Imagine Classic Literary Characters living in the Modern World. Read Jane Eyre Gets Real, a Novel by Annabelle Troy, available on Amazon!


Annabelle Troy

Woof! It’s #The Year of the Dog

9 Chinese New Year Instagram captions to help you welcome the Year of the Dog

February 16 ushers in the beginning of a new Chinese year; 2018 is the Year of the Dog. Not to be confused with a 2007 indie film of the same name, Year of the Dog signifies the eleventh position in the Zodiac, right between the Rooster and the Pig. Lucky colors for this year are red, purple and green; the lucky flower is the rose and you can bet on lucky number 3. People born during “dog years” include Winston Churchill (1874), Bill Clinton and Donald Trump (both 1946) as well as Mother Theresa (1910) and Madonna (1958); “human dogs” are known for being hard-working, communicative, loyal, stubborn and brave.

David Copperfield, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, was originally created by Charles Dickens. Dickens, though a born Monkey, was very fond of dogs. Not only did he champion the Battersea Dogs Home, a safe haven for London strays, he owned several canines during his lifetime, including bloodhounds and St. Bernards. Perhaps his favorite pet was a sprightly white spaniel called Timber, given to him in 1843. In his diaries, Dickens mentions Timber far more than he does his own wife, Catherine, or his infant children (of whom he would eventually father 10–Charles that is; Timber apparently died without progeny, having once returned “in disgrace and mortification” from an encounter Dickens had arranged for him with breeding in mind). Timber did, however, excel at jumping over sticks and if coaxed would stand on two legs in a corner of the drawing room.


How to Build a Japanese Snowman

Alice in Wonderland, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, is a teen model, physics student and lover of all things wacky and different. When it snows in New York City she makes a snowman Japanese-style: using two big snowballs only. You got it–two snowballs, not three. The Japanese word for snowman is yuki.  Last year during the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, over 10,000 yuki were built and exhibited–setting a new world’s record for the number of snowmen assembled in one place. Frosty, eat your heart out!

Yuki can also be used as language teaching tools. Alice recently found this fun video on Youtube–at least she hopes it’s fun and not at all like the video in The Ring, originally a spooky Japanese movie remade for Western audiences starring Naomi Watts and a strange girl who keeps creeping out of the TV.


The First Snowman–Recorded by a Woman


This is Mary Dillwyn's photograph of a snowman - believed to be the first time one was picturedJane Eyre, a character depicted by Charlotte Bronte and Annabelle Troy, would like dear readers to note the following:

The first known picture of a snowman (or snowperson, to be politically correct) was taken by a female photographer, Mary Dillwyn, in 1853. Photography was quite a novel pastime then, with Instagram still a twinkle in some future techie’s great=great-grandfather’s eye. Unlike most of her male counterparts, Mary didn’t feel size mattered; she preferred to work with a small camera that required only short exposure times. This allowed her to be more spontaneous when she took photographs, often of children. In this case, her subject was a humble snowman, shot as it was being constructed. If you ever wish to see this photograph in person, it is currently exhibited in the National Library of Wales.

Mary Dillwyn came from a family of wealthy manufacturers; incidentally, she was related through marriage to William Henry Fox Talbot (credited with “discovering” photography in 1839). Her image was captured below, hopefully in a comfortable, warm room full of firelight:

Photographer Mary Dillwyn (pictured) captured the moment the snowman was being built in 1853


Snow Day–with Ballerinas


Jan. 2 is an official “snow day”–read Annabelle Troy’s The Grace of the Hunchback for free, on Amazon. After midnight, Jan 3, the price will be 99 cents all month.

Very Victorian New Year’s Problems

Infant Keeps Stealing Your Top Hat To Personify Baby New Year

New Year’s Resolution Involves Cutting Down On Suet 

All the GOOD Crackers Were Pulled At Xmas, So Now You Have to Make Your Own 

You Keep Singing Old Lang Sign By Mistake

You Actually Look Better At The Party WITH The Lampshade On Your Head

Bagpipe Player You Hired Can’t Show Up Til 12:15 am

All of the characters from Jane Eyre Gets Real Join Author Annabelle Troy in Wishing You A Wonderful 2018!

Fictional Characters Need Presents Too!

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In Jane Eyre Gets Real, by Annabelle Troy, nine characters from classic literature find themselves whisked from their books and placed on a reality TV show set in contemporary NYC. As Christmas is fast approaching, they divulge what they each want most from their Secret Santa (each gift must be $25 or under)

Alice in Wonderland: Game of Phones, a scavenger hunt-type board game designed with tween girls in mind. Now all she needs is an i-phone.

Heidi: Goats Adult Coloring Book by Jennifer E. Garza–a coloring book filled with “stress relieving goat designs.” Though made with grown-ups in mind, there is no doubt Heidi would love this book which features “all types of goat expressions”, each one of suitable for framing. Takes the bahhh right out of bah-humbug!

