Happy book birthday & a giveaway!

Happy book birthday to me!


It’s officially here! My new baby goes on sale today in bookstores everywhere!

A LITTLE WOMEN CHRISTMAS is so beautiful it practically glows, thanks to artwork by the gifted Bagram Ibatoulline. Seriously, I just keep turning the pages and smiling! Every picture book author out there knows exactly how I feel — it’s an amazing feeling to see one’s story come to life visually — but to have your publisher choose an illustrator like Bagram Ibatoulline for your book … well, that’s when you feel like you just won the Triple Crown.

(You also feel like you won the Triple Crown when Publishers Weekly gives your book a STAR and calls it “brimming with warmth … as crisp and clear as a snap of winter air.” Wow! Click here to read the full review.)

This story is close to my heart in several ways. First of all, of course, because it’s really Louisa May Alcott‘s story, and I’m just re-telling it in a different form, for a different audience. Louisa was one of my childhood heroes. I lived in Concord, Massachusetts, from fourth grade through tenth grade, just a short bike ride away from Orchard House, the Alcott family home where Louisa lived and wrote Little Women. Being an aspiring author myself, I was awestruck. I used to save up my babysitting money (a whopping 25 cents an hour back then) for the entrance fee, then ride over and take the tour as often as I could. I’m sure the nice people at Orchard House got a little tired of seeing my eager face!

Orchard HouseOrchard House

It was incredibly inspiring to me to see the rooms where Louisa lived and worked. The half-moon desk that her father, Bronson Alcott, built for her so that she could have a place to write! The dining room where she and her sisters put on plays, just like my sisters and I did! I couldn’t get enough of it.

(By the way, Orchard House is making a documentary about the home’s 350-year history, and needs our help to fund it. If you’re a fan of Louisa May Alcott and Little Women, please click here to learn more about how you can support this important project.)

Back to Louisa and me. Let’s fast forward a few decades. My childhood dream has come true, and I am now a published author, thanks in no small part to the early inspiration which Louisa provided. I poured some of my gratitude and love for her into THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, which is set in Concord, and in which my fictional book club reads Little Women. There was plenty left over, though. Can you imagine how delighted I am to be able to pay tribute to her once again, with this beautiful book?

Let’s celebrate! It’s a birthday party, after all. I have two copies of A LITTLE WOMEN CHRISTMAS to give away. If you’d like to win one, just share your favorite Louisa May Alcott quote with us in the comments below. (Don’t know one? Hint: Google is your friend.)

Winners will be chosen at random at midnight on October 12th. US and Canada only, please. Share this giveaway on your blog or Facebook or Twitter or other social media for additional entries. (If you tweet or blog or otherwise share on social media, please leave a link in the comments below so I can assign you an extra entry.) 

BONUS:  Anyone who contributes to the Orchard House documentary Kickstarter campaign will be assigned TWO additional entries! Any amount qualifies — just let me know you’ve contributed. We’re on the honor system with this one.

82 thoughts on “Happy book birthday & a giveaway!”

  1. I don’t pretend to be wise, but i am observing, and i see a great deal more than you’d imagine. I’m interested in other people’s experiences and inconsistencies,and though i cant explain, i remember them and use them for my own benefit.

    – this describes me to a T! I got this of google, and i dont know what part in the book this is or who says it buy i really like it!

  2. Women have been called queens for a long time, but the kingdom given them isn’t worth ruling.

    I love this quote. 🙂

  3. Awesome idea! Looks that a ‘puny’ book!
    “I want to do something splendid . . . something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead . . . I think I will write books.”
    ~Louisa May Alcott~

  4. “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship” Loved this quote since I read it in TMDBC and a big Little Women fan as well! I actually had this as my senior quote last year! 🙂 Never fails to help me feel a bit better and put a smile on my face.

  5. We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.-Louisa May Alcott

    • It’s a picture book, so illustrations on every page. 32 pages, I believe. It’s a big coffee-table sized format — lovely!

  6. My favorite quote from Little Women is,“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

  7. Good Job!! I am excited to read it!!
    here is one of my favorite quotes by her:
    “Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth’s sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.”

  8. Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.
    – Louisa May Alcott

    I can’t wait to read your new book. When is the next MDBC coming out?

  9. “It’s wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can’t have the one you want”.

