Tag Archives: Laura Hile

Eclipse Sisters? That’s us.

Today we have a sunrise–a real one–after a week of soaking rain. And oh, the difference sunshine makes for the Pacific Northwest. Spring at last!

And spring brings hope for summer.

Tell you what, this summer I’m looking forward to the Great American Eclipse. August 21st has been on my calendar for a while, although it doesn’t need to be. If our skies are cloud-free that morning, we won’t be able to miss what happens.

Map courtesy of GreatAmericanEclipse.com

It’s also cool for us here at Jane Started It because of its path. The total eclipse lies just south of Susan Kaye and me here in Oregon. It also lies just south of Robin Helm and Gayle Mills in South Carolina.

We met on-line, we share a blog. And now we will share the path of the sun’s shadow.

All of North America will be able to see at least a partial solar eclipse, according to the Great American Eclipse website. Do have a look around. There’s fascinating stuff there.

How about you? Are you in the path of the eclipse?

Laura Hile (1)

With a little help from my friends

From friend to friend Image: Eliza C3 (Creative Commons Flickr)

This is how we discover the best stuff. Friend to friend.
Image: Eliza C3 (Creative Commons Flickr)

Isn’t this how we discover the best restaurants and movies and reads?

From our friends.

Around here we’re smiling at the success of Robin Helm’s new Pride and Prejudice romance. Understanding Elizabeth has really taken off.

My Kindle Select numbers are smiling too.

All because of Cross Promotion.

See, now that I’m an indie author, I can participate in that. Placing a link or two at the back of my e-book that says I think you would enjoy …

Mr Darcy recommends

“Mr. Darcy Recommends”

It’s a simple concept. Robin has placed an image link to Darcy By Any Other Name at the end of her book, and I have done the same. And readers must be having a look at Darcy, because my Kindle Select numbers are way up.

While Robin and I share a blog, it appears that we don’t always share the same readers.  Who knew?

Hey, Robin has a two-book giveaway going on this week at Of Pens and Pages. Stop by, read Nissa’s review of Understanding Elizabeth, and post a comment.

logo-4-1The USA winner has the option to choose a print book prize. Love that!

Really proud of Robin. Elizabeth has held on to her #4 spot against two best-sellers (with over a hundred Amazon reviews apiece), and has even won out against a 99 cent erotica.

Laura Hile (1)

Loving Jane Austen’s Persuasion

persuasionpanelToday Susan Kaye and Laura Hile join a panel of authors (Karen Cox, Regina Jeffers, Shannon Winslow, and Melanie Stanford)  to discuss our love for Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

A big thank you to  author Karen Cox for hosting us!

“Persuasion-esque authors are a sisterhood of sorts,” she writes. “We know that Darcy gets the majority of the press around Austen-World, but…Wentworth…Letter!…Pierce my soul!!!”

Come by and enjoy the rest of the article here: Persuasion Panel

The Nerd in search of a Dinner Date

Beneath that pocket protector beats a sincere heart!

Seeking a date for Valentine’s Day?  Jane Austen’s Sir Walter Elliot points you in an unlikely direction.

Enjoy this excerpt from Sir Walter’s new advice e-book, Marrying Well for Fun & Profit:

OOO

Sir Walter is over the moon. He finally has a book all to himself.

Soon to be a bestseller, of course… according to Sir Walter

My Dear Vulgarian Miss,

As winter begins to flee, a particular sort of male emerges from hibernation. I refer to the Nerd in search of a Valentine’s dinner date.

As a modern woman you are familiar with the type. Highly intelligent, the Nerd spends countless hours at a desk, often with nothing but a computer, a caffeinated beverage, and the light from his desk lamp to keep him warm.

You laugh at him behind your hand, for he is a witless wonder when it comes to courtship. Alas, the gentleman’s art of sophisticated flirtation is beyond him.

