Dec 192014

Holidays with JaneJane Austen Holiday Tales to Enjoy By The Fireside!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Authors

When I heard that authors from Indie Jane Press were collaborating together to create an Austen-Inspired short story anthology, I thought it a terrific idea! Then, when I learned the stories were to be holiday-themed and full of “Christmas Cheer,” I was thrilled (who doesn’t love Christmas stories?!?) And… when I discovered that the stories were to be modern-day adaptations, one story for each of Jane Austen’s major novels, I was…excessively excited! How perfect and brilliant! What more could we ask for?

I hope you find this breakdown helpful!

THE WORK OF AN INSTANT – Jennifer Becton

The Premise: Anne Elliot spots her former fiancé in a coffee shop – does she run and hide or stay and face the man who stole her heart…

What I Loved: The clever way all these characters were updated – Anne is a doctor on a naval base, Dr. Russell is her superior, and Louisa and Henrietta are nurses. I also loved Frederick’s email, Camo Santa, and the enchanting and whimsical Christmas magic that surrounds this tale of second chances!


The Premise: Cate Morland has new adventures and experiences when she is asked to create a set of costumes for a Dickens’ Christmas Festival in Santa Barbara…

What I Loved: That Cate remakes dresses! I loved learning about the fabrics and designs she was using as well as the orders from her Sew-Easy site she had to fill (one order was for three sisters by the name of Dashwood!) Cate was adorable with her innocence and artlessness – I’d love her for a BFF.


The Premise: After their father’s death, Maggie discovers one last gift from him in her special hiding place. However this gift comes with instructions and bit of Christmas magic…

What I Loved: What a unique way to tell the story!! I loved seeing everything through Maggie (Margaret’s) eyes. 🙂 Her connection with her father was so sweet and moving. Their words to each other were so heartwarming and I loved learning of their relationship. One of my faves!


The Premise: At her friend wedding Emma finally comes to terms with her feelings for flirtatious, probably-a-play-boy, Lance Knightley, but Emma is positive Lance only thinks of her as a friend…

What I Loved: How it was written! The story takes place in present-day at Taylor and West’s wedding, but has a flashback every so often that reveals Emma’s history with Lance. The flashbacks were filled with lovely “moments!” Loved sexy Lance and I loved how Emma was so clueless around him (so endearing)!! Loved the bee theme too! One of my faves!


The Premise: An angel named Jane is sent to help out Evie St. Laurent, a manager at Mansfield Perk, who has her head turned by a gorgeous man…

What I Loved: That Jessica Grey, who I know has an intense aversion for Mansfield Park, wrote this!! Such a great concept with the gender swap and Clarence-like guardian angel! I’ve loved seeing Jane’s chats with Evie about her novels and I loved the witty repartee between Jane Austen and Mr. Clemens.

PRIDE AND PRESENTS – Kimberly Truesdale

The Premise: The Bennet family run Longbourn Community Center, Liz encourages her father to retire early because she is confident she can handle everything for the Christmas season, including renewing their lease and non-profit status…

What I Loved: How the whole family worked together at Longbourn Community Center and seeing all the holiday festivities everyone was involved with. Their crafts and kids performance sounded adorable. I enjoyed the twist with Mr. Collins and Wickham, and seeing our hero come in and save the day!

CONCLUSION: Six holiday-inspired tales that are warm, merry, and bright crafted by six creative and skilled story-tellers, who I can tell, admire Jane Austen and her novels as much as I do! I enjoyed discovering all the ways these stories echoed and paid tribute to Jane Austen’s six beloved novels and characters. And I absolutely loved how the stories were connected to each other with Mansfield Perk (an awesome coffee chain that I so very much want to visit in real life!!! Pretty please…can I?) and other businesses. A splendid collection that was exceptionally executed!

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  30 Responses to “Holidays With Jane: Christmas Cheer – Jennifer Becton, Melissa Buell, Rebecca Fleming, Cecilia Gray, Jessica Grey, Kimberly Truesdale”


    I’m so very glad that you read it and loved it! 🙂 Merry Christmas to you!


    Excellent review, Meredith! I agree with you about everything!! Each of the stories were special and unique, and I loved how they were tied together in small ways. Like you, I had so many favorites…like maybe, all of them! 😉 Lol!


      Thank you, Candy! I had quite a bit to say, as you know! 😉 Hopefully it is a cohesive and informative review still. I agree, all of them were wonderful! Will read again next year, for sure!


    These sound so good, thanks for the summary Meredith! I really enjoy modern updates.


    Thank you so much for this lovely review, Meredith. You’re right, I’m not a big fan of Mansfield Park but I tried to see it from Jane’s perspective 😉


      I’m sure that was an illuminating process. Very much enjoyed how you brought your own feelings and questions about MP into the story and showed a different perspective. I agree with Evie about the Emma Woodhouse thing…mind blown!


    I saw this one on their blog page when they announced it and immediately put it on the wish list. Your words have just made me even more eager.


    I’m not sure how I’ve missed this one. I’m not a big fan of modern adaptations, but Christmasy stories with a Janesque bent are something else entirely…LOL Thanks for bringing it to my attention!


      There is a perfect blend of Jane Austen love and Christmas in these stories, Stephanie! The echo and are inspired by Jane Austen’s novel rather than updates of the plots in modern settings.


    Excellent review – makes one want to go right out and buy it…but I have to read through those on my kindle and make room. so it will go on my Wish List. I love how they are interconnected and relate to each of Jane’s books. A definite read for me.


    Thank you for the absolutely lovely review, Meredith!

    And for anyone who’s put this on your wish list, we’ve just dropped the price to $0.99 for the collection so everyone can have a little Christmas Cheer for the weekend!


      My pleasure, Kimberly! Thank you for working together and compiling such a gift to us readers! So brilliant! 🙂 That’s great about the sale, I’ll be sure to help spread the word!


    Sounds like a great Christmas read, or anytime, for that matter. Thanks for sharing. I always love to read your reviews!


    Thanks, Kimberley. Just got it! 🙂


    I love this book! Thanks for telling us! What a splendid way of being in the mood for Christmas!. By, the way, Happy Christmas Meredith and to all of you ” virtual” friends!


    Thank you for the recommendation–are you going to give your “favorite list” like you did last year? I loved it and have read almost everyone on it!


      Yes! I love doing that post, and thank you so much for saying you loved it! 🙂 I’ll have it out on December 31st! Can’t wait – a lot of great reads this year!


    I’m looking forward to reading this collection. Just got it from the UK Kindle store for 77p!!

    I think it may be on offer elsewhere, too. Who wouldn’t want a bit more Jane- inspired reading for the holidays?


    I am just going to have to get this book on my kindle! Great review Meredith! Happy Holiday’s to all!


    Oooh, I must read this one!! Your review was lovely, Meredith 🙂 This anthology sounds perfect… not only at Christmas!


    Glad to see you loved it! I bought the ebook before the holidays, then everything got so busy, and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

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