    PS you inspired me to open up Little Women for the first time in a while 🙂

  10. Laurie: I have loved you since the moment I clamped eyes on you. What could be more reasonable than to marry you?
    Jo March: We’d kill each other.
    Laurie: Nonsense!
    Jo March: Neither of us can keep our temper-…
    Laurie: I can, unless provoked.
    Jo March: We’re both stupidly stubborn, especially you. We’d only quarrel!
    Laurie: I wouldn’t!
    Jo March: You can’t even propose without quarreling.

    I can just picture myself trying to play the part of Jo in this scene considering that I am an actress
    Marmee March: Oh, Jo. Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts; how can you expect to lead an ordinary life? You’re ready to go out and – and find a good use for your talent. Tho’ I don’t know what I shall do without my Jo. Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it.

    Laurie: Someday you’ll find a man, a good man, and you’ll love him, and marry him, and live and die for him. And I’ll be hanged if I stand by and watch.

    Jo: He’s dull as powder, Meg. Can’t you at least marry someone amusing?

    Sorry I did so many, I just couldn’t resist some of them

  11. Love it!I cannot wait for it to come to the Library! Helena-my younger sister- will have a ball reading it!!!



  12. I love this one (and sometimes this is true):
    “Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say no when they mean yes, and drive a man out of his wits just for the fun of it.

    1994 Little Women movie is my absolute favorite. Christian Bale <3

  13. Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

    ~Louisa May Alcott

    Love this quote because it describes me. I may not be able to reach my aspirations, for I do not write them. I feel them. I can not simple get them and write them. I have to look up at the sky, and follow them.

  14. Question…..

    I got a name off of Yahoo answers. Really pretty. Says my characters personality. And it is not the one the girl used. AM I allowed to use it? I plan on dedicating it to the person in Authors note, like this….. “And to my Yahoo friend. The person who gave me the name of________ ______.”
    Would that be okay?

    • Well, I’ve used names before and it turned out they belonged to real people – but haven’t ever copied one from a real person, if that makes sense. How about you use the first name and make up a new last name, or vice versa? That way you can dedicate the book to whomever you REALLY want to dedicate it to, not just feel obligated because you’ve borrowed someone’s name…

  15. She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”

    ― Louisa May Alcott, Work: A Story of experience

  16. This is so exciting!! I can’t wait to get my hands on A Little Women Christmas! I loved reading this post, too. It’s so inspiring to know that every professional writer, like you, Heather, was once a beginner – a dreamer – themselves. My quote it this:

    “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” 🙂

  17. “It takes two flints to make a fire.” –Louisa May Alcott

    I’m in a local theatre group, and we have a monologue project every fall…this fall I am doing “Lazy Laurence” from Little Women (where Amy is yelling at Laurie for being lazy) and this line is in my monologue.I love it. 🙂

  18. Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
    I love this quote. I love a good book( The mother daughter book club is FABOULOUS darling 😉 and good friends are like good books. You want to go back and reread them again as soon as you can. 🙂

  19. Mrs.Frederick!!!
    It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at your blog, and I’m so excited to see this 😀 I went to the Orchard House and really loved it! I need a copy of a Little Women Christmas. I seriously need it. 😉
    My quote is:
    “My little books are read and valued in a way I never dreamed of seeing them.”
    I’m dedicating this to my parents because this quote reminds me so much of them!!
    Thanks so much, Mrs.Frederick.
    Your Fan,
    Jane Blogger

  20. “I don’t see how you can write and act such splendid things, Jo. You’re a regular Shakespeare!” exclaimed Beth, who firmly believed that her sisters were gifted with wonderful genius in all things.

    Jo’s book was the pride of her heart

    To others it might seem a ludicrous or trivial affair, but to her it was a hard experience, for during the twelve years of her life she had been governed by love alone, and a blow of that sort had never touched her before.

    these are just a few I found, I mean I can so relate to some of these quotes, even just having to start over or get ever so slightly criticized for something I spent hours, maybe even days on just deteriorates my self confidence, I can’t say though that I have much to start with, so I just attempt to ignore negative criticism, I can take critism, but when it comes after a great many attempts to please its pretty hard to take

  21. “Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your faults.”