Speaking of which, David Copperfield would like a ticket to see the new movie “The Man Who Invented Christmas”. Starring Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame) and Christopher Plummer, it’s the tale of how a struggling author, Charles Dickens, must convince his publishers to accept a story revolving around Christmas–then a relatively obscure holiday. With the publication of A Christmas Carol, Dicken’s career took a joyful leap forward–and many concepts he wrote about, like a snowy day filled with celebration, generosity and pudding, became integrally linked with the day.

The list of perfect gifts continues below:

Mr. Darcy: the Paddywax Library Collection Jane Austen-inspired soy candle; burns 60 hours; comes with the scent of gardenias and the Austen quote “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.”

Hester Prynne: Brit + Co Embroider a Wallhanging Kit, as Puritans are definitely into DYI.

Dorian Gray: Keep Calm and Focus on Hedonism baseball cap

Sherlock Holmes: Carson Page Magnifier–like a really big magnifying glass but flat

Emma Bovary: Chanel black and white signature gift box; apparently, these can be purchased for $18 on e-bay. If you want to put something from Chanel in the box it will cost considerably more.

Jane Eyre: PINCH Pom-Pom Mini Emergency Kit available at Bloomingdale’s; contains 17 essentials any lady would welcome, such as stain removal pad, lip balm, a safety pin, dental floss and more!

With Christmas only a few days away, all Santas, secret or otherwise, had best get busy.

Image result for pictures of santa at santa con










When Hope Despairs, Turn to Fiction

Image result for pictures of moors in england

If you are feeling in despair, as the Bronte sisters–and brother Branwell–almost always were, reading is a good way out. Emily Bronte can attest to the power of the imagination, and so she did, in the poem at the end of this post (reprinted by kind permission of her spirit). If writing poetry on the moors isn’t your thing, read Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, free on Amazon from Sept 16-Sept 20th. Happy Imagination!

To Imagination by Emily Bronte

When weary with the long day’s care,
And earthly change from pain to pain,
And lost, and ready to despair,
Thy kind voice calls me back again:
Oh, my true friend! I am not lone,
While then canst speak with such a tone!

So hopeless is the world without;
The world within I doubly prize;
Thy world, where guile, and hate, and doubt,
And cold suspicion never rise;
Where thou, and I, and Liberty,
Have undisputed sovereignty.

What matters it, that all around
Danger, and guilt, and darkness lie,
If but within our bosom’s bound
We hold a bright, untroubled sky,
Warm with ten thousand mingled rays
Of suns that know no winter days?

Reason, indeed, may oft complain
For Nature’s sad reality,
And tell the suffering heart how vain
Its cherished dreams must always be;
And Truth may rudely trample down
The flowers of Fancy, newly-blown:

But thou art ever there, to bring
The hovering vision back, and breathe
New glories o’er the blighted spring,
And call a lovelier Life from Death.
And whisper, with a voice divine,
Of real worlds, as bright as thine.

I trust not to thy phantom bliss,
Yet, still, in evening’s quiet hour,
With never-failing thankfulness,
I welcome thee, Benignant Power;
Sure solacer of human cares,
And sweeter hope, when hope despairs!

Queen Victoria’s Tramp Stamp


OK, Queen Victoria getting a tattoo may be a rumor started by Annabelle Troy…BUT, Alice in Wonderland, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, knows that tattooing was all the rage amongst grand ladies in the 1880s. The practice was first popularized in high society when that playboy trend setter the Prince of Wales got a cross tattoo in Jerusalem (Alice is not sure where on the body); his sons copied the cross design on their own flesh. Thus the rage for tattoos was born. After Czar Nicholas II. and Kaiser Wilhelm succumbed, aristocratic women started to get designs from the tattoo machine as well. Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Jennie, had a serpent tattoo encircling her wrist–which she covered in public with bracelets. To have ornate designs inscribed on the skin, which only husbands or lovers would see, was definitely a Victorian lady’s well-guarded secret.

Late in the 19th century “tattooed ladies”,  sometimes inked from head to slipper, became a circus staple. These ladies were definitely NOT aristocrats. Eventually, when the rage for tattooing spread to the lower classes,  along with methods for procuring them on the cheap, “real” ladies began to forego them. If Kate Middleton has one, she’s not telling…though she does have “permanent makeup”–liner etched onto her eyes so that she will always look presentable. Still, it’s no serpent.





Some Enchanted Eclipse

An eclipse of the sun deserves a good fairy tale. Read Hansel & Gretel Inside the House of Candy for free Aug. 17-21. You don’t even have to follow a breadcrumb trail through the forest. Simply click on the box below that says Buy On Amazon and the book will appear free on your electronic reading device; it’s as easy as magic! Remember to act before the sun disappears.

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