Literary Escapism is excited to welcome author, Laurie Brown, today. We’ll be discussing her latest novel, What Would Jane Austen Do?, and anything else that pops ups.
Make sure you stick around. There’s a chance for a lucky commentator to win a copy of Laurie’s What Would Jane Austen Do?.
As I savor the very last white-chocolate-covered Reese’s Easter Egg from my ultra-secret private stash, I’m trying to think of a topic to write about. One that will relate to my new book just released What Would Jane Austen Do?
I’m new to blogging and it’s harder than I expected. Even though I’ve written thousands of pages, it’s always been in the point of view of one of my characters. Not as me. Which makes me wonder what would Jane blog about if she were alive and writing today? She was a very private person. Pride and Prejudice was originally published anonymously by A Lady, and Sense and Sensibility was by The Author of Pride and Prejudice. Perhaps she would think as Harriet says in Emma, “It is a sort of thing which nobody could have expected. I am sure, a month ago, I had no more idea myself! The strangest things do take place!”
One of the advantages of working “with” Jane Austen is that you can find an applicable sentiment for just about any situation. But surely if she were writing today, she would plug her latest book since that is a guest blogger’s raison d’etre. With that reminder to myself, here’s the plug for my new book.
Costume designer Eleanor Pottinger is in England for the Jane Austen Festival. Her reservations are screwed up, and she winds up staying in the haunted suite of the country manor turned inn. She encounters two ghostly sisters, Mina and Deirdre, who offer her a deal. If Eleanor will go back in time and stop the duel that killed their dear brother, she’ll have a chance to meet the real Jane Austen. Even though she knows time travel is impossible, jet-lagged Eleanor agrees on condition that the ghosts will leave her alone so she can get some sleep. She wakes in 1814 where she meets the enigmatic and sexy Lord Shermont. He is secretly an agent for the crown and is at the house party searching for Napoleon’s spies. Although attracted to Eleanor, her uncharacteristic behavior makes him suspicious. Eleanor recalls advice from JA’s characters to help her navigate the quagmire of Regency Society while she solves a mystery, prevents a duel, falls in love and yes, meets the real Jane Austen.
I had a lot of fun writing this book and I hope that translates to the readers. I got to imagine what it would be like to travel back to 1814 and to think up all sorts of things for the heroine to miss. Of course, she had to endure without plumbing and electricity, but I also tried to come up with some things that were more personal to her and maybe less obvious. Then one day I was writing even though I had a terrible toothache and decided the heroine should have one, too, so she’s reminded about the lack of modern dentistry and medicine. Fortunately, I did get in to see Dr. Mac quickly and he confirmed that the remedy I gave Eleanor was historically accurate and appropriate. And in fact, oil of cloves is still used today for specific situations.
Eleanor also misses chocolate because even though they did have a hot cocoa beverage in Regency, it was nothing like what we enjoy today. Chocolate candy as we know it wasn’t invented until 1847. Okay, so maybe chocolate was an obvious choice. What would you miss if you traveled back in time to 1814?
Contest Time! We’re giving away a copy of Laurie’s novel What Would Jane Austen Do? to a lucky commentator and it’s very easy to enter. All you have to do is answer this simple question: What would you miss if you traveled back in time to 1814? Apologizes to my international readers, the contest is only open to US and Canada residents.
As always, if you want more chances to win, you can post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer (yes LE is now on Twitter as well!). The more places you share it, the more entries you get.
Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and you’ll get an additional entry (for each page). Make sure you leave a comment so I know that’s why you’re joining. Only new readers to the group will be considered.
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I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer. All entries must be in by midnight on May 5th.