  22. Hi Heather! I Know this is a really random question, but these past few days I’ve been wondering, Do you like ‘audition’ people for your covers? or where do you get the girls from? and do you ever get to meet them? not that I’m saying i could be one of the girls. i guess i kind look like Emma but not well enough to model for the book cover!:)

    • Good question! I have nothing to do with the selection process for the book covers — that’s all done by my publisher’s art department. I really wish I could meet the people they choose — they’re all so lovely! And how fun that you look like Emma. I did, too, when I was your age… 😉

  23. “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”
    I love this – so inspiring!!! I can’t wait to read A Little Women Christmas!!

  24. Mrs. Frederick, I am glad to hear about A Little Women Christmas book and Absolutely Truly. I can’t wait to read them! I was just wondering when you were going to post a Saturday Story Starter? I love writing them and reading what people write! Let’s just say that I am starting to miss them.

  25. Cant wait for MDBC #7! When is it coming out? Do you have a title for it yet? Can’t wait (I think I already said that)! I read your series of MDBC 3 times already non-stop! When I found out there is going to be another, I was practically jumping off the walls, I bet I could have jumped as high as an auditorium if I was in there at the time.

    Anyways, I can’t wait to read Absolutely Truly!

  26. Hi Ms. Frederick!

    I am doing a book report for school, and I was wondering if I could get a quote from you, or have some questions answered. Here they are:
    1) What inspires you to write?
    2) In the MDBC series, which character do you most identify with? (Reference to Home for the Holidays, when Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Chadwick have a slight argument )
    3) What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
    I also wanted to add that because of your books, I have read the classics that go along with it. My favorites are Anne of Green Gables, or Jane Eyre.

    Thank You so much!

    • OK, some of the answers to your questions are on the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page here on my website, so I’ll jump right to #2: when I was your age, I was most like Emma (for obvious reasons), with a little Jess mixed in, because I used to be super shy, and I love animals. 🙂 THRILLED to hear that you’re reading the classics that my book club girls have read! That’s fabulous news! 🙂

  27. Alas! All of Louisa’s quotes are so amazing and meaningful! But here is my favorite of them all:
    “I want to do something splendid… Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten until after I am dead… I think I shall write books.”
    I love that! She certainly did write books and she is WELL remembered after her death. She has written one of my favorite books.
    Also, I would LOVE to give money for the Orchard House documentary but I was wondering… If I give is it only once or do I give weekly or monthly? I can’t wait ’till the documentary is finished! I would love to visit Orchard House someday!

  28. This is a follow-up question to my request above. Could you please tell me (From the book Much ado about Anne ) what was your favorite part and what do you want readers to get from reading your books?

    • Hmmm. Favorite part in Much Ado about Anne? Probably the fashion show. That was fun to write. As for what I hope readers get from reading my books — enjoyment, pure and simple.

      • yea, that was one of my favorites too, i am writing about a fashion show too, because you made it sound so much fun!!!!!!!!

  29. Far away there in the sunshine highes aspirations.I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty,belive in them and try to follow were they lead.

    ~Louisa May Alcott

  30. I loved Little Women and hope to read Little Women Christmas!
    I cant wait for MDBC#7 ! When do you think it will come out?

  31. ‘Housekeeping ain’t no joke.’
    ~Louisa May Alcott

    I love the hidden snark and straightforward way she says this quote. It ain’t no joke. 🙂

  32. “Love is a great beautifier.”

    P.S. i know it is a pretty darn short one, but it touches my heart every times i read it, and i want to touch everyones heart too.

  33. This is perfect because I always read Little Women at this time of year! So my mind is fresh with the beautifully crafted words of the only Louisa May Alcott. It’s really tough to only choose one quote, but here it is: “Be comforted, dear heart! There is always light behind the clouds.”
    (I also love “Excite the admiration of excellent people by being modest as well as pretty.”)
    Hope to talk soon, HVF!

  34. I’m so sorry I didn’t enter sooner!! I didn’t have Internet for a couple weeks!! Anyways, my favourite quote from Louisa May Alcott is, “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m just learning to sail my ship. ” I know this is a popular one, but I think it is truly meaningful. I hope you have a great day!! And good luck to everyone!!

  35. I like this quote too “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” Thanks! Congratulations 🙂

  36. “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
    I love this because it describes me really well, and I also love “conceit spoils the finest genius” because it’s definitely true.

  37. “I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

    This is my favorite. 🙂 Thanks Heather!

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