does anyone have favorites to suggest by either of those authors? Any other new authors to recommend?

So what does everyone else have on their wish lists?

Wishing everyone health and happiness and everything they deserve. (We’ve all been good, right?)

Elena 🙂
LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, a Romantic Times Top Pick!

The weather is finally colder, Thanksgiving and all your annoying relatives are close at hand, and that can mean only one thing: Christmas mania. And although I like to pretend to possessing an insouciant New York je ne sais quoi, I get as swept up in the season as anyone who wears brighter colors. This past week, I dove into what my husband not-so-laughingly refers to as the Leaning Tower of Romance, the stacks and stacks of paperbacks that are spilling off our bookshelves and onto the floor. My purpose: to unearth, and display, my enormous collection of Regency Christmas anthologies*. I know I don’t I have them all (a gal’s gotta have goals, after all), but an informal count yielded approximately 30 Christmas-themed books. There are one or two medievals in there, but the majority are Regency-set Christmas stories. Every year, I pull them out, place them lovingly in a basket, and display them somewhere near my ginormous Christmas tree (we’ve got 12′ ceilings, and we usually buy at least a 9′ tree). And then, because the collection has grown so large, I place the overflow of books on the floor near the basket. And then? I pick them up and read them throughout the season, hopefully with a glass of wine at my elbow. See, it’s a busy time at Christmas, and you don’t always have the ability to commit to a full-length book. But a short story, penned by masters such as Mary Balogh, Edith Layton, our own Amanda McCabe, Carla Kelly, Allison Lane, et al? Perfect. And if you do get the chance to read a longer book, you’ve got myriad choices there, too. Mary Balogh has written at least three “Christmas” traditional Regencies, and Diane Farr, Elisabeth Fairchild, Carla Kelly and Lynn Kerstan/Alicia Rasley each have one. Regency Christmas stories convey the essence of Christmas cheer (even though those Regency people didn’t celebrate Christmas so much–that came later, with the Victorians). I’m a sucker for all that good will, not to mention the wine, and I love the times when I can settle down with a good book that’ll satisfy my urge for a good romance AND a good Christmas story. So what are your traditions? Do you collect any particular type of book (besides Regencies, of course)? Do you collect any kind of Christmas trinket? Which is your favorite Christmas romance story?

*and in case you think my husband has any right to complain, keep in mind he has over 300 Christmas music discs, with more arriving as I type. Obsessive media types? Uh, yeah, that’s us. Too bad our apartment isn’t quite as large as our appetite for music and reading.

This is the time when my family and I put together our holiday wish lists. We always put extra items on the list, so that what is finally chosen can be a little bit of a surprise. We also tend to keep it simple. Books and chocolate figure heavily.

I usually ask for something Austen or Regency-related. The Republic of Pemberley’s Cafe Press store has a lot of fun and affordable goodies. Some past gifts I still enjoy are my “I blame Jane” T-shirt and the “Intolerably Stupid” magnet.

The Jane Austen Gift Shop has some cool items this year. I’m drawn to the “Cooking with Jane Austen” because I love cookbooks. There’s also a set of perfumes themed according to the different novels–fun!

While looking for something else, I stumbled across a number of CDs of English country dance music. I already have some good Regency-related music. My favorite is “Jane’s Hand”: music from Jane Austen’s own songbooks performed by Julianne Baird. But these country dance CDs might be just the thing for writing ballroom scenes.

Have you started shopping? Run across anything interesting? Have anything special on your own list?


My Christmas wish came true! (possibly because I copied the url and emailed it to my husband, saying, “I want this for Christmas.”) I received the Book Collector software and bar scanner. (thanks to Diane Whiteside who told me about this software)

This is really cool and easy to use. You can enter the data in a variety of ways: by swiping the barcode on the back of the book (most new books have this), by entering ISBN, or, if there is no ISBN, the title and/or author. And if that doesn’t bring up the book automatically, then you can enter the data yourself. The database they have for books is HUGE so there aren’t many I’ve had to enter all the data myself.

Here’s what the screen of the database looks like:

Here is the barcode scanner, called a “Cue Cat,” perfect for me! It attaches to the computer by that wire.

I’ve put 129 books into my database so far, including the top two shelves on the left in this photo:

But I have sooooo much more to do!

You may have guessed; this is my infamous “Book Room.” Amanda has seen it (and survived). Most of the books on those shelves are double-shelved. Please, you librarians among us, do not have a fit of vapors!

More good news for me! The Unlacing of Miss Leigh was one of the top ten best selling ebooks at Waterstone’s, the big UK book vendor. I even beat out a book by Stephanie Meyer!

Have you been playing with any Christmas toys like I have? Tell us!

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