Image: Betsy Weber (Creative Commons Flickr)

Image: Betsy Weber (Creative Commons Flickr)

But my dear, consider carefully before you disregard him as a suitor. For while ‘nerd’ is certainly a four-letter word, it is usually accompanied by a six-figure income.

Think Bill Gates, but on a smaller scale.

In social situations the poor fellow will be tongue-tied by your beauty, so it is best to prepare for a conversational disaster. No doubt he will be fortified with compliments, calculated to charm and beguile. Do your best not to laugh when he employs one of these timeworn pick-up lines…

I less than three you. 'nuff said. <3 Image: John Nakamura Remy (Creative Commons Flickr)

“I less than three you.”  ❤
Image: John Nakamura Remy (Creative Commons Flickr)

  • ‘Your name is Leslie? Look, I can spell your name on my calculator!’
  • ‘Roses are #FF0000, violets are #0000FF…’
  • ‘I wish I was an ion so I could form an exothermic bond with you.’
  • ‘You must be an asymptote; I just find myself getting closer and closer to you.’
  • ‘Forget hydrogen, you’re my number one element!’
  • ‘My sudden, protracted cardiac arrhythmia tells me I love you.
  • ‘Are you the square root of 2? Because I feel irrational when I’m around you.’
  • ‘If you were a graphics calculator, I’d look at your curves all day long!’
  • ‘Why don’t you join me on World of Warcraft tomorrow? I’ll even give you my avatar’s name.’
Image: Betsy Weber (Creative Commons Flickr)

Image: Betsy Weber (Creative Commons Flickr)

Remember, my dear, that a sincere heart beats beneath that pocket protector. And that six-figure income on the tax return is easy on the eyes, even if he is not.

Cordially yours in the upward climb,

Sir Walter Elliot

 

NASA scientists have discovered a new form of life.
Unfortunately, it won’t date them either.
STEPHEN COLBERT

OOO

Want more of Sir Walter’s wit and wisdom?
Such a deal at 99 cents!
Marrying Well for Fun & Profit at Amazon

Laura Hile (1)

Pride & Precedence: Snow Woe

giovanniboldiniafternoonstroll-mm21

There is a song from your modern era called I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. Seriously? Snow has become not my dream but my nightmare.

Granted, a dusting of snow would be charming at Christmastime—if it came and then went away. This year? Snow continues to fall and pile up. It’s like one of those annoying houseguests who will not go.

Our “White Christmas” became a “White New Year’s” and then a “White Epiphany.” If we stiil have snow on the ground at Candlemas, I will lose my mind.

The vulgar expression “Cabin Fever” describes the situation at Uppercross Cottage. We are housebound because of the snow, and let me tell you, it is Too Much.

trees-15For one thing, the cottage is always, always cold. Why not burn a forest of trees for heat? What are we saving them for? I know, posterity. Bless me, since the days of our courtship I’ve been told that the Musgrove wealth is found not in monetary assets but in land. Well then, we ought to plant acres of trees so that we can cut down what we need. Trees do nothing but stand there. Why not make them useful?

And then there is the smoke: from fires, from sputtering candles, and from cigars. I am continually coughing because my husband will not take his cigars out-of-doors as he ought. My father-in-law’s pipe? Insupportable! Smoke indoors is almost bad as the smell of damp wool, which is everywhere.

popula626We have the same dismal callers again and again, and Charles will invite them to stay. And then, of course, I must feed them. The ugly caps and wrappers they wear are painful to behold, not to mention their red noses and  chapped cheeks. Our conversations center around one thrilling subject: the weather.

Our darling boys are behaving like savages. They laugh and screech, and their footfalls pound along the hallways and up and down stairs until my head aches. The nurserymaid is no help. Her solution is to put them in the bath, allowing them to shout and splash water everywhere. Charles bundles them up and takes them to visit his parents at the Great House, but that is no better. The boys run wild there, while my in-laws discuss my shortcomings as a mother.

Next winter, I shall insist that Charles to take me to Bath. My father has a very fine house there; we would be in no one’s way. In Bath, no one minds the weather. There are card parties, concerts, and interesting people. Here we have the same musicians, the same dances, and the same people.

Thanks to “Old Man Winter” every one of our neighbors has a cold and sniffs—continually.  My poor nerves are worn to a frazzle. But do our neighbors care? They smile and wave and say, “Cheerio!” as if they are happy about the snow.

I’d like to give that Jack Frost a piece of my mind. And a good swift kick in the pants, too.

Most cordially,

Mary Elliot Musgrove
Daughter of Sir Walter Elliot
Future Mistress of Uppercross

New Release!
Sir Walter Elliot’s Marrying Well for Fun & Profit is now a Kindle e-book.
More about that tomorrow.

Mary’s “portrait” is Afternoon Stroll by Giovanni Boldini

The day I wore Pajama Pants to Walmart

Thanks to Marianne Hawthorne for this fun meme

Thanks to Marianne Hawthorne for the meme. Click the image to see her Pinterest collection.

When snow and freezing rain hit the Pacific Northwest, we kind of lose our minds.

Snowpocalapse!
Hunker down!
The end is near!

Okay, so we’re not quite that bad. Thing is, we get snow every two to three years in this part of Oregon. It really throws us for a loop.

I ought to add that we do not salt our roads. That’s right; we’re the only state that doesn’t. And I recently learned that the de-icing chemicals we use are not effective when temperatures drop below 28 degrees. Brilliant.

No salt, no plow, no problem. I live on the corner.

No salt, no snow plow? No … uh … problem.

We are all kinds of crazy, yeah.

Which brings me to Walmart, early Saturday morning, just as a snowstorm hit.  The day I wore my jammie pants to go shopping. I did.

The’re black, and they used to be workout pants, but the thing is, I slept in them the night before. I threw on my long down coat (also black), a somewhat-fashionable scarf, and shoes. I was good to go.

walmart-pajamaSo now I am one of the “People of Walmart.” Even though ours is the neighborhood grocery store kind. And everyone there, though harried by the falling snow, was fully dressed. Below-freezing temperatures are helpful that way.

Darcy-By-Any-Other-Name-blogsz-2In other news, a sale and an e-book giveaway.  Tomorrow check out Anna’s review at Diary of an Eccentric and enter to win the Kindle edition of Darcy By Any Other Name. Even if you own this book, you should enter. If you win, I’ll gladly send the prize to one of your friends.

To celebrate, I’ve reduced the Kindle price by $1.00. Because ice and snow season is reading season, right? So let’s get down to business.

Laura Hile (1)

Hound Dog Love

A quiet afternoon with a favorite book.

Spending time with another favorite book…

Alas, I am that teacher, the one who makes 7th grade students cry. Not with my rapier wit or sarcasm, tempting as those weapons are. No, I have them read a book about a boy and his beloved dogs, a story told from the heart.

redfern-cover“Why?” students lament. “Why do you make us read this?”  As if I had tortured them or something. From the first pages the story is wonderful, and it pulls readers right in. We never want it to end.

“Because good fiction is powerful,” I tell them. “I want you to understand how a well-written story can reach into the human heart.” I’m the fiction writing teacher. I say stuff like that.

Wilson Rawls published only two books, and it took time for Red Fern to gain popularity. “The best horse doesn’t always win the race,” the Irish say. But now this book is regarded as a must-read for 9 to 14-year-olds. And for grownups too…

A signed copy, found by a teaching friend

A signed copy, given to me by a teaching friend

Red Fern’s setting comes from Rawls’ childhood experiences. He was not well educated–a thing he was embarrassed about–but he sure knew how to tell a story. There’s a lot of wisdom in those pages.

Every year I have students tell me that Where the Red Fern Grows is now their favorite book. If you’re looking for a heart-warming read, why not give this book a try? It’s about a lot more than a boy and his dogs.

Laura Hile